Traveling 101
Travel Tips, Deals, News, Discounts

Chicago Airports raise parking rates

Tuesday, 26 January 2010 06:14 by Ari

   
On January 4th 2010, Chicago Department of Aviation announced a rate increase for airport parking.  At O’Hare International Airport, parking increased to $31 for daily parking and $46 for valet service. Midway International Airport increased their parking to $29. However, there is good news…

AirportParkingConnection.com has new secure parking locations for Chicago O’Hare and Midway with discounted rates. Also, there are no booking fees! Check out the Chicago rates on AirportParkingConnection.com and see how much money you will save! 

Airport Parking Connection Opens up new Airports

Thursday, 21 January 2010 06:46 by Admin

We are proud to announce that we are now offering parking reservations for the following airports:

  • Portland International (PDX) - Thrifty Airport Parking
  • Kansas City Airport (MCI) - Thrifty Airport Parking
  • Chicago Midway (MDW) - Airport Parking Express
  • Chicago O'Hare (ORD) - Thrifty Airport Parking, ParkNJet, Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel and Conference
  • Dayton Ohio (DAY) - Westwind Airport Valet, Park-N-Go
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) - Luxury Airport Parking, Air and Sea Valet Parking

We are currently working on more locations and we look forward to doing business with you in the future.

Ari Marcellino

5 Less Obvious Reasons Why Travel is Good for You

Thursday, 21 January 2010 05:28 by Guillermo

We’ve all heard the clichés about why travel is good. Due to this, we often take the benefits of travel for granted. Everyone knows travel broadens cultural horizons, as it’s hard to be xenophobic when you’ve seen what different cultures offer. It’s obvious you’ll meet people and you’ll clearly experience new worlds. These reasons to travel are so bland they’ll put you to sleep. Yet there are so many other benefits that are less obvious; you really don’t discover them until you’ve experienced frequent travel yourself. For a little inspiration to pack your suitcase, here are 5 of the less obvious reasons why travel is good for you.

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Travel makes you more employable

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that travel is simply pointless wandering for lazy bums, avoiding the real working world. Actually, travel can really open up your world to new employment possibilities and, furthermore, teaches you important career skill sets. Backpacking, for example, gets you to think on your feet. You learn key skills you’ll need for any job, such as planning, problem solving, communication and creative ingenuity. You are also likely to make important contacts in the world that can offer employment opportunities. Thanks to the Internet, employment is no longer limited to one locale. Seeing the world gives you important contacts that can lead to a more satisfying career.

Find happiness at home

Sometimes you have to leave home to realize how good your home really is. Living in a hotel and experiencing new people makes you appreciate what you have in your own living room or backyard. We can tend to get a sense of cabin fever if we are in one place too long. Get out, and you’ll be much happier when you come home again. Travel offers a fresh perspective to kill the boredom of typical surroundings.

Strengthens developing relationships

What doesn’t break you will make you stronger. When you travel with a significant other, there’s a bond that develops because you’re in it together. You share adventures, laughter and challenges as a pair, and that can really improve a relationship. Granted, there’s always a chance you’ll grow not to be able to stand each other, but that really just serves as a nice weeding mechanism. It’s better to know you can’t stand a boyfriend or girlfriend after a month in India, than after 30 years of a boring, pointless marriage that slowly saps your soul.

Travel is therapeutic

When you are dealing with trauma, grief or other difficulties in life, travel offers a great way to gain perspective. It takes us out of our shells so we can grow new wings. You step out of your problems and get away so you truly think. When you come back, your problems will still be there, but they’ll look different, smaller, and more surmountable.

Journalist Elizabeth Gilbert describes a beautiful transformation she achieved in her book, “Eat, Pray, Love.” Following a devastating divorce, Gilbert decided to travel to Italy, India and Malaysia in the span of a few short months. She learned to enjoy life through the wonderful flavors of food in Italy, found peace through meditating with a guru in an Ashram in India, and discovered new spiritual wisdom studying with a medicine holy man in Malaysia. Her travel taught her to live, laugh and find spiritual peace that she could never have found in her backyard.

Travel teaches independence

There’s nothing like hitting the world on your own and finding your own independence. We’re actually capable of doing much more than we give ourselves credit for. When we step out of the bubble we’ve always lived, we realize our own potential and confidence. Find yourself by leaving the world you’ve always known. The earth is enormous, find your place on it by experiencing all it has to offer.

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15 Best Travel Blogs of 2009

Friday, 15 January 2010 07:41 by Admin

Crafting a well written travel blog is an art form. Capturing the essence of the trip so others may live vicariously is no easy feat. Most travel blogs have their own focus whether it is local cuisine, photography or a unique means of travel; these particular focal points are what make one blog more attractive to their readership base than another blog. Below is a list of the 15 best travel blogs of 2009 that will continue to be fruitful reading sources well into 2010.

1. White on Rice Couple

Dianne and Todd’s blog combines a passion for photo, food, garden and travel. The daily crack section of their blog is frequently updated with parts of their photo blog that contains images from around the world. With the easy to use recipe index, your taste buds will be tempted to make your own exotic creations and maybe even join Dianne and Todd on their culinary tours in Southern California.

2. Gadling powered by Visa and AOL travel

From budget to adventure travel, this blog has it all and will tempt you to travel as well as provide entertainment. With smartly crafted article titles such as “How to tell a true dive bar from a fake”, this blog may become your favorite procrastination.

3. Intelligent Traveler by National Geographic

Following National Geographic’s mission, this blog serves to educate and tempt future world travelers. The blog consists of a consortium of writers all over the world who focus on cultural events that are unique to each city as well as offering tips for sustainable travel practices.

4. Stuck in Customs

Trey Ratcliff’s photos are stunning and will become addictive. Luckily for you, Ratcliff updates his page daily which is perfect for desktop backgrounds. Ratcliff’s photos have graced the walls of the Smithsonian, been represented by Getty and featured on the BBC. With around 350,000 views per month, it is considered #1 Travel Photography Blog.

5. Chubby Hubby: Whining, Dining and Marriage

Chubby Hubby’s photos are incredible and may tempt you to quit your job tomorrow and buy a ticket to whatever exotic location he may be exploring. Aside from the excellent recipes, the posts will inspire a more adventurous foodie in all who read it.

 

6. The Lost Girls

This is a girl power type of travel blog that chronicles the adventures ofHolly Corbett, Jennifer Baggett, and Amanda Pressner, three New Yorkers who left in 2006 and don’t seem to be coming back any time soon. This blog is aimed at a female readership, more specifically, “Lost Girls” which are defined on the site as girls in their 20s and 30s who are traveling as a means of learning about themselves.

7. Almost Fearless

A voice of honesty comes through in this blog. Christine Gilbert was a manger for a fortune 500 company who quit her job in July 2008 and has been traveling the world since. Her site also offers tips for others who are thinking of following in her footsteps and becoming a fulltime traveler.

8. Family on Bikes

The Vogel family has been on the go since 2008 and will continue to be for another year! They are on an epic bicycle trip traversing the Pan-American Highway from Alaska to Argentina. Their goal is to give their children a tangible education. The blog chronicles the adventures of traveling with children.

9. Sugar, Tea and a Dream

Many travel blogs are focused on international travel; however Debby Lee has made 2009 a domestic travel year. Sugar, Tea and a Dream is affiliated with Wanderlust and Lipstick, your destination for women’s travel which is a hub of travel blogs devoted to women’s travel needs.

10. Vagablond

The elitist blog about everything luxurious from fashion to food, this travel blog is comprised of a team of writers from around the world. Readers may enjoy joining the Vagablond family which operates like a social networking site. Joining the Vagablond family allows users to make friends, write comments, track comments and join groups.

11. The Traveler’s Lunchbox

The way this blog is written, it feels as if you are sitting there with her when it is happening. Somewhere in a warm kitchen she is cooking you a delicious feast explaining to you the process and history of all of the ingredients. The age old saying “you are what you eat” seems to be the thought process behind this lovely blog. Delicious recipes are included.

12. Chris Around the World

Written by the former travel editor of USA TODAY, Chris Gray Faust’s blog covers a range of topics from travel tips to hilarious travel escapes. Her professional experience is palpable in that her articles are well crafted, have a particular point of view and most importantly, are always attention grabbing.

Be sure to check out both her segment titled “5 Reasons” which details why a particular location is a must see and articles tagged “2009 Travel in Review”.

13. The Longest Way Home

The writer is 33-years-old and has been traveling for over 5 years on his search to find “home”. Like clockwork, he provides a daily photograph and uploads videos of his travels. Aside from tracking his adventures, he provides insightful tips for travelers ranging from advice for those living overseas to how to prepare for long term travel plans. After looking at the site, you may notice the identity of the author seems to be a mystery and you are correct. The author wants the page to not be solely about himself, in his own words he maintains he wants “The Longest Way Home be about the Idea, the Journey and the Task” and less about himself.

14. Black Hills Travel Blog

This blog is specific to the Black Hills, a mountain range running through western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming and is written by a crew of avid mountain climbers and locals that cover events, regional culture and hiking trips. This is not a typical travel blog in that it isn’t written by newcomers to the region but rather by the experts. Reading Black Hills Travel Blog provides the same regional wisdom you would expect to hear from a caring friend.

15. Upgrade: Travel Better

This blog is written by the genius mind of Mark Ashley who is on the quest to travel frugally but in a luxurious way. The blog’s motto is what most people dream of when they travel, “Living the first class life, at coach prices.” It should be noted that this is a strictly travel advice blog.

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10 Best Facebook Applications for Travelers

Monday, 11 January 2010 05:54 by Guillermo

Facebook is now a household name, with over 350 million active users and about half of them visiting the site daily, it is no wonder that the number of applications for this social networking site has exploded. Facebook applications are particularly helpful for travelers because they provide information that is always updated and conveniently located. With some applications being more user friendly than others, it only seems fit to create the below list of the top 10 Facebook applications for travelers.    

1.  Cities I've Visited by TripAdvisor

This is a straightforward application that lets users literally tack places they have visited onto a world map. Users can tack places they’ve visited, are planning on visiting and hope to visit in the future. This application also lets you create lists of favorite destinations and see where friends using the application have travelled. For some, it seems that this application is pointless as after tracking traveled locations there is not much to do, that being said, tracking locations is just the beginning. Having access to friend’s maps and their top locations is the most valuable part of the application. Who better to ask than a friend for recommendations on where to stay or dine? 

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2. Currency Converter by Oanda

Knowing the conversion rate off-hand will save both time and money. Restaurants that offer to do the conversion for customers generally select the rate that is in their favor and not yours. Currency Converter’s main site makes conversions and tracks market rates and trends. An added bonus of this converter is it offers a handy “Travelers Pocket Conversion Cheatsheet” that you can print and carry with you.

 3. Fly to Friends and Places

This application is ideal for impromptu travelers. Fly to Friends and Places scans for cheap tickets for a list of friends you want to visit. The application searches 5 friends for free from one home base airport but more friends and airports can be purchased through the application. This is a great application for a weekend jaunt.

4.  My Travel Blogs by TravelPods.com

Sharing your travels just got a little easier with My Travel Blogs. This application allows you to post an unlimited amount of pictures and videos, track the progress of your trip on its own maps and have friends donate funds for your trip. You will no longer have to worry about losing your journal during your adventures because My Travel Blogs ensures that your memories are virtually stored.

My Travel Blogs functions similarly to a social networking site in that you can gain access to other people’s blogs and write in travel forums. These two tools can serve either to inspire future trips or provide you with priceless travel advice.

This app is compatible with smartphones therein allowing blogging on the go. Sending travel updates to your friends through Facebook or email is simple with Travel Blog.

5. MapMotive Light

This application loads where all of your friends’ profiles say they are currently living and places their picture on a map. This application is perfect for gaining insider tips on cities you are visiting. MapMotive Light will help you find people you know regardless of location.
Please note: If you have many Facebook friends, this application will take some time to load your contacts.

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 6. Trazzler

If you are unsure where to go for a weekend getaway, Trazzler’s application provides guides. The guides include photos and reviews from travelers like you that will provide ideas for side trips.

7. Local Picks by TripAdvisor

Picking restaurants while in a foreign city is made easier with Local Picks. This application guides you through the restaurant search by providing reviews of over 410,000 restaurants around the world. It’s a known fact that a bad restaurant choice can put a damper on an otherwise lovely evening, so pay it forward and write some reviews too. 

8. Travel Calendar

Busy traveler? Keep track of all of your travel plans with Travel Calendar. Unlike your desktop calendar, this calendar can be shared with your friends and keep tabs on their travels as well!

9. Hostelworld Route Planner by Hostelworld

Backpacking makes keeping track of pesky hotel confirmations a challenge. Hostelworld Route Planner lets Facebookers make reservations in over 15,000 hostels worldwide at the click of a button. Before selecting a place, be sure to read the guest reviews as well as view all the discounts, maps and photographs. After booking, users can print directions to their hostel. Hostelworld Route Planner also lets you share your hostel plans with all of your friends.

Added bonus: This application stores past hostel stays for quick rebooking.

10. Weather by Gusto!

With 112,617 monthly active users, Gusto! has the most popular weather application available on Facebook.  (The next most popular weather application has 4,000 active users). Gusto!’s application provides a 5-day forecast, sunrise/sunset times and chance of precipitation.  The weather information is populated from weather.com. 

This list should provide you with the best Facebook tools available to help make your travels more enjoyable. The best part: they’re all free and available for easy download from the Facebook applications tab.

Resources:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Top_5_Facebook_Travel_Application_Widget_Reviewed_by_Kango
http://lifehacker.com/5243952/map-motive-mashes-your-facebook-friends-on-a-google-map

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