Taking a Vacation: Of Martyrs and Masters

No vacation in america

It’s no secret that Corporate America has a secret: in a not so vociferous way bosses are urging employees not to take that earned time off. And it is no secret that employees are hearing the silent message and heeding the call.

A recent survey released in August through the U.S. Travel Association showed that 40% of American workers are leaving paid vacation days on the table this year, sacrificing their health and well-being and adopting a “work martyr complex” to demonstrate their value. Read more »

Robots on Duty with Debut of “Botlrs” at Aloft

Robots at hotels

Your next bellhop may actually be a robot if a cyber experiment at Aloft Hotels takes off.  Starwood’s tech-forward brand flipped the switch on a new concept in service staff – a “Botlr” or robotic butler that can assist in delivering amenities to guest rooms and modestly accept tweets for tips. Read more »

Hotels follow Airlines in Profiting from Fees


Hotels are getting a few good tips from the airlines these days: charge fees; see profits.

While the airlines took in a whopping $12.7 billion in profits last year – nearly half of that in baggage and change fees, the hotel industry may not be far behind. Travelers who want a bed, a mini-bar and maybe some Wi-Fi peppered in are now paying more than the sticker price with resort fees that have soared over the last decade to bring in a record  $2.25 billion for the hospitality industry.

A trend analysis report published by the Tisch Center for
 Hospitality at NYU pointed to a variety of revenue centers that are now being tapped for extra cash by hotel companies. These include resort or amenity fees, early departure fees, early reservation cancellation fees, internet fees, telephone call surcharges, business center fees, room service delivery surcharges, mini-bar restocking fees, charges for in-room safes, automatic gratuities and surcharges, and baggage holding fees for guests leaving luggage with bell staff after check-out, as well as charges for unattended parking. For groups there have been increased charges for bartenders and other staff at events, special charges for set-up and breakdown of meeting rooms, and fees for master folio billing. Read more »

Into Africa with Hemingway and Micato

Micato hemingway

Dreaming of travel to Africa for many of us is like dreaming of travel to the moon. You know it’s there and you have pretty very clear visions of what it might be like. But nothing prepares you. Nothing, nothing prepares you for that first footstep on the savannah, the winds, pure and silent, sailing over the grassy plains or that first glimpse of a lion that is, yes, looking back at you. READ MORE…

Disney Cruise Line Adjusts its Mouse Power at Sea

Disney Cruise line

By Bill Becken, Cruise Editor

Travel agents know or can imagine that a Disney cruise, as a lively and memorable family experience, has broad appeal. Indeed, Disney cruises, being unique and popular, have higher-than-par fares across the industry. Uniquely and reliably in the cruise market, these treasured, classic American travel products elicit a demand that exceeds supply. Read more »

Managing Medical Records on the Road

medical records while traveling

Anyone who has seen a doctor and wants to access those medical records for another medical professional to review may have more than a few hurdles to manage before this simple deed is done.

And while it is hard enough to port records from one office to another in the same building or even in the same town, imagine what that can mean to travelers who may need to access their records from another country.

But those days may be behind us as companies are finding ways to keep this information collected, safe and accessible in the cloud. One such company, MyMedicalRecords developed by MMR Global, provides an easy-to-use Personal Health Record service that allows such access online from anywhere in the world at any hour. Read more »

Summer Still in Season with Sizzling Fall Packages

Virgin Islands Resort

End of Summer Luxury Stay in Virgin Gorda

How about a stay at a private spread accessible only by boat or helicopter? Oil Nut Bay, an ultra-luxe resort community in the BVI offers 300 acres with beachfront villas to estates set on the hilltops, all with ocean views. The remote community does not foresake world-class dining, a Beach Club, water sports, a learn-through-play kids’ club and access to  a premier marina/yacht club. Rates run $795 – $8,750 per night but an end of summer special makes it a seven-night stay in a Villa for the price of five, starting at 
$2,850 per night for a 2-bedroom Beach Villa
, $3,450 per night for a 4-bedroom Ridge Villa
, and $5,950 per night for a 6-bedroom Beach Villa. Read more »