Hawaii deals for its 50th anniversary
Still want to squeeze in a trip to Hawaii by the end of the year? (We did name it one of the top budget travel destinations for 2009, after all.) The state officially celebrated its 50th anniversary on August 21, but that doesn't mean the party's over.
In fact, if you use Facebook or Twitter—or just need some incentive to start—you could increase your chances of winning a free getaway to Hawaii. Marriott Resorts Hawaii, along with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Hawaiian Airlines, and Hertz, is commemorating the state's birthday by giving away 25 trips for two to Hawaii in the Tweet Yourself to Hawaii contest. To enter, you just need to provide your e-mail address—and if you have a Facebook account and/or a Twitter handle, you can get up to two more entries.
The prize includes round-trip airfare for two on Hawaiian Airlines from one of its West Coast gateways, five nights at a Marriott Hawaii resort, a Hertz rental car, a $100 resort dining credit per day, and selected island activities, depending on the resort. Trips must be taken by December 20, 2009.
The first drawing took place Friday, with additional drawings happening every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until October 21. You can enter again (up to three times!) once each week and then follow Marriott Hawaii on Twitter to find out who won.
A separate Marriott contest, Tweetup in Hawaii, invites you to really use your social media savvy: To enter, you must create a video explaining in three minutes or less why you love Hawaii, upload it to YouTube, and submit a link to your video on the contest website by December 20. Marriott will post the videos on the site and select a group of finalists. On January 4, 2010, the public will be able to vote for their favorite clip, with the top vote-getter as of January 15 getting a "Tweetup" in Hawaii: Round-trip airfare for the winner and 11 guests, a seven-night stay at any two Marriott resorts in Hawaii, a luau dinner and show, a commemorative Hawaii state quarter for everyone, a keepsake group photo, and 25,000 Marriott Rewards points for the winner. For details, see the Tweetup entry page.
Hawaiian Airlines is also celebrating a different anniversary—its own. For its 80th birthday, the carrier is giving away 80,000 miles (the equivalent of two round-trip tickets from the West Coast to Hawaii) each week through September 23. To enter, play the Travel Through Time giveaway game online. It shows you Hawaiian Airlines' uniforms from different eras and makes you guess which year they were introduced (it also gives you hints!). Note: To enter the drawing, you have to join the (free) frequent-flier program at the HawaiianMiles sign-up site.
And if you don't want to leave your vacation plans to chance, there are plenty of 50th anniversary and fall promotions still going on:
• Four Hilton Family Hawaii hotels are offering your fifth night for just $50, plus a $50 spa, dining, or beach-craft-rental credit through the 50 Years of Aloha promotion (from $129, through December 20).
• Prince Resorts Hawaii has a Spring Into Summer/Fall Into Winter & Celebrate Hawaii's 50th special at its four resorts, providing a $50 daily resort credit, no minimum stay required (from $179, through December 22). For the skinny, visit the Prince deal site.
• Aston Hotels & Resorts has a Fall for Aston special with up to 40 percent off seasonal rates at its 25 Hawaii properties (from $83, through December 21). Details at the Aston deal page.
For other vacation package promotions, see our Hawaii Real Deals.
Find more Hawaii trip ideas at GoVisitHawaii.com
Switzerland's trendiest neighborhood
Kreis 4, Zürich This red-light district has been transformed into the city's style hub. Boutique Saus&Braus; sells the work of Swiss designers like Alma Rumpke, who turns bicycle tubes into belts (sausbraus.ch). Up-and-coming artists exhibit their work at Message Salon Downtown's openings (likeyou.com/messagesalon). By day, Forum is a favorite lunch spot; on Friday and Saturday nights, DJs transform the space with hip-hop, electronica, and blues (forumzh.ch). —Ellise Pierce, from the September 2009 issue of Budget Travel CLICKABLES! Coming this fall: A new Swiss park for feeding the bears Madrid: A neighborhood makeover
Dining on the Bosporus? Preposterous!
Dining along Istanbul's Bosporus used to mean shelling out an absurd amount of lira at a stuffy hotel restaurant, but recently a crop of laid-back and worldly spots has opened—all with glittering views and down-to-earth prices. Our favorite is Zuma, a Japanese grill and lounge that turns out creative small plates, such as sea bass with truffle oil. Salhane Sokak No. 7, zumarestaurant.com, from $12.25. —Debra Shigley, from the September 2009 issue of Budget Travel THE REAL DEAL Cappadocia & Istanbul, Turkey, Air/6 Nights, From $1,499 Split six nights between central Turkey's Cappadocia region (with its volcanic rock formations and underground cities) and bustling Istanbul. BT Exclusive! As a reader, you get an exclusive itinerary, including a free hot-air balloon ride. MORE NEWS Switzerland's trendiest neighborhood Should "fuel" surcharges be renamed "profit" surcharges?
Madrid: A neighborhood makeover
TriBall, Madrid Once-dodgy backstreets are now a hotspot for design. La Maison de la Lanterne Rouge, in a former brothel, is a clothing shop with Shanghai-inspired accents inside. (lalinternaroja.lamaison.es). Nearby, the boudoir-like Nest Boutique sells retro greeting cards and wrapping paper with modern floral prints (nest-boutique.com). The menu at La Tasquita de Enfrente changes daily, but there's always Madrid-style tripe (latasquitadeenfrente.com). —Paul Clements, from the September 2009 issue of Budget Travel MORE DEALS Spain, Air/10 Nights, From $1,899 This whirlwind trip through Spain lets you explore and compare Barcelona, Córdoba, Seville, and Madrid. >> Book by: October 21, 2009
It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a...powerbocker?
Step aside, pogo stick, your punk cousin has just arrived. Known by many different brand names, the powerbock—or bock for short—was invented by the nutty German aerospace engineer Alexander Böck, who apparently studied the movements of kangaroos to help develop his prototype. A cross between a pogo stick and stilts with the inertia of a trampoline, the three-foot-high boots allow brave souls to boing six feet in the air, take nine-foot-long strides, and sprint at over 20 m.p.h. When strapped into the snowboard-like bindings, a disaster may be waiting to happen—that's called "bailing." But it could also be just the edge some are looking for while touring abroad. Which is where Bounce Clan comes in. Set in Prague, the powerbock team spends about 30 minutes near Kampa Park restaurant training their helmeted and body padded clients to walk—and then tentatively jump and jog—in the carbon-fiber boots before taking off over Charles Bridge, down cobblestone side streets, and into the Old Town Square of the Czech capital. And even though this isn't the point, tourists are inadvertently receiving a workout as well. Besides having to constantly shift their weight from side-to-side to keep from keeling over, they are burning calories five times faster than while jogging, and using 95 percent of their muscles—or so the claims go. Apparently a university test group in Korea lost an average of seven pounds in five weeks after using their bocks. That's all the incentive one should need to finish their last kolache pastry… Of course, bouncing down the street at high speeds is not good enough for the more extreme-sports prone. Even though the boots have just gained popularity over the past five years, there are already Guinness World Record holders for flipping backwards 20 times in 20 seconds, and somersaulting more than sixteen feet over a parked car. They have even been spotted during the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. See the video: So if you can't get out of their way, you may as well strap in and start bocking, because it appears these boots are here to stay… Bounce Clan, powerbock tour from $46, 011-420/774-467-211, bounceclan.cz.