Real Deals: October 2009

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Terry Prichard

Exclusive discounts for Budget Travel readers.

How was your trip? Have you taken a Real Deals vacation? E-mail us how it went at RealDeals@BudgetTravel.com.

Before you book... These trips and starting prices ("From") sell out quickly, and details may change. Call the companies for complete info. Most rates are based on midweek dates; weekend travel can raise the price. Under "Why It's a Deal," round-trip flights are based on the lowest October departures on kayak.com at press time. Usually not included: service, security, and visa costs; hotel, car-rental, and airport taxes. Check each listing for fuel surcharge details. Prices are per person, with two people sharing a room, unless otherwise noted. The single supplement ("SS") is the extra fee charged to solo travelers. Some companies will pair singles at no additional cost.

UNITED STATES

Bretton Woods, N.H., from $198
One night at the Lodge at Mount Washington Resort and the choice of a half-day canopy tour, 18 holes of golf (until Oct. 19), or a 50-minute spa treatment (massage, facial, manicure, or pedicure) per person. The price is per room. Book by Dec. 7 and mention BUDGET. Why it's a deal: Booking each component separately would cost at least $357. When: Until Dec. 15. Contact: Mount Washington Resort, 877/873-0626, mountwashingtonresort.com.

Central Coast, Calif., from $148
One night at the Cass House Inn in Cayucos and the choice of one $50 dinner credit at the Cass House Restaurant or two tickets to Hearst Castle, about a 35-minute drive away. The price is per room. Why it's a deal: The regular room rate in October starts at $165. You also receive the dinner credit or Hearst Castle tickets (a $48 value) at no extra cost. When: Oct. 1–Dec. 20. Contact: Cass House Inn, 805/995-3669, casshouseinn.com.

Las Vegas, from $387
Three nights in a junior suite at the Signature at MGM Grand, a $50 credit at the MGM Grand Spa, and a $50 beverage credit redeemable at Studio 54, Tabú, Wet Republic, or the Signature or MGM Grand pools. The price is per room. Book by Dec. 1 and mention LUXE. Why it's a deal: You receive the spa and beverage credits at no extra cost. When: Oct. 15–Dec. 15 (from $387). Contact: The Signature at MGM Grand, signaturemgmgrand.com, 877/727-0007.

Nashville, from $169
One night at the Hotel Preston; dinner with wine at the Gerst Haus, Valentino's, or Zola restaurants; a guidebook to match on Germany, Italy, or France; a $25 breakfast credit; and Wi-Fi. The price is per room. Mention CULTURESHOCKBT. Why it's a deal: This price is $70 less than the regular package rate. You also receive the breakfast credit and Wi-Fi at no extra cost (a $35 value). When: Until Nov. 30. Contact: Hotel Preston, 877/361-5500, hotelpreston.com.

New York, from $199
One night at the Muse New York hotel, half a block from Times Square; breakfast; and a flight of wines at Nios restaurant. The price is per room. Mention PINS. Why it's a deal: The regular rate in October starts at $329. You also receive breakfast for two (a $40 value) and the flight of wines (worth about $20) at no extra cost. When: Until Dec. 15. Contact: The Muse New York, 877/692-6873, themusehotel.com.

Portland, Ore., from $155
One night at Hotel Fifty, parking, and a $50 gift card to Pioneer Place mall. Mention BTMALL. The price is per room. Why it's a deal: Booking each component separately would cost at least $74 more. You also receive a free room upgrade worth at least $20. When: Until Dec. 24. Contact: Hotel Fifty, 877/505-7220, hotelfifty.com.

Sonoma County, Calif., from $198
Three nights at the Flamingo resort in Santa Rosa, breakfasts, tasting passes valid at one of 11 wineries, and half-price tickets to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Snoopy's ice rink. The price is per room. Mention HARVESTBUDGET. Why it's a deal: You receive the third night free and all the extras at no additional cost. When: Oct. 5–8, Oct. 11–Nov. 25, Nov. 27–Dec. 24, Dec. 26–Jan. 31. Contact: Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, 800/848-8300, flamingoresort.com.

MEXICO

Baja California Kayaking, from $695
A six-day kayaking tour with two nights' hotel in Loreto, Mexico; three nights of camping; some transfers and local transportation; gear; guides; and all meals while kayaking. Airfare isn't included. Book by Nov. 1 and mention SKABAJA. Why it's a deal: This price is $300 less than the regular package. When: Sunday departures Oct. 25–Dec. 13. SS: $75. Contact: Sea Kayak Adventures, 800/616-1943, seakayakadventures.com.

Riviera Maya, from $552
Delta Air Lines flights from Atlanta to Cancún, transfers, fuel surcharges, and four nights at the beachfront all-inclusive Iberostar Paraíso Beach. Mention DV10748B. Why it's a deal: This price is $100 less than the regular package rate. Booking each component separately would cost at least $673. When: Thursday departures Oct. 8–Dec. 24. Other gateways: Detroit (from $561), New York (from $624). SS: $102. Contact: Delta Vacations, 800/654-6559, deltavacations.com.

CARIBBEAN

Nassau, Bahamas, from $463
Air from Fort Lauderdale, transfers, fuel surcharges, and three nights at the all-inclusive Breezes Bahamas resort, on Cable Beach. Mention BT1. Why it's a deal: Booking each component separately would cost at least $607. When: Oct. 1–31 ($463); Nov. 1–Dec. 15 ($542). Other gateways: New York (from $513), Chicago (from $533), Boston (from $584). SS: $280. Contact: Travel Themes and Dreams, 877/870-7447, travelthemesanddreams.com.

CENTRAL AMERICA

Belize & Guatemala, from $997
A 15-day escorted tour round trip from Belize City with local transportation, 14 nights' lodging (12 nights' hotel and two camping in tents), and six meals. Spend five nights in San Ignacio, Belize; three nights each in Flores, Guatemala, and on Caye Caulker, Belize; two on a canoeing trip on the Belize River; and one in Belize City. Highlights include touring Guatemala's Tikal ruins and snorkeling on the Belize Barrier Reef. Includes a $250 local cash payment due upon arrival. Add from $375 for meals. Airfare isn't covered. Book by Oct. 31 and mention BHH15. Why it's a deal: This price is 15 percent less than the regular package rate. When: Oct. 19–Dec. 20. SS: Not available. Contact: Gap Adventures, 800/465-5600, gapadventures.com.

EUROPE

Azores, from $749
Azores Express flights from Boston to Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel island in the Azores; six nights at the Lince Azores Great Hotel; breakfast daily; and fuel surcharges. Mention BUDGET. Why it's a deal: Booking each component separately for a trip in October would cost at least $1,272. When: Until Oct. 31 ($1,109); Nov. 1–Dec. 12 ($749); Dec. 13–Jan. 7 ($969). Other gateways: None. SS: $320. Contact: Azores Express, 800/762-9995, sata.pt.

Croatia & Slovenia, from $1,550
Lufthansa flights from Boston, D.C., New York, or Philadelphia; eight nights' hotel (two in Zagreb, Croatia, and three each in Bled, Slovenia, and in Opatija, Croatia); breakfasts; and airport taxes and fuel surcharges. Add from $300 for transfers. Mention BUDGETREADER. Why it's a deal: This price is $100 less than the regular package rate. When: Friday departures Oct. 2–30, Dec. 11, 18 ($1,745); Nov. 6–27, Dec. 4, 25 ($1,550). Other gateways: Chicago (add from $40); Miami (add from $80); L.A., San Francisco (add from $130). SS: From $250. Contact: Travel Time, 800/354-8728, traveltimeny.com.

Leiden, Netherlands, Apartment, from $1,539
British Airways flights from New York to Amsterdam; a 10-day Eurail Benelux Pass valid for the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg; and 14 nights in a one-bedroom apartment in the university town of Leiden, 30 minutes from Amsterdam by train. Includes fuel surcharges. Why it's a deal: This price is $400 less than the regular package rate. When: Tuesday departures until Oct. 13 ($2,399); Nov. 3–Dec. 29 ($1,539). Other gateways: Atlanta (add from $127), Chicago (add from $150), L.A. (add from $275). SS: From $620. Contact: Untours, 888/868-6871, untours.com.

Tuscany, from $845
Five nights at Hotel Giglio in Florence with breakfast daily; round-trip transfers from Pisa airport by car; private day trips to Lucca, Pisa, and the Chianti region in a Mercedes-Benz with an English-speaking driver-guide; a wine tasting at Casa Emma winery; and two dinners with wine. Airfare isn't included. Mention BTFALL. Why it's a deal: Booking each component independently would cost at least $1,415. When: Until Nov. 1 ($986); Nov. 2–Dec. 28 ($845). SS: $1,112. Contact: Tuscany in Tour, 011-39/055-681-0014, tuscanyintour.com.

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST

Egypt & Nile River Cruise, from $2,795
EgyptAir flights from New York and a 15-day escorted itinerary round trip from Cairo with a four-night sail on the Nile River aboard the River Hathor or Royal Orchid and nine nights' hotel. Spend four nights in Cairo, three in Aswan, and two in Luxor. The price also includes transfers and local transportation (boat, bus, plane), 30 meals, a guide, and fuel surcharges. Book by Nov. 15 and mention TAAA933. Why it's a deal: This price is $500 less than the regular package rate. When: Oct. 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 16, 20, 23, 28; Nov. 13, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28; Dec. 8, 11, 12. Other gateways: Boston (add $400); Atlanta, Chicago, L.A., Miami, San Francisco (add $450). SS: None. Contact: Overseas Adventure Travel, 800/955-1925, oattravel.com.

South Africa Safari, from $2,499
Air from D.C. or New York, a seven-day car rental, seven nights' lodging, 11 meals, and four game drives in Kapama Private Game Reserve. Spend three nights in Cape Town at the Winchester Mansions Hotel, two in Mpumalanga at the Royal Hotel Pilgrims Rest, and two in Kapama Private Game Reserve at the Kapama River Lodge. Includes fuel surcharges. Mention FIT134. Why it's a deal: Airfare from New York to Cape Town alone typically starts at $1,266, and this deal includes all the extras. You also receive the car rental (a $161 value) for free. When: Wednesday departures Oct. 14–Nov. 11, Nov. 25, Dec. 2 ($2,799); Nov. 18 ($2,699); Dec. 9 ($2,499); Dec. 16, 23 ($3,599); Dec. 30 ($2,999). Other gateways: Atlanta (add $25); L.A., San Francisco, Seattle (add $125). SS: $999. Contact: Foreign Independent Tours, 800/248-3487, fittours.com/budgettravel.

ASIA

Cambodia & Singapore, from $2,369
Singapore Airlines flights from L.A. or San Francisco to Phnom Penh (returning from Siem Reap via Singapore), transfers and local transportation, eight nights' lodging, and most breakfasts. Spend two nights in Singapore and six in Cambodia (two in Phnom Penh, one in Kampong Thom, and three in Siem Reap). Highlights include visits to the Royal Palace and the Preah Morokot Pagoda in Phnom Penh and to the ruins of Angkor Wat near Siem Reap. Airport taxes and fuel surcharges are covered in the price. Mention BTCMB19. Why it's a deal: Airfare typically starts at $1,231. For $1,138 more, you get everything else. Day trips to Tonle Bati Lake beach in Phnom Penh and a Tonle Sap Lake boat ride in Siem Reap—a total value of $130—are exclusive for BT readers. When: Until Dec. 5. Other gateways: Houston (add $150); Denver, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle (add $180); New York (add $200). SS: $700. Contact: Escapes Unlimited, 800/243-7227, escapesltd.com.

China Tour, from $1,242
Air China flights from San Francisco to Shanghai (returning from Beijing) and a 12-day escorted tour with transfers and local transportation (bus, plane), 10 nights' hotel (three in Shanghai, one in Hangzhou, two in Suzhou, and four in Beijing), and most meals. Highlights include watching an acrobatics show in Shanghai, touring a tea plantation in Hangzhou and a silk factory in Suzhou, visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing, and climbing the Great Wall of China. Includes fuel surcharges. Mention BT. Why it's a deal: You save $300 off the regular package rate for October departures and $400 off for November departures. Multicity airfare alone typically starts at $892, and this deal includes all the extras. When: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 ($1,542); Nov. 3, 13, 27, Dec. 4, 11 ($1,242). Other gateways: L.A., Seattle (add $140); Chicago (add $310). SS: $380. Contact: China Focus, 800/868-7244, chinafocustravel.com.

India Tour, from $2,080
Air from New York to Delhi and a 16-day escorted itinerary with 13 nights' hotel, transfers and local transportation, 12 dinners, breakfast daily, and a guide throughout. Spend two nights each in Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, and Jaisalmer, and one night each in Delhi, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Bikaner, and Mandawa. Best parts: viewing the Taj Mahal, riding an elephant in Jaipur and a camel in Jaisalmer, and cruising Lake Pichola in Udaipur. Includes fuel surcharges. Mention BUDGET1014. Why it's a deal: Airfare typically starts at $881. For $1,199 more, all the extras are covered, including 12 dinners (a $450 value) exclusively for BT readers. When: Oct. 14, Nov. 18, Jan. 6, 20, Feb. 24. Other gateways: Chicago (add $50). SS: $690. Contact: Indus Travels, 866/978-2997, industravels.ca.

Vietnam & Singapore, from $1,950
Singapore Airlines flights from L.A. or San Francisco to Hanoi (via Singapore), transfers and local transportation (car, train), seven nights' lodging (two in Hanoi; one each on Ha Long Bay, in Sapa, and in Singapore; and two on the King Express Train), two half-day city tours of Hanoi, most breakfasts, a boat ride on Ha Long Bay with lunch, a dinner at Cha Ca La Vong restaurant, and a half-day cooking class at Le Tonkin restaurant in Hanoi. Includes fuel surcharges. Mention SAYBT18. Why it's a deal: Airfare from San Francisco typically starts at $744. For $1,206 more, the extras are covered, including the free dinner and the cooking class in Hanoi. When: Oct. 1–Dec. 5 ($1,950); Dec. 6–12, Dec. 24–31 ($2,200). Other gateways: Houston, New York (add $150); Seattle (add $200); Dallas (add $250); Chicago (add $350); Miami (add $375). SS: $220. Contact: Sayang Holidays, 888/472-9264, sayangholidays.com.

SOUTH PACIFIC

Fiji, from $1,622
Air Pacific flights from L.A. to Nandi, transfers, and seven nights at the beachfront Radisson Resort Fiji, on Denarau Island. The price includes fuel surcharges. Book by Oct. 31 and mention RADISSONVALUEVACATION. Why it's a deal: This price is $231 less than the regular package rate. When: Until Dec. 27. Other gateways: San Diego, San Francisco (add $135); Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans (add $455); Atlanta, Miami, New York (add $479). SS: $599. Contact: Goway Travel, 800/387-8850, goway.com.

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Queensland, from $515
Six nights in Cairns at the Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina; transfers from Cairns Airport; breakfast daily; and a full-day tour of Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation Beach, with lunch. Airfare isn't included. Book by Oct. 31 and mention 1010120446. Why it's a deal: This price is about 50 percent less than the regular package rate. When: Until Mar. 31. SS: $515. Contact: Down Under Answers, 866/915-7915, duatravel.com.

Worldwide Savings Just for You!
Don't see a destination above that appeals? These two companies are offering discounts around the globe.

Intrepid Travel
Intrepid is taking 25 percent off more than 60 itineraries to Thailand and adding an Urban Adventure excursion (your choice of a four-hour Bangkok bike tour, a walking tour of Chinatown, a boat ride on the Chao Phraya River, or a five-hour tuk-tuk city tour) at no extra cost. The deal is valid for the first 20 BT readers who book by Dec. 31 and mention 3173. After the 20th booking, use code 3174 by Dec. 31 to receive $100 off a Thailand itinerary and one free Urban Adventure. Airfare isn't included. When: Until Dec. 31, 2010. Contact: Intrepid Travel, 800/970-7299, intrepidtravel.com.

Orbitz
Save $100 on any air/hotel package of five nights or longer. Once you choose a qualifying package worldwide, click on the "I have a promotion code" tab, enter BUDTRAV100, and look for eligible deals with the "Coupon" icon. Book by Oct. 31. When: Until Dec. 31. Contact:orbitz.com.

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