Holiday Travel That Won't Break the Bank

We're just around the corner from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and rather than staying at home, why not take a dream vacation?
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Dec. 3, 2012 - PRLog -- Drop your oven mitts and spatulas this holiday season and get pampered every meal with amazing cuisine while bonding with the family during an exciting holiday cruise vacation. Cruise lines go above and beyond for the holidays and cruisers can enjoy unique amenities such as holiday parties, special holiday drinks, holiday menus with seasonal favorites and even special late-night buffets. While traveling during the holidays might seem expensive, travel expert Monica Colonna has shared her tips for holiday travelers and favorite holiday destinations that won't break the bank.

The Caribbean
Why not exchange the blustery winter winds for the warm beaches of the Caribbean? Spend the holidays with the sun on your face and the sand between your toes. With over 28 island nations to choose from, the Caribbean offers endless opportunities for a winter getaway, and often at very reasonable prices. Thanksgiving falls just before the peak season, so by choosing to have your turkey in the islands, you can still lock-in low-season rates. Many cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Disney, Carnival, Celebrity, Silversea, and Azamara Cruises offer holiday specials to and from the Caribbean. Not only will you get a great last-minute deal, you will have the benefit of visiting multiple islands while enjoying delicious meals and exciting and unique on-board activities. Using a travel agent can also help alleviate costs and get freebies thrown in such as on-board credits at no extra cost.

The Caribbean is notorious for exciting holiday celebrations that can make a trip truly memorable. St. Kitts is a great example for a holiday getaway. The island's national carnival runs from December 15 through January 2 -  activities change every year, but vacationers can expect lively parades, revelry and folkloric performances.

November and December are great months to visit Europe. You can experience the romance of Prague, the history of Berlin, and the artistic flair of Salzburg all without the summer tourist crowds. A river cruise is one of the best and most affordable ways to get the most bang for your buck when traveling in Europe. With river travel, you see all the sights of such major European cities as Munich, Paris, and Amsterdam, and you don't have to worry about hotel charges or confusing train schedules.  To get in the holiday spirit, consider taking a Christmas Market Cruise. Europe is known for its charming Christmas markets, with the most famous being in Cologne, Vienna, and Nuremburg. You can munch on freshly roasted chestnuts while perusing the home-made goodies.

If ancient history is more your style, Greece offers highly-affordable deals during their off-season of November - March. Discover the mysteries of the Acropolis in Athens or climb the legendary Mount Olympus before exploring the romantic Greek isles. The fact that many big-name resorts are closed during the off season allows visitors to experience the more intimate, local side of Greek life. Stay in a picturesque bed and breakfast while wandering the whitewashed alleyways of Santorini. Then take an island-hopping cruise to explore the neighboring communities of Mykonos, Crete, and Rhodes.

Additional tips for holiday travelers:

Splurge on a balcony - more room in your cabin for presents and decorations
Book adjoining cabins or consider family suites that sleep multiple people comfortably

Ask yourself - do you prefer to spend the holidays in port or at sea? You don't want to end up in a port on Christmas Day where everything is closed but the beach and the churches

What is your preferred balance of sea days and ports days? Certain lines such as Oceania and Windstar focus on port-intensive itineraries while cruises that last longer than a week integrate more at-sea time into the itineraries

What to pack? Make sure to bring special holiday outfits for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Consider accessories like Santa hats, colorful beads, New Year's Eve accessories or other festive items

Religious services led by priests, ministers or rabbis are available on most cruise lines during the holidays

During the holidays children can enjoy visits from Santa, seasonal movies, caroling, holiday snacks, craft-making and storytelling on board

For more information and for help booking your affordable holiday vacation, contact Monica Colonna @ or 631.539.9756.
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