Vacationing one bite at a time

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With people working long hours, scheduling a traditional two-week vacation has become increasingly difficult. As a result, more travelers are taking short vacations. These trips, dubbed "nibbles" by those in the travel trade, last three or four days and are generally tacked onto either side of a weekend.

Nibbles can be a great way to sample a destination, or even preview it in advance of a longer stay when the traveler has more time.

"Nibblers" have a new tool available to them: last minute Internet airfare deals called e-fares. These specials, which apply to both international and domestic flights, are a way for airlines to receive some last-minute revenue for unsold seats.

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Most major carriers e-mail their e-fares to registered customers every Tuesday or Wednesday for flights that take off the following weekend.

For example, United Airlines offered an e-fare of $252 for a flight that left New York Saturday, May 6, and will return from Denver tomorrow. The regular United fare for the trip rang up a price of $1,025.

To take advantage of these deals, go to your favorite airline's Web site. Remember that these specials are seasonal (forget holidays) and available through the Internet only. Read the fine print for restrictions.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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