Our good friend Expedia.com probably needs to fire somebody right about now. Their economic geniuses have released a coupon code, BAH400, that will knock $400 off any Bahamas vacation package of at least 4 nights, with no minimum spend. Booking for one person maximizes the yield of this coupon - if you're booking for two, use the coupon twice for two seperate bookings.
It's the perfect storm right now to get a free trip. Airfare prices from South Florida airports to the Bahamas are around $181 round trip. The cheapest hotel in the Bahamas is the Island Palm Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - rates for a 4-night stay price out at around $45 per night. Do the math. The Island Palm Resort looks like a bit of a dive, but free is free. If you want to splurge, you can still get a decent deal at a more expensive hotel, but it won't be free. Read Tripadvisor reviews here.
We just priced out an itinerary from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport, via BahamasAir, for March 6-10 at the Island Palm Resort. The price before the coupon is applied is $389. Apply the coupon, and you're good to go. The resulting price is actually (astonishingly!) $0.00. This is an incredible value on many levels - Expedia is paying the hefty Bahamas departure taxes for you, which usually amount to almost $100!
The coupon code is valid for trips through December 2010, but there is a blackout period from March 19th until early April for Spring Break. Prices are around the same through the entire year, so have at her!
I've booked two back-to-back trips leaving from South Florida for myself. I paid a total of $2.00 for 8 nights hotel and two round-trip airfares. I don't really want to fly back to Florida, but for free, I can be inconvenienced with a 30 minute flight.
For those of you wanting to book for 2 people, remember that Expedia.com has a "I only need a hotel for part of my trip" option. You can book an 8-night stay by say, booking a vacation package with flights leaving March 10 - 18, but with hotel check-in from March 10-14. The other person books the same March 10 - 18 flights, but does hotel check in from March 14 - 18. Just make sure you both get on the same flight! Use two computers just to be safe!
For those of you not in Florida, prices are still quite reasonable. Vacation packages from the New York area are pricing at around $250 to Freeport, and from the West Coast they're pricing in the $350 range. Not a bad deal for a trans-continental flight plus hotel.
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Enjoy & Act Fast!