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sep 25 2014

5 "Boomtowns" You MUST Visit ASAP

Hong Kong is the fastest-growing city in the world, according to Bloomberg.

(Courtesy BereniceKimura/myBudgetTravel)

It's crunch time! Bloomberg recently released its list of cities around the globe that will be the most crowded in the year 2025. The top five? Hong Kong; Salvador, Brazil; Mexico City; São Paulo; and Singapore. All the more reason not to put off traveling to these destinations any longer! Bump them up on your bucket list instead, using some of our favorite travel tips for each town as guidance:

jul 12 2012

UNESCO Adds 8 New Spots to the World Heritage List

The Catalhoyuk excavation site in Turkey (Courtesy Turkey Tourism Board)

It's a feather in any location's cap to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so congratulations are in order to the eight new sites added for 2012. "New" might not be the best adjective, actually. The sites include Chengjiang Fossil Site in the Yunnan Province of China, where 196 species that help determine how today's animal groups have developed over the last 530 million years, and Catalhoyuk, a 34–acre Neolithic site in Turkey that was occupied as far back as 7,400 B.C.

mar 27 2012

Revealed: The Most Searched for Destinations for Summer 2012

Surfing in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii (Courtesy Knoal/Flickr)

Americans will continue to travel this summer, despite the dire predictions of some overheated "experts" on cable TV news.

After all, we've been through this before: In July 2008, America faced record high gas prices of $4.11 a gallon. Official surveys after-the-fact found that Americans still hit the road and took to the skies throughout that summer.

jan 26 2012

Chinese New Year: A surprisingly Affordable Time to Visit Hong Kong

Hong Kong lights up at night. (Courtesy Globotours)

Who knew?! Hong Kong’s biggest festival is also one of the cheapest times of the year to visit.

Romance can easily get trampled in frenetic Hong Kong, but February brings out the giddy schoolgirl in this all–business city. It turns out that while the 15–day Chinese New Year festivities start with a firecracker–induced bang, they end on a surprisingly sweet note: the Spring Lantern Festival (February 6, 2012). The festival started as a celebration of the year’s first full moon, featuring multicolored silk or paper lanterns and a menu of sticky rice balls—you know: round, white, and, well, lunar. Over the years, Cupid joined the party. The lanterns, now strung up throughout the city’s parks, provide a dreamy backdrop for strolling singles and their traditional matchmaking games. "As we absorbed other cultures through travel and exposure to the world, we morphed our own festival into a hybrid form of Chinese Valentine’s Day," says Xu Xi, novelist and writer in residence at the City University of Hong Kong. "And why not? Cultures change, but love is universal."

sep 26 2011

Your take: The most important historic places of the new millennium

(Courtesy Time)

TIME’s upcoming Great Places of History—Civilization’s 100 Most Important Sites (pre-order on Amazon.com, released October 11, $18.59) is the kind of coffee table book that will have you polishing up your bucket list and booking flights to far-flung locales. From the Great Wall of China and Easter Island to Auschwitz and Pearl Harbor, these 100 locations represent the highlights (and sometimes very lowlights) of the human experience—architectural wonders, battlefields, cathedrals, castles, universities, skyscrapers, and ancient mysteries.

mar 17 2011

The death of the travelers' check?

An American Express traveler's check (Courtesy jbcurio/Flickr)

Do you still use travelers' checks? They work like dollars, but can be replaced if lost or stolen. They're best for those who don't want to use credit or ATM cards—or carry large amounts of cash.

At your destination, you have to swap each check for local currency. You'll be charged fees of up to $9 to do that. That's not convenient, as we reported in our recent story, "What Your Bank Won't Tell You About Currency Conversion," where we found that $100 typically buys €63.11.

feb 09 2011

2011, the year of river cruising

Uniworld's Duoro Spirit (Courtesy Uniworld River Cruises)

It may be the year of the rabbit, but what few may realize is that 2011 is also gearing to be the year of river cruising.

After a relative slowdown in new ship launches spurred by the downturn, the increasingly popular travel style is back in action with a cornucopia of new ships launching this year on rivers across Europe, Russia, China and Southeast Asia. For everyone from the novice to the consummate river cruiser, here are some highlights of what the reborn river cruise market has to offer:

oct 29 2010

Will trains replace planes in the next century?

(A. Christine Maxfield)

Imagine that you were able to travel from New York to London in just 54 minutes…by train. As amazing as that sounds, talented engineers are saying that it's not impossible to design a magnetically levitated train that would zip at supersonic speeds through a floating tunnel 150 to 300 feet below the Atlantic. Yes, it would require an exorbitant amount of money (up to $50 million dollars per mile), and of course there are the safety concerns (traveling at supersonic speeds of 4,000-plus mph can create a sonic boom that would wreak havoc on the structure). But according to Frank Davidson, a former MIT researcher, "A transatlantic tunnel will be done. We just have to be as interested in it as we are in getting to the Moon." (Popular Science)

mar 12 2010

China to build high-speed rail link to Europe

It may be that—other than wanting six-weeks of vacation a year and aspiring to speak more than one language—there's no clearer sign of an un-American sissy than someone who's thrilled by high-speed trains. And if you're as big of a fan of trains as I am, the latest plans for high-speed trains probably make you drool.

feb 08 2010

What happens when the Olympics move on?

It was slightly eerie how they were playing the official Olympic theme songs, as well as playing fake sporting event noises from inside the Bird's Nest, wrote flickr user kalleboo, who posted this photo on January 18, 2010 (Courtesy kalleboo/Flickr)

This Friday brings Vancouver's turn in the spotlight as the host of the Winter Olympics. But back in August 2008, all eyes were on Beijing for a dazzling opening ceremony that captured China's grand-scale ambitions—and that will be hard to top.

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