HOTEL DEALS GALORE ... AND WHERE NOT TO DRIVE
You could ramble over to Reno for about $57 U.S. a night for a four-star hotel. Or, if Vegas is more your cup of darjeeling, you can get a four-star spot there for about $85 U.S.
But the biggest price drop in the last year was in Vancouver, according to the May 2009 Hotel Rate Report by hotwire.com. According to the company, hotels in Vancouver are going for 35 per cent less than a year ago. It says you can find a 3-star hotel in the city today for just $68 U.S.
New York's hotels are 31 per cent cheaper than last year, while the average price in Tampa has dropped 28 per cent and the average in Toronto has fallen 25 per cent. Other cities included Orlando (24 per cent), Austin (22 per cent) Reno/Tahoe (20 per cent) Vegas (20 per cent), San Diego (20 per cent) and San Francisco (17 per cent).
Hotwire said folks can find 3-star hotels in Vancouver for just $68 U.S., compared to $70 in Austin, $71 in San Diego, $76 in San Francisco and $130 in New York. For four-star hotels, they said rooms can be had in Reno-Tahoe for $57, in Tampa for $66, in Toronto for $71 (again, that's U.S. dollars), in Orlando for $75 and in Vegas for $85.
Actually, yours truly went on to their site around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and found a four-star hotel in Toronto Downtown East (roughly from Yonge to Sherbourne and south of Bloor) for $56 U.S. a night, that being for a two-night stay starting tomorrow (May 21) which is remarkable. Hotwire uses an "opaque" system where you don't know the hotel name until you book it, but the web site promised it had a fitness centre and a pool.
The site also was promising a four-star hotel in the downtown-SoHo section of New York for Friday and Saturday of this week for $149 U.S. per night.
OUT OF THE WAY ... BUT WORTH IT
Forbes.com is always good for travel lists. They have one today that talks about ten beautiful destinations that might be a little out of the way but definitely are worth checking out. Here they are:
1. Cranberry Islands, Maine (never been but a nice state and a Canadian neighbour)
2. Cranberry Lakes, New York (in the Adirondacks, not far from T.O.)
3. Cabbage Key, Florida (nice but save it 'til winter)
4. Mammoth Lakes, California (lovely countryside and not too far from L.A.)
5. Mackinac Island, Michigan (a little further from T.O. but not horribly far)
6. Meadow Creek, B.C. (only one score for Canada, sorry)
7. Valdez, Alaska (looks interesting enough)
8. Vieques, Puerto Rico (Canadians don't know PR so well but it's worth checking out)
9. Jackson, Wyoming (beautiful, stunning country)
10. Isla Holbox, Mexico (they could use the tourism boost)
Also on the subject of Forbes, they analyzed some data and came up with the following 10 countries with the most dangerous driving:
9. Czech Republic
10. Belgium (didn't see THAT one coming, did you?)