Travel

5 Spring Travel Destinations on Sale

You'll find discounted rates on hotels in these locations.

If you’re contemplating a family trip for spring break or you’re just eager to get away, there are several destinations that are great deals now because hotel prices in these cities have fallen significantly. The experts at discount travel site Hotwire helped us pinpoint the top five cities where hotel prices have dropped the most since this time last year. If you can find good fares on flights, head to these destinations to get more bang for your buck. Check Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, which are having a sale on flights if you book by March 13 for travel through June 7.

The price drops listed below are based on Hotwire rates. Actual hotel prices may vary depending on your dates of travel. You can benefit from hotel price drops in these cities by booking with almost any travel site or directly through hotel sites, but you may find better deals on Hotwire if you're not picky about the hotel where you stay. That's because Hotwire offers deeply discounted rates on some hotel rooms but doesn't disclose the name of the hotel until after you book. However, it does provide a star rating for the discounted hotels and examples of hotels that fall within that rating tier so you have a general idea of where you're booking.

Istanbul -- prices down 30%. The economic situation in Europe has taken a toll on leisure travel in the region over the past few years, with some destinations feeling the impact more than others, according to Hotwire. Istanbul is among those feeling the pinch the most. As a result, hotels in Turkey's largest city are offering great deals to entice travelers. You can find a room in an upscale hotel for $107 a night in Turkey’s largest city for travel March 24 through 29.

Vancouver, Canada -- prices down 19%. To meet demand during the 2010 Olympic games, the city added many new rooms. Once the games ended, the city was left with plenty of beds to fill, so hotels began dropping rates. During March and April, the discounts grow even bigger because it's shoulder season and demand is weaker than during peak tourist seasons, according to Hotwire. As a result, you can get a room in a high-end hotel in the Coal Harbour area of downtown Vancouver for $90 a night for travel March 24 through 29.

Oahu, Hawaii -- prices down 16%. It's hard to believe that Hawaii has an off-season, but it happens to be now. Hotels are competing more this year than last to fill rooms, so there are plenty of discounts, according to Hotwire. You can book a room in an upscale hotel in the Waikiki Beach area of Oahu for $179 a night for travel March 24 through 29.

Chicago -- prices down 10%. The Windy City has had fewer business and group travelers this year, so you can find incredible deals now, according to Hotwire. You can get a room in an upscale hotel in the Magnificent Mile area of Chicago for $61 a night for travel March 25 through 29.

New York -- prices down 9%. Due to a harsh winter, New York has seen a decline in tourism, according to Hotwire. So to spur demand, hotels have been dropping prices. But Hotwire doesn't expect the deals to last long. For $154 a night, you can stay at a 4-star hotel in Times Square for March 24 through 29.

Money-saving tips

If the destinations with hotel deals above don’t appeal to you, here are several strategies to help you save money on spring travel.

Opt for off-the-beaten-path destinations. Consider U.S. and international cities that offer plenty of attractions but are cheaper because they aren’t among the most-popular destinations. For example, Hotwire just released its list of the top ten U.S. destinations for value vacations. Prices on flights, accommodations and car rentals in these cities are low, and entertainment options are affordable. Cities on the list include Atlanta, Dallas and Nashville, Tenn.

Know the travel patterns of your desired location. Weekends tend to be the busiest time for hotels in leisure destinations that don’t see many business travelers, according to the experts at Hotwire. So you’ll find lower rates during the week in these spots. The opposite is true for major cities such as New York and Chicago, when rates dip on the weekends as business travelers and conventions clear out of hotels.

Consider vacation rentals. If you’re traveling with a large group, you’ll likely save money by renting an apartment, condo or house rather than booking several hotel rooms, says Mattias Larsson, founder of DefinitiveDeals.com and an extensive traveler. Plus, you’ll have access to a kitchen, which will help you save money on meals. Check sites such as HomeAway.com and VRBO.com for vacation rentals. If you’re traveling to a destination during its off-peak season, call or e-mail the rental owner directly to see if you can negotiate a lower price than the one listed. You might even be able to score a place for free or next to nothing if you participate in a house swap (see 9 Amazing House Swaps).

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