The bad news: The economy shows few signs of improvement. The good news: Our world is still as interesting and entertaining as ever. To strike a happy medium between saving and traveling, book one of the great deals below.
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: The boutique Buckingham Hotel's "SupercalifragilisticexpealaSavings Package" is perfect for the family: It includes a two-night stay for four people in a deluxe one-bedroom, four tickets to Broadway's Mary Poppins, and a CD of the show's music. Amenities include high-speed internet and a 24-hour fitness center.
How much: Starting at $798.
When: Whenever "Mary Poppins" plays (show dates are scheduled through July 5).
Typical cost for a similar trip: Around $1,160, depending on show seats.
Find it: www.buckinghamhotel.com/specials_and_packages/super_package.cfm or tel. 888/511-1900.
The deal: JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa's "Kisssable Getaway Package" is the perfect way to show your love this Valentine's Day. The one-night stay includes accommodations for two in a deluxe guest room, a three-course dinner for two in Ceres restaurant, complimentary access to Aquae Sulis Spa, and an arrival amenity of champagne and chocolate kisses. Note that the resort is located in Summerlin, a 20-minute drive from the Strip.
How much: $199, not including tax.
When: Offered Feb. 12 to 15.
Typical cost for a similar trip: $349, not including tax.
Find it: www.jwlasvegasresort.com or tel. 877/869-8777.
Promotion code: PKGV
The deal: AMA Waterways' 14-day "Europe's Heartland Cruise" starts in Paris and ends in Prague with stops in Bernkastel, Wurzburg, and Bamberg. It includes three nights in Paris hotels including daily breakfast, seven cruise nights in an outside stateroom, all cruise meals, unlimited wine, transfers between boat and hotels, two nights in Prague hotels including daily breakfast, a daily sightseeing program, bicycles to use, and all local taxes.
How much: From $3,199 with no airfare; from $3,949 with airfare to France (based on double occupancy), not including a $98 port charge.
When: Departures from Apr. 22 through Oct. 29.
Typical cost for a similar trip: About $500 more.
Find it: www.tourvacationstogo.com/tour.cfm?npid=13556&nr=df3 or tel. 800/510-4002.
The deal: Experience Tours is offering a Wimbledon package that includes a reserved seat for one day at the championships, a luxury one-night stay with daily full English breakfast, return transfers from Southfields Underground Station to the Championship Club, an information pack containing a one-day London Travel Card, and admission to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
How much: From $858 (based on double occupancy), including tax.
When: Book and pay by Feb. 15 for travel between Jun. 22 and Jul. 5.
Typical cost for a similar trip: About 30% more.
Find it: www.keithprowse.com or tel. 800/669-8687.
The deal: The Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach is offering discounted rooms on January weekends; a one-night stay includes breakfast, use of a fitness center and swimming pool, and internet access.
How much: $99, double occupancy.
When: Weekends through Jan. 31.
Typical cost for a similar trip: $149.
Find it: www.hotels.com/hotel_ayres-hotel-manhattan-beach-lax_216606.html
The deal: The new Epic Hotel's grand-opening package includes one night's accommodations for two in a deluxe room, daily breakfast for two, and a free dessert with the purchase of an entrÃ©e in Area 31 restaurant.
How much: From $209.
When: Book by Jan. 23 to stay through Mar. 31 (blackout dates: Feb. 13-15).
Typical cost for a similar trip: More than $500.
Find it: www.kimptonhotels.com/landing-pages/promo_epichotel_2008.aspx or tel. 800/546-7866
Promotion code: EPIC
The deal: Cathay Pacific's All Asia Pass includes roundtrip airfare between Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York to Hong Kong and up to four other Asian cities within 21 days.
How much: $1,499, not including tax.
When: Mon. through Wed. departures through Dec. 1.
Typical cost for a similar trip: Up to $3,000 or more.
Find it: www.cathayusa.com/offers/AllAsiaPass
The deal: Sceptre Tours' six-night all-inclusive journey to Rome, Florence, Naples, and Pompeii includes round-trip airfare, upscale hotel accommodations, private airport transfers, most meals, and two days of guided sightseeing in Rome.
How much: $1,799 (based on double occupancy).
When: Through Feb. 13, 2009 (departure dates from Feb. 14 through Mar. 31 cost slightly more).
Typical cost for a similar trip: Upwards of $2,400.
Find it: www.sceptretours.com/vacations/rome-all-inclusive or tel. 800/221-0924
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The deal: Riu's two Cabo resorts are all-inclusive, with buffet restaurants, nightclubs, a pool bar and sports bar, internet cafe, tennis courts, and fitness center - and they're offering an extraordinarily good deal.
How much: $102 per night.
When: Book through Jan. 30 to stay between Apr. 13 to 30.
Typical cost for a similar trip: Up to 30% more.
Find it: www.riu.com or tel. 888/RIU-4990.
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