12 Amazing Summer Travel Deals — Including Last-minute Memorial Day Sales




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The best last-minute spring break travel deals for cheap flights, hotels and vacation packages


CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value, but does not review all financial companies or all available financial offers. We may receive compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com, and this compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Spring break is right around the corner. And even if you haven’t yet booked your vacation for some much-needed rest, relaxation and — hopefully — good weather, it’s not too late.

The spring break travel period is one of the best opportunities to grab a good deal on a vacation. That’s mostly thanks to the fact that spring break is spread out over the course of a few weeks.

Don’t fret if you’ve not booked — there are still plenty of deals to be had. If you feel comfortable traveling right now, keep in mind that Covid-19 restrictions could change at a moment’s notice. Be sure to do your research and ensure you have all of the required documentation and testing in place before heading off on your vacation — especially if you’re traveling internationally.

We found some of the best cheap and last-minute spring break travel deals out there — including flight deals, hotel deals and vacation package deals. For the purpose of looking at these deals, we searched between March 8 and April 10 — your spring break dates may fall outside that period. If you see a deal you like, try searching to see if it’s also available within your dates.

Ultimately, when it comes to finding deals, the best tip is to remain flexible. Be ready to tweak your dates of travel (as much as you can for a weeklong break), look for surrounding airports and keep in mind that points and miles can be extremely valuable in high-demand periods like this.

These last-minute spring break hotels deals include properties where you can extract a ton of value from your loyalty points and miles for a free stay rather than forking out potentially hundreds — or thousands — of dollars.

This adults-only property is one of our favorite uses of Hyatt points. That’s because you can get great value from your points and get an all-inclusive stay in return. Over the spring break period, you can redeem 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night for a standard suite room. So, a four-night stay would cost 160,000 Hyatt points for a completely free stay — and that’s for two people. If you were to pay cash on the same dates, it would cost $614 per night, or $2,456.

Hyatt points are extremely valuable because you can use them for a variety of redemptions, including those at all-inclusive properties. The quickest way to earn Hyatt points is via a credit card like the World of Hyatt Credit Card, That card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 points — 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card, then up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total for every dollar you spend in the first six months after you open the account, up to $15,000 in purchases.

This property located near downtown Miami offers easy access to all the city has to offer. The property features its own outdoor pool while also being located just a short walk away from Miami’s famous beaches. Cash rates around the spring break period tend to hover around $199 per night, meaning a seven-night stay would cost around $1,393.

But instead, you could redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for a free stay. That same seven-night stay would require 160,000 Bonvoy points, as Marriott awards a fifth night free if you pay for five consecutive nights with points.

You can quickly earn Marriott points to use on redemptions like this in the future by considering one of the hotel chain’s American Express cards. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card currently comes with a welcome offer of 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account.

Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Jamaica

This property in Montego Bay, Jamaica, made our list of the best all-inclusive resorts where you can redeem points for a free stay. And that’s especially evident during spring break, where cash rates can be high. For a four-night stay during the spring break period, you can redeem 107,000 points for a free night, or 428,000 for a free stay. That’s as opposed to paying cash on the same dates, which would cost you $1,732.

Hilton credit cards are the quickest way to earn Hilton Honors points for redemptions like this in the future. The Hilton Honors American Express Card, for example, comes with a welcome bonus of 70,000 Honors points, plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, putting a redemption like this within reach for the future.

Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences, Dominican Republic

Hyatt

This stunning 5-star property is now available for point redemptions, thanks to Hyatt’s partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The small property — which features just 26 suites, including seven casitas — also has two restaurants and a fitness center and spa on property, plus outdoor pools. For a sample seven-night stay over the spring break period, you can redeem 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night — 175,000 points in total for the stay. Alternatively, the hotel is charging $485 per night over the same dates — $3,395 in total.

A redemption like this will save you cash that you can spend elsewhere while you’re on spring break, and the World of Hyatt Credit Card will help you start working your way to a redemption like this. It currently comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 Hyatt points — 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card, then up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total for every dollar you spend in the first six months on purchases, up to $15,000 spent

This is a terrific deal if you’re looking to splurge on a free hotel stay in the Bahamas for spring break. The Coral at Atlantis is charging 60,000 Marriott points per night over the spring break period. Plus, since Marriott gives members the fifth night free on award stays of five consecutive nights or longer, you’re only paying for six nights on a seven-night stay.

That seven-night stay with points during spring break will cost 360,000 Marriott points. If you were to pay cash on the same dates, it’d cost you a whopping $848 per night, or $5,936 for the seven-night stay.

Marriott points are easy to earn en masse, thanks to welcome bonus offers across the hotel chain’s credit card portfolio. For example, the Marriott Brilliant Amex currently comes with a welcome offer of 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account. That bonus, plus the points you’ll earn for your everyday spending, will put you on your way toward a free stay.

This property dubs itself as the only downtown Miami waterfront hotel with private dockside arrival. All rooms at the hotel have a private balcony, and there are multiple restaurants, a spa and a fitness center on-site. During a sample seven-night stay over the spring break period, you can find a room for 85,428 IHG Rewards points per night. On the same dates, nightly rates run $375, or $2,625 for the same length of stay. Ultimately, for a great property like this, saving the cash to spend on other parts of your spring break trip could be a great way to go.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a good way to earn IHG points quickly for redemptions like this. It currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 125,000 points and a Free Night certificate after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card. That sign-up bonus alone will put you well on your way toward redemptions like this in the future.

Getting to your destination can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some good deals we’ve found on airfare to popular spring break hot spots.

This fare will get you from the cold of New York to the sunshine of south Florida nonstop for less than $100 round trip per person.

Want to escape to Puerto Vallarta for spring break? Fly nonstop from LA to the hot spot for just over $240 round trip.

Head down to the Bahamas for just $192.29 round trip per person from Miami for some spring break fun.

This itinerary with Frontier doesn’t require a stop in either direction, so you can get down to Jamaica in less than three hours of flying time. Plus, at less than $230 round trip, this is a great deal.

Fly nonstop from Dallas to Miami for less than $100 round trip per person for a one-week stay.

New York (LGA/EWR) to Cancun (CUN) for $245.28 round trip with United Airlines and JetBlue Airways

This itinerary is operated by United on the outbound and JetBlue on the return. And, keep in mind it’ll depart from LaGuardia and return to Newark. But at less than $250 for last-minute spring break travel, it’s a good deal.

Baltimore (BWI) to Los Cabos (SJD) for $265.60 round trip with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines

Fly with Delta and United on this one-stop itinerary from Baltimore to Los Cabos. You’ll pay just over $260 round trip to get to the sunny Baja peninsula.

If your mind is now set on the idea of heading on a last-minute spring break vacation, make sure you book your flight the right way in order to maximize what you’re getting for your purchase. For instance, there are a number of credit cards that earn extra rewards or perks when you book travel with them.

Widely considered the best card for booking flights is The Platinum Card® from American Express. You’ll earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on flights booked directly with an airline or via Amex Travel when you use the Amex Platinum. So if you book the $225.68 round-trip flight from Atlanta to Montego Bay directly with Frontier Airlines, you’ll earn 1,128 points from Amex.

Alternatively, you could book these flights with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which earns 3 points per dollar on travel, including flights, and 5 points total on air travel if you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

And if you’re planning to book with an online travel agency like Priceline, remember to book your flights with a credit card that earns points on all travel, not just travel booked directly with airlines or via an issuer’s booking portal. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns a general 2 points per dollar on travel purchases.

For those looking for a package holiday, there are still deals to be had there as well — these are especially good last-minute family spring break deals. We’ve rounded up a few of the best ones we’re seeing, which include both round-trip flights and accommodation.

Round-trip flights from New York (JFK) to Punta Cana (PUJ) + 6 nights at the Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville All Inclusive

This package booked via Expedia includes round-trip airfare for two from New York’s JFK airport to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, it includes six nights at the Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville in a Junior Suite Deluxe room. The all-inclusive property offers an exclusive beach area, the main buffet restaurant and two specialty restaurants.

This spring break stay includes seven nights at the Canopy by Hilton Cancun La Isla as well as round-trip flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Cancun (CUN) for two passengers. The total for the seven-night stay is $1,777 for dual occupancy. This Canopy by Hilton Cancun property is located in the Zona Hotelera neighborhood, offering access to a shopping center as well as a nearby beach.

Round-trip flights from Miami (MIA) to Aruba (AUA) + 7 nights at the Hyatt Place Aruba Airport

This vacation package includes round-trip flights from Miami (MIA) to Aruba (AUA) for two people and a seven-night stay at the Hyatt Place Aruba Airport. Don’t let the “airport” in its name fool you. This property is a short distance from some of Aruba’s best beaches, Arikok National Park and more. Guests also have access to a pool during their stay.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

Looking for a new travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards of 2022.



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The best last-minute spring break travel deals for cheap flights, hotels and vacation packages


CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value, but does not review all financial companies or all available financial offers. We may receive compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com, and this compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Spring break is right around the corner. And even if you haven’t yet booked your vacation for some much-needed rest, relaxation and — hopefully — good weather, it’s not too late.

The spring break travel period is one of the best opportunities to grab a good deal on a vacation. That’s mostly thanks to the fact that spring break is spread out over the course of a few weeks.

Don’t fret if you’ve not booked — there are still plenty of deals to be had. If you feel comfortable traveling right now, keep in mind that Covid-19 restrictions could change at a moment’s notice. Be sure to do your research and ensure you have all of the required documentation and testing in place before heading off on your vacation — especially if you’re traveling internationally.

We found some of the best cheap and last-minute spring break travel deals out there — including flight deals, hotel deals and vacation package deals. For the purpose of looking at these deals, we searched between March 8 and April 10 — your spring break dates may fall outside that period. If you see a deal you like, try searching to see if it’s also available within your dates.

Ultimately, when it comes to finding deals, the best tip is to remain flexible. Be ready to tweak your dates of travel (as much as you can for a weeklong break), look for surrounding airports and keep in mind that points and miles can be extremely valuable in high-demand periods like this.

These last-minute spring break hotels deals include properties where you can extract a ton of value from your loyalty points and miles for a free stay rather than forking out potentially hundreds — or thousands — of dollars.

This adults-only property is one of our favorite uses of Hyatt points. That’s because you can get great value from your points and get an all-inclusive stay in return. Over the spring break period, you can redeem 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night for a standard suite room. So, a four-night stay would cost 160,000 Hyatt points for a completely free stay — and that’s for two people. If you were to pay cash on the same dates, it would cost $614 per night, or $2,456.

Hyatt points are extremely valuable because you can use them for a variety of redemptions, including those at all-inclusive properties. The quickest way to earn Hyatt points is via a credit card like the World of Hyatt Credit Card, That card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 points — 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card, then up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total for every dollar you spend in the first six months after you open the account, up to $15,000 in purchases.

This property located near downtown Miami offers easy access to all the city has to offer. The property features its own outdoor pool while also being located just a short walk away from Miami’s famous beaches. Cash rates around the spring break period tend to hover around $199 per night, meaning a seven-night stay would cost around $1,393.

But instead, you could redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for a free stay. That same seven-night stay would require 160,000 Bonvoy points, as Marriott awards a fifth night free if you pay for five consecutive nights with points.

You can quickly earn Marriott points to use on redemptions like this in the future by considering one of the hotel chain’s American Express cards. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card currently comes with a welcome offer of 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account.

Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Jamaica

This property in Montego Bay, Jamaica, made our list of the best all-inclusive resorts where you can redeem points for a free stay. And that’s especially evident during spring break, where cash rates can be high. For a four-night stay during the spring break period, you can redeem 107,000 points for a free night, or 428,000 for a free stay. That’s as opposed to paying cash on the same dates, which would cost you $1,732.

Hilton credit cards are the quickest way to earn Hilton Honors points for redemptions like this in the future. The Hilton Honors American Express Card, for example, comes with a welcome bonus of 70,000 Honors points, plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, putting a redemption like this within reach for the future.

Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences, Dominican Republic

Hyatt

This stunning 5-star property is now available for point redemptions, thanks to Hyatt’s partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The small property — which features just 26 suites, including seven casitas — also has two restaurants and a fitness center and spa on property, plus outdoor pools. For a sample seven-night stay over the spring break period, you can redeem 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night — 175,000 points in total for the stay. Alternatively, the hotel is charging $485 per night over the same dates — $3,395 in total.

A redemption like this will save you cash that you can spend elsewhere while you’re on spring break, and the World of Hyatt Credit Card will help you start working your way to a redemption like this. It currently comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 Hyatt points — 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card, then up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total for every dollar you spend in the first six months on purchases, up to $15,000 spent

This is a terrific deal if you’re looking to splurge on a free hotel stay in the Bahamas for spring break. The Coral at Atlantis is charging 60,000 Marriott points per night over the spring break period. Plus, since Marriott gives members the fifth night free on award stays of five consecutive nights or longer, you’re only paying for six nights on a seven-night stay.

That seven-night stay with points during spring break will cost 360,000 Marriott points. If you were to pay cash on the same dates, it’d cost you a whopping $848 per night, or $5,936 for the seven-night stay.

Marriott points are easy to earn en masse, thanks to welcome bonus offers across the hotel chain’s credit card portfolio. For example, the Marriott Brilliant Amex currently comes with a welcome offer of 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account. That bonus, plus the points you’ll earn for your everyday spending, will put you on your way toward a free stay.

This property dubs itself as the only downtown Miami waterfront hotel with private dockside arrival. All rooms at the hotel have a private balcony, and there are multiple restaurants, a spa and a fitness center on-site. During a sample seven-night stay over the spring break period, you can find a room for 85,428 IHG Rewards points per night. On the same dates, nightly rates run $375, or $2,625 for the same length of stay. Ultimately, for a great property like this, saving the cash to spend on other parts of your spring break trip could be a great way to go.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a good way to earn IHG points quickly for redemptions like this. It currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 125,000 points and a Free Night certificate after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card. That sign-up bonus alone will put you well on your way toward redemptions like this in the future.

Getting to your destination can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some good deals we’ve found on airfare to popular spring break hot spots.

This fare will get you from the cold of New York to the sunshine of south Florida nonstop for less than $100 round trip per person.

Want to escape to Puerto Vallarta for spring break? Fly nonstop from LA to the hot spot for just over $240 round trip.

Head down to the Bahamas for just $192.29 round trip per person from Miami for some spring break fun.

This itinerary with Frontier doesn’t require a stop in either direction, so you can get down to Jamaica in less than three hours of flying time. Plus, at less than $230 round trip, this is a great deal.

Fly nonstop from Dallas to Miami for less than $100 round trip per person for a one-week stay.

New York (LGA/EWR) to Cancun (CUN) for $245.28 round trip with United Airlines and JetBlue Airways

This itinerary is operated by United on the outbound and JetBlue on the return. And, keep in mind it’ll depart from LaGuardia and return to Newark. But at less than $250 for last-minute spring break travel, it’s a good deal.

Baltimore (BWI) to Los Cabos (SJD) for $265.60 round trip with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines

Fly with Delta and United on this one-stop itinerary from Baltimore to Los Cabos. You’ll pay just over $260 round trip to get to the sunny Baja peninsula.

If your mind is now set on the idea of heading on a last-minute spring break vacation, make sure you book your flight the right way in order to maximize what you’re getting for your purchase. For instance, there are a number of credit cards that earn extra rewards or perks when you book travel with them.

Widely considered the best card for booking flights is The Platinum Card® from American Express. You’ll earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on flights booked directly with an airline or via Amex Travel when you use the Amex Platinum. So if you book the $225.68 round-trip flight from Atlanta to Montego Bay directly with Frontier Airlines, you’ll earn 1,128 points from Amex.

Alternatively, you could book these flights with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which earns 3 points per dollar on travel, including flights, and 5 points total on air travel if you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

And if you’re planning to book with an online travel agency like Priceline, remember to book your flights with a credit card that earns points on all travel, not just travel booked directly with airlines or via an issuer’s booking portal. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns a general 2 points per dollar on travel purchases.

For those looking for a package holiday, there are still deals to be had there as well — these are especially good last-minute family spring break deals. We’ve rounded up a few of the best ones we’re seeing, which include both round-trip flights and accommodation.

Round-trip flights from New York (JFK) to Punta Cana (PUJ) + 6 nights at the Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville All Inclusive

This package booked via Expedia includes round-trip airfare for two from New York’s JFK airport to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, it includes six nights at the Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville in a Junior Suite Deluxe room. The all-inclusive property offers an exclusive beach area, the main buffet restaurant and two specialty restaurants.

This spring break stay includes seven nights at the Canopy by Hilton Cancun La Isla as well as round-trip flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Cancun (CUN) for two passengers. The total for the seven-night stay is $1,777 for dual occupancy. This Canopy by Hilton Cancun property is located in the Zona Hotelera neighborhood, offering access to a shopping center as well as a nearby beach.

Round-trip flights from Miami (MIA) to Aruba (AUA) + 7 nights at the Hyatt Place Aruba Airport

This vacation package includes round-trip flights from Miami (MIA) to Aruba (AUA) for two people and a seven-night stay at the Hyatt Place Aruba Airport. Don’t let the “airport” in its name fool you. This property is a short distance from some of Aruba’s best beaches, Arikok National Park and more. Guests also have access to a pool during their stay.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

Looking for a new travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards of 2022.



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Last-minute Valentine’s dates that’ll woo and win in Dallas-Fort Worth



In football parlance, we’re at the two-minute warning. Valentine’s Day is Monday, but Valentine’s “weekend” is now. If you’ve failed to make a strategy to woo your beloved or wow a hot date, you’re running out of time. In honor of Super Bowl Sunday (which, love it or leave it, further complicates the weekend), here are some winning game plans — beyond dinner-and-a-movie — you can still execute with a few hours’ or days’ notice. Meaning: They’re ticketed events across Dallas-Fort Worth that, as of press time, still have spots left.

A word about dining: We’ve got long lists of restaurants doing special Valentine’s weekend menus in  Fort Worth (here) and Dallas (here). Tables are filling up quickly, so if you see your favorite place on the list, be sure to check online for reservations, and at this late hour, call to see if they have anything available. (Tip: You might have better luck on Sunday while everyone’s watching the big game.)


Want to treat your sweetie to the most decadent desserts around? Here is a quick list for Fort Worth, and here are some ideas in Dallas.

Special food and booze events

February 12-14: Decadent Valentine’s Dreams Chocolate Tour

Dallas by Chocolate Tours presents Decadent Valentine’s Dreams Chocolate Tour, featuring magnificent bonbons, a decadent chocolate shot, swoon-worthy French chocolate pastries, and other temptations. Guests travel around Dallas via heated motorcoach; admission includes transportation in a private motorcoach, a wide variety of dessert samples, great beverages on-board, and a rose for the sweethearts. Guests can also purchase add-ons like a dozen roses, and a 16-piece box of chocolates from one of Dallas’ finest chocolatiers. Tours are offered at 1 pm and 6:30 pm Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Other Valentine’s-themed tours are also available; find a list here.

February 14: Virtual Beignet Making Class

The owner of Dusty Biscuit Beignets in Fort Worth will lead a Valentine’s night virtual class in which he gives step-by-step instruction on how to make his famous beignets at home. All skill levels are welcome, even kids (with adult supervision). It’s $20 per group, and the class takes place from 7-8 pm. Tickets and more information here.

February 14: Valentine’s Latte Art Class

Skip the crowded restaurants and take a latte art class instead. Lazy Daisy Coffee, a coffee shop on Fort Worth’s Camp Bowie Boulevard, will treat class participants to a glass of prosecco while they learn how to create a heart out of latte foam. The class is $20 per person and begins at 5:30 pm.

February 14: Rainbow Vomit presents Valentine’s Day: Rainbow in the Dark

Rainbow Vomit will present Valentine’s Day: Rainbow in the Dark, an immersive art experience designed to transport patrons to a world of art, light, and sound reminiscent of a journey into the fantasy of flight. The event is created by award-winning chefs and designed to take senses into a smorgasbord of culinary delights. To add to the experience, there will be a special surprise designed to connect patrons to their senses and help them deepen their connection with love. It all gets started at 7:30 pm, and at this point, call for ticket availability, 469-248-0953.


Find more Valentine’s-related food events here and here.

Love on stage

February 12: Major Attaway’s Magical Cabaret Disney Date Night

Fort Worth native Major Attaway was the first actor to take over the Tony Award-winning role of The Genie in Aladdin from James Monroe Iglehart, and he currently holds the title of Broadway longest running Genie with over 1,500 performances. At this event at Downtown Cowtown at the Isis, he will sing the best of Disney love songs to help bring true love to everyone in the audience.

February 12-14: Backdoor Comedy Club presents Champagne, Chocolates & Comedy Valentine’s Day Celebration

Backdoor Comedy Club’s Champagne, Chocolates & Comedy Valentine’s Day Celebration will feature comedian Paul Varghese from Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, and Showtime. Also performing will be Emmy winner Linda Stogner, former Funniest Comic in Texas winner, plus other Backdoor favorites. Tickets to the nightly show in Richardson include a glass of champagne, a box of chocolates, and a ticket to a future show.

February 11-14: Upright Theatre Co. presents Duets
Duets is a gloriously funny examination of the chaotic world of love, relationships, and why the grass is never greener. The production, playing at Upright Studio on Main in Euless through February 20, contains four stories, four sets of characters, and four crucial moments, including two people on a blind date, a couple on holiday in Spain to finalize their divorce, and a woman getting married for the third time to the dismay of her brother. Playing nightly, plus a Sunday matinee. (Continues through February 20).

February 11-14: Amphibian Stage presents The Pleasure Trials

When Rachel and Callie start clinical trials on their new female libido enhancement drug, willing participants come out of the woodwork looking for an internal revolution. Quickly after the first dose, the effectiveness of the medicine is undeniable, but the overwhelming pressure for its success may corrupt the experiment and everyone involved. Playing nightly, plus a Sunday matinee. (Continues through February 27.)

February 11-14: Art Centre Theatre presents The Vagina Monologues

Through her interviews with more than 200 women, Eve Ensler chose some of the greatest stories about vaginas to include in The Vagina Monologues. The stories range from happy, to sad, to angry, to confused, but they are all spoken in an effort to empower women and celebrate the vagina. Nightly performances (through February 19) at Art Centre Theatre in Plano.

Romance with dance

February 12-13: Ballet Frontier presents Swan Lake

Fort Worth’s Ballet Frontier will present the hauntingly beautiful classical ballet Swan Lake, in which the princess Odette is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. The ballet will feature Tchaikovsky’s dynamic score, brand new sets & costumes, and iconic choreography. The production will be performed at I.M. Terrell Academy on both Saturday and Sunday.

February 11-13: Texas Ballet Theater presents “A Tchaikovsky Evening”

Texas Ballet Theater presents “A Tchaikovsky Evening,” a mixed repertoire production featuring George Balanchine’s iconic Serenade and two world premieres — Star Crossed by Ben Stevenson and Violin Concerto in D by TBT Associate Artistic Director Tim O’Keefe. There will be four performances, Friday through Sunday, at Dallas’ Wyly Theatre before the production heads to Fort Worth next weekend.

February 11-12: Avant Chamber Ballet presents “Bach, Brahms, and Bartok”

Avant Chamber Ballet presents a trilogy of epic ballets with live music. The production will include Brahms Trio, a famous musical trio performed by violinist Lauren Haseltine, pianist Mikhail Berestnev, and horn Kevin Haseltine; George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, music made visible as two ballerinas each depict one of the instrumental soloists in Bach’s virtuosic double violin concerto; and a world premiere by Katie Puder with music by Bela Bartok. There will be performances on Friday and Saturday at Dallas’ Moody Performance Hall.

Culture and pop culture

February 12-14: National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame presents “1883: The Journey West”

Visitors to the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame can get up close with props, costumes, and photography from the Paramount+ series 1883 when viewing the new exhibition, “1883: The Journey West.” 101 Studios, the studio responsible for 1883 and Yellowstone, curated items for the exhibition, including an authentic wagon, a camp set-up, and wardrobe worn by ​Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (who play everyone’s favorite new TV couple James and Margaret Dutton), Sam Elliott, and LaMonica Garrett; along with behind-the-scenes photography. The museum is open daily (exhibition runs through March 20).

February 11-13: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents Back to the Future

Calling all nostalgia geeks: The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will highlight the music of Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover. The film is the 1.21-gigawatt blockbuster that topped the 1985 box office chart, spawned two wildly successful sequels, and stamped an enduring imprint on pop culture. The film will play on a big screen while the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performs Alan Silvestri’s dazzling musical score. There will be three performances, Friday through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

February 12-14: “Immersive Frida Kahlo”

Immersive Frida Kahlo is a space where visitors can explore the world through the eyes of Frida Kahlo, a brilliant, uncompromising painter who created some of history’s most awe-inspiring artwork. Visitors will see the Mexico-born artist’s work come to life on a grand scale thanks to large-scale projections accompanied by a musical score. Guests will be able to discover the people, events, and obstacles that made Kahlo the extraordinary woman she was. The immersive exhibition is on display daily at Lighthouse Dallas (through at least April 17).

February 11-13: Stolen Shakespeare Guild presents Hamlet

Young Hamlet returns home from university to the shattering discovery that, not only is his father newly dead, but that his mother has married his uncle, Claudius. Late one night, the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to him, accusing Claudius of his murder and urging Hamlet to revenge. This sets in motion a train of events that cause Hamlet to examine both his own mortality and his sanity. The production, part of the Stolen Shakespeare Festival, runs in repertory with The Merry Wives of Windsor (starting February 18) at Fort Worth Community Arts Center through March 5.

Special V-day concerts

February 14: Kacey Musgraves in concert

Country star Kacey Musgraves, who’s come a long way from her little hometown of Golden, performs in Dallas in support of her new album, Star-Crossed. This is the big-ticket concert of the night, at American Airlines Center, and it starts at 8 pm. 

February 14: Valentine’s Love Jam featuring Stephanie Mills and The Whispers

Stephanie Mills and The Whispers come to Dallas for a special Valentine’s Day concert at Music Hall at Fair Park. Mills launched to stardom in 1975 when she created the iconic role of Dorothy in Broadway’s The Wiz. She is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist with five bestselling albums and ten Billboard No. 1 singles. The Whispers are one of the longest-running R&B supergroups ever to grace the stage and one of only a few “old school” groups that can boast of having 40+ years in the industry with all of their original members.

February 14: Granada Theater presents A Valentine’s Day Double Feature with Ricki Derek

Granada Theater will present A Valentine’s Day Double Feature with Ricki Derek. The evening begins with performances from Derek and The Vegas Six, followed by a screening of the classic film Casablanca. The event starts at 8 pm at the Granada.





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From last-minute love, to distant delights on St Patrick’s Day


Peas in a Pod

For loved up couples looking to get on the wild side, or good craic family adventures over Midterm, PodLife is nothing if not versatile. Geraghty’s Farmyard Pods is up beyond Belmullet, on the Mayo stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way. Here the beaches are definitely unspoiled, and the scenery is only glorious. You’ve got the Nephin National Park, Céide Fields, and the Ballinglen Museum of Art all on your delicious doorstep. Want more? Belmullet even has a tidal pool, which is great craic, though wetsuits are advisable this time of year. Each pod sleeps up to four, with ensuite and wifi. Communal kitchen on site. From €100 per pod. Find them on Facebook or call 087 793 9341

Stay the Night, Save the Day

If the one you love is minded to care about such things, but you’ve (almost) already left it too late, there’s still time to save the day by staying the night somewhere lovely.

A bedroom at the Morrison in Dublin.
A bedroom at the Morrison in Dublin.

Play your cards right and they’ll take care of the bubbles and chocolates too. Hide the last-minute nature of it by pretending it’s an enormous surprise. Dublin’s Morrison has a Sweet Suite Dreams offer, giving you B&B in a Junior Suite, a bottle of champagne, the aforementioned choccies, cocktails and dinner from €399 for two – sharing, obviously. morrisonhotel.ie

The Morrison Hotel in Dublin city has a Sweet Suite Dreams offer for Valentines that includes B&B in a junior suite plus Champagne for €399.
The Morrison Hotel in Dublin city has a Sweet Suite Dreams offer for Valentines that includes B&B in a junior suite plus Champagne for €399.

Northern Exposure

More last ditch romance options are on the cards up North, with the Culloden Estate and Spa’s Romance and Bubbles package. From £200 pps, you get dinner, bed and breakfast, a mini bottle of prosecco each, and ESPA bath oils – for a pre dinner soak, or to bring home and re-gift at a later date.

A suite at the Culloden Estate and Spa.
A suite at the Culloden Estate and Spa.

Just outside Belfast, the likes of David and Victoria Beckham, and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have lapped it up. And if they’re not the last word in romantic role models, I don’t know who is… hastingshotels.com

Relaxing at the Culloden Estate and Spa just outside Belfast. It’s offering a Romance and Bubbles Valentines package from £200 pps.
Relaxing at the Culloden Estate and Spa just outside Belfast. It’s offering a Romance and Bubbles Valentines package from £200 pps.
The five-star Culloden Estate and Spa, just outside Belfast, has has entertained A-list couples such as Victoria and David Beckham.
The five-star Culloden Estate and Spa, just outside Belfast, has has entertained A-list couples such as Victoria and David Beckham.

Going (very) Green

St Patrick’s Day in Ireland not green enough for y’all? If your deepest desire is to see the Chicago River glow green, or celebrate with a whole load of Bostonians, American Holidays can make your shamrockiest dreams come true. St Patrick’s Day is actually an official Boston holiday, as it coincides with Evacuation Day (no, not that sort, it’s when the British Troops were kicked out back in 1776.

American Holidays is offering four nights in Chicago for St Patrick’s Day, for €699 pps.
American Holidays is offering four nights in Chicago for St Patrick’s Day, for €699 pps.

So now you know.) Five Nights in Boston, including flights from €839 pps, and four nights in Chicago, including flights from €699 pps. They’ll also bring you to New York – from €999 pps for four nights. Flights ex Dublin. americanholidays.com



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Travel advisor: Flexibility & patience needed for last-minute spring break plans


With about a month until many students’ spring breaks, time is running out to lock in a trip. While there are still options, choices on when and where are limited and costs are high.

“It’s going to be a tough haul for people who haven’t planned their trips already,” Ted Blank, a travel advisor with Travel Leaders, said. “Supply is definitely outstripping demand in travel,” Blank added about what’s leading to more expensive prices and few options.  

He said that many families that have a spring break planned booked months ago. Also, Blank said that there was a spike in bookings while COVID-19 restrictions have eased over the last few weeks.

“In January, there were some people who had trips planned and they postponed them. Oftentimes, they postpone them right to these peak spring break travel times,” Blank said. “So, that added additional pressure to the limited capacity that’s available.”

Thursday afternoon, at a beach on Sanibel Island in Florida, it was about 70 degrees — with no wind chill.

“Sanibel is a popular destination this time of year,” Chris Reublin, manager for Select Vacation Properties on Sanibel Island, said on a video sent to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS while walking on the beach.

Reublin says despite the demand, he can help families with last-second spring break plans.

“We’re happy to be able to provide some of that relief, after two years of being locked in the house,” Reublin said.

One way to help get to your goal spring break destination, according to Blank, is traveling during weekdays.



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A Med holiday last-minute? It’s possible says expert – ‘such a joy’ | Travel News | Travel









A Med holiday last-minute? It’s possible says expert – ‘such a joy’ | Travel News | Travel – ToysMatrix

























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Why I traded an international getaway for a last-minute discounted Disney Cruise






Why I traded an international getaway for a last-minute discounted Disney Cruise
























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Drivers hit the road for last-minute errands and Thanksgiving travel


As families scramble to whip together delicious Thanksgiving meals, others are still hitting the road, running errands and trying to reach their destination to spend as much time with loved ones as possible.

This morning, News 12‘s Hannah Kliger was along the Belt Parkway to check out the traffic.

AAA says of all the travelers getting around the country the last few days – 90% of them are expected to be drivers.

Take extra care if you’re out on the roads the next few days – AAA predicts that nearly 400,000 drivers could become stranded over the holiday due to car malfunctions. Always best to check those things in advance before you head out for that long drive.



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Where and How to Book Last-Minute Travel for Summer 2021


As Americans get vaccinated and start traveling again, some destinations, types of trips, and rentals are booking up this summer. Here are some tips on how to outsmart the crowds and travel options that are still in play.

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After more than a year of being cooped up, Americans are ready to get back out into the world and travel again. So ready, in fact, that travel bookings are skyrocketing for some places and experiences to the degree it’s actually getting hard to book them at all. (If you haven’t heard of the great rental car shortage of 2021, you’re living under a rock, and trying for a weekend vacation rental in some popular coastal towns is downright laughable at this point.)

This has several implications for travelers who have yet to book some or all of their summer getaways as we head into Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer travel season—availability could be hard to come by and prices may be higher than you expected. But fear not, dear procrastinators, we’re here to fill you in on which destinations could give you some booking trouble, alternative options you may want to look into instead, and ways to still get good deals on summer 2021 travel.

Of course, we’re still in a pandemic and many international destinations remain off-limits to travelers this summer, either because of government travel restrictions, because they are experiencing COVID-19 case surges and/or vaccine rollout issues, or because travelers just aren’t ready to take trips further afield yet and are still opting to stay closer to home. 

That is probably why many of the destinations we’re seeing that are reaching capacity are domestic vacation getaways, places like Hawai‘i, Montana, and Florida that don’t present the same pandemic challenges as international locales.  

The other problem is that capacity was also drastically reduced when demand bottomed out last year—airline routes were cut, hotels and vacation rentals were taken offline, and rental cars were sold off as travel companies strived to say afloat. Bringing all that inventory back online isn’t going to happen overnight.

So travelers are going to have to maybe get a little creative this summer. It’s been a long 14 months—we all need and deserve to get away. For those who are ready to travel safely, don’t be deterred by the booking surge.

Potential trouble spots for summer 2021 travel—and how to outsmart the crowds

These are the destinations and travel services that are starting to reach max capacity. But just because destinations are listed here, travelers shouldn’t give up on these places or products if they have their heart set on them. Being flexible with when you travel (midweek is always better than weekends), and looking into dates further out, including into late summer and early fall, means you don’t necessarily have to give up on your 2021 travel dreams. And if you do run into dead ends, we’ll offer some alternative options as well.

Hawai‘i

If Oʻahu, Maui or the Big Island are causing booking problems, maybe look to the quieter island of Kaua‘i.

“One big place causing problems is Hawai‘i,” said John Galante, an Aspen, Colorado–based luxury travel advisor for travel concierge service Travel Edge, and a member of AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council (TAC). “It is so popular now that not only rental cars are sold out, but the concierges at the hotels can’t even get back to me with confirmations on dinners, activities, and airport transfers.”

The areas Galante said he is running into issues with bookings are Honolulu on the popular island of Oʻahu, and Kona and Kapalua on Maui. Galante said he’s working overtime to help find alternative options and solutions for clients.

Scott Keyes, founder of flight deals newsletter Scott’s Cheap Flights, said searches for flights to the island of Hawai‘i (aka the Big Island) are soaring, too, indicating that island’s popularity this summer as well.

“This past week, 50 percent more people searched for flights to the Big Island than the same time in 2019. They’re going to be quite full over the summer,” said Keyes.

But travelers should remember that Hawai‘i is vast and varied. Maybe try for some of the state’s quieter gems like Kaua‘i, Lāna‘i, and Molokaʻi if the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui or Oʻahu are giving you grief.

As for some Hawaii alternatives, “Hawaii is certainly unique, but travelers could enjoy West Coast natural beauty and ocean beaches in Baja California or San Diego,” suggested James Ferrara, co-founder and president of InteleTravel.

Florida

Of the five most booked domestic flight destinations for summer 2021, two are in Florida—Miami and Orlando, according to data compiled for AFAR by travel booking site Hopper. (The other three are Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Denver.)

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“I have never seen [Miami] booked up so tight,” said Lysa Middleton Phillips, a Houston, Texas-based travel advisor with InteleTravel. “A good alternative to Miami is Destin or Panama City Beach in Florida.”

Hotel availability in Fort Lauderdale is also an issue for this summer, according to Hopper. But not all of Florida is out of the question.

Hopper found that there is still ample hotel availability in Jacksonville, Tampa, Naples, Palm Coast, and Daytona Beach, Florida. St. Petersburg–Clearwater may also have more options and offers beautiful beaches and a hopping art scene.

Montana, Wyoming, and Utah

Dude ranches are having a moment. National parks are having a moment. Wide open spaces are having a moment. Put them all together and suddenly everyone is heading to Montana, Wyoming, and Utah this summer.

According to Galante, “All the high-end places around me in the West, like all the ranches in Montana, Utah, and Wyoming . . . are all booked. And if something is available, it’s priced high.”

If you were hoping to hit Glacier National Park in Montana or Zion in Utah, make sure you’re up to date on the reservation systems in place in both parks (there is still time to make reservations—but don’t delay too much).

If it’s a classic dude ranch experience you were seeking and you are coming up empty handed in Montana or Wyoming, maybe look to dude ranches in California like the historic Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort in Central California’s Santa Ynez Valley, Greenhorn Ranch in Northern California’s Quincy, and the 158-year-old Rankin Ranch in Caliente, not far from Bakersfield. (Though we’ve heard many of these are falling short on space, too, there is greater availability toward the back half of summer and into fall.)

Alaska

Cruises to Alaska may be back in play this summer, which could open up options for travelers.

For summer 2021, Alaska “is getting booked up fast,” said Kate Doty, AFAR TAC member and managing director for San Francisco–based adventure travel experts Geographic Expeditions. “One of our favorite lodges, Ultima Thule, is already 100 percent sold out for the season.”

Doty recommends that travelers with their heart set on Alaska have a wide range of date options to work with, “and when you find out what is available, book it fast, like within a day or two, or risk losing it.” She also advises considering visiting in September when the fall colors are popping, bears are still out, and things are calmer after the busy summer season—plus, “there will be more availability.”

Another big opportunity for last-minute travelers eyeing Alaska is that Alaska cruising appears to be back on the table for 2021, thanks to the recent passage of the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act by Congress. If the bill is signed by President Biden, large cruise ships will likely be able to resume sailings in Alaska this summer, which would open up some amazing water-based viewing and visiting opportunities for travelers.

Rental cars

OK, we’re not going to sugarcoat the issue. Rental cars are a problem this year. Why? According to Keyes, when travel plummeted last year, many car rental agencies sold off hundreds of thousands of cars to make some money and weather the storm.

Now, with travel rebounding, there are far fewer cars available to rent, said Keyes. It’s gotten so bad that people are renting U-haul trucks and vans in Hawaii and elsewhere just to get around.

But there are some workarounds. Keyes offered up these suggestions, some of which we have also seen floating around in popular travel forums like family travel platform Club Bébé Voyage.

“From my experience, there is a place that’s almost always cheapest for car rentals: Costco Travel. You automatically have access if you’re a Costco member, and it also includes extra perks like a free second driver,” said Keyes.

He also suggested looking into car share services like Turo, Zipcar, Getaround, or Hui Car Share in Honolulu, as well as trying to rent through a car dealership.

There’s also always the option to use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft if the destination doesn’t require too much driving.

Cari Gray, founder of luxury travel concierge service Gray & Co., and another AFAR TAC member, said that the high cost of flights this summer combined with the shortage of rental cars “will mean the self-drive market will still continue strong” for summer 2021.

Road trip, anyone?

Alternative destinations: Where to travel in summer 2021

When you see everyone running in one direction, head the other way, right? OK, not usually. But when it comes to summer 2021 travel, this approach could work in your favor. Here are some suggestions for where to go for better availability and, added bonus, better prices.

Urban escapes

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Last year, we all fled the big cities, seeking space and the outdoors where we could remain safe and socially distant from crowds amid the ongoing pandemic. And yes, the pandemic is still here, but with places like New York and California announcing they will fully reopen this summer, and with the CDC reporting that 38 percent of the American population is now fully vaccinated (73 percent of those age 65 and older, and 48 percent of those age 18 and older), a rebirth of the cities we abandoned in 2020 is inevitable.

“There’s an odd dynamic right now,” said Keyes. “If you want to get the good deal, head to the cities. The same number of crowds that had been there before are not there right now. I was in New York and [Washington,] D.C., this past week, and the hotel rooms that are usually $200 or $250 night, I got for about $100 or $125 a night. Travel to a lot of these urban destinations is much more reasonable than what you would expect.”

Summer 2021 may be the right time to rediscover New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and all the other great cities across the country that we love and that were pummeled by the pandemic. Places where the fine dining scene, while likely somewhat battered, will be ready to surprise and delight anew and where museums, cultural institutions, and live entertainment venues will all be buzzing with the excitement and optimism of finally being open for business again.

Central America and East Africa

If you have your heart set on beautiful, nature-filled escapes, Geographic Expeditions’ Doty suggests some international alternatives.

She recommends considering destinations such as Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Panama in Central America where Americans are permitted to travel during the pandemic and where there is still availability for travelers.

She notes that Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda are all open to travelers as well, and Geographic Expeditions is actively assembling well-curated itineraries to these wildlife-rich locales for clients.

Before traveling internationally, be sure to check the U.S. State Department’s detailed COVID-19 travel information and country-specific advisories, and be aware that all international passengers age two and older flying into the U.S. (including returning U.S. citizens and permanent residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test procured within three days before boarding their flight to the U.S.  

The CDC also has detailed recommendations for travel during the pandemic, both for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Europe

Europe? As an alternative destination? What reality are we living in? A pandemic one, that’s what. Here’s the thing about Europe. Yes, it’s about to reopen to vaccinated Americans. But for many, all the exact details for how Americans will be able to travel to Europe are coming too late for summer 2021 travel plans, or they’re just not ready for international travel yet.

Once Europe reopens to U.S. travelers (likely in June) for the first time in more than a year, it will surely spark a booking spree for those who have been champing at the bit, but there will probably be some amount of time during early summer, maybe lasting into midsummer or even into the back half of the year, when Europe still won’t be welcoming the insane crowds it typically did prepandemic.

For those who are willing to be the front-runners, this presents a unique opportunity to visit some of your favorite European destinations—Paris, Venice, Amsterdam—before they become overrun again.

With demand likely to remain softer than usual this summer, prices for Europe travel should be in your favor, too.

A final tip—for getting cheap(er) flights

As summer flight prices continue to head up due to the growing demand for travel, some travelers may get sticker shock if they’re just now starting to look for summer flights.

Keyes filled us in on some tricks for finding better rates.  

“The more flexibility you can give yourself, the better,” said Keyes. “Generally speaking, you have three areas of flexibility: where you go, when you go, when you book.”

With regards to when you book, earlier is definitely better, advised Keyes. As for where and when you go, if you’re really looking for a good deal, you should “take the normal flight search process and flip it on its head,” he said. Rather than searching for a specific destination and time frame, why not look for cheap flights and good deals available from your home airport?

He notes that airfares are “extremely volatile” and you never know when you might see a sudden price drop. Setting price alerts on booking engines like Google Flights and Kayak, and using services like Scott’s Cheap Flights, where you can cater airfare deals to your preferred airports, is the way to go.

>> Next: You’re Vaccinated. Now What? A Complete Guide to Vaccinated Travel



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