Travel e-Scapes: September 8, 2015

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY:

Travel e-Scapes: September 8, 2015

One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$49 Orlando
Start travel on or after October 20
Complete travel on or before April 11, 2016
Valid Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday
No blackout dates!
Valid on Southwest, nonstop
Special note: Southwest permits two free checked bags!


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Cruises for a Cause
Carnival will launch a new cruise line called Fathom with a focus on volunteer vacations that the company says will have a “meaningful impact” on the communities served. The first new ‘fanthom’ trip will take cruisers on volunteer vacations in the Dominican Republic starting in April, 2016 from Miami. Travelers will have the opportunity to choose from a range of social impact activities and experiences both onboard and onshore.
Unlike a typical Caribbean cruise, guests will start with one or two days at sea practicing Spanish and learning about the destination. Upon arrival in Puerto Plata, passengers can spend up to three days working on projects ranging from teaching English to schoolchildren to building filtration systems to improve drinking water. Guests will sleep aboard the ship during their stay in the Dominican Republic. The experience will be aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger P&O Cruise ship (a Carnival-owned brand) featuring seven bars and restaurants, a spa, and a small pool. Reviews of the ship on Cruise Critic praised its dining options and public spaces, but passengers were less impressed with its entertainment options and cabins. Rates for the one-week cruise start at $1,540 per person, including all meals aboard, volunteer activities, taxes, and fees. Rates will vary by season, cabin type, additional recreational activities, cabin upgrades, and dining and beverage packages. By comparison, an 8-night Caribbean cruise leaving Miami in April 2016 aboard the Carnival Breeze starts at $997 per person, including taxes and fees.
Here’s a sample itinerary on Fathom:

Sunday: Board the Adonia and depart Miami in the afternoon.
Monday: Travel day at sea with impact and community programming onboard.
Tuesday: Arrive in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic mid-day. Impact activities and recreation in afternoon.
Wednesday: On ground, engaged in impact activities and recreation.
Thursday: On ground, engaged in impact activities and recreation.
Friday: On ground, engaged in impact and recreation in morning. Depart Amber Cove early afternoon.
Saturday: Travel day at sea, with impact and community programming onboard.
Sunday: Arrive Miami in the morning.
Carnival has been granted permission to cruise with U.S. travelers to Cuba to provide ‘cultural, artistic, faith-based and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens.’ Departures from Miami are expected to begin on May 1, 2016 (alternating weeks to the Dominican Republic). A one-week cruise aboard the MV Adonia is expected to cost nearly $3,000 per person, including all meals on the ship, onboard social-impact immersion experiences and certain on-the-ground cultural immersion activities. Taxes, port and other government and related fees additional. Fathom claims it will work with guests to attain individual government approval before sailing. fathom.org

Two Nights = One Free Night
Choice Privileges, the guest-loyalty program for Choice Hotels International, offers a new fall promotion – ‘Stay Two Times, Earn a Free Night!’ After taking two separate trips through November 11, Choice Privileges members will receive up to 8,000 points, enough for a free night at over 1,500 hotels. The promotion is available at participating hotels within the Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria hotels & suites, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands. To participate in the promotion, members must register at ChoiceHotels.com/FreeNight before check-out. Not a Choice Privileges member? Sign up at ChoiceHotels.com.


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:
$49 Tampa
Start travel on or after October 27
Complete travel on or before April 11, 2016
Valid Tuesday or Wednesday
$49 seats available in January, 2016 on Monday-Thursday and Saturday!
No blackout dates
Valid on Southwest, nonstop
Special note: Southwest permits two free checked bags!

HURRY!  GO NOW! One-way from Atlanta:
$49 Miami
No advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
Complete travel on or before September 12
Valid on American, nonstop
Choose from 7 daily flights

HURRY!  One-way from Atlanta:
$59 Denver or Kansas City
$137 Buffalo
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday
Complete travel on or before December 16
Valid on American via Chicago or Dallas-Ft. Worth

HURRY!  One-way from Atlanta:
$97 Denver
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid Tuesday, Wednesday
Add $11 each way for travel on other days
Complete travel on or before August 4, 2016
Valid on American via Chicago or Dallas-Ft. Worth

HURRY!  GO NOW!  One-way from Atlanta:
$119 Boston
No advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
Complete travel on or before August 4, 2016
Valid on American via Philadelphia

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$176 Washington DC-Reagan National
A 14-day advance purchase required
Not valid Friday, Sunday
Complete travel on or before March 9, 2016
Stay at least one Saturday night
Blackout dates: November 24, 25, 28-30; December 26-28; January 2, 3; February 15, 2016
Purchase by September 24
Valid on Delta, nonstop
Note: This is part of a larger nationwide sale

HURRY!  Round-trip from Atlanta:
$308 Monterrey, Mexico
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
Stay at least any two nights
Complete travel on or before August 4, 2016
Valid on American via Dallas-Ft. Worth
One free stopover permitted

Round-trip from Atlanta, including a 5-night hotel stay (sample dates):
$779 Dublin (October 9-December 20)
$865 Barcelona (February 1-28, 2016)
$925 Rome (February 1-28, 2016)
$955 Amsterdam (February 1-28, 2016)
$999 London (December 24-February 11, 2016)
$1,065 Paris (October 6-24)
Prices are per person, based on double occupancy or when two travel and stay together
Prices include all taxes and fees
Valid on British Airways via London
Visit British Airways Vacations for reservations

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 DEALS

London for Less
The Hoxton’s first property opened in 2006 in Shoreditch, an east London location. But a new central London propertyHoxton Holborn – copies the brands fair prices and stylish interiors. Guests won’t find a pool or a gym at a Hoxton, but hip vintage and mid-century furnishings. Guest rooms are mostly small with black-white bathroom subway tiles.  The smallest category of accommodation is the ‘Shoebox’ (less than 130 square feet). Other sizes are Snug, Cosy and Roomy. Rates from £69, or about $105 and include a breakfast bag of OJ, granola pot and a banana. 
Housed in a former telephone exchange, Holborn features a part cocktail bar, part restaurant, part juice bar lobby (free WiFi throughout and comp newspapers) with a retro beauty parlor on one side and a serious coffee shop on the other. Curios such as a 50s record-player sideboard, theater seats, a vintage school desk piled with dusty hardbacks dot the corridors. Hubbard & Bell is the affordable in-house grill/restaurant and the second dining option, The Chicken Shop, serves spit-roast birds. 

New St. Louis Digs
Shuttered since 2011, the original Hotel Lennox reopened this month as The Courtyard by Marriott St. Louis Downtown/Convention Center Hotel. The newly renovated hotel is one of the most historically significant Courtyard-branded hotels in the country. The hotel was built in 1929 in the Renaissance Revival style and the restored interiors of the original building include green marble wainscoting, wood paneling and ornamental brass elevator lobby doors. Contemporary rooms – only eight rooms per floor – feature comp WiFi, 55′ HD smart TV with premium entertainment package, desk and coffeemaker. Suites and upgraded rooms add living space and pull-out sofas. Social spaces include a living room-style lobby with a home theater and library. On-site is a Starbucks, an outdoor courtyard, an restaurant for breakfast and dinner, an indoor pool with a whirlpool tub, exercise room, business center and free parking. The hotel, connected to the Convention Center, is within walking distance to 40+ restaurants, and major sports and entertainment venues. This modern hotel is an 11-minute walk from Union Station, a 2.5-mile drive from the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium is less than a mile away. Rates from $144


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


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