Trip Coach: March 28, 2006
Budget Travel Editors answered your questions
Budget Travel Editors: Thanks for joining us this week. Let's get to your questions!
Dayton, OH: My husband and I are planning to be in San Diego toward the end of June. We are thinking about driving up the California coast, and have about 5-7 days. Can you suggest an itinerary, and decent but more inexpensive places to stay and dine? Thanks!!
Budget Travel Editors:
Driving along the California coast is a lovely, classic American road trip. We recently wrote about a similar trip, driving Highway 1 from San Francisco to L.A. in the February issue. Some of the places we liked to stay included the no-frills Pacific Crest Inn by the Sea in Santa Barbara, the La Cuesta Inn in San Luis Obispo, and the Carmel River Inn in Carmel. We also liked La Super-Rica Taqueria in Santa Barbara, Paula's Pancake House in Solvang, and Urth Caffé in Santa Monica. Read more for our itinerary, plus recommendations on places to stay, eat, and see.
Before you go, you may want to download some free maps from the California Travel & Tourism Commission. Go to visitcalifornia.com and click on "Maps & Getting Around"
Hinckley, Ohio: We have been watching the X-Files series with our 15 year old son. We would like to visit Vancouver in the summer for 7-10 days, probably during early July. We would like to see X-Files sites, in addition to the many other attractions that Vancouver has to offer. We are planning on flying there. Any advice/guidance would be appreciated. Thanks! Bernie, Joe, & Kevin
Budget Travel Editors: Vancouver is a beautiful city: lots of great parks and open spaces, diverse neighborhoods, and a usually favorable exchange rate. If you fly into Vancouver, you probably won't need a car, unless you'd like to take day trips outside of the city.
Before you go, you'll want to read "X Marks the Spot: On Location With The X-Files", written by location managers Louisa Gradnitzer and Todd Pittson.
It's a useful book containing a map, detailed descriptions and photos of locations, anecdotes, and synopses of seasons 1-5, which were filmed in Vancouver.
In addition to these locations, you can't miss Stanley Park, containing 1,000 acres of wildlife and nature and easily accessible from the downtown area. Inside the park, check out the Vancouver Aquarium, lounge on one of the beaches, or walk along the seawall. Vancouver's large, active Chinatown, historic Gastown, and up-and-coming South Main are also neighborhoods worth walking and shopping. All of these areas are easily accessible by bus or SkyTrain, Vancouver's light rail system.
Also, we strongly recommend bringing your passports, especially for reentry into the U.S. Find out more at Washington State's Department of Transportation website or Canada's Border Services Agency website
Weather-wise, you can look forward to mild days (60-70 degrees), cool nights, a little rain--after all, it's the Pacific Northwest!
Davis, CA: My best friend and I, both 27, are planning a trip to China for two weeks toward the end of June 2006. She has been to China before but I haven't. We plan on flying out of San Francisco and into Beijing and definitely spending some time there, taking in a lot of the different sights. I would really love to go to the South and see places like the Li River, where they have those amazing rocky, steep hills but I don't know if we have enough time or money. It would also be fun to see the Three Gorges before they're completely filled-up by the dam. We're on pretty strict budgets but would like to see as much as possible and just have a good time.
Budget Travel Editors: If you're planning on cruising the Yangtze, then I'd highly suggest looking into reputable Victoria Cruises. Many of their offerings include the Three Gorges. Here's a link to their current specials, which start at $450 for 4 nights: victoriacruises.com
Also, Ritz Tours consistently has excellently priced air-hotel-tour packages for China, some of which include river cruises.