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TRIPADVISOR UNCOVERS THE CARIBBEAN ON THE CHEAP

Five Tropical Winter Getaways That Won't Break the Bank

Exotic Island Hotels for Less than $100 per Night

NEWTON, Mass. - January 8, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel community, today announced five destinations to take advantage of the Caribbean on the cheap this winter, based on recommendations from TripAdvisor editors and travelers.

Spotlighting travel deals during February and March, all hotels and B&Bs listed are less than $100 per night and rank in the top 20 in their geographical area, according to the TripAdvisor Popularity Index. Restaurants offer dinners for two for less than $50 on average and all rank in the top 20 for their area on the TripAdvisor Popularity Index. Flights cited from New York City all cost less than $380, Chicago below $415 and Los Angeles under $545. Hotel and restaurant prices were obtained from tripadvisor.com, and airfares from a variety of online travel agents, such as expedia.com.

1. Puerto Rico

Inexpensive flights and hotels are an incentive for frugal travelers to take their time and explore this popular island's beautiful rainforests, bioluminescent lagoons, picturesque beaches, colonial towns and coffee plantations.

Hotels: Affordable accommodations can be found throughout Puerto Rico. In Culebra, stay at the Palmetto Guesthouse for $95 per night; on Isla de Vieques, check out Casa de Kathy for $80 per night or Casa Alta Vista at $80 per night.

Restaurants: Inexpensive restaurants include El Jibarito for authentic Puerto Rican cuisine in San Juan, Isla Nena Cafe on Isla de Vieques, and Lolita's in Luquillo for mouth-watering Mexican food.

Flights: Fly to San Juan in February or March for about $275 from New York City, $300 from Chicago or $395 from Los Angeles.

2. Jamaica

Deal-seeking travelers flock to Jamaica for its pristine beaches, protected coves, waterfalls, caves, and the opportunity to ride horses or swim with dolphins.

Hotels: In February and March, Negril offers inexpensive accommodations, including the Rayon Hotel at $80 per night, the Xtabi Resort for $86 per night, and the Travellers Beach Resort for as low as $92 per night.

Restaurants: Affordable top-rated dining options include the beautiful cliff-side Rockhouse restaurant and the laid back beachfront Canoe Bar, both of which serve terrific local cuisine.

Flights: Fly to Montego Bay for about $335 from New York City in February and $350 in March, about $355 from Chicago in February and March, and $465 from Los Angeles in February and March.

3. Bahamas

Freeport on Grand Bahama Island boasts tremendous deals for thrifty travelers who enjoy gorgeous white sand beaches, swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, casinos, or shopping.

Hotels: Accommodation bargains include $85 per night at the Bell Channel Inn and $99 per night at the Flamingo Bay Yacht Club & Marina Hotel.

Restaurants: Food for the budget-conscious can be found at restaurants such as Zorba's Greek Restaurant, and Rum Runners, featuring traditional local fare and spectacular cocktails.

Flights: Fly to Freeport for approximately $320 from New York City in February and $350 in March, for $320 from Chicago in February and March, and from $430 from Los Angeles in February and March.

4. Dominican Republic

Offering 900 miles of soft sandy coastline, the Dominican is dotted with cost-efficient accommodations. Budget-conscious travelers can enjoy gorgeous beaches and quaint Victorian gingerbread houses; adventurous types can explore numerous caves and discover the island's pirate lore.

Hotels: Many Santo Domingo and Cabarete hotels cater to thrifty travelers. Santo Domingo standouts include Hotel Atarazana for as low as $80 per night (including breakfast), and the Hotel Zapata at $70 per night. In Cabarete, the Hotel Alegria offers an amazing bargain at $40 per night and Casa Blanca Hotel offers studio rooms starting at $48 per night.

Restaurants: Enjoy traditional local cuisine at El Conuco in Santo Domingo and the Alegrķa Bistro & Lounge in Cabarete.

Flights: Fly to Santo Domingo in February for about $380 from New York City, and in February and March, fly for $415 from Chicago or $545 from Los Angeles.

5. Aruba

Powdery white sand beaches and sapphire waters make Aruba a popular year-round getaway spot, but in winter, travelers can take advantage of reasonably-priced accommodations and direct flights from the U.S. In addition to incredible beaches, visitors can also enjoy golfing, hiking, horseback riding, scuba diving, snorkeling and windsurfing.

Hotels: Numerous hotels are available at a reasonable price, including the Arubiana Inn in Oranjestad for $98 per night. Buffam's Tropical Haven B&B in Pos Abao is just $73 a night for a two-person studio.

Restaurants: Looking for budget-friendly dining? Hit local restaurants such as Smokey Joe's for BBQ, Palm Beach Refreshment for Aruban cuisine and Tomato Charlie's for scrumptious pizza and Italian food.

Flights: Airfare to Oranjestad can be found for about $335 from New York City in February, $415 from Chicago in February and March, and $525 from Los Angeles in February and March.

"It's a tough economy, but Americans still need an escape from winter," said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor. "Despite conventional wisdom that the Caribbean comes at a premium during winter, there are a number of excellent deals to be had there in February and March-in addition to some gorgeous weather."

About TripAdvisor Media Network

TripAdvisor® Media Network, operated by TripAdvisor, LLC, attracts more than 32 million monthly visitors* across 12 popular travel brands: TripAdvisor®, www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com and www.virtualtourist.com. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 25 million monthly visitors*, nine million registered members and 20 million reviews and opinions. Featuring real advice from real travelers, TripAdvisor-branded sites cover 300,000+ hotels and attractions and operate in the U.S. (http://www.tripadvisor.com), (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk), Ireland (http://www.tripadvisor.ie), France (http://www.tripadvisor.fr), Germany (http://www.tripadvisor.de), Italy (http://www.tripadvisor.it), Spain (http://www.tripadvisor.es), India (http://www.tripadvisor.in) and Japan (http://www.tripadvisor.jp). TripAdvisor® Media Network provides travel suppliers with graphical advertising opportunities and a cost-per-click marketing platform. Collectively, the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network have won hundreds of awards and accolades from press and industry worldwide. TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).

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*Source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2008