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Go West…for Ski Deals

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Winter’s back may be broken, but that doesn’t mean ski season’s over. In fact, this may be the perfect time to hit the slopes, while the snow’s still good and the deals are enticing. The keys to spring skiing: book quickly—and don’t forget your sunscreen. 

Park City, Utah
Over a dozen Park City properties are offering Ski Free and Stay Free packages that offer travelers a free night of lodging and a lift ticket at one of the area’s three resorts (the Canyons, Park City Mountain, and Deer Valley) when you book a four-night package. Valid for reservations between March 28 and April 11, 2010; see parkcityinfo.com for more.

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National Parks Waive Park Fees Next Month

Washington Post |  The National Park Service will waive visitor fees next month during National Park Week, officials said Tuesday.

Parks will be open to the public free of charge from April 17 to 25, to coincide with National Park Week. The special fee program also coincides with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and the 75th anniversary of the nation’s most visited national park, the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 392 national parks will also offer special pricing deals on tours, lodging and souvenirs, the Park Service said.

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More Hotels Offer 'Pay Before You Stay' Discounts

USA Today |  Pay before you stay, and save. That has been the deal with online travel sites and discount tour operators. Now, an increasing number of hotels are slashing room rates if you ante up in full in advance and forego a refund if you don't show up.

Last year, Fairmont hotels began offering savings up up to 30% to those who book ahead and pay in full.

Now, "I would say the majority of our hotels offer 'Savers' rates. It's one way we can offer a discount" without cheapening the upscale brand, Fairmont spokeswoman Lori Holland says. Prepaying also guarantees revenue ahead of time: "We know people are coming," she says.

Las Vegas hotels often charge a credit card when a stay is booked. But Station Casinos, with 10 properties in the area including the upscale Red Rock Resort, just announced a tiered, online pre-pay program that offers deep discounts.

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$10 Flights on JetBlue—Today Only!

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MONDAY: To commemorate its 10th birthday, JetBlue is offering $10 tickets on remaining seats on flights between New York City’s JFK Airport and the first 10 cities it served.  You must book the flights today but you can fly today and tomorrow between JFK and Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach FL;  Buffalo and Rochester NY;  Oakland, Calif.; Burlington VT; and Salt Lake City.

That’s a quick turnaround, but impulsive behavior flourishes when spring is in the air.

For more information or to book, please visit JetBlue.com before midnight.

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

Image courtesy of JetBlue Airways

New Family Travel Auction Site Launches

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FamilyGetaway.com, a new website for value-seeking families, just launched and is offering travel packages at up to 65 percent off retail prices at places like the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Koloa, Hawaii, Highmark Steamboat Springs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.

Owned by the same company as LuxuryLink.com, FamilyGetaway.com operates in a similar manner as the popular luxury travel website by offering two purchase options:

-Auction: Those with flexible travel dates can submit bids on the package of their choice, assuring the website’s best values.

-Buy Now: For those with less flexibility, there is the Buy Now option that still offers steep discounts (often up to 50 percent off!).

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Paris Dispatch: Eiffel Tower News, Cool Apps, Exhibits, More...

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You can now buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower online at www.tour-eiffel.fr (English section); it’s also possible to reserve online at both the 58 and the Jules Verne. Van Cleef & Arpels took home the Best iPhone Application award at the Stratégies / Firstluxe.com 2009 Awards. “A Day in Paris”, was inspired by the brand’s site: unejourneeaparis.com. The app traces seven romantic, interactive circuits in Paris with poetic stops along the way.

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UPDATE: Snow and Room Rates Fall in D.C.

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If watching the video of last Saturday’s gleeful, well-attended snowball fight at Dupont Circle makes you as envious as it makes me, maybe you’re ready to head to D.C. for some cold comfort.  The Jefferson, a posh Beaux-Arts hotel between Dupont Circle and Logan Circle, has dropped the rates on their deluxe rooms from their usual $380 to $195 for the next couple of days.

So, own your own piece of the Snowpocalypse (or, D.C. residents, wait out the approaching storm in luxury, no snow shovels required).  Call the Jefferson directly at (202) 448-2300 and ask for the Winter Storm Special. Pack your snowpants and mittens.

(By the way, you can keep up with plans for the next organized snowball fight by going to the Official Dupont Circle Snowball Fight page on Facebook.com.)

UPDATE:  The D.C.-area Kimpton hotels (including the Hotel George, Hotel Helix, Hotel Madera, Hotel Monaco, Hotel Palomar, Hotel Rouge, and Topaz Hotel) have jumped on the wagon with a special snow-day rate that starts at $99.  Use SNW as the booking code.  (See if you can talk them into combining the snow special with the Rub the One You're With spa treatment package!)

Ann Shields is an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: Stirling Elmendorf

Dr. Ruth Launches "Date Nights D.C."

Washington, D.C. is getting a different kind of stimulus package this month—one spearheaded by the newly-appointed Secretary of Love and Relationships, Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The famous love doctor (inspired by the Obama’s “date nights”) has wasted no time in making her priorities clear, by launching “Date Nights D.C.,” a program that offers tons of deals during the month of February at D.C. hotels, restaurants, museums and more. Here are some highlights:

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Affordable Miami: Get the Incard

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With most of the country experiencing near Arctic temps right now, Miami—a lone warm-weather destination on the eastern seaboard—is looking pretty good. And there's another reason to go: travel discounts!

Miami Beach tourism is offering a slim and subtle bar-coded card for discounts as big as 20% at the area's top shops, restaurants, museums, hotels, and more. The card comes in two colors: platinum for tourists, and black for residents.

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This Tuesday's Emirates Air Sale: $100 Off RT Flights

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We just learned that award-winning airline Dubai-based Emirates throws new sales every Tuesday at Emirates.com/spotlight. This week it’s discounted roundtrip economy-class tickets purchased (via the website) by $100.

Its modern fleet (some 137 aircraft in all) flies to over 60 destinations around the world, including the newly added Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, and LA- and SF-Dubai routes.

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