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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, August 2006 Issue



Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
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ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright © 2006 
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In This Issue:
Gatlinburg, TN

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Rosen Plaza Back-to-School Special
  • Shorter Flights for Fewer Miles
  • Platinum Hotel for $129
  • Factory Tours Open to Public
  • DVT Not Caused by Flying
  • go! Special Miliary Interisland Fares
  • Bonus Rewards with Red Lion Hotels
  • $1,000 Off Viking River Holiday Cruises
  • Seniority Privileges at Historic Inns
  • Best of Barbados Is Back
  • 50% Off at Swan and Dolphin Resort
  • First-Class at Coach Prices
  • Holland America Early Advantage Discounts
  • EU Tightens Tour Bus Rules
  • Martin County 'Stay Fr.ee” Program
  • Half-Price Rooms in Montserrat
  • Gathering in Gatlinburg by Nicki Chodnoff
  • FlyAway to LAX

  • Rosen Plaza Back-to-School Special

    Before school starts, the Rosen Plaza in Orlando has a back-to-school vacation package from Aug. 9 through Sep. 11, 2006.

    The “Back-to-School Memories” package is $105 per night, plus room tax and based on availability. It features accommodations for up to two adults and two children and fr.ee transportation to Universal Studios and several other area attractions. As a bonus, book at least three nights at the special rate and you receive fr.ee breakfast buffet for two at the hotel each morning of your stay. Kids under six years old get the breakfast buffet fr.ee. Regular summer rates are up to $155 per night and don't include breakfast.

    The 800-room Rosen Plaza is minutes from Universal Studios Florida, Sea World and Walt Disney World, and 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport. Guests of the Rosen Plaza may utilize a TSA approved remote skycap service to receive airline boarding passes and check luggage directly from the hotel.

    Rosen Plaza Orlando or 800/627-8258.


    Shorter Flights for Fewer Miles

    American Airlines again offers travel for up to 40 percent fewer AAdvantage miles when booking your next award. The Short-Hop MileSAAver awards enable members to fly roundtrip on nonstop routes under 750 air miles one way within the continental United States and Canada for a reduced number of AAdvantage miles when booking award travel on the American Airlinesr web site.

    Economy Class roundtrip awards are 15,000 miles, a 10,000-mile savings.

    First or Business Class roundtrip awards are 30,000 miles, a savings of 15,000 miles.

    Short-hop MileSAAver awards are available for travel Sep. 1, 2006, through Feb. 28, 2007.

    Getting an award is subject to seat availability and capacity controls. Seats for award travel may not be available on all flights. Open jaws are not allowed for this award. Awards are valid for nonstop short-hop flights operated by American Airlines, American Eagle or AmericanConnection airlines.

    Sample short hop markets include city pairs such as: Dallas to St. Louis or Denver, Chicago to Atlanta or Toronto, Miami to Raleigh/Durham, Los Angeles to San Francisco and Boston-Washington Reagan.

    American Airlines.


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    Platinum Hotel for $129

    You can visit the new Platinum Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas, just off the Strip, without breaking the bank, as the hotel offers suite rates from $129. An added enticement, Nevada residents who book during this time receive a 25 percent discount on food and beverages, and spa treatments.

    You can stay in one of the hotel’s deluxe suites with fully furnished living rooms, kitchens, and private terraces. The 255 suite hotel offers views of the Strip and the Sunrise Mountains. All units in the 17-floor high-rise include large living rooms with sofa sleepers, fully stocked kitchens, and private terraces. Rooms include 42” wall-mounted plasma HDTVs, electric fireplaces and whirlpool baths.

    The $129 per night rate at The Platinum Hotel and Spa includes: accommodation for two in a deluxe one-bedroom suite, fr.ee use of the fitness studio, fr.ee tea and coffee in suite and fr.ee newspaper delivery.

    Prices are valid through Oct. 31, 2006 and based on availability.

    Platinum Hotel and Spa or 877/211-9211.


    Factory Tours Open to Public

    Tom's of Maine, a producer of natural personal care products, now offers tours of its Sanford, Maine production facility (27 Community Drive, Sanford, Maine). The company likes to welcome people and to show off products in its green, state-of-the-art, wind-energy powered facility. You can stop by and enjoy fr.ee samples. Kids receive a fr.ee coloring book.

    Tours are offered Monday through Thursday at 9:30, 10:30, 1:00, and 2:00, and Fridays at 9:30 and 10:30. They take around 45 minutes. The last day for 2006 tours is Friday, Sep. 1, 2006.

    Reservations are required. Call 800/367-8667 or stop by the Tom's of Maine Outlet Store in Kennebunk to make a reservation in person.

    Tours are not recommended for children under five years of age and are not handicap accessible.

    Tom's of Maine or 800/367-8667.


    DVT Not Caused by Flying

    Deep vein thrombosis, commonly known as DVT or “economy class syndrome” is not caused by cabin conditions on long-haul flights scientists in England say. The findings have important implications for people who are suing airlines for the death or suffering from DVT on long-distance flights.

    The research is part of a program sponsored by the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the UK Department for Transport, the UK Department of Health and the European Commission. Scientists state DVT can occur whenever a person sits still for many hours, and is not caused by factors unique to air travel. And it is not confined to the cramped conditions of economy or coach class air travel.

    Part of the study involved blood tests on teams of volunteers sitting for eight hours in a flight simulator at a Royal Air Force base where they were subjected to reduced cabin pressure equivalent to that at an altitude of 8,000 feet. The results of the flight simulator tests show that changes in air pressure and oxygen levels in a commercial aircraft do not have any effect on increasing the likelihood of a passenger developing DVT.

    DVT is a serious condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs, from where they may travel up to the lungs, causing breathing difficulties. In a small number of cases, the lungs collapse, leading to heart failure and death.

    The UK Department of Health (UKDOH) says that while it is difficult to be certain what the exact causes of travel-related DVT are, experts agree that lack of exercise or immobility are major underlying risks. The risk of DVT is greater in people age 40 or older, people who suffer from heart or circulation problems, or have a family history of blood clotting. DVT is more common in pregnant women or women taking the contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

    The advice to long-haul passengers is to walk around the cabin when the aircraft is cruising, bend and straighten the legs frequently while seated, do upper body and deep breathing exercises to improve circulation, and drink lots of water during long flights. Long-haul passengers are advised to avoid alcohol, which in excess leads to dehydration and immobility, and to avoid sleeping pills which also reduce mobility.

    There is no evidence blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin prevent DVT. Compression stockings may help reduce the chances of developing DVT in high-risk groups by improving blood circulation in the legs.

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


    go! Special Miliary Interisland Fares

    Hawaii's new interisland carrier go! offers reduced fares to military personnel and their spouses and dependents. Active duty personnel from every branch of the U.S. military are eligible including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as active duty members of the Reserve and National Guard.

    go! military fares are $55 one way between Honolulu and Hilo, Kona, Lihue, and Kahalui. Fares are $74 one way from Hilo to Lihue and Kahalui, Kona to Lihue and Kahalui, and Lihue to Kahalui. In addition to these discounts, go! will waive all ticket change fees for these military fares. These special military rates must be booked via the go! toll-fr.ee reservation number. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight.

    go! or 888/IFLYGO2.


    Bonus Rewards with Red Lion Hotels

    Fr.ee hotel nights add up fast with Red Lion Hotels' "Stay the Summer" promotion, where you have the opportunity to earn up to 30,000 GuestAwards bonus points.

    With Stay the Summer, you receive 5,000 GuestAwards points for your first stay, 10,000 for your second, and 15,000 for your third. Members can redeem points for stays at any Red Lion hotel in the U.S., Outrigger and OHANA Hotels & Resorts partner hotels in Hawaii, or for travel or merchandise awards.

    Stay the Summer is valid only for reservations made online at the chain’s web site for stays of two nights or more through Sep. 30, 2006. This offer may not be used with any other discount or promotion and is subject to availability.

    You must be a member of Red Lion's GuestAwards program to earn the bonus points in the Stay the Summer promotion. You can enroll online.

    Red Lion Hotels or the GuestAwards Service Center 888/606-0563.



    $1,000 Off Viking River Holiday Cruises

    Discover a less-crowded Europe during the winter when tourists are gone and cities come alive with holiday cheer.

    Viking River Cruises offers $1,000 per cabin savings ($500 per passenger) on all Danube Explorer cruises in November and December 2006. Prices start from $1,099 per person based on double occupancy and are valid on new bookings only. The price includes port charges of $84 per person. You must book by Aug. 31, 2006, and must pay in full at time of booking. The cruise price does not include airfare, air taxes/fees, or transfers. The holiday savings can only be combined with the Viking River Cruises past passenger discount.

    This seven-night cruise travels along the Danube River between Vienna and Nuremberg stopping at Melk and Linz, Austria; Passau and Regensburg, Germany, plus overnight stays in Vienna and Nuremberg.

    Viking River Cruises ships carry a maximum of 150 passengers and feature all-outside river-view cabins, each with a private bathroom, phone, TV, and individual climate control. Onboard amenities include a restaurant, lounge, sun deck, bar, and library. Included onboard meals feature regional specialties and American favorites served in a dining room with panoramic windows for maximum scenery viewing.

    Departures during the last week of November through Dec. 23, 2006, highlight Europe's traditional Christmas Markets where you can shop for one-of-a-kind handmade crafts, holiday treats and local souvenirs.

    To receive $500 off per person ($1000 per cabin), ask for Offer 09M.

    Viking River Cruises or 877/668-4546.


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    Seniority Privileges at Historic Inns

    In September, travelers 55 and older can get a 25 percent discount at the Historic Inns of Rockland, ME with its “Seniority Has Its Privileges” package.

    Starting at $460, the three night midweek (Sunday to Thursday) package includes accommodations at the Captain Lindsey House, Berry Manor Inn or LimeRock Inn; breakfast for two daily; two “Discovery Coast Museum Passports” with admission to six of Maine museums; two tickets to Captain Jack’s Lobster Adventure Cruises where you can pull lobster traps and keep your haul or the Maine State Ferry to Vinalhaven Island, the largest inhabited island in Penobscot Bay.

    Guests of Historic Inns of Rockland, ME are offered twice weekly (Mon and Thurs) guided educational tours with docents of the Maine Lighthouse Museum, a tour of Rockland’s Historic Breakwater Lighthouse guided by Ted Panayotoff, a private walking tour on Tuesday of Rockland’s Historic District with members of the historical society, Wednesday discussion groups about the town’s history presented by members of the historical society and a tour of the three premier Historic Inns of Rockland.

    The package ranges from $460 to $705 for single or double occupancy. A fourth night can be added with the same 25 percent discount.

    Historic Inns of Rockland or 866/762-4667.



    Best of Barbados Is Back

    The 2006 Best of Barbados savings amount to $800 per couple or more. The program is available for travel from the U.S. only and passports are required for travel to Barbados.

    The new package provides savings and added value, designed to make Barbados more affordable during summer and fall. Several hotels also offer fr.ee accommodations and fr.ee meals to children 12 years old and under.

    A seven night stay starts from $399 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes airfare. Details of this seven night minimum program include a $200 per person airfare credit; fr.ee breakfast daily; first night fr.ee; and a $25 meal voucher per couple for the Oistins or Moontown fish fry attractions. The savings translate to at least $800 per couple. There are more than 30 participating hotels and 17 attractions offer a 25 percent savings with the 2006 package. Prices are in US dollars.

    Additionally, visit Barbados during September and you will receive a bonus of an additional $100 air credit, bringing the total air credit to $300 per person.

    The package is available until Dec. 2, 2006 with black out dates through Aug.12, 2006.

    Barbados Tourism Authority or 800/221-9831.



    50% Off at Swan and Dolphin Resort

    This summer take advantage of value pricing at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

    With rates 50 percent off peak-season prices, this makes the Swan and Dolphin the lowest priced deluxe resort on Walt Disney World property during this period. Rates start at $159 per room, per night, valid through Oct. 7, 2006.

    The resort features five pools, the new Mandara Spa, a white sand beach, two health clubs, tennis courts, jogging trails, paddle boat rentals, 99 holes of championship golf and 36 holes of miniature golf, 17 restaurants and lounges, plus 24-hour room service. If mom and dad want adult time, kids can experience Camp Dolphin which includes dinner, Disney movies, arts & crafts, and video games.

    Ask for the SDFUN rate plan.

    Swan and Dolphin Resort or 800/227-1500.


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    First-Class at Coach Prices

    The benefits of flying first class are well known: bigger seats, getting on and off the plane faster, more leg room and food. The drawback -- the price. So, what’s the travel trick to flying first class but paying coach prices?

    In several words, it’s a special type of fare. In the industry, it’s commonly known by its code, YUPP fare. Some airlines use codes like QUPP and Z. It boils down to all the leading airlines offering a coach seat with an automatic upgrade or deeply discounted first class.

    It can save you a bundle. Consider that a full first-class fare can be double the cost of a YUPP fare. Recently, we checked a roundtrip flight from Dallas to St. Louis on American Airlines. The YUPP fare was $278, full first-class $1,730. The YUPP fare was nearly $1,500 less than a regular seat in first class.

    So the next time you want the view from the front when flying, ask your travel agent for a YUPP fare. If you buy online, search for a first-class seat. If a YUPP (or the other similar codes) is available, the fare will automatically show up as the lowest rate. You can confirm that by checking the fare class.

    In addition to sitting in the front of the plane, YUPP seats are generally fully refundable and you may get extra frequent flier miles for flying in first.



    Holland America Early Advantage Discounts

    Book a select 2007 Holland America Line cruise by Sep.15, 2006, and receive up to$1,200 off per person with special Early Advantage cruise fares. Early Advantage pricing represents 10- to 30-percent off current brochure fares and is available on more than 250 cruises departing in 2007.

    For example with Early Advantage fares, you save up to $1,200 when booking a verandah suite at $3,899 per person on the August 22, 2007, ms Rotterdam's 15-day Jewels of Europe cruise. Or up to $500 when booking an outside stateroom and $650 when booking a verandah stateroom on the July 30, 2007, ms Westerdam's 10-day Mediterranean Enchantment cruise.

    Holland America or 877/724-5425.



    EU Tightens Tour Bus Rules

    Wearing seat belts will be mandatory in all European Union member states for drivers and passengers on tourist buses and minibuses where they are fitted. The new regulations, which take effect immediately, supplement laws that require wearing seat belts in private cars.

    A European Commission study estimated that using seat belts in all passenger vehicles could save 5,500 lives each year across the EU. Currently, the compulsory wearing of seat belts applies only to vehicles under 3.5 tons. In vehicles with more than nine seats and in commercial vehicles, it was not mandatory to use seat belts when sitting in the back of vehicles. The new law makes seat belt use mandatory in all types of vehicles that are fitted with them. It also specifies that restraints suitable for children must be available and used by kids under four-feet tall in cars and in tour buses.



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    Martin County “Stay Fr.ee” Program

    Martin County, a vacation destination north of Palm Beach, FL, offers a "Stay Fr.ee Day Three" getaway package. Through Oct. 31, 2006, book a reservation for two nights and get the third night fr.ee at participating hotels, based on availability.

    Participating properties include bed and breakfast inns, studio apartments, riverside cottages, deluxe boutique hotels, motels, oceanfront condominiums, golf villas, and luxury marina and beach resorts.

    Activities within the county include fishing and boating, designer golf courses, water sports from surfing to snorkeling, eco-activities like hiking, biking and paddling, historic attractions, and some of Florida's best dune-lined beaches, all with fr.ee parking.

    As an added bonus, the new Sailfish Saver program offers discounts at local stores, restaurants and attractions.

    Martin County, FL or 877/585-0085.


    Half-Price Rooms in Montserrat

    The Vue Pointe Hotel on the Caribbean island of Montserrat is refurbishing its bar and restaurant this summer and fall. During that time, the hotel will be open to overnight guests and rooms will be half-priced, from Aug. 1 to Oct. 15, 2006.

    Rates will be $60 per night (including 20 percent taxes and service charges) for a cottage with a kitchenette. Rental jeeps from the hotel will be offered at the reduced rate of $40 per day during the construction period.

    Vue Pointe Hotel or 664/491-5210.



    Gathering in Gatlinburg - - article and photos by Nicki Chodnoff

    Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National ParkThe change seems instantaneous. No sooner do you drive past Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant at light 10 on the Parkway, then the concrete stops and the trees start. You leave behind the many shops and attractions of Gatlinburg, TN and are on your way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and some of the most enchanting scenery east of the Mississippi.

    If nature's is more appealing than Gatlinburg’s man-made attractions, the park is a must-see. The most visited of the national parks, about 11 million people visit each year, it's the only national park that doesn't charge an admission fee.

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the crest of the Great Smoky Mountains for 71 miles. Part of the Appalachian system that lies on the North Carolina-Tennessee border, the mountains are the highest range east of the Mississippi and one of the oldest on earth.

    The national park has more than 800 miles of hiking trails and maybe as many waterfalls, given its 2,000 miles of running water. These rugged mountains were once sacred to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, who called them shaconage, or "blue like smoke.” The mountains’ name still reflects the smoke-like haze that envelops them. If things look more smoky nowadays, it may be air pollution from outside the park. In less than six decades, average visibility has been reduced by 40 percent in winter and 80 percent in summer. Despite the pollution, the mist gives the mountains an aura of mystery.

    In addition to its national park designation, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also an International Biosphere Reserve because of its variety of plant and animal life. More than 90 percent of the park is forested, and a quarter of that is considered old-growth where huge trees form a dense canopy, shading the many mosses and ferns that live on the forest floor.

    Each season offers its special beauty as the park boasts 1,500 flowering plants and more tree species than Europe. Along the roads and trails, dogwood and redbud blooms show off their splashes of white and pink against the fresh spring green of newly emerged leaves in spring. Flashes of yellow, white and purple punctuate the forest floor as wild flowers such as trillium and violets awake from their winter hiatus. They are a prelude to the vibrant June blooming season for rhododendrons, mountain laurels, and azaleas.

    Scenery along quiet walkwayDespite the millions of visitors, you still get a special tingle when you gazed from Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the park at 6,642 feet above sea level or the dramatic overlook at Newfound Gap at 5,048 feet. In all directions, you’ll see acres upon dark mysterious acres uninterrupted by highways and hills rippling in blue and gray pleats.

    To get your bearings, start a park visit at Sugarlands Visitor Center where a video explains the park’s and region’s history. The central theme of the video presentation is the park’s protected wilderness. The narrator informs there are “No buildings, no neon signs, no chain saws or motor vehicles." If that isn’t enough, there is also information on programs and activities and displays of plants and animals found in the park such as wild turkey, white-tail deer, red spruce and deciduous beech.

    Park Ranger Tim Cruze said 95 percent of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains stray little from their vehicles. Most stick to the small number of paved roads. Many see the park through the window of one of the hundreds of tour buses that come to the park. Though you may encounter traffic and crowds, you can see much of what the park offers from your car. Along the main mountain roads and scenic drives you can spot wildflowers, flowering trees, mountain vistas, historic buildings and spectacular fall foliage.

    historic building at the parkNewfound Gap Road (U.S. 441), the main road across the mountains, doubles as a scenic drive. Other park roads such as Cherokee Orchard Road and Laurel Creek Canyon Road link you to the park’s nature and self-guided trails where abandoned buildings unexpectedly appear. The fragile buildings barely seem to hold their own against the encroaching forest that devoured most of the once-open fields.

    Some of the finest examples of meticulously restored pioneer cabins, farm buildings, mills and churches are found at Cades Cove, a valley of open fields circled by mountains. The families that used those structures were bought out to create the park. An 11-mile loop with winding, steep and narrow portions, circles the cove. Special “bicycle and pedestrian only” hours are scheduled on the loop during the summer.

    If you seek solitude, ditch your ride and backpack into what some call the greatest wilderness in the eastern United States. According to Ranger Tim, the most popular activities in the park are hiking and sightseeing. Though the park sprawls for 800 square miles, most of it is inaccessible by car or truck. Away from people and cars, it’s easy to imagine how this country looked before European settlers arrived.

    For the less adventurous, nature and solitude are as close as pulling off the highway at one of the “quiet walkways.” With parking for only a few vehicles, you can walk along a trail and see waterfalls, rapids, streams, wild flowers, and mostly importantly, barely any visitors.

    artwork along Arts & Crafts loop, GatlinburgAfter a park visit, Gatlinburg, a town of 3,700 people surrounded by forests, meadows and misty blue peaks, provides some diversion. A creek even snakes around River Street, close to tourist attractions on the Parkway, the main drag through town that leads to the park. Each traffic light along the Parkway is consecutively numbered. Locals and brochures reference traffic light numbers in directions, such as, "go to traffic light four and make a right." The simple system makes it easy to get around.

    In spring, before the summer onslaught of tourists, traffic on the Parkway was as slow as mid-town Manhattan during rush hour. Taking the Gatlinburg trolley is an easy way to get around town and the national park as the trolley stops at more than 100 locations. Around town routes are .50 cents. You can also hop on the trolley and visit Gatlinburg's nearby community of artisans and shops for just $1 (April through December). The $1 fare provides unlimited trolley access along the route. The national park route, $2 roundtrip June through October, includes stops at Sugarlands Visitor Center, Laurel Falls parking area and Elkmont campground. The fare is $1 each way for the Dollywood/Pigeon Forge trolley. Exact change is required for all trolley rides.

    Gatlinburg is a study in contrasts. Almost like the midway at a perpetual state fair,crawling along the Parkway you’ll pass a wedding chapel, Mr. Tablecloth, the Mountain Mall, the Donut Friar, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, and the Guinness World Records Museum. There seems to be an endless supply of miniature golf courses, t-shirt shops, game arcades and tattoo parlors. Yet among this collection of kitschy attractions, you can find a gem like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and collector-quality crafts.

    For an overview, the Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Space Needle give you lofty views of town and the mountains. The sky lift glides over the Little Pigeon River and then climbs to the 1,800 feet overlook. The Space Needle is a 1970 landmark with an elevator that slowly inches its way 342 feet up for an open-air, 360-degree view. At street level, there’s an arcade with the ususal games plus pool tables, laser tag and air hockey.

    Not much publicity is given to the area's Appalachian arts and crafts, yet there is enough to satisfy the most picky collectors. North of the Parkway, along Glades and Buckhorn Roads, there’s an eight-mile driving loop with the studios and workshops of 80-some artists and craftspeople. In addition to that crafts community, the Arrowcraft Shop on the Parkway, features the work of well-known Tennessee artists, weavers, jewelry-makers, stained-glass experts and potters.

    Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies is a surprising find. The most impressive part is their moving walkway which slowly shuttles you through the world’s longest underwater aquarium tunnel. During the trip, you’re surrounded by 12-foot sharks, moray eels, stingrays and other sea life swimming above and beside you. At several points, you can step off the walkway to spend more time at a select spot. Other attractions include piranhas in a rain forest, a place to hold a horseshoe crab or touch a sting ray and watch the hourly dive shows.

    Sweet Fanny Adams Theater is hokey and silly, but you can’t stop laughing. The area’s only alternative to country shows will show you a good time. It's original shows are quick-witted, funny, heavy in audience participation and filled with the silliest of slapstick. Two new original comedy shows are presented on alternating nights throughout the season.

    For more information about Gatlingburg, TN, contact the Department of Tourism & Convention Center, 800/568-4748 or Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 423/436-1200.



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    FlyAway to LAX

    LA's answer for busy travelers, the Union Station FlyAway bus service that connects downtown Union Station to the city's main airport, LAX. The service is four month’s old and rider-ship keeps increasing.

    Because the bus uses high-occupancy-vehicle lanes, the FlyAway shuttle takes about 40 minutes during peak traffic periods to travel nonstop between LAX and Union Station. It picks up incoming, downtown-bound travelers on the arrival level and drops off departing travelers and their luggage to the appropriate terminals. The 20-mile ride costs $3 each way for adults, $2 each way for children ages 2 to 12.

    Union Station’s transit hub connects with bus, subway and rail links so travelers can reach destinations throughout Southern California or take these links to reach LAX. FlyAway buses leave from Berth 9 at Union Station East Portal/Patsaouras Transit Plaza. Buses leave Union Station or LAX every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. and every hour on the hour from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Parking at Union Station is available at the Gateway Center Garage at $6 for 24 hours with a 30-day limit.

    The FlyAway service is also available in the San Fernando Valley departing from Van Nuys. The FlyAway Bus Terminal is located at 7610 Woodley Ave. Parking at the terminal is $4 per day with a 30-day limit.

    Los Angeles World Airports.



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    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 offers short term central London rentals with more than 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.

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    Herd ostrich, ride horses or gather eggs -- at a family farm in Pennsylvania, the relaxing alternative to a camping vacation. The 25 family farms roll out the red carpet for families and are found in all corners of the state. Pennsylvania Farm Vacation Association or 888/856-6622.

    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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