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August 28, 1999

Listen in on Tuesday, August 31 with Real Audio.

Rooms on the Road for Less

If you're planning a last road trip for the summer, or if you're driving back to college, you might want to know about a Web site that offers discount coupons good at mid-priced motels. It's called roomsaver.com, and you can visit the site, click on the state, city or interstate highway you'll be traveling and check out the discounts. If you like what you see, print out the dollars-off coupon and take it with you on the road.

Now we're talking basic lodging here--coupons are good for Econo Lodges, Red Roof, Holiday and Days Inns, and the occasional Ramada. Thousands of them. How big are the bargains? Well, I priced a Motel Six in suburban Washington, D.C. Not a great location, but not the worst, either. A roomsaver.com coupon promised me a $48 room night; when I called the hotel directly, I was quoted a $70 rate. A coupon for an Econo Lodge in Reno was good for a $25 rate for a double; the motel quoted me $30.

Now, you can't guarantee the discount rate by booking ahead--you have to show up and hope there's a room available. Roomsaver.com suggests you print out more than one coupon for an area in case there's no room at the inn of your first choice.

Rooms on the road for less -- that's my Deal of the Week!

Listen in on Tuesday, August 31 with Real Audio.

Rail Rage
Road rage, air rage...now there's even rail rage after a man riding Amtrak's New York-to-Chicago train Thursday stabbed a passenger and two conductors. The FAA says there's been no increase in raging travelers. But a group of flight attendants addressed the issue at at a roundtable in Seattle Thursday.

Hurricanes Aplenty
Trouble on the seas as well: Last week Hurricane Bret forced the evacuation of South Padre Island, Texas; this week Hurricane Dennis headed toward the Carolinas. Now, a hurricane warning might sound like a reason to cancel a cruise. But according to Steve Senft, president of The Cruise Company in Omaha, big storms are no reason to stay

Senft: "First of all, all of the cruise ships have state-of-the-art navigational equipment. They never are in a position where they have to deal with a hurricane because they can always go around it...normally the itineraries that the cruise lines have are in the eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean and southern Caribbean. And it's pretty unlikely that at any given time there're hurricanes in all three of those areas."

Millennium Madness
If you can't beat em', set your watch ahead. The Polynesian kingdom of Tonga plans to adopt daylight saving time November to February in order to win the race to the year 2000...one hour ahead of South Pacific rival Fiji, which also claims to be the first place a new millennium dawns.

New Ways to Travel
And then there are the people who have to find an entirely new form of transportation...like the guy planning to cross the Atlantic in a three-hundred fifty-year-old tree trunk--to call attention to deforestation. Think he'll replant it when he lands in Brazil? And another man has embarked on a journey around Britain in a motorized toilet. His charitable cause is "Cash for Trash," a recycling group, and yes, the toilet will collect waste along the way. He left last Saturday, but since the top toilet speed is FOUR miles per hour, it will take him a month to ride around the country.

Travel Advisory
by Cheryl Glaser

Forest Fires out West
After worrying about air and water, how about fire? Lightning and low humidity have led to wildfires across the western U.S. The forest service has banned campfires in parts of Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho.

Labor Strikes in South Africa
And labor leaders in South Africa still are not satisfied with the government's wage offer. They've threatened more strikes like the one this week that saw 100-thousand public workers marching in the streets. One person was injured when Johannesburg police used force against demonstrators.


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