Real Deals: November 2009

0911_rd_vegas0911_rd_vegas
Dave Lauridsen
Looking west across the Las Vegas skyline toward the Spring Mountain

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 November 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

Las Vegas, from $193
Delta Air Lines or Northwest Airlines flights from Salt Lake City, a four-day rental car, fuel surcharges, and three nights at the Riviera Hotel & Casino on the Strip. Mention BT10897. Why it's a deal: Airfare alone typically costs $154. For an extra $39, you get the car and hotel. When: Monday departures Nov. 30–Dec. 21; Jan. 11. Other gateways: Atlanta, Detroit (from $245); New York (from $361). SS: None. Contact: Delta Vacations, 800/800-1504, deltavacations.com.

Orlando, from $549
Air from Atlanta, a seven-day car rental, and seven nights in a one-bedroom condo at Vacation Village at Parkway, a mile from Walt Disney World. Includes fuel surcharges. Mention TD4. Why it's a deal: Booking each component separately would cost at least $380 more. When: Nov. 1–Dec. 17, Jan. 4–31. Other gateways: New York, St. Louis ($599); Chicago ($629). SS: $299. Contact: Travel Themes and Dreams, 877/870-7447, travelthemesanddreams.com.

Waterville Valley, N.H., from $336
Two nights at Waterville Valley Resort (choose from Black Bear and Golden Eagle lodges, Town Square and Village condos, or Snowy Owl and Valley inns), two-day ski lift passes for two adults, and a $50 credit for Town Square restaurants and shops. Dec. 4 and 11 stays also include a horse-drawn carriage ride for four, and the two-day lift tickets are replaced with one-day passes for two adults and two kids. Mention BUDGET TRAVEL. Why it's a deal: Booking each component separately costs at least $610. You also receive the $50 credit free. When: Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 ($356); Jan. 3–6, 10–13, 18–20, 24–27 ($336). Contact: Waterville Valley Resort, 800/468-2553, visitwatervillevalley.com.

MEXICO

Cancún, from $459
Air from Fort Lauderdale, transfers, fuel surcharges, and three nights at the all-inclusive Royal Solaris Cancún Resort. Mention TD5. Why it's a deal: Booking each component separately costs at least $508. When: Nov. 1–Dec. 15 (from $459); Jan. 4–31 (from $578). Other gateways: New York (from $539), Chicago (from $569). SS: $249. Contact: Travel Themes and Dreams, 877/870-7447, travelthemesanddreams.com.

CENTRAL AMERICA

Belize Kayaking, from $1,159
An eight-day round-trip escorted tour from Belize City with local transportation (kayak, plane, van), seven nights' lodging (three in hotels, four in tents), 12 meals, equipment, and a guide. Spend two nights in Placencia, one in Belize City, and four on islands near the Gladden Split marine reserve. Airfare isn't covered. Includes a local payment of $200. Book by Nov. 30 and mention BTBKS20. Why it's a deal: This price is 20 percent less than the regular package rate. When: Nov. 2–Apr. 30. SS: N/A. Contact: Gap Adventures, 800/465-5600, gapadventures.com.

Costa Rica, from $954
American Airlines flights from San Francisco to San José, a seven-day car rental, four nights in Arenal at Arenal Volcano Inn with breakfasts, a volcano tour, three nights in Monteverde at the Hotel Fonda Vela, and fuel surcharges. Mention BT75. Why it's a deal: This price is $75 less than the normal package rate. when Until Dec. 20 ($954); Jan. 5–30 ($1,054). Other gateways: L.A. (from $994), D.C. (from $1,024), New York (from $1,034). SS: $449. Contact: Capricorn Leisure Corp., 800/426-6544, capricornleisure.com.

SOUTH AMERICA

Buenos Aires & Panama City, from $1,599
Copa Airlines flights from Miami to Buenos Aires, transfers and local transportation (plane), eight nights' hotel, and breakfasts. Spend five nights in Buenos Aires, one in Puerto Iguazú, and two in Panama City. Highlights include a Tigre River cruise, a Fiesta Gaucho horse-riding demo with lunch, an Iguazú Falls tour, and a Panama Canal visit. Add from $167 for fuel surcharges. Mention EUEZE1109. Why it's a deal: Booking airfare and the hotel separately would cost at least $1,242. For $357 more, all the extras are covered. You also receive a free Tigre River cruise and Fiesta Gaucho experience (a $100 value). When: Until Dec. 6 ($1,599); Dec. 7–Jan. 6 ($1,899). Other gateways: Orlando (add $65), New York (add $100). SS: $500. Contact: Escapes Unlimited, 800/243-7227, escapesltd.com.

EUROPE

Greece, from $899
British Airways flights from New York to Athens and a seven-day escorted tour with transfers and local bus transportation, five nights' hotel (three in Athens, one each in Delphi and Kalambaka), breakfasts, and fuel surcharges. Highlights include a visit to the Acropolis. Book by Nov. 30 and mention BTGN100. Why it's a deal: Airfare alone typically costs $723; plus, this price is $100 off the regular package rate. When: Nov. 9, 16, Feb. 22, Mar. 1, 7, 8, 14, 20, 21 ($899); Nov. 2, Dec. 7 ($969); Nov. 23, Jan. 11, 25, Feb. 8 ($939); Nov. 30 ($989); Dec. 14 ($1,129). Other gateways: Many. SS: From $113. Contact: Gate 1 Travel, 800/682-3333, gate1travel.com.

Ireland, from $699
Air from Boston or New York to Shannon (returning from Dublin), transfers and local bus transportation, a five-day escorted tour with four nights' hotel, breakfasts, and fuel surcharges. Spend one night in Limerick, two in Killarney, and one in Dublin. Highlights include visits to the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle & Folk Park in County Clare. Mention BUDGET TRAVEL. Why it's a deal: Airfare alone typically costs $560. This price includes everything else, plus a free ticket to Bunratty. When: Wednesday departures Nov. 4–Dec. 2, Jan. 20, 27 ($699); Feb. 3, 17, 24 ($729); Mar. 3–24 ($749). Other gateways: Houston (from $839); Chicago, Miami (from $869); L.A. (from $899). SS: From $210. Contact: Sceptre Tours, 800/221-0924, sceptretours.com.

London & Amsterdam, from $1,128
Air from New York to London (returning from Amsterdam), a local flight, three nights in London at the Bayswater Inn, three nights in Amsterdam at the Hem Hotel, breakfasts, and an Amsterdam city tour. Includes airport taxes and fuel surcharges. Book by Nov. 30 and mention BUDGET TRAVEL. Why it's a deal: You receive free transfers in each city (worth $120). When: Nov. 1–Dec. 10, Jan. 6–Mar. 25 (from $1,128). Other gateways: Many. SS: From $320. Contact: EuropeASAP, 415/750-5449, europeasap.com.

Tuscany, from $1,299
Alitalia flights from New York to Rome, a six-day car rental, five nights at Villa il Patriarca in Chiusi, breakfasts, a wine cellar tour and tasting in Montepulciano, a dinner at La Taverna del Patriarca, and a half-day cooking lesson. Includes fuel surcharges. Mention BTMAG237. Why it's a deal: Airfare alone typically costs $588; this price includes your stay and a car. Plus: The cooking class (a $140 value) is free. When: Tuesday departures Nov. 3 ($1,599); Nov. 10, Jan. 12 ($1,299); Nov. 17, Dec. 8, Jan. 19, 26 ($1,699); Nov. 24, Dec. 1, Jan. 5 ($1,799); Dec. 15, 29 ($1,899); Dec. 22 ($1,999). Other gateways: Boston (add $50), Chicago (add $125). SS: $799. Contact: Foreign Independent Tours, 800/248-3487, fittours.com/budgettravel.

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST

Botswana & Victoria Falls, from $2,795
Air from D.C. or New York to Johannesburg, transfers and local transportation, seven nights' hotel, four game-viewing drives at Chobe National Park, 16 meals, and fuel surcharges. Spend one night in Johannesburg at the Airport Grand Hotel, two near Victoria Falls at Zambezi Sun Hotel, and four in Kasane, Botswana, at Chobe Safari Lodge. Highlights include a Victoria Falls tour. Mention BT-MASAI. Why it's a deal: You're getting $100 off the regular package rate, and you also receive an extra dinner (worth $50) free. When: Until Dec. 9, Jan. 7–Apr. 30 ($2,795); Dec. 10–Dec. 23 ($3,045); Dec. 24–Jan. 6 ($2,965). Other gateways: Atlanta (add $200). SS: $465. Contact: Masai Travel, 800/587-1644, masaitravel.com.

Dubai & Bangkok, from $2,315
Emirates flights from New York to Bangkok (returning from Dubai), transfers and local transportation, three nights in Bangkok and three in Dubai, breakfasts, tours in each city, and fuel surcharges. Highlights include visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok and the Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai. Mention BUDGET TRAVEL. Why it's a deal: Airfare alone typically accounts for half this cost. You also get the hotel, transfers, and tours. The Grand Palace tour is free. When: Until Nov. 11, Nov. 27–Dec. 3, Jan. 8–23, Jan. 29–Feb. 19, Feb. 25–Mar. 31 ($2,315); Nov. 12–26, Jan. 24–28, Feb. 20–24 ($2,355); Dec. 4–Jan. 7 ($2,860). Other gateways: D.C. (add from $125). SS: From $280. Contact: Pacific Holidays, 800/355-8025, pacificholidaysinc.com.

Egypt, from $2,795
EgyptAir flights from New York to Cairo, transfers and local transportation (boat, car, plane), a four-night sail on the Nile River aboard the Mövenpick's Royal Lily with all meals and six shore excursions, four nights in Cairo at the Conrad hotel, and two days of private guided tours in Cairo. Mention BUDGET TRAVEL. Add from $215 for fuel surcharges. Why it's a deal: Booking air, the four-night Nile cruise, and the hotel separately would cost at least $2,480. This price includes transfers and guided tours. When: Nov. 3, 10, Dec. 1, 8, Jan. 12, 19, 26 ($2,795); Dec. 15 ($3,215); Dec. 16, 23 ($3,595). Other gateways: None. SS: From $680. Contact: Misr Travel, 800/223-4978, misrtravel.org.

ASIA

Cambodia, Mekong Delta Cruise & Vietnam, from $1,731
A 15-day tour with transfers and local transportation, 13 nights' lodging (boat, hotel), and most meals. Spend one night in Ho Chi Minh City, nine nights sailing the Mekong Delta aboard the Indochine, and three in Siem Reap. Highlights include an Angkor Wat tour. Port charges are covered; airfare isn't included. Mention MB1. Why it's a deal: This price is half the regular package rate. You also receive the transfers (a $98 value) at no extra cost. When: Nov. 14; Dec. 2, 20; Jan. 7. SS: From $799. Contact: Value World Tours, 800/795-1633, valuecruises.net.

India, from $2,398
Singapore Airlines flights from L.A. or San Francisco to Chennai (via Singapore), or Air India flights from New York (via Mumbai); transfers and local transportation; 14 nights' lodging (hotel, houseboat); breakfasts; and fuel surcharges. Spend three nights each in Mamallapuram Beach and Kovalam Beach; two each in Kumbakonam, Madurai, and Periyar; one in Cochin; and one in Alleppey on a houseboat. Highlights include an elephant ride and a two-hour massage. Book by Dec. 15 and mention SAYBT28. Why it's a deal: Airfare alone typically costs $1,129; this price includes two weeks' lodging to start. You also receive a free elephant ride and massage. When: Nov. 1–Dec. 5, Jan. 10–Feb. 15 ($2,398); Dec. 6–12 ($2,598); Dec. 24–Jan. 9 ($2,798). Other gateways: Houston (add $150), Denver (add $200), Dallas (add $250). SS: $800. Contact: Sayang Holidays, 888/472-9264, sayangholidays.com.

Thailand, from $1,356
A seven-day escorted biking tour from Chiang Mai to Thaton with transfers and local transportation, six nights' hotel (two in Chiang Mai; one each in Ban Rai, Chiang Dao, Fang, and Thaton), guides, bike rental, luggage transfers, and all meals. Excursions include visits to the geysers at Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park and a Padaung village near Thaton. Airfare isn't included. Book by Nov. 30 and mention BTON-09. Why it's a deal: This price is 15 percent off the regular package rate. You also receive the bike rental (a $110 value) free. When: Nov. 16; Dec. 21, 28; Jan. 18; Feb. 15; Mar. 8. SS: $375. Contact: Pedalers Pub & Grille, 877/998-0008, pedalerspubandgrille.com.

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