Looking for a bargain on your next vacation? Check out some of TripAdvisor's favorite budget hotels!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The Green Bride Guide is a comprehensive, easy-to-access resource for anyone interested in planning a green wedding. It provides readers with general advice and specific eco-friendly ideas for making their wedding more beautiful and more sustainable.
The Green Bride Guide emphasizes elegance, ease, individual taste, and the sense that there’s no need to give up a treasured ideal of a wedding in order to lessen its impact on the Earth. Using a simple chronological structure, The Green Bride Guide makes planning a green wedding easy.
Chapter topics include: Engagement, Location, The Eco-Chic Bride, Greening the Groom and Bridal Party, Green Save-the-Dates, Invitations & Wedding Websites, Sustainable Flowers, The Green Ceremony, The Green Reception, Green Gift Giving and Receiving, and Green Honeymoons. Each section offers low, medium and high end ideas, with resources and web links in each category to help you plan a green wedding on any budget. the Green Bride Guide is an invaluable reference tool for any environmentally conscious pair looking to start their lives together in a way that is consistent with their values and beliefs.
Available in December 2008. Until then, visit http://www.thegreenbrideguide.com/
Monday, March 24, 2008
A special package has been created by Happy Vacations, HoneyLuna and the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort... just for your honeymoon.
The package features 5 honeymoon nights in
Overwater bungalows from $2536 PP
air out of LAX
Call HoneyLuna at 800 809 5862 to get an exact quote for your package!
Rates and availability subject to changed based on availabilty, dates of travel, departure airport.
HoneyLuna CST #2040476-40
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
by Paul Brady, David LaHuta, Erin Richards, Erik Torkells, and Brad Tuttle November 30, 2007
January/February As wonderful as Yosemite and Yellowstone are in summer, the peaceful outdoorsy vibe can be spoiled by having to elbow for space to snap a photo of El Capitan or line up 10 deep at Old Faithful. The premier parks are far less crowded--and arguably more beautiful--in the heart of winter. Snow drapes the mountains, meadows, and every last tree branch, and things are never quieter or more pristine.
But for an off-peak time, there is surprisingly a lot going on. During four weeks in January and February, Yosemite hosts the annual Chefs' Holidays, when the men and women in charge of some of the best restaurants in the country give cooking demonstrations and host five-course dinners during three-day sessions. All events take place in the Ahwahnee, a granite lodge built in 1927, now a National Historical Landmark. Chef presentations are held in the hotel's appropriately named Great Lounge, among its 24-foot-high ceilings, wrought-iron chandeliers, and enormous windows topped in stained glass. Jesse Cool, chef and proprietor of the Bay Area's Flea Street Cafe, has been participating in the event for nearly two decades. "Winter is my favorite season at Yosemite," says Cool, who will be serving braised pork and other "wintery" foods at the upcoming session. "The setting is just gorgeous, especially when it snows." The chef demos and tours of the Ahwahnee kitchen are free. Paired with top wines from California and elsewhere, the dinner costs $155 per person. (Packages that include lodging and the dinner are available--and often a better deal.)
For the rest of this article visit http://www.budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2006/06/13/AR2006061301141.html
With five wedding parties coast to coast and another in Irael to celebrate their vows, which they took at San Francisco City Hall in December, Jeff Saperstein and Ilene Serlin decided that HoneyLuna, an online honeymoon registry service, would be the perfect gift solution for their many guests.
"We are at a stage in life where we don't need extra household presents", Saperstein told The Ark. "Our friends and family feel inolved by contributing financially to our honeymoon".
The middle-aged Tiburon couple eschewed conventional regiestries so they could fulfill their dream of cruising around Tahiti this fall aboard the MS Paul Gauguin of the Regent cruise line.
HoneyLuna facilitated this fantasy by creating a web-based template, which summarized the possible activities Saperstein and Serlin could enjoy on their honeymoon, said Nancy Williams, founder of the Sausalito-based company. Guests simply log on and select such options as a bottle of champagne, spa treatements, snorkeling packages, a dinner for two, language classes, taxi fares and cruise or airfare payments.
HoneyLuna holds the funds in an excrow account and disburses them when the couple is ready either to pay for their honeymoon arrangements or take cash contributions for designated activities. HoneyLuna adds a 9% surcharge for each gfit, but the registry is free for the couple.
HoneyLuna sends a gift card with a personal greeting from teh giver to the nelyweds, who often acknowledge the gift by sending a photograph of themselves engaged in the activity they received as a gift.
"We have linked the customized HoneyLuna registry to our wedding website", Saperstein said. "Using technology to communicate with friends and family during the busy time is very contemporary".
Saperstein and Serlin typify the trend of later and second marriages. One-third of those getting married today have been married previously, according to Richard Markel, director of the Association of Wedding Professionals International. This is Saperstein's second visit to the altar and Serlin's first.
"Interest is rising for honymoon registries because many couples already possess household items", Markel told the Ark. "Young American couples are waiting longer to get married, as the average age of the first -time bride is 27 and the first time groom is 29:.
Williams and her husband launched HoneyLuna, one of the first honeymoon registries, in 1995 when they came home from their six-week, multi-ciy European honeymoon. "I realized that there was an opportunity in the second-marriage market, and that if young couples are given an alternative, many would rather have a fun honeymoon versus traditional wedding gifts". A couple planning a honeymoon can view more than 450 worldwide destination templates on the HoneyLuna site.
Markel said that 99% of wedded couples embark on a honeymoon - a symbol of a new life together and often their first big trip.
Since the average wedding budget is estimated at $20,000, it can be a relief for a couple when they receive gift contributions toward their honeymoon because the savings can add up to an average of $3800. Some couples have multiple registries and travel may be one choice. Much is dependent on the size of the guest list.
"The main reason we worked with HoneyLuna is because so many people wanted to give us a gift", Pamela Barientos, another customer, told the Ark. "Between my husband and me, we had two homes full of belongings. Yet, with a 200 guest party, we ran out of funds, so the honeymoon registry was very appreciated.
Barientos, 50, and Mark Meges, 47 of San Rafael, sent guests a thank you note with a photo taken during their September honeymoon in the Greek Isles.
The bride said their guests were enthusiastic because they did not have to shop or wrap a gfit. Even her little nieces were able to afford economical items on their honeymoon wish list.
"The Internet has made the world a smaller place,", said Markel, the wedding industry expert. "A couple does not have to be rich or famous to visit exotic destinations."
For more information, call 800 809 LUNA (5862) or go to http://www.honeyluna.com/
Monday, March 3, 2008
Practical Traveler Cruise Shore Excursions
Seeing the Sights, Ditching the Shipmates
By MICHELLE HIGGINS
Published: February 17, 2008
AFTER standing in line for the buffet, staking out a lounge chair on the sun deck and squeezing into the hot tub with total strangers, you might be forgiven for dreading the cruise excursion, which typically involves hundreds of passengers piling into little boats to go ashore, queuing up for a bus to take you to the standard tourist sites and straining to hear the guide rattle off some rote facts. Click here to read the rest of the article....
Friday, February 22, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Wedding guests, however, are stubbornly addicted to gift registries. They love the safety of registries, knowing that they’re giving the happy couple something that suits their tastes. Guests also appreciate the convenience of shopping online.
Creating the honeymoon registry was by far the most enjoyable part of planning the wedding.
My husband and I were thrilled to discover the endless possibilities of a honeymoon registry. We’ve always connected with each other through travel and outdoor activities, and our guests were, for the most part, like-minded souls.
In fact, creating the honeymoon registry was by far the most enjoyable part of planning the wedding. After months of deliberation, mind-changing, and scanning discount airline websites for good deals, we finally decided to spend our honeymoon traveling through the National Parks and monuments of Southern Utah.
We tailored our registry to suit the friends and family who generously contributed to our trip. Our more adventurous guests gave us a guided day of rock-climbing near St. George, Utah, a scenic mule ride in the Grand Canyon, and a power boat rental to cruise the sparkling waters of Lake Powell.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
We remember New Zealand hiking icon Sir Edmund Hillary, who with Tensing Norgay conquered Mt Everest for the first time over 50 years ago. His 1953 climb of the highest mountain on Earth sparked the world's curiosity about New Zealand.
What sort of landscape moulds a person like Sir Edmund Hillary? Something rather wild, with huge mountain ranges, vast tracts of forest and intricately carved river systems. A place where it's easy to get away from houses, phones, towns and cars. A society of free thinkers, who like to go their own way and have their own opinions. Communities where ingenuity is encouraged, and people aren't content to stay indoors.
"In some ways I believe I epitomise the average New Zealander: I have modest abilities, I combine these with a good deal of determination, and I rather like to succeed." Sir Edmund Hillary
Hillary often praises his home country as a destination for adventurers. And by adventure, he means across country as well as straight up. Around Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Park, trekkers can vanish into the wilderness for days at a time. The Routeburn, Hollyford and Milford tracks are well known - and they thoroughly deserve their fame. The Hump Ridge Track, which begins on the south coast of Southland, is one of the country's newest walking adventures. Highlights include historic wooden viaducts and coastal segments with seal encounters.
Featured Journal :
QUEEN CHARLOTTE WALKWAY
Dave Armstrong finds rugged bush, picturesque sea views, friendly wildlife, and fascinating history on one of New Zealand's best-kept secrets - the Queen Charlotte Walkway.
Take the time to view the world the way it once was by visiting a National Park in New Zealand.
RELATED LINKS :
Walking and Trekking View a list of operators that offer this type of activity in New Zealand
Department of Conservation For information on tracks, campsites, permits etc
http://www.hillarytrust.co.nz/ The Hillary Trust was set up to increase awareness and raise funds for the continuation of Sir Edmund Hillary's work
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
If so, think Hawaii!
Hawaii is one of the world's most romantic places for a wedding. The beautiful weather, the starry nights, stunning beaches and beautiful blue oceans and are guaranteed to make your special day even more enchanted! It's also a popular destination for your friends and family where the land of aloha will make them feel welcome and relaxed.
It's very simple to get a marriage license in Hawaii. Marriage licenses are $60, and you need to show photo identification. There are no blood tests, waiting period or residency requirements. You must be over 16 or older, and if under 18, you need parental consent. The license is then valid for any marriage ceremony held within 30 days of issuance.
For more information and details about getting married in Hawaii, click here.
There are thousands of hotel rooms and a wide variety of restaurants and caterers to suit you and your guests special tastes. There are hundreds of wedding planners and services to help you plan every detail of your special day, and you can start right here.
If you live on the Mainland, it's probably a good idea to have someone local help you arrange the details for you. Visit their sites, get in touch with a few and don't forget to ask for some references. Many resorts and hotels also have their own "in house" wedding planner.
Many wedding planners have had years of experience so ask them for their advice. You'll find them very helpful, but remember the most important thing on your wedding day is the wedding couple's happiness, so take time to plan carefully to make this day the most romantic and memorable of your long life together.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Better Than Table Linen (excerpted from Time)
Thursday, Jun. 28, 2007 By JENINNE LEE ST. JOHN
For her wedding last May, Amy Henry set up a few different bridal registries. One listed traditional items like glassware and linens. Another was a fund to help pay for a honeymoon to South America--which appalled Henry's mom Valerie. "The gifts are to get someone started on their new life," she says. "It's a little insulting to say 'We already have everything, so send us on an expensive vacation.'"
Well, come on. Not everyone feels that way. The trendiest wedding present no longer comes in a box with a bow; instead, it's the gift of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure-- from a guided hike through Costa Rica's Monteverde rain forest ($80) to a visit to a Kenyan Masai village to meet the chief ($50). According to Condé Nast Bridal Media, 10% of brides now register for honeymoons.
Many do it because as Americans get married later in life, they are finding they already own the household items that the traditional registry was created for. At the same time, restless consumers are spending ever more money doing things vs. owning things. This has created a perfect market for experiential wedding gifts, and several entrepreneurial websites, such as HoneyLuna.com and the tourism office of the government of Aruba, have successfully waded in over the past few years.
People who give and receive honeymoon gifts are part of an emerging demographic: so called transumers, a mash-up of transient consumers, who prize collecting experiences, discovering new things and living in the present. George Ritzer, editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture, says the trend reflects an affluent, hyper-consumerist society in which the Internet has accustomed people to ephemeral pleasures. "The middle class can get all the toys they want," he says. "That leads to a desire for services ... and nonmaterial experiences."
Which is why buyers of gifts for all kinds of occasions, from birthdays to anniversaries, are on the hunt for unique presents that just might fulfill lifelong dreams. Walter Friker, 63, recently drove a stock car 20 laps at Kansas Motor Speedway--something he had never done, though he had been on a racing crew as a young man. It was a Christmas gift his son and daughter bought from Signature Days, which sells participatory gifts nationwide. "They knew I appreciated the speed," Friker says. This appeal to both giver and receiver makes experiential presents work. Becky Meyer and Amber Sambrone had their commitment ceremony in San Francisco on June 16, and are now on a three-week honeymoon in Asia, thanks to their friends. "We're not into acquiring a lot of stuff," Meyer says. Besides, glasses break; memories of the trip will last forever.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Honeymoon Registry for Fiji (or Croatia, India and Nepal, Hawaii, Jamaica or St. Lucia, Disneyworld...wherever!)
Here is a link to a VERY successful honeymoon registry - the bride and groom happen to be good friends of mine. Click here to view their honeymoon registry.
Remember, you can create a customized honeymoon registry for wherever you might want to go on your honeymoon! Here are just a few other samples to take a look at: Croatia, India and Nepal, Hawaii, Jamaica or St. Lucia, Disneyworld.... wherever you want to go!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Getting Stoned with Savages tells the hilarious story of Troost’s time on Vanuatu—a rugged cluster of islands where the natives gorge themselves on kava and are still known to “eat the man.” Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles against typhoons, earthquakes, and giant centipedes and soon finds himself swept up in the laid-back, clothing-optional lifestyle of the islanders. When Sylvia gets pregnant, they decamp for slightly-more-civilized Fiji, a fallen paradise where the local chiefs can be found watching rugby in the house next door. And as they contend with new parenthood in a country rife with prostitutes and government coups, their son begins to take quite naturally to island living—in complete contrast to his dad.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
The travel experience has two parts – first you travel and then you tell. But for many, the telling is much harder after the trip – you’re busy, you’re back to work and you haven’t uploaded the photos yet.
Imagine being able to do and to tell at the same time! You can share your experience as you go.
HoneyLuna LOVES the idea of MyTripJournal.com which allows you to create your own travel website with just a few clicks. You can then:- plot your journey on maps with their IntelliMap System- store & display your photos, stories and experiences- post internet movie clips and photos- exchange messages with friends and family- control who views your ad-free personal travel website- download a permanent archive at the end of each trip
Now you can share your HoneyLuna honeymoon registry gifts and experiences and thank your gift givers, while you are on your honeymoon! Imagine being able to share with them a photo of the activity they purchased as your wedding gift, and a blurb about how fantastic it was!
Even if you don’t want to be “wired” on your honeymoon, MyTripJournal.com is a great way to share your travels and create a travel page when you return!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
10 You don’t need another salad spinner or a toaster (Receive the gift of adventure rather than house wares!)
9 Your insurance doesn’t cover Waterford crystal if you break it!
8 You and your fiancée cannot agree on a china pattern...
7 With the extra help you receive from your honeymoon registry, you may be able to upgrade your hotel accommodations from a parking lot to ocean view!
6 You’ll love the ease of “one stop shopping” for both your honeymoon travel and gift registry. (And…. we are the “Honeymoon Experts”)
5 Your friends and family will love your honeymoon registry – they won’t even have to leave home to buy your gift! A quote from Nicole Bauer, HoneyLuna client: “Everyone thought it (our honeymoon registry) was a great idea. And they enjoyed reading our itinerary and purchasing pieces of our honeymoon.”
4 You won’t have to return any unwanted gifts to the department store and you'll have lots of "experiences to enjoy" on your honeymoon
3 You’ll love all the gifts you receive from your honeymoon registry (who wouldn’t love a sunset dinner cruise? A massage? A gondola ride in Venice?)
2 You’ll get to take your dream honeymoon you never thought was possible
And the number one reason to register with HoneyLuna….
1 HoneyLuna is the best honeymoon registry service around!!!
In business since 1995 and an honor roll member of the Better Business Bureau!
Visit our website at: http://www.honeyluna.com/ or call us at 800-809-5862