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Archive: June 2009
jun 30

An airline's new video exposes the bare essentials of safety

Toned employees of Air New Zealand shed their clothes in favor of body-painted uniforms for a safety video sure to catch passengers' attention.
jun 30

How to find the "best of" almost anywhere

When you visit an American city, look for an online version of the alternative weekly newspaper's annual "Best Of" edition, in which locals vote for their favorite places to eat, drink, and hang out.
jun 30

Book today to save up to 60 percent on Intrepid's packages

The sooner you can take off, the more you'll save during Intrepid Travel's one-day sale, June 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
jun 29

A Graceland for Jackson fans?

Where will Jackson's ultimate shrine be—the mecca of his famous (and often infamous) career?
jun 29

Rental car rates skyrocket, despite recession

Rental car companies were recently charging 73 percent higher rates than a year ago, despite the recession. What gives? And how can you circumvent the price hikes?
jun 29

Worth reading: Summer airfares may have bottomed out

A few of our favorite links from around the 'net this week.
jun 29

Expedia holds its biggest hotel sale ever

The largest seller of hotel rooms, Expedia, is having its largest-ever sale. Rates up to 60 percent off in major destinations. Book by June 30; travel through July 30, 2009.
jun 29

Better than the Eiffel Tower?

Tour Montparnasse is Paris's tallest skyscraper and it offers tremendous views that include the Eiffel Tower.
jun 26

Cruises: How did one reader nab $74 a day on Princess?

We find out how one of our readers got an unbelievable low price on a 30-day South American cruise from Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro for $74 a day, taxes and tips included.
jun 26

Paris attractions: New sky-high dining

Palais du Tokyo, the edgy contemporary arts museum, is offering dinner, with a rooftop view of the Eiffel Tower, starting July 1.
jun 25

Britain debuts its first high-speed commuter train, easing daytrips from London

A new high speed train halves the time it takes to get from London to the village of Ashford in the British southeast. But what is there to do, once you get there?
jun 25

Awards for worst toilets, beaches, and souvenirs

Have you ever come across the smallest plane seat or the dumbest recreational sport ever invented, and wanted to tell the world about it? Now you can, in one handy place.
jun 25

An open letter to Disney officials

Free admission to the theme parks on a person's birthday is what budget travel is all about, so we're urging Disney to extend this program into 2010.
jun 24

This weekend: Celebrate Lake Champlain's 400th anniversary

The Vermont lake was discovered in 1609 by a French explorer, and there are events all summer to commemorate.
jun 24

Better than Florence's Duomo?

Try Santa Maria Novella, which still has its glorious art in its intended, original settings—unlike the Duomo.
jun 24

13 free Shakespeare plays nationwide

Who doesn't love a little Free Willy? The bard, we mean, not the whale. We've rounded up a dozen theater companies putting on plays around the U.S. this summer.
jun 23

TripIt rolls out flight monitoring perks for a fee

For a fee, the trip planning service TripIt will keep tabs on any delays, cancellations, and gate changes for every flight in your itinerary, and send you an SMS message to alert you to news.
jun 23

4 cool audio tours for cities worldwide

How four innovators are making the audio tour cool. (Really!)
jun 23

Good riddance to Verified Identity Pass

Verified Identity Pass, a company that promised to speed passengers through airport security checkpoints for an annual fee, has shut down.
jun 23

America's favorite hotel chains

A statistically smart survey of 1,500-plus American vacationers identifies the most popular hotel brands for various age groups.
jun 22

Worth reading: Greece's new Acropolis Museum opens

A few of our favorite links from around the 'net this week.
jun 22

New $5 fee for paying $15 fee to check your bag at airport

Better pay that checked-baggage fee in advance, or you'll pay a $5 fee at the airport, when flying US Airways or United.
jun 22

The Feds to go after blogger freebies

The Federal Trade Commission will try to police blogs from shady practices in reviewing travel services and other products. Before you trust a travel blogger, make sure he or she has taken the honesty pledge.
jun 19

Rome: The Colosseum stays up late

Spend a summer night touring the illuminated Colosseum.
jun 19

Trip Coach: Need help taking better vacation photos?

We can help. Send us your questions, and we'll answer them in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
jun 19

Paris: Mama's roof is on fire!

Mama Shelter in Paris's 20th arrondissement has a fun summer rooftop party series.
jun 19

Should the TSA regulate carry-on bag size?

A congressman wants to make a one-size-fits-all rule for carry-on bags.
jun 19

Toledo "hearts" its zoo babies

The world's largest guinea pig exhibit and a clever new interactive design are on display at a remade children's zoo in Toledo, Ohio.
jun 19

The silliest video ever shot on an airplane

What happens when you put a bit of toilet paper in an airplane toilet, roll the rest of the roll of toilet paper down the aisle of the jetliner, and then flush? Watch this one-minute video.
jun 18

The TSA responds to the question: Shoes in or out of bin?

Budget Travel gets answers! The TSA weighs in on complaints our readers have posted to our blog on inconsistent policies at airports nationwide regarding whether to put shoes inside or outside of bins.
jun 18

Pilot dies mid-flight, but the plane lands safely anyway

Continental Flight 61 landed safely this morning in Newark after its pilot died during the transatlantic journey.
jun 18

Better than Buckingham Palace?

Hampton Court Palace may offer a better bang for you buck than the principal residence of the British monarchy.
jun 17

Celebrate Wimbledon in New York

Officials have set up live broadcasts of Wimbledon matches from seven in the morning to five at night, daily, in New York City's Rockefeller Center.
jun 17

The 4 top "best-of travel" lists for the week

The best trains, best airports, best hotel mini-bars, and the germiest destinations…all in one handy blog post.
jun 17

Video: How to use a squat toilet

"If you're thinking Aren't toilets the same all over the world? you don’t know squat," says this Howcast video.
jun 17

This weekend: Stop traffic in Park City, Utah

The second annual Savor the Summit will shut down traffic on Main Street on Friday night, making way for The Grande Table.
jun 17

Better than Stonehenge?

For travelers who prefer prehistoric sites they can walk inside of, visit Newgrange in Ireland instead of Stonehenge in England, which can only be seen from afar.
jun 16

360-degree panoramic image of the Venice Biennale

Washington Post videographer Alexandra Garcia traveled to Venice and covered the 53rd International Art Exhibition. See 360 degree panoramic photographs that take you to the scene.
jun 15

Deal alert: If it's Tuesday, this must be a hotel deal

Every Tuesday, Hotels.com runs a 24-hour sale with rates that can be up to 40 percent lower than normal. You don't have to stay in the hotel on a Tuesday; it's just the only day you can get the discount.
jun 15

Solo travel: Avoid getting "singled out" for fees on cruise ships

In response to a reader question, we explore cruise shop options for singles who do not want to share a room or pay a high fee.
jun 13

New York: Statue of Liberty Crown tickets now for sale

Although the base, pedestal, and lower observation deck reopened to the public in the fall of 2004, the crown is only now re-opening. Doors open July 4.
jun 12

Tip for stranded passengers

Program your airlines' reservations number into your cell phone and use this strategy of standing in line while calling on the phone to rebook your next flight, when your original one is canceled.
jun 12

Roll your own postcards (with an iPhone)

At HazelMail's new iPhone app, you can upload your photographs and then enter a message and an address. The site takes care of the rest, printing out and mailing a freshly minted postcard.
jun 12

Road trip tool: Calculate the fuel cost of your planned trip

Enter your departure and arrival cities—plus the year, make and model of your car—and the site will offer you printable Google Maps directions, plus your estimated fuel costs and climate impact.
jun 11

Paris hotel watch: Falling rates at Le General

The stylish and affordable Le General is well situated in downtown Paris near the Republique Metro stop and is on a nearly 40 percent off sale.
jun 11

TripAdvisor tries to respond to fake hotel reviews

TripAdvisor is issuing special reminders that some reviews on its site are fake and that it can't police all of them, especially on more than 90 hotels that it believes are particularly plagued with fake reviews.
jun 11

Wait times for airport security lines are no longer posted online

Finding reliable airport security wait-time data is about as frustrating as actually waiting in line at security.
jun 10

Federal prisoners are transported via public bus lines

The Federal Bureau of Prisons are allowing minimum-security inmates to travel between prisons on Greyhound and other major bus lines.
jun 10

This weekend: Let out your inner artist at Figment in NYC

The completely free outdoor event encourages collaborative and participatory art projects.
jun 09

A resource for traditional shops in Florence

Browsing for authentic Italian goods just got easier thanks to a revamped bilingual website.
jun 09

Fare sale: Save $200 L.A./N.Y.C. to Israel! Book by Thursday

Save up to $200 on round-trip flights between the U.S. and Israel in September.
jun 09

Flights for half off! Book by Friday

Direct Air, an upstart carrier we've profiled is running a half-off special for flights. We found flights such as Worcester, Mass. to Myrtle Beach and Kalamazoo to Orlando for under $130 (incl. taxes and fees).
jun 09

Costa Rica's lesser-known Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo

A reader tell us about her hometown, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in Costa Rica, which she says is stuffed with great restaurants, spectacular beaches, and huge tracts of pristine rainforest.
jun 08

Worth reading: Why you should go to Australia right now

That and more in our links roundup for this week.
jun 05

One-way RV rentals are booming, and here's a secret for savings

One-way RV rentals via El Monte RV were up 94 percent in May. Here's a tip on how to save up to 70 percent on these one-way motor home specials.
jun 05

Plane legroom is shrinking, so use SeatExpert to pick your seat

The airlines are shrinking legroom by an inch or two on average this summer. Use SeatGuru.com or SeatExpert.com to get the skinny on seat info.
jun 05

A great Paris walk

If your hometown has a one-time industrial area that's recently been remade into a public park, its predecessor is this spot in Paris, which winds through the 12th arrondissement.
jun 04

3 free summer weekends at national parks

Mark your calendars: 147 national parks are waiving admission fees. Which ones are on your to-visit list?
jun 04

Follow up: the TSA's new shoe ruling

Comments from you, the flying public, on our recent post about the TSA's new policy on shoes passing through airport x-ray machines.
jun 04

Traveler helps to catch a flier who smuggled a gun on a plane

A passenger saw another passenger hand a U.S. Airways employee a bag, who then carried it around, instead of through, airport security. Turns out there was a handgun in the bag.
jun 04

Q&A: An author travels where his clothes take him

Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing, shares his tips.
jun 04

5 open-air music festivals aim to outdo Bonnaroo, Coachella

A round-up of festivals that are less than two-years old. Plus, the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, debuting in San Francisco this year, and Cavendish Beach Festival, debuting in Canada.
jun 04

As the dollar weakens, Paris gets pricier

The dollar's buying power in Paris has weakened in the past month, as the exchange rate with the euro shifts. Be careful of price quotes you see in guidebooks…They may no longer be accurate.
jun 03

A traveler calls AA.com stupid and mocks up a simpler alternative

It only took a few hours for a 22-year-old web designer to come up with a more intuitive website for American Airlines.
jun 03

New airfare search site Trax.com not ready for prime time

A new site is challenging Kayak and other metasearch sites. But in our tests, the site isn't yet doing a good enough job at finding the lowest fares in an quick, intuitive way.
jun 03

Motel 6 tries an environmentally friendly re-design

At a few dozen locations, the fresh design incorporates greener features such as wood flooring made from unused industry scraps and fluorescent light bulbs in all rooms. Plus, better TVs!
jun 03

Paris attractions: Top 5 free events in June

The only thing better than visiting Paris is being able to enjoy free events in Paris. Here's a round-up of activities for the lovely month of June.
jun 02

This weekend: Have an "accidental encounter" at Luminato

Toronto's 10-day festival of arts and creativity features more than 140 music, arts, and dance events.
jun 02

Brussels attractions: The Magritte Museum opens

A new museum dedicated to the works of surrealist René Magritte, opened today in the Belgian capital. It has five exhibition levels with more than 26,000 square feet of space and 250 artworks.
jun 02

Eurail student travel discount

Buy a $22 international student ID card, and you can save more than $100 on Eurail travel this summer.
jun 01

Southwest to begin boarding pets

The airline will allow small pets onboard as of June 17. It's the latest good news for globetrotting cats and dogs.
jun 01

Airfares: Fees are gone for good at Orbitz and Travelocity

Following Expedia's lead, Travelocity and Orbitz drop most of their booking fees.
jun 01

Worth reading: Denmark, the world's happiest country

Six reasons to visit Denmark now, plus prescription sunglasses for $40, tips for shy travelers, and more.
jun 01

Pet-friendly hotel chains: 5 that love Fido

Traveling with your pet this summer? Get a leg up with Petside.com's hotel recommendations.

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