Archive for August, 2009

By Joe Brancatelli SEASONAL STRATEGIST At-the-Gate Air Upgrades Are Back: At-the-gate upgrades all but disappeared when airlines began tying a move to the front of the bus to a traveler’s elite status. Even in traditional down times, there were so many elites vying for so few available upgrades that airlines rarely had any space left [read more…]

By Mark McCullough Each fall, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Tampa transform into a great seasonal family vacation destination known as Howl-O-Scream. Despite the name, the folks at Busch are very careful to include venues for all ages so as not to frighten away the little ones. Being locals to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, our family has [read more…]

By MaryFlynn I have taken my two oldest kids, ages 19 and 21, to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando for the past five years, and it has now become our family tradition to go each year. The first time we went in the middle of the week, which I preferred since there were less [read more…]

By Mark Verone “Back to school” is music to the ears of many parents dreaming of getting back into a normal schedule. For us, “back to school” means family vacations with fewer crowds, shorter lines, less people and great travel deals. As parents of a non-school-age toddler, we find that travel is more enjoyable during [read more…]

By Lena Katz When choosing a place to hang my traveler’s hat for the night, I’ve always been a fan of the boutique and the unique. Which is yet another reason I love California: So many California hotels aredesigned to bring a sense of place: the sunny-chic Los Angeles hotels on the beach, the cool [read more…]

By Alistair Wearmouth My creeping cynicism about what lay in store for us in Wisconsin Dells was quickly dispelled by my son’s voice chirping to his younger sister from the backseat: “Oh man, this is going to be so exciting!” His excitement arose from the fact that we were driving into a kid’s fantasyland of [read more…]

If you want to ditch the backyard bbq and have a travel adventure this Labor Day weekend, we have good news. Average hotel rates are lower than last year, so pack your bags and take advantage of the top 10 Labor Day travel deals. Labor Day in Las VegasIf you’d rather spend money on the [read more…]

By Samantha Chapnick Take a New York City vacation in August to see exactly how cyclist friendly the city and New York hotels, streets, and shops have become. Janette Sadik-Khan (the city’s transportation commissioner) is determined to give local and visiting bikers a new, safer way to enjoy the best parts of our city from [read more…]

If you are the type of person who can’t find their way out of a room that’s furnished with nothing but a door, or simply want to know everything about a hotel before you book, Orbitz has you covered. On August 17, 2009, Orbitz became the only major U.S. online travel company to integrate Google [read more…]

By Lena Katz Six months ago a certain guy from Hawaii introduced the “Yes, we can!” mantra to the American public, and now we’re reprising it right in time for the end of summer. After too many months of denying yourself all things fun and sunshiney, the question as August rolls around is, “Can I [read more…]

By Rhonda Osborne My parents used to pack the family into our car and head out on the road for a 1- to 2-week family vacationeach summer as soon as school let out. With family located in Kentucky, this meant an opportunity to drive down to Tennessee for part of our trip as well. It [read more…]

By E. C. Gladstone It happens: Every so often, I’ll meet someone who tells me they “just don’t like Vegas.” Now, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, of course, but when I ask a few more questions, the issue usually involves an aversion to staying in the casino environment. I could argue that every casino is [read more…]

By Joe Brancatelli THE AIRPORT REPORT San Jose Terminal B Concourse Opens Its First Five Gates: Aging San Jose Airport in Silicon Valley is getting a $1.3 billion makeover and here’s the first evidence of the upgrade: Five gates have opened in the new Terminal B Concourse. All the gates will be used by Southwest, [read more…]

By Samantha Chapnick I love Washington, D.C. It’s one of the few major cities where you can live the high life for less, thanks to the affordably priced Washington, D.C. hotels, free Smithsonian museums, and plethora of civic sites. Here are my favorite ways to do D.C. for free, or almost free. I’m assuming you [read more…]

By Brian Chapman After moving around as an Army brat and growing up all over the world, I finally found a place to settle down: the Coconut Grove area of Miami. Like the rest of Miami, Coconut Grove is blessed with warm weather and tropical sunshine year ’round.  However, unlike the hustle and bustle of [read more…]

By Joe Brancatelli NEED TO KNOW On-the-Road Intelligence to Help You Travel Smarter: The Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved Continental Airlines‘ application to join the Star Alliance. It also granted antitrust immunity to Continental and United Airlines, the U.S. anchor of the Star Alliance. However, the DOT did insist on some “carve outs.” Continental [read more…]

By Lena Katz “That chicken club sandwich cost $25 dollars? But it didn’t even have cheese on it!!” *Cue sputtering outrage. As anyone who’s ever had this reaction to a poolside lunch tab knows, a boatload of extra charges for beverage, food and activitiescan nearly sink the vacation vibe, particularly if you’re traveling with kids [read more…]

By Joe Brancatelli SECURITY WATCH All Airport Registered-Traveler Lanes Are Now Closed: Now you can write a definitive obituary for registered traveler programs. The last two players in the game, Flo and Vigilant, have now closed their airport lanes after Clear, the biggest operatorof airport-bypass services, folded in June. Flo, which operated line-jump lanes in [read more…]

While most travel destinations might react to a slower season by offering less options, the Las Vegas Hotels it seems are actually offering more–at least when it comes to entertainers. New production shows and residencies have opened all over town in recent weeks, and this August-September, as usual, there’s a parade of big names coming through.

By Samantha Chapnick A Florida vacation is usually about water — either a day at the beach or a dip in the hotel pool. But there are plenty of other, unique ways and places to enjoy the water while you’re in Florida. Here are my family’s top 10: Aquatica: Simply the best water park we’ve [read more…]