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Chicago’s Biggest Book Fair Is Back July 23-26

Jul 9, 2015
The Newberry Book Fair on July 23-26, Chicago’s biggest annual used book binge, has something for every reader.

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Good news: hotel industry is waking up to healthier kids menus


Hyatt Top Your Own Taco for Kids
In the past year, a growing number of hotel chains have revamped their kids’ menus to make them healthier with less fat and sugar as well as prepared with locally sourced foods. It’s terrific to see a travel industry contest that actually focuses on something families care about—healthier and better children’s menus--rather than giving them another toy or backpack they don’t need or want. more
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All of us want the same thing from family travel – a vacation and memories


By Eileen Ogintz and Kyle McCarthy Sun, sand and happy kids. Just make sure the little ones don’t eat the sand. Maybe your family would rather be hiking in a national park or exploring a foreign country. Wherever you go this summer, all of us want the same thing: The chance to relax and make happy memories, Vacation memories, families say, not only last a lifetime but are among the most important they have, helping them to get through the tough times. Just thinking about the vacation ahead can put the fun back in everyday life, Disney Consumer Insight Team’s Amy Foster told the attendees at the First TMS Family Travel Summit in Orlando. “Fun is not frivolous,” she said. “Fun is precious.” According to new research from MMGY Global reported by Peter Yesawich at the Summit, the vast majority of family travelers want time to relax, unwind and spend time together. Eighty percent want to see new places (forget customer loyalty) and 75 percent want an easy to get to destination. Supervised kids clubs aren’t so vital to these time-starved families said Yesawich, with 78 percent of families opting for free WiFi over kids programs on their last vacation. Digital media in all forms was tasked with making the travel research and booking process easier and less confusing for families, who want to be assured that their needs for connecting rooms and adjacent plane seats will be honored. With demand for family-friendly summer vacation destinations and multigenerational accommodations and organized tours at an all-time high, according to industry sources, those attending our first TMS Family Travel Summit looked at what “family travel” really means today. For the instant summer vacation marketing guidelines that emerged from TMS Family Travel Summit, and you can read more in our report. The 35 Summit attendees from around the country lapped up the data points, generating 54 million-plus #TMSOrlando impressions throughout the weekend by sharing insights with their followers. Marketers take note: • The classic married couple with two kids represents less than half of all American families. • Single parents run 16% of all households in the industrialized world and, social media statisticians would have us believe, moms control everything—including vacation planning. • Grandparents rock—especially when it comes to vacations. More than a third of grandparents who are active travelers have traveled with grandchildren just in the past year, according to the 2013 Portrait of American Travelers • Generation C -- the collectors, creators and curators among us-- are driven to share every experience on and offline. • American families now average a shorter length of stay on vacation --2.73 nights – but are still traveling as the economy recovers, According to research by D.K. Shifflet, The group cited social media’s potential for broadening the family market, from helping less affluent families to find vacation values to sharing advice. At the same time, Dorothy Dowling of Best Western International notes that with women managing their own incomes, their household expenses, and the finances of their own parents, the “sheconomy” controls approximately two-thirds of America’s wealth. How has this affected family travel? It has put women and moms in the driver’s seat when it comes to making vacation planning destinations. One of the most important trends identified at the Summit was the need to satisfy Generation C. Their constant need for stimulation and new experiences means the travel industry must provide activities to satisfy every age group, and make those experiences photogenic as well, so that guests will share them. Social media, researchers and attendees agreed, is the sales tool that can share those memories and turn happy family vacationers into brand evangelists. Here are seven ways Summit attendees—leading travel media and marketers—believe can improve the family travel experience: 1. Offer vacations in all price ranges so that less affluent families can afford to vacation. 2. Empower today’s maker families to book trips themselves by keeping it simple and transparent.
 Make getting to your destination easy and fun. 3. Welcome diversity in staff and guests . 4. Make guests feel like everything they do is new and unique. 5. Give them free WiFi and encourage them to share memories about you. 6. Arrange activities for all ages together. 7. Have your photographer and filmmakers on hand to record the fun. Makes sense to us.
Wherever you go this summer, all of us want the same thing: The chance to relax and make happy memories, Vacation memories, families say, not only last a lifetime but are among the most important they have, helping them to get through the tough times. Just thinking about the vacation ahead can put the fun back in everyday life, Disney Consumer Insight Team’s Amy Foster told the attendees at the First TMS Family Travel Summit in Orlando. “Fun is not frivolous,” she said. “Fun is precious.” more
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Kicks on Route 66 – in a Ford hybrid that gets 100 miles per gallon


Route 66 sign
During the Great Depression, and the Dustbowl, over 250,000 people packed everything they could and set out from Arkansas and Oklahoma along Route 66, heading--they hoped—for a better life in California. Recently I got to drive part of the route in a Ford hybrid vehicle. more
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Five vacation ideas guarantees to please for Father’s Day


Bonefishing in the Bahamas
Forget the new slippers. Dad certainly won’t want another tie. And he can choose his own books. This Father’s Day, get Dad something he’s guaranteed to love--a special experience on your next vacation. Here are five we think are guaranteed to please: more
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Summer is here! Let’s stay safe in the sun, water and on wheels


Let’s have some fun on vacation or at home this summer—safely of course. Here are some summer safety tips for parents and kids -- at the beach, on a boat, on wheels, or around bugs. more
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Taking the Kids Exclusive: Tips from the First Lady for families on staying active on vacation


First Lady Michelle Obama runs at an activity station during a “Let’s Move! London” event at Winfield House in London
First Lady Michelle Obama suggests letting the kids lead is one way to get everyone more active on vacation this summer. The first lady told Taking the Kids exclusively, “The key to getting kids moving is to find something they enjoy, and join in!” For the First Family, that includes biking. more
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Families can enjoy sailing and racing on island of Anguilla


Sailboats ready for racing at the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club
Sail racing is the island of Anguilla’s national sport dating back to the early days of the 20th century when Anguillan men on their way back from working in sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic would race their schooners home. In fact, the unique design of the racing boats here evolved from fishing boats that would fish as much as 40 miles off shoe more
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A lot of good news for family travelers from the first TMS “summit”


We all know that kids seem to grow up in a blink of an eye (It seems as if my youngest who is graduating from college this month was just starting preschool!) That’s why families shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time—or money-- for vacation. We’ve only got a certain amount of time when our kids are mesmerized by princesses or dinosaurs, when they think playing with mom and dad is the best time ever. more
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The First Family Travel Summit: family travel is big and getting bigger


This first-ever summit brought together national travel media with top marketers to brainstorm how we could work together to improve and de-stress the family travel experience. “It’s nice to see both sides of the table share the same concerns,” observed Laura Parquette, from Vail Resorts. more
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Can you EAR me? It’s a special year at Disney Parks


Ears and more ears at Disney
2013 is the Year of the Ear at Disney Parks with new limited release Disney Ear Hats available every month as part of Disney Parks’ Limited Time Magic—special experiences designed to surprise and excite guests when they visit—including saving up to 30 per cent with the Monstrous Summer promotion available at Walt Disney World Resorts through mid June. more
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