Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Airlines in the struggle to make money seem to be charging customers for everything. Luggage, food, earphones even Wi-Fi, it really is hard to keep track and keep on budget.
Here are a few handy charts which outlines what some airlines are charging.
Remember with increased security measures, this can be valuable information!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Here are some "unique" foods from around the world keep the adventure in your travel.
1.Alligator cheesecake (New Orleans, Louisiana)
2.Chicken Penis (China)
3. Casu Marzu (Sardina) is a traditional Sardinian sheep mile cheese, notable for being riddled with live insect larvae.
4. Kopi Luwak or civet coffee (Indonesia) is made from coffee berries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet bird
5. Surströmming (Sweden) is a northern Swedish dish consisting of fermented Baltic herring
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
From Boston to Birmingham people seem to stuck in airports. Blame it on the weather, overbooking or the holidays. The cold hard fact is that many of us are spending much more time waiting for the plane than actually being on it.
Here are a few ideas of what to do with all that free time:
•Try and find a quiet space. Many airlines will grant you access to their lounges for a fee starting around $40. Check with your carrier.
•Another option is to purchase one from Priority Pass. (www.prioritypass.com) which have over 600 lounges worldwide.
•Another such company is loungepass (www.loungepass.com). Many of these lounges offer free snacks, drinks and free Wi-Fi.
•For something even more budget friendly why not check out the airport chapel. Chances are you will find a peaceful environment with an even more reflective feel.
•Many airports have adjoining hotels which offer day passes to their gym and pool facilities, these are always worth investigating, not to mention their possibly less crowed bar.
•Airport Spas have been popping up all over the place, and what a welcome they are.
Check out www.traveltowellness.com/airportspas
for a great list.
•Another great resource to have on hand is an airport guide. This will give you a great overview of what exactly is offered in your airport. www.worldtravelguide.net/airport
can tell you exactly where that Starbucks is located!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Ahhh the allure of packing your bags, hopping on a plane and exploring a far-off exotic land.
But wait! Between the carbon footprint of the flight, the questionable humans rights policies of your destination and the unlawful environmental practices...where is one to go?
Fear not, below is a list of the top ten destinations of 2010 (alphabetical order) where one can escape without the guilt tagging along.
1. Argentina 2. Belize 3. Chile 4. Ghana 5. Lithuania 6. Namibia 7. Poland
8. Seychelles 9. South Africa 10. Suriname
The list was compiled by the Ethical Traveler (www.ethicaltraveler.org), which lists the 10 countries in the developing world that are best protecting their natural environments, promoting responsible travel, and building a tourism industry which provides real benefits to local communities.
Good news, well sort of.
We have all experienced or heard stories of those who have been stuck on a plane waiting to take-off. 20 minutes turns into 2 hours...2 hours turns into 4...and so on!
If you are traveling in the United States, the govenrment has stepped in and now the most you can expect to spend sitting on the tarmac is 3 hours.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
KEY WEST, FLORIDA:
Blue Heaven (www.blueheavenkw.homestead.com/Blue_Heaven_Restaurant_Key_West.html)
Who doesn't like to dine alfresco with wild chickens and roosters running around under your table? This charm doesn't stop at the kitchen either. Fresh baked corn bread, yummy seafood salads and the best darn Key Lime pie on the island will have you coming back for more. Breakfasts are popular too!
One Flew South (www.oneflewsouthatl.com)
A layover at the worlds busiest airport no longer needs to mean eating from fast food kiosks.
Find refuge, calm and outstanding food at One Flew South. Executive Chef, Duane Nutter has created a menu of global tastes that focuses on fresh ingredients. In a rush, their brilliant sandwiches and bar area will allow you time to re-charge and still catch that connecting flight.
Get Stuffed 190 Duckworth St. 757-2480
This warm and cozy establishment is true to it's name.
The menu is impressive with a focus on comfort food. Think meatloaf and mac and cheese. Be warned you can biggie size your portion to a serving and a half, however it might be best to split an entree and share a few sides.
Mala, Wailea (www.malawailea.com)
Chef Mark Ellman has recently opened this second restaurant in the Marriot with stunning outdoor sunset views. A focus on local, organic food with a Hawaiian twist ensures anything on the menu will be mouth watering. The most amazing offer on the menu is the chef's four course tasting menu with wine pairings for $70....a real steal!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Here is this weeks great travel deals
-20% off select flights for travel till Mar 31
Use discount code CQK4JU31
-Executive class sale
-Toronto- Santiago from $789 (+tax)
-Toronto-NYC from $169 (return + tax)
-20% on any Porter airlines flight
use discount code: WINTER20
(book by November 30th)
-Fly NYC to Europe in Business class from $1,159 each way
-Fly in style from NYC-Paris on the all-business class airline (from $705 each way)
-Free companion ticket!
Book now for Summer travel and SAVE:
-fares to Europe from $1125 (taxes inc)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Bangkok is one of the more exciting cities on the planet. With a population of nearly nine million, it is a city of vast contrast. Ride a tuk tuk along the Chao Phraya river and explore ancient temples and exotic street markets. Then hope on the modern and efficient skytrain
back to uber modern Siam square where you can shop at some of the most design savvy
stores in Asia.Here is a short list of things that will help make your trip to this fantastic city
that much more fun:
Suvarnabhumi airport (www.suvarnabhumiairport.com)
This is Bangkok's international airport which opened it's doors in 2006. It is a huge and important hub in Southeast Asia. You can find onward tickets to almost anywhere in the world from this beautifully designed airport.
TIP: the best option to get downtown to your hotel is to book a private car from the counter in the baggage claim area. You simply purchase a ticket from the attendant who will assign a driver to you and then walk you curbside to your private ride. Average cost is around $15-20. If you want to rough it there are a series of public buses which you can catch downtown for a few dollars, but after coming off of a 23hr flight you might want to splurge.
Bangkok has a fantastic mass transit system called the "skytrain" this elevated train wisks you around the city in air conditioned comfort, for only a few dollars.
Taxi's are also very affordable and abundant. However if you want to be a bit more adventurous, make sure you flag down one of the cities tuk tuks. Remember to hold-on!
Seeing the city by boat is a beautiful way to take in the many sights along the Chao Phraya river. This ancient waterway snakes it way through the heart of the city.
Cheap yet very cheerful
-Le Fenix (www.lefenix-sukhumvit.com)
This fun and design focused hotel is located in one of the best parts of the city. Easy walking distance to endless entertainment like Bed supper club (www.bedsupperclub.com) and the fantastic shopping of the night market. This hotel has comfy rooms, a small infinity pool and a great restaurant for breakfast. From $70.
- JL hotel (www.jlbangkok.com) from $40
- Mac Boutique (www.macboutiquesuites.com) from $60
- Seven (www.sleepatseven.com) from $70
Moderate (affordable luxury):
-Sofitel (www.sofitel.com) from $120
-Luxx (www.staywithluxx.com) from $90
-Tenface (www.tenfacebangkok.com) from $110
Splurge (Bangkok has some of the most affordable 4 and 5 star hotel in the world, if your budget can allow you would be a fool not to stay at one of the following. Note that these hotels also share world renowned spas too!)
- Mandarin Oriental (www.mandarinoriental.com)
- The Peninsula (www.peninsula.com)
- The Four Seasons (www.fourseasons.com)
- The Shangri La (www.shangri-la.com)
Simply some of the best food you will ever eat will be the amazing street food which you can buy from vendors everywhere. From noodles to fresh fruit you can be assured this will be an experience your tongue will not soon forget. One tip is to frequent a stall or vendor which is busy and makes the dishes to order.
-Cabbages & Condoms (www.pda.or.th/restaurant/restaurant.asp)
This restaurant will not only satisfy your hunger, but also your social conscience. It is run by the local Population and Community Developement Association
-Eat Me (www.eatmerestaurant.com)
(The Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
-Thewet Flower Market
Located close to China town, wander through blocks of Orchids and roses most sold in bushels for around $5!
-Chatuchak Weekend Market
If you cannot find it in this market, my friend is simply does not exist. Easy to reach via the Skytrain, this market has stalls and stalls of goods for everyone.
-Siam Square (http://www.siam-square.com/shopping.html)
-Siam Discovery Center (www.siampiwat.com)
This western-style mall houses some great stores. Here are a few you don't want to miss
-Loft (a a popular Japanese giftshop)
-OTOP (http://www.thai-otop-city.com/) Fair traded Thai products.
It would be a shame to visit Thailand and not explore beyond Bangkok. From the lush northern Jungles to the Southern islands, Thailand simply has much to offer everyone. Travel is cheap and easy. Here are a few resources to help make your travels around Thailand a bit easier.
-State Railway of Thailand (www.railway.co.th/english/index.asp)
-The government bus company, called Bor Kor Sor (BKS), provides the cheapest mode for getting around Thailand
-Thai airways (www.thaiair.com/)
The Thai flag carrier know for outstanding service
- Air Asia (www.airasia.com/site/th/th/home.jsp)
Fantastic discount airline serving all of South East Asia
-Bangkok Airlines (www.bangkokair.com/)
Self described as Asia's "boutique" airline all passengers are granted access to a private airport lounge with free internet and refreshments.
-Nok Air (www.nokair.com)
Fun discount airline owned by Thai Airways (nok means bird in Thai)
*Note that Nok flies our of the old Bangkok airport, Don Meuang
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Due to the sluggish economy, nabbing that seat on the flight of your dreams is suppose to be cheaper than ever. However it might not be that easy. Struggling airlines are cutting flights and using smaller planes, so that means fewer options. That being said, there are still some great deals to be had... if your bank account affords.
You enter you intenary and this site trolls the net finding you the best prices. You can customize it by price, intinary or even departure/arrivial. You can even us it to find deals on car rentals and hotels.
This site operates on the same premise as Kayak. However, where this site excels is that it offers premium economy fares. Premium economy is something that a lot of airlines are now offering. It is more expensive than regular economy but less than regular business class. Perks can include more legroom, wider seats, enhanced food and beverage service. Two of my favorites are on Thai Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
Once you arrive at your destination you can save some serious cash by flying regional discount airlines. Tracking those airlines is a snap with attitudetravel.com. Navigation is easy as it's divided up by world region, from there an easy click-through map provides simple trip planning.
Airline travel certinally isn't as glamorous as it once was. Choosing the airline that best suites your needs is much easier with the help of airlinequality.com. This site not only rates airlines with a star ranking (1-5) but allows people to write personal reviews. There's also a handy seat selection tab to help you choose the best seat the plane. The insider's airport reviews are a welcome touch. These little details may seem silly, but small details like knowing which seat on the plane has an extra few inches of leg room or which airport has a Starbucks can make or break your trip.
Getting the best seat in the house is always important. Seatguru.com is like your personal airplane concierge. Simply scroll down the left tab, select your airline and aircraft type and voila!
An easy to follow chart highlights which seats you want and those you don't!
One of my favorite sites when chosing a hotel is tripadvisor. Not only does it rate the hotels based on readers reviews, but allows you to view real room photos submitted by reviewers. This way you get a real feel of what to expect. If you like what you see, there is a handy booking tool.