Amanda DiGiondomenico

Amanda is a freelance blogger and considers herself a resident of both Baltimore and Washington, DC. She loves taking road trips up and down the East Coast, but looks for any excuse to escape to California. She’s perfected the art of traveling with just a carry-on and finds airports oddly relaxing. Amanda spends her time tweeting and writing for her personal blog, The Spendicate.

Amanda DiGiondomenico On Instagram

Posts by Amanda DiGiondomenico

When you’re going out of town, it’s hard to know just what you’re getting yourself into, hotel-wise. The hotel website doesn’t always help, either. Marketing photos can make any hotel look like the Taj Mahal, so the smart traveler needs to remain wary of promises that sound too good to be true. Because … guess what … they probably are.

But fear not, young travel warrior! Travel Channel and Oyster.com are here to help you spot those common marketing ploys. Don’t forget – Photoshop and a little cropping can work wonders. (Keep that in mind for those beach photos …).

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In case you haven’t heard, the iconic London Eye has been transformed into a barometer of sorts to measure how the Twitterverse is feeling about the Olympics. EDF Energy, a London Eye sponsor, has come up with an algorithm that will measure positive and negative tweets about the Games. Those feelings will then be reflected by the lights on the London Eye – yellow lights meaning positive, purple meaning negative.

So, this got us thinking … what if the eye goes purple? How will we spend our time in London if the Olympics take a nose dive? Well, regardless of the Eye being mostly yellow or purple, here are some other things to do around the city when you’re not keeping a close eye on the competition.

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It’s hard to deny that gambling is probably one of the first things you think of when you think of Las Vegas. But, trust us, there’s a lot more to Vegas than the games — take a gamble and enter our Las Vegas sweepstakes to win an unforgettable summer vacation.

So, what do you do when you win? Here are a few itineraries to make the most of your Vegas vacation:

Vegas First-Timers

*In the warm summer evenings, cool off with a drink in your hand as you head out on the water on a Lake Mead cruise.

*Grab a bite and observe your surroundings at PBR Rock Bar & Grill at Planet Hollywood, where you can scan CityCenter, the Bellagio and the Strip all at once.

*There’s so much to do in Vegas besides gaming, but if this is your first time in town, you almost have to play a little. Many hotels offer free lessons for novices — the Golden Nugget among them.

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Join Travel Channel as we make our way across the United States and then down to Cancun and Costa Rica. See what’s on this week’s itinerary and join us for a quick getaway!

Start the week off with Bizarre Foods America tonight at 9|8c when Andrew samples the unique cuisine of Miami – check out our Bizarre Food of the Week for a sneak peek! And don’t forget to enter to win a trip to Miami – maybe you could try the bizarre foods yourself …

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Last night, true love prevailed as The Bachelorette’s Emily Maynard gave her final rose to her favorite bachelor. But if you’re anything like us, you were more interested in their chosen destination of Curacao than in who rode off into the sunset with our dear Emily. Luckily for us, the resort that was featured in the final episodes, Sandton Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club, is giving romantics everywhere the opportunity to experience your own Bachelorette Dream Getaway.

The Sandton Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club in Curacao — with its 18th and 19th-century Dutch Colonial Caribbean buildings, courtyards, pools, award-winning restaurants and spa — hosted the 2 private one-on-one dates in the second to last episode and was the setting for the finale’s rose ceremony. With its exclusive new packages, the resort is offering viewers the chance to step into Emily’s shoes and recreate the Bachelorette experience.

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England dominated the sports world this weekend when 2 huge sporting events had their finals: Ernie Els snagged a win at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England and a Briton came through to win the Tour de France. But fret not, sports fans, Travel Channel is here to tide you over until that other really big sports event starts: the Olympic Games. Don’t forget, they start this week with all the sports programming you could hope for in the city that everyone can’t stop talking about.

But until then, check out our photos and plan your next sporting excursion …

Plan a golf getaway to one of these luxury golf destinations around the world.

Relive the excitement of the Tour de France.

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By Troy Petenbrink

On this day in 1899, a legendary writer (and traveler) was born.

While many cities around the world—from Paris to Cuba and Kenya to Idaho—can and do lay claim to Hemingway, the writer’s imprint is most prominent in Florida’s bohemian city of Key West.

On a friend’s recommendation, Hemingway and his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer (not to be confused with his first, third or fourth wife) visited Key West in 1928. He immediately fell in love with the island and the island with him. He would call Key West home for the next decade.

“It’s the best place I’ve ever been anytime, anywhere, flowers, tamarind trees, guava trees, coconut palms…Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks.” – Ernest Hemingway

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As part of the travel blog community, we like to keep a weather eye on the horizon and bring things to our readers that happened to catch our attention this week on the blogroll. We found some tips on traveling to London for the Olympics, as well as gorgeous photos of Ecuador and the cenotes of Mexico.

Peter Greenberg offers suggestions for how to avoid hotels when traveling abroad for the Olympics.

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A storm rolled through New York City yesterday afternoon with black skies and unexpected hail, but through the power of social media, NYC was able to see what was coming before they could even Google “weather.”

Courtesy of @dhanijones / d0057 on Instagram

 

From the vantage point of an airplane window, former NFL linebacker and Travel Channel host, Dhani Jones, Instagram-ed the storm and posted it to his Twitter feed, starting a storm of his own. While our Travel Channel offices in New York and DC were pummeled by the thunder, we were too excited about our old friend’s social media frenzy to even notice.

Find some of Dhani’s Travel Channel videos here and follow him on Twitter to see what he’s up to now.

Discovery aired an Animal Planet documentary this past weekend called Mermaids: The Body Found. Unfortunately, a mermaid body has not been found, despite many internet crawlers’ assumptions.  But cheer up, Ariel — here are some ways you can travel like a mermaid (and, no, it doesn’t involve growing a tail).

Eat Like a Mermaid

*Dine lakeside on fresh seafood at the Mermaid Café in Mississippi.

*Enjoy the eclectic atmosphere as you fill up on Floridian cuisine under the sea-green tin roof of the Sign of the Mermaid Restaurant on Anna Maria island in Florida.

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