Happy Independence day

Savor your independence, family travelers!

As the summer gets underway, look to the starry skies for inspiration.

Oasis at Death Valley

In Death Valley National Park, a 3.4 million-acre expanse and the region’s clean, dry air combine to provide an ideal vantage point for observing shooting stars, meteor showers and constellations galore. And the Milky Way!

The conditions have earned the park the prestigious Gold-Tier Dark Sky status. The area shares a strong commitment to avoid light pollution and keep the night sky visible. Stay at the Oasis at Death Valley (choose from the Inn or the Ranch) and join the Las Vegas Astronomical Society for Star Parties on selected evenings or enjoy the gem-studded sky on your own. 

Find other star-filled destinations to consider here.

Are you headed to a guest or dude ranch soon?

Or perhaps you'd like to ride horses while in a western mountain town?

Get ready to ride with these tips offered by Germonimo Trail Guest Ranch. 

Dude ranch tips for horseback riding

The family travel season is about to be in full swing.  

Parents everywhere are gearing up for road trips, summer camps, national park outings and air travel.

Dad and travel expert Jim Mazza, Chief Operating Officer for TRAVELSAVERS, a retail chain of more than 2,500 independently owned, full-service travel agencies, offered a few words of wisdom for those who plan to board a flight in the weeks and months ahead. 

Book an early flight

As a dad, Mazza knows small kids are at their best earlier in the day before exhaustion sets in for them (and their parents).  More than that, and important for travelers of every age, delays often build as the day goes on, particularly in the Northeast.  

Understand the fare you are booking. 

For many travelers, especially cost-conscious families, price matters.  It may seem like the right thing to book the least expensive fare that pops up, but these are often “branded fares” which come with tough restrictions including seat choice, leg room and baggage allowance.  

You'll find more air travel tips here

 

Celebrate your National Parks all year long. Every day you'll find grand experiences, special events, and educational programs in Parks across the country. 

Find your park here!

Snack holders for road trips

If you have a road trip on the horizon ( or even a trip to the park) these snack holders are a hit.

Looking for late-breaking family travel ideas?

Check out these deals for a great escape to see the Grand Canyon in a way you might not have imagined. And the timing is right because the Centennial celebration for one of the world’s most famous natural wonders is underway.

The deal is simple: save 30% off round-trip train fare in conjunction with a one- or two-night package.*

The offer is valid for the rest of 2019, and includes hotel stay, breakfast and dinners, round-trip transportation on the train and entertainment. The savings increase with upgrades in class of train service.

Take note, on the first Saturday of each month through October, the train is pulled by a real steam engine so consider that unique option when planning. 

For more information and reservations: www.thetrain.com/offers/centennial-getaway-package or call 1-800-834-8724.

*Centennial Getaway offer valid for 30% off the train portion only of this package when traveling between 2/7/19 – 12/31/19. National park entry fee is not discountable. Package rates are subject to change. This offer cannot be combined with other discounts/promotional offers and other restrictions, including blackout dates, may apply.

More details: 

1-night Itinerary Package 

Day One

  • Arrive at the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel in Williams, AZ
  • Dinner at the Fred Harvey Restaurant
  • Stay overnight at the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel 

Day Two

  • Breakfast at the Fred Harvey Restaurant
  • Wild West Show before the train departs at the Williams Depot
  • Train travel from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon with entertainment from strolling musicians & personalized service and insider knowledge from your Passenger Service Attendant
  • Free time at the canyon to explore
  • Train travel from the Grand Canyon to Williams, AZ with entertainment from strolling musicians & personalized service and insider knowledge from your Passenger Service Attendant 

2-night Itinerary Package 

Day One

  • Arrive at the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel in Williams, AZ
  • Dinner at the Fred Harvey Restaurant
  • Stay overnight at the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel 

Day Two

  • Breakfast at the Fred Harvey Restaurant
  • Wild West Show before the train departs at the Williams Depot
  • Train travel from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon with entertainment from strolling musicians & personalized service and insider knowledge from your Passenger Service Attendant
  • Free time at the canyon to explore
  • Train travel from the Grand Canyon to Williams, AZ with entertainment from strolling musicians & personalized service and insider knowledge from your Passenger Service Attendant
  • Dinner at the Fred Harvey Restaurant
  • Stay overnight at the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel 

Day Three

  • Breakfast at the Fred Harvey Restaurant

 The Four Seasons Resort Lanai, on the unspoiled Hawaiian island of Lanai, has recently introduced Love Lanai, a series of tours, classes, and authentic culinary events.. Through Love Lanai, guests are able to experience the island’s unique living environment and cultural-historical legacy that spans nearly 1,000 years of Hawaiian residency and a diverse cultural heritage.

Family vacation experiences that are a part of the new collection include a guided sunrise hike of Puupehe; Hoolauna, where guests can learn more about the rich variety of Hawaiian crafts; and Aina Ahiahi Hawaiian Dinner, complete with Hawaiian specialties in an intimate setting, reminiscent of a family dinner in a Lanai home.

Consider family golf options while on the scenic island.

 

It’s easy to allow financial stress, busy schedules and a hectic lifestyle to get in the way of putting dates on the calendar. Here are seven reasons to flag a family vacation as a top priority:

No one is getting any younger.

Not you, the grandparents, or your children. Family life is hectic and it can be difficult to carve out time to even plan a vacation, let alone take one. Yet, before you know it, the kids will be otherwise engaged with school or team responsibilities, summer jobs and college internships. That means the opportunities to get away as a family will diminish even further. So, get planning!

It’s only money.

Sure, budgets are tight. We’re all trying to save more. But a hefty bank account is no substitute for a memory bank brimming with great visuals of your kids running on the beach, hiking in the mountains or climbing in the saddle for the first time. Allocate the dollars you can. Then be on the lookout for deals, promotions or creative low-cost options.

Keep it in the family.

Those busy work and school schedules often mean we seldom see family members about whom we care deeply. Add the geographic spread that is common in most clans and get togethers can be rare. Make this the summer you reconnect with grandparents, that favorite uncle or your long lost cousins. Share stories. Trade photos. Extend the limbs on your family tree.

Get outside.

A visit to a national, state or regional park can provide a bonanza of historical and natural insight and experience. Take to the trails, the streams or the hillside and enjoy nature’s bounty. Camping along the way provides a low cost opportunity to learn outdoor skills and tell tales around the camp fire.

Make it a photo opp.

We tend to remember those moments and events that we capture on film or on a digital memory card. Be deliberate about gathering the kids, friends and relatives together to snap a photo or a few moments of video. Be sure to capture those candid moments too. Then, share and enjoy!

Write it down.

Whether you keep a journal or notes with your photos, scribble a few sentences about your planning process and the trips you take. In time, memory seems to fade the details like dialogue, what people wore, jokes and stories told or memories shared. Save the individual strands of the experience. You’ll be glad you did.

Make a plan together.

Gather your family and get their input on your summer plans. Seek volunteers for researching possible destinations or low cost opportunities. Consider house trades, villa rentals, last minute getaways or just a weekend in a neighboring city. When the time comes, share packing and last minute detail responsibilities. In the end, it is the shared experience that creates the lasting memories and strengthens the bond.

Oceania Cruises' “Superbowl at Sea” Aboard Riviera’s Reef & Ruins

Just because cruise-goers are hopping between destinations like Belize, Mexico and Cuba on an adventure of a lifetime, does not mean they’ll have to miss tuning into the action on the biggest football game of the year when the Patriots take on the Rams. 

Oceania Cruises Riviera will be hosting a live Superbowl Sunday viewing party, allowing football fanatics onboard to witness the action of the game in real time. The party will include football-themed decor and the traditional Superbowl party food, from wings to burgers and chips and dip. The 10-day Caribbean cruise, which departs from Miami January 26th, will include multiple stops in beautiful ports and array of excursions. Cabins start at $3,099 per guest.

For those who want to spend Superbowl Sunday aboard, book today at www.oceaniacruises.com.

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