Bad news leads to cheap travel deals

June 1, 2009 12:03:10 PM PDT
Looking to get away this summer but don't think you can afford it? You're not alone. Many Americans aren't making travel plans and many of those who are, say they'll take shorter trips this summer. No matter what your budget, there are vacations that will not break the bank.

The US Travel Association says this summer Americans are taking fewer trips and shorter ones. So to get your business, the travel industry is cutting prices.

There are some good deals out there but just how low can you go? How about airline tickets for four to California for less than $100?

Eyewitness News Super Saver Erin Libranda is taking three kids to California for a week. Her four outbound tickets were $16.80 a piece!! Coming back it was $8.10.

"It would have been a $1,000 normally," she said.

She got the tickets on Southwest using credit she earned using swagbucks.com. When Erin does an Internet search, instead of Google or Yahoo!, she uses swagbucks and collects points. Thanks to Web sites like freeattractions.com, festivalsandevents.com and factorytoursusa.com, their activities are a steal.

"We're definitely going to the Ghirardelli Factory and we're probably going to the Jellybelly Factory and those are both free tours," Libranda said.

They'll stay at the Radisson booked using hotels.com and e-bates.com for $60 dollars a night. Their two bedroom suite comes with a full breakfast that's normally $147. She is spending just $800 for the whole trip.

Families looking to get farther away might consider the Caribbean. The reef resort on Grand Cayman island has a Simply Summer Sale. Beachfront suites are just $150 a night!

On Orbitz, beach packages are up to 40% off and several Bahamas hotels are giving a fourth night free. That even includes four star resorts like the Atlantis in Nassau. But travel agent Alexis Elliott says the biggest bargain is Mexico.

The CDC lifted the swine flu travel ban but Elliott says the resorts are still suffering. The result is cheap deals. Packages that include airfare and three nights at an all-inclusive resort give you the most for your money for three nights.

- You can stay on the beach in Cancun at the three and a half star Oasis for $300 per person.
- The four star Riu Caribe Cancun is $350, normally it's 600.
- The five star Valentin has a three night package for $480. Normally it's $650.
- And in Cozumel, the four star Park Royale is $300. That price includes your flight and all of your food and drinks.

"If they want to travel this is the time to travel this is the lowest you will ever find the packages," said Smart Travel owner Alexis Elliott.

You can find all of this information on our consumer blog.

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