Tag: Family Travel

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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?"

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

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

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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

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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.

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Morning Links: Weird Hotels, Flight 1549: The Game and More

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Walking in a Winter Wonderland Photo by Sophia Dembling
Photo by Sophia Dembling

I live in Texas and every now and then I get nostalgic for real winters. “I miss snow,” I’ll say to my husband, who grew up in Illinois and knows from snow.

And he always says the same thing: “That’s because you never had to shovel a driveway.”

Yes, OK. I grew up in a New York City apartment and now live where snow is here today, gone today. We do get it once or twice a year, but it rarely sticks more than a few hours. Snowmen in Dallas are a tragic sight, as much mud and leaves as snow. Still, hard as it may be to believe during this cold snap we’re having, I like traveling to where I can enjoy real snow. I’m no skier, but I like watching snow fall, walking in it, and sitting inside being warm on a snowy day. (I’m always game for an excuse to sit on a couch.)

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More Family Lanes Coming to Airport Security Lines

They’ll be in every airport security checkpoint in the nation by Thanksgiving. Oh, if the pilgrims could see us now.