Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Girls Getaway to North Carolina - Oktoberfest

To celebrate this fabulous fall, this month’s Girls Getaway photo is submitted by Heather Howell who writes:

“I have a time share in North Carolina every year during peak leaf changing season. In the past it has always been just family, but this year I made it a Girls Getaway. We shopped the Historic Mast General store in Valle Crucis, as well as downtown Boone, Banner Elk, Blowing Rock, NC and Mt. City, TN, which has great antique stores and plenty of culture. We also loaded up on great fall decorations. We stopped at the wine store after shopping and drank wine by the fire, then shopped Clemmons Produce for fresh produce, jellies, jams, butt rubs & BBQ sauces.”

PHOTO: Shelley Hinote and Heather Howell (both from Avon Park, FL) at Octoberfest Sugar Mountain, NC.

To submit your girl getaway photos, email us at info@GirlsGetawayGuide.net.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New DOT Rule Limits Airline Tarmac Delays

In what one advocate called "a Christmas miracle for airline passengers," the Department of Transportation on Monday announced a rule prohibiting U.S. aircraft on domestic routes from remaining on a tarmac for more than three hours with travelers aboard."

Airline passengers have rights, and these new rules will require airlines to live up to their obligation to treat their customers fairly," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. Exceptions to the three-hour rule would be allowed only for safety and security reasons or if air traffic controllers advise a pilot that returning to the terminal would disrupt airport operations, the department said.

U.S. airlines operating international flights departing from or arriving in the United States "must specify, in advance, their own time limits for deplaning passengers, with the same exceptions applicable," the statement said. Airlines also are required to provide adequate food and water for passengers within two hours of their plane being delayed on the tarmac, the department said, maintain operable restrooms and provide medical attention if necessary.

Click here to read full article.

Source: CNN

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tourism is the Ultimate Stimulus Package Says Media Travel Expert

Creating sustainable prosperity in U.S. towns and cities through creation and promotion of alluring attractions in U.S. destinations coupled with focused marketing aimed at reaching travelers in global destinations where their currency conversion results in powerful purchasing power should be a lead agenda item in every village, town and city in the U.S. according to travel expert broadcaster Stephanie Abrams.

According to Abrams, “The reinforcement of our national infrastructure as part of our ‘stimulus package’ agenda is very important. But if our roads, tunnels and bridges are marketed as part of a tourism trail that leads travelers along appealing routes that would attracts domestic and international tourists, we would be well on the way to economic recovery and ongoing sustainable prosperity for towns and cities large and small.” Abrams points out that construction projects that begin and end provide employment in the locales for a finite period of time.

But Abrams notes that, “If construction projects were tied into identifying, creating and promoting existing historic, cultural, and natural sites of interest as well as attractions and locations where exciting events can be planned, these tourism attractions would create and perpetuate jobs in each community.
Sales and marketing personnel would be needed to promote the destination, local attractions would create job opportunities for everyone from admission sales to maintenance, and the influx of visitors would add to the region’s economy through the purchase of overnight stays at local lodgings, restaurant visits, souvenir shopping and other purchases that add to the profits of local businesses, support non-profit venues, and add to the local, state and federal tax revenues. There’s no nicer way to increase local tax collection than by having visitors support your economy through local purchases and payment of taxes associated with those purchases.”

Click here to read full story.

Source: Hospitality 1st

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Years Even Party Themes for a Fun Night In

Want to stay home (or close to home) and still celebrate the end of 2009? Here are some New Year’s Eve Party Ideas that are appropriate for all ages:

*Ring Out the Old Year Party – Play up the “out with the old, in with the new” phrase and pick a decade or time in history to represent the nostalgia of years past. Ask guests to dress according the era and decorate accordingly.

*Fortune Telling Party – Invite friends over to predict their good fortunes for the New Year. Guests can dress as gypsies and the party site can be decorated as a gypsy or palm readers’ house. Activities may include a poker table (for anyone who feels lucky), lottery card scratch offs and a hired fortune teller or palm reader.

*New Year’s Eve in New York City – Cannot actually be in NYC for New Year’s? You can still throw a NYC-themed party to help friends and family ring in the New Year. Ask guests to dress up and decorate the location NYC-style. You can also borrow some Sex and the City ideas and serve Cosmos or have a replica of the NYC ball in the room.

*Casino Night – Wish you could be in Vegas for the end of the year? If not, bring Vegas to you and your friends. A very cool New Years Eve Casino Night is a fun way to ring in the New Year. Ask guests to dress in black tie and rent poker tables, dealers, etc and make your party more than just a “roll of the dice.”

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Congratulations Week 2 - 12 Days til Christmas Winners

Congratulations to our week two winners of the Girls Getaway Guide's "12 Days til Christmas." Happy holidays, and safe travels!

Dec. 14
Girls Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard
Two nights stay in one-bedroom luxury suite
Value: $500
Donated by: Edgartown Residence Club www.EdgartownResidenceClub.com
Winner: Elizabeth G., Chicago, IL

Dec. 15
Best Friends’ One-Night Getaway
Enjoy two rooms for a one-night stay at any AVIA hotel (Savannah, Napa, Long Beach or The Woodlands)
Value: $500
Donated by: AVIA Hotels www.AVIAHotels.com
Winner: Emma V., Olive Branch, MS

Dec. 16
Girls Getaway to Phoenix
One night stay in the Ocattia at the Arizona Biltmore with Club Lounge Access
Value: $500
Donated by: Arizona Biltmore www.ArizonaBiltmore.com
Winner: Eileen M., Willow Grove, PA

Dec. 17
Girls Getaway to Pinehurst, NC
Trip for two for an Evergreen Escape Spa Getaway, including room, breakfast and spa treatments.
Value: $550
Donated by: Pinehurst Resort www.Pinehurst.com
Winner: Helen M.Fruitland Park, FL

Dec. 18
Girls Getaway to New Orleans
Two nights stay at the Inn on Bourbon
Value: $600
Donated by Inn On Bourbon www.InnOnBourbon.com
Winner: Stacey K., Croswell, MI

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Congratulations Week 1 - 12 Days til Christmas Winners

If you still have not entered to win one of the fabulous travel prizes in our 12 Days til Christmas promotion, be sure and register today at www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net.

Here are the winners from Week 1:

Dec. 8
ICE! VIP Package 4 tickets to ICE! & gift bag
Value: $250
Donated by: Gaylord Palms Resort www.GaylordHotels.com/gaylord-palms/
Winner: Maggie H. of Sebring, FL

Dec. 9
Michael Kors Designer Travel Bag Large Printed Canvas Travel Tote Bag – Style: Joplin
Value: $348
Donated by: Neiman Marcus Last Call at Prime Outlets Orlando www.Prime Outlets.com/Orlando
Winner: Kim B. of Cincinnati, OH

Dec. 10
Girls Getaway to Miami Two nights stay, two “Welcome to Miami” cocktails & breakfast for two
Value: $450
Donated by: Hotel Urbano www.HotelUrbano.com
Winner: Steve S. of Lorida, FL

Dec. 11
Discover Charleston Package Two nights for two at Fulton Lane Inn, tickets to Middleton Place, carriage tour & tickets to historic Nathaniel Russell House
Value: $489
Donated by: Charming Inns www.CharmingInns.com
Winner: Kathie M. of Sebring, FL

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Turks & Caicos - Day 3

After breakfast the next day (it sounds like all we do is eat), a few girls walked across the street to do some shopping. We found a fabulous boutique, Rumeurs, which has furniture, home décor, clothing, jewelry and more all imported from places like Paris and Bali. We all left with shopping bags full of goodies, which is an indication of how great the store really is.

Next, we headed to the Caicos Conch Farm, which is the only conch farm in the world. Denver taught us all about the conch, how fast they grow, where they export to and how they grow the baby conchs in a nursery. The highlight of the tour was meeting Sally and Jerry, two tame conchs that Denver used to show us how to tell the difference between female and male conchs. It was all downhill from there with this group, and the “Conch Weenie” was born (stay tuned for more details). We took a quick drive to Turtle Cove Marina, where many large boats and yachts are stored. They also have good restaurants and shopping in this area.

Our last dinner was at Coco Bistro (http://www.cocobistro.tc/), which featured my favorite dish of the whole trip…Herb Ravioli of Conch and Flame Grilled Sweet Peppers with a White Wine Cream Sauce, Light Tomato Vinaigrette, Pan Grilled Artichoke Hearts, Pecan Basil Pesto and Fresh Shaved Parmesan. It was amazing! As we dined under the palms, we relived our adventures in the Turks & Caicos and realized we made several new friends for life. After a quick stop at Casablanca Casino, where we all watched Paul lose $20 in 30 seconds, we headed to Infiniti Bar, which is the Caribbean’s longest bar, for one last toast to the gorgeous Turks & Caicos.

Many thanks to Julia Maximo and Ian McLeod with Ocean Club Resorts for their fantastic hospitality. Also, thank you to Cheryl Andrews and Grace Salisbury with Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications for organizing such a wonderful trip with great people.

PHOTO: Casey Wohl holds Sally the Conch in Turks & Caicos.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Turks & Caicos - Day 2

The next morning I was anxious to get a massage at Spa Tropique, which was just a few steps away from my room. After a relaxing, 50-minute “Naughty but Nice” massage, I met the group for lunch where we were all very impressed by the resort’s Beet Mojitos…yes, Beet Mojitos. They tasted as good as they looked!

Then, we were off to our snorkel and sunset cruise aboard the Atabeyra (http://www.suncharters.tc/). Many thanks to David (a fellow Rollins College alum) and Isabelle as they showed us the magnificent underwater world and beautiful islands that surround the Turks & Caicos. We saw magnificent purple fish, hunted shells and sand dollars on deserted islands, and enjoyed snacking on lobster rolls and wine during the sail. At the end of the sail, our one male traveler dove overboard to fetch his shoes…making this now a true “Girls Getaway.”

That night, we spiced things up with a tapas-style, Moroccan dinner at Lemon Café (http://www.lemoncafe.tc/). Proprietor Mark Dillon’s Moroccan mother-in-law inspired the great food and atmosphere found at Lemon. Everything from the décor, utensils and chairs were imported and add a sophisticated flair to the restaurant. Grace and I even tried our belly dancing skills on stage…we think we were good, but that was probably due to the wine.

PHOTO: Our ship, the Atabeyra, took us all around the Turks & Caicos.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Turks & Caicos - Day 1

When I told fans I was going to the Turks & Caicos, the most frequent questions I received was, “What and where are the Turks & Caicos?” The Turks & Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. The islands are located 550 miles southeast of Miami, just south of the Bahamas, east of Cuba and north of Haiti. Technically, the Turks & Caicos are located in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean Sea. The islands are home to about 30,000 full time residents, and welcome more than 200,000 tourists annually. The islands are well known for their love of shellfish, particularly conch, which is available in abundance to this day, thanks to the work of the Caicos Conch farm, the only commercial conch farm in the world.

Turks & Caicos is a British Crown colony; however, it was not until the early 1980s when the islands started to become a viable tourist destination. Since then, increasingly more development has taken shape, and the small, salt raking island country of Turks & Caicos has grown into what is quickly becoming recognized as one of the world’s premier beach destinations.

After a 75 minute plane ride from Miami, I arrived in Providenciales (or known as Provo) and was transported by van (thank you Tina) to Ocean Club West Resort (http://www.oceanclubresorts.com/), which was just a 15 ride away. Upon arriving at Ocean Club, I checked in to my King One-Bedroom Suite complete with a lovely balcony overlooking the pool and ocean, full kitchen, dining room and comfortable living area. I made my way down to the Seaside Café and ordered their award-winning Conch Burger, which was every bit as good as it sounds. After re-fueling at the Café, it was time to check out the beautiful Grace Bay beach and get some R&R under one of the resort’s signature pink umbrellas.

Dinner that night was at the resort’s second property, Ocean Club, where they treated us like kings at their fine dining restaurant, Opus. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, from steaks to lamb to seafood, there was something for everyone. I opted for the Whole Roasted Red Snapper with Lemon Caper Butter and got a lesson on how to eat a fish when it is served head, skin and all.
Stay tuned!!
PHOTO: Beach at Ocean Club West.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Who Says There’s No Such Thing as a Free Vacation?

To help people continue to enjoy the gift of travel, the Girls Getaway Guide is pleased to announce The Getaway Girl’s® third annual “12 Days ‘til Christmas” holiday promotion. In an effort to help people beat the holiday madness and Leave Your Baggage at Home®, the Girls Getaway Guide will host a countdown to the big day.

Travel lovers everywhere can visit the Girls Getaway Guide online at http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/ to sign up for more than $7,000 in fabulous giveaways, which are sure to provide welcome holiday cheer during this stressful time of year. The winners will be selected on each of the 12 business days starting Dec. 8 through Dec. 23, with the Grand Prizes selected on Dec. 24 & 25. Each day leading up to Christmas, a terrific Girls Getaway Guide prize will be given away to a randomly-selected entrant.

Don’t delay, be sure to sign up today at www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Leave Your Baggage at Home® Shirts Make Great Gifts

The Getaway Girl's® "must-have" custom shirt makes a great holiday gift. It combines the brilliance of Swarovski crystals, rhinestones and studs and captures the popular phrase "Leave Your Baggage at Home®". Wear it on your next girls’ getaway, to make a fashion statement or simply as a reminder to leave it all behind!

The shirt comes in black, pink or white and is available in S, M, L, XL. Retail price = $38. Call or email for bulk discounts and wholesale prices. To order, visit www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Girls Getaway to the Turks & Caicos

On a plane today! Follow my adventures to the Turks & Caicos as I enjoy suite accommodations at Ocean Club Resorts (http://www.oceanclubresorts.com/) situated on stunning Grace Bay Beach. What to do first? Snorkel, relax with some beach time, indulge in a spa treatment, experience local cuisine, take a sunset cruise, explore the island? Follow my travels on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/GetawayGirl) or via Facebook (Fan Page: Girls Getaway Guide).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Girls Getaway Guide's BOGO December

To spread some holiday cheer (and girls getaway fun), the Girls Getaway Guide is offering a Buy One, Get One Free special on any Girls Getaway Guide book that is purchased on the Girls Getaway Guide website http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/ or at an event in the month of December. Order your copies today at http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/. These make great gifts and are a fantastic deal this month!