Friendly Planet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Hot deals’

Seven exotic locations for the price of a Vegas weekend

When I was at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I got the opportunity to present attendees with “Seven Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend.” The response I got was overwhelming. The room filled up to standing room only for the entire 30 minutes! I felt like I was on American Idol.

When I got another opportunity to present at The New York Times Travel Show the following month, I knew I had to share these locations with this new crowd. Unfortunately, I only had 15 minutes to speak, so I trimmed the presentation down to five exotic locations.

After both presentations, travelers flooded Friendly Planet Travel’s booth with questions about these destinations, and I answered every single one. It seemed this topic struck a chord with travelers. Good thing we got it all on camera. :)

In case you missed it, here is my presentation at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show on “Seven Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend.” Hit play, and if you have any questions, leave them in a comment on this post and I will respond.

Coming up is the video of my second presentation from The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show on “How to Compare Travel Offers for the Best Value.” Stay tuned for the footage.

Friendly Planet Travel’s top 7 posts of 2010

I have to admit. A year ago at this time, I was shakin’ in my boots. We were about to re-launch the Friendly Planet Travel blog on a new platform and I wasn’t sure if our readers would follow us. Then my worries subsided when I saw that our readers did, indeed, come visit us at our new home on the Web. Thank you!

Upon this reflection, I thought I would share with you the blog posts that you loved the most since we made the switch. Here are our top seven posts of 2010.

1.) Vietnam is Anthony Bourdain’s favorite place on Earth to eat. The Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain traveled to his favorite place in the world to eat, Vietnam, for his show, “Anthony Bourdain No Reservations.” I share the Tony’s enthusiasm for Vietnamese food, and tell you how I happily ate my way through the country last year on my trip to Vietnam.

2.) Should you carry cash, credit, or a traveler’s check when traveling? A lot of us are accustomed to paying for most things with our credit or debit cards. It’s easy and convenient. But when you’re traveling, using a credit card might not always be the best option. So before you leave the U.S., I help you determine whether you should be carrying cash, credit, or a traveler’s check.

3.) The best travel apps for your smart phoneIf you have a smart phone, you probably have apps. So which travel apps are worth it? I can’t tell you (just yet), but Becca Torres of the Planet Travel Reservations team can. See which apps made Becca’s cut.

4.) Get exclusive savings on Friendly Planet tours with Hot Deals. For the first time, Friendly Planet Travel started giving subscribers to the Hots Deals mailer exclusive coupon codes on Friendly Planet tours. We told you all about how to sign up to not only get announcements on deals and new destinations, but how to save even more bucks on select tours.

5.) Advice on what you shouldn’t pack in your suitcase. Some people like to pick up every knickknack and souvenir they can get their hands on when they travel. From the hotel shampoo to the restaurant matchstick book, they shove it all into their luggage. Find out what you should keep and what you should toss.

6.) Friendly Planet review: A snapshot of the Best of China tour. Ron and his wife Jan booked the Best of China tour for October 2009. They came back with over 1,600 photos to share. We talk to Ron in a podcast to get the stories behind the photos and what travelers shouldn’t miss when they’re in China.

7.) What to do if you’re stranded in an airportWhat do travelers need to know in the event that some force of nature grounds air traffic and throws their plans into gridlock? I share a few suggestions you can follow if you find yourself stranded, sharing an airport with hundreds of other travelers in the same boat as you.

That’s my wrap up. And if there are any topics you’d like to see covered in the New Year, leave them in a comment on this post.

Save on Friendly Planet Travel tours and receive a Kiva gift certificate

Kiva recently made headlines when Oprah included a Kiva gift certificate in her 2010 Ultimate Favorite Things show. Today, I’m bringing you more Kiva news by announcing that every traveler who books a Friendly Planet Travel tour by Dec. 23 will get a gift certificate for a $25 micro-loan to distribute through the organization.

Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe. Here’s how it works. Lenders browse profiles of entrepreneurs in need from different countries throughout the world, and choose someone to lend to.

When they lend, using PayPal or credit card, Kiva collects the funds and then passes them along to one of their microfinance partners worldwide. Kiva’s micro-finance partners distribute the loan funds to the selected entrepreneur.

Often, partners provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur’s chances of success. Over time, the entrepreneurs repay their loans. Repayment and other updates are posted on Kiva and e-mailed to lenders who wish to receive them. When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to someone else in need, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds.

Friendly Planet Travel started a Kiva lending team in August 2009. Since then, we’ve grown to almost 200 members who have loaned over $25,000 combined. This is Friendly Planet Travel’s second year offering Kiva gift certificates for every tour booked.

I love the idea of being able to give a gift that never goes away. You lend a struggling entrepreneur $25, which, combined with other loans of $25, can put a person in business in a developing country, changing their life and the life of their family. If you lend to a group of entrepreneurs who have teamed up in a business, you can change the lives of a whole village. It’s amazing. And the inspiration for the system, Dr. Mohammad Yunus, even won a Nobel Peace Prize for the concept in 2006.

At this time of year, it’s impossible not to want to reach out and do something for others. So if you’re looking to take advantage of our gift certificate offer, here are some hot deals that might pique your interest or make a spectacular holiday gift.

Twelve-day Treasures of Egypt: Be mesmerized by Egypt’s sweeping natural beauty on land, then board the M/S Tulip for a seven-night Nile River Cruise where you’ll dock at Edfu, Aswan, Kom Ombo, and more. Take $70 OFF with coupon code 121410-187 on all departures dates.

Ten-day Italian Treasures: Indulge in la dolce vita on a tour that takes you to the Italian classics. Visit Venice, Florence, and Rome, as well as off the beaten path gems, including Bologna, Siena, San Gimignano, and Assisi. Take $70 off with coupon code 121410-141 on all departure dates.

Nine-day Taste of Vietnam: Fall in love with this country’s extraordinary beauty, charming people, and delicious food when you visit its two most important cities: Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Take $50 off with coupon code 121410-178 on the March 16, April 6, and 20 departure dates.

Thirteen-day Aegean Greek Island Hopper: Jump from Athens to Paros, to Mykonos, and Santorini, all while staying in beautiful four- and five-star hotels that show off the individual character and majesty of each Greek Island. Take $50 off with coupon code 121410-192 for the April 27, May 11, 18, and 25 departure dates.

Thirteen-day Cyclades Greek Island Hopper: Stay in cliff-side hotels with idyllic views as you hop from Athens, to Mykonos, to Santorini, and Crete. Take $50 off with coupon code 121410-193 on April 23 and 30, May 14 and 21 departure dates only.

Fifteen-day Best of China: Experience China’s most dynamic, modern cities to its timeless villages and breathtaking natural wonders when you visit Shanghai, Yichang, Three Gorges, Guilin, Xi’an, and Beijing. Take $70 off with coupon code 121410-112 on the April 12, 19, May 10, 17, and 24 departure dates.

Coupon codes are valid until Dec. 28, 2010, for new reservations. Enter the code when booking online or mention the code to your phone agent. For complete details and itineraries for each tour, visit our website. And remember, you must reserve a tour by Dec. 23 to receive the $25 Kiva gift certificate. Happy holidays!

Hot deals to ring in the new year from Friendly Planet Travel

I know it’s that time of the year when you’re picking pumpkins and deciding on a Halloween costume, but I’m thinking about the holidays. More specifically, where I should ring in 2011.

There’s no better way to ring in the new year than with an exotic vacation. I’m not talking about Atlantic City casinos, Caribbean cruises, or California beaches. I’m talking about China, Thailand, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt.

And even better, to get you moving on booking a trip, I’m giving everyone $75 off on the departure dates below if you use the coupon code NY0910 and book by Oct. 6. Here are the six tours you can choose from.

Ten-day Taste of China, Dec. 28: Tour impressive modern achievements within an ancient and incredibly rich culture in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai now for $1,524 (originally priced $1,599).

Nine-day Taste of Thailand, Dec. 27: Discover the highlights of this magnificent country, including the bustling capital city of Bangkok, the ancient city of Ayutthaya, and the historic River Kwai now for $1,924 (originally priced $1,999).

Nine-day Treasures of Morocco, Dec. 29: Stroll the streets of cosmopolitan Casablanca, roam the ancient ruins in Volubilis, and walk through Fez’s walled medina in one of Africa’s most popular travel destinations now for $2,124 (originally priced $2,199).

Fourteen-day Best of Turkey, Dec. 23: Whirling dervishes. Handspun rugs. Sweet baklava. Experience these hallmarks of Turkey while touring Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya, Pamukkale, and Ephesus now for $2,324 (originally priced $2,399).

Nine-day Pyramid and Nile Cruise, Dec. 25: Sail into the new year on an inspired exploration of the famous sphinx and pyramids at Giza, temples at Luxor and Edfu, King Tut’s tomb, old Cairo, and a four-night luxury cruise on the Nile now for $2,624 (originally priced $2,699).

Twelve-day Treasures of Egypt, Dec. 28: Be mesmerized by Egypt’s sweeping natural beauty on land, then board the M/S Tulip for a seven-night Nile River Cruise where you’ll dock at Edfu, Aswan, Kom Ombo, and more, now for $2,924 (originally priced $2,999).

So when you’ve chosen the destination where you’re going to sing “Auld Lang Syne” at the stroke of midnight, just enter the coupon code on the first booking screen when booking online or give the code to your agent when you call 1-800-555-5765.

However, if this is the first time you’re seeing this deal, then you’re not signed up for our Hot Deals newsletter. You can be the first to know about deals such as this one when you sign up for it now. Every week you’ll get discounted offers on Friendly Planet Travel tours sent your inbox.

What’s hot in September at Friendly Planet Travel

The unofficial end to summer is upon us, but we’re not about to close our doors early for the long Labor Day weekend at Friendly Planet Travel. We have several hot deals going on that I wanted to highlight for you. Right now we’re running a promotion where you get up to $70 off the departure dates below with a special coupon code by Sept. 6.

If you didn’t receive this promo in your e-mail then you’re not signed up for our Hot Deals newsletter. So sign up for it now to make sure you always get the discounted offers as soon as they come out. In the meantime, here are the deals that are burning up the last days of summer.

$50 off 15-day Best of India and Nepal, Nov. 22: Find out why India and Nepal continue to top the must-see lists of world travelers on this tour of Delhi, Kathmandu, Varanasi, Agra, and Jaipur now for $2,949 with coupon code IBI0910 (a $2,999 value).

$50 off 8-day Exotic Ecuador, Dec. 6: Discover the remarkable collection of landscapes, cultures, and wildlife on this tour of Quito, Otavalo, Banos, Cotopaxi, and the Amazon Rainforest now for $1,249 with coupon code ISE0910 (a $1,299 value).

$70 off 10-day Taste of China, Dec. 28: Tour impressive modern achievements within an ancient and incredibly rich culture in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai now for $1,529 with coupon code ITC0910 ($1,599 value).

$70 off 8-day Pyramids and Petra, Dec. 4Embark on an inspired exploration of the pyramids of Egypt and the lost city of Petra in Jordan, one of the Seven New Ancient Wonders of the World now for $1,729 with coupon code IPP0910 (a $1,799 value).

$50 off 12-day Amazing Peru, Dec. 1: Get an unforgettable glimpse of the genius of the lost world of the Inca people and more when touring Lima, Nazca Lines, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca now for $2,229 with coupon code SAP0910 (a $2,299 value).

I know there’s a lot to choose from here, so pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, find a quiet place to sit, and pick out your next destination. And once you do that, simply enter the coupon code on the first booking screen when booking online or give the code to your agent when you call 1-800-555-5765.

Save $300 on Friendly Planet Travel’s Galapagos Islands tours before Aug. 2

In June I told you about our two new tours to the Galapagos Islands. Both were priced so low that many departure dates filled up within days.

But if you’re still looking to go to the Galapagos don’t fret. We’re offering travelers the same deal again until Aug. 2! SAVE $300 when you book the seven-day Darwin’s Galapagos Islands Hopper or the nine-day Darwin’s Galapagos Islands Explorer before Aug. 2.

That brings the seven-day tour down to $2,199 and the nine-day tour to $2,499. As I’m typing this, there are only 10 spots available for each departure date, so don’t hesitate if you’ve ever wanted to experience the preserved beauty of the Galapagos Islands. Hop back to my previous post to get a refresher on where you’ll go, what you’ll see, and what’s included in the price.

If you have any questions, visit our website for more details and the full itinerary for both tours. If you want to be the first to find out about exclusive savings such as this one, sign up for our Hot Deals mailing list.

Get exclusive savings on Friendly Planet tours with Hot Deals

SMOKIN HOT: Save on Friendly Planet tours with Hot Deals

The weekly Hot Deals mailer is getting so hot I might need to apply SPF 45 to make sure it doesn’t burn. In addition to giving subscribers announcements on deals and new destinations, Hot Deals is now including exclusive coupon codes on Friendly Planet tours.

Starting this week, when your Hot Deals e-mail lands in your inbox, you’ll see a new section that will list four to six different tours. Each tour has its own coupon code for a discount that’s good for that week.

These savings are only available to Hot Deals subscribers. So if you’re not a subscriber, what are you waiting for? Sign up now and tell your friends and family too!

About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

Tours & Packages Our specialty for 30 years! Find one now:
choose a region Europe Mediterranean Asia Middle East Africa Central America Caribbean South America South Pacific