Valentine’s Day Help For The Clueless

Valentines Day can be full of fun and joy or a stressful day for those who forgot to do something special for their loved one. While there may be just days left to plan a memorable event, there are options.

Go Skydiving
“Nothing says ‘I love you!’ like jumping out of a plane together,” says Skydive Spaceland in Houston. The company touts Valentine’s Day Specials like a Valentine’s Day 2-Fer Gift ($369), good for six months after date of purchase, perfect if extra time is needed to get used to the idea of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Those ready to go can save more with a dual jump on Valentine’s Day for $299.

Click To Celebrate
There is still time to send a gift online, if you hurry. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, for example, has Valentine’s Day gifts ranging from a traditional Red satin heart box filled with chocolates ($24.50) to a Scrumptious Snack Basket ($89.50). Too much? Try (personal favorite) See’s Candies who has a 4-ounce Red Assorted Box for $5.95 and they will even deliver it for you with expedited shipping at no extra charge to make it there in time.

Your Credit Card Company Can Help
Visa Signature cardholders get 24/7 access to a complimentary concierge service known as the Visa Signature Concierge. Visa’s on-call experts can help you with almost anything, including:

  • Offering restaurant recommendations.
  • Making the reservations that you forgot to make.
  • Buying last minute gifts.
  • Making travel arrangements.
  • Helping with entertainment planning, including finding hard-to-get tickets to anything.

Find A Great Place For A Romantic Dinner
No Visa Signature card? Open Table can help with suggestions on where to go for a great Valentine’s Celebration with a customized list of restaurants with availability on Valentine’s Day. Just punch in your zip code and the date you want to dine and Open Table instantly shows a list of restaurants, their price range, when tables are available and more.

Stay Home And Watch TV
The Travel Channel has a special showing of Ghost Adventures on Valentine’s Day. In each episode, the Ghost Adventures crew, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin investigate the scariest, most notorious, haunted places in the world.

This week, the gang at Ghost Adventures goes to Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, home to America’s most amorous female ghost.

Perhaps you have Valentine’s Day all planned and are ready to go. Did you think about what to wear? This video might help:

[Photo Credit- Flickr user wbeem]

An open letter to the soon-to-be new owners of the Travel Channel

Dear Soon-To-Be New Owners of the Travel Channel,

Most reports are indicating that the Travel Channel’s current owner, Cox Communications, is ready to sell the network for close to $700 million. The companies expected to submit an initial bid (due today) include NBC Universal, Scripps Network, and News Corp.

If anyone from those three corporate behemoths has stumbled across this humble travel blog, allow me to offer you some unsolicited advice for how the Travel Channel could be improved. It’s simple, and it boils down to this: Play travel programming. More precisely, play only travel programming.

As I look over the Travel Channel’s schedule of upcoming shows on its website, I find several whose presence on a travel network can only be explained by some sort of clerical error. Why, for example, is the ridiculous show Ghost Adventures featured anywhere on your schedule? Why does this Thursday evening appear to be devoted entirely to the antics of magician David Blaine? Why is the Robert Redford-Brad Pitt vehicle Spy Game playing this Saturday night? And finally, what the hell does the ubiquitous World Poker Tour have to do with travel? (Answer: “It’s got ‘World’ in the title!”)

To whomever purchases the Travel Channel: If you continue Cox Communications’ infuriating habit of scheduling these non-travel-related shows instead of original travel programming like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Dhani Tackles the Globe, and, hell, even Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches, you risk alienating your core audience, people who love to travel.

Focusing on magic, poker, and the occult might attract a few channel surfers, but it isn’t worth losing your biggest fans in the process.

Aaron Hotfelder