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Summertime is for play and the outdoors, adults and children alike enjoying a long day of swimming, the feel of grass under bare feet or the simple pleasures of the sun on your face caressed by a gentle breeze. Now is the time when travel providers trot out special programs for the family, emphasizing enough activities for the kids to keep them occupied long enough to give the parents some free hours (and, with luck, wear the kids out so they'll go to sleep early).
Summer means shorter nights for everyone, but our nights are nothing compared to what folks see in Iceland. Thanks to Iceland's extreme northernliness -- most of the island is farther north than Edmonton or Anchorage -- summer nights there can last up to a month long. That's worth seeing.
When the kids will be out of school come summer, its possible to head to Orlando and it's throng of theme parks without taking a second mortgage.
The summer travel season is coming up, but that doesn't seem to be affecting the low domestic fares we're seeing every week. Right now, four sales of note are keeping prices down: from Delta, US Airways, JetBlue and Southwest.
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Reader's Voice
From Linda C.: "Has anyone else experienced problems receiving their 'Europe on Sale' discount as advertised by Brendan Tours (www.brendanvacations.com)? We booked our air inclusive tour in early February and were booked on a qualifying airline. However, we have yet to see the discount. My travel agent has contacted them and was now told our flight didn't qualify.:
From Piper Satterfield: "I'll be making a whirlwind escorted trip through Ireland in September. I am an amatuer photographer and pretty picky about my photos. I went to Scotland/England 3 years ago and was so disappointed by my results. My first mistake was the film I chose to carry. The rest, I just don't know. So does anyone have any tips for me? I'll pretty much have one shot to get a decent pic at each stop. If you had to carry only one lens, what would it be? Film speed/brand choices?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!"
From Bill Clay: "Does anyone know of any recourse one has against a hotel that overcharged and refuses to correct the mistake? The desk clerk at the Palais des Papes in Avignon added our bill wrong and charged us almost double what she should have. We were in a hurry to catch a train and (stupidly) did not check the charge ticket before signing it. On our return home we discovered the error and faxed the obviously erroneous bill and a polite letter to the hotel but got no reply. We faxed them again a few days later -- same story. We appealed to MasterCard who said they couldn't help. Is there such a thing as a BBB or Tourist Board in France that could be of help? Any ideas?"
From MSee: "Our family of four is planning to visit Dollywood and the Smokey Mountains for our vacation (which, by the way, is quite overdue). We are on a budget, and I'm wondering if anyone can give me any tips about lodgings, places we shouldn't miss, not-so-expensive dining, etc. We'd like to have a smooth memorable stay. Thanks."
From robert traveler: "If you would like to be around the museums and wonderful Vondel Park then I have the B&B for you. It's the Hotel Heemskerk. It is connected to the Concertbegouw with a common circular back couryard complete with balconies. Room 4 not only has a balcony, but a jacuzzi bath and a HUGE bed. I paid about 170-180 euro per night, well worth it."
 

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