San Diego Travel Experts Share Last-Minute Summer Travel Tips
August 24, 2015 1:20 p.m.
Archana Ram, staff writer, San Diego Magazine
Alison DaRosa, San Diego travel writer
This is KPBS Midday Edition, I am Maureen Cavanaugh. Summer is almostover, did you forget to take a vacation? New research suggest more than half of Americans have not taken a vacation in the past year. Some of the reasons for that could be the increase in the number of workers who are independent contractors and don't get paid vacation. Or people juggling multiple jobs. But the biggest reason researchers have found is that people are so pressured to be productive on the job they just don't take many vacations. You still may have a chance to escape that pressure or to juggle your schedule for a last-minute summer getaways. 20 me to tell us how to do that are Archana Ram, a travel blogger at MySoCal'd Life, she's written for travel and leisure and cut in astrobleme and also a staff writer at San Diego Magazine. Teases, welcome to the program.
And Alison DaRosa is with this, she is San Diego travel writer, or travel deals columns appears on for Sunday of each month in the San Diego Union Tribune, Alison, welcome.
Thanks so much.
Today, Americans are not taken as much vacation time as they could or even should, but when they do, where have they've been going?
Dapa going to Europe big time. The strong dollar has given us some terrific deals, actually airfare prices are down ago it is just a trick of time to visit Europe and get locked we money and there some trick the deals out there.
Do you think what we saw this year was maybe some pent-up desire since the economy is better to take a more extravagant vacation, Alison?
I think it is really amazing when you look at some of the numbers overseas travel has been actually rising since 2010, but about 4% year, just this summer between may and projected to be the end of August about 500 million people have gone to a foreign country. It is pretty amazing. It is almost like you -- it is an offer that is too good to refuse right now.
Even in Canada, the dollar is strong so --
Yes, about people have taken advantage of it. Archana, we are running out of time for a big vacation. How would you suggest someone plan for a last-minute getaway?
There a few different sites, apps you can use. One of my new favorite is favorites is called hotel tonight, it is a free mobile app available on iPhones tablets and it is last-minute hotel bills and they range hotels range from basic to the lungs and you can because late as tonight or you can book seven days out in advance and yesterday I looked and I said I want to go to Palm Springs tonight and on hotel tonight I could get a room at the super offer $72 a night where is it would be $95 on the site. Great way to get great hotel bills, there's also a site called it camp, think about like AIR-B NB for camping so we can find deals for camping if you want to be more of an out door asked and also Groupon has a section devoted to last-minute deals sometimes those reckless of affairs, sometimes they are just hotel so there a few different options online I would look at.
Archana, you wrote a column about 52 we can getaways, how close to these destinations it be to offer as we can get away?
I think it is very subjective. For me, I'm comfortable with about four hours of driving maybe two to three hours a plan, but there some early risers who don't mind getting up at 45:00 AM and making a seven hour drive so it is up to you for some of my favorites are going to Ojai which is is to violate that's about a four-hour drive and I stayed in a beautiful AIR-B NB Portland is about 2.5 hours way by playing. You can you do go somewhere as far as New Orleans if you are willing to maybe tag on an extra day, Southwest launch direct flights from San Diego to New Orleans so that's a cool new option that's opened up for San Diegans.
Alison, we heard a lot about the holiday, that's a popular travel destination. Where do recommend going in Baja?
-- hotel has an absolutely amazing deals. My column next month has a deal that's exclusive to the first hundred readers who phone in and it is like for $129 you get your room and it is one of the grand suites with a separate sitting him and all that jazz and you also get your meals for up to four people, two adults and two kids and you get two massages a day. You pay that much just for the massage or the facial, not including the room and the meals so it is a hard this but you can afford to stay home.
Sites like Groupon that Archana mentioned also have some great deals for and Sonata, the Riviera -- has a great deal coming up at one of its really? Resorts, one of the $20, just fabulous opportunities. I think that if travelers, it is all about supply and demand so good places to look are -- destinations.
Archana, which up your getaways outside of San Diego might surprise people at how close they actually are?
I think the Channel Islands is a big one, that's about three hours by car North and in our by ferry, it is very close to Ventura and he feels like a world unto itself. It is an ecological wonderland there. Where the one hundreds pieces that are native to that particular area, five nationally protected islands, it is very close but makes you feel very far away and isn't -- plentiful we can get away.
I would also note to look into the suggestions that list a lot of suggestions for people and families that want to get a waiver we can, water sports and hiking and all of that is wonderful but what if you just want the weekend of luxury? And a beautiful location and a great hotel?
Isn't that the beauty of Southern California, there's so many good options here. One of my favorite is the Saint Regis Monarch Beach and -- the poll itself is people and reason enough to go but they have this great restaurant called Stonehill Tavern, did do the great testing menus testimonies, Page 2 different seasons and it is tomatoes right now so everything is about different kinds of tomatoes, it is really an event kappa tasting menu dinner there. And I also like the surf and sand resort in Laguna Beach, it is a fun family friendly option, there's a great spot that has to treatment. What they do is have this indoor camping surface where the kids conduce Mars and site and collect camping outside but very beautiful Laguna Beach hotel. What school -- you totally to them and what's funny about that resort is it so close to the water that the waves at night are so loud that they give you your plugs. I have stayed there and I actually love it, I think it is an amazing week of policy but their art your flex or if you wanted.
Allison, do you have a favorite luxury getaway for a weekend?
A luxury getaway for the week and, one of my favorite places is a staycation, a paradise point, it such great little island of serenity right in the city and I was checking out of the in their off -- offering rooms for 129
We do actually live in a vacation destination and if you are busy working you do not usually get to enjoy a lot of what San Diego has to offer so Archana, what do you recommend do you recommend we do if we decide for on a staycation?
I think the obvious first answer is the beach. We have a free playground for all ages, all activity levels with Yuko struggling or kayaking, when you go, maybe ego surfing at Black speech or if you are marks periods. This a lot of options at the beach itself. Beyond the beach out one of my favorite places at the meditation gardens in Encinitas, has a beautiful perch above Moonlight Beach, it is a very peaceful place. It is free also donation based. There's the brewing food festival coming up next weekend so that will be more than 70 breweries, lots of taste makers about 20 taste makers, people like -- the big Baja shop and clinic I hotel may be to want to stay at Hotel but don't want to travel far they had a 22 million-dollar renovation so new rooms, I knew Spock, very, very refreshed so you can have hotel experience without actually driving very far.
Alison, for a staycation, in San Diego, what maybe are some hidden treasures that we don't usually see very much?
One great thing that is coming up the entire month of October is kids eat, sleep and stay, play free so what better time to do a staycation like 100 attractions and hotels are offering free meals to kids, they are offering free stays to go adults can buy a ticket and kids can get in free app places like SeaWorld, as you. A tremendous time to take advantage, October is a great time in San Diego.
If we wanted to concentrate on the last couple of weeks of summer, official, unofficial summer as we are talking right now, and you were thinking about traveling getting that Labor Day weekend in, is Labor Day weekend a good time to travel or is a pretty crowded, Archana?
It is crowded because I think people do you want to get the last minute vacation in, but it is also great time to travel for that very reason because you owe it to yourself, Americans are not taking vacations, you will it to yourself to give you, give your brain, your body cap reg where we have learned that you are more productive when you take a break so I think thanks to they want before the end of the summer, the lower fuel costs, it is busy, they are likely to see 3% increase in the number of travelers this year's was probably going to be a 14.2 million is what studies say. But I think if you are flexible do have a lot of options maybe if you're going to San Francisco, flight into Oakland instead, you are likely to get a cheaper flight. I think if you are flexible with those kinds of things, the type of hotel rooms, you can get a great vacation in.
When it comes to fights, where can you you find last-minute tickets, Archana?
Some airlines have last-minute deals. As well as looking on kayak, setting up traveler alerts with travelers Sue and Groupon of baby dual flight inclusive package.
I want to also ask you Alison, because you are the deal person, if you're going to do a last-minute thing like this, where is where's the best place to look?
By Colin, for one. I've got some great deals coming not. -- coming up.
Getting your website, your address on last-minute hillsides, jet setter, Groupon, all those kinds of things and in fact a lot of hotels are offering had just for the weekend so I think you get a lot of listers would be surprised to find out how many good values are still out there. There's a lot of competition.
A lot of competition and a lot of people who went to Europe and so all these hotels in California are looking for people. Please,, right?
Please,, exactly. Also I think if you look at destination website you can find local deals like for example big bear is offering a $25 gas card to anybody who comes and stays at a long list of hotels that they post. But the small print is you're going to have to book the hotel by the end of August
For travel all the way through the end of November but still you need to read the small print but just check destination websites.
I want to Alison also ask a question that Archana popped up pops up in one of her answers and that is as I said in the beginning a lot of Americans are not taking vacations. They are not leaving town, they are not getting out there, they are not seeing, not taking the time off from their job. If you were to make a case as to why that's important to do, what would it be?
Actioned there's all kind of medical studies that show that people who take those vacations and up living longer, they've got lower blood pressure, all kinds of things like that. Many of us read the Amazon report in the New York Times over the weekend and that's got to not be good for your health
And not know vacation nation?
The no vacation nation. In Europe people -- we are one of the countries of the world that offers the least amount of vacation time. And we struggle to get people to do it, it is hard to figure. We need that for our sanity and we also needed to be better workers.
If you are worth -- work ethic wants to go, go on vacation.
I'm not sure my boss would agree but do it.
I've been speaking with Alison DeRosa, Alison DaRosa and with Archana Ram, travel blogger at MySoCal'd Life, thank you both very much.
Thanks for having us.