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On a chilly Saturday night last February, my family and I splashed in the pool and warmed up in the hot tub at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Edina, then spent a night in one of its cushy bed -- and all for free. Well, almost. It cost us $1,000 of spending at the Galleria to qualify.
During the Galleria Holiday Open House (Friday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Nov. 11 this year), if you spend $1,000 at Galleria stores and restaurants, you get one free weekend night stay at the Westin, which is adjacent to the Galleria and connected via an underground tunnel (which is convenient for children with hair still wet from the swimming pool).
Last year, my husband and I received eye exams and purchased glasses -- unwittingly during last year's event. As we were paying up, our salesperson told us to show our receipt at the customer service desk in the middle of the mall for the Westin coupon. What Westin coupon, we asked? When he told us we would get a free night's stay, we understood why the mall was so busy on a random November weekend so far ahead the of the holiays. We might have been the only shoppers unaware of the deal.
Never mind that the deal worked out well for the Galleria, where we had lunch and dinner on the first day and breakfast the next morning and got in a little more shopping. It worked out pretty well for us, too. A top-notch get-away, five miles from home.
Sun Country has a great sense of timing (and humor). Just as temps drop, giving us a real reminder of winter to come, the hometown airline has dropped its prices for some fall and winter airline tickets. Flights to Phoenix, San Diego, Fort Myers and other warm-weather spots are discounted. Book by September 27 for travel through February 13. Best rates are subject to availability, and blackout dates around the holidays are in place. If you're looking to fly this fall or winter, now may be a good time to book with Sun Country or other airlines, which may drop fares to compete. If you wind up on a Sun Country plane, check out the safety information card. It never hurts to get a refresher course, but you might be amused, too. In the cartoon showing the "brace positions," there are three rows of passengers. Two have their forearms and face pressed to the seat in front of them. One is fully bent over, face against knees. That one happens to be a ballerina, who clearly is the most flexible of the bunch.
This just in: Sun Country flights are on sale. According to a new release that just hit my inbox: "Sun Country is offering incredible deals to some of our best destinations during our Fall Savings Fare Sale! Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Diego, Washington, D.C. (DCA), Seattle and more, for travel until October 10, 2012! Book before September 6, 2012. Check it out here.
Nice things happen whem groups collaborate. Case in point: Groupon Getaways, the nifty groupon site that offers discounted vacations; Groupon Grassroots, Groupon's philanthropic arm; and buildOn, a non-profit that provides after-school service programs for American students and builds schools in impoverished communities overseas, have come together to offer a pretty cool groupon deal. For $2,583, you can travel to Nicaragua or Nepal on a 7-day all-inclusive trip to help build a school for a community in need. With that fee, you also sponsor an American inner-city student who is a part of buildOn's afterschool program to make the trip, too. For altruistic travelers, it's a win-win-win. The price of the trip includes meals, lodging with a host family and local travel. Fifteen slots available: there are 9 days and 7 hours left.
Flights to and from more than 70 cities in the U.S. are discounted on Southwest Airlines, a fact that travel website Smartertravel.com alerted me to this morning. According to the Southwest site, sale prices require 10-day advance purchase and must be purchased by May 3, 11:59 Pacific Time. Sale prices are good on select travel from May 11 through Oct. 31, for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, though sale fares may be available other days of the week on a limited basis. Destination from Minneapolis include Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif., Nashville, Tenn., and many more.
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