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jun 02 2015

Hogwarts Comes to Hollywood

Here's a glimpse of what the "next" Hogwarts will look like when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Studios Hollywood next spring.

(Courtesy Universal Studios Hollywood)

The words "press conference" don't exactly send a chill of anticipation up our spines most of the time, but today's announcement by Universal Studios Hollywood is the exception: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a 3D-HD experience that will be the centerpiece of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening in California next spring.

may 12 2015

#BTRoadTrip: Los Angeles to San Diego

California sunset

A gull soars past a gauzy golden-hour sunset in La Jolla, waves crashing into the craggy sea cliffs.

(Whitney Tressel)

Hop in the passenger's seat on the ultimate road trip! We're posting real-time dispatches as Budget Travel's Photo Editor, Whitney Tressel, journeys across the country using tips from locals as her guide. Prepare for beautiful beaches and parks, amazing local cuisine, and one-of-a-kind experiences you only get when you talk to the real Americans who make this country great.

jan 13 2015

How to Do L.A. on a Budget

Los Angeles, California
(Steve Allen/Dreamstime.com)

A glitzy getaway to Los Angeles doesn't necessarily require a hefty price tag that only celebrities can afford. Savvy visitors can soak in the City of Angels like the locals do—and find some hidden budget-friendly surprises along the way. In fact, the city of Angels offers an array of great freebies and activities that are easy on the wallet, offering a fun and relaxing escape for the entire family.

Catch a show: LACMA Jazz nights

dec 10 2014

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?

dec 04 2014

Holiday Fun from Hollywood to the Holy Land

Think your New Year's Eve party rocks? You haven't really rung in the New Year till you've sung "Auld Lang Syne" at Edinburgh's super-rowdie Hogmanay, a three-day festival that culminates with a jump in the icy River Forth!

(Robbie Shade/Wikimedia Commons)

My buddy Rick Crandall, host of KEZW's "Boomtown" radio show in Denver, asked me to share my favorite holiday festivals and events with his audience this week. His inspiring question led me to compile a short "2014 holiday bucket list" of sorts. I heartily recommend that you incorporate at least one of these unique traditions into your holiday plans!

nov 13 2014

Eat, Drink, and Laugh in L.A.! A Whole Week of Comedy Shows and Dinner Deals

Los Angeles

You can see a wide variety of L.A.'s comedy talent firsthand for 10 bucks and under.

(Steve Allen/Dreamstime.com)

No big Hollywood-star budgets and pricey nightclub bottle service here! Yes, you can experience the talent and cuisine the City of Angels offers (hello, Mexican food) for cheap. Follow the calendar below for seven days' worth of dining and live-comedy options in Los Angeles—all within walking distance of each other. Reserve your tickets ahead of time, and consider your funny bone tickled.

Monday

dec 11 2013

How To Score Tickets To Your Favorite Late Night Shows

NBC Late Night Talk Shows

NBC Studios in New York City

(Courtesy edenpictures/Flickr)

How would you like your next trip to New York or L.A. to include a guaranteed celebrity sighting and a live performance by a popular musician or comedian? With a little patience, a little planning, and in some cases, a little luck, you can get all of that—wait for it—for free. Here's our ultimate guide to snagging tickets for seven popular late-night shows—with a cheat sheet to help you figure out which ones will be easiest to get your hands on. And just in case it didn't sink in the first time: they're all free.

oct 14 2013

10 Essential Vacations for Every Bucket List

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France

When in Paris, visit the Arc de Triomphe, a monument honoring all who fought and died for France during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.

(Courtesy newyorkgirl/myBudgetTravel)

Article by Jennifer Gilligan.

LAS VEGAS

The Run Down: Dubbed the city of sin, Las Vegas is an adult's playground. Between the drinking and the gambling, though, you may find yourself with a few hours to burn. During your downtime, check out the Bodies exhibit, Madame Tussauds, the Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, and CSI: The Experience. You should check out the Miracle Mile shops as well. There's plenty of fun to be had in Las Vegas without drinking or gambling.

jun 28 2013

Catch The Tail End of One Run For Boston

One Run For Boston
(Courtesy One Run For Boston)

It's not too late to get involved with One Run For Boston, an epic three-week long 3,300 mile run from L.A. to Boston through 14 U.S. states that started Friday, June 7th, and will come to an end this Sunday, June 30th. So far the group, which started as three enthusiastic runners from the U.K. and has since grown to more than 2,000 runners, has raised more than $71,000 for those who were impacted by the Boston bombings that took place on April 15th.

jun 25 2013

Amtrak Expects Summer Ridership to Rise This Year

Glacier National Park is just one of the breathtaking vacation destinations served by Amtrak this summer.

(Courtesy Loco Steve/Flickr)

A reporter recently asked me for some rail travel tips. I told her quite honestly, "You know, I have to admit sometimes train travel is my favorite way to go."

A great train ride can combine the best of road tripping (beautiful sights whizzing by your window, an ever-changing kaleidoscope of images) and flying (comfy seat, the ability to nod off at a moment's notice). Amtrak is reporting that advance ticket sales suggest ridership will be up significantly this July and August compared with last year. Translation? If you're considering taking the train this summer, don't wait too long to make up your mind. With that in mind, I thought I'd take a second to remind you of some of the options Amtrak is offering this summer.

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