Travel Film Productions team members share travel tips and best memories of their 2014 summer vacations

Travel Film Productions crew shares personal travel tips.

When your job involves producing a television show that helps families plan memorable trips to destinations near and far, what do you do when it’s time for you to take your own vacation?  The crew at Travel Film Productions has the answer!  Each member of the team took a personal vacation over the summer.  We thought it would be fun — and helpful — to share our destinations and tips with our travel-loving fans.

Colleen Kelly, co-executive producer and host of “Family Travel with Colleen Kelly

Colleen vacationed with her family on Torch Lake, Michigan, this summer. Catie Keogh, Colleen’s sister and co-host of NBC’s “24/7 City Secrets,” joined Collen with her family as well.  Here are some of Colleen’s tips about how to have a great time at beautiful Torch Lake!

– Colleen said her favorite part of the trip was constantly being surrounded by beautiful blue water. It was nice being able to swim in the lake and hang out with her family by the “clearest waters she’s ever seen.”

– Visit nearby Traverse City. Traverse City has shops, unique restaurants and a real “Hometown USA” family-friendly feel. Also, be sure to visit the Grand Traverse Pie Company while you’re there.

– Stay at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. Colleen and her family loved the amenities that the picturesque resort offered.

Catie and Colleen
Colleen and Family

Tricia Fusilero, Executive Producer

Tricia drove to Boston, Massachusetts, to attend a family wedding. While she and her family were there, they decided to take on a full day of sightseeing. Boston is full of historic beauty and there are so many choices for things to do. Here are Tricia’s suggestions:

– The Boston Common Frog Pond is open daily and free to anyone who wants to cool off on a hot day. There are lots of different fun activities all year round for the family to enjoy.  Summer activities include movie nights, a carousel and yoga at 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

– Faneuil Hall is part of Boston National Historical Park, where the rangers give free tours of The Freedom Trail.It is also an African American National Historic site. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn new things!

– Pick up some fresh fruits and veggies for low prices at the 184-year-old Haymarket. It is available Fridays and Saturdays all year round.

– For more information on transportation, parks and universities in Boston, check out Tricia’s blog posts!


Kim Branch, Director of Global Business Development

Kim traveled to Portland, Maine. She and her family loved their trip, from the sights they saw to the service from the staff at their hotel. They enjoyed delicious food and had a great time doing a myriad of activities.  Kim shares a few key tips for those looking to travel to Portland:

–  Staying at the Marriott in downtown Portland is the first step to enjoying a relaxing vacation.  The staff was wonderful and the location was convenient for activities in the area.

– If you are looking for a great place to eat with an even better atmosphere, go to Rí Rá Irish Pub.  They have a fantastic Guinness stew and other mouth-watering options.

– Get a chance to experience Inn by the Sea, where you will find clean, pristine grounds, a lovely beach, a volleyball court, a pool and fire pits for cooking ‘smores with the family.

– Included at Inn by the Sea is the Sea Glass Restaurant. The food was delicious and the service was wonderful.  Make sure you take your family there for a delicious meal and a good time!

– Also on your trip, you will want to check out the Old Port shopping center. There was something for each member of the family to enjoy.

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Jenny Quinn, Senior Manager of Communications and Public Relations

Jenny and her family traveled to Captiva Island, Florida, this summer. She has been there many times and can’t get enough of it! Jenny has some helpful tips for families thinking about traveling to Captiva and nearbySanibel Island:

– Explore the bike trails on Sanibel. They go along the Gulf of Mexico and through beautiful wooded areas. You also can ride throughout the vast Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge— you might even see an alligator! It’s hot in the summer, though, so go early in the day.

– Watch the sunset at the famous Mucky Duck bar and restaurant on Captiva. Sometimes dolphins even swim by just as the sun is setting.

– Take a dolphin cruise in Pine Island Sound. Captiva Cruises has many options. The dolphins are beautiful and so are the views of Captiva and the surrounding islands.

– Go kayaking and look for wild (and harmless) manatees, osprey and lots of other wildlife.

– Rent a banana boat, waverunners and other water fun from YOLO Watersports.It’s an exciting way to explore the  Gulf of Mexico, especially if you’re traveling with teenagers.

– Jenny suggests going to Captiva early in the summer, when hotels are less expensive and restaurants are not as crowded. Also, the ocean is at a perfect temperature for swimming.

– Book your stay at Tween Waters Inn. Jenny’s family has been staying there for years and love that this beautiful resort has water views everywhere you look — the Gulf on one side and Pine Island Sound on the other.  The hotel has a complimentary breakfast each day, which is great when you’re traveling with kids.


Judy Mulvihill, Manager of Client Services

Judy and her family visited the beautiful Glens Falls, New York, where they stayed at their relatives’ lake house.  Judy recommends these ideas for families traveling to the Glens Falls area:

– Go during late July and August when the water is warm enough for swimming.

– Treat your family to a delicious ice cream treat at Martha’s.  It’s definitely a family favorite and worth going out of the way to visit.

– The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom is located in the area and is a wonderful place to take the kids.

– Make sure to bring the family to Lake George.  It includes lots of fun lake activities for both children and parents.

– Judy suggests heading north to the Adirondack Extreme adventure park in Bolton Landing, NY, where your family can enjoy a thrilling ropes course for a day!

Judy in NY
Judy in NY 2

Luke Daley, Editor

Luke traveled to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, with his family this summer. His two-year-old daughter, Mika, was really excited to meet all of the characters in the park! Disneyland is always a popular place to bring families because of the way Disney relates to both children and parents alike.  Luke shares his tips for families taking a trip to Disneyland:

– Make sure you get fastpasses before you do all the different attractions. It will help save time when you’re at the park so you and your family have time to fit in everything you want to do.

– Get reservations for character dining.This is offered at both Disney World and Disneyland. Luke’s daughter had a blast meeting and eating with some of the iconic Disney characters.  The food was delicious as well!

– Luke thinks the number one rule should be “let kids be kids.”  Parents always have a blast watching them interact with all of the kid-friendly surroundings in the park.

– A very important tip is to wear good walking shoes. Your family will be walking a lot during the day so make sure everyone has good foot support.


Watch for part two: how our interns spent their summer vacations!

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