Researchers explain why planning a vacation can make you Happy

Vacations are fun, we all know that, we all want more of them and some of us will almost live for them. But do they make you happier? It might seem like a question with an obvious answer but a group of researchers in the Netherlands set out to answer this precise question while also determine what it is exactly that causes someone to feel this way.

Almost 2,000 adults took part in the research, half of which had taken a vacation during the previous year and the results threw up a very interesting point. Yes, there were no surprises that these people experienced happiness while on the trip, whether they were relaxing next to the pool, swimming at the beach, eating out in a fine restaurant or sipping cocktails as the sun went down but what about afterward or what about before?

“The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip,” said Jeroen Nawijn head of the research. “What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year. If you have a two week holiday you can split it up and have two one week holidays. You could try to increase the anticipation effect by talking about it more and maybe discussing it online.”

You see, much of the findings for this research pointed to the fact that most adults felt relaxed returning from their vacation, they felt energized and rejuvenated but what they did not expect, was to learn how extremely happy these same people felt when planning a vacation. That’s right, the research showed that the longest, most prolonged and enjoyable part of their trip was the actual part of planning a vacation. Marveling at wanderlust inducing photographs online, imagining how relaxing it would be on the beach, checking the best places to stay in the Caribbean and then of course, looking for the best hotel discounts, vacation deals and general value. People felt good about being able to find the best online travel deals, joining travel membership clubs for cruise discounts and knowing that they had found the best place to stay at the best price.

So there you have it in black and white, planning a vacation is just as good for your health and will make you just as happy, as being on the vacation itself. We can’t say we are surprised as for more than 25 years now we taken great pleasure from finding the best hotel discounts for our members here at Hotels Etc. We know that people will always appreciate a good deal when we find one and keep coming back so long as we keep offering the best value vacations. So what are you waiting for? It might be a few weeks, a month or even a year until your next time off but why should that stop you from feeling happy, start planning your vacation and get signed up for a travel membership with Hotels Etc.

Why you should choose a Caribeann Vacation over anywhere else

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” –  Albert Einstein.

Picture it – Face up, floating in crystal blue waters while colorful schools of fish swim beneath as you drift back toward the white powder sands of the Caribbean. There is nothing quite like a vacation down south and simply no better way to get away from it all than by hitting the beach for a week or two while the chaos of city life continues back home. But why should you choose a Caribbean vacation over anywhere else?

Stay Longer and absorb the surroundings

Hot sunny weather, sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and enjoyable excursions, it’s no wonder why North Americans return to the Caribbean year after year. While many others will decide upon an affordable cruise ship and stopover in luxurious ports, an all inclusive is often a better option for some given the fact that it allows you to stay longer, to absorb some beautiful surroundings and recharge.

Costa Rica Jungle

Activities, activities and more activities…

And then there are the activities, whether you decide upon Aruba, Mexico or Costa Rica – you can hang out in thick jungles for the day, visit the historic ruins of Chichen Itza or go scuba diving in the clear waters of Mexico. The Caribbean is packed full of optional activities for when you feel restless, not forgetting that if you have children traveling, the resorts are excellent when it comes to kids clubs and activities too. But maybe you don’t have kids? Maybe you don’t have a partner? Maybe you just want to get away to party and let the hair down? Naturally, there are plenty of resorts which are livelier and can cater to all your needs.

Caribbean vacation Caribbean food

Food and accommodation

Now that you have seen the local area and spent enough time tanning by the pool, you can take a step indoors to rest in one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful resorts. These hotels are notorious when it comes to comfort, some more spacious than other and some more luxurious, but all of them are enough to satisfy even the highest standards. If you have had the pleasure of traveling south for a Caribbean vacation in the past, then you will already know just how good the food is too. CouCou and Flying Fish or Rice and Beans with Fish Stew – seafood is naturally a favorite in these parts but regardless, every dish is a delight.

It’s all about Value

But what about the cost? Well, this is exactly where the Caribbean succeeds when it comes to value. Despite the luxurious settings, the all inclusive rewards, the fine cocktails, glorious swimming pools and world class service – this is one of the most affordable vacations in the world, made even more affordable by Hotels Etc. Yes, when you join the travel membership club Hotels Etc, you automatically qualify for huge discounts on Caribbean vacations, hotels and much more. So there you have it, the reason you should choose the Caribbean over anywhere else is summed up in two words – variety and value.

You can find all the best vacation discounts and Caribbean vacation offers on Hotels Etc. The registration process takes seconds, the search facility is even more convenient and the rewards are unrivalled.

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.

hotels etc

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.

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.

Top 5 best restaurants in Palm Springs

Palm Springs is one of those rare destinations that feels like feels like a vacation in another exotic country rather than here at home in the US. Diverse and modern, Palm Springs has a wide range of resorts and hotels with high quality comfort, excellent swimming pools and many activities, but a specific attraction of a vacation here, are the endless great food options available around town.

Things is, eating out can be one of the largest parts of a budget when it comes to travel and so choosing the best restaurants in Palm Springs can be difficult when the prices are so high:

In this regard, here are 5 of the best eateries and how to find restaurant discounts for Palm Springs:

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Rooster And The Pig

What may seem like an unlikely choice is actually one of the most quaint and unique dining experiences in Palm Springs. Located close to Palm Canyon and in the unassuming interior of a shopping mall, Rooster and the Pig is a slightly odd yet delightful combination of American-Vietnamese cuisine and the brainchild of a former renowned Hotel director.

Leafy salads, specialized burgers and spicy dishes make up the menu, while the craft beers are predominantly of Vietnamese origin.

356 S Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe
Home fries and food, Wilma & Frieda’s is a little piece of local heaven for the foodie and located in an upscale neighborhood which contrasts from the humble servings on offer.
Although the surroundings are slightly upscale, the hearty food and simple combinations of potatoes, sauces and barbecue ribs are enough to make this eatery a worthwhile trip.
73575 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Ruby’s Diner
Another home food specialist, Ruby’s has a very inviting terrace on the main drag which draws visitors for morning coffee and people watching just as much as it does for the dinner menu.
Chicken wings, French fries and many variety of burgers including the Turkey Caliente Burger; Ruby’s is a fun place to eat where all the staff are dressed in 1950’s attire and everything else you need is right outside on the doorstep.
155 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

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Elmer’s Restaurant

Where waffles, coffee and syrup is concerned, Elmer’s is the best restaurant in Palm Springs to enjoy breakfast in particular.

In fact, the breakfast is so good that many visitors will return time and time again, although this may be attributed to the hugely friendly staff who operate this finely tuned machine. Family run and again, teeming with home cooked food, Elmer’s is a great option for anyone wanting to escape the glamorous sidewalks of downtown.

1030 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill receives a large number of repeat clients which is testament to the great atmosphere in the restaurant and the excellent variety of home cooked food.

Although the meat menu will naturally be a favorite in any grill restaurant, Sammy G’s serves up a seriously good pesto amongst many other styles of pasta. That being said, the burgers are to die for and the prices are reasonably low.

265 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

You can avail of restaurant discounts for Palm Springs with a travel club membership, for which Hotels Etc are currently offering a free trial.

Tips for visiting Orlando with kids

Incredible theme parks, world class restaurants, sublime weather and endless attractions. More and more Americans are now choosing to stay domestic on their vacations and with an itinerary packed full of the above, who would argue that Orlando, Florida offers the best variety of attractions for kids and one of the best places for vacation in the US.

Here are some theme park, food and hotel tips for visiting Orlando, Florida on your next vacation:

Tips for visiting Disney World with kids

Undoubtedly one of the most famous attractions in the US, a major favorite for the kids and then surrounded by many other attractions; Disney World is a huge draw and with this popularity, it brings huge crowds.

However, why visit when the lines are so long for attractions, when the park is overcrowded and overwhelming? Visit Disney World in the shoulder months of January or September and you will not have to wait in line for hours on end, not to mention how the cost of attractions, accommodation etc are usually much lower, especially if you are using hotel discounts or theme park discounts.

Another great way to save on headaches and confusion is to pick up a Fast Pass which is essentially a reservation system.

Where to eat with kids in Orlando
It doesn’t have to be a celebration, but every visit to Cafe Tu Tu Tango will feel like one for the kids especially. Set up like a giant artistic playground and infused with fun colorful staff, this cafe pulls out all the stops as well as great food to ensure you are having the best experience.
Another great place to eat in Orlando is Press 101 which offers a very healthy option for the family with a range of soups, simple meals and fine gourmet sandwiches. And then there is Dicks Last Resort which is arguably one of the most fun eating experiences anywhere in the world; rude, obnoxious and hilarious, it is not often your server is so amusing. The food is great, the entertainment is even better and the kids will absolutely love it.
As mentioned above, the best way to save on a budget when it comes to eating out is to use restaurant discounts provided by a travel club such as Hotels Etc. These travel membership cards are available to use at most major restaurants and can also be used on hotels, theme parks, golf clubs etc.

Where to find the best hotels in Orlando

International Drive is usually the location for the most affordable accommodation in Orlando, but if you are not on a strict budget, the kids will fall in love with the Disney Properties such as any of the All Star Resorts which can be found at a reasonable price when using hotel discounts.

However, Disney’s Animals Kingdom or Disney’s Boardwalk are two of the absolute crowd favorites with an endless line of attractions on the grounds, along with the finest dining options and world class facilities.

Regardless of where you stay, the hotels in Orlando are generally to a high standard, but where children are concerned, it is always best to cut down on the travel time and stay close to the main attractions. In this sense, it is always best to use hotel discounts, restaurant discounts etc to afford the best hotels and best places to eat.

Hotels Etc is a travel membership club who offer clients hotel discounts and more in return for a minimal membership fee. You can click here to 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

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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.