Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson Agree: Paris Is Always a Good Idea

By Kaeli Conforti
March 10, 2015
Paris Eiffel Tower in Spring
Courtesy travelmama/myBudgetTravel

When you've got it, flaunt it! Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson recently crashed the Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week dressed as their legendary characters, fashion icons Derek and Hansel, to promote Zoolander 2, expected to hit theaters Feb. 12, 2016. Check out the video below to see the guys work the runway!

While Audrey Hepburn may have said it first, it's clear Stiller and Wilson agree: Paris is always a good idea. Whether you're planning to visit Paris in the spring or any other time of year, prepare to be charmed by the City of Light's scenic Seine-side walks, iconic art museums, legendary restaurants, and friendly French inhabitants—say bonjour madame! or bonjour monsieur! when entering a shop and make an effort to speak a bit of the language and you're sure to make a good impression, trust me.

The euro is also the lowest it's been in years, currently at $1.06 according to, and expected to keep dropping this year, which is great news for travelers (sorry, Europe). Keep an eye out for free days and times at popular museums, free family-friendly festivals and events around the city, and if all else fails, grab the nearest bottle of cheap (but excellent!) wine, some fresh cheese, meat, a couple of baguettes, and have the prettiest picnic of your life at Jardin du Luxembourg, Tuileries Garden, or any of the city's amazing parks for a slice of people-watching heaven. The best part: nutella crepes are never too far away! 

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Tenerife: The Most Popular Island Americans Have Never Heard Of

This article was written by Brittany Jones Cooper and originally appeared on Yahoo Travel. When I told my friend Lindsey that I was going on a trip to Tenerife, she reluctantly asked, "Where is that?" "It's in the Canary Islands," I replied. "That sounds like a made-up island," she laughed. "You're making it up." In reality, five million tourists travel to Tenerife every year. Specifically, Europeans, who in just a few hours are able to enjoy the subtropical climate of this very real and very beautiful island. Germans, Brits, and Spaniards are the main visitors to Tenerife, and they flock to the island the same way Americans migrate toward Florida or Mexico once temperatures start to drop. After all, the island is just a two-hour flight from Madrid and about 4.5 hours from London and Frankfurt. But for many Americans, Tenerife not only sounds like a made-up place—it sounds like a faraway land (it's about a nine hour flight from New York). And I must admit, before my visit I didn't know much about the island, including the correct way to pronounce its name. Tenerife (pronounced TEN-er-reef in English) is the largest of the Canary Islands, situated just west of the North African country of Morocco. But while its location suggests African influence, this little island is a part of Spain, and the food and culture proudly reflect their Spanish origin. More: 12 people who should be banned from flying Tenerife is easily divided into two different regions, the north and the south. And although they share an island, the two areas couldn't be more different. Landing in the north feels like lying in a lush blanket of trees and vegetation. This area sees heavier rain, so naturally it's home to sprawling vineyards, banana plantations, and local farms. There's also an array of black sand beaches that are both beautiful and a bit shocking when you see them for the first time. The weather is more temperate, and for the most part, locals make up most of the population. The north is also home to quaint Spanish towns like Garachico. Nestled in the northwest corner of the island, Garachico is a must-see for anyone looking for a quiet escape. On the shore, there are natural pools where tourists and locals can swim when the tide is low. For those who are less adventurous, it's also a great spot to watch the sun set as the waves splash against the rocks. In town, I enjoyed strolling along the cobblestone streets while snapping photos of the colorful Spanish-style houses and churches. It felt like going back in time, in all of the right ways. Dining on the north side can also be a thrilling experience. "Tenerife offers authentic cuisine blessed with an array of intoxicating flavors," said Rashida Petersen from Turismo de Tenerife. "Traditional dishes are characterized by their simplicity and freshness thanks to locally produced ingredients such as fish, potatoes, or bananas." And that's the first thing I noticed. I didn't eat one prepacked processed meal during my entire stay. The food was fresh because much of it is grown on the island or pulled out of the ocean that day. I dined at a little restaurant called El Calderito De La Abuela that has been passed down in one family for generations—in fact, the entire restaurant is decorated with family photos from decades past. It felt like I was eating in someone's home, and the food was as flavorful and comfy as if it were made by my own grandmother. Also, it appeared as if most of the other patrons were locals, a sure sign that the food was not only tasty but authentic. Order the Garbanzas con tropezones, a creamy chickpea soup served with Iberian pork and chorizo. It's a classic Canarian dish, and I could have eaten the entire pot!  More: What's the password? The new drinking trend in Orlando: Speakeasies Like all the Canary Islands, Tenerife was formed after millions of years of volcanic activity. And the islands most famous celebrity is Mount Teide, the majestic volcano that can be seen from pretty much anywhere on the island on a clear day. The aboriginal Guanches, or ancient inhabitants of Tenerife, considered Mount Teide to be a mythological mountain, like Mount Olympus was to the ancient Greeks, and today it still pulls focus as you navigate the island. The highlights of any visit to Tenerife will surely include a visit to Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits at an elevation of about 12,200 feet. Warning: It takes about an hour on a thin winding road to reach the top. Watch out for the downhill bikers who expertly navigate the narrow roads and oncoming traffic. More than once I had to hold my breath as they sped past my van. (I, luckily, was not driving.) Leave your wheels behind and go for a stroll on one of the many scenic hikes in the caldera of Mount Teide. The terrain is covered with crimson and black lava rock, and it's hard not to feel like you're a part of something ancient and sacred. It also kind of felt like a dinosaur was going to pop out at any moment—very Jurassic Park. Climbing all the way to the peak takes about six hours on foot. But for those not up for the strenuous journey, there is also a cable car that will take visitors pretty close to top. Be sure to check the forecast before you go. Temperatures can be below freezing in the winter and above 100°F in the summer.  I was lucky enough to take a boat trip out on the south coast during my visit. Our mission was to do some whale watching, and it didn't take long before we floated up to a pod of short-finned pilot whales. Tenerife is a hotspot for these mammals, as well as bottlenose dolphins, who can be found here year-round. More: My Facebook friends are torturing me with their amazing vacations Back on shore is the city of Costa Adeje, one of the more popular destinations in the south of the island. It's a bit more luxurious than other parts of the south, with a selection of modern five-star hotels to choose from. If you don't sleep here, it's worth passing through to eat at one of the many waterfront restaurants. I was in search of a more laid-back experience, so I ventured into La Caleta for lunch. The quiet fishing village was the perfect place to sit and rest my tired legs after hiking in Mount Teide National Park. There are little shops to browse, a few local bars, and restaurants boasting some of the freshest fish in the area. There are many great places to choose from, but meals I ate at La Vieja and Picis were both totally unforgettable.  About 20 minutes away from the fishing village is another town called Los Gigantes. There's only one hotel in the area, but there are a ton of apartments, making it a great place to stay if you're a fan of using sites like Airbnb. I found rentals in the area for as low as $50 a night. But the real star of this town is the Los Gigantes sea cliffs. They are a major tourist attraction, and at sunset the view is nothing short of breathtaking.   Visiting Tenerife in the winter promises food, fun, and culture. The weather will be cool, so a light jacket should never be far away. In the summer, the weather is warmer, the beaches fill up, and the island comes alive.  But really, there's not a bad time to visit Tenerife. They don't call it "The Island of Eternal Spring" for nothing. More from Yahoo Travel: How a NatGeo photographer took these mind-blowing winter Yellowstone shots How to save big money on business travel


Explore Winter's Coolest ICE Destinations!

You know, this time of year, when we think of "travel" we usually think of fleeing the cold. But some people don't mind getting into it. And I mean really into it! Here, some of the world's most amazing "ice destinations," where you can eat, drink, sleep, and most of all chill on vacation! Hotel de Glace, Quebec. Bundle up and "get a room" before it's gone! Built out of solid ice each winter, the elegant Hotel de Glace takes a few weeks to assemble and stays in business until spring breezes start to melt it away. You'll find furniture made of ice, a bar, and even paintings hanging from the ice walls! Don't forget to enjoy Quebec city itself, which feels like an escape to France (with crepes, pastries, and great wine included) just across the border! Stay: Hotel de Glace from $152 per night, including sleeping bag, complimentary cocktail, breakfast, and hot tub! Chena Hot Springs Ice Museum, Alaska. America's finest museum of ice sculptures, outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, features a great museum of sculpted ice that changes from year to year, depicting wildlife like polar bears and salmon, jousting knights in armor, and even giant chess pieces made of ice. And don't miss the Northern Lights in one of the best viewing locations on the planet! Stay: Chena Hot Springs Resort from $199 per night. Minus 5 Ice Bar, NYC. Bottoms up! A cover charge of $20 will get you a jacket, gloves, and admission to one of Manhattan's truly unique experiences. Everything here is made of ice, including your drink glass, the bar, and seats! Located inside the Hilton in midtown, this is a place even jaded New Yorkers have to see to believe! Stay: Budget Travelers enjoy the incredibly value-priced and ultra-hip Jane hotel when in Manhattan, from $69 per night! Niagara Falls. It takes a polar vortex to make the falls freeze in their tracks, and lately people have been flocking to the fabled honeymoon destination to see the frozen falls. One dude even climbed them the other day! Stay: The Marriott Fallsview has jaw-dropping views of the falls right outside the window of your cozy room, from $111 per night.


Eat Like a Local in Vietnam

Danika Garlotta and her husband Chris are traveling around the world and sharing their experiences at Vietnamese food is without a doubt, one of my favorite cuisines. My husband Chris and I love its creative ingredients, and that mix of sweet, sour and spicy flavors! Although we were excited to visit Vietnam in general, we were more excited to taste everything and eat our way through the various cities we were visiting like Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and Saigon. Of course, being a huge country, the various regions of Vietnam (north, central, and south) each had their own unique food styles. We felt lucky that over the course of three weeks, we'd have the chance to try the food from so many different parts of the country. No matter where we went, we were able to find vietnamese staples like Pho and Bun Cha, but we were surprised by the variation from one city to another -- for instance, the Pho you order in Hanoi is almost completely different from the Pho you'll get in Saigon. Another thing that surprised us was that each of the three regions we visited had very different dining cultures (at least from what we could tell). In Hanoi, the north of Vietnam, the places we ate were basically "mom and pop" street food stalls. In Hue and Hoi an, the central region of Vietnam, things were a little more developed, and we found a broader selection of traditional restaurants. In Saigon, Vietnam's largest city, we were able to find everything from amazing street food to fine dining all on the same street. Below are a few tips for eating some of the best Vietnamese food we tried, while on our 3 week tour of Vietnam in July 2014. I know we are missing a ton of dishes on this list, so let us know about your favorites in the comments! Tips for eating in Vietnam: One thing we quickly learned, was that eating in Vietnam is a very different than eating in a Vietnamese restaurants in the US or Europe.  Below are a few things to keep in mind when while looking for a bite to eat in Vietnam. Be adventurous: Many restaurants in Vietnam (especially Hanoi) don't always look like traditional restaurants in the US or Europe. Sometimes, the "restaurant" is the front room of someone's house, and they serve food to you in what is essentially their living room. Sometimes the "restaurant" is just a grill setup over an open fire on the sidewalk. If you see people sitting on little plastic stools, go ahead and join them. We did this many times, and had amazing meals, and never died. It's perfectly safe. Look for locals: This golden rule of eating in a foreign city applies anywhere, but especially for Vietnam. If you look into a place and see nothing but wide eyed westerners looking back at you, run away. Often times this tactic does mean that you will end up going into places that may appear to be less than "100% sanitary" (though you'll get over that quickly in Vietnam), and they most likely will not have a translated menu for you. Deal with it. Find someone who is eating something that looks good and point to it when you order. Odds are you'll get delicious, authentic food, and for a fraction of what you'd pay in a restaurant that caters to foreigners.    Don't always expect to get a menu: Many places we ate in Vietnam only served 1 dish. You basically walk up, grab a stool, and within 30 seconds someone walks over and puts down a bowl or plate of what ever it is that restaurant makes. It could be skewers, bun cha, pho, or something else you may not always recognize, but whatever it is, that's what you're going to eat, there are no substitutions.  Drink beer: It's hot in Vietnam, and nothing helps cool you down like a glass of beer. You'll see it for sale everywhere. We bought some from an old lady selling it out of her house, and we sat with her on little stools on the sidewalk and drank a few bottles. Also, a bottle of beer is cheaper than a bottle of water in Vietnam, use that to your advantage, and remember beer is 95% water anyway! Cheers! Speaking of Beer, try Bia Hởi This is a dirt cheap local style of Vietnamese beer. Expect to pay a few pennies for a glass. Bia Hởi literally means fresh beer. It's brewed each the morning and is sold later that day! Don't be turned off when you see it served with large amounts of ice. It's surprisingly refreshing and when it's hot and humid (even inside the air conditioned rooms), you'll be thankful.   Our favorite food from Hanoi: Bun Cha: The signature dish of Hanoi.  Follow your nose to a smoky street-side grill and chances are you'll find Bun Cha. You'll be given a mound of grilled pork neck, fried spring rolls, salty-sweet broth, slices of green papaya, rice noodles, and fresh herbs. Mix everything together and enjoy.  Morning Glory Salad: Although we found this everywhere in Vietnam, we first tried it in Hanoi. It's a crispy vegetable that is stripped down to be noodle like and we ate in variety of different ways. My favorite was eating it raw with grilled beef on top and that tangy sweet sauce, Vietnam does so well.  Phở: There is a big difference between Phở served in Hanoi and Saigon. In Hanoi you get wider noodles, a darker broth and my favorite - a strong anise and cinnamon flavor. If you're used to getting all the different garnishes (herbs, lemon, different types of meat, etc) you'll have better luck in Southern Vietnam. Bahn Mi: A baguette sandwich that is given a Southeast Asian twist by stuffing it with pâté, mayonnaise, pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeños, cilantro and cold cuts. Although we found Bahn Mi everywhere in Vietnam, we liked it best in Hanoi. Most of the stands we came across only had 2 basic types; Banh Mi Pate (where you choose your meat), and Banh Mi Trung (egg), which is the best breakfast sandwich you'll ever have Che Thap Cam / Red bean, Ice Drink: A little bit of column A and a little bit of column B, that's the gist of che thap cam. Whatever the dealer is selling, she'll spoon in a smidgen of each. You'll most likely receive layers of beans, jellies, tapioca, coconut milk, shaved ice and more beans.  Our favorite food from Hoi An: Cao Lau: This is probably one of the most famous dishes to come from Hoi An. It's a pork noodle soup made with fat yellow noodles, slabs of tender pork, bean sprouts, fresh greens and crispy croutons. What makes this dish special is the noodles must be made with the water from one of the closely guarded ancient Cham wells hidden throughout Hoi An. Banh Bao Vac: A delicious shrimp or pork dumpling that when steamed looks like a white rose. Topped with crispy shallots and a tangy dipping sauce, this is one of my favorite appetizers. Com Ga Hoi An: Otherwise known as chicken rice and pretty much available at every restaurants.   Central Food Market: Although we didn't get to visit this so called "foodies paradise", we had heard enough good praises from credible sources, that this is the best place to sample all of Hoi An's unique dishes.  Our favorite food from Hue: Banh loc tran: What I conside the equivalent of the Banh Bao Vac (white rose dumplings) of Hoi An. These dumpling like ravioli's are made with a tapioca flour-based dough and stuffed with a generous portion of shrimp and pork. Banh Beom: Steamed rice cakes, that are topped with dried shrimp, pork cracklings, shallots and herbs. Banh Khoai: Banh khoai literally means "delicious cake" and is served open face. The crispy pancakes are traditionally filled with pork, shrimp and sprouts serve with fresh greens and fermented soy bean peanut sauce. Mystery Chicken: I'm not sure exactly what we ate, but one afternoon our tuk-tuk driver took us into a food market in Hue, where we were led to a pair of small plastic stools sitting in 2 inches of some rancid looking water. At first we were a little unsure, but after noticing we were surrounded by 10 other Vietnamese locals all chowing down, we decided to give it a go. It's a good thing we did, because next thing you know the woman reaches over and gives us 4 skewers of mystery chicken (at least I think it was chicken). Honestly it was so good that we ended up ordering many more skewers, and after a few cans of Huda beer, we didn't even care if it was chicken or not, as it was so damn good.  Our favorite food from Saigon: Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio - A combination of grilled meat, fried spring rolls and sweet and sour sauce all on top of rice vermicelli noodles, fresh lettuce and herbs. Best served street side on a child's stool.  Phở: The Phở  served in Saigon seemed to come in much larger bowls, smaller noodles and with all the delicious accoutrements I could want - mint, cilantro, bean sprouts, sawtooth herbs, lime and hoisen sauce.  Ca Phe Da: More commonly known as Vietnamese Iced  Coffee.You can find this almost anywhere in Vietnam and it's so much more than just coffee. It's dessert, it's energy, it's just delicious! It's made with coarsely ground Vietnamese-grown dark roast coffee, individually brewed with a small metal French drip filter. It's then poured into a cup containing as much sweetened condensed milk, stirred and poured over ice. Chris drank like 4 of these a each day.  Square One Restaurant: Ok, this one is not a dish, but an actual restaurant. Located inside the Park Hyatt hotel, this was one of the best meals we had in Saigon. We wanted to dress up a bit and see what the fine dining scene was like in Saigon. With an open kitchen and chic decor, we dined on authentic Vietnamese dishes and had great wine and cocktails. 


Honeymoon Paradise for Less (You MUST See the Perks!)

Real talk from a bride-to-be: Never did I fully comprehend the huge buildup and subsequent letdown of sketching out a honeymoon plan until I got engaged. Years ago, before even I met my fiancé, I naturally assumed that the grown-up me would go on a romantic, Ulysses-esque epic honeymoon journey. Maybe we'd see the Acropolis in Athens, swing through the Piedmont region of Italy to sample Barolos, stop in French Polynesia to admire exotic birds from an overwater bungalow, take the train to the South of France for aromatherapy in fields of lavender, taste street food in Thailand, and then spend a night or two in L.A. in a hotel with a full view of the Hollywood sign en route home to New York... I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea. I was gonna go big. Now close your eyes and imagine the sound of a record needle screeching and young dreams shattering, because that's what happened when I entered the preliminary figures for my wedding budget into an Excel spreadsheet. That initial lump sum of money that would have been perfect for embarking on a mini 'round-the-world excursion quickly got chopped in half, and then in half again, and then in half again due to the cost of having to actually get married and hold a reception. Whatever amount is left over is fair game, but waving buh-bye to all of that cash is, ironically, heartbreaking. To all the brave couples who eloped; created a honeymoon registry on a site like Honeyfund, Zola, or Blueprint Registry; or threw a modest wedding in order to spend on a massive trip later, you have my utmost respect...and envy. Like many of you who are mapping out a post-wedding escape, I'm going to have to cut honeymoon costs where I can once we nail down a destination. But if there's one thing I believe, it's that Budget Travelers shouldn't have to sacrifice the perks they fantasize about in order to vacation within their means. In that spirit, we found six affordable honeymoon resorts and hot spots that not only welcome newly married couples, but offer a slew of free extras—we're talking complimentary bubbly, on-the-house farm-to-table meals, and free activities like nighttime concerts. Because when you're looking to take a breather from wedding madness and get to know your partner better, those little add-ons are priceless...or so I've heard. Negril, Jamaica: Sunset at the Palms Prepare for Romance with a capital "R" at the all-inclusive, adults-only Sunset at the Palms resort, which consistently gets high marks from travelers for its romance quotient and intimate, tropical atmosphere (think 10 acres of lush gardens and rustic, elevated treehouse-style bungalows with Asian-inspired decor). Cost: From $226 per couple, per night, all-inclusive Perks for lovers: Stay five nights or more and get a free bottle of champagne and 15 percent off spa services. (Mention the Free Honeymoon Package.) An upgrade to the Romance at Sunset package that includes a massage and four-course dinner is available at an extra cost, but if you're trying to work within your budget (and who isn't), the Sunset chain offers a honeymoon registry through Honeymoon Wishes so your guests can gift you everything from safaris to indulgent spa services like milk-and-honey body wraps. There is, however, a service and handling fee of up to 9.65 percent that you and the gift purchaser are responsible for, so if that bugs you, you might be better off asking for cash-stuffed envelopes instead. Walla Walla, Washington: Marcus Whitman Hotel How does a no-cost glass of wine or two sound after all that anticipated wedding hooplah? If your answer is "oustanding," consider Washington's wine country, says Dr. Pepper Schwartz, author of Places for Passion. The Marcus Whitman Hotel downtown can serve as home base. "There are numerous wine tasting places within a few blocks, many of which will not charge for the chance to sample their wines," she says. Cost: From $125 per couple, per night Perks for lovers: The Marcus Whitman has a free hot breakfast, and complimentary wine from surrounding tasting rooms is plentiful, even on non-"barrel" weekends, when winemakers show off their new vintages and dole out samples. Check out the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance's website for more information. Nassau, Bahamas: Breezes Resort & Spa Who wants a free wedding? "Super-inclusive," no-tipping-allowed Breezes Resort & Spa on Nassau's Cable Beach offers a complimentary Endless Love package that provides a wedding planner, cake, officiant, marriage license, bouquet/boutonniere, champagne, music and festive decor, and four guest passes. Also available gratis upon request: a sand ceremony, jumping the broom, and a unity candle lighting. Aside from weddings, the 391-room resort has a restaurant equipped with loveseat-style tables for two in their Garden of Eden restaurant and a rule that all resort guests must be 14 years or older. Cost: $200 per person, per night, all-inclusive (check the resort's deals page for discounts) Perks for lovers: Did we mention the free wedding? Even if you're getting hitched somewhere else, all honeymooners get in-room fresh fruit and sparkling wine. Marfa, Texas: El Cosmico hotel and campground Earthy couples, if all you want after you tie the knot is calm and reconnection in a hip, artsy, pared-down atmosphere, El Cosmico "nomadic hotel and campground" in the Texas desert is for you. Pick a tepee, yurt, trailer, or tent to sleep in—but know that this isn't your grandpa's campsite. You're welcome to go spartan with an $85-per-night tent and use the communal kitchen and bathhouse, but even the top-end restored vintage Imperial Mansion trailer is affordable at $170 a night, and it comes with its own full kitchen, bath, heat/AC, and private cedar deck, with two Acapulco chairs for gazing out on the West Texas evening together. Cost: From $85 per couple, per night Perks for lovers: Quiet hours start at 11 p.m. every night. Free outdoor concerts called Sunset Soundtracks occur under the stars at regular intervals, as do reasonably priced classes like craft-spirit-making sessions. When evening rolls around, rent a wood-fired hot tub for four hours for $85—the hotel will stoke the fires for you (don't worry, that's not a euphemism). Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Barceló Bávaro Beach If a veritable king and queen's banquet of honeymoon perks at a value rate appeals to you and your new spouse, Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, offers nice extras for cheap, says Susan Breslow, honeymoons expert at One example: the adults-only, all-inclusive resort Barceló Bávaro Beach, a 589-room behemoth with nine à la carte restaurants perfect for having romantic dinners sans the buffet-table lines. Cost: From $168 per person, per night, all-inclusive Perks for lovers: Barceló's In Love package is completely free. Here's what you get: a room upgrade, late check-out, a bottle of sparkling wine delivered to the room, honeymooners' T-shirts (because why not?), a 15 percent discount on spa services, a 10 percent discount on tours with Vacaciones Barceló, and a printed picture from the photo shop. Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania: Glasbern Inn R&R is inescapable at the Glasbern Inn, a country retreat that offers elopement packages (larger, full wedding packages are available too). As honeymoon accommodations go, relationships expert Schwartz says the half-timbered rooms, fireplaces, and beautiful grounds are darn near unbeatable, especially in the wintertime. Cost: From $150 per couple, per night Perks for lovers: A full country breakfast for two is included, as are free farm walking trails for private strolls. Even one of the least expensive Main Barn rooms has a whirlpool and a separate private sun room. Do you have any honeymoon-planning advice for me? I need all the help I can get! Tell me your best advice in the comments.