Just buying a plane ticket to the Netherlands typically costs at least half the price of this vacation from Europe ASAP (tel. 415/750-5449; www.europeasap.com). This "Amsterdam Spring City Break" package, which includes your airfare and six nights' hotel, takes you there in time to see the tulips bloom -- and all for a starting price of $799 per person.
With its iconic canals, bridges, and sidewalk cafés, Amsterdam is one of the more easygoing European cities. The Van Gogh Museum is also a big draw, as are the Rembrandts in the Rijksmuseum, which are just two of the city's 40 museums. Though there's much to see, don't be surprised if you find yourself slowing down to sit at a café and watch the bicyclists whirl by.
As with many packages, upgrading to different hotels is possible if you crave more luxury or want to be as close as possible to the thick of things. The baseline package price of $799 is based on HEM Hotel Amsterdam, about 10 minutes from the city center by public transit. The priciest place to lay your head is the Barbizon Palace Hotel, which increases the package rate to at least $1,559 per person. You can also request to extend the return date and hotel nights, or just the return date.
Trip Type: Air-inclusive, independent
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Round-trip airfare from New York City to Amsterdam; six nights' hotel at a tourist-class hotel with a private bathroom; breakfast daily; and hotel taxes and service charges.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Taxes, insurance, delivery charges, and airline fuel surcharges ranging from $90-$240.
Book By: April 19
When: April 1-May 14
Other Information: The starting prices are per person based on double occupancy, but the company also provides a range of prices based on one, three, or four travelers; traveling solo will cost anywhere between $300 and $900 more, depending on the accommodations you select. Also, if you opt to travel Thursday to Sunday, a $50 per person surcharge will be applied each way. Dozens of other gateways are possible, which will increase the cost as well.