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.

Where will you go in the year ahead? 

So many options.

Plenty of time.......If you plan now! 

Grand Canyon celebrates centennial

Traveling with the grandkids?

Check out these options from our Grandparent Travel Collection.

Looking for the year's hot spots?

Then have a look here. 

And some vacations are simply epic and have earned a spot on your bucket list.

That's this list.  

Happy traveling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the year comes to an end, look to the starry sky 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. 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.

 

Heading into the holiday season, Trafalgar, a leading global guided travel company surveyed 2,500+ parents across the U.S. to discover just how stressful, costly and time-consuming the holidays are for them.

 

The results?  Many American parents admit they would rather cancel Christmas this year… and travel instead:

  • Over half of parents (66%) say they would cancel Christmas this year to travel instead, with majority (78%) noting they would rather spend their money on a vacation instead of holiday gifts
  • According to the findings, parents’ stress doubles during the holidays and they can nearly eliminate that stress by traveling instead. Trafalgar’s guided trips remove the stress from family vacations, view the itineraries here.
  • Spending the holidays at home can actually be more expensive than a week-long family vacation in Europe with Trafalgar, with 56% of parents planning to spend $5,000+ on the holidays this year
  • Parents spend 1-2 months prepping for the holidays, and 1 in 3 parents have had to take a day off from work to prep for the holidays

Are you crafting a travel plan?

Reviewing your bucket list for new family vacation ideas?

Consider this collection of epic adventures to put your family travel plan in motion!

 

Did you know that one of Santa’s favorite pastimes is actually surfing? 

Floridian’s were the first to uncover St. Nick’s secret, which is why, each Christmas Eve, Cocoa Beach (the Surfing Capital of the East Coast) hosts its annual Surfing Santas event.

This fun and free event has proven to be a big attraction (and photo opp!), pulling in more than 800 Santas and 10,000 spectators annually. It gets better though - Surfing Santas has also raised more than $60K for local charities, most notably The Florida Surf Museum and Grind for Life.

Check it out!

While students find intellectual challenge in the formal classroom, here are five places where families can expand their knowledge through experience:

Denver Museum of Science & Nature. Denver, CO.

Through film, lectures, demonstrations and hands-on activity, your family will learn about ancient Egyptian civilization through clues scientists share from their mummy research. Tap into the latest information about our universe and our place in it through a Space Odyssey exhibit. Gain a greater understanding of Native American cultures. Plus, discover how precious gems are recovered from mines and the role they play in various cultures. All this, plus a permanent discovery zone where hands -on fun provides interactive educational opportunities for the youngest explorers. Contact: 303-322-7009; www.dmns.org.

Musical Instrument Museum. Phoenix, AZ.

This unique museum enables families to see and experience more than 3000 instruments and artifacts from around the world. Live performances, family-friendly festivals and a wide array of lectures and classes are available. Check out the Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed “Imagine” as well as the instruments of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and George Benson. Wireless head-sets allow guests to see and hear exhibits throughout the museum. Kids will enjoy the Experience Gallery where they can touch, play and hear instruments from far away cultures. Contact: (480) 478-6000; www.TheMim.org. 

The Alamo. San Antonio, TX.

Located in downtown San Antonio, more than 2.5 million people visit each year to learn why it was suggested we “Remember the Alamo!”. Representing three centuries of history, families can learn the roles played by David Crockett, Sam Houston and James Bowie as they tour the 4.2 acre complex where beautiful gardens provide a backdrop for the old mission and exhibits detailing the Texas revolution and the state’s colorful history. Admission is free. Contact: 1-866-769-8419; www.thealamo.org

Glaciers and Climate Change.

Trek to Alaska, our largest state, but at number 49 among the last to join the union. Here you can team up with one of many companies that will introduce you to the mysteries of glaciers and how our changing climate is affecting them and the surrounding areas. Tours offer the opportunity to dog sled, hike, and ice climb all while learning about regional geology and geography and its importance to the rest of the world. Contact: www.flyk2.com; www.travelAlaska.com.

Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey, CA.

Founded in 1984, this world-renowned organization’s mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s oceans. Through a variety of interactive activities and exhibits designed for young children and families, your crew will learn about the delicate balance that exists in our seas today. The youngest visitors will be drawn to the 40-foot-long touch pool for an up close look at curious creatures like sea stars, urchins, kelp crabs and abalones. Contact: (831) 648-4800; www.MonterayBayAquarium.org

Are you looking for an alternative to traveling over the river and through the woods for Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving

Here are five ideas to consider:

Kingsmill Resort. Williamsburg, VA.

Leave the holiday bird preparation to the pros at this Virginia resort where you and your family will enjoy all the seasonal trimmings. Get settled in one of 425 recently updated guest rooms or stretch out with the clan in a three-bedroom suite. Either way you’ll enjoy views of the James River landscape and access to championship golf, tennis and world-class spa facilities.  When you’re ready to expand your holiday horizons, hop aboard free shuttles to both Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.

Contact:   www.Kingsmill.com. 

Macy’s Parade, New York Hilton, NY, NY.

Have you always dreamed of capturing a bird’s eye view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? More than three million people gather to see the iconic floats, bands and entertainment each year.

Choose from one of several parade packages that will provide you and your clan the opportunity to enjoy the seasonal show from the comfort of you room.

Contact: http://newyorkhiltonhotel.com 

Snow Mountain Ranch, Winter Park, CO.

Plan an active holiday weekend that begins with a pre-feast Turkey Trot to get your clan warmed up. Other options include taking part in the Turkey Olympics, Noodle Jousting, Flag Football and even a pie-throwing contest (the staff has volunteered to serve as targets). Wind down the night with a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving moviefest.

There are plenty of snow-centric activities as well including dog-sledding, snow tubing and Nordic skiing.

Contact:  http://snowmountainranch.org 

Thanksgiving at Sea.  

Give thanks for sunny days and adventures at sea when you set sail during the Thanksgiving holiday. Expect live entertainment, a kid-friendly Thanksgiving cooking class, holiday focused scavenger hunts, talent shows and costume parades as well as the traditional dinner you won’t want to miss. 

For some, the holiday is not complete without a healthy serving of gridiron action. Catch your favorite football match ups on large screens throughout the ship.

Contact: http://www.msccruisesusa.com 

Visit a Dude Ranch

Round up your family and friends and saddle up for some fun at a ranch where there will be plenty of fixins' and a large helping of outdoor  activity. There will be no shortage of memories to be made for every member of the family no matter how young or young at heart. Contact: www.DudeRanch.org 

 

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