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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, April 2020 Issue


We hope you are staying healthy and well during this challenging time. Use our current travel deals and news to plan future trips when COVID-19 no longer impacts daily living.


Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 877
Logan OH 43138
http://www.onthegopublishing.com/currentissue.html
travelnewsletter@aim.com
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright  2020 
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff


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In This Issue:
Smithsonian hut on top of Mt. Whitney, Sequoia National Park, California



  1. Amawaterways Loyalty Appreciation Cruises
  2. Last Minute Special Camino Tours
  3. Loon Lake Lodge Early Discount
  4. Ovolo Freesome
  5. Alice Springs and Melbourne from $899
  6. Aggressor Money Saving Discounts
  7. Pot of Gold Discount
  8. Seabourn Sensational Suite Savings
  9. Vail Resorts Epic Mountain Rewards
  10. Rental Fraud on Vacation Property Listings
  11. Scenic Deals and New Cruises
  12. Up to 50% at Hard Rock Hotels
  13. Win Free Wedding at Aryaduta
  14. Downtown Decatur Third Friday
  15. Choice Hotels Free Night Promotion
  16. Hydroplaning
  17. Egypt Super Saver
  18. Disneyland Resort Hotel Deals
  19. Spring into Summer Rates
  20. Does travel insurance cover you if you get coronavirus


1. Amawaterways Loyalty Appreciation Cruises

AmaWaterways offers its third annual Loyalty Appreciation Cruise 2021 lineup. Repeat guests, their traveling companions and those booking additional staterooms to travel with the past guest on the same departure are eligible to take advantage of AmaWaterways’ loyalty savings and special events on select sailings from August through December. This includes the choice of special bonus savings of free economy airfare, $1,000 off per person or a reduced 10 percent single supplement.
    Sailing along the Danube, Mekong, Moselle, Rhine and Rhône rivers onboard AmaWaterways’ ships, here are some 2021 Loyalty Appreciation Cruises:
  • Magna on the Danube onboard AmaMagna – Departing Aug. 4, 2021 between Vilshofen, Germany and Budapest, Hungary

  • Riches of the Mekong onboard AmaDara – Departing Sep. 6, 2021 between Kampong Cham, Cambodia and My Tho, Vietnam.

  • Rhine & Moselle Fairytales onboard AmaLucia – Departing Oct.5, 2021 between Amsterdam, Netherlands and Basel, Switzerland.
  • Gems of Southeast Europe onboard AmaBella – Departing Nov. 14, 2021 between Budapest, Hungary and Giurgiu, Romania.
  • Colors of Provence onboard AmaKristina – Departing Dec. 2, 2021 between Lyon and Avignon, France.

The 2021 Loyalty Appreciation Cruises provide savings that are combinable with the benefits of AmaWaterways’ past guest Privilege Rewards Program. Onboard celebrations are planned for recognition for returning guests, and itinerary-exclusive events and excursions in various ports of call.

AmaWaterways’ Loyalty Appreciation Cruises or 800/626-0126.


2. Last Minute Special Camino Tours

CaminoWays.com, the Camino de Santiago experts, have a last minute travel special for the following guided tours departing in May 2020. Receive €50off using code: MAYSPECIAL.

Portuguese Coastal Camino Departing May 9, 2020 - Starting in the seaside town of Baiona, this seven night tour takes you across the Rias Baixas region to Santiago de Compostela. Regular price €790 per person sharing – €740 with May Special. Refer to Portuguese Coastal GUIDED.

Finisterre Camino Departing May 16, 2020 - Start in Santiago de Compostela and walk to the coastal region of Fisterra and Muxia. Seven night tour. Regular price €780 per person sharing – €730 with May Special. Refer to Finisterre Camino GUIDED.

Camino Frances Departing May 30, 2020 – The last stretch of the Classic Camino Frances walking from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. Seven night tour. Regular price €780 per person sharing – €730 with May Special. Refer to Camino Frances GUIDED.

These Camino de Santiago guided tours include: accommodation in select properties along the route, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, luggage transfers, local guide for the group and holiday pack with practical information.

Not included: flights, insurance, lunch.

Camino guided tours.

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3. Loon Lake Lodge Early Discount

Loon Lake Lodge and RV Resort, in the Oregon Coast Range recreation lake near Reedsport, opens Apr. 1, 2020. Last year, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campers vacationed at the resort and discovered its on-site marina, beach, store, deli, and lodging due to the BLM recreation closure.

The Resort is opening earlier this season and offers up to 30 percent off all lodging and camping by purchasing discount vouchers online. Rates for all lodging and camping can be locked in for up to a year, allowing for flexible reservations.

Loon Lake remains open for all recreation, even though the BLM will not open the Loon Lake Recreation Site for 2020 following severe damage from a February 2019 snowstorm. The BLM Recreation site at Loon Lake is not affiliated with Loon Lake Lodge, and the closure of the BLM's facilities will not affect normal operations at the Resort.

The large Waterfront House with full kitchen, indoor/outdoor living areas and private dock is included in the discount offer. The main house sleeps six-plus people and up to 14 with the addition of the add-on dorm type room. The Deluxe and Premium cottages can sleep up to eight people are included in the special along with other types of RV sites and lodging.

The Resort offers Oregon Coast cabins, yurts, motel, group camping sites, and RV or tent camping sites. Some of the cabins have full kitchens, and all lodging and RV sites have individual picnic tables and barbecue or fire pits.

While the BLM beach and boat dock remain closed for the 2020 season, the Marina at Loon Lake Lodge will be open during the spring and summer months. Boaters who have used the BLM boat ramp can arrange to put their boats in at the Loon Lake Marina from $5 per day, or rent water ski and fishing boats, several Sea-Doos, pedal boats, kayaks or stand-up paddleboards.

When not on the lake, you can drive through the Oregon Coast Range along the Umpqua River State Scenic Corridor to the coastal towns of Reedsport and Winchester Bay or continue north up scenic highway 101 to Florence or south to Coos Bay. The 40-mile long Oregon ocean dunes, towering up to 500 feet, offer opportunities for ATV riders, sand boarders and tour rides in dune buggies.

Loon Lake Lodge and RV Resort or 541/599-2244.


4. Ovolo Freesome

Hotel collection Ovolo includes amenities such as social hour, minibar, breakfast, Wi-Fi, 24-hour gym access and self-service laundry, when guests book direct. Last year brought the NFW! Campaign, a price match guarantee and a flexible cancellation policy.

Now it’s Freesome. With Freesome when you book direct and stay two nights at any Ovolo Hotel you can stay a third night free at any hotel at a time that's convenient to you. Stay dates are through Dec. 29, 2020. Black out dates may apply and vary from hotel to hotel.

How to book: Make a three-night reservation in the booking engine and the free third night will be automatically applied to the booking. If you book a longer stay, you receive one free night for every two nights booked with the free night pricing automatically applied when booking.

With Freesome success in Hong Kong, Ovolo offers Freesome in Australia at their properties in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane. Guests have the freedom to use their free night now or receive a voucher to use at any Ovolo Hotel in Australia or Hong Kong, anytime they choose. You can redeem your voucher six months from the date of your stay but no later than June 29, 2021.

Guests enjoy an array of inclusions with Freesome including sundowner drinks at social hour, midnight treats from the minibar, and free breakfast. Plus get Wi-Fi, 24-hour gym access and self-service laundry.

Ovolo Hotels.


5. Alice Springs and Melbourne from $899

Quantas Vacations offers a seven night discovery trip to Alice Springs, a remote gateway for exploring the Red Centre and Melbourne, Australia, from $899 per person based on double occupancy.

The package is land only for travel between June 9, and Sep. 30, 2020. You must book by Sep. 20, 2020. Single supplements, black-out dates and seasonal supplements may apply. Prices, subject to availability, are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. Use tour code: SO19081.

    The package includes:
  • Two nights in Melbourne at Crowne Plaza Melbourne
  • Five nights in Alice Springs at Aurora Alice Springs
  • Guided highlights sightseeing tour of Alice Springs.
  • 30 minute hot air balloon flight over the MacDonnell Ranges.
  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • Qantas Vacations after hours emergency travel assistance.

Qantas Vacations or 866/914-4359.


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6. Aggressor Money Saving Discounts

Aggressor Adventures is dedicated to creating adventure experiences and offers several money saving discounts.
    Discounts include:
  • Active or retired military personnel receive a 10 percent discount
  • $100 teacher discount (active or retired)
  • $100 student discount (ages 18 to 22)
  • Children’s discount of 25 percent ages five to 17
  • $200 discount for consecutive (back to back) charters
  • $100 discount for Seniors 65 to 69
  • $200 discount for Seniors 70 to 74
  • $300 discount for Seniors 75 and older
  • $100 discount for law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, nurses
  • $100 discount for airline pilots, flight attendants and airline employees
  • $100 discount on second trip within 12 months
  • $200 discount on third trip within 12 months.

Money-saving specials cannot be used in conjunction with discounted charters or with promotions.

When multiple discounts apply, only the most generous (one) can be applied to the charter rate. Please notify the agent of any discounts or vouchers at the time of booking. Notification after final payment will result in forfeiture of discount.

Money-saving specials do not apply to the Oceans for Youth, Cuba Travel programs or Aggressor river cruises.

    Included in Aggresor Liveaboards package:
  • Accommodations aboard the yacht
  • Diving
  • Compressed air tanks, weights & belts
  • All meals and snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, local beer and wine
  • Airport transfers.
    Included in Aggressor river cruise package:
  • Accommodations aboard the vessel
  • Daily visits to historical sites with a guide
  • All meals and snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, local beer and wine
  • Airport transfers.
    Included in Aggressor Safari Lodge package:
  • Transfers
  • Chalet accommodations at the lodge
  • All meals and snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, local beer and wine
  • Transfers from the host hotel to the lodge
  • Daily jeep transportation to the parks/historical sites
  • Transfer on Saturday back to the host hotel or Colombo airport.
    Not included in a package:
  • Airfare (international and domestic)
  • Insurance
  • Yacht or lodge rentals
  • Nitrox fills, certification or specialty courses
  • Hotel stays and day rooms
  • Dinner on final evening
  • Staff gratuity
  • Port/park fees, fuel surcharge, taxes (when applicable)
  • Airport transfers.

Aggressor Adventures or 800/348-2628.


7. Pot of Gold Discount

Save $400 per person with Holiday Vacations on select Ireland departures when you book before May 9, 2020.

You can also earn a $100 Travel Show Credit for your trip by watching their online travel show which is about 10 minutes long. At the end of the show, submit and receive your credit that can be applied to a Holiday Vacations tour.

Price with the discount is $4,599 per person, based on double occupancy for tour dates: Aug. 3, Aug. 12, and Aug.19, 2020.

    Holiday Vacations include:
  • Airfare
  • 13 meals with breakfast daily, a Medieval banquet, Irish Evening and farewell dinner
  • Accommodations with baggage handling
  • Attractions
  • Professional tour director
  • Motor coach and/or professional driver.
    Accommodations include:
  • One night in the Dublin area
  • Two nights at the Galmont Hotel in Galway
  • One night at the Savoy Hotel in Limerick
  • Two nights at the Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa in Killarney
  • One night at the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny
  • One night in the Dublin area before returning home.
    Highlights include:
  • Dublin guided tour
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Clonmacnoise monastic ruins
  • Connolly’s Rathbaun Farm
  • Connemara Crystal Factory
  • Views of the Connemara region
  • Kylemore Abbey
  • Burren in County Clare
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Bunratty Folk Park
  • Adare traditional Irish village
  • Cart ride in Killarney
  • Ring of Kerry scenic drive
  • Blarney Castle
  • Blarney Woollen Mills Store
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Kilkenny Castle tour.

Holiday Vacations or 800/826-2266.


8. Seabourn Sensational Suite Savings

Seabourn rolls out its Sensational Suite Savings for 2020. It offers savings and value-added amenities when you book suite accommodations on select 2020 and 2021 voyages.

Book Sensational Suite Savings through Apr. 30, 2020, to save on a selection of suite accommodations and amenities.

    The benefits vary by voyage but may include any or all of the following:
  • Veranda for Ocean View Suite upgrades
  • Up to three category veranda suite upgrades
  • Up to $600 shipboard credit per suite
  • Up to $1,000 air credit per guest
  • Up to 600-minute Internet package per guest
  • 50 percent reduced deposit.

Guests booking a Penthouse or Premium Suite on select sailings will receive up to $2,000 shipboard credit per suite and an unlimited internet package per suite.

Seabourn ships offer suites, many with verandas and all oceanfront; dining in a choice of venues; free premium spirits and fine wines; and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere.

Seabourn or 800/929-9391.


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9. Vail Resorts Epic Mountain Rewards

Vail Resorts introduces Epic Mountain Rewards, where pass holders receive a 20 percent discount off food and beverage, lodging, group ski and ride school lessons, and equipment rentals.

Epic Mountain Rewards are available for everyone who purchases an Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Epic Day Pass, Epic Military Pass and most of the Vail Resorts other pass products, whether you ski one day or every day of the season. Those passes are on sale and the Epic Mountain Rewards discounts go into effect for the 2020-21 season.

With no sign-up, no point tracking and no blackout dates, Epic Mountain Rewards are designed to be simple. Pass holders get the 20 percent discounts by presenting their pass at the register or logging into their account for online reservations.

Epic Mountain Rewards also includes 20 percent off Epic Mountain Express transportation in Colorado, Guided Cat Skiing Tours in Keystone and Heli-Skiing packages in Whistler Blackcomb. More details on Epic Mountain Rewards are online.

The Epic Day Pass is a customizable pass for skiers and riders who may not need the unlimited access offered by a traditional season pass. From $93 for a day of skiing or riding at Vail, Whistler Blackcomb, Park City and Breckenridge, you create your pass by selecting the number of days you plan to ski or ride – from one day to seven days – and whether or not to add holiday access. You can use the Epic Day Pass at any of the company's North American owned and operated resorts and you have the flexibility to choose where, when and how frequently you want to ski or ride. The occasional skier and rider can save up to 50 percent off lift ticket window prices and 20 percent off other mountain experiences with Epic Mountain Rewards.

For the most flexibility during the 2020-21 season, the Epic Pass offers value and variety for unlimited skiing and riding. Priced at $979 for the 2020-21 winter season, the Epic Pass provides unlimited, unrestricted access to all of the company's 37 owned and operated resorts plus partner access at Telluride, Snowbasin, Sun Valley, Courchevel, Fernie, Kicking Horse, and Hakuba Valley, Japan. Continuing for the 2020-21 season, the company offers a free Epic Pass for children age four and under who are signed-up ahead of the season.

For skiers and riders willing to navigate around a few peak dates, the Epic Local Pass is $729 with access to all of the company's owned and operated North American resorts, which includes unlimited, unrestricted access to many resorts such as Breckenridge, Keystone, and Crested Butte. The Epic Local Pass provides 10 combined days of holiday-restricted access in Vail, Whistler Blackcomb, and Beaver Creek, at no additional charge, plus additional partner access.

The Military Epic Pass program honors the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, Canadian Armed Forces and Australian Defence Force. The 2020-21 Military Epic Pass provides value for active or retired service members and their families to enjoy unlimited, unrestricted skiing at the company's owned resorts for $169.

For skiers and riders looking to hit the slopes on the East Coast, two new pass products are launching for the 2020-21 season. The Northeast Value Pass, priced at $599, provides unlimited, restricted access to Okemo, Mount Snow and Hunter, 10 restricted days at Stowe, plus unlimited, unrestricted access to Wildcat, Attitash, Mount Sunapee, Crotched, Liberty, Whitetail, and Roundtop. The Northeast Midweek Pass, priced at $449, offers similar access, but restricted to Monday through Friday, and five restricted midweek days at Stowe.

Through the Turn In Your Ticket program, purchase a lift ticket by the end of the 2019-20 ski season and apply the value of a single day ticket toward the price of an eligible 2020-21 pass product, including an Epic Day Pass with four or more days. This program applies to new pass holders who did not purchase a 2019-20 season pass product.

Those who purchase the Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass this spring can pay $49 down and the remainder in September. You also get 10 Buddy Tickets and six Ski With a Friend Tickets. Buddy Tickets and Ski With a Friend Tickets can be redeemed online.

Epic Pass.


10. Rental Fraud on Vacation Property Listings

An in-depth investigative study by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) finds that fraud is widespread in the online rental home and vacation rental market, with 43 percent of online shoppers encountering a fake listing and more than 5 million consumers losing money to such scams.

The investigative study -- Is That Rental Listing Real? A BBB Study of Rental Scams Involving Apartments, Houses and Vacation Properties -- notes that 85 percent of consumers encountering fake rental listings do not fall for them. However, these figures suggest that the volume of rental scams lurking on the internet is staggering.

According to the study, rental scams can take several forms, but perhaps most commonly, fraudsters simply copy the photo and description of a property, post it online with their own contact information and try to get a deposit and first month’s rent from the victim. The fraudster may communicate only by email or text message and may claim to be out of the country and unavailable to show the property. Once the victim sends money, the fraudster disappears.

BBB Scam Tracker has received more than 1,300 reports of rental fraud from 2016 to 2019, while the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reports more than $37 million from Jan. 1, 2019, through Oct. 20, 2019, in losses associated with complaints that mention the word “rent.”

    In addition to warning consumers of red flags that may signal apartment or vacation rental scams, the report recommends:
  • Rental unit owners should watermark photos used for rental postings, which will make it more difficult for scammers to copy photos of other properties posted online.
  • Website platforms that list houses, apartments and vacation properties should make extra effort to screen for bogus listings, and they should explore ways to allow consumers to easily report scam listings.
  • Police should encourage victims to report not only to the rental platform, but also to the FTC, BBB and IC3.
    What to do if you are the victim of a rental scam:
  • File a report with local police.
  • Go to BBB.org to view a business’s BBB Business Profile, including complaints and reviews, or to file a complaint or report a scam on Scam Tracker.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission online at ftc.gov/complaint or call 877/FTC-HELP.
  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.


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11. Scenic Deals and New Cruises

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours spiced up its 2021 river cruise offerings with two 12-day culinary themed itineraries in France and early booking savings of up to $500 per person on fares, free economy roundtrip air on eight- to 10-day sailings, free premium economy air on sailings of 11 or more days, and business class air for $1,995 on select sailings. Guests can enjoy an additional $1,000 or $1,800, respectively, if they book their own flights, and reduce the fare by another $250 to $500 per person by paying in full upon booking.

Scenic’s 12-day Tastes of Southern France, priced from $7,095 per person, double before the savings, or 12-day Flavors of Bordeaux, priced from $7,770 (also before the savings) include one pre-cruise night in Paris and train transport to the ship.

Highlights in Southern France include meeting a local truffle farmer, a cooking demonstration at the restaurant of Georges Blanc, a meal on board by Michelin-star Chef Didier Goiffon, blind wine tasting, and shopping with the ship’s chef at a local market and cooking in the ship’s dedicated cooking demonstration kitchen.

Guests on the Bordeaux sailing can look for fine wines and food experiences: cycling through the vineyards of Sauternes and tasting the Grand Cru wines of Château Lafaurie Peyraguey and the fine brandies of Remy Martin, a wine and cheese pairing experience, the history of foie gras during a farm visit, and shop with the chef for local ingredients to use in a Scenic Culinaire class.

A five-day Tastes of Imperial Europe is for those wishing to dive deep into the cultures of Vienna and Budapest, with two days spent in each city, and a day in Bratislava in between. There is time to explore Vienna’s State Opera, St. Stephens Cathedral, Schönbrunn Palace, and wander through shops with local crafts and pastries. Two days in Budapest include the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Hospital in the Rock and the thermal pools of Szechenyi Bath. An exclusive-to-Scenic private classical music concert at the 18th-century Gödöllö Palace. Fares start at $2,195 per person, double.

Guests booking the eight-day Tulips or Rhine Highlights itineraries should consider adding a four-day city stay in Bruges, known for its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. This is one of 20 add-on possibilities, spanning from London to Paris to Switzerland to Madrid.

Scenic is the only river cruise company to offer a river cruise guarantee that automatically covers every guest for any delays or cancellations due to weather, natural disasters, mechanical breakdowns or labor strikes. Approved claimants receive refunds directly, up to $750 per day with a maximum of seven days or $5,250 per guest, instead of the industry standard of future cruise credits.

The five-star Scenic Space-Ships offer private butler service and unlimited free beverages and spirits with mini-bar re-stocked daily, to six on-board dining options and a wellness area and fitness center. Everything (except a haircut or massage) is included: tips and gratuities, expert local guides, all Scenic Freechoice activities, plus Scenic Enrich events exclusive to Scenic and its guests.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours or 844/788-7985.


12. Up to 50% at Hard Rock Hotels

Travel Impressions offers up to 50 percent off at select Hard Rock Hotels in Cancun, Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, Vallarta, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Rates for the all-inclusive stays in a deluxe platinum king room start at $911 per person, based on double occupancy, for three nights for travel through Dec. 18, 2020 if booked by Apr. 30, 2020.

    All-inclusive package price includes:
  • Kids stay free
  • Private roundtrip airport transfers
  • All meals, drinks and snacks
  • Daily activities
  • Nightly entertainment
  • Non-motorized watersports.

Advertised savings are reflected in the price. Rate is subject to change based on currency fluctuations. Additional higher priced packages are available.

Airfare is extra and Travel Impression offers nonstop flights from select gateways to Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Travel Impressions or 800/284-0044.


13. Win Free Wedding at Aryaduta

Aryaduta Hotel Group (AHG) in Indonesia, launches their Celebrate Your Wedding for Free at Aryaduta contest. Nine couples looking to marry during 2020 or 2021 will win a free wedding celebration for up to 300 guests at nine Aryaduta Hotels in Indonesia. The campaign runs to June 12, 2020.

To enter the Free Wedding Celebration, book your wedding date at one of the nine Aryaduta participating hotels before June 12, 2020. Actual wedding dates must be booked (and down payment made) for any date until Dec. 29, 2021, to have your names be entered into the Free Wedding Celebration contest.

Once the wedding date is confirmed, couples must review their chosen Aryaduta Hotel and upload the review in a form of photo/video to the participant's social media account while mentioning and tagging their chosen Aryaduta Hotel on their review post.

Winners will be announced on June 26, 2020 at all nine participating Aryaduta Hotels. All participants will be invited as witnesses when drawing the Grand Prize. In addition, there will be three winners of 'Best Hotel Reviewer' with a total prize of Rp15,000.000, or about $1,000.

The Aryaduta Bali specializes in creating wedding experiences and destination weddings. Exchange your vows at glass house-like Heavens chapel or in the Heavenly Garden.

Aryaduta Hotel.


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14. Downtown Decatur Third Friday

Downtown Decatur, AL, kicks off its 2020 Third Friday monthly celebration on Apr. 17 which continues each month through October.

The street party in the historic downtown area features classic cars, live music, shopping and free family fun. The celebration gets underway when streets are closed to traffic from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. At 5:30 p.m, antique and classic cars will be in place. Admission is free.

Downtown Decatur Third Friday encourages residents and visitors to explore the downtown area. During the monthly street party, antique cars line up along 2nd Avenue and children are treated to activities. The event showcases local talent each month, with musicians and entertainers performing on street corners in various locations in the downtown area.

In celebration of the city’s bicentennial this year, monthly themes will focus on celebrating Decatur’s 200-year history.

In addition, select stores offer specials, giveaways and discounts and craft vendors and artists will sell handmade items and artisan goods in the area of 2nd Avenue from Moulton Street to Johnston Street.

Organized by the Downtown Merchants and Business Association, Third Friday concentrates in the 2nd Avenue area (including Holly Street, Moulton Street, Johnston Street and Grant Street).

Decatur Third Friday.


15. Choice Hotels Free Night Promotion

Choice Hotels International helps travelers make their next getaway more rewarding with a new promotion, in time for peak travel-planning season.

Through May 31, 2020, Choice Privileges members who book a rental home or condo with Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels for five consecutive nights or more will receive a bonus of 13,000 Choice Privileges points, which may be used to redeem a free night at more than 5,000 Choice Hotels properties worldwide, including Comfort brand hotels.

To participate in the promotion, guests must book directly online www.ChoiceVacationRentals.com, and use the code FREEHOTEL at checkout.

The Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels portfolio includes more than 30,000 private homes, condos, cabins, and resort-style accommodations in hundreds of U.S. vacation destinations, including Florida's Gulf Coast; Lake Tahoe, CA; Myrtle Beach, SC; Orlando, FL; Outer Banks, NC; Gatlinburg, TN; Maui, HI; and multiple locations across Colorado's Rocky Mountains.

Each property chosen to be a part of the Vacation Rentals program is managed by a local, professional management company available to provide on-call support and peace of mind during a stay. Many properties include full kitchens, spacious living areas and private pools. Additionally, many Choice vacation rentals offer pet-friendly accommodations and are convenient to beaches, golf courses, and ski slopes.

Free night with Vacation Rentals by Choice promotion.


16. Hydroplaning

April showers bring May flowers. But it doesn’t matter the season, heavy rain and wet roads can occur at any time of the year. That means slick roads, limited visibility and yes, hydroplaning.

Erie Insurance provides this information as hydroplaning can be scary – so it’s important to understand the conditions when it’s likely to occur, and what to do if it happens.

What Is Hydroplaning? Hydroplaning happens when your vehicle loses control in wet conditions because your tires don’t have enough traction on the road. Hydroplaning happens when water on the road’s surface is not sufficiently pushed out of the way by your vehicle’s tires. This causes your vehicle to rise on top of a thin layer of water between your tires and the road. All traction is lost in less than a second, and you have very limited control of your vehicle.

What To Do When You Hydroplane - If you find yourself hydroplaning, don’t panic. Ease your foot off the gas, and hold the wheel firmly. Resist the urge to slam on your brakes or turn suddenly. If you start to skid, turn your steering wheel in the direction you are sliding. This can help your tires realign with the direction you’re going, allowing you to regain control.

Vehicles with anti-lock brakes and traction control are less likely to spin under hard braking. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, brake gently with a pumping action.

As you slow down and straighten out, keep mirroring the movement with your steering wheel. Most skids last for only a split second before your car gains traction and you regain control. It’s best to wait it out and stay calm. When you can feel your tires reconnect with the surface of the road, continue to stay alert and drive defensively.

It is scary when you lose control of your car. If you need a moment to calm down, pull over to a safe spot away from oncoming traffic (such as a parking lot) to catch your breath.

How To Avoid Hydroplaning - Hydroplaning can occur on any wet road surface. According to the American Safety Council, the first 10 minutes can be the most dangerous when driving in heavy rain. Here are a few ways to avoid hydroplaning:

Watch your speed. Slow down and drive carefully when the roads are wet.

Stay away from puddles and standing water. Keep toward the middle of the road and drive in the tire tracks left by cars in front of you.

Turn off cruise control. There is a chance that your car will accelerate if you hydroplane, and your reaction time will be slower if using cruise control.

Take your time. Be cautious around curves and steer and brake with smooth, light touches.

Be extra cautions at intersections. This is an area where engine oil and water could mix, creating extremely slick spots.

    Here’s a list of things to check to make sure your car is up to the task of driving in wet weather.
  • Tires: A resource like the tire decision guide at TireRack.com can help you find the right tires that fit your car and your driving habits. It helps to know how other consumers rate specific tires in a variety of categories, including wet-weather traction.
  • Tire tread: Do your tires have more than 2/32 of an inch of tread remaining? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tires with this tread depth are considered unsafe. To check the depth of your tread, place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is worn down and it’s time to replace your tires.
  • Tire pressure: You should check the pressure in your tires once a month. Learn more about how and why to check your tire pressure.
  • Brakes: It takes longer to stop when the roads are wet. Be sure your brakes are in good condition.
  • Windshield: Consider applying a water-repelling treatment to your windshield, which can dramatically improve visibility. Also, check your wipers to make sure they’re in good condition and working properly. Learn when and how to replace your windshield wipers.
  • Headlights and defroster: Both can help with visibility in rainy weather.
  • Emergency kit and jumper cables: You never know when they could come in handy.


17. Egypt Super Saver

Sunny Land Tours offers a seven-day, land-only Egypt Super Saver tour from $499. Use code EG – TW04.

Tours are priced from $499 per person, based on double occupancy, and are available at that price through December 2021.

    Tours include:
  • Roundtrip transfers from Cairo International Airport
  • Six nights’ accommodations at Oasis Hotel in Cairo
  • Breakfast daily at hotel
  • Half day city tour including the Egyptian Museum and Bazaar
  • All local government taxes
  • Services of Sunny Land local representatives
  • SLT Tour Performance warranty.
    Not included:
  • International Airfare to Cairo
  • Egypt visa ($25).

Sunny Land Tours or 800/783-7839.


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18. Disneyland Resort Hotel Deals

As Disneyland plans to reopen its hotels after its COVID-19 shut down, room savings are available at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. The savings are valid for stays most Sunday to Thursday nights. Book through May 31, 2020 for travel completed by June 19, 2020.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa: Save 20 percent on premium rooms and 15 percent on standard rooms
Disneyland Hotel: Save 20 percent on premium rooms and 15 percent on standard rooms
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel: Save 10 percent on premium rooms.

Savings are based on the non-discounted price for the same room type at the same hotel for travel most Sunday through Thursday nights.

Savings on premium room types apply to Premium, Deluxe and Woods/Garden/Courtyard rooms; select Concierge rooms; and only Paradise, Artisan, Junior and Family suites.

Advance reservations are required and discount rates are not valid on previously booked rooms. Availability of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and rates do not include applicable fees and taxes. There is a limit of two rooms per reservation and occupancy restrictions apply per room. Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers and subject to change without notice.

Disneyland Resort Hotels or 844/886-2442.


19. Spring into Summer Rates

Seven Disney Springs Resort area hotels offer Spring into Summer room rates for stays to June 30, 2020.

Situated on the Walt Disney World Resort property, the seven hotels are within walking distance to Disney Springs, with more than 150 retail, dining and entertainment establishments.

The seven hotels provide shuttle transportation approximately every 30 minutes to all Walt Disney World theme parks, two water parks, and at night to the Disney Springs area.

Guests staying at these seven official Walt Disney World Hotels receive through 2020: The Extra Magic Hours benefit and up to 60-Day FastPass+ service, with valid theme park admission. The Extra Magic Hours benefit enables extra time in at least one of the Walt Disney World theme parks each day, either before it opens or after it closes. The 60-Day FastPass+ benefit provides reserve access to select attractions and shows up to 60 days before you arrive.

Guests at these hotels also receive the “Disney Springs Passport to Savings” booklet with discounts and specials from Disney Springs merchants on entertainment, shopping and dining.

    The Disney Springs Resort area hotels’ Spring into Summer rates are:
  • B Resort& Spa — rates from $99 per room, per night
  • Best Western Lake Buena Vista — rates from $101.99 per room, per night
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando — rates from $134 per suite, per night
  • Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace — rates from $129 per room, per night
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista — rates from $119 per room, per night
  • Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area — rates from $103 per room, per night
  • Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista — rates from $107 per room, per night.

Disney Springs Hotels.


20. Does travel insurance cover you if you get coronavirus? By Christopher Elliott

People are continuing to travel during the coronavirus pandemic, despite border closures and shelter-in-place orders. That’s left a lot of travelers wondering: Does travel insurance cover you if you get coronavirus?

Generally, yes. Most travel insurance covers you if you have to see a doctor or go to the hospital during a trip. Insurance also covers an emergency medical evacuation or a trip interruption. Check your policy for details.

What if you don’t have travel insurance? But if you are traveling without travel insurance, the question isn’t, “Does travel insurance cover you if you get coronavirus?” It is: Does your health insurance cover you? It may not.

“Many domestic health care plans may not be accepted outside the U.S., and Medicare won’t cover medical expenses abroad,” says Daniel Durazo, a spokesman for Allianz Travel Insurance. “So it’s especially important to get travel insurance with medical benefits and emergency medical transportation when traveling internationally.”

But if you want to know what happens when you get sick on vacation, maybe you should ask someone like Deborah Binder, who broke her ankle on a recent visit to Cape Town.

“I needed to have surgery right away and the hospital could not verify my insurance quickly,” she recalls. “I had to use my Visa to pay for the hospital before they would do surgery.”

Fortunately, she had an insurance policy that covered hospitalization through World Nomads, a travel insurance company. “They paid for everything,” she says.

Travel insurance covers more than the coronavirus. That’s what Cynthia O’Leary discovered when her husband suffered a pulmonary embolism the first day of their 10-day trip to Lake Louise and Banff in Canada. She’d purchased a Generali insurance policy through InsureMyTrip. The policy covered her husband’s hospitalization.

“All we had to pay was a $250 deductible,” she recalls.

Same for Dianne Zeitler, who purchased a travel insurance policy through Trip Mate for her recent Viking River cruise. While in Vienna, she broke her arm and needed emergency surgery, plus four days in a hospital.

“Upon our return, Trip Mate processed our claim,” she says.

These stories are an important reminder that you don’t want to travel anywhere without adequate insurance. And “Does travel insurance cover you if you get coronavirus?” shouldn’t be your only question when you’re shopping for the right policy.

Coverage and benefits “depend” on the emergency. “Coverage and benefits will vary depending on the travel insurance plan that is purchased,” says Durazo. “It’s important to review the level of coverage and benefits you’re offered so that you are comfortable with your coverage. Plans purchased in ecommerce booking paths or from travel agents are often tailored to the trip, so travelers can be confident that the coverage is appropriate.”

Durazo says not all travel insurance health benefits are equal. Up to half the retail travel insurance plans in the market only provide secondary medical payouts. In other words, you have to file a claim with your primary medical insurance provider first.

“This can cause lengthy delays and a lot of extra work, leaving you hanging in uncertainty when and how your medical bills will be covered,” he says.

Make sure you get support with your policy. Other travel insurance policies don’t come with enough support. He says you should look for an in-house team of experts that can help with medical problems around the clock. At Allianz, people who call in with a medical problem even get their own case manager to help.

“We take care of all the details to ensure you receive the best possible care around the world, from guaranteeing payment and coordinating care, to arranging your safe return home,” he says.

Also, look for a policy that offers access via technology, such as a smartphone app that you can consult during your trip.

When it comes to travel insurance, there are a lot of options. For example, Allianz has a full featured plan called OneTrip Premier which offers emergency medical benefits up to $50,000, as well as emergency medical transportation up to $1 million. It also has another plan called OneTrip Emergency Medical, designed for travelers who are only looking for benefits for emergency medical expenses and mishaps while they’re traveling. It covers medical expenses while abroad, including up to $50,000 in emergency accident and sickness medical expenses, and $250,000 emergency evacuation benefits.

How do you find the right policy? Here are a few expert recommendations.

Read your policy. “A huge mistake is not double-checking with your card issuer on what your card’s insurance covers and what it doesn’t,” says Oliver Browne, a credit industry analyst for Credit Card Insider. “Before booking a trip, be sure to check with the credit card issuer about the travel insurance benefits that are provided by your card, and for what cash amount you’re covered up to.”

You probably need medical insurance — especially if you’re traveling far. A lot of travelers are confused about what travel insurance covers, when it comes to medical benefits, says Phil Sylvester, a spokesman for World Nomads. He says you probably need health insurance when you travel abroad.

Cheaper is not always better. In fact, buying the least expensive policy is one of the biggest mistakes travelers make. “In many cases, neither the cheapest or most expensive is the best,” explains Zeshan Jeewanjee, director of marketing at G1G.com, a travel insurance site. So what’s the best policy? It’s one that takes into account your trip activities and health conditions. “Speak to a licensed customer representative if you do not know what benefits to look for, and they will help you decide which plan gives you optimal coverage,” he advises.

Mind the exclusions. “Policies vary by carrier,” says Scott Ackerman, a senior vice president at Travel Leaders Group, a travel agency. “General exclusions may not cover professional athletic events. Those include motor sport or motor racing and mountaineering. Also, being under the influence of drugs or narcotics being intoxicated [is excluded].”

Cover your pre-existing conditions. One of the biggest mistakes — if not the biggest — is failing to get adequate coverage for an existing medical condition. PK Rao, president of INF Visitor Care, a travel medical firm, says his company sees a lot of travelers in their 60s and 70s who neglect to enroll in pre-existing condition coverage. “Travelers assume that issues that come with age are considered normal, and will count as a new sickness,” he says. “These issues are certainly pre-existing- and our claims data tells us that if you are age 60 plus, the doctors will more likely than not discover some type of pre-existing issue.” You can buy coverage for a pre-existing issue, and you should.

If you need more, consider a medical evacuation membership. When it comes to evacuation, for example, most policies only transport you to the “nearest acceptable facility.” That may mean you have to recover in a foreign hospital. “Luckily people are getting a little more educated as to the limitations of their travel insurance evacuation coverage,” says Mike Hallman, the CEO of Medjet, which offers evacuation plans.

What you need to know about filing a medical claim when you’re sick on vacation? You can follow all of these steps and still find yourself mired in unexpected red tape. That’s because travel insurance companies have their rules — and on the other side, hospitals and medical facilities have theirs, too.

Consider what happened to Bianca Malata, a travel blogger from London, when her husband had a skiing accident in Italy.“Our experience from the accident and claiming has taught us some lessons that we didn’t expect,” she says. Her travel insurance company wanted all medical records of the accident sent to them before it could authorize any treatment.

“They had to get their medical staff to review as well as translate from Italian to English,” she recalled. “This caused lots of delays.”

In the end, Malata decided to return to the U.K. Her husband had a necessary operation there, covered by NHS.

Malata still thinks travel insurance is necessary, just in case you get sick on vacation. But like many other travelers who have needed to use their insurance, it’s important to have the right insurance.

This column originally appeared in the Washington Post.

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The Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, Box 877, Logan OH 43138, edited by Nicki Chodnoff, is published monthly.

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