Home Tags Posts tagged with "Just for Fun"

Just for Fun

Affordable Labor Day Weekend Getaways

Want to plan one last summer getaway this Labor Day Weekend without breaking the bank? FlipKey has taken the work out of planning your trip, rounding up 15 destinations where the cost of a two-bedroom rental can be as low as $25 per person per night for Labor Day Weekend (based on a two-bedroom rental with four person occupancy).

Whether you’re heading to a beach house in Hawaii or a mountain cabin in Salt Lake City, your getaway will be no work and all play thanks to these Labor Day Weekend deals.

DestinationMedian nightly rate, two bedroom properties for Labor Day WeekendCost per person per night. Based on a two-bedroom rental with four-person occupancy.
Tuscon, Arizona$100$25
Hilo, Hawaii$109$27
St. Petersburg, Florida$110$28
Pahoa, Hawaii$129$32
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina$142$36
Salt Lake City, Utah$149$37
Chincoteague Island, Virginia$150$38
Big Bear City, California$155$39
Orlando, Florida$159$40
Memphis, Tennessee$167$42
Las Vegas, Nevada$170$43
Colorado Springs, Colorado$175$44
Dallas, Texas$187$47
Finger Lakes, New York$190$48
Anaheim, California$200$50

Methodology: Median nightly rates are for all two-bedroom properties in each destination and are based on the median nightly rates from Friday, September 3 – Tuesday, September 5, according to TripAdvisor Rentals data. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company. Per person, per night cost is based on a two-bedroom rental with four-person occupancy.

Labor Day Weekend Vacation Rentals

Salt Lake City_aerial

Booking an affordable rental is a great way to kick off a budget friendly trip—but don’t forget that rentals help travelers save beyond the nightly rates by offering a broad range of amenities.

“Even on peak weekends like Labor Day, luxury homes can be affordable when you fill up the bedrooms share the cost across the group,” said Laurel Greatrix, spokesperson for TripAdvisor Rentals, the parent company of FlipKey.  “If you’re trying to keep costs down, staying in a rental is the way to go—you’ll have the freedom to cook at home, and oftentimes you’ll get great perks like free parking, and amenities like bikes, barbecues, and beach accessories, at no additional cost.  Check the listing to see what’s included and you might be surprised!”

Properties are available on FlipKey, where travelers can search, compare, and book hundreds of thousands of properties worldwide, including cabins, beach houses, desert hideaways, and more! Feel confident in your decision with our Payment Protection.

Since we started, FlipKey has received over 2 million reservation requests for vacation rental properties around the world. When I looked at that number, I started wondering where everyone is going, so I put together this look at the top vacation destinations based on the total number of traveler inquiries (click to enlarge):

Where Are You Going?

It has been a particularly sunny week here, so I started wondering if the weather influences vacation choices. I added in the average annual temperature in each destination to look at travelers’ climatic preference. I was surprised to discover that the most sought-after destinations are not the warmest. In fact, 3 of the top 5 vacation spots have average annual highs below 70°F.

What do these numbers mean for your next vacation? Basically, that there are great travel spots around the world. Spring break is just around the corner… where do you want to go?

0 828

Traveler Reviews on FlipKey

I decided to take a look at ALL the guest reviews in our database yesterday to find out what travelers have to say about FlipKey vacation rentals. Not surprisingly, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. I couldn’t help but start close to home with reviews of properties in Boston, where highlights include “great apartment,” “everything,” “comfortable,” and “neighborhood” (also “turtle,” which I’m still curious about).

I went on to look at the UK (displayed as the UK), Paris (the FlipKey Key-House), and Mexico (a speech bubble). For those readers who are unfamiliar with tag clouds, the larger a word appears, the more frequently it shows up; in Paris, “apartment” is the most common word used in reviews, whereas in Mexico, it appears to be “beach.”

You can create your own tag clouds by clicking here. All you have to do is enter the URL of your listing page, your twitter ID, or any text you want to turn into a nifty image!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but this year’s biggest celebration of love may very well be April 29. For those of you who haven’t made your travel plans yet, that’s the date of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. According to Huffington Post, London’s hotel rooms are all but booked solid and apartment rentals are going fast. As of writing this post, FlipKey still has over 200 London vacation rentals available the week of the wedding, so royalty buffs still have the chance to bask in the atmosphere of the big event. Beyond the wedding itself, the city expects to play host to street parties and other unofficial celebrations – love will literally be in the air.

In other vacation rental news, the booking season is warming up. It’s time to start thinking about spring and summer vacations. Here are some items to help you prepare:

I’m not going to make it to Paris this weekend, but I have been thinking that a trip to Quebec for winter carnival would make a pretty awesome Valentine’s Day retreat. I could practice my French and possibly even catch a glimpse of royalty!

If you’re in the United States right now, then there’s a good chance you’re thinking about stocking up on food, closing all the windows, and building a fire. There’s a storm on the loose. It already provided Atlanta with its first white Christmas since 1882, and many Floridians will remember this holiday season for years to come. As the one storm moves up the East coast, another has been giving skiers out west the gift of powder, with double-digit snowfalls (we’re talking feet!) in California, Colorado and Utah.

Good thing it’s a school vacation! There’s no better place to ride out a snowstorm than a vacation rental. Make some hot cocoa (or pour yourself a glass of wine), find a comfy couch with a view, and let it snow. While you wait it out, here are some tips to avoid cabin fever…

1. Board Games

Remember that family game night you never had time for at home? You have time now, and the whole family is already together. Many vacation rental owners keep a few games around, and a round of Monopoly or Sorry can occupy an entire family for several hours. No games in the house? Try charades or password, which you can play without any special equipment.

2. Play Outside

Just because the roads are blocked doesn’t mean you can’t leave the house. Go outside and build a snowman or instigate a family snowball fight. You can make a snow angel anywhere there’s a dusting. Just remember to dress warmly and stay dry while you’re outside!

3. Take Advantage of the Kitchen

A day spent inside is a great opportunity to undertake a kitchen project. Introduce the kids to cooking by baking something fun like these simple sugar cookies. If you’re a little bit crafty, you can even make your own cookie cutters for added fun.

4. Tell Stories

I don’t need  to tell you how to do this one, but to get you started: remember the blizzard of ‘78? Everyone has an epic storm story. Check out these stories of great storms of the past for inspiration: Top Ten Storms.

5. Spread Out!

One of the best things about a vacation rental is that you have an entire house to spread out in. While the kids are watching a movie, you can read a book by the fire and uncle Doug can make his famous coffee cake. Family vacations go more smoothly when you don’t try to do everything together, so take over the whole house and relax, you’re on vacation.

Monkey BuffetEach year on the last Sunday of November, locals in the Thai province of Lopburi, 100 miles north of Bangkok, honor their long-tailed macaque monkey inhabitants with over 6,000 pounds of fresh fruit, vegetables, soda and even lollipops!

The feast, which is prepared by some of Bangkok’s top chefs, is a way for the community to express their gratitude to the monkey population that draws tourists from all over the world.

According to Thai citizens, this annual giving also provides an opportunity to accrue good karma, so bring along some of your own offerings to donate to the Monkey Buffet and reap the spiritual benefits of this unforgettable celebration!

Kala Wat ShrineIf you tire of watching monkeys gorge themselves, be sure to visit one of the province’s other popular tourist attractions. Among the most well known is Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, a giant palace complex encompassing almost too many structures to count.

Also worth a trip are the beautiful natural sites like the Wat Khao Wongkot, the region’s largest bat cave, and the local Bee Farm.

SunflowerWhile you are in the area, experience the world-famous Sunflower Fields. As luck would have it, the sunflowers are in full bloom each year beginning in November, so this makes the perfect companion destination to the Monkey Buffet. As a bonus, if you check out the Oasis Agro-Farm while the sunflowers are blooming, you can catch the farm’s ostriches lounging and grazing among the blossoms, which is always good for a photo-op.

You will likely encounter a number of mischievous monkeys throughout your travels, so be sure to save some of your buffet offerings to prevent the wild monkeys from taking something else of yours—like your hat, camera, or even jewelry. After all, for the monkeys in Lopburi, every day is Monkey Buffet day.

Ahh, Germany… home of the strudel, Ludwig van Beethovan, the Volkswagen, Claudia Schiffer and, of course, beer. In fact, beer is such a signature of German life that it is the basis for the internationally acclaimed Oktoberfest, an annual celebration of the leaves changing color, delicious German food, brotherly love and (you guessed it) beer. This year’s 176th Oktoberfest will happen from September 19th to October 4th in Munich.

But don’t let the fast approaching date fool you. Last minute vacations can sometimes be a great opportunity to spice things up while, surprisingly, offering some of the best deals to be had. While hotels tend to be fully booked or more expensive as minutes tick away, vacation rentals are a great option for travelers. Besides being economical, vacation rentals are a great way to break free from the oh-so typical hotel routine.

Where else can you celebrate your love of German beverages in this vibrant tradition with thousands of fellow beerthusiasts and live in total comfort? Plus, with a vacation rental, your beer storage isn’t limited to the tiny confines of a mini fridge. You’ll have a real fridge in which to store your favorite brews. So grab your best lederhosen and favorite beer stein and check out Oktoberfest.

With summer time winding down and school starting up it’s hard to imagine the chilling idea of winter that is just around the corner (sorry to be the bearer of bad news, it’s inevitable). But, worry not, we have the perfect pick-me-up vacation idea for your winter blues: the Olympics!

The 2010 winter Olympics are being held in the frosty paradise of the north: Vancouver, Canada.  Although it is a couple of seasons out, now is the perfect time to snag tickets to your favorite events (couples skating anyone?) and get the crème de la crème of vacation rentals (we’re talking hot tubs).

This February event is the perfect excuse to take a vacation. With loads of Olympic events spanning the month you can experience first hand a tradition that started with the ancient Greeks in the 8th century B.C. With classic events like figure skating and cross country skiing to the extreme sports of modernity like snowboarding and bobsledding, it’s a vacation strategically designed to defeat the winter blues.

When you have down time in between events, you’ll be pleased to find thatVancouver has a nice variety of activities for visitors.  Whistler, the largest ski area in North America, is a skier’s haven, with pristine powder, invigorating trails and crisp mountain air.  For the foodie of your group, don’t miss Canada’s own poutine, a delicious snack of french fries, smothered in gravy and topped with cheese.  Trust us, it’s dynamite.

Start your planning now for the Olympics, and you’ll be thankful when you’re watching areal skiers twist through the air and lugers whizz past you on the icy tracks.  Book now and snag a great deal on a vacation rental!

One of the major advantages of renting a vacation property is the ability to cook during your stay.  Here at FlipKey, we recognize that there is nothing quite like eating out doors on a beautiful day at your vacation getaway.  Whether grilling on the porch, picnicking at the beach, or simply gathering together in the backyard for a meal, there is nothing quite like a summer vacation feast combined with warm summer air to put your mind and stomach at ease.   With summer feasts in mind, we would like to introduce a new series of regular blog posts highlighting the many possibilities to create superb vacation rental dining experiences.

BBQ

For our first post, we’d like to share with you three special recipes to help you achieve the ultimate beach rental barbecue, leaving your guests and yourself wowed and so full that your only option will be to sleep off the meal.  We proudly present the FlipKey summer barbeque Triptych:  Cobb Salad, Beef Ribs, and fruity Sangria.   Happy dining.  Happy travels.

Cobb Salad
Serves 8 appetizer sized portions

  • 3 hardboiled eggs (shells peeled) and chopped
  • 6 Slices of Bacon
  • 1 head of Romaine Lettuce
  • ½ bunch of watercress lettuce (hard stems removed)
  • 4 cups chopped grilled chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
  • 2 avocados, peel and seeds removed, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • ½ cup Roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

1. Cut the hard-cooked eggs into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.

2. Fry bacon for about 10 minutes.  Stop frying when bacon is crisp. Move bacon onto paper towels to dab off excess fat. Once bacon cools, crumble it and set it aside in a separate bowl.

3. Rinse lettuce and spin dry.  Chop and break up lettuce into small, bite-size pieces. Toss Romaine and Watercress together in a large bowl.

4. In a large salad platter, lay out tossed lettuce as a bed, filling the bottom of the platter.  Neatly arrange grilled chicken, tomatoes, avocado, Roquefort cheese, eggs, and bacon in a pattern on top of the lettuce bed in rows.

5. In a separate bowl combine mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar,  and oil, stir until all ingredients have blended. Serve dressing separately or over the salad. Your choice.

Barbeque Ribs
Serves 8 portions

  • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinade

1. Remove excess fat and clean ribs.

2. Preheat grill for medium heat while mixing the following ingredients in a small bowl: 1 jar of marinade, ketchup, brown sugar, and orange juice.

3. Once grill has reached medium heat, Grill ribs for 1 hour.

4. After I hour of grilling, coat ribs on all sides with sauce.

5. Allow ribs to grill for another 15 to 25 minutes with sauce. Remove ribs from grill and Enjoy!

FlipKey’s Beach Rental Sangria
Serves 8 portions

  • 1 Large Orange (sliced)
  • 1 Large Orange (juiced)
  • 1 Lemon (sliced)
  • 1 peach (sliced)
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine (Merlot or Shiraz)
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups club soda
  • 1/3 cup of brandy

1. Slice 1 of the oranges as well as the lemon.  Gently squeeze fruit slices over pitcher to extract juice from fruit. (Note: Be careful to keep fruit slices in tact.) Keep sliced fruit on the side to be added later.

2.Add sugar to the fruit juice in the pitcher.  Juice the second orange in a separate bowl.  Remove seeds from juice and discard remaining orange.  This orange is only meant to be used for juice.  Pour the juice of this orange into pitcher.  Stir together orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar, ensuring sugar completely dissolves.

3. Pour wine and brandy into pitcher.  Slice peach.  Add peach slices, orange slices, and lemon slices.  Stir.

4.Chill mixture for at least 2 and ½ hours, but preferably overnight.  Just before serving, pour in chilled club soda and stir.

Here at FlipKey, we’ve compiled a list that combines two of our favorite artifacts of summer: blockbuster movies and a prime vacation rental season.  Here are our top 10 movies that will inspire any audience to consider a vacation rental for their next getaway…

Dirty Dancing: This classic ’80s tale about coming of age is quite possibly one of the most memorable chick flicks of all time.  Set in a Catskills cabin rental resort, this film is highly memorable, not only for Patrick Swayze’s performance and his “fresh” moves, but mostly for the “magic” that happens at the family’s rental cabin!

Spanglish:  In this Adam Sandler drama, we see how one family’s summer at a beach vacation rental can turn into a life changing experience.  When their maid is asked to come along and family drama ensues even at their Malibu summer beach house, they are forced to re-evaluate their ways and better appreciate the beauty of the little things in life… including the idyllic vacation rental they were sharing together.

What About Bob: The eccentic Bob (Bill Murray) can’t stand the thought of his psychiatrist (Richard Dreyfuss) heading to a New Hampshire vacation rental without him, so he does what every sane person would do…follow him!  This oddly hilarious flick will leave you yearning for your own Bob, and your own vacation getaway.

The Notebook:  In this ultimate heart-breaking, tear-jerking, chick flick, the main character, Allie, (Rachel McAdams) falls head over heels for a local construction worker, Noah (Ryan Gosling) while spending the summer at a vacation home in South Carolina.  Sigh…summer love.

American Pie 2: The Michigan lake house rental in this flick provides the backdrop for the raunchy hilarity these kids experience during their last summer of ‘freedom’ before going out into the working world.  Even Stifler’s Mom makes an appearance at their summer rental…

Somethings Gotta Give
: This film is the timeless love story of boy loves girl, boy meets girl’s mom, boy loves girl’s mom.  Ok, so it’s a little twisted but we love Diane Keaton in this film and her stunning Hampton’s vacation home as the perfect setting for this quirky tale to unfold.

The Holiday:  Fed up with their lives, two strangers decide to swap homes to ‘get away.’ Cameron Diaz ends up trading her posh LA mansion for the lovely and quaint English country cottage owned by Kate Winslet’s character.  In the end, both Winslet and Diaz end up with some peace of mind and some unexpected love (hello Jude Law!) Thank you, holiday home!

Weekend at Bernies: Ok, ok, we know it’s about a dead guy and his employees that use him to gain access to his beach property, but this cult classic is a fave at FlipKey, we just can’t help it.  Plus the Hampton’s beach resort is so enticing; it makes up for the dead guy.

Summer Rental: This comedy starring the legendary John Candy is your classic summer vacation movie.  Candy plays an overworked Dad who rents a Florida vacation rental for the summer. When he meets both friends and foes, hilarity ensues…

Dan in Real Life: This atypical romantic comedy has Steve Carrell delivering his sharp wit in a down-to-earth yet offbeat role.  We especially love the hectic family reunion scenes in their Rhode Island vacation rental.