Archive for August, 2010

When people take a Southern California vacation there are usually two big stops on the itinerary: Disneyland and the beach. Huntington Beach combines beast of beach vacations with a convenient locale close to the Disney resort.

For most of the United States, summer sun and heat has given way to crisp fall temperatures. But that carefree summer spirit lives on in Honolulu vacations, where you can extend your summer well into fall with an array of festivals, concerts, and other activities at some of my favorite Honolulu hotels.

Jam-packed with hotels, restaurants, and dance clubs galore, Seminyak, Bali was the perfect beach vacation destination for two single women.

I know a good Seattle vacation when I see one. Why is that? Because I live in Seattle and spend a good portion of my time playing tour guide to friends and family who aren’t lucky enough to be local. I could plan a Seattle vacation in my sleep.

Big hotel chains looking to expand are increasingly looking around the world for opportunities. Major chains have long been fixtures overseas, of course, but the pace of expansion in recent years has picked up dramatically. And besides the obvious growth markets–China and India–the chains are beginning to penetrate what would normally be seen as secondary markets. For example, Hilton has opened a 150-room property in Gdansk, the chain’s second in Poland. And Marriott has opened its first two hotels in Sweden: a 278-room Courtyard in Stockholm and a 128-room Renaissance in Malmo. Marriott claims it will double its portfolio in Europe in the next five years.

While summers are great for a Tennessee vacation (this year has been particularly hot and humid), our minds are now on fall and football, and there’s no better place to watch a football game than Nashville, home of the Tennessee Titans.

We at Orbitz love to travel. And just as surprisingly, we love taking pictures of our vacations to show friends, family and inevitably–each other. With so many talented and savvy travelers, we figured why not have a contest to see who could snap the best shot? The winner’s photography will grace the halls of our Chicago headquarters.

What is it with kids and dinosaurs? The same child who’s terrified of moths and won’t sleep without a monster-repellant stuffed animal will correct your pronunciation of Ankylosaurus before detailing its eating habits. But there’s good news for dino-challenged parents planning family vacations –dinosaurs seem to be everywhere this year! And, much as I love Walt Disney’s rendition of the prehistoric beasts, these newer versions leave Disneyland’s animatronic giants looking a little, well, ancient.

By Joe Brancatelli Privately-held Virgin America Airlines would have you believe it’s going great guns as it celebrates its third anniversary in August. But the facts, as reflected in the first quarter results that the airline released last month, tell a different story. Yes, the airline registered $147 million in revenue in the first quarter, [read more…]

I used to think that all beach vacations were similar. There’s sand, sun, water, and the inevitably awkward man sporting a too-small Speedo. But all that changed when I took my first Hawaii vacation a few years ago. I soon discovered that, just as each island offers different flavors and scenery (where else but the Big Island can you find a sun-kissed beach and a snow-capped volcano within miles of each other?), each beach offers a little something different.

Some have calm waves lapping at the shoreline for those who want the perfect photo opp, while others are more suited for active travelers searching for windsurfing or snorkeling. Read on for the best beaches for each kind of traveler.

A sophisticated beach resort playground, Cancun has become a top Mexico vacation spot along the Mayan Riviera with some of the most pristine white-sand beaches in the world. Whether it’s for trendy nightclubs, elegant eateries or family-friendly activities, Cancun has it all. And what better way to plan a holiday than choosing all-inclusive Mexico hotels where your wallet never has to see the light of day? Here are some personal family-favorite all-inclusive resorts jam-packed with activities, food, and fun:

Living in Park City, Utah for the past 9 years, I’ve really experienced some of what southern Utah has to offer. I’ve explored some of the most incredible national parks, biked and hiked unbelievable trails. Every fall my family and I pack up the car and head south to Moab or St. George for a long weekend. We look forward to the last bit of summer before the cold weather hits the mountains. Some of the most amazing sites and activities to do are in southern Utah.

My husband took my son camping last weekend. Me? I’m a hotel person at heart–generally a fan of comfort. Instead, I took the opportunity for a girls’ weekend across the US-Canada border to the Seattle Premium Outlets. To me, shopping is is just like a trip to the great outdoors: you have to be prepared! Here’s my essential tips, tricks and deals to make your bargain hunting excursion a breeze.

The epic family vacation finally happened last month and I’m still glowing as I write this now: South Seas Island resort on Captiva Island was incredible, glorious, the whole shebang and more. No wonder this resort was recently named one of Parents Magazine’s Top 10 Resorts for Families.

After almost two years of cutbacks in flights, airlines are beginning to add new service again. The new flights will barely put a dent in the nearly 20 percent contraction in the national route network, but it can’t hurt. Here’s what to look for soon:

Don’t be surprised if you come bursting out of the theater after seeing ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ with a sudden urge to take a solo trip around the world. Not only are the featured destinations – Italy, India and Bali — some of the most beautiful and culturally-rich places to visit, but heading out on a solo adventure can prove to be a rewarding experience. Here are some tips and advice for those who are considering going it alone:

Strut out in your all white cabana-wear for a final summer whirl (last chance before you’ll warrant a ticket from the fashion police!) and head to Las Vegas — the number one destination on this year’s top 10 Labor Day weekend destinations list.

Based on future hotel and vacation package bookings for the 2010 holiday weekend, this Orbitz list takes us to big cities across the country like New York and Chicago, and — not surprisingly — to the East and West coasts with Boston and LA..

Still not sure where to go? Cover your eyes, point toward the list and voilà — you’ll have a sure-fire winner for your Labor Day getaway.

In the discriminating traveler’s lexicon–especially frequenters of top-notch Las Vegas hotels–two words are synonymous with elegance: Mandalay Bay. But if elegance is all that comes to mind, you probably haven’t been lately. You could write a book on the amenities and attractions, but it’s the Mandalay Bay Beach that’s most likely to inspire true poetry.Sound a trifle melodramatic? Wrap your mind around this: The Mandalay’s got a beach. In the middle of the desert.

Every once in a while, we need to treat ourselves to some much-deserved pampering. Luxury cruises can be a great way to kick back, relax and enjoy plush accommodations, five-star dining and service, all in the same place. Plus, your destination options range from classic Bermuda, Caribbean, and Mexican Riviera sailings to more exotic choices like the Mediterranean, Tahiti, and the Panama Canal. There’s no shortage of captivating locales to pick from. There are quite a few luxury lines out there, and each brings something different to the impeccably-set table.

Delta Airlines has announced what it claims is a “major enhancement” of its domestic schedule: “first-class service on flights longer than 750 miles.” But the supposed enhancement is less than business travelers could wish for.