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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?)

nov 14 2013

How to Win Budget Travel's Coolest Small Towns Contest!

The beautiful Front Street docks in Beaufort, NC, one of Budget Travel's Coolest Small Towns in America!

(Christopher Shane)

What does it feel like to live in America's Coolest Small Town? Over the years, a bunch of folks have been lucky enough—and cool enough—to find out by winning Budget Travel's annual Coolest Small Town in America contest. Ask the residents of recent winning towns like Lititz, PA, Hammondsport, NY, and Beaufort, NC (pictured above), how good that feels!

feb 15 2013

4 Airfare Sales To Book Now

Aer Lingus Plane

You can save big on a trip to Ireland this spring thanks to an Aer Lingus sale.

(Courtesy daspaddy/Flickr)

Planning a spring getaway? Here are four airfare sales that will help your budget go further.

Hawaiian Airlines: Round-trip flights to Hawaii from $317
Fly from: San Jose (from $317); New York City (from $365!). Check the website for more options.
Fly to: Honolulu (from $317); prices vary for flights to Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.
Travel dates: Book flights by Feb. 18 for travel thru Apr. 14, 2013.

dec 05 2012

The World's Newest Budget Airline


Africa's first major low-cost carrier could redefine intracontinental travel.

(Courtesy ThamWK/Flickr)

Budget carriers like easyJet and Ryanair revolutionized air travel in Europe back in the early and mid-2000s. Last year, Asia underwent its own budget travel renaissance with the launch of low-cost airlines like Scoot and AirAsia. Now, Africa's getting in on the action with the launch of the continent's first low-cost carrier, Fastjet.

sep 12 2012

What's The Best Way To Phone Home While Traveling?

How do you connect with loved ones at home when you travel abroad? (Courtesy njk1951/myBudgetTravel)

Even if you're tempted to splurge during a vacation, chances are it you won't want it to be on your phone service. But when merely deciphering your cell phone plan poses a challenge, figuring out how to penny–pinch on it can seem impossible.

I had my fair share of phone–related stress in the days leading up to a recent trip to Namibia. I knew my Internet connection wouldn't be reliable enough for Skype, and I'd heard cautionary tales about careless travelers and their massive cell phone bills. In between work hours, errand runs, and packing sessions, I'd only spent about 10 scattered minutes on the phone with my cell phone provider. Did I have all the information, or would I unwittingly run up thousands in charges during my trip?

jul 12 2012

UNESCO Adds 8 New Spots to the World Heritage List

The Catalhoyuk excavation site in Turkey (Courtesy Turkey Tourism Board)

It's a feather in any location's cap to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so congratulations are in order to the eight new sites added for 2012. "New" might not be the best adjective, actually. The sites include Chengjiang Fossil Site in the Yunnan Province of China, where 196 species that help determine how today's animal groups have developed over the last 530 million years, and Catalhoyuk, a 34–acre Neolithic site in Turkey that was occupied as far back as 7,400 B.C.

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