Consumer advocate, author and journalist Chris Elliott has found an effective strategy for securing refunds when your travels take a wrong turn. 

Among the techniques he's developed through years of experience is called the three “P’s.” According to Elliott, it works great on refunds, including airline refunds.

For starters, advises Elliott, use credit cards to pay whenever possible, keep a paper trail if you submit a request for a refund and be ready to appeal your case if necessary. 

Further, he recommends keeping these three things in mind.


Give the company at least a week to respond to your refund request, says Elliott,  and two credit card billing cycles to pay you.


Don’t let months pass by without letting the company know that your money is still missing, he advises. If necessary, set a calendar reminder so that you don’t forget.


Angry demands for a refund and threats to take a company to court almost always backfire, suggests Elliott. The company may refer your case to its legal department, where it could linger for weeks or months.

Final advice: "Be nice!"

For more about this topic and how Christopher Elliott works to help travelers, visit his site here. 

Get in on the  not-so-spooky fun for families with Great Wolf Lodge's annual Howl-O-Ween celebration, taking place now through Oct. 31, 2019.

Guests are encouraged to don costumes and join in daily activities, from monster bash dance parties and fall-fun crafting projects, to a trick-or-treat trail filled with interactive games and adventures that snakes throughout the resort. A fall tradition, families are sure to enjoy the spooky spirit at Great Wolf Lodge.

Howl, hop and hustle around Great Wolf Lodge as the Grand Lobby transforms into a spooktacular extravaganza complete with pumpkins and festive decorations. During Howl-O-Ween, guests can partake in complimentary programs including Twisted & Tangled, where children follow the spinner and try to stay on their feet to get a treat and be declared the winner. Guests can also enjoy Boo Bingo where five in a row gets them a bingo and yelling “boo” is the winning lingo.

Howl-O-Ween favorites include the Costume Parade, where children  showcase their favorite costumes during an event in the Grand Lobby, and then attend a Monster Bash Dance Party. 

On the Trick-Or-Treat Trail kids can play interactive games and collect candy at stops located throughout the Lodge. The trail features a Teal Pumpkin stop, offering a Great Wolf Lodge  non-food treat for guests with food allergies, or parents looking to avoid too many sweets. There are also Howl-O-Ween overlays to the children’s activities throughout the season, including Spooktacular Story Time, Critter Cartoons, and Paws On Projects feature arts and crafts with a silly, not-so scary twist.

Other highlights of Howl-O-Ween include:

  • ·Candy Corn Guessing Contest:There is a ghastly number of Candy Corn goodies filled to the brim in a jar at the front desk. The mysterious mission is to guess how many of the devilish treats are contained. Guesses will be collected throughout Howl-O-Ween. The guess closest to the correct number without going over will win a Great Wolf Gift Card. 
  • ·Character Meet, Greet & Treat: Grab a yummy snack during a break from all the Howl-O-Ween fun. Even better, snap a picture with Wiley before you’re back on the run!

In addition to two days of play in the water park for each night stayed at Great Wolf Lodge, all the Howl-O-Ween activities are included for no extra charge. Activities vary daily and by location. A complete listing of daily activities and times can be found in the Lodge Life event schedule provided to guests upon check-in, verified in advance at or by calling the location directly.

In the spring of 2016, the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program partnered with No Barriers Youth to provide the inaugural Every Kid in a Park: Climate Change Bootcamp. Held at Cape Cod National Seashore, this novel program brought 23 high school students from Lexington, MA to the seashore for three days and two nights to learn about the impacts climate change is causing and the steps the NPS is taking to respond.

On the third day, the high school students invited a local 4th grade class to be taught by their newly minted high school student teachers. Learn about this wonderful program, and see some of the new and novel ways the Park Service communicates climate change with our nation’s students.  

Scroll down to see the video.

Summer is heating up and Great Wolf Lodge is announcing a smoking hot sale with a significant cost-savings of up to 58% off

Great Wolf’s indoor waterpark is a perfect 84-degrees all year-round and to celebrate, is offering the first-ever 84 Degrees Sale.

For one day only on August 4 (8/4), guests will be able to book rooms starting at $84/night for stays from September 2 to October 31, 2019, at any of the U.S. locations.  

The $84/night rate is available for stays Sunday-Thursday and blackout dates apply. 

To book, use promo code 84DEGREES online at, or mention the code when  booking over the phone. The offer is good  for new reservations only.

Happy Independence day

Savor your independence, family travelers!

As the summer gets underway, look to the starry skies for inspiration.

Oasis at Death Valley

In Death Valley National Park, a 3.4 million-acre expanse and the region’s clean, dry air combine to provide an ideal vantage point for observing shooting stars, meteor showers and constellations galore. And the Milky Way!

The conditions have earned the park the prestigious Gold-Tier Dark Sky status. The area shares a strong commitment to avoid light pollution and keep the night sky visible. Stay at the Oasis at Death Valley (choose from the Inn or the Ranch) and join the Las Vegas Astronomical Society for Star Parties on selected evenings or enjoy the gem-studded sky on your own. 

Find other star-filled destinations to consider here.

Are you headed to a guest or dude ranch soon?

Or perhaps you'd like to ride horses while in a western mountain town?

Get ready to ride with these tips offered by Germonimo Trail Guest Ranch. 

Dude ranch tips for horseback riding

The family travel season is about to be in full swing.  

Parents everywhere are gearing up for road trips, summer camps, national park outings and air travel.

Dad and travel expert Jim Mazza, Chief Operating Officer for TRAVELSAVERS, a retail chain of more than 2,500 independently owned, full-service travel agencies, offered a few words of wisdom for those who plan to board a flight in the weeks and months ahead. 

Book an early flight

As a dad, Mazza knows small kids are at their best earlier in the day before exhaustion sets in for them (and their parents).  More than that, and important for travelers of every age, delays often build as the day goes on, particularly in the Northeast.  

Understand the fare you are booking. 

For many travelers, especially cost-conscious families, price matters.  It may seem like the right thing to book the least expensive fare that pops up, but these are often “branded fares” which come with tough restrictions including seat choice, leg room and baggage allowance.  

You'll find more air travel tips here


Celebrate your National Parks all year long. Every day you'll find grand experiences, special events, and educational programs in Parks across the country. 

Find your park here!

Snack holders for road trips

If you have a road trip on the horizon ( or even a trip to the park) these snack holders are a hit.

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