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posted: 5/20/2013 5:00 AM

Bad economy, yet no rooms at inn

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This past weekend, I spent a lot of time online trying to find a new vacation destination for my annual year-end trip with my son. In other words, I was trying to book a trip six months in advance of my son's winter break.

I was focused on finding a place in the Caribbean. We tend to like large resorts and places with a fair number of attractions and activities. It was easy to find many lists of best resorts for families, and given the economy and my advanced planning, I was looking forward to some real bargains.

When I selected the first resort on a list, it was sold out. I was a bit taken aback. I mean this resort is huge, as in they seem to have about a million rooms, (OK -- not quite a million, but at least a ton) and about 20 restaurants (right on the resort property).

OK, so on to the next property and the next and the next. Sold Out, Sold Out, Sold Out; you get the picture. Here I thought I was ahead of the game by booking a trip in May, and yet I can't find a hotel that even has the infamous first floor room that's about a mile from the main resort and overlooks the Dumpster in the parking lot.

Then, bingo, I found a hotel that wasn't sold out -- but wait a minute -- that can't be right, can it? Does that read $1,167 -- that must be for the entire five nights, right?

No, it was in fact a per-night rate and it didn't even include a continental breakfast.

Maybe it's time to say goodbye to a bad economy and hello to staying at a Wisconsin Dells indoor water park.

Bruce Handler

Hawthorn Woods

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