Archive for the ‘Spring Travel Tips’ Category

Spring Travel Trends with Emily Kaufman: Tips on Deals, Travel Safety & More

February 11, 2013
Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

After years of trimming travel budgets, Americans are eager to pack their bags and get on the road again this spring to escape the winter weather.  Spring break means that both parents and children from grade school to college are gearing up for an annual dose of fun, festivities and frivolous vacationing. And who isn’t looking for a travel deal?

There are lots of ways to get a lot of bang for your buck for a fun getaway and Emily Kaufman, the Travel Mom, has some tips for your spring vacation.

It’s Wave Season – A Great Time to Get Cruise Deals.  Cruises are always a great travel value because you get great food, entertainment, and adventure for one price. Right now, it’s Wave Season – that’s when cruise lines work overtime to book as many cabins as possible for the upcoming season and have great deals to get you to book early.  Expedia has teamed with several cruise lines and has great deals from now through summer to save you up to 75 percent on standard fares on select cruises plus so much more. Go to Expedia.com and check out the cruise site for deals to places like the Bahamas, Europe and Alaska. And if you book a cruise with Expedia before February 28th using your MasterCard, you’ll get up to $300 in onboard credit per cabin. You can also get free upgrades plus up to $150 onboard credit on Norwegian Cruise Line as well. You can find lots more cruise deals at Expedia.com.

New Ways to Protect Your Mobile Devices When You Travel.  Losing your smartphone on vacation is probably worse than losing your wallet these days since we have everything stored on it from bank account numbers to social networks, email and other personal aspects of your digital life.  Not to mention it also has all of your irreplaceable vacation photos.  If your phone or tablet gets lost in the excitement of vacation, you can now prevent anyone from accessing it until you can track it down with Norton 360 Multi-Device which remotely locates and temporarily locks your device.  Also, be careful when using public Wi-Fi networks at airports, hotels and cafés, since they can be a virtual paradise for cyber-criminals looking to steal your personal info. You should use a private VPN service like Norton Hotspot Privacy to protect your signal. More details are at Norton.com where you can download these products to protect your devices BEFORE you travel.

Keeping Little Kids Comfy in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.  Parents also can turn to technology when traveling with infants and children. The New Snugli All-In-One Car Seat is the first of its kind to feature a temperature management technology called  OUTLAST® – a patented foam that helps keep children well insulated and prevents them from getting too hot or too cold.   This is a smart innovation since skin temperature plays a vital role in keeping children comfortable while riding in car seats.  It has a lightweight design to make it easy to use in a car or in a plane.  It is available at Buy Buy Baby and specialty stores for $329.99 and and you can find out more at Snugli.com.

Don’t Be Afraid to Add Adventure to Your Travel Plans.  Last year on Emily’s 49th birthday, she challenged herself to have 49 new experiences before turning 50 and she became fearless in her pursuit to add adventure into her travel plans.  She took up skydiving, bungee jumping, co-piloting a small plane, and much more. She is currently in production this spring on a new travel/adventure television series, Fear-Less-Living, with The Scripps Network inspired by her successful 49before50.com blog.

 

Advertisements

Spring Break on a Budget: How to Get More Out of Every Vacation Dollar

March 1, 2012
Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

After almost four years of trimming vacation budgets, Americans are eager to pack their bags and get on the road again for a fun spring break.  According to a recent poll by TripAdvisor, 36 percent of people surveyed said they plan to spend more on leisure travel this year and 69 percent expect to travel internationally. Even those nasty airline fees aren’t dissuading people from taking to the skies since 24 percent of those surveyed expect to fly more this year, too.   But that doesn’t mean that travelers aren’t still looking for a deal and there are still ways to get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to that great American tradition known as Spring Break. If you book your vacation smart, you can really stretch your vacation dollars by packing extra value into your trip.  The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, has timely advice to put those spring break travel plans in full motion.

Find Family Friendly Hotels that Include More Extras.  Look for a hotel that gives you more with every stay like more space, free breakfasts, and other amenities since this can mean a huge savings when you travel with kids.  Embassy Suites Hotels is the only upscale hotel where you get a two-room suite for about the same price of one room which is great when traveling with your family.  You also get a free cooked-to-order breakfast AND complimentary nightly drinks and snacks with every stay like more space, free breakfasts, and other amenities since this can mean a huge savings when you travel with kids.  Embassy Suites Hotels is the only upscale hotel where you get a two-room suite for about the same price of one room which is great when traveling with your family.  You also get a free cooked-to-order breakfast AND complimentary nightly drinks and snacks with every stay.  But that’s not all – Embassy Suites is all about giving More so it recently launched its “366 Days of More” Facebook contest where each day for a year, a Facebook fan will win a free night at any Embassy Suites and a free night to gift to a friend through Facebook. You can enter for a chance to win at Facebook.com/EmbassySuitesHotels.

Find Family Friendly Destinations that Have More To Do.  Orlando is a great location for getting more value as a destination because its the mecca of theme parks that keep adding more attractions and has so much more to see and do.  This spring, Sea World Orlando is opening TurtleTrek that invites guests to visit two astounding naturalistic habitats; one teeming with hundreds of freshwater fish and gentle manatees, the other with more than 1,500 saltwater fish and more than a dozen sea turtles. You can then experience the first-of-its-kind 3-D/360-degree dome theater film that will immerse you in the inspirational underwater journey of a sea turtleand a reminder of how humans can make its travels safer.

Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland is doubling in size this year at the Walt Disney World Resort with a new Dumbo attraction and Goofy roller coaster.  In late 2012, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a musical showcase featuring Ariel and friends will open along with the Enchanted Tales with Belle where Belle and her friends will share “the tale as old as time” inside the new Princess Fairytale Hall and Disney princesses will greet guests in their elegant royal court.  Finally, on the theme park scene, Universal Orlando Resort is opening a new 3D attraction based on the popular movie Despicable Me where guests go on an adventure with the popular minions. They also have a new parade with characters and floats opening this spring plus a new nighttime spectacular show, both at Universal Studios

And there’s to more to Orlando than just theme parks, you can take the wheel of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi R8 or Porsche for a spin around the Walt Disney World speedway, enjoy hang gliding at Wallaby Ranch, Ziplining over alligators and through a Central Florida eco park at Forever Florida and Gatorland), see Disney and the theme parks from the sky in a hot air balloon and even take the controls of a WWII fighter plane at Fantasy of Flight.  Check out VisitOrlando.com for more information as well as check out how to discounts on all the fun things to do in Orlando.

Loyalty Programs Offer More Discounts and More Savings.  Here’s a tip that a lot of people don’t know about where you can get exclusive deals and a 10% member discount every time you rent a car.  All you have to do is become an Alamo Insider at Alamo Rent A Car.  You sign up online at Alamo.com where you can reserve the car you want for your trip, check in online before you travel and when you arrive, just go to the self-service kiosk at the airport and simply drive away. It’s a hassle-free travel experience. You can also find out about more deals and tips from other travelers on the Alamo Facebook page that offers a brand new family vacation forum called The Value Project.  You can connect and share information on popular destinations and activities across the U.S. and also leave your great tips for other families.

Smartphone Apps Offer More Ways to Organize and Save When Travel.  Now more than ever, you can use your smart phone and apps to organize so many things for your trip.  These apps also save you time and money with lots of ways to find local deals on restaurants.  You should also program the numbers of airlines and hotel contacts into your phone as well so if you need to rebook a flight or hotel because of travel delays, the numbers are right there.

The Internet Has More Last Minute Travel Deals.  The internet is always a great source for last minute travel.  However, when it comes to spring break, you may not find a lot of last minute deals so book early – which means now – or you may find it hard to get the best travel deals. Also, one of the best ways to get more for bang for your travel buck is to look for vacation packages or hotels that pack in lots of added value. From onboard cruise credits to free lift tickets to breakfast included or kids eat free programs.  These are ways to really save. Finally, definitely check out VisitOrlando.com, EmbassySuites.com and Alamo.com to find out more about deals and those added value travel features.