“Get ready, get set, get going”
No passport or no extra money for a vacation this year? Can you somehow still escape the daily demands or routine?
As a seasoned travel professional, I use creative resources to help people fulfill their dream to travel. I assure you, time-intensive deals are ready for picking. Planes are packed. A lot of people are traveling. Flexibility is the name of the game. My advice? Focus on a great vacation value, not just the destination. Be open to an air schedule. Remember, it’s not the time it takes to get there. It’s the time you get to stay.
Hotel shopping 101
Hyatt: Classic Family Vacation Offer – Free full breakfast for up to four kids, under age 12, when two rooms are booked. 50 percent off second room and free half-day at Camp Hyatt. Offer valid until September 7. Visit www.hyatt.com.
Radisson: Friday Freeday promotion is valid until September 15. Arrive on Thursday or Friday for two consecutive nights and pay for just one night. Book at least seven days in advance; valid for standard accommodations; at participating properties. Visit www.radisson.com.
Most hotel reward programs are free of charge. Discover how different hotels reward your loyalty.
Marriott: Already a member? Redeem Marriott Rewards points to stay three nights for the redemption award of just two nights; valid until September 7 at participating properties.
New to Marriott? Sign up and start earning your rewards. Stay one weekend before September 7 and earn four movie tickets! visit www.marriott.com.
Starwood Preferred Guest: Register for SPG Free Weekends. Travel by July 31 to earn one weekend night award with every two-night paid stay. Redeem free nights by September 29, at one of nine participating chains. www.starwoodhotels.com.
If you plan to book any of the above promotions, check directly with the hotel to make sure it’s a participating property and that your stay will qualify for the offer you want.
Walt Disney World Free Dining Offer Is Back
Book your family a five-night Disney package including hotel and theme park tickets, by July 26 and travel between August 22-October 3. You’ll each receive one sit down meal, one counter service meal and one snack per night’s stay, absolutely free. You’ll save hundreds of dollars on your meals at wonderful restaurant locations throughout Disney. Offer is capacity-controlled and based on availability.
Have a valid US passport?
Mexico – Now that Mexico has lifted its’ travel advisory, say hola to extraordinary deals like this:
Nonstop air from JFK to Cancun, round-trip transfers to a deluxe beachfront hotel for six days and five nights. $459 per person, based on double occupancy. Even after adding on US and Mexican taxes, baggage fees and optional insurance, it’s a great value.
Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Antigua
Sandals Resorts – Save 65 percent and get one night free at Caribbean’s luxury all-inclusive for couples. Just book by July 16 and travel by December 26. After your first visit, register as a signature preferred guest to earn $250 toward your next resort stay.
Book a balcony stateroom and fly free with Carnival Cruise Lines this summer; based on air and cruise availability.
Did you know that some cruise lines offer special discounts for seniors 55 and older, as well as policemen, firemen and military personnel? Sometimes there are even special deals if you are a resident of New York State.
Fly to the USVI and Puerto Rico with a certified copy of your US birth certificate and government issued photo ID.
The USVI Sizzlin’ Sampler promotion includes $300 off your vacation, fourth night free, $50 shopping coupons and $50 attraction coupons valid on vacations to St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, for travel until October 31.
Puerto Rico Summer Special includes $200 off your vacation, fourth night free, $100 gift card and discounted tours. Deadline for booking was June 30. Check to see if the deadline may have extended; valid for travel until December 20.
Rhine and wine?
Here’s a vacation the entire family can participate in giving for that milestone occasion, 25th or 50th wedding anniversary:
Save $1,000 off a small ship river cruise to Europe in 2010. Select itineraries include Germany, Netherlands, France, as well as Eastern Europe. Themed food, wine and music itineraries are also available. Book by September 21. Travel by December 2010.
Last minute deals
Expect even more last-minute vacation packages before summer ends. If possible, enlist the help of a trusted travel agent before you jump into a package or destination you are uncertain about.
Linda McClain, CTA, is owner of Capital Region based Linda McClain Travel Services “From The Islands To The Highlands, No Dream Is Too Far From Here!” For more information call 372.7657 or visit www.lindamcclaintravel.net.