In Miami with my 3-month-old daughter(Courtesy Nina Willdorf)
So sure, it's a bit redundant for us to devote a whole issue to deals. After all, we're Budget Travel; it's what we do all the time. Normally, we try not to beat you over the head with how affordable everything in our pages is. Because really, how much fun is there in that?
But things have changed recently. Affordable experiences have gotten seriously fun, and we have new work to do—celebrating the riches, decoding the challenges, and delighting in new discoveries. Ridiculous deals are making destinations accessible in thrilling new ways. A five-star suite in Vegas for $90? We couldn't make that up. Inventive travelers are discovering creative solutions to navigate the new economy and are vacationing for free—or practically nothing. Who would have thought layaway and bartering would enter the hotel world? Again, impossible to lie about that one.
Crazy ideas like these are fun to talk up at a party, but are we all actually out there traveling? Well, yes! My husband and I took our 3-month-old daughter, Mimi, to Miami for our first-ever family vacation. I found a cheap flight down on Delta from New York ($200 apiece) and took great pleasure in seeing Miami (one of our "Cities on Sale") in full swing. There were free-spending South Americans (bless them!); girlfriend getaways about to come undone; and families just like us, trying to find moments of calm in this crazy stressful storm. Did we find the best deals from start to finish? I wish I could say we had. Did we have an amazing time? No doubt. If I'd had access then to our best-ever Real Deals section (all 30 deals are exclusives for BT readers), perhaps we would have lived even larger. But I'm going to keep that section in my pocket for our next vacation. I don't know about you, but I could already use another one right about now.