Category: Vacation deals

Travel deals to some great places I’ve never been

This article has some travel deals with the second page being more exciting if you ask me. They mention a few of this blog’s favorites including places I want to go but never have like the Atlantis on Paradise Island, Vegas (the next Paris?), Jamaica, and cruises.

A lot of deals to think about…

Travel deals for the Caribbean and New Hampshire

Yesterday I asked if 2010 would have lots of travel bargains for us. If you’re set on going to the Caribbean, the best deals may have passed according to this article. They recommend booking now since “flights to the Caribbean are still tight, making it difficult to find a seat and bargains, especially on popular travel dates.”

Also related to Caribbean vacations we have this article that compares all inclusive resorts with cruise vacations (which I did a while back as well). They conclude that the resort is a better value and a better experience. They like not hearing sales pitches for bingo and art auctions. I can see that. And they like eating barefoot in the sand. Sounds good. I was planning on Oasis of the Seas (the new biggest cruise ship) but now that I think about it, Sirenis Punta Cana or another all inclusive might be better.

I’m not set on the Caribbean so what travel bargains are out there now? One I thought was fun was this one, where you become a fan of New Hampshire on Facebook and get half off a hotel. Every month it’s a bit different from what I understand but this month we have: “Escape to Lake Winnipesaukee in November and enjoy 50% off deluxe lake view accommodations at The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls premiere lodging facility, Church Landing.” Pretty cool.

Travel baragins waiting for us in 2010?

I like this prediction that 2010 will be a great year for travel deals and discounts.

They say that early 2010 is probably the best time to book a cruise. They say that airfares will probably not increase much in 2010. They say that hotels will need to offer discounts for the entire year. They say that with corporations trying not to act extravagant that there are bargains for first class flights and at upscale resorts.

They do warn that airlines and hotels will try to add fees for extra services so we have to watch out for that. And they do warn that the article could be wrong. But I hope the article spot on and you can bet I’ll be watching!

Travel deals: Cheap cruises, 25 cent hotel rooms, and free nights at Disney

October is National Cruise Vacation month, and obvious gimmick the cruise industry uses to get attention but it does come with some nice sales. For example, Norwegian (see Bermuda and Alaska reviews on this blog if you haven’t already) is offering half off cruise deposits and up to $250 on-board credit on more than 300 cruises.

In what’s probably a better deal, how about staying in a Virgin Islands hotel for 25 cents a night. Sounds impossible but it’s a new sale celebrating a new quarter. You have to book your package with airfare on bookit.com.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism’s “Cent-sational” Promotion is available for travel through December 15, 2009. Not sure when you need to book but probably soon.

The hotels now participating: Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, Club St. Croix, Hibiscus Beach Resort, Hotel Caravelle, Marriott Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, Point Pleasant Resort, Secret Harbour Beach Resort, Sapphire Beach Resort, Sapphire Village, The Palms at Pelican Cove, Windward Passage, and Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa.

Also have a Disney special I saw advertised to Canadians but I assume Americans can get the same:

Guests who purchase a four night/ four day non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Co. Magic Your Way hotel and ticket package at a select Disney moderate or deluxe villa resort for stays most nights from Nov. 1 to Nov. 24, Nov. 29 to Dec. 24 and Jan. 3 to March 27, will receive for free three extra nights of hotel accommodations and three more days added to their theme park tickets.

Guests who purchase a five night/ five day non-discounted hotel and ticket package during the same dates will receive two extra nights of hotel accommodation and two more days added to their theme park tickets for free.

I still like the idea of 25 cent hotel rooms better!

Starwood Preferred Guest AmEx card: Anyone know how good it is?

So I’m ready to move on from my NCL Mastercard. I misused my points on my Alaskan Cruise so instead of saving $500 I got a 3 category upgrade for my wife and I. Of course I later learned that 3 categories means 3 floors up so we saved about $30 each. Pretty messed up when I think about it because I searched NCL’s website for categories and it went inside, window, balcony suite. I never knew that there 4-5 “categories” of inside cabin until I had already redeemed my points. That’s when they told me that the points couldn’t be used to get from inside to window. In other words the 3 category upgrade couldn’t actually get you into a new category…

But the Alaska cruise was good and I had learned my lesson. So then I took an NCL cruise to Bermuda and this time I did get $500 off (after some confusion). Paying $1300 for my wife and I instead of $1800 was pretty nice but while on the cruise we decided that next time we’d try another cruise line.

So I’m looking for a new card to become my main one. 2 freinds said they have had good experiences with Starwood Preferred Guest American Express. One guy saved up 2 years worth of points and is staying at Disney World (Swan hotel) for free for a week in March. Another guy says he gets about a week’s worth of free nights at Sheraton’s every year. He stayed free in Toronto, Cape Cod, and New York City (now that’s saving money considering NYC hotel prices).

It would be my first credit card with an annual fee (free the first year, $45/year after that) so I wonder if it’s worth getting away from my Worldpoints Visa. Supposedly I can use those points for airplane travel but I’ve only used them for gift cards to Home Depot. But I like that there’s no annual fee and no international transaction charge.

Anyway, does anyone know if the Starwood AmEx is worth getting or of another card worth getting? No one mentioned it back in 2007 when I asked about travel rewards credit cards. Perhaps it’s relatively new?

Hotels.com Christmas and Holiday season sale

Got a press release here from hotels.com for the December holiday season. The discounts aren’t huge but I don’t know if people traveling around Christmas time ever expect big discounts.

Press release:

In anticipation of the holiday season, hotels.com is bringing back the popular Book Early for Holiday Sale. It’s never too early to plan and simplify the season by taking advantage of savings up to 30 percent. Travelers may book now through Oct. 19 for travel between Nov. 1 – Dec. 28, 2009 on more than 600 properties.

Whether you plan to hit the slopes in Vail, set off on a family road trip or shop ’til you drop in cities such as Dallas, Minneapolis (recommended for architecture), Chicago (where we just visited the competition) or New York this holiday season, you can save big by booking early. Below I’ve listed a few deals but for a full list of holiday lodging options, please visit www.hotels.com/bookearly.

Anaheim, CA

Hotel Menage Anaheim Boutique Hotel

3.5 star, 4.0 hotels.com guest rating, 80% recommended

Save 30%

Chicago, IL

Avenue Hotel Chicago

4 star, 4.5 hotels.com guest rating, 93% recommended

Save 25%

Denver, CO

Hotel Monaco Denver – a Kimpton Hotel

4 star, 4.5 hotels.com guest rating, 94% recommended

Stay 3 nights, save 33%

New York, NY

Millennium Broadway Hotel – Times Square

3.5 star, 4.3 hotels.com guest rating, 91% recommended

Stay 4 or more nights, save 25%

San Diego, CA

The Dana on Mission Bay – Sea World

3 star, 4.3 hotels.com guest rating, 88% recommended

Save 30%

What sweet deals have you been offered through loyalty programs?

A while back, my parents went to Vegas and stayed at the Palazzo. They just got a special offer via email:

Suites from $129 per night

Grazie members only will also receive:

30% off tickets at Blue Man Group

2-for-1 specialty cocktail at SUSHISAMBA

20% off bill at Morels French Steakhouse

25% off bill at Postrio by Wolfgang Puck

$30 off Spa services at Canyon Ranch SpaClub®

$25 in Grazie Slot Credits per stay

So what is a grazie member? Grazie is the loyalty program for Venetian/Palazzo Las Vegas so I’m guessing that even though someone forwarded me this deal I wouldn’t be able to take advantage.

But it seems like a pretty good deal to be offering former customers. I’ve been offered “special” deals from NCL but they never seem all that special. I’ve gotten nice offers from JetBlue but none that I was able to take advantage of.

So I’m curious what kinds of special offers you’ve seen? Which loyalty programs impress you the most?

Cheap hotel if you can sleep on the floor, close to home vacations, and resorts you can trust with your infant

Here are some things I meant to blog about a while ago but got lost…

First, a sale for those of you who are traveling to San Diego with a sleeping bag:

– Deluxe accommodations

– Breakfast for two

$219 per night*

OR…

– $199 without breakfast

– $179 without honor bar

– $159 without A/C or heat

– $139 without pillows

– $109 without sheets

– $89 without lights

– $59 without linens

– $39 without toiletries

– $19 without bed

Here’s some advice on infant friendly resorts since you can’t always leave you baby behind when you go on vacation.

Lastly, here’s an article on close to home vacations that are not quite staycations. They typically involve a nearby restaurant, hotel, and spa. I don’t know – I suppose if you throw in a show it would be a lot nicer. Otherwise if you’re saving money you might as well camp out in your backyard roasting marshamallows and making smores. Personally, I’ll be taking the nerdy route and trying the medieval campsite experience with a bunch of other nerds in costume. I just got my 32 pound stainless steel scale armor suit in the mail (won it on Ebay) so my costume is all set…

Father’s Day vacation deals

If you were interested in getting a vacation package for your father, this article may help you out. We’ve got hunting in Alaska, fishing in New Mexico, Diving in Thailand (the only one of these things that sounds interesting to me), and golfing in Barbados.

If you’re dad is single, here’s another one from STI, $150 off an August 14-22 cruise in Italy. it says that prices start at $2,000 and I don’t know if that includes the $150 off or what.

And this is totally unrelated, but since we were talking about flight attendants the other day, including how they handle kids, I thought this one on unaccompanied minors getting put on the wrong flights by Continental would be worth mentioning.

Deals and Guarnatees in Mexico

Mexico’s tourism minister, Rodolfo Elizondo, thinks swine flu will cost Mexico 250,000 jobs and over 4 billion dollars. No wonder resorts are desperate. People are saying the best travel deals this summer may be to Mexico.

The most interesting deal or guarantee really might be from Secrets:

If a guest contracts Influenza A – H1N1 while staying with us, their next three vacations will be free of charge. In order to qualify, the guest must have reserved their stay between May 8, 2009 and June 30, 2009 for travel taking place between May 8, 2009 and December 20, 2009. This applies to new reservations only.

There are many strands of H1N1, therefore it must be qualified as Influenza A – H1N1. The guest must provide positive test results, taken within five days of departure from the resort, in addition to the certification of the doctor who performed the test in order to redeem the three free return stays. The guest must also not have been previously diagnosed with Influenza A – H1N1 prior to their stay.

The three return stays are valid for the original traveler plus one companion. One complimentary stay per year over the same travel period as the original stay.

Blackout dates and restrictions apply. Based on availability. Redeemed stays will be awarded for the same number of nights and in the same room category as the original stay.

You can’t make this stuff up.