a hop over the ocean, London continues to excite first time travelers
and draw return visitors with sights, shopping, museums, a popular
monarchy, pomp and circumstance, those enchanting side-streets, green
parks, and intellectual trips to the theater. Even better,
well-marketed travel deals make end of summer travel seem affordable
and fall packages seem like downright bargains.
For lovers of the all-world best-seller The Da Vinci Code, British Airways (tel. 877/428-2228; www.britishairways.com) has a three night special
end of summer that includes airfare, hotel accommodations at a
three-star centrally located hotel, daily breakfast, and a guided tour
of the London sites highlighted in the popular novel. Starting at $799
for travel out of New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, travel for this
trip is good from now through September 30, 2006. There's one catch.
(What would a Da Vinci Code package be without one?) You need
to book by end of today, August 4, 2006. Prices from other cities are
also available, such as $834 out of Philadelphia, $845 out of Boston,
and $962 out of Houston. For $20, you get the use of a 24-hour Big Bus
ticket, good for a ride on the hop on hop off sightseeing tour, a
cruise along the Thames and walking tours of Beatles sites and pubs. It
doesn't stop there; you can add on a two night extension to Paris for
$269 that includes round-trip airfare and hotel. It's worth it to book
fast. In all, that's five nights in Europe, all international and
intra-Europe airfare, all hotel taxes, a Da Vinci Code tour, and daily breakfast for $1,069.
If you're not itching to go to London by the end of this summer, Virgin Atlantic Vacations (tel. 888/937-8474; www.virgin-vacations.com)
has some very good deals that decrease in price as we move further away
from the high-season summer months. Booking by August 24, 2006, you can
lock in a seven day trip to London including airfare and hotel for $799
for travel from August 31 to October 31, 2006; $589 for travel from
November 1 to December 19, 2006; $899 over the holidays from December
20 to December 24, 2006; and $559 from December 25, 2006 to March 25,
2007 (and yes, that includes New Years). A Saturday night stay is
required for this package which must be booked 21 days in advance of
travel with prices good for double occupancy travel. Virgin also has a
shorter three night tour slightly lower in cost. The quick fling to
London, which also needs to be booked by August 24, 2006, has low
prices of $499 for travel between November 1 and December 19, 2006 and
from December 25, 2006 to March 25, 2007. For both of these trips,
airport security taxes and departure fees are additional. Also, full
payment is due within one day of booking. Beefing up their available
destinations, Virgin Atlantic offers well-priced deals all over the
globe. The site is worth checking out on that note alone.
For a combination trip starting out in London before departing via train travel to Paris and Venice, European Destinations (tel. 877/267-2247; www.europeandestinations.com)
is showcasing an eight day seven night trip starting in price at $915
out of the New York area. You need to book now to ensure these
low-prices for travel from November to March. The trip includes all
hotel, round-trip airfare, two nights in each city, train travel from
London to Paris and Paris to Venice, all hotel taxes and daily
breakfast in each city. Departures are also available from other United
States gateways such as Los Angeles ($1,008), Chicago ($1,006), and
Go-Today (tel. 800/227-2235; www.go-today.com) has a "London New Year's Special"
where if you book by August 10, 2006 you can ensure a price of $669 for
a lengthy six night air and accommodations package. The trip is out of
New York with additional departure cities available such as Boston for
$30 more, Philadelphia for $60, and Atlanta, Dallas and Houston for
$140 more. The trip leaves for London from December 25 to December 28,
2006. Go Today also offers London city trips through the fall and
winter. A six night London special goes for $619 with travel good from
March 8 to March 25, 2006. Once in London, you can extend your trip
with a land-only Go Today package to destinations around the English
countryside. A two night trip to Manchester costs $179 with travel good
through October 31, 2006 while a two night break to Oxford starts at
$289 good through the same dates. Call a Go Today phone representative
to price the 2007 land-only countryside excursions.
To rent your own Apartment in London, Coach House London Vacation Rentals (tel. 011 44 20 8133-8332; www.rentals.chslondon.com)
has a smattering of comfortable, often chic, properties all designed
differently to appeal to a wide range of vacationers seeking privacy
and the convenience of a non-hotel setting. From Chelsea studios for
$150 a night to modernized three-bedroom historic houses built in 1697
that sleep 8 to 9, come complete with a huge English garden, and have
to be seen to be believed
for $430 per night total, these houses make you feel almost British.
Somehow, Coach House Vacation Rentals make London even more enchanting.
Are you thinking about visiting London or have a trip report to share? Tell us on our Great Britain Message Boards today.