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9 More Amazing Creative Hotels - Which is your Favorite

July 7th, 2010

The previous batch of Creative hotels was so popular, here are nine more to dream about.

1 - Dutch House Hotel

I’ll start with my favorite of the new batch. It was designed by the WAM architects to look like a bunch of stacked up Dutch houses. Perhaps something close to LEGO blocks too.

Dutch House Hotel

Inntel Hotel Amsterdam-Zaandam - Zaandam, Netherlands

(Flickr User: bartvandamme - )

2 - Ice Hotel

Ice Hotel

Lapland, Norway

(Flickr User: ezioman - )

3 - Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Holbrook, Arizona

(Flickr User: caveman_92223 - )

4 - Teepee Hotel

TeePee Hotel

(I grew up going here about once a summer. Never got to stay in the Teepee’s however.)

Kah-Nee-Ta, Oregon

(Flickr User: Lyza - )

5 - Cave Hotel

Cave Hotel

Urgup, Turkey

(Flickr User: devittj - )

6 - Luke Skywalker’s Home

Star Wars set Hotel

Hotel Sidi Driss (actual set used in Star Wars films), Matmata, Tunisia

(Flickr User: stml - )

7 - Scottish Castle

Scottish Castle Hotel

Mansfield Castle Hotel

(Flickr User: conner395 - )

8 - Hotel made out of salt

Salt Hotel

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

(Flickr User: wili - )

9 - Hotel built over a lake

Hotel over Lake

Lake of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

(Flickr User: tambako - )

If these hotels have you excited, check out our ‘Star Bar‘ of affordable luxury resorts.

JFrost Asides, Hotels , , , , , , , ,

Fourth of July Cruise Deal: 4 is your Lucky Number

June 30th, 2010

Carnival Cruise Ship - Legend

The Fourth of July holiday has us in a celebratory mood and we’re ready to kick off the holiday with some great last minute cruise deals. How about you?

These Carnival Cruise Line adventures all depart in July and feature last minute pricing specials designed to sell out quick. We have partnered these low prices with a complimentary bar coupon booklet to get your cruise started right.

Call our Cruise Experts at 1-866-836-6963 to learn more about this offer and other opportunities that may be available. Be sure to tell them you read about it on the blog.

Meanwhile, here are six Carnival Cruises departing in July with special rates just for Last Minute Travel.

4 Nights – Western Caribbean
Carnival Imagination
Departs: 07/26/2010
From $379*
Sails from Miami

4 Nights – Western Caribbean
Carnival Triumph
Departs: 07/15/2010
From $499
Sails from New Orleans, LA

5 Nights – Bahamas
Carnival Fantasy
Departs: 07/30/2010
From $579
Sails From Charleston, SC

7 Nights – Western Caribbean
Carnival Legend
Departs: 07/112010
From 639*
Sails from Tampa. FL

7 Nights - Western Caribbean
Carnival Valor
Departs: 07/18/2010
From $699*
Sails from Miami, FL

7 Nights – Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Fantasy
Departs: 07/17/2010
From $729
Sails from Charleston, SC

More details below the jump:

Read more…

JFrost Cruises, Deals , , , , , , , ,

LastMinuteTravel.com Survey Reveals it’s All Work and No Play for Americans

June 28th, 2010

It’s Summer and if you’re looking at your vacation days account at work and seeing a surplus, you’re not alone. As it turns out, Americans are terrible at actually taking a vacation. Here at Last Minute Travel, the premier online travel booking site, we are encouraging Americans to break the habit of not using all of their hard-earned vacations days and have some fun.

A new survey by LastMinuteTravel.com finds that close to half (45%) of working Americans did not maximize their vacation days in 2009; in fact, 39 percent admitted to losing 10 or more of those days. As we reach the halfway point of 2010, the survey finds that more than three-quarters (78%) of Americans plan to repeat this trend by leaving their paid vacation days on the table.

Vacation Days Survey

According to the survey, reasons for lost vacation days is that many find it difficult to take time away from work, coordinate family schedules or they cannot afford a “real vacation.” Nonetheless, working Americans yearn for time off and fantasize about the type of vacation they would take, time and money permitting: close to four in ten (35%) would choose a beach destination where they can relax and unwind; 19 percent would opt for an all-inclusive cruise; 16 percent would go to a family (theme-park) destination; and 15 percent would take a road trip across the country.

Life shouldn’t be all work and no play. When it comes to vacation days, you’ve got to use them or lose them. And we’re here to help. We’ve compiled the top five beach destinations, top five affordable vacations, and five of our most popular activities to help you plan how to spend those vacation days.

JFrost News, Travel , , , , ,

Pets on your Disney Vacation? Sure!

June 25th, 2010

Disney Pet Resort

Can’t bear to leave your pet at home while you travel to Central Florida with your family? Don’t worry. A new luxury pet resort to open at Walt Disney World Resort will provide the best care while you’re enjoying the local theme parks.

Reservations are being accepted for pet boarding stays beginning Aug. 27, 2010, for the new Best Friends Pet Care Resort. After it opens, it will be the new central location for all pet boarding at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The one-of-a-kind resort comprises more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space, 10,000 square feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas, and an expansive private dog park exclusively for the use of pet resort clients and their dogs.

Read more…

JFrost Destinations, News , , , , , , , ,

Can you spot the deals? This week’s Play to Play destination clue

June 4th, 2010

It’s time for a new Play to Play clue (check out the original blog post for more information). No riddles, anagrams or trivia: this week, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Look at the photo below to figure out this week’s featured city. The photo itself is a clue (think sunshine, swimming and family fun) but we’ve also hidden four clues within the picture. Take a close look.

Play to Play clue

Figure it out? When you do, just head over to our Travel Guides page, click on this week’s city, and pack your bags!

JFrost Promotions , ,

DOT proposes higher compensation for bumped passengers

June 3rd, 2010

The Department of Transportation is thoroughly making over the rules airlines must comply with when it comes to safety and passenger comfort. They’ve already limited the amount of time an airplane can spend in the tarmac before penalties start to accrue, now they’re focusing on undisclosed fees and overbooking that leads to involuntary bumping of passengers.

Currently, airlines must compensate passengers for involuntary bumping. You’ll receive at least $400 if the airline can arrange substitute transportation that will get you to your destination within one to two hours of your original scheduled arrival for domestic flights, or one to four hours for international flights. That rises to $800 if they miss that deadline.

The new regulations would up the penalties to $650 and $1300 respectively and then ties those amounts to inflation. “This administration believes consumers are entitled to strong and effective protections when they fly,” stated Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

In theory this will provide an incentive for airlines to reduce the practice of overbooking and to schedule their flights to allow more time for possible delays.

Other rules and regulations suggested by the DOT include:

  • Smaller airports and international air carriers would be required to adopt contingency plans for long tarmac delays.
  • Airlines must provide passengers more information on delays, this includes international airlines.
  • Establish of minimum standards for carriers’ customer service plans and extend the customer service plan requirements to cover foreign carriers.
  • Carriers will be required to list taxes and fees in advertising and prevents “opt-out” add-ons (an oxymoron if there ever was one) such as trip insurance.
  • Airlines will now have to reveal extra fees like baggage and seat reservation fees where they publish their airfares.
  • One of my favorites, allow passengers a 24-hour grace period during which they can change their mind about an airline ticket purchase.
  • Post-purchase price increases would be prohibited.
  • Communication with passengers regarding flight status changes, such as cancellations and delays, would have to be more frequent and displayed at the boarding gate area, on website, and on telephone help lines.

What do you think? Will these proposed changes actually have an affect on your travel comfort?

JFrost Travel , , , , , , ,

Increased Travel expected Memorial Day Weekend

May 25th, 2010

Travel this Memorial Day Weekend is expected to be the highest in three years. Growth of more than 5% is forecast by AAA thanks to the improved economy.

“While the economy continues to be rocked by waves of occasional uncertainty, improved economic performance from one year ago should cause more Americans to take vacations this Memorial Day holiday weekend,” said Glen MacDonell, director of AAA Travel Services.

This combined with low fuel prices at the pump will likely entice many more families to hit the road. What are your plans?

JFrost Travel , , ,

World’s Most Dangerous Destinations

May 24th, 2010

The Los Angeles Times recently listed some of the most dangerous travel destinations in the world. The list mostly omits destinations made unfriendly due to political strife and instead focuses on actual tourist destinations where travelers might encounter a little more than they expected.

Here are a few examples:

  • Care to go surfing in the waters of Gansbaai, South Africa, you’d better watch out for great white sharks. This place is full of them due to an abundance of their favorite foods.
  • Mount Everest makes the list for obvious reasons. It takes a lot of training and the right equipment to make an ascent and people still occasionally die on its slopes. Less than 5% of those who attempt the climb ever make it to the top.
  • The list includes all of Australia. Known for its crocs, snakes, spiders and other dangerous members of the animal kingdom. Plus there are the unknowns of the outback.

What’s true of every destination on the list is that a journey there is rewarded with nature’s beauty and the knowledge that you’re really living life on the edge. But also a reminder that you don’t have to be visiting a country on the State Department’s warning list to be flirting with danger.

See them all at the LA Times.

JFrost Travel ,

Calling all travel-loving trivia masters: here are this week’s new Play to Play destination clues!

May 21st, 2010

It’s that time again! We’re announcing the next Play to Play city (check out the original blog post for more information). Hopefully you figured out last week’s anagrams to save big on activities in New York City. If not, don’t worry. Your next chance at savings is just one paragraph away!

How about some travel trivia? Read the trivia clues below to figure out this week’s featured city. And, if you’re up for a real tough challenge, skip the Google search bar and just use the ol’ noggin. Consider this as training for your next game of Trivial Pursuit… except here the winners get more than just esteem, they earn travel savings!

  • This city’s stadium leads the nation in Major League Baseball hot dog sales. A staple of the stadium since 1962, more than 1.6 million dogs slide across concession counters each year.
  • This city is a fine arts Mecca, boasting more than 80 stage theaters and 300 museums.
  • Dozens of musicians have sung songs about this city and its neighborhoods, including Weezer, Lawrence Welk, LL Cool J, Madonna, Celine Dion, Barry White and Billy Joel.
  • This city’s seaport is the busiest in the U.S. and one of the busiest in the world.
  • By the early 1900s, population growth exceeded the capacity of this thirsty city’s only water source, prompting the creation of an elaborate system of aqueducts.

Figure it out? When you do, just head over to our Travel Guides page, click on this week’s city, and pack your bags!

JFrost Promotions , , , , ,

Behind the Magic - By The Numbers

May 18th, 2010

Wondering who the people are behind LastMinuteTravel.com? We are a swiftly growing division of Travel Holdings, Inc.

Travel Holdings - By The Numbers.

  • 16 years in operation
  • 32 locations serving 97 source countries across 6 continents
  • 400 employees providing support in 23 languages
  • $40 million invested in proprietary technology since 2002
  • 17,000 direct hotel contracts
  • $2.5 million in sales per day
  • 3.5 million passengers/year resulting in 1.19 million bookings including 3.99 million room nights and other services such as flights, cars, cruise, activities and transfers
  • 36% growth in sales year to date 2010 and 480% growth in the last 5 years*
  • Positive EBITDA of 5.4% and growing

With numbers like this Travel Holdings, and LastMinuteTravel.com, are poised to provide you excellent travel options for years to come. There is a lot more to come.

*All numbers are from 2009, except this fact from May 2010

JFrost Travel , , , ,