Archive for the ‘Deals’ Category

Warm Weather Escapes to Beat the Winter Woes

Friday, January 10th, 2014

The New Year has certainly started off with a chilly beginning. The record freezing temps that terrorized much of the US earlier this week may just be the beginning of what Ol’ Man Winter has in store for 2014. That leaves me with the need for a warm weather escape. If you’re feeling the same way, pack up your sunglasses and swimsuits and chart a course for warmer weather at one of these amazing hotels.

Montage Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach, CA
The Montage Laguna Beach makes it easy to put your winter woes behind you. This craftsman-style luxury resort in arts-oriented Laguna Beach offers ocean-view rooms and suites, seasonal artisanal cuisine, and a nature-based spa. The service and staff of the large resort make it feel like a boutique property. The resort also has children and teen programs.

The Atlantic Resort & Spa Hotel
Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Atlantic Hotel is a great place to put your frostbitten toes in the sand. The beachfront hotel has 124 guest rooms with private terraces with ocean views, as well as kitchenettes and BOSE sound systems. The guest reviews are overly positive raving on the stellar customer service, amenities, and overall stay experiences. Will you join them?
TSB INSIDER TIP: Flying into Fort Lauderdale’s airport (FLL) can often be easier and more affordable than flying into busy Miami International (MIA).

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
Scottsdale, AZ
You’ll forget you are in Arizona when you set foot in this five-star, 35-acre, Spanish-inspired retreat. Made up of four “villages” featuring fountain-filled courtyards, pools, a full-service spa and health club. Set up against Camelback Mountain, you’ll be winter warm poolside at this Scottsdale retreat.

Jake’s Hotel
Treasure Beach, Jamaica
An eco-chic bohemian hotel that is as fun as it is functional and affordable, Jake’s Hotel is on Jamaica’s southern coast and is a unique family-run hotel features 35 hippy-chic cottages on Jamaica’s Treasure Beach. The restaurant at Jake’s uses only locally-sourced ingredients and serves up some of the tastiest meals on the entire island. The hotel’s Driftwood Spa is naturally elegant and therapeutic. It’s a true treasure on Treasure Beach!

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel
Honolulu, HI
Want Hawaii on a budget? It can be done. The Aston Waikiki makes it possible with rates that tend to range between $100 and $150 a night. Free breakfast, ocean front views, and lots of attractions such as the Zoo and Aquarium are within walking distance.
TSB INSIDER TIP: Set up a fare alert on from your origination city to Oahu to get the jump on Hawaiian airfare deals.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort Hotel
Vero Beach, FL
On Florida’s Atlantic Coast, and less than two hours southwest from the Magic Kingdom is where you’ll find a Disney beachfront family oasis. The resort features four restaurants, mini putt-putt, a sing-a-long campfire, pools, and more. And in the winter, temperatures rarely drop below 65° in this balmy Florida city. is featuring some great deals in California and Arizona for warm-weather hotels and resorts. So, shovel out the driveway and get planning your winter vacay today!



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The College Bowl Game Predicament

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Dedicated college football fans live and die by their team’s success each Saturday during football season. The thrill of watching your favorite team from the bleachers and not from the living room is a privilege that doesn’t come cheap. Travel to a bowl game, and the cost gets even higher. This bowl season, several teams (and their fans) are making cross-country trips, including the National Championship game, featuring Auburn and Florida State University.

College bowls are typically played in cities that make for a good winter weather escape: Miami, New Orleans, Pasadena, Orlando, Atlanta, for example. This year, college football fans are finding it difficult to afford the travel cost of the bowl experience. And in turn, their universities are having trouble selling the ticket allotment they were required to purchase.


Finding decent prices on airfare with such a quick turnaround is extremely challenging for fans. Tickets to the bowl games range from $95-$275, legitimately. Factor in other expenses such as organized festivities, celebrating after the game, lodging, food, attire, and it could get pricey quick.

Take UCF in Orlando. The team will square off against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on January 3rd, but it’s going to be without its fan base. The high cost of plane tickets from Orlando to Phoenix during bowl week has jumped to more than $700; and has left the school with 75% of its ticket allotment.

Here are a few money saving tips if you’re hoping to attend a college bowl game this season:

  • Book now
  • When shopping for flights, consider flying into a larger airport within driving distance and then renting a car or taking a bus to the bowl city
  • Choose a hotel located 10-15 miles away from the bowl venue. Hotel prices and occupancy will be much higher the closer the hotel is located to the stadium.


I want to make a special shout-out to my hometown, Tampa, which will host the College Football Championship in 2017 for the first time.



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Happy Thanksgiving from the Travel Smart Blog!

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

We want to wish you all the very best holiday this season!

Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking the train – be prepared for busy travel hubs and possible delays. Certain areas of the country may be experiencing some severe weather over the next week, so please remember to travel safely!

In order to help you celebrate this fantastic Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends, is offering an amazing promotion…

Stay tuned to find out just how far $1.00 can really go...

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America’s Newest Holiday: Thankshopping Day!

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

The appeal of Black Friday is at a five year high, with 55% of shoppers saying they’re likely to shop the holiday kickoff event. And 38% told consulting firm Accenture that they plan to shop on Thanksgiving this year, and that of those, 41% said they’ll be out between 6 p.m. on the holiday and 5 a.m. on Black Friday. Perhaps we should just rename the whole event “Thankshopping Day.”

0_117085750I’ll admit it! I’ve gotten into Black Friday shopping and perhaps not for the reason you think. Sure, it started out as a quest for a few great deals but it has become something more. Actually, I like that I can leave my house at 3AM (yes, I know I am missing a ton of deals this year and I may reconsider) and spend a few fun hours alone or perhaps with a friend without feeling guilty about missing out on family time because my kids and husband are sleeping.

If crowds aren’t your thing, a new report from analytics firm ShopperTrak pegs Wednesday, Dec. 4, as the best day to shop with the least amount of store traffic during this year’s holiday season. Not to alarm you but you have one less weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to last year, which will mean more crowds and fewer shopping days. Online sneak-peak ads for Black Friday are already out. Here are a few tips to help you score big during the new holiday tradition of Thankshopping: holiday shopping steals!

  • Use the Internet to compare prices, not just the Black Friday ads but also retailers’ regular websites. Doing this ahead of time will help you know if the prices are just inflated to make it look like you are getting a deal or to know if it really is a steal.
  • Take the ad with you so that you can find the exact item at the price advertised. In fact, you may want to check the items out at the store ahead of time just to be sure it is something that you actually want to buy and don’t just get caught up in the frenzy.
  • Follow your favorite travel companies on Facebook and Twitter to get access to Black Friday codes that unlock deals and discounts. Monitor tweets tagged #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday. And, sign up for email alerts that could get your coupons for the nation’s shopping holiday.

Top 3 Black Friday Shopping Cities

  1. 1.     New York City
  2. 2.     Houston, TX
  3. 3.     Minneapolis, MN

How many hotel rooms could you book for the cost of an item from’s Christmas Shopping Basket? Keep checking back on for special holiday promotions.

Will you be taking part in Thankshopping this year? If so, what’s your plan for shopping success?



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Last Minute Labor Day Deals

Monday, August 19th, 2013





What’s that? Summer is almost over and you haven’t had a vacation yet or you need another? So what are you waiting for? You still have plenty of time to make a last minute long weekend trip out of the upcoming Labor Day holiday.

Drive or Fly?

Will you drive or fly? If you are picky about your flight times, you may find last minutes fares at a premium for the holiday weekend. But, my research on, showed there are still some good fares available if you desire a destination that would be easier to fly to rather than drive.  According to AAA, last year on Labor Day weekend 31 million people hit the road and there was an almost 10% increase of travelers total.   For larger families, road trips are easier on the pocket since you avoid having to purchase individual air tickets.

According to the AAA’s fuel gauge report released earlier this month on August 5, 2013, the average price per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.61, which is an increase of 13 cents more than a year ago.

And if you are driving to your destination, be sure you have a car adapter phone charger so that you aren’t without a GPS or the ability to reach out and call someone while you are on the road. Labor Day Sale

Wherever you go, stay and save from Dallas to Denver and Boise to Baltimore! is offering savings up to 30% on hotel stays over Labor Day weekend in some of the U.S.’s hottest cities.

Check out these additional hot hotel deals available over Labor Day weekend from



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3 Ways to Save This Summer

Monday, June 24th, 2013

With summer ramping up, here are three quick & easy ways to save money while making your travel plans for the summer season!
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Get a deal on extras. Several airlines now offer bundle packages on airline extras.

  • Delta’s “Ascend” package includes in-flight Wi-Fi and priority boarding for only $21.
  • American Airlines offers a $68 “Choice Essential” package that includes a checked bag, a reservation change and Group 1 boarding.

Choose the bundle or deal that best caters to your travel needs; whether you may need to be more flexible with your plans or to just save some money on your purchase.

Save on your summer hotel booking. is offering 13% off on your summer hotel stay.

Utilize the “SUMMER13″ coupon code before July 4 and save 13% on your hotel booking. See more here.

Subscribe to e-mail alerts or follow on Twitter 

  • Get the first look at deals, sales and coupon codes by receiving them straight to your inbox.
  • Or follow airlines and or booking sites, such as Airfarewatchdog or Hotelsdotcom, on Twitter. Not only will you have first dibs on flash sales, but you’ll also familiarize yourself with the market and be able to recognize the truly great deals.

How do you save money when making your summer travel plans? Let us know in the comments below!




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Hotel Hook-Up: Mandarin Oriental, Miami

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Looking for a warm getaway this February? is currently offering a cannot-pass-up 48-hour deal at the beautiful and luxurious Mandarin Oriental, Miami hotel. Starting today, save 20% on all bookings at this five-star hotel between the dates of Feb. 13-18 – a peak time in February because of Florida’s largest annual event – the Miami International Boat Show.

The Miami International Boat Show features yachts, power boats, and sail boats alike, spreading across  three different locations in Miami, making it the best spot to preview the new boating season. Whether you’re a boating enthusiast or a nautical novice, you’ll find fantastic vessels, apparel and accessories to check out throughout the show.

Even if you’re more of a land-dweller, we definitely recommend you take advantage of this opportunity as the hotel on its own offers everything you need to have an extraordinary stay. Gorgeous suites, waterside dining, spa treatment, a coastline infinity pool and a private beach…once you check in, you’ll never want to leave.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable vacation mid-February, don’t miss out on this opportunity! Visit the Mandarin Oriental here on for more details.



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Hotel Hook-Up: Ambassador Hotel NOLA

Friday, January 25th, 2013

New Orleans is hotbed of activity at the moment. With Mardi Gras celebrations underway and Super Bowl XLVII only days away, the city is buzzing with visitors and space is limited. At this point, securing affordable lodging in the Big Easy can be all but that.

Fortunately, is currently offering  a great NOLA deal for you that will make you want to start your own parade.

The Ambassador Hotel New Orleans is offering rates at 50% off, from now until Feb. 28, 2013.

Though some blackout dates do apply, including Super Bowl weekend, you can still enjoy pre-and-post-game festivities at the parades that take place across the city throughout the month, and experience New Orleans’ best nightlife of the year, as Fat Tuesday falls this year on Feb. 12, 2013.

Only a very short walk from Bourbon Street, the Ambassador Hotel is located in the very heart of a city known for just that, its heart. Explore shops, listen to music, indulge in the food, and immerse yourself in the culture that makes NOLA such an attractive destination for visitors and vacationers every year!



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Three Cheers for a College Bowl Vacation!

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Where will you be when your favorite team plays this year? (Photo courtesy of

Sure this time of year is all about holiday cheer, but if you are a collegiate football fan then cheer might mean supporting your favorite team in one of the upcoming bowl games.

College Bowl Games begin next weekend through January 9th, 2012 when the BCS Championship Bowl Game is played between Alabama and LSU. And whether or not you agree with which Bowl your team may have been selected for (BCS and ESPN hand in hand), College Bowl games are a great excuse for a vacation.

There are plenty of events and opportunities to interact with the team and coaches and of course, the game itself. And let’s not forget all the attractions that the host city has to offer. According to a recent article by Businessweek, 16 states (including the District of Columbia) are directly involved financially in supporting their bowls, understanding that more than $1.75 billion in economic impact is generated in the respective regions.

With 35 Bowl games this year to choose from, I’m highlighting a few standouts for the combination of destination, competitive match-up, and hotel deals.

Maaco Bowl Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV

December 22, 2011

Some say 11-1 Boise State deserve a BCS bowl for their impressively played season. Regardless, Las Vegas is one of the most hospitable and entertaining destinations in the world. Check out these hotel deals in Las Vegas.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – Honolulu, HI

December 24, 2011

Who doesn’t want to add a little hula to their football revelry? Nevada and Southern Miss fans can take in some Hawaiian hospitality in Honolulu while cheering on their favorite teams. There are some great hotel deals in this tropical paradise. The only downside to this match-up? Airfare.

Champs Sports Bowl – Orlando, FL

December 29, 2011

This year FSU and Notre Dame are competitively matched for what should be a great game AND they get to share in a week of events and some theme park fun in Orlando. After all, what athlete doesn’t dream of saying after a victory “I’m going to Disneyworld!”

Outback Bowl – Tampa, FL

January 2, 2012

My Georgia Bulldawgs are taking on Michigan State University in Tampa. Tampa has such a great mix of what I like to call sun, sand and something fun to do at night. Stay at nearby beaches in town to enjoy Tampa’s dining, shopping and entertainment.

Valero Alamo Bowl – San Antonio, TX

December 29, 2011

Want a chance to see the Heisman winner lead Baylor to a Bowl victory over Washington or looking for a good excuse to see the famed River Walk? Either way, plan a New Year’s trip to San Antonio.

Allstate BCS Championship Game – New Orleans, LA

January 9, 2012

I just love a good SEC battle and while the game alone may be reason to travel, New Orleans is at its best when there’s a reason to celebrate. Take advantage of the festivities and book your hotel stay in New Orleans this week on You can save up to 40% on your accommodations.

Headed to a different game? Check out to see even more bowl game hotel deals.



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Black Friday Hotel Deals

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Treat yourself to a Christmas vacation at the beach this year with our Black Friday sales. (Photo courtesy of

Who says Black Friday deals are only for malls and big box retailers? Now you can save up to 50% off on more than 300 properties in highly desired destinations through the Four Day Sale starting at midnight on November 25, 2011.

With temperatures cooling down and school and workloads typically becoming lighter, December is a great time to fit in one last vacation before 2012. Whether you want to treat yourself or surprise a loved one with a special getaway, is offering deals to suit everyone’s inner explorer.

Snuggle up with a cup of tea, pumpkin pie leftovers and a laptop to book these deals and more on Thanksgiving night:

Book a trip south of the border to the beautiful European-like Buenos Aires, Argentina where you’ll not only find gourmet cuisine, but also awesome shopping and a pulsing social scene. Stay in the Recoleta area of Buenos Aires at the Unique Luxury Park Plaza where you’ll be within one mile of Plaza Libertad, Teatro Nacional Cervantes, and National Museum of Fine Arts. Or stay in the heart if it all at the Unique Art Madero where you’ll be a short walk from the Ethnographic Museum and Plaza de Mayo.

Or plan a relaxing trip to the sandy beaches, lush waterfalls, and tropical landscapes of Jamaica where the average temperature is between 80-86°F. If you’re looking for a resort near Negril, stay in the beachfront Riu Palace Tropical Bay All Inclusive, which includes five restaurants, four bars, a range of indoor and outdoor sports options, a health spa, sauna and more. If you’re looking to stay in Montego Bay you can save 50% off the Sunset Beach Resort Spa and Waterpark All Inclusive as well as the RIU Montego Bay All Inclusive.

If you want to stay closer to home but still want an exciting new travel experience, consider the artsy, grunge and coffee loving Seattle, Washington. Stay in the Mediterranean where you’ll have panoramic views of the Space Needle and the ferries crossing Elliot Bay. And don’t worry, there’s a Starbucks coffee shop in the lobby.

If you’d rather book last minute or on your mobile device there are other sales and deals this holiday weekend. Last-minute sales and Deals of the Day allow you to book flash deals that are about to slip through the cracks. Don’t forget, the mobile apps let you book anywhere.

More great Black Friday hotel deals will be announced at midnight Friday, so make sure to visit to save big!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from the Travel Smart Blog!



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