Spot Hollywood stars and top athletes, enjoy a stroll on the long strands of beach, or fine food all in one of California’s top destinations. Lifestyle and Travel Expert Francesca Page shows off Malibu, which is more affordable than you think.
The rise of the ‘mini trip‘
Maybe it’s because people are working more hours but it seems travelers are reporting that they plan to take more weekend trips in 2019! Thanks to improvements in flight routes and flight tracking apps – ‘micro trips’ will become increasingly more popular and varied. Go-to tracking apps like Hopper have made it easy for people to book hotels or flights based on notifications and predictions on when and how prices will rise and fall and when the best time to book is. Tools like this are also a great way to explore different destinations and see when and where price wise the best place to go for you is!
The Caribbean and FL Keys continue to bounce back in a big way
Many of the Caribbean islands and the keys hit by Hurricane Irma and Maria are well on way on their way to recovery by now. There are also more flights to these destinations than ever before (from smaller cities like Boston and Denver.) They Keys are a particularly good bet for accessible paradise with something for everyone; take Key West’s Havana Cabana Resort – rich in charm and character where guest can relax and unwind with a midday mojito by the pool, conquer an array of watersports or just explore the colorful, buzzing town on a bicycle or vintage Vespa.
2019 Should likely see a rise in people’s desire to learn something new while on vacation. Destinations like on the west coast like the City of Los Angeles should be a popular choice offering that California ‘all round vibe’ that includes a variety of experiences for a conscious traveler to experience from sustainable, farm-to-table cuisine to scenic hiking and surfing. Meditation gardens like Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardensprovide incredible spiritual retreat, while Bikes and Hikes L.A. offers hikes throughout the day until sunset, to discover some of the City’s most picturesque views. And between Santa Monica, Redondo and Manhattan Beach, travelers will find an array of surf camps to choose from!
Customization and Personalization
Especially technology that can help you keep track of & benefit from airline loyalty programs and offer solid travel hacks from a well travelled community, are on the rise. Apps like App in the Air is personal flying assistant that not only does that but also keeps you up-to-date with your flight: real time status, provides airport tips and in-airport navigation maps, flight profile with all your flights logged. The app works offline (gate changes and flight status updates are delivered via SMS which requires no data roaming).
The rise in the ‘vacation home’
According to a recent survey by Wyndham Destinations, more than half of millennials surveyed said have vacationed in a timeshare and a whopping three quarter said they actually liked it. Nearly half of Americans in general travel as a family and tend to like comfort when they travel like spacious accommodations, consistent service and brand names — all things that timeshares offer. In fact, the number one thing (34%) consumers say make their vacation less enjoyable is a lack of amenities like laundry, a fitness room or pool. Homes away from home seem to be the future…
This holiday season I found myself subject to the mass delays surrounding the bad weather front that hit the northeast a few short days before Christmas. Even as a travel expert, I know that no amount of planning can control the weather,. However, there are ways to be prepared for the worst. So with the extra time due to my flight delay/cancellation, I used this as an opportunity to share some a few of my own tips with all the hardworking news networks on site!
Have ‘plan B’ ready to roll
I always keep a list of apps that come in handy in case of delays, especially when it comes to needing to rebook flights due to cancellation. You can’t always rely on the airline to get you on the next available flight, or predict when that will be, so you may need to do your own research – and FAST. Apps like hopper are great to have handy on your smartphone, as they will not only be able to compare what airlines are flying and at what prices, but also track these and can let you know when they go up and down and price and when to book them. Predicting future prices for flights and accommodations with 95% recommendation accuracy sure comes in handy when you have to think (and rebook) fast on your feet.
Get Travel Insurance
While most travel insurance policies cover overnight stays, medical expenses, delayed or lost baggage, trip cancellations and airline change fees, most people still opt out of the added travel insurance. However, it can come in handy, especially if you find yourself booking a trip close to any major holidays like Christmas. The trip-focused plans are pretty affordable, but if you travel frequently you want to look into getting an annual travel insurance plan so it’s always there.
If you are delayed for more than a few hours, airlines tend to hand out food vouchers, and sometimes nearby accommodation, but not always – so it is best to come prepared. Some essentials I suggest include granola bars, a water bottle, wet wipes, a blanket, a neck pillow, medicine, chargers, headphones, earplugs, an eye mask, some basic toiletries, and maybe a clean t-shirt rolled up in your bag! I personally love my Dagne Dover – it has a compartment for every item I travel with!
Keep yourself charged up and have offline options handy
There are some great portable chargers out (unless of course you have a ‘smart’ suitcase) so it’s worth carrying at least one power source in case you don’t find yourself near a pug for a while. You may also find yourself subject to slow airport wifi with hours to kill. Download movies and your favorite sitcoms from Netflix and Amazon Play (which are free if you have a subscription) so you can watch them offline during delays and on long trips.
This is probably the hardest thing to do – even I still get stressed when it comes to delays and cancellations. If you experience a delay and need to speak with the airline, stay composed and be polite, as remember, they are going to be the ones to get you on the next flight out. After that, find somewhere sit down, call anyone you need to, and wait it out. If you have lounge access, this is where it comes in handy. Remember, if your not flying, there’s often a good reason for it – which can include your safety in the air!
Business travel can be a nightmare for many. Blurring lines between leisure and business travel — often referred to as ‘bleisure’ travel — has become more popular over the past few years. As long as it’s not forbidden by your company, fly to a desired destination to spend the weekend, and then head to your business meeting.
Francesca so why ‘bleisure’?
Many destinations are too expensive to go to otherwise so as long as your company allows, it makes sense to combine the two and get some site-seeing in.
Traveling to a destination ahead of time will give international businesspeople a window to adjust to a time change before their workweek starts.
Get to the meetings refreshed and with a positive attitide – making them them more successful in their business meetings.
GET TSA PRE-CHECK OR GLOBAL ENTRY
For frequent travelers, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry is essential for expediting the security check. You don’t need to remove your shoes or belt, and you can keep your 3.4-ounce liquids in your bag and your computer safely in its case. TSA PreCheck costs $85 for five years and Global Entry is $100 for five years.PACK SMART AND CHOOSE QUALITY LUGGAGE
If your a regular business traveler/frequent flyer quality and space economic luggage is KEY (especially if you plan on extending your trip.) TRS Ballistic Luggage for example uniquely allows one to connect and roll multiple luggage pieces with one finger (think briefcases to suitcases) and has four wheels so no airport cart needed – making it time and space economic. See here.
REACH ELITE STATUS IN AN AIRLINE’S LOYALTY PROGRAM
If you don’t have status on an airline, get that first. Elite status in a frequent flyer program gives you airport lounge access, priority boarding, complimentary upgrades and more. When you’re on long-haul flights or visiting multiple cities, these luxuries can make travel a better experience.
Francesca talks about travel nightmares on DailyMailTV.
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Make the journey part of the experience when you stop at national parks, landmarks or end up at the beach, all of which are low cost or even free to visit. My sister and the family love places like Yosemite or Mammoth Mountain. Some of my best tips include leaving early, prepping cash for tolls (or downloading apps like Waze if you want to avoid them) and driving a decent speed to save on gas while being safe for the family.
Vacation rentals are a great option for families with kids or larger families, because it is both cost efficient and provides all the comforts of home such as a working kitchen, which saves on eating out every night or kids with allergies. Check out great sites like Wyndham Vacation Rentals, which has properties in over 600 worldwide destinations and is running 20% off in Northwest Florida rentals for Labor Day!
I like resources like Dunhill Travel Deals, because hotels, cruise lines, and vacation companies come to them when they have special promotions or extra inventory that they need to fill at discounted rates, which are then published in their website and newsletter and definitely worth signing up for; I found for Labor Day deals like $122 for an all-Inclusive Family-Friendly Cancun Resort w/ Waterpark.
Tourism District websites are a great resource for deals too, such as that of El Diabalo Valley in San Francisco (which is another great Labor Day choice for families) has a incredible itinerary planning tool on their website to help create your perfect experience while your there, whether you choose hiking, horseback riding or visiting a waterpark with the family.
I’ll be going to my favorite getaway Nantucket for Labor Day, and given the few days I have, the quickest way to go is flying an air shuttle with Tradewind Aviation, which get’s you there from Manhattan in less than 50 minutes…and you get a private jet experience with a commercial price tag!
Great Britain has a huge amount to offer, especially in the summer, and is extremely accessible; you can visit three countries in just one trip, all filled with rich history and surrounded by picturesque landscapes. From London’s historical palaces and tranquil gardens to Cardiff and Edinburgh’s rich heritage and stunning architecture, you can’t help but leave inspired! For more info go to visitbritain.com.
The Athletic Option (for those NOT afraid of heights)
Ashville, NC is both known for its vibrant art scene as well as its breathtaking mountainous scenery, which provides some incredible uphill hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hotels like The Grand Bohemian (where I recently stayed) make the experience all the more memorable, as a piece of artwork in itself decoratively (with an inspiring art gallery located right in the hotel lobby!)
The Athletic Option (for those who like to stay closer to ground level)
Consider a beach side yoga retreat, and if flying isn’t your thing (due to fear of heights) you can always drive to one on a nearby coast. The west coast runs some amazing retreats year round from Malibu to San Diego. Or consider learning to paddle board (or even paddleboard-yoga) in Florida Keys, which is flat in the summer months and provides some of the most inspirational sea life viewing right beneath your feet!
Why? Traveling alone will give you time to rediscover yourself, but opportunity to learn something new and meet new people (which in turn will boost your self esteem.)
What? Consider somewhere that you can learn something new like a language, such as Spain or Portugal. Madrid is known to run some fantastic language courses, is full of life in the summer, rich in culture and great for meeting people.
Any Tools to Help? Traveling alone can be scary, especially if you’re a woman. Brands likeTravelsmith really do well with products made to assist the female traveler My favorite is theirPacksafe Tote (on sale now for $65) – seriously stylish and seriously secure with features like a cyber proof pocket to protect your personal data from cyber thieves, slash proof lining and handles and a tamper proof zipper!
Why? Exercise and good heath has a huge impact on our self-esteem. There’s also a great sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching positive health goals and making healthy choices in your life.
What? Consider all inclusive fitness resorts like Movara Fitness Resort in Utah, where they motivate their guests to become healthier through exercise and nutritional changes, and take full advantage of their location, with everything from hikes through the amazing red canyons to kayaking.
Any Tools to Help? – When booking an all inclusive, the last thing you want is to miss days out of your trip so mobile services like Freebird are essential, which automatically rebooks your flight if you experience a cancellation or a delay of more than four hours or miss your connection. It’s based on a simple per-leg pricing system: for $19 one-way or $34 round-trip.
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