A Moment of Zen

Nina Willdorf

In New York's Times Square

If other magazines are for armchair travelers, this one is for deck chair travelers. Budget Travel readers don't just dream about places, we go there, settle right in, and get comfy.

That's even the case in Times Square. Yes, Times Square. The City of New York has blocked off streets and set out chairs, inviting people to sit down and put their feet up in one of the world's most chaotic (and most iconic) places. It's a statement, and we like it enough to give the city one of our Extra Mile Awards in our fifth annual celebration of companies and destinations making travelers' lives smoother.

Part of what makes the Times Square deck chairs so great is what they represent: a little quiet amid the noise. There's no doubt that the world has become a rowdy place. The number of sites and sources you can turn to for information is growing by the second. Want a deal on a flight or a hotel? Hundreds of sites are competing for your eyes. And we're not even going to get into the clutter that is Twitter.

Well, our mission at Budget Travel is changing along with the times, and we've found that one thing rises to the top—the need to simplify. We're taking that very seriously. Every story in this issue was built with simplicity in mind. From "The Coolest Small Towns in America" to "Spas Made Simple" to a succinct roundup of some of Ireland's best pubs, this magazine is meant to be a vacation from the cacophony, your selectively definitive guide to the world. We've scoured the globe, determined what matters, and spared you everything else. Because we know your time is valuable and you have places to go. Somewhere, there's a deck chair with your name on it.

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