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
Have you let this summer pass by without planning a little R & R for yourself? Don’t worry, summer is technically not over until September 21st so there is plenty of time to plan a much needed getaway to Oregon’s Washington Country/Portland area.
Need some help planning your trip? Our front desk staff will be happy to give you recommendations on fun attractions and events! You should can check the following resources for additional ideas:
Here are some local summer festivals coming up that are worth checking out.
- Bridgeport Village Summer Concert Series- Each Thursday evening through August 29th
- Washington County Fair, July 25-28: The annual Washington County Fair returns to the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro with a weekend of carnival rides, live music and entertainment, food and more. Admission is free; individual events may have admission fees.
- 2013 Oregon International Air Show, July 26-28: The Oregon International Air Show is one of the premier aviation events in the Pacific Northwest, and features some of the best in aviation from all over the United States and Canada. The Entertainment Center, KidZone and Military Village offer exciting displays and fun for kids and adults alike. Local vendors will be on hand selling everything from souvenirs to tasty food. Tickets start at $20 ($25 after July 19); discounts for seniors, military and kids, ages 6-12.
- Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival, August 9-10: The fifth annual Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival returns to Washington County to showcase Oregon’s culinary culture with dozens of world-class wineries, restaurants and numerous culinary artisans.
- Summer Fest & Garlic Out West, August 9-11: Experience two evenings and three days of good music, food, entertainment, and fun at the 2013 Summer Fest & Garlic Out West. This event offers a 10k Run with Oregon Road Runners, a vintage Car Show, old fashioned parade down Main Street and a Pancake Breakfast. Kids can enjoy a full-size playground, exciting inflatables play area and rock wall. Free admission.
- Tualatin Crawfish Festival, August 9-10: Celebrate good eating–and the city of Tualatin’s 100th birthday–at the Tualatin Crawfish Festival, the nation’s oldest crawfish festival, west of the Mississippi. This is a two-day, fun-filled family event with a variety of food, entertainment, contests, activities for all ages and more.
- Annual Banks Bar-B-Que and Truck & Tractor Pull, August 17-19: This popular community event must be seen to be believed, and features a combine destruction derby, parade, car show, truck tug-of-war, garden tractors and more. General admission is free. Grandstand admission starts at $10 for adults, $5 for kids, ages 6-16.
- Oregon Renaissance Festival, Weekends, Saturday, Aug. 24 – Sunday, Sept. 29: Transport yourself to a 16th century European village at the inaugural Oregon Renaissance Festival, in town for 13 days of merriment. Enjoy talented artists, non-stop stage entertainers, food, crafts, pageantry and encounter beautiful maidens, wandering minstrels, joking jesters and jugglers. Magicians, acrobats, comedians, swordfighters, pirates and fairies will entertain and delight. Be sure to meet the “washing well wenches” and daily performance of an armored jousting. Feast on renaissance-inspired food and drink, including: savory turkey legs, steak on a stake, bangers & mash and chocolate-covered cheesecake.
For a complete list of summer events, including one-day annual events and special events, please visit our Events & Festivals Calendar.
Now that spring is officially here and the weather will soon be warm, we thought this would be a good time to share tips on exploring the many attractions found in nature here in Oregon’s Washington County.
Hiking the great outdoors is just one of the many outdoor adventures you can find here in Oregon (and Camping, too!). Biking through the hundreds of miles of impressive trails and paths is also a great way to enjoy what our beautiful region has to offer.
Traveling on a budget? No problem! Some of our favorite attractions are under $10 per person and in many cases, free of charge. Article source: Washington County Visitors Association
Washington County boasts some of Oregon’s most scenic and lush natural spaces, making it a desirable year-round destination for nature walks, hikes and cycling adventures. Most of the area’s natural outdoor attractions are free of charge (donations may be suggested), making it one of the most affordable adventures available.
1. Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is one of only a handful of national urban refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, and is home to more than 200 species of indigenous and migrating birds, waterfowl and mammals.
(19255 SW Pacific Hwy, Sherwood, Ore.)
Admission is free (unless otherwise posted); complimentary parking. Bicycles and pets are not permitted. Open year-round: Trails open dawn until dusk; interpretive center open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Monday and major holidays.
2. Jackson Bottom Wetlands (2600 Hillsboro Hwy., Hillsboro, Ore.)
Jackson Bottom Wetlands is a 725-acre wetlands preserve that is home to various species of birds, including bald eagles, egrets and red tail hawks, as well as a host of mammals. Trails meander through the preserve, allowing for exploration of the wetlands.
Admission is free (donation requested); complimentary parking. Bicycles and pets are not permitted. Open year-round: Trails open daily, dawn to dusk; interpretive center, daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
3. Banks-Vernonia State Trail (Banks trailhead: Main St./Banks Road/Sellers Road, Banks, Ore.)
The scenic, 21-mile Banks-Vernonia State Trail connects the towns of Banks and Vernonia, and a portion runs through L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park. The trail, part of the Rails-to-Trails conservancy program, is open to all non-motorized users, including horseback riders, bicyclists, walkers and hikers. Pets allowed and must be on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times.
Free to the public (unless otherwise posted); complimentary parking available at some trailheads
Open year-round, dawn until dusk
4. Cooper Mountain Nature Park (18895 SW Kemmer Road, Beaverton, Ore.)
Cooper Mountain Nature Park is a 231-acre park with 3.5 miles of gravel hiking trails –plus a 3/4-mile loop designed for accessibility– that traverse through the park’s rare habitats and natural features. The park is open for hiking, walking and wildlife watching. A Nature House and demonstration garden also are located at the park.
Free to the public (unless otherwise posted); complimentary parking. Bicycles and pets are not permitted.
Open year-round, dawn until dusk
Oregon’s Washington County is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast. The destination covers 727 square miles and includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. Washington County is home to world-class golf courses, award-winning wineries, an array of outdoor recreation opportunities, lush, natural and scenic wetlands and wildlife preserves, superb dining, and myriad shopping.
Springtime is here, which means- sunshine (on some days), Easter, Mother’s Day, warmer weather, and Portland comes alive with fun events and festivals. Here are just a few event highlights from Travel Portland to check out during your visit this spring:
Portland Farmers Market Saturdays, March 17 through December 15
Celebrating its 20th season, Portland Farmers Market operates vibrant farmers markets that contribute to the success of local food growers and producers, strengthen the food economy and serve as community gathering places.
18th Annual Spring Beer & Wine Fest April 6-7, 2012
A Taste of the Best! Sample from over 100 brewers, vintners, cheese makers and chocolatiers on April 6-7, 2012 at the Oregon Convention Center. The festival also features great food and music.
2012 Bridgetown Comedy Festival, April 12-15
The Pacific Northwest’s premier comedy festival, returning for its fifth year! Local comedians and fans banded come together at one of the nation’s funniest and fastest-growing comedy festivals.
Stumptown Comics Festival April 28 & 29, 2012
The annual Stumptown Comics Fest is the largest comic book convention in Portland, Oregon, dedicated primarily to the artists, writers, and publishers who make everyone’s favorite comics! “Best. Comic book festival. Ever.” -Travel Portland
28th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta May 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2012
Waterfront Park will be transformed into a Mexican Fiesta for the weekend and features live entertainment, authentic food, rides, family fun, and much more!
Presented by Portland Guadalajara Sister City Association (PGSCA).
Taste of the Nation Portland, OR Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Held at JELD-WEN Field, this is one of the city’s premier food and wine-tasting events. The best part is ticket sales support Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger. This event features food from the finest Oregon chefs and restaurants, wine, microbrews, local music, and a silent auction.
Crafty Wonderland SPRING SHOW - Saturday, May 12th, 2012
Portland’s Art + Craft Extravaganza features 200+ artists selling their amazing handmade goods!
Portland Indie Wine Festival May 14, 2012
Join the independent producers that represent the heart and soul of Oregon’s world-class wine industry as they pour their wines on May 14th at the Bison Building.
Ask anyone who has lived or visited Oregon; this is a fantastic place to live, work and play. There is a reason why Oregon is a popular U.S. travel destination. We love our mountains, valleys, rivers, lush, rugged coast, arid plains and fertile fields. I think Travel Oregon sums it up best:
Why Oregon? Because Oregonians are wild, adventurous and inquisitive. Oregon is a place where people often find themselves roaming endlessly with no other goal than the next great meal, powdery slope, lighthouse view or salmon run. We encourage you to approach Oregon the way Oregonians do, with a sense of humor and adventure. So giddy-up! You’ve got some Oregon exploring to do…
So here are some facts about our state (compiled by Travel Oregon) that you may know have known:
• Oregon is the 10th largest state in the union, covering 97,073 square miles.
• The population of Oregon is only 3.4 million, with 1.5 million living in the Portland area.
• Oregon has no sales tax.
• Oregon’s birthday is Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1859
• The highest elevation point is Mt. Hood at 11,239 feet, and the lowest is at sea level.
• There are more than 6,000 lakes and 112,000 miles of rivers and streams.
• Oregon contains more than 5,900 registered campsites along with 230 state parks and 13 national forests.
• Nearly half of Oregon’s total area is forested – close to 30 million acres.
• There are 16 known hot springs in Oregon.
• At 1,932 feet, Crater Lake, located in Southern Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States.
• Located in the Northeastern corner of the state, Hells Canyon is the deepest river-carved gorge in North America. At 7,900 feet, it’s deeper than the Grand Canyon.
• The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the richest fossil bed sites in the world.
• In the Klamath Forest National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can view more than 1,000 majestic bald eagles – the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the U.S.
• The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is home to the largest freshwater marsh in the U.S.
• Oregon has 12 commercial downhill ski areas, with 400 trails in three mountain ranges.
• Naturally carved within an outcropping of solid marble, Oregon Caves National Monument is one of southern Oregon’s oldest attractions.
• Oregon has four National Historic Trails and 14 National Historic Districts.
• Oregon has more than 7,000 bridges, including 53 covered bridges.
• There are nine lighthouses and one light ship along the Oregon Coast.
• Oregon is pronounced OR-UH-GUN, never OR-EE-GONE.
• There are currently 17 ghost towns in Oregon.
• The Oregon hazelnut is the state’s official nut, and Oregon grows 99 percent of the entire U.S. commercial crop.
• The pear is Oregon’s state fruit, ranking as the top-selling tree fruit crop.
• There are more than 700 vineyards in Oregon, planted on about 13,700 acres. In the 2004 vintage, there were 19,400 tons of wine grapes harvested, and nearly 1.2 million cases of wine made. Oregon produces more than 40 different varietals of wine grapes.
• Letting an attendant pump your gas is mandatory; you may not pump your own in the state of Oregon.
The Zip, Sip and Stay package in Washington Country Oregon was selected as one of Frommer’s “Last-Minute Labor Day Deals” this week! Frommer’s is one of the most trusted name in travel with over fifty years of providing authoritative travel information and high quality recommendations- so this is an exciting honor for all of us!
To learn more about and to follow up on Frommer’s recommendation, visit our Adventure Passport Page where we feature the Zip, Sip, & Stay package. You can also call our Front Desk for info and to make a reservation at 866-968-5757.
Zip, Sip, & Stay is your passport to Washington County Oregon’s extreme adventure, vibrant flavors, and peaceful rest.
Passport for 2 Adults $245.00 and Includes
- Deluxe Suite for (2)
- Tree to Tree Adventure Admission
- Wine Tasting + $29 Wine Voucher
- Gourmet Lunches
- Specials at Local Restaurants
The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport is thrilled to partner with the Tualatin Riverkeepers to provide the perfect package for outdoor lovers: Tualatin Riverkeeper’s Paddling Excursion. This special package will take guests on a peaceful trip along the Tualatin River . This adventure is perfect for a friends or family adventure or even a romantic getaway!
The serenity of this river makes it ideal for new and first time paddlers. On the trip along the Tualatin River you will be able to witness wildlife and the natural beauty of this region.
Tualatin Riverkeepers (TRK) is a nonprofit organization working to protect and restore Oregon’s Tualatin River System. Volunteers provide nature education, habitat restoration, paddle trips and advocacy. Learn more about this organization in this video:
The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport Tualatin Riverkeeper’s Paddling Excursion package starts at $144.00 plus tax and includes:
- (1) boat rental (canoes, single or double kayaks);
- Shuttle service to and from Cooke Park (Boat Rentals open weekend days, 10am – 7pm);
- Classic accommodations
- Late Check out;
- Complimentary breakfast buffet;
- And cap off your day in our Indoor pool and spa
CLICK HERE TO BOOK THIS PACKAGE or call the Front Desk at 866-968-5757 to reserve your package now.
Please allow 3-5 days lead time when booking this package. Package based on availability. Additional boats may be booked at an additional cost of $45.00 per boat.
Article by Jeffrey Meier
Are you ready to get started on the travel journey of a lifetime this holiday season but feel as though you are forgetting something important? Don’t fret! All you need are a few holiday travel tips to make sure you stay on the right track. Whether you’re going to spend time with your family, or are taking everyone on a fun getaway, it is important that you plan well. So to help you out I am providing some holiday travel tips that will make your vacation time with family and friends a breeze.
Find Out Peak Travel Dates One of my top holiday travel tips is to find out when the peak travel dates are – then avoid them like a plague! Peak travel dates have two problems associated with them:
1) plane tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, and more tend to be more expensive, and
2) everyone else will be traveling on those dates, hence the name peak travel dates.
If possible, plan your vacation time at work a few days before the peak travel period so that you can avoid the rush. And also try to plan coming back a few days after – that way you can almost always guarantee reductions in prices, reductions in holiday traffic and reductions in headaches.
Do Your Comparison Shopping It is important to stay abreast of holiday travel tips that help you find the best deals for your money. That starts with finding flight specials and continues with locating vacation destination deals. If you are going to visit family for the holidays and are not in need of a hotel room or transportation when you arrive then flight costs are all you will need to take into consideration.
There are plenty of websites that give great holiday deals. Shop around with the major travel search engines such as Expedia and Travelocity, but also look at Cheaptickets.com and others for great rates. Also, you will be surprised to find that many airlines will have great deals if you search their website directly. And if you want the best comparison shopping experience, I recommend using SideStep.com. They use a side-by-side comparison of every flight special, sorted by price. I have found the greatest success using their services.
If you are traveling to a destination that does not include free room and board, then one of my holiday travel tips is for you to comparison shop for great all-inclusive package deals. You can find great places to stay during that holidays that have 3- and 5-night vacation packages with meals and activities included. Also, you will want to try to get a car factored into the price if you need one for your trip. The more specific you are when planning and the earlier you book, the better your results will be.
Plan Your Connecting Flights with Great Care This is one of the holiday travel tips that will reduce your stress level significantly. I say this because I know the feeling of sitting in the airport waiting to board the first of two connections when you hear the airline attendant politely (and nervously) inform passengers that the flight has been delayed for an hour or more due to a snow storm in “Sock-It-To-Me,” Kansas.
When you hear the news, your thoughts quickly shift to your connecting flight that is probably scheduled to depart on time – 30 minutes after this flight is supposed to land. You know pre-boarding begins 30 minutes prior to take off to ensure the flight leaves on schedule. And that’s when questions like “What will I do if my flight doesn’t land before the other flight takes off?” and “Are there additional flights available?” begin to rush through your mind. And of course, the final thought will be, “Why didn’t I schedule my connecting flight for a later time?”
This anxiety can be avoided by choosing connecting flights that allow for an hour and a half or more of layover time. I know that when you make the choice to find connecting flights as close as possible to the time your first flight is to land that you are simply trying to get where you’re going quickly and want to avoid boredom in the airport. But usually one and a half to two hours isn’t that long when you consider that it takes time to exit the plane, find the connecting flights departing gate, which could be in another terminal, then get settled before it is time to board the second plane. Besides, if you allow yourself the extra time, you are almost guaranteed the promise of making your connecting flights – a promise that is more than welcome during the busy holiday season.
Plan Your Packing In Accordance with Current Airport Security Measures. This is one of the holiday travel tips that actually sounds unfair – and trust me; I used to feel the same way too. But after enough hassles at the airport security station, I finally gave in and realized that I couldn’t change what I couldn’t control. So now, instead of fussing at the ways airports are trying to ensure our safety, I simply plan ahead by packing my belongings in accordance with their security measures.
One way to do this is by making sure to pack all of liquids and gels that are larger than 3 ml in the bags I plan to check. The airport has signs up everywhere that let you know that you cannot carry liquids and gels through the security checkpoint; these items include lotion, toothpaste, baby oil, aerosols (hairspray), perfume bottles, bottled water, and much more. If you carry them through the checkpoint they will find and confiscate them – you cannot stop this from happening. So to avoid the drama, why not simply pack them away and happily greet them at the baggage claim at your destination? You are allowed to carry liquids and gels 3 ml and smaller in a zip-top, clear bag, so you are not completely left out in the cold. And by sticking to the rules, you, your family, everyone in line behind you, and airport security will be much happier.
Remembering this helpful holiday travel tips will definitely help make vacationing during this holiday season a better experience. If you are in need of additional holiday travel tips, remember the last time you traveled and all of the challenges you faced, then apply them to the holiday season. By doing this you can assure yourself that you won’t be faced with any unwelcome surprises.
Jeffrey Meier at Jam727 Enterprises at http://www.thearticlehome.com blog offers even more detailed information on a wide variety of topics.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jeffrey_Meier
Oregon travelers and food lovers have a good reason to celebrate! On August 23, Travel Oregon launched the The Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast. Oregon Bounty is a statewide promotion that celebrates Oregon’s culinary abundance and the fall harvest season.
“The intimacy of our culinary scene is one of the incredible, relatively undiscovered aspects of Oregon,” said Travel Oregon’s Director of Brand Strategy, Holly Macfee. “It’s one of the few states where you can eat or drink right alongside the producers that grow, make or cook the ingredients. Fall is one of the best times of year for Oregon foodie travel since many of the products are at their peak.”
From August 23rd through November 30th, Oregon Bounty highlights unique travel experiences, fall events and the state’s chefs, winemakers, brewers, farmers and culinary artisans. For a complete list of celebration information, contest rules and to enter, visit www.Traveloregon.com/Bounty.
Last month, Terry Goldman became the new President and CEO of The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA). With over 16 years in tourism and hospitality industry, he is the ideal person to do the job! Most recently, Terry has taken on another exciting role as “The Washington County Wanderer”!
Terry will give visitors a glance at the hidden gems and attractions to be found throughout Washington County, Oregon in his video-blog series produced by the WCVA. To see other travel videos highlighting our area, be sure to visit the WCVA You Tube Channel and subscribe! Watch this premiere video as Terry visit’s Tree to Tree Adventure Park in Gaston, Oregon.
The Washington County Visitors Association serves the region’s tourism industry by actively promoting Washington County, Oregon, as a destination for sports, business, and leisure travelers. Washington County is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast. Spanning 727 square miles, it includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Durham, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. Washington County is home to world-class golf, award-winning wineries, an array of outdoor recreation, and superb dining and shopping. For more information about the WCVA, visit www.yourwaytoplay.com/about or www.visitwashingtoncountyoregon.com, or call 503-644-5555, toll-free, 800-537-3149.