A 2012, New York-state-funded study found 10 per cent of Americans are recovering from addiction to alcohol or drugs. But dining and wining are an integral part of many peoples’ travel. Now there are several tour companies that specialize in trips where alcohol isn’t on tap.
Your hotel mini-bar is stocked with beer, wine and hard stuff. Some hotels greet you with a complimentary glass of wine or Champagne when you arrive to check in. Some cruises and those all-inclusive resorts proffer all the drinks you can handle—and then some—as part of the price of admission.
Temptations are everywhere, but book at tour with Sober Vacations International, Travel Sober, Sober Celebrations, or the Clean Fun Network, and many of those temptations will be removed. You won’t be sitting with groups of people ordering cocktails, your mini-bar won’t have alcohol in it, and you might even be steered toward hotels where you don’t have to walk through the bar to reach the elevator.
There’s a wide range of prices and destinations, from the Galápagos Islands to a Club Med sans booze.
Fox News article by Zach Everson, “Traveling On the Wagon: How Companies Cater to Sober Tourists”
Ride in some taxis these days, pay with a credit or debit card, and you may see a screen that makes it easy for you to add a tip of 15, 20, or 25 per cent. That’s just one way the digital age gets you to tip more than you ever have before.
Nir Eyal blogs about the psychology of products, and he joined me on my weekend radio show recently to talk about how technology is extracting more money from our wallets rather painlessly.
The rule of thumb has been to tip American cab drivers 10 per cent of the fare. But when you’re in a hurry and you have three choices on a screen beginning with 15 per cent, you’re more likely to tip more generously. Oh, you can tip less, but that requires a lot more steps at a time you’re probably in a hurry to get about your business.
One study found that when presented with pre-loaded tip amounts, folks tend to tip 38 per cent more than when cash changes hands. It’s why casinos give you chips—you don’t feel the money being sucked out of your wallet quite as much when you’re proffering chips or plastic to pay for something.
Think about it.
The cost of visiting Disney World just hit three figures for visitors age 10 and over. But as one Orlando amusement parks expert asks, “How much is too much to spend a day in the world’s happiest place?”
You can answer that yourself, but right now, it’ll cost you $105 per person to attend Disney World for a day. That’s up from $99 last year.
Kelly Monaghan writes and publishes authoritative guides to Orlando amusement parks, and he says Disney raises admission prices every year, and every year its parks set new attendance records. This year’s price rise, by the way, was across the board, not just specific to Orlando.
His suggestions for visiting Disney World? Start by figuring out your budget, than add 50 per cent. Use an experienced Disney-smart travel agency to help plan your trip. He suggests Mouse Fan Travel that you can check out here. And remember, when you add more days to your Disney “Park Hopper” pass, the cost-per-day goes down.
Monaghan’s latest edition of his guide to Universal Orlando, titled simply Universal Orlando, is now out. He suggests you not miss the new addtion to the Harry Potter attraction there.
There’s a hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY, that wants to take the sting out of negotiating a divorce settlement. For $5,000 for a weekend, you and your about-to-be former spouse check in, and when you check out, things should be nicely settled.
Call it the Divorce Hotel.
The hotel is actually the Gideon Putnam Resort, and Saratoga Springs is a beautiful part of New York State. And by arrangement, you can check in for a weekend to hammer out a divorce settlement. Your $5,000 buys the services of mediator Michele Martin as well as a lawyer for each of you, two separate rooms, and—if you choose—spa treatments, fireside dinner dates, and any number of leisure activities.
You’ll be welcomed with a basket of sparkling water, red wine, dark chocolate, and other swag as well as a Divorce Hotel information packet.
Before you book your stay, the mediator will talk to both parties to be sure they want to reach an amicable settlement, and they’ll be told what documents to bring. You can also bring your own lawyer, too, if you don’t want a hotel-appointed lawyer. This is a bit more common in Europe, where it’s offered in six cities and reports indicate a 98% success rate.
You can check out details at here.
If you’re traveling with a dog and check into the Aloft Ashville Hotel, your pup gets a plush bed, dog bowls, and a bag of organic gourmet dog biscuits from a local bakery as well as dog toys.
You’ll also find a lovable dog in the hotel’s lobby, and that dog is part of the hotel’s foster dog program. Working with a local animal rescue facility, the hotel decided to help place abandoned dogs in homes. So that dog in the lobby can be adopted, and since the program began last July, 20 dogs have been.
You don’t just fall in love with Fido and take him home. If you’re visiting from out of town, a Humane Society or local rescue group will visit you and your home and make sure everything is up and up before your dog is released to join you or your family.
Aloft is the boutique hotel brand of Starwood hotels, and while all Alofts are pet friendly, the Aloft Asheville Hotel is more than most.