Travel Deals: March 2009 Archives

The Go-Ahead-and-Ask Economy, Continued

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By Robert Farmer

I was speaking to a Bay Area hotelier recently who was decrying his abundance of inventory. That is to say, he's got a bunch of empty rooms that, when they sit empty, cost him money--sometimes lots of money. What, I asked, is he doing about it? More to the point, what can he do about it? You'd think the obvious answer would be to reduce the room rates into an "offer you can't refuse" category. But, for several reasons that we won't get into here, that's not the obvious answer. So the question became, What is he willing to concede in exchange for putting people in his rooms.

The Go-Ahead-and-Ask Economy

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By Robert Farmer

I know I know. It's all bad news all the time when it comes to the economy. And if you're like me at all, which I think you probably are, the wall-to-wall doom-and-gloom in the press and everywhere else makes you want to head for the hills--or, at least to the rolling hills of California's Wine Country. That in and of itself is a good thing, but it also happens to harbor some even better news for those intrepid travelers who are fortunate enough to get away.

Wine Country Day Trip for Under $20

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Livermore_Valley Wine Trail-med.jpgSubmitted by the Tri-Valley, California  Convention & Visitors Bureau

Start your day in Pleasanton, CA at the farmers market on Main & Angela Street (Saturdays, 9 am - 1 pm). Browse the vendors and sample fresh fruit and specialty foods. Afterwards, take a stroll along Main street to check out the wonderful art galleries, shops and more.

For a special treat, stop at the Meadowlark Dairy, the only drive-through dairy for a soft serve ice cream cone.  It is only $1.75 for a small ice cream cone.

Then, Head to Tommie's Deli and Sandwich Shop on 2nd Street in Livermore and order the Lite-n-Tasty, a small sandwich with (Bread/meat (4.oz.)/cheese & stuff) for only $6. Armed with your sandwich and maybe a piece of fruit from Pleasanton's farmers market, you are ready to hit the wineries for complimentary wine tasting!
By Courtney Cochran

I can recall, with embarrassing clarity, buying Chuck Shaw by the caseload in the drearily cash-strapped era that followed my graduation from college.  And though I quickly "graduated" beyond the realm of such inexpensive sippers around the time of my first raise, today's tough economic times have many of us - yours truly included - contemplating a reunion with bargain sips like Mr. Shaw's and others of his ilk.

To be sure, the crisis thinking fueling these considerations isn't limited to wine consumption alone.  Wine country visitors, as well, are wondering where they can cut corners on visits in order to spend less while still enjoying their fair share of the pleasures wine country has to offer.  They're looking for easy, smart ways to extend their spending power at a time when all of us are getting by on less.   

And so, in a valiant effort to keep the good times - and the good drink - flowing, we're here to help you do just that.  Read on for our top suggestions on where to save and - as important - where to splurge in wine country this season.    Because if one thing is a constant no matter the economic clime, it's that we can all use a little affordable luxury every now and then to keep our spirits afloat.

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