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jul 28 2016

#BTReads: 'A Passion for Paris'

(Lonely Planet)

If I had to visit Paris with a traveling companion other than my wife, my choice might very well be author Da­vid Downie.

Reading Downie's A Passion for Paris: Roman­ticism and Romance in the City of Light (St. Martin's Press, 2015) is like strolling the city's boulevards with a funny, well-read, and wildly enthusiastic devotee. While many of us simply accept the notion that Paris is the world's most romantic city (guilty), Downie decided to ask "why?" His answer is a hybrid travel narrative, mem­oir, and history lesson that brings such notable Parisians as Baudelaire, Hugo, Balzac, and Sand into the dialogue as if they, too, are accompanying you.

jul 26 2016

5 Things You Don't Know About... Easter Island

When you’re ready to really get away from it all, a tour of the world’s most remote inhabited island—soon to be the center of a huge marine sanctuary—is within reach. Here, five things you don’t know about Easter Island:

1. With a population of fewer than 5,000 people, 63 square miles, and a location more than 2,000 miles west of Santiago, Chile, the island of Rapa Nui (named Easter Island by 18th-century Dutch explorers) is as “out there” as it gets.

jul 25 2016

Confessions of a Luggage Tester


Of course you expect every zipper, strap, axle, and handle on your suitcase to hold up under the pres­sures of flying. But you know who’s really got your back? Mike Mulvey, a quality engineer at luggage brand Travelpro International’s testing facility. Here, he unpacks some of the secrets of the trade.

jul 22 2016

Deal of the Day: Peaceful Arizona Retreat near Scottsdale with Golf from $79, plus Spa Credit


Think of the Inn at Eagle Mountain like a glimmering, inviting oasis in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert. If you’re craving a getaway that’s quiet and rejuvenating, you’re in luck because this is the place you need to go. This exclusive Travelzoo deal for the Inn at Eagle Mountain, a chill, scenic resort, gets you a night’s stay for a cool $79 or two nights for an even cooler $129. That’s almost 60% off the standard price. This boutique hotel specializes in relaxation. Set against a mountain backdrop, the outdoor pool is a wonder to behold. It overlooks the Golf Club at Eagle Mountain, a favorite among area putters. Nature lovers can spend the day hiking while city folks head out for an afternoon of shopping and dining in Scottsdale, which is only 30 minutes away. And lest we forget to mention the spa. This deal gets you two $50 spa vouchers that you can use toward a revitalizing massage, facial or body treatment. Feeling relaxed yet?   

jul 21 2016

24 Best Reader Tips

(Lonely Planet)

One of the things I love about working at Budget Travel is that nobody—and I mean nobody—has a more engaged, travel-savvy audience than BT. Our mission is to dispense the smartest travel advice around, and our readers often feel compelled to return the favor. Here, some of their best tips.

jul 20 2016

Deal of the Day: Quaint Yet Luxurious Virginia B&B for $149, Plus Dining Credit


Widely recognized as a romantic getaway, Northern Virginia’s Fauquier County countryside feels like such a dreamy throwback escape that it’s easy to forget it’s less than an hour’s drive from the bustle of Washington DC.

This Travelzoo exclusive deal at the Poplar Springs Inn & Spa will have you running for the hills—this region’s picture-perfect rolling hills, that is. (No wonder the area is a destination for horse-lovers.) This offer gets you a 55% savings on a night at this dreamy retreat, which strikes a perfect balance between quaint and luxurious. But there’s much more to lure you here than the cozy yet posh quarters, which underwent a million-dollar renovation two years ago. Surrounded by 172 acres of forestland. the hotel’s full immersion experience includes forest trails, a new saltwater pool and an indulgent spa.And of course the dining here is supreme, which is only to be expected given that this is the heart of Virginia’s wine country. There’s plenty of local vino to pair with the elegant New American cuisine at the property’s award-winning Manor House Restaurant. The enchanting lakeside locale features stone walls and soaring ceilings. When you book your stay, you receive a $50 credit to use on a meal here. 

jul 19 2016

9 Best Budget Eats in Milan, Italy

Detail of Duomo Cathedral in Milan Italy

If you can tear yourself away from Milan's magnificent Duomo, here are the best places to enjoy an Italian treat for less.

(Lonely Planet)

For some, the highlight of a trip to Milan is viewing Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. But for the food-obsessed, a visit here revolves around eating supper (and breakfast and lunch, too). In a country revered for gastronomic treasures, Milan's culinary abundance stands tall. Best known for fashion and finance, this chic, sleek, and efficient Northern Italian city will tantalize your taste buds at every turn. History and geography are on its side. Milan is located in the Po Valley, surrounded by fertile pastures and prolific rice fields, which translates to your plate with luxuriously rich cheese and butter, plus the risotto of your dreams. Centuries of foreign conquerors have left their mark with an open-minded food scene and authentic ethnic cuisine.

jul 18 2016

Take Control of Weather-Related Flight Delays and Cancellations

(Jorg Hackemann/Dreamstime.com)

Nobody wants their vacation delayed before it even starts! But bad weather can sometimes keep planes grounded. Worse, some airlines—and sometimes even hotels and rental-car companies—will invoke bad weather, or "Acts of God" as an excuse for cancellations that may actually be due to mechanical problems or other mishaps.

jul 15 2016

Is Europe Safe for Travelers?

We believe that travel to Europe, including Nice, France, is not only safe but essential.

(Lonely Planet)

In the wake of the July 14 terrorist attack in Nice, France, many are asking themselves: Is Europe safe for travelers?

The answer is yes, with the logical caveat that the better informed you are, the more observant you are, and the more prepared you are, the safer your trip anywhere in the world will be. Am I biased in favor of travel? You bet I am: There’s simply no better way to understand the world, to bridge the differences among cultures, and to embrace our personal stake in this little blue planet of ours.

jul 14 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.

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