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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 06 2015

What It Feels Like to Do a Polar Bear Plunge—And Where to Find One Near You!

Man at Polar Bear Club Plunge in Coney Island

This, friends, is what victory looks like. The 2015 New Year's Day Swim on Coney Island.

(Gabrielle Pedriani)

On New York City's Coney Island—once home to infamous freak shows—the bizarre tradition of sprinting directly into the icy-cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean, then submerging yourself, baptism-style, goes way back. All the way back, in fact, to 1903, the year that the Coney Island Polar Bear Club was founded by a kooky bodybuilder with more machismo than you'll see on all the episodes of The Sopranos combined. He was convinced a wintery ocean dip could increase stamina, virility, and immunity. (Hey, if a sissy juice cleanse is supposed to do that, who are we to argue with this guy?)

nov 13 2014

It's Island Time, and Fiji Is Calling Your Name

(Kelpfish/Dreamstime)

What's on your mind? If you're like most Budget Travelers, as the temps go down your thoughts turn to… islands!

We recently named Fiji one of the 10 Most Romantic Islands in the World, and we're putting our money where our mouth is by making the South Pacific paradise even more affordable than ever: We're giving away a trip for two. The winner will receive a flight from Los Angeles to Fiji and five nights' accommodations, including breakfast, at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau Island (where you can indulge in spa treatments, water sports, or just relax on a private beach). ENTER HERE

aug 26 2014

New Zealand + Tahiti = A Unique South Pacific Getaway!

Mountains or beach? Adventure or relaxation? How many times have you had that travel-planning conversation? Especially if you're thinking of a far-flung fling to the other side of the planet, you want to be sure you book a vacation that's right for you.

How about New Zealand and Tahiti? That's right. We've noticed lately that it's possible to combine two incredible South Pacific destinations in one trip. You can set up a travel itinerary that includes rugged, scenic, and adventurous New Zealand, plus beautiful, relaxing, tropical Tahiti (with its luxurious overwater bungalows, turquoise lagoons, and superb snorkeling).

mar 14 2014

How to do Sydney on a Budget

Sydney Harbour in Australia

Enjoy beautiful views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as your explore this exciting city.

(Courtesy of Andrew Smith, Destination NSW’s Chief Funster)

A little bit of planning goes a long way as Sydney is full of natural beauty, hidden hotspots, and exciting events. The best part: many of them are free. Here are a few suggestions to kick off the fun on a dime (or an Aussie 10 cent piece!):

Undoubtedly, Circular Quay and its surrounds are usually among the first stops for visitors to the city. Two of the city's great icons, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are in the same cityscape, which makes for a brilliant scene at the cheap price of free. Buskers including didgeridoo players line the wharves, entertaining the crowds in exchange for a few dollars, adding to the atmosphere of this iconic Sydney scene.

mar 04 2014

The Hobbit’s Ultimate Guide to New Zealand

Every Lord of the Rings fan should pay a visit to Hobbiton in Matamata, New Zealand.

Every Lord of the Rings fan should pay a visit to Hobbiton in Matamata, New Zealand.

(Courtesy jkramb/myBudgetTravel)

This article was written by Kyle Ellison on behalf of Viator.com.

These are some of the staggering statistics behind the logistics of filming the latest in The Hobbit trilogy. Though much of the movies were shot in a Wellington studio, nine weeks were spent in the New Zealand countryside filming in surroundings that excite the imagination. From the rolling green hills of Matamata to the soaring peaks of the Southern Alps, the scenery of New Zealand is so phenomenally enchanting that it's almost too perfect to be real.

jan 03 2014

Headed Down Under? Read These Books About Australian Adventures

This article was written by Daniel Lefferts on behalf of Bookish.com.

Whether because of its opportunities for kangaroo sightings or the lively culture of its seaboard cities, Australia remains a favorite destination for travelers. As you plan a your summer getaway—whether during their summer this winter or ours in June—dive into these fascinating adventures tales set in Australia.

nov 02 2012

Air New Zealand Gets Fans in the Mood for the New Hobbit Movie

Tolkien fans are counting the days until the new Hobbit movie opens December 14. But you can fly Air New Zealand and get a sneak-peek. Sort of.

This week the airline debuted a Hobbit-themed safety video that was made in conjunction with WETA Workshop, the special effects company behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the new Hobbit film (keep an eye out for Peter Jackson, Gollum, and other actors from the films). It makes sense, of course, since the movies were filmed and produced in New Zealand and they go hand-in-hand with the country's gorgeous landscapes.

may 18 2012

Is There a Good Place to Honeymoon—With the Kids?

A family brings their young child on vacation (Courtesy caitlinbwdn/myBudgetTravel)

We recently received a message on our Facebook page from a reader named Kim, asking for advice on where she and her husband-to-be should go on a dream honeymoon. We’ve gotten questions like this before, but this one had an extra twist—they’re planning to bring along their 11–month–old along for the ride.

dec 27 2011

Australia's Weird Wildlife Warning Signs

Tasmanian Devil warning sign, Tasmania ((Courtesy of David Molyneaux)

A car trip in Australia has its challenges including the fact driving is on the left. Distractions include a large number of weird wildlife warning signs on roadways.

See the Road Signs.

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