Budget Travel's Blog

The latest travel news, vacation tips & advice, travel apps, and more

Archive: May 2008
may 31

Thanks, but, um...

Toilets, vomit, car accidents, "death tourism"... The top six pitches from readers that we didn't assign for our special anniversary issue
may 30

Buses: East Coast welcomes Megabus

Today, Megabus launched service the between New York and Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Buffalo, Atlantic City, and Toronto. Fares start at $1.
may 30

Airline news: Bye-bye Silverjet

Silverjet airlines stopped flying today. The airline had offered business-class, transatlantic flights out of Newark to London and the Middle East.
may 30

Jamaica: A NYC party, a book, and a package trip

Jamaica Day is Monday June 2. Learn about a party in NYC, a new book for children, and a vacation package that offers four all-inclusive nights, and more from $545 per person.
may 30

Live like a lighthouse keeper in Michigan

Old Mission Point Lighthouse opens to the public this June for the first time in its 138-year history and launches a volunteer lighthouse keeper program.
may 30

The Telectroscope lets Brooklyn see London

An amazing optical device dubbed the Telectroscope has been installed at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge and by London City Hall. Wave at a Londoner, live.
may 30

China: New policies for tourist visas

Planning to travel to China this summer? The government has enacted new visa rules. Here's the skinny.
may 30

Affordable Europe: Save on Paris sublets

In Paris, the cost of short-term sublets drops in the hot months, when locals take their own vacations in the provinces, putting their homes in the city up for rent.
may 30

Gear: New carry-ons, Plus: Checkpoint-friendly cases

A look at two new bags that are extra-lightweight and meet airline requirements for carry-ons. Plus, a new rule might soon let you keep your laptop inside your case at the security gate.
may 29

Will you spend your tax rebate on travel?

One in six people will use their stimulus check for travel. If that's you, spill the details! Plus: a few suggestions...
may 29

Today show: affordable family travel

Fresh ideas for family travel this summer (plus, a tip from the Today show's Ann Curry!)
may 28

America's Favorite Restaurants

What would you add to the list?
may 28

Savings at Six Flags

Six Flags America, near D.C., is offering a special buy one, get one free offer when you purchase tickets online--a $50 value. Other parks are offering reduced rates, too.
may 28

Affordable Europe: Use Ryanair, but watch the fees

Irish budget airline Ryanair operates over 500 routes. It offers a cheap way to get around Europe. But you have to be careful. The airline is notorious for its additional fees.
may 28

Is it right to beat up on places?

I decided against compiling a list of 10 places I'd never return to: Was I being weak, or was I being kind?
may 27

Travel news roundup

Here's a round-up of stories about dollar-denominated hotels in London, a vacation package offer from American Express, a new trip finder feature from Yahoo, and an unusual art project.
may 27

No more waiting in line for Heathrow Express tickets

Heathrow Express is introducing a system that allows you to buy tickets online and then proceed straight to the train--no more waiting in line to buy tickets.
may 27

Here's a trend we like: discount spa treatments!

Miami is introducing Miami Spa Month, a promotion that appears to be modeled after "restaurant weeks" that now happen in many cities.
may 27

Affordable Europe: Rome by city card

The City of Rome sells three types of city cards that offer free and discounted entry into museums, sites and events--plus, a multi-day transportation pass.
may 23

Seeing places before they disappear

ProTraveller has come out with a list of 20 Cities, Islands & Countries Threatened by Global Warming. A few notables include the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos, and Tokyo.
may 22

Buses: NYC to Toronto, starting at $1

NeOn, a new twice-daily bus service from New York to Toronto, launches today with one-way fares starting at $1. Each bus is outfitted with free Wi-Fi, TVs for DVDs, and power outlets.
may 22

Disney parks get a little character

It looks like WALL•E, the pint-sized star of Disney-Pixar's newest computer-animated feature, may be coming to theme parks as part of Disney's "Living Character Initiative."
may 22

This weekend: One amazing race; tributes to heroes

From an amazing race in the Midwest to an emotional tribute to our nation's war heroes, this holiday weekend is starting to take shape.
may 22

Contributor to anniversary issue feels like a star (sort of)

One of the contributors to our all-reader 10th-anniversary issue feels like a star (sort of)...
may 22

What book made you want to travel?

We share with you the books that inspired our staff to hit the road, and we ask for your own favorite!
may 21

American Airlines to charge $15 for checking a bag

Desperate for new revenue sources, airlines are adding charges for all sorts of things--in fact, American just announced it'll be charging $15 to check a bag.
may 21

Sports: Traveling through the "Vault"

Sports Illustrated recently launched a free digital archive of the magazine’s entire 50-plus years of issues. I've rounded up a few of the more memorable articles with a travel theme.
may 20

Video: In 3 minutes, how to say hello in 21 accents

An American actress named Amy Walker has created a YouTube video, "21 Accents," in which she introduces herself in…21 accents!
may 20

Affordable Europe: Shop Paris's hidden markets

The most famous Paris flea markets aren't cheap. Our Paris blogger will show you where to find the best values in souvenirs. Hint: Think, brocantes (swap meets).
may 19

Affordable Europe: Tips roundup

Here are some tips that can save you money in Europe this summer. Ideas include bike-rentals, family-friendly hostels, and wine bars that trust you to pay what you think is fair.
may 19

Airport security lines: How's life in the fast lane?

It's been just over a year since we last reported on Registered Traveler (RT), the program that enables people to zip through separate security lanes. Here's our update!
may 16

Italian airline Air One replacing Alitalia on a few routes

Italian airline Air One is partnering with United and the Star Alliance to connect the U.S. with Italy, starting this next month. Round-trip fares start at $800 after taxes and fees.
may 16

RSS: A better way to read blogs

Watch a short video on how RSS feeds are a super way to read articles on the Internet.
may 16

Affordable Europe: Check Auto Europe for car rentals

I just returned from a 10-day trip to Italy and I cannot sing the praises of Auto Europe enough. It saved me money, and provided great service.
may 16

Travel news items you might have missed

Here are some stories that have caught our eyes.
may 16

A stinky rental-car problem

A plea to National Car Rental: Go easy on the so-called air freshener!
may 15

Affordable Europe: Winter is the new summer

Trafalgar Tours is offering early-booking savings. Passengers who book and make a deposit on a tour by July 31 will receive a free pre- or post-night, or an extra 10 percent discount.
may 14

An innovative travel search engine debuts

Ever search for hotel and activity ideas by "theme" and "location"? Now you can. Uptake.com scours more than 1,000 travel sites and produces edited lists of travel recommendations.
may 14

A horrifying story about U.S. immigration

The federal government must agree to basic rights for travelers visiting the U.S.--because as one Italian man's experience shows, they don't have any rights at all.
may 14

Affordable Europe: Visit festivals in Italy

One of the best ways to sample Italian culture on the cheap is attending a small town festival, such as festa, fiera or sagra. Our Rome blogger lists the best ones upcoming, and show you how to find others.
may 13

New York City: Four giant waterfalls arrive soon

Artist Olafur Eliasson is installing four waterfalls along the East River. The 90- to 120-foot waterfalls will run from late June through mid-October on most days from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
may 13

Philly: Tour guides will have to pass history tests

Next summer, Philadelphia will start requiring that all private tour guides pass tests and be licensed. Should all cities require their guides to pass history exams?
may 12

It's like "Hot or Not?" for funny travel signs

Signspotting.com features a new sign daily. Travelers who submit photos can earn $50 if their photo is picked as a winner by other users--thanks to a redesigned format.
may 12

Airports installing ads that "come to life"

At major airports, you'll soon see advertisements beamed onto terminal floors. Step on the screens, and you'll make the ads change shape. (See a video of cute puppy that shows what we mean.)
may 12

After dating for a month, "holidaters" travel together

How many singles are willing to travel with someone after only dating the person for one month? Roughly one in four. And the Fairmont hotel chain plans to cash in...
may 09

Security: A better, cheaper lock for your luggage

For checked or carry-on luggage, try using zip ties instead of costly metal locks. Our TSA tipster says that these are long plastic ties that lock and can't be opened unless cut.
may 09

When good deals disappear: The old bait and switch?

Ever had a good deal disappear when you clicked on it? Is it the old bait and switch?
may 09

Banning pigeons from Venice, and other news

Here's what we found particularly worth reading on other blogs this week.
may 08

Downtown NYC will gain new Whitney branch

You might have a new museum to add to your list of must-sees: The Whitney Museum of American Art has announced plans to add a second location in downtown New York.
may 08

Young travelers can let others foot the bill

You've finally graduated -- now it's time to celebrate. Contiki.com gives young travelers a great new way to plan (and afford) their trips. Hint: Dad can still pay.
may 07

FAQs about items stolen from checked bags

How many victims are there? Who's to blame for all the lost items? What's the best strategy for avoiding robbery? We ask the TSA and a former baggage systems manager for Midwest.
may 07

Carrie? Samantha? Charlotte? Miranda?

Sex and the City: Which character are you?
may 07

Theft from baggage: The TSA reponds to our readers

We asked the TSA to respond to the many questions that readers posted to our recent item. Has the TSA stolen from you? Read the TSA responses.
may 07

Affordable Europe: Florence discounts

In Florence’s crowded historic center, it can feel like there are as many Americans as locals—and tourism board and province officials want it to stay that way. They're launching a new promotion just for U.S. travelers.
may 07

Affordable Europe: Save on trains

In Western Europe, trains are a cheaper and more convenient way to get around than many of the other options. Here are five booking tips.
may 06

Where the dollar is strong: Iceland and South Africa

The dollar has gotten stronger against Iceland's krona (by about 22 percent) and South Africa's rand (by about 26 percent) in the past couple of years. Here's how to visit these two places.
may 06

Hotels: Bedtime stories as a new perk?

For a couple of weeks, a London Hyatt recently had a "Reader in Residence" (journalist Damian Barr) who read to guests free of charge. What unique hotel amenity would you pay for?
may 05

Test Drive: In-flight IM-ing on Virgin America

Virgin America has big plans for its in-flight instant messaging service. But a recent test drive suggests passengers aren’t ready for it.
may 05

Girlfriend Getaways: Where are you headed?

Do you have a trip planned with the girls in the next few months? If so, where are you going, and what will you do there?
may 05

Americans will visit China and India in record numbers

A survey of American travelers by AAA and GlobalInsight has some interesting findings.
may 05

Airlines: Fresh hope for Alitalia

The EU will allow Alitalia to sell some of its airport slots. Plus, the well-capitalized German airline Lufthansa might be willing to help the Italian government fully privatize the airline.
may 02

Freebie: 70 museums for free

Bank of America is now offering free admission to museums year-round. Cardholders get the offer on the first week of every month at 70 museums nationwide.
may 02

A trick for getting toothpaste past airport security?

Is your toothpaste less likely to be detected by TSA screeners if it's Crest?
may 02

Family Travel: 3 moms share stories

Here are few amusing excerpts from a new anthology, "How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel and Other Misadventures Traveling with Kids."
may 02

Affordable Europe: Save on lunch in Italy

Lunchtime in Italy does not always mean the two course pasta (primo) and meat/fish (secondo) meal with several bottles of wine. Our Rome based blogger offers two secret weapons for saving time and money.
may 01

This Weekend: Last-minute Kentucky Derby plans

It's not too late to visit Churchill Downs to catch the run for the roses. And we also have tips for traveling to Louisville, Ky., year-round.
may 01

Affordable Europe: Cruise the Seine for less

It's not a trip to Paris if you don't take a Bateau Mouche, an open-air sightseeing boat up and down the meandering Seine. Here's how to save money, and get the best view...
may 01

Affordable Europe: Bike cities for free (or nearly free)

Free--and nearly free--bicycle rentals are a great way to save in European cities. We list new programs in Zurich and Bern, plus the programs that have started in the past year.
may 01

Affordable Europe: Save on trains from London

Here are four ways to save on trains in Britain.

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