Category: Vacation deals

Travel deals: Europe for New Year, Memorial Day sale

So I noticed something that sounded pretty good in my Kayak travel deal newsletter: New Year’s vacation packages starting at $400/person.

So I clicked on the link to go-today and entered a thing for Dublin. Supposedly for $400 a person you can go to Dublin for New Year’s – the price includes round trip airfare, 4 nights hotel, and charges (like fuel surcharges and whatnot). For the same price you can schedule the flight back up to Jan. 17th, 2010 (though hotel would certainly be extra). That would allow you to explore some more of Ireland and while I’m sure Dublin is cool, it’s the castles and the countryside that I really want to see.

The cheapest hotel was Days Inn Talbot Street. I had recently gotten an email from a company that said they could help people choose the right travel deals by providing films of various hotels. You can see if the place is a dump or not I guess. So I went to their Dublin hotels list and found it a little confusing at first until I figured out to sort the hotels by name (alphabetical order) and then I was able to find the hotel. I don’t see any video though – just a few pictures and I’m not sure they’re any more helpful then you could find on the hotel’s official site or a Google image search. I don’t think is all that useful in this case and I doubt I’ll check back again because who knows when they’ll have a video for the hotels they list? also has a sale:

Memorial Day Weekend marks the official start of summer, and is giving travelers the opportunity to kick off the season with a little budget-friendly fun in the sun. The Memorial Day Sale offers savings up to 50 percent at more than 450 properties in some of the country’s hottest vacation spots. To enjoy the hotel deals, guests just need to book by May 25 and travel between May 21 and May 27.

But that’s not all: guests who book stays lasting three nights or more will receive a $50 prepaid MasterCard to supplement their summer fun. To get the $50 prepaid MasterCard, guests must book by May 25 and travel by September 15.

I’d link it up, but the link sends me to a Korean language site and then when I click on English to – I’ve never actually seen the sale page. Well here is the link they gave me – hopefully it works better for you than for me.

Hotel rooms for $1, Immigration story, Sandals, Texas vacation ideas

I’ll start with something nice and safe: hotel rooms for a dollar.

Bed for a Buck. The Alexander Inn in Philadelphia is offering five hotel rooms a night for $1 as part of its Guest Stimulus Plan, through June 11. The hotel hopes you’ll reserve a room Sunday through Thursday for a dollar and spend what you save in lodging at Philly’s restaurants, shops and museums. Call to book your $1 room at 8 a.m. EST 30 days prior to your arrival. The limit is one night at $1 per guest. 301 South 12th Street, Philadelphia; 215-923-3535 or 877-253-9466

Foolishly Good Deal. San Francisco’s two LEED-certified Orchard Hotels are offering rooms for a dollar starting April Fool’s Day, for the entire month. You won’t find this offer mentioned on the hotels’ website, but if you hit the site at 10 a.m. on April 1 and type in the promotional code “Fool!” you can score one of the two $1 rooms offered each night in April. Once the 60 allotted rooms are sold out, the offer will be closed. Additional nights begin at $159. 466 Bush Street (Orchard Garden Hotel) or 665 Bush Street (Orchard Hotel); 888-717-2881

Every once in a while I flirt with a political issue and hop the comments don’t get out of hand. Today is one of those days. This article is the culprit – a same sex couple finds one partner being deported. Obviously that’s going to be rough on a couple that has been together for 23 years but it’s extra hard because they have kids. The problem, of course, is that since their marriage is not recognized by the federal government the American can not sponsor the foreigner for a green card. Having gone through the green card process for my Korean wife, I can certainly sympathize with the couple.

Here’s an article on Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa. No surprise to hear that if you’re in a suite with 2 butlers you get pretty good service.

Here we have some vacation ideas in Texas. San Antonio sounds pretty good:

The Alamo City’s biggest annual party is Fiesta, April 16-26. Among the 108 events are the Fiesta Mariachi Mass, April 19; River Parade, April 20; and the magnificent Battle of Flowers Parade, April 24. On May 30, the River Walk expands from its historic three-mile length an additional 10 miles. The $279 million improvement takes you from downtown’s shopping, dining and hotel zone to a variety of museums and galleries, as well as the restored Pearl Brewery complex.

Inside the old brewery building is the newest campus of the renowned Culinary Institute of America, where foodies can take part in an intensive program called “A Taste of Mexico: Flavors of Puebla and Oaxaca,” offered May 27-29.

$99 sale going on at is having a pretty goo sale right now until 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, March 27 or while inventory lasts. Travel dates vary by resort, but most are available through summer dates.

For example, the Majestic Colonial All-Inclusive Resort in Punta Cana is about 50% off at $99/night.

Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort and Spa is also $99/night (normally $298) for an oceanview room.

Vegas is looking good too, with Trump International going for as low as $62/night midweek.

Good price for Vegas?

I’m not exactly sure when they booked, but my parents used to book round trip airfare from JFK to Vegas for 2 plus 4 nights at the Palazzo for $1385 total. This is supposed to include all taxes and fees. They travel in April.

Is it just me or is that pretty good?

Time to visit Moscow?

$240 round trip from New York to Moscow? Sure sounds like a bargain. Of course there may be other fees, there may be a fuel surcharge, and naturally you’ll pay some hefty taxes. But I would imagine it’s still going to end up being a good deal.

United’s one way fares based on round trip purchase:

New York City … $119

Boston … $164

Los Angeles … $167

Washington, D.C. … $171

Chicago … $178

Los Angeles … $167

Denver … $197

Jacksonville … $216

San Francisco … $225

I will be busy teaching so one of you will have to take advantage of this sale and tell me how Moscow is. Book by March 26 and travel on Monday-Thursday, March 29-April 30. 30 day maximum stay.

One of my dreams is to see fireworks above Red Square because it looks so great on TV. From this video it doesn’t even look too crowded:

Certainly looks better than the crowds we dealt with for a mediocre view in London.

Traveling doctors and travel deals for Disney, Hawaii, and spring break

I don’t know how many of us can actually use this information, but this article talks about how traveling doctors have a nice lifestyle:

Dr. Albert Breland Jr., a psychiatrist from Del Mar, has worked in Jackson, Miss.; Danville, Ill.; and Anchorage, Alaska, among other locations, since coming out of retirement to become a locum tenens physician in 2002.

“The nice thing about the business is that you get to select where you go and how long you stay,” Breland said.

We have some new Disney attractions and a new hotel according to this article. Call me cynical but isn’t it just like Disney to name something on a ten foot high pedestal a “Treehouse Villa”. Not that I won’t ever return to Disney – where I’m told you can have a pretty romantic vacation – it’s just not that high on my list. This article also talks about Disney deals.

This article says it’s a great time to visit Hawaii because the economy is so tough that the crowds are gone. Plus there are deals available. Plus it’s pretty high on my list.

Then we have a Spring Break sale: The Country Inns & Suites Spring Break 1, 2, Wheee! offer runs now through April 30 at many of the more than 450 Country Inns locations in the U.S. and Canada, including great spring break destinations like Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville, San Diego, Phoenix and New Orleans, providing 33% off each night of a 3-night stay. That’s like getting 3 nights for the price of 2.

And another spring break sale: features destinations including Panama City Beach, Cancun, Miami and Daytona Beach and offers packages with luxury hotel accommodations and party packages with free entry into local hot spots. Trips start as low as $109 for a full week.

Spring break deals include, but aren’t limited to:

· Panama City Beach — Origin at Seahaven — 7 nights from $119/person

· Panama City Beach — Chateau Motel — 7 nights from $109/person

· Miami — Whitelaw Hotel — 5 nights from $119/person

· Daytona Beach — Plaza Ocean Club — 4 nights from $445/person

Disney deals, Bradd Pitt in Vegas, Malaysia struggles to attract more tourists, and a ruined honeymoon

Disney is offering discounts since attendance is down by 5%. Apparently you can get 7 nights in Disney World for the price of 4 (staying at a Disney resort). Disneyland has 2 night specials. Both have deals for military personnel and toward the end of the article they talk about how Disney’s competition is also offering some deals: Universal Orlando Resort and Worlds of Discovery (they own SeaWorld and Busch Gardens).

Just the other day I wrote about healthy vacations and how spas were doing OK. Now I see an article about how spas may be in trouble.This article seems to be talking mostly about the Cleveland area but what they mention – people cutting back on spending and a large amount of spas competing for business – seems like it would apply to most areas.

Apparently Brad Pitt is taking advantage of the Vegas specials I wrote about recently. According to this article he stayed at the Hard Rock and saw a show (Kà by Cirque du Soleil at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino). He was with his sons, Maddox and Pax.

This article from Malaysia talks about how the economic crisis is affecting tourism:

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) forecasts that growth in international tourism this year will be flat at best or may contract by 2%.

Similarly, Malaysia’s Tourism Ministry, acknowledging the global contraction, has also lowered its 2009 tourist arrivals forecast by 10% to 20 million.

The article goes on to discuss Malaysia’s efforts to promote tourism.

Here’s a story about a company worth avoiding: My Travel Ireland Ltd. (which trades as Panorama Holidays). The overbooked hotel I guess could happen to anyone but when they offered the couple whose honeymoon they destroyed a cheap voucher…

Vegas and Iceland discounts available

I wrote about Vegas deals about a week ago. Mainstream media agrees with me – Vegas is a good value right now. Iceland is also a good deal; not surprisingly, winter is their off season. That plus the collapse of their finance industry means they are working hard to attract tourists.

Time to get a good deal and to visit an empty Vegas?

Business in Vegas is down and has been for about a year now. In the past 12 months there have been new construction shut downs and casino employee’s benefits cut. Everyone in Las Vegas used to always say that the “gambling business” was recession proof, now they know better.

With that being said, Vegas is still Disneyland for Adults. In some ways, from a consumers point of view, the strip has never been better or more affordable. Now business has been down and this is the Vegas dead period: January and February are their emptiest times… starts to really pick up around March madness time.

I spoke to someone who just got back from Vegas. Right now the pools are cold and empty. Restaurants are empty, tables are empty. Some restaurants are closed certain days of the week. Even at Ceasars!

So you could go now and it’d be cheap but you can also lock in sweet deals for a few months from now. I know one guy going for 4 nights in April (Thursday to Monday) for a family wedding and staying at MGM Grand for $316 total, plus tax. He had previously had Mandalay Bay for $400 for the same 4 nights but canceled when he saw the MGM deal.

His father in law emailed him with a deal for the Luxor – $226 total for the same 4 nights. I don’t think he’s doing that one; MGM is really nice and Luxor not so much – but, generally speaking, if you can make it to Vegas these days, I can’t imagine that prices are going to get much lower than this.

I spoke to someone else on the email list for Mandalay and Venetian getting great rates emailed to him every week… the other day he got an email from Mandalay with rates from $65 a night at Mandalay and $85 a night at The Hotel.

I threw a few Vegas blog entry links in the blog above but I have more:

Vegas party and hotel tips

Vegas golf recommendations

Grand Canyon helicopter

Vegas timeshare comments

Vegas transportation (prices may be out of date)

Marriage in Vegas

Ethiopian Airlines sale: buy one, get one free

Ethiopian Airlines has a sale to honor the “historic inauguration of President Barack Obama” – and it’a a big one. Buy one, get one free! I’ve never heard of anything like it in the airline industry.

Ethiopian Airlines flies direct from Washington Dulles to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Then, of course they connect to other places in Africa. I did a search for Washington-Dulles to Cairo departing Feb. 7 and returning Feb. 14 to see what kind of money we’re talking about. They didn’t have my exact dates but around that time was $1400 each. A free ticket would be pretty meaningful…

I don’t know if this is only flights from the US to Africa or if the sale also covers flights to Africa departing from Rome, Paris, London, etc. – cities that Ethiopian says they fly to.

For more information, the website says to either call – 1-800-445-2733 – or email

If anyone has more info on the sale or has flown Ethiopian Airlines before, please share what you know by leaving a comment.