Supporting family travel

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Announcing Expedia’s involvement with the Family Travel Association

Families are a big part of what we do at Expedia. They comprise a significant portion of our customer base. They trust us to give them the best prices, information, and perspective on travel. In short, they rely on us to make their travel dreams come true.

Now it’s our turn to give back. Expedia is proud to announce that we are one of the founding partners of the Family Travel Association (FTA), a new group that aims to inspire families to travel and to advocate travel as an essential part of every child’s education. In short, the FTA emphasizes the role of travel in the development of children, and prioritizes travel as an important activity for family bonding and development.

These are concepts we wholeheartedly embrace, both as a company and as a source of original travel content.

Naturally, then, working with the FTA was a perfect fit.

My girls, on the beach in Paia, Maui

I recently sat down with Rainer Jenss, a friend and the founder and president of the FTA, to discuss Expedia’s relationship with the group, and why he is so excited to be working with us (and the other founding partners).

Jenss told me that, at the end of the day, the FTA is “about creating an industry voice that hasn’t existed before,” and noted that this “voice” will help change the way families travel, charting a path for the families of today as well as future generations of travelers.

“At the FTA, we believe that when kids learn to travel, they will travel to learn,” he said. “That’s why we’re proud to have Expedia as a founding member.  By helping families make their vacation dreams a reality, we’ll see more and more families hitting the road and taking to the skies. That’s something that’s good for business, and our children’s future!”

The terms of our partnership are still evolving, but, at this point, we are committed to helping the FTA to promote awareness and coverage of family travel overall. That will mean more coverage of family travel on this blog.

It also will mean additional projects, in conjunction with the FTA and independently (stay tuned for more news about that).

I’ll be spearheading many of those efforts; not only do I serve as senior editor of the Expedia Viewfinder, but I also sit on the board of the FTA. My colleagues, Anne Taylor Hartzell, Kara Williams, and Carol Cain, all of whom specialize in writing about family travel (both on this blog and on their own respective blogs), also will contribute. So, too, will our fearless leader (and amazing mom), Sarah Gavin.

For now, check out the introductory video the FTA produced to give potential supporters a better sense of what the organization aims to achieve. When you’re done watching that (it’s only about four minutes long), click through to the organization’s website to learn more. Read this article, from Skift, about the effort. And rest assured, if you’ve got kids and dreams to travel with them, now—more than ever—Expedia is in your corner and on your side.

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.

Matt Villano

In more than 20 years as a professional journalist, Matt Villano has had articles published in outlets including TIME, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, Sunset, Coastal Living, and Entrepreneur, to name a few. He currently blogs about family travel at, and occasionally covers family travel for Family Fun and Scholastic Parent & Child magazines. Villano also wrote the family travel blog for Parenting magazine, and an adventure travel blog for (a one-time website of Brand USA). In addition to travel, Villano’s areas of expertise are business, technology and gambling. When he’s not working at his stand-up desk, Villano is chasing after his three daughters, both of whom are future New York Yankees fans. His favorite destination on Earth is his (adopted) hometown of Healdsburg, California. No. 2 on the list: Vancouver Island, British Columbia (specifically Tofino). For more about Villano, visit

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