2008 Last Minute Holiday Travel Tips & New Year Getaways

December 2008:

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

The holiday travel season is in high gear but there’s a lot you need to know before you travel, especially if it involves taking a plane.  The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, has invaluable advice for everyone traveling this season to keep your spirits holly jolly. Now more than ever, travelers are seeking more value for their money, but if you think people are shying away from travel for the holidays because of the current economy, think again.  Recent surveys revealed that people still want to travel and one trend is an increase in leisure travel spending. (TripAdvisor® 10-01-08)  In fact, 61 percent of travelers plan to visit a beach destination in 2009 and 60 percent plan to go city sightseeing so traveler’s are ready to pack their bags and getaway.

Legoland’s Holiday Block Party – December 20-31, 2008. You know the holidays are all about family fun and one of Emily’s favorite holiday places for her family is just 30 minutes north of San Diego at Legoland California and now it’s home of the world’s largest LEGO tree.  It’s 30-feet tall and made of more than a quarter of a million LEGO bricks. Make sure you don’t miss the life-sized Santa and reindeer also made of Legos. It’s just part of their annual Holiday Block Party from Dec. 20 through Dec. 31 where you can have a blast with rides, shows and even nightly fireworks.  Of course, Legoland is a fun place year round as well.  For the latest information on everything happening at Legoland California, go to http://www.legoland.com/california.htm.

Make Technology Your Friend when You Travel. The key to last minute travel is to make technology your friend.   Use the Internet to save time and check in and print your boarding passes to bypass long airport lines.  Program important phone numbers into your cell phone including your travel agent, airline, hotel, and car rental company.  Also, don’t forget the travel assistance hotline of your travel insurance provider that is your lifeline to help you in unpredictable situations like flight delays or cancellations. Now more than ever, it makes sense to protect your trip with travel insurance and you should check around for the best plan.Emily recommends http://travelguard.com/ that offers a plan called My Travel Guard and it’s ideal for deal-seeking or last-minute travelers because the closer you are to your departure date, the lower your travel plan will cost you.  Travel insurance protects your investment if you have to cancel for something like an illness, injury, or even a death in the family. It also includes emergency medical evacuation if you have a medical issue while on vacation or traveling.  And if you’re worried about the problems that occur over the holidays when capacity is jammed, TravelGuard safeguards you for things like flight delays, cancellations or lost luggage and holiday gifts.

Escape Winter with a Getaway to the Cayman Islands. One of the best things about going to the Caribbean at this time of year is that you get to escape winter.  Imagine starting the New Year on a beach? The Cayman Islands is the perfect place to do that!   Emily loves the Cayman Islands because not only is it just an hour from Miami, but it is a perfect place for families, they have beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and it’s the only place she knows where you can swim with stingrays.  Now if you like sea turtles, they have over 16,000 of them at Boatswain’s Beach and  some that weigh six hundred pounds!   There’s something for everyone in the Cayman Islands as they host jazz festivals, kid’s camps, even world-class cooking events; and its easy to get to with non-stop service from New York, Chicago, DC, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Newark, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Boston, among other cities.  You can find out more at http://www.caymanislands.ky/

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