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With the winter holidays behind us, the travel industry is in a bit of a lull right now. This means there's no better time to snag a last-minute deal on a getaway. Here are two ways to save on a spur-of-the-moment trip:

Better-Off-Dead Deals

In the travel biz, the week immediately following New Year's is known as "dead week." Like a dried-up Christmas tree that's been kicked to the curb, travel drops off the map after the hectic holiday season. For families with school kids, traveling during dead week is a tough sell. They've just spent their energy and money on the holidays and the kids are just returning to school after a long holiday break.

But for homeschoolers and families with babies and toddlers, dead week can be a sweet opportunity to snag a bargain getaway. It's a time when hotels and airlines offer super deals, and vacation spots are not only uncrowded but affordable. Here are some dead week deals that scream "last-minute getaway":

  • New York City: Westin New York at Times Square -- From Jan. 2 to Jan. 6, prices dip by about $200 per night compared the peak holiday period and the remainder of January. Rooms start at $233 a night during "dead week" and pop back up to $409 the following week.
  • St. Petersburg, Fla.: Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club -- From Jan. 1 to Jan. 6, this Marriott property in Florida is offering nightly rates starting at $85, which is a 65% savings. However, this one requires a seven-day advance booking. Use promo code ADP.
  • Puerto Rico: Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa -- From Jan. 1 to Jan. 8, rates start at $99 -- a savings of 42% off winter prices. Call tel. 800/474-6627 and mention promo code DIS88.

Save Up to 33% at NYC Hotels

We've said it before and we'll say it again: it's always a good idea to check tourism websites to see if there are any good deals to be had in your destination. Case in point: NYC & Company (www.nycgo.com) is highlighting two excellent hotel offers in the Big Apple for the coming months:
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