Florida Vacation Channel – Dream Vacations – Family Fun

Our Summer Vacation Focus is on the amazing Daytona Beach area. Daytona Beach is rich in history, both on and off the track. Daytona International Speedway has been the scene of two-wheeled racing since it opened in 1959. Main Street and points north, south and west are an asphalt playground for bikers both young and old. But there is so much more to do in the Daytona Beach area. Golf galore, tennis, fishing, water sports, shopping, dining or just strolling leisurely along the World’s Most Famous Beach. ENJOY THE VIDEOS. SHOP ONLINE. FIND RIDICULOUSLY LOW FARES AND ROOM RATES. Thanks for giving us a chance. See you in the sun on the Florida Vacation Channel.

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Tips for a Safe Summer Trip to the Sunshine State

While you might be (a little more than!) ready to put up that out of office and come join us in Florida for a sunny summer adventure, it’s important to not lose sight of basic safety and security measures you should take whenever you and your loved ones travel.

Here are a few quick tips that will help keep you safe, while still having a great time here in Florida this summer:

Don’t get burned, do your research
Just because school’s out, it doesn’t mean you should head out without doing your homework. As you finalize your plans, research your travel route, accommodations, and the local area—and don’t forget to have a backup plan just in case. On Airbnb, you can use our secure messaging tool to ask your host any questions you might have about their home or the local area. You can also message your host to coordinate check-in and stay in touch throughout your trip in case any questions come up.

Get away, but leave a light on
A safe vacation starts at home. No matter how safe your neighborhood might be, it’s important to take a few precautions before heading out. While you’re away, stop your mail and arrange for a neighbor to come by to collect any packages or flyers that might come to your door. It doesn’t hurt to leave the light (or two) on—literally. Keep a few lamps set to a timer while you’re out to make it look like your home is as bustling as usual.

Always communicate and pay on Airbnb
Keep your payment and your personal information protected by staying on our secure platform throughout the entire Airbnb process—from communication, to booking and payment. You should never be asked to wire money, provide credit card information or otherwise pay a host directly. If you are, please report it to us immediately.

Do a safety check
Once you’ve arrived at your home, make sure you know where all of the relevant emergency equipment and safety information is located. If you’re not sure where something like the first aid kit or fire extinguisher is or how to work an appliance in the home, don’t hesitate to ask your host.

Be WaterSmart
If you’re coming down to Florida to soak up the sun, chances are you’re hitting the beach or maybe you’re even staying at a home with a pool. In addition to being mindful of how much time you spend in the sun and applying (and re-applying!) sunscreen, be sure your family is up to date on the latest water safety tips for the pool and the beach. An accidental drowning can happen in a matter of seconds, so adults should always be fully focused when supervising children who are in or near any body of water. To learn more, visit WaterSmartFL.

Remain alert
You might be checking out from the daily grind, but that doesn’t mean you can leave your common sense back at home. Public areas, public transit, tourist attractions, and beaches are far more crowded than usual during the summer season. While it’s easy to be distracted by the excitement or bored by long lines and bumper to bumper traffic, it’s more important than ever to remain alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Take sensible precautions, and if you see anything suspicious be sure to alert local authorities.

Research local travel alerts and warnings
Whether you’re traveling with Airbnb or not, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on any weather alerts or travel warnings that might impact your trip. Summer in Florida can mean unpredictable and changing weather conditions, so be sure to check out the state’s Emergency Management website, here, for the latest information and resources.

If anything isn’t right, reach out
If you arrive to your Airbnb and something’s not quite right, reach out to us. We’re standing by 24/7 in 11 languages to help with anything from rebooking assistance to refunds or reimbursements.

By keeping these tips on hand and planning your summer trip with safety in mind, you can help ensure you and your family have a great time visiting us here in Florida.

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Volusia Mall Kids Club – Calling All Kids

Volusia Mall is proud to introduce Volusia KIDS, a new monthly kids club taking place at the Play Area by JCPenney. The club will be held every third Thursday of the month from 9:30am – 10:30am, and will include themed stories and activities.

“We’re so excited to bring this new club to the mall,” said Kristina Circelli, Marketing Director for the Volusia Mall. “Our goal is to combine education and fun through storytime and hands-on activities that are perfect for kids and their parents.”

Each month, Volusia KIDS will start with storytime and then follow with related arts and crafts, presentations, and much more, depending on the monthly theme. The mall’s kickoff event is Thursday, April 19th, with the theme of “Mother Nature.” The event will include a reading of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, a live animal presentation by the Lyonia Environmental Center, arts and crafts with Macaroni Kids, coloring, and more.

“We partnered with Books-A-Million to make sure we always have a fun and engaging book – or books! – to read, with extra copies on hand if parents want to bring the book home,” continued Circelli. “Then we partner with the community based on each monthly theme, from local law enforcement and health organizations to Macaroni Kids and Volusia County schools. The opportunities are virtually endless for what we can do and what we can offer to the community.”

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It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere – Jimmy Buffett’s Landshark Bar Opening in Daytona Beach in January

The man who brought retirement to Margaritaville in Daytona Beach, Jimmy Buffett, brings the party to the beach in January. Construction is underway for Landshark Bar and Grill on South Atlantic Avenue, also known to Parrot Heads as A-1-A.Jimmy Buffett Redering

Along with Landshark, a Tex-Mex cantina called Cocina 214 Restaurant and Bar is also being built. Landshark will be operated by Orlando-based IMCMV, while Cocina 214 by a local investor group.

Jimmy landsharkbar2

It’s all about the food, fun, music and merchandise. Don’t forget your Cheeseburger in Paradise. Both restaurants plan to open by late January, in time for the upcoming race weeks and bike weeks in Daytona Beach.

 

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Carribean Cruise? After Irma and Maria, What Ports are Open for Business – AAA

While some islands continue to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, AAA wants travelers to know the majority of the Caribbean is still open for business.

“The Caribbean needs us now more than ever,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “These islands heavily rely on tourism to stimulate their economies. While a small number of islands work to recover, the majority are welcoming travelers right now.

“Cruise lines have identified alternative ports to give affected islands time to recover, and to ensure passengers get the tropical vacation they envisioned,” Evans continued. “As a result, Hawaii has become a popular alternative destination for some travelers. However, there is still incentive to sail the Caribbean. Cruise and tour companies are offering as much as 30-50 percent off the price for select departures to the Caribbean through the end of this year.”

Cruising the Caribbean – Who’s Open / Who’s Closed?

The vast majority of ports in the Caribbean are now operational. Of the 62 ports in the Caribbean, approximately 75 percent (47) are welcoming cruise ships, according to the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). AAA experts recommend travelers talk with their travel agent about the popular Caribbean destinations that are listed as ‘open’ for their upcoming travels. Ports listed as ‘closed’ are working quickly to reopen, and many hope to welcome cruise ships back before the end of the year.

OPEN

•Antigua
•Aruba
•Bahamas
•Barbados
•Belize
•Bermuda
•Bonaire
•Curaçao
•Dominican Republic
•Jamaica
•Key West
•Martinique
•St. Kitts & Nevis
•Saint Lucia
•St. Vincent & The Grenadines
•The Cayman Islands
•Trinidad and Tobago

CLOSED

•Anguilla (Road Bay)
•British Virgin Islands (Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, & Virgin Gorda)
•Guadeloupe (Gustavia)
•Dominica (Roseau)
•Puerto Rico (Ponce, San Juan, & Isabel Segunda)
•St. Maarten (Phillipsburg)
•Turks & Caicos (Grand Turk Island)
•U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, & St. Thomas)

In addition, the Florida Keys have reopened to travelers – ahead of schedule – following Hurricane Irma. Also, Mexico saw little impact to its tourism infrastructure following two recent earthquakes and Hurricane Katia, which made landfall in the eastern part of the country. Popular ports of call in Dominica, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan and Tortola hope to be operational by the end of the year.

For anyone planning a trip to a destination recently affected by a storm, AAA Travel experts offer the following tips.
Work with a travel agent, purchase travel insurance, stay informed, be flexible and check for AAA Diamonds.

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Daytona Lagoon Water Park – Successful 2017 – Post Irma Open for Business

Daytona Lagoon, the premier family-friendly water park and year-round mega family entertainment center located in Daytona Beach, FL, celebrated a successful 2017 season filled with new attractions and exciting promotional events.

2017 additions and upgrades included:

• Indoor “Sky Maze”, featuring the Sky Trail® Navigator ropes course with 10 obstacles and over 2,500 square feet of challenging obstacles;

• 70-foot Sky Rail® zipline, spanning the entire length of the Sky Maze, hovering 12 feet above the MEGA arcade;

• Fully renovated indoor laser tag arena, which now spans more than 3,600 square feet and features high-tech lighting, sound, and the latest equipment including, Delta Strike laser guns and vests; and

• Six new and exciting games at the MEGA arcade, including an Xtreme Crane and two Mini Bowling lanes.

Daytona Lagoon also hosted family and community-drive events such as:

• Free Military Day for all active duty and retired military personnel;

• Wednesday Family Nights, held every Wednesday during the Summer;

• Girl Scout Day;

• Free Military & First Responders Day for all active duty and retired military personal, and first responder personnel (Police, Fire Department & EMS);

• Christmas in July, which was a successful Canned Food Drive supporting Halifax Urban Ministries;

• Faith Night; and

• Get paid for your grades, rewarding kids for academic and scholastic achievements.

“2017 marked a tremendous season at Daytona Lagoon, as we expanded and broadened our exciting attractions and family fun events throughout the year,” said Tyler Currie, General Manager of Daytona Lagoon. “Our new attractions and renovations in 2017 were met with remarkable attendance, and countless guests trying out our new Sky Maze ropes course and zipline.”

After suffering Hurricane Irma-related damage, the Park’s Family Entertainment Center including the MEGA arcade, laser tag arena and Go-Karts, and the Water Park are reopened and operating on the normal schedule. Kraken’s Conquest suffered considerable damage and it will remain closed until it is replaced with a new attraction in 2018.

Currie added: “Daytona Lagoon is committed to ensuring a safe, clean, and importantly, Family Fun and Family Priced park for guests of all ages to gather and relax. The community’s strong and immediate response to Hurricane Irma showed our true colors and I am grateful for the support we received from our dedicated staff, valued vendors and public officials. The park is open and running on our regular schedule for the remainder of the year while we continue to work diligently to repair and restore the areas of the park that were damaged.”

The Park’s wet attractions will officially close for the year on October 29th. The Park’s Family Entertainment Center including the Sky Maze and Sky Rail, MEGA arcade, laser tag and Go-Karts will remain open throughout the year, on Fridays 5pm-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm, and Sundays 11am-8pm. The Park’s Family Entertainment Center and indoor attractions will be available for rent year-round for any private parties and birthday celebrations by appointment. For further details on reserving the Park for a special occasion, and for extended hours of operation and pricing options for endless fun for everyone, please visit our website: https://daytonalagoon.com/.

The new and upgraded attractions, and events are part of United Parks’ commitment to keep Daytona Lagoon the premier family-friendly water park and year-round mega family entertainment center with “Something for Everyone.” In addition to Daytona Lagoon, United Parks also operates Hydro Adventures in Poplar Bluff, Mo. and is poised to become the next operator of historic Rye Playland in Westchester County, N.Y.

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