Today's budget travel intel

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--Parents find that it's getting harder to take vacations. The traditional three-month school vacation has shrunk to two in most parts of the country. This shrinking timespan is pressuring working parents, who compete with co-workers to book vacation weeks. Yet some parents are fighting back through their state legislatures: Six states have passed laws in the past three years delaying school opening dates until late August, according to this story in the Wall Street Journal (online subscription required). In the meantime, parents can use Budget Travel's Family Handbook, which offers ways to cut costs, entertain the kids, and resolve common problems.

--London for less during the summer. Discount airline Zoom is set to offer round-trip airfares from New York City for $700, after taxes. That's the word from the ace airfare trackers at This Just Inhas been following this story, and we'll let you know when Zoom, a Canadian air carrier, starts selling tickets in the U.S. The first flights are slated to depart around June 21.

--Signspotting overseas. Imagine seeing this phrase on a sign during a visit to Japan: "Conform to Japanese Customs!" Heck, don't imagine it. Look at the sign itself here, posted by the blog Japundit. Every month, Budget Travel invites readers to write captions for funny photos like that. See this month's contest by clicking here.

--"Can you still recline on the cheap?" In a word, no. It's becoming harder to buy more than one seat and stretch out on transatlantic flights, as CloudTravel points out in this post.

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