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Cultural encounters were the surprise of our Tanzania Safari When the Kaplan family traveled to Tanzania on our Serengeti Family Safari in June they knew that they were in for some great wildlife. What was unexpected was the people that they met and the cultures that they experienced along the way. "The entire trip was fabulous. The highlight was actually the cultural encounters that we had. I expected the animal part of the safari but our visit with the Bushman was beyond anything I could imagine and my kids loved playing soccer, volleyball, and frisbee with the locals. Our guide Dominic was unbelievable. He was incredibly knowledgeable but was also a truly amazing person. He kept everyone engaged and let things be spontaneous, making time to add to our itinerary where beneficial. We LOVED him! My favorite experience was hunting with the Bushman and learning about their culture. We also had a great interaction with some women in the...

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New for Alaska for 2016! Wait – am I talking about NEXT summer? But this one has barely started! True, but I don’t want you to miss out on an Alaska adventure. I am always amazed at how fast Alaska sells out for the summer and if you want to go on one of our summer 2015 cruises you can choose from… wait for it… THREE cabins between June and when the kids go back to school. Everything else, all nearly 100 cabins over three boats on more than 35 departures this summer are sold out! The good news is that 2016 dates, itineraries, and rates just became available last week. New for 2016: Family pricing available on all departures. Kids between 8 and 13 receive a $500 per child discount. Two new itineraries/ships available this year – Exploring the Wilderness of Muir on the Safari Endeavour featuring a day in the Glacier Bay National...

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How to Choose an Alaska Cruise Last week I spoke to somebody who was trying to figure out the best way to have his family see Alaska. He was trying to decide between a Disney Cruise and a cruise on the Wilderness Discoverer. Made me think about the difference between large ship vs. small ship cruising. In many travel circles cruising in general has a bad rap. “It’s all about the boat, not where you’re going!” and with the larger ships for the most part that’s true. But it’s not true on a small ship. Here are some differences between our Alaska cruises and a conventional cruise: Our Alaska cruise itineraries do not call on ports, but rather spend time in wilderness areas. Other than the starting and ending point, you will see no recognizable town names on one of our itineraries. There are no “days at sea”. That means that on an 8 day voyage you...
How to handle a travel emergency in your sleep We have guests who are sleeping in a tent on Kilimanjaro right now and we just received a call from Isaac Hilpman at Exito Travel that Air Uganda went out of business yesterday. So the flight they booked before they departed  from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, to Entebbe, Uganda 10 days from now no longer exists! Now it’s 12pm in Seattle, 11pm on the mountain, and they’re in the middle of climbing Kilimanjaro--all 19,000 feet of it, to the roof of Africa. They started their climb yesterday, and will return to Arusha, Tanzania on Sunday. Although there is emergency communication by radio with park rangers, they are otherwise out of touch until then.   So, while they were asleep on the mountain our team immediately went into action. With the assistance of Exito Travel we booked a new flight for them before everyone else on that Air Uganda flight made their alternate arrangements, arriving only 30...

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Travel Gear for Kids: Travel Games Since kids are so immersed in electronics, I try to find things for them to do that are engaging but do not include electricity on our family adventures. My current favorites are made by SmartGames and the kids are excited to try out their Noah’s Ark Travel Game. Pros: It’s about the size of a CD case and folds out to lap size, which means our two kids won’t get in each other’s way.  Each game comes with about 48 levels beginning with “starter” and working up to “master”. Although these games are usually designed for ages 5 and up the master levels are really hard, I have trouble with them and I like logic puzzles! Though designed for one player, the harder levels can be solved more easily if the kids work as a team. So they can take turns for awhile, and then when they get tired of...
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Anne Kutay
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