Monthly Archives: March 2016

Hipmunk Hotels: Explore Incredible California in San Luis Obispo, Sonoma, South Lake Tahoe, Hawthorne and Torrance

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Hotels in San Luis Obispo, CA

San Luis Obispo is located along the beautifully lush central coast of California. With perfect weather almost all year long, a wide range of options for an outdoor adventures, and many affordable hotels, this place has it all. Since San Luis Obispo is located in the mountainous terrain, but also near a long stretch of sandy beaches along the scenic route of Highway 1, the location is suitable for many exciting beach or mountain activities. Visitors from all over the world find the following city tours most fun: Adventure Tours, Wine Tours, Water Tours, History and Culture Tours, just to name a few.

Tucked between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo has 315 sunny days a year, and with that kind of climate, hotels are always running interesting promotions to attract travelers from the cold regions of the globe. Some of the most affordable options include The Budget Inn, San Luis Inn and Suites, and the Courtyard by Marriott. And don’t forget to visit the grandiose Hearst Castle, which is only a small joy ride north of San Luis Obispo.

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Hotels in Sonoma, CA

Sonoma Valley in the heart of Sonoma County, which is located in the northern California, is also known as the Wine Country. This place easily intrigues all senses with its endlessly green rolling hills of vineyards and superb wineries that produce quality wine that is exported world-wide — yes, even to France. Sonoma is one of the most popular travel destinations, with well over seven million visitors arriving annually, not only to taste the wine, but also to experience the beauty of this special place. Enjoy a glass of your favorite vino in one of the 425-plus wineries of this region, and learn about the process of wine-growth and production. But that’s not all that Sonoma has to offer. Sonoma’s 50-plus miles of the Pacific Ocean coastline, with its breathtaking scenery, is just picture perfect for romantic moments with your loved one. There is also something for outdoor, adventurous types, like canoeing along the Russian River, hiking through the regional park, enjoying the local farms’ homemade products while exploring the area on horseback, or simply soaking up the beauty of the lush surroundings by playing golf.

To find a budget friendly hotel in Sonoma, it is important to consider its location. Accommodations closer to the wineries have higher rates relative to those places that require a bit of a drive to get to the heart of the wine country. But not to worry: the majority of the hotels offer shuttle service to the wineries they recommend along with the map of each winery in their surroundings; or, if you  prefer to select your own wine estates, only 20 minutes or so drive could save you hundreds of dollars on accommodation cost.

We can recommend The Palms Inn, The Best Western Petaluma Inn, Hotel Petaluma, and The Quality Inn & Suites Wine Country in Santa Rosa from $80 to $130 per night. If you are not on a tight budget, Casa Bella Inn averages a $300 per night, and The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa where the room cost $560.

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Hotels in South Lake Tahoe, CA

Lake Tahoe South has it all for one unforgettable and incredible holiday. The idyllic Sierra Nevada Mountains and the largest blue alpine lake in North America is the home of endless entertainment. If you come to visit Lake Tahoe, you can start your day by enjoying the slopes while skiing, snowboarding, sleigh riding, or even snowshoeing or snowmobiling during the winter months. The lake is perfect for boating or jet skiing during summer, or ice skating in the winter. And the fun doesn’t stop there. Later in the day, regardless of the season, you can continue with entertainment in one of many world-class casinos playing blackjack, or simply having a good time in clubs or restaurants. Depending on your desire or budget, you can stay in South Lake Tahoe hotels close to ski resorts, accommodations like Big Pines Mountain House, or if you prefer gambling and evening entertainment, Mont Bleu Resort Casino and Spa is a fantastic place to stay.

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Hotels in Hawthorne, CA

With its Mediterranean climate and an average of 263 sunny days, as well as its close proximity to LAX, Hawthorne is an ideal place to stay while visiting Los Angeles. Only ten minutes  from LAX, but with easy access to several major freeways, this town is one of the best options when you search for hotels near the city airport. Besides, Hawthorne accommodation options are far more affordable than the usual airport hotels. Four- and five-star accommodations in this area provide their guests with free airport shuttles, Wi-Fi, and even an in-house spa like if you stay at The Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel. For an average of $75 for a single occupancy, you can spend a night at the Hawthorne Plaza Inn or El Rancho Inn.

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Hotels in Torrance, CA

Torrance has the ultimate location close to all the major attractions and entertainment offered in Los Angeles, which makes it the optimal place to stay for your next vacation. You get to experience and see many amazing things nearby, from stunning sandy beaches, such as Torrance Beach, to theme parks like Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios. The best hotel rates can be obtained during the so-called “off season”, which starts in November and lasts through March. An important thing to consider when looking for affordable accommodation in this area is location. If a hotel is located right on the beach, the prices get very expensive, but there are fantastic hotels only a couple of miles away from the beach, such as DoubleTree Torrance-South Bay, which goes for a $129/night. And in the more affordable category of hotels/motels belongs the Torrance Travelodge, Extended Stay America Los Angeles – Torrance, and Super 8 Torrance LAX Airport Area.

Hipmunk Hotels: Disover the West Hotel Deals in Beverly Hills, Fairfield, Aspen, Salem, and Ventura

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Hotels in Beverly Hills, CA

Enjoying Beverly Hills doesn’t always imply high expenses. With smart choices and careful trip planning, visitors can find inexpensive hotels in Beverly Hills, as well. Autumn is the perfect period of the year for the great deals and discounts, especially because of the refreshing weather and subsided level of tourists. Plan to visit in mid-November, which is abundant with budget friendly hotels in West Hollywood, which is only a few blocks away from Rodeo Drive. Inexpensive Beverly Hills hotels like the Hollywood Guest Inn and Travelodge can be your safe choice, and if you are on a business trip, the Marriott Beverly Hills will meet your needs.

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Hotels in Fairfield, CA

We can easily say that the city of Fairfield is an undiscovered destination. Situated between two large cities — San Francisco on one side and the capital of California, Sacramento, on the other —and also close to Oakland and the Napa Valley, Fairfield is intensely appealing to visitors. Mellow winters and the pleasant Mediterranean climate draw numbers of tourists each year to this city. Positioned at the center of the main wine country attractions, Fairfield hotels offer moderate rates suitable for everyone’s budget. You can choose smaller, private accommodation units for as little as $39 to $50 per night, or rooms in the closest vicinity to the wine country ranging from $100 to $130 per night. Some of the more economical hotels in Fairfield are The Town House Inn at $57 per night, and The Comfort Inn Cordelia, where the average room is $67 per night.

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Hotels in Aspen, CO

Aspen, Colorado is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world. Colorado mountain is famous for its gorgeous nature that makes this place very special. Many of the rich and famous are frequent guests here. This place is a recognized destination for outdoor sports and for its amazing hotels, vibrant gourmet restaurants, and diverse nightlife for every budget. One of those incredible, but affordable hotels located close to ski center is The Best Western Aspen, CO. For more particular experience choose St. Moritz Lodge, which exudes European style and is situated in the shadow of Shadow Mountain.

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Hotels in Salem, OR

Salem is one of those undiscovered magical places you should consider visiting once in your lifetime. The place is historically rich, with beautifully lush nature. As the capital of Oregon, Salem has a lot to offer to those who come for business purposes or simply to enjoy some outdoor activities. Regardless of your reasons for a visit, you will not be disappointed. Must-see adventures include three historical properties: Bush House Museum, Deepwood Museum and Gardens and Willamette Heritage Center.

Accommodation rates are most reasonable during spring and fall months, and summer season is the most favorite period for family holidays and weekend getaways. Plan your trip ahead of time to score some good offers on rooms at Howard Johnson Inn that go for $52 per night, Travelodge at $73 per night, and Red Lion at $92 per night. More upscale hotels in Salem exist, such as Doubletree Salem offer rooms for $159 per night, Residence Inn for $176, and the Hampton Inn and Suites for $199.

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Hotels in Ventura, CA

Ventura, located north of Los Angeles, is an ancient place rich with archeological discoveries. It is believed that humans populated this region for well over 12,000 years. Many visitors enjoy participating in a professional surfing tournament held here. For all of you beginners and amateurs of this exciting sport, activate your adventurous side and take a surf lesson from a professional surfer. Because of the increasing popularity of this place, affordable accommodation is hard to find. We can recommend two hotels in Ventura: the Country Inn and Suites By Carlson Ventura, which are close to the beach and could benefit your budget offering a free Wi-Fi and a full complimentary breakfast. For the ultimate spa, pool and tennis package experience, Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort is a superb choice.

Aweinclusive’s: West Hollywood Is Booming With Amazing Hotels. Check Out Our Faves

This post originally appeared on Aweinclusive’s “Hipmunk Hotels: West Hollywood Is Booming With Amazing Hotels. Check Out Our Faves” written by Michaela Hall and posted on 17 February, 2016.

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Where you stay in West Hollywood is the difference between an incredible trip and one that barely elicits a “meh.”

Here are our favorite, luxury hotels and a budget option for those who must visit WeHo, but don’t want to break the bank.

A Hidden Paradise Awaits

As far as hotels go, Sunset Marquis Hotel has no problem standing out from among the crowd of accommodation options in this busy metropolis.

What stands out about this gem of a hotel is that it’s hard to believe you’re in the middle of a bustling city. The landscaping does an incredible job of creating a secluded paradise you won’t want to leave.

Upgrade to a villa if you’re in the mood for more privacy and beautiful strolls through the beautiful, surrounding gardens.

More Than Picture Perfect

As beautiful as they are, pictures hardly do justice for the look and vibe of the Mondrian Los Angeles.

Set in the fantastic West Hollywood backdrop, this hotel is far from average. Rooms are cozy and luxe with a touch of whimsy to get you in a playful mood.

Take in perfect skyline views from the Skybar lounge or adjacent pool while you’re pinching yourself to make sure it isn’t all a dream.

Be careful. We hear that living in the lap of luxury is quite addictive!

Call London On The House

Don’t even bother comparing the amenities offered at London West Hollywood to other hotels.

Guests will enjoy private outdoor areas, complimentary calls overseas, and a luxury bathroom with soaking tub.

Located right around the corner from Sunset Boulevard, this hotel offers premier room styles that leave you wondering why you ever booked anywhere else.

You’ll want to make reservations at the on-site Boxwood Cafe to enjoy chef-inspired meals that will brighten your mood.

A Little Bit of Rock and Roll

The Grafton on Sunset isn’t your average boutique hotel.

Nestled inside of its walls is a stylish and edgy retreat that will make you think twice when it’s time to checkout.

Their promise of exemplary customer service is more than music to your ears. This rock and roll inspired hotel backs up its claims with a hotel staff that understands and caters to your needs.

Two on-site dining options are at your disposal. Oliver’s Primetime Steakhouse offers guests a premier dining experience while Bar 20 offers a place to unwind in a more causal setting.

West Hollywood Budget Option

For the best bang for your buck, book at the Wilshire Orange Hotel.

This extended stay hotel is a step up from a hostel offering private rooms with private or shared bathrooms.

This hotel is best suited for those who are self-sufficient – a manager isn’t always on the premises and who plan on taking public transportation – parking is limited.

It’s a heck of a steal in a pricey area for those who don’t need all the frills.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and book your trip today before all the good rooms are snatched up!

Photo by lavocado@sbcglobal.net via Flickr.com

Alyssawrite’s: An Unforgettable Vacation to the Dominican Republic

This post originally appeared on Alyssawrite’s “Hipmunk Hotels: An Unforgettable Vacation to the Domenican Republic” on 26 February, 2016.

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Paradise Island in The Dominican Republic | Photo courtesy of Ron Saunders via Flickr

With its year round sunshine, stunning beaches and vibrant culture, the Dominican Republic is the perfect place to spend a few weeks in the sun. People who enjoy the finer things in life will find some excellent luxury, all-inclusive hotels here where they will be able to enjoy nothing but the best while experiencing all that the country has to offer. Here are some of the best places to stay while exploring the Dominican Republic — this destination allows you to experience the local culture with a glamorous twist!

Santo Domingo

This stunning city is the capital of the Dominican Republic and the oldest “European” city in the Americas. The Ozama River flows through Santo Domingo, dividing it into two halves. One of the most enchanting areas to stay here is the Colonial Zone, which lies on the west bank of the river and faces the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. The Acuarium Resort Hotel offers guests all-inclusive packages that really put the luxury into travel. The services you can enjoy here include free transfers to the main beach and the downtown district, sightseeing tours, and full use of the impressive outdoor swimming pool and world-class spa.

Bayahibe

The charming resort town of Bayahibe sits on the shore of the Caribbean Sea and boasts a beautiful sandy beach on which to soak up the sun. While this fishing village has grown dramatically to become a popular tourist destination, it has still managed to keep much of its traditional charm. The port and fish markets are excellent places to experience local culture, as it’s where people go to do their shopping and meet up with friends. The Catalonia Gran Domincus is an excellent all-inclusive hotel to choose from that sits on the edge of one of the city’s main beaches and offers guests excellent dining opportunities and a range of well-run activities to enjoy, such as sailing and scuba diving.

Boca Chica

Located just 30 kilometers from Santo Domingo, Boca Chica is famous for its large beach and stunning coral reef, making this the perfect destination for scuba divers. Underwater lovers will enjoy seeing the unique fish, like the Caribbean Sharpnose and Great Barracuda, in the Caribbean Sea. The Be Live Experience is the most popular all-inclusive hotel in Santo Domingo, as it offers a picturesque setting right on the edge of Hamaca Beach and first-rate facilities such as a luxurious spa, excellent restaurants and a charming outdoor swimming pool set in a picturesque garden.

Puerto Plata

While this small city is also famous for its gorgeous sandy beaches, Puerto Plata also boasts plenty of traditional charm and is a great place to get to know the culture and history of the Dominican Republic. A replica of the mighty Christ the Redeemer statue overlooks the city; it’s also the gateway to the large national park, which is called Parc Nacionale de Isabella de Torres. Visitors are sure to enjoy a relaxing and memorable stay at Casa Colonial Beach and Spa all-inclusive hotel, as it features a gorgeous elevated swimming pool and restaurant and very attentive staff.

Hipmunk Hotels: Fantastic hotel deals in mountain states Saint George, Phoenix, Colorado Springs

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Hotels in Saint George, UT

Saint George, Utah, is a city that offers accommodations for every budget. Whether you like fancy places or are just a student who wants to have a good time on a budget, you can always find a suitable place to stay. The City of Saint George provides all types of entertainment – recreational, cultural, or fun nightlife options for its visitors. A typical Saturday night stay may cost between $69-$89 for more affordable hotels, such as the Best Western Travel Inn. In case you desire fancier options, such as The Green Gate Village Historic Inn or World Mark St. George hotel, be prepared to pay several hundred dollars per night, but in exchange you will be able to enjoy beautiful mountain views from the comfort of your room and have delicious dining and room service options available until the late night hours.

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Hotels in Phoenix, AZ

Depending on your vacation budget, Phoenix, Arizona, as one of the largest cities in the United States, has numerous hotels and many beautiful resorts. Because of the sunny weather all year around, Phoenix is known for its great spas, and as a perfect place for relaxation. Its diversity of attractions, from artistic and cultural to fun outdoor activities, make this city a vibrant and desirable destination. Tempe Mission Palms and the Best Western Airport Inn are just a couple options you will find here. One of many affordable choices is America’s Best Value Inn-Downtown Phoenix motel, or if you want to stay in the center of it all, then the Hyatt Regency Phoenix would be a good fit for a reasonable price.

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Hotels in Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs is known for its beautiful, unspoiled nature, and many opportunities to explore. If you are planning your trip with your family or getting ready for a solo adventure, this place has many hotels that offer good deals all year around. For an upscale experience, try the Garden of the Gods Club and Resort, which is close to one of the national parks. Rates start at $150 a night. But you can also find more affordable options, like Eagle Motel in Manitou Springs, where a double room costs just $60 per night.

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Hotels in Reno, NV

If you enjoy visiting the City of Las Vegas and the type of entertainment Sin City offers, you would certainly enjoy Reno. For the best deals on hotels in Reno, plan your holiday in advance. April to May and October to November are considered the most suitable months for visiting when traveling on a budget. The city has so much to offer, from casinos, nightclubs and restaurants to great parks, museums and festivals, Reno is worth visiting with your family. It is very easy to find affordable accommodations in Reno, since there are plenty of low-cost motels or hotel chains, including Quality Inn or Motel 6. For a more extravagant experience, there is the Atlantis Casino Resort and Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, which are fantastic combinations of price and quality.

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Hotels in Laughlin, NV

Never been to Nevada and never seen the Colorado River? Some of the best promotions are offered by Nevada City in cooperation with the larger casinos, and those promotions are hard to resist. Attractive Pay and Play packages are offering accommodations under $50 per night in the Golden Nugget and the Tropicana Express. Amazing hotels and casinos are what Nevada is known for, and hotels like The Colorado Belle provide an airport shuttle, great rates and other tempting package amenities.

Hipmunk Hotels: Incredible budget travel destinations Carlsbad, Kailua-Kona, Tacoma, Beverly Hills

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Hotels in Carlsbad, CA

When we think of Carlsbad, California, some of the first things that come to mind are its colorful ranunculus Flower Fields and the next-door designers outlet shopping. But that is not all; this seaside resort city has plenty more to offer. Where do we start? Its fantastic long, sandy beaches are perfect for surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, and diving; or just for making sand castles and sun bating, which is great for those less ambitious types of vacationers. Also, lets not forget museums and galleries, gift shops, many great restaurants and bars along other fun attractions desired by tourists. Most famous by its Tudor-style look and most frequently shown on the city postcards, Carlsbad By The Sea Resort is a very affordable resort and spa, great for romantic weekend gateways or holidays for an entire family. The location of this famous resort is excellent, in the middle of all happenings. It has spacious rooms with fantastic views, friendly staff and easily accessible parking. If you are looking for a great time in Carlsbad, one of Southern California’s hidden jewels, where you can enjoy the sun and fun at the beach, fancy shopping, convenient dining and many other attractions, and therefore Carlsbad By The Sea Resort a perfect place for your next vacation.

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Hotels in Kailua-Kona, HI

Perfect weather conditions of the Hawaiian west coast made this part of the Big island and “Kona Side” ideal touristic place. It is one of those places where you can simply relax all day long on the white sand and swim in the warm crystal clear turquoise water. This seaside town has incredibly lush greenery and great golf courses that are visited by golf lovers from all around the world.
There are many nice and affordable hotels at Kailua-Kona. If you like to enjoy amazing sunrises and breathtaking sunsets, Marriott Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel is right for you, because of its ocean view rooms. Rooms are equipped with high-speed Internet and flat-screen TVs. For those who are more adventurous, there is an option to rent kayaks and paddle boards in Kona Boys store. And those who arrive on business, a large business center and meeting rooms are available for use. Also, Kona Seaside Hotel is a walking distance away from the main attractions and the sandy beaches. There are many festivals and exciting happenings during the entire year in Kailua-Kona. The National Park is popular touristic place for different fun activities, and it is located only 4 miles from hotels such as Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Kailua-Kona.

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Hotels in Tacoma, WA

Tacoma is city located in Washington State, and it’s geographical position made this place popular travel destination all year around. It is a great choice of affordable hotels suitable for families, business people and travelers who are looking for adventure.  For under a $100 per night, in Extended Stay America you get a free parking, free breakfast, and access to on-site laundry facilities. There are plenty of luxury hotels in Tacoma, such as Murano and The Villa Bed & Breakfast.

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Hotels in Beverly Hills, CA

Are there any ‘cheap’ hotels in Beverly Hills? Many would think it is not possible but if you know where to look for great deals you may get lucky. Timing is the most important thing when searching for good hotels in Beverly Hills. Late October and beginning of December is a recommended period for a visit because of the lower temperatures and not so crowded main attractions. Walking distance from fun places and touristic attractions is one of the important things for to consider when on budget. We recommend Hollywood Guest Inn and Travelodge, Marriott Beverly Hills. Also, Marriott Beverly Hills is situated within a mile from the business district. Many hotels offer special deals and lower rates when you book your room in advance. So, plan your trip in ahead of time, and it will pay you off. Booking at nearby and surrounding cities only a few miles away are also a good options for saving money.
However, if you are looking for hotels close to West Hollywood, Hotel Beverly Terrace is perfect place located on right on exciting Santa Monica Boulevard. There are many options for smaller and cheaper hotels that would save you money, like Hotel Del Flores, which is located in the heart of Beverly Hills.

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Hotels in Burbank, CA

Known as the city of entertainment, Burbank belongs to Los Angeles County. If you are looking for a fun vacation for you and your family then this destination is perfect fit.  Major media and entertainment companies are offering all kind of attractions, from the Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros Entertainment, ABC Studios, to the Burbank Aviation Museum and the George Izay Park. Affordable accommodation in this area is Motel 6 and Best Western, and they are suitable for any budget. If you want to travel during spring and prefer to stay near Walt Disney Studios, Best Western Burbank Airport Inn offers a very affordable accommodation.

Tammyonthemove’s: Florida’s Best Beaches

This post originally appeared on Tammyonthemove’s “Hipmunk Hotels: Florida’s Best Beaches” on January 24, 2016.

When people hear Florida they usually think of the Everglades, Miami Vice, and Walt Disney World. But of course no visit to Florida would be the same without checking out some of America’s best beaches. Florida has plenty of gorgeous beaches that offer a plethora of activities including surfing, diving, swimming, boating, and of course just sunbathing. With this in mind, below is a list of some of Florida’s best beaches.
Clearwater Beach

As the name suggests, the water on Clearwater Beach is, well, crystal clear. You can undertake a variety of recreational activities by the sea, whether it is deep sea fishing, dolphin watching, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, or exploring the area by motorboat. Away from the sea, if you are looking for some serious excitement check out the Simulator Center Tampa Bay, where you can pretend to fly a Boeing 737 or a fighter jet, drive a Formula One racing car, or even be an astronaut. If you are looking for hotels around Clearwater Beach that won’t break your budget then you are in for a treat, as there are plenty of low-cost hotel options available in this lovely seaside town.
Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach boasts 27 miles of gorgeous beaches with 100 public beach access points. As such, you are really spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect beach for you. The area is also home to two state parks with great hiking and biking trails for those who would like to do some exercise and not just lie on the beach all day. Some fun beach activities you can do include snorkeling, diving, skimboarding, jetskiiing, paddle boarding, surfing, kiteboarding and even parasailing. Visitors can choose from a great selection of both budget and luxury hotels to fit any expenditure range.

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Sunset in Panama City Beach – Photo by Tim Puckett via Trover.com

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a great destination for families. Not only can you take your family to the beach, but also to some of the beautiful state parks, as well as various hiking and biking trails. If you would like to teach your little ones about conservation then why not book onto an eco-tour where you can spot endangered species such as manatees or watch sea turtles hatch from their eggs and start their life journey into the great blue ocean? There are also some fantastic hotel options with stunning Atlantic views available at Daytona Beach.
Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach boasts white sandy beaches and stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to various parks, including the Bowditch Point Regional Park, Lovers Key State Park, and The Pier and Lynn Hall Park, which offer walking trails, bird watching opportunities, as well as kayaking, canoeing or boating tours. Of course this charming town also offers plenty of great hotels to suit all kinds of tastes.

As you can see, Florida has some fantastic beaches that are just waiting to be explored, so what are you waiting for? Go and book that long deserved beach break you have been dreaming about.

Two Scots Abroad’s : The Forgotten Cities of the Pacific Northwest

This post originally appeared on Two Scots Abroad’s “Hipmunk Hotels: The Forgotten Cities of the Pacific Northwest” on January 27, 2016.

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The Pacific Northwest is fast becoming more than just foodie Seattle or quirky Portland. Lots of tourists are flocking there to see more of what the Pacific NW has to offer in Washington’s Kent, Spokane, SeaTac and Oregon’s Salem.
Kent, not Kerching!

Kent is not a big city like Seattle but offers big city things without stretching the purse strings. Washington’s sixth largest city is growing and shaking off its earlier comedic image. Locals are proud of the ShoWare Center, which plays host to concerts and more notably is home to the hockey team, T – Birds. Sports fans also enjoy the Riverbend Golf Complex, Hydroplane, and Raceboat Museum as well as the PGP Motorsports Park and Pacific Raceways. Of course, a visit to PNW would not be complete without breathing in some fresh air, nature walks can found at the Green River Natural Resources Area. For a hotel conmplimentary free breakfast check out the Ramada Kent Seattle Area.
Sports and Spring in Spokane

Washington’s second largest city, Spokane, is one for the outdoor lovers. In the summer months, visitors can grab a canoe and relax on Lake Spokane. It’s also popular with the fishing community. During winter, skiers and boarders will find the quietness of the mountains appealing; this is definitely not found at the likes of the West Coast’s Whistler or Mount Baker! When spring has sprung it is time of the Bloomsday and Lilac Festival. Spokane is blooming! For a hotel close to the action book with Hotel Ruby.
SeaTac, Not Seattle!

Due to its proximity to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, SeaTac is a popular arrival destination for those visiting Seattle but it deserves some attention in its own right! The city offers breath-taking panoramic views of the Pacific Northwest Mountains; Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains. The city doesn’t stop at mountains! Tours of the Olympic National Park and Forest are available for hikers. When I say forest I mean rainforest! Lucky hikers may get a glimpse of a Roosevelt elk, black bear, and osprey bird. For a remote stay, see Cedarbrook Lodge.
Silent Salem

Salem, the gateway city to Oregon’s coast, is not only picturesque but also family friendly. Popular attractions include Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, The Enchanted Forest Theme Park, and Gilbert House Children’s Museum. However, one of the hidden gems in Salem is the Oregon State Mental Hospital Museum. This museum uniquely takes you through the development in treatment of mental health patients – pretty unusual and invaluable for those interested in mental health. For the rest of society, Salem offers vineyards, cheese, and more vineyards! Crossland Salem North offers a cheap and cheerful stay in Salem.

These lesser know areas of the Pacific Northwest can only mean two things – good for tight budgets and avoiding crowds! So the next time you are considering a trip to Washington or Oregon remember the underrated cities in the Pacific Northwest, Kent, Spokane, SeaTac, and Salem.

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Photo by J Brew / CC

The Best Apps for Productivity Across Time Zones

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on February 18, 2016.

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For many folks, travel is a way to escape from the daily grind, relax, and gain some much-needed rejuvenation. But for the world’s more than 480 million business travelers, travel too often involves worrying about missed emails, dropped expense reports, or scheduling meetings or keeping a project on track from across different time zones.

It can be tough to get work done far away from the office, but that’s where each of these apps comes in. Every entry on this list meets a specific need of the modern business traveler. Taken together, they offer business travelers a maximum-productivity package that will help ensure you’re able to get work done pretty much anywhere.
Asana

Asana is perfect for anyone who needs to tackle collaborative projects with a remote team. It’s developed by one of the co-founders of Facebook, and it’s just as on-trend as the behemoth social media platform. The app lets you lay out the steps necessary to complete a project, assign each task to a collaborator, track the project’s progress, and communicate with other team members—all without being in the same room or worrying about scheduling a phone call across time zones.
CamCard

Perfect for trips on which you anticipate doing lots of networking, CamCard allows you to digitally store business cards and contact information for new prospects or collaborators. So there’ll be no more panicking when you get home and realize you lost that potential new client’s contact info en route.
Docusign

For the executive on the go: Docusign makes it easy to digitally execute contracts, manage transactions, and issue legally binding electronic signatures across mobile devices. The service prides itself on being usable from virtually anywhere in the world (it’s already in use in 43 languages and 188 countries), and it’s secure as it is functional.

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Dropbox

No matter where you are in the world, you can access all of your files from Dropbox. If you know you’ll need access to certain documents while traveling, simply upload them to the service ahead of your trip. Then you’ll be able to access them from any device, at any time. (It sure beats having to wait several hours until a coworker wakes up and can email you the documents you need.) You can also easily share files with simple links.
Expensify

Never worry about processing expense reports on the go again. Expensify allows users to quickly import card transactions, add cash expenses, record billable expenses, auto-categorize expenses, create custom invoices, ditch paper receipts, issue reimbursements, and more—and it will do it all while supporting more than 160 currencies and international taxes.
HipChat

For those times when you need to communicate with your team in real-time (but you’re in, say, Bangkok while the rest of your team is in NYC), turn to HipChat. The app offers a group chat service that’s available on desktops, tablets, or smartphones. The app will also deliver messages to your phone even when you’re signed off, so that you and your teammates will be able to reach each other at any time should a pressing issue arise.
Hipmunk

Sure, we’re shamelessly self-promoting. But it’s only because we think we’ve made the best travel app on the market. Hipmunk’s app eliminates wasted time in the planning stages of a trip by finding the best hotel and flight deals, providing free flight fare alerts, and offering instant booking. Business travelers can also use the app to coordinate group travel. Leave the trip planning to us so you can get back to work.
World Time Buddy

World Time Buddy is a world clock, time zone converter, and online meeting scheduler all in one convenient app. Need to plan a conference call with someone in San Francisco while you’re in Dublin? Skip the math and simply plug in what time zone you’re in, what time zone they’re in, and bada boom: The app will provide you with a selection of compatible meeting times. The app also tracks market hours.
XE Currency

If your business travels take you to multiple countries in one go and you need to calculate currencies in a hurry, then XE Currency has you covered. The app allows users to view historical charts and current exchange rates and calculate prices from a mobile device. You can also create customized comparison charts for prices anywhere in the world.

The only downside to these apps? They’ll limit your excuses for not getting work done during your travels. Welcome to the great big mobile world!

Check Out These Midwest Travel Ideas!

This post originally appeared on Duke Stewart Writes and is part of “Hipmunk’s Destinations Unknown: Check Out These Midwest Travel Ideas!“.

Midwest-Travel-Ideas-Photo-by-Alison-Morrow-via-Trover.com_

Photo by Alison Morrow via Trover.com

If you’re searching for some American Midwest trip inspiration, take a look at these five wonderful cities. Here you’re going to see a mix of indoor and outdoor fun with all ages kept in consideration. After you check out these Midwest travel ideas, you should start finalizing those plans because the word is out about these wonderful destinations.
Indianapolis, Indiana

Visit Indianapolis and you’ll immediately realize that Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium and Indianapolis Motor Speedway host some of the country’s biggest events, including being home to the Pacers and Colts. Families will also love the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for a wonderful variety of rotating special exhibits. There’s tons of outdoor fun at White River State Park, where you can go walking, running and cycling along the water.
Champaign, Illinois

If you’re Champaign during the fall, go to Memorial Stadium and you’ll get a first-hand glimpse at some of college football’s finest as the Fighting Illini go up against local and national rivals. The Virginia Theatre is a wonderful stop for music and more in Champaign. Culture aficionados should stop by the Krannert Art Museum on the University of Illinois campus and spend at least an afternoon perusing the state’s 2nd largest collection.
Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines is a wonderful stop in Iowa and visitors should start with a walk through the Capitol Building, where free tours are held throughout the day. Seasonal options include the State Fairgrounds in August and Farmer’s Market in May through October. Throughout the year, visitors love Gray’s Lake Park for walks and bike rides while Pappajohn Sculpture Park is gaining attention for its collection of interesting outdoor art installations.
Billings, Montana

Outdoor enthusiasts love Billings and the best introduction is through Pictograph State Park’s trails and caves which look far back into human history. Plan your wedding at the beautiful DanWalt Gardens and if you’re in the mood for a show, Alberta Bair Theater for the Performing Arts hosts tons of music and dance programs for all ages. Visitors can also spend a day with friends and live music at Yellowstone Cellars and Winery.
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City has so much to do and see and the best way to start is with the National World War I Museum and Memorial, an informative museum that offers a great city panorama. There’s Kauffman Stadium for Royals games and Arrowhead for the Chiefs for visitors and fans. Union Station is an option for architecture buffs with its beautiful construction and art exhibits inside. Take the kids or yourself to Kaleidoscope for interactive crafts and puzzles.

How does that American Midwest trip itinerary look now? I bet you’re ready to start packing your bags but before you go, be sure to tell your friends about these five cities! So you don’t want to tell them and want these gems kept secret? Don’t worry! We’ll keep these Midwest travel ideas between you and me! Enjoy your trip and drive safe through this wonderful part of the country.