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More Ways To Save
by Rudy Maxa for Marketplace

Now that we have Memorial Day weekend out of the way, it's time to get serious: Where will you be taking your REAL vacation this summer? We asked our Savvy Traveler, Rudy Maxa, to give us some well-priced choices.

If you've shopped airline fares to Europe recently, you may be suffering sticker shock. It's not unusual to find four-figure prices for round-trip, advance-purchase tickets to destinations such as Nice and Rome. Those $300 and $400 round trips you heard about for so long after Sept. 11th -- well, they're history.

But before you jack up the credit limit on your plastic, consider some alternatives. If a major European city interests you, look into a hotel-airline package -- you may pay less than you'd pay for retail airfare alone. A company called France Vacations, for example, will give you five hotel nights in Paris, plus airfare, from the East Coast for about $900, including taxes. Add $200 for travel after June 14th.

If Asia is on your mind, both Cathay Pacific and Malaysian Airlines offer very attractively priced Asian passes that allow you to visit more than one destination for a single price. Cathay's "All-Asia Pass" is $1,300, before taxes. That includes your flight to and from Asia, as well as three weeks of pretty much unlimited travel within Asia. The price drops to $999 in mid-August. Malaysian Airlines' "Access Asia" pass is even cheaper.

There are bargains in the U.S., too, even in pricey New York City. The famous Barbizon Hotel, totally renovated and renamed "The Melrose," has room rates as low as $195 a night until Labor Day. The Embassy Suites, across from Ground Zero just reopened with $135 a night rates. Weekend rates at the nearby, new Ritz-Carlton at Battery Park start at $249.

Families with children should keep in mind that at 16 Hyatt resorts in the U.S. and Caribbean, kids stay, play and eat free through the last day of August. And here's my favorite part: a second room is available at half off the regular rate. Depending on how long you stay, you may get a free room night, as well. Check with each resort for details.

Now, how can you find deals like these? Well, you can Almost always by scouring Web sites. Click on almost any airline site right now, and you'll find special offers. There's discounted weekend travel and, perhaps, promotional fares for new routes. And don't just confine your search to U.S. airlines. I went on Lufthansa's Web site Monday and found that I could book some great fares for flights to Europe in June, if I acted by Friday. Sample prices: Washington-Brussels, $562 round trip before taxes; New York-Paris, $490.

Hotel company Web sites have deals, too. I clicked on Best Western.com and found if I stayed at Best Westerns in Minnesota, I'd get a $25 check for every 5 nights I stayed. Who knew?

What's the absolute best bargain for travel this summer? That's easy -- Canada. From Nova Scotia to British Columbia, the U.S. dollar goes very far. This summer, you should, too.

From The Savvy Traveler, I'm Rudy Maxa for Marketplace.

To Read More of The Savvy Traveler On Marketplace


Six-days in Paris plus airfare from the East Coast for $900: http://www.francevacations.com or 800-332-5332

Cathay Pacific "All-Asia Pass": http://www.cathay-usa.com/offers/AAP2001/Offer.asp

Malaysian Airlines "Access Asia Pass": http://www.malaysiaairlines.com/access_asia.html

New York hotel deals: The Melrose, 800-223-1020; Embassy Suites in New York City, 800-EMBASSY; Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park, 800-241-333.

Hyatt resorts-deals for kids, second rooms for half off: 800-55-HYATT or http://www.hyatt.com

Lufthansa web specials: http://cms.lufthansa.com/us/fly/en/spc/0,5070,0-0-63316,00.html

Best Western special offers: http://www.bestwestern.com/specialoffers/index.asp

You can read - and hear - more from Rudy and company at SavvyTraveler.org!

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