By Eileen Ogintz

The holidays are fast-approaching. It you haven’t made plans yet, here are three great affordable holiday getaways to consider — Orlando FL; Karisma Resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico’s Riviera Maya; and the great state of Maine.

ICON Orlando

ICON Orlando


Welcome  to the holidays—Orlando Style. The best part: You don’t have to wait until Christmas week to celebrate  since Orlando’s seven famous theme parks and attractions celebrate for 59 days at 20 festive events—everything from special parades, fireworks, shows and even a 30-foot tall Christmas tree made out of LEGOS.

Here’s an early holiday gift:  You won’t have to bust the budget to get your gang there, thanks to Visit Orlando’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals  from Nov. 20-29  that you can use all next year.

Save an extra 10 percent off already discounted purchases at Use promo code “GIFT” between Nov. 20-29 for the incredible deal, but don’t delay as some tickets may have limited quantities.

Whether you want to hit the latest theme park attractions, kick back on the beach or hit the slopes over the holidays or next year, the good news is there are plenty of affordable options.

Aqua Nick in Puna Cana

Aqua Nick in Puna Cana


The all-inclusive Karisma Hotels & Resorts , known for their Gourmet Inclusive Experience, not only can offer the luxe beach  vacation you want but deals that are 45 percent  or more off and in some cases, kids are free.

The key is to choose the right resort for your family.  Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma, for example, is designed for multigenerational groups with  the largest suites in the Caribbean—your home away from home except with butler service and organized activities for the kids. Save half with current deals!

Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya by Karisma  also in Mexico is especially popular with young families as it has everything you need for your baby or toddler as well as canopied  beach beds to cuddle up,  kids’ activities, water sports, spa  and great eats. You’ll find two other Azul Beach Resorts in Mexico and one in Negril Jamaica. Save 45 percent (depending on your dates) with kids free until the end of the year.

You’ll find the same deal at the NICKELODEON HOTELS & RESORTS PUNTA CANA, not only five-star but the only Nickelodeon resort in the world!  Each of the 208 guestrooms is decorated with a Nickelodeon™ twist and kids love the huge Aqua Nick water park where there’s mass sliming.

Tobogganing in Camden, Maine

Tobogganing in Camden, Maine


If your family would rather hit the slopes than the beach, head to Maine.  How many places can boast ski hills with ocean views? Welcome to Maine’s Camden Snow Bowl, home to one of the world’s best toboggan runs—400 feet long!

Maine is home to two large ski resorts—Sunday River and Sugarloaf—but there are plenty of smaller, less expensive ones like Camden Snow Bowl and miles of snowmobile, cross country ski  and snowshoe trails across the state, many in  open fields, state and local parks.

January,  Learn a Snow Sport Month,  offers lots of opportunities for discounted lifts and lessons.   Save when you book lodging and lifts together at places like Sunday River.

Gear up at L.L. Bean’s giant store in Freeport where you’ll find lots of  outlet stores  and indulge in Portland’s eclectic food scene where it’s always fun to take a walk in a snowstorm, kids I interviewed for my  new Kid’s Guide to Maine say.

Happy Travels!