The delicate Great Barrier Reef is the earth’s most extensive coral-reef system, supporting more than 1,600 species of fish, along with whales, rays, octopuses, dolphins and more. Nestled in the heart of this world wonder are the 74 Whitsunday Islands, all but four of which are protected national parklands. Bask in luxury at a high-end resort like Hamilton Island, and book a seaplane or helicopter flight to admire sights like Heart Reef and the swirling silica sands of Whitehaven Beach’s Hill Inlet.
Flight New York - Chicago (LGA - ORD) $57+ Flight Tampa - Chicago (TPA - ORD) $71+ Flight Denver - Chicago (DEN - ORD) $81+ Flight Houston - Chicago (HOU - ORD) $85+ Flight Houston - Chicago (IAH - ORD) $85+ Flight Boston - Chicago (BOS - ORD) $96+ Flight Dallas - Chicago (DFW - ORD) $97+ Flight Minneapolis - Chicago (MSP - ORD) $97+ Flight Washington - Chicago (BWI - ORD) $101+
Known as the Cradle of Polynesia, Samoa is notable for its Fa’a Samoa way of life — a 3,000-year-old social code that prizes family, tradition and the environment. Happily, the landscape is as lovely as the local culture. On the main island of Upolu, a plunge into the To Sua Ocean Trench swimming grotto is a must. On Savaii, Samoa’s largest island, visit caves, waterfalls, blowholes and the Saleaula lava field, formed by a 1905 volcanic eruption that buried five villages.
Flight San Francisco - Los Angeles (SFO - LAX) $85+ Flight San José - Los Angeles (SJC - LAX) $91+ Flight Oakland - Los Angeles (OAK - LAX) $92+ Flight Austin - Los Angeles (AUS - LAX) $95+ Flight Denver - Los Angeles (DEN - LAX) $105+ Flight Houston - Los Angeles (HOU - LAX) $105+ Flight Dallas - Los Angeles (DFW - LAX) $112+ Flight Chicago - Los Angeles (ORD - LAX) $113+ Flight Seattle - Los Angeles (SEA - LAX) $129+ Flight Cleveland - Los Angeles (CLE - LAX) $133+ Flight New York - Los Angeles (LGA - LAX) $140+ Flight Minneapolis - Los Angeles (MSP - LAX) $159+ Flight Atlanta - Los Angeles (ATL - LAX) $161+ Flight Orlando - Los Angeles (MCO - LAX) $165+ Flight Detroit - Los Angeles (DTW - LAX) $166+ Flight Washington - Los Angeles (BWI - LAX) $169+ Flight Newark - Los Angeles (EWR - LAX) $180+ Flight Philadelphia - Los Angeles (PHL - LAX) $187+ Flight Boston - Los Angeles (BOS - LAX) $195+ Flight Fort Lauderdale - Los Angeles (FLL - LAX) $199+ Flight Washington - Los Angeles (DCA - LAX) $204+ Flight Washington - Los Angeles (IAD - LAX) $204+
A group of 27 coral islands that form two atolls in the Indian Ocean, the Cocos Keeling Islands were virtually unheard of until beach activists Brad Farmer and Andrew Short named Cocos Keeling’s Cossies Beach as the best in Australia for 2017. Called the continent’s last unspoiled paradise, the remote destination is as special for what’s not there (high-rise resorts, chain restaurants, crowds, traffic) as what is — pristine white sand and a turquoise lagoon that’s home to 30,000 sea turtles.
Christened the Garden Island, Kauai’s splendor extends from its vermillion Waimea Canyon, plunging down 3,600 feet, to its rugged Napali Cliffs, stretching up 4,000 feet. Often dotted with dozing monk seals, Kauai’s Poipu Beach has appeared on Dr. Beach’s esteemed list of America’s Best Beaches. Rivers, rainforests and waterfalls garnish the interior; don’t miss a photo op of Wailua Falls, famously featured in the opening credits of Fantasy Island, which aired from 1977 to 1984.
Described as the Philippines’ last frontier, Palawan boasts not one but two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (don your dive gear), and the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (climb in a canoe for a guided tour). Striking limestone formations like Ugong Rock and Karst Mountain Elephant Cave rise starkly from the rice fields of the interior. You can even find overwater bungalows on outlying islands, courtesy of El Nido Resorts.

Possibly the location of the storied island of Atlantis, Santorini is the stuff of screensavers and wall calendars. Red-, black- and white-sand beaches rim its caldera lake — one of the largest in the world — while iconic whitewashed buildings stair-step up the hillside overlooking the Aegean Sea. Photo ops abound, from centuries-old windmills and ancient ruins to blue-domed churches and colorful wooden fishing boats. Stay in a boutique cave hotel for the full experience.


People rarely venture out to the Channel Islands from the California mainland, although it seems just a stone’s throw away. The most accessible, and famous, is Santa Catalina, which I reached in two hours by ferry from the port of Los Angeles. There I found a placid village called Avalon, a calm bay, and a famous prewar dance hall—round like a fortress—where the big bands once played. 

Flight San Francisco - Los Angeles (SFO - LAX) $85+ Flight San José - Los Angeles (SJC - LAX) $91+ Flight Oakland - Los Angeles (OAK - LAX) $92+ Flight Austin - Los Angeles (AUS - LAX) $95+ Flight Denver - Los Angeles (DEN - LAX) $105+ Flight Houston - Los Angeles (HOU - LAX) $105+ Flight Dallas - Los Angeles (DFW - LAX) $112+ Flight Chicago - Los Angeles (ORD - LAX) $113+ Flight Seattle - Los Angeles (SEA - LAX) $129+ Flight Cleveland - Los Angeles (CLE - LAX) $133+ Flight New York - Los Angeles (LGA - LAX) $140+ Flight Minneapolis - Los Angeles (MSP - LAX) $159+ Flight Atlanta - Los Angeles (ATL - LAX) $161+ Flight Orlando - Los Angeles (MCO - LAX) $165+ Flight Detroit - Los Angeles (DTW - LAX) $166+ Flight Washington - Los Angeles (BWI - LAX) $169+ Flight Newark - Los Angeles (EWR - LAX) $180+ Flight Philadelphia - Los Angeles (PHL - LAX) $187+ Flight Boston - Los Angeles (BOS - LAX) $195+ Flight Fort Lauderdale - Los Angeles (FLL - LAX) $199+ Flight Washington - Los Angeles (DCA - LAX) $204+ Flight Washington - Los Angeles (IAD - LAX) $204+

The Island of Hawaii (i.e., the Big Island) contains 10 of the world’s 14 climate zones — the only spot on the planet with so many condensed into one small region. Lush tropical terrain rules the green, wet, windward side of the island (see Akaka Falls and Waianuenue/Rainbow Falls), while more arid beauty is on display at Hapuna Beach Park. You can even enter an ice climate at the mystical summit of Mauna Kea volcano, as well as Lake Waiau, one of the highest lakes in the United States.
Capri is the only island I have ever visited that is just as I imagined it would be. The lyrical songs are only too true. The town square itself takes some believing. It’s like a stage, and not much bigger either. There are colored balconies all around and a lovely campanile, where the clock divertingly chimes not to mark the time but whenever it feels like it. From the highest point on the island, you can look across to the volcano of Vesuvius with the Italian coast stretched out over a shining sea.
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Word History: It may seem hard to believe, but Latin aqua, "water," is related to island, which originally meant "watery land." Aqua comes almost unchanged from Indo-European *akwā-, "water." *Akwā- became *ahwō- in Germanic by Grimm's Law and other sound changes. To this was built the adjective *ahwjō-, "watery." This then became *awwjō- or *auwi-, which in pre-English became *ēaj-, and finally ēg or īeg in Old English. Island, spelled iland, first appears in Old English in King Alfred's translation of Boethius about ad 888; the spellings igland and ealond appear in contemporary documents. The s in island is due to a mistaken etymology, confusing the etymologically correct English iland with French isle. Isle comes ultimately from Latin īnsula "island," a component of paenīnsula, "almost-island," whence our peninsula.
Flight Dallas - Las Vegas (DFW - LAS) $57+ Flight Oakland - Las Vegas (OAK - LAS) $57+ Flight Denver - Las Vegas (DEN - LAS) $71+ Flight Houston - Las Vegas (HOU - LAS) $72+ Flight Houston - Las Vegas (IAH - LAS) $72+ Flight Los Angeles - Las Vegas (LAX - LAS) $79+ Flight Seattle - Las Vegas (SEA - LAS) $86+ Flight San Francisco - Las Vegas (SFO - LAS) $87+ Flight San José - Las Vegas (SJC - LAS) $97+ Flight Philadelphia - Las Vegas (PHL - LAS) $123+ Flight Chicago - Las Vegas (ORD - LAS) $125+ Flight Minneapolis - Las Vegas (MSP - LAS) $127+ Flight Cleveland - Las Vegas (CLE - LAS) $134+ Flight Atlanta - Las Vegas (ATL - LAS) $155+ Flight Washington - Las Vegas (BWI - LAS) $156+ Flight Orlando - Las Vegas (MCO - LAS) $158+ Flight Newark - Las Vegas (EWR - LAS) $163+ Flight Fort Lauderdale - Las Vegas (FLL - LAS) $165+ Flight Boston - Las Vegas (BOS - LAS) $167+ Flight Washington - Las Vegas (DCA - LAS) $176+ Flight Detroit - Las Vegas (DTW - LAS) $183+ Flight New York - Las Vegas (LGA - LAS) $183+ Flight Chicago - Las Vegas (MDW - LAS) $205+ Flight New York - Las Vegas (JFK - LAS) $219+
Drop-dead gorgeous Fiji is a filmmaker’s dream. Spy its Mamanuca island chain in Cast Away and Survivor; ogle its Yasawa archipelago in the 1980 version of Blue Lagoon. A dizzying amount of natural beauty — from mountains and mangroves to rivers and reefs — swathes Fiji’s 333 islands, and awe-inspiring wildlife (whales, sea turtles, dolphins, parrots) is the icing on the cake. For scenery with a side of luxury and exclusivity, reserve a bure (villa) at one of Fiji’s numerous private-island resorts.
Looking for last minute hotel deals or a list of year-round cheap hotels in a US city? Trust our travel writers & researchers to help you. Below is a list of guides for finding cheap hotels in the most popular cities in the US. In these guides you'll find information about the best time of year to travel, how to get a last minute hotel, average prices for boutique & luxury hotels, the general state of hostels, and even tips about booking Airbnb's.
Nantucket was once one of the richest places in America, built on the profits of the whale oil industry. Even today in the delectable old town there are fine brick houses with silver mailboxes.Old-time sailors used to call Nantucket “The Little Grey Lady of the Sea.” On the misty morning I first arrived there, I could understand why. A woman was riding a horse along the beach to the utter delight of her family aboard my ferry, and she bore a banner that said “Crazy Aunt Rides Again.” It is a unique place.
The Seychelles’ towering beach boulders are a mainstay on computer desktops, but they’re more than merely aesthetic — they also fascinate geologists, who have identified the Seychelles as the only mid-ocean islands formed of granite. Other superlatives: The archipelago is the oldest on the planet, and it has the cleanest air. Naturally, celebrities flock here; if you want to vacation a la British royalty, stay on North Island, where Prince William and Kate Middleton spent their 2011 honeymoon.
Flight Chicago - New York (ORD - LGA) $57+ Flight Atlanta - Newark (ATL - EWR) $99+ Flight Orlando - Newark (MCO - EWR) $105+ Flight Fort Lauderdale - Newark (FLL - EWR) $114+ Flight Fort Lauderdale - New York (FLL - LGA) $127+ Flight Atlanta - New York (ATL - LGA) $137+ Flight Houston - Newark (HOU - EWR) $138+ Flight Houston - Newark (IAH - EWR) $138+ Flight Chicago - New York (ORD - JFK) $140+ Flight Los Angeles - New York (LAX - LGA) $144+ Flight Dallas - New York (DFW - LGA) $147+ Flight Fort Lauderdale - New York (FLL - JFK) $157+ Flight Atlanta - New York (ATL - JFK) $182+ Flight Los Angeles - Newark (LAX - EWR) $183+ Flight Detroit - Newark (DTW - EWR) $197+ Flight Houston - New York (HOU - LGA) $201+ Flight San Francisco - New York (SFO - LGA) $210+ Flight Seattle - New York (SEA - JFK) $217+ Flight Dallas - Newark (DFW - EWR) $222+ Flight Los Angeles - New York (LAX - JFK) $231+ Flight San Francisco - New York (SFO - JFK) $231+ Flight San Francisco - Newark (SFO - EWR) $231+ Flight Ontario - New York (ONT - JFK) $237+ Flight San José - New York (SJC - JFK) $237+
Holding the largest number of overwater bungalow resorts in the world (more than 75 and counting), the Maldives understands its best asset is the gin-clear, abundant waters of the Indian Ocean. When you’re not snorkeling, diving, or gazing at the rich marine life through the floor windows of your water-top villa, continue enjoying the underwater display while dining at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, or even while getting pampered in Huvafen Fushi’s submerged spa.
Flight New York - Washington (JFK - DCA) $117+ Flight Orlando - Washington (MCO - DCA) $117+ Flight Minneapolis - Washington (MSP - DCA) $123+ Flight New York - Washington (LGA - DCA) $137+ Flight Boston - Washington (BOS - DCA) $155+ Flight Boston - Washington (BOS - IAD) $161+ Flight Fort Lauderdale - Washington (FLL - DCA) $168+ Flight Chicago - Washington (ORD - DCA) $174+ Flight San José - Washington (SJC - IAD) $175+ Flight Denver - Washington (DEN - DCA) $179+ Flight Atlanta - Washington (ATL - DCA) $187+ Flight Miami - Washington (MIA - DCA) $191+ Flight Dallas - Washington (DFW - DCA) $196+ Flight Houston - Washington (HOU - IAD) $200+
Christened the Garden Island, Kauai’s splendor extends from its vermillion Waimea Canyon, plunging down 3,600 feet, to its rugged Napali Cliffs, stretching up 4,000 feet. Often dotted with dozing monk seals, Kauai’s Poipu Beach has appeared on Dr. Beach’s esteemed list of America’s Best Beaches. Rivers, rainforests and waterfalls garnish the interior; don’t miss a photo op of Wailua Falls, famously featured in the opening credits of Fantasy Island, which aired from 1977 to 1984.
Flight New York - London (JFK - LGW) $334+ Flight Newark - London (EWR - LHR) $340+ Flight Boston - London (BOS - LHR) $341+ Flight New York - London (JFK - LHR) $351+ Flight Dallas - London (DFW - LHR) $358+ Flight New York - London (LGA - LHR) $366+ Flight Chicago - London (ORD - LHR) $390+ Flight San Francisco - London (SFO - LHR) $399+ Flight San Francisco - London (SFO - LGW) $400+ Flight New York - London (JFK - LCY) $401+ Flight San José - London (SJC - LHR) $405+ Flight Newark - London (EWR - LCY) $407+ Flight Washington - London (IAD - LHR) $410+ Flight Newark - London (EWR - LGW) $419+
With a history dating to the Stone Age, Hvar is as fascinating as it is beautiful. Thirteenth-century walls surround Hvar Town, with its red-tiled roofs, and the ancient stone ruins of Stari Grad Plain became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. A jaunt to the interior reveals rugged mountains, lush vineyards and fragrant lavender fields. Embark on a boat trip on the Adriatic to snorkel, swim in sea caves, and wander secret beaches and seaside hamlets. 

Flight New York - Washington (JFK - DCA) $117+ Flight Orlando - Washington (MCO - DCA) $117+ Flight Minneapolis - Washington (MSP - DCA) $123+ Flight New York - Washington (LGA - DCA) $137+ Flight Boston - Washington (BOS - DCA) $155+ Flight Boston - Washington (BOS - IAD) $161+ Flight Fort Lauderdale - Washington (FLL - DCA) $168+ Flight Chicago - Washington (ORD - DCA) $174+ Flight San José - Washington (SJC - IAD) $175+ Flight Denver - Washington (DEN - DCA) $179+ Flight Atlanta - Washington (ATL - DCA) $187+ Flight Miami - Washington (MIA - DCA) $191+ Flight Dallas - Washington (DFW - DCA) $196+ Flight Houston - Washington (HOU - IAD) $200+
Holding the largest number of overwater bungalow resorts in the world (more than 75 and counting), the Maldives understands its best asset is the gin-clear, abundant waters of the Indian Ocean. When you’re not snorkeling, diving, or gazing at the rich marine life through the floor windows of your water-top villa, continue enjoying the underwater display while dining at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, or even while getting pampered in Huvafen Fushi’s submerged spa.

A limestone spike rising dramatically from the emerald waters of Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island (Koh Tapu — Nail Island in Thai) earned its moniker from appearing in two 007 movies: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Excursions depart from the popular resort areas of Phuket, Khao Lak and Krabi on photogenic longtail boats. On the tour, explore secret lagoons, craggy sea caves and a floating village.
Looking for last minute hotel deals or a list of year-round cheap hotels in a US city? Trust our travel writers & researchers to help you. Below is a list of guides for finding cheap hotels in the most popular cities in the US. In these guides you'll find information about the best time of year to travel, how to get a last minute hotel, average prices for boutique & luxury hotels, the general state of hostels, and even tips about booking Airbnb's.
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