There can be so much pressure to do something cool on New Year's Eve and so many party invites to consider, you may find it tempting to stay home, cook a nice dinner and call the whole thing off. Why not do something really different this year and just take off for parts unknown? It's one of those times of the year that no matter where you travel, the rates are much higher -- often double the regular rate. Fortunately, however, there are specials and incentives out there that are so affordable, it is hard to resist.
If you like to do-it-yourself and plan it yourself, European Destinations (tel. 877.267-2247; www.europeandestinations.com) has trips available to ten European cities for New Year's Eve, all of which include roundtrip airfare and five nights' accommodations, starting from $569 for London, from New York City. Depart from either U.S. or Canada on December 29 and check out on January 3. The great thing about this company's trips is that the website is organized in such a way that you can easily see the price based on the departure and destination cities. At a glance, you can determine that the trip costs $1,429 to fly to Venice from Los Angeles, or $999 for Vienna from Houston.
On the right-hand side of this page you'll also see that there are a handful of two-city trips during New Year's. The packages all include roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations for six (or seven) nights, daily breakfast and train tickets between cities. Choose from Madrid-Barcelona for six nights from $725, based on departures from Houston, London and Paris from $919 from New York City, Prague and Vienna from $645 from Houston, and Copenhagen and Stockholm, priced from $1,019, based on New York City departures.
Expedia (tel. 800/EXPEDIA; www.expedia.com) is offering a last-minute holiday sale for New Year's (and Christmas, too). Choose from either hotel stays, priced from a low $46 per night for Phoenix, or packages that bundle three nights' accommodations plus roundtrip airfare, starting at $207 for San Diego. If you want to leave the U.S., you can opt for three nights' hotel stay plus airfare priced from $665 for Los Cabos, Mexico; Rome from $903; Barcelona, Spain from $2,384; Jamaica from $966; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from $810; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, from $1,503.
Gate 1 Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gate1travel.com) has a handful of packages for New Year's to Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Mediteranean. You can fly to two destinations in China, for example, such as Shanghai from $929 or Beijing from $899, both departing December 26 from Los Angeles. Five nights at a first class hotel, with breakfast daily, roundtrip airfare and arrival transfers are all included.
American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) is running something called "'Tis the Season Sale," with reductions for select dates December 14-January 8. Sample fares include Chicago-New York City, $118, Boston-Chicago, $118, Denver-Chicago, $198, Los Angeles-Orlando, $198; Dallas-Washington, $258, St. Louis-Newark, $228. Airfare will be most costly on December 22 and 23 all fares quoted are roundtrip fares.
United (tel. 800/UNITED-1; www.united.com) is having a fare sale for the holidays called "Feast on Fabulous Fares." You must purchase by December 21, and travel on select dates through January 5, 2007, and through February 13, 2007, for Hawaiian destinations. No advance purchase is required for Canadian and U.S. destinations and as usual the advertised fares represent the off-peak travel days. Sample fares include Chicago-Boston, $99, San Francisco-Los Angeles, $54, Washington, D.C., Orlando, $99, New York City-San Francisco, $159, and Los Angeles to Las Vegas from a low $39, one way, based on round-trip travel.
Book It (tel. 888/782-9722; www.bookit.com) has a special posted for Rosen Shingle Creek, located between Disney World and the Orlando airport. Rooms are available from only $71 per night based on double occupancy for travel December 12 through January 2, 2007, with no blackout dates. You can save up to 60 percent off with four-night booking. The guest rooms have flat screen televisions, high speed Internet, and more. You must book by December 13, though, and the offer is valid on stays of two or more nights.
ResortQuest in Kauai Beach at Makaiwa (tel. 888/311-5050; www.resortquesthawaii.com) is offering rates from $129 per night for stays December 25-April 2, including Christmas and New Year's Eve. You must book by December 8, however and be sure to ask for rate plan 5050. The stay is good for a garden view room, and there is on minimum-night stay, which is unusual for Hawaii hotel specials. The resort is located on 10 beachfront acres on Kauai's Coconut coast, and you have high-speed Internet access, an oceanfront pool, a day spa, and several restaurants. ResortQuest also offers a kids stay, play and eat free program -- be sure to inquire about that when booking.
The four-diamond hotel Omni San Diego Hotel (tel. 800/THE-OMNI; www.omnihotels.com) has a $99 special for stays on select dates through July 2007. You can choose December 13-31, January 1-3 and select dates in March, May and July. The hotel is located in the Gaslamp Quarter. The rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen televisions, and CD/DVD players. There is a minimum-stay restriction for stays December 27-31. Rates usually go for about $259 and upwards during this travel time. You can even upgrade to a premium room for an additional $30.
The Affinia Chicago Hotel (tel. 800/AFFINIA; www.affinia.com) has a deal that's good for $89 for travel December 3 through January 31, 2007. The only exception though is that New Year's Eve rate is $199, for a discounted rate. The hotel is located in Chicago's Magnificent Mile, close to shopping, museums, and many other attractions. You must book by December 8 and use promotional code 9ERGK3.
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