Travel e-Scapes: June 20, 2017

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: New England

Travel e-Scapes: 03212017

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$124 Boston ($62 one-way permitted)
$154 Manchester, New Hampshire or Providence, Rhode Island
$204 Portland, Maine
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid daily on nonstop Delta flights through May 17, 2018
No blackout dates — plan autumn getaways now!


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Mobile Passport
The last thing you want to do after a long-haul flight is stand in the Customs line. With Mobile Passport Control, pass through Customs and go directly to the baggage claim area.
It’s the first authorized app from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that is intended to speed up your arrival into the United States. The app can be used by U.S. and Canadian citizens.
How it works:
First, scan your passport barcode using the camera on a smart phone or tablet.
Next, answer the typical inspection-related questions asked at the Automated Passport Control kiosks.
Use the app to skip completing the typical paper declaration form.
The app generates a QR code for Customs to scan. The code is only good for four hours, and a visual inspection of the traveler’s passport is required when interviewed by the CBP officer.
All data is deleted off the phone when you clear customs.
The Mobile Passport Control app can be used at 24 airports (including ATL) in the United States and Puerto Rico, and the Ft. Lauderdale cruise terminal.
Download the free iTunes or Google Play app here.

Big Hotel News
For years, frequent travelers became accustomed to a 6PM same day hotel cancellation policy. Then a couple of years back the biggie hotel chains required a 24-hour advance cancellation policy to avoid paying for a one-night stay.
But effective immediately, the Marriott/Starwood group will require a 48-hour cancel notice on hotel bookings in the Americas. Some properties may have more severe policies.
Here’s Marriott’s official statement:
Marriott International is implementing a cancellation policy at hotels in the Americas including the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Latin America, across all brands except for Design Hotels and Marriott Vacation Worldwide hotels. The revised policy allows us to make rooms available to guests that would have otherwise gone unoccupied due to a last-minute cancellation.
While cancellation policies vary by hotel, hotels whose policy is to allow guests to cancel their room reservations on the day before arrival without incurring a fee are faced with a significant number of unsold rooms due to last minute cancellations. Guests will now be required to cancel their room reservation by midnight 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid a fee. This will allow hotels a better chance to make the rooms available to guests seeking last minute accommodations.
Because cancellation policies vary by hotel and for certain events and rates, customers should always check the cancellation policy that applies at the time of booking. Cancellation information is provided to guests prior to finalizing a reservation on Marriott.com.
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There’s a possible silver lining with this new restriction. That is, more Marriott brand rooms will be available for last-minute bookings at Hotels.com, HotelTonight.com and other room booking sites. But there are some downsides already in play. It’s expected that other hotel groups will fall in line with Marriott’s new 48-hour cancel rule. And, some independent properties are now requiring a 72-hour cancellation. If you’re currently holding summer bookings, check if the cancel policy has changed.


SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS

Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY! can expire at any time. Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price!

NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply on most airlines for a checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines.

How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Travel Booking & Planning Guide page for airfare search tips.


SPECIAL HOTEL & RESORT OFFERS

SW Florida
The Sundial Beach Resort & Spa on Sanibel Island offers a Sundial Shellbration package on stays through December 22. The package includes a 4th night free and a cruise (for up to 4) to a beautiful barrier island to hunt for seashells, shelling bags and a seashell guide.
Sanibel Island is home to some of the best shelling in the country with over 250 species of shells sprinkled along its shoreline.
Rates start from $219 midweek.
Set on a beach on the Gulf of Mexico, this laid-back resort is two miles from the markets and boutiques of Periwinkle Way, and 5.4 miles from J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Bright, contemporary studios and suites have private patios and fully equipped kitchens — some have washer/dryers and sleeper sofas.
Amenities include a steakhouse and sushi bar, two casual cafes and a poolside bar.
A resort fee covers use of bicycles, kayaks and beach chairs, plus access to tennis courts, five swimming pools and WiFi. There’s also a full-service spa and access to an adjacent golf course.

Yah, Man!
Reggae Sumfest returns to Montego Bay this summer, for the 25th staging of the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth.”
From July 16-21, the music festival, which draws thousands of reggae and dancehall fans from across the world, will see some of the genre’s biggest names, including Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Sean Kingston. Other popular acts, like Alkaline, Mavado, Sizzla and Jah Cure, round out the lineup of over 30 artists.
Montego Bay has many accommodation options for Reggae Sumfest attendees. Here’s a sample of current hotel and resort deals:
The all-inclusive Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay offers a beachfront location, comfortable rooms and unlimited dining. The hotel is currently offering a 4th night free when guests book the Getaway Package for a minimum four-night stay on Sunday-Thursday arrivals. Rates start at $277.44 per person. This package is also available on stays through December 23.
Half Moon Resort offers 10% off the best available rate for guests who book a minimum 4-night stay at least 14 days in advance. This iconic property in Montego Bay sits on 400 acres of tropical gardens and is bordered by two miles of beach. Rates start at $222.30 per room, per night. The deal also includes round-trip airport transfers.
Round Hill Hotel and Villas’ Forever Summer package gives guests one night free, plus a $100 resort credit, when they book a minimum three-night stay by June 30. The private and secluded Round Hill is set on a lush 110-acre peninsula just west of Montego Bay, making it a convenient home base for Reggae Sumfest patrons – and a respite from the festival’s activities when needed. Rooms start at $312 per room, per night. Also valid through December 17.


Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on Twitter.


Looking for more deals?
View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page.

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