Escape winter with these Caribbean deals
This is the time of year we always get a little tired of the winter grind, and the snowstorms across the country this past week sure don’t help. A nice Caribbean escape could sure come in handy right about now. Here, three of our favorite "ultimate islands" that won’t break the bank.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA is inviting Americans to discover this elegant, beautiful pair of islands with (no kidding) 365 beaches -- yes, you could literally stay all year and never visit the same beach twice. The Verandah Resort & Spa is a high-end luxury property but the good news is... Expedia is offering a great all-inclusive deal: $462 for a room that sleeps four -- that’s just a little more than $100 per person per day for lodging, meals, beverages, and non-motorized water sports included.
CURACAO may be the most colorful island in the world, with its mix of gorgeous beaches and bright Dutch-colonial buildings. Snorkelers love its coral and underwater caves (not as scary as they sound). JetBlue has vacation packages that include airfare and four nights’ lodging from $459.
PUERTO RICO is a world away from home, but it’s part of the U.S. (no passport required!) and a short flight from the East Coast. Stroll the old-world streets of Old San Juan, kayak in tropical waters, taste local fare like arepas and spicy Asian-fusion dishes. We love Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa for its secluded beach, acres of tropical gardens, and diving opportunities, from $145 per night.
Deal of the day: Your NYC vacation at a price beyond compare
This is not a typo: you can stay in the heart of New York City for $229 per night Thursdays through Sundays this winter. That's a savings of over 50% off standard rates. We're not kidding. In fact, to make things even more unreal, the rates on select dates are as little as $189. The Westin New York at Times Square is going all out and offering luxury and convenience at an unprecedented price. And we mean Convenience with a capital "c." The Theater District, shopping galore, and subway lines that get you nearly anywhere in the five boroughs are all within a short walk from the hotel's front door. This Deal, which gets you a standard room, also includes a breakfast offering you gotta see to believe: start your day with a full breakfast for two for $1 at Foundry Kitchen and Bar, a welcoming spot adorned with all the fixings of a country kitchen. It's regularly $65 for you and a companion. We're not mathematicians here at Budget Travel, but it looks like that works out to nearly 100% savings. The hotel boasts a state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center. It's true: like the city outside, it never sleeps. And the Westin hotels recently instituted a Gear Lending program, which offers New Balance workout clothes delivered right to your room for $5. So there you have it: Food, fitness, and a room smack in the middle of one of the greatest cities on Earth, at a price that leaves you plenty of coin to explore. For more information and to book, click here.
What's the Coolest Small Town in America 2017?
What makes a small town cool? We’ve all been there. You’re walking down a vibrant Main Street in a small American town you’ve never visited before. The people are especially open, especially proud. The storefronts beckon, one after another, with unique art, food, clothing. Maybe you even discover that the town happens to be the birthplace of a figure from history or the arts that you especially admire. The view from Main Street of, say, distant mountains, or a bustling wharf, or a perfect park, inspires you to post a picture on Instagram. Congrats. You’ve just discovered one of the Coolest Small Towns in America. Tell us about a cool small town Whether it’s your hometown or your favorite weekend escape or a community you’ve recently discovered, we want to hear your suggestions for the Coolest Small Town in America 2017. Tell us the name of a cool American town (pop. under 20,000, please), some inspiring information (where to eat, play, and stay) today. There are three ways to share: Post on social media: Tag us at #BTCoolestSmallTowns on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (we’d love to see images of your Coolest Small Town too).Email us: CoolestSmallTowns@BudgetTravel.com.Post a comment: Scroll down to the bottom of this story and post in the comment box.In a few weeks, just as the official summer 2017 season kicks off, we’ll announce our 10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2017, carefully curated by the Budget Travel editorial team to deliver world-class travel destinations, reflect cultural and geographical diversity, and honor communities that display the qualities we consider cool. Will your town be on our list?
5 Things Budget Travelers Are Thankful For
When my family sits down to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, we have a tradition that I actually look forward to even more than the food: We first take a moment to go around the table and share something each of us is particularly thankful for. From the youngest at the table to the eldest, it's a mindful way to take stock of the past year and share our hopes for the future. At Budget Travel, we have a lot to be thankful for, and we hear from our audience regularly about the travel trends and experiences that you most appreciate. We want to share our thoughts with you, our extended family: TRAVEL MAKE US MORE TOLERANT Despite the latest wave of bad news around the world, more people are traveling than ever before and we are, of course, firm believers in the power of travel to break down the barriers between cultures. Once you’ve walked the streets of a foreign city, tasted the flavors of its food, and listened to the language, songs, and laughter of its people, you return home with something more valuable than any souvenir, something that can’t be taken away: Empathy. TRAVEL MAKES US HAPPIER Don’t take our word for it. Numerous studies have suggested over the years that spending money on experiences rather than on possessions makes people happier. The anticipation of planning a trip, the experience itself, and your memories (even the memories of travel fails!) all combine to boost your sense of well-being. We take this research very much to heart when recommending not only big annual vacations but also three-day weekends, road trips, and girlfriend getaways that pack the anticipation/experience/memories into a smaller package. SOCIAL MEDIA BRINGS THE WORLD TO YOU Yes, we know, we know. Your feed is sometimes cluttered with political rants, questionable "news" items, your friends' pets, and unappetizing dinner pics. But at their best, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest deliver the world to us when we’re looking for trip inspiration or up-to-the minute news, and, in turn, allow travel media brands like Budget Travel to deliver the world to you. PHOTOGRAPHY IS MORE ACCESSIBLE THAN EVER While we understand there’s no substitute for a great camera and a pro photographer (and our photo essays and slideshows certainly prove that), we are extremely thankful that smartphones and tablets have put the means of taking great pics in the hands of so many people. Like the social media platforms where photos get shared, the abundance of fabulous images is making the world a smaller place. FOOD IS WAY BETTER THAN IT USED TO BE It wasn’t too long ago that traveling meant a strange balancing act between sublime new tastes and bland or flat-out awful food. But restaurants, airports, airlines, food trucks, and a nearly worldwide focus on nutrition and taste (thanks to the pioneering work of food activists such as Alice Waters) have raised the culinary game across the U.S. and Europe and beyond. And while we're on the subject of giving thanks, please remember that it is easier than ever to help those who don’t have enough to eat by donating to Oxfamamerica.org.
4 Things You Don’t Know About NYC Broadway Week
The singing! The dancing! The eye-popping costumes, sets, and lights! And… the prices. Sure, catching a Broadway show requires some fiscal planning. But there’s a cool window each year in mid-January when some of the most popular shows become a lot more accessible to those of us on a budget. Here, four things you’ll want to know about this year’s NYC Broadway Week: 1. BROADWAY WEEK IS LONGER THAN ONE WEEK NYC Broadway Week is the best time of year to save money on show tickets. Now in its 8th year, Broadway Week runs from January 16 through February 4 (yes, the “week” is actually 20 days), and since its inaugural year in 2011 the program has sold more than 1 million tickets and raised more than $70 million. It’s an incredible celebration of one of New York City’s most storied industries, produced by NYC & Co., the city’s official destination marketing organization, in partnership with American Express, the Broadway League, Ticketmaster, Telecharge, and Audience Rewards. 2. YOU CAN BUY 2-FOR-1 TICKETS TO TOP SHOWS Tickets for 18 Broadway shows are now available with a 2-for-1 deal (buy one, get one free, which is basically half-price), bringing typical Broadway prices back down to earth for visitors and locals alike. Available shows include the acclaimed new production of Once on This Island, Hello Dolly starring Bernadette Peters, John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons, and classics such as Aladdin, Beautiful, Wicked, and more. (Availability is subject to change as tickets get snapped up, of course.) 3. YOU COULD WIN A FREE PAIR OF TICKETS NYC Broadway Sweeps will give away a free pair of Broadway tickets to one of 14 selected Broadway performances, Sponsored by the Shubert Organization, the sweepstakes has two drawings, on January 22 and 29. 4. ENJOY SAVINGS ON RESTAURANTS AND NYC MUST-SEES TOO During the week of January 29 to February 4, Budget Travelers can revel in the confluence of NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week, and NYC Must-See Week. For lovers of great theater, cutting-edge cuisine, and jaw-dropping cultural institutions, mid-winter in New York may very well replace April in Paris.