Budget Travel's Blog

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jun 29 2015

Take a Day Trip to Historic Hudson Valley

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery offers seasonal lantern-lit evening tours for brave visitors. Among its noteworthy graves is that of Washington Irving, creator of the Headless Horseman and Rip Van Winkle.

(Courtesy Sleepy Hollow Cemetery)

As a little boy growing up in the Bronx, my first-ever class trip was to Sunnyside, the home of Washington Irving. There, on the banks of the Hudson River in Tarrytown, NY, my second-grade class toured the grounds of Irving's estate, learned how a 19th-century home operated, and, most inspiring for me, peeked into Irving's office and saw the writing desk that once belonged to the author of "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." I remember being enchanted by Irving's funny-creepy stories and not wanting to leave the back porch, with its views of the river.

jun 15 2015

Escape NYC and Head to the Tri-State Area's Best Summer Festivals

The Jersey Shore's legendary beaches and boardwalks are a manageable escape from New York, and the area is home to the New Jersey State BBQ Championship, one of the summer's tastiest festivals!

(Denise Rizza/Dreamstime )

A short drive or train ride out of New York City, you can find some of the metro area's best summer festivals, where they are serving up heaping portions of local food, craft beer, great wine, world-class art, music, and the all-American county fair experience. Click here to see me share these top festival picks on PIX11 Morning News this morning, and read on to learn more about these great summer events:

Beer, Bourbon & Bacon: The Hudson Valley Brew Festival. June 20. This tasty event at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY, can be reached by a scenic drive up the Hudson River. The grown-ups-only festival lets you pig out, literally, all day, with a pig roast, fresh craft bacon (don't worry, there's other great food too), your own beer-tasting glass, and live music all day long. Tickets from $45 in advance, $55 at the gate

Art Southampton, Long Island, NY. July 9 -13. Sure, the Hamptons are expensive this time of year, but a ride on the Long Island Railroad isn't, and daily admission to this spectacular art show is just $25. Top artists and galleries from NYC and beyond will be showing their work, and while we can't promise you'll see Diddy, Southampton is prime celeb-spotting territory. If you stick around for a trip to the beach, remember the sky-high parking rates drop to $0 after 5 pm.

New Jersey State BBQ Championship & Blues Festival. July 10 - 12 in North Wildwood, NJ; It almost sounds too good to be true: This FREE festival celebrates the best BBQ cooks, live blues music, and is located on one of America's most spectacular stretches of surf and sand. If you're driving down from the city, make your escape in the early morning to beat the inevitable traffic to shore points off the Garden State.

Connecticut Wine Festival. July 26 & 27, Goshen, CT. Yes, Connecticut is an up-and-coming wine region and this festival pops the cork on a great selection of locally sourced wines and wineries. A tasting ticket will get you your own wineglass, tote bag, access to some free food samples, with plenty of other quality foods, wines, and crafts on sale all weekend long. Tickets from $25.

Ulster County Fair, NY. July 28 - August 2. If you want an "editor's pick," this one is my personal favorite and I take my kids every summer to enjoy the farm animals, fun rides, upstate food specialties like fresh ice cream and an array of apple-inspired fare, plus nightly concerts all in the heart of the Shawangunk Mountains (one of New York State's lesser-known knockout travel destinations, with gorgeous peaks that rival the Catskills and Adirondacks for natural beauty and hiking opportunities) in New Paltz, NY; $15.

may 14 2015

Curing Culinary Travel Fever in NYC

Meleena Bowers Photo of Kalustyans

Kalustyans in Murray Hill (Manhattan) is where Marco Polo meets Manhattan.

(Courtesy Meleena Bowers)

This article was written by Meleena Bowers. Follow along with all her travel adventures on Twitter and Instagram at @worldtravelure.

may 13 2015

Outrageous Driver Confessions! Cursing, Speeding, and Other Bad Behavior

Driving into a sunset in Maui

Life goal: to be as serene in the car as the vistas outside it.

(Courtesy millerbd/myBudgetTravel)

Raise your hand if you've ever been behind the wheel and deliberately cut someone off, muttered a curse word under your breath, leaned on the gas pedal a wee bit too hard, or, worse, had any of the above directed at you. That would be all of us, right?

I personally will never forget one particular incident while I was tooling around Palm Springs in my rental car on vacation: Evidently the "no right turn on red" rule doesn't apply in California if you make a full stop first, which this New Yorker quickly learned after waiting patiently through an entire stoplight, only to have a blue-haired woman around age 70 swerve pointedly around me, honking the entire way, then, for good measure, appeared to scream an expletive at me through her window while flipping me the bird.

may 11 2015

5 U.S. Theme Parks Under $50

Santa Cruz Boardwalk in California
(Courtesy Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk)

With major theme parks now charging over $100 per adult, this summer is the perfect time to consider the array of smaller (but awesome), regional theme parks where you can get your adrenaline fix for less. Here are five parks around the country where the daily price of adult admission is under $50.

may 07 2015

10 Memorable Mother’s Day Brunches

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Treat Mom to a nice Mother's Day brunch in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

(Courtesy Maju_Rezende/Flickr)

This article was written by Kristine Hansen and originally appeared on Fox News Travel.

Move over, Champagne and fluffy omelets: Some Mother's Day brunches are ditching tradition for eclectic offerings. Today's moms want a table with an ocean view, or a buffet inspired by the regions of France, or a live musical performance across the room, or a chic tea in America's wealthiest zip code (hello, 90210). 

apr 30 2015

New Travel Trend: 'Local Destination' Weddings

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Dutch Country is hot right now for "local destination" weddings.

(Courtesy mmiwig/myBudgetTravel)

Eloping to Europe or a secluded island with your whole wedding posse is soooo 2014. A new report from Wedding Salon suggests that the definition of a "destination" wedding is broadening—and moving much closer to home, especially for couples who have long guest lists.

apr 16 2015

This Weekend: Don't Miss The New York Travel Festival!

New York Travel Festival

Join us for this year's New York Travel Festival April 18th and 19th in NYC's beautiful Upper West Side.

(Courtesy New York Travel Festival)

If you're in the NYC area this weekend and love to travel, come check out the New York Travel Festival, an event geared towards travel enthusiasts of all kinds, whether you're in the industry (or looking to become part of it), a lifelong or long-term traveler, or you just love new experiences and want to see the world. I'm also going to be participating in a panel discusson Sunday at noon—Affordable Luxury: Yes, You CAN Afford It!with Christine Wei from ShermansTravel and Tom Meyers from EuroCheapo, and hosted by Ko Im—so come by and say hello!

mar 20 2015

Would You Pay $250 for a Professional Vacation Photographer?

Couple in Bali

A Flytographer duo guided this couple through a shoot in Bali, ensuring they followed local customs (no kissing in front of temples) and asking permission from rice farmers to pose in their fields.

(Vony and Bayu for Flytographer in Bali)

Forget the selfie stick. Brand-new photo service Flytographer has recruited professional photographers in more than 130 cities worldwide to take fanciful candid or posed photos of you on your dream trip. No more tilting your smartphone's camera just right, hoping to catch your face and most of the Eiffel Tower in the background. And don't even get us started on the social awkwardness that ensues when you ask a stranger to take your picture.

mar 12 2015

24 Restaurants in 24 Hours in NYC: This Hysterical Video Proves It Can Be Done!

New York City pizza

What will you eat on your food tour of New York City? The coal-fired Neapolitan pizza at Lombardi's, in Nolita, is a strong contender.

(Lonely Planet)

If you're a traveler who loves food (a.k.a. all of us!), you've probably wondered how many restaurants it would be humanly possible to visit in a new city if you just buckled down and applied yourself. Well, these guys, Harry Yuan and Bruce Aguirre, have done it for you, hitting 24 restaurants in 24 hours in 10 North American cities for their Day of Gluttony series, all delivered with sharp, videogame-style editing and a sense of humor straight out of a buddy comedy.

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