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Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Vacation Home Sweet Home

August 13th, 2013

The vacation rental trend is soaring in popularity in North America and beyond. The benefits are obvious as to why seasoned travelers are trying out this spacious, private, money saving option. Consider it nice change of pace for the typical road-weary, hotel veteran looking for a cost-effective accommodation alternative or a family looking to break free from the hotel room norm.

Setting aside the automatic status upgrade you receive from merely mentioning that you’re staying in a villa, condo, townhome or cabin for a week, vacation homes give you the freedom to make a more memorable and cozy experience for family and friends traveling with you (and making those jealous who aren’t with you). These rentals are not only designated by the multiple rooms they have, but the cost per person is comparable to that of a typical hotel stay. More rooms means more space and thus one comfortable, complaint-free family. Imagine staying in a place with the comforts of home, without doing the cleaning of home – now that’s vacation paradise! More than that, these rentals are ideal for group vacations and just as simple to book.
What seals the deal for most travelers is the worry free online booking, the instant confirmation and the fact that all the properties we offer are professionally managed by the top property management companies in the market. This means that you get the same sense of security when you book your vacation as you do when booking a hotel and you know that there is someone always ready to assist, from check-in to departure to handle any special needs you may have.

With the greater privacy that staying in a single property brings, you can feel right at home with amenities such as private pools, full kitchens and entertainment centers to use as you please. You also have more control over the dining options for your group. Rather than being confined to room service choices or having to spend a fortune at a nearby touristy restaurant, you can opt to utilize the kitchen for snack storage and cooking or you can order in to save a trip. Of course, the option to go out for dinner is always there!

For a hassle-free, relaxing vacation you won’t soon forget, give our vacation homes a try. Because no two rentals are exactly the same, staying in a vacation home is always a completely unique experience!

Found a vacation home deal you fancy? Use coupon code ‘VH25′ and get $25 discount!*

*With purchases of $500 or more.

OmerG Deals, Hotels, Tips, Travel, Travel Guide , ,

2010 Christmas Vacation Alternatives

December 1st, 2010

Change up your holiday destination this year. (…Or next year, and consider this just amazing pre-planning!)

The Global Grasshopper has some great suggestions for an alternative to your typical holiday destination. They include Edinburgh where lively Christmas celebrations continue through early January, Australia where December is the first month of summer, and more.

Take a peek at this fun and informative article for your own Christmas alternative trip ideas/inspiration or just a little old-fashioned day dreaming.

Aimee Palacios Destinations, Travel Guide , , , , ,

Four Quick Tips for Traveling light

July 14th, 2010

If you like to be able to walk out the door in five minutes and be on vacation or minimalism is your style here are four quick tips for vacationing with the absolute minimum of stuff.

1. Leave the toiletries at home. Stay at a nicer hotel and then rely on the hotel’s comfort pack and amenities to fill the gap. Only care items you specifically need.

2. Limit yourself to two changes of clothes. Wear one set of clothes on the plane and pack the other. Make sure you can mix and match, so something that is casual can be dressed up with a jacket or accessories. A nice wrap or sarong works wonders for women and men can now purchase slacks that discreetly transform into shorts.

3. Buy what you need when you get there. If the bag is full ask yourself, do you really need to travel with this item or can you purchase it when you get there. This saves on weight too. All those gels and liquids carry a lot of water weight.

4. Plan ahead. Luggage tends to inflate with extras when you don’t know what to expect. So plan ahead, do some research on your destination, and eliminate the clothes and accessories you won’t need when you get there.

Now, all you really need is a shopping bag or briefcase and you’re ready to go.

JFrost Tips , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , ,

2010 International Pow Wow Kicks off in Orlando

May 17th, 2010

Mickey and Minnie welcome Pow Wow participants to the Magic Kingdom
Mickey and Minnie welcome International Pow Wow participants to the Magic Kingdom

The International Pow Wow is a trade show for travel professionals from around the world. Generally deals are made between buyers and suppliers, and everyone gets a chance to see what’s coming over the next year with a special emphasis on the host city.

Disney rolled out the Royalty for the event
Disney rolled out the Royalty for the event. Cinderella and her coach made an appearance.

This year the host city is Orlando, FL, which means I got a chance to attend the huge kick-off party last night at Walt Disney World resort’s Magic Kingdom. Disney certainly knows how to throw a party, and Pow Wow participants certainly know how to enjoy one.

Disney Imagineers previewed the coming Fantasyland changes
Disney Imagineers previewed the coming Fantasyland changes.

Despite a few sprinkles, I’d have to say the event was a big success. Attendees were treated to fabulous food and drink and stations around Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Thirteen attractions were open to ride and enjoy. Plus, Disney had six Imagineers (theme park designers) stationed in Fantasyland to showcase the 2012 expansion of Fantasyland.

Food stations kept everyone satisfied.
Food stations kept everyone satisfied.

Fantasyland will add a new major attraction, The Journey of the Little Mermaid, a groundbreaking Beauty & The Beast restaurant, a half dozen or so new character experiences (where you can spend actual time with a Princess instead of just a quick photo), and an expansion of the popular Dumbo attraction.

Tomorrowland became a space disco.
Tomorrowland became a space disco.

Dumbo will also get one of Disney’s newest inventions - the waitless queue. Instead of standing in a roped off switchback queue, guests will be handed a special feather and ushered into a giant play area themed to the circus from Dumbo. Once one’s feather color is called out, guests then report to the loading station for boarding of the next flight. This concept had a positive test result this spring at the Rock-n-Rollercoaster.

Ice Sculpture provided freshly chilled beverages.
Giant ice sculptures provided freshly chilled beverages.

The night ended with special showing of “Wishes” fireworks spectacular. Pow Wow guests were issued special ‘Mickey Vision’ glasses that turned every explosion into a shower of Mickey Mouse shapes. It was quite a unique way to view the show.

Ice Sculpture Pool Table.
The Ice Pool Tables were popular.

As the crowd filtered out, Disney had yet one more surprise — a preview of the Main Street Electrical Parade, which is returning to the Magic Kingdom beginning June 6th as part of the Summer Nightastic! promotion. Summer Nightastic! will also include a new fireworks show, dance parties, concerts, and other surprises. So stay tuned.

Disney's Electrical Parade
Popular Pixie Tinker Bell leads the Disney’s Electrical Parade in a new float.

If this has you excited, like it does me, make sure to visit Last Minute Travel’s special section on travel to Walt Disney World.

JFrost Destinations , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrity Cruises adds new Drink Deals

May 4th, 2010

Celebrity Cruises offers some of our most popular vacations at Last Minute Travel. What keeps people coming back to the line is Celebrity’s desire to always be improving the experience. With that in mind, Celebrity has just announced another way for guests to quench their thirst with new “beverage package” values.

Two of the packages are for non-alcoholic drinks (starting at 14.95 per person per day, including a 15% gratuity) and two include adult beverages. The premium package, costs $56.35 per person per day. It includes most onboard beverages, including beer, spirits, cocktails and certain wines.

“We took our guests’ favorite beverages and bundled them into packages that are simple to order from home,” said Jacques Van Staden, Vice President, Culinary Operations. “By the time guests board the ship, they can relax knowing that their favorite drinks are arranged for; they can then focus on enjoying themselves in the spa, exploring destinations through shore excursions, or simply lounging by the pool.”

So cruise enthusiasts, would you buy these beverage bundles?

The full press release is below the jump:

Read more…

JFrost Cruises , , , , ,

Harry Potter’s Magic World Opening Soon in Orlando

March 15th, 2010

Hogwarts Express stands at the entrance to Hogsmeade
Hogwarts Express stands at the entrance to Hogsmeade

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience complete with multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant. Set to open this spring the immersive experience will wow guests with three major rides and a host of smaller shops, attractions, and dining locations that will put you right into the world of Harry Potter.

From the front archway of Hogsmeade to the immensity of Hogwarts castle, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will feature the locations listed below:

  • At the entrance of Hogsmeade, billowing steam and an iconic whistle signal the arrival of the Hogwarts Express into Hogsmeade station
  • Across the way is Zonko’s, a joke shop with a collection of tricks and jokes, including Extendable Ears, Boxing Telescopes and Sneakoscopes
  • Honeydukes is next door and full of treats like Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans
  • The Three Broomsticks and adjacent Hog’s Head pub will feature traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice
  • Across from the Three Broomsticks is The Owlery, where owls roost and await their next delivery
  • The Owl Post sends letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark and sells official stamps from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Ollivanders wand shop is an incredible interactive experience where the wand chooses the wizard
  • Completing Hogsmeade is Dervish and Banges, the magical instruments and equipment shop featuring Quidditch equipment, Triwizard apparel, Spectrespecs and Remembralls
  • The first attraction, Dragon Challenge, features a twin high-speed roller coaster with many iconic elements from the Triwizard Tournament
  • Next is Flight of the Hippogriff, a family coaster simulating a Hippogriff training flight over the grounds of Hogwarts castle
  • Located in Hogwarts castle, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a thrilling new state-of-the-art attraction that uses entirely new technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced
  • Before exiting back into Hogsmeade, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods is full of Ministry of Magic and magical creatures merchandise, Omnioculars, and even remote control Golden Snitches

If you’re excited about booking your own journey to Orlando to explore the magical world of Harry Potter, you’ll be happy to hear that Universal Orlando has set a date for which you’ll be safe to book — May 28th. Technically Universal has announced that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open in Spring 2010, but enough of the world should be open by May 28th to let you explore. Specific opening information will come as soon as it is available.

JFrost News , , , , , , ,

Orlando - Travel Like A Local

February 2nd, 2010

Websites where most of the content is user generated, like Yelp.com, Citysearch.com, Chowhound.com, are all good for getting several opinions about a restaurant, nightlife, shopping, etc., but these sites don’t ensure a local experience. As an Orlando local, I use sites like those to plan vacations – not to plan my Saturday in Orlando. Instead, if you want to paint your next trip to Orlando with a non-touristy brush, head to sites that locals actually use.

Here are a few of my suggestions:

  • Metromix: This site covers multiple cities with the claim, “Your one-stop local entertainment guide on where to go and what to do, from the hottest restaurants and bars, to the latest in music, movies, and entertainment.”
  • Convention & Visitors Bureau Websites: This seems like the ultimate “Don’t” when you are trying to have a local experience, but when I want to mix things up, I head to my Orlando CVB’s site- they usually feature activities that I wouldn’t immediately think of and feature events in areas of the city I don’t frequent. Bottom line – the people maintaining and updating these sites live in that city – they are locals.
  • Restaurant.com: Here you can get “gift certificates” (more like coupons) worth $10, $25, $50 for a fraction of the price. Be sure to read the restrictions of each coupon. Sign up for their emails and you will never pay over $2. This won’t tell you which restaurants are local favorites, but it will save you some money.

Orlando specifically
It’s easy to tell you where the locals hang out, but I prefer to share local resources– you know the “teach a man to fish” saying. You can either check out their websites, or follow them on Facebook in the weeks leading up to your trip – you can always de-friend when you get back

ScottJosephOrlando.com: a guide to Orlando restaurants from someone who is paid to know. Scott Joseph is the former restaurant critic for the Orlando Sentinel. He’s since hung out his own shingle and hosts an active forum with news you can use about the Orlando dining scene.

Guyswithties.org: This philanthropic organization has chapters in 3 cities: Jacksonville, Orlando and Charlotte. They run everything from happy hours to full out parties. Most events require a donation, cash or toy, etc to enter. Some highlights include The Disco Ball, Annual White Party, Costumes for a Cause.

OrlandoEventSeries.com: This site host events around Orlando most of which raise money for charity. They have run everything from Wine-Walks, to Casino Nights, to an annual Bachelorette/Bachelor Action auction – all for charity. Typically these events have an upfront cost, $20 gets you a free drink and raffle ticket.

OTownHappyHour.com: Promotes special events in conjunction with local bars and restaurants. Typically, there is no cover or cost for OTown events – instead each event offers discounted drinks and food. Most recently the site is promoting a happy hour with a free buffet and drink specials.

I hope next time you’re in Orlando you take some time to escape the theme parks and see The City Beautiful like a local does. I’ll see you there.

lvolcheff Destinations , , , , ,