Home Archives 2013 September

Monthly Archives: September 2013

By: Terri Ogan

We all know it can be difficult to veer away from the pizza and bar food while traveling, or even relax before takeoff. No need to fret. FlipKey.com is making your next travel experience less grueling on both your mind and your body by revealing the top travel hubs for health and wellness.

Whether you’re flying domestic or international, this accolade of travel hubs for health and wellness will make for a much better jet-setting experience.

1. Be Relax Spa massages in Terminal C at Boston Logan International Airport (Boston, Massachusetts)

Located in Terminal C in Boston Logan International Airport, Be Relax Spa offers a variety of services that will ease those flying jitters and make you feel fresh for your flight. Some of these services include table stone massages, foot massages, waxing and several different manicure and pedicure deals. For travelers that are in a time crunch, the spa boutique sells a wide range of massage and travel accessories to take onboard for a comfortable trip.

Be Relax Spa

2. Evolution Yoga at Burlington International Airport (Burlington, Vermont):

Namaste, traveling yogis. Evolution Yoga, located on the second floor of Burlington International Airport in Vermont, offers a tranquil area where jetsetters can relax, unwind, and stretch before a long flight. Although there aren’t classes offered at this location, the studio contains do-it-yourself booklets to help guide your yoga flow. Evolution Yoga also offers a family bathroom with a shower across from the Observation Tower on the second floor on the east side of the airport.

3. Vegetable-packed, cholesterol free food options at the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas, Nevada):

When you think of Las Vegas, you might not think of watching what you eat. But you might do so after a trip down the Vegas strip. The Las Vegas McCarran International International Airport was ranked as one of the top airports in the US offering hearty-healthy meals, according to a 2011 report from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Healthy eats include the smoked tofu burrito at 360 Gourmet, or a vegan wrap with hummus found at several restaurants in the airport, including Bar One, Home Turf Sports Bar and Wipeout Willy’s.

4. Absolute Spa and Hair Salon at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport (Vancouver, Canada)

Dubbed as one of Canada’s largest and most luxurious spa chains, Absolute Spa and Hair Salon offers a variety of services for travelers located in three areas of the Fairmont Vancouver Airport: Before security on level one, and after security by Gates C44 and C26. Stuck with a long layover? Indulge in esthetic, massage, hair styling or hair removal services. Regardless of your itinerary, travelers can make an appointment or drop in for relaxation or rejuvenation on the go.

Absolute Spa Vancouver

5. Walking Path at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Stay fit while traveling with the Walking Path at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Teaming up with the American Heart Association in its nationally recognized “Start! Walking” program, the Minnesota Airport now offers a 1.4-mile walking path for customers to stay energized and keep their heart rate up. The loop starts at the intersection of the C and D concourses, and winds down the C concourse. If you’re looking for more, continue through the Airport Mall. Located on an overhead sign, green dots will help track your distance.

6. Fresh and Healthy dining at Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark, New Jersey)

Ditch the donuts and indulge in some healthy eats at Newark Liberty International Airport. These health-conscious meal options in Newark will make you feel energized and healthy on your next trip. Grab a falafel sandwich from Mediterranean Bistro, or a hummus wrap from Market Fresh. Other heart-friendly food options include the seaweed salad and various sushi rolls at Hamachi Sushi.

7. Top gyms, bike rentals and more at Zurich Airport (Zurich, Switzerland)

Get your fitness on in preparation for a long flight out of Zurich Airport in Switzerland. The world-renowned airport offers an abundance of activities that you won’t find anywhere else. Rent inline skates, bikes, and nordic walking poles from the service and information desk in the multi-story car park 2. Get out of your seat and amp up your layover for a moderate price: Bike rentals are $22 (20 Swiss francs) for a half day; skate rentals start at $16 (15 Swiss francs); and walking sticks are $11 (10 Swiss francs).

Zurich Gym

8. Healthy eating at Charlotte Airport (Charlotte, North Carolina)

While the southern airport has won awards for its tasty barbecue at Brookwood BBQ, there are healthy options as well. Go meatless with a veggie burger at the Stock Car Café in Terminal B. Grab some chopsticks for a scrumptious and heart-healthy sushi meal at Hissho Sushi in the main atrium, or go for the portobello mushroom and red pepper sandwich (minus the cheese) at the Carolina Beer Company in Terminal D.

9. Meditation room at Raleigh Airport (Raleigh, North Carolina)

The Raleigh-Durham International Airport features a meditation room open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, located before security on the ticketing level of Terminal 2. Passengers can escape to this tranquil room during the hustle and bustle of their trips. The room entails chairs, a prayer mat, and a podium, and embraces all the qualities that make an ideal space for reflection, meditation and prayer.

10. Yoga at San Francisco International Airport (San Francisco, California)

Practice some vinyasa flow before your flight at the San Francisco International Airport, which was the world’s first airport to offer such a feature. The yoga space, located after security in Terminal 2, is devoted to relaxation, self-reflection, and stretching, of course. The yoga room is free-of-charge, and situated in boarding area D.

San Francisco Airport Yoga

11. Massages and an oxygen bar at the Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

The Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam offers several services both basic and unique to help passengers pass the time during a layover or prep for a flight. At the airport’s Back to Life service center, travelers can enjoy a chair massage, foot massage and aqua massage to recharge before a trip. In addition, Back to Life offers an oxygen bar where jetsetters can reboot their batteries and take off feeling fresh. Back To Life is located after Passport Control on Holland Boulevard, which is the hallway leading from Departure Hall 2 to Departure Hall 3 between Piers E and F.

12. Health clubs and healthy bites at Munich Airport (Munich, Germany)

Get a taste of the world at Munich Airport in Germany with a variety of eats. Bite into Asian cuisine cooked up with fresh ingredients at Bamee in Terminal 1. Enjoy light snacks, fresh fruit, healthy salads, healthy cakes, coffee, and other specialties at the Bistro Organic, which serves up 100 percent organic foods in Terminal 2. In addition, the Munich Airport has several wellness offerings, like the Kempinski Health Club. Whether you’re looking to relax or break a sweat, the Kempinski Health Club features an indoor pool and whirlpool, sauna, steam bath, pool bar, various massage and beauty treatments, fitness center, and solarium. One might travel to Munich just to experience the airport.

Happy & Healthy Travels!

By: Terri Ogan

There’s no better way to wrap up a perfect summer than with exploring all of the fall wonders the world has to offer. Whether it’s a food festival on the coast of Massachusetts, a concert in Texas, or a beer tasting in Germany, we have a list that will squash your post-summer blues and get you excited for the leaves to turn your favorite shade of red.

1. Austin City Limits (Austin, Texas):

This fall, Austin, Texas is celebrating what it does best: music. Join travelers from all over the nation for the 2013 Austin City Limits music festival, slated for Oct. 4 to 6 and Oct. 11 to 13 at Zilker Park. This stellar festival, which earned Austin the title of “Live Music Capital of the World,” includes over 100 red-hot bands and artists, including The Muse, The Weeks, Eric Church, Passion Pit and many more. Ticket packages starting at $225 for a three-day pass, can be purchased on the festival’s website, which also includes information on travel, lodging, and additional festival facts.

Austin City Limits

2. Wellfleet OysterFest (Wellfleet, Massachusetts):

Summer may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to indulge in the season’s finest cuisines, and the 13th Annual Wellfleet Oyster Fest allows us to do just that. Slated for Saturday Oct. 19 and Sunday Oct. 20, head down to Wellfleet, Mass. and enjoy the coast’s most delicious shellfish all for a good cause. The festival is produced by Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (SPAT), a non-profit organization devoted to fostering a greater understanding of the town’s shellfish industry. The two-day event features live music, arts and crafts, and a shucking contest as well.

3. 23rd Annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe, New Mexico):

About 75 fabulous Santa Fe restaurants and over 100 world-class wineries are uniting to bring you the 23rd Annual Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta. This four-day event, scheduled for Sept. 25 to Sept. 29, will feature guest-chef luncheons and tastings, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, and wine tastings. In addition, the event will include a live auction luncheon enabling visiting chefs to network with local chefs to raise funds for surrounding food charities. If you have over indulged in the food and wine tastings, no need to worry. Attendees can participate in the 20th Annual Gruet Golf Classic just 15 minutes outside of Santa Fe.

Sante Fe Wine And Chile

4. Great American Beer Festival in Denver (Denver, Colorado):

Dive into a slice of beer heaven with this three-day event that includes 600 breweries serving up over 2,800 beers. The Great American Beer Festival is scheduled for Oct. 10 to Oct. 12 in Denver, Colo., with events that include tastings, book signings, sessions about the science behind the perfect beer, and of course, burgers. Founded in 1982, the Great American Beer Festival has been dubbed the premier US beer festival and competition, bringing together the best brews in the nation.

5. Chicago Film Festival (Chicago, Illinois):

Almost 49 years ago, organizers of the Chicago Film Festival kicked off an annual event in efforts to introduce the Windy City and the rest of the world to new filmmakers, new stories and new points of view. Every year since then, the festival has done just that. The 49th Annual Chicago Film Festival will feature over 100 films from all over the world including the US, England, Italy, Denmark, Finland, in categories such as comedy, spotlight Africa and world cinema. The two-week event starts on Thursday Oct. 10 and wraps up on Oct. 24. The festival is presented by Cinema/Chicago, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image, according to its website.

6. Hamptons Film Festival (East Hampton, NY):

Starting on Thursday Oct. 10, visitors will hit the Hamptons not for the beach, but for the films at the 21st Annual Hamptons International Film Festival. The event was founded in order to provide a forum for independent filmmakers from around the world to express their vision. Opening night will feature Kill Your Darlings starring Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter series, along side Michael C. Hall of Dexter, Elizabeth Olsen, Ben Foster, Jack Huston and Dane DeHaan. The remainder of the films, which include documentaries and dramas, among others, will be shown at venues across South Hampton and Montauk.

7. Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany):

At this time of year, what do you think of when someone says Munich, Germany? You think of beer! The infamous Oktoberfest is going to hit the city like a large glass mug hitting a table: hard. The much-anticipated 180th annual beer festival is scheduled for Monday Sept. 21 to Sunday Oct. 6 and attracts millions of people from all over the world. New this year, Oktoberfest will feature a smartcard entry key, as well as souvenirs and unfortunately, a beer price that is $.35 more expensive than last year. Have no fear, the same historical rides, beer tents, and other fun activities will be back to make this the most epic Oktoberfest the world has ever seen.

Oktoberfest

8. Galway Races (Ballybrit, Galway, Ireland):

If you enjoy adrenaline-pumping action and the ladies of fashion, the Galway Races in Ireland are the perfect fall activity for you. Based in Ballybrit, Ireland, the exhilarating historic races, which date back to the 1700s, are scheduled for Sunday Oct. 27 and Monday Oct. 28. On location at the track are numerous restaurant, bars, and suites for those that are willing to spend more than the typical race-goer. Organizers of the Galway Racers say that the October meeting is a favorite amongst its supporters.

9. Sonoma County Harvest Fair (Sonoma, California)

Wine, cider and festive foods are just a few things that come to mind when we think of the brisk fall season and the Sonoma County Harvest Fair in California has all of those fall features we love. Starting on Friday Oct. 4, the three day festival entails wine tastings at over 150 wineries, wine sales, food-pairings, craft beer and cider tasting, chef demonstrations, workshops, a world championship grape stomping and more. In its 38th year, the festival is also adding unique and educational demonstrations with a rejuvenated focus on artisanal products. The event draws attendees from all over the world including countries like South America, India and Australia.

10. World Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest (Bridgeville, Delaware):

On Friday Nov. 1, pumpkin hurlers from all over the country will gather in Bridgeville, Delaware for the sixth annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin pageant. Punkin Chunkin is a sport of hurling or “chucking” pumpkins with mechanical devices like slingshots, catapults, and canons of sorts. The competition is organized by the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA), a non-profit organization that raises money for organizations that benefit the youth and local communities. Attendees and participants partake in the event mainly for the “chunkin,” but the event also includes a chili cook-off and live music, among other things.

World Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest

Looking for more to do in the upcoming months? Check out our additional fun fall trips here: https://www.flipkey.com/trip-ideas/fall-travel/.

STRAC

You might have seen our recent blog post highlighting an infographic last week that was created by the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center, a coalition that we’re a part of which represents the millions of people across the U.S. who participate in and benefit from the growing short-term rental marketplace. Now you have a chance to learn more firsthand from the coalition by participating in a webinar this Thursday, September 19th.

Check out the details below.

When: Thursday, September 19th at 3:30 pm ET.

Who: Hosted by Tim Doyle, spokesman for the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center.

Guests include Matt Curtis, Director of Government Relations at HomeAway and Joel Rasmussen, President of the Austin Rental Alliance.

Why: If you and other short-term rental operators in your community are facing onerous regulations or outright bans then this webinar is for you. STRAC will walk you through how to create compelling messages and materials, and deliver those to local officials and media. Members from successful campaigns will also provide real-world examples on how to implement these tactics and win fair and reasonable regulation for your community.

Summer might be coming to an end, but Californians are excited because September equals wine, and lots of it. September is California Wine Month, celebrating wineries, vineyards, and growers of all types of vino.

California Wine Month was created to recognize how much the state of California benefits from the wine industry in terms of economy and lifestyle. California produces 90% of the wine in the United States and is the fourth-largest wine producer in the entire world.

There is plenty to do all month, according to VisitCalifornia.com:

“During this statewide celebration of the Golden State’s rich wine history, you can participate in events from picking and crushing grapes to VIP tours to tastings, concerts, and so much more.”

According to our Travel Insights, the two most popular locations to visit in the California Wine Country are both on the North Coast: Napa, with 26.4% of all travelers heading that way, and Sonoma, with 24.4%. Most travelers go for a romantic weekend getaway, with the most common party size being two and the most common reservation requests made for just one or two days.

Sunset Magazine describes the most-visited location, Napa Valley, as

“the best wine region in the New World. Period. Back when our neighbors to the west were taking the prune market by storm, Napa was uncorking our national appetite for fermented grape juice, giving it a seat at the table alongside the great wines of Europe.“

There are so many different types of California wine to choose from, including: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot noir, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Over 700 miles of winegrowing areas include more than 100 American Viticultural Regions full of different types of wine and people.

In Bon Appetit Magazine, renowned Napa chef, vintner, and TV host Michael Chiarello explains how to choose which winery to go to:

“Wine tasting shouldn’t be a crapshoot where you’re just stopping at every shop that you see. Prioritize the wineries you want to hit on your journey. Even if you’re a neophyte, if you’re going to wine tasting, there’s a good chance you’ve had wine before—start by researching a varietal you like, agnostic of brand. Then, when you get to the tasting room, let your preferences be known (‘Hi! I’m here for the pinot noir!’), and let the staff guide you from there.”

Wine is not just something you drink with dinner: it has a history, a culture, and it brings people together. So what are you waiting for? Grab that special someone and take a weekend adventure to the California Wine Region.

If you are worried about not knowing how to properly taste the wine, check out Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s article on How to Taste Wine.

Happy Travels!

FlipKey is part of a coalition called the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center (STRAC) representing the interests of the millions of people across the U.S. who participate in and benefit from the dynamic and growing short-term rental marketplace. STRAC recently revealed survey results on this topic, highlighted in this infographic, where you’ll uncover a number of findings, including the fact that 90% of Americans agree that short-term rentals are helping the economy by bringing in meaningful tourism and tax dollars to local communities. And did you know that one in five Americans rented a short-term rental in July and August because they liked not only the space and amenities, but also the affordability?

Check out the infographic below, and for more information on STRAC, feel free to visit the website here: http://www.stradvocacy.org/.

STRAC

The period between high and low travel seasons—also known as the “shoulder seasons” is a great time for travelers to save money and beat the crowds. What’s more, “the shoulder seasons also provide an opportunity for travelers to have access to high-end luxury accommodations they might not ever have been able to afford normally during peak season,” says FlipKey’s resident Travel Expert Jen Gold.

Here are FlipKey’s top shoulder-season destinations to visit this fall:

1. Outer Banks, North Carolina

You can save up to 50% here while enjoying the beach, fishing, and awesome water sports. During the busy season, rates average $390 per night, but the shoulder season average is just $195.

Duck, NC

Duck, NC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Delaware

Save up to 41% in the first state ever! (It was established in 1787.). The high season has rates of $402 per night and the shoulder season is just $236. Check out Rehobeth Beach, the “Nation’s Summer Capital,” where there will little crowds, beautiful weather, and endless fun.

Rehoboth Beach, DE

Rehoboth Beach, DE

3. Florida Panhandle

You can save up to 33% in the northwestern part of the Sunshine State. Rates average $286 during the tourist season and just $209 in the shoulder season. Looking to relax on the beach, shop ‘til you drop, or hit up the fantastic nightlife? Time to book a trip here.

Pensacola Beach, FL

Pensacola Beach, FL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. North Carolina Coast

Enjoy hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches, local barbecue, and the freshest seafood around. With rates at $209 during the shoulder season compared to $286 during the busy season, travelers can save up to 27%!

North Topsail Beach, NC

North Topsail Beach, NC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Jersey Shore

Save up to 26% on a fall trip to the Garden State’s shore. During the busy season, rates average $327 per night, but the shoulder season has rates for only $241. Walk down the boardwalk for the best entertainment, shopping, and restaurants in the area.

Bay Head, NJ

Bay Head, NJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you decided where you are going for Columbus Day Weekend yet? We’d like to point out that it falls right during the shoulder seasons for these locations. You can enjoy a weekend getaway at a fabulous discount!

Happy travels!

Learning How To Generate More Bookings, Though, Generally Does

Guest post written by: Matt Landau, founder of Vacation Rental Marketing Blog

Here is one of the great themes that I have concluded (and have had validated from many great rental marketers): just generating more bookings is not gratifying.

Signing up for a listing site or writing an ad on Craigslist takes minimal effort and is accessible to every vacation rental owner or manager around the world.

In the great proverb, “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime,” just accruing bookings means you’re eating for the day.

But when you learn how to generate bookings for yourself – when you decide to take a journey on the education train and accept a challenge that’s probably slightly above your skill level – there is not only the sustainable nourishment that will fuel your rentals over the long haul. This includes (but is not limited to) building your own website, learning about online PR, establishing relationships with locals…etc.

Further, there is a great sense of pride, accomplishment, and gratification along the way of building your own vacation rental marketing portfolio.

Some of the best moments I’ve experienced with my rentals is an intangible happiness I get from finding new ways to fill my rentals. For most owners, the fear of failure is strong enough to keep them away from learning new skills. So when you learn to compliment reliable channels like a FlipKey listing with more innovative techniques, you’ve already set yourself apart from the competition.

But if I could point at one philosophy that has not just made me more money but made the process itself a satisfying and enlightening one, it would be this one.

Matt Landau is the founder of the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog and this excerpt is taken from his newest eBook, The Eureka Effect: How Good Vacation Rentals Become Great available now.