Magazine article Ebony

Warm Winter Vacations

Magazine article Ebony

Warm Winter Vacations

Article excerpt

THE winter is here and already the warm sunshine, balmy tradewinds and sparkling beaches of another snowbird travel season are beckoning.

No need to remain confined to the season's ice, sleet and snow. With some planning and determination, travelers can avoid the worst of winter weather with a sun-and-fun escape.

Whether its the fun of Walt Disney World, the pristine shores of the U.S. Virgin Islands or the rhythmic festivities of the Bahamas, nothing quite warms the body or refreshes the soul like a warm-weather winter vacation.

Keep in mind that a good vacation requires flexibility and planning. American, Delta, United and other major airlines usually offer special rates to some vacation destinations in January, but you have to make reservations early and shop around for the best available bargains.

A reputable travel agent is a prized asset in planning any winter vacations. Travelers can also cheek with Amtrak, Greyhound Bus Lines, hotels, charter groups, credit card companies and car rental firms for available discounts.

Cruises remain an attractive alternative, with packages ranging from $529 to $1,795, says Carolyn Banks, manager of Mahogany Travel Service Inc., in Chicago.

"Vacationing has never been easier or more affordable," Banks says. "When you add the costs of meals, air transportation, accommodations and entertainment, you'll find many travelers prefer the all-inclusive cruise package. There's never a dull moment." Vacationers looking for sun, fun and reasonable prices will find plenty of each in picturesque island destinations.

Bermuda, for example, has several vacation packages designed to bring frost-weary vacationers to the island's pink sandy beaches, temperate winds and warm hospitality. The "January to March 68 Degree Guarantee" vacation package includes round-trip airfare and four days and three nights accommodations at selected hotels beginning at $419. If the temperature doesn't reach 68 degrees during your stay, the participating hotel will deduct 20 percent from that nights room charges.

Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas attract visitors with an assortment of delights, ranging from spectacular underwater realm for scuba divers to the pulsating nightlife of glittering discotheques, nightclubs and casinos.

For those value-conscious travelers seeking the festive flair of powder-soft beaches, fine dining and the Caribbeans famed Straw Market, the Bahamas is another warm-weather destination offering reasonable fares along with the simple island pleasures. The Bahamas' new "Funway Holiday Funjet," for example, is a new air-inclusive charter package between Chicago and Nassau that offers three-, four- and seven-night packages starting at $349. …

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