Trip Coach: April 18, 2006 Budget Travel Editors answered your questions Budget Travel Tuesday, Apr 18, 2006, 3:36 PM Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

TRANSCRIPT

Trip Coach: April 18, 2006

Budget Travel Editors answered your questions

Budget Travel Editors: Thanks for joining us this week. Let's get to your questions!
 
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Houston, TX:
I will be going to Maui for the first time for a wedding in late June and plan to stay for 9 days. The wedding is in the touristy Kaanapali Beach area on the last days of my trip. What do you recommend for the 1st part of the trip?

BT Editors: There are too many options to name here, but if you want to check out cool, mellow areas that tourists rarely see, take a look at our feature on Maui in the May issue.
It was written by someone who grew up on the island and knows the place intimately. You won't find many of the places mentioned in the story in other magazine articles or guidebooks.
 
You might also want to check out a fairly recent Maui road trip featured in our magazine, which also mostly stayed away from the big touristy areas.

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San Antonio, TX: I am taking a road trip with my two daughters (ages 10 and 14) from San Antonio, Texas to Washington, DC begining on June 5. What are some really cool hidden adventures and great things to see along the way? Those Off-the-beaten-path sort of things that are part of what makes America so great.

BT Editors: In our magazine, we recently coached a couple driving from Boston to Los Angeles seeking similar kinds of off-the-beaten attractions. They wanted to drive the southern route to the West Coast and we sent them to cool places in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas, among other spots. Check it out here.

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Clarksville, TN: How can a family of three - 2 parents and a teen - take a (fairly) economical trip to Iceland? We're intrigued about seeing the natural wonders of Iceland, but worried about the prices we hear. Plus, because of school schedules, we can only go in the summer. We don't want to camp, but we don't mind small guesthouses, B&Bs in private homes; we don't have to have private baths.

BT Editors: Iceland has some of the planet's most spectacular (and unusual) natural scenery, not to mention it's the closest European country to the US, but it's expensive, which is why any trip to the Land of Fire & Ice requires careful planning. The most economical way to go is to book an air-hotel package through Icelandair Holidays. The vacation wing of Icelandair even allows you to "build your own package"....which enables flexibility on number of nights, activities, etc. Its spring/summer "midweek madness" packages start at $471 per person, which includes airfare and two nights' accommodation.
Should you want to forgo a package, then book your flight with Icelandair, and investigate staying at a guesthouse, which can be much more affordable than hotels, especially in Reykjavik. In summer, many working farms open their doors to visitors for overnight stays too. For listings, check out the Accommodations section of the tourism board's website: Visiticeland.com.
Since it's so easy to get around Iceland, we'd also suggest renting a car and exploring on your own, i.e. not spending the extra money for organized tours to places you can easily visit on your own. And don't miss out on the amazing community mineral pools and hot pots-they're inexpensive but you'll leave feeling like a million bucks.

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Cleveland, GA: We are traveling to Croatia Nov. 1st. Our plan is to rent a car and drive from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. Should we reserve a rental car before we go? We reserved a rented car in Lublijana Nov. 2005 and I believe we could have gotten 20% off had we just gotten the car when we arrived.

BT Editors: In general, we recommend visitors abroad, especially to Europe, rent their car BEFORE they go, since better rates can often be hand in advance. There are always exceptions, but a smart rule of thumb is to reserve your rental car from the US, from a reputable outfit that deals with all the major international agencies, such as AutoEurope.com. While you may find a cheaper rate on the ground, it's not likely to be from a major agency, and the quality/safety of rental vehicles cannot be guaranteed, nor are you guaranteed comprehensive coverage.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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