Staying home -- in a broad sense -- offers plenty of travel incentives: no need to switch currency or learn a new language (accents nothwithstanding). But accents and other regional differences make all the difference, and most people keep that in mind when planning a vacation. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, 40 percent of Americans who travel take short trips of one to two nights, and a majority of us travel within our region, many just within the home state. Keeping that in mind, we've rounded up some current hotel deals in cities across the country. If you have a particular destination in mind that we've missed here, consider starting your search at the given state's tourism website -- you can find a list of them here (www.frommers.com/articles/853.html). From there, it shouldn't be too hard to find what you need. Nowadays, even the tiniest of burghs has some semblance of a web presence.
Marriott (tel. 800/932-2198; www.marriott.com) has several specials, including "Last Minute Weekends," which saves you up to 60 percent off your hotel and flight price as long as you leave Thursday-Sunday and return Sunday-Tuesday. The deal is good if you're planning a trip within the next two weeks. Sample hotel and flight packages include "Wicked Smaaht" for Boston and vicinity from $206 per person. When you book you can see the range of prices, dependent upon departure date of course, so it's easy to plan if you're on a budget. The deal includes your choice of Marriott hotel and your choice of round-trip flight from New York City. Other cities that are part of this promotion include Denver (from $246), Washington, D.C. (from $216), Atlanta (from $252), Memphis ($285) and more. Prices are based on double occupancy and include tax.
Millennium Properties (tel. 866/866-8086; www.millenniumhotels.com) is offering a package called "Long Live the King" for their Knickerbocker property in Chicago on the Magnificient Mile that gives you tickets to the anticipated King Tut exhibit at the Field Museum (www.fieldmuseum.org) The exhibit has already visited Los Angeles and Florida and arrives in Chicago May 26 and runs through January 1, 2007. The package features overnight accommodations, two tickets to the exhibit, turndown service, two VIP welcome drinks -- the King Tuttini Martini. Rates start at $219.
Additionally, the company just launched Millennium on View, or MoV (www.millenniumhotels.com/onview), a cultural marketing program designed to offer travelers savings, special access, and tickets to visual art events in cities across the country. The company has partnered with museums and galleries in cities such as Miami, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Boston and Nashville. There are two deals available at the Millennium Maxwell House in Nashville in conjunction with the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and one of them, "Art Just the Start" provides deluxe accommodations, complimentary buffet breakfast for two adults and two children, two adult museum tickets and transportation to the Frist Center. Rates for the package begin at $140, available through December 30 except for Sundays when the Frist Center is closed. Elsewhere, the Millennium Hotel in Cincinnati has teamed with the city's Contemporary Art Center, which specializes in film, photography and performance art. The offer includes standard accommodations, two tickets to the CAC, continental breakfast for two, starting from $89 for double occupancy. It's valid until August 30, except Tuesdays when CAC is closed.
Orbitz (tel. 888/656-4546; www.orbitz.com) is offering a "Big Cities on a Budget" special good for cities such as Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Antonio, New York City, Phoenix, Minneapolis, and many more. The special lists starting prices for just hotels and your flight plus three nights of accommodations. Hotels in Dallas start at $50. Phoenix starts at $64 and the special is calculated for travel from Los Angeles to Phoenix; airfare and three nights start at just $227. Search carefully, because each city's pricing is dependent upon a different range of dates. Overall, though, the prices were checked on March 28 and Orbitz states in the fine print that they reflect travel within nine weeks. Rates can fluctuate wildly so if you spot a good deal, nab it. Chances are tomorrow it might be gone.
Priceline (tel. 800/774-2354; www.priceline.com) is running airfare specials to select cities, including Chicago and New York. Sample Chicago fares include Atlanta $183; Denver $131; Ft. Lauderdale $156; Los Angeles $221; New York $127 as departure points. Rates quoted were obtained in mid-March for travel within 90 days and include tax. For New York, fares include Atlanta $166, Chicago $140; Denver $201; Ft. Lauderdale $153; and Los Angeles $265.
Priceline is also running a special on spring hotels called "Name Your Own Price and Save Up to Half Off." Sample starting rates include Orlando from $55, Los Angeles from $65, San Francisco (Fisherman's Wharf) from $65 and Las Vegas (the Strip) from $100. The promotion allows you to compare Priceline's offer versus Hotels.com and Expedia. You choose the hotel quality level and area where you want to stay, and the site searches its inventory and finds a match for you. Prices are valid on check-ins through April 30 and actual prices may be different from what's posted -- they were gathered and checked over the course of a couple of weeks in early February. It's worth it if you're willing to take a leap of faith and don't mind being surprised about where you're staying.
The South Beach Group (tel. 877/762-3477; www.southbeachgroup.com) operates seven boutique properties in the Miami-South Beach area. At their Chesterfield Hotel (www.thechesterfieldhotel.com) in Miami Beach, they're running a four night Memorial Day package that starts at $325 per night. During Memorial Day weekend, Miami turns into hip-hop central with Black Beach Week Presents: The Seventh Annual Urban Beach Week. It's a four day party full of food, hip-hop, and other festivities. If you book before April 21 you'll receive a scooter rental reservation, a hip-hop CD mix, and a bottle of Hennessy. Offer is valid Memorial Day weekend; your stay must coincide with the holiday but you can stay until May 31 if you like. All the company's properties are included in the promotion, based on availability; the Chesterfield and the Lily Leon Hotel provide the least expensive accommodations, priced from $325.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts (tel. 877/822-0000; www.starwood.com) is running a "Spring Fever" special, April 9-23, at its W Hotels worldwide. You'll enjoy two cocktails daily, double Starpoints, and a "wonderful" room at a special rate, in a handful of cities, most of them in North America. Sample rates include the W Atlanta from $125, W Montreal from $259 (CAD), New Orleans from $179, Seattle $209, and San Diego $219. Booking deadline is April 23. If you are a Starwood Preferred Guest you'll receive double the amount of Starpoints.
Do you know of other savings on places to stay? Keep us in the know on our Lodgings Message Boards today.