Best deals on travel

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.

  • Mexico

    Shaul Schwarz—Reportage by Getty Images for TIME Gangsta Grind
    Baja Films, the production company behind Las Aguilas Andan Solas, is one of the larger players in the narco-film industry

    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 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.

  • Cruises

    Shaul Schwarz—Reportage by Getty Images for TIME Big Hits
    Actors wait during the filming of Las Aguilas Andan Solas

    It’s been a tough year for the cruise lines (we’re looking at you, Carnival CARNIVAL PLC CCL 2.44% ). Make the industry’s pain your gain.

    Eastern Mediterranean

    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 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.

    Deal: Six nights in the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean, ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES RCL 1.87% starts at $579 in December, down 11%.


    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.

  • Orlando

    Shaul Schwarz—Reportage by Getty Images for TIME On Set
    According to Baja Films International director and producer Oscar Lopez, tens of thousands of DVDs of gory Tijuana-made direct-to-video movies are sold, many of them with scripts based on the latest narcocorrido hits

    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

    Deals are even popping up during the height of family travel season, says’s Anne Banas.

    Disney Resorts, for one, is offering up to 30% off from mid-June to mid-August.

  • Greece

    Shaul Schwarz—Reportage by Getty Images for TIME Preparation
    Many of the bands employ a tuba player, along with musicians for the accordion, drums and guitar

    The country’s economic woes have bruised its travel industry. Nationwide, hotel prices fell 7% last year, according to

    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.

  • Vacation rentals

    Courtesy: Airbnb

    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.

    Island deal

    Kihei, Maui, 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo (sleeps 4), $169 a night in September on

    Mainland deal

    St. Augustine, Fla., 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo (sleeps 5), $170 a night in September on

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