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Great travel deals during down economy

May 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
In today's economy, many people feel like their wallets are shrinking. And that translates to a much smaller world for travelers this summer vacation season. The travel industry is slashing rates to get business off the ground.Alaska, Australia, Hawaii. Just a few places the recession has made slightly more affordable.

"Travel is experiencing an 18 percent drop across the board to most destinations," said travel expert Pauline Frommer.

The economic downturn has taken ticket prices in the same direction: down

"A prime example is Hawaii," said Frommer. "Until early June, from the New York area, we are seeing round trips for as little as $400 -- that's unprecedented. And then hotel rates are down a good 20 percent from last year."

When you arrive, consider a home-stay organization. You can find several online or rent a condo and bargain a bit.

As long as you don't bet the house once you arrive, you can find great deals in Las Vegas.

"They have lost 35 percent of their conventions, so prices there are plummeting," said Frommer. "You can get a great room off the strip for as little as $19 a night. On the strip I have seen prices of $39 a night."

Not so much of a gambler? Maybe you'd prefer some luck of the Irish. When we think of Ireland, we think green -- it's just that you no longer have to spend as much of it to get there.

"We are seeing astounding package deals to Ireland," said Frommer.

In fact, Americans traveling in Europe will enjoy increased buying power. The dollar is the strongest it's been in nearly five years.

Or how about a trip Down Under? Qantas Airlines is offering tickets to Australia from several American cities for about $600 dollars round trip. It would normally cost more than a thousand.

Ever consider a summertime cruise in Alaska?

"We are seeing week-long cruises for $469," said Frommer. One more way to cruise a bit during these turbulent times.

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