The meeting of a three-year-old, a cat and a goldfish pond started Taking the Kids, now the leading nationally syndicated family travel column.
Eileen Ogintz’s then three-year-old son Matt, pushed a hapless kitty into a pond at a Wisconsin cottage her family had rented for the weekend. The furious owner insisted they pack up and leave immediately. The embarrassed parents drove home three hours to Chicago in a downpour. “I thought the kitty wanted to eat the goldfish,” Matt explained
Ogintz was a national correspondent for the Chicago Tribune then (1987), covering news stories around the country. The travel editor, hearing her tale of woe about the cat and the goldfish pond, encouraged her to write a story about the trials of traveling with young children. That story led to others. “We realized there were a lot of people like me, parents who wanted help planning trips now that they had kids.” The award-winning syndicated column Taking the Kids, and this popular website grew out of those stories.
Taking the Kids is a major and growing presence online, appearing on online news outlets such as www.msnbc.com, CNN.com, Smartertravel.com, and Frommers.com Taking the Kids also appears in newspapers around the country including the New York Daily News, Newsday, Miami Herald, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Dallas Morning News, among others.
Ogintz is considered a leading national expert on family travel and is often quoted in major publications such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and parenting and women’s magazines on family travel. She has appeared on such television programs as “48 Hours,” “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “Oprah,” as well as dozens of local radio and television news programs. Ogintz is also often asked to speak to corporate groups about family travel.
Ogintz holds a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri, is a 30-year veteran of the news business, reporting for The Anniston Star, The Record in Hackensack, N.J., and Des Moines Register as well as the Chicago Tribune, where she created the paper’s family-issues beat. She has also taught journalism and writing at Northwestern University, New York University, Fairfield University and Quinnipiac University.
From their home in Connecticut, Ogintz travels with her husband, their three children, Matt, Reggie and Melanie, and other young children in the extended family who serve—not always graciously—as Taking the Kids’ special team of experts.