Budget Travel's Blog

The latest travel news, vacation tips & advice, travel apps, and more

may 26 2016

Prepare to Binge on Budget Travel's Addictive Coast-to-Coast Video Series!

(JW Player)

My name is Robert and I am addicted to Budget Travel's Coast-to-Coast by Word of Mouth video series.

I honestly thought I was immune. After all, I'm the editor in chief who greenlighted the crazy coast-to-coast concept: Our photo editor, Whitney Tressel, would drive from Los Angeles to Charleston, sans GPS, sans guidebooks, following only the advice of locals she met along the way; Whitney would shoot video and still photography and deliver dispatches from the road, which our senior, Jamie Beckman, turned into fun blog posts, a huge feature, and a pleasantly endless slideshow.

apr 21 2016

Tap That App! Ask a Digital Jeeves for (Almost) Anything With HotelTonight's Cool New Feature

HotelTonight San Francisco
(Dreamstime)

The last-minute hotel-booking app HotelTonight has been a longtime favorite of ours here at BT. The genius is in its simplicity: Wait until 12 p.m. for across-the-board price drops the day you want to book a hotel (or 6 p.m. for deeper discounts), then scoop up deals on properties ranging from "Solid" to "High Roller." (HotelTonight says its prices tend to be 18 percent less than Expedia's or Booking.com's.)

apr 13 2016

Never Brush Your Teeth at the Airport Again, Thanks to This Cool Website

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

Flight delay? Instead of languishing at SFO, nab an affordable daytime rate at a reliable hotel at Hotels By Day.

(Courtesy BrianL74/myBudgetTravel)

For the weary traveler, is there anything more refreshing than taking a hot, soothing shower after a long flight? But when you have an epic layover, that relaxing "me time" can feel light years away.

Before you pull out your toothbrush in the airport bathroom, consider booking a room with why-didn’t-we-think-of-this site Hotels By Day. This game changer lets you snag unoccupied hotel rooms for the day at discounted prices, for either a morning, midday, or afternoon stay. Time frames tend to be generous, too, usually ranging from five to nine hours, such as 10 a.m.–6 p.m. or 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Perfect for downtime, whether you're hitting the beach or luxuriating in a sunken tub.

mar 29 2016

15 Last-Minute Spring Break Deals You Can Book on Your Phone

Costa Rica

Ahhhh... Spring break bliss in Costa Rica can be yours for $106.61 per night, new findings show.

(SimonDannhauer/Dreamstime)

Everyone knows that procrastination typically doesn’t pay off. But it does if you’re still looking to book a spring break vacation this year.

Down to the wire and still hunting for a bargain? Check out these destinations first! For spring break, they have some of the lowest average hotel rates, according to new data from Priceline.com, whether you want to hit the beach, ski some fresh powder, or take advantage of sunny outdoor activities.

SUN

mar 17 2016

Jump on These Spring Cruise Deals

(Courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line)

As the days get longer and the sun shines warmer, a lot of people start thinking about the sea. Well, there’s no better way to get up close and personal with the Caribbean, the Pacific, and Europe’s legendary rivers than hitting the water on one of these luxurious, but affordable, cruise ships.

mar 10 2016

Now Google Can Plan Your Entire Vacation in One Click

Destinations by Google

Are our phones the future of trip-planning?

(Courtesy Google)

Offering fully formed trips with a single search is an ambitious move, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Google

Yesterday the company rolled out its smartphone-based Destinations on Google, "a mobile-first travel planning experience": In addition to its practical and easy-to-use Google Flights and Google Translate services, Google is aiming to plan your next vacation for you too by offering comprehensive trip plans that include flight and hotel suggestions, day trip ideas, road trip itineraries, suggested activities and attractions, and general travel guides. Here's how to use Destinations on Google.

First, don't download anything new. (Unless it's the Google app.)

feb 29 2016

6 Unbeatable Spring Hotel Deals

Marriott Pompano Beach Main Pool

Care to take a dip? The main pool at Marriott Pompano Beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is one of several options for water-lovers—the area's coral reefs and shipwrecks are ideal for diving and snorkeling.

(Courtesy Marriott)

There's no better way to shake off a long winter than taking a spring trip. Plus, springtime is shoulder season, which means your wanderlust dreams can come true at slashed prices, some with savings of more than 50 percent. Before the crowds descend for the summer, beat the rush—and the high-season surge pricing—with these six spots during the month of May.

Sea Crest Beach Hotel: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

dec 29 2015

Spring Flights From Under $100!

Be here now: Plenty of Southwest flights to (and from) sunny Los Angeles are under $100 if you purchase by December 31.

(Lonely Planet)

Our friends at Southwest are offering some pretty amazing airfares for winter and spring travel through May, but you have to act now: The sale ends as the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

dec 14 2015

How to Skip the Longest Lines: Disney, Vegas, and More

This article was written by Stephanie Gaskell and originally appeared on Yahoo Travel.

For many, the holidays are a time to do something special. But choosing to visit a popular tourist attraction means one thing—long lines. While it might seem like an occupational hazard, there are ways to skip the lines and avoid standing around with the masses. Here are some insider tips for getting VIP access.

Let technology lead the way

When it comes to skipping lines—there’s an app for that. In fact, there are several apps that will let you hire someone to stand in line for you. TaskRabbit is a service where you can hire people to do all kinds of tasks—including waiting in long lines (even at the DMV!). Another popular service is SameOleLineDudes, which currently only operates in New York City. But beware. Many businesses are pushing back against paid line-waiters. Franklin’s BBQ in Austin, Texas, which is famous for its lines around the block, recently banned professional line-waiters.

Related: This Is How Much Time You Waste Standing in Line at Tourist Attractions

Look for a pass

Let’s say you’re trying to get into a major theme park where the lines are notoriously long. Many of them offer special packages that allow you to plan your trip in advance, so you don’t arrive to find yourself standing in line. Disney World has a Fastpass program that prints out a pass telling you exactly what time to come and enjoy the attraction. This frees you up to walk around or grab a bite in the meantime. Likewise, Sea World offers a service called Quick Queue Unlimited for just $19 that allows you to skip to the front of the line.

Use your connections

If you’re heading to the ritzy Las Vegas night club scene, there are a couple of ways to bypass the velvet ropes and get right in. One trick is to ask your concierge to book a reservation for you. As a local, they often have connections that can help you breeze right in, especially if a nice tip is involved. Another option for skipping lines is to purchase special passes through sites like Vegas.com or Best of Vegas.

Related: Forget the Wait! 9 Ways to Spend Less Time in Line at Disney World

Be a VIP

If you decide to forego the Elvis impersonators and head to the real thing, Graceland, the home-turned-museum of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tenn., allows visitors to purchase VIP tickets to skip the crowds. The King would approve. Let’s say you’re heading somewhere more subdued like The Vatican, a place where millions of visitors flock each year. You can avoid long lines here by buying a “fast-track” ticket through a travel agency, like Viator, which offers packages that let you bypass the lines at the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms, and St. David’s. The lines at the Empire State Building are almost as vast as the views. Cut to the front by purchasing a VIP Main Deck Experience package that will take you right to the 86th floor observation deck with no waiting.

oct 21 2015

Back to the Future Day Travel Deals

Back to the Future movie

Catch a free ride in a DeLorean on Back to the Future Day, among other cool travel deals.

(Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection)

Today, the red-letter day of October 21, 2015, you're going to see some serious stuff in the travel world, from free DeLorean rides to 1985-era hotel prices, in honor of Back to the Future Day, the precise day that Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and Jennifer Parker zoom to in Back to the Future Part II—30 years after 1985. Yep, it's finally here!

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