Monday, September 22, 2014

Tips to Find Cheap Airfare

Book ahead to save

Understandably the cheap tickets are always sold first.  Airlines will release only a fixed number of cheap airfares on each flight, in the hope that business travelers and last minute customers will accept paying a premium. 

Remain flexible with your flight dates

It’s amazing the difference a day makes.  By searching a day before or day after your desired travel dates, you can often save a fortune. Just because the cheap tickets have all disappeared on Monday, doesn’t mean there won't be a bargain available on Tuesday, in fact airlines will often offer their cheap airfares mid week. 

Avoid high season

Airlines will often price their tickets based on seasonality. If you’re savvy you can often find cheap flights on the shoulder of peak travel periods, saving you on the cost of your airfares. Or better yet, if possible, avoid travelling anywhere near the school holidays and peak season and your chances of finding cheap flights to just about everywhere will increase.

Think about alternate airports

In many cases flying into a nearby airport can help you find cheap flights. Whether it comes down to taxes and levies imposed by an airport, or the airlines that operate from them, airfares can vary significantly from one airport to another. Often the amount you save is well worth the short drive resulting, and could even cover the cost of a cheap rental car..

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Free and Inexpensive things to Do in Central Florida

Don’t want to spend all your time at a Theme Parks?
Here is a list of some unique free and inexpensive things to do while in
Central Florida.

Ø       Homosassa Springs: Visitors can see West Indian manatees every day of the year from the park's underwater observatory in the main spring. The park showcases native Florida wildlife, including manatees, black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, and river otters. Manatee programs are offered three times daily. At the Wildlife Encounter programs, snakes and other native animals are featured.

Ø       Lake Eola Park: This downtown Orlando centerpiece offers 43 acres for exploration and recreation, including fountains, a walking path, playgrounds, swans to feed and swan shaped paddle boats and gondolas (for a slight fee.)

Ø       Harry P. Leu Gardens: Admission is free on Mondays. Guests can enjoy three miles of walkways, rose gardens, a butterfly garden, ancient oak trees, and more.

Ø       The Museum of Military History:  The Museum of Military History educates, builds awareness and understanding of the American military experience through interactive, interpretive exhibits for visitors of all ages.

Ø       Blue Spring State Park: Blue Spring State Park offers a first magnitude spring on the St. Johns River with swimming in the summer, manatee viewing in the winter, and traveling by canoe.

Ø       Central Florida Botanical Gardens and Zoo: Nestled in lush tropical foliage, the Central Florida Zoo boasts over 400 animals, Insect Zoo and Reptile House, weekend Elephant Encounters, the adventures are endless.

Ø       Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art: Home to the most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany. There is also an extensive American Pottery collection, as well as 19th and 20th century paintings collection. Admission is free on Fridays.

Ø       Fort Christmas Historical Museum & Park: Visit the full size replica of Fort Christmas, including seven restored pioneer homes and showing pioneer life from the 1870s through the 1930s. Key themes are homesteading, cattle, citrus, hunting, fishing and trapping.

Ø       The Town of Celebration: Visit this Disney-made town where you can admire the gorgeous houses, well-groomed yards and magic of Disney living. Depending on when you visit, you may see machine generated snow or falling leaves.

Ø       Old Town: On Saturday nights a free rock-n-roll concert and a parade of 300 vintage cars are offered. A shopping emporium with 75 specialty stores, 8 restaurants and 18 amusement rides.

Ø       Downtown Disney: Explore the World of Disney store, which is an experience in and of itself. Also visit the Lego Imagination Center, where your kids can enjoy the free Lego building stations and nearby playground.

Ø       Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards: Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards offering free winery tours and wine tasting seven days a week.

Ø       Kelly Park/ Rock Springs;  As its name suggests, Rock Springs bubbles up from a cleft in a rock outcropping and, instead of spreading out into a pool, becomes a swiftly running stream that quickly slows to a meander. The activity of choice here, and the major reason for the park’s obvious popularity, is riding down the stream in an inner tube or on a float. Admission: $3-$5 per vehicle.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Traveling With Children

Step 1
Make sure you have things to make the kids physically comfortable. Attach sun shades to  windows to keep the back of the vehicle cool. Make sure each child has a blanket in case they get cold from the air conditioner.  Stow a small pillow for each child to ensure comfortable napping; neck pillows are ideal for kids stuck in middle seats.
Step 2
Dress every child in his most comfortable clothes. Let kids wear pajama bottoms, oversized T-shirts and bedroom slippers if they want. Ask each child to keep one sweatshirt or light jacket with him in the car. They can use it if they are cold or need it to throw on at the rest stop. 
Step 3
Load a bag with snacks. Keep it within your reach, or stow it in the trunk and pull out a few new items at every stop. Pick low-sugar foods, since you don't want confined kids on a sugar rush; nutrition experts suggest string cheese, whole nuts, rice cakes and sliced oranges and apples as tasty low-sugar snacks. Give out a snack every few hours to keep kids feeling satisfied. Keep a jug of water in a cooler to refill everyone's water bottles periodically.
Step 4
Give each child a paper bag to fill with books, video games, stuffed animals or handheld devices -- including earphones and extra batteries -- to keep at his seat. Ask that he pack the rest of his toys in his suitcase to prevent the car from feeling like it's stuffed with junk. Pick up a few surprises, like new coloring books and handheld travel games, to pull out once you're on the road.
Step 5
Schedule stops every two to three hours. Insist each child get out of the car during each stop, unless he's asleep. Lead everyone in a five-minute walk around the rest stop, or pull the car over to an empty corner of the parking lot and lead kids in a quick round of yoga stretches and jumping jacks. Everyone will feel much less antsy once back in the car.