Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fun Freetime: Summer Ideas from Select Magazine

Given increasing vacation costs, working pros’ time-off being limited, and the importance of creating lifelong memories, the team of editors from can help make your audience’s summer vacation better than ever! was created by bestselling trends expert and TV host Scott Steinberg, who was recently named “Master of Innovation” by Chase Bank and Fortune magazine, and is a frequent on-air analyst for ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CNN.  Steinberg has assembled an all-star team of writers for that can provide unique insights into summer travel and entertaining.

I had a chance to interview Scott Steinberg, editor in chief of SELECT City Magazine.

What are some great summer ideas for families that won't break the bank?
Outsource: From all-inclusive resorts to pre-packaged tours and character-themed cruises, numerous providers can provide end-to-end travel solutions that also happen to put many exciting dining and entertainment options right on-site. That way, you can focus more on big-picture choices (destination, range of activities, type of vacation, etc.) as opposed to worrying about micro-managing schedules. If you do want to plan, before arriving at a destination, take time to research activities, dining options, and local highlights of interest, then build an itinerary and reservations around these options. Don’t forget to factor in travel time and wait times when scheduling, and research local providers to make sure you get the best deals, discounts, and service too. Note that an ever-growing number of online apps and tools can help you source recommendations from local residents or frequent visitors, and gain useful insights into best times to visit attractions or schedule tours and dining options. Don’t have time to do a lot of digging in advance? A helpful tip would be to phone ahead to concierges at four- and five-star rated hotels such as the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons: They can give you a quick rundown of top recommendations.
How can families plan a vacation that is kid-friendly but enjoyable for adults too?
Don’t just pick a fun destination, but one that’s family friendly as well. Many attractions, hotels, and tours (e.g. cruises and all-inclusive vacations) are specifically-geared toward families and children of all ages, with major providers in every space offering package deals at a variety of pricing levels. Similarly, it’s also possible to plan a vacation personally that can put you at either a resort or area that’s rife with things to do for children, from stopovers at museums and waterparks to nearby tourist destinations with marinas, boardwalks, mini-golf courses, and more. And remember that, just like adults, kids can get jaded: To keep interest levels high, look for ways to surprise and engage them by finding more inventive attractions and escapes, or highlights off the typical tourist’s beaten path. As a simple example, on a trip to Washington DC, you might take them to “meet the President” (read: to Madame Toussaud’s wax museum to take a picture with said notable). Similarly, a trip to Memphis could include a guided tour with live musicians performing on the bus, while a visit to New York might feature a stopover to see the Macy’s holiday display windows or the Nintendo World Store. To keep kids guessing, get to know their interests – then look for quirky or offbeat destinations or activities that speak to them in ways they might not expect. After all, kids may not know much about New Orleans, but they may appreciate a trip to the voodoo souvenir shop, friendly ghost tour, or freshly-baked beignet at an outdoor cafĂ© as much as any standard-issue historical attraction.
 What are some ways families can save time planning a trip?
Look for a spot that offers that broadest range of activities and attractions for all ages, and consider whether you’d prefer to incorporate natural wonders (beaches, ski slopes, etc.), outdoor activities (camping, ziplining, etc.), or man-made diversions (hello, waterfront arcades and rollercoasters) into your schedule. Then triangulate which option works best for your family based on ages, interests, and how much excitement you’re looking for, so you can pick the option that offers you the broadest range of options with which to entertain and engage the entire clan. Note: Be sure to factor for flexibility as well – e.g. many beach destinations can become overcrowded around holidays, making it helpful to hunt for one that offers other nearby sources of fun and entertainment if you find lines too long or tickets hard to come by. You can also put a theme to your travels (Road Trip America, Race Across the States, etc.) and make a game out of what types of sights, activities, or restaurants you’d like to visit by asking kids to come up with the best stopovers that fit these themes.

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