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Checking In: New Jamaican Budget Boutique Lodgings

September 23, 2014 by

jackspratshack

Later this month, Jake’s, a collection of 15 chic low-key cottages in the quiet fishing village of Treasure Island on Jamaica’s southern coast, will open a nearby grown-up hostel-style option for travelers on a budget.

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6 Places to Watch Disney Fireworks Outside of the Theme Parks

September 23, 2014 by

disney world - fireworks - jd baskin

Watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom is perhaps one of the most popular experiences at Walt Disney World. What’s not so magical? The hoard of crowds during the show and the mad crush to exit the theme park after. If you’re done with all the rides, we suggest saving your sanity by enjoying the show at these locations outside of the parks.

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3 Surprisingly Amazing Rooms for $10 Per Night

September 23, 2014 by

ecopackers cusco

Cockroaches, stained linens, and maybe flashbacks to the film Hostel might have come to mind when you read this headline. Sometimes, there is such a thing as too cheap, right? What do hotels that offer up rooms at less than $10 per night year round — not just for special promotions — really look like?

It’s easy to brush off hostel-style accommodations as subpar, but many of them have more amenities than you might expect, with nicer lodging options to upgrade to (that still end up being a fraction of the cost of standard hotel rooms). The catch, of course, is that these hotels aren’t smack dab in the tourist-heavy destinations — which could be good or bad, depending on your travel style. Pricing is also heavily location-based; most of these properties are found in Asia, South America, and Africa. And, because the savings tend to attract younger crowds, these lodgings tend to be less quiet.

Still, having to spend less for a hotel room than a McDonald’s lunch for two has an obvious appeal to the savvy spenders among us. Here’s a look at what’s out there at these incredibly low price points.

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Cruise Tracker: New Ships, Wine Certifications, and More

September 23, 2014 by

Carnival_Cruise_Lines_Carnival_Spirit - Wikimedia Commons-Hpeterswald

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? We’ve got the latest on new ships, onboard activities, and itineraries in the first edition of Cruise Tracker, our freshly minted weekly cruise column.

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5 Contests for Your Best Vacation Photos

September 22, 2014 by

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So you unleashed your inner Ansel Adams this summer and now have albums of hundreds of vacation photos. Sharing them with friends and family on Facebook is great — but wouldn’t winning cameras, lenses, vacations, and cash be even better? Many photo contests are open to amateurs shooters, some with very specific themes and some more general. Check out these five opportunities to score big with your best vacation photos.

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What’s New at Expedia: Vacation Rentals Galore and a Points Credit Card

September 22, 2014 by

expedia homeaway - 620 Love home stays — or Expedia points? The popular booking site has launched two new partnerships that’ll make you happy.

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4 Niche Hotel Booking Sites for Travelers with Specific Needs

September 19, 2014 by

Photo: Michael Troutman/www.dmtimaging.com

Finding a hotel that supports your lifestyle back at home can be challenging and overwhelming, particularly if you have specific interests and needs. That’s where niche booking sites that help narrow down your options according to your preferences come into play. Here are four websites that tackle allergy needs, pet-friendliness, and more.

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What Disney’s Drone Patents Could Mean for its Parks

September 19, 2014 by

Flickr Henry Mestre

It looks like our fascination with drones is here to stay. We’ve already talked about ways to armchair travel with drones, and a new sharing platform called Dronestagram has since joined the scene. But what’s really caught our attention today is the recent drone-related patent application that the Walt Disney Company has filed.

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Why October Might be the Best Month to Visit North Carolina

September 19, 2014 by

Hot Air Balloon Festival (Bill Russ - VisitNC.com)

North Carolina might just possibly be at its best as summer gives way to fall. In the mountains, the leaves turn brilliant colors, and the days are still warm enough for beachcombing at the coast. But that’s just the beginning. Here are four reasons why October just might be the best month to visit the Tar Heel State.

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Deal Alert: Airfare Savings for Fall and Winter

September 18, 2014 by

Flickr Matthew Clark

Temperatures aren’t the only things dropping in fall and winter: Airlines are lowering their fares, too. If you plan on traveling in the coming months, snag one of these six deals before they’re gone — two expire today.

1. Japan: 20% off plus a free stopover
Take your pick of six Japanese cities and get a complimentary stopover in Hong Kong when booking roundtrip flights from the U.S. on Cathay Pacific. Even better, in this Japan Fare Sale, rates with this first-rated airline has already been cut by 20 percent. $1,122 gets you flights from New York City’s JFK to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Okinawa, then Okinawa back to JFK. The same set-up between LAX, Hong Kong, and Osaka will cost you around $1,021. The offer is good for travel through December 9 and must be booked by September 30.

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Run Away to the Circus in Sarasota, FL

September 18, 2014 by

ringling miniature - zinnia jones - 620

There’s something about entering a big top tent, smelling fresh popcorn, and watching acrobats fly through the air that appeals to the child in all of us, no matter our actual age. In Sarasota, Florida — known as the Circus Capital of the World — the unique thrills of “The Greatest Show on Earth” can be enjoyed every day, not just when the circus trains roll into town. Put yourself in center ring with these interactive destinations.

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3 Tours, 3 Different Ways of Seeing Bogota

September 18, 2014 by

BogotaStreetArtWe already covered how you can explore the Colombian capital with a $20 bicycle tour, but that is just one way to see Bogotá. Here are three more tours to sign up for, including one that’s completely free.

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Visiting Latin America? Download These Apps

September 18, 2014 by

tappsi

Latin America can be intimidating for first-time travelers. Here are three apps to download, to use with WiFi, to make your trip go more smoothly.

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Marriott’s New “Tipping Envelope” May Be a Tipping Point

September 17, 2014 by

iStockTipping envelopes in travel are not a new concept. For years, hotels across the globe, big and small, have left a place for monetary appreciation for the cleaning staff — oftentimes using hotel stationary. It seemed subtle and voluntary.

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How to: Eat Your Way Through Philly Like the Locals Do

September 17, 2014 by

Federal Donuts Philadelphia - Lisa HubnerFor a city mostly known for its cheesesteaks, Philadelphia has recently caught up with the nation’s most famous food capitals, offering a range of culinary experiences in its diverse neighborhoods. On a recent trip, we chatted with Kristin Huxta, a Philly native and a communications pro at Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, to get the inside scoop on where the locals wine and dine.

Here are her suggested (and tested) tips for great foodie finds, taking you beyond the popular downtown area into up-and-coming neighborhoods in North and South Philly:
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