TRAVEL

Alluring Aruba

Cruising Is An Excellent Value Traveling With Pets Travel Safety Boost Signals Loyalty Program Enterprise Making Family Moments Guest Loyalty Rewards Programs Choosing Hotels Plan Ahead

One Happy Island

(NAPSI)—One of the most revisited spots in the Caribbean, Aruba-One Happy Island-is where pristine turquoise waters collide with the desertlike north shore; where peace and relaxation co-exist with wild and rugged adventures; and Dutch influence meets American ease. Did you know:

1. Arikok National Park is home to many hidden beaches, wild flora and fauna, geology and historical cave paintings. Near the Fontein Cave and Blue Lagoon, rocky cliffs and crashing waves mark Boca Prins. Nearby, Dos Playa is a surfer's haven.

2. At the North Coast cliffs, you can travel rocky ravines on horseback to discover the Natural Pool. Known in Papiamento as "Conchi," this shell-shaped pool is surrounded by large lava rocks that greet crashing waves.

3. Celebrating its 10th anniversary as Aruba's official language in May 2013, Papiamento is a direct reflection of the island's diverse history and culture. Papiamento is a Creole language derived from African dialects and blended with English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.

4. Home to 90-plus nationalities, Aruba offers a wide array of authentic, flavor-rich dishes including local favorites keshi yena, funchi and pan bati.

5. Visitors and locals alike enjoy a weekly Carnival celebration every Thursday evening at Carubbian Festival in San Nicolas, the Sunrise City. The festival boasts elaborate costumes, electric dancing and live entertainment, local cuisine and handmade artwork.

The island offers breathtaking beaches, a booming culinary scene, world-famous events, adrenaline-pumping activities, art galleries and museums, sumptuous spas, championship golf and exclusive shopping. To learn more, visit www.aruba.com.

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Cruising: More Than An Entertaining Vacation

(NAPSI)—From creating jobs to protecting the environment, many are surprised to learn that the global cruise industry is much more than a great travel and entertainment experience.

The global cruise industry brings economic development, cultural exchange, support of community and environmental programs, and a commitment to preserving and protecting communities and waterways.

According to Cruise Forward, a new initiative of the industry, the global cruise industry generated nearly $100 billion in economic benefits and more than 753,000 jobs worldwide in 2011.

In addition, by providing financial support to local charities, protecting the cultural heritage of port communities, and involving employees and guests in volunteer opportunities, cruising makes a difference in hundreds of ports across the globe. Cruise lines are also actively working to reduce the overall environmental impact of cruising and preserve and protect oceans, beaches and ports.

Said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association, "We must do more to share these stories and Cruise Forward will help us do just that and also increase public awareness regarding the industry's extensive commitment to supporting community partnerships, safeguarding the environment and delivering wide-ranging economic benefits worldwide."

To learn more, visit www.CruiseForward.org, and join with others that love cruising on the Cruise Forward Facebook page (Facebook.com/CruiseForward).

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Keeping Your Pets Safe When Traveling

(NAPSI)—There's good news for pet owners who want to take their pet along on their next trip.

With more pets than ever accompanying their owners on vacation, a growing number of products are available to make traveling easier for pets and people.

To help, here are some tips:

Traveling With Small Pets

For those traveling by car, a versatile top-loading kennel like the Petmate® 2-Door Kennel assembles easily and provides a safe place for small pets to rest while en route to any destination.

When bringing a small dog or cat on a plane, remember that airlines require each pet to be contained in a carrier that meets specific criteria. For instance, the Curvations® Underseat Traveler was engineered specifically to fit into tight spaces like the underside of an airline seat and provide ample side and top ventilation.

Traveling With Large Dogs

When planning a plane trip with a large dog, remember to check with the airline for individual kennel requirements and other important specifications. The kennel you select should follow these guidelines and comply with the standards of the International Air Transport Association. One such product, the Vari Kennel®, is designed to offer comfort and safety, and comes in multiple sizes that fit pets up to 125 pounds.

When hitting the road with a large dog, it's a good idea to use a plastic kennel or barrier to keep the pet contained and out of the front seat, which causes distractions and poses a safety risk to both the pet and pet owner. And, a tubular or wire pet barrier is designed to do just that. It requires no tools to adjust and is easy to install and remove.

Other Tips

Make sure all shots, vet records and ID tag are up to date. For fun, make sure you have packed fetching toys as well as a collar and a leash to keep dogs nearby and safe. Don't forget to include a portable waterer or travel bowl for hydration and nourishment on extended trips or outings, especially outdoors.

To learn more, visit www.petmate.com.

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Better Phone Service Can Make For A Safer Trip

(NAPSI)—Americans spend a lot of time in their cars and even more over the holidays: One car insurance company survey found that almost half of American drivers say they plan on traveling two or more hours during the holiday season.

With all that time on the road, it's important for drivers and passengers to stay connected. Because most long-distance holiday travel—about 91 percent, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics—is by personal vehicle, cell phones and smartphones are a travel necessity.

A Call for Better Phone Service

In fact, if you're like 71 percent of cell phone owners, you consider the device an essential connection tool. Yet, if you're like 65 percent of phone owners, you also have difficulties with your service, such as dropped calls, poor signal reception or dead zones. Considering that the average long-distance trip over the December holidays is 275 miles, that can be a problem.

An Answer

To reduce dropped or missed calls and data interruption during travel, a leading provider of consumer and commercial cell phone signal boosters created an in-vehicle cell phone signal booster.

It works with most phone carriers, is easy to install and includes a bidirectional amplifier in a sturdy, lightweight cradle for hands-free operation, a cigarette lighter adapter and an external magnetic-mount antenna.

Whether you're using GPS to get to your destination, distracting your kids during the trip, catching up on e-mail or staying up to date on news and social media, this zBoost zForce by Wi-Ex can help your wireless gadgets perform like the travel lifelines you expect them to be.

Gift Idea

This holiday season, you may want to get one for yourself and give others as gifts so family, friends and co-workers can stay connected during their holiday travels and all year long as well.

Learn More

Visit the www.Wi-Ex.com store and enter promo code NAPS240 for a special price of $75 for zForce with gooseneck between now and December 31st.

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Travel Smart on Your Next Trip

(NAPSI)—Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, your next trip can be easier and less expensive if you follow these five tips:

1. Go off-peak and mid-week. Popular destinations are less crowded because so many people want to get out of town for the weekend. Rates tend to increase Thursday through Saturday for outbound travel and Sunday through Monday for the return.

2. Pack light. So you don't have to pay for extra baggage, carry clothes you can mix and match and look for items that won't wrinkle. Also, don't forget to leave space for vacation purchases.

3. Join loyalty programs for air, hotel and rental cars. For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Enterprise Plus loyalty program is free to join and rewards regular renters with perks including free rental days at more than 6,000 neighborhood and airport locations.

4. Stay in the suburbs or the outskirts of the city you want to see. Accommodations are likely to be less expensive.

5. Ask for a discount. You might get it, especially at a hotel that's not at 100 percent occupancy.

These easy-to-follow tips will put your travel dollars to work for you. You'll want to sign up for loyalty programs in advance of planning your next trip so you can take advantage of expedited reservation service and other added benefits, such as special offers. To enroll in the free Enterprise Plus loyalty program, visit www.enterpriseplus.com, call (866) 507-6222 or stop by any rental location.

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Timeshare Myths vs. Realities

(NAPSI)—The allure of having a steady getaway in a gorgeous destination without the hassle and cost of full-time ownership continues to be an attractive travel option for the more than 7 million timeshare owners worldwide.

Still, the idea remains unfamiliar for many. Some people have certain misconceptions that can be keeping them from giving it a try. Here are some common myths associated with timeshare compared to the actual facts:

Myth: Most timeshare resorts are outdated.

Reality: Many resorts are newly built or recently renovated. In fact, more than 20 percent of U.S. timeshare resorts have been built in the last six years, says the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). As the industry has evolved, so too have the innovative timeshare offerings.

Myth: Timeshare does not appeal to young people.

Reality: Timeshare has mass appeal. Owning a timeshare is an attractive proposition for all age groups. A recent ARDA study found that Generation Y (15 to 28) and Generation X (29 to 44) account for 39 percent of all timeshare owners. People 64 and older represent 16 percent of timeshare owners.

Myth: All timeshare resorts are identical.

Reality: Timeshare offers variety and flexibility. Vacationing in today's timeshare resorts—which can include stand-alone homes, villas and condos with multiple bedroom options, a dining and living room and other lavish amenities—offers owners more variety, flexibility and uniqueness. Some innovative vacation options even include accommodations aboard luxury trains and boats.

Myth: A timeshare is more expensive than a traditional hotel stay.

Reality: For many, timeshare is more cost effective over the long haul. If you choose timeshare, you're paying for tomorrow's vacations—often at more spacious and well-appointed resorts than hotel accommodations—at today's prices. With consistent, long-term use, the overall cost savings, including the associated maintenance fees, can more than make up the purchase price.

Myth: Timeshare owners must vacation at the same resort every year.

Reality: Timeshare owners have a world of travel options to explore. Membership with timeshare exchange organizations lets you "swap" your timeshare for a vacation at a different resort. For example, global vacation exchange leader RCI offers vacation options at more than 4,000 affiliated resorts in approximately 100 countries.

You can learn more about timeshare at www.vacationbetter.org and www.EndlessVacationRentals.com, which allow travelers to sample timeshare firsthand before they buy by booking stays at available resort accommodations around the world.

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National Study Shows Frequent Business Travel Can Be Rewarding

(NAPSI)—A recent study by Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott has discovered that frequent business travelers find benefits of traveling rewarding. Beyond the "tangible" advantages of road trips, frequent travels can lead to happiness, personal growth and even enhanced relationships.

Here are a few of the discoveries:

• More than three out of four frequent business travelers say they simply feel more prepared in life due to business travel.

• Eighty-six percent value time with their family and friends more due to business travel, and 83 percent value their personal time more.

• Seventy-six percent claim their friends view them as travel experts.

• Ninety-two percent are satisfied or very satisfied with their amount of business travel.

• Eighty-six percent report positive emotions when preparing for a trip and 88 percent report positive emotions during their travels.

• More than half work twice as much while on a business trip but enjoy getting more work done.

• A functional, thoughtfully designed environment allows business travelers to be their most productive selves.

Brands like Fairfield Inn & Suites design their hotels with the frequent business traveler in mind. The work area has lots of outlets, good lighting and a comfortable, ergonomic chair—all strategically placed to encourage working and relaxing.

Amenities include free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, friendly service that goes the extra mile, on-site business services, a free morning newspaper and a 24/7 food and beverage market. All of this is available at an affordable price and backed by the Marriott name. Plus, Fairfield Inn & Suites is part of Marriott Rewards®, Marriott International's award-winning guest loyalty program, which is free to join.

Further Information

You can learn more at www.fairfieldinn.com or by calling (800) 228-2800.

 

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Before You Head Out, It Pays To Plan Ahead

(NAPSI)—When you're on the road for a longer business trip, where you stay can make a big difference. Heeding a few tips can make your time away from home more productive and comfortable.

1. Pack smart. Carry clothes you can mix, match and layer, and that won't wrinkle.

2. Remember your glasses, prescriptions and first-aid kit.

3. To make preparation easier, create an "always pack list." In addition to cell phones, laptops and reading material, include business cards, nutritional supplements and power cords.

4. Before you go, check the weather at your destination.

5. Eat locally. Visit neighbor- hood restaurants and diners rather than fast-food chains, and get yourself a few treats at a nearby grocery store for a taste of what's popular in the area.

6. If you are away for more than a day or two, choose the right kind of lodging. If you're a road warrior, pick a hotel brand that provides the support and amenities you need during your long trips away from home. The all-suite, extended-stay TownePlace Suites by Marriott, for example, features spacious suites with full kitchens, ergonomic chairs and flat-screen televisions with cable, along with complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi, all of which are excellent for travelers who are on the road for a long time.

The nature of these kinds of "extended-stay" hotels allows their associates to really get acquainted with guests, making for a friendly stay. These hotels allow you to settle in, work the way you want to and live in the local area.

TownePlace Suites provides a thoughtful design of separate spaces so guests can comfortably work and relax while away from home. Key amenities include a TowneMap® to help guests connect to the local neighborhood, showing all the favorite hot spots—including restaurants and grocery stores—making it easy for guests to feel like locals.

There are also laundry facilities, a 24/7 food and beverage pantry, complimentary coffee service, on-site business services and an exercise room. Rates vary based on length of stay.

Rewards

Staying in TownePlace Suites allows you to earn valuable points with Marriott Rewards®, Marriott International's award-winning guest loyalty program. Members can redeem their points for free hotel stays, airline miles, rental cards, cruises, merchandise and more.

Learn More

For more information, visit www.towneplace.com or call (800) 257-3000.

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