Trying to decide on a summer vacation? If you are based in or around Washington, DC, you have plenty of new non-stop or one-stop international options.
Porter Airlines is now flying four times a day out of Washington Dulles to Toronto City Airport. That tiny facility is located just minutes from downtown Toronto. Although Porter is always ranked among the world's top small airlines (with free wine and beer, extra leg room, and lounge access available to all--love the Canadian form of democracy), fares are fair. To wit, recently Porter offered an introductory round-trip out between the two hubs for less than $220.00.
If you want to weekend out of Baltimore-Washington International (BWI), you can head to Bermuda non-stop on AirTran for about $250 round-trip. The airline also flies to Aruba from BWI, with May flights going for as little as $200 each way.
Many moons ago, BWI was the regional hub for Icelandair. But then the krona took a major tumble in 2008 and air service to the land of ice and fire from this area was put, well, on ice. But the deep freeze is over, and Icelandair is back, baby. This time, its home airport is Dulles. Flights between DC and Reykjavik service started in January and there will be six flights a week starting in June. Icelandair is known for offering long-weekend deals--the flight is less than six hours--and also packages on one-stop flights to go elsewhere in Europe. So keep an eye on its website.
South African Airways serves Dakar, Senegal non-stop out of Dulles and then that flight goes on to Johannesburg. From there, the airline has connections to more than two dozen African countries. Just added this year--flights to Rwanda, Burundi and Congo. Benin is next on the slate, with flights starting in May. A couple more things to know about SAA--it's a member of the Star Alliance and the airline frequently runs incredible deals. This winter, it offered some round-trips out of DC for less than $1200 and occasionally, it offers two-for-one deals.
A lesser known African carrier is Ethiopian Airlines, which is also a member of the Star Alliance. It flies from Dulles to, obviously, to Ethiopia daily. But new this spring is a more or less direct flight from Dulles to Seychelles via Addis Ababa four days a week. For those in need of a geography lessons, Seychelles is a Garden of Eden in the Western Indian Ocean. Made up of 115 islands, it's rather romantic, with reams of luxury resorts, private villas, and boutique hotels. The pristine waters offer one-of-a-kind opportunities for deep-sea fishing, sailing, scuba diving and snorkeling.
Ethiopian is offering a couple of air-land packages to Seychelles, including a five-night deal with the Four Seasons (in a treehouse villa) running at $3,340 per person. For the less tony, there's also a five-night air-land package at intimate Augerine Hotel priced at a mere $1,639 per person.