Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Discover Trekking the Atlas Mountains in Morocco


Trek the vast rugged expanse of the High Atlas Mountains, through the beautiful Toubkal Valley. Visit rural Berber villages tucked away on mountain sides, witness the spectacular panoramic views and explore the bustling souks in Marrakesh.

Starting in Marrakesh we take a scenic drive into the Atlas Mountains to Imi-n-Oughlad, the starting point of our High Atlas adventure! Here, we meet the cooks and team, with their sturdy mules, who will be trekking with us for the next 5 days. The High Atlas is the highest mountain range in North Africa, with several peaks over 4000 meters and beautiful scenery. Today we trek up winding rocky paths, to the beautiful Tizi-n-Tacht pass, where we stop for lunch. Continuing on to the Berber village of Tizi Oussem we spend the night in a rustic Berber house.

Journey past Berber villages, goat herders, terraced fields and up through the Mssik pass to reach Imil, in the heart of the Mizane Valley. Imlil is a popular starting point for many High Atlas treks and it features in Kundun, Martin Scorsese’s film about the Dalai Lama; in which he used the High Atlas to double as the Himalayas.

We continue trekking along rocky paths and through pine groves, surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas, until we arrive in Tachedirte to spend a leisurely afternoon in this beautifully scenic setting.


Trekking through the lush Tachedirte valley, we stop at a hillside Berber village for some refreshments before continuing to the remote village of Agadir, where we spend the night. The next day we complete the final leg of our Atlas trek, finishing in Oukiemden, a picturesque hill station.

Return to Marrakesh and enjoy a day exploring the exotic city of Marrakesh, with its beautiful Koutoubia mosque and fabulous central square – Djemma-el-fna. Packed full of colour, spicy aromas, traders, snake charmers and fortune tellers - Djemaa el Fna is a feast for all of the senses!

This 8-day trekking tour departs August, September and October.

For more information or to make your reservation, visit OnTheGoTours.

Press Release Courtesy of OnTheGoTours
Flickr.com Photo Credit: Marrakesh
by Natalie Maynor

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ryan Air - On Sale Today Only!!


On Sale Today Only with Ryan Air!


Get the Best Hotel Value for Your Dollar


Thanks to our friends over at Hotwire.com for putting together their latest report on current hotel rates across the U.S. and Canada.

As we all know, the economy has taken a toll on the travel industry and hotel rates are no exception. Here are the top 5 cities where hotel prices have dropped (take advantage of these lower rates and get the maximum value for your dollar) and the top 5 cities where prices have skyrocketed (in some cases) over last year at this time.

Top Hotwire Hotel Price Changes for August 2010 v.s. Last Year

Decreasing
in Price:
  1. -6% San Diego, CA - average room rate, per night $106 (3.5 star)
  2. -6% Richmond, VA - $85 (4 star)
  3. -4% Omaha, NE - $68 (3 star)
  4. -3% Fort Lauderdale, FL - $82 (4 star)
  5. -2% Las Vegas, NV - $65 (4 star)
Increasing in Price:
  1. +40% Anchorage, AK - average room rate, per night $115 (3 star)
  2. +25% Syracuse, NY - $95 (3 star)
  3. +22% Toronto, ON - $107 (4 star)
  4. +19% San Francisco, CA - $91 (3 star)
  5. +18% Seattle, WA - $105 (3.5 star)
Even though there was a dramatic increase in room rates in cities like Anchorage and Syracuse, it must be noted that six of these cities offer hotel room rates under $100 per night.

For more information, view the Hotwire Hotel Rate Report here.

Flickr.com Photo Credit: Richmond Skyline and James River
by TaberAndrew



Friday, August 27, 2010

Dublin: 31 Attractions, 25 Special Offers


When you're planning your vacation to Dublin, take advantage of the special savings offered by the Dublin Pass. The pass provides entrance fees, discounts, transportation, and more - everything a visitor could want - about the only thing the pass doesn't offer are hotels in Dublin. Everything else is covered!

Currently available at a 15% discount, let's take a look at the full benefits of purchasing a Dublin Pass:
  • free admission to 31 of Dublin's top attractions including the Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin Zoo and more
  • 25 special offers including discounts for An Evening of Food, Folklore, and Fairies; Historical Walking Tours of Dublin; Railtours Ireland; and the Irish House Party
  • free Dublin airport transfers into the city of Dublin onboard a comfortable Aircoach bus
  • free admission into the Croke Park Experience where sports is the name of the game
  • skip the line ups and use the VIP entrance with your Dublin Pass
The Dublin Pass is available in 1, 2, 3, and 6 consecutive day increments; prices start at €35 (USD $44) per adult and €19 ($24) per child. Each purchase includes a free Dublin Pass Guidebook.

But hurry, you only have until August 30, 2010, to take advantage of this special 15% savings offer!

For more information, visit Dublin Pass.

Flickr.com Photo Credit:
Walking along Dublin Castle on a beautiful sunny afternoon, a great Sunday, a wonderful time, great joy and magical moments! Take your time, explore and enjoy!:) by U-g-g-B-o-y-(-Photograph-World-Sens e-)'s photostream

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Follow in Julia Robert's Footsteps on Eat, Pray, Love trip


With the bestselling book, "Eat, Pray, Love" which debuted in theaters last week, you too may be inspired to seek out inner peace and true happiness. That's why award-winning private guided travel company, Kensington Tours, has created a journey of self discovery like no other, following in the footsteps of author Elizabeth Gilbert, played by Julia Roberts in the highly anticipated movie. No company is better equipped to lead such a voyage than Kensington Tours, named by National Geographic “the Best Adventure Travel Company on Earth.”

Feed your soul and please your palate in an Italy trip, find inner peace at the tranquil Yoga Niketan Ashram in India and learn the secrets of your heart in Bali. In each country, Kensington Tours has arranged authentic local experiences and stays in luxurious hotels,each reflecting the character of the destination in their Eat Pray Love Tour.


Discover Rome “the eternal city,” in Italy taking in experiences similar to the “Eat” section of the bestselling book.Your private guide will take you on an appetizing culinary tour through this land, famous for its cuisine. Savor gelato steps from the Piazza Navona.Visit a pasta connoisseur in Bologna, where you’ll learn how to make tortellini and tagliatelle. Travel to the chocolate shop where solid chocolate was first invented and sip celebrated vintages in the company of a sommelier.


Gilbert called the second part of her journey through India “Pray,” and what a better way to learn to meditate than to do it in the very spot Buddha taught the Dharma following his enlightenment, Sarnath - considered one of holiest Buddhist sites in all of Asia.


Spend five magical nights at the world renowned Yoga Niketan Ashram with a master of Raj Yoga. Located in Rishikesh and affectionately named, “The World Capital of Yogi,” it is deemed so sacred that meditation there can also lead to nothing less than “Moksha” - Nirvana. A yoga holiday gives you lasting peace and contentment.


No pilgrimage to India is complete without a visit to the unforgettable spectacle of Varanasi, where men and women bathe in the Holy Ganges, funeral pyre’s blaze in the background and the loved one’s remains are cast into the great river. In Varanasi, accommodations include a stay at the immutable Taj Ganges, a venerable haven of peace and tranquility.


It's no coincidence Gilbert entitled the final portion of the trip to Bali “Love,” since Bali has been known for centuries as “The Soul of Replenishment.” After all, that is where the author found her love, Filipe. Kensington Tour’s travelers will experience that in spades with visits to the same palm reader that Gilbert met. As the soothsayer says, “Smile with face and with mind, and good energy will come to you.”


The itinerary features visits to sacred shrines, such as the awe inspiring Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, which honors the goddess Dewi Danau. At the elegant Pita Maha Resort and Spa set in the mountains of Ubud, Bagus Jati, you’ll spend time at their Rejuvenation and Healing Spa, where attendants will induce a state of deep relaxation. Choose from a variety of world-class well-being programs that will bring about a state of wellness.

Kensington Tours has been loyal to the book, so you will even witness the “monkey dance,”where 100 shirtless men whip up an astonishing spiritual frenzy while chanting with arms reaching for the sky – all with the intention of driving out evil.


For those who are able to take a break for an extended life-changing trip either by yourself, with a partner or as a girlfriends getaway, this pull-out-the-stops 27-day tour costs $10,178 per person - a terrific value for a month-long trip privately guided experience to three countries!


While this itinerary includes stays at five-star resorts, Kensington can also customize a more modest trip at 24-days, which costs $7,898 and includes accommodations in elegant, but less costly,four and three-star-hotels, or visit any one of the three countries starting at$1,323 for Bali, $2,790 for Italy or $3,785 for India.


All prices are based on double occupancy. Kensington Tours offers custom guided tours to over 80 countries around the world. So whatever your means of enlightenment, Kensington Tours' flexibility can make it a reality at a wide range of price points.

For more information, visit Kensington Tours.

Press Release: Kensington Tours
Flickr.com Photo Credit:
This Was My View All Weekend
by CosmoPolitician

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Travel Writer: On Sale This Week!

Sandals WonderFall Savings!
Beacehs Summer Sale
Sandals is offering the best rates of the year
including up to 65% off select resorts!
(Minimum stay of 3 nights is required)
Additionally, guests staying for 7 nights or longer can get
Up to 2 nights free at select locations!


Hurry - this sale ends September 20, 2010!



Air France Back to School Promotion!
Whether you live in Buffalo, NY, or Toronto, ON,
be sure to take advantage of the
Air France Back to School Sale!
Fares, in Canadian dollars, including all taxes
start as low as
$829 to Paris and Brussels
$859 to Rome and Geneva
$929 to Lisbon
$1,065 to Athens
$1,139 to Cairo
$1,305 to Dubai
$1,320 to Nairobi
$1,395 to Delhi

Hurry - this sale also ends September 20, 2010!

Image: Air France Back to School Promotion

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Labor Day Long Weekend Savings


With the September long weekend right around the corner, hotels and resorts in Arizona and Florida are enticing visitors with discounts and savings.

The beautiful Sanibel Harbor Marriott Resort & Spa on the Gulf Coast is offering up some crazy fun (contests, entertainment, barbecues, movies) during the Labor Day weekend. Plus they're also offering 20% off their room rates - rates start at $159 per night and are only $119 per night for Florida residents. As an added bonus, Land Shark lagers are just $2.

On the north east coast of Florida, you'll find The Addison on Amelia Island and their Dog Days of Summer deal promotion where you'll receive 5 nights for the price of 4. Rates start at $211 and include an outdoor barbecue on September 5th.

The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa in South Carolina invites you to spend an eco-friendly weekend with rates starting at $249 during the Labor Day Weekend. Storytelling and outdoor movies are planned for the weekend plus there's opportunities for exploring and wildlife viewing.

The beautiful Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ, promises an unforgettable experience and fun events during the long weekend - water games, a movie showing, and a performance by Gabriel Alaya, a Native American classical guitarist. Rates for the fun filled weekend start at $315 per night by using the promotional code SPEC1 when booking.

Flickr.com Photo Credit: Late Afternoon Sun on the Red Rocks near Boynton Canyon, Sedona
by Alaskan Dude


Monday, August 23, 2010

The Art of Exploring Canada


Canada has an amazing wealth of hidden gems, including vibrant cities and beautiful scenic destinations. The Canadian Tourism Commission is committed to helping visitors explore the beautiful country of Canada.

Check out these recent blog posts to help plan your next vacation to Canada and don't forget to order your FREE Official Travel Planner.
And don't miss the Get Great Deals section where you'll find a directory of 482 deals (currently) for Canadian hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more!

For more information, visit Canada Travel.

Flickr.com Photo Credit:
Classic View of a Cloudfree Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
by Alaskan Dude

Friday, August 20, 2010

What You Need to Know: Secure Flight Passenger Data


Under the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Secure Flight is a behind the scenes program that enhances the security of domestic and international commercial air travel through the use of improved watch list matching. By collecting additional passenger data, it will improve the travel experience for all airline passengers, including those who have been misidentified in the past.

When passengers travel, they will be required to provide the following Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) to their airline when making a reservation:

*
Name as it appears on government-issued I.D. when traveling

* Date of Birth

* Gender

* Redress Number (if available)


The airline will transmit this information to Secure Flight, who uses it to perform watch list matching. This serves to prevent individuals on the No Fly List from boarding an aircraft and to identify individuals on the Selectee List for enhanced screening. After matching passenger information against government watch lists, Secure Flight transmits the matching results back to airlines.

The Transportation Security Administration began implementing Secure Flight in late 2009 and expects all international carriers with direct flights to the U.S. to begin using Secure Flight by the end of 2010.

Beginning November 1, 2010, air reservations without full SFPD will be rejected by the TSA's Secure Flight rule and will not be processed. Although this mandate for airlines is effective November 1, 2010, many airlines have announced they will begin enforcing the SFPD requirements as early as July 1, 2010, to ensure compliance with the TSA.

For more information, visit the Secure Flight Program.

Flickr.com Photo (in jest) Credit:
Airport Security - New Rules by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Carnival Cruise Lines Update


Carnival Cruise Lines is one of the most progressive cruise lines in the world. They're always thinking of ways to make the cruise ship experience bigger and better for guests onboard.

Carnival is also adding more fun to their ships with the addition of the new Punchliner Comedy Clubs which will be featured on all 22 of their Fun Ships by year end.

Located in the ship's aft lounge, each Punchliner Comedy Club will offer guests loads of laughs with five 35-minute shows on multiple nights during each voyage, with at least two comedians performing each night. The two early-evening shows offer fun for the whole family while the later performances will feature adult-oriented comedy.

Carnival Punchliner Comedy Clubs will feature hilarious, laugh-out-loud performances from established comedians as well as rising stars, with approximately 10 shows per voyage offered on short cruise itineraries and approximately 20 shows per cruise on longer length departures.

For more information on Punchliner Comedy Clubs or to book your cruise, visit Carnival Cruise Lines.

Press Release & Photo: Carnival Cruise Lines

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fabulous Food Festivals in Oregon


Don't let Mother Nature fool you, there's still plenty of time to enjoy the summer. These Fabulous Food Festivals in Oregon are just a sample of what's out there.

Forest Grove Uncorked - August 21, 2010
Get “Uncorked” in Forest Grove. Features the areas abundance fine wineries, micro-brew beer, area restaurant and live music. Over a dozen wineries, a variety of small plates, and craft foods. Purchase wine by the taste, glass or bottle. A portion of the proceeds will go a local charity Forest Grove Fire Department Toy and Joy program. Uncork the fun! (this is a 21 and over event, no dogs allowed). Cost: $10 include commemorative wine glass.

The World of Wine Festival - August 28, 2010
The World of Wine Festival (WOW) in Gold Hill is the Rogue Valley's premier wine event -- showcasing outstanding wines made exclusively with Southern Oregon grapes. WOW showcases the expertise of local wine grape growers and the creativity of regional winemakers with a delicious array of gourmet foods and live music prepared by Southern Oregon’s premier restaurants and artisan producers.

Great American BBQ Tour - August 27-29, 2010
If you're craving some of the world's tastiest barbeque, then you've come to the right place! Salem is a stop on The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) Great American BBQ Tour is on the road again helping to spread the word to the masses about "America's Cuisine".

Mt. Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days - August 27-29, 2010
Welches is the place to be for fresh wild huckleberries, huckleberry jam and other products which will be featured along with music, arts and crafts, tours, Native American Salmon Bake, plus other great foods, and much more.

For more information, visit the links above or Travel Oregon.

Press Release: Travel Oregon
Flickr.com Photo Credit: Oregon Harvest Dawn 07 by Craig.Camp

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Braderie de Lille 2010 - Europe's Largest Flea Market

Just over an hour away from Paris by TGV, up to two million visitors will pack the streets of Lille, France, as they bargain hunt at Europe's largest flea market, September 4 and 5, 2010.

Dating back to medieval times, the massive Braderie de Lille will have over 10,000 exhibitors selling everything from trash to treasures. One of the most anticipated flea markets in Europe, the event starts at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and lasts until 11:00 p.m. Sunday.


A tradition that takes place during the Braderie is the competition between local restaurants to build the highest pile of empty mussel shells. Moules & frites (mussels & chips) are the popular snack throughout the weekend and it’s estimated that over 500 tons of mussels will be consumed.


Before heading back to Paris, take the time to enjoy a historical walking tour of Old Lille or a City Tour by mini-bus; don't miss the local culinary delights including Carbonnade Flamande (beer beef stew) and Waterzoi (chicken and vegetables).

When planning your trip to Paris, take advantage of the savings offered by the Paris Pass and check out these hotels in Paris city centre with swimming pool and other amenities. When it comes to traveling abroad, a little planning can add up to a lot of savings leaving you with more money to spend at Braderie.


For more information, visit Office de Tourisme De Lille.


Flickr.com Photo: Market Square, Lille, France by Jim Linwood

Monday, August 16, 2010

Discover: The Pyramids and Nile Cruise


Offered by Friendly Planet Travel based in Jenkintown, PA, the 2011 dates for the 9-day Pyramids and Nile Cruise tour have just been announced with savings available if you book by October 20, 2010.

For $2,099, travelers can stand in the shadow of the Sphinx, gaze at the pyramids of Giza, tour the city of Cairo, sail down the Nile River, and more. Egypt's contrast of ancient treasures and contemporary cities has made it one of the world's most popular travel destinations, and Friendly Planet has put together nine first-class tours highlighting the most desirable sites and exotic locales Egypt has to offer.

Included in the price are roundtrip flights from New York (JFK) via EgyptAir; five-star hotel accommodations at the Ramses Hilton or Cairo Sheraton; four nights aboard the five-star Tamr Henna ship in outside balcony cabin; all internal flights; ground transportation and transfers, with assistance and porterage; daily breakfast buffet and all meals aboard the cruises; comprehensive sightseeing programs, including a half-day in Cairo featuring the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx; and professional, English-speaking local tour guides.

"The Pyramids and Nile Cruise is one of Friendly Planet's most popular tours, and our signature tour to Egypt," says Peggy Goldman, President of Friendly Planet Travel. "Almost every tour sold out in 2010, and customers continue to flood us with positive feedback from their trips. Travelers can't seem to get enough of Egypt, so we're jam packing the beginning of 2011 with nine departure dates. Each one is sure to sell out, so don't wait to book your tour! These dates include: Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb. 9, Feb. 23, March 9, March 16, April 6, April 27, and May 4.

The Pyramids and Nile Cruise begins in Cairo, where you'll stay on the bank of the Nile River in the Ramses Hilton or Cairo Sheraton hotel. Here your breath will be taken away at the sight of the Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren, which have stood for 46 centuries, and the Sphinx. Next fly to Luxor and walk the Temple of Karnak, one of the most overwhelming monuments of the Pharaonic legacy, and Luxor Temple. Then board the Tamr Henna and settle into your outside balcony cabin.

From there you begin your luxury excursion down the Nile River. The first stop is in Esna to see the Valley of the Kings and the Deir El Bahari mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut. After Esna comes Edfu, home to the Temple of Horus, Egypt's best-preserved temple. Continue sailing to Kom Ombo to the Temple of Kom Ombo. It overlooks the Nile and features fascinating drawings on the walls, including detailed drawings of surgical instruments. Lastly, you'll disembark in Aswan to enjoy a tour by felucca, a swift Egyptian sailboat, around Elephantine Island, once the center of modern Aswan.

Head back to Cairo by air to sightsee in the cosmopolitan city or take advantage of an optional guided tour of Old Cairo. If time and budget permits, opt for the extension to the Lost City of Petra in nearby Jordan. You'll tour the Monastery and Treasury at Petra, the Amman Citadel, the Roman Amphitheater, and more with your English-speaking guide along to explain the highlights of this amazing site.

To enjoy a longer stay in cruise including a 7-night Nile cruise, Friendly Planet also offers the 12-day Treasures of Egypt tour for $2,199. Also available is the eight-day Pyramids and Petra tour for only $1,799, which offers a taste of Egypt's antiquities in and around Cairo plus a visit to Amman, Jordan's capital and the amazing Petra.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit Friendly Planet Travel.

Press Release: Friendly Planet Travel
Flickr.com Photo Credits:
Petra - Jordan
by Nonmipare
Giza Pyramids, Egypt by Neiljs


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Kids Fly Free to Fiji with Air Pacific - Extended!

Kid's Fly Free - Extended!
Plus New Sale Fares from $650!!


Hearing the words 'kids fly free' is music to any parent's ear. But hearing that Kids Fly Free with Air Pacific to Fiji, is even better.

Fijians love children, parents love the picturesque white sand beaches & turquoise waters - this along with huge savings makes for the perfect family vacation.

On sale now until September 30, 2010, the Kids Fly Free to Fiji promotion to the alluring South Pacific allows one child or infant per accompanying adult to fly for free, taxes and surcharges of $267 are not included - a bargain at this price.

Travel can take place from August 1, 2010, right through to February 28, 2011, so don't dismiss this offer without thinking of the upcoming winter travel season. What a great family trip this would make in the fall or next year!

New Sale Fares from $650!
Air Pacific has launched a series of special airfares.

For $650USD, fly roundtrip from Los Angeles to Fiji. For $700USD fly roundtrip from Los Angeles to Sydney or Brisbane, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand and Apia, Western Samoa with free stopovers in Fiji.

For $800USD fly roundtrip from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand with option for free stopover in Fiji.

Fares are on sale now until October 31, 2010 and valid for travel until the end of March 2011.

For more information or to make reservations, visit Air Pacific.

Air Pacific Press Release & Image


Friday, August 13, 2010

Discover the New Orleans Seafood Festival


There's just something about the combination of New Orleans and seafood that makes the heart go pitter-pat, don't you agree? And one of the nicest months to visit New Orleans is in September, when the temperatures are down and the 4th Annual New Orleans Seafood Festival is underway.

Taking place September 10-12, 2010, in downtown New Orleans, the Seafood Festival is a further combination New Orleans fun, seafood, music, and displays by local artists. Enjoy cuisine offered up by such well known restaurants as Arnaud's, King Creole, ACME Oyster House, and Drago's Seafood Restaurant.

If you arrive on Thursday, be sure to take in the Saints game at the Louisiana Superdome, then take your ticket stub to the festival on Friday to take advantage of the drink specials only for Saints fans. In turn, culinary fans will enjoy the celebrity chef demonstrations throughout the weekend.

If you have any concerns over consuming seafood caught in the Gulf of Mexico due to the BP oil spill, the New Orleans Seafood Festival states that "Seafood from Louisiana is safe and healthy to eat. To date, all tests are coming back showing that Louisiana seafood is safe to consume."

Let's support New Orleans and our friends in the Gulf by attending this sure-to-be delicious culinary event that can only be done New Orleans style. For more information, visit New Orleans Seafood Festival.

Flickr.com Photo Credit: Famous Names by Gamene

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Air Canada Worldwide Sale

AIR CANADA WORLDWIDE SALE


BOOK BY AUGUST 19, 2010

TRAVEL UNTIL DECEMBER 15, 2010

Discover Marina Bay Sands in Singapore


Marina Bay Sands Hotel consists of three unique hotel towers crowned by the magnificent Sands SkyPark®. With over 2,500 rooms and suites, Marina Bay Sands Hotel is the biggest hotel in Singapore. The rooms offer views of the South China Sea or Marina Bay and the Singapore skyline.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel at a Glance

-2,561 rooms and suites, 55 floors, 18 different room types

-Includes 230 luxury suites that come with butler service and privileged access to VIP areas
An array of dining experiences at the hotel include:
  • Rise, an all-day restaurant featuring world cuisine, emphasizing South East Asian specialties; Rise offers buffet and a-la-carte breakfast, lunch, dinner and late supper.
  • Rise Lounge, a lobby lounge serving light fare, express continental breakfast, afternoon tea and refined wines and cocktails.
  • Fuse, a lobby bar that is the energy center of the atrium, offering mood and vibe music
  • SweetSpot, an espresso bar, bakery and cake shop.
  • Jin Shan, a high-end restaurant serving exquisite Chinese fare.
  • 24-hour In-Room Dining, which offers an eclectic menu selection to tantalize the palate of guests from every region and traditional comfort food.
Other highlights of the hotel include:
  • The hotel has sloping towers and straight legs connected at Level 23 to form a single building. In hotel tower 1, the slope is as steep as 26 degrees, making it one of the most complex hotels ever built.
  • Marina Bay Sands built one new hotel floor every 4 days, the fastest pace ever for a development of this scale in Singapore.
The Best Views of Singapore - Sands SkyPark
The Sands SkyPark is an architectural masterpiece sitting on top of the three hotel towers at Marina Bay Sands. This 1.2 hectare tropical oasis is longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall and large enough to park four-and-a-half A380 jumbo jets. It extends to form the one of the world’s largest public cantilevers.
  • 200 meters in the sky
  • Landscaped gardens are home to 250 trees and 650 plants
  • 12,400 square meters of space big enough to fit three football fields
  • Exclusive restaurants including The Sky on 57, helmed by Singapore’s celebrity chef Justin Quek
  • A spectacular public observation deck that can host hundreds of people
  • A 150-meter infinity swimming pool, the world’s largest outdoor pool at that height
Press Release and Photo: Marina Bay Sands - View From Merlion Courtesy of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Travel Writer: On Sale This Week!

ALASKA AIRLINES
Residents of California, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest - take note. Alaska Airlines has just announced their Hawaii is Now sale with fares starting as low as $149 (one way) to Hawaii!

Take a look at these amazingly low sample fares:

$149 - Portland, OR, to Honolulu, Oahu
$149 - Portland, OR, to Maui
$149 - Bellingham, WA, to Honolulu
$159 - San Jose, CA, to Kona, Hawaii
$159 - San Diego, CA, to Maui
$199 - Anchorage, AK, to Honolulu
$199 - Vancouver, BC, to Maui
$239 - Boise, ID, to Kona
$239 - Spokane, WA, to Lihue, Kauai
$249 - Missoula, MT, to Kona

But hurry! Seats are limited with Alaska Airlines Hawaii is Now sale and all tickets must be purchased by August 15, 2010; other restrictions apply. And don't forget to order/view your FREE Hawaii Vacation Travel Planners here.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit Alaska Airlines.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FRONTIER AIRLINES
Hop Around America this fall for as low as $49 each way
with Frontier Airlines. This eSpecial was just announced yesterday and is only on sale until tomorrow, August 12, 2010.


Visit Frontier Airlines to make your reservation or for more information.


Flickr.com Photo Credit:
Hanakapiai Beach, Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
by Jeff Kubina
Frontier Airlines Logo

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

U.S. National Parks - FREE this Weekend!


In the name of the staycation by encouraging visitors to explore what they have in their own backyard, the U.S. National Park Service is offering fee-free days at over 100 national parks located across the U.S.this weekend, August 14 and 15, 2010.

The entrance fees being waived vary from $3 to $25 so if you've always wanted to visit, this weekend is the perfect time to plan a nature hike or family outing.

According to Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, "This fee-free weekend provides an opportunity for individuals and families alike to take an affordable vacation or to explore a nearby park they have never visited before," Salazar said. "I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free admission to visit not only our greatest natural wonders but also our nation’s historic and cultural icons."

For more information or to a view a complete list of U.S. National Parks, visit National Park Service.

Flickr.com Photo Credit: Zion National Park by Wolfgang Staudt

Quality of Living Across the Globe


According to Mercer’s 2010 Quality of Living survey, European cities provide some of the highest rankings in overall standards of living. Highlights of this survey also include the Top Eco-Cities in the World. Let's take a look -

Top 10 Quality of Living
for cities worldwide:
  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Geneva, Switzerland
  4. Vancouver, Canada
  5. Auckland, New Zealand
  6. Dusseldorf, Germany
  7. Frankfurt, Germany
  8. Munich, Germany
  9. Bern, Switzerland
  10. Sydney, Australia
If you're planning holidays to Canada, it's the only country to rank in the Top 5 Quality of Living Cities in the Americas:
  1. Vancouver, BC, Canada
  2. Toronto, ON, Canada
  3. Ottawa, ON, Canada
  4. Montreal, QC, Canada
  5. Calgary, AB, Canada
Mercer's has also ranked the Top 5 Eco-Cities in the World:
  1. Calgary, AB, Canada
  2. Honolulu, HI
  3. Ottawa, ON, Canada
  4. Helsinki, Finland
  5. Wellington, NZ
  6. Minneapolis, MN
  7. Adelaide, Australia
  8. Copenhagen, Denmark
  9. and 10. is a three-way tie between Kobe, Japan; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm, Sweden
Mercer’s 2010 Quality of Living Survey is based on a ‘point-scoring index’ taking into factor such things as political and social development, economic environment, medical & health, schools, public transportation, recreation, housing, and natural environment.

In regards to Eco-City ranking, Mercer's Survey takes into account such factors as the availability and potability of water, sewage and waste removal, air pollution, and traffic congestion.

For more information, visit Mercer’s 2010 Quality of Living Survey.

Fickr.com Photo Credit: Stanley Park - Artizen Schlick by Jiang Long

Monday, August 9, 2010

Top Hostels to Visit Around the World


Our friends over at HostelBookers announced earlier this year their Awards of Excellence. These honors include choosing the Top 3 Hostels per continent, Best Value, Most Popular, Best Location, Best Atmosphere, along with an Award for Cleanliness.

Without further adieu, the winners for the Top 3 Hostels per Continent are -

Africa:
Luna Hotel and Hostel - Cairo, Egypt
Riad Jomana - Marrakech, Morocco
Riad Zahraa GuestHouse - Meknes, Morocco

Asia:
Krishna Palace - Jaipur, India
Rucksack Inn - Singapore, Singapore
The Jade Emu International Guesthouse - Dali, China

Europe:
Hostel Majdas formerly called "Majdas Rooms" - Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Hostelche Hostel - Belgrade, Serbia
Travellers House - Lisbon, Portugal

North America:
Auberge L'Apéro - Montreal, Canada
Posada los Mapaches - Tulum, Mexico
Urban Oasis - New York City, USA

Oceania:
Albatross Backpacker Inn - Kaikoura, New Zealand
Port Macquarie Backpackers - Port Macquarie, Australia
The Friendly Hostel - Hervey Bay, Australia

South America:

CabanaCopa - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ventana Sur Hostel - Santiago, Chile
Yellow Stripe Hostel - Buzios, Brazil

For more information or to view the other award winners, visit HostelBookers.

Krishna Palace Photo







Friday, August 6, 2010

Japan Rail Pass


If you're planning a vacation to Japan, there's no better to way to travel once you're there than with a convenient Japan Rail Pass from the Japan Railways Group (JR Group).

Offered by the six main rail companies in Japan (Super Ozora, Norita Express, Hida, Haruka, Shiokaze, and Sonic) making up the JR Group, the Japan Rail Pass is only available for foreigners visiting Japan for tourist purposes. It must be purchased outside of Japan at an authorized sales office or travel agent.

There are two types of Japan Rail Pass tickets available: a Green pass which offers travel in Superior class Green rail cars or Ordinary class. Each of these are available in 7, 14, and 21-day durations.

The costs for the Japan Rail Pass are charged in Japanese YEN and range from JPY28,300 (USD$323) for an adult 7-day Ordinary to JPY79,600 (USD$909) for an adult 21-day Green pass. Discounted children rates for ages 6 to 11 are also available.

For information, visit Japan Rail Pass.

Japan Rail Pass image

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Discover Europe on a Mediterranean Cruise


If you've never traveled to Europe before, one of the best ways to sample a few countries is by taking one of the many Mediterranean cruises offered by all the major cruise lines.

Cruising is the best vacation value for your dollar. Just think, you'll be able to visit a new port almost every day, your accommodations and all of your meals are included, plus you'll be able to enjoy the nightly entertainment - all included in one price.

Right now is the perfect time of year to book a Mediterranean cruise as there are many specials savings and discounts available for the remaining European season. Here's a quick run down of popular Ports of Call you could see on a Mediterranean cruise:
  • Canary Islands: Tenerife
  • Croatia: Dubrovnik
  • Egypt: Alexandria, Cairo, Giza
  • France: Cannes, Marseille, Paris, La Rochelle
  • Greece: Corfu, Katakolon, Mykonos, Athens, Rhodes
  • Italy: Rome, Naples, Venice, Livorno, Elba, Florence, Genoa, Sardinia
  • Monaco: Monte Carlo
  • Morocco: Agadir, Casablanca
  • Portugal: Azores, Lisbon, Madeira
  • Senegal: Dakar
  • Spain: Barcelona, Mallorca, Seville, Vigo, Alicante, Bilbao, Cartagena
  • Turkey: Kusadasi, Istanbul
Once you've experienced the many different cultures and countries you'll find on a Mediterranean cruise, you'll have a much better idea of where you'd like to go back to. What ever port of call calls out to you, consider visiting it on your next vacation.

Flickr.com Photo Credit: Mediterranean Cruise 476 by Nitdoggx

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Discover: Turks & Caicos


Deceptively close to the US and maybe not as well known as other islands, the Turks & Caicos are located in the heart of the Caribbean, only 2 ½ hours from New York and only 1 hour from Miami.

With over 40 different islands making up the Turks & Caicos, only 8 are inhabited. The islands of Providenciales (more commonly known as Provo) and Grand Turk tend to receive the most tourists. It’s easy to island hop with the abundance of inter-island flights, by boat, or by regularly run ferries.


With a population of just over 15,000, Provo offers visitors the best selection of accommodations, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife choices throughout the Turks & Caicos. Here you’ll find those picture perfect white sand beaches, swaying tropical palms, along with an array of hotels, villas, and all-inclusive resorts to suit every budget and heart's desire.


Sightseeing highlights on Provo include visits to Grace Bay, Chalk Sound, historical Cheshire Hall and Wades Green Plantation, French Garden, the Conch Farm, and The Hole at Long Bay for swimming. If you’d like to explore the under the sea, you can enjoy an array of world-class scuba diving at various dive sites or you can view the marine life from the comfort of a glass-bottom semi-submersible.


With almost 4,000 residents, Grand Turk has the second largest population in the Turks & Caicos. Must see attractions include the Turks & Caicos National Museum, Columbus Landfall National Park, and the Grand Turk Lighthouse.
Grand Turk is also home to the newly built Grand Turk Cruise Center catering to cruise ship passengers but there's also is a Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville for everyone to enjoy.

You can also explore these islands by renting a car, going horseback riding, taking a jeep safari or a dune buggy ride. Of course, the Turks & Caicos also offers golf and endless opportunities for water sports like sailing, parasailing, boating, fishing, and gambling for those wanting to try their luck; the island’s only ‘live casino’ is the Casablanca Casino located in Providenciales.


The Turks & Caicos also offers several National Parks, protected salt ponds and marshes, bird watching, viewing humpback whales from January to April, and if you’re luckier than you were at the casino, maybe, just maybe, you’ll catch a glimpse of JoJo, the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin who has been voluntarily interacting with visitors in the wild along the shallow waters of the Turks & Caicos since 1980.


For more information about the Turks & Caicos, visit Turks & Caicos Tourism.


Flickr.com Photo Credit: 071104-turks-caicos-0012 by McClave

Monday, August 2, 2010

Top Ten Destinations for US Travelers


Thanks to our friends over at HotelsCombined.com for keeping us informed on travel trends. It's always interesting to know where everyone else is traveling just in case you might still be in the planning stages, or maybe viewing the list will even spark an idea for a future trip.

The Top Ten Destinations for US Travelers are divided up into international and staycations across the US. Without further adieu, here are the lists -

Top Ten International Destinations for US Travelers:
  1. London
  2. Rome
  3. Paris
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Sydney
  6. Bangkok
  7. Barcelona
  8. Playa del Carmen
  9. Cancun
  10. Dubai
Top Ten Domestic Destinations for US Travelers:
  1. New York City
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Miami Beach
  4. Orlando
  5. New Orleans
  6. Miami
  7. San Francisco
  8. Chicago
  9. Honolulu
  10. Los Angeles
According to HotelsCombined.com General Manager, Michael Doubinski, “London is the clear favorite for American travelers in 2010. The city currently offers good value with average room rates of USD $166, heading off second-ranked Rome at an average rate of $148 and third-placed Paris at $197."

In the domestic staycation market, data demonstrates the continued appeal of New York City, the No. 1 US visitor choice, despite its $180 average rates currently the country’s 2nd highest. By comparison, second favorite city Las Vegas is valued at $110 per night.


For more information, visit HotelsCombined.com.


Flickr.com Photo Credit: Hotel Doormen by GarryKnight