It’s the last week of the year – which means it’s time to look back on the highlights of 2009 travel and perhaps plot out a few trips for 2010.
(The Travel staff at USA TODAY made this an annual tradition. Even though I’m no longer there, I see no reason why I can’t continue!)
Despite my unpleasant layoff surprise, I had a great year of travel. I went to the Mexico twice, Europe twice and the Caribbean three times. I visited three stately Southern cities – Savannah, Charleston and New Orleans – and visited two gorgeous Western landmarks (Death Valley, Canyon de Chelly).
What made traveling this year so enjoyable were the number of bargains out there. Yes, I know the recession kept a lot of people from traveling. But for those of us still on the road, never-to-be-seen-again deals were available.
My favorite deal was the one I scored in October at the Maca Bana Villas in Grenada through SkyAuction.com. As I wrote here, even with SkyAuction’s high surcharge fees, I still stayed in an amazing two-story villa – complete with a tricked-out kitchen, huge living room/dining room, a deck with views to St. Georges and a private courtyard with individual hot tub – for only $157 per night, less than half of the $488 rack rate.
SkyAuction will now be my first stop when I’m looking for high-end Caribbean properties. In 2010, I may also try LuxuryLink, as it seems to have great package deals at super-luxe resorts.
Tomorrow: Most surprising destination of 2009.
What was your best bargain of 2009? Tell me below!