5 Spring Break Bargains


Spring break is typically considered a high season for travel and it is often tough to find vacation deals.

Not this year.

For Spring Break 2009 there are “unprecedented deals,” says Eileen Ogintz, travel expert and publisher of the online travel guide Taking the Kids.

A tip from travel insiders: The best deals are often the ones bundled with your flight, hotel and car, since bookers right now like to receive all that money upfront in an unpredictable economy.

Here are just a few of the domestic deals we found scouring the web. As a tip, call up a local travel agent who may be able to increase your potential for finding hidden savings.

1. Going Frugal in Florida
CheapFlights.com is listing Florida packages for Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Naples and other top destinations starting at $200 (courtesy Expedia.com) per person per night. The deals include flight and hotel. For example, a search for a flight and five nights in Fort Lauderdale, leaving from New York, brings up a $972 deal, or $194 per day.  That includes flight costs and lodging at the 4.5 star Atlantic Hotel.  Also, the Marco Island Marriott Hotel (Stock Quote: MAR) is advertising its own “Consumer Bailout Package” promo. If you book a $550 deluxe double room between March 28 and April 17 you can earn $200 resort credits towards golfing or at one of its restaurants.

2. Vegas, Baby
A year-round top destination, Las Vegas is luring in spring breakers with a variety of package deals, like three nights for the price of two at the Renaissance Las Vegas. Golfers may want to check out the Lake Las Vegas Resort, a boutique-style hotel. Rates start at $129.  As for getting there, Southwest is offering $50 airfare to Las Vegas if you book by 6 p.m. March 12. And Virgin America has flights to Vegas starting around $119.  

3. Savings for Snow Bunnies
The “Spring It On” packages at New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley start at $181 for one night, two adults. The deal includes staying at a one-bedroom condo or lodge, plus lift tickets. You also get access to the White Mountain Athletic Club which has an indoor pool, Jacuzzis & steam rooms. “Spring it On” is available midweek in March plus the weekends of March 27 to 29 and April 3 to 5. If you’re a group of four, the savings ramps up. For quad occupancy, rates start from $56 per person per night. This deal also includes lift tickets, plus discounts on lessons and ski or snowboard rentals.

Ski resorts are also boasting a free second or third night. Start your search here. Also check out PerfectFamilyVacation.com to find discounts of up to 33% off 2008 prices at the Shadow Ridge Resort in Park City, Utah.

And save $100 when you book a Canyons Resort Village ski package, including flight plus a hotel, through Southwest Airlines Vacations. Stay at the Silverado Lodge or the Sundial Lodge in Park City Utah. Get the 4th night and 4th day ski lift free. (Be sure to use the savings code SNOW.)

4. Cruisers: Ships Ahoy!
Cruises are a great idea for families and can be very economical, especially if you can depart from a “homeport.” Bargain cruises are seen starting around $99 per night, according to Shermans Travel. At CruisesOnly.com, find some bonus offers including a three-night Norwegian Cruise Line trip to the Bahamas starting at $129 per person with up to $75 free spending and a 15% discount on all shore excursions.  The ship leaves from Miami.  Altogether, that’s 80% off brochure prices, according to the web site. While you’re on that site you may also notice a five-night Bahamas cruise that leaves from Jacksonville, Fla., starting at $229 per person. That’s a 77% savings off brochure prices. “For cruises like Norwegian Cruise Line you can cruise from nine U.S. ports, so you can drive. But whatever you want to do you will find it significantly cheaper than last year,” says Ogintz.

And if you’re a Disney-loving family, check out DisneyCruises.com, where some deals have free bookings for kids (Stock Quote: DIS).

5. Great Deals for Golfers
With golf resorts citing a drop off in tee time bookings, expect to find unprecedented savings, especially at the more upscale golf destinations. For example, at the four star Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Panhandle, Fla., the Spring Break Special starts at $159 a night, or 25% off regular rates.  And for those on a tighter budget, the Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls, Ore., is offering lodging and unlimited golf for $89 per person. Book online using the promo code SWING.



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