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If you’re reading this post in a part of the world where winter has not yet gracefully given way to spring, you’re no doubt longing to escape to a place with the precise weather you want. But what if you haven’t planned a spring getaway and don’t exactly have a lot of money to spend on one? Don’t fret, we’re here to help! Read more
No matter the destination, travelers want their trip to evoke an exceptional experience. Every major city has a multi-faceted personality, one that draws shopaholics and foodies alike. With limited time in a new city, you want to hit as many of the landmarks and touchstones as possible. One of the most effective ways of molding your ideal vacation is staying in a section of the city that best aligns with your passions. But pouring through reviews and recommendations can eat up precious time, especially if your stay is expected to be brief.
Airbnb has offered travelers a way to find unique respites for some time now. However, the company has expanded its scope by adding a bevy of new features. Some perks include meet-ups and activities to bring together other deal-minded users. But the most significant addition is Airbnb Neighborhoods. Users looking to stay in areas catering to their specific interests can select among several filters that best match their needs. The site offers 10 such filters, such as “touristy” and “great transit,” to help travelers get the most out of their itinerary. Want to browse San Francisco’s art scene? Just select the “artsy” filter. Looking for New York’s hottest nightclubs? Click the “nightlife” filter. There’s even an option for those looking for an authentic experience with the “Loved By” filter, which pegs spots adored by locals.
Vacation rentals promise a home away from home, and even if you’ve never stayed in one, the benefits for families are what they seem: You’ve got the low-key privacy of roosting in your own residence, money-saving opportunities to cook your own meals, and more private toilets than you’d find in a comparable hotel suite and, usually, your own home.
The one thing vacation rentals lack – and which traveling families often need more than they sometimes care to admit – are the basic services and amenities of a full-service hotel. That’s where onefinestay.com comes in. The site layers on services and extras that permit it to transcend the benefits of your typical vacation rental booking site.
Both TripAdvisor.com and the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) are among the sponsors of the relatively new reality travel series Getting Away Together – airing on PBS stations nationwide – so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the vacation rental homes featured on each episode are pretty darn sweet.
A Kissimmee, Florida, rental property, which would have been nice enough with an outdoor pool, also has a game room equipped with video arcade machines; an Outer Banks, North Carolina, home is shown with a cavernous entryway, as well as a pool table; and a property in Oceanside, California, is not only tony, but it comfortably accommodates a group of 46 travelers. Read more
Romantic vacations don’t have to break the bank – no really, they don’t have to. It’s still possible to find great deals on warm getaways during the winter, when snowbirds flock to the Sunshine State to escape the cold. If a romantic escape is what you seek, packages can offer more for your money. Of course, everyone’s idea of a romantic getaway is different – mine was a scuba certification mission with my husband to West Palm Beach in January (I scored two round-trip flights from Baltimore for $300!). But there are a few elements that make any winter escape romantic in everyone’s eyes. Privacy is key; a hot tub is a plus. There’s a better chance you’ll get both by booking at a venue that caters to couples. Here’s a look at three wintertime Florida romance packages worth looking into once dreary January comes:
If you’re considering a Walt Disney World family vacation during peak season – loosely defined as the school break-riddled span of February through April – this is the week to stop thinking and start booking.
Your first decision is the one parents often fret over the most. Do you stay within the Walt Disney World resort itself – or somewhere off property in that vast wilderness that goes by the name of Orlando?
If you’ve got kids under five, it’s hard to beat the convenience of on-property hotels that provide easy monorail access to the Magic Kingdom, especially if your young Disney fan is having a meltdown.
Staying within the Disney resort also means that on certain days your hotel may let your brood linger in one of the four parks after closing or, more valuable for parents of younger kids, you’ll get access to that park a precious hour early. However, if your children are older and, not incidentally, if you’re traveling with a party of five or more and can’t escape the expense of booking at least two hotel rooms, your best lodging solution may be a vacation rental. Read more
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