Airlines roll out last-minute sales for Labor Day

There are just two weeks left until Labor Day, but it’s not too late to plan a getaway for the holiday weekend. In fact, waiting until now to book your trip might even save you money with some of the great last-minute deals that are available.

American Airlines Flights
American Airlines has several destinations on sale for Labor Day. Buy your tickets to Belize by August 28th and travel Monday through Thursday, starting September 1st, for as low as $217 each way. Book a trip to Jamaica by August 24th for travel any day of the week after September 1st, and prices will start at $84 each way. Tickets to Cancun, booked by August 25th for Saturday and Tuesday travel after September 1st, start at $88 each way.

United Airlines Flights
If you can stretch your weekend until Tuesday (departing on Saturday), book tickets to destinations within the United States on United Airlines by August 25th to save. Prices vary by departure and destination cities, but sample fares include Chicago to New Orleans for $89 each way, Atlanta to Denver for $109 each way, and Miami to Washington Dulles for $69 each way.

Spirit Airlines Flights
Spirit is well known for its near-constant sales to destinations within the United States, Central America and the Caribbean. It’s like the Gap of airlines – never pay retail because, just as the Gap will knock 50% off those jeans in two weeks, chances are that Spirit will soon offer a better deal for the flight you want. Their current sale ends tomorrow, August 25th, and discounts some of their more popular routes to as low as $33.90 each way. As with all of their sales, $9 Fare Club members and those in hub cities like Fort Lauderdale and Detroit save the most and have the most options. But even the rest of us can still get some good deals for Labor Day. For example, New York to Medellin, Colombia is $138.90 each way, Boston to Myrtle Beach is $68.90 each way, and Atlanta to San Jose, Costa Rica is $128.90 each way. Deals
Beyond flights, Expedia has deals on just about everything else – hotels, cars, cruises, package deals – for your Labor Day travels. Deals vary widely by location, but some of the highlights include discounts of up to 50% off hotels in Las Vegas, Orlando and Chicago (among other cities) and 3-night Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruises for as low as $262 per person for an inside cabin.

If these deals don’t work for you, there’s still plenty of time to plan your perfect Labor Day vacation at a great price. Check out Hotwire’s Travel Ticker, peruse the sale list on Travelzoo and follow your favorite airlines on Twitter. JetBlue and Southwest regularly post their top deals on twitter, so you’ll be the first to know about great fares.

Cruise deal for US military folks: It’s free

To thank the US military personnel who are currently serving in the military in Iraq or Afghanistan–or have served in these two countries this past year, Discovery Cruise lines is offering a free one-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Bahama. This is a repeat offer from last year.

Recognizing that people who are currently serving can’t very well leave their posts at this moment–or even next month–or however long from now, the cruise line’s offer is good through December 2010.

There isn’t a hitch at all, and the cruise, although just for a day, is one sweet deal.

It departs at 7:45 AM and returns back to the dock at 10 PM. While on board, passengers get treated to a gourmet 7-course meal and all-you-can-eat buffets. Passengers also are treated to all the activities of a longer cruise whether they want to head to a casino, hang out by the pool, play organized games or attend a show.

Also, because a sweet deal isn’t really a sweet deal if there are hidden costs like: taxes, service charges and departure fees, those costs don’t exist either. That means this cruise is totally, totally free. (Okay, if you gamble, you’re on your own I would imagine.)

The service member does not have to register him or herself either. A friend or family member can register that person. This means, if you have a military guy or gal in your life who fits the profile, you’ll be able to give a gift that makes a person say, “Wow!”

Once a person is registered for the cruise, on the day of departure, he or she needs to show up at the dock with the receipt, military ID and an official letter from his or her unit confirming dates of service. Reserved reservations are required.

Personally, I think a one-day cruise is a perfect off because it ups the chance that someone can actually take the deal. For military families who want to head to Florida, there’s plenty to do around Ft. Lauderdale while your loved one is having the chance to unwind and connect with people who have had similar experiences.

To find out more info or make reservations, call 1-800-93-SHIPS or visit Discovery’s web site at

Have fun, and thanks.

Take a Cruise for Credit

Okay, now we’re talking. For anyone needing recertification credits to keep a teaching license, here’s an option other than heading to a traditional classroom, or holing up at home squirreling away time with an on-line class. There are cruises designed for teachers and their families. If you set sail with Teacher Educational Cruises you’ll end up with 12 credit hours by the end. Only two days of the cruise is spent on coursework, the rest is spent having fun–not that taking courses isn’t fun, but still, keeping a teaching license current while sailing the seas seems like a great excuse for taking a cruise. “Honey, I have to cruise to Greece, I need the credit hours.”

The cruise through Italy, Egypt and Greece with the Italian Costa cruise line is next summer. Although the itinerary is in place, there isn’t information about what will be studied for the coursework. Hopefully, it’s connected to the travel experience. For people interested in expanding their trip, there are some suggestions.

There’s also a 5-night Caribbean cruise this Novemember. This one leaves from Galveston, Texas and may be connected to homeschoolers, another specialty Teacher Education Cruises offers. Here’s a link to onboard activities to see just what everyone else might be doing while the teacher in the family is studying. The Web site also mentions that people who are not teachers are welcome to join. Since keeping up certification is an on-going process with teachers, trips like what this company offers are a great idea.

Want more information on cruises?