New York USA

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Eileen Gunn

Mom of 1

Age : 8 year old girl

Resident for : Lifelong "New Yawker"

Profession: Journalist, content and social media strategist, founder: www.familiesgotravel.com

#1 Travel Tip: New York is actually really kid-friendly. You just have to know where to go.

About New York, New York :

Alicia Keys said it best of New York City, it is the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. This bustling metropolis either gives you the buzz of your life or saps the energy right out of you. One way or another, New York makes an impression. Those of you who think that New York would not be a child-friendly city are right. Those of you who think that it is one are also right. That’s because New York is a multidimensional city, with something for everyone. The city itself is loud, and crowded and can be overwhelming to small town people or those who are used to a slower pace of life. The key is to not resist and to let the city’s energy drive you.

GET TO KNOW Eileen

Tell us about your life growing up in your city.

Growing up in New York City, you are very aware that your life doesn’t look like the “typical” middle class American life. But by the time you are a teenager you are too busy going to museums, concerts and discounted broadway shows to really care. You have the opportunity to experience a lot and be exposed to a lot when you grow up in a big city and it’s good if you have a family who takes advantage of it.

What do you love most about living in your city?

Every city in the world now, big or small has at least 1 or 2 expensive “world class” restaurants that are going to be excellent and interesting. But to me what makes a difference is the quality and variety of casual and mid-priced neighborhood restaurants a city serves up. In NYC, you can eat at Per Se, but most people don’t. You can have cheap food like pizza or modest neighborhood restaurants and they will be very good, too. We have more good food and more different kinds of food per square block than most places in the world.

What’s one NY-ism/Cultural quirk? 

In NYC everything really is fast. We talk quickly, we walk quickly, we expect quick service. We’re not patient with people who hold us up. By the time you get to the front of a long line in the bagel or pizza or coffee shop, know what you want or you’ll hear people groaning at you. It’s not rude; we just have things to do!

What’s the hardest thing about traveling with kids?

I only have one and she’s a pretty good traveler by now. One challenge is finding activities that we all agree on. And the bigger your family the harder that is. We like togetherness on a vacation as much as possible, but we also recognize that sometimes it’s OK for 1 or 2 of us to go off and do something the other doesn’t want to.

What’s your favorite family travel destination in the world?

I think any destination can be a family destination; I don’t think of them as a separate thing. New York is fantastic for families because no matter what age your kids are you’ll find something that will engage them and you.

As a family we really enjoyed Bavaria, Germany and Paris, In the US we enjoyed Charleston and Philadelphia, Williamsburg VA and the Outerbanks of North Carolina a lot.

What’s on your travel wish list?

I want to go back to Hong Kong, Bali and Lombok with my daughter. I’d like to take her to London and San Francisco, too. I would like to visit India, Australia and New Zealand. and I very much want to go to Galicia, Spain but that is a trip for when she’s older.

What’s one thing you do on every trip that makes traveling with kids easier?

I bring snacks from home. Not a lot; just a box of favorite granola bars or other pocket- size snacks. They stand in for breakfast when you don’t have any. And they stave off grouchiness when getting to your next meal is taking longer than you expected.

And Kuschelbär, a tiny bear in pajamas goes everywhere with us.

Give us one song from your road trip playlist!

“Roam” by the B52s, and “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys, of course.