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Editor's Note
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You read it right; we just couldn't leave the office for the weekend without writing up this late-breaking announcement from Air Pacific.
Despite the boom in "eco" holidays, especially in Central and South America, there is still room for the ordinary beach lover, the person who wants to get away from "issues" rather than get deeper into them. Whatever your take, we've come up with three ecologically correct holidays and a defiantly hedonistic resort stay.
Amtrak's secret discount codes help you knock big bucks off the price of rail fares, and they've introduced two new codes since the last time we wrote about them recently.
For a low-stress winter escape, you can't do better than Cancun. The Mexican resort is striped with white beaches and lapped by warm waters. Plenty of people speak English, tourist facilities are first-rate, crime is low and the American dollar is accepted with a smile.
Today, we'd like to tug your chords of memory concerning offers from Octopus Travel, which has a brilliant list of budget-friendly combos. Each starts from under $500, including roundtrip airfare, six nights' lodging, continental breakfast, hotel taxes and service charges.
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Reader's Voice
From Tabasco Thomas: "We've just returned from Italy. The Bay of Naples with Vesuvius in the distance is the most beautiful glittering harbor I've ever seen. We stayed at the Hotel Excelsior for 7,000 Starwood points in a gorgeous room with balcony overlooking the yacht harbor; it's a grandly restored historic hotel. Rooms have marble baths and upholstered walls with Venetian chandeliers. Just cross the street are waterfront cafes, sit outside and luxuriate in the sun. The climate is mild enough for lemon and orange trees."
From Japan_In_Nov: "Does anyone know if there are prepaid cell phones available in Tokyo? What is your experience? If you could do it over again, what would you do differently? I have looked into calling cards but that doesn¿t help if he wants to contact me. I¿ve read one post on two-way-radios but that only helps if I am within a 2-mile range."
From Mark Irvine: "Curious to know if any of you had toured a Favela (slum) while in Rio or Sao Paulo. I'm interested in going into one, but I've been warned is extremely dangerous to do so."
From Michael Reeves: "I'm seriously considering skiing in Europe, most likely in March 2004. My friend and I are advanced skiers, so any resort with advanced terrain is fine. Which are the best for a 4 day trip? Zermatt, Courcheval, something else? Any ideas? Best companies to use? Or should we try to arrange on our own?"
From Katherine Maki: "From what I've seen about Vegas on the Internet, dining is expensive along the Strip. I'll be going to Vegas in December and would like to limit my daily food expenses, especially given the current poor exchange rate for my Canadian travel dollars. I'll be on foot so would like to know of thrifty family-style eateries and simple sandwich shops on/close to the Strip. Also, are there any grocery stores handy?"
 
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