With the temperatures around here close to freezing and snow promised to be on the way, it’s making me think of curling up next to a fire with some hot chocolate and a good book. Of course, I don’t have to be at home to do that, though my dog would love such a scenario. There are so many post-Thanksgiving vacation deals available, that it might be hard to choose, but sometimes after the holiday break, you feel like you need another break, so maybe this year you can give yourself a gift of a nice getaway.
Jimmy Buffet claims it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere. Well, the same is true for warm weather. Going somewhere warm is the best way to beat the winter blues and feel free from your coat and other heavy clothes. Pack up your shorts and t-shirts and take them to where you can get a tan. Everyone back home will be so jealous of your sunny glow when they are still pasty from the days of cloudy skies and freezing weather.
- Puerto Vallarta: Stay at the all-inclusive Barceló Puerto Vallarta for 35% off. Only $92/night/person between now and December 18. If you want to go after Christmas, you pay just $25 more for stays between December 24 and April 30. This 4-star resort offers only suites with free minibars. Enjoy daily entertainment, fully-equipped gym, 5-star restaurants, free kids’ club and more. 45 minutes from the airport, 15 minutes into central Puerto Vallarta and right on one of the city’s most beautiful beaches. Add massage services, flowers, wine and other amenities to your package before you even get there.
- South America is experiencing their spring and summer right now. Fly LAN from only $318 roundtrip with their exclusive sale with Expedia. Plus, if you're planning a trip to Lima, Peru, you can make a side trip to Easter Island, Iguazu, or Cuzco, from an additional $187 roundtrip. Book by December 15 for travel throughout 2011.
- Experience the beauty of the islands and book a Hawaiian vacation package. 3-night trips with air from California from only $299 per person. Fly to Waikiki (or other islands for a bit more) and take in a luau, explore the beach, tour a volcano or take a helicopter trip over the island. There are so many options now that you’ve saved all that money getting and staying there. Book by November 28 for selected dates January 8-March 3.
Maybe you don’t mind packing a coat and sweaters and having to bundle up to hit the hustle and bustle of the wintery city streets. There are so many options for this kind of travel, too. And I won’t dare tell you to cut your coffee and hot chocolate budget here. Instead, save so much on your hotel and other aspects of your travel that you can afford those venti soy white chocolate mochas with whip cream and you’ll walk enough to burn off most of the calories, too! And remember, the faster you walk, the warmer you’ll be, so exercise helps you in at least two ways. Just watch out for those frozen puddles on the sidewalk.
- Curl up next to your very own fireplace at the Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, VT on selected dates in December – March from just $149/night. This B&B is beautiful and offers you breakfast, afternoon tea and pastries, candelit turndown service and views of the snowcapped mountains. Rent a car to explore the surrounding area and be reminded of civilization, since there are no phones or TVs in guest rooms. TVs available by request, but I’m sure you can find other ways to relax. Maybe a quick nip into the Snooty Fox Pub on property for a nightcap. You can also have dinner in the attached restaurant, get an in-room massage or tromp around outside in the 15-acres of property. Book by November 29.
- Thinking about taking a cruise next year? Book by Friday and get this awesome deal: Mediterranean 12-night cruise for $999 per person and $250 onboard credit per cabin and half off your deposit. THAT'S some real Black Friday savings! You'll be sailing on the Celebrity Constellation to Turkey to Greece, Egypt, Israel, Malta and Spain.
- Do some after-holidays shopping in one of the best shopping destinations in the world: New York City. Stay in a 4-star Times Square hotel from as little as $149/night. That’s 50% off current rates at the Millennium Broadway that offers panoramic views of the city and is only a 5 minute walk from Fifth Avenue (Saks, here you come!) and Rockefeller Center. Book by December 1 for travel December – February and get a room upgrade.
- Speaking of New York, why not relax after a long day of shopping with a 2-hour spa service? Save almost 70% off of a 60-minute massage and mani/pedi at the Jeunesse Spa and Salon. Or, you can add $40 and enjoy an hour-long couples massage instead. Purchase by midnight on November 25 and it can be redeemed by November 25, 2011.
What’s your dream destination? I have three: London, Australia and anywhere in Africa where I can go on safari. Even though I’ve already been to one (London), I keep it on my list, because if I can get back to it, I’ll do it as many times as I can. Maybe some of these deals I found over the week will fulfill those dreams.
- Egypt: Spend a week in Cairo from $999 per person. The package includes roundtrip international flights, accommodations and tours of the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and daily breakfast. You must book by December 8 to take advantage of this deal. Offered selected departure dates in December and January. Add extra tours and options to your package for an additional cost.
- Portugal: While if you wanted to visit Lisbon, it’s a 45 minute drive, you can stay right outside the “most romantic medieval village in Portugal” for a screaming deal. Rent a car and you can get out to see everything you want, though the draws ofPraia D'El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort in Óbidos may make you never want to leave. Right on the water, you can book an oceanview room with a king or two queens for as little as $109/night. You get free breakfast, access to 8 restaurants and bars, an 18-hole championship golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, game room, gym and fitness center, 24-hour room service and complimentary valet parking. You can even bring your dog! Book by Monday November 29 for travel between December and February.
- Tuscany in Spring: 6 nights, including RT airfare, car rental and two-bedroom apartment villa from only $899 per person. Bring your family or some friends, because this price is based on a group of 4 (you can get discounted pricing for fewer travelers though). Add wine and cheese tastings for $99 per person. You will stay at the 4-star Fattoria degli Usignoli, which is just a short 25 minute drive to Florence and offers a bowling green, tennis courts, horseback riding and a gourmet restaurant. Book by December 3 for travel in March and April. Up to a $500 savings per person.
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