Archive for February, 2011

All-Inclusive Spring Break Hotels

Spring is right around the corner. That means it’s the perfect time to start planning your spring break getaway. Punta Cana, Jamaica and Aruba are just a few hot destinations to visit if you want to relax and soak in the sun.

Oyster.com has the 411 you need to find the best all-inclusive resorts or hotels for spring break. When I say all-inclusive, I mean the best cuisine, white-sand beaches, water sports and more.

Check out Oyster’s Top 10 picks for all-inclusive spring break resorts. We also have a list of family-friendly hotels, too.

Tell us where you like to go for spring break.

Oscars and Movies That Inspire Travel

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are tonight!  The King’s Speech, Black Swan, The Fighter and The Social Network are just a few movies nominated in the Best Picture category.

Movies have a way of transporting us to a different time and place. Travel Channel came up with a list of movies that inspire us to pack our bags and visit those real, mystical or magical places captured on film.

Check out our Movies That Inspire Travel slideshow to view our picks. Tell us what movies we may have missed that have inspired you to travel.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models

You walked past the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on the newsstand, you saw the models basking in the sun, but when you picked it up, you were reading it for the beaches, right? Well, if you’re wondering where those gorgeous destinations are (and you’re mentally packing your bikini and sunscreen for your next vacay), you’re in luck.

We take you to all 9 locations featured in the mag, from Anguilla to Laguna Beach to Singapore. Click through our Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Destinations slideshow for views of the beautiful beaches and deluxe resorts where the models stayed to get inspired. Afterward, you can go from daydreaming to actually booking your trip. Enjoy!

So, which one do you want to visit? Leave your favorite locale in the comments.

Earthquake in New Zealand

At least 75 people are dead after a 6.3-magnitude quake rocked Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city, on Tuesday. Prime Minister John Key said the world may be witnessing “New Zealand’s darkest day.”

The city’s airport was shut down and the hospital evacuated. Rescue crews are searching for hundreds of people who remain trapped in toppled buildings or scattered debris. The US Geological Survey said the quake was centered 3 miles from the city.

According to Huffington Post, this is the second major quake to hit Christchurch in 5 months. The 7.1-magnitude quake on September 4, 2010, shook the city, but there was no loss of life.

Disney Goes Hi-Tech

According to MSNBC, there’s a new batch of mobile apps available to help make family visits to amusement parks more efficient and fun. Most of the apps are currently geared toward Walt Disney World.

Disney will roll out its newest version of the “Disney Mobile Magic” app soon. It’s exclusively for Verizon Wireless phones. The app uses the GPS feature in Verizon phones to help users find character appearances, attractions, restaurants and other points of interest. It also has an interactive trivia game that allows users to play against other users in the same park. “Disney Mobile Magic” works in Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

These new apps also provide thrill seekers with maps and wait times for rides. A free iPhone app called “Universal Wait Times” provides accurate wait times for rides inside the 2 Universal Orlando parks. Wait time information is especially helpful for popular rides or areas, including “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction at Islands of Adventure.

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Delta and American Airlines Increase Airfare

Delta and American Airlines have increased their fares, targeting First Class and Business Class passengers who make last-minute purchases.

Here’s a quick breakdown. If you’re flying less than 500 miles each way, then you’ll receive a $20 hike in fare price. For 501 to 1,500 miles, expect a fare increase of $40. Last-minute travelers will pay $60 more if their flight is 1,500 miles or more each way.

An increase in oil prices has forced Delta to increase their fare prices. The Associated Press asked American why it was raising prices. They simply replied, “We’re responding to the Delta initiative.”

Check out our review of the Kayak app and how you can travel in business class for less.  Our tips may help you minimize your airfare costs.

Andrew Zimmern on TMZ

Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern recently received some on-camera love from TMZ in New York City. A TMZ crew was in Soho waiting for Sandra Bullock to make an appearance for the paparazzi. Well, they didn’t get Sandra, but they were able to chat with Andrew. It was definitely a funny TMZ segment.

Andrew was in New York City to shoot a segment for The Rachel Ray Show. He talked to Rachel about being a homeless drug addict living in the Big Apple. It’s a side of the Travel Channel host we don’t normally see. Watch the candid segment, and get the details on how you can join Andrew, Travel Channel and the 100,000 Homes Campaign help end homelessness.

Arcade Fire

It’s only Tuesday, and this has already been a huge week for music news. Starting with the stunning Grammy win by Canadian alt-rockers Arcade Fire, which capped off the highest-rated TV broadcast in 11 years, and followed by the surprise announcement of a brand-new Radiohead album release and the Wikipedia flame war set off by disgruntled Justin Bieber fans — it almost seems like the moribund music industry has developed a pulse.

And now comes the smashing Bonnaroo lineup announcement. Chock-full of Grammy winners and spanning every conceivable genre, Manchester (that’s Tennessee, not the UK) will be THE place to be on June 9-12, 2011.

Celebrating the festival’s 10th anniversary, Bonnaroo has lined up Eminem, Arcade Fire, Widespread Panic, The Black Keys and a reunited Buffalo Springfield.  Other featured artists include My Morning Jacket, Lil Wayne, String Cheese Incident, Robert Plant & Band of Joy, Mumford & Sons, The Strokes, The Decemberists, Ray Lamontagne, Bassnectar, Iron & Wine, Girl Talk, Primus, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Pretty Lights, Explosions in the Sky, STS9, Gogol Bordello, Beirut, Big Boi, Scissor Sisters, Gregg Allman, Ratatat, Robyn, Warren Haynes Band and Deerhunter.

If you can’t make it to Bonnaroo, but have a hankering for music-inspired travel, be sure to check out our rock ‘n’ roll vacation ideas and slideshows.

Westminster Dog Show

Over 2,597 dogs to be exact. Giant Schnauzers. Terriers. Bloodhounds. Chihuahuas. Chinese Cresteds. They were all let out today for the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Madison Square Garden.

The Westminster Dog Show is America’s second-longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby, and in our opinion, the number one most “aww” inspiring sporting event.

We went behind the scenes to see what it takes to get these pups pampered to perfection.  And it’s no easy feat to get a Boston Terrier on a treadmill or to give a Great Pyrenees’ a precision blow-dry.

Want to let your pooch out for a vacation? Champion dog handlers gave us pet travel advice and tips.

Tell us: What are your tips for bringing pets on the road with you?

Travel Channel Skit on Saturday Night Live featuring Russell Brand

In case you missed it, Travel Channel recently received some unexpected recognition on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The comedy show featured a skit about Travel Channel’s Ultimate Vacation Giveaway.  The fictitious giveaway made for great fun and fodder, featuring British actor Russell Brand and SNL comedienne Kristen Wiig.

Other SNL cast members made brief appearances during the performance to demonstrate their excitement after winning the giveaway. Take a look at the skit and tell us what you think.

And don’t forget about the real Travel Channel Sweepstakes! In February, you can enter to win a trip for 2 to Greece. It’s a different, exciting destination each month. Good luck!

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