The Posh Blog
Canceling Your “Small Vacation Trip” for a Huge Trip…Later
Christmas time is here - time for holiday trips, family travels, and spending time away from work. This is how it’s always been - no one gets any work done, anyways!).
A lot of people use the month of December to finally cash in all their vacation days they’ve accumulated over the year to spend time with family back at home, which is great. Employees, bosses, CEOs, and company owners alike take time to get a breath a fresh air from work before starting fresh in January.
However, you may be in a position to have a huge vacation instead of a series of mini-trips visiting the in-laws and wishing you flew Westjet navigating through obscene holiday crowds. Here’s a step-by-step process to turn your average Christmas vacation into a future dream vacation.
1. Coordinate With the Family About a Later Date
Obviously, if this is your one chance to use your vacation days or get time off, do it. But if you’re able to carry over that time into next year and stay working (I’m sure your bosses will be very happy, as everyone barely gets anything done during December anyways and they need all the help they can get), do it. Coordinate with your spouse and kids too. If that’s a go, move on to the next step:
2. Cancel Your Trip
Of course, take time to see family and enjoy the holidays. But if you can get most of your bonding time done in a couple days and skip the week-long out-of-state trip, do it. Announce to family and friends that you just won’t be able to swing it this year. It doesn’t have to be a big deal - with the craziness of the holidays, most people will understand anyways. Tell them you’re going to enjoy a smaller holiday with the family.
Excellent. Moving on.
3. Deposit Your Trip Money
No use spending all your vacation money on soon-to-be-broken toys and plastic Christmas decorations - put that money away in a bank. Discover Bank offers competitive CD rates for larger sums and encourages account holders to earn some extra interest.
Now - you wait. Finish out the season with a bang, watch Home Alone, drink some eggnog, and enjoy the snow (if you have any!). You’re setting yourself up, step by step.
4. Plan Out Your Bigger Trip
This is the fun part!
Nobody takes vacations in the first few months of the new year, but you guys will. You’ll have access to competitive rates of the off-season, less crowds, a growing vacation fund, and a family itching to get out!
You’ll probably be accruing more vacation time as well. Working around the kids’ schedule can be difficult, and many schools are pretty set in not letting kids miss too many days. Regardless, do what you can and organize a bigger, better trip with your increased funds and time off.
5. Enjoy Your New Vacation!
Like I said, many tourist spots will be monumentally cheaper after the Thanksgiving/Christmas rush ends. You’ll have saved up more money, more vacation time, and lots of pent up energy! Take the kids out of school, pack that suitcase, and start your adventure.
My recommendations: Estes Park, Colorado (I’ve mentioned this place before, because it’s so great); mainly known for the backdrop of Stephen King’s The Shining, Estes Park is a great little getaway for the busy family that love outdoorsy-mountain settings. Bring a jacket.
Orlando, Florida is another excellent spot (another location I’ve praised before!), because no matter when you go, it’s probably going to be warm, sunny, and fun. Of course, consider stopping by Disneyworld for the kids, but Orlando is known to have a lot of great adult scenes for the vacationing couple or family. Definitely a viable option.
Finally: San Diego. “Winter” doesn’t have the same meaning there, either - “cold” over there usually refers to about 60 degrees. Another perfect scene for the family who loves the warm weather, beaches, and sunny ocean view.
Are you able to skip your Christmas vacation for a better trip?
Most families don’t have the luxury to extend or postpone their trips, but if you’re able, I highly recommend it. Spend Christmas with the family, but work harder for a better trip in the future. Sometimes, it’s better to give up something good to get something great later.
Posted by Elizabeth on 12/19 at 09:39 AM
Can You Hear Spain Calling Your Name? Welcome to Galicia Pardor de Monforte de Lemos
In the north west of mainland Spain lies the wild and rugged area of Galicia. This is the most remote of all the Spanish regions and is windswept, misty and mystical. Back in the medieval times, Europeans believed that the world ended here and there was nothing else beyond. With two coastlines on the Atlantic, this is not your run of the mill holiday destination, and the accommodation here is far from typical.
Galicia offers some of the most interesting and quite unique holidays in Spain. The accommodation, like the landscape itself, is a million miles away from the crowded resorts on the Mediterranean. You won’t find any apartment blocks or high rise hotels in Galicia, as they would be veritable blot on the lush, verdant countryside. Here is just one of the amazing holiday accommodations you will find in this quite outstanding Spanish region.
Parador de Monforte de Lemos
On the highest point of Monforte de Lemos town sits the majestic San Vicente de Pino monastery. This massive complex is combined with the palace of Condes de Lemos, and here you will find the Parador. There are guest rooms within the monastery while the castle offers several function rooms. At the left hand side of the main building stands a castellated tower/keep dating from medieval times which you can climb for a small charge.
The monastery’s focal point is a stone cloister which is built in neo-classical style and is 3 storey’s high. Sitting at the centre is an ancient cistern which is used for the storage of rain water which is collected from several curved channels cut into the flooring. In keeping with the origins of this wonderful building, you will often hear sacred choral music softly playing in the background.
The guest rooms are located around this cloister. Whitewashed walls are offset by rich, elegant furnishings, velvet curtains and terracotta floors. The bathrooms are very large and have been fully modernised to suit today’s discerning traveller. There is a formal restaurant where you can dine on local Galician specialities on velvet chairs with high backs beneath wood beamed ceilings. There is also a café if you fancy something lighter such as tapas or a sandwich.
Stepping Back in Time
If you are lucky and time your trip accordingly, you may be able to take part in one of the spectacular medieval banquets which are held on special occasions. These really are something very different and are a step back in time. Forget the medieval banqueting craze which swept the UK at the back end of the last century, this is the real McCoy. Everything is perfectly replicated from medieval times from the food, to the costumes to the entertainment, and it is certainly not to be missed.
Out and About
On the site itself you will find a swimming pool that operates seasonally and a sauna. Nearby you will find hiking, golf, canoeing, fishing and caves to explore. It is recommended if you are staying at the Parador de Monforte de Lemos that you hire a car as its hilltop location makes it difficult to walk into the town and back. The town of Monforte de Lemos is quite charming, and is totally unspoilt. There is a decent selection of restaurants here if you wish to dine in town, and it gets very busy in the summer as the monastery is one of the regions major tourist attractions.
You will find few tourists here who are not Spanish, and to be honest the town benefits from this. The European visitors tend to flock to the eastern side of Spain, leaving this area as rural and untouched as it has been for centuries. The town makes for a pleasant stroll and as with all these towns which are off the tourist track there are some real gems to be found down the cobbled back streets.
There is a tourist office to give any advice you may need and there are festivals all year round so it will be harder to miss one that take your trip at the same time that one it taking place. It is a great cliché, but this is the real Spain in all its glory. Untamed and untouched by the 21st century, Galicia is a very special place to visit, and the Parador de Monforte de Lemos somewhere very special to stay.
Posted by Elizabeth on 12/16 at 07:00 AM
Fab Friday: Holiday Miracles
Is that a tear or a sparkle in your eye? West Jet (as pictured above) does it right. Holiday miracles are happening this Fab Friday!
Everyone loves holiday surprises. Check out this tear jerker from WestJet.
Is anyone else concerned for Buddy the Elf and these unanswered questions?
Posted by Elizabeth on 12/13 at 09:54 AM
#WestJetChristmas Wins The Internet
Airlines are getting so crafty these days to stay connected with their customers through social media. But this effort is a Christmas miracle! You have see the amazing work WestJet did for the people of one very special flight.
I know. Tear jerker, right?
And that’s not all! You can win airfare with WestJet, too. Check out their site for more details.
Posted by Elizabeth on 12/10 at 02:41 PM
Fab Friday: Counting Down to the Holidays
Posh is just checking in to Le Bristol (as seen above). Don’t be jeal! We still have lots of fun holiday stuff for you on this Fab Friday!
Man the beach is looking gorge. I know you’re definitely into this over that snow out your window. Check out Pink Sands.
Omni knows how to do it right. For the holidays take the brood somewhere special.
Dude where’s my ranch? Grab your lasso and check out these locales to get your fix.
We’re all busy. But you need a vacay! Here’s some great ideas.
Posted by Elizabeth on 12/06 at 01:54 PM
Vacation Ideas for the Busy Mom and the Family
Although you may love your career, there are times when you need to simply “recharge” your batteries. You and your family need to get away once in a while and take a breath. Although your city may offer a great deal of entertaining diversions, you may find a great deal of peace by traveling to further destinations where there is less of a chance of your office interrupting your free time. What are some good ideas that can accommodate everyone in the family?
1. Estes Park, Colorado - The Stanley Hotel is famous for its role as the inspiration of Steven King’s “The Shining.” As it’s believed to be haunted, those who follow the cult are drawn to this elegant hotel. Standing amidst the majestic Rocky Mountains, the Stanley offers intrigue as well as a beautiful landscape within the heart of nature. Amusement parks and tours can keep your family occupied throughout your stay in Estes Park as well as offering a unique golf experience as the sounds of elk can be heard in the distance.
2. The Grand Canyon - Why not pack the family for a camping trip to the Grand Canyon? Although this destination is on the lists of many, it’s truly an awesome wonder to explore with the children. Many campgrounds are available nearby with access to Rim Drive, a road which spans a great distance along the Southern rim of the canyon itself. From the campsites, the Grand Canyon seems to stretch forever as the evidence of millions of years’ worth of history can be seen within the rock face.
3. Belize City, Belize - Nestled within the Caribbean is the country of Belize. Rife with history, this location has Mayan ruins to explore and the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea to sail. White sandy beaches stretch for miles as your family can relax in one of the most breathtaking locations in the area.
4. New York City, New York - Not many realize just how much New York has to offer the family dynamic. Not only do you submerse yourself in a blend of human culture, but your family has access to famed Broadway shows, sporting events, and other diversions that are specifically designed for children. Museums and historical US locations are abundant in New York, which will make the trip worthwhile in order to create memories and experiences.
5. Orlando, Florida - Orlando is home to a great number of family getaways. If the Disney World Resort is not your cup of tea, then perhaps your family can stay at a number of other child-friendly locales including the Nickelodeon Family Suites - an amusement park of water slides and more that doubles as a hotel. Orlando is also home to the famous Epcot Theme Park that can inspire the imaginations of everyone within the family.
The world is full of family-friendly locations that can help you unwind from the stresses of operating a business. Whether you need to be isolated from humanity in order to collect your thoughts or if you feel out of place without having the ambiance of a big city, there are many ways you can relax while enjoying time with your loved ones. For your next vacation idea, don’t simply hang out around the house. Get out and explore the world and build memories that will last a lifetime.
About the authur: Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/27 at 08:21 AM
Grab Your Boots. It’s Time to Hike!
Letting the sweets and yummy goodness of holiday festivities settle in as you “relax” on the couch ? Why spend your time on the couch when you could be hiking? Choose a fun place to climb, walk and explore and ‘take a hike’ to one of these destinations. Whether trekking through the waters of the Everglades swamps, wine-ing your way through Sonoma, or getting in touch with your spiritual self in Santa Fe, don’t spend this holiday practicing your couch surfing skills.
Florida’s Paradise Coast has a little bit of something for each type of adventurer. Visitors can begin the day strolling past the chic shops of downtown Naples, along the sun-kissed sands of Marco Island and finish the day knee-deep in a swamp exploring the subtropical wilderness of the Everglades.
Into wine? On any given day in the vineyards of beautiful Sonoma County
, California visitors can embark on self-guided vineyard tours at eight wineries in the region. The tours are for all age, but guests 21 and older are encouraged to visit the tasting rooms and sample wines from the vineyards. For more information, visit www.sonomavineyardadventures.
Take your yoga practice outdoors in Santa Fe, New Mexico with YogiHiker, an experience that combines yoga with hiking and amazing scenery. For more information, visit www.yogihiker.com.
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/26 at 08:15 AM
Last Minute Thanksgiving Travel Tips
The upside is that fewer people will be traveling for Thanksgiving this year than last year, according to AAA. However, there will still be 43.5 million folks heading over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house with 90% of travelers driving.
Here are some travel tips to make your journey a little easier:
1.) Travel on Thanksgiving morning, if possible. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year with thirty-seven percent of travelers expecting to travel.
2.) Return from your destination on Saturday—most travelers are planning on returning on Sunday. (Leaving a day early might not be such a bad thing if you’re at your mother-in-law’s, right?)
Air Travel Tips
1.) Sign up for your flight status alerts.
2.) Check in online up to 24 hours prior to flight to check in for your flight and print your boarding pass. It saves time!
3.) Take a picture of your parking lot location with your phone instead of trying to remember where you parked or writing it down.
4.) Pack light so that you can carry on your bag. This is especially helpful with tight connections. It will also save you money as most domestic airlines now charge for checked baggage.
5.) Purchase a day pass to your airlines lounge or club (ie American Airlines’ Admirals Club or United Lounge) you can stay out of the hustle and bustle of the airport, get extra assistance, be productive or relax in the quieter atmosphere. The lounges have WiFi, TV’s, snacks and drinks. Many of these airline lounges have dedicated kid zones, which can save a parent’s sanity if there’s a delay or cancellation.
6.) Pack gum, bottle and/or pacifier if you have kids. Changes in cabin air pressure during descent may cause discomfort in small children.
By Land or By Sea
1.) Snacks! It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling by planes, trains or automobile, a,hungry child is one bad passenger. Pack self-contained snacks like raisins, small packs of Goldfish, granola bars. (I also pack small treats like lollipops or M&M’s as rewards or in a pinch to stop any meltdowns at 35,000 feet.)
2.) Charge those Devices! Don’t forget to bring your fully charged iPod, iPhone or iPad. Devices can mollify cranky children (and husbands) with games, movies, shows and books. However, the devices will also help you track your flights, check weather and traffic conditions and even find the lowest price for gas while you’re on the road.
3.) Don’t forget crayons, paper, small toys and books to keep wee ones distracted. Family travelers on long trips, go into your playroom dig around to find some forgotten small toys, wrap them and give them as “surprises” along the way.
4.) Wipes & hand sanitizer. All we can do to try and stay clean and germ-free.
Travel safe, friends! But most of all….
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/24 at 10:33 PM
Dude. Where’s My Ranch?
Traveling this holiday season? Planning a family vacation? A romantic getaway? There’s a dude ranch for you. The winter and holiday season are particularly special times of the year to experience everything a dude ranch has to offer in some of the most spectacular areas of the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. Whether you seek the exhilaration of ski slopes, an exciting sleigh ride, or just some hot chocolate by a crackling fire, dude ranches have it all.
So why go now? Many ranches offer special holiday- and winter-themed events and packages from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) represents more than 100 ranches in North America (two in Canada) and requires its members to uphold top quality and service standards. There is a broad spectrum of guest ranches, ranging from rustic, no-frills working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches. Price competitively with respect to other similar all-inclusive vacation options, most events, meals and activities are included in the cost of your ranch visit.
Please see below for a sampling of dude ranches that specialize in winter retreats:
Latigo Ranch – Kremmling, CO
Latigo Ranch offers its travelers a unique experience, complete with warm hospitality and fun winter activities that keep guests coming back year after year, and for some, several times each winter. The outdoor activities are as invigorating as the inside comforts are cozy. Enjoy activities like cross country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, relaxing in the hot tub, playing pool, curling up with a nice book in the library and so much more.
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch – Sandpoint, ID
As the seasons change in Idaho, so do the offerings at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. With the hint of snowflakes in the air, preparations are made for the ranch’s famous sleigh rides and winter fun. The holidays are a time of gathering together and Western Pleasure’s dinner/sleigh ride packages are a great way to celebrate the season with friends, family and loved-ones. Strap on some snowshoes or cross-country skis and explore the ranch or check out the winter getaway packages, which include skiing, snowmobile and spa options.
High Lonesome Ranch – DeBeque, CO
The High Lonesome Ranch sits on the Colorado Rockies’ majestic western slope for an un-matched, outdoor-based winter getaway. High Lonesome offers something for everyone who enjoys spectacular American West scenery and outdoor pursuits. Winter activities include snow shoeing, big game hunting, wing shooting, big downhill and cross country skiing as well as snowmobiling – all which are located just 45 minutes from High Lonesome’s doorstep.
C Lazy U Ranch – Granby, CO
The C Lazy U Ranch is the perfect winter getaway spot filled with endless fun outdoors, from skiing to snowshoeing to horseback riding and snowmobiling. The C Lazy U is the ideal ski destination with skiing on its private mountain and access to a door-to-door shuttle service to nearby ski resorts. There are also a plethora of special activities unique to its Colorado winter resort. Guests can enjoy outdoor ice skating and ice hockey games on the frozen pond, tours on the Snow Cat, snowtubing down the abundant hills or horseback riding (horses are sure-footed) through the snow-quiet woods.
Lone Mountain Ranch – Big Sky, MT
Lone Mountain Ranch serves as the ultimate spot for a Rocky Mountain winter adventure. Enjoy the unmatched downhill skiing of Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin, a combined lift-serviced alpine with over 5,000 skiable acres. To further compliment the winter experience, guests can partake in Big Sky’s original Sleigh Ride Dinner, snowshoeing and Yellowstone tours by skis, snowshoes or snowcoach. The main winter attraction at Lone Mountain is the exclusive world class Nordic Ski Center – a remarkably extensive variety of groomed cross-country trails right outside the cabin doors.
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/22 at 02:20 PM
Traveling, Elves, and Eggnog with Omni Hotels & Resorts
Don’t you just love everything associated with the holidays? Omni Hotels & Resorts invites winter travelers to experience the holidays with “elves and eggnog.”
Why not celebrate the most wonderful time of the year by taking advantage of this holiday deal. The “Elves and Eggnog” overnight package includes two enticing specialty eggnog aperitifs, prepared exclusively by Omni’s brand mixologist, and complimentary breakfast for two, in addition to 20% off of luxury accommodations featuring Omni’s signature blend of modern luxury and classic sophistication.
Bringing the young travelers along? Santa’s helpful scout elf, “Elf on the Shelf,” will also be present in each Omni hotel to help Santa manage his naughty and nice list.
The gift that keeps on giving: Each package also includes holiday turndown service with a treat, delivered by hotel elves, “hotelves,” and late check-out so guests can enjoy some extra relaxation during the busy holiday season.
Booking for the Elves and Eggnog package begins now and is valid for stays from Nov. 15 through Dec. 30, 2013. Rates are subject to availability and will vary by property and date. For additional information or to book accommodations, guests may visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni. Travelers or media can follow Omni at Facebook.com/OmniHotels orTwitter.com/OmniHotels.
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/14 at 07:00 AM
Post Turkey Savings with Elite Island Resorts
Looking for a great travel deal this Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Don’t let the food coma stop you from getting a bang for your buck. Here’s a steal on vacations to seven Caribbean resorts, valid now through December 2014.
Elite Island Resorts, a leading provider of authentic Caribbean vacations, announces a Black Friday weekend sale. How awesome are these deals? Pretty sweet! If you book between November 28th and December 2nd, you could receive a fifth night free on top of all current offers, including discounts of up to 45% off, at the following participating resorts:
- St. Jame’s Club, Morgan Bay, Saint Lucia
- The Club Barbados
- Palm Island Resort in the Grenadines
- St. James’s Club & Villas in Antigua
- The Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua
- Galley Bay Resort & Spa in Antigua
- Long Bay Beah Club in Tortola, British Virgin Islands
You could save even more by booking air-inclusive packages!
*Savings for Long Bay Beach Club are for room only with rates as low as $90 per person, per night, based on double occupancy, plus tax and service charges.
Call 1-800-858-4618 or book online at http://www.eliteislandresorts.com. Please note: High-res images are available at Elite Island Resorts’ media image gallery at http://www.eliteislandsmedia.com.
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/12 at 09:26 AM
Work Hard, Play Harder. Visit Pink Sands Resort.
Why settle for the typical “family friendly” hotel and resort? Why miss out on experiencing exclusive luxury hotels because of the kids? Pink Sands Resort in Harbour Island, Bahamas debuts the New Sunshine Learning Center and Kid’s Club in time for the Thanksgiving holiday (November 25, 2013). Don’t let the family vacation mean a week full of catering to what the kids want to do. Parents will be at peace of mind and gain the much needed rest they planned on getting, while the kids are out having fun and learning something new.
The program helps to instill the idea that learning something new can be done anywhere. The Sunshine Learning Center and Kid’s Club will feature daily programs for all ages mixing fun-in-the-sun activities with an opportunity to learn about local culture, history, the natural environment and wild life along the way. The Sunshine Learning Center and Kid’s Club is open from 10am-3pm, a Kids Club Night Party from 7pm-9pm and babysitting services upon request.
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/11 at 07:00 AM
Fab Friday: Is it vacation yet?
The weather is getting colder and as much as we love Fall fashions, we can’t help but dream of warmer locales every time the temperature drops. Oh sandy beaches, where for art thou?
Don’t give up on your fitness routine when you’re away from home. Bookmark these awesome videos to work out in the comfort of your hotel room!
There’s still time to pin your way to a fabulous vacation! Get creative and maybe I and the other judges will choose you!
Travel and Leisure has a great list of awesome locales to take the family for a Thanksgiving getaway. Check it.
photo credit: Michelle Brea via photopin cc
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/08 at 09:18 AM
Keep Fit in Your Hotel Room [VIDEO]
It’s SO easy to skip workouts when traveling because we’re just too busy right? Well rather than allowing that excuse to keep you from having a great body AND and awesome travel resume (and even better yet, not having to plan on $30/day fees for hotel fitness room access) keep these awesome YouTube videos on a saved playlist so you can reference them when you just need to get your heart rate up in the comfort of your own room. You don’t even need a suite to knock out these cardio moves!
Hotel Room Workout with Jillian Michaels:
Travel Workout with WatchMojo.com
Hot! Hotel Workout with BodyRock.TV
Feel the burn. Then head poolside. H-O-T HOT!
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/04 at 11:29 AM
Fab Friday: Zombie Bride on a Deadline
What? So you’ve never seen a zombie bride on a deadline? Our head posh mama Elizabeth Thorp rocks her Halloween costume in the office. She make work look so fun, right!
Elizabeth is judging a Pinterest contest! If you want to win a dream vacay from Homeaway, you better get on it! Here are the deets.
Love this infographic on all the fabulousness that is New York! Concrete jungle where families flock to, baby!
We hope you had a safe and sweet Halloween! (Emphasis on the “sweet”, am I right?!)
Posted by Elizabeth on 11/01 at 03:44 PM