Cheap is good, but free is fabulous.
Our fifth annual roundup of almost-free travel deals features free round-trip flights in the Bahamas, free convertible rentals in Hawaii, free kids’ sailings on Disney cruises, and a whole lot more.
Children 17 and under can sail free on most six- and eight-night Disney Cruise Line sailings departing from Galveston, Texas, between January 12 and March 1.
Children must be travelling with two full-fare adults in specific stateroom categories to qualify for the deal.
Extras such as kids' clubs, complimentary room service, and exclusive adult areas are included in all Disney Cruises.
Getting to the Bahamas is on you, but once you're there, you can get to one of the many pristine Out Islands of the Bahamas for free.
You'll get two free round-trip plane tickets when you book a four-night air-inclusive package from Nassau to any participating Out Islands Resort, or one free round-trip plane ticket with a three-night air-inclusive package.
The deal is good on bookings made through June 30 for travel through October 31, 2013.
The National Park Service (NPS) sums it up perfectly: 'America's Best Idea is even better when it's free!'
Each year, entrance fees are waived on select dates.
In 2013, free days will be January 21 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), April 22 through 26 (National Park Week), August 25 (National Park Service Birthday), September 28 (National Public Lands Day), and November 9 through 11 (Veterans Day Weekend).
That means savings of $25 at Yellowstone, $20 at Yosemite, or $15 at Badlands.
Each winter, Alaska Airlines delivers deals that make ski vacations more affordable.
This year is no exception: The carrier is offering a third lift ticket free (with the purchase of two full-priced tickets) when you show your Alaska Airlines round-trip itinerary at Brundage Mountain Resort in Idaho, an afternoon lift ticket and a two-hour morning ski/snowboard group lesson in exchange for flashing your boarding pass from Seattle at Sun Valley Resort, and free skiing the day after you arrive in Big Sky, Montana.
These deals are good for visits between December 3 and January 31.
For stays January 1 through the end of August, your fifth night is free at Breezes Resorts & Spas in Jamaica and the Bahamas.
Book your five-night stay by November 30 to take advantage of the deal.
Advertised rates show a per-person price of $1,040 (originally $1,300) at Breezes Negril in Jamaica, or $672 (originally $850) at Breezes Bahamas (remember, Breezes is a super-inclusive resort, with more offerings than standard all-inclusives).
Similarly, Sandals all-inclusive Caribbean resorts have free-night deals that vary by property.
Book a fall promotion offer of four or more nights from a participating Puerto Rico hotel before the end of the year (for travel by January 31, 2013), and you'll score a free adventure tour or activity that highlights something amazing and unique in Puerto Rico.
Options include a kayak tour of one the world's only bioluminescent bays or a cycling tour of old San Juan.
The Alaska TourSaver book offers more than 130 two-for-one vouchers, delivering not just savings but inspiration for adventure in the rugged state.
Buy-one-get-one-free coupons include heli-hiking, flightseeing, whale-watching and fishing expeditions, jet-boat tours, and wildlife and glacier cruises.
Road Scholar, the educational adventure non-for-profit created by Elderhostel, has a long list of special offers, including early-enrollment discounts, waived single supplements, and reduced prices on some programs.
But let's focus on the almost-free aspect of the deals: free airfare on more than a dozen 2013 trips, including tours in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central America.
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