Cheap summer travel deals, there are a few still out there

Summer is peak season at popular vacation options from U.S. National Parks to theme parks and cruises. Its the time when many travelers are off school and have the time to go which normally drives up pricing. Experts in summertime travel say not to write off the possibility of a late summer vacation that won’t break the bank.

Save 50% Off Your Vacation by Taking a Mini-Vacation says Best Travel Deals Tips in their Last Minute Summer Travel Tips & Mini-Vacations.

“One way to save on your last minute vacation is to take a shorter vacation or a mini-vacation. It can cut the cost of your trip in half, especially if you do a road trip to a destination not more than a half-day drive from your home. Mini-vacations don’t require weeks of planning but still provide the same basic essentials of any trip: the chance to recharge your batteries, get your mind off of work and take a break from your regular routine. Also, when you’re traveling with the kids, look for a hotel that is reliable, kid-friendly and has all the amenities they need, like the Hilton Garden Inn. Between now and September 6th, with the HHonors ‘Great Getaway Promotion’ you get 20% off the Bed ‘N Breakfast rates plus get a delicious cooked-to-order breakfast for up to four adults staying in the same room. And kids 12 and under eat breakfast for free.”

Cruise vacations still available and they don’t have to make us fat

“Back in the day, cruise travelers came home with more than souvenirs – taking a cruise usually meant bringing home an extra 10 pounds,” said Dwain Wall, Senior Vice President and General Manger of CruiseOne, the nation’s leading cruise retailer. “Today’s travelers have asked for healthy and fun activities to choose from while onboard and the cruise lines have responded. The best part? Many of these offerings are included in the price of the cruise.”

Carnival Cruise Lines is having a “cash back” sale where they load up your on-board spending account with up to $150. They may not lower the price, in fact it may cost more to get this offer, but cash to spend on board a Carnival Cruise is always a welcome addition to any cruise vacation. Watch prices though, only certain price codes qualify. The promotion is available with virtually all of the line’s three- to nine-day cruises to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico and Alaska departing between August and April from a variety of North American homeports. Terms & Conditions

Some other sources to check
There are a number of online sources that specialize in last-minute travel and are worthy of a click or two.
has portfolio of 16,000 plus Undercover hotels in 2,500 major cities
worldwide. By keeping the name of the hotel quiet until after one books, is able to dramatically drop the rates across every hotel providing even better last minute prices, in advance.

FunJet Vacations lets us save up to 60% on last-minute packaged deals like a 3-night stay in Cozumel, Mexico with airfare starting at $399 per person. Packaged tours, once looked down on by seasoned travelers, are making a comeback as travel agencies are finding a new value-oriented market for their services.

Consumer Reports, the people who have no horse in the race for your travel dollars, offer ten great tips for saving on travel. My personal favorite:

#5. Negotiate with hotels

“Average room rates have been falling in vacation spots such as Orlando, Fla., and the Caribbean. Bad news for hoteliers can be good news for you, so skip Web sites and toll-free lines and contact the property directly. Because many hotels are independently owned or managed, you might have more bargaining power. (Just don’t call in the morning, when guests are checking out.) Haggle for a lower room rate and ask for complimentary breakfast, gym access, or parking. Follow up by e-mail, so you have written confirmation.”

Who really does this? Have you? Share your experience with a comment below please. We would love to know how you did it for an upcoming post “Travel Mercenaries; get the best deal, take no hostages”

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