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Top Budget Travel Destinations for 2012
Your annual guide to the year's biggest savings—from deeply discounted tours to favorable exchange rates to the cheapest five-star hotel rooms around (as low as $112!)—in some of the world's most appealing vacation spots.
Best Time to Visit: April and May are clear winners, with pleasant temperatures (highs range from 68 to 77 degrees), low humidity, and little rain. Just steer clear of April 15, 2012, when Easter festivities will likely inspire price hikes and a run on accommodations.
Where to Stay: With its soaring ceilings, rooftop restaurant, and stunning Acropolis views, it's not surprising that the boutique 11-room Magna Grecia—housed in a refurbished, 19th-century building in central Athens—was a two-time World Luxury Hotel Awards finalist (magnagreciahotel.com, from $107).
Price Check: Airfare to Greece is, understandably, more unpredictable now than ever, and it's imperative to pay attention to which days you travel. On April 16, a nonstop Athens-bound flight from New York costs $1,166 (Turkish Airlines), but four days later the price shoots up by $139—on the same airline! Stopover flights are your best bet if you're coming from Boston ($1,285) or Washington, D.C. ($1,271, both on Delta), or Miami ($1,363 on American Airlines).
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