Category archives for Jenss Family Travels
As I prepared for my sixth visit to South Africa (the second with the entire family in tow), I wanted to move beyond what we’d already seen while keeping it age-appropriate. So we decided to spend a few days in Durban before heading into the bush.
My family and I have sampled a wide variety of safaris throughout southern and eastern Africa. Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, and Namibia all have terrific family-friendly options. But if you asked me which country offers the best and most authentic overall experience, I’d say Botswana, hands down.
Having already done the Circle Line cruise, all the major museums, a city bus tour, and even a bike trip through Harlem, I was looking for a new take on the city I’ve spent most of my adult life working in. Cue Turnstile Tours.
Knowing that our first family vacation would have to wait until spring break, I reminded myself that you don’t have to board a plane or cross a state border to experience the joys that travel brings. That sense of exploration can be found right in your backyard, if you have the right attitude.
The key to planning a successful multi-generational trip is making sure the itinerary offers something appropriate for everyone involved. After all, it can be quite a challenge finding a destination that satisfies both a slow-moving senior and a high-energy preteen. That’s precisely what makes cruises such an attractive option.
There are a slew of lists about the best places to go and the best things to do while traveling. But there’s one list you may not have heard about: the Resort and Commercial Recreation Association’s annual awards for excellence.
We’ve all witnessed groups of tourists following the raised voices and flags of tour guides as they make their way toward a row of awaiting buses. If a scene like this makes you vow never to be one of “those people,” you may want to avoid rushing to judgment. There are some very good reasons why “tour” isn’t always a four-letter word.
The past week has been a profoundly sad and somber one for all, but perhaps more so than for the parents of young children. If something positive could possibly be taken away from the Newtown tragedy, it’s that we’re probably hugging our kids a bit tighter and appreciating them just a little more.
Experience an 18th-century Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg.
Hurricane Sandy has affected millions of people in myriad ways. Not having electricity, school, or reliable mass transit for a few days seems like a minor inconvenience compared to some of my neighbors who suffered much greater hardship. With the aftermath of the storm all around me, was this an inappropriate time to be thinking about traveling?
Why is it that with each passing year, it seems to get more and more difficult to think of a cool gift idea for my wife’s birthday? Maybe it’s because in 2008, we spent her special day walking around Kyoto, Japan in traditional kimonos and stayed over at an authentic 19th-century ryokan. So, there I was, having a drink at the Kitano Hotel in New York City, plum out of bright ideas, when I learned that the property had a special tatami suite that offered guests what it was calling authentic Japanese culture and hospitality.
Taking a career break to travel is becoming a popular trend. Find out more about how Meet, Plan, Go! can help you make the leap from dreaming to living the dream.
Confession: I’ve seen Shrek with my boys at least a half-dozen times, bought them every Harry Potter book in the series, and, if I had a daughter, would relish the chance to dress her as princess on Halloween. So I decided to take my family to Ireland to recapture some of the magical innocence of childhood while exposing my kids to a country steeped in both history and folklore.
We’ve all experienced how hard it can be to transition from vacation mode to everyday mode. That’s why I decided to tack on a few days of downtime to my family’s summer travels to help us ease back into our routines. After spending a hectic week in London navigating the Olympic games, I figured Ireland was the perfect place to decompress before our return flight dropped us back in reality.
If you’re one of the millions of parents who enrolled their kids in summer camp this year, the biggest decision you probably faced was whether to send them to a day camp close to home or an overnight camp farther afield. In the past, my wife and I always opted for the former even though our children are old enough to leave the nest, but this year we discovered an interesting option that combined the two: joining the kids at a sleep-away camp.
Immortalized (and lampooned) in the 1983 box office hit Vacation, summertime road trips have been an American family tradition for generations. Whether it’s the idea of spending quality time together, saving money on flights, visiting somewhere special, or a combination of all three, there’s something curiously romantic about loading up the car and hitting the…
If you plan on visiting Southeast Alaska and the Inside Passage, prepare to take either the “high road” by plane or “low road” by boat, since only the towns of Haines and Skagway have paved roads leading in from the outside.
Whether you arrive on a cruise ship, ferryboat, or even seaplane, travelers to Alaska’s southeastern “panhandle” are rewarded with some of the world’s most extraordinary scenic beauty. Welcome to the Inside Passage.
Our family of four has enjoyed cruising in the past, but our priority was to take in Alaska’s extraordinary scenery and abundant wildlife in the most intimate and authentic way possible – while still keeping the kids excited and engaged. So, after careful consideration, we decided that traveling the Southeast panhandle’s famous Inside Passage on a smaller ship was the best route for us.
Even in the age of travel aggregators and deep-discount websites, there are still times when some good old fashion human intervention is the best route.
Having just watched a sneak preview of the upcoming Pixar release Brave (which premieres tomorrow), I wondered if any movies are secretly inspiring kids to want to travel or see the places they see on the screen. Did The Lion King spur tourism to Africa? How about family tours to China — are they more popular after Kung Fu Panda?
The weekend before Memorial Day, I successfully completed a triathlon that had me swimming, biking, and running in continual succession. Afterwards, my wife and two sons greeting me with enthusiastic acknowledgement, to which I responded that the whole family was going to do the Finger Lakes triathlon the following weekend. They seemed less than thrilled.…
Almost a year ago, I joined 600+ other travel bloggers in Vancouver, BC for the annual TBEX Conference to network and get inspired by their stories. During a Q&A with one of the many presenters, a woman named Tracey Friley stood up and introduced the entire assembly to an idea she called The Passport Party Project.
It’s strange to me that many New Yorkers have not been to the top of the Empire State Building or taken a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. But, then again, during the time I spent outside of Philadelphia attending college, I never bothered to visit Pennsylvania Dutch Country — a mere 30 minutes away…
I take a deep breath, tell myself they’re just roasted marshmallows, and quickly put the stick in my mouth. “Ahhh…Just like I remember them,” I pronounce with a pursed grin. With the video camera now turned off and my wife and kids grimacing in disgust, I’m tempted to spit out whatever remains of the half…