The co-editor of Philly Mag September issue’s travel package pops in with some excellent news about fall getaways

Smaller planes, cancelled routes — that’s the way of the world with airlines these days. So we’re tickled that US Airways is amping up flights from the not-always-so-lovely city of Philadelphia to the lovely island of Barbados (glistening white beaches, four-star dining, lots of Brits on holiday) this fall and winter. Starting October 1st, they’ll have four nonstops (that’s about 5 hours from waving good-bye to the tarmac at PHL to being greeted by clear-blue Caribbean waters) per week, and will then go daily for the winter. Plus, frequent fliers with status take note: the flights are on Airbus 319s, which means 12 chances at an upgrade to a first-class seat.

To promote the expanded service, the airline’s offering some pretty incredible air-hotel package deals, like around $1,300 per person total for a week, through their website ( Choose an all-inclusive like Almond Resorts, and your vacation is starting to look recession-proof. Almond has three properties on the little island. Which to choose? Well, if you stay at one Almond (, you’ve got access to dining at the other two via a complimentary shuttle, so you’ll get a big experience no matter where you sleep. Beyond that, it’s a matter of just who’s going on your vacation:

Bringing the kids: The Almond Beach Village is perfect for families — a sprawling property with 10 pools and a big beach, a kids’ club, and tons of activities like snorkeling trips and kayaks.

Leaving the kids at home: The more sedate adults-only Almond Beach Club & Spa has a secluded feel, surrounded by lush greenery where wild monkeys play. There’s great bar service right on the intimate beach, and a fabulous boutique spa. Don’t miss dinner at Enid’s Restaurant for authentic Bajan-style cooking and warm service.

Getting in touch with your inner kid: The Almond Casuarina Beach Resort is on the southwest part of the island, close to the club-hopping strip of St. Lawrence Gap (think Bourbon Street).  So beyond the resort’s ocean-view rooms, ocean-front dining, and Calypso lounge (with live entertainment), you’ve got plenty of opportunities for late-night partying there. Bonus: When your inner kid wakes up with a hangover, there’s no better cure than sipping coffee to a gentle soundtrack of ocean waves.