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Dan Weisman

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Today we’re excited to introduce the first edition of FlipKey Travel Insights, a series of data visualizations highlighting travel trends in popular destinations in the United States. We took a deep dive into millions of reservation requests and property listings from the past three years to uncover revealing information about travel to 25 of FlipKey travelers’ favorite destinations. Travel Insights help us understand where real travelers go, when they travel, and how much they spend on their vacations. As summer travel season kicks into full gear, we present these insights as a helpful aid for planning your next trip.

Check out all 25 Travel Insights destinations here

Travel Insights allows us to harness the data we have from our millions of travelers who have planned their vacations on FlipKey.com and utilize it to share useful tips and trends,” said Eric Horndahl, VP of Marketing. “Travelers planning their next vacation will have insider knowledge on when to go, where to stay, how far in advance to book and how much to pay for rental accommodations.”

We hope you’ll check out the full data visualizations before you plan your next trip. Until then, here are ten travel tips to whet your appetite for vacation…

1. Cape Cod’s short peak season means high demand in the summer months
Average price for a 4-bedroom rental is $310 a night in June, July, and August.

2. President’s Day week is expensive in ski destinations
Colorado and Vermont rates soar by $70 per night above average during President’s Day ski week. The last week of January and first week of February are the best weeks to save on ski lodging.

3. Visit Hawaii year-round
Hawaii is a romantic getaway destination where almost half the bookings are for couples. Thanks to its tropical climate, Hawaii’s “peak season” lasts 12 months of the year – paradise indeed!

4. Plan ahead for the mountains or Disney
Planning time for peak season in Breckenridge, CO is 10-12 weeks, and Orlando travelers book their vacations 16 weeks in advance.

5. Orlando is a family vacation spot
50% of travelers come to the Disney area in family-sized groups of 4-6.

6. San Francisco Bay area has the highest average price per guest at $108 per night
Small parties and short stays are common in the Bay Area.

7. More than half of Texas Gulf Coast visitors head to South Padre Island
Galveston, Port Aransas, and Corpus Cristii are other popular Gulf Coast destinations.

8. Holiday Hideout in the Keys
The Florida Keys are most popular during the last two weeks of December. It’s probably not a coincidence that Key West hosts a huge New Year’s Eve party.

9. The Outer Banks has a “super” peak season
Starting in late June and lasting through early August, the average price in OBX is more than $400 per night.

10. Southern California and the California Desert have the highest year-round prices
50% of all reservation requests in these areas are made for properties that cost over $200 a night.

Enjoy these travel insights. We hope they will help you find the vacation home that perfectly fits your travel style.

We’ve been hard at work improving the vacation rental experience on FlipKey, and this week we are very excited about launching our first ever mobile app. The FlipKey iOS app is designed for vacation rental owners and managers who want to manage their FlipKey listings on the go.

iphone-NewApp

Property owners and managers who use an iPhone or iPad can download the app today from the App Store for free. The new FlipKey app enables owners and managers to:

  • Get notifications for new inquiries and messages
  • Respond immediately to prospective guests
  • Send payment requests and track payments
  • Update property rate and availability info

We hope our new mobile app makes it easier for property owners and managers to manage their rentals on FlipKey, and that travelers will continue to enjoy effortless vacation rental reservations.

Happy Bookings!

The FlipKey Team



Following up on our top summer beer festivals list last week, blogger Drew Hendricks felt that the West Coast was underrepresented. Drew is a beer enthusiast, tech, social media, and environmental addict. He’s written for publications such as Huffington Post, National Geographic, and Technorati.

by Drew Hendricks

From the beaches and deserts of Southern California, to the bars and clubs of Portland, to the offices and corporate headquarters in Seattle, the West Coast offers travelers and visitors something new and different at every stop. It also offers some of the best beers you can find west of Boston. Here’s a look at the top seven breweries on the West Coast.

1. Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, California

Found in Escondido, California, the Stone Brewing Company is confident enough of its status as one of the best brewery on the West Coast that it’s flagship brew is named Arrogant Bastard Ale. The brewery produced almost 150,000 barrels of beer in 2012, and they offer free tours, tastings, and a bistro.

2. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon offers a reward for those willing to brave its mountains and cloud cover. The tiny mountain town is the home of Deschutes Brewery, which offers guests a beautiful tasting room, the experimental The Abyss, and the brewery standard Black Butte Porter. There are always eight beers on tap, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff will make this a wonderful stop on your West Coast brewery tour.

3. Rogue Ales Brewery, Newport, Oregon

If Seattle has the coffee, then Oregon brings the beer. The Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport, Oregon provides visitors with their choice of a pint from 40 taps while they wait for their tour to start. Atypical appetizers and one of the biggest draft selections in the area add up to a must-see brewery when you’re in the Pacific Northwest.

4. Fremont Brewing, Seattle, Washington

Seattle has over 150 breweries within its relatively small borders, but only Fremont Brewing has the trifecta of delicious beers, a pub that allows kids and dogs to hang out (but not drink), and an outdoor patio. The brewpub doesn’t serve food, but they allow you to bring your own or order from nearby eateries. Inexpensive beers and taster sizes make Fremont Brewing one of the most popular stops for beer lovers in Seattle.

5. Russian River, Santa Rosa, California

Back south in California, we find the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa. Their Blind Pig brew is renowned for its hoppiness, but there are a number of others on offer that bring customers back time and again, including the Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger sequence of double and triple IPAs. The food combinations put together by Russian River rank Santa Rosa among the top choices for brews and eats on the West Coast.

6. Mother Earth Brewing Company, Vista, California

With a name like “Mother Earth,” you just know the Vista, California-based brewery is going to be good for you. The brewing team focuses on creating a down-to-earth vibe and tasty beers brewed with local ingredients. The tasting room has given birth to more than 30 beers since it was established in 2008. If you’re looking for a spot that’s a little less rooted in antiquity, and a little more part of the 21st century, then the Mother Earth Brewing Company is the place for you.

7. Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach, California

Another new entry into the West Coast brewery scene, Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach, California offers guests a classy brewing experience. The modern brewery boasts a state-of-the-art system to maintain a perfect balance of carbon dioxide and temperatures, producing some of the most top quality house beers of any brewpub on the West Coast. They also serve up tasty BBQ in Long Beach and Seal Beach.

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.

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.

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:

  1. The New Promotion: Villa Rental Company Announces New Promotional Offer After Study Reveals High Stress Levels in Average Business Traveler 
  2. The Media Angle: Vacation Rental Company discovers a unique way to market Lake Tahoe utilizing national media
  3. The “Better Than Hotels” Angle: New Miami Vacation Rental Property Listing With Breathtaking Views of The Beach. Rent It Today!
  4. The Special Event: Curacao Vacation Home Rentals, Curacao Vacations During “Day of Banda Bou”
  5. 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, 288170

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 Apt, 398234

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, 127745

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.

NY Art Deco, 306323

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.

Nice Art Deco, 419895

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.

May-FB-graphic-v01-08

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.

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.

San Francisco

SFO AquariumWhile 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.

Boston Logan

Logan KidportIf 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.

 

Phoenix

Read more about Phoenix airport here.

Atlanta

YangchuanosaurusAtlanta’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.

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.

ThePAChaletThe 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.

 

FishingGulf 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.

BethlehemCottage 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 BeachRoyal 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 ResortLinda’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.