Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Timeshare Travel - Disney’s Wildlife Wednesdays Introduces Baby Giraffe

Meet the very first Masai giraffe calf born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Plan a timeshare vacation to Walt Disney World to see this little fellow, who will be going out on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna with his mom in just a few weeks.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has two giraffe subspecies for you to enjoy. The Masai roam the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna, and the reticulated can be seen on the savannas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The Masai giraffe is native to southern Kenya and throughout Tanzania. Reticulated giraffes are widely found in northern Kenya and in Somalia.

The Masai giraffe’s coat features jagged-edged patches. The patches are dark brown on a cream background, making the Masai the darkest-colored subspecies.

The reticulated giraffe’s coat features a pattern of very defined patches that usually are orangish-brown. The patches are separated by bright white lines, and the lower part of the legs are a lighter color.

It is estimated that there are fewer than 40,000 Masai giraffes in the wild. The reticulated giraffe is more threatened in the wild, with numbers fewer than 5,000. Giraffes are threatened by habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, poaching, and human-wildlife conflicts.

Rent a timeshare at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, where you can get a good look at your neighbors.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) helps to support conservation programs for wildlife such as giraffes.

For example, through a recent project, the DWCF helped Tusk Trust USA and the Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy reintroduce Rothschild’s giraffes in Kenya.

Since its inception in 1995, the DWCF has provided more than $4.5 million to support habitat conservation for giraffes and other African wildlife.

Through collaboration with Disneynature and the “See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna” campaign, the DWCF also helped the African Wildlife Foundation to protect more than 65,000 acres of land in Kenya’s Amboseli Wildlife Corridor to enable indigenous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, and lions to roam freely between protected habitats.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday Photo – Iceland

Reykjavík, Iceland, taken by Agnes D., Brussels

Reykjavík, the first permanent settlement in Iceland, was established around 870 C.E. The city itself was founded in 1786. It is widely considered to be among the cleanest, best organized, and safest cities in the world.

Check out Europe timeshare rentals for timeshare vacations that will take you “out of the box.”

Submit your photo to #TravelTuesday! Just send it via email to us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Flying to Your Timeshare? You’ll Want to Bring These 4 Items Onboard

Many of you are planning to fly to your timeshare vacation this summer, but what you find – or, actually, don’t find – on airplanes these days could come as quite a shock to first-time fliers or those of you who haven’t flown in a while.

Most airlines no longer offer free pillows, blankets, or meals. And some airlines have begun charging for the water, coffee, or soda that they used to hand out.

You may be fine without the free blanket or pillow, but there are some essentials that you will need to take with you.

1. Food. 
Unless you don’t mind paying $8.50 for a small roll and an extra $1.00 for a pat of butter, you might want to consider bringing your own food with you from home.

The TSA allows you to bring food through security as long as it is wrapped. In other words, an open napkin with a pile of french fries won’t do. Wrapped sandwiches from home, fruit, nuts, granola bars, and even veggies and dip (in an airtight container 3 oz or less) are all acceptable.

You can bring beverages on board, including hot coffee, that you purchase after going through security. Many people these days bring along an empty water bottle, and fill it at the water fountain after passing security.

2. Entertainment. 
Today’s plethora of electronic gadgets has changed the way we “endure” a flight. Instead of hoping that you are on a flight that offers a decent movie, and then having to come up with $5-$10.00 for the earphones and the chance to watch it, you now can bring along your own entertainment.

From iPods to iPads, laptop computers to Kindle readers, you can now bring your own music, movies, and novels.

Back in the day, airlines used to provide an assortment of top magazines, but that is no longer the case. Since electronic devices can only be turned on during mid-flight, it’s a good idea to also bring some magazines to keep you occupied during the times when you don’t have access to your electronics.

3. Comforts. 
The reason blankets used to be provided is that in-flight temperatures can drop, causing a cool cabin. You can only bring your own blanket if you stuff it in your carry-on.

And easier way is to be sure to bring a jacket or a hoodie  to have some way of keeping warm if the flight turns chilly.

For further comfort you might want to stick an air-travel neck pillow and an eye mask in your carry-on if you’re on a long flight.

4. Credit Card. 
If you haven’t flown in awhile, be advised that cash is no longer accepted onboard airlines. If you want to purchase a drink, movie, the use of a blanket or pillow, or even WiFi, you will need a credit card.

Now that you know how to be prepared for your flight, find a great timeshare rental anywhere in the world for your next vacation.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Timeshare Travel – Mickey Helps Kids Eat Healthy

When you take your family on a timeshare vacation to either Walt Disney World in Orlando or California’s Disneyland, you now have dining choices that ensure healthy foods for your children.

The Mickey Check helps families easily find nutritious choices, part of an ongoing program that launched in 2006 with nutrition guidelines.

From an udon noodle bowl at Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park to turkey pot pie at Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom Park The Mickey Check is now featured on kids’ menus in both quick-service and table-service restaurants across Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World.

The Mickey Check is a tool that makes it easier to identify nutritious choices in stores, online, and while on vacation at all Disney Resorts.

Foods that receive The Mickey Check meet Disney Nutrition Guidelines that promote nutritious foods and limit calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.

In 2006, Disney became the first major media company to establish nutrition guidelines, which associate its brands and characters with more nutritionally balanced foods.

The nutrition guideline criteria were developed with the help of experts and align to the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The criteria assess food items and meals based on the following:
• Do they contribute to a nutritious diet? — fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, or lean protein
• Do they encourage kid-appropriate portions? — calorie criteria
• Do they limit ‘nutrients to avoid’? — sodium, sugar, saturated fat, trans fat

For the Disney chefs, it’s been a fun challenge to tweak menus. For example, Disneyland’s Blue Bayou restaurant now offers seared salmon, spaghetti, broccolini and fresh fruit for kids. Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot serves grilled sirloin with green beans and brown rice.

While new to table-service restaurants, The Mickey Check also appears on some Disney-licensed food products sold at retail locations and on menus at quick-service restaurants at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

About Disney Magic of Healthy Living 
Disney Magic of Healthy Living partners with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles. Through engaging content, useful tools and unique experiences, this company-wide initiative helps parents by making nutritious eating and physical activity simple and fun.

Stay in a budget-friendly Orlando timeshare rental that start as low as $71/night.

For a Disneyland vacation Anaheim timeshare rentals start at just $79/night.

Source: disneyparks.disney.go.com

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Timeshare Travel - 4 Essential Child Toilet-Training Tips for Traveling

For most parents, keeping up with the toilet training process while traveling to a timeshare vacation poses a big challenge.

There are many parents who have difficulty on a  family vacation because it is indeed stressful to change underpants and visit public restrooms when traveling away from home.

In order to help you deal with this dilemma, here are 4 useful tips:

1. Potty Stool Made for Traveling. 
The first thing to do is to get a potty stool that is designed for travel. Travel stools not only fold when not in use, but make use of a disposable plastic bag container for waste.

Bringing this lightweight tool along while travelling will also minimize accidents at the same time providing ultimate comfort to the child.

2. Public Restrooms. Whether you are in the airport, bus station, train station and other public place, the use of the public restroom is always a challenge for parents who are toilet-training their little ones.

Toddlers are often scared especially when there are a lot of new faces around. Also, the sound of strange toilet flushing creates fear and discomfort to them, so flushing the toilet should be done after everything is finished. 

The trick in making your child comfortable in a public restroom is to bring along a foldable potty seat that could fit properly into the parameter of the general toilet size.

3. Reward. Toilet training while traveling is also like training at home. Your child will be motivated if there is a reward after he or she successfully goes. Often rewarding them with their favorite toys could make them more obedient.

4. Be Prepared for Slips. The last useful toilet training tip for traveling is preparation for possible slips. Getting a piddle pad is the trick. The pad is placed on the car seat so the child’s slips will be contained, protecting the car’s seat from getting soiled and wet.

Conducting toilet-training while on the road is never an easy task. These tips will walk you through the process. Try it and you will see how effective these methods are.

Our guest author, Michael Olson, is a child behavior professional who specializes in effective toilet training techniques. You can find more information about his toilet training techniques for boys and for girls.

Photo Credit: sweetblossomphotography.com

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Timeshare Travel - Washington, D.C. and Arlington House – An America Divided?

On your Washington, D.C. timeshare vacation explore Arlington National Cemetery, and especially Arlington House. You might be surprised at its history.

The land where Arlington National Cemetery now stands, along with Arlington House, was originally owned by George Washington Parke Custis - the step-grandson of George Washington, the “Father” of the United States of America, and considered the foremost man responsible for the formation of America as a healthy, independent country.

Ironically, Arlington House and its grounds eventually became the possession of General Robert E. Lee, the most important man to guide the Confederate Army during the U.S. Civil War, as the southern states attempted to divide the country which George Washington had worked so hard to establish.

Lee’s ownership of Arlington came about through his marriage to Mary Anna, Custis’s daughter and George Washington’s step great-granddaughter.

Robert E. Lee, who called Arlington House home for three decades, wrote of the place where “my affections and attachments are more strongly placed than at any other place in the world.”

Lee’s lands were confiscated by the U.S. government in 1861, immediately following Lee’s assumption of general of the Confederate troops. Arlington House and its immediate grounds became a small island amid thousands of white headstones spreading over the surrounding hills across Arlington National Cemetery.

The establishment of Arlington National Cemetery insured that Arlington would no longer be a private residence. Robert E. Lee would never return home.

By the early 1900s Lee, long a hero to the South, was being embraced by the North. In a climate of reconciliation the nation now saw him as a great general who in the post-war years had by word and example helped to heal the country’s wounds.

In 1925 Congress passed legislation to honor Lee by having the U.S. Army restore the Arlington estate to how it looked when the Lee family left in 1861.

The National Park Service acquired Arlington in 1933 and continued the restoration of the house and grounds which Congress had designated the “Custis-Lee Mansion. “ In 1972 it was dedicated as “Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.”

In recognition of this site’s enduring national significance, Arlington Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River was aligned to visually connect the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington House. Completed in 1932 the bridge is a powerful symbol of a divided nation once again made whole.

When you visit Arlington House today, you are greeted with a spectacular sweeping view of the Potomac River and the Nation’s Capital.

The mansion is open to the public for tours. You can also enjoy a stroll through the beautiful flower garden, and you’ll want to explore the Robert E. Lee Museum, and the slave quarters.

During your visit  stay in a Washington, D.C. timeshare rental at either Wyndham Old Town Alexandria or Wyndham Vacation Resorts at National Harbor. Both are budget-friendly.

Photo Credit (top): arlingtonhouse.org
Photo Credit (center): markgibsonphoto.com
Photo Credit (bottom): arlingtonhouse.org

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday Photo – Wyoming Prairie

Outside Laramie, Wyoming – submitted by Kacy Hattan, Champagne, IL.

Wyoming is the least populous state in the U.S. The western two-thirds is covered in mountains and the eastern third, where Laramie is located, is high elevation prairie known as High Plains.

Wyoming is a state that offers many experiences on your timeshare vacation that take you back to America’s Old West, including Cheyenne Frontier Days, and a horseback ride to Hole in the Wall where Butch Cassidy hid his gang.

The wide outdoors of Wyoming’s prairies bring you close to wildlife, including deer and antelope.

Find a Wyoming timeshare rental, and enjoy exploring America’s true west.

Submit your photo to #TravelTuesday! Just send it via email to us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Timeshare Travel – Top 5 Clean Water Beaches in the U.S.

We’re well into the heat of the summer, and that generally means that many of you are planning a beach timeshare vacation. For the safety and enjoyment of your family, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has just released its 23rd annual beach water quality report.

“Sewage and contaminated runoff in the water can spoil a family vacation real fast, turning a day of lounging at the beach into a day at the doctor’s office with a sick child,” said NRDC senior attorney Jon Devine.

The report, “Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches,” is a collection of the latest beach water quality data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from more than 3,000 testing locations nationwide.

This report focuses on the critical element of beach water quality: bacterial contamination. The following beaches are the top 5 that have been given a 5-Star rating by the NRDC for clean water:

1. Gulf Shores, AL.
With miles of sparkling turquoise Gulf waters and stunningly white sugar-sand beaches (the sand is so soft it squeaks under your feet), Alabama's Gulf Shores public beaches are some of the most popular along the Gulf coast.

Check out Alabama timeshare rentals.

2. Ocean City, MD (see top photo)
In Ocean City, Maryland's only coastal community, the beach is the main attraction. The good news is that it will stay that way, the water is top notch.

Check out Maryland timeshare rentals.

3. Bolsa Chica State Beach, CA.
Famous for its aquatic wildlife, Bolsa Chica State Beach is a popular place where surf fishing hooks perch, corbina, croaker, cabezon and sand sharks all from clean water. 

Check out California timeshare rentals.

4. San Clemente State Beach, CA.
Located north of San Diego, this beach is popular with visitors for its great swimming conditions with relatively few rocks and manageable waves good for body surfing and wading out.

Check out San Diego timeshare rentals.

5. Wallis Sands State Beach, NH 
Wallis Sands State Park offers oceanfront swimming and a sandy beach which is especially popular with families.

You can also get a view of the Isle of Shoals, a group of small islands and tidal ledges approximately 6 miles off the coast which straddle the border between New Hampshire and Maine.

Check out New England timeshare rentals.

Read the NRDC 2013 Report on beach water quality, with a zip-code searchable map.

Photo Credit (1): usatoday30.usatoday.com
Photo Credit (2 - top photo): theseaboard.com
Photo Credit (3): pierfishing.com
Photo Credit (4): bcre.com
Photo Credit (5): makarl.wordpress.com

Friday, July 19, 2013

Timeshare Travel - 5 Tips for Shopping in Mexico

Mexico continues to be one of the top vacation destinations in the world. And from the vendors on the beach to upscale malls, shopping is part of the excitement of having a timeshare vacation in this lively country.

Follow these 5 tips for a great shopping experience in Mexico:

1. Bargaining.  
Generally speaking, the act of bargaining is something that most people like to avoid, and in Mexico when you are shopping in stores and malls, bargaining is no more accepted than it is in the U.S.

However, in places such as the open-air markets and with vendors on the beach, bargaining is not only accepted, but expected.

As author Carl Frantz puts it in his travel book, The People’s Guide to Mexico, bargaining is not an argument. Instead it is “a polite discussion of price,” a dialogue that should always be kept “light, friendly and easy-going.”

Knowing that you are expected to bargain can make the process a fun game. Once you have determined that you want an item, offer half of what they ask and work your way up until you reach a price you’re willing to pay.

A trick is to not let the seller see that you really want something. They will get firm on the price very quickly and refuse to come down any lower if you’re fondling the item or otherwise displaying your desire for it. 

2. Buying Groceries.
Since vacationing with a timeshare gives you a kitchen and the opportunity to prepare many of your own meals, knowing how to purchase your groceries in Mexico is important.

Most grocery stores in tourist areas of Mexico carry American brands, but the Mexican versions of the same things are frequently just as good, and cheaper. The Mexican brands of canned tuna, for instance, are generally better tasting and half the price of American brands.

When buying meat (carne), look for a “carniceria” – the neighborhood butcher shop. Here you’ll get the best deals on meat, and they will custom cut it for you.

Fruits and Vegetables (frutas y verduras) can easily be purchased in any number of neighborhood shops and are generally very fresh. However, be aware that DDT is still widely used in Mexico, so always wash your vegetables carefully in purified water before you eat them, most especially anything you will be eating raw.

3. Clothing.
For one of the best buys on clothing for your vacation, look for a popular shop called Maria de Guadalajara. Aimed for the local Mexican population you will not find it in the tourist areas.

This popular store sells gauzy, cool and stylish resort wear - washable, breathable, preshrunk and nearly maintenance free.

4. Buying Silver.
You’ll see a lot of silver being offered for sale. You are generally safe purchasing silver in the upscale stores.

However, beware buying silver from beach vendors and in the open-air markets, which is often of poor quality. Always check to see that it is marked with a .925 (or higher), and/or the word Sterling, to be sure that what you are getting is good quality and actually worth what you are paying.

5. Say “No” the Mexican Way.
If vendors or children are pestering you, waggle your index finger from side to side as you are saying “No.” This is the signal that most Mexicans understand means “I really mean No.”  Be polite about it, smile, but learn to waggle that finger!

Budget-friendly Mexico timeshare rentals at luxury resorts abound, from beautiful Baja California on the west coast to the east coast’s Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean.

Source: Inside the Gate Timeshare News

Photo Credit: mytravelchannel.com

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Best Things To Do On a Timeshare Vacation in Boston This Summer

As New England welcomes the summer months, enjoy a timeshare vacation and take advantage of all the outdoor activities available in this lively city.

From jogs in the Boston Common, America’s oldest public park, to picnics at Harold Square, there’s no limit to the different things to do in Boston this summer.

Whether you prefer day-drinking, catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park (combine those two activities for an unforgettable experience), or jamming out at an outdoor music festival, there’s something for everyone in this city.

Be Active
With the numerous things to do outdoors in Boston, finding a way to stay fit is a breeze. Check out the Boston Esplanade, a six-mile stretch of trails perfect for jogs, bicycle rides, and even romantic strolls. This picturesque destination in Beacon Hill offers breathtaking views along the Charles River, so exercising will never seem like a chore during those morning runs along the scenic riverbank.

For those who aren’t as into jogging, the Boston Esplanade is also home to tennis courts, waterways (windsurfing can burn over 200 calories per hour!), and playing fields.

Explore Boston’s History
You don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate Boston’s legendary landmarks spread throughout the city. From the Bunker Hill Monument to Fort Warren, Boston is home to more than 50 National Historic Landmarks, turning even a casual afternoon walk into an opportunity to learn about the city’s culture.

For those interested in expanding their historical horizons, Harvard Square is a must-see. Now a commercial and cultural center, this is the monumental spot where President Washington took control of the Continental Army. Stop by to soak up some of Boston’s heritage, grab a coffee and hang out with the Harvard students.

Shop
If there was ever a time to break open the piggy banks, summer in Boston is it. The best part about shopping in Boston is the variety of brands, stores, and outdoor markets.

For the high-end shopper, visit Newbury Street, occasionally referred to as the Rodeo Drive of the East. For the vintage shopper, the SoWa Open Market is sure to please, featuring handcrafted indie clothing, jewelry, and original art.

Relax
For those looking for a laid-back way to spend their day with or without the kids, be sure to visit Tia's On the Waterfront, one of the area’s most popular day-drinking spots.

Bostonians know it’s summertime when Tia’s opens its doors in April – this spot is only open through October. Stop by for a relaxed bite to eat or some after work cocktails while enjoying views of the Boston Harbor and Christopher Columbus Park.

Stay in a Boston timeshare rental, or if you want to enjoy the beach Cape Cod timeshare rentals are just the ticket, and only an hour’s drive from Boston.

Our guest author, Daniel Hogan, is a writer at Party Earth - a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: things to do in Paris, clubs in Los Angeles, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, bars in NYC, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.

Photo Credit: whs1959.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Timeshare Travel – Hemingway Days Festival

Plan a timeshare vacation the week of July 16-21,2013 when Key West, FL, comes alive with all things Hemingway.

Whether composing novels in his Whitehead Street writing studio or fishing for big game in local waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway left a powerful legacy in Key West.

Hemingway’s zest for life, literary accomplishments, and steadfast affection for the island he called home throughout the 1930s is well documented and celebrated once a year.

The celebration, Hemingway Days, is always held on the weekend on or near July 21, Ernest Hemingway's birthday.

Hemingway Days includes a popular look-alike contest, authors' readings, an offbeat "Running of the Bulls," a marlin tournament and the culmination of a short story contest directed by author and Hemingway granddaughter Lorian Hemingway.

During the annual Hemingway Days, you'll find him just about anywhere. Explore the La Concha Hotel, featured in his novel about the Florida Keys during the Depression. Photos of him fishing on his boat, the Pilar, decorate the walls.

You can also see Hemingway memorabilia, like his well-worn boxing gloves, on display at various venues around town.

A highlight of the festival is the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest (see top photo) held over three days at Sloppy Joe's, Hemingway's favorite hangout for knocking back Teacher's scotch and soda with owner Josie Russell.

The "Papas" also take part in a "Photos with Papas" activity, held at Noon on Saturday, followed by the crazy "Running of the Bulls" featuring handmade bulls - an offbeat salute to the Pamplona sporting challenge of Spain.

The festival's top literary event is the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition winners announcement and awards reception, held on Friday at Casa Antigua, Hemingway's first Key West residence.

If you share Hemingway's passion for deep-sea fishing, you can take part in the Key West Marlin Tournament, held during the festival and offering cash prizes for top catches.

Of if you're more of a land lubber, you might want to compete in the 5k Sunset Run and Paddleboard Race, a land-and-sea challenge inspired by Hemingway's enthusiasm for sporting pursuits.

Finish your Hemingway experience by visiting the Hemingway Home and Museum, nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West, where the author lived from 1931 through 1939 and wrote many of his manuscripts in his second-story writing studio.

You can wander the grounds and gardens and step back in time as you visit some of the rooms. See the first swimming pool built in Key West, and be sure to make friends with Hemingway’s famous six-toed cats that roam the grounds.

Timeshare rentals in the Florida Keys are budget-friendly.

Photo Credit: visitflorida.com
Photo Credit: miami-cbslocal.com
Photo Credit:: hemingwayhome.com
Photo Credit: blog.ifeng.com

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday Photo – The Angles of the Denver Art Museum

The Hamilton Building of the Denver Art Museum designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. Submitted by A. Perkins, Wyoming.

The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest museums west of Chicago. The newest addition is the Federic D. Hamilton Building which opened in 2006.

This ambitious project doubled the size of the museum, allowing for expansion of exhibition space for the more than 68,000 diverse works in the museum’s collection.

Architect Libeskind created a building of 20 extended angular planes. The angular design juts in many directions, and none of the 20 planes is parallel or perpendicular to another.

This has created unique challenges to hanging and displaying art on walls that do not have a 90 degree angle.

Check out Colorado budget-friendly timeshare rentals, and take the opportunity to visit this unique art museum.

Submit your photo to #TravelTuesday! Just send it via email to us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Timeshare Travel – 5 Top Biggest and Badest Thrill Rides – Part 2

Summer is all about letting go, unplugging, and having fun. A timeshare vacation where you can do all of that could very easily include theme parks with the best roller coasters in the world.

Based on the standards created by ASTM International, a private standards-setting organization based in Pennsylvania, roller coaster designs include maximum thrust, acceleration and drops.

While designers abide by these standards, they can push the boundaries in new ways. In Part 1 we looked at 3 of the Top 5 Roller Coasters – New Jersey's Kingda Ka, El Toro, and England’s The Colossus.

Below are numbers 4 and 5, both at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA.

4. Tallest, fastest looping ride: Full Throttle. (See top photo) Opening the summer of 2013 at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA, Full Throttle puts riders through a record-breaking 160-foot loop that reaches speeds of 70 mph.

It also boasts a number of other unique elements, including a "top hat" element that spans the other side of the loop, and a total of three launch sections.

5. Tallest drop tower ride: Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom. Unlike a roller coaster, a drop tower lifts riders to the top of a vertical tower before letting them free fall.

The Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom , also at Six Flags Magic Mountain, reaches a height of 400 feet and drops at a speed of 85 mph.

 Take a look at this video and see if you’re up for this ride.

Six Flags Magic Mountain, a 260-acre theme park located near Los Angeles in Valencia has 18 major roller coasters, the most of any park in the world.

In 1976, Magic Mountain became the first park in the world to have a modern, 360-degree steel looping coaster.

Magic Mountain's proximity to downtown Los Angeles, the hub of the American film and television industry, has resulted in its appearance in several productions, usually representing a park other than itself.

In 1982, Magic Mountain became the fictional "Walley World" for National Lampoon's Vacation, with scenes featuring Revolution and Colossus (each using fictional names).

TV productions featuring Magic Mountain have included CHiPs, Wonder Woman, Knight Rider, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

By staying in a Southern California timeshare rental you can enjoy a budget-friendly California vacation, drive just an hour to Magic Mountain, and also explore other iconic Southern California attractions such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Summer Timeshare Travel – 5 Top Biggest and Badest Thrill Rides – Part 1

Photo Credit (top photo): coasterguy.wordpress.com

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Timeshare Travel – 5 Top Biggest and Badest Thrill Rides – Part 1

Summer is well underway, and that means only one thing – start planning your timeshare vacation.

And along with hot dogs and cotton candy finding the top rated roller coasters might just be on your to-do list this summer.

ASTM International, a private standards-setting organization based in Pennsylvania, has published standards that spell out the maximum thrust, acceleration and drops for theme park rides.

But the standards are not mandatory in every state. And even if they abide by the limits, ride designers say they can still come up with attractions that push the boundaries in new ways.

We’ll look at 5 of the top rated roller coasters based on the ASTM standards in a 2-Part series.

1. Tallest roller coaster: Kingda Ka.  At Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ, Kingda Ka is a record setter, peaking at 456 feet, making it the tallest roller coaster in the world.

This steel accelerator roller coaster is launched by hydraulics to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. At the end of the launch track it climbs the 456-foot height, and runs over a 3,118-foot-long track for the duration of the ride.

2. Fastest wooden roller coaster: El Toro.  Another of Six Flags Great Adventure’s roller coasters in Jackson, NJ, this is also a record-setter. El Toro isn't the tallest wooden coaster, but it beats all other wooden roller coasters for speed.

The ride reaches speeds of 70 mph, faster than all other wooden roller coasters in the world. El Toro is also the first wooden roller coaster to use a cable lift as opposed to the traditional chain lift.

The park complex of Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson, NJ, contains eleven themed areas, four of which are designed for small children.

Including the animal safari, and Hurricane Harbor water park, this Six Flags theme park covers the most land of all Six Flags properties. Jackson, NJ, is just over an hour’s drive from New York City.

Check out New York City timeshare rentals for a comfortable and budget-friendly place to stay as you enjoy Kingda Ka, El Toro, and the rest of Six Flags Great Adventure.

3. Most upside-down turns: The Colossus. Not to be confused with the Colossus at California's Magic Mountain, England's Thorpe Park, in Surrey, is home to this Colossus, which turns riders upside down 10 times during each 2,789-foot run.

The ride is tied in this category with the inversion roller coaster in Chimelong Paradise in Guangdong, China.

The ten inversions include the vertical loop, cobra roll, 2 corkscrews, and 5 heartline rolls.

Thorpe Park was built on a gravel pit that had been created by a concrete company after the original Thorpe Park Estate was demolished. The first attraction, in 1979, was a water park built by flooding the gravel pit.

Collossus was the park’s first big roller coaster, built in 2002.

Thorpe Park is divided into several areas, including: Canada Creek which has a wild water river ride in a wooded area, called Loggers Leap.

Amity Cove is themed as a New England fishing Village in the 1960s that has been left devastated by a storm. The main attractions in this area include two big water rides, Tidal Wave and Storm Surge.

Lost City is where you’ll find Colossus, along with other rides such as Samurai and Zodiac.

Surrey is actually a suburb of London and it will take you only about half an hour by train to get from downtown London to Thorpe Park.

Stay in a London timeshare rental for a great U.K. vacation.

Photo Credit (top photo): travelstay.com
Photo Credit (1): therichest.org
Photo Credit (2): whootah.com
Photo Credit (3): hennites.co.uk

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Timeshare Travel - How to Avoid Airline Baggage Fees

There was once a time when you didn’t have to pay extra fees to the airlines just so you could bring some luggage on your timeshare vacation.

In the past there were very little stipulations on what you could check when flying but times change. It may seem strange to remember the golden era of no baggage fees, it really wasn’t too long ago.

Let’s not forget that you also used to be able to smoke on a plane, ride with your seatbelt unfastened, and security lines didn’t even exist. But, let’s stick to the baggage fees.

To begin with, airline baggage fees are there for one reason, and one reason only, money. Think about the ever increasing cost of fuel, wages for airline employees, and the immense cost that goes into the production of the plane in the first place. The airlines need to make more money somehow, and they found it in luggage fees.

What happens when you’re en route to your timeshare rental and you have the entire family with you? The fees add up and suddenly you realize your vacation budget is taking a beating. Typically everyone else pays the extra fees, hopes that their luggage arrives at their destination (in one piece), and doesn’t give it a second thought.

But there is another way. Save time and money by shipping your luggage with a reliable shipping company. Imagine packing your bags just like you typically do in the days leading up to the trip, having the bags picked up before you leave, and reuniting with your bags at your timeshare.

If there’s one way to avoid the stress and hassles of checking your luggage at the airport, this is it. Now with the money saved you can purchase all kinds of memorabilia and souvenirs to make your vacation last forever.

It’s time to break the status quo and start being travel savvy. There are so many great reasons to ship your luggage that you might be sitting there wondering why you didn’t think to do this before.

There is, however, one downside if you ship your luggage versus checking it and paying the airline extra fees…you won’t get the workout of lugging those heavy bags around the airport!

This article was provided by Transit Systems Inc., one of the nation’s top long distance moving companies. With moving and shipping services ranging from luggage shipping to living room furniture, Transit will ensure a safe delivery with their history of over 20 years in the business.

Photo Credit: theluggagelady.com

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 5 - New York City

In Part 5 of our 5-part series on cities where you can have a great timeshare vacation with real no-cost entertainment we explore how New York City fits the bill.

New York City is one of the most exciting cities in the world to visit. And, as with most big cities it can also be pricey.

However, along with a budget-friendly timeshare rental right in mid-town Manhattan, you can have a fun time and stay within your vacation budget by seeking out these activities that, quite amazingly, are free:

1. Staten Island Ferry. (see top photo) Long holding the distinction of the greatest free attraction on the Eastern Seaboard, the Staten Island Ferry is actually transportation for workers who commute between Staten Island and Manhattan.

And that translates into a terrific free activity for NYC visitors. This free ride that cuts across busy New York Harbor gives you a chance to get out on the water with great views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the many ships and boats in the harbor.

The 5-mile, 25 minute ride – or, just keep hopping back on and ride all day! – is one of the best bangs for the (no)buck that you’ll ever come across.

2. Brooklyn Brewery Tours. Hearkening back to a time when this area of New York was a beer brewing center, the Brooklyn Brewery not only brews and serves tasty local suds, but offers free tours of their facilities on weekends.

Interesting fact: the brewery’s cursive logo was designed by Milton Glazer, of ‘I Heart New York’ fame, who did the job in exchange for a share of the profits and free beer for life.

3. Grand Central Walking Tours. Here is your chance to have a free, guided walking tour of one of the most well-known areas of NYC.

Led by two historians, this award-winning walking tour brings you up close and personal to many architecturally and historically significant sights.

Among them are the Chrysler Building, Pershing Square, and Grand Central Station where many movies have been filmed, including Cary Grant’s North by Northwest, Robert DeNiro’s Midnight Run, and Christopher Reeve’s Superman.

4. Grant’s Tomb. Officially known at the General Ulysses S Grant National Memorial, this $600,000 granite structure holds the remains of the Civil War hero and 18th president, and his wife Julia.

It is the largest mausoleum in the US, and is patterned after Mausolus’ tomb at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

This breathtaking structure is constructed from 8,000 tons of granite, with Massachusetts marble for the floors and fine Italian marble for the railings and trimmings.

5. Central Park. You could spend days in this 840-acre splash of green that stretches for 2.5 miles, and you still might not experience all the free things to do here.

There are 32 different playgrounds for the kids. Extensive walking, hiking and biking trails cut through woods and across grassy fields.

Play chess or checkers under the shade of beautiful trees. Create your own scavenger hunt for the many, and varied, statues that range from a Civil War monument to whimsical Alice in Wonderland. And in the summer attend the many free concerts that are offered.

6. Bronx Zoo. One of the oldest and most beloved zoos in the country, the Bronx Zoo is free every Wednesday.

This was the first zoo to ever develop educational activities, and today its curriculum is used in every state in the union, and 15 foreign countries. The zoo's programs are divided into children's group visits, summer camps, and family outings.

7. National Museum of the American Indian. Located just off historic Bowling Green and Battery Park, this outstanding museum is situated in the spectacular former US Customs House (1907), one of NYC's finest beaux arts buildings.

The museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, so admission is free. One of the country’s finest collections of Native American art, the focus here is on fascinating culture, not history, with exhibits of a million-plus items.

Stay in a New York City timeshare rental and save.

Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 1 – Las Vegas 
Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 2 – New Orleans 
Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 3 – San Francisco
Timeshare Vacation – Free Things to Do in the City Part 4 – Myrtle Beach

Photo Credit (1): commons.wikimedia.org
Photo Credit (2): timeout.com
Photo Credit (3): timeout.com
Photo Credit (4): cityprofile.com
Photo Credit (5): redtri.com
Photo Credit (6): timeout.com
Photo Credit (7): blog.nmai.si.edu

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday Photo – Down in the Grand Canyon

At the bottom of the Grand Canyon, photography by Erin McDonnell, Phoenix, AZ.

Considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, Grand Canyon National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Doing the rim-to-rim hike has become a popular goal for many outdoor aficionados. Veterans of the hike suggest taking four days, which gives you the time to appreciate many aspects of being down in the Canyon, including Cottonwood Camp, Phantom Ranch, and Ribbon Falls.

Find a luxurious and budget-friendly Arizona timeshare rental.

Submit your photo to #TravelTuesday! Just send it via email to us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 4 – Myrtle Beach

Even a beach timeshare vacation can be budget-friendly when you find a city that offers free activities.

In Part 4 of our 5-part series on cities where you can have a great time with real no-cost entertainment we take a look at Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach is the ultimate summer beach experience. Located in the center of a long and continuous stretch of beach known as the Grand Strand in northeastern South Carolina, Myrtle Beach hosts 4 million visitors a year.

Year-round there is always plenty to do here, and especially during the summer you’ll find many activities that are free.

1. Boardwalk. (see top photo) Completed at the cost of $6 million, the boardwalk meanders along the beach for over a mile. Here you can wander a stretch of beach, enjoy ocean scenery on the one side, oceanfront shops on the other, and people-watch to your heart’s content.

In the evening sit on the Boardwalk and gaze at the SkyWheel, the tallest Ferris wheel on the East Coast, as it lazily spins, illuminated by one million LED lights. 

2. Fireworks. The Grand Strand is lit with free fireworks shows all summer long. Tuesday and Friday evenings you can see the fireworks that cap free concerts.

On Wednesdays celebrate “Hump Day” with a dazzling fireworks display at the 2nd Avenue Pier.

3. Franklin Burroughs-Simeon Chapin Art Museum. Admission to this outstanding art museum, located on the south end of the Myrtle Beach, is free.

Part of the museum is a 90-year-old beach house that was moved to that location about 30 years ago.

The museum features an exhibition with 45 works of golf art — appropriate in an area with 102 golf courses.

4. T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station. Surprising to find in a beach community, this amazing free wildlife exhibit is where you can actually see Bengal, Siberian, and Royal White tigers playing in their own outdoor environment.

Located on the north end of Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Landing, here you’ll also be able to see the rarest tiger in the world, the Golden Tabby.

“T.I.G.E.R.S.” stands for The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species. Other special animals that you will also see at this wildlife exhibit include endangered elephants, great apes, and orangutans.

5. Concerts. The strains of all kinds of music can be heard along the Grand Strand throughout the summer as free musical concerts abound. 

The popular Hot Summer Nights series takes place in Plyler Park, just off the boardwalk. Concerts range from reggae to rock and roll to Dixieland and country. And on Mondays there is a free kids carnival.

You can also catch free summer concerts at Broadway on the Beach, McLean Park, and Grand Park.

6. The L.W. Paul Living History Farm. Just a quick 20-minute drive to the suburbs and the town of Conway and you’ll find yourself in a free living history farm.

Preserving the history of a South Carolina farm during the period of 1900- 1955, here you can try your hand at your hand at milking cows, blacksmithing, and grinding grits.

7. Conway. This tobacco town that can trace its origins back to the 1700s also offers a myriad of free things to do, and boasts almost three dozen National Register of Historic Places sites.

The city's scenic River Walk runs along the gently flowing Waccamaw River, “a great place to cool off on a sultry South Carolina afternoon. “

On the first Thursday of every month from June through November, Conway hosts Alive After Five – free events as varied as a community gospel sing, a classic car show and an ice cream social.

Myrtle Beach timeshare rentals are abundant and budget-friendly.

Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 1 – Las Vegas 
Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 2 – New Orleans
Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 3 - San Francisco


Photo Credit (1): tripadvisor.com
Photo Credit (2): blog.northmyrtlebeach.com
Photo Credit (3): khaleejtimes.com
Photo Credit (4): blog.tigerfriends.com
Photo Credit (5): mbvisit.com
Photo Credit (6): horrycountymuseum.org
Photo Credit (7): waterfrontcenter.org



Friday, July 05, 2013

Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 3 - San Francisco

You can have a fun and busy timeshare vacation on a budget in many cities by staying in a budget-friendly timeshare rental, and taking advantage of the free things to do that most cities offer.

In a 5-part series we are taking a look at cities where you can have a great time with real no-cost entertainment. Part 3 - San Francisco.

The City by the Bay is one beautiful spot. Built on hills alongside a bay, there is one postcard view after another. It’s also an exciting city for culture and entertainment, much of which is free.

1. Drive. Just driving the steep hills in San Francisco is an adventure. You’ll have plenty of stories to tell the folks back home.

For a great tour of the area, follow the city’s 49-mile Scenic Drive which takes you from Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf to Mission Delores and Lake Merced.

Once you get the knack of driving in San Francisco, finish off on a drive down world-famous Lombard Street, with – count them – eight tight hairpin curves.

2. Golden Gate Bridge. The most iconic landmark in the city is yours to explore up close. It's absolutely free to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge (see top photo), a unique way to experience one of the most photographed structures in the world.

Close enough to touch the welded rivets and to look straight up at the suspension cables, you can try to picture what it would have been like to build this world-famous bridge.

3. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood is where you’ll find this fascinating tribute to the all-important maritime history of San Francisco.

Historic ships are docked at Hyde Street Pier, including the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha and the 1915 steam schooner Wapama, all set against views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The visitor's center is free and has fascinating exhibits on the history of maritime voyages that have had a major influence in creating San Francisco as the world-class city it is today.


4. Ghiardelli Chocolate. A tour of Ghirardelli's flagship store and former factory is free.

Here you can see the company's original chocolate-making equipment on display, and yes, you’ll also receive free samples of chocolate.

The surrounding Ghirardelli Square is on the National Register of Historic Places.

5. Well Fargo History Museum. This free museum in the financial district traces the exciting timeline and activities of San Francisco’s frenzied Barbary Coast Gold Rush era.

6. San Francisco Cable Car Museum. While riding a cable car is not free, this museum is. Here you can watch the machinery work that winds the 11 miles of steel driving the cable cars about town.

San Francisco’s cable cars are the only American national historic landmark which moves.

7. Victorian Homes Walk. Take a free self-guided walking tour of San Francisco’s iconic Victorian architecture. On hill-free Pacific Heights, you'll see beautiful Victorian row houses, famous mansions, and lovely gardens.

This is your opportunity to get up close to some of San Francisco's most charming and alluring homes.

San Francisco timeshare rentals start as low as $136/night in the heart of downtown.

Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 1 - Las Vegas
Timeshare Vacation - Free Things to Do in the City Part 2 - New Orleans

Photo Credit (1): tumblr.com
Photo Credit (2): common.wikimedia.org
Photo Credit (3): 123rf.com
Photo Credit (4): dcrainmaker.com
Photo Credit (5): wellsfargohistory.com
Photo Credit (6): jvsquad.us
Photo Credit (7): fineartamerica.com