How to Get Your Kids Excited for Each Day of a Trip

In our neck of the woods, families are now heading off for spring break. Many of you may have fun family trips or activities planned as well.

Here’s my little parenting hack for getting the kids excited and engaged for each day of whatever your vacation holds.

Family trip to Churchill Downs, KY
Smiling faces: the goal of family travel!

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Ask a Pilot!

What Unexpected Things May Be Happening on Your Flight

This week we had the opportunity to interview Rene, an airline pilot for one of the U.S. legacy carriers. He shared so much great information that we can’t possibly fit it all into one post!

Today Rene tells us about what unexpected things may be happening on your flight while you are busy enjoying your pretzels.

Number three was a bit of a surprise!

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Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms Without the Crowds

Every March and April more than 1.5 million tourists descend upon Washington, D.C. to see the famous Cherry Blossoms. As we hit peak bloom, you might be asking yourself how you can visit the world-famous Tidal Basin without battling the crowds.

Years ago, I stumbled upon the secret.

Pink and white cherry blossom viewing in Washington, D.C.
Cherry Blossoms during Peak Bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.

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Surprising St. Louis: A Second Top Attraction in the Gateway to the West

We continue our countdown of the top St. Louis attractions with a story of what happens when people think big.

The Saint Louis Art Museum and its collection of more than 34,000 pieces is tucked away in the heart of sprawling Forest Park, just a stone’s throw from other popular attractions like the Saint Louis Zoo. Its iconic main building is the only surviving permanent structure constructed for the 1904 World’s Fair. Remarkably, admission to this sprawling and largely uncrowded gem is free to the public.

The top-notch collection here is massive. It did however leave us scratching our heads.  My friend Kim and I couldn’t figure out how a city of just over 300,000 people ended up with not only a top-tier art museum, but one that is free to the public. So, I started digging to find out.

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Surprising St. Louis: A “B-side” City with Top-Tier Attractions

At the March 2019 D.C. Travel & Adventure Expo, Samantha Brown, host of Places to Love on PBS, discussed how she selects destinations for her show. She mentioned, in particular, that her team often looks for B-side cities (a vinyl records reference that may be lost on some). To her, a B-side city is lesser known than top tourist destinations but still has plenty to great things offer.

After hatching a weekend getaway plan with a friend, I recently found myself on a plane to St. Louis, Missouri, which is arguably the B-side to the midwest’s top destination: Chicago.

Here are the top four attractions that make this a great destination.

Gateway Arch
A weekend away without the kids can apparently lead giddy moms to pose for silly pictures.

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My Secret Strategy for Getting Kids to Love Museums

“That’s boring.”

For most of their lives, my children happily visited our local air and space and natural history museums. However, any suggestion that we go to an art museum would be met with a chorus of “That’s boring.

Fast forward several years, and my boys enthusiastically spend hours exploring art museums. On a recent trip, they devoured the Musée D’Orsay, the Louvre, and the Rodin Museum in Paris, and I had to drag them out of the British Museum in London. So, how did we get from point A (total rejection) to point B (complaining when they have to LEAVE)? Here is my magic formula:

The Louvre, Paris
The Pyramid at the Louvre, Paris.

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Travel Mishaps–Are The Things That Go Wrong What We Remember the Most?

Hello blogosphere! I have missed you. I have been laid up for a week with the flu but am now crawling my way back. Since I have not been at my best, I thought it might be fun to write about another time I was not on top of my game. So, today we are going to talk about travel mishaps. And I don’t mean weather events, acts of God, or other factors out of our control. I’m referring to those instances when we need to look in the mirror and admit “mea culpa.” We are human, and humans make mistakes. I hope you will either laugh at or learn from mine and share your own!

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A counter-intuitive way to add an additional city to your next trip at no extra cost

We’ve all seen them (and many of us have been them): Parents, in the airport, at the end of their rope, clutching desperately to their very last bits of sanity. Nothing says “vacation” like a family meltdown in the airport. Air travel with kids in tow can be, shall we say, a bit stressful, so most of us simply want to contain the pain and take the quickest route from Point A to Point B.

I am no different. I have typically gravitated towards direct flights for that very purpose.

However, now that my kids are all teenagers with quite a bit of travel experience, I have decided to turn that approach on its head and instead experiment with making the journey as long as possible.

Before you decide whether I am insane, hear me out.

Traveling with young kids
When my kids were younger, air travel felt much more complicated.

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Visiting Tatooine

With the Director JJ Abrams’ tweet on Friday February 15, 2019 that photography on Star Wars Episode IX had wrapped and all the press surrounding the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy Edge at the Disney World and Disneyland Resorts later this year, I can’t help but remember our amazing family trip to Tatooine.

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