Travel e-Scapes: January 9, 2018

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Chicago

Travel e-Scapes: 03312017

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$78 Chicago-O’Hare, or $39 each way
No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week!
Valid daily through May 1
Valid on American, nonstop


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Cruise Fees Climb
Service charges on two of the world’s biggest cruise lines are rising in 2018.
Both Royal Caribbean and sister line Celebrity Cruises raised the automatic gratuity charge they tack onto bills to $14.50 per person, per day for passengers staying in most cabins – a 7% increase (a 21% since 2015).
This means a family of four in a standard cabin on a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity ship will pay more than $400 in automatic gratuities on a typical seven-night cruise.
Royal Caribbean often is a bellwether when it comes to gratuity charge increases, so expect other lines to follow.
Compare to Carnival which adds $12.95 per person, per day in service charges to passenger bills. Princess Cruises and Norwegian add $13.50 and $13.99, respectively.

However, Carnival has hiked the cost of its drinks package to $56.95 per person, per day (plus an additional 15% gratuity fee; 10% on Europe sailings) for its Cheers! beverage package – a 3.6% rise from last year. Passengers can get a $5 per person, per day discount on the package if purchased in advance online. The package allows up to 15 alcoholic drinks in a 24-hour period. Most cocktails, spirits, beer and wine available by the glass on Carnival ships are included. Passengers also can order non-alcoholic drinks such as juices, milkshakes, soda, mocktails, energy drinks, specialty coffees and teas.
In other cruise news:
Princess Cruises will offer cruises from Dublin in 2019 – something it hasn’t done since 2009. The Crown Princess will operate 12-night British Isles sailings out of the Irish capital from May to September with stops in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Glasgow, Invergordon and Edinburgh, Scotland; Le Havre, France; Southampton and Guernsey, England; and Cork, Ireland. Fares for the new cruises out of Dublin start at $2,099 per person, based on double occupancy and not including taxes, fees and port expenses.
Check out other Princess 2019 Europe season highlights.

Must Have Travel Apps
Here’s a hat trick of valuable – and free for both Android and iOS – apps to take on the road:
Formerly known as Gogobot, Trip is a travel research app for exploring things to do and places to stay – including special events – in more than 60,000 destinations, with traveler reviews as a further guide. By allowing users to describe their travel preferences and personality – such as “foodie” or “luxury” – it claims to be able to gear recommendations to personal travel tastes, saving hours of research time.
Localeur is a widely praised travel app that focuses on tips from people who know the destination best. It uses a community of locals, from artists to entrepreneurs, who share their tips for everything from clubs to coffee shops. It also has recommendations for boutique hotels, and suggested itineraries. The app has tips for cities around the world, but is particularly strong in the U.S., where it covers 50 major cities.
From Accra to Tokyo, the brand synonymous with city breaks around the world – Time Out – makes it easy to explore virtually, with lists of the best places to eat, drink and shop, and events to discover. It is as much a tool for inspiring a trip as it is for helping you get the most out of it once you arrive.


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!

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$86 Philadelphia, or $42 each way
$136 New York-LaGuardia, or $68 each way
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through May 1
Valid on American, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$88 Houston, or $44 each way
$136 Denver, or $68 each way
$154 Los Angeles, or $77 each way
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through May 1
Valid on United, nonstop to Denver; via Houston to LAX

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$130 New Orleans, or $65 each way
A 30-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through March 7
Blackout dates: February 15-17, 19
Valid on Delta, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta:
$299 San Francisco
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through July 20
Valid on Delta, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$300 Portland, Oregon, or $150 each way
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through April 38 on American via Dallas
__________

Deals from other U.S. gateway airports:

Round-trip from Los Angeles (one-way permitted):
$396 LAX to Kona, Hawaii, or $198 each way
No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week!
Valid Monday-Thursday through March 21
Add $20 per direction for other travel days
Valid on Hawaiian Air, nonstop
Purchase by January 11

Round-trip from Los Angeles (one-way permitted):
$446 LAX to Honolulu, or $223 each way
$456 LAX to Maui, or $228 each way
Add $20 per direction for Friday-Sunday travel
Depart by March 7; March 13-15; April 3-May 23 or August 28-November 15
Return by March 21; April 11-May 24; September 5-November 22 or November 28-December 2
Valid on United, nonstop
Purchase by January 15

Round-trip from Houston-IAH:
$493 Houston to Hong Kong, China
Add $20 per direction for Friday-Sunday travel
Depart by February 16 or April 2-June 10
No minimum stay required; six months max
Valid on American via Dallas
Purchase by January 22 (we suggest ASAP)

NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, 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 Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide.


SPECIAL HOTEL & RESORT OFFERS

Glam London Hotel for 40£
To mark its 40th anniversary this month, London’s ‘first boutique hotel’ – the Blakes Hotel – is offering 40 rooms for the vastly reduced rate of £40 (under $55) a night – a discount of 84%. Act fast as this offer to one of South Kensington’s most celebrated hotels is only offered on January stays.
The glam hotel, a favorite amoung celebrities, typically charges upwards of £255 ($345) for a night in one of its 45 eclectically styled Parisian Doubles.
To book the Blakes Hotel 40 at £40 offer, call 020 7370 6701 or email reservations@blakeshotels.com, between 9A-5P Monday to Friday.
Here’s a full review of Blakes Hotel from The Telegraph.
If you go to London this month, check out the Lumiere London light festival, January 18-21. This 2nd annual art exhibition features more than 50 artworks on the city’s architecture and streets, transforming the city into a dazzling nocturnal light display. It’s free and takes place north and south of the river Thames.

London Hotel & Theatre Packages
Virgin Experience Days have a range of packages that allow you top-priced tickets to a show in London’s West End along with a hotel stay:
For £269 ($364) (currently on sale, regular price £385) you can get a Friday night stay for two in a four-star London hotel and see some of the most popular shows around.
The package includes theatre tickets, hotel booking, continental breakfast and cancel insurance.
Shows include:
Wicked (through March 31)
The Woman in Black (through March 31)
Motown (through February 24)
Annie (through February 18)
Virgin Experience Days also offers a three-star package at £210 ($284) that allows you to see a range of shows on a weeknight for even less.
Or if you’re going all out, there’s a deluxe package for £489 ($660) that includes a stay in a five-star hotel and top price tickets to a massive range of shows (dependent on availability).
If you’re just looking for theatre tickets without a hotel booking, Lastminute gives you access to a huge range of shows in London’s West End.
You can see top shows such as The Book of Mormon from £26, Wicked from £19.50, Matilda from £28.75, School of Rock from £17.25, The Lion King from £34.50 and many more.
Lastminute.com also has a number of discounted offers which include a meal on the same day as your theatre visit.


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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