Dollywood Turns 25!

Dollywood is turning 25! The popular theme park built in Pigeon Forge, TN, by singer/song-writer Dolly Parton, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2010. Rent a timeshare in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg and join in the big celebration.

In 1982 Dolly Parton announced in an interview with Barbara Walters that she wanted to open a theme park in her Tennessee hometown. Enter Ted Miller, General Manager of Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO who, as he says, saw the writing on the wall. "That would have been a formidable competitor," said Miller, and he immediately contacted Parton about forming a partnership with the Herschend Family Entertainment Corp, which runs 26 theme parks around the country. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Dollywood attracted 650,000 visitors its first season. Open just nine months out of the year (late March through the first of January), Dollywood has an astounding 2.5 million visitors annually. Miller attributes the theme park's success to "Perfect branding - with its cultural location near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the country, and Parton's iconic status as an international celebrity."

Over the past 25 years Dollywood has stayed true to its roots as a complete family entertainment venue with its mountain and musical themes. The 150-acre theme park offers more than 40 rides and attractions; live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and numerous crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. For Parton, Dollywood was mostly about creating jobs for friends, family and people who love to entertain. More than 2,500 people work inside the park.

In just the past four years Dollywood has won 15 major awards, the most of any theme park in America, from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities worldwide. IAAPA represents over 4,500 individual members from more than 90 countries.

Watch for Dolly Parton's television special about Dollywood's 25 year history scheduled to air in July, 2010, on the Hallmark Channel. Then quick! Book a timeshare rental so you and your family won't miss out on the fun and celebration of Dollywood's "Silver Jubilee!"

“Everyone knows that I’m a dreamer, and the 25th anniversary of my Dollywood theme park is the continuation of a country girl’s dream of a special place where families can experience and enjoy all that my Smoky Mountain home has to offer,” Dolly Parton said. “I'm inviting everyone to join us all season long as we celebrate the dreamer in YOU, too!”

See Pigeon Forge timeshares. See Gatlinburg timeshares.

Enjoy a Kid-Friendly Vacation in Boston

Did you know you can enjoy a kid-friendly vacation in Boston? This imposing cultural and historical city offers so many fun things for kids that it's also considered a great family-friendly vacation destination. Who knew? Rent a Boston timeshare and take your kids to Bean Town, USA.

Follow the red brick road…The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile sidewalk, with a distinctive red brick line running down the center, that winds along 16 historic sites, including the Old North Church and the home of Paul Revere. Pick up The Freedom Trail Kids' Guide Book, or check out Boston by Little Feet, a tour perfect for children ages 6 - 12. And every member of the family will get a kick out of riding on the Boston Duck Tour.

Kid-friendly museums abound. At the Museum of Science kids can create virtual fish. At the Children's Museum they can whip up a room full of bubbles, and explore the new interactive exhibit that teaches kids about the city's multicultural neighborhoods. The Museum of Fine Arts offers a Children's Room for ages 6 to 12 with weekly workshops and Family Activity Books.

Head out to sea and the kids can play sea captain aboard the Voyager III at the New England Aquarium. When they go ashore they can make friends with penguins, sharks and eels. A fun water shuttle links the Aquarium to the Charlestown Navy Yard where the kids can clamber all over historic Old Ironsides (the U.S.S. Constitution).

The Boston Common Frog Pond will delight the youngsters with daily activities in the summertime, including a wading pool for the little ones. In the winter the pond converts to a skating rink.

You can even get the kids headed to Harvard by exploring kid-friendly Harvard Yard across the Charles River in Cambridge. Here the kids can bike or rollerblade along the Esplanade or enjoy a scenic boat ride along the river. And at "Susi's A Gallery for Children" your kids can paint their own souvenirs, such as T-shirts and picture frames and other one-of-a-kind items.

While traversing about Boston the kids can play the "find the animal sculptures" game. Hint: there's a 3,000-pound marble Foo dog at the base of China Gate in Chinatown, bronze dolphins at the New England Aquarium, a copper grasshopper weather vane over Fanueil Hall, and bronze ducklings in the Public Garden, inspired by Robert McCloskey's popular children's book "Make Way for Ducklings."

After all of this activity, the kids will be hungry. You can fix them a big pot of Boston's famous molasses covered baked beans in your timeshare kitchen - after all, that's the reason the city is called Bean Town.

(Photo from

Free Museum Admission for Military Families this Summer

Calling all Military Families! The latest news from Washington is that the National Endowment of the Arts is partnering with over 600 museums across the country to offer free admission to military families throughout this summer. There are many budget timeshares available for rent in almost every state, and coupled with free museum admission, you can have an affordable, fun, and amazing summer family vacation.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said he was very pleased by how many museums joined the effort, despite the poor economy, from the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Nebraska. "I think it is good karma for the museums," he said. "Long-term, it promotes museum-going and engagement with the arts." The Defense Department is helping to promote this "Operation Appreciation" offer.
The program, called the Blue Star Museums Initiative, is for active duty military personnel and their families, and runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 2010.

All you have to do is think of the museums that you've dreamed of visiting, but could never afford the admission prices. Go ahead - choose just about any one of them - and the doors are opening wide just for you. For example, a San Diego timeshare rental will give you an inexpensive hub from which to not only enjoy great beaches, but also explore 14 participating museums in the area, including the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park which houses the Putnam Foundation Collection of European Masters.

Rent a budget San Francisco timeshare downtown, and take the cable car over to the newly-opened Walt Disney Family Museum. Featuring the life and legacy of Walt Disney, as presented by his family, this fun museum exhibits, among other things, film clips that range from experiments with trick shots - such as "unspilling" a glass of milk - to reels that documented Disney's life at home with his family.

You can rent a New York City timeshare and visit the pricey New York Museum of Modern Art. Other great NYC museums participating in this program include the Staten Island Children's Museum, (and remember, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry is always free!) Also, over Memorial Day weekend in New York City, NY Sen. Kristen Gillibrand has announced more than 50 museums and historic sites will offer free admission to military personnel and veterans.

Visit the Blue Star Museum Initiative online for a complete list of all participating museums.

(Photo of Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night" from

Kid-Friendly Business Trip Can Become a Mini Family Vacation

It's summer, the kids are out of school, but you have to work. Well, for some real family fun, consider a kid-friendly business trip! Family Circle Magazine offers this great suggestion: "Are you headed to a top convention city on business? Let the kids tag along, and turn work into a mini family vacation." This idea is especially easy to do when you rent a timeshare - the kids and your spouse will have a comfortable, affordable, home-like place to stay, and a chance to have a surprise vacation - with you!

San Francisco
If you are headed to San Francisco on business, this is a perfect city for bringing the kids along. There is so much to see that the kids will never be bored. Just driving up and down San Francisco's famous hills can rival any theme park ride. And pitching down a steep hill in a cable car can be a thrill. At Fisherman's Wharf the kids will love clambering around the antique schooners, tugs and square rigger sailing ships that line the pier at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park. See all San Francisco timeshares.

Washington D.C.
Many of you will probably find yourselves headed to Washington, D.C., on business this summer. Take your kids along - what a great opportunity for them to explore our nation's capital. The highlight, of course, would be the National Mall with its Smithsonian museums, and admission is free! The very kid-friendly "America on the Move" exhibit at the National Museum of American History will be one of their favorites, as well as getting up close and personal with spaceships at the Air and Space Museum. It's also free admission at the National Zoo. Here the entire family will fall in love with Mei Ziang and Tian Tian, the two Giant Pandas on loan from China. See Washington DC area timeshares.

Do you have a business trip planned for Nashville? Well, take the kids! A timeshare rental here will give your kids the opportunity to explore this very American city on the shores of the Cumberland River. Known as Music City, USA, Nashville will have everyone’s toes a’tappin’ before the suitcases are even unpacked.

Although the Spring 2010 flooding of various sections of the city has temporarily closed the Grand Ole Opry theater, the Opry show hasn’t misssed a beat. Your family can still enjoy the shows and entertainment of major, and up-and-coming, country music stars as the oldest radio show in history continues to broadcast from two of its former homes. When the theater reopens be sure to take the kids on a behind the scenes tour of the Opry House, complete with great stories about the Opry and its famous members. See Nashville timeshares.

A Family Vacation to Kauai is Calling You

Calling all Keikis! This means children, from toddlers to teens. The fascinating Hawaiian Island of Kauai has a great vacation planned just for you! Have mom and dad rent a Kauai timeshare - tell them there are great timeshares to match any budget - and head to Kauai for some summer fun!

So all of you Makuas (parents) read on…Kauai has an abundance of protected beaches, easy hikes, and family-friendly resorts, making it an ideal kid-friendly (Keiki-friendly!) vacation destination. There are lots of activities that the entire family can enjoy together. For example, criss-crossing the island are easy hiking trails where there are so many sparkling, splashing waterfalls that your Keikis can turn the adventure into a counting game.

At an old historic sugar plantation Keikis will thrill at "mountain tubing" where they "flume" down an old irrigation system in a tube. At Lydgate Beach Park there are two natural lava ocean pools, making for safe, but still fun, swimming for even the littlest Keikis. Here there is even a wonderful wooden play structure that will entertain keikis for hours.

The timeshare resorts all offer Keiki-oriented activities. For example, with a timeshare rental at Marriott's Kauai Beach Club your Keikis will have fun with traditional island games, pool sports, beach games, and even a treasure hunt and an obstacle race.

Rent a timeshare at The Westin Princeville Ocean resort and keikis ages 5 -12 can join the Kids Club. Keikis will be kept busy with authentic Hawaiian games, arts and crafts including lei making, hula dance lessons, and much more.

You Makuas will be interested to know that Kauai is a major site used by movie and television studios. An activity your teens will enjoy is searching out the shooting locations of over 60 feature films and television shows. For example, the hit movies Jurassic Park I, II, and III, King Kong, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, were all filmed on Kauai. The adults in your family will have fun seeing film locations for South Pacific and Six Days Seven Nights, as well as for the television mini-series The Thorn Birds. In fact, tours are available to many famous sites. You'll not only see where the films were shot, but you'll also learn fascinating details about the stars and find out what they did on Kauai while they were here "on location."

For all 'Ohanas (families) - Kauai is calling you. A budget timeshare rental vacation on this wonderful Hawaiian island will give each 'Ohana member memories to treasure for a lifetime.

(Photo from

What Exactly is a Timeshare?

You've heard about timeshares, you're curious, so let's have a healthy discussion of just what exactly is a Timeshare. The term "timeshare" has been bandied about so much that you need to understand what that word really means. When you break the word down, you see that it defines itself: you "share"/"time." And that means that you are part of a group who is sharing the cost of vacation lodgings, and thus sharing the time to use it. It gets more complex when you start learning about the various aspects of timeshare ownership - whether you're purchasing deeded property, the "right-to-use," or even just paying for "points." See a list of timeshare terms and definitions here.

Because of the bad press, so to speak, of timeshare in recent years, due to a few unscrupulous businesses and scam artists, many timeshare companies (for example Disney and Marriott) now call themselves "Vacation Clubs." They are the same thing as timeshares - the new term just has a healthier ring to it today.

What a timeshare is Not is a good real estate investment. When you "buy" a timeshare, you are not investing in actual property. Instead, you are purchasing "time" to use some property. So your timeshare investment does not appreciate like you would expect most real estate investments to.

Buying a timeshare is, however, a "good investment" if you think of a good investment as something you buy that makes your life more fun and easier. Owning a timeshare might force you to take that well-deserved and oft-needed vacation every year. Owning a timeshare makes vacation planning easy since you know well in advance when you're going, where you're going, and what to expect when you get there. Owning a timeshare also allows you to "see the world" for one easy price, as it were, when you use the timeshare exchange program.

How do you know if a timeshare is for you? If you typically can take at least one week of vacation at a time, you're situation is perfect for timeshare. If you are tired of cramming the family into a cramped hotel room, and even having to pay for a second hotel room to accommodate everyone - look at timeshare rental which will give you the living - and relaxing - home-like space of a small apartment, as well as save you money on a per person basis. If you enjoy the amenities of a full-service resort, that can range from waterpark-type swimming pools to golf, or if you'd like to have your own personal space in a great location such as Manhattan or downtown San Francisco, then a timeshare is for you.

Vacationing every year as a timeshare owner could be the thing you do that truly helps create a family bond, and gives everyone in the family wonderful memories to last a lifetime. The best place to start if you are interested in timeshares is by renting one. After that, you can determine if buying a timeshare resale is right for you.

Take a Family Vacation to Smuggler’s Notch

Smuggler's Notch Resort, in Vermont, has been characterized as "Framed by history and surrounded by natural beauty." It has also been described as one of the preeminent Family Resorts in the country, and timeshare rentals here start as low as $71/night.

A four-seasons resort, Smuggler's Notch - nicknamed "Smuggs" - is the quintessential family vacation destination. In the winter world-class downhill skiing is available over the three mountains of Morse, Madonna, and Sterling. Cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and even dog-sledding are also offered. In the spring there is hiking, fishing and biking and during the warm summer months all kinds of water activities are added. When autumn arrives Vermont's breathtaking fall foliage is ever present.

The Smuggler's Notch resort area is named for a narrow notch, or mountain pass, that runs adjacent to Sterling Mountain. The geology of the notch made it well suited for smuggling since the area is heavily forested, remote, and dotted with numerous caves and caverns. In the early 1800s, as a response to the embargo by the U.S. government on British products, smugglers transported illegal goods across the Canadian border. During Prohibition the notch was again used by smugglers with the caves being used for the storage of smuggled Canadian beer, wine and spirits.

Today doing things as a family is fun and easy at Smugglers’ Notch. As it has continued to expand and improve its family offerings it has become the standard by which other family resorts are measured. For example, during the summer, family activities include the Funmeister Family Tubing Party, the Discovery Cookie Race, and the Hawaiian Hula Party. The winter snow offers families such activities as the I-Did-Sled family to family competition, the Snowshoe Cider Walk, and the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks finale.

Doesn't this all sound like a terrific timeshare vacation destination? The entire family, from toddlers to teens, will find plenty to enjoy and rave about at Smuggs. As one official in the resort lending financial industry said of Smuggler's Notch Resort, "The entire operation is run with a passion and excitement directed at creating the best vacation experience possible. It's easy to see why they have such successful resort and timeshare operations."

(Photo shown is the Smuggler's Notch Resort)

Volcano Still Causing Air Travel Disruptions

Who would have thought that in the ultra-modern, ultra-tech-oriented, twenty-first century, people would have been brought to their knees by an ancient volcano? And here you are, looking forward to your European timeshare vacation. What’s a traveler to do?

Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano (pronounced “AYA-fyatla-jo-kutl”, according to NASA) began erupting in April, 2010. Although relatively small for volcanic eruptions, the 2010 event has caused enormous disruption of air travel across western and northern Europe.

Normally the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull would have been a medium-sized, somewhat non-descript eruption that would have interested only scientists and local residents. However, a unique combination of factors, according to scientists, led to ash being carried by the jet stream directly over some of the busiest airspace in the world, thus impacting people on a world-wide scale.

So why does this effect air travel? It turns out that volcanic ash contains silicates, or glass fibers, which can melt inside jet engines, causing them to flame out and stall. The ash can sandblast the windscreen, "blinding" the pilot and requiring instrument landings. The sandblasting also damages the fuselage, and can damage the landing lights preventing them from projecting forward.

For anyone planning air travel to Europe the bad news just keeps coming. The "Icelandic Review" reports that there is nothing to indicate that the eruption is about to subside. The last eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, which occurred almost 200 years ago in 1821, lasted almost two years.

And according to Icelandic President Olafur Grimsson, all previous eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull have been followed by eruption of its larger neighbor, Katla. "The time for Katla to erupt is coming close," Grimsson stated. "We in Iceland have prepared ... it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption."

The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) was created by the U.N. in the 1990s to improve forecasts of the locations of ash clouds from volcanic eruptions following incidents where commercial aircraft had flown through volcanic ash resulting in the loss of engine power. You can rest assured that the VAAC will be monitoring Eyjafjallajökull, Katla, and all of the other active volcanoes around the world.

Meanwhile, as you await the VACC's "All Clear" you can still plan a wonderful summer timeshare vacation. The rest of the world is open, including the entire U.S., and a timeshare rental is probably available anywhere (outside of poor beleaguered Europe) that you might want to go. So go ahead and have a great summer vacation!

(Photo from

Father’s Day Gift Idea: Geocaching from Your Timeshare

Everyone knows that a sure-fire winner of a gift for Dad on Father's Day is some kind of gadget. Here's an idea suggested by Family Circle magazine that combines Dad's gadget present with a timeshare rental, kid-friendly, vacation. Geocaching.

What is Geocaching? It's an outdoor game that uses a Global Positioning System (GPS). Players hide containers, called caches, and use GPS receivers to find them - the "geo" part, meaning out and about in the countryside!

The caches are hidden by fellow geocachers who post the GPS coordinates on Dad can look up a cache and its coordinates on the site, take his brand new GPS receiver, and head out a' hunting. Caches are everywhere - there are 900,000 worldwide! So the second part of Dad's great Father's Day gift is to give him a timeshare rental vacation, perhaps someplace he's always wanted to explore, and tuck in with it the coordinates of a cache hidden near-by.

Geocaching can be an experience that involves the entire family, right down to Dad's little ones. Hunting for a cache is fun and exciting. A cache can contain any number of things, big or small. There's always a logbook to sign, along with notes from the cache's previous discoverers. Family Circle magazine explains that often the cache contains small treasures, like maps, books, CDs, pictures, jewelry or games. You can take one of the treasures, but you always have to leave something of equal value. You might also find a "travel bug," an item that's meant to be taken from one cache and placed in another.

The listing for the cache on the web site will also provide clues to help Dad and the family find the cache, such as the size, color and type of container. The listings have difficulty ratings, from easy to advanced. Once Dad and the family have mastered the basics of finding a cache, it's time to go to the next level and see how well you all can stump your fellow geocachers by hiding a cache of your own. Dad and the kids will all have fun checking back on the web site to see how many people have discovered the hidden cache.

Geocaching - a fun time had by all, whether in the hills of Vermont, Arizona's desert, or downtown Manhattan. And there's a budget timeshare rental available just about anywhere geocaching takes you - and Dad.

(Photo provided by

4 Free Things to do in Florida on your Family Vacation

PhotobucketSummer is family vacation time, and that also means its vacation budget-crunching time. You already know that timeshare rental is a great way to relieve the budget and make your family's vacation accommodations very affordable. Next is to think about affordable activities - how about some that are free?

When you plan a Florida timeshare vacation, here are 4 ideas for free activities:
  1. Sunset Celebrations
    Don't think of this as a "ho-hum, you can see sunsets anywhere for free" activity. We're talking about a world-famous spectacular sunset! A Key West timeshare rental will put you in the perfect location to see sunsets that are so phenomenal that people travel from around the globe to enjoy this free event. In fact, sunsets here are considered worthy of real celebrations, complete with live band music and entertaining street performers.

  2. The National Naval Aviation Museum
    A Panama City timeshare rental will not only give you sugary white sand beaches and emerald waters to play in, but just a quick hour and a half drive will take you to this amazing museum in Pensacola, complete with free parking and free admission. Here you can view over 150 restored aircraft, explore over 4,000 aviation artifacts, and enjoy hours of hands-on activities. A real bonus is the free air show the entire family can enjoy on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings March through November, when you can watch the thrilling Blue Angels practice. Also, on Wednesdays there is an autograph session with the pilots inside the museum.

  3. Sun Splash Park
    Rent a wonderful Daytona Beach timeshare and you'll be able to take the family to the Volusia County Sun Splash Park that is located smack-dab on Daytona Beach, and it's free to the public. Open daily from sunrise to sunset, this great family-oriented park offers a shaded playground, volleyball courts, picnic areas, and an interactive "zero depth" water play fountain. All of that in addition to a powdery-soft sand beach and fun Atlantic Ocean waves.

  4. A taste of Africa
    Rent a timeshare at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, and let the kids enjoy an entire array of free kids' activities. Many different Africa-related free art and cultural activities are available by the pool for children of all ages, and at night the kids can sit around the fireside for some great storytelling.

You Don’t Need Iron Man to Save Your Vacation – Timeshare to the Rescue!

Okay, raise your hand… Who is tired of staying in basic motels? Who is tired of cramped hotel rooms and one crowded swimming pool? Who would love to spend a vacation at a luxury resort but is thinking, "Sure, I can't afford that!" In the style of this summer's blockbuster superhero "Iron Man" – it’s Timeshare to the Rescue!

As Iron Man and other superheroes of the big screen show over and over – let’s think about how great it is to rescue people from the routine of their lives and problems, and even help make dreams come true. And a timeshare rental can do just that.

Yes, you can afford to vacation at a luxury resort. Believe it! All timeshares are associated with resorts, and talk about luxury! How luxurious would it be to stay in a "room" that is swimming with space. A timeshare is like an apartment, not a motel room. You'll have separate bedrooms, a dining area, a living room, more than one bathroom, a patio or balcony, and a fully equipped kitchen. And best of all - maid service will clean it, keep it supplied with fresh towels and linens, and even carry out the garbage.

Even the most basic amenities offered by a resort beat what you'd get at a plain hotel. All resorts have swimming pools, hot-tubs and generally activities such as tennis and arcade game rooms. Depending on the location, you'll also have direct access to beaches, mountain biking trails, or theme parks right out your front door.

The more up-scale resorts, where, yes, you can still get a budget timeshare rental, will have so many activities that you may not even want to venture outside of the resort. Take the Sheraton Vistana luxury resort in Orlando, for instance. Timeshare rentals here start at just $79/night, and included in that affordable price is a 135-acre fun fest. Or stay at Smuggler's Notch Resort in Vermont where timeshare rentals start at $71/night, and every child from 6 months to teens have something special planned just for them.

Budget timeshare rentals in luxury resorts make it affordable to vacation in a Hawaii timeshare, stay in the Caribbean, enjoy wonderful theme parks in an Orlando timeshare, bask on Florida's sugary sand beaches, and bike through the spectacular mountains in a Colorado timeshare. It's as if Iron Man or Superman or Spider Man swept you up and deposited you right in the middle of your dream vacation. What more could you want from a superhero?

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Summer Family Vacation Travel Tips

PhotobucketSummer is just about here and that means it’s time for a family vacation! The summer family vacation is a great time for wonderful bonding, and creating special memories that last a lifetime. Since this is no time for parental stress, try these tips on how to keep a family vacation "family Friendly."
  1. Rent a Timeshare
    No need to cram everyone into a cramped hotel room when timeshares have extra space! The separate bedrooms will work wonders when you have children to put to bed early. Parents and teens can still enjoy late night movie watching or game playing without disturbing anyone's sleep. Plus, you'll find that the spaciousness of a timeshare will make an enormous difference in how relaxed your overall vacation feels.

    The timeshare kitchen is a life-savor when trying to keep your constantly hungry kids fed. And all of the fun activities at the resort are available to you, too, so, there's plenty to do for everyone from your toddlers to your teens.

  2. Tips when Flying
    For those traveling with kids, many people like to sitting in the bulkhead seat because it offers more leg room. But, what it doesn’t have it room for your carry-on bags under the seat. With smaller kids, you’ll want easy access to toys, snacks, drinks and wipes.

    If your child has a fit on the plane, do your best to remain calm. Your frustration could escalate the situation. Be soothing by: Walking him around, humming a favorite tune, trying to make him laugh, or distract him with a toy or view out the window. And do apologize to your fellow passengers. A simple "I'm sorry" will show them consideration and most likely put them on your side.

  3. Tips when Driving
    Driving at night is great so your children can sleep part of the way. If you must leave during the day, books, toys, and a portable DVD player are great ways to pass the time. If there's a problem with car sickness, have your children play games that require them to look out the window, such as the "ABC" game, the license plate game, and the "I Spy" game.

    Limit your driving time to two-hour stretches. This is good for parents and kids alike! A break every couple of hours will give your children a chance to get some fresh air and run off some of that excess energy."
With good planning and these great tips, your family vacation can be one of the wonders of the world!

(Photo from

Travel to See the Hollywood Sign in California

HOLLYWOOD. The famous "Hollywood" sign is recognized the world over and is about as iconic as you can get. You probably can't count the number of movies and television shows where you've seen the sign show up in a Hollywood Hills background. Imagine seeing it in person! Plan a southern California timeshare vacation, and you can.

Wooden 50-ft high letters were placed on a hillside overlooking Los Angeles in 1923 as a simple advertisement that read "Hollywoodland" announcing a new housing development in the hills. It was not intended to be permanent, but was left up when the Hollywood movie industry was on the rise, and the sign soon became an internationally recognized symbol.

Over the years the sign deteriorated badly, with the "LAND" crumbling away completely, until 1978 when shock-rocker Alice Cooper spearheaded a public campaign to restore the sign. Donations funded a project that replaced the dilapidated wooden letters with 45-ft high letters made of steel.

The land surrounding the sign has been privately owned by developers who have made plans to exploit the area by building luxury mansions along the ridgeline. Consequently, an organization, The Trust for Public Land, was created with the intension of raising the $12.5M to buy and protect the 138 acres adjacent to the sign.

In April, 2010, the final $900,000 needed to reach that goal was donated by Hugh Heffner, allowing the group to purchase the surrounding hillside and "safeguard the future of the monument from developers." But the controversy over the use of the land and the sign is not over yet.

Enter Christian Bay-Jorgensen, a Danish architect, who suggests turning the sign into a hotel. His plans include creating luxurious accommodations in each of the letters, as well as offering a spa, a theater, and a performing center where the Oscars and other award ceremonies could be held.

You have to admit that the panoramic view of Los Angeles from atop the "H" would be stunning, especially as the city is laid out like a sparkling carpet of lights at night. However, for now you can enjoy all that glamorous Hollywood has to offer by renting a budget timeshare in a number of cities in Southern California, and visiting "Hollywoodland" - and seeing the Hollywood sign, like an old friend, in person.

(Photo from

Where to Go if you Need Help While Visiting Disneyland

Third in our series on Tips for Visiting Disneyland is about getting help inside the park because "Good help is great to find!" The Walt Disney Corporation has been in the business of dealing with massive amounts of people for a long time, and they've got it down to a science. Besides getting thousands of people on rides and through attractions every day, Disneyland also offers great ancillary support for its many guests. Rent an Anaheim timeshare and find out how well taken care of you are at Disneyland.
  1. Lost and Found…for People
    If you and your child get separated, ask any Cast Member (Disneyland employee) for help. Of course, Disneyland reminds us that here it's actually the kids finding their "lost parents," but either way, Disneyland is very efficient at reuniting families. When you first enter the park you might want to instruct your children on finding the nearest Cast Member (look for the badge) if they ever need help.

  2. First Aid…
    Disneyland's version is actually an urgent care center staffed with Registered Nurses. Here you can receive help for a headache, a blister, or a scrape. And the center is also equipped to handle more acute problems. There are beds for a rest if fatigue becomes health-threatening. After stabilizing a serious injury the staff will arrange transport to a local hospital. Disneyland also keeps its own EMT team and ambulance on the grounds for swift care when necessary.

    Besides providing free ice water, the First Aid Center also offers refrigerated storage for special medications and dietary supplies. And the Baby Center right next door is a quiet, private place for infant care including changing and nursing.

  3. Kennels…
    If you're traveling with a dog or cat, Disneyland has kennels that are inexpensive (currently the charge is just $20/day per pet) and convenient - open the hours that the park is (they do not provide overnight boarding). You must have up-to-date vaccination records for your pet. You'll also need to stop by to walk your dog every few hours. You provide the food and the staff will be happy to feed your pet on what ever schedule you request. The staff also encourages you to bring your pet's favorite toys, blanket, etc.

    Your pet is allowed to ride on the trams from the parking lots, but is not allowed in Downtown Disney. Even if you are not driving an RV, a tip is to tell the parking lot attendant that you have a pet that you'll be placing in the kennels, and you will be directed to park in the RV parking lot which is within closer walking distance to the kennels.

  4. For international guests…
    Are you more comfortable with your own language? Disneyland is here to help. Just look for Cast Members who are wearing small flag pins with your country's flag on it. They will be fluent in your language and are there to assist you in any way they can.
For more information on Disneyland travel, read: On Your Disneyland Vacation, Timing is Everything!
And 4 Tips to Know Before You Travel to Disneyland
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“Play Side by Side with the Sea” on your Orlando Timeshare Vacation

Want to “Play Side by Side with the Sea”? Then you’ll want to visit Aquatica! Designed as a "natural" water park, the 59-acre Aquatica opened in 2008 and was visited by nearly 950,000 guests, making it the fourth most visited water park in the U.S. in its first year.

Aquatica was created as a second sister park, after Discovery Cove, for SeaWorld Orlando. Discovery Cove was built so guests could do more than just watch shows and view exhibits, but could actually interact with a variety of marine animals, most notably the bottlenose dolphin. Guests also interact in a variety of ways with exotic birds, tropical fishes, and graceful rays. Because it was such a hit, the new water park, Aquatica was created where you can interact with aquatic animals and get wet with water park fun!

There are many budget friendly Orlando timeshare rentals in the area where you can plan a family vacation, and visit Aquatica for a truly unique "water park" experience. With its southern Pacific theme, Aquatica features South Seas architecture and Australian and New Zealand mascots. Distinct from SeaWorld's "Shamu," these mascots are Aquatica's own "park ambassadors," and include Roa, a kiwi; Kata, a kookaburra; Ihu, a gecko; and Wae Wae, a takahe bird.

Providing something for all ages and swimming abilities, Aquatica has over 36 water slides and a wide array of water attractions, some of which actually pass through animal habitats. For example, Aquatica's signature attraction, the Dolphin Plunge, is an enclosed double-tube slide that passes through a pool containing a pod of Commerson's dolphins.

Aquatica offers two versions of the Lazy River. For the younger set and those who enjoy peace and quiet, Loggerhead Lane is a traditional lazy river where you'll float through a grotto of cichlids, the family of tropical fish that includes the beautiful damselfish. For something more exciting, Roa's Rapids is a more aggressive version that is fast, and includes geysers and speed zones.

Two wave pools, one with gentle, rolling waves, and the other featuring stronger, taller waves, share an 80,000 sq. foot white sand beach, complete with lounge chairs and umbrellas. There is even something especially for the little tykes. Kata's Kookaburra Cove is designed for younger children, with smaller slides and play features, and Walkabout Waters offers a fun play fortress with slides, ladders and dumping water buckets.

Orlando offers so many wonderful theme parks and activities. When you rent an Orlando timeshare, be sure to make time for Aquatica and experience how much fun a water park can be.

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Visit Marine Life on Your Summer Family Vacation

What kid doesn't like animals? A summer family vacation that is definitely kid-friendly is anything that involves seeing exotic animals. This could include zoos with lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!), or getting up close and personal with exotic marine animals. And what better place for kids to do that than visiting SeaWorld. There are three SeaWorld parks in the U.S., one on each coast, and one in the middle. Take your pick: rent an Orlando timeshare in Florida, a San Diego timeshare in California, or a San Antonio timeshare in Texas, and visit SeaWorld!

SeaWorld is a marine mammal park, an oceanarium, and an animal theme park all rolled into one. The parks feature killer whale (orca), sea lion, and dolphin shows, along with zoological displays featuring various other marine animals including graceful rays, slippery eels, sharks and even penguins.

SeaWorld was the brain child of four UCLA graduates who originally set out to build an underwater restaurant in San Diego. When the underwater restaurant idea proved unfeasible, they decided to build a marine park instead, and the San Diego Sea World opened to the public in 1964.

Today all three SeaWorld parks also feature a variety of thrill rides. Sea World Orlando has the Kraken and Manta roller coasters; Sea World San Antonio offers two rides called the Steel Eel and the Great White; and a "splashdown ride," Journey to Atlantis, can be found in all three parks. Because the giant beer brewing company, Anheuser-Busch, owned the Sea World parks for a number of years, each park also keeps some of the famous Budweiser Clydesdales as an additional non-marine type attraction.

SeaWorld has made many contributions to wildlife conservation, including scientists and zoologists who participate in research and marine wildlife preservation. SeaWorld rescue teams routinely save stranded whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions, and have helped raise the awareness of Florida's endangered manatees. SeaWorld's commitment to conservation, research and animal rescue was recently formalized with the creation of the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. SeaWorld is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which means that the parks have met and exceeded the Standards in Education, Conservation and Research.

A family timeshare rental vacation near one of the SeaWorld parks will not only give the kids the unique opportunity to see and learn about marine wildlife, and even have fun on some amazing thrill rides, but your family will also be participating, in a way, in marine conservation efforts the world over.

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Where Will You Travel for Cinco de Mayo?

Today is Cinco de Mayo! Celebrations will be in full swing across the U.S. and in Mexico, of course, which means it’s a great time to plan and take a vacation. Here’s a few suggestions on where to travel to for the hottest Cinco de Mayo festivities:

Rent a timeshare in San Diego and visit historic Old Town where you’ll find live music and entertainment on 3 separate stages at Bazaar del Mundo, and great Mexican food too!

When you stay in a Las Vegas timeshare, you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants offering food and drink specials such as The Patron tequila fiesta at Eve nightclub, $5 shots of Casa Noble and Corralejo tequila at El Segundo Sol and $5.55 dinner and $5 margaritas at Macayo's restaurants, with three locations in Las Vegas.

New York City puts a real kid-friendly spin on its Cinco de Mayo celebrations. While staying in your New York City timeshare, visit Staten Island where your kids can build their own piñatas and at NY Kids Clubs, adults can sip a Corona while the kids learn Mexican dances. Ole!

Celebrate in your Phoenix timeshare with outdoor performances of Spanish rock, Latin jazz, salsa, ranchero, and Chicano rock music. Enjoy watching the Mexican dancers that symbolize the color, fun and heritage of Cinco de Mayo.

And, even though Cinco de Mayo is mostly an American holiday, you will feel very “authentic" if you celebrate in a Mexico timeshare rental. Just the Mexican music will get you in the mood to dance and create your own fiesta. The best part will most likely be basking on the beautiful beaches while eating Mexican food and enjoying a margarita! Sounds like the best Cinco de Mayo celebration of all.

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Travel to Breckenridge, it’s Perfect in the Summer

Breckenridge, Colorado, is known as a world-class ski resort. But in the summer it transforms itself into a top rated family vacation destination. As the locals like to say, "Breckenridge: Perfect Mountain. Perfect Mountain Town. Especially in the Summer." Rent a budget timeshare in this beautiful Rocky Mountain historical town, and see how kid-friendly it is in the summer time.

Located high up in the mountains, summer temperatures here are just right, as Goldilocks would say - not too hot and not too cold. A light jacket might be a good idea for those occasional mountain thunderstorms and cool evenings, but otherwise shorts and flip-flops would be in order.

Every member of the family will find plenty of fun summer things to do in Breckenridge. Your Breckenridge timeshare resort will offer such things as swimming pools and tennis courts. The surrounding area offers hiking, horseback riding and fly fishing, amongst breathtaking mountain scenery. For mountain biking enthusiasts there are a wide network of trails of varying levels of difficulty, with the convenience of lift access on Peak 8 via the Colorado SuperChair. Maps and bike rentals are available, of course.

And you won't want to miss taking the kids to Peak 8 for the Fun Park opening June 18, 2010 (see photo). Start with the Alpine Super Slide for an exciting ride that the teens will love and even little ones as young as 2 can ride with an adult. The more experienced riders will enjoy hurtling along the Giant Slalom track with its multiple dips.

The Fun Park has a Climbing Wall that will test the strength and agility of just about everyone in the family, in a safe and user-friendly environment. With three different routes of difficulty, even a youngster that weighs at least 30 pounds can join in the fun.

Another Fun Park activity that the entire family can enjoy together is the Super Putt mini golf course. Advertised as "High Alpine Golf with a View" this is actually quite a challenging course with lots of fun twists and turns.

"AMAZE'n Breckenridge" is Colorado's largest human maze. The kids will love trying to beat the clock as they scramble through this zany two-level entanglement. The Sky Fly Power Trampoline is jumping with a twist - you'll be in a special harness with a bungee cord system. How high can you fly?! This is another activity safe for children weighing 30 pounds or more.

For kids 12 and under the Bounce House will work off some of that extra energy. And when it's time for quieter pursuits, let the kids pan for gem stones, and the entire family will enjoy a scenic chairlift ride.

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Affordable Travel for Your Destination Wedding

PhotobucketSummer is also known as "Wedding Season," especially the months of May and June. As you plan your big day, consider a "destination wedding." Becoming more and more popular, destination weddings can be anywhere, just so it's out of town and thus as fun for the bride and groom as for "out of town" guests.

This kind of wedding can be more affordable than you might think when you plans include renting timeshares. Here are some reasons why a timeshare wedding is the way to go:
  • A timeshare rental is easy on the budget for your guests who have families and need to find accommodations that include room for their children.

  • Friends, and relatives, can share a timeshare (you can find units that sleep up to 8) and thus they, too, can cut lodging costs dramatically.

  • Each timeshare comes with a living room, allowing space for comfort and relaxation, unlike a cramped hotel room.

  • The fully-equipped kitchen not only saves money on the cost of meals, but is also convenient for breakfasts and snacks.
And consider that the timeshares will be attached to the resort. That means you don't have to plan some way of entertaining your guests every minute. With swimming pools, hot tubs, often tennis courts, golf courses, arcade game rooms, and arts and crafts available, your guests will have plenty to keep them busy while they wait for your “Big Day”!

There are timeshare rentals available in such a wonderful variety of locations that you will easily find the perfect destination that suits you. Hawaii and the Caribbean are two places that embody "Romance." If you rent your own timeshare with back to back weeks, you can stay on for your honeymoon, and that would save you money in your wedding budget, too. A Mexico timeshare in locations such as Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun are also great wedding/honeymoon destinations. Even your guests with families will find these "romantic" spots very kid-friendly.

If you're dreaming of sugary sand beaches and turquoise jeweled water but feel that a Caribbean timeshare or Hawaii timeshare is too far, look no further than Florida. The Paradise Coast on the state's west Gulf side has some of the most stunning tropical beaches in the world. Florida's panhandle also offers white sands and emerald waves and there are so many Florida timeshares to choose from.

The promise of warm weather and the chance that most out-of-town guests will be able to attend are why summer weddings are so popular. A timeshare destination wedding, no matter where it is, will make YOU popular! Enjoy planning your Big Day!