This Week’s Top 20: 2015 Hot Spots at 2005 Prices

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Deal Expert, New York
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No deals for time travel in this week’s Top 20 for Marty McFly; but there’s still lots to get excited about. While we’re not seeing 1985 prices (I can check “Make ‘Back to the Future’ Reference” off my to-do list now), we ARE seeing 2005 pricing.

Here is a list of the themes I’m seeing this week in travel.

Continued Low Europe Prices

A European vacation. For two people. For less than $1000. FOR A WEEK.

$499 — Portugal: Weeklong Azores Winter Vacation w/Air

Here’s the deal with this one: The Azores Islands deal only flies out of Boston BUT (wait! don’t move on yet!) it’s one of the only nonstop flights from the U.S., meaning that no matter where you came from you’d have a layover. It’s 100% worth it (and hundreds of dollars cheaper) to get your own flight to Boston to take advantage of this.  This just screams zero-effort jetsetter: It’s off the beaten path for Americans and, at 4.5 hours from Boston, a shorter distance than some domestic flights.

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Norwegian Shuttle really never ceases to amaze me.

$318 & up — Scandinavia & Europe Winter Fares (Roundtrip)

Their fares are mindblowing. Scandinavia from across the country starting at $318 — that’s including taxes, a seat, and a ticket home. While the terms “low cost carrier” and “overseas flight” may cause pause, this won “Best Low Cost Airline in Europe” (2015 World Airline Awards) and flies the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It’s for winter travel, but Elsa made the snow work.

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Coast to Coast Romance

I LOVE charming hotels that make me feel like I’m the first person to ever discover them. Think: scents of burning firewood, freshly baked scones, uniquely decorated rooms that effortlessly look flea market chic.

  • Coastal California – if it doesn’t sell out in the next five minutes. I’ve never seen our members go quite as nuts for a deal as they do for this one. Over 3900 members who have stayed here gave it a 97% approval rating. $209 — Cambria 2-Night Escape w/Dinner & Tastings, 50% Off
  • Berkshires: The Berkshires has a well-worn road straight from NYC — it’s country filled with savvy urbanites.  $349 — Berkshires 2-Night Stay w/Fireside Dinner, Reg. $882
    Call me biased, I got married right next door to this adorable inn and gave our guests fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from the Southfield Store — where guests staying at the Old Inn on the Green get lunch. They are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. And I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed expert.
  • Montecito: This may be your only chance to say you “lived” next to Oprah … even if it’s for a night. $135 — Santa Barbara Inn on Swankiest Road, 50% Off

Miami in winter!

Although the $179 rate for fall and spring is stellar — mostly because we’re shocked that it’s available over Art Basel — at this beachfront Thompson hotel, it’s the availability and $259 rate in the midst of winter that has me packing my oversized sunglasses. Fodor’s proclaimed it the “most stylish” in Miami.

$179 — Miami’s ‘Most Stylish’ Beachfront Hotel, 40% Off

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Chicago in winter!

Yes, I’m serious. Go for the hotel, not the beautiful weather. Check out the swanky publications who thought this hotel was hot enough to tell the world about: GQ, Vanity Fair and Conde Nast Traveler; Men’s Journal calls it “America’s best new hotel.” All that hype and it’s STILL less than $140 per night.
$135 — Stay at ‘America’s Best New Hotel,’ Save 35%

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Panama, it’s the new Costa Rica

Remember about a decade ago when heading to Costa Rica was super edgy and now the world smartly discovered just how accessible, lush and adventurous it could be? Panama is up next. So I strongly recommend going before everyone else does. Evidence that it’s making its way toward a tourism mecca: the Hard Rock Hotel that comes with this deal.

$499 — Panama: 4-Night Hard Rock Hotel ‘Summer’ Trip w/Air

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