As New England's days and nights turn nippier, thoughts turn to the sunshine and seascapes of the Caribbean. At most inns and resorts, the best prices are offered until shortly before Christmas.
On Bonaire, Harbour Village's Dive Into Luxury package, available through Dec. 21, lets the second person in your party dive for free. The offer includes seven nights in a one-bedroom studio, daily American breakfast, six days of diving (including tanks, weights, and belts), unlimited use of the fitness center, tennis courts, kayaks, sailboats, and airport transfers. The cost is $1,786 for the first diver and $1,538 for the second.
Visit harbourvillage.com or call 800-424-0004 or 305-567-9509.
Shoppers love St. Thomas, with its duty-free allowance of $1,600 and its absence of sales or luxury taxes on items such as watches, cameras, fine jewelry, china, and leather goods. Accordingly, the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort has a Shop Till You Drop package for $324 a night Nov. 1-Dec. 20. Included are a Shop Talk seminar on finding the best deals, discount shop coupons, unlimited water ferry tickets from the resort to downtown, a daily breakfast buffet for two, a welcome rum or fruit punch and gift, and tax and gratuities for the bellman and housekeeper.
Visit frenchmansreefmarriott.com or call 800-524-2000.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda, which recently completed a $25 million renovation, is cutting prices by as much as 40 percent through Dec. 19. Accommodations and American breakfast buffet for two start at $395 a night.
Visit littledixbay.com or call 284-495-5555.
All island lodgings with the exception of Rawlins Plantation are participating in a Fall in Love with St. Kitts promotion. Through Dec. 16, guests staying at a property three nights or longer get the fourth night free. Those who stay a week get two nights free. Prices vary, and bookings must be made by Dec. 12.
Couples Resorts in Jamaica is featuring a Secret Rendezvous deal. Guests book their dates of travel, then find out which of the four Couples resorts they are going to stay at seven days before departure. Rates from Nov. 1-30 are $275 per room per night (or $137.50 per person), representing a 38 percent to 46 percent discount off published rates.
Visit couples.com or call 800-COUPLES (268-7537).
For those who think ahead, the Buccaneer Hotel in St. Croix has come up with a Vacation Bond plan, allowing people to pay today's prices for a future vacation. Bonds may be bought at 2007 summer rates, from $265 to $660 per night, depending on room category, for use any year April 16-Dec. 19, or at 2007 winter rates, from $310 to $900 per night, for use any year Jan. 2-April 15.
(The fine print: A limited number of bonds are available and restricted to two per family. Taxes are paid at the time of redemption. Special promotions and discounts may not be applied.)
Visit thebuccaneer.com or call 800-255-3881.
Ghostly goings on
For those seeking to get in the Halloween spirit without traveling too far, Boston's Old Town Trolley presents its Ghosts & Gravestones Tour every night through Oct. 31, at 6, 7, 8, and 9 p.m. from the Old Town Trolley Ticket Center on Atlantic Avenue next to the Marriott Long Wharf. The host is a 17th-century gravedigger, who takes you on a black-bunting-bedecked trolley to some of the city's scariest sights, introduces you to costumed characters along the way, and injects some gallows humor into the proceedings. Tickets are $34 for adults, and reservations are encouraged.
Hear Boston's history
An audio tour of Boston's Freedom Trail from the Freedom Trail Foundation is now downloadable. Previously, the tour was available only for rent on a handheld device, but new technology allows the tour to be loaded onto an iPod or other personal player so that the trail can be walked whenever you want. The cost is $15. If you happen to be a little short this week, you might also check out Boston.com's free downloadable audio tour at boston.com/travel/boston/freedomtrail/podcast/.
The Freedom Trail Foundation's tour can be found at thefreedomtrail.org.
Las Vegas in recent years has added a whole new level of luxury to its resorts, spas, shops, and restaurants. LuxeVegas.com offers a guide to these upscale spots along with a listing of upcoming events and an insider column.
FlightBliss.com focuses on ways to upgrade air travel, with tips on getting more value from frequent-flier miles, picking the most comfortable seats, taking advantage of upgrade deals, and booking first- and business-class fares at discounts.
The rich are different
You might think that people with a lot of money would be continually jetting off to new and exotic destinations. Not necessarily so. According to a survey for the US Tour Operators Association, fully one-third of travelers with household income greater than $100,000 said they preferred to revisit favorite destinations. Thirty percent of households earning $50,000 to $99,000 also favored returning to the same spots, but the number dropped to less than 20 percent for those earning $35,000 or less.
Sun and ski sale
Orbitz is offering $75-$150 discounts on selected trips to sunny and ski-worthy destinations.
Visit orbitz.com, click on the Sun & Ski Sale logo, and be sure to read the qualification rules.
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.