Traditionally the holiday season comes at a high travel premium. And to hear so many of the travel wizards talk, the bum economy is making travel all the harder to do economically and we are sentenced to spending our time down in the basement.
Well, if you look around even a little you’ll find that there are plenty of deals — even for Thanksgiving, the other holidays and beyond. Following is a representative sample of what I found in just a few minutes’ search through the Web and the bargain sites that keep us abreast of ways to save money. Some of these sell out quickly, some have short time fuses, but they reflect an energetic travel season where the smart traveler can find some great bargains.
- The Marriott hotel folks are offering 40 percent off stays in Mexico, the Caribbean and Costa Rica. Book in November for stays Jan. 1, 2010, through April 30, 2010, and receive 40 percent off the leisure rate. See: http://tinyurl.com/y8pwp3m.
- There’s a bit of an airfare war going on (there usually is and usually sparked by good old Southwest’s aggressive bargain techniques). AirTran has jumped in to match or better Southwest, American, JetBlue, Continental, Spirit and USAirwaysÂ with steep bargains on some 3,000 U.S. and Caribbean routes. You have to book byÂ Tuesday, Nov. 10, and the lowest prices are sure to sell out but you can travel before then. See http://tinyurl.com/y9h76gs.
- Delta Airlines has joined the fray, too, with special bargains for the holiday season surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. They’re not alone in this but with their range of destinations and low fares, Delta’s worth a look. See http://tinyurl.com/ycxuntl.
- Speak the language? Air France has a neat $689 package from New York City to London (other departure locations available at a higher price) with six nights’ accommodations in London, a Red River Rover Hop On Hop Off Cruise, and daily breakfast. Also included are hotel taxes and service charges, as well as airline fuel surcharges. All this this, when even sale prices for a round-tripper flight to London run at about $550 in December. So for another $140 each you get the hotel and other benefits.Â The lowest prices for travel are from Nov. 8 through Dec. 13 as well as Jan. 4 through March 22.Â No date listed to book by, but book 30 days in advance to avoid extra shipping and handling fees. See http://tinyurl.com/y9j6ebo.
- Meantime, Travelzoo notes that go-today.com has a nice deal for six days in Paris in January or February with air and hotels for $649 and up. See http://tinyurl.com/ycoctnf. Note, additional airport taxes of $170 sneak in there. But itâ€™s still a bargain, mon ami.
- Big hotel savings. Book by Tuesday, Nov. 10, and you can save up to 50 percent off regular rates at W Hotels, Westin, Sheraton, Aloft and many otherÂ properties from Starwood Hotels & Resorts. There are deals on hotels and resorts for North America, Caribbean and global destinations starting at $59. Hotels deals are availableÂ for travel through Jan. 18,Â while resort propertiesÂ areÂ offered through April 25. The offers vary by property and there are blackout dates. See http://tinyurl.com/yfz5dxw.
These just sample the banquet of travel deals. Look around.