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Spring is here, and so are travel deals that range from Santa Fe to 'Paris without the price tag'

Trent Gillies
Spring is here, and so are travel deals that range from Santa Fe to 'Paris without the price tag'

Spring Fever is spreading.

After a late winter blast of snow and cold blanketed much of the country, record numbers of travelers are expected to hit the road over the next several weeks. Airlines For America estimates 145 million spring travelers will fly somewhere by April 30th. The industry trade group estimated that figure represents a 4 increase over last year.

But if you're still looking for a destination vacation, there are some deals to be found. For example, if you're in the mood for a romantic getaway, you could consider a trip just north of the border.

"We love Quebec City," Budget Travel's editor-in-chief, Robert Firpo-Cappiello, told CNBC's On the Money in an interview recently.

He explained a trip to Canada is a cheaper way to enjoy an international destination, without the long flight across the Atlantic.

"It's Paris without quite the price tag. You're talking about cobblestone streets, sipping good wine, eating French food," he said, adding that the exchange rate with Canada is "very good right now." In addition, travelers can find hotels for under $200 per night.

However, if you can't swing a romantic getaway right now, and you want to take the family along, Firpo-Cappiello offered a "surprise suggestion."

"Santa Fe, New Mexico has a really cool program this spring," he told CNBC. "They're welcoming families." Hotel rates there are less than $160 nightly, and "you'll get a potentially free night."
Plus, he added, "kids can eat free at a bunch of restaurants and get free activities around town."

The deal "goes through mid-April" and he suggests checking the city's website www.santafe.org for more information.

As an alternative, the editor also suggests taking advantage of National Park Week. During two upcoming weekends, April 15-16 and April 22-23, every federally owned park is offering free admission.

"Of course, we're talking about the ones that are warm already, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains," Firpo added. "Some of the northern parks are still covered in snow."

If you'd rather take to the sea than to the air, a cruise could be a budget option.
By "booking your ship way in advance, you can get the rock-bottom introductory rate," Firpo said, but added that even procrastinators can be rewarded with bargains as well.

"Waiting for the last minute can be really very smart. I'm seeing some incredible deals now, less than $100 a day for Caribbean cruises, Florida cruises," he added. "It's because those cruises are coming up in a couple of weeks, and they're desperate to fill inventory."



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