Travel e-Scapes: July 7, 2015

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Miami, Florida

Travel e-Scapes: July 7, 2015

One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$49 Miami
Start travel on or after August 18
Complete travel on or before December 16
Not valid Friday or Sunday
No blackout dates!
Valid on American(+Fees $), nonstop
Purchase by July 8


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

NOLA Festival
The streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter will be filled with the sounds of brass bands and soulful singers as New Orleans honors native son Louis Armstrong in July and August. Satchmo Summerfest will be held July 31-August 2 with more than 40 musical performances at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue. The festival kicks off with a musical procession led by the Storyville Stompers Brass Band at 10:30 a.m. on July 31. Daily admission is $5; under 12 free. 

About Hotel/Resort Fees
The Federal Trade Commission recently ruled that hiding mandatory hotel resort fees is not a deceptive business practice.
Back in 2012, the FTC warned a couple of dozen hotels that surprising guests with added resort fees at check-out was deceptive and illegal. However, the FTC does not enforce that hotels publish the fees in room rate in advertisements on travel websites and elsewhere.  Extra fees are often displayed only at the payment screen along with applicable taxes.
An FTC attorney said the agency isn’t insisting that hotels include the resort fees in the advertised room rate. ‘At this time, we don’t have evidence to prove that not including the resort fee in the room rate is deceptive if a hotel prominently discloses the resort fee upfront and includes it in the total price’ when a guest checks out, attorney Annette Soberats said.
Resort fees can range from $10-$100 a night and cover costs for hotel and resort facilities such as fitness centers, pools, WiFi – regardless if a guests uses them or not. Fees are the highest in resort destinations such as Hawaii, Florida, and Las Vegas.


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!

One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$43 Chicago-O’Hare
$48 Philadelphia
Valid Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday
Start travel on or after August 25
Complete travel on or before November 18
Blackout dates: September 3, 4, 7, 8
Valid on American(+Fees $), nonstop
Purchase by July 10

HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$135 Boston
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Complete travel on or before June 2, 2016
No blackout dates
Valid on American(+Fees $) via Philadelphia

One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$144 Palm Springs, California
Not valid Friday or Sunday
Start travel on or after August 24
Complete travel on or before December 16
Blackout dates: September 3, 4, 7; November 24, 25, 28-30
Valid on American(+Fees $) via Dallas-Ft. Worth
One free stopover permitted
Purchase by July 16

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$412 Montego Bay, Jamaica
Valid Monday-Thursday only
Start travel on or after August 25
Complete travel on or before December 16
A 2-night minimum stay required
Blackout dates: September 3, 4; November 20-22
Valid on Delta(+Fees $), nonstop
Purchase by July 16

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$565 Bogota, Columbia
No advance purchase required
Add $10 per direction for Friday-Sunday travel
Depart by December 15
Complete travel on or before December 24
A 10-night minimum stay required
Valid on Delta.com(+Fees $); service is nonstop
Purchase by July 13

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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

Sunny Southern California
The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina offers rates from $229 a night during July and August. Slip into a summer state of mind with live music at the hotel’s restaurants, poolside activities for the kids or enjoy poolside massages from the new spa, The Hideaway. The hotel is near the Gaslamp Quarter and features a fitness center, two outdoor free-form pools, a whirlpool and 446-slip marina.
Upcoming San Diego events:
Imperial Beach Sun & Sea Festival, July 17-18: World-class sandcastle sculptors, live music and an international food fair
19th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival, August 14: Southern California’s largest craft beer festival with live music, 40 beers on tap
Summer Pops through Labor Day: Outdoor summer concert series on San Diego Bay 

Save in South Florida
The Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood, Curio Collection by Hilton is kicking off a family vacation package that encourages self-expression. The resort’s ‘Sun, Sand & Selfies’ package includes accommodations, 20 percent off a Kids Club session, kids 12 and under eat free, beach chairs for mom and dad and a beach essentials tote filled with sunscreen, lip balm, beach toys and a family selfie stick (now banned at Disney World). Rates start from $214 a night. Guests can document highlights of their vacation and share their memories by uploading selfies in front of an array of recommended “Selfie Spots” throughout the resort, using #DipIntoSummer. On site are six sophisticated dining and nightlife spots, the oceanfront Diplomat Spa and two beachfront pools. The hotel is located on a secluded barrier island between Miami and Fort Lauderdale at the intersection of the Intracoastal Waterway and a ribbon of Blue Wave-certified Atlantic Ocean beachfront. Guests are moments from Hollywood’s historic oceanfront Broadwalk, Downtown Hollywood’s Arts and Entertainment District and the Village at Gulfstream Park, which offers complimentary transportation from the resort every Thursday-Sunday. Water Taxis depart daily from the resort providing a scenic tour along the Intracoastal Waterway to points of interest including Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard with shops, restaurants and galleries. 

Hot Houston Deal
The AAA Four-Diamond Royal Sonesta Houston in sought after Uptown will be offering overnight rates from $90 during a three-day flash sale, July 14-16. The special savings are valid on stays through August 31. Book online using promo code RHOU3YR. Explore nearby and nationally recognized points of interest ranging from Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and The Beer Can House to Karbach Brewing Co. and the Mahatma Gandhi District, all just minutes away. Also nearby are some of the country’s top shopping and dining, the museum and theater districts (Houston is home to the largest number of theater seats outside of NYC), miles of hike and bike trails – plus kayaking in Memorial Park along picturesque Buffalo Bayou.
Upcoming Houston events:
Best Damn Food Food Truck Festival Ever: July 18
Space City Comic Con: July 24
Houston International Jazz Festival: July 31-August 2
White Lines Nights in The Heights: August 1
Houston Shakespeare Festival at Miller Outdoor Theatre: August 1-9
Houston Restaurant Weeks: August 1-31 


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


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