By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I don’t want to spend unnecessarily on an upcoming golf vacation in North Carolina. Any tips for the frugal traveler?

A: Budget travel seems to be top of mind for many vacationers. You’ll find when it comes to dining, generous portions are the norm for a lot of dining establishments across the US. Ask up front on how big the serving is and go from there.

Often you can split an entrée. Another money saver belongs to a wide variety of organizations. For instance, if you belong to CAA (, they have a stockpile of discounts to a long list of accommodations, restaurants and attractions. In addition to some of the other member perks like towing services, etc.. these discounts can be a real bonus for bargain hunters.

Currently, North Carolina is offering Canadian visitors a bunch of discounts in its newest promotion called “North Carolina Drives Home the Value for Canadians,” in which Canadian travellers can save over $1,000US on attractions, lodgings and dining.

Featured offerings include US$10 off regular adult admission to the Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home. The magnificent 250-room chateau is packed with priceless treasures. There are also 2-for-1 tickets to the Feel The Thrill tour for a close-up look at areas off-limits during races. Here you can go behind the scenes at the NEXTEL Cup Garage and enter Victory Circle, home to many of NASCAR’s greatest drivers.

And for golf enthusiasts, Pinewild Golf Academy is offering groups of four a four-hour golf school that includes instruction in full swing, short game and video analysis, plus lunch and 18 holes of golf.

For the golf foursome package, the price is $170US per person and the fourth person plays for free. Regular price for the golf course alone is $125US. There are 53 participants in the brochure and the program is valid through December 2006.

For travel planning, Canadian visitors can plan a North Carolina stopover along I-85, I-77, I-95 or I-40. To take advantage of the discounts, travellers must present the coupon.

For free copies of the coupon brochure, the North Carolina Drives Homes the Value for Canadians, call North Carolina Travel representative Jeanette Faria at (416) 622-1680.


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