10 Cheap Vacation GetawaysIt’s been a long tough year and there’s still three months until the holidays. Whether you spent the summer job hunting, or just came back from a vacation and need another already, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a trip.The upside to the global recession is that many hot spots have become much more affordable. These days, you can get to paradise on a half-priced ticket. To maximize your savings, try booking your flight through AirfareWatchdog.com and your lodging through Kayak.com or HostelWorld.com
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MexicoA bad economy and a bad reputation for starting the swine flu pandemic have severely hurt Mexico’s tourism industry. Plus, this is hurricane season. But forget all that: Cancun’s beaches are empty and beautiful as ever, and the ruins of Chichen Itza are deserted even though it was recently voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the world. Best of all, the trip costs half of what it did last year. Hotels are offering three nights for the price of two and if you do get sick on your trip, more than 85 hotels will offer you a free trip for each of the next three years.
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IcelandNo country suffered a faster and more total economic collapse in this recession than Iceland. This has fueled desperate attempts to get more tourists to pump money into the country. Iceland Air is currently offering round trip flights plus two nights in a luxury hotel all for less than $500. For those who still think the country is covered in a sheet of ice, just check out its hot springs and the geysers. Photo Credit: nishioka
Las VegasJetBlue’s deal on a monthly pass to any place in American expires next week, but even without this, Vegas is still cheap enough to visit. Flights from any city in the U.S. are typically in the $100-200 range, and hotel prices in sin city have dropped by nearly a third. Now, the average room in Vegas costs just $85. Use the money you save to win big on the slot machines (or just save).Photo Credit: http2007
HungaryWhile many countries in Europe have begun to pull out of the recession, Hungary continues to struggle. A dollar goes a long way there – it’s equal to 186 Hungarian Forints. We recommend taking a tour of the historic Budapest before diving into one of the city’s bargain spas and Turkish baths. Flights run in the $500-600 range from the U.S. But if you are already in Europe, you can get a flight for less than $100.
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MoroccoIt’s called the best country for backpackers for a reason. It’s full of ancient sites, cheap lodging and is just a short boat ride or flight from Europe. It was also the first country to respond to the economic downturn by launching a Web site full of deals. We recommend visiting Marrakesh, considered by many to be the true heartbeat of the country. Hotel rates here have already dropped by 20 percent, with many in the $50-100 range If you’re coming from Europe, you can grab a one-way flight for less than $100 to Marrakesh or $250 to Casablanca. From the U.S., flights are $800-$900 if you book a month or more in advance. Photo Credit: jonl1973
HawaiiWhile it’s far from Mexico, Hawaii’s tourism industry has suffered from the swine flu outbreak, too. Japanese tourists, who make up a large chunk of Hawaii’s visitors, have been hesitant to vacation there. Meanwhile, the U.S. tourists who visit have been spending less money. This has led to some great bargains. It’s now possible to get a round trip flight plus four nights at a hotel on several islands for well under $1,000.Photo Credit: vfl2500
CambodiaYou may think this is an odd place to visit, but more and more tourists are taking the plunge. Over the summer, Cambodia approved the Law of Tourism, a series of measures to make the tourism industry function better. They are opening new airlines, waving Visa fees for several countries, and adding new border crossings. The country may have a dark history but that makes it all the more rewarding to visit. Many tourists flock to the killing fields where the Khmer Rouge practiced genocide. However, if you’re looking for something lighter, visit Angkor Wat the famous 12th century temple. Flights usually run for around $1,000, but you can cut the price down to $800 by adding one or two transfers. Once you’re there, most things are dirt cheap. One dollar is worth more than 4,000 Cambodian Riels. We recommend splurging a little and staying at the Juliana Hotel in the center of Phnom Penh, which is still less than $100 per night.Photo Credit: cornstaruk
South AfricaIf you’ve always wanted to visit Africa, but are intimidated by news of famine, piracy and wars raging on the continent, consider going to South Africa. Most of the country is very safe, and you can take a 9 day tour of the country for less than $2000 through Lion World Travel. The deal is good until the middle of next year. Photo Credit: aprillynn77
CreteSummer runs until the end of October here, so there’s still time to get your beach vacation in this month. Flights from America are about $1,000, but you can get a great bargain by jumping off from Europe instead. Fly to Greece for about $700 and then take a boat ride to this island for just $40. It's romantic and less than half the cost of flying over from Athens.
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Napa Valley, CaliforniaYou can get a room for as little as $99 dollars at the Marriott Hotel if you book today (Friday). If you miss this, try one of the many budget hotels in the area. The Chardonnay Lodge currently has rooms available for less than $100. Also, if you don’t have a Twitter account, get one. The Marriott posts news of free wine tastings in the valley on its Twitter page. Who needs to go abroad with bargains like this?
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