It's never too early to start planning a fall European vacation, in fact if you book now, the savings will give you a lot more spending money in your pocket when you arrive. Paying in US dollars now will also ensure that you don't suffer from currency fluctuations later. Fall sees a reduction in tourist numbers throughout Europe, plus reductions in everything from hotel prices to train tickets. The Euro may be high, but so will be your spirits when you take advantage of these discounted travel options.
Vacations To Go (TEL. 800/680-2858; www.vacationstogo.com) has money-saving tours this fall from two of the world's leading travel companies, Globus and Cosmos. If you book and pay by June 30, you'll save $150 per couple (or $75 per person) off the price of select air-inclusive Globus and Cosmos vacations that begin in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, London, Paris, Prague, Rome and Warsaw. This special applies for vacations departing between September 1 and November 30, 2005. For example the eight-day Globus "Dutch Masterpiece" tour starting in Amsterdam is currently $1,816 per person for a September 17 departure ($20 more for a September 3 or 10 departure) and includes round-trip airfare from New York, airport transfers in Amsterdam, a professional tour director, six-nights accommodation, hotel taxes, service charges, daily buffet breakfasts, four three-course dinners, private air-conditioned coach, sightseeing per itinerary and all admission charges.
The nine-day Cosmos "Jewels of France" tour starts at $1,297 per person and includes round-trip airfare from New York, airport transfers in Paris, touring by private first-class air-conditioned bus, seven-nights accommodation, hotel taxes and service charges, daily buffet breakfasts, and two dinners. The tour features visits to Rouen, Giverny, Honfleur, Deauville, WWII landing beaches, Bayeux, Mont St. Michel, Châteaubriant,, Orléans, Fontainebleau, the Loire Valley and Châteaux Country. Departing every Friday from September 2 to October 14, 2005.
Go-Today (tel. 800/227-3235; www.go-today.com) is offering a number of low-priced European vacation specials when you travel between September 1 and October 31, 2005. For a Spanish sojourn, $749 plus taxes will get you Go-Today's "Barcelona Special" that includes round-trip airfare from New York, six-nights hotel accommodation, continental breakfast daily, hotel taxes and service charges. Add $20 from Boston, $40 from Chicago and Miami and $60 from Dallas. Other departure cities are available for additional cost.
See Belgium in the fall for a meager $629 plus taxes with their "Brussels and Bruges Special". This price includes round-trip airfare from New York, return 2nd class open rail ticket from Brussels to Bruges, three-nights hotel accommodation in each city (total of six nights), continental breakfast daily and all hotel service charges and taxes. This rate is valid for departures from September 7 and October 31, 2005. Bookings must be completed by June 16, 2005 for both these special deals.
Gate One Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gate1travel.com) is accepting bookings for its special six-day Thanksgiving 2005 package to Paris only until May 19. Get in quick for this budget deal which includes round-trip airfare from New York, four-nights accommodation at the Kyriad Bercy Village Paris and daily continental breakfast for $399 per person plus taxes. Available for departures on November 21, 22 and 23, 2005 only.
Book by June 30 and enjoy their eight-day "Classic Italy" tour for as little as $1,399 plus taxes per person. The package includes flights from New York to Venice and Rome to New York, six nights first class accommodation (two nights in each of Venice, Florence and Rome), all transfers, daily buffet breakfasts, three dinners with wine, sightseeing per itinerary in an air-conditioned coach, entrance fees and the services of an English-speaking tour escort throughout. This price reflects a November 13 departure. Add $50 for departures November 20 and 27, 2005. Other departure cities available for additional cost.
Their eight-day "Independent London" package starts at an appealing $669 plus taxes per person and includes round-trip airfare from New York and six-nights accommodation at the three-star Central Park Hotel. Valid for departures from September 1 to 10, 2005. Add $20 for flights between September 11 and October 25, 2005.
Friendly Planet's (tel. 800/555-5765; www.friendlyplanet.com) fall trips to Europe fill up extremely quickly so if you want to take advantage of their low rates, you must book by June 24, 2005. Their 11-day "Budapest, Vienna and Prague" tour is an ideal introduction to the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and the beauty that is the Czech Republic's capital city. The price per person based on dual occupancy is $1,599 for departure on October 12. This trip during September is already waitlisted.
Their eight-day "Athens & Greek Island Cruise" is $1,399 and includes round-trip flights from New York or Boston on Lufthansa or Swiss Airlines, three-nights accommodation in a superior hotel, three-nights aboard Louis Cruise Lines' MS Perla in an inside cabin, buffet breakfast daily in Athens, all meals aboard the cruise, transfers and a professional, English-speaking tour host throughout. The "Classic Greece Extension" includes three-nights accommodation at superior first class Amalia hotels in Olympia, Delphi and Kalambaka with breakfast and dinners daily for $399. Rates are per person, double occupancy. Book the Athens & Greek Island cruise by June 30, 2005 to save up to $300 per person off the regular price (usually $1,699) for departures on September 7, September 21 and October 12, 2005. Add $100 for departures from Chicago and Washington DC, $150 from Miami and $220 from Los Angeles.
You only have a couple of days left to take advantage of an incredible fall offer for a trip to Ireland. Travel from November 1 to December 16, 2005 and for $399 plus taxes per person Dooley Vacations (tel. 877/331-9301; www.dooleyvacations.com) will give you a four-night Ireland vacation. The deal includes round-trip airfare to Shannon from New York or Boston (add $30 from Chicago and $100 from Los Angeles), one night pre-booked hotel, three nights in your choice of farmhouse B&B's, standard economy car rental for the duration of your trip, full Irish breakfast daily and a Waterford Crystal Factory tour with 10% off any purchases. You can also upgrade to staying in a 5-star castle or fly into Dublin instead for additional cost. Hurry -- bookings must be made by May 18, 2005.