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Best value in RV campers

By Budget Travel
October 3, 2012
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Courtesy Kampgrounds of America

Airstreams first hit the highways 78 years ago, and now the silver bullet is having a renaissance. Kampgrounds of America has teamed up with the RV manufacturer to offer nightly Airstream rentals at campsites across the U.S. KOA hasn't confirmed just how many parks will participate, but 25 Airstreams are already available in Sugarloaf Key, Fla.; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Las Vegas.

—Andrea Sachs, from the May 2009 issue of Budget Travel

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Greyhound gets fancy new buses and gives away tickets via Twitter

Greyhound has debuted new buses on its routes out of New York City to Boston, Montreal, and Toronto, and the company will replace the rest of its fleet in the coming months. Perks on the new buses include free Wi-Fi, three inches of additional leg room, and power outlets for charging laptops and other devices. To celebrate Greyhound's exciting new changes, BudgetTravel.com's This Just In blog is partnering with Greyhound for a ticket giveaway. You have a chance to win one of two pairs of round-trip tickets good for any Greyhound route in the U.S. and/or Canada. To be entered to win, Budget Travel readers need to join the free Twitter.com microblogging service and follow @GreyhoundBus (at (twitter.com/GreyhoundBus) and/or @BudTravel, post a Tweet (in other words, a short message) along these lines: So exciting! @GreyhoundBus redefines bus travel with its more comfortable #NewBus! @BudTravel [this Budget Travel blog post, or http://budurl.com/w8s7] Greyhound will select one lucky winner each day, over the next two calendar days. It will announce the winner here on our blog, This Just In, and on Twitter in our budtravel newsfeed. Contest open to anyone in the US and Canada, but: The winner must be 18 or over. Greyhound and Washington Post company employees are not eligible. Not valid for Province of Quebec residents. Void where prohibited. UPDATE: CONGRATS TO http://twitter.com/travelinganna, OUR FIRST WINNER (3:45 p.m. ET, Tuesday) Twitter is the free service for posting and reading 140-character messages on the Internet, using your computer or a smartphone. Many of its users are avid travelers and share great tips. EARLIER Buses are back, at least for trips between cities

Travel Tips

Bed bugs are spreading, but beagles may help combat them

The six-legged insects that slurp your blood at night were the focus of a just-published study in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Infestations are rapidly increasing worldwide," say researchers. Increased travel, insecticide resistance, and changes in pest control practices are contributing to the spread of bed bugs. In New York City alone, bed bug infestations jumped by more than 30 percent last year, says Newsday. Since July, there have been 449 violations of anti-bed-bug health codes in the city, says the New York Times. First, the good news: "There is little evidence that they are vectors of communicable disease." In other words, bed bugs aren't spreading illnesses. They just cause allergic reactions: namely, itchy, red, raised bumps on the surface of your skin. Other reactions include hives, whelps or wheals on the skin, small swollen areas that contain pus, and blistering. The bad news? The medical field hasn't yet set up a series of protocols for treating bites from these vicious bloodsuckers. Treatments typically include prescription antihistamines and steroid creams as well as adrenalin injections for up to one week. Says the Mayo Clinic, "Bedbugs inject an anticoagulant to keep your blood flowing as they suck, along with a numbing agent to keep you from feeling them when they're at work." Luckily, adorable beagles may help combat the bed bug menace. The National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA) is increasing its efforts to certify beagles as legitimate help to sniffing out bed bugs. For example, Isotech, a pest control company in Covina, Calif., has 3 dogs certified by NESDCA to hunt down bed bugs and their eggs at hotels and other locations. Beagles Bailey, age 7, and Maddie, age 3, and beagle mix Zip, age 2 were part of a pest control team that did 18,000 inspections last year, reports People Pets. The dogs begin training from age one. Says their owner, “They can identify a very small amount of bed bugs down to just one egg." Wow! EARLIER Should taxpayers fund the war against bedbugs? (35-plus comments)

Travel Tips

Suggestions for an editor going to Paris?

I'm heading to Paris on assignment for BudgetTravel.com. In between investigating great, affordable hotel options and trying out the free Velib' bikes system (on video!), I'm looking to you to help me find some of the city's gems. First up, food: Who makes the best macarons in the city? Which bakery serves the tastiest almond croissants? Where should I go for a fantastic baguette sandwich? I'm also looking for small, quirky movie theaters—especially theaters where I can kick back with a drink, too. I'll check out as many of your recommendations as I can while I'm there and report back. Thanks in advance!

Travel Tips

Hotel: Tax-relief packages for April

With April 15 around the corner, a couple of hotel chains are offering tax-themed discounts. Apple Core Hotels, a group of five midtown Manhattan properties, is offering 10 rooms at $4.15 a pop through a lottery system held on March 30. The reduced Tax Time rate includes all hotel taxes and fees. Only 10 names will be drawn for one-night stays between April 1 and 15 at these participating properties: La Quinta Inn Manhattan, Red Roof Inn Manhattan, Comfort Inn Midtown, The Hotel @ Times Square, and the Ramada Inn East Side. To qualify for the drawing, you must call Apple Core's reservations department at 800/567-7720 by Mar. 29. Even if you don't score one of the 10 rooms, the usual room rate at the five properties starts at an affordable $125, and includes breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Kimpton Hotels is waiving the room tax at 41 properties nationwide. After checking in, you'll also receive a voucher that covers the tax on a meal at one of the participating restaurants in the area. You'll also get late checkout and a few candy bars like Payday or 100 Grand. Here are some examples of how much you can save: • San Francisco has eight participating hotels. At Hotel Monaco, for example, one night typically starts at $179 without taxes. Based on a 15.5 percent room tax, this deal would then save you about $28. The room rate includes free Wi-Fi and a complimentary evening reception with wine. • In D.C., the average starting rate for the seven participating properties is $162 per night, so you'd save about $23.50 based on a 14.5 percent tax. • In New York City, the two participating Kimptons start at $229, so this promotion saves you about $30 based on a 13.25 percent room tax. You must enter rate code PTAX at Kimptonhotels.com for stays from Apr. 1 through Apr. 30. Check the Kimpton website for more details on the Sweet Tax Relief program.

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