Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Kids Sea Camp and Family Dive Adventures are rated #1 in family dive vacations. They have been taking multigenerational families on scuba vacations around the world for 18 years. “Grandparents tell us that we are hands down their first choice for a family vacation with their grandkids,” explains Margo Peyton, who runs the company with her husband, Tom Peyton.   We provide one week vacations that have activities and fun for every member of the family. “

Kids Sea Camp offers daily ocean oriented programs for kids age 5, 6 and 7 called SASY where they are snorkeling and learning about the ocean. Kids ages 8 and 9 are learning the first stage of diving through daily Aqua Missions in the PADI Seal Team. Kids ages 10 and up and adults can learn to scuba dive. They cater to all levels of divers from vacation divers to experts and underwater photographers.

Also offered: 15 college accredited programs, culinary classes, wine tasting, paddle boarding, yoga, jungle biking, hiking and scuba diving. Kids Sea Camp is all inclusive of accommodations, meals, excursions and activities. The trips are fully escorted and include destinations such as: St. Lucia, Bonaire, Galapagos, Palau, Belize, Cayman Islands, Roatan, Philippines, Sea of Cortez, Indonesia, Yap, Saba, St. Kitts, Grenada, and the Maldives. “Grandparents tell us that what matters most to them at this stage of life is time. Time with their family, their grandkids and they want to create lasting memories” explained Margo Peyton. “How cool is it that a grandchild can get certified to dive with their grandparents and create memories to last a lifetime?”

For more information: www.FamilyDivers.com

 

 Family Divers is a member of the FamilyTravel.com Grandparents Travel Collection.

If you would like additonal assistance planning or booking a family trip, we can help.

 

Make sure you’ve got a plan in place when Spring fever hits.

It’s time to plan your getaway. Here are five ideas to consider:

 1. Denver.

If you are seeking sun during your Spring vacation, count on Denver to deliver. With more than 300 days of sunshine, a vibrant food and cultural scene and abundant outdoor activities, there is something for everyone if your gang. Explore the city’s historic districts and emerging neighborhoods via the free bike-sharing system, visit the legendary Tattered Cover bookstore and enjoy a casual snack while people watching in the revitalized Union Station. Take in a free festival, a sporting event or a music happening. At the downtown aquarium, kids can feed stingrays, swim with the sharks, see a mermaid show, become a marine biologist for a day or even spend the night amid the marine life. Stay at the centrally located Kimpton Hotel Born, next to Union Station, for easy access to the airport and the vibrant LoDo district.

Contact: www.VisitDenver.org; https://www.ihg.com/kimptonhotels/

Butterfly Wonderland

2. Scottsdale, AZ.

Plan a spring trip to this sunny Southwestern city and your biggest challenge will be finding time for all the activities you’ll find appealing. Expect hiking and biking trails, jeep rides and horseback outings in the Sonoran desert. Relax by a pool or enjoy a lazy river float. You’ll want to stop by the Butterfly Wonderland and the new aquarium as well as the Contemporary Art museum and the Museum of the West. And if you visit during March, you’ll feel the heat generated by baseball fever as fans gather to watch their favorite teams warm up for the regular season.

Contact: www.ExperienceScottsdale.com ; www.CactusLeague.com.

Keystone with kids Familytravel.com

3. Keystone, CO.

Spend your spring getaway on the slopes of this Rocky Mountain resort, offering 3,000 acres of easy-to-expert terrain on three impressive peaks. From the friendly Reception Center and up-front parking reserved for families, to the hundreds of red wagons spread throughout the property to ease the transport of little ones plus gear, Keystone, a Vail Resort, is committed to making mountain time memorable for you and your clan. The Kidtopia program offers a range of activities for children including giant snow forts, arts and crafts, ice-skating, and scavenger hunts, as well as culinary and musical events. Stay two nights in resort lodging and kids 12 and under ski and ride free. Ask about private ski and boarding lessons for family groups. Contact: www.KeystoneResort.com .

legoland

4. Carlsbad, CA.

Visit this seaside town where beach time pairs perfectly with outings to theme parks, the zoo and shopping. Go SoCal and take SUP or surf lessons or check out the local skate park. Be sure to make time for a trip to LEGOLAND where the family will be entertained by more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including the popular LEGO Star Wars Miniland model display. You’ll also want to check out the Sea Life Aquarium, home to more than 5,000 living creatures.   Kids can learn about ocean life through play zones and quiz trails.

Contact: www.VisitCarlsbad.com .

family travel new york city

5. New York City.

Make your break all about the big city vibe during a trip to the Big Apple. Take in a Broadway play, choose from a long list of top-notch museums and sample cuisine in Little Italy and Chinatown. Head to Central Park for a tour in an iconic carriage, rent bikes or boats, or roller blade along the paved pathways. Visit the carousel, the botanical garden and the zoo. You’ll want to spend time in the High Line, a beautiful, car-free respite from the busy street scene below. It’s a family-friendly, linear park with views of the city, music and performances underway. Consider a visit to the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum where an interactive exhibit provides first hand stories from people who came through Ellis Island.

Contact: www.NYCGO.com

 

 

It's all included when you check-in to this expansive resort in the Caribbean.  

At the Beaches Resort, on this picturesque island, expect 12 miles of powdery white sand and turquoise seas, paired with music and dining experiences, water-based fun and kid’s clubs designed to engage every member of the family.

For each member of the clan who has ever dreamed of getting away from it all and finding a tropical hideaway, far removed from all the hustle, bustle, fuss and muss of modern life – Beaches at Turks & Caicos is that rarest of discoveries, a true island escape.

When planning a multigenerational or family vacation, we all want to make sure each member of the family feels comfortable and engaged. When everything is included, it's easy to relax and enjoy all that is possible. 

Expect a 45,000 square-foot Pirate’s Island waterpark, a comprehensive scuba diving program, five magnificent villages, with multiple room and suite configurations, boasting the architecture and ambiance of Italy, France, the Caribbean and Key West, plus 21 specialty restaurants.

While parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents relax on the beach or spend time at the spa, Beaches offers kids special attention with tailor-made, age-appropriate activities. They're always supervised and it’s all-included.

Beaches Kids Camps ensure team members have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children, including those with autism and other special needs, and offer specific programs for infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens.

For the smallest newborn to those up to 24 months, Beaches provides luxurious, climate-controlled nurseries-filled with cribs, strollers, high chairs, rocking chairs and everything a little one could need. Certified Nannies are on hand to care for your little ones.

Toddlers will have a blast with their very own set of activities, supervised by Certified Nannies. Time at the toddler pools, shell collecting, face painting, treasure hunts, puppets, costume time, magic shows, sand castle building are part of the program. Children must be potty-trained to participate in this age group.

Beaches celebrates the energy and enthusiasm of those in the pre-teen group, offering sailing, snorkeling (ages 8-10), swimming, beach volleyball, beach soccer, scavenger hunts, glass bottom boat rides, pizza making, and reggae jam sessions.

Teens can expect pizza and soda bars, their own "nightclub" with karaoke, and places to hang each evening. They will enjoy group water sports, boat cruises, pool Olympics, tennis clinics, karaoke, discos, dance parties, talent shows and more.

Long after the vacation ends, you will smile hearing the kids talk about their fun snorkeling, sailing, diving, meeting Sesame Street® characters, or meeting new friends in the Xbox Play Lounge or the teen disco. And of course, the special time shared as a family.

For more information: Beaches - Turks & Caicos

Beaches is a member of the FamilyTravel.com All Inclusive Travel Collection.

If you would like additonal assistance planning or booking a family trip, we can help.

 

Venture to Turks & Caicos for an exotic, tropical island getaway.

If you are thinking “exotic” and “family vacation” isn’t a perfect match, think again. At the Beaches Resort, on this picturesque island, expect 12 miles of powdery white sand and turquoise seas, paired with music and dining experiences, water-based fun and kid’s clubs designed to engage every member of the family.

For each member of the clan who has ever dreamed of getting away from it all and finding a tropical hideaway, far removed from all the hustle, bustle, fuss and muss of modern life – Beaches at Turks & Caicos is that rarest of discoveries, a true island escape.

When planning a multigenerational vacation, Grandparents want to make sure each member of their family feels comfortable and engaged.

Not to worry.

An all-inclusive resort, Beaches offers an extensive menu of options. Expect a 45,000 square-foot Pirate’s Island waterpark, a comprehensive scuba diving program, five magnificent villages, with multiple room and suite configurations, boasting the architecture and ambiance of Italy, France, the Caribbean and Key West, plus 21 specialty restaurants.

While parents and grandparents relax on the beach or spend time at the spa, Beaches offers kids special attention with tailor-made, age-appropriate activities. They're always supervised and it’s all-included.

Beaches Kids Camps ensure team members have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children, including those with autism and other special needs, and offer specific programs for infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens.

For the smallest newborn to those up to 24 months, Beaches provides luxurious, climate-controlled nurseries-filled with cribs, strollers, high chairs, rocking chairs and everything a little one could need. Certified Nannies are on hand to care for your little ones.

Toddlers will have a blast with their very own set of activities, supervised by Certified Nannies. Time at the toddler pools, shell collecting, face painting, treasure hunts, puppets, costume time, magic shows, sand castle building are part of the program. Children must be potty-trained to participate in this age group.

Beaches celebrates the energy and enthusiasm of those in the pre-teen group, offering sailing, snorkeling (ages 8-10), swimming, beach volleyball, beach soccer, scavenger hunts, glass bottom boat rides, pizza making, and reggae jam sessions.

Teens can expect pizza and soda bars, their own "nightclub" with karaoke, and places to hang each evening. They will enjoy group water sports, boat cruises, pool Olympics, tennis clinics, karaoke, discos, dance parties, talent shows and more.

Long after the vacation ends, Grandparents will smile hearing the kids talk about their fun snorkeling, sailing, diving, meeting Sesame Street® characters, or meeting new friends in the Xbox Play Lounge or the teen disco. And of course, the special time shared as a family.

For more information: Beaches - Turks & Caicos 

Beaches is a member of the FamilyTravel.com Grandparents Travel Collection.

If you would like additonal assistance planning or booking a family trip, we can help. 

 

 

 

We can continue to celebrate more than 100 years of protection from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Grab the binoculars and head to the mountains, the coast or the canyons to observe beautiful creatures in flight during your family vacation.

Here are six places to consider:

Darwin finches on FamilyTravel.com

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the cliff-diving blue-footed boobies? Or the 8-foot wingspan of the waved albatross? The latter is also known for an elaborate courtship dance that can include 20 minutes of bowing, honking, whistling and bill clacking. But perhaps the most famous and biologically important of the island birds are Darwin’s thirteen finches. The creatures were central to the scientist’s evolutionary theories. Learn more about the volcanic island’s winged population via a cruise or a hotel-based tour.

Contact: http://www.galapagos.org

Socorro, New Mexico.

With more than 500 winged creatures on its bird list, this Southwestern state offers ample opportunity for bird-loving families. Visit the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge for the annual Festival of the Cranes to see snow geese and sand hill cranes land en masse at sunset. Learn more during tours, workshops and hikes crafted for all ages and levels of experience.

Contact: NewMexico.org

Everglades National Park, Homestead, FLA.

Follow paved roads or wooden boardwalks to spot warblers, mangrove cuckoos, herons, egrets and other wading birds in the country’s largest sub-tropical wilderness area. Eagles, hawks and osprey also abound in this 1.5 million-acre park. Home to 360 species, a World Heritage Site and designated as a Wetland of International Importance, the national park offers a free Junior Ranger program to enhance the experience for young explorers.

Contact: www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm

Falkland Islands.

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, this 740-island archipelago is best known for their large and accessible rare bird colonies. Home to as many as one million penguins, visitors are eager to see five of the seventeen species frolicking in the surf or waddling along the beach. Be on the lookout for the Cobb’s wren, a striated cara-cara and the flightless steamer duck. The islands also serve as the breeding ground for more than 70 percent of the world’s black-browed albatross.

Contact: http://www.falklandislands.com

birding in southern Arizona

Southern Arizona.

Visit this region to see as many as 250 bird species, including more than 15 kinds of colorful hummingbirds, the elegant trogon and a painted restart. Make your way to the Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (CMA), a 49,000-acre conservation region, rich with winged wildlife, thanks to careful preservation of the fragile ecosystem. Each January, the Wings Over Willcox (WOW) festival celebrates the migrating sand hill cranes.

Contact: http://southernarizonaguide.com

Beaumont, TX

Located on two migratory bird flyways, the Central and Mississippi, and near the Neches River and Pine Island Bayou, the area attracts hundreds of species to the delight of enthusiastic birders. A popular viewing spot, the Big Thicket National Preserve encompasses 108,000 acres and has been recognized as a “Globally Important Bird Area” by the American Bird Conservancy. Head to the Cattail Marsh Scenic Wetlands to scope for a variety of species of ducks, snow geese and snowy egrets, along with hard-to-find species like prairie warblers, red-bellied woodpeckers, eastern screech-owls and king rails. 

Water and waterfowl come together at the “Last Wild River”, the Natchez, in east Texas and in Beaumont, along with many other winged creatures. A water source for wildlife in the area, the river attracts birds from around the state and country, especially during birding season. Running north to south for 416 miles, the river is large but borders Beaumont for easy access and great vantage points. The river is home to 300 species of birds include herons, the anhinga, owls, hawks and wood ducks.

Each year, Beaumont participates in the annual “big sit” birding event, a challenge to spot (and hear) as many birds as possible in 24 hours. Check the web site for dates and details.

Contact: www.beaumontcvb.com

Note:  National Geographic, National Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and more than 100 other organizations  declared 2018 the Year of the Bird. More than 100 years post the Migratory Bird Treaty Act's ratification, it's more important than ever to learn about the world of birds.  #BirdYourWorld 

 

Kirsten comes from a family of 5 brothers and 3 sisters and was born on her grandfather's cattle and thoroughbred horse ranch situated on the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California.   

She majored in creative writing while attending the University of Arizona and has had a lifelong affinity for poetry, prose and all things written word.  Her background includes TV, radio and print advertising sales and marketing, co-founder/creator of a unique nonprofit fundraising event that paired celebrity chefs with renowned contemporary artists and being a proud mom to son Casey daughter Katharine.  

Kirsten is the Director of Marketing for FamilyTravel.com.

More About Kirsten

My most memorable trip:  An eight-day whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River with the Goldwater family.  It was Barry Goldwater's last trip down the river.  He was 84 years old and still had camera in-hand the whole way down.  His vast exploration of and deep love affair with the Grand Canyon and the river itself, was awe-inspiring and provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  The trip was called "Delightful Journey", named after his book based on his 47-day adventure in 1940 down the Green and Colorado Rivers.       

While traveling I always:  Bring with me a sense of wide-eyed-wonder, and my 8th-grade, paper-back copy of Emerson's Essays.

What's on my travel bucket list:  Taking my 88 year-old mom back to see her beloved ranch and walk on Carmel Beach.  Iceland to see the Northern Lights.   African Safari with my kids.  And...

One of the hottest trends in travel is EAT vacations. We’re not talking about tours with celebrity chefs. Rather, families are looking for trips that provide memorable Experiences, real Adventure and Transformative moments. 

Here are five ideas that may fit the bill.

Visit Palau for family travel

1. Discover Palau.

Located in the westernmost corner of Micronesia, Palau, an archipelago of more than 586 islands, consistently ranks as one of the world's best dive destinations. Pay off for the lengthy travel time includes 1,450 species of fish, 500 species of coral as well as rare sharks and stingrays.

You may have heard about the opportunity to snorkel amidst the moon and golden jellies of Jellyfish Lake. For now, the lake is closed to snorkelers while the environment recovers from complications of drought. It is still possible to hike around the 12,000-year-old marine lake where scores of gelatinous creatures waft through the water following the arc of the sun.

When not diving, snorkeling or kayaking through the turquoise waters tap into the country's considerable WWII history that incudes sunken ships and planes.

Contact: www.Visit-Palau.com ; www.FamilyDivers.com


visit Cambodia Angkor wat familytravel

Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Fans of the Tomb Raider film series will particularly enjoy exploring the Angkor Archeological Park, unfolding deep within the Siem Reap province. While hundreds of archeological and artistic temples and ancient structures remain, the most familiar (it’s on the Cambodian flag) is Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th century to honor Vishnu, a Hindu God, the temple's bas relief galleries inform modern visitors of life in ancient times.

Also of note is the remarkable water system, including moats, canals and reservoirs, that once provided water and crop assistance for the thriving communities. Visitors arrive via river cruises on the Mekong or a stop in Siem Riep where lodging and tours are plentiful.

Contact: www.VikingCruises.com ; www.TourismCambodia.com.

May your way into the Colorado backcountry. Huts.org familytravel

Choose your backcountry.

For an EAT trifecta, establish a pure connection with nature, off the beaten path. Hike, paddle or float into a pristine location where your family can learn or hone their wilderness skills. Choose a destination suitable for the ages and abilities of your crew. Encourage each person to take responsibility for the adventure whether that is early research, carrying a small pack, collecting kindling or serving as master storyteller around the fire.

For the youngest set, get started with an overnight in the backyard or a nearby park. That way, should the weather or unforeseen forces create a kink in your plan, warm and dry shelter is nearby.
Contact: www.Backcountry.com; www.NPS.gov  ; www.Huts.org

Dali with kids familytravel.com

The Dalí Museum. St. Petersburg, FLA 

The budding artist in your clan will be transformed by a visit to this 66,450-square-foot museum that houses the most comprehensive collection of Salvador Dali’s works in the world. Enjoy the priceless collection of masterpieces, paintings, photographs, watercolors and books sure to inspire the whole family.

Younger children will enjoy the “Dillydally with Dali” program offered daily, which includes puzzles, games, story hour and creative expression. Be there on the first Saturday of the month, for Breakfast With Dali, a morning that includes a junior-focused tour, followed by a buffet breakfast. Children under five are admitted free.

Contact: www.TheDali.org ; www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com

Boundary waters canoe trip familytravel.com

Boundary Waters Canoe Trips. Ely, MN.

Ease your canoes into the pristine water and look forward to peaceful days of paddling amidst a sparsely populated, one million-plus acre expanse of wilderness. Listen to the waves lapping against the shoreline and the haunting lullaby offered by local loons as you drift to sleep in one of 2,000 secluded campsites that dot the lake region. Wake to the sounds of birds chirping in the birch trees and enjoy breakfast over a campfire. Then set out to explore more of the 1,500 miles of canoe routes that crisscross the waterways.

Contact: www.boundarywatersoutfitters.com  www.ExploreMinnesota.com.

 

 

 

How many times do families visit a resort, a mountain community or sunny beach town and say, “I wish I could live here!”

Plenty!

Join us to discover dreamy new places where you can bond with family, enjoy the amazing benefits of actually living in a resort town, and be a part of a community where amazing scenery as well as golf, skiing, hiking, fishing, and dining are part of your every day life.

We'll be sharing more about Family Resort Living soon!

 

 

Who wants to worry about what the final family vacation price tag will look (and feel) like?

Not the family travelers we know!

That’s why we know families (especially multigenerational travelers) will appreciate this collection of resorts, ranches and family camps where an extra glass of orange juice, one more trail ride, an hour in the kayak or a hungry teen’s second (and third) helping is all part of the program.

You'll want to get to know the members of our All Inclusive Travel Collection!

Beaches Resort & Spa - Turks & Caicos

Dude Ranch Vacations

Sandals Resorts

 

 

So you want to dive the Great Blue Hole near  Ambergris Caye, in Belize.

Scuba enthusiasts are eager to dive this large submarine sinkhole once explored by Jacques Cousteau. Located near the center of Lighthouse Reef, the Great Blue Hole is part of the large Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage site.

Experienced divers have the opportunity to see remarkable limestone formations as well as several species of shark in the crystal waters. The dive destination is 60 miles from Ambergris Caye and for those of us who get sea sick it be a treacherous crossing. But worth it.

great blue hole

Working with an experienced and reputable outfitter is essential. Las Terrazas Resort is a family-friendly condo-style hotel adjacent to the White Sands Dive Shop, where Professional Association of Diving Instructors-certified (PADI) owner Elbert Greer will ensure your dive experience is top-notch.

Contact: www.lasterrazasresort.com; www.whitesandsdiveshop.com; www.travelbelize.org

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