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If you’re looking in the mirror and wondering when it’s time you finally take the plunge and book your first trip overseas to Europe, then yes, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, you’re the smartest of them all!”

2015 is definitely THE year to travel.

Related: 7 breathtaking cruise ports around the world

While the strength of the U.S. dollar increases, you’re literally getting more bang for your buck. The Euro is down and that means all of your European expenses subsequently are too! Things thattake up a majority of your traveling expenses such as transportation, accommodation, and food will all be less than it was last year.

The exchange rate is in your favor, America.

Now that you’ve picked a date, and you’re all set for your first European getaway, I’ve compiled a list of the cheapest destinations that I’ve experienced while gallivanting through this amazing continent. While there are plenty more suitable candidates, these are the ones I enjoyed the most.

5. Nice, France
This gorgeous coastal city on the French Riviera is not only a 4 train ride away from Monaco (which hello, who doesn’t want to go there for a quick day trip to drool over things you can’t afford and breathe the same oxygen as the affluent), but it’s also incredibly scenic. From the hilltop views, to the promenade, your camera will be in Heaven. With the varied cuisine, you can easily eat well for under 10 a meal.

The view of the Promenade from Castle Hill!

The view of the Promenade from Castle Hill!

4. Granada, Spain
Granada is one of the few cities where you get free tapas with your drinks! I’ll say that again — FREE TAPAS! Quick reminder, tapas are mini portions of food to satisfy temporary cravings. We call them appetizers in America.

These tapas can range from plates of rice, to croquettes, to a large meatball, and other variations of Spanish-influenced foods.

So your beer, which is already €1 on average, now comes with a plate of rice. So for the whopping price of €2, you could have two drinks and two plates of food. There are some places who even increase the portion and amount of food with every drink you purchase. Seriously Granada, you’re a walking dream for a budgeter’s heart. Get over here and let me love you.

Enjoying my large meatball and bread!

Enjoying my large meatball and bread!


3. Athens, Greece
Despite what the news outlets want you to think about the whole situation with Greece’s debt and failing economy, think about it, they need tourism now more than ever! So please don’t let the media scare you into thinking you should avoid Greece by any means!

Athens, despite its graffiti-filled alleys and streets, is still one of the most historically-beautiful cities the European continent has to offer, and if you’re looking for ways to support their economy, then come and spend your dollars here! As many banks are temporarily out of business, just be sure to have enough cash on you to last you through your time there. That being said, always stay alert for pickpockets! You can read more tips about that in general here.

P.S. Gyros will be your best friend.

Standing atop of Acropolis Hill!

Standing atop of Acropolis Hill after having a glass of wine or 5.

2. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon just might be my favorite city in Europe. I’m in denial because my heart belongs to Barcelona, where I lived for an entire year. But Lisbon truly has it all. The food, museums, and free open air festivals make it such an attractive city for your wallet.

There are also gorgeous baths, markets, and parks to really experience an authentic atmosphere. The people are super friendly and even though you won’t know a lick of Portuguese, your eyes won’t have any problems reading all the prices under €5 that you’ll see on the menu.

Lisbon

1. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Barthelona. Oh how you have my heart. Barcelona is a top destination for Erasmus students, gap years, vacationers, and everyone else in between because of its wide variety of everything from affordable living to free Wi-Fi in most public parks and streets.

Barcelona does a great job of looking out for its tourists. After all, they do make up a large percentage of their economy, so they find ways to accommodate and cater to their needs.

While this may include street vendors selling you 1 cans of beer to casually drink on the metro before arriving to the local bodega or free concerts in parks, you can always count on a city like Barcelona to make an extremely fun, affordable, and unforgettable getaway when crossing the Atlantic. Every day feels like a walk through a museum as you take in the gorgeous scenery from the architectural genius of Antoni Gaudí, whether at La Sagrada Familia or strolling through Park Guell.

Barcelona is simply NOT to be missed!

The view from the top of Montjuïc Park.

The view from the top of Montjuïc!

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Beach, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Family, Food & drink, FREE!, International

Gloria Atanmo
Gloria Atanmo is an adventure-junkie currently on a 2-year jaunt through Europe after booking a one-way ticket. She enjoys discovering the unequivocal education of travel, risks, and hustle. Follow her journey on Instagram (@glographics) or her blog (www.TheBlogAbroad.com).
Gloria Atanmo

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Gifting yourself an urban getaway during the winter holidays could have you singing “Cha-cha-ching” to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”

Hotels in big cities such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco silently unleash some of their lowest prices of the year over the holiday season.

This is especially true during the week of Christmas and the week after New Year’s, when folks are occupying their parent’s house and business travel essentially comes to a halt. While you’re trying to squeeze onto your old twin bed wrapped in My Little Pony sheets, hotels are desperate for guests.  In some cases, expect to save more than 50% what you’d regularly pay.  (Just don’t expect that on New Year’s Eve.)

Below are cities extending the steepest hotel savings during Christmastime, plus a few favorite no-cost holiday traditions to soak up seasonal ambience during this specific winter travel period.

Chicago

Average hotel savings: 60%

Yes, Chicago can get cold.  But the chill, paired with a hot chocolate held between warm mittens, is part of the holiday ambience in Chicago – where architectural marvels, world-class museums, amazing cuisine and these holiday favorites await.

ChrisKindleMarket; Photo credit: Choose Chicago ©

ChrisKindleMarket; Photo credit: Choose Chicago ©

Christkindlmarket Chicago (Nov. 21 – Dec. 24)

Downtown Daley Plaza is transformed into a Bavarian-style Christmas market filled with artisan shops, food stands, a beer hall, musical performers and, of course, Santa.

Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier (Dec. 5 – Jan. 11)

One of Chicago’s top family-friendly attractions hosts a dazzling indoor winter wonderland that includes ice-skating and rides.  Note: Activity wristbands are an additional cost.

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo (Nov. 28-30; Dec. 5-7, 12-23; Dec. 26 – Jan. 4)

Even the animals get into the holiday spirit.  Stroll through a zoo decked out in brilliant, colorful lights from 5 to 9 p.m.  The holiday-inspired ambience also includes musical light shows, ice carving demonstrations and Santa’s Safari.

Spectators at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival; Photo credit: Choose Chicago ©

Spectators at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival; Photo credit: Choose Chicago ©

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival + Macy’s Holiday Windows (Through early January)

Two of Chicago’s most famous shopping streets provide a festive backdrop to holiday and post-holiday shopping: Michigan Avenue and State Street.  Linger outside the Macy’s Windows, a Chicago holiday tradition, before heading inside for a meal beside the Great Tree at the Walnut Room.  (Arrive early to beat the crowds, as reservations are not accepted Nov. 8 – Jan. 1.)

Las Vegas

Average hotel savings: 50%

The bright lights of The Strip glow a little brighter during the holidays, when resorts and casinos try to outdo each other with festive decorations.  With temperature highs hovering in the upper 50’s, it’s unlikely that you’ll be singing, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Holiday Display (Dec. 6 – Jan. 5)

Prepare to be dazzled as the setting is transformed into a shimmering, sparkling holiday wonderland.  Even the dancing fountains outside of this famed Las Vegas resort are choreographed to a selection of Christmas music – always a crowd pleaser.

Freemont Street Experience (December-January)

Be prepared for seasonally inspired sensory overload at this five-block entertainment district in downtown Las Vegas.  Christmas-themed stage shows, plus a holiday-inspired Viva Vision light show on its massive video screen are among the attractions.

The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; Photo credit: Denise Truscello ©

The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; Photo credit: Denise Truscello ©

The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Nov. 21 – Jan. 4)

The resorttransforms its Boulevard Pool into a winter wonderland reminiscent of a Central Park ice skating rink. Only, this one overlooks the Las Vegas Strip and will include holiday films playing on its digital marquee on Mondays. Admission is free to visitors, although taking a twirl on the ice – yes, its real ice – is $15 per person, with a $5 skate rental fee.

Magical Forest at Opportunity Village (Nov. 21 – Jan. 4)

When a setting boasts “A Forest Filled with Hundreds of Dazzling Trees,” how can you say no?  This family-friendly attraction includes numerous rides and nightly entertainment, including storytellers, friendly characters, parades and choirs.  Note: There is an admission fee (check website), but all proceeds benefit Opportunity Village’s services and programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

Washington, D.C.

Average hotel savings: 45%

When Congress goes on winter recess and the city’s less abuzz with political wheeling and dealing, visit famed national attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the U.S. Capitol Building and Smithsonian museums (all free!), along with these seasonal attractions.

dcchristmas copy

The National Christmas Tree and the Pathway of Peace (Dec. 5 – Jan. 1)

With the White House as a backdrop, President’s Park hosts this seasonal attraction open to the public. The pathway around the National Christmas Tree features 56 more trees representing each U.S. state, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia. Musical performances by choirs, bands and dancers will be held nightly through most of December.

ZooLights at the National Zoo (Nov. 28 – Jan 1, except Dec. 24-25, 31)

More than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights transform the zoo into a festive wonderland from 5 to 9 p.m.  Live music performances and a new light show this year add to the ambience.  Most animal houses remain open for special animal keeper talks, too.

Downtown Holiday Market (Nov. 28 – Dec. 23)

This outdoor market filled with food, music and good cheer takes place in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery.  Browse for gifts amidst a rotating group of 150 regional artisans, crafters and boutique businesses.

Union Station (December)

The historic building (home to an upscale shopping mall and train station) decks the halls in December with holiday ambience inspired by Norway.  It addition to a giant Christmas tree, it will boast a Norwegian-inspired holiday market and a holiday model train display that winds through Norwegian towns and fjords.

Waterskiing Santa on the National Harbor; Photo credit: Waterski Santa Show ©

Waterskiing Santa on the National Harbor; Photo credit: Waterski Santa Show ©

Waterskiing Santa (Dec. 24)

Head down to National Harbor for this annual event.  Before taking to the skies in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, Santa skis the Potomac River alongside some special guests.

Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship (Dec. 26, 4-9 p.m.)

Nearby Frederick, Maryland, hosts this annual event celebrating religious diversity, asa dozen houses of worship welcome guests with choirs, nativity scenes and more.

New York City

Average hotel savings: 40%

Just walking around New York City is a festive feast for the eyes during the holiday season.  Consider these free attractions the start of an otherwise very, very, very long list.

Midtown Christmas © NYC & Company/Joe Buglewicz

Midtown Christmas © NYC & Company/Joe Buglewicz

Holiday windows (through winter)

Chanel your inner Holly Golightly for a stroll down iconic streets where store windows are a main holiday attraction.  On Madison Avenue, ogle the windows of Barneys New York before strolling over to 5th Avenue, where Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue windows dazzle passersby.  Finally, head down to 34th Street, where Santa awaits at the flagship Macy’s.

Holiday markets (various times, see website)

You may not find big bargains on Madison or 5th Avenues, but the pop-up holiday markets throughout New York City offer reasonably priced artisan gifts and food amidst decadent holiday ambience.  Favorites include Winter Village at Bryant Park and the Union Square Holiday Market, both of which also feature ice-skating.  To stay indoors, head to the Grand Central Holiday Fair.

Rockefeller Center (Dec. 3- Jan. 7 )

No visit to New York around the holidays is complete without a stop at Rockefeller Center, where the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and ice-skating just below it provide a great backdrop to hot-chocolate strolls and selfies.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights (December – early January)

To see some of the most over-the-top holiday light displays, head to Brooklyn.  Those in the Dyker Heights neighborhood attempt to “outdo” each other each year and the spectacle was most recently seen on TLC’s Crazy Christmas Lights.

Queens County Farm Museum Holiday Open House (Dec. 26, 27 & 28, 12-4p.m.)

Tour a decorated farm … in New York City!  With history dating back to 1697, Queens County Farm occupies New York City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland.  This free event also features kid-friendly craft activities and plenty of mulled cider.

Wollman Rink in Central Park © NYC & Company/Julienne Schaer

Wollman Rink in Central Park © NYC & Company/Julienne Schaer

Free Central Park tours (through winter)

Central Park transforms into a real-life winter wonderland, especially with a fresh blanket of snow.  Take advantage of free escorted tours to learn the stories and legends attached to America’s largest urban park.

TKTS

OK, this isn’t exactly free.  But – waiting in this line at either the Times Square, South Street Seaport or Downtown Brooklyn locations can save you 20 to 50 percent on same-day tickets for popular holiday-themed shows.

Boston

Average hotel savings: 40%

Holidays in Bean Town beckon with a colonial-inspired atmosphere authentic to this city steepedin American history.  While free attractions such as the Freedom Trail – a must-do walking tour that strings together 16 historic sites – and the Sam Adams Brewery tour are perennial favorites, these seasonal highlights below delight visitors and locals alike.

Ice skating on Frog Pond; Photo credit: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Ice skating on Frog Pond; Photo credit: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Candlelight Carols at Trinity Church (Dec. 13 at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.)

A Boston tradition since 1909, the popular musical performance is offered twice to the public free of charge.  (Donations are welcome.)  Doors open an hour prior to the performance for those anxious to snag a seat in this historic church located in Copely Square.

BLINK! A Light and Sound Extravaganza (Nov. 22 – Jan. 4)

The free show, which illuminates the Boston skyline to the songs of the Holiday Pops, takes at Faneuil Hall Marketplace a dozen times daily between 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.  The iconic open-air marketplace is also home to the largest Christmas tree in New England and live performances from Broadway shows, dance troupes and holiday carolers.

Downtown Crossing Holiday Market (Nov. 27 – Dec. 24)

The sixth-annual Downtown BostonHoliday Market returns to Summer Street Plaza after Thanksgiving for holiday shopping hoopla.  Situated across from Macy’s, the giant white tent will feature a new weekly collection of artisan vendors, gourmet food makers, artists and more.

Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair (Dec. 5-7, 12-14, 18-23)

Ivy League ambience adds collegiate charm to this holiday fair in Cambridge.  Browse unique gifts for you and loved ones before strolling Harvard’s campus.

Boston Common Frog Pond

Although taking a twirl on its iconic ice skating rink is not free, the holiday ambience at this winter favorite is spectacular.  Simply walking through the heart of Boston Common, the oldest U.S. park, especially after a light sprinkling of snow, can be magical.

San Francisco

Average Hotel savings: 30%

It might not be a white Christmas in the City by the Bay, but one of the most beloved holiday stories of all time takes place in San Francisco, The Nutcracker.  Although performances by the SF Ballet come with a price, here are some seasonal activities that don’t cost a dime.

San Francisco City Hall; Photo credit: Hugh Grew ©

San Francisco City Hall; Photo credit: Hugh Grew ©

Lighted Boat Parade (Dec. 12)

Experience the largest boat parade on San Francisco Bay by staking out a vantage point from Aquatic Park, PIER 39 or the Marina Green. More than 60 boats will be decked out with lights and holiday décor.

San Francisco Hotel Lobbies (December – early January)

Tour the grand hotels of Nob Hill and Union Square for opulent lobbies decked out for the holidays.  Favorites include the Westin St. Francis, The Palace and the Fairmont.

SantaCon 2014 (Dec. 13)

Dress up as Santa or one of his helpers to join this popular and often tongue-in-cheek pub-crawl through the city, where interesting interpretations ofpopular Christmas carols abound.

santacon2 copy

Santacon; Photo credit: Roy Asneeded

24th Annual Union Street Holiday Program (Dec. 6-31)

Holiday entertainment and merriment comes to Cow Hollow, one of San Francisco’s most beautiful historic neighborhoods.  The month-long celebration along Union Street comes with validated parking and store open houses complete with holiday refreshments. Join the group holiday caroling on Dec. 21.

SF Ballet’s Nutcracker under the Dome  (Nov. 20-Dec.31)

The iconic dome of the Westfield San Francisco Centre springs to life each night with an innovative 3D light show that includes digital performances by the San Francisco Ballet.  In addition to this show, enjoy live entertainment and performances throughout the holiday season.

Ice Skating (various, through mid-January)

Although none of the ice-skating venues in San Francisco are free, the holiday ambience swirling around them make them a must-visit during the winter season. Favorites include the Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center; the San Francisco Zoo’s “green” holiday skating rink made of recycled materials; and the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square.

24 HoliDAYS on 24th Street (Dec. 1-24)

Free holiday hayrides on Saturdays are just oneof the many free attractions at this month-long celebration in the charming Noe Valley neighborhood.  Carolers, activities for kids – even live reindeer – are among the other anticipated attractions along the festively decorated shopping street.

Tagged: California, City, Events, FREE!, Las Vegas, Off-season, Tips & advice

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Philadelphiahotels
Even with cheap flights and cheap hotels, your wallet could probably use a break this time of year. So here’s our second roundup of free holiday events to help you celebrate the season on the cheap.

BOSTON — From strolling with historic characters to performances of the Nutcracker, Boston has lots of events to celebrate the season. We’ve listed a few of the free ones below. You can see all the events online.

  • Sparklefest Holiday Parade: Santa and others parade from the Inn at Harvard down Massachusetts Avenue. Sunday, December 21, 12-1 p.m.
  • Skating rink at the Charles Hotel: Free skating and skate rentals during the grand opening Sunday, December 7, 12-8 p.m.
  • Tree lighting ceremony: Local and national performers and carolers join Santa for holiday entertainment and the lighting of Boston’s official non-denominational holiday shrub. December 4 at 6:30 p.m. Boston Common.

PHILADELPHIA — Light displays, children’s programs and events celebrating Chanukah and Kwanzaa are part of Philly’s holiday celebration. Learn more.

  • Holiday Light Show: 100,000 LED lights illuminate to create holiday images, accompanied by music from the Wanamaker Grand Organ. November 28-January 1 at Macy’s Center City.
  • Sharing the Heritage Holiday and Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration: If you bring an unwrapped gift to donate, you’ll get free admission to this event featuring discussions, films and performances about Kwanzaa. The African American Museum in Philadelphia. December 20
  • Holiday Railroad: More than a dozen model trains traverse snow-covered mountains and wind through miniature towns at this display at Reading Terminal Market. November 28-December 31.

DENVER — The Mile-High City has plenty of holiday happenings. See them all online.

  • City & County Building Holiday Lights: 600,000 lights illuminate the building and the bell tower plays carols. Nightly November 23 – January at 6 p.m.
  • Parade of Lights: Eight marching bands, giant balloons and brightly lit holiday floats wind through downtown Denver. December 5 at 8 p.m. and December 6 at 6 p.m.
  • Denver Christkindl Market: Vendors from Germany and throughout Europe offer traditional handcrafted items and food. At 16th Street Mall and Arapahoe Street through December 23. Note: It’s free to enter the market and browse, but if you want to shop, bring your wallet.

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: City, FREE!

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‘Tis the season for holiday travel. And while that may bring visions of flight delays and long security lines, don’t despair. CheapTickets wants to spread some holiday cheer. We’ve compiled a list of free holiday events in a selection of cities across the country, and we’re sharing them here in a two-part series. Consider it our holiday gift to you.

If you’ve got airline tickets and hotel reservations for one of these warm-weather destinations, you’ll have plenty of ways to celebrate:

Los angeles hotels
LOS ANGELES

  • The Light of the Angels: This seven-minute multimedia light display runs nightly December 4-31 at 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m. at NOKIA Plaza. A key feature of the program is a 37,500-pound tree with 11,000 lights.
  • Marina del Ray Holiday Boat Parade: A fireworks show kicks off the event just before 6 p.m.; then boats decorated with lights circle through the harbor. December 13.
  • DWP Light Festival: From Thanksgiving weekend to the end of December, this mile-long Crystal Springs Drive route in Griffith Park turns into L.A.’s most awesome display of holiday lighting. Open 5 -10 p.m.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego has a ready list of 25 free activities for holiday travelers to enjoy. Here are a few highlights:

  • Coronado Christmas Open House and Parade: Santa arrives by ferry, and a concert follows the parade.
  • Balboa Park: Free organ concerts with holiday music. Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. And don’t miss the "Whoville" decorations outside the Old Globe Theater in honor of the production "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
  • La Jolla Christmas Parade and Festival: December 7
  • Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights: Over 100 brightly lit boats parade along Mission Bay. December 13
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides: In Escondido. December 1, 8, 15, and 22; 5-9 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS

  • Cathedral Christmas Concerts: Local choirs perform holiday music in the historic St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Select evenings at 6 p.m. from December 1-22.
  • Cooking Demonstrations: Celebrated local chefs share their secrets for making delicious recipes. Select days at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. December 2-20.

FORT LAUDERDALE

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: City, FREE!

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cheap flights
If you’re still looking for cheap flights for the holidays, here’s good news: CheapTickets and American Airlines are teaming up to offer cheap fares this December.

Round-trip fares start at $105 plus tax. Maybe you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Cheap flights from Orlando to New York start at $185. Or visit your relatives in Florida. CheapTickets and American have cheap fares starting at $205 for flights from New York to Miami.

Holiday travel doesn’t have to cost a lot. With these cheap flights, you’ll have plenty of money left for gifts! Fares are goodfor travel through January 5, 2009, but you must book your tickets at least 14 days in advance.

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: Flights, FREE!, Limited-time Offers

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Cheap cruises
The holiday travel season is here, and CheapTickets has great deals for people who want to celebrate at sea.

Cheap cruises offer an easy and affordable way to combine holiday celebrations with vacation, and there are plenty of sailings over Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah. Here is a sample:

  • Seven-night Eastern Caribbean: Cruise to St. Maarten and St. Thomas aboard the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas. Enjoy three pools, a rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink and plenty of other activities. Cruise leaves November 23, and prices start at $499.
  • Four-night Bahamas: Sail to Nassau and a private Bahamas island aboard the Monarch of the Seas. Let the teens hang out in the ship’s special teen loungewhile you lounge at the spa. Rooms start at $389 for this November 24 sailing.
  • Ten-night Southern Caribbean: Leave the cold behind when you visit St. Lucia, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands and more. You’ll celebrate the holidays in style with four restaurants and a Champagne and Caviar Bar. The Celebrity Galaxy leaves December 19, and prices start at $649.

Four-night Thanksgiving cruises start at just $229, and four-night December cruises start at $319. With cheap cruises from CheapTickets, your holiday travel can be easy and affordable.

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: Cruise, FREE!, International

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cheap tickets
By Kate Schwartz

Getting the family together has never been more affordable this holiday season. CheapTickets has teamed up with several major airlines to offer cheap flights to destinations across the country and around the world. Whether your holiday travel plans take you to San Francisco or St. Louis, CheapTickets can help you get there for less. Check out these travel deals on airline tickets:

United Airlines wants to bring you home for the holidays. With cheap flights to U.S. destinations starting at $105 round trip, and flights to Canada, United Airlines makes it easy to celebrate with family and friends this holiday season.

Northwest Airlines is slashing prices on all domestic flights. Book by November 26, 2008, to take advantage of round-trip flights from the low $100s.

AirTran Airways is offering cheap prices on domestic airline tickets when you book by November 11, 2008. With no charge for checked baggage, and round-trip flights as low as $105, AirTran Airways and CheapTickets are making holiday travel affordable.

Wherever you travel this holiday season, CheapTickets wants to make sure you get there for less. Check out these sales for cheap flights to hundreds of locations.

CheapTickets resources:

Kate Schwartz is a marketing coordinator for CheapTickets. When
she’s not searching for the best travel deals, she’s out taking
advantage of them!  From hiking the Rockies to lounging on the beaches
of Barcelona, Kate is always looking for adventure.

Tagged: Flights, FREE!

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By Heather Leisman

Finding cheap flights and cheap hotels for holiday travel is possible, if you know where to look. And as always, CheapTickets is here to help.

I’ve got a few simple tips to help you find great travel deals for your holiday vacation. If you can plan ahead and be a bit flexible, you can celebrate the holidays on the cheap.

Check out my video for tips on how to get travel deals on flights and hotels this season.

CheapTickets resources:

Heather Leisman is senior director of merchandising for CheapTickets.

Tagged: Flights, Tips & advice, Vacation packages

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The holiday travel season is fast approaching, and if you’re planning to head out of town for Thanksgiving or take a Christmas vacation, take note: CheapTickets has identified the top 10 holiday travel destinations for 2008.

The list includes a mix of big cities and beach vacation destinations, with Florida and Mexico cities grabbing the most spots. According to CheapTickets’ data, Las Vegas hotels are the most popular for holiday travel, while travelers also have booked plenty of rooms in New York hotels and Cancun hotels.

Travel deal alert: Average rates are less than $100 at Las Vegas hotels, Orlando hotels and Fort Lauderdale hotels.

Check out these popular travel spots and average daily hotel rates.

CheapTickets’ 10 Most Popular Holiday Getaways
1. Las Vegas / $97.74 6. Riviera Maya, Mexico / $284.21
2. New York City / $273.95 7. Miami, Fla. / $134.49
3. Cancun, Mexico / $194.62 8. Chicago, Ill. / $135.52
4. Orlando, Fla. / $83.80 9. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / $87.02
5. Oahu, Hi. / $151.08 10. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico / $155.18

The data is based on the average price for all hotel bookings on CheapTickets compared to the listed destinations for arrivals November 24 – December 31, 2008.

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: City, International, Tips & advice