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Posts Tagged ‘Travel Zoo’

fleming_beach_mauiThe tide is High and [we] are holding on…” …to our dreams of a vacation on Maui!

Would you believe that my husband and I have lived in California our ENTIRE lives and have NEVER been to Maui, let alone Hawaii?!? We are one direct flight away, and we just can’t seem to get there (for those of you readers on the East Coast, what you think of me not getting to Hawaii is probably what I think of you not getting to London!) 😉 Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to go. I mean, what’s not to like about Hawaii?? It has everything we have ever dreamed about for a vacation. Fantastic beaches, warm, crystal clear seas, rainforests, fabulous hotels, and great food (you know we at le•top are keen on great food…even if I can’t some of us don’t cook!). At this price, I am considering ditching our plans for a vacation (no, it’s not a dream…) to Canada and scooping up this great deal instead. Oh, to laze on the beach, with a mai tai in one hand, a good book in the other, “working” on my golden tan…okay, okay…with my fair complexion I would just burn…but if I’m going to dream, I might as well go all out!

$599 — Maui 5-Night Vacation w/Rental Car & Air

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chiantiYou have no idea how hard it was to pick this week’s “Dream”! With choices from Rio to Prague, I definitely had a hard time figuring out what would be the most ideal dream destination. With the rainy weather we are having here in the San Francisco Bay Area…I was enticed to select a rich, sunny, color-laden locale. All doubts were cast aside: Tuscany! This region of Italy is our dream destination for the week. Whether you pick the 6 night package (includes air), or the fantastic deal on tickets to Rome (then, of course, renting a little Fiat for the drive to Tuscany is a must!) you are sure to be in seventh heaven, or shall we say, Settimo Cielo! I’m thinking Italian villa, locally-made sausage and cheese, a great bottle of chianti, a view of a vineyard… mix in some good company and the setting sun, and it’s nothing short of utter perfection! Here’s hoping for spring, and one day soon, a trip to Italy! Buon Giorno!

$799 — Tuscany 6-Night Fall Vacation w/Air (When 4 Travel)

$503-$521 — Rome from San Francisco (R/T), incl. taxes

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beach_puerto_rico

When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way…”

Can you guess where we’re dreaming about today?! It’s Puerto Rico!! The songs from West Side Story warm our hearts, and our dreams of island life set our minds far, far away….

Puerto Rico’s lush landscapes, friendly people and central location to many other Caribbean locales makes it the perfect place to set our sights, and with this week’s deal, it would be hard to resist! The Marriot on Condado Beach (San Juan) is fabulous. My husband and I actually had a chance to stay there, and it was exquisite and very family friendly. It is literally set on the beach, so morning strolls along the ocean’s edge are inevitable and a great way to start the day. There are even fantastic children’s stores nearby that carry le•top, so be sure to stop by and grab a Strawberry Fields Swimsuit for the little one at D’Bebe in Dorado…if you are lucky enough to swipe up this fare!

$349 — Puerto Rico 4-Star Marriott Getaway w/Air

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800px-cliffs_of_moher_looking_northThis may come a week late (St. Paddy’s day was last week), but this week, our thoughts are off to Ireland! The lush landscapes, the hunt for the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow, and oh, yes, the Cliffs of Moher (better known as the “Cliffs of Insanity” – Princess Bride, anyone?) all beckon to us! There are so many reasons for wanting to jet off to Ireland; it’s not only the pub life in Dublin or the Paddywagon Tours of northern and southern Ireland, or meeting some of the friendliest people in the world (some whose name you could not say if you saw it written – e.g., Aiofe), and it’s not just the spectacle of the sheering of sheep each summer, or the “lovely” (not really) smell of the peat burning in the hearths, nor the surf towns off the west coast or the scenic drive of the ring of Kerry. It’s not just one of these things, but all of these things together, and more, that keep us dreaming of the day we will be in Ireland….for some of us, once again.

$599 — Explore Ireland: 6-Night Vacation incl. Car & Air

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800px-skyscrapers_of_shinjuku_2009_januaryWith this great deal to Tokyo there is so much to dream about – from Gwen Stefani’s complete enthrallment of the Harajuku district (fashion mecca for trendsetters and icons alike), to pushing through hundreds of people at the Shibuya Crossing (why that sounds like a great adventure is beyond me – but there is something intrinsically fascinating about the thought of it – probably because it’s in the movies – LOL!). Oooooh, and to see Mt. Fuji would be breathtaking! Between the ancient and the modern aspects of the city, as well as the people and sights to take in, I will definitely keep dreaming about making it to Tokyo one day!

$677 — Tokyo from Los Angeles (Roundtrip), incl. Taxes

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taj_mahal_in_march_2004This week we are dreaming of India!  This fantastic deal is really hard to resist since India is one place my husband and I and another couple have been talking about going to for the past year. We have been watching movies (Slumdog Millionaire, Bride and Prejudice and Water), doing a little Google earthing, eating Indian food (mmm- we love Indian food), and doing some research on the best places to visit like the Taj Mahal, the back waters of Kerala, and the Goa beaches along the Arabian sea. There is so much that is untold about India that we would love to explore and discover the country. But for now, it is only a dream.

$999 — India Tour Package incl. Air (Regularly $2199)

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654px-cutest_koalaWe dreamt of Italy last week, and this week, we’re dreaming about Australia! A good friend of the family, who is a native Aussie, was able to whisk up this fantastic deal and take her husband back home this coming September. Oh, how I would love to grab my husband and steal away to Australia! I have always wanted to go “down under” and catch a performance at the Sydney Opera House, Surf the Indian Ocean, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and chase some ‘Roos in the Outback. After watching Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia, I really felt the pull to go… and at this price, it’s more about the lack of time than perhaps the money! If you’re able to take advantage of this great price, please share pictures of your epic adventure with us…you lucky Koala!

$655 — Australia from Los Angeles (Roundtrip)

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The Colosseum in Rome

The Colosseum in Rome

I send my family and close friends a weekly “Keep Dreaming” email of all the great places with the lowest fares that Travel Zoo finds for the week. We’re all Euro-trippers, so I keep my focus there. Life is so busy and money so tight these days, making it difficult to travel to these wonderful getaway spots…as much as we would love to go! So in lieu of actual travel (or wish-you-were-here postcards from these locales!), I send emails highlighting all the places we really want to see, but can’t quite visit…yet. If nothing else, it takes us off whatever it is occupying our minds, and transports us to another country for a few moments…before flashing back to reality! Even though it’s such a tease, we all seem to really enjoy the momentary “dream” of going! This morning’s email:

Your weekly Keep Dreaming Email has arrived!
This week’s destinations: Italy
$387 & up — Fly to Italy in Spring (Roundtrip) incl. Taxes

As always, keep dreaming….we will get there one day!

I’d love to hear about the favorite places our readers have visited, as well as their dream destinations…and please also share your favorite online travel sites!

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