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Tess Morton

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An avid traveler and the PR guru for all things FlipKey, Tess is constantly on the hunt to find that special vacation oasis that has yet to be discovered. Favorite destinations include Machu Picchu, Cartagena in Colombia, Tetouan, Valparaíso and Cornwall, England.

Save up to 45% by Visiting Vacation Destinations this September, October, and November

We’re happy to announce the top five destinations to visit during the fall 2014 shoulder season – the time between high and low travel seasons – when travelers can save money on a vacation rental.  Basing our findings on the nightly price for properties on our website, we uncovered that travelers can save tons by visiting during the months of September, October, and November while also experiencing less crowds.

“Prices begin to plummet after Labor Day and not only can you find great deals during the shoulder season, but the amount of vacationers is substantially less. You might end up having the beach all to yourself”, said Eric Horndahl, FlipKey’s Vice President of Marketing. “Myrtle Beach is our number one pick for shoulder season travel this fall, where you’re still looking at temperatures in the low 80s during September, which is plenty warm for sun, sand and beach activities.”

According to our data, the following five destinations are the best spots to visit during the 2014 fall shoulder season to save money on a vacation rental:

  1. Myrtle Beach, SC: Save up to 43% (Shoulder season average is $104 per night compared to $182 during high season).
  2. Hamptons, NY (the South Fork of Long Island): Save nearly 30% (Shoulder season average is $584 per night compared to $809 during high season).
  3. Charleston, SC: Save up to 20%. (Shoulder season average is $250 per night compared to $311 during high season).
  4. Hilton Head, SC: Save up to 15%. (Shoulder season average is $230 per night compared to $270 during high season).
  5. Catskills, NY (Southeast New York State): Save up to 11%. (Shoulder season average is $297 compared to $334 during high season).

In addition to savings, the less-crowded shoulder season means more access to popular restaurants, shorter lines to local attractions, and less-packed beaches.

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ExpFK-mark-v01Take a vacation with FlipKey for the night!  That was the theme for our media event on April 23rd in NYC where travel bloggers and journalists joined us for an evening of fun and travel.  Attendees had an opportunity to create their own custom postcard thanks to Social Pix, sip on a signature cocktail – the tropical-tasting “Flip-Tini” – and learn a little bit more about what FlipKey has to offer. Guests we’re sharing their postcards across social media channels with the hashtag #experienceflipkey where folks could choose from traveling to ColoradoHawaii, Paris, Lake Tahoe or Florida for the night!

Check out some of the photos below that highlight a fantastic evening!

And stay tuned because our next media event will be taking place on the West Coast! More details to follow soon for all you bloggers and travel writers based over there!

Welcome to #experienceFlipKey!

Welcome to #experienceFlipKey!

Guests had a blast creating custom postcards. Hawaii anyone?

Guests had a blast creating custom postcards. Hawaii anyone?

Guests enjoyed our signature cocktail - the Flip-tini

Our signature cocktail – the Flip-tini!

napkins

Our custom napkins!

Jane Sung from Lucky Magazine with FlipKey's PR Manager, Tess Morton

Jane Sung from Lucky Magazine with FlipKey’s PR Manager, Tess Morton

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Today marks the 450th anniversary of world renowned poet and playwright, William Shakespeare’s birthday, and so in his honor, the travel experts at FlipKey have rounded up the top five ways to join in the celebrations of one of the most brilliant writers who ever lived.

Shakespeare’s Birthday Procession (April 26)

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

Taking place in Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare, thousands of people will line the streets in the town center to watch the 450th Birthday Celebrations Procession which leaves the Great Garden of New Place in Chapel Lane at 10:30am and continues down Chapel Lane, past the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, along Waterside, and into Bridge Street.  From there, the ceremony of Handing Over The Quill will take place, flags will be unfurled, bugles will play, balloons will be released and the Band of the West Midlands Fire Service will lead everyone in singing Happy Birthday.

Create a Shakespeare Selfie! (now until May 9)

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…”

In honor of Will’s day of birth, Canada Writes is challenging Shakespeare fans to create a selfie, but not the modern day selfie you might be thinking – instead, create the Shakespearean version of the selfie, aka: a soliloquie. From now until May 9, Canada Writes is asking Canadians to take a Shakespearean character, put him or her into a present-day situation and write a new soliloquie for that character. Prize: two iPad minis.

Royal Shakespeare Company Fireworks Display (April 26)

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

Taking place in Stratford-upon-Avon in and around The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, there will be a fireworks display from the rooftop of the theater. The display will feature an eight meter high fire drawing depicting Shakespeare’s face and on Saturday, April 26th the theater will be hosting free workshops, activities and performance.

Shakespeare Concert (April 26)

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

Singing Shakespeare will feature works by composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and Gary Carpenter, this two year project launches on Saturday, April 26 in Holy Trinity Church (Stratford-upon-Avon) with the goal being to encourage choirs worldwide to recreate the works of Shakespeare with a musical twist.

Shakespeare and Company Book Store (April 26)

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Visit the famous Shakespeare and Company book store in Paris on Wednesday, April 26 for performances of Shakespeare-inspired songs, speeches and poetry and culminate in a performance of Tom Stoppard’s adaption of Hamlet.

Bonus: Shakespeare Infographic

“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

…and in honor of good ole Will’s birthday, check out this infographic highlighting some impressive facts on Shakespeare including this – “it’s estimated that Shakespeare’s works are being performed somewhere in the world every minute.”  Read more by clicking on this infographic.

 

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The 2014 Olympic Winter Games are around the corner. Recently we had the exciting opportunity to catch up with Head Coach Mike Jankowski at the VISA U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Event at Park City Mountain Resort, which was also the final Olympic qualifier for Freeskiing. We chatted with Mike about all things skiing and snowboarding including the much anticipated Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

373_lookingupStarting off the conversation, we asked Coach Mike where his favorite spot in the world is for snowboarding and he said without a doubt, it’s definitely Wanaka, New Zealand. On the hill there, skiers and snowboarders can check out the half pipe, the park and if they’re feeling really crazy, even give heli-skiing a shot. Off the hill, there’s tons of adventure activities offered year-round, from hiking to sky diving and to even bungee jumping.

Now as with any outdoor sport, everyone is at the mercy of Mother Nature, so we asked Coach Mike where he experienced the worst weather conditions for a competition. He replied saying the craziest weather he had experienced was in Saas Fee, Switzerland. The athletes and coaches had to battle zero visibility, avoid getting swallowed up by giant crevaces and ride in the front of the ski cat basket just to get up the hill. Not to mention the freezing temperatures.

Some of you reading right now might not have ever tried skiing or snowboarding, so here’s your opportunity to try something new with recommendations straight from the expert. We asked Coach Mike what mountain resort he would recommend for newcomers to the sport and he touts Mammoth Mountain in California. The terrain is visible and the resort offers easy access to beginner trails so it’s not intimidating when you get on the hill. There is also a nice progression of trails as you start to get the hang of the sport.

32783_FLS_W01We couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to ask Coach Mike about the long road to Sochi over the past four years and what all of us at home in the states can expect for this year’s Olympic Winter Games. To start, as Head Coach for 32 athletes competing this year we asked Coach Mike what key items are packed in his suitcase for the Games. Without a doubt he said his phone/computer chargers, aux batteries and Mophi in order to ensure seamless communication with everyone on his team which is extremely important. Plus he never gets on the hill without his Oakley goggles for maximum visibility. After all, the Head Coach has to be able to see his athletes perfectly when their mid trick, sky-high in the air.

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Picks from U.S. Freeskiing Team Athlete and 2014 Winter Games Hopeful

Here at FlipKey, we’re looking forward to watching some on-snow action during the 2013 Winter X Games taking place in Aspen, Colorado this weekend. We had the pleasure of catching up with U.S. Freeskiing Team Athlete and 2014 Winter Olympic Games hopeful, Keri Herman, to get the inside scoop on Keri’s top 10 ski destination picks around the world. Based on ski towns and resorts Keri has visited between competitions, practice and just for fun, she gave us the skinny on where FlipKey travelers should head next time they want the ultimate ski vacation.

Check out Keri’s top 10 picks below, along with links to excellent vacation rentals in the area. Plus make sure you tune into the X Games this weekend to see how Keri and the rest of the U.S. Freeskiing team does at the games.

Breckenridge, CO 650111. Breckenridge, CO
Not only is Breckenridge Keri’s “home mountain,” where she has lived the past ten years, but she also touts this Colorado ski town for exceptional nightlife and awesome restaurants. Travelers can expect big mountain skiing for all levels and a lively après scene.

2. Wanaka, New Zealand
Keri explains that in this area of New Zealand, “everything is an adventure.” Travelers can expect a town full of folks looking to explore the outdoors, and during the winter, local ski mountains Treble Cone and Snow Park offe phenomenal big mountain skiing and a ski park.

Whistler, BC 3569753. Whistler, B.C.
Beyond being an exciting ski town with miles of mountain to explore during the day, Keri emphasizes that everyone who hangs in this area is super welcoming, so if you’re making a solo trip skiing, Whistler is the spot for making fast ski buddies.

4. Laax, Switzerland
“Cozy” is the word that keeps popping up when Keri describes this ski destination nestled in the mountains of Switzerland. If travelers are looking for a more secluded, off-the-beaten track spot for their next ski vacation, Laax should fill that need.

5. Serfaus, Austria 
If you’re looking to be surrounded by “jolly people” during your next ski adventure, Keri says that being around the people of Serfaus just made her feel happy because of their good nature. You’ll also experience minimal lines for the chairlifts and great skiing.

 

As a nod to yesterday’s Season Three premiere of the hit PBS series Downton Abbey, here at FlipKey we have rounded up our favorite vacation rentals nestled in the beautiful countryside of England.  Each of these homes had us channeling the characters of the show feeling the urge to pour ourselves a warm cup of tea and fasten on our bonnets as we got into the new season of one of our favorite shows.  From historic castles (do we really think Highclere is actually haunted?) to country cottages nestled in the fields, we thought any of these rentals could be the perfect setting for an upcoming episode.

Which character of Downton Abbey do you think would prefer each of these vacation rental homes?

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It’s that time of year again: the shopping malls are bustling, Christmas bells are ringing and holiday lights are bringing sparkle to small towns and big cities.  We’ve rounded up a few special places that are decked out with lights and holiday cheer.  Whether you’re looking for a warm weather escape to sip holiday cocktails on the beach and bask in the sunlight or a place to cozy up next to the fire with a mug of hot cocoa, FlipKey has homes near and far that are sure to get you into that holiday spirit.

We’re sure you’ve already made your holiday plans, and many are already settled into the laid back pace of vacation. As you relax this season, all of us here at FlipKey wish you happy holidays and a great new year. For those looking for some eye-candy, Enjoy this round-up of festive spots lit up with holiday lights and decorations… and for a little fun, see if you can spot Rudolph and a snow covered carousel!

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