The Great Barrier Reef: A Natural Wonder

For many of us, we may have on our bucket list to visit the Great Barrier Reef. One of our valued vendors, Eagle Creek is giving away a trip for two to the Great Barrier Reef. You can enter to win the trip online or at one of our stores. You have until July 15th to enter to win.

What makes the Great Barrier Reef special? For one it is larger than the Great Wall of China and is the only living thing on earth visible from space. It has the world’s largest coral reef system with over 2900 individual reefs and 900 islands.  A closer encounter with the Great Barrier Reef’s impressive coral gardens reveals many astounding underwater attractions including the world’s largest collection of corals (in fact, more than 400 different kinds of coral), coral sponges, molluscs, rays, dolphins, over 1500 species of tropical fish, more than 200 types of birds, around 20 types of reptiles including sea turtles and giant clams over 120 years old.

Some would say, and I would agree with them, that it is unlike anything else of its kind. A trip that cannot be substituted by snorkeling around your favorite vacation spot, despite how beautiful that may be. The Great Barrier Reef offers a diverse range of options to explore its seemingly endless area. You can go on day tours, overnight and extended tours. Snorkeling and scuba diving are both offered along with fishing charters, long range roving tours, aircraft or helicopter tours, glass bottom boats and opportunities to go whale or dolphin watching along the reef. Really… the choices are endless. And let’s not forget where the Great Barrier Reef is located. Right off the coast of beautiful Australia.

So what are you waiting for? Get in to a Colorado Bag N Baggage Store today to enter. Or sign up online. But get your name in, because the lucky winner and the even luckier person who gets to ride along with them will have an unforgettable experience.


Not Another Tie!: Great Gifts for the Travelling Dad

This year marks the 40th anniversary of when President Nixon permanently made Father’s Day a national holiday. With an estimated 70.1 million Dads across the nation, we know that many of you will be out searching for the perfect gift for your Dad. We have gifts for any Dad that loves to the travel. From the adventure seeker to the road warrior, we have a few recommendations that will get you praise from your Dad this Father’s Day.


Golden Gate Turns 75

Golden Gate Bridge

A true iconic architectural marvel of American history is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On May 27th, this modern wonder of the world celebrated its 75th anniversary. In 1937, when the bridge was first opened to the public it was then the world’s longest suspension bridge.

Here are a few facts about the Bridge:

* Golden Gate refers to Golden Gate Strait—a name that originated around 1846.

* On May 28th, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the opening of the bridge by pressing a telegraph key at the White House

* The bridge cost $35 million to build and came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

* The Golden Gate Bridge’s 4,200 foot long main suspension span was a world record that stood for 27 years. It is still the second longest in the United States after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which links Staten Island to Brooklyn in New York.

* The bridge’s two towers rise 746 feet making them 191 feet taller than the Washington Monument.

*The five lane bridge crosses Golden Gate Strait which is about 400 feet, or 130 meters, deep. Simple yellow markers are used to switch the center lane so that there are three lanes into San Francisco for the morning commute and three leaving The City in the afternoon and evening.

Golden Gate Bridge Tolls are only collected on the way in (going south). The toll on the Golden Gate Bridge increased to $5.00/4.00 FasTrak on September 1, 2002, later raised to $6.00/$5.00. Multi-axle vehicle rates (3 or more axels) will rise on July 1, 2012. There are no carpool lanes on the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

Here is a great video on the history of the GGB:

Have you rode a bike, walked or drove across the Golden Gate Bridge?  Visit www.goldengatebridge75.org for more information on the bridge and a special app that you can download. What other man-made architecture do you think is a must see?


Traveling Moms

It was recently posted on GutsyTraveler.com that women will spend $125 billion on travel next year and that 80% off all travel decisions are made by women. A big portion of those women travelers are mothers. In fact, 40% of business travelers are women and this is increasing every day. We want to celebrate mom with some great travel blogs and articles you can visit that will give you great tips on being a traveling mom.

Here is a list of some of our recommended Traveling Mom Blogs:

* TheTravelMommy.com
* MomsGuidetoTravel.com
* TravelingMom.com
* Travelingmamas.com
* LuxuryTravelmom.com

Also check out this great Pinterest site on Traveling moms and their tips. Create a Pinterest board of your favorite traveling photos.

Here are a few great articles we found on tips on being a traveling mom:

1) Have job will Travel: How Working Moms Can Make Business Travel More Family-Friendly by Jamee Tenzer
2) The Traveling Executive Mom – 7 Great Ideas to Maintain the Bond!
3)
Help a Reader: How to be a mom and a Road Warriorette?
4) Tips for Traveling Mom to Be

 

Want to give your Mom a $100 gift card to Colorado Bag’n Baggage? Enter our Facebook Mother’s Day Photo contest. Go to our Facebook page and click on the Mother’s Day Photo contest tab. Post a pic of your Mom on the go and than have your friends and family vote for the pic. The picture with the most votes wins the $100 gift card! Look forward to seeing your photos.


 

 


Travel Your Passions

Excursionist Booking Information

Excursionist.com reasons on why to book with them.

Looking for a travel site that caters your trip based on your passions? Check out the Excursionist. We recently came across the site after reading a blog post by Pure Wow which talked about this new site and its great features.

The site allows you to search for your next trip based on your passions or destinations or both. From getting to spend a day with an archaeologist digging up dinosaur fossils, cooking with local chefs, or tracking animals on a safari with animal scientists, Excursionist finds unique experiences for your trip that you cannot find anywhere else online.

The new site has been mentioned in magazines such as Air Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, In Style and Luxury Travel as the next hot travel site. The great thing about the Excursionist is you can either add the special excursions onto your already existing trip or work with the Excursionist to create a whole itinerary including hotel accommodations. Can’t find what you were looking for, contact the Excursionist and they can help customize an experience for you.

Visit Pure Wow to find out how Pure Wow readers can receive a $100 credit to use towards the Excursionist.com’s services.

What adventure would you like to find for your next trip? Do you wish more sites were like this where they customize trips based on your passions?


Should Cell Phones Be Banned on Planes?

We all hear the same announcement when we are on a domestic flight to please turn off our cell phones before flight, but is this really necessary? As we become a more mobile world, more travelers are wanting to be able to use their phones. In fact, many international airlines have lifted the ban on cell phone use and have seen no adverse issues with it. Technology has been developed where cell phone usage does not interfere with the communications of the airplane with the tower or with the running of the avionics equipment.

The ban by the FCC has been in place for the last twenty years in America. The thought behind the ban is that cell phone transmissions could adversely affect the navigational instruments in the cockpit as well as interfere with wireless networks on the ground. There has been no real evidence that this has occurred. Some argue that the FCC and the FAA do not want to invest the money to do the testing and are leaving it up to the airlines to do so. The thought is to be on the cautionary side if something should occur.

OnAir is a company that specializes in mobile inflight service and is one of the main global providers. They have been working with airlines such as British Airways and Emirates. They only see it is time that all airlines will offer the ability to use your phone on flight. They hear from their clients that more of them prefer to use a cellular phone during light than Wi-fi.

The other issue that comes up with cell phone use is the noise nuisance on the plane. Many passengers want to enjoy a quiet and calm flight and do not want to add cell phone calls to the mix. OnAir found that most passenger conversations are not more than 3 minutes in length.

Many predict that all airlines in the future will allow you to use your cellphone. The question may be on if the airlines will work with cell phone carriers to collect fees to use this service. What are your thoughts? Should the ban be lifted? Do you think cell phones on planes are more of a hindrance than convenience on planes?


Money Saving Travel Tips

With gas prices going up everyday, many of us are looking for ways to save money. Another “staycation” may not be what you want to do, but there are ways to save on your trips. It may take a bit of research but its worth the  money savings in the long run.

At a the recent LA Times Travel show, three travel writers gave their tips on how to save money. Here are their tips.

Here are a few more tips we found to save money on your next vacation.

Airfares
a) Be flexible on dates and locations:
The day you travel can affect the price of your airfare. Also, if you are not looking for a specific location but maybe just a beach locale, search a variety of destinations to find the best deal. Also, if you don’t mind the time it may take, connecting flights vs direct flights can save you money.

b) Travel during “shoulder seasons”: This is the time between peak and off-peak season. You can often find a better deal during these times.
c) Buy package deals: A hotel/airfare combo deal is usually better in the long run.
d) Useful websites and codes: Check out the following websites for help with airfares and special discount codes: Travelocity, Airfarewatchdog, Kayak.com/explore, Yapta.com, Itasoftware.com, and bing.com/travel.
e) Smartphone Apps: many travel sites offer special offers through their mobile apps that you cannot get via their website.
f) Know your Hub: Try to book with the airline that has the closest hub to your home. It will offer the most flights and usually the best deals from your city.
g) Fees: Know the fees that an airline charges.

Hotels
a) Family travel: research family-friendly hotels that over perks and discounts for kids
b) City next door: Often the city next door to where you are going may have cheaper hotels. Investigate on if the drive is worth the savings.
c) Vacation homes: planning a longer trip than a few days? A vacation home most likely will be a better deal than a hotel.
d) Home Exchanges: save on hotel costs completely by exchanging homes with someone. Check out Homeexchange.com.
e) Opt for suites: Typically a two bedroom suite will be less expensive than two individual rooms. Check to see which is the better deal.
f) Useful websites: BiddingTraveler.com (helps you execute the optimal bidding strategy on Priceline), Hotels.com (find good last minute deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays), Luxurylink.com (discounts on high end villas and hotels), and homeaway.com (rentals).

Car Rentals
a) One way car rentals: When you are visit multiple locations, you may pick up a car at one spot and then return it at a completely different spot. If you can split the car rentals between the destinations, you can usually save a some money.
b) Insurance: A lot of auto insurance companies and some credit cards provide rental insurance. Check to see if your insurance or credit cards provide this to save on rental insurance from the car rental business.
c) Size: Don’t need much room, opt for a smaller car to save on cost and gas
d) Filling up: It is usually a better deal to fill the car up on your own before returning it vs. taking the car rental business’ offer.
e) Autoslash.com: Offers discount coupons on car rentals, continually checks on lower rates and coupons until your trip date and will automatically apply any discounts that it finds.
f) Car seats: check to see how much car seats are to rent. This cost to rent the car seats may be cheaper than the fees you will have to pay with the airlines for checking them.

Food and Entertainment
a) Deal sites: Sign up for Groupon or Living Social where you will be visiting to get deals on restaurants and more. Or use Yipit.com that gives you deals from 787 services in 118 North American Cities.
b) Ask your Concierge: Often your hotel concierge will know about the best deals around the city and will have coupons and connections for you.
c) Food: Bring snacks and your own water bottles to your hotel room. If your room has a microwave, stop by a local grocery store to pick up some meals that could save you on meals during the day. Ask the restaurant where you are eating dinner if they will give you extra bread. You can use that bread for the next day for breakfast.

Social Media
Use your social media sites to find recommendations from friends and family. Follow airline and travel site Facebook and Twitter pages for special deals. Follow bloggers that have the inside scoop on deals and more.

It may take a little digging but the money savings and the getaway will be worth it. What are your saving tips when you plan a vacation?

 


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