Over Labor Day weekend, more than 10,000 people converged on Black
Rock Desert, about 100 miles of winding road north of Reno, Nevada.
The event was Burning Man, an unusual mixture of creativity and
destruction that's drawn both increased attendance and media attention
over the last several years. The festival culminates in the torching
of a 40-foot wood and neon sculpture-- the Savvy Traveler's Fritz
Faerber was there for the burn.
Rudy mentions the following organizations.
Global Discount Travel is the agency that offers discounted TWA
tickets. The phone number is 1-800-977-7110
Companies that rent apartments internationally:
Home Tours: 800-367-4668
Property Rentals International: 800-220-3332
The website address that lists the websites of the world's airlines
(to find out who sends out a list of wednesday special deals) is: http://www.itn.net/airlines/
Places of the Heart
Today on the Savvy Traveler we start a new series of conversations
about places of the heart--an exploration of the places we hold dear
and why. I wanted Ben Stein to be my first guest because he is not
only a friend but because his life has largely been lived in the two
places I'm spending most of my time these days....Washington, DC (my
hometown....where my son lives) and LA where I spend part of each week
putting together this show. Stein has worked for two
presidents.....Nixon and Ford......as a speech writer and lawyer.
Today, he teaches law at Pepperdine University in Malibu and stars in
his own whacked out Comedy Central game show called Win Ben Stein's
Money. I asked him if he can tell which passengers on the plane are
from which city when he's flying between LA and DC.
Paris, Rome, Beijing, Rio, Sydney ... when I think of the romance of
travel, these are some of the places I think of.
But first, you gotta get there. And that means spending time - often
too much time - in one or more of the country's almost 600 commercial
airports. In fact, travelers spend an average of an hour waiting for
flights to come or go, every time they go to an airport
But, as Harriet Baskas has been discovering, you don't have to waste
your hour at the airport plopped in an ugly plastic seat, you can hit
an airport museum.
Would you like to fly from Chicago to London for $249? New York to
Singapore for $200? Miami to Rio for $100? L.A. to Tokyo for free?
Impossible? Not for savvy travelers who fly as air couriers.
Air couriers are members of the general public who accompany
time-sensitive cargo being shipped as passengers' baggage aboard
regularly scheduled commercial airlines. In exchange for providing
this minimal service, couriers are rewarded with ultra-low fares.
Typical savings are 50% to 80% of the unrestricted coach fares. Those
willing to travel at the last minute can sometimes fly for free.
Interview with Kelly Monaghan, author of "Air Courier Bargains,"
published by "The Intrepid Traveler." It's available in many travel
By the way, Kelly mentioned travel consolidators. That's another way
to save lots of money on air fares, and - guess what? We'll be talking
about how to do that next week, on "The Savvy Traveler." be sure to
Deal Of the Week
My Deal Of the Week comes from a Richland, Washington, travel agency
that promises some incredibly cheap hotel and air packages to Europe
beginning in the fall. Grab a pen, and I'll give you the phone number
in a moment.
Meanwhile, try these prices on for size: Six days in Madrid including
lodging and airfare via USAirways for as little as $629 per person
based on double occupancy and mid-week travel. That's for an East
Coast departure, but it's only $110 more if you're flying from the
West Coast. Continental breakfast is included, but not the airline
ticket tax. These deals are good for November through mid-December,
and then again from early January to late March.
Maybe you'd rather go to London or Paris or Rome? Airfare on British
Airways and three nights in a hotel is a steal at between $600 and
$750 per person in those three cities.
Now, tickets at this price are limited, but if you're interested, give
a call to Tropical Travel. Strange name for an agency located in the
state of Washington, but, hey, who cares what the place is called?
Tropical Travel's toll free number is 888-269-1777. That's
888-269-1777. I'll post this number today on the Savvy Traveler web
site you can access at www.savvytraveler.org.
Autumn in Europe cheap via Tropical Travel--that's my Deal Of the
I'm Rudy Maxa, the Savvy Traveler. You know, there's a definite shift
in the air after Labor Day. We pack away our bathing suits, return the
lawn furniture to the garage, and drag the kids to back- to- school
sales. Remember your first day back at school... when your teacher
made you write the inevitable "how I spent my summer vacation" essay?
Well, before you have to give up your summer completely, why don't you
give me a call and tell me what you did with your vacation...just for
old time's sake. The Savvy Traveler toll-free number is 1-888-SAVTRAV.
That's 1-8-8-8-S-A-V-T-R-A-V. And there's no pressure... I promise to
grade fairly. Let's go to the phones.
Rentable Frank Lloyd Wright
There are many Frank Lloyd Wright buildings to tour-- and for those
who can afford them-- own. But only one can be rented and be entirely
yours...at least for a few nights. It's a small cottage in the
Wisconsin woods that's been described as classic Frank Lloyd Wright
design boiled down to its essence. Bob Bach of WUWM in Milwaukee
relates the story of the Seth Peterson Cottage, located in Mirror Lake
State Park about 40 miles north of Madison.
The Seth Peterson Cottage sleeps up to 4 people and is available year
round for $225 a night. Although it's already heavily booked over the
next several years, there are cancellations and openings do become
available to the persistent.
Next week on the Savvy Traveler
We'll take a walking tour through the history and culture of gay New
We'll take your calls about where you'll go when you finally get that
dream vacation and we'll even give you some help on how to get there
as we continue our series on how to travel on the cheap;
"Sometimes you can get as good a deal or even a better deal by going
through a consolidator."
The ins and outs of using airline consolidators--another way you can
save a bundle and still get where you want to go
And you'll hear about the place to be when jet lag hits you in Tokyo
"Over near the wharf is a very mysterious sight. There are rows and
rows of these frozen carcasses and over and around them a cloud of
vapor rises blending with the early morning fog. They look a little
like frosted organic torpedoes."
A visit to Tokyo's Sukeeji Market in next week's edition of the Savvy