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Guilt Trip: How Many Vacation Rules Have You Broken?

July 22, 2014 by

By Reggie Nadelson for Yahoo! Travel

The secret’s out: many of us break the rules on our vacations — and we have a lot of fun doing it.

OK, fess up. I know you’ve been a dedicated traveler. Determined, you have moved from country to country, seeing the best there is: the baroque beauties of Munich, China’s stone warriors, the Alhambra of Granada. You have tasted fried flies in Southeast Asia and fallen asleep from too much of that heavy borscht in Russia. You’ve scrupulously followed the advice of all the travel guides; you’ve done all the “must do’s,” seen all the “must sees,” and eaten all the “must eats.” As far as traveling goes, you’ve followed all the rules.

Related: “We’re Over It”: What are the Most Overrated Cities in the World?

But what about [whisper] … the time you ate the cheeseburger in Copenhagen instead of sampling the latest gourmet capital’s broiled bees, or essence of oak, whatever that is? Or when you spent a weekend in Paris not examining Notre Dame’s stained glass but on the back of that handsome young Parisian’s motorbike? Or take my pal, who went to Rio with a girlfriend. Instead of seeing the sights, they spent a week holed up in a great hotel ordering caipirinhas, the fabulous Brazilian cocktails, from room service and listening to bossa nova and … well, I’ll have to draw the curtain here. But they are married now and he makes a fabulous caipirinha.

drinking-in-rio

Blame it on Rio or Blame it on the Alcohol — one couple decided they’d rather look at caipirinhas than Rio’s attractions (Photo: adrivdm/Flickr)

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Eastern Europe: Better Views, Cheaper Prices, and Fewer Crowds

July 22, 2014 by

estonia - Jean-Pierre Dalbéra - 620

Paris, Rome, and London are all classic first-time Eurotrip destinations. But for savvy or returning travelers, Eastern European cities — think: Prague, Budapest, and Tallinn, among offers — offer just as much beauty and history, but at cheaper prices and in fewer crowds. Although communism clothed much of the area a few decades ago, the region has largely shed that attire and now welcomes travelers with eclectic mixes of medieval architecture and preserved fortresses alongside Soviet era blocks and 21st century designs. With so many nations to discover, here’s where to start:

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The Dynamic Pricing Trap: What It Is, and How to Avoid It When You’re Booking Travel

July 22, 2014 by

Blue Airline Seats

For as much as the Internet empowers, there’s a dark side to your Web browser — namely in it’s ability to identify you as you. While it’s mighty convenient to allow your computer to remember your password, recall your username for login fields, and even save your address for online shopping, doing so may come back to bite you when you’re purchasing travel (and other goods and services). This phenomenon has become known as “dynamic pricing,” where online retailers adjust pricing for different shoppers based on factors like where they live and even what computers they use. It’s been around for a while, but the issue recently made its way into the limelight again thanks to Resolution 787 — a controversial proposal that could potentially further enable “customized” pricing.

So what’s a consumer to do? In general, the less the companies about you, the more likely you are to get a fair price. Here are a few tips on maintaining a higher level of secrecy, which could very well save you a few dollars on your next ticket purchase: Read more

Checking In: The Peninsula Paris

July 22, 2014 by

The Peninsula Paris

Ready for some amazing hotel eye candy? On August 1, The Peninsula Paris will open its doors as the first European outpost for this iconic hotel brand. Located on Avenue Kléber in the 16th arrondissement, guests will be just a stone’s throw to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées.

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How Travel Can Help Endangered Animals

July 21, 2014 by

elephantandbyond

The prospect of seeing exotic animals in the wild is the reason many travelers long to visit far-off countries. But it’s human interaction — to varying degrees — that’s leading to the extinction of these very animals. If you weren’t already aware of the crisis surrounding African elephants, the outpouring of grief over the recent poaching of the beloved Satao, one of the biggest elephants in the world, has made the situation clear.

Each year, at least 33,000 elephants are killed for ivory; a trade is primarily driven by a growing demand in Asia, particularly China. If the killing continues at this pace, the African elephant could be extinct within 10 years. You can help by boycotting products that contain ivory (it’s illegal to sell it in the United States) and by supporting organizations such as Tsavo Trust, Save the Elephants, and the Elephant Crisis Fund. National Geographic also suggests contacting the Chinese Foreign Trade Management Department Economic Service to demand the country end its use of ivory. If you’re planning to travel to Africa, one of the best ways to protect the elephants is by booking a safari that visits community wildlife conservancies. Those that do include Big Five ToursAustin-Lehman Adventures, andBeyond, and National Geographic Expeditions.

Here are three other ways that the travel industry is helping to protect threatened species — and how you can be a part of it.

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Checking In: A Chic New Hotel in North Palm Beach

July 21, 2014 by

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The North Palm Beach area of Southeast Florida hasn’t historically been ripe with options for out-of-town travelers — but that’s all about to change come fall, with the opening of the Wyndham Grand Jupiter. The hotel boasts a prime location within Harbourside Place, a new $510 million development that promises impressive dining, cultural, retail, and entertainment offerings. And with the opening, of course, also comes a great deal.

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You Say Grenada, I Say Granada: 8 Pairs of Cities that Sound Alike, but Are Totally Different

July 21, 2014 by

Granada 1

Sounds impossible to buy a ticket to the wrong destination, right? You’d never mistake York, England for New York State. But would you notice an airline issuing a plane ticket for Grenada instead of Granada, like British Airways did last month? Or the 1,500 mile difference between airline codes SJO and SJU? Believe it or not, these things do happen. Here, 9 commonly confused cities that should make you check your boarding card.

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Strike It Rich (Maybe…) in These U.S. Mining Cities

July 21, 2014 by

panning - hillary stein

Want to come back from vacation with more money in your pocket than when you left? Vegas, thankfully, isn’t your only option. In a few mining destinations across the U.S., finders are keepers. Plan a visit around these cities where you can hunt for treasure — and take home what you find.

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Kansas City, MO: A Budget Traveler’s Midwest Paradise

July 18, 2014 by

kansas city - allen brewer - 620

While vacationers often gravitate toward coastal paradises, America’s heartland is often missed as a vacation — except for those on the Kerouacian road-trip. But Kansas City is ripe for exploration, firstly because it’s a mere three-hour flight from either coast. It’s also one of the cheapest Midwest destinations to fly into — airfare is competitive because no airline has a hub and major claim there. Secondly, KC has tons to offer on countless cultural fronts, from its historic jazz foundation to epic barbecue spots to trendy boutiques galore. If you need proof, consider this: Both Google and Lego love the city enough to use it as fertile testing grounds (Google Fiber and Legoland, respectively). The cherry on top? All of the below adventures will hardly dent your wallet.

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Foodie Friday: 5 Over-the-Top Regional Eats & Where to Try Them

July 18, 2014 by

ooey gooey butter cake - christine wei - 620 copy

There’s no excuse like being on vacation to indulge in decadent dishes that you’d feel guilty about tucking into at home, right? Plus, eating local is part of the cultural experience of any destination. Here, five bizarre and over-the-top regional eats — and where to try them if you so dare:

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4 Beauty Kits to Fit Your Carry-On and Your Budget

July 18, 2014 by

MoltonBrown

Regardless of length, flights can wreak havoc on your beauty routine. With inflight humidity levels as low as 10-20 percent (compared to outdoor air which is over 35 percent), the airplane environment can cause lips to chap and skin to dehydrate.

There are several TSA-friendly beauty kits that contain several skincare and beauty solutions, at prices that won’t make you wince. Here are our favorites:

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Rust Belt on the Rise: Cleveland

July 17, 2014 by

Cleveland 1

Who vacations in Cleveland?

Surely, not enough people. Like many Rust Belt cities, Cleveland’s associated with joblessness, dilapidation, and general unsavoriness. But contrary to these common views, the city’s been slowly transforming into an affordable enclave for the trendy, the foodies, and cost-conscious travelers of all kinds. The Tremont district, for example, is filling up with boutiques and quality restaurants — even Iron Chefs love the famous West Side Market. The next time you have a weekend to spare, here’s what you should include on your Cleveland itinerary:

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New (and Affordable) in Istanbul: Chic Hotels & Culinary Hot Spots

July 17, 2014 by

RoomMate Kerem - 620

Maybe it’s the markets selling exotic spices and flavorful tea, or maybe it’s the alluring juxtaposition of ancient mosques and modern architecture. And then there’s the cuisine, from Old World street fare or 21st-century takes on Mediterranean delights. Whatever the reason, it seems that these days the flights to Istanbul are packed with tourists ready to get full on food.

Future visitors will be delighted to hear that Istanbul has responded to its growing popularity by building more everything — more hotels, more restaurants, and more bars and shops. Best of all, many of these new options to rest your head and fill your belly come at a favorable price. Here are some of our favorite picks:

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Which Disney Restaurant Is Best for You?

July 17, 2014 by

'Ohana Restaurant, Walt Disney WorldIf you’ve ever planned, or are in the midst of planning, a Disney World vacation, you know that there are dozens of decisions to make. Where should you stay, and for how long? What kind of tickets are you going to buy? Where should you eat?

The last question might be the hardest to answer, because there are at least 80 table-service restaurants throughout the resort. Here are a few suggestions for different types of guests, and for those picky or adventurous eaters.

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How to: Visit Portland, Oregon on a Budget

July 17, 2014 by

portland - stuart seeger - 620

Looking to plan your next vacation but don’t want to spend a fortune? For an enriching getaway that doesn’t break the bank, Portland’s utopia of sustainability, cycling, good eats, and natural beauty has you covered.

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