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It's a day every father dreads.

Because it is inevitable, because there is little we can do about it, it looms like a specter on our already difficult parenting journey. Despite our best efforts, there is no avoiding the cultural influence and messages on the sides of busses, on billboards, in pop songs, in movies…even in schoolyard chatter. And, knowing it's coming, we prepare.

Still.

Still there is no disguising the cringe on that fateful day when she finally asks the question…

"Daddy, can we go to Disneyland?"

And though you've prepared for this moment, you still cringe and quickly wonder how you might avoid the interminable lines, gum on your shoes, and refrains of "It's a Small World" echoing in your head for months after. 

Read more:

Casa Tres Vidas Family Travel

I don't know about you but tax season makes me queasy.

Yet once I've collected all the detail and data, I breathe a sigh of relief and think about the possibilities. 

If there is a refund involved, why wouldn't we reward ourselves by planning something grand and glorious? 

To make it easy, the folks at travel resource, Luxury Link have rounded up a list of over-the-top vacation offerings at top four and five-star hotels that fit the average tax return budget of $3,000.

These vacation packages should make us feel better: 

Capella Washington D.C. (Washington D.C.)

Five nights with private museum tours and after-hours shopping

Farmhouse Inn (Sonoma County)

Five nights with VIP wine tastings and complimentary daily three-course breakfasts

Lake Austin Spa Resort (Texas)

Two nights all-inclusive with $450 spa credit

Turtle Bay Resort (Hawaii)

Ten night getaway with $500 resort credit, daily snorkeling and tennis

Casa Tres Vidas (Mexico)

Seven nights all-inclusive with an open-air beachfront villa that has access to a private beach and chef

Sivory Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)

Ten night getaway to retreat to a private plunge pool after a private candlelit dinner on the beach

Enjoy!

 

 


ft ts heli kids

Family travel can play a strong role in the education you offer to your children and grandchildren.

Here are six ideas to consider:

1. Reflect your values.

The travel choices you make can send a strong message to your loved ones about what matters most to you. Consider the bucket list as a thoughtful and deliberate reflection of your own values, hopes and dreams. So before you begin listing desired destinations, ask yourself what aspects of the world - geographically, spiritually and culturally - you want to share with your children, grandchildren and perhaps other friends and family members.

2. Identify Priorities and Passions.

Are you a nature, history or art lover? Do you want your children or grandchildren to learn how to ski, photograph or scuba dive? Do you hope to share your love of baseball or botany with the next generation?  Will volunteer vacations or heritage tours be an important part of your mix? Take time to consider these ideas that will expand your family’s horizons and weave them into your travel plan.

3. Identify places.

Americans get low marks for knowledge of geography. Begin with a good map or atlas and consider studying the globe an important part of your family travel education. While your list will most certainly change over the years, think about which destinations you hope to visit while your children are in the nest and beyond?  And, when it comes time to involve the children in creating the bucket list, remember that kids don’t know what they don’t know. Certain theme parks and resorts will likely be on their radar screens. But they may not be aware of the glories of Yellowstone or Yosemite or the historical significance of Gettysburg or Montpelier.

4 About the money.

Choosing to make travel a priority is a decision that may require foregoing other luxuries or experiences. But the quality bonding time and lifelong memories are sure to be worth it. Consider creating a travel savings account. Opt for travel related gifts for birthdays, graduations and holidays. Encourage the children to establish their own travel fund. Saving for a specific trip can be an important part of the overall experience.

5. About the time.

Whether you begin by tossing up a tent in the backyard or strategizing to experience a safari in Africa, there is no time like the present to begin planning family travel. As children get older, their schedules become more complicated by their own commitments. Take advantage of school breaks. Consider off-season adventures when you will experience fewer crowds and lower prices, even if it means missing a few days of class.  Is a month, summer or year abroad on your family wish list? If, so, begin the research now.

6. And now.

You’ve planned and prioritized. Now, have fun. Take pictures. Repeat.

family dive vacations

Diving is a great way to discover the world and what lies beneath the surface. 

From Bonaire and Grand Cayman to Yap and Palau, Family Dive Adventures and Kids Sea Camp provide education about the underwater world and the tools needed to become safe, confident divers. In the last 15 years, the company has certified more than 5,400 kids. Children and their parents will learn about coral reefs, sharks, manta rays and the latest in global marine conservation during Kids Sea Camp weeks.

Join other families during organized group trips or customize your own getaway.

Find out more: familydivers.com

Adventure Quotes travel

Life is full of adventure!

If you are looking for a little inspiration, a few words to urge you into action, you've come to the right place.

Enjoy!

"You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of shore." – Christopher Columbus

“A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.” ~ Edward Abbey

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” - Anonymous 

Find 49 other inspirational quotes here!

FamilyTravel.com Barcelo Your Next Family Vacation

Ready for some sunshine?

The Barceló Maya Beach Resort in sunny Riviera Maya, MX, is a multi-resort all-inclusive complex you'll want to explore. Particularly post their just completed $80 renovation project.

The family-friendly Barceló Maya complex is comprised of five adjacent resorts – all sharing a long stretch of private beach.

Claim yours from  2,756 guest rooms, 20 restaurants and 19 bars: Barceló Maya Beach, Barceló Maya Caribe, Barceló Maya Tropical, Barceló Colonial, Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe.The project focuses on the complex’s Barceló Maya Beach and Barceló Maya Caribe resorts in an effort to further enhance the overall guest experience.

New additions include full redesign of all Club Premium Suites complete with Jacuzzis on terraces and in bathrooms, expanded and modernized lobby, brand new clubhouse, and new entertainment center, complete with sports bar, bowling alley, teen disco, full waterpark featuring a surf pool/Flow rider, redesigned 18-hole miniature golf course and more.

Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe rates starts at just $189 per person, per night.

Westin Lake Las Vegas

Are you ready for a family vacation? Spring holidays provide families a chance to rejuvenate and enjoy time together.

Here are five ideas to consider:   

1 Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, Henderson, Nev. 

Have the bright lights and a retreat too when you stay at this sunny resort, just a free shuttle ride away from the glitzy Las Vegas Strip. 

Enjoy an affordable family getaway that includes pedal boarding, paddle boarding and kayaking on the 320-acre lake, plus poolside fun with a giant slide, dive-in movies and a Kidcabana. Golfers will want to sample the newly renovated Reflection Bay course, a Jack Nicklaus signature track that offers red rock and lake vistas. Parents: It’s your vacation too, so make time for a couple’s massage at the Spa Moulay.

Contact: westinlakelasvegas.com  

2 Wild Dunes Resort, Charleston, S.C.

Stay on a lush barrier island and pair nature outings and resort relaxation with the best of Charleston. Sign up for a guided kayak tour through the low country salt marshes, where wildlife is plentiful. Stop at a hammock-strewn island where you can relax or take a swim. Play golf or tennis at the resort before heading into town for a photography tour or to learn about the distinctive ironwork that adorns the southern city’s historic homes, gates, churches and gardens.

Contact: wilddunes.com  

3 Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix.

With a full renovation completed, this historic resort offers a wealth of experiences for families. From scavenger hunts and water balloon games to desert hikes and kids’ fitness challenges, there is something for every age group. Sample a carrot cake facial, or enter the field-goal kicking contest. Sun by one of eight pools or learn about Frank Lloyd Wright, whose architecture inspired this jewel of the desert.

Contact: arizonabiltmore.com  

4 Visit Abilene.

Visit the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature to see exhibits that will make book lovers swoon. 

Make a stop at the Grace Museum to see more than 1,500 works by artists with Texas connections, as well as a giant Operation game to encourage discovery-based learning. Also worth a look is the local zoo and Frontier Texas for a taste of the Old West.

Contact: nccil.org, abilenevisitors.com   

Arizona spring training

5 Spring training.

From now through March and into April, enthusiastic baseball fans head to warmer climes to watch their favorite players work out the kinks.

In Arizona, Cactus League teams, including the Texas Rangers, are playing in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Peoria, Tucson and beyond.

In Florida, Grapefruit League enthusiasts can catch their favorite teams in action in Tampa, Kissimmee and 11 other venues.

Contact: cactusleague.com, floridagrapefruitleague.com.

Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, a luxurious and tranquil vacation destination in Arizona's Southwest desert, is a family-friendly gem.

Set on the historic 500-acre Otero Ranch in the Santa Cruz River Valley, the Spanish Colonial architecture and lush grounds are enhanced by magnificent views of the Tumacacori and Santa Rita mountain peaks. Hike, play golf, sample wonderful food, explore the local art community and spend time at the spa. 

Ready to go?

 

disney price increases

If you have not heard, a trip to Disney just got pricier.

Details here.

Rainbow pasta

Tired of winter? Color your world! Go off the grid and go wild for dinner with this recipe offered by the cheery folks at Happier.com.

Break out the food coloring and make some crazy rainbow pasta so cool even the grownups will fight over who’s going to Instagram it first. Here’s how to do it:

Cook your pasta al dente according to package instructions.

Dilute 20 drops of food coloring in 2 Tbs. of water and add to a large Ziploc bag. Repeat with other colors/bags for as many colors as you want.

Drain pasta and divide among the bags.

  • Distribute color by gently shaking bags. (Killer Katy Perry dance-track optional for this step, but highly recommended.)
  • One color at a time, transfer pasta back into colander to remove excess liquid.
  • Toss all the colors together and poof! Deliciously crazy dinner is served.
  • Grab your phone and shoot fast. 
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