Popularity of ‘staycations’ grows As the economy continues to go south, ‘staycations’ continue to grow in popularity, and there are great deals to be had. Cruises, hotels and tours are offering discounted rates to encourage the traveling public to leave home. Many deals are available with air. Business travel is down, too. As a result, hotel occupancy rates are rock bottom. According to a recent Associated Press report, hotels are running about half-full these days. A quick search of the popular Internet sites such as Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity reveal unbeatable sales on hotel rooms, cruises and tour packages. Cruise lines are offering rates as low as $47 per person/per night for a four-day cruise. Others are offering low rates and coupon booklets for on-board spending worth between $200 and $600. Hotels are a offering a free night’s stay if a number of days are booked at the “rack rate.” Hotels and airlines many times remain anonymous until after purchase because they are continuing to sell at their posted rates and only dump inventory at the last minute. Currently, Walt Disney Company is offering a ‘buy four, get three free’ stay in the Disney World resorts. For the regular price of a four-day package and four days of park tickets, three additional days of hotel and three additional days of park tickets are free. There are deals everywhere, but it is a buyer-beware market. Carefully study all the Internet sites before concluding a deal on a cruise, flight or hotel.

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