Once just a sleepy desert enclave, Dubai has emerged from the sand and transformed into a glittering modern metropolis. Falling at the intersection of the azure waves of the Arabian Gulf and the barren sands of the Arabian Desert, Dubai has quickly become a lavish oasis for the world’s rich and famous.
Almost overnight, Dubai transformed into one of the world’s hottest international destinations, with more than 5.8 million travelers visiting the Middle Eastern kingdom in the first half of 2014 alone. Tourist activity is only certain to pick up as more and more travelers, including Americans, discover the wonders of this lavish city.
If you’re dreaming of a royal getaway, one filled with sunset desert safaris, world-class shopping, and awe-inspiring architecture, Dubai is the destination for you. Here are just four experiences all travelers must have when visiting Dubai.
1. Experience traditional art, history, and culture. If you hope to uncover some of the true gems of Dubai’s past, visit the trendy Bastakiya district. This neighborhood was once home to the city’s textile and pearl traders, and has since been built up to house quaint art museums, cafés, and shops. Explore the Dubai Museum to learn about the history of this desert oasis; walk along the last remaining section of the old city wall, which served as a defensive barrier in the 19th century; and stroll among the paintings at the Majlis Gallery, Dubai’s first art museum. The Bastakiya district is the perfect place to experience the true essence of this Middle Eastern metropolis.
Forget springtime in Paris and summer in Santorini. Off-season is the new hot time to visit your favorite European destinations. More and more travelers are ditching their summer vacations and opting to visit their favorite cities throughout the winter months.
From November to March, Europe takes on an entirely new persona. Gone are the large crowds, humid days, and high prices — leaving only the true cultures, histories, and sights of each destination for you to enjoy. If you’re interested in experiencing some hidden, off-season gems of Europe, here are just some of my reasons why the off-season is the perfect time to travel.
Sightsee at a fraction of the price. It’s no secret that off-season travel often means lower prices. Not only will travelers save on airfares, tours, and accommodations, but they’ll often find that restaurants, shops, and bars in high-tourist areas are also less expensive. This can help significantly pare down a tight travel budget. Also keep a lookout for bundled tours that take place during the off-season. Tour operators often make the most out of seasonal pricing and share the savings with travelers. By saving on the essentials, travelers can splurge on extra special events, like enjoying a Champagne dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower or taking a dip in Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon, making their trips even more memorable.
Cyber Monday at Friendly Planet was a whirlwind — many travel enthusiasts from all over the U.S. and Canada, too, booked incredible tour packages at our best discounted prices of the year.
But for all of you that didn’t get a chance to book with us on Cyber Monday (or want to plan another trip!), we heard you, and we’re offering a second chance to book your dream vacation this holiday season at highly reduced prices. We’re discounting all of our tours AGAIN for our “Second Chance Monday” sale on Dec. 9! Tours to 36 countries will be $100-$300 off per person.
Our 24-hour blowout sale will take place on Dec. 9, starting at 12:01 a.m. EST and ending at 11:59 p.m. EST. Like Cyber Monday, we’ll be offering these deals for online reservations only, but feel free to call us at 800-555-5765 if you have any questions.
You can’t afford to miss these savings twice! Get a sneak peek at all of our discounts today by visiting our website.
You might not believe what I’m about to say because it’s a little crazy, but get ready! Today we’re announcing our Cyber Monday sale, where we’re discounting EVERY Friendly Planet tour by at least $100, with some discounts of up to $500 on select tours and departures.
That means that we’re discounting tours for travel to 36 countries. From going on safari in South Africa, to exploring the fascinating cuisine in Thailand, to climbing to the top of Machu Picchu in Peru, to kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland, to exploring the culture of Cuba, or going down under in Australia, it’s all on sale. If you’re been dreaming of taking that vacation and exploring a brand new country and culture, the time to book is on Cyber Monday during our 24-hour blowout sale.
Our prices are already deeply discounted for travelers, but our Cyber Monday discounts push the envelope even further. We’ll be offering these deals for online reservations only, starting on Dec. 2 at 12:01 a.m. EST and ending at 11:59 p.m. EST. But you can feel free to call us at 800-555-5765 if you have any questions about our deals. So talk to your family and friends now and decide: Where are you going in 2014?
We encourage early booking on Monday because space is limited, and we expect many departures to sell out quickly! Get a sneak peek at all of our discounts today by visiting our website.
Have you ever bought a car, only to have the manufacturer send you a check in the mail three weeks later because they realized they could actually make that particular car model cheaper, so the price went down? It just doesn’t happen.
As I mentioned in Monday’s blog post, we’ve recently managed to reduce prices on several of our touring programs. Thanks to some hard work and tough negotiations, we’ve managed to cut the price of our current Best of India & Nepal vacation, our 15-day tour of Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi, and Kathmandu, originally priced at $2,299.
Reductions are significant, up to $500 per person. As always, in an effort to make travel more affordable for all, we’ve passed along these savings to our passengers, including everyone who has already booked on existing departures. That’s right. While most travel agencies would probably only include the savings on trips that haven’t been booked yet (if they include them at all), we’re encouraging every Friendly Planeteer who’s recently booked the Best of India & Nepal to contact us for a rebate.
Most travelers are thrilled when they find out the cost of their program has decreased, but some of you might be wary. In no way has the program quality been compromised. In fact, nothing has changed on the program at all, but our lengthy negations with land operators and airlines have allowed us to pass the hard-earned savings on to you.
This journey through India and Nepal is truly amazing, with its abundance of fascinating, stunning, and exotic sights and sounds. Vacationers visit many of India’s most important and significant cities, from New Delhi — the nation’s capital and third-largest city — to the foot of Mt. Everest in Nepal, and everything in between. Few destinations in the world can match this combination of spectacular scenery, exotic culture, and hospitable people.
And now you can experience it for less. Giving back to paying customers is certainly a foreign concept to many organizations, yet remains another reason Friendly Planet stands apart from our competition. For more information on the rebate, please call 800-555-5765 or e-mail us.
I don’t know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but we’re in the middle of a heatwave (in April?!) here in suburban Philadelphia. To go along with the hot weather, I’ve got a deal to announce that’s simply on fire: 10 days in China for just $999! Our Taste of China vacation has always been a popular package with Friendly Planet Travel customers, but this new sale price has everyone saying WOW.
Taste of China takes Friendly Planeteers on a 10-day tour through three of China’s most fascinating cities: Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai.
Beijing — China’s historic and cultural capital — and Shanghai — often called the "Paris of the East" — are probably two of the most dynamic cities in the world. And Xi’an is the site of one of the world’s most important archeological treasures: the army of 2,200-year-old terra-cotta soldiers, including more than 8,000 life-size ceramic soldiers, chariots, and horses buried there to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor.
What’s the catch, you say? There is no catch. The deal includes all transfers to each destination, breakfast every day, some other meals, superior hotel accommodations, scheduled tours, and more of the quality features you’ve come to know and love about Friendly Planet Travel.
We’re always in communication with our tour guides, hotel directors, and flight suppliers, trying to get the best deal possible for our travelers. As you’ve probably guessed (and as I’ve touched upon here on the blog), the economy has had a big impact on international travel in 2009. And suppliers are cutting their prices to attract more tourism, which many of these countries depend on.
As soon as a deal breaks, we pass that on to you. We were able to knock our usual Taste of China price of $1299 down to $999. Phew! Can I get some ice cream delivered to my office now?
If you’ve been perusing the Friendly Planet Travel Web site recently, you probably know that our Exotic Ecuador trip is on sale for only $1,259 for the entire eight-day tour. The value bang for your buck with this trip is simply incredible.
A shot from one of the more “exotic” parts of the Ecuador trip from one of our Friendly Planeteers.
I told you how the economy is pushing many of our vendors to slash their prices. Well, our vendors in Ecuador have dropped their prices unlike anything I’ve seen in the 30 years I’ve been in this business. And we’re passing those savings on to you.
The press release announcing our Exotic Ecuador tour hit the wire today, so have a look for more information.