Real Deals

Tweak, pack, haggle and then skip, check, charge

By Richard P. Carpenter
January 4, 2009
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Consumer Reports reminds us that flying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays can mean a much lower fare, as can a flight that begins very early or late in the day. Tweaking your itinerary thusly is one of 10 travel tips in the magazine's February issue. The others: Check the airlines' websites for deals; don't overpack, especially since many airlines now charge for checked bags; don't be afraid to haggle over the price of a hotel room; use a travel agent for the best cruise experience; skip ship-to-shore calls; check your auto insurance and credit card coverage to see if you need car rental insurance; to get the most protection in a dispute, always pay by credit card; and take advantage of discounts offered by many groups, including AAA and AARP.

Okemo savings
What better way to start the new year than with fresh air, exercise, and savings. Okemo in Ludlow, Vt., has a variety of January specials for skiers and snowboarders. One example: Buy lift tickets online at least 48 hours in advance and get a two-day adult rate of $99. This offer is good on two-day consecutive tickets Jan. 4-31, excluding Jan. 16-19.

For all the offers, visit and click on Rates & Rentals, then Special Deals, then Online Only Offers. The phone number is 800-786-5366.

When the fur flies
JetBlue Airways, which flies more than 80,000 pets a year, has launched JetPaws, an in-cabin program designed to provide owners with travel petiquette guidelines that cover the social graces of jetting with small dogs and cats. Customers get two bonus award points for each flight with their pet and a custom-made carrier for pets up to 17 pounds is available for $45.


Seduction, anyone?
Seduction in St. Martin packages are being featured at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino and Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino, with prices beginning at $299 per night for winter and $199 per night for spring and summer. Details differ at each resort but both include romantic amenities and discounts. Incidentally, JetBlue begins nonstop Boston-St. Martin service on Saturdays beginning Feb. 14.

Call 800-223-0757 or visit or

The Obama stamp
Hawaii's latest claim to fame is that President-elect Barack Obama was born there. To learn Obama's favorite places, and for links to vacation ideas and deals throughout the Aloha State, visit


Most prices quoted are for double occupancy, minus taxes and fees. Offers are subject to availability. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at carpenter

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