How May We Help You?

Nina Willdorf

In transit with my daughter

Three friends recently asked me where they should go on last-minute vacations. One was taking a family road trip through the Midwest; another was looking for a Caribbean deal; and a third was thinking about a luxurious splurge—at a good value, of course.

Acting as travel agent is something I shy away from because, man, is it a slippery slope. Beyond the fact that giving tailored advice to everyone would be impossible, it just so happens that the answers to people's questions almost always lie within the pages of this magazine. Family-friendly getaway? Check out our indoor water parks. Warm-weather bargain? Hello, Pie de la Cuesta, Mexico. Worthy extravagance? We've got a whole feature on fabulous beach bungalows in French Polynesia; sure, the flight's a stretch, but the sweet waterside rental houses only cost about $200 a night for four people.

Paring down the world to its essentials is what we do here at Budget Travel, and you can be sure that every place we cover has been vetted within an inch of its life. To that end, you'll notice some changes in this issue. Instead of segregating our destination advice (formerly known as Where Next) and our strategic advice (formerly known as How to Travel Now), we've created one romp of a section in the front called—yes—Essentials. A mashup of tech tools, newsworthy places to go now, hot new gear, and of-the-moment insider tips, Essentials is meant to be fundamental, and just plain fun. Because being thoughtful and deliberate about spending is at the heart of what we do—and that goes for your time just as much as for your money.

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