One of the tricks to winning the game of life is to always have something to look forward to. For travelers, 2006 will yield a trove of special events and new experiences, some with special savings. Here are some possibilities.
Philadelphia already has begun celebrating Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday. Although this great American was born Jan. 17, 1706, the celebration will last all year, with one of the best offers available through April 30. The Ben's Birthday Hotel Package is offered at 36 hotels, with rates of $105-$419. Participants get one or two nights' accommodation, two tickets to ''Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World," an exhibition at the National Constitution Center; a ''BENefits" coupon book for savings at restaurants, stores, and attractions; a guide; a discount card for the Philadelphia Trolley Works; and even temporary Ben tattoos. Other amenities, which vary from hotel to hotel, may include free parking.
The nation's theme parks keep coming up with new attractions. At
Call 407-W-DISNEY or visit www.disneyworld.com.
This year will mark the 800th anniversary of the Great Mongolian Empire, history's largest contiguous land empire as declared by Chinggis Khan in 1206. The event signified the birth of modern Mongolia, and with later expansion into China set centuries of Mongol rule. Ancient Empires of the Khans, a journey from Nomadic Expeditions, will have a special departure, July 28-Aug. 9, including the opening ceremony of the Chinggis Khan monument in ancient Kharakhorum. The ceremony will feature a ''mini" Naadam Games with archery, wrestling, and horseracing. Many destinations will be visited, with the cost from $2,720 per person plus air fare.
Call 800-998-6634 or visit www.nomadicexpeditions.com.
For travelers who have been to Ireland and want to see something different, CIE Tours has a seven-night, fully escorted Irish Interlude trip, focusing on the less-traveled northwest and west coasts and including the Fanad Peninsula and award-winning Museum of Country Life. Prices start at $1,446, including air fare from Boston.
Call 800-CIE-TOUR or visit www.cietours.com.
The Mississippi Queen riverboat will begin its 2006 season with a seven-night Quilting on the River cruise, April 23-30, round trip from Memphis. Passengers will learn the history of quilting as they travel along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The cruise will spend two days in Paducah, Ky., for the annual Quilting Show, and Dianne S. Hire, a fiber artist quiltmaker, will make presentations. Fares are $1,712-$3,564 per person.
Call 800-543-1949 or visit www.deltaqueen.com.
Call 800-HOTELS or visit www.renaissancehotels.com/chibr.
Visit www.historicinnsofrockland.com or call 877-ROC-INNS (762-4667).
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at email@example.com.