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: 

Fourth graders enjoy Lewis and Clark National Historic Park in Oregon. NPS Photo.jpg

Children hike on a forested trail in Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Oregon. (National Park Service)

Federal rec areas give 4th-graders a pass

It’s back to school season, and for fourth-graders, getting an education is already paying off. All fourth-graders nationwide (including home-schooled youngsters) can get free admission for themselves, their families and friends, at more than 2,000 federal recreation areas — including all national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. Students can go to www.everykidinapark.gov and complete an ultra-simple educational activity to print a personalized pass. (You’ll need to print your pass; electronic copies are not accepted. Printed passes can be exchanged at certain parks, including Cabrillo National Monument, for a plastic annual pass to use again and again through August 2019.) Fourth-grade educators can go to the same website to download a class activity and print passes for their students. (Educators include teachers, camp ...Continue reading

HiltonHawaiianVillage_LagoonAerial.jpg

An aerial view of the lagoon at Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach.  Hilton Hawaiian Village Photo

Half-price suites at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu is offering San Diegans a half-price suite sale. Rates start at $236.50 for a junior suite in the Tapa or Diamond Head towers. (Those suites, which include a roomy relaxation area and an outdoor lanai with comfortable seating, usually start at $473 per night.) Or splurge on the resort’s coveted two-bedroom Rainbow Tower Presidential Suite for $1,142 per night — a rare 50 percent discount on the regular rate. Half-off suites can be booked between 10 a.m. Aug. 5 and 8 p.m. Aug. 10. The deal is valid for stays anytime between Aug. 12 and March 31, 2019. Be forewarned: There’s a $40 daily resort fee, and parking will add another $43 per day to your tab. Hilton Hawaiian Village has... Continue reading

flying-flags-rv-resort-campgrounds-buellton-ca-93427-superior airstream (9).jpg

A refurbished Airstream trailer at Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground in Buellton. Exclusive discounts for U-T readers.

Your Choice: Vintage Airstream, glamorous tent

Want to try something a little different? Maybe a stay in a refurbished Airstream trailer? Or a cozy night in a glammed up safari tent? Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground in Buellton offers it all — and Travel Deals readers can get a 20 percent discount on Sunday through Thursday night stays through mid-May 2019. Consider a vintage escape in a fully equipped Airstream trailer, starting at about $130 a night this summer (with our discount). For another $15 or so, opt for a glamorous safari tent with a king-size bed, a sofa, mini fridge and private patio. The campground includes pools, hot tubs, a fitness center, playgrounds, laundry facilities, a cafe ... Continue reading

 

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