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June 22, 2010

Get Outdoors for Less With Maine Huts & Trails

Family canoeing adventure on Flagstaff Lake, Maine (Maine Huts & Trails)

Now's a great time to be outdoors in western Maine's Carrabassett Valley, with forested trails, freshwater lakes, and mountain vistas beckoning adventurous families. And while the Carrabassett area is well stocked with your standard range of family-friendly amenities and lodging, the best deal beckons for those willing to put in a few extra paces to access an excellent network of rustic huts operated by Maine Huts & Trails (MHT). Located in the quiet backwoods a few miles north of four-season Sugarloaf resort, MHT is currently offering a "Kids Stay Free" deal for stays through the end of its fall season in early November if you book by August 6 (children ages 3-12 are normally $35-$50 per night for weekend stays during the summer/fall season). What do you get? Well, quite apart from an unmatched wilderness experience on waterways like Flagstaff Lake and at natural stunners like Poplar Stream Falls, you get to bed down with the fam in rustic comfort at any one of MHT's three backcountry huts. Enjoy hearty breakfasts and dinners, plus bagged lunches (extra fee) for your day on the water or the trails. In fact, you might love it here so much that you'll be back in winter when the valley and the huts morph into a snow-clad mecca for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Weekend rates for adults are $75-$93 for non-members, $65-$80 for MHT members.

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June 17, 2010

Aspen, Customized to Your Tastes

One of the many options from Little Nell Hotel

As any Colorado resident would tell ya, you come for the snow, but you stay for the summer. And nowhere is this in better evidence than Aspen after the ski season, where you can rock climb, paddle, fly-fish, mountain or road bike, paraglide, day hike, or backpack—just to name a few.

With all those activities on offer, deciding what to do can be a bit overwhelming. This summer, the Little Nell Hotel makes things easier by enrolling the services of an Adventure Specialist who will help tailor your trip to what you want to do.  A series of day hikes with a gourmet lunch? Done. A how-to clinic on whitewater rafting or rock climbing? No problem (and yes, the gourmet lunch is included in your rock-rat ambitions).

Fly-fishing enthusiasts, in particular, will benefit from this new program. David Doerr, the Little Nell’s Director of Fly-Fishing, will help you plot an itinerary into private-access angling hot spots, and former Olympic downhill skier turned five-time Gold Cup fisherman Andy Mill will join you.

With the salmon fly-fishing season kicking off in July, getting an insider's access the best to fish in Aspen's famed, river-choked Roaring Fork Valley couldn’t come at a better time.

Check out Away's Top Ten Warm-Weather Mountain Towns

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May 05, 2010

Hotel Spotlight: Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa, Samoa

(Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa)

A little more than six months after a tsunami struck the tiny island of Independent Samoa, the Polynesian country is still rebuilding itself. On April 1, Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa reopened its doors after losing 30 percent of its facility to the devastating natural disaster that took more than 200 lives around the South Pacific. The renovations will continue for the next couple of weeks, with the spa, second restaurant, and ocean side “fales” (or rooms) close to complete. The 30 individual rooms are available in a range of categories: garden view, ocean view, beach side, or executive suite. The resort is located 20 minutes from the capital of Apia and just down the road from where the past two seasons of the reality show, Survivor, were filmed. All guests have access to the on-site golf course with tennis, kayaking, and snorkeling complimentary. Through May 31, Sinalei is offering a “Back to Beautiful” special, which allows you to stay for seven, pay for five. The package also includes two half-hour massages, buffet breakfast, and afternoon tea. Reservations must be made by May 31 for travel through the same date of 2011. Only children 12 years of age and older are allowed. Make sure to mention the booking code SINbtb if you want to take advantage of the special offer.

Lisa Costantini is a writer/editor currently traveling the world with her husband working on a project about sport and culture. More information can be found on their website at Lisa will be blogging from the road for us as she and her husband travel through Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe over the next several months.

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April 30, 2010

Abercrombie and Kent Offer Big Savings on Epic Summer Trips

Infinity pool in Sanctuary Swala Camp, Tanzania—one of the 18 trips soon to be on sale (Sanctuary Retreats)

If you've been longing to plot your way to the wild beyond this summer, but are wrestling with your economic conscious, relief may at hand. On May 6, Abercrombie and Kent—one of the best luxe tour operators out there—is having a killer sale on 18 different independent itineraries, each with a private guide, in such locales as East Africa, Jordan, Chile, and Europe. 

The auction-style sale starts at 9 a.m. Central on May 6, with five percent off these trips. Every 30 minutes, savings increase by another five percent, accelerating to a whopping max discount of 60 percent (provided trips are still available, naturally).  Better still, friend them on Facebook, and you get access to a private pre-sale event, which offers 25 percent savings on the same trips from 8 to 9 Central. 

The sale ends at 3 o'clock, Central, on May 6.  A small window—so take advantage. Who knows? You might end up booking the trip of your lifetime for far less than you'd ever imagined. That's a salve for almost any budget.

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April 07, 2010

Sugar Bowl Offers Free Skiing for the Remainder of the Season

By Lacy Morris

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For those of you who missed out on this season's skiing and are looking to get in some last days on the mountain before spring hits, Sugar Bowl is offering free access to its mountain for the remainder of the season (April 5, when next season's passes go on sale, to April 25, closing day) with the purchase of a 2010/11 season pass. With it comes unrestricted access to group lessons and equipment rentals whenever general admission is in effect. Season ticket prices range from $100 to $800 depending on age and days you wish to ski. Check out details here.  

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January 12, 2010

Travel Deal Alert: Free Airfare to Jackson Hole

By awayblog

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Jackson-hole-wyoming SKI HERE NOW: Jackson Hole terrain, Wyoming (Tristan Greszko/courtesy, JHMR)

Last-minute ski vacation deal alert! Jackson Hole is offering two free plane tickets—yes, that's two free tickets—when you book flights and lodging (five-night minimum stay) via the resort's central reservations office for groups of four or more. Call 888-838-6606 or visit for more info. Act fast, though, as availability is limited and you have to book by January 15 for trips starting no later than January 31, 2010.

For more of the best late-breaking travel deals, subscribe to's weekly Travel Deals Newsletter.

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July 22, 2009

Eat Your Way Through Melbourne

Melbourne's Yarra Valley (courtesy, Victoria Tourism)

Fans of Anthony Bourdain—consummate cook and author, intrepid traveler, chain smoker, and host of The Travel Channel’s No Reservations—can now follow in his footsteps.  Inspired by last Monday’s episode, “Australia,” Swain Tours has created a new package trip entitled “Eat Your Way Through Melbourne," which includes $560 round-trip airfare from L.A. or San Francisco on United Airlines; five nights in Melbourne at the Crown Towers; a Colonial tram-car dinner; a behind-the-scenes look at the city’s markets; a chef-led tour through the Mornington Peninsula; a tour of a Yarra Valley vineyard; one night at Apollo Bay and two nights at both Port Fairy and Dunkeld; a total of ten breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners (one a ten-course tasting menu); car rental for seven days; and whatever other epicurean adventures you can find.  Total price? $3,199 per person, based on double occupancy. The travel window is from now until March 31st, 2010 (to secure the discounted $560 round-trip airfare, book by August 20).

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March 26, 2009

Babymoon Boom: Four Great Package Trips

By awayblog

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FROM HERE TO ETERNITY: Let the babymoon soothe that transition (Digital Vision/Getty)

Whatever you think about the term "babymoon," PR's mot do jour, escaping on one last vacation before giving birth should be a rite of passage for all expecting couples. If you do qualify for the babymooners label, check out's recently published One Last Time, where writer Cameron Walker details her last hurrah down the California coast prior to the arrival of her newborn.

For more ideas, check out the following four packages that we recommend to whet your appetite. Check with the properties for specific pricing, as they vary by season and availability.

Continue reading "Babymoon Boom: Four Great Package Trips" »

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March 10, 2009

Why You Should Travel Now

By Karen Chen

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VACATION IN SIGHT: Go on vacation—now. (Digital Vision)

If you think hope is dwindling for being able to take that vacation this year, don't give up just yet. In fact, you may have already seen the headlines, and it's true: Although the economy continues to struggle, you can find a bright spot in the form of cheap travel. Everywhere industry players are trying to lure recession-era consumers to snatch up good deals—even giving away free nights at hotels and free credit vouchers to use while traveling. Airlines are slashing airfares, booking websites are proffering great package deals, and hotels are cheaper than ever. Even traditionally wallet-friendly all-inclusives and cruise lines are offering irresistible deals. So if you still need some encouragement to take a last-minute trip to get some sun in Florida or culture in Europe, here are a few of the Web's best reads about why now's a great time to travel:
- Fire sales! How cheap can travel go? [BT]
- Top 10 reasons to travel—now [MSNBC]
- Nine tactics for travel in 2009 [MSNBC]
- Airlines hope cheap fares can save them [USA Today]
- Last chance for wave season deals? Maybe not. [PG]

So what does all this mean for you? Start setting a travel budget, and search out deals! You may find that your next getaway isn't so far out of reach.

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February 18, 2009

Sites We Like: Save Money at

Save money on the ski slopes
SWEET SEAT: Lift at Japan's Hakuba ski resort (Nathan Borchelt)

No doubt, skiing's an expensive hobby once you factor in expenses for gear, lift passes, travel, lessons, maybe some après action... And that's why we like, an online marketplace that first launched in 2006, and is now helping change the way skiers plan their snow days. The basic premise is that, if you're willing to commit to your dates, ski resorts will cut you a deal on the cost of their lift tickets. (The earlier you book, the better the deal, but you can still buy tickets up to the night before.) currently sells passes for over 50 North American ski resorts, from British Columbia to Colorado to New Hampshire. Average discounts range from about 20-30 percent off walk-up window prices. And while it's hardly news that you should never pay full whack by first scouring the Web for advance discounts, Liftopia makes it easy by bargaining with resorts for the best wholesale prices and aggregating these deals in an easy-to-use, searchable interface. The site also offers discount lodging deals, resort profiles and stats, and a blog with the latest ski-specific news and happenings.

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Related Topics: Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Deals · Travel Websites

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