In my continuing quest to follow my own blogging schedule, here is a Monday roundup of great travel-related links that I’ve uncovered for your skimming pleasure:
Places to Visit
- From the excellent new travel site UpTake here is a Family Day in New York City for $20. Don’t forget to budget for Manhattan’s secret burger, served up in a greasy spoon that’s hidden in a swank hotel lobby.
- Our nation’s capital is a family wonderland – here’s Education.com with the best Washington DC museums for kids, and summer fun in DC from CNN.com Travel.
- How about Los Angeles: explore your city this summer.
- New Orleans adds to its kid-friendly attractions with a new insect-related museum.
- From the UK’s Times Online, Iceland with the family.
- From mobile lifestyle guru Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Workweek) comes Hacking Japan: Inside Tokyo for Less Than New York (I like Part Two even better.) While we’re at it, here are 10 Japanese customs that are good to know before a trip to Japan.
- Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald tackles Denmark’s Legoland.
- The UK’s Independent covers Taiwan, and you know some of your kids would love a Taiwanese toilet-related restaurant with “poo ice cream.”
Tips and Advice
- Don’t forget to investigate the multiple attractions included in your destination’s City Pass, for possible savings. My daughter and I used City Passes in Chicago and it worked well for us at the Field Museum and Hancock Observatory.
- Budget travel expert Tim Leffel has a new guidebook out that I plan to review soon; Traveler’s Toolkit: Mexico and Central America. Check out his blog for a list of useful Mexico travel Websites.
- Air travel is getting pretty dicey as the airlines tighten up their routes. There’s no “slop” in the system anymore; one bad day of weather or a mechanical breakdown creates havoc system-wide. Confirm and reconfirm your flights (says travel expert Arthur Frommer.) Always check in and print your boarding pass at home if you can, and get to the airport early.
- The good news about crummy air travel is that other options are starting to look pretty good – how about the BoltBus from Boston to New York?
- Loads of good ideas for family travel across the blogosphere: What Every Parent Should Know About Traveling With Their Kids from Brave New Traveler, Top Ten Toyless Ways to Occupy Kids on Planes from Wendy Perrin, the Best Factory Tours for Kids from Travel Channel plus Ten Idiosyncratic Tips for a fun family vacation from The Happiness Project.
- I just posted about one of my favorite magazines, Transitions Abroad, that is moving online, so this is a good spot to highlight the excellent resources on their Family Travel Abroad links page.
The Crybaby Section
Finally, I take exception to the recent email and snail mail campaign by the major U.S. airlines, crying about “oil speculators” driving up the price of doing business. In my opinion, their current struggles relate directly to crappy management and bad customer service, coupled with the same soaring worldwide demand for finite petroleum resources that all of us are grappling with.
I agree with Chris Elliott’s translation/analysis of what’s really being said to airline customers: “High fuel costs are going to push half of us into bankruptcy. We need you to bail us out.” Sorry, guys, the market is shaking you out, and your customers are too disgusted with you to write any letters to Congress.
This is why I’m exploring every non-flying travel option for a possible September trip to Kansas City for a conference, including driving myself or taking the bus or the train. None are looking better than flying right now, which would be fine if I thought my expensive airline ticket would mean a reasonably pleasant flight. It won’t, so I’m still looking.
Airlines, send a sharp K Street lobbyist to sell your cause to Congress. I won’t do your work for you; I’m sharpening my pencil for a better deal.