Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Hard to believe, but the green leaves are turning autumn colors -- and the snow is falling already on some mountaintops. Time to start planning your winter ski trip. Where to travel this season?
The question really is when to go skiing to get the best deals. And the answer to that is easy -- early season offers some of the best bargains, and, the slopes, restaurants and hotels are not yet over-flowing with holiday crowds. Here are some great deals that will save you green dollars --
Winter Park, Colorado -- Save 25% on stays of four nights or longer if you book by October 12, 2008. Packages start at $143 per person per night, including a lift ticket. There's an enormous variety of terrain here for any level of skier --novices and others who like long cruising runs will be happy on Vasquez Ridge. I, for one, like to challenge my knees and my self-confidence on the black diamond runs of Mary Jane mountain, where I skied myself into more than one embarrassing splat last season.
Beaver Creek, Colorado -- Technique Weeks are an intensive improvement program, with lots of personalized instruction. The program includes four days of lift tickets interchangeable for Vail and Beaver Creek, the ability to demo 2009 skis and boots, lots of meals and cocktail parties, four days of instruction and a DVD that shows how much you improved and how much fun you had. If you book by Nov. 15, 2008, you also get an Epic Season Pass -- this would cost you $579 if you bought it. The pass gives you an epic choice (okay, pardon the pun) of unlimited skiing at five memorable mountains -- Vail, Keystone, Beaver Creek and Breckenridge in Colorado and Heavenly in Lake Tahoe. Technique Week reservations can be made through the Hyatt Beaver Creek.
Lake Tahoe -- No more excuses. If you've ever wanted to learn to ski or snowboard, or wanted your significant other or best buddy to join you on the slopes, head for North Lake Tahoe the weekend of December 13 and 14 for the 9th Annual Learn to Ski and Board Weekend. For just $25, you get an all-day beginner lift ticket, group lesson and gear rental. Just $25. That's about what it would cost to stay home and do nothing except a movie with popcorn and soda. And you can choose any of nine resorts to learn at -- including Alpine Meadows, Boreal Mountain Resort, Diamond Peak, Granlibakken, Homewood Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA and Sugar Bowl. Reservations are not required, but plan to show up early. Buy tickets at the resort you choose to spend the day playing in the snow.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Labor Day is the day rates drop for hotel rooms and airplane seats. The travel industry calls it 'shoulder season', but don't ask me why or how it got that name. It's low season through mid-November, when prices rise again for the high-priced holidays.
So, here are some great travel deals to take advangtage of -- quick -- before they disappear:
Delta Air Lines has put Hawaii on sale. If you book before Sept. 18th, you can fly for as low as $299 each way between the Mainland and either Honolulu or Kona.
Virgin Atlantic has put London on sale. You can hop across the pond before Oct. 18th for as liittle as $696 round trip from NYC or Boston, $806 from Miami and Orlando, and $950 from Los Angeles. The price is even lower for travel after zoct. 18th.
African Travel, Inc., which specializes in luxury African safaris, is offering free round trip air fare to Africa -- worth more than $1,500 -- from October through December. Choose from a 12-day trip to South Africa and Victoria Falls, or 13 days in Northern Tanzania. Accommodations are in luxury camps, and you'll get the chance to see the Big Five, which incudes elephants, lions and rhinos. It's an amazing experience.
Or, head for the Caribbean in January, when it's warm and sunny and the holiday crowds have left and you have the beach to yourself. Reserve any time this month to save 25% at The Reef Resort in the Grand Cayman islands.
You don't need a US Passport to visit the US Virgin Islands. where most of the top resorts are offering five nights for the price of four between January 1 and March 31, 2009. Just make your reservation before Oct 31, and this travel bargain also includes $300 in travelers checks, and a coupon book with savings on activities and attractions.
Here are just some of the USVI luxury resorts on the islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas joining in this offer this fifth-night-free deal --
- The Palms at Pelican Cove, Chenay Bay Beach Resort,
- Carambola Beach Resort & Spa,
- Divi Carina Bay Resort,
- Hibiscus Beach Resort,
- Sand Castle on the Beach,
- The Buccaneer,
- Best Western Emerald Beach,
- The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas,
- Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort,
- Sapphire Beach Resort and Sapphire Village,
- Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa on St. Thomas.
Travel green and save green during shoulder season.