Planning an Asian adventure for next year? Wendy Wu Tours has early-bird specials on more than 60 tour departures, offering savings of up to $920 a person. Tours are through China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for departures from January until June 2015. The trips include the 10-day A China Experience, which covers Shanghai, Xian and Beijing. It is now $2880 a person, a saving of up to $910 a person twin share. The price includes return economy airfares and taxes from most capital cities, accommodation with all meals, English-speaking guides, all transport within China and visa fees for Australian passport holders. The sale runs until August 27. Phone 1300 789 980. See wendywutours.com.au.
LA DOLCE VITA
White, modern, gorgeous Casa Angelina on the Amalfi Coast is a favourite with glossy travel magazines. Live la dolce vita with a package offer from the five-star clifftop resort that includes use of a convertible vintage car. Take your Alfa Romeo Spider, Volkswagen Beetle or Fiat 500 Baby for a 10-minute spin to Positano, 15 minutes to Amalfi, or further along this glorious Italian coastline. The offer from this member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World gives two nights' accommodation for two in a double room with a front sea view and balcony, and a one-day rental of a vintage convertible car with concierge assistance on suggested routes and itineraries, plus road maps. It costs about $2548 a room, including taxes. Valid for the resort's 2014 season, until October 26. See casaangelina.com.
River cruising is a great way to see some of Russia's most beautiful cities. Book any Travelmarvel Russia 2015 river cruise holiday of 20 days or less in any cabin category by October 31 and airfares are free (taxes not included). One of the cruises is the 12-day, Treasures of Russia Cruise between Moscow and St Petersburg. It is on the MS Yesenin, about half the size of other river ships operating in Russia (49 cabins). The cruise includes visits to Uglich and Yaroslavl, Kizhi Island and Lake Ladoga. It costs from $4695 a person, twin share, with 32 meals including beverages. Phone 1300 196 420. See travelmarvel.com.au.
SURIVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
World Expeditions describes its Bhutan Snowman trek as one of its most challenging and best. A last-minute offer on its September 15 departure from Paro cuts $500 off the price. "This 27-day challenging trek is undertaken by only a handful of trekkers each season and accesses Lunana, the most remote region of Bhutan," says World Expeditions. The price is now $8190. Phone 1300 720 000. See worldexpeditions.com.
Patong Beach may be touristy, but when saving nearly 50 per cent on accommodation, those seeking a more authentic Phuket can use their savings on a tuk-tuk or two to venture further afield. A deal on Centara's Blue Marine Resort and Spa at Phuket, Thailand, includes five nights in a superior room for two for $312, a saving of 43 per cent off the usual rates. The resort is at the quieter, northern end of Patong Beach. Phone 1800 359 769. See lowcostholidays.com.au.
There's lots going on in Canberra during winter, such as the yummy Truffle Festival. Accor hotels has some deals, including a two-night gastronomy package at Novotel Canberra, Mercure Canberra and Ibis Styles Canberra Eaglehawk that includes accommodation in a standard room, buffet breakfast each morning, one dinner in the hotel's restaurant, a bottle of wine from local Mount Majura Vineyard and a ticket for The Ultimate Museum Experience at the National Museum of Australia, for two people. From $398 a room for the Ibis Styles Eaglehawk, with the price depending on the property. See novotelcanberra.com.au, mercurecanberra.com.au and ibisstyleshotels.com.