On Hawaii Island, you can have a first-class trip at coach prices. I’ve been traveling here for years, and I learned to visit and have fun without spending a small fortune.Here are some of the ways on Hawaii Island. (To see how to on Maui and Oahu, click through on those links.)Visit the supermarketsAs soon as I exit Kona International Airport on Hawaii, I head to the Safeway supermarket in Kailua-Kona (open 24 hours) so I can stock up on breakfast and lunch items, which I store in my hotel room’s refrigerator. (I also pack breakfast cereal, powdered milk and plenty of protein bars.)Saving money on breakfast and lunch means you can splurge at dinner. At the supermarket, also check near the entrance for local tourist guides offering a wealth of bargains, coupons, deals and steals such as “101 Things to Do on Hawaii Island.”Info: Safeway, 75-1027 Henry St., Kailua Kona; (808) 329-2207Choose your accommodations wiselyYou often can save by staying at a bed and … [Read more...] about How to save big on Hawaii Island
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It’s fall, for heaven’s sake, and it needs to act like it. But this is California, which pretty much does what it wants.My name is Catharine Hamm, and I’m the travel editor for the Los Angeles Times. This week, we’re offering you some refreshment. Our annual summer vacation photo issue is like a long, tall, frosty beverage that makes you wipe the back of your hand across your mouth and say, “Ahhh.” And our article on the upcoming color season in California could make you want to put on a jacket in anticipation.Other articles that will slake your thirst: how to learn French cooking at sea, what to do if your Global Entry card is MIA, a piece on the people who will be playing in the Bellagio’s fountains (they’re allowed) and an End paper that ponders why “Downton Abbey” — the movie and its real-life counterpart — is like an oasis in life’s deserts. Cheers, mates.You did it, so thank you!Readers, you made our … [Read more...] about Escapes: Reader photos? Like a cool drink on a hot day
That headline question is the one Christopher Reynolds poses in his fascinating look at a neighborhood — the only one left in San Francisco, one resident asserts — that once was the Little Italy to end all Little Italys. Is change the only constant? And if so, what’s next?I’m Catharine Hamm, the travel editor for the Los Angeles Times, and what’s next in this newsletter is how you can win a stay at the real-life Downton Abbey; where you can stay at its polar opposite in Texas; the first snow up north; a flower field in Paso Robles that’s rarely affected by weather; learning to cook French on a cruise ship; and ways around the traffic in Las Vegas. All of that plus the End paper, which offers a look at airfare prices in the wake of oil supply concerns.Some questions, some answers and some ideas on how to travel differently in this week’s newsletter, which, for subscribers, is on their electronic doorstep every Thursday morning. So let’s … [Read more...] about Escapes: Is San Francisco’s North Beach at low tide?
The French Riviera began life as a health resort. Today, it’s home to a couple of million people and hosts a lot of really rich visitors. In the same way, the fun-loving Cabo you remember from a decade or two ago has grown up — and grown into a sophisticated beauty with expensive tastes. The luxury resort makers couldn’t ignore the allure of Baja’s geography and couldn’t help but appreciate the perpetually sunny skies, so they decided to plant their flags more deeply into Mexican soil.A boom was born.Conditions were right for a high-end enclave, an easy retreat from the rigors of the world just a two-hour plane ride from Los Angeles.My name is Catharine Hamm, and as travel editor for the Los Angeles Times, I’m often torn about covering high-end travel that shapes, or, in this case, reshapes a place. It’s easy enough to turn away from the luxury bent of some of the Caribbean island nations, but Cabo is in our back yard. And the number of new and … [Read more...] about Newsletter: Escapes: Is Cabo this century’s French Riviera?
On the Spot has been exploring what happens if you have a problem with a ticket booked through an entity other than the airline, including online travel agencies (see latimes.com/ota) or if booked as part of a package, often called bulk tickets, or with a consolidator, both unpublished fares (see latimes.com/unpublishedfares). The big gray area is consolidator tickets, which offer much lower prices and, sometimes, commensurate risks. Are they worth it? What if you have a problem with yours? Joe Brancatelli, whose JoeSentMe.com newsletter helps travelers (especially business) navigate the crazy quilt of airfare, hotels and more, compares consolidator tickets to shopping at an outlet mall. The airlines don’t especially want the public to know whether they’re going to discount airfares heavily, so they might sell them to a consolidator, who then can sell them to you (or your travel agent) for considerably less. Perhaps because of that lack of transparency — we’ve … [Read more...] about Consolidator tickets: The good, the bad, the ugly