By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com
NYC Winter Outing, running from Jan. 18 through Feb. 13, 2022, is an opportunity to enjoy vibrant wintertime experiences for dining, Broadway, museums, cultural institutions, attractions, performing arts and tours, as well as hotels at attractive prices.
The program, presented by preferred payment partner Mastercard, brings together three signature programs of NYC & Company, the destination marketing organization and tourism bureau: NYC Restaurant Week, NYC Broadway Week and NYC Must-See Week, plus the first-ever NYC Hotel Week.
Deals include:2-for-1 tickets to Broadway shows, attractions, museums, cultural institutions, performing arts and tours; prix-fixe menus at hundreds of exceptional restaurants and neighborhood favorites across the five boroughs and 22 percent off hotel stays across the city.
Among the restaurants that are participating in New York City Restaurant Week is the legendary Cuban restaurant Victor’s Cafe in Times Square.
Family owned and operated since 1953 (and one of only 10 restaurants participating this year which were part of the original Restaurant Week in 1992), Victor’s is offering a $39 pre-fix dinner menu featuring some of their signature dishes like their famous Ropa Vieja (+$6), Lechon Asado, Ceviche De Camarones, and Croquetas Corral.
The special menu is available for dinner Wednesday-Friday from 5-11 pm. (236 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019, 212-586-7714, victorscafe.com).
Mastercard cardholders, when dining with a preregistered card during NYC Restaurant Week, receive an exclusive $10 statement credit (for up to 10 transactions, totaling a $100 rebate) when spending $39 or more on-site at participating restaurants) subject to NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2022 terms and restrictions).
Details are available at nycgo.com/winterouting. Bookings for NYC Restaurant Week, NYC Broadway Week and NYC Must-See Week can be made for experiences from January 18 through February 13. Reservations for NYC Hotel Week deals are at nycgo.com/hotelweek for stays through February 13.
It’s National Plan to Vacation Day!
National Plan for Vacation Day, organized by the U.S. Travel Association, encourages Americans to plan their vacation days for the entire year at the start of the year – this year, taking place January 25th.
After nearly two years of pandemic stress and fatigue, NPVD is an opportunity for Americans to look ahead to brighter days and make plans for getaways or vacations over the coming months. And planning is the key to taking time off and traveling.
“The research reflects what so many have known for quite a while—that the stresses of the past year can, at least in part, be lifted by thinking about and planning time away to recharge and experience something new,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “There are real benefits to getting vacation plans on the calendar at the start of the year which include the happiness associated with travel and committing to take off all the time that is earned for a well-deserved break.”
Data also shows that while vacation is essential to Americans’ mental health and well-being, it is also a crucial benefit for American workers. Nearly 70% of U.S. workers agree that their ability to take vacations is an important factor in keeping them in the workforce. In fact, paid time off is the second most important employee benefit an employer could offer after health insurance benefits.
“Americans say it is important to use their paid time off to travel. Vacation gives us a chance to recharge and reconnect with family and friends, as well as explore more of our beautiful, diverse country,” added Dow.
Financial Tips for Saving for Vacation
Whether you’re saving for your next spring break trip, a getaway weekend, family trip, or anything in between, you want to avoid unexpected financial surprises. Leading banking app, Monifi has put together their list of their top financial tips for saving for your next vacation in celebration of National Plan for Vacation Day on January 25th.
The goal-based banking app, Monifi (monifi.com), makes it easy to save. Features like personalized goals, its spend and save structure, and its trackable transaction tags so users can categorize their spending.
Set a Budget and Stick to It: Be open about what you are willing to save and splurge on. Creating a budget helps you to hold yourself accountable.
Plan, Plan, Plan: Setting a firm plan early on for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and dining allows you to not be surprised and unprepared for these vacation costs. Create a plan of when you will eat in or go out as well as attractions and experiences you will do each day.
Create a Vacation Savings Fund: Using the Monifi app, users can create savings “buckets.” Earn interest on these personalized buckets to help you reach your financial goals faster.
Recognize Potential Splurges: Statistics show that 68% of people overspend when on vacation. Identifying the potential splurges like an expensive dinner, Uber rides, a coveted experience, etc. before your vacation will set you up for success. Having a savings net to lean back on is always beneficial for these costs.
VISITED Travel App Helps Travelers Keep Track of Where They’ve Been, Where To Go Next
The mobile app development company, Arriving in High Heels Corporation, based in Toronto, Canada (arrivinginhighheels.com) has launched three new features in its VISITED travel app that are specifically designed to motivate travelers to find new experiences and help the travel industry recover from the stay-at-home coronavirus pandemic.
The new features are Inspiration, Lists, and City Maps. Together they highlight those places not necessarily popular but worth a trip, as well as well-known tourist attractions. They allow travelers to swipe photos of famous and not so famous places to add to their own picture database of destinations they have experienced or want to visit. VISITED has over 1.2 million users.
For individual travelers, the VISITED Inspiration feature tracks personal travel stats, such as percentage of the world visited, number of countries and cities visited, as well as regions on a personal wish-list. The List feature names capitals of the world, wonders of the world, and art museums. Museums and other attractions are constantly added to provide even greater options to choose from. The City Maps feature is invaluable in planning upcoming itineraries.
The app enables travelers to keep personal stats on the number of countries visited, percentage of the world or country seen by region, how you rank against other world travelers, number of cities visited, percentage of the world that you WANT to see vs. where you are in your travel journey.
How to use VISITED:
• Download the app for free via App Store or Google Play Store
• Sign up with email
• Input where you live, countries visited and countries you wish to visit
• The map will display the selections. You can then click on each country to see additional information such as regions and cities, and input notes for that destination.
• If you click on cities (Paid Feature) you can select different cities by tapping on the country.
• You can see on the dashboard the top countries you visited, how you rank against other international travelers as well as the top 10 countries that are most visited from the country you live in.
• You can swipe to see photos of places and add them to your wish or been list.
• You can click on experiences and see the different lists such as capitals of the world, art museums or world wonders, etc. In addition, you can also see the percentage of the world you have visited. You can also tap on experiences (such as hiking, skiing) and can select all the countries you have been to and doing that activity.
For example, if you select: Canada, the US, and Switzerland for skiing it will display the 3 countries where you skied. You can also select where you want to ski.
The VISITED app can be downloaded for free on iOS from the App Store and on Android from Google.
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