Travel e-Scapes: November 13, 2015

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$189 Punta Cana DR
Valid Monday-Thursday only on December 1-16 or January 19-March 3 travel
Blackout dates February 11-13 south; February 14, 15 north
Valid on Southwest, nonstop
Purchase by November 19
Perk: Two bags fly free per person on Southwest and no advance seat assignment fee!


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Gift & Stocking Stuffer Idea
Squeeze Pod’s ‘Gimme Shelter’ toiletry gift kits are smart and practical for holiday gift-giving — and it’s the gift that gives back. Made in the U.S.A. (Connecticut) with all-natural ingredients, Squeeze Pod’s leak-proof, single-use toiletry gift kits (TSA-compliant!) are perfectly suited for those with on-the-go lifestyles; busy families, students and business travelers. While many of the kits boast cheeky names such as “How Can I Miss You If You Don’t Go Away” and ‘Life Is A Journey: Explore More’ their ‘Gimme Shelter’ kit serves a more serious purpose. 

For every two Gimme Shelter kits purchased, Squeeze Pod will donate one kit to New Reach, a shelter and support service for women, children and families at the New Reach Shelter in New Haven, Connecticut. 
Each Gimme Shelter Toiletry Kit retails at $14.99 and includes:
Shampoo (2 single-use pods)
Conditioner (2 single-use pods)
Body Wash (2 single-use pods)
Facial Cleanser (3 single-use pods)
Shave Cream (3 single-use pods)
Moisturizing Lotion (3 single-use pods)
Toilet Odor Eliminator (3 single-use pods)

Best Ski Resorts for Families
Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has released its annual list of the Best Ski Resorts for Families, this time naming the best resorts for the 2015-2016 ski season. Editors of the site chose the list based on a number of family-specific factors, including special programs for kids, lessons and slopes for all ages and skill levels, and money-saving packages and promotions.
This year’s picks include (with the a Family Perk): 

  • Okemo Mountain Resort – Ludlow, Vermont: Kids Night Out – a childcare program for ages 6 months to 6 years – and Kids’ Night Out X for ages 7 to 12 years, offering age-specific activities like pizza, movies, swimming and skating.
  • Stratton Mountain Ski Resort – Stratton, Vermont: Group ski lessons for ages 3 to adult, customized by age group.
  • Camelback Mountain Resort – Tannersville, Pennsylvania: Ski and snowboard lessons, tubing, two terrain parks and a mountain coaster.
  • Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort – Hancock, Massachusetts: Ski and snowboard lessons for ages 3 to 14, and include lunch and hot chocolate breaks.
  • Beaver Creek Resort – Beaver Creek, Colorado: Beaver Creek Loves Kids and Beaver Creek Loves Teens programs for families, including pizza parties, arts and crafts, and mountain excursions.
  • Badger Pass Ski Area – Yosemite National Park, California: Badger Pups Downhill Ski/Snowboard Program includes two lessons for kids 4 to 6, and an All Day Kids Camp is available on holidays and weekends.
  • Greek Peak Mountain Resort – Courtland, New York: Junior Ride and Ski School for kids as young as 3 years of age, and an on-site Youth Center with plasma TVs, an arcade and more.
  • Smugglers’ Notch – Jeffersonville, Vermont: Lessons for all age groups, plus a FamilyFest Package that includes lodging, lift tickets, activities and more.
  • Northstar California Resort – Truckee, California: Teen Alley, with video games, music, movies and special events.
  • Aspen/Snowmass Ski Resort – Snowmass Village, Colorado: New Kids Ski Free promotion for the 2015/2016 season, and a Very Important Kids program with free activities for kids and a meal discount for families.

View the details on all of these destinations, including suggested lodging at Family Vacation Critic.
Family Vacation Critic is a comprehensive online travel resource for families that offers reviews of family hotels, resort and destinations. The site features vacation ideas, family travel tips and an online forum for family travelers. 


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:
$78 Los Angeles
A 14-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
Complete travel on or before February 10
Blackout dates: November 28-30; December 26-January 5
Valid on American, nonstop
Purchase today, November 13

One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$84 Dallas-Love
$97 Akron
$98 New Orleans
$99 Washington DC
$104 Columbus, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Raleigh, Richmond, St. Louis, Tampa
$109 Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Orlando, W. Palm Beach
$117 Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
$131 Austin, Boston, Minneapolis, New York-LaGuardia, Oklahoma City, San Antonio
$158 Oakland
$161 Phoenix
$165 Los Angeles
$170 Las Vegas
$188 San Diego
Valid on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday travel starting on or after December 1 and through May 25
Travel to/from Florida or Nevada is valid only on Tuesday and Wednesday
Blackout dates: December 26-28; January 2, 3; February 11, 15
Valid on Southwest, nonstop
Purchase by November 19

One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$157 Cancun
Travel is valid December 1-16 or January 19-March 3
Travel to Cancun only on Sundays through Wednesdays; travel from Cancun Tuesdays through Fridays
Blackout dates February 11-13 south; February 14, 15 north
Valid on Southwest, nonstop
Purchase by November 19

Round-trip from Atlanta: 
$196 New York-LaGuardia
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
No minimum stay required
Complete travel on or before December 16
Valid on Delta, nonstop
Purchase by November 19


SPECIAL HOTEL & RESORT DEALS

Think Snow!
Celebrate Whistler’s 50th Anniversary with ‘Lift & Lodging’ packages to suit any taste and budget with savings of up to 40% off.
Book these 4-Day / 5-Night packages by November 15:
November 26 – December 18: from $79
December 19 – January 2: from $167
January 3 – February 5: from $106
February 6 – 26: from $124    
February 27 – March 27: from $103
March 28 – April 17: from $83
Package rates (in USD) are per person, per night and based on two sharing accommodations.  Tax is additional.  Other packages and lengths of stay available.
With a coastal location, Whistler can rely on snow every winter across 8,171 acres of terrain spread across two mountains (over 1,200 acres are groomed).  The vibrant vibrant slope-side village draws mountain-lovers from around the globe, with 200 shops, award winning restaurants, legendary nightlife, and an endless collection of activities. Whistler Blackcomb has a long list of awards, accolades and the #1 resort rating in North America.

Warm Up with Florida Deals
Haddon Hall, a Joie de Vivre property, recently opened in the heart of South Beach in Miami’s historic Art Deco neighborhood. Introductory rates from just $119.25 per night include:
A $25 food & beverage credit
A complimentary beach swag bag
Sleep in with a 2PM late check-out, when available
Valid on stays through December 31. Blackout days may apply. A 1-day advance booking required.
Guestrooms feature original hardwood floors, custom and reclaimed furnishings with a Caribbean color scheme and beach-inspired artwork. Bordering both Collins Ave and Washington Ave, this bohemian boutique property is just one block from the ocean and the popular shopping and open-air dining district at Lincoln Road and famed Ocean Drive are steps away. On site is Sunny’s, serving breakfast and all day beach eats. The super-sized pool is surrounded by palm trees and cabanas. The 5,000 square foot backyard playground is the spot to grab a picnic under the Banyan tree, play a game of ping-pong or sip a cold craft beer. 
__________
Sixty Hotels, an upscale lodging group with properties in Beverly Hills and New York City, has added a South Florida location called Nautilus. The 250-room Miami Beach property is a remake of the old 1950s-era Nautilus Hotel at 1825 Collins Avenue and stretching to the beach. On site is a signature indoor/outdoor restaurant (blending Southern France cuisine with locally sourced ingredients), a spa, and the Cabana Club with an 1,890 square foot salt water pool and an expansive backyard with Bolivian hammocks amongst the palm trees.
Opening rates start at $195 a night and includes complimentary WiFi and continental breakfast. Valid on stays through December 23.
Room rates after the promo period start from $250 and rise to $650 a night. 
__________
The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa recently underwent a $300 million renovation, transforming it into the first beachfront JW Marriott resort in the continental U.S. The hotel now features a Balinese theme, with fishing basket-inspired light fixtures dangling from enormous chandeliers, a flower petal-filled pond at an enlarged entrance, and expanded pool decks. A glass balcony hosting a Gulf-facing hot tub is part of the new design. The first phase of a larger renovation is completed and further updates will bring an adult-only rooftop pool, a celebrity chef-led restaurant, and an indoor entertainment center by January 2017.
Rates start at $269 a night.
The resort sits on three miles of pristine Southwest Florida beaches with several renowned restaurants, championship golf, a world-class spa and a wide range of activities and amenities. Following the Phase 1 renovation, the resort offers more – including upscale shops for men and women, a free-form fantasy pool with views of the Florida Gulf, new dining options and completely redesigned and redecorated guest rooms.


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


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