Arranging travel plans takes some effort, especially when you're juggling the daily routine. When we decide to go on a trip, here is where I turn for help:
1. My Travel Agent!
Kelly Rubingh at Family Travel is responsive, knowledgeable, and a travel industry pro. It's a pleasure to work with someone who understands the family-friendly itinerary. All you need to do is take a look at her annual newsletter, and you'll see why. Every accommodation we've booked through Kelly (Maui, New Zealand, Alaska, Oahu) has been a hit.
2. Travel Blogs!
Information on family travel blogs is amazing. Not only are there inspiring stories and destinations, but they tell you the real deal! I've used Travel Savvy Mom and Delicious Baby to search for New York itineraries for kids. I also use Ciao Bambino to find family-friendly hotels. For ideas on local trips in my native California, I use Kids Go West for inspiration. She also writes travel tips, like this recent post about the Google Maps collaboration tool. I could go on and on - check out my blogroll on the right hand side that says "Fun Family Travel Reading" for more links and ideas.
3. My Husband!
He is a United Airlines flight checking status guru. What can I say? "Honey - have you booked my flight yet?" - That's a good one.
4. My Friends, Bookstore or Local Library
For me, it's tough to beat browsing rows of bookshelves (in peace). Before a trip, I send myself to the bookstore to round out the information for our trip. A new book called Traveling with Kids, co-written by Michelle Duffy of Wandermom is a thorough reference for starting out. I also use travel as an excuse to get together with friends. People who have been there before have insights on what to see & do - and they are usually excited to share the news!
OK, writing this post has fired me up. Time to work on 2010!