Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not Long Now Waikiki

My next trip to Hawaii has sprung up rather quickly.  Last night we were trying to figure out the final itinerary in terms of activities during the trip when it occurred to me that I definitely didn't schedule enough time in Hawaii before I make my way back to Sydney, Australia for a family visit.  We are booked solid for four days straight (although I did schedule pool time and beach time in there, thank goodness).  But between dining at Alan Wongs, catching up with friends, attending a luau and celebrating at Duke's Waikiki which is where J & I first met, there isn't going to be much time left. 

I think I need to book another trip for early next year just to relax from this trip.  While it does get cooler over Christmas and New Year, it still beats the nasty Seattle weather.  The biggest challenge is finding time on the schedule to actually go! I'm thinking June, but that just seems so far away.  Let's hope it is sooner than that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Forbes Ranks Honolulu as 3rd Safest City in America

Forbes Magazine recently announced 'America's Safest Cities' - and taking 3rd spot is Honolulu, HI.  Honolulu has almost always been classified as a safe city, and I like how Forbes shared their methodology behind the results to help readers understand how they compiled the list.  Another interesting nugget that someone brought up at Blogworld last week was that many media outlets, both print and online, make up 'lists' - Best Places to Live, Best Resorts in the World etc, but don't share the methodology of how they made their decisions. It's important to share this so that people have all the facts!

You can read the complete methodology in the article (link is above).  The Top 10 Safest Cities (according to Forbes) are as follows:
1. Plano, TX
2. Portland, OR
3. Honolulu, HI
4. San Jose, CA
5.Omaha, NE
6. New York, NY
7. Santa Ana, CA
8. Anaheim, CA
9. San Diego, CA
10. Glendale, AZ

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Can't Decide on a Hawaii Hotel?

I listened in on a very interesting conference track yesterday at Blogworld hosted by John Forrest Ales, who leads communication strategies for Hilton Hotels and Resorts.  He explained some great dos and don'ts for travel bloggers who are looking to pitch travel brands, especially for free hotel stays and other activities as part of a trip you may be planning.  One key piece of advice I did like was to ask for something that you may not have otherwise been able to experience while on your trip, instead of expecting that a brand will comp your entire stay.  These companies still need to make money!

With that said, I am booked and heading to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in the next few weeks for vacation.  I always use my vacations to gather more content for my blog, and this one is no exception.  We are planning on attending the Waikiki Starlight Luau during our stay, and I have seen the penguins, flamingos and swum in the super pool so many times that I plan to email John Forest and find out what else I might be able to do during my trip.  Maybe there is some secret tour at the Hilton that I don't know about?  Or maybe I can get a room upgrade so I can have uninterrupted views of the crystal clear Hawaiian waters.  Stay tuned, I'm excited to hear what he says!

In any case, I will be doing a full review of our stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village so watch this space for more information over the next couple of weeks.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bloggin' It - Vegas Style

I don't need to say it although I will - my blog has been less than impressive lately in terms of posts and content.  I just started a new job my company about 6 weeks ago and it was around that time that my creativity hit a wall and my blog took a vacation. I'm blogging today from Las Vegas - I'm at the Blogworld New Media Expo and boy have things changed since I attended this event in 2008.  Blogging is no longer for geeks - its mainstream.  Lots of different age groups are represented here at the conference and its so lovely to see a travel blogger track this year (which is where I have been spending a lot of my time so far). 

I'm hoping the conference will give me a kick in the butt and help me get back to the blogging game.  And with a trip to Hawaii less than one month away, now is a perfect time to kick into high gear!

One of the things I learned at the conference today (although its really a no-brainer) is use your own photos on your blog - its much more compelling for travel writing than taking other people's content off the Internet. You'll notice I don't have a photo on this post - because I need to get down to the strip and capture all that is Vegas on my own!  Hopefully I'll be able to share some with you early next week (yes I forgot the cord for my digital camera).