Month: January 2014

The Details on Travel Deals

amazing travel deals on the beach

amazing travel deals on the beach

Travel Deals offer package promotions for vacations that can make traveling easier, more convenient, save on budget and make luxury traveling more affordable.  Not all travel deals are about luxury travel but many are and they provide discounts that will save travelers money even with a higher end vacation. Many travel agencies also offer travel deals. The down side of some travel deals is that you don’t always get to choose the exact details- you may not get to choose which 5-seat car you rent or which hotel room you stay in.

Travel deal packages include discounts on a variety of traveling components such as airfare, car rental, hotel rooms for a certain number of nights, and sometimes dining, park and attraction tickets, cruises, entertainment and activities. Travel deals offer buying all of these at once at a discount. Some deals offer cheap car rental for booking a flight or flight and hotel.  Some deals offer free nights at a hotel for booking a certain number of nights.

family dining packages on vacation

Travel deals are packages that change with each offer and each company.   Some companies such as Hotwire.com, Orbitz.com, Expedia.com, Cheaptickets.com, Travelocity.com, Priceline.com and Tripadvisor.com have a variety ways of searching and buying travel package deals.  Most of these companies are online and the reservations are made online. Some companies can be done over the phone or in person. Check out travel deals for both your own local city and for extended vacations at AAA, ASTA Liberty Travel or if you are a student look at STA and Student Universe.  All inclusive hotels and resorts also offer their own package deals.  Other less known but extremely helpful deal search sites are Hipmunk.com, Pinnr.com, AutoSlash.com. Bing.com/travel

Easy popular travel deals are often found with the following companies including Disney, AAA and Club Med. Disneyworld and Disney World Resorts offer package vacations including hotels, parks, dining options and cruises. Certain Hilton hotels offer nights free when a certain number of nights are booked.  All-inclusive companies such as family oriented Club Med and romantic getaways Sandals have resort, dining and activity packages. Many hotels offer nights free after booking a certain number like The Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri offers a free third night.  AAA offers discounts on local activities for example in Atlanta, Georgia AAA sells Georgia Aquarium tickets at a great discount from their original price.

all inclusive | thl vacationsThe final best travel deal is not made in the discounts or reservations but from your actual traveling. Many airline, travel companies and major credit card companies offer travel reward cards and loyalty programs.  Delta Airlines and AirTran Airways offer frequent flyer mile systems; the more flights you take with these companies the more your mile points add up to earning you free airline tickets. These programs just require registering.  These two airline companies and others offer their own travel credit cards that give flyer mile points, and discounts at hotels, car rental companies and restaurants. These discounts can be used locally and during vacations to build up your rewards.   Use programs like Award Wallet to collect and keep count of all yours and your families points, travels, rewards, credits and expiration dates.  Most importantly have fun!

Destination Spotlight: Modesto, CA

Modesto, ca THL VacationsModesto, originating as a stop on the railroad connecting Sacramento to Los Angeles, was founded in 1870. Since then it has grown into so much more:  Modesto ranks as the 18th largest city in the state of California. According to legend, the city was to be named after William C. Ralston, an early California financier. However, he declined the honor, and a Spanish-speaking railroad worker said that Ralston was “Muy modesto,” or very modest. Thus, the town was named Modesto.

Nevertheless, while modest is in the name, Modesto is not modest about its attractions, as it is home to the critically-acclaimed Gallo Center for the Arts, the Prospect Theater Project, the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, the State Theater, the Modesto Nuts, a Colorado Rockies Minor League Baseball affiliate, and the Amgen Tour of California. The Xclamation Festival, also known as X-Fest, has become the city’s largest entertainment and cultural gathering. It is an annual festival that takes place on the streets of downtown Modesto, usually on the first Saturday in August. Founded in 2000 and organized by Chris Ricci Presents, the day is known for its Mardi Gras party atmosphere, concert performances that go all night, and a motto of “Good Times, Downtown.” It features 50 bands on eight stages in eight hours. It is 21 and over only, and has bragged of crowds that average 15,000 people, the capacity limit set by the city of Modesto. In 2009, however,  X-Fest had an estimated 16,000 attendees enjoying music and food on the streets of downtown.

modesto x fest thl vacationsDowntown Modesto is known for having a variety of great restaurants and fun night life attractions. It also hosts a multi-venue Art Walk year around on the third Thursday of every month. This walk is free to take, and maps for it are available. Modesto has hosted many music festivals, such as SummerFest, a downtown summer concert series.

Another Modesto attraction is the McHenry Mansion, built by hand in the early 1880s by Robert McHenry, a local rancher and banker. The mansion is included on the National Register of Historic Places, and tours of it are available. Then there is the State Theatre, dating back to the 1920s. It was renovated in recent years, and serves as a local performance arts center and as a movie theater specializing in independent and foreign films. Sports fans will love to know that the Modesto Nuts MLB team is the main attraction for locals between Easter and Labor Day.

McHenry Mansion thl vacationsIn 1973, Modesto was immortalized by George Lucas in the film American Graffiti, in which Ron Howard, Harrison Ford and Richard Dreyfuss starred. Lucas’ film paid homage to teenage life in Modesto in 1962 based on his own experiences growing up there. Ironically, most of the movie was filmed elsewhere, because the Modesto city council refused to let Lucas film Graffiti in Modesto. Since then, the city of Modesto has realized the strength of its connection to the award-winning film, and is now planning and preparing new tourist attractions and events for American Graffiti tourists. An annual festival paying homage to the movie, Graffiti Summer, is held in Modesto and lasts the entire month of June, when it draws thousands of visitors and car enthusiasts, along with hundreds of classic and antique cars.