Saturday, January 31, 2009

Girls Getaway to LA - Set of "Friends"

Thank you to Nancy DeVault of Orlando for submitting this photo of her (pictured on left) with Denise Ward and Bridgitte Harmon during a Girls Getaway to LA. The photo was taken on the set of ‘Friends.’

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fun Day at Celebrity Par and Poker Benefit

We had so much fun at the Par & Poker Celebrity Challenge for Charity 2009 (Tampa Bay) yesterday. Its celebrity host Super Bowl Champion Seth Joyner and the sponsors provided a first-rate celebrity golf and poker event raising thousands for local and national charities.

The event featured an 18-hole golf tournament where sports and entertainment fans get to play with celebrities, hang out in VIP tents, as well as participate in a No Limit Texas hold’em Poker tournament. The best part of the experience is the money raised benefits charities that help children in need.

The Joyner-Walker Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing like skill programs to high school students. From these programs, students can prosper and be more self-sufficient and equip students with the tools necessary to succeed in life. The best gifts the Foundation can give students are an education and the means to channel that education through real-world experiences and application, and this is by teaching proper management.

The flagship program is financial literacy. The program consists of the necessities of money management that are not taught in general education. Yet, combined with education, can lead to the road of prosperity and heightened self-esteem.

I was thrilled to be a part of this wonderful event, and thank Seth and the Walkers for inviting me. For more information, visit

PHOTO: Jenn Maxwell, NFL Legend Seth Joyner & Casey Wohl.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Girls Getaways with Unlimited Budgets

With all of the news coverage focusing on the doom and gloom of the economy, I found myself daydreaming about what I would do (more specifically, where I'd go) if I had an unlimited girls getaway budget. With a little research, here are my top three picks. Let me know what you think!

Girls Getaway to NYC
Stay at the Waldorf Astoria in a luxury tower, 2-bedroom suite (sleeps 4) complete with concierge service and continental breakfast at $1,199 plus tax per night.
Dine at Tavern on the Green, a NYC landmark and the site where movies have been filmed, Broadway shows opening night receptions have been held, as well as movie premieres. With undoubtedly gorgeous views, dinner, dessert and cocktails could easily be several hundred dollars per person. Shop all along Fifth Avenue, home of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Prada, Fendi, Harry Winston, Henri Bendel, Cartier and Versace…just to name a few. Price tag = unlimited. See Broadway Shows. I recommend Avenue Q, Legally Blonde, Jersey Boys, The Lion King and Wicked. Orchestra seats will run at least $150 each. Of course, if money was no object, rent your own private jet at $3,500 per hour for 8 people.

Girls Getaway to the Maldives
Located southwest of Sri Lanka on the equator, the Maldives are 1,190 coral islands, forming an archipelago of 26 major atolls. They stretch 820 km north to south and 120 km east to west. Of the islands, 202 are inhabited and 87 are exclusive resort islands.
Activities include: sunbathing,
sailing, kite surfing, water skiing, karaoke, fishing, snorkeling, surfing, diving, spa services, and safari cruises to other islands. Basic room rates start at $650 per night during the low season.
For the adventurous, there is the Four Seasons Explorer, a 128-foot, 11-cabin, 3 deck catamaran that takes you island hopping in Four Seasons style. With ample on-board activities and a choice of three-, four- or seven-night cruises, Four Seasons Explorer offers an unforgettable vacation and would be a fabulous girls getaway. Rent the entire boat for about $25,000/night for a getaway you and your girlfriends will never forget. To get to the Maldives on your private jet, budget about $125,000.

Girls Getaway to Capri
What’s better than a visit to Italy? Perhaps visiting Italy’s famed island Capri. Capri has hosted celebs such as Whitney Houston, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Keanu Reeves and Mariah Carey, not to mention the well known Italian fashion designers and artists who have selected the Capri Palace as their favorite Island retreat. Stay at the Capri Palace Hotel – Spa. Those looking for the utmost in luxury can reserve the "Megaron Suite", a unique 150 square meter penthouse apartment, with swimming pool immersed in the green of a quintessentially Mediterranean roof garden. All this for about $5,400 per night.
The Capri Palace’s own L'Olivo restaurant, recently awarded a Michelin Star, is the crème de la crème of dining. The hotel's talented chefs prepare exquisite Mediterranean dishes, and the wine cellar boasts more than 9,000 bottles and more than 1,000 labels.
Relax and enjoy the hotel's "Capri Beauty Farm," which used to be a well kept celeb secret. It has now become the favorite of many well-known names in the world of art and show business. The Capri Beauty Farm is one of the best spa facilities in the whole of Europe. Experience Capri’s Blue Grotto, which is known throughout the world for its size, the intense blue tones of its interior and the magical silvery light which emanates from the objects immersed in the water.
To get there, rent your own jet at $5,000 per hour, which would cost an estimated $65,000.

Anyone have their bags packed yet?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Casey Wohl Named "Woman to Watch"

Many thanks to Orange Appeal Magazine for naming The Getaway Girl one of Orlando's "Women to Watch" in the January/February 2009 issue. To read the full article, visit

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tips for Tipping During Your Travels

After a Girls Getaway to Chicago last year, my girlfriends and I all agreed that we often had no idea how much to tip certain people in the hospitality/service industry. After much research, I have compiled the following list to help everyone follow proper tipping etiquette:

Taxi/Limo Drivers: A $2-$3 tip is usually satisfactory, but more is recommended if the driver helps you with bags or provides special service.

Porters: A $1/bag tip is standard for airport and train porters. Include more if your bags are very heavy.

Hotel Bellman: $1/bag upon check in and checkout is standard. Tip more if you require special attention during your stay.

Hotel Maid: For stays of more than one night, $1/night tip is standard. Be sure to leave the tip in the hotel room in an envelope.

Parking Attendant: Tip $1-$2 when your car is delivered.

Cloakroom Attendant: Tip $1-$2 is there is no charge for the service. If there is a charge for the service, you don’t need to tip.

Tour Guide: If a tip is not included, tip $1/person for a half-day tour, $2/person for a full-day tour and $5-$10/person for a week-long tour. If you are part of a private tour, a higher tip is recommended.

Person Hailing a Taxi: Tip about $1-$2 is appropriate.

Bartender: Be sure to tip your bartender when ordering drinks. If your bill is $15-$25, a recommended tip amount is $5. If your bill is more, be sure to leave a higher tip. If you order bottle service at a night club, check your bill to see if gratuity was added. If not, you should tip 10%-15%.

Waiter/Waitress: Most people are aware that the standard tip rate is 15%; however, if service was above average or your party was more than 6 people, you should tip more. Be sure to review your bill closely to see if gratuity was already added.

Room Service: It is recommended to tip the person delivering your room service $2-$3.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Donna!

Since I was already in Daytona for the Rolex 24, it was just a few hours for me to drive to Jacksonville for Donna's 60th birthday celebration. Donna is one of my mom's college roommates, and they have remained close all these years. Donna is a fabulous person and a terrific sounding board, so she is almost like another mom to me. Since she lives in Nova Scotia, I was thrilled to see her for her birthday (even though I just missed the beachside massages).
A bunch (yes, that's a technical term) of us stayed in a 14-room beach house on the ocean. It was fabulous! We grazed on fresh shrimp, fingerling potatoes, chocolate-covered popcorn and chocolate cake. After hanging out and singing some fun songs, a few of us walked to the downtown area of Atlantic Beach, which is quaint and charming and filled with restaurants, a diner, a wine bistro, and several bars.

With all the fun we had, we are already planning a Girls Getaway to Jacksonville Beach/Bikini Bootcamp. Anyone up for yoga on the beach and fun in the sun? Let me know.
PHOTO: Casey Wohl (middle) with Roslyn Fechtel (left) and Donna Hansczaryk (right).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Casey Wohl Visits the Rolex 24 in Daytona

The Rolex 24 in Daytona is the biggest race of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Each year, drivers from around the world join Grand-Am regulars at the 3.56-mile track, which first hosted the event in 1962. Since Dan Gurney won that race, 61 drivers from the U.S. have taken a checkered flag in the twice-around-the-clock classic. But the U.S. contingent isn't the only one represented at this international race. Drivers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico and Italy are represented as well.

I was thrilled to be invited by the JLowe Racing Team (Car No. 64) for a behind-the-scenes VIP look at the race day preparations. From watching the mechanics prep the car to a full interview with JLowe Team Driver Tim Sugden of England (stay tuned for the interview) to the champagne toast at midnight, this event was really cool and one that I plan on attending again next year. Oh yeah...did I mention Dr. McDreamy himself Patrick Dempsey is there??

Anyone up for a Girls Getaway to the Rolex 24 in Daytona in 2010?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Join Me at Par and Poker's Greenside Gathering in Tampa

Join me on January 29 at the Par and Poker Celebrity Challenge for Charity's Greenside Gathering in Tampa.
Just days before the Super Bowl XLIII, join The Getaway Girl™ at the complimentary Greenside Gathering Networking Tent during the golf portion of the Par and Poker Celebrity Challenge for Charity at TPC Tampa Bay from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The gathering will bring executives and business professionals from all over the Central Florida area together. Networkers will be able to watch celebrities play the 18th green while mingling and making great business contacts. Everyone is encouraged to visit the Par and Poker Taste of Tampa, which features delicious delicacies from 10 Tampa Bay restaurants! You MUST RSVP at

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Casey Wohl Chats with Girlfriendology on Getaway Planning

Many thanks to Debba Haubert, founder of Girlfriendology (, for a fabulous interview chat on great girl getaways and tips on how to plan them. To listen, visit

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Other Adventures in Austin

Besides shopping and eating, what else did we do in Austin?

Nightlife: Sixth Street (formerly known as Pecan Street) is Austin’s (probably even Texas’) best known street and the city’s entertainment center. It is lined with many historical houses and commercial buildings dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s. These old buildings now house numerous bars, a host of live entertainment venues, tattoo parlors, art galleries, casual cafes, upscale restaurants, and our fabulous host hotel – the Driskill. Live music from the bars is heard on the streets, and music lovers of all kinds (jazz, blues, country, dance, rock, hip-hop, progressive, metal, punk and more) will be able to find whatever musical style suits their taste. Our first stop on 6th Street was The Blind Pig Pub (512-472-0809) and we bar hopped the rest of the evening. We ended up in the Warehouse District, which is a little less touristy that 6th and where many of the locals go. Ali and I were in awe of the live shark tank underneath the clear dance floor at Qua ( We also checked out Cuba Libre ( ) where Ali played the bongos, J. Blacks Feel Good Lounge (, as well as several others. In the South Congress area, we checked out the live music at The Continental Club (, which is a great hangout for music lovers.

Sightseeing: We were so thankful that Trenton drove us around to see some of Austin’s sights. Although the bats were not flying this time of year (Austin has the largest urban bat population; at dusk in warmer months, 1.5 million bats fly from their home under the Congress Avenue Bridge). We at least stopped at the Bat Sculpture for a photo. He also took us to Lake Austin where we saw the infamous Chuy’s Hula Hut ( and Mozart’s Coffee Roasters ( Trenton drove us by Austin’s City Hall that was designed to look like an armadillo; it even has a tail! We also stopped by the brand new (and super cool) Hotel Saint Cecilia (, which is owned by Liz Lambert who also owns trendy and popular the Hotel San Jose ( Hotel Saint Cecilia is housed in a renovated 1880s Victorian estate with 14 bungalow-style rooms. We also joined Dani who took us to Mount Bonnell (Austin’s highest point at 775 feet). We hiked to the top and enjoyed the amazing views of downtown and Lake Austin (kudos to Ali for hiking in heels).

We had a fabulous time in Austin and cannot wait to go back. I hope you continue to "Keep Austin Weird." We love it!

PHOTO: Ali & Casey pose at the Bat Sculpture.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Keep Austin's Food Fabulous!

Our first stop in town was lunch at Guero’s Taco Bar ( on South Congress. This popular taqueria is housed in a renovated feed store and provides an eclectic atmosphere for patrons to enjoy some of Austin’s finest Tex Mex. I loved the combo Tacos Platos I ordered (Chicken Especial & Carne Guisada). Dinner Friday night was at Eddie V’s ( where we sat in the lounge area and enjoyed the live, four-piece jazz band. We all agreed that while all the food was delicious, my Steamed “Hong Kong Style” Chilean Seabass was the best. This was a great pick for fine dining! On Saturday, Ali and I took several recommendations and ate lunch (and saw a movie) at the Original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (, which was just blocks from The Driskill. I enjoyed a pizza and Ali ordered a salad. We watched their feature movie The Wrestler, but heard they also have Sing Along and Quote Along Nights too.

We heard more recommendations for Uchi (Japanese word for “home”) Restaurant ( than any other eatery, so we had to try this sushi hotspot despite the almost two-hour wait (which actually turned out to be part of the Uchi experience). Just a 5-minute cab ride from our hotel, we enjoyed lounging in the outdoor seating area while we waited. They really do make you feel at home here, from the comfortable outdoor seating clusters to the soothing decor inside. Executive chef and Florida native Tyson Cole does an outstanding job of pairing traditional sushi with unusual flavors to create mouthwatering dishes. We loved it! Our Sunday morning at South Congress Café ( served up another amazing meal. I had to try the Carrot Cake French Toast (which was delish) with their original cream cheese-pecan syrup. Yum!

We were never disappointed with our dining options in Austin. If this is what it means to "Keep Austin Weird," keep it coming! Great food, great times!

PHOTO: Ali enjoys the escolar at Uchi!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shop 'til You Drop in Austin

Our first shopping stop: SoCo. On South Congress Avenue, two to three blocks are filled with a diverse selection of funky stores. Here you’ll find boot shops, vintage clothing, galleries, trendy outfitters, antiques, and more, including the costume store Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds ( where Bob Dylan is rumored to have shopped for retro outfits. We spent some time in the vintage store Feathers (512- 912-9779), trendy boutique By George (, folk art gallery Yard Dog (, local fashion house Parts & Labour (, jewelry and gifts at Maya (, and the all black boutique Blackmail (

We also indulged in some shopping on Second Street, which housed great store and trendy boutiques. We visited several, including Girl Next Door ( which showcased some amazing jewelry and fashions, Estilo (512-236-0488) with a great selection of men and women’s clothing, Mercury Design Studio ( with cool home furnishings and gifts, Shiki ( that had several items I wanted to take home, and Peyton’s Place ( for some fashion deals.

PHOTO: Ali takes a break while shopping on Austin's Second Street.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Austin's Historic Landmark Hotel - The Driskill

Built in 1886 as a cattle barron’s showplace, The Driskill Hotel ( is located in downtown Austin with 189 guestrooms and suites distributed between the Historic Wing, with its high ceilings, detailed woodwork, wide hallways and balconies, and the Traditional Wing, built in 1929 and showcasing classic styling and the colors of the Texas Hill Country. No detail is forgotten inside or out as the hotel features a very ornate exterior complete with flags out front, a beautiful columned lobby; original art, oil paintings, and precious antiques; ornate beds designed exclusively for the hotel; marble floors and stained-glass dome. The hotel is branded throughout the room with the building depicted on the valances and TV cabinet, as well as the “D” on the floor of the room entrance and in the sink. They allow pets with a $50 fee. The Driskill has hosted celebs such as Dennis Quaid and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Singer Jewel filmed her latest video here and both Lance Armstrong and President George W. Bush held press conferences here.

Not be overlooked, The Driskill’s dining options are first class as well. Located just off the popular bar area, The Driskill Grill is listed as one of the top 100 hotel restaurants per USA Today. The restaurant’s Chef's Table seats up to six and offers a close-up view of the culinary action and a custom tasting menu. The Driskill also offers "Chef for a Day" and "Chef for an Afternoon" packages, which include a kitchen tour, hands-on cooking with the chefs, and dinner. The hotel’s 1886 Café & Bakery features contemporary, Southern dining for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night meals and full-bar service. The 1886 also offers a complete line of homemade pastries and desserts with service until midnight Friday and Saturday. A fitness studio and massage services are also available at the hotel.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Hyatt Lost Pines Had Me at Creme Brulee!

We arrived in Austin Thursday evening and Ashley picked us up and drove us to the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa. The 405-acre property ( is just 20 miles away from downtown Austin and was built on a former pecan orchard. With 492 guest rooms, most with private balcony or patio, the resort offers a "lodge" feel and immediately makes you feel cozy upon arriving. Activities here are endless, from Spa Django to the Renegade Equestrian Center to the Wolfdancer Golf Club, as well as hiking in McKinney Roughs Nature Park, white water rafting on the Colorado River, and fun-in-the-sun at the Crooked River Water Park.

Dining options are also endless at Stories Fine Dining Establishment (which we enjoyed), the more casual and colorful Firewheel Café, Old Buck’s Poolside Grill, Shellers Barrelhouse Bar and Grill (with live entertainment), Major Neighbor’s Grill, and McDade's Emporium and Ice Cream Saloon (a throwback to an earlier era and coffee all day long).
We were treated to a fabulous five-course dinner at Stories (Julia Roberts has eaten here) where Amanda provided exceptional service and Chef Winston made sure we enjoyed the finest in the resort's cuisine. Crystal and Ashley joined us. Ali said she felt like we were on Top Chef! We started with a goat cheese polenta with locally-grown mushrooms and peppers, then enjoyed cauliflower carraway soup. I loved the quail with pomegrante and molasses glaze, as well as the bacon (cured on site) paired with fresh avocado and the filet mignon. Ashley liked the scallops and we were all surprised with the roasted lobster, venison and lamp chops. Dessert was perfect....I LOVED the creme brulee sampler (vanilla, coconut, expresso). In fact, when Amanda was reviewing the dessert options, I bursted out with "You had me at creme brulee." The wine pairings with each course were perfect!

The resort is located near Bastrop, TX, which was named "Most Historic Small Town in Texas" for the number of buildings listed on the historical register. Bastrop is rich with history and folklore, and self-guided tours feature 130 historic homes and buildings, including the Bastrop County Museum and the Opera House, which first opened in 1898 and is today a thriving center for the performing arts. Wander down Main Street, filled with interesting stores, restaurants, art galleries, antique shops and more. For the outdoor enthusiast, nearby Bastrop State Park offers an endless array of activities the entire family can enjoy. Rent a canoe, go swimming, hike, bike along trails, go fishing, or just enjoy a quiet picnic and watch the wildlife.

This morning I had a fabulous Django Massage (thank you Robin) at the Spa, and Ali and I enjoyed our time in the steam room. We are off to the city and our next stop at The Driskill Hotel. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Austin Here We Come!

Since I have never been to the Live Music Capital of the World, I figured it is about time I go and check out all the great things I’ve heard about this city.
Since it was discovered in 1991 that Austin has more live music venues per capita than any other city, this town now boasts more than 200 live music venues and more than 2,000 musicians.
In addition to the live music and nightlife, we plan to check out the shopping along the 2nd Street District, as well as SoCo. Our first stop tonight will be the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa for some rest and relaxation before the weekend. Stay tuned for more details on our Girls Getaway to Austin!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Getaway Girl Does Girls Night Out (GNO)

It was so nice going to dinner and a movie with one of my fantastic girlfriends. Sharla and I have been friends since the sixth grade and always have a great time together. We laughed about stories from our childhood (she used to drag me down the stairs on my comforter to get me to wake up in the mornings - I am NOT a morning person). We also talked about trips we took, slumber parties we hosted and what we want to be "when we grow up."
Dinner was fun, and I loved the Gingerbread Cookie Martini! We then caught Bride Wars at the movie theater - great chick flick and very funny! We both want to see it again.

If you cannot getaway with your girlfriends, at least take the time to go to dinner or grab lunch in order to stay connected and unwind with your BFFs.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Casey Wohl Chats Key West Travel with Amateur Traveler Podcast

Hi everyone! I was thrilled to be interviewed by Chris Christensen with Amateur Traveler. Chris and I chatted about the great things to do in Key West, such as riding the Conch Train, visiting Ernest Hemingway's house, catching lobsters and dining with chickens at Blue Heaven!

To listen to the interview, click on the link

Monday, January 12, 2009

Looking for "Bundles of Free Smiles?"

Orlando is helping Florida travelers save money in 2009 without sacrificing a great vacation. To follow the theme of our new advertising campaign, “Orlando Makes Me Smile,” we’ve created the Orlando Smile Card, offering bundles of free smiles (aka free deals) throughout the destination. These free smiles will be effective from now through June, so the offers are valid for 6 months!

The offers cover accommodations, attractions, dining and more and range from stay two nights get one free and kids stay free to free parking, free tokens in the game room and even buy one attraction ticket and get a kid’s ticket free. There are more than 50 offers so far up on the program’s Web site, More will be added in the coming weeks. Here are a couple of specific examples:

·Rosen Shingle Creek - Stay 4 nights and get an additional 3 nights free; also includes: free high speed Internet, fitness center access, game room tokens and parking
·Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel in the WDW Resort - Stay 2 nights and get the 3rd free; Plus: Free Welcome Gift, Free Parking, Kids Stay Free
·Orlando World Center Marriott ResortBook 3 nights and receive the 4th night free or book 4 nights and receive the 5th night free
·SeaWorld Orlando - Adults at Kids Prices
·Orlando Balloon Rides – Buy 1 adult ride and get a free kids ride
·Pirate's Dinner Adventure – Buy 1 adult ticket and get a free kids ticket
·Boggy Creek Airboat Rides – Buy 2 tickets and get the 3rd free
Free offers are easily redeemed by downloading an Orlando Smile Card™ at Visitors simply show the card to participating establishments to lock in the “Bundles of Free Smiles” offer. I’ve attached a jpeg of the smile card for your convenience.

Visitors to the Web site will also find more detailed information about free and inexpensive activities, a searchable database of places to stay, an option to upload a personal Orlando vacation “smile” experience and an events calendar that highlights a wide range of affordable events throughout Central Florida.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Getaway to Budapest and Hungary

Budget Travel Magazine has released more budget travel destinations for 2009! Two you may not have thought about include:

Budapest, Hungary: With its economy taking a hard hit last year and the Hungarian currency devalued, now is a great time to stretch your dollar in Hungary. Much like Vienna and Prague (which I love), Budapest features the old European feel with sidewalk cafes and a vast amount of history. In fact, many of my ancestors are from Hungary and I have my great grandmothers travel journals of their visits home, so I have ALWAYS wanted to visit Hungary. Experts say you can spend a mere $20/day at a day spa and enjoy their hot thermal springs.

Cambodia: With more than 2 million visitors in 2008, this country is no longer just for backpackers. With its magnificent Hindu and Buddhist temples and beautiful beaches, this Asian destination is perfect for nature and history lovers, as well as travelers on a budget. Experts say you can rent a bike here for $2/day. Go now before it becomes overly popular in a few years.
PHOTOS: Left - Budapest pools; Right - Cambodia Temples.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Getaway Girl Talks Trends & Travel with Kiwanis

I will admit...I was not quite sure how a presentation from me, The Getaway Girl, would go over with a group of Kiwanis (mostly businessmen) during their weekly meeting. However, I was thrilled with the positive feedback I received.
One member, Mark Manuel, emailed me: "Thanks for taking the time to speak to our group. It was one of the best programs we have had lately." He also recommended I visit Asheville, NC for a future girls getaway.

I had a great time meeting new friends and seeing some familiar faces, as well as hearing some amazing travel stories. Kiwanis - Thank you for inviting me to lunch. It was an absolute pleasure!
PHOTO: Casey Wohl with members of the Wauchula Kiwanis Club.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Girls Getaway Guide to Key West Featured in Skirt! Magazine

I am thrilled to be featured in the Browse Section of Skirt! Magazine's January 2009 issue. The magazine editor, Chris Kuhn, reviewed the Girls Getaway Guide to Key West: Leave Your Baggage at Home! Sounds like we will see Chris in Key West very soon.
For more information about Skirt!, visit

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Best 2009 Travel Value? Iceland?

Experts are predicting 2009 to be the year of travel deals, with amazing discounts and huge incentives to keep people traveling. Many travel analysts and websites provide their opinion of top travel deals for this year, and I consistently see one location on everyone’s list: Iceland. That’s right – Iceland!

I first heard about Icelandic travel last summer from a guy who had just returned from a bachelor party in Iceland. Who would have ever thought of Iceland for a bachelor party, I thought? However, the more he talked about the trip and the fabulous natural wonders, such as geothermal hot springs, glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, rivers and waterfalls, the more interested I became in visiting this magnificent country myself.

After the country’s near brush with bankruptcy in 2008, Icelandic currency is deeply devalued and the tourist-based businesses are eager to entice people from all over the world to visit. With a five hour plane ride from the Eastern U.S. coast, Iceland may be closer than you think. And their summers are surprisingly warm, so start planning your trip now. Icelanders’ warm welcome and strong desire to share their culture will help make your trip memorable.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

My girlfriends and I had a blast celebrating New Years Eve in Downtown Orlando with a fabulous Girls Night Out (GNO). The night started at AKA Lounge where we rang in the New Year; then we headed to Stardust Lounge for the rest of the evening.
PHOTO: Hildie, Amanda, Casey & Ali celebrate New Years Eve!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Is 2009 the Year of the "Naycation?"

Experts are saying that if 2008 was the year of the “staycation,” then 2009 is the year of the “naycation” and people just aren’t going to be traveling. With leisure travel down by double digits in the last quarter of 2008, this news is no surprise. cites 9 reasons for this trend:
1. Bad economy
2. No vacation budget
3. Uncertain about 2009
4. Tired of being lied to
5. 2008 staycations were boring
6. Deals are good but not good enough
7. People don’t feel like traveling
8. Travel industry doesn’t get it
9. Making vacation plans for 2010

To view the full article, visit

If you are like me and will still find a way to travel (where there’s a will there’s a way), here are some ways I’ll be making my travel dollars go further this year:
1. Use travel points – In November, I paid for my rental car, one night hotel room and air fare to LA all with travel points from various sources (credit card, hotel reward programs, airline point programs, etc). If you have these points, now if the time to use them. If you aren’t signed up for these programs, do so today!
2. Travel in groups – This could be a girls getaway or a couples trip. Whatever your desired trip, think of ways to invite more people along to help spread out costs such as hotel room, transportation, etc.
3. Visit friends/family – Perhaps you have friends or family who live in a city you have never visited before. Take this time to stay with them and explore their city, thus allowing you to spend little money on things like lodging, food, transportation, etc.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Helping Girls Getaway Feature Article

The Highlands Today (a regional section of the Tampa Tribune) ran a feature article on me today. To read the full article, visit the link below: