Preparing for an ‘Expert Roundtable’

Sisters. North Lake Tahoe. Summer 2014.

Sisters. North Lake Tahoe. Summer 2014.

Over the course of my professional life, I’ve spoken in front of standing-room only crowds of journalists, packed lecture halls of marine biologists, and giant auditoriums of car salesmen (really; don’t ask). None of these gigs has given me as much pride as the engagement I’ve got lined up for Wednesday morning: I’m the featured speaker for the “Expert Roundtable” in L’s kindergarten class.

The gig is part of a monthly series during which parents come into the classroom and chat with students about what they do and the tools they use to do their jobs right.

The last speaker was a veterinarian. I’m chatting about being a journalist.

Because I can’t bring kittens (let’s face it: A vet is a tough act to follow), I’ll be bringing newspapers, magazines, keyboards and steno pads for the kids to touch and feel and share and (in the case of the pads) keep.

Beyond that, my plan is simple: I’ll chat a bit about what kinds of stories I tell, explain how I collect information for my stories, have the kids interview each other (for a sense of what that’s all about), then I’ll share the process through which I put the stories together. (HINT: The process involves bowls of pretzels and M&Ms.)

I’ll conclude with some examples—a retrospective of some of the most fun stuff I’ve done over the years. Naturally, because I specialize in family travel (and because family travel comprises the bulk of what I’ve written since L was born), I’ll share a bunch of anecdotes about that.

Like that piece about the time L and I traveled to Beverly Hills so she could sketch haute couture. And the piece about the time we crossed the Thames River, in London, in an underwater tunnel. I’ll share a story from our family trip to Yosemite this past spring, and the piece from last month, about R’s birthday walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

I’ll also share my favorite anecdotes from the month we spent living in Hawaii—the ones about the goats that jumped on the picnic table, and about the time when Blue the horse stuck her white fuzzy nose in through the car window and nuzzled my kids.

I might even show them some of the stuff I reported on our August trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

No, I’m not expecting more than half of the kids to pay attention. And I’ll be happy if one or two (beside L and her BFFs) even remember my name. But maybe, just maybe, one of those kids will hear my stories about my life telling stories and be inspired to become a journalist herself (or, I guess, himself). The mere chance of that is reason enough to do it. Which is precisely why I’m so stoked.

Family amenities coming to European charters

A Thomson Airways family booth. Photo from Skift.

A Thomson Airways family booth. Photo from Skift.

At a time when U.S.-based airlines continue to squeeze family travel passengers, the world’s largest charter carrier, based in Europe, has announced plans to make the flying experience more family-friendly.

The company, Thomson Airways, this week revealed plans to create family booths on board certain flights. This concept, still just in the design phase, would allow parents and children, or friends, traveling together to sit face to face, enjoying conversation and a shared dining experience with a folding table between them.

As noted in a Skift article earlier this week, this isn’t the first time family booths have been tested; Southwest offered the same sort of family-friendly perk years ago, but discontinued it due to outcry from passengers who were NOT families traveling together.

This time, however, the message is clear: The booths are for families, and they likely will stick.

They also aren’t the only family-oriented perks Thomson has discussed and/or promised. Some of the other benefits include:

  • On-board kids’ club with childcare
  • Triple seat with folding middle seat (for which, presumably, you’d still have to pay)
  • On-board snack bar with kid-friendly items

If some of these perks (ahem, on-board child care) sound familiar, that’s because Richard Branson also has talked about implementing them in the future. Whenever these sorts of family-friendly improvements happen—really, regardless of whether they happen or not—I’m just glad people are talking about them at all.

The end of lap children?

Enjoying my lap while she still can.

Enjoying my lap while she still can.

Thanks to fellow family travel blogger, Shelly Rivoli (she of the fantastic Travels with Baby blog and Travels with Baby book, which I’ve yet to review), I learned recently about a petition circulating to ban the practice of lap children on all commercial flights in the United States.

You can read the actual petition here, and can read Shelly’s post on it here.

In short, the formal petition effort charges the FAA to end the practice of lap children on all commercial aviation flights by mandating children under the age of 2 to be restrained safely and properly in an FAA-approved child-safety restraint seat/system, much the same way they are required to be restrained when they are traveling in a car.

The petition goes on to say that “Laptops and luggage are required to be secured/safely stowed for take-off and landing therefore more so should a vulnerable infant or toddler be safely secured in a plane traveling 500 miles an hour,” and that “turbulence occurs frequently and without warning, turning a lap held child into a potential missile putting other passengers at risk and flight attendants unable to do their job of safety for all passengers.”

In case you glossed over that last paragraph, let me reiterate that an official petition on the actual White House website calls for a ban on lap children because turbulence can turn “a lap-held child into a potential missile.”

Thankfully, as of today, the petition had fewer than 3,000 signatures and was more than 97,000 signatures short of the requisite 100,000 for review by President Obama’s administration.

Still, the gall of anti-family passengers never ceases to amaze me.

First, beyond crying or puking or stinking up the cabin with a smelly diaper, what REAL risk does a lap child present? One could argue that overstuffed carry-on bags clogging overhead bins present more of a risk to become “missles” than tiny humans do. Also, after last month’s news about aggressive passengers, I’d say grown-ups are the safety threats.

Second, at a time when airlines already are nickel-and-diming passengers for everything from baggage fees to sodas in the cabin, the petition seeks to give airlines the right to charge families for every single member who flies, even those members who weigh 20 pounds or fewer. Aren’t we giving these companies enough of our hard-earned money already?

Finally, as Shelly notes in her post, if we’re going to mandate that all kids under the age of 2 be strapped into car seats, the FAA first must get on the ball about which car seats are acceptable for airplane travel; currently there are suggestions but no formal guidelines, largely because there is no uniformity among airplane seats into which the car seats must be strapped (in many cases, especially when car seats are backward-facing, it’s impossible to recline the airplane seat in front).

Don’t get me wrong here; I support buying babies their own seats, especially when the kids in question are squirmy and make you sweaty. But every family traveler, especially those with young kids, deserves the right to bring our kids as lap children until the kids are 3. And whether or not we parents want to take our kids as lap children should be up to us.

I don’t know J.B., from Schaumburg, Illinois, the person who created this petition on September 17, 2014. But I can tell you this: J.B. either works for an airline, or he/she needs a cuddle.

UPDATE (as of 10/16): It has been brought to my attention (by the fantastic family travel blogger, Beth Blair) that J.B. actually was Jan Brown, a flight attendant on a flight that crashed in Iowa in 1989. Apparently the only passenger in Jan’s section to die from the crash was a baby who was flying as a lap child. According to Brown and a number of experts, the infant likely would have survived if he had been strapped in. Obviously, with this in mind, I’m guessing Brown isn’t actually anti-family travel. Furthermore, what happened to that little baby in that crash is horrible, and I can’t even begin to imagine the guilt his parents have had to endure over the years.

I certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone with my post. If I did, I apologize. Still, I stand by my take, and I bristle at the language of Brown’s petition (specifically, babies as “missiles”). Furthermore, there *are* alternatives between lap children and children in car seats; namely restraints and harnesses such as CARES, which can strap lap children to Mom or Dad. At the end of the day, taking your baby as a lap child is a calculated risk; without the child strapped in, something always could go wrong. But if you’re looking at the stats, even WITH your child strapped in, something could go wrong. The lap child option is an important one for some families. Banning it across the board, whatever the impetus, seems a bit over the top.

How would you react if lap children became illegal?

Sticker heaven

On the tour.

On the tour.

My kids, like just about every kids under the age of 6 (or, maybe even 10), REALLY like stickers. They’ll stick the things just about anywhere. On the inside of the backseat windows in my truck. On our furniture. On each other. On me.

Sometimes, if L and R are feeling particularly creative, they’ll use the stickers as characters in make-believe worlds, and move the stickers from spot to spot as if they were alive.

It’s cool to watch. It’s even cooler to encourage. That’s why I’ve been jonesing to visit Mrs. Grossman’s.

Mrs. Grossman’s, as in, the last remaining sticker factory here in the U.S. The place is located in Petaluma, California, (next to Camelbak world headquarters and) just about an hour from our front door. And they host four tours every day between Monday and Thursday. So, last week, on a day when R didn’t have preschool, I took her. And we loved it.

The $7 tour ran about 45 minutes. I give a light-hearted narrative rundown of the experience in my latest family travel column for the San Francisco Chronicle (the story will be published in Thursday’s paper), and you can read more about it there. The highlights:

  • A 5-minute introductory video in which we learned the staggering fact that, if all of the equipment in the factory were operational at once, Mrs. Grossman’s could churn out 5 million stickers a day.
  • A detailed explanation of how stickers are cut, painted, and packaged.
  • A stroll down an entire aisle of giant rolls of stickers. In a matter of minutes, we spotted everything from horses to wizards to sparkly frogs and princesses. R was in her glory, pawing at each of the rolls like a cat might paw at a hair tie.
  • A free, sticker-based arts-and-crafts project at the end of the tour.

Along the way, our tour guide gave us free stickers at each of six stops. She also pointed out some of the business-to-business work Mrs. Grossman’s does, noting that a significant percentage of the factory’s work at this time of year comprises labels for local wineries. (We saw lots of labels for Francis Ford Coppola’s winery in Geyserville, California.)

When our tour was over, when R had had enough of her arts-and-crafts project, we perused the modest on-site store and bought a bunch of other stickers to take home for L (and just to add to the stash). Part of this take: Two sealed (and $3.99) “Mystery Boxes” that comprised $20 worth of stickers apiece.

We took the tour more than a week ago and R still talks about it every day. This morning, as she was playing with a sheet of hibiscus stickers we bought that day, she asked if we could go back.

Based upon this assessment alone, I’d rate Mrs. Grossman’s as one of the greatest kid-oriented tours in the entire Bay Area. Throw in easy parking, friendly tour guides, all those free stickers, and proximity to an In-N-Out Burger restaurant for post-tour lunch, and the tour is a perfect activity around which to build an afternoon. Maybe we’ll even see you there.

What are some of the best kid-friendly tours you’ve encountered in your travels?

The best road trip snack ever

Mmmmm, GORP.

Mmmmm, GORP.

Today we celebrate a Wandering Pod first: A recipe for a treat that will be a hit with even the most reluctant child travelers.

The treat, of course, is trail mix. We’re big fans of the stuff in this house—a vestige of my pre-fatherhood life as a serious backcountry hiker and camper. We eat it as frequently as we can, and I try to cook up a special new batch of GORP (or GORP-inspired goodness) in advance of every one of our family road trips.

This past weekend, when we traveled into San Francisco to celebrate R’s third birthday, I outdid myself with what the girls are calling The Best Road-Trip Trail Mix Ever. Ingredients for this magic snack were simple: Dry-roasted and salted cashews, raw (and unsalted) almonds, Pepperidge Farm whole-grain goldfish crackers, and M&Ms.

If your kids like raisins, I suppose you can add those, too. And sunflower seeds. Without the shells.

Measurements for this kind of treat are totally dependent on what your kids like best; in our family, a 1:1 ratio of goldfish to M&Ms is key, and the nuts are almost secondary. You don’t want to make too much of the snack, because the goldfish go stale after about a week. I suggest storing it in a gallon-size Ziploc bag.

Oh, and to serve this treat, I like to portion out a half-cup for each girl and give it to them in their own travel cups (with lids).

What’s your go-to recipe for homemade road-trip snacks? What’s your personal mom/dad secret for trail mix?

Kid amenities worth every penny

Happy Birthday R, courtesy of Four Seasons SF.

Happy Birthday R, courtesy of Four Seasons SF.

We Villanos are big fans of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts brand. Yes, the room product is amazing. Yes, the service at these resorts—as a family, we’ve stayed at five of them—is second to none.

Really, however, what we like about Four Seasons is the way they welcome kids.

I’m not talking about greetings and salutations here (though the bellmen always are very nice with those). I’m talking about amenities, presents and an assorted variety of other goodies that Four Seasons properties give kids when families visit.

We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco this past weekend as part of R’s birthday celebration (she turned 3 on Monday). This meant the folks at the hotel treated our girls like rock stars, with everything from San Francisco Giants dolls and hats to pre-dinner birthday cake and cookies from room service.

There were other treats, too. Like the “passports” each girl got upon check-in; they loved inserting pictures of themselves and information about personal characteristics such as eye color and hair color.

The “passports” also (could have) doubled as forms of identification when we were out and about.

Another highlight for the girls: the make-your-own sundae option at MKT, the on-site restaurant. We only managed to get to the restaurant for a late lunch, but that didn’t stop us from trying out this incredibly interactive form of dessert. (In case you’re wondering, both girls chose to douse their sundaes with M&M’s.)

On previous visits to Four Seasons hotels all over the world, the kids have enjoyed other amazing amenities, including child-sized robes, kids-only room service menus, in-room game kits, and more.

It might seem odd that a hotel brand popular among luxury and business travelers makes families such a priority. The reality—at least as it seems to me—is that Four Seasons recognizes the benefits of establishing brand loyalty at an early age.

I wouldn’t have noticed this if not for a conversation I had with R earlier today. We were talking about her next birthday, and what she wanted to do. We tossed around ideas of visiting another great monument or a park, or just laying low for a fairy party.

“I want to stay at a Four Seasons, dada,” she said after some pose. Honestly, I don’t blame her one bit.

Birthday vacation in the Big City

The Birthday Girl on the Golden Gate.

The Birthday Girl on the Golden Gate.

We like to celebrate birthdays with panache in this family. When I turned 30, for instance, Powerwoman and I were living in Lima (in Peru), and we spent a weekend dining at some of the best restaurants in town. When L turned 4, we had a party with a cupcake-to-human ratio of at least 4:1. Last September, when R turned 2, we were living in London, she was obsessed with the London Eye, and all she wanted was to ride the thing (which we did).

Naturally, then, this year the pressure was on for us to take the fiesta to the next level.

After much deliberation, we decided to do what any San Francisco Bay Area-based parents of a tourist attraction loving-kid would do: We made plans to travel to the Big City and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Because no Villano can ever do things half-assed, our plans comprised more than just a bridge walk. In addition, the itinerary included a) a Friday overnight at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, b) a family dinner party at Mel’s Drive-In downtown, c) a morning trek to the carousel at the Children’s Creativity Museum, and d) a picnic lunch in the Marin Headlands.

The bridge walk itself was hilarious. It took us about 45 minutes to find a parking spot at the visitor center on the Sausalito (i.e., the north) side, then another 45 minutes to walk out part of the way. We didn’t even make it from the northern end of the bridge to the first station before the Birthday Girl announced, inimitably, that she was “freezing cold” and that she wanted to go home. Still, she managed to enjoy herself (and Mom and Dad managed to snap a few pictures).

What preceded the bridge walk was special for other reasons. We were welcomed at the hotel with special check-in amenities such as chocolate cake, Panda (as in, Pablo Sandoval) hats, and stuffed San Francisco Giants dolls. We commemorated the start of R’s special day with room-service breakfast. Because we got to the carousel right after it opened, we had the whole attraction to ourselves.

Oh, and at the family dinner, everybody (at least everybody in our immediate family) got milkshakes.

Technically, all of this happened less than 100 miles from our house. Still, because we overnighted, because we “road-tripped” to get there, we all considered it a destination birthday. (Yours truly even made special “road trip trail mix” for the ride down.)

Like I’ve said before, you don’t have to travel very far to have the kind of vacation about which you’ll be talking forever. And for us, R’s birthday celebration was yet another vacation to remember.

What are your favorite ways to mix birthdays and family travel?

Part of something very special

FTA logoYou don’t have to read many of my posts to understand that a) I think pretty deeply about family travel and b) I’ve got ideas for how to change public perception about traveling families overall. You also don’t have to dig too deep to discern that even though I’m a man of words, I also am a man of action.

This is precisely why I’m proud to announce that I’ve joined the Board of Advisors for a brand new organization, the Family Travel Association (FTA).

The mission of the organization is simple: To inspire families to travel and to advocate travel as an essential part of every child’s education. In short, the FTA emphasizes the role of travel in the development of our children, and prioritizes travel as an important activity for family bonding and development.

These all are concepts I embrace wholeheartedly.

In the beginning, my role will be to help guide the organization in terms of policies and procedures. I’ll probably do some writing for the group, too, and hope to put together some original pieces for distribution through traditional channels. Over time, this role likely will grow (though I’m not sure how).

I’m honored to be on an all-star team of advisors; a team that includes Keith Bellows, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine; Laura Davidson, president and founder of Laura Davidson Public Relations; Lynn O’Rourke Hayes, editor of FamilyTravel.com; Kyle McCarthy, editor of Family Travel Forum; and Amie O’Shaughnessy, editor of Ciao Bambino (to name a few).

Of course I’m also delighted to work with the organization’s founder, my friend (and a former publisher at National Geographic), Rainer Jenss.

Stay tuned for more updates about my work with the FTA and some of the projects we’ll launch in the first part of 2015. In the meantime, check out this video that Rainer made to help newcomers understand what we’re all about.

When family travel meets natural disaster

The aftermath of Hurricale Oldie

The aftermath of Hurricale Odile

Guest posts aren’t a typical occurrence on this blog. Sometimes, however, circumstances warrant them. Like when natural disasters impact family travel. And when people you love bear the brunt.

Such was the case earlier this month, when our friends and neighbors, Dave and Laurie Hagele, were stranded with their (4- and 2-year-old) kids in Los Cabos, Mexico, due to the aftermath of Hurricane Odile. For the first few days of the experience, Dave and Laurie stayed remarkably positive, taking things (at the Pueblo Bonito Rose Resort) as they came, and embracing the perspective that their problems weren’t nearly as bad as they could have been. Then, on Thursday, the day the Hageles were evacuated, shit got real.

What follows here is a Facebook note Dave wrote Thursday night, after he and his loved ones returned to California, to their beautiful house across the street. I have reprinted it with his permission, and it appears in its entirety, with very minimal edits. Needless to say, we are happy/relieved/thankful our friends are home safe.

On Wednesday around 5:00 p.m., the hotel gathered all the guests into the lobby for an update. They had arranged for busses to take us to the airport at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. (they had 560 guests in the hotel). They were going to provide us with a box lunch, we’ll head to the Best Western by the airport where we’ll be handed over to the government officials who will ask where we’re going (US or Mexico). We left the meeting staying positive, telling ourselves to expect a long day, but “Hey! This is a once in a lifetime adventure!”

Then it got dark. Our hotel had a generator so we had some electricity, hot showers, etc., but when I looked out from our 6th floor hallway towards town, it was pitch black…and smelled like smoke. That’s when I started to get scared. All the stores had been looted of groceries, there was no water, food, gas, etc. in town and our hotel is lit up like a Christmas tree on the ocean. There were two big bonfires…one outside our gate and one at the entrance to the hotel from the beach to keep away looters from the resort and help the guards see. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much Wednesday night.

Thursday morning, we got up early, showered, ate breakfast and started packing to leave. We left a suitcase with children’s clothing, shoes, toys, etc. to donate to the staff. Charlotte even gave one of the staff members little 9 month old girl her Purplicious book The hotel next to us (same owners as ours) began evacuations at 6:00 a.m. All the staff lined the drive way waiving white towels (some crying) sending the guests on their way…knowing there goes their jobs.

Learning about evacuation plans at the hotel.

Learning about evacuation plans at the hotel.

At 10 a.m. we boarded a small bus with everyone’s luggage in the isle. It was a little muggy & hot, but once we started moving, the breeze was nice. We received the same send off from the staff and it was very emotional leaving them behind. As we exited the gates and started up the highway, the true impact of the devastation was felt. We were lucky…hotels were demolished, all power poles were down, roofs blown off and palm trees snapped in half. We passed a couple of gas stations with lines of cars stretching miles long waiting for gas. We get to San Jose Del Cabo and the supermarket there was looted, everything was thrashed and people were holding their cell phones up trying to get a signal.

We then turn towards the airport. At this point, Jackson had already peed through his diaper onto Laurie’s lap (thank you Mexican diapers), but we weren’t worried since we would be at the Best Western, we can change him, freshen up and get ready to get our assignment for the flight out.

Then we see the airport. It looked like it had been bombed…then we start to see a line of people…6-8 deep, about a mile long…I’m thinking, wow, I’m glad we’re not in that line! We weren’t. The bus stopped and told everyone to get out, then left. Our line was the other line about a mile long. We’ve never felt more helpless and scared in our lives. Laurie started sobbing and there was nothing I could do to fix it. We couldn’t go back to the hotel, we basically were dumped into the crowd to fend for ourselves. There was no water, no food, no cell service and we were standing in the blazing Cabo sun with barely any breeze. The “Best Western”, looked like a car bomb had exploded outside. There was a shaded overhang so we were able to get Laurie, [my mother-in-law, Cindy] and the kids there while I went back to take my place in line with everyone else. It was 11:00 a.m.

Upon arriving at the airport, this was the line.

Upon arriving at the airport, this was the line.

I finally made it to the back of the line. At around 1:30 p.m., the line finally moved after the first of the rescue planes started arriving (they were letting 100 people at a time through to the airport). Through out the day, Laurie & I would switch standing in line and checking on the kids…walking the distance of the snaking line multiple times. They weren’t allowing any family or kids to go ahead, but at least they were in the shade…granted, there was vomit everywhere, sheetrock, glass & general filth, but they were shaded. Considering the circumstances, the kids did pretty well. Everyone was sharing their toys and any food or snacks they had. Around 3:30 p.m. Laurie came back to tell me that Charlotte wasn’t drinking any water, was turning pale and said her “tummy hurts”…I went up to check on her while Laurie stayed with the bags. Cindy said the guard had just made an announcement they were going to start taking the elderly & families. I confirmed with him when I got there, said my wife was back in the line and he said, “Go get her now”.

I ran back, got Laurie and we booked it to the shaded area. After about 10 minutes, they started moving the families & elderly into a line. We stood in that line for another 10 minutes before they said “go go go” and we then started walking, dragging our luggage and tired kids, along with everyone else to the “boarding area”. There, for the next 45 minutes, we filled out forms indicating names, passport number, flight we came in on, etc. and waited. We didn’t know if we were going to Phoenix or LAX. A guy comes in and yells, “4 seats to LAX!” and we pounced. We then went back into the sun onto the tarmac about 4 planes down where a Southwest Airlines crew was waiting to take our bags, forms, etc. They had an ice chest with cans of water and it tasted SOOOOO good! I sat with the kids on the tarmac in the shade of the plane while Laurie dealt with the forms. By then, Charlotte was feeling better, which was a relief.

The plane that took my friends home.

The plane that took my friends home.

Once they said we could board, Laurie started sobbing and the flight attendant gave her a big hug and said, “It’s o.k. sweetie…we’ll get you home”.

Cindy, Laurie & Charlotte each had a seat and I had a seat in the back of the plane with Jackson on my lap…as the plan started taxing down the runway, I looked out and say numerous planes lined up to bring in supplies and take people out. As soon as the plan lifted off, I hugged Jackson really hard and I totally lost it and started sobbing…then he peed his pants and I was soaked…thank you Mexican diapers…it was around 5:00 p.m.

The flight had food, ice cold drinks and a very friendly staff. We landed in LAX around 6:00 p.m. and breezed through customs. I was able to get us on the LAX – Santa Rosa flight leaving at 7:55 p.m., which gave us time to eat a real meal, get settled a bit and change the kids into their jammies…both kids crashed out the second the plane took off. When we landed in Santa Rosa round 9:20, I lost it again.

Laurie & I always try to live by the motto, “There are a lot of people that would trade their problems for ours”. I think that group would be a much smaller group for this one. I would not wish yesterday on anyone and couldn’t help thinking about the people I stood in line with for 5 hours that were left in the sun while we got out.

We are so grateful to be home…safe. Our thoughts are with the staff who sent us on our way and everyone left in Cabo.

Family travel for road warriors

As someone who does a significant amount of solo travel for work, I’m always planning epic trips as a way to reconnect with the family members I’ve left behind. For us, these trips (such as last month’s week-long escapade at Walt Disney World Resort) aren’t only about escaping, they’re about escaping together. And the adventures almost always are the kinds of jaunts we’ll all remember for life.

This is why I particularly was moved by a new ad from one of my biggest clients, Expedia. On the surface, the ad, a television commercial, trumpets Expedia’s new Expedia+ rewards program, which gives customers one point for every dollar spent on travel.

Really, however, the ad is a comment on the notion of reconnecting with family after a series of business trips.

The family in the ad uses some of the dad’s 83,000 Expedia+ Rewards points to head out on an African Safari. While we Villanos haven’t traveled that far afield, we have come close, and we certainly aren’t ruling out that type of trip in the future.

For me, the bottom line here is that sometimes, family travel is about more than the travel itself. It’s refreshing to see an online travel agency like Expedia recognize that reality in this medium.

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