Budget Travel's Blog

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

Archive: April 2009
apr 30

Paris Insider: Top 5 free events in May

The only thing better than visiting Paris is being able to enjoy free events in Paris. Here's a round-up of activities for the lovely month of May.
apr 30

New York City: A new way to catch a play for cheap

A cultural organization for the East Village and Lower East Side has opened a ticketing venue similar to Broadway's TKTS booth to sell seats as low as $5 to edgier downtown theaters.
apr 30

Swine flu: Are "fever scanners" at airports worthwhile?

Airports worldwide are rushing to install fever scanners to slow the spread of swine flu, but experts are raising doubts about the machines' ability to spot infections.
apr 29

Worth reading: Airlines & luggage, Bigfoot, and more

Our favorite links from around the blogosphere this week.
apr 29

Amsterdam: "The world's biggest street party"

On April 30, about 2 million people are expected to flock to the capital of the Netherlands—many dressed in bright orange—to celebrate late Queen Juliana‚Äôs birthday.
apr 28

Swine flu update: Free hotline for travelers with questions

Any traveler can call a hotline (866/644-6811) if they need medical referrals, questions about symptoms, or updates on areas affected. The call is free, even if you're not a policyholder.
apr 28

Paris celebrates 120 years of the Eiffel Tower

To celebrate its anniversary, meals at the top of the Eiffel Tower just got cheaper. Our "Paris embed" offers some other tips for recognizing this architectural landmark.
apr 28

This weekend: Your gateway to 30 countries is in D.C.

Foreign embassies are hosting a free open house this Saturday.
apr 28

Seoul: Is it a bridge or a dancing fountain?

The Banpo Bridge in Seoul, South Korea, has recently been affixed with 10,000 nozzles on either side of its 3,700-foot-long span, shooting dramatic bursts of water into the Han River.
apr 27

Italy: An innovative "do touch" archaeological museum

Channel your inner Indiana Jones at the interactive Museo Archeologico Virtuale, whose multimedia installations bring Pompeii and Herculaneum back to life.
apr 27

Where I've Been Travel App goes "local," adds photos and reviews

The most popular app for travelers on Facebook (and many other social-networking sites) has just gotten a re-vamp. Here are the highlights.
apr 27

Swine flu: Travel update

Some airlines are waiving their usual fee for changing bookings for anyone traveling to, from, or through Mexico through May 6. The government is warning against "non-essential travel to Mexico."
apr 24

The first "eye-print" cards will let you skip Customs

A new digital card will allow Americans to skip customs lines at a foreign airport for the first time.
apr 24

A vote for the world's best tourism website

Visit Austin's, Australia's, Sweden's, Montreal's, and Asbury Park (N.J.) Boardwalk's websites and you'll see this year's nominees for the Webby Award for the most innovative tourism website.
apr 23

Video: How to survive a plane crash

A two-minute video explains what you can do to boost your chances of survival during a plane crash.
apr 23

Today only: Delta SkyMiles/WorldPerks offer

A bonus 25,000 Sky Miles when you sign up, which is standard. But if you use those miles by August, they give you another 25,000 miles. Plus they waive the card's $95 fee!
apr 23

This weekend: Consider a stay at your national parks

National Park Week ends on Sunday, but there are things to do year-round in the 351 areas in the National Park System.
apr 23

Breaking news! Expedia quietly removes its hotels booking fee

Expedia has apparently stopped adding its booking fee into its "taxes and fees" in response to Orbitz's identical move yesterday.
apr 23

Freebie: A fun new way to learn foreign words online

A website lets you learn a foreign word a day for free, covering any of 20 languages, including French, Czech, Korean, and Welsh. You receive your word list in an e-mail or via a Twitter feed.
apr 23

United unveils carbon offsets, but are they worth it?

United now has an online calculator that estimates your share of the heat-trapping gases tied to global warming. Donations start at $2. We tell you which of its programs is the most promising.
apr 22

No joke: Pets-only planes, from $150 per animal

With Pet Airways, the cats and dogs will relax in a "Pet Lounge" at the terminal and ride in a carrier-lined cabin during the flight.
apr 22

Worth reading: Italian villas, ugly Americans, and more

Our favorite links from around the blogosphere this week.
apr 22

Hotels: Orbitz "tellin' it straight" with prices; drops booking fee, too

Orbitz cuts its booking fee (for a savings of about $7 on average) and will change the way it displays hotel pricing to be more upfront on total cost on the search results page.
apr 21

Heading to Disney World? Need our helpful advice?

What's on your mind: Where to stay (inside the park or out)? How to get around? Park Hopper tickets versus single-day passes? Ask us, and we'll try to track down the answers!
apr 21

Insider's Paris: The top sidewalk cafés

The best sidewalk cafés in the world's best city for sipping coffee.
apr 21

Best value in RV campers

Kampgrounds of America has teamed up with RV manufacturer Airstream to offer nightly rentals at campsites across the U.S.
apr 20

Practical Paris: What's closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays?

The city's museums are closed on certain days of the week. So before setting off on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday check ahead, or consult our list in this post.
apr 20

Great Paris Neighborhood: Quartier d'Aligre

Anchored by a sprawling market, this district is a mix of working class families and visitors tasting the area's gastronomic delights.
apr 17

Tour du Jour: A mystery theater tour hits Hollywood

Starting May 2, a new interactive tour will show you the sights of Hollywood as the setting for a twisted plot of seduction, fame, and desire.
apr 16

JetBlue offering "frequent-flier miles" for pets

Earn four rewards points in JetBlue's rewards program if you bring a pet along on a round-trip flight. The catch: You'll have to pay a $200 fee.
apr 16

Video Quest: You can swim where Jason Mraz filmed his hit video

The music video for the Grammy-winning "best song of the year" was shot on the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Oahu. Find out how to re-live the singer's Honolulu visit.
apr 16

Best value in river cruising (Budget Travel's pick for 2009)

Unlike on mega ships, you typically won't find surprise fees tacked onto your bill when you sail on these small vessels.
apr 15

Obese passengers on United flights may now need to buy a 2nd seat*

After receiving hundreds of complaints annually, United Airlines has introduced new requirements for the obese.
apr 15

We'd love a Webby Award, but...

...right now we're just happy to be recognized as one of five finalists for a Webby in the Travel category, along with Kayak, LonelyPlanet, TripKick, and AndBeyond.com.
apr 15

Renting a bike nationwide just got much easier

A new website allows you to reserve, and pay-in-advance for, bicycles at shops in 37 states and 144 U.S. cities. Reserve a bike to your own specification, such as cruiser or racer.
apr 15

This weekend: New Orleans' other huge party

The French Quarter Festival features 150 live music performances over three days.
apr 14

What lies ahead for airport security this year

The TSA's goal is to lift the restrictions on carrying liquids aboard aircraft. To that end, the TSA has been rolling out new luggage scanning machines at airports nationwide.
apr 14

Best Western is at it again

The world's largest hotel chain is bringing back the Countdown to Savings sale.
apr 14

A few good links: Name that tune at the Atlanta airport

Our favorite links from around the 'net this week.
apr 14

Rental car rally: There's still time to sign up

In May, about 60 cars will race 10 hours from San Francisco to Yuma, Ariz., for a chance to win prizes.
apr 13

TripIt launches a free iPhone app for travel planning

E-mail all of your electronic airline itineraries, hotel confirmations, restaurant reviews, and other trip-planning info to TripIt and you can retrieve all of the info in one place: your iPhone.
apr 13

Greyhound gets fancy new buses and gives away tickets via Twitter

Greyhound is rolling out new buses with free WiFi, additional legroom, power outlets for laptops and iPods, and new seats. To celebrate, they're giving away tickets via Twitter.
apr 13

D.C.: Smithsonian is extending museum hours this summer

The National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of Natural History will stay open until 7:30 p.m. every day. That's two hours later than usual. The National Museum of American History will have extended hours, too.
apr 10

Back from Paris and ready to report

I'm eager to respond to the comments you posted before I left—starting with food and cinemas.
apr 10

Germany: The centuries-old Oberammergau Passion Play reboots in 2010

The five-hour play, which begins with Jesus entering Jerusalem and follows the story through his death and resurrection, involves more than 2,000 actors and singers.
apr 09

Affordable Paris: Museums for free

In the French capital, 22 museums offer free entry daily. Other museums have free days and nights. Our ex-pat blogger reveals her favorites.
apr 09

Road trips: Trust this guy, he's traveled more than 400,000 miles

Jamie Jensen, author of Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways, has probably seen more two-lane blacktop road than even Kerouac could have fathomed.
apr 09

Which major airlines and travel companies are under financial pressure?

Orbitz may be swallowed up, American and United may return to bankruptcy, and Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines are under great pressure.
apr 08

This weekend: Visit the cow-chip-throwing capital of the world

Beaver, Okla., plays host to the 40th annual World Cow Chip Throwing Contest.
apr 08

Gear: Flight 001 has a 30 percent off sale online and in store

The travel gear company is knocking 30 percent off all in-store and online purchases between Apr. 14 and 19. Sale items include on-board amenity kits, games, luggage, and noise-canceling earphones.
apr 07

TSA: Whole-body scanners to replace metal detectors

Up until now, the machines have only been used at 19 airports on passengers who set off the metal detectors and preferred a secondary scan instead of a physical pat-down by an officer.
apr 07

Orbitz and Cheaptickets drop their plane ticket fees

The two online agencies have removed their fees, ranging from about $5 to $12, for booking a domestic plane ticket, now through the end of May.
apr 07

Southwest Airlines is coming to LaGuardia in June

On June 28, the "Love" airline arrives at one of New York City's largest airports, promising a price war, especially on flights to Chicago Midway.
apr 06

Play ball! Baseball rivals unveil new stadiums

Yankees and Mets fans have something new to trade words over—who's got the better stadium? Let the trash talk begin…
apr 06

A few good links: Delta shuts many gates, Chicago's Olympics, and more

Travel stories that caught our eye this week.
apr 06

Airlines: The best and worst for 2008

Government data on flight delays, baggage mishandling, and consumer complaints shows that Hawaiian, JetBlue, and Southwest are all-stars, while US Airways, American, and Atlantic Southeast are laggards.
apr 06

Video: Forget about the recession for a minute

Travel isn't all about seeing the sights. It's also about seeing real people in all their eccentric wonder and surprising traditions. Catch this two-minute video for a silly example.
apr 06

Facebook: A traveler's cheat sheet

You've conquered the continents, now for Facebook…Try these three popular applications aimed at travelers.
apr 06

Bed bugs are spreading, but beagles may help combat them

A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that bed bugs are becoming more widespread, partly due to increased travel. Some pest control firms have enlisted beagles to fight the bloodsuckers.
apr 03

Back from Rome, with a first report

I'm eager to respond to the comments you posted before I left—starting with food.
apr 03

Expedia offer: Flights to Mars from $99*

The winner of this year's best Aprils Fools jokes for travelers: Expedia.com.
apr 03

Vegas finally gets the excellent, flashy blog it deserves

Travel blogs HotelChatter and Jaunted have spawned a baby sister, VegasChatter, focusing on all things Sin City.
apr 03

How do you use a cell phone boarding pass at the metal detector?

A reader asks, "Before you walk through the scanner, airports require that you put your cell phone in the bin. So how do you show your boarding pass to the TSA agent when it is on the x-ray machine belt?"
apr 02

Mexico's tourism officials say, "C'mon in, the water's fine"

Tourism officials believe that the media isn't painting the whole picture about how the recent flare up in drug-trafficking violence is hundreds of miles away from popular destinations for Americans, such as Cancun.
apr 01

Questions about Vancouver 2010?

Let us know, so we can help you plan a trip to the next Olympics.
apr 01

Kudos to Canada for making Toronto's airport cheaper for flights

In Canada, federal cash will help cut fees on tickets to the Toronto airport that's closest to downtown. That is good news for up-and-coming Porter Airlines.
apr 01

This weekend: Butterflies flutter by at the San Diego Zoo

The annual Butterfly Jungle, offering close encounters to the colorful insects, starts on Saturday.

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