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How Cruise Ships, Airlines and Hotels Fill Unsold Inventory

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Here’s an interesting case for taking that much-needed vacation: Businessweek noted that vacation deprivation increases mistakes in the office and resentment toward co-workers. Likewise, Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, told ABC News, “The impact that taking a vacation has on one’s mental health is profound. Most people have better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24-hour time-out.”

That’s great, but vacations are expensive, right?

Wrong. The travel industry is one of the first areas hit during tough economic times, and when people get antsy about the economy they cut back on their vacation spending. That means there are thousands of great deals on luxury outings if you know where to look. Here’s how to save money on travel.

FLIGHTS
When choosing a flight, visit Kayak first. With one search you can compare pricing from all major airlines leaving all nearby airports, as well as available deals on travel sites like Priceline, Hotwire and Orbitz. But what really stands out is Kayak’s Price Trend analysis, which tells you whether you should buy your ticket now or wait.

Kayak created an algorithm that views recent traveler requests and trends, then forecasts whether the price for a given destination and dates is likely to go up or down over the next seven days. While no model is 100 percent accurate, it does help you make a more informed decision.

CRUISES
Cruise companies have literally invested billions in jaw-dropping super ships. Even if you’ve cruised before, you probably have not experienced anything like these new marvels— and now you can get on one of those luxury cruises at 80 percent off the brochure price.

Vacations To Go, one of America’s Largest Cruise Agencies, has created an online service to help people learn everything they need to know to find the best possible cruise vacation, at the best possible price. Vacations To Go is home to an extensive selection of top-brand cruise vacations, and in-depth information about every cruise line and cruise ship. Customers can browse the latest in new promotions and offers, shop by category, and compare prices at a glance.

How does it work? Cruise lines want to fill every ship as much as possible, so they turn to trusted partners like Vacations To Go to sell “excess” inventory — i.e., empty cabins — at deep discounts, allowing the cruise companies to still get full fare on the travel packages that they sell directly. Signing up for their free newsletter can help you stay informed of all the spectacular discounts that become available, giving you the opportunity to take a once-in-a-lifetime luxury cruise for a price that makes it affordable on any budget.

HOTELS
There are tons of discount hotel websites out there — Kayak even offers a comparison service — but you run the risk of getting a rundown room and horrible treatment because the front desk staff sees you as a “discount” traveler. That’s never the case with Tablet.

Like Vacations To Go, Tablet deals with high-end properties, making luxury stays affordable for all budgets. They select only the most extraordinary hotels, and make booking them as painless as possible so that you can save some money and enjoy your vacation without feeling like a second-class citizen. Their customer service is also extraordinary; when our trip to New York was canceled due to a blizzard, the team at Tablet’s office got us a refund because the situation wasn’t our fault. That kind of care is seldom seen from other online travel sites, but it made us a fan of Tablet for life.

The bottom line for all these sites is this: A vacation should be enjoyable on every level, and if it can save you some money along the way then all the better. Whether you’re looking for a flight, cruise or hotel, these three options can have you resting, relaxing and rejuvenating your soul in no time.

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