19262124.qxd 5/1/2006 5:04 PM Page E4 4E TRAVEL ● THE BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE Sunday, April 30, 2006 Good luck using air, hotel points in same trip By CAROLINE WILBERT ◆ Consider calling your air- COX NEWS SERVICE line. While consumers are often reluctant to book with a ATLANTA — Both the reservations agent because of airline and hotel industries the surcharge, the agents have are teeming with rewards access to more routes than we programs for loyal cus- do at home. They can book you tomers. The trick is figuring on flights offered by partner out how to redeem all the airlines. chits for a vacation you ◆ With many airlines, actually want to take. including Delta, in financial “The best advice is to be trouble and trying to squeeze very flexible,” travel expert every last dollar out of flights, Bob Cowen said. booking with frequent-flier Based on my own expe- miles isn’t likely to get easier. As rience, I’d have to agree. for hotels, you could sign up for Having already accumu- www.sxc.hu a loyalty program at a chain lated a pile of Delta Air Finding a hotel deal to match your airline deal can be tricky. with hotels in appealing desti- Lines frequent-flier miles, nations, but it’s hard to know my husband and I regis- where you will want to visit tered a couple of years ago Here are a few other ideas Europe, consider booking a several years from now. There- for Hilton Hotels’ rewards from Cowen, a hard-core busi- direct flight to a major destina- fore, Cowen says, don’t get a program, figuring we’d ness traveler who posts travel tion such as London through credit card that allows you to soon be jetting off to a tips online: your frequent-flier program, earn miles or points. Instead, sandy beach for free. ◆ Keep an eye out for new then book on one of Europe’s get a credit card that gives you We dutifully booked our routes. There often are fre- discount airlines to get to your cash back, then pay for your travel at Hiltons and also quent-flier seats available on final destination, such as vacation outright. signed up for a Hilton new routes. Milan, Italy, or Vienna, Austria. HHonors American ◆ If you are traveling to Go to www.whichbudget.com. email@example.com Express, which allowed us to earn points when we bought groceries or made other charges. We accumu- lated 156,000 points, enough to stay several nights at some of the chain’s top hotels. So now we needed to decide where to go. It wasn’t as easy as we thought. What about the Cayman Photo provided by Donna McGee Islands, where we’d honey- Richard and Donna McGee of Sour Lake at a Mayan ruin mooned? That would be a romantic spot to spend our in Belize. fifth anniversary. Well, except there are no Hiltons there. TREKKING WITH THE What about Bermuda? No Hiltons there, either. Any good beach locales? ENTERPRISE Ah, with a quick search of Hilton’s Web site, we found lovely accommoda- tions in Barbados. Bad news. No availabili- If ancient ruins are your thing, the Central American coun- try of Belize is a great destination. But one couple from Sour ty on Delta for SkyMiles Lake found lots more to do — in addition to touring some fab- customers. ulous Mayan sites. We probably spent a Who: Richard and Donna McGee of Sour Lake total of five hours through Where: Lag, or Structure N10-43, the largest temple in the several evenings working Mayan ruins at Lamanai, which is in the Orange Walk District on the project on our lap- of Belize in Central America. top. We’d search the Hilton Out and about: “We spent a week in Belize and enjoyed Web site for destinations, every minute. We went to see the island of Caye Caulker, went then investigate the feasi- cave tubing and ziplining at Jaguar’s Paw, tarpon fishing on the bility. We looked into a half- Sibun River, and shopped at numerous places.” dozen possibilities, but Travel Tip: “When going to Belize be sure to have sun- nothing was working out, screen and bug spray on hand at all times. Start reading either because we couldn’t books about Belize several months before you go to get ideas get a Hilton HHonors room about activities and sites to see. It is very easy to overindulge during the dates we wanted in the fun and schedule too much, so remember: You’re on to travel or because we vacation.” couldn’t get frequent-flier tickets. Here’s how to do it: After exhausting our Are you looking for a way to get your picture in the newspa- beach options, we checked per? Here’s one way: Take a Beaumont Enterprise with you on out Sedona, Ariz., which your next trip and get someone to take a photo of you (no big several friends had recom- groups, please) with the section, preferably with some identifi- mended. Though the able landmark in the background. Use your imagination. The Hilton wasn’t available on more creative the photo, the better chance it will be used. our ideal weekends, we had, by this point, given up Here’s how to do it: on those dates working out. 1) On a sheet of paper, write your name, physical address, e-mail and daytime phone number for contact information. We booked a Sunday- through-Wednesday trip. 2) Then, use this format: If I were to do it again, I’d Who: (identify the people in the photo, from left to right); more thoroughly research Where: (where the photo was taken); the best hotel group to sign Out and about: (100 words or less about the destination up with in advance. Star- and/or your experience); Travel tip: (for travelers who might wood Hotels, I now realize, want to go there, too). has more hotels in resorts we’d like to visit. When it 3) Send the photo to: Trekking with The Enterprise, The Beaumont Enterprise, 380 Main St., Beaumont TX 77704. came time to book, I would Or send it by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org start out looking at Sunday- with “Trekking” in the subject line. Your electronic image must through-Wednesday avail- be in JPG format and scanned at 150 dpi or higher. Your pho- ability. tos will not be returned. The long weekend was too difficult to pull off.
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