Budget Travel's Blog

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

oct 20 2014

7 Tested Tips for Visiting Rome

Roman Colosseum
(Courtesy Kaeli Conforti)

Even when on vacation, it’s hard for a travel editor to stop working. In May of 2012, my family embarked on an 11–day Italian adventure, including stops in Venice, Lake Como, the Cinque Terre area, Pisa, Florence, and finally, Rome. Needless to say, I kept jotting down notes and little tidbits of advice to bring home with me—and share with all of you. From free sites to deflecting insistent street salesmen, here are seven things to keep in mind when visiting Rome.

oct 17 2014

How to Find an Affordable African Safari

Safari in Zimbabwe

Take these four strategies into account as you search for a safari adventure to suit your budget.

(Melissa Scott, Natural Habitat Adventures)

This article was written by Wendy Worrall Redal on behalf of Natural Habitat Adventures.

To watch a herd of impala springing over the savannah with a cheetah in hot pursuit, or a big bull elephant sloshing in a water hole, or a graceful giraffe browsing in the acacia trees, is to know some of the earth's most primal and beautiful wildlife encounters. Then, to share adventure stories around a campfire beneath a sky strewn with stars before you drift off to sleep in earshot of a lion's distant roar... Well, it's no wonder an African safari is the ultimate grail for many nature travelers.

oct 15 2014

Do YOU Live in America's Coolest Small Town 2015?

How does a town get to be named Coolest by Budget Travel? Ask Berlin, Maryland, which topped our 2014 list. The folks in Berlin didn't fiddle around when it came to promoting their town's coolness on our nominations page, on social media—and they even wrote a song about their beautiful burgh!

(Courtesy Worcester County Tourism)

What does it feel like to live in America's Coolest Small Town? Ask the folks in Berlin, Maryland. In February, they topped our list, edging out Cazenovia, New York, and 13 other finalists to win the 2014 title. And they threw one heck of a victory party. (We know because we were there!)

oct 10 2014

Why Every Nature Lover Should Pay A Visit To Paracas, Peru

Paracas and the Ballestas Islands in Peru

Visit the Ballestas Islands the next time you're planning a trip to Peru.

(Courtesy Hannah Vickers)

Pelicans march solemnly up and down the beaches, always on the lookout for a dead fish abandoned by a passing fisherman, while seagulls wheel overhead. This small beach town is just a few hours south of Peru's capital city of Lima, but it seems worlds away from the busy, highly populated capital that seldom sleeps. Paracas is a popular destination for national and international tourists. It's the perfect weekend getaway from Lima, an ideal place to break up a long bus journey between Lima and popular southern destinations like Cusco, Arequipa, and Puno. Paracas, in the Province of Pasco, 260 km south of the capital, is easily accessible by long-distance bus or car.

Visit the 'Peruvian Galápagos'

oct 08 2014

5 Best Cheap Eats in Buenos Aires

Desnivel in Buenos Aires
(Courtesy Mike Gasparovic)

Argentines as a nation would appear to be prone to cultishness. From Eva Perón to soccer to psychoanalysis, their reverence towards their idols quickly takes on religious overtones, as evidenced by the "Gardel Lives" and "Maradona is God" inscriptions still visible on some walls in Buenos Aires.

oct 06 2014

How to Negotiate More Vacation Time (Plus the One Thing You Should NEVER Say!)

Whether you want a luxurious getaway to the South Pacific (likeTahiti, above), or just some time to kick back and get to know your hometown, there's a right‚—and a wrong—way to ask for more vacation time.

(Courtesy jonrawlinson/Flickr)

Did you hear the news that Virgin Group mogul Richard Branson gives his employees unlimited—yes, unlimited—vacation time? He was inspired by Netflix's vacation non-policy, which states "there is no policy or tracking." And then there's the story of San Francisco real estate search engine 42 Floors, which offers new employees a "pre-cation": two weeks of paid vacation before they even show up for their first day of work. We're jealous!

oct 06 2014

How to do Oslo on a Budget

Street Art in Norway
(Courtesy Katka Lapelosa)

"Oh, you're going to Oslo? You know it's expensive, right?"

I can't tell you how many people told me that on learning I'd booked a week-long trip to the capital of Norway. Didn't they realize I live in New York City, one of the most expensive cities in the world as it is? It got so annoying that I made it my mission to do Oslo as cheaply as possible.

Getting there, and when to go

oct 03 2014

5 Unforgettable Experiences in Seward, Alaska

Scenery in Seward, Alaska
(Courtesy Kae Lani Kennedy)

"Alaska Starts Here" is the motto of the small town of Seward, Alaska, located on the Kenai Peninsula. With a population of a little over 3,000 it seems like a bold claim, but this coastal community truly delivers, giving visitors the chance to experience all the nature, sports and excitement that Alaska has to offer.


oct 02 2014

8 Tested Tips For Visiting Barcelona

Even when on vacation, it’s hard for a travel editor to stop working. This summer, I went on Contiki's Amsterdam to Barcelona tour all around Europe for my vacation, taking notes and photos for our Instagram page as we worked our way through Amsterdam, Paris, Lucerne, Nice, and Barcelona. There's so much to see and do in this beautiful city—it's kind of a relaxed, cleaner version of Paris—and we managed to fit a lot into the three days and nights I stayed there. Here's my cheat sheet for visiting Barcelona and some special tips to help you make the most of your time there.

Always book your tickets online ahead of time

oct 01 2014

Now You Can Book Up to a Week in Advance with Hotel Tonight

(Sea Crest Beach Hotel)

The slick Hotel Tonight app, known as the service that lets you book discounted same-day hotel reservations via your phone, recently expanded its reach to let users reserve rooms a full seven days beforehand. That's fantastic news for the not-so-spontaneous travelers among us. This way, planning a last-minute weekend trip doesn't have to come quite so far down to the wire—and you still get the benefit of the app's HT Price Guarantee: If you see the same hotel on the same night listed at a lower price elsewhere, Hotel Tonight will fill your account with HT Credits for the difference.  

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