Saturday, November 10th, 2007 at 1:11 pm in Family Travel.
We’ve been asking Bay Area families to share their travel tips – great hotels, memorable cafes and kid-pleasing adventures in London, Cancun and around the world. This week we’re off to the East Coast with a family of baseball fans.
THE TRAVELERS: Vince Jones, a video production manager at Golden Gate Fields, his wife Lisa, a Borders bookstore staffer, and their children, Calvin , Ryan and Camille.
THE TREK IN A SEC: This Clayton family spent a month trekking cross country, from Niagara Falls to Florida, and onto a Caribbean cruise. Among the high points: Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore (for their baseball fans) and the Big Apple (ditto), where they discovered New Yorkers are actually friendly folks, whoâ€™ll give you not just subway directions but the shirt off their backs. And 11-year-old Calvin has the Yankees shirt to prove it, a gift from a fellow baseball fan at Yankee Stadium.
BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOTEL: The Joneses spent just 5 of their 30 nights in hotels, the rest of the time they bunked with friends and family â€” â€śItâ€™s not what you know,â€ť says Lisa, â€śit’s who you know and how you use them!â€ť But for New York City tourists, the Joneses recommend the Econo Lodge in Fort Lee, NJ, because it’s quiet, convenient and half the price of a NYC hotel room. The Joneses paid $123 a night, plus $2 for the bus across the George Washington Bridge into New York City.
COOLEST SIGHTS: â€śSeeing the historical sites and memorials to people they’ve read and heard about made a big impression on both boys,â€ť says Lisa.
** In New York City, Camille, age 5, loved the Statue of Liberty, â€śbecause itâ€™s a lady,â€ť and all the Jones children enjoyed the Empire State Building, both for the awe inspiring views and because thatâ€™s where James landed his Giant Peach.
** And everyone enjoyed the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. Allow at least 3 hours.
FAMILY EATS: The Joneses opted for
family-friendly Friendly’s and the Cracker Barrel
chain, which has non-electronic games like checkers to
entertain the kids before the comfort food arrives.
TRAVEL TIPS FROM THE JONES FAMILY:
1. Let your kids take pictures. They’ll have fun and take more of an interest in what they are seeing. We let ours take pictures of the two of us at various sights.
2. Carry water bottles! To encourage the kids to drink water, we brought flavor packets.
3. We brought an antenna ball to make finding our rental van easier.
4. Keep a journal and try to get your kids to keep one also.
5. Best souvenirs: Full-size baseball bats engraved with the childrenâ€™s signatures at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown – and enough Christmas ornaments to cover a small tree devoted to Summer 2007.
Has your family been somewhere wonderful? Share your photos, favorite hotels and outings, and travel tips by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.