All Articles Tagged "vacation"
Someone queue up Will Smith’s “Summertime” and pass along a fruity drink with a small umbrella. Ladies and gentlemen – summer is just about here, which means the time has come to start planning for a much needed vacation!
Everyone needs to pack up and get away at some point during the summer months. You need a break from the hard work you put around the office, or to simply seize the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with your children once school goes on hiatus. Whatever the case, just know you are worth it and deserve a summer trip, whether you plan to stay in the United States or travel abroad.
Keep in mind, a vacation requires money. You don’t want to come home to financial stress. So be sure your bank account can handle the cost of travel, accommodations, and all of the sights and sounds of the destination. ICYMI: We offered some tips for traveling like a baller. Check it out here.
There are some getaways that take a little more time to plan. Here are the summer vacations you should start planning ASAP.
Who says you have to go to some stuffy industry conference to network? It’s summertime! The hot sun and long days get everyone – including professionals you need to know – out of the house. Give yourself a break. And while you’re in a good mood, make an effort to get to know the people around you. You may be surprised who’s getting their life next you.
Here are a few events to get your summer plans started.
With airlines continuing to merge, there is less competition which results in higher prices for everyone, according to The Wall Street Journal. Some big-city air routes have been hit with price increases as steep as 40 or 50 percent.
More price increases could come with the announced combination of American Airlines and US Airways. “When two competitors combine to dominate prime routes, those markets tend to bear the brunt of higher prices,” reports WSJ.
History tells us mergers are bad news for travelers and ticket prices. In 2010 United Airlines and Continental Airlines merged. The two carriers previously competed for customers flying between Chicago and Houston. Following the merger, the combined company (which took the United name) now carries 79 percent of the traffic traveling between Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, according to the newspaper. The average fare on that route jumped an incredible 57 percent in three months, according to Department of Transportation data compiled by PlaneStats.com.
And with the latest merger, many routes served by both American and US Airways will see higher prices. These routes include Miami-Philadelphia, Dallas-Phoenix, Charlotte-New York, Washington DC-St. Louis, among others.
“Another route that will be dominated by the planned merger is between Philadelphia, a big hub for US Airways, and Dallas-Fort Worth, American’s biggest hub,” writes WSJ. “The two airlines will have a combined 92.4% market share of that route, based on current business numbers.”
While most experts say ticket prices will rise due to the merger, executives of American and US Airways said in testimony before the Senate in March that overall, their financial projections include no fare hikes, reports the newspaper. Instead, they claim the merger will increase competition across the country because they can offer more connections and be a stronger competitor to United and Delta.
Over on Fox Business, there are tips for finding lower-priced airfare, particularly important as we head into the heavier travel season. Among the tips: use am “airline consolidator” and be flexible about when you travel.
What are your money-saving travel tips?
Carnival Cruises have gotten a well-deserved bad reputation for having ships that catch fire, break down, and otherwise don’t function while thousands of passengers are trying to get their vacation on. Since these highly-publicized mishaps, cruise fares have gone down. Now Bloomberg is reporting that a four-night trip on the cruise ship Imagination leaving Miami on April 22 is $149 per person. That comes to $38 per night, lower, the site says, than a night’s stay at the Motel 6.
No one from the company would comment on the price, but an industry expert says it’s better for Carnival to have people on the ship spending money than to be floating around the Caribbean empty.
Question is: Who’s brave enough to chance making it to the Caribbean and back on schedule and without some sort of issue that could lead to spoiled food and feces on deck?
Adding to those concerns, word this afternoon is that Carnival’s ship, Fascination, has failed a health inspection. “The inspectors found a number of violations on the Fascination including not enough chlorination at the ship’s water park, salad bar items not protected by a sneeze shield and not enough lighting for cleaning in several food-related areas,” says USA Today. There were also flies found and something called a “roach nymph” that sounds particularly disgusting. A spokesperson for the company says that a failing grade is a “rare occurrence” and they want a re-inspection ASAP.
There are better uses for $149.
American workers not only get less vacation time then workers in other countries, but they don’t usually use as much of their vacation time either. According to a study conducted in 2012, U.S. workers received an average of 12 days last year for vacation time, and out of those 12 days, most workers only used 10 days.
With a fresh February jobs report showing growth and progress in the job market, the current state of American workers is bolstered (if only slightly). So why not take advantage of your time off? Vacation time is not necessarily a birthright as an American, but it is your right as a hard working employee to take it. No sense leaving yourself overworked.
There are many ways you can utilize your vacation time throughout the year to ensure you are revitalized to work at your best. Consider a few of these vacation ideas for those 12 days you have under your belt to spend time away from the office.
When you’re traveling, there are a dozen excuses not to stay on track with your diet and fitness plan: you don’t want to get lost jogging in a new place, you don’t want to miss out on trying the local cuisine, there’s no gym etc. But don’t use those excuses! Barricade yourself against the fattening but oh-so-fun experience that is vacation with these easy preparations.
There’s nothing more precious than sharing Disney Time with your kids. But the magic doesn’t end with family time – it’s for parents and adults, too. With ultimate relaxation at world-class spas to championship golf to award-winning fine dining, there’s plenty of grown-up Disney magic around the entire Walt Disney World® Resort.
Time out – outside the Theme Parks
When it’s time to relax and recharge, take a little retreat to Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, a luxurious Victorian-themed oasis where your mind, body and spirit get the pampering they deserve. If your idea of down time is more like tee time, then there are four championship courses ready to challenge you, with magnificent tree-lined fairways, spacious greens and enough pixie dust to make your round memorable.
Ready to really shift things into gear? Get behind the wheel of a NASCAR-style car at the Richard Petty Driving Experience and punch it at speeds up to 120 mph down the mile-long, tri-oval racetrack! Of course, nothing complements a magical day like a special dinner. Even outside the parks, you have the world at your fingertips (and taste buds). Discover the bold flavors of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine at Jiko – The Cooking Place. Or take in the fantastic fresh seafood and wondrous décor at Flying Fish Café, located at Disney’s BoardWalk Entertainment District. With an amazing selection of delectable choices throughout the Walt Disney World® Resort area, you’ll find just the right menu and ambiance to make that special meal unforgettable.
Grown-up memories that never get old
All four Theme Parks at Walt Disney World® Resort are great for bringing out the kid in you. But be sure not to miss out on all the grownup fun and excitement beyond the Parks. Enjoying a little special “me-time” without the family can be just as magical as your time together. However you choose to spend your Disney Time, the one thing you can count on is great memories that will last a lifetime.
Amsterdam has many draws: amazing vintage clothing stores, picturesque parks and canals, bus passes that expire 24 hours from first use, and delicious beers. (Contrary to popular belief, Holland, not Germany, is the birthplace of Heineken.) As if these weren’t enough to put the capital of this tiny European country on your one-day-I’ll-go-there list, the city is going through something of an indie art and cultural renaissance.
From parking garages repurposed as galleries in the city’s Bijlmer neighborhood to a calendar of art and music festivals that draws thousands from around the world every year, creative energy and inspiration abound. Check out our round-up of venues, events, and experiences sure to set off a creative spark.
London has been on everyone’s radar for the past few months. From the Wimbledon Grand Slam tennis tournament to the Summer Olympics and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, the city has played host to events of global significance for the better part of 2012 it seems. (Controversy concerning the Royal Family has also been a big topic of conversation, but that’s a whole different story.)
Whether you’ve been before or not, London is filled, end to end, with history, restaurants and tons to do and see. Guidebooks and travel sites about London tourism promote the standard tourist stops— Buckinhgam Palace, Big Ben, The Tower of London, the Thames River, Royal Museums Greenwich, for example —which you should definitely check out. But when you’re done jostling fellow tourists, definitely check out these gems where locals like to hang.
Between the songs, the Victoria’s Secret models and the movies, one would think Brazil is a non-stop music video of bronze, bikini-clad beauties complete with cameos from Pharrell and Snoop. Of course, Brazil is so much more than beautiful people and beaches — or bullet-riddled favelas run by lookalikes of the little dude from City of God.
Home to the biggest population of Africans outside of Africa, Brazil is positively opulent with history, art, music and more with much of the magic concentrated in the northeastern state of Bahia where 80 percent of the population is of African descent. We’ve put together a need to know/need to go guide for your next trip.
If you’ve visited Bahia already, make sure to chime in on our Facebook page with the destinations we missed!