With a sagging economy, gas prices at their lowest levels in four years, and softening hotel rates, 2009 will be “the year of travel deals,” predicts Genevieve Shaw Brown, senior editor of Travelocity. “As long as the economic slowdown continues, deals will abound for people who do have discretionary income to travel.”
Pauline Frommer, the guidebook writer, agreed. “Because of the sharp drop off in bookings, we’re seeing some pretty deep discounts to just about everywhere,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be a buyers’ market next year.”
Even our national parks are beginning to promote some aggressive offers to woo your entertainment and travel dollars.
Below are a few examples of some of the offers that you can take advantage of right now if you’re thinking about getting away for a little R & R in a spectacular setting.
Shenandoah National Park
Close to home, Shenandoah National Park is offering an "Early Bird Special" rate of $104 for a room for two at either the Skyland Resort or the Big Meadows Lodge. Book a stay at one of the park's lodges for a visit between April 12th and June 25th and you'll save roughly 33% off normal lodging cost. The offer is only good for visits on Mondays through Thursdays.
The package, which includes breakfast, taxes, utility surcharge and meal gratuities, is good at the Skyland Resort from April 12th through June 25th. At Big Meadows, the same deal runs May 25th through June 25th. To take advantage of these savings you must book the deal online. Please click here for more information.
Glacier National Park
Glacier Park, Inc., the concessionaire that runs the historic lodges in Glacier and adjacent Waterton Lakes National Park, have an excellent offer for people wishing to visit the park in June.
The company is offering a 20 percent discount for two-night stays. A 30% discount for three-night stays, and a four-night stay is discounted 40 percent, according to GLI.
The deals are good only for June visits and only when booked through the company's central reservations office at 406-892-2525. This offer is not valid when reservations are made online. The promotion code is E-CLUB.
Olympic National Park
Through the end of February you can land a room in Olympic National Park with a 50 percent discount on your second night. The deal is being offered at Kalaloch Lodge, which is inside the park's southwestern corner, and Lake Quinault Lodge, which is just outside of the southern border.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is offering limited time only spot deals on very specific dates at the world famous 4-diamond Ahwahnee Lodge, as well as in some of the other park accommodations. Click here for more information.
Death Valley National Park
Finally, Death Valley National Park is offering discounts for people over the age of 60 at the Furnace Creek Inn and the Furnace Creek Ranch.
For a one-night stay, any day of the week, seniors receive a 10 percent discount off the normal rate at both the locations. For two-night stays, the discount increases to 20 percent for the room for both nights, and three or more nights will result in a 30 percent discount off the normal room price.
You can take advantage of these discounts by clicking here or you can call 1-800-236-7916.
If you’re planning a vacation to one of the other national parks, or any state park for that matter, make sure to call and check park web sites to find similar deals throughout the year.
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