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Traveling with small kids in no picnic. I spoke to U.S. News & World Report about hacks to make airline flights more tolerable. One of my favorite maxims is that, to parents, "spontaneity is the devil." This is especially translates into packing, snacks, entertainment and tantrum busting. Here are the topics discussed: Log on to the full story above for full explanation of tips.     Pack Smart Prepare for Boredom Use Bribery Get The Kids Involved Pick The Right...

We decided to go to Sweden by default. In late September, I still had not planned anything for winter break. A swift online search revealed that all of the predictable spots-skiing in Colorado, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico-had been already booked by parents more conscientious than me. So, I looked at less popular vacation options. Flights to Scandinavia on SAS were reasonable and activities abundant.  Off we went. The first thing that blew me away about Stockholm was the...

A cruise can be an incredible family vacation. The appeal of visiting multiple destinations and unpacking just once is undeniable. But, for many, the mega ship cocktail -endless crowds, bland buffets, forgettable port towns, pools that could double as water parks— is not. That’s why the river boat business is booming, especially in Western Europe. Smaller ships that traverse inland waterways offer access to historic towns, superior cuisine and a setting conducive to bonding with fellow...

The San Juan Islands were not on my radar until last March. Not even a peripheral blip. But, an engaging call from a publicist piqued my interest and suddenly a family trip to the Pacific Northwest fell into place. The San Juans were a perfect stop between Vancouver and Seattle. We thought about visiting Orcas; everyone raves about this island. But, it was San Juan Island that I ultimately chose. First, because of Friday Harbor,...

I almost never deviate from carry-on luggage. Black dress, black pants, a few shirts and two pairs of shoes. But, last month, I did. And, boy did I regret it. While packing for a nine day odyssey from the Rhone to Paris, I allowed visions of linen clad afternoons in Provence and swanky evenings at the Ritz Paris cloud my instincts. Though my brain screamed, “non!” to that extra dress, heels and snakeskin clutch, my...

An Under Canvas tent that fuses design and comfort. CreditTiffany Rose The notion of nodding off under the stars to the crackle of a fire in the shadow of ancient ponderosa pines sounds dreamy. Here’s the catch. Though I love communing with nature, I detest discomfort. This includes interacting with moist soil and insects as well as partaking in tiresome camp chores like tent pitching, fire making, food schlepping and foraging for makeshift, leave-no-trace toilets. Sleeping on...

LA is known as an adult playground. But, it is also my go-to getaway for a family vacation. The sun shines. Heated pools and hiking trails beckon. Museums abound. And one can magically move from the California Science Center to a dip in your hotel pool in about forty-five minutes. ACTIVITIES Science and art buffs, my girls researched the museums and worked with me to create the itinerary. With just five days, we decided upon the California...

FAMILY TOURS IN FLORENCE Florence with kids can be overwhelming. I recommend a family specific walking tour to reduce the chaos and increase the appreciation of this splendid city. Context Travel offers interactive 2.5 hour “urban walking seminars” for families. We met our docent in the sun dappled Piazza della Signoria for a “Symbols and Legends” tour. Our guide Elizabeth wasted no time befriending my daughters. As they perused the Renaissance sculptures, she handed them a chisel...

A few years ago, I took my daughters to a manor house turned hotel in England. It left a big impression.   Falconry. Horseback riding.  An old-fashioned canal boat ride. The entire family was so engaged in enjoying the rugged landscape  that we didn’t give electronics a thought for an entire week.   Inspired by the return of Game of Thrones (yes, I am obsessed), I began researching actual castle hotels that offer the type of “leisure pursuits” (archery,...

If you are thinking about a family trip to Costa Rica, pull the trigger and go. The beaches are pristine, the food is excellent and the ability to see an abundance of wildlife-monkeys, parrots, iguanas and technicolor birds-at any given moment of the day is awe inspiring. The journalist in me wanted to zip across the country trying to fit everything into a single week. But, my family craved downtime so we decided to spend...