Friday, September 30, 2011

Orlando Travel News: AVATAR Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Soon there will be a new reason for you to plan a timeshare rental vacation to Orlando and Walt Disney World. Walt Disney Imagineering has announced a long-term creative partnership with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the fantasy world of AVATAR to life at the Disney Parks. And it’ll all begin at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

“James and his producing partner Jon Landau, along with their team at Lightstorm Entertainment, will serve as creative consultants on the project and will work side-by-side with the Walt Disney Imagineers as we dream up experiences that will take our guests deep into worlds of AVATAR like never before,” said Bob Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

AVATAR, written and directed by Cameron, is a science fiction movie that was released in 2009 to critical acclaim and huge commercial success, breaking box-office records both home and abroad.

“We believe Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great fit for this project because it was created to give guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature - real and mythical - in new ways,” said Tom Skaggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The AVATAR-themed land is to be anchored by multiple attractions, entertainment, merchandise locations, restaurants and other “immersive elements.”

“Our AVATAR lands will give guests the chance to see, hear and touch the world of Pandora,” said Iger, “and we can’t wait to dive in with James Cameron and his team as we create new experiences that will delight and thrill our guests.”

Although the film had a PG-13 rating, Skaggs explains: “At its core, AVATAR is a film that embraces strong, positive themes of family, loyalty, living in harmony with nature and belief in oneself – all values that we share at The Walt Disney Company. You can be sure that these are the same themes that we will explore throughout our AVATAR lands. They will be places where friends and families can spend time together getting lost in a fantasy world, one of the true hallmarks of any Disney theme park experience. And with two movie sequels in the works, we feel this is a creative property whose potential is limitless.”

Cameron, who is working on the second and third installments of one of the top-grossing films of all time, said the attractions would be a way to bring the lush world of Pandora to life, and would include animatronics and multimedia shows that use 3-D and holographic technology.

“This is a pretty darned exciting project,” Cameron told reporters.

The design phase of the AVATAR-themed land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom has just begun. Construction is expected to begin in early 2013.

(Photo credit -

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Best Cars for Traveling with Kids

Are you planning a family timeshare “nearcation?” Let's explore some of the best cars for your kids to travel in. Perhaps you have been perusing car lots and show rooms, have a trade in car and are considering something new and amazing. There are no longer just one or two family style cars -there are lots of choices for your consideration.

The Toyota Avalon (see photo) is reported to be roomy, particularly in rear leg room. So, if you have leggy 'tweens and teens that you are traveling with, this will be a great feature. It has a large trunk space, is easy to enter and exit and has a pretty good mpg rating taking into account it's bigger size and V-6 engine.

Chevy's Traverse is appealing with its 3 roomy row seats. Whether you are headed to a vacation destination with 3 year old triplets or your 10 year son and his buddies, you will all have plenty of room to wiggle around a bit, get into your snacks and enjoy your road trip activities.

We obviously have to include the ever popular minivan option. Consider the Toyota Sienna for your all-wheel-drive travel needs. It sports plenty of flexible seating and cargo space for the perfect family cross country get away.

The Ford Flex peaks some interest with its large interior feel. The quiet, comfy ride and roomy second seat should make it a snap for your vacation travels, even if you are bringing along several bulky car seats! It has a third seat and a turbo charged engine for dad's enjoyment.

Subaru's Forester XT looks like a fun ride from the outside. With its big windows all around, it is an especially good travel choice for the curious grade school aged family members. The Forester sports a telescope steering wheel which promotes great driving positions.

The Toyota Highlander makes a great match for those who want to travel, but also have environmental convictions. This sweet ride comes in a hybrid version which nets about 27 mpg. Perfect for traveling with twin toddlers or maybe grandma and granddaughter in the roomy back seat.

With the airlines charging higher fares that include increasingly bigger extra fees for checking in luggage, and with an unpleasant security check-in experience at the airport, many of you might be looking at the option of putting everyone in the family car and driving to your timeshare rental destination. Good information on the best vehicle options for a comfortable and relaxing ride will go a long way toward keeping everyone in the family safe and happy on the trip.

Guest Author: Michal writes for Cash For Cars San Diego, an auto buying company. He loves to enlighten readers about new cars.

Photo Credit:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ski Travel: Top 2 East Coast Timeshare Resorts

The last of September means just one thing – ski season is just around the corner. RedWeek’s September Newsletter highlighted two east coast timeshare resorts that are primed and ready for all things snow.
  1. Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont. Not only is this resort consistently rated the #1 family ski resort by Ski Magazine, but it’s located in one of the best ski areas in the east – instead of one mountain, you get three: Morse, Madonna, and Sterling.

    Over 1,000 acres of all-terrain access range from groomed beginner’s slopes to expert mogul runs, and the East’s only Triple Black Diamond, The Black Hole. The trails also include a 3-mile-long run on the biggest vertical drop in Northern Vermont at 2,610 feet.

    Other fun includes over 50 miles of cross-country ski trails through scenic woods, and over 30 miles of trails just for snowshoeing and other backcountry adventures such as riding behind the Muddy Paws Dogsledding teams.

    When you’re not racing down the slopes you can be whizzing through the trees on the zipline canopy tour. Soar down more than 4,000 feet of zip lines, cross suspension bridges, and rappel from trees – yes, even in the snow.

    Winter timeshare rentals at Smugglers’ Notch Resort start at just $136/night to sleep 8, and timeshare resales start as low as $4500.

  2. Wyndham Bentley Brook, Massachusetts. Formerly known as the Fairfield Berkshires at Bentley Brook, this ski resort is located in the Jiminy Peak ski area of Hancock. the perfect getaway location for the east coast avid skier or snow sports enthusiast. Chair lifts taking you up the mountain are only 200 feet away from the resort, making it easy for you to hop on and enjoy both day and night, downhill skiing or snowboarding.

    When off the slopes you can enjoy an indoor heated swimming pool, hot tubs, 2 fitness centers, a sauna, an arcade game room, and even 3 tennis courts.

    This area of the Berkshires collectively is known as America's premier cultural resort. The region's natural beauty attracts many artists, with scenes to paint, photograph, and draw. Norman Rockwell took inspiration from the Berkshires for many of his now famous Americana paintings. While here you can visit the Norman Rockwell Museum, as well as the Hancock Shaker Village, and the Williamstown Theater.

    Winter timeshare rentals at the Wyndham Bentley Brook resort start at just $132/night, and resales begin at $100.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Timeshare #Travel Tuesday: India

Alleppey Backwaters During Sunset

A beautiful India sunset photo of the Alleppey backwaters.

To submit your photo to #Travel Tuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name and where the photo was taken.

This photo was provided by

Browse India timeshare resorts.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New York Travel: Statue of Liberty Closing for 1 Year

United States Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, has announced that the Statue of Liberty will close for a year to undergo refurbishments. The $27.25 million renovation, which includes long-planned safety and other critical facility renovations, will begin in late October.

This still gives you time for a beautiful fall timeshare vacation to New York City, and the chance to climb to the crown of the Statue before it closes.

For safety considerations, the National Park Service has to limit the number of visitors to the crown to groups of no more than ten visitors at a time. With approximately three groups ascending the crown per hour, an average of 240 visitors climb to the crown each day.

“Two years ago, when we reopened Lady Liberty’s crown to visitors for the first time since the September 11th attacks, I promised that we would continue to upgrade the interior to make it safer and more accessible for all,” Salazar explained.

The National Park Service awarded the work to Joseph Natoli Construction Corporation of Pine Brook, NJ, to install code compliant stairways within the monument, update mechanical, electrical and fire suppression systems, replace the elevators, and rehabilitate restrooms.

The improvements will also allow for increased visitor access to the monument, including the pedestal and the museum.

The National Park Service will keep the monument open to the public through the October 28th celebration of the 125th anniversary of the statue’s dedication.

It will be closed the following day as work commences; however, Liberty Island will remain open during the project and views of the Statue of Liberty will remain largely unobstructed during the year-long upgrade to the statue’s interior. A good view is from the Staten Island Ferry which takes you on a free ride across New York Harbor.

During the fall there are some great timeshare rental deals in mid-town Manhattan. Check out the Manhattan Club where you’re right in the middle of the action and where timeshare rentals start at just $188/night.

(Photo credit -

Friday, September 23, 2011

Travel Safely in Hurricane Season

There are many destinations along the southern east coast where autumn brings perfect vacation weather – a drop in humidity, and sunny days where the blistering heat of the summer relaxes into a comfortable warmth. Unfortunately, this also coincides with hurricane season.

Hurricane season technically goes through the end of November. According to the National Weather Service of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), 2011 is an “active, above-average” hurricane season. Hurricane Irene certainly brought that home. Since then Hurricanes Katia and Maria have punched their way through the Atlantic, along with numerous tropical storms, the most recent being Tropical Storm Nate.

Meanwhile and in between, it’s perfect beach weather all along the southern eastern seaboard of the U.S, and in the Caribbean. So what’s a traveler to do? If you have wanted to enjoy these pleasant fall days by renting a timeshare in a great getaway destination such as Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head or the Florida Keys, or even on one of the many islands of the Caribbean, there are a couple of things you can do.

First, you can keep a close eye on any developing storms by monitoring reports on NOAA

And, second, consider good travel insurance.

Coverage for weather-related trip cancellations and interruptions differs by insurance company and plan. The covered cancellation reasons can include:
  • Cancellation due to Weather: when airlines cease service due to weather

  • Cancellation due to Hurricane Warning: cancellation of your trip if your destination is under a NOAA-issued hurricane warning

  • Destination made Uninhabitable: if your timeshare rental resort is devastated by a storm

  • Cancel For Any Reason - an optional benefit that allows you to choose whether or not to cancel.
"Now is a good time to get reacquainted with your travel insurance policy," says Jim Grace, president and CEO of, a travel insurance comparison site. “You need to review the terms of your policy and the key protection it provides whether you're traveling to or through a hurricane-prone region or live in a zone where weather can keep you from taking a trip.”

However, an important aspect of travel insurance to understand is "Trip cancellation and interruption protection is based on the occurrence of unforeseen events." As Grace explains, “Once a storm has been publicly identified, it can only spell trouble for travelers without insurance protection. You need to purchase travel insurance coverage before a storm is predicted and named, not when it's bearing down on you or your intended destination."

Armed with knowledge and a plan, a savvy vacationer can still enjoy the beautiful weather of an Atlantic coast autumn beach vacation. Check out the many great timeshare rentals available for that fun and relaxing getaway.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Take a Timeshare Vacation to Beautiful Costa Rica

Beautiful Costa Rica or “Rich Coast” is located in Central America. Costa Rica boasts a tropical climate throughout the year and is an ideal place to vacation. Costa Rica’s natural beauty may appeal to environmentally conscious travelers and the amazing beaches will certainly appeal to any beach bum! There are many beautiful places to visit in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s vast rainforest is worth visiting during your trip. Corcovado National Park is a great destination with amenities for camping and hiking. You can also witness some of Costa Rica’s endangered species during your visit. You may enter Corcovado by multiple entrances. The Leona Ranger station is ideal for visitors wishing to enter the park on foot. Camping sites with outdoor showers are available at this ranger station. Madrigal Beach is also located near this area.
Tamarindo Beach is on the Pacific Coast and features crystal clear water. This is also a great location to enjoy nature and breath-taking sunsets. You may wish to partake in water-sports or activities like fishing or surfing here. Various tour operators offer tours in Tamarindo.
Tortugero National Park is a well-known turtle nesting area on the east coast of Costa Rica. Various species of sea turtles including the green turtle come here to lay their eggs. Various other water species live here including crocodiles, manatees, crabs and an array of fishes. This is an ideal location for basking in Costa Rica’s natural beauty and enjoying a boat ride on the canals.
Arenal Volcano is an active volcano at the edge of Lake Arenal. It is less than 7,000 years old and was dormant for many years until it erupted in 1968. Today it is on the list of the world’s most active volcanoes. If you visit this site you might be able to witness its glowing orange lava flows (from a safe distance of course). It is definitely a stunning site to see and worth a visit.
Montezuma is a lovely village known for its beautiful beaches. This is the place you come to relax and get away from it all. A noted bar in Montezuma is Chico’s Bar in the center of town. It’s an open-air bar with a dance floor and lounge. Many tours are given in Montezuma as well.
Costa Rica has many beautiful places to visit. Its natural beauty is sure to rejuvenate and inspire anyone who comes. Costa Rica is great for both active vacationers and loungers alike.
Take a look at the great Costa Rica timeshare rentals and exchanges that are available.
Kylee Ramos is an experienced Costa Rica Vacations agent. She has been writing about her experiences in the country since 2004.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Renting Timeshares: Why is this Concept Not Well Known?

This article is printed with permission by author Lisa Ann Schreier.

I wish that the idea of renting a timeshare was more well known by the traveling public. Not only is the concept a win-win for the traveler, but it is also a win-win for the owners who are able to make money off of their unused weeks.

A short while ago I conducted an informal survey of 25 friends and coworkers and asked if they had ever considered renting a timeshare for vacation instead of booking a hotel room. I received the same two responses from most everyone: (1) "I didn't know you could rent timeshares", and (2) "No, I don't want to deal with the sales pitch."

This seems to clearly indicate some basic issues that timeshare is having. But, the good news is that both of those answers are easily overcome; it just takes getting the word out.

If you've rented a timeshare on vacation, tell people about it!
Sure, everyone knows that you can book a hotel room, but obviously people don't know you can rent a timeshare, save money, and get more in terms of amenities, space, and luxury.

If you have a timeshare for rent, talk about it: to the grocery clerk, to the mailman, to the parents at your kids' soccer practice, anyone with an interest in traveling. Everyone likes to talk about vacation plans, so if you have a timeshare in a place where someone is going on vacation, don't be shy! Also make use of the online resources available to you on

As for the dreaded high-pressure sales presentation, I certainly hope all timeshare owners know that they do NOT have to attend a sales presentation: the same thing goes for anyone renting a timeshare. Timeshare sales presentations are NOT mandatory, unless your stay is part of a promotion you've signed up for.

So, for you timeshare owners who have had your timeshare on the resale market for some time, you may want to offer a "try it before you buy it" approach and advertise your timeshare for rent as well.

If you've had success renting your timeshare, we'd love to hear your ideas on what worked for you. If you've purchased a timeshare after renting one, we'd also love to hear from you.

And those of you who have used a timeshare rental for your vacation – tell us your experience here, talk it up, help get the ball rolling!

About Lisa Ann Schreier: Lisa Ann Schreier, The Timeshare Crusader, is a former timeshare salesperson and the author of both “Surviving A Timeshare Presentation…Confessions From The Sales Table” and “Timeshare Vacations For Dummies.” She is the founder and director of the consumer information site Timeshare Insights and is currently working on her third consumer book, due out later this year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Timeshare #Travel Tuesday: 9/11 Flag Ceremony

Flag Ceremony at Chargers Football Game

This photo was submitted by George V. from Coronado, California. He writes, "A beautiful 9-11-2011 celebration at Qualcomm for the Chargers - Vikings game which included parachuting into the stadium, a military flyover and an eagle flying end to end and around inside the stadium and over the flag. The crowd chanted, 'USA, USA', and a sailor made a surprise visit home to see his wife and small child on field. Beautiful!"

To submit your photo to #Travel Tuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name and where the photo was taken.

View San Diego timeshares.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Latest Timeshare Scam Hits You Twice

As if timeshare owners aren’t getting scammed enough, here’s a new one. And with this new entry, you could be scammed twice.

We hear more and more about unscrupulous businesses who prey on timeshare owners desperate to sell their timeshare. A sympathetic person calls and says they can take care of all of your worries today – they just happen to have someone who is ready to buy your timeshare. Isn’t that great news? And all you have to do is send the money to cover the closing costs, and you are out from under your timeshare albatross.

You gratefully fork over the several thousand dollars the business requests – and you never hear from them again. And you join the thousands of other timeshare resale scam victims across the country.

Enter the new scam. Now you are called by another sympathetic person who says they know just how you feel having been duped and losing thousands of dollars. No worries, says your caller, we can recover that money. Just send us a retainer fee, and we’ll get your money back for you. You gratefully fork over the required amount – and you never hear from them again. And you’ve been scammed twice.

The Florida Attorney General’s office has recently released a statement reporting that it has already received over 600 complaints from people who have been contacted by telemarketers who say they can recover money lost in bad timeshare resale deals in exchange for an up front fee but then abscond with the money. This new scam is now being investigated by regulators in several states.

If you are trying to sell your timeshare, how do you know if you’re talking to a scammer? It’s easy.
  1. Did the business call you? If yes, Hang Up.

  2. Are they asking for an up-front fee? If yes, Hang Up.
Absolutely no legitimate resale company will require an up-front fee.
If you are convinced that the reason the caller gives for the necessity of an up-front fee is legitimate and you want to work with the company, do further research before paying the fee. The Better Business Bureau offers these suggestions:
  1. Contact the Better Business Bureau (, state Attorney General's office, and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the company is located to find out if complaints have been lodged against the company.

  2. Ask the person to send you written materials.

  3. Ask for references, including address and phone number and contact them.

  4. Ask where the company is located and in what states it does business.

  5. Ask if the company's salespeople are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify this with the state licensing board.
Be a savvy timeshare owner. Know that you don’t ever pay an up-front fee. For any reason. Ever.

(Photo credit

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 17, 2011 - Passport Day in the USA

You never know when you’re going to need a passport. There are many great timeshare rentals around the world to plan a vacation. And if you have loved ones traveling abroad you could find yourself facing an emergency trip. If you don't yet have a passport then Saturday, September 17, 2011, is the time to get one.

“While it’s true that most Americans don’t own a passport, the blue book with its gold-embossed eagle inspires something different in those who are in possession of one,” says Fox News reporter Jo Piazza. “There are plenty of excuses given for not getting a passport-- chief among them the hassle of having to apply for it in person during regular working hours.”

So this Saturday the State Department is bending those rules on their third annual Passport Day in the USA - a day when all regional passport agencies and passport acceptance facilities, including post offices, will be open on the weekend when they are normally closed.

For this day only, U.S. citizens can apply directly at passport agencies without making an appointment, and both routine and expedited processing service can be requested.

The agency is hoping to increase the number of Americans with valid passports, reports Piazza, stressing that all citizens need one, not just those who have plans to travel outside of the country, especially since most international travel isn't planned ahead of time.

“Anyone with family members overseas, older relatives who travel, children who study abroad, we recommend that these people have a valid passport at all times because there may be an emergency and they will need to travel on short notice,” Florence Fultz, managing director of the State Department’s Passport Services told FoxNews.

“Then there are obviously the more fun things like they see a great last minute deal on travel and want to take advantage of it. The biggest challenge we face is when people need their passports immediately," Fultz said.

On Saturday, September 17 only, apply for your U.S. passport at a Regional Passport Agency Regional Passport Agency without an appointment. You will be able to apply for standard processing (4-6 weeks) or pay an additional $60 for Expedited processing (2-3 weeks, door-to-door).

Passport Day in the USA also means passport-themed events for adults and children at Regional Passport Agencies and many passport Acceptance Facilities across the country in communities like yours. If you’ve been waiting to get your passport, this is the time!

Children are eligible for passports as soon as they have a birth certificate.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale Florida

The greater Ft. Lauderdale area offers great restaurants, attractions, and a beach front that makes it a prime spot for a family vacation. I am originally from Ft. Lauderdale and travel back at least once a year with my family for Christmas vacation.

While most people don’t think of Ft. Lauderdale as a Mecca for great food, there are several great restaurants. If you go to Las Olas Boulevard, you can find several great restaurants, especially if you like seafood. A few popular restaurants include:
  • Mango’s Restaurant and Lounge

  • Indigo

  • Tuscan Grill

  • CJ’s CafĂ©

  • Mai Kai
Las Olas is also a great place to come back to later in the night without the kids or if everyone in your party is 21 or older. There are plenty of clubs that offer huge dance floors and bars that offer a relaxing atmosphere to talk over a few drinks.

It’s important to make time to take a boat tour along the Ft. Lauderdale waterways. There are several companies that offer these, but I think Jungle Queen and Water Taxi offer the best tours. You can see all the magnificent homes along the waterway while enjoying a relaxing boat ride. If you enjoy water parks, there are several in Ft. Lauderdale and nearby Miami. I highly recommend making a trip down to South Beach for any shopping you want to do on your trip. If you are looking for a great afternoon attraction, stop at the Seaquarium in Miami.

If you are making the trip to Ft. Lauderdale, chances are you plan on spending some time on the magnificent beaches. Ft. Lauderdale offers miles of beautiful beach front with the perfect background to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation. There is plenty for the kids to do on the beach; just make sure to pack whatever sand castle equipment or sports gear you plan on using.

When going to the beach, do not leave your hotel without sunscreen and sunglasses. You would be surprised at the number of people that think they are immune from the sun and end up having their vacation ruined by sunburn. The sun’s rays are even stronger on the beach since a lot of sunlight is reflected off the water.

The next time you are planning a family vacation, consider visiting sunny Ft. Lauderdale. Not only are there plenty of attractions and restaurants, but the beaches are beautiful and well kept. Ft. Lauderdale is also very affordable and attractions are going to be cheaper compared to visiting Hawaii or Orlando.

Lastly, there are three airports nearby. There is Ft. Lauderdale airport, along with West Palm Beach and Miami International airport. This allows you greater travel options and a better chance at finding an affordable flight with times that work best for you!

Take a look at the bargains you can get in Fort Lauderdale timeshare rentals. For example, the Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort has timeshare rentals starting at just $56/night.

We’d like to thank Adam Bruk for his informative guest blog. Adam loves to travel and visit new places every opportunity he gets. When he isn’t at work for SunglassWarehouse tracking retail trends in men's sunglasses, he can be found on the golf course or catching up on the latest travel news.

(Photo credit -

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wildlife Wednesday at Disney Orlando

Wildlife Wednesdays continue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Last month we talked about the conservation efforts that involve the Disney Corporation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Elephant Survival Plan, when we suggested an Orlando timeshare rental vacation to go see Luna, the fifth baby elephant to be born at Walt Disney World, who celebrated her first birthday in May.

If cutie Luna isn’t enough to get you out on the Animal Kingdom savanna, maybe seeing Jabali will (see photo). He is a new 311 pound baby elephant who was born on August 24, 2011. According to a Disney press release Vasha, the 25-year-old mother, delivered the herd’s latest addition after gaining more than 800 pounds during a 22-month gestation. The new calf is the second for Vasha, who gave birth to a female calf, Kianga, in 2004.

“The natural bonding between mother and calf is fascinating,” said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president of Disney’s Animal, Science and Environment Programs.

The next critical milestone, explained Ogden, is for the calf to continue the bonding process with his mother who will teach him important lessons, and protect him as he gradually acclimates to the rest of the savannah herd over the next several weeks. With 12 elephants, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has one of the largest African elephant herds in North America, including four males and eight females.

“Not only is Jabali bonding with his mom, but he’s also receiving a lot of attention from his older sister Kianga, who has been showering him with affection,” says Ogden.

Disney’s press release offered these interesting Baby Elephant Facts:
  • It can take several days for the calf to coordinate trunk movements. Initially, it may only be able to wave it in the air, suck on it - or trip over it.

  • Suckling up to 12 liters a day, baby elephants may depend on mother’s milk for up to three years, although they can be weaned at two years of age.

  • Calves learn how and what to eat by watching the older elephants.
So head to an Orlando or Disney timeshare rental now to see one of Disney’s cutest creations yet!

(Photo credit - Video credit -

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Timeshare #Travel Tuesday: Honoring Veterans

Honoring Veterans on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

This photo was submitted by Lee W. from Poway, California. He just attended his local neighborhood parade on September 10th and the theme was "Honoring Those Who Serve... Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow". "It was a wonderful tribute to military service veterans of all wars as well as those who serve our police, sheriff and fire stations. The parade was very moving, with the September 11th 10 year anniversary upon us. It was so moving to see such great local support for those in service to our country," says Lee.

To submit your photo to #Travel Tuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name and where the photo was taken.

The city of Poway is just 30 minutes north of San Diego, California. View San Diego timeshares available now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

For AutumnFest Fun Travel to Southern California Wine Country

For an Autumn treat, visit Southern California Wine Country. The town of Temecula is the center - just 1 hour from timeshare rentals in Anaheim, Palm Desert, and San Diego. The casual, picturesque valley that includes Downtown Old Town Temecula and Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country celebrates AutumnFest daily from September through November.

Temecula, which wasn’t incorporated until 1989, began life over 40 years ago when the newly formed Rancho California Development Corporation planted 56 varieties of wine grapes in five different locations around the valley. Today Temecula Valley has more than 3,500 acres of producing vineyards.

With more than 5,000 awards, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is gaining well-deserved recognition. September celebrates California Wine Month with a SIP Passport and special savings throughout the month. A self-guided tour enables passport holders to savor wines at 5 of the valley’s more than 30 wineries.

Throughout September, October and November autumn’s abundance can be savored in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country in many ways.
  1. Temecula Valley Signature Events
    The Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival (September 14-18) hosts films and music of contemporary filmmakers and music artists from across America and around the globe. Events include opening night festivities, four days of film screenings, a two-day MusicFest, film and music industry workshops, closing night black-tie gala, plus Best of the Fest.

  2. The Old Town Temecula Fall Rod Run (October 7-8) attracts hundreds of the finest, pre-1974 vehicles and 30,000 auto enthusiasts for Friday Night Cruise and Saturday Show and Shine.

  3. The Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting (November 5 and 6) is a self-guided, two-day, food and wine adventure at more than 30 wineries. At each stop you’ll find delicious foods and wine samplings, and barrel and/or tank samples of finished and unfinished wines often not available to the general public.

  4. Harvest Celebrations and Activities
    Harvest, the most exciting time of year in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, is commemorated in many ways. From Wilson Creek’s Sunset Jazz in the Vines and Autumn Winemaker’s Dinner events, Callaway’s Harvest Festival, and Leonesse Cellars’, Mount Palomar’s, Ponte’s, and Wilson Creek’s Grape Stomps; to South Coast’s Blessing of the Wine Celebration, Callaway’s Taste of Autumn, Falkner’s Wine Appreciation, Mount Palomar’s Oktoberfest, and Monte de Oro’s Rocky Horror Halloween Bash.
Temecula invites you to “Plan a full, robust, premium varietal, AutumnFest getaway in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country”. Your Autumn getaway can start with a budget-friendly timeshare rental in Anaheim, Palm Desert, or San Diego – all within an easy drive of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.

(Photo credit -

Friday, September 09, 2011

Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Memorials

Sunday, September 11, 2011, marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy when America was attacked on her own soil. Many memorial events are planned around the three sites that have come to epitomize those terrorist attacks.
  1. Washington, D.C. The Pentagon Memorial commemorates the 184 lives lost in the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77 during the terrorist attacks. The memorial itself, designed by Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman, was officially dedicated on September 11, 2008. It is open to the public daily. As most of the nearby parking is for authorized Pentagon use only, the best way to get to the memorial is by the METRO.

  2. Pennsylvania. The Flight 93 National Memorial, near Shanksville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, is the only one of the three 9/11 memorials that is designated as a National Park. The first phase of the memorial to the 40 heroes of Flight 93 will have its official dedication ceremony on Saturday, September 10, 2011. Commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11 will be held at the Memorial on Sunday, September 11, with music tributes and activities. President Obama is also expected to speak. Just a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C., you can make visiting the Flight 93 National Memorial an easy day trip.

  3. New York City. As the epicenter and “ground zero” of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, New York City is offering a myriad of ways to commemorate the tenth anniversary. You can mark the occasion with music, meditation, art, prayers, community service, dance, poetry, storytelling, and other rituals of remembrance.

    The official New York City ceremony to observe the tenth anniversary of September 11 will take place at the World Trade Center site on Sunday, September 11th, 2011 from 8:40 AM until 12:30 PM. President Obama is scheduled to speak.

    The 9/11 Memorial, located at the World Trade Center site, will be dedicated on Sunday, September 11, in a ceremony for victims’ families. It will open to the public on September 12, 2011, and will welcome visitors who have reserved advance passes.

  4. Marriott. Did you know that the third tower to collapse at New York's “Ground Zero” on September 11, 2001 was the World Trade Center Marriott Hotel? In the days that followed, the Marriott flag (see photo) that once flew atop that 22-story hotel was recovered from the debris.

    For the past decade the flag has hung in the lobby of Marriott International Corporate Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland - a constant reminder of the safe evacuation of all the guests that day, and of the two Marriott associates who lost their lives while assisting the guests to safety.

    On August 25, 2011 the flag came off the wall in headquarters to make the journey back to New York. It will be on display in the New York Marriott Downtown for the tenth anniversary remembrance of 9/11 and will eventually be part of a permanent exhibit at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
Both Washington, D.C., and New York City have timeshare rentals available, offering you comforting home-away-from-home accommodations as you visit the 9/11 memorials.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

4 Security Tips for when you Travel

With the number of thefts on tourists and travelers increasing it is now more important than ever to be security conscious. Unfortunately, in our happy and excitable moods we sometimes make it easy for potential thieves to take advantage of us.

No one wants to spend their well-deserved timeshare holiday or trip worrying so here are a few simple security measures you can take whilst traveling to ensure the safety of your property.
  1. Pre-paid Credit or Debit Cards
    Pre-paid cards are specifically designed for your holiday money. The main advantages of taking a pre-paid card on your travels is not only security but budgeting, too, as you can only spend the value of funds that you loaded onto your travel card. The great thing is that whenever you are running low on money you can simply ‘top up’ the card at any point over the internet. You can specify the amount of funds you wish to deposit and minimize your risk of fraud.

  2. Blend in with the Locals
    When traveling, especially in countries that are relatively poor compared to the western world, it is important to blend in amongst locals. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear the same clothes as locals but just be aware of advertising your wealth. It is understandable that you want to take photos of your travels and new destination but walking around with a huge camera attached to your chest is an indication to potential thieves of western money. The same goes for wearing expensive jewellery - if you do make sure you can hide it and never flaunt it.

  3. Keep your Cash Close
    Pickpockets can be found all over the world and unfortunately for travelers many thrive on tourists. When you are getting ready to venture out your hotel room it is advisable that you use a money belt. Unlike a bag this is far less likely to be grabbed and if put underneath your clothing is less likely to be detected. It is always advisable for women to wear purses over their shoulders and securely tucked under one arm rather than on the side of your arm.

  4. Hotel Alarms and Security
    A large percentage of thefts occur when hotels are broken into so it is always vital that you check the online reviews about the hotel or hostel you intend to stay in. Things to look out for in the reviews or website description of the hotel are alarms or security guards patrolling the hotel. The appearance of an alarm or guard will deter thieves who might be prospecting the hotel for an attempted burglary. There are also a range of 3rd party sites such as Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet which offer sound advice about the safe and dangerous areas of certain cities so this is always a good starting point.
This article was written by Sam Murray, in association with Yale home alarm systems who have experience in keeping people safe and protected, both at home and abroad.

(Photo credit -

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

What Is ARDA-ROC and What Are They All About?

This article is printed with permission by author Lisa Ann Schreier.

If you check out the ARDA-ROC site you will see the following Mission Statement:

The ARDA Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) is a non-profit program sponsored by the American Resort Development Association, dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing vacation ownership. ARDA-ROC is an alliance of owners, developers and managers who are committed to advocating for local, state and federal policies that enable the vacation ownership industry to thrive.
OK, what does that mean? That means that they are actively engaged in working for things that enhance and help timeshare and timeshare owners and against things that would be a detriment to the industry and owners.

In addition to some very important legislative issues, some of which will be covered in future posts, ARDA-ROC has a great page dedicated to timeshare resales and resale scams. There are any number of places that consumers can turn to in an attempt to get information on timeshare resales and I congratulate ARDA-ROC for joining the ranks and getting this unbiased information out to the public.

Timeshare owners need to educate themselves. No one in or on the fringes of the industry, like myself, can force owners to get the education and stop falling prey to scammers and less than scrupulous companies and organizations.

If you're a timeshare owner, I know all too well that you purchased your timeshare(s) with the intent on using them and enjoying them, NOT to become educated on the pros and cons, myths and truths. But why, oh why would you NOT want to find out more about timeshare, how to use it, how not to get ripped off, etc.?

Check out ARDA-ROC for a start and remember, Educate Yourself, Open Your Mind, Get Involved. Lisa Ann Schreier, The Timeshare Crusader.

About Lisa Ann Schreier: Lisa Ann Schreier, The Timeshare Crusader, is a former timeshare salesperson and the author of both “Surviving A Timeshare Presentation…Confessions From The Sales Table” and “Timeshare Vacations For Dummies.” She is the founder and director of the consumer information site Timeshare Insights and is currently working on her third consumer book, due out later this year.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Timeshare #Travel Tuesday: Silver Strand Beach, Coronado

Silver Strand Beach, Coronado, CA

This photo was submitted by Randy S. of New Jersey. It was taken while vacationing in Coronado, California. Silver Strand State Beach features extensive beaches on both the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. Combined with the area's mild climate, the beaches make Silver Strand one of the area's finest recreation destinations. Camping, swimming, surfing, boating, water-skiing, volleyball, and picnicking are popular activities. Anglers can fish for perch, corbina, grunion and yellow-fin croaker.

To submit your photo to #Travel Tuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name and where the photo was taken.

View Coronado timeshares available now.

Friday, September 02, 2011

5 Reasons to Plan a Disney Golf Vacation

We’re heading into fall, temperatures will soon be cooling, and it’s a perfect time to plan a golf vacation. Rent an Orlando timeshare and have fun working on that handicap at, of all places, Walt Disney World.

The golf courses at Walt Disney World have long been favorites among guests, as well as members of the golfing industry. And now things are going to be even better. Disney has announced that it is pairing up with one of golf’s biggest names of all time – Arnold Palmer. All five of the WDW golf courses will be managed by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, including operations, maintenance, and promotion, beginning September 25, 2011.

Arnold Palmer has designed golf courses literally from one end of the country to the other – Hawaii to Connecticut. The Palmer name is known for innovative course designs that are fun and challenging at the same time. “And when you blend that with WDW’s already family-friendly environment and its rich golf heritage,” said one WDW official, “what you’ll get is a mixture that further enhances Disney Golf’s stature as a unique golf destination experience that appeals to golfers of all levels.”

Palmer states that he is “looking forward to the opportunity” to work with Disney, and plans to designate The Palm course as one of his signature courses with elements designed by him.

The WDW golf courses include:
  1. The Magnolia
    Features wide fairways dotted among an abundance of fragrant, blossoming magnolia trees. “It represents a paradise for serious golfers, as well as a thrilling challenge for players at all levels.” This course has a 4-Star rating from Golf Digest.

  2. The Palm (see photo)
    “Golfers will appreciate the course design, which features shimmering lakes and tropical sands, all across a golf landscape that's dotted with strategically placed palm trees.” This course has a 4-Star rating from Golf Digest.

  3. Oak Trail
    This is the perfect family-friendly golf course. “A charming 9-hole walking course set amidst a natural environment, it’s designed by Ron Garl for families to enjoy together.” The kids will especially enjoy the sight of deer and waterfowl that occasionally wander out of the surrounding woodlands.

  4. Osprey Ridge
    “Features dramatic golf holes that cut through stands of live oak, pine, palmetto, cypress and bay trees” making it suitable for serious golfers who seek a challenge. This course has received an impressive 4 ½ Star rating from Golf Digest.

  5. Lake Buena Vista
    “Experience the pleasures of a classic country-club course with a distinctive atmosphere. Tee off next to boats navigating scenic canals while taking in views of an enchanting lighthouse.” This course is rated 4 Stars by Golf Digest.
Fall offers perfect weather in Orlando for all outdoor activities, including a day on the links. Rent an Orlando or Disney timeshare - and make it a budget-friendly golf vacation, too.

(Photo credit -

Thursday, September 01, 2011

An Amazing Maui Vacation Awaits You

You will be amazed at the multitude of experiences waiting for you in Maui. Here, we’ve gathered the very best to do and see on the island to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

Water Experiences
  • Head to the Molokini waters (see photo) to experience snorkeling at its best. The ancient volcanic caldera, Molokini, offers crystal clear snorkeling waters. It is a sanctuary for marine life underwater and a sanctuary for birds above the water.

  • Take your very first surfing lesson just off the Lahaina shores. This is a perfect location to learn how to surf. The waves are smaller, making it easier to stay on the board and actually spend time above the water!
Unforgettable Scenery
  • A horseback journey to the highest peak of Maui, Haleakala, 10,023 ft above sea level, is a great way to spend the day. Haleakala’ means ‘House of the Sun in Hawaiian’. Legend states the demigod ‘Maui’, while standing on the summit of the volcano, decided to lasso the sun as it moved through the sky. He did this to slow the sun’s descent and make the days last longer. Ride horseback above the fluffy white clouds, visit flourishing tropical areas that are home to bubbling streams and flowing waterfalls.

  • If you’re willing to be up before dawn, you can be rewarded with an amazing Maui sunrise from Mount Haleakala. Then, bike through the most magnificent scenery in the world to reach sea level. The scenery is so lovely you’ll have trouble believing it’s real!
Maui by Air
  • Take a helicopter ride and view the breathtaking waterfalls and pristine valleys of Maui. In this air tour, you will see exactly why some call Maui the ‘Valley Isle.’ Learn all about the history and geography of Maui as you view extraordinary hidden waterfalls and the Haleakala. You will see acre after acre of pineapple and sugar plantations.

  • If you’re more hands-on, you can rent an aircraft and fly with certified instructor. What an amazing way to view the islands!
An Unforgettable Luau
  • Don’t miss the Makena Luau. Its location is such that guests have the ability to witness the gorgeous Maui Sunset. As the night goes on, the Hawaiian band and cast interact with guests until the long awaited ‘Five Fire Knife Dance Finale.’
For the Love of Lava
  • Oneuili Beach has ‘dark sand’ that is made of the cinder from various volcanic eruptions. This is a great place to explore Maui’s geological aspects.

  • Makalua-puna Point, otherwise known as ’Dragon’s Teeth’ is made from lava. This lava is different from the other lava on Maui: it is denser, fine-grained, and lighter. The wind that swept over this point created hardened lava with jagged points that look like dragon’s teeth.
Try something new, relax with a luau, and be sure to always watch Maui’s sunset. Tomorrow, when Maui’s sun awakens once more, new adventures are waiting to amaze you and your family. Enjoy!

Heather Johnson is a writer for the leading online honeymoon planning resource. Learn all about the best honeymoon destinations today!

Dreaming of a honeymoon in Hawaii? Check out the many budget-friendly Maui timeshare rentals available at some of the most beautiful resorts on Maui. For example, right now you can get a timeshare rental at the Kaanapali Beach Club in Lahaina for just $43/night.