Would You Let A Website Choose Your Travel Destination?

beach Set to launch November 1, GetGoing is a new website that takes the hassle out of trip planning and budgeting while giving sizable discounts.

Travelers simply input their travel dates and what kind of trip they want, and the site searches hundreds of destinations, including ones they may not have thought of that could be a great fit. Users can input information about the region, like Europe or Asia, or interest, like history, beach or culture. From the generated list of 10 possible trips, users then choose their top two choices, as well as times, stopovers and prices. GetGoing will then choose one the trips and handle the booking.

So, why would one use this service? Along with less thinking on your part, GetGoing promises airfare discounts of up to 40% when you use their services.

Still sound crazy? Not to co-founder and CEO Alek Vernitsky, who explained to NBC News, “Giving somebody the option of selecting two destinations instead of one fits with how people think about vacations. People naturally think in terms of options – do I want to go here or there?”

Using the flip-a-coin philosophy, the company is able to leverage the fact their clients aren’t married to certain dates or destinations, allowing them to get great deals on remaining seats. For now, GetGoing will offer flights from 12 U.S. airports and trips to about 2,000 destinations. Future goals include adding similar offerings for accommodations and local getaways.

Would you use GetGoing’s new travel service?

[Image via Shutterstock]

8 Million Bats Fly To Zambia For Annual Migration

bat For travelers who want to get away from the fake blood and costumed zombies this Halloween, there is more authentic experience to be had at Zambia’s Kasanka National Park. The spectacle is said to be the world’s largest mammal migration, with 8 million straw-colored fruit bats arriving from the Congo to eat the wild musuku fruits in the park.

During the migration an overwhelming amount of bats spiral through the skies, screeching and colliding as they return each year to settle in the fruit trees, covering them until there is no longer visible bark. The most memorable time to watch is at sunset, when the bats fly out to find food, creating a thick straw blanket in the sky.

Said Jim Holden, President of African Travel, Inc., in a press release, “The annual migration of millions of bats from the Democratic Republic of the Congo across the border to Kasanka National Park is an astonishing sight. Africa is full of such natural wonders, and most of them are not well known, as with this natural occurrence.”

For a visual idea of the bat migration, check out the gallery below. If you’re interested in seeing the bat migration for yourself, visit the African Travel, Inc. website to book a tour.

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[Image above via Shutterstock; Gallery images via Shutterstock, Kathy Richardson, Frank Willems / Kasanka Trust]

Still Have Unused Vacation Days? Fall Is A Great Time To Use Them

office job According to the most recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, U.S. employees have an average of eight unused vacation days this fall. Not only that, but 38% of workers are expected to lose them completely. While some people don’t know they can use them this late in the year, others are stressed out with work and don’t know if they can take the time away from the office.

“Many workers get caught up in their busy schedules, and before they know it, the year is winding down and they think it’s too late to use their vacation days. The truth is, it’s not too late,” Lesley Trudelle of American Express Travel explained to Gadling. “Others can feel they have too much going on to allow themselves a vacation away from work and everyday life, but it is so important to allow time away from your desk to de-stress.”

In fact, a study done earlier this year showed nearly 60% of workers said losing paid vacation time decreased their well being. Additionally, subjects reported feeling revitalized, energetic and more productive after using their vacation days. If you still have some left, know autumn is a great time to use these unused vacation days.

Why Use Them Now?

Because fall is shoulder season in most places and there are fewer crowds, travelers can take advantage of more deals. It also tends to be less expensive, allowing you to take advantage of luxurious amenities for a discounted price. Weather can be more reliable, with less rain, lower temperatures and less humidity. Although November is still fall, in many places it’s not even considered shoulder season but off-season. This means you’ll enjoy quick service, quieter sightseeing and cheaper travel, many times by hundreds of dollars.calendar How To Make The Most Of Unused Vacation Days

There are a few ways people can really make the most of their unused vacation days. For one, do a bit of research and look for promotions. Generally, the Caribbean is popular due to its reliable more mild weather and sunny days. It’s also much more private during this time, which can be great if you’re looking for a romantic getaway.

Says Trudelle, “The kids are back in school so the beaches are less crowded for fall travelers, plus resorts are offering amazing savings.”

In Europe, places such as Austria and Scotland are also popular for fall, as these two usually expensive destinations drop dramatically in price.

It can also help to be flexible with your travel dates. Of course, depending on your job you may only have a certain amount of leeway. However, if you have the ability to be flexible, check airfare a few days before and after your expected travel dates. Sites like Kayak and Spirit Airlines even show you calendars so you can see how airfare prices differ from day to day. Changing your booking by one day could potentially save you $100 or more.

Additionally, if you’re really stressed and don’t want to leave the office for too long, think about taking a long weekend. You would only have to use two vacation days, and could go to a nearby destination without feeling rushed. For example, if you live on the east coast on the United States, taking a trip to eastern Canada or the Caribbean is quick and easy.

wine Where To Go?

The study also looked at the most popular destinations for fall travel. While 37% will be traveling domestically, 7% are planning to go abroad. For those traveling internationally, 32% are headed to Europe, while 29% will be heading to the Caribbean. So, where how should you use your unused vacation days?

“A great fall destination can be different for everyone, as a traveler’s individual personality is more apt in determining the experience they are seeking than anything else,” explains Trudelle. “That being said, I’d say if you can find great deals, exciting events and festivals, activities to enjoy the outdoors, or something to see or do that is exclusive to this season, then you’ve found yourself a great spot for a fall getaway.”

Along with the Caribbean and Europe, one popular option is South America, as fall in the United States is summer over there. You can head to the beach in Brazil, enjoy up to 16 hours of daylight in Patagonia or sunny days with no humidity in northern Chile. South Africa also experiences opposite seasons, with their summer running from mid-October to mid-February, although you’ll usually still end up paying less than you would on flights June through August in November. Experience whale season, go turtle tracking, take part in a safari, hike through Table Mountain National Park or just relax at one of the many spas. And for those looking to get away from the warmth and enjoy crisp weather, head to Utah or Colorado for their ski season openings.

fall foliage If you want to do something fall-inspired, there are a few domestic destinations for U.S. travelers. Head to Napa Valley and experience the tail end of their fall harvest. There are still various events happening in the upcoming weeks, like Flavor! Napa Valley, B Cellars: Harvest Celebration and the Napa Valley Film Festival with wine and food tasting.

In Arizona, the weather cools down dramatically in November but still ranges from around 49 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, depending where you are and what time it is. It’s a great time to explore the Grand Canyon, Oak Green Canyon, Saguaro National Park and other places of natural beauty while not having to deal with unbearable heat. There are also numerous festivals at that time, including the American Heritage Festival, American Indian Heritage Festival, Arizona Wine Growers Festival at The Farm, ArtFest of Scottsdale and more. Click here for a full listing.

And, if you want to get really festive, head to birthplace of Thanksgiving, Plymouth, Massachusetts. You’ll be able to catch the end of the cranberry harvest season and tour some local farms. Additionally, the area is home to many scenic spots like Ellisville Harbor State Park, Pilgrim Memorial State Park and the nearby Ames Nowell State Park. Those interested in history will have much to discover. You can visit The Jabez Howland House, an original 17th-century two-story house where pilgrims once lived, the 1749 Court House and Museum, which is the oldest wooden courthouse and longest used municipal building in America and the Alden House Museum, where you can learn about John Alden and Priscilla Mullins who arrived on the “Mayflower” in 1620. Event-wise, Plymouth has much to offer in November, like all-day tours and tastings at the Mayflower Brewing Company, a delicious journey into the past at Harvest Dinner with the Pilgrims, a deeper look at local production with the Cranberry Bog Tour and a parade and feast at America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration.

[Images via Shutterstock]

Urban Park Allows Visitors To Travel To More Than 50 Countries


superkilen

Do you wish you could travel more but don’t have the time to visit as many places as you would like? If you can get yourself to Copenhagen, you’ll be able to travel to over 50 different countries without leaving their newest urban park project, Superkilen.

Commissioned by the city of Copenhagen and RealDania, the concept of the “Super Park” was developed by SUPERFLEX as well as architectural firms Bjarke Ingels Group and Topotek1. According to The Atlantic Cities, the park runs through the diverse neighborhood of Nørrebro and has three sections, Red Square, Black Market and Green Park. While Red Square embodies modern city life with sports, music and a cafe, Black Market takes a classic approach by featuring fountains and benches. Green Park is where people go for picnics and dog walking. The unique twist on the concept is each area is dotted with various pop and cultural artifacts from the community members’ home countries.

Instead of having Superkilen reflect just Danish culture with local benches, plants and playgrounds, the park is curated to represent nationalities from all over the world. For example, you may find an Islamic-tiled fountain from Morocco, neon Communist signs from Russia or a bench from Ethiopia. In total, there are over 100 artifacts from over 50 countries.

If you’re visiting the park and want to know more about the objects, you can download Superkilen app which tells the story of each artifact.

[Image via Superkilen]

Blood Rain Predicted To Fall In The United Kingdom This Halloween

blood rain Blood rain just before Halloween? While it may sound like a festive prank, forecasters are really predicting this bizarre weather occurrence.

The phenomenon is actually a mix of red dust from the Sahara Desert blowing toward Europe. However, because it’s supposed to rain, the dust will most likely mix with the precipitation causing red raindrops, or blood rain.

Other predictions include the blood rain spattering and staining cars to mixing with snow to create a gruesome winter wonderland.

“The warm air has been drawn from a long way south down in north Africa and is spreading north,” London’s Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples told news.com.au. “But there is going to be a sharp contrast in weather as a cold snap sweeps across the country from Friday, which is likely to bring snow to Scotland and the north of England.”

This isn’t the first time the U.K. has experienced blood rain. Throughout history it has been noted, and in earlier times was used to presage unfortunate events. In fact, as early as 685 the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded “there was a bloody rain in Britain. And milk and butter were turned to blood. And Lothere, king of Kent, died.”

Let’s hope this year’s blood rain is nothing more than an uncanny incidence.

[Image via Shutterstock]