Category Archives: Family Travel News

Unaccompanied Minors — Children Traveling Alone

Children traveling alone. // (c) Swiss Air
Children traveling alone. // (c) Swiss Air

It’s summertime and that means that kids and families are traveling — and sometimes not all at the same time. Which always brings up the topic of children traveling alone. There’s been a lot of press on children traveling alone. CNBC reported on a story about the re-seating of male passengers on two Australian airlines, and a story by AP told of an airline losing an young girl traveling as an unaccompanied minor. So, with these stories in mind, would you let your child travel alone?

Carnival Attracts Kids With Camp Ocean

Carnival's new Camp Ocean // (c) 2014 Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival’s new Camp Ocean // (c) 2014 Carnival Cruise Lines

Family cruising just got even more fun with Carnival Cruise Lines. It unveiled Camp Ocean a new marine-themed children’s program coming to its fleet. If you are setting sail this summer, Camp Ocean is set to debut on Carnival Freedom on May 24. The new program will immerse children ages 2-11 in the wonders of the sea through fun, engaging and educational experiences. More than 200 new ocean-inspired activities will range from educational games, such as Sea Creature Discovery, Marine Life Trivia, Under the Sea Mad Libs and Ocean Artifacts Memory Tray, to creative arts opportunities such as Design Your Own Aquarium, Make Your Own Sailboat, Sea Salt Art, and Create a Penguin from Oreos.

Camp Ocean, which replaces Camp Carnival, will welcome youngsters with light blue and white underwater colored spaces and friendly, experienced staff. Three age-related categories will each have their own identity: children ages 2-5 will be dubbed “Penguins,” with those ages 6-8 called “Sting Rays” while 9-11 year olds will be “Sharks.”

The new Camp Ocean activities span across 11 key categories of play, including the core themes of active play, games, free play, arts and crafts and digital, coupled with additional categories such as role play, music, party time, science and discovery, social and food fun, all designed to find the ideal combination of activities catering to children’s varied interests.

Carnival will also introduce a Badge Challenge as part of Camp Ocean, which will provide the opportunity for kids to earn and collect badges as a special memento of their cruise.  Badge challenges will include a variety of unique activities that provide an original way for kids to learn about their vessel, experience onboard adventures and gain a sense of accomplishment. After completing tasks which may include trying a new food, making an aquatic towel animal or riding the water slide, children will collect corresponding Camp Ocean badges.

How to Get to Hawaii This Summer

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu // (c) 2014 Cristo Vlahos
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu // (c) 2014 Cristo Vlahos

Apple Vacations is making Hawaii more affordable for families this summer with a variety of deals that include free nights, car rentals and roundtrip airfare.

The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa in Honolulu is offering families every fourth night free plus daily breakfast buffet for two in a Waikiki view room. Children 12 years old and under eat free. Five nights including roundtrip airfare start at $1,298 out of Oakland, $1,455 out of Denver and $1,587 out of Chicago.

Napili Kai Beach Resort in Maui is providing families with a free fifth night in the Keaka Family Studio with a garden view — an Apple Vacations-Exclusive offer.  Napili Kai Beach Resort is located on one of the best swimming and snorkeling beaches in Maui.  Five nights, including roundtrip airfare start at $1,254 out of Oakland, $1,440 out of Denver and $1,656 out of Chicago.

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the Big Island provides families with a free fourth night in a standard room with daily breakfast for two.  Guests will also receive an Apple-Exclusive daily offer of 50 percent off Camp Mauna Lani for children ages 5-12 years old, inclusive of cultural activities and a Turtle Education Program. Five nights, including roundtrip airfare start at $1,399 out of Oakland, $1,532 out of Denver and $1,823 out of Chicago.

The Fairmont Orchid, also located on the Big Island, will offer families a free fifth night in a partial oceanview room, daily breakfast for two plus an Apple-Exclusive complimentary Hona book keepsake and two Fun & Sun activity passes for children to enjoy beach and water equipment. Five nights, including roundtrip airfare start at: $1,625 out of Oakland, $1,759 out of Denver and $2,055 out of Chicago.

All rates are per person, based on double occupancy, with departures on Aug. 27, 2014. Air related taxes and fees are included. Baggage fees apply. Hotel resort fees may apply and are payable directly to the hotel. Other dates, durations and gateways are available.  Prices and inclusions may vary. Prices valid at time of printing and are subject to availability and change. For more information, visit

Bookings made by April 25, 2014, will receive fun family-friendly amenities as well as an option to upgrade to an intermediate SUV for $50 per week – just $10 more per day than the price of a mid-size car rental.

World’s Largest Ferris Wheel Opens in Vegas

The High Roller is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world.  // (c) 2014 The Linq
The High Roller is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. // (c) 2014 The Linq

Are you headed to Vegas for spring break? Well, you are in for a treat. The world’s largest ferris wheel, the High Roller, has opened at the Linq entertainment complex. Standing 550 high, it has changed the Vegas skyline and features dynamic lighting sequences that light up the Strip. High Roller joins a mecca of high flying Ferris wheels around the world, including the London Eye, the Singapore Flyer and the Star of Nanchang. The wheel has 28 cabins that hold up to 40 people each with 300 square feet of glass, ensuring a good view for all. It takes approximately 30 minutes to go all the way around and ticket prices start at about $25. High Roller tickets can be purchased on the Linq website in advance. You can also book entire cabins for large parties.

FamilyFun Magazine Announces Travel Award Winners

FamilyFun magazine announces travel award winners. // (c) 2014 FamilyFun
FamilyFun magazine announces travel award winners. // (c) 2014 FamilyFun

For those who want to know where the best family-friendly travel spots in the U.S. are, FamilyFun magazine has announced the winners of its Travel Awards. Family travel destinations were ranked by families across the U.S. in a variety of categories, including kid-friendly cities, zoos and aquariums, and theme parks.

From Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park to The Strong Museum in New York, locations across the country were selected as the top spots by region. Check out the list of your regional winners below and visit to vote for your area as the “Most Fun Region.”

Top Destinations by Region


1. The Strong, NY

2. Hershey Park, PA

3. Bronx Zoo, NY

4. Acadia National Park, ME

5. New York, NY


1. Disneyland Park, CA

2. Disney California Adventure

3. Yellowstone National Park, WY, MT, & ID

4. Yosemite National Park, CA

5. Sea World, San Diego, CA


1. Magic Kingdom Park, FL

2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure, FL

3. Orlando, FL

4. Universal Studios Florida

5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, FL


1. Cedar Point Amusement Park, OH

2. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD

3. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, NE

4. Toledo Zoo, OH

5. Brookfield Zoo, IL