Follow Me on Pinterest

apps for geocaching The right app can keep you and the kids happy. Whether you take family trips by car, boat or plane, add value to your family adventure with educational, problem solving and travel-friendly apps. 

Here are five to consider: 

The Oregon Trail.

Which supplies will you bring? How will you choose the best route? Kids will learn about the triumphs and challenges of life as a western pioneer in the late 1800s through this engaging app.The adventure begins in Missouri, and brave trailblazers make all the decisions that might be required for safe passage to Oregon via wagon train. Educational and compelling, players can talk to characters and opt in for minigames along the way. 



Real-world treasure hunts take place around the world, and your family can join in the fun. This app provides a great way to blend the use of GPS technology with the mission of finding caches. 

Choose your outing based on terrain difficulty, points of interest or the level of challenge.



Families on the go can access user-rated intelligence regarding diaper changing stations, kid-friendly restaurants, parks and play places. Tips regarding medical facilities including pharmacies and urgent-care locations are also available. The developers have tapped parents across the country to create an impressive database of locations. Available free for Android and iPhone.


Dr. Seuss Bookshelf. 

For a wealth of literacy-enhancing rhymes, games and stories, access this collection of Dr. Seuss’ whimsical wisdom. Kids of all ages will enjoy the interactive illustrations and the opportunity to hear some of the classics read aloud. 


Games On the Go.

For colorful, educational fun with planes, cars, trains, fire trucks, dinosaurs and ponies, access these beautifully illustrated apps designed to engage children ages 2 to 6. Through puzzles and other interactive play, kids will be entertained while they learn letters, numbers, patterns and relationships.


Scottsdale Princess

Choose an off-peak package. 

Whether you visit midweek or off-season, you’ll save. For example, the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa offers a Drive, Dine and Dream package, available for stays Sunday through Thursday. Located in Southern California’s San Bernardino National Forest, guests receive room discounts and resort credits as well as guided hikes, mountain bike adventures and s’mores on the beach. 

Or, check into the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess during Arizona’s warmer months for value-rich family activities including the new Splash Rider X-treme water ride, dive-in movies, tennis, golf and zip-lining.


Your next family vacation: Wyoming

At Brooks Lake Lodge, the vast Wyoming wilderness is right outside your door. High mountain lakes, miles of hiking and horseback trails and magnificent views will enhance your experience. One and two bedroom rustic but restored cabins are nestled among the Spruce and Pine trees of the Pinnacle Mountains. Enjoy the sweet smell of the forest from under your goose down comforters. (307) 455-2121;;

Family Vacation Family Travel Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park.

It’s a must see: stunning vistas, more than 200 lakes, 175 named mountains and 40 glaciers, tucked within one million acres of natural beauty. That’s Glacier National Park.

The last time I visited it was a multi-generational outing - my Dad, my son and my niece and it was a great destination for all of us.

Established in 1910, by an act of Congress, this extraordinary recreational playground is also home to more than 350 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

With so much to see, if you go, it is important to plan in advance.

Here are a few suggestions to jump start your visit:

Ride the Red Bus.

The historic red buses are a symbol of another age, providing a commanding overview of the park’s magnificent history and scenery. The vintage vehicle carries 17 passengers. Tours range from three hours to a full day. Children under 12 are half price.

Contact: Glacier Park, Inc. ;; 406.892.2525.

Explore on foot.

With more than 800 miles of maintained hiking trails, there are plenty of opportunities for families to learn about the flora and fauna. A favorite among families, we enjoyed the beauty of the Avalanche Lake trail. Within four miles round trip, and a gain of just 500 feet in elevation, trekkers will enjoy a rich forest environment, tumbling waterfalls and a majestic lake with more waterfalls at the turnaround point. Take a picnic and enjoy. Easily accessible, the trailhead is five miles beyond the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Scenic Boat Tours.

Step aboard historic boats and glide across the pristine alpine lakes nestled amid majestic peaks. Enjoy the colorful commentary provided by the skilled crew. Available from four locations. Fares under $20. Children under four are free. Children 4-12 are half price.

Contact:; (406) 257-2426.

Float the River.

Venture down the wild and scenic middle and north forks of the Flathead River with professional guides who will share their knowledge of the river. Half and full day scenic floats or whitewater adventures. Paddle a raft or an inflatable kayak. Contact:; 1 (800) 235-6781.

Base Camp.

Glacier Outdoor Center’s log cabins provide a comfortable and well-located retreat just outside the gates at West Glacier. One and two bedroom cabins sleep from six to fourteen people. Enjoy full kitchens, covered decks, a gas grill and full guide services on site.

Contact:; 1(800) 235-6781. For reservations inside the park; (406) 892-2525.


For additional information about Glacier National Park contact:; 1 (406) 888-7800.

fttswhale sharks

Get close to creatures of the sea for a wild family adventure.

Here are five ideas to consider:

1.Swim With Whale Sharks.

Swimming with the largest fish in the sea is a thrill worth seeking. Whale sharks are massive, reaching lengths of 40 feet and 15 tons. Despite their imposing presence, the gentle creatures peacefully share the warm seas with visitors who arrive via boat from the shores of nearby Cancun. Two at a time, along with a guide, you’ll don a life jacket or wet suit and fins, before jumping in for a swim with these plankton slurping vegetarians. No touching is allowed (the mega-fish are considered a “vulnerable species”) but you can swim alongside as they thrust forward their super-sized square jaw and begin filtering everything in their path like a water-born vacuum cleaner. It might look a little scary, but trust me, it's an adventure to remember.

Contact:; www.

2.Snorkel with Jellyfish.

Visitors to Palau, an archipelago of more than 586 islands in the westernmost corner of Micronesia, often put swimming among the Moon and Golden jellies of Jellyfish Lake at the top of their adventure list. A short hike brings snorkelers to the 12,000 year old brackish marine lake where millions of the mystical creatures waft through the water each day following the arc of the sun. Void of the sting normally associated with these gelatinous floaters, you’ll marvel at the colorful underwater display as you observe the graceful migration.


3.Swim with Stingrays.

Wade into the warm Caribbean Sea at the Stingray City Sandbar for your family’s chance to pet the dozens of sea creatures who visit the area for a little love and a few tasty treats. Today tour operators will assist in your introduction to the Southern stingray, taking over for the fishermen who originally attracted the rays to the area by cleaning fish and tossing the remnants into the water. Soon the stingrays associated the sound of boat motors with breakfast. For a more pleasurable experience, avoid visiting when cruise ships are in port.


 4. Alaska up close.

Kayak among whales, sea lions and past puffins when you explore Alaska with Inner Sea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises. With only 22 to 86 guests on board on their well-planned vessels, you’ll wind your way into narrow passages and into wilderness areas that the bigger ships cannot access. The adventuresome in your clan can don a dry suit and use a Stand Up Paddleboard to get even closer to Alaska’s extraordinary wild riches.

Contact: 888-862-8881;

5.Adventures with alligators.

No one wants to get too close to an alligator. But at this park, home to more than 800 gators ranging in size from eight inch babies to 15 foot, one thousand pound adults, you’ll learn about the ways of these fierce creatures, from a safe distance. As you wander through natural swamps and marshes you’ll also encounter turtles, lizards, giant frogs and exotic birds. Lectures and live shows add to the experience.

Contact: 843-361-0789;

USA TODAY Ten Best FamilyTravel Bloggers Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

We feel fortunate to be in some grand company.

Thanks to enthusiastic band of readers and friends we were voted into the top THREE on USA TODAY'S Ten Best Family Travel Bloggers list.

Our adventure and outdoor focus, combined with a commitment to provide healthy, smart and off-the-beaten path family travel options, is a passion we hold dear.

Thanks to those of you who took the time to vote for us.

And thanks for being a part of and for your own commitment to family and travel!

You can see more here!

 RV Fun at Death Valley and Furnace Creek Resort

Does your family travel in an RV?

Visitors to Death Valley National Park now have options thanks to the Furnace Creek Ranch.

The Fiddler’s Campground offers 35 RV sites (but no hook-ups). Located at The Ranch, the Furnace Creek RV Park offers 26 full-hookup RV sites and can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet.

Guests enjoy swimming in the nearby spring fed pool, laundry and shower facilities, complimentary wireless internet and easy access to restaurants.

For those who like to spend time on the links, the Furnace Creek Golf Course is directly adjacent to the Campground. As the lowest elevation course in North America, it’s one for your bucket list.

Both sites provide the perfect jumping off place to enjoy Death Valley National Park and the extraordinary night sky.

Planning a vacation? Make yours a grand and glorious family getaway.

Here are five ideas to consider.  

 El tovar grand canyon

1 The Grand Canyon.

Hike, photograph, raft or paint this wonder of the world. Hikers like the Bright Angel Trail for great views of the inner canyon. Choose day hikes to the Three-Mile Rest-house or to Indian Garden. Better yet, reserve a campsite at the Bright Angel campground (9.3 miles one way) or bunks at Phantom Ranch (9.8 miles one way) for a full experience. Plan well in advance. Reservations for Phantom Ranch can only be made by mail, phone or fax.


Grand Lake Colorado

2 Grand Lake, Colo.

Visit this old-school Western town for a lakeside getaway that will charm every member of your family. Stroll the boardwalk with an ice-cream cone, play minigolf and dip your toes into the state’s largest natural lake. Hike, fish or ride horseback through stunning high mountain scenery. A western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is known for frequent wildlife sightings. Stay in a rustic, pet-friendly cabin for a relaxed holiday. 

Contact: rockymountainnational,  

grand tetons

3 The Grand Tetons.

Fill your lungs with pine-scented air. Raft the rivers, marvel at the wildlife or travel by horseback into the backcountry. A visit to this historic mountain destination offers families the best of the great outdoors paired with a glimpse into our Western heritage. Stay in the tony town of Jackson Hole, Wyo., or in more rustic quarters within Grand Teton National Park. Take in the rodeo and a cowboy cookout, and visit the hot springs and the local museums. 

Contact: 1-888-838-6606; 

Grand Cayman family travel

4 Grand Cayman Island.

The largest of three Cayman Islands, this popular Caribbean beach destination pairs sandy relaxation with underwater exploration. Stow yourselves away inside the lush grounds of the Ritz-Carlton or spill onto the famous Seven Mile Beach where snorkeling, beach walking and sand-castle building can engulf the day. The hotel’s Cousteau-inspired Ambassadors of the Environment program offers dozens of learning programs each week, designed to send family members home with a greater understanding of the islands.  

Contact: 1-800-241-3333;  

family travel with grandparents

5 The grandparents.

Learn about your family history, tell stories and pursue mutual interests. Ask questions, laugh, take pictures and share

your favorite foods. Combine the generations for a memorable family getaway soon.

Time flies.

Movie Night:  Summer Brain-Power Boost

After a day in the summer sun, take a break with the family. Curl up on the couch and learn something new. You'll find these titles on Netflix. For your big kids:

60036840 1128627
70212574 3640920
70070014 1128610
70235731 2842561
70218722 1140168
1. Lewis & Clark: The Journey Out West
2. Walking with Dinosaurs
3. Secret Yellowstone
4. The Blue Planet
5. When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

Find out what's bubbling in Yellowstone. Then discover more brain-boosting titles. The folks at Common Sense Media shared 12 age-appropriate documentaries that encourage kids to explore worlds they may not normally encounter, all currently streaming on Netflix – check out the list here.

yellowstone soupy and steamy?

What's this about a super volcano turning the roads inside our treasured national park into a "soupy mess"?

Park officials have closed a 3.3 mile long stretch of Firehole Lake Drive because the pavement has become too soft for vehicle traffic.

A spokesperson for the park explained that Yellowstone, our first national park, sits on top of the caldera of an ancient super volcano. That's the source of the heat that spews steam from geysers like Old Faithful. That same heat has melted the roadway. Last year, geologists discovered that the volcano was more than twice as large as previously determined.

Established in 1872, Yellowstone is the wonderous home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk. It is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.

Visitors can find travel and other Park updates here.

Page 1 of 53

Travel Insurance. Simple & Flexible.

Policy type

Follow Us on Twitter!



Home    |    About    |    Meet Our Contributors    |    Advertising    |    Contact Us    |    Site Map    |    Legal