Top 5 Family Travel Destinations for 2014 (and Possibly Beyond)

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Winter break just wrapped up–so it’s time to think about what to do when the kids are out of school this summer. Here, the “Wall Street Journal” and Lonely Planet share their top five family travel destinations for 2014. Can’t get to these places this year? Don’t worry, most of them are likely to still be around in 2015.

Top Five Family Travel Destinations for 2014

Off-Broadway Comedy ‘Craving for Travel’ Showcases Travel Agents Trying to do the Impossible

Facebook/Craving for Travel

Joanne and Gary, rival travel agents compete for their industry’s top honor, the Globel Prize, while trying to address their clients’ impossible demands in an Off-Broadway comedy that debuts this week, “Craving for Travel.”

The 85-minute, two-actor, 30-character comedy was commissioned and produced by Jim Strong, president of the Dallas-based Strong Travel Services travel agency.

“Travel agents are always asked to do the impossible, and this play shows how that is done, from finding the impossible rooms to making dreams come true,” Strong told the “Dallas Morning News.” “I decided to bring it to life on stage as a comedy in New York.”

From “Craving for Travel’s” press release:

With their reputations on the line, travel agents Joanne and Gary will tackle any request, no matter how impossible, and any client, no matter how unreasonable. Full of overzealous travelers, overbooked flights, and hoteliers who are just over it, Craving for Travel reminds us why we travel-and everything that can happen when we do.

“Craving for Travel” opens Thursday at the Peter J. Sharp Theater, where it’ll run through Feb. 9. Tickets are $32.50 and $49. They can be purchased at CravingForTravel.com, 212-279-4200 or the Ticket Central Box Office (416 W. 42nd St., 12-8 p.m. daily). More than half of the shows are already sold out.Written by Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg and directed by Sandberg (a Tony Award-winning producer for the 2009 revival of “Hair”), the play stars Michele Ragusa (who also was in “Young Frankenstein” and “Disaster!”) and Thom Sesma (“The Lion King,” “The Times They Are A-Changin'”).

“While travel industry professionals may have a different kind of appreciation for it, the script is written for general audiences,” Sandberg told the “Dallas Morning News.” “Everyone can relate to travel, especially when painted in such a humorous light.”

London, Rome, Paris Top TripAdvisor’s Most-Reviewed Cities List

iPad screen showing Trip Advisor website - online hotel arrangements
Alamy

The litany of year-end travel-related lists continues. Today, it’s TripAdvisor, which unveiled its most reviewed cities. Leading the way: London, Rome and Paris, according to the Telegraph. The top U.S city was New York, which ranked fourth overall — a stunning blow for American exceptionalism.London venues received 459,000 reviews, 96,000 more than Rome.

According to the Telegraph, “TripAdvisor features more than 260 million monthly visitors and its community has contributed more than 125 million reviews and opinions to the site, up from 75 million reviews and opinions a year ago.”

New York City Expected to be Top Thanksgiving Destination

Thanksgiving Day Parade
Associated Press

Whether it’s for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, to visit relatives or just to do a little drinking, New York City is expected to be the top U.S. travel destination this Thanksgiving, according to TripAdvisor. If you’re planning on being part of that in-crowd, here are some dining and entertainment options for you.

And if you’re heading home to New York City, here are new places for you to check out.Thanksgiving Dinner

That same TripAdvisor report said that 16 percent of Americans will eat at a restaurant on Thanksgiving, largely to avoid cooking. The Refinery Hotel’s Refinery Rooftop $25 continental breakfast comes paired with a view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At The Maritime Hotel’s La Bottega, chef Lucia Piscopo is putting an Italian spin on Thanksgiving dinner with dishes like sautéed Tuscan black kale and offers a vegetable lasagna.

Entertainment

Looking to get away from the relatives for a spell (or at least get everyone out of the house)? The New York Pass can get you into 80 attractions. It comes in one- ($85), two- ($130), three- ($160) or seven-day ($210) increments. If the options are overwhelming, make use of one of its itineraries, which are based on neighborhood or theme. The New York Pass also includes fast-track entry to 15 marquee sites.

Airport Dining

Not only are U.S. airports are continuing to increase their health dining options, they’re getting tastier too. Restaurants by OTG in Delta’s gates in LaGuardia Airport (concourses C and D) feature collaborations with famed New York chefs Michael White (Cotto), Andrew Carmellini (Victory Grill) and Anne Burrell (Vagabond Burger Bar). And if you’re traveling with kids, the iPads on every table should keep them occupied, at least until boarding time. Then, you might want to follow these tips for flying with kids.

And this May, Delta unveiled a revamped terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which features Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack and Blue Smoke on the Road. Terminal 2’s dining options are undergoing a similar overhaul. While renovations aren’t slated to be finished until next summer, some temporary eateries opened in September.

Thanksgiving Parade in New York

Taxi E-Hailing Test Gets Green Light in NYC

New York City Taxi
Christoph SahleA taxi in NYC.

The ability to hail a taxi from your smartphone is probably in the immediate future for New Yorkers. NYC has been testing e-hailing so passengers can more easily retrieve a taxi. The city recently received the green light from an appeals court to keep moving forward.

A pre-arranged ride has been traditionally prohibited for NYC yellow taxis. When the city began developing the e-hailing system, car services sued, citing that they rely on pre-arranged rides for their income and that the new developments are unfair to their business. This ruling from the appeals court means city taxis are one step closer to being at your beck and call, even if you’re deep into Brooklyn and there isn’t a yellow taxi in sight.

City to Decide on New Taxi Service