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Watch Out for Fees- Common Travel Charges


When traveling, that pesky three letter word “fee” can quickly add up to a triple digit total. Even frequent travelers are caught off guard by the sometimes fictitious sounding fees of vacations. Before finalizing finances, research the following to be sure you aren’t caught off guard and coming out of pocket more than expected.

Resort Fees

Resort fees can be anything from unavoidable amenity charges to damage deposits, and can incur daily or weekly. Deposits, even though refunded at the end of the stay, can delay pending bank activity and depending on the resort’s policy, could retain up to $150 from your vacation budget. While only select Festiva resorts implement damage deposits of up to $50, reservations through exchange companies are common culprits for charging outsiders absurd deposits. Amenity fees for parking, shuttles, Wi-Fi and gym access are typically smaller ranging anywhere from $10 to $18 per day and are required to be paid to the front desk upon check out regardless of usage. A good practice to avoid sticker shock is to call the resort’s front desk prior to your arrival to inquire about any possible charges, including applicable taxes.

Flight Fees

The good old days of just …



Harvest Home in Myrtle Beach


If you’re visiting Festiva’s Ellington at Wachesaw or any one of our five Myrtle Beach resorts this weekend, check out the annual Myrtle Beach Harvest Home Weekend Festival at the Brookgreen Gardens. For two full days October 13 and 14, the entire property at Brookgreen Gardens will transform into a fall fairy tale with activities and entertainment for kids, parents and couples of all ages.

Begin your harvest weekend at the Welcome Center where you can catch a 20 minute hayride every hour and half hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are only $4 per person, no matter the age. If you have a preferred ride time, be sure to purchase tickets from the Low Country Zoo cashier or the welcome center as soon as you arrive at the gardens, because space on each excursion is limited.

Mosey on over from the wagon ride to the overflowing pumpkin patch at Brookgreen Gardens and try your hand at a little pumpkin painting. You can choose a small pumpkin palate for $4 or a large pumpkin for only $8, and use all of the free paint and supplies needed to make your pumpkin perfect. If your green thumb extends …



Cape Cod- A Whale of a Time

Located on the southeastern seaboard of Massachusetts, the hook of Cape Cod attracts more than avid sightseers of lighthouses and vineyards.  Globally celebrated as the “Whale Watching Capital of the World,” the Cape is home to many awe inspiring and endangered species of whales, dolphins and seals. Though surface waters appear silent and still, hidden feeding grounds raise these colossal creatures from the deep, shattering the glass-like boundary between ocean and atmosphere as they catch a second’s worth of sea air.  The centralization of these once in a life time events in a single area makes whale watching an absolute must when visiting the Cape Cod area.

Cape Cod is ranked in the top 10 whale watching locations throughout the world, flaunting close to 20 charter companies exclusively servicing visitors and marine naturalists from April to October. Voyagers age four and up are welcomed aboard these vessels in hopes of creating awareness, stimulating a whale friendly industry, and providing adventures day-trippers will always remember. The coast of the Cape contains countless feeding grounds almost 25 miles from the shore, giving sighting tours an average length of four to six hours. While many captains provide lunch for their visiting crew, sun …



Top End of Summer Destinations and Deals


The 2012 summer season is quickly coming to an end with the start of school, and a fast approaching Labor Day. It’s not too late to sneak in your summer vacation, if you’ve unknowingly worked it away.  As mass traveling slows in coordination with the changing of the leaves, destination rates and expedition costs quickly decrease, making some of summer’s most desirable locations easily accessible. With that in mind, here are four top destinations for end of summer stays!

Branson, Missouri- Centrally located, Branson is usually within driving distance of Memphis, St. Louis, most Midwestern cities, and a half- day drive from New Orleans, Georgia and Knoxville. While major tourist attractions like Silver Dollar City are sure to be busy with families squeezing in a last minute day-cations, discounts on tickets for shows and parks are at an all time low. This is especially true when booking packages like Silver Dollar City and White Water’s Splash and Play Pass.  Regularly $90 for adults and $60 for children, these combo tickets are now priced at a third of the cost, $30 and $20 respectively, for an entire week’s visit.

The Crystal Coast, North Carolina- Beat the heat …



TripAdvisor Awards Festiva’s Blue Heron Beach Resort

Festiva announces the Blue Heron BeachResort has been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2012.


TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, is visited by 50 million monthly visitors and over 60 million reviews from firsthand visitors who have traveled to one or more registered businesses. The site recognizes select resorts and hotels in hospitality excellence when they are continuously given superior ratings of four out of five notches, and outstanding reviews by guests. Only 10 percent of all resorts and hotels on TripAdvisor are awarded the Certificate of Excellence. In addition to the accolade received from TripAdvisor, the Blue Heron Beach Resort continues the unwavering trend of a four and a half star rating out of a possible five with reputable travel and review sites such as Yahoo, Hotels.com, Yelp, and Expedia.

“It is an honor to receive this award that is given to us from the guests that stayed at our Blue Heron Beach Resort. I would like to especially thank our entire team for providing exceptional guest service and making every visitor’s vacation in Orlando a memorable one. Hospitality – It is what makes guests happy and come back!” - Alex Carius, General Manager




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