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My husband and I are teachers in an isolated community. We need a relaxing vacation before school starts again. Can you help

Hi Katherine,

A summer vacation: hurrah! Those are always the most fun to plan for—and, as luck would have it, you’ve picked a really great time to travel. Prices are significantly lower right now than they were this time in 2008, so not only will your money go further, but the timing of your trip should mean that you get to go further as well!

Since hotels are usually the biggest expenditure for any vacation, it’s always a good idea to go where you can find some of the best rates. Let’s start narrowing down your choices by identifying a few destinations where we’re seeing some of the lowest average hotel prices here at Travelocity. (FYI, all the rates below are in U.S. dollars, but you can do the conversion to Canadian quickly and simply at xe.com.)

The average hotel rate for this summer—which includes both domestic and international destinations—is $142 a night. Probably your best bet financially, then, is to head to Las Vegas, where you should be able to find a room for the average price of $98 a night. If you’d rather unwind away from clubs and casinos, consider Lake Tahoe, where you’ll be able to rest your head for $105 a night, or Denver, where you’ll pay an average of $110 a night. If you’re after a little sunshine and beach time, put Los Angeles ($135 a night) or South Florida ($136 a night) on the shortlist. And I might be biased because I live here, but I’d offer up San Francisco as a wonderful destination in a heartbeat! To ride the cablecars, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and stroll Chinatown and North Beach, you’d be looking at spending around $135 a night—still lower than average!

If you’d like to stay closer to home, you’ll find hotel rates in Toronto going for around $125 a night, but I’m wondering if you might want to really push the boat out a little and do a bit of exciting globetrotting. In Sydney, a hotel will set you back around $128 a night, but the real deal is in Hong Kong where right now you can expect to pay just $105 a night—not bad for one of the world’s top five most expensive cities!

Finally, start thinking about Mexico. Thanks to the recent swine flu pandemic scaring some of the, uh, less adventurous travelers away, there are some insanely great deals to be had down there. And if relaxing is what you’re after, you can’t beat lying on the beach with a margarita in one hand and a burrito in the other! Let all those thoughts of grading papers just drift away…

One final note on finding a deal once you’ve decided upon a destination: a great way to book a summer trip and save big bucks doing it is to buy your flight and hotel together—sort of a package deal, as it were (though don’t think this means you’ll be beholden to taking tour buses with blue-haired grannies! It means nothing of the sort: simply that you’re buying your flight and hotel stay “packaged” together, which will turn out to be cheaper for you.) This blogger conducted an experiment where she tried to determine whether it was cheaper to book all the elements of her vacation separately or get her flight and hotel together—and the package won out. So definitely don’t discount that when you’re doing your research—and also don’t forget to check out some of the last minute offerings; you can usually book up to three weeks in advance, which gives you a nice buffer to plan.

Best of luck, and do let us know where you and your husband end up going. Bon voyage!

–Holly

 

 

 

 

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