The economy's still in a definite downward spiral but that just means it's a buyer's market. Travel vendors know that their clientele is feeling the pinch, so they're doing all they can to keep travel accessible, including knocking prices down to levels lower than we've seen in a long time. Below are some of the best deals available for travel to the world's top cities.
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: Certain Renaissance and Marriott hotels in Newark, New Jersey are offering the "Escape by Train" package, which allows guests to enjoy the best of NYC at a significant discount. The deal includes deluxe overnight accommodations, a hot breakfast buffet, round-trip transportation into New York, airport transfers for those arriving at Newark Airport, and hotel parking.
How much: Starting at $122 per night, not including tax.
When: Through November 12.
Typical cost for a similar trip: About $150 per night, not including tax.
Find it: tel. 800/228-9290; www.marriott.com
Promotion code: ES7
The deal: The Trump Hotel's "Suite Escape" package includes accommodations in a Studio Suite, late checkout, and a $50 spa credit.
How much: $89 per night.
When: Through June 30.
Typical cost for a similar trip: About $200.
Find it: www.trumplasvegashotel.com
The deal: Continental Airlines is offering a package deal that includes airfare and a 4-night stay in Paris.
Bow much: $675 departing from New Orleans, $856 departing from Los Angeles, including taxes and most fees.
When: Book by April 17, travel through December 16. A Saturday night stay is required.
Typical cost for a similar trip: About $1,000 from Los Angeles, including taxes and most fees.
Find it: www.expedia.com/daily/promos/flights/continental0209/default.asp?pmicid=181534
The deal: Globus's 10-day "Britain Sampler" begins and ends in London with visits to Stonehenge, Edinburgh, and York. It includes accommodations in a variety of upscale hotels, including the Hilton London Metropole and Novotel London West; a full English breakfast daily and three three-course dinners; extensive guide-led sightseeing, including visits to St. Paul's Cathedral, the gardens of Hampton Court Palace, the Roman ruins in Stonehenge and Bath, Shakespeare's birthplace, and Edinburgh; hotel taxes and tips; transportation in a deluxe motorcoach; and a Globus travel bag.
How much: Land-only starting from $1,169; save at least 50% off airfare with British Airways.
When: Departures from March 13 through October 16.
Typical cost for a similar trip: About $1,500, plus an additional 50% on British Airways airfare.
Find it: tel. 800/680-2858; www.tourvacationstogo.com/ticker.cfm?tid=13946&ts=1290&nr=df3
The deal: The "Kids Fly Free" package from Alaska Airlines Vacations is inspired by Disneyland's deal, which offers a 3-day or longer Park Hopper bonus ticket at the kids' price. The Alaska Airlines price includes round-trip airfare for one child (younger than age 12) and one adult, 4 nights (for the price of 3) at the Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort, lunch and dinner for kids (with the purchase of one adult entrÃ©e), and 1,500 bonus miles for each person.
How much: Price varies depending on departure city; some sample prices: $657 from Arizona cities, $741 from Portland, $779 from Seattle or Boise (taxes and fees not included).
When: Book by March 18 for travel through June 17 (certain blackout dates apply), though Park Hopper tickets must be used by April 30 ands expire 13 days after the first day of use.
Typical cost for a similar trip: At least $1,300.
Find it: tel. 800/468-2248; www.alaskaair.com/as/vacations/california/specials/disney-kff.asp?CID=WHA_IN_081209_Vacations_DisneylandKFF
The deal: Miami's dramatic new Viceroy, designed by Kelly Wearstler, is offering the "Viceroy Miami Debut" package, conceived to highlight the hotel's spa-based amenities. The deal includes two nights in a Viceroy King Room, a spa lunch, a body treatment or massage, a facial, and the spa's "Blooming Flower Hand and Foot Ritual."
How much: Starting at $1,050, not including tax and service charges.
When: Through May 31.
Typical cost for a similar trip: $1,470, not including tax and service charges.
Find it: tel. 866/781-9924; www.viceroymiami.com
The deal: The Royal Pacific Hotel and Towers Hong Kong, in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, is offering discounts on extended stays Â? perfect for businesspeople. The deal includes a daily newspaper, local calls, outgoing local faxes, discounts on hotel services, and use of the fitness center.
How much: $110 per night for a 7-night stay; $103 for a 14-night stay; $98 per night for a 30-night stay (all including taxes and service charges). Prepayment is required 7 days in advance and the amount is non-refundable after confirmation.
When: Through September 30, with a blackout period of April 12 to 30.
Typical cost for a similar trip: $161 per night, including taxes and service charges.
Find it: www.sino-hotels.com/The_Royal_Pacific_Hotel_and_Towers/en/Special_Offers/Rooms_and_Suites/2009_Long_Stay_Package.aspx
The deal: The 9-day "Rome City Stay" from Go Ahead Tours includes round-trip airfare, airport transfers, seven nights in hotels (including tips and service charges), a daily breakfast buffet, the services of a tour director, transportation in a deluxe motorcoach, a Go Ahead travel bag and membership in the company's World Traveler Club, which includes credit toward your next tour with them.
How much: $1,799, not including taxes and fees. Optional walking sightseeing tours start at $65.
When: Departs on June 27.
Typical cost for a similar trip: $2,699 or more, not including taxes and fees.
Find it: www.goaheadtours.com/tours/RWE/rome-city-stay.aspx
The deal: The InterContinental San Francisco is celebrating its first birthday by offering a package that highlights many aspects of the upscale property. The deal includes overnight accommodations, parking, breakfast for two at the well-reviewed Luce restaurant, two cocktails at Bar 888, a spa gift bag, and 20% off any spa service.
How much: $88.80 per person, based on double occupancy.
When: Through March 31.
Typical cost for a similar trip: About $200 per person.
Find it: tel. 415/616-6500; www.intercontinentalsanfrancisco.com
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