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The less you pay, the better it feels on CheapTickets

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

By Valerie Moloney

There are certain luxuries in life where you can – but shouldn’t – skimp on price. A great leather jacket. That pair of designer jeans. New hardwood floors for your house. But travel? The less you pay, the better it feels. With our Best Price Guarantee, we’re all about cheap flights, cheap hotels and cheap vacations. See our new commercial, and spread CheapTickets’ travel deals with your friends.

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5 tips for cheap vacations with kids

Monday, April 16th, 2012


Not-so-cramped-quarters: Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim at Disneyland Resort offers family suites on the cheap.

By Valerie Moloney

As the self-designated CEO of the household, I embrace any opportunity to shave money off the family budget. I’ll buy Irish Spring even if passion fruit pomegranate body mousse smells much prettier. I frequent flash sales, and scour the boards for promo codes (because who wants to pay for shipping?). (more…)

Wet and wild: America’s top water parks

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

By Valerie Moloney

For some of us, nothing strikes more fear than parading around in a swimsuit — in public. Add a water park to the mix, and that’s downright fearless. (more…)

Refreshing summer adventures in Asheville, N.C.

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Try whitewater rafting in North Carolina. Credit: chrishusein.

By Derek Brown

Mosquitoes and humidity come to mind when I recall summer camp, but I didn’t have the fortune of growing up in Asheville, N.C. Tucked into the Appalachian Mountains, this Western North Carolina town is active and only a short drive to adventure and full of history.  When the mercury rises, the chilly mountain waters and outdoor adventures are natural magnets for explorers like me. (more…)

Memorial Day weekend: The wedding conundrum

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Two wedding invites for May 28? The verdict: Indiana, because it can be done on one tank.

By Valerie Moloney

In the battle for Memorial Day weekend 2011, it was the classic fly-versus-drive scenario: my third cousin’s wedding in Columbus, Ga., or a good friend’s wedding in Hobart, Ind.

I love my cousin, but economics won.

A prized weekend for barbecues, family reunions and all-around vegging, rarely does it coincide with trips down the aisle. I’ve met brides who wanted to be married around the holidays, even on New Year’s Eve, but no one in my circle ever booked the official start to summer.

Between lodging, car rental and flight, the Chicago-to-Columbus itinerary — what would have amounted to a day and a half’s worth of travel — would have cost around $900. And that’s just for me. The hotel would not allow my cousin to block a set of rooms at a discounted rate due to the timing of the event.

I’m happy to pay $50 for a tank of gas and $100 for an Indiana hotel – especially since my husband and two daughters were invited to the Indiana wedding, which will be feted on an apple orchard. (I realize that this makes me look stingy, but tell me that other folks are in the same boat.)

How have gas prices affected your Memorial Day plans?

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Valerie Moloney is a writer for Orbitz who was born in the Philippines, lived in Morocco and married a native Irishman. She now covers hotels around the world and contributes to the Orbitz and CheapTickets blogs.

A cheap Cancun hotel for less than $100 a night

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Cancun under a C-note: Gran Melia Cancun treats guests to all-inclusive luxury for under $100 a night.

By Vince Font

A hundred bucks doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to in today’s world, but believe it or not it’s still possible to score cheap Cancun hotels without even hitting the centennial mark for a night’s stay. One such place is the Gran Melia Cancun Beach and Spa Resort, which on first view might give you cause to think you were quoted the wrong price. This place certainly doesn’t look like a cheap hotel – and it’s anything but. (more…)

5 free things to do in Tampa

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Tampa's Ybor City rivals Bourbon Street with electric nightlife in a historic enclave filled with bars, restaurants and shops.

By Valerie Moloney

With the calendar creeping into May, many of us are in full-on summer vacation planning mode. In previous years, cheap Orlando hotels lured us to Disney World, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios, but a cheap Florida vacation doesn’t have to involve one more trip to see Belle and Jasmine.

Call it the Tampa secret.

Just an hour from Orlando off I-4, Tampa is equal parts familiar and unexpected, pretty and gritty. Pass the bank of strip malls and strip clubs – yes, there’s no glossing over it – to find neighborhoods dotted by Spanish-style bungalows, sprawling homes on Bayshore Boulevard and fairly recently, the mega mansion built by one very famous New York Yankee.

If you’re not willing to commit to more than a day or two at Disney, a stay at cheap Tampa hotels could be the low-key vacation that you’ve been pining for. Consider these 5 free things to do in Tampa for real local experiences instead of waiting in lines. (more…)

Luxury for less: How to get a cheap Mexico vacation

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Start your cheap Mexico vacation at GR Solaris Cancun Resort & Spa, where luxe meets cheap.

By Vince Font

If you’re in bad need of a vacation but don’t have all the money in the world to spend — who does? — you can still land some pretty sweet Mexico deals that are so low cost you just might pull a double-take. You simply have to know where to look and how to do it. Although there are no real secrets to finding cheap Mexico vacations, there are some common sense tactics that a lot of people overlook. (more…)

Atlantic City Hilton: Budget glam on the Boardwalk

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Gamble and feast in glamour at Atlantic City Hilton, a surprisingly affordable hotel right on the Boardwalk.

By Vince Font

Few people hear the name Hilton and think “cheap,” but the fact is, the Atlantic City Hilton is one of the highest-rated cheap Atlantic City hotels on the boardwalk. By day, the hotel stands like a pristine megalith with a black glass window façade. By night, its well-lit exterior shines like a beacon that wouldn’t look out of place if you were to transplant it to the heart of downtown Las Vegas. All glamorous outward appearances aside, it’s what’s inside the AC Hilton that really sets it apart. (more…)

4 ways to go on cheap Orlando vacations

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Don't assume that resorts are too expensive. Coco Key boasts spacious suites for reasonable rates.

By Maria Mora

For its value prices and theme park appeal, Orlando will always be on the family’s radar as a spring break destination, but a tight budget shouldn’t be a sentence to cramped quarters or zero amenities. Follow these tips for cheap Orlando vacations that incorporate both space and amusement. (more…)