Budget Travel's Blog

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Archive: July 2008
jul 31

Booking travel at the last minute

One out of three of you booked a trip at the eleventh-hour last year. But last-minute booking is not necessarily the best way to save money.
jul 31

The motel from hell?

When journalist Mat Honan and his wife checked into the Travelodge Portland City Center, he soon became concerned that something was very, very wrong...
jul 31

Paris: An electric-car sharing program

Set to begin in late 2009 or early 2010, a car-sharing program would let people pick electric cars at one of 700 proposed lots across the city and drop them off at another lot.
jul 30

Delta raises baggage fees--again--and consumers lash out

We quote from several travelers who are upset at Delta boosting the fee for checking a second bag to $50 each way.
jul 30

Update: OpenSkies removing its coach-class seats

Since we blogged about OpenSkies on Monday, the airline announced that it was removing its economy class section. Gosh, darn it!
jul 30

Today at JFK: Baggage system meltdown

A computer glitch in a baggage handling system run by American Airlines is causing problems at New York City's Kennedy Airport. We have a first-hand report.
jul 30

This weekend: Radiohead, Kanye West headline Lollapalooza in Chicago

Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West, Rage Against the Machine, and Wilco are just a few of the artists headlining a concert this weekend in Chicago's Grant Park.
jul 30

Affordable Europe: Head to London's "seaside"

Next to the London Eye and the Thames River, London has laid out a "beach" with deck chairs, giant games of Connect 4, quoits (a British lawn game similar to horseshoes), and street performers.
jul 29

New Boston and Chicago passes offer discounts

A new option in city passes for Boston and Chicago offers up to a third off the price of buying admission to tours, museums, and other attractions separately.
jul 29

Gear: First checkpoint-ready laptop bag to hit stores in October

A new $99 laptop bag is TSA-approved for passing through airport security without having to be removed for inspection.
jul 28

Which airports offer Wi-Fi, free or otherwise?

You'll find a list of Wi-Fi options at 219 airports at TravelPost.com.
jul 28

What is a "bad traveler"?

The author of the book "There's No Such Thing As Free Speech," Stanley Fish, talks about why he is a poor traveler.
jul 28

Airline news: OpenSkies adds route to Amsterdam

Today we learn that OpenSkies, the spin-off of British Airways, will start flying daily between New York City and Amsterdam on October 15. Tickets will go on sale sometime in August.
jul 28

Voluntourism: Nearly 4 million Americans a year participate

About 3.7 million Americans traveled more than 120 miles for service projects between September 2006 and September 2007--and that's just within the U.S.
jul 26

Video: An emergency landing that will encourage you to listen to the exit instructions

A successful emergency landing saved the lives of 346 passengers. Watch the video.
jul 25

Ads on boarding passes: Are airlines sharing your info?

Some travelers may enjoy the convenience of seeing ads on their passes, such as getting restaurant coupons for their destinations. But is your personal info being shared without your okay?
jul 25

The lowdown on U.S. passport cards

New passport cards can be used for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. They cost roughly half as much as traditional passports.
jul 24

The next big thing: See 8 upcoming attractions

We recently found eight coming attractions that caught our imagination, from the half-mile-tall Burj Dubai to a cruise ship with its own Central Park.
jul 23

American confirms that Kayak will stop displaying its fares

Starting in August, Kayak and Sidestep will no longer offer fares from American Airlines. Here are statements from both parties on the issue.
jul 23

Will American Airlines pull out of Kayak and Orbitz?

A major Silicon Valley business blog reports that American Airlines has already decided to pull out of listing its fares on Kayak, a major travel search engine. Will other airlines follow?
jul 23

Down with Spirit's $5 fee! Long live the blogosphere!

Spirit Airlines had begun charging a $5 per passenger each way "Web convenience" fee for booking tickets on their website. But pressure from bloggers put a stop to it. Yay!
jul 23

This Weekend: See 200 Vatican treasures in Cleveland

Many artworks that have never been seen outside of Rome are now on display at a Cleveland museum. Highlights include "The Mandylion of Edessa," a linen artwork said to be one of the oldest representations of Jesus.
jul 22

In case you missed it: Maps with no folding required

Not only can Rand McNally's microfiber maps help you find your way in more than 20 U.S. cities, they also double as cloths for cleaning your glasses. They're washable and wrinkle-resistant. $6
jul 21

Vacation spots that encourage you to unplug

Get off the grid! Find out about places where PDAs, Internet connections, and even TVs are not allowed.
jul 21

Hotwire spawns a baby sister

Today Hotwire unleashed Travel-Ticker.com, a site that lists top deals ranging airfare specials to elaborate air-and-hotel packages at all-inclusive resorts.
jul 21

Should taxpayers fund the war against bedbugs?

A new bill promises matching grants to any state that has a comprehensive bedbug inspection program.
jul 18

Beijing's new rail and subway lines

Beijing has rolled out the red carpet for visitors to the Olympics. This weekend, new subway and rail lines open.
jul 18

How to spare your kids from "nature deficit disorder"

A new DVD for kids and a new website from Travelocity offer tips for parents on how to get their kids outdoors. Ironic, but still helpful.
jul 17

Cruise News: Changes at Carnival

Carnival is pushing for more "drive-up ports" because of rising airfare costs. It's also considering a switch to an open-seating plan in its dining halls.
jul 17

Buses are back, at least for trips between cities

It's a low-fare bus world and we're just passengers in it. Find out why inter-city and interstate bus travel has grown for the first time in nearly 50 years.
jul 17

How the Italian cookie crumbles

Rome has instituted a ban on eating near major tourist sights, which stays in effect through October. Fines are about $80.
jul 17

World's fastest-growing tourism spots

Unlike other "hot" lists, this list of destinations is based on hard numbers. Where are tourists spending their money?
jul 16

Family travel: Road-tripping on $250 a day

One woman is blogging about her cross-country road trip, in which she, her husband, son, and daughter aim to spend no more than $250 a day.
jul 16

This weekend: Wine (and more!) in Washington

If you find yourself near Kirkland, Wash., a suburb northeast of Seattle, you'll definitely want to join the town's locals for a party by the water.
jul 16

Rick Steves shares impressions of Iran

After lengthy negotiations, travel guru Rick Steves received the go-ahead to take a film crew to Iran for a 10-day shoot. He hopes the forthcoming TV show will give Americans a window into Iranian culture.
jul 15

Theme Parks: The Harry Potter attraction and other new rides

Robert Niles answered our questions about theme parks today. If any journalist in the country should know the scoop, it's Niles--given that he's editor of ThemeParkInsider.com.
jul 15

Family Travel: Mock medieval-jousting show gets a tune-up

At several spots nationwide, you watch as knights ride real stallions and attempt to unseat other riders. Learn more about these dinner shows that feature mock jousting tournaments, including how to find a discount.
jul 14

How much do air-traffic controllers and pilots make?

Air traffic controllers and pilots keep us safe in the sky. How much income do they earn?
jul 11

It's time for this traveler to hit the road

I'm leaving Budget Travel after five wonderful years.
jul 10

Hotels.com launches an impressive rewards program

For every 10 reservations you book via Hotels.com, you'll get a free night at a location of your choice. No blackout dates for stays at about 45,000 properties.
jul 10

The long-haul bus trip from hell

On the D.C. to New York City route, it was the story of a bus trip that just couldn't go right.
jul 10

Affordable Europe: Spain's chic hotel chains

Spain has a growing tourism industry, a vibrant design culture—and a recent wave of hotel chains making chic accommodations affordable.
jul 10

Top airlines email travelers, ask for their help in lowering oil prices

In a historic move, a dozen airlines have emailed a form letter to their frequent fliers asking them to contact Congress about our nation's oil policy. What does it mean?
jul 09

Airlines behaving badly

When a flight crew arrived 75 minutes late, delayed passengers booed and shouted at them. So the crew refused to fly. And then things got worse from there.
jul 09

This weekend: Go hog wild at the new Harley museum

In Milwaukee, Wisc., the Harley-Davidson Museum opens this weekend. The party will feature a tattoo artist, a live motorcycle bike build, and incredibly loud rock music.
jul 08

Affordable Europe: Dining wisely in Paris

We asked Gourmet magazine's European correspondent, Alec Lobrano, for his advice on dining cheaply but well in Paris.
jul 07

From the top: Statue of Liberty's crown may reopen

Visits to the Statue of Liberty are down 44 percent since the time before September 11. Here's why, and what officials might do to bring visitors back.
jul 07

Expert advice: Staying healthy in China

If you’re bound for the Beijing Olympics, now’s the time to think about health precautions. Follow these tips from doctors.
jul 03

George Washington's boyhood home uncovered

Just before July 4, archeologists in Virginia made the timely announcement that they've located remnants of Washington's home.
jul 03

Be aware: Electronics can be seized at customs

U.S. customs officials have been inspecting the contents of electronic devices at the border, in some cases keeping them for several weeks before returning them to their owner.
jul 03

Prepare for flight cutbacks

You can expect fewer passengers in front of you at domestic airports come fall.
jul 02

Big Sur's in danger

A dangerous wildfire near Big Sur, California, has prompted authorities to evacuate the entire town. Here's hoping this national treasure along Pacific Highway 1 is spared.
jul 02

Hertz guarantees a car in 10 minutes or less

The car rental company just introduced a self-service express check-in program at major airport locations that promises faster service—or else a $50 credit.
jul 02

Gear: Laptop bags that will pass the TSA test

This fall, it may become possible to pass through security without unpacking your laptop—if you have the right bag.
jul 02

This Weekend: Philadelphia throws a birthday party

Highlights for this Fourth of July celebration include an ice cream festival, a ceremonial ringing of the Liberty Bell, and fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
jul 01

New York City waterfalls: Focus on the bridge

The four waterfalls, located in the East River, were turned on last week—and we took a tour on Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. Our favorite was under the Brooklyn Bridge.
jul 01

The Smurf tour of Europe

The little blue cartoon characters from Belgium that charmed children the world over are celebrating their 50th anniversary—and visiting several European cities this summer.
jul 01

Is shipping your bags the solution?

Having your luggage shipped to your destination ahead of time is one way to deal with all the new fees.
jul 01

Deal alert: Book now for cheap fall fares to Europe

Air France is discounting its fares from 14 U.S. gateways to 24 European destinations.

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