Real Deals: March 2010

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Exclusive discounts on dream trips for BT 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 March 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 fee charged to solo travelers. Some companies will pair singles at no additional cost.

UNITED STATES

Seven-Night Waikiki Beach Escape, from $776
Continental Airlines flights from L.A. to Honolulu, transfers, fuel surcharges, and seven nights at the Maile Sky Court hotel, three blocks from Waikiki Beach. Mention CV11480. Why it's a deal: Booking each component separately costs at least $829. When: Tuesday and Wednesday departures Mar. 30–June 2. Other gateways: New York ($927). SS: $249. Contact: Continental Airlines Vacations, 800/829-7777, covacations.com/budgettravel.

CARIBBEAN

St. Lucia, from $775
Air from Boston or New York and seven nights at the Bay Gardens Inn in Rodney Bay, overlooking the marina on the north coast. Add $75 for round-trip transfers. Includes fuel surcharges. Mention BTKB1111. Why it's a deal: Booking airfare and the hotel independently would cost at least $860. When: Mar. 1–21, 28–30; Apr. 11–29; May 12–31. Other gateways: D.C. ($785), Miami ($865). SS: $525. Contact: Kenbar Vacations, 800/636-6470, kenbarvacations.com.

SOUTH AMERICA

Buenos Aires & Patagonia, Argentina, from $2,999
American Airlines flights from L.A. to Buenos Aires, transfers and local transportation (bus, plane), 10 nights' lodging, breakfasts, and fuel surcharges. Spend four nights in Buenos Aires and two each in Bariloche, El Calafate, and Ushuaia. Highlights include a half-day city tour of Buenos Aires, a full-day trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, and a half-day tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Mention BT150. Why it's a deal:BT readers receive the Perito Moreno Glacier tour for free (a $150 value). When: Mar. 1–25; Apr. 1–June 15. Other gateways: New York ($3,079), San Francisco ($3,119), Chicago ($3,149). SS: $1,273. Contact: Capricorn Leisure Corp., 800/426-6544, capricornleisure.com.

Machu Picchu & Peru Tour, from $1,650
An eight-day escorted tour from Lima to Cuzco, highlighted by a four-day hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Includes local transportation (bus, plane, train) and seven nights' lodging (two nights' hotel in Cuzco, one night each in Lima and in Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and three nights' camping on the Inca Trail). Airfare isn't covered. The price is for two people. Book by Apr. 30 and mention promo code 4468. Why it's a deal: The companion fare is half price, which makes the overall rate $550 less than the standard price for two people. When: Saturday and Monday departures until Dec. 31. SS: Not available. Contact: Intrepid Travel, 800/970-7299, intrepidtravel.com.

EUROPE

Aegean Sea Cruise & Three Nights in Athens, from $2,069
This spring, drift among the Greek islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini before the high-season crowds of summer descend on the whitewashed-stucco villages and black-sand beaches. The fine print: Air from New York to Athens; transfers; a four-night sail aboard Louis Cruises' Aquamarine, Aegean Pearl, or similar; and a stay at the Athens Gate Hotel or similar. Includes fuel surcharges and port charges. Mention BTMAG300. Why it's a deal:BT readers receive a free upgrade to an outside stateroom (worth about $200). When: Saturday departures Mar. 13 ($2,069); Mar. 20 ($2,209); Apr. 3–24 ($2,709); May 1–29 ($2,809). Other gateways: Many. SS: $459. Contact: Foreign Independent Tours, 800/248-3487, fittours.com/budgettravel.

AFRICA

Egypt Tour, from $2,695
EgyptAir flights from New York to Cairo; transfers and local transportation (boat, car, plane); a four-night Nile cruise aboard Mövenpick's Royal Lily with all meals and six shore excursions, including a visit to Luxor's Valley of the Kings; four nights in a Nile-view room at Cairo's Conrad Cairo hotel or in a pyramid-view room at the Le Méridien Pyramids hotel; and two days of private guided tours in Cairo. Add from $215 for fuel surcharges and airport taxes. Mention BUDGET TRAVEL. Why it's a deal: Booking airfare, the cruise, and your hotel separately costs at least $2,474; this price includes all transfers, flights within Egypt, and private tours in Cairo. When: Tuesday departures Mar. 2–23, Apr. 13–27 ($2,795); May 4–25 ($2,695). Other gateways: None. SS: From $750. Contact: Misr Travel, 800/223-4978, misrtravel.org.

ASIA

Two-Week Thailand Tour, from $1,299
Air from L.A. to Bangkok and a 14-day escorted journey with transfers and local transportation (bus, plane), 12 nights' hotel, and 13 meals. Spend five nights in Bangkok; two nights each in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Sukhothai; and one in Ayutthaya. Highlights include visits to temples, a jade-cutting factory, and the Hall of Opium, a museum in Chiang Rai province. Mention BTMTH200. Includes fuel surcharges. Why it's a deal: Airfare alone is typically at least $734. This price, which includes your hotels, is $200 off the regular package rate. When: Mar. 16, 30, Apr. 13 ($1,299); May 4, 18 ($1,349). Other gateways: Seattle (add from $37), San Francisco (add from $89), New York (add from $190), Dallas (add from $193). SS: $364. Contact: Gate 1 Travel, 800/682-3333, gate1travel.com.

AUSTRALIA

Great Barrier Reef Tour, from $2,475
Qantas Airways flights from L.A. to Cairns, transfers, six nights' hotel (four in Cairns and two in Port Douglas), and a full-day tour of the outer Agincourt Reef aboard a Quicksilver Cruises catamaran with snorkeling. Other highlights: a Skyrail Rainforest Cableway tour and a half-day trip to Cairns Tropical Zoo with private car transfers. Includes fuel surcharges. Book by Mar. 30 and mention TC10014. Why it's a deal: Booking airfare and the hotels independently in April costs at least $2,278; this deal includes all transfers and excursions. BT readers get the zoo trip (worth $70) for free. When: Apr. 1–30 (from $2,625); May 1–June 8, July 24–Sept. 21 (from $2,475). Other gateways: San Francisco (add from $125), New York (add from $200). SS: $795. Contact: Qantas Vacations,800/327-3857, qantasvacations.com.

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