Save on gasoline, but don't scrimp on Mom
Just about everyone is talking about the price of gasoline, and no wonder: Gas for less than $3 a gallon is receding in memory, and at some stations in California and Hawaii, the price at the pump recently topped $4. That, of course, is why BedandBreakfast.com has launched its Tanks a Lot promotion for the fifth year, with inns across the nation putting their discounts directly into your gas tank. Some examples:
Through Oct. 18, Pilgrim's Inn and Cottages, Deer Isle, Maine, (pilgrimsinn.com) will reward guests arriving in a hybrid vehicle with a deduction in their lodging bill up to $40 for a tank of gas.
At the Ruby of Crested Butte, Crested Butte, Colo., (therubyofcrestedbutte.com) two AARP-member couples carpooling and staying two nights, Sunday through Thursday, through June 30, will receive two $25 gas cards plus an extra 5 percent discount if the couples arrive in a hybrid vehicle or fuel-efficient equivalent.
At the Inn at Ellis River, in Jackson, N.H., (innatellisriver.com) you are invited to burn wood, not gas. Stay two or more nights in a fireplaced room anytime between April and July, and get a refund up to $50, figured by the distance traveled from anywhere in New England at 25 miles per gallon fuel usage. Stay a third night, and get a complimentary three-course dinner for two.
Through the end of June, arrive at the Colonial Terrace in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., (thecolonialterrace.com) in a hybrid vehicle and get $25 off the total bill to put toward gas. The offer is good Sunday through Thursday.
Stay two nights at the regular price of $135-$145 at Wilder Farm Inn in Waitsfield, Vt., (wilderfarminn.com) through July and each additional night is $100. Save $10 more if you drive a hybrid or carpool with friends who are also staying there.
Island Goode's in Hilo, Hawaii, (islandgoodes.com) is green indeed. Produce is grown on the eight-acre estate on the Big Island and water is solar-heated. Book two nights and get a $25 credit toward auto or travel expenses; stay four nights and get a $50 credit. Airport pickup is free, and you ride to the inn in a 47-miles-per-gallon
Visit bedandbreakfast.com and click on Free Gas Promotion in the lower left of the screen. For more lodging details, check the inns' websites. Prices vary, so be sure your savings equals or exceeds the cost of similarly appointed nearby inns.
N.H. gas offers
Several gasoline-related offers from New Hampshire lodging places are listed at visitnh.gov. Put "gas" into the "Search our site" box, then click on Gas Saving Offers.
You need not belong to AAA to use its website's fuel price calculator and fuel price finder, handy for determining how much you may spend on petrol during a trip or for finding what gas costs at your destination and along the way. Go to aaa.com and, after entering your ZIP code if asked, put "gas" in the site's search box.
Visitors to Alexandria, Va., can take a new free tourist trolley along the city's historic main street. The trolley runs along King Street from the Potomac River waterfront to the Metro station from 10-10 daily with frequent stops for hopping on and off to visit shops, restaurants, and attractions of Old Town Alexandria. You never know what you will find on King Street. On my last visit, I encountered a group of African singers performing some excellent doo-wop numbers and asking nothing but donations from passersby.
For tourism information, go to visitalexandriava.com.
Because Manhattan and shopping just go together, the Hotel Elysée is offering an NYC Luxury Shopping Package that includes accommodations, pink champagne upon arrival, a pound of Leonidas Cocoa dusted truffles, a copy of the NYC Zagat shopping guide, a day at Bergdorf Goodman with complimentary tea for two in the BG Restaurant, and a free facial. Participants also get a personal shopping consultation, a gift card, the latest Vogue magazine, breakfast daily, snacks throughout the day, wine hors d'oeuvres each weekday evening, and passes to the NY Sports Club. Rates start at $350 per room. The package is valid May 1-Aug. 31, and requires a two-night stay.
Visit elyseehotel.com or call 800-535-9733.
Just for Mom
Sure, you can always take her out to dinner on Mother's Day (although taking her out a day or two before or after May 11 might make for a more pleasant experience). But you can also treat Mom to something really special. For instance:
With the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino's Mother's Day Delight package, you and she arrive on May 9 or 10 for a five-night stay, with daily breakfast for two, a $100 resort credit, and a welcome amenity upon arrival. Prices start at $385 a night.
Visit aruba.hyatt.com or call 888-591-1234.
Much closer to home, the Doubletree Hotel Boston-Downtown and the Doubletree Club Hotel Boston-Bayside are featuring a Woman of the Year Mother's Day Package. Beginning at $123, including a night's stay, a bouquet of flowers, and breakfast or brunch for two.
Visit hiltonfamilyboston.com/mothersday or call 800-222-TREE (8733). Mention rate code MDP.
Perhaps you'd like to treat your mother to Europe for the big day. Departing May 11 is an eight-day Gutsy Women Travel journey to Budapest and Prague, complete with a Hungarian cooking class, city tours, castle visits, and Bohemian cuisine. The land-only price is $2,299.
Visit www.gutsywomentravel.com or call 866-IMGUTSY (464-8879).
If nothing seems enough, why not triple the tribute. On Mother's Day, The Langham, Boston, will have its signature Afternoon Tea, which dates from 1865 in London, for $24 a person. The day before, consider brunch at the Chocolate Bar, where more than 125 desserts can be made to order, at $35 per adult and $17.50 for children ages 5-12. Finally, there is Sunday Jazz Brunch at Café Fleuri with music and enhanced menu offerings, plus a magician and balloon artist if you choose to bring the children or enjoy them yourself. The price is $80 for adults and $40 for children 5-12.
Visit boston.langhamhotels.com or call 617-451-1900.
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.