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Find Lodging for Four-Legged Friends
There’s been significant growth in the number of pet-friendly hotels, up 38 percent since 2003, according to AAA. “Traveling with your Pet: The AAA Pet Book” is a handy guidebook that helps identify pet-friendly lodgings and any restrictions on accommodations. Some motels or hotels require deposits and are limited to accepting pets weighing less than 25 pounds. Get a copy today at your local AAA office.

Kids Need a Vacation
71% of kids feel they “need” a vacation.
75% of kids feel the ideal vacation is seven days or more.
48% of kids are more likely to eat with family on vacation.
75% of kids are less likely to spend time watching television.
45% of kids are less likely to argue with their parents.
25% of kids feel their parents act differently toward them while on vacation.

No. 1 vacation destination? Kids say theme parks, with Walt Disney World at the top of the list, followed by Universal Studios/Florida and Disneyland in California.

* Source: 2005 poll of more than 800 children between ages 6 and 17 by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell (YPBR), America’s leading marketing, advertising and PR agency serving the travel industry.


Pretty as a Picture
Take this matching Vera Bradley ensemble (style: Botanica) to any beach, and you’ll be sitting pretty. Purchase online at www.verabradley.com
• Sun Hat, $27
• Straw Tote, $76
• Straw Sandals, $22
• Beach Towel, $34

Get the Gear that Works for Families
Family Travel Gear specializes in products to assist parents traveling with children. You’ll find fun products such as the Towel Down ($39.99), a wind-resistant beach towel, backpack and tote bag all in one, and the Whale Beach Bag ($35.75), a roomy, family-size mesh bag with eight outside pockets. Visit www.familytravelgear.com.

Sun Protection for Baby’s Eyes
Eyes can get sunburned. To protect babies’ eyes as you do their skin, try Frubi Shades ($14.95), award-winning sunglasses that babies will keep on because they are comfortable. The sunglasses have a soft foam design that fits snuggly all the way around a baby’s head and are available in 10 styles and colors. Visit www.frubishades.com.

Get Twisted!
Great Wolf Lodge, Virginia’s Year-Round Family Resort, has added a new attraction to its 67,000 square-foot indoor water park. The Howlin’ Tornado is an enclosed six-story extreme water tubing ride. From above the water park resort you will drop into a 65-foot tunnel in a two- or four-person tube twisting back and forth to the bottom. With a 30-foot per second drop, this attraction is for thrill-seekers only! For details go to www.greatwolflodge.com/Locations/Williamsburg.

Don’t Lose Your Luggage
With hip new luggage tags, you can ID your bags in style. Charlotte-based Madison Sloan offers customized luggage tags in beautiful colors with a variety of styles and options. Have a custom fabric you love? They’ll match it. Go to www.madisonsloan.com for ideas.

Fly with Flair!
Put a protective and stylish layer between you and the airplane seat with Plane Sheets. For frequent travelers or parents worried about the mess other travelers leave behind, these nifty airplane seat covers customize your travel space. An innovative idea in fun animal prints, classy toile and vibrant solids, they are available at www.planesheets.com for $24.95.

Stuck on You
Stuck on You’s most popular traveling items include:

Vinyl Shoe Labels: Easy peel-and-stick heel shaped labels can be used on flip-flops, sneakers, cleats and even water shoes. $18.50 for a pack of 20.

Stick With Me Identification Wristbands: Excellent for traveling with little ones in crowded places, the wristband is made from durable, clear plastic and comes personalized with a child’s name. Parents can hand-write their mobile phone number or have it printed on the band. $14.95 for a pack of 12.

Bag Tags: Offered in 18 different designs ranging from mermaids to space shuttles in five vibrant colors: blue, green, pink, red and yellow. Made from recycled materials and durable, they’re an easy way to recognize bags. $3.50 for two bag tags.

For more information, visit www.stuckonyou.biz or call (888) 236-2800.

Cruise Tips for the Family
Traveler’s Advantage offers the following suggestions for families planning a cruise.
• Be sure Kids’ Programs are operating on the dates of your trip.
• Check the size and location of the cabin, and the guardrails on the bunks.
• Some ships have cabins that can sleep five, some have adjoining cabins, and some give special rates for a second cabin for teens.
• Check required documentation for your children. Be especially careful if your child is crossing borders with only one parent.
• Don’t forget to budget for gratuities.
• Buy a “soda package” if your kids drink soft drinks. Typically these are not free.
• Travel insurance might be worth the price. You never know when illness might hit, so check the cancellation policy.
For more information, visit www.travelersadvantage.com.

VistaPrint’s Emergency Info Cards
These wallet-sized cards provide adults in charge with the ability to reach parents or medical personnel in case of an emergency. Emergency Info Card information can include home and work numbers, mobile numbers, and doctor and hospital information. The back can be used to list vital information such as allergies. When traveling, parents can list their hotel and other contact information.

The cards can be ordered online at www.vistaprint.com/emergencycard. Prices range from $5.99-$10.98 for 25 cards.

Compiled by Eve White, editor of Charlotte Parent, a sister publication of Piedmont Parent.
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