Since the economy doesn't seem as though it'll pick up any significant speed in the near future, here are some money-saving deals that'll get you to popular cities around the world -- and how better to offset the pain of tumbling stocks and mutual funds than to take a reduced-cost pleasure trip to somewhere you love?
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: NYC's historic, art-filled Buckingham Hotel, located just a block from Central Park, is offering a family package that includes overnight accommodations for four (there's a two-night minimum), four tickets (two adult, two children) to the Central Park Zoo, stuffed-animal toys, and a family snack pack to take with you on your journey to see the zoo's more than 130 species.
How much: Starting at $339 per night.
When: Through September 7.
Typical cost for a similar trip: At least $370
Find it: www.buckinghamhotel.com or tel. 888/511-1900
Promotion code: Zoo
The deal: Mandalay Bay's SPF-129 summer offer is designed to show off the property's 11 recently renovated acres of poolside bliss. The package includes a $500 travel credit, redeemable on a return trip to Vegas and applicable toward both airfare and hotel costs. The return trip must include three or more nights (double occupancy) at Mandalay Bay or THEhotel and must be booked by Archer Travel Group. The package also includes $50 off a cabana rental (Mon.-Thurs.), $10 in gambling money to spend at the Beachside Casino, VIP pool access (Sun.-Thurs.), complimentary access to Moorea Beach Club (Mon.-Thurs.), complimentary access to Mix Lounge, and $300 in coupons to Mandalay Place.
How much: From $120 per night (though certain nights can cost upwards of $300), not including the cost of the cabana or shopping at Mandalay Place.
When: Through September 4.
Typical cost for similar trips: At least $530, or much higher if you book a cabana or shop at Mandalay Place.
Find it: https://reservations.mgmmirage.com
The deal: Concorde Hotels & Resorts is offering a "USD Fixed Rate Package" at its two Paris hotels: Hotel Lutetia, which is Art Deco-style, and Hotel du Louvre, named for the famous museum it faces. American citizens (yes, your passport will be checked) get a locked-in dollar rate; at checkout, the amount is paid in as many Euros as are equal to the locked-in USD rate. Therefore, the fluctuating market and weakening dollar won't impact how much you have to pay to stay -- and this deal doesn't have a minimum per-night stay, so that's helpful.
How much: Starting at $300 per night (for single or double occupancy). When: Through August 31.
Typical cost for a similar trip: Varies based on the day's exchange rate.
Find it: www.concorde-hotels.com/usdguaranteed or tel. 800/888-4747
The deal: London's stylish Draycott Hotel, in the heart of in the heart of Chelsea, is offering the three-night "London Culture and Dine-Around Package," which includes accommodations, two tickets each to the Churchill Museum and Benjamin Franklin House, two theater tickets to the best available show, a full English breakfast, and VIP treatment at your choice of three out of five of London's trendiest eateries, including Daphne's (Italian), El Balson (Spanish), Chutney Mary (Indian), Amaya (Indian), or Boisdale of Belgravia (Scottish). All hotel guests also get free Wi-Fi access, afternoon tea and biscuits, a glass of champagne in the evening, and hot chocolate before bed.
How much: $2,165 for a deluxe double, including taxes and based on double occupancy.
When: From July 31 until Dec. 31.
Typical cost for a similar trip: At least $2,440 for a deluxe double, including taxes and based on double occupancy.
Find it: www.draycotthotel.com or tel. 800/747-4942
The deal: Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows is offering the "Two Keys Bungalow Package,? wherein guests get to stay in one of the
property's exclusive bungalows and drive around a fancy car, like a Mercedes-Benz C-Class, a BMW 3 Series, or a Lexus ES350. All bungalow guests receive signature welcome amenities, 24-hour concierge service, and complimentary laptop usage. The deal also comes with complimentary daily valet parking.
How much: Starting at $660 per night, including tax, but not including optional car insurance.
When: Through Dec. 31. Book at least 2 days in advance of your arrival date.
Typical cost for a similar trip: At least $830.
Find it: www.fairmont.com or tel. 800/441-1414 or 310/576-7777
The deal: In light of ever-rising fuel costs, more than 100 of Starwood's U.S. hotels and resorts are offering reduced rates and a $25 gas credit -- including the Four Points by Sheraton Miami Beach. A two-night minimum stay is required, and the maximum stay is seven consecutive nights. The gas credit is posted to guests? folio at check-out. How much: From $175 per night including taxes for single or double occupancy.
When: Through September 30 for Thurs.-Sun. stays.
Typical cost for a similar trip: At least $25 more.
Find it: www.starwoodpromos.com
Promotion code: SEC
The deal: The Langham Hotel's Summer Grand Deal includes one night in the newly renovated Grand Room, daily buffet breakfast at L'Eclipse restaurant, and a complimentary in-room Internet connection. For an additional $39 per day, you get access to the Langham Hotel Club (which is normally $100 per day), where you'll be treated to afternoon tea and evening cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Guests also get access to the 24-hour health club, the Club Lounge's computers, personalized check-in and check-out service, and a $50 allowance toward daily laundry. This five-star hotel is located in Kowloon's bustling business district.
How much: Starting at $275 per night, plus a 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.
When: Though Aug. 31.
Typical cost for a similar trip: Regularly, the Grand Room costs $340 per night, not including breakfast or in-room internet access.
Find it: hongkong.langhamhotels.com or tel. 852/2378 9988.
The deal: Expedia is offering a 4-night air and hotel package at the Residence Vatican Suites, which is in central Rome, near St. Peter's Square.
How much: $518, including airfare and a four-night, double-occupancy hotel stay.
When: Book by Through September 5. Book by July 31.
Typical cost for a similar trip: 30% more.
Find it: www.expedia.com
The deal: Horizon & Co. is offering a special price on its "Into the Wild -- The Great River Journey," an 8-day luxury wilderness safari through Yukon, Canada that includes all accommodations -- mostly in rustic, elegant lodges, hotels, and camps along the Yukon River; meals; transportation via canoe, mountain bike, kayak, floatplane, and riverboat; all outdoor equipment (canoes, kayaks, etc.); and the services of all local guides and experts. Not included are international or domestic flights to the start of the trip, taxes (5% in Canada), and gratuities.
How much: $3,900. In July, this price includes return flights from Calgary, Edmonton, or Vancouver.
When: July 25-Aug. 1; July 27-Aug. 3; Aug. 1-8; Aug. 3-10; Aug. 8-15; Aug. 10-17; Aug. 15-22; Aug. 17-24; Aug. 22-29; Aug. 24-31; Aug. 29-Sept. 5; and Aug. 31-Sept. 7.
Typical cost for a similar trip: $7,800 per person, not including any airfare.
Find it: www.horizon-co.com or tel. 800/387-2977 or 416/585 9911.
Know a great deal to a top destination? Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.