The travel industry has no intention of letting up in its desire to keep you and your family traveling despite all the doom and gloom economic news. Even some of the most exotic destinations -- ones you thought were probably out of your reach -- have made concessions and are offering incentives to bring your family over. So instead of shelving this year's travel plans, get on that flight and give you and your kids a well-earned vacation in the sun.


Make that exotic dream a reality with Air Tahiti Nui's (tel. 877/824-4846; cheapest family deals to date. For a limited time, kids fly, stay, and eat for free, meaning a family of four can enjoy five nights in this Pacific paradise from $3,396. In addition to round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, Air Tahiti Nui's new family packages also include adult breakfasts daily and all transfers. Bookings must be made by May 15, 2009 for travel now through May 31, and again from July 10 to 17 and November 1 to December 10, 2009. The "Tahiti Family Vacation" package starts from $1,698 per adult (one child aged two to 11 goes free per paying adult) and features a five-night stay in a garden suite at the brand new Manava Suite Resort Tahiti, featuring the island's largest infinity swimming pool and an over-water restaurant with terrace. Your children will fly free, stay free, and eat free off the hotel's kids' menu.

For those who would prefer to visit more than one island the "Tahiti and Moorea Family Fun" package is priced from $1,998 per adult with two nights at the Manava Suite Resort Tahiti in a garden suite, a ten-mile ferry ride to Moorea and three nights at the Moorea Pearl Resort and Spa in a spacious garden-view duplex. This traditional Polynesian style hotel sits on close to eight acres of white sand beach and offers free use of kayaks and snorkeling equipment, and a Manea Spa with traditional Tahitian treatments. The "Bora Bora Family Getaway" package starts at $2,098 per adult and offers five nights in a garden view room at the Le Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora with a local lagoon teeming with coral, tropical fish, dolphins, turtles and other marine life. Round-trip flights between Tahiti and Bora Bora are included with this package. A maximum of two children (quad occupancy) may share the same room or suite. Prices include fuel surcharges but exclude government and airport taxes of approximately $85 per person including children, as well as hotel city tax of less than $2 per person.

Cayman Islands

This summer (June 1 to September 7, 2009) the beautiful tropical Cayman Islands are offering a Summer Splash promotion with kids aged 11 and under able to stay, eat and play at nine different resorts (ranging from three to five-star) for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Children will receive complimentary hotel accommodation, meals at over a dozen restaurants (so you are not limited to hotel dining) and admission at several local attractions, including learning about marine life at the famed Cayman Sea School. Your family will also receive the fifth hotel night free.

Accommodations options include Comfort Suites, Grandview Condos, Sunshine Suites Resort, Villas of the Galleon, The Reef Resort, Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Grand Cayman Beach Suites and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. You can purchase the Summer Splash promotion package through American Airlines Vacations (tel. 800/321-2121; and it is also available through US Airways Vacations (tel. 800/455-0123; Prices start at $415 per person plus taxes including round-trip airfares out of New York ($437 out of Charlotte and $486 from Chicago or Boston) and five-nights in a deluxe studio suite with kitchenette at the Comfort Suites Hotel plus all meals and activities are free for the children. Taxes are approximately $100 per person depending on flight sectors.


Pleasant Holidays (tel. 800/523-3716; currently has an enticing family travel deal to Hawaii with low-priced airfares for children plus kids stay, play, and eat for free at select hotels and resorts this spring and summer. Book before April 30, 2009 and travel between June 1 and August 23, 2009 and enjoy a family vacation Hawaiian style. Fly from Los Angeles or San Francisco and children's flights are only $199 round-trip for kids aged two to 17 with accompanying adults. Vacation packages begin at $586 per adult and $199 per child including roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Honolulu, five nights' accommodations, hotel tax and airline fuel surcharges. Additional five-night, air-inclusive packages from Los Angeles or San Francisco are available to Maui from $765 per adult and $323 per child; Kauai from $813 per adult and $363 per child; and Hawaii's Big Island from $814 per adult and $373 per child. Travelers also receive discounted parking at the Parking Spot in Los Angeles airport or at San Francisco airport's Park'N Fly. Room rates are based on quad occupancy. Pleasant Holidays is also offering five free days economy car rental through Hertz with every five night Hawaii vacation booked. Shorter, three-night vacation spring prices for a family of four include:

  • Sheraton Kauai Garden Hotel, Kauai from $329 per adult ($199 for children); $1,056 total.
  • Kaanapali Ocean Inn, Maui from $335 per adult ($199 for children); $1,068 total.
  • Lahaina Shores Beach Resort, Maui from $345 per adult ($199 for children); $1,088 total.
  • Aqua Palms and Spa, Oahu from $359 per adult for three nights ($199 for children); $1,116 total.
  • Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Oahu from $375 per adult ($199 for children); $1,1148 total.
  • Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, Oahu from $429 per adult ($199 for children) including daily breakfast on the beach; $1,256 total.

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