1. These days, it seems like finding a cheap flight is as rare as getting bumped to first class. We jumped after hearing about Spirit Airlines’ $9 Fare Club
(yep, $9 – not a typo!) For an annual fee of $39.95, you’ll get hotel and rental car discounts and e-mail notifications about member-only fare sales. The site claims you can find flights as low as $0.01, and we’ve heard rumors of a $13 ticket from New York City to Ft. Lauderdale. Worried the deal won’t apply to your group outing with the girls? Everyone in your party is privy to the rate, as long as the member is doing the booking.
2. Cruises are cheaper now than ever. CheapTickets
has cruise listings from Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Disney Cruise Lines. Searching is easy: enter your desired departure date, trip length and what area you’d like to find yourself relaxing in. Traditional Mexican and Caribbean routes are listed alongside Alaskan, European and South Pacific trips. A quick click showed us a 4-day Bahamas cruise at $199 for an interior cabin.
3. Take a break from hotels and book your next vacation at a privately owned home
. You can often stay longer for less and enjoy a sense of privacy, not to mention a full kitchen, DVD-stocked living room and beer left over from the last vacationing family! It’s a bargain because private owners are more willing to make deals than a corporate hotel. Find spaces you’re interested in and contact the realtor or owner. Pit different options against each other (don’t be afraid to mention a competing location you’ve been in touch with or to ask about throwing in a few extra days.)