7 Hot Spots for a Reasonable Romantic Getaway
Special rates: Starting at $479 per person for four nights and airfare.
Best times to go: Fall and winter months, excluding Christmas.
Compared to other romantic getaways outside the U.S., Cancun is one of the few where travelers can find inexpensive airfares as well as low-cost accommodations.
"You can get there from many major U.S. cities on a nonstop flight at a very reasonable price," says Carl Howard, a consultant with All Points Travel in Atlanta.
A nonstop flight from Atlanta to Cancun runs from $300 to $350 on average, outside of spring break and Christmas.
Travelers have access to a wide range of hotel rooms and resorts, plus attractions such as the Mayan ruins. Many all-inclusive luxury resorts offer rates of $100 per day, says Kara Lucchesi, a senior travel expert out of Davis, Calif., for STA Travel based in Dallas.
Florida Gulf Coast
Special rates: Starting at $359 per person for three nights and airfare.
Best times to go: During the school year, excluding holidays and spring break.
With its sugar-white sands, crystal-clear waters and pastel stucco beach houses, the Florida Gulf Coast has long been considered a great romantic getaway.
But last summer, fears surrounding the Gulf oil spill sent Florida tourists packing and hotel rates plummeting.
Now the industry is trying to get the word out that the beaches are clean and safe. And hotels, restaurants and other attractions are trying to lure back tourists with discounted rates from Pensacola to St. Petersburg, Clampet says.
"Whether you're looking for a big, traditional resort hotel or smaller mom-and-pop places, they're all looking for visitors," he says.
Special rates: Starting at $746 per person for three nights and airfare.
Best times to go: During the school year, outside of holidays.
With its breathtaking beaches, lush scenery and picturesque waterfalls, Hawaii has long set the standard for honeymooners. But it's also a prime destination for frugal lovebirds on a romantic getaway.
Well-appointed hotels fall into the $100-per-night range, and round-trip flights from the West Coast start at about $300, depending on the season, Lucchesi says.
"The great thing about Hawaii is it can be made affordable for anyone's budget," she says.
Contacting a travel agent to assemble a travel package including airfare, transportation and hotel can trim costs.
"A travel agent has all the latest information on what there is to do in these places, especially after you narrow down what you want," says Jim Andreas, travel consultant and owner of IncredibleTravel.org.
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