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For the fifth year running, Alaska travel columnist Scott McMurren has published a little booklet chock full of coupons good for two for one deals and meals, discounts and free admissions all across our forty-ninth state. While the $99 pricetag might seem steep at first, The Great Alaskan TourSaver has some doozies when it comes to getting your money's worth.
Unlike a hibernating bear, our beleaguered national rail carrier seems to have woken up in the middle of winter and start moving about. To get more people back on trains they're cutting fares 25%, making some routes as affordable or even cheaper than flying. Additionally, they have some stunning weekly specials, a buy-one-get-one free promotion, special discounts for children and more.
Following a logical pattern set by a regional New England airline years ago, Scotia Prince Cruises of Maine is in the middle of a five-month trial run of a service using one of its boats down in Florida for the winter. It has been operating a really cheap ferry service between Tampa and the Yucatan, with roundtrip prices as low as $75 per person.
If you're still planning a late winter break and you've got a few extra beans in your coffer, consider a little splurging on your accommodations. The Meridien Hotel & Resort chain is offering "Winter Passport" rates from through March 31, 2003, that amount to as much as 50% off published rates.
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Reader's Voice
From Jeri Lande: "Our family of four (kids 10 & 14) just returned from very relaxing trip to Puerto Rico. We spent 4 days in San Juan followed by 3 in Vieques. High point--without a doubt the bioluminescent bay on Vieques. You have to see it to believe it! It is awesome! You take a ride on a boat into the middle of the bay at night & see the water glow when the fish move. Then you get to swim in the water yourself & watch it light up whenever you move. Droplets fall off & sparkle in the dark. Never seen anything like it."
From Ray Diver: "Does anyone have experience with the new rule on checked luggage dimensions? As I understand it the maximum is 62 linear inches. This will eliminate many wheeled or unwheeled garment bags and make it costly to take suits. Is there any way around this? Can we protest? I understand they will charge $80 for oversized bags."
From Joe Phelan: "Here are a few thoughts about our trip. In Burma, we only had 4 days and were tired out from the plane ride so we didnt have the energy to get on a 17 hr bus or train ride up to see the really neat area of the country. We stayed in Rangoon. Burma was definitely not my favorite place in the world. The people were amazingly friendly but rarely spoke English so it was difficult to communicate. They were not used to seeing tourists, as there are few there so they stare and point and laugh. it is interesting to be in a place and you be the only white person."
From B. Thompsom: "We have three weeks to travel the California and possibly southern Oregon Coasts at the end of March, beginning of April. We will skip the area between San Francisco and Mendacino as we did that a few years ago. Would much appreciate advice about places not to miss both from a cultural/ historical perspective, as well as places of natural beauty."
From Smitty West: "Anyone know of other good Ireland web sites to help with trip planning?"
 
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