Tag archives for family

East Meets West in Berlin

Comments Off

It’s difficult to imagine what this city was like in the early 1960s, when the 87-mile-long Berlin Wall was intact and bristling with barbed wire and gun emplacements. Today, the wall has essentially been shattered into tiny bits, now scattered as souvenirs around the world.

If you think pulling together a complex trip is the kind of organizational nightmare that’ll make you feel like you’re in a bad remake of a “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movie — don’t worry.

Here are a few strategies we picked up along the way…

Family. Travel.

Those two words are enough to make the average reader click away. But they shouldn’t be.

Maui is for honeymooners. And, let’s be honest: the last thing these newlyweds want is for everything to be ruined by someone else’s kids. But there’s a whole other side to this luxe island waiting to be discovered — if you pay close attention.

If you associate Hawaii with Mai Tais, luaus, and colorful shirts, you’ve probably never been to the Big Island. None of those cliches resonate on what we like to call the real Hawaii. Even though it’s one of the least-visited islands in the Aloha State, the Big Island (also known as Hawaiʻi Island) is far more exciting, and, at times, more dangerous.

Which place is better, Maui or the North Shore of Oahu? You tell us.

Staying in an older vacation rental can be a real adventure. And we know, because we’ve lived in a few of them during our year-long trip across the United States. A historical home can bring you closer to a city’s traditional downtown area, or to real residents. It can even help you feel like you’re a local.

But historical homes have, well…histories.

Check out these kid-friendly cruises that cater to the younger set onboard and in port.

Family: Speaking in Tongues

Immersion programs merge language with culture. By Lisa Armstrong From the September issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine. While simply traveling abroad makes you a more enlightened global citizen, you can deepen the experience through language immersion programs that offer cultural excursions. These four provide a range of activities and stays with local host families. Note:…

National Geographic Traveler contributing editor Christopher Elliott recently spent a day in Montreal with his family. Here’s what he discovered. You can hit the highlights of Montreal in a few days, but to really know the city would take a lifetime. So when our family arrived in Montreal, our goals were modest: We wanted to…

National Geographic Traveler contributing editor Christopher Elliott recently spent a day in Québec City with his family. Here’s what he found. If you have only a day to spend in Québec City, the capital of the Canadian province of Québec, here’s my advice: Don’t waste a minute. It’s going to be a full day. Ours…

Christopher Elliott writes about a recent family trip where plans to add authenticity to the itinerary went awry.

My Hotel Breakfast Beef

You know the drill when you travel with kids and it’s time for breakfast. You head down to the one restaurant that’s open in the hotel, sit down, and then a waiter recites that the serve-yourself buffet is $19 per person, and the continental breakfast—a smaller option usually with cereal, toast, bagels, and fruit—runs $12.…

Vacations are not what they used to be. I spent the July 4th weekend in New York City, my first trip there with kids in tow, and it really hit home for me: I’m a parent. If I weren’t a parent traveling with my kids, I’d be in New York seeing back-to-back Broadway shows, zipping…

Take in the sights, smells, and sounds of the bustling streets of Beijing the traditional way—by bicycle. The traffic may be wild, but you’ll find plenty of bike lanes, few hills, and sights to see. Here are some bike tips and places to stop in the city. [BBC] Offering the ideal mix of fun activities,…

National Geographic Traveler columnist Christopher Elliott recently visited northern California with his family. This is the third of six reports. Read the first and second posts. If you want to get to know your kids, take them skiing. But if you want to bond with them, go snow tubing.  Skiing may be one of the…

Autism-Friendly Austin

Violet sunsets, a wide variety of live music, a beatnik crew of Longhorn/political/musical/techie/spunky types, and the nation’s largest natural swimming pool in an urban area are sure to keep Texas’ capital all sorts of weird for a long time to come. But for all those working to keep Austin weird, there are just as many…

It seems the coin toss will be the deciding factor concerning who has the advantage as Nigeria takes on Greece in day seven of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (ESPN will begin live coverage at 9:30 a.m. EST.) Both teams lost in their first games of group matches — to Argentina and the Korea Republic…

One-on-One with Tony Hawk

His name is synonomous with skateboarding, and despite not being on the competitive circuit for a number of years, Tony Hawk has become a sort of alternative sport emissary to the world, traveling widely to put on skateboarding exhibitions and to promote his charitable foundation. One of his greatest pleasures is traveling with his own…

Do you know an intrepid student ready to explore the world this summer? On Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 8 p.m., you can join National Geographic for an online presentation about our summer high school travel program. You can find out more about our summer expeditions and On Campus programs, and hear from popular National…

Authentic Ocean City?

Despite having been born and raised on the East Coast and spending most of my adult life in its major cities (Philly, New York, and finally, D.C.), I’d never been to Ocean City, MD, before last weekend when I hung around there with my husband and his family.     My mom’s a big beach-goer and…

It’s a Small McWorld

When I first toured Europe with my mother and brother, I was intent on exploring the exotic. Trying different dishes, encountering different cultures, and soaking up all of the history, art, and music possible. My brother, on the other hand, seemed most interested in finding the nearest McDonald’s. Unimpressed by the food offerings in each…

Curious George in New Hampshire

It’s going to be a busy summer for Curious George. Fans of the little fellow, who makes getting into trouble look like more fun than a barrel of monkeys, will be delighted to learn that events celebrating learning, literature, and a little bit of mischief are scheduled every month from now through September. On July…

A Crowning Achievement

Comments Off

A few lucky people had the chance to climb the 354 steps to the top of Lady Liberty’s crown this Fourth of July for the first time since it was closed to the public after September 11, 2001. The coveted tickets went up for sale on June 13th, and tickets for the holiday weekend sold…

The Robot Hall of Fame

Pittsburgh, aka “Roboburgh,” has long been a hub of cutting-edge robotic technology, and Chris O’Toole downloads the details on the newest exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center, which opens this weekend. Robots: so smart, so shiny, so smooth. They’re the celebrities of the machine world (next to the iPhone). So it’s fitting that the most…