Walk for charity, pamper your American Girl, visit Vancouver and bring the whole crew for cheap to Ireland or Mexico.
Can’t convince the kids that community service is worthwhile? Throw in a little incentive with a trip to some of Europe’s most beautiful destinations. The organization …For a Cause organizes rides and walks through Italy, Ireland and Spain that allow visitors to go sightseeing with a purpose. Starting at just $1,400 per person, the events benefit groups such as the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. (Walkers must also contribute at least $1,000 of fundraised money and arrange their own air travel.)
Registration is open for the Galway, Ireland event, taking place June 29-July 5, and will open soon for September events in San Severino, Italy (Sept. 6-12) and Barcelona, Spain (Sept. 14-20). Trips include detailed daily itineraries with the option to either walk or ride along in the vans provided, lodging, and most breakfasts, dinners and snacks.
For more information and to register, visit www.rfac.org/index.cfm.
(Read our Voluntourism article in this issue for more ideas on how to give back while on vacation.)
Plan a last minute trip to Vancouver and get in a ski break in nearby Whistler. Alaska Air and Horizon Air are offering free tickets for kids 2 to 11 years old for flights to Vancouver, Canada from several major U.S. cities. Each adult (18 and over) is allowed one free children’s ticket, taxes not included; additional kids will be charged the adult fare. Purchase tickets by March 31 and travel now through April 30. Two-day advance ticket required, with a 30-day maximum stay.
For more info, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com.
The Kitano Hotel in the Midtown Manhattan invites families to indulge in a little playtime, treats and relaxation for a weekend. The AAA-rated four-diamond Japanese hotel is offering an American Girl Place Package that includes an American Girl Doll bed for guests to keep, activity books, a Kids Klub Picture ID that grants access to unlimited soft drinks, milk and cookies at the hotel’s café and a 10 percent discount at the gift shop, all from $345 per night for all of 2008 (minimum two-night stay). Hitch a free ride from the hotel to American Girl Place at 609 Fifth Avenue, where families can dine together, catch a show shop for apparel, books and other American Girl products.
For parents, complimentary green tea, passes to New York Sports Club, live jazz at the bar lounge weekend nights only begin the list of amenities and experiences. Step outside for a short walk to Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and several other New York sites.
To book your stay, visit www.kitano.com.
Big families rejoice: Isle Inn Tours is offering a group discount for parties of 10 for a week-long stay in Ireland through April. For $845 per person, groups can tour the land of beer and clovers, seeing sites such as the Blarney Castle and the Midleton Distillery—tasting included. Visitors also receive discounts at local attractions and an Irish breakfast daily. Prices are based on a Saturday or Tuesday departure and air travel is not included.
Guests are escorted by an Irish driver on a private bus between one- and two-night stays the Dromhall Hotel in Killarney, the Midleton Park Hotel in Midleton, at the River Court in Kilkenny and the Mont Clare Hotel in Dublin. For additional stops and accommodations, contact Isle Inn.
To book your package, visit www.isleinntours.com or call 800-237-9376, ext. 10.
Take a long, luxurious escape to Mexico—with the kids safely in sight, of course. Choose from several dates departing from San Diego on Holland America Line, which is offering 10- and 12-day excursions to various ports in Mexico starting at $799 with third and fourth guests costing only $99.
Special accommodations for kids include Club HAL and The Loft for teens. When you aren’t playing on the beaches of Cabo San Lucas or snorkeling in La Paz, spend some time aboard indulging in five-star dining at the Pinnacle Grill or receiving world class treatment at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon.
For more info, visit www.hollandamerica.com.
A Vacation for a cause... This is a great idea and a great way to raise money for children with AIDS and people with Breast Cancer. Thanks for keeping us informed.