If your email reader cannot read HTML, please go to http://www.geocities.com/tips2travel or http://archives.zinester.com/83455 to view this newsletter. Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter
Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, February 2009 Issue



Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
http://www.geocities.com/tips2travel
travelnewsletter@aim.com
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright  2009 
All Rights Reserved.


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Sterling Oval Celtic Earrings Sterling Oval Celtic Earrings

Like a work of art - Made from impeccable .925 sterling silver, these earrings are suspended from sterling silver French wires. Each oval and antiqued earring, about a half-inch wide and one inch long, features a Trinity knot motif embellished with a soft floral design. Truly a masterpiece of style and design.

Retail price $119. Our price $37.

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In This Issue:
Jogyesa Temple, Seoul, Korea

Jogyesa Temple, Seoul, Korea

  • Save on Escorted Splendida Italia Tours
  • Honua Kai Resort & Spa $195 Intro Rate
  • Redeem Frequent-Flier Miles by Alerts
  • Green Light for Commercial Spaceport
  • Trafalgar Airfare Savings Up To 56%
  • $1,000 Food & Wine Trails 2009 Discount
  • Budweiser Military Tribute Extended
  • French Country Waterways 2-For-1
  • 2-for-1 at Alaska's Top Travel Destinations
  • Oxford Summer Program
  • Limit Driving Distractions
  • Carnival Early Booking Savings
  • TAM South America or Brazil Airpass
  • Paul Gauguin Cruise Discounts
  • Copley Square Sneak Peek Rate
  • American `Travel Brain Sweepstakes`
  • Fr,ee Air from Amawaterways
  • 50% Off at Almond Resorts
  • Teaching English in Korea
  • Yosemite’s All-Inclusive Winter Vacation


    • Save on Escorted Splendida Italia Tours

      Splendida Italia offers a special price on its seven night escorted Daffodil Tour that explores Rome, Siena, Tuscany, Florence, Verona, Lake Como, and Venice. Book by Mar. 31, 2009, and the sale price is $1584 per person, a savings of $960 per couple. The tour regularly costs $2064 per person, based on double occupancy.

      The Daffodil Tour has numerous departure March through October 2009. The land tour begins in Rome and ends in Milan.The tour includes an escort throughout the trip, sightseeing with local guides, entrance fees on guided tours, accommodations at four-star centrally located hotels, daily continental breakfast, two wine tastings in wine cellars in Tuscany and Verona, four dinners with drinks, and all service charges and taxes.

      Splendida Italia or 800/995-7997.



      Honua Kai Resort & Spa $195 Intro Rate

      It's nearly 15 years since a new resort opened on Maui. Now on North Beach Kaanapali, a new beachfront resort opened, the Honua Kai Resort & Spa. To celebrate, the resort offers an introductory rate of $195 per night and 50 percent off published rack rates in all categories.

      The introductory rates start at $195 per night for the Ohana resort view category. Partial ocean view introductory rates begin at $225 per night, and ocean view starts at $250 per night.

      Introductory rates are valid through Dec. 18, 2009, based upon double occupancy for Ohana (family) accommodations, one-bedroom suites, two-bedroom suites, and three-bedroom suites. All rates and reservations are subject to availability and Hawaii state sales tax, room tax, and resort fee.

      Set on 38 oceanfront acres along one of Maui’s best snorkeling and dive beaches, Honua Kai Resort & Spa is positioned in two U-shaped buildings with ocean and mountain views and expansive open spaces. Each of the 628 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites is fully-equipped and homelike with luxury resort services. A network of pools, hot tubs, natural pond bridges, waterslide, waterfalls, and fountains allows for privacy and play.

      Honua Kai Resort & Spa will opens in two phases: In January, the Hokulani building opened with 318 guest suites, lobby café, adult pool and fitness center. In spring 2010, the Konea building will open with 310 guest suites, lobby café, beachside restaurant, two pools and a spa.

      Honua Kai Resort & Spa or 888/718-5789.


      Advertisement
      Fr-ee Fun San Diego
      This savings-packed FR.EE brochure features almost 40 Fun, Fr-ee Things to do in San Diego. When heading to Southern California, attend concerts or visit a State Historic Park and keep that cash in your pocket.

      To get your Fr-ee Fun San Diego brochure, for a $1 handling fee, click here to send us an email.



      Redeem Frequent-Flier Miles by Alerts

      Yapta.com launched its frequent-flier award seat alert service, so you can be notified when you can use your frequent-flier miles to book an award seat that becomes available on a specific flight. The award seat alerts are provided in tandem with Yapta's airfare price change alerts. Travelers receiving Yapta’s award seat alerts are notified when award seats are available for the minimum mileage possible, regardless of seat class or program mileage level.

      Yapta is the only travel shopping website that tracks airfare and award seat availability on specific flights at no charge. Once you performs a flight search for airfare, you will find within the search results the option to track airfare and award seat availability on specific flights. When you indicate that you want to include award tickets alerts and pricing alerts, Yapta will begin monitoring that flight’s award seat availability in addition to the price. If either an award seat becomes available or the price drops, Yapta will alert you by email.

      Yapta further assists you by linking directly to the awards section of the airline website to redeem frequent flier miles. Similarly, Yapta links you directly to the airline ticket purchase page to book that flight online.

      Yapta.



      Green Light for Commercial Spaceport

      The Federal Aviation Administration gave the green light for the world's first commercial spaceport.

      The FAA granted Spaceport America a license for vertical and horizontal space launches following an environmental impact study, according to the New Mexico Space Authority (NMSA). Two governmental approvals are the next steps to a fully operational commercial spaceport.

      Construction in slated to begin in the first quarter of 2009. Completion for the terminal and hangar facility for horizontal launches is planned in late 2010.

      NMSA signed an agreement with Virgin Galactic, a branch of Virgin Atlantic owned by British airline magnate Richard Branson. Virgin Galactic will lease approximately 83,400 square feet of hangar and terminal facilities at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo passenger craft will be the main attraction at the site.

      Virgin Galactic plans to take passengers approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) into the sky and plans to welcome 500 passengers per year who will pay $200,000 each for a suborbital flight lasting three to four minutes.

      The Russian federal space agency currently offers the only orbital space tourism flights aboard the Soyuz spacecraft, which allows passengers to visit the International Space Station (ISS) for several days. The price for the trip increased to 35 million dollars.



      Trafalgar Airfare Savings Up To 56%

      BOOK BY FEB. 27 - - Trafalgar launches `Take Off with Trafalgar Tours,` an air promotion for their 2009 spring and summer European tours. Roundtrip airfares on British Airways start from $454 per person for air-inclusive tours booked and the air portion paid in full by Feb. 27, 2009. Travel dates for the tours are Mar. 23 through Oct. 21, 2009. Space is limited, subject to availability in a designated class of service and may be withdrawn at any time.

      Sample British Airways roundtrip airfares for this promotion start at $454 per person for New York to Rome; $465 per person for New York to London; $617 per person for Los Angeles to Rome and $640 per person for Los Angeles to London. All airfares include fuel surcharges but do not include taxes up to $170.

      A recent comparison showed Trafalgar's New York to Rome special roundtrip airfare of $454 per person represented a 56 percent savings off a similar $1,042 roundtrip airfare listed on BritishAirways.com for a May 9, 2009 departure. Both fares excluded taxes up to $170 per person.

      This promotion is combinable with Trafalgar's Brochure Discounts including Early Payment and Trafalgar Travel Club (past passenger) discounts.

      Trafalgar Tours or 866/544-4434.



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      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.


      $1,000 Food & Wine Trails 2009 Discount

      Food & Wine Trails, a provider of winery-hosted cruises, offers discounts and cruise credits of up to $1000 per person for their 2009 series.

        F&WT lowered prices by $1000 per person for new bookings on five cruise departures:
      • June 24 Best of Long Island Cruise hosted by Paumanok Vineyards and Wolffer Estate
      • July 4 cruise with Franciscan and Simi wineries
      • July 14 cruise hosted by Napa Valley's Silenus Vintners
      • Sep. 4 Robert Mondavi cruise
      • Oct. 5 cruise hosted by Alexander Valley's White Oak Vineyards & Winery.

      With the discount and airfare, Food & Wine Trails wine cruises start at $2349 per person, plus tax, compared to $6000 for a similar-length, land-based program.

      Cruises sponsored by Chateau St. Jean and St. Supery Vineyards & Winery in April will receive a $500 onboard cruise credit. The May cruises hosted by Matanzas Creek Winery and Arrowood Vineyards & Winery and the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) receive a $300 cruise credit.

      All programs are on the smaller ships of Oceania, Windstar, Silversea and Regent. Each departure includes the cruise, meals, accommodations and nightly entertainment. Unique to Food & Wine Trails, cruises include private tastings, seminars and winemaker dinners, and optional tours and lunches at top wine estates.

      Food & Wine Trails 2009 wine cruises.



      Budweiser Military Tribute Extended

      A tribute program that provided fr,ee admission to Worlds of Discovery for more than 3.2 million members of U.S. and coalition armed forces and their families has been extended until Dec. 31, 2009. Budweiser's `Here's to the Heroes` was launched in February 2005 to acknowledge the service of military men and women and the sacrifices made by their families.

      Here's to the Heroes provides a single day's fr,ee admission to any one SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park, Sesame Place, Adventure Island or Water Country USA for the service member and as many as three of his or her direct dependents. The program is sponsored by Budweiser, the flagship beer of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

      Any active duty, active reserve, ready reserve service member or National Guardsman is entitled to fr,ee admission under the program. He or she need only register, either online or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a Department of Defense photo ID. Also included in the offer are members of foreign military forces serving in the coalitions in Iraq or Afghanistan or attached to American units in the U.S. for training.

      Three Worlds of Discovery -- SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld San Diego -- operate year round. The company's remaining parks are seasonal, with varying opening dates this spring. Each park's operating schedule is available online.

      Inactive, standby and retired reserve members, military retirees, U.S. Merchant Marine and civilian Department of Defense workers are ineligible for the program. The program does not include Discovery Cove or SeaWorld's new waterpark, Aquatica.

      Here's to the Heroes.



      French Country Waterways 2-For-1

      Whether traveling with a spouse, companion or friend, when you sail aboard one of French Country Waterways' barges, you can save 50 percent when sharing a cabin with the `Two-for-One` program. The fares, $3,648 to $4,098 per person, based on double occupancy, are offered on select April through August, 2009 departures. The regular cruise rates range from $7,295 to $8,195. This offer cannot be combined with other specials and is subject to availability.

      The 12-passenger, all-suite Adrienne sails in Burgundy's Côte d'Or wine-growing region between St. Léger-sur-Dheune and Dijon, where you visit the wine town of Beaune and the historic center of Dijon. The eight-passenger Horizon II takes in `Historic Burgundy,` the route between Tanlay and Veneray-les-Laumes on the Canal de Bourgogne. The eight-passenger Princess splits her season between Champagne and Alsace-Lorraine.

      These six-night cruises combine a dinner ashore at a Michelin-starred restaurant near each cruise route. Other signature characteristics include a crew fluent in English and French; daily sightseeing excursions and a private wine tasting; time to relax on the sundeck and walk or bicycle along canal tow paths; and escorted transfers between Paris or Strasbourg and the barges.

      French Country Waterways or 800/222-1236.


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      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.



      2-for-1 at Alaska's Top Travel Destinations

      Fishing, rafting, flightseeing and accommodations, they're all two-for-one this year as Alaska destinations offer deals for summertime travel. Here's a list of 10 destinations available at two-for-one savings through the 2009 edition of the Great Alaskan TourSaver.

      1. Bering Sea Crab Boat Tour in Ketchikan, as seen on `Deadliest Catch.` Value: $169
      2. Glacier Bay National Park from Juneau, including airfare, accommodations and day-long cruise tour into Glacier Bay. Accommodations at the Glacier Bay Lodge with their lodge package: $350. Airfare: $186.
      3. Mt. Roberts Tram Ride in Juneau. Value: $24.95.
      4. Bear viewing/flightseeing in Kodiak, Alaska. Value: $265.
      5. Deep sea charter fishing in Kodiak for salmon and halibut. Value: $300.
      6. Ride on the Alaska Railroad from Whittier up to a glacier. Value: $84.
      7. Glacier/Wildlife cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park. Value $139.
      8. Kennicott mining district inside Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Accommodations at Kennicott Glacier Lodge $169. St. Elias Guides: $60.
      9. Denali National Park. Take the train to the entrance of the park. Helicopter flightseeing trip $435. Hotel Value $309.
      10. Land on a glacier in a ski plane on Mt. McKinley. Value: $265.

      The Great Alaskan TourSaver features more than 130 two-for-one deals around the state. You can order the TourSaver online for $99.95. Once you receive the book, you can make reservations.

      Great Alaskan TourSaver.



      Oxford Summer Program

      You don't have to win a Rhodes Scholarship to go to Oxford. The university's Department for Continuing Education runs a summer program called the Oxford Experience that is open to everyone. No special knowledge or qualifications are required, just an interest in the chosen subject.

      The residential program of one-week courses is popular with vacationing Americans, since you stay and study in Christ Church, founded in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey, one of the most prestigious and beautiful of Oxford colleges. Participants reside in rooms where English prime ministers and poets once lived and dine on High Table in the impressive Hall made famous in Harry Potter films.

      The Oxford Experience will take place July 5 to Aug. 8, 2009. Due to the stronger dollar, a one week course that cost $1,900 last summer, costs only $1,485 for summer 2009 (calculated at the rate, 1GBP = US$1.49).

      The 50-plus courses offered include The Reign of Henry VIII, English Country Houses, Alice's Adventures in Oxford, The Battle of Britain Revisited, Without Rules: Terrorism Today, Archaeology and Religion in Ancient Israel and Judah, Jane Austen's Heroines, The Garden in Art, Monasteries and Cathedrals, The History of the English Language, Exploring the Human Brain and Introduction to Opera.

      There are no tests, no papers, only small groups (maximum 12 to a class) taught by friendly tutors. Participants range in age from 30-something to 90-something, with many active retirees.

      The price includes tuition, accommodations and all meals. Once a week each participant is invited to dine on High Table and on the final night everyone gathers for champagne in the Cathedral Garden and a festive farewell dinner in Hall. If you attend for two or more weeks, you receive fr,ee bed and breakfast accommodation over the intervening weekend(s). There are extra charges for excursions and rooms with private bath.

      Most courses provide excursions to stately homes, cathedrals and museums, and some afternoon tours of Christ Church and the city of Oxford are offered. In the evening there might be a pub crawl, a special lecture, wine and croquet in the Master's Garden, Evensong in the college chapel (which is also the Oxford Cathedral), and occasionally the bizarre-but-traditional Morris Dancers perform.

      The deadline for registration online is May 15, 2009, by mail May 1, 2009. Early application is recommended as courses fill quickly and the exchange rate may change.

      The Oxford Experience.


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      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.


      Limit Driving Distractions

      According to research by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 25 percent of the 6.3 million automobile crashes reported each year in America involve some type of driver distraction. The Department of Transportation estimates that 6.5 percent of all crash fatalities in 2002 were the result of distracted drivers.

      `Driving is one of the most demanding tasks we undertake. It's a full-time job, yet a lot of drivers treat it as a secondary activity,` said Buzz Rodland, Chairman of American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA). `Any activity that takes a driver's focus off of driving, even for only a second or two, carries tremendous potential risks.`

        Here are some of the most common driver distractions noted by AIADA:
      • Looking at billboards, accidents or other events on the roadway
      • Personal maintenance (i.e. shaving, applying makeup, combing hair)
      • Adjusting the radio or other vehicle controls
      • Carrying out conversations with other passengers and attending to small children and pets
      • Reading
      • Eating and drinking
      • Talking on a cell phone

      Some states are cracking down on driver distractions. New Hampshire has a comprehensive distracted driving law on the books. And several states, including the District of Columbia, impose hefty fines on motorists caught using cell phones without a hands-fr.ee device.

        What can you do to limit distractions? Here are a few tips from AIADA:
      • Use cell phone headsets or voice commands phones. A simulation study conducted by Plantronics, a maker of communications headsets, found 71 percent of test subjects steered with more accuracy when using a headset as opposed to no headset, 100 percent of test subjects had faster brake reaction times, and 92 percent maintained a more consistent speed.
      • Put your make-up on before your leave home or once you're at your destination. The same for shaving.
      • Add warning devices to your car. Lane-changing alert systems are now available. Honda is developing a night vision system that uses infra-red cameras that warn drivers when objects are approaching the vehicle's path.


      Carnival Early Booking Savings

      Carnival Cruise Lines’ Early Saver offers fares as much as 25 percent lower than the best generally available rates and provides rate protection if rates later drop below what you originally paid.

      If a lower Carnival advertised rate becomes available after you make your booking, you can request a rate adjustment through the Early Saver rate protection feature. The difference will be issued as a non-refundable shipboard credit. The lower fare must be for the same ship, sailing date, stateroom category and number of guests.

      To request a price adjustment, a rate protection form must be completed and emailed to Carnival. The form is available at the cruise line's web site or your travel agent may complete the form via the travel agent web portal. The lower rate must be available at the time the form is submitted and rate adjustments will be processed within two business days. Rate adjustment requests can be submitted up to two business days prior to the cruise departure date.

      Early Saver rates are offered up to three months prior to the sailing date for cruises of five days or less and up to five months prior to the sailing date for longer voyages. Subject to availability, Early Saver fares include all stateroom types, including suites.

      When booking an Early Saver fare, you can choose a specific stateroom. The standard required deposit is immediately non-refundable when you book. Any changes in ship or sailing date outside of Carnival's standard penalty period requires a $50 change fee. For changes inside the penalty period, normal penalties apply.

      Carnival Cruise Lines.



      TAM South America or Brazil Airpass

      TAM Airlines is now selling its 2009 Brazil Airpass and South America Airpass. These promotional passes are available at preferred rates exclusively to passengers who live outside of Brazil, including Brazilian citizens living overseas, traveling to various South American and Brazilian destinations.

      To qualify for a TAM Brazil Airpass, you must purchase a ticket from an international destination to any Brazilian city. TAM's promotional pass can then be issued as a separate ticket and linked to the international booking. The South American Airpass must be purchased outside of South America.

      The TAM Brazil Airpass lets you choose the number of flights you wish to take throughout your journey and consists of up to nine coupons, with each coupon valid for one domestic journey operated by TAM in economy class.

      The TAM South American Airpass allows you to fly 1,200 to 8,200 miles within South America to: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. This Airpass allows you to purchase up to eight coupons and travel between five countries.

      The 2009 TAM Airpasses are valid for travel through June 10, 2010 and are subject to the airline’s terms and conditions.

      TAM.



      Advertisement
      Cheap Tix Chart
      Buy Tickets at a Discount -- Special ticket outlets sell discounted day-of-performance tickets to theater productions, films, and sporting events. Discounts can be 50 percent or more. On The Go Publishings Cheap Tix Chart, still only $14, lists outlets in the U.S. and eight foreign cities that sell discounted, day-of-performance tickets. Click here to order the Cheap Tix Chart from On The Go Publishing.

      Paul Gauguin Cruise Discounts

      Paul Gauguin Cruises, the operator of South Pacific cruises on the 332-passenger m/s Paul Gauguin, offers early booking savings up to 45 percent plus fr.ee roundtrip airfare between Los Angeles and Tahiti for the 2010 season. You must book by Mar. 31, 2009. The 45 percent discount represents a savings of $2,500 to $18,650 per person. A savings of $1,250 to $2,500 per couple is available from the fr.ee or two-for-one roundtrip airfare between Los Angeles and Tahiti.

      Families planning a voyage on m/s Paul Gauguin may take advantage of the third person in a stateroom sails fr.ee promotion when booked by Mar. 31, 2009. All early booking savings are capacity-controlled and subject to availability at the time of booking.

      If you ever sailed on Paul Gauguin Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea, the Yachts of Seabourn, Crystal Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club or Windstar Cruises, you can receive an additional five percent off any m/s Paul Gauguin cruise fare.

      The 2010 season features 38 itineraries ranging from seven to 15 nights, highlighting Tahiti, the Society Islands, Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand.

      Recently receiving a multi-million dollar enhancement, the cruise ship includes private balconies in 70 percent of suites and staterooms and an expanded al fresco dining experience. Each cabin includes European linens, feather-down duvets, robes and cotton slippers.

      The ship includes an onboard spa, multiple dining venues, lounges, entertainment, casino, Internet area, fitness center and newly-enhanced retractable water sports marina.

      Paul Gauguin Cruises or 800/848-6172.



      Copley Square Sneak Peek Rate

      SNEAK PEEK THROUGH FEB. 28 - - The Copley Square Hotel, in Boston's Back Bay, is open as its $17 million renovation nears completion. You can enjoy luxurious accommodations at attractive rates, while getting a sneak peek. Within walking distance of many of the city's most popular restaurants, nightspots, shopping, and attractions, hotel offers competitive hotel rates and a Boston experience.

      The “Sneak Peek Special Rate” is available through Feb. 28, 2009, where you can get 20 percent off the best available rate. Rates start at $159 and the offer is based on availability.

      2009 Resolution Package: You are weighed-in at check-in with this fitness package. When you re-book a stay within the year, your weight loss will be deducted from the nightly room rate as a percentage. You also get a personal training session at BodyScapes and an in-room Yoga kit. You must book the first reservation by Mar. 31, 2009. Rates start at $619, based on availability.

      Retro Room Rates Package: Past guests may book a night's stay at the same rate they paid during a previous visit, as long as you show up with the receipt. Rates start from $6.50 per night based on historic records. The package is available through Apr. 15, 2009 and is based on availability. Black out dates may apply.

      All rates include daily wine down service 5 to 6 p.m. and property-wide Wi-Fi.

      The Copley Square Hotel or 800/225-7062.



      American `Travel Brain Sweepstakes`

      ENTER BY FEB. 27 - - When you check out American Airlines’ redesigned, more personalized e-mail products, you get a chance to win more than a quarter million AAdvantage frequent flyer miles, a trip for two to a deluxe resort and $5,000 spending cash.

      The American Airlines Travel Brain Sweepstakes, which runs through Feb. 27, 2009, highlights the new look and personalized content of American’s e-mail offerings, including Net SAAver e-mails, which feature weekend travel specials at deep discounts.

      As part of the redesign, Net SAAver e-mails tell you sale destinations from your home or nearby airport, making it more relevant. You can continue to see the full list of Net SAAver fares on American’s website. Personalized content includes special offers and other news that may be of interest.

      Other updated e-mail products include the monthly AAdvantage eSummary statement, which contains your AAdvantage mileage balances and exclusive bonus mile offers, and Aairmail e-mail, which keeps you in-the-know through exclusive offers and discounts, product and service news and current promotions.

      It’s easy and fr.ee to enter the Travel Brain sweepstakes, which is open to U.S. residents age 18 years and older. There’s a limit of two entries per person, one for checking out American’s e-mail products and another for forwarding the information to a friend or family member.

        Here are the sweepstake highlights:
      • Automatically receive one entry when you register online through 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2009 (Eastern Standard Time).
      • Receive an additional entry by “referring a friend” and forwarding the sweepstakes information to others.
      • No purchase is required to win.
      • One Grand Prize winner will be selected in a random drawing.
      • The Grand Prize winner will receive 270,000 AAdvantage bonus miles; a five-night stay for two at a Fairmont Hotel & Resort in Mexico, Bermuda, Hawaii or Canada; and $5,000 spending cash.

      Travel Brain Sweepstakes.



      Advertisement
      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.


      Fr-ee Air from Amawaterways

      BOOK BY FEB. 14 - - This spring, Amawaterways makes it easier to enjoy a European river cruise. For a limited time, the river cruise line offers fr-ee airfare to Europe during April 2009, from New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Seattle. Passengers pay all applicable air taxes and fuel surcharges, determined at the time of booking.

      The fre-e airfare option is valid on new bookings made by Feb. 14, 2009 and can’t be combined with other offers. Reservations must be paid in full at the time of booking.

        The f-ree airfare promotion is available to passengers who book the following Amawaterways April cruises:
      • Tulip Time - Apr. 3, 5 and 10, 2009 - nine day Holland and Belgium cruise
      • Spring Time Cruise - Apr. 8 and 18, 2009 - 12 day cruise from Amsterdam to Paris
      • Romantic Danube - Apr. 3 and 7, 2009 - 12 day Prague to Budapest cruise
      • Europe’s Heartland Cruise - Apr. 22, 2009 - 14 days Paris to Prague
      • Cruising Portugal and Spain - Apr. 14, 2009 - 12 days in the Douro River Valley
        Amawaterways provides:
      • Outside stateroom accommodation, 82 percent feature large balconies
      • Hotel-style beds, plush bedding and terry bathrobes
      • TV and fr-ee Internet in every stateroom; fr-ee WI-FI in public areas
      • F-ree-flowing wine, beer and soda with ever dinner; fre-e espresso and cappuccino; champagne breakfast daily
      • Bottled water in every stateroom
      • All-inclusive daily shore excursions
      • Nightly onboard entertainment
      • Fr=ee bicycles for exploring charming towns

      Amawaterways or 800/626-0126.



      50% Off at Almond Resorts

      HURRY! BOOK BY FEB. 9 - - Almond Resorts offers 50 percent off at all of its properties when you book by Feb. 9, 2009, for travel May 1 through Dec. 20, 2009.

      Located on the islands of Barbados and St. Lucia, the all-inclusive experience is available starting from $300 per person for a three-night stay in St. Lucia and $460 per person in Barbados.

      There are five all-inclusive Almond Resorts that for one price provide unlimited food and beverage, with a choice of a la carte or buffet-style dining and room service. The resorts also offer activities for children from newborn to teenager.

      Almond Resorts' beaches present the perfect backdrop for included motorized and non-motorized water sports, land sports, a half-day picnic, yoga at sunrise or lying in the shade of a palm tree surrounded by white sands.

        The properties are:
      • Almond Beach Club and Spa, Vauxhall, St. James, Barbados
      • Almond Beach Village, Heywoods, St. Peter, Barbados
      • Almond Morgan Bay, Choc Bay, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
      • Almond Casuarina Beach, Christ Church, Barbados
      • Almond Smugglers Cove, Cap Estates, St. Lucia.

      Almond Resorts or 800/4-ALMOND.



      Teaching English in Korea

      Jogyesa Temple, Seoul, KoreaOver the years the U.S. Embassy received many inquiries about teaching English in Korea. If you are considering teaching English in Korea, this unofficial information from the Embassy is to you the basics on the business of teaching before committing to a job.

      Unfortunately some American citizens come to Korea under contract, with promises of generous salaries, bonuses and other amenities. They find themselves in tenuous situations, often lacking funds to return to the U.S. The Embassy, by regulation, cannot enter into any case, conduct an investigation, nor act as a lawyer in legal or contractual mishaps experienced by U.S. citizens. They can’t investigate nor certify employers. It is up to you to evaluate potential employers before signing a contract.

      TYPES OF ESL POSITIONS AVAILABLE IN KOREA: Most English teachers work in language institutes (`hakwon` in Korean). There are positions available in several types of institutions:

      • private foreign language institutes (hakwons)
      • corporate in-house language programs
      • university language institutes- university academic departments
      • government/private research centers
      • editing/public relations, advertising companies
      • private teaching/informal classes

      The Korean English as a Second Language market is extremely competitive. There are more than 100,000 institutes of all types in Korea, most of them small-scale, marginal operations. Due to the competitive nature of the ESL business in Korea, many institutes do not survive long. They open their doors, hire the first foreigner they can find, advertise, teach for a month or so, lose money and close. Most of these cannot and will not pay their teachers for work performed, or for contract-specified repatriation, leaving teachers broke and stranded.

      NATURE OF CONTRACTS IN KOREA: Foreign instructors in Korea occasionally have contract disputes with their employers. In the Korean context, a contract is a rough working agreement, subject to change depending upon the circumstances. Most Koreans do not view deviations from a contract as a breach of contract. Few Koreans consider taking an employer to court over a contract dispute.

      Instead, Koreans view contracts as flexible and subject to further negotiation. Culturally, the written contract is not the real contract; the unwritten, oral agreement with one's employer is the real contract. Many employers will view a contract violation by a foreign worker as serious and will renege on verbal promises if they feel they can. Any contract should be signed with these factors in mind.

      BASIC FEATURES OF MOST TEACHING CONTRACTS: Contracts for teaching positions should include provisions for: salary, housing, tickets home, working hours, class size, severance pay, taxes, and medical insurance. If these items are not included, negotiate until they are. When in doubt, ask; get it in writing, and remember that only the Korean-language version of the contract is legally binding in Korea.

      SALARY: Most contracts provide for a set monthly salary, or for a salary based on the number of hours taught. In any event, a guaranteed monthly remuneration should be included in the contract. Payment dates, methods, and currency should be specified in advance.

      HOUSING: Few contracts provide for housing in Seoul. This can be a serious problem as housing in Seoul is among the most expensive in the world. Housing options include key money (yearly deposit), monthly rent, shared housing, dormitories, lodging houses and inns. If your institute does not provide housing, it should help you find housing and negotiate the appropriate rent and utility payments. Teachers who are promised housing should request photos, floor plans or furniture inventories in advance. Koreans have different ideas of what 'western' and 'furnished' housing mean. 'Furnished' might only mean a linoleum floor and a two-burner stove. 'Western' usually means an apartment with an indoor bath. Koreans measure housing space in 'pyong'. One pyong is approximately 36 square feet. Pyong measurements usually include the front porch, utility room, etc. Monthly rents can run from U.S. $1500 to U.S. $4000 for a modest apartment.

      RECRUITING AND PLACEMENT SERVICES: Most English teachers hired from the U.S. do not get their jobs through the institute where they work. Instead, they are recruited by a placement service. These services recruit on campus and in U.S. publications. The embassy has received complaints about a number of recruiters. If you are considering working in Korea deal with recruiters carefully. Many of them do not know which hagwon in Korea you will be placed. Very few of them accept responsibility for a placement that is contrary to the original terms of agreement or contract. Keep this advice in mind when discussing employment terms with a recruiter.

      Once you arrive in Korea it is a good idea to subscribe to one of the local English language newspapers, The Korea Herald or The Korea Times. Both are published daily except Mondays, and cost 16,000 to 20,000 won per month. Both are available in Seoul at some street newsstands and online. Outside of Seoul are generally only available through subscription. Overseas subscriptions are available.

      FOREIGNERS ARE NOT KOREAN: Korean society makes a great distinction between one's inner circle of family, friends and business colleagues, and outsiders. One should always treat one's inner circle with complete respect and courtesy, while one treats strangers with indifference. Korea is not an egalitarian society; you are either of a higher or a lower status than other people. How do foreigners fit into this scheme? The simple answer is - they don't. Foreigners are completely off the scope.

      In recent years, less than 10 percent of Koreans traveled abroad, most often on group tours with other Koreans, or on business trips. Even now, with outbound tourism high, most Korean travelers still only visit friends, relatives or Korean neighborhoods, or travel in groups of other Koreans. Thus, Korean society remains very inwardly focused. For most Koreans, foreigners exist only as stereotypes, and are not always liked. Living in Korea as a foreigner requires patience and fortitude. Many foreigners have found Koreans can be quite friendly and warm, but a foreigner will seldom be accepted as part of the inner circle; he will almost always be an outsider looking in.

      LEGAL WARNING! Some Americans run into serious legal problems with Korean Immigration because they work as English teachers while in Korea on tourist visas or they accept part-time employment or private classes without obtaining the proper permission. Violation of Korean immigration laws can result in severe penalties including imprisonment, fines of up to 100,000 won ($100) for each day of overstay, or deportation with a ban on re-entry for up to two years. It is your responsibility to understand local laws and to obey them.

      If you violate Korean visa laws, the Embassy cannot assist you other than to provide you with a list of attorneys. Consular officers are not lawyers, and are not permitted to give legal advice. The Embassy suggests that a competent attorney be consulted when legal problems arise.

      For $5, you can receive the full report on Teaching English in Korea in PDF format. Click here to order Teaching English in Korea. Be sure to include your name, address and email address in the body of the email message.



      Yosemite’s All-Inclusive Winter Vacation

      If you want a winter vacation within your budget consider the 2009 Yosemite Winter All-Inclusive package at Yosemite National Park. The park’s combination package includes lodging, outdoor recreation and food. A family of four can visit the national park for three mid-week nights or two weekend nights, with lodging and meals at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, and participate in a wealth of recreation activities for $999.

      On each day of your visit, the package includes an all-day lift ticket at Yosemite’s Badger Pass Ski Area, an all-day skis, snowboard, or XC skis rental, a group lesson, tubing session, ice skating session with skate rental, and a two-hour, narrated Valley Floor tour in a motor coach.

      The program also includes breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls Food Court, or at the Badger Pass Grill. Dinner vouchers may also be used for $20 off a meal at the Mountain Room Restaurant, the Ahwahnee Dining Room or Wawona Dining Room.

      Founded in 1935, Yosemite’s Badger Pass Ski Area is California’s first ski resort. Badger Pass offers five lifts and groomed runs for downhill skiers and snowboarders, in addition to snowshoeing, snow tubing and cross-country ski trails.

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