Spring Online Specials at Yosemite’s Tenaya Lodge

California’s Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is offering special rates through June. Rates go up each month until peak season hits. In April, for example, you can score overnight accommodations for $139. In May, the rates start at $159, and by June, you’re looking at $225/night. You know what they say about the early bird.

When you’re not out exploring Yosemite’s many trails and to-die-for vistas, you’ll be ensconced in resort surroundings that are decidedly not granola crunch. We’re talking a spa, two heated pools, a fitness area, etc. Great for those I love being in the outdoors as long as it doesn’t involve dirt and sweating types.

Learn How To Dicker In Foreign Countries

I am a firm believer, that where ever you go the dickering is every where in any market. All we have to do is get smart and get the deal in our favor.

What I have experienced is a good technique is to take a notebook and pen, ask the shop keeper for their “best price” and let them know that you’re shopping around. Write it down along with their name (in case they’re not there when you come back). Normally, you’ll get a VERY good price this way.

We should always try to make them think that:
-You don’t really want it that badly.
-You have seen it everywhere.
-You hardly have any money with you.
-It isn’t as nice as other ones you have seen.

Don’t be afraid to start walking away, either. Chances are, they will follow you and give you a better price or throw something else in.

Please submit your own solution here – as a comment..

The World’s Party

It’s Party Time! – The Rough Guide World Party is a detailed guide to the world’s best events and festivals. If you’ve ever thought of partying in Rio, throwing tomatoes in Spain or riding a camel in Pushkar, this guide is for you.

Full-color throughout with detailed accounts of each major festival and insider tips on how best to enjoy each one. The useful ‘festival keys’ will help you to find the perfect world festival, from the best music, food and arts festivals to long-established religious celebrations to less ancient raves and fruit-throwing events. The guide comes complete with a festival map and calendar with background details and timings for each event.

If you love a party The Rough Guide World Party is for you.

Top 20 Festivals
These are the top 20 festivals around the world, as voted for by users of the Rough Guides website.

1. Rio Carnival, Brazil
2. Fantasy Fest, Florida
3. Fiesta de San Fermin, Spain
4. Glastonbury Festival, England
5. Oktoberfest, Munich
6. Love Parade, Berlin
7. Mardi Gras, New Orleans
8. Trinidad Carnival, Trinidad and Tobago
9. Queen’s Day, The Netherlands
10. Burning Man, Nevada
11. Notting Hill Carnival, England
12. Crop Over, Barbados
13. Ati-Atihan, The Philippines
14. Westmann Islands Festival, Iceland
15. Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica
16. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Australia
17. Las Fallas, Spain
18. St Patrick’s Day, Ireland
19. Rustler’s Valley Festivals, South Africa
20. Il Palio, Italy

EU Approves Open Skies Agreement

European Union ministers approved the Open Skies agreement yesterday in Brussels. As a result, airlines flying between Europe and the U.S. have fewer restrictions about where they must depart and land. For example, only certain U.S. airlines are allowed to land at London Heathrow International Airport at present. The new agreement would open gates up to airlines that have traditionally lacked access to this busy airport. And European airlines will be allowed to fly to U.S. cities from locations outside their home nations. The way things stand right now, European airlines, say Air France for example, can only fly to the U.S. from an airport in their own country – in Air France’s case, from France.

What does this mean for travelers? A greater variety of flight options between the U.S. and Europe, as well as lower fares on popular routes. But don’t expect to see any changes right away. Originally slated to take effect in October, the date has been pushed back to March 30, 2008.

The 5 hottest hospitality tech trends, according to Microsoft

The future of hotels lies on their hand only. The Hotel rooms that can access everything from your favorite food to your musical preferences – while running on technology that’s clever enough to repair itself – might sound like a page torn right out of a pulp sci-fi novel.

Hotels are doing it today, and many more are on the verge of implementing these innovative technologies. If you’re a guest at one of these forward-looking properties, get ready for a completely different kind of experience—one in which technology anticipates your every need and gives it to you without you ever having to ask.

And it isn’t just hotels that are leveraging these new tools to their advantage; so are theme parks, restaurants, and casinos. The overall effects of these new tools on the hospitality business promises to be far-reaching. From the perspective of a hotel, casino, or restaurant, these important advances have the potential to create more efficient and profitable businesses, and make your business more appealing to guests.

Here are the five biggest technology trends in the hospitality industry.

New customer relationship management (CRM) tools will replace “questions” at check-in
Remember all those queries when you pick up your room key, such as, What kind of newspaper do you prefer? Would you like a poolside or oceanside room? Asking such questions eats up hotel employees’ valuable time and, after a while, guests get tired of answering them. New customer relationship management (CRM) tools allow a hotel to gather guest preference information from various systems at property level and distribute them throughout the company. So your hotel knows what you like, right away.

Read the rest of this entry »

Airbus 380 Makes Historic Landings

Airbus 380
Yesterday was the historic day in aviation industry. The world’s largest passenger airplane, the double-decker Airbus 380, landed in the United States for the first time. There were two landings, one at JFK that was operated by Lufthansa and another operated by Qantas landed in Los Angeles. The video on this historic landing can be found in Popular Mechanics. Each Airbus 380, which can hold approximately 550 passengers, costs a reported $300 million.

Let’s the Music Play – Airlines To Add iPod

Soon, frantic searches for a power outlet to charge an iPod just before boarding will be a thing of the past for travelers. As of mid-2007, Apple—which has sold more than 90 million iPods since they were introduced in 2001—will partner with several airlines to connect passengers’ iPods with in-flight entertainment systems. U.S. carriers Continental, Delta, and United, as well as Emirates, will be the first to introduce the new feature.

Travelers will be able to listen to their iPods and view downloaded TV shows, movies, and podcasts on seat-back screens. Delta plans to supply all its seats on transcontinental flights with the connection; United will offer the service to international first- and business-class passengers only; and Continental will provide it in both coach and premium cabins on selected flights.