Travel e-Scapes: June 9, 2015

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Hong Kong

Travel e-Scapes: June 9, 2015

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$898 Hong Kong
Add $50 per direction for Friday-Sunday
Depart August 15-December 9 or January 1-May 1
A 10-night minimum stay required; six months max
Purchase by June 30
Valid on Korean Air(+ Fees) via Seoul


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Hotel Social Hour Reimagined
Food trucks, grilling, a taste of the hottest local eats and sweets, all washed down by premium beers in a relaxing social setting. What’s not to love? Residence Inn by Marriott is embracing today’s food trends and a new way to ‘mix’ work and play with its new program Residence Inn Mix — offered three nights per week at Residence Inn’s nearly 700 locations. These experiential evening gatherings encourages guests to interact and connect with the destination. Themed nights include:
It’s On (Mondays) – Meet other guests for some ‘must-see TV’ or hang by the fire pit with a variety of light-fare appetizers.
Off the Grill (Tuesdays) – Join in for conversation and great eats, hot off the grill.
Food Truck (Alternating Wednesdays) – Get to know the local area’s most popular food trucks.
Local Flavors (Alternating Wednesdays) – Sample specialties from famous local hot spots.
Just Desserts (Alternating Wednesdays) – Reward yourself with something sweet and savory.
Out & About (Anytime) – Stop by the front desk to get the lowdown on the best local spots and what’s abuzz in town. 

Budget-Friendly Summer Vacations
Many families struggle to afford that all-important summer vacation or trip together without breaking the bank. Travel is one of those luxuries everyone wants to afford but may not be able to fit into their budget. The cost of travel has impacted consumers’ desire to go away on vacation. According to a 2014 Skift survey, 32 percent of Americans said they could not afford to take a summer vacation. Luckily, national financial education nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling has announced five ways families can enjoy a budget-friendly summer vacation. ‘You don’t have to stay at a five-star resort or go to the obvious expensive destinations to make your family happy and have a good time,’ said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. ‘Setting and sticking to a reasonable budget will make it easier to afford and enjoy a trip this summer.’
Follow these five money saving ideas to enjoy a guilt-free summer vacation:
1. Plan in Advance: To save big, plan ahead by packing lunches, snacks, and drinks. Instead of filling your cooler full of ice that will melt, freeze water bottles to cool your food down. When they melt, hand them to your kids for drinks. With a picnic lunch, you can avoid inflated amusement park prices and allot more money to other vacation activities. If you are staying in a hotel or flying, make sure to book your ticket in advance before prices skyrocket.
2. Drive Rather than Fly: Instead of flying (and getting tricked into high ticket prices and extra baggage costs), set out on a road trip. Make the most out of your outing. Get your kids involved by using Google Maps to plot your destinations along the way. Bring fun trivia and car games to transform what could be a boring car-trip into an exciting adventure.
3. Research Budget Activities and Special Deals: Do your research ahead of time to find out about special offers. Since it is summer and the economy is slow, many businesses and towns are offering special ‘free’ events and incredible deals on discount websites such as Groupon.com. Instead of taking a pricey walking tour, print your own map out online, and create a do-it-yourself version. Visit free concerts and museums. If you find a free deal a few states away, use it as your choice for an expedition. While on your trip, pass up the over-priced souvenirs and use your smart phones to capture photos. When your trip is over, compile your pictures into a colorful scrap book or calendar as a memento or great gift idea for a family member in the future.
4. Find Off-Season Destinations: If you can take off week days, plan to travel Monday through Thursday so that you beat the crowds and weekend prices. Consider winter-destinations, like the Caribbean, as you will enjoy their off-season prices during the summer.
5. Rethink Your Lodging: Avoid staying in the most-popular locations. If you are planning a trip to a major tourist city, like Boston or Philadelphia for instance, consider staying in a city close by. When choosing where to stay, take into account the variety of options besides expensive hotels. Camping is not only affordable, but a clever way to un-plug from your busy routine and get your children away from the television screen and enjoy the outdoors. If camping is not for you, consider a quaint bed and breakfast where you can finally enjoy a sit-down breakfast with your family.
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to Consumer Credit or visit Talking Cents Blog.


SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS

Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to ‘Hurry!’ can expire at anytime.   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!

HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$63 Miami
A 7-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Complete travel on or before May 5, 2016
No blackout dates!
Valid on American(+Fees ), nonstop
Seven nonstop flights daily

HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$98 Los Angeles
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Complete travel on or before May 5, 2016
No blackout dates!
Valid on American(+Fees $), nonstop
Three nonstop flights daily

GO NOW!  HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$163 Albuquerque, New Mexico
No advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Complete travel on or before September 15
Valid on United(+Fees ) via Houston

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta:
$198 Denver
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Valid on westbound flights operating between 7-1030A or 7P-midnight; eastbound before 830A or 2-7P
Complete travel on or before May 5, 2016
No blackout dates!
Valid on Delta, nonstop

Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your ticket!
+Fees $$$ = Carry-on Bags: $10-$75; Checked Bags: $15-$100; Seats: $3-$199; additional fees vary by carrier
+Fees $ = Checked Bags: $24-$125; Select/Preferred Seats: $9-$99


SPECIAL HOTEL & RESORT OFFERS

Vacation Rentals
In a big move to accommodate the growing interest of having an authentic travel experience, HomeAway and Kayak are partnering to make it easier to compare, plan and purchase a place to stay for vacation. The two leading vacation sites in the world announced a partnership enables travelers to compare prices and amenities of hotels alongside full-home rentals. Kayak (a Priceline brand) will list nearly 200,000 properties through HomeAway by the end of the year in addition to the more than 700,000 hotels already displayed on the site. Last September, HomeAway partnered with Expedia’s search engine to host than 100,000 vacation rental properties…

Best of Boca Raton
To kick off the summer in style, Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in South Florida, is running a sale through June 10 that offers up to a 30% discount on its ‘Best of Waldorf Astoria’ package. Nightly rates start at $159 on stays through September, based on a two-night minimum stay. The BOWA Package includes a $100 resort credit, including treatments at the resort award-winning Waldorf Astoria Spa, voted number one spa in the world by Conde Nast Traveler readers. The credit can also be used for golf play on two 18-hole championship courses, to tennis, a variety of watersports, Surf School, new Flowrider and on dining. Guests receive an additional $50 resort credit per additional night stayed with this package. In addition to the savings, Kids Eat Free* at the resort, receiving complimentary buffet breakfast and lunch and dinner at 501 East when parents purchase a full-priced entree. Offering views of the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, golf course or gardens, accommodations are in five unique styles of guest rooms and suites, including the newly renovated Cloister Estate rooms.
*Kids eat free promotion is valid through August 31 with the purchase of a parent’s entree, up to three children ages 12 and under may eat for free at the following restaurants at these specified times: Palm Court for Breakfast only – free kids meal includes breakfast kids buffet only; Seagrille for Breakfast only – free kids meal includes breakfast kids buffet only; and 501 East lunch and dinner – free kids meal includes anything off the Kids menu.


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


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