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

feb 12 2016

Why You Should Renew Your Passport STAT

If you want to get off the ground any time soon, you'd better snap into action.

(Courtesy kdbskier/myBudgetTravel)

Twenty million, nine hundred thousand. That’s how many passport applications will be received next year, according to Niles Cole, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Consular Affairs. And 17.4 million passport applications are expected this year, which is nothing to sneeze at, especially when compared to the 16.1 million passport applications the State Department received in 2008. Hence, their advice to get started on the renewal process since they will be plenty busy very soon. “We encourage passport applicants to apply for or renew U.S. passports well ahead of planned travel, as we anticipate longer than average wait times for passport processing over the coming months,” Cole says.

feb 11 2016

Will This Scary New FAA Warning Change the Way You Travel?

(Lonely Planet)

The FAA is warning airlines that rechargeable lithium-ion batteries pose a risk of “catastrophic aircraft loss” because the batteries can catch fire and explode, and that current fire-suppressing systems on planes cannot control a lithium-battery fire. The reason this is potentially terrifying to travelers is that rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are found in cell phones and other electronic devices.

feb 11 2016

5 Things You Don't Know About... the Great Wall of China

(Courtesy gauravks/myBudgetTravel)

Contrary to urban legend, this gargan­tuan tourist favorite known as the Great Wall of China is not visible from space, but just about everything else about the travel icon is mind-blowing in scale:

1. Construction began in 214 B.C. and continued for more than 2,000 years. At one point, the massive fortification spanned 6,000-plus miles; these days, only about a third of the original remains.

feb 10 2016

How to Fly Your Pet for Free

Dog in a carrier

"Can I come, Mom?"

(Willeecole/Dreamstime)

For many Americans, pets are family members, and they would no more travel without them than they would leave one of their children at home. Unfortunately for Budget Travelers, the airlines seem to know this, and have taken to squeezing as many fees as possible out of passengers who wish to fly with their furry friends. Not only will these fees apply when you fly with a caged animal in the hold, but most airlines will charge you $100 or more just to place a small pet carrier underneath the seat in front of you. 

feb 08 2016

Icelandair’s New Buddy System Will Team You Up With a Local—For Free!

Scenic overlook of town of Seydisfjordur in Eastern Iceland and the fjord.

Scenic overlook of town of Seydisfjordur in Eastern Iceland and the fjord.

(Alexey Stiop/Dreamstime)

If you thought free in-flight movies and unlimited snacks were a major perk, Icelandair is really raising the stakes for airline amenities. Their new Stopover Buddy program provides you with a pal to show you around the country. All you have to do is book a flight across the Atlantic and opt to stay in Iceland—our top pick for Where to Go in 2016—for up to seven days on a layover, which won’t run you any extra airfare. Then they’ll team you up with a pal who shares your interests (food, adventure, nature, etc.) for one of the days.

feb 05 2016

24 Best Reader Tips

(Lonely Planet)

One of the things I love about working at Budget Travel is that nobody—and I mean nobody—has a more engaged, travel-savvy audience than BT. Our mission is to dispense the smartest travel advice around, and our readers often feel compelled to return the favor. Here, some of their best tips.

feb 04 2016

Spring Trips to Book NOW

Spring break in Mexico? Yes, you can!

(Lonely Planet)

Sure, the snow is still falling, but that doesn’t mean you can only dream about your spring getaway. We've lined up some great deals that you have to jump on right away:

TULUM, MEXICO is the “quiet side” of the popular Riviera Maya, a tranquil Caribbean beach town that’s more affordable and less crowded than its rowdy neighbor Cancun mid-March through April. Hit the warm spring beaches, tropical forests, and the ancient Mayan pyramids. BedandBreakfast.com has rentals starting at under $100.

feb 02 2016

A Train Lovers' Guide To Thailand

I was one of a dozen westerners waiting for the Chiang Mai midnight sleeper, along with 500 uniformed school kids noisily waiting for their train. Their frantic teachers invented amusements like group charades and spelling contests, but still most of the kids wandered around looking for trouble. A dozen 13-year-olds blocked my path. Their bold leader, a chubby pony-tailed girl, demanded to know where I come from. They all giggled and elbowed each other chattering hysterically in Thai after I told them I was from Canada. A fellow passenger, a British woman said (loudly over the din), "These kids were already here when I arrived at 7:30." She looked peevishly at her wristwatch. It was 10 p.m. I had been told Thai rail is usually reliable, so this was not a good sign.

jan 29 2016

WATCH: Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard's Africa Video Reminds Us Why We Love Travel

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard in Africa

Who among us doesn't want to bless the rains down in Africa?

(Courtesy Dax Shepard)

Happy Friday! Take a break today to watch the hilarious video that married actor couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard made in Africa, on the last trip they took before they had children. Their "sole objective was to rage hard and honor Toto properly," Shepard said on his YouTube channel.

jan 28 2016

Deals to Escape Winter!

Copamarina Beach Resort in Puerto Rico is offering deals from $145/night.

(Courtesy Copamarina Beach Resort)

Despite all the fun we had last weekend sledding and sipping cocoa, I'm getting a little weary of winter. So, I was psyched to see some luxe-for-less deals come our way. They can drop you on a warm, sunny beach, pronto:

PUERTO RICO. You don't need a passport to visit this U.S. territory, but in all other respects you’ll be a world away from home. Stroll the old-world streets of Old San Juan, kayak in the eerily beautiful Bioluminescent Bay, and taste local favorites like arepas and spicy Asian-fusion dishes that juxtapose noodles with Latin-flavored meat and vegetables. Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa is located on a secluded beach with 20 acres of tropical gardens and nearby diving opportunities from $145/night.

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