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Few things go together as well as flights and hotels—and luckily, they’re even cheaper when bundled together on CheapTickets. And we’ll prove it to you. Here’s a sample of our vacations under $500:

The fine print: Each vacation package under $500 includes one round-trip flight and a two-night hotel stay. The prices reflect dates chosen at random.

  • Chicago to Miami: Starting at $215
  • New York City to Atlanta: Starting at $270
  • Cleveland to Denver: Starting at $423
  • Portland to Vancouver: Starting at $396
  • Dallas to New Orleans: Starting at $167
  • Houston to San Diego: Starting at $321

And ‘sample’ is not a misnomer, people. We’ve always got plenty of vacation packages under $500, meaning that if you desperately need a last-minute getaway, we’ve likely got something for you. Hankering to hop from St. Louis to Nashville? We’ve got you covered. Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.? Yup, it’s still cheap. So go live that big-city life, or relax on a beach, or whatever you may need at the moment to recharge. Because with flights and hotels this cheap, there’s basically no reason not to.

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Tagged: Cheap Tips, City, Family, Last minute travel, New York City, Uncategorized, Vacation packages

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May and June may not always be the first months that come to mind when you think ‘beach vacation’, but they should be. Because we’ve got some steep bargains for you.

During the next couple of months, popular international destinations that would normally seem like a splurge suddenly top the list of those with the greatest savings, making them double the paradise for budget travelers. So we’re helping you take the guesswork out of trip-planning with this handy little chart of the Caribbean destinations with the steepest savings:

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Dutch Sint Maarten

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Known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, Sint Maarten offers tons of dining and nightlife experiences, along with miles of beautiful coast. Take in all the island has to offer by catching a ride on the Lambada Sunset Sail, a 90-minute catamaran cruise along Simpson and Long Bays. Tickets start at $35 for adults and $20 for children.

Sample Fare for May 9-12: Fly from New York to Sint Maarten and stay three nights at the 4-star Raintree’s Simpson Bay Resort & Marina from $490 per person.

Aruba

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Located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, Aruba is the perfect vacation spot for travelers seeking solace from daily life. Mi Dushi’s Afternoon Snorkeling Cruise takes guests out to sea to dive into the island’s warm waters. This 3-hour exploration lets visitors get up close and personal with the tropical marine life for just $43 for adults and $27 for children.

Sample Fare for May 23-27: Fly from Chicago to Aruba and stay four nights at the 3-star Aruba Tropic Apartments from $752 per person.

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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This unique island stands alone as the most mountainous in the Caribbean. Take a break from the usual beach and water activities and head up to Coral World Ocean Park’s St. Thomas Butterfly Garden to see hundreds of butterflies representing more than 25 species and six different countries. Best of all, an hour admission is a steal at just $12 per adult and $6 for kids.

Sample Fare for June 21-24: Fly from Dallas to St. Thomas and stay three nights at the 3-star Villa Marbella Suites from $645 per person.

Barbados

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With its expansive sandy beaches and bright blue waters, it’s no surprise that beautiful Barbados has one of the highest visitor repeat rates in the Caribbean. For a uniquely Barbadian experience, check out Caribbean Dynamics’ Friday Night Fish Fry in Oistins to sample the local seafood dinner and the works of local artists. Tickets start at $60 for adults and $35 for kids.

Sample Fare for June 1-5: Fly from Los Angeles to Barbados and stay four nights at the 3-star Gemini House from $717 per person.

Turks and Caicos

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Visitors are drawn to Turks and Caicos for its tranquil beaches and crystal waters. With over 65 miles of coral reef to explore, snorkeling is one of Turks and Caicos’ most popular activities. For sun-seekers, the immaculate Grace Bay Beach, considered the most famous and peaceful of all the area’s beaches, offers a quiet respite.

Sample Fare for April 26-29: Fly from San Francisco to Turks and Caicos and stay four nights at the 4-star East Bay Resort from $856 per person.

How to save: Bring on the promo code!

Now through May 15, use promo code ‘OFFSEASON16’ to save $50 on CheapTickets.com’s best package deals. Visit CheapTickets.com/OffSeasonDeals for off-season deals and packages to these destinations!

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Tagged: Beach, Caribbean, Cheap Tips, International, Last minute travel, Limited-time Offers, Off-season, Romance & honeymoon, Seasonal, Vacation packages

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warm beach chair

It’s cold outside. Unbearably cold, really. So cold there’s no other option than to migrate south, to a place so perfectly tropical it makes you warmer just thinking about it.

All-inclusive resorts across the Caribbean have made it easy even for those of us still a little cash strapped from Christmas spending to find affordable getaways. And with the packages they offer – which often include airfare and a three- or four-night stay – getting time off work shouldn’t be much of a barrier.

Check out our list of five affordable and blissfully warm all-inclusive getaways, but first, here are a few tips to remember before you book:

1. Check around when picking your travel dates and see if the resorts are offering any promotions that could save you some cash. CheapTickets offers a new promo code for hotel discounts every week.

2. Book your reservations and flight at the same time for an even better deal.

3. Factor some extra excursions into your budget. Although some packages do include tours of the area, some excursions you might regret missing out on cost a little extra.

4. Double check which drinks are free and which are included. Typically, you have to pay extra for the more high-end alcoholic beverages.

Majestic Elegance Punta Cana – Dominican Republic

Sunrise in Punta Cana. Courtesy of Sasvata (Shash) Chatterjee.

Sunrise in Punta Cana. Courtesy of Sasvata (Shash) Chatterjee.

On the eastern-most point of the Dominican Republic lies Punta Cana. There, the sea breeze rustles the leaves of the long skinny palms, which reach out high and far over the Caribbean. It’s an oasis of resorts surrounded by the rich culture of the Dominican Republic, and packages at the all-inclusive Majestic Elegance Punta Cana incorporate both aspects of the area. Adventurers can explore nearby semi-deserted islands, visit the historic city of Santo Domingo or traverse the several natural parks that are close by. If venturing out isn’t your thing, there’s really no reason to have to leave the resort. There are six restaurants, nine bars and 24-hour room services. There are rooftop bars with panoramic views of the beach and cabanas to escape under if the sun gets too hot. The resort hosts fashion shows and beach parties some nights, and if guests need a reprise from the salt water, they can take a plunge in the resort’s Turkish baths.

Rooms average $354 per night when booked through CheapTickets.

Riu Negril – Jamaica

Riu Negril in Jamaica. Courtesy of Channone Arif.

Riu Negril in Jamaica. Courtesy of Channone Arif.

The Caribbean water is so clear in Negril, you can see what color your toenail polish is beneath the calm waves. One of Jamaica’s go-to beaches, Negril is nestled between coves on the west side of the island. Riu Negril resort has three restaurants and five bars (three of which are poolside), and they’re open 24 hours. The restaurants are themed – there’s a gourmet restaurant, steakhouse and Italian restaurant – but we recommend trying the local flavors. You’ll never taste jerk sauce like you will in Jamaica, and a taste of that is almost worth the trip itself. Of course, the other all-inclusive perks at the resort don’t hurt. There’s a club (a discoteque, as they call it), with admission and all drinks included in the package (try a Red Stripe, you won’t regret it). Venturing out of the resort is a must as well, with rich Jamaican culture at hand and mountain activities available. From the resort, you’ll have a view of Booby Cay, known for its birds and wildlife. Just up the beach, Rhodes Hall Plantation offers horseback rides along the beach. And don’t forget, Montego Bay is just over an hour’s drive away, teeming with markets and Rastafarian culture.

Note: The wifi in the room is not included in the package. But all that time online can probably wait until you’re back in the cold north, right?

Rooms average $341 per night when booked through CheapTickets.

Omni Cancún Hotel and Villas – Cancún, Mexíco

A beachfront in Cancún, Mexíco. Courtesy of Ricardo Diaz.

A beachfront in Cancún, Mexíco. Courtesy of Ricardo Diaz.

Not only is it warm in Cancún, relaxation is part of its culture. That’s evident in the atmosphere of this ocean-front resort. Tiki huts on the beach mingle with palm trees swaying in the wind. Most rooms offer private, ocean-view balconies with views of the Mexican sunrise. Surrounded on water on two sides, guests can stay in the hotel or in a villa at this Mayan-inspired resort. Three pools connected by waterfalls flow into each other at the resort and are open 24/7. (And there’s a separate pool for the kids). There’s a jacuzzi bar guests can swim to and sit in while imbibing in a drink. The resort has a spa and beach cabanas that can be reserved for the day. The Cancún sands have become home to four of the eight species of sea turtles, and guests can witness their nesting season May through September. Female turtles migrate from feeding areas and lay an average of three nests per season. Cancún’s turtle program keeps guests at a distance safe enough for the turtles, but close enough for the experience.

Rooms average $265 per night when booked through CheapTickets. 

Barcelo Maya Beach – Riviera Maya, Mexíco

Barcelo Maya Beach. Courtesy of kartfamily.

Barcelo Maya Beach. Courtesy of kartfamily.

On the shores of the Yucatán, about an hour’s drive down the coast from Cancún, lies Playa del Carmen. The area was a port for ancient Mayans pilgrimaging to Cozumel, a sacred island with a shrine to the goddess of fertility and childbirth. It is the capital of the Riviera Maya, where open-air restaurants and shops mingle with Mayan ruins. Nearly everything about this resort, located just south of Playa del Carmen, was inspired by the ancient Mayans. The three restaurants and three bars, which were recently renovated with Mayan-inspired architecture, serve Mayan-inspired food, along with other international cuisines. Guests can get a Mayan spa treatment at the resort’s spa. The sand is white and the water is clear – so clear guests can see the stunning coral reef separating the mainland and Cozumel. And on a clear day, guests can see the island so many Mayans visited in their search for fertility.

Rooms average $332 per night when booked through CheapTickets.

Royal Solaris Los Cabos – San José del Cabo, Mexíco

Royal Solaris Los Cabos. Courtesy of Michael Allen Smith.

Royal Solaris Los Cabos. Courtesy of Michael Allen Smith.

San José del Cabo is located on the southern most tip of Baja California, near where the Gulf of California blends in with the Pacific Ocean. If guests get bored of staring out at the Pacific Ocean, they can turn around and enjoy a backdrop of the Sierra de San Larazo Mountains. Touristic growth has remained on the outside of the San José del Cabo town center. Guests venturing out of the resort to experience the Baja culture can see the cobblestone streets, adobe houses and a square that sits in front of a church from the 1700s that remain in the town center. The resort itself is kid-friendly, with a waterpark and an ocean-view hot tub. With Baja being a favorite getaway for American celebrities, you may spot a star among all the tropical beauty.

Rooms average $201 per night when booked through CheapTickets. 

 Story by Ally Marotti

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Tagged: Beach, Caribbean, Cheap Tips, Family, Jamaica, Last minute travel, Mexico, Seasonal, Vacation packages

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Bahamas (Photo: PhotoDisc)

You already know that CheapTickets is your place to find cheap vacations. Now you can save up to $400 more on a cheap Caribbean vacation to the Bahamas when you stay at participating hotels. Our cheap Bahamas travel deals offer up to $400 savings on flight + hotel vacation packages to the Bahamas, based on your state of origin. Here’show it works:

  • For travel from California, Oregon or Washington: Get $400 off cheap vacations of 4+ nights. Promo code CTIXWEST2
  • For travel from Florida: Get $200 off 3+ night vacations. Promo code CTIXFL2
  • For travel from all other states: Get $300 off cheap vacations of 4+ nights. Promo code CTIXMID2

You can choose one of more than 20 participating hotels in Nassau or on Grand Bahama island for your cheap Caribbean vacation, including: Atlantis Royal Towers, Atlantis Beach Tower, Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort, Our Lucaya Reef Village, Radisson Our Lucaya Resort and Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach. Check out the full hotel list on our cheap Bahamas travel deals page.

This cheap vacation deal is good for travel April 19 – December 22, 2010, but you must book your travel by May 10.

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: FREE!, International, Vacation packages