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Archive for the ‘TravelMuse News’ Category

Sep
21

Boardwalk Empire Vintage Subway Cars in NYC

This weekend is the season premiere of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the 1920’s gangster show set in Atlantic City, New Jersey. To kick off the premiere, the New York City MTA has converted some subways into fully-functioning 1920’s-era trains, from the subway cars themselves, to the maps, and even the advertisements displayed.

Boardwalk Empire Vintage NYC Subway

Photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid @ laughingsquid.com

If you’re in NYC anytime in September, see if you can catch one of these cool-looking trains on the 2/3 line for a truly transporting experience!

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Sep
20

Travel & Leisure’s Top Cities Worldwide

Every year Travel+Leisure invites readers to vote in its 16th annual World’s Best survey, rating cities on things including overall value, sights, shopping and more.  The results include some perennial favorites, and some surprising new additions.

Rome, Italy - Coliseum

Rome, Italy - Coliseum

Florence, Rome and New York City are annual favorites, and this year is no exception. Readers love the culture, cuisine and character of these cities, and they flock to them in droves.

Istanbul is back in the top 5, with its glittering mosques and super-trendy culinary delights. Siem Reap, Cambodia is another top choice that may not be on everyone’s bucket list, but it should: it has evolved from a cluster of riverfront villages into a full-fledged destination complete with art galleries and boutique hotels.

See them all in the World’s Top Cities Slideshow.

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Sep
07

Congratulations to Jose, Coral Gables, Fl.,  who is the lucky winner of our “Create a Trip on TravelMuse, Win your perfect moment in Hawaii” sweepstakes!  We had a great response to the contest with thousands of entries and know that Jose is excited to plan his luxury trip to the tropical island of Oahu.

 

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Surfing in Wakiki. Photo: Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Thanks to our partners in Hawaii for providing this amazing trip to paradise!

– Roundtrip air travel and ground transportation, courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

– 5-night stay at the exquisite Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach resort & Spa, Waikiki, Complete with a Waikiki Starlight Luau.

– Dolphin Swim Adventure Program at Sea Life Park Hawaii,
Sea Life Park offers a variety of marine-life shows, exhibits and educational programs for all ages and is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Among its most popular features are the swim-with-dolphin programs.  The Park is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.  Sea Life Park is owned and operated by Parques Reunidos Group.  For more information, visit the Park’s Web site at www.sealifeparkhawaii.com.

– Atlantis Submarines sub tour off Waikiki,
Atlantis Submarines has nine locations worldwide including Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico and Guam. In Hawaii, Atlantis operates five submarines in Kona, Lahaina, and Waikiki. The company also owns Honolulu-based Atlantis Navatek Cruises, offering sunset dinner cruises aboard the high-tech revolutionary Navatek I, along with seasonal luncheon whale watch cruises from December to April. For more information, visit www.atlantissubmarines.com.

– Premium Battle Station Tour at the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor.
Located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri Memorial completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” that saw the sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s unconditional surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Walk the decks of America’s last battleship as knowledgeable guides share stories from the Mighty Mo’s astounding career spanning five decades and three wars — from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait — and her transformation into a floating historic attraction and memorial, standing perpetual watch over Pearl Harbor. Call toll-free 1-877-MIGHTYMO (1-877-644-4896) or visit www.ussmissouri.org.

– Polynesian Cultural Center, “Ha:Breath of Life“ evening show and buffet dinner.
Immerse yourself in the diverse cultures and customs of Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Join in an array of interactive activities and shows in eight island villages and exhibits. Watch the Rainbows of Paradise canoe pageant on the lush lagoon winding through the grounds. Enjoy Hawaii’s best Lu‘au experience at its award-winning Ali‘i Lu‘au dinner and show. Experience the spectacular “Ha: Breath of Life,” Hawaii’s newest Polynesian night show featuring a cast of more than 100 performers. Call toll-free 1-800-367-7060 or visit www.polynesia.com.

If you’d like to plan a similar trip you can check out this itinerary to Hawaii on TravelMuse.

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Jun
28

The United Kingdom continues to be one of the most popular destinations for travelers (3rd most popular for U.S. travelers) from all walks of life—from families to solo travelers to history buffs to outdoor adventurers and everyone in between. While it can be a bit daunting to decide where to go and what to do in the U.K., VisitBritain, the national tourism agency responsible for promoting Britain as a world-class destination, takes the guess work out of planning your trip. Expertly created itineraries and useful products, such as transport tickets and sightseeing tours, allow you to plan a trip that is fun, customizable and full of must-see attractions.

vb photo jp

TravelMuse is thrilled to announce its partnership with VisitBritain. Starting today, TravelMuse will be featuring an array of incredible trips to the U.K. created by the experts at VisitBritain on TravelMuse’s home page, within the “Destinations” pages, and also on relevant “Trip” pages. People planning to travel to England, London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can use these trip plans as the basis for their trip.

For more information, please read our press release at www.travelmuse.com/about/press-releases/travelmuse-pr-06-28-2010.htm.

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Jun
15

Trip of the Week: Amsterdam & London

Congratulations to Laurie from Ringoes, N.J., our second winner of Trip of the Week and recipient of a Frommer’s day by day guide to Hawaii.

Laurie and her husband have never been to London or Amsterdam, so they built out this excellent European Trip on TravelMuse to help them along the way.

Amsterdamn and London2

I asked Laurie a few questions about her upcoming trip and here’s what she had to say:

Why are you taking this Trip?

My husband and I have not been to either Amsterdam or London and would love to see both cities.  We think it would be thrilling to see the vast histories and cultures of both places and hopefully relax on an overnight boat ferry in between.

What are you most excited about seeing/doing?

I am very interested in seeing the castles of England and having traditional tea. I also think it will be fascinating to see the houseboats in Amsterdam and, seasonally permitting, the famous show of tulips.

Any other interesting facts/considerations about the trip?

Luckily my husband and I enjoy similar activities on vacation and would both be excited to shop in the many boutiques and markets, try the various cuisines, take copious photographs, and peruse the art and history of various museums.

Hope you both have a blast, Laurie! All of us at TravelMuse wish you safe and exciting travels.

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Tell us about your Trips and you could be featured in Trip of the Week–win one of the new Frommer’s Day by Day Guide Books and be entered to win a FREE, luxury Trip for 2 to Waikiki!

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May
25

Trip of the Week: Bonding at 80mph

Congratulations,  Carrie, Montara, Calif. Our first winner of Trip of the Week and recipient of a Frommer’s day by day guide to Hawaii.

Carrie and her daughter are about to embark on a trip from Chicago to California and recently built out this fantastic Road Trip together on TravelMuse!


Trip Chicago to California

I asked Carrie a few questions about her upcoming trip:

Why are you taking this trip?

My 19-year-old daughter has been less than enthusiastic about the prospect of getting her driver’s license. This is in no small part because my car is difficult to learn on since it has a standard transmission. When my aunt decided that she wasn’t going to use her car anymore, we jumped on the opportunity to buy it. Not only does her car have an automatic transmission, but it’s only $1,000. The catch? She lives in Chicago and we are in California. With a cry of, “Road trip!” we decided to fly one way to Chicago and then see as many sights as we could, both big and small, as we drove the newly acquired car back to our home in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

What are you most excited about seeing/doing on your trip?

Although we’ll be going to some big attractions — Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons — I’m most excited about visiting the campy roadside attractions like the SPAM museum (the canned meat, not the electronic junk mail) in Austin, Minn.; the Potato Expo, Blackfoot in Idaho (motto: We give taters to Out-of-Staters); and the almost indescribable Thunder Mountain Park in Imlay, Nev. My daughter has a great sense of humor so I know that these offbeat attractions will be the foundation inside jokes and for stories that we tell and retell.

Any other interesting facts you care to share?

Normally, I’d plan a road trip that allowed for more spontaneity — stopping when we were tired and finding cheap motels along the way. But we are working with some firm deadlines. The day before we leave my daughter is taking her last final exam and has to move out of her college dorm. The day after we arrive home, my daughter is flying to Armenia where she will spend six weeks doing a summer program at an archeological dig site.  The upside about having this trip very planned is that we will be able to do things that require reservations, such as going white water rafting in the Grand Tetons and taking a Segway Tour in Chicago. The downside is that not only are we spending only one day in places that most people spend a week visiting, but we will be feeling the pressure of racing against the clock since we must make it home in time for her to make her flight the next day!

Wishing you safe and happy travels, Carrie!

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Tell us about your Trips and you could be featured in Trip of the Week–win one of the new Frommer’s Day by Day Guide Books and be entered to win a FREE, luxury Trip for 2 to Waikiki!

TravelMuse Sweepstakes Win a Luxury Trip to Hawaii

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May
21

Trip of the Week: Win Frommer’s Guides

We’re giving away a weekly prize to the best Trip created on TravelMuse in “Trip of the Week” for the next 10 weeks, in conjunction with our amazing Create a Trip on TravelMuse, Win Your Perfect Moment in Hawaii contest!

Create Trips for destinations you plan to visit or share your experiences and recommendations on places you’ve already been.

What you Win:

Winners will receive a copy of their choice, of one of the latest Frommer’s Day by Day Guide books to Hawaii, Ireland or Italy each week (value ~$30)!

Win Frommer's new day by day guide books to Hawaii, Italy or Ireland

Win Frommer's new Day by Day Guide books to Hawaii, Italy or Ireland

See our recent review of Frommer’s Day by Day Guides.

How to Enter:

  • Create a Trip with at least five (5) saved items to qualify. If you’ve entered our Hawaii contest you’re already eligible for Trip of the Week.

Tip: To create a quality Trip remember to include a description and add more items (don’t forget to try the TravelMuse Bookmarker).

Results:

We’ll publish our Trip of the Week pick every Tuesday, and will announce our first winner next week on Tuesday, May 25.

Good luck and happy Trip planning!

Rules:

The contest runs from May 6, 2010 until July 20, 2010. Qualifying Trips must contain at least five (5) items. The winner will be selected by a judging panel comprised of TravelMuse staff and other employees. Winners must claim their prize within three (3) business days after the date of notification of such prize. A winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified three (3) business days will be considered such winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. To enter, you must be a U.S. resident, age 18 or older. Employees, partners and vendors of TravelMuse and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. When applicable, the winner may be required to execute and return within five business days an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability and Publicity Release to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner will be selected. All prizes will be awarded. No substitutions including for cash are permitted, except that TravelMuse reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater monetary value for any prize. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize.

Also, don’t miss your chance to WIN a FREE, Once-in-a-Lifetime Luxury Trip for 2 to WAIKIKI!

Win a luxury trip to Hawaii on TravelMuse!

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May
06

We’re excited to announce today a next generation Travel Planner and a chance to escape to a tropical paradise!

homepage

We know that planning a trip can be an overwhelming experience and although the internet is the go-to place for all your information these days, it can be a real challenge to collect and organize your research. The new TravelMuse Planner makes the chaos of travel planning easy and fun by providing a central place to save, organize and share all your research for any destination.

So what have we changed?

•    New TravelMuse Bookmarker
•    New TravelMuse Planner
•    New Destination Guide section
•    New Ask Friends on Facebook integration
•    New TravelMuse Trip Widget
•    New Contest to Win a Trip to a Tropical Paradise!

You might ask what haven’t we changed!

1.    New TravelMuse Bookmarker
We believe that the Web is the platform for planning your trip, and although we have great content on TravelMuse, we know from industry research that people search about 22 different sites to gather research. We also know that with the existing Bookmarker, TravelMuse members have already saved over 5,000 different websites to their Trips!

The new Bookmarker now allows you to save pages, photos and text from any website into your personal Trip folder. If you include the address, we’ll plot it on an interactive map. Learn more and watch the demo video.

Bookmarker
2.    New TravelMuse Planner
You can now view your research on an interactive map, create a schedule and find other popular items based on the research you have saved. This will make planning your trip on TravelMuse more intuitive and rewarding.

Organize

Map View
You asked for it, we built it. Being able to use maps to plan your trip came out as a top request, so we’ve built out some cool interactive maps to help plan your trips.

•    Saved items are plotted on a map.
•    The Most popular drop-down menu shows attractions, hotels, restaurants and shopping items saved by other TravelMuse members.
•    The More… drop-down menu shows photos, videos and Wikipedia entries from Google.
•    The Google search box at the bottom of the map also lets you search for items from Google Local and save these directly to your Trip.

Item View
On the “Items” view the research cards are now easier to read and expand to show more detail. We also added:
•    Sort by Most Recent, Added By, Category, Location and Schedule
•    Click on the icons on the right of the card to edit, schedule or delete.
•    Ask Friends on Facebook from an Item view (see below for details on this).
•    Click on the destinations to explore destination guides on TravelMuse or the items to see more detail.

Schedule View
Not everyone wants to plan every day of vacation, but some trips call for more organization than others, so we changed the scheduling view to be more calendar based.
•    Now on the calendar view you can open items in the right hand Trip list and select the day or date they want to add the item to.
•    On the calendar itself you can drag and drop items between days.

3.    New Collaborate and Share
You can still invite friends to join you on TravelMuse to help plan your trip. We’ve also further integrated with Facebook to develop the “Ask Friends” feature. Now for every item you can ask for specific advice. Requests are posted to your wall and then the respective comments are incorporated back into your trip.

Share

4.   New Destinations
We reorganized the key destination landing pages which you can navigate to from the Destinations header or to a particular destination highlighted in your trip.

It’s now easier to navigate between guides, hotels, attractions, restaurants, shops and Trips. You can explore items on the map and scroll down the page to see popular Trips, Most popular attractions, themes and activities and articles.


destinations

5.    New TravelMuse Trip Widget
We  introduced the TravelMuse Trip Widget so you can share and showcase Trips on your website, blog and across your social networking sites, based on your Member ID or Trip ID.  Learn how to create your Trip Widget.

6.    New Win a Trip to a Tropical Paradise!
We’re really excited to have partnered with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau to give away a fantastic luxury trip for two to the tropical island of Oahu!. Join TravelMuse and create a Trip to any destination for a chance to win this amazing prize. Enter now!

contest

Lastly, stay tuned for details on our “Trip of the Week” giveaway with Frommers.

We hope you enjoy taking the new site for a spin and please give us any feedback—be sure to use the new feedback tab on the right side of the page!

Phew, right time for a beer or two, I think…

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Mar
02

Social Media Strategies for Travel 2010

eyefortravel_social_media_sfo

TravelMuse is excited to take part in the EyeforTravel’s Social Media Strategies for Travel USA 20010 conference, which will be held in San Francisco from March 24 to 25 at the Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf.

We’ll be making a short presentation and participating on a panel focusing on the Best Practices to Get the Highest ROI on Your Social Media Initiatives alongside Henry Harteveldt (Forrester Research), Brandie Feuer (Tropicana Las Vegas) and Yvonne Chen (Facebook).

Last year I attended and presented at the conference and came away armed with lots of ideas, so I am looking forward to this year’s event. The conference is aimed at travel marketers who want to learn more about social media and how to generate leads, drive traffic, boost conversions and ultimately grow sales. Here’s a taste of what will be covered this year:

  • Analyzing the Advancing Social Media Landscape
  • Managing the Strategic Importance of Social Media in Your Business
  • Managing Your Brand Reputation Online
  • Social Media Metrics and Meaning
  • Twitter and the Rise of Micro-blogging
  • What Extent are Travelers Influenced by Social Media?
  • Boosting CRM and Loyalty Results

There’s a wide range of leading industry experts from new and established companies presenting, including Facebook, Hilton, Virgin America, Orbitz, Yapta, Uptake, Tripology, SouthWest and more.

To find out more and register, go to http://events.eyefortravel.com/social-media

To receive a 15 percent discount on your conference pass, send an e-mail to Gina Baillie (gina@eyefortravel.com) and tell her that TravelMuse referred you.

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Jan
04

Happy New Year! We hope you had a great holiday season. As soon as one vacation is over, I usually start plotting my next getaway–so what are you waiting for? It’s time to start thinking about your travel plans for 2010!

British Virgin Islands:Best Virgin Gorda resorts, restaurants, attractions

British Virgin Islands:Best Virgin Gorda resorts, restaurants and attractions. Photo courtesy of the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board.

Here are 10 New Year trip-planning resolutions for you to consider:

1. Give up your daily Starbucks, stop buying shoes you’ll only wear once or forgo another indulgence so you can take a vacation.
Use the Trip Budget Calculator to find out what you could give up!

2. Don’t go back to the same destination again! Get inspired and go see the world.
Use the Inspiration Finder to match what you like with where you should go.

3. Get organized!
Start a new Trip with the TravelMuse Planner so you can keep all your travel ideas and information in one place.

4. Save bookmarks from other travel Web sites.
Add the TravelMuse Bookmarker to your browser so you can easily save Web pages to your Tripfolio.

5. Collaborate with your co-travelers on planning the ideal Trip.
Invite friends and family to join your Trip so they can add items, comments and contribute.

6. Avoid relying on random reviews written by people you don’t know; get advice from friends you trust.
Ask Friends on Facebook for ideas and advice on where to stay, eat and play.

7. Cut through the clutter and read useful travel information.
Read articles guides and tips from local experts and seasoned travel writers. View other member’s Trips and bookmarks.

8. Easily take your travel information and notes with you.
Create and print a free custom pdf travel guide with all your travel information.

9. Have fun, save time and plan your best trips ever in 2010.
TravelMuse is here to help!

10. Let us know how we’re doing so we can make your travel-planning experience even better!
E-mail support@travelmuse.com

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