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Beach: Couple Lounging (Photo: Shutterstock/haveseen)

Disney World, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, Europe: These are just a few of the destinations where you'll find deep discounts in 2015. We've rounded up the top vacation deals to some of the world's most popular destinations to help you get started on planning your next trip.

Cancun: All-Inclusive Resort and Airfare from $163/Night

Four-night stays at the four-star all-inclusive Krystal Grand Punta Cancun start at $649 per person, based on double occupancy. That includes airfare from Chicago or Orlando (other cities are available at differing rates), hotel stays, and taxes and fees, plus all amenities that come included as part of your all-inclusive stay, such as meals, beverages, activities, and gratuities. Expedia hasn't listed a booking deadline, so this rate could fluctuate at any time.

Search more low prices on Cancun packages here!

 

Sleep in Ireland's Castles: 5-Night Stay, Airfare, and Car Rental for Less Than $200/Night

The Emerald Isle and all its royal treatment awaits! The Ireland Castles Vacation package from Great Value Vacations starts at $999 for a five-night stay in four different castles, plus round-trip airfare (including taxes and fees) and car rental. Prices are per person, based on double occupancy.

Seven-night vacations, including stays at five different castles, are available for an extra $175 per person. Additional options include daily breakfast, spa treatments, and more for $99 extra. Packages must be booked by January 30.

Search more low prices on Ireland packages here!

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: Airfare and Hotel for Less Than $200/Night

Enjoy a stay at Disney's four-star Animal Kingdom Lodge for less than $200 per night between February 22 and June 15, when you book with JetBlue Vacations by February 16. Another perk? The Animal Kingdom Lodge's Magical Express service will pick up your luggage from baggage claim and transport it to your hotel room while you're whisked away from Orlando International Airport on a luxury motor coach! The four-day, three-night package of $585, including accommodations and nonstop airfare to/from New York's JFK Airport, is based on double occupancy and billed per person. Many more departure cities and hotel options are available. ... read more»

Our passion is travel, but let's be honest: Who really likes the actual act of traveling, especially when it involves flying? You have to show up well before your flight time, just in case the security lines are long. You have to take off your shoes, dig your liquids out of your bag, unearth your laptop from its case, and "assume the position" inside a body scanner. If you've gone overseas, you may lose hours of precious time waiting in line to be interrogated by a customs agent upon your return home. But what if we told you there was an incredibly simple way to avoid all of that? ... read more»

(Photo: Acoustic Sheep)

What is it: SleepPhones, a soft headband with thin built-in earphones

Price and Where to Buy: $40 to $100 (model dependent) on Sleepphones.com or Amazon. Reviewed model is the $40 SleepPhones Classic.

While these headphones are marketed to people looking to sleep in a bed while comfortably wearing headphones, we tested the SleepPhones as an inflight way of blocking sound and listening to music while sleeping using travel pillows or the built-in airplane seat headrest.

Pros: The enveloping headphones deliver reasonably good sound without ear-poking discomfort. They allow you to comfortably lean on a pillow while listening for an extended period of time, and create a light sound barrier that facilitates inflight sleep. It doubles as a sleep mask, and there's a free app you can download with soothing sounds, white noise, or piano music. They're also useful if you want to dull ambient sounds or like to fall asleep listening to music at hotels. ... read more»

Tech: Woman at Laptop - DD (Photo: Shutterstock)

Industry insider George Hobica debunks 14 widespread myths and provides a few true tricks to booking the cheapest airfares.

There's a 'Magic' Hour to Find the Best Prices

This is the biggest myth of all. Airfares can change minute-by-minute and day-by-day, as can seat inventory at the lowest fares. This is especially true now that consumers can put non-refundable fares on hold for 24 hours with no-penalty cancellation. If someone buys the cheapest seat on the plane at 11 a.m. on a Thursday and cancels at 10 a.m. on Friday, that seat goes back into inventory and can be yours if you happen to be searching at 10:10 a.m. The trick to finding low airfares is to sign up for free airfare alerts and to search several times a day.

Fares Are Lowest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

While it's true that if you fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday you'll get the lowest fares, it's false that you can only buy on those days to get the best deals. ... read more»

Can you match the IATA code to the airport? Test your knowledge in this quiz (no Googling allowed!) and be sure to share the results on Facebook and Twitter.

 

... read more»

Uber Driver and Passenger (Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Uber has been generally well received by travelers, who appreciate the service's on-call availability and generally competitive pricing.

But the shared-car service has also generated more than its fair share of controversy and scrutiny for its business practices, including its so-called surge pricing (exorbitant price increases during peak demand periods), questionable business ethics, and lack of screening of drivers' backgrounds for safety and criminal flags.

There are many Uber stories, some of them dark, some amusing, others cautionary. The latest incorporates elements of all three. ... read more»

I received an email from Turkish Airlines advertising a "$1*" companion ticket (note the asterisk) with purchase of a ticket to select European destinations this winter. You won't find this offer on the Turkish website. This is a limited-time deal available over the phone or via ticket sales points like airport offices. Resisting the urge to immediately drop everything and book a trip for two to Amsterdam, I took a closer look.

As expected, the asterisk next to the dollar amount in the email references fine print that says, "Companion ticket subject to government imposed taxes/fees and airline-imposed fuel/security surcharges and fees." Those fees comprise the bulk of Turkish fares, and therein lies the rub. A roundtrip flight from Boston to Paris in February, for example, costs $632. Here's the fare breakdown for that trip: The base ticket price comes to $129, and additional the taxes, fees, and carrier charges amount to $503. Accordingly, a $1 companion flight plus taxes and fees for the same route would cost $504. ... read more»

Passengers waiting to board a plane (Photo: Index Open)

Now playing on Facebook: the first in what apparently will be a series of videos depicting rude inflight behavior, produced by JetBlue. In conjunction with the #FlightEtiquette hashtag introduced on Twitter, JetBlue is calling out the kind of misbehavior that makes the travel experience even worse than it might otherwise be.

The first video, subtitled "How Not to Take a Nap," stars a bearded male falling asleep and then proceeding to flop into the lap of the woman in the adjacent seat. It gets more cringe-worthy from there. There's no dialogue, just a music backtrack. And the video stops short of condemning the rude sleeper, or suggesting what his seatmate's appropriate response would be. It's designed to show, not to tell. ... read more»

Woman: Anxious, Looking at Laptop (Photo: Shutterstock/O Driscoll Imaging)

In 2014, there were 21 fatal commercial airline accidents, resulting in 986 deaths. Although those are sobering numbers, the long-term trend in airline safety is positive. Those 2014 numbers were, statistically, well above the 10-year average for fatalities.

Nevertheless, last year's tragedies—including the two Malaysia Airlines incidents and the more recent AirAsia crash—have left many fliers rattled.

Realistically, most travelers don't have the luxury of factoring into their travel planning the relative safety profiles of various airlines, even if such information were readily available. But for those who are so inclined and willing to look beyond the airlines' own websites, or just curious about which airlines are deemed the safest, there is at least one source. AirlineRatings.com bills itself as "the world's only safety and product rating website," and it has just published its list of the world's 10 safest airlines for 2015. ... read more»

(Photo: Salt Lake City Department of Airports, Photographer Michael Schoenfeld)

If you're leaving from Salt Lake City, you're in luck: The airport is the most reliable in America when it comes to on-time performance. 

Official Airline Guide (OAG), an aviation-data tracking service, just released its 2014 on-time performance statistics for U.S. and international airports as well as domestic and international airlines.

Airports

How did U.S. airports fare? SLC is the highest-ranking, with an 88.2 percent on-time rating. According to OAG, this means that 88.2 percent of flights arriving to or departing from SLC were within 15 minutes of their scheduled times. Following close behind is Sea-Tac, with Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul tied for fourth.

... read more»

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