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Holiday travel survival guide

By Adam Reiss
CNN
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN's "American Morning" helps navigate the latest airport security rules and shows travelers how to get the best deals, whether it's a trip to a spa or a family vacation to Disney World.

Getting there

Tuesday

Always have a plan when you travel. Get to the airport early and try to avoid lines by using kiosks at the check-in counter. Pack smartly and check the weather ahead of time.

Check airline Web sites such as Expediaexternal link and Travelocityexternal link to find the best rates.

Mark Hatfield, federal security director at Newark-Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, says air travelers should remember the numbers 3-1-1external link. You are allowed containers 3 ounces or smaller, and you have to fit them into a clear, 1-quart-size plastic bag. Each traveler can carry one of those aboard.

Wellness vacations

Wednesday

Spas are an $11 billion a year business and are growing fast, says Spa Finder, a spa marketing and travel company.

People come to Canyon Ranch spa in Arizona's Sonora Desert to better themselves physically and mentally, says Richard Carmona, vice chairman and chief executive officer of its health division.

"Everybody can find their own level of peace here," says Carmona, who stepped down as U.S. surgeon general earlier this year. "We don't push anybody."

Mark Orwoll, managing editor of Travel+Leisure magazine, says, "People want to be pampered and have a sense of luxury, but at the same time they want to get out there and exercise, hike in the canyon or go mountain-bike riding."

After returning from exercise, you can take part in a cooking demonstration, where staff chefs share nutrition tips and recipes for healthy eating. There are also weight-loss, stress-management and smoke cessation programs.

Many people come to re-energize and take advantage of services such massages, including the Ashiatsu in which a masseuse hangs from the ceiling and walks on a client's back.

At the end of the day, you can take a meditation class to help find peace and focus on the meaning of life.

Canyon Ranchexternal link can cost at least $1,000 a day and has resorts in Tucson and Lenox, Massachusetts. It also recently opened spas at the Venetian resort and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee, Florida, and on the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner.

Disney World deals

Thursday

Disney World isn't just the Cinderella Castle and its cast of characters.

There are four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom), two water adventure parks, 22 hotels and five golf courses. The property covers more than 40 square miles, about twice the size of Manhattan.

Disney World has been under pressure from competitors to offer vacations for those who don't necessarily have a lot of money to spend, according to Travel+Leisure. There are packages and hotels in all price ranges, from the less-expensive value packages and hotels such as Pop Century at $100 a night to the more lavish, including the five-star Grand Floridian at around $400 a night.

Disney says it is seeing more intergenerational travel as grandparents take their grandchildren to vacation spots.

"The families all get something out of it, from a couple of months old all the way to the oldest grandparents in the family, because we strive to provide experiences that appeal to all ages," says Xiomara Wiley, Disney's vice president for multicultural markets worldwide.

Several years ago Disney introduced a free program called FastPass that allows people to visit an attraction at a specific time to avoid waiting in line.

Disney Worldexternal link has many packages so you are advised to go online to get the best deals.


story.airport2.gi.jpg

Air travelers should use self-service kiosks to check in and avoid lines at the counter.

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