Summer Travel Bargains, Available Now During Brief Buying ‘Sweet Spot’

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Summer travel season is right around the corner but exciting travel opportunities are often limited by price. There are plenty of places to go, but they are often priced out of reach. Still, with some research and timing, summer travel bargains are out there right now. Why? Sellers of travel want occupancy and booking levels to be at a certain target number right about now. If the numbers are not where they want them to be, they bring on the discounts to shore up summer season bookings. Here are some we found as standout bargains.

Disney World, Discounted
Summer is usually a popular time to visit Florida’s Walt Disney World and this year is no exception. Many families have to do vacations during the summer, when kids are out of school, most often driving prices up. Still, with hotel capacity running a bit ahead of reservations, deals are out there. Savings of 30 percent on select Disney hotels on Disney property, free dining with a hotel and ticket package, and more can be found at Disney’s Special Offers webpage.

Hike the Blue Mountains in Jamaica
Strawberry Hill is offering guests 25 percent off rates for stays through October 31 with its “Discover the Blue Mountains” package. The three-night stay includes two hikes on Gordon Town Trail and Settlement Trail, daily breakfast, a fruit and cheese welcome amenity, dinner with a bottle of wine, daily Blackwell Rum cocktail and a spa treatment. Don’t come home without a pound or two of that Blue Mountain coffee.Summer for Less at Nantucket Island Resorts– Nantucket, Massachusetts
Nantucket Island Resorts is offering 30 percent off room rates at White Elephant Village, The Wauwinet and the White Elephant Hotel to guests who book five consecutive nights July 7-19. Rates start at $2,500 for five nights. Visit nantucketislandresorts.com/hotel-deals for more.

Pick A Cruise, Any Cruise
Practically every cruise line sailing has felt the sting of recent widely publicized events so prices have gone down. Some lines are advertising like never before, others have quietly just not raised pricing as they might have normally done at this time of the year, choosing instead to go for maximized occupancy. Best deals can be found in the Mediterranean where prices can be as low as $75 per person, per day. Short Caribbean and Bahamas sailings are also showing fall-like pricing for summer sailings. That never happens.

Cheap Not Good Enough? How About Free?
Ultra-luxe cruise line Crystal Cruises is allowing kids ages 17 and under to sail free when sharing a third berth stateroom with two adults. Families can choose from seven- to 15-day voyages in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, North Cape, Baltic, British Isles, Canary Islands and across the Atlantic from May-December aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Book by June 28, 2013.

Take A Road Trip, You Will Not Be Alone
Compared to many summer travel options, a road trip is still a standout winner for budget-minded vacationers. A timely YP survey published in TravelPulse compared driving versus flying and found that Americans believe they have a greater flexibility in schedule (35 percent) and sight-seeing (33 percent) when driving vs. flying. They also liked having the ability to easily take more stuff with them (11 percent), avoiding crowds and security lines (9 percent), and the ability to more easily take pets (7 percent).

Perhaps something a bit more exotic? How about one of these James Bond-inspired destinations?

5 James Bond Inspired Summer Travel Destinations

Intrepid Travel saves the world with Urban Adventures charity connection

Give and receive this holiday season. Instead of just booking your getaway, Intrepid Travel is upping the goodwill ante, donating 10 percent of all its new “Urban Adventures” sales to charity. This is a new collection of city-based experiences which is likely to appeal to a wide range — from backpackers to business travelers. If you have a long layover or even want to see your own city from a different perspective, this new program from Intrepid could be a good fit.

Ten percent of every sale made in December will be donated to The Intrepid Foundation, which supports 35 community projects around the world. And, Intrepid will match each of these donations fully, doubling the final amount that will be sent to the foundation.

Urban Adventures are not expensive. They start at around $15 and go up to around $144. So, there’s no reason not to check out this new experience, even if you are a local. This new experience was launched last month and is available in 26 locations around the world via 80 trips … with another 250 expected to be added by the middle of next year.

New Radisson Blu opens with low rate in Dubrovnik, Croatia

With 408 guest spaces, more than 100,000 square feet of spa facilities and stunning views of the Adriatic Sea, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Dubrovnik has become the largest and most exciting resort on the Dalmatian Coast. To celebrate its arrival, guests can stay for a starting price of €150 a night, including high-speed internet access and breakfast every day.

The Radisson Blu has 201 guestrooms with Adriatic views. Also, it has 207 apartments (with one, two and three bedrooms) with private kitchenettes. Thirteen restaurant and bar dining options ensure that guests won’t get board, even if they take nice, long breaks from the real world. International cuisine is offered at Origano, and guests can sample authentic Croatian fine dining at Tartufo.

“We are delighted to welcome such a fantastic hotel to our family,” said Kurt Ritter, President and CEO of Rezidor, which owns the Radisson Blu in Dubrovnik. “Our stylish resort portfolio is constantly growing – the current pipeline comprises more than 35 hotels in operation and under development across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”

Hey, Ritter: we’re delighted, too! This new property sounds like a necessary stop for anyone with an eye on the Adriatic.

Save $400 by going to the beach … I wish it were always this easy!

Hilton’s trying to make it as easy as possible for you to soak up the sun this summer. Its new deal in Puerto Rico will set you up with a free fourth night if you pay for three. Even better: the three nights that will cost you only start at $139 each. All in, you’re saving up to $400 a trip. Resort credits are offered for golf, dining, spa treatments and other activities.

And, it keeps getting better. You could also pick up a bonus certificate for a free night down the road if you book by July 15, 2009.

The four participating hotels are solid: El San Juan Hotel & Casino, The Waldorf Astoria Collection; El Conquistador Resort & Spa, The Waldorf Astoria Collection; Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza and Caribe Hilton, San Juan. So, it’s not like you’re being given a low price at a low-end hotel. This is strictly top shelf.

The catch? The promotion’s only good through the end of September.

One-day sale from Intrepid Travel starts now!

Intrepid Travel puts together some amazing trips, and today’s deal will make them even more accessible than usual. For the next nine hours, trips will be discounted deeply … all Intrepid trips … more than 400 of them. Price cuts range from 15 percent to 60 percent in this rare opportunity.

Trips departing soonest, of course, come with the greatest price breaks. Book an excursion that leaves in July, and you can generally knock 60 percent off the price. Those taking off in August can net you a savings of 30 percent, with the rest of the year’s trips 15 percent off.

The sale starts now and runs until 7:30 PM this evening. Each includes all accommodations and land transportation, some meals and a guide.

After the jump, you’ll get a sense of how much you can save.

Inca Encounter: this nine-day jaunt from Lima to Cuzco in Peru is only $664, down from $1,660

Road to Budapest: spend 15 days going from Vienna to Budapest for $692 – instead of $1,730

Kenya Adventure: eight days in Kenya will cost only $604, rather than $1,510