Dear Deal Detective:
My wife and I are on a real TIGHT budget. The snow and cold are wearing us all thin, and we need to take our two beautiful girls away somewhere warm. Any good suggestions?
—Cold & Snowy in Chicago
The world is your oyster! Rather than pick out a few specific itineraries and prices for you, I decided to sift through the many sales and percentage-off promotions I've been seeing lately and highlight the best ones. This ought to give you plenty of ideas to choose from.
United Vacations just recently announced a big sale that offers up to 35 percent off its normal prices for select destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii, among others. You need to book an airfare-and-hotel package by March 31 and travel by December 13 to take advantage of the offer.
Spirit Vacations has a variety of Mexico, Caribbean, and Florida deals worth checking out as well, many with additional "kids stay free" savings.
Become a Deal Detective
Unfortunately I don't have time to answer every question that arrives here at the Deal Detective Den ("Bat Cave" is already taken, apparently). I do enjoy seeing my readers help each other out, though. Send me your best suggestions for the reader question below and I'll publish the most helpful ones in an upcoming column.
"In November 2008, my wife and I will be celebrating our five-year wedding anniversary. If it was only the two of us we'd have no problem picking a destination. However, at that time we will also have a two-year-old and would love to take her with us ... But where? At first we were thinking Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. We love the mountains and neither of us has been to those destinations. But with a two-year-old? How will that work? Then we thought of a beach or warm weather? But where? We don't need something fancy or extravagant ... just nice quality time with our small family. So that is why I come to SmarterTravel to pick your brains ... and to hear your suggestions. We're listening." —Michael P.
All right, Deal Detectives, get to work! Fame and fortune (well, fame anyway) is just an email away. Note that I'll print your full name unless you ask me not to. Aliases and codenames are always welcome. And of course I'll never share your email address with anyone.
Have a question of your own? Please email me your request. Be aware that due to the volume of requests I receive, I cannot personally respond to every email. The more compelling your question, the better the chance you'll be selected for an upcoming case.
All prices, dates, and booking details listed here were valid at the time of publication. Some information may have changed since that time.