Freelance Travel Photographer/Artist. Founder of the Digital Age Travel Agency affiliated and registered with Inteletravel.
I have combined my love for Photography and Travel into a digital platform to share with like minded Artist/Entrepreneurs.
Study reveals families are opting for Airbnbs over hotel stays
from The Navigator
I love Airbnbs, but as someone who typically travels with just my significant other, they’re not always necessary for me. In fact, the times I find myself prioritizing them are when I’m traveling with family or a group of friends. New research says I’m not the only one who feels this way.
According to new data from Airbnb, family travel is thriving. On their platform, it skyrocketed by 60% in 2022 compared to before the pandemic. Airbnb saw 15 million check-ins in nearly 90,000 destinations. Considering you can book a two-bedroom two-bath house per night for the same cost as one hotel room, the numbers make sense.
Another significant advantage of Airbnb for families is the access to a kitchen. Nearly 90% of Airbnb listings have kitchens, allowing families to save money by cooking instead of eating out for every meal.
Moreover, the experience is unique. You can choose a home with a yard so the kids can run wild. You can indulge in a pool you don’t have to share with other guests. And families can really unpack—staying for longer periods of time. In 2022, more than half of families stayed between two and six nights, while nearly half stayed for a week or longer. This flexibility allows families to plan their trip around their schedule, whether it’s a short weekend getaway or an extended family vacation.
So where are families going? Everywhere! Paris, France, London, United Kingdom, and Melbourne, Australia are just a few of the top destinations for family travel on Airbnb. Additionally, Airbnb offers families the opportunity to travel near and far with unique experiences. The top-booked categories for family travel in 2022 included amazing pools, beach destinations, skiing destinations, tropical destinations, and national parks. I just found a flight deal for $468 from Los Angeles to Finland, which had me wondering: If I was packing up the whole family for this epic trip, what Airbnb could I score to round out the most reasonable trip ever? I can get this stunning 3-bedrooms 2-bath cottage for $199 a night.
American Cruise Lines has announced that American Star departs from Florida on February 18, marking the opening of the line’s 2023 U.S. cruise season. The line is celebrating “Wave Season” by running more small ships from U.S. ports than ever before. The line begins this year’s season with two riverboats and two small ships setting sail along the East Coast from Florida and South Carolina, the West Coast from California, and the Mississippi River from Louisiana.
On the West Coast, American Jazz will embark along a historic cruise from San Francisco on February 24, 2023. Following the new eight-day “San Francisco Bay” itinerary, American Jazz will be the first U.S. riverboat in over 80 years to explore San Francisco Bay and the California Delta, cruising wine country along the Napa, Sacramento, and San Joaquin rivers.
On the East Coast, two of the company’s smallest cruise ships, the 90-passenger American Star and American Independence, depart February 18 and February 25, respectively. American Star will begin the season along the eight-day “Great Rivers of Florida” cruise, roundtrip from Jacksonville. A Sister ship, American Independence, will sail the line’s popular eight-day “Historic South & Golden Isles” itinerary between Charleston, South Carolina, and Amelia Island, Florida; exploring the country’s Gold Coast along the protected Intracoastal Waterway. The recently renovated American Heritage begins the 2023 season on the Mississippi River, following a classic eight-day “Lower Mississippi” itinerary from New Orleans to Memphis, departing February 25.
American Cruise Lines offers five new riverboats and 11 itineraries on the Mississippi alone in 2023 and has a growing fleet of new small ships and riverboats operating 50+ itineraries in 35 states this year.
American’s 2023 season continues to open around the country, with “Chesapeake Bay Cruises” in March; “Columbia and Snake Rivers” cruises and “Puget Sound Cruises” in April; “New England” cruises in May; “Alaska Cruises” in June; “Hudson River” cruises in September; and “Holiday Cruises” in November and December.
The company’s small ship cruises offer an all-inclusive experience and feature over 400 shore excursions. All the line’s itineraries include complimentary onboard enrichment and entertainment, fine cuisine, and a festive cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres each evening. American ships also include Starlink Wi-Fi. Cruise pricing 2023-24 for includes port charges and fees as well as tips and gratuities.
AMERICA’S MOST UNIQUE CITY……From Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street to the finest Creole and Cajun dining, New Orleans serves up a one-of-a-kind experience for clients. Knowing how to direct our clients to the unique experiences of the Big Easy is key to ensuring they have the best, most memorable vacation possible.
We are able to recommend a good orientation to the city and offer insights about the New Orleans sights and sounds.
NEW ORLEANS TASTES & TUNES….New Orleans wouldn’t be the city that it is without its unique dining scene and unsurpassed musical heritage. We are well-versed in culinary and music history and know where to access the city’s best current offerings. We will help you create a dining and musical experience that is nothing short of a masterpiece.
CRUISING NEW ORLEANS…Historic grace and modern cruising grandeur come together in one destination in New Orleans. Visitors to the city can take advantage of both experiences – an educated travel advisor makes the difference. We understand the history of cruising in New Orleans and are well-versed as to the newest opportunities for New Orleans-bound travelers.
DESTINATION WEDDINGS IN NEW ORLEANS…New Orleans is known as the “Paris of the South.” For centuries, couples have been saying ‘I do in New Orleans. Destination weddings in New Orleans are not just three-hour events, they are three-day plus celebrations with friends and family that will have guests talking about the big event for a long time.
GROUPS IN THE CRESCENT CITY….Groups heading to New Orleans will discover a city that welcomes them with two big open arms. There is so much to discover in the Crescent City, starting with its incredible heritage.
It is home to more National Historic Landmarks than any other city in the United States. Groups will explore a destination distinctively its own, whether it’s a walking tour of the historic French Quarter, including countless restaurants and fascinating architecture; discovering the Arts District, with its endless galleries; or shopping on Magazine Street, one of the oldest and most diverse shopping districts in the city.
NEW ORLEANS & BEYOND…There’s no disputing that New Orleans is a city filled with countless attractions and activities of its own. However, when clients head here and just stay within its environs then they are missing out on a host of excitement all within a radius of a two-hour drive.
Whether it’s a repeat visitor to New Orleans, or a first-timer looking for a longer stay, they won’t want to miss out on all there is to see and do beyond the city.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR CLIENT GOES…Welcome to New Orleans…where the motto of “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler” (Let the Good Times Roll) sums up the celebratory atmosphere of the city while paying tribute to its French heritage. The Crescent City’s European and Caribbean influences date back more than 300 years and can be felt, seen, heard, and tasted in its music, architecture, and cuisines.
New Orleans is also proud to be a part of the great American South with historical architectural gems such as antebellum plantations along the Mississippi River and mansions in the Garden District, as well as a steamboat paddlewheel that harkens back to another time.
Visitors can stroll through New Orleans’ diverse neighborhoods, experience Mardi Gras, listen to jazz, eat Cajun favorites, shop for antiques, and embrace life the New Orleans way.
Located in New Orleans’ Central Business District, two blocks from the French Quarter’s famous Bourbon Street. Countless bars, restaurants, and shops are within a 10-minute walk. The Caesars Superdome and Smoothie King Center are under a mile away. Enjoy our rooftop pool, 11th floor lobby lounge, and Great American Grill.
The Great American Grill host daily breakfast buffet between the hours of 6am and 10am daily. Staff members Ursula, Marlene, anchored by Keith (mgr) offer above board hospitality. Cost is 19.95/ea. Dinner served evenings.
Rooms are very accommodating bosting plenty of space for both working and relaxing.
A new year is always a great time to kick your photography plans into gear. If you haven’t done so already, here are 8 new year resolutions to consider
1 Take more photos
My number one advice for anyone wanting to improve their photography is to simply take more photos. It’s like anything, the more you practice something the better you will become. So whether you are a landscape photographer, travel photographer, wildlife photographer or even if you enjoy taking portraits, try to set time aside regularly to just focus on your photography. Or if you find it difficult to do so when you are home because of everyday life, why not book to go away for a few days to just concentrate on photography? You’ll be amazed at how much your work improves over time by simply taking more photos.
2 Do something with your photos
There is no doubt that the positives of digital photography (as opposed to film photography) far outweigh the negatives (excuse the pun). However, I think one of the big negatives of digital photography, is that for many photographers, their photos just end up sitting on their hard drives forever.
So, this year, why not plan to do “something” with your photos? You can of course look to sell them through Picfair. Or you can just get into the habit of posting regularly on social media. For those who have a bit more time on their hands, you can even create a photo book of your best photos. Not only do these kinds of things help promote you and your work, but it’s also great to just have your work out there rather than on a hard drive.
3 Learn something new
Photography is like any other hobby or profession, in that there are always elements that you can improve at. At the start of each year, I set myself a goal of learning something new that is related to my profession or business. For example, a few years ago I purchased a drone and learned how to use that for aerial photography. Another year, I taught myself all about SEO. Last year I learned how to create reels for social media.
Learning something new can be incredibly rewarding not to mention help improve your photography. For example, you may be someone who has never used a flash but want to or you may struggle with photographing in low light conditions. Or maybe you are not hugely confident in using editing software. So think about what you would like to learn and spend the next 12 months working toward learning or improving whatever that may be.
4 Set yourself a goal
As well as learning a new skill, another great New Year resolution is to set yourself a professional goal. In other words, something that you would like to achieve. This could be anything from shooting something you have always wanted to shoot, or for example, this might be an event, a place or even a type of photo that you have always wanted to capture.
Or your goal could be more business-driven like having a photo published in a magazine or newspaper. You could even set yourself a goal of winning a photography competition and spend time actually trying to capture photos that are going to have the best chance of winning. It’s OK if you don’t achieve your goal. This is about giving you something to focus on.
5 Look through your old photos
I’m sure like me, there have been times when you have looked through your old catalog of photos and found a few great photos that you missed when you were editing. In fact, there have been so many times when I have found photos from past shoots that have gone on to sell very well. So, if you have time, it is always worth having a look through your old collection of photos and possibly even re-editing some photos to see if you can find some hidden gems that you missed.
Remember that photos that are sitting on your hard drive will never sell. But if they are in your Picfair Store or out in the world, they might. You never know.
Photography can be a lonely hobby or profession most of the time. You generally work by yourself and may not get the opportunity to bounce ideas off other people. Joining a local camera club is a great way to improve your photography by sharing your photos and getting feedback from fellow photographers. Camera clubs often also put on competitions which are again great for focusing you on something specific.
And there are of course often talks by professional photographers which can be very helpful in giving you tips and advice on a whole range of different topics.
7 Work on a personal project
think that even if you are a seasoned pro, it is always very useful to have a personal project on the go that you can work on. This can be a great way to escape the everyday mundane aspects of being a photographer and allow you to do something that you love or are passionate about. Or it could just be a photography technique that you want to experiment with like light painting or macro photography.
Try to think of a project that you are so passionate about that it won’t feel like work. But rather something that you can spend months working on without any hesitation.
8 Update/refresh your website
All of us photographers (me included) are guilty of neglecting our websites. It’s just one of those tasks that often fall at the bottom of the list. But your website is incredibly important as it showcases you to the world. So set aside a day or two to go through and update your website accordingly.
Make sure that you have added any new work that you have done or had published. Shout about your achievements, update your contact details, and most important of all, make sure that your website is optimized so that it doesn’t take ages to load. Trust me, as someone who regularly commissions photographers, nothing is more frustrating for an editor than having to wait for each page or image to load.
You may of course have your own new year’s resolutions, but the above will not only make you a better photographer but might also make you a more successful one too.
Kav is a full-time photographer and author of 400+ articles. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Magazine Photography of the Year competition and leads small group photo tours around the world. View all articles
Celebrity Cruises is sailing into the future with the launch of a new virtual experience dubbed, the “Wonderverse.”
In an industry first, travelers will get to “see before they sail,” exploring a hyper-realistic, digital recreation of aspects of their newest ship in Celebrity’s transformational Edge Series, Celebrity Beyond, complete with the ship’s spaces, entertaining signature moments like Celebrity’s famous Martini Bar Flair Show, and the ability to visit top destinations that Celebrity sails to—from Alaska to the Caribbean and Europe to Asia.
In addition, guests can meet and chat with the line’s key leaders as digital avatars, including President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, the Captain Kate McCue—the first, and still only, American female captain of a major cruise ship, and Nate Berkus, Celebrity’s Edge Series travel ambassador and designer of the Sunset Bar on Celebrity Beyond.
Built-in partnership with virtual event platform architects Surreal Events, Celebrity’s Wonderverse is also complete with mini-games and activities, entertainment, easter eggs, and much more, all hosted on the web at celebritycruises.com/wonderverse.
Once logged in to the Wonderverse, consumers will move from space to space, enjoying immersive, interactive content throughout, as they learn more about the ship and the destinations they can sail to on Celebrity Cruises, including:
The Magic Carpet that soars cantilevered above the sea with uninterrupted vistas for enjoying virtual cocktails or dinner. The first space users will experience, it also doubles as a meeting space, providing a dynamic way for users to interact together virtually.
The majestic Grand Plaza, the social epicenter of Celebrity Beyond, spanning three decks with the brand’s signature Martini Bar at the heart of it all, will serve as a social-first lounge where passengers can connect, listen to music, enjoy Celebrity’s iconic Martini Bar Flair Show and chat with Celebrity’s President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.
The Resort Deck, featuring a Rooftop Garden, the ship’s Main Pool, unique cantilevered float pools, and sunken seating offers interactions with Captain Kate and Nate Berkus, who showcases the brand’s 2024-2025 season offerings. Visitors can also relax in lounge chairs and jump in the pool.
The Nate Berkus-designed Sunset Bar, where Berkus shares his personal travel experiences reflected in the internationally-inspired ambiance at the multi-level, multi-terraced outdoor space while visitors enjoy one of the most talked about spaces on any cruise ship.
The journey begins with a user-controlled tender game to the iconic Magic Carpet, where participants will have a chance to create their own personalized avatar. Participants will then be transported to the Resort Deck, where they will be greeted personally by Captain Kate, on hand to help answer questions and can explore the ship from there.
From there, visitors can also experience some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations in the Wonderverse, including the Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier in Alaska; Santorini, Greece; Japan’s capital city of Tokyo and the Mt. Fuji; and the white sand beaches and clear Caribbean waters of St. Lucia, all before reuniting with Nate Berkus at the Sunset Bar, where they’ll have the opportunity to ask him a series of questions about the ship and destinations. As part of the experience, guests will be able to easily access a portal for immediate bookings.
TSA is throwing a bone to the last-minute packer in your life by introducing a mobile texting option to help travelers with last-minute travel packing questions.
If you’re in the midst of packing and need to know what you can or can’t bring, ‘AskTSA’ is now at your beck and call, in addition to the agency’s social media accounts and “What Can I Bring?” website.
You can text “Travel” to AskTSA (275872) for answers to your packing queries. Automated responses are provided 24 hours a day, and TSA experts are available from 8 am to 6 pm EST.
Users can choose from the following topics to get started: TSA PreCheck, What’s Allowed, Identification, Medical Questions, Damages/Claims, and Other.
Travelers interested in getting answers from the “What’s Allowed” section, for example, will choose between “Carryon” or “Checked” luggage, followed by the following topics to help specify your needs: E-Cigarettes, Electronics, Firearms, Flammable Aerosols, Food, Grooming Items, Knives, Lighters and More.
With this new texting option, travelers can finish their packing with the confidence that their suitcases won’t be rummaged through. But in my experience, those forgotten nail clippers at the bottom of your bag means they probably still will be.
Next year will see international travel recover at a faster pace despite increasing prices, as travelers shake concerns from the pandemic and plan bigger trips, according to recent research by travel insurance marketplace Squaremouth.com, which analyzed booking trends to identify five key 2023 travel predictions.
Here’s what it had to share:
1. 2023 Will Mark the Full Recovery of International Travel
Nearly 90 percent of insured travel was for international destinations, marking the first time international travel matched pre-pandemic levels. Squaremouth anticipates a high demand for international trips to continue in 2023.
2. Antarctica Will Be a Top Destination for the First Time in 2023
With international travel back, bigger trips to more adventurous destinations will trend in 2023. Preliminary 2023 trip data shows Antarctica is a top destination for the first time ever. Other top destinations early in 2023 include Israel, Costa Rica, France, Spain, and Japan.
3. Travelers Primed to Spend at Least 25 Percent More on Travel
With lingering economic uncertainties, travelers are becoming more budget-conscious and changing their spending habits. That said, travel is getting more expensive, and will continue to increase in 2023. Travelers spent an average of 25.53 percent more on trips in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic figures. Of all age cohorts, Millennials are feeling the most price pressure, spending an average of 40 percent more on trips compared to 2019.
4. Older Travelers Return
Older travelers have returned to pre-pandemic numbers going into 2023. Squaremouth expects Millennials and Gen Z will continue to purchase travel insurance at a higher rate than 2019.
Over 60 percent of travel insurance buyers are born before 1980, which includes Generation X and Baby Boomers; collectively, this group is expected to spend over $2 billion on travel in 2023. Throughout the pandemic, these demographics saw the largest drop-off. At the same time, Millennials and Gen Z grew their market share of travel insurance purchases by over 15 percent
5. Travelers Will Worry Less About Coronavirus and More About Airlines
Due to aviation-related travel disruptions in 2022, trip cancelation and travel delays are becoming bigger concerns for travelers going into 2023. Searches for travel insurance including COVID-related coverage dropped by around 2 percent in 2022, while searches for “Cancel for Any Reason” dropped by nearly 3 percent from 2021, and almost 9 percent compared to 2020. Trip delay coverage had the biggest increase of all searches, due in part to airline flight cancelation issues.
Methodology: Squaremouth analytics compared travel insurance policy sales for trips being insured between January 1 and December 5, 2022. To determine the top insured destinations for 2023, Squaremouth analytics analyzed all plans purchased by December 5, 2022, for travel between January 1 and December 31, 2023.
Expect an effortless blend of style and service at Atlanta Airport Marriott. This modern hotel sits on 14 acres of scenic grounds near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Take advantage of their free airport shuttle, available 24 hours a day.
Fuel up for a day of sightseeing in Atlanta at VOYA Bistro or linger over a delicious dinner at Bentleys Steakhouse, two of five hotel dining outlets.
Then unwind in stylish, soundproof hotel rooms with plush bedding, marble bathrooms, smart TVs, balconies, and views of our hotel pool.
If you’re looking for things to do near our airport hotel, you’re in luck. From small-town coffee shops and breweries to nearby event venues and museums, Atlanta Airport Marriott puts you close. Utilize the digital concierge to explore before you head out.
InteleTravel Hotel Inspection Form
First Impression of Hotel………………………………. ( Curb appeal is outstanding )
Accessibility Of Front Entrance…………………….. ( Drive very accessible)
Lobby Appearance and Size …………………………. ( Hugh Open Lobby )
Number of Elevators …………………………………….. ( Nice and roomy )
Number of Available Bellstaff ……………………….. ( On Point )
Number of Staff at Front Desk ………………………. ( Available & Efficient )
Appearance and Diversity of Dining Areas …….. ( On-site Coffee Shop, and Restaurants)
Appearance and Diversity of Entertainment ……. ( Weekend Entertainment )
Closeness to Restaurants, Shops, etc. ……………… ( Restaurants on Site / Shopping UA)
Closeness to Public Transportation …………………. ( Airport Shuttle (public trans @airport Uber/Lyft)
Appearance/Apparent Safety of Neighborhood … ( Suburban)
Size of Guest Rooms …………………………………….. ( Spacious )
Appearance of Guest Rooms ………………………….. ( Very Nice)
Freelance Travel Photographer/Artist. Founder of the Digital Age Travel Agency affiliated and registered with Inteletravel.
I have combined my love for Photography and Travel into a digital platform to share with like minded Artist/Entrepreneurs.
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