Summer is just around the corner and with it comes the annual rush of vacations. Instead of fighting the crowds – and paying more – during the peak season, consider getting a head start and travelling now. To help you beat the holiday hordes, here’s a roundup of spring travel deals for every type of adventurer. (Note: Discounts and specials were available at the time of reporting. See company websites for specific terms and conditions.)
How about a road trip in Southern California? The area is wooing visitors with myriad deals. Discover L.A. Exclusives is a new program that gives you price breaks at businesses offering activities such as exotic racing and bike food tours. The Hampton Inn & Suites in Santa Monica has a package that includes two free adult wristbands for unlimited rides at Pacific Park located on the Santa Monica Pier. Kids 18 and under eat and stay for free when sharing a room with their parents at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Buena Park. Finally, kids can celebrate their birthday with free entry to Legoland as part of the theme park’s 20th birthday.
Earn double the hotel points
In celebration of Marriott Bonvoy – the new loyalty program that replaced Marriott Rewards, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – Marriott has a “Double Take” promotion where guests will earn double the points starting with their second stay. Members must register for the promo by May 21, and stays need to be completed by June 4. This promo applies to any of Marriott International’s 30 brands in 130 countries.
Big-ship cruising for less
Cunard has 20-per-cent off launch fares and guests can also receive up to $1,000 of onboard stateroom credit as part of the Spring Savings Event (available until May 30). Returning passengers and those who book a Grill Suite get free drinks and gratuities. There are plenty of cruises to choose from, but the Independence Day Celebration sailing aboard the Queen Mary 2 is a particularly good deal starting at US$1,399 (before discount), per person. The round-trip journey takes place June 30 to July 7, departing New York with stops in Halifax, Boston and Newport, R.I. In other cruise news, if you book with Norwegian by the end of April, you’ll earn up to five free offers: drinks, specialty dining, excursion credits, WiFi and friends and family sail for free.
Adventure cruises in Asia
Right now, all of Intrepid Travel’s small-ship adventure cruises are 20 per-cent-off if you book by the end of April. The popular Maya Bay in Thailand is closed to tourists indefinitely, but you can still cruise the country’s islands, with opportunities to take in less-visited isles and interact with local villagers. Another option: the eight-day North Vietnam Coastal Cruise, which includes excursions to less-visited parts of the country, including the recently discovered caves at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Family values down south
At Air Canada Vacations, kids fly, stay and eat free (you just pay the taxes) when booked with a minimum of two adults per room. The travel dates are valid between June 22 and Aug. 31, but you must book your package by April 14. This is technically for the summer, but you might as well secure your hotel and dates now if you’re planning travel to Mexico or the Caribbean.
Get away right now
If you’re restless and ready for anything, take a look at G Adventures’ last-minute deals. You can save 20 per cent on small-group trips departing soon, including island hopping in the Galapagos, learning about the mysteries of India, searching for the big five in the Serengeti and more.
Florida loves Canadians
Some of the best theme parks in Orlando are promoting exclusive specials for Canadians. Universal Orlando resort, for example, has five-day vacation packages starting at US$79 per person, per night, which include accommodations and early admission park tickets (offer ends June 12). Looking for a place to stay? The Hilton Orlando has various promotions and packages.
Luxury in South America
It’s a good time for to visit Peru. Book at least three nights at the Explora Valle Sagrado property near Machu Picchu and three nights on luxury cruise operator Aqua Expeditions’s Aria Amazon, and you’ll get 20-per-cent off your stay and up to $350 in trip credits. Reservations must be made by April 30 through Explora’s website. If you prefer something a little bit more adventurous and you fall in the 18-35 age range, take a look at Contiki’s two-week “Peru Uncovered” adventure, available for $250 off when booked by April 14.
Ride the iconic rails
If you dream of riding the Rocky Mountaineer, here’s a good incentive to make your wish a reality. Guests booking packages of four nights or more receive a free hotel night in Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary or Victoria. You’re allowed to apply the free hotel night as a credit to one of the four nights, except in Victoria. Alternatively, you can apply the promo to the beginning or end of your trip, extending it for a night. The offer ends on June 28 with travel on select dates between April 15-Oct. 13.
Explore the Emerald Isle
Various tour operators have some big incentives to get you to visit Ireland in the near future. Guests booking Trafalgar’s 11-day “Irish Experience” journey will get up to $400 off their flights ($200 a person) as part of the “Be My Guest” promotion that ends on April 20. There’s also the eight-day “Irish Wonder” trip from Costsaver, which will take you to some of the country’s most iconic sites, including Galway Cathedral, the Cliffs of Moher and the Blarney Stone. Pairs reserving this trip by April 30 will get $300 off their flights.
Hit the slopes one last time
If you love going down the slopes, there’s still time to get your adrenaline rush in British Columbia. Whistler Blackcomb is offering up to 30 per cent off on accommodations and up to 40-per-cent off lift & lodging until April 22. The Fernie Alpine Resort is pitching seven days of skiing and seven nights of lodging for the price of six until April 30.
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