Prime Budget Vacation Season Ahead

Americans generally don’t like to travel between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is why you’ll find some of the best bargains of the year during that inter-holiday period.

For many years, I took the first week of December off to grab an off-season bargain.

One year I rented a cottage next to the Saguaro National Park in Tucson at a discounted, off-peak rate. Another year the husband and I took a cruise out of New Orleans to Mexico and the Caribbean at a very nice price – about $500 per person.

Twice I’ve been to Las Vegas during that time, to stay at luxurious hotels on the Strip for $70 or less. (There’s a big rodeo event in Vegas early in December, so bring your 10-gallon hat or prepare not to blend in.)

There are plenty of options this year. Here are a few:

  • $363 per person – including taxes and fees – for a nine-day, one-way cruise from Barcelona to Boston, departing Dec. 3 on the Norwegian Gem.  Cruises-N-More has the deal.
  • $59 a night – plus taxes – for many of the nights between Thanksgiving and Christmas at the giant Luxor hotel on the Strip in Las Vegas.
  • $210, taxes and fees included, for round-trip airfare between Bradley and San Diego on Northwest, Continental or US Airways during the first two weeks of December.
  • $599, plus taxes and fees, for a seven-night fly and drive package in Ireland between Nov. 1 and Dec. 13 from Brian Moore International Tours.

If none of that strikes your fancy, look around the Web. Some of my favorite sites for bargain hunting and daydreaming: TravelZoo, and

My own plans are still up in the air. But I do still have a week of vacation left …


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