Budget Travel's Blog

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

may 17 2016

Dumb Things Tourists Did This Week

Tourists with Selfie Stick in Spain

Selfie sticks: sometimes OK...sometimes a disaster waiting to happen.

(Ocusfocus/Dreamstime)

This has been a banner week for stupid tourist stunts, and we're calling them out. From putting a wild animal into a hatchback to defacing precious natural wonders, here's what the unenlightened have been up to in some of our favorite places to visit:

1. Two tourists in Yellowstone National Park put a baby bison in the back of their SUV because it "looked cold."

may 12 2016

Baker City, Oregon, Is in the Lead in Our Coolest Small Town in America Contest

Just another cool day in Baker City, Oregon, the current leader in our 11th annual Coolest Small Town in America contest.

(Baker County Tourism)

We love the way Baker City, Oregon, has jumped to the head of our Coolest Small Towns contest.

Of course, there are weeks remaining until our 11th annual Coolest Small Town in America contest closes (at 11:59 p.m. on June 6), but we're impressed that Baker City (bordered by the Elkhorn and Wallowa mountains in northeast Oregon at the intersection of three Oregon Scenic Byways) has grabbed more than 40 percent of all votes so far to take a commanding lead.

may 04 2016

Charleston: A Walking—and Eating!—Tour

Don't worry—you don't have to stay in a Victorian-era mansion to eat well in Charleston, S.C. And, frankly, a ride in a horse-drawn carriage can't compare to strolling hand-in-hand along the city's friendly, historic streets.

(Christian Heeb/Redux)

Come hungry. Charleston, S.C., is a town that likes to eat well. The downtown has a variety of options—Mexican, sushi, Korean, Mediterranean, Thai, Italian, delis, burgers—and range from pizza joints catering to the student crowd to fine dining.

But when I'm in Charleston, I like to explore local twists on standards of South Carolina Low Country cuisine. Like fried green tomatoes.

may 03 2016

Best Wine Destinations (and Wines!) for Spring

California's wine country in spring offers a cool climate and, of course, world-class tastings.

(Courtesy sonomacountywines/myBudgetTravel)

The balmy breezes of spring make us want to get out there and see the world more than ever, and some of our favorite destinations for relaxing, romantic weekend getaways happen to be beautiful wine regions. It got us thinking: What are the ideal spring wine country destinations? And, just as importantly if you share our taste for affordable reds and whites, what are some of spring's best bottlings and food-wine pairings?

may 02 2016

See the Windy City For Free! Explore Chicago With This Exclusive DIY Walking Tour

downtown, Chicago, Illinois, Wrigley Building, skyscraper, Michigan Avenue, Tribune Tower, Magnificent Mile

See the lesser-known nooks and crannies of Downtown Chicago—without paying a dime.

(Andreykr/Dreamstime)

Often the best way to explore a new city is on your own two feet. Jeff Mikos, founder of Free Chicago Walking Tours, is no stranger to that idea—the inspiration for his business came from a meaningful international trip.

apr 27 2016

Save Major Dough on Tourist Attractions with Last-Minute Booking App Whym

Big Ben, London
(Iakov Kalinin/Dreamstime)

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Some "tourist" attractions are 100 percent worth visiting. The ticket-booking app Whym gets us. The app offers travelers last-minute deals on desirable activities like guided tours of the Colosseum in Rome, U.S. city passes, Parisian wine tastings, Nevada desert sunset horseback rides, and admission to all kinds of museums at deep discounts—up to 60 percent off. All you need is a smartphone: The app is available for both Android and iOS (free, itunes.com, play.google.com).

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 20 2016

Snag This Retro-Chic Gear That Supports National Parks

Parks Project T-Shirts

Vintage-inspired threads, stellar cause: win-win.

(Courtesy parksproject.us)

Trend alert! Just in time for National Park Week (admission to every park is free right now through Sunday, April 24), we've become obsessed with the on-trend national parks–themed clothing, jewelry, and outdoor gear from Parks Project (from $10, parksproject.us). The organization organizes park volunteer days and donates proceeds from every item sold to initiatives like habitat and trail restoration, animal conservation, and educational services in the parks.

apr 15 2016

Enter Our #PictureSC Contest!

Budget Travelers tell us all the time how much they've enjoyed visiting South Carolina. From incredible foodie finds to beautiful beaches, golf courses, forests, and beyond, the Palmetto State is a vacation must-see. Now, we’re giving you the opportunity to show us how you #PictureSC in our contest to become Budget Travel's contributing South Carolina "Social Photographer."

apr 14 2016

Editor's Pick: Southwestern Serenity for Just $155 Per Night

Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa

Behind these walls lies a New Mexico paradise.

(Courtesy Sierra Grande Lodge)

Imagine waking up in a charming, rustic hotel room, heading over to an award-winning restaurant for a scrumptious breakfast (think: huevos rancheros, blue-corn-and-pine-nuts pancakes, or an omelet with New Mexico’s world-famous hatch green chile), taking a guided tour of the Southwest, and then finishing up with a soothing soak in a natural hot-spring tub—and the only thing you’re shelling out for is the room, starting at just $155 per night. At Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, that’s a typical stay.

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