Some Great Vacation Deals

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It's always nice to start planning a vacation early in the year. It gives you something to look forward to. I have run across some great deals that are available for you to consider. Be aware that most of the offers are date sensitive, fill up quickly, may impose fuel surcharges and may add other extra costs. Prices are per person and based on two persons sharing a room plus taxes. Be sure to research each hotel to make sure it is acceptable to you and your tastes.

There is an eight-day, self-guided Alaska road trip itinerary from Anchorage to Fairbanks. The price of $1,492 covers a three-day car rental; transportation from Anchorage to Fairbanks on the Alaska Railroad; two nights each in Anchorage, the Alyeska ski resort, and the Chena Hot Springs hotel, and one night in Fairbanks; an evening northern lights tour; and more.

Airfare is not included. The offer is good from Feb. 28 through April 12. For more information, phone Fresh Tracks, 800-667-4744.

Perhaps a visit to Kauai? Here is a trip with air from L.A. priced at $865 that includes four nights at the ResortQuest Kauai Beach at Makaiwa resort on Wailua Bay. Add $45 for round-trip transfers. This rate is good for Thursday departures until May 1. Contact Pleasant Holidays, 800-448-3333 for more information. This is a very fine tour operator, which can also offer many other great stays in the islands.

Here's a good eastern adventure: Canada by rail. This nine-night trip departs from Toronto and continues to Montreal with all hotel accommodations (three nights in Toronto and two each in Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal). It also includes intercity transfers by VIA Rail Canada, a tour of each city, and a full day trip to Niagara Falls with lunch and a behind-the -falls tour. This is priced at $1,835 between April 23 and Oct. 31. The fare does not include air transportation. Call Fresh Tracks at 800-667-4744 for more details.

Want some time in the Caribbean? For $869, Air Jamaica flies from Los Angeles to Jamaica with transfers, and four nights at the all-inclusive Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica Resort in Runaway Bay. The deal is good through April 30. Call Vacation Express, 877-784-3786 for more information.

Maybe Belize is a destination for you? American Airlines flies to this interesting Central American country. You can enjoy a seven-day car rental, three nights at Five Sisters Lodge in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, and four nights at the Jungle Jeanie by the Sea resort. Until April 30 this deal is available for $849, flying from Dallas. Call Capricorn Leisure Corp at 800-426-6544 for additional details.

Peru anybody? Fly to Lima from Los Angeles, for a 10-night escorted tour to Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, and Lake Titicaca. The tour includes round-trip train travel from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, visits to Ollantaytambo and Urubamba and a tour of Lima, as well as transfers and local flights. March and April rates are priced at $2,300; add about $350 for meals and entrance fees. Call Djoser, 877-356-7376 for more information.

Berlin and Vienna are a couple of European destinations to consider. Austrian Airlines flies from New York to Berlin, and features a transfer flight, six nights' hotel accommodations split between Berlin and Vienna, with breakfasts. The price until March 20 is $949; you will need to add airfare to New York City. Call Austrian Airlines Vacation Center at 800-790-4682 for details.

A city that rarely disappoints, Prague is another special European destination. Flying from Los Angeles for $849, you can spend six nights at the Juno Hotel, located about 20 minutes from city center by metro. Prague is filled with Old World experiences and pleasures. Many films are made here when the script calls for 17th and 18th century European scenes. There are great people, wonderful food and plenty of charm. Call Gotoday.com, 800-227-3235 for details.

Perhaps China is beckoning you. Air China flies from San Francisco to Beijing with a 12-day escorted tour, which includes Beijing, Suzhou, Tongli, Hangzhou, and Shanghai; 10 nights lodging and most meals. The price of $1,459 is good through April 25. Call China Focus, 800-868-7244 for more information.

One of my favorites is Tahiti and Moorea. One package for $1,995 gives you an Air Tahiti Nui flight from Los Angeles, all transfers, one night at the Sofitel Tahiti Resort, and five nights in Moorea at the Sofitel Moorea Beach Resort and Spa, with breakfast and dinner daily. Having most of your meals included is important because food there is very expensive. Call Air Tahiti Nui, 866-456-6000 for more details.

You might also want to consider New Zealand and Australia this year. These countries are quite special and unique. It's easy to rent a car or motor home and do your own thing. I prefer escorted tours because you have a guide and get all the information needed to fully enjoy the trip.

There is always great pleasure and relaxation on a cruise. Wonderful service, food, entertainment and you unpack only once. Whatever you choose, have a fantastic time.

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