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Archive for the ‘Deals’ Category

Benefits Of Booking a Vacation Rental vs a Hotel Room

Vacation rental cottage room in Santa BarbaraWhy Hotel when you can vacation rental?

We have been programmed by the package holiday culture to immediately think of booking a hotel room when they go away for a few days or a holiday.

However, booking a serviced flat, or a vacation rental, in your holiday or business destination can not only prove cheaper – it can also offer more flexibility and also means you are not tied down to a hotel meal plan and can even cater for yourself.

Some vacation rentals are purpose built and managed by managing agents for the landlord or owner, which may be a company or a private individual.

Luxury and Unique

Staying in an executive apartment can mean finding somewhere more luxurious and stylish than a hotel room – and staying in a privately owned vacation rental might mean your holiday is spent in a unique apartment or a house with home comforts, rather than a hotel room which may look like every other hotel room you have ever stayed in.

and There Are More Perks

Here are a few benefits to choosing a vacation rental rather than an hotel when on a city break or holiday:

  • Children – staying in hotels with children can be stressful and inconvenient – especially if your kids have problems sleeping, only like certain foods, or need a special diet or medication. Installing the family in a serviced apartment means you can carry on with your normal routine, while enjoying the excitement of exploring a new city or resort together.
  • Facilities – vacation rentals need to attract visitors and so will usually be fully equipped with Internet connection, TV, kitchen, power shower and comfy beds. You can also look for vacation rentals which meet your specific requirement instead of having to put up with whatever facilities the hotel offers.
  • Peace – hotels can be bustling places and soundproofing is not always very good, especially in older or cheaper hotels. Serviced flats are usually inspected by a managing agent and brought up to certain standards, and peace and privacy will be a major consideration, as well as security.
  • Romance – hotel rooms can be difficult places to kindle a romance in unless you can afford a soundproofed penthouse suite. Choosing a vacation rental means you can look for somewhere a bit more private, a bit more romantic – and without the annoyance of other guests constantly marching up and down the corridor outside, singing in the shower – or nudging each other and winking over the breakfast buffet as you walk past.
  • Standard of accommodation – serviced flats and apartments can often be in the center of cities and resorts, or are conveniently placed for public transport. Look for privately owned vacation rentals if you want a home away from home – or look for an executive apartment in a designated serviced block for transport links into the city center and a location close to an airport.
  • Tariff – hotels in major cities can be really expensive if you want a good standard, but cities like Rome or London or Barcelona will all have flats and apartments for rental long- or short-term. If you regularly travel to a city, finding an apartment you really like can be hugely beneficial and takes the stress out of hotel life – strike a deal and a special rate for regular occupancy and it really can be like having a home away from home.

Keep in mind though when you don’t book a package holiday, your holiday isn’t protected by the Package Travel Regulations therefore you won’t be able to claim back compensation if the accommodation didn’t match the standards you were expecting.

Peter Anderson – I love to blog about holidays abroad, traveling and sight seeing! I just love holidays and travel but it’s always important to remember things cannot always go to plan… Google+

Planning Winter In Summer: 5 Ways To Save

We are right smack dab in the beginning months of summer on this side of the globe, and man can you feel it. The sun is bright, the heat is just at that perfect balance between tanning and roasting, and school is out until September. Is there anything better than what summer has to offer?

Thinking of holiday time in the middle of the summer

Actually, yes: preparing to for the winter. It might seem a bit early to be thinking about it, but planning your November to February months now can save you a whole lot of money. Plus, it will be there when the windchill hits its peak and you find yourself tired and lethargic. Best to get things moving.

Here are five ways to save when the days turn cold.

1. Buy Winter Clothes

They might not be on the racks in stores, but if you go to the websites for various brand you will find a ton of winter stuff in clearance straight through the summer. These are usually marked down to ridiculously low amounts as the company tries to get rid of the stock left over from the colder months. Buying now, especially children’s clothes, boots and coats, will save you a ton of cash in the long run. Of course, you will have to be careful about how you store it to keep it in perfect condition. But it is worth the effort. Last year, I bought an entire winter wardrobe for myself, my two kids and my husband for $150 using clearance shopping.

2. Buy Winter Accessories

Goggles and many other ski accessories

Do you like the ski? Snowboard? Go sledding with the family? A lot of outlet and sporting good stores will have winter stock through the year, as will their website. Buying things now will take advantage of a lot of sales they have going on, especially if you go to a place dedicated to winter sports. A friend of mine bought snow shoes and skis last year during July for 50% off. Deals like this are really common, so keep an eye out. You can also sometimes get discount passes to ski lodges that can be used in the winter time. Just make sure you read the fine print before you buy.

3. Start Looking For Indoor Activities

Start looking now at fun, cheap things to do in your area during the winter. My favorite are indoor inflatable bounce places, movie theaters and rec centers that have pools, courts, gyms and even classes for kids. Some have deals where it gets cheaper the longer you have a subscription/membership. Or that let you buy passes at a discount in the summertime.

4. Plan That Getaway

Skiing down the hill

Have you been on travel deal sites lately? A ton of them have these vacation packages that are good through the rest of the year for really cheap. Here are just a few winter vacation saving opportunities you can check right now: Powder Pass, Winter Deals, Winter travel rewards. I saw a luxury getaway in Aspen for a fraction of the usual cost the other day, and I was sorely tempted to buy it. Plan your winter trip now and you will get great deals. Especially if it is for an off-season date, which means no travel around the holidays. Try to go in November or February.

5. Start Holiday Shopping

My family always laughs at me about this one. Even the early shoppers don’t think you should start before October. But I like looking at summer sales and taking advantage. Not only is it cheaper, but it saves me a ton of time and stress when the holidays roll around. All those parties, activities and everything on top of work? I like not having to think about gifts when that time rolls around.

Have a tip for planing out your winter in the summer? Let us know int the comments!

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Annie is the lifestyle and travel blogger with the variety of interests. You can follow her on twitter as @ViralMomTweets

5 Top Airline Choices For Traveling On A Budget

Expense reports are pushing envelop too hardTraveling for business is not cheap. The days of the six-figure expense account are long gone. Five-star client dinners, four-star hotels, three-martini lunches, two tickets to the local NBA game since you’re in town, and one Lexus rental car are a bit too much to put on the boss man’s dime in today’s business climate. It’s hard breaking the addiction to the cherished triple C: the Company Credit Card.

To hold on to as much as you can, why not fly cheap? Sure, the major carriers have a few nice perks, but really, all you’re doing is sitting there. It’s a simple choice: do you want an extra pillow on the plane, or do you want to watch Kobe dunk? Of course, that choice is obvious. So ironically, in the spirit of preserving corporate excess, here are five super-cheap airlines that are great for business trips.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airplanes airplane in the air

  • Flies: Airbus
  • Operations: Western Hemisphere
  • Destinations: 52 Cities
  • Hubs: Detroit, Dallas – Ft. Worth, Chicago, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale

In operation since 1980, this is one of the first no-frills carriers in the United States. Their claim to fame? Dirty advertising. Google Image search “Spirit Air promotions” for some stuff we can’t print here.

AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways Plane on a runway

  • Flies: Boeing
  • Operations: US, Mexico, Caribbean
  • Destinations: 57 Cities
  • Hubs: Baltimore/Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, Milwaukee

Formerly ValueJet, AirTran is popular, even being patronized by major sports teams like the Orlando Magic. Their claim to fame? They like to play in turbulence. Google “AirTran turbulence 1998” for some interesting stories.

Frontier Airlines

Fronteir Airplane on a ground

  • Flies: Airbus
  • Operations: North and Central America
  • Destinations: 74 cities
  • Hubs: Denver, Trenton

Not to be confused with the 1950s Frontier Airline, this Frontier started in 1994. Their claim to fame? They went bankrupt and were acquired by Republic Airways yet somehow managed to keep their name.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air Airplane in the air

  • Flies: Airbus, MacDonald Douglas
  • Operations: United States
  • Destinations: 79 cities
  • Hubs: Honolulu, Phoenix, St Petersburg/Tampa, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, Oakland, Bellingham (Seattle area), Myrtle Beach, Punta Gorda

This one is pretty popular and serves a lot of the smaller markets. Their claim to fame? Every ticket is one-way. You have to book a return flight separately. While this may seem like a hassle, it can actually save you money and make your trip more flexible.

Vision Airlines

Vision Airline airplane in the air

  • Flies: Airbus
  • Operations: Southeastern US
  • Destinations: 3
  • Hubs: St Petersburg/Tampa, Orlando, Biloxi

Basically a regional carrier, these guys have downsized A LOT, down to just three destinations. Their claim to fame? At this point, simply being in business!

There are a few others you have likely never heard of, such as Sun Country, which is a regional carrier in the Florida area, and People Express, which has been resurrected and expects to begin flying again later in 2013.
As great as discount airlines are, a lack of widespread availability, much like the carriers detailed above, will lead you back to the big guys from time to time. If you do have to go that route, remember Jet Blue, Southwest, and Virgin America. These are major carriers for the most part – certainly just as popular – but they offer significantly lower rates and fees than the likes of United and Delta.

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The author Chris Turberville-Tully works with ESA Serviced Apartments in the UK. ESA provides travelers a more economic option than hotels. Serviced apartments are also roomier and are furnished.

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