*Rudy Maxa has two deals this week: one to get you snuggling up to a cappuccino in Wales, Istanbul or Prague, and one to get you into the sun in Hawaii.
#1 Europe Winter Deals
Nov. 14, 2003
While most people think about taking a European vacation in the summertime, itís always cheaper in the off-season. So, are you in the mood for a winter trip to Europe? Our dealmeister Rudy Maxa will help get you there.
Rudy says to look for the best deals in January and February. It's very possible that the $99-each-way fares between London and the East Coast will pop up again for January. But the weak dollar means hotels and rental cars will be pretty pricey. You can save some money by going with a package deal or booking at the last minute.
SO, HOW ABOUT SOME SPECIFICS FOR TRAVELERS EAGER TO START PLANNING?
Wales is fabulous in winter. Good thing there's the "Wale of a Deal" package from bmi
Purchase roundtrip airfare for $1,499 between Chicago or Washington and Manchester, and receive an Avis car for a week and seven nights accommodations at any of 16 Welsh Rarebits hotels -- these are charming country house hotels and historic inns. Available from Dec. 15 to March 31.
Istanbul -- a must-do winter trip. A couple of weeks ago, Rudy told us about Picasso Tour's $499 Istanbul trip: That price includes airfare from the East Coast via Lufthansa, four nights in a three-star hotel with breakfast, and airport transfer upon arrival in Istanbul. You can upgrade to four- and five-star hotels for $50 or $100 a night, and there are special prices from other departure cities: like $624 from L.A., San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. Travel between now and March 31st -- but buy the package by Nov. 15th.
Prague in the winter. There's a $399 package deal that includes airfare from New York and DC, via Austrian Airlines, and three nights in a three-star hotel in Prague. And, you can have a free stopover in Vienna.
Istanbul: Picasso Tours at 800-462-8875. Deal is good through March 31, 2004.
Prague via Austrian Airlines: www.imtc-travel.com, or 800-790-4682.
Prague via Continental Vacations: www.continentaljourneys.com, or 800-601-4343.
For cheap airfares to Europe, try 800-FLY EUROPE.
For cheap rental cars, check out Europebycar.com. Remember to lease rather than rent if you're going to be in Europe for longer than 17 days. Avoid high insurance and get a new Peugeot or Renault car, too.
Undiscovered Britain & Ireland: 866-508-8804, or www.travelwales.us/bmi.
#2 Think Warm in Hawaii
Since the fall air is getting a bit chilly, our dealmeister Rudy Maxa says itís time to begin thinking warm. Good thing tour company Pleasant Holidays has some hot, rock-bottom deals on airfare and airfare/hotel packages
WHAT KIND OF PRICES ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
This week, you can find airfare between the West Coast and Hawaii starting at $299 per person, not including taxes of about $50.
Want to do a three-day getaway? You can fly to Honolulu and park yourself on Waikiki for about $333, plus taxes, per person. Thatís for airfare and a plain, but certainly satisfactory, hotel.
What if you want to stretch out for a real vacation? OK, then consider six days at the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui, plus rental car and airfare from Los Angeles: from $1,100 per person, plus taxes.
Pleasant Holidays arranges airfare out of LA and San Francisco, and the cheapest deals are for weekday departures.
These deals can evaporate at any time. If that happens, check out the vacation package arms of major airlines, such as United Vacations. Rudy recently found a five-night package on Maui at the Westin, including airfare from LA or San Francisco for $1,300. Add a rental car for $175 more.
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