The Deal Mommy

#FT4RL Recap, Brainstorming #4 and a Twitter Party?

FT4RL
Just a quick note to get you up to speed on the super-fun weekend we had at Family Travel for Real Life 3 (FT4RL) this weekend. Despite hurricanes, last minute schedule changes and tech challenges the speakers absolutely ROCKED it. I could not be happier by the way Saturday turned out.

Thanks so much to Dan, Trevor, Kenny, Jeff, Haley and Rich for their amazing energy, motivation, and flexibility. Thanks so much to the guests who took time out of their real family lives to attend.

Didn’t get to make it? Dan once again live blogged the entire event, including his own session. However, the best tips stayed in the room…and what happens at FT4RL stays at FT4RL!  A few things I found interesting that I AM willing to share include:

  • Trevor made a great point about family travel not always meaning kids.  I have a bias towards “kids” when I think family travel but we also take trips with parents, siblings, etc. I often get the “I don’t have kids, will I still enjoy FT4RL?” question and Trevor gave a better answer than I ever could.
  • I’ve barely scratched the surface of Disney: and that’s with 5 trips so far in 2015!  Haley had me scribbling frantically with every slide. Fortunately she’s agreed to share much of her presentation here in a guest post.
  • Ditto for Asia. Even after a month this summer the kids I could go again and again.  Rich really made we want to take the kids to Singapore after busting the myth that it has to be pricey.
  • Jeff made a great argument for “splitting the team” by booking two flights for two people each instead of committing to only flying the entire family on one plane.  You could even make it an “Amazing Race”!
  • Kenny and Trevor showed how reselling is a viable option to earn “pajama points” with Amazon fulfillment and the right product.  I’ve done eBay for years but it’s really time consuming.
  • Dan showed some really cool 2 bedroom suite options with Choice hotels. I know to think of Choice for Europe but I need to be more open minded in the States.

The best part for me?  The challenge I had keeping the schedule!  I built an hour of flex into the sessions and we still went 30 minutes over.  Not only did the speakers have so much great info, the guests contributed so much to each session. Everyone in the room had been somewhere someone else wanted to go. The dinners Friday and Saturday night each each had over 25 people and I know at least one group shut down the restaurant on Friday. Saturday I left over 20 folks at the hotel bar at Midnight- not sure how long that party went on!

Now for the audience participation part:

  • I’m thinking a Twitter party might be a fun way to wrap things up. Wanna join me Thursday night at 9EST? We can chat for 30 minutes or so with whoever might be up for family travel tricks and tips using the #FT4RL hashtag. If you’ve never done a twitter party before it’s simple: just follow along using the hashtag in your responses so everyone else can see them. I’ll just throw out a few questions and see how deep this rabbit hole goes! Let me know in the comments if you’ll be there.
  • The Family Travel for Real Life Pinterest board is up and running. I’d love for you to join in the fun! Just drop me a note and I’ll get you added as a pinner.
  • FT4RL 4: I like the “one in DC, one traveling” model so the next one will be on the road.  I’m thinking either early March or late April- as in before or after Spring Break.  Destination options thrown out so far- Nashville, Orlando, Austin…I want the city to be easy to get to for many, have lots for families to do, and be affordably priced. I’d love your input.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on the conference if you were among the guests, if you can make it to the Twitter party, and your suggestions for locations for #4 in the comments.

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22 thoughts on “#FT4RL Recap, Brainstorming #4 and a Twitter Party?

  1. Jeff

    I could get on board with Austin too. With it looking like the Austin MegaDO might not happen next year, I need an excuse to get out there and have some delicious BBQ. On the other hand, I do love some live country music and I haven’t been to Nashville in years. Those would be my top two. Just to make things tougher for you, New Orleans could be a good time for our crowd.

      1. Jamie

        I LOVE New Orleans. I’ve been wanting to go to one of these FT4RL meetings, and just haven’t made the effort yet. If it was in New Orleans, I don’t think I could resist!
        Austin would be great, too. I’ve never been there.

  2. Barb

    Thanks for organizing an awesome event! I’d love to see the next FT4RL in Orlando. Perhaps that would give some folks a chance to put into play some of the amazing tips that Haley shared.

  3. HaleyB

    I vote for Austin 🙂
    or Orlando

    As a side note if it is Austin you need to avoid Friday, March 11 thru Tuesday, March 15 which is TX Spring Break and, more importantly, SXSW. (also I am in Europe with the kids starting March 10th)

    HaleyB
    @bachfancy

  4. Bill

    It doesn’t matter. You know I’ll be there 🙂
    Though if I have to rank them, then it’ll be Nashville, Austin, Orlando.

  5. Brandi Parshley

    Another vote for Austin! Loved the conference and I love the idea of a twitter party a few days later. It gives you time to process all the new information and then ask any questions that may have come up after you left. I left wishing it would have lasted longer! Two other ideas: a swap table to get rid of guide books we’ve accumulated and someone to speak about non-plane travel like amtrak, cruises, etc.

  6. paula

    All the Cities sound good. Unfortunately, if it is March 11-19, I won’t be able to attend. I personally favor early April. Thanks again for a well-planned and interesting event.

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