Top five bargain destinations for spring 2012
I've monitored trends, industry news, and sale patterns to point you in the direction of places that offer the best bargain values for the coming season. Below you'll find examples of deals currently available for spring trips. Like all deals, these are sure to expire; however, a little research on your part can yield similar results when you're ready to book.
New airline service from three low-cost carriers, plus deals all around, make Seattle an appealing springtime bargain destination. This year, the city really shines—sun or no sun—with two major (and limited-time) museum exhibitions.
Not just one but three low-cost carriers will debut service to Seattle this coming season. On March 12, Alaska kicks off service from Kansas City. On June 3, AirTran launches service from Baltimore, and on the same day, Southwest (which is acquiring AirTran) begins flights from Houston. It's a win-win for travelers, since not only does more service mean more choices, it also increases the competition and the chances of better prices.
Amtrak, meanwhile, is enticing train passengers with 15 percent off round-trip tickets to Seattle from any point on its Cascades ( Eugene-Seattle- Vancouver), Coast Starlight (Los Angeles-Seattle), and Empire Builder ( Chicago-Seattle) routes. The offer is available for travel through April 29 when booked by April 22.
This spring, Seattle plays host to two noteworthy exhibitions. The Seattle Art Museum is the only place in the U.S. to host Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise, which features nearly 60 of the artist's paintings and sculptures. More than a dozen hotels have special packages that include accommodations and tickets to the show, which runs through April 29. And starting May 24, the Pacific Science Center will be