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November 2011

November 28, 2011

I Heart NYC: A Big Apple Holiday for Every Kind of Traveler

Rockefeller Center of Christmas,NY(Top Photo Group,Thinkstock)
Rockefeller Center during Christmas, New York City (Top Photo Group/Thinkstock)

If one city in the continental U.S. represents everything the holidays stand for, New York City is that place. It has vibrant colors, soft white blankets of snow, beautifully decorated trees, ice skating rinks, and store window treatments that come straight from all of our childhood dreams. In our opinion, NYC is iconic and whimsical during the holidays, a place where even the most Grinchiest can find some sort of joy.

For The Dancer
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Say the word Rockettes and you automatically think of high kicks, glitz, and glam, which is why Radio City's Christmas Spectacular is a must-see over the holidays. The Rockettes dance and dazzle their way through The Twelve Days of Christmas Carol, the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, the Living Nativity, and more. Each 90-minute performance showcases 36 Rockettes (who are all between 5'6" and 5'10.5") and 1,300 costumes. Live animals such as donkeys, camels, and sheep are a part of the cast as well. Get your jazz hands ready!

For The Shopper
Holiday Window Displays
Many high-end stores on Fifth Avenue, such as Sak's, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, and others off 5th Ave, such as Barneys, Bloomingdale's, and Macy's have display designers working for months on the creations that they place in their store windows.  Long ago, Macy's started this tradition of creating magical tales of the holidays in their windows and the other stores have since followed. Children will be in awe of the displays and adults will appreciate the show of artist ability as well. Best of all, window shopping is free!

For The Arborist
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
A world-wide symbol of the season, the Rockefeller Christmas tree has been a tradition for over 75 years. This year it stands tall, bright, and beautiful; lit by 30,000 LED lights on five miles of wire and topped with a Swarovski crystal star. If trees are your thing, also hop around the city and check out the trees at Madison Square Park, Wall Street, South Street Seaport, Botanical Gardens, and a few of the museums like the MET.

Continue reading "I Heart NYC: A Big Apple Holiday for Every Kind of Traveler" »

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Related Topics: Budget Travel · Christmas Vacation · Family Vacation · Holidays, Events, & Festivals · US Travel

November 22, 2011

Win Two Free Nights at a Courtyard Marriott!

Airline travelers get a first look at Courtyard Marriott's new lobby concept.

Heading through Houston, Phoenix, or Baltimore/Washington airports this holiday travel season? You might find an out-of-place hotel lobby smack dab in the middle of the concourse. Courtyard by Marriott is debuting a new lobby concept in the airport terminals of these three major hubs, hoping to introduce business travelers to what it sees as the future of the hotel lobby.

As we've reported recently, there are big changes underway in the public spaces at Courtyard by Marriott hotels nationwide. First, it has overhauled its food and beverage offerings. Now, Courtyard by Marriott is hoping to create a communal and helpful atmosphere for travelers by way of its lobbies. The idea is to allow guests to stay "connected, productive, and balanced." But the concept goes beyond WiFi hotspots. "Media pods" allow guests to hold mini meetings with up to three other people. Communal tables are designed to entice business travelers to enjoy a glass of wine while checking their email at happy hour, and to meet other guests also in town on business. Interactive television screens called GoBoards, developed by Courtyard and FourWinds Interactive, let users send directions to their smartphones or check flight information before heading to the airport.

“We are thrilled to present this new technology to our guests,” said Janis Milham, vice president and global brand manager for Courtyard by Marriott. In fact, the company is so excited to show off the new spaces, it's giving away two free nights in a Courtyard by Marriott to one lucky reader. All you have to do is answer one simple question:

What is your least favorite part about business travel?

Simply post a comment in the Comments section of this blog post answering that question. We'll pick the most useful comment, and that reader will get a free two-night stay at a Courtyard by Marriott anywhere in the continental U.S. Restrictions apply. Click here for terms and conditions.

For a list of properties with the new lobby, check here. Courtyard Marriott is also providing a free stay to to check out the new lobbies.

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · Travel Trends · US Travel

November 14, 2011

The Best Places to Get Naked on the Road

A Google search on "nude travel" nets over 100 million results. That's a lot of flesh, so to speak, and while I'd rather not spend too long contemplating visions of sunburned boomers drinking mai-tais and comparing depleted 401k's, it did make me ponder the best possibilities for unpacking your birthday suit while traveling.

Dive Right In: Kurokawamachi, Japan

Onsen in Kurokawa, Kumamoto (david McKelvey/Flickr)

The venerable Japanese onsen—literally, "hot bath"—is the perfect place to wallow in the refinement of Japanese life. Traditionally fed by hot natural springs, the best of these baths are located in some beautiful outdoor spot framed by a babbling brook and rustling mountain foliage, so harmonious that you'll barely notice the exposed male and female flesh around you. Join families, couples, and travelers as they soothe away the aches of their day; some of the more famous baths in Japan even include simian bathers, though my favorites are adjacent to tiny ryokan in the picture-postcard town of Kurokawa, a traditional onsen resort on the slopes of still-smoking Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture.

Continue reading "The Best Places to Get Naked on the Road" »

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Related Topics: Asia Travel · Beach Vacation · Exotic Escapes · Trip Ideas

November 10, 2011

Win a Pair of Round-Trip Tickets in Our Dream Destination Photo Contest

By awayblog

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Do you have a photograph that captures your love of travel in a single moment? A scene of a treasured place where the promise of that dream vacation transformed into the trip of a lifetime? We want to hear from you! Introducing’s Dream Destination Photo Contest, a month-long effort to find the most inspirational travel photograph from among our world-roving readers. The winning entry will win two round-trip tickets with a value of $550 each, courtesy of What are you waiting for? Start combing through your desktop photo archives to find that killer shot (to get your creative juices flowing, here are some picks from among’s staff).

Click here to read more about the contest and submit your entry!

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Related Topics: News · Exotic Escapes · Free Stuff

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