Budget Travel's Blog

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

dec 14 2016

These are the destinations and travel trends everybody was searching on Google this year

"I lift my lamp beside the golden door." New York City topped Google's list of the most-searched travel destinations of 2016.

(Courtesy SpeliotisTravelVideos/myBudgetTravel)

Google has revealed the top search terms of 2016 (Google.com/2016), and Budget Travelers will find lots of inspiration among the top destinations and travel trends. Of course, we've been searching right along with you all year long and have served up some great inspiration and start-today tips to go along with these rankings to stoke your wanderlust in 2017.

feb 11 2016

5 Things You Don't Know About... the Great Wall of China

(Courtesy gauravks/myBudgetTravel)

Contrary to urban legend, this gargan­tuan tourist favorite known as the Great Wall of China is not visible from space, but just about everything else about the travel icon is mind-blowing in scale:

1. Construction began in 214 B.C. and continued for more than 2,000 years. At one point, the massive fortification spanned 6,000-plus miles; these days, only about a third of the original remains.

dec 03 2015

Contiki Wants Millennials To See The World!

Contiki in Paris

This epic jumping photo in front of the Eiffel Tower was taken during my first Contiki trip to London and Paris in Oct. 2013. I'm second from the right.

(Courtesy Kaeli Conforti)

Attention Millennials: Get ready to have the time of your life! Contiki is having a sale and travelers between the ages of 18 and 35 can save 10 percent on 15 of Contiki's top tours to Europe, Asia, South America, Morocco, Australia, and New Zealand when they book by Dec. 15th and use promo code ELFTASTIC. They've also got some sweet last minute deals to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America that are worth checking out if you're looking to book something sooner.

dec 23 2014

Google's Top Travel Search Questions of the Year...Answered!

Airplane in the sky

Pack your bags! We'll help you make your dream trip happen.

(Courtesy ajjordan2/myBudgetTravel)

You've got questions? We've got answers! Google crunched its data from the past year and unearthed the top 10 travel search terms for their annual Year in Search analysis. One huge takeaway from the roundup: Travelers want to know how they can travel more—and do it on the cheap. We'll do a New Year's toast to that!

sep 25 2014

5 "Boomtowns" You MUST Visit ASAP

Hong Kong is the fastest-growing city in the world, according to Bloomberg.

(Courtesy BereniceKimura/myBudgetTravel)

It's crunch time! Bloomberg recently released its list of cities around the globe that will be the most crowded in the year 2025. The top five? Hong Kong; Salvador, Brazil; Mexico City; São Paulo; and Singapore. All the more reason not to put off traveling to these destinations any longer! Bump them up on your bucket list instead, using some of our favorite travel tips for each town as guidance:

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.

mar 27 2012

Revealed: The Most Searched for Destinations for Summer 2012

Surfing in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii (Courtesy Knoal/Flickr)

Americans will continue to travel this summer, despite the dire predictions of some overheated "experts" on cable TV news.

After all, we've been through this before: In July 2008, America faced record high gas prices of $4.11 a gallon. Official surveys after-the-fact found that Americans still hit the road and took to the skies throughout that summer.

jan 26 2012

Chinese New Year: A surprisingly Affordable Time to Visit Hong Kong

Hong Kong lights up at night. (Courtesy Globotours)

Who knew?! Hong Kong’s biggest festival is also one of the cheapest times of the year to visit.

Romance can easily get trampled in frenetic Hong Kong, but February brings out the giddy schoolgirl in this all–business city. It turns out that while the 15–day Chinese New Year festivities start with a firecracker–induced bang, they end on a surprisingly sweet note: the Spring Lantern Festival (February 6, 2012). The festival started as a celebration of the year’s first full moon, featuring multicolored silk or paper lanterns and a menu of sticky rice balls—you know: round, white, and, well, lunar. Over the years, Cupid joined the party. The lanterns, now strung up throughout the city’s parks, provide a dreamy backdrop for strolling singles and their traditional matchmaking games. "As we absorbed other cultures through travel and exposure to the world, we morphed our own festival into a hybrid form of Chinese Valentine’s Day," says Xu Xi, novelist and writer in residence at the City University of Hong Kong. "And why not? Cultures change, but love is universal."

sep 26 2011

Your take: The most important historic places of the new millennium

(Courtesy Time)

TIME’s upcoming Great Places of History—Civilization’s 100 Most Important Sites (pre-order on Amazon.com, released October 11, $18.59) is the kind of coffee table book that will have you polishing up your bucket list and booking flights to far-flung locales. From the Great Wall of China and Easter Island to Auschwitz and Pearl Harbor, these 100 locations represent the highlights (and sometimes very lowlights) of the human experience—architectural wonders, battlefields, cathedrals, castles, universities, skyscrapers, and ancient mysteries.

mar 17 2011

The death of the travelers' check?

An American Express traveler's check (Courtesy jbcurio/Flickr)

Do you still use travelers' checks? They work like dollars, but can be replaced if lost or stolen. They're best for those who don't want to use credit or ATM cards—or carry large amounts of cash.

At your destination, you have to swap each check for local currency. You'll be charged fees of up to $9 to do that. That's not convenient, as we reported in our recent story, "What Your Bank Won't Tell You About Currency Conversion," where we found that $100 typically buys €63.11.

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