By JANET K. KEELER
Published October 22, 2006
Fly the cheaper skies
There are some interesting alternatives popping up all over the world for short-haul air travel. New airlines, from Asia to the Americas, offer fares so low you'll wonder how they can stay in business. Or if they'll be around in a year. A $39 hop from Oahu to Maui? How about $33 from Delhi to Bombay?
According to a special travel publication of Outside magazine, the affordable upstarts are flying new energy-efficient planes, plus charging for food and even baggage handling. Here are some to check on if you need to get from Bombay to Bangalore on the cheap:
- Island hop between Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island on Go! for rates that make breakfast, lunch and dinner on three islands a reality. Toll-free 1-888-435-9462; www.iflygo.com.
- The launch of Air Gumbo was delayed by Hurricane Katrina but the airline is preparing for takeoff in 2007. The hub is New Orleans with stops within "a 2,100-mile radius." What's for lunch? Gumbo. (337) 781-0034; www.airgumbo.com.
- GoAir serves 13 destinations in India including Cochin in the south to Srinigar in the troubled Kashmir region. A flight from Bombay to Bangalore is 1,325 rupees. That's about 29 American bucks. www.goair.in.
Inspect it yourself
If you have ever wanted to see the inside of a pressurized nuclear reactor plant, Iran could be the next adventure vacation for you.
Earlier this month, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that he would allow foreign tourists access to all nuclear sites in Iran. Now, as the Tourism and Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran studies ways to make this possible, Iranian tour operators are anticipating a boom in business. (The United States discourages, but does not ban, citizens from visiting Iran.)
In these we trust
Each year the National Trust honors 12 communities that offer "authentic experiences," defined as places that have preserved their character with dynamic downtowns, a commitment to historic preservation and revitalization, interesting architecture, cultural diversity, locally owned small businesses and walking access for residents and visitors.
Nominations are being accepted until Nov. 13 at www.nationaltrust.org/ddd.
Places that have been recognized by the National Trust in the past include Annapolis, Md.; Calistoga, Calif.; Astoria, Ore.; Beaufort, S.C.; Burlington, Vt.; and Walla Walla, Wash.
Italian wedded bliss
Renewing marriage vows in Italy is a lot less complicated than getting married there, but advance planning is recommended.
Plenty of Internet companies offer wedding-planning services, including Italianwedding planners.com, Weddingsinitaly.com and Italia-celebrations.com.
Or contact a travel agent who handles destination weddings. Joanne Gardner of the Travel Specialist (www.thetravelspecialist. com) in Wheaton, Ill., works with an operator in Italy who can arrange a ceremony in Verona.
Search for a haunted attraction near you on the Web site for the International Association of Haunted Attractions (www.hauntedhouseassociation.org/).
The organization has also put together a list of spookiest haunted houses across the country.
They include: Netherworld Haunted House, Atlanta; Darkness Haunted House, St. Louis; Headless Horseman Hayrides, Kingston, N.Y.; Bates Motel and Hayride, Philadelphia; the Haunted Castle, Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Niles Haunted House and Screampark, in Niles, Mich.
Compiled by Janet K. Keeler from New York Times, Associated Press and San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News