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beach travel deal Attention Cyber Monday shoppers: Sneakers and flat-screen TV’s aren’t the only discounted Web perks on offer today. Travel providers are cashing in on the Cyber Monday shopping craze, serving up cut-rate hotel stays, vacation packages and plane tickets galore. But if you need a vacation, do book post haste. Many of these deals are extremely limited-time bargains that expire by the end of today.

Flights to Europe from $389 RT
Icelandair has just released this winter Europe fare sale, which features flights to popular spots on the Continent starting at $389 roundtrip. Destinations include Amsterdam, London, Paris, Oslo, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Stockholm and more. Additional taxes typically add up to about $200 roundtrip, so you’re looking at a transatlantic flight for roughly $600 total (depending on where exactly you’re flying), which isn’t bad. Travel is valid between January 15 and April 10, 2011, and bookings must be made by December 6.

One-Day Sale: U.S. Flights from $29 OW
Frontier Airlines is enticing Cyber Monday shoppers with dirt-cheap $29 domestic flights (taxes and fees not included). More than 1,800 routes are on sale, for travel through mid February. Want to snag a seat? You’ll have to hurry. This offer expires at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time today.

JetBlue “Top Secret Sale”: Vacation Packages for $99
This is a pretty good deal, at least for travelers who aren’t nitpicky about hotels. Today only, you can book a three-night air-inclusive JetBlue vacation package for just $99 per person, choosing from destinations including the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas. Here’s the catch: You won’t know what hotel you’re staying at until 72 hours prior to your departure date. At that time, JetBlue will send you an e-mail revealing the surprise hotel where you’re going to be spending your mini-getaway. (Read: You’ll most likely be booked at whichever local hotel has extra rooms available at that time.)

Funjet Vacations from $59/Night
You have just 24 hours to book this Funjet Vacations Cyber Monday deal, so set your watch and start planning. Air-inclusive vacation packages to places in Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Las Vegas and other dreamy destinations are on sale starting at $59 per person, per night. And unlike the JetBlue sale, you’ll actually know well ahead of time where you’re going to be staying.

Virgin America Flights from $39 OW
Virgin America flights to domestic cities from Boston to San Francisco are on sale starting at $39 each way, not including taxes and fees. Travel dates are broad — fly from December 6 through May 11. But day-of-week restrictions and holiday blackout dates do apply. (In other words, you can’t fly on weekends or around Christmas and New Year’s.) The best part about this bargain is that, unlike many other Cyber Monday deals, the offer stands through December 6, giving you a few days to think before booking your flight.

Receive 30% Off New York & Boston Hotels
Save up to 30 percent on hotel stays in Boston and New York with this 48-hour Orbitz sale, which ends Wednesday. Nightly hotel rates start at $109 in Boston and $152 in New York. Even the famed New York Plaza hotel on Fifth Avenue is listed at 20 percent off (although, at the discounted rate of $836 per night, it still costs a small fortune). Other discounted properties include New York’s Dylan Hotel, Boston’s Seaport Hotel and Hotel Wales in the Big Apple.

— written by Caroline Costello

galveston Want to help counteract the devastating effects of the BP oil spill … and save money to boot? Pack some sunscreen and head to the Gulf Coast, where travel deals are as plentiful as spicy shrimp gumbo.

According to the Associated Press, Gulf Coast tourism continues to deteriorate as a result of the BP oil spill. Even though any parts of the Gulf shoreline that had been affected by the oil are now clean, tourism rates are still about 20 percent lower than normal, and many local businesses are suffering.

The problem is perception. In spite of the reality — that the Gulf Coast is still an excellent vacation destination offering pristine beaches — travelers are wary of booking trips to a destination branded by the worst oil spill in history. Nowadays, the term “Gulf Coast” evokes notions of tar balls and oil slicks, whereas six months ago it signified fresh seafood, sport fishing and lazy days on the beach.

Local businesses and visitors’ bureaus have been working hard to boost the Gulf Coast image, launching positive advertisements and rolling out tons of travel deals across Mississippi, Florida, Texas and Louisiana. This is good news for anyone considering a trip to the Gulf. We trolled the tourism Web sites of some Gulf area locales and came across quite a few noteworthy offers. Here’s a small sample of what we found:

Days Inn is offering 20 percent off stays of three or more nights at participating properties on the Gulf Coast.

– Get your fourth night’s stay free at A Beach Bungalow on Siesta Key, Florida.

– Save $200 per week or get your seventh night’s stay free when you rent with A Paradise Vacation Rentals on Anna Marie Island in Florida.

– Stay for five nights and receive an additional two nights’ lodging for free at McCarter Lane Guest House in Long Beach, Mississippi.

There’s no need to feel guilty about capitalizing on the BP oil disaster to save some cash on your vacation. Dozens of Gulf Coast communities depend on the tourism industry, and spending your money in the region is a great way to boost local economies — even if you are paying discounted rates. So start traveling! And if you’re looking for even more ways to help, check out these volunteer resources.

Has the Gulf Coast oil spill affected your travel plans? Will you be heading to the region anytime soon?

boston fall New England and Canada are immensely popular autumn destinations — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fall deals to be found in these parts of the world. You just have to know where to look. We did some travel deal detective work and unearthed several exceptional bargains in harvest-time havens from Maine to Montreal. Travelers can look forward to blazing foliage, crisp autumn weather and fun fall festivals when visiting these regions in September and October.

Third Night Free on Maine’s Coast
This October, get a free night’s stay at Cedarholm Garden Bay Inn, an oceanfront property located in the Camden, Maine area. The inn’s guest cottages, which start at $225 per night, all have private decks overlooking the water. Guests wake up to a complimentary Continental breakfast served each morning.

7-Night Canada/New England Cruise from $549
Pay less than $80 per night — that’s roughly half off standard fares — for a week-long Caribbean Princess cruise sailing roundtrip from New York on September 18. This leaf-peeping cruise stops in scenic ports including Halifax, Bar Harbor and Newport.

Save 25% in Montreal
Receive 25 percent off weekend stays at the Hotel Omni Mount-Royal, a centrally located Montreal hotel set in the city’s popular Golden Square Mile neighborhood. Discounted nightly rates start at $104.25 CAD for travel before December 30.

U.S. Fares from $44 OW
AirTran‘s latest systemwide sale includes low-priced flights to fabulous fall destinations like Boston; Portland, Maine; Rochester; and Buffalo. These sale fares are valid for travel through mid-December, and must be booked by August 24.

Save 25% on Northeast Regional Train Travel
Travelers departing from New York, Washington D.C., Boston and Philadelphia can get discounted Amtrak tickets to lovely New England towns like Providence, New Haven and Stamford. Discounted tickets start at just $10 each way when booked 14 days in advance.

Save 30% on Boston Hotels
For a limited time, travelers heading to Beantown this autumn can take advantage of reduced rates at dozens of local hotels. Book with Hotels.com by August 30 and save up to 40 percent on accommodations in Boston. This deal features nightly rates as cheap as $58 (for the Westgate Hotel and Conference Center), plus discounts at upscale properties including the Copley Square Hotel and the Langham, Boston.

Find more bargains in our Discount Travel Deals.

Editor’s Note: IndependentTraveler.com is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc, which also owns Hotels.com.