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Travel Deals Dominate in 'Dark' January

January, though, has the benefit of being outside holiday blackout periods, which offers immediate use for Southwest Airlines' (LUV) Click 'n' Save fares that get a frozen Buffalo resident to Orlando, Fla., for as little as $119 each way or allow a chilled Chicagoan to thaw in Tampa for as low as $129 each way. American Airlines (AMR), meanwhile, made today its cutoff date for $29-each-way fares from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and $97-each way flights from Milwaukee to Miami, but gives fliers until Tuesday to book fares to Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and elsewhere starting at $59.

AirTran (AAI), however, provides the greatest amount of leniency by allowing travelers to book special fares to the Caribbean -- including $89-each-way rates from Memphis, Baltimore or Charlotte to Nassau in the Bahamas and $89 each way from Atlanta to Cancun, Mexico -- and use them any time through May 24.

International airfares tend to get a lot cheaper, too, as SmarterTravel found round-trip fares from Chicago to Florence, Italy, dropped from an average of $1,358 in June to $891 in January, with fares from Boston to Rome plummeting from $1,170 to $808.

Hotels: A slow season tends to bring out the vacancy signs, which inspire hotels to offer travelers a ton of incentives. The Sonesta chain of hotels, for instance, is offering $111 room and per-person rates in the U.S., Caribbean, South America and Egypt through Jan. 11 as part of its 1.1.2011 promotion.

Not to be outdone, luxury hotelier Fairmont is offering guests $300 to $500 credits to stay at its $429-and-up-per-night Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, Calif., a 30% discount and boat tour for the kids at its Mayakoba resort in Mexico and a fifth night free at its Kea Lani hotel in Maui.

Local tourist boards are getting in on the action as well, as the Islands of the Bahamas are giving away free companion airfare to travelers who book an airfare-and-vacation package of four nights or more. Las Vegas, meanwhile, is offering 50% off on hotel rooms and "buy two nights, get one free" hotel deals to lure tourists. Southwest, meanwhile, is baiting families with a fourth night free at any of Disney's (DIS) Disneyland resort hotels in Anaheim, Calif., to travelers who buy packages including airfare, hotels and park tickets.

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