Rainer standing atop the Sydney Harbor Bridge. (Photo Courtesy of Rainer Jenss)
Rainer Jenss has traveled around the world and clocked thousands of miles on his own and with his family. In preparation for the upcoming premiere of the new Travel Channel TV show Big Crazy Family Adventure (Sunday, June 21, at 9 p.m.|8c), we wanted to get another perspective on traveling abroad with children. As the founder and president of the Family Travel Association, Rainer was the perfect person to discuss his life as a world traveler; how travel has become an integral part of his family’s life; and what advice he would offer to families who want to expose their children to the world beyond North America.
Photo Courtesy of David Sacks/Stone/Getty Images
Despite the chilly weather, spring travel has kicked into high gear, and parents are already starting to plan summer vacations with their kids. Are you thinking about a family trip outside the US? We decided to talk to Heather Greenwood Davis — travel journalist, advisor for Travel’s Best Family Adventures 2015 and blogger for GlobetrottingMama.com — and ask her to give parents tips on how to provide their kids a global perspective in preparation for traveling abroad.
Photography by Getty Images
AAA predicts that 93.3 million Americans will hit the road during the holidays, making this Christmas travel season the busiest it’s been in 6 years. More people are taking road trips this year because finding a reasonably-priced airplane ticket is like finding a needle in a haystack.
A record 84.4 million people will drive at least 50 miles between Dec. 22 and Jan. 1, according to the reputable travel agency. That’s 90.5% of holiday travelers, up from 89.3% just 6 years ago. So what does that mean to you? Expect plenty of traffic jams, crowded rest stops and bumper-to-bumper lines near highway tolls.
Need tips for dealing with this inevitable headache? Pack a couple travel-size games and snacks to keep the kids preoccupied. We recommend checking out some helpful family travel tips from Mommy Points blogger, Summer Hull, before you head out the door. Our travel expert offers up advice on everything from flying with a baby for the first time to finding hotels with health food options.
One thing travelers aren’t too concerned about is gas prices, which have dropped 50 cents since September, according to AAA. The average price at the pump will range from $3.20 and $3.40 a gallon by New Year’s Day, but that’s still not enough of a reason to thwart travelers’ plans to drive.
Although more people will be on the road, the airports will be just as busy. We recommend heading to the airport earlier than you normally would to avoid long TSA security lines — especially on the weekend before Christmas, the day after Christmas and on Jan. 2. AAA’s economist John Heimlich expects 86% of the airplane seats to be filled with paying passengers, up from 85% last year.
Hundreds of flights have been canceled or delayed due to a major storm system making its way across the Midwest and headed for the East Coast of the US. Meteorologists predict that another storm on the West Coast may throw a wrench in travel plans next week; so before you head out the door, check out our weather forecast tool — powered by WeatherTrends360 — to find out if these 2 storms will affect your Christmas travel plans.
And if you’re headed to a big city, download The Layover app or peruse our airport guides to find out how you can kill some time during a lengthy layover.