BEERS FROM HOME AND AWAY
Grab a sampling glass and choose from more than 75 beers, ales, meads, and ciders at the Portland (Maine) Brew Festival, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Back for a second year, the event will showcase established and up-and-coming New England breweries. Try favorites from Maine-based Gritty McDuff’s, Allagash, and D.L. Geary Brewing, or regional standouts from Magic Hat and Long Trail from Vermont, or Clown Shoes and Harpoon from Massachusetts. The festival, which will take place at the Portland Company Complex on Fore Street, will offer participants a chance to meet commercial and home brewers, watch home-brewing demonstrations, and see a display featuring tractor-powered cider-making equipment.
Tickets $35 per session. www.portlandbrewfestival.com
OPEN DOORS FOR DOGGIES ON THE VINEYARD
The people at the Harbor View Hotel and Kelley House inn on Martha’s Vineyard understand what makes summertime travel fun: bringing the family dog. Both properties now welcome canines as part of their new Vineyard VIP (Very Important Pup) policy. Travelers can bring up to two dogs of any size for $50 each. Ask for the Vineyard VIP welcome amenity pack (an extra $30), and your furry friend will get a special dog tag with hotel contact information (in case Fido embarks on a solo adventure), a ship’s wheel rope toy, all-natural cranberry treats, and biodegradable clean-up baggies. The properties can also provide information on tail-wagging doggie excursions. 800-225-6005, www.harbor-view.com, www.kelley-house.com
BYPASS THOSE LONG
AIRPORT SECURITY LINES
Zip through security at select US airports when you use CLEARcard, a “fast pass” that offers biometric identity verification for speedier entry. According to the company, you can go from the airport curb through security in five minutes. To sign up, register online and bring your driver’s license and passport to a local enrollment center (New York is the closest location) where your fingerprints and irises will be recorded. The service costs $179 a year per person, but any immediate family member over age 18 can join for an additional $50 each and children under 18 can travel with you under your card for free. 855-253-2763, www.clearme.com
TRAVEL IN A SMALLER PACK
Not everyone likes to explore the world with dozens of fellow travelers in tow. Pennsylvania-based Gate 1 Travel has launched Discovery Tours, a company that limits groups to
18 participants. Starting next year, it will offer trips to China, Southeast Asia, Nepal, Morocco, southern Africa, Turkey, Italy (Cinque Terre pictured below), Ireland, and Peru. Participants can share cross-cultural experiences such as visiting a rural family in a Chinese village. Packages start at $2,189 (for a 12-night Moroccan trip) and include guided tours, cultural activities, most meals, accommodations, and airfare from a gateway airport (Los Angeles, Miami, or New York, depending on the destination). 877-900-9777, www.discovery-tours.com
LINK ROOMS FOR LESS IN HAWAII
Maybe you need extra space for family and friends, or a separate area for the kids to hang out or sleep on your next trip to Kauai. Book a one-room villa at The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas on the north shore, and you can get a connecting studio villa for just $100 more a night, giving you an extra 512 square feet of space. Each villa comes with a full kitchen, washers and dryers, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, complimentary Internet, and no resort fees. Packages start at $520 a night through Dec. 20. 808-827-8700, www.westinprinceville
PRODUCE PHOTOS ON THE FLY
Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 25 lets you capture and instantly share photos as you travel. The Polaroid-style camera takes a shot and then shoots out a 2.14-by-3.4-inch photo card on which your image slowly appears. It has exposure compensation buttons for adjusting brightness, two shutter-release buttons that let you comfortably shoot in vertical or horizontal mode, and a detachable close-up lens so you can capture subjects from just over a foot away. A handy little mirror on the front makes it easy to take self-portraits, and the fill-in flash mode lets you illuminate shaded faces and objects without blowing out the background. The Instax Mini 25 currently sells for $84 on
Amazon.com, or go to Fujifilmusa.com (800-800-3854).
NOTHING STEALTHY ABOUT ROAD NINJA APP
Download Road Ninja before you hit the highway and let it be your guide to your roadside needs. The handy interstate travel app, free for Android and Apple users, syncs with your device’s internal GPS and helps you find gas stations, restaurants, accommodations,
attractions, and other useful information at upcoming exits. It can even highlight special deals, like a free ice cream at a nationwide deli shop or a 99-cent iced tea at any Northeast Dunkin’ Donuts, and access Twitter feeds for all chains within a 3-mile radius. Share reviews of your great roadside finds on Facebook with one click. roadninja.mobi.