10 Travel hacks to help you choose the right vacation

Vacations are fun but lets be honest, they are not always enjoyable to plan and often this can be for the fact that there are so many options. That said, maybe you just have no idea where to start? In that case you’ have come to the right places because we know exactly how to help you better decide on where to choose for that all important vacation.

Here are 10 travel hacks for your next vacation:

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1.Ask the question why
What is it about a vacation that gets you excited, are you thinking about how nice it will be to sit on an isolated beach? Don’t choose Cancun, it’s too busy. Choosing a destination begins with questions about why you are going, do you want to chill, take outdoor adventures, explore cultures or get a tan?

2.Try lesser known places

Anytime you see somewhere nice, just remember there is always a place just down the road which is lesser know, just as beautiful and possibly even more interesting for the fact that there are less tourists.

3.Don’t be afraid to go alone
Says it all. There are times when your friends cannot go on vacation with you and it’s a terrible thing, but you deserve to be happy, you have the right and deserve a vacation. Yes, we give you permission to go alone.

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4.Popular vacation destinations are popular for a reason
Forget about number 2 on this list, popular places are popular for a reason. Cancun has stunning beaches, Costa Rica is great for outdoor activities and Aruba has many options for road tripping. Just because they are popular does not mean you wont have an amazing time too.

5. Think closer to home
We offer the best hotel discounts to our members and more than ever, we are seeing North Americans choosing to stay in the US instead of venturing down south. So get signed up and start looking closer to home.

6. Be open minded about the destination
Even if you never even heard of the place, that should not matter. The best vacations are sometimes the ones where you least expect it to happen and anyway, travel is supposed to be about new experiences. Step out of the bubble, experience somewhere new.

7. Think outside the box
Travel destinations are sometimes expensive but don’t be put off. Check out our hotel discounts and vacation offers but also consider alternative transport to where you are going other than flights. Train, bus, car…..

8. Make a decision
Now that you know where you want to go, stop procrastinating and get it booked. The longer you wait, the higher the price will go and before you know it, you can no longer afford the dream vacation.

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9. Find a better deal elsewhere

Having checked out our website, we don’t mind you shopping around because we know that you will come back to us for the best deal. Don’t pay more than you should, join us and find the best vacation discounts online.

10. Ask for advice
After all, this is what we are here for; to help you. Ask us on Facebook, by email or phone, we want to help you and we want you to keep coming back to us for the best hotel discounts and more.

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.

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.

Consumer awareness and the return of hotel discounts

Although the cost of a flight can be significant, the most expensive part of a vacation budget, a weekend away or long term travel is always accommodation. In fact, while most people will try to stretch their budget by eating in cheap restaurants (instead of using restaurant discounts) or cutting back on activities, when actually, the best way to make the most of a travel budget does not require you to cut back on spending money, but rather to use hotel discounts to greatly reduce the largest expense of your trip.

Consumer awareness, rate parity and the return of hotel discounts

Hotel discounts in particular have not always been the answer, for most booking engines have made cheap hotel rooms readily available for the past decade without needing them.

However, the introduction of a new law called “Rate Parity” has had a major impact on the travel industry in that these booking engines are no longer able to offer a range of prices across different distribution channels.

Most consumers are unaware of the above mentioned law, in fact most consumers are unlikely to realize the huge impact it has had on their travel plans already. Truth is, this is news that most travel brands do not want you to know, as it essentially means they can no longer offer the lowest price.

Although there is one exception to the laws of rate parity which come in the shape of travel membership clubs.
Hotel discounts

Travel clubs and hotel discounts

Travel clubs are now the missing link when it comes to finding the best hotel rates or the biggest hotel discounts. Famous in the 1970’s but deemed obsolete with the arrival of the internet, these clubs have returned to the travel industry with vigor since the arrival of the rate parity law, with the main reason that they are exempt from such restrictions.

Hotels Etc is the leading travel club in the US who negotiates huge discounts with suppliers and passes them on to members who pay a small membership fee for the privilege. Not only is it a simple process in getting signed up, but Hotels Etc also makes it extremely easy for members to simply log on, search for the hotel, vacation or discount needed, and avail of it right away.

With a reputation spanning more than 20 years, a membership base of 4 million and the largest selection of discounts online, Hotels Etc is a the first and only place you should ever need to help make your next trip a most affordable one.

Although the major travel brands are unlikely to disappear any time soon, it is only a matter of time until the consumer will learn of this new law and the huge effect it has with regard to online purchases. From this point the options are clear; you can continue to spend more money on hotel rooms at full price, or you can avail of genuine hotel discounts and pay less for the very same products or service.

You can sign up for a free trial with Hotels Etc today.

5 Affordable places to eat in New York

Most certainly one of the most interesting and enjoyable cities in the world, New York is also one of the most expensive, whether it be the cost of hotels, restaurants, transport and major attractions. Naturally, when it comes to food (and all of the above) the best way to cut down on these cost is by using restaurant discounts for New York but there is also the option of searching out some genuinely cheap places to eat.

Here is a list of 5 affordable places to eat in New York:

Joes Pizza

New York is famous for many things, and none less than Pizza. You can find great pizza for ten times the cost in world class restaurants next to Times Square, but searching out a genuine, local pizza parlor such as Joes Pizza in Greenwich Village. Not only do Joes ensure the finest an freshest produce with Italian tomatoes and the highest quality cheese, but they also keep their prices to a minimum and you can easily leave Joes without spending more than five bucks.

7 Carmine Street, @ Bleecker Street, New York

restaurant discounts

Il Bambino Panini, Astoria

Located in Astoria, this is another Italian themed eatery which is a touch of class for under $10. Separating itself from the crowd by serving their dishes in the form of Tapa’s, Il Bambino Panini is known for providing incredible variety when it comes to types of bread and cheese in particular. An ideal place to start the night, with cheap drinks to go with the tasty affordable eats.

34-08 31st Avenue, Astoria

Los Tacos #1

Expect a busy counter with a line up of regulars waiting for their daily dose of Taco heaven. Los Tacos is not only delicious, but an establishment serving generous portions for very low prices. Again, for less than $5 you can enjoy some fresh tortillas filled with the freshest ingredients, from avocado, succulent meats, colorful vegetables and creamy sauces. Not the most famous Taco restaurant in New York, and the many hundreds of satisfied regulars will be hoping it stays that way.

75 9th Ave, New York, NY

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Crif Dogs

If you are genuinely looking for something quick, cheap and cheerful, look no further than Crif Dogs where the famous American hot dog has never been dressed so well. These may be priced at half the cost you might expect, but Crif’s do not cut corners and every serving is covered in tasty fillings to accompany the juicy dog itself. Several sides are also available including some stringy and strangely satisfying waffle fries.

113 St. Marks Pl ,New York

Amy’s Bakery

Open every day, filled with the kind of food you would expect to accompany the title of the cafe. Amy’s Bakery offers a wide range of home cooked food, tasty sandwiches and an assortment of fresh cakes. Quiet and unassuming, this bakery is a quaint place to enjoy breakfast, coffee or lunch and always with a low price attached to some food of high value.

672 Ninth Ave, New York

Aside from the cheap places to eat in New York, it can still be an affordable city to visit when using restaurant discounts, along with the many other special offers available through a Travel membership club. You can start a free trial for these discounts today with Hotels Etc.

Aruba: One of the best Caribbean vacations 2016

Located just off the northern tip of South America, Aruba is a relatively small island with many beaches, fine cuisine and quality resorts, but it also offers a more adventurous package vacation for anyone opposed to sitting around a glorious pool all week, and feasting on the amazing foods.

An island of great wind

Some might say, Aruba is a slightly “windy” island, but take away this refreshing breeze, and you may be left with a desperate hot and almost unbearable heat. Truth is, the weather in Aruba is almost perfect year round and being situated just shy of the hurricane belt, ensures for a lot of sun and literally no rain, regardless of when you decide to visit.

Naturally, amazing seafood will feature on any trip to Aruba and while the service is sometimes reviewed as being “slow”, one must remember that island life has a tendency to be much more laid back than in the big city, and the food is almost always worth the wait; Aruba was the most recent recipient of the Trip Advisor award for fine dining.

Activity central, while the resorts in Aruba offer a secluded and peaceful setting in which to relax, Arikok  National Park is one of the many areas around the island which offer the opportunity to hike, explore and venture into the outdoors. White sandy beaches are as common as the sun in the sky, while much of this coastline is rugged and untouched, adding an unexpected variety to a road trip or tour outside of the main resorts.

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The budget island

Aruba is often considered a budget vacation, or a budget island and it certainly lives up to this title in terms of the cheap vacation packages, but this most certainly does not mean it lacks in any quality. Close to $100 million has been invested in the Aruba hotel industry over the past few years, and this growth is only expected to continue with the increased popularity of the island. All the big names have arrived, the Riu, the Marriott, the Hilton, to the Holiday Inn; there are budget accommodation n Aruba but the prices are generally quite low so staying in the most popular hotels in Aruba is usually possible for most budgets, most especially if when using hotel discounts.

Scuba diving, snorkeling, fine dining and stunning national parks, Aruba is one of the fastest growing islands in the entire Caribbean, and with an abundance of  affordable hotel options, it is also becoming one of the most popular destinations, a fine statistic considering the competition. May, June and July are the most popular months to visit the island, but given the consistent weather, Aruba is worth a vacation at any time of year.

Hotels Etc is a travel club which offers the best hotel discounts and more for Aruba and you can sign up today, for a free trial with access to all the best vacations in the Caribbean 2016.

11 Reasons to visit San Francisco in 2016

Whether you are taking a weekend break from work, an extended vacation in the summer or just wanting an alternative option for a Spring break vacation, San Francisco is a dream destination and a city which has the perfect mix of ideal weather, engrossing culture, fascinating scenery and interesting attractions.

Here are 11 reasons to visit San Francisco in 2016:

 

  1. San Francisco has the perfect weather all year round

San Francisco he kind of weather which makes it the perfect city to live for the entire year round. Don’t be fooled by photograph’s of the Golden Gate bridge covered in fog, this city has just the right amount of cool, and the perfect dose of warm weather to make it idyllic for exploring in the outdoors.

 

  1. The city is built for walking

Everywhere in San Francisco is within walking distance, from Fisherman’s Wharf, to Chinatown and back, the famous hills are hugely enjoyable to walk around with scenic views of the city and if you get tired of walking, an absolute “must”, is to take a ride in a traditional cable car which climb the extremely steep hills near Powell street.

 

  1. You can taste the Sonoma Valley

The Sonoma Valley may not be the most famous wine region in the US, but it is still one of the most varied and stunning collection of wineries. Both the Buena Vista and Lynmar Estate are particularly nice but with more than 30 different establishments in the area, there is simply no end to great wine tasting options, along with spectacular rolling hills, gardens and spectacular landscapes.

 

  1. Watch Giants playing on the waterfront

 

In the East you have the New York and on the West coast you have the San Francisco Giants. Take in a riveting game of baseball next to the waterfront in the awe inspiring At&T Park. The Giants have been around since the year 2000 and have an ever growing reputation with a loud fan base in their 45,000 capacity stadium.

 

  1. Enjoy unrivalled scenery

The scenery in San Francisco is breathtaking, from the world famous Golden Gate bridge, the green and beautiful Dolores Park, the unrivalled views of ships cruising the ocean horizon, to the iconic sight of the enchanting Alactraz prison.

 

  1. Experience local culture in the Farmers markets

San Francisco is certainly a city which knows how to please a “foodie”. There are a number of annual food events throughout the year but there are also regular markets around the city with the biggest being Alemany farmers, markets  which is the oldest market in town and a fine display of local produce.

 

  1. Witness the many districts which make this city a melting pot

San Francisco has long being known as a melting pot of traditions and different cultures. For example, the infamous Chinatown is a fantastic place to sample some Asian cuisine while the Mission district is known for hipsters, cheap drinks and a predominantly Latin population. A visit to Alcatraz is every bit as fascinating as the story behind the name.

 

  1. Marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge

The bridge is 65 stories high which certainly adds to the impressive nature of the bridge, but the specific design of the Golden Gate Bridge has made it into the world famous landmark it is today. The perfect photograph opportunity, and ideal for a walk on a sunny day, the Golden Gate bridge is not to be missed on a trip to San Francisco.

 

  1. Be a tourist on Fisherman’s Wharf

Arguably one of the most popular places to visit in San Francisco is Fisherman’s Wharf, the historic waterfront transformed over the years into a major tourist attraction. The pier has an endless amount of activities and points of interest, including shops, amusements, food stalls and unrivalled views of the an Francisco Bay.

 

  1. Endless shopping options on Union Square

Union Square is the epicenter for retail in San Francisco which is a shopper’s paradise. Huge department stores line up next to boutiques and high end fashion. It’s gets busy on the weekends but if you are traveling midweek or during the day while the locals are at work, shopping in San Francisco can be a very enjoyable experience.

 

  1. The best Hotels in San Francisco

Luxury hotels, mid range hotels, boutique hotels, cheap hotels, affordable hotels – whatever type of accommodation you are looking for, you can easily find it in San Francisco. Unfortunately the cost of hotels in San Francisco can be quite high, but if you avail of the best hotel discounts for San Francisco with Hotels Etc, a trip to this beautiful city can be easily afforded.

Click here to check out the huge savings on hotels in San Francisco.