Travel e-Scapes: January 12, 2016

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Hawaiian Islands

Travel e-Scapes destination photo

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$301 Maui
$326 Honolulu
A 7-day advance purchase required
Add $38 each way for Thursday-Saturday westbound and/or Friday-Sunday east
Complete travel on or before March 10
Valid on Alaska Airlines via Seattle
Purchase by January 28


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

When & Where to Go in 2016!
Booking.com has released month-by-month list of suggestions and tips for 2016 travel destinations.  Data specialists analyzed the average price per night of four-star accommodations in several popular cities across the United States to compile a moderately priced guide for places to visit each month throughout 2016. Part of the process in selecting the locations was taking into consideration local events and temperatures each month.  Here’s the 2016 outlook:
January: Los Angeles.  The week after New Year’s was the cheapest of the month with the average 4-star room night coming in at $212, 33% cheaper than the most expensive week in LA all year so you’ll have leftover cash to splurge on detoxing and rejuvenating in one of the country’s most health-conscious cities.
February: Honolulu. Veg out on miles of perfect beach and lap up the island’s laid-back atmosphere, as well as its phenomenally diverse restaurant scene. Price-wise, February is a winner. For a 4* accommodation, the first week of February 2015 was $206 per night, making it 40% cheaper than the peak week over New Year’s Eve.
March: Flagstaff. In addition to crisp clear days that are perfect for being outdoors, there are also far fewer crowds. Flagstaff is pretty affordable year-round but March provides particularly good value. The first week of March 2015 was only $84 a night, 38% cheaper than the city’s most expensive week of the year.
April: Chicago.  Spring is charming here and the first week of April in 2015 was a massive 54% cheaper than the most expensive all year, coming in at only $143 per night. See all the classic sights of America’s Second City with plenty of events and up-and-coming eateries to keep you buzzing with activity.
May: Ft. Lauderdale. This time of year sees warm temperatures and fewer visitors, and also coincides with the start of summer vacation for many schools, making it an ideal destination for families. At just $162, the average price of a 4* accommodation here during the second week of May was 46% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year.
June: San Antonio. The first week of June in San Antonio was only $164 for a night at a 4* accommodation, 30% cheaper than the city’s most expensive week of the year. Plus it’s also only an hour’s drive from Austin should you want to cover more ground on your trip and it’s a whole lot cheaper too (San Antonio’s peak price is 49% cheaper than Austin’s peak).
July: Boston. Take a walk along the leafy boulevards of old world-style houses or take a picnic to the park to soak up the sunny atmosphere. The first week of July 2015 saw a significant price dip to $265 per night, 31% cheaper than the city’s peak week of the year in October at $384.
August: New York City. Central Park’s SummerStage is just one such venue in a city where outdoor concerts, theater performances and exhibitions pop up all over the place in the warmer months. The average price of a 4* accommodation for the fourth week of August 2015 was only $235, 39% cheaper than peak season in September.
September: Orlando. The first week of September was only $130 per night, 40% cheaper than the peak price all year. Plus with fewer crowds at the park, you’ll have more time to explore all the other attractions Orlando has to offer, like Wekiwa Springs State Park for some gator-spotting, or Church Street Station for dinner and shopping.
October: New Orleans. Worried you’ll miss out on the fun and excitement by not visiting NoLa during Mardi Gras? Have no fear, Halloween sees tons of events and parades take to the street. And the last week of October 2015 was $202, 34% cheaper than the week of Mardi Gras.
November: San Francisco. It’s still sunny and temperate enough here for you to make the most of the city’s many attractions, such as catching the ferry across the bay to Alcatraz or walking along the incredible feat of engineering that is the Golden Gate Bridge. The week before Thanksgiving last year was one of the cheapest weeks of the year at $202 per night, 51% cheaper than the city’s peak price.
December: Las Vegas. With renowned nightlife, a palpable party feel and endless shopping opportunities, December suits this city down to the ground. The third week of December 2014 was also 60% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year, with 4* accommodation rates as low as $84 per night.

PDX Movie Theatre
The Hollywood Theatre will soon offer travelers another way to pass the time at Portland International Airport. The theatre is slated to open an annex in late spring. It will screen short films, typically one to five minutes long and spotlight Portland artists, as well as films about the city and the state of Oregon. No ‘experience’ will last longer than 20 minutes. All shows will be free.
The 650-square foot theatre will offer seating for 18, with standing room for another 10 to 20 people and a space for live performances. The location will be near Gate C5 with a hard-to-miss marquee. The inside will likely feature curtains and traditional movie theater chairs, maybe even an old film projector.
Hollywood is not a California reference, but rather a local one. The Hollywood Theatre first opened its curtains in Portland in 1926.
Major airports in Asia have jumped on the airport theatre trend, but American airports have been slower to embrace the idea. An exception is Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which put in a screening room last year as part of a luxury lounge.


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!

TODAY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$43 Miami
$61 New York-LaGuardia
No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week!
Not valid on Friday or Sunday
Complete travel on or before March 8
Valid on American, nonstop
Purchase today, January 12

HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$87 Pittsburgh
$92 Grand Rapids
$97 New York-JFK, Rochester or Syracuse
$104 Boston
$106 Portland, Maine
$132 Salt Lake City or Tucson
A 14-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
Complete travel on or before March 3
Valid on American via Chicago, Phoenix or Philadelphia

HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$120 Orange County-Santa Ana, California
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
Complete travel on or before March 3
Valid on American via Phoenix

HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$132 Portland, Oregon
A 14-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
Complete travel on or before August 5
Valid on Alaska Airlines via Seattle

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 added during the flight 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. 

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SPECIAL HOTEL & CRUISE DEALS

Global Hotel Sale
Accor Hotels is throwing a global sale for Le Club Accorhotels members.  Book by January 14 for discounts of 30% to 50% off the Best Flexible Rate.  Reservations must be prepaid.  
Reservations are allowed on stays through early April for much of Europe.  Switzerland allows 2-night stays through August 31 at 2-for-1 rates, while Germany offers 30% discounts. 
Rates at Amsterdam M Gallery from $123 on January 22-April 10 stays.  Rates at midscale hotels from $45 per night.  
At participating properties across France: 
30% discount at Adagio, Adagio access, Ibis, Ibis Styles, ibis budget, Sofitel, HotelF1
40% discount at Novotel, Mercure, Novotel Suites, Pullman, MGallery 
At participating properties in the UK, a 50% discount applies on January 29-April 10 stays booked on AccorHotels websites only.
For a stay in Asia and Pacific, a 40% savings applies on the Best Unrestricted Rate, while Accor Plus members enjoy additional an 10% off, which is 50% off the Best Unrestricted Rate.  Valid on February 1-June 30 stays at participating hotels and resorts in Greater China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea.  
Also valid on March 1-June 30 stays at participating hotels and resorts in Australia, Cambodia, Fiji, French Polynesia, India,  Japan, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Check out the full list of participating properties and Terms & Conditions for all locations at Accor
If you’re not already a Le Club Accorhotels Loyalty member, join now to take advantage of the savings — it’s free to sign up.
The Accor brand includes Accor Hotels, Ibis Hotels, Le Club Accorhotels, M Gallery Hotels, Mercure Hotels, Novotel Hotels, Pullman Hotels, Sofitel Hotels.

It’s Wave Season!
The early months of each new year is referred to Wave Season in the cruise industry.  It’s one of the best times to book a cruise with many extras awarded for early bookers.

AmaWaterways: Reserve by July 31 for savings of up to $1,500 per stateroom on select Wine Cruises, $1,000 savings per stateroom on any 10- and 14-night sailings or $500 savings per stateroom on all other 7-night cruises.

Blount Small Ship Adventures: Book by February 1 to save up to 40% off cruise fare, and receive a $150 onboard credit per person and a pre-night that includes cabin and onboard meals.

Through January, Carnival Cruise Line‘s ‘Carnivalidays’ event offers include complimentary two-category upgrades, onboard credits, reduced deposits and 24-hour sales on hundreds of cruises.  Specials apply to many three- to eight-day sailings to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico and even Europe aboard the cruise line’s upcoming new Carnival Vista, setting sail in the Mediterranean in May.

Guests can reserve sailings on Crystal‘s river yachts, embarking in 2016 and 2017, by February 29 to take advantage of extra savings on cruises aboard its two classic ocean ships, the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, plus Crystal’s new luxury yacht Crystal Esprit.  Crystal is offering great deals on its other ocean cruises aboard the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, starting at only $1,845 per person for reservations made by February 29.  Plus, there are lowered single supplements for solo travelers, reduced fares for short Crystal Getaways, savings on Explorer Combination Cruises and a 2.5% incentive for guest who pay in full 6 months in advance.

Cunard Line‘s ‘Ultimate Upgrade’ perks are available on select Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria sailings when booked by February 29:
Balcony stateroom for the same fare as an Oceanview stateroom
Princess Grill Suite for the same fare as a Balcony or Britannia Club Balcony
Queens Grill Suite for the same fare as a Princess Grill Suite
Free Gratuities for two people

Now through February 29, Emerald Waterways is offering free round-trip airfare from major U.S. and Canadian gateways for guests reserving a Balcony Suite, including the Panorama Balcony Suite, the Grand Balcony Suite and the Owner’s One Bedroom Suite, on 2016 Europe river cruises departing through August 31.  Guests who reserve a stateroom cabin category on a Europe itinerary are eligible for a reduced airfare rate of $995 per person. Book any cabin category on all 2016 Southeast Asian itineraries to receive free airfare from major gateway cities.  Book by February 29.

Fathom offers ‘D.I.B.S.’ (Deep Impact. Big Savings) through February on its upcoming new social impact Dominican Republic cruises.  Deposit only $150 at initial booking; discounts of up to $400 per person ($100 interior, $200 oceanview, $300 balcony or $400 suite).

The American-owned luxury barge cruise, French Country Waterways offers savings on its six-night Burgundy sailings in France during the month of April. Besides a $600 saving per couple, the offer provides a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay at a luxury Paris hotel. Rates start at $4,195 per person aboard the 18-guest Esprit and $5,895 per person on the 12-guest Adrienne and Nenuphar.

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MSC Cruises is promoting ‘2-for-1 Balcony’ specials on seven- or 10-night Caribbean cruises on MSC Divina in 2016 and 2017, and kids 12 and under cruise free on over twenty select sailings. On cruises from April 23, 2016 through March 25, 2017, balcony rates start at $999 with a paying first guest and complimentary second guest. The sale applies to select 7-day or longer cruises booked through February 28.
Here are a few examples:
Rates start at $1,299 for two in a Balcony stateroom on the April 30 sailing with ports at Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and Bahamas.
Rates from $999 for two in a Balcony stateroom are offered on a May 7 sailing with stops in St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and Bahamas.
The ‘K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Sale)’ includes discounts on 2016 European cruises. Over 400 summer itineraries across seven ships will be available starting at $599 per person, and kids 12 and under also sail free on all Mediterranean cruises.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers $1,600 in added value on bookings made through April 10. Reserve a new five-day or longer voyage in any cabin category on sailings more than 30 days prior to departure and choose from one of four complimentary amenities: Ultimate Beverage Package, Specialty Dining Package, $50 per port shore excursion credits in up to four ports or a 250 minute WiFi package. Guests booking a suite or The Haven by Norwegian will receive all four free offers.
Book a new seven-day inter-island Hawaiian cruise aboard the Pride of America more than 30 days prior (valid on sailing through April 29, 2017), in any cabin category and choose one of four similar free offers: one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, Specialty Dining Package, pre-paid gratuities for the first and second guest in the stateroom or $50 per port shore excursion credits in up to four ports. Guests booking a suite or The Haven by Norwegian will receive all four free offers.

Oceania Cruises‘ new OLIfe Choice promotion, good through June 30, allows guests in any stateroom or suite category the option to choose from several complimentary perks on departures on or after April 25.  Select from free unlimited internet and a choice of a beverage package, free shore excursions or an onboard credit. Included shore excursions and onboard credit range from three excursions or $300 in credit for cruises up to nine days to five excursions – and $500 in credit for cruises 14 days or longer.

Through February 29, Princess Cruises ‘Twice as Nice’ sale offers double onboard credits and savings up to $1,000 per stateroom on cruises 6 days in length or longer to all destinations sailing from summer 2016 to spring 2017, a total of 700 available voyages.  Book an interior or oceanview stateroom for up to a $300 onboard credit per stateroom.  Book a balcony, mini-suite or suite for up to a $600 onboard credit per stateroom. 
Examples of the cruise deals:
6-day Western Caribbean: $549 interior; $799 balcony, plus up to $300 onboard credit.
7-day Mexico or California Coast: $599 interior; $849 balcony, plus up to $300 onboard credit.
7-day Alaska: $799 interior; $1,349 balcony, plus up to $300 onboard credit.
10-day Alaska Land & Sea vacation: $1,754 interior; $2,999 balcony, plus receive up to $300 onboard credit. 
11-day Scandinavia & Russia: $1,699 interior (was $2,149); $2,299 balcony, plus up to $400 onboard credit.
14-day Mediterranean: $1,949 interior (was $2,548); $2,749 balcony (was $3,348), plus up to $600 onboard credit.

New to cruising?  Find a CLIA Certified Cruise Agent in your neighborhood.  That agent will help guide you to the best cruise line for your taste and budget.


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


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