In this shaky economic climate, many families have tightened their belts and shelved their annual spring break holidays. However, the travel industry has counteracted by offering deals, discounts, promotions and packages galore that are tempting many of us to be less fiscally prudent and to splurge on some memory-making, battery-recharging, winter-escapist fun with the kids after all. Some even let the children tag along for free – can’t beat that.
Get a load of some of the amazing specials out there for families looking for last-minute getaways this March/April.
Warning – stop reading if you really can’t afford to be wooed away!
Mexico and the Caribbean
Over at CheapCaribbean.com, they’re promoting 9 all-inclusive resorts for under $99. For instance, a stay at the three-star Holiday Inn Cancun Arenas starts at $85 per night and kids can stay/eat free.
Hawaii tourism is hurting big time with this economic slump. If you’ve had the islands on your family wish list, now might be a good time to go as nobody knows how long these bargains are going to last. Hawaiian Airlines is currently offering inter-island flights for just $27 and roundtrip flights from across the US starting at $315 (yes, that’s the stripped down fare before taxes and fees, but still a heck of a deal). Here are a few sample flights:
Kids aged 15 or younger stay free per paying adult at several all-inclusive Club Med resorts in Florida, Dominican Republic and Mexico (also in Guadeloupe, but strikes are making this island a little unstable at the moment). They also have 3-night last-minute deals starting at $249 per adult.
Cruise Critic has the lowdown on some great family cruise deals, including Kids Sail Free promotions from Disney, Costa, MSC Cruises and Regent Seven Seas. Norwegian’s rates for kids sharing your stateroom is just $99. For those reluctant to book because a better deal might be out there, Carnival has a Best Price Guarantee where if you find a cheaper deal within 48 hours, they will give you a 110% of the difference in shipboard credits. To really dig for a discount, try your luck with Cruise Compete where travel agents bid for your business through competitive quotes. To give you a guideline, there’s a 4 night Royal Caribbean cruise for $367.
Check out the homepage of MouseSavers.com for an updated list of promotions at Disneyland, Disney World and Disney Cruises, including kids’ priced Disneyland park tickets for everyone until April 30, 2009 and an extension of the 7 nights for the price of 4 package at Disney World through August 2009.
Reward your young scholar with a trip to the Grand Canyon and receive a $10 discount per A on their report card (up to $30 off). This Stay 4 A’s package is valid through March 26 at the Maswik and Yavapai Lodges.
Suzanne Rowan Kelleher at WeJustGotBack.com recently turned me on to this site. Hotwire’s Travel-ticker combs over 10,000 sources to find insider specials and limited time offers for those who want good value for their vacation dollar, often uncovering smaller hotels and unusual destinations that aren’t generally promoted online. Here’s a sampling of their current offerings: