As I’m writing this editor’s notes, I can’t help but think of how quickly this summer went by and how in less than a week school starts for my two girls. Yes, our young family had the luxury of vacationing in Boston and Orlando this summer—two quintessential family vacation spots—but boy would we have also loved to trot off to some of the fabulous destinations and hotels covered in Recommend’s annual family issue. Of course, you can’t do it all in one summer, so we’re starting early this year and planning big for Christmas, Spring Break and next summer—and according to this issue, we, and your family clients, have lots to choose from.There’s Disney Cruise Line, which debuted Disney Fantasy this year, but more importantly for you to keep abreast of all that is Disney, this past summer the cruise line unveiled new itineraries and ports for 2013—you can get the scoop on page 14. We’ve got Mexico (page 32) and Latin America (page 38) covered with a bevy of accommodation options that extend from jungle lodges to sprawling beachside resorts, and in Europe, there’s Ancestry Travel (page 42), which not surprisingly continues to grow in popularity. As Carla Hunt, who wrote the piece, points out, “With all the attention on tracing one’s roots—from popular TV shows such as NBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ and the PBS series, ‘Finding Your Roots’ with Henry Louis Gates Jr., to tours in Kenya that follow in the steps of President Obama—the family travel set is getting more serious about its actual genealogy.”
The highlight of this issue is our Caribbean section. We’ve got onsites on the proverbial Bahamas kid-friendly spot, Atlantis (page 20), as well as Beaches Turks & Caicos (page 24), a resort my 7-year-old says is one of her favorite places in the world. There’s also a roundup of what we think are some of the most kid-friendly resorts in the Caribbean—check it out on page 28 and see if you agree with me at email@example.com.
You might notice there’s a new byline to go along with those Caribbean stories: Ed Wetschler, who recently joined the Recommend team as the Caribbean editor. We can’t say enough great things about Ed, and his background speaks for itself as part owner of Tripatini, a leading social network for travel, and a freelance writer who has contributed to The New York Times, Caribbean Travel & Life, and Frommers.com, among other media outlets. “My favorite island,” he says, “is whichever island I’m on right now.”
While you read through all this content, you’ll notice that more than ever, we are reaching out to you, because we strive to help you sell travel and we think it’s imperative that you hear from your peers, the true experts in the field.
Speaking of experts, for our Orlando onsite (page 46) we reached out to Cara Goldsbury, a Virtuoso travel advisor, who’s an expert on Orlando family vacations, most notably as the author of “The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World Resort,” to give you tips on the best way to plan an Orlando family vacation. We couldn’t squeeze all of her great advice into the article, but you can find the extended Q&A online at recommend.com (just type keyword “Goldsbury”).
While you’re there, check out some of the latest Eye on the World photo essays—publisher Lorri Robbins has a Morocco slideshow, and we’ve got another one featuring Germany, Italy and Switzerland. And you can become part of our social circle @Recommendmag and facebook.com/recommendmag.—Paloma Villaverde de Rico
don’t miss the masthead
Want to find out which family vacation spots are top picks for the Recommend team? Check out the masthead—some of the responses might surprise you. And then send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your favorite family vacation destination—whether you love sending your clients there or because you yourself like to spend quality family time there.