Katie Hammel lives in Chicago with her husband and two very fat cats. She is obsessive about food, wine and beer, and is easily excited by a good deal.
There are countless ways you can donate money and supplies to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Here's one more way you can help, just by going about your travels. Stay at a Sage Hospitality Group
hotel, now through the end of January, and the company will give $10 per room, per night to the Red Cross.
54 Sage hotels throughout the US are participating in the promotion. Guests do need to book the special "Help Haiti
" rate, which has limited availability, in order to make the donation.
The Sage group is offering a few other promotions that benefit victims of the disaster. Coco Key Water Resorts
, a division of the hotel group, will offer 1% of all food and beverage purchases to the Red Cross, and will offer a $5 pass on January 26, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.
Sage has a history of offering great rates and promotions to help others. In the past, they've offered free nights to volunteers
, service-people, and teachers.
A luxury safari is big investment. With rates at some lodges going for $800 to $1200 per night (and even mid-range prices in the $400-$500 range per couple, per night), it's an experience that needs to be perfect. Here are questions you need to ask when booking your dream safari lodge.
How much land will you cover and what animals will you most likely see?
Different concentrations of animals live in different countries, so depending on what you want to see the most, you may be interested in one location over the other. Similarly, every lodge is different, and if you stay on a private reserve, your experience can vary widely from property to property. Be sure to ask how big the lodge's property is and what animals live there. Many lodge websites also have a ranger's blog. Read the past few months' entries and you can get a good feel for what animals you might see on your trip. For instance, the lodge I recently stayed in South Africa
at only had two leopards. We were lucky enough to see one, but many of the other groups staying there did not.
Yesterday, January 18th was supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Congrats, you made it through. Now here are some more travel tidbits to cheer you up!
More Gadlinks here
There's virtually no limit to the adventures you can have on the Big Island of Hawaii. SCUBA, snorkel, watch whales pass in season, take a helicopter flight
over the island, or view lava up close from a boat
, watching the fiery rivers pop and hiss as they land in the ocean. On the Kohala Coast
, many of the resorts offer easy access to some of the island's most unique activities. For others, well...you'll need to get a bit more creative.
resort offers guests several options for traditional Hawaiian water-sports, including stand-up paddleboarding, through its Alaka'i program. Alaka'i means "ambassadors of the waves" and the staff here really do try to fulfill that role by teaching guests not just about the logistics of each activity, but also about its historical and cultural significance to the islands. The Junior Alaka'i program is geared for kids 10-17 and includes three days of lessons in activities like paddleboarding, windsurfing, free diving, and outrigger canoeing. Guests at the Four Seasons Hualalai
can also use the equipment at Kona Village.
Elsewhere on the Big Island, you can rent a board from Hilo's What Sup Big Island, where daily paddleboard rental
is $65, or $75 for a half day with lunch and beginner lesson.
It's almost Friday! Here's a few more travel tidbits from around the net to help you soldier on until the weekend.
More Gadlinks here
According to the UK's Telegraph
, the latest casualty of the problems between British Airways' cabin crews and the company is vintage wine. Those involved in the alcohol abuse were members of the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (Bassa), which is part of the union that represents the airline's 13,000 cabin crew. They say they destroyed the wine as a symbol of "passive resistance" against some of the new practices that British Airways has instituted.
The unhappy employees had planned on striking over the Christmas holiday, but thankfully, the strike was blocked
by a judge.
Apparently, the flap all started when BA introduced some new cost cutting measures - which included firing hundreds of employees and freezing pay for current workers. As a result, the "disaffected" workers have stopped any of their own money-saving efforts onboard the airplanes. One worker was quoted in the Telegraph article as saying that "No-one is doing anything to help save costs any more. Whereas we used to keep unfinished bottles of wine in first-class to save money, now they're routinely poured down the sink."
Let's hope the union and British Airways can resolve their issues soon. I hate to see good wine go to waste.
Disneyland and Disney World are supposed to be the happiest places on Earth. Every child wants to go to this place of wonder and excitement, and special needs children are no exception. But for parents of these children, the thought of organizing a trip may seem like a far too difficult task. That's where the Mouse-Aid
website comes in.
The website is not affiliated with Disney
, but it is designed to help parents of children with special needs negotiate the obstacles to taking their kids on a Disney vacation. There are tips for travel, packing, get around the parks, dining and choosing a room, and what issues parents of special needs kids should consider The special needs covered range from physical and mental disabilities to ADHD and terminal illness.
For many parents, the most helpful part of the site might be the forums. Here parents can discuss the issues important for their children, like which rides might scare kids frightened of the dark. They can also find support in parents dealing with similar issues as themselves. As the aunt of a special needs child, I've seen how just knowing that there are other parents who understand your situation can be a big help in and of itself. If you are the parent of a child with special needs, and you are planning a trip to a Disney theme park, it might be worth checking out the Mouse-Aid site.
This year, Virginia's scenic Blue Ridge Parkway celebrated its 75th birthday. What better way to celebrate than by giving away a six night, seven day vacation package
The winner of the prize will receive round-trip airfare for four people to Dulles Airport, a seven-day Enterprise hybrid car rental, six nights of lodging at stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway and several great activities along the way. The winner and family will have the chance to explore the Luray Caverns and the Mill Mountain Zoo, and to go canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, or rock climbing. They'll enjoy ice cream at the Split Banana, dinner at Shenandoah Pizza and a picnic at Peaks of Otter plus much more as they explore this beautiful area of Virginia
To enter, just fill out the online form
. The winner must be 21 years old and a resident of US. The winner will be selected on November 10, 2010 and travel must take place between November 15, 2010 and October 31, 2011.
Despite only taking out as much as money from the ATM as you thought you'd need each day, you somehow managed to come in under budget. Now what do you do with this extra foreign currency you've got burning a hole through your picket? You could convert it back to your home currency, getting hit with exchange fees again, or you could try one of these seven options.
Save it for next time.
If the currency in question is Euros, it may make more sense to just save the bills for your next trip to Europe. By the time you convert the money back into dollars (or whatever your home currency is), the amount you lose to fees may not make it financially worthwhile, even if the exchange rate eventually changes in your favor. Obviously, with more exotic currencies, this isn't a good option. Who knows when you'll be able to return to Uruguay
Sell it to another traveler
If you know of another traveler heading to the destination soon, you can offer to sell them your leftover currency. Offer then a rate that is lower than what they pay at the bank or once they arrive in country, but higher than what you would make selling the currency back for dollars. In this way, you both win.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! Don't let the midweek slump get you down. Check out these other sources for travel inspiration.
Get more Gadlinks HERE
← Previous Page|Next Page →