Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, December 2009 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2009
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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NFL Team Branded Math Flash Cards
A proven learning tool that helps reinforce and build math skills, NFL Team branded math flash cards go anywhere and they can be used alone or with others.
Math flash cards are a great way to interest your child in math and make learning fun. The large, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 cards make it easy for kids to handle and read.
NFL team growth charts are available at NFL.com
Search for team name and math flash cards. Ohio State University growth charts are available on ke specialties llc.
Search for Ohio State University growth chart.
|In This Issue: |
Barrel Racer at Cody, WY Rodeo
|Trafalgar launched their 2010 Europe and Britain summer vacations with a Companion Flies Free offer. Book and pay in full by Dec. 30, 2009, and take advantage of free companion airfare (plus tax up to $190) to Europe on air-inclusive summer vacations.
Or, save up to $1,090 per couple on Europe land vacations with Trafalgar's 7.5 percent early payment discount, when summer tours are booked and paid in full by Dec. 30, 2009.
Trafalgar's vacations include first class hotel accommodations; transportation by motor coach, rail or cruise ship; cuisine; daily sightseeing and optional excursions with local guides; and the personal concierge services of tour directors.
All 2010 Europe tours are available online.
Trafalgar Tours Europe or 866/544-4434.
Christmas, New Year Deals in Great Britain
|Blue Chip Vacations offers a 40 percent discount on Christmas and New Year breaks at the waterside Nightingale House in Falmouth, plus a free hamper, champagne and chocolate for bookings of five nights or more.
Anyone making a Christmas or New Year booking is automatically entered into a free drawing to win select presents plus a Christmas tree, decorations and a hamper, all of which will be in the property on arrival.
In Cornwall, save more than 1,000 pounds at Nightingale House, in Falmouth, which sleeps eight. Available Dec. 19 to 26 and Dec. 26 to Jan. 2, 2010, the discounted rate is $1,551 pounds. The traditional-style waterside property incorporates Cornish architecture with the convenience of modern living.
Visitors staying Christmas week at the Southams beach-side apartments in Torcross have sea views overlooking a three mile beach. Decorations, a Christmas tree and a Christmas hamper are free. If you stay New Year's Eve, you receive a bottle of Champagne. Seven night stays during Christmas and New Year start from 956 pounds. Short-breaks are available through December. Three nights can be booked from 349 pounds.
Stay this December at the timber-clad House Martins, or the Woodpecker Lodge eco-home, both in Mill Cross, Somerset, and receive a Christmas tree, a seasonal hamper, and a free trip on the West Somerset Railway Santa Express. House Martins starts from 956 pounds. A four night stay at Woodpecker Lodge or House Martins starts from 384 pounds.
Visitors to the Old Manor Farm converted 16th Century Devon longhouse barn receive decorations and a dinner at the Thatch Tavern restaurant. The Honeysuckle sleeps four and costs 789 pounds while the Sweet Rose sleeps two and costs 499 pounds.
Blue Chip Vacations’ Christmas Offers.
Sterling Silver Circle Pendent
|The 30 mm sterling circle pendent is nearly 1 1/4 inch wide with a pave finish to make it look like small diamonds line the circle. The back of the pendent is clad in yellow 18K yellow gold overlay while the front remains silver. The necklace is finished off with an 18-inch sterling silver box-like chain clad in the same 18K yellow gold overlay. Comes in a black faux-leather gift box.
Priced at $75. Our price $24.95.
Order quickly from AAA Jewelry Outlet so you won't be disappointed. Quantities are very limited. Click here to order.
Thunderbird Lodge in Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeastern Arizona offers reduced rates through Feb. 28, 2010. The 74-room lodge drops its winter-season rates up to 43 percent off summer rates.
In addition, when you stay Saturday, Sunday or Monday night, you receive a free continental breakfast, 10 percent off canyon tours and 10 percent off gift shop purchases.
Rates per night are $63 for a single room, $69 for a double, $75 for a triple and $81 for a quad. Suites start from $94.50 for two people. Rates do not include taxes.
Winter in Canyon de Chelly features low humidity. Temperatures typically range from 40 to 60 degrees with lows averaging around 20 degrees. While the monument does receive some snow, it is generally no more than a few inches.
Thunderbird Lodge is the only lodging facility in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Rooms are equipped with beds, full bathrooms and satellite television. The lodge sits on the site of a trading post built in 1896, and its cafeteria-style restaurant is in the trading post's original building. The Thunderbird Lodge gift shop and rug room offer some of the region's finest examples of Native American jewelry, crafts and Navajo rugs and other mementos.
Thunderbird Lodge or 800/679-2473.
Shanty Creek Resorts, in Northern Michigan, offer families and skiers skiing values with a variety of 2009/2010 ski packages at Schuss and Summit Mountains.
Shanty Creek Resorts ski packages include lift tickets at $10 per day on Summit Mountain. This lift ticket package also includes $15 ski rentals. The affordable lift ticket is available every weekend. In addition, a family of four, all skiing or riding at Summit, can spend the day on the slopes for $40 with their own equipment and $100 including rentals.
The "Summit Ski" package starts at $75 per person, per night on the weekends. This package requires a two-night stay and includes lodging in a condo guestroom, two-day Summit ski slopes ticket, and free skiing on your night of arrival. In addition, children under eight years of age ski free and children under 12 eat free.
The "Midweek Ski" package starts at $54 per person. Available Monday through Friday, the package includes lodging in a condo guestroom, one-day lift ticket good for any of Shanty Creek's three villages, and free skiing on your night of arrival. Children under eight years of age ski free and children under 12 eat free.
The all-inclusive "Family Ski & Fun" package offers family activities including two-nights' lodging, Superticket on Saturday and Sunday, skiing the night of arrival, family welcome reception, family movie, breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, pizza and pop, one-hour tubing session, family sleigh rides, and dog sled rides for the kids. Children under eight years of age ski free and children under 12 eat free.
Shanty Creek Resorts or 800/678-4111.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort, in Bretton Woods, NH, offers a stay at the historic Omni Mount Washington Hotel or the Bretton Arms Inn to ski the slopes of Bretton Woods with the "Stay Here, Ski Free" package.
The "Stay Here, Ski Free" package includes superior accommodations at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel or Bretton Arms Inn and one day of skiing per each night of your stay. Available through Apr. 4, 2010, rates begin at $89 per person, per night, depending on the choice of accommodations. Limit of two ski tickets per room.
The "Winter Wonderland Inclusive Ski" package features superior accommodations at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel; breakfast, lunch and dinner daily; one lift ticket; 1.5 hour group ski lesson; high-performance ski rentals or full ski tune; and one 50-minute spa treatment. Available through Apr. 4, 2010, rates start at $399 per person, per night. The lift ticket, ski lesson, equipment rentals and spa treatment are offered per person daily following each night stay at the hotel. Spa treatments are not available for children under the age of 16.
The "Rest & Recreation" package includes superior accommodations at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel; choice of a canopy tour on a White Mountain forest zip line, ski ticket with lunch on the slopes or 50-minute service at the spa. Available through Apr. 4, 2010, rates start at $159 per person, per night. The choice of activity is offered per person daily following each night stay at the hotel. Children must meet age and weight requirements.
The "Simply Spa-tacular" package includes superior accommodations at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel, breakfast daily, nightly turn-down service, one 50-minute spa treatment per person, per day with a glass of wine or Champagne following each treatment. Available through Apr. 4, 2010, this package starts at $179 per person, per night and requires a two-night minimum. Package is not available to children under age 16.
Omni Mount Washington Resort or 800/The-Omni.
|Give a Jaguar -- An Amber Jaguar --
The remarkable face of a jaguar is hand-carved onto a lovely piece of cherry amber that's 33x20 mm in size. The dramatic pendent hangs on an ultra-chic 18-inch natural-colored leather necklace cord with a sterling silver clasp. Boy will this turn heads.
High-style boutiques and jewelers charge $500 or more for this glam piece. It's yours for only $125 plus shipping & insurance.
Click here to order. At the home page, click on the amber category.
Cruise West, a provider of small-ship voyages, offers savings for all of its 24 individual voyages, from nine- to 19-nights. Book and pay in full by Dec. 18, 2009, for maximum savings.
Regardless of your cruise destination, you can save up to $1,550 per person ($3,100 per cabin) and receive free roundtrip international airfare from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York or an air credit of $750 per person by booking and paying in full by Dec. 18, 2009. The free air or air credit is valid for Voyages 1 through 18 of the 24-voyage segments of the Voyages of the Great Explorers.
Additional saving incentives for all 24 voyages (except where noted) include:
- Bring a friend (new booking) and each person receives $500 off the cruise fare
- 50 percent savings for all children 18 and younger
- Single supplement waived on Voyages 1 to 4 in all cabin categories
- Reduced single supplement for Voyages 5 to 24 in Superior, Majestic, Premium and Classic cabin categories
With most cruises, you pay extra for soft drinks, taxes, port charges and shore excursions. With Cruise West, the fare includes everything except alcohol.
Cruise West includes a shore excursion in every port, and each of the 24 voyages includes one "Ultimate Explorers Experience." A sampling includes tickets to Edinburgh's Military Tattoo, the chance to participate in feeding of the monks in Rangoon, or an overnight stay in Sydney Harbor during its New Year's Eve celebration and fireworks display.
All voyages take place on the 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus. Prices start at $4,995 per person before savings and include a pre-cruise hotel night.
Cruise West's Voyages of the Great Explorers itineraries or 800/296-8307.
As Europe celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain that partitioned Europe, Marriott International, Inc. marks the 20th anniversary of its first hotel in the former Eastern Bloc, the Warsaw Marriott Hotel, with a deal -- Marriott's "Go East!" package.
The package is available in Berlin, Budapest, Bucharest, Prague and Warsaw. The one-night package, with 20 percent room-only discounts for subsequent nights, is available through Mar. 20, 2010, and includes 20 percent off the lowest available room rate, free breakfast, 20 percent off other food and beverage, and sightseeing passes to significant sights in cold war history.
To book the package, go online and search for one of the hotels listed below. Be sure promotional code S09 appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation.
- Berlin, Germany: The Berlin Marriott Hotel from euro 199 for single occupancy and euro 239 for double occupancy. Includes the Berlin Welcome Card and tickets to the The Berlin Wall Museum at Check Point Charlie.
- Bucharest, Romania: The JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel offer is priced at 660-744 LEI. The promotion includes tickets for two to visit the Parliament Palace.
- Budapest, Hungary: The Budapest Marriott Hotel, priced from euro 183 euro. Includes the Budapest Card (48 hours of free public transportation and discounts on shopping and museums), tickets for Statue Park and the House of Terror Museum, a memorial to the victims.
- Prague, Czech Republic: Four hotels in Prague offer the "Go East!" package which includes one-night in a deluxe room, buffet breakfast, 20 percent discount on food and beverage, two tickets for 24-hour free public transportation and two entrance tickets to the Communism Museum. Rates start at CZK 3,120 at the Prague Marriott Hotel, CZK 2,500 at the Marriott Executive Apartments Prague, CZK 2,100 at Courtyard Prague Flora, and CZK 2,750 at Courtyard Airport Hotel. Rates do not include nine percent VAT.
- Warsaw, Poland: The Warsaw Marriott Hotel, priced at 350 PLN per night, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Includes two Warsaw public transportation cards (good for 24 hours), and two tickets for the Warsaw Uprising Museum.
MSC Cruises offers a "Best Fare, Best Room" savings promotion for cruises to Europe next summer.
You receive the best available staterooms at the lowest price within your selected category at the time of booking. Rates begin at $699 per person on select seven-night cruises and $949 for 10-night and positioning cruises.
Itineraries featuring "Best Fare, Best Room" rates on seven-night sailings include:
- MSC Fantasia: "Mediterranean Fantasy" roundtrip from Barcelona, Genoa, Naples, or Marseille, from $849
- MSC Splendida: "Splendid Mediterranean" roundtrip from Genoa, Barcelona, Naples, Civitavecchia, or Marseille, from $799
- MSC Lirica: "Mediterranean Marvels" roundtrip from Genoa, Civitavecchia, or Salerno, from $699
- MSC Sinfonia: "Sparkling Mediterranean Rivieras" roundtrip from Venice, Livorno, or Naples, from $729
- MSC Armonia: "Jewels of the Adriatic" roundtrip from Venice, from $729
- MSC Orchestra: Baltic or Norwegian Fjords roundtrip from Copenhagen or Kiel, from $1,099.
Select 10-, 11-, or 13-night cruises and positioning cruise itineraries include:
- MSC Magnifica: 13-night from Hamburg to Venice, from $1,149
- MSC Poesia: 11-night roundtrip from Copenhagen or Kiel, from $1,399
- MSC Orchestra: 10-night from Copenhagen to Genoa, from $1,199
- MSC Opera: 10-night Dover to Venice, from $949
- MSC Melody: 11-night roundtrip from Genoa or Civitavecchia, from $999.
Children ages 17 and younger sail free when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare paying adults.
Cruise-only rates are per person, based on double occupancy and cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Government fees and taxes for all passengers are additional.
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 growth charts are available at NFL.com
Search for team name growth chart. Ohio State University growth charts are available on amazon.com.
Search for Ohio State University growth chart.
This Winter, Red Lion Hotels Corporation offers a simple and flexible airline miles promotion. Stay a cumulative total of six nights at any of Red Lion's 45 hotels throughout the West through Jan. 31, 2010, and receive 25,000 miles (enough for a free domestic ticket) in Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta Airlines Sky Miles, or Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles.
Here's how it works: First, book your reservation at Red Lion's Super Mega Miles rate; then, enroll in Red Lion's loyalty program, the Red Lion R&R Club. Elect which airline you want to earn miles on and enter your Red Lion R&R Club membership number on each reservation you make. For the first five stayed nights, you receive 2,000 miles per night. On the sixth night, you earn the Super Mega Miles bonus of 15,000 miles for a total of 25,000 earned airline miles. Unlike some programs, no pre-registration is required.
Red Lion hotels offer amenities business travelers expect, including recently renovated guest rooms with ergonomic work areas, free high speed Internet access, business centers, work out facilities and restaurants.
Super Mega Miles runs through Jan. 31, 2010 and all stays must be completed by that date.
Red Lion Hotels Corporation.
In 2010, Elite Island Resorts offer high season Caribbean all-inclusive savings when trips are booked by Feb. 1, 2010, for seven night stays. The savings is 20 percent off January stays, 10 percent off in February and 30 percent in March 2010. Dedicated free kids clubs are featured at select properties.
Elite Island Resorts' all-inclusive vacations feature food, beverages, room accommodations, activities, non-motorized water sports, taxes and gratuities. Children ages two to11 stay for $42 per child, per night.
Sample January all inclusive nightly double occupancy rates start at:
- $464 at the Verandah Resort & Spa, an eco-friendly 30 acre waterfront Antigua resort next to a national park. It features two white sand beaches, kayaking and hiking
- $500 at the St. James's Club & Villas, on a private 100-acre peninsula on Antigua
- $684 at Palm Island, a 135-acre private island in The Grenadines with 43 rooms and five beaches
- $772 at Galley Bay Resort & Spa, an intimate, top-rated Antigua retreat for adults that features beachfront accommodations, new oceanfront suites and a new spa
- $280 at Long Bay Villa Beach Resort, with newly upgraded room accommodations and a new spa on Tortola. MAP meal plan (breakfast and dinner) and five-night minimum only.
Elite Island Resorts or 800/345-0356.
Face-It Luggage Tags -- Your Face on Your Luggage|
There's no mistaking your luggage with the Face-It Luggage Tag. The durable, laminated tag displays your face and the phrase `This Face Belongs With This Luggage.`
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 briefcases, portfolio books, backpacks, sporting equipment, musical instruments, bicycles and more.
Face-It Luggage Tags.
Two money saving offers promise value at the Washington D.C. region's Gaylord National Resort. A family offer saves more than 30 percent, while grandparents can stay and play for free.
ICE! Family Fun Package
- Starting at $249, the ICE! Family Fun package saves more than 30 percent off the regular cost of the ICE experience and overnight stay. The ICE attraction features 10 different holiday scenes carved from two million pounds of ice. You can add a second night to your stay for $120.
- Available through Jan. 10, 2010, the ICE! Family Fun package has a number of family-friendly, on-site amenities included in the $249 price:
- Deluxe guest room accommodations
- Family four-pack of tickets to the ICE! attraction - two Adult and two Child admission tickets
- Four admission tickets to the ice-skating rink
- ICE! family photograph
- Free kid's breakfast (one child per paying adult)
- Free self-parking for one vehicle
- Waived Resort Fee with access to the fitness center, WiFi/high speed internet access and two bottles of water in the guest room.
This holiday season, Gaylord National offers the "Grandparents Stay and Play Free" package. You qualify by showing photos of your favorite holiday memory with your grandchildren upon arrival. A minimum two-night stay is required
Starting at $299, the "Grandparents Stay and Play Free" package is available through Jan. 10, 2010, and includes:
- Grandparents buy one night and get the second night free.
- Two Adult tickets to ICE! and two Child tickets to ICE! (for grandkids)
- A souvenir ICE! family photograph.
Gaylord National Resort or 877/432-8674.
Write your way around Tokyo, all-expenses paid, and get published to boot. World Nomads, Rough Guides, Intrepid Travel and hotels.com offer a contest for aspiring travel writers ages 18 and up.
Candidates can be students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change. The prize is the chance to travel for a week, all-expenses paid, to Tokyo and learn tricks of the trade from Rough Guides travel writer, Simon Richmond.
The deadline for applications is Dec. 21, 2009. To apply, write up to a 500 word travel-focused essay based on a personal experience around one of the following themes: A Journey that Changed Lives, Responsible Travel, Adventure in an Unknown Culture, or A Memorable Experience Involving Food in a Foreign Country.
Entrants must have a high degree of proficiency in written English, be comfortable doing some travel on their own, be at least 18 years old, have a current passport and be an excellent writer with a lust for adventure travel and a burning desire to be a travel writer.
The assignment will be to research, review and update essential travel info for the Tokyo section of The Rough Guide Japan, including accommodations, bars and restaurants, entertainment, shopping, tours, activities and transport, and search out local secrets that travelers want to read about.
The contest winner will fly to Tokyo and, after touching base with travel writing mentor Simon Richmond, hit the road for seven days reviewing and writing for The Rough Guide to Japan travel guide. Afterwards, there's a four-day "Flavors of Tokyo" independent tour with Intrepid Travel offering a cuisine-focused insight into the Japanese Culture.
Applicants must be available Feb. 15 to 26, 2010 to participate in "The Rough Guide to Japan" writing assignment and "Flavors of Tokyo" independent tour with Intrepid Travel.
The winner of the scholarship contest, along with the best entries received, will be published on the WorldNomads website on Jan. 8, 2010.
Details and online entry at the scholarship page.
From Jan. 5 through Apr. 29, 2010, get two more nights free at the Disneyland Resort when you buy a three-night hotel package with a five-day special value Disneyland Resort Park Hopper ticket.
If you already have theme park tickets, a second offer features a 30 percent savings at any of the Disneyland Resort hotels when a travel agent books a two-night hotel-only stay (hotel-only offer does not include theme park tickets). Travel agents can book either vacation through Apr. 1, 2010, for arrivals Jan. 5 to Apr. 29, 2010. Travel must be completed by May 4, 2010.
Park Hopping tickets included in the two-nights-free package make it easy to experience Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. The packages feature extras such as admission to Magic Morning, with access to select theme park attractions before Disneyland park opens to regular guests. The package also features entry into Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness - an interactive guest and character experience, and preferred seating at select attractions and restaurants at the Disneyland Resort.
The special offers are valid at the three Disneyland Resort hotels: Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
Disneyland Resort or 866/60-DISNEY.
Protect Luggage with Baggage Guard Seals |
The pre-numbered, one-time use plastic padlocks are the perfect way to protect luggage since they cannot be reinstalled once removed. That feature lets you instantly know if someone tampered with your luggage. Yet when TSAs at airports need to inspect your luggage, Baggage Guard Seals can be easily removed. A package of 10 Baggage Guard Seals is still only $9.95.
Click Here to Order from On The Go Publishing.
EL AL Airlines offers lower airfares in economy and business class for travel to Israel through March 2010. Flights are available from New York/New Jersey, and Los Angeles.
Economy class travel through March 23, 2010, is $906 roundtrip from New York or Newark and $1,274 roundtrip from Los Angeles. EL AL offers a special economy fare from 29 additional cities in the U.S. From Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC the roundtrip fare is $959. From Austin, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas/Ft Worth, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Indianapolis, Orlando, Minneapolis, Raleigh/Durham, San Juan, St. Louis, Tampa, and West Palm Beach the fare is $1,043 roundtrip. From Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle the roundtrip fare is $1,127. The fuel surcharge is included in all the promotional fares. EL AL Matmid frequent flyer points are earned for these flights as well.
Fares are subject to availability on select fights. Economy fares must be purchased within 72 hours of confirmed reservation. Blackout dates are Dec. 17 to 24, 2009. Security and government taxes of $94.90 from NY & LA; $108.40 from all other cities are not included. Cancellation/change penalties and other restrictions apply.
Savings are offered in business class for travel before Mar. 31, 2010. The roundtrip fare is $2,704 from New York/Newark and $3,504 roundtrip from Los Angeles. From Boston, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC the roundtrip fare is $3,304 and from Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, Miami, Raleigh/Durham, San Juan, St. Louis, and Tampa the roundtrip fare is $3,504. From Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle the roundtrip business class fare is $3,904.
EL AL Matmid frequent flyer members can save with a roundtrip economy class fare of $699 plus 299 points for a flight from New York/Newark or $1069 plus 299 points for a nonstop flight from Los Angeles. This promotion is available for travel before Mar. 23, 2010.
EL AL or 800/223-6700.
You can save money and reduce your contribution to global warming, thanks to a green travel guide from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
UCS researchers calculated the amount of carbon dioxide -- the chief heat-trapping gas that drives global warming -- associated with traveling, including passenger vehicles, planes, trains and buses. Since trip emissions also depend on the number of passengers traveling, UCS evaluated trip emissions for solo travelers, couples and families of four.
Vacation emissions can be significant. A poorly planned family-of-four vacation can result in more carbon emissions than an entire year of the family's commute to and from work. But smart vacation choices can cut emissions considerably.
Over time, global warming is making winters shorter and reducing the snow season for skiers, snowmobilers and other outdoors enthusiasts. UCS's green travel tips can help reduce heat-trapping emissions that cause global warming and save you money.
Travel Off-Peak. Americans tend to favor Friday, Saturday or Sunday departures for trips. These peak travel times result in higher emissions, gasoline bills and ticket prices. If you arrive and depart on Monday through Thursday, you can get lower airplane fares and avoid weekend and rush hour highway traffic. Off-peak travel is helpful if you want to avoid crowds on the road or at airports during holidays.
Tack a Day or Two onto a Vacation. The extra days can help you travel on off-peak days. Americans collectively fail to take more than a half-billion days of paid vacation every year. So, if you have the days, use them.
Skip Economy-Plus Seating. When you purchase coach-class plane tickets, airlines offer an "upgrade" to economy-plus for an additional fee. Because the extra space taken by economy-plus seats reduces the number of passengers that a flight can carry, it increases the per-passenger emissions for flights. Forgoing this option sends a signal to airlines to seat more passengers on planes and reduce per-passenger emissions. Some airlines eliminated first-class and economy plus seats. That can lower a plane's per-person emissions 10 to 15 percent and allows the airline to reduce its fares. If traveling alone or with one other person, you are usually better off flying in coach than getting behind the wheel of a typical car, for trips of more than 500 miles.
Don't Forget the Bus. Motor coaches are generally the greenest vacation travel option. Compared with flying coach, a couple traveling on a bus will cut their trip's carbon dioxide emissions 55 to 75 percent, depending on the distance traveled. Compared with a fuel-efficient hybrid car, a bus trip would cut a couple's trip emissions nearly in half. Bus travel is much less expensive than flying and can be cheaper than driving. Some bus companies offer fares as low as $1 each way. Since there is no online resource for booking tickets from different bus lines, you have to search for bus companies that serve your departure and destination cities. Additionally, many intercity buses offer wireless Internet connections and food service.
Take the Train. Train travel let's you skip in-city travel expenses. Trains are a green option, especially those in the Northeast that run primarily on electricity. Trains emit 60 percent less carbon per passenger-mile than a typical car with a single occupant. And compared with a 500-mile trip on a small jet plane, a train emits roughly 30 percent less carbon. Trains also can save money when traveling between large cities. Train stations are often much closer to city centers than airports, so you won’t need to rent a car. Just take a cab or shuttle into town.
Union of Concerned Scientists
Smart Destinations, an attraction pass company, unveils two new passes for Orlando and Las Vegas. The company provides unlimited admission attraction passes in 14 major North American travel destinations.
The passes, both named EXPLORER PASS, allow you to choose three or four attractions from a list of options, saving you up to 50 percent over retail walk up prices. The attractions may be pre-sold by any tour operator and picked up by customers when they arrive in the destination. Visits may be used at any time during the duration of the holiday (up to 30 days).
The Orlando Explorer Pass retails for $90 and includes a choice of four attractions: Gatorland, NASCAR Daytona 500 Experience, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, Outa Control Comedy Dinner Show, Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, Shopping Extravaganza with Transport, Congo River Adventure Golf, and Titanic The Experience.
The Las Vegas Explorer Pass retails for $109 and includes admission to V: The Ultimate Variety Show Plus Dinner and a choice of two additional attractions from a list of 20 that include shows, attractions, tours and VIP nightclub access.
The Silverado Resort offers value packages to enjoy some of Napa Valley's finest golf, spa services and wine-tasting opportunities during the destination's quiet season.
The Four Friends Spa Getaway features accommodations in a two-bedroom fireplace suite with kitchen, living room and dining area; one 50-minute spa treatment per person and full use of the spa and 20 percent off additional select 50-minute spa services; wine tasting and a resort tote bag. Rates are $199 per person, per night, based on four people in a shared suite and include all taxes, service charges and resort fee. The package is available through Apr. 15, 2010.
The Golfer's Dream for Two package is available through Apr. 15, 2010 and includes accommodations for two in a one-bedroom fireplace suite, 18 holes of golf per person per night's stay and shared golf cart. Per-night rates are $199 for stays Sunday through Thursday and $289 for Friday and Saturday night stays. The Golfer's Dream for Four package includes accommodations for four in a two-bedroom fireplace suite, 18 holes of golf per person per night's stay and two shared carts. Per-night rates are $299 for stays Sunday through Thursday and $389 for Friday and Saturday night stays. These rates do not include taxes or $20 resort fee per night.
The Wine Taster's Dream package features overnight accommodations, picnic lunch for two at V. Sattui Winery and wine tastings at Artesa, Mumm, Black Stallion and Robert Mondavi. Rates are $139 per night in a guest room,$179 in a junior fireplace suite and $189 in a one-bedroom fireplace suite through Apr. 15, 2010, including weekends. For online reservations, enter promo code WINE3. Rates do not include taxes or resort fee. Wineries may be closed on holidays. Transportation to wineries is not included.
Just the Room features a nightly rate of $99 plus taxes and $20 resort fee for single or double occupancy in a guest room. This rate is available through Apr. 15, 2010 and is based upon availability at time of booking.
Silverado Resort or 800/532-0500.
Silky Travel Jewelry Roll
A must have for travelers. Our silky travel jewelry
roll comes in a random assortment of single-color jacquards, solid colors and two-color brocades.
This handy travel jewelry roll measures 8 1/2 x 11 inches when open and closes to a compact 8 1/2 x 4 inches.
Our exclusive design offers a place for everything with one deep pocket, a ring bar and three zippered compartments.
Price $40. Click here to order from On The Go Publishing.
Brazil's northeast coast is attracting Americans. Relatively undiscovered, Pernambuco has much to interest visitors including 116 miles of coastline, 16th century architecture, seafood and toe-tapping music. Savvy travelers head for Recife and Porto de Galinhas.
Lying on almost two miles of white sand beach, the capital of Recife has a laid back vibe that recalls the Miami Beach of yesteryear. The city's restaurants are rated second highest in the country. The Portuguese settled in Pernambuco in the 1530s and with the riches from sugar cane built beautifully ornate churches. Set on a hill next to Recife is Olinda, a UNESCO World Heritage site with dozens of 16th and 17th century churches and monasteries. Lining the town's cobble stone streets are art galleries, restaurants, bars, boutiques and pousadas housed in centuries-old mansions. Down the coast is Porto de Galinhas, whose waters draw surfers, divers and kite surfers.
Members of the Brazil Tour Operators Association offer deals this winter.
Through Dec. 19, 2009, Borello Travel & Tours, 800/405-3072 - has a six night "Escape to the Beach" package to Recife, Olinda and Porto de Galinhas that starts from $392 per person, double occupancy. It includes three nights at the three-star Best Western Manibu in Recife; a full-day city tour; a half-day cultural tour with a museum visit; a tour of an artist's workshop and a catamaran sail; three nights at the three-star Armacao Hotel in Porto de Galinhas; breakfast daily; roundtrip airport transfers and hotel taxes. Airfare from Miami is $661.70 and from New York $682.70. Both options include $170.70 in taxes. From Jan. 4 to Mar. 30, 2010, the cost of the package is $598 per person, double occupancy. Prices are higher for the Carnival period (Feb. 12 to 17, 2010.)
Just Brazil Vacations by Hotur, 877/468-8707 - offers five-night Pernambuco packages from $2,489 per person, double occupancy, Jan. 7 to Mar. 30, 2010. The package includes roundtrip airfare from Miami, six nights' accommodations: two nights in Recife at the five-star Atlante Plaza, two in Olinda at the Pousada Sete Colinas and one at the Nannai Beach Resort in Porto Galinhas; daily breakfast; half day city sightseeing in each city; a walking tour of Olinda; local tour guides and hotel service charges and taxes. Higher rates apply for Carnival.
Brazil Nuts, 800/553-9959 - offers a "Delights of Olinda" package for $995 per person, double occupancy that includes roundtrip airfare from Miami to Recife, three nights at the Sete Colinas in Olinda, daily breakfast, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and a private half-day sightseeing tour of Recife. The package is available until Dec. 15, 2009, and Jan. 3 to Mar. 31, 2010. Prices are higher for the Carnival period.
Americans traveling to Brazil need visas.
Brazil Tour Operators Association.
In my opinion, one of the reasons you should travel is to see things that entertain and educate, experiences that let you see situations from a different viewpoint. For that criteria, Cody, Wyoming certainly hit the mark. It entertains and educates largely due to the legacy of William Frederick Cody.
Better known as Buffalo Bill Cody, when it came to live western entertainment nobody did it better. He was the first international superstar, entertaining audiences in the U.S. and Europe for more than 30 years. Cody's home base was Cody, Wyoming, in the square-cut state's northwest corner.
Founded in 1896, Cody's rich soil, grand scenery, abundance of fish and game, and nearness to Yellowstone National Park, convinced Buffalo Bill to create the town and open his famous "Hotel in the Rockies," the Irma, named after his youngest daughter. In addition to the beige and orange sandstone Irma, with its shady porch and oval portrait of Cody, Cody built Pahaska Tepee and the Wapiti Inn to help promote business through the east entrance of Yellowstone Park.
No longer charging $3 per night to stay, the downtown Irma Hotel still welcomes overnight guests and also hosts almost nightly gunfight re-enactments during the summer season. Stop by to see the fights, get a glimpse of the Irma's famous cherry wood bar presented to Buffalo Bill Cody by Queen Victoria of England after a command performance of his Wild West Show. Then eat in the dining room and browse through the Irma's Western gift shop.
Buffalo Bill's grand plan was to bring guests from the Irma Hotel to Pahaska Tepee, one and a half miles from the eastern border of Yellowstone National Park. Steam-powered White steamer automobiles, introduced in 1909, whisked guests away at noon and arrived at Pahaska Tepee for dinner.
Sitting among the pines at the foot of Cody Peak, the 1904 log lodge is now part of the Pahaska Tepee Resort, where you can still spend the night. On the National Register of Historic Places, Pahaska Tepee is where Cody played cards and sipped whiskey while invited friends camped at Yellowstone. Pahaska was the Sioux Indian's name for Buffalo Bill, meaning "Longhair" and tepee means lodge.
You can easily image yourself as one of Buffalo Bill's guest when you walk into the two-story living area lined with logs, stone and mounted deer heads and spread with comfortable rockers and blankets. Always the promoter, Buffalo Bill would feel at home seeing T-shirts, Buffalo Bill cigars, sausages, and coffee mugs in the adjacent gift store.
The last inn in Cody's empire, and the one that no longer exists, was the Wapiti Inn, built in 1903-04 at about the halfway point (31 miles) from Cody, Wyoming to the east entrance of the park. The Wapiti Inn was built on Forest Reserve land at the mouth of Wapiti Creek and catered to fisherman and hunters.
Cody, remains as full of the spirit of the Old West as in the days when Buffalo Bill roamed Wyoming. As the eastern gateway to Yellowstone National Park, flanked by the Wapiti Ridge on one side and the Heart and Carter mountains, the town of about 8,000 is still close to the pristine wilderness where buffalo still roam. Sitting on a rise overlooking the Shoshone River, Cody attracts tourists and cowboys with rodeos, re-enactments of shoot-outs, restored frontier buildings and the Cody Stampede, which the town hosts every July 4.
History plays a large part in what you see in and around Cody. Old Trail Town is a labor of love that preserves history. It's a collection of more 25 buildings: gray storefronts and clapboard cabins gathered from ghost towns around the region and assembled on the original town site of Cody City, next to the rodeo grounds. The buildings aren't fancy. The authentic boardwalks creak, tumbleweeds blows between the buildings and the displays are rustic, so you really get a feel for an Old West town.
Archaeologist Bob Edgar, a native of the Big Horn Basin region of Wyoming, began Trail Town in 1967. Exploring the area as an individual and employee of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, he realized historic buildings and artifacts were wasting away into oblivion. They needed to be displayed at a common site and Cody City, where Buffalo Bill Cody and his associates surveyed the first town, seemed like the ideal place. Many buildings were dismantled, then reassembled at Trail Town, along the Yellowstone Highway.
Buildings include the log cabin of the Crow Indian named Curly, a scout to General George Armstrong Custer, who escaped prior to battle of Little Big Horn. In 1885, the United States government constructed Curly's cabin as a reward for his military service.
One of the cabins served as a hide-out before Kid Curry (Harvey Logan) and the Sundance Kid robbed a bank in Red Lodge, Montana. Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and other desperados met at another cabin brought in from the Hole-in-the-Wall country in north central Wyoming.
Also on-site are relocated graves of Western notables, including John "Liver-eatin" Johnson, whose exploits were brought to the silver screen when Robert Redford starred as Jeremiah Johnson.
The unassuming building of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center on the main road through Cody looks deceiving. As you can't see all of it from the road, it seems like a two or three hour stop. Much more is in store here as the museum contains almost seven acres of exhibits. This is five museums under one roof, each focusing on a different aspect of the West: Cody Firearms Museum, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Plains Indian Museum, the Draper Museum of Natural History, and the Buffalo Bill Museum.
If you're a museum buff, this is a can't miss, a world-class facility hiding out in little Cody that rivals heralded world museums. When you pay your entry fee, it's a ticket good for two consecutive days. If you are interested in art and culture, there is plenty to see as the facility is huge. And yes, you will need to come back the next day to take everything in.
At the rear of the building is the Plains Indian exhibit, one that can take several hours to tour if you are the kind to read everything. It starts with the Plains Indians and how they lived prior to the "European invasion" of their lands. It continues with how they adapted or were made to adapt to the intrusion into their lands. Their textiles are explained: how they were made and how they were used. The bead work is fascinating and intricate.
The wing that shows the life and times of Buffalo Bill Cody has many interesting items. Posters from his "tours" through America and Europe are hung around the area. Wagons and rooms are recreated to show the ways people lived at that historical time.
The impressive Firearms Museum's collection of American arms is second to none with a massive presence of Colt and Smith and Wesson firearms. Among the thousands of items on display, you'll see the revolver and holster used by Dan Blocker who played "Hoss Cartwright" on the TV series Bonanza and the American long fowler, the first class of firearms made in America.
There is also a wing on the geologic formation of the area.
The Whitney Gallery of Western Art, fittingly has at least a dozen pieces depicting Yellowstone. Paintings and bronzes are displayed alongside each other. Some are from modern artists and some are from the turn of the past century. It is interesting to see the progression of the art forms. Be sure to stop at the back window in the art wing and see the bronze statue of Buffalo Bill silhouetted against the mountains.
Cody Trolley Tours' slogan "Give Us An Hour, We'll Give You 100 Years" seems fitting. The tour gives you an entertaining dose of local facts, some fiction plus a lay of the land including less known places in Cody such as the oldest home still standing and local pioneer homes ordered from a Sears catalog. Starting from the porch of the Irma Hotel, the tour loop takes you further afield to the Shoshone River Canyon, Buffalo Bill Dam and Reservoir and the tunnels through Rattlesnake Mountain. You'll be left guessing about the Buffalo Bill burial mystery. There's a debate whether Cody's body is buried in Denver or Cody.
Wyoming towns are full of Wild West whatnot. In what I think of as Wild West central, due to Cody being the home to Buffalo Bill and the Wild West Show, Tehcumseh's Old West Miniature Village and Museum stands out. Billed as the largest model railroad layout in the west, the miniature village diorama, placed in the middle of the room, measures 7,000 square feet and recreates key historic western events in Wyoming and Montana from before white settlement through the 1890s. The life work of owner Jerry Fick, it contains thousands of hand-painted miniatures depicting famous events such as buffalo hunts, covered wagons, Custer's Last Stand and Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. Push a button and you see the trains run. The massive diorama is surrounded by display cases full of Indian and settler artifacts, as good what's displayed at the Buffalo Bill Historic Center. Entrance to the Miniature Village and Museum is free.
In addition to the usual arrow heads and buffalo horns, the gift shop offers real goods from all the local reservations: the Northern Cheyenne, the Shoshone and the Arapahoe. Items include clothing, jewelry, blankets, pottery, weaponry, all hand made by local tribes. While you are at Tehcumseh's, have breakfast next door at "Our Place" where friendly townies out number the tourists. Their $6 hearty breakfast will overflow your plate and you'll get a .25 cent cup of coffee in the deal. Our Place only takes cash.
If you want to see an authentic Wyoming rodeo, every summer evening, from June through August, Cody puts on a professional rodeo at the rodeo grounds. This eight second nightly tussle between man and animal includes classic rodeo events such as bronc riding, calf roping, barrel racing and the ever popular bull riding. In between the events the master of ceremonies and the bullfighters (rodeo clowns) keep you entertained and laughing. Even if some of the events puzzle you or you root for the bull or calf instead of the cowboy, sitting above the Shoshone River in the 6,000-seat stadium beneath the starry Wyoming sky is a great place to be on a cool summer evening.
The top rodeo event in town is the annual Cody Stampede, an event that has its roots in ranch contests and games plus the drama and spectacle borrowed from Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows. Held during July 4th, the Stampede is one of rodeo's crown jewels where some of the nation's top cowboy and cowgirl rodeo competitors ride the best stock and win the big purses. Before the rodeo, there's a kiddie area with rides and games and rodeo activities.
Wild horses epitomize my vision of the West. So when the chance to take one of the most non-touristy tours presented itself, I'm there. M.J. Spomer drives us out of Cody on a yellow school bus looking for wild mustangs with Red Canyon Wild Mustang Tours. The wild horses are descendants of Spanish mustangs that interbred with horses from Buffalo Bill's Wild Horse Show that pastured here in the late 1800s.
When we turn off from the main road, we better see the vast 110,000 acres of at the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Range, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Six different bands of wild horses call these federal lands home. We get out of the school bus and M.J., with binoculars in hand, searches the vast high plains desert with yellowish grass and hills lined with red for horses. He spots about 20 of the 170 or so horses who inhabit the McCullough Peaks range and we walk closer to the horses.
Everyone on the tour takes out their cameras and starts photographing the wild horses as they graze. As we watch the horses, the horses watch us. According to M.J., the horses recognize the sight and sound of the yellow school bus with its loud motor. Humans are the horses' only predator in this range. Soon the horses start walking in our direction. What started as photographs with long telephoto lenses become close ups. Since the horses come to us, at times getting as close as six feet, we can stay. Otherwise, the BLM requires that tours cannot get closer than 50 feet from the horses.
Leading these tours for several years, M.J. formed an attachment to the horses, knows their names and their personalities. Big Black and War Bonnet are two dominant males from different bands. In wild horse society, bachelor or young male horses get kicked out from the herd at two or three years old and mares (females) at one year, to prevent interbreeding.
All of the horses look healthy and well fed, including the foals who generally stay close to mom. Eating Buffalo grass keeps the herd fat and shining.
After watching the herd for what seems like minutes, the two-hour tour time elapses. We venture back to the school bus, looking out for cactus and ruts as we go. Watching the horses reminded me of the real Wild West and one of the best reasons to visit Cody, Wyoming.
The Japanese internment camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming represents one of our nation's most conflicted times. Between 1942 and 1945, during World War II, more than 14,000 Japanese Americans stepped off a train and into a city of barbed wire and tar paper on the sagebrush desert 12 miles northeast of Cody. Two-thirds were U.S. Citizens
"Evacuees," including young Norman Mineta, who would grow up to become U.S. Secretary of Transportation, lived in 450 barracks, raised crops, attended church and ran schools, all under heavy guard and barbed wire.
Only three buildings remain of what was once Wyoming's third-largest community. At one time, the 740 acre complex had its own public works, schools, hospital and newspaper. It also became Wyoming's third largest town.
Today, you can take a self-guided walking tour of the memorial erected on this site. On Dec. 19, 1985, a portion of the Heart Mountain Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places A plaque was erected honoring the 750 internees who left the prison camp to join the U.S. Armed Services defending the U.S.A. Fifteen were killed in action.
The Heart Mountain Foundation was formed nearly 13 years ago to preserve this painful chapter in U.S. history. An interpretive learning center is scheduled to open by early 2011.
For more information on Cody, WY, contact the Park County Travel Council or 800/393-2639.
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