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aug 27 2016

Numbers Don't Lie: You Can Make Out Like a Bandit When You Book Last Minute Flights

(Courtesy islandgal48/myBudgetTravel)

There are some rules of travel that we hold cardinal, like always hydrate in flight; make sure to have a scan of your passport saved in an email; always opt for the ATM over currency exchange booths in airports; always buy your plane ticket long in advance to get the best deal.  

But then we came upon a nugget of news that gave us pause. As it turns out, the seemingly best prepared travelers who book flights months out might not be snatching the best bargains. According to research performed by Skyscanner, a global travel search engine and very cool app, based on data from over 50 million users, last-minute travel is the default for most. (C'mon--everyone's so busy...what'd ya expect??) And, believe it or not, airlines aren’t punishing us travelers for our inability to plan months in advance. The research was based on travel around major holidays—specifically Thanksgiving, Christmas and new year. Consider this: judging by years past, Thanksgiving week (November 21) will be a prime time for nabbing top deals, with possible savings of 6.41%. Same goes for the week of December 5.

aug 26 2016

Great Fall Getaway: Portsmouth, NH

The Port Inn, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, in Portsmouth, NH, is a welcoming, luxe-for-less base of operations for autumn leaf-peepers.

(Robert Firpo-Cappiello)

Here in the Northeast, we’re already noticing the shadows getting longer, the nights cooler, and, of course, the kids are getting ready to head back to school. But rather than mourn summer’s end, we’re getting psyched for… you got it… leaf-peeping season!

My wife and I just got back from a weekend “escape from New York” to one of our favorite New England destinations, and I realized that Budget Travelers need to know: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, belongs on your autumn to-do list.

aug 25 2016

Deal of the Day: Retreat to a charming Berkshires B&B from $229 for two nights this fall

(Travelzoo)

There are few things we can say about Stockbridge that native son Norman Rockwell hasn’t said already. The charming town in the Berkshires looks exactly as he painted it. With this exclusive deal, which is good through the winter, you can experience it in all its small town USA glory with a stay at Seasons on Main which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

aug 25 2016

Deal of the Day: Nature-meets-luxury Just Outside Yosemite, from $159

(Travelzoo)

California's Sierra National Forest is the backdrop of Tenaya Lodge, a luxe oasis that offers a fantastic assortment of outdoor activities, from biking to rock climbing to rafting to fishing, all within two miles from the entrance to Yosemite National Park. This exclusive Travelzoo deal gets you access for two to one of the seasonal outdoor endeavors of your choosing, be it a guided nature hike, mountain bike rentals, or ice skating when the weather is colder. Rejuvinate with one the spa's decadent treatments or just relax in the sauna. All this can work up quite an appetite. Rest assured Tenaya has dining options galore, from the rustic-chic Sierra Restaurant to the pub-like Jackalope’s Bar & Grill to the posh Embers, an elegant, intimate affair. There's also a deli, a pizzeria and a BBQ joint. 

aug 24 2016

Deal of the Day: Two-night Escape to North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains from $129

(Travelzoo)

If you thought a golf resort with an unbelievable view of the misty Smoky Mountains was beyond your budget, think again. You can head for the hills at North Carolina’s Waynesville Inn, a posh escape set between the Smokies and Balsam Mountain and close to Asheville, and save 60% on standard rates with this exclusive Travelzoo deal.

aug 23 2016

Deal of the Day: Foliage Season in a Classic Connecticut Setting, Plus $50 Dining Credit, from $149

(Travelzoo)

The Spa at Norwich Inn sits on 42 scenic acres of gardens, ponds, fountains, and a courtyard. It offers several options for lodgings, from simple rooms to bigger suites, but this exclusive Travelzoo deal from August 28 through December 23 gets you a private villa studio condo for $149/night Sunday through Thursday, which is 50% off the standard rate. (Travelzoo rate for Friday nights is $199/night). As an added bonus, you get a $50 credit towards food and drink at the inn. Located two hours from New York City and Boston and just one hour from Providence, it’s a classic New England setting that’s a perfect getaway during foliage season. 

aug 19 2016

Deal of the Day: Oregon Wine Country, Including Tastes of the Local Bounty, Is Yours from $139

(Travelzoo)

The garden-themed Village Green Resort in Cottage Grove is exactly the kind of picturesque, peaceful hotel you’d expect to find in the Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon: a charming, rustic, pet-friendly property with 14 acres of gardens, a gorgeous pool, and happy hour specials and live music in the relaxing Fireside Lounge. It’s a hop away from 17 miles of hiking trails and historic downtown Cottage Grove, which features plenty of adorable shops. But perhaps most importantly, this being the Willamette Valley, which is known for its world-class wines, there are dozens of tasting rooms in the area to choose from.

aug 17 2016

Deal of the Day: One More Summer Beach Fix or an Off-Season Treat at the Jersey Shore, from $159

(Stephanie Diani for Travelzoo)

Let's be clear about something: Your oceanside escape opportunities do not end when September falls. The off-season might, in fact, but just the right time for you to pack up the towels and bathing suits and pay another visit to the beach. Whether you’re a faithful fan of the Jersey Shore or it’s still on your must-see list, this Deal of the Day is right up your alley. The Bentley Inn, located just one block from the beach in Bay Head, which has been called “the Hamptons of the Jersey Shore,” is offering rooms from Sunday through Thursdays through the end of October. This exclusive deal, which saves you 40% on the inn's regular prices, gets you a night’s stay is a cool $159 through September 1 and an even cooler $109 from September 5 until November.

aug 17 2016

Never Mind Mardi Gras. This Month New Orleans Is One Big Dinner Party

(Courtesy lweinb/myBudgetTravel)

When it comes to world-class culinary destinations in America, few cities beat New Orleans. From its longstanding iconic temples of dining to contemporary eateries that offer new spins on the city’s traditional fare, the biggest challenge of a visit to the Bayou is choosing where to dine.

But throughout the month of August, restaurants are offering unbeatable prix-fixe meals as part of COOLinary Summer in New Orleans. Some of the city’s –if not the country’s—most acclaimed restaurants are rolling out the red carpet with two- and three-course lunch menus for $20 or less and three-course dinner menus for $39 or less. A few eateries are going all out and offering brunch, too. Among the dozens of restaurants, primarily in the French Quarter and Downtown, are fine-dining stalwarts, like Arnaud’s, Galatoire’s and the renowned Commander’s Palace, as well as plenty of modern locales, like Cafe Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar and Carrollton Market.

aug 16 2016

The Prime Time to Save on Hotels This Summer? Right now!

(Trivago)

It’s happened to the best of us: the summer flies by before we have a chance to take a vacation. Meantime, the fall looms in the none-too-distant future in all its busy glory. But there’s still a significant chunk of August remaining and, as it turns out, they’re prime weeks for travel. (See, you’re not alone. Lots of people didn’t notice how fast the summer flew by.) Hotwire did some serious number-crunching and reported that hotel rates are at the height of affordability during the last two weeks of August.

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