The Best ‘Cyber Monday’ Travel Deals

cyber monday travel deals 2013

This Cyber Monday (December 2nd 2013) the travel industry is offering many great promotions and deals. Here are a couple of the best deals to save you money.

1. American Express Travel is launching its first-ever CyberMonday promotion, with substantial hotel discounts and deals throughout the U.S. and Canada for Jan. 13-31. The promotions will be bookable at http://www.amextravel.com beginning Monday (Dec. 2) at 12:01 a.m. and will last 72 hours.

2. Liberty Travel has participated in CyberMonday before, but the volume of deals and their promotion is bigger this year and offers deeper savings. Liberty has assembled 99 deals with up to 65 percent off, bookable Black Friday through CyberMonday (Nov. 29-Dec. 2), featuring resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico along with cruises and escorted tours.

Liberty is also giving a credit of up to $100 on all new bookings made in Liberty Travel stores Friday-Monday (Nov. 29-Dec. 2). Get a Black Friday code at http://www.LibertyTravel.com , available as of 12 a.m. Friday (Nov. 29), then present it to an agent to take $50, $75 or $100 off (depending on how much you spend) on trips worth $2,500 or more.

3. Priceline.com is doing a one-day sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday (Dec. 2) promising “50 percent off all flights for travel before Dec. 18” on select flights from unsold inventory. Spokeswoman Leslie Cafferty says “there are a lot of options for those who are there first,” advising deal-seekers to “start searching early.”

Advertisements

Five ‘5 Star’ Maldives Hotels

Here is my list of five ‘5 star’ Maldives Hotels:

1. Diamonds Thudufushi

Diamonds Thudufushi

Kick off your shoes and unwind at Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas, a little piece of paradise on its own private island in the Maldives.

Set on a white sand island within the turquoise waters of a shallow lagoon, Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas offers luxurious accommodation and outstanding levels of service. Located on the south-western rim of Ari Atoll, just a 35-minute seaplane flight south of Male’ International Airport, the resort is secluded and tranquil, providing optimum privacy in unspoilt surroundings.

The natural beauty of the island has been retained and enhanced. Beach Bungalows have individual verandas and private beachfronts along the coral-sand shore.

Experience the diversity of the Maldives by pairing your visit with a stay at Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas, offering intimate village charm.

2. Shangri-La Villingili Resort

Shangri-La Villingili Resort

The southernmost island in the Maldives, Villingili has room to spread out — and Shangri-La’s Villingili takes full advantage. But even though the 132-villa resort is large by Maldivian standards, it doesn’t sacrifice privacy, comfort or intimacy, offering top-notch service, beachfront or overwater villas and places to get social. To wit: the infinity pool, where the chill bar, comfy loungers and Indian Ocean views make lingering all day a real possibility.

The resort’s size means there’s plenty to keep guests busy, and there’s a long list of daily activities, from jungle walks through the island’s lush interior to an extensive roster of water sports and a well-rounded treatment menu at the property’s Chi spa.

The three restaurants are actually worth eating in (not always so on these isolated islands). Drawing heavily on the cuisines of China, India, Vietnam and the Middle East, Dr. Ali’s has three dining rooms, each themed around Asia’s bodies of water. In the Indian dining room, you can enjoy fragrant curries, while the South China Sea room serves up specialties from across Southeast Asia (including an amazing pomelo salad with prawns).

The beachfront Fashala puts a gourmet spin on local ingredients, with seafood cooked en papillotewith indigenous herbs and spices. And at Javuu, the buffet breakfast is an impressive spread of fresh-baked breads, congee, sushi, fried noodles and more — a great beginning to a full day, whether you’ll be out on the water or ensconced in your villa.

3. Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu

The 14th-century explorer Ibn Battuta called the Maldives “one of the wonders of the world.” At the Six Senses Laamu, you’ll see why. On the tiny island of Olhuveli, in the Laamu Atoll, its 97 villas are secluded and luxurious, with indoor-outdoor spaces and beach access. Throw in the lovely Indian Ocean vistas from the six restaurants and bars, the glamorous spa and water activities, and it’s clear that this lauded resort is an beach vacation slam dunk.

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean. Just an inter-island plane trip from Malé International Airport and a short boat ride brings you to a place where dolphins swim. The resort is a combination of on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials and set around the palm-fringed paradise.

At several lounges and restaurants our chefs from East and West prepare mouthwatering dishes, many created from produce grown in the island’s organic gardens.

4. Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru

Enjoy the surreal view of miles and miles of turquoise waters. Venture into the ocean and watch dazzling marine life. Take a break from civilisation and live on an uninhabited island for the day. Wake up to a sensory experience, every day at Angsana Ihuru.

Angsana Ihuru brings out the romantic in you. Our resort, located on the Ihuru island in North Malé Atoll, is 20 minutes by speedboat from Malé. Romance is always in the air when you have the privilege of seclusion and privacy.

Woo your ‘special one’ with a dash of adventure. Discover our house reef or explore an uninhabited island. Learn the fine art of Maldivian cooking from our master chefs or get a relaxing massage at the award-winning Angsana Spa.

5. Niyama Maldives

Nayama Maldives

This younger, larger sister of luxury Maldives resort Huvafen Fushi opened in 2012 with a blitz of publicity. Most of the attention centered on Subsix — its unique underwater nightclub — but there’s a lot more to the resort on Olhuveli Island, in the Dhaalu atoll. An awful lot more. From global campfire cuisine to a riot of boys toys (including motorized boats and cars) to an art studio and a marine biology lab. Bright, coolly contemporary Niyama ensures there’s no excuse for boredom or desert island ennui.

The 86 overwater and on-land studios and pavilions are bright and light, with cream walls, wood floors and glass partitions. They offer state-of-the-art technology, complimentary movies, and enviably stylish bathrooms containing vast trapezoid bathtubs. The overwater decks support white chaise longues and smoke green infinity pools: ancient Rome meets 21st-century L.A. All have well-stocked minibars to go with the obligatory Nespresso machines; Niyama’s ‘deli-in’ concept means free Häagen-Dazs and superb value snacks, including Tuscan antipasto mix and triple-cream brie.

Fine dining restaurant, Edge, is accessible only by boat and offers panoramic views of the ocean. Equally spectacular, and slightly more hearty, is the meeting of African, Asian and South American cuisines at Tribal, surrounded by fecund foliage and a bushfire. Multiple activities — many, unusually for the Maldives, away from the ocean — are what Niyama is all about. The energetic vibe, captured in punchy buzzwords — Float (water sports), Quench (spa/juice bar) and Active (computer games, sports simulators, pool table, darts and ping-pong) — should please the more energetic, young and young at heart. Enjoy.

Destination: The Maldives

Maldives

“The Maldives lies in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. The country is made up of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, spread over 90,000 square kilometers. These atolls structures are formed upon a sharp ridge rising from the ocean, making way for their secluded uniqueness.

Ninety-nine percent of the Maldives is made up of sea. The people of the islands are widely dispersed across the atolls, with about 200 inhabited islands. About 90 islands are developed as tourist resort and the rest are uninhabited or used for agriculture and other livelihood purposes.

maldives

The weather in the Maldives is usually picture perfect: sunlit days, breezy nights, balmy mornings, and iridescent sunsets. The temperature hardly ever changes – which makes packing for your holiday an easy task. With the average temperature at about 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year, the sun is a constant on most days, shining through treetops, creating lacy patterns on your feet, healing cold-bones with its warmth. Throughout the day, the sun will make itself known, ensuring that it will be remembered and missed, like an old friend, as you pack up your suitcases to leave.
Maldives has two distinct seasons; dry season (northeast monsoon) and wet season (southwest monsoon), with the former extending from January to March and the latter from mid-May to November.”

Get Inspired to Travel!

Image

As we all know traveling has many benefits. It makes you more worldly, smarter, pushes you out of your comfort zone, more adventurous and the list goes on! Not everyone has the desire and urge to travel, here are some of the best travel quotes to make you want to see the world!

Image

ImageImage

Image

ImageImage

ImageImage

How To Make Going Through Airport Security Less Stressful

It’s that magical time of year… the time where traveling can be a nightmare. Make the time you spend getting to your destination easier with some helpful travel tips to get through airport security a little faster.

TSA

Here are some tips I found to make you less stressed when traveling! (curtsey of on call international)

Double-Check Tricky Items: You could go to TSA’s website to review the list ofprohibited items, but why waste time when there’s an app for that! You can download iPhone and Android versions of the TSA App on iTunes  and Google Play.

Pack Strategically: Layer items neatly in your suitcase and keep your plastic bag of toiletries/liquids in an outer pocket or at the top of your bag for easy access so you can quickly move through security. Make sure your laptop or tablet is easy to retrieve as well since it will need to go in a tray by itself.  By now you’ve memorized the TSA 3-1-1 rule: liquids and gels must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and these containers must be in a single quart-size zip-lock bag. Not sure what exactly constitutes a gel? See a list of gel-like substances that are NOT checkpoint-approved here.

Get with the Program: TSA’s PreCheck program that is! Flyers eligible for TSA’s PreCheck are pre-screened and then get to breeze through security, sometimes without even taking off shoes or removing laptops from cases. Caveat:enrollment is not free and you’ll have to disclose a good amount of personal information during the application process. A small price to pay for your time? You be the judge! Visit the TSA’s website for more information and to apply.

Be a Frequent Flier (or Buy Status): When booking your flight, find out if there are any perks that come with it.  Many frequent-flyer programs offer access to faster airport security lines for their higher-status members and their travel companions. Flying business or first class? You could benefit from expedited security lines as well. If purchasing a premium seat isn’t in your near future, just wing it! When you get to the airport, ask the agent (or electronic kiosk) if there are any discount upgrades available. Depending on how strapped you are for time, it might be worth the extra money to hustle through security.

Dress the Part: Anything you can do to avoid extra screening, do it. This includes removing all items from your pockets (keys, smartphone, spare change, etc.), as well as certain accessories like bulky jewelry, belts with metal buckles, and body piercings. Wear shoes that you can easily slip on and off, and remove jackets and bulky sweaters early in the security line.

Avoid Peak Times: If you can, plan your travels to avoid the peak airport times of 6:30-9:30 AM and 3:30-7:30 PM. Some times of year, like the holidays and spring break, will always be busy, so plan accordingly.

*Bonus Tip* Buy Now, Wrap Later: With the holidays approaching, we couldn’t resist including this tip for any traveler! While wrapped gifts aren’t officially prohibited, they could get torn open at the security checkpoint. Save yourself the heartache of watching a TSA agent open your gifts for Grandma and wrap them at your destination instead.

Safe Travels!

Five Sites for Cheaper Flight Prices

plane

 

Airfare Prices can be way up there. Here are five sites (curtesy of PC Mag) that can help you find a way to travel for less.

1. Booking Buddy
BookingBuddy takes some (not all) of the hassle out of searching the various travel sites for the best fare. Enter your travel details, and BookingBuddy will point you to the different travel sites to find the best deal. I wish it would search them for me and gather the results instead of just redirecting me to them, but at least BookingBuddy saves you from having to enter your travel info nine times on nine different sites.

2. Farecast

Airline tickets are like stocks: the prices fluctuate all the time, seemingly for no reason at all, making it hard to know when to buy. Farecast helps you know what your odds are of getting a good deal. The site is a fare aggregator similar to Kayak, but it includes useful fare predictions (as opposed to Kayak’s fare history, which Farecast also has) that guess at what the price fluctuations ought to be in the coming days and weeks. It even rates tickets as “Buy” or “Wait” and tells you how volatile the ticket price is.

3. InsideTrip

InsideTrip adds user ratings to the familiar aggregated ticket search formula. Users rate the comfort, speed, and “ease” of flights, and those ratings are added to InsideTrip’s search results. Also, you can set priorities using the TripQuality Dashboard; is legroom more important to you than a good on-time percentage? Do you prefer non-stop flights? Newer planes? Customize your results and find the perfect match.

4. Mobissimo

Mobissimo does the same kind of fare aggregation as Kayak and Farecast, but it puts a “fun” Web-2.0 skin on it. The site doesn’t have all the robust features of Kayak and Farecast, but it does have an AJAX UI that lets you move modules around, a scattershot travel blog, and Flickr, weather, and currency-converter widgets.

5. SeatGuru

Before selecting your seat on the plane, be sure to visit SeatGuru.com so you know you’re picking the best one. The site has seating plans for all the major airlines and plane types, and let you know which seats have the most legroom, nearby power outlets, or seatbacks that don’t recline.

*Visit Pcmag.com for more