Is there a traveler anywhere not talking about the price of gas or the rising cost of airfare? Well, there are other ways to get there. Consider these alternatives:
Hop on a bus. Collette Vacations celebrates the region's heritage with a tour called New England Back Roads, visiting Boston; Bennington, the Molly Stark Trail, Adams Farm, Shelburne Museum, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, and Stowe, all in Vermont; Lincoln and North Conway in New Hampshire; and Boothbay Harbor and Kennebunkport in Maine. Many dates are available in September and October with prices from $1,399-$1,499, including accommodations and a farewell lobster dinner.
Visit collettevacations.com or call 800-340-5158.
Try pedal power. Granite State Vacations, a coalition of four country inns in the Sunapee, N.H., region, offers three inn-to-inn guided cycling packages at $550 a person. The rides, suitable for all experience levels, all begin on Sunday and include four nights' accommodations; three meals a day; services of a trained guide; daily route directions and maps; and inn-to-inn shuttle service for luggage and gear. The participating hostelries are the Blue Acorn Inn, Henniker House Bed & Breakfast, Highland Lake Inn, and Rosewood Country Inn. Available dates at this writing are Aug. 3-7, Sept. 21-15, and Oct. 19-23.
Visit granitestatevacations.com or call 603-735-6426.
Or paddle power. Kayaking on Cape Cod can be an excellent day trip. Two Mass Audubon sanctuaries, Wellfleet Bay in South Wellfleet and Long Pasture in Barnstable, offer this option. The Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary has 38 guided kayak trips this season. Prices range from $35-$40 for nonmembers, $30-$35 for Mass Audubon members. There are also multiday trips. For example, a four-day Coastal Ecology Kayak Trip at Wellfleet Bay costs $290 for nonmembers, $265 for members.
For these and other kayak excursions, as well as canoeing trips, visit massaudubon.org or call 800-AUDUBON (238-8266).
Set sail. This year Norwegian Cruise Line's popular Boston-Bermuda cruise takes place aboard the refurbished 1,730-passenger Norwegian Dream. Listed prices for the seven-day cruise, which has several departure dates through Oct. 26, range from $649-$2,499 for the remaining dates, depending upon choice of cabin and sailing dates. Or, you can take a bit of Boston with you aboard a trans-Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2, departing New York Sept. 4 and arriving in Southampton, England, Sept. 10. The Boston Symphony Players will perform throughout the crossing. Fares range from $1,395-$23,395.
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.