Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, February 2010 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2010
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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NFL Team Branded kleen kits
This flu season keep healthy with National Football League team branded hand sanitizer kleen kits. Produced by ke specialties llc, a kleen kit consists of a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer, an 8 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer and a 40 count canister of wipes, available for all 32 NFL teams plus The Ohio State University.
With three ways to kill 99.99% of bacteria and flu germs, the 2 ounce bottle (TSA approved for 3-1-1 carry-ons) or 8 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer easily fit into a pocket, purse or back pack and the 40 count canister of wipes can be used at home, while tailgating or at work.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand sanitizer is as effective at killing germs as washing hands with soap and water. Kleen kits are especially useful at work, school or play where germs from coughs and sneezes are shared when door knobs, elevator buttons, lockers, gym equipment, desks, books, computers and the hundreds of other objects are touched.
NFL team branded kleen kits are available at NFL.com
Search for the team name and kleen kit. Ohio State University kleen kits are available at ke specialties llc.
|In This Issue: |
Jelly Invasion at National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD
|Marriott Rewards' MegaMiles promotion gives away triple air miles on your choice of more than two dozen airline frequent flier programs. The promotion begins with your second stay though Apr. 30, 2010. For instance, if you normally earn 400 miles for a stay, you will earn 1,200 miles for that same stay with MegaMiles. A "stay" is defined as consecutive nights spent in the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity.
Enrollment in the Marriott Rewards program and registration for the promotion are required. You can register for the promotion until Apr. 30, 2010.
During the promotion, you can earn six points per dollar spent on qualifying charges at Marriott Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club and Grand Residences by Marriott. You can earn three miles per dollar spent on room rates only at Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott and SpringHill Suites by Marriott.
Marriott Rewards, Marriott International's guest loyalty program, is free to join. Points or miles can be earned at more than 3,100 hotels in 68 countries.
Participating airlines include Aeromexico, airberlin, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, ANA Mileage Club, Asiana, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Air France KLM, LAN Airlines, Lufthansa, Mexicana Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United Airlines, USAirways, Varig and Virgin Atlantic.
Marriott Rewards MegaMiles or 800/859-0686.
Walt Disney World Military Ticket, Lodging Offers
|America's military personnel will have special offers on theme park tickets and accommodations with With Disney's Armed Forces Salute.
Through July 31, 2010, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard and active members of the National Guard or Reservists) or their spouses can purchase Disney's four day Military Promotional Base Tickets for $99, plus tax. Tickets can be used for military personnel and up to five additional family members or friends at Walt Disney World Resort. Tickets must be purchased at participating U.S. military base ticket offices.
The Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options can be added for$26 plus tax, per option, per ticket. No more than six Disney four day Military Promotional Tickets (with or without options) may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (and/or spouse) with this offer.
All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by Sep. 30, 2010. Black-out dates for tickets and options are: Mar. 27, 2010, to Apr. 9, 2010, for all Walt Disney World theme parks and other gated attractions; and July 3 to July 4, 2010, for the Magic Kingdom park.
Active and retired U.S. military personnel can save up to 40 percent on rooms at select Disney resorts. This offer is good for stays through Sep. 30, 2010 (not available Mar. 28 to Apr. 4, 2010 and July 1 to 5, 2010). This promotion can be booked through July 31, 2010 and advance reservations are required. The number of rooms for this offer is limited and no group rates or other discounts apply. A minimum stay length may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. Valid Military IDs are required at check-in and additional per-adult charges apply if more than two adults stay per room.
Disney's 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets or 407/939-7830.
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.
Mantis Madness has hit South Africa, where you can save up to 46 percent on summertime bookings with Mantis properties.
For $1,020, you can stay five nights in South Africa. Pay for two nights at one of South Africa's Mantis game reserves: Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Jock Safari Lodge, or Nkomazi Game Reserve, and receive three nights free at the Constantia boutique hotel, in the Cape's oldest wine region, 20 minutes from the center of Cape Town.
Rates are based upon the exchange rate of the South African Rand to the US dollar in mid-December, 2009.
If you have more time, you can receive a free night at the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel when you book an overnight journey on the Blue Train. The Blue Train takes you from Cape Town to Pretoria (or vice versa) for $1342, with a free night at the end of the rails.
Prices include accommodation; meals, game drives and select beverages at your game reserve of choice; and breakfast and beverages at the Constantia. For the Blue Train, all meals, off train excursions, high tea, beverages, and single transfers to/from the Cape Town and Pretoria train stations are included. Upgrades are available on all accommodations for an additional fee.
Valid from Apr, 15 to Oct. 15, 2010, excluding June 10 to July 15, 2010 for the World Cup, the Mantis Madness deals are subject to availability.
Mantis Collection Central Reservations Office.
Nassau Paradise Island, in the Bahamas, makes it easy to escape this winter's frigid temperatures by offering U.S. residents free companion airfare when you book a four-night Nassau Paradise Island vacation.
The Free Companion Airfare deal is available if you book a minimum four-night stay at any of the 15 participating hotels by Mar. 3, 2010, for travel through Mar. 18, 2010 and Apr. 19 through June 23, 2010. Taxes and fees are not included and blackout periods apply. There is a limit of one free companion airfare offer per room.
Nassau Paradise Island offers Florida resident a free companion ticket (including all taxes and fees) when a three-night stay is booked.
Participating island properties include: Atlantis, Paradise Island, Best Western Bay View Suites, British Colonial Hilton Nassau, Comfort Suites Paradise Island, The Cove Atlantis, Graycliff Hotel, Harborside Resort at Atlantis, Marley Resort & Spa, One&Only Ocean Club, Paradise Harbour Club & Marina, Paradise Island Harbour Resort All-Inclusive, The Reef Atlantis, Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort and Wyndham Nassau Resort.
Free Flight To Nassau Paradise Island.
Save as much as $1,300 per person when you book the Ireland Resort package with Sceptre Tours versus booking airfare, hotel and rental car separately.
This package is priced from $799 per person from New York, $819 from Boston, $869 from Chicago, and $1,449 from Los Angeles for travel June 16 to Aug. 22, 2010. Travel in the off-season (through Mar. 10, 2010) is priced from $599. Spring and fall packages start from $699 out of New York based on four people traveling.
Rates are per person, based on four people sharing. Travel on Friday or Saturday is slightly higher. The price does not include taxes which range from $125 to $175 per person
The Ireland Resort package includes six nights in a private three-bedroom villa on the grounds of the 840-acre Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort in the village of Adare, roundtrip economy class airfare to Shannon, weekly manual rental car and entrance to Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre
The following upgrades are available:
Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room at Adare Manor for $39 per person includes sandwiches, desserts, and scones with jam and clotted cream prepared by the hotel's pastry chef.
Gold Package - Upgrade to an automatic car rental with GPS from $59 per person and an Ireland at a Glimpse book with $600 in savings at more than 75 attractions.
Business Class special from $499 additional each way on Aer Lingus.
Sceptre Tours or 800/221-0924.
|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.
Explore new destinations without wringing out your wallet with Breezes Resorts' "Early Booking Bonus." Book by Feb, 17, 2010 and save up to $770 per couple on seven-night getaways through Aug. 31, 2010. Available at eight all-inclusive Breezes properties in Jamaica, Panama, Curacao, Brazil and the Bahamas, rates start at $119 per person, per night, based on double-occupancy.
Breezes Resorts' in Jamaica includes the all-suite Breezes Grand Negril; the Breezes Trelawny with four swimming pools, a rock-climbing wall and a circus workshop; Breezes Runaway Bay with a golf school and scuba diving lessons and Breezes Rio Bueno.
The "Early Booking Bonus" is available at the new Breezes Panama; Breezes Curacao with its 1,500-foot white sand beach; Breezes Bahamas on Cable Beach in Nassau and Breezes Costa Do Sauipe in Bahia, Brazil.
Breezes Resorts' "Super-Inclusive" concept includes accommodations; all meals and multiple dining options; unlimited premium brand drinks; land and water sports including equipment rental and instruction; entertainment; weddings; recreational activities; and hotel taxes. Tipping is not allowed.
Breezes Resorts or 877/273-3937.
Members of the Carlson Hotels Worldwide gold points plus loyalty program can earn up to 50,000 bonus gold points by registering and staying at a participating Carlson Hotel property in February 2010.
Bonus Gold Points are easy to earn under the program. You must register online and stay at any of 1,060 plus Carlson properties through Feb. 28, 2010. You begin earning bonus gold points after two stays and earn more bonus points with each visit.
This offer is cumulative, so the bonus points add up:
Stay two times: earn 5,000 gold points
Stay three times: earn 7,500 more gold points (5,000 + 7,500 for 12,500 gold points)
Stay four times: earn 12,500 more gold points (total of 25,000 gold points)
Stay five times: earn 25,000 more gold points (total of 50,000 gold points)
You can earn points by staying at Regent Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Edwardian Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn properties worldwide. Non-gold points plus members can join at gold points plus web site.
Gold Points Plus.
The Peninsula Hotel Chicago introduces a customized selection of winter escape options, offering you the opportunity to personalize your stay.
Through Mar. 31, 2010 get special room rates and benefits when reserving the Winter Escapes and Suite Life room packages. A superior room is $399 per room, per night, while an executive suite is $765 per room, per night. Rates do not include state and city tax. The offer cannot be used with other programs and is not valid for group reservations.
Winter escape benefits include: daily Continental breakfast for two, in-room internet access, use of fitness center and swimming pool, turn-down service, local telephone calls and a local daily newspaper. Plus you get a choice of overnight valet parking for one vehicle, welcome champagne or $50 gift certificate for the spa.
With the "More Time ... With Our Compliments" package, you stay two nights and get a free third night's stay. The package includes in-room internet access, use of fitness center and swimming pool, turn-down service, local telephone calls and a local daily newspaper. A superior room is $425 per room, per night, and the rate does not include state and city taxes. The offer cannot be used with other programs and is not valid for group reservations.
Reservations at the Peninsula, 866/288-8889 or email.
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.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii offer incentives for booking a Starwood Suite Endless Escape bonus promotion. For an additional $99 a night you can upgrade to a suite at any one of 11 Starwood Resorts in the Hawaiian Islands when you book and Endless Escape ocean front category room.
Here are the special room rates and percentage of savings.
Book an ocean front room at the Sheraton Waikiki from $245 a night and for an additional $99 a night (total: $344 a night), upgrade you to a Diamond Head Junior Suite overlooking Waikiki Beach, a 72 percent savings off of the suite rack rate.
The Royal Hawaiian, $500 per night for a Tower ocean front room plus $99 additional for an upgrade to a Historic Garden Suite, 51 percent off the suite rack rate .
Moana Surfrider, $335 per night for a premium ocean room plus $99 additional for an upgrade to a Banyan Suite, 71percent off the suite rack rate.
Sheraton Princess Ka'iulani, $145 per night for a deluxe ocean room plus $99 additional for an upgrade to a Tower Suite, 71 percent off the suite rack rate.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, $420 per night for a deluxe ocean front plus $99 additional for an upgrade to an Ohana Suite, 48 percent off the suite rack rate.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, $440 per night for a premium deluxe ocean room plus $99 additional for an upgrade to a Premier Suite, 51 percent off the suite rack rate.
Westin Ka'anapali, $540 per night for a one-bedroom ocean resort villa plus $99 additional for an upgrade to a two-bedroom Ocean Suite, 64 percent off the suite rack rate.
St. Regis Princeville Resort, $585 per night for a premium ocean view room plus $99 additional for an upgrade to a Prince Junior Suite, 57 percent off the suite rack rate.
Sheraton Kaua'i Resort, $339 per night for an ocean luxury room plus $99 additional for an upgrade to an Ocean Front Suite, 74 percent off the suite rack rate.
Westin Princeville, $395 per night for a one bedroom ocean resort villa plus $99 additional for an upgrade to a two bedroom villa, 68 percent off the suite rack rate.
Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, $275 per night for an ocean front room plus $99 additional for an upgrade to an executive suite, 61 percent off the suite rack rate.
You can book your "Suite Endless Escape" until Mar. 31, 2010 for travel through June 30, 2010. Suite upgrades are subject to availability
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Suite Endless Escape or 866/716-8140.
The beachfront Leela Kempinski Goa, in Goa, India, offers packages from $329 (Indian rupees-15,000 INR), up to 35 percent off regular rates. Rooms are subject to availability, packages require a two-night minimum stay and payment is due when reservations are made.
Available through Apr. 30, 2010, the "$329 Winter Getaway," package includes accommodations for two in a Pavilion room, three meals daily, a welcome drink, airport transfers and applicable taxes. In peak season, rates for a Pavilion Room including breakfast are $505 (23,000 INR).
For travelers with children, a family can stay from $384 (17,500 INR) in a Conservatory premier room. The package includes all the items available in a Pavilion room, plus one child under 12 years of age or two children under five stay free with free meals. The high-season rate for a Conservatory Premium room is usually $593 (INR 27,000).
Set on 75 acres in South Goa, the Leela, has 186 rooms, suites and villas; several swimming pools; a 12-hole, three-par golf course; three tennis courts; five restaurants; two lounges; a spa and a fitness center and its own nursery and spice plantation. The Club, an exclusive hotel within the hotel, has private butlers, a lounge for dining, a private pool and its own designated beach area. Guest rooms measure 645 square feet with suites starting at 710 square feet and Club Rooms average 968 square feet.
Leela Kempinski Goa.
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.
With the Winter Stories package at the Williamsburg Lodge in Colonial Williamsburg, you can immerse yourself in the true stories of America's first citizens; see the trades they practiced; walk the streets of the Historic Area; visit the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, shop at Merchants Square and be pampered at the spa.
The Winter Stories package starts at $299 per couple and includes a two-night stay at the Williamsburg Lodge, a $100 gift card, daily breakfast and length-of-stay admission to Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area and museums.
The gift card may be applied toward purchases such as spa services, golf, dining or at an official, on-site Colonial Williamsburg-owned store. Lodge guests can use the fitness quarters at the spa and the heated indoor lap pool at no additional charge. You also have access to programming including The History of Theater in Williamsburg and An Audience with a Founding Father featuring George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or Patrick Henry.
The Winter Stories package is based on a two-night minimum stay with Sunday through Wednesday arrival in a superior guest room. Package price is higher for Thursday through Saturday arrivals. The offer is valid through Mar. 25, 2010.
Colonial Williamsburg Winter Package or 800/447-8679.
The London Sightseeing Pass gives access to many top London attractions such as St Paul's Cathedral, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Exhibition, the Tower of London, Hampton Court and the Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms.
The London Sightseeing Pass is a money saver and an efficient way to explore the city's premier attractions. Users have priority access at the busiest sites to avoid lines. The pass includes a free guidebook and more than 40 additional deals and discounts.
A one-day London Pass costs £39 for adults and £26 for a child. A two-day London Pass costs £54 for adults (£40 for children aged between five and 15 years), three-day passes are £65 for adults and £45 for children, and a six-day option costs £89 for adults and £62 for children. For a limited time get free delivery and save £5.95 for international travelers on all London Sightseeing Passes bought online at their web site.
The web site also lets you check out activities as it includes a London map tool to plan visits, details on featured attractions and information on special offers exclusive to London Pass holders such as free gifts at Harrods and commission-free currency exchange.
Leisure Pass Group creates and manages "smart card" pass systems for cities including London, Paris and New York. Leisure Pass Group also provides the technology to power the Stockholm Card, the Great British Heritage Pass and the York Pass.
In addition to purchases on line, you can buy a London Pass at the Britain and London Visitor Centre on Regent Street, London.
|BOOK BY FEB. 25 - - Jolly Beach Resort & Spa, in Antigua, offers an all-inclusive escape from snow and frigid temperatures. The resort extends its 50 percent savings offer with all-inclusive rates from $89 per person, per night, double occupancy, which includes taxes and service charges.
To take advantage of this travel deal, you must book by Feb. 28, 2010 for travel through Dec. 20, 2010. Booking code 50%SALE must be used to qualify.
Guests can enjoy a white-sand beach and amenities included in the resort's rates. The water sports staff gives lessons on Hobie Cats and windsurfers. There are tennis courts for day and night play, full-court basketball courts and a games room. Kids ages three to 16 can play and socialize at the Jolly Kidz and Teenz Clubs, where they can participate in games, nature walks and movie nights.
Rates at the all-inclusive, 464-room resort include accommodations, all government taxes and service charges, all meals, snacks and afternoon tea, house brand beverages, non-motorized water sports, Think Jolly Family Program, use of the gym and entertainment. All rooms are air-conditioned and face the ocean; each has a patio or balcony, direct-dial phone, cable TV, hair-dryer and rentable safe.
Jolly Beach Resort & Spa.
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.
The Cayman Islands provides relief from winter's chill with Get Warm offers and deals. For travel through May 15, 2010, you can take advantage of upgrades, savings and free nights from multiple accommodations, dive operators and attractions, including a free trip to the Stingray City. Get Warm packages must be booked by Mar. 31, 2010.
Highlights of the Get Warm promotion include:
Accommodations -- Book four nights and get the fifth night free at 10 participating hotels and condos.
Airline -- Cayman Airways special offer when you book a Get Warm package.
Attractions -- free Stingray City trip for two, based on a five night minimum stay.
Dive -- Buy four two-tank dives at any of seven participating dive operators and get the fifth one free.
You can visit the Get Warm website for a chance to win a free trip to the Cayman Islands. You must enter the "That's So Cold!" photo contest by uploading an image of how your frosty winter has been. One of the top 10 entries with the most votes will win a trip for four to the Cayman Islands.
Cayman Islands. or the "That's So Cold!" photo contest.
BOOK BY FEB. 17 - - The adults-only Hedonism Resorts in Negril and Runaway Bay, Jamaica, offer savings up to $570 per couple on stays of five nights or more, based on double occupancy. You must book your all-inclusive getaways before Feb. 17, 2010, for travel through Aug. 31, 2010. Rates start from $320 per couple, per night.
On 22 acres of gardens and white sand beaches in Negril, Hedonism II offers 280 rooms with beach or garden views and 12 suites with private terraces. Rooms feature Jacuzzis, king size showers and massaging showerheads. The resort includes clothing-optional pools and beaches, late night entertainment, themed events, live bands and a gaming lounge.
On the west side of Jamaica in Runaway Bay sits Hedonism III. The beachfront resort's 225 rooms feature ocean or pool front views including "swim-up" rooms, with mirrored ceilings and large marble bathrooms with Roman tubs. The property includes three freshwater pools, a see-through-bottom-Jacuzzi and a four-story water slide plus a sunbathing deck and tennis courts.
Hedonism Resorts' vacation packages include accommodations, all meals, unlimited premium brand cocktails, land and water sports (with instruction and equipment rental), recreational activities, entertainment, airport transfers and hotel taxes. Tipping is not allowed.
Hedonism Resorts or 800/467-8737.
The new Verdanza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, offers two packages for winter and spring travel.
The winter getaway package starts at $90 per person, per night and is valid through Apr. 30, 2010. The package includes accommodations for two adults, welcome gift, breakfast daily for two adults, $25 food and beverage credit, one signature rum drink-per adult, 20 percent discount on massages and a free one night stay certificate for future use with the purchase of three nights or more. Up to two children 16 years or younger can stay in the same room with adults at no additional cost. Children under five years old eat free. Rates do not include nine percent government tax and eight percent resort fee. The minimum stay is two nights and the package is subject to availability.
In conjunction with the Saborea Puerto Rico Culinary Extravaganza held Apr. 9 to11, 2010, the Verdanza Hotel offers an Official Foodie package. The festival features three days of local and international culinary celebrities, live demo kitchens, wine and spirits tastings, and a food tasting pavilion. The package is $939 for one person and $1285 for two.
Each package includes three nights in a single or double room, admittance to Saborea's inaugural Culinary Beach Soiree, weekend pass to Saborea Village, welcome drink, daily breakfast for each adult, $40 transportation credit, nightly turndown "foodie goodies" and a farewell keepsake. Upgrades to deluxe rooms are based on availability.
The Verdanza Hotel is the only independent full-service hotel in San Juan. Located near the beach in the Isla Verde tourism district, the hotel has 222 rooms with 20 suites, three restaurants, a pastry shop, and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space.
Verdanza Hotel or 800/625-9025.
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.
A way to stretch your vacation dollar is by booking accommodations at a condominium hotel. Condo hotels offer more spacious lodgings including fully equipped kitchens and separate living/dining areas along with amenities such as laundry facilities.
Monthly rates are available for those seeking a Florida "home" for the winter. If you have a few days or a week to enjoy the Sunshine State, hereís a sampling of offers at select condominium hotel properties.
Ocean Pointe Suites - Key Largo, FL - 800/882-9464 - on 60 acres in the Florida Keys, Ocean Pointe offers one and two bedroom suites, a private beach and on-property marina. Their reef snorkeling package is available through January 2011. It includes one night in a one or two bedroom suite, two half-day reef snorkel trips for two with all equipment, two buy-one-get-one-free cocktail coupons and one hour's kayak use. Nightly rates start at $197.
The Keys water sports package is available through January 2011. It includes one night in a one or two bedroom suite (extra nights are available), Waverunner ride or Hobie Wave rental, four hour kayak rental, and two buy-one-get-one-free cocktail coupons. Rates start at $175. For both packages, some weekends and holidays have up to four-night minimum stays.
The Mutiny Hotel - Coconut Grove, FL - 888-8MUTINY - The bay-front, boutique hotel offers apartment suites, decorated in a "British Colonial" style. All suites offer living and dining rooms, kitchens and two entertainment systems. Most provide a private balcony. Guests can use the heated pool and Jacuzzi, fitness center with sauna and steam rooms. The "Winter KIS (Keep it Simple)" package offers 15 percent off the best available rate for stays of two nights or longer, with free wine and cheese on arrival.
Sunset Vistas - Treasure Island, FL - 866/597-1600 - This property offers two and three-bedroom suites plus a cafe, convenience store and beach bar. Through Mar. 28, 2010, stay 14 or more nights in a gulf view or gulf front suite and get 25 percent off the regular nightly rate. Additional discounts are available for longer stays.
Sailport Waterfront Suites - Tampa, FL - 800/255-9599. Newly renovated and expanded on Rocky Point Island, with bayfront one and two-bedroom suites. Nightly rates start at $79. The Busch Gardens package starts from $304 for two nights in a one bedroom waterfront suite. Available through Jan. 2, 2011, the package includes two adult tickets to Busch Garden, free wireless internet and free coffee and Danish each morning.
Pink Beach Club in Tuckerís Town, Bermuda, offers a Double Savings Special featuring a free, guaranteed upgrade from a garden view suite to an ocean view junior suite and an additional $50 discount per room, per night for travel Mar. 15 to May 15, 2010.
When traveling Mar. 15 to Apr. 15, 2010 you save $80 per night and $135 per night for travel Apr. 16 to May 15, 2010.
Rates reflecting the Double Savings Special start at $395 per night and include full breakfast, afternoon tea and a five-course dinner daily. Rates are per room, per night, based on double occupancy. Double Savings Special can not be combined with any other offer and is valid on new bookings only.
Ocean front junior suites have a living room, bedroom combination with private balcony or terrace and an oversized Italian marble bathroom. All accommodations are equipped with hair-dryers; telephone; in-room safe; iron and ironing board; CD clock radio with iPod connection; umbrellas; coffee makers; wireless Internet; and most with mini-refrigerators. Rooms contain bath robes, slippers and premium toiletries to use during your stay.
Pink Beach Club is five minutes from two championship golf courses. Tee times are arranged by the concierge.
The property features two pink sand beaches and a swimming pool, two California all-weather tennis courts, free snorkel equipment and a fitness center.
Pink Beach Club or 800/355-6161.
Baltimore is the kind of city that repays multiple visits, as I've discovered, but it also is perfect for a targeted getaway tailored to specific interests. Whether it's family fare, cultural attractions, history, shopping, or cuisine, Baltimore has it covered. Throw in a revitalized urban center, appealing ethnic and offbeat neighborhoods, and an array of festivals, and you've got a winning combination for an urban destination.
Let's cut to the chase and start with what many would say is Baltimore's signature attraction: the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor. If you haven't been to the Aquarium in a few years, you might find things have changed a bit since your last visit. In 2005, a new Crystal Pavilion which houses the "Animal Planet Australia" exhibit was added to the main building. While some might not expect to take in a visit Down Under at an aquarium, this is a real opportunity to see the flora and fauna of an extreme ecosystem minus the usual jet leg. To further whet the imagination, take in one of the films screened in the aquarium's state-of-the-art 4D immersion theater, which combines 3D effects with mists, smells, breezes, and movements. Then there are special temporary exhibits, such as the mesmerizing "Jelly Invasion" exhibit currently on display, not to mention the aquarium's best-known permanent feature, the multi-level circular pathway descending through an encircling Atlantic ocean tank, featuring plenty of everybody's favorite nightmare, sharks.
For families with children of any age, the National Aquarium is probably first on the checklist, but there are a number of other attractions that should make the cut as well. Conveniently, many of these are located right around the Inner Harbor, such as the Maryland Science Center and Port Discovery Children's Museum. However, I'd urge families to roam beyond the harbor, as the B & O Railroad Museum and the Baltimore Zoo are also big hits with kids. Another thing I found when my son was growing up is that Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, home of the Baltimore Symphony, is a surprisingly kid-friendly place, hosting a number of special events for children throughout the year.
History buffs will find plenty to occupy themselves in Baltimore. There's Fort McHenry, of course, which played a pivotal role in the War of 1812 and was inspiration for the National Anthem. One of the best ways to reach the fort is by the water taxis that ply the harbor area from April through September. A day pass is $9 ($4 for kids under 10). The water taxis also go to Fells Point, a historic waterfront community not far from the Inner Harbor. Drink in the historical ambience while strolling the area's cobblestone streets, or just drink - as this is one of Baltimore's best areas for bars and nightlife. Baltimore is an excellent place to learn more about the United State's rich maritime history, with Historic Ships in Baltimore providing access to a unique collection of vessels, such as the submarine Torsk, the Coast Guard cutter Taney, and the US Sloop-of-War Constellation. These and other ships are ranged near the Inner Harbor.
A museum that will appeal to those with an interest in popular cultural is Geppi's Entertainment Museum, located on the second and third floors of Camden Station near the Inner Harbor. (Tickets $10 for adults, $7 for students, under 4 free. Half price every Tuesday and Thursday.) The museum houses a unique collection that encompasses 250 years of American pop culture, including an outstanding collection of comic books, toys, and movie posters. The exhibits are arranged chronologically by decade, so it's interesting to enter the room with "your" decade(s) from childhood, whether that be the 1950s (Howdy Doody, anyone?) or the 1970s ("May the Force be with you.")
Baltimore showcases African-American history, with a good half dozen museums devoted to aspects of African-American life and culture. The most impressive of these is the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, the largest African-American cultural museum on the East Coast. The museum is housed in a distinctive 82,000-square-foot modern building and is especially strong in its oral and labor history collections. My visit to the museum last fall took in a special exhibit commemorating Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, a poignant and moving 381 days in American history.
Devotees of the arts and culture find Baltimore a rich hunting ground, with several world-class art museums, numerous galleries, and an edgy avant-garde art scene. Two large museums - the Walters Art Gallery and the Baltimore Museum of Art - vie for top billing, though my personal preference is for the (mostly) free BMA, with its marvelous collection of modern and European art. In fact, the BMA houses the world's most extensive collection of Matisse, the bequest of Baltimore's Cone sisters, who between them amassed one of the finest collections of French modern art in the U.S. The sisters, Etta and Claribel, had a special relationship with Matisse, and thus were the first to be offered pieces such as his famous "Blue Nude." Today visitors to the BMA can take a virtual tour of the Cone sisters' art-laden apartment courtesy of a large flat-screen installed in the replica of one of the rooms in the apartment. Touch the screen and move through the rooms -- and back in time.
But perhaps my favorite museum in Baltimore is the Visionary Art Museum, directly across the Inner Harbor next to Federal Hill. Not sure what "visionary" art is? Well, you know it when you see it, but according to the museum's website, "Visionary art . . .refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself." In other words, it's outsider art. The collections on display at the Visionary Art Museum run from wacky to downright frightening. On my most recent visit, I was drawn to an exhibit featuring work by Renaldo Kuhler, who compensated for an isolated life in Colorado by creating drawings of his own fantasy world, Rocaterrania, peopled with characters from his imagination. The lovingly detailed drawings, complete with biographies and storylines, were strangely compelling, as is much of the art on display at the Visionary Art Museum.
Baltimore's multicultural heritage is evident in its colorful patchwork quilt of neighborhoods. The best known is perhaps Little Italy, not far from the Inner Harbor. The residents there have a number of local traditions that are quintessentially Baltimorean, such as the rows of pristine marble steps in front of formstone-clad row houses and the bocce ball tournaments played on the neighborhood's immaculate ground stone courts. Little Italy celebrates the beginning of summer with a Feast of Saint Anthony, the area's patron saint, believed to have answered the prayers of residents to spare the district during the great fire of 1904. Another tradition began when a local man realized that an unsightly blank billboard wall at the intersection of High and Stiles Streets would make a perfectly good place to project movies from his bedroom window, and thus the Cinema al Fresco - held every Friday night at 9:00 during the summer - was born.
Perhaps it's this sort of oddly charming spirit that's responsible for Baltimore's nickname, "Charm City." Whatever the case, you'll find this spirit in abundance in another of Baltimore's signature neighborhoods, Hampden. For those who enjoy the offbeat and quirky, Hampden is heaven. Start at the Cafe Hon - you can't miss it; it's the place with the two-storey-tall pink flamingo on the front of the building. The owner of Cafe Hon, Denise Whiting, is an original Baltimore personality, the force behind the yearly "Hon Fest" ("hon" is a local endearment, and also a word for the archetypical beehive-hairdo-and-rhinestone-glasses-wearing woman who calls everyone "hon"). The cafe is a homey, unpretentious place, in keeping with the surrounding neighborhood, and both places exude a loopy charm. Stroll down 36th Street, which has blossomed with dozens of chic boutiques, small restaurants, and cozy gathering spots, and you'll see why Hampden is one of Baltimore's most-visited neighborhoods.
Some of Baltimore's best food is, of course, in ethnic enclaves such as Little Italy and Greektown. The latter is home to one of my favorite eateries, Samos (600 Oldham St.), a place with considerable homespun appeal and a wonderful tangy Greek salad dressing. You can bring your own wine and beer to this place, but leave your credit card at home - they accept only cash and don't take reservations. Never mind. Just bring your appetite and you can't miss with Greek classics such as souvlaki, dolmathes, calamari, and gyros. For more upscale fare, however, head for the Woodberry Kitchen (2010 Clipper Park Rd.), showcasing regional and seasonal foods from the Chesapeake Bay area. This is a popular spot, so consider making reservations. Also note that the Visionary Art Museum and the Baltimore Art Museum house fine restaurants, so it's easy to work in a meal after browsing the exhibits.
The Visionary Art Museum also contains one of my favorite places to shop in the city - The Eye Shop. Looking for a life-like and life-size plastic raven? Well, that's where you can find one. More conventional shopping options abound in Baltimore, however. There's Antique Row, for starters, a stretch of North Howard Street that dates back from the 1840s. Fells Point has a number of appealing boutique shops as well, not to mention Hampden, which has one of my favorite boutique shops in the city, Paradiso (1015 W. 36th St.). Last but certainly not least is Harbor Place, which has some 200 name-brand shops and small boutiques right in the epicenter of the tourist district.
So, let's see. . . I've covered kids, history buffs, culture mavens, trend-spotters, lovers of the offbeat, foodies, and shopaholics. Who does that leave? Well, it leaves a vaguely defined group, the ones who simply like to soak up an urban vibe. Happily, Baltimore caters to those people like few places I know. Start with a stroll along the Inner Harbor waterfront promenade. Or, for a better view of the harbor try going up to Federal Hill Park, which has benches strategically placed on top of the hill facing the harbor. Then there's the Mount Vernon area, always good for a dose of beaux-arts architecture and fin-de-siecle grandeur. And for a taste of what's up-and-coming, there's no finer spot than the new Harbor East development, which has rapidly converted a wasteland of parking lots and warehouses into one of the city's trendiest hotel, restaurant, and night-spot areas. Views of the harbor from the upper floors of hotels such as the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront are stunning. If your budget doesn't run to staying in one of these new beauties, then consider having lunch or dinner in a harbor-front restaurant.
There. Have I left anyone out? I hope not, but if I have, the helpful Visit Baltimore website will undoubtedly have it covered. Just click here.
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