Civil War exhibit opens in Wilmington, Del. (AP)

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

WILMINGTON, Del. – A new exhibit at a Delaware museum explores the role of the du Pont family in the Civil War.

The exhibit at the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, “An Oath of Allegiance to the Republic: The du Ponts and the Civil War,” runs through July 2012.

It explores Delaware’s best-known family’s involvement in the war — from Henry du Pont, who led the militia and tried to rally Delaware to stay part of the Union, to Samuel Francis Du Pont, a decorated admiral. Admission to the exhibit is included in regular museum tickets.

Article source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/aptrne/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110503/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_civil_war_exhibit

Kenya: Elephants killed near Prince William cabin (AP)

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

NAIROBI, Kenya – A conservation group says four of seven elephants outfitted with GPS tracking collars have been killed on the forested slopes of Mount Kenya in recent months — only a short hike from the rustic cabin where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton.

Save The Elephants founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton said Tuesday he’s worried about what may be happening to the elephants who aren’t collared.

The first killing came in October, the same month the royal couple traveled to a rustic log cabin where the two fished in a nearby pond and bundled up for chilly nights at high altitude. It’s not known publicly if the two saw any elephants on their trip, but one of the four beasts died only 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the cabin.

Article source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/aptrne/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110503/ap_tr_ge/af_travel_brief_kenya_elephant_deaths

Writing safety rules could get tougher for FAA (AP)

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

WASHINGTON – New airline safety regulations, including long-sought rules aimed at preventing exhausted pilots from flying, will be harder to issue if an industry-backed measure supported by House Republicans becomes law, federal aviation and safety officials are warning Congress.

A bill providing authority for Federal Aviation Administration programs that the House passed in March contains an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. It would change the way the FAA goes about making regulations, including requiring an analysis of the effect proposed rules may have on the economy, private markets, productivity, employment and competitiveness.

The FAA would also be required to write separate safety rules for different segments of the airline industry — passenger airlines, cargo carriers, charters and others — even though the agency’s oft-stated goal is to have “one level of safety” across the aviation industry.

A bill passed by the Senate earlier this year doesn’t contain a similar provision, setting up a showdown between the two chambers.

FAA officials have declined to comment publicly about the Shuster amendment. Privately, the agency has been sending lawmakers who inquire a statement that says it “enshrines in legislation a set of procedural hoops that could have the effect of slowing down rulemaking projects underway and in the future.”

Also, the amendment’s economic analysis requirements “are written in a way that could make it more difficult to quantify what we are required to analyze, which could impact the agency’s ongoing effort to achieve one level of safety,” according to a copy of the statement obtained by The Associated Press.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said Shuster’s amendment “would add complexity to the rulemaking process” and could halt several FAA efforts underway to craft new safety rules in response to the crash of a regional airliner near Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 50 people two years ago, including pilot fatigue regulations.

There have been 14 aviation accidents with 263 fatalities since 1993 in which fatigue was cited as the cause or a contributing factor, according to NTSB.

Shuster has denied the amendment would affect any rulemaking already in progress. But opponents said they can find nothing in the amendment’s nine brief paragraphs that would prevent it from being applied to currently proposed regulations, as well as future ones.

“The congressman believes the amendment is clear enough on its face, that it has been drafted in a way that prevents retroactivity,” said Shuster spokesman Jeff Urbanchuk. “If someone has a better way to clarify it, we’re open to hearing from them.”

Federal agencies, including the FAA, are already required to conduct an extensive analysis of proposed regulations to determine the cost to industry and how the costs will be justified by the benefits achieved. Often that means estimating how many lives will be saved and assigning them a dollar value.

The Shuster amendment would also require the FAA to “assess any adverse effects on the efficient functioning of the economy, private markets — including productivity, employment and competitiveness — together with a quantification of such costs.”

Urbanchuk and officials for the passenger, cargo and nonscheduled airline industries said the amendment is merely an attempt to put into law the intent of an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in January. That order directs all federal agencies to make sure that regulations aren’t duplicative, that the public has opportunity to voice their concerns, that the best available means be used to quantify cost and that, where possible, agencies consider ways to reduce the burden of regulations.

The presidential order makes no mention of assessing the impact of proposed regulations on the overall economy or private markets.

“I’m not sure that it’s broader than the president’s executive order,” said Sharon Pinkerton, a senior vice president at the Air Transport Association. The economy and jobs “are exactly the kinds of issues he’s been talking about.”

Oakley Brooks, president and CEO of the National Air Carrier Association, said the FAA failed to take into account the cost to nonscheduled airlines when drafting the pilot fatigue regulations.

“If the Shuster amendment will help the agencies to do proper cost-benefit analysis for all parts of the industry, then we think that’s a good idea,” Brooks said. Nonscheduled airlines fly over 90 percent of U.S. troops and 40 percent of military cargo around the world.

But Kevin Kuwik, a spokesman for the families of people killed in the Buffalo air crash, said the amendment is a “sneak attack” on the fatigue regulations.

“It muddies up the process on the front end and, worse, on the back end it gives them a chance to challenge it in court,” Kuwik said.

Article source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/aptrne/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110503/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_aviation_safety_rules

Best Value Vacations — Gate 1 Travel offers travelers their picks of the best …

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–One of the best signs of the economy rebounding is an increase in
consumer travel. While consumers are looking to leave the days of
staycations behind, rising fuel prices and increasing demand for hotel
rooms and flights are making it difficult to find a good deal. Gate 1
Travel, a leader in independent and escorted vacations, recently named
their top five most valuable vacations.

“Ecuador is definitely an up-and-coming tourist
destination for many Americans”

 

 

1)

Costa Rica: Costa Rica is a great option for those looking
to try the latest travel trend of ecotourism.
Flights from the United States have low fuel surcharges, and there
are multiple carriers flying to Costa Rica, offering consumers
many low-cost options.

 

2)

Ecuador: “Ecuador is definitely an up-and-coming tourist
destination for many Americans,” said Marty Seslow, Vice President
of Marking and Sales for Gate 1 Travel. “There is a lot do and see
in the country, and it’s convenient for tourists because their
currency is the American dollar.”

 

3)

California: Not quite ready to make the leap across the
pond for cheap travel? There are plenty of cheap
flights to many cities throughout California
. Visit the famous
beaches in Southern California, or enjoy a winery tour at one of
Northern California’s numerous vineyards.

 

4)

Western Europe: While many might think that traveling to
Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom might be out of their
price range, flights and hotels booked for vacations in the
offseason can be extremely affordable. Look for deals in late
fall, when temperatures begin to cool down and there are fewer
crowds.

 

5)

Turkey: Turkey is a great destination for tourists to get
the best bang for their buck. Istanbul, in particular, has great
infrastructure for travel, quality
hotels and many cultural sites,
all at lower prices then other
countries in Europe and the Mediterranean.

 

Gate 1 Travel was founded in 1981 to deliver More of the World for
Less — offering fully escorted land tours; sea cruises; independent rail
packages; river cruises; independent fly and drive vacations; and
customized international vacation packages. Discount travel packages and
tour packages are offered throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia,
and North and South. For information and reservations call:
1-800-682-3333 or 215-572-7676; fax: 215-886-2228; e-mail:
info@Gate1travel.com;
or visit the Website:
http://www.Gate1travel.com

Article source: http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon/20110503007000/en

LowFares.com Subscribers Say Record Gas Prices, Higher Airfares Mean Changes …

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals


Click to view news release full screen


Concerns alter destination decisions; some abandon summer travel plans altogether

LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — LowFares.com™, the travel comparison search site for cheap flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages, reported today that higher oil prices are impacting consumer travel and destination decisions.  The resulting increases in gas prices and airfares, according to a survey completed in April, are causing some travelers to abandon travel plans for the summer.

The survey results also validated other key trends regarding summer travel:

  • The broad majority of respondents—over 72%—said fuel and airfare increases have impacted their travel plans.
  • When asked about changes in plans, 63% said they had cancelled their trips.
  • 36% changed destinations to stay closer to home or shortened itineraries to save money.
  • 67% of travelers are booking within two months of intended departure.

Scott Morrow, General Manager of Vertical Markets and Senior Vice President of Oversee.net, noted the current consumer travel preferences were being affected by the global economic environment as well as rising gas and airfares.  “The real concerns this year, versus last summer, are the prices of airline tickets and the pain at the gas pump,” he said. “More people are waiting until the last minute to see if prices improve, or if they’ll just have to take fewer trips this summer.”

Morrow also said more subscribers are searching for travel deals. Packages to the Caribbean and Cancun are very popular with deals for Las Vegas and Europe a favorite in summertime. Air deals from major airlines are the best draw- especially domestic round-trip fares that cover all the major U.S. cities.

The LowFares.com Internet survey was conducted among its subscribers from April 1, 2011, through April 30, 2011. More than 15,000 participated from a base of over 1.5 million subscribers. Subscribers receive weekly newsletters highlighting top travel deals; LowFares.com also conducts monthly giveaways and contests for subscribers.

About LowFares.com
LowFares.com, an Oversee.net company, is a leader in finding cheap flights, hotels, rental cars, travel deals and vacation packages. With more than 4 million unique visitors per month and 1.5 million loyal subscribers, LowFares.com offers an online experience that allows travelers to search multiple travel providers simultaneously.

About Oversee.net
Oversee.net® is the leader in Internet real estate, specializing in monetizing, registering, selling and developing domain names. The company provides an array of managed services to domain investors, corporations, and individuals across more than ten million web sites. Oversee owns one of the largest portfolios of domain names in the world—more than 1 million names. The company’s unique optimized technology connects consumers and advertisers with highly relevant advertisements. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Portland, Oregon, Pompano Beach, Florida, New York City and Frankfurt, Germany, the company’s core brands include DomainSponsor®, SnapNames®, Moniker®, DOMAINfest®, LowFares.comTM, AboutAirport Parking.com®, ShopWiki and CreditCards.org.  To learn more, please visit www.oversee.net.

SOURCE Oversee.net

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Article source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lowfarescom-subscribers-say-record-gas-prices-higher-airfares-mean-changes-in-summer-travel-plans-121149834.html

Overstock.com now offers discounts on hotel stays

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Many new discount vacation sites have popped up in the last six months, but here’s one with a familiar name. Overstock.com, known to online shoppers for discounts on everything from jewelry to patio furniture, has launched a new service for vacation getaways.

The deal: Overstock.com Vacations features domestic and international hotels with discounted room rates tied to certain times of the year. I like the site because it’s transparent (no blind bidding) and allows cancellations, as opposed to nonrefundable bookings.

The website currently has about 30 hotel deals listed, and new deals are added every two weeks. Here are some examples (prices are based on double occupancy and don’t include tax and fees):

–$206 per person for three nights at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., anytime in August;

–$334 per person for three nights at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach plus two tickets to Catalina Island anytime in July; and

–$291 per person for four nights at the Mamaison Riverside Prague, Czech Republic, anytime in September.

When: Each deal comes with a different time window — usually a month.

Tested: I decided to test the price of the three-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach to see if the savings checked out. The Overstock.com rate for the room and two round- trip tickets to Catalina on the Catalina Flyer came to $668 plus tax and fees.

By comparison, the cheapest refundable price I could find at the Newport Beach hotel’s website using random dates (July 8 to 11) was $627 for three nights, and two tickets on the Catalina Flyer for a day trip to the island cost $136; prices exclude tax and fees. Total savings with the Overstock deal: $95.

As you shop the Overstock.com vacation options, I would advise checking each deal against the hotel’s own pricing to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible.

Caveats: Note that Overstock hotel deals are displayed at a per person rate, so double that to see the true price of the room. Also, deals are currently limited to two people. Spokesman Roger Johnson said Overstock plans to add family packages with multiple rooms in the next few months.

Contact: Overstock.com Vacations

 

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-overstock-20110429,1,2145495.story

Twin-engine plane crashes into house outside Miami (AP)

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

MIAMI – A twin-engine plane crashed into two vehicles and a house and caught fire a short distance from an airport in the Miami area.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Cristina Armand says the crash happened shortly after 8 a.m. Monday. She said officials didn’t know how many people were aboard the aircraft, or whether anyone was inside the vehicles. It appears the plane crashed into the vehicles before coming to rest at the back of the house.

The plane, vehicles and part of the house were fully engulfed in flames as firefighters arrived.

Article source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/aptrne/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110502/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_south_florida_plane_crash

Cruising closer to home

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

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You can save money on your cruise vacation by sailing close to home. You have probably wanted to take advantage of the great cruise deals but by the time you add in the airfare for your family you have exceeded your budget.

There are great itineraries close to home within driving distance – departing from Los Angeles and San Diego – that keep the costs down.

The most popular west coast cruises are the three- and four-day Carnival cruises that head to Ensenada and Catalina Island. My kids absolutely loved this cruise.

It was really easy, we drove the 6 1/2 hours to the port in Los Angeles, parked our car and cruised – all in the same day. These short cruises are great starter cruises or if your time is limited but if you have time I recommend a longer cruise that will take you a little farther away and to more exotic destinations.

There are the ever popular Mexican Riviera seven-day cruises stopping in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and some stop in Mazatlan. The ships are fun, the cities are full of character and the shopping is great.

A new addition to the market is the Disney Cruise Lines. Disney is are more expensive than Carnival and Princess but nobody does a vacation like Disney. Just a bit further south you can also depart out of San Diego on Holland America Lines.

Some of the most popular cruises from Los Angeles and San Diego are the 14-day cruises to the Hawaiian Islands. You will sail to the islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii and Kauai. It takes about four days to get there and four more to get back but people love to relax during the sea days. Holland America even has a 30-day cruise from San Diego to Hawaii, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands before returning to San Diego.

Intrigued by the Panama Canal? There are 14- or 15-day one-way trips through the canal to Florida or there are 28-day round trips. There is even a 30 day cruise from San Diego down the coast of Central and South America to Lima and back.

Not long a long enough cruise? How about a cruise that departs out of Seattle (a two-hour flight from Las Vegas) goes to Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Fiji (and more) before arriving in Los Angeles after 70 days!

Article source: http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20110503/LIFESTYLE/105030309

E-tailers look to cash in on Groupon clones

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

A growing number of online retailers are turning to daily deals as a “win-win” business model that complements existing marketing mechanisms and benefits both consumers and merchants.

Not only have various Groupon clones such as deal.com.sg and bigdeal.sg sprouted in Singapore, conventional online retailers–including travel agent AsiaTravel.com, and luxury goods retailer reebonz.com–have also launched separate daily deal portals hawking their products at major discounts.

AsiaTravel’s daily deals portal, atCrazy.com, touts a range of travel offers including hotel packages at 60 percent discounts, while Reebonz City offers dining promotions and event tickets at discounts of between 10 and 95 percent.

Reebonz’s spokesperson, Sharanjit Kaur, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail interview that its daily deals portal serves as “a good complement” for its products and business.

Kaur explained that the company aims to make luxury goods affordable and promote this lifestyle as “more than just fashion”. The deals sold on Reebonz City are a “natural extension” of its primary business, she added.

Unlike other group buying sites, deals on Reebonz City can be utilized immediately once a consumer pays for them. The company provides detailed product information to help customers make their purchase decisions, unlike the “impulse buying” mentality generated by Groupon and its clones, Kaur noted.

Online food guide and review site, HungryGoWhere, also recently began selling online deals via its subsidiary site, HungryDeals, offering promotion coupons for a fee ranging from S$3 to S$20 which entitles consumers to at least 30 percent discount when they order off ala carte menus at participating restaurants.

HungryGoWhere’s managing director, Dennis Goh, believes its selling model provides consumers “far greater flexibility” when eating out, giving them the opportunity to try out a wider variety of dishes. He said this model is “significantly different” from other group buying sites in the market.

Goh noted: “Unlike these other sites that rely crucially on impulse buying, our model is based on our [consumer] community researching these restaurants then deciding where they want to go before buying the discounts.”

He added that customers are free to order any dishes as the coupon does not restrict them to a particular item at the point of purchase.

Goh is betting on HungryGoWhere’s popularity as one of the market’s pioneer restaurant reviews sites to bring similar success to the new HungryDeals site. “Food and beverage (FB) deals tend to run quite well given that most people need to eat on a daily basis and, hence, look out for similar deals,” he said.

Teething consumer woes

The growing variety of deals may have given the online community another avenue to shop, but one user is not buying into the “frenzy” just yet. Management consultant, Jean Wong, is wary of online deals after signing up for an online travel package that eventually failed to materialize.

Like 3,000 others, 31-year-old Wong jumped on a deals.com.sg offer from a Singapore-based travel agent which hawked an air-plus-hotel package to Bangkok, Thailand, for S$188.

“The terms and conditions weren’t clear so when I enquired about travel dates, the agency said they weren’t available and offered to book me with another airline which I did not want. To their credit, the agency admitted they weren’t able to cope with the overwhelming demand and refunded us the money in a matter of days,” she said.

Others who were not informed about the refunds took to Facebook to rally support from other affected consumers.

Wong said she will avoid similar travel deals on such sites, even if they are offered by reputable travel agents.

A spokesperson from atCrazy.com, however, said some deals “are just too good to pass” and while consumers are wary, incidents such as those encountered by Wong will not stop them from participating in future deals.

Innovation for sustainability

According to digital marketing site Incitez, which posted a report on daily deal portals in Singapore, Groupon came out tops in terms of revenue and online traffic. The report, however, noted that daily deal offerings in the city-state lacked innovation.

It pointed to Livingsocial, a site that offers deals on family-friendly activities and LevelUp, a portal that offers increasingly better deals to the same consumer as part of efforts to cultivate user loyalty, as those that stand out from the competition.

Goh is also betting on such innovative deployment to help HungryDeals take off.

“We have built up relationships with FB merchants over the last four years. They trust that we have created a specially tailored business model that benefits both restaurants and food lovers, sustainably over the long term,” he said.

Article source: http://www.zdnetasia.com/e-tailers-aim-to-cash-in-on-groupon-clones-62208661.htm

Las Vegas: ‘Lion King’ tickets + two nights at Mandalay Bay start at $222 …

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

“The Lion King” opened at the Mandalay Bay Theater in Las Vegas on May 15, 2009. To mark the Disney show’s second anniversary, Mandalay Bay Hotel Casino is offering a package that includes a room for two nights plus tickets to the show starting at $222.

[Corrected at 8:15 p.m. May 2: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the show opened May 2, 2009.]

The deal: The “Lion King” Package includes a two-night stay and two tickets to the show. To reserve this deal, mention “Disney Package” by phone or use the code “PDISN11″ to book online. The show runs every day except Fridays and will close at the end of December.

When: The offer is good for stays Tuesday to June 30. You must book by June 28.

Tested: I went online and found availability for a room May 23 to 25 with show tickets for $227 plus tax and a $20 a night resort fee. Tickets in the package were good for a 7:30 p.m. performance on May 23 (Monday), the first night of the stay. As a comparison, tickets usually start at $64 each (plus tax), so in effect this deal gives you two nights at Mandalay Bay for $99.

Contact: Mandalay Bay Hotel Casino, (877) 632-7800

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-lion-king-mandalay-bay-20110428,1,3415962.story

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