Summer travel deals

By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Wish you could take your family on a summer vacation, but worried about spending money in this economy? You can actually find travel bargains this summer for a lot less than you'd expect. We went to the experts at AAA Travel to find the desirable destinations that won't break the bank.

Travelers usually book trips months or a year ahead of time. But now they're booking in the last few weeks and saving big money.

"I think people are just wanting to be sure of their job security. They just want to be more certain of what's out there, what's available, maybe they can get a better deal if they wait," explained AAA travel agent Stephanie Goff.

Goff says about 50% more customers are buying travel insurance, too, in case the trip has be canceled.

So where are the bargains? They're cruising out at sea.

"Cruising is a great deal. You can cruise to Europe right now. I just saw a seven night European cruise, $799 plus tax.... There are shorter cruises closer to home, 3 to 4 nights, starting at $350," said Goff.

Goff says your odds for saving money in Vegas are pretty high. "Vegas is a good deal. I just checked a package for somebody, flight and hotel, four nights, $450."

And low cost destinations include the Caribbean and resorts.

"Sandals is at 65% off now. They're having some phenomenal deals. Some of their promotions are offering free nights," said Goff.

Goff suggests looking for all-inclusive packages. You'll save hundreds on food. And for families wanting to drive to a cheap destination, she says Disney is making deals. "Sometimes you can stay on-site for cheaper than off-site. There's added incentives to staying on-site. You have use of their transportation."

Websites, like,, and all offer bargains, particularly on luxury hotels and resorts. And has 99-hour sales for subscribers on vacations to the Caribbean and Mexico.

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