Feed your inner foodie. Sample the “Culinary Delights” package at Eddington House Inn, in North Bennington, Vt. Starting at $239 per couple, you get a one-night stay, a five-course dinner with wine pairings, unlimited desserts and a full breakfast. Or at Napa Valley’s Meritage Resort and Spa (where Top Chef contestants competed in season six), get the “Top Guest Experience” -- two nights in a deluxe room for two, wine and full breakfast. The deal ends August 31; weekends in late August cost $586, or $433 midweek.
Indulge in a spa weekend. The Hotel Raito on Italy’s Amalfi Coast offers a “short break” package for two. Starting at $234 a night, it includes a stay in a standard double room, breakfast, welcome cocktails and dinner, plus a 10% discount on all spa treatments. Stay four nights and your total comes to $1,367. Reserve by September 25; travel by October 31.
Sail away on a Hawaiian cruise. Book early for a big discount on Carnival’s Spirit ship. For a 12-day trip next April from Ensenada, Mexico, to Honolulu with stops throughout Hawaii, the regular rate for an inside cabin is $1,049 a person. But with the “early saver” program you can lock in a $799-per-person rate by booking five months ahead.
Take the kids to Costa Rica. With the “Family Jungle Adventure” package at the Lost Iguana Resort, two adults and two children 14 and under get six nights in two rooms, plus meals and a guided volcano or nature hike. The package also includes baby-sitting. Cost (before November 15): less than $2,250. Book by October 31.
Greece's financial meltdown takes the headlines, but Ireland is suffering from its own credit woes. With the Celtic Tiger hobbled, its tourism industry is cutting prices. That includes one of Ireland's premier attractions: golf.
Golf packages are going for substantial discounts. Just a couple of years ago, a six-night golfing trip to southwest Ireland -- including four famous links courses and five-star accommodations -- ran $3,150. That same trip costs $2,500 now, says Niall Leogue, owner of Caddie Tours, a travel agency specializing in golf trips. That price doesn't include airfare, but it does include full Irish breakfasts.
Pennant Race Tickets
You'll likely spend big bucks to score a ticket for this fall's Major League playoffs and World Series. But you can get great deals on regular-season games in September that could help determine the post-season lineup.
Consider the September 23 contest between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, two teams in the thick of the National League West race. At www.dodgers.com, two field-box seats in row O of section 44, in foul territory along the right-field line, go for $111 (including service charges and postage). At StubHub.com, a ticket reseller, we spotted two field-box tickets in row N of section 46, just one section farther out, for a total of $41.95, including the service fee and electronic delivery.