As I have been saying for a few months now, 2009 is going the be the year of the travel deal!

We always expect to see fantastic cruise deals at this time of year — it’s “Wave Season”, after all, when the cruise lines hope to bolster their bottom lines with some advance bookings for the year. But I have been seeing some not-to-be-missed promotions from major land-based resorts as well.

Family visit with Minnie Mouse

Visiting Minnie Mouse

For families, you can’t beat the “Buy Four Get Three Free” deal that Walt Disney World is offering:  from now through the end of March, purchase a four-night package and receive three additional nights (with park passes) for free. It’s good for travel through June, but space is limited and restrictions apply.

Atlantis Resort

Atlantis Resort

Not interested in Orlando? How about Atlantis Resort’s “Stay Four Nights for the Price of Three” offer? Visit this popular Paradise Island resort from now through April 1st, and your special package can include: four nights for the price of three, kids (under 12) stay and play for free, plus two free dolphin experiences and free admission to the Aura nightclub. Again, space is limited and restrictions apply, but this is a very family-friendly deal!

Looking for a more romantic experience? All five Almond Resorts, in Barbados and St. Lucia, are offering up to 50% off their room rates for bookings made from now through February 9th (for travel any time in 2009).

Or, if you’re leaving the kids at home, check out Couples Resorts special promotional rates of up to 50% off for their adults-only resorts in Jamaica. Must be booked by 2/28 for travel through the end of 2009.

The list could go on and on, but the point is that even the “biggies” who normally would not have to be discounting at this time of year are coming out with all sorts of special deals and promotions to entice you to travel again. So why not give in? You know you need an escape!

If these sales don’t necessarily do it for you, what WOULD get you to travel this year? Post your comment below.