Fall Comes with Travel Bargains

As the summer crowds make their way home, there are a slew of travel deals for Fall vacationers who take the time to track them down.

If you decided not to take a vacation this summer, your budget may thank you. As the summer crowds make their way home, there are a slew of travel deals for Fall vacationers who take the time to track them down. Hotels and resorts, already reeling from a drop in business travel, took a second hit with a lackluster vacation season, and now are rolling out red-carpet perks to fill up empty rooms. Air travel bargains are harder to come by, but some airlines are offering low fares to select destinations.

Hotels are offering deals like free nights, extra reward points, vouchers for food and drink, and free or discounted access to hotel amenities like spas, as well as local attractions. Travel experts advise asking for the best deal; hotels that want to keep travelers coming back are getting more flexible with rates and perks. Although airlines are somewhat stingier, there are many bargains to be found on both domestic and international flights. For a complete rundown of travel deals on planes, train, lodging, and rental cars, Web sites like IndependentTraveler.com can be a big help.

On the other hand, if the thought of lugging baggage through airports and standing for hours on long security-check lines doesn’t appeal to you, you might try a vacation closer to home. Take the cash you save on airfare and a rental car and use it to splurge on nearby venues — a luxury suite at a local hotel, a restful stay at a bed and breakfast inn, or dinners at upscale restaurants, for example. Surf the Internet or ask your state or local tourist office for attractions within a reasonable radius of your hometown and you may be surprised at what you find.