December 2008/January 2009 Joshua Paul photographed the cover at the snorkeling inlet in Xcaret, an eco-archaeological park near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. "It's where the jungle meets the beach," he says. "At first, I thought Xcaret looked like a theme park, but it won me over in 15 minutes." Budget Travel Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008, 12:00 AM Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

December 2008/January 2009

Nonstop Mexico
When you have beach on the brain, who wants to bother with a layover? We've prepared the ultimate insider's guide to seven resort towns south of the border that are just one quick flight away.
Explore our interactive map

Movie Quest 2008
Move over Oscar! We have our own thoughts about which movies won our hearts in 2008. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the 10 most travel-inspiring movies—and how you, too, can have cinematic moments on your next trip.
See the slide show

Eat Like a Local: Tuscany
Tuscany has no shortage of authentic restaurants. But the best? We turned to local villa owners, who would only leave their own kitchens for just the right spot.
See the slide show
Italy Menu Decoder (PDF)
Villa Rentals Under the Tuscan Sun

Cheapest Places on Earth: Hua Hun, Thailand
Bodysurf in the morning, make nice with mischievous monkeys in the afternoon, and end the day with a midnight snack at the night market.

User's Manual: Digital Camera Tips
Disappointed with your digital pictures? These seven settings will help you get professional-quality photos from your point-and-shoot.
See the slide show

Road Trip: Alabama
In Alabama, there's no shortage of respect for the past—from civil rights memorials to a timeless recipe for pulled pork.
See the slide show

40 Best
From our December/January issue: Deals for Las Vegas, Paris, Jamaica, and 37 other fascinating destinations worldwide.

Budget Travel Magazine December 2008/January 2009 issue

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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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