In brief

Strategies

January 24, 1999

Bargains

If you pay only half the usual greens fees, will all that surplus cash in your pocket affect your swing?

There's only one way to find out. Go to Hilton Head, S.C., and stay at the Hyatt Regency, where you can check in through March 15 for $74 a night, their "Secret Season" rate. You'll get a card that's good for discounts of 10 to 15 percent on tennis, horseback riding, fly fishing, shopping and dining. But as a Hyatt guest you also may play on five championship courses, with greens fees starting at $40 per round, and that includes the cart. Call: 800-55-HYATT.

Business

Airport Fitness, a Dayton, Ohio, company that operates a health club in Pittsburgh International Airport, plans to open its second club this year, in Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh club, beneath the airport concourse, has treadmills, a Versaclimber, stair steppers, rowers, bicycles and weight equipment. Single visits cost $11.25. Michael Michno, the company's founder, said he hoped for an opening in July at Philadelphia International Airport.

Fast solutions

The Florida Keys are getting easier to reach from the state's west coast.

A new high-speed ferry from Fort Myers to Key West is expected to begin service this month. The one-way service covers 134 miles in just three hours, cutting traveling time by many hours when compared to driving.

The new ferry service will be operated by Buquebus, which also operates high-speed ferries in Europe and South America. Two round-trips a day are planned, with prices expected to be $55 for coach and $75 for first-class service.

For information, call 941-461-0999.

Kids

Traveling with infants needn't be viewed with trepidation. Yes, there are more factors to consider when a baby is part of the expedition. But Family Travel Forum, a membership newsletter whose motto is "Have kids, still travel," considers any journey with an infant an adventure, rather than a hardship. In its September/October issue, the newsletter compiled age-specific tips to help parents make more-informed travel decisions. Here are some of its tips.

* Newborns: Won't complain as long as you're together. They defeat jet lag by sleeping when they want, but you'll be beat. Get local medical references. Bring a portable crib and favorite blanket.

* For 3-6 months: The age for long flights, classy hotels and elegant restaurants (before the dinner crowd arrives). Your good napper is not yet a big crawler, so travel is pretty easy. Give them things to hold, and watch what they put in their mouths.

* For 6-12 months: Travel is harder but more fun. Your bubbly traveling companion sits up, makes new friends easily. A time for parks, duck ponds, teething toys, baby-proof hotel rooms and brief outings in a stroller.

* For 12-18 months: Travel is harder because your new walker needs to run around. A fussy child will surprise you by discovering new foods, toys, ways to play.

* For 18-24 months: Toddlers with minds of their own may seem more in command than in tow. Great time for staying around the resort: convenient for naps and room service when everyone's grumpy. Let them play and sleep in a collapsible play tent.

Copies of Family Travel Forum's 12-page newsletter are $5.95. Annual dues, $48. (888-383-6786; or at www.familytravelforum.com)

Online

The Internet publisher Smarter Living recently launched a free service to help students save on travel. Every other week, they'll get an e-mailed newsletter with tips on discounted getaways ranging from inexpensive airfares to spring-break specials. To sign up, visit http://www.smarterliving.com. The subscription also entitles students to discounts on a variety of retail and travel items, including car rentals.

Pub Date: 01/24/99

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