Budget Travel magazinelaunches new Web site
NEW YORK -- Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine has launched a new Web site -- www.budgettravelonline.com -- with several new features to help plan your next vacation.
"Real Deals" are late-breaking travel deals for quick getaways, including airfare, lodging and other package components.
"Snap Guides" are free five-to-10 page downloadable guides that offer quick lists of best bets, including recommendations for museums, shopping, dining and other attractions. So far the site is offering Snap Guides for New York, Santa Fe and London.
The site will also offer audio guides for iPods and other MP3 players. The first of these free downloadable guides is for Las Vegas.
The site also has a searchable archive for past Budget Travel articles.
Battery Hooper museumopens in N. Kentucky
FORT WRIGHT, Ky. -- A new Civil War museum, the Battery Hooper Site Museum, has opened in Northern Kentucky, to mark the site's role as part of a Union defensive line built from Ludlow to Fort Thomas.
Union forces built fortifications in the hills here from 1862 to 1863 to defend Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky from a potential Confederate attack. Cincinnati was the sixth-largest U.S. city at the time of the war.
The museum is housed in a two-story home that was built in the 1940s where the fortifications once existed.
Exhibits include artifacts from the war, archaeological finds from the Battery Hooper site and presentations about Northern Kentucky's role in the war.
The museum is located at 1402 Highland Ave., Fort Wright, and is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays and Mondays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For details, call (859) 344-1145.
Across state lines, the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati is the resting place for 1,000 troops and 41 Civil War generals.
Guided tours are available; details are at www.springgrove.org.
Keeping your childrensafe while on vacation
NEW YORK -- When you check into a family resort and leave your children with the resident baby sitter or kids' club, how do you know if the caregiver can be trusted?
The August issue of Conde Nast Traveler asks that question in a piece called "Who Is Minding the Kids?"
The article features a checklist of things to ask about when booking a hotel or resort where childcare is offered.
A phone call to the director of children's activities at the property should answer many of your questions. First, ask how the staff is screened and trained. Ideally, all staff working with children will have undergone background checks. They should also be trained in first aid and CPR, and where appropriate, as lifeguards, according to the magazine. At least one staff member should be formally trained in early childhood education or development. If you're going outside the U.S., make sure at least one person on the staff is fluent in English.
Ask how many kids are typically enrolled, and how many caregivers are on hand. Ideal child-staff ratios are 3-1 for children under 3, and 12-1 for kids 9 and older, the magazine says.
Ask about security measures. What kind of system is in place to make sure that kids are handed over only to parents or authorized caregivers? How are parents contacted if there is a problem?
Parents should also be able to visit whenever they want, while activity areas should be open to view, with windows and no spaces that can't be monitored.