3 Earth Day travel discounts

With all the pressure to be green these days, travelers can benefit from Earth Day-themed discounts. Here’s a trio of deals that will help you save a little dough — and perhaps help save the planet as well.

Ride the Rails with Kimpton Hotels
Save 15 percent off the best available rate at more than 30 participating Kimpton properties if you show your Amtrak ticket stub at check-in.
Details: To qualify for the Ride the Rails discount, enter the promo code RAILS when booking. You then must ride Amtrak to your destination and show your ticket as proof that you ditched your car for the trip. Participating hotels are in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, Alexandria, Arlington, and Cambridge. Starting prices vary by property.

Car-free discounts in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Save 20 percent off an adult Amtrak ticket to or from Santa Barbara County on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner or San Joaquin trains. With both the beach and a burgeoning wine country nearby, Santa Barbara is often overlooked as a travel destination. For example, the Pacific Surfliner train can take you from Los Angeles (Union Station) to Santa Barbara in about 2.5 hours; a regularly-priced coach ticket starts at $24 each way. And for anyone who has seen the movie Sideways, yes, you can sample all the pinot noir you can handle — you may end up being grateful that you didn’t drive.
Details: After registering at www.santabarbaracarfree.org, you will receive a link to the Amtrak site, where you can then redeem the 20 percent discount. A three-day advance purchase is required; this deal isn’t valid for tickets purchased by phone or at any Amtrak stations. The discount is good for travel to and from the nine participating Amtrak stations in Santa Barbara County: Santa Barbara proper, Goleta, Carpinteria, Solvang (the charming Danish village), Buellton, Lompoc (not far from wineries on the edge of Santa Ynez Valley), Surf, Guadalupe, and Santa Maria.
Other Perks: If you show your Amtrak ticket stub with the current date stamp, many businesses in Santa Barbara will give you additional discounts. Examples include 20 percent off the regular rates at many hotels and inns, as well as 10 percent off several walking, kayaking, whale-watching, and wine tours. Downtown itself is very walkable, so you won’t need to rent a car.
When: Travel by Dec. 16, 2010. Some blackout dates apply.

D.I.Y. housekeeping in New York City

At the Marmara Manhattan hotel on the Upper East Side, the Green Rate discount knocks $20 off your nightly bill if you request housekeeping every three days instead of every night. A minimum stay of three nights is required to qualify for this discount.
Details: You must book directly through the hotel reservations desk. Studio suites typically start at $169 per night, or $507 for three nights. With the discount, starting rates drop to $149 per night, or a total of $447 for the required three-night stay. Every suite at the Marmara Manhattan hotel comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, which can help you save even more if you prepare simple meals.
When: Valid until the end of the year.