Summer Adventures in Asheville

For many, summer means visits to theme parks, beaches and baseball stadiums.  However, if you are looking to travel to a family-friendly place that offers more than coasters, crabs and Cracker Jacks, head to Asheville, North Carolina. Stroll through the picturesque downtown and you immediately sense that very few people have been able to resist the pull of this Blue Ridge beauty.  After all, it’s not every day that you can immerse yourself in a city that boasts an eccentric hodgepodge of architectural styles that change from block to block. Asheville features everything from traditional southern homes with grand sweeping … Continue reading

Consider a Cheap Cruise

Despite video of stranded ships and tales of irate passengers going viral, the cruise industry insists that it is not sinking.  However, in an effort to entice travelers, many cruise companies are offering super sales on late summer sailings. If you are looking to take the plunge and book a voyage in the near future, consider the following to keep costs down: Travel Agents:  If you are a first-time cruiser, opt to use an experienced travel agent.  Many of these travel experts that specialize in cruises do not charge for their services because they are paid a commission by the … Continue reading

Avoiding Delays

Airport delays can be a costly inconvenience. I once shelled out more than $250 to pay for meals, ground transportation, clothing and a hotel room during an 18-hour delay that eventually turned into a cancelled flight. Of course, that paled in comparison to the emotional and physical price I paid when the cancellation caused me to miss my beloved grandmother’s wake. Thanks, American Airlines. My sad story is just one of thousands that are logged each year with the promise from airline execs that they will work to improve on-time reliability. According to a recent report from the Department of … Continue reading

Hotels Helping Guests Avoid Expensive Mistakes

Typically, I don’t sleep the night before an early morning flight. I simply don’t trust myself to wake-up on time. What’s more, the cost of missing my flight would keep me up for months, so I simply remain awake at night and sleep on the plane.  This is true if I’m departing from my home or a hotel, though the latter is debuting some new practices to help heavy sleepers like me avoid the costly mistake of missing a flight or an important business meeting. Properties like The Wolcott Hotel in New York are going the extra mile so guests … Continue reading

Summer LEGO Mania

My 8-year-old is a LEGO Friends fanatic. My dishwasher is not. I know this because of the horrible sounds it’s been making since swallowing one of the tiny plastic bricks meant to stabilize the slide on my daughter’s Heartlake City Pool set. I’m this close to tossing out the rest of the set and booking a trip to New York City.  That’s where Nathan Sawaya’s massive LEGO display is being showcased for kids of all ages to enjoy.  Perhaps, immersing my child in another LEGO lover’s colorful brick designs will take her mind off her mother’s moratorium on LEGO play. … Continue reading

Be Smart When Dealing with Discounts

Paper coupons, online coupon codes, group rates, and military discounts are spectacular ways to save big bucks when traveling to amusement parks.  However, not all discounts are authentic.  Each year, thousands of complaints are filed with the Better Business Bureau regarding counterfeit deals.  To protect yourself from getting ripped off this summer, consider the following: Research:  When you see a coupon that appears too good to be true, go online and check it out.  Sites such as RipoffReport.com feature fraudulent coupon offers.  The popular website also gives tips on how to avoid using expired coupon codes.  It also has a … Continue reading

Assessing Travel Amenities

Learning how to stretch your dollar is especially beneficial as the busy summer travel season kicks off.  Fortunately, there are a number of airlines and hotels looking to help you get the most bang for your buck this season, including: United Airlines:  The popular commercial carrier is catering to pet lovers.  United recently opened a new kennel at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.  Now when you opt for the airline’s PetSafe service your fur baby will enjoy modern, ventilated and temperature-controlled units.  The new kennel is located inside United’s cargo facility and can accommodate 28 pets.  The facility also has temperature-controlled … Continue reading

Free and Fun in San Diego

San Diego is home to gorgeous beaches, awe-inspiring architecture, vibrant cultural events and near-perfect weather.  Fortunately, partaking in all the SoCal city has to offer doesn’t have to put a strain on your family’s budget. If you are looking to soak up some fun and sun in San Diego this summer, but don’t have a ton of cash to burn, consider checking out these free options: Grunion Run:  This popular summer event celebrates a natural phenomenon featuring huge schools of tiny fish.  When the tide is high and the moon is full hundreds of humans gather to watch thousands of … Continue reading

Europe for Less

If your bucket list includes a trip to Europe, now is the time to make your dream a reality.  A number of reputable European hotels are offering deep discounts just in time for the busy summer travel season.  According to popular travel aggregate sites, such as Expedia and Hotwire, several five-star properties are slashing prices to entice visitors to spend part of the summer across the Pond.  Lodgings in some European cities are going for less than $100 per night. Among the most amazing deals are properties in Berlin, a city that has added more than 3,000 new hotel rooms … Continue reading

Free Breakfast on the Road

Free? Is there such a thing these days? If you are a Marriott Rewards Gold or Platinum Elite member, the answer is a hearty “yes.” Hearty as in the breakfast you will get for F-R-E-E beginning June 22nd. Marriott International is treating its loyal customers to a free continental breakfast seven days a week at participating hotels in the U.S. and Canada.  To sweeten the deal even more, Gold and Platinum Elite members will also be able to share the free meal pass with a guest of their choice.  For elite guests who prefer not to claim a muffin, bagel … Continue reading