Archive for May, 2010

Are you getting away this Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a few days away, and lower gas prices combined with a more stable economy may end Georgians’ trend of staying home over the holiday. Auto Club AAA estimates 884,000 Georgians will take a trip over Memorial Day this year, which is about the same as last year when the number of travelers had declined for the fourth year in a row.

While the overall decline may be bottoming out, fewer Georgians are expected to take to the skies over Memorial Day. Only 64,763 will by flying, so the bulk of those traveling will be out on the roadways.

In this AJC report, AAA Auto Club South says that many Georgians scaled back vacations for the past couple of years and are in need of a break this year.  

“There’s really a pent-up demand people have to travel,” said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club South. “A lot of vacations were not taken the past couple years and it wasn’t just Memorial Day. The past couple of years travel has just been down. People have not been …

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Are lakes and rivers a freshwater idea for oil-spooked summer vacationers?

Living in a coastal state and within an easy drive of the coastlines of three other states, it’s natural for Atlantans to head to the beaches of the Gulf or Atlantic for summer vacation. In fact, for me, the salty air, Spanish moss and gentle waves of Georgia’s Golden Isles are synonymous with summer holidays. But with the oil spill causing so much uncertainty, I can see why some people are looking at alternative destinations this year.

Many friends and neighbors who normally head for Orange Beach, Destin and even eastern Florida beaches will simply stay out of the water and enjoy the pool or other diversions if the oil decides to show up during their stay. A getaway is a getaway (especially one you’ve already paid for), and there is plenty to do in those towns without actually hitting the beach or wading into the water.

For me, however, sitting poolside by the beach or watching the waves is not enough– I’m the type that wants to be in the water. Finding a house or …

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Oil slick make you sick at thought of ruined beach trip?

With Memorial Day coming up and schools soon letting out for summer, many Atlantans already have their eyes on a beach vacation prize. Those whose plans included a few days of sun, sand and surf on the Gulf Coast, however, may be focusing more on whether millions of gallons of oil will wash ashore on their favorite beach and gunk up their chances for a summer holiday.

Three weeks after a massive rig explosion sent oil spilling into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, officials are still working to contain the spread of the black gold. Already globules of oil and tar have washed ashore in Alabama. Vacationers and the tourism industry along the sugar-white shores of Mississippi, Alabama and western Florida are holding their collective breath to see exactly where that oil is going to end up.

Since the spill began, hotels have been answering calls from future guests about the status of the beaches and cancellation policies if the oil hits before or during guests’ stay. In many …

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Southern cities shine in travelers’ choice awards

Of all the places in this world, Southern destinations fared pretty well among travelers in TripAdvisor’s list of the “World’s Best Travel Spots with 2010 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards”.  The awards, which were announced on Tuesday, marked the top 25 travel hot spots worldwide, and also ranked the best cities and locations by specific categories.  It was in those categories that the South shined.

Southern destinations did not land on the list of 25 best places in the world to travel, losing out to traditional favorites like Paris, Rome, Monte-Carlo, Prague, St. Petersburg and Sydney. But three southern cities earned high marks in the list of top U.S. destinations, with Washington, DC ranking fourth; New Orleans, La. earning the #15 spot; and Charleston, SC coming in at #20. Washington also came in second on the “Top 10 Culture and Sightseeing Destinations in the World” category, just behind Florence, Italy. Not too shabby.  (Savannah, Ga., Charleston, …

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