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jul 08 2014

Restaurants' Dirtiest Secrets!

You won't BELIEVE what may be going on in the bread basket that just landed on your table!

(Courtesy jmhilde/myBudgetTravel)

From the classiest Parisian eateries to humble Hong Kong Street carts, from NYC delis to the Bay Area's tastiest trendsetters, every restaurant has its own, um, special way of doing things. Unfortunately, some of the most common practices, even in average-to-good kitchens, can be shocking. Over the years, Budget Travel has checked in with chefs, waitstaff, and other food pros—sometimes on condition of anonymity—to bring you the lowdown on the dirty business of making diners' dreams come true.

jul 02 2014

OMG! My Hotel Has Bedbugs!!

(Courtesy American Academy of Dermatology)

When it comes to vacation buzzkill, the word bedbug is near the top of the list.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. is seeing a serious increase in bedbugs—and it's not just in homes but also in restaurants, hospitals, schools, and, yuck, hotels and cruise ship cabins.

jul 01 2014

A Train Lovers' Guide To Thailand

I was one of a dozen westerners waiting for the Chiang Mai midnight sleeper, along with 500 uniformed school kids noisily waiting for their train. Their frantic teachers invented amusements like group charades and spelling contests, but still most of the kids wandered around looking for trouble. A dozen 13-year-olds blocked my path. Their bold leader, a chubby pony-tailed girl, demanded to know where I come from. They all giggled and elbowed each other chattering hysterically in Thai after I told them I was from Canada. A fellow passenger, a British woman said (loudly over the din), "These kids were already here when I arrived at 7:30." She looked peevishly at her wristwatch. It was 10 p.m. I had been told Thai rail is usually reliable, so this was not a good sign.

jun 24 2014

Five Hamburg Neighborhoods Best Explored By Bike

Bike in Hamburg, Germany

The next time you find yourself in the Baltic Sea Region, head straight to Hamburg and rent a bike for the best city views.

(Courtesy Megan Eileen McDonough)

This article was written by Megan Eileen McDonough, Founder of Bohemian Trails.

Despite being Europe's richest city, Hamburg's humble neighborhoods don't show off, but rather, showcase both old and new influences in true style. From alternative Sternschanze and lively St. Pauli to modern HafenCity, these five neighborhoods showcase the many faces of Hamburg. The next time you find yourself in the Baltic Sea Region, head straight to Hamburg and rent a bike for the best city views.

jun 23 2014

5 Desserts To Try In Thailand

Thai Desserts mango sticky rice

If you are lucky enough to be heading there soon, here are five delicious desserts you have to try, including mango sticky rice, shown here.

(Courtesy kitchenbabble.com)

This article was written by Sia Ling Xin, who travels and writes about it for Asiarooms.com, a blog and online community focused on travelling in Asia. You can also find her on Twitter.

jun 20 2014

Mark Your Calendars: Don't Miss The CyberSummer Sale This Saturday!

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Puerto Rico

You can score a deal on a stay at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in Puerto Rico during the CyberSummer sale on Saturday, June 21st.

(Courtesy San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino)

For one day only, you can score major discounts on 20 hotels in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Latin America with the CyberSummer Sale on Saturday, June 21st. All deals must be booked between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 21st, and depending on the package, travel dates are available throughout the summer and in some cases, until Dec. 31, 2014. Check out these specials:

jun 20 2014

Our Best Road Trip Tips!

Iconic Bixby Bridge, along the Pacific Coast Highway in Northern California, is part of the fun of a Big Sur road trip—one of our favorites!

(Joseph Salonis/Dreamstime.com)

I love road trips! Long before I became editor of Budget Travel with its popular Road Trips series, I always loved packing up the car and heading... anywhere! From childhood trips to Martha's Vineyard to college weekends down the shore, for me the notion of "vacation" and "great drive" have pretty much been one and the same. When my wife and I lived in San Francisco, we fell hard for the stretch of highway between the City and San Simeon—the incredible road trip that took us through Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Big Sur.

jun 18 2014

5 U.S. Theme Parks Under $50

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

With Disney parks recently raising their ticket prices to $99 for a single–park one day ticket to the Magic Kingdom—Universal Studios is just as bad—now is the perfect time to start thinking about smaller, regional theme parks where you can get your adrenaline fix for less. Here are five theme parks around the country where the daily price of adult admission is under $50.

jun 18 2014

Biggest Reward Program Blunders and How Not to Make Them

Southwest plane

An over-valued merchandise-for-point exchange isn't the only blunder you can make when redeeming. Here are a few other examples of mistakes to avoid when you decide to trade yours in.

(Carlosphotos / Dreamstime.com)

This article was written by Jake Redman, founder and host of ModHop. In addition to producing and hosting shows on SiriusXM Radio, he travels, spending his time in airports, lounges, and hotels, and shares his findings on ModHop.com to help others determine whether travel upgrades are truly worth the extra cost. Follow along with Jake's travel adventures on Twitter @ModHop and on Facebook.

jun 17 2014

What's Your All-Time Favorite Family Vacation?

Fun family getaways were the theme for our May/June digital issue of Budget Travel magazine (now available on BudgetTravel.com, in the Apple App Store, on Google Play, and for Nook and Kindle). To get into the spirit of things, we asked several of our staff members to share their favorite places for family vacations—here's what they said:

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