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What's your dream trip?

By Tom Foster
updated September 29, 2021
Ryan Heffernan

Going on safari. Spending a week on a private island. Climbing Kilimanjaro, driving cross-country, floating the Grand Canyon… We call them Dream Trips, and every year we publish a special issue dedicated to making them real. As we get ready for the next installment, we'd like to know: What's your dream trip?

I'll start: My dream trip is a sea-kayaking excursion in the Galápagos, and I'm hoping to do it in the next year.

So share your dreams with us! You may just find the perfect Budget Travel itinerary in an upcoming issue…

Also: How long would a trip need to qualify as a dream trip? How would you be willing to sacrifice in order to make your dream trip happen next year?

Keep reading

Rome: August discounts for visitors under 30

The annual summer exodus from Rome is underway, with businesses shuttering and locals braving traffic-clogged roads to get to the surrounding beaches or mountains. But this time, city officials are hard at work to lure tourists with a new Enjoy Rome Low Cost promotion for those 18 to 29. Make the most of being under 30, as the officials say, by stopping at one of the tourist information offices near major sights like the Colosseum and Termini Station to pick up a free promo card. Present the card, along with an ID with your date of birth, to get discounts at participating restaurants, hotels, shops, museums, and even on public transportation. Here's a sampling of the offers available through August 31: double rooms for €60 instead of €100 at the Hotel Montreal; tickets for an open-top bus tour at €15 instead of €20; the Roma Pass for €21 instead of €23, along with 10 percent off all purchases at 12 city-owned museums; and special menus from €5 at 30 restaurants. Get the complete details at en.turismoroma.it or by calling 011-39/06-06-08. [Thanks for the tip, Erica!]


Paris: 3 fun summer art shows

During the hot month of August, the Paris art scene sheds pretension almost as fast as les franaçises shed excess clothing. Summer exhibitions are fun, accessible, and delightfully low-brow. They're also one of the few Parisian spaces (along with supermarkets and movie theaters) where you can be assured of air conditioning. As the temperature rises, the following shows are guaranteed to keep you cool. "Kandinksy" through August 10, 2009 This landmark retrospective provides a coherent introduction to the colorful work of Russian painter Wassily Kandisky. Organizers say the exhibition "goes beyond the narrow posthumous conception of him as "inventor of abstraction." Local blogger John Talbott says, "I found the works in the last room from the 1930s and '40s to be almost playful experiments by an assured mature artist—not needing to sell or please anyone, he seems to be just having fun and I did too, just seeing them." Centre Pompidou, 19 rue Beaubourg, 4th arrondissement, €12 $16. "Planète Parr" (Martin Parr) through September 27 I fell in love with photographer Martin Parr the moment I saw his travel-oriented Small World series. The same sense of humor shines in this exhibition at the Jeu de Paume. Along with his photographs that poke fun at luxury, Parr has also put his personal collection of kitsch collectibles on display. As local art blog The Great Exposition writes, "by displaying these photos alongside his collection of cheap souvenirs (Obama flip-flops, special edition Spice Girl chocolate bars, Saddam Hussein watches), the exhibition reveals Parr's interest in global consumer culture and his subtle satire of modern mores." Jeu de Paume, 1 place de la Concorde, 1st arrondissement, €6, $8.50. "Born in the Streets" through November 29 An exhibition dedicated to graffiti and street art? This could only happen at the über-cool Fondation Cartier. Controversially asserting that this illegal activity has become an accepted art form in design and advertising, this contemporary arts museum has dedicated its entire gallery space to celebrating an artistic movement that was born in the streets of New York. They've also given over the building's façade to graffiti artists who are transforming the walls with new images every day. Fondation Cartier, 261 boulevard Raspail, 14th arrondissement, €5, $7. MORE AFFORDABLE PARIS Museums for free (10+ comments) Restaurants and bars to visit pre- or post-Louvre (10+ comments) Top free events this summer


Paris: 4 outdoor spots for drinks

When the temperature climbs, I want a leafy, outdoor café where I can linger without melting into my chair. And for that, these shady spots are where I recommend. La Bellevilloise On the eastern side of Paris, not far from the Pere Lachaise cemetery and Mama Shelter, you'll find my favorite summer café. La Bellevilloise is a neighborhood association, concert hall and restaurant. It also happens to have one of the prettiest rooftop terrasses in town. Filled with flowers and Ménilmontant hipsters, it's a fun place to meet before a concert on site or at the neighboring club La Maroquinerie. 19 rue Boyer, 20th arrondissement. Café A A few steps from the Canal Saint-Martin, this lovely terrasse is tucked inside the walls of a former convent. Few who pass by this building (La Maison de l'architecture) even know about the leafy interior courtyard with its green lawn and shaded tables. Still largely undiscovered, the café is better for sharing a private drink than for people watching. 148 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 10th arrondissement. The Café of the Luxembourg Garden Sitting under the shade trees approximately 320 feet northeast of the central pond, the café inside the Luxembourg Garden is one of my regular summer haunts. Service can be brusque, but it's a great place to sip pastis and watch the families, lovers, and tourists stroll by. Be sure to check out the beautiful fontaine de Médicis just a few steps north of the café. Boulevard Saint-Michel (inside the Jardin du Luxembourg) 6th arrondissement. Rosa Bonheur One of the newer terrasses on the scene, Rosa Bonheur opened last summer inside the jaw-dropping Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Its reputation has soared in recent months as local bobos have begun to make it their summer home à l'extérieur. As local blogger The Paris Notebook explains, you can even linger after the park gates have closed by entering through a special gate after 10 p.m. 2 allée de la Cascade (inside the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont), 19th arrondissement. CLICKABLES Paris: Which bistros are open and worthwhile in August? Best bakery in Paris? Critics agree that it's Du Pain et des Idees Our full Affordable Paris blog series


4 family vacation deals worth noting

Families looking to get away can take advantage of four kid-friendly programs and promotions in Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and elsewhere. Azul Hotels by Karisma has two properties in the Riviera Maya, Mexico: Azul Beach Hotel and Azul Sensatori Hotel. Why parents will love it: Before you even arrive, the all-inclusive resort can set up your room with strollers, cribs, monitors, bottle warmers, and baby bathrobes. The all-inclusive rate also covers Gerber baby food and free childcare at the Kid's Club one night a week. Kids under 3 stay free and children ages 3-12 get half off when sharing a room with their parents. At Azul Sensatori Hotel, a 35 percent off promotion gets you a night in a family Jacuzzi suite. If booked by Oct. 31, a family of four would pay $453 per night, compared to the regular price of $699. Connecting rooms are guaranteed if you book more than one room. Why kids will love it, too: The toy lending library has all the latest Fisher-Price toys, enough to entertain even the shortest attention span (karismahotels.com). JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., has partnered with Nickelodeon for a series of weekend retreats through Thanksgiving weekend.Why parents will love it: For $378, the Nick Getaway weekend package in Tucson includes two nights' hotel, kids' activities, and a free character breakfast for two adults and two kids. (Each child receives a special SpongeBob Squarepants or Dora The Explorer sleepover kit with pillowcase and Nickelodeon themed gifts.) Similar packages are available at four other Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance properties in the U.S. (nickelodeongetaway.com)Why kids will love it, too: Instead of just watching the cartoons, kids can start off their Saturday morning by dining with SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. During the day, there are relay races and other contests, followed by a classic Nickelodeon sliming. At night, kids can float on inner tubes and watch the free dive-in movies that are projected on a wall near the pool. As souvenirs, the kids can also take home the SpongeBob or Dora pillowcases in the rooms. Aston Hotels & Resorts can be found at 25 locations on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii. Why parents will love it: This year's Vacation Bailout room rates are up to 40 percent off the regular price. Try the Aston Waikiki Sunset condo resort, from $124 per night for two adults and up to the three kids. The one-bedroom suite has a full kitchen, and the resort has on-site washers and dryers. Until Dec. 21, kids 17 years and younger stay free and children 12 and under eat for free at participating restaurants. Why kids will love it, too: With a paying adult, kids also get in free at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Honolulu Zoo, and other island attractions. Cayman Islands Why parents will love it: Cayman Airways lets kids 11 and younger fly free with a paying adult. The Cayman Islands' Summer Splash promotion also lets kids stay and eat for free at nine participating hotels and 24 condo/villa properties. You have to book a four-night package by Sept. 2, but you get the fifth night free. This deal is valid until Sept. 7. Why kids will love it, too: Kids ages 12 to 18 can learn to scuba dive for 50 percent off the regular rate when diving with a paying adult. MORE REAL DEALS FOR FAMILIES Budget Travel editors have hand-picked today's best family-friendly vacation packages, starting from $69 a night