Embrace summer travel


Yes, the price of gasoline is high. Yes, planes are crowded. And, yes, various travel providers are adding fuel surcharges to their prices. But so what? There are only so many summers in a lifetime and travelers should let nothing stop them, while still keeping an eye peeled for discounts. If you haven't made any plans yet, here are some intriguing possibilities:

Hit the trail --In Alberta, Canada, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is offering a Trail Mix package that has nothing to do with snacks. Guests can hike the area with a naturalist or mountain heritage guide, getting exercise, learning the history of the early mountaineers, and experiencing the flora and fauna of the Rockies. The package includes a luxury room, a full breakfast, gratuities, valet parking, a gift and a choice of a half- or full-day guided hike. The package, available through Sept. 15, starts at about $360 for two people in a room. Call 800-441-1414 or visit fairmont. com/lakelouise.

Get away with the girls --For $89 per person per night, based on six people sharing, Elite Island Resorts has girls' getaways at villas in Antigua, St. Lucia and Tortola. Pools and spa treatments are readily available. Visit elite islandresorts.com or call 800-858-4618.

Get away with the guys --The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C., is featuring a Masts, Mulligans, and Marinas package starting at $390 per person through Sept. 17. The fellas get two nights at the Inn at Harbour Town, a round of golf on the Ocean Course, cigars or a beverage upon check-in and a kayaking, sailing, or fishing expedition, provided there are four guys participating. Call 800-732-7463 or visit seapines.com.

Take the plunge --The Colorado River Outfitters Association lists more than 45 licensed river outfitters around the state, offering packages for all levels. For more adventure, many outfitters also offer combination packages that pair rafting with fishing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, camping and horseback riding. Prices vary. Visit croa.org. For complete Colorado vacation information, visit col orado.com or call 800-265-6723.

Go Rving --Get a free DVD or CD-ROM that tells you all about traveling in a recreational vehicle, including tips on buying or renting. Visit gorving.com.

Barge around --Go Barging, which calls itself the largest luxury barge company in Europe, is offering a summer discount of $650 per person for an all-inclusive six-night cruise through the South of France on Aug. 27. With the discount, prices for a cruise onboard L'Impressionniste start at $3,300 per person for a junior suite. A $5,000 charter discount is available for July 30 and Aug. 13 departures on L'Impressionniste. Including the discount, prices start at $34,800 for eight passengers. Call 800-394-8630 or visit gobarging.com.

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