You've gotta love a far-ranging deal with the flexibility to save you money wherever you're going this summer. The folks at Expedia (tel. 800/EXPEDIA; www.expedia.com) did just that. The Summer Vacation Sale is a result of Expedia asking its readers: "Where are you going this summer?" In destinations with the most responses, the online travel agency then discounted hotels by up to 40 percent. As a result, the cheapest hotels in U.S. are on sale from $21 per night. In Canada, this hotels sale means you can find deals as low as $61 per night.
Currently, the lowest advertised price of $21 per night is for a mountain resort about a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas, close to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The Resort on Mount Charleston includes a spa, arcade/game room, restaurant, and bar.
Urban destinations with cheap hotels include New York City, where the Philippe Starck-designed Hudson Hotel is on sale from $127 per night; San Francisco's Super 8 in Union Square from $80 per night; and Chicago's Best Western Grant Park from $101 per night.
In terms of family-oriented destinations and resorts, Orlando-area stays start at $27 per night for the Howard Johnson Enchanted Land; Myrtle Beach from $90 per night for the Days Inn Grand Strand; and Branson, Missouri, from $39 for the Lakeview Inn. You can also expand your online searches with general terms, such as "Baltimore area" and "Aspen area" and "Savannah area."
In Canada, a handful of hotels are on sale in both urban and recreational centers, including Toronto, Montreal, Banff/ Lake Louise, Calgary, Edmonton, Fredericton, Okanagan Valley, Ottawa, Prince Edward Island, Vancouver, and Victoria. It's very easy to compare prices and locations -- the closer you get to a site, attraction, or city center, the higher the price. These prices are so low, however, that even the more closely positioned properties aren't that expensive. Happy trails!
Trip Type: Hotel-only
What the Quoted Price Gets You: One night at the Resort on Mount Charleston in Las Vegas. Note: the package requires a minimum four-night stay, but you will receive 70 percent off your stay. With this Expedia hotels sale, your four-night total comes to an unbelievably low $84.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: You'll have to pay your way to Las Vegas (or wherever you select, naturally), along with applicable taxes and hotel fees (an additional $6.50, according to the mock booking I did), which will vary depending on the destination and property. In this case, you'll have to pay $20 for more than two people per room, but only if those guests are adults over the age of 17.
Book By: July 27
When: The lowest advertised price reflects travel for July 8-12; the Summer Vacation promotion is valid for travel through Aug. 31.
Other Details: Minimum stays may be required, depending on the property; posted prices on Expedia's website already include the discount of 40 percent. Some blackout dates may apply.
All prices are per room based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for any single supplements, which is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.