Wow Deal Destinations for 2014

Savings in South America.

Home to lush rain forests, dramatic mountains, colonial cities -- and, of course, the Galapagos Islands -- Ecuador offers a diverse travel experience. This rising star in the tourism space boasts affordable escorted tours and roundtrip flights starting at less than $500 -- that's cheaper than flying to most overseas locales.

Poised for a comeback.

Unwind along the Jersey Shore, a region eyeing 2014 as the year it truly recovers from Hurricane Sandy. Hotels, inns and condo rentals that dot New Jersey's 127 miles of beaches didn't experience quite the comeback they'd anticipated for 2013. Expect properties to unleash deals, including for summer travel, to win back tourists.

The dollar goes further.

India awakens the senses with a history dating back thousands of years. This year, expect travelers to awaken to India thanks to a rupee that's plummeted in value by 20%, making India even less expensive for Americans. Plus, a flurry of recent hotel investment has spurred new competition and triggered "wow" prices for escorted tours.

Seize hotel deals.

Swoon over the golden glow of a Palm Springs sunset from the comfort of a posh hotel, booked at up to 50% off. That's the sort of savings consistently emerging from this California resort community about 100 miles from LA. Recent hotel openings and multimillion-dollar renovations have triggered new competition -- and deals.

Explore on a cruise.

Gliding down rivers such as the Danube, Rhine, Elbe and Seine is an intimate way to explore the best of Europe, as these small river vessels can tuck into riverside cities with ease. At least 20 new ships debut on Europe's rivers in 2014. With more cabins to fill, expect these normally high-priced cruises to become more affordable.

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