This year, hotels, restaurants, shops, and airlines are losing business… and some of them are coming up with creative ways to get it back.

Here are nine of the strangest deals of the season to help save you money while you travel during these iffy economic times:

** 1. National Fee Relief: Expedia.com

To help you keep traveling while the economy dips and dives, Expedia.com’s National Fee Relief sale cuts the booking fees on all hotels in the United States through December 1. And the discount applies on hotels that are already on sale for Fall, too.

** 2. Baggage Fee Reimbursement Programs

Some hotels around the country are trying to offset the airlines’ new checked baggage fees by offering guests reimbursements…

— L.A.’s The Chamberlain Hotel, The Avalon Hotel, and Maison 140, are offering the “Money Bags” promotion, which pays back 100% of guests’ airline extra baggage fees (up to $75 in hotel credit, and per reservation.)

— Loews Hotels’ “Baggage Buy Back” gives you up to $30 in food and beverage credit, good until Nov. 27.

— Kimpton Hotels pays up to $25 to make up for your checked baggage fee until December 31.

(Kimpton also has hybrid car discounts and free parking for hybrids at some locations… and “Stranded in Style” amenities, so if your flight is canceled, you can get bath salts, complimentary wine or movie, lounge socks, and a cocktail or appetizer at the hotel’s restaurant.)

** 3. New York Recession Sales

Recession? Time to go shopping! In the last few days since the stock market collapse, signs have been showing up in the windows of New York clothing stores, restaurants, and bars advertising “Recession Sale” discounts. You can find a few good ones on this website before you go: http://tinyurl.com/recessionsales

** 4. 1 Million Seats for 1 Pound: Ryanair.com

Ryanair.com is advertising a HUGE sale right now… one million one-way tickets for just one pound (about $1.75) each… and many more for under $50. If you’re traveling in Europe this month or next, don’t miss out on this deal — you can book your cheap flight until midnight on Sunday.

** 5. Travel Like Bond Sale: Orbitz.com

I don’t know if James Bond got 10% off hotel stays, but you can during the “Travel like Bond” sale at Orbitz.com. Save 10% off select hotels by using the coupon code: BOND10 or $75 off certain vacation packages with the code: BOND75

** 6. Hilton & USA Swimming Discount: Hilton.com

Hilton Hotels is celebrating Michael Phelps’ Olympic victories by giving you 10% off your hotel stay. Why not? Book through the special Team USA Advantage page to take advantage of the deal.

** 7. The Race for Space: VirginAmerica.com

It might not have to do with the economy, but how can I resist telling you about this strange deal? When you join Virgin America’s “Elevate” Loyalty Program, you get points that you can apply to free flights and other benefits… but you’re also entered in a drawing to win a seat on one of Virgin Galactic’s new space flights. Test flights of the new spacecraft are scheduled for this year and commercial flights into space won’t be far behind. You need 10,000 points to compete in the “Race for Space.”

** BONUS TRAVEL DEAL: Cheap Flights
Just like the above deal from Ryanair.com, airlines around the world have an excess of seats… and are slashing prices dramatically. For example, a December flight from Washington D.C. to Panama City is almost half the price that it was just two months ago… and in the high season, too.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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