Archive for October, 2012

Miami Beach – Part 3 of 3: Family Friendly Cultural Travel

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Child hoola hoop in Miami Beach

Photo credit: (cc) JKeenan501 via Flickr

Miami Beach has something for everyone, including world class culture for even the smallest travelers. In part one of our Hot Topic series, we covered the best of Miami Beach for everyone; part two got down to business with cool spots for conventions, trade shows and retreats. In this final installment, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) features some terrific upcoming family fun events. The MBVCA’s mission is to proactively recruit, develop, financially support and partner with events, festivals, programs and activities.  They award more than $1 million in grants annually to applicants who meet minimum impact requirements. See the cultural, kid friendly events below that have received grants from the MBVCA.

For the Karate Kid

Pan American Internationals (November 9-10)

This 2-day event, taking place in November, is one of the largest and most prestigious sport martial arts events in the world today.  The event was established in 1980 and has become one of the best sport karate tournaments in the world, attracting competitors from around the world.  Competitions will take place in 3 different ballrooms within the host hotel with several match rings set up within each ballroom.

For the Artist in Training

UNTITLED. Art Fair (December 5-9)

UNTITLED. is a temporary exhibition forum for international galleries and non-profit art spaces, aimed at bringing art to the heart of the city. The fair is located on the sand near the water’s edge of South Beach and is housed in a unique temporary tent structure suffused with natural light and takes full advantage of the unique attributes of its environmental surroundings.

For the Hot Wheeler

NASCAR Championship Drive (November 15th)

Launched in 2010 as a thank you to fans, the two-day NASCAR Championship Drive festival revs up fans for the race weekend with a free concert on the beach featuring musical guests DAUGHTRY and featured guest Frankie J, multiple driver appearances, a race hauler parade, and many other activities. There’s no better way to prepare yourself for the electric atmosphere at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the final three races of the season!

For the Athlete

2013 Discover Orange Bowl, Discover BCS National Championship, and Ancillary Orange Bowl Events (January 1-7)

The Orange Bowl Committee is a nonprofit sports organization that promotes and serves South Florida. The Orange Bowl promotes championship sporting events, related premier entertainment, and other year-round activities to inspire youth, engage the community and enhance the South Florida economy.


“Did you know…Hurricane Sandy grounds thousands of flights?”

(Associated Press)

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Photo Credit: (cc) NASA Goddard Photo and Video

“Frankenstorm” is grounding thousands of flights across the globe.  As the hurricane travels up the eastern seaboard, scores of travelers are left stranded from Hong Kong to  Europe.

The AP reports that major carriers, such as American Airlines, United and Delta, cancelled all flights into and out of three area airports in New York, the nation’s busiest airspace. According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, nearly 7,500 flights had been canceled for Monday and Tuesday, almost all related to the storm.

Read the full story here.


Miami Beach — Part 2 of 3: Getting Down to Business

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

In part one of our series on Miami Beach, our friends at the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) offered a broad array of reasons why anyone would want to visit Miami.  In our second installment, we’re getting down to business.  MBVCA tells us there’s ripe opportunities to do international business in Miami, and it’s become a highly desirable corporate destination for hosting sales events, trade shows, retreats and more.

Miami Beach Convention Center

Miami Beach Convention Center

Home to dozens of hotel meeting spaces, restaurants run by celebrity chefs (with lots of private, elegant rooms for business meetings), lauded golf courses and lots of post business lounges, bars and luxury cabanas to unwind after stressful days, Miami Beach is much more than a port of call for sun and fun.  It’s an ideal place to do business, boasting state of the art meeting facilities, unique off-site venues and tropical temperatures.

The Miami Beach Convention Center has played host to many leading industry events, as well as some of the nation’s premiere public events, including America’s largest consumer show, the Miami International Boat Show. The South Florida International Auto Show and North America’s most important contemporary art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, also call the Miami Beach Convention Center home.

Miami Beach is the ideal destination to mix business and pleasure, whether at one of the city’s contemporary hotels or in private dining spaces at some of the most highly rated restaurants in the country.  Those looking for that “wow” factor will find  unique meeting spaces such at 1111 Lincoln Road Garage, The Bass Museum of Art, or The Fillmore Miami Beach. Even the former home of Gianni Versace is available as a private meeting space.

Miami Beach’s state of the art facilities, endless events spaces, warm sand, blue waters and sunny skies are all a great recipe for a dynamic business destination.  For help in booking your next business engagement in Miami Beach, visit the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority’s website.

In our upcoming final installment on Miami Beach, we’ll be featuring sights and adventures that are ideal options for families who want to play and relax together in Miami.


One-on-One with CEO, T.J. Mahony

In this month’s One-on-One blog, ExpertFlyer talks with T.J. Mahony, CEO of, a leading vacation rental website that powers the vacation rentals section of TripAdvisor.

FlipKey has over 160,000 properties in 7,000 cities worldwide– making it one of the fastest-growing vacation rental companies out there. FlipKey has won awards from Travel + Leisure, Sunset Magazine, and the New York Post.

T.J. Mahony, CEO, Flipkey

“On average, a family can yield savings of 30% by staying in a vacation rental when compared to comparable hotels.”

— T.J. Mahony, CEO of

Vacation rentals and house exchanges via sites, like,, and FlipKey are becoming part of the norm when considering where to stay while traveling.  How does FlipKey fit in – or better yet – stand out?

FlipKey aims to streamline the vacation rental experience so that it’s as easy, convenient, and safe as possible for both the traveler and the home owner to make arrangements. One of the biggest areas where FlipKey stands out is in trust and security. We built the site on our guest review system, which is designed to only allow reviews by travelers who have actually stayed in the vacation rental. We also have stringent security protocols that we use to screen and verify every new property added to FlipKey. When you use FlipKey, you can trust you are engaging with a reputable owner and the experiences shared by other travelers are honest.

Everyone wants a good deal when they travel.  Is FlipKey’s success largely based on the economy and home rentals’ lower prices?  How much, on average, does one save by opting for a rental as opposed to a traditional hotel?

Some of the growth in vacation rentals is certainly a result of the economy bringing out more bargain-conscious travelers. However, much of the growth is the result of sites like FlipKey making vacation rentals more visible to the average traveler. Vacation rentals are often more affordable compared to hotels while offering more space, increased privacy, and great amenities. If you’re traveling with a group and you do some of your own cooking, then the savings can be significant. On average, a family can yield savings of 30% by staying in a vacation rental when compared to comparable hotels. Continue reading →

“Did you know… & Name ExpertFlyer a Top Travel Resource?”

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Airplane wing

(cc) Justin Lowery via Flickr

Finding the best seat on a plane and utilizing ones award points to snag an upgrade are two highly sought after perks for seasoned travelers.  But putting the two together, so you can not only find a desirable seat, but use your points to nab it — well, that’s Nirvana.

In two recent articles, ExpertFlyer is featured as a top resource for both.  Read’s story on “How to get the Best Seat on a Plane,” and’s piece on “Top Tools for Tracking Points and Miles.”