March Buys
By Reported by Grace Jidoun, Natasha Rafi and Rob Turner

(MONEY Magazine) – SCUBA PACKAGE Diving in Belize. Home to the second longest barrier reef in the world, Belize is a scuba enthusiast's dream. If you travel by April 30, Capricorn Leisure will fly you into the coastal village of Ambergris Caye and put you up on the beach for five nights. The accommodations are on the modest side, but the focus with this deal is on the diving--three days' worth of double-tank dives. The price: $869 per person, double occupancy, from East Coast cities, $956 from the Midwest and $1,007 from L.A. or San Francisco. Call 800-426-6544 for details.

AUTO RENTALS Tour Europe by car. Make a one-week reservation before March 31, and Auto Europe (888-223-5555) will knock 15% off the price, upgrade you from a compact to an intermediate-class car and equip you with a cellular phone. A one-week rental in France, with phone, usually $259, will be $162. (Cell-phone calls cost extra.) The deal is good in 18 cities for travel through Aug. 31.

PALM ALERT On-the-go e-mail. Palm Pilot users who are salivating over the top-of-the-line Palm VII but don't want to shell out $500 to upgrade can now get one of its key features--on-the-road e-mail access--for only $99. Just clip your Palm into the new BackFlip from PocketScience, hold it up to any phone (including a cellular, right) and dial a toll-free number to send and receive e-mail. Unlimited service is $9.95 a month, and you can use your existing e-mail address. Current models (which are available online at work with Palm Pros and Palm IIIs; Palm V units are expected soon.

SKI DEAL Wyoming at a discount. Rocky Mountain Tours is offering a five-night ski package in Jackson Hole, Wyo. for $875 per person, double occupancy--or about 30% off the usual rate. The deal, good for travel through March 31, includes air fare from the East Coast (departures from nearer cities are less), a room at the Marriott Renaissance and a three-day lift ticket. Call 800-525-7547 for more information.

ELECTRONICS Last year's models. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, more new electronics were introduced between January 1999 and February 2000 than in the 30 previous years combined. Thanks to this recent influx of pricey high-tech toys, many time-honored favorites are now available at bargain-basement prices as manufacturers and dealers try to clear their shelves for the latest gadgets. Case in point: the Canon ES-190 8mm (left), a feature-rich analog camcorder, which retails for only $300 at Best Buy stores nationwide. Here's another: You can now buy a long-range 2.4-gigahertz cordless phone for upwards of $100--or spend less than a third of that for the slightly older 900-megahertz technology, which only a couple of years ago was being hailed as a revolution in cordless clarity and range. The GE 26920 phone, for example, sells for $29.99 at And yeah, we know DVD players were all the rage for Christmas, but the majority of us are still happily watching movies on VCRs. And for only $99 (at www you can get the four-head Philips Magnavox VRZ464AT, which bursts with user-friendly features and comes with a one-year warranty. Watch for the next pricing phenomenon: portable CD players that cost little more than the disks you play on them.

PRICE ALERTS If you're looking to trade up from a VCR to a DVD player--but the cost is holding you back--you've lucked out: In late January we found the Sharp DV-600U, which was going for $230 and up in December, for $169.95 at o From March 11 through April 30, kids 15 and under stay and ski for free at Idaho's Sun Valley Resort. Call 800-786-8259.

Reported by Grace Jidoun, Natasha Rafi and Rob Turner