Finding amazing travel deals: $150 for air, hotel

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm •  Published: December 5, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — Jessie Purton won the frugal travelers' lottery.

A bit of luck, some quick thinking and lots of flexibility landed her an amazing travel deal: a four-night Carnival cruise to Mexico plus two nights in a Miami hotel for just $275.

Purton, 30, found the cruise online in January, shortly after the Costa Concordia — owned by Carnival — ran aground off the coast of Italy. She and six friends booked the deal — while out — using a BlackBerry.

"They were giving everything away," said Purton.

Savvy travelers can find some incredible travel sales but they need to have fluid schedules and willingness to vacation at off-peak times. An understanding boss is helpful too.

Purton is part of a small group of travelers who pick their vacations based not so much on destination, but cost. That could mean sitting on a tropical beach, strolling down the Las Vegas strip or sailing through the Caribbean — as long as the price is right. They're the types of people who always have a suitcase always packed — just in case.

"If I could be anywhere in the world, I would be on an airplane. I love traveling," Purton said. "I come from a family of pilots. I guess it's in our blood to travel a lot."

Two years ago, Purton found a last-second vacation on the Monday after Thanksgiving — dubbed Cyber Monday for online shopping specials. JetBlue was practically giving away Las Vegas vacation packages.

She and a friend booked roundtrip tickets from New York to Vegas and two nights at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino for $140.80 each, including all taxes and fees.

Sure, they had to leave on a Tuesday and come back on a Thursday, but the cheap price made it worthwhile.

"That was the best deal I had ever heard of," she said. "Everyone I know wants me to email them when I see the next one like this."

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