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.
Here are some highlights from this week’s Top 20 list:
It’s rare to find a strong fare sale these days, with news of increasing surcharges and fees making headlines daily. AirTran’s sale not only gives a solid selection of routes available for less than $99 each way, but also is widely available for travel through Nov. 2. That’s about five months longer than most other domestic fare sales in the market. And it’s not just about the ticket prices: The folks in the more than 60 cities from which AirTran provides sale fares can also rest assured that their flying experience will be a pleasant one now that the airline took top honors amongst all U.S. carriers in Airline Quality Rating (based upon data from the Department of Transportation).
Talk about inspiration to get moving on a trip of a lifetime. Gate 1 Travel put together a package that allows travelers to check sites off their bucket list such as The Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Warriors while saving more than $1100 per person. For what some would assume the price of airfare alone will cost, the 12-night package visits Beijing, Shanghai and Xian plus includes a four-night river cruise on the Yangtze.
We first saw this deal late last year when we published a Newsflash from CheapCaribbean.com dropping the rates of Lifestyle Beach Resort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, to impossible lows. It’s back by popular demand. For $19 per person, per night, guests have unlimited access to food, drinks (including all of the frothy, rum-filled, coconutty concoctions one can dream of), Thursday and Sunday beach parties and SCUBA lessons. The deal is available September-December for four-seven night stays.
Disney Cruises are notoriously expensive. And why shouldn’t they be? They come with all of the thrills that only all-things-Disney could supply: a state-of-the-art, jumbo poolside screen for Disney movie viewing; the only fireworks display at sea; plenty of character encounters; and all of the free soda a kid could want (generally an extra cost on ships). This deal comes to $799 per person for 14 all-inclusive nights. It provides kids with a global experience – hitting the Bahamas, Portugal and Spain -- that could only be rivaled by EPCOT, and for $57 per person, per day, it’s affordable to skip Orlando and hit the real world.
Whether you’re in town for a weekend visit or a native – do as all of New York does, and brunch! Breakfast and lunch simply don’t exist on Saturdays and Sundays in Manhattan. The hours of 11-2 bring about packed restaurants as the city wakes up over a glass, or two, of Bloody Marys. This deal, available at a posh restaurant in the city’s Chelsea neighborhood, costs $39 but provides $90 worth of value with its two entrees and a pitcher of Sangria, Mimosa, Bloody Mary or four glasses of Prosecco.
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.