Friendly Planet Blog

Want to get away this holiday season? Now’s the time to book a vacation!

Imagine spending the holidays lounging on a gondola in Venice, spotting endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica, or salsa dancing with locals in Cuba, all at an affordable price. Well now’s your chance. Our team at Friendly Planet Travel is offering special deals on 38 travel packages to destinations across the globe, all with travel dates over the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Travelers can save up to an EXTRA $300 on select tours, but you have to book soon — these special offers end on Sept. 25, 2014. To help you picture that perfect getaway, I wanted to highlight just a few of the vacations that you could be booking for this holiday season.

Discover Havana: Through our people-to-people license, the Friendly Planet Travel team has helped more than 5,000 Americans visit Cuba legally. Cuba is a nation only 93 miles from the continental U.S., yet remains largely untouched by American influences. In fact, visitors often describe Cuba as a trip back in time. Our Discover Havana people-to-people program introduces travelers to the culture and daily life of the Cuban people. Travelers spend three eye-opening days in Havana, where activities include a visit with Cuban schoolchildren, a performance by a local dance group, and a meal at a paladar — a private restaurant run by a local family. In addition, they venture into the countryside to explore the coffee plantations of Las Terrazas and Hemingway’s Cuban retreat in Finca Vigia. This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that truly unites two cultures through the magic of travel.

Costa Rica Fly and Drive: Costa Rica is a nature-lover’s dream and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Americas. Travelers can trek to the base of the most active volcano in the world (Arenal Volcano), explore the cloud forest of Monteverde, and spend a day wandering Costa Rica’s sophisticated capital city of San José. From zip lining through the jungle to relaxing in natural hot springs to lounging on white-sand beaches, the possibilities are endless on your Costa Rican getaway.

Italy by Rail: Venice, Florence, and Rome, oh my. Our Italy by Rail tour unites some of the most romantic Italian cities all in one package. In Venice, the city built on water, travelers can lose themselves in a maze of canals, alleys, and bridges, and then spend the evening traveling the Grand Canal by gondola. In Florence, the home of Michelangelo’s David, experience the unparalleled art collection at the world’s greatest art museum, the Uffizi Gallery. In Rome, the capital of Italy known as “The Eternal City,” explore the long-lost remnants of the Roman Empire, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, before sampling some of Italy’s finest pizza, pasta, and, of course, vino. You’ll be blown away by the warm Italian spirit and depart dreaming of your next visit.

London and Paris by Rail: London and Paris are must-visit destinations for all travelers. London’s a sophisticated metropolis that perfectly blends age-old traditions with modern charm. Score an aerial view of Big Ben while riding the famed London Eye or enjoy a traditional British tea at one of the world’s most posh department stores — Harrods. The city is brimming with lovely unions of the old and new. Then take the Chunnel to Paris for a few days of romance. Share a quaint picnic along the bank of the Siene, have lunch overlooking the city at the Eiffel Tower, view art from the masters at the Louvre Museum, and maybe even add a lock to the Pont des Arts footbridge. This is a European getaway that won’t soon be forgotten.

Our holiday getaway sale ends soon, so make your reservations and start packing! And may your holiday travels keep you safe and sound, while opening your mind and spirit to the wonders of the world around us!

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