Planning Tips From The Pros

Written by  Lynn O'Rourke Hayes


Planning a family trip can be overwhelming. So many options, so little time!  

Here are a handful of tips from travel industry experts with children of their own. They’ve spent their careers helping other families enjoy the wonder of the world.  

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.

That’s the advice of Kurt Kutay, owner of Wildland Adventures. Include activities that allow all family members to participate together and learn more about themselves, he advises. Do things you never imagined. Discover your inner source of strength. On a Wildland Family Adventure, you can walk with elephants in Botswana, learn the secrets of survival with Maasai warriors near the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, or deliver school supplies to children in the mountains of Panama.

Contact:; (800) 345-4453.  

Have Fun. Be Happy.

In their all inclusive, family-focused resorts around the world, children are encouraged to explore, play and…..well, be happy. Henri Giscard d'Estaing, CEO of Club Med, brightens with enthusiasm when he talks about the mini-clubs and the wide range of activities available to children of all ages. Swing from a trapeze, try new water sports, become a Petit Chef, and learn about the local communities. Parents are equally enthused to hear about the multitude of kid’s stay free, free nights and discounted packages currently available.

Contact:; (800) CLUBMED.  

Restore in nature.

Peter Grubb and his wife Betsy have raised two kids in the adventure travel business and believe there is no better place to spend meaningful time with your kids than on a river. Fresh air, active days and peaceful nights make for great family memories. Kayak, float and splash through rapids in Idaho, Oregon and Montana.

Contact:; (800) 451-6034


Redefine Your Family Values

On this fourth generation family-owned ranch you’ll get a chance to see how hard work and commitment pay off for one Montana clan. Ride, wrangle and mend fences amid breathtaking scenery on the Lazy E-L Ranch. Join in the thrill of a 2300-head cattle drive. Why? Being on horseback allows time to listen to your soul and remember what really matters, says owner Jael Kampfe.

Contact:; (406)328-6858.


Think globally.

Praveen Moman has been at the forefront of ecotourism development in Uganda. He urges parents to educate their children about global issues and sees travel as an essential element in that process. His company specializes in mountain gorilla safaris and puts the spotlight on the importance of protecting their natural habitat. Contact: ; (866) 599-APES (2737)