Today's travel intel

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--The Feds are changing U.S. passport rules yet again. Later today, Homeland Security is expected to announce that U.S. citizens will only have to show a passport or a birth certificate to prove their citizenship at land and sea crossings beginning in January 2008. Eventually, however, the rules will be tightened so that only passports will be accepted by border officials. Homeland Security is responding to a crushing backlog of passport applications. A large majority of Americans do not have passports. [This AP story via]

--Sheraton and Westin hotels will ban artificial trans fats from the food they serve guests by year-end. The ban applies to restaurants, room service, and bars. Earlier: Radisson and Carlson ban trans fats. Other hotels, cruise ships, and theme parks are also banning trans fats.

--RV Rally this weekend. The nation's largest RV Rally happens July 19 to 22 at Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon. Events include a attempt to break the World Record for "Largest Whoopee Cushion Sit"--plus, a canine swim suit competition and dog/owner look-alike contest. A day ticket costs $10 for adults. Campsites start at $169 per couple. Related: Expert RV advice.

--Fare sales to Ireland. Flights from the U.S. to Shannon are as low as $500 round-trip, including taxes. [via]

--Travelers are more likely to book a weekend getaway online than a long trip. Three night leisure trips are the most popular type of trips bought at online travel websites, according to a new report from PhoCusWright. [via this June 8 press release]

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