1) WHY DO I NEED YOUR BOOK? – Our mission statement is to help families “create family memories”. Sometimes, the most special memories a family can have are those that have been created when taking the family “out of its daily routine”. When we were children we were blessed to travel to many states with our parents and still talk about the trips like it “was just yesterday”. We have “lived” each book with our kids, write about the best “kid-friendly” places, and remove the frustration that comes from planning a trip that will create special family travel memories.
When you purchase one of our guides, many of our readers (now more than 200,000) tell us that they feel as if they have a personal guide with them! Thanks…that was our goal!
2) HOW ARE YOUR BOOKS FORMATTED? – Each state is divided into regions that are designed to be (on average) ˝ day to one-day trips. Each region in the book is sorted alphabetically by city and by zip code within the city. There is also our famous Activity Index that lists all the places in the book by type of activity. (IE, State History, Museums, Tours, Arts, Sports, Outdoors, etc.)
3) HOW DOES YOUR BOOK DIFFER FROM “FREE” TRAVEL GUIDES? - We LOVE this question! All of the funding for our company comes from one source…book sales. No state grants, no government programs, etc. If a guidebook is free, the operating budget (most often) comes from paid advertising or government programs. None of the sites and attractions pay to be listed in our guides. We offer these unconditional, unbiased reviews to our readers who gladly pay an average of $14.95 for them. Thanks! For a few of the hundreds of satisfied reader testimonials that we receive, click here.
4) IS THE INFORMATION IN YOUR BOOKS CURRENT? – We introduce new editions of each book based on market demand. All information for the sites is confirmed at press time for the calendar year of copyright. Furthermore, most listings have websites that are continually maintained with all current pricing (yes unfortunately these can change), hours, exhibits. We also update any major changes or new listings to the books on this website (see UPDATES button on HOME page). We’re not aware of any other travel guides offering this update feature…it takes a lot of time, but we truly want traveling families to experience all that a state has to offer…and not waste time with outdated information.
5) WHY CAN’T I JUST USE THE INTERNET TO FIND FUN PLACES? – While the internet is a great place for information, it is only the place to start. Each guidebook that we write has over 1000 hours of our time, searching, visiting, and “kid-testing”. The only true information that we find reliable on the internet is from domain websites that have a webmaster assigned for updates. On average there are over 500 listings in our guidebooks, so for about $14.95 that works out to be about 3 cents per listing for our testing, time and expertise. Has to be the best value out there! Our guidebooks also contain unique places that come from personal recommendation and “in-the-field” experience. Some don’t even have a telephone or website…image that?
6) HOW CAN I BUY A COPY OF YOUR BOOK? – By clicking here to be redirected to our Kids Love Travel Guides page, (you’ll find money discounts & autographs are free on each purchased book by request), by visiting any major book retailer (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.)
7) HOW DO YOU COMPILE THE INFORMATION THAT IS IN YOUR BOOK? – Wow…a big task for sure. It takes nearly 1000 hours to research a state: (reading, phone calls, verifying information, “kid-testing”, planning research trips, writing, and updating). We do everything one could possibly imagine including our famous “diner” and “hotel lobby” interviews. We talk to locals, meet interesting people, and find out some great sites that are not listed anywhere! Many of these “low budget” sites turn out to be very interesting and educational. Some of these sites have even “grown with us” since our discovery!
8) WHO ARE YOU? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS? – Well, we could flower this one up a bit, but really, we’re just parents who had a vision to help people travel with their kids in a more efficient, easier way. Oh…and also to tell families that there is more to do with your kids than go to DisneyWorld! Nothing against DisneyWorld (it was a lot of fun), but most families spend their entire travel budget for 1+ years on this one trip! For our first book, we took day trips to over 700 places in one state. Cost…around $2000.00 (1/3 of the sites were FREE). Memories…priceless! We have been blessed to write best-selling state travel guides for over 14 years. We each have our own office now…but started from our dining room table!
9) WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE THE GUIDEBOOK AFTER I PURCHASE IT? – On the slim chance (never has yet…) that this could happen (if you purchased the book from this website), simply return it in saleable condition and we’ll refund your money (minus shipping costs). If you purchased it from a book retailer or other website, contact them to see if they accept returns. We want you to be happy with your purchase and tell others about us!
10) I HOMESCHOOL. HOW CAN YOUR RESOURCES HELP? – Our books have been called “Field Trip Bibles” by many homeschoolers. They are great resources to plan educational, fun day and week trips by travel theme (use our popular Activity Index). Visit websites of the places you’re about to visit with your kids and engage them from the beginning. We display our books at all large, state-wide homeschool conventions for each state. Click here for upcoming conventions. Most happen in the spring and early summer each year.
11) HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE EACH BOOK? - It takes nearly 1000 hours to research a state, reading, phone calls, information verification, “kid-testing”, planning research trips, writing, and updating. A couple of months in office to do research and planning, a month or two of visits to each state (usually over 4-5000 miles of travel). Then writing and publishing is about another 3-4 months, final updates before printing, and then when our printing house calls…we finally have a book ready for the bookstore! All in all, about 1 year!
12) DO YOU REALLY “VACATION FOR A LIVING”? – Well, many folks (including the media) say that we do. It’s quite flattering and a great attention getter when people ask you, “What do you do for a living?” When we answer that we “…go on vacation” the looks can be quite confusing. So, the official word is that we are blessed to be “family travel authors and publishers”. But our job is to “go on vacation” and find “fun, educational, and cool things to do with the kids…”. We feel our job is a vacation…but you decide!
13) HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THIS CAREER? – First, we had great parents who instilled the love for family travel experiences in us. (Thanks Moms & Dads!). Then, we prayed (for over 15 years) for a family business that would be untraditional in nature. We wanted a business that could be: 1) our fulltime career – but one that we start part-time. 2) Could deeply involve our kids in an acceptable business manner. 3) No fixed office hours or geographical location necessary. 4) No employees necessary…etc. etc. We started with a city guidebook, then a state guidebook, then more states, etc.
14) CAN I REALLY CREATE TRAVEL MEMORIES…YEAR ROUND? Yes, yes, and yes! Many families only look to the summer to travel…but by using our guidebooks and especially the Seasonal and Special Events chapter…you’ll find that the rest of the year is a great time to travel. Smaller crowds, sometimes cheaper prices, and warm hot chocolate! There’s a family memory!
16) I WOULD LIKE THE AUTHORS TO SPEAK TO MY GROUP OR SCHOOL. HOW DO I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS? – We love to speak to groups. Click here for all the details.
17) CAN I USE YOUR BOOKS FOR A FUNDRAISER? – Many groups have successfully done this and earn $4.95 for each book sold at retail. Click here for details.
18) WHAT OTHER PRODUCTS (BESIDES YOUR GUIDEBOOKS) DO YOU OFFER TO GET THE MOST FROM OUR TRIPS? – We have travel tips for traveling with kids compiled from years on the road click here, and also travel activity books (some educational, some fun) that are been tested by our kids and are a great value. Click on the images on the right size of your screen for more information.
19) WHEN ARE YOU WRITING A BOOK ABOUT MY STATE? – Send us an email with your request. firstname.lastname@example.org. We evaluate where our next adventure will be each spring. 13 states in 9 years…and going, and going…!
20) CAN YOU TAKE MY KIDS ON TRIPS WITH YOU? – No, the idea is for your FAMILY to have special family memories, not your KIDS with our family. Seriously…we get this question. It’s up to you.. ;-)