Internet Travel Leads – Best Practices

Yesterday I did an hour-long webinar for members of the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA) on best practices for travel agents for working with internet leads (as opposed to brick and mortar walk-in clients, referrals, repeat clients, etc.). Essentially I shared what we’d learned about how travelers shop on the internet, how they tend to work with agents and OTAs, common misconceptions they have about working with travel agents, and statistics on what works and what doesn’t, gained from my experiences with both Visual Itineraries and TheBigDay Honeymoon Registry (which I co-founded in 2001). Continue reading

Does Spirit Airline’s $69 Promotion Suck?

Spirit Airlines is making headlines for its, um, unconventional advertising. The most recent of their shenanigans? Their $69 roundtrip promotion. The deal is…for $69, you get to go both ways. (wink.) Things take an even more juvenile downturn when they capitalize on the word cockpit and claim that they’re in an “even better position to get you where you’re going.” In my opinion, they could have just spelled out synonyms of “SEX” all over the ad for a similarly heavy–handed (–tongued?) approach.
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This Is Not a Drill: Expedia Swallows Orbitz Too

Sarcasm Warning Sign

HAPPY HUMP DAY EVERYONE! Great news from the travel industry. Remember when we talked about Expedia buying out Travelocity, effectively reducing the entire US online travel industry to three companies? (And why that was such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea?) In case you heard that and were like, “Why, three companies? For all of the good ol’ US of A? That’s simply too many!”, then YOU’RE IN LUCK! Because… (drum roll please…) Continue reading

RIP Travelocity (And What It Means For You)

In case you hadn’t heard, online travel giant Expedia just bought Travelocity for a supposed $280 million. (Or, for those of us who glaze over at numbers larger than their monthly rent: that’s 2,800,000 Benjamin Franklins. Or, like, 280 healthy Orca whales, since they apparently average about about a million a pop. But I digress.)

Orca Whale

This seemed relevant.

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Portland Rated “Only Livable City” in US

Downtown Portland

Downtown Portland at dusk. Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.

Monocle, an esteemed London-based magazine covering culture, global affairs, business, and design, has given Portland, Oregon a significant nod to its “livability” (which is awkward considering the fact that former Nike CIO and London native Anthony Watson left the company because Portland was “too boring.” Oops). According to KGW, Monocle’s annual Quality of Life Survey ranked 25 cities based on data from crime rates, healthcare, state-funded education, and business climate, along with a liveability assessment that considers green space, culture, sunshine, and local businesses. Portland placed 23rd (out of 25), right behind Lisbon, Portugal. Which doesn’t seem so impressive, except that it’s the only city in the US to make the list. Continue reading

Our Favorite World Travelers Share Their Craziest Stories (and vouch for why PDX deserves their #1 rating)

PDX airport at sunset

the PDX airport at sunset, Mt. Hood in distance. Photo courtesy of the Port of Portland.

We’ve got a secret to spill: Travel & Leisure has ranked Portland International Airport  #1 in domestic airports, according to their annual World’s Best Awards! For the second year in a row! Way to be, hometown. Way to be. You could check it out for yourself in their full list of 2014 World Bests, or you could save yourself 10 minutes of your life you’ll never get back (RIP iPhone battery)…and take our word for it! Because we have a totally neutral, un-slanted stance on PDX. Why would we be biased towards the best airport in the best city of all time? (Our airport carpet even has a cult following—it has a dedicated Instagram account with 11k followers, and even its very own PDX airport socks to boot.)
Basically, PDX is best. To back ourselves up, we asked our favorite world travelers (who are well experienced in the ways of airports and other traveling shenanigans) about their experiences with PDX, plus their craziest story from their airport hopping. This is a 100% scientific study. Enjoy.

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Crash Course in Singapore

If you ever conveniently find yourself in Southeast Asia on a day with nothing to do, Grace Teo has got you covered! Grace is originally from Kuala Lumpur but currently lives in Germany; she blogs and YouTubes about her various travel experiences. (Also, how cute are her dimples?!)

In this video, Grace he spends just 24 hours in Singapore and films her experience, effectively giving you a crash course in the must-sees and must-eats of the vibrant place. She covers essentials like chili crab and a 24-hour shopping center (fellow night owls rejoice!), and the video is definitely worth checking out.