My Childhoods Most Horrific Summer Travel Experience

As a child, we liked to go to Carolina Beach, NC in the summer. The sand was warm, the ocean was cool, and the wind was just right. Getting there on the other hand was sometimes as memorable as the vacation was but for all the wrong reasons.

The most horrific trip to the coast happened in early August of 1980. We had taken two vehicles that summer because we had my cousin, aunt, and uncle with us also. It was the only time that I ever got to ride in the front seat of out Dodge Dart. I was really enjoying the view and the cool summer morning breeze as it lifted my spirits away from the doldrums of a hot steamy summer in Greensboro.

Suddenly I heard the screech of the tires and the even louder yell blaring from the top of my Mom's lungs as the car lunged forward. With a "crack" my head hit the windshield of the car shattering the glass into the exact formation of a spider's web. Fortunately for me was the fact that at 12 years old, I only weighed a mere 110 pounds or else I would have been shot through the glass like a cannon ball through space until I splatted on the pavement like a mosquito on our windshield just had moments before.

Spending the first day of our vacation in the New Hanover County Hospital was not how I had envisioned the trip starting out. It was made worse by the fact that the doctor liked to joke with my Mom about how hard headed I must be for my skull to be intact. I am glad someone had a laugh that day.…

Millennials Travel: 5 Ways to Attract an Entire Generation

Did you know that 50% of hotel bookings come from Millennials? With such a large portion of travel for both business and pleasure coming from this generation, it's important to know what this savvy age-group is looking for when they're on the go.

If you want to ensure that some of this Millennial travel business comes your way, focus on a few key elements, and you're sure to attract this important demographic to your place of business.

What Matters to Millennials:

Sustainability

What are you doing to make the world a better place? Make sure your environmental efforts are clearly on display. Don't keep your customers guessing. Green standards are quickly becoming an expectation, especially among this segment of the population. Let it be known what steps you take toward sustainability .

Connectivity

Millennials are more connected than ever, and they share many of their experiences online through social media. Make sure internet access is seamless and speedy. A slow or non-existent connection is an instant turn-off. Make internet access first-rate. This is no longer a luxury. It's a necessity and an expectation.

Food

Food matters. Make finding excellent food easy. Concentrate on your own establishment's offerings, or compile a strong list of local fare worth venturing out for. Don't leave your guests without plenty of quality choices for nourishment.

Service

Remember how connected millennials are? That means they will voice opinions, both good and bad. If you want a good message to spread about your establishment, concentrate on service. It's impossible to beat the power a strong word of mouth recommendation carries. Give your customers plenty of reasons to brag to friends and colleagues about your service. You will generate buzz, but make sure it's positive.

Convenience

Millennials appreciate convenience and ease of use. Any way you can streamline the customer experience is a plus. Cut unnecessary steps, and allow as much room for customer control as possible.

Any transactions that can be handled completely online will appeal to Millennials. Polish every step of the process between you and your customer, and they'll remember a great hassle-free experience with your business.…

Compare Cheap Tickets on 1Travel.com, Hotwire.com and Priceline.com

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You need tickets for an upcoming flight and you’re thinking of ways to . There are three websites that should give you a decent selection to work with: 1travel.com, hotwire.com and priceline.com. Keep in mind, the best ticket is the one with the best value and may not be the cheapest ticket available.

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Make a list of possible travel dates and potential airports you can use. The more flexible you can be, the greater the chances you will have of finding tickets with the best value. ;

Create a second list for each airport you’re going to consider, listing fees for parking your car and/or ground transportation costs at your departure and arrival points. This is the only way to determine the true cost of your travel. (Remember, if you’re driving to a major airport, many nearby hotels will let you leave your car there for several days for free if you stay a night with them.);

Visit each of these three online sites – 1travel.com, hotwire.com and priceline.com – and do a search for the dates you wish to fly. This will give you a range of prices for the same ticket. Be sure to include segment fees, energy surcharges and shipping (shipping the tickets) fees so you’ll have the actual price of your travel choice. ;

Redo the search but this time change the criteria to different airports and travel dates to see if you can save even more money. Remember to look at that list you compiled of parking and ground transportation fees to see if changing airports and/or dates will really save you any money.;

Book your flight when you have found the best reasonable fare, keeping in the mind the convenience of the airports you’re going to use, costs of ground transportation, etc.

Double check with your specific airline(s) to ascertain the latest security requirements for your carryon luggage. These tend to change very quickly and it will save you time if you have your items packed as suggested.;…

Five Places on My Travel Wishlist

I love to travel. One of my favorite things to do is go to a new place that I haven't been to before. Here are five places I'd love to see in the next five years.

  1.  Moab and Arches National Park
    Utah is right next to my home state of Colorado, but I've never been. I think the scenery is just gorgeous; I can't wait to see the arches in person. Sunrise or sunset in the park has to be one of the most beautiful sights.
  2.  Paris, France
    While I have been to lots of continents, I haven't been to Europe yet. Paris is at the top of my European wish list. The croissants! The wine! The Eiffel Tower! All of it, really. I'd love to stay somewhere close to all the sights so I can walk or bike everywhere.
  3.  Seattle, WA
    Seattle is an intriguing city to me. I can't wait to try the fresh snow crab and of course go to the original Starbucks and Pike Place market. I would also love to take a ferry to the outer islands and see that part of the Pacific Northwest as well.
  4.  Cayman Brac
    There is nothing more relaxing than a beach vacation. When I traveled to Grand Cayman 12 years ago, it was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. I would like to make it over to the smaller, sister island, Cayman Brac. Talk about getting off the map!
  5.  Quebec City, Canada
    This mountain resort looks like something out of a fairy tale. The enormous castle seems like it would envelop you into a world of French-speaking, old-world Canada. There's a direct flight from Denver to Montreal, where we can rent a car and drive 2-3 hours up to Quebec City.

What's your top five on your travel wish list?…