Holiday planning underway

According to a recent survey by Bankrate, 8 million Americans have already planned and made holiday travel reservations. For the rest of us, September looks to be a busy month of planning. Of the approximately 35 million Americans who anticipate staying in a hotel over the holidays, 23 percent have already booked and many expect to finalize bookings by the end of the month. The same can be said for the 31 million travelers who plan to fly. But does early booking mean missing out on deals? According to airfare tracking service Hopper, the best deals for Christmas tickets are actually in October, and Thanksgiving prices are stable through Halloween. Holding out on airfare — at least for a little while — could benefit you financially.


Make a playlist

Find yourself wishing that you knew the name of that song playing during dinner on the last night of your weekend in New England? Next time you travel, said Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley, use a music app such as Shazam or Spotify to pinpoint the songs you hear during your trip, and then make a playlist of those songs. Crowley has more than a dozen playlists from his various travels including bar favorites from a trip to Brazil in 2014. "A play­list helps you capture the sounds of a destination, and every time you listen to it, you relive the trip," he said.

New York Times

Southwest sale

Southwest Airlines has a systemwide sale on nonstop flights booked by Thursday. Twenty-one-day advance purchase required. Travel on all days but Friday and Sunday, through March 7. Blackout dates and other restrictions apply. Southwest flies nonstop from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Nashville and St. Louis. (Info:

Washington Post

Green season in Guatemala

Travelers willing to trade unbroken sunshine for cooling rain showers may want to investigate so-called "green season" deals. At Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa in Arenal, Costa Rica, seasonal rain causes hot springs to produce billows of steam for an outdoor sauna effect, and open-air bungalow spa treatments are a peaceful experience on a rainy afternoon. In high season, suites start at $560 a night, but for travel through Oct. 31, three-night suite packages are on offer for $860. At Casa Palopo, a nine-room Relais & Chateaux property on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, green season rates start at $184 a night (for travel through Oct. 29) compared with $407 a night in the high season.

New York Times

Fall for Whistler

Whistler, British Columbia, is known for its majestic mountains, perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The resort's village is filled with great restaurants, boutiques and day spas, attracting approximately 3 million visitors every year. In June, you can go glacier skiing at Blackcomb Mountain, and the rest of the mountain resort is open for hikers and campers. Bungee jumping, biking and water sports are also popular. Autumn is the perfect time to take in some festivals, such as the Whistler Film Festival, Whistler Village Beer Festival and the Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra Marathon. (Lodging: $390 for three nights at Alpenglow Lodge. Best time to visit: June through September, December to March.)