Photos: Hawaiian paradise

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  1. Waimea Canyon, Kauai

    Kalalau Valley, on Kauai's west side, is more than 3,000 feet deep and provides stunning panoramic views. Waimea is nicknamed "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." (John Borthwick / Lonely Planet) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Honolulu, Hawaii

    Men row their Hawaiian outrigger canoe towards Waikiki beach, with Diamond Head in the background. Outrigger canoes are now used for recreation purposes and to ride the waves, but in times past they were the main means of transportation between the Hawaiian Islands. (Mike Nelson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. The tranquil waters of Oahu

    Hanauma Bay is one of the finest stretches of beach in the world. (Eric L Wheater / Lonely Planet) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Surfer's paradise

    Australian Luke Egan competes on Oahu's North Shore, one of the best places in Hawaii to ride the big waves. (AFP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Water colors

    A school of manini fish pass over a coral reef at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Donald Miralle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Wailua Falls

    The beautiful 83-foot tiered Wailua Falls is an easily accessible, must-see waterfall on the island of Kauai. Wailua Falls was first made famous when it was featured in the television show, "Fantasy Island." (James Randklev / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Emerald peaks

    The iconic, towering emerald peaks of the 1,200-foot Iao Needle, stand out in Maui's Iao Valley State Park. (Adina Tovy Amsel / Lonely Planet) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Historic reminder

    The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, marks the resting place of many of the battleship's 1,177 crew members who lost their lives during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 by the Japanese. The memorial is the "ground zero" of World War II. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Aloha!

    Hula dancers welcome the sailing crew of a Hokule'a, a canoe, into Kailua Bay. (Ronen Zilberman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. The heart of Hawaii

    The sun sets on Honolulu, Oahu's capital and Hawaii's largest, most populous city. (Robert Y. Ono / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Polynesian heat

    Brandon OFueo Maneafaiga, 23, of Waianae, Hawaii balances two flaming knifes during the 13th Annual World Fireknife Championship at the Polynesian Cultural Centre in Laie, Hawaii. (Lucy Pemoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Explosive attraction

    People watch from a viewing area as an explosion takes place on Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, in Pahoa, Hawaii. Legend says the volcano goddess Pele dug fire pits as she traveled from island to island looking for a home with her brothers and sisters. She finally settled at Kilauea's summit, where she lives at Halemaumau crater. (Leigh Hilbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Forces of nature

    The Dragon's Teeth are bizarre lava formations eroded by wind and salt spray at Makalua-puna Point. (Karl Lehmann / Lonely Planet) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Heaven on Earth

    Astronomy observatories are seen on the peak of the snow-covered, Mauna Kea mountain near Hilo, Hawaii. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano. (Tim Wright / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. On the way to Sainthood

    Tourists walk through a cemetery past the grave, left, of Father Damien at Kalawao, Hawaii. After cancer patient Audrey Toguchi prayed to Father Damien, known for helping leprosy patients in Hawaii, to help her, and her cancer went away, Pope Benedict XVI approved the case in July 2008 as Damien's second miracle, opening the way for the 19th century Belgian priest to be declared a saint. (Eric Risberg / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Cool colors

    Rainbow eucalyptus (Mindanao Gum) trees grow in Keanae, Maui. Once a year, these magnificent trees shed their bark and take on the colors of the rainbow. (James Randklev / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Magic Sands

    An aerial view of La'aloa Beach Park or Magic Sands beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The beach is called Magic Sands because when rough surf hits, all of the sand is emptied off the beach and temporarily moved out to sea. (Brian Powers / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 7/28/2009 8:50:17 AM ET 2009-07-28T12:50:17

Book by: Select dates through August 15, 2009

Travel by: December 15, 2009

The deal
For many travelers, an aircraft is simply a method of transportation to their destination and the experience ends the moment they collect their personal items from baggage claim. Recently, we’ve been witnessing a slew of airlines that are branching out to offer vacation packages at rates that are well below what travel agencies are offering. Here’s a few of our editor’s favorites to Hawaii, Europe, and Australia with rates starting from as little as $414.

British Airways flight and 3-night trip from $599
Experience London this fall before the chilly bite of winter sets in, and snag terrific rates on these flight and hotel combos starting from just $599. This package includes three nights hotel stay at the Royal National hotel, where nightly rates start at £72 ($118) a round-trip economy flight to London from New York, (other cities are available at an additional cost) and fuel surcharges.

The flight alone can easily set you back $500-$800, so even after taxes and fees — which aren’t included — are factored in you’re still saving a bundle by booking the combo. Similar packages are also available to Rome from $699, and Barcelona from $669. Travel is valid from September 3 through October 21, however tickets must be purchased by July 31.

The catch: Booking the quoted rates on the Web site takes some time and patience. You'll have to keep entering your dates to find this low price.

V Australia offers 4-night package from $779
West Coast dwellers can test-ride in Richard Branson’s latest pet project, V Australia, the chic new airline (think Virgin America and Virgin Blue). Take off from Los Angeles to Sydney and stay four nights at a 3-star hotel starting from $779 — with taxes included. Rates are also available to Melbourne from $875, Brisbane from $894 and numerous other cities in Australia. With the Australian dollar increasing in value, it’s now or never to book that dream vacation to the land down under.  This offer is valid for bookings made by July 31, for travel through December 15.

The catch: V Australia is just beginning to expand its U.S. presence so you’ll have to find another low-cost carrier to arrange a connecting flight to Los Angeles. 

Last-minute fly and stay in Dublin from $699
Summer is quickly slipping away and if you haven’t yet planned a getaway, the clock is ticking. This 4-night package from Aer Lingus stands out in the crowd because these incredibly low rates are valid for peak-season travel this August. Packages include hotel accommodations at the Regency Hotel in Dublin, daily Irish breakfast, and round-trip airfare from Boston or New York starting from $699. Or, you have the option of flying from San Francisco, Chicago, or Washington, D.C. from $769.

Slideshow: Beyond beer For a hotel upgrade, try the 4-star Maldron Cardiff Lane, centrally located in Dublin, for just $50 more. This offer is available for travel through August 22, but must be booked by July 31. Tip: If you can wait until August 23 to get your travel fix, fall rates go into effect but temperatures remain summer-like for a few weeks. You’ll save $100 by visiting between August 23 and October 31.

The catch: You better get packing because the deadline is right around the corner.

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Hawaii 4-night package from $414
United Airlines is practically giving away vacations to Hawaii with prices this low.  Starting from $414 you can spend four nights relaxing on the beaches of Oahu, or catch a wave on the Big Island from just $592. These rates include round-trip airfare from Dallas (to Oahu) or Seattle (to the Big Island), taxes, and fees. Additional departure and arrival cities are available at slightly higher costs. This offer expires August 15, with travel valid from August 9 through November 15.

The catch: Don’t expect glamorous accommodations, you’ll be staying in a 2.5 star hotel.

The dollars
Rates are per person, and do not include hotel transfers.

ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 2.5 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

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