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oct 27 2015

Hop on This Amtrak Flash Sale Now!

(Courtesy Amtrak)

My favorite way to explore the Northeast (where I live and work) is by train. For my money, there’s a convenience, comfort, and, yeah, even romance to riding the rails.

Some of the most delightful East Coast adventures I’ve had started out by boarding an Amtrak train in New York City’s Pennsylvania Station (which everbody here calls “Penn”) and riding down to Baltimore to visit my cousins, explore the Inner Harbor, the aquarium, and discover one of the tastiest Little Italy neighborhoods I’ve ever eaten in. (And, in case your wondering, my cousins frequently ride up to NYC for holiday window-shopping, skating in Bryant Park, and the other myriad possibilities my native city offers visitors.)

sep 30 2015

Fall Weekend Getaways Your Kids Will Love, Too


Take the kids to Colonial Williamsburg this fall. They'll love it!

(Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

This article was written by Hallie Lavine and originally appeared on Yahoo Travel.

Now that school’s back in session you can breathe a sigh of relief—and contemplate how to keep the rug rats entertained over long weekends and mini breaks. We’re here to help. These are 10 awesome autumn excursions guaranteed to be educational and fun (for the whole family!).

Historical Boston

Even if your kid detests history class, he or she will be enthralled by the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile, red brick road that takes you past historic churches, burial grounds, and even Paul Revere’s house so you can learn the story of the American Revolution and beyond. You can explore on your own, or you can take a 90 minute tour led by 18th century costumed guides. (For the easily bored, there’s a Pirates and Patriots version and also a Pub Crawl version.) Tickets are just $12 for adults, $6.50 for children. Once that’s over, it’s a quick walk to the Boston Tea Party Museum, a floating museum that has live actors and interactive exhibits (including allowing your little ones to toss tea into the harbor). Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children. If your kids are yearning for more historical re-enactments, drive an hour out of the city for an overnight getaway at Sturbridge Village, an 1830s New England living history museum. Tickets are $24 for adults, $10 for kids. Otherwise, consider the whale watch at the New England Aquarium. You’ll have to shell out a tad more dough at $49 for adults, $33 for children ages 3-11. Or check out the many interactive exhibits at the Boston Children’s Museum. It’s $16 for all ages. 

Related: Get Your Kids Ready for School: Amazing Educational Trips

Family space camp

Does your little guy pretend to be Buzz Lightyear? Consider booking the whole family at U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. You’ll go on simulated mission training and operations, learn how rockets are constructed, and get a crash course in on-site space history. One highlight: the 1/6th gravity chair, which simulates walking on the Moon, and the Manned Maneuvering Unit, which simulates astronaut spacewalks outside the shuttle. The jaunt will cost you $449 per person for three days, $499 per person for four days, with meals and lodging included.

Colonial Williamsburg

There’s no shortage of educational opportunities at this living history museum and historic district, which includes Revolutionary War reenactments, hands on opportunities at brick-making and digging for artifacts, and even dressing up as soldiers or undercover Colonial spies. You can easily spend two days here, then head over to historic Jamestown, which recreates life in the 1607 settlement, or visit one of the three plantations. Seven-day ticket pass for all is $89 for adults and $41 for kids. Balance it out with a day at nearby theme park Busch Gardens, where your littles can participate in the Animal Ambassador program and learn about the lives of critters ranging from eagles to wolves and foxes.  

Sleepover at the Smithsonian

Bring your sleeping bag and flashlight and head over to one of three Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian museums—American History Museum, National History Museum, or the National Portrait Gallery—for an evening of entertainment that includes a nocturnal tour, craft activities, and various educational games. At night’s end, you “camp out” in the museum. The cost? $135 per person for kids ages 8-12. The next day, check out the National Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the National Zoo, where you can say hi to three world famous pandas and stop by the Kid’s Farm, where children can groom donkeys, goats, alpacas, and hogs.

Related: Tuck in Your Favorite Animals at These Zoo Sleepovers

Digging for dinosaur bones

The casino capital of the world also gives a great glimpse of what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The Las Vegas Natural History Museum boasts a prehistoric life gallery of critters who once roamed the Nevada deserts, including a 35-foot-long Tyrannosaurus Rex that lowers its head and roars, a Triceratops, Ankylosaur, and the giant marine reptile, ichthyosaur. The Nevada state museum offers a Dino summer special through September 20, which features an animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, a Jurassic Park-style jeep journey through a virtual dinosaur world, and the opportunity to dig up life-sized dinosaur bones. Then hop in a car and drive either to Red Rock Canyon for a hike to check out fossilized Dinosaur tracks, or to Tule Springs to see Ice Age fossil beds—both are less than 20 miles away. Finish up with a visit to the Historical Techatticup Mine, the oldest, richest and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada and a 45 minute drive from Vegas. ($12.50 for adults, $7.50 for kids.)

Related: Dino Digs, Museums, and More: 10 Places to Get Your Paleo On

Maritime adventures

Head straight to sea with tickets to San Diego’s USS Midway Museum ($20 adults, $10 kids), a floating city that allows you to walk in the footsteps of 225,000 Midway sailors who served our country. Highlights include over 60 interactive exhibits, like playing on flight simulators and climbing aboard aircraft. Then head on over to the Maritime Museum ($16 adults, $8 children) which includes kid-friendly, seafaring-inspired exhibits. It has one of the world’s biggest collection of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship the Star of India, as well as educational excursions such as whale watching. Other non-nautical city highlights: animatronic dinosaurs at TheNAT San Diego Natural History Museum, hands-on science exhibits at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and the San Diego Air & Space Museum, where kids can dress up as astronauts.

Connor Prairie

This interactive history park in Indiana ($16 adults, $11 kids) is a recreated 19th-century village on 200 acres. Among its highlights: an autumn headless Horseman ride, Civil War re-enactments, classes in blacksmithing, hearth cooking, and an “Indian camp” where you can recreate living like as Native Americas did 200 years ago. Once you’ve had your fill, drive to the Indiana Transportation Museum and take a spin on one of the vintage railroad trains, or the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis.

Corning Museum of Glass

A perfect East Coast weekend getaway, this museum, located in Corning, New York, in the Finger Lake region upstate, allows your kids to explore 3,500 years of glassmaking history while watching glass come to life during hot-glass demos. They’ll then make their own glass creations from ornaments to night lights. Cost: $18 for kids and adults. Afterwards, since you’re right in the neighborhood, you can pop into the Norman Rockwell Museum, or, if your kids are tuckered out, wake them back up with an invigorating hike on the Haunted History Trail or an apple-tasting tour.

Fun with sea turtles

Nesting season for sea turtles in Florida is May through October, so if you’re planning a trip to the Sunshine State this fall, your kids will love some close-up encounters with these critters. The Little Loggerhead Package at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa includes a visit to see the sea turtles at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, while adventurous kids over age 10 can search for turtles and other marine life with the Beginners Dive Package. Acqualina Resort and Spa in Miami offers Acquamarine, a complimentary, marine biology-inspired program for kids which also includes a sea-turtle-based outreach program during the summer and early fall. But if you’re planning a Florida trip after sea turtle season, don’t fret: Acqualina offers its sea learning program all year round, while other hotels such as the Ritz Carlton in Naples has a Nature’s Wonders camp, led by a professional conservationist and featuring 11 aquariums with sharks, crabs, turtles, and eels, as well as a kid-sized lab with microscopes for budding marine biologists. All these programs are stimulating enough that you won’t feel guilty about taking some alone time to lounge poolside.

Safari at Grand Teton National Park

You don’t have to schlep your entire crew to Africa to give your kids the educational experience of a safari. Instead, book a morning or all-day trip through the nonprofit Wildlife Expeditions in Jackson, Wyoming, which offers an introduction to the wildlife of Grand Teton National Park, part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Trained biologists will point out the best viewing spots for Park critters such as elk, moose, big horn sheep, bison, mule deer, foxes, and eagles (You may even be able to see wolves hunting during the winter months!) and give your kids a crash course in ecology and animal behavior. Then, explore on your own with your kids through the park’s Junior Ranger program, where you learn about the natural world of the park on an easy 2-mile hike with a ranger. Resorts like Hotel Terra also offer in-house naturalists who can also organize smaller wildlife safaris or take your family on a nighttime stargazing tour.

feb 08 2015

Don't Miss These Valentine's Day & Presidents' Day Travel Deals!

Royal Sonesta Houston

You can save on rates at Royal Sonesta Houston this Valentine's Day weekend.

(Courtesy Royal Sonesta Houston)

Looking to take a romantic getaway for Valentine's Day or enjoy a long weekend trip in honor of Presidents' Day? Here are the deals you won't want to miss!

New England

The Wolfeboro Inn in Wolfeboro, NH, is offering a special Valentine's Day weekend package with rates from $189 a night including a chilled bottle of Moscato and homemade sweets upon arrival, a $60 voucher for dinner for two at Wolfe's Tavern, Sunday brunch for two, and a 1 p.m. late checkout on Sunday, Feb. 15th. Based on availability; valid on Feb. 14th only. Please call 1-800-451-2389 or book this deal online.

sep 24 2014

Get Ready for Free Museum Day!

Children's Museum of Manhattan

Visit the Children's Museum of Manhattan and more than 1,400 museums for free on Sept. 27th.

(Courtesy WalkingGeek/Flickr)

Museums all over the country will open their doors for free on Saturday, Sept. 27th, thanks to Smithsonian Magazine's tenth annual Museum Day Live!

While Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian museums are always open to the public, more than 1,400 other museums and cultural institutions around the country are following their lead, at least for one day. Here in New York, there are so many museums to choose from and admission can really add up. Choose from museums like the Children's Museum of Manhattan (normally $11 per person), the Fraunces Tavern Museum (normally $7 per person), The Museum of Arts and Design (normally $16 per person), and The Jewish Museum (normally $15 per person), among hundreds of others around the country.

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.


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.

aug 22 2013

How to Save Money This Labor Day Weekend 2013

The World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta

Where will you go this Labor Day weekend?

(Courtesy of The World of Coca-Cola)

Who says getting away for the long weekend has to be expensive? We've already covered the best getaways that should be on your travel radar—here, we present more ways to save money this Labor Day weekend.

mar 13 2013

Mark Your Calendar: The National Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. monuments surrounded by cherry blossoms? Don't forget to pack your camera.

(Courtesy bdinphoenix/myBudgetTravel)

It's that time of year again. Washington D.C. is gearing up for its 101st annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, set to take place this year from March 20th to April 14th—peak days, when at least 70 percent of the blossoms are open, will be from Tuesday, March 26th, thru Saturday, March 30th. Don't miss The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. between 7th and 17th streets, NW, along Constitution Avenue on Saturday, April 13th, featuring performances by pop star Mya and singer Elliot Yamin from American Idol among a variety of floats, balloons, and marching bands. Grandstand seating costs $20 per person, but you can stand along the parade route free of charge. Download the free festival app for your iPhone or Android for the latest updates.

jan 04 2013

Traveling to Washington, D.C., for the Presidential Inauguration?

The U.S. Capitol sees its fair share of visitors all year round, but the January 21 presidential inauguration will make it the belle of the ball.

(Courtesy Cameo/myBudgetTravel)

Washington, D.C., won't see the 1.8 million visitors it drew for Barack Obama's 2009 presidential inauguration—that was, after all, a once-in-a-lifetime historical event—but the Associated Press reports that the nation's capital is bracing for between 600,000 to 800,000 arrivals for the president's second inauguration, on January 21, and that hotels are filling up.

nov 21 2012

Airbnb Wants to Show You Around the World’s Top Cities

Downtown London

Explore different areas of London with Airbnb's new Neighborhoods feature.

(Courtesy xiquinhosilva/Flickr)

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a city is exploring its different neighborhoods—it's fascinating that you can feel worlds away in a matter of a few short blocks. Venturing out can be tough, however, when you have limited time but varied interests, and when you're unfamiliar with the layout of a city. Many travelers use guidebooks; some rely on recommendations. Personally, if I'm comfortable enough with the transportation system in question, I like to see where a few random left or right turns will take me. Popular vacation rental website Airbnb has combined all three methods with their new "Neighborhoods" feature, which launched this week.

sep 13 2012

21 New Airline Routes Launching Soon

Flying to the Bahamas will be easier with new routes launching this winter (Courtesy pugaangie16/myBudgetTravel)

Can't decide where to go for your next vacation? With lots of new routes launching, the decision might be easier than you thought. Here is a sampling of what's coming up.

Airline: Alaska Airlines

Destinations: Washington, D.C, San Antonio, Atlanta, Orlando

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