Saturday, March 26, 2016

Benefits of a golf vacation (even for the non-golfer)!

For anyone who plays golf, or appreciates the sport, they know that vacations to golf resorts are bound to result in several fun rounds. But, a golf vacation can even be fun for those who don't play. Confused? The nice thing about golf courses is they tend to be in beautiful locations and in warm weather climates.  This means if you pick a destination that is popular with golfers, you'll likely end up somewhere warm year round with landscapes that anyone can can enjoy! Also, since a round of golf only takes an afternoon, many of these golf resorts also offer other activities, such as: pools, spas, entertainment, world class restaurants, etc.

Here are some examples of beautiful golf destinations I've visited (and not played):

Kauai, Hawaii
Maui, Hawaii

Southampton, Bermuda
Half Moon Bay, California

Pebble Beach, California

Saturday, March 19, 2016

$ave on Cruise Fares

Before you book your next cruise, check out these tips to save hundreds off your fare!

Costco Travel

-Costco offers similar incentives as other travel websites (free beverage packages, discount deposits, etc.). And...
-They'll also match the price you receive from the cruise line (if it's cheaper than Costco's price), but make sure to get a quote number from the cruise line to reference! But not just that...
-They typically also offer onboard credit in addition to any other deals and discounts. This is where the real savings comes!

This cruise line is stingy on offering deals. But, there are still ways to save on a Carnival cruise:
-Orbitz offers onboard credit for Carnival cruises, but charges a $25 booking fee. Typically the savings make the $25 fee worth it.
-Check fares yourself frequently, and call to get a price adjustment if the price changes after you book!

Additional ways to $ave
-If you live by a cruise port, travel agents can alert you when an upcoming cruise has deals on unsold cabins.
-If you aren't set on a particular destination, waiting until the last minute can save you a bunch! But, be careful on airfare prices for last minute flights!
-Book onboard a cruise for a future cruise. I haven't done this myself, and think you can likely get cheaper prices using the other tips I've outlined, but some discount is better than none!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Things to consider before you buy an airline ticket...

Ever go to buy an airline ticket and realize there are several options around the same price on different airlines?  Here are some general things I think about before choosing…
Flight choices can be confusing!
Use these tips to pick the best one.

* Travel Time - This is always a major concern, both flight arrival and departure times, as well as total travel time. Booking a 6am flight to save $100 seems wise at the time, but when you're waking up at 3am, you might feel differently. Also, don't always pick the itinerary with the shortest total travel time - make sure you leave enough time to make any connecting flights.

* Layover - If you have to make a layover, pick whichever layover city should have the best weather when you're traveling.  Each airline has different hub cities, so picking the airline based in these often works.

* Baggage fees - Unless you're able to pack light, as I've discussed in previous posts, baggage fees are a concern. Some airlines woo you with low fares, such as Spirit airlines, but have very high fees if you check bags. On the other hand, just because an airline offers free checked bags (such as Southwest), if their fare is higher, it might be worth paying the baggage fees on a cheaper flight.

* Frequent Flyer Miles - I wouldn't recommend picking an airline just for frequent flyer miles if the flight is more expensive, but if everything else is the same, being loyal to an airline can pay off. Check out my previous post on just that!

* Cancellation options - Some airlines are more flexible if you have to change your ticket (such as Southwest) than others.  If you need the flexibility, pick the airline based on this.

Hope these points can help next time you're inundated with flight options!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Best Oscar Movies to whisk you away...

With the Oscars coming up, I thought it would be fun to look at current and past movies that take place in other countries, or even within our own, as a way to travel without leaving your couch! Are any of your favorites missing from the list?

2016 Nominations
Bridge of Spies (2016)
The Revenant (2016)

Previous Winners/Nominations
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2015)
The Imitation Game (2015)
Wild (2015)
The Theory of Everything (2015)
Braveheart (1996)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1990)
Annie Hall (1978)
Born Free (1967)
The Sound of Music (1966)
Roman Holiday (1954)
An American in Paris (1952)
Casablanca (1944)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Climate Change

Climate change is something that affects us all, in one way or another. To get a real feel for how our world is changing, here are some places/ways to witness climate change first-hand.

You can literally see this glacier melting in Iceland.
Solheimajokull Glacier, Iceland

- Glaciers have been melting quickly in recent years. The melting can be seen firsthand and local guides attest to the seriousness of the matter.

Alaska, USA

- Fewer whales off the coast of Alaska are thought to be due to warmer than normal ocean temperatures. This state is warming 5x faster than the rest of the planet according to some reports!

- In addition, when wildfires occur in Alaska, the permafrost (insulating top layer of earth) is burned away, the greenhouse gases within can easily get into the atmosphere. - Ryan Koronowski.
This lake in California is at record low water levels.
Venice, Italy, has been flooding more in recent years.
(Photo by Daily Mail Online.)

California, USA 

- Extreme Drought has caused concerns over the water supply and also increased risk of wildfires.

Montana, USA. 

- It is thought all glaciers in Glacier National Park might melt by 2020.

Venice, Italy

- Venice is flooding. Faster than normal. In 1900, St.Marks Square only flooded seven times, while it flooded 99 times in the year 1996!

The Great Barrier Reef

- Coral is dying which results in the death of the tropical fish living there!