Tips for Affordable Holiday Travel

Dec. 8, 2005 — -- Some people like to spend the holidays at home, others like to take the time to travel. "GMA" travel mom Emily Kaufman found several short trips at affordable prices that allow a family to have a traditional holiday at home and still get away for the weekend:

Winter Wonderland at the Gaylord Hotels starting at $199/night

Three hotels located in Nashville, Tenn.; Kissimmee, Fla.; and Lake Grapevine near Dallas create a winter wonderland using 2 million pounds of ice for ice slides, ice castles, ice forests, a Santa's workshop and more. The park's temperature is kept at 9 degrees. Each location features its own special attraction. The Nashville resort, for example, features a performance of the Radio City Christmas Show with the Rockettes. If you're just in the area, you can go to the park for as little as $7.25 for kids and $14.75 for adults. Prices vary at each location.

A Poconos vacation at the Great Wolf Lodge for $259/night.

The Great Wolf Lodge opened at the end of October and it has a stand-out surprise: a huge indoor water park. For the holidays it has been transformed into a wintry snow land while keeping temperatures at a balmy 82 degrees. There are activities for children including Santa's workshop, story time by a roaring fireplace and more.

Sail with Carnival Cruises for $349 a person.

Carnival Cruise Lines has just introduced "Club 02" for teens 15 to 17. Each ship has a Club 02 program with its own facilities that feature video-game competitions, late-night movies, private pool parties, music listening stations and a teen library. There are even games of Survivor onboard. Club 02 will be on every ship by the end of the year. Right now you can go on three-night trips from Miami to the Bahamas starting at $349 a person.

Affordable driving trip down the coast for $70/person.

If you're in the Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or San Diego areas, Big Bear mountain resort provides the perfect setting for a day of fun in the snow. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding or ice skating are all available at this quaint and uncrowded destination.

Overseas travel for $399/person.

British Airways goes on sale on Monday, Dec. 12 and will run through Jan. 13, 2006. For just $399 per person, you can get a flight from John F. Kennedy Airport to London, as well as stay in three- and four-star hotels in Central London with continental breakfast and hotel taxes included.