1. Take a cruise down under.
More and bigger ships are heading to Australia's ports during its
peak summer season, known as Super February. A typical cruise
between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, provides a "tapas-style
sampling of two of the world's most intriguing countries," says
Carolyn Spencer Brown, of
, we found a 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruise for $1,121 per
person, including gratuities (but not airfare).
Our Special Report on How to Save on Travel
2. Visit sunny Spain.
Offset the cost of flying with super-cheap lodging. Spain
traditionally hosts European vacationers; money worries on the
Continent mean hotels should have more vacancies and offer better
rates. To catch the best flight deal, follow fare-alert sites, such
; monitor your favorite airlines on Twitter and Facebook; or sign
up for flash-sale e-mails. A room for two in Madrid's Hotel Regina
recently went for $90 per night on
, including breakfast and a bottle of Spanish sparkling wine.
3. Sample gelato in Rome.
"A Mediterranean cruise is the best cruise value, hands down,
anywhere right now," says Clem Bason, of
. With the
catastrophe still fresh in travelers' minds, prices have taken a
recently posted a 14-day Mediterranean cruise with several
departure dates in early 2013. Prices start at $649 per person, or
$1,589 per person with airfare from New York City.
4. Do you know the way to San Jose?
Direct flights from major U.S. cities to Costa Rica are more
num�erous than ever, and the Central American country
boasts great resorts for families. "All-inclusive resorts make it
easy to budget in advance, and family-friendly chains such as
Westin, Marriott and Hilton provide beachfront locations with great
amenities," says Lissa Poirot, editor of
. At the all-inclusive Hilton Papagayo resort, in Guanacaste, we
found a room for two adults and two children for about $500 per
5. Head to the Caribbean.
The Dominican Republic is a reasonably quick and inexpensive trip
from the East Coast. "You can leave on an 8 a.m. flight and be in
your bikini by 1 p.m.," says Gillian Telling, of
. As with Costa Rica, all-inclusive resorts make it easier to
budget. JetBlue launched serv�ice from New York City to
beach resort Saman� this fall and was recently offering
round-trip fares starting at less than $400. A room at one of the
Grand Bahia Principe resorts-there are several, including in
Saman� and Punta Cana-averages about $150 a night,
6. Or to the blue Pacific.
Hawaii can be affordable, especially if you land a flight from the
West Coast, says Bason. To save on lodging, consider a vacation
rental home. The average price for a five-guest rental on the Kona
Coast is $150 per night, according to
. Rentals typically work best with larger groups, so bring your
kids (and your parents, too). Stick with sites such as
and FlipKey.com for reliable guest reviews and safer online
This article first appeared in
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