Since January 2013, Alison has been writing a monthly “Travel Deals” column for the San Diego Union-Tribune. The column aims to help readers stretch the dollars they spend on travel – so that they can ultimately do more traveling. 

“Travel Deals” runs in print on the first Sunday of each month in the newspaper’s Travel Section; it appears online a few days earlier.  Watch for it – and be rewarded by getting first crack at the month’s most tantalizing travel bargains.

In the meantime, check out these recent columns: 

Tanque Verde Kids ride.jpg

Riding the trails at Tanque Verde Ranch. / Graddy Photography 

June Deals: Arizona dude ranch, Eurostar sale

Tanque Verde Ranch, a family-owned dude ranch near Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a deal that includes accommodations and daily breakfast for two for $150 a night. The offer is available through Aug. 30. Tanque Verde is one of America’s longest operating cattle and guest ranches. Family friendly activities (which cost extra) range from horseback riding/lessons to art classes. The ranch dining room offers gourmet meals — or guests can opt for specialty dining events, such as cowboy cookouts. There’s a ... Continue reading

 

Conestoga Ranch bonfire.jpg

Bonfire at Conestoga Ranch in Garden City, Utah

May Deals: From the South Pacific to Conestoga wagons

Air Tahiti Nui has a super deal for couples dreaming of visiting the South Pacific. Fly roundtrip from LAX to Auckland, New Zealand, for as little as $1,098 per person — and they’ll throw in a free three-night stopover in Tahiti, including accommodations at Hotel Tahiti Nui in Papeete. Travel Deals readers can use the booking code SDUT to add a pair of free roundtrip ferry tickets so that during your stopover, you can explore the nearby island of Moorea, too. The deal must be booked by May 23, for travel between Aug. 24, 2018 and March 31, 2019. The free stopover is permitted in either direction. The entire journey must run a minimum of seven... Continue reading

 

 

SpringSkiingSquaw:Alpine.jpg

Spring skiing at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

Lodging bargain, free lifts for spring snow play

Nature was ultra generous to California ski resorts in March. Here’s one way to make the most of spring skiing at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows: Stay in the Village at Squaw Valley Sundays through Thursdays through May 1 and get 30 percent off rates — plus get two free lift tickets per night stayed. (Lift tickets can only be used Sundays through Thursdays.) Rates start at $278 per night, plus a $25 daily resort fee. The current lift ticket window rate is $169 per adult, so your lift freebies have a value up to $338. The Village complex includes eight outdoor hot tubs, restaurants suitable for all budgets and plenty of shopping opportunities.

Continue reading...

 

UT Tesloop.jpg

Get a 30 percent discount on commutes in a luxury Tesla

Get your Elon Musk on and commute between San Diego and Orange County or Los Angeles in a chauffeur-driven luxury Tesla — and do it through April with a 30 percent discount offered exclusively to Travel Deals readers. Tesloop is a new service that offers city-to-city shared-car transportation in all-electric Teslas. Onboard amenities include free Wi-Fi, use of device chargers, noise-canceling headphones, comfy neck pillows, plus healthy snacks and drinks. There are multiple pickup/drop-off locations in all three counties. Avoid the hassles and expense of flying from Lindbergh Field to LAX by riding in style in a Tesla. Or why not discover the arts, culture and shopping opportunities in Costa Mesa? (Find lodging deals here: www.travelcostamesa.com/hotel-specials-and-discounts.)

Continue reading...

 Holland America's Westerdam docked in San Diego. Photo/Alison DaRosa  Holland America deal is for 4-night cruise to Vancouver   Holland America’s  1,964-passenger Westerdam is offering a four-night cruise departing San Diego on April 8 for  Vancouver, Canada.  Fares start at $199 per person, based on double occupancy. (For as little as $50 more, get a cabin with a veranda.) You’ll have to pay an additional $100 per person for taxes and port fees, and tipping will add $13.50 per person, per day. But even with these added costs, the bottom line remains around $100 per day for a vacation that includes all meals, plenty of entertainment — and a one-way ticket to one of Canada’s coolest cities, known for its arts and cuisine.   Continue reading...

Holland America's Westerdam docked in San Diego. Photo/Alison DaRosa

Holland America deal is for 4-night cruise to Vancouver

Holland America’s 1,964-passenger Westerdam is offering a four-night cruise departing San Diego on April 8 for Vancouver, Canada. Fares start at $199 per person, based on double occupancy. (For as little as $50 more, get a cabin with a veranda.) You’ll have to pay an additional $100 per person for taxes and port fees, and tipping will add $13.50 per person, per day. But even with these added costs, the bottom line remains around $100 per day for a vacation that includes all meals, plenty of entertainment — and a one-way ticket to one of Canada’s coolest cities, known for its arts and cuisine.

Continue reading...