Posts tagged tips

Holiday Travel

Winter 2010 Holiday Travel Forecast

Holiday TravelFollowing up on MTRiP’s recap of summer mountain travel data, it’s now time to look forward with Bing Travel’s Holiday Travel Forecast for Winter 2010, I’ve pulled out a couple of highlights of interest to resort marketers:

  • Airfares for Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years are slightly down if not even with prices from 2009 and 2008.
  • As airlines have cut capacity and are now filling a larger percentage of seats, fares will start to increase for those who wait.

In addition to these points, Bing offered up a number of tips for “Smart Holiday Travel”:

  • Watch early October for holiday price drops. Since 2006, most Christmas itineraries saw price drops in the first two weeks of October. If you can’t book that early, there will likely be more deals. Bing Travel data has found that there are 50 percent more price drops during the holidays than other times of the year. Travelers are advised to set up Bing Travel Fare Alerts, which include price predictor, or subscribe to the Bing Travel RSS feed to help you catch elusive deals.
  • Be flexible. Travelers can save big by avoiding the busiest travel days during both Thanksgiving and Christmas. For example, you can save more money by shifting your outbound travel date for Christmas. More specifically, avoiding the popular Wednesday or Thursday before Christmas departure days can save approximately $15 to $70 per ticket. Use the Bing Travel Flexible Travelgraph to help determine the best time for you to travel.
  • Use available tools. Most airfare price drops last less than 48 hours, so travelers need to be ready to jump when a fare falls. Travelers with specific travel dates in mind and for whom flexibility isn’t an option are advised to set Bing Travel Fare Alerts that will notify them if the fares for their trips drop, allowing them to catch the best fares.
  • Avoid travel surcharges. Many airlines have imposed holiday surcharges. Making airfare and hotel purchases in the fall as opposed to waiting until closer to the holidays is the best tactic to avoid these charges. In addition, many airlines charge extra fees for a variety of things, from checking baggage, having overweight baggage, receiving pillows or meals, and getting aisle or exit row seats. Make sure to be well informed about your airlines’ fees.
Photo credit: Flickr user bortescristian
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10 Tips for Configuring a WordPress.org Blog

WordPress LogoI’ve had my blog on a self-hosted WordPress.org installation for about a year now and I really like it. Particularly at a time when I hear that WordPress.com had an issue that caused them to go offline for over an hour, which means that there were over 10 million blogs that were inaccessible for around an hour on this past Thursday evening.

  1. Pick a theme that is clean and fits your content. There are a lot of pretty or tricked out themes to choose from, remember that it’s your content that people will be looking for so choose accordingly.
  2. Think of a category and tagging scheme that (once again) is appropriate for the content that you are posting.
  3. If your theme doesn’t have it’s own SEO support built in, add a plugin like HeadSpace2 or  Greg’s High Performance SEO.
  4. On the SEO topic, make sure you have a site map plugin, like Google XML Sitmaps and have submitted and had your site verified with Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo!’s Site Explorer although Bing will very soon be providing search results for Yahoo!
  5. Setup Feedburner for readers who want to subscribe to your blog either via RSS or email, this also is a way to track how and where your RSS content is consumed. There are plugins to help setup the RSS part and even to display your feed stats in your blog’s dashboard (Feed Stats for WordPress).
  6. I also recently began using a plugin that puts a line of text in the footer of your blog’s RSS feed, which will allow readers who are reading your post in an RSS reader or even inserted in someone else’s post to know where the content originated at.
  7. Be sure to license the ideas and content that you publish on your blog with a Creative Commons license.
  8. Do your mobile readers a favor and add a plugin like the WPtouch iPhone Theme to allow your iPhone, Android and other smartphone users a mobile optimized browsing experience.
  9. If you’re like me and reference your own posts, it’s good to install the No Self Pings plugin to avoid getting a ‘pingback’ each time you link to one of your own posts.
  10. Keep your WordPress software install as up to date as possible in order to keep up with the most recent security patches and also consider installing security plugins like Secure WordPress and WP Security Scan
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