Traveling right after tax season can feel like a too-tight splurge, but the deals outlined below, which include packages, special hotel offerings, and published airline sales, will assure that you get the most bang for your buck while not breaking the bank. 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: Red Roof Inn's pet-friendly Manhattan location is offering a "Circle the Big Apple" package that includes overnight accommodations and breakfast, plus a two-hour Circle Line Cruise for two. The harbor cruise gets up close to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and offers an excellent view of the NYC skyline.
How much: $244 per night for two adults; children under 13 stay free
When: Through April 30
Typical cost for a similar trip: $225 per night for two adults; $25 per person for Circle Line cruise tickets
Find it: www.applecorehotels.com
The deal: Travelworm.com is offering a free night with a three-night minimum stay at the lakefront, family-friendly Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort. Rooms start at $200 per night.
How much: Starting at $400 for three nights (taxes and service fees not included)
When: Make reservations before May 29; travel through May 31
Typical cost for a similar trip: $600 for three nights (taxes and service fees not included)
Find it: www.travelworm.com
The deal: Sure it's months ahead, but if you don't make reservations for New Year's Eve now, you likely won't be doing anything that involves travel. Plus, New Year's in Paris should be on everyone's life's to-do list. Go-Today.com's deal sees to it that you'll spend six nights in a Paris hotel -- including that all-important one -- and it includes airfare, breakfast every morning, hotel taxes, and service charges.
How much: $799 (not including some taxes)
When: Book by April 18 and depart on December 25; to depart on December 26, 27, or 28, add $50
Typical cost for a similar trip: More than $900
Find it: www.go-today.com
The deal: Continental Airlines wants you to see London in spring, so they're offering introductory fares from 10 American cities for their twice-daily departures to Heathrow via New York (Newark) and Houston (Bush) airports. To boot, fliers who use the Bill Me Later feature for the first time get $20 knocked off their fare. Note that prices are subject to change and that while the deal does include the 7.5% U.S. excise tax, it doesn't cover some other fees, including passenger facility charges, September 11th fees, and non-U.S. government taxes and charges. Book electronically if possible, since Continental adds $50 for issuing paper tickets.
How much: Starting at $189 each way from New York (Newark); $289 from Las Vegas; $247 from Houston; $20 less for those opting to use Bill Me Later for the first time
When: Until May 31, or until sold out. The Bill Me Later part of the deal is only valid through April 23. If you've already bought Continental tickets to London Gatwick for May 15 or before, you can change your ticket to London Heathrow for no additional charge.
Typical cost for similar trip: About $400 each way from New York (Newark); $400 from Las Vegas; $410 from Houston
Find it: www.continental.com
The deal: Lastminute.com is offering a two- to three-night package called "Los Angeles: Ready for its Close-Up" with different iterations depending on whether you want the deal to include a standard hotel, a luxury hotel, or a rental car. The "Fly & Drive" version includes airfare, a rental car, and all taxes and fees.
How much: "Fly & Drive" costs $317 from New York; $163 from San Francisco
When: Weekends in 2008, although the site only allows you to book about two weeks out
Typical cost for a similar trip: $330 for a flight from New York (booked two weeks in advance); $46 for a two-day car rental.
Find it: www.lastminute.com
The deal: The brand-new Regent Bal Harbour -- it opened in March to become America's only Regent property and Bal Harbour Village's first luxury hotel to open in more than 50 years -- is encouraging people to stay by offering a deal, called "Florida Getaway," that adds a free night's stay for those paying for at least three nights.
How much: Four-night stays start at $1,350
When: May 1 through October 2
Typical cost for a similar trip: A four-night stay would start at $1,800
Find it: www.regenthotels.com/balharbouraw
Promotion code: BHAWAY if reserving by phone: 888/201-1806
The deal: A program offered by Ritz Tours, called the "Hong Kong in a Week Special," includes round-trip airfare on Cathay Pacific, double-occupancy hotel accommodations for five nights at either the Kowloon Hotel or the InterContinental Grand Stanford, daily breakfast, airport-hotel transfers, and a half-day sightseeing tour.
How much: Starting at $1,445 plus tax, including round-trip airfare on Cathay Pacific from Los Angeles or San Francisco. From New York, the package starts at $1,619. The price includes a fuel surcharge, but taxes and fees add about $185. Additional nights are available for an extra cost, as are add-on tours to Beijing and Shanghai for $380 plus tax, including airfare and lodging.
When: Through December 31
Typical cost for a similar trip: About $2,000
Find it: Information is online at www.ritztours.com, but currently only phone reservations are available at tel. 800/900-2446
Promotion code: OHK
The deal: Refraining from visiting Italy until the exchange rate becomes more reasonable? No need: Starwood's three Rome hotels, the St. Regis Grand, Hotel Eden, and the Westin Excelsior, pretend like the dollar is holding steady at 1.30 against the euro -- even though the current exchange rate is almost 1.60 and getting worse. The deal is only for U.S. citizens paying by cash or travelers' checks.
How much: Depends on season, but for June, typical per-night single- or double-occupancy rate would come to about $553 for the St. Regis Grand, $527 for Hotel Eden, and $488 for the Westin Excelsior.
When: Through December 31
Typical cost for a similar trip: Almost 20 percent higher
Find it: Information is online at www.starwood.com, but call tel. 800/325-3589 to make reservations and mention the promotion code.
Promotion code: BTE
The deal: Dreaming of the Caribbean? St. Lucia is running a promotion that knocks up to 50 percent off a package that includes a three-night stay at a beachfront property (you choose which one), plus non-stop, round-trip airfare on American Airlines from JFK International Airport.
How much: Starting at $575
When: Book through April 30 for travel through June 20
Typical cost for a similar trip: $1,150 and up
Find it: www.stlucianow.com
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