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Travel Summer Steals

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"I have never seen such good travel deals in the last 20 years-even after 9/11," exclaims New York-based Pauline Frommer, creator of Pauline Frommer's travel guides. A decrease in flights and travelers, for example, has caused U.S. hotel occupancy rates to plummet by 45.9 percent, according to Smith Travel Research, resulting in discounts of up to 50 percent*. Here is a peek into the travel bag of best buys:

THE DEALS

Good: The economy, plus the new ships ordered before the hard times hit, has cruise line vacancies up by 7 percent. On Orbitz.com, Carnival Cruise Lines offers deals for as low as $479 for seven nights from Miami to the western Caribbean.

Better: Travel suppliers like Expedia.com are giving great last-minute packages, such as air from New York to Las Vegas and a two-night stay at the opulent MGM Grand Hotel and Casino for $312.

Best: Go visit relatives down South-less tourism and business travel means savings-by booking a fare on Southwest.com. Prices start as low as $49 for a one-way ticket with 14-day advance booking.

What's Hot!

Get the best exchange rates at Xe.com. Find cheap airfare at Kayak.com. Rent a condo and save up to 50 percent versus a hotel stay. Meet owners at Zonder.com or Homeaway.com.

Have these tips or others worked for you? Share your thoughts below.

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