By Joseph Lawsomier
It’s almost never too early to book your thanksgiving airline tickets. In fact, you probably should have taken care of that last week. So as you prepare for your Turkey Day travel plans, here’s some tips to keep in mind that will simplify your travel days and make your fellow travelers grateful that you’re one of few travelers that actually has it together.
1. Hire a courier service for bags. If you aren’t going to be able to go all-carry-on, make a reservation with a courier service at least three days prior to your flight. The relatively inexpensive cost outweighs the convenience of having your bags arrive at your destination before you do.
2. Check in online. Most airlines offer an online check-in service that’s available 24 hours before your departure. If you’re not checking baggage you can walk straight to the security line and bypass those insane counter check-in lines.
3. Drop off from Arrivals and vice versa. Have your driver, whether family, friend, or taxi, drop you off in arrivals and pick you up in departures. You’ll skim tons of time off your schedule and you’ll avoid typical travel frustration.
4. Fly out on Thanksgiving and/or come home Friday. You can find cheap tickets if you fly on Thanksgiving. Plus traveling is a breeze, compared to the Thursday before. Look for cheap airline tickets on the Friday after the big meal to make your life so much easier. If you take an early enough flight on Thursday you can still make it in time for the feast.
5. Don’t pack wrapped presents in your bag. You run the risk of becoming that person in the security line. Just by some boxes and wrapping paper when you get to your destination.
6. Search your bags at the luggage at carousel. It’s usually too late for the airlines to catch a personnel thief if you wait to make sure nothing was stolen from your luggage once you get to your final destination.
7. Choose neighboring airports when possible. Fly into Midway instead of O’Hare, Maryland instead of Washington International, Oakland instead of San Francisco if you want less hassle and cheap flights.
8. Bring snacks. Just like there’s no reason to no book discount airfare, there’s no reason to pay airport prices for food. You can pack a whole meal if you want in your carry-on if you want and you won’t have to worry about wasting time during your layover to get food.
9. Check on your flight’s status before leaving for the airport. Don’t spend hours of your precious holiday time sitting at the airport if you don’t have to. On busy travel days it’s common for flights to get delayed and push back your departure time, so be proactive.
10. Arrive early. Sounds too simple right? Too many people think this rule doesn’t apply to them anymore, but you never know what shenanigans you’re going to run into at the airport. Maybe the kid in front of you in the security line throws up and diverting the line takes an additional 45 minutes. It’s gross, but totally plausible.
11. Start a bidding war. If the flight’s overbooked and no one is giving up their airline tickets, you are legally allowed to start your own bidding war. This only works, of course, if you have something of value to put up for bidding.
12. Take the first flight of the day. Getting up early is annoying, but you’ll be more likely to avoid delays and be able to find cheap tickets. Just remember that the earlier you get to your destination the more time you’ll have to nap before grandma asks you to help her with the green bean casserole.
13. Build in extra layover time. A lot of the discount airfare sites will offer minimal layover time. Try to manually set the time yourself on the site or call their reservation line to see if you can build in at least an hour, just in case.
14. Be prepared for security. You should know the drill by now: have your boarding pass and ID in hand, wear easily removable footwear, place all your carry-on liquids in a plastic baggy, and remove your laptop from your bag. There’s nothing more annoying than the person who takes 20 minutes at the conveyor belt because they’re not prepared.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joseph_Lawsomier
The autumn months give way to a host of agricultural harvest, wine and food festivals, while tree lightings, holiday events and quilt and gem fairs are popular in the winter - OregonsWashingtonCounty.com
Taking a trip to the Portland, Oregon area this month? You are in for a treat! There are dozens of wonderful things happening here in November, so bring on the holiday season!
We have listed some suggestions to choose from this month but encourage you to visit the following sites to help plan your upcoming trip! As always, we are here to help!
A wine and food celebration created to present a rich rewarding experience for wine lovers and gourmet food enthusiasts. Guests can expect a floor filled with over 600 wines and 50 restaurants and gourmet food tastes which feature an incredible array of options for guests. 800-422-0251
- Ducks vs. Beaver Pep Rally: Nov. 27 from 5:30-7:30pm
- Light Up The Night Tree Lighting and The Beatniks Concert: Nov. 29 from 6-8pm
- Bridgeport Express Train: Nov. 29 -Dec. 21 from 11am-2pm and 3pm-5pm daily
- Holiday Magic Light Show: Nov. 29-Dec. 31 On the hour from 5-9pm daily. Watch as Center Court transforms into a Winter Wonderland of snow flurries. You won’t want to miss this magical show of light, sound and snow! Snow Shows every night at 7pm in Center Court
- Fall For Savings: November 4-30
- Holiday tree lighting: On the day after Thanksgiving, thousands of people gather in downtown’s Pioneer Courthouse Square to see the ceremonial lighting of the spectacular 75-foot-tall tree and celebrate the official start of the holiday season.
- Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival: The Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival presents features, documentaries and short films by independent Northwest film and video makers. The offerings are chosen from more than 400 entries by a prominent member of the independent film community. Past judges have included local luminaries Gus Van Sant, Matt Groening and Todd Haynes. Founded in 1973, the festival attracts more than 6,000 attendees annually.
- Wine Country Thanksgiving: During Wine Country Thanksgiving, more than 160 wineries and tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley open their doors for special tastings and holiday festivities over Thanksgiving weekend (Friday-Sunday), offering an opportunity to visit some of the region’s small, family-owned wineries that aren’t usually open to the public. Meet winemakers, enjoy specialty food pairings and live music, all while savoring the region’s acclaimed wines.Full article
- Holiday light displays: Some of Portland’s bright spots include ZooLights, a display of more than a million lights at the Oregon Zoo, and the Christmas Ship Parade, featuring brilliantly decorated boats on the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Many start the day after Thanksgiving, so you can enjoy the holiday cheer in November, too. Full article
When you book the Lights, Camera, Action package at Bridgeport Village, guests can enjoy a short walk to Pastini, one of Bridgeport Village’s most popular restaurants, for dinner and drinks followed by a movie , before retiring to their luxuriously appointed guest room for the evening.
This package includes:
- $50.00 Gift Certificate to Pastini
- (2) Movie Tickets to Regal Cinemas Bridgeport Village Stadium 18
- A night stay in one of our Guest Rooms
Each of our over-sized rooms and suites comes standard with leather furniture in the living room area, a working desk and ergonomic office chair, complimentary high-speed internet access (either hard-wired or wifi), refrigerator, microwave, coffee station complete with organic NW coffee and local teas and a double-sized bathroom complete with a separate shower and tub. Our guests are also welcome to our workout facility, our indoor pool and spa, along with a complimentary hot breakfast buffet.
Please call the Front Desk directly at 866-968-5757 and ask for the ’Lights Camera and Action Package” to take advantage of this offer today!
We have said it before and we will say it again. It’s GREAT to be in the heart of Oregon wine country, a destination that grows in popularity every year.
Thanksgiving is always a special time in the Willamette Valley. Families and friends come together, and our local wineries open their doors to celebrate the harvest and to kick off the holiday season!
More than 160 Willamette Valley wineries will offer special tastings, food pairings, live music, holiday discounts, and more during the 30th Annual Wine Country Thanksgiving, November 29 to December 1, 2013.
Now is the time to plan your weekend! Visit www.oregonswashingtoncounty.com/Discover-Wine-Country to see a list of participating local wineries. Travelers can also order The Guide to Wine Country Thanksgiving in early November by clicking here.
Special Wine Tour packages are available here at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport that include eight wine tasting vouchers to 4 wineries (listed below), one bottle of local Oregon wine, and late check out. This is the perfect way to make the most of the weekend by touring some of the valley’s finest vineyards and wineries and end your adventure with us for a night of relaxing bliss.
Our partner vineyards include:
- Cooper Mountain Vineyards
- Oak Knoll Winery
- Ponzi Vineyards
- A Blooming Hill Vineyard
- Ardiri Winery and Vineyards
Visit www.grandhotelbridgeport.com or contact our front desk at 866-968-5757 to learn more and reserve your package today! Visit www.willamettewines.com for tips, recommended routes, and turn-by-turn directions on your mobile phone with the Willamette Valley Mobile Wine Tour.
Have you ever seen anyone race a giant pumpkin across a lake in a quirky costume? If the answer is no, you don’t want to miss the award-winning West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta Saturday, October 19, 2013 10am-4pm.
Spectators come from all over the United States and Canada to partake in the festivities which include pumpkin boat races, contests, music, food, The Regatta Run (a 5K), and more!
Now in it’s 10th year, the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta has grown into one of Oregon’s more popular seasonal events. The 2013 great pumpkin races will be held in conjunction with Tualatin’s Centennial Celebration!
The event has drawn international attention and been featured by the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Travel Channel, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, and Food Network Magazine.
So mark your calendars, book your hotel rooms (we are a short distance from this event)! This is a race you won’t want to miss!
The 10th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
Saturday, October 19, 2013 10am-4pm
Tualatin Lake of the Commons – 8325 SW Nyberg St
Biking in Oregon is about to get even better!
The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA), along with elected officials and cycling representatives, will officially launch the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway during a ribbon cutting and sign unveiling, Monday, September 16, 2013 at 9:00 a.m., at the River House at Rood Bridge Park (4000 SE Rood Bridge Road, Hillsboro, Ore.).
The bikeway was a multi-year effort among the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Travel Oregon, and the WCVA, in concert with representatives from biking and community groups throughout the region.
“The Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway will position Washington County as a premier cycling destination in Oregon,” said Carolyn McCormick, president and CEO of the WCVA. “This new recreational asset will attract a new segment of visitors to our area, which will, in turn, increase visitor spending at our wineries, restaurants, lodging properties and other attractions.”
Set in the heart of Washington County, the 50-mile bikeway features the best of the northern Willamette Valley, from friendly downtowns to fertile farmlands and lush natural areas, and includes the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. For more information about the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, please visit the Oregon’s Washington County website or Ride Oregon’s website.
Download a PDF of one or both of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway Maps:
For more information, updates and road closures along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, “like” them on Facebook. For more information about this and other scenic bikeways in Oregon, visit Ride Oregon Ride.
Story Source: Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA)
North Willamette Valley is considered by many to be the gateway to Oregon’s wine country. In fact, this region has earned a strong reputation of producing some of the best Pinot Noir in the country!
The annual North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting, hosted by the North Willamette Vintners, is an opportunity for Oregon wine lovers to spend a day tasting and experiencing all that goes into making your favorite wines.
The 2013 North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting is coming up Saturday October 5th. Buses will depart from Tualatin Estate Vineyards at 10am for a tour of three vineyard wineries and return for the Grand Tasting at 4pm – 6pm.
Harvest Trail guests are treated to a comfortable guided bus tour to three NWV wineries for complimentary tastings, nibbles, and hands-on harvest activities at each winery. Tickets include a wine country lunch with four different menu options, courtesy of 1910 Main – An American Bistro! The day will conclude with a Grand Tasting event (4-6pm), including tastings from more than 25 NWV wineries, appetizers, a NWV wine glass, and specials on wine from all NWV wineries!
Ticket prices to the event are $95 full-day tour and Grand Tasting / $45 Grand Tasting only. For more info email info@NWVintners.org or call 503.941.0609. Click here to purchase tickets.
Why not make a weekend of it in one of our luxurious rooms and suites? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for rates and availability. You can also reach us by phone locally (503) 968-5757 or toll-free at (866) 968-5757.
September is almost here and for many of you, it is time again for a new school year, which means it is time to stock up on supplies, electronics, backpacks, clothes, shoes, socks and more!
We want to help you get your star student off to a great start this year by showing you where you can find great back-to-school deals that are also TAX FREE! That’s right, there is no sales tax in Oregon on goods and services!
Below, learn more about some of our most popular and diverse shopping destinations perfect for back-to-school shoppers:
Not only is Bridgeport Village across the street from our hotel (really, it is) this popular shopping destination is a mix of upscale and local retailers. Be sure to check out the children’s section of Saks Fifth Avenue’s OFF FIFTH where you will find incredible bargains. You will also find other popular retailers like American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and Free People along with an18-screen IMAX Theater where you can unwind at the end of the day. Tip: Book the Grand Hotel Shopping Package and you will receive a $25 GiftCard to Woodburn Premium Outlets or Bridgeport Village!
Conveniently located right off of Interstate 5 between Portland and Salem, this popular Woodburn, Oregon outlet mall is the largest outlet center in Oregon. Here, you will find impressive savings at over 110 outlet stores like Adidas, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Cole Haan, Disney Store Outlet, Eddie Bauer, Fossil, Gap, J.Crew, Max Studio, Nautica, Nike, The North Face, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, and more. Tip: Book the Grand Hotel Shopping Package and you will receive a $25 GiftCard to Woodburn Premium Outlets or Bridgeport Village!
Photo Source: www.tripadvisor.com
This Tigard shopping mall features all of the biggest department stores including a multi-level Nordstrom’s (the largest in the state)! Shoppers can find great back-to-school savings at stores like JCPenney, Macys, and Sears and more.
Smart Tip from WVCO: Washington Square Mall absolutely loves visitors. At the guest services center, bust out your out-of-area I.D. for a complimentary “Shopping & Dining Rewards” coupon book full of savings. Photo Source: WCVA
This destination is worth the short drive from The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport! The latest fashion trends can be found at affordable prices in stores like H&M, Crazy 8, Charming Charlie, and more.
Story Source: www.oregonswashingtoncounty.com
Fall is just around the corner, and the local festivals and fun is just getting started! Here is a local round up of some of the many events happening Labor Day through the end of September! Let us help you plan your trip! Please feel free to contact us and inquire about one of our many hotel packages and specials.
Late Summer/Early Fall Events in Portland
Art in the Pearl – Labor Day weekend
Beginning August 31 through September 2, 2013 more than 130 artists will gather in the North Park Blocks, with food vendors, musicians and family activities rounding out the offerings. Considered one of the nation’s premier art festivals, Art In The Pearl features the jury-selected work of artists from across the USA and Canada.
Musicfest NW – September 3-8, 2013
Now in it’s thirteenth year, MusicfestNW will showcase local musicians, bring in national acts and benefit children’s music education in Portland.
Feast Portland – September 19-22, 2013
Portland’s own world-class celebration of food, drink and everything else that makes Portland awesome. At the heart of the festival is a mission to end childhood hunger in Oregon and in our country. This international culinary festival taps into the wealth of renowned Portland chefs — and welcomes noted culinary stars from around the world — to make the most of Oregon’s bounty.
Coming up at Bridgeport Village
Very Engaging Bridal Event Sept. 29 from 11am-4pm. Presented by Portland Bride & Groom magazine and Bridgeport Village.
More than 100 retailers and wedding professionals for all your wedding needs…Shop, sip, and savor your way through Bridgeport Village as you connect with over 100 retailers and wedding professionals.
Late Summer/Early Fall Events in Oregon’s Washington County
Just minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon’s Washington County offers events ranging from wine tasting and farmers’ markets to live music and community festivals. Enjoy unique festivals every season in Washington County, guaranteed to offer seasonality, community and entertainment. The autumn months give way to a host of agricultural harvest, wine and food festivals.
Oregon Renaissance Festival Open Weekends & Labor Day August 24 – September 29, 2013 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
The village of Hillsboro recreates a 16th century European village for 13 days of merriment weekends beginning in August through September. Enjoy talented artists, non-stop amazing stage entertainers, food, crafts, pageantry and more. History comes alive with this renaissance of the Renaissance!
First Wednesday Wed, September 4, 2013 in Forest Grove, OR
First Wednesday on Main Street in Forest Grove offers fun, community events, vendors, and activities to enjoy. Shop the Farmers’ Market, view the works of artists, taste wines and be entertained with live music. It’s great way to celebrate Forest Grove!
Apple Harvest Festival September 28, 2013 Tigard, OR
The Apple Harvest Festival comes alive at The John Tigard House Museum with live music, quilt evaluations, a display of historic farm tools and, of course, traditional apple cider. The band, Fadedblue, will be performing and Amelia Endorf, a quilt evaluator, will be on hand answering quilt questions. If you have a favorite historical quilt, bring it along and she will tell you when it was stitched, with what materials, what occasion and even how many people worked on it.
Whole Farm Dinner at Alloro Vineyard Sat, September 7, 2013 Sherwood, OR
Award-winning Chef Jason Barwikowski, Executive Chef of the Woodsman Tavern, will prepare a feast with over 90% of the ingredients sourced from the Alloro Vineyard. This intimate candlelit dinner will be centered around Spring Lamb and glorious summer vegetables and fruits, paired with estate wines. The dinner is $125/person and seating is limited to 30 people. Contact the winery to sign up for this delicious event.
Plan Your Trip with the NEW Washington County Visitors Association 2013-2014 Official Visitor Guide!
In fact, we try to go out of our way to make sure our guests are having a wonderful visit and taking advantage of the many amenities and attractions in the Washington County Oregon area.
Whether you are visiting for a wedding, tax-free back to school shopping, Oregon wine tours, business, family or just to get away; we strongly encourage you to order or download a FREE copy of of the The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA)’s 2013-2014 Official Oregon’s Washington County Visitor Guide.
Complete with new and updated information and features, the guide provides an overview of the myriad attractions, wineries, outdoor adventure spots, restaurants and lodging facilities in Washington County.
New this year are introductions to area winemakers, information about annual wine events, feature stories about the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route and the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway and much more. In addition to the informative articles, the guide features images of the several of the county’s tastemakers and the diverse landscapes of Washington County, as well as new maps.
The WCVA publishes 150,000 guides annually, which are distributed at various locations throughout the state, including the Oregon Welcome Centers, Portland International Airport, Travel Portland’s Visitor Information Center, and chambers of commerce, wineries and other tourism-related businesses, as well as via Certified Folder Display Services. The WCVA also distributes several thousands of visitor guides, fulfilling requests from potential visitors, advertising lead programs and for distribution at events throughout the year.
The complimentary Official Washington County Visitors Guide may be requested online at oregonswashingtoncounty.com/Request-Visitor-Information, or by calling 503-644-5555, toll-free 800-537-3149 or by emailing email@example.com. You can also view a digital copy by clicking here.