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Swiss Hotels Offer Pay-What-You-Want Holiday Promotion

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Early booking specials and last-minute deals are ubiquitous in the travel industry, so we at T+L are always fascinated when someone gets creative with their pricing.

A collection of hotels in Switzerland have done just that with their "Pay What You Want" two-night stay offer before the holidays. Guests pay the normal rate for the first night, and then decide what they'd like to pay for their second night based on the service they receive. And given that each of the 18 participating hotels were voted some of Switzerland's Most Welcoming Hotels in 2013, it's likely their award-winning service will have guests paying full price or more for their second night stays.

Learn more at Switzerland Tourism's website.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.

Photo credit: Martin Ruetschi/Keystone/Corbis

Last Chance: Maine Leaf-Peeping At Its Best

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Fiery red, amber orange, golden yellow—these autumn colors are trademarks of the season, and the perfect excuse to plan a weekend getaway along New England's coast.

Maine’s striking foliage is still in its prime, and just an easy drive from Boston. Pack up the car and course along one of America’s best fall color drives to get there, or opt for a train ride to take in the hues. (Amtrak's Downeaster service departs five times daily from Boston to Portland.) Once you arrive, the fall viewing opportunities take to the sky, literally. Step onto a private plane with The Inn at Brunswick Station, whose “Fall Foliage Flyover” package offers for an hour-long aerial tour of Maine’s coastline. Or, take the Maine Eastern Railroad further north. Passengers will get an eyeful of colorful views on the 57-mile trip along state's scenic Mid-Coast, from Brunswick to Rockland.

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Fly to Australia's Top Spots with a Discount

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Next trip to add to your bucket list for 2014? An adventure to one of Australia’s top destinations.

Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand are offering vistors special fares for an Australian voyage when they visit Go Mighty’s #GoAustralia site.

Register for a “seat” on an Air New Zealand plane and once 332 people register (the number it takes to fill a Boeing 777-300 aircraft), a special discount will be triggered so that each participant will receive a unique coupon code.

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Now You Can Use American Express Rewards Points to Pay for Taxi Rides

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Travelers and locals can now use their American Express Rewards Points to pay for taxi rides in New York City.

As of today, American Express is letting cardholders use their rewards to pay for NYC cab fares in real time, at the end of their ride. Not only does it open the door to use smaller point balances efficiently—it’s the first time that cardholders (with any kind of plastic) can pay with rewards currency at the point of purchase. Amex loyalists who opt to pay for a NYC cab ride with credit card will automatically see their points balance upon swiping—they’ll then be given the choice to pay with, say, 2107 points for a $21.07 taxi fare. Not in NYC? Fret not: we’re inclined to believe that instant points payment might become the name of the game as banks re-examine the often-frustrating process of cashing out rewards.

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of American Express

Vail's Epic Pass Announces Global Ski Race

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Just last week, we wrote about saving big on ski passes by purchasing them early from Liftopia and Epic Pass. Now, Epic Pass has announced a new competition—fittingly dubbed the Epic Race.

The first ten people to ski all 26 resorts included in the Epic Pass will win a pass for life. That means free lift-tickets to some of the world's top ski destinations: U.S. mountains include Vail, Beaver Creek, and Breckenridge. In the French, Swiss, and Austrian Alps, passholders can enjoy the slopes at mountains such as Courchevel, Verbier, and Stuben.

Registration for the Epic Race starts November 1. Learn more here.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

onefinestay.com Now Offers Private Apartment Stays in Paris, London, NYC, and L.A.

onefinestay's listing for cliveden place, london

onefinestay—which is kind of like airbnb.com’s wealthy Auntie Mame—offers posh private apartments for short-term rentals.  If you're a well-heeled traveler interested in privacy and space without sacrificing the services of a hotel, they've got the digs for you. Fine linens, fluffy towels, discreet maid service, and even a iPhone fully loaded with local recommendations will make you feel right at home, or even better, during your stay.

Until recently, onefinestay limited its offerings to homes in London and NYC (some of which, we’re told, belong to celebs, so check the family photos for familiar faces), but has now extended its boundaries to include Paris and Los Angeles. So if you’re planning a trip to those cities, peruse some of their swank—and sometimes surprisingly affordable— possibilities for accommodations.

onefinestay.com 

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

Image of Cliveden Place apartment, courtesy of onefinestay.com

Now is the Time to Buy Ski Passes and Save Big

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It's hard to believe, but this winter's ski season is almost upon us. Not exactly known for being an affordable passtime, skiing does offer big savings to those who plan in advance.

Know when and where you want to go? Book early through Liftopia.com and access deals that can be up to 80 to 90 percent off rates you'd find at the slopes. Simply choose your region and your dates—the site partners with over 250 resorts across North America. Acting fast helps, as the disocounts for popular destinations and weekends can sell out early.

GetSkiTickets.com offers similar savings with nearly 50 resorts in U.S. and Canada, including biggies such as Park City, Squaw Valley, and Mount Sunapee. The site sells discount lift tickets, season passes, lessons and rentals.

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TODAY Show Video: Best Money-Saving Hotel Tips

T+L's Nilou Motamed appeared on The Today Show this morning to talk with Matt Lauer about ways to save money when traveling this summer. Read all of Travel + Leisure's Money-Saving Hotel Tips.

See Also: Best U.S. Cities for Affordable Getaways

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Santorini, NYC, Puerto Rico + Nicaragua

Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.


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Sales ends in 5 days!

Carpe Diem Santorini - up to 65% off
Pyrgos (Santorini), Greece
Carpe Diem is set between tourist-filled Firà and Oia, ideal for travelers who want to experience Santorini's quiet charms.

Seton Hotel - up to 39% off
New York, New York
A small but chic newly renovated hotel in midtown Manhattan, within walking distance of Grand Central Station.

O:live Boutique Hotel - up to 35% off
San Juan, Puerto Rico
This sexy retreat in Condado, Puerto Rico, has 15 rooms—some overlook a white-sand lagoon—and a rooftop pool.

Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan's Rock - up to 29% off
Playa Ocotal, Nicaragua
A 15-room eco-lodge in Nicaragua's El Aguacate nature reserve, on the country's eastern coast.

Vacationist is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Carpe Dien, Santorini.

TODAY Show Video: Should You Book a Deep Discount Carnival Cruise?

T+L's Nilou Motamed appeared on The Today Show this morning to discuss Carnival Cruise Lines' special low price offerings following its string of difficulties earlier this year.

Watch to learn more about these unusually low priced deals and find out how to book now.

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