Money Wise--Deals on Vacation Destinations - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/09/03

Money Wise--Deals on Vacation Destinations

The hot weather is here, and that's a sure sign you may be heading out of town for vacation very soon. But - before you do, you ought to know there are some good trips out there that won't cost you a fortune. Not only are there good trips, but there are some pretty spectacular deals out there too. And you don't have to travel too far to take advantage.

How about on a cruise, or maybe even to an exotic island. If you're thinking it may be too expensive, go ahead and start packing, because according to travel agency owner Jason Best, you may soon change your mind.

"They're the best prices I've seen in a long long time," Best told us.

He says there are a combination of reasons for such reasonable rates. But most likely it's because of terrorism,  the bad market, and the recent war in Iraq. Nevertheless, since Americans are traveling less, vendors have to step up their game. For example, you can head to Hawaii and get a great deal on hotel rates.

"Three nights in Waikiki at the Double Tree for 189 a person," said Best.

And if you want to to go afloat, not only can you get a good price, but many cruise lines are now taking a different approach to attract consumers. Royal Caribbean is offering a special package called Murder Mysteries.

"You can sail out of Ft. Lauderdale on a five-night western Caribbean cruise, and from the time you get on board the ship, you're part of murder mystery that will be solved over the coarse of your voyage," explained Best.

It's going for just over $500 a person, a big bargain compared to cruise prices a few years ago. But an even better deal comes out of Sin City.

"They're offering what's called an Ooh-la-la special this summer," said Best. "You can spend $69 a night and there's a large property there is in Vegas and it's modeled after Paris."

And this coming June, Airtran plans to offer round-trip flight to Vegas from Savannah, at $248 a person. So now the question is, when should you book?

"I think I wouldn't wait," advised Best. "If I knew I wanted to go on a vacation this summer, I'd book now, because we're seeing the prices valid for May, June and July in most cases."

If you or a member of your family is in the military, know that there are some big bargains out there specifically for you. We're going to talk about some of them next week in Money Wise.

If you have money questions you'd like answered in Money Wise, email moneywise@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Dmitra Denmark, ddenmark@wtoc.com

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