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Deal Alert: Disney World Offers Free Dining Plan for Select Fall Stays

Flickr/Anthony Quintano

When it comes to planning a trip to Walt Disney World, there are three important things you have to worry about: the hotel stay, park tickets, and food. Fortunately if you’re thinking of vacationing at the resort later this year, you might be able to cross food off your list of expenses.

Disney World is offering its immensely popular free dining plan promotion for stays on select dates between August 28 and December 21 – essentially giving you free food for your entire stay. That’s a savings of at least a $42 per person, per night, depending on which dining plan you choose.

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4 Ways to Save on Spendy Maui

Laura Motta

It’s easy to see why people are lured to Maui year after year. Beyond the spectacular beaches and scenery, Americans don’t need a passport to visit, and they’ll enjoy all the comforts of traveling close to home — familiar language, signage, and currency. But if you look beyond the luxury hotels and wallet-busting restaurants that saturate the island, there are simple ways to save. Here are four that you can try.

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Kimpton Hotels Gear Up for National Bike Month with Packages

Kimpton Hotels

May is National Bike Month. To celebrate and encourage people to spin those wheels, a number of Kimpton hotels are offering related packages all month long. The properties already offer complimentary bicycle rentals year-round, but they’ve tossed in a few extra perks and discounts for May, too. Book one of these and get pedaling.

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santa cruz island - channel islands national park in california

Flickr/David Wan

The Channel Islands are a chain of five islands 25 miles off the coast of California, most dramatically visible from the shores of the central coast. Preserved collectively as a National Park, the islands are ripe outdoor recreation like hiking, kayaking, and camping. While it’s possible to stay on all five islands, most overnight visitors find themselves on the largest, Santa Cruz. Three quarters of it is a nature conservatory, and it features two different styles of campsites. So how can you pull this off in a long weekend? Here’s all you need to know about reaching one of our country’s most isolated National Parks:

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mayflower renaissance hotel washington dc

Mayflower Renaissance Hotel

This Memorial Day, don’t get suckered into paying premiums to travel during the holiday. Whether you crave beach bliss, action-packed entertainment, or a little dose of history, we’ve uncovered hotel deals ranging from just $106 to $239 per night. Ready to hit the road?

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Cloud Rest

Matthew Minucci

The Big Island could easily have been named the “The Endless Island,” with its eight climate zones and 4,000-plus square miles of mostly raw landscapes to explore. You’ll land in a terrain that looks flat and moon-like — only to step on the gas and, to the east, find yourself in a mountain rainforest zone of lush emerald-colored canopy and moss-draped trees. And while Hawaii is known to be spendy, penny savers can still rejoice: This does not have to be a terribly expensive island…if you know where to look (and once you plunk down the fare to get there, of course). Here are some ideas to get you into that aloha spirit.

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Nokia Here Apps

Nokia

Today, smartphones are arguably better navigators than those traditional GPS units that sit on the dashboard, thanks to real-time map updates and an infinitely searchable database. That’s as long as you have internet connection, of course. But what happens when you’re in a remote region here in the States without a signal — or are trying to save cash with no data plan abroad? We rounded up a few downloadable maps that allow for perusal and turn-by-turn routing, even when you’re offline.

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rome, behind piazza di spagna - Flickr_Moyan Brenn

Flickr/Moyan Brenn

Earlier this spring, some of Waldorf Astoria’s most talented chefs from around the world partnered up with five James Beard Foundation chefs in a competition to create the best locally inspired dish for the year. The WA master chefs helm kitchens in all corners of the globe, from Rome to Shanghai to Palm Springs, California. Naturally, we picked their brains for the best ways travelers can taste their cities. (And if you can’t make it to them all? You can now tuck into the winning truffle-laced Celery Risotto Alla Waldorf at any of the brand’s 26 properties.)

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new york to san francisco for the weekend

A New York to San Francisco weekend trip is totally doable, especially if you fly on Thursday night and head back on the Sunday night red-eye. (Photo: Christine Amorose/C’est Christine)

By Christine Amorose for Yahoo! Travel

Here’s one of life’s biggest ironies: Long-term travelers have all the time in the world, but not necessarily a ton of cash. When you’re working full-time, however, it’s easy to watch your bank account fill up—but feel as if you don’t have the time or ability to travel. Sometimes, it’s the guilt factor: You don’t feel as if you can really “leave,” even when you’re on vacation. Other times, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort: How much can you really see in Thailand when you only have 10 days off, and that (expensive) flight takes up two of them?

Traveling when you work full-time is possible, though. I should know, because I do it myself. Since I moved to New York City in 2012 and started a full-time position in marketing (with 15 allotted vacation days per year), I’ve visited my hometown in California twice, and also traveled to the Bahamas, Las Vegas, Jordan, Iceland, Portland, San Francisco, Montreal, Miami, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. It’s not always easy, but I’ve made travel a priority without sacrificing my beloved fixed life. Here are my tried-and-true tricks to incorporate more travel into your 9-5 grind.

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lush solid shampoo and soap bars

Facebook.com/LUSHCosmetics

For those of us who travel often, keeping our toiletry and beauty essentials within TSA limits just got easier. Thanks to the brave new world of beauty, some of our traditional mainstays now come in solid form. (This means a lighter bag, too, if you’re backpacking anywhere this summer.) These are our favorite non-liquid beauty products:

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6 Must-Eat Street Foods of Jerusalem

Flickr/Julien Menichini

Every budget-savvy travelers loves a good street food destination, and Jerusalem is one of the best. From classic vegetable stalls to fragrant falafel stands, here’s what you should order for affordable eats when you’re in the city.

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drinks on the balcony - norwegian cruise line

facebook.com/NorwegianCruiseLine

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

In a first for ocean-going cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line is expanding its all-inclusive concept to cover free beer, wine, and cocktails (up to $11 in value) for adults, plus free soda and juices for youngster ages 3 to 20. It’s a practice typically found only on luxury lines and on river ships, and it’s being rolled out next January on just one ship, the 2,000-passenger Norwegian Sky (at least for now). But how much of a bargain is it, exactly? It would depend on your typical bar tab. Here’s a comparison: The cruise fare for a three-night Bahamas cruise from Miami in January aboard Norwegian Sky starts at $339 per person — while a Carnival cruise for three nights to the Western Caribbean the same month, aboard the 2,000-passenger Carnival Ecstasy, begins at $179 per person sans free drinks.

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Facebook, Emergency Alerts

Darren Murph

The recent Nepal earthquake is devastating, but it’s worth noting that, in the wake of disaster, a handful of technology companies have stepped up to provide help in any way that they can. One of those ways is by enabling people on the ground to easily get the one message that matters back home: “I’m safe.” Planning for unforeseen events is a necessary part of travel, which is why we think it’s importantly to understand exactly how two features from Google and Facebook in particular work, before you head out on your next adventure.

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Capella Marigot Bay Resort & Marina - Saint Lucia, Caribbean

Capella Marigot Bay Resort & Marina

Capella Marigot Bay Resort & Marina, snug on the shoreline along Marigot Bay in Saint Lucia, is the newest member of the Cappella Hotels brand (joining others in Düsseldorf, Singapore, and more). Since it’s re-opening last fall, the 124-room resort has charmed travelers with a taste for luxury with riots of tropical foliage everywhere you turn. And to kick off its first summer, the resort is offering a 50 percent discount off its suites, to make that luxury more affordable for all of us.

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Google Project Fi

Google

We already know that standard international roaming rates can lead to horror stories of coming home to insanely high smartphone bills. That’s why many of us simply switch our smartphones to airplane mode when heading to a foreign land, relying on spotty and inconsistent WiFi signals to attempt to stay in touch. But there’s a better way, especially with all the different services available — including Google’s new Project Fi. If you’re heading to Europe to take advantage of the current awesome exchange rate that you probably keep hearing about, check out these three services before you go.

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