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Five Cheap Hotels on the Gold Coast [Sponsored Post]

by Jessica on January 24, 2012   |    Posted in: Travel Guide    |    2 Comments

This post is brought to you by Escape Travel. For more information on sponsored posts read here.

The Gold Coast of Australia offers wide, sandy beaches, pristine water, a variety of shopping and amazing dining and nightlife opportunities. Visitors flock from all over Australia and around the world to experience the glitzy, glamorous excitement of this stretch of beach along the Pacific. Due to the area’s popularity, hotel rooms can be pricey, particularly in the high season. Fortunately, there are plenty of bargains to be found for your Gold Coast holidays to ensure that you have plenty of spending money left!

1. Vibe Hotel Gold Coast

This modern, well-appointed hotel is close to all the action in Surfers Paradise without being on top of it, making it easy to get a good night’s sleep. Boasting four stars, the hotel also offers an on-site swimming pool, but the beach is just a couple blocks away.

2. Hotel Grand Chancellor Surfers Paradise

Located directly facing the beach, this hotel is ideal for those looking for a four star experience with a less than four star price tag. The hotel is also close to all that Surfers Paradise has to offer, with a variety of places for shopping, dining, and nightlife within walking distance. All rooms have balconies and feature views of either the beach or the surrounding mountains.

3. Islander Resort Hotel

For basic, clean accommodation at a very basic price, visitors to Surfers Paradise should consider the three star Islander Resort Hotel. The hotel is near the most popular places in Surfers Paradise, from world-class dining and nightlife to beautiful beaches and shopping. For those who aren’t looking for luxury, guests will find that the hotel is a great place to stay with excellent access to all the surrounding area has to offer.

4. Paradise Isles

Visitors to the Gold Coast who are looking for a little more space may want to check out Paradise Isles. Paradise Isles offers basic, nicely appointed one bedroom vacation apartments that are perfect for families. The apartments come equipped with a full kitchen, making it easy to save more money by cooking rather than eating out for every meal. Best of all, Paradise Isles is located within walking distance to the center of Surfers Paradise, without being right in the middle of things. Again, this makes it ideal for families, as it makes all the attractions easy to reach without worrying about being awakened at night by loud partygoers.

5. Australis Sovereign Hotel

The Australis Sovereign Hotel is located just a block away from the beach near a variety of other amenities, including excellent restaurants, shopping, and legendary nightlife. This four star hotel has tastefully decorated, modern rooms, perfect for families, couples, or singles looking for a budget-friendly option that still has plenty of class. An on-site swimming pool, as well as balconies and flat screen televisions in every room give visitors a little bit of added luxury.

photo by Cindy Andrie

The Most Popular Tours in France [Sponsored Post]

by Olivia on September 16, 2011   |    Posted in: Travel Guide    |    2 Comments

This post is brought to you by Student Flights. For more information on sponsored posts read here.

So you want to travel to France and experience the best that Europe tours can offer? One of the most highly-ranked tourist destinations in the world, it’s a country so packed with famous attractions and things to do that it can be hard to navigate your trip from the outside. For ease of mind – and to make the most of your vacation – consider taking a tour.

#5: Wine Tours
You can’t say you’ve been to France until you’ve tried some of the wine. Take a tour through Provence, Paris, or Bordeaux and smack your lips through the best the country has to offer. Travel options include going by bus, car, or even taking a walking tour through vineyards and famous wineries – just make sure you don’t get too buzzed from all the taste tests!

#4: Adventure Tours
Feeling up for a challenge? Adventure tours in France will get your blood pumping while also affording you a unique – and thrilling – look at some of France’s most famous landmarks. Climb the icy Mount Blac or surf the beaches of Brittany. Bike through Loire Valley and follow trails all the way to the Alps.

If you want to see more than just France? Travel and tour groups use the country as a starting point for extensive, multi-day tours spanning the entirety of Europe. Pack a camera and get moving!

#3: Countryside Tours
France is famous for the glitz and glam of its cities, but there’s an entire world off the beaten path. Companies like Trafalgar will show you the way. Want to see the villages of St. Tropez, the cafes of Nice, the rolling hills of Provence? Fancy trekking the fields of Burgandy or the picturesque coast of Basque Country?

To get the most from your money, group tours like Gap Adventures and French Experience offer busy schedules and daily itineraries. For something a little more flexible, En France offers private tours by bilingual expats.

#2: Food Tours
Because you need to compliment the wine! A food tour through France is a tasty way to see the best of the country without breaking the bank. Stuff yourself with cheese in Marin and chocolate in Paris. Roam the bakeries of Montmartre for crisp, fluffy pastries and the world’s #1 ranked baguettes. French cuisine is some of the most famous in the Western hemisphere, and it can be right at your fingertips with the right tour – just make sure your belt has a few extra notches.

#1: Tourist Tours
Ideal for first-time visitors of France, tourist tours are designed to take you through all the biggest, most famous attractions and pack in just about everything the country has to offer. Experience the wonders of cliffs and waterfalls in Pyrenees National Park, or take a cycling tour through Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Luxembourg Gardens. Wander Bayeux for a historic look at the Battle of Normandy.

Whatever your destination, don’t be shy – millions of tourists visit France each year, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a quintessential look at one of the world’s most amazing places. Happy visiting!

Photo by: Patrick Goossens

Beach vacation in September: South Carolina

by Cristina on August 29, 2011   |    Posted in: Travel Guide    |    No Comments

With Labor Day knocking on our doors, we already know that this summer season is going to end soon. For most of us, this means going back to work, taking the kids back to school and starting to prepare for the fall and winter holidays. For others, September is just another month to …go to the beach.

Yes, some of the great beaches in September can be found in South Carolina. The weather is not hot and wet anymore and you can enjoy spending time on the beach and tying outdoor activities.

If you want a place with few crowds where to soak up the sun, then Kiawah Island is an excellent choice. It’s close to Charleston, so make sure to consider this airport when you look for cheap flights to South Carolina . A round trip flight from New York during the second weekend of September (9 to 12) will set you back $374 per person (with a stop in Charlotte). Alternatively, you can fly into Charlotte ($234 RT , same weekend) and rent a car to get to Kiawah Island.

Or , if you don’t mind to share the beach with other travelers seeking sunshine, head to Myrtle Beach. There are direct flights from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach , but the rates are quite high and you are better off driving.

It’s not hard to find affordable Myrtle Beach hotels , especially if you avoid the Labor Day weekend. Rooms in 3-star hotel during the second weekend of September start at $49 per night.

Photo credit

Tips for Saving on Your Labor Day Vacation

by Katie Hammel on August 23, 2011   |    Posted in: Tips    |    No Comments

It’s almost here – that last glorious three-day weekend that signifies the end of summer and one final chance to get away for a long weekend. If you don’t already have plans, you’re not out of luck. Here are a few ideas to help you save on your trip, even at this late stage of the game.

  • Take to the internet. Labor Day Travel Deals are out there, you just need to find them. Sign up for alerts on all your favorite sites and with all your preferred airlines. You’d be surprised how many last-minute deals go out via email every day. You just need to make sure that you’re aware of the options.
  • Be flexible. The best days to fly over Labor Day are when everyone else isn’t (duh) as this means better chance of a deal, lower prices, and much less stress dealing with a crowded airport and long security lines. Most people travel Friday and Monday so if you can shift your weekend around a bit you could save money and have a better experience.
  • Be ready to act fast. Many last minute deals have very limited availability, so if you want to snag those cheap flights, you’ve got to be ready to book as soon as you find a deal.
  • Think locally. You don’t have to resort to a staycation, just pick a destination within a short train, bus or car ride if you can’t afford flights. By the time you would have driven to the airport, waited in line, flown to your destination and disembarked, you could have driven several hours away from your house – far enough away to feel like a real vacation.
  • Negotiate. If you’ve found a hotel, resort, or vacation rental that still has availability late in the game, try to negotiate on price. Many lodging owners would rather compromise on price than let a room go unsold.

Photo by freakgirl

 

Can Traveling Alone Help You Save Money?

by Katie Hammel on August 17, 2011   |    Posted in: Travel Guide    |    2 Comments

Solo travelers often seem to get the short end of the stick. When seating gets tight on an international flight, they’re the first ones moved to the middle seat. They pay more at all-inclusive hotels and on cruises, and often pay a single-supplement on tours as well. In general, it would be easy to assume that it costs more (per person) to travel solo than it does with a companion. But that may not actually be the case.

Sure, if you’re going the all-inclusive or tour route, you may get stuck paying more for your single status, but if you are planning an RTW trip on your own, going solo may actually help you save money. First, you’ll need to abandon any notions of fancy hotels. As a single traveler on a budget, you just can’t afford them. The good news is that you’re not limited to dorm accommodations though. Many hostels and bed and breakfasts offer single rooms that offer more privacy than a dorm but cost much less than a double room. If you stay in these types of places, lodging won’t cost much more than if you were splitting a room with a friend.

But the real savings comes from one of the biggest perks of traveling solo. When you travel with another person, you may be able to split some expenses, but you’re also often pressured into spending more than you want to, or into spending money on things that aren’t a priority for you. Maybe you’d rather stay in a basic hostel so you can spend more on trying the local cuisine. If you’re traveling with a friend who demands a private bathroom, you’re dining fund quickly gets spent on higher-end accommodation. Of maybe you’d prefer cheap street food so you can spend money on experiences, but your friend always pressures you to join him at the local hotspot. Even if you make financial agreements before the trip, you may still find yourself compromising with your travel partner and spending more than you wanted to in certain areas.

When you travel alone, however, you make all the decisions. You can spend as much or as little as you want on accommodations, dining and activities because you have no one to answer to but yourself. In that way, traveling alone can actually help you save money in areas that aren’t important to you so that you can spend the money on what enriches your trip the most.

Thinking about a solo trip? Check out our resources for solo travelers or get solo travel tips from our travel community.

Photo by wanderinghome

Budget Vacation in Europe: Romania

by Cristina on August 8, 2011   |    Posted in: Tips Travel Guide    |    No Comments




Traveling in Eastern Europe
is affordable and offers incredible and unique experiences. Each country in this part of Europe has something to offer which sets it apart in the world.

For the past 15 years I’ve been doing quite a lot of traveling in Eastern Europe and I’ve fallen in love with Romania. Over the years I’ve discovered incredible hiking trails –and some of them are located just 10-20 km outside cities -, stunning castles and citadels, Medieval towns, beautifully painted monasteries and churches, cosmopolite cities, spas and fascinating cuisines.

One of the reasons to visit Romania is the medieval citadel of Sighisoara. Each year, the last weekend of July marks the Medieval Festival. You can see the medieval citadel taken back in time, with medieval arts and crafts shown on the cobble stone streets on the background of medieval music. Stop and listen to hear Romanian. You won’t! Because travelers from all over the world come here and the language most spoken is definitely English.

There are two easy ways to get to Sighisoara. You can book airfare to Bucharest and then take the train to Sighisoara. If you want to explore the country at your own pace, you can rent a car and drive there. Or you can fly into Budapest and then travel to Sighisoara by train, entering Romania from the western border.

Make sure to book accommodation in advance. The town is small and there are only several hostels (which can be booked online). During the high season (July & August), double private rooms in hostel cost about €30 per night. If you want to stay in dorms, the prices are much cheaper.

If you have several days for exploring this area, plan a day trip to one of the destinations near-by: Biertan Citadel, Brasov, Praid, or Sovata.

Photo credit: Cristina Puscas and may not be used without permission

US Residents: Don’t Overlook Canada

by Jessica on August 4, 2011   |    Posted in: Travel Guide    |    No Comments

For those of us in the United States, it’s all too easy to forget our neighbors to the north when we’re contemplating where to go on our next vacation. Anyone who wants to travel to a foreign country may recall that Mexico is nearby, but Canada? We speak the same language and – until just a few years ago – we didn’t even need a passport to get into the country.

It’s partly the fact that Americans so often skip Canada in favor of far-off destinations that you should consider it for your next vacation – but there are plenty of other great reasons to make the trip north, too.

Canada is huge. It’s wider than the US, and extends so far north that much of the land in the northern half of the country is pretty much uninhabitable during the winter. It’s full of remote natural beauty, places that are hard to reach and remain unspoiled, but not all of Canada’s great outdoors is inland. Among the highlights of Eastern Canada you’ll find several islands that are well worth the added effort it may take to get there. Prince Edward Island is its own province (Canada’s smallest), but some of the other islands of the North Atlantic are less well-known and even more rugged.

One such example is the archipelago known as the Magdalen Islands (Îles de la Madeleine). There are 12 islands that are included in the archipelago, which is part of Quebec (hence the French name), and they’re great for anyone in the market for an outdoorsy vacation. Hiking, biking, kayaking, and wind-surfing are but a few of the activities you can enjoy on the islands.

The next time you’re thinking about a destination for a summer trip, look north. You might be surprised at what you discover.

>> Book a flight to Canada today and see what you’ve been missing!

Saving Money on a Hawaii Trip

by Jessica on July 22, 2011   |    Posted in: Tips    |    No Comments
Tags: hawaii, Tips

Hawaii remains one of the most popular holiday destination for many people around the world – people aspire to visit the islands at some point in their lives, and many make a habit of going on a regular basis. Hawaii is, however, notoriously expensive. So how can you find deals on travel to Hawaii?

To begin with, it pays to know when Hawaii’s shoulder seasons happen. From early March through May, and then again from September to October, the islands are cheaper than they are during the most popular months while still experiencing great weather. During the low season, in January and February, the prices can be even lower – but that’s when you’re more likely to experience less-than-ideal weather. For the best bang for your buck, the shoulder seasons are the ones to aim for – when everything from airfare to the islands to hotels in Hawaii drop their prices.

Once you’ve decided when to go to Hawaii, the next step is to keep an eye on Hawaii deals online. You can track airfare from your home airport so you know what the going rate is, and then when it dips you’ll know it’s a good deal because you have something to compare it to. Even if you’re not the package tour type, don’t rule out package trips to Hawaii, either – sometimes they’re merely a combination of a flight and a hotel (two things you’d be getting anyway) and don’t involve nametags or big bus tours. And in popular destinations like Hawaii, package deals are often plentiful.

Finally, once you’re in Hawaii you can save money on food by skipping the overpriced (and touristy) luaus and instead seeking out traditional food in Hawaii by eating where the locals do. There are great eats to be had at area farmer’s markets as well as roadside stands, some of which serve better fare than the stuff at the touristy restaurants closer to the beach.

Sardinia: Italy’s Beach Playground

by Jessica on July 13, 2011   |    Posted in: Travel Guide    |    No Comments

The truth is most Italophiles don’t need to be given reasons to book a flight to Italy. Most people who love travel just need to find time – it’s not reasons to get out the door that we’re lacking. Still, when reading a recent article listing eight reasons to travel to Sardinia, it’s fun to find out how little we know about a place (which, of course, makes us want to go even more).

A quick glance at a map reveals that Sardinia – unlike Italy’s other major island, Sicily – is fairly isolated. Getting to Sardinia from the Italian mainland is easy via boat or plane, so for travelers this isn’t an issue, but Sardinia being set apart from the rest of the country means that (as the article says) it’s both “geographically detached and geologically older” than the rest of Italy.

This is a country known for its ancient ruins, but Sardinia’s got ancient structures that are older than the ruins in Rome – by a few thousand years. These stone formations – often tower-like – are ruins today, but they haven’t completely disappeared after more than 5,000 years and more than 8,000 of them still dot the Sardinian landscape. That might be reason alone to start planning a Sardinia trip, but there’s more.

Animal lovers have a few creatures to look for in Sardinia, some of which are only found on the island – including small wild horses and albino donkeys. Bird watchers will enjoy migration season, when 200 different species make Sardinia their layover spot. Foodies have all kinds of unique eats to get excited about, including a cheese that’s intentionally served with live maggots in it – for the more adventurous eater, of course.

Above all, Sardinia is known for its beaches – it’s a popular vacation destination for Italians and many Europeans during August, but aside from the posh Costa Smeralda there are plenty more beaches (most of which are cheaper) on which to lay your blanket. Keep in mind that while you might find more results if you search for a hotel in Cagliari (the island’s capital city), you’ll find better deals – and fewer people – if you head to less-populated parts of Sardinia. This means renting a car, as the island is nearly impossible to get around without your own vehicle, but the extra expense is worth it to experience the best of what Sardinia has to offer.

Plan Your Bachelorette Party in Las Vegas

by Katie Hammel on July 5, 2011   |    Posted in: Travel Guide    |    No Comments

Las Vegas is not only one of the top spots in the US to have a quickie wedding, it’s also one of the most popular places for bachelor and bachelorette parties. While the boys may do some gambling and hit the strip clubs, women who are planning a Bachelorette Party in Las Vegas will find even more to do, no matter how mild or wild they prefer.

On the mild side, you can dine at some of the country’s best restaurants, relax in your hotel’s luxurious spa, do some gambling, see a show, take a day trip to one of the nearby National Parks or to the Grand Canyon, or simply take in the over-the-top sights in Sin City. And speaking of  sin, if you’d rather get a little crazy for your sendoff to singledom, Las Vegas won’t let you down. Opt for a more risque show for your night’s entertainment or check out the Vegas pool club guide to find the best pool clubs where you can dance and drink while you work on your tan.

Bachelorette parties in Las Vegas are so popular not only because of all the attractions Vegas has to offer, but also because it tends to be an inexpensive option no matter where you live. Tickets to Las Vegas can be just as affordable for someone living in Chicago as for someone in Portland, Austin, Denver, Miami or New York, meaning that even if your bridesmaids are scattered around the US, everyone can join in the fun. Bachelorette parties also get special perks in Las Vegas, especially at nightclubs and pools, where groups of women often get free or discounted admission.

Photo by thinkpanama



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dat phong khach san on Can Traveling Alone Help You Save Money?
I'm always a solo travel. I have no one to discuss where to eat, where to sleep. I have make ...

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Definitely agree that travelling solo has many good points - you get the adventure experience you wanted, you get to ...

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Don't forget that when you are done living it up on the Gold Coast you can go to New South ...

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Michael luke on Five Cheap Hotels on the Gold Coast [Sponsored Post]
These websites are cheap but not bad travel discounts



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