Jan 19th
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Ask the Travel Agent

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Ask the Travel Agent

Q.     Our family of four (kids ages 8 and 9) is planning a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  Any suggestions as to the best places to stay, and what to pack (i.e. snorkeling gear)?
A.     You'll have a fun time in Cabo, the area offers many activities: snorkeling, fishing, surfing, kayaking, sailing, whale watching, wildlife viewing, and sand dune touring, along with lighthouses, shipwrecks, even an Indian pueblo in the mountains.  The Marina Fiesta is a nice family property along with the Quality Calinda Beach Cabo San Lucas, Pueblo Bonito Cabo San Lucas, and Melia San Lucas.  The Pueblo Bonito, Marina Fiesta, and Melia San Lucas are 4 star properties and the Quality is 2 stars.  You can rent snorkel gear at resorts and activity shops.  Pack plenty of sunscreen, caps, and clothing for the sun--the temperatures can reach 100 F in the summer!  The kids' own water bottle (filled with purified water) comes in handy.

Q.     My wife and I  would like to travel by car to Kentucky.  We want to take the kids (ages 5 and 8) to see the parks. What do you suggest?

A.     Kentucky is a good-sized state.  Visit their home page at or call Kentucky Department of Travel (800) 225-TRIP for more information.  Kentucky has beautiful state parks as well as lake resorts. You can find everything from a casual day hike to white water rafting an ancient canyon.  Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has great white water rivers and is an excellent area for hiking, horseback riding, camping, canoeing and rafting.  In the Daniel Boone National Forest, there's the Red River Gorge Geological Area which is a spectacular landscape of more than 80 major arches.  Mammoth Cave National Park has the longest known cave system in the world.

Q.     Can you suggest some health spas where the kids can have fun, too?

A.     The following are resort spas best suited for families.  The Broadmoor in Colorado (800-634-7711); La Costa Hotel & Spa in California (800-854-5000); Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa in Florida (941-466-4000); Topnotch Resort and Spa in Vermont (800-451-8686); and The Sagamore in Lake George, New York (800-358-3585).  In Arizona, you’ll find Marriott's Camelback Inn Resort and Spa (1-800-24-CAMEL) and The Phoenician (602-941-8200).

Q.     What's your advice on accommodations in France and Italy for a family of 4 (kids' ages 11 & 13)?  Also, how about renting a car?

A.     Hotel rooms in Europe are much smaller than in the U.S.,  your family will most likely need two rooms.  Even the family suites are cramped; they are usually for smaller children.  One alternative is to rent an apartment or house,
however a minimum amount of nights may be required.  Family rooms (usually a room with bunk beds) are often offered at Youth Hostels.  You can obtain membership at American Youth Hostels (202-783-6161).
    When renting a car in Europe make sure to have an International Drivers Permit.  You can get this at your local AAA office.  The IDP is valid for one year and is accepted in most countries.  Carry both your own U.S. driver’s license and the IDP when driving.  The minimum age for renting a car is 21. 
Be sure to have all needed documentation from the rental agency if you plan to drive the car into another country.
    You also might consider the TVG train.  You can take this train from Paris to Cannes, then to Venice, Florence and Rome.  This is a great way to see the countryside and not have to think about driving.  There are different types of train passes, so you can get on and off when you like.
Q.     I would like to take my 12 year old and my 9-year old twins to London. Where do you suggest we stay; any ideas on what to see? 
A.     I would suggest renting an apartment close to city center, and also close to a Tube stop (public transportation).  Double-decker buses are a fun way to get acquainted with the city; there's  lots to see in London:  Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard; Hyde Park, a huge park with lake and gardens; Old Royal Observatory, where the Prime Meridian is located and where Greenwich Meridian Time is determined; the amazing London Zoo; St. James Park, a waterfowl refuge, where you’ll find the pelicans very entertaining; Tower of London, Crown Jewels and all; Trocadero Centre with Guinness World Records Museum, lazer games and the Emaginator; Madame Tussaud's famous wax museum; Westminister Abbey; mummies at the British Museum; and, the outdoor maze at Hampton Court.  Take in the theater at least once, special showings are offered for the kids.  Also, there's Legoland in nearby Windsor.

--Debbie Gioquindo is a Certified Travel Counselor, experienced in family travel.


Where are Tricia and Marla?

Tricia and Marla climbed these steps to this magnificent temple. Where are Tricia and Marla?
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Traveling with our Children

"I’ve been traveling with my son since he was 13 weeks old and I love it!  Actually, I discovered that traveling with my child was easy for I was already committed to including him.  I find it a challenge to plan ahead and anticipate his needs... and well rewarded with fun, family adventures." -- Publisher/Editor Deb Cornick 

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