Travel XL News The latest travel news in XL style. Sun, 31 Aug 2014 00:11:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Great America To Celebrate 75 Millionth Guest Sun, 31 Aug 2014 00:11:40 +0000 CA_Great_America_rocks_fountain_carousel_2008

Labor Day Weekend at California’s Great America will be extra special as the park celebrates its 75 Millionth Guest the entire weekend. One lucky winner will be celebrated as the 75 Millionth Guest during Labor Day Weekend and receive a VIP prize package and a key to Great America.

There will be collectible gifts with the 75 Millionth Guest logo for the first 7,500 visitors on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The first 7,500 guests Saturday receive a commemorative pin, the first 7,500 guests Sunday get a vinyl backpack and the first 7,500 guests Monday receive a rally towel. Additionally, there will be 75 commemorative gifts for 75 random park visitors each day.

One lucky winner will be celebrated as the 75 Millionth Guest and receive a VIP package and a Golden Key to Great America.

There will be fireworks on Saturday and Sunday to make the weekend extra special and Monday will feature an All-You-Can-Eat BBQ ($14.99 per person) from 11am-4pm.

Season Pass holders can bring up to 6 guests for just $19.99 each all three days and enjoy Early Ride Time from 9 am-10 am all weekend.

American Airlines Fares Now Available Again On Orbitz Sun, 31 Aug 2014 00:09:12 +0000 American Airlines Group Inc. has announced that American Airlines fares will return to Orbitz on Friday after the companies earlier today entered into a letter of intent.

American Airlines Group also no longer plans to remove US Airways fares from Orbitz on Sept. 1 as previously announced. The companies are working toward final agreements based on the letter of intent.

All tickets previously purchased through Orbitz and other Orbitz-powered websites remain valid for travel. Customers who want to change reservations bought through Orbitz should call Orbitz to make those changes.

Are We There Yet? 4 in 5 Americans Take Summer Road Trips Wed, 04 Jun 2014 19:34:02 +0000 Bridgestone Americas Summer Road Trip Infographic

Summer travel season is now officially underway, as it really has started with Memorial Day. For most Americans, summer means packing a bag and hitting the road. According to a recent survey by Bridgestone Americas, 83 percent said they take at least one summer road trip. They surveyed about 2,000 adults in the US in May 2014.

Cost is widely regarded as the leading reason Americans choose to drive rather than fly, but those who take summer road trips say road travel has many additional benefits. A top response, 58 percent choose road travel over air because it gives them greater flexibility. Other leading reasons summer road travelers choose to travel by vehicle rather than plane are because their destination is too close to fly (44 percent), they enjoy driving (38 percent), and they want to avoid potential flight cancellations (23 percent).

On average, U.S. adults are willing to drive more than 500 miles on a summer road trip. When asked what could ruin a summer road trip, Americans said a fender bender (74 percent) and a flat tire (49 percent) were the top two mishaps. While a fender bender can be unpreventable, being stranded with a flat tire is something drivers can avoid with the new DriveGuard tire line from Bridgestone. DriveGuard tires allow drivers to travel up to 50 miles at up to 50 miles per hour if a puncture or loss of pressure should occur.

Preparation is the key to success for any summer road trip, and drivers are taking time to prepare their vehicles for the journey. Four out of five (81 percent) of those who take summer road trips perform vehicle maintenance to ensure their vehicles are ready. Of those who perform vehicle maintenance before hitting the road this summer:

84 percent will check tire pressures
82 percent will check fluid levels
60 percent will change the oil

There’s always the obligatory questions raised by kids who are traveling with their parents:

“I have to go to the bathroom” (74 percent)
“I’m hungry” (73 percent)
“Are we there yet?” (72 percent)

To learn more about the survey findings, contact Rachel Withers, Communications Manager for Bridgestone Americas, at 877-201-2373. For information about DriveGuard tires from Bridgestone or to find a Bridgestone retailer, visit

Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2013 Tue, 09 Jul 2013 17:17:00 +0000 has released the results of hotel reservation trends for the first half of 2013. As the data suggests, beach destinations are the most popular, followed by the cities of New York and Los Angeles. Travel to Europe and theme park destinations are actually showing a decrease over the last 12 months.

hotelmapper top travel destinations

The top U.S. Cities as Travel Destinations for the first half of 2013 are:

1. New York
2. Los Angeles
3. Honolulu, Hawaii
4. Washington, DC
5. Las Vegas
6. Phoenix
7. Dallas-Fort Worth
8. Orlando
9. San Francisco
10. San Diego

Compared with last year’s data, Hawaii Hotels nearly tripled between January and March which is high season for the main island of Oahu, HI.

Top International Cities for Travel 2013:
1. Paris, France
2. Madrid, Spain
3. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
4. Cancun, Mexico
5. Rome, Italy
6. Cairns, Australia (Queensland)
7. London, United Kingdom
8. Venice, Italy
9. Seoul, Korea
10. New Delhi, India

Luxury Lifestyle Blog Unveils New Design Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:02:31 +0000 pursuitist

Pursuitist, a luxury lifestyle blog online at – has unveiled an exciting new HD design. Featuring a responsive web site design that is viewable on all devices, from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones, the new site also showcases large photography and lush imagery.

In addition, the Pursuitist Facebook Page at has surpassed over 50,000 affluent Facebook fans. The international followers reside in the wealthiest metropolitan cities, including Paris, New York, Rome, Los Angeles, London and Tokyo.

Luxury fashion brands featured in editorial include Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermès, Gucci, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Dior, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli.

The editors highlight incredible luxury destinations, including Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Disneyworld’s Grand Floridian, InterContinental Resorts, Conrad Hotels, The Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria. Bentley, BMW, Lexus, Bugatti, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Audi, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz are a few of the luxury auto brands that are covered on the site.

On the web at:

Steps for Hotel Reflagging Tue, 19 Feb 2013 18:24:32 +0000 When hotels are bought and sold, oftentimes the new owners of the hotel decide to do a hotel reflagging. This simply means that the hotel undergoes a name change. For example, the Gaylord hotel brand was recently purchased by Marriott. So, for example, the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center moved their web site URL to a new URL, which is now on This is just one of the steps (updating the web site URL) that needs to be done when a hotel undergoes a reflag.

One of the interesting–yet challenging tasks that Standing Dog gets to work on is hotel reflagging. And I have to admit, although it is challenging, we do it very well. When a hotel is rebranded with a new name, hotel reflagging, done properly, is critical to the new hotel’s success. Although the hotel may have been physically located at the same location in the same building for many years, it’s critical that the new hotel reflagging be done properly.

When a hotel does hotel reflagging, there are obstacles. And when it comes to even the smaller details like the hotel’s web site, it’s a huge task, as well. The links from other web sites pointing to the former hotel’s web site need to be update. It’s sometimes a huge task to contact all the other web sites pointing to the old web site and get the links changed.

Rob Phillips from Standing Dog, has written a great blog post about hotel reflagging and everything that needs to be done. We all want to make sure a hotel’s reflag is done properly, and that it runs smoothly.

Awesome Alternative Honeymoon Ideas Fri, 30 Nov 2012 21:57:41 +0000

Many honeymoons take place on a warm, sunny beach in tropical paradise, sipping a Mai-Tai and watching dolphins frolic in the surf. But to some newlyweds, that sounds like the most boring vacation possible. If you’re looking for an adventurous honeymoon, you’re guaranteed to find something that both you and your beloved will enjoy. A lot of these alternative honeymoons are affordable too, so you’ll save money in addition to the money you save by visiting Goodbye are the days of cruises and beach resorts, the new era of honeymoons will really bond you two in love’s holy matrimony. Check out these ideas for alternative honeymoons if beginning to collect ideas on where you want to go!

African Safari

Sure, it would probably not be fun to be eaten by lions during your first week as husband and wife, but you’ve got to live a little, right? Don’t worry; you’ll be safe on a life-changing experience to Africa. Many newlyweds are choosing far away African countries like South Africa or Kenya for amazing honeymoon experiences. You can find beautiful resorts in the region that are relatively affordable. If you’re a fan of wildlife, than a honeymoon to Africa could be the perfect trip. You’ll see all kind of animals that are only visible in zoos in most of the world. You’ll also experience beautiful beaches and pristine views if you head to Africa’s coastline.

Train Trip

If you and your newlywed are up for an adventure, consider taking a train trip across some distant land you both have wanted to visit. Taking a long train trip can be relaxing and very enjoyable, and usually affordable too. You could choose between a fast paced train trip through Europe, where you’d purchase the rail pass and be able to experience many countries in a short period of time, or you could choose a more relaxing train trip, like one through the Canadian wilderness where you can sit back and take in the amazing views. You’ll appreciate the area you visited much more after taking a train trip there.

Tree House

Luxury tree houses are popping up more and more and are becoming a very popular choice for honeymooners, due primarily to their reclusiveness and beauty. Tucked away in all corners of the globe you can find tree house resorts that feature rooms built high into the trees. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you realize that you’re secure you’ll feel so connected with nature that you may want to quit your job in the city and move out to the woods. All tree house resorts are a little different. While some offer more amenities like pools and restaurants, many are simply a luxury room high up off the ground.


Glamping, a combination of the words glamour and camping, has taken off in recent years. It’s essentially camping with the amenities of a hotel or resort. You’ll feel connected to nature, but you also won’t be soaked in a falling apart tent. You’ll find beautiful bungalow type accommodations, hot showers and delicious meals. Glamping is popping up just about everywhere around the world, so if that’s something you’re into then you should go glamp!

4 Ways to Choose the Perfect Miami Night Club Thu, 27 Sep 2012 15:22:02 +0000 When you’re on vacation, you want to relax and get out and enjoy new experiences.

The city of Miami has it all, from luxurious beaches to an incredible nightlife. Visitors and residents alike typically hit the beaches during the day and then the night clubs after the sun sets. If you are in search of the perfect area night club, consider four ways to choose the best scene for you and your friends.


When most people hear the word “night club,” they probably envision the stereotypical boxed-in room with loud music and dancing. However, night clubs come in a variety of different forms, so you should consider which environment is the best for you. While some night clubs are indoor-only facilities, most of the elite clubs in Miami Beach have lounges that you can relax in and actually hear other people talk. Also, some clubs focus on dancing some nights, while others foster more social atmospheres with drinks galore.

On the other hand, you might want to still enjoy the outdoors. Some night clubs offer dancing inside, as well as festive lounges located on the outside. The lounges are even located right on the beach in some cases. Choosing the right environment can make all the difference when it comes to selecting the perfect Miami night club.

Types of Music

Miami is a melting pot of cultures, so you will have the chance to experience a variety of different types of music while you are visiting. This is especially the case on South Beach, where you will hear Cuban, Latin American, disco, Freestyle, country, hip-hop, Caribbean and electro-pop music.

Honing in on your favorite music can make a difference in whether or not you should choose a particular night club. Ideally, it may be best to choose a club that offers a variety of sounds instead of just one—you certainly don’t want to feel awkward if a crowd starts line-dancing and you don’t listen to any country music whatsoever. You can get a feel for the kind of music a club plays simply by walking by the entrance.

The Food

While your mission is to dance and have fun at a night club, you are bound to get hungry at some point, especially since many clubs are open into the wee hours of the morning. Before settling down in a particular club, consider the menu. This way you won’t have to leave the club in search of food and then miss out on all the fun while you’re gone.

Again, consider choosing a club that offers a variety in everything, including the food. Cuban, Caribbean, Oriental and European foods are among the favorites in Miami. The best overall night club may feature a mix of these cuisines and more.

Special Events

The competition is fierce in Miami, and night clubs are constantly honing in on what the people like to experience in the city. Before committing to a night club during your stay, consider any special events going on. From dance music, to DJs and themes, there are special events that occur on all nights of the week in Miami.

Villa Versatile Tue, 04 Sep 2012 19:37:44 +0000
When it comes to vacationing with a large group of people, be it friends or family, cost is always a consideration that’s at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Accommodation and airfare are two of the most prominently expensive costs incurred when it comes to vacations and so anything you can do to save money would be welcome by all involved. One of the best ways to save money on a large group vacation is by renting a villa for your trip. Villas are more than just vacation homes away from home – they provide luxury and function that everyone can enjoy. Better than trying to break up a large group into multiple hotel rooms and having to deal with additional costs for laundering and food, getting a villa is really the way to go. Villas are self contained and full of all the creature comforts that we’re looking to enjoy when we vacate. Most villas come with big bedrooms that have ensuite bathrooms, large living spaces and dining rooms for group fun time, well equipped full functional kitchens and laundry rooms that are spacious and good for cleaning up messes.

Some villas even come with pools so that if you wanted, you entire vacation can be spent in the comfort of your villa without having to leave the house other than to stock up on supplies. Some villa rentals also offer housekeeping services so you, your friends and your family can enjoy the thorough vacation experience without worrying too much about cleaning up behind yourselves. One of the best things about villa rental too is that with the right realtor, if you stay for an extended period of time, you will often be offered a couple nights and days extra for free! Before you pack everything up and head for your super villa vacation, there are a couple things you should do before you leave to make sure your vacation goes smoothly. Let’s have a look:

A place for everything…
When you’re leaving your home for any great length of time, it is in your best interest to put your valuables in storage. Even with a house sitter, you can’t anticipate acts of nature that may or may not damage the items you’ve spent your life working for. With excellent companies like, you will be able to access professional storage options that are affordable. This way, you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about your things back home.

Insurance assurance…
No matter where you go and for how long, it is a good idea to get some travelers life insurance. When you’re moving with a big group, you will have the chance that people get sick all together and if even hurt altogether. Travelers insurance is a good way to make sure that you have cash and opportunity to take care of any medical bills or medicines that you need to get better as soon as possible. Look online for more advice or even speak with your current insurance agent for options that you can use to make this trip a safe and happy one.

Can You Book on the Reputation of Your Travel Agent? Sat, 25 Aug 2012 19:22:23 +0000 Whether you have completed that desired summer trip, will be headed off on it soon or have a winter getaway booked, are you using a travel agent?

While many travelers save the expense of a travel agent and do the booking themselves, others like having someone else handle the details in order to make their trip less cumbersome.

If you decide on the latter option, make sure you work with a travel agent who’s online reputation info is second to none, has your best interests at heart, and does not have a list of customer complaints about him or her a mile long.

When you set out looking for the right travel agent, focus in on several factors.

First, find a travel agent that has actually done a decent amount of traveling. It may sound like a no-brainier, but locating a travel agent that does not get out from under their desk very often is not going to do you any good when seeking travel advice.

Secondly, find someone that is not hesitant in the least to give you referrals.

If the agent seems a little shy about giving you a referral or two, the fact that they may have had some customer service issues over time could be an issue. Now that does not mean that every travel agent who does not give you a reference or two is a bad agent; just means that it should not be something they have to think about for a prolonged period of time.

Another factor to look at is does the travelagency have a series of connections with different resorts, airlines, cruise lines, rental car dealers etc? It is good to be able to throw a name of a travel agent around in the event you get to such destinations and issues arise like hotel problems, rental car delays, etc.

Agents Need to Know Their Geography

Travelers should also look for agents that are familiar with various worldwide destinations where they are headed.

In the event you are planning a trip to another country or countries, it is important to know the rules and regulations for getting into and out of that locale. A travel agent can also help you with any issues of importance going on in that country, along with any health matters that you need to know about ahead of time.

Another matter to take into account when deciding on a travel agent is if that agent is up to speed on “accessible travel,” meaning they know about the needs for travelers with disabilities. In the event you have such needs, make sure your chosen agent can and does answer any questions on your ability to get around during the trip.

You also want a travel agent that is not hesitant to ask you a variety of questions about your trip plans, your needs during the trip, and how they can best be of service to you.

Get the Lowdown on Travel Prices

Lastly, and probably most important to many travelers, get the lowdown on trip prices before you even talk with a chosen travel agent.

Do some online research to see what you will likely pay for this flight or that cruise, this rental car or that hotel. Then, work with a chosen travel agent and see how close they can match the information that you came across online. If the prices are significantly different, meaning your agent comes in at a much higher price, they could end up taking you for a ride.

While most travel agents will do right by you, always make sure to be effectively involved in your travel plans.

To not be involved could end up leading you on a trip of no return, financial return that is.

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