Even though we're now in July, it's still not too late to find a bargain on a summer getaway with the kids. Here are three ways to find sizzling savings between now and the back-to-school season:
Huge Summer Sale at Atlantis, BahamasIf you're heading to a marquee-name resort these days, make your motto "Never Pay Retail." If you look hard -- or even look a little -- you can almost always find ways to whittle down the price.
Take Atlantis, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Right now the mega-resort is throwing a Super Summer Sale with layers of perks -- especially if you book your trip using an American Express card. The 4,000-room resort has an endless supply of kids' activities, including dolphin interactions, a toddler camp, a tweens arcade, and a dance club for teens. For the whole family, there's a 141-acre waterscape with pools, saltwater lagoons, and a huge water park.
If you book by July 15, here's what you get:
- A 4th night free (for July, rooms normally start at $224/night)
- Free breakfast daily for a family of four (worth $50/day x 4 days = $200)
- Kids ages 11 and under eat lunches and dinners free at most Atlantis restaurants (worth about $30/day x 2 kids x 4 days = $240 value)
- $150 resort credit that you can use at most resort outlets
- 2 passes for the kids', pre-teen, or teen clubs Club Rush, CRUSH or Atlantis Kids Adventures (worth up to $90 total)
In addition to getting a 25% discount on your room, you're getting almost $700 in freebies that you'll either need (food) or want (kids' clubs or extra activities).
And while using an Amex card helps, it's not necessary for the bulk of the savings; the resort credit and club passes are only for Amex cardholders, but the 4th night free, breakfasts, and kids' meals are available for everyone. Each deal has different minimum stays, but if you go for four nights, you'll qualify for everything except perhaps the airfare. The rules exclude a few features at the kids' clubs, and meals at the chain restaurants (Johnny Rocket's, Starbucks). Yet Atlantis is so huge, and its options so varied, it will make little difference to most people.
You must book by July 15 and travel by Aug. 20. To take advantage of these offers, you can use this link or call tel. 888/877-7525.
$99 Rates at Arizona's Wigwam ResortSummer in the desert always means bargain rates, but at one Arizona resort this summer, it also means getting in on the first summer season at a revamped resort. The 80-year-old, 330-room Wigwam Resort -- set on 400-plus acres in Litchfield Park, outside Phoenix -- finished a $7 million facelift a few months ago, adding some big draws for both kids and grown-ups: a new main pool complex with two 25-foot looping waterslides, and a new farm-to-table restaurant from a local, award-winning chef (there are still six other restaurants, too).
You can rent mountain bikes to explore the trails and surrounding parks, go to the free driving range and golf clinics, or sign up for family tee times on the golf course, with free golf for kids under 17. There are fun themed camps for kids, such as chef or music camps (just $15 each), as well as dive-in movies, s'more roasts, and even encounters with animals from the local zoo.
With its new summer offer -- which is not being promoted on the resort's site -- prices start at $99 per night for weeknights and $107 on weekend nights. When we tested some dates, we discovered that regular rates started at $149, which means that the summer offer delivers a 27% savings. And if you come back in winter? We found rates for -- gulp -- $429 a night. So these summer rates represent a 75% savings compared to high season.
Summer rates are available through Sept. 7. Arizona residents can also get free kids' meals and a waiver for the daily $18 resort fee. Use promo code SUMSCAPE when booking online, or mention the summer rate when calling tel. 800/327-0396.
Save Up to 45% at RockResorts this Summer and FallRockResorts, a group of resorts known for casually elegant accommodations in upscale settings, has kicked off a Summertime Rocks promo at 11 properties across the U.S. and Caribbean. The offer promises discounts of up to 45% on room rates.
Many of RockResorts' mountain properties are known for their fantastic access to skiing, but they don't shut down when the snow melts. At The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, Colorado, the resort overlooks the village and offers easy access to warm-weather activities ranging from ATV tours and hot-air ballooning to whitewater rafting and horseback riding. There are also plenty of things for families to enjoy on-property, including a heated outdoor pool, nature hikes, lawn games, and golf.
When we test-booked a July weekend stay at The Pines Lodge for a family of two adults and two kids, we found a nightly rate of $177 for a double room, which is 33% less than the regular rate of $264. To snag that 45% discount, travel in September and pay just $145 a night.
Book online or call tel. 866/513-7625 and ask for the "Summertime Rocks" rate. The offer's restrictions vary by property. Rates are based on availability, and do not include taxes, gratuities, or resort fees (which can be steep, up to $30 a day).
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