Holiday-travel bargains take place near and far

Deals Of The Week

October 28, 2007|By Richard P. Carpenter | Richard P. Carpenter,The Boston Globe

It's only October, but ideas for out-of-the-ordinary Christmas trips are percolating in the minds of many travelers. Among the possibilities:

The Tides Inn in Irvington, Va., unwraps its Christmas activities with a Taste of the Tidings package, Dec. 7-9, starting at $139 per person per night. The weekend, timed to coincide with the community's annual boat parade, begins with a tree-lighting ceremony. Saturday events include a breakfast, an afternoon cruise, gingerbread decorating and woodcarving, and the boat parade that evening. Fireside desserts are a part of the weekend, and there's much more. Go to tidesinn .com or call 800-843-3746.

River trips to Europe's Christmas markets are increasing in popularity because they offer participants the opportunity to find unique gifts and because of the off-season prices. Starting at about $1,200, these trips visit various countries, traverse rivers such as the Danube and the Rhine, and last one to two weeks. Among companies offering river trips are Durgan Travel (durgantra vel.com), Grand Circle Travel (gct.com) and Grand European Tours (getours.com).

During Christmas week at the Balsams in Dixville Notch, N.H., elves join a welcome reception, and guests get a sleigh ride around the property. There will be gingerbread decorating, caroling, dancing and wine tastings. At Christmas brunch, each family will receive a balsam fir sapling. Rates for the week, Dec. 21-27, begin at $109 per person per night and include overnight accommodations, a full breakfast and the activities. Go to thebalsams .com or call 866-380-6798.

In Port Charlotte, Fla., the Holidays on the Harbor celebration lasts throughout December. The community celebrates with street and boat parades, concerts, art fairs and nature excursions, all featuring thousands of lights. Accommodations range from a waterfront motel starting at $69 per night to a luxury resort starting at $320 per night. Go to charlotteharbortravel.com or call 800-652-6090.

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