Bargain destinations in a tough economy

Silvana and Alan Clark love to pack up, ship out, and explore the world.

"Part of it I think is the variety, and then just being able to see how other people live," said Silvana Clark.

And they're always on the lookout for a deal, especially in this economy. SmarterTravel.com has compiled a list of the top five "best destinations."

Editors kept an eye out for brand new hot spots and money saving gems. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania came in at number five on the list. It's just been dubbed the capital of European culture.

"They are not using the Euro as their currency, which tends to make the city and other destinations in the country more affordable," said Anne Banas, SmarterTravel.com.

At number four, Lima, Peru. Banas says that you can find hotel rooms as low as $5.00 per night. Silvana and Alan know first hand that it's a great city for families to explore.

"You've got the nice central core with the restaurants and the museums and the shops," said Silvana Clark.

Kansas City is up next. Banas says the city has invested billions to put itself on the map as a tourist destination.

"One of the things they have, it's called the Power and Light District, which is nine blocks of entertainment and food venues," said Banas.

Coming in at number two: Vancouver, Canada, the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"It's getting ready in the year 2009 with a lot of different events and they're even building a train that connects the airport right to downtown Vancouver," said Banas.

SmarterTravel.com named Riviera Nayarit in Mexico, the best destination of 2009. An affordable hot spot packed with activities.

"They can do things like water sports. They can visit colonial villages, go golfing," said Banas.

Plus, you can find a hotel for as little as $60 a night. But whatever destination you choose, book early and have fun.

"Start benchmarking fares in January and then once you find a really great price book it," said Banas.


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