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Stephanie Oswald on the Perfect Vacation Strategy

Travel Expert & Current CNN Travel Correspondent Stephanie Oswald about the Perfect Vacation Strategy

TRAVEL GUIDE TO KICK OFF THE HOLIDAY TRAVEL SEASON

Travel expert and magazine editor Stephanie Oswald is one of the world's foremost experts on helping people–especially for women–get the most from their travel experience. The holiday travel season is just around corner, and the CNN Travel Correspondent says now it the time to begin making plans. For instance, the cruise line industry is offering historic deals.

HISTORIC CRUISE DEALS

The Cruise Line International Assoication is offering some great deals during National Cruise Vacation Week for CLIA's member: National Cruise Vacation Week is "The World's Largest Cruise Sale" this fall. Scheduled for October 17-23.

CHECK OUT THE BEST UPCOMING DEALS

Carnival Cruise Lines
In honor of National Cruise Vacation Week, Carnival is giving out onboard credits for bookings made from October 17-23. When booking a cruise at a "Fun Select" rate, guests will receive up to $150 cash back per stateroom. When booking European cruises, they'll receive up to $300 cash back. Past guests booking a cruise in Europe will receive up to $200 cash back, exclusive past guest rates and free upgrades. Terms and conditions apply.

Celebrity Cruises
Consumers can vacation with an added perk when booking with Celebrity Cruises during National Cruise Vacation Week. The offer is for up to $150 in onboard credit on nearly every sailing offered from January 1, 2012-April 30, 2013.* Guests who book sailings four nights in length or longer will receive a $50 onboard credit per inside or ocean view stateroom, $100 onboard credit per veranda stateroom, and $150 per Concierge Class stateroom, AquaClass stateroom or suite.

*The promotion does not include sailings on Celebrity Xpedition or Celebrity Eclipse.

Costa Cruises
During National Cruise Vacation Week, consumers can find fares starting at $399 for seven-night cruises on Costa.

Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line provides guests with savings on more than 300 popular cruises around the world as part of National Cruise Vacation Week. Guests can receive up to $250 per stateroom (based on cruise length and stateroom category) to spend on board for exciting shore excursions; treatments in Norwegian's award-winning spas; or dinners in any of Norwegian's Freestyle Dining restaurants. The offer, available through October 31, 2011, also provides reduced deposits on Norwegian's 2011 and 2012 voyages of three-days or longer to Alaska; Bahamas & Florida; Bermuda; the Caribbean; Europe; and Hawaii.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent guests can receive a $100 per person ($200 per suite) shipboard credit valid for NCVW reservations on 2011/ 2012 departures of seven nights or longer booked between October 1 and November 15. This may be combined with Regent's standard offers, 2-for-1 fares and free air/shore excursions/luxury hotels.

Royal Caribbean International
For new individual bookings aboard Caribbean and Bahamas cruises departing November 15, 2011 through January 31, 2012, vacationers can enjoy $25 onboard credit per stateroom on three- to five-night itineraries and $50 onboard credit per stateroom on six- to nine-night itineraries. For Europe, Dubai, and Australia cruises departing after November 15, 2011, vacationers can enjoy $50 onboard credit per stateroom for three- to five-night itineraries; $100 for six- to nine-night itineraries; and $200 for itineraries 10 nights or longer. These offers are only applicable for all new individual bookings made in the U.S. and Canada from Oct. 17 through 21, 2011, and are not combinable with any other promotions.

For More Information of All of these great cruise vacation deals visit: cruising.org/vacation/welcome

THE IDEAL DESTINATION FOR A FALL OR WINTER GETAWAY

Aruba is the perfect destination for a fall or winter getaway. The island is easily accessible from 14 U.S. gateway cities that offer direct flights.

Travelers to Aruba can take advantage of off-season value travel this fall saving up to 30 percent without worrying about the weather in Aruba. Aruba has perfect year-round weather – it’s located outside of the hurricane belt and boasts year-round cooling winds trade winds and an average temperature of 82 degrees.

Beyond the sun and pristine beaches, Aruba offers fun activities for visitors of all ages. Families can take Jeep Tours of the island, go snorkeling, swim in a natural pool or even visit a Butterfly Farm, Ostrich Farm and Donkey Sanctuary.
The choices are endless and this is one of the reasons why Aruba has a 60% repeat visitor rate, the highest in the Caribbean.

To help plan and book your trip to Aruba, visit Aruba.com, where you can review value-added promotions, make online reservations for hotels, restaurants, island tours and learn about upcoming events and festivals taking place in Aruba.

ONE OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY

One of the best-kept secrets in the hotel industry is extended-stay hotels.  These hotels are popular amongst business travelers, meaning that during weekends, and especially the holidays, travelers are left with some amazing deals!

For instance, for what you’d pay for a standard hotel room, at an extended stay hotel like Homewood Suites or Home2 Suites by Hilton, you get a full suite with kitchen facilities, yummy breakfast, complimentary high-speed internet, and recreational options like a pool or fitness center.  And all of this is included in the room rate.

For instance, extended-stay brands like Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton are offering some great deals on top of their best available rates via their brand websites. AAA members and seniors will be able to find special rates, and sometimes there are even promotions just for weekends, which is perfect for the holidays. And don't forget to sign up for loyalty programs. Hilton HHonors will often offer double points on certain stays and bonuses when you sign up.

Homewood Suites has over 300 properties throughout North America, meaning there is likely to be a Homewood almost anywhere you are headed. Like Homewood, the stylish new brand from the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands, Home2 Suites offers complimentary Internet, in-room kitchen facilities, breakfast options and these great extras:

  • Daily full, hot breakfast – More than just donuts and toast (fritattas, omelets, waffles, fruit and other healthy options) Homewood's full hot breakfast really fills up the family to power through the day
  • Evening meal with drinks every Mon-Thurs – A full meal with a main entrée, at least two sides, a full salad bar and even adult beverages for the grown-ups!
  • Complimentary internet – If you're staying for a few nights, paying for internet can really add up!
  • Suites with full kitchens – A room with separate living and sleeping areas for your family to spread out, kitchens with all pots/pans/servingware, and most properties even have two-bedroom suites (meaning three TVs when the kids are fighting what to watch or its nap time for a little one)
  • Outdoor spaces – Holiday travel doesn't meant you always have to be on the go. From the cool outdoor Lounge to the saline pool, this brand offers plenty of fun outdoor options for the family to gather and have a good night in.

For More Information or to Book Your Next Hotel Stay: homewoodsuites.com or home2suites.com