In years past I’ve written posts for newcomers to Boston who may not be familiar with New England winters. One of my suggestions is to try and learn to embrace what winter offers. Never has that been more fun with gay ski weekends and weeks here locally and out West to tempt you.
Below are a few such events you may want to consider. The price of tickets out West varies widely by destination and carrier but you can use a locally developed app called Hopper to alert you to last minute airfares and price reductions.
Gay Aspen Ski Week (January 15 – 22, 2017) is the longest running and perhaps largest event of the season. It kicks off this Sunday but most of the fun is reserved for the second half of the week. Shown above is last year’s Ultimate Après Ski Party sponsored by Logo. For more information gayskiweek.com.
Winter Rendezvous (January 18 – 22, 2017) is one of the largest gay ski events happening in New England. The party at Stowe Mountain in Vermont is also only a 3 hour drive making it logistically a lot easier and more affordable option. For more information winterrendezvous.com.
Whistler Pride Ski Festival (January 22 – 29, 2017) turns 25 this year and the winter pride festival is filled with fun events including a visit from one of my favorite drag queens, Pam Ann. For more information gaywhistler.com.
White Out Weekend – WOW (February 3 – 5, 2017) is an annual event hosted by The Welcoming Committee (TWC) and is the perfect opportunity for those who do not want include the hassle or expense of airfare or take off time from work. TWC will even take care of transportation for you up to Sunday River in Maine. For more information thewelcomingcommittee.com.
Elevation Utah 2017 (February 23 – 26, 2017) is celebrating its seventh annual party at Park City, Utah. For more information utahgayskiweek.com.
Telluride Gay Ski Week (February 25 – March 4, 2017) is the last big gay ski week of the 2017 winter season in North America, bringing the gay ski season full circle back to beautiful Colorado. For more information telluridegayski.com.
Boston’s OutRyders Gay Ski Club
If getting away for one of these trips is not going to work, but you’d like to ski, consider joining Boston’s Gay ski / snowboarding club, OutRyders. The group has monthly socials and plans numerous day trips and overnights to mountains here in New England and out west. For more information outryders.org.
The JetBlue big winter sale is back and it’s time for you to plan your much-deserved vacation but here is the catch – the deal ends tonight.
For as low as $34, JetBlue will fly you from Boston to several destinations. Travel must occur between January 18 – March 8, 2017 with black out dates from 2/17 – 26/17 and traveling Monday – Thursday & Saturday. Published airfare rates from Boston include $39 to DC, $49 to NYC, $69 to Chicago, $89 to Puerto Rico and $99 to The Bahamas; 30+ destinations are listed as part of the sale.
OUCH! Last month J.D. Power and Associates released their annual North American Airport Satisfaction Survey and Boston’s Logan Airport ranked 28th out of 32 large airports. One reason cited for Boston’s dismal ratings are the disruptions caused by renovations. However, Logan Airport has some unique issues that in the near term seem likely to continue to frustrate travelers.
About the Study Now in its 11th year, the study measures overall traveler satisfaction with large and medium North American airports by examining six factors (in order of importance): terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; food, beverage and retail. The 2016 North America Airport Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 38,931 North American travelers who traveled through at least one domestic or international airport with both departure and arrival experiences (excluding connecting airports) during the past three months.
See more results here.
Iceland Air has some killer airfare deals to Europe from Boston, New York City and Washington DC, starting at only $399. Fares include two checked bags, gate-to-gate WiFi access, personal in-flight entertainment and all taxes and fees if booked before January 2, 2017. Booked travel must take place between January 15 – May 15, 2017. Below is a chart to see introductory fares for this sale to Reykjavik, Paris, London, Glasgow, Frankfurt and Munich.
Learn more about this killer sale here: Iceland Air European Sale
The sale ends at Midnight on Monday, January 2, 2017.
According to a recent American Express survey of US households that have an annual income of $100,000 or more the average per person spend is expected to rise by more than 150% to $1,521 from just $605 in 2015.
The top reason to travel cited by consumers this holiday season is to visit family or friends. The second most cited reason for travel is to take a vacation, but the cost for the average American family holiday vacation has jumped and is expected to cost slightly more than $9,000. Among those traveling during the holiday season, the majority will stay within the U.S. with nearly one out of every three Americans naming the Northeast as their destination.
You can read more about these findings from American Express, here.
It is rare for us to return from a vacation feeling anything but rested and happy, but I know that is not always the case for everyone. Part of the trick to getting back into the swing of things is making sure that your body and mind actually have time to process that you are going back to work.
Here are three tips that make returning from your vacation a lot easier and cost next to nothing to do.
1 – Travel during the middle of the week: If you are going to take a week off from work (assuming you work Monday – Friday), travel during the middle of the week. Why travel Wednesday to Wednesday? You make your life much easier, because your vacation is book ended by a short work week before and after your time out of the office. Who doesn’t love short work weeks?
2 – Treat yourself: Having a treat at home gives you something to look forward to. Often before we leave on vacation we’ll make sure we have a nice bottle of Champagne in the refrigerator awaiting our return so on our first night back we can enjoy a few toasts and reminisce about our trip. I have other friends who book themselves a massage after vacations. Pick a treat that you would like and make sure it is scheduled or waiting for you when you return home.
3 – Take an extra day off to get your life in order: If you can, take an extra day off after arriving home. This way when you return home you can still feel like you are on vacation, and use the extra day off to get your life in order. Running errands on a weekday is so much easier.
These tips may not be for everyone and we don’t necessarily always follow these for every vacation, but they really go a long way to prolonging the post-vacation glow; especially tip number 1 – there is nothing better than coming back to a short work week.
Even though Boston is enjoying a beautiful fall in just a few short weeks the leaves will be gone and to paraphrase an often used saying from GoT, “winter is coming”. Each fall I like to encourage readers to plan ahead. One of the ways to survive a Boston winter is to book yourself a quick trip someplace warm (even if just for a few days) to break up the long, dark cold months otherwise known as a New England winter.
Booking trips to warmer climates early next year will start to get really expensive if you wait until the holidays or are hoping you’ll be lucky enough to snag a last minute e-saver fare. Moreover, by booking an airfare now, you’ll have the ticket paid off well in advance of the holidays. Sergio and I are still discussing where we would like to escape early next year but below are some photos from past winter escapes that I thought I’d share to tempt you to do the same.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2016
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 2015
West Beach – Laguna Beach, CA 2014
Book your trip this week – you’ll thank me come February.