Clark Howard: Travel e-Scapes Newsletter October 15, 2009


Clark Howard’s Travel e-Scapes – 15 October 2009
Clara Bosonetto Maerz, Editor


Travel tips, tidbits & trivia

  • Do you suffer from jet lag after a lengthy flight? A new study has discovered that our brains operate on two types of neurons with wildly different properties. New findings show that only one set fires our body clocks — one which affects blood pressure, body temp and hunger. Jet lag researchers had previously been studying a mix of the neurons. But this new University of Manchester study discovered that the second set of neurons is completely unrelated to sleep regulation. Now, scientists hope to find other clock-like cells in other parts of the brain which will aid in the development of new drugs and approaches to aid recovery from long-distance flights.
  • The East German government built the Berlin Wall in 1961 to prevent its citizens from leaving. Today, nearly 20 years after the wall fell, this Cold War-era bunker and tunnel system is one of the most popular city attractions. Various tunnel systems (up to 71) dug from 1961-1982 helped about 300 to escape. Some tunnels were less than 100 feet long, others were up to 557 feet in length. Researchers estimate that 136 people died trying to cross the wall and almost 800 perished along the entire 856-mile length of the border separating East and West Germany. Tours in English (Tour M) are offered Wednesdays at 1P through October, and in German on Saturdays and Sundays at 11A, 12 euro.
  • Here’s back at ya, airlines! Federal regulators are requiring airlines to test and disinfect the water served to passengers and used in plane lavatories. The EPA rules set how frequently airlines must flush and disinfect the water systems on planes and test for coliform bacteria, which are associated with disease-causing germs. The rules apply to water supplied through aircraft water systems, not bottled water. The government agency determined five years ago that airlines weren’t complying with drinking water regulations. The agency tested water from 327 planes, of which 15 percent tested positive for coliform. The EPA estimates the new ruling will cost airlines about $7 million a year, or about a penny per ticket.

    Clark said…

    The cruise industry is pushing “World’s Largest Cruise Night” promo – a 24-hour event that started on Wednesday, October 14 (many deals are available all week; some through October and still others through mid-November).

    Cruises present some of the best travel opportunities right now. This is your time if you can scrounge together enough money.

    Last month, I talked about what a deal cruises are in the fall. Demand just drops off after Labor Day. Meanwhile, so few people are focused on booking cruises into next year. That’s why the industry has steadily expanded its World’s Largest Cruise Night promotion.

    October has become a great month to buy, even into the spring of next year if you can plan that far ahead! The industry continues to roll out the deals as it reels from the recession. USA Today has a list highlighting some of the offers.

    If you want to book a cruise, I recommend going to a cruise-only agency or a cruise-only agent at a regular agency. Every ship and every itinerary has its own personality. Inexperienced cruisers would be wise to consult with a professional so they get the most out of their vacation. Find a cruise expert in your neighborhood at CLIA.

    Don’t like cruises? Walt Disney World is offering a big deal with its buy four nights, get three nights free offer at its mid-priced resorts and above. This offer is valid most nights from November 1-20; December 11-24 and January 3-March 27.

    HOT domestic deals!

    The following rate could vanish at any time. HOT deals have no ticket-by date – meaning the airlines can ‘pull’ the deals when they deem the offer a sell-out or an error. Act fast!

    DEAL OF THE DAY! One-way from Atlanta:

  • $119 each way, Portland, Oregon
  • A 14-day advance purchase required
  • Travel any available day
  • Complete travel by September 11, 2010
  • Blackouts: December 18-21, 26-28; January 2-4
  • Valid on Alaska/Delta
  • Inclusive rate: $140.20
  • Note: Travel must be via Seattle (nonstop from Atlanta on Delta; continuing on Alaska)

    One-way from Atlanta:

  • $119 each way, Los Angeles
  • A 14-day advance purchase required
  • Not permitted on Friday, Sunday
  • Complete travel by September 11, 2010
  • No blackouts
  • Valid on American
  • Inclusive rate: $140.20

    One-way from Atlanta:

  • $169 each way, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • A 14-day advance purchase required
  • Travel any available day, except Tuesday
  • Complete travel by September 11, 2010
  • Blackouts: December 17-24; December 26-January 11; April 16-August 31
  • Valid on Delta
  • Inclusive rate: $223.40

    Great domestic & international deals!

    The following deals have a ticket-by date which gives you a bit more breathing room to make a ticket purchase. But don’t delay! Airlines can “pull” or discontinue a sale when it is deemed a sell-out or an error!

    GO NOW! One-way from Atlanta:

  • $110 each way, San Juan, Puerto Rico (NO passport required for U.S. citizens!)
  • $111 each way, Freeport, Bahamas
  • $115 each way, Nassau, Bahamas
  • No advance purchase required
  • Travel any available day
  • Blackouts: November 25, 28-30
  • Complete travel by December 15
  • Purchase by October 20
  • Valid on Delta
  • Inclusive prices: $133.10 SJU; $153.10 NAS; $159.60 FPO
  • Note: Saturday, Sunday service only to Freeport

    Round-trip from Atlanta::

  • $218 San Jose, Costa Rica
  • A 21-day advance purchase required
  • Travel any available day
  • Complete travel by September 11, 2010
  • Blackouts: December 19-26 south/January 1-8 north
  • Purchase today, October 15
  • Valid on American
  • Inclusive rate: $309.42
  • 14-day advance rate $226
  • 7-day advance rate $266
  • 3-day advance rate $306
  • Note: Add $91.42 for inclusive pricing

    Round-trip from Atlanta:

  • $375 George Town, Exuma, Bahamas
  • Travel any available day
  • Start travel on or after November 19
  • Complete travel by January 31
  • Max stay is 30 days
  • Blackouts: December 18-24, 26-28 south/January 2-4 north
  • Purchase by December 15
  • Valid on American
  • Inclusive rate: $455.20

    Hotel, resort & theater deals

  • Will you be celebrating the holidays in the United Kingdom? Catch a great sale from Travelodge on stays from November 27-January 10. Select rooms at various locations across England, Scotland and Wales are priced at just £9 ($14.50). This Christmas Sale offers a mysterious number of rooms at this rate, so hurry to book. Get going, because ‘when they’re gone, they’re gone.’
  • Through midnight Friday, October 16, is running an all-inclusive resort sale with rates from just $39 to $69 per person, per night on stays through winter. That low rate includes accommodations, meals, beverages, activities, tips and more. Properties include five best-selling all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and Dominican Republic with sale rates also offered in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Mexico. Availability is extremely limited, so hurry and book now.
  • The most eagerly awaited new musical of the last 20 years, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, will have its World Premiere at London’s Adelphi Theatre on March 9, 2010. The play (set in New York City) continues the stories of the principal characters of The Phantom of the Opera, ten years after the The Phantom’s mysterious disappearance from the Paris Opera House. U.K.-based Superbreak offers a “Love Never Dies” theater package at rates from £89 per person ($144), which include a budget ticket and a one-night stay in a centrally located London hotel with full breakfast. An upgraded rates from £139 per person ($225) includes a stay in a luxury London hotel.

    Travel quote

    Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of food, your closet full of clothes – with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That’s not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating. /

    Michael Crichton, American author (1942-2008)

    NOTE! Unless otherwise stated above, follow these guidelines when booking special airfares from Clark Howard’s e-Scapes newsletter:

  • No expiration of travel means the rate is valid on trips taken over the next 331 days, or the advance booking window allowed on most airlines.
  • International rates are based on mid-week travel days, or with most airlines Mon.-Thurs. (one exception is Mon.-Wed. with British Airways).
  • Economy class airfares to Europe require a minimum stay requirement of a Saturday night and a maximum stay of a month.
  • Economy class airfare to Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East typically require a 6-day minimum stay; 30-day maximum.
  • Most domestic coach class airfares, including Canada and Hawaii, are based on mid-week travel.
  • Weekend travel days are typically $10-$30 higher, per direction, for both domestic and international destinations.
  • All airfares shown on e-Scapes are exclusive of taxes, fees, unless noted otherwise.
  • Fuel surcharges on international trips can add from $75-$320, each way, to base rates shown above. Surcharges vary by country/continent.

    Clark Howard’s Travel e-Scapes Team reminds you that the information in this newsletter is researched on the same day that you receive it. It can happen that by the time you read your copy a particular airfare may already have expired, especially the “HOT” deals listed. Airlines can publish and then ‘pull’, or discontinue sales without warning. Timing is everything!

    Buy tickets at the offering airline or at your favorite travel Web site.

    Get more of Clark’s best travel deals Mondays through Fridays Clark’s Travel Tips page.

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