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Freedom to change your mind is an American right -- or, at least, it should be. So if you're still considering if and how to skip town for Independence Day, US travel providers are providing some sparkling deals for last-minute travelers.
Carnival and Princess expand their lines; Oceania cracks the bubbly on a new boat; Royal Caribbean sets its sight on the biggest ship ever; the Norway is towed in for repairs and Carnival charts a course for Oz.
Come September, temperatures and prices will both get milder, thanks to some fabulous flight just announced by trip packager Auto Europe. Snap these fares up now for travel between September 1 and October 31. Double occupancy is not required, so single travelers can join in the fun, too. The best fares are for midweek travel, and they're worth taking a few days off work.
The stampede to the world's most exotic continent is on. People who postponed their trips are now lining up for airplane seats, and the smart ones are booking tour operators' packages to assure not only the seat, but big-buck savings on the ground. A case in point -- Go Today's passel of bargain vacations, which had a June cut-off date, are now available if you book through July 31.
In addition to what the cruise consolidators are offering, Crystal Cruises has announced its 2004 Value Collection, offering up to 50% off on 18 different sailings around the world, including the Caribbean and Panama Canal, the South Pacific, Alaska, Western Europe, the Baltic Sea and Russia, and transatlantic and transpacific crossings.
After an absolutely glorious June (sunshine and temperatures in the 70s and 80s), London remains at picture-perfect peak heading into July and August, with bargains from the USA still topping the potential traveler's list of must-do items. We'd like to remind you of some of the best deals out there.
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Get Out and See America on the 4th!
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Reader's Voice
From P. Thomas: "My husband and I and our two children, a daughter age 10 and and a son age 14, recently returned from 17 days on our own in Australia, including Sydney, northen Queensland, Darwin/Kakadu National Park, Bondi Beach. Here are our suggestions for do¿s and don¿ts for families (and others!) based on our experiences."
From C. Martin: "Aloha all! We (wife, mom and our two girls) just returned from Maui and had a wonderful vacation. We use the Maui Revealed and it was great! (We heard also the "Road to Hana" CD was very good but just for that excursion.) Many of the places we visited were taken from the guide and we loved it."
From Hale: "We just purchased a trip to Tahiti for $749 from Solace Exclusive Destinations (800.548.5331)! The agent that helped us seemed to be very knowledgeable about the islands, and we were lucky to get in on the special airfare offer of $340 on Air Tahiti Nui! We are leaving from Los Angeles on July 4 for 5 nights on Moorea at the Club Bali Hai."
From Lisa Dai: "We were at this fine resort May 15-May 24th. Wed the 17th. We both fell in love with Jamaica and its people thanks to Couples. Our wedding was storybook and would recommend highly. Pictures & video are well worth the $400.00-includes negatives Salon did a great job with my hair-do your own make-up. We booked the Garden Villa and were due to depart to Negril on the 19th. We decided to stay & were upgraded to the Oceanview Penthouse. Both were outstanding."
From julie b: "I will be leaving for Ireland in just about a week (I can't wait!!). My mother and I will be doing a CIE tour with 3 extra days in Dublin on our own. I am wondering how difficult it is to be vegetarian and eat out in Ireland."

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