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Jumpstart: Ideas For You

By  Lynn O'Rourke Hayes   

 

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Book a packaged trip.

Families can save on travel by choosing a travel package that combines rooms, flights and even car rentals. Taking advantage of negotiated and bundled rates can make a trip to your chosen destination more affordable and simpler to book. Contact: www.Expedia.com; www.Travelocity.com; www.Travelzoo.com

Take a cruise.

By offering sporting activities, food choices, original entertainment, and shore excursions designed for every member of the family, cruise lines are going out of their way to lure families aboard their sea-faring vessels. From rock walls and wave pools to teen night clubs and giant movie screens, kids and their parents will find plenty to engage the a cruise. Newer ships provide cabin configurations that include room for families of six or more via family suites, sleeping alcoves, fold-outs and adjoining rooms. Contact: www.CruiseCompete.com

Travel to learn.

More families are viewing their time away together as a chance to learn about themselves, other cultures and the changing nature of our global society. Consider a language immersion program, a cultural exchange or volunteer vacation. Learn about climate change in the far corners of the earth or ancient rituals in the deep riches of the South American jungles. Contact: Contact: www.crossculturalsolutions.org; www.spanishcontact.com; www.earthwatch.org

Train Travel.

Ride the rails with the kids and enjoy the scenery and a mode of transportation that recalls days gone by. From Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express to Amtrak’s landscape-rich California Zephyr, travel by train allows the whole family to sit back, relax, unwind, and enjoy compelling vistas without the worries of traffic jams, driver fatigue, fast food breaks or concern about road conditions. Contact: www.Amtrak.com; www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/ 

Embrace winter sports.

Perhaps this is the year to push yourselves beyond the local sledding hill and expand your winter sports experiences. Lace up the skates, strap on the snowshoes, learn how mushers round up their sled dogs or consider an ice climb. Go downhill, cross-country, into the back-country and then warm up in a steaming hot spring. Skate ski to dinner served in a yurt or ride aboard a horse-drawn sleigh headed to cozy cabin where you and your family can savor supper served fireside. Contact: www.BigSky.com; www.SunValley.com.

Travel Insurance. Simple & Flexible.

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