NEW YORK -- There are more Web sites and pages than ever before
dedicated to family travel. A look at some of what's out there in
Family Travel Forum is an original-content site. There are
travel articles plus links to travel offers as well as
family-friendly tour operators and agents.
The site's Travel Industry Associates program provides agents
half-priced subscriptions ($24 per year) to the Family Travel
Forum's bimonthly print newsletter and password-protected
Kyle McCarthy, editor of the New York-based Web site, estimated
that between 100 and 150 agents subscribe.
Agencies specializing in family travel can advertise with a
banner and link for an additional $50 per year, she said.
The Web site is free except for its archives, which McCarthy
said contains some 1,000 family travel articles.
Commissionable travel specials are listed on the site and
updated every few weeks, McCarthy added.
Recent Europe news articles covered British Airways' Family
Style Vacations program. The article provided a link to the
airline's new Web site, Londontraveller.com, which features a
comprehensive "Kid's London" section.
Raves: Commissonable product news. Useful news and links. Family
Rants: Travel professionals might find destination content on
the light side, often telling them things they already know or have
Web: www.familytravelforum.comGomez.com, a Web site that provides consumer-oriented analysis
of other sites, is short in quantity but high in the quality of its
family travel advice and links to relevant Web sites, which are
listed in its Travel Agents pages.
The site is well-organized and easy to navigate.
Gomez.com runs plenty of banner advertising. It may not be the
Consumer Reports of the Internet, but it's in that spirit.
Under "Gomez Resources," a link to the subject of "Family
Travel" could be a smart place to begin Web-assisted family
The next page links budding Griswolds -- the hapless family
travelers of National Lampoon fame -- to planning advice from
Gomez.com as well as other on-line sources.
The "Getting Started" section begins with "Defining Family
Travel: Are you going to Wally World or Disney World? ... Family
travel should bring a family closer together, not rend it apart.
With visions of Clark Griswold in our heads, our Gomez Team planned
a family vacation from start to finish on line."
Raves: Humorous and sound travel advice. Steers clear of
providing too much information. Consistently appropriate branches,
set in a frame to the side of main content being read, make this a
smartly laid out site.
Rants: Little here that specifically applies to family travel in
Web: www.gomez.comAbout.com is one of those Web sites that redefines the word
"ambitious," as it specializes in being about everything. "Travel"
is one of 36 main topics on the site's home page.
"Family Travel" is accessible from the "Travel" page as one of
three resource branches. Another click on "Europe With Kids," and
you're in business.
About.com's "Family Travel: Europe" page includes sections on
Italy, London, France and Paris with kids as well as "Getting
Around Europe," "Summer in Europe: Five Vacation Ideas" and other
Sponsored links also are present, but there is no confusion here
as to which links were paid for and which were selected on merit.
About.com provides the listing fee beneath a brief description of
the sponsored links.
School teachers won't like this article: "Fall in Europe: Family
It begins: "For many of us with school-age kids, July and August
are our prime months for family holidays. But many countries --
Italy, Spain, Greece and southern France -- are equally wonderful
in September and October."
That's playing hooky, with Europe as the hook.
Raves: Easy to navigate. Original content is to-the-point and
Web: www.about.comFamily.com, Disney's family site, is lean on European travel
content but worth a visit for its "Paris With Kids" and "London for
Also, destination reviews from family travelers provide frank
opinions, formatted by questions such as "What We Liked," "What the
Kids Liked," "What We Didn't Like," "What It Cost" and "How We Got
The "International" forum includes three family traveler reviews
on Paris, compared with 12 on Boscobel Beach, Jamaica.
Europe does not have its own category, but it's easy enough to
scroll down the alphabetical list to a European destination you're
Raves: Family travel review forum is wonderful for fresh
opinions from other family travelers.
Rants: Interface is a little cluttered; banner advertising is
too "in your face." Travel section leans heavily toward domestic