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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dinner AND a show! 8.21.10

A vacation isn’t a real vacation to me if I don’t fly to get there. I get super excited to pack and get on the plane. The only thing better than getting on the plane is finding a great deal on my flight. There are so many places online to find great discounts, if you now where to look. Some people like to just go online and pick a flight and pay for it. That’s not how you’re going to get cheaper airfare if you’re trying. Here are some of my favorite ways to save:

  • Sign up for airline emails. I must get every major travel reseller email, as well as the large airline emails with specials. On Wednesdays, I can get an extra 20 emails in my inbox from just companies trying to tell me what the great travel sales are for the week. I am not always planning a vacation, though I wish I was, but I like to know what’s out there and also I post my favorite deals on here for you all that might have missed one that you are really interested in.
    Obviously, you’ll want to sign up for the big email senders, like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz and Hotwire. It’s up to you which other ones you are willing to receive. I fly American Airlines a lot, so I get their emails and many others that I might fly, like Delta, Alaska and Southwest. I recommend doing the same. The question you need to ask yourself is: “How much information do I want available to me?” I want it all, so I sign up for it all. If I find something to be less than useful, I eventually unsubscribe until I have only the most useful website emails at my disposal.

  • Use clubs that you subscribe to to get better deals. AAA and Costco are big ones. Not only do they give you great perks for everyday life, but they also have nifty travel departments that can get you super deals on just airfare or package deals. If you are members of either, you can call the travel department or register online and check out what’s available to you.

Your lodging is your home away from home, so you want it to be comfortable, convenient and functional. There needs to be enough room for you to put all your stuff and still be able to move around without difficulty. Depending on your travel group, you may need different things from your accommodation. We like to have a kitchen if we can, because we don’t like to go out for breakfast and just grab a toasted bagel or bowl of cereal before leaving for the day…and sometimes we come back during the day to make a sandwich or warm up leftovers from the previous day. If we travel with other people, we need to have more than one room, so everyone can have their own space and not get sick of each other, which is hard to do when there are only two beds in one small room. If you have a larger family, you might consider renting an apartment, condo or a house, where you have the option of bedrooms, a sitting room, a kitchen and maybe more than one bathroom.

  • VRBO.com is a great website for you. It is the largest group of vacation rentals by owners available on the Internet in one place. You can search by amenities and price in your destination choice. View the property details, previous guest reviews and pictures that show you where you’ll be staying. You can contact the owner directly for more details and pictures and to ask any questions you might have about the accommodations or the area.

"There were no forks IN medieval times, therefore there are not forks AT Medieval Times." What they DO have at Medieval Times is awesome, awesome discounts. Right now, get dinner and show for only $29 per person. That's $30 off the regular price! Valid for any of 8 locations if purchased by Aug 31st. This is a great add-on to the end of a long vacation day. Rest your feet, eat a four-course dinner, cheer for jousters while waving flags. I love it! Even at regular price, it’s still cheaper than a lot of things you could do and those wouldn’t include food.

You all know how I love convertible pieces of clothing. Anything that I can wear 2 or 3 different ways is awesome and a space-saver in my suitcase. Here's one of my new finds: ExOfficio’s Women's Savvy Skirt. Wear it as a skirt or a dress! You can wear it as a bathing suit cover-up, a strapless dress, a halter dress, a long skirt or a shorter skirt by folding over the waistband of the skirt. I think this might be added to my wardrobe for my next trip.

For the gentlemen out there, check out the Nio Amphi Convertible Pants. They are 2 great items in one: Pants and shorts. My husband has 2 pair of thes that are already packed in our suitcase for our trip next month. They are awesome, because he can hang out on the beach in shorts and then zip the legs back on to go out to dinner or when it gets chilly or he needs protection on his legs while hiking or mosquitoes are especially active.

It’s always great to keep track of all your travel paperwork and packing lists and budgeting. There are so many travel organizers out there to choose from, but my favorite is the Knock Knock Travel Organizer. It is a binder with pocket folders to hold your confirmations and other plans. I put my printed out itinerary in there, packing list and maps or airport information. Aside from that, they have a 40-page pad for writing down your plans, a budget form, a useful travel website list and a map to mark where you’ve been and where you want to go! Anytime I find something that sounds cool to do that I can use later, I put it in the folder that I labeled for future trips.

Looking for a change of casino scenery? How about jetting to the east coast to Atlantic City instead? Right now, Travelocity has rates as low as $50/night on AC hotels. I see you can stay at Caesars for only $98/night, which is a steal! Book soon for best selection. Don't forget, you can save even more by adding airfare!

For only $80 per night you can stay at the beautiful Augusta Lucilla Palace Rome Hotel in a central Rome location close to the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum and public transportation. This hotel got very positive reviews and includes daily breakfast!

Save 60% off in Puerto Vallarta at the all-inclusive Melia Resort. Now, book by Aug 31st to get rates of only $79 per person/per night. Right on the beach, with 4 restaurants. It's a great family resort where all drinks and food are included, also all non-motorized sports, alcohol, exercise facilities and more. Good for stays from now through December 15 and save even more by adding airfare to your package.

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