Boston: The perfect travel destination with great attractions

Often overshadowed by the popularity of it’s neighbor, Boston may not have the same glitz and glamor to offer as New York City but it most certainly makes up for it with affordable hotels and interesting things to do. Whether you have already visited the “Big Apple” and just looking for a new travel destination in the US or searching for a great place to use your hotel discounts, Boston is an incredible city infused with a wide variety of attractions.

Here are 5 things to do in Boston to help you enjoy that next vacation:

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Visit Historic Fenway Park and catch a Red Sox Game

Fenway park is the oldest park in the major leagues and one of the most storied as well! See the famous “green monster” wall in left field, grab some beers and a few hot dogs, sing along to “Sweet Caroline” during the eighth inning and watch the hometown Sox as they compete for a division crown this season. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s plenty of bars and restaurants around the stadium for pre-game and post-game fun.

The South End Open Market

One of the New England’s best and most popular open markets, the South End Open Market runs on Sundays, May through October and features upwards of 20 of Boston’s local food trucks, locally grown produce, flowers, and gourmet specialty foods as well as locally made crafts, jewelry, clothing, and artwork. The South End Open Market has been featured in publications such as “People,” “Cooking Light,” and “National Geographic Travel” and is consistently ranked as one of the top farmer’s markets in the United States.

Boston Harbor

Historic Boston Harbor

One of the birthplaces of the American Revolution, historic Boston harbor boasts a wide variety of shops, seafood restaurants, sightseeing tours, and more. Take in a harbor cruise and soak up some sun and surf or visit the historic Tea Party museum and soak up some history. The USS Constitution Museum is docked in the harbor as well and offers visitors the chance to board historic “Old Ironsides” and step back through history. In addition to the museums, tours, and other doings, a variety of pubs and beer garden’s keep the harbor aglow with life in the evening as well.

Take in a Soccer Match

Boston is a great sports town but beyond the Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Pats, the Copa America Centenario is coming to the Patriot’s Gillette stadium in June. See Chile vs. Bolivia on June 10th or Brazil vs Peru on June 12th. A third match is scheduled ofr June 13th with the participants unknown pending the outcome of other matches. Boston meets the world’s biggest stars on the turf of one of its most famous and storied stadiums. Don’t miss a chance to watch the game as you’ve never seen it before. While there, tour the Patriot’s Hall of Fame or buy tickets for an upcoming concert, summer shows include: Coldplay, Guns and Roses, as well as Beyoncé.
The New England Aquarium

One of the largest and biggest tourist attractions in the city, the New England Aquarium is not only a renowned leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation, it’s also one of the busiest aquariums in the United States. With dozens of exhibits featuring thousands of sea creatures from all over the world (sea lions, octopi, penguins, sharks, and more!) the aquarium provides guided and unguided tours daily as well as classes and special exhibits year round. Being conveniently located near the waterfront also means you’re never too far from great shopping, restaurants and nightlife as well.

You can find movie theater discounts as well as hotel discounts and more on Hotels Etc to make a Boston vacation even more affordable.

Wondering which cruise ship to choose for your vacation?

Are you considering a last minute cruise vacation? Or maybe planning ahead? Cruises are amazing value and most especially if you use cruise discounts, but which one is for you and how to decide on the best option?

The following are 5 examples of the best options on which to utilize your cruise discounts and for who they are most suited:

Princess Cruises

Rekindling romance, celebrating an anniversary, or just looking for a quiet getaway for two has always been the hallmark of Princess Cruises’ line. Their fleets offer a higher percentage than average of suites and mini-suites with amenities such as romantic balcony dining for two, mini-bars, upgraded bathrooms, and laundry services for that pampered feel. Deluxe dining, couples spa retreats, and private lounges are just some of the perks Princess has to offer, not to mention the price if you use cruise discounts. Cruises depart often from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and New York with destinations such as St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Kitts, The Bahamas, Aruba, and more.

Disney Cruises

For families it’s hard to beat a Disney cruise. As you can imagine, this cruise line caters to kids and families with Disney themed parties, games, and even a water park. Disney characters wander the decks taking photographs and interacting the children and families alike and there’s even classes, musicals, and other fun activities such as princess tea parties. While all this may sound tiring to the big people you can rest assured that mom and dad can also enjoy a few nightclubs, restaurants, and spa treatments while the kids are at play. Departs from New York, Miami, and Galveston Texas with destinations in The Bahamas, St. Kitts, Antigua, Mexico, and the Cayman British Virgin Islands.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean’s namesake Caribbean cruises are among the best on the sea for overall quality and affordability. With literally hundreds of 3, 4, and 5 night or more cruises to destinations such as Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, The Bahamas, and more the Royal Caribbean fleet boasts innovative designs, amenities, and activities such as rock-climbing, zip-lining, flight simulators, aqua theaters, and more! A variety of restaurants, shopping options, and bars also liven up the trip. The newest ship, Harmony of the Seas, even features a water park! Royal Caribbean has a little something for everyone, catering to families and friends as well as couples.

Norwegian Cruise Lines

If you’re looking to strike it out on your own look no further than Norwegian Cruise-line’s “Norwegian Epic” which offers studio-style cabins priced affordably for solo travelers. Other ships in the fleet also include solo lodgings as well as singles events, meeting lounges, nightclubs, and more. Accommodations are snug (100 square foot cabins and that’s including the bed) but if you don’t mind the tight fit it’s hard to beat the price. With an endless supply of bars, night clubs, karaoke, and even a bowling alley- it’s hard to imagine you’ll spend too much time in your cabin anyway! Departs from New York, Boston, and Florida with cruise destinations in The Bahamas, Bermuda, and Mexico.

Carnival

Carnival cruises have long been known as affordable fun cruises for the whole family. With 25 ships in the fleet and destinations all over the world Carnival has not forgotten it’s humble beginnings in the Caribbean. With home ports in Florida, Carnival’s Carribbean destinations are almost exclusively Eastern Mexico and The Bahamas. The fleet boasts children’s activities such as water slides, Imax theaters, and live entertainment while mom and dad can enjoy casino gambling, a variety of bars and restaurants, or “dive-in” movies, a poolside cinematic experience under the stars.

Check out Hotels Etc for the best cruise discounts on all of the above.

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5 reasons to visit Punta Cana on your next vacation

While many of your friends or family might be talking about Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cuba, there is a specific spot in the Caribeann which should at least be in the mix this year when choosing the best vacation in the Caribeann. Tropical, scenic, diverse and reasonably prices, Punta Cana in the Domincan Republic is simply an awe inspiring destination infused with a wide variety of things to do.

Here are five reasons why you need to take a Punta Cana vacation as soon as possible:

Isla Saona

Although Punta Cana and the resorts themselves are extremely relaxing, nothing is quite like a scenic cruise to the Isla Saona. Isolated and unspoiled, the island is actually a National Park which means there are no lavish hotels or concrete buildings ruining the view. Expect a serene two hour sailing trip to the island, encounters with natural pools, starfish and colorful coral. Many tours to Isla Saona will include food and drinks but the highlight is no doubt the island itself, and the wonderful catamarans which take you there.

Zip lining

As seen in Costa Rica, the Dominican is developing a fine reputation for adventure activities and ventures into the wild. In this sense you can expect many watersports, hiking and rafting but for the ultimate shot of adrenaline and spectacular views of the rural areas outside Punta Cana, you have got to spend an afternoon Zip lining.

Fast, fun and priced on the low end in terms of the tours, the Zip lining is organized by experienced operators with perfect safety records and offers a great insight into the jungles below, given that you get to see them from an entirely unique vantage point.

Hoyo Azul

There are several “Blue Holes” around the world, most notably in the Red Sea Egypt, but Hoyo Azul is most certainly up there with the most stunning. Incredible cave systems surround this idyllic blue natural pool and it makes for a lovely escape from the resorts for a few hours or even the day.

While organized tours can take you to Hoyo Azul, it is quite easy to self drive there yourself or rent a private cab. With the above in mind, it is always nice to avoid the afternoon when most tour buses arrive to explore.

Bavaro and Horseback riding

While in Punta Cana, it would be a shame to miss out on the local culture and for this reason a trip to Bavaro is always a nice way to see the country. Passing sugar cane fields and towering palm trees, you will arrive on beautiful rolling landscapes which are best explored on horseback.

Visit a local ranch, taste the local food and see how little the life of these people has changed over the centuries. You can also see how cigars are made on a trip to Bavaro, feel refreshed as you experience a home-stay in the area and taste the fruits or coffee for which the area is so famous.

Caribe Eco Tour

And then there is this fun tour organized by the locals on which you can delve even further into locals lifestyle and the mountain landscapes of the Dominican Republic. With lively music enhancing the fun atmosphere, the locals will take you on a day tour of Higüey to learn about the local culture, myths and legends. Stopping in a public school and the Voodoo House Museum are particular highlights, while the town tour of Higüey is an intriguing visit to a less touristy part of the country.

You can find the best hotel discounts for Punta Cana on Hotels Etc as well as all inclusive vacation discounts and more.

Can you afford the cost of travel?

When was the last time you packed a small suitcase and left the busy city behind?  There is simply nothing like taking a weekend break or even one night away from the norm, a few days to escape the monotony of a work week and take refuge in a relaxing hotel stay with fine food and maybe even a spa.

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Unless you have work at the weekend or an insurmountable amount of debt, the chances are there is actually no good reason not to get away for the weekend. At this point it may seem a little too late to be planning a trip with the weekend closing in but then, how long does it take to make an online booking and put a few clothes in a suitcase? The answer, in case you’re wondering – not long at all.

Taking an annual vacation is obviously a great idea, the perfect way to relieve stress and get back to enjoying the finer things in life. However, is simple process is surely restricted to once a year? No, the simple process of relieving stress and hitting the re-fresh button in life is attainable at just about any moment in every week and it just so happens that travel is the perfect way to make it happen.

Thing is, if it was always as simple as throwing a few clothes in a suitcase and taking off we would do it almost every weekend right? So what’s stopping everyone from taking more weekend breaks?

afford travel

We all know travel can be expensive and even without a debt of some sort looming overhead, it can be difficult to afford the high cost of living these days never mind forking out on a hotel in Chicago for the night. And this is exactly why you need a travel club membership, the easiest and fastest way to find hotel discounts and more to make everything affordable. Rather than just saving on hotels or annual vacations, a travel membership club such as Hotels Etc will also help you find discounts throughout the year for anything from movie theater tickets to restaurant deals. In fact, by the time you have availed of a 60% discount on a hotel stay, it’s likely you will already have saved the remaining cost by utilizing the thousands of other discounts on offer.

There really should be no cost placed on the prospect of taking time out from a hectic schedule and escaping all the noise for a few days but in reality, we do understand there is always going to be a fee attached to the concept of travel. In this sense, Hotels Etc is not here to make travel free or promise you something you cannot afford, but rather it offers a simple membership which will allow you to afford the cost of travel an then to get an awful lot more from it, for a much lesser cost.

You can access all the best hotel discounts and more by signing up today for a travel membership with Hotels Etc.

Why you should visit Austin this summer

The word “variety” gets thrown around quite a bit, but when it comes to deciding where to go on vacation in the US, Austin is a travel destination which is genuinely overflowing with variety. Home to many different cultures, along with amazing food, the best hotel deals and a festival atmosphere, Austin is the perfect place for a summer vacation in the US. Here is exactly why you should visit Austin this Summer:

1. Food, simple.

As with much of Texas and the Southern States, Austin is renowned for incredible barbecue food so you can expect succulent ribs, steaks and sausages when you get there. A number of delightful restaurants take their place in town including Rollin’ Smoke BBQ and Valentina’s Tex Mex but any doorway offering food is usually a good choice. Although most famous for the music scene, Austins food arguably takes a close second. If you venture out during happy hour or use some restaurant discounts, you can always find great meal deals in Austin.

2. Zilker Park

Surprisingly, there are many things to do in Austin has a secret attraction in the nearby Zilker Park. Infused with glorious nature and ample hiking trails, this park is a welcomed respite from the busy city and filled with open spaces to enjoy with the family, friends or even alone. However, it also has many other attractions such as the Botanical Gardens and the ever popular Science Museum. When you grow tired of the noise across the River, this is the perfect spot to relax.

3. The State Capitol

The State Capitol is central to the culture in Austin and was repaired during the 80’s to the fine condition you can no find it in today. Pink in color, it truly is a bizarre sight and a great photograph opportunity. Tours of the State Capitol are run on a daily basis giving an insight into the Governor’s chambers or alternatively you can take a self guided tour which also outlines the history of each room and the surrounding gardens.

4. The lively nightlife

It’s called the Live music capital of the world and after sampling a night out in Austin, it would be hard to disagree. From Jazz to Hip Hop, Rock to the Blues, Austin has every angle covered when it comes to music after dark and the live bands are some of the best in the US. The Mowhawak is a particularly popular venue and the Continental, while many traditional dance halls also take their place, where you can learn the Texas Two Step and mingle with the real locals.

5. Austin is synonymous with festivals

Austin comes alive in the summer and throughout May to July you will find a number of festivals ranging from film and food to of course, music. There are also cultural festivals which showcase the local Latin population and then the Arts Festival on Old Pecan street is a huge favorite. As mentioned however, music festivals are common place and regardless of what genre you prefer, Austin is sure to have some waiting for you.

You can find hotels discounts or restaurant discounts for your trip to Austin with a travel club membership on Hotels Etc.

Reasons why you need to vacation in Hawaii

While the masses are rushing to grab the latest and best vacations discounts for the Caribbean, there is one big island with an even bigger reputation which offers a wide variety of attractions and reasons you need to make it there on your next vacation.

You can visit an active volcano

Hawaii is home to one of the worlds most active volcanoes and there is a variety of ways in which you can witness the spectacular Kilauea. Despite erupting more than 30 times in the past 100 years, it is possible to encounter this incredible force of nature, a volcano which has been erupting since the mid 1980’s much to the dismay of the local communities who have seen their villages decimated in recent times by the ensuing lava.

Choose to take a helicopter trip up over the waterfalls and green fields before reaching the volcano itself, hike in the nearby National Park and see it on foot or venture onto the seas where you can see the lava making its way downward into the ocean.

Hit the beaches and enjoy the water

Renowned for tropical weather and scenery, the white and strangely black sands around the island make up some of the most stunning beaches on the planet. Not only this, but they provide a gateway to watersports, sailing trips and adventure activities as evidenced in the number of kayaks in Kealakekua Bay. Another highlight is the scuba diving in the region which, depending on the part of the island, provides the visitor with an incredible opportunity to get up close to the fascinating giant manta rays. It must also be pointed out that these can sometimes be seen while snorkeling but regardless, the opportunity to take a dip in these beautiful waters is irresistible.

Experience how unique is the Hawaiian culture

Hawaiin culture is synonymous with the luau traditional food and then the mesmerizing dance, to the point where missing either of them would mean missing out on a central part of the island. Another highlight is the luscious and Puuhonua o Honainau National Historic Park where ancient homes, temples and palaces line up next to each other and offer a unique insight into the old world Hawaii. Kohala up north is also known for some very ancient hiking trails (Valley of the Kings) and then there are the famous rock paintings in Puako Petroglyph Archaeological which outlines life before the arrival of foreign peoples.

Hawaii will help you escape from civilization

Located far off the coast of the US, Hawaii is truly isolated in the Pacific Ocean and you can certainly feel this when traveling around the island. For example, the very North of the island is more than 30km away from the nearest street and is popular for the many hiking trails in the area which offer a true escape from civilization. When you visit Hawaii, it will make you feel like you are a million miles away from the western world not to mention the busy work week and when you set foot in the village of Molokai, the locals and surroundings are sure to emphasize that further.

You can find all the best hotel discounts and vacation deals for Hawaii on Hotels Etc.