Travel to the Garden Island of Kauai

When you think of a Hawaiian vacation, most people travel to Oahu or Maui. If you’ve visited those two beautiful islands already and you’re ready to continue exploring all Hawaii has to offer, rent a timeshare on the Garden Island of Kauai. You may hear yourself saying "I can't believe anything is this beautiful!"

Kauai is called the Garden Island for a very good reason, because it is covered in lush tropical vegetation. Visit beautiful rainforests complete with climbing vines and wild orchids; swim out to refreshing waterfalls; and enjoy miles and miles of swaying coconut palms.

How is Kauai so different? This island offers many opportunities for spectacular scenery not seen on any of the other Hawaiian islands. Waimea Canyon (see photo) is one of those sites that you must see. Known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, you’ll be in awe of its deep chasms and lush, colorful, tropical foliage.

Get dirty and have fun at the Mud Bug tour. Starting out in the village of Poipu, where you can visit the endangered Monk seals, your tour will take you past an old sugarcane factory, through a tunnel and all the way up to a waterfall and pool near the town of Wailua. It’s the dirt roads you’ll travel on that can make the adventure a little muddy, since Hawaii often gets quick rain showers throughout the day.

A visit to Spouting Horn will show you ocean water shooting high up through an ancient lava tube. Take a boat tour up the Wailua River, or, go kayaking to the Fern Grotto. Ha'ena State Park offers many dry and wet caves or visit the historic Kilauea Lighthouse (see photo), a symbol of the town; and the one the island's best loved places.

A Kauai timeshare rental will give you a center point to set out on your daily adventures around the island. Relax and spread out in your spacious timeshare resort and take in the beauty that the islands have to offer.

(Photos courtesy of and

How to have an Affordable Vacation in New York City

Did you know that all of New York City's boroughs are actually islands, except the Bronx? Each of these 5 distinct neighborhoods has a lot to offer the NYC vacationer. And even though it is one of the largest cities in the world, visiting New York City doesn't have to break the bank. Combine a budget New York City timeshare rental and these budget New York City activities and you have yourself an affordable vacation in a big city!
  1. Brooklyn Bridge
    With all of those islands you can imagine that NYC is full of bridges, and this is the most iconic (see photo). Named both a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, this famous suspension bridge has a pedestrian/bike pathway in the center of the bridge above the vehicle lanes. Take a free stroll across the bridge for not only a spectacular view of the East River and the Manhattan skyline, but a chance to see this beautiful 19th century bridge up close.

  2. Parks
    For a huge urban area NYC has out-done itself in providing open green areas, and parks abound through-out the city. Central Park, the most famous, has over 30 free children's playgrounds. In Bryant Park, also in Manhattan, you can see free movies on the lawn in the summer, presented by HBO, and also Good Morning America's free summer concert series.

    In Queens the Flushing Meadows Corona Park is where you can enjoy the budget-friendly Queens Wildlife Center (children 3-12 are just $2.00). Here North American animals are exhibited on naturalistic grounds, "allowing an unusual intimacy between visitors and animals." The Children's Farm offers exhibitions of domestic animals.

  3. Staten Island Ferry
    This is just about the best deal going in all of NYC. Ride the ferry back and forth from Manhattan to the borough of Staten Island across exciting New York Harbor - for free. You'll pass close by the Statue of Liberty, see views of Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyscrapers, and be part of the boat and ship activity in the harbor.

  4. Take the Subway
    How to get around to all of these budget-friendly places in New York City? If you'd prefer not to drive in downtown traffic, and forego those expensive cab rides, NYC is still easy to get around by using its great public transportation system. A ride on the subway is easy, inexpensive, and it will give the kids a thrill to "ride in a hole in the ground." And it's budget-friendly - just $2.25 per ride (or, you might even qualify for reduced prices - be sure and check.)
As you can see, a timeshare rental family vacation to New York City can be fun, dazzling, entertaining, educational - and very budget-friendly!

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Do you Need Travel Insurance?

Now that hurricane season in underway, it's a good time to talk about travel insurance. Data on hurricanes is iffy at best, and throughout the season no one really knows how many there'll be, where they'll hit, or what their impact will be. You'd like to plan a timeshare rental vacation to one of Florida's beautiful beaches, or to the Caribbean, or even to Hawaii or Mexico, and you can't sit around waiting for exact information on hurricanes and tropical storms. So, you head for your timeshare beach vacation anyway - and the odds are you'll have a great vacation with no hurricane in sight.

But, of course, you never know. That's where travel insurance can come in mighty handy. Travel insurance is also handy for other potential problems such as earth quakes, severe flooding, or tsunami - when you could require emergency evacuation.

You might want to consider travel insurance for the following contingencies:
  1. Trip Cancellation - if you are prevented from taking a trip for a covered reason such as mandatory evacuation of your destination.

  2. Trip Interruption - helpful if you have to cut a trip short, and might also compensate for any additional transportation costs.

  3. Trip Delay - can compensate for incurred expenses such as accommodations, meals and transportation if you are delayed more than 6 hours.
  4. Evacuation you might need emergency medical evacuation back home. Or, a prime example of this is the tourists who were caught in Haiti after the devastating earthquake were able to leave the country via private evacuation planes.

  5. The Unexpected Medical emergencies, automobile accidents, and even a natural disaster at home before you leave.
Be aware that purchasing a full travel insurance policy may be unnecessary if you already have some protection. For example, many credit cards also provide holders with travel protection benefits such as coverage for lost bags, and even trip interruption or cancellation. Also check with your automobile, home owners, and medical insurance policies.

Make sure you always read the fine print in any travel insurance policy, especially to know exactly what it won't cover, such as normal weather conditions (a rainy day), changing your mind about the trip, preexisting health conditions, and voluntarily going into a war zone (although some policies do have terrorist clauses). You may or may not be covered for hazardous pursuits such as extreme skiing, mountain climbing, etc.

So don't sit at home afraid to travel during hurricane season or any other time - or to any place. Take precautions, research travel insurance policies, and then head out on your timeshare vacation ready to relax, have fun, and generally be glad you went!

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Travel with kids can be a fun experience, but it's also challenging. Kids have an attention-span that needs constant maintenance. On your way to your timeshare rental vacation, what do you bring along to keep your youngsters occupied? Like most of us, the odds are that your arsenal contains lots of electronic gizmos - DVD players and games and the like., which offers "Tips from a Traveling Family," suggests that besides all of the electronics, boring in-flight movies, and mind-numbing car "I Spy" games, there are fun "non-electronic" items that the kids will thank you for bringing along. These can easily be used in the car or on the plane, and most certainly at your spacious timeshare rental.
  1. Lacing Toys
    These are the easy "it's sewing but not really" cards, often in the shapes of animals, where your kids pull yarn through holes along the edges. Children get a big kick out of seeing how their handiwork makes the designs "come to life" with brightly colored borders of laced yarn. For small hands this can be a real challenge and so can take up some good time.

  2. Books
    Far from going obsolete, as some fear, books are still a favorite toy for children. Bring along a few of their favorite "bedtime stories," and add to those a selection of Activity Books. Many an hour will be spent doing dot-to-dot pictures, scrambling through mazes, and coloring fun scenes. There are also many books available that weave educational teaching, such as arithmetic or science, into the fun activities.

  3. Dry-erase Magnet Boards
    These do double-duty as the kids can play with magnet characters, inventing stories and adventures, and then switch to drawing or writing, or even playing tic-tac-toe, with the dry erase markers and easy clean up. Find the ones that come with good quality carrying bags in which to keep everything.

  4. Figurines and Cars
    Easily packed and providing hours of fun, these are great for both boys and girls. Is your little princess into Disney's Princesses? Bringing along Cinderella, Snow White and the whole gang will certainly send your little one on a grand Fantasyland journey. For the boys, there's always excitement in racing matchbox cars across your timeshare kitchen floor. Both sexes will enjoy Legos and the creative focus it takes to build anything - including their own figurines and cars - their imaginations can come up with. You can find Legos in handy carrying cases.

When given the opportunity, your kids will enjoy using their own creative powers and imaginations, and both of you will discover that these kinds of activities and toys go a long way toward keeping little minds and hands happily busy on every timeshare vacation.

Travel to Spain is Back in Vogue

Spain is back in vogue again, so says an international travel news report. After the economic downturn of the past couple of years, Spain is once again seeing a resurgence of tourism, mainly to its sunny Mediterranean locals. Traditionally, Spain is the third most visited country in the world, after France and the United States. There are timeshare rentals, exchanges and even resales all available to you in Spain at Ibiza and Mallorca, where you can enjoy all that a great Mediterranean vacation has to offer.

Exchange your timeshare for a fun and exciting stay on Ibiza (see photo), one of Spain's Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Ibiza is an especially beautiful island with hidden cove beaches, high towering cliffs and a dense covering of pine trees.

Its capital, Ibiza-Town, is one of Europe's oldest towns, and was founded by the Carthaginians as an important fortress. Today the town is a holiday destination for the world's rich and famous. Very well known for its nightlife and party atmosphere, officials have been working to create family-friendly activities as well.

There are several timeshare rentals, as well as resales, available on Mallorca, another of Spain's spectacular Mediterranean Balearic Islands. Mallorca has more than 70 beaches ranging from vast bays to tiny rocky coves. The main tourist beaches offer water sports including windsurfing, water skiing, and parasailing.

When visiting Mallorca you might want to rent a car to explore the north side of the island. Here you'll have access to the beautiful Tramuntana Mountains, the "life blood" of Mallorca. There are many public hiking trails available, as well as guided hikes off the beaten path. The trails take you from olive groves into pine and oak forests, and past relics of Mallorca's cultural past including remnants of ancient snow huts, lime kilns and terraces.

When you don't want to drive, you can view Mallorca's natural beauty by riding on the Sollier Railway, a vintage train made of solid mahogany, as it leisurely travels about 30 miles through the Tramuntana Mountains.

According to the Mallorcan Tourist Board, the island has over 2500 restaurants. When you want a break from your timeshare kitchen you'll have plenty of eateries from which to choose. Mallorca has a distinctive culinary tradition including Sobrassada (a sausage) and Arros Brut (saffron rice cooked with chicken, pork and vegetables). You'll especially enjoy Ensaïmada, a sweet pastry dating back to the 17th century, often topped with apricots or filled with sweet cream and chocolate or almond paste.

So plan a timeshare vacation to sunny Spain, where, if you're lucky, you might even get to see the miles of almond orchards bursting with bright pink blossoms along the azure blue Mediterranean coast.

(Photo provided by

Rent a Timeshare in the City

When going on vacation, beaches and mountain towns are great, but, don’t forget about a trip to the city! Rent a timeshare in the city and enjoy great museums, fine dining and local attractions.

Because city timeshare rentals are typically not attached to large resorts, they may not be able to offer as many amenities, like kids clubs and on site activities, but with the excitement of the bustling city around you, you won’t need it. Plus, the buildings the timeshare resides are often beautiful and historic with a quaint style and charm you won’t see at a Hotel chain. Here are a few suggestions for top timeshares in 3 different big cities.

new york Pictures, Images and PhotosNew York City
Whether you come to the Big Apple to go to the theater, to museums, to Lincoln Center, to Carnegie Hall, - it's all convenient to your Manhattan timeshare rental. Enjoy fine dining, premiere shopping or visit the well known Central Park. Stay at The Manhattan Club in the heart of downtown New York for a spacious timeshare unit. Guests often comment on the beauty of the elegant lobby and rave about the state-of-the-art Fitness Center, all in the middle of one of the world's most exciting cities. See all New York City timeshares.

PhotobucketSan Francisco
The Nob Hill District in San Francisco is a very upscale neighborhood close to Union Square shopping, Chinatown, and of course, the famous cable cars. Top it off with the stunning Grace Cathedral (see photo) and a gorgeous view and you’ll want to rent a timeshare at the Nob Hill Inn. Originally built in 1907 as a private home, it was owned over the years by railroad tycoons and gold speculators. A stay in this timeshare will make you feel as if you have been transported back to the elegance of San Francisco's Golden Era. See all San Francisco timeshares.

PhotobucketNew Orleans
Stroll Bourbon Street, or shop Canal Street and the Riverwalk Marketplace. When you stay at the Wyndham New Orleans at La Belle Maison all these famous sites are close by, including the famed French Quarter (see photo). Wyndham New Orleans is a modern resort inside a 100 year old historic building that once was the Franklin Printing Company. It has been meticulously restored to include traditional décor and a beautiful 8-story atrium adorned with skylights and wrought- iron railings. See all New Orleans timeshares.

Free Things to do in Orlando

Did you know that Orlando, the "Theme Park Capital of the World," is not just all theme parks? Not only are there numerous other fun, interesting and educational activities in Orlando, but many of these are free. Got your attention?! Rent an Orlando timeshare, and check this central Florida city out for its budget-friendly free offerings.

Originally a major citrus growing region, the Orlando metro area's population is now over 2 million. Today its major industry is tourism, but it is also the home to a major industrial and hi-tech center, as well as the University of Central Florida, the largest university in the state of Florida and among the largest in the United States.

With all of this diversity it's no wonder that the Orlando area offers many different types of activities and events to its visitors. The free ones include:
  1. Fort Christmas Historical Park
    Just 20 miles east of Orlando on the Space Coast in Christmas, FL, this is a replica of the original fort built here in 1837 during the Seminole Indian War (see photo). The 25-acre park also features seven pioneer homes, a sugar cane mill and historical farming equipment. There are beautiful picnic areas (pack a great lunch in your timeshare kitchen), volleyball and basketball courts, and a unique themed children's playground.

  2. Morse Museum of American Art
    Located in Winter Park, just 10 minutes from downtown Orlando, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany in existence. The exhibit includes everything from Tiffany's famed leaded-glass windows to glass buttons. While Tiffany's work is the centerpiece, the museum also exhibits a major collection of American art pottery, and fine collections of late-19th and early-20th century American paintings, graphics and the decorative arts.

  3. Orlando Brewery
    You adults will enjoy the free behind-the-scenes tour of this very popular brewery. It is Florida's only certified organic brewery, and brews "in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516, which means we use only natural, organic ingredients." The brewery is located near downtown Orlando, where you'll enjoy a calendar of events and live entertainment along with your tour.

  4. Central Florida Railroad Museum
    Another Winter Park attraction, this fun museum is housed in a former Tavares and Gulf depot that was built in 1913. Besides an exhibit of dining car china, you'll be able to get up close and personal to a number of "big boys," including a New York Central locomotive, a 1919 steam engine, and the huge "No.1835" locomotive donated by the U.S. Army.
So now you know that Orlando offers plenty of free activities to suit every member of your family on your timeshare vacation. Have fun!

(Photo provided by

Tips for Traveling with Seniors

PhotobucketHave you ever thought of traveling with the "senior" members in your family? Vacationing with elder family members might be thought of as a challenge, but it's one that has rich rewards and could be well worth it. In our fractured modern society there is less and less interaction with the older generation of our extended families, and we're the poorer for it. A timeshare rental is a made to order vacation when traveling with grandparents, great aunts and uncles or any senior member of the family.

Since your timeshare rental will most likely be attached to a resort, this offers everyone the chance to "do their thing." The kids can be as active as they want while the older adults can be as quiet as they choose. The extra bedrooms guarantee that every family member can go to bed when it suits them, and the extra living space means there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out and relax.

Barbara Riley, director of the Ohio Department of Aging, who was fortunate enough to be able to travel with her 80-year old mother, offers these tips to make the entire process enjoyable for everyone.

The first thing is communication, says Riley. During the planning stages spend A Lot of time talking about expectations so that on the actual vacation everyone knows the plans. This also gives your elderly companions the opportunity to voice their concerns and maybe even their own "wish list."

Be aware of the person's physical limitations and take into account that walking great distances will be a slower endeavor for them. The good news is that most travel providers are experienced with dealing with a variety of physical challenges. For example, if you'll be flying just notify the airline that you'll need a wheelchair at curbside, and your elder will be whisked to the plane with no strain whatever. And remember, if you'll be having layovers make sure you schedule plenty of time to get from one gate to the next.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your elderly relative is probably used to a set routine, so try to work with that. For example, if they expect to rest every afternoon, the other family members can plan more active things at that time out of the timeshare.

"One of the main things I had to learn when traveling with my mom was patience," says Riley. "She still wanted to see and do everything. We did - we just had to do it more slowly."

But it's all worth it, Riley reminds us. The chance to re-connect, hear family stories, learn about things you may not have known, is inestimable. It's a wonderful opportunity, and shouldn't be missed.

(Photo from

Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 3 (Extreme Rides)

Have one last wild fling at summer and plan a timeshare rental vacation where you can get the adrenalin rush of an extreme roller coaster ride. This is the last of our 3-Part series on exploring the best roller coasters in America as suggested by Arthur Levine, a travel writer and self-proclaimed "theme park-aholic." In Part 3 we are going to explode into the best of the Extreme roller coasters - these are what Levine calls the "merciless" ones.
  1. Rent an Orlando timeshare and head to Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando for a wild ride on The Incredible Hulk (see photo). "Not for the faint of heart," says Levine, "you haven't truly lived until you've experienced The Incredible Hulk's wild and unique uphill launch. It accelerates to 40 mph in approximately 2 seconds and then speeds through several inversions. When it opened in 1999 it featured the world's tallest cobra roll at 110 feet.

  2. A Boston timeshare rental will put you less than an hour's drive from Six Flags New England in Springfield, MA. This is where you'll find Bizarro, a hypercoaster of the best kind - it keeps you screaming up until the last second when the magnetic brakes slam on. "The high-speed first drop is pure coaster nirvana," says Levine. With a 70-degree angle of decent the train accelerates to nearly 80 mph. This amazing coaster has a height of 208 feet, but drops you 221 feet - straight into an underground, fog-enshrouded tunnel!

  3. Just an hour's drive from either a timeshare rental in New York City or an Atlantic City timeshare rental, the extreme coaster, Kingda Ka, is thrilling crowds at Six Flags Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. This "strata coaster" is currently the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. The train is launched by a hydraulic launch mechanism to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. At the end of the launch track, the train climbs the main tower, reaching a height of 456 feet.

  4. Intimidator 305, Kings Dominion, in Doswell, Virginia, is just over an hour from your Williamsburg, Virginia timeshare rental. Only one of currently three giga coasters in the world it opened in April, 2010. It's the tallest of its type on the East Coast (launch coasters can be taller, but this is the tallest of the traditional gravity driven coaster using a cable to pull it to the top). The first drop is 300 feet at an astounding 85-degree angle, and is the fastest coaster of its type in North America, getting up to 90mph.
"Why do we love roller coasters? Who knows? But, it seems, we can't get enough of them," sums up Arthur Levine.

Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 1 (Mild Rides)
Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 2 (Intermediate Rides)

(Photo courtesy of

Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 2 (Intermediate Rides)

In Part 2 of our 3-Part series on the best roller coasters in the U.S., Arthur Levine, travel writer and passionate "theme park-aholic," gives suggestions on where to find the "most underrated" roller coasters in America. Plan a timeshare rental vacation where you and your family can enjoy one of these "best kept secrets" of the roller coaster world.

Levine explains, "These underrated roller coasters don't get any respect. Maybe they're overshadowed by bigger, flashier coasters on the midway. Or perhaps they are located at smaller parks that are generally under the radar of most ride fans. Whatever the reason, the following coasters offer wonderful ride experiences."
  1. Rent a Myrtle Beach timeshare and enjoy one of the many resorts available in beautiful, South Carolina so you'll be ready to ride the Swamp Fox at Family Kingdom. This white-latticed 1966 figure-8 coaster reaches a height of 75 feet and a top speed of 50mph. It's a great "intermediate" roller coaster ride with "just enough out-of-control moments and airtime to deliver decent thrills," states Levine.

  2. A Branson timeshare rental in family-friendly, MO, will get you on the Powder Keg at Branson's great Silver Dollar City amusement park. This roller coaster, hidden in the Ozarks, uses an explosives factory theme for its compressed air launch that accelerates you from 0 to 53 mph in 2.8 seconds. It's a wild start that "is not so wild that it would only appeal to diehard thrill seekers," Levine explains. "To keep its family-friendly status, Powder Keg also foregoes any inversions, although it does feature some highly banked turns. In short, this is one blast of a ride."

  3. Scream! (see photo) is one of several roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA. Rent any number of southern California timeshares, and head to this great Six Flags park that started it all with extreme roller coasters. Levine says that while there are other coasters here that get more notoriety and publicity, Scream! is "the best of its breed - a floorless coaster with some serious attitude."

  4. Less than an hour from your Washington, D.C. area timeshare rental is Six Flags America in Mitchellville, MD, one of the smaller Six Flags parks. But here you'll find a thrilling classic wooden coaster, The Wild One, dating back to 1917. "Despite its vintage," says Levine, "this woodie remains surprisingly potent, even by modern thrill machine standards."
Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 1 (Mild Rides)
Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 3 (Extreme Rides)

Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 1 (Mild Rides)

Summer is winding down, so it's time for that one big last Hurrah. Plan a timeshare rental vacation for the entire family and go out with a sizzling roller coaster ride at a great theme park! This is Part 1 of a 3-Part series exploring top roller coaster rides in the U.S. as listed by Arthur Levine, an avowed "theme park-aholic" and travel writer.

In Part 1 we'll explore roller coasters that Levine recommends as good for "wimps" and others of us who have been afraid of them. These roller coasters will help you ease into the "thrill" of Thrill Rides.
  1. Rent an Anaheim timeshare and head to Disneyland for its Big Thunder Mountain (see photo) roller coaster ride. You can also ride it at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom with an Orlando timeshare rental. This is a robust roller coaster that gets up to 30mph, but has no super steep drops. The "runaway mine train" theme is chocked full of cute Disney touches, and if you keep your mind on watching for those the ride will be over before you know it, and you'll be standing in line to ride again.

  2. Space Mountain, also at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, is another "easy but thrill-filled" roller coaster recommended at this level by Levine. He describes it as "really just a tame steel coaster that pokes along at 29mph." Indoors and in the dark, the space theme has you hurtling through inky blackness dotted by stars, and with mostly twists and turns it’s a fun ride without the steep drops.

  3. The Flight of the Hippogriff at Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando, Florida, is part of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. Following along with the Harry Potter theme, Hagrid welcomes you to his Magical Creatures class as you climb aboard this "typical family coaster." The biggest drop is just 30 feet, and its top speed is 28mph. You can have a lot of fun with your younger kids on this ride, and use it as good practice on your way to wilder roller coaster adventures.

  4. If you really feel like you need to start out on a small ride, Levine recommends the Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster at Universal Studios Florida. "If Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain seem too daunting, you could start with this very tame ride that is barely a notch above a kiddie coaster," offers Levine.
Levine suggests that you progress in your "roller coaster training" step-by-step. After the family coasters, ride intermediate ones before attempting any of the hypercoasters with whacky features. "The best roller coasters turn knuckles white and induce screams," says Levine. "The trick is to acclimate slowly!"

Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 2 (Intermediate Rides)
Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 3 (Extreme Rides)

Travel to the Okinawan Festival this Labor Day

Hawaii is a timeshare rental vacation dream for many people, what with its sublime weather, tropical beauty, gorgeous beaches, and all kinds of outdoor activities. And there seems to always be something fun going on there! One of the most eagerly anticipated events of the summer by locals and visitors alike is the Okinawan Festival.

In 2010 this annual festival will be celebrated for the 28th time over Labor Day weekend at Kapiolani Park on Oahu. This gigantic event (it requires over 2000 volunteers) had humble beginnings when a local group of Okinawan women wanted to share Okinawa and its culture with the public. Hui O Laulima, the Okinawan women's group, held its "Cultural Jubilee," in 1971, which included a troupe of Okinawan dance masters sent over by the Japanese government.

The first Okinawan Festival was held in 1982 at McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Park. Over the years the numbers of programs and events have grown so that the Okinawan Festival is now a premiere annual Hawaiian event, attracting more than 50,000 visitors each year, and requiring the space of Hawaii's largest park, Kapiolani.

This year's Festival offers continuous entertainment programs at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand by Okinawan performers both Japanese and those native to Hawaii. There is also an opportunity for visitors to join in the festivities at the "Bon Dance." This traditional dance honors the ancestors, and is fun and easy to learn. Dress in your kimono and happi coat and dance the night away!

Many games, activities and craft classes will be offered for kids. For a fee, in the Cultural Tent, children can dress in the traditional Okinawan attire bingata (kimono) with a hanagasa (headdress), or as a paranku (drummer) and have a keepsake picture taken by a professional photographer.

Food booths will abound to let you sample traditional Okinawan cuisine, including the popular andagi (a delicious type of donut), and sobi noodles garnished with kamaboko (fishcake), and shoyu pork. You'll also want to try the Champuru Plate and the Yakitori Stick!

Attending this big event from your Oahu timeshare will be easy since the Festival organizers plan shuttle buses. You can park for free at Kapiolani Community College and ride roundtrip for just $1. The shuttle buses have storage compartments for such things as baby strollers and large bags.

(Photos provided by

Where to Golf on Your Hawaiian Vacation

Everybody knows about the golf courses in Palm Springs, and Florida, and Phoenix - but what do you know about the great golfing that Hawaii has to offer? The four major Hawaiian islands not only offer wonderful budget timeshare rentals, but awesome golf, too.

Here is a sampler of the many outstanding golf courses in Hawaii that are open to the public.

Prince Golf Course (see photo) at Princeville on Kauai is considered the "Number 1 Golf Course in Hawaii." The magnificent views from 300 feet above the ocean certainly accounts for part of that acclaim, but the main attraction is the course design by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., who "turned rolling terrain into a links-style golf course that will challenge you like no other." One reviewer said, "Tough as nails but lots of different kinds of shots to be played and pretty as can be." There are many budget timeshare rentals available in Princeville, including the gorgeous beachfront Hanalei Bay Resort, and the beautiful Cliffs at Princeville.

Big Island
Another Robert Trent design, the Waikola Village Golf Club, on the Big Island, extends across the foothills of Mauna Kea and overlooks the beautiful Kohala Coast. Here Trent wove the natural assets of the amazing landscape into a challenging course. A reviewer says, "This is challenging, but good for novices, too. It has some spectacular views of the ocean and of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa." Locals often consider Waikola Village Golf Club one of Hawaii’s best-kept secrets. Timeshare rentals are available near Waikola village Golf Club at the HGVC at Waikoloa Beach Resort, and The Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach, among others.

A short 10 miles from Lahaina on Maui is the Kahili Golf Course at Wailuku. This relatively inexpensive course is a favorite of visitors and locals alike. A picturesque course with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and regal Haleakala, it's world-class layout and elevation changes challenge all levels of golf expertise. This is what one reviewer said, "The course was in beautiful shape and presented a tough but fair challenge to us as average golfers. The views were unbelievable - be sure to bring your camera." Lahaina timeshare rental choices include the Kaanapali Beach Club, and the 5-star Kahana Beach Vacation Club, both offering budget rental prices.

Head to the eastern shore of Oahu for the Ko'olau Golf Club in Kaneohe. This Dick Nugeunt-designed course, named by Golf Digest as a top golf course in Hawaii, was actually carved out of a tropical rainforest and features stunning views of sparkling waterfalls. A reviewer said, "Superb challenge...every hole deal on the island for locals and visitors alike." Kaneohe is within easy driving distance of numerous Oahu timeshare rentals.

(Photo provided by

Labor Day in Los Angeles

Are you looking for some ideas on where and how to spend Labor Day Weekend 2010? A great suggestion is to rent a timeshare in southern California, where you'll find this final summer holiday fairly hopping with things to do.

Catch a Labor Day Parade that is based on the historical reason for Labor Day - to honor the working classes of America. On Monday, September 6, the LA/Long Beach Labor Coalition, along with celebrities who belong to the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Screen Actors Guild, will march in a grand parade through the town of Wilmington, to Banning Park where a rally will include speakers, music, and free hot dogs.

Saturday, September 4th, is when the annual KJAZZ Blues Bash lets loose at Cal State Long Beach's Carpenter Center. Not only will you enjoy great jazz, but there will be a free street festival with more music outside the Center.

Everyone is up for a great County Fair, so come on out to the Los Angeles County Fair which starts its month-long run on Labor Day Weekend. A great kid-friendly event, highlights include pirate activities, dog agility competitions, livestock shows, cow and goat milking, animal petting, horse racing, and even a circus with performing elephants.

If you want to stick close to the beach, Fiesta Hermosa is for you. Held over the entire 3-day Labor Day Weekend on Hermosa Beach Pier, this exciting arts and crafts festival also has live music and even a kiddie carnival.

Getting a jump on Labor Day Weekend, the Taste of Beverly Hills starts on Thursday, September 2nd, and goes through Saturday, September 4th. This is without a doubt a high-end way to celebrate the end of summer, with sample tastings from top Beverly Hills and L.A. restaurant chefs, along with a Wine Festival. Each session will have a different agenda of cooking demonstrations and competitions, and all of it is accompanied by music - both D.J. and live entertainment.

The Orange International Street Fair held in the City of Orange starts Friday, September 4th and goes through Sunday, September 6th, with a wonderful variety of cultural entertainment. Nine stages include an Irish Stage, a Greek Stage, and a Polynesian Stage, as well as a Children's stage with fun activities for all of the younger set. Samplings of food from the many different international cultures will also be available. This is a great kid-friendly event during the day, but it's best to keep the little ones away at night.

All of these events are within easy driving distances of most southern California timeshare rentals. The hardest thing will be choosing what to do!

The Airship Could be the Latest in Passenger Travel

Airplane designers and manufacturers such as Boeing and AirBus are constantly working toward "Greener" aircraft that are more fuel efficient, quieter, and leave a smaller carbon footprint across our world (see our post on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner). In this perpetual search a few designers are re-thinking the airship. Yes, that's right - the airship, otherwise known as a zeppelin, is now hovering on the horizon as the next modern means of passenger travel and cargo transport.

Already the U.S. Army is investing in the concept. In June it awarded Northrop Grumman a $517 million contract to build three "Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle" hybrid airships. For military use airships make a lot of sense, since they can hover at 20,000 ft and linger over target areas collecting intelligence data.

Where the military leads, commercial enterprise often follows. Britain's Hybrid Air Vehicles plans to create the world's largest airship. "It's a hybrid because we're combining helium lift, aerodynamic lift, a hovercraft landing system with vectored thrust," said Gordon Taylor, HAV's marketing chairman. Taylor has a vision of a new age of airships for travel, with hundreds of passengers floating their way across the Atlantic.

The newspaper, The U.K. Telegraph, reports that the new generation of airships update the old technology with "Green": ultra-lightweight, UV-proofed, super-strong polyester, a high-tech shape that provides its own lift, fiber-optic controls, vectored thrust and the hovercraft landing system.

An airship in the U.S. is already flying and taking passengers. The Farmer's Insurance Company, in partnership with Airship Ventures, owns and operates the Zeppelin Eureka, which will be on tour through-out the northwest during August and September, 2010. The Farmer's airship is 15 feet longer than a 747 and 50 feet wider than the largest blimp. A zeppelin has a rigid internal structure, unlike a blimp.

"Flying on a Zeppelin captures the original romance of flight, so often lost in this day of getting from A to B in the fastest time possible," Airship Ventures Chief Executive Officer Alexandra Hall said in a news release. "Barnstorming the Pacific Northwest gives us an opportunity not only to embark on a fabulous journey and introduce the airship to new fans, but also to remind people how magical soaring in the skies can be."

Whether it's on a Dreamliner or a Zeppelin, there's no doubt that future air travel to your timeshare is sure to be, well - Futuristic! And a whole heck of a lot of fun.

(Photo provided by

Hotels vs. Timeshares – What’s Your Choice?

This guest post was provided by Tom Tessin. He runs FindAirlineCards, an airline reward / travel blog helping travelers save on a daily basis.

When I first heard about timeshares, I always thought about scams. I thought about the hard pushing salesperson, as well as if it’s really worth it with all the fees. After doing some research, I have found that there are some great opportunities out there when it comes to timeshares.

Today, I wanted to showcase on some comparisons with hotels vs. timeshares. They both have their advantages, but I will let you be the judge on what is going to work best for you and your vacations.

  • Cheaper in the Long Run
    A timeshare is going to be an upfront payment, which many people don’t like, but if you buy them second hand on the timeshare resale market, you can find that you can get up to 80% off, which is a fantastic deal. From my studies online, it looks as if as you can recoup your money over 10 years time, making it a worthwhile investment, seeing a hotel will increase in price over time.

  • Nice Amenities with a Timeshare
    Yes, there are nice hotels that allow you to have a kitchen and everything else, but generally they are hard to come by. What you’re going to find with a timeshare is that you’re going to get some of the best hotels when it comes to traveling. If you book early enough, you can get the hotel stay during peak times. You will find that many of your timeshare condos have full bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, balconies, washer / dryers and more.

  • You’re not Limited
    While at first you may think that you are limited to just the resort you purchased, you actually have a wide range of choices through timeshare exchange. If you want to visit different places, simply choose a web site, such as, to post your property up for exchange and browse their selection to find your new travel destination for just one vacation or do it every year and see the world.
  • No Annual Recurring Fees
    Something that could be considered a drawback with a timeshare is the recurring annual fees. You’re going to have to pay taxes, maintenance fees, as well as a transfer fee (in some cases) if you do decide to sell in the future. If you travel each year, you will find that these fees will be worth it, but if you skip a year here and there, a hotel stay might be better for you.

  • Flexibility of Days
    With a timeshare, you have to travel weekend to weekend with a full 7 day stay. Often times airfares are cheaper when you fly mid-week so with a hotel stay, you can be much more flexible in choosing which days and how long you’d like to stay. Plus, you can be more spontaneous in your travel arrangements by using a hotel. Ready to take a trip? Just make a reservation at the drop of a hat. Even with timeshare rental, it would be hard to make a quick reservation with only a few days notice.
If you are considering buying a timeshare, always make sure that you do your research. They more you know, the better educated and informed decision you can make that will suit your vacation needs now and for years to come. And, if timeshares are something you’d like to try, rent one first at your favorite resort and make sure it’s a good fit before you put your money down.

Where to Get Haute Ice Cream in Honolulu

One definition for the word "haute" is "fashionably elegant." Since just being in Hawaii is pretty special, how would you like to add to the fun and check out some "Haute" ice cream places? Rent an Oahu timeshare for your haute Hawaii vacation, and follow these suggestions from Haute Living Magazine for the "Top 5 Haute Ice Cream Shops in Honolulu." Bear in mind that much of what is called ice cream in Hawaii is actually its famed "shave ice."
  1. Waiola Bakery & Shave Ice, 525 Kapahulu Avenue. Conveniently located near Waikiki, you'll enjoy shave ice at its finest - literally. It's shaved so fine it's almost like powdery snow. Here besides the popular shave ice flavors of Lychee, Lilikoi and Li hing mui, you are encouraged to create your own concoction - no matter how weird!

  2. Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream,1010 University Avenue. For the past 23 years real premium gourmet ice cream has been made here in "nibbles" - bite-sized portions. The ice cream is wrapped in a sweetened rice confection, resulting in a yummy "mochi" ice cream finger food. These incredible little morsels are available in 20 different flavors, including azuki bean, and a special flavor of the month.

  3. Lappert's Ice Cream Shoppe, 3077 Koapaka Street (see photo). Originating in a tiny storefront in sleepy Hanapepe Town on Kauai, Lappert's now has six Ice Cream Shoppe locations across Maui, Oahu and Kauai (one right in the Hilton Hawaiian Village). Mary and Walter didn't want to leave the Islands when here on vacation, so with Walter's European culinary background that included premium handmade ice creams, the couple built their dream life in Hawaii. Although their product line has increased to include gourmet coffees and bakery goods, it's all still made in small batches every day in Hanapepe.

  4. Cold Stone Creamery, 310 Kamakee Street. This ice cream store is famous for its blended ice cream creations that are mixed to your specifications right in front of you on a frozen granite stone. For the past 20 years founders Don and Susan Sutherland have considered themselves "ice cream artists" as they mix - "if you want it in your ice cream you get it" - nuts, fruits, candy and anything else you can think of, to make your very own ice cream concoction.

  5. Matsimoto Shave Ice. Perhaps the most famous shave ice establishment in all of Hawaii is not in Honolulu, but on Oahu's North Shore. The store produces almost 1000 shave ice per day, and half of the customers are locals. "Hawaiian" shave ice is actually a Japanese invention. Dating back centuries, "kakigori" was created by shaving ice from large ice blocks by using ultra sharp Japanese swords. The delicious concoction gained world-wide popularity when Japanese workers immigrated to the Hawaiian Islands, taking their traditional dessert with them.

3 Family Friendly Kid Approved Beaches

Summer is beach vacation time - and summer isn't over 'til it's over. There's still plenty of time to get going on your family beach vacation by staying in a timeshare rental and discovering some of the best family-friendly, kid-approved beaches.
  1. Napili Beach, Hawaii
    Just about 5 miles from your Lahaina timeshare rental on Maui, this beach is popular with the locals and visitors alike who have children. For starters, its crescent shape makes it easy to keep an eye on the kids since the entire bay is visible from any point in the water.

    The beach is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and the gentle slope by the shoreline makes it a fun place for boogie boarding and body surfing. While the kids are running around you can relax with the other sunbathers, and be sure to stay for the sunset - Napili Beach is known for some of the most spectacular sunsets in Hawaii. Oh, and an added bonus for the kids - a cove full of turtles!

  2. Sanibel Island, Florida
    When you rent a timeshare on Sanibel Island, just off-shore of Fort Meyers (where there are also great timeshare rentals available) in the Gulf of Mexico, you are opening up the wonderful world of shelling to your youngsters.

    Sanibel beaches are known for their premium shelling, attracting visitors from all around the world. The extraordinarily large amount of shells that wash up on Sanibel Island is due to both it's unusual east-west orientation giving it wide sandy beaches, and the fact that the island is actually part of a Gulf of Mexico plateau that acts as a shelf, gathering sea shells. The "Beaches of Fort Meyers/Sanibel" web site has a great sea shell guide for downloading that will help your kids easily identify their treasures.

  3. Santa Monica Beach, California
    A timeshare rental just about anywhere in southern California will give you easy access to this world famous beach. The beach is wide and long, offering lots of room for the kids to run, build sand castles, and even play volleyball.

    The most kid-approved aspect of Santa Monica Beach, of course, is the amusement park at the Santa Monica Pier. The Santa Monica Hippodrome (carousel) is a National Historic Landmark and was seen in the movie "The Sting." And your kids will enjoy the fact that the party scene in "Hannah Montana the Movie" was all filmed on the pier. Other attractions along the pier include a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster, among numerous thrill rides. There is also an aquarium, and arcade, and street entertainers. All to be enjoyed amidst the smell of fresh salt air and the sound of crashing surf.

International Eating at Disney’s Epcot

Did you know that you can have your cake and eat it, too? Or at least a scone, crème brulee, mandarin duck - and the best part is that it doesn't have to break the bank. We're all still looking for economic ways of traveling and for many families the "world is your oyster" idea is still a bit on the expensive side. The answer - rent a budget-friendly Orlando timeshare or a Disney Timeshare and tour the world through food at Disney's Epcot.

And here's where the cake and mandarin duck come in - at Epcot you can experience the cuisines of many different countries without stepping one foot off America's shores. The countries that are showcased in Epcot provide opportunities to sample food that is not only culturally traditional, but is cooked, and served, by citizens of that country, under the Cultural Representative Program.

Would your family like to visit Paris? The "Chefs de France" restaurant is nestled under the French Pavilion's Eiffel Tower. Here the food is inspired by classical French Brasseries Bocuse. You can try such things as the crème brulee, profiteroles (see photo), and samples from an award-winning French wine list.

How about a trip to Japan? The Yakitori House is built in the style of a traditional Japanese Tea House and is located next to the Pagoda. Or try the Teppan Edo, a "teppanyaki" type restaurant where chefs prepare stir-fried foods right in front you.

When you head to Morocco you're in for a real treat. At the Restaurant Marrakesh not only will you enjoy Harira soup, Pastilla appetizers, and even lamb shish kabob, but you'll do it in a sultan's palace setting complete with Moroccan percussion music and entertainment by belly-dancers.

In Germany it's Oktoberfest every day of the year at the Biergarten Restaurant. While being entertained by ompa-pa bands and traditional folk dances you can sample classic schnitzel and strudel, and enjoy German beer served in one liter steins.

You'll sit down for Norway's "kingly" feast in a replica of a Norwegian medieval castle, complete with high cathedral ceilings and huge iron chandeliers. The Restaurant Akershus is a good choice for those in your family who are more adventurous. For example kjottkaker is a meatball with beets added, and Stravanger is a traditional drink of vodka, raspberry and lime. Try the Rice Cream or the Velied Meiden for dessert.

And don't forget the mandarin duck in China!

A timeshare rental and a fun trip around the world at Epcot can give your family a real global travel experience that is nice and easy on the budget.

Visit Polk County in Florida’s Beautiful Lake District

Polk County is one of Florida's best-kept secrets. Less than an hour's drive from Orlando, this Central Florida area is a beautiful lake district (over 500) full of natural wonders. A budget timeshare rental in Orlando will give your family the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities and adventure in scenic Polk County.

Over 90,000 acres of Polk County have been set aside for public enjoyment. The gently rolling hills are cut with orange groves and dotted with freshwater lakes. To assist all of you outdoor enthusiasts in enjoying central Florida to its best advantage, a new guide, "Celebrate Nature" is now available featuring all of the nature-based recreation opportunities in the area.

Obtained through the Central Florida Visitors and Convention Bureau this nature guide will point you in the direction of such fascinating places as the Ancient Islands that provide refuge for rare plant and animal species.

The guide will also tell you how to find Central Florida's best birding sites. Over 300 species of birds can be spotted in such places as Saddle Creek Park and the Circle B Bar Reserve.

The Circle B Bar Reserve is the centerpiece of Central Florida's nature-oriented activities, and is home to the Polk's Nature Discovery Center. Here your entire family will enjoy the wildlife viewing areas and tours. You are also invited to hike or bike through the 1,267 acres of the reserve, and beautiful picnic areas are available. The trails through the property will give you the opportunity to see many varieties of birds including sandhill cranes, bald eagles, and even long-legged wood storks. Along the shores of Lake Hancock are likely to be many alligator sightings.

While at the Discovery Center be sure to attend some of the workshops, including the popular Learning Tree, and experience the hands-on exhibits.

Besides the "Celebrate Nature" guide, you might want to also get the useful “It's waterproof!” Central Florida Lakes Map. This features the nearly 500 lakes available for fishing "The Bass Capital of the World," and other water sports through-out Central Florida.

Tours through Polk County's nature wonderland include Alligator Cove Excursions, Bass Fishing Charters, and Captain Fred's Airboat Nature Tours. Polk County and Central Florida definitely have outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone in your family. An Orlando timeshare rental vacation will not only give you the fun action of theme parks, but also the wonderful adventures that only nature can provide.

(Photo provided by

Family Travel: Children’s Museums

As we move into the last weeks of summer and school looms in the near future for most children, you still have time to plan a family timeshare rental vacation. Why not take the kids to a top-rated children's museum? It'll remind the kids that learning can be really fun. Family Magazine has these suggestions:
  1. The Children's Museum, Boston (BCM). Rent a Boston timeshare and your kids, ages 2-8, will have a blast at BCM, that:

    • Created the award-winning "Arthur's World" exhibit, where kids can role-play, read, or write in the character's favorite settings, like the Read Family Kitchen.

    • Has a stage like one in an opera house, where visitors 2 to 6 can perform.

    • Teaches children about Japanese culture in a two-story silk merchant's home.

    BCM is one of the few museums with many activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Most of the activities for younger kids, including infants, are found in the museum's 4,500-square-foot PlaySpace area, which the museum recently redesigned based on the latest research in early childhood education.

  2. Port Discovery, Baltimore, MD. Baltimore is only a 45-minute drive from Washington, D.C. timeshare rentals in Alexandria, VA, and Ft. Washington, MD. After spending a few days visiting D.C.'s monuments and museums, take the kids to Balitmore's children's museum (best for kids 6-12) that:

    • Features KidWorks, a three-story treehouse where children can crawl through tunnels, cross a narrow rope bridge, and play in a room full of balls.

    • Teaches kids to make a paper mache balloon that resembles the museum's HiFlyer hot air balloon.

    • Hands out PD Kid Club communicators, wireless devices that make the exhibits even more interactive.

    One of the nation's newest children's museums, Port Discovery aims to bring kids' dreams to life. For example, the new HiFlyer hot air balloon gives children a 15-minute ride above the city's family-friendly Inner Harbor area.

  3. Brooklyn Children's Museum, NYC (see photo). There are a number of NYC timeshare rentals to chose from, and this museum is great for any child aged 2 - 12. This is the oldest children's museum in the country, founded in 1899, and it:

    • Features a new 1,700-square-foot Totally Tots area, where little ones can enjoy adventures in the Baby Patch, Sand Spot, and Peek-A-Boutique.

    • Schedules plays, concerts, and many other performances during the summer months in its rooftop theater.

    • Holds nearly 27,000 cultural and natural history objects, including dinosaur footprints, shadow puppets from Indonesia, and meteors.

    This museum offers the award-winning Museum Team program, which allows children as young as 7 to visit the museum unaccompanied by an adult and participate in artist and science residency programs, peer tutoring, and other educational activities.

Relax at the Mandara Spa at Hilton Hawaiian Village

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel and Timeshare Resort in Oahu, Hawaii, is a stunning property with endless things to do and see on your vacation. See our previous post The Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu Has It All. If you are looking for the ultimate pampering experience, do yourself a favor and schedule a massage or facial treatment at the Mandara Spa where the décor and ambiance is pure luxury. Treat yourself to one of their many services and enjoy a relaxing vacation like no other.

As you arrive at the spa to check in for your massage service, you will be asked to select a scented oil from their collection of 4 unique fragrances. This oil will be used to enhance your relaxation during your treatment. Once you are checked in, 30 minutes early, you then have the time to enjoy either the steam room or Jacuzzi tub before your massage begins.

If you prefer to have a massage service in your room, additional charges apply. You can even request an oceanview cabana massage to relax with a beautiful ocean view and sounds of the waves crashing during your service.

For additional treatments to add onto your massage, try some reflexology to release blockages and renew energy flow within your body, or experience some hot stone therapy as heated rocks soothe your stress and relieve muscular tension aches and pains. There is also body polishing seaweed massage, coconut rub and milk ritual wrap or a tropical body scrub to choose from. The more delightful treatments you choose, the more pampered and relaxed you will become.

In addition to massage, you can also experience a variety of facial treatments, beauty services and even workout in their fitness center.

So, if you want to make this Oahu Timeshare vacation truly memorable, treat yourself to the ultimate in relaxation and luxury and visit the Mandara Spa where their nurturing services will help you transcend and transform yourself.