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I have a friend who moved to Auckland and as I was checking airfares for his son to go visit him, I found that Air Tahiti Nui is offering a $1118 roundtrip airfare from LAX to Auckland with a three day layover in Tahiti and they are giving away three free nights in a Tahitian hotel with the deal!

The hotel choices include two waterfront hotels, the Radisson Plaza Resort or the Sofitel Tahiti Maeva Beach. For $275 more (the upgrade fee covers all three nights), you can stay in an over water bungalow at either the Meridien or Intercontinental. They even offer an hotel on Moorea for an extra $200 (for all three nights) at the Intercontinental. To get to Moorea, you will need to ferry to the island, which takes an hour and costs $30 roundtrip, and since I love Moorea I would say it’s definitely worth it, but if you’ve never been to Tahiti, you may want to just stay on the main island.

You must book and buy your ticket by November 6, 2011, but you can travel anytime between January 30 and May 31, 2012. You can travel as early as October 23, 2011 but rates from October 2011 until January 29, 2012 incur an extra $102 per person surcharge. Keep in mind that it is the rainy season in Tahiti from November through February and New Zealand’s Autumn begins in March, so I would recommend going between March and May for the best climate in both places.

Getting the best weather in two countries with a great airfare and free hotel nights may be one of the best holiday gifts to give or receive this year!

Winter in Europe can be beautiful. If you are brave and hearty enough to withstand cold weather, you can fly to nonstop London via Virgin for only $296 each way (based on RT) between January 10 – March 26, 2012. The total including all fees & taxes for a RT is $791.40. This means your Valentine’s Day gift could be as simple as a card with enclosed etickets because this sale includes travel during that week! Hurry and book here because the sale ends at 11:59 PST September 29, 2011.

If you prefer Paris, Air Tahiti Nui has a nonstop $399 fare each way (based on RT) and they have hotel specials that start at only $75 per night in the City of Lights. The only black out dates are from Dec 29-January 12th, so New Year’s in Paris is not available at these prices, but like the Virgin sale, Valentine’s Day is covered. The RT total including taxes and fees will run about $950, and you must stay over a Sunday night. This sale ends October 5, so book here if you want to enjoy the beautiful window displays before Christmas, or the gorgeous chocolate pieces of edible art before Valentine’s Day.

At these prices, you may want to take two trips to Europe this Winter!

I am back from my trip to Greece, so my upcoming posts will be about my trip to Santorini and Athens (with lots of photos for those who wish to travel vicariously).

My trip to Greece started at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, the ultra modern British Airways transportation hub which features shops like Harrod’s selling everything from Thierry Mugler dresses to Lulu Guiness handbags.

Of course I did shop, but my main pastime is food, and with Caviar House in the terminal, I had to stop by for a taste (that is water, not vodka in the picture).

They offer a great selection caviar tastings, smoked salmon, or seafood plates (I opted for the seafood salad since I didn’t want to blow my vacation budget on my airport layover). Considering that I was in an airport in London, this salad was actually quite decent, with fresh greens and tender seafood (about $25 USD); I was not wowed by it, but the staff was so friendly and the location so animated, that I would make this a stop again if I had time to eat or have a drink in Heathrow.

Because Caviar House is associated with Prunier, the French chcolatier in this airport endeavor, they serve their coffees with a taste of their fine dark chocolate; anyone wanting more than a taste can buy some at the shop across from the restaurant to take home (I resisted).

My five hour layover gave me enough time to actually have another light meal before boarding, so I opted for a salad at Plane Food, Gordon Ramsey’s chic take away or eat in restaurant, figuring I had to try his food even if I hated his personality. The space is beautifully designed with a view of their kitchen on one side and the runways on the other.

I ordered the duck salad on rocket (arugula) for about $30 USD, thinking it would be a light tasty meal before boarding my 3.5 hour flight to Greece. The salad looked lovely when it arrived.

But once I ate the top, the middle of the salad was drenched in a sickeningly sweet dressing that made it inedible. For $30 USD this was a total waste of money. Fortunately the waiter did notice that I did not eat my salad and sent the manager over when I told him it was inedible. The manager offered to remove it from my bill but since I had already paid, this was an empty gesture. He offered a gratis glass of wine, which I did accept simply to try to erase the taste of the salad dressing from my memory.

Hopefully I will not have another five hour layover at Heathrow, but if I do I know to avoid Plane Food and head straight over to Caviar House.

With my upcoming trip to Greece I am getting my international travel fix soon, but like all travel addicts I am already looking forward to booking another trip.

Air Tahiti Nui has a deal for four nights at either the Radisson Plaza Resort in an oceanview room or the Manava Suite Resort in Tahiti, including airfare that starts at just $999. Both hotels include breakfast with the rate and hotel to airport transfers. The offer is good from November 1- December 11 (low season) or August 17-September 23 (high season); it rains in low season, so if you are going for sun and beach, go in high season. If four nights isn’t enough (it isn’t), you can include Moorea for 6 total nights starting at $1399 or Bora Bora starting at $2100.

With the movie “Eat Pray Love” coming out this August, many people may want to go to Bali. Singapore Airlines is celebrating its’ 30th anniversary of service to Los Angeles, so on July 26, they are having a sale, five nights hotel, flight, AND TAXES* for only $1410. The vacation package runs through August 31, 2010, but book it as soon as it goes live because once the packages are sold, you are out of luck. The packages include airport and hotel transfers, 2 nights in Singapore at the five-Star Swissôtel The Stamford, 3 nights in Bali at the five-Star Nusa Dua Beach Hotel daily breakfast in Bali, half-day city tour in Singapore; full-day tour in Bali with lunch, and complimentary “Hop-On Bus” pass in Singapore from Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, 2010 and Jan. 1 – Mar. 31, 2011. This deal is equal to the cost of a flight alone, so to stay in five star hotels for the price makes this an incredible deal.

So Tahiti, Bali or both? Hmmm that is the question (I think my answer will be the third option).

*$110 of taxes are not included.

Now that flights are going in and out of Europe again, Air Tahiti Nui is having a sale to get people to travel to Paris again.

Springtime in Paris is nice, but if you can’t make travel short notice or prefer to go in the Fall, you can use code FLYATN1 to save $100 for Economy class tickets or save $400 by using code FLYATN2 for Business class tickets. The codes are only valid for online bookings made through June 6 for travel between May 15th to July 15 or October 1 to November 15, 2010.

If you want to cruise the South Pacific, Paul Gauguin Cruises through the islands of Tahiti, then on to Rarotonga and Auckland. This cruise line was named one of the top three small luxury cruise ships by Conde Nast travelers in 2009, so getting this kind of quality for up to 45% off plus 2 for 1 airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete, makes this even more tempting. Just book by June 30, 2010.

Bon voyage no matter how or where you are going.

So many of us are addicted to being online that when we either lose access or must pay some exorbitant fee to get access, we react as if we can’t get our daily drug fix. One of my friends figured out she spent several hundred dollars a month in access fees in airports and hotels, so she bought a USB WiFi card. Unfortunately, she soon found that it only works intermittently with a weak signal in far too many places.

Since I will be traveling overseas, the USB card solution does not work for me, instead I am signing up for Boingo which allows me to access multiple strong connections worldwide for as little as $7.95 a month (for mobile phones) or $9.95 (for laptops) in the Americas. With over 125,000 hotspots, there is bound to be one nearby.

A subscription to Boingo allows you to use the airport or hotel connections you would probably end up paying for, but for a flat one time fee. One example is that you get access to the Marriott Wifi (and other international hotel chains) for the subscription, but instead of paying $20 a DAY for using it, you pay $9.95 a MONTH. And the monthly subscription allows you to use it in any of the hotspot locations they have in their system, including Starbucks cafes.

I checked and they have several locations even in tiny villages in France and in Athens, so their coverage will fit my needs perfectly for a great low price. You may cancel the subscription at any time, so there is no contract to tie you in at the low rate, unlike the USB WiFi cards. My friend is going to Boingo as soon as her contract expires and she will save $50 a month when she does; she is chalking up her expensive contract as the cost of learning a life lesson.

Yes you read the title correctly, you can find a place to sleep for 30 CENTS through the site Hostel Bookers in the UK. Starting today through Friday, they are giving away 10 beds a day away for .20 GBP which equals 30 CENTS in USD. You must check the site at 7 am EST or 10 AM PST to get the deal because it is on a first come first served basis. The only real caveat is that you must arrive at your destination between May 31 to June 4, 2010 and you must use the reservation yourself, i.e., you can not book for someone else unless you are going with them.

To get a loft in NYC or a place in Miami’s South Beach for this price, it is worth setting your alarm to be online when the sale starts. If you want to travel to a primo location like Barcelona, Florence, or Prague, the options include hostels in all those areas. Remember a hostel is not a five star hotel, so no room service or extras like spa services, but for less than the price of a coffee, you can get a clean place to sleep in locations around the globe. Many people pay 100’s times more to stay in the same area, and they say in real estate, the three most important things to consider are location, location, location, so save on the most important thing so you can splurge on extra things like food and entertainment.

If you still haven’t planned a summer vacation yet, you might want to consider this deal from Travel Zoo which gives you 6 nights in a 1 bedroom suite in Aruba for $629 including airfare from LAX! Price does not include airfare taxes, fees or transfers, but it is still about 40% off the regular price for the three star Aruban Resort.

Just travel between May 1- June 7, or for $60 more, from June 8 – August 30, 2010. The units all include a patio or balcony, dining area, and a kitchenette with a stove, microwave and refrigerator. the resort is across from Eagle Beach, a top rated Travel & Leisure beach destination, and the resort sports two lagoon pools, poolside grill, water slides, and a fitness facility.

Click on this link of call Travelzoo and give them code ARUBA100 by April 23, 2010.

Some days I have a hard time finding anything to write about, but today have have three deals too good to choose from, so I am going to post all three.

For those of you planning a vacation to the Caribbean, there is a 99 hour sale from Cheap Caribbean for up to 60% off all inclusive resorts like the four star NH Real Arena Punta Cana for $59 per person per night. The deals are good until midnight Monday EST and the first 99 reservations can use the promo codes to get an even better deal (I just checked on availability and there are 88 bookings left as of right now).

For those of you who want to buy new workout pants to replace your old ones, Lucy can help you do both and save you some money. This deal is good until the end of the month, so do your spring cleaning and replenish your closet with new clothes by bringing in your old work out pants to your local store and they will give you $10 off a new pair. I always donate my old clothes when I buy new ones so that my closets never overflow, so this deal allows you to do both in one stop.

And finally for those of you you love sushi, head to Zip Fusion Downtown. They are celebrating their eight year anniversary all month by offering all you can eat sushi for $14.95 per person is you order a drink and sit at the sushi bar. This is not your conveyor belt fast food sushi, Zip actually serves quality fish in a nice atmosphere, so rest assured that you will not regret taking advantage of this deal.

Some of the best deals are limited in either time or stock, but if you are flexible and spontaneous enough, you can get a steal. For the next 72 hours (give or take a few hours depending on when you are reading this), C&H is having a Delta airfare sale from LAX to Hong Kong for $710. Taxes and charges add another $185, but this still means you can fly roundtrip for under $1000! You may travel between now and May 1 or from August 15 until December 9, 2010 with a maximum 6 month stay. If you are traveling from the East Coast, the fare from JFK is only $593 (plus about $185 in taxes & fees), but maximum stay for this ticket is 90 days.

If you need a place to stay they even have a 3 star hotel for only $93 a night at the City Garden Hotel, so give them a call at 866-266-5264 and book your trip while you still have this window of opportunity.

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