Allegiant Air Offers Two-For-One Deal To Telluride Ski Resort

penniesBay Area- and Arizona-based snow lovers, rejoice! Allegiant Air, in collaboration with the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization, Telluride Ski Resort and Crested Butte Mountain Resort, is offering non-stop, two-for-one airline tickets. Travelers can fly to Montrose Regional Airport (70 miles from Telluride; Colorado Mountain Express is the local shuttle), via either Oakland International or Phoenix-Mesa airports.

Deals of this type are unheard of when it comes to premier ski destinations; as a former Telluride resident, I can attest to that. Even better, Allegiant is offering one-way fare from Phoenix starting as low as $46.99 one way ($93.98 round trip; flight times vary). Flights from Oakland start at $49.99 one way ($99.98 round trip, ditto), all winter long.

The Montrose flights began December 15, and conclude April 3, and are based upon availability. Tickets must be purchased by February 28, 2013, for the two-for-one offer, for use by April 3, 2013. For a complete flight schedule, click here.

But wait: there’s more! Telluride Ski Resort and Crested Butte Mountain Resort have launched an Ultimate 6 Pass, a 6-day pass good for three days of skiing and riding at each resort. That means you can use the centrally located Montrose airport for travel arrangements, and hit two of the Rockies’ most epic mountains in one vacation.

[Photo credit: Flickr user r-z]

SkyMall Monday: Cell Phone Handset Battle

gadling skymall monday iphone cell phone handset batttle

If you’ve used an iPhone, you know that holding it up to your ear for a long period of time can be uncomfortable. If you need to be on a lengthy call, cradling the iPhone in your hand can get tiresome. Speakerphone is not always a viable option and headphones can be unsafe for your ears. Thankfully, SkyMall offers two options for adding a handset to your iPhone. This week, SkyMall Monday pits the iPhone Desktop Handset against the Retro Cell Phone Handset. Two handsets enter; one handset leaves.

Let’s meet our contestants (or, you know, take a look at their product descriptions):

iPhone Desktop Handset

This is the stand that transforms an iPhone into a more comfortable desktop handset phone. With the handset in one hand, your other hand is free to navigate an iPhone’s applications, such as calendars, e-mail, and the Internet.

Sorry, I started giggling after “your other hand is free to navigate.”

Retro Cell Phone Handset

Send your phone back to the 20th century with the vintage styling of the Retro Phone! This must have, mobile phone accessory has classic looks and functionality. Simply connect your cell phone via the 2.5 mm or 3.5 mm audio jack and alleviate erroneous touch-screen or key activation! The Retro Phone will give your phone a new dimension of classic cool while also reducing the effects of harmful radiation from your phone.

Because radiation wasn’t an issue in the 20th century!

Now that we’re familiar with the combatants, let’s dial in.

gadling skymall monday cell phone handset battle iphone

And there you have it. The iPhone Desktop Handset defeats the Retro Cell Phone Handset 3-1. In the end, though, haven’t we all lost?

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Take your landline phone on the road with the netTALK DUO

If your trips regularly include the need to make phone calls back home, then the netTALK DUO phone adapter may be the perfect solution for keeping costs to a minimum.

When plugged into a network port, the netTALK DUO turns you into your own phone company. Best of all, unlike some other pocket sized phone dongles, the netTALK DUO does not require you to keep your PC turned on.

And to make a great product even better – the initial investment of $69.95 includes the adapter and your first year of unlimited phone calls.

Once the first year is up, you can add additional years of unlimited calling for $29.95. The yearly fee also includes a variety of free features, including 411, caller ID, call forwarding, conference calling and extremely competitive international rates. In fact, if you travel abroad with the netTALK DUO, it may even be cheaper to make a local call than use the phones in that country!

Travelers can carry a small landline phone, or make calls using their computer, plus once you have a netTALK account, you can also make calls using their iPhone, Android or Blackberry applications.

To order yourself a netTALK DUO, or to learn more about its various features, check out netTalk.com. We’ll also have a full review later this week.

Wiki catalogues pay-as-you-go SIM cards by country

Our good friend and technomad Paul Oppenheim stopped by this week with a dispatch from Germany and some more info on his current holy quest: to find an international phone plan that supports data and that doesn’t cost more than the mortgage on his condo in San Francisco.

Those familiar with data plans and roaming charges outside of the US might be familiar with the sad details: taking one’s smartphone outside of one’s home country can be an expensive endeavor. Sure, there’s international infrastructure and partnerships to forge, but is that all worth a twelve thousand dollar phone bill? Probably not.

As a result, many opt to use a different Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card while abroad — something, perhaps, with less aggressive data charges. The problems with that notion though are that you need to have a different (local) phone number and that until recently there wasn’t a great place to research carriers internationally. Spanish providers, for example, tend to provide all of their subscriber info and instructions on local, Spanish sites.

Part of that has changed with the paygsimwithdata repository over at wikia. There, travelers can leaf through a wide spectrum of providers sorted by country and service, with many vendors broken down by availability, pricing and value. And yes, it’s all in English.

Bear in mind that while traveling you’ll still have to suffer with a different, local phone number, but having connectivity for a reasonable cost is a small price to pay.

[Flickr image via mroach]

Walkie talkies work everywhere – Road trip tip

Walkie talkies use radio waves to communicate directly with each other, unlike cell phones, which rely on a cell phone tower as a go-between.

People on road trips often end up in rural areas where cell phones are useless. A couple of inexpensive walkie talkies can help your group stay in touch, as well as keep the kids entertained.

Bonus tip: Walkie talkies also work on cruise ships!