Tag: Family Travel

Sorry for the Dirty Looks, Traveling Moms and Dads

Here’s one that will likely ring true for most traveling parents: In the New York Times, Judith Warner’s latest post addresses “the petty humiliations of motherhood.” She writes:

You know what I mean: the nasty little looks, tones of voice, gestures, subtle and not-so-subtle criticism and even insults that so often seem to come the way of mothers. Harsh words delivered in all apparent innocence, innocuous-seeming observations made in a tone that cuts to the bone, odd little interactions, generally, that manage to make a mother feel condemned in the court of world opinion.

I did indeed know what she was talking about—I’ve certainly shot my fair share of icy “You’re a terrible mother” stares at the parents of seat-kicking toddlers on airplanes. Warner’s post was a healthy reminder to rein those urges in.

Flying as an Unaccompanied Minor: ‘It was Great!’

Flying as an Unaccompanied Minor: ‘It was Great!’ Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr (Creative Commons)

What a relief, after last week’s two incidents of unaccompanied minors being put on the wrong flights (and the resulting catastrophizing about the “risky proposition” of letting kids fly alone at all), to read something positive about the UM program.

Read More »

World Hum Travel Movie Club: ‘Away We Go’

World Hum Travel Movie Club: ‘Away We Go’ Publicity still via IGN

Eva Holland and Eli Ellison debate the summer's hippest road trip flick

Read More »

Travel Movie Watch: ‘Where’s Waldo?’

No, seriously. The goofy globetrotter with the striped shirt is getting a movie all his own. And it will be live action. Over at Get the Big Picture, Colin Boyd has a scathing look at the project, suggesting that Universal’s decision to pick it up after Paramount gave up on it “might showcase a fairly pronounced stupidity.” I’m inclined to agree.

Read More »

Asia’s Food Vendors: A Plus for Work-Family Balance

Asia’s Food Vendors: A Plus for Work-Family Balance Photo by René Ehrhardt via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by René Ehrhardt via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I’m not a parent, but I’ve sympathized with two sisters and plenty of friends who bemoan the constant time stresses on working parents with young kids. Grocery shopping and cooking rank high among parental time-sucks, of course, so a Thai curator’s recent comment to the New York Times that Bangkok’s ubiquitous food carts “provide a vital support system to people who work, especially couples with children” got me wondering about the benefits of raising kids in Asia.

Read More »

Goodbye to my Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine

Goodbye to my Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine Photo by dawnzy58 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by dawnzy58 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

For so many, the first true travel excitement comes compliments of Mickey Mouse and co.

A few years ago, I talked to my nieces on the phone just before their first trip to Disney World. The little one, just shy of four, didn’t usually have much patience for phone conversations. That day, she just kept talking and talking, offering excited (and rather detailed) explanations of all the things she wanted to see. Both girls were delighted when I told them about my own visits to Disney World as a kid. We all got kind of giddy thinking that, just maybe, there was some slight chance they would end up riding in the same It’s a Small World boat I sat in 30+ years ago.

Read More »

To Italy, for Family

After unearthing her great-grandmother's bridal gown, Valerie Conners traveled to Puglia to grasp the story of its origins. She found much more.

Read More »

Eight Great Family Travel Stories

Eight Great Family Travel Stories iStockPhoto

To mark World Hum's eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite travel stories from our archives that explore the family vacation in all its forms

Read More »

Street Kids in Enzo’s World

Street Kids in Enzo’s World REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

On a trip to Granada, Nicaragua, JD Roberto confronts hungry children and considers how to explain them to his son

Read More »

Dora the Explorer: Now Packing Lipstick

Yup, one of our favorite fictional travelers is all grown up. A “teaser silhouette” of the new Dora, released a couple weeks back, stirred up controversy, with parents worrying about the “sexy” image being projected to their children. Now the final image has been made public—and yes, as we suspected, Dora is now clearly packing makeup, accessories, and some serious hair product for her travels. “If the Dora we knew grew up,” laments one parent’s petition, “she wouldn’t be a fashion icon or a shopaholic. She’d develop her map reading skills and imagine the places she could go.”

What do you think? Is the new Dora too sexy, or is this a tempest in a talking backpack?

Blog to Watch: Cities on the Cheap

The site—which got its start simply as Atlanta on the Cheap—now covers the latest bargains and budget shortcuts in 30-plus locations across the U.S. and Canada. The emphasis so far seems to be on the Sunbelt, and on kid-friendly destinations (there’s an entire Disney on the Cheap page), but if those aren’t your bag, don’t despair: Cities on the Cheap is still expanding. (Via Arthur Frommer)

Disney Aims to Go Green

The Walt Disney company aims to cut its emissions by 50 percent by 2013 and to use more recycled material to decrease the amount of trash it sends to landfills, Environmental Leader reports.

Disneyland Resort is already using recycled cooking oil in its Disneyland Railroad steam trains—a move that could help save some 200,000 gallons of petroleum diesel per year. Some Disneyland rides also use biodiesel instead of gasoline, though customers have inexplicably complained about the “french-fry smell” emitted by the biodiesel when burned.

Guns, Mom and Guinea

Guinea, West Africa Photo by Aaron Sharghi

April Thompson wanted to show off her new West African home to her mother. Nothing could go wrong, right?

Read More »

Shanghai Barbie: Tourist Magnet?

Shanghai Barbie: Tourist Magnet? Photo by Gary Soup via Flickr (Creative Commons).
Photo by Gary Soup via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Every time I visit Chicago, I’m amazed at how the city’s American Girl flagship store continues to draw moms and daughters from across the Midwest; I never fail to see them marching up Michigan Avenue, giant American Girl shopping bags in hand. Hotels in the area have lapped up the phenomenon, offering packages with kitschy extras like “one exclusive American Girl bed for your little doll to keep for future slumber parties” and a “free in-room movie showing of Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front.” Apart from the boost to tourism, the trend is a masterful case study in 360-degree branding.

Now I’m wondering if Shanghai is courting a similar fate with last Saturday’s opening of China’s first Barbie flagship store. The store, which includes 900 different kinds of Barbie dolls, a spa, a bar and a line of Barbie-themed clothing for adults, could well become a tourist mecca for Chinese girls and their mothers, who weren’t able to get their hands on the doll in their (pre-economic boom) childhood years.  If the store is a success—and I have a sneaking feeling it will be—we’ll see how long it takes nearby hotels, vendors and restaurants to co-opt a little Barbie magic. The gravity-defying doll hasn’t survived 50 years for nothing, after all.

For full Shanghai Barbie immersion, check out this Yahoo slideshow of the mega-store. It’s certainly in keeping with the brand’s image: six storeys, all glowing pink.

Morning Links: A Surge in Train Travel (Stories), the Truck Stop Dentist and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

Adventure Dad

Kelsey Timmerman Photo by Annie Timmerman

Not much irks travel writer and new dad Kelsey Timmerman more than the words: "I guess your adventurin' days are over now, huh?"

Read More »

Morning Links: Michael Lewis Asks About Bjork in Reykjavík, Yoko Ono’s Travel Daydreams and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

Morning Links: JetBlue Fare Refunds, America’s Emptiest Cities and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

An Open Window on a Winter’s Night

Northern Lights iStockPhoto

Beth Harpaz and her 10-year-old son went to Alaska to see the Northern Lights -- and to hold on to his childhood for a few more minutes

Read More »

Sailor Girl

Sailor Girl on State of Maine Photo by Edie Platt

Cullen Thomas considered his mission -- joining his mother on a perilous sea -- a noble one. But he presumed too much.

Read More »