Condos In Hawaii: Affordable And Luxurious
great way to make your travel dollar go farther may be
to take a luxurious vacation with spacious
accommodations in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.
By staying in a condominium. That can not only mean more
room (and more rooms) than at a hotel, but condominiums
often offer such economical conveniences as your own
kitchen, so you can save on food, and a washer and
dryer, so you can pack lighter and check fewer
Condo living also provides deluxe resort
accommodations- with generously sized private rooms,
living areas and plenty of outdoor space to unwind for
your comfort, convenience and flexibility.
At the same time, you get the customer service and
hospitality of a traditional hotel including a
knowledgeable staff that will help you with whatever you
Most of the resorts in the Outrigger Condominium
Collection are set on beautiful spacious grounds with
lots of room to roam, and perfect for home-style
barbecues, picnics, family activities and even time
alone. Close, convenient and complimentary parking at
most of the properties means easy in-and-out access
without waiting for a valet to retrieve your car.
Many travelers consider it the best of both worlds
and a more independent way to visit the islands.
Your travel professional can give you more
information or you can call Outrigger at (800) 688-7444
or go to
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Need A New Year's
Resolution? Think Vacation
year, Americans make the same resolutions--lose weight,
start exercising regularly and quit smoking--all in an
effort to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. But
inevitably, many resolutions fall by the wayside.
many Americans don't realize is that there is an easier,
more enjoyable way to stay healthy: Take regular
vacations. And vacation ownership offers that perfect
opportunity to vacation how Americans want to
vacation--any way they like.
Studies have shown the far-reaching health benefits
of taking regular vacations and yet, according to an
Expedia.com International Vacation Deprivation
Survey, about one-third of employed U.S. adults do not
take all of the vacation days they receive each year.
Wyndham Vacation Ownership offers two flexible
timeshare programs, CLUB WYNDHAM® Plus and
WorldMark, The Club, which
provide owners with an annual points or credits-based
currency to select when and where they want to vacation.
"Becoming an owner made sense to me because those
credits are mine," said Regina
Rollis, a longtime WorldMark,
The Club owner. "I can use them this year, next year, in
20 years. I'll be taking vacations for the rest of my
life with WorldMark."
It's really simple. Owners choose where they want to
go, what type of condominium-style unit they want to
stay in and how long they want to vacation. There are
approximately 150 resorts to choose from. So whether
it's a weekend in San Francisco or Washington, D.C., or
a weeklong adventure to Orlando, it's easy to get right
to the point and keep that New Year's resolution.
For more information about Wyndham Vacation
Ownership, please visit
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Making The Case For Getting
it comes to cutting stress and leading a healthier, more
balanced life, it seems it could pay to get away.
"A crucial element to maintaining life balance is
taking breaks and vacations," says stress expert and
founder of The Stress Institute Dr. Kathleen Hall.
"Research shows it's important to allow yourself time to
get away. It can rejuvenate you and leave you ready to
deal with challenges head-on."
Unfortunately, it seems many Americans aren't getting
their travel tickets punched. In fact, a national survey
found that one in four people are not planning on taking
all their vacation days this year, with 40 percent of
those respondents citing work-related reasons. Yet 72
percent of Americans feel they don't have balance in
their lives, and that vacations could help change that.
So which Americans may be most in need of a vacation?
The Life Balance Barometer, which was conducted for
Princess Cruises by Harris Interactive, found that
residents of Chicago say they have the least amount of
balance in their lives, followed by those living in
Houston, Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego. People in
Miami seem to have the most balance, along with
residents of Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and
According to the poll, the top things Americans feel
will help them achieve better life balance include
realizing financial success, getting organized and
taking more breaks and vacations.
Improving physical fitness also ranked high on the
list, but in what seems like a clear disconnect, when
asked what they do to destress
when they get home from work, only 17 percent of
Americans cited exercise.
Dr. Hall says that regardless of the approach you
take to balance your life, cutting stress is
key. "When people are
stressed out, it can be hard for them to focus on the
priorities that will help get them back in balance," she
explains. "Taking just a few minutes to do something for
yourself each day can make a
big difference. However, the poll showed us that nearly
a third of people who focus on
themselves--even rarely--feel guilty about it."
Getting Away From Stress
According to the study, the top-five things Americans
do to de-stress at the end of the day are changing their
clothes, laying down, kissing their spouse/partner,
playing with their pet and reading a book or a magazine.
Additionally, 64 percent of people who say they have
attained life balance have taken a vacation in the last
year. If you're considering a getaway, Dr. Hall has this
bit of advice: "Keep it simple." That could mean opting
for an all-inclusive trip, such as a cruise. "They
require minimal planning and provide a completely
different environment than what most people are used to.
That's key to removing yourself from the stressors of
everyday life," she says.
More than 53 percent of respondents polled said they
believe they will achieve life balance in the next five
years, yet 15 percent said they will not have balance
until they retire--possibly leaving them at a loss, says
"You don't have to wait years to find balance. Do
something for yourself today and you'll start to reap
the benefits," she explains.
For more information on the poll or on planning a
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Vacation Rentals: An
Ideal Option For Budget Travel
your next vacation but not sure where to stay? One
appealing alternative to a hotel stay is renting a
vacation home; over 21 million Americans over the past
two years have discovered that vacation rentals combine
popular destinations with serious savings on lodging and
Ditch The High-Priced Hotel, Keep Valued Amenities
Vacation rentals are properties offered by individual
homeowners or property managers that offer the privacy
and amenities of home, often with up to 40 percent
savings compared to staying in a hotel. Vacation rentals
give travelers the ability to cook meals, much as they
would at home, eliminating large restaurant bills.
Additionally, vacation homes often offer other valued
amenities, such as living rooms, pools and hot tubs,
multiple bedrooms (without connecting doors, for large
groups or families with children), backyards and other
individually unique property attributes. Some properties
even allow you to bring the family pet.
Finding Your Dream Destination
So how do you find the vacation home that fits your
needs? There are a handful of Web sites that offer
travelers listings of vacation rentals with photos and
detailed information on amenities, allowing you to
search and sort listings according to your unique
a leading vacation rental Web site, offers more than
100,000 properties to choose from. Properties on the
site are reviewed by past guests to help you find the
ideal vacation home. And with properties around the
world--from ski chalets to beach bungalows--travelers
can find vacation homes in their favorite destination.
Own A Second Home? You Could Be
Earning $27,000 Annually
While many second homes sit empty for the bulk of the
year, more and more owners are opting to turn that
vacant home into serious money.
FlipKey found that the average homeowner will
make $27,000 a year in additional income by renting out
his or her second home. With the Internet being the
first place travelers turn to to
start planning their travels, it makes perfect sense to
advertise your home online. It's also much easier and
more cost effective to manage than a print ad.
Whether you're looking to plan a vacation or put your
second home to work, check out the online world of
vacation rentals and see what the buzz is all about.
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Keep The Family Busy And
Bonding On A Road Trip
by Emily Kaufman
you find yourself saying "Are we there yet?" as often as
your kids on road trips, you may be on the wrong route
for family travel.
Today, with both high-tech and low-tech ways to keep
the family entertained, kids can have as much fun in the
car as when they arrive.
Here are some tips on how families can make the most
of every minute and every dollar on the road this year:
- Avoid high-tech disconnect--A number of cars
today, including the Volkswagen
Routan, have lots of great high-tech features
such as DVD players and Wi-Fi. Instead of having
everyone plug in and tune out, use this technology
to bond. Have the kids
research and learn more about where you're visiting
and what fun things the family can do there
together. You can watch an educational DVD about
your destination. On the way back, use your
technology to make a slide show of your trip
pictures and send it to friends and families.
- Embrace some low-tech time--While technology can
be a great travel tool for part of the trip,
families should take advantage of the time in the
car together to reconnect. Play card games, sing
songs together, tell stories about when you were
kids and create new vacation memories. Another
low-tech fun thing to do is to listen to stories on
tape--it's a great way for the whole family,
including the driver, to do something together. The
Routan has a USB port,
allowing you to download your favorite books and
- Plan ahead to avoid splurging on the road--There
are two major ways to waste money on a road trip--on
food and drinks and on your gas. Make sure you get
your oil changed and tires pumped up to avoid
potential unnecessary stops along the way and
increasing your gas mileage. Because Carefree
Maintenance is standard on all current
Routans, it makes
preparation easier so you can drive more and worry
less. As for food, there's something about a road
trip that gives families the munchies. Prep healthy
meals and snacks ahead of time, such as sandwiches
and sliced fruits and vegetables. And don't forget
to bring water and avoid sugary drinks. Some say
sugar highs and lows make both kids and parents
cranky. Don't forget to take a cookie sheet along
and use it as a tabletop for eating or even as a
desk for drawing.
- Create a boredom bag--Get a few inexpensive
toys, games and crafts and use them as prizes for
car games or to reward good behavior. The new toys
will be such a great surprise to the kids and yet
make a small dent to the road-trip budget.
For more information on the
Routan or other VW products, visit
- Emily Kaufman, known as America's Travel Mom, is
a proud mother of two and a nationally recognized
travel expert. She's regularly featured on TV and
radio, in publications and online, offering her
practical pointers for family
travel with children of all ages. Kaufman
believes travel can be a wonderful way for families
to share time together.
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Are We There Yet?
Keep Kids Happy On A Road Trip With Fun And Affordable
traveling with children--even just around town--a little
planning can go a long way. It's key to bring along
plenty of distractions. Here are six hints that can
1. Get Ready:
Get the kids properly prepped for the trip by
enlisting them in active play just prior to drive time.
This will allow them to burn off excess energy so they
can relax in the car.
For long trips, try to leave just after lunchtime (so
the kids aren't hungry) and before afternoon nap time
(so they can sleep in the car).
2. Make the Car Comfortable:
Install sunshades in the backseat so naps last longer
and there are no tears shed over bright sunlight in the
kiddies' eyes. The Fisher-Price Color Changing Sunshade
is a great buy at
Pack a pillow, blanket, favorite toy and
DwellStudio for Target and
Circo both offer a variety
of wallet-friendly fleece and plush blankets. Also pack
a goody bag with favorite books and interactive toys.
3. Stick to Routines:
Maintain your child's routine as much as possible and
take sufficient breaks for naps and meals.
Packing plenty of fun and healthy food can save time
and money spent at fast-food restaurants. Smart snacks
from Archer Farms at Target include 100-calorie organic
cookie snack packs and fruit strips.
Save money and ensure roadside fun by planning a
picnic for lunch or dinner. This will provide all family
members with a little time to stretch their legs.
4. Maximize Out-of-Car Time:
A good rule of thumb is to take a 10-minute break
every two hours. Make rest stops fun by using a GPS
system or Google Maps to locate schools and parks that
5. Create a Mobile Cinema:
If your car doesn't already have a DVD player, bring
along a laptop computer or portable DVD player to play
your child's favorite movie. Make road-trip movie time
special with popcorn and drinks.
6. Avoid Mishaps:
To alleviate accidents and the search for a clean
bathroom, bring along a potty chair, such as the
BabyBjorn Potty Chair,
available at Target. Don't forget plenty of disposable
baby wipes and disinfecting
hand wipes. Target's owned brand of everyday essentials,
up & up, offers affordable options to keep your kids and
car clean while on the go.
Practice patience in the car with short, pleasant
trips when your child is in a happy mood. A few good
experiences will help set a positive travel pattern.
For more information on all these budget-friendly
travel products, visit a Target store or go online to
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Tips For Cutting Down On
Costly College Visits
your college-bound high school junior is interested in
multiple universities, it may be tempting to just yell
"road trip!" But campus tours can mean thousands of
dollars in travel costs.
Fortunately, there are ways to visit colleges and
universities without breaking the bank. Here are a few
tips to save money on college tours:
- Work with your teenager to do as much research
as possible from home. Read college
viewbooks, catalogs, Web
sites, newspapers and activity calendars, and have
him or her talk to currently enrolled students or
alumni about their alma mater to get a feel for the
school before visiting. After research, you may find
that there are fewer colleges on the list.
- Even if they're not interested in them, have
your student check out colleges close to home to
compare large schools to small schools. This could
help them discover what they don't want and help
narrow the list even further.
- Once the school list is finalized, map them out
into regions and try to combine a number of college
tours into one road trip.
- Before making travel plans, check with college
admissions offices for any travel deals or other
added incentives at local hotels. For example, now
through Dec. 7, 2009, by booking a room at a Hampton
hotel at Hampton.com and entering the promotional
code "CAMPUS," you will be entered to win a drawing
for $5,000, which could go toward your student's
tuition. If you book far enough ahead, you can take
advantage of the hotel's Advance Purchase Promotion
to receive 15 percent off your stay.
- Take advantage of airline and hotel loyalty
programs, such as Hilton
HHonors, to use points instead of cash for
- Ask friends if their children are looking into
visiting any of the same schools. Coordinate
simultaneous trips with them to split the cost of
gas and lodging.
- Turn your family vacation into a college visit
trip, tacking on an extra vacation day to visit a
school or bringing your student on a business trip
if there are colleges nearby.
- Look into your student's high school to see if
they organize college tours, which may be more
affordable, or search online for "college tours" to
find a company that provides campus tours, which can
save you time organizing trips.
By planning ahead, not only will you save some cash,
but your teen will get more out of the trip, allowing
him or her to determine which
school is a good match.
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Best Cruise Ship Deals
best way to navigate a one-of-a-kind trip is to set
course for a cruise ship vacation-but how do you find
the right one?
With cruise fares at their best levels
in a very long time, consider these tips:
- Choose a cruise that departs from a nearby
location. That can really help you get more value
for your money. For example, Royal Caribbean
International has cruises leaving from New York
metro area; Baltimore; Norfolk, Va.; the Space
Coast, Fort Lauderdale and Miami in Florida--to the
Caribbean; and from Los Angeles to the Mexican
- Find out what they have to offer. For example,
Royal Caribbean exclusively offers onboard surfing,
kids' water park, ice-skating, inline skating,
rock-climbing walls, cantilevered whirlpools and an
interior boulevard that runs nearly the length of
the ship, lined with boutiques, restaurants and
lounges and bars.
There's Vegas-style gambling for adults and
complimentary children and teen programs from morning to
For more information, visit
www.royalcaribbean.com or call (800)
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