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The early bird may get the worm, but the last-minute traveler gets the cheap air tickets to Europe with this sale from Aer Lingus. Travel June 16-30 or July 2-August 22 (depending on the route) from New York, Boston and Chicago to select cities in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy for as low as $348 (each-way). Nine great cities are included in the sale — even Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.
THE VALUE: The same routes cost over $1,000 in summer on other airlines, so this deal saves over $400 on round-trip tickets.
THE CATCH: Tickets must be booked seven days in advance of travel, and taxes and fees are not included.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book online with Aer Lingus.
Spring usually means the arrival of warmer weather, blooming flowers, and higher airfare to Europe. Fortunately, KLM is breaking tradition and slashing rates on flights to London, Venice, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rome, Barcelona, Helsinki, Oslo, Prague, Madrid, Zurich, and Stockholm! This sale coincides with the start of festival season in Europe, so why not pop over to Budapest for the Palinka food and wine festival, Barcelona or Madrid for May Day fiestas, and Stockholm for the popcorn film festival? Fly now through May 15 from Chicago, New York, Dallas, or San Francisco for rates as low as $278 one-way.
Sample Fares (O/W)
• New York City – Barcelona: $278+
• Dallas – Amsterdam: $313+
• Chicago – London: $336+
• Miami-Budapest: $374+
• Washington – Oslo: $379+
• Houston – Venice: $384+
• San Francisco – Madrid: $419+
THE VALUE: Fares to Europe in April and May are often close to $500 each way, so this sale saves you an average of $400 round-trip.
THE CATCH: Taxes and fees are not included, and these one-way prices are based on round-trip purchases.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book your flight with KLM.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the best hotel deals in Europe.
It may only be entertainment, but the settings of movies and TV shows do have the power to transport. So it made me think that with the Oscars just a few weeks away, I should share my picks for the top 10 movies that capture both the romance and beauty of a place – and are actually fun to watch.
Bora Bora: Couples Retreat Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau may be the stars of this 2008 comedy, but Bora Bora steals almost every scene. Filmed at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort (doubling as the fictitious Eden Resort – and shown above at left), the movie is not as winning as Wedding Crashers, but it will make you want to raid your bank account and fly off to this ridiculously romantic paradise.
New York City: When Harry Met Sally I live in New York City and this 1989 romantic comedy nails what I love most about my hometown – winter, spring, summer, and fall. With scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Central Park Boathouse, Yankee Stadium, and Katz’s Delicatessen (a sign still hangs above the seat where Sally showed Harry how to fake it), this Nora Ephron-written, Rob Reiner-directed classic is like calling a dear friend who lives here each time you watch it.
Barcelona is a city unlike any other – it has Gaudi’s modernist masterpieces, vibrant Catalan culture, and even a beach – making it a wonderful place to visit time and again. It also makes a great base for exploring other nearby destinations that complement rather than compete with its charms. Two great add-ons to a stay in Barcelona are Lisbon, Portugal, another intriguing city yet with a very different vibe, and the sunny Spanish island of Mallorca. I recently visited both and here are my recommendations:
LISBON This hill-bisected city on the River Tagus is often described as “melancholy.” Sure, its buildings are a tad weatherworn, a few of its streetcars are certifiable antiques, and its soulful fado singers can make you cry, but Portugal’s capital city is far from a sad place. Rather, it is an inviting collage of lively neighborhoods, each with its own charm and character: Baixa, its central hub, is home to wide, pedestrian-only Rua Augusta stretching from the graceful fountains of Rossio plaza (shown above) to the elegant arch on Praca de Comercio; Bairro Alto, or “high neighborhood,” is a 16th-century maze of narrow cobblestone streets that comes to life at night with its numerous bars; Alfama, a dense warren of steep medieval lanes, leads up to the viewpoints from Castelo de Sao Jorge; and Belem to the west is home to the 16th-century Manueline-style Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and Torre de Belem.
Barcelona has long been a hotbed of architectural innovation—ever since the master of Spanish Modernism, Antoni Gaudi, defied 19th-century design genres by creating buildings that fused Gothicism, Art Nouveau and Surrealism. His massive and still-under-construction Sagrada Familia, undulating Casa Mila and whimsical Parc Guell changed the city’s landscape and rank high among tourist must-sees. So when you visit Barcelona with someone special, don’t just stay in any old hotel. Continue the visual fantasy by spending the night in one of these five sexy and stylish options. Several are surprisingly well priced and all offer refreshing design as well as fabulous views of this enticing city: Read more
1. Andaz San Diego’s Last-minute Pride Sale (also valid beyond Pride)
Attention procrastinators and impulse travelers: tomorrow is San Diego Pride, the fifth largest in the nation, and Hyatt’s Andaz Hotel has a deal for you. (A bit late to the game, but with a property this pretty, we’ll excuse anything.) Priced from $209 the Pride Welcome Package includes stylish accommodations, daily breakfast for two, late check out till 4pm, a surprise welcome amenity and tailored LGBT travel info courtesy of the concierge. With a historic Gaslamp Quarter location away from the North Park and Hillcrest hoopla, its rooftop pool is perfect for relaxing after the mania of the parade, festival, performances by Eve and Devo (yes, that Devo, pictured above) and whatever other laid-back sun and fun San Diego throws at you. Book here with code LGBT10 or call 619-849-1234. Can’t make it this weekend? The package is available at all Andaz properties worldwide through December 30. Check out our San Diego Travel Guide.
2. Win a trip to Dallas Gay Pride
Strap on your spurs and kiss a cowboy for luck, because the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau is giving away an all-inclusive weekend package for two to the 27th annual Dallas Pride September 17–20. Prize package includes two roundtrip flights on American Airlines, a four-day three-night stay at the W Dallas-Victory Hotel, dinner at its signature restaurant Craft, and two passes each to Gay Day at Six Flags Over Texas (wheee!) and Gaybingo Dallas (it’s not just for grannies anymore). Click here to enter; sweepstakes ends July 29, 2010. See everything to look forward to in our Dallas Travel Guide.
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