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Hotel Flash Sales Roundup!

7 May

I don’t know about you, but the weekend is when I do most of my vacation planning (or wanderlust researching). If you are currently scoping out various locations for inspiration, or looking for a good deal, check out the various flash sale websites that are around.

Here are some of my go-to flash sale websites:

  • Jetsetter
  • Vacationist
  • SniqueAway
  • Ideeli
  • RueLaLa
  • Living Social Escapes

There are tons of great sales out there this week but I’ve highlighted some of my favorites below. Check them out and be sure to join these websites. You never know, you might find a great price at an ultra-luxe hotel for your next trip!

Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Flash Rates: from $365/nt

Travel Dates: May-December

Book by: Thursday, May 12

Book with: Jetsetter.com


Teton Village, WY: Snake River Lodge & Spa

Flash Rates: from $175/nt

Travel Dates: May-February, 2012

Book by: Wednesday, May 11

Book with: Jetsetter.com


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Anantara Qasr Al Sarab

Flash Rates: from $100/nt

Travel Dates: May-Feb 2012

Book by: Wednesday, May 11

Book with: Jetsetter.com


Charleston, SC: Harbourview Inn

Flash Rates: from $225/nt

Travel Dates: May-September

Book by: Thursday, May 12

Book with: SniqueAway.com

Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat

Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat

Costa Rica: Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat

Flash Rates: from $125/nt

Travel Dates: May-December

Book by: Thursday, May 12

Book with: SniqueAway.com


Whistler, Canada: Nita Lake Lodge

Flash Rates: from $139/nt

Travel Dates: May-September

Book by: Thursday, May 12

Book with: SniqueAway.com


Soufriere, Saint Lucia: Anse Chastanet

Flash Rates: from $348/nt

Travel Dates: May-October

Book by: Wednesday, May 11

Book with: Vacationist.com

Palazzo Manfredi

Palazzo Manfredi

Rome, Italy: Palazzo Manfredi

Flash Rates: from $280/nt

Travel Dates: May-September

Book by: Wednesday, May 11

Book with: Vacationist.com


Santa Cruz, Costa Rica: Bahia Del Sol Beach Front Hotel & Suites

Flash Rates: from $195/nt

Travel Dates: May-August

Book by: Wednesday, May 11

Book with: Vacationist.com

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Las Vegas, NV: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Flash Rates: from $60/nt

Travel Dates: June-September

Book by: Tuesday, May 10

Book with: Ideeli.com


Florence, Italy: Hotel Helvetia & Bristol

Flash Rates: from $369/nt

Travel Dates: July-Aug and Nov-Dec

Book by: Tuesday, May 10

Book with: Ideeli.com


Intervale, NH: Glen Oaks Inn

Flash Rates: $244 for two nights

Travel Dates: throughout the year

Book by: Tuesday, May 10

Book with: LivingSocial Escapes

Vail Cascade Resort

Vail Cascade Resort

Vail, CO: Cascade Crown Jewel

Flash Rates: $75/nt

Travel Dates: May-June

Book by: Tuesday, May 10

Book with: LivingSocial Escapes

Happy Planning!

Vacation Travel Deals Roundup!

4 May

Here are some great travel vacation deals that will spark your wanderlust and have you planning for trips you likely didn’t even have on your radar (the beauty of a sale… makes us do crazy things!).

Check it out and be sure to drop a note if you end up booking anything!

  • 4-Night Moscow Getaway/$749: Includes r/t air from NYC to Moscow; 4 nights in a 4-star hotel; daily breakfast; airline fuel surcharges; travel select dates in September or October; more at ShermansTravel
  • 6-Night Ireland Vacation/$899: Includes r/t air from NYC to Dublin; 6 nights’ accommodation (3 in Dublin at the Ashling Hotel and your choice of 3 nights in Galway at the Imperial Hotel or 3 nights in Killarney at the Scotts Hotel); r/t domestic rail between cities; daily breakfast; travel select dates October-December; book by May 13; more at ShermansTravel  
  • 5-Night Tahiti Island Tour/$1459: Includes r/t air from LA to Papeete; 5 nights at the Radisson Plaza Resort; Half Day Circle Island Tour in Tahiti; all transfers and baggage handling; travel until May 31 or November-December; book by May 20; more at ShermansTravel
  • 6-Night Paris Vacation/$999: Includes r/t air from NYC to Paris; 6 nights in the Montmartre Hill area of central Paris; daily breakfast; hotel taxes and service charges; travel Nov. 21-23; more at ShermansTravel
  • 6 Nights in Madrid and Barcelona/$1119: Includes r/t air from NYC to/from Madrid/Barcelona; domestic flights; 3 nights’ accommodation in Madrid; 3 nights’ accommodation in Barcelona; all hotel and air taxes; travel November 25; book by May 18; more at ShermansTravel
  • 8-Night Great Britain Tour/$1999: Includes r/t air from NYC to London; 8 nights’ accommodation (3 nights in London; 1 in Bristol; 1 in Liverpool; 2 in Edinburgh; 1 in Leeds); 9 meals (8 breakfasts; 1 dinner); all airport transfers; sightseeing and English-speaking tour manager; travel select dates July-October; more at ShermansTravel
  • Barcelona Vacation/$999: Includes r/t air from NYC; four nights at a 4-star hotel; daily breakfast; hotel taxes and airline fuel surcharges; travel select dates September-October; book by May 10; more at TravelZoo
  • All-Inclusive Bahamas Getaway/$299: Includes r/t air from Ft. Lauderdale; four nights at the all-inclusive Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach; all hotel fees; travel May-June; book by May 9; more at Travelzoo
  • 10-Night, 3 City Italy Vacation/$1299: Includes r/t NYC or Boston to Rome, from Venice; accommodations in 4-star hotels (3 nights in Rome at the Park Hotel Villa Grazioli; 5 nights at Fattoria degli Usignoli in Tuscany; 2 nights in Venice at Villa Pace Hotel Bolognese); manual car rental; travel November-February, 2012; book by May 13; more at Travelzoo
  • 11-Night Thailand Vacation/$1499: Includes r/t air from LA to Bangkok; intra-Thailand flight and ground transportation to Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai among other cities; accommodations for 11 nights at upscale, centrally located hotels; daily breakfast and welcome dinner; sightseeing tours and transfers with English-speaking tour manager; travel October 4 or April 3 or 17, 2012; book by May 26; more at TravelZoo
  • Riviera Maya, Mexico/$439: Includes r/t air from Ft. Lauderdale; 5-night all-inclusive stay at the Blue Bay Grand Esmerelda; travel select dates in May-August; book by May 13; more at TravelZoo
  • 9-Nights in Croatia and Slovenia/$1399: Includes r/t air from NY to Venice; r/t ground transfer to Opatija; Nine nights accommodations (three in Dubrovnik, two in Bled, two in Opatija, one in Split and one in Zagreb); all transfers and entrance fees per itinerary; English-speaking guide;  11 meals (daily breakfast, two dinners); travel select dates November- February, 2012; book by May 18; more at TravelZoo

Happy Planning!

Countdown to Thailand!

3 May

I am just one week and one day away from my very first visit to Thailand and I can hardly contain my excitement! Being this close to a trip is certainly exciting but it can also be just as stressful. Are my hotels all booked? Do I know where to go once I land? What do I do about currency? etc. etc.

I am not one to take the laid back approach when it comes to trip planning. I like to be very thorough with everything I do to ensure a relaxed, stress-free vacation.

Below are some of the things I am doing, just one week out, to eliminate some of that unnecessary, and unwanted, stress. If you are approaching a vacation and haven’t done these things already, be sure to get on it!

  1. Re-confirm all hotels, domestic and international flights
  2. Research airport transfers; will it be easy to get a taxi to your hotel? If not, arrange for a car to pick you up at the airport, prior to your departure
  3. Re-confirm all tours/activities, if pre-booked. If not, research to make sure you won’t be shut out upon arrival due to crowds
  4. Print all confirmation emails, receipts, etc. or keep them accessible on your iPad, cell phone, etc. to make sure you have proof of your purchase
  5. Call your cell phone carrier to ask them about roaming charges. If you need cell phone access, consider adding on an international plan to avoid sky-high charges. Otherwise, be sure to purchase a calling card so you can let your loved ones know when you’ve arrived safely
  6. Change some of your currency to get small bills in the local currency. This will be helpful for tips, transportation, etc. Choose whether you’d like to rely on traveler’s checks, cash or your atm card. A mix of each is usually a good balance- you never want to be 100% reliant on your atm card and then run into lack of access to machines!
  7. Call your banks (checking and credit cards) and let them know you are traveling so they don’t freeze your account once they see foreign transactions
  8. Make two copies of your passport. Keep one in your wallet (for when the original is locked in a safe) and another one at home
  9. Make copies of your credit cards, atm card and traveler’s checks to leave at home, just in case you lose your wallet and need those details
  10. Purchase TSA-friendly locks and toilet trees (if you are going with carry-on only)
  11. If bringing prescription medications, make sure you have a doctor’s note so you don’t encounter any trouble at security
  12. Type up an itinerary that includes details about where you are staying, what you are doing and how you are getting there to help keep you organized and your family informed of your travels
Keep this checklist handy and hopefully it will help you on your next vacation!

Upcoming Trip: San Francisco

19 Apr

I’m heading to San Francisco next week for the first time, if you can believe it! Super excited for it, not only to check out the new Terminal 5 at SF airport but to check out what often rivals NYC! Sadly, I am going for work and only have one day to myself but I’ve done some research and pulled together some of the “must see” staples for a first time visitor. Let me know if I’ve missed any!

Trolley Ride- Getty Images

Trolley Ride- Getty Images

First Time Visit to San Francisco

When to Go:  San Francisco generally has mild weather throughout the year but it does have a marine climate, which means chillier and damp. If you’re looking for beach weather, look elsewhere. You will get warm weather during the spring and summer but it can get pretty darn cold at times!

 

Where to Stay: Ideally you want to stay in the Union Square area where there are tons of shops, restaurants, etc. Fisherman’s Wharf is also great, especially for families looking to do tourist activities.

 

Some Union Square Hotel Options:

 

Golden Gate Bridge- Getty Images

Golden Gate Bridge- Getty Images


Must-Do Activities:

  • Golden Gate Bridge: No visit to San Francisco is complete without seeing this iconic bridge. If your schedule allows, take a walk, or bike ride, across and soak in the beautiful views of the Bay and city. Bring along a picnic and hang out in Golden Gate Park after.
  • Cable Car Hopping: The must-use method of transportation in San Francisco are the cable cars; duh!
  • Nob Hill:  This part of town has awesome views of the city but it’s a steep ways up. Take the Powell-Hyde cable car up to the top and grab a drink as you take in the views of the Bay. After completing your first Powell-Hyde cable car ride, it’s apparently a San Francisco tradition to celebrate with an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista Café, located at 2675 Hyde St.
  • Alcatraz Island: What was once home to some of America’s most dangerous offenders has now become part of the National Park Service and a fixture on all visitors’ itineraries. Cut out the middleman and book a day or night tour directly with Alcatraz Cruises; tickets start at $26
  • Shopping: Union Square, where you will likely be staying, is great for shopping but if you are looking to branch out, check out the vintage and trendy shops near Haight Street and Valencia street in the Mission and Hayes Street in Hayes Valley. If you’re looking for typical souvenirs, try Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Eat: San Francisco is one of the country’s food capitals, famous for its seafood. There are tons of great restaurants offering Dim Sum in Chinatown. Other great, trendy restaurants all over Union Square as well (see below for some of the city’s popular choices).

 

Liberty Hill

Liberty Hill- Getty Images



Popular Restaurants:

 

Some Helpful Planning Links:

Saturday Travel Flash Sale Roundup!

16 Apr

Today is Saturday and if you are anything like me, it likely means you are allocating some time to researching for your next trip (or maybe just fantasizing about it…). To help make things a little easier, I’ve pulled together a list of travel flash sales, you should have on your radar. Check out these deals before it’s too late. You never know, you might find a hotel for your next trip and save yourself some $$!

Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort

Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort

Chicago, IL: Park Hyatt

  • Flash Rates: from $195/nt
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Sunday, April 17
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

 

Las Vegas, NV: The Venetian

  • Flash Rates: from $130/nt
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Sunday, April 17
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

New York, NY: Hotel Plaza Athenee

  • Flash Rates: from $360/nt
  • Travel: June-September
  • Book by: Sunday, April 17
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

 

 

Monchique, Portugal: Longevity Wellness Resort

  • Flash Rates: from $90/nt
  • Travel: April-June
  • Book by: Sunday, April 17
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

La Terrenas, Dominican Republic: Balcones del Atlantico

  • Flash Rates: from $1,609 for four nights
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Sunday, April 17
  • Book with: RueLaLa.com

Lake Placid, NY: Lake Placid Lodge

  • Flash Rates: from $1162 for two nights
  • Travel: May
  • Book by: Sunday, April 17
  • Book with: RueLaLa.com

Koloa, HI: Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach

  • Flash Rates: from $199/nt
  • Travel: April-June
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: RueLaLa.com

 

 

St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: Galley Bay Resort & Spa

  • Flash Rates: from $429/nt
  • Travel Dates: April-September
  • Book by: Monday, April 19
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

Moscow, Russia: Ararat Park Hyatt

  • Flash Rates: from $105/nt
  • Travel: May-December
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

San Francisco, CA: The Executive Hotel Vintage

  • Flash Rates: from $99/nt
  • Travel: April-October
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

Scottsdale, AZ: Intercontinental Montelucia Resort

  • Flash Rates: from $459 for 4 nt package
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

Memphis, TN: The Peabody Memphis

  • Flash Rates: from $179/nt
  • Travel: April-December
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

Curacao: Hyatt Regency

  • Flash Rates: from $105/nt
  • Travel: May-December
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

 

 

Rancho Mirage, CA: The Westin

  • Flash Rates: from $89/nt
  • Travel: May-September
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

Litchfield Park, AZ: Wigwam Arizone

  • Flash Rates: from $69/nt
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Banyan Tree

  • Flash Rates: from $375/nt
  • Travel: April-October
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

Chicago, IL: The Sutton Place Hotel

  • Flash Rates: from $125/nt
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

Orlando, FL: Villas of Grand Cypress

  • Flash Rates: from $125/nt
  • Travel: May-September
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

 

Milan, Italy: The Gray

  • Flash Rates: from $371/nt
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

Capri, Italy: Hotel Caesar Augustus

  • Flash Rates: from $415/nt
  • Travel: April-May
  • Book by: Monday, April 18
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

 

 

West Hollywood, CA: Le Montrose Suite Hotel

  • Flash Rates: from $219/nt
  • Travel: April-October
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

Fiji: The Wakaya Club & Spa

  • Flash Rates: from $9,900 for 5-night all inclusive stay
  • Travel: June-Dember
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Ideeli.com

Antigua: St. James’ Club

  • Flash Rates: from $779 for 3-night all-inclusive stay
  • Travel: April-October
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Ideeli.com

Maui, HI: Wailea Beach Marriott

  • Flash Rates: from $345/nt
  • Travel: April-December
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Ideeli.com

 

Sunny Isles, FL: Sole on the Ocean

  • Flash Rates: from $219/nt
  • Travel: May-October
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Ideeli.com

Peter Island: Peter Island Resort

  • Flash Rates: from $229/nt
  • Travel: June-October
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Ideeli.com

Las Vegas, NV: The Signature

  • Flash Rates: from $115/nt
  • Travel: April-August
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Ideeli.com

 

Ft. Lauderdale, FL: B Ocean Fort Lauderdale

  • Flash Rates: from $105
  • Travel: April-October
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

Kauai, Hawaii: The Villas at Po’ipu Kai

  • Flash Rates: from $999 for 3 nights
  • Travel: April-November
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

San Giustino Valdarno, Italy: Villa La Grotta

  • Flash Rates: from $525 for 3 nights
  • Travel: May-October
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

 

 

Kohala Coast, Hawaii: Fairmont Orchid

  • Flash Rates: from $230/nt
  • Travel: April-November
  • Book by: Tuesday, April 19
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

Mykonos, Greece: Pietra e Mare

  • Flash Rates: from $135/nt
  • Travel: May-October
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

 

 

Stowe, VT: Topnotch

  • Flash Rates: from $130/nt
  • Travel: April- September
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

Phuket, Thailand: Paresa Resort

  • Flash Rates: from $270/nt
  • Travel: April-August
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

Bangkok, Thailand: Banyan Tree

  • Flash Rates: $120/nt
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

Vail, CO: Sonnenalp Resort

  • Flash Rates: from $110/nt
  • Travel: April-July
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

Colorado: Majestic Dude Ranch

  • Flash Rates: from $790/nt
  • Travel: May-September
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

 

 

Rome, Italy: Boscolo Palace

  • Flash Rates: from $555 for 2 nights
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

Cannes, France: Le Cavendish

  • Flash Rates: from $217/nt
  • Travel: May-December
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

Telluride, CO: Mountain Lodge at Telluride

  • Flash Rates: from $118/nt
  • Travel: April-August
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

Jackson, WY: Rusty Parrot Lodge

  • Flash Rates: from $123/nt
  • Travel: April-June
  • Book by: Wednesday, April 20
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

Antigua: St. James Club

  • Flash Rates: from $1,265 for 4 all-inclusive nights
  • Travel: April-November
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

Barcelona, Spain: ME Barcelona Hotel

  • Flash Rates: from $385 for 2 nights
  • Travel: April-August
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

Prague, Czech Republic: MOODs Boutique Hotel

  • Flash Rates: from $289 for 2 nights
  • Travel: April-August
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: Voyage Prive

 

 

Bali, Indonesia: Alila Manggis Resort

  • Flash Rates: from $95/nt
  • Travel: April-December
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

 

 

Seychelles: Banyan Tree

  • Flash Rates: from $925/nr
  • Travel: May- October
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

Santa Fe, NM: Inn and Spa at Loretto

  • Flash Rates: from $99/nt
  • Travel: April-September
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico: Villa La Estancia

  • Flash Rates: from $185/nt
  • Travel: April-Dember
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

Telluride, CO: The Hotel Telluride

  • Flash Rates: from $105/nt
  • Travel: April-December
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

Honolulu, HI; The Waikiki Edition

  • Flash Rates: from $395/nt
  • Travel: April-December
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

Nantucket, MA: The Cottages & Lofts

  • Flash Rates: from $122.50
  • Travel: May
  • Book by: Thursday, April 21
  • Book with: SniqueAway.com

 

 

Dublin, Ireland: 4-Night Irish Castle Tour

  • Flash Rates: from $2235
  • Travel: May 26
  • Book by: Friday, April 22
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

 

 

Malibu, CA: Malibu Beach Inn

  • Flash Rates: from $260/nt
  • Travel: April-June
  • Book by: Friday, April 22
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

Ochos Rios, Jamaica: The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa

  • Flash Rates: from $240/nt
  • Travel: April-August
  • Book by: Friday, April 22
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

 

Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas: Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour

  • Flash Rates: from $235/nt
  • Travel: April-August
  • Book by: Friday, April 22
  • Book with: Vacationist.com

 

 

Riviera Maya, Mexico: Esencia Estate

  • Flash Rates: from $355/nt
  • Travel: April-December
  • Book by: Saturday, April 23
  • Book with: Jetsetter.com

Happy Planning!


Flash Sale Round Up!

30 Mar

You’re trying to find a great hotel or vacation package deal but by the time you actually find a perfect fit, time has run out and rates are sky high again. Sound familiar? Or maybe you’ve spotted a great deal for a cool place but don’t know a thing about that destination. By the time you read up and find a travel buddy, the deal is gone! To prevent this from happening again, Eager For Travel has pulled together a one-stop-shop to help travel planners, like yourself, keep track of the latest flash sale deals, and make informed decisions about whether or not to book.

Every Saturday we will pull together the latest flash sale calendars and on Wednesdays, we will provide travel deal roundups! Be sure to return, as we will provide information for each of the destinations featured, helping you make the decision about whether or not to buy! Now, I know it isn’t Saturday just yet but with so many great deals ending quickly, we thought we’d get a leg up on shouting out some awesome deals you should take advantage of, before it’s too late!

Flash Sales Ending Soon- Hurry!

Memphis, TN: The Peabody Memphis

–          Flash Rates: from $155/nt
–          Travel Period: April-July
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 10am ET
–          Book with: SniqueAway.com

Camden, ME: Grand Harbor Inn
–          Flash Rates: from $105/nt
–          Travel Period: April-July
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 10am ET
–          Book with: SniqueAway.com

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Sivory Punta Cana Boutique Hotel
–          Flash Rates: from $145/nt
–          Travel Period: April-September
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 10am ET
–          Book with: SniqueAway.com

The Resort at the Mountain

Welches, OR: The Resort at the Mountain
–          Flash Rates: from $75/nt
–          Travel Period: April-July
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 10am ET
–          Book with: SniqueAway.com

Cancun: Ceiba del Mar Resort
–          Flash Rates: from $145/nt
–          Travel Period: April-July
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 12am ET
–                Book with: Jetsetter.com

Florence, Italy: Gallery Hotel Art
–                Flash Rates: from $270/nt
–                Travel Period: April-November
–                Deadline: Friday, April 1st at 12am ET
–                Book with: Jetsetter.com

Tucson, AZ: Westward Look Resort

Westward Look Resort in Tuscon, AZ (WestwardLookResort.com)

 

–          Flash Rates: from $75/nt
–          Travel Period: April-September
–          Deadline: Saturday, April 2nd at 12am ET
–          Book with: Jetsetter.com

Canouan: Tamarind Beach Hotel
–          Flash Rates: from $210/nt
–          Travel Period: April-May
–          Deadline: Saturday, April 2nd at 12am ET
–          Book with: Jetsetter.com

Cannes: Tiara Yaktsa
–          Flash Rates: from $200/nt
–          Travel Period: April-July
–          Deadline: Saturday, April 2nd at 12am ET
–                Book with: Jetsetter.com

Vero Beach, FL: Costa D’Este
–          Flash Rates: from $135/nt
–          Travel Period: April-October
–          Deadline: Saturday, April 2nd at 12am ET
–         Book with: Jetsetter.com

Portland, OR: The Benson Hotel
–          Flash Rates: from $95/nt
–          Travel Period: April-July
–          Deadline: Saturday, April 2nd at 12am ET
–         Book with: Jetsetter.com

Maldives: Anantara Naladhu
–          Flash Rates: from $660/nt
–          Travel Period: April-October
–          Deadline: Saturday, April 2nd at 12am ET
–          Book with: Jetsetter.com

Grenadines: Canouan Resort
–          Flash Rates: from $720/nt
–          Travel Period: April-August
–          Deadline: Saturday, April 2nd at 12am ET
–          Book with: Jetsetter.com

Escazu, Costa Rica: Beacon Escazu Boutique Hotel
–          Flash Rates: from $105/nt
–          Travel Period: April-March, 2012
–          Deadline: Sunday, April 3rd at 12am ET
–          Book with: Jetsetter.com

A’jia Hotel

Istanbul, Turkey: A’jia Hotel
–          Flash Rates: from $315/nt
–          Travel Period: April-July
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 1pm ET
–          Book with: Vacationist.com

Playa Mujeres, Mexico: Villa del Palmar Cancun
–          Flash Rates: from $200/nt
–          Travel Period: April-December
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 1pm ET
–          Book with: Vacationist.com

Costalegre: El Tamarindo Beach & Gulf Resort
–          Flash Rates: from $353/nt for a Villa
–          Travel Period: April-June
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 1pm ET
–          Book with: TabletHotels.com

Hotel Montalembert

Paris, France: Hotel Montalembert
–          Flash Rates: from $207/nt
–          Travel Period: April-August
–          Deadline: Thursday, March 31st at 1pm ET
–          Book with: TabletHotels.com

Deal Alert: Cheap Fares to London in April! (Thanks @Airfarewatchdog!)

29 Mar

Heading to London for the Royal Wedding? Then you are looking at a coughing up a pretty little penny to get yourself across the pond at the end of April. For everyone else looking to get their British history on,without necessarily being tied down to certain dates, Airfarewatchdog.com has just highlighted some amazing deals in the low $400-$500s.

Visit http://www.Airfarewatchdog.com for more info

Get on this, QUICK, before they sell out!

It’s been too long since my first and only visit to London. Maybe if these deals surface for August, I will have to jet over there for a long weekend this summer…

 

Tower Bridge (also known as "London Bridge")

 

Vacation Idea: Head to… The Middle of Nowhere?

29 Mar

Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile

Lonely Planet recently pulled together the top 10 best “middle of nowhere” places and many of them are absolutely stunning!

The list features:

  1. Concordia, the junction of the Baltoro, Godwin-Austen and Vigne Glaciers in Baltistan, in northern Pakistan (which requires 10 days of walking to reach it!)
  2. Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia– the largest area of sand on earth
  3. Cape York, Australia
  4. Quttinirpaaq National Park, Canada– Canada’s second-largest national park
  5. North Pole— nothing but frozen ice means no land, which also means, no Santa’s workshop. Sorry folks…
  6. Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile: a true place for lonely hearts, this Pacific island is home to around 500 people and sees less than 100 visitors a year.
  7. Nevado Mismi, Peru
  8. Olkhon Island, Russia– get a look at this Lake Baikal island during your Trans-Siberian Railway journey.
  9. Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia– this area is actually closer to Los Angeles than Moscow. If that doesn’t give you an idea of how HUGE Russia is than I don’t know what will!
  10. Scotty’s Castle, USA– A “middle of nowhere” place in the USA? Now I’m intrigued… road trip?

It’s tempting to think about escaping the hustle and bustle of real life for a “middle of nowhere” adventure (free of cell phone reception). Any places you’d like to add to your bucket list? Robinson Crusoe Island sounds pretty incredible to me…

Visit LonelyPlanet.com for more information about these places.

In the Queue: Thailand

29 Mar

For the past three years I have fantasized about going to Thailand. I’ve been completely enamoured by the idea of mingling with the smiling people on the street, chatting with monks, washing an elephant, learning the power of meditation, experiencing an authentic Thai massage, trying delicious food and swimming in the most beautiful ocean I’ve ever seen. Two years ago I was all set to go, deposit on the plane ticket and all, but unfortunately had to cancel. I am thrilled to say that in less than two months I will be carrying out this dream vacation!

I am in the middle of the planning process but I thought I would share some things.

When I’m Going: Mid-May

Typical Peak Travel Season: November-April; best time for weather: November-February (when it’s not too hot)

Monsoon Season: April-October (South West Side- Andaman Sea); May-October (South East Side- Gulf of Thailand)

For How Long: 10 days (2 days for international travel; 8 in Thailand)

Where I Want to Go: Everywhere!

Where I Can Actually Go: I’ve broken down the trip to include…

–       2 nights in Bangkok

–       3 nights in Chiang Mai at TBD hotel

–       3 nights in Koh Samui in Lamai Beach

* Note: people continuously tell me to choose between the North and South. I know that if I don’t get to see the North (or South) I will feel as if I didn’t get the full experience so we’ve chosen to get a taste of both and hope to return for more of an in-depth experience some other time. In fact, the hardest thing about planning was choosing between the Gulf of Thailand side and the Andaman Sea side. We’ll get to that some other time…

The Budget: $300-$400 per person for hotels; $300 per person for tours; $400-$450 for domestic transportation (not the cheapest vacation we’ve ever planned…)

The Hotels:

  • Bangkok: Lebua State Tower
    • Cost: $194/nt including breakfast
      • Note: this rate was purchased in advance via Vacationist.com. Rates for this hotel during this time of year are

        View from Lebua State Tower

        around $275/nt and over $400 during the peak season (the benefits of traveling during the shoulder seasons!)

    • We were originally planning on staying in the Old City since we have just a day and a half in Bangkok and wanted to be able to walk to all the sites. After seeing this deal and learning how easy it is to get to the Old City via boat (this is located on the water), we thought a little luxury hotel never hurt anyone…
  • Chiang Mai: Rimping Village
    • Cost: $67 per night including breakfast via Agoda.com
    • The deciding factor: ideally located between the old city

      Rimping Village Hotel

      and night market (walking distance) and award-winning service with stellar reviews from Trip Advisor users

    • Perks: a pool!

  • Koh Samui: Beach Republic
    • Cost: $125/nt with breakfast via hotel website (note: this is an early bird special rate that requires you to pay an non-refundable deposit in advance; rates are typically $146/nt)
    • The deciding factor: great facilities and a slightly modern hotel in Lamai beach (the second most popular beach in Samui)
    • We chose Lamai instead of the touristy (and crowded) Chaweng beach because we wanted to escape the hustle and bustle but still wanted to be able

      Beach Republic Hotel

      to experience some of the great nightlife, dining scene, etc. Another option we considered was Bophut beach (Fisherman’s Village)

    • Perks: multiple pools, daily DJ, right on the beach

Domestic Transportation:

Unfortunately given our time constraints we have no easy way to get to each destination without flying. Flying is quick, sure, but it is also expensive. We weren’t anticipating these high costs, being used to cheap European airfare from carriers such as Ryan Air, but we’re biting the bullet and moving along with our plans. You only live once, right?

  • Airline: We’ve decided to travel with Bangkok Air for all flights but other low cost carriers include Air Asia, Noka Air and Thai Airways (note: Bangkok Air is currently the ONLY airline that can fly in/out of Koh Samui)
  • The Routes:
    • Bangkok (BKK) to Chiang Mai (CNX): $58-$65 per person
    • Chiang Mai to Koh Samui (USM): $200 per person (ouch)
    • Koh Samui to Bangkok: $158 per person (ouch again)

Other things to consider:

–       If time allows, consider taking the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or from Bangkok to Koh Samui (with a ferry in there)

–       Noka Air offers a flight + bus + ferry option if you are looking to cut costs when traveling from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui

Tours/Activities:

In Bangkok we will…

  • Visit the temples in the Old City. Highlights include: Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, Wat Saket & Golden Mount, Wat Arun (amongst many others)
  • Get an authentic Thai massage at the Wat Pho Massage School
  • Watch a Muay Thai boxing match at Lumphini Stadium- Th Phra Ram IV (prices range: 1000 baht to 2000 baht ($33-$66 USD))
  • Visit the Chatuchak weekend market
  • Visit Jim Thompson’s House

In Chiang Mai we will…

Courtesy of Patara Elephant Camp

 

Chiang Mai Craft Village

In Koh Samui we will…

Ang Thong Marine Park

 

  • Visit Anthong Marine Park (said to be the inspiration for “The Beach”—the book, not the movie (which was filmed on Phi Phi Islands))

Tour options:

Note: all prices include lunch but do NOT include the park entrance fee of $7 (to be paid upon arrival)

  • Snorkel at Koh Tao Island (typically a diving Mecca but we prefer to stick to snorkeling) 

Tour options:

  • Head to Koh Phangan for the monthly full moon party (will ask hotel to help arrange transportation via speed boat)

Note: pre-booking tours is not necessarily required unless visiting during peak travel season. There are plenty of tour providers to choose from. If you find one you are comfortable with beforehand, feel free to book, otherwise it is fine to allow your hotel concierge to assist.

Helpful Planning Links:

–       Lonely Planet’s Thailand Guide: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand

–       New York Times: 36 Hours in Bangkok: http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/travel/29hours.html

–       Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g293915-Thailand-Vacations.html

–       Thailand Tourism Board: http://www.tourismthailand.org/

Courtesy of Patara Elephant Camp

Coming soon…

–       A look at some of the other hotels in these three cities for you to consider for your trip

–       Choosing which side to visit in the South of Thailand

–       Dos/Don’ts when visiting Thailand

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