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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Downhill Vacation 10.6.10

I suppose this could incorporate all the things that ever went wrong on every vacation rolled into one big nightmare, but I like to be optimistic. Even though something probably WILL go wrong, it probably won’t be disastrous to your whole trip. I want to talk about snow vacations. With it now being officially fall and all, winter is right around the corner, which means many snow destinations will be opening for the ski season. If you aren’t quite into cold-winter sports, this could work in your favor, because you could go before the first flakes fall and save a bundle. 

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  • It’s sometimes hard to find good deals on ski destinations. Between lift tickets, optional equipment rental, airfare and hotel, a cold weather destination can be brutally expensive. With everyone flocking there, the hotel rates skyrocket, so it’s great to find a deal at all.  You can see the Top 25 U.S. Ski Destinations HERE courtesy of TravelHero.

    Find wonderful package deals to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in France to ski your heart out from Expedia. Prices are based on when you travel, so find some travel dates that work for your budget and start brushing up on your French. Also, every dollar you spend will get you ThankYou Points that you can use toward the purchase of future travel from Expedia. Rewards start at just 1,000 points.

    Fly Iceland Air from Boston, New York or Seattle from $499 per person for the Golden Circle Getaway. While Iceland is not known for skiing, it is a great cold-weather vacation and now is the ideal time to see the Northern Lights, too. Included in this package is airfare, hotel, daily breakfast and the Golden Circle Tour for 3 days/2 nights. You may add on extra days to the end of your stay (up to 5) for a reasonable nightly rate. Packages are non-refundable, so you might look into getting travel insurance. Check out QuoteWright.com

    • Now, you can stay in great locations in Canada, including Banff and Whistler through Hotels.com for as little as $53 per night. Book by Oct 11th for travel by Oct 25th.
    • You can also stay in Vail, CO to get your ski on and take advantage of specials, including 3rd or4th night free and 20-50% off. Great rates already, starting at $99 per night or even less if you don’t mind staying outside the city. Booking and stay-by dates vary.
    Remember, Hotels.com offers price-match guarantee and doesn’t ever charge to change or cancel your reservation (unless it is for a same-day reservation). Their call center is open 24 hours a day for your convenience. Plus, stay 10 nights, get one free with their Welcome Rewards program. Free to sign up and use and your credits don’t expire!

    • Ski Tahoe and stay in The Ridge Tahoe for as low as $54 per night. Buy one night, get one free. Hotel has an indoor sports complex, private shuttle service, indoor swimming pool, health club, tennis courts, putting green & driving net, racquetball courts, on-site ski shop, health club, ping pong & billiards rooms, children’s playground and casino shuttles for a fee. Book by Oct 14th, add airfare and save even more on your vacation.
    • Experience the breathtaking views of Alaska and stay for as little as $67 per night in top-rated Expedia hotels near Anchorage.

    Buy season passes. If you plan on skiing for more than a day in some locations, it could be more cost-effective to buy an entire season pass. When you’re ready to leave, see if you can sell (read: transfer) your pass to someone else. That way you both get discounted rates!

    Buy your tickets online to save time, and sometimes money. Don’t wait in the long line when you can just go right to the slopes.

    Buy a Gold Pass. If you are skiing in Colorado all season long, this might be the pass for you. It’s spendy at $3,000, but it gets you access to 21 ski resorts all season and can be transferred to friends or family members, so you get the most use out of it. Only a limited number are sold each season, for obvious reasons, so if you want one break out your credit card.
    Ask if there is a student discount (you know, if you actually ARE a student). This could save you quite a bit on lift tickets.

    Purchase Skier’s Insurance. If for some reason you can’t use your season pass, you’ll be covered to get a refund. Restrictions do apply and cost depends on the cost of your season passes, so please read this carefully. Many resorts already sell SkiersGuard when they sell you your passes and you can add on the cost right then and there. Generally, it is 6% of your purchase price. 

    Learn to ski or snowboard in Tahoe for cheap or FREE! 

    Skiing in New England and looking for bargains on tickets? Check out Family Ski Trips
    Do you practice yoga? Let BootsNAll show you how to take it on the road with you when traveling. 

    Normally, I tell people to stay off-site when going to Disney, but this is one of the best deals I’ve come across. If you want to stay at one of the resorts once in your life, this might be the time to do it. You can also add Disney Dining Plan to your package.
    Save $300 on a 4 day/4 night Disneyland Resort package and receive a 4-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket for each guest in your party (family 4 pack). Book by December 1 for stays from October 1-December 16.

    How many times have your heard the story of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman? Now you can take a lantern tour of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Pasadena California for only $20 per person. If you are too scared to go at night, save $5 each and take a daytime tour. Advanced reservations are required.

    Travel Channel has a list of the Scariest Halloween Attractions in the U.S., including the Bates Motel, The Queen Mary and Eastern State Penitentiary. 

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