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Miami South Beach is the Travel Temptations Destination

October 27th, 2010

Last Minute Travel is giving away free hotel nights at popular locations across the country. To qualify, just follow @LMTTweets on Twitter and RT (re-tweet) the contest Tweets as instructed. Then, those who follow and RT will be entered into a random drawing for those free hotel nights. We’ll have a new RT promo about every two weeks, so be sure to check back for new hotel packages and additional chances to win.

Our next “Travel Temptation” is a 2 night stay at the South Beach Hotel located in the famed South Beach region of Miami? Do you still have that Don Johnson jacket in your closet, does reliving the movie Bird Cage rank high on your bucket list, or do you just like to sun in the day and party at night? Then you belong in South Beach.

While searching Last Minute Travel you’ll find that we also have a wide selection of Miami transportation and activities that you won’t find anywhere else.

Learn more about Miami and South Beach at our destination guide for the city.

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Travel Tips: Kids and Holidays

October 26th, 2010

Kids and holiday travel are a fact of life. Sure it can be one of the less pleasant aspects of a vacation, but with a little planning and some useful tips, it can help you make family memories that will last a life time. I found this great list of tips on the Delicious Baby blog for making Thanksgiving Travel hassle-free (or as hassle-free as possible):

  • Find a Pit Stop Playgrounds and public libraries (assuming you’re not driving on Thursday) always make great places to stop with kids. On Thanksgiving day, Barnes and Noble, many Starbucks locations, most zoos and many aquariums are open, and they also make great destinations for you and the kids to stretch your legs.
  • Pack the Pillows Having familiar sleeptime items from home will help your kids settle down to sleep both in the car and at your destination.

Find more of these excellent tips back at Delicious Baby.

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Air Passenger Wishlist

October 21st, 2010

The NY Times has an article up with what purports to be a true air passenger wish list. In it are things like clean restrooms, timely and correct flight arrival and departure information, and a safer better place to rest before or between flights. Those all seem like pretty good ideas. But here are a few of my suggestions for Airports that really want to make customers happy:

1) Redesign security check points so they are not a bottleneck. Frankly, I feel less secure waiting en mass to pass through a metal detector than I do on the otherside. So anything you can do to make that shorten that wait time and make it less like a group the better.

2) If you’re going to charge for parking how about offering proper lighting and regular patrols.

3) Vending machines at the Cell Phone waiting lots. I’m picking up someone whose flight is late, rather than running to Denny’s for a cup-o-joe, how about a vending machine or two and a restroom out at the cell phone waiting lot.

4) Better transportation options to and from your facility. I know the taxi lobby won’t want to read this, but Airports should be the champions for getting Light Rail stations right at the terminal with easy access from around the metropolitan area. No car, no fuss, makes for less stressed out passengers.

How about you, what should airports be doing better?

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New Orleans, LA is Travel Temptation

October 18th, 2010

Last Minute Travel is giving away free hotel nights at popular locations across the country. To qualify, just follow @LMTTweets on Twitter and RT (re-tweet) the contest Tweets as instructed. Then, those who follow and RT will be entered into a random drawing for those free hotel nights. We’ll have a new RT promo about every two weeks, so be sure to check back for new hotel packages and additional chances to win.

Our next “Travel Temptation” is a 2 night stay at the Marriott New Orleans located in the famed French Quarter of New Orleans? Are you watching “Treme” on HBO? Got a hankerin’ for some down home food and the best jazz and blues in the world? Well then New Orleans is where you need to be.

While searching Last Minute Travel you’ll find that we also have a wide selection of New Orleans transportation and activities that you won’t find anywhere else.

Learn more about New Orleans at our destination guide for the city.

For complete “Travel Temptations” official sweepstakes rules click here.

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The real reason airline food tastes bad

October 16th, 2010

I had heard that high altitudes can dull the taste buds; airline kitchens make sure to add extra bursts of flavor to compensate. But what will they do about this discovery? A study by the University of Manchester says that white noise in the background can make food taste less appetizing and airline noise is the perfect combination to produce poor flavor.

That explains a lot.

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This Week In Travel

October 15th, 2010

SeaWorld Orlando’s Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay both announced major new attractions this week. A new ground hugging Cheetah themed coaster is coming to Tampa and Orlando is getting an 875,000 gallon Saltwater Reef where you can swim with sharks and tropical fish. The Orlando Sentinel has details of the announcement.

A story in the Oregonian has a good lesson on how to make sure you’re eating sustainable fish even when you’re traveling. Check out the guidelines in the sidebars.

The LA Times has a good guide to Daytona Beach’s Daytona 500 Experience. And there’s a brief peak inside the new Queen Elizabeth cruise liner from Cunard.

For those looking for a little adventure with their Florida beach experience, the Miami Herald lists 5 great places to Canoe or Kayak in southern Florida.

JFrost Travel

Anaheim, CA is next Travel Temptation

September 23rd, 2010

Last Minute Travel is giving away free hotel nights at popular locations across the country. To qualify, just follow @LMTTweets on Twitter and RT (re-tweet) the contest Tweets as instructed. Then, those who follow and RT will be entered into a random drawing for those free hotel nights. We’ll have a new RT promo about every two weeks, so be sure to check back for new hotel packages and additional chances to win.

Our second “Travel Temptation” is a 2 night stay at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim located in the Resort District in Anaheim, CA. Of course, you can’t mention Anaheim without mentioning Disneyland, but there is also the convention center, a new entertainment center called Garden Walk, and the rest of the Southern California attractions to enjoy.

While searching Last Minute Travel you’ll find that we also have a wide selection of Anaheim transportation and activities that you won’t find anywhere else.

Learn more about Anaheim at our destination guide for the city.

For complete “Travel Temptations” official sweepstakes rules click here.

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Paris and Orlando moving closer

September 22nd, 2010

Polish up your Joie De Vivre, Air France has announced it will begin non-stop flights between Orlando International Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport starting June 11.

“This is an effort we’ve had going on for probably 20 years to get into France from Orlando,” said Phil Brown, executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, who said it took, “persistence with Air France to make it work.”

The addition of other international flights over the last few years has allowed Orlando International Airport to set a new annual record with 2.98 million international passengers arriving or departing in 2009. The airport reports that the 2010 pace also looks to be on record pace, up another 10 percent over last year.

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Hudson Hotel adds Semi-Automatic Giftshop

September 16th, 2010

Having just stayed at the Hudson New York, a Morgans Hotel Group property, I can tell you that the hotel has a unique take on the guest experience. The standard room is small, although not completely out of range for the New York sized hotel room, but they more than make up for it with their indoor and outdoor public spaces, bars, and restaurants.

One of the more fun aspects I found was that ever floor had a centrally located vending machine area with some unique items along with the standard candy, soft drinks, and ice. They’ve now brought that idea to a whole new level with a giant vending machine in place of a gift-shop.

SemiAutomatic - The Hudson New York Gift Shop

The gift shop called Semi-Automatic is available to guests 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will present new luxury items on a regular basis. Prices range from $4 (for the basics) to $4500 (a two night penthouse package at Morgans Hotel Group’s newest hotel, Ames in Boston ).  For the extravagant consumer with refined taste the Ben Watts photo shoot is priced at $8,000 and the Ferrari 599 GTB can be yours to rent for $10,000 per week. Other items include: Classic paperback Catcher in the Rye, a stylish toothbrush by Paul Smith, a retro Ouija Board, a luxe Dagger Rosary by renowned jewelry designer Pamela Love, an Essential Travel Kit by Malin+ Goetz, and a chic black sequin mini skirt by Haute Hippie.

“We’re thrilled to bring the unrivaled Semi-Automatic experience to Hudson in New York City,” said Kim Walker, Senior Vice President and Creative Director for Morgans Hotel Group. “This incredible concept gives us the opportunity to enhance our guests’ travel needs by offering exciting luxury brands, everyday essentials and unexpected experiences to take advantage of during their stay.”

The Hudson Hotel is one of Last Minute Travel’s Four-Star “Best Value” properties in New York. It’s Midtown location is really quite ideal for anything you need to do on Manhattan Island.

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This Week in Travel

September 15th, 2010

Here’s a short list of travel related stories I wasn’t able to write posts about this week. I hope you’ll explore the links on your own:

The San Diego Wild Animal Park is being renamed the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Safari is Swahili for “Journey of Mind and Soul” which the park claims better represents the current mission of the park.

The Oregonian has a beautiful guide to the state’s wineries. Make sure to take advantage of the ‘driving tour’ application. There is also a beautiful photo gallery of Crater Lake, one of the state’s best kept travel secrets and its only National Park.  (See also this description of a day at Crater Lake on 100Hikes.com)

Didn’t get to take a vacation this summer? NPR has a list of books to read that might put you in vacation mode even if you’re just in the living room.

Here’s a link I meant to include in my recent story on Las Vegas room nights increasing, the closure of the Liberace Museum. Even though the museum experienced an upgrade less than 10 years ago, today’s visitor numbers are less than a 10th of its peak attendance. Fame passes, even for someone as legendary as Liberace.  The Museum’s final day is October 18th.

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