Archive for February, 2011

Are all-inclusive vacations the way to go?

By Keith Still

All-inclusive resorts and vacation packages have been around for a while, but they seem to have become really popular during the economic downturn for obvious reasons. Your room, food, often your entertainment and just about everything else to do with your vacation is included in the cost upfront.

On top of that, already-stressed Atlantans find much of the stress related to planning activities, setting up transportation and other normal holiday hassles melts away at all-inclusive resorts set up to make your one-stop shop vacation run as smoothly as possible. That is the point of a vacation, right – to take a break and get away from the everyday things that can wear you down?

Years ago, we took a romantic, anniversary vacation to a small, all-inclusive destination, and I remember thinking several times how nice it was that we didn’t have to worry about grabbing our wallets before we walked out the door. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were fabulous. We dressed up …

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Spring Break three different ways

By Keith Still

Spring Break. From the earliest days of kindergarten, we are conditioned to anticipate the annual spring holiday. We look forward to it. We count down the bleak mid-winter days until that breath of fresh Spring Break air arrives. It’s our reward for all of those mornings standing out at the bus stop in the cold and the dark.

Then we go off to college, and Spring Break takes on a whole new meaning. It’s no longer a few days off with the chance for a small vacation. It’s a weeklong party designed to blow off the collective steam of thousands of collegians at once. It’s an American bacchanalia, held wherever they will let us get away with this kind of behavior – but preferably with a warm beach nearby.

Obviously, not every college student rushes off to MTV-style Spring Break locations, but you would be hard-pressed to find a single student who isn’t looking forward to a few days away from the books – especially right now, in mid-February.

Given those …

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Hot Coffee and Two Egg for your next getaway?

By Keith Still

When you have the chance to get away unexpectedly, how do you decide where to go? It’s not a vacation. You don’t have time to really plan. Nor is it a romantic getaway, where the agenda pretty much sets itself. A lucky few can take those unexpected days and whisk off to exotic locales, but most of us take our last-minute travels to places that are more affordable and much closer to home.

So how do you choose a quick getaway destination that provides a little rest, a little relaxation and a good story to share with your friends and colleagues when you get home?

The prospect of a couple of days away has recently come up for me – right in the dead of winter. It’s unexpected, so my travel budget is pretty small. (Read, no paying through the nose for last-minute airfare.) It’s just a couple of days, so any trip must fall within an easy drive of Atlanta. And it’s February, meaning as much as I adore the ocean, I’m not likely to brave the brisk waters at …

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Will massive winter storm send you south or keep you home?

By Keith Still

Well it’s Groundhog Day, again. And for Americans this year, that must mean there’s another winter storm throwing a monkey wrench in their travel plans from Dallas to Dover. At this rate, we might feel lucky if there are only six more weeks of winter weather to endure.

Yesterday, a “life-threatening” storm grounded one-fifth of all scheduled U.S. flights as blizzard conditions, snow and ice storms began covering much of the country, affecting 30 states and ultimately as many as 100 million people. Tornadoes, freezing rain, snowfall measured in feet, not inches…these are all problems gumming up the works for weather-weary travelers at a time when we just want to see some sun, swoosh down the slopes or head out of town for the Super Bowl.

But with more than 7,000 flights cancelled since yesterday, Mother Nature, it seems, would have us suffer more of the same travel hassles we have endured throughout this unusually stormy winter. In Dallas, where …

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