Best travel deals: France, Italy, and Spain for $449

From super cheap cruises that send travelers around the Mediterranean for just $449 per person, to a flight sale that brings the Sunshine State within reach, these are the best travel deals of the week.

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters/File
Clouds fill the sky as the sun rises above the Seine River skyline in central Paris.

When you're on a budget, it's easy to think that a vacation is a luxury you can't afford. But as we've mentioned before, taking a trip doesn't need to cost you an arm and a leg. From super cheap cruises that send travelers around the Mediterranean for just $449 per person, to a flight sale that brings the Sunshine State within reach, these are the best travel deals of the week.

United Airlines Roundtrip Flights to California
Vendor: ShermansTravel
Price: From $107.80
Lowest By: $27
Expires: December 15
Is It Worth It?: While last week's sale from United featured a cheaper base price for tickets, this deal still offers the second-lowest rates we've seen all year for flights to California on United. That means it's still a prime time to pay a visit to the Sunshine State. Break out the SoCal attire (or wine country guide books, if the holidays have left you desperate for a drink), and get packing.
Click on "United.com" in the main paragraph to see this sale; all taxes are included. This price is valid on flights departing from Los Angeles, CA, (LAX) to San Francisco, CA, (SFO) on December 25. Blackout dates may apply. Book this travel deal by December 15 for travel through January 31, 2014.

3-Night Royal Caribbean Bahamas Cruise for 2
Vendor: AmericanExpress Travel
Price: From $292
Lowest By: $110
Expires: December 31
Is It Worth It?: The first of three very good cruise sales in our roundup, this Royal Caribbean deal offers a short jaunt in the warm waters of the Bahamas for anyone weary of the harsh winter chill. You can book happily too, knowing that it's the third-cheapest 3-night Bahamas cruise we've seen from Royal Caribbean this year. Enjoy the ocean view room that comes with this deal, or check out AmericanExpress Travel'sBahamas cruise sale, with prices starting at $169 per person.
This roundtrip cruise departs from Miami, FL, on January 10, 2014 and includes stops in CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas. Some restrictions may apply; fees, government taxes, and fuel supplements are additional.

7-Night Norwegian Cruise Line Alaska Cruise for 2
Vendor: AmericanExpress Travel
Price: From $1,058
Lowest By: $420
Expires: December 31
Is It Worth It?: It might be hard to think longingly of a trip to Alaska while in the middle of December, but the weather will be much more appealing come May when this cruise deal sets sail. And while there are stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, there's also some relaxing "scenic cruising" around the picturesque Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier in case you don't feel like leaving the comforts of the boat. Alternatively, check out the entire AmericanExpress Travel sale on Norwegian Alaska cruises for getaways that start at $549 per person.
This cruise departs from Vancouver, Canada, on May 26, 2014. Some restrictions may apply; fees, government taxes, and fuel supplements are additional.

7-Night Costa Cruises Mediterranean Cruise for 2
Vendor: Vacations to Go
Discount: From $898
Lowest By: $100
Expires: December 14
Is It Worth It?: A Mediterranean cruise is ideal for people who actually hate the idea of cruises, because it's not about the experience on the boat but rather the locales that you can rack up in a short amount of time. In fact, visiting this area of the world by boat is the most convenient way to go, as you'll be restfully carted between Marseille, Savona, Naples, Sicily, and Tunis.
This roundtrip cruise departs from Barcelona, Spain, on February 21, 2014. Some restrictions may apply; fees, government taxes, and fuel supplements are additional.

Sixt Car Rental Sale
Vendor: ShermansTravel
Price: $9.36 per day
Lowest By: $17
Expires: December 15
Is It Worth It?: While the idea of a cruise or cheap flight might seem like the ideal way to travel, there are times when nothing beats the open road. In that case, this sale — which takes 15% off car rentals in Florida — is just the ticket. Saving you $17 a day, it offers the third-best rate we've seen from Sixt all year.
Blackout dates may apply. It's valid at participating locations in Florida only. Fees, insurance, and taxes are additional. Discount is reflected in the listed price. A 7-day minimum rental may be required.

Lindsay Sakraida is the features director for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/best-travel-deals/

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