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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, January 2013 Issue

Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright  2013 
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff

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Happy New Year. May your 2013 travels be well priced, frequent and rewarding.

In This Issue:
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Eiffel Tower

  • Athenaeum Deal
  • Free Days at National Parks, Public Lands 2013
  • Snowbird Rates at Sterling Resorts
  • Winter Rates at National Parks
  • Travel Safety Tips from NCPC
  • 25% Off London Winter Getaway
  • YO! Bus Service between NY and Philadelphia
  • Kalaloch Lodge Off-Season Packages
  • Renovated Oak Bay Beach Hotel Special Rates
  • Crystal 2013 Repositioning Cruises Offer Value
  • EL AL Special Savings
  • South Dakota Ski Deals
  • Earn Up to 50,000 Bonus Points with Choice Hotels
  • Gunnison-Crested Butte Valentine’s Specials
  • Hotel Deals In Philadelphia
  • Yosemite’s Badger Pass Deals
  • Millennium Hotel Weekend Winter Promotion
  • Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusives Family Package
  • How to Choose a Paris Rental By Alex Wagner
  • 15 Night Hawaii and Mexico Cruise From $1,259

    Athenaeum Deal

    The Athenaeum, a five-star property in the Mayfair section of London, offers two deals for value-minded travelers.

    The Three Nights for the Price of Two and re-vamped US dollar rates make it easier and more economical to stay. Plus the hotel includes value-added extras to make these deals sweeter.

    Through Feb. 28, 2013, book three nights at the Athenaeum and get the last night free. So, a three-night stay in a superior room is £450 excluding VAT (approximately $717); three-nights in an apartment is £798 excluding VAT (approximately $1271) The offer is conditional upon full prepayment at the time of booking and that no cancellations or amendments can be made to the reservation. The Three Nights for the Price of Two promotional is applicable to new bookings only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

    The Athenaeum also offers a second room in the same category for 50 percent off its usual rate, from $579 per night in a deluxe room, $679 per night for a Park view room, and $999 per night for a Green Park suite or one-bedroom apartment. The second room would cost $290, a Park view room $340 and a Green Park suite or apartment $499, respectively. Many interconnecting rooms are available, making this a good deal for traveling families.

    Both offers include breakfast, all drinks and snacks from the mini-bar, free Wi-Fi and full use of the hotel’s spa, gym and hot tubs. Kids 12 and under eat free when dining with an adult.

    As a token of the hotel’s appreciation, when you book three nights at the hotel you will receive a one-way car transfer from Heathrow or Gatwick Airport. Book five nights and you’ll receive free roundtrip car transfer.

    The Athenaeum is opposite from the Royal Parks and Buckingham Palace, and within walking distance of museums, galleries, shops and theaters.

    The Athenaeum or 800/335-3300.

    Free Days at National Parks, Public Lands 2013

    Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced dates in 2013 when more than 2,000 national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other federal lands will offer free admittance to everyone.
      The 13 Fee Free Days in 2013 include:
    • Jan. 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Fee waived by National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service

    • Apr. 22 to 26 National Park Week. Fee waived by National Park Service

    • June 8 Great Outdoors Day. Fee waived by US Forest Service

    • Aug. 25 National Park Service Birthday. Fee waived by National Park Service

    • Sep. 28 National Public Lands Day. Fee waived by National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service

    • Oct. 13 to 19 National Wildlife Refuge Week. Fee waived by Fish & Wildlife Service

    • Nov. 9 to 11 Veterans Day weekend. Fee waived by National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation.

    The fee waiver does not cover expanded amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

    Additionally, active duty military members and their dependents are eligible for a free annual pass for entrance to lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service.

    The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program also offers a free lifetime pass for people with disabilities, a $10 lifetime senior pass for people age 62 and older, and an $80 annual pass for the general public.

    Save up to 40% on Last Minute Flights with Hotwire Limited Rates!

    Snowbird Rates at Sterling Resorts

    Along the beaches of Panama City, FL, winter travelers can get seasonal value rates when staying at participating Sterling Resorts for a month. Through Apr. 30, 2013, snowbirds can enjoy the Florida Gulf Coast in a one bedroom/one bath condominium unit from $36 per night; two- and three-bedroom units are more.

    Any guest staying at Sterling Resorts this January and February is an automatic member of the Sterling Snowbird Club. That means you receive perks such as: discounts to local dining and shopping and area recreation and attractions.

      Planned activities Sterling Snowbird Club members can take part in include:
    • Fishing excursions
    • Yoga on the beach
    • Wii bowling tournaments
    • Wine Tastings
    • Special events: Super Bowl party, golf tournaments, etc.

    Members are invited to the Open House Events in Panama City Beach on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24, 2013, for Scenic 30A and Destin.

    Sterling Resorts offers more than 1,000 condominium units that range from Gulf-front cottages to three- and four-bedroom suites. Amenities include kitchens, high-speed Internet access, washer/dryer and private balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

    Sterling Resorts or 877/418-0430.

    Winter Rates at National Parks

    National Park Concessioner Xanterra offers winter rates at Zion National Park and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

    Xanterra South Rim makes it easy to experience the Grand Canyon with reduced rates at Maswik Lodge and a couples package at the historic El Tovar, two of the six lodges at the South Rim.

    Rates at Maswik Lodge, one of Xanterra’s two off-rim lodges, drop through Mar. 7, 2013. And El Tovar offers a romance package through mid-February.

    The Winter Value rate at Maswik Lodge is $85 per night plus tax at Maswik South and $115 per night at Maswik North. No promo codes are required.

    Stay at least two nights at Maswik North and receive an additional discount and pay $95, the same rate offered in winter 2011-12,– single or double occupancy per night plus tax. Use promo code “STAY2” when making reservations.

    The cost for each additional person in the room is $9. Children 16 and under stay in the same room at no extra charge. Lodge and room type are subject to availability and seasonal closures. Summer and holiday rates at this hotel ranges from $92 to $176 per night.

    If needed, Xanterra will open and offer the winter rate at Yavapai Lodge where room rates will be $85 per night plus tax at Yavapai West and $115 per night at Yavapai East.

    The 278 room Maswik Lodge is a short walk from the South Rim and at the southwest end of Grand Canyon Village.

    The El Tovar Romance package includes one night in a standard queen room, a bottle of sparkling wine, fruit basket and dinner for two with wine in the El Tovar Dining Room. The base package cost is $380 plus tax subject to availability. You may upgrade to a deluxe room or suite, based upon availability, for an additional charge. The Romance package is available through Feb. 14, 2013, excluding Jan. 9, 2013. When booking the enter promo code “ROMANCE.”

    This winter, Zion Lodge, in the red rock canyon country of southern Utah, offers reduced rates. The only in-park lodging at Zion National Park with 82 rooms and 40 cabins, Zion Lodge offers “Winter Magic in Zion” rates and holiday packages.

    The Winter Magic in Zion package includes an overnight stay and breakfast for two each morning. Through Mar. 15, 2013, this package rate for a Sunday-through-Thursday stay is $99 for a standard room, $109 for a Western Cabin and $119 for a suite. On Fridays and Saturdays, the rates are $10 higher.

    The rates are $124 for a standard room, $134 for a Western Cabin and $144 for a suite during Feb. 16 to 18, 2013. Each additional person over the age of 16 in the room is $10 with breakfast available for purchase separately. Mention promotion code “WNTR” when making reservations.

    The President’s Weekend package features two nights of accommodations Feb. 15 and 16 or Feb. 16 and 17, 2013, a gift shop coupon for 20 percent off products made in the United States, a president-themed dinner for two Feb. 16 and breakfast for two each morning. The two-night package rates are $268 in a standard room, $288 in a cabin and $308 in a suite. Mention promotion code “PRES” for the President’s Weekend package.

    Rates are based on double occupancy, do not include taxes, gratuities or park entrance fees.

    Zion in Winter offers or 888/297-2757.
    Grand Canyon Winter Value packages or 888/297-2757.

    Travel Safety Tips from National Crime Prevention Council

    The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), home of McGruff the Crime Dog, suggests following these safety tips to avoid problems during your travels:
      Personal Travel Plan: Think Before You Go
    • File a travel plan. Let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, when you plan to arrive and how to contact you. If you deviate from that plan, let someone know.
    • Travel with friends. There is safety in numbers.
    • Make sure your house appears “lived-in” when you are away. Lock all doors and windows, set household lights (inside and out) on timers.
    • Trim your hedges and bushes so thieves cannot have a place to hide out.
    • Have a neighbor park a car in your driveway to make it appear as if someone is home.
    • Have a neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers while you are away or have them held at the post office.
    • Invest in an alarm. An alarm system controls access points to your home and lets you know if someone has invaded your space.
      Driving: On the Road Again
    • Always lock your car doors. Keep valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk of your car.
    • Never pick up hitchhikers.
    • Park in well-lighted areas and close to the building.
    • Do not stop alongside the road if possible. If your car is bumped from behind or if someone indicates there is something wrong with your car, go to a service station or a well-lighted, populated area and call for help.
    • Fill the gas tank before dark; lock your car doors and roll up your windows if you step away from the car for any reason.
      Travel Destination: Checking In
    • Use all hotel locks and other security devices, even when you’re in your room.
    • Store valuables in the room safe or in the facility’s main safe.
    • Don’t tell strangers the name of your hotel, your room number, or other personal information.
    • Guard your room keys. Don’t leave them unattended or visible at restaurants, the pool, or clubs.
    • Don’t prop open your door or open your door to strangers. Use the peep hole before opening the door.
    • Don’t leave your purse or bags unattended at hotel buffets or lounges.
      Personal Safety: On the Town
    • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Take only the cash you need in your purse or wallet.
    • Limit the number of credit cards you carry. Bring only the necessary credit card(s) with you and carry money separately from credit cards.
    • Women should keep purses closed and snuggled tightly against the body.
    • Men should keep wallets in a front pants pocket or coat pocket.
    • Know your route and stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets.
    • If you feel threatened, get away and call for help, or try to go to a crowded place.
    • Always let someone know where you are going, who you are with, and when you will return.
    • Avoid going off with strangers, and always use the buddy system.
    • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs. Impaired judgment can put you in potentially dangerous situations.
    • Select ATM machines in visible, well-lighted locations.

    The National Crime Prevention Council.


    25% Off London Winter Getaway

    47 Park Street, Grand Residences by Marriott ushers in the new year by offering 25 percent off visits of two nights or longer. Rates for a one-bedroom executive residence (sleeps two people) start at £322 per room, per night (including VAT). 47 Park Street offers free wireless Internet access.

    For the saving you must book by Feb. 28, 2013, for travel through Mar. 29, 2013. A two-night minimum stay and advance reservations are required. A limited number of rooms are available for this promotion and tax is additional. The offer does not apply to groups of 10 or more rooms and cannot be combined with any other promotions. Blackout dates and other restriction apply.

    47 Park Street is in the center of London, in the Mayfair district and minutes from Hyde Park. 47 Park Street is the UK's first urban fractional ownership residence club with staff available 24 hours a day. This 1927 Edwardian-style town house has 49 one- and two-bedroom suites. Each residence combines Neo-classical and Regency styles to complement the building's 20th century architecture.

    47 Park Street – Grand Residences by Marriott.

    YO! Bus Service between NY and Philadelphia

    YO!, a new bus at affordable fares, offers eight daily roundtrips between New York and Philadelphia's Chinatown neighborhoods. The non-stop service offers a guaranteed seat, extra legroom with leather seating, free Wi-Fi and power outlets. One-way tickets are from $12 every day.

    YO! is jointly operated by Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines.

    The name YO! is derived from the pronunciation of the Chinese word that means "to protect." It is also a nod to Philadelphia where "yo!" an enthusiastic greeting was born.

    In New York, YO! operates on Pike Street between E. Broadway and Division on the median. A staff member is on site to guide the loading and unloading of customers. In Philadelphia, YO! operates from Gate 14 at the Greyhound terminal, at 1001 Filbert Street next to Chinatown.

    Fare, schedule information and how to buy tickets are on YO!’s website.

    YO! or 855/66-YOBUS.

    Kalaloch Lodge Off-Season Packages

    Kalaloch Lodge on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, and its new operator, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, offers lodging packages and other discounts.

    The seaside retreat features access to the beaches, wilderness and forests of the nearly one million-acre Olympic National Park in the Pacific Northwest. Recreation opportunities abound with hiking, beachcombing, fishing, bird watching, seasonal whale watching and razor clamming.

    The lodge features 64 rooms in the main lodge, Seacrest Building and various cabins.

    The off-season Brave The Storm package offers the best available rate for one night in a lodge room or cabin, two ponchos, two sets of hand warmers, hot chocolate and two keepsake glass mugs – plus a 1/5 bottle of peppermint schnapps. Available through Mar. 31, 2013, prices starts at $218 for a cabin based on double occupancy.

    The Longer You Stay, The Less You Pay Special is available through Mar. 31, 2013. Stay two or more nights and get discounts on lodge rooms and cabin rates. You receive $15 off per night for a two-night stay, $20 off per night for a three-night stay, and $30 off per night for a four-night or longer stay.

    A year-round Toast to Romance package in a cabin or lodge room includes a bottle of red wine, two wine glasses, a corkscrew and a chocolate chip cookie prepared by the lodge's executive chef. The package starts at $267 per night for a cabin based on double occupancy.

    Kalaloch Lodge is pet friendly with a Pampered Pooch and You package. It includes a pooch toy, water and food bowls and a pooch treat. The one-night package starts at $195 for a cabin based on double occupancy.

    The advance purchase rate, through May 31, 2013, offers a 15 percent discount off of a stay when you book seven days in advance. Full pre-payment for the entire stay is required at the time of the booking and is non-refundable. This cannot be combined with other offers, promotions or packages.

    Kalaloch Lodge offers discounts to AAA members, AARP members and active duty, reserve or retired U.S. armed services personnel. During fall, winter and spring, these guests receive free breakfast for two with a one-night stay. The summer discount, from May 24 to Sept. 30 in 2013, is 10 percent off the best available lodging rate. These cannot be combined with other offers, promotions or packages.

    Kalaloch Lodge.



    Renovated Oak Bay Beach Hotel Special Rates

    The best values for accommodations come when hotels first open or re-open. Victoria, BC’s 100 room Oak Bay Beach Hotel re-opened Dec. 1, 2012, and soft opening rates are offered until Feb. 28, 2013.

    Through Feb. 28, 2013 (excluding Feb. 8 to 15, 2013), rates for the English Manor-inspired hotel’s soft opening start at $139 Cdn (about $141 US dollars) for a standard room and $195 Cdn (about $198 US dollars) for an ocean view room. Included with every stay are free valet parking; Wi-Fi throughout the property; and access to the seaside heated mineral pools, steam sauna and fitness studio. Other amenities include the full service spa and baths, a dinner theater, pub, café, 24-hour room service and a full service dining room with 1,600 bottle private tasting room.

    The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is across the street from the Victoria Golf Club and a free shuttle is provided to the shops of Oak Bay Village or downtown Victoria.

    Soft opening rates are based on double occupancy, do not include taxes or gratuities, and are subject to availability; use the booking code SOFT online and by phone.

    Oak Bay Beach Hotel or 800/668-7758.

    Crystal 2013 Repositioning Cruises Offer Value

    Crystal Cruises offers repositioning cruises in 2013, with new itineraries on 60 percent of the voyages. Year-round, the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity move to different regions seasonally. Repositioning cruises offer value as nine- to 18-Day voyages start at $221 per day.
      New routes include:
    • Kobe to Vancouver - Apr. 12 "Trans-Pacific/Alaska" crossing, on Crystal Symphony, featuring: Kobe, Japan overnight, visit to Petropavlosk, Russia, four ports of call in Alaska: Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Seward and Ketchikan.

    • NY to Reyjkavik - May 23 "New England/Canada "Trans-Atlantic" voyage on Crystal Symphony with seven ports and Manhattan and Reykjavik overnight.

    • Barcelona-London and reverse - May 30 and Sep. 2 nine-day cruises reposition Crystal Serenity between Baltic/N. Europe and Mediterranean/S. Europe seasons.

    • Miami-Rio - Nov. 23 Crystal Symphony moves to South America with Miami departure and Rio de Janeiro overnight.

    • LA-NY Panama Canal - May 6 with call to Charleston and a "Garden and Floral Design" theme.

    • "Trans-Atlantic" from London - Sep. 2, ending in Boston with two calls in Scotland en route.

    • NY-Miami - Nov. 2 extended time in the U.S. with calls to Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine, plus Baltimore, Turks & Caicos, Curacao and Aruba.

    • Miami-Lisbon - Mar. 31 Ambassador Hosts to dance and dine with guests, 10 sea days and a visit to Portugal's Madeira Island.

    • Barcelona-Miami - Dec. 9 Nine sea days plus calls in the Canary Islands and St. Maarten.

    All-inclusive fares start at $2,210 per person.

    Crystal Cruises or 888/799-4625.

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    EL AL Special Savings

    EL AL Israel Airlines enrolled its one millionth Matmid frequent flyer club member. To celebrate, the airline offers three promotions with savings up to 30 percent. Through Jan. 10, 2013, EL AL passengers can take advantage of the following offers:

    Convert credit card points to Matmid points and receive up to 30 percent more Matmid points.

    Close to 30 percent savings on bonus tickets.

    Free Matmid Club registration plus earn 25 bonus points on the EL AL USA Facebook page (EL AL Israel Airlines USA)

    The Matmid Frequent Flyer Club allows you to earn bonus tickets in any class of service and upgrades to premium classes, priority seat selection, and other exclusive offers. In addition, Matmid members can enroll for free in GlobaLY, a charitable program dedicated to giving back to organizations that have strong ties with Israel such as Taglit/Birthright, The Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Israel.

    Celebrating more than 60 years of service, EL AL, Israel's national airline, offers the most nonstop flights between New York (JFK/Newark) and Israel and the only nonstop service from Los Angeles.

    EL AL or 800/223-6700.

    South Dakota Ski Deals

    There are ski deals in the Black Hills of South Dakota, home to Terry Peak Ski Area and Ski Mystic Miner at Deer Mountain. Terry Peak and Ski Mystic are in Lead, South Dakota.

    Ski Mystic offers a Ski and Tube package, through Mar. 17, 2013, which includes a two night stay, one day of skiing and a day at the Zero Gravity Tubing Park for $135 per person, based on double occupancy.

    Terry Peak's Ski & Stay Three package includes three nights lodging, two days of skiing, plus ski a third consecutive day for $25 per person, when you purchase it at Terry Peak. The package, which excludes Saturdays and holidays, starts at $185 for travel through Feb. 15, 2013.

    With a vertical rise of 1,100 feet and elevations over 7,000 feet, more snow falls on Terry Peak than anywhere else in the region. Terry Peak’s snowmaking system covers 60 percent of the mountain. New this year is the Gold Corp Express, Terry Peaks third high speed quad chair lift.

    The resorts offer discounted rates and good skiing conditions without the crowds found at larger resorts in neighboring destinations.

    Terry Peak or 605/584-2165 and Ski Mystic or 605/390-8574.

    Earn Up to 50,000 Bonus Points with Choice Hotels

    Stay at participating Choice hotels worldwide and earn up to 50,000 bonus points with triple points on qualifying stays.

    Through Feb. 20, 2013, Choice Privileges members can earn up to 50,000 Choice Privileges bonus points with triple points on every qualifying stay starting with their second stay.

    Members must register on online before their first stay and book online or at 800/4CHOICE plus arrive during the promotion period. Elite Diamond and Elite Platinum Choice Privileges members can book directly with a hotel. If they book online, these members will receive 100 additional Choice Privileges points with every qualifying stay. These points do not count toward the 50,000 bonus points. Corporate travelers can book through a travel agent or corporate booking system.

    A valid Choice Privileges number must be provided upon check-in for a stay to be eligible. After the 50,000 bonus points are reached during the promotion period, member will only earn base points on subsequent stays during the promotion period. A stay is defined as one or more consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs. Allow 72 hours from check-out for points to post to your account.

    This promotion is available to U.S. and Canada residents who stay at any of the 5,500-plus participating Choice Hotels properties; including Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, and Ascend Hotel Collection member hotels.

    Membership is free and offer points are good towards free nights, airline miles, gift certificates while staying at participating Choice hotels.

    Choice Hotels bonus points.



    Gunnison-Crested Butte Valentine’s Specials

    Romance in the Rockies returns with Gunnison-Crested Butte, CO’s Valentine’s specials.

    Romance at the Ruby package, 800/390-1338, includes rose petals in the shape of a heart, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne, an hour-long aromatherapy massage for two and breakfast in bed. A two-night stay at the Ruby of Crested Butte Bed and Breakfast starts at $510 per couple and is available Feb. 4 to 15, 2013.

    Three Rivers Resort in Almont, 888/761-3474, offers Valentine's weekend from $110. It includes two nights in a romantic setting along the Taylor River and a $50 gift certificate for dinner for two. For the budget-minded couple, choose a lodge room with kitchenette for $110 or a premium cabin with a private hot tub and fireplace for $300. Valid Feb. 14 to 18, 2013, the offer is for new reservations only.

    The remodeled Nordic Inn in Mt. Crested Butte, 800/542-SNOW, and Creekside Spa, 970/325-3860, team up for a Valentine’s Day getaway package with 20 percent off lodging and a $5 discount on any spa or massage treatment. Book by Feb. 14 online.

    Stay three nights or more with Peak Property Management, 888/909-7325. and get 20 percent off Valentine’s Day lodging. Valid Feb. 11 to 17, 2013.

    Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association or 800/814-8893.

    Hotel Deals In Philadelphia

    Hotels throughout the Philadelphia region offer packages to promote attractions and activities this winter season.

    Here are some of the offers:

    Winter Temperature Rate at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel Philadelphia. You get a discount on your room rate that's dependent upon the temperature outside in the 19103 zip code at noon on the day of your stay. If it's 30 degrees outside, that translates into a $30 discount. Available through Feb. 28, 2013, the package includes breakfast for two and discounted parking.

    Shop in Style package at the Hyatt at The Bellevue. Includes accommodations, free self-parking, 20 percent off at XIX restaurant and discounts at The Bellevue's shops. Available through Mar. 13, 2012

    Winter Family Escape package at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing. Families spending the night receive tickets to the BlueCross RiverRink, free self-parking, discount coupons for Dave & Buster's restaurant and access to coloring books, games and a free in-room movie. Available through Apr. 4, 2013.

    Suite and Eat package at the Morris House Hotel. Valid through 2013, the discounted rate includes one night for two in an extended suite, five-course meal with wine at the hotel's M Restaurant, breakfast and tea and cookies in the afternoon. The package is available Tuesday through Sunday and cannot be paired with other discounts. The package costs $499 which includes the hotel and restaurant tax and gratuity.

    Philly Overnight Hotel package is valid during 2013 at 30 plus hotels in the city and region. The two-night package includes free hotel parking and a With Love, Philadelphia XOXO teddy bear.

    The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation or 800/537-7676.

    Yosemite’s Badger Pass Deals

    Yosemite’s Badger Pass Ski Area has been operating as California’s original ski area since 1935. With 10 slope runs and five lifts, a getaway can include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, the authorized National Park Service concessionaire responsible for lodging, dining, guest recreation and transportation in Yosemite, offers several packages and discounted lift ticket to hit the slopes without breaking the bank.

    Lift Ticket Deals:

    Badger Pass offers free lift tickets, rentals and group lessons for all military personnel. Immediate family members receive 50 percent off lift tickets, rentals and group lessons

    “Two for Tuesday” – Skiers and snowboarders can ski midweek with Badger’s “Two for Tuesdays” deal, which offers two adult lift tickets for the price of one at $47.

      "Stay N’ Play” Add-on Package: Stay in Yosemite National Park this winter with the Stay N’ Play package. For $50 per adult and $30 per child, in addition to the room rate, you get:
    • An all-day Badger Pass lift ticket and equipment rental
    • Group ski or snowboarding lesson
    • A snow tubing session
    • A two-hour Valley Floor Tour
    • An ice skating session
    • This package is valued at $186 for adults and is valid for mid-week, non-holiday stays at all DNC in-park lodging. Blackout dates may apply and reservations must be made in advance for this rate.
      Guaranteed-to-Snowboard/Ski Package: If you are new to winter sports, the Guaranteed-to-Snowboard/Ski package will have you riding Badger Pass’ Bruin chairlift and cruising down the beginner slope on the first day – if not, Badger will offer a voucher to come back and try again. Package includes:
    • Equipment rental
    • A beginner lift ticket
    • A morning and afternoon group lesson offered daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Guests must be ages seven or older and space is limited.

    Badger Pass ski experience or 801/559-4949.

    Sixt 4

    Millennium Hotel Weekend Winter Promotion

    Millennium Broadway Hotel’s “Take the Money and Run” winter promotion runs through Mar. 31, 2013, and offers 50 “City Fun Bucks” per room, per stay to spend as you choose for a New York City trip.

    Book a deluxe room and, upon checkout, present your receipt for up to $50 of city spending. The $50 will be deducted from the room charge; purchases can include theater tickets, concert tickets, museum entrance, shopping, meals, and cab fare or metro cards.

    Rates start at $179 per night and must be booked by Jan. 31, 2013, with stays completed by Mar.31, 2013. To book, visit www.cityfunbucks.com or call 1-800-622-5569.

    The 750 room Millennium Broadway Hotel New York is in the heart of Times Square steps from Broadway shows, restaurant row and 5th Avenue shopping. The first quarter of the year remains the best-value period for travel to New York.

    Millennium Broadway Hotel New York or 212/768-4400.

    Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusives Family Package

    The Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusives’ Family package allows up to two children ages 11 and under to stay, play and eat free when sharing a room with two paying adults.

    The properties offer options to keep kids and adults entertained, whether dining together, enjoying nightly entertainment, relaxing on the beach or trying activities such as beach volleyball, windsurfing, snorkeling or scaling the 30-foot oceanfront rock climbing wall. Plus, you have full access to all the facilities, services and amenities of both properties.

    Available through Dec. 21, 2013, with prices based on seasonal nightly rates, the Family package also includes:

    Family accommodations with a patio or balcony for up to two adults and two children

    Children’s Camp Monday through Friday for children ages five to 12.

    Use of non-motorized water sports including snorkeling, snorkeling lesson, sailboats, kayaks, beginner’s windsurfing equipment and “Learn to Windsurf” beach clinic.

    Located 30 minutes from the airport and five minutes from Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, the resorts are on Druif Beach, with a shopping arcade and the Alhambra Casino nearby.

    Stays at both resorts include all meals and snacks at nine dining options, unlimited beverages at seven bars, the use of three freshwater pools, activities and nightly entertainment. In addition, you may use the Divi Winds Sports Center, which features a 30-foot outdoor rock climbing wall on the beach.

    Divi or Tamarijn Aruba or 800/554-2008.

    How to Choose a Paris Rental By Alex Wagner, Founder and CEO of A la Carte Paris

    The difficulty of being confronted by too much choice is perhaps best captured by the French expression, "l'embarras du choix" (stuck for choice).

    Perhaps I can help.

    Here are some specific pointers on how to choose a Paris rental, what’s the best location and what to avoid.

    What location is best?

    Rule #1: Stay central. Base your search within the most central areas of Paris:

  • Marais
  • St Germain
  • Eiffel Tower / rue Cler
  • Ile St Louis
  • Etoile / Champs Elysées
  • Latin Quarter
  • Louvre

    Frankly, you can't go wrong in these most central and sought-after parts of Paris. These areas are all safe, even late at night. All typically offer beautiful architecture, a lively street atmosphere, many cafe terraces, good restaurants and shops, plus major monuments and sights within immediate walking distance.

    And what about fabled Montmartre, as featured in the French film Amélie Poulain? Well, Montmartre is far too off-center to be practical for a short stay visiting Paris. I would however warmly recommend you spend a day there.

    Rule #2: Left and Right banks are both good
    Within these great districts, the Seine marks a cleavage between the left and right banks.

    The left bank (St Germain, Latin Quarter, Eiffel / rue Cler) tends to be more residential, arty and left-wing socialist (despite St Germain being the most expensive Paris district, leading to the ironic expression "la gauche caviar").

    The right bank (Marais, Etoile / Champs Elysées, Louvre) tends to be a shade more commercial and right-wing conservative.

    Within this basic cleavage there are nonetheless big nuances from district to district.

    Both left and right banks are great, so unless you happen to already have a preference I wouldn't worry too much about choosing between them.

    Rule #3: If on a budget, consider downsizing or alternate dates before leaving the center
    If your budget won't stretch to the most central locations, then you might be tempted to book an apartment in a less central location. You'll have no trouble finding such apartments in the less central districts (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th).

    However there are some downsides to these B-list locations. While safe and objectively good value for money, in my opinion they are not nearly as attractive or desirable (this is reflected in lower real estate prices there). They don't really don't offer "that quintessential Paris experience". What's more, you would have to use public transport quite a lot, as you wouldn't have everything within immediate walking distance of your apartment.

    Instead of moving outwards, if you are on a tighter budget, you might consider booking a studio, or choose low season dates if possible (avoiding waiting in line and feeling crowded by tourists...). That way you will still enjoy the most vibrant Paris experience possible.

    What size is best?

    For couples: Most couples opt for a one-bedroom. Although studios can offer savings, our guests tend to prefer having a separate living room and bedroom - something that hotels cannot economically offer.

    Some couples like to book a two-bedroom apartment to have more space to spread out with a slightly larger living room, perhaps using the second bedroom as a dressing room. In Paris, space is the ultimate luxury...

    For a small family or a group of 3 or 4 friends:
    A two-bedroom is the natural choice. In many of the apartments, you can specify the arrangement for the second bedroom: either two singles or one double. For extra comfort, having two bathrooms is best.

    That said, serious savings can be made by booking a one-bedroom equipped with a sleeper sofa (almost all our apartments are).

    For larger families and groups:
    Larger than two-bedroom apartments are quite rare so a good idea is to package two or more apartments within immediate walking distance of each other. That way you can all get together in one of the living rooms and then just split up for the night.

    A la Carte Paris.

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