My current roommate, Melissa has some sheets that were brought online from matouk, a site that caters to those that are looking for bedding. And this bedding isn’t your run of the mill 180-count stuff. what she gave me and the kids to sleep on the floor with was nice. I mean these spreads and quilts were comfy and not full of the usual hard water washing machine fluff.
You know, the stuff that gets all over your clothes and hair. To this day we’ve been sleeping on the floor and hand haven’t found a bit of wayward fuzz. In a way I felt bad thinking she gave us the good stuff to sleep on.
But I’m no longer feeling that way. would you?
Earlier this week, Mark Kessler had tickets for himself and his wife, Stacy Norris, a University of Alabama grad. But he faced leaving the rest of the family behind in Atlanta because he couldn’t arrange a beach-house swap.
Kessler put an ad in The Tuscaloosa News offering a vacation week at either a Destin beach house or a lake house for anyone willing to part with tickets to the BCS National Championship Game. He’d gotten 20 or so calls, but none turned into tickets, even though the rentals are worth $5,200 and $4,000 a week, respectively, at full market value.
“I was actually going to give a higher price than the tickets were selling for. I didn’t have any takers on that, so I had to come up with some cold hard cash,” he said, and ended up paying an average of $550 per ticket. The face value is $200 to $275.
Kessler didn’t want to miss seeing the title game, which will be played Thursday at the historic Rose Bowl, despite being an Auburn grad; he was converted to Tide worship by his wife. Both are Tuscaloosa natives.
Later, though, more calls came through, and one man expressed interest in the lake house.
When Bruce Poon Tip got a suitcase full of wine gums in the mail, the power of social media became clear.
His company, GAP Adventures, a Toronto-based adventure travel company, was running a contest to find their newest intern.
Poon Tip used Twitter and Facebook to get the word out, and, within weeks, the online contest was getting press in Denmark, thousands of inquiries were flooding in, and the weird entries were appearing. Someone read about Poon Tip’s love of wine gums on the Internet, and sent him a suitcase full of the chewy candies along with a contest entry.
Then, there was the gorilla. Poon Tip says a man in a gorilla suit showed up outside of his company’s office one day with a sign that read: "Dawn for Travel Intern."
"We started out using social media to get rid of `distressed inventory,’" Poon Tip says. "Trips to the Galapagos where there was still room on the ship for extra passengers, last-minute deals, that kind of thing.
"But we use it now in a much broader way. We use it to form an intimate connection with our customers."
Poon Tip encourages every employee at GAP to use Twitter frequently from their desks.
OK. I was curious so thought I would share. Here’s what it costs to stay overnight midweek at Maryland’s AAA Four-Diamond resorts, according to a very well known and publicized hotel bargain listing service. May be more affordable at Priceline.com or even AAA.com. Not sure. But both Loews and Rocky Gap sure look like real bargains – diamonds in the rough, perhaps?
Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel: $159.20
Intercontinental Harbor Court: $261
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace: $339
Hyatt Regency Baltimore: $223.23
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay (Cambridge): $155.22
Loews Annapolis: $119
Gaylord National Resort: $229
Hilton Suites Ocean City: $84 (off-season)
Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort: $99
According to Dr. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Centre Travel and Logistics at Messe Berlin, “There is no doubt that holiday travel is one of the basic needs of people in Germany. The good news for the travel industry is that, before Germans completely renounce holiday trips during difficult economic times, they will choose a destination that is within their budget.”
It is, therefore, obvious that the cheaper vacation countries are proving popular with German visitors. Within Europe it is Spain, with 10.6 percent, maintaining a narrow lead over Italy, with 10 percent. Austria is in third place with 6.8 percent. Despite the difficult economic situation, long-haul travel seems to be almost as popular as ever. Compared with last year, only 0.5 percent fewer Germans are planning a trip to far-off destinations, with the USA still occupying the top spot, thanks to a weak dollar and the positive Obama effect. To an increasing extent, the price is the deciding factor for long-haul travelers, too, with 28.3 percent of those questioned looking for tour operators who are offering cheaper deals. For trips within Europe, 22 percent of travelers are seeking low-priced offers, while 15.8 percent are on the look-out for bargains on holidays in Germany.
There are savings to be made across a broad front during the coming season. “In general, holiday travel will be cheaper next winter,” is the forecast by Dr. Martin Buck for travel over the next six months. “All the leading tour operators have announced price cuts averaging between three and five percent, due to falling hotel rates and air fares, and these savings will be passed on to the customers.”
According to AA Travel Insurance, more than 50 holiday firms have collapsed during the past 12 months, dashing travel plans for thousands and leaving others to pay for extra flights home.
Explains Christian Young, CEO of AA Travel Insurance: “Travel agents and operators selling package holidays that include the flight with other travel components (such as transfers or hotel) should provide the traveller with Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (ATOL) protection or similar. But this doesn’t apply to the increasing number who prefer to book their own separate holiday components such as flight, hotel or car hire – all of which are easy to arrange online.
“Uncertainty in the market is leading many travellers to build their own holiday arrangements and they may have little or no protection in the event of a company failure. They, as well as business travellers and weekenders and those driving in Europe, will now automatically enjoy that extra protection with AA Travel Insurance.”