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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.

Watch: Family Road Trips to Florida, Utah, and Washington

Watch Travel + Leisure's Nilou Motamed on CNN discussing family road-tripping to The Florida Keys where you can stay at Cheeca Lodge & Spa and visit the six-toed cats at Ernest Hemingway's old place. Other recommendations: National Parks in Utah (try the Lodge at Red River Ranch), and Washington for Olympic National Park and a stay at Lake Crescent Lodge.

Related: Best Family Getaways and The Ultimate Florida Beach Road Trip

Insider Secret: Travel in May for Great Values

May is shoulder season in many popular destinations – the weather is pleasant, the crowds are slim, and rates are lower. Here are some great-value getaways to consider.

Florida Keys: Parrot Key Resort, Florida Keys

Opened in 2008, Parrot Key Resort is one of Key West’s newest properties. Each of the spacious waterfront rooms has a patio, porch, or balcony. There are four pools, tropical gardens, and if you like watersports, you can kayak, paddleboard, and Jet Ski during your stay. The resort is near Mallory Square and other attractions of Old Town. Doubles from $179/night in May (versus from $239/night in April).

Related: Best Affordable Beach Resorts

New England: Ocean Edge Resort, Brewster, Cape Cod

Originally built for one of Brewster’s wealthiest residents, this seaside property has 337 guestrooms. Families can also choose to stay in stand-alone villas on the waterfront or around the Jack Nicklaus golf course. The resort has two year-round indoor pools, three outdoor pools, tennis courts, and access to the Cape Cod Bike Trail. Head to the town of Chatham for shopping or drive 40 minutes to Provincetown at the tip of the Cape. Although May temperatures not quite warm enough for a dip in the ocean, you can enjoy walks on the quiet beach and build sandcastles. Doubles from $119/night at The Villages, and from $175/night at The Mansion in May (versus from $250/night in July).

Caribbean: Hermitage Plantation Inn, Nevis

The airy, pastel gingerbread cottages of this inn are in a tropical garden of a former sugar plantation. Full tea service is served on the Great House veranda every day at 4 p.m.—a nod to the isle’s British heritage. Try the inn’s rum punch; they have their own 350-year-old recipe that’s a closely guarded secret. Doubles from $150/night starting April 15 (versus from $255 in high season).

Colorado Rockies: Sky Hotel, Aspen, CO

At the bottom of Aspen Mountain, Sky Hotel has 90 guest rooms that were recently renovated. The lobby is a cozy gathering place, with log-beam ceilings, high-back upholstered chairs, and a complimentary wine hour from 5 to 6 p.m. every evening. The property has more than one building and some rooms open to the outdoors. Doubles from $129/night in May (versus from $299/night in June/July and from $450/night in winter ski season).

Pacific Northwest: Rosario Resort, Orcas Island, WA

Orcas Island is an ideal Northwest escape for those who love nature, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. Rosario Resort surrounds guests with the beauty of the San Juan Islands, offering views of East Sound and Cascade Bay. The Bayside Rooms are a short walk from the Moran Mansion and Rosario Marina and feature sliding-glass doors that open onto a patio or balcony with dramatic island views. Activities include kayaking and whale watching on Puget Sound, visiting the local Farmer’s Market, and touring artisans’ studios. Doubles from $119/night April through June (versus from $149/night in July/August).

More From Travel + Leisure:

Best Caribbean Islands for Foodies

America’s Best All-Inclusive Resorts

World’s Coolest Ferris Wheels

America’s Best Places to Eat Like a Local

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