£139 -- Amsterdam 4-Star Break with Upgrade, fr 9 Airports
Hyperbole: exaggeration used deliberately, for effect -- "a thousand thanks", "I could eat a horse", "this deal is unbeatable". Except, hang on: that third example actually comes from one of the deals in our Top 20 this week (the newsletter of the best online travel deals that we send out to 3 million UK subscribers each week). A 3-night break to Amsterdam is the offer in question, and here is the full sentence in which the phrase occurs: "See what all the fuss is about with this unbeatable deal from Travelwasp for £139 per person, including flights, accommodation at a 4-star hotel and a room upgrade."
A dangerous case of poetic licence? Actually, no. As publisher, I checked the research behind the deal (as I do every Top 20 offer) and we really did track down the best price for a 4-star Amsterdam hotel of this calibre, in a comparable location, at the same time of year. Think of all the man hours we’re saving our subscribers from trawling through endless gaudy travel deal websites themselves!
This is a fantastic time to visit the Dutch capital: the city is really being reinvented. All right, so it may be looking a little sex-starved and sober with the decline of the red light district and marijuana cafes. But there are other delights on offer, with the imminent reopening, after 10 years, of the national Rijksmuseum: one of the world’s great art galleries, with 8000 classic works on display, has been totally transformed. Then there are the simple pleasures of wandering around this simultaneously gorgeous and welcoming city: an urban version of the kind of attractive and fascinating person you meet on holiday and then think about for the rest of your life.
£399 -- Gambia: Exotic Beach Escape, up to 50% Off
Malaga this certainly isn’t. We’re getting all adventurous here at Travelzoo, and our latest intrepid destination is the kind of place you imagine stiff-upper-lipped chaps in pith helmets striding around and patronising the locals. In fact, Gambia’s been on the radar for savvy beach lovers for decades. And we hope that it will become familiar to a good few more with this barely believable deal. That’s £399 per person for flights and a week’s 4-star accommodation. It seems the stuff of tropical fantasy but, boringly, we’ve verified every element of the deal, and it’s rock solid. (Tip: if you go, don’t just spend the whole time on the beach but seek out a traditional wrestling match or visit the remains of a historical slaving station – interesting, if sombre, stuff.)
£1199 -- 21-Night Cruise to 7 Caribbean Islands & the Azores
Now, this is a real cruise: the kind of voyage where you stride off the gang plank with a fine anchor tattoo on your bicep, your sea legs all springy and strong and plenty of tall tales to tell in some raucous harbourside inn. Twenty-one days. Twenty-one days! Dolphins and seabirds will be your new friends and family. And with a whole necklace of islands to raid (sorry: visit) along the way, you’ll have enough material for a novel or at least a shanty or three. And the cost of this great adventure, me hearties? A galleon of rubies? The ransom of a tempestuous Moorish princess? Try £57 per person, per night, including flights.