|by Sean O'Neill||Airfares & Flying, Helpful Websites||5|
America's top architectural wonders. A new website, FavoriteArchitecture.org, offers images of our nation's most popular buildings, monuments, and bridges as picked by a national survey. The most popular piece of architecture is the Empire State Building. Surprisingly, only two hotels were ranked among the top 25 wonders: the St. Regis in New York City and the Bellagio in Las Vegas. For a slide show of cool modernist houses you can visit, click here. For a slide show of the world's coolest bridges, click here.
US Airways is fixing its reservations-system. As many of you know, the airline's system has a track record of imploding whenever a large storm causes flight delays. The airline is hiring 1,000 workers whose jobs will be to rebook passengers when trouble strikes, according to this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. US Airways also plans to replace 600 troublesome reservations-booking machines within the next month.
Freebie! Norway's capital -- Oslo -- has been ranked the world's most expensive city in a survey by the global bank UBS. (For example, a Big Mac that averages $3.22 in the U.S. costs $6.63 in Norway.) Oslo's tourist board has now responded with a free, easy-to-download, 86-page guidebook that offers some tips on how to have a cheap time in the city. This guidebook lists restaurants where you can get meals for between $8 and $16. It also suggests inexpensive activities, such as touring the city by tram and shopping at consignment shops. (Yep, they really had to stretch to find cheap things to do.) You'll find the guide by clicking here. You can also learn about government-subsidized farmhouse lodging in Norway by clicking on this Budget Travel story.
Tip from a reader of this blog. In Germany, a coaster is known as a Bierdeckel. In many establishments, bartenders use these coasters to run your tab, marking on the edge each time you get a beer. They make good souvenirs: cheap, light, easy-to-pack!--Mike Anderson (For more reader tips, click here.)