Top Family Destinations from Villas of Distinction

Casablanca luxury villa in Barbados

Villas of Distinction, a 2019 Travvy Award winner for Best Villa Rental Company, offers travelers one-of-a-kind luxury escapes in the most coveted destinations around the globe.

There’s a unique villa experience to suit every type of traveler and event, whether it’s a family reunion in the Caribbean, corporate retreat in Mexico, girlfriend getaway in Europe or a ski trip to Colorado. You get the idea.

Villas of Distinction has got you covered with unmatched knowledge and experience, the finest properties meeting the strictest standards and exceptional attention to detail to ensure you and your travel companions come away with the perfect experience.

Families eyeing a luxury villa getaway in 2019 should consider one of these destinations.

Florida

The Theme Park Capital of the World certainly can’t be beaten when it comes to entertaining families. The list of must-visit attractions includes Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando but definitely doesn’t end there with nearby Gatorland and LEGOLAND Florida also making for worthwhile day trips.

Fortunately, most of Villas of Distinction’s Orlando area villas are located within Reunion Resort and just a few miles from Disney and Central Florida’s other world-class family-friendly attractions.

Jamaica

Families traveling with lots of babies and or toddlers will want to consider a vacation in Jamaica as most properties here feature the conveniences of a full staff, including chef, butler, housekeeper and laundress.

Villa rentals are available throughout the island. Choose from popular tourist destinations such as Montego Bay or Ocho Rios or something in between like Falmouth, Discovery Bay or Runaway Bay.

Turks and Caicos

Beach in Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos is one of the more family-friendly destinations in the Caribbean as it’s just a short flight from Miami. Better yet, travelers to these islands will have nearly 100 luxury villas to choose from.

Guests will have easy access to some of the best beaches, including Grace Bay, as well as opportunities to get up close with nature and wildlife whether snorkeling or whale watching.

Barbados

Villas of Distinction offers more than 180 villas in nearly three dozen locations throughout Barbados so families of all sizes and ages are sure to find the perfect fit.

Rental options here range from one-bedroom cottages to sprawling, 10-bedroom estates. Plus, similarly to Jamaica, most luxury villas come with the services of a full staff at no extra charge.

Italy

Tuscany, winery, vineyards, wine

Large multigenerational groups, in particular, will fall in love with Tuscany, where highlights of many villas include private pools, game rooms, tennis courts and other beloved amenities.

Villas of Distinction’s Borgo Finocchieto Estate can accommodate up to 44 guests while most others offer private space for at least two dozen travelers and are within close proximity to major cities allowing for convenient day trips.

For more information on Villas of Distinctions and their family-friendly villa rentals, contact your travel agent or visit their website here.

Top Travel Technology Leaders Honored at 2019 Travvy Awards

Travel technology.

Travel technology continues to be a fascinating and rapidly evolving space, one in which barely a day goes by without the announcement of an exciting new development designed to improve the overall travel experience.

From apps designed to customize and improve your hotel stay, to new ways of booking travel and sophisticated ways of communicating with travel brands, there appears to be no end in sight when it comes to the possible uses of technology.

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At the 2019 Travvy Awards, the leaders in the travel tech arena were among those who received awards. Technology categories covered everything from Best Car Rental Website to Best Host Agency Website and Best Travel Planning Technology.

Here’s the full list of winners. (Gold winners listed first; Silver winners listed second):

Best Car Rental Website

enterprise.com; autoeurope.com

Best Host Agency Website

AvoyaTravel.com; nexion.com

Best Tour Operator Website

ShoreTrips; Shore Excursions Group

Best Travel Agent Reservations System

VAX VacationAccess; Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Program

Best Travel Planning Technology

Cruises Inc., CruiseOne and Dream Vacations; VAX VacationAccess

Best Travel Technology Provider

Cruises Inc., CruiseOne and Dream Vacations; VAX VacationAccess

WATCH: Mark Murphy's Top Presidents' Day Travel Deals, Destinations

Mark Murphy, Fox 29 Philadelphia

Presidents’ Day weekend is only three weeks away but there’s still plenty of time for travelers to score excellent deals on winter getaways to places like New York City, Washington, D.C., Seattle and the Dominican Republic.

On Monday, travAlliancemedia president and CEO, Mark Murphy appeared on Fox 29 Philadelphia to share some of his favorite value winter destinations and Presidents’ Day travel ideas.

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“There’s a property that just did a $35 million renovation called Sanctuary Cap Cana. It’s for adults only and it’s a great value overall,” he said. “What’s nice about that property is that it’s all-inclusive, ideal for couples, it’s got towers and villas. It’s fantastic.”

Murphy recommends budget-conscious families with young children consider taking advantage of Amtrak’s service between the Big Apple and the nation’s capital next month.

“If you’ve got kids, it’s really expensive to travel over a long holiday weekend so why not take Amtrak to New York? Over those holiday weekends, especially when it’s colder, you don’t have a lot of business travelers and tourists so the rates come down,” he added. “You can stay in Midtown right down the street from Times Square at the Hyatt Regency for under $200 a night.”

“You can get out and enjoy the museums so it’s a great experience for your kids.”

Travelers can also capitalize on phenomenal cruise deals right now. “Fly down to Mobile, Alabama. The airfare is relatively cheap, a few hundred dollars per person. And then it’s $220 starting price on a Carnival cruise for four nights,” said Murphy.

You can watch Murphy’s appearance on Fox 29 Philadelphia in its entirety below:

2018’s Top Business Travel Destinations

Manhattan Bridge New York City Skyline. (photo by: sansara/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

After a global study, Egencia flight data confirmed that New York is the most popular business travel destination globally. The Big Apple is followed by London and Paris.

London hasn’t held the top spot since 2014 and Paris, is solidifying its spot as a business travel hub with air travel to the City of Light up by more than 20 percent from January 1, 2018, to December 1, 2018.

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Forecasts show that New York will continue to dominate the business travel market. Egencia flight data shows that business trip flight bookings to New York were nearly 10 percent higher than bookings to London in 2018.

Fourth on the list is Asian business hub Shanghai. China’s pre-eminent commerce center and, while Europe holds two spots in the top three and the U.S. takes the top spot, Asian destinations dominate the top 20. Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo rank sixth, eighth and ninth respectively, and Beijing came in at number 15, Mumbai was 17 on the list and Seoul was in the 20th spot.

The Middle East, South America and North Africa all have taken spots in the top 20 as well. Dubai came in at 11, according to Egencia data. Sao Paulo was 18 and Casablanca was number 19.

Overall, business travel is on the rise. Between January 1, 2014, and December 1, 2018, total business travel flight bookings increased globally by nearly 110 percent.

“While U.S. and European cities retain the top three spots, the most interesting takeaway is how global business travel has truly become with five of seven continents represented in the top 20 destinations,” said Andrew Dyer, Vice President of Global Supply at Egencia brand. “As business travel continues to grow, it’s never been more important for companies to have a traveler-friendly program that also provides unified global tools for travel managers to assist their travelers.”

Here are the official Egencia top business travel destinations:

—New York

—London

—Paris

—Shanghai

—Toronto

—Singapore

—San Francisco

—Hong Kong

—Tokyo

—Chicago

—Dubai

—Mexico City

—Boston

—Montreal

—Beijing

—Los Angeles

—Mumbai

—Sao Paulo

—Casablanca

—Seoul

The Top 100 Corporate Hotels for Business Travelers Revealed

Sky Pool at ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Egencia, Expedia’s business travel division, has announced the winners of its annual awards program, revealing the top 100 preferred hotels around the globe.

The Egencia program honors properties with the goal of recognizing those that are committed to customer service for business and corporate clients.

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Manhattan Bridge New York City Skyline. (photo by: sansara/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

2018’s Top Business Travel Destinations

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Travelers walking together with luggage

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The finalists for the fourth annual awards program range from major hotel brands to independent properties and were selected based on satisfaction ratings, pricing, desirable amenities for corporate travelers, customer service and the overall guest experience in 2018.

“A great business traveler experience is just as important to us as providing a great business travel platform here at Egencia, which is why each year we recognize and reward hotels that deliver outstanding customer service, tremendous value for money and popular amenities,” said Andrew Dyer, vice president of global supply at Egencia brand.

“This year’s honorees go above and beyond what is expected of them to put the needs and comfort of business travelers first, offering conveniences such as complimentary breakfast and loyalty points.”

The top 100 hotels recognized by Egencia include properties in 17 countries across five continents. These properties delivered nearly 90,000 with complimentary breakfast and 75,000 room nights eligible for loyalty points to more than 145,000 Egencia business travelers in 2018.

Top hotels in major U.S. business hubs include the following:

California, Los Angeles

Dream Hollywood

California, San Francisco

Galleria Park Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel

Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square

Hotel Nikko San Francisco

Hotel Spero

Hotel Zelos San Francisco

Omni San Francisco Hotel

Stanford Court San Francisco

The Marker San Francisco, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

California, San Jose

Hotel Valencia Santana Row

California, West Hollywood

Montrose West Hollywood

The Jeremy Hotel West Hollywood

Florida, Miami Beach

Loews Miami Beach Hotel South Beach

Illinois, Chicago

Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop – Theatre District

Fairmont Chicago at Millennium Park

Freehand Chicago

Loews Chicago Hotel

Omni Chicago Suites – Magnificent Mile

Virgin Hotels Chicago

Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront

Massachusetts, Boston

Boston Omni Parker House Hotel

YOTEL Boston

Minnesota, Minneapolis

Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown

Missouri, St. Louis

The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis

Nevada, Las Vegas

ARIA Resort & Casino

Bellagio

Caesars Palace – Resort & Casino

The LINQ Hotel & Casino

New York, New York

Bentley Hotel

Grand Hyatt New York

Hotel Sofitel New York

Hyatt Centric Times Square New York

Park South Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel

Shelburne Hotel & Suites by Affinia

The Roosevelt Hotel, New York City

Ohio, Cincinnati

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati

Ohio, Columbus

Hyatt Regency Columbus

Oregon, Portland

Hotel Lucia

The Benson, a Coast Hotel

Rhode Island, Providence

Omni Providence Hotel

Texas, Austin

Archer Hotel Austin

Omni Austin Hotel

Washington, Seattle

Motif Seattle

Hotel Theodore

Thompson Seattle

Filming Locations for Top 2019 Oscar Nominated Movies

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Oscar golden award in a souvenir store on Hollywood Boulevard

Where Oscar Nominees Filmed

Sadly, you can’t yet visit the Dagobah System or any other fictional locales. But you can always live vicariously through Hollywood’s lens by visiting the actual locations for 2018’s best films. The Oscars are coming up. While you have your duty to watch the nominees, we also invite you to consider enjoying where these movies took place.