Upside of the Recession: Killer Last-Minute Getaway Deals


If you didn't plan a weekend getaway for Valentine's or President's Day in advance, that might have been a wise decision. Whereas in holiday weekends' pasts, you'd be looking at a 500 percent increase on day-before bookings, 2009 has proven that it pays to wait and be flexible. In an effort to keep occupancy high, many hotels are offering killer deals--deals that are sometimes even better than their normal rates (and when does that ever happen over a peak weekend?). This is where new California travel site, LocalGetaways, comes in. Offering amazing new specials each week on regional travel, you won't find better proposals anywhere on the Web. Check out some of the ones still available this weekend:

Stanford Inn by the Sea, Mendocino, $198

Just two hours north of the city, rustic Mendocino provides a complete change of scenery, and of heart (we might never get you back to the Big City once you see what it has to offer). For 69 percent off the normal rate, you'll receive a queen-sized bedroom (with wood-burning fireplace and all) at the delightful seaside Stanford Inn, as well as a complimentary bottle of wine and gourmet breakfast for two from the hotel's chef. Ask for the "LocalGetaways" special when booking by phone.

Beautiful Places, Sonoma, $600 (for a whole house!)

If it's more than just you and your honey and you're looking for a group getaway, Beautiful Places has the perfect villa and customized wine itinerary for you. The LocalGetaways offer, a 25 percent discount, is valid on all three- to five-bedroom rental homes that sleep up to 12 people. On top of that, you'll get one day for free if you book a large three-bedroom home (complete with pool) through the LocalGetaways exclusive offer, plus receive a welcome basket containing discounts to winery tasting rooms and local stores and restaurants, a bottle of Sonoma wine, gourmet foods and a $25 credit towards BP Tailor Made Experiences (a $100+ value). Oh, and this offer is valid for mid-May, so if you can't get your act together this time around, save it for the next time you crave a weekend away. Ask for the LocalGetaways "Wine Country Home Rentals" deal.

Resort at Squaw Creek, Tahoe, $1599 (for a package deal)

If you have a little more dough to blow (or new love interest to impress), Squaw Creek still has spaces remaining for its Ultimate Valentine's Getaway, featuring three nights in a deluxe Forest View guestroom, a "Sparkles and Sweets Champagne" amenity upon (whatever that may be), two lift tickets, two 50-minute spa treatments, a private horse-drawn sleigh ride for two, complimentary valet parking and nightly turndown service (and a bicycle built for two). For those mathematically challenged, that works out to just $500 a night, all things included. It doesn't get much better than that--particularly in Squaw Creek.


None of the above strikes your fancy? Head on over to to see what else is on tap (and sign up for the weekly newsletter while you're there), or read the Getaway Guru's advice to last-minute planning.

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