What's the Deal? This week's best travel bargains around the globe.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


-- Mexico's Ixtapan Spa Hotel and Golf Resort is offering a mother-daughter promotion for stays May 1-Sept. 18. For a seven-night Spa Classic package, mom pays $1,390 and daughter pays $500, which comes to $945 per person double; usual rate starts at $1,175 per person. For a four-night package, cost is $870 for mom and $290 for daughter, or $580 per person double, a savings of $380 for two. Taxes are 17 percent extra. Package includes all meals, 12 or 18 spa treatments (depending on package length), fitness and yoga classes, guided walks, golf and tennis lessons, and Internet access. The resort is in the Sierra Madre Mountains, less than two hours from Mexico City. Info: 800-498-2726, http://www.spamexico.com.

-- Take 20 percent off many spring trips from Intrepid Travel. For example, the April 11, 18 and 25 departures of the Essence of China itinerary are now $1,856 per person double, a savings of $464. The escorted tour travels from Hong Kong to Beijing and includes land transport, taxes and 20 nights in hotels, guesthouses, overnight trains and monasteries. Airfare is extra. Similar savings are being offered on trips around the globe for departures through mid-May. Info: 800-970-7299, http://www.intrepidtravel.com/specials.

-- When in Rome Tours is offering deals on its Vatican City tour. Buy three at the regular price (about $34 each) and get a fourth for free. Or pay about $14 per person for the Vatican tour when you book it with a second tour. The Vatican admission fee of about $21 each is extra. Promo is ongoing at least through summer. Other companies typically charge about $60, including entrance admission, for a similar tour. Info: http://www.wheninrometours.com.


-- Book the Islands of the Edge cruise on the Polar Star, a 105-passenger luxury expedition ship, and receive the Highlands & Islands cruise for $600. The 12-night Islands of the Edge cruise -- departing Dartmouth, England, on May 4 and sailing to Oban, Scotland -- starts at $5,245 per person double, including taxes. The 12-night Highlands & Islands cruise, departing Oban on May 16, is $600 when booked with the first cruise. The Highlands cruise usually starts at $5,245. Cruises include daily excursions. Book by March 31 with Adventure Life Voyages (800-344-6118, http://www.alvoyages.com).

-- Book by March 31 and save $400 per couple on 27 Galapagos cruise/tour departures from General Tours World Traveler. Pricing varies by departure date and trip itinerary. For example, the seven-night Journey to the Galapagos tour, which includes a four-night Galapagos cruise and three nights in Quito, Ecuador, starts at $3,099 per person double for the May 13 and June 3 departures. (Other dates are slightly higher.) Packages include shore excursions, internal flights and taxes. Deal applies to trips through December. Info: 800-221-2216, http://www.generaltours.com.


-- Qantas has sale fares from Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York to Melbourne, Australia. Round-trip fare from the West Coast is $866, including $128 taxes; from New York, flight costs $1,080, including taxes. Travel April 19-June 8 and July 24-Sept. 21. Other airlines are matching. Book by March 31 at http://www.qantas.com or pay $15 more by calling 800-227-4500.

-- On American Airlines, fly to St. Lucia from $418 round trip, including $100 taxes. Fare is valid for travel from Washington Dulles, Reagan National or BWI Marshall through Nov. 15. Fourteen-day advance purchase required; book by March 31. Flights with the most convenient connections are slightly higher, at about $434. Fare on other airlines starts at $589. Book at http://www.aa.com, or pay $20 more by calling 800-433-7300.


-- For its China Delights tour, China Spree travel is offering discounts of $500 on April 1-Oct. 31 departures and $300 for those in November. Prices vary by date. For April 6-June 1 and July 6-Oct. 26, the 10-night tour starts at $2,021 per person double, including $322 taxes and fuel surcharge; June 8-29 departures are $200 more. In November, trip starts at $1,621, including taxes and fees. The package tour visits Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai, and includes round-trip air from New York to Beijing with return from Shanghai on Air China; lodging at four hotels; 24 meals; all internal transport, including flight to Shanghai; and escorted sightseeing with entrance fees. Lowest prices also include discount for cash payments. Priced separately, a trip in June would cost about $1,895 for hotels and airfare alone. Book by March 31. Info: 866-652-5656, http://www.chinaspree.com.

-- Carol Sottili

Submit travel deals to whatsthedeal@washpost.com. Please include your phone number and e-mail address.

Prices were verified Thursday afternoon when the Travel section went to press, but deals sell out and availability is not guaranteed. Restrictions such as blackout dates and advance purchase may apply.

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