Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, January 2012 Issue
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2012
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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Happy New Year. May your 2012 travels be frequent and rewarding.
Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii
Oxford Summer Experience
|Anglophiles can take part in the Oxford Experience, a one-week summer course open to everyone with no requirements, no tests and no papers. It provides a week-long learning vacation at Christ Church, one of the most prestigious of Oxford colleges, which was founded by Cardinal Wolsey almost five centuries ago.
The residential program runs July 1 to Aug. 11, 2012, with each week starting on a Sunday and finishing the following Saturday. The choice of some 60 courses is varied: Castles in Britain; From Rasputin to Putin; The Beatles, Popular Music and Sixties Britain; The Georgian Home; The Brontës; Oxfordshire Towns; King Arthur and the Dark Ages; A History of the BBC; and English Country Houses.
Participants stay in student accommodations though rooms with private bath are available, and dine in the Hall, which gained fame in the Harry Potter films. Three daily meals are included in the price. Once a week each student is invited to dine on High Table and, on the final night, everyone gathers for champagne in the Cathedral Garden followed by a gala farewell dinner in the Hall.
Throughout the week there are excursions to stately homes, tours of Oxford, pub walks, lectures, croquet and wine in the Masters’ Garden, performances by traditional Morris Dancers and Evensong in the college chapel, which is also the Oxford Cathedral. At other times you can enjoy Oxford’s concerts and theater, the college picture gallery, riverside walks in Christ Church Meadow and boating on the Isis (as the Thames is called in Oxford).
The one-week course with tuition, accommodations, all meals (except those on excursions) and evening activities is £1,135, or approximately $1,819. Excursions and private bathrooms are extra. The deadline for summer 2012 registration is May 1, 2012.
Click here for more information or write to The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA, U.K.
ExpertFlyer's Seat Alerts Free to Anyone Who Flies
|ExpertFlyer.com, the air travel information tool offering ways to access the changing details of worldwide air travel information, will make available for free its Seat Alerts feature. Available exclusively through ExpertFlyer, Seat Alert will allow you to change a seat or set an alert on a flight that is completely booked and alert you via text or email if a seat becomes available on that flight. ExpertFlyer's Seat Alerts feature currently monitors more than 120 airline carriers worldwide.
A free Seat Alerts account can be created at ExpertFlyer.com and will allow you to maintain one active Seat Alert at a time. Once a Seat Alert has found a better seat or the flight has departed, a new Seat Alert can be created. This is ideal for travelers with one flight where they may be stuck in a bad seat at any given time. Additional active alerts can be purchased for $.99 and paid subscribers to ExpertFlyer will be able to set several alerts at one time at no additional cost.
Securing seating assignments for flights requires you to have a ticket and restricts seat selection to only unoccupied seats. If you want a different seat, typically you wait until check-in at the airport and hope a more desirable seat is available. ExpertFlyer's Seat Alerts changes all that.
Seat Alerts allows ticketed and non-ticketed passengers to set up an automatic alert that notifies them if occupied seats become available. Using ExpertFlyer's free Seat Alerts feature, you can select "Any Aisle", "Any Window", or “Any Seat” options and will automatically be notified by email or text message if any, aisle, or window seat becomes available on your desired flight. Then you can change your seat assignment via your point of booking. Additional notification options are available for Any Exit Row seat, Any 2 Seats Together, or a list of specific seats that you may want.
VivaAerobus $79 Flights San Antonio to Monterrey
|VivaAerobus, Mexico's low cost carrier, started its new San Antonio to Monterrey, Mexico route with flights from $79 and three flights scheduled per week.
With the operation of this route, VivaAerobus now serves six destinations in the U.S. connecting with the capital city of the state of Nuevo Leon, Monterrey.
Flights from San Antonio to Monterrey depart Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and flights also depart Monterrey to San Antonio on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Travelers will be able to be in Monterrey or San Antonio in one hour and 25 minutes.
VivaAerobus also offers the option of the ViajaFacil service, which connects via buses from the Noreste, ETN, and Omnibus de Mexico lines, to nearby cities including Saltillo, San Luis Potosi, Torreon, Tampico, or Zacatecas, among others, at a 75 percent discount on these bus fares.
Looking to reserve a car, truck, SUV, mini-van or 15 passenger van in Miami or Fort Lauderdale? You can choose between the traditional pay-later method or pay upfront to instantly receive savings through discounted rates where you can save up to 25 percent.
The new website makes the reservation process fast and easy. Go to the Royal Rent-A-Car website and provide the car rental dates. The resulting side-by-side comparison feature aligns the standard rate and the new pay now rate, so you can choose the option right for you.
In addition to a wide range of vehicles, you can get additional insurance coverage options, GPS, a prepaid toll program and a prepaid fuel deal.
Reservations can be made at locations found inside the airport Rental Car Centers at Miami International Airport or Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
Turks & Caicos Club, the 21-suite boutique hotel on Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, launches two offers to ring in the New Year. The Caribbean-colonial style hotel is next to the island’s best snorkeling reef.
Winter Warm-Up - Stay in any one- or two-bedroom suite and get the lower summer season rates for stays through Feb. 5, 2012. Rates are from $325 per night plus 11 percent tax and 10 percent service. Rates include full breakfast daily.
Spring Fling - Every third night free in any oceanfront suite for stays Apr. 9 through May 31, 2012. Rates are from $495 per night plus 11 percent tax and 10 percent service. Rates include full breakfast daily.
One- and two-bedroom suites feature four poster beds, living rooms, kitchens, free high speed wireless internet and private balconies overlooking Grace Bay Beach. Amenities include an air-conditioned exercise facility, large petal shaped pool with teak lounge beds and poolside bar. You receive free use of non-motorized water-sport equipment including HobieCat, windsurfer, sea kayaks and snorkeling equipment. The on-site restaurant offers fresh local seafood.
Turks & Caicos Club Hotel.
CityPASS, the company that packages discounted admission tickets to the top attractions in major North American destinations, offers a Winter Special that lengthens CityPASS's traditional nine-day validity period.
Purchase or activate previously purchased CityPASS ticket booklets for New York City, Hollywood, Seattle, Boston and Philadelphia and you will have until Feb. 29, 2012 to redeem the included attraction tickets (one use per individual ticket). Typically, once the first admission ticket in a booklet is redeemed, CityPASS holders have nine days to use the remaining attraction tickets. Winter Special, however, waives the nine-day rule, extending the usage period considerably.
CityPASS saves you up to 50 percent off the cost of purchasing the included attraction tickets separately. CityPASS also saves time, allowing you to bypass most main-entrance ticket lines.
The expanded Winter Special CityPASS usage period makes the pass attractive to locals who may be hosting friends or family. The "valid all winter" concept encourages sightseers — both out-of-towners and locals — to take their time and explore a city at a leisurely pace.
CityPASS ticket booklets can be purchased online or at any of the participating attractions.
The cities participating in the CityPASS Winter Special include:
- New York CityPASS Cost: $79 adult | $59 youth (6-17)
- Hollywood CityPASS Cost: $59 adult | $39 child (3-11)
- Seattle CityPASS Cost: $59 adult | $39 child (4-12)
- Boston CityPASS Cost: $46 adult | $29 child (3-11)
- Philadelphia CityPASS Cost: $59 adult | $39 child (2-12)
Ottawa Tourism launched Bonus Booking Offers, a program that gives you customized offers based on total hotel value at participating hotels. For example, a stay valued at $200 might offer free breakfast while a stay valued at $300 might offer free parking. Bonus offers are managed by individual hotels on Ottawa Tourism’s website booking engine and are available for new reservations at participating hotels.
Participating Ottawa area hotels also offer Third Night Free for bookings and travel through Mar. 31, 2012.
Both options make it easy to plan an Ottawa getaway that can include skating on the Rideau Canal, attending the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game festivities or taking part in Winterlude activities.
Tune into your surroundings instead of your iPod, if you want to stay safe warns antiterrorism expert Todd McGhee, who pioneered new security measures at Logan Airport, post 9/11.
"Situational awareness helps to keep us safe from belligerent drunks, sexual predators, scammers and other troublemakers as well as terrorists," says McGhee.
"Airport security is getting better at spotting potential terrorists. Now the public needs to know what to watch for and how to respond to terrorist and other threats," says McGhee, who after a 24-year career as a Mass State Trooper, co-founded Protecting the Homeland Innovations, LLC to provide antiterrorist training to police and other security professionals.
McGhee offers these tips:
- Pay attention to the ebb and flow of human activity in airports, rail stations and bus terminals when you travel. You will be become sensitive to the norm and more aware of behaviors that are out of step with the crowd - behaviors that don't make sense and could mean trouble.
- If you see something, say something, isn't specific enough. Travelers need to know what to look for and how to respond.
- Forget ethnicity or religion as clues. It's behavior that matters. Beware of the individual who hangs back when everyone rushes to make their flight, brings luggage into the baggage claim area, photographs items that are not tourist attractions, appears to be taking orders via cell phone or is generally out-of-it, almost trancelike.
- Outside the boarding gates, airports are as public as city streets where anybody up to no good can hang out. If a stranger starts a conversation and hesitates to answer simple questions like, 'Are you visiting your family?'" it's a sign of trouble.
- If you sense a threat, go with your instincts. Move away and alert the nearest security professional or a gate agent. Do not try to detain the individual yourself. Your safety comes first.
Holland America Line’s Sail & Save event features savings on multiple staterooms, products and destinations. Additionally, the line is giving away one seven-day cruise for two through a sweepstakes on the line's website.
Book under the Sail & Save promotions and you can get savings up to 50 percent off select cruise fares, free ocean-view and verandah stateroom upgrades, free or reduced third and fourth fares, reduced airfare for some gateways and sailings, and savings of up to $2,000 on Collectors' Voyages.
Cruise destinations featured in the Sail & Save sale include Alaska cruises and CruiseTours, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe, Grand Voyages, Hawaii/Tahiti, Mexico, Panama Canal, South America and holiday itineraries.
For a family-friendly vacation book a seven-day cruise to Alaska, the Caribbean, Canada/New England and Bermuda under the free or reduced third and fourth fares promotion.
For a longer itinerary reserve a stateroom on one of the Collectors' Voyages with savings up to $2,000.
Book reduced air fares from select gateways to itineraries in Europe and the Grand Voyages. The reduced air add-on rates start at $399 per person from North America.
Visit Holland America Line's website and register to win a seven-day cruise (no purchase necessary) by filling out a short questionnaire, which then is automatically entered into the sweepstakes. Entries will be accepted through Feb. 29, 2012, and a winner will be selected by a random drawing in March 2012.
Holland America Line's Sail & Save offers or 877/724-5425.
Marriott Rewards MegaMiles gives you the opportunity to earn 2,000 bonus miles with every stay, beginning with the second stay, up to a total of 50,000 bonus miles during the promotion. Members will also earn their usual base miles with every stay. Stay through Apr. 30, 2012, at any of 3,500 participating hotels in 70 countries.
A stay is defined as consecutive nights spent in the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity
Participating frequent flier program airlines include: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air China, Alitalia, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Emirates, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL), Jet Airways, JetBlue, Kingfisher Airlines, KLM/Air France, Lufthansa, Southwest Airlines, TAP, United, US Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
If you want to earn Marriott Rewards points you are not eligible for this promotion. Base miles will be earned for each stay, plus 2,000 bonus miles every stay, beginning with the second stay, up to 50,000 bonus miles. Marriott Rewards base mileage earned for qualifying charges is calculated based on the airline loyalty program's "currency" (points or miles).
Allow four to six weeks after the promotion ends for miles to be posted to your airline/miles program account. Your preferred airline/miles program reserves the right to change program rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers at any time without notice.
Enrollment in the Marriott Rewards program and registration for the promotion are required. Members can register for the promotion any time until Apr. 30, 2012.
Marriott Rewards MegaMiles or 800/411-0862.
Grand Circle Travel (GCT), catering to travelers 50 and older, offers savings on its 2012 China & Yangtze River Cruise Tour. Couples will save $600 on all 2012 departures, while solo travelers get free single supplements on the base program and all optional extensions.
Grand Circle's 21-day China & the Yangtze River Cruise Tour explores Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chongqing, Xian, Guilin and Hong Kong. It includes a four-night cruise along the Li River. The cruise tour begins at $3,445 and includes airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco (or $2,395 without air), accommodations (15 nights at first-class, moderate first-class and unrated hotels, in rooms with private bath; four nights aboard a Victoria Cruises river ship; 44 meals including two lunches at homes in Shanghai and Xian; 14 sightseeing tours; Grand Circle's Discovery Series events; Grand Circle Program Director (guide); five percent frequent traveler credit; and baggage handling for one piece of luggage.
The four-night Li River cruise onboard a Victoria Cruises ship offers outside cabins with private balconies, a dining room with open seating, reading room, fitness room, lectures, entertainment and morning Tai Chi classes. Additional amenities are available on the Executive Deck and Executive Suites.
Grand Circle's 14 sightseeing tours include Beijing Forbidden City and Hidden Lanes; Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace; Great Wall & Ming Tombs; Shanghai; Three Gorges Dam; Wanxian; Chongqing, Stilwell Museum & Flying Tigers discussion; Panda visit; Xian & Terra Cotta Army; Xian City Wall & Small Wild Goose Pagoda; Li River cruise and Hong Kong.
Discovery Series events include a visit to Shanghai market and Cao Yang New Village senior center; a home-hosted lunch with a Shanghai family, a home visit in Wanxian with a relocated family, and a primary school visit and home-hosted lunch in Xian.
To extend the tour, Grand Circle offers optional pre-and post-trip extensions. A new for 2012 six-night Seoul, South Korea and Gyeongju pre-trip begins at $1,995. A four night post-trip to Bangkok, Thailand starts from $995.
Grand Circle Travel or 800/221-2610.
Fly the coop during wintery weather and soak up the sun on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Sterling Resorts offers a warm welcome as part of the Sterling Snowbird Club. Through February 2012, value rates on month-long getaways start from $33 per night. This offer is available on all stays with a minimum of 28 nights at select Sterling properties along Panama City Beach, Scenic 30-A and in Destin. Rates do not include taxes or fees and are based on availability. Additional restrictions may apply.
Sterling’s amenities allow you to feel at home with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, flat-screen TV, living and dining areas, free DVD rentals and private balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
The Snowbird Club also offers perks that includes discounts to local dining and shopping, area recreation and attractions. Mild winter temperatures and sunshine provide a backdrop to a full calendar of seasonal events. Some planned activities for Sterling’s Snowbird Club include: fishing excursions, yoga on the beach, Wii bowling tournaments, cooking classes, movie nights, wine tastings and special events such as a Super Bowl party and golf tournaments.
All Sterling Resorts guests in January and February 2012 are automatic members of the Sterling Snowbird Club.
Sterling Snowbird Club or 866/975-2098.
Austrian Airlines with Austrian Airlines Vacation Center, operated by IMTC, Inc., offer a 10-day Imperial City Steal package combining three consecutive nights in Prague, Vienna and Budapest. This package starts at $1,599 per person double occupancy from JFK or Newark for travel Jan. 8 to Mar. 28, 2012. This package is available from Washington for $1,679, Atlanta for $1,749, Miami for $1,769, Chicago for $1,769 and Los Angeles for $1,809.
The package price includes fuel surcharges but not governmental and security fees of approximately $185 to $260 per passenger. Additional taxes and fees may be collected by foreign governments. All taxes, fees and surcharges are subject to change and exchange rate fluctuations may vary on the day of booking.
You fly in economy class to Prague, stay three nights in Hotel Chopin, take the train to Vienna where you spend three nights in Hotel Capri and travel by rail to Budapest for your last three nights in City Hotel Pilvax. The minimum stay is three nights and one Saturday overnight and the maximum stay in Europe is 30 days.
The Imperial City Steal package is available for travel any day of the week, subject to availability. Weekend surcharges apply. Single supplements, upgrades, additional combinations and extensions are available. All packages must be booked at least 14 days in advance. Full payment is required within 24 hours of confirmation. Once confirmed, the packages are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be changed.
Austrian Airlines Vacation Center 800/790-4682.
Dooley Vacations offers a week-long vacation in Ireland from $899 per person including air, accommodations, and rental car.
If you like to explore at your own pace, arrive at Shannon Airport and spend the first night at the Old Ground Hotel in County Clare, an 18th century manor house in the village of Ennis.
From here, you can drive your rental car and choose from thousands of Bed and Breakfast inns for the next four nights. Your final night is in County Clare at Dromoland Castle, the 16th century ancestral home of Gaelic royal families. From its setting on a 375-acre estate, you can hunt, fish, horseback ride and golf or take in the rugged West coast of Shannon and Limerick.
This six-night Ireland vacation includes:
- One night at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, Co. Clare;
- Four nights Bed and Breakfast accommodations;
- One night at the Dromoland Castle (room only) in Co. Clare;
- Roundtrip economy airfare to Shannon Airport;
- Manual shift car rental with unlimited mileage for a week;
- Full Irish breakfasts daily;
- House of Waterford Crystal Tour
This package is priced from $899 per person from Newark and $1,059 from JFK for travel through Feb. 29, 2012. The package is available at higher rates through May 31, 2012. All rates are per person based on double occupancy for travel on select days of the week. The price does not include government taxes, fees, facility charges and security fees of about $180 per person. Packages are capacity controlled and subject to availability and may not be available on every date or on all flights and may be restricted to certain hotel room categories.
Available package options include:
- Upgrade to an automatic car with unlimited mileage for $50 per person.
- Extra night at a Bed & Breakfast with car rental from $75 per person.
- Extra night at a Bed & Breakfast and one night in Dublin with car rental from $150 per person.
Dooley Vacations or 877/331-9301.
Escaping wintertime got easier at these diverse destinations.
Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare, Ireland – Available to Mar. 31, 2012, get a third night free when you stay two consecutive nights. The package includes accommodations and a full Irish breakfast daily. Rates begin at 550.00 euro total per room.
Castlemartyr Resort, Co. Cork, Ireland – The Winter Dinner, Bed, and Breakfast package includes accommodations, dinner at the Bell Tower Restaurant and full Irish breakfast daily. The package is available for Thursday/Friday or Friday/Saturday bookings until Feb. 28, 2012. Prices start from 200 euro per night.
Viceroy Bali, Ubud, Bali – The Spa & Wellness package includes three nights in a pool-villa, breakfast daily, a two-hour couples’ spa treatment, a four hand harmony massage, an hour-long yoga class, a three course dinner for two at the resort’s restaurant, and a three course high tea. Rates begin at $1,701 for a three-night stay for two people. Additional nights start from $467 per night. This package is available through Mar. 31, 2012.
Royal Belize, Hermit Caye, Belize – The Recover and Discover package offers a 45 percent discount. This five-night package for two, available through Mar. 15, 2012, includes accommodations in Casa Valentina or Casa Catalina; a free one-way helicopter transfer and chauffeured drive through the Maya Mountains; all meals and beverages, including wine, spirits, and champagne; free massage every full day in residence; one snorkeling trip on the Belize Barrier Reef; a cruise on the Sittee River; and a half day of spa treatments at Butterflies Spa. The package costs $9,875, plus nine percent hotel tax, for two people. Additional guests are $3,500 per couple.
Combsberry Inn Bed & Breakfast, Oxford, Maryland, 410/226-5353 –The 30 acre riverside estate offers a Winter Wonderland package with 50 percent off through Feb. 1, 2012. For reservations call .
Robert Morris Inn, Oxford, Maryland, 410/226-5111 – This historic inn and tavern on the water offers the Winter Leisure Break package through Apr. 29, 2012. The package includes accommodations, breakfast, mineral water, and dinner in Salter's Tavern. Rates start from $90 per person, per night during the weekend or $80 per person, per night midweek with a two night minimum. Rates are based on two people sharing a room.
BOOK BY JAN. 31 - - In 2012, Mountain Travel Sobek offers 20 percent savings on select journeys in Africa, Asia and the Americas which must be booked by Jan. 31, 2012. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy and include 20 percent savings. International air and in-country air, when required, are not included.
- Jan. 17, “Tribal Ethiopia,” southern Ethiopia to the Coptic Christian north and Lake Chamo for bird- and crocodile-watching. Per person land price $4,636.
- Feb. 19, 2012, “Morocco Camel Trek” from Marrakesh to Fes with visits to Berber villages and among nomadic herders, plus a four-day, vehicle-supported camel trek in the Sahara. Per person land price $3,756.
- Apr. 1 and 29, “Bhutan Sampler” explore Buddhist culture and three-day trekking between the Paro and Haa Valleys. Per person land price $3,356.
- May 3, “Everest Lodge to Lodge Adventure” Wander through villages and ancient monasteries in Nepal, plus overnights in the best hotels and lodges, no camping or tea house stays. Per person land price $2,956.
- Jan. 16, “Patagonia Explorer” seven days of easy to moderate hiking, five days cruising. Per person land price $6,476.
- Mar. 17, “Adventures in Costa Rica” Kayak in Tortuguero National Park, hike near Arenal Volcano, white water raft on the Pacuare River. Encounters with monkeys, iguanas and other creatures observed during easy hikes from rain forest trails. Per person land price $1,996.
- Feb. 22, “Colchagua & Lake District” tour in Chile. Hike then savor cabernets, malbecs and carmeneres in the wine growing region of the Colchagua Valley. Hike in the cooler climes of the Lake District, inhabited by Mapuche locals and Swiss and Germans. Per person land price $3,436.
- Feb. 19, “Baja Multisport Adventure” Explore two oceans and the mountains on the Baja peninsula with wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding, surfing plus snorkeling and kayaking in the Sea of Cortez. Per person land price $1,916.
Mountain Travel Sobek 2012 20% Savings or 888/687-6235.
BOOK BY Jan. 6, 2012 - - Caribbean travel company Elite Island Resorts gives instant savings and the fifth night free on all-inclusive stays. Book by Jan. 6, 2012, for travel through Apr. 14, 2012, for the lowest sale rates, plus a fifth night free.
With seven resorts to choose from, you can find a destination to your liking. Here are the participating resorts:
- The Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua with all-inclusive rates from $431 per room, per night based on double occupancy
- St. James’s Club & Villas in Antigua with all-inclusive rates from $462 per room, per night based on double occupancy
- Galley Bay Resort & Spa in Antigua with all-inclusive rates from $618 per room, per night based on double occupancy
- Mount Cinnamon Beach Resort in Grenada with room-only rates from $468 per suite, per night based on double occupancy
- LaSource in Grenada with all-inclusive rates from $499 per room, per night based on double occupancy
- Palm Island Resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with all-inclusive rates from $568 per room, per night based on double occupancy
- Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas in Tortola, British Virgin Islands with room-only rates from $181 per room, per night based on double occupancy
Elite Island Resorts or 800/858-4618.
With The Islands of The Bahamas Instant Savings offer, travelers who purchase a four or five night stay at participating hotels will receive $250 instant savings while stays of six nights or longer get up to $400 instant savings. Stays of three to five nights at participating hotels on Grand Bahama Island qualify for $250 instant savings.
Travel can be booked through Feb. 6, 2012 and must be completed by June 20, 2012. The offer includes tax and fees, is based on double occupancy, and is subject to availability and blackout dates. Other restrictions may apply.
The Islands of The Bahamas include Nassau and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, The Abaco Islands, Bimini, Harbour Island, Exuma Islands, Long Island and others.
Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the best scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, shopping and dining.
The Islands of The Bahamas or 800/Bahamas.
It is true. Many of the best things in life are free. And that holds true on the oldest and northernmost of the main Hawaiian Islands, Kauai.
Here is a list of free and nearly free things to see and do.
- Waimea Canyon State Park: Open daily, Waimea Canyon State Park offers a view of the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and Niihau Island in the distance. Hikers can enjoy the Iliau Nature Loop or the Kukui Trail during their visit.
- Kokee State Park: Adjoining Waimea Canyon State Park, Kokee State Park has hiking trails, guided hikes, craft workshops, the annual Banana Poka Round-Up and the Emalani Festival. The park also offers picnic areas, lodging and areas for camping.
- Kalalau Trail: This 11-mile trail begins at Kee Beach and continues until it reaches Kalalau Beach. There are several shorter trails along the 11-mile path, which provides the only land access on the Napali Coast.
- Wailua River/Wailua Falls: The 20-mile river on Kauai’s east side begins at Mount Waialeale, and is one of the easiest rivers to navigate. Wailua Falls is located at the south end of the river and is often used as a film location.
- Hanapepe Friday Night Festival & Art Walk: Every Friday night from 6-9 p.m. Hanapepe Road provides the opportunity to meet local artists and gallery owners in Kauai’s Biggest Little Town.
- 50 miles of beaches: 50 miles of white sand beaches surround Kauai, with notable locations along every coast.
- Sunshine Markets: Kauai offers farmers markets every Monday through Sunday in locations like Kalaheo, Hanalei, Kapaa, Hanapepe, Lihue, and Kekaha.
- Waipa Foundation Poi Pounding Volunteering: On Thursday mornings at Waipa, visitors can learn how cooked kalo is turned into poi. The process begins around 5 a.m. and finishes around noon, with lunch to follow.
- Guided Tour of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery:
- Detailed guided tours of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery take place once a week, and take visitors on a 90-minute tour of the grounds, including the Kadavul Temple. The tour is free, but the monastery asks for a small donation.
- Historic Waimea Walking Tour with West Kauai Technology & Visitor Center:
- Every Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. The West Kauai Technology & Visitor Center takes visitors on a 2.5-hour tour to the place where Captain Cook first landed. The tour is free, but they ask for a small donation. Registration is required for participation.
- Spouting Horn Blow Hole: Located on Kauai’s South Shore, along the Poipu Coast, the Spouting Horn is one of the most photographed spots on Kauai. During large swells, the lava tube releases a spout of water.
- Kauai Coffee Walking Tour: Visit Kauai Coffee Company to learn about the history of the coffee, learn to identify different types of coffee, and about the coffee-making process from start to finish.
- Drive to Kee Beach: The road to the North Shore takes you past farmlands and country roads to Haena State Park, and the last beach at the end of the road. Kee Beach marks the beginning of the Kalalau Trail.
- Salt Pond Beach Park: Located on Kauai’s west side, in Hanapepe, it is the only natural salt pond in the state that is used today to make sea salt. The beach is known for its windsurfing, snorkeling and tide pools.
Kauai Visitor Information or 800/262-1400.
- Limahuli Gardens ($15/adult, free for children 12 years and under) Walk through lava rock terraces and see the taro that still thrives there. Learn about the native plants of Hawai‘i, the plants brought to the islands by voyaging Polynesians, and the flowers and fruits introduced during Hawaii's plantation era.
- McBryde Garden ($15/adult, $7.50 6-12 years, 5 years and under free) botanical ark of tropical flora with native Hawaiian flora such as palms, flowering trees, Rubiaceae, heliconias and orchids. The Canoe Garden contains plants of ancient Hawai`i.
- Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge ($5 for adults 16 years and older) Panoramic view of the Pacific and a historic lighthouse complex. Depending on the season you may see humpback whales, dolphins, green sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals. In the air you’ll see thousands of migratory seabirds.
- Grove Farm Tour ($10 requested donation) The 100-acre historic sugar plantation shows family life, plantation activity, household work, gardening and farming.
- Kauai Museum ($10 general admission, children under 5 are free) Collections from the artisans of Kauai and Niihau. Learn about the geological formation of the Hawaiian Islands, early Native Hawaiian life, Captain Cook’s arrival on Kauai’s shores and the Hawaiian Monarchy.
- Kokee Natural History Museum ($1.00 donation) Interpretive programs and exhibitions about Kauai’s ecology, geology and climate. The museum provides basic information on trail conditions in Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Parks.
For the fourth year, Callaway Gardens, in Pine Mountain, GA, offers free admission through Feb. 29, 2012. The offer is good for people who previously visited Callaway Gardens, as a way to show appreciation for their patronage. For those who have not visited Callaway Gardens, it is an opportunity to discover Callaway Gardens at no cost.
Even in winter, there are lots of things to do and see such as watching butterflies emerge from cocoons and viewing the floral displays at the John A. Sibley Horticultural Center. While visiting, get outdoors on one of the walking trails or meander through the Gardens on the Discovery Bicycle Trail (bicycles are available for rent or bring your own).
Callaway Gardens is owned and operated by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation. Callaway Gardens includes a garden, resort, preserve and residential community on 13,000 acres in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Highlights include a butterfly conservatory, horticultural center, discovery center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails and a 4,610-acre forest preserve which is under conservation easement and used for biological studies and environmental education programs.
Callaway Gardens or 800/225-5292.
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-- Buy Tickets at a Discount -- Special ticket outlets sell discounted day-of-performance tickets to theater productions, films, and sporting events. Discounts can be 50 percent or more. On The Go Publishings
Cheap Tix Chart, still only $14, lists outlets in the U.S. and eight foreign cities that sell discounted, day-of-performance tickets. Click here
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To get your Fr-ee Fun San Diego brochure, for a $1 handling fee, click
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A Face-It Luggage tag makes it less likely for a stranger or thief to walk off with your luggage and helps you recognize your luggage at a glance in hotels or airports. Face-It Tags are also available for
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The Travel Savings Alerts
Newsletter, P.O. Box 91033, Columbus OH 43209, edited by Nicki
Chodnoff, is published monthly.
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