As the holiday season comes to an end, seemingly countless numbers of travelers are making their ways home. But with ever-changing rules implemented by airlines, packing isn't as cut and dry as it once was. So this morning T+L Features Director Nilou Motamedstopped by the set of the Today Show to discuss some strategic tips to help make the process a lot smoother.
Expert advice for what to do when you face unruly kids on a place, noisy hotel room neighbors, and other dilemmas on the road.
1. What do you do when there is a shared armrest on your flight?
A. Airplane etiquette says that the middle-seat passenger has rights to both inner armrests. If you think about it, it makes sense—aisle and window passengers are guaranteed at least one armrest.
Here are some of our favorite specials offered by hotels, resorts and travel companies for Cyber Monday. Be sure to read the fine print before you book!
JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona
On 125 acres of Sonoran Desert, this adobe casita-style property has 453 guestrooms and suites with their own private entrances, two golf courses, six tennis courts, a 32,000 square-foot spa, three pools and seven restaurants and lounges.
The Deal: Doubles from $99/night (72 percent off regular rates) are available through December 31, 2012. To book, call (480) 948-1700 and use booking code ISPQ or ISPR, or visit Camelback online and use booking code I24. Maximum 9 rooms per person and blackout dates apply. camelbackinn.com.
Follow these three travel tips to get the most value out of your getaway this fall.
1. Tip: Head to a Popular Summer Beach Escape
Beach getaways that people love in the summer are an insider’s secret in the fall – the weather is still great, crowds are few, and the prices drop dramatically. The quintessential New England island destination of Nantucket is a great example.
White Elephant, Nantucket, MA:You’ll find this classic resort—with expansive lawns and 64 airy rooms—occupying a prime spot on Nantucket Harbor In October, you can stay here for a low as $195/night, about half what you’d pay in the summer high season.
Is it true, or a myth? We tackle 7 conventional travel tips to reveal which will actually save you money on your next vacation.
1. If you have enough frequent flyer miles for your next flight, use them.
Myth. It isn't always a good value to cash in your miles. First, use the 1.4-cents-per-mile rule to calculate the value of an award ticket. If the cash price is considerably cheaper than the award ticket calculation, save your miles. For example, if a flight will cost you $300 cash or 50,000 points, you'll get more value out of paying cash since the 50,000 points equal about $700. You'll want to use those points on a ticket that's around $500 or more.
Still looking to get away this weekend? You don’t have to spend a fortune to book a last-minute getaway. These five deals, from a luxury resort in the Pacific Northwest to a dude ranch in the Southwest, will let you enjoy your last bit of summer.
Set in the high plains of central Oregon, Pronghorn is the latest addition to Auberge Resort’s luxurious properties. Its two award-winning golf courses and access to some of the country’s best hiking, biking, fishing, and rafting makes it an incredible all-season destination and a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Deal: Pronghorn Adventures Package
The package includes three nights in a Junior Suite, complimentary transportation to/from the airport, and a choice of any two outdoor adventures (for two people), including golf on the award-winning Nicklaus Course, rafting on the Deschutes River, a microbrew and craft beer tour, a guided half-day mountain biking tour, a spelunking lava cave tour, a Brews & Views canoe tour, or standup paddleboarding on the Deschutes River. Doubles from $199 per night.
This newly re-imagined 444-room resort’s new offerings include stylish new guest rooms, the signature bluEmber restaurant, the R Bar lounge, and Splashtopia, an exciting water playground complete with water slides, lazy river, and a sandy beach. The resort also features a 20,000-square-foot spa, a 27-hole Ted Robinson–designed golf course, a 25-court Peter Burwash International tennis center, and four pools.
The Deal: The Family Summer Getaway
Good through September 3, the package includes accommodations, a Summer Passport with more than $500 in extra value, two Splashtopia inner tubes (which you can keep), a $50 breakfast credit to bluEmber or Palms Café, and a $28 daily resort charge. An added Labor Day perk includes the all-new “Picnic & Movie on the Fairway” program, with dinners for four from the Palms Café and a golf cart rental to catch a movie on the green, drive-in style. Rates from $179 per night.
Designed as an ode to Palm Springs in its Golden Age, when celebrities like Humphrey Bogart visited, this Hollywood Regency-style hotel underwent a full renovation in 2003. The 67 guest rooms are decorated in black, white, and yellow, and include Italian designer linens and bath products by Aromatherapy Associates. There are varied services available at Estrella Spa and three outdoor heated pools. As a fun perk, the hotel provides bicycles with attached mobile phones that connect directly to the concierge.
The Deal: The Twilight Romance Package
In addition to accommodations, this romantic package includes a 30-minute spa service for couples under the stars in a private al fresco spa cabana between 9 p.m. and midnight and a complimentary bottle of Moet Ice, followed by breakfast for two. Doubles from $200 per night.
Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, AZ
This is a great family getaway before the kids go back to school. The surrounding Sonoran Desert landscape, strewn with saguaro and prickly pear cacti, is a world away from your typical Rocky Mountain ranch, but horseback riding reigns equally supreme. Other activities include guided mountain bike and hiking tours, nature walks, fishing lessons, and cookouts under the stars. Children ages 4–12 can enjoy horse grooming, riding lessons, and arts and crafts.
The Deal: All-Inclusive Stays
Over Labor Day weekend, get 30 percent off regular all-inclusive rates, which include accommodations, three daily meals, and free access to the entire list of ranch activities listed above, including the kids program. Resort rates from $175 per person, per night.
Located on a beautiful barrier island just a few miles from historic Charleston, these 500 vacation villas share the same amenities as the Sanctuary Hotel. During the day, take part in a variety of activities including kayaking, nature tours, and bicycling. At night, enjoy the outstanding dining options.
The Deal: Labor Day Weekend Beach and Breakfast Package
From August 28 to September 3, book this deal and get daily breakfast for two and a one-bedroom deluxe villa, just a short walk from the beach with full kitchen and screened-in porch. Doubles from $175 per night (two-night minimum), plus tax and resort fee.
Think you’re well traveled? Find out by taking this fun, quick quiz. You may be surprised by the answers to these questions about popular destinations and travel references in pop culture.
#1 What is the most visited tourist attraction in the world?
A. Times Square
B. Disney World
C. The Colosseum
D. Eiffel Tower
After the Olympics hubbub, it’s high time for an escape. Try these charming country getaways, all within a few hours’ drive of London.
The Pig, Brockenhurst, Hampshire
An hour and 45 minutes from London
Converted from a previously dark manor house, this welcoming inn was named to T+L’s 2012 It List of Best New Hotels. Sitting areas feature wingback chairs, vintage glassware, and working fireplaces, while the 26 guest rooms have claw-foot bathtubs and botanical prints. Just outside your door: the New Forest National Park, where chef James Golding and his staff foraged the ingredients you'll be eating for dinner. Doubles from $196 per night.
Did you know that the world’s tallest roller coaster is right here in the U.S.? Read on to find out which state it’s in, plus more fun facts about America.
Fun Fact #1: The world's tallest roller coaster is in New Jersey
At 45 stories, Kingda Ka, at Six Flags Great Adventure in N.J., is the tallest roller coaster in the world, plummeting 456 feet and reaching speeds up to 126 mph. The highest roller coaster recently opened in Colorado at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet.
Source: The Rollercoaster Database and News.com.au
Related: See the World’s Scariest Roller Coasters
Travel really can transform your life, and these are a few of the trips that will make it happen.
Globe Aware Volunteer Trips
A volunteer vacation in another country can help you put your life into perspective. Globe Aware, for instance, operates trips in 15 countries, from Costa Rica to Cuba, Brazil to Vietnam. You’ll assist in rural schools, build wells, and deliver supplies to orphanages, teach English and computer lessons, or distribute fruits and vegetables to low-income families. Travelers come home and say that every aspect of their week was meaningful, and that they felt that they were able to give back to the community. Rates range from $1,140 to $1,390 per week depending on the trip. Cost covers meals, accommodation, and on-site travel (but not airfare).