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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Son of a Beach, That's a Good Deal! 4.27.11

There is still time to enter to win the travel wine pack giveaway! Drawing will be on Sunday May 1 – For more details and to enter, click here.
There is also a giveaway for my readers on my Facebook page for a fun travel pack from Knock!Knock! You can enter that here. Entry dates are the same and drawing will be on May 1, too!
These are both great Mother’s Day gifts!

So, Summer is getting closer and closer and I know everyone’s longing to bust out of work (or the house) and get to the beach. It’s been a long fall and winter and, even though it’s a scary thought, our bathing suits are just crying in a drawer waiting to be worn. Don’t fret, I have some fun deals for you to get you outside in no time and start feeling the sand between your toes. These may have short booking windows, because Spring is cheaper than Summer – but you already knew that, because you’re smart and you listen!

I, myself, am traveling in the fall (like always), because I don’t have kids and it’s an especially frugal time to travel anywhere. If you can’t do the same and have to travel in the Summer, try to look at the “bookend dates”, which are before the second week of June and the last two weeks of August. They are much more affordable than the time in between. So, let’s get to beach-combing!

You can follow in my footsteps and book an affordable trip to Hawaii. With the bad economy, I’ve seen BIG dips in hotel rates over the last year. They know people can’t afford to spend $200-500 per night on a hotel room and without tourism many businesses on the islands will fail. That’s good for you, because rates are really competitive now. When just two years ago, it would have cost you thousands to take a trip to Hawaii, it now will only cost you a fraction of that. In fact, Hawaii was our choice for a “saving” vacation this year, because it’ll save us money that we can put towards our intended Europe trip next year.

Stay in the Aston Hotels and Resorts on Maui for as little s $96/night. The Aston Maui Lu resort is beachfront and sits on a 28-acre coconut grove. There are pools, Polynesian Luau and barbecue facilities on-site and you’ll have access to 2 private beach coves, meaning you won’t have to fight for beach position. If you need it, you’ll find it here.

Or you can book an American Airlines vacation to Hawaii through Expedia. 4-nights and roundtrip airfare to Oahu, Maui, the Big Island or Kauai for just $615 per person. You must book by Friday 4/29 and you can travel June 16 – August 15. This is a great deal for those of you who need to travel in the Summer! Short booking window gets you the best rates on this trip.

St. Maarten is a destination I hear people over and over say they either went to and loved or are dying to go. Yuupon has a great deal where you can stay in a 2-bedroom suite at the St. Maarten Royal Palm Resort for 7-nights for just $750. It’s 76% off regular rates, which is like getting 5 nights free! The suite sleeps up to 6 people and is oceanfront. Unfortunately, this deal is only good today (4/27). You can travel through September 20. If you aren’t yet a member of Yuupon, you can sign up HERE.

Does Barbados sound exotic enough for you? Stay at the all-inclusive Discovery Bay by Rex Resorts in Barbados from just $64/person/night. Book by Sunday at EST and stay by December 22. Enjoy all your meals, beverages and entertainment for one low price. Resort also offers golf, skiing, diving and more activities! This is a crazy good offer that may not last until the expiration date.

Cheap Caribbean wants to send you to the Bahamas and other Caribbean destinations from $289 per person. The deal includes 4-nights (some all-inclusive resorts) and RT airfare. You can add nights to any package with a low-price guarantee and all bookings include weather and hurricane insurance. If it rains during your vacation, get $100 off your next trip!

While not exactly beach-centric, you can visit different beaches on this 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise on Princess Cruises. It departs from San Juan and docks at Philipsburg, Castries, St. George’s, Bonaire and Oranjestad. Some very cool destinations and at only $799 per person, pretty affordable. You must book by November 19 to travel by November 20, but I would book sooner, because at prices like this, cheaper cabins are going to fly off the shelves, so to speak.

Hotwire is you connection for low hotel rates. Book last-minute rooms in sunny locales from just $30/night. Visit destinations like Cancun, North Lauderdale and Santo Domingo for a bargain!

For my UK readers and anyone else looking to save money on their travels, I have written an article for a fun website called Cheap Holidays 2012 (it’s UK-based), which is encouraging travelers to book their vacations for 2012 already to get even better deals. Check out how to stretch your travel dollars.

Next week, look for a post here about a new community I’ll be working with on Ebates. If you aren’t yet a member of Ebates, you should really join. It’s a great cash back site that pays you to shop and travel. They have hundreds of online retailers and travel merchants that you can make purchases through. Each merchant offers a certain amount of cash back to Ebates for bringing them your business and Ebates splits that with you 50/50. Each day they offer a new Daily Double, which is the participant for the day that will give you double cash back. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by shopping with Ebates and it’s super easy, so there’s no reason NOT to sign up, too.

On or about May 11th, there will be a special blog post from me for all of you on a great new travel-planning resource. It’s the OneNote portion of Windows Office 2010 program. You can check out the 40 bloggers’ OneNote TripBooks that comprise the project “Around the World in 40 Days” where bloggers were asked to create a 24-hour itinerary in a randomly chosen city (mine was Melbourne) and make it awesomer with OneNote. You can go there now and see the ones that are currently up.

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