Get The Newsletter...
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013The Top Ten Summer Beer Festivals »
by Chris Loud With the Brewer’s Association reporting...
Thursday, May 16th, 2013Announcing Uber’s Get Me to The Cape Sweepstakes »
Here in Boston, Memorial Day is the first weekend to...
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013Top 10 Food Festivals Worth a Special Journey »
by Emily Monaco Ever since the Michelin brothers...
Thursday, May 9th, 2013Vacation Rental Owners Increasingly "Newsworthy" »
by Matt Landau Vacation rentals have come a long way in...
Tuesday, May 7th, 201310 Gatsby Inspired Homes »
A contender for the Great American Novel, The Great Gatsby...
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013May Day in Marrakech, Morocco »
Can you believe it's already May? Hopefully May 1...
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013Marathon Memories, Jay-Z Does Cuba, and China Spends on... »
With warm weather finally approaching and two big upcoming...
Thursday, April 25th, 2013Stuck in the Airport with Kids: Top 10 U.S. Airports for... »
Family vacations are great opportunities to create memories...
Monday, April 22nd, 20135 Family Holidays in Asia »
by Wan Phing Lim of AsiaRooms.com Southeast Asia...
Wednesday, April 10th, 20135 Places (Not Only) A Mother Could Love »
With just over a month to go before Mother's Day, it's time...
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008Blizzard Internet Marketing Interviews FlipKey’s TJ Mahony »
Over the last few months, the FlipKey Blog has brought you...
Friday, May 18th, 2012Seven Reasons to Keep the Waitakere Ranges a Secret »
Today we are featuring Michelle Teillon, an avid traveler...
Monday, May 12th, 2008Vacation Rental Guest Reviews - FlipKey Negative Review... »
FlipKey is focused on helping vacation rental managers...
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011Nice and Pissaladière »
The first time I went to Nice, it was barely a stop on a...
Friday, January 18th, 2008Vacation Rentals — Gotta Love ‘em! »
As a new developer at FlipKey and a new member to this...
Tuesday, February 9th, 2010Pack Your Bags: Olympic Essentials »
The blaze of the Olympic flame and the glint of gold medals...
Monday, September 19th, 2011Deals of the Week: Free Airport Transportation! »
Sometimes the inconvenience of transportation to and...
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009Top 10 Fall FlipKey Vacation Destinations »
With winter knocking on our doors travelers are starting to...
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011The Cape in a Clamshell - Wellfleet Oysters »
Renowned for its quaint New England seaside charm, the icy...
Tuesday, April 12th, 2011A Parisian Bakery Cheat Sheet »
You would think it would be easy to find a good croissant...
From the Archives
- Adventure Travel (19)
- Advice for Owners and Managers (70)
- Ask FlipKey (23)
- Budget Travel (24)
- Community (86)
- Deals (42)
- Events To Travel For (29)
- Family (32)
- Flipkey News (67)
- Flipkey Top 10 (25)
- Food & Drink (50)
- Go Green! (22)
- Industry News (66)
- Interviews (10)
- Just for Fun (28)
- Photo Friday (19)
- Travel Local (33)
- Travel Tips (97)
- Trips (48)
- Uncategorized (3)
- VR 101 (21)
- Weekend Getaways (27)
- Big Bear Cabin Rentals
- Cape Cod Beach Rentals
- Disney Vacation Rentals
- Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals
- Hilton Head Rentals
- Kauai Condo Rentals
- Lake Tahoe Rentals
- Maui Condo Rentals
- Mexico Vacation Rentals
- Myrtle Beach Rentals
- Outer Banks Rentals
- San Diego Beach Rentals
- South Padre Island Rentals
- Tybee Island Rentals
- Whistler Ski Condo Rentals
by Chris Loud
With the Brewer’s Association reporting that there are over 2,300 craft breweries operating in the United States, there’s no denying that craft beer is gaining popularity right now. When it comes to tasting, commenting, and judging, beer is the new wine, and the best way to get to know some of the amazing beers around the country, and around the world, is to attend a beer festival. Beer, music, a great setting, and good people combine for a recipe for a pint (or two) of bliss, especially on a hot summer day.
To help decide which festivals to attend for a dive into beer culture, we selected the finest events worth taking a trip to experience. We’ve created this list of the country’s best celebrations of suds to satisfy the beer enthusiast planning a summer sipping vacation.
Asheville Beer Week Asheville, North Carolina
After receiving multiple “Beer City, USA” labels from notable figures like Charlie Papazian, the father of craft brewing in America, Asheville has embraced its heady achievements as a “brewtopia.” Still, recognition from beer enthusiasts continues to bring more and more attention to this unlikely city, so there’s no better place to start your summer beer festival run than Asheville.
Asheville Beer Week takes place during the last week of May, culminating with a large festival at the end of the week on June 1. Get to Asheville early to catch the Homebrew Festival on the first day, with tastings from 50 home brewers. Then, hit the party at Asheville Brewing Company, featuring live music and a cornhole tournament—the ultimate outdoor beer-in-hand game.
Throughout the week there will be different breweries hosting beer specials, tastings, tap takeovers, new releases, beer flights, and food pairings for you to enjoy. Hop on the LaZoom bus and enjoy a comedy and beer tour around Asheville. At the end of the week, check out dozens of breweries and hear plenty of live music at the annual Beer City Festival, which serves as a great kickoff to a summer of suds.
Philly Beer Week Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Considered one of the largest events of its kind in America, Philly Beer Week captures the essence of Philadelphia with over a week of good ol’ fashioned pub crawls, tastings, brewery tours, local festivals, and classic, beer-friendly Philly food.
The week begins on Friday, May 31 with the opening tap ceremonies, where Mayor Michael Nutter uses the “Hammer of Glory”, the official Philly Beer Week keg mallet, to release the first pour of Brotherly Suds 4, the 2013 collaborative beer for the event. Collaborative beers are traditionally brews made by a collective group of local breweries for a special occasion, and none are most anticipated than the Philly Beer Week offerings. Brewbound.com reports that, “beer drinkers will be able to enjoy a number of collaborative beers, brewed in cooperation by top local and international brewers, to debut during PBW.” In addition to Brotherly Suds, other offerings will include Dock Street Trappiste Pale, Johnny Berliner, Standard Pale, DNA UK, and Brewvolution II.
After the ceremonies, 30 regional breweries will have tastings available, plus a delicious food buffet. Throughout the week you’ll be able to experience the region’s unique beer scene, including top-notch breweries, classic neighborhood taverns, new trend-setting hot spots, and a wealth of beer culture and history.
American Craft Beer Fest Boston, Massachusetts
Different from the previous festivals, the American Craft Beer Fest takes place over two days—May 31 and June 1—at one location: Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center. However, this gathering of brew lovers is still known as one of the largest and most diverse collections of American Craft Beer, celebrating over 600 craft beers from over 135 outstanding breweries.
Over the course of the festival, you can experience an impressive array of some of the country’s most unique and ground-breaking brews, all under one roof. The event is hosted by Beer Advocate, one of the leading craft beer resources, and Harpoon Brewery, a very well-known craft brewery. Pint Drunk Love’s Pandamack, who is both an attendee and annual volunteer for the American Craft Beer fest, says
This beer festival has much to offer for the hardcore beer geek and the relatively new craft beer drinker…David and Daniel Kleban (Of Beer Advocate) were amazing hosts, answering any questions that I or the attendees had about their beer.
In other words, despite the enormous scale of the event, the American Craft Beer Fest is a great place to hone your well-developed beer knowledge, to educate yourself as a newcomer to the craft beer world, or just to enjoy an amazing craft beer party.
Travel Tip: Philly Beer Week and the American Craft Beer Fest take place around the same time, and are just a half day’s drive apart. If you’re ambitious, Asheville is also about a full day’s drive from Philly.
Great Northern Beer Festival Eagle River, Wisconsin
For a completely different beer festival experience, the Great Northern Beer Festival in Eagle River, Wisconsin offers exactly what you would expect from the name of the festival and the town—a classic North Country beer bash.
When one of a state’s major sports teams is named the Brewers, you better believe the locals take beer seriously. Wisconsin loves its beer, and Great Northern is the perfect event to celebrate that love. You’ll be enjoying some of the best beers the Midwest has to offer in the wide-open spaces of the Hi-Pines Campground in Northern Wisconsin.
The Midwest has really developed a strong craft beer scene, and many of the top area breweries will be featured along with the Northwoods LUSH Homebrewers. According to Doug from TheBrewBros.com, the Great Northern Beer Festival will have “large open spaces or nicely wooded sites for tenting, plenty of RV sites and enough things to keep you occupied for an entire weekend.” He also suggested camping there after the beer fest to “stick around for horse shoes, volleyball or take a hike and enjoy the scenery.” The festival takes place on June 8, and it’s an amazing chance to enjoy the northern wilderness and taste some of the premier Upper Midwest beers.
Raley Field Brewfest Sacramento, California
Everyone likes drinking a beer at the ballpark, but how many fans can claim they’ve had a drink on the field? On June 7 in Sacramento, “take me out to the ballgame” takes on a whole new meaning.
Presented by Wing Stop and the Northern California Brewer’s Guild, the Raley Field Brewfest features some of best brews fromCalifornia and surrounding areas, and all the festivities take place in the outfield of Raley Field, home to the minor league Sacramento River Cats.
Tap Tip: In addition to over 60 beer vendors, there will be plenty of live music and food available on site. Nothing says summer like baseball and beer, and Raley Field offers one of the more unique summer beer festival experiences.
Snowmass Mammoth Fest Snowmass, Colorado
Colorado’s craft beer scene is one of the best, and although the state plays host to several festivals and dozens of great breweries for craft beer fans, the Snowmass Mammoth Fest sets itself apart from the others with a great combination of beer and music.
Other beer festivals boast good live music, but the Mammoth Fest takes music just as seriously as it does beer. It’s really half music festival, half beer festival, sprinkled with chili cook-offs and other diversions. Set in Snowmass Village’s Town Park on June 7 and 8, the emphasis will be on great live music and outstanding local microbrews. You have the option to camp, or stay at the ski town’s comfortable nearby accommodations. If you love music and beer, this is your festival.
Vermont Brewer’s Festival Burlington, Vermont
Did you know Vermont is home to more breweries per capita than any other state? On July 19 and 20, you can enjoy one of the longest-running craft beer festivals in the East, and still one of the most picturesque.
Overlooking Lake Champlain amongst the Adirondack Mountain Range at Burlington Waterfront State Park, the Vermont Brewers Festival is an invitation-only beer festival featuring over 35 breweries from around New England and Quebec. Vermont also makes some of the best snack food on the festival circuit, so expect to taste some delicious local treats.
Oregon Brewers Festival Portland, Oregon
The Oregon Brewers Festival is considered one of the premier beer festivals in the world by BarWhiz, and it is also one of the longest-running beer events in the county. Hosted in Portland, Oregon in late July, the Oregon Brewers Festival features incredible variety, and is the true craft beer drinker’s ultimate beer festival.
The Northwest has a unique beer culture, and there’s no better setting to taste and learn all about its diverse styles than along the Willamette River, with the Portland Skyline and Mt Hood providing a beautiful backdrop. With more than 80 craft breweries attending and 20 different styles of handcrafted beer, the Oregon Brewer Festival will be serving top-notch brews to over 80,000 beer fans throughout the event. Corey Razon of BarWhiz said the Oregon Brewers Festival is “the best place to learn everything there is to know about craft beer.”
The beers will be judged up against some of the most highly rated, and bestselling craft beers in the nation. There will be live tunes, an eclectic array of food, fun beer demonstrations and memorabilia, and even a Crater Lake Root Beer Garden with complimentary root beer for minors and those much-appreciated designated drivers.
San Diego Festival of Beer San Diego, California
Considered one of the best beer towns in the country by Men’s Journal, San Diego offers a huge beer festival in late September. The festival will take over the streets at Columbia and B, with lots of live music to enjoy while you sample quality brews from over sixty different breweries.
San Diego is a very welcoming and laid back beach-side city, so if you’re not a beer fanatic but you love the atmosphere of an energetic beer festival, the San Diego Festival of Beer also offers a selection of fine wines for purchase by the glass, and plenty of great food items. The first 3,000 people at the beer festival receive a free souvenir tasting mug featuring the stylish event logo. Proceeds from the event will go to San Diego Professionals Against Cancer (SDPAC). This year, the event takes place on September 20, so when the summer is waning everywhere else, San Diego helps keep the sun shining on your beer festival season.
Fremont Oktoberfest Seattle, Washington
Beer drinkers love a good Oktoberfest, but many just plain hate waiting for fall to come around. The Pacific Northwest likes to do things their own way, so they throw an awesome Oktoberfest during the last few days of summer, September 20–22.
The Fremont Oktoberfest is a true festival, with more than just great handcrafted beer to sample. The folks up in Seattle love their music, so expect hours of quality live music on the outdoor stage. For those coming for beer, the Tasting Garden will offer samples of over 80 microbrews and German Beers, and it’s open for several hours on all three days of the festival.
The Fremont Oktoberfest celebrates over 40 breweries and their favorite featured brews and selections for the coming fall. You’re definitely going to see your obligatory Pacific Northwest and West Coast brews, but you’re also going to taste several from all over the country. To cap off the festival, you can work off all those suds in the 5k and Street Scramble on the last day.
Do you have a favorite beer festival? Tell us about it in the comments.
Chris Loud is a writer and blogger based out of Northport, Michigan and Los Angeles. You can follow him on Twitter @cfloud
Here in Boston, Memorial Day is the first weekend to tentatively dip toes in the icy Atlantic and convince ourselves that warm sunny days on Cape Cod will last forever.
Our friends at Uber know what summer in Boston is all about. That’s why the on-demand private ride app is launching their first ever Cape Cod pop up. Memorial Day weekend, Uber will be beachside at the Cape and ready to whisk you away. To celebrate the season, Uber has teamed up with FlipKey and other awesome Boston brands to give away some sweet summer prizes. We’re contributing the grand prize: a free weekend getaway to the Cape this summer.
To enter the sweepstakes, just open the Uber app on your smartphone and enter the promo code, “getmetothecape” – it’s that easy!
The grand prize winner will get a round trip ride to the Cape in a black car and an amazing vacation house for the weekend for up to four guests. If you win, you can choose from a set of dates between June 1 and August 31 for your Cape Cod getaway.
Four second-place winners will get free rides to and from the Cape on Memorial day in a black car filled with tasty treats from our friends around Boston.
For those Bostonians who haven’t used Uber yet, the app is available for free from the Apple App Store for iPhone, or the Google Play Store for Android. Once you’ve installed the app, enter the promo code, “getmetothecape,” and you’ll be entered to win. You can also enter by clicking here to sign up.
Good luck, we’ll see you on the beach!
by Emily Monaco
Ever since the Michelin brothers introduced their guide to culinary greatness in 1933, food and travel have been inseparable. The Michelin Guide doesn’t cover food festivals, but if you want to discover the international chefs who are worthy of one or more stars, then traveling to a festival is an unbeatable experience. Get inspired this year by taking your taste buds on a food and wine tour of some of the best gustatory events in the United States. Celebrating everything from seasonal ingredients to creative new presentations, a trip to a food festival is the perfect excuse for a vacation. In time for the next few months of travel planning, we present our top 10 list of travel-worthy food festivals across the country.
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, New Orleans, LA May 22–25
Where better to start than the New Orleans food and wine festival! New Orleans is one of America’s most up-and-coming food cities. It boasts both a strong traditional food culture and a plethora of new chefs quickly gaining renown in the national and international foodie circles.
The four-day festival opens with wine dinners on Wednesday May 22nd, with perfect pairings of food and wine. On Thursday, two unique wine tastings are on offer, where the surroundings are just as scrumptious as the wine. According to some reviewers on Yelp, these tasting events can get crowded, but the Royal Street Stroll is always a crowd-pleaser.
On Friday and Saturday, treat yourself to a wine seminar—this year’s topic is “What’s Hot in Wine and Food.” You’ll also find Grand Tastings featuring 175 wineries and 75 chefs, and the Gateaux Show, a celebration with Champagne and cake.
The closing activity is a gala event, aptly named Funkin’ it Up, in true New Orleans style. The intimate 10-person party is designed to raise money for the John Besh Foundation. But starting at 10 PM, everyone can bring the funk for the after party.
Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Aspen, CO June 14–16
If you’re traveling to Aspen in June, it’s most likely for the Aspen Food and Wine Classic. In mid-June, the mountain paradise welcomes the world’s most accomplished wine and food professionals for an adults-only event, so leave the kids at home and head to Colorado!
Events welcome such famous speakers as Jacques and Claudine Pépin, Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and more. These events are divided into 7 categories: cooking demo, wine seminar, reserve wine tasting, panel discussion, grand tasting, private grand tasting and trade only. The events span everything from talks on cooking techniques to how-tos for rolling sushi! Each talk lasts 45 minutes, and several talks happen at once, so be sure to check out the online schedule ahead of time to decide which events are important to you.
For even more information about this delicious festival, check out Food & Wine’s top 10 tips for visiting the food and wine classic.
Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, ME July 31–August 4
In August, head up north for the Maine Lobster Festival. Maine lobsters are recognized the world over as some of the best; see why at this family-friendly five-day seafood extravaganza.
On Wednesday, arrive at noon for the first day of the festival. Free shuttle buses from Oceanside High School and Rockland Middle School take you to the main events: exhibition tents, booths and vendors that allow you to learn about the Maine lobster, as well as taste and try.
At the food tent, you’ll find lobster rolls, lobster wraps and lobster Caesar salads. But the day isn’t just devoted to the lobster itself. Not only can you taste other fresh Maine seafood like haddock, clams, mussels and shrimp, but there are also other activities to keep you and the kids entertained.
Take advantage of the art show, which takes place all day, the coronation rehearsal on the main stage, and tours of the US coast guard station. Thursday-Saturday you’ll find more of the same, with the addition of the Big Parade!
Sunday, the festival is free for all ages for the family fun day. There’s also the road race and 5k walk, and a 1-mile kids’ fun run, to get athletes of all ages involved in the festival. Signups for The Great Crate Race begin at 7am on Sunday. With so much going on in five days, it’s no wonder that the festival was voted one of Outside Magazine’s best summer festivals!
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, Honolulu, HI September 1–9
The unique cuisine of the 50th state is showcased in this early autumn festival. Dinner galas, demonstrations showing off local ingredients, and a cooking competition are just some of the events you’ll be privy to at this festival.
The signature event is the Master Chefs gala series: Around the World with Seven Chefs. This lavish, seven-course dinner pairs some of the most delicious dishes with amazing wines. But don’t take our word for it: past participants like blogger, peanutbutterfingers, have fallen in love with this festival’s paradise locale and delicious food and drink. The opportunity to meet celebrity chefs is also a major draw.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Disney/Orlando, FL September 27–November 11
Disney’s Epcot Center brings the delights of international cuisine to your back door (or at least your vacation rental’s back door), with its annual International Food and Wine Festival. The Festival offers nearly 30 international food and beverage marketplaces, including European, American, African, Oceanic and Asian stands. There’s so much to try at this festival, that it’s helpful to consult the experts in advance for tips on what to try.
Stands cover locales not usually included in Epcot’s traditional international pavilions; the variety is much wider and offers a great way to get to know some traditional foreign fare. Food is usually offered in small plates format, at $3 to $10 a plate. Much of the food is fusion influenced, though you will find a handful of authentic dishes, like the escargots at the French booth.
The festival also offers signature dining experiences with some of the most famous celebrity chefs. The wine portion of the festival makes it more of an adult-friendly event, with wine seminars and lots of international drinks to sample. Previous participants have found that bringing children can make it a stressful event, but as long as you follow these tips from Evan Levy, the festival can be enjoyable for everyone. He recommends doing advanced planning and figuring out ways to share the responsibility of looking after kids so that you can have some “adult time” to enjoy talks and 21+ events.
NYC Wine & Food Festival, New York, NY October 17–20
Of course, foodie favorite New York City enters the running, with its wine and food festival in October. This Food Network-sponsored festival takes advantage of the plethora of celebrity chefs working for the network to host this year’s 6th annual festival. Over 500 chefs and culinary personalities will make appearances at this event, where proceeds benefit the Food Bank for New York City and No Kid Hungry campaign.
For the wine portion of the festival, 100 wineries and spirits producers will be making appearances. The Grand Tasting, one of the most popular events of the festival, combines both food and drink for an eating extravaganza in the heart of Manhattan. Together, the unique dinner experiences, tastings and seminars make this festival a key event for foodies.
Key West Food & Wine Festival, Key West, FL January 22–26
In January, head down to the Florida Keys for January’s Key West Food and Wine Festival. This culinary spectacle offers a great variety of events, including guided wine tastings and tasting seminars of some of the best international wines, a screening of El Camino del Vino, tasting dinners, planned strolls (including food and wine tastes, of course). Food blogger, Claudia Miller, explains that local restaurants, “present their most creative tidbits paired with wine” at the “Wine Around” neighborhood strolls.
For the beer lovers, there are even beer seminars to try. This addition is no surprise, with the recent rebirth of home- and craft-brewing enthusiasts. Don’t miss the Key West Shrimp Boil, for a taste of classic Florida fare.
South Beach Wine & Food Festival, South Beach, FL February 20–23
In February, the South Beach Food and Wine Festival sponsored by FOOD & WINE magazine, offers more than 50 events over the course of the four-day festival, featuring 200 renowned chefs and culinary personalities, including Food Network stars. These chefs offer demos, book signings, and of course several different samples. Previous guest chefs have included such famed faces as Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri. It’s a lineup that some foodies, including Lindsay, The Lunch Belle, consider worthy of an annual trip.
As for the wine portion, over 150 wineries will be in attendance. This relatively young festival has become one of the most renowned in the world, with events like the Grand Tasting, featuring tents filled with foods, wines and other spirits. The ticket price for this festival is increasing every year, but for practiced foodies who can fill their bellies; it’s worth opening your wallet. Tickets usually sell out fast, so don’t wait to get yours.
Charleston Wine & Food Festival, Charleston, SC March 6–9
The Charleston Wine and Food Festival celebrates the unique food culture of Charleston, with several events sponsored by the Culinary Institute of Charleston, including seminars, dinners and hotel packages.
The soul food shuffle is an all-day event, taking place on the Friday, which shuttles participants all through the heart of Charleston to take advantage of its soul food history. You’ll be guided to some of Charleston’s most beloved soul food venues, including an unmarked local favorite, famous for its fried chicken, made to order. But wine enthusiasts beware: this event is dry!
Luckily, the culinary village features both food and wine tasting tents, so those looking for the wine portion of this festival won’t be disappointed. Over 80 food and beverage vendors from all over the country offer tastings, demos, panels and talks. And retail events allow you to pick and choose items to bring home!
Taste of Vail, Vail, CO April 2–5
At the Taste of Vail, seminars on food and wine are as varied as they are delicious. Everything from cigar and bourbon tasting, Belgian beer seminars, olive oil exploration and wine varietal evaluation is on offer in this ski town chow-down.
Wine dinners include several different options. Local chefs show off their best, with signature events like the Colorado Lamb Cook Off and Après Ski Tasting in the heart of Vail Village. This party-turned-competition is the perfect opener to the festival. There’s also the famed Mountain Top Picnic, held at 10,350 feet above sea level. The gourmet picnic can be accessed on skis or by gondola. The final major event is the Grand Tasting at the Vail Marriott.
With new restaurants being added every year, the event is growing in popularity. The Taste of Vail is an event that allows everyone to come together at one of the most popular ski resorts and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes!
Whatever foodie festivals you may choose to attend this year, be sure to plan ahead. Most of the festivals sell out early, and if you have certain events or seminars in mind, book early to avoid disappointment. By planning ahead, you can ensure a fantastic experience at any one of these culinary extravaganzas!
Emily Monaco is native New Yorker, living and writing in Paris since 2007. She loves discovering new places and, of course, their local cuisines! Read about her adventures in food and travel at tomatokumato.com or follow her on Twitter at @emiglia
by Matt Landau
Vacation rentals have come a long way in the travel industry: they’ve spawned their own search engines, they’ve provided competition to traditional hotels, and they’ve started to revolutionize the way travelers experience culture when they are on vacation. So it makes sense then, that the technology used to market vacation rentals has been rapidly improving as well.
One of the fastest growing techniques is through the use of online press releases. Distributing news far and wide is now cheaper, faster, and more accessible than ever in history. The same process that used to require thousands of dollars, publicists, and press agents, is now attainable for less than $100 in the comfort of one’s own home.
You’d be amazed at how much of what you read, on a regular basis, is actually a paid press release disguised as “real news.” But, how are vacation rental owners using the digital breed of press releases to reach new travelers?
Vacation rental owners are increasingly using online press release services to distribute their information worldwide. This may mean offering special discounts to travelers, not unlike chain hotels. It may be in the form of announcements about upgrades to their property or big events in town worth visiting. Whatever the theme, vacation rental owners can now reach international audiences at the drop of a hat, and here are 5 examples of owners doing just that:
- The New Promotion: Villa Rental Company Announces New Promotional Offer After Study Reveals High Stress Levels in Average Business Traveler
- The Media Angle: Vacation Rental Company discovers a unique way to market Lake Tahoe utilizing national media
- The “Better Than Hotels” Angle: New Miami Vacation Rental Property Listing With Breathtaking Views of The Beach. Rent It Today!
- The Special Event: Curacao Vacation Home Rentals, Curacao Vacations During “Day of Banda Bou”
- The Insider Advice: Aruba Vacation Rentals Professional Offers Tips on Traveling with Children
It’s no mystery that vacation rental owners who are writing and distributing press releases are seeing more bookings. An improvement in marketing technology now allows for owners of every skill level to reach demographics they could never tap otherwise. Travelers too are enjoying this innovation as they’re increasingly opting for vacation rental accommodations over traditional hotels.
Matt is the author of the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog and also the founder of VRLeap.com, where vacation rental owners and managers can find great services and tools at largely discounted prices. He recently published a new guide – Mastering Press Releases for Vacation Rental Owners – which will be available FREE through June 5th.
A contender for the Great American Novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald has motivated educators, designers, and, yes, filmmakers, to capture the thrilling era known as the Roaring Twenties. In fact, the upcoming release of Gatsby has already boosted Gatsby-inspired fashions – with offerings this season from Brooks Brothers and Tiffany & Co, among others – and parties by college students and big brands. If you’re in the mood for roaring-20s-style extravagance and art deco decor, then why not try a Gatsby-esque vacation? From luxury condos to grandiose estates, these beautifully decorated rentals are perfect for socializing, entertaining, and perhaps, a little romance.
The Gatsby Katoomba – Katoomba, Australia
This Australian cottage is meticulously furnished with authentic art deco furniture – a home truly giving tribute to the legendary Jay Gatsby.
Unique Deco Garden – Melbourne, Australia
Located in one of the oldest and most popular areas of Melbourne, this rental is elegant, worldly, and stylish with a contemporary art deco design.
Les Cedres – Nice, France
A luxury apartment with deco style and panoramic views of Nice? We could see Gatsby and Daisy paying a visit here.
Waterfront Art Deco – New York City, New York
A stunning waterfront apartment in Brooklyn with original fireplace, hardwood floors, and art deco furnishings. Known for up-and-coming boutiques, restaurants, and cafes, a visit to Brooklyn will be sure to give a wonderful shopping and dining experience.
Garden Promenade by the Beach – Nice, France
With original 1940s art deco furniture, this apartment is wonderfully decorated and perfect for a luxurious weekend getaway. The rental even includes a private garden that sits directly on the Promenade des Anglais.
The Dutch House – Bandarawela, Sri Lanka
The guest reviews couldn’t put it more perfectly: “If you love art deco, you must stay here.” The Dutch House is a luxury, boutique villa that would accommodate any Gatsby fan’s standards and more.
Colonial, Historic Apartment – Shanghai, China
While Gatsby may not have paid a visit to Shanghai during his time, we think he would have approved of the lovely mixture of Chinese and art deco design in this historical apartment.
Apartment Andrei – Budapest, Hungary
A charming apartment in the center of Budapest, this rental is casually elegant and tastefully designed in art deco style.
Breathtaking City Apartment – Vienna, Austria
If you’re looking to host your next dinner party in Gatsby style, this incredible 13th century apartment should be your venue of choice. The location, décor, and amenities are perfectly suited for large parties and will be sure to impress any who attend.
Majestic Estate – Southampton, New York
This extravagant estate is perfect for socializing and entertaining guests. Throw your next Gatsby themed party and truly epitomize the roaring 20s at this incredible rental.
Can you believe it’s already May? Hopefully May 1 brings an end to April showers and a hint that summer is around the corner. If you need a vacation this month, Marrakech and Prague hit their peak travel season. It could be a good time to venture off the beaten path!
Bonus Fact: The first week of May is the second most popular travel week in China (after the first week of October). While the weather is beautiful in much of China at this time of year, it’s best to wait and travel later in the month.
With warm weather finally approaching and two big upcoming May holidays (Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekend), the bookings are flying in here at FlipKey and everyone is talking about their future vacation plans. In fact, two of our very own FlipKey travelers were in sunny Puerto Rico just last week. You can check out some of their beautiful beach photos on our new Instagram account – be sure to follow @FlipKey_Vacation for updates!
Because of the surge in travel, April was buzzing with traveler surveys as well as celebrity news thanks to Jay-Z and Beyonce’s recent trip to Havana and Tom Cruise’s astronaut ambitions. We’re especially excited to start traveling again, so we have to ask: Did you book a rental in April? Where are you headed for the summer? We’d love to hear about your vacation plans!
Vacation Rentals of the Month
Chinese Tourists Now Biggest Source of Travel Spending
With a 40% increase from last year, Chinese tourists are officially the biggest spenders when it comes to travel. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, the total tourism income from China is $102 billion.
TripAdvisor Reveals Results of Fourth Annual Vacation Rental Survey
What’s most likely to sway you to book a rental over a hotel? According to TripAdvisor’s newest survey, savings, last-minute deals, and more living space are just a few of the reasons why rentals are an excellent accommodation alternative.
Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Cuba Trip Part of Growing Cultural Travel Trend
Jay-Z and Queen B headed to Cuba to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary in style. But, like any high-profile celebrity couple, they caused quite a stir with their visit and prompted both an investigation and a brand new song by Jay himself.
New Apps Let You Take Vacations Shots Like a Pro
Instagram isn’t the only option for amateur photographers – check out USA Today’s list of photo apps that will make those vacation shots especially memorable.
Tom Cruise Wants to Travel to Space and Meet Aliens Cruise’s love for sci-fi is no secret, but who knew he was so serious about traveling to space and chatting with a few aliens?
Tandem Pedals Power World Adventure
Instead of buying a house or having children, this couple took their tandem bike, named “Willie”, and rode across Europe, China, and the Middle East for a total of 25,000 kilometers.
Boston Marathon Explosions Attract an Outpouring of Help from City’s Residents
Following the tragic events of the Boston Marathon, thousands rallied to support those affected by offering a place to stay. The extensive list included e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and messages – some wrote that they would cook dinner or pay for a cab rides, but all offered a piece of home, rest, and comfort.
Travel Tips: Stay in a Converted Tobacco Factory in Tuscany or Try Camping the Old Fashioned Way
A tobacco factory in Tuscany? We think this estate would make for a wonderful, luxurious vacation (or honeymoon!).
What Are the Best Cities for Runners?
If you’re traveling to any urban environment, chances are you won’t have time to map out a run. That’s why these cities offer the best and most convenient trails for tourists.
9 “Roll & Go’ New Hampshire RV Adventures
A beautiful and unique New Hampshire family vacation. Check out Kathy Tully’s landmarks and favorite spots from her RV trip.
Family vacations are great opportunities to create memories that last a lifetime, but painful travel experiences can generate unpleasant memories that never fade. Neverending car rides and missed flights can ruin otherwise fun trips. In my own travels, I have always avoided layovers in Denver because I still remember playing on the moving sidewalks until I was bored and irritable during two extended layovers in Denver International Airport. I’m sure my dad wished we were anyplace but a large, busy terminal for those seemingly endless delays. These days, even a routine flight can involve long delays at the airport thanks to increased security and reduced staff at check-in. So how do you keep the kids happy on the fly?
While you can never guarantee a trip free of delays and mishaps, you can nevertheless plan the best way to handle those situations when they arise. To help ensure good travel memories and smooth vacations, we’ve put together a list of the best kid-friendly airports for long layovers. These airports provide more than just moving sidewalks to keep the kids busy. Kid-friendly amenities include everything from aviation-themed play areas and educational exhibits to private family rooms and rocking chairs for mothers with infants.
We judged these airports based on their kid-friendly amenities, convenience as a stopping point, and proximity to great family vacation spots. Next time your family takes to the sky, plan for the unexpected by connecting through these family-conscious hubs.
One of the world’s busiest airports is also one of the best kid-friendly terminals in the country. Good thing, too: Despite being voted the best airport in the world by Business Traveler Magazine from 2004-2007, O’Hare has also earned notoriety as the second-worst airport in the country for delays.
If you do get stuck in this Midwestern travel citadel, have no fear: Numerous parenting websites have ranked O’Hare as the number one family-friendly airport, and Travel Mamas explains why: “There are diverse ways to keep kids entertained at O’Hare when the wait becomes much longer than expected.” The airport boasts multiple play areas, including Kids on the Fly in Terminal 2. The 2,000 foot playground installed by the Chicago Children’s Museum features airport-themed climbing structures that the museum says allow kids to, “play, pretend, and practice skills.” The airport also has many kid-friendly, post-security dining options, including Garett’s Popcorn (Terminal 1) and Macaroni Grill (Terminal 3).
You can pass through Chicago on flights to and from almost any major airport in the U.S. O’Hare is a particularly good transfer point for flights connecting coastal hubs like Boston and Los Angeles with regional, mid-western destinations.
While O’Hare is a busy international airport with popular flights to and from London, Toronto, and Frankfurt, we recommend avoiding it when you travel abroad with kids because the international terminal does not feature all the family-friendly amenities of the domestic terminals.
While San Francisco is a common endpoint to a journey, it can also serve as a great connection to Asia-Pacific destinations like Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo. Before stepping onto a long trans-Pacific flight, there are few airports better suited to entertaining kids than SFO.
The airport includes nurseries in Terminals 1, 2, and 3; Kids’ Spot play areas in three locations, and three different aquariums in Terminal 1 before security. Dedicated family lanes also help families get through security at their own pace. The convenient security lanes can be helpful on very long layovers, as SFO’s location makes it relatively easy to escape the airport and explore San Francisco for an hour or two between flights.
A-List Mom Travel ranked SFO the second best airport terminal for kids (after O’Hare). They point out that the airport has great options for older kids and parents in addition to the play areas, including the Commission Aviation Library and the 11,500 square foot Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum. The museum, “conjures up a feeling of a bygone era when traveling was a sophisticated pastime for only the rarefied few.”
SFO is so dedicated to keeping your family happy and engaged between flights that they have put together self-guided tours of the airport terminals. The tours will lead you and your kids to the various exhibits, play areas, and airport features that make SFO unique. They also include questions and challenges to occupy the little ones. There’s no better way to spend a long layover than taking the family on a treasure hunt.
If you are taking the kids out of the country, then Boston’s Logan International Airport is a great place to catch your flight. The domestic and international terminals are connected by walkways, so transfers are quick and easy. The most popular international flights from Boston connect with European hubs London, Frankfurt, and Paris, though you can also fly direct to Tokyo and Beijing.
Families facing a layover in Boston will find the airport well-equipped to keep your kids entertained. Two Kid Port play areas, created with the Boston Children’s Museum, are located in Terminals A and C. Like O’Hare, Logan’s indoor playgrounds feature plane and tower shaped climbing structures. These play spaces also include seating for parents, as well as an area for watching TV. Atlanta-based blog, My Busy Children, advises, “I would definitely recommend waiting for the airplane there with kids instead of the gate area.”
Keeping the youngest jet setters in mind, Logan also features rocking chairs, family restrooms, and rooms for nursing mothers who want some space and privacy.
In addition to major domestic and international flights, Logan is also a hub for transportation to regional vacation destinations like Cape Cod, Vermont, and Maine.
Considering a family trip to Hawaii but worried about how the kids will handle long flights? Think about connecting through Phoenix. Phoenix Sky Harbor is one of the five most popular airports in the lower 48 for flights to Hawaii, the others being Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Las Vegas.
One of the biggest perks about flying to Hawaii from Phoenix is that the airport has four play areas for kids. The flight across the Pacific is long, and it’s better to let the kids wear themselves out beforehand so they won’t be running up and down the narrow airplane aisles all the way to Honolulu. After all, you do want to get some rest!
You can reach Phoenix Sky Harbor on your way to the Aloha State from Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and other domestic airports. Sky harbor is also a major hub for international flights to points in Canada and Mexico. With one of the play areas located in the international terminal, it’s a great option if you’re flying out of the country with the kids.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport is the busiest airport in the world, and also one of the coolest airports for kids to visit (it came in first for amenities and third for families on a recent Travel Leaders Group poll cited on Gadling). Why? Dinosaurs. In addition to its two play areas, the Atlanta airport features a fully assembled skeleton of Yangchuanosaurus—a dinosaur that lived in China during the Jurassic period. This particular dinosaur now lives in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atrium, to the amazement of children and parents passing through.
Hartsfield-Jackson also features an Airport Art program that includes artworks and rotating exhibits that delight passengers of all ages. The Youth Art Galleries on concourses D, E, and T display art projects by Georgia students.
Atlanta is a major hub for Delta, and the most popular domestic flights connect with many cities in Florida, New York City, and Dallas, along with international hotspots like Cancun, Jamaica, and Nassau.
Keep in mind that Hartfield-Jackson is an enormous airport, and more than a few travelers have gotten lost in its concourses. While it’s one of the better airports for keeping the kids busy, you should also make sure your children don’t stray far, and remember to leave plenty of time to get from play areas and exhibits to your gate before your flight leaves.
by Wan Phing Lim of AsiaRooms.com
Southeast Asia has always been a major destination on the backpacker trail, but as we all get a little older, I for one would like to share these adventures with my family. Now it’s possible thanks to the advent of cheaper flights and with the rise of budget airlines within the region. The whole of Asia has opened up and the resorts and activities aimed at families have skyrocketed. Here is a taster of the possibilities.
The city-state of Singapore on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula offers everything you would expect from a wealthy, modern metropolis. A major international airport makes it a doddle to get to and there are a huge number of world class hotels and resorts, gourmet restaurants and luxury shops. The amazing Sentosa resort is a world in itself with luxury hotels, theme park attractions including Universal Studios, beaches, nature walks and two world-class golf courses. If you do manage to take yourself away from Sentosa, a personal favourite is the Singapore Zoo, which boasts more than 2,800 animals and a Night Safari that’s like nothing else you’ll find in the country.
2. Hong Kong
Many have stopped off in Hong Kong en-route to other destinations, but for an unforgettable family holiday, you really needn’t go any further. The unbelievable skyline is the first thing you’ll recognize, so a trip to The Peak is a must. The highest point on Hong Kong Island, The Peak offers views that will stay with you and your family for a lifetime. The Star Ferry Cruise gives great views of the metropolis from the harbour, and it provides a relaxing way to explore Hong Kong. You may be surprised by possibilities of outdoor activities away from the city, and with Disneyland and Ocean Park theme parks you’re truly spoilt for choice. One last thing: at night the city is transformed into a neon wonderland, so make sure to go out in the evening and enjoy the lights.
3. Phuket, Thailand
When you first hear Phuket, you might think beach party, but this tropical paradise has really developed since its backpacker heydays, and is now a major family destination. Phuket hotels are world class and for the ultimate beach side family break, you can’t do much better than this resort. Thailand’s excellent value for money still applies, and elephant rides for the kids and parents alike will be an activity you’ll never forget. There are tons of other great activities too, like diving, windsurfing, island hopping and even and go-karting. That is, if you can drag yourselves away from the beach first!
4. Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nha Trang is considered one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Friendly locals, a fascinating history, stunning beaches with crystal clear waters, and warm sunny weather all year round make this part of Vietnam a tourist hotspot. A number of large family oriented resorts have sprung up along the shore, including Vinpearl Island, which is home to its own theme park. The resort is connected to the mainland by the world’s longest over water cable car, and is an attraction in itself.
5. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
In the heart of Malaysia, the Cameron Highlands sit high above sea level. Surrounded by endless valleys of stunning green, made up of tea plantations and forests, any family with a passion for nature and rural life will relish the Cameron Highlands. The nature reserves make for perfect trekking and 4WD tours that are ideal for families. The area is rich in colonial history and with fertile soils ideal for farming, a trip to some of the farms is a must. The tea plantations are some of the world’s finest, and this ancient process is fascinating to experience firsthand. You also won’t want to miss out on the strawberry picking either – delicious!
Wan Phing is the online editor at AsiaRooms.com. Born and raised in Penang, Malaysia, she has lvied in Beijing, London, Benevento, Kuala Lumpur, Manchester and currently resides in Singapore. She loves travel, photography and discovering new trends.
With just over a month to go before Mother’s Day, it’s time to think about showing your mom how much you love her. Flowers, scented candles, and gift baskets may make a utilitarian top 10 list of Mother’s Day gifts, but your mother doesn’t want you to order a token of your appreciation from Amazon… She wants to see you and spend time with you. Remember those family vacations you used to go on when you were a kid? Your parents actually loved dragging you to beautiful places to relax as a family. This year, it’s time to turn the tables and let your mom know you were paying attention back then. Take her on a vacation for a couple of days this May and you’ll definitely be Mom’s favorite. Best of all, many properties offer special deals for the special day, so with the money you save, Dad can come too.
The PA Chalet Get $50 off your Stay
This comfortable home in the Poconos is the perfect place to hang out with the family. Located on Lake Wallenpaupack, the Chalet is close to water activities, hiking, horseback riding and local shopping. The home sleeps 10, so you can bring the whole family.
Gulf Bay Paradise Mother’s Day Special
A paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, this Port Mansfield home is perfectly situated for fishing and bird watching. If your mom likes to go after the catch of the day, then she will love the proximity to “the big ones: Sailfish, Marlin, Tarpon, Ling, Mackerel and Snapper.” If she’s not an angler, then she’ll love the mild weather, outdoor pool, and BBQ area for family meals.
Cottage in the White Mountains $50 Gas Card
For families in the Northeast, an escape to New Hampshire’s White Mountains is just the ticket for Mother’s Day. Bethlehem is the type of quiet New England town that combines nature, nostalgia, and a bit of funkiness in one place. Enjoy amazing views, access to golf and hiking, and a fun Main Street with quality restaurants and shops.
Royal Mauian $25 off per night
If you haven’t given your Mom a Mother’s Day gift in years, then you can make up for lost time with a trip to Hawaii. A trip to Maui is a vacation in paradise, and this condo at the Royal Mauian Resort has everything you need to make Mom happy. Walk a short way to the beach or the pool, or head up to the roofdeck to take in the views of Mt. Haleakala and the neighboring islands.
Linda’s Resort 5% Off
Take advantage of a condo stocked with all the necessary toys for a fun day at the beach. Linda’s resort comes with kayaks, cruiser bikes, beach chairs, and a great location on Manasota Key. Both the beach and the town are within walking distance of the condo, which features a fully equipped kitchen and excellent outdoor areas for relaxing, dining, and enjoying one another’s company.