Post-vaccine travel deals
Post-vaccine travel deals

Buy Now, Go Later: Hot Deals for Post-Vaccine Family Travel

We know—this pandemic has been a long slog. Many families have changed and limited their travels; others have stopped traveling altogether. 

But as vaccines roll out—albeit slowly —we can finally say, “We see you, light at the end of the tunnel!”And if you’re considering a family trip for later this year, good news: travel companies are offering some really good deals. 

To save you some screen time, we hunted down some of the best discounts for families from around the world, from adventure tours to city stays to beach vacations. We only included offers with reasonable rebooking or cancellation policies. 

Before you book, remember that travel companies can go out of business. And, some airlines and other suppliers have made it hard for customers to redeem travel credits.  But if you’re willing to take the small risk, you can score substantial savings—and make some memories outside of your own backyard. 

15% off G Adventures Family Experiences

G Adventures, which has been leading community-focused small-group tours since 1990, is offering 15% off family trips to Vietnam, Costa Rica, Peru, or the Galapagos for select dates. Some of the discounted G Adventures tours that focus on family fun—kayaking, nature hikes, and cooking demonstrations are often included—depart as late as March 2022. But you have to book by Jan. 31. The company also has lifetime guarantees on deposits: postpone or cancel your trip for any reason, and your deposit can be used indefinitely, and even transferred to a friend. 

Up to 84% off Karisma Hotels & Resorts

This is a major discount from the owners of the all-inclusive Nickelodeon Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Azul Beach and Generations properties in Mexico. Book your 2021 vacation by Jan. 15 and you can save up to 84% off the nightly rate. If you’ve been craving beach time with a ton of included (read: easy) activities and meals, one of these oceanfront resorts might fit the bill. 

Up to 40% off Constance Halaveli in the Maldives

Get away from it all at this remote island property in the Maldives—and save up to 40% if you book by Feb. 28 and travel by Oct. 31. (Cancel up to 7 days prior with no penalty.) The resort’s family villas are set on the beach or over the water, have private plunge pools and can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. Unlike other adult-focused escapes, this one has a kids club for children ages 4–11.  Snorkeling, paddle boarding, and sailing are all included. Of course, you can also do absolutely nothing while lounging on the white-sand beach.

20% off Amtrak train fares

Book at least 7 to 14 days in advance and save 20% off adult train fares throughout the U.S. If you book by March 21, change fees are waived (cancellation fees depend on the level of fare booked). A child age 2-12 travels at half price with each full-fare adult. 

50% off a second room at Loews Hotels

This high-end hotel brand is extremely family friendly, with free cribs, free stays for the under-18 set, and local family activity guides. Those families who need some extra space are in luck right now: Reserve before June 1 and you can get 50% off a second room for your trip. Rooms need to be under the same name and for the same dates. But in most cases, you can cancel without charge up to 24 hours before your stay.

Up to 40% off Affinia Hotels & Suites in New York City

Affinia is offering a slew of discounts for its three boutique properties in New York, including the all-suites—and appropriately named—Gardens Suites Hotel on the Upper East Side. Deals include 40% off of suites (with full kitchens!), 30% off rates with same-day cancellation, and 25% off 4-night stays. There’s also a package that includes free parking and late check-out for families who drive into the city. Book directly with the hotel website for the deals. 

Up to 21% off at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas

Book by Jan. 21, and you can save up to 21% off a four-night stay at any property at the Atlantis though Nov. 21, 2021. You won’t have to worry about keeping the kids occupied—the mega-resort occupies an entire islet next to Nassau and features a half-dozen hotels, 11 pools and its own 141-acre water park. Guests can cancel up to 72 hours prior to arrival with no penalty. There is, however, a resort fee of at least $53 per night. 

Up to 35% off Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas in Crete, Greece

Join the Mr. & Mrs. Smith travel club for free to get access to deals at hotels worldwide—including the family-friendly Daios Cove on the island of Crete. Book by Feb. 7 and travel by Oct. 31, get 35% off all-inclusive suites and roomy villas with water views and private plunge pools, or “half board” packages that include breakfast and dinner. “Smith Extras” include champagne on arrival and 2 hours of babysitting if you’re there for 5 nights or more. Multi-bedroom family villas are outfitted with baby monitors, high chairs, safety gates, bottle sterilizers, and kids’ plates and cups—no need to pack extra gear!

Up to 15% off the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Reserve a “Dream Away”  at the oceanfront Caribe Hilto, said to be where the first pina colada was ever made, and get up to 15% off the best available rate. Stays through Dec. 31, 2021 are eligible; you can can cancel up to one day before arrival, with no penalties. Note that this resort, with its fountain pool, game room, and playground for kids, does charge a nightly resort fee. 

10% off cabins at Adventures on the Gorge in West Virginia

While it isn’t necessarily a whopper of a deal,  we suspect the New River Gorge will be a popular spot for families to vacation this summer: The area was just designated a U.S. national park. Book online now for 10% off lodging in one of Adventures on the Gorge’s private (naturally socially distanced!) cabins. Passes for river rafting trips can be rebooked up to 48 hours prior without penalty. 

Various discounts at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts

We’re betting RV sites and family cabins at Jellystone campgrounds across the U.S. will be in great demand again this year, just as they were in 2020. Before you book your vacation, check out the “S’more Deals” at your desired campground; many of the discounts are for early season camping, but we found “stay for 7 nights and pay for 6” offered at some parks year-round. The activities and amenities at these family-centric campgrounds include swimming pools, mini golf, outdoor theaters, and character visits.

Kara Williams is a longtime freelance writer.