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jun 18 2015

How to Visit the World's Endangered Destinations

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of Budget Travel's picks for Where to Go in 2015. But this ecosystem is threatened by carbon emissions and farm runoff, raising the possibility that within a century the world's biggest and most beautiful coral reef system will be gone forever.

(Tanya Puntti/Dreamstime)

Some of the world's most beautiful travel spots are under attack by climate change and booming human populations. Here's how you can visit some of these endangered destinations responsibly before they're gone forever.

GREAT BARRIER REEF

The world's biggest, most beautiful, and most diverse reef system (1,400 miles) could be gone in 100 years due to global carbon dioxide emissions and runoff from farms into the ocean. As the ocean temperatures rise, the coral, fish, and marine mammals all suffer. But if you visit this Australian must-see respectfully, you can snorkel, scuba, or even just watch the Technicolor show in a glass-bottomed boat or kayak.

jun 17 2015

15 Dances to Learn Around the World

hula girl dancing at a luau oahu hawaii

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to learn the hula in Hawaii!

(Courtesy Ray_from_LA/Flickr)

This article was written by the Viator Travel Team on behalf of Viator.com.

Great art isn’t always found in museums. Dance varies from place to place, yet remains a constant way for people to express themselves. Whether performed in a grand theater or on a street corner, dance can be emotional, tell tales, or be a way to celebrate. Whatever the reason or venue, the rhythm is out to get you. Grab your passport and take on a calorie burning challenge with these dances to watch and learn around the world.

Samba in Brazil

jun 01 2015

WATCH: Wild Animals in Africa See Themselves in the Mirror and Freak Out!

Gorilla in Africa

Here's looking at you, kid: Photographer Xavier Hubert Brierre attached motion sensors to mirrors in the African rain forest. Once activated, hidden cameras recorded animals' reactions.

(Courtesy Caters TV)

Can you really blame a silverback gorilla for trying to attack its own reflection?

In a fascinating experiment, French photographer Xavier Hubert Brierre placed mirrors and hidden cameras in the Gabon rain forest in Africa to capture the reactions of wild animals, the New York Post reports. Caught on tape: leopards, monkeys, birds, elephants, and a huge silverback gorilla who was none too pleased about seeing a "competitor."

may 06 2015

Ready for a Ferry Ride to Cuba?

A street musician entertains passersby in Havana, which may soon be reachable by a four-hour ferry ride from Southern Florida.

(Courtesy Buckhead720/myBudgetTravel)

For those of you who've enjoyed ferry rides to prime destinations like Sausalito, Nantucket, and Mackinac Island, hold on to your hats: The U.S. just approved ferry service between Florida and Cuba.

Granting licenses to several cargo and passenger companies, the federal government opened up the possibility of ferry service in the Florida Straits for the first time in more than a half century. The Miami Herald reports that some ferry companies say they may offer service within weeks from ports like Key West, Miami, Port Everglades, and the Tampa area.

apr 23 2015

Visit the World's Perfect Climates

Be. Here. Now. Hawaii's Big Island has temps in the 70s most of the year, with a variety of micro-climates thanks to its rain forests and volcanic mountains.

(Marek Poplawski/Dreamstime)

Sure, we love the changing seasons, but the downside is that most of us live in places where summers can be too hot and winters too cold. (Still recovering from the Polar Vortex, anyone?) But there are a few select spots around the world where the weather is almost always just right. Here, four "Goldilocks" destinations to add to your bucket list:

mar 20 2015

Would You Pay $250 for a Professional Vacation Photographer?

Couple in Bali

A Flytographer duo guided this couple through a shoot in Bali, ensuring they followed local customs (no kissing in front of temples) and asking permission from rice farmers to pose in their fields.

(Vony and Bayu for Flytographer in Bali)

Forget the selfie stick. Brand-new photo service Flytographer has recruited professional photographers in more than 130 cities worldwide to take fanciful candid or posed photos of you on your dream trip. No more tilting your smartphone's camera just right, hoping to catch your face and most of the Eiffel Tower in the background. And don't even get us started on the social awkwardness that ensues when you ask a stranger to take your picture.

jan 20 2015

How to Do Cape Town on a Budget

God's Window in Cape Town, South Africa
(Courtesy alexgbaguio/myBudgetTravel)

Best known for its history, culture and breathtaking scenic views, Cape Town is a must-add destination to any 2015 travel agenda. But let's face it: traveling can be expensive, especially when you're traveling abroad. Though not as cheap as traveling to other less developed African countries, if you plan ahead and plan effectively, visiting Cape Town, South Africa, doesn't have to be a daunting experience if you're on a budget. If you're able to look past the initial price tag of airfare costs on South African Airways or Delta for the 15+ hour ride, you'll find surprising value in travel to the "Mother City." The currency exchange rate of the South African rand to the U.S. dollar combined with the country's highly developed tourism infrastructure makes vacation planning and excursions for the frugal traveler easier than most may think.

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.

jan 22 2014

Time to Book Your Summer Vacation??

Ocean City, MD, is FlipKey's most popular vacation-rental destination in the U.S. for summer 2014 at the moment. If January seems early to book a summer vacation, think again!

(Richard Gunion/Dreamstime )

I am a worrier. There's a little voice in my head that whispers sweet nothings like, "Who is going to want to read America's Most Awesome Boardwalks?" and "What if nobody votes for America's Coolest Small Town this year?" And I'm happy to report that my "worry voice" is almost always wrong. (In fact, I sometimes tell it to shut up.)

jan 08 2014

Surprising Kidnapping Hotspots and How to Stay Safe

Kidnapping hotspots map
(Courtesy Vocativ)

In our commitment to making travel accessible to everyone, Budget Travel does not enjoy sounding the alarm bells. But a strong piece of reporting by Vocativ's Gordon Bottomley points up some popular 2014 travel destinations that have an unusually high rate of kidnapping. Vocativ is a new global social news network that is establishing a great reputation for mining internet data that most other news sources don't. For "The Places You're Most Likely to Get Kidnapped," Vocativ focused on popular travel destinations where the risk of kidnapping is surprisingly high. (You don't need a reporter to tell you, for instance, that Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are unsafe at the moment, right?)

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