All posts in Hot Topics

Thanksgiving 2016 adds 1 million more travelers vs. 2015

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year. This represents a 1.9 percent increase over 2015 and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27.

2016-thanksgiving-travel-forecast

According to AAA data, this year’s increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence. And despite recent incremental increases in the national average price of gasoline, AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $28 billion so far at the pumps this year compared to the same period last year.

“One million more Americans than last year will carve out time to visit with friends and family this Thanksgiving,” AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney said. “Most will travel on the tried and true holiday road trip, thanks to gas prices that are holding at close to $2 per gallon. Others will fly, take the bus or set off on a cruise to celebrate with their loved ones.”

Many travelers will journey west this Thanksgiving
This year’s top destinations for Thanksgiving include many popular west coast cities, as well as perennial family-friendly favorites. The most popular destinations this Thanksgiving, based on AAA.com bookings, are:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. San Diego, California
  4. Orlando, Florida
  5. New York City, New York
  6. New Orleans, Louisiana
  7. Anaheim, California
  8. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  10. Seattle, Washington

Read the full story here: http://ht.ly/y9y8306rjow

 

Top Six Sunny Post-Election Retreats

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

On November 9th, Canada’s Immigration Website crashed – seemingly overwhelmed with a spike in searches by Americans reacting to Tuesday’s presidential election.  We talked to editor and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, Kathleen Peddicord, to discuss this topic, as well as her picks for a warmer, sunnier post-election retreat.

WATCH our interview with Kathleen Peddicord, LiveAndInvestOverseas.com

Here are Kathleen’s top six picks: Continue reading →

5 fascinating facts about Tibet

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Contributed by David Castello

tibet

Few countries in the world evoke the mystique of Tibet. Nicknamed the “Roof of the World” (it shares Mount Everest with Nepal), most people simply know it as the former home of the Dalai Lama. For centuries, Tibet heavily restricted outsiders and it wasn’t until 1924 that the first European woman, Belgian–French explorer Alexandra David-Néel, visited the capital, Lhasa. Let’s start with the basics:

1. The Size of Tibet – Many believe that Tibet is a small country like neighboring Nepal or Bhutan. Actually, Tibet is huge. The Traditional Tibet (U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo provinces) is 965,000 square miles. This is over four times larger than France and a whopping 25% of the land mass of China, which is a good reason why the Communist Chinese invaded Tibet on October 6, 1950 only ten months after winning the Chinese Civil War and declaring the People’s Republic of China. Since 1965, China recognizes only the much smaller Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) which comprises U-Tsang and the western area of Kham (474,300 sq. mi). This Tibet is autonomous in name only because it is strictly governed by the Chinese Communist Party. Continue reading →

Press life’s reset button with a retreat vacation

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

In our never-ending quest to seek out new and unique vacation options, we’re kicking off a series on personal enrichment retreat vacations.  While retreats still seem to attract more women than men, you’d be surprised at the niche options that are out there — from the spiritually oriented to wellness and outdoor adventure. In this first segment, we talked to Cierra King, co-founder of Reset Retreat, based in Austin, TX and Belize, to learn some of the life-changing take-aways that her guests experience.

WATCH our interview with Cierra King, co-founder, Reset Retreat

 

Tell us a little about your company, Reset Retreat and how you got started.

We combine personal growth, yoga, and adventure to help guests deepen their relationship with themselves, reset their patterns, break personal boundaries and find purpose. We create the inspirational space, trusting communities, and strategically planned programming that allows guests to maximize their potential and reset their perspective.

We got started because we needed this experience for ourselves! We needed that place to connect with other like-minded and supportive people to help us better our lives. Serendipitously, I met my partners while on vacation and, without even realizing it, created our own “mini retreat.” We saw the effects it quickly had on our personal lives and career. We knew we had to create this for other women. And so two weeks later, we met again and formed Reset Retreat. Continue reading →

What Airlines Won’t Tell You

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

ExpertFlyer co-founder and president, Christ Lopinto, was recently interviewed by FOX News anchor, Ernie Anastos, on little-known facts and tips that the airlines won’t tell you.  Watch the segment and read the Q & A.

 

Ernie Anastos: Listen, we just heard a lot about what the airlines are doing and so forth. You’ve got to be kind of like your own travel agent these days, don’t you? Really, all the details.

Chris Lopinto: Unfortunately, yes. Our motto is information is empowering, and that’s why we like to give as much as possible. Really, with a little bit of research, you can do quite well these days.

EA: Okay, let’s talk about how you get the best seats, because that’s what a lot of people are concerned about. How do you do that?

CL: Absolutely. Unfortunately nowadays, airlines reserve the best seats for their elite customers or those who are willing to pay for them. However, what they don’t tell you is that within about four or five days before departure, the airlines upgrade their best customers into business or first class. That means that a lot of good seats open up in economy class just waiting for someone to grab them.

EA: What do we do?

CL: What we do is we log into the airline website or whatever website you used to buy the ticket from and check the seat map again to see if you can get a better seat assignment within a few days of departure. By that time more economy seats will be available.

EA: A lot of people are concerned about frequent flyer programs. Is there a real payoff with that?

CL: There can be, but you have to be careful. Think of frequent flyer points as money in a bank account. However, unlike a real bank account, you don’t earn interest and the bank can basically devalue that money at any time.

EA: What do we do?

CL: There’s a term in the industry called, “Burn as you earn,” which means don’t save up a lot of frequent flyer miles thinking you’re going to have some big vacation somewhere down the line. If you have enough to use and you can use them, use them now because frequent flyer miles will never be as valuable tomorrow as they are today.

EA: Any other quick suggestions if you’re traveling alone or with other people? Your family and so forth?

CL: Well, one suggestion is that if you’re trying to buy a trip with multiple people, say a family of four. What the airlines do is, they’ll price the ticket for the amount that is the same for everyone. Let’s say there’s one cheap fair available. What they won’t do is they won’t give you one cheap fair then three of the more expensive fairs. In order to figure that out, you price it twice. One at the quantity you want, say four, and one with just one ticket, and if the price per ticket is different, you know that there’s some cheaper fairs available, but just not four. What you do is, you buy a few of the cheaper and then a few of the more expensive and you get an overall lower cost for your trip.