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feb 04 2016

Spring Trips to Book NOW

Spring break in Mexico? Yes, you can!

(Lonely Planet)

Sure, the snow is still falling, but that doesn’t mean you can only dream about your spring getaway. We've lined up some great deals that you have to jump on right away:

TULUM, MEXICO is the “quiet side” of the popular Riviera Maya, a tranquil Caribbean beach town that’s more affordable and less crowded than its rowdy neighbor Cancun mid-March through April. Hit the warm spring beaches, tropical forests, and the ancient Mayan pyramids. BedandBreakfast.com has rentals starting at under $100.

jan 28 2016

Deals to Escape Winter!

Copamarina Beach Resort in Puerto Rico is offering deals from $145/night.

(Courtesy Copamarina Beach Resort)

Despite all the fun we had last weekend sledding and sipping cocoa, I'm getting a little weary of winter. So, I was psyched to see some luxe-for-less deals come our way. They can drop you on a warm, sunny beach, pronto:

PUERTO RICO. You don't need a passport to visit this U.S. territory, but in all other respects you’ll be a world away from home. Stroll the old-world streets of Old San Juan, kayak in the eerily beautiful Bioluminescent Bay, and taste local favorites like arepas and spicy Asian-fusion dishes that juxtapose noodles with Latin-flavored meat and vegetables. Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa is located on a secluded beach with 20 acres of tropical gardens and nearby diving opportunities from $145/night.

jan 25 2016

What Travelers Need to Know About the Zika Virus

Mosquito sign
(Schlegelfotos/Dreamstime)

With health alerts about the Zika virus popping up in travel destinations all over the world, it's normal to feel skittish about visiting the affected countries. Here's what you need to know about the Zika virus and travel:

What countries have seen Zika virus outbreaks?

So far, 22 areas are experiencing a Zika virus outbreak—some of them tropical vacation destinations: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname, Venezuela, and Africa's Cape Verde. It is expected to spread.

How severe is the Zika virus? What happens when you're infected?

jan 08 2016

Have You Taken Our "Where Should You Go in 2016" Quiz?

We knew that our Where Should You Go in 2016 Quiz would be a hit with Budget Travel readers, but we were also psyched that the quiz (which determines your "travel personality" then matches you to one of our top 2016 destinations) is such a hit with our own staff: We’ve all been having a blast taking the quiz, comparing the revealing results (I was pleasantly surprised by my result!), and sharing with our friends and colleagues on social media. Here, a quick look at where our Where Should You Go in 2016 Quiz says we should be going in 2016. How about you?

dec 18 2015

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 24 2015

Get 'Em While They're Hot! Greyhound Is Offering $1 Tickets to Mexico

Mountains in Nueva Leon, Mexico

The open road in Nueva León, Mexico.

(© Jerl71 | Dreamstime.com)

Mexican vacation for a buck, anyone? Greyhound recently launched international bus service from Texas to Mexico, and for a limited time, you can hop aboard for $1 a ticket. (Or 25 pesos.) 

The new route connects Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo in Mexico to Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas in Texas, with 23-plus departures per day. The two private Mexican terminals are brand-new, and the accompanying new fleet of buses sounds pretty swank: free Wi-Fi, outlets, leather seats, extra legroom, onboard restrooms, and guaranteed seats.

jul 15 2015

10 Tourist-Free Adventure Destinations

Azores

Discover the beauty and magic of the Azores—before huge crowds of tourists get there!

(Courtesy hcoffee/myBudgetTravel)

This article was written by Mary Mazzoni and originally appeared on Yahoo Travel.

Sick of overcrowded streets, congested bus rides and suffocating travel groups? You’re not alone. One of the top trends in travel this decade is the quest for the untouched—those pristine, less-traveled destinations you can explore without bumping into selfie-takers at every turn.

Luckily for us, the folks at the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) know a thing or two about traveling off the beaten path. To bring you the tourist-free experience you crave, we asked experts at the recent AdventureElevate conference in Colorado to share some of their favorite secret spots. Read on to get the skinny on these exotic locales before the crowds show up.

For untouched culture: Tolar, Argentina

This small town of less than 300 people is a favorite of Veronica Lampon of Say Hueque. Although her firm is the No. 1 tour operator in Argentina, it only sells around one trip a year to this unexplored location—so you’re sure to get a pristine adventure experience.

Located in the deserts of Northern Argentina, Tolar boasts beautiful mountains, rendered in technicolor thanks to mineral deposits, and a unique cultural experience that can’t be beat. The remote location was heavily influenced by the Incas, and it remains untainted by waves of tourists. “You can still get a lot of that culture from 200 years ago,” Lampon told us. “It’s an amazing experience.”

For watersport: Rio Cangrejal, Honduras

Situated in Northern Honduras, the Rio Cangrejal is “one of the great whitewater rafting and kayaking rivers in Central America,” said Mark Willuhn of the Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance.

Using a coastal town like La Ceiba as your base, you can easily explore the Rio Cangrejal region and all it has to offer. After you give kayaking and rafting a try, head to the nearby Pico Bonito National Park to check out untouched rain forests without bumping elbows with other travelers. Or, peep exotic sea life on a snorkeling adventure on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef along the Honduran Bay Islands.

Related: Secret American Beaches You’ve Never Heard of

In your backyard: Point Reyes National Seahore, California

Although it’s only an hour from San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore remains “very much a hidden secret,” said Christina Tunnah of travel insurance operator World Nomads. “It’s a jewel in that part of California that is still thankfully very pristine and still very rugged at the same time.”

At Point Reyes, around 240 miles of trail beckons hikers, bikers and horseback riders to explore the protected countryside. On your travels, be sure to check out the historic lighthouse and the many wildlife viewing areas, such as the tule elk range or the Elephant Seal Overlook. Visit from January through April, and you may also catch a glimpse of the annual gray whale migration from one of the park beaches or headlands.

Adventure made easy: Town-hopping in Alaska

Visiting Alaska is a surefire way to get off the beaten path, but it can seem daunting to pick a locale amidst its 660,000 square miles of terrain. We caught up with Jack Bonney of Visit Anchorage for a local’s perspective.

His tips: Start and finish your trip in Anchorage for seamless airport access, then use the railroad system to explore Alaska’s backcountry. Kick off your adventure in Seward, a small fishing town that’s about a three-hour train ride from Anchorage. Explore the untouched seaside village, and take a quick boat trip to Kenai Fjords National Park which is home to 38 stunning glaciers and some of the most breathtaking views in Alaska.

For an even more off-grid experience, hop back on the Alaska Railroad to Spencer Glacier. “When the train pulls away, the people who got off the train with you are the only ones who are going to be out there,” Bonney said with a smile. Enjoy float tours, hiking and camping at one of the most spectacular glaciers in Alaska before the easy train trip back to Anchorage. Adventure and convenience? Sign us up!

Soft adventure paradise: Amalfi Coast, Italy

Looking for an offbeat trip but aren’t quite ready for sub-zero camping or remote hiking tours? Don’t worry. You can have the best of both worlds on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, said Tom De Napoli of Diamante Eco Adventure Park in Costa Rica.

A less-traveled destination that’s far from rugged, the Amalfi Coast is home to pristine beaches and stunning hillside towns. Take a relaxing bike or scooter ride, or simply enjoy the scenery in this quirky destination that’s perfect for families and low-impact travelers.

For unmatched diversity: Azores

Although it’s a perennial editor’s favorite for top 10 lists, this autonomous region of Portugal remains a relatively unknown destination for North American travelers.

A mere four-hour flight from Boston, the nine islands of the Azores each offer their own distinct landscape—ensuring something for everyone and banishing boredom for good. Explore the red deserts of Santa Maria, the lush mountain peaks of Sao Jorge, or the semi-submersed caves and stunning seaside vistas of Pico and Faial. Seriously, there’s so much more than we could ever list here. Check out their website to learn more.

For ancient history: Sierra de San Francisco, Baja California

This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to “the most significant collection of prehistoric rock art in North America,” said Peter Grubb, founder of Row Adventures.

It’s truly a trip of a lifetime, but expect a bit of a trek to get there: Visitors hike in on foot, using mules to carry their belongings, and are unlikely to run into anyone outside of their small tour group. Visited by only around 300 travelers a year, the site features remarkably well-preserved rock paintings from as far back as 100 B.C.  

Spot some wildlife: Pantanal, Brazil

“Honestly, the Pantanal is the most underrated destination,” said George Duffy of Adventure Engine. Or, as Lonely Planet puts it, “The Amazon gets the press coverage, but the Pantanal is a better place to see wildlife.”

Tour the lush rain forests of the region, and you’re sure to see exotic native creatures maxin’ and relaxin’ without fear of tourist crowds. For sea life, head to Bonito for stunning freshwater snorkeling in warm, crystal-blue waters.

Related: Secret Islands in France That No One Knows About

Boozy adventure: Isle of Harris, Scotland

The mostly untouched Isle of Harris is home to some of the best beaches in Scotland—not to mention the most remote whiskey distillery in the world, set to open later this year. Tour the distillery and even reserve one of its first barrels, which you can pick up in 10 years after it’s finished aging.

On your visit, take in the island’s lush landscapes and stunning beaches on a cycling and hiking tour courtesy of Wilderness Scotland.

The offbeat Eurotrip: Macedonia

This landlocked Balkan nation, bordered by Albania and Greece, is the perfect place to “see authentic Europe that really hasn’t been disrupted by tourism,” advised Kathy Kramer of Firefly Journeys.

In Macedonia, check out rolling countrysides, stunning mountain vistas and picturesque villages—without a tour bus in sight. Link up with Macedonia Experience for hiking and biking tours with expert guides to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

WATCH: Go Now: The New Seventh Wonder of the World—That’s Empty

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

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:

aug 29 2014

Don't Miss These September Travel Sales!

Redbury Hotel Miami

Save on a stay at the Redbury in Miami thanks to their Stay 2 Get 1 Free promotion now thru Sept. 30th.

(Courtesy Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority)

Welcome to shoulder season! Here are some of our favorite hotel sales happening this month.

CARIBBEAN

FLASH SALE: You can save up to 50 percent on rates at the Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island when you book a stay of three or more nights this Labor Day Weekend for travel Sept. 1 thru Dec. 20th. Not only will rates start at $89 a night, but you'll also score a $250 resort credit per stay to use towards perks like spa treatments, dining, and resort-style golf. Click here for more info and to book your trip by Sept. 1st.

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