Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

A larger-than-life experience, Grand Canyon draws tens of thousands of families each year who unplug their smartphones, tune out television, and create lasting memories together.

Bruce Brossman, marketing director for the Grand Canyon National Park Lodges and Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, shares 10 ways the park helps kids replace virtual reality with a real-life experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.

Guaranteed.

1. Take Part in a Junior Ranger Program

With its historic sights, walking trails, museums, exhibits, and the canyon itself, Grand Canyon National Park may be America’s largest classroom. For kids, one of the most popular activities is participating in a Junior Ranger program.

“Lessons are related to nature, history, the environment, and geology and every program is free,” Brossman explains. “Kids can pick up a Junior Ranger book, complete the activities inside, and then bring it to a ranger at the Visitor Center. After they review the answers, they administer the Junior Ranger pledge and then present them with their Junior Ranger badge. They can even take their new badge to one of the park’s bookstores for a custom sew-on patch related to their award.”

Novelist and travel writer, Pico Iyer says, “We travel, initially to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and to learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.

So be mindful of who we are, where we are going, what we are bringing with us and what we leave behind. Each and every day get up and ask yourself, why the hell not?

Be fearless. Be independent. Be bold. Out dream yourself and just go." 

women traveling together

Girls – as in grandmothers, mothers, daughters, aunts, and nieces – are more likely than ever to "just go" and explore the world together.

That, according to multiple research reports that indicate an increasing number of women are seeking new adventures at home and abroad. Here are five to consider:

intrepid

Intrepid Travel.

This global adventure travel company has recently launched a series of women-only expeditions in Morocco, Iran and Jordan, encouraging female empowerment and showcasing the traditions and routines of local women in each destination.

The itineraries, guided by female tour leaders, are designed to break the barriers of traditional tourism in these locations, offering a deeper understanding of female culture in each of three Middle Eastern nations. For example, travelers will have the option to visit a traditional hammam with local women in Morocco, spend time with a female shepherd in Jordan and experience the nomadic life of rural people in Iran.

Contact: www.IntrepidTravel.com

Travel makes women feel on top of the world. - Trafalger*   

country walkers

Country Walkers.

As boomers check destinations and experiences off bucket lists, they are often eager to include other family members in their adventures. This, in part, has contributed to the significant rise in multigenerational travel. At active travel companies like Country Walkers, more women are joining their well-curated trips, often in the company of sisters, daughters and nieces. Immersive guided and self-guided walking and hiking adventures are possible in destinations from Iceland and Ireland to Zambia and New Zealand. The Travel Together program means a helpful consultant will coordinate the various needs, interests and requirements of family members. You’ll also garner savings when six or more join a guided walking adventure.

Contact: www.CountryWalkers.com.

She believed she could, so she did. The vast majority of women believe traveling has made them more independent. - Trafalger*

Exodus travel FamilyTravel.com

Exodus Travels.

In response to a significant increase in women booking their trips as well as requests for more cycling, walking, trekking and responsible wildlife tours, the 40 year old company has added itineraries they believe will help women of all ages and interests to push their own personal boundaries. Consider trips to China, Myanmar, Iran, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and beyond. The departures, which will include four to sixteen travelers, will be led by local female guides, creating more career opportunities for women across the globe.

Contact: www.ExodusTravels.com

Regardless of what’s happening in the world today – she still goes, with 86% of women stating they are not afraid to travel. - Trafalger*

on familytravel.com doing

Chebeague Island Inn, Chebeague, ME.

For those family members eager to reconnect or celebrate a special life event, a getaway to this island inn might fit the bill. It will be easy to unplug and focus on good conversation around a beach bonfire or while sipping a glass of wine aboard a classic schooner as your group sets sail in Casco Bay. Dine on fresh seafood and local ingredients harvested from the island farm or the garden behind the inn. Take in a yoga class on the lawn, ride bikes to the General Store for lunch or set out on island trails for a breath of fresh air.

Contact: https://www.chebeagueislandinn.com   

family travel dude ranch.org on familytravel.com

Cowgirls Convene.

Recent research revealed that when planning a trip, adventure outweighed luxury by 20% among the women surveyed. So why not channel your inner cowgirl, and gather the gals for a ranch-style getaway. From horseback riding and hiking to fishing and cattle rustling, a trip to the wide open spaces is sure to inspire the wild hearts in your group. If rustic isn’t right up your alley, there are plenty of ranch destinations where gourmet meals, yoga and spa treatments as well as luxury accommodations are on the menu.

Contact: Top50Ranches.com; DudeRanch.org.

* Award winning travel company, Trafalgarrecently conducted a survey of over 1,000 U.S. women to discover how travel both empowers and inspires women. The study illuminates all of the reasons #SHEGOES – with nearly three quarters of American women believing that travel makes them stronger and regardless of what’s happening in the world today – 86 percent of women continue to travel unafraid.

Tipping can be an important line item in a family vacation budget. Travelers are often eager to show appreciation for exceptional service. But how much and when to offer this symbol of gratitude can be perplexing.

Consider this input from travel industry experts:  

Adventure travel.

On any adventure tour, a good guide can make for a great trip. “I like to tell guests that if you feel your guides played a major role in your enjoyment of the trip, you should direct a gratuity to the trip leader. He or she will distribute it fairly and evenly to the crew,” advises Karen Johnson, a manager for Holiday River Expeditions. “An average tip is $10-$20 per guest, per day.”

“At Austin Adventures, we encourage guests to tip what they feel is appropriate given a guide’s performance on a tour. We offer $15 to $25 per day, per guest, as a guideline,” explained Austin founder, Dan Austin. “We also note that tips are a significant part of a guide’s income.” When booking an adventure trip, ask in advance for tipping guidelines and determine whether cash is required or credit card payments are possible.

Contact: www.BikeRaft.com;  www.AustinAdventures.com

Small Ship Cruising.

“Typically, at the end of a cruise there is an opportunity to provide gratuities to the guides and crew,” explains Todd Smith, Director of AdventureSmith Explorations.   “Gratuities aboard small ships are often pooled among crew members. Tip pools sometimes include officers and guides, while others do not. Some ships will take credit cards while others prefer cash or checks. Check to see if gratuities are included in the price of the voyage. If not, 5 to ten percent of the rate paid is an average amount to consider setting aside to show gratitude for superior service. ”

Contact: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/)

Hotel stays.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) recommends offering the bell staff one to five dollars per bag when escorted to your room. Leave a tip of one to five dollars each day for the housekeeping crew (or more if the kids have created a little havoc). Need something extra? Offer two dollars for one item delivered or five dollars for more. No need to ante up for the replacement of a broken hairdryer or a missing light bulb. In the restaurant, tipping servers 15 to 20 percent is the norm.

“Tipping the concierge $20 and up, depending on their level of service is good practice,” suggests Richard Wales, Director of Operations, at The St. Regis Aspen Resort.

“They are the ones who will be able to get you the most coveted dinner reservations around town.”

Contact: www.AHLA.com; www.StRegisaspen.com.

Airport travel.

Experts suggest offering car rental shuttle drivers $2 to $4 per bag if they provide bag assistance. Plan for $2 to $5 for help from a Skycap, offering the higher amount for heavier bags or late arrivals. Should you or someone in your party need wheelchair assistance, consider a tip of $10 to $20, depending on the time and circumstances involved.

Traveling in Europe.

“Tipping has become commonplace for hospitality service around the world, and is a universal sign of appreciation for good service” says Steve Born, Vice President of Marketing for the Globus family of brands. “As a guideline, we suggest the equivalent of two dollars in the local currency for our Monograms tour guides per outing, per person. For other services, like restaurants and taxis, we suggest rounding up the tab by the equivalent of a few dollars. Typically in Europe, restaurant tips are left in cash and not added to the credit card.”

Contact: www.GlobusJourneys.com;  www.monograms.com .

Your fishing guide.

It is customary to tip your professional river fishing guide or boat Captain. And like many other services, a 10-20% gratuity is most common.

"Most fishing guides are dedicated teachers and fish freaks who would rather be on the water helping you than most anywhere else," explained Joe Dilschneider, the owner of Troutstalkers, a Montana-based fly-fishing outfitter. "A vast majority of them will work hard to help you have a successful outing. Just remember; success isn’t always narrowly defined by your catch!"

But like any service-oriented profession, personal rapport and compatibility matter and there is definitely a broad spectrum of personality types and talent out there in the world of fishing guides.

"If you feel that your guide put forth a solid effort to help you have and enjoyable and successful day, then tipping them generously will feel good and they will usually show you their gratitude and welcome you back in the future," explained the Ennis, Montana-based pro.  "A connection based on shared adventure, and a love of the game is after-all what most guides really want from you. That's where the real payoff is. If however you are disappointed with your experience, then you shouldn't feel obligated to give a generous tip. Your guide will certainly notice if your tip is unusually small... or big. Hopefully it will encourage them to consider their own professional performance and always strive to improve!"

Note: When unsure of how much or when to offer a gratuity, it never hurts to ask. Many tour and cruise operators provide suggestions and guidelines in pre-trip planning documents.

Golf is a great activity for the whole family and there is no better place to test your skills on the links than Scottsdale, AZ.  

A number of Scottsdale’s most popular courses offer programs and junior golf academies designed specifically for young athletes.

Most offer full instruction for beginners to advanced players, including swing analysis, rules and etiquette, sportsmanship, on-the-course training, and games and prizes.

Here are just a few area courses that cater to young golfers.

EAGLE MOUNTAIN GOLF CLUB: SUMMER JUNIOR GOLF CAMPS


Eagle Mountain’s three-day Junior Golf Camps include four hours of instruction per day and are geared toward kids 8 and older. The Jr. Mountain Club Card (additional fee), enables camp participants to play an hour after twilight all summer long for only $10 ($25 for an accompanying adult).

GRAYHAWK GOLF CLUB – JUNIOR GOLF CAMP


From full swing to putting and chipping to bunkers, Grayhawk’s golf instruction is communicated using fun games and competition. Students learn all the basic mechanics of the golf swing as well as the proper etiquette of the game. The program is open to kids from 8 to 16 years old.

CAMELBACK GOLF CLUB – SUMMER JUNIOR CAMP


All juniors work with PGA-certified Instructors to improve their game through balance, stability, coordination, power and speed. Full-day camps for ages 9 to 16 and half-day camps for ages 7 to 15 are available. Camps feature a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio and include 9 holes of golf daily.

MCCORMICK RANCH GOLF CLUB – SUMMER JUNIOR GOLF ACADEMY


Golfers age 6 to 17 receive individualized instruction in swing techniques and course strategy, as well as the rules and etiquette of the game. Junior golfers involved in the Golf Academy also receive reduced green fees and range rates to perfect their skills.

MCDOWELL MOUNTAIN GOLF CLUB – JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAM


McDowell Mountain Golf Club’s beginner (ages 8 and under) and intermediate (ages 9 to 13) clinics include fun games, drills and instruction that focus on the full swing, short game and putting. High school prep and college prep programs also are available.

TROON NORTH GOLF CLUB – TROON FAMILY GOLF PROGRAM


This exciting program is available every day of the year! Golfers 15 years of age and younger receive complimentary instruction when taking a lesson with a paying adult, golf for free after 3 p.m. when playing with a paying adult, and enjoy complimentary Callaway rental clubs all day.

GAINEY RANCH GOLF CLUB – JUNIOR TEES PROGRAM


For families that love to golf, Gainey Ranch Golf Club offers “Junior Tees,” special tee locations that are designed to provide children 12 and younger the opportunity to play a yardage-friendly round on a par-72 course. Plus, when playing with a paid adult, children 15 and younger can play the course for free! And for guests at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa, all rounds after your first (at full price) can be enjoyed for 50 percent off! 

 

To begin, the name — Death Valley National Park — doesn’t immediately conjure visions of a lively holiday. And you’ve heard: It’s the lowest, driest, hottest place on earth. All true. But here, in one of the world’s most dramatic desert landscapes — a place of shifting sand dunes, multi-hued rock formations, and hidden canyons — you’ll wake before dawn to watch the rugged mountains turn pink with the sunrise. Then, come nightfall, you’ll marvel at star-filled skies as the desert wind rustles the palms. And you’ll wonder why it took so long to find your way here.

wild flowers in death valley

Full of Life

Death Valley has earned its “dry” reputation thanks to an average annual precipitation of fewer than 2 inches. In fact, no rain fell at all in 1929 or 1953.

Yet, Death Valley is full of life. From autumn into spring, the weather is positively heavenly. The occasional winter rainstorm ushers in vast fields of wildflowers. And a remarkable range of creatures, both great and small, have either adapted to summer’s harsh conditions or find refuge in the area’s diverse habitats. Not merely barren desert, the park also encompasses spring-fed natural oases, pinyon-juniper woodlands and even pine forests. With so much to see and do, the intrepid explorer should determine a base camp. Just a stone’s throw from the national park visitor center, The Oasis at Death Valley, comprised of the historic Four Diamond Inn at Death Valley and The Ranch at Death Valley, provides a well-situated solution with unexpected luxury. It’s a true oasis-like setting, with modern accommodations, fine dining and spring-fed pools, a welcome contrast to a day spent exploring salt flats, mud hills and volcanic craters.

Many Death Valley National Park visitors venture to this remote region 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas to marvel at the stark desert beauty and escape into the beautiful silence of the park’s vast expanses. But given that it is the land of stark contrast, why not create your own itinerary with a nod to the exotic landscape?

Mix in a massage under the Oasis’s date palms with a summit of the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes. And pair a soak in the Inn’s healing waters with a mountain bike ride out Skidoo Road. Follow a jeep tour to a ghost town and enjoy a glass of fine wine, sipped al fresco on the terrace, as the sun sets in the valley below. You get the idea.

Wondering where to begin? 

ghost towns

Ghost Towns

After the 1848 discovery of gold in California, the valley experienced more than a century-long mining boom. Most pioneers set out on a quest for gold and silver but were met with a notable lack of success. The only long-term profitable ore to be found in the region was borax, which was transported out of Death Valley with the famous 20-mule teams.

Today visitors can explore the once bustling towns of Chloride City, Gold Point, Panamint City and Ballarat, among others. Peer into abandoned mines, and step inside the old saloons, post offices and abandoned houses and imagine what life must have been like for these hearty Westerners.

family golf Oasis at Death Valley

Tee it Up

Bring your A-game (and your camera) to the lowest golf course in the world, The Furnace Creek Golf Course at Death Valley, at 214 feet below sea level. The hazards here include coyotes that like to fetch golf balls (you are allowed a free drop) and the perplexing fact that balls don’t travel as far below sea level. Recent renovations on Death Valley’s 18-hole, par-70 course addressed water conservation and transitioned 15 acres of maintained turf to desert with low-water-use native plantings. But the improvements didn’t make the course any easier. So, should the top-rated links humble you, look forward to the smile-inducing, 19th-hole grill and bar, complete with a drive-through for golf carts.

Scout for Wildlife

Remarkably, more than 400 animal species are native to the park, including dozens of reptiles, 51 different mammals and even six kinds of fish. You never know what you’ll see, so keep your eyes open for roadrunners zooming across the highway and coyotes feeding on fallen fruit in the date palm groves of the Inn at Death Valley.

Most of the park’s animals are nocturnal, so venturing out at dawn or near sunset when animals are active is your best bet. The park’s scattered water sources, including Darwin Falls, draw a wide range of animals. Carry a small pair of wide-angle binoculars. When possible, choose a spot that offers a wide view and stay put. 

Swim and Soak

Back at the Inn, built on the grounds of a natural spring in 1927, a million gallons of fresh glacial water flow out of the ground daily. The naturally heated Travertine Springwater, a comfortable 84 degrees year-round, fills swimming pools at the resort and at the nearby Ranch at Furnace Creek. Because the water is continually replaced with fresh spring water, there’s no need to chemically treat the pools. 

Explore by Jeep

Rent a Jeep, load up, and learn about the local geological and mining history as you wind through Titus Canyon, a 27-mile-long gorge through the Grapevine Mountains. Expect door scraping narrows when you encounter rock walls — hundreds of feet tall and only 20 feet apart — before rising via ribbon-like switchbacks. Along the way you’ll see American Indian rock art and learn about the early miners, lured to the region by the prospect of riches.

family travel Inn at Death Valley

Strap on Your Hiking Boots

Stop by the National Park Service visitors center to learn about hikes within the park, for any fitness level. We love the colorful Mosaic Canyon and Badwater Basin salt flats, the lowest place in North America. Other options include an easy (albeit sandy and rocky), 1-mile round-trip up a canyon to Natural Bridge, the largest of the park’s natural bridges. Consider a hike along the rim of a volcanic crater just over an hour northwest of your base camp. Six hundred feet deep and a half-mile across, Ubehebe Crater looks like something you might find on the moon. It formed around 2,100 years ago as magma flowing upward from deep within the earth met pockets of groundwater, setting off a powerful volcanic steam eruption.

Be sure to practice safe hiking (bring plenty of water) in this rugged terrain. Ranger-led hikes, such as the 7-mile Death Valley Paleontology Tour that leads to Pleistocene-era fossils, are also available in season.

Explore on Two Wheels

With hundreds of miles of both paved and dirt roads, road and mountain biking are popular within Death Valley National Park during the winter months. Visitors can bring their own or rent mountain bikes at the Inn or the Ranch. Either way, resort staff members can suggest tried-and-true scenic rides and safety tips.

Marvel at the Amazing Night Sky

With its desert-clear air and miles-from-anywhere location, the expansive night sky at Death Valley is ablaze with stars. Because it has some of the darkest night skies in the country, it is designated a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park, the highest level awarded. Don’t miss the ranger-led astronomy tours offered throughout winter. 

Go Hollywood

It’s been said that Death Valley National Park is like a different planet. Apparently, George Lucas agreed. Rather than attempt to create a galaxy far, far away, he chose to film both “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” and “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” in the national park.

Explore the otherworldly terrain that helped to inspire these classic films when you head to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Desolation Canyon, Golden Canyon, Dante’s View and Artist’s Palette to stand where Luke Skywalker contemplated the Force in 1977. 

Wonder at the Wildflowers

The wildflower bloom demonstrates the life that springs forth from late fall and winter rains in this 3.3 million-acre park. Each year’s display varies with the intensity of the bloom and the timing of the flowers’ appearance.

But it is not uncommon to see Desert Gold and Brown Eyed Evening Primrose or Notched Leaf Phacelia appear in mid-January or earlier. The full impact of the revitalization becomes most apparent between February and March but sometimes continues until June at higher elevations.

Change doesn’t come quickly in Death Valley National Park. Geological time remains the standard, human impacts are minimal, and the landscape is seemingly eternal. The coyotes continue to howl on the flats, yet a resounding silence prevails.

But change?

Once nourished by the vast, unexpected beauty and the startling contrasts, the change within will be yours to define.

 If you go

The Oasis at Death Valley (formerly Furnace Creek Resort) sits in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park, California —just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

The resort includes two hotels: the historic Four Diamond Inn at Death Valley, with 66 newly refurbished rooms and 22 all-new casitas and the more family-oriented, 224-room Ranch at Death Valley. Learn more at oasisatdeathvalley.com or call 844-236-7916.

May what matters most inspire your family’s future travel plans.

Here are five ideas to consider:

Montana Trout family fly fishing

Joy.

Small feet splashing in the surf. First tracks through powder. A really big tug on the fishing line as you float a scenic Montana River. Climbing to the top of the hill through personal pedal power. Those are the moments that bring joy to parents as they watch their children and grandchildren experience a rush of adrenalin and the unexpected thrill of a new experience. Make plans to see the sparkle in their bright eyes today.

Contact: www.acqualinaresort.com  www.Moonlightbasin.com  www.HiddenMooseLodge.com www.MontanaTrout.com

Celebrate.

Whether it’s a milestone birthday, an anniversary, a wedding, a new family member or your clan’s good health, there is reason to celebrate in the months ahead. Modern day cruise itineraries are designed to help you put a plan in motion. Whether you choose to cruise the Caribbean islands, the wilds of Alaska, the coast of California or in more exotic waters, there is something for every age group to experience every day and a way to toast to your collective good fortune every night.

Contact: www.HollandAmerica.com   www.Carnival.com   www.AvalonWaterways.com www.UnCruise.com 

paws up

Breathe.

Reduce the stress of daily life through endorphin-releasing adventures paired with wellness promoting activities that will manifest happy memories as well as healthy habits. Unplug and learn to meditate. Take a yoga class together. Spend the day at the spa. Paddle across the lake. Go for a family run or hike through the red rock canyons in Sedona.

Contact: www.EnchantmentResort.com  www.PawsUp.com  www.Broadmoor.com.

Lone Mountain Ranch

Share.

Perhaps the best we have to give is our time. So plan now to share your wealth with those you hold dear. Plan a getaway with the grandparents, a romantic holiday with your spouse, a weekend with the cousins, and the best Spring Break ever with the kids. Meet your college friends and their families for the big game. Embrace the idea of hanging out with theme park princesses or in a world of wizards while it still matters. Create a shared experience that will last for a lifetime.

Contact: www.Disney.com www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com www.GraduateHotels.com   www.LoneMountainRanch.com .

 Andaz Costa Rica

Love.

Share the bounty with others. Volunteer vacations enable parents to model their most deeply held values while demonstrating compassion for others who share our place on the planet. Develop new talents, brush off rusty skills and make a difference as a family. For a day, a weekend, or longer, help build a house, teach someone to read, uncover artifacts or improve an endangered habitat.

Many resorts and hotels, like the Andaz at Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica, offer the option to give back to the local community during your own holiday getaway. You may also want to consider including a less fortunate friend or family member in your next vacation. As they say, love makes the world go round.

Contact: https://papagayo.andaz.hyatt.com  www.SandalsFoundation.org   www.Habitat.org ReadGlobal.org.

The British Isles are home to a huge array of heritage sites, many of which make “must visit” lists year after year. Although you may not initially think of centuries-old venues as the first place to take your family on a holiday, in fact, children and adults alike can learn a lot from these historic sites. Whether you and your kids are enthralled by the Royal Family, want to see haunting Stonehenge, or are fascinated by tales of the past, you’ll find plenty to explore in England.

Read on for five fascinating historic sites to add to your next British holiday itinerary. 

When I hear about a beautiful book, I have to share it.

We can all use a dose of what this tale has to offer. WIth lovely illustrations, the author, Daniel Salmieri, encourages the reader, (young and old) to focus on our similarities, not our differences. You can order it here:

 

We may have this in common.

Sometimes I long for a peaceful place to relax.

Like this beach on Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica. Don't get me wrong. I like being active: hiking, biking, paddleboarding and pilates. (That last one is new) Here, you can ramble through the jungle and spot howler or white-faced monkeys cavorting in the trees. And the birds. The country is home to some 800 species. 

But there are times when just feeling the warm breeze in your hair is just what the doctor ordered. I was fortunate to spend a few days sleeping within steps of this beautiful beach not long ago.  Even after returning home, I can always access the peaceful vibe in my memory bank.

 

 

 

 

 

Warm up with a sun-drenched and relaxing family getaway. From Costa Rica to California to the Caribbean, these experiences will tempt you to begin packing....right now. 

 Four Seasons Costa Rica #FamilyTravel

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagaya.

Seamlessly integrating the Peninsula’s vibrant landscape with the amenities of a contemporary eco-luxury hotel, the Forbes Five-Star luxury, 182-room resort has recently reopened, revealing the results of an imaginative $35 million renovation.

Tap into the “pura vida” lifestyle (it's for real) and choose from a long list of adventure, spa, fitness and wellness opportunities served up in a relaxed and welcoming indoor-outdoor environment. Access kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis from the beach or relax by one of several pools that overlook the volcanic sand beach areas.

For a family-friendly introduction to the exotic fauna and flora of Costa Rica take a guided tour of the Trail of the Giants, a scenic adventure that showcases the region’s birds, monkeys, iguanas, butterflies and giant trees while providing jaw dropping views of the resort’s Arnold Palmer golf course and the Pacific Ocean. The Kids For All Seasons club features a kid-sized pool and junior lounge chairs as well as a range of immersive programs to entice the youngest guests. 

Contact: https://www.fourseasons.com/costarica/

Hotel Del family travel

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California

A family favorite, this iconic Victorian gem is the crown jewel of one of the most popular beach vacation spots in the United States. The long, wide stretch of sand provides easy access to the water and thus the perfect home base for your family’s seaside activities. Get out the boogie boards, issue a beach volleyball challenge, take surfing lessons, learn the secrets of mermaid fitness or join a clambake. Top-notch children’s and teen programs and spa options are also available. You’ll create your own family history in this legendary beach destination.

Contact: www.Hoteldel.com  

royal caribbean family travel

Set sail with Royal Caribbean.

You’ll find plenty of family adventure onboard the megaships headed for the sun-drenched Caribbean waters. Snap a selfie with your favorite Dreamworks characters or test your skills on the rock-climbing wall. Go ashore and enjoy water sports and cultural outings. Push your limits on the longest zip line over water, test your skills on the Flow Rider surf simulator and take in high-diving, and acrobatic performances at an outdoor AquaTheatre. There is entertainment for every age group, an array of dining options to suit every taste and the option to relax by the pool with your favorite book. Check for special savings on last minute departures. Contact: www.RoyalCaribbean.com.

 

Del Mar, CA.

Immerse your family in Old World, Mediterranean-inspired luxury when you check into the family-friendly, 249-room Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Lounge aside one of four heated pools, check out the equestrian center, sign up for a guided hike into the adjacent canyon preserve, or consider a mother-daughter spa treatment. Get in the swing of things on the Tom Fazio-designed golf course or pile into the free shuttle for a day at the beach.

For an extraordinary dining experience, indulge in an adults-only evening at Chef William Bradley’s Addison, Southern California’s only five-star, five-diamond restaurant. It's an experience you will long remember and be eager to tell your foodie friends about. 

Contact: www.fairmont.com/san-diego/ ; www.addisondelmar.com 

hawks cay family travel

Hawk’s Cay Resort, Duck Key, FL.

While some parts of this popular family resort may still be recovering from hurricane damage, guests eager to return to this sunny stretch in the Florida Keys can take advantage of up to 30 percent discounts for stays in resort villas. The Can’t Wait Rate includes access to Coral Cay, the kid’s activities center, where a putting course, the wet and wild Pirate Ship pool and a long list of other activities will be available. The spa, boat ramp and Angler & Ale waterfront restaurant will also be open. Families can also check out the dolphin research facility, learn to stand up paddleboard, go fishing or explore the underwater world with a snorkel. Sounds like a great family vacation!

Contact: www.hawkscay.com

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