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aug 19 2014

Off The Beaten Path Costa Rica: The Mysterious Ancient City Of Guayabo

Visiting the Mysterious Ancient City of Guayabo
(Courtesy Andrew Kolasinski)

The mist slowly dissolved and trees and vines became visible. Other shapes, not from nature, also materialized through the morning drizzle. It was my first glimpse of Guayabo, Costa Rica's ancient lost city. The patina of antiquity on these rock walls and roadways made them look like they have always been here in the highland jungle.

aug 01 2014

Have You Ever Faced Your Fears While Traveling?

Always do what you're afraid to do

For more great inspiring travel quotes you can share with your friends, visit our Quotes To Travel With board on Pinterest. This one was created by #JenFromMarketing.

(Courtesy Jennifer O'Brien)

I've done some pretty exciting things in my life, usually on vacation as a way of checking amazing things off my travel bucket list. I've zip-lined over alligators at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park in St. Augustine, Florida. I was part of a "Splash and Dash" during a hot air balloon ride in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a stunt where the hot air balloon pilot drives the basket into the Rio Grande, skirts the surface of the water, and shoots back up to regular flight height. I've kayaked in almost complete darkness through mangrove tunnels at Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico to get a look at the famous plankton that light up underwater as your paddle passes by them. I guess you can say I've become kind of a travel adrenaline junkie, as long as it's within reason and I'll end up with a great travel story for when I get home. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'll ever have the nerve to try something like bungee-jumping or jumping out of a plane (too many "what-if" scenarios to make me feel comfortable enough for something that extreme), but this time next week I am going to be facing one of my biggest fears: swimming with sharks in Cancun, Mexico.

jun 20 2014

Mark Your Calendars: Don't Miss The CyberSummer Sale This Saturday!

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Puerto Rico

You can score a deal on a stay at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in Puerto Rico during the CyberSummer sale on Saturday, June 21st.

(Courtesy San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino)

For one day only, you can score major discounts on 20 hotels in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Latin America with the CyberSummer Sale on Saturday, June 21st. All deals must be booked between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 21st, and depending on the package, travel dates are available throughout the summer and in some cases, until Dec. 31, 2014. Check out these specials:

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?)

dec 20 2013

Where Does Santa Claus Go For His Post-Christmas Vacation?

(Pavel Chernobrivets/Dreamstime.com)

You're not gonna believe this, but I interviewed Santa Claus.

It happened like this: About a month ago I was thinking about how much I dislike traveling around the holidays. Call me Scrooge (who, btw, I did not interview—because he is a fictional character), but I just don't like crowds. If I have my way, I take my family somewhere nice after the holidays. I started thinking about who might be an expert on post-Christmas travel and it hit me: Who works harder at Christmastime—or deserves more of a break afterward—than St. Nick?

jul 31 2013

8 Budget-Friendly Ranch Vacations

(Alexey Stiop / Dreamstime.com)

Darley Newman is the five-time Daytime Emmy Award nominated host, writer and producer of the lifestyle travel TV series Equitrekking, which broadcasts on PBS and international networks in over 82 countries.

may 31 2013

Ready to Go Shark-Diving?

How much would you pay to swim with a shark?

If, like me, your first reaction is to ask how much you yourself would be paid to do such a thing, you may be in an ever-decreasing minority. Shark-watching tourism is expected to grow in popularity over the next two decades. It currently generates about $300 million each year but is expected to reach nearly $800 million by, say, 2033. A recent study published in Oryx: The International Journal of Conservation, notes that while the shark fishing industry—fueled by an appetite in east Asia for shark-fin soup—currently generates about $630 each year in revenue, it will be eclipsed by shark tourism.

dec 28 2012

Top Stories of 2012

It was an eventful year in the world of travel, and here are the five stories that had us talking.

Fees, fees, and more fees
As of January 2012, it was required for all taxes and fees to be included in published airfares, making it easier to see just how much a flight was going to cost. But that rule doesn't include ancillary fees for things like checked bags and more leg room. And those fees add up. U.S. airlines charged more than $815 million for just baggage fees in the first quarter of 2012 alone. Lots of new fees were introduced: Spirit Airlines made good on their threat to charge $100 for carry-on bags, while Southwest started charging travelers who didn't show up for their flight. Airlines weren't the only ones making money off extra fees. Hotels are set to bring in $1.95 billion from fees and surcharges in 2012, up $100 million over 2011.

nov 21 2012

Resorts Introduce Tech-Free Zones

The CasaManga Marriott Cancun Resort is one of nine hotels introducing tech-free zones next month.

(Courtesy Marriott)

Relaxing on vacation just got a little easier. Tech-free zones are being introduced at Marriott and Renaissance resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico next month. Yes, there will still be wifi available if you just can't disconnect. But there will also be sections of the resorts free of loud cell conversations and phones buzzing with email alerts.

nov 20 2012

New Maya Museum Opens in Cancun As 'End of the World' Draws Near

Mayan Ruins at San Miguelito

Cancun's new Maya Museum also includes the San Miguelito archaeological site.

(Courtesy The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau)

With less than a month to go before the official end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012, a new museum focused on Mayan history has opened in Cancun. The Maya Museum of Cancun is a $15 million project that includes 350 ancient Mayan artifacts it took more than 30 years to collect. Designed by Alberto Garcia Lascuráin and showcasing three 4,400-square-foot exhibition halls, the museum features 14,000-year-old Mayan remains discovered in the underwater caves of Tulum, the 10,000-year-old remains of La Mujer de las Palmas (The Woman of the Palms) discovered in a nearby cenote 10 years ago, and a room full of tools and other artifacts the Mayans once used in daily life. Sculptures by artist Jan Hendrix are also on display, as is a 26-foot-tall Great Pyramid inside the main building and displays of ancient dwellings, altars, and mural paintings. Next door to the Maya Musem is the archaeological site of San Miguelito, also included in the $5 admission price. The museum's official website is currently only in Spanish, but an English-language version is in the works (the Cancun tourism board's website has information in English as well).

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