In the know
ABC News meteorologist & dad, Rob Marciano shares his family vacation hot spots.
Rob Marciano racks up his share of frequent flyer miles. As the senior meteorologist of ABC’s World New Tonight and the weekend edition of Good Morning America, the man doesn’t go where the wind blows him; he goes where the wind is blowing the worst. Hurricanes? Yep. Floods and blizzards. Yep. Erupting volcanoes? Yep, that too. While predicting the weather every night for millions of Americans is an important job, it pales in comparison to his role as dad.
Marciano lives outside of New York City with his wife Eyrn and their two children, 7-year-old Madelynn and 1-year-old Mason. When he’s away from the camera, the family travels together.
“We like being hands on with our kids,” explains Marciano. “We don’t have a regular babysitter or nanny, and our parents aren’t capable of caring for a toddler. Eyrn and I don’t travel as a couple without our kids much. Typically, we go as a whole family.”
“It’s not terribly relaxing for the adults, but it’s quality family time,” adds Marciano.
But he and his wife do have a secret strategy.
“We like to vacation with other families with kids of similar age to ours,” says Marciano. “It takes the pressure off the adults to constantly entertain.”
What's your favorite travel trick/tip for parents?
“With babies on airplanes, you’ve got to feed them during both the ascent and descent. Sucking or drinking regulates their ears. Anytime I see parents not doing this while their baby is screaming in pain, I want to scream - ‘Give them a bottle!’ ”
What's been your biggest travel fail with kids?
"We had a super long day of driving from Paso Robles to the Monterey Peninsula. We got to our hotel room and put our 3-year-old daughter to bed in the pack-and-play. We tested the baby monitor on the WiFi and decided that we could lock the door and go down the hallway to get drinks and some food. Thirty minutes later, we saw our daughter through the monitor, standing in the pack-and-play. The lights were on, and someone was in the room! Panicked, we ran down the hall to find housekeeping and security personnel radioing the front desk to report an abandoned child! Madelynn was scared but ok. We still haven’t forgiven ourselves for that epic traveling family fail."
What are your top three destination recommendations for families?
“I work for a Disney (ABC is owned by Walt Disney Television), so I’m obligated to say Disney parks or Disney cruises! But honestly, Disney has it down to a science... or magic, as we say. Yes, it’s expensive, and the parks can be exhausting, but it’s a good go-to. We’re definitely doing a Disney cruise this year.”
“With kids older than 2 years old, I think that camping is great fun.”
“Also, we love Rocking Horse Ranch near Poughkeepsie, New York. It’s the New York-version of a dude ranch. It has a SICK indoor water slide and park, horseback riding, small ski and tubing hill, climbing walls, bungee jumping, bouncy houses, and most importantly, a saloon!”
What destination is on your family's bucket list?
“I’d definitely say an African safari. We love animals and the outdoors. We want the kids to be a little older before we tackle this one.”
As a dad, what's the one thing you never travel without?
“Patience… but I always seem to forget that one! But seriously, I always have hand sanitizer in my bag for after a diaper change or runny nose swipe.”
You can see Marciano nightly on your local ABC station - if not live from New York City then some other place in the world that you likely should avoid traveling to, at least temporarily.
Editor Shellie Bailey-Shah has the distinct honor of being called “Shellie Belly-Shah” on live television by Marciano when the two worked at the same local television station. In Marciano’s defense, he’d been on air for hours as part of round-the-clock snowstorm coverage. Shellie has since forgiven him.
Photo courtesy: ABC News