A berry good time in Southern California, Temecula edition

Temecula may be one of California’s best-known wine regions, but I’ll always remember it for something else: the fresh fruit we harvested on a recent visit to this out-of-the-way Southern California destination. Read more “A berry good time in Southern California, Temecula edition”

What is the value of a Spirit Airlines voucher if I can never use it?

Jill King-Fernandez and her family voluntarily give up their seats on a Spirit Airlines flight. In exchange, they’re offered flight vouchers. But the vouchers are unusable. Now what? Read more “What is the value of a Spirit Airlines voucher if I can never use it?”

Why are families drowning in travel fees?

After Eric Kodish finished making his reservation at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani in Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach for the upcoming Christmas holiday, he tried to tie up one loose end: ensuring the two rooms he’d booked for his family were connected.

No problem, a hotel representative said. For an additional $50 a night per room, they’d be happy to guarantee adjoining accommodations.

“My kids are minors,” says Kodish, an accountant from Moorestown, N.J. “They can’t stay across the hall if a connecting room isn’t available.”

The price tag for staying next to his children, Tyler, 8, and Devon, 5? An additional $1,100.
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Do hotels lie about being “family friendly”?

Somewhere between a booster stool at the check-in desk and a DJ spouting profanities at the kids’ pool lies the definition of a “family-friendly” resort. No one seems to agree. Maybe it’s time we did.

Let’s start with that step stool, which I saw at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s check-in desk a few months ago. Fairmont is known for catering to its littlest visitors, but I’d never seen a booster before. It allows youngsters to come eye-to-eye with a check-in clerk while Mom and Dad register.

The step-ups were also in the lobby bathrooms. When I told one of the hotel employees that my kids, who were traveling with me, thought the furniture was “really cool,” she shrugged as if to say, “Doesn’t every resort do it like this?”
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Should I feel guilty for refusing to give up my seat to a family?

No, you can't have my seat. / Photo by Wex Dub - Flickr
There are at least two sides to every story, and in the recent controversy involving kids and airline seating, the other side didn’t get a lot of airtime.

I’m here to correct that.
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Are new airline fees anti-family?

Kids, to the end of the line! / Photo by nivek hmng - Flickr
If you didn’t know any better, you might think that the airline industry crossed yet another line just before the Memorial Day holiday, the traditional start of the busy summer travel season.
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