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Top 20 Highlights from April 20

Every week our deal experts across seven U.S. offices gather to discuss the week’s contenders for the Top 20. We pull deals apart, put them back together and discuss ways to improve offers so our readers see the best deals.

This week’s highlights are dedicated to the span of our Top 20 and to history in the making: this is the first time ever that we have amazing content on every continent.

Antarctica & South America: $5992 -- Antarctica & Argentina 11-Night Package; $1500 Off

Our goal of creating a seven-continent Top 20 has been elusive… namely because finding a deal to Antarctica simply isn’t an easy feat. Although this cruise-and-hotel package that spans two continents is certainly not inexpensive, it provides adventurers looking to cross this region off their bucket list a way to easily save $1500 per person. You can go for even less, but be prepared to share a bathroom with strangers.   

Africa: $835 -- New York City to Kenya (Roundtrip, incl. Taxes)

Yes, this deal is extremely last-minute. But for those fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pantsers in our audience, this fare to Nairobi can save upwards of $500. It’s not for everyone, but it goes to show the value in letting a hot deal guide your vacation destination.

Asia: $883-$901 -- Dallas to Shanghai, China (Roundtrip incl. Tax)

Here’s another last-minute catch. Wait another month or and you’ll pay upwards of $700 more for this same flight. If anything, it’s a milage run dripping with culture.

North America: $86 & up -- Las Vegas: 3 Nights on The Strip plus Airfare

This deal includes hot prices from more than 25 nationwide cities, in many cases for less than airfare alone would cost. The three-night stay at the lead price is at Circus Circus, which is right on The Strip. For slightly more, enjoy the deal from a fancier spot, such as Planet Hollywood. I suggest going for the low price and saving money to experience some of Vegas’ amazing restaurants, such as this offer: $99 -- Vegas: 5-Course Luxe Dinner for 2 w/Nightclub Access

Australia:  $539-$588 -- Australia Fare Sale from 18 Cities (each way)

Qantas just launched a nonstop route from Dallas. These deals, many from cities in the Midwest or on the East Coast, take advantage of that stopover and the new intro deal that comes with it. This means just a short flight to Dallas is required before making your way Down Under. One of the best parts of this offer (aside from the stellar price point that shaves 45% off the regular cost of these routes) is that it includes flights to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Europe: $1099 -- Tuscany: Luxury Vineyard Estate Vacation w/Car, Air

I love this deal. Every time this package runs, it makes me want to quit everything, run off to Tuscany and live amongst the vineyards a la Diane Lane in "Under the Tuscan Sun." Alas, a vacation will have to suffice, and this one -- which includes a stay at the Ferragamo estate (yes THOSE Ferragamos) is the quintessential Italian countryside getaway at a savings of $400 per person. Just look at the photos and you’ll agree. What’s especially fun is that you get to take along three of your most favorite people with whom you can enjoy the deal, as the price is based upon four traveling together and the stay is at a two-bedroom farmhouse on the Il Borro Estate.

Bonus … the Middle East: $1299 -- Israel 3-City Escorted Vacation w/Air, Save $1200

Let your people go! This is an easy way to make a once-in-a-lifetime destination simply a reasonably priced vacation. The package includes visits to three cities that are dripping in history, providing access to the Western Wall, Sea of Galilee and Nazareth. It also saves each traveler $1200. So at the end of the Passover sedar this week, say Next year in Jerusalem … for real.

These deals will only be around for the next week, though some will expire before then as availability at these hot prices is limited. There's plenty more great deals in this week’s Top 20, and make sure to sign up for future e-mails that include our next batch of top picks.

Jaime Samuels is the Publisher of the U.S. Top 20 list.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, New York
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
See more Tips from
Jaime Freedman