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Budget Travel for Big Families
27 minutes | Oct 9, 2014
Episode 17: Fall break, fall festivals!
Every year one of the very best things about travelling appears in the fall: the appearance of thousands of festivals all over the country. Some are HUGE like the Albuquerque Balloon Festival; some are small and yet full of culture, food, and surprises. The show's production assistant, Mandy, has been set free to find us some great recommendations for fall festivals from the east coast to the west. Listen in and learn what might be near you. Also, be sure to listen through to the end of the show today for an important announcement! Thanks!
39 minutes | Oct 3, 2014
Episode 16: Home sharing makes the impossible vacations possible
Have you ever had a dream for a travel experience that you thought would simply be impossible in this (or any) lifetime? We've all been there. But thanks to the information sharing that's possible today, the impossible can be within reach. Eileen Gunn is a 20 year veteran journalist that now operates familiesgotravel.com, a huge resource for those of us seeking to travel with kids. On today's show she offers tons of great resources, but best of all, introduces us to the wide world of home sharing. Listen carefully: your next family adventure may emerge from this podcast.
31 minutes | Sep 29, 2014
Episode 15: "Are We There Yet?"
It's the reason many people don't go on road trips: the incessant "When are we going to get there?" heard from the back seat. You have only so much time to get to your destination, so you feel like you have to drive, drive, drive. But there's so much that can be done to break up the trip and make the trip the destination! How do you find out about it? Amy Whitley created PitStopsForKids.com because she noticed there were no good resources available that addressed a key need: what can you do to break up long road trips and have fun along the way? So she created a website and became an expert on something we all need to know more about. Listen to Amy's interview and find out all kinds of great ideas for making your next road trip exciting and fun. Also on today's podcast: listen and find out about our next big giveaway, the ultimate travel accessory, an Amazon KINDLE!! We'll be giving one away THIS WEEK. You'll want to find out how to register and win this great gift. Also: remember all those good cruise deals Lina has been telling us about? Well, hear how Steve could not resist one of those incredible fares she told us about...
42 minutes | Sep 25, 2014
Episode 14: Didn't think you could cruise? Guess again!
Going on a cruise with a big family doesn't seem practical to a lot of folks. Cruising seemed like the realm of the college spring-break crowd or the retired, not the most inviting environment for parents of young children. But times have changed, and the cruise industry is more family-friendly than it may have ever been. And big changes in the marketplace mean that taking a big-family cruise may never be as affordable as it is now. Join our gues David Beers, editor of Cruisereviews.com, for a very enlightening discussion of the current state of the cruise industry and how it affects those of us with big families. After listening you might just be ready to contact your travel agent (like I did!).
29 minutes | Sep 16, 2014
Episode 13: Roadschooling with Nancy Sathre-Vogel
"What would you do if you were not afraid?" That's the question one sees when they open Nancy Sathre-Vogel's website, www.familyonbikes.org. It's a question that has guided this family-traveler through 17,285 miles, bicycling across the Americas. It has guided Nancy (a teacher for 21 years) to learn that the best education she can give her children is one in which the world is experienced. This episode explores Nancy's family story and derives a dose of inspiration from it. To begin, as we discover in this episode, all you have to do is get on your bike and ride.
44 minutes | Sep 11, 2014
Episode 12: Introducing Mandy, the show's production assistant!
This show is ALL about the big family travel lifestyle, and it's our wish to bring to you inspiration and practical ideas about how you can enjoy travel experiences that you never imagined possible. Today we introduce to you Mandy Burkholder, the show's production assistant, who brings you her amazing story about how she spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland. We also bring a struggle to you this week: Lina's travel deals are WAYYY too tempting!! This week she alerts us to an unbelievable deal you won't want to miss. So get ready to hear from the whole BTBF crew. We hope the show inspires you to think outside the box and get ready to experience everything the world has to offer.
35 minutes | Sep 8, 2014
"Bacon Is Magic!" Food Blogger Ayngelina Brogan
My brother taught me that sometimes the best way to see a country is out of the window of a restaurant. I learned this in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the restaurant was serving haggis with neeps and totties! That may not be your thing, but honestly, some of the best culture of ANY location can be found in its food. Why, Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern have made careers out of food travel, and we love watching what they get into. This week we hear from Ayngelina Brogan, the writer behind "Bacon Is Magic," a popular food and travel blog. Ayngelina was bitten by the travel bug early in her life and is full of all kinds of tips for us big-family types as we search out the off-the-beaten-path eateries. And what's the easiest way to find those wonderful eateries? With technology, of course! In this episode we run down five excellent apps for finding good, authentic food while out on the road.
36 minutes | Aug 28, 2014
Episode 10: 36 Hours with Barbara Ireland
Looking for ideas for quick getaways? Planning your next weekend vacation or daycation? Barbara Ireland, editor of the New York Times' column, "36 Hours," is today's guest. Barbara not only edits the column, but also has a series of gorgeous books with amazing photography that will satisfy the vacation dreamer, planner, and armchair traveler alike. From the Amazon.com description: To travel in North America is to face a delicious quandary: over these vast spaces with so many riches, from glittering cities to eccentric small towns and heart-stoppingly beautiful mountains and plains, how to experience as much as possible in limited time? One answer is the quick hit, a jam-packed adventure that delivers a full sense of a single place’s opportunities and personalities over a well-plotted two-night stay.The New York Times has been offering up dream weekends with practical itineraries in its popular weekly "36 Hours" column since 2002. The many expert contributors, experienced travelers, and accomplished writers have brought careful research, insider’s knowledge, and a sense of fun to hundreds of cities and destinations, always with an eye to getting the most out of a short trip. Want to read what Sam Sifton suggests in his beloved borough of Brooklyn, or David Carr in Minneapolis, Mark Bittman in Death Valley, or Ariel Kaminer in lower Manhattan? Here is where to do it, with full-color photographs to entice you and handy maps to guide you. Also in this episode: Steve describes on of his vacation nighmares turned successes and lays the groundwork for an important lesson on setting expectations for family travel. You'll want to hear this amazing story!
33 minutes | Aug 26, 2014
Episode 9: Destination Washington, DC: The International Spy Museum
Our final Washington, DC episode for a while: this week we feature the International Spy Museum, one of DC's top attractions. Get ready for an exciting experience that's fun for everybody in your big family. See the James Bond exhibit, the amazing spy hardware collection, and even a big chunk of the Berlin Wall, the centerpiece for some of the world's most exciting spy capers. Also, get the low-down on our first giveaway! You'll want to listen to this episode to find out the details on how to win four tickets to the International Spy Museum, perfect for fall break or for any time you venture to one of our favorite destination cities.
43 minutes | Aug 21, 2014
Episode 8: Destination Washington, DC: The Newseum
Continuing down the road that ends at Fall Break, we continue our multi-episode look at Washington, DC's attractions. We love DC because there are so many wonderful opportunities there for big families, most of them for free. One of the best paid attractions in town is the Newseum, a museum focused on the news media. At first you might think, "Wow, this doesn't sound like it would be interesting to kids," but like all good family entertainment, the Newseum appeals to people of ALL ages. It's a great destination while in DC. Jonathan Thompson, head of media relations for the Newseum, is our guest today. He'll give us a great, appetite-whetting look at the Newseum and what it offers for our big families. Listen for a special offer for those heading to DC in the next couple of weeks. Also in this episode: Steve will fill you in on a little known photographic secret that will improve the pictures you take in museums and other indoor locations. You won't want to miss this.
26 minutes | Aug 18, 2014
Episode 7: Reconnecting with Family in the Digital Age
One of the perennial challenges of big family life is staying connected. With so many people and things demanding our attention, it's hard to give everone the attention they deserve. And the bigger the family, the more difficult the challenge. Andrew Montgomery has five kids. He works for Focus on the Family, one of the top groups advocating for families (I wonder if Focus on the Family needs any introduction at all!) and shares his experience, his knowledge, and his struggles with us. And here's a hint: travel is a key part of his strategy!
41 minutes | Aug 14, 2014
Episode 6: Big Family Destination: Washington, DC
Washington, DC, is a fantastic destination for a long weekend or for fall break. Why? Because nearly everything is FREE! Visit museums, landmarks, and monuments - even the national zoo - for free. It's a terrific place to play, enjoy, and learn. Our guest, Eileen Ogintz, a nationally syndicated columnist, has written several "Kid's Guides" to traveling in various cities. Today she tells us about her guide to Washington, DC, one of her favorite places to visit. Also, Ashley Steel and Bill Richards ("Family on the Loose") return to give us tips on how to help kids enjoy the trip to the museum. And as always, Lina Shatara of Travel Corner International is here to bring us another travel deal.
41 minutes | Aug 11, 2014
Episode 5: Making Travel Count Beyond You and Yours
We like to talk about options for travel beyond the ordinary. Could vacation be something more than a week at the beach? Could it be, say, three months teaching English in Nepal? National Geographic's Traveler of the Year (2013) Shannon O'Donnell has discovered that there's much more out there than self-indulgence. There is a world of opportunities to make the world a better place when traveling. Shannon's book, "The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook," provides practical resources for those who wish to live out the adventure of volunteer, service oriented travel. From the book description: Volunteer Traveler's Handbook guides new and veteran travelers through the challenges of finding, vetting, and choosing their ideal volunteer experience. The book's practical advice is interwoven with first-person narrative, stories from a wide range of volunteers, beautiful photography, and expert interviews to help interested volunteers find meaningful ways to give back to communities all over the world-through volunteering, but also through social enterprises and supporting sustainable tourism practices. Also in this episode: Our resident travel agent, Lina, shares with us a spectacular deal you'll want to hear more about. Steve shares his advice about your next travel photography purchase: a new lens.
29 minutes | Aug 7, 2014
Episode 4: Games for the Road
Road trips can sometimes be anything BUT relaxing. "When are we going to get there" and about a hundred other questions can make you feel like you want to drive off a cliff! But we're comng to the rescue with this episode! Games are a time-honored way of making the time pass and building family experiences together. Today we'll talk to Mark Lore, one of the creators of the best-selling game, "Rubberneckers," and we'll reveal our top-five mobile apps for family fun, the kind that gets everybody together rather than just sucking minds into those tiny little screens.
40 minutes | Jul 30, 2014
Episode 3: Daycationing in the Parks
As summer winds down and everyone gets back to work and school, what is the one thing that keeps us all from going crazy? I would say an emphatic: DAYCATIONS! A daycation is a Saturday or weekend vacation getaway. It can be just a day out or an overnight. It can be whatever you want, an interruption in routine of school and work. Hikes, festivals, a nearby waterfall, all make great one-day getaways that we here love to call daycations. Whether it's a daycation or a three-month sabbatical, our national parks are some of the world's finest destinations for big families. They're wonderful, visually stunning, and they're cheap. But sometimes it can be tough to get the kind of information necessary to make a national park trip enjoyable. That's where today's podcast is a big help. Michael Oswald is the author of the best-selling and award-winning "Your Guide to the National Parks." Michael has organized information on all 59 of America's national parks into one guidebook, and he'll tell us all about his book, and our nations's treasures, today.
38 minutes | Jul 30, 2014
Episode 2: Family On The Loose!
Most big families are challenged by the price of a "normal" vacation. Six or more tickets to Disney World just isn't in the equation for many of us. So what do we do to keep the kids fired up about our next big trip when it's something they have a hard time connecting with? Ashley Steel and Bill Richard, authors of "Family On The Loose: The Art of Traveling With Kids," serve as this podcast's very first guests! Ashley and Bill have traveled the world with their kids and have found out, many times through trial and error, how to manage expectations, build excitement, and turn the anticipation of a travel experience into sometime that's as much fun as the trip itself. You'll also hear about how they go beyond the tourist experience to touch the people and cultures of the places they visit. Also in this episode, we'll spend some time getting to know our travel consultant, Lina Shatara of Travel Corner International.
25 minutes | Jul 29, 2014
Episode 1: Introduction
Big families know the world is not necessarily made for them. Standard cars seat mom, dad, and two kids comfortably, but what about the third? Hotel websites start getting finicky when you try to enter two adults and three kids; try entering four or five! And if you buy two rooms, the logistical hassles of traveling as a big family just gets worse. It sometimes feels like no one wants our business. It is my dream that this podcast and website will be a constant source of inspiration and information for you. I hope you will look forward to new episodes that will spark new ideas and give you a little tiny escape from the hum-drum of life. That’s what travel is all about, and I hope this podcast will bring you the same kind of joy every time you listen.
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