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nov 24 2015

How to do Florence on a Budget

Pointe Vecchia in Florence, Italy

Visit Ponte Vecchio, the city's famous medieval arched bridge, now home to an assortment of shops and restaurants, and a regular spot for free musical entertainment.

(Courtesy mcmillent/myBudgetTravel)

Florence is an Italian city best known for its art. Home to the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Galleria dell'Accademia (where Michelangelo's David masterpiece resides), visitors from around the world flock to see famous statues and paintings by Raphael, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci among others. The good news is you don't have to break the bank to get some world-class culture. You can view sculptures, paintings, and other works of art for less—or for free—if you know where to look.

nov 23 2015

Are Airline Passengers Subject to Racial Profiling?

(Courtesy Southwest Airlines)

Have you ever been questioned or asked to de-board a plane because of your physical appearance or the language you speak?

Southwest Airlines is under media scrutiny for two reports last week that it may have singled out passengers who were Muslim or of Middle Eastern background. (In addition, just last night, Southwest diverted a flight because of what it termed “unruly behavior” by three passengers, who appear to have been removed from the flight.)

nov 20 2015

"Secret Menus" of America's Favorite Fast Food Joints

(Karsten Behrens/Wikimedia Commons)

"Off the menu" has an elegant ring to it, no? We associate the phrase with high rollers and celebs who are certain the chef has something up his or her sleeve that they're not broadcasting to the world. Well, it turns out you don't have to be on the A-list to order off the menu—and you don't have to be dining at a white tablecloth joint to make special requests. Our friends at Foursquare have compiled tips left by their users—always a great resource for real-life feedback—about some of America's favorite off-the-menu orders from affordable, quality chain restaurants. From imaginative and messy riffs on burgers to unusual twists on pizza, sandwiches, and burritos, there's a little something here for everyone.

nov 19 2015

If You Could Ring In The New Year Anywhere, Where Would It Be?

New Year's Eve in Sydney Australia

Marketing Manager Jennifer O'Brien will be seeing the fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge this New Year's Eve! Where will you ring in the New Year?

(Courtesy Saikit Leung/Dreamstime)

We recently asked several of our staff members to share the places they'd love to celebrate New Year's Eve—here's what they said.

"A sleigh ride dinner in the Colorado Rockies under a canopy of stars with my wife and daughters." —Robert Firpo-Cappiello, Executive Editor

nov 19 2015

How to Save 30 Percent on Holiday Flights

(Courtesy jenhem/myBudgetTravel)

Haven’t booked your Christmas or New Year’s travel yet? Don’t despair: There may still be bargains to be found.

Our friends at Hopper.com, whose data science team analyzes trends to predict the best times to book and fly, tell us that flying on the Monday before Christmas, December 21, can save you up to 30 percent compared with flying later that week. (It’s also possible to save big by departing on Christmas Eve and either returning Christmas Day or on or after January 5.)

nov 18 2015

Insider Tips for Enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Kermit the Frog balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City
(Courtesy Macy's)

Budget Travel is based in New York City, and we get just as swept up in the city’s holiday lights, music, and energy as any visitor. With the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coming up, we decided to take a peek behind the scenes to provide you with some of the best advice for getting the most out of this annual extravaganza. Here, the best insider intel from Bill Schermerhorn, vice president of creative for annual events at Macy’s.

nov 17 2015

5 Things You Don't Know About... Easter Island

When you’re ready to really get away from it all, a tour of the world’s most remote inhabited island—soon to be the center of a huge marine sanctuary—is within reach. Here, five things you don’t know about Easter Island:

1. With a population of fewer than 5,000 people, 63 square miles, and a location more than 2,000 miles west of Santiago, Chile, the island of Rapa Nui (named Easter Island by 18th-century Dutch explorers) is as “out there” as it gets.

nov 17 2015

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.

nov 16 2015

Resources for American Travelers in France

(Lonely Planet)

We stand in solidarity with the brave citizens of France and with those affected not only by acts of terror in Paris but also the unthinkable attacks in Beirut and with all those who continue to suffer in the ongoing conflict in Syria. In the firm belief that the world continues to move forward toward a more peaceful and just future for all, we offer safety tips from the U.S. State Department for U.S. travelers:

nov 16 2015

Confessions of a Singing Tour Guide

There's no place on earth quite like Amsterdam, and there's no tour guide quite like "Amster Jan."

(Lonely Planet)

Jan Tervoort, known as “Amster Jan,” will lead you on a walking tour of Amsterdam and serenade you with traditional Dutch folk songs along the way. Here, his insider hints for visiting the uniquely gorgeous city.

Q: What inspired you to become a singing tour guide?
A: I fell in love with Amsterdam when I moved here 12 years ago and started giving tours to friends who were visiting, then decided to go professional. The city’s tourist industry is very competitive, so I needed something to stand out. I brought along my guitar and sang old folk songs. I’m still the only singing tour guide in the city.

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