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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter
Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, November 2010 Issue

Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright  2010 
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff

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Bengals Spa Kit thumb
NFL Team Branded Spa Bag

Every fan deserves to be pampered with this extravagant spa bag, available for all 32 NFL teams plus the Ohio State University.
  • Each spa bag includes - an 8 oz jar of natural brown sugar scrub with 3 natural raw sugars for gentle but deep exfoliation
  • 8 oz jar of goat's milk and honey lotion with shea butter and Vitamin E - natural moisturizers that help hydrate and nourish skin
  • 8 oz jar of Mediterranean Sea Salts - solar evaporated and one of the world's purest salts
  • 2 bottles of nail polish in team colors.

Priced at $39.99 per bag, each spa bag comes packaged in a lovely organza gift bag. Quantities are limited. Purchase at ke specialties llc.

In This Issue:
Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington, MN

Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge

  • Up to 35 Percent Less at Red Lion Hotels
  • South Africa on Sale
  • Brasstown Valley Rate Relief Packages
  • Sceptre Tours Ireland Vacation w/Options
  • Rocky Mountaineer Special Offer
  • Fall/Winter Deals to Dusseldorf's Quadriennale 2010
  • CarMD Tips for Safe Winter Driving
  • Westin Riverfront Countdown to Ski Offer
  • Amelia Island Program to Offset Baggage Fees
  • The Bahamas Free Companion Airfare
  • Inn at Lost Creek Ski BOGO
  • Snowshoe Winter Escape at Inn by the Sea
  • Cap Maison Family Special
  • Win a Trip for Two to Tuscany
  • Steinhatchee Landing Resort Discounted Angler Rates
  • Cruise Season Package from Doral Resort & Spa
  • Zion Lodge Winter Package
  • Superfun Beach Resort & Spa Grand Opening Special
  • Short on Time, Long on Letting Go
  • Volunteer Tourism in Guatemala

    • Up to 35 Percent Less at Red Lion Hotels

      Red Lion Hotels Corp. is cutting hotel room rates up to 35 percent for booking fall and holiday travel early.

      Stay Red. Save Green with Red Lion Hotels allows you to save 25 percent for stays through Feb. 28, 2011. You can save an additional 10 percent with advanced booking. All discounted room rates are based on availability and can be booked online.

      The RLH hotel network has 43 hotels in eight states and one Canadian province.

      Red Lion Hotels.

      South Africa on Sale

      South African Airways Vacations reduced pricing for its "South Africa on Sale" package available for bookings in spring of 2011. The nine-day package features international and domestic South Africa flights on South African Airways, four nights at the Commodore Hotel in Cape Town and two nights at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge or Bakubung Bush Lodge for safari. Prices start at $2,424 per person, based on double occupancy. Taxes are additional and may vary due to currency fluctuation.
        The package includes:
      • Roundtrip international economy class airfare from New York or Washington, D.C. (Dulles) to Johannesburg, South Africa, on South African Airways. Add-on fares are available from 26 cities in the U.S.
      • Domestic flights on South African Airways within Africa in accordance with itinerary
      • Fuel surcharges
      • Four nights at the Commodore Hotel in Cape Town
      • Full-day Cape Peninsula tour, half-day Table Mountain tour and half-day Winelands tour
      • Two nights at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge or Bakubung Bush Lodge
      • Game drives while at safari lodges
      • Six breakfasts
      • Three dinners
      • Meet and greet by South African Airways Vacations representatives on arrival in South Africa, as well as transfers
      The "South Africa on Sale" package is available for sale now for stays through Dec. 15, 2010 and Jan. 10 to Mar. 31, 2011.

      SAA Vacations or 888/722-4872.

      VitaminMenu Free Ship One Stop Bannerbanner

      Brasstown Valley Rate Relief Packages

      Enjoy fall color at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa. Fall getaway "Rate Relief" packages include a guestroom for two, plus 50 percent savings on all resort activities, such as golf, select spa services and horseback riding

      Special value rates start at $69 per night during the value dates of Nov. 8, 14 through 17 and Nov. 28, 2010. December value dates are Dec. 12 through16, 2010.

      If these dates don't meet your schedule, Bed & Breakfast Getaway packages are available on select dates in November from $139 per room, per night, and in December from $119 per room, per night including breakfast for two in the resort dining room. The package rates do not include a $10 per night resort fee or applicable taxes.

      Deep in the Appalachian Mountains at an elevation of 2,150 feet near the foot of Georgia's highest peak, Brasstown Bald, Brasstown Valley Spa & Resort is home to the holistic Equani Spa; an 18-hole golf course; an equestrian center; an indoor-outdoor pool; tennis courts; and miles of hiking trails.

      Brasstown Valley Spa & Resort or 800/201-3205.

      Sceptre Tours Ireland Vacation w/Options

      Sceptre Tours lets you travel to Ireland with roundtrip airfare, five-star hotel and rental car for less than the price of a regular transatlantic economy class airfare.

      Their 2011 pricing for a six night Adare Villa with car and air package offers options including flying into Shannon or Dublin airports. The price is $499 per person including airfare, hotel and car rental and is based on four people traveling.

        The basic six nights Adare Villa with car and air package includes:
      • Six nights in a private three-bedroom villa at the Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort with kitchen, dining room, living room, sun room, laundry facilities, and four bathrooms;
      • Roundtrip economy class airfare to Shannon or Dublin;
      • Weekly manual car rental

      The $499 per person price is based on four people traveling from New York and Boston through Dec. 16, 2010 and from $549 for travel Mar. 27 to Apr. 30, 2011. Prices for travel Jan. 1 to Mar. 26, 2011 are $599.

      This package is available for two travelers from $699 (Nov. 1 to Dec. 16, 2010) or from $799 Mar. 27 to Apr. 30, 2011. Rates do not include taxes and fees of up to $185 per person.

        Options include:
      • Option 1 - Upgrade to an automatic car rental with GPS, three-course dinner at the Carriage House Restaurant at Adare, and a historic tour of Adare for $99 per person.
      • Option 2 - six nights at the Adare Villa plus a final night at Croke Park in Dublin (four-star hotel) with a manual car for $75 per person additional.
      • Option 3 - six nights at the Adare Villa, upgrade to an automatic car rental with GPS, three-course dinner at the Carriage House Restaurant at Adare, historic tour of Adare plus a final night at Croke Park in Dublin (four-star hotel) for $174 per person additional.
      • Option 4 - six nights at the Adare Villa plus the first and last night at Croke Park in Dublin (four-star hotel) $150 per person additional.

      Sceptre Tours or 800/221-0924.

      Rocky Mountaineer Special Offer

      Rocky Mountaineer offers early birds an added bonus for booking ahead. When you book a qualifying Rocky Mountaineer vacation of seven nights or more in GoldLeaf Service through Nov. 30, 2010, you receive a credit worth up to $1400 Canadian per couple in added value or $600 Canadian in added value for four nights or more. The credits can be used towards any add-on such as Rail and Alaskan Cruise vacations, a Whistler Sea to Sky Climb rail journey, additional hotel nights, meals, sightseeing tours and more.

      The Early Booking Bonus is valid on new 2011 bookings paid in full by Feb. 14, 2011. The Early Booking Bonus also applies to RedLeaf Service with reduced value. Offers are based on availability and may be modified, withdrawn or travel dates may be substituted without prior notice. Further restrictions may apply.

      The Western Explorer Rail and Cruise vacation is the latest addition to Rocky Mountaineer's vacation line-up for 2011. A 16 night vacation combines Rocky Mountaineer's rail journey by daylight between Vancouver, BC and Jasper, Alberta with an Alaskan cruise on Holland American's ms Oosterdam.

      Rocky Mountaineer or 800/665-7245.


      Fall/Winter Deals to Dusseldorf's Quadriennale 2010

      Dusseldorf's second Quadriennale 2010 runs through Jan. 31, 2011, and is a major destination for contemporary art enthusiasts. Ten of the city's major art venues and institutions feature art in and from Dusseldorf of the past 50 years.

      So when traveling to Dusseldorf in the next few months you will find major contemporary art exhibits and travel specials for hotels and local and long-distance train transportation for the Dusseldorf area and beyond.

      The city's tourism office offers travel specials during the entire event and you can choose from four and five star hotel packages from 79 Euros per person. Packages include one hotel night (double occupancy), one two-day Quadriennale ticket (good for all venues), one Dusseldorf Welcome Card (includes free public transportation for two days), and a city information package.

      For travel to and beyond Dusseldorf, through Jan. 16, 2011, German Rail offers a special for Quadriennale ticket holders. For 39 Euros, roundtrip tickets on high-speed ICE trains are available for travel from any train station within 185 miles.

      Quadriennale two-day tickets cost 20 Euros and admit you to all event venues for two consecutive days and include free public transportation within Dusseldorf city limits.

      CarMD Tips for Safe Winter Driving

      The winter driving season with snow, sleet and rain is just around the corner and with it comes an increase in weather-related auto accidents and maintenance needs. CarMD.com has a list of simple steps to help ensure your car and truck is ready for a safe winter driving season.

      According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 24 percent of vehicle crashes and 17 percent of crash fatalities are weather related. Another 13 percent of auto accidents are due to mechanical failures. By spending a little time and money on preventative measures now, you can minimize the possibility of a more costly problem later in the season.

        CarMD's Winter Preventative Maintenance Tips
      • Winter Check Up - Before the mercury drops, do a pre-winter check-up in the fall. It should cover an oil change, air filter replacement, valve adjustment, spark plug inspection, and tire rotation and balance. A winter tune-up should include: a clean fuel filter, inspection for leaks that may not be visible later when the weather is freezing, a test to make sure your heater is working, and check to make sure your coolant mixture is good enough to cover lower temperatures. Frozen water can lead to cracked radiators. Also, keep your fuel tank at least half full during the winter to avoid fuel line freeze up problems.

      • Battery - Car batteries rarely signal failure ahead of time, but those cold cranking amps are working harder to get your car started in the winter. Batteries are highly vulnerable in the winter. Minivans and SUVs require more cold cranking amps to start those larger engines. If your vehicle takes a long time to start or the battery is more than three years old, consider replacing the battery. Check your battery charge with an affordable battery tester that plugs into your cigarette lighter. Do a visual inspection for corrosion now or ice build up on the battery posts when it's cold. To be safe, always carry a set of jumper cables and know the basics of using them.

      • Tires and Brakes - Tires lose pressure when temperatures drop. Check your tire pressure and tread depth, and consider whether you need all-weather tires in your area. Check your brakes for wear and tear. Have them looked at if they show any of the following symptoms: squealing sounds, brake pedal judder (shake or vibrate), a pull to one side when braking, or feeling that your foot sinks to the floor when applying the brakes. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), be sure it's working properly and you know how to use it. ABS is designed to reduce skidding and help you maintain control in an emergency when you apply them hard and stay on them and do not pump the brakes. Make sure you double your normal safe stopping distance, take your time and drive more cautiously in winter months.

      • Wipers and Lights - Changing your wiper blades is one of the best things to help ensure your safety. A set of wiper blades only costs about $20 and can help avoid an accident by seeing something a split second sooner. Double check that all of your lights are working, including your fog, brake and emergency lights, and turn signals.

      • Cold Weather Car Kit - Carrying a basic emergency kit year-round that includes a flashlight with extra batteries, water, flares, duct tape, extra windshield wiper fluid, tire jack and first-aid kit is important, particularly during winter months. CarMD recommends adding several items to the kit during the winter. First and foremost, be sure you have an ice scraper, which is much better than having to scrape ice off your window with a credit card and far more economical than using all windshield wiper fluid to defrost the window. Also, make sure you completely remove the snow from your car. Snow piled up on the hood will blow onto your windshield and refreeze almost instantly. Headlights and taillights need to be cleared as well, so other vehicles can see you. Your winter kit should also include blankets, extra, waterproof clothes, sand or kitty litter for tire traction, a shovel and gloves.


      Westin Riverfront Countdown to Ski Offer

      BOOK BY NOV. 4 - - Avoid spending your Sundays crawling down the mountain in I-70 traffic this winter. Make every weekend a long getaway with the "Countdown to Ski Season" offer from the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek in Colorado.

      Book one of the Westin Riverfront's studio suites for a Friday to Saturday night getaway over any weekend this winter and stay Sunday night free with parking included. Mention the Countdown to Ski offer when booking. The deadline to book is Nov. 4, 2010.

      The Westin Riverfront also offers a "Linger Longer" promotion this winter. Reserve a four night stay and receive two additional nights free. The "Linger Longer" promotion must be booked by Nov. 4, 2010 and is valid for stays through April 24, 2011. Use promotion code Z6H.

      The resort features 210 guest residences ranging from studio suites to three-bedroom condominiums, all with custom kitchens, five-piece bathrooms and gas fireplaces. The resort is connected to Beaver Creek Mountain via the Riverfront Express Gondola. Amenities include a ski valet, a Westin Kids Club, a fitness center, spa, a saline-based outdoor pool and three riverside hot tubs.

      The Westin Riverfront is the only Silver LEED certified resort in Colorado.

      The Westin Riverfront Beaver Creek or 866/949-1616.


      Philadelphia Eagles boys growth chart thumb NFL Team Branded Growth Chart

      A great keepsake to capture a child's growth through the years and show your team spirit. Available for all 32 NFL teams plus the Ohio State University, the large growth chart (54" long by 15" wide) easily hangs on any surface with removable adhesive tabs. A pink version for all 32 NFL teams is available for girls. The growth chart comes with 14 removable footballs that adhere directly onto the chart. Footballs, placed at the child's measurement each year, include a place to write the date and child's age, when measured, and a place for a photo!

      NFL team and Ohio State University growth charts are available at ke specialties llc

      Amelia Island Program to Offset Baggage Fees

      The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau extends its "Pack Your Bags for Amelia Island" program, offering up to an $80 room credit for airline checked baggage fees on stays of three or more nights. Valid through December 2010, the program is good at nine of the island's hotels and inns. Upon check-in, you must present an original receipt showing checked baggage fees from your airline. The room credit will not exceed $80. Charges for oversize or overweight baggage do not apply. The promotion cannot be combined with other promotions, packages or special convention/meeting rates.

      Hotels and inns participating in the "Pack Your Bags" program include:

    • Addison on Amelia 800/943-1604
    • Amelia Hotel at the Beach 877/263-5428
    • Amelia Island Williams House 800/414-9258
    • Fairbanks House 888/891-9881
    • Hampton Inn at the Beach 904/321-1111
    • Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites 904/491-4911
    • Hoyt House 904/277-4300
    • Residence Inn, Amelia Island 866/245-6099
    • Summer Beach Resort 800/862-9297
    • In Northeast Florida, Amelia Island is a barrier island with beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife.

      Amelia Island Convention & Visitor's Bureau.

      The Bahamas Free Companion Airfare

      The Bahamas' most successful promotion offers travelers, booking by Dec. 1, 2010, the opportunity to receive free companion airfare or an instant air credit of up to $300 for bookings of four or more nights. You can choose from more than 40 resorts and hotels throughout Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, the Abacos, Cat Island, Harbour Island and the Exumas. The offer is valid for travel through June 30, 2011. Some blackout dates apply.

      If you are not sure which of the Islands in The Bahamas to explore, visit The Bahamas Facebook page and take the Island Finder lifestyle survey to see which islands match your interests. Along with the survey, you can can interact with fans and repeat guests. You can select the "Island Explorer" tab for information, photos and to download an Island Guide.

      Click here for list of participating hotels and to book the free companion airfare offer or $300 instant air credit offer or 800/BAHAMAS.

      468x60_Graphic Banner_DropDownbanner

      Inn at Lost Creek Ski BOGO

      The Inn at Lost Creek in Telluride, CO, has an incentive to ski the early season when hotel rates are the lowest of the season. The offer is a Ski-BOGO promotion, a buy one night, get one night free Nov. 24 through Dec. 22, 2010.

      With each night booked, the Inn at Lost Creek will give you a free consecutive room night in the same accommodation category. You can choose from studios to two-bedroom suites with full kitchen, fireplace, two bathroom, steam showers, jetted tub and in-suite laundry. Early season rates start at $295 per night (excluding tax). Ski-BOGO is a limited time offer and cannot be combined with any other offer or package.

      An additional incentive the hotel's free added-value extras include a ski valet, movie library, Wii fit room, wireless internet, roof-top hot tubs and ground transportation from the Telluride airport.

      Located in Telluride's Mountain Village, the 32 suite Inn at Lost Creek offers a pool, fitness center and a full-service spa at their sister property, Capella Telluride.

      Inn at Lost Creek or 888/601-5678.

      Snowshoe Winter Escape at Inn by the Sea

      Visit the Maine coast this winter for a stay at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth. Available Jan. 2, through Mar. 31, 2011, the Winter Escape package combines a stay with snow shoes and instructions from L.L. Bean. After breakfast, take a snow showing class at L.L. Bean, and return for an evening next to the fire with spiked hot chocolate.

      The Winter Escape package includes: Two nights in a fireplace room, garden suite or spa suite, two pairs of LL Bean winter walker snowshoes, two passes to LL Bean snowshoeing outdoor experience in Freeport (weather dependant), full breakfast for two, two welcome spiked hot chocolates or coffee drinks in the fireplace lounge.

      Package rates start at $412.26 per night for a fireplace room, $401.03 per night for a garden suite and $423.50 per night for a spa suite. Book packages seven days in advance of arrival to have snowshoes on arrival.

      Inn by the Sea or 207/799-3134.

      Cap Maison Family Special

      Cap Maison in Cap Estate, St. Lucia, has a family package for the winter months. Until April 2011, families booking a villa suite; ocean-view villa suite plus pool or an ocean-view villa suite with pool and roof terrace, will receive a second or third bedroom for free. Plus, kids under 12 eat free when dining with their parents at the resort.

      With the family offer you can book a one bedroom villa suite and receive a second bedroom free or book a two bedroom villa suite and receive a third bedroom free. Family offer stays must be completed by April 2011 and excludes bookings for Christmas 2010, New Year and Easter Apr. 22 to 25, 2011.

      For added savings, Cap Maison offers four hours of free babysitting per day for families booking this special offer. Winter rates for the one-bedroom villa suite, the starting room category for the family package, are $865 per room, per night, based on double occupancy.

      Cap Maison or 888/765-4985.

      Dallas Cowboys kleen kit thumb NFL Team Branded kleen kits

      Fight against bacteria and flu germs with National Football League team branded hand sanitizer kleen kits. Produced by ke specialties llc, a kleen kit consists of a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer, an 8 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer and a 40 count canister of wipes, available for all 32 NFL teams plus The Ohio State University.

      The 2 ounce bottle (TSA approved for 3-1-1 carry-ons) or 8 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer easily fit into a pocket, purse or back pack and the 40 count canister of wipes can be used at home, while tailgating or at work.

      NFL team and Ohio State branded kleen kits are available at ke specialties llc.

      Win a Trip for Two to Tuscany

      Discover the secrets of authentic Italian cooking with a getaway to the Italian countryside. Buitoni opens its kitchens at Casa Buitoni in Tuscany to one winner and a guest to experience Casa Buitoni and cooking alongside Buitoni chefs to help create Italian dishes.

      Buitoni wants to know what inspires you to be creative in the kitchen when preparing and enjoying Italian cuisine. Share a photo and a few sentences about what inspires you and you could win a trip for two to Casa Buitoni.

      The Grand Prize winner will win a week's vacation for two to Tuscany, Italy, which includes a two day trip to Casa Buitoni in Sansepolcro, Italy, $2,000 cash, a year's supply of Buitoni products, a digital camera, car service to and from airports, and private tours around Italy.

      Nine finalists will receive Tuscany-inspired Buitoni "Discover Your Dream Dinner" prize packages that include a year's supply of Buitoni products. Each month 150 entrants will be randomly selected to receive a Buitoni calendar and VIP coupon.

      No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Contest runs until 11:59 p.m. ET Dec. 31, 2010, and is open to legal U.S. and D.C. residents age 21 and older. Void where prohibited.

      Click here for prize details, full rules and to enter.

      Steinhatchee Landing Resort Discounted Angler Rates

      Steinhatchee Landing Resort, in North Central Florida, with Captain Jim Henley and Saltwater Fish'n Charters offer the "Fishing the Flats" and "Reel'em In" packages through Jan. 30, 2011.

      The packages, available during the Christmas holiday, include a 50 percent discount on a four-night stay in any cottage. A boxed lunch including a cooler with sandwiches, snacks, fruit and beverages is included. Captain Jim supplies all the necessities for a day on the water, including ice, bait and tackle. Fish cleaning ($.50/lb.) is extra and you can meet the Captain at River Haven Marina (a short drive from Steinhatchee Landing).

      The Fishing the Flats package starts at $640 for a one-bedroom Spice Cottage and includes a four-night stay, daily continental breakfast and half-day Gulf charter (four hours).

      The Reel'em In Package starts at $740 for a one-bedroom Spice Cottage and includes a four-night stay, daily continental breakfast, and full-day Gulf charter (eight hours).

      Subject to availability, the packages are not valid during the Thanksgiving holiday. Savings will reflect on your final bill at checkout. Guide gratuities are not included in the package price and pricing does not include sales taxes. If travel dates fall on a weekend then weekend pricing will be factored into the rate discount. Mention "Angler" package when booking.

      Steinhatchee Landing Resort is 75 miles west of Gainesville and a less than a two-and-a-half hour drive from Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa Bay. Featuring 39 Victorian, Georgian and Florida Cracker-style cottages on 35 acres, the resort sits on the banks of the Steinhatchee River, three miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico. Outdoor activities include freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing, paddling, croquet, cycling, and tennis. Property amenities include a 55-foot swimming pool, indoor swim spa and sauna, fitness center, more than 20 boat slips available for a nominal charge, and daily continental breakfast.

      Steinhatchee Landing Resort or 800/584-1709.

      Cruise Season Package from Doral Resort & Spa

      The Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami offers a package for people sailing from the Miami Sea Port, to extend their vacation a night longer. Rates for the hotel's seaworthy cruise package start from $164 per night and are valid through Dec. 23, 2010.

      The cruise package includes: accommodations, buffet breakfast for two, transportation to and from the Miami Sea Port.

      When booking online, be sure that promotional code L9Z appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box or call in reservations and ask for promotional code L9Z.

      The resort is on 650 acres and includes five 18-hole courses, six restaurants, a spa, and the family friendly Blue Lagoon with waterfalls and a 150 foot waterslide.

      Doral Golf Resort & Spa or 800/228-9290.

      $20 Off Promotion

      Zion Lodge Winter Package

      From Dec. 1, 2010 through Mar. 31, 2011, Zion Lodge, in Hurricane, UT, offers a "Zion in Winter " rate. Good for a Sunday through Thursday stay, the rate is $89 (regular rate of $158.95 + $10 for breakfast buffet for savings of 47%) for a standard room, $99 (regular rate of $172.95 + $10 for breakfast buffet for savings of 46%) for a western cabin and $119 (regular rate of $182.95+ $10 for breakfast buffet for savings of 38%) for a suite.

      On Fridays and Saturdays, the rate is $99 for a standard room, $109 for a western cabin and $129 for a suite. The rates are $10 higher than weekend rates during the holiday periods of Dec. 23 to 30, 2010 and Feb. 11 to 13, 2011. The "Zion in Winter" rate is based on double occupancy and does not include taxes or gratuities.

      The "Zion in Winter" package features breakfast for two each morning. Each additional person in the room is $10 with breakfast available for purchase separately.

      This offer is not available on Dec. 31, 2010, Jan. 1, 2011 or Feb. 19-20, 2011. Mention promotion code "WNTR" when making reservations.

      Zion Lodge completed a renovation to its western cabins in 2010 to restore the original look and feel of the cabins but with modern materials, plumbing and electrical components and systems. Built in 1927 by the Union Pacific Railroad, the cabins are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

      Zion National Park Lodge.

      Superfun Beach Resort & Spa Grand Opening Special

      BOOK BY NOV. 15 - - The all-inclusive SuperFun Beach Resort & Spa (formerly Hedonism III) in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, offers a 30 percent off "Grand Opening Special." Couples and singles (18 and older) who book by Nov. 15, 2010 receive discounted rates from $154 per room, per night, double-occupancy.

      Located on Jamaica's north coast, the SuperFun Beach Resort & Spa has 210 rooms and 15 suites with ocean and pool views, multiple dining options including Japanese, Italian and regional cuisine, a see-through-bottom Jacuzzi, a four-story waterslide, three freshwater pools, and spa facilities.

      An all-inclusive SuperFun Beach Resort & Spa getaway includes: accommodations, all meals, unlimited cocktails, land and non-motorized water sports including equipment rental and instruction, entertainment, weddings, recreational activities, and hotel taxes. Tipping is not allowed.

      SuperFun Beach Resort & Spa or 877/467-8737.

      Short on Time, Long on Letting Go - Southern City - - by Nicki Chodnoff

      A delayed flight out of Philadelphia International Airport does not have to mean a long afternoon of shopping for souvenirs or squirming in a terminal seat - wilderness is just one train stop away.

      The 1,000-acre John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, located on the south side of Philadelphia, is only one mile from the airport, but the air here is filled with a different variety of flying things. Blackbirds, hawks and bald eagles can be seen from the refuge parking lot.

      John Heinz National Wildlife RegueJohn Heinz at Tinicum Refuge is not the only national wildlife refuge close to urban America. Managed by the Department of the Interior, the 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges. A number of National Wildlife Refuges are near major metropolitan areas and offer quick stops between airline flights so children can stretch their legs and parents can take a deep breath of fresh air. A visit can mean the difference between a few hours at the gate and a walk in the woods or wetlands. Wildlife refuges offer nature walks in a variety of lengths to fill whatever time is available. Some even have spotting scopes no further away than the visitor's center.

      Here are examples of refuges ideal for tourists or travelers looking for a quick immersion in the National Wildlife Refuge short stops:

      John Heinz at Tinicum Refuge 215/365-3118, was established in 1972 to protect the last 200 acres of freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania. More than 280 species of birds rest and feed on the refuge, which also supports fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish and frogs, along with a variety of wildflowers. Visitors can experience life on the refuge along hikes ranging in length from three-quarters of a mile to 10 miles. Consider the trails as shady and well-maintained - not rustic hiking. Guided walks are held on weekends. A 10,000-square-foot Visitor Center offers exhibits on marshes, wetlands and local history, and there is a gift shop. At 8601 Lindbergh Boulevard, the refuge is close to restaurants, hotels and shopping areas.

      Patuxent Research RefugeJust outside the nation's capital and 30 minutes from the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, you think you're truly in a rural area when you're at the 12,800-acre Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland, 301/497-5763. A large visitor center offers outdoor ambience with indoor comfort. State-of-the-art exhibits highlight environmental problems, how scientists are trying to solve them and how the Refuge System is involved. Patuxent is the only national wildlife refuge established to support wildlife research. Viewing areas from the visitor center overlook a lake that is often full of waterfowl. For the more adventurous, there are five miles of walking trails, all leading from the visitor center at 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop. Half-hour tram tours are held on weekends from mid-March through early November.

      Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge

      Two miles from Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is a floodplain where bald eagles nest, herons and egrets wade and mallards swim. At Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, headquartered at 3815 American Blvd. in Bloomington, 952/854-5900, visitors looking for a quick get-away can take a half-mile loop trail or hike up to 12 miles along a trail through floodplain forests, native prairies and large lake marshes. On the top of the bluff it's very urban with houses and hotels. Down in the floodplain, there are two bald eagle nests and lots of deer, turkey, coyote, red fox and waterfowl. An overlook at the visitor center offers views of the Minnesota River Valley and most habitats on the 12,500-acre refuge. There are additional walking trails throughout, and van tours are offered periodically during the warmer months.

      Rocky Mountain ArsenalOne of the nation's largest urban wildlife refuges is eight miles outside of Denver and adjacent to Denver International Airport. The 27-square mile Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, 303/289-0930, is an oasis. A small portion of the refuge is off limits while it is being reclaimed from World War II munitions. Although the refuge at 56th Avenue and Havana Street is not open to visitors on Mondays. Events are scheduled year-round. Fishing is permitted April through October, and fishing equipment is available for children. A walking tour around Lake Mary offers opportunities to see a variety of birds, prairie dogs and deer. Eagle tours are held periodically and other programs are offered weekly on owls, bats, insects and other species. There's also a children's learning lab inside the visitor center, guided tram tours and interpretive trails around the visitor center. Refuge tours from October through December offer the best viewing opportunities in the country for large, mature mule deer bucks.

      A trolley ride from the San Diego airport, the endangered light-footed clapper rail and California least tern raise their young at Sweetwater Marsh, part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 619/409-5900. The 316 acre marsh overlooking San Diego Bay is a nice place to get away. Composed of salt marsh and coastal uplands, Sweetwater provides habitat for more than 200 species of birds that can be seen from a variety of trails. The city of Chula Vista's nature center at 1000 Gunpowder Point Drive, 619/691-1262, provides access to the marsh. It also offers exhibits explaining the marsh habitat, underwater viewing of green sea turtles, a shark and ray exhibit, and the opportunity to view burrowing owls, egrets, herons, and eagles in outdoor aviaries. Aviary dwellers are all birds that cannot be released back into the wild. The nature center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays the nature center offers guided tours at 2 p.m. Admission fees are $6 for adults and $3 for children.

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

      Volunteer Tourism in Guatemala

      Spend 10 days taking Spanish lessons, volunteering, hiking and getting to know Guatemala with the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy. Founded by Jorge Chojolan in 1994, the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy is a non-profit K to 12 school that works for social transformation through education.

      Their package, which normally costs $1,250 per person, is now $750 per person from Jan. 1 until mid-July 2011. The price drops to $700 per person when two people travel, four people traveling is $600 per person and five or more people traveling is $550 per person. The price includes all food, housing, in-country transportation, programing fees and other basic expenses. Air travel is arranged on your own.

      You are picked up at the airport and start your trip with a weekend stay at Finca La Florida, a fair trade coffee plantation where you learn about Guatemala's national beverage and can help with the coffee harvest. During that weekend, you stay in the old plantation house which has been converted into a hotel.

      You then move in with a local family in Quetzaltenango for your week at the Asturias Academy. Mornings will be filled with reading to kids, working in the library, organizing games at recess or building maintenance and repair. In the afternoon, you can take Spanish lessons or site visits to local attractions around Quetzaltenango. If you have specialized skills (teaching, medical, web etc.) there may be special opportunities.

      After the end-of-week farewell dinner, you go to San Marcos La Laguna on the shores of Lake Atitlan for kayaking, mountain climbing and visits to community projects. During that weekend, you stay at Eco Hostel La Paz, the first eco-hotel built in Lake Atitlan.

      Trips can be booked by contacting Steve Mullaney, Director of Development. Asturias Academy US phone: 763/219-1450.

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