Travel retailers know that many Americans are reassessing their spending habits as a result of these challenging economic times, so they're proffering some significant savings to encourage people not to cut travel out of their budget. Which is great news for those of us who weren't planning to stop traveling anyhow. Listed below are excellent deals in and to some of the world's most popular destinations.
All prices are per person unless otherwise noted. See "The deal," "How much," and "When" for details about associated taxes, fees, and travel restrictions. Note that "How much" is our best estimate of what the trip will cost and that taxes and fees can vary based on point of departure and travel dates. Deals are subject to availability, so confirm before booking.
New York City
The deal: Kimpton's two NYC hotels, 70 Park Avenue and the Muse (both four-star properties) are offering 20% off their best available rate for a limited time.
How much: Varies depending on the date booked.
When: Through September 7.
Typical cost for a similar trip: 20% higher.
Find it: Call tel. 800/KIMPTON or go to www.kimptonhotels.com.
Promotion code: EM2
The deal: The "Be Adventurous at Circus Circus" package includes a $10 resort credit, 2-for-1 dinner at Circus Buffet, 2-for-1 entrees at Mexitalia X-Press, a free margarita pitcher at the Garden Grill, $4 off a ride at Adventuredome Theme Park, and a Circus Circus Fun Book worth $100 in savings.
How much: Starting at $40 per night plus tax.
When: Book by Aug. 28 and stay through Aug. 31. A two-night minimum stay is required.
Typical cost for a similar trip: At least $100.
Find it: Call tel. 800/937-7777 or go to www.circuscircus.com.
The deal:Sofitel's "More Value For Your Dollar" package, aimed at Americans and Canadians (a U.S. or Canada passport is required at check-in) staying at least three nights, presents the opportunity for a discount at the Sofitel Arc de Triomphe Paris.
How much: Starting at $282 per night for single or double occupancy.
When: Through August 31.
Typical cost for a similar trip: 15% higher.
Find it: Call tel. 800/SOFITEL or go to www.sofitel-dollaroffer.com.
The deal: If you act fast, you can nab a last-minute jaunt from New York to London. Lastminute.com's deal includes airfare and a five-night stay at the Holiday Inn High Wycombe (though you can opt for better-located hotels for a modest add-on fee; see the link below for details).
How much: $802, including taxes and fees.
When: Aug. 20-25.
Typical cost for a similar trip: $1,370.
Find it: Go to http://us.lastminute.com.
The deal: The W Los Angeles-Westwood's "Wet Weekenders" package includes overnight accommodations, two poolside cocktails, a W Towel for you to keep, and a copy of Los Angeles Confidential magazine. Plus, if you buy a Blissage75 massage at the spa, you get a free poolside manicure.
How much: $309 per night for single or double occupancy (not including the spa treatments).
When: Through August 30, for Friday and Saturday arrivals.
Typical cost for a similar trip: At least $335 (not including the spa treatments).
Find it: Call tel. 800/598.9607 or go to http://specialoffers.starwoodhotels.com.
Promotion code: LIV
The deal: SpaTerre at Grove Isle Hotel & Spa is offering a special on its 80-minute custom massage; clients also get access to the steam room, gym and outdoor watsu tub.
How much: $99.
When: Through August 31.
Typical cost for a similar experience: SpaTerre's 80-minute massages usually go for at least $175.
Find it: Call tel. 305/860-4308.
The deal: Tour operator iExplore is offering a deal on its five-day cultural exploration of Hong Kong that includes hotel accommodations in the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, airport transfers, daily breakfast (and some lunches), private sightseeing tours, and entrance fees to some sights. Highlights include Stanley Market, the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, Macau (via a 55-minute jetfoil ride), and the tram ride up Victoria Peak.
How much: Starting at $2,200 per person, not including airfare and based on double occupancy.
When: Open-ended; leave any day you desire.
Typical cost for a similar trip: 10% to 25% higher.
Find it: Call tel. 800/IEXPLORE or 312/492-9443 or go to www.iexplore.com.
The deal: Rush to book Sceptre's six-night "Rome-Florence Escape," which includes four nights in Rome's Hotel Waldorf; two nights in Florence's Hotel Delle Naziono; and all transportation, including round-trip airfare on Alitalia and a rail ticket from Rome to Florence.
How much: $899, not including taxes.
When: Book by Aug. 15 To get this price, you must out of JFK or Newark between Nov. 30 and Feb. 13; prices for other dates or airports are slightly higher (though not significantly so).
Typical cost for a similar trip: At least $1,300, not including taxes.
Find it: Go to www.sceptretours.com or call tel. 800/901-4042. It's better to book online, as a $25-per-person "concierge fee" is charged for phone bookings.
The deal: Foodies will savor the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort's "Flavors of Princeville" package, which includes an overnight stay in a one-bedroom deluxe island-view villa; a four-course tasting menu for two with wine flights at Nanea, the property's restaurant; a nighttime al fresco dining experience for two; complimentary admission to the resort's Tuesday-night wine tasting; a tour of a local farmer's market; two embroidered chef's aprons; and a grilling cookbook.
How much: $390 per night.
When: Book by Aug. 31 for travel between Aug. 23 and Dec. 23 for a minimum of four nights.
Typical cost for a similar trip: Not entirely quantifiable, but the very best rate for a villa is $385 per night -- so booking this package effectively buys you all the additional elements for a mere $5. To put that in perspective, a four-course dinner for two at Nanea would run well over $100, as would the al fresco meal.
Find it: Call tel. 866/716-8112 or go to www.westinprinceville.com.
Promotion code: FLAVOR