Hyatt’s 24-hour sale today: 40% off

A holiday gift is landing on your doorstep — but you’ll only get the chance to unwrap it today.

Until 11:59 p.m. tonight, you can get 40% off a stay at a Hyatt Hotel. It’s only available for hotels in North America, but that includes Lake Tahoe, Maui, and Curacao (opening in March). You have a wide window of opportunity for your stay — it can be between now and May 31, 2010.

Get an extra perk — a wine/fruit welcome — when you mention code 24TWT during your reservation.

Hawaii’s on sale with cheap flights from United and Hawaiian Airlines

Winter may not have officially started yet, but it certainly feels like it has. With temps in the double, and even single, digits and snowstorms covering the country, there’s no denying that a tropical vacation sounds pretty darn good right about now. Luckily escaping to the warmth of Hawaii this winter will be surprisingly cheap thanks to two great airfare sales.

Book a ticket through the Hawaiian Airlines sale by December 16 for travel January 5 to March 11 and April 6 to June 10 and you could fly for as little as $288 round trip (plus taxes). Seattle or Portland to Honolulu, and Portland to Maui are the cheapest routes at $288 round trip. Los Angeles and San Francisco to Honolulu are $368 and Seattle to Maui is $318.

Rates are even lower through United’s sale, which ends a day earlier on Dec 15. The travel dates are more limited – just January 12 to March 4 – but there is a wider variety of cities to choose from. For example, Chicago to Maui is $302, LA to Honolulu is $261, San Francisco to Kona is $265, and Denver to Maui is $285.
And if you need a reason to go to Hawaii this winter (other than “it’s warm there!”) Hawaiian Airlines offers a few more. January to April is whale watching season, now is the perfect time for surfers to catch huge waves formed by storms, and in February there are several Chinese New Year celebrations and the Big Island’s Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival. Plus, did I mention, it’s warm there?

If you can’t afford the flight, check out Portland International Airport’s website by January 2 and enter to win a pair of tickets from Portland to Maui. Okay, actually you can choose Maui or Chicago, but let’s be real – you’ll choose Maui.

More travel deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The folks over at the LA Times have rounded up a few more great travel deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And what better way to recoup from this most hellish of shopping weekends than by looking forward to a discounted vacation?

Shell’s Vacation Hospitality’s Black Friday Sale runs today with discounts of up to 50% off at 26 of its resorts located in Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, Texas, Wisconsin, California, Mexico and Canada. Sample deals include a $79 per night room in Napa Valley, $84 per night on the Big Island of Hawaii, and $64 per night in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There are some blackout dates around the holidays and the rooms must be prepaid and are nonrefundable.

Gap Adventures’ sale runs from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and offers 20% savings on selected tours. 12 days in Laos can be had for $999 per person, 8 days in Thailand is just $479, and 20 days in India is only $1099. Over 25 tours are discounted, and include locations in South and Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Prices don’t include airfare and are only valid on select departures in December, January, April and May.

Sonesta, a resort company that operates two properties on St. Maarten, is also offering 50% off for bookings made through Monday. The discount is valid for stays from December 18 to March 31. Stays over Christmas and New Year’s require a 5-night minimum, but at just $138 (down from the usual $275), the total price is much more affordable.

Southwest and Virgin celebrate Thanksgiving with sales

Here are two more things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving – Southwest Airlines and Virgin America. Both carriers have announced Thanksgiving sales to celebrate the holiday.

Sample one-way fares in Southwest’s seven-day sale include: Austin to Houston for $59, Baltimore to Chicago for $97, Chicago to Las Vegas for $148, Denver to Milwaukee for $96, Fort Lauderdale to Long Island for $103, LA to Oakland for $59, Orlando to Nashville for $94, and Portland to Spokane for $58.

Fares start at $47 (and go up to about $159) each way plus tax. The tickets must be purchased by November 30 and are good for travel through February 9. A 14-day advance purchase is required, travel is valid every day except Fridays and Sundays, and there are a few blackout dates.

Tickets for Virgin’s sale must be purchased by December 2 and are valid for travel December 3 to 17. One-way fares range from $59 to $249 and include LA to Seattle for $79, LA to New York for $169, and Las Vegas to New York for $249.

British Airways offers free companion fare

Fly on British Airways between now and January 29, 2010 and you could earn a free companion fare for your next flight.

To get the free ticket, you need to sign up for the Executive Club (which is free) and take a round-trip flight to any one of the 300 destinations to which the airline flies. Then, book another ticket January 4 to July 30, 2010 for travel January 11 to December 15, 2010. You’ll pay full price for your ticket but just taxes and fees for a friend.

Don’t count on sitting next to your companion though, at least, not unless you’re willing to pay up. British Airways now charges passengers $30 to $90 to choose their seats 24 hours before departure. After that, they get free pick of what’s left, which means they may not be able to sit with their traveling companions.

The airline has also reduced baggage allowances and instituted more fees. The charge for the first additional bag is $50 to European and UK destinations and $60 for other international locations. At those prices, the companion fare isn’t exactly “free”.

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