Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, August 2009 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2009
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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Sterling Silver Circle Pendent
The 30 mm sterling circle pendent is nearly 1 1/4 inch wide with a pave finish to make it look like small diamonds line the circle. The back of the pendent is clad in yellow 18K yellow gold overlay while the front remains silver. The necklace is finished off with an 18-inch sterling silver box-like chain clad in the same 18K yellow gold overlay. Comes in a black faux-leather gift box.
Priced at $75. Our price $24.95.
Order quickly from AAA Jewelry Outlet so you won't be disappointed. Quantities are very limited. Click here to order.
|In This Issue: |
Falconry at Werfen Castle, Austria
|The Aer Lingus Vacation Store has an Ireland Vacation sale featuring four top sellers priced from $299. Most of the package are available for other dates and from other gateway cities for higher rates.
The Fly Drive package can work for a getaway or heading back to the homeland. For $299 per person on select dates from Nov. 1, 2009 to Mar. 31, 2010, you get roundtrip airfare to Ireland from New York and a standard three-door economy car rental for the week.
The Dublin City package is priced from $399 per person. It includes four nights’ hotel accommodation at the Regency Hotel, roundtrip airfare and breakfast daily. This rate is for travel from New York Nov. 1, 2009 to Mar. 31, 2010.
The Ireland Resort package is a good for families or a group of friends. It includes six nights in a three-bedroom villa at Adare Manor, roundtrip airfare, and a manual car rental for a week. Based on four people sharing the villa, the package is priced from $499 per person from New York for travel Nov. 1, 2009 to Feb. 14, 2010.
The Affordable Luxury package includes six nights in a suite at the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, roundtrip airfare, a manual shift car rental and a fr.ee pint of Guinness at the hotel's bar. This package is priced from $699 per person based on double occupancy for travel Nov. 1, 2009 to Mar. 31, 2010.
Aer Lingus Vacation Store or 800/495-1632.
Microsoft Unveils Bing Travel
|Microsoft Corp. offers a new search destination for travelers, Bing Travel. Bing Travel is part of Bing, Microsoft's new decision engine designed to help overcome search overload and make faster, more informed decisions when searching online. Bing Travel combines airfare and hotel tools from Farecast with news and editorial content from MSN Travel.
According to a recent survey by Bing Travel, 52 percent of potential travelers search three or more sites before booking their airfare. Forty-two percent of travelers spend between one and four weeks weighing travel options. Bing Travel aims to reduce the time you spend searching for travel information by presenting comprehensive results in one place.
Some of Bing Travel's key features include:
- Price Predictor. Farecast technology analyzes more than 175 billion airfare observations and predicts whether the price of a flight is going up or down with a recommendation of "Buy Now" or "Wait," including a confidence level and expected price increase or decrease over the next seven days.
- Rate Indicator. Analyzes historical rate data from thousands of hotels to determine whether the current price is a good deal, or no deal at all. You can view a city map with details for each hotel, color coded by Rate Indicator data.
- Comparison Flight & Hotel Search. Finding the right flight or hotel is made simple with tools that allows you to refine results: nonstop flights only, specific airlines, hotels within a mile of an address and more. After selecting the hotel or flight, you can book directly with suppliers or agencies seamless.
- Fare Alerts. Most airfare price drops last less than 48 hours. Fare Alerts will notify you if the fares for your trip drop, so you can book flights at lower fares.
Fr-ee Fun San Diego|
This savings-packed FR.EE brochure features almost 40 Fun, Fr-ee Things to do in San Diego. When heading to Southern California, attend concerts or visit a State Historic Park and keep that cash in your pocket.
To get your Fr-ee Fun San Diego brochure, for a $1 handling fee, click here to send us an email.
China Spree offers discounts of up to $400 on its 12-day Middle Kingdom Tour, which covers Beijing, Xian, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. You can get $200 off departures from San Francisco until Oct. 31, 2009 and $400 off in November and early December, bringing the November price to $1,499.
A 12-day tour for $1,499 works out to $125 per day, which includes air to and in China, first class hotels with private bath, sightseeing and entrance fees, 26 meals, evening entertainment, a tour director and guides, all transportation and baggage handling.
The Middle Kingdom Tour will include the following sights:
- The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall in Beijing.
- The Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian, the eighth wonder of the world.
- West Lake, "the landscape composed by a painter," in Hangzhou.
- 2,500-year-old Suzhou, the "Venice of the East," and its classical gardens.
- Dynamic Shanghai's elegant Bund, old city and futurist Pudong area.
The Middle Kingdom Tour, with the cash rate and special discount, costs $1,899 from San Francisco until Aug. 31; $1,799 in September and October; and $1,499 in November and early December. Prices for New York departures are $200 higher. Flights from both cities are non-stop to Beijing. Other departure cities involve a connection and additional air fare.
All prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability. They do not include the China visa fee or air taxes and fees of $294 from San Francisco and $302 from New York.
China Spree or 866/652-5656.
Despite today's tough economy, People to People Ambassador programs are sending thousands of students and teachers from all 50 states on educational experiences to 46 countries around the world this summer.
The People to People Ambassador programs' experience is centered on travel and learning with access to people and cultural activities. Students, in grades five through 12, travel to locations such as the South Pacific, Asia and Europe, and serve the organizational mission by bridging cultural and political borders via school visits, service projects and home stays. On a People to People Ambassador program, students can rappel from a castle wall in Wales or meet with a Member of Parliament in London.
Students and teachers in the programs spend nearly six-months prior to departure learning about their destinations and discovering its cultural differences. Participants also contribute more than 100,000 hours of volunteer time at home and around the world each year. From releasing sea turtles in Greece to working with school children in Africa and assisting local communities with harvest in China, the programs make a global impact. Service projects teach students the value of service within their own communities back home.
New this year is People to People's social media hub, an interactive site where students and teachers traveling this summer are encouraged to share experiences by posting photos and videos. The media hub will include links to other social networking sites where students and teachers can continue to build upon the friendships they developed through their People to People travels.
For more than 10 years, People to People Ambassador programs provided scholarships for students, donating roughly $400,000 in annual scholarships to students who demonstrate a commitment to education and community service.
People to People Ambassador programs.
Swissotel Hotels & Resorts reintroduces the summer savers concept. Booking rooms online through the company’s web site provides savings everywhere from Osaka to Lima and Sydney to Chicago.
Summer Savers offer a 15 percent discount off the best available rate on all the business and vacation spots of the international hotel chain. You may choose from 28 destinations in 15 countries worldwide. This offer is available until Sep. 12, 2009 and includes all room categories available at the time of booking. It is valid for stays of one night or more. Depending on the country, taxes and service charges are included in the rate.
wissotel Hotels & Resorts.
|Give a Jaguar -- An Amber Jaguar --
The remarkable face of a jaguar is hand-carved onto a lovely piece of cherry amber that's 33x20 mm in size. The dramatic pendent hangs on an ultra-chic 18-inch natural-colored leather necklace cord with a sterling silver clasp. Boy will this turn heads.
High-style boutiques and jewelers charge $500 or more for this glam piece. It's yours for only $125 plus shipping & insurance.
Click here to order. At the home page, click on the amber category.
TourCrafters has put together a five night fall package to Bologna that starts at $1,109. The attraction is its cucina, or cuisine, for Bologna is the culinary capital of Italy.
The package, valid Sep. 1 to Nov. 30, 2009, and includes: roundtrip airfare on Alitalia from New York to Bologna, five nights' accommodation in the Hotel Orologio, breakfast daily, service charges and taxes, a guided walking tour and a fre.e open-top sightseeing bus tour. In addition, it provides a four-hour cooking course, with lunch, that focuses on pasta dishes and a dinner at the celebrated Ristorante Cesari.
The small, well-located three-star Hotel Orologio is the hotel of choice for the basic price. Hotel upgrades are available, including the four-star palace hotel Corona d'Oro, in the historic center, which costs $1,372 in September/October and $1,202 in November. Add on air fares start at $20 from Boston, $75 from Miami and $75 from Chicago.
All prices are per person, double occupancy, and subject to availability. The price does not include airport taxes of $110 and a fuel surcharge of $240. Reservations must be paid within 72 hours of booking.
TourCrafters or 800/482-5995.
In this economic climate, vacationers may put summer vacation plans on hold as budgets shrink and savings dwindle. With this in mind, Hostelworld.com has a list of trendy beach hostels that provide a summer vacation without breaking the bank.
H.I. Los Angeles, Santa Monica, CA - Located one block from Santa Monica State Beach, H.I. Los Angeles offers a prime location for basking in the sunny skies of southern California. Spend your days touring Hollywood or working on a tan. At night, there are planned evenings, put together by hostel staff, from pub crawls and comedy nights to Dodgers games.
Deco Walk Hostel, Miami, FL - Deco Walk provides a chic experience on the cheap. Located on Ocean Drive, a stones throw from South Beach, there’s plenty to do for early birds and night owls. Deco Walk is three blocks from Mansion Club, which attracts A-list celebrities and hosts one of the wildest crowds in Miami.
USA Hostels San Diego, CA - In the heart of the Gaslamp quarter, USA Hostels San Diego is for budget-conscious beach-goers. Start the day with f.ree all-you-can-eat pancakes and fr.ee coffee and tea. In the evening, the Gaslamp quarter offers fre.e events and festivities.
Banana Bungalow Maui Hostel, Wailuku, HI - In addition to enjoying Maui’s beautiful beaches, you can join the staff on a hike through the rainforest and lava fields, a swim at a red sand beach, or snorkeling and beach volleyball, all f,ree. In the evening, relax in the hostel’s Jacuzzi.
H.I. San Francisco – Fisherman's Wharf, CA - In historic Fort Mason at the edge of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the H.I. San Francisco offers the beach and scenic views.
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resort will help national park visitors save money this summer by offering a $5 discount coupon, redeemable during the National Park Service’s fee fr,ee weekends on Aug. 15 to 16 and Sep. 26 to 27.
To get the $5 coupon, visit the park specials web site and enter your e-mail address, name and mailing addresses. Coupons will be e-mailed to you.
Delaware North Companies operates at several national parks, including Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. The coupon will be redeemable toward retail, food and beverage, and lodging purchases on predetermined weekends.
The Delaware North $5 coupon must be used during one of the National Park Service’s fee fre,e weekends on a purchase exceeding $25. The coupon cannot be used to purchase alcohol or tobacco products. Only one coupon can be used per person and the name on the coupon must match that of the redeemer.
Additional promotions and/or savings offers may be posted at the park specials web site throughout the summer.
Face-It Luggage Tags -- Your Face on Your Luggage|
There's no mistaking your luggage with the Face-It Luggage Tag. The durable, laminated tag displays your face and the phrase `This Face Belongs With This Luggage.`
A Face-It Luggage tag makes it less likely for a stranger or thief to walk off with your luggage and helps you recognize your luggage at a glance in hotels or airports. Face-It Tags are also available for briefcases, portfolio books, backpacks, sporting equipment, musical instruments, bicycles and more.
Face-It Luggage Tags.
Tea and one night fr,ee combine to make a relaxing, value summertime getaway.
The Stash Tea Company has partnered with more than 600 Bed & Breakfast Inns to provide you a fre,e night's stay with the purchase of one consecutive night. Featured inns are located throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Send for the Stash Tea Guide to Bed & Breakfast Inns and receive a certificate for a f,ree night stay with the purchase of a consecutive night’s stay (other restrictions may apply). Print out the order form, follow the instructions and send it in.
The 51-page Stash Tea Guide to Bed & Breakfast Inns is available for $3.95 when you purchase three boxes of Stash Tea at grocery stores or specialty retailers nationwide. Or purchase $10 or more online or through the Stash Tea print catalog, and you can buy the Stash Tea B&B Guide for $3.95.
The fr,ee night certificate is good through June 2011. Some restrictions apply.
Complete details about this promotional offer and an order form you can download are available on the Stash Tea website.
With Americans on the hunt for good values and deals this summer, DiscoverAmerica.com, the official travel and tourism web site of the United States, has more than 300 money-saving offers from brands such as Best Western, Crowne Plaza, Marriott, Radisson, Gray Line, Hertz and Macy’s through its "Get a Deal" tool featured on every web page.
Frugality is the trend in travel. Recent research reveals that almost two-thirds (62 percent) of U.S. adults intend to travel for leisure purposes through October and are more likely than last year to comparison shop for deals and travel bargains – especially on the internet.
DiscoverAmerica.com is the recently launched source for travel information on all 50 states, the five U.S. territories and more than 100 popular destinations. With the "Get a Deal" tool, you view a complete listing of all specials and offers, and refine your search by U.S. destinations, activities and dates.
Some of the offers on DiscoverAmerica.com include:
- F=ree room nights and Callaway Golf equipment from Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts.
- Marriott's "In Love in New Orleans" package, starting at $139 per night.
- 20 percent off admission to Rockefeller Center's Top of the Rock
- "Friday is Fr=eeday" at participating Radisson Hotels & Resorts.
- Savings on performances by Blue Man Group in Boston.
- Weekly and weekend car rental specials from Hertz.
- Savings on Golden Gate Bay Cruises, California Sunset Cruises and SF Explorer Cruises
- VIP access to Galileo at The Franklin with Marriott Hotels of Philadelphia.
- Savings for On Location Tours' TV and movie site tours in New York and Washington, DC.
Protect Luggage with Baggage Guard Seals |
The pre-numbered, one-time use plastic padlocks are the perfect way to protect luggage since they cannot be reinstalled once removed. That feature lets you instantly know if someone tampered with your luggage. Yet when TSAs at airports need to inspect your luggage, Baggage Guard Seals can be easily removed. A package of 10 Baggage Guard Seals is still only $9.95.
Click Here to Order from On The Go Publishing.
Ocean Shores, Washington offers the F=ree Summer ZZZZs promotion. The promotion automatically offers overnight guests at participating Ocean Shores hotels, motels and resorts, a chance to get their room fr=ee each night through Aug. 31, 2009, by a daily, random drawing.
Each night's winner will be notified the following morning that their room was fre=e. Non-registered guests may also enter the promotion by visiting the Ocean Shores Visitor Information Center during regular business hours.
Ocean Shores offer a six-mile-long, sandy beach, plus miles of interconnected freshwater lakes and canals. You can take in a range of family-friendly activities including birding, biking, beach combing, hiking, golf, fishing and horseback riding.
Ocean Shores Convention Center 800/874-6737.
Red Lion Hotels break the clutter of same-old summer promotions with its summer promotion - 24/Summer.
With hotels across the West, when you make your reservation on the company’s web site, for stays through Sep. 15, 2009, you will receive the following:
- 24 percent Savings on Accommodations - All Red Lion hotels are offering some of their most competitive rates this summer with no mid-week or weekend restrictions.
- 24 percent Food and Beverage Savings - When you book the 24/Summer promotion, you will receive a 24 percent discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages in any Red Lion operated dining outlet during your entire stay.
- 24 percent off on a Future Stay - By staying with Red Lion this summer, you can return any time before Dec. 31, 2009, and receive 24 percent off your next stay.
- 24/Summer runs through Sep. 15, 2009, requires a two night minimum stay and must be booked online at the company’s web site. Once booked, the first night's stay is non-refundable. Food and beverage discounts are available at participating hotels and do not apply to alcoholic beverages or room service. The future stay offer cannot be combined with additional discounts.
Red Lion Hotels Corporation.
CSA Travel Protection, offering travel insurance and emergency assistance services, has travel safety reminders to ensure smooth sailing - or driving, flying, hiking or scuba diving - when taking the "Great American" summer vacation.
According to a recent survey by the U.S. Travel Association, more than half (54 percent) of American households plan to take at least one leisure trip this summer. CSA offers the following tips to help keep travelers safe and protected from mishaps on their next trip.
- Create a meeting schedule and a Plan B. When traveling with a group, make sure everyone agrees on a meeting place at a designated time before and after outings. If someone becomes separated, agree to meet at a "base camp," like your hotel or campground office.
- Your camera is your friend. Your camera isn't just a tool for creating memories of your trip. It can help you if you’re lost and to document pre-rental conditions. Take a photo of your hotel or landmarks to help you later if astray. Snap shots of each side of your rental car before leaving the lot to prove any damage that may exist before taking possession.
- Back up everything, and make it accessible from anywhere. Copy, scan or take pictures of important documents - such as your driver's license, passport, credit cards, travel insurance policy and other travel documents - and email the images to your web-based email account. This way you can access them from anywhere in case of loss or theft.
- How's the weather? Besides worrying about what kind of clothes to pack (hint: layers), review the weather forecast for your destination. Do you want to drive through heavy rain in a town that’s unfamiliar? Also understand that area's propensity for hurricanes, wildfires, flooding or other natural disaster so you are prepared before leaving.
- Use your travel insurance provider's assistance hotline, and keep the number with you at all times. Nearly all travel insurance plans include 24-hour, worldwide emergency assistance services. If something happens, you're not alone. These experts can help with just about any situation, from finding a dentist in Venice in the middle of the night, to helping replace a lost passport, to assisting with travel arrangements if you miss your flight.
- Avoid carrying excessive amounts of money and multiple credit cards. Keep a back-up credit card in case you are a victim of theft or lose your card.
- Put a vacation hold on mail through the U.S. Postal Service. Your mail can be held at your local post office until you can pick it up or are home to receive it. Not only will you help thwart potential burglars, but you may also protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft.
- Don't let your guard down when you are in your hotel. Take advantage of in-room or front-desk safes by locking up passports, credit cards and other important documents.
- Read a cruise ship's inspection report before booking. The Vessel Sanitation Program at the Centers for Disease Control and others regularly inspect ships for cleanliness, repair, food preparation and storage, water quality, hygiene, and pest management. Read the ship's report ahead of time to make sure it has a healthy track record.
- When it's hurricane season be prepared. Check with the hotel or property manager before booking to determine what type of policy is offered during your stay in the event of a storm. Is there a "hurricane guarantee" or other policy that will guarantee a refund of the cost of your stay, and potential property damage if you are forced to cancel or evacuate due to a hurricane? Check the National Hurricane Center for the latest on approaching storms.
>Travel insurance provides protection against unforeseen events such as medical emergencies, natural disasters and theft. It also safeguards against trip cancellations due to job loss and health-related incidents of non-traveling family members.
Cheap Tix Chart
Buy Tickets at a Discount -- Special ticket outlets
sell discounted day-of-performance tickets to theater productions, films, and
sporting events. Discounts can be 50 percent or more. On The Go
Publishings Cheap Tix Chart, still only $14, lists outlets in the
U.S. and eight foreign cities that sell discounted, day-of-performance tickets.
Click here to order the Cheap Tix Chart from On The Go Publishing.
Kansas may be one of the top five least expensive states to visit. Kansas offers nine Ready Made Adventures (RMAs) – themed itineraries that appeal to a variety of interests. Here are a few examples.
Discovering Dinosaurs & Sea Monsters: Starting at the T-REX cafe in Kansas City, dinosaur lovers will rediscover the fun of fossils and ancient finds. From the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita to the Sternberg Museum in Hays, you will get a first hand look at some amazing fossils and dinosaur displays. About $475 to $625 for three nights, for a family of four.
Quirky Kansas: This itinerary takes you to the world’s largest ball of twine in Cawker City, the world’s most comprehensive collection of air-moving devices at the Fan Museum in Andover, the world’s largest hand-dug well and the world's largest pallasite meteorite, both in Greensburg. You’ll get the chance to visit the Grassroots Arts Center, home of more than 20 examples of self-taught, outsider art, and the Garden of Eden in Lucas, a site of grassroots sculpture and architecture. About $750 to $850 for four nights for a family of four.
Flint Hills Nature-Based: Soaring and diving from hilltop to valley through the Flint Hills will challenge your notions of prairie. The continent's largest remaining tract of tall grass harbors adventure, beauty and history. About $800 to $950 for three nights for a family of four.
Cowboys & Cattletowns: The cowboy legends of the Old West were born on the frontier plains and in the cattle towns of Kansas. Ride to the Wild West in Caldwell, head to Wichita for a stop at the Old Cowtown Museum. End in Dodge City where Kansas keeps cowboy culture alive. About $1000 to $1200 for four nights for a family of four.
Ready Made Adventures or 785/296-2009.
Red Carnation Hotels offer a discount for 60-plus guests at their boutique hotels: the Milestone Hotel and the Egerton House Hotel in London, and the Chesterfield Palm Beach. Boomers who check in with valid ID will receive a 20 percent discount on the regular room rate.
The 20 percent discount for guests aged 60 or older is also available at several other Red Carnation properties, including the Old Government House Hotel & Spa Guernsey. Plus the Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa in Dorset offers a 25 percent discount.
The Milestone, in the heart of Kensington overlooking Kensington Palace and Gardens, was voted Best Hotel in the British Isles.
The Egerton House Hotel, ranked No.2 hotel in London is near the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. Harrods department store is a couple of minutes away.
The Chesterfield, 561/659-5800, is in the heart of Palm Beach three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean.
Red Carnation is a boutique collection of 13 five- and four-star family run hotels in Europe, South Africa and Palm Beach, FL.
Hurtigruten 's "Two-For-One" sale, allowing companions to share a cabin for the price of one fare, or its savings offer, the "Norwegian Coastal Value package," which combines air, land and cruise into one discounted parcel, are extended to cover bookings made by Aug. 31, 2009. The six-, seven- and 12-day Norwegian Coastal Voyage sailings on one of Hurtigruten’s ships provide opportunities to take in the attractions along Norway’s 1,250-mile west coast including fjords, fishing villages and cities such as Alesund, Tromso and Trondheim.
The “Norwegian Coastal Value package,” an all-inclusive promotion available on bookings through September, includes roundtrip airfare, hotel and transfers. The select six-, seven- and 12-day itineraries become nine-and 14-day cruise-tours with the addition of one night in Oslo and Bergen or one in either city. Prices range from $2,359 to $4,129 if booked by Aug. 31, 2009. Airfare add-ons for the two promotions from North American gateways are priced from $100 to $360. Air fuel surcharges, air and cruise taxes and ticketing are included.
Hurtigruten's "Two-For-One" applies on most sailings between September and December. Companions sharing a cabin and booking by Aug. 31, 2009, each pay 50 percent of the normal per person fare. Cabin prices on the six-day southbound voyage are $680 to $1,110, per person, double with the discount. On the seven-day northbound voyage the reduced rates are $865 to $1,410; and the 12-day roundtrip comes in at $1,235 to $2,015. Government fees and cruise taxes are included.
Hurtigruten or 800/323-7436.
Timeshare sales can bring up conflicting emotions. On the one hand, timeshare companies offer vacation deals in return for a few hours of your time. Many people do not take advantage of these deals because they believe these offers are too good to be true and are spooked by pushy salespeople and over-the-top sales tactics.
Trooval, a source of timeshare information and travel offers, is the first aggregated online listing of f-ree travel and entertainment opportunities from the timeshare industry. At Trooval’s web site, you can search exclusive deals from pre-screened resorts and redeem them with a fully refundable deposit and a commitment to attend a resort's sales presentation.
Trooval vets offers from various timeshare companies and contracts with high-quality organizations so you can be certain that offers are legitimate, low-pressure, professional and transparent. Trooval provides a 'What to Expect' section to guide you through what will happen during your vacation and the accompanying sales presentation.
Before planning a vacation, you can go to Trooval to look for fr-ee offers from the destination of choice. Unlike the salespeople at timeshare desks who only present offers from one company, the web site lists offers from many vacation ownership properties, including fre-e accommodations, f-ree dining, fr-ee entertainment tickets and fre-e passes to theme parks such as SeaWorld and Disney World. Offers also include f-ree products such as Blackberry phones and iPods, and excursions such as deep sea fishing, sailing or helicopter rides. As a Trooval user, you are informed and in control, choosing the location, the resort and the offer.
Silky Travel Jewelry Roll
A must have for travelers. Our silky travel jewelry
roll comes in a random assortment of single-color jacquards, solid colors and two-color brocades.
This handy travel jewelry roll measures 8 1/2 x 11 inches when open and closes to a compact 8 1/2 x 4 inches.
Our exclusive design offers a place for everything with one deep pocket, a ring bar and three zippered compartments.
Price $40. Click here to order from On The Go Publishing.
NYLO Dallas/Las Colinas debutted in July 2009, as one of the few newly constructed lodgings to open in this economy.
The boutique hotel mixes style with attractive rates. Through Aug. 31, 2009, grand opening rates start at $75 per night on the weekends and $139 per night week nights.
NYLO Las Colinas runs on 100 percent renewable energy. The urban loft-style hotel houses 200 guestrooms, including skyline suites with views of downtown Dallas and allergy-friendly rooms.
The heartbeat of the hotel, The Loft, features a restaurant/bar, original artwork and music, game room and library. A 7,500 square-foot courtyard offers two heated pools, cabanas, fire pits and an outdoor bar. Among the fr.ee amenities: wi-fi throughout the hotel; domestic phone calls; bottled water in rooms; and faxing, scanning and copying services.
Located nine miles from the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the hotel is in the Las Colinas community close to D-FW businesses and attractions.
“NYLO Dallas/Las Colinas or 866/391-NYLO.
Combine glorious scenery, sophisticated culture and almost limitless opportunities for outdoor pursuits, and what do you get? Salzburgerland, an Austrian region that encompasses some of the most beautiful alpine regions in the country and one of Austria’s most popular tourist destinations, Salzburg. As we found this past summer, vacationing in Salzburgerland can be surprisingly affordable, especially when based outside of Salzburg itself in one of the area’s many attractive alpine villages.
Flying directly to Salzburg can be expensive, but Munich, which is approximately 70 miles distant, is a convenient landing point and offers some of the least expensive car rental rates in Western Europe. After spending a night enjoying Munich’s lively biergarten scene, we picked our rental car near the center of the city (thus saving airport surcharges) and were off the next morning to Maria Alm, a charming village in the Pinzgau region south of Salzburg. Here we had reservations at a “sporthotel,” one of the many accommodations in the area catering to active visitors. Visiting during mid to late May put us well ahead of the main tourist season yet gave us surprisingly warm weather. With alpine flowers hitting their stride and innkeepers welcoming the first wave of trekkers, it seemed nearly the ideal time to visit.
Hospitality is a byword in Austria, especially in Salzburgerland, where it seems each valley and hillside is dotted with strategically placed quaint inns, B&B’s, and holiday apartments. There is a wide range of accommodations to choose from – from conventional hotels to youth hostels, with many facilities including a hearty breakfast in the daily rate. Normally, we prefer small self-catering apartments and these are plentiful in the region.
To give you an idea of what to expect, in the early “shoulder” season of May through late June, a couple can spend as little as 300 euro for a week’s accommodation in a cozy one-bedroom apartment. Even better, an offer this summer in the Saalachtal region ran 495 euro for a three-room apartment for a family of four, and included two guided walks plus activities in a children’s adventure program.
For those hankering for a major dose of the great outdoors, many of the innkeepers work with local outfitters and activity specialists to put together activity packages catering to hikers, cyclists, kayakers, and mountaineers. Particularly appealing are inn-to-inn hiking packages with luggage-forwarding services. Trekking packages include detailed route maps and the possibility of individualized planning and cost as little as 299 euros for accommodation in a B&B.
The key to getting such deals is knowing where to look. Each region or major town in Salzburgerland has its own website featuring accommodations, activities and packages. There is also a general tourist office and website for Salzburgerland. In general, the Austrian tourist infrastructure is highly organized and efficient, but simply going to the main Austrian portal won’t guide you to these local bureaus, which is where some of the best deals are found. Once we were in the area, we found many offers and deals that we wished we’d known about in advance, such as the SalzburgerLand Card (more on that shortly). I’ve listed some of the local resources we found most helpful at the end of this article.
The only difficulty – if it can be called that – was choosing what to do each day. Consider the facts: Salzburgerland has some 4,500 miles of marked hiking paths, 1,200 miles of cycle paths, some 180 lakes, a major national park, several stunning high alpine roads, and numerous scenic gorges, waterfalls, caves, and natural points of interest. And that’s just outdoors. Add to that many small local museums, charming hillside inns, and several notable castles and palaces.
Where to begin?
In a word (well, three): the SalzburgerLand Card. This is the deal of deals for visitors to the region. Offered in six- or 12-day options, the card provides free admission to 190 attractions and sights in the area, including many major sights in Salzburg itself such as Hellbrunn palace and Hohensalzburg fortress. Basically, we planned almost our entire holiday using the SalzburgerLand Card. By purchasing a six-day SalzburgerLand Card for 43 euro, we spent approximately one-third of what we would have buying individual entries to the attractions we visited. The card’s marketing slogan, “More Vacation for Less Money” is no exaggeration.
Each card comes with a handy booklet that lists comprehensive information on the attractions covered. A look at the headings in the table of contents gives an idea of the possibilities: Lakes & Pools, Castles and Palaces, Museums, Exhibition Mines, Natural Adventures, Mountain Lifts, Panoramic Roads, Railways, Buses and Boats, Fun & Games, Wildlife & Adventure Parks, and the City of Salzburg. What isn’t covered by the card may well still be offered at a discount by presenting the card. Clearly, the SalzburgerLand Card is one powerful piece of plastic.
Particularly cost saving, were lift tickets to high alpine meadows. As a lazy hiker, I’ve always preferred walking downhill to up, so my solution is to take summer-running ski lifts up a mountainside and then walk down. However, a single lift ascent can run 12 to 15 euros, so this method of hiking can quickly become costly. Happily, the SalzburgerLand card covers numerous ski lifts, perfect for those who want the high-alpine views without the high-alpine exertion.
During a whirlwind one-day visit to the city of Salzburg, our card got a real workout as we sped through Hellbrunn Palace, Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Mönchsberg Museum and Terrace (with spectacular views over the city), and the Mozart House. We just missed the last cruise along the river on the Salzburg Boat, which, along with all the central city buses, is also covered by the card.
Intrigued by descriptions in our SalzburgerLand Card brochure, we went a few places we probably wouldn’t have otherwise. One of these excursions, a visit to an exhibition mine at Hochfeld, turned out to be one of the most interesting activities on our vacation. Getting there, granted, was a bit of a challenge (at least for me), with an hour’s hike up an initially steep path back to the mine site. Once there, however, we had a private tour of the former copper mine, which at one point runs deep under a roaring stream. We became aware of this when our guide stopped, putting a finger to her lips, whispering, “Listen!”
Again, egged on by our SalzburgerLand catalog, we sought out some of the region’s most striking features, taking hikes along elevated boardwalks (and up and down hundreds of steps) through the Kitzloch Gorge and Liechtenstein Gorge. We trekked deep down into Lamprecht’s Cave near St. Martin, and on another occasion stood at the base of the 380-meter Krimml waterfalls, the highest falls in Europe. But it wasn’t all nature all the time for us. One day we visited historic Hohenwerfen Castle, where we watched a fascinating display of falconry. En route to the castle, we stopped at Hallein, which has one of the most important museums of Celtic culture in the world. It’s not something most visitors would associate with Austria, but we found there was a lot to learn about the area’s ancient Celtic roots.
All these activities, I need hardly add, were gratis with the SalzburgerLand Card.
We took one notable excursion which was not covered by the card, although we were able to get a two euro discount. That was a not-to-be-missed drive along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, one of the most breathtaking roads we’ve ever traveled. It was well worth the 28 euros (26 euros with card) entry fee. Winding through a spectacular section of the Hohe Tauern National Park, the road offers vistas of Austria’s highest peak, the Grossglockner (3,798 meters or 12,460 feet). We marveled at the engineering of the road, which features dozens of smooth hairpin turns and “avalanche proofing” along several sections. It was intriguing in mid May to drive alongside twenty-foot-high banks of snow that had been cleared from the road in April using ingenious rotary plows.
With so much to see and do in Salzburgerland, it seemed we’d barely scratched the surface at the end of our weeklong stay. Happily, the rates and features for the 2010 SalzburgerLand Card will remain the same, so it should be easy to plan for our next foray into this unforgettable Alpine wonderland.
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Entry form and Official Rules of the American Way Road Warrior contest.
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