Best Bargin Travel Packages – By Land, By Sea, By Air

Lake Placid Lodge, a resort in New York’s Adirondacks region, has a last-minute deal on June visits. Book two consecutive nights June 19-23 or 26-29 and receive 35 percent off room rates and all wines by the glass, plus free daily breakfast and lunch for two people. Rates start at $308 per night double, compared with the usual $475. Add $63 per night in fees and taxes. All rooms and cabins at the Arts and Crafts-style hotel have stone fireplaces and wilderness views; activities include hiking, fishing, paddling and yoga. Info: 518-523-2700, www.lakeplacidlodge.com.

Amtrak is offering 20 percent off fall trips from Washington to Chicago. The round-trip fare is now $141, down from $176. Other rail routes are also on sale, such as New York-Miami, Chicago-New Orleans and New Orleans-Los Angeles. Book by June 24; travel Sept.15-Nov. 15. Info: 800-872-7245, www.amtrak.com.

Colonial Williamsburg has a summer deal for families. The Summer Bounce package starts at $263 per night for a family of four and includes three nights at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites, and admission to the historic area, museums and Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. Priced separately, the package costs about $315 per night. Add about $28 per night in fees and taxes. For the best rates, arrive Sunday-Tuesday; travel through Sept. 1. Info: www.colonialwilliamsburg.com.

Sea

Abercrombie & Kent has deals on select voyages this summer and fall. For example, the Oct. 17 Splendors of the Nile trip is $6,345 per person double (vs. $7,575), and the single supplement is $1,230 (vs. $2,680). The four-night Egypt cruise departs from Luxor and visits Denderah, Edfu and Aswan. Price includes a viewing of the tomb of Seti I, normally closed to the public; guided excursions; a felucca (sailboat) trip around the Aswan Islands; and unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks aboard the ship. Add $630 for internal air. For Nile cruise, book by July 31. Info: 800-554-7016, www.abercrombiekent.com.

Viking River Cruises has discounts, including 2-for-1 rates, on its 2012 cruises. For example, the 12-day Footsteps of the Cossacks cruise from Kiev to Odessa, Ukraine, is $2,288 per person double; normal rate is $4,399. Depart July 19 or Aug. 10. Price includes daily shore excursions, wine, and fees and taxes. International airfare is also 2-for-1. Book by July 31. Info: 800-304-9616, www.vikingrivercruises.com.

Air

AirTran is having a systemwide sale from all three Washington area airports to U.S., Caribbean and Mexican destinations. For example, a late August flight from BWI Marshall to Nassau, Bahamas, is $284; fares on other airlines start at $300. Also in late August, air from Reagan National to Sarasota, Fla., is $231 round trip; the fare on other airlines is from about $300. Travel through Nov. 15 (Aug. 20-Nov. 15 for Nassau and the Caribbean); book by June 28. Info: 800-247-8726, www.airtran.com.

Package

TourCrafters has a deal on a Rome trip for cinephiles that includes a visit to the studio where “Roman Holiday” and “Three Coins in the Fountain” were filmed. The Crazy About Cinema package starts at $1,460 per person double and includes round-trip air from Washington Dulles to Rome, airport-hotel transfer, four nights at the Hotel Oxford, half-day city tour, transportation and admission to the Cinecitta movie studio, daily breakfast and a $72 dinner coupon. Priced separately, trip would cost $250 more per person. Package is offered through Nov. 30, but for the cheapest rate, depart Sept. 1-4 or Nov. 1-30. Info: 800-482-5995, www.tourcrafters.it/tour.lasso?ID=69.

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One Comment

  1. emilyeg

    When we hear the word, “travel,” we usually think of Pacific coastal beaches or a European adventure or some place far enough away that the current economic trends may interfere with our vacation fantasies. But here’s what I discovered a few years ago: travel is only a car ride – long or short – away.

    We may not be able to actually visit Paris this year due to the economy or even just the kids’ hectic activities schedule. Whatever the reason for our dampened vacation dreams, there is one very simple solution: take a road trip! I did this for the first time with my 3 kids just a few years ago. I charted an eastern Texas highway course, collected some maps, pens and candy, and off we went. We first stopped at a wildlife refuge in Tyler, TX, where we saw tigers (like the ones you see in the circus) that were once someone’s pets. Then, we stopped at a few cousins’ houses in Nacogdoches and Vidor, where the kids got to play with some distant family members near their own ages. Our next stop was Galveston, where we all rode in a bicycle carriage and played on the beach. On our way back home – traveling up Hwy 45, we stopped at and explored the NASA Space Center in Houston.

    The actual destinations were fun, no doubt. But the destination stops weren’t the best part of the vacation. The part of that trip we all remember the most is being in the car together with nothing else to do but talk, sing, laugh, play road games and look out the window at places the kids had never seen before. Every time they could tell me correctly which direction we were heading in or what the name of the highway we were travelling on was, I threw a piece of candy back to the winner(s). We all had fun and at the same time, the kids learned some valuable life skills that watching a movie in the car would not have taught them. We weren’t just passing time in the car; we were living! We were exploring and discovering and being adventurous!! The fun was truly in each moment rather than on waiting for the next thrill.

    That trip was a few years ago now. It seems like a distant memory to me. But we all had so much fun that we took another road trip the following year, only this time we headed north to St. Louis, making stops to explore and visit relatives along the way. We discovered that St. Louis is a beautiful city with a wonderful art museum and zoo, and St. Louis is the home of a unique and interesting fun house called, “The City Museum.” It’s not the kind of museum we think of when we hear the word, “museum.” It’s a wonderfully curious place to explore and get lost in. I had never seen any place like it. It’s a place we would definately visit again.

    My kids are getting older now, and a bit more restless around mom and dad. I’d like to squeeze at least one more road trip in before they become completely disinterested. The question is, where should we go this time? …..up Route 1 through the vineyards of CA? …..through the mountains in CO? It’s hard to decide. While we ponder that question, though, we can simply take a trip to a local restaurant – Zorba’s – where, once we’re inside, we feel like we’re in Greece being served by handsome Greek waiters and dining on deliciously authentic Greek comfort food; and for just a moment in time, we have traveled to a place where we feel taken away from everyday life; to a place where we can experience the adventure of tasting food from a far-away place we’ve not yet seen. Yes, this, too, is travel, as it restores our hope that there is more to life and that the world is a bigger place than just this tiny little town we live in.

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