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FAMILY Travel Q&A: Inspiration Finder to the Rescue

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, August 15th, 2008 at 5:10 pm in Family Travel.

Family travel (Ana Lense Larrauri illus/MCTDirect) If you’re like us, you spend a lot of your vacation-planning time simply surfing the Web, looking for ideas and inspiration … and trying to sift through all the advertising to get some Real Advice. That’s partly why we started featuring readers’ family travel adventures — and you’ll see a new one this Sunday, by the way! We wanted to get the real scoop on where to go, where to stay and what to see that would delight not just grown-ups but kids too.

But now we’ve been thinking what we’d ALSO really like would be our very own family travel expert, someone we could pester with all our (and your) family travel questions. So we’ve asked Donna Airoldi at TravelMuse to help and this weekend, we’re launching something new, a family travel Q&A.

Travel Muse, if you haven’t browsed it yet, is this cool travel site that includes articles on interesting destinations, practical tips and, best of all, an “Inspiration Finder.” “It’s a cool little tool,” says Donna. “Twenty percent of the market don’t always know where they want to go. What are their options? You’re either a traveler or explorer, (so) put in all these different options and see what pops up. Nature? Hiking? Ziplining?”

You see why we asked Donna. We figured she’s a walking inspiration finder. And she’s a firm advocate of family travel, as were her parents before her. “No matter what the economic situation, you need to get away,” she says. “And (kids) need to see the world beyond their immediate boundaries.”

Here’s how it works. You guys ask the questions, we forward them to Donna and other experts, and publish the replies. And you guys comment on the answers and add your own. Easy, huh? And we figured we’d lead off by asking Donna the big Q on everyone’s minds: “Summer’s almost over, it’s too late to get away before school starts, isn’t it? I mean, we have no reservations, no ideas. Where can we go right this minute without busting the bank?” We’re hoping the answer’s not, “Too late. Sorry. Have a nice year.” Tune in tomorrow, when Donna puts the A in Q&A.

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