Money magazine’s Best Deals on Everything: Your guide to the latest vacation bargains in Mexico, Greece and Disney World. Plus, how to get cheap airfare.
To keep travelers coming despite the often scary crime news filtering out of the country, Mexico’s tourism industry has dropped prices in recent years.
That slide continued in 2012, when hotel rates fell 2.3%, says Hotels.com. And prices are expected to stay near that low level this year, says Travelzoo’s Christie McConnell: “They don’t want to drive the market away.”
Some of the best — and safest — deals are in the Riviera Maya, such as a $999 package from tour operator Apple Vacations: Get seven nights at the Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa and airfare from Los Angeles at 23% off.
Between last year’s Costa Concordia accident in Italy, and the unrest in Egypt and Syria, the area is struggling, says Paul Motter, editor of CruiseMates.com. Mediterranean fares dropped 5% from 2012 to 2013, according to Travelocity. Costa, for one, is offering sailings up to 78% off.
Deal: Eleven nights from Rome on Celebrity Cruises, starts at $1,899 in October, a 5% savings.
The best deals, of course, are from Carnival, which is offering trips as low as $37 a night. Prefer a different line? Todd Elliott, owner of Cruise Vacation Outlet, suggests waiting until fall or early winter when prices start to drop.
Alaskan departures will increase 8% in 2013, says the Alaska Cruise Association, leading industry watchers to predict a spike in deals. This spring, prices were already down about 5% vs. 2012.
Deal: Save 28% on seven nights from Whittier on Princess Cruises. Starts at $649 in September.
Several of the big groups that helped buoy the city’s convention business in 2012 are going elsewhere this year, prompting some hotels to mark down rooms, according to Hotwire.com.
Deals are even popping up during the height of family travel season, says SmarterTravel.com’s Anne Banas.
Disney Resorts, for one, is offering up to 30% off from mid-June to mid-August.
The country’s economic woes have bruised its travel industry. Nationwide, hotel prices fell 7% last year, according to Hotels.com.
Some of the biggest bargains are in tourist favorites, like the island of Corfu, where rates dropped 30% in 2012, to an average $139 a night.
Online vacation-rental bookings have doubled since 2008, says PhoCusWright analyst Douglas Quinby. Moving onto the web has made rental pricing more transparent and bred more competition among homeowners, bringing rates down.
Flipkey, TripAdvisor’s rental site, says the average nightly rate for its properties was $175 last year, down from $194 in 2010.
Kihei, Maui, 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo (sleeps 4), $169 a night in September on Airbnb.com
St. Augustine, Fla., 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo (sleeps 5), $170 a night in September on HomeAway.com