If your email reader cannot read HTML, please go to http://tsanews.fateback.com or http://archives.zinester.com/83455 to view this newsletter. Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter
Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, August 2004 Issue


Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
http://tsanews.fateback.com
travelalerts@wowmail.com
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright © 2004 
All Rights Reserved.
Start Thinking Wholesale for the Holidays
Treat special someone to the newest rage in jewelry -- Drusy Quartz. Of course, at wholesale prices. Thousand of crystalline facets that reflect light in all directions, make Drusy quartz so special. Our spectacular designer Drusy heart, will turn heads. The 15 x 12 mm platinum-coated heart slider hangs on an ultra-chic 18" long rubber cord necklace. High-style boutiques and jewelers charge $500 or more for this glam piece. It's yours for only $125 plus $8 shipping & insurance. Click here to order.


In This Issue:
Nant Gwrtheyrn

  • Fourth Night Free
  • Southwest Savings to Las Vegas, Orlando
  • Save 30% on Rail Travel Between France/Italy
  • Pan Pacific Bangkok Summer Package
  • Travel Discounts for Kroger Customers
  • American/HPshopping.com Sweepstakes
  • 50% off at New Sandals Resort
  • Emergency Light Blanket May Save Lives
  • Hit the Road Without Breaking the Bank
  • Light-Rail Launches in Minneapolis
  • Sonesta St. Maarten 2-for-1
  • Las Vegas Monorail
  • Grand Teton 75th Anniversary Discount
  • Intro Rates on bmi Vegas-Manchester Service
  • Wandering Wales by Nicki Chodnoff
  • Southwest Systemwide Sale

  • Fourth Night Free at Concorde's Paris Properties

    All of Concorde Hotels' seven Paris hotels offer a free fourth night when you pay for three, until Sep. 30. This is one of many special promotions -- including rates guaranteed in US dollars -- currently available from the Concorde Group's 90-plus hotels around the world.

    The seven Paris properties offering the free fourth night include the Hotel de Crillon on Place de la Concorde, the Art Deco Hotel Lutetia on the Left Bank, the boutique Hotel du Louvre next to the famous museum, the Hotel Ambassador, the Hotel Saint-Lazare with lobby designed by Gustave Eiffel, the modern Concorde LaFayette at the Paris Convention Center, and the chateau near Charles de Gaulle airport, the Hotel Mont Royale.

    The free fourth night promotion is for a superior room in all the hotels, except the Concorde LaFayette, which offers an executive room. The promotional rate for each paid night (with 4th night free) is priced in Euros. Below are approximate US dollar equivalents (subject to change due to currency exchange. Hotel Mont Royal 240 Euros ($295 US), Hotel Concorde LaFayette 245 Euros ($301.25 US), Hotel Ambassador 265 Euros ($325.84 US), Hotel Saint-Lazare 265 Euros ($325.84 US), Hotel Lutetia 290 Euros ($356.54US), Hotel du Louvre 350 Euros ($430.30 US), Hotel de Crillon 655 Euros ($805.39 US).

    Earlier this year Concorde Group announced low rates, guaranteed in US dollars through Dec. 31, 2004 at 35 hotels across the world. Many of these rates offer 30 percent savings over published rates. Six of the Paris Concorde hotels offer the US dollar guaranteed rates.

    In addition to the fourth night free in Paris and US dollar guaranteed rates, other Concorde hotels offer seasonal specials, such as: four nights for price of three in Stockholm (First Hotel Reisen or Amaranten), Oslo (First Hotel Millennium) and Bergen, Norway (First Hotel Marin)

    Weekend specials in London (Westbury and Royal Lancaster)

    Second room free with one paid at the Hotel Saint Lazare in Paris

    Two night special rate in Dublin (Brooks Hotel)

    Free admission to Barcelona's "Forum 2004" event, free half-day use of Mercedes smart car, starting at 123 Euros per night in Barcelona (Derby and Claris)

    33 percent discount in Tokyo (Cerulean Tower)

    All special offers are subject to availability.

    Concorde Hotel Group or 800/888-4747.


    Southwest Savings to Vegas, Orlando -- HURRY BOOK BY AUG 12

    Southwest Airlines Vacations offers low prices on packages to Las Vegas and Orlando. Reduced package prices are available on bookings made by Aug. 12, 2004 for travel Aug. 16 through Nov. 16, 2004.

    Packages include roundtrip airfare via Southwest Airlines, hotel accommodations at a variety of differently priced hotels, Rapid Rewards credit (Southwest’s frequent flyer program), and 24-hour traveler assistance. Optional features can be added, including ground transportation, travel protection plans, attraction passes, and more. Seats are limited and may not be available on flights that operate during peak travel times and holiday periods

    Sample two-night prices are per person, based on double occupancy for Monday and Tuesday departures to Las Vegas and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday departures to Orlando.

    Las Vegas from Los Angles from $69 at the Westward to $184 at the Mirage; from Providence $229 at the Westward to $339 at the Mirage; Chicago (Midway) $234 at the Westward to $344 at the Mirage.

    Orlando from Houston $179 at the Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista to $264 at the Caribe Royale Resort Suites; from Kansas City $199 at the Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista to $284 at the Caribe Royale Resort Suites. Reduced prices are available on Walt Disney World Resort packages.

    Southwest Airlines Vacations or 866/411-2763.


    Advertisement
    We Still Have Tinsel Chains Below Wholesale
    A wholesale client just declared bankruptcy and we’re down to 4,000 16-inch sterling silver tinsel-style chains.

    We must liquidate the 1.3mm wide chains that retail around $49 and wholesale for $20. Now you can buy these chains below wholesale: $9.99 per chain -- when you purchase 2 or more chains, plus shipping and handling. Click here to order.
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    Save 30% on Rail Travel Between France/Italy

    Rail Europe offers a summer special where you can save up to 30 percent on first class fares on fast Artesia trains between France and Italy. Running during the day Monday through Thursday, Artesia trains link Paris, Lyon, Chambery, Modane and St. Jean de Maurienne in France to Turin, Milan and intermediary cities in northern Italy.

    The Artesia Summer Special may be booked through Sep. 5, 2004, for travel until Sep. 6, and should be purchased before leaving North America. The promotional fare varies depending on the departure and arrival city. From Paris to any designated Italian city, the fare in first class is $113, compared to the regular first class fare of $157. From Lyon, the first class promotional fare to Turin and nearby cities is $57 compared to the normal fare of $82, and from Lyon to Milan and nearby cities is $69, compared to $100.

    Rail Europe or 888/382-7245 in US, 800/361-7245 in Canada.


    Pan Pacific Bangkok Summer Package

    Through Sep. 30, 2004, the Pan Pacific Bangkok Summer Vacation package offers rates from $138 a night for a single superior room to $168 a night for a double deluxe room. The offer is for a minimum two night consecutive stay. The package includes free daily buffet breakfast, free meal voucher, laundry service, free welcome drink and fruit basket, discount coupons for the spa and health club, free use of fitness facilities and sauna, late checkout, and fifth night free (room only) when you stay four consecutive nights.

    Additionally, Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts offer American Express card members 50 percent off published rates and a free third-night when you book and pay for a two-night stay with an American Express Card.

    Available at most of Pan Pacific's hotels and resorts in Asia, North America and the Pacific, the offer is valid through Sep. 30, 2004, when you use your American Express Card to book and pay. The offer is subject to availability and does not include local taxes and service charges. For Palau Pacific Resort, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows and Pan Pacific Singapore, the fifth night is free after a stay of four nights or more.

    Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts or 800/327-8585.


    Travel Discounts for Kroger Plus Card Customers

    The Kroger Company and the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism offer Ohio travel discounts via the Kroger Plus Card program in Ohio, Michigan, and parts of West Virginia.

    Through this partnership, card members can take advantage of discounts at attractions including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, select Ohio State Park Resorts, 20 Ohio Historical Society sites, hotels, restaurants, museums, amusement parks and more.

    An online link lists travel savings around the state. Each entity has a specific offer tied to this program. To receive the savings, present your Kroger Plus Card at the point of purchase or entry or mention the discount while making a reservation.

    To utilize the new program, go to Discover Ohio, click on the "Packages, Special & Coupons" icon or 800/BUCKEYE.

    Advertisement
    Face-It Luggage Tags -- Your Face on Your Luggage
    There's no mistaking your luggage with the NEW 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
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    American Airlines/HPshopping.com Sweepstakes

    Through Aug. 15, 2004, you can enter to win up to 50,000 American Airlines Aadvantage bonus miles in the "Who, What, Where and Win" sweepstakes. Everyone is a winner. If you don't win a prize, you will automatically receive a coupon for $10 off any item over $100 at http://www.hpshopping.com .

    Seven winner will receive 50,000 bonus miles, two winners will receive American Airlines Vacation $1,000 gift certificates, 15 winners will receive HP Pavilion notebooks, 35 winners will receive HP photo printers, HP digital cameras, or HP iPAQ pocket PCs.

    You can register for the sweepstakes online. You can receive an additional entry by forwarding the contest details to family or friends. The total number of sweepstakes entries allowed per person is two.

    No purchase is necessary to enter. The promotion is open to individuals legally residing in the United States who are at least eighteen 18 years of age at the time of entry and are members of the AAdvantage program. Winners will receive their prizes approximately 8 to 10 weeks after the conclusion of this instant-win game.

    "Who, What, Where and Win" sweepstakes


    50% off at New Sandals Resort

    Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa is giving couples a opportunity to be among the first to discover this brand new resort in Jamaica's South Coast, with an introductory half-off sale.

    Book three nights or more in any room or suite category, and receive 50 percent off rack rates (published rates). This opportunity is available from the resort's February opening until further notice.

    Set on 50 acres of wooded headland between Bannister and Parker's Bay in the parish of Westmoreland, Sandals Whitehouse is the first resort development in the South Coast region of Jamaica. The resort lies on a half mile of private white-sand beach with views of the Caribbean Sea from each of the resort's 360 rooms. A collection of three European villages - distinctly themed Dutch, Italian and French, the resort centers on a traditional piazza surrounded by greenery and landscaped courtyards.

    Sandals Whitehouse has a full-service European spa and will offer seven gourmet restaurants including, Italian, Caribbean, Asian, Tex-Mex, International Buffet and a European Patisserie. The new resort will also offer a three level amphitheatre and four large swimming pools.

    Sandals Resorts or 800/726-3257.


    Emergency Light Blanket May Save Lives

    ASAR Group, Incorporated will test market the EmergencyLight Blanket (ELB). The ELB was inspired by a tragedy that happened on I-80 west of Omaha, Pepper Aasgaard explained at the Minnesota Inventors Congress (MIC) banquet. "A man out with his family had a flat tire one night. He was pulled underneath a passing truck because the driver couldn't see him."

    An Emergency Light Blanket, a large, reflective piece of durable cloth about five-feet wide, may prevent such tragedies. The ELB is imprinted with reflective arrows and high intensity, low energy LED lights that run on either a 9-volt battery or the vehicle's electrical system. If a car breaks down, or is involved in an accident, the driver or emergency attendant can fold out the blanket, attach it to the vehicle and activate it in less than a minute. The ELB is visible for up to three miles.

    Currently the only protection a motorist has is the vehicle's four way flashers that burn up their battery, the notoriously unseen triangles used by trucking industry, or red flares that burn out quickly. The ELB can run for days on a 12-volt vehicle electrical system. Features include eyelets, for bungee cables and quick magnetic tie downs. The blanket folds into a space less than 12 inches square by four inches.

    Click here for more information.

    Advertisement
    Live Among the Locals
    Forget about staying in a boring hotel. Live among the locals in a house or flat. Coach House London Vacation Rentals is the leading specialist in short term central London rentals. We represent over 60 properties that sleep from 2 to 12 people. Each rental comes with a neighborhood guide, breakfast provisions for the first day or two of your stay, a telephone help line, and what to do and see. Coach House London Vacation Rentals.


    Hit the Road Without Breaking the Bank

    Summer is here, but the high price of gas, even for a short road trip can leave drivers feeling a lot lighter in the wallet.

    Before you fill up your tank, turn to the free MSN service that makes it easy to find less expensive gas in your area. The customized service analyzes prices at 30,000 gas stations daily. All you need to do is type in your ZIP code. MSN will tell you less expensive places to fill up.

    The gas prices feature can be found under the My Car section of MSN Autos, which also offers traffic reports and maintenance information and oil change reminders.

    With gas prices around $2 a gallon, the savings can be significant. Several weeks ago, gas in Los Angeles ranged from $2.25 per gallon to $2.70 per gallon. Owners of a sport utility vehicle with a 25-gallon gas tank could save more than $11 if they knew which station to visit.

    MSN Autos.



    Light-Rail Launches in Minneapolis

    The first phase of the Twin Cities' new Hiawatha light-rail service began running from the Warehouse District to Fort Snelling. Fares range from $1.25 to $2.50 depending if you ride during rush hour or take an express train. Construction on the $715 million project began in Jan. 2001. When completed, the 12-mile-long light-rail will connect downtown Minneapolis with the Mall of America in Bloomington and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Service to the airport and the Mall of America is expected to launch in December.

    In the meantime, for $6, you can enjoy 24 hours of bus touring with the Day Pass. It's good for unlimited bus rides anywhere on Metro Transit, the bus system of the Twin Cities. It offers fast, frequent service to both downtowns, the Mall of America and hundreds of other popular attractions.

    The Day Pass is easy to use. Insert it in the card reader on the farebox as you board any Metro Transit bus. It's valid for 24 hours from your first use. The Day Pass is available at the Greater Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association 33 S. 6th St. in downtown Minneapolis 888/676-MPLS; Explore Minnesota N129 N. Garden in the Mall of America, 612/853-0182.

    Click here to buy your Day Pass online.


    Sonesta St. Maarten 2-for-1

    The newly-flagged Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino St. Maarten offers two guestrooms for the price of one through Dec. 18, 2004. Rates during this period start at $190 per night. Details for this offer include:

    Two rooms for the price of one when booked by Sep. 1, 2004 for travel by Dec. 18, 2004. Both rooms must have the same arrival and departure dates. The offer does not apply to other packages or promotions and is subject to availability.

    The 10-acre, 534-room beachfront property is located on the island's southwest shore and features a casino and adjacent showroom; a nightclub; two outdoor pools and beach; three restaurants; a promenade of 40 boutique shops; four tennis courts; a full-service spa and fitness center; and 59,000 square feet of meeting space.

    Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino or 800/766-3782.


    Advertisement
    Protect Luggage with Baggage Guard Seals

    The pre- numbered, one-time use plastic padlocks are the perfect way to protect your 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.


    Las Vegas Monorail

    The Las Vegas Monorail was launched July 15. The privately funded $650 million transportation system will run along the Las Vegas resort corridor and connect nine major resort properties and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    The initial four-mile route will stop at the following seven stations: MGM Grand; Bally's/Paris; Flamingo/Caesars Palace; Harrah's/Imperial Palace; Las Vegas Convention Center; Las Vegas Hilton; and the Sahara. These properties represent more than 25,000 hotel rooms and approximately 4.4 million square feet of meeting and convention space.

    For the first 60 days, the Las Vegas Monorail will operate daily from 8 a.m. to midnight. The cost to ride the system is $3 each way, or less. Daily, multi-day and multi-ride passes will be available for purchase. After the first 60 days, the monorail will operate daily from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

    Las Vegas Monorail Company or 702/699-8200.


    Grand Teton 75th Anniversary Discount

    Grand Teton Lodge Company concludes Grand Teton National Park's 75th season with its Jackson Lake Lodge 75th Anniversary Special featuring a savings of 38 percent off the regular price of the package components.

    The 75th Anniversary Special is available Sep. 5 through October 5, 2004. The package is based on double occupancy and includes one night in a Jackson Lake lodge cabin, breakfast in the Mural dining room and an interpretive motorcoach tour of Grand Teton National Park. The package is priced at $75 per person per night.

    The anniversary special is subject to room availability, is not available to groups and is only valid for new bookings.

    The federal government established Grand Teton National Park in 1929 when it set aside 96,000 acres of Wyoming's Teton Range and six glacial lakes at the foot of the mountains as a national park. In 1943, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used presidential proclamation to establish the Jackson Hole National Monument, comprised of the valley immediately to the east of the magnificent range. The 310,000-acre park as we know it today is the result of combining the monument, park and thousands of acres purchased and donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

    Grand Teton Lodge Company or 800/628-9988. Ask for the 75th Anniversary Special.


    Intro Rates on bmi Vegas-Manchester Service

    HURRY BOOK BY AUG. 19 -- bmi, the UK's second largest full service scheduled airline, will start flying from Las Vegas to Manchester, England on Oct. 31, 2004. The $499 introductory economy fare is valid for travel to Manchester and London Heathrow (via Manchester) Oct. 31 through Dec. 16, 2004. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 19 and require a 14-day advance purchase. Taxes and fees are not included. This non-refundable fare requires a Saturday overnight stay but changes may be made after departure for $150.

    The new service will operate three times a week --Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Flights are timed to make connections on bmi to London Heathrow and the Scottish cities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    The transatlantic service on a 244-passenger Airbus A330 aircraft provides three classes of service (business, new economy and economy) with state-of-the-art video equipment in individual seat back screens featuring 16 audio and 20 video channels and Nintendo and PC games.

    As a member of Star Alliance, bmi passengers can earn miles on any Star Alliance member frequent flyer programs when flying bmi.

    bmi or 800/788-0555.


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

    Wandering Wales
    Photos and Article by Nicki Chodnoff

    As we walked on the Barmouth Bridge over the River Mawddach, at the point it pours into the Irish Sea, gray, threatening clouds paired with a stiff, howling wind. The ground was wet from a night of gale-force winds and pounding rain that rattled my windows at the Bae Abermaw Inn. The looming hills and snaking river were shrouded in mist and fog. Looking at this landscape, it’s easy to understand how the myths and legends developed in the magical and mystical land of northern Wales.

    The Welsh say if you don’t like the weather, wait a couple of minutes and it will likely change. How true. During our walk, rays of sunshine pierced the clouds like a sword bathing the land and water beneath with an iridescent light. Later that morning, the low-lying clouds gave way to bright blue skies.

    England's often forgotten neighbor to the west is a land of untamed beauty and extraordinary scenery. And like the weather, the scenery can change from one minute to the next. Few countries have so much stunningly beautiful scenery in so small an area, about 170 miles long and 60 miles wide -- the size of Massachusetts.

    Bordered by the sea on three sides and sharing a border with England on the fourth, many think Wales a region of England. But it is a nation of distinct character and identity, managing to hold onto its singular culture, history and unique language.

    Shattering the notion that Wales is mostly run-down coal mines, we found the rugged countryside and profusion of medieval castles as the main attraction, particularly in the midlands and northern Wales. There are more castles, both ruined and still occupied, per square mile than anywhere else in Europe.

    Driving may be slow in the north because it is mostly mountainous with many meandering roads. There is much glorious scenery to take in -- mountains, waterfalls, narrow river valleys, rocky streams, forests, lakes, rolling pasture lands, castles and pretty little villages. You’ll likely pass lichen covered dry stone walls, stone cottages with doors trimmed in roses, country inns bent with age, placid lakes and fishermen knee-deep in rushing water. What may be the epicenter of the mountainous north, with its rugged and sometimes stark, scrubby hillsides etched with bracken, is Snowdonia National Park. Created in 1951 when 840 square miles were set aside, it was a well-loved destination for outdoors and nature enthusiasts long before it became a national park.

    For certain, the best way to travel is to rent a car so you can enjoy the countryside. Welsh words seem unpronounceable and almost voweless. Thankfully, road signs are in Welsh and English. Although the midlands and northern Wales is the heart of the Welsh language, everyone speaks English.

    Another way to see the countryside is riding one of the Great Little Trains of Wales, narrow-gauge steam trains that once hauled slate now carry tourists. On the hour-long ride on the compact Ffestiniog Railway, our train scraped through the forest and up dozens of ridges at an average speed of less than 13 miles an hour. The one-way trip was long enough to fill your nose with the scent of steam and your ears with the continuous click-a-clack sound of the locomotive. The line traverses a manageable 1% incline on its 13-mile trek from the sea at Porthmadog to 710 feet high at Blaenau Ffestiniog. There are steep uphill sections where the tiny engines are tested. The leisurely pace on an antique vehicle with polished paintwork and brass, allowed the splendid scenery to change often and suddenly.

    Some villages get their share of tourists, especially Conwy with its massive late-13th-century castle with eight huge towers. It was constructed by English King Edward I as part of his iron necklace of fortresses designed to intimidate the Welsh into submission. As impressive as the castle is the well-preserved wall, fortified with 21 towers and three gateways, that encircles almost the entire town. The town’s understated bow to tourism is supposedly the smallest house in Britain. It is barely 9 feet high and 6 feet wide. During the main tourist season, a woman dressed in traditional Welsh garb greets visitors.

    Thankfully, the villages on the beaten path haven’t become t-shirt and tacky souvenir meccas. Souvenirs are mostly limited to handicrafts, love spoons (originally carved by young Welsh men and offered to the girl he loved as a token of affection) and goods with red fire-breathing dragons, the symbol of Wales.

    In a blink of an eye, stark hills become pleasant, rolling pastureland dotted with fluffy sheep. Their backs are swabbed with colored dye to distinguish them from neighboring flocks. In mid- and northern Wales, sheep outnumber people nearly two to one. It seems natural that there be an attraction devoted to sheep. Ewe-phoria Agri Theatre and Sheepdog Centre fills that gap and provides an insight into the life of sheep, shepherd and sheepdogs. Based at International Sheepdog Trials Champion Aled Owen's farm, visitors can watch sheepdog and sheep shearing demonstrations. At the indoor Ram Parade sheep show, the audience learns about the different breeds of sheep. Maybe the stars of the show know this gig is keeping them off the dinner plate. On cue, each breed trots on stage and takes its appointed spot as the host explains about that breed. In the sheep dog trials, it’s amazing to watch dogs obey verbal and hand commands to sit, stand, or bring back a stray. The most exciting part of the show is watching the dogs move a flock of sheep from one end of the field to the other or to another pasture. If you visit coincides with the right season, you can watch sheep shearing and meet the lambs and puppies.

    From green pastureland, you can enter a gray industrial world, where row-upon-row of buildings, sidewalks and tombstones are made from gray slate. Wales supplied slate to the world and the evidence still remains. Mountains of slate waste are piled high around mining towns near the abandoned and few operating mines. Llechwedd Slate Caverns still quenches the world’s thirst for slate roof tiles. Now machines rather than men, do most of the work. As a reminder of what was, a tram-way takes visitors on a half-mile section of an 1846 tunnel to learn how slate was mined. A deep mine tour takes visitors 450 ft. beneath the summit of a mountain

    Yesteryear’s slate wastes are being reinvented. Built on a former slate quarry, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), in Machynlleth, is a 40 acre site with working displays of environmentally sound practices. High on a ridge, wind mills turn breezes into kilowatts. Photovoltaic roof panels harness the energy from even cloudy skies into electricity. More than 75,000 visitors a year learn about sustainable living through the displays and staff who live on this innovative site. Open all year, CAT, provides a diverse example of sustainable living, generating its own electricity from renewable sources. There are educational facilities for children to include displays, adventure playground, theater, video kaleidoscope, farmyard animals and a chance to journey underground with Megan the Mole.

    Another mine reformation happened in Nant Gwrtheyrn, a picturesque village on the Llyn Peninsula. The remote village, with the Eifl mountain at its back and the sea stretching out towards Angelsey with Ireland in view on a clear day, has been the home of the National Language and Heritage Centre since 1978. At the end of a steep zig-zag road through the woods to a hollow, you enter the National Language and Heritage Centre with an information center and museum in the former co-op, two rows of restored cottages and a few other buildings on the property. Along the precipitous way down, cliff footpath paths lead past quarry remains now colonized by ferns and wild flowers. At the National Language and Heritage Centre, you can study the Welsh language or culture in two- to 12-day courses where you can stay in the restored cottages and take meals in the onsite-cafe.

    One of the prettiest villages is Beddgelert, perfectly positioned in the foothills of Mount Snowdon, Britain's highest mountain outside Scotland, where two rivers and three valleys meet. Postcard-perfect fieldstone and slate homes and shops line streets with views of the river that runs through it. Beddgelert is full of charming places to duck into to enjoy tea and scones in cozy surroundings and shops that offer handicrafts.

    British writer Bill Bryson called the ornate, Italianate-style village of Portmeirion "the most magical and ambitious folly built in the past 100 years, if not more." Created by Sir Clough Williams Ellis in the 1920s, Portmeirion was used as the set for the 1960's TV series, The Prisoner.

    Set on a beautiful peninsula with towering cliffs, sandy bays and lush vegetation, the core of the village is a graceful piazza enhanced by fountains and formal gardens, sculptures and colorful buildings. Over time Portmeirion became a refuge for abandoned buildings, pavilions and statues. Somehow all blend artfully into the overall scene.

    During the crowded summer season day visitors come for an hour or so, look at the shops, have a bite to eat and move on. The village has several stores, including one selling Portmeirion china seconds at reduced prices. Day visitors must leave by 5 p.m. To get a sense of Portmeirion, you need to stay overnight and experience the gardens at the first light of day, see the profusion of rhododendrons or walk along the footpath to secluded beaches and princely views.

    The beautiful neo-classical National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth sits atop a hill with a fine view of town and sea. The library was a direct consequence of the flowering of Welsh national consciousness during the second half of the 19th century and to this day provides an invaluable insight into Welsh culture - past and present. For visitors not on a genealogy quest, the library’s permanent exhibition, “A Nation's Heritage,” is home to some of Wales' most precious collections of newspapers, maps, paintings, prints, photographs, films, videos and sound recordings. Art exhibitions by Welsh and foreign artists are shown continuously and are also free to the public. As Wales' only copyright library, the facility is an invaluable source for researching Welsh genealogy and ancestors.

    A trip to Wales need not break your budget. Air carrier bmi expands its “Wale of a Deal” package through March 31, 2005. For the price of roundtrip airfare in their “new economy section,” the package includes six nights at a choice of 14 Welsh Rarebits hotels and one week’s car rental (automatic transmission with unlimited mileage). The price starts from $1,599 to Manchester, England from Chicago or Washington, D.C. The package is available from 17 other gateway cities for $1,999 or $2,099. To book the “Wale of a Deal” offer, call Undiscovered Britain and Ireland 866/508-8804.

    For more information, click here to contact the Wales Tourist Board or info@visitwales.com.



    Southwest Systemwide Sale

    HURRY, BOOK BY AUG. 5 -- Southwest Airlines’ systemwide sale is good for travel Aug. 16 through Oct. 29, 2004. Florida fares are valid for travel through Sep. 30, 2004. Internet-only prices range from $39 to $99 one-way and can be purchased separately or in combination. Fares are available seven days a week. Tickets must be purchased at least 14 days in advance and no later than Aug. 5.

    Sample one-way fares: $39 between Burbank and Oakland, Nashville and Ft. Lauderdale, Baltimore/Washington and Long Island/Islip.

    $49 one-way fares between Albany and Jacksonville, Hartford and Orlando, Providence and West Palm Beach.

    $59 one-way fares between Seattle/Tacoma and Oakland, Detroit and Tampa Bay, and Cleveland and Ft. Lauderdale.

    $79 one-way fares between Albuquerque and Tampa Bay, Spokane and Burbank, and Seattle and Phoenix.

    Southwest Airlines.



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    Gambler's General Store -- The world's largest gambling superstore with slots, video poker, dice, craps, roulette, books, software and more. Gambler's General Store or 800/322-CHIP.

    Go Boston Card -- free admission to 25 top attractions, 2-day hop-on, hop-off trolley pass, $700 in discounts at shops and restaurants, free gifts, and a 132 page full-color pocket guidebook. www.GoBostonCard.com

    154th Fryeburg Fair Oct 3 - 10 - Visit Maine's largest fair during foliage time. Craft demonstrations, harness racing, nightly big-name entertainment. Fryeburg Fair.

    FREE GARNET Necklace & Bracelet -- Direct from a famous jewelry workshop. While supplies last. Limit 4 necklaces and 4 bracelets per person. ACT RIGHT NOW. click here to order.

    DINNER AT 35,000 FEET What meals will you get on your flight? Get behind the scenes at airline catering. Preview first- and business-class menus and see pictures of actual airline meals, photographed and contributed by passengers. More than 330 airlines represented. Learn what your meals will probably be.

    RVShark, the online recreational vehicle publication, features raw reviews of RV parks based on real RVers' experiences. RVShark includes RV for sale listings and an RV parks for sale section. RVShark is available free of charge.


    Information & Credits

    The Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, P.O. Box 91033, Columbus OH 43209, edited by Nicki Chodnoff, is published monthly.

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