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These days, cost-conscious travelers have more options than ever. The question is no longer “Where will we go?” but “How cheap can we get there?” Rest assured, we’re here to tell you the answer: pretty cheap! As evidence, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most budget-friendly travel destinations to watch out for in 2014. These places show it’s totally possible to plan an unforgettable trip to a unique, accessible, and culturally interesting destination, and still feel like you’re getting a deal. Trying to fit all these fabulous trips into a single year? Well, that’s another question…
1. Singapore It’s telling that Singapore Airlines spent the better part of this fall introducing over two dozen brand new 777-300ER planes into its fleet. The national carrier, consistently recognized as one of the top airlines in the world, is simply catering to demand as more and more visitors flock to this verdant Southeast Asian hub. Scores of new hotels are opening all over the city – many of them artfully designed and, best of all, reasonably priced. But it’s not just affordable lodging that keep travelers coming back. The city’s treasure trove of cheap hawker centers (food stalls), diverse ethnic neighborhoods, and abundant green spaces (Gardens by the Bay, for one) show why it’s becoming one of the region’s most accessible, yet endlessly entertaining modern metropolises. (See also: Off The Beaten Path In Singapore)
Canada features more than 3.8 million square miles of diverse landscapes ranging from rolling prairies to pristine glacial lakes. One of the best ways to explore the country is by train. Hop on board one of these lines for the rail adventure of a lifetime.
Rocky Mountain Routes: The Canadian Rocky Mountains serve as the backdrops for several incredible railway trips, including the incredibly popular Vancouver-to-Banff route offered by Rocky Mountaineer. Passengers travel by day, spend the night at a hotel in Kamloops and continue the two-day journey the next morning. Opt for the GoldLeaf package, which entitles you to watch the scenery from the glass-domed upper level and dine in an exclusive dining room in the lower level. Rates for the Vancouver-to-Banff experience begin at $935.
VIA Rail also provides service from Edmonton to Jasper. The scenery can be a little ho-hum as you head south, but once you hit the Rocky Mountains, you’ll “ooh and aah” the rest of the way. One-way travel on VIA from Edmonton to Jasper begins at $110. Read more
You’ve saved your money, packed your bags and are ready to embark on a new adventure. Through all the planning, the same image came to mind: the perfect beach. Whether rocky, sandy, tropical, or wild, beaches conjure up images of vacation and relaxation. But how do you know if your perfect beach is clean? Read more
Chefs are flocking, new hotels are opening, and the film festival is rapidly growing: The city of Toronto now has more reasons to visit than ever. Find out what to see, do, eat, and drink while in this booming Canadian city! Read more
Winter time can prove to be an even bigger headache than usual for air travel. Blustering winds and pesky snowstorms regularly clog major air-hubs from New York City to Chicago (and everywhere in between), causing frustrating flight delays and cancellations. Spare yourself the stress of lengthy, invasive security procedures, and unreliable service by taking the train for your next getaway.
Fares for many of North America’s regional train lines are available for less this season. Here’s some of our favorite deals on rails.
A few weeks ago, I discovered that the people of Toronto are unrelentingly polite and tidy, which didn’t really confound my expectations. But would I also describe Torontonians as succulent, spicy, sexy, sublime, and stupendous? Well sure, some of them, but those words more easily describe the city’s street food.
With limited time and stomach capacity, I took what is admittedly a snapshot of Toronto’s rapidly emerging casual dining scene. However, should you find yourself grazing Toronto on a tight schedule – and tight budget – here are seven snacks you really don’t want to miss.
Today’s breed of Halloween-themed attractions grows more terrifying every year, making the haunted hayrides of bygone eras look like tea parties in comparison. This year is no exception, as many venues have upped the fright factor with freaky new themes (bloodthirsty humanoid centipedes, anyone?), mazes designed for solo exploration, and more serial killer clowns than you can shake a scythe at.
Nobody seems scared off; in fact, brave souls are flocking to these Halloween attractions in such high numbers that many parks have added a fast-pass ticketing option that allows visitors to bypass the lines. Here are our picks for the scariest Halloween attractions in 2012. Check them out – if you dare. Read more
This summer, fly to Canada on Porter Airlines with one-way flights starting from just $67. These rates slash up to half on current airline pricing and include all taxes and fees. Enjoy ideal summer temperatures in Toronto, along with restaurants, art, and nightlife in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Or, fly to Montreal, where you can experience the unique French-Canadian heritage along with the famous Montreal International Jazz Festival from June 28-July 7.
Sample one-way fares from the U.S. to Canada:
- New York City (Newark)–Toronto: $67
- Boston–Toronto: $73
- Chicago–Toronto: $89
- Washington, D.C.–Toronto: $89
- New York City (Newark)–Montreal: $125
- Boston–Montreal: $162
Book fast, because this sale ends Friday, June 1. Travel is valid from June 14-September 3. Book online at the Porter Airlines website and enter the promo code AIR.
See our Canada destination guide for more trip-planning information.
Booking a summer vacation is so satisfying. Even more satisfying? Saving hundreds of dollars on it. Our deals experts have been scouring the internet in search of the hottest summer deals to help you save. Here’s what they came up with, from an incredible suite in Vegas to a cool Bahamas getaway to a 5-star Spain package. For even more deals, check out our weekly Top 25.
Take-off to Toronto, our neighbor-to-the-north’s largest metropolis, during peak season for less. Fly round-trip to Ontario, Canada’s capital from select U.S. cities now through September 5 and slash 40% off seasonal rates. This deal from Porter Airlines, named an Official 4-Star Airline by Skytrax, ends Thursday, April 4. Some of the lowest fares, which factor in all taxes and fees, include departures from:
Most large carriers fly to Toronto’s largest air-hub, Pearson International Airport, an expensive, 40-minute cab ride away from downtown. Porter Airlines conveniently flies to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, set upon an island just off the mainland. After a free five-minute ferry ride, Toronto’s city-center is a quick walk or cab ride away. Read more
Stay in the bustling Toronto city center in the elegant 4-Star Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square. Throughout select dates in March, Expedia has slashed current nightly rates for Superior King rooms by 35% to just $179 per night.
Hotel Le Germain’s Superior accommodations provide guests with modern comforts such as goose-down pillows and duvets, in-room workspace, flat-screen HDTV, and complimentary Wi-Fi access. The hotel’s contemporary lobby encompasses a restaurant and bar that serves exotic cocktails and tapas infused with seasonal Canadian ingredients.
Step outside of the Hotel Le Germain’s relaxing atmosphere to immerse yourself in the excitement of the world’s most cosmopolitan city. If you’re a sports fan, the Air Canada Center, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Raptors, is just a short walk away. The shores of Lake Ontario are also close by, where you can conveniently catch a ferry that will bring you to Billy Bishop Airport within ten minutes. Other nearby attractions include the famous C.N. Tower, world-class shopping, and countless waterfront parks.
To book, visit Expedia, or call Expedia at 800-238-0767. A limited amount of rooms are available at this rate.
The Washington, D.C., area will be getting a lot more air traffic this year. Following U.S. Airways’ announcement that they will be increasing frequency of flights to D.C., Porter Airlines – also one of our Top 10 Budget Airlines – will begin operating daily roundtrip flights between Washington Dulles International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
This route is now the Canadian airline’s sixth U.S. destination (Porter also flies to New York, Chicago, and Boston, and has seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Burlington, Vt.). Flights will begin operating on April 16, with up to three roundtrip flights daily.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
With the holiday only days away, airlines are making it easy to do last-minute tasks to alleviate pre-holiday stress. Virgin Atlantic is helping out holiday travelers by wrapping gifts. For $2, “Virgin Helpers” will wrap one carry on-sized gift while you’re waiting for your flight home for the holiday. Kiosks will be stationed in Terminal 4 of JFK Airport in New York, after you go through security (since the TSA discourages flyers from packing wrapped gifts). All of the proceeds will benefit the charity Virgin Unite.
At the Toronto-Pearson International Airport, you can arrange for a flyer to be greeted by carolers upon arrival. Through December 24, if you’re flying domestic into Toronto-Pearson, tweet @torontopearson with the person’s name, flight number, and flight date whom you’d like to surprise with some holiday cheer.
If your appetite for innovative cuisine in the multicultural city of Toronto was whet by last week’s A Taste of Toronto Part 1: Haute Hotels, here’s a look at some of the top places to savor the flavors of the region’s most passionate food producers, in settings both rustic and romantic. In case you didn’t read Part 1 and are wondering why I look like a NASCAR mechanic who’s about to rappel down a skyscraper (yes, that’s me and I thought it would get your attention), read on for info on Toronto’s newest attraction, Edgewalk at the CN Tower, and why you should definitely allow it to take you to new heights (fellas: there have been multiple proposals here in its first three months of operation), before you dine at the tower’s 360 Restaurant, located just beneath it (details on both are below). Read more
As I flew to Toronto for the first time last week, I felt a bit like I was cheating on Montreal, a city where I have several good friends and with which I have had an ongoing love affair for the past two decades. Toronto, the largest city in Canada (and fifth largest in North America) with its famously multicultural population of 2.5 million who speak 130 different languages and dialects, was never really on my radar as a place to escape to for a romantic weekend. (To be honest, it sounded a bit too much like New York, which is where I’d be escaping from.) But a recent spate of luxury hotel openings paired with an innovative dining scene finally lured me to see what Toronto has to offer couples seeking a sophisticated urban retreat with excellent food and wine (much of it from the nearby Niagara on the Lakes wine region). And wouldn’t you know it, I was pleasantly – and deliciously– surprised.
It’s November, so temperatures have begun to dip, but if you like brisk weather (which goes really well with some of the heartier local fare – Canadian bacon and horseradish-laced mustard on a Portuguese sourdough roll, for example) there is still time for a quick pre-holiday visit. If not, plan ahead for next spring or summer.
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