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Has this ever happened to you? You think you’re getting a great hotel deal, only later you discover that everything from a fitness center charge to a newspaper service fee has been tacked onto the bill? Hotel fees are more popular than ever these days, and all kinds of properties, from hostels to high-end resorts, are discreetly charging for amenities you didn’t even know you had access to — and may not even want. Some of them are inevitable and rather set in stone, like resort fees. Others, like being charged for in-room safes, can be disputed. Like we always say, it’s a good habit to check the fine print and know exactly what you’re being charged for. Here are 10 fees to watch out for:
If you’re headed to New York City on your next getaway, why not get out on the water? Manhattan is an island, after all, and the city offers a wealth of boat tours and packages that will give you breathtaking views of the skyline and the harbor. Here are three of our favorites.
Cyber Monday is too long to have to wait for snagging great hotel deals, so we are pleased to see that a group of hotels have put together their own promotion and are calling it CyberSummer. On June 21, starting at midnight, 21 hotels and resorts in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean will be offering online deals, including four-diamond resorts for $99 a night, five-star hotels offering 50 percent savings, and free nights. Featured hotels include Casa Palopó in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (pictured above); the JW Marriott, Cusco, Peru, and the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort in Florida. Read more
When you think shipwrecks, images of the ghostly, wooden pirate ships, the Titanic, and James Cameron exploring in a tiny bubble may come to mind. It’s often assumed that to explore a wreckage you’ll require scuba gear and extensive training. While scuba diving will always lure adventurous travelers, snorkeling can be as equally enthralling and much easier on the budget. In fact, scuba dives can cost more than $300 for an hour-long experience. Snorkeling? An entire day may cost a mere $10 for a mask rental. For those of you looking to explore hauntingly beautiful shipwrecks, but aren’t willing to spend the time or money on scuba diving, here are some options where snorkeling the wreck provides an equally intimate view.
Deciding to vacation in the Caribbean is easy, but choosing your accommodations, particularly beyond the traditional hotel set-up, can be daunting if you don’t know what to look for. For those who enjoy having more space and more amenities, we recommend staying in a villa. It’s a great choice for groups, families, and those who want to save on dining. And it doesn’t always cost as much as you might think. These five villas will make travelers itching for an island vacation feel at home without breaking the bank:
If there’s one thing the Caribbean has plenty of, it’s beaches. And when you consider that every beach has a multitude of enticing bars all clamoring for your attention, choosing the best one can become a nearly impossible task. Everyone you meet will wax on about their favorite drinking spot, but there are a few standouts that demand a secure place on every Caribbean traveler’s to-do list. These five are legendary. Bottoms up!
When visiting the Caribbean islands, odds are the restaurants, food stalls, and street vendors are peddling snacks and dishes you’ve never heard of, let alone eaten. But don’t avoid them because you’re nervous. After all, exploring the local cuisine could become the highlight of your trip. Here are the items you’re most likely to encounter, plus info on how much they typically cost, and how to order like a local. Now, dig in!
Anyone currently enduring this winter probably wouldn’t need too much convincing to make a trip to Aruba. Besides sun, sea, and sand, all of which are in plentiful supply, there is another “s” word that makes Aruba an attractive destination this year: sustainability. Since the country’s prime minister teamed with the Carbon War Room, an organization dedicated to reducing carbon emissions, the island has set a goal of becoming the world’s first sustainable energy economy by 2020… Read more
The approach of Thanksgiving usually means readying yourself for the shopping frenzy that comes immediately after. Luckily, with these Cyber Monday hotel deals, you don’t have to brave the cold and the lines and can snap up a bargain, and mentally transport yourself to a sunny beachfront hotel (or the snowy ski slopes, if you prefer), from the comfort of your own home.
For all offers, conditions and blackout dates may apply; read the fine print. Read more
Travel to dozens of U.S. cities and Caribbean destinations this summer with JetBlue’s two-day summer sale. With fares* as low as $46, you can unwind on the beach with direct flights to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Aruba and Bermuda, Montego Bay and St. Croix. Or, visit major domestic cities like New York, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and so many more. These low fares can only be booked directly through JetBlue, and are not available on other sites. Read more
If you’re looking to take an exotic vacation this season, we’ve got deals for you from all over the world; from Africa to Europe to the Caribbean islands. Stray outside of your comfort zone and take the journey you’ve always dreamed of; with these fantastic deals, you’ve got few excuses not to. Read more
The approach of the holiday season brings to mind lots of cozy things: hot chocolate, fireplaces, watching the snow fall as evergreen-scented candles fill the air. But for the thousands of people in the Northeast displaced or severely affected by Hurricane Sandy, the holiday season threatens to be much less comfortable than usual. As you think of where you might travel this holiday season, we urge you to consider offers that not only cost you less but also give back to those who have recently lost so much.
This weekend ushered in the official start of fall, but that doesn’t mean you need to put away your bathing suit just yet. With beachfront resorts from Mexico to Aruba to Fiji, this week’s top deals allow you extend your summer a little bit longer, so you can dig your feet into the sand – and not dig deep into your wallet.
On Mexico’s golden Pacific Coast, the Paradise Village Beach Resort in Nuevo Vallarta is featuring rates for just $86 per person, per night this fall. That’s a savings of over 25 percent at the sprawling all-inclusive resort. The one catch is that a four-night minimum savings is required to reap these savings, but with a championship golf course, two spas, a marina, and a wildlife preserve, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to stay for less time. In nearby Los Cabos, the upscale Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa is offering all-inclusive rates for as little as $148 per person, per night through October 31 – a savings of 55 percent at this 4.5-star resort on the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Read more
In a tough economy, it becomes more difficult to sneak away from the office, but also less realistic to spend your savings on a big vacation. Given the constraints on travelers’ time and checkbooks, few options are as ideal as a quick jaunt to the Caribbean – direct flights are readily available from most East Coast airports to most island hubs, and the variety among the islands means there’s a destination for everyone – from the nature enthusiast to the luxury-demanding mogul. Unfortunately, no destination is without at least one drawback, and in the case of the Caribbean, this drawback is hurricane season. Typically running from June 1 to November 30, the Atlantic Hurricane Season has been known to put quite a damper on many vacationers and cruisers on the Caribbean islands. On the other hand, the unpredictability of the hurricane season also means there are great deals on travel to the Caribbean during these months. While there is no guarantee that any destination will be totally safe during the season, the editors at VirtualTourist have put together a list of “5 Caribbean Islands less likely impacted during Hurricane Season.” Read more
With temperatures soaring across most of the country, it’s hard for some of us to think about baking in the Caribbean sun. However, cold weather will be here before you know it, and with it a slew of new flights from the East Coast and Midwest to take advantage of tropical destinations.
Booking now for new JetBlue service from D.C. to San Juan (daily) and JFK to Samana, Dominican Republic (twice weekly) will score you big savings. Launching August 23, one-way fares on the San Juan route will be as low as $129 for travel through November 14 if you book by July 13; this will be the only non-stop flight between the U.S. capital and the Puerto Rican capital. Similarly, book by this Friday to secure one-way fares to Samana starting at $169 for flights from the November 14 launch date through February 9.
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