Traveling 101
Travel Tips, Deals, News, Discounts

Best Summer Travel Destinations You Have Never Heard of in the U.S.

Friday, 11 May 2012 01:17 by Mandy

Summer is just around the corner, which means vacations and fun in the sun. There are a ton of fun destinations in the country that perfectly encapsulate the American experience. Some of the best summer travel destinations remain out of the general public’s radar, so here are a few you may not have heard of.

Monterey: California’s First City

Nestled along California’s central coast, Monterey exemplifies California’s rich history. Originally the capital of Alta California from 1777 to 1846 under both Spanish and Mexican rule, Monterey had California’s first theater, public building, publicly funded school, public library, printing press, and newspaper. Over the years, the city has attracted everyone from artists and writers to fisherman, and remains a constant reminder of California’s past mixed into a modern way of life.

With such a deep-rooted culture, Monterey County has a wide variety of attractions that the whole family can enjoy. For those interested in California’s history, Monterey has several museums and over thirty preserved historic buildings. One of the most notable attractions is the National Steinbeck Center, a museum and memorial dedicated to the late great author John Steinbeck, who lived in Monterey and nearby Salinas and wrote numerous novels set in the county.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the largest in North America, is home to jellyfish, stingrays, sea otters, and a ton of other native species. Even outside of the aquarium, visitors are greeted by a wealth of marine life, including sea lions, harbor seals, bat rays, and dolphins.

Wine Country: Grapes Galore

It’s easy to miss out on this hidden gem. Wine Country is just north of the bustling city of San Francisco and generally consists of the combined counties of Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma, though some references include parts of Lake County.

If you love fresh air and beautiful scenery, nothing gets much better than Wine Country. A long way from the hot, sandy beaches of the California coast, Wine Country is known for an expanse of green vegetation with rolling, grassy hills, trees, and wildflowers.

Alongside the refreshing hillside scenery are rows upon rows of grapevines. Wine is the keyword here. The area hosts over 400 wineries, many of which offer complementary wine tastings and winery tours. The unique terroir of the area makes for a great opportunity for sommeliers and amateur wine enthusiasts alike.

Glacier National Park: Crown of the Continent

The United States is known for its many majestic national parks and monuments, from Grand Canyon to Yosemite to Yellowstone. Glacier National Park is one of the country’s most underrated national parks, facing low visitor counts each year, but it remains one of the most expansive parks in the country.

Located in Montana along the Canadian border, Glacier National Park comprises over a million acres, including parts of two mountain ranges and over 130 named lakes. The pristine natural ecosystem makes it a perfect home for over a thousand species of plants and hundreds of animal species, most notably the mountain goat. A few things to experience in the park include:

·         The Going-to-the-Sun Road, completed in 1932, is the only road that crosses through the park, passing over the Continental Divide. Spanning 50 miles, the road passes through the park’s interior, winds around mountainsides, and gives visitors some of the best views of northwest Montana.

·         One of the least crowded sections of the park, the North Fork presents visitors with views of Bowman and Kintla Lakes, a homesteading site, and the opportunity to see and hear some of the park’s rare wildlife.

·         Considered the heart of Glacier National Park, Many Glacier treats visitors to views of massive mountains, sparkling lakes, glaciers, hiking trails, and tons of wildlife. This area is especially popular amongst hikers with a web of trails radiating in all directions. A hiker could take a different trail every day for a whole week and still not cover all that Many Glacier has to offer.

·         Logan Pass is one of the most popular areas for visitors, and with good reason. Fields of wildflowers carpet Logan Pass, surrounded by Reynolds Mountain and Clements Mountain. Beautiful, vibrant glacier lilies sprout all across the meadows. The area hosts excellent hiking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities.

If you’re looking for a summer travel spot outside of your normal repertoire, consider Monterey, California’s wine country, or the majestic Glacier National Park. Dig a little deeper to find even more of America’s hidden gems. Don't forget to reserve your airport parking online with Airport Parking Connection!  Enjoy!

JFK Airport Parking Deals and Ideas for Summer 2012

Monday, 23 April 2012 03:27 by Mandy

Every year, it seems like there are new hot vacation spots that everyone wants to go to, as well as new ways to book trips and other fads to make travel easier. 2012 is no exception. Here are some of the top travel trends for 2012 that everyone is talking about.

·         Using social media to get travel information

In the past, many people relied on reviews from strangers to find out which hotels and destinations were the best. These days, everyone is using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to find out what people they trust think of certain hotels and vacation hot spots. Travel experts predict this to continue in 2012 and beyond.

·         Apps for Travelers

Look for new apps that can make your traveling experience much easier in 2012, such as those that help you to book your flight in seconds, find a restaurant in your area, and even those that can tell you where the popular sights are in the town you are visiting. Download new apps to make your travels easier and the planning process faster.

·         Mystery Trips

Some travel agencies put on mystery trips, where you pay and then they surprise you with where you are going and what you are doing. This is great for those who are very adventurous and want to leave the planning to someone else. These have been around for awhile, but have gained popularity in the last few years as people are looking for new travel experiences. This year, many of these tours also loan travelers a smart phone that features their itinerary each day and other apps to help them navigate.

·         More Travelers to Panama and Ecuador

The European debt crisis has left countries in the Eurozone a lot less desirable as travel spots for Americans. Many are looking for a trip where they do not have to worry about exchange rates and where their budget is not affected by the state of the currency in the country they are visiting. This is why Panama and Ecuador are so appealing. They have both just adopted the U.S. dollar, so Americans do not have to worry about exchange rates and can use their dollars everywhere they go. This makes travel easier and much more seamless.

·         Hotels Increasing their Amenities

Many travelers have been complaining for years about the growing cost to stay in hotels all over the world and the hotels finally seem to be taking notice. A large number of hotels are starting to offer much more to their customers including free movies, cheaper drinks in the mini bar and free bottled water. Other hotels are giving customers coupons to various area attractions and offering them deals if they book a stay for a vacation in the future before they leave. Hotels want to keep your business, as there is a lot of competition among hotels all over the world, and they will be going above and beyond in 2012 to keep you loyal; to their chain.

Airport Parking Deals at JFK

If you are looking to fly out of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, rest assured you can save money by doing a little research and pre-planning.  Airport Parking Connection offers discount airport parking reservations at the best JFK airport parking locations such as, AirPark JFK, JFK Long Term Parking, SmartPark JFK, and USave JFK.  Select, reserve, and save! 

It's March Madness!

Friday, 9 March 2012 02:24 by Mandy

It’s early March which can mean only one thing, College basketball is about to take sports fans across the nation by storm. The annual NCAA March Madness Tournament will be kicking off on March 11th this year with the selections of teams that will be participating this year followed by the first games being played on March 13th all the way up until the championship which will be played on April 2nd.

This is an exciting time of the year for college students, former college students and sports enthusiasts around the nation often sparking massive followings of University faithful that want to support their team through their tournament run. 

Airport Parking Connection wants to remind all of those faithful fans that that you don’t have to break the bank in order to be present for your alma maters game winning bank shot, you just have to take a little time to research what the best deals are out there. One thing you won’t have to waste time or money with is your airport parking accommodations because when you book your parking reservations with Airport Parking Connection you can rest assured that you’re getting tremendous service at an incredibly reasonable price.

So this year save yourself from the wrong kind of madness and book your airport parking reservations with one of APC’s numerous partners all across the nation, you’ll be sure to find something in both the vicinity of your home airport as well your wallet; and don’t forget to fill out your NCAA-brackets this year!

The Do’s and Don'ts of Airport Etiquette

Friday, 9 March 2012 01:49 by Mandy

Proper airport etiquette is a synthesis of common sense, paying attention to those around you, and following the many rules and regulations of flying. Since those rules are always changing, it’s a good idea to check with the airline you’re flying on to get accurate and up-to-date information, either by calling or checking their website.


Educating yourself about the number of bags you can check and/or carry on, the items that aren’t permitted in your carry-on and luggage, and any associated fees will save you valuable time and ensure that you don’t lose any of your personal possessions at security. It can also mean the difference between making and missing your flight.


These extra tips for airport travel and etiquette will help you save a lot of time and hassle too, in addition to showing respect to those around you.


Arrive Early: Airlines ask that you check in 90 minutes before your flight departs, so be sure you plan ahead to arrive inside the airport at the check-in line or kiosk about 90 minutes in advance. This means leaving time for traffic, weather, parking, and walking or taking the shuttle bus to the terminal. If you think 90 minutes is a lot of time to kill once you’re inside, you may be facing long check-in and security lines, a crowded airport, or a long walk to the terminal, which you should plan to reach about 30 minutes in advance for boarding.


Be Prepared: In addition to knowing what’s permitted in your carry-on and luggage and leaving plenty of time to get to the airport, be prepared with your picture ID, electronic ticket or boarding pass, and passport in hand before you reach the front of the check-in line. Keep these items handy for use at security and boarding. It’s also a good idea to know where you’re going to park before you arrive.


Wear the Right Shoes and Clothing: At security, you’ll have to remove your shoes, jacket or sweatshirt, and anything metal that’s on your person, in addition to removing your laptop and other electronics from their carrying cases. This process can take awhile. It’s wise to wear slip-on or other easily removable shoes (with socks), and to limit the number of clothing layers and pieces of metal you’re wearing, to avoid holding up the line at security.


Use Walkways Wisely: Moving walkways can help you move faster and take a load off if you’re tired or you have a long way to go. Proper walkway etiquette means walking or standing on the right side of the walkway and moving over to the left side to pass those who are moving more slowly than you are, just like on the highway.


Offer Your Seat to People with Special Needs: Airports can be very busy places with minimal seating and standing room once you reach the food court or terminal. It’s always a courteous gesture to offer your seat to someone who needs it more than you do, if you don’t have special needs yourself. Sometimes people are assigned seats apart from their family members and other traveling companions, so it’s also polite to offer to trade airplane seats with someone if you’re sitting next to their friend or relative.


Stay Quiet: Airports are loud places, full of intercoms, cell phones, and all the noisy electronics that people like to travel with. When talking on the phone, use an indoor voice and leave the area you’re in if it’s too loud, instead of raising your voice. Keep phone calls short and if you need to make a long one, keep moving or use an old pay phone cubicle so no one is forced to listen to your conversation.


Listen and Follow Directions: When you’re not being loud, it’s easier to listen and follow directions. When your flight begins to board, listen for the flight attendant to request your section, and be respectful of those around you who are trying to board at the same time. Even if you travel all the time and know the safety information and arrival routine, it’s always a respectful practice to give the flight attendants your attention when they’re reviewing important flight and safety information.


Mind your space: Airplane seats can be small, and you don’t always have the luxury of sharing a row with people you know. Be mindful of taking up space or doing things that might annoy others. For example, don’t take up the whole armrest, use all the floor space, and get too comfortable at another person’s expense. Enjoy whatever media you’re using quietly as well. If you have children, be sure they aren’t kicking or pushing the seat in front of them. On another note, mind your hygiene. Be sure you’ve bathed and are wearing clean clothes before a flight.


Upon arrival, listen for your luggage carousel number and don’t worry about rushing to be the first one off the plane if you have checked luggage to pick up. At the luggage carousel, wait patiently several feet away from the conveyor belt and only approach the carousel when you positively ID your luggage, leaving others ample room to see and grab theirs. Offer to help retrieve a heavy piece of luggage for someone if you are able and they need it.


Have a safe flight!

Essential Travel Items for Flying Abroad

Thursday, 8 March 2012 05:08 by Mandy

Packing for international air travel usually means bringing only the essential items in order to save room, limit the number of items that can be lost or stolen, and to travel lightly simply because it’s easier. A lot of what you’ll pack depends on the climate you’re traveling to and the activities you’ll be doing there. A raincoat may be an essential item in one destination and a waste of space in another. A good rule to follow is to pack only the essentials that you don’t want to have to purchase once you’re there.


What not to Bring: This can be almost as important as the essential items to carry. Don’t travel abroad with any item that will either draw attention to you or be irreplaceable if you lose it, including your wedding bands and engagement rings. Expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, and extravagant clothing are all good examples. You should never travel with your social security card, birth certificate, or any other irreplaceable paperwork.


Passport: This item may seem pretty obvious, and you won’t get very far without it, but many travelers carry a photocopy of their passport and extra passport photos in a safe place apart from the passport in case it’s stolen. Having these items, including proof of your identity and lawful entrance into the country you’re in can save you a lot of headaches when getting a stolen passport replaced outside the country in which it was issued.


Travel Insurance: Travel insurance can be purchased on a trip-by-trip basis or as a multiple trip package for those who travel frequently. Its purpose is to protect the traveler against losses incurred by any number of unforeseen circumstances that could happen when outside one’s home region, including medical expenses, accidents, emergencies, theft of personal property, and even cancellation of a trip in which money has already been invested. Travel insurance does not cover things like auto insurance for one’s rental car. 


Traveler’s Checks: Traveler’s checks seem old fashioned in a world where everything seems to be instant and electronic, but they’re actually still the safest, most secure way to protect yourself against the dangers of traveling with cash. You can exchange the checks for cash currency in another country for use at places that don’t accept them, without ever having to carry large amounts of cash on your person. While traveler’s checks can be stolen just like anything else, they’re hard to use without a matching ID and can be voided before use if you copy and save the serial numbers on each check first.


Prescriptions: This is an item to be double and triple checked because they’ll be very difficult to fill once you leave the country. Patients on extended trips who foresee needing prescription refills abroad may be able to make arrangements through their doctor ahead of time to travel with extra supplies or fill a prescription in another country.


Device Chargers: Your phone, camera, computer, iPod, and anything else you charge on a daily basis will need to be charged while traveling, too. Limiting the number of devices you’re bringing can help a lot. For example, a smartphone with a camera, MP3 player, and Internet access can turn four or more devices into one. Just make sure you bring an extra charger for that one device in case you lose the first.


Calling Card: International roaming charges can be very steep, so many travelers opt out of mobile phone service altogether when traveling abroad, even if they carry their phones for other purposes. While your phone’s service provider can offer you an international calling plan on extended trips, many travelers limit phone time by carrying a good old fashioned calling card for emergencies and keeping in touch with loved ones.


Corrective Lenses: Much like oral and topical prescriptions from a pharmacy, you won’t be able to get new prescription lenses in another country without a big cost to you and an even bigger hassle. If you wear contacts, bring one or more extra pairs in addition to your backup glasses. If you wear glasses exclusively, get a second pair with cheaper frames to have on hand as a backup.


Swimsuit: While you can buy a swimsuit almost anywhere, finding one that looks and fits perfectly is next to impossible, so pack an extra if you have it. It’s the one thing people always seem to forget!


Most importantly, bring your thirst for adventure, appreciation of other cultures, and a positive attitude. Bon voyage!