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Sports And Adventure
Going to the ballpark isn’t what it used to be: ticket, concession, and parking costs all combine to put a major strain on your wallet, hindering the enjoyment of the game itself. Going with a family of four? You’re looking at a $200 night, at least, just to watch two teams hit a ball around. Savvy travelers can still find ways to do it on a budget, though. Here are a few tips to help you beat the system:
You put in an order weeks ago to make sure mom gets flowers on Mother’s Day. We even did a roundup of great travel deals, so you can whisk her away on vacation. But what about Dad? The latter holiday, which falls on June 15, tends to get lost in the shuffle between graduation season and the beginning of summer. This year, take advantage of off-season travel deals to take Dad on a trip he’ll never forget. From a beachside resort in the Caribbean, to a golf-themed southern getaway, here are five affordable itineraries you can book right now:
When on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, you just have to get outdoors. But if sunning yourself on a beach all day isn’t challenging enough, you can choose from the many hiking trails across the island, which are suitable for all fitness levels – and free.
Manoa Falls Trail
This 0.8-mile hike through lush rainforest is easygoing and shaded, but often very muddy. (Flip-flops are not a good idea.) The trail begins by crossing over a footbridge and a small stream, then makes a gradual incline, ending at a viewing area set back from the base of the 100-foot (and, honestly, rather underwhelming) waterfall. More than the falls themselves, this hike is most notable for the flora you walk through: bamboo, huge banyan trees, and colorful flowers. Parking costs $5, or you can get the #5 bus from Ala Moana.
Jamaican charm hits you the minute you land in Montego Bay and, if you’re staying at the oceanfront Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort on the island’s North Coast, the all-inclusive ambiance kicks in, too, the minute you arrive following a 45-minute ride from the airport. The best part? This 4-star resort is offering some solid deals that will let you visit for less this year.
Spring breakers have been invading South Padre, a small island along the Texas gulf coast, with their beer-guzzling antics for years. But families, too, make good use of the island’s beaches and the Schlitterbahn Water Park. Really, though, most vacationers in the laid-back resort town are just looking for some R&R and an icy margarita. In our mini-guide below, we’ll help you avoid the spring break din (think 50,000-watt sound systems) in favor of a quieter, crowd-free slice of island life. Read more
Whether it’s a packed cruise ship unloading throngs of boisterous passengers, or a mob of thirty college students tearing through town, an excess of tourists can make a destination go from in-demand to insufferable, just like that. Consider avoiding these played-out locales and shift your attention to nearby spots that are lesser-known, and more worthy of the term “vacation.”
Biking is big in Colombia. So big that its capital city’s weekly Ciclovía event is now attended by up to three million people — or more than a third of the Bogotá’s population, — who come out to enjoy a car-free Sunday on many of the city’s major roads. While in Bogotá last month, we of course had to join local agency Bogotravel Tours for one of their cycling sightseeing tours to find out what all the buzz was about. Read more
Headed to Maui – perhaps for one of these fantastic hotel deals we highlighted this month? This beautiful island might be famous for its wealthy residents and spendy accommodation, but springtime offers a wide range of distractions for less. From marine fun, to golf, to happy hour, here are five ideas for a more affordable Hawaiian vacation:
Citing its “great shopping, great scenery and great social scene,” the Sunday Times last week declared the Southwest English city of Bristol the “best place to live in Britain.” Bristol’s creativity (it’s the birthplace of Massive Attack and Banksy) and independent spirit (the city has its own currency, the Bristol Pound) is fairly well documented, but its affordability is another good reason to make the trip from London.
Trains from London’s Paddington Station take around one hour and 45 minutes and start at £30 ($50) round-trip. If you decide to spend the night, April rates at the boutique Berkeley Square Hotel start at £30 ($89) a night and includes access to the Square Private Members Club cocktail bar and restaurant. The upscale Radisson Blu is a little pricier at £99 ($163) but presents good value when compared to the brand’s London properties, which are mostly priced in the £140 to £280 ($199 to $464).
To tempt you further, Bristol has a selection of truly unique (and free or affordable) events scheduled for this year: Read more
All-inclusive resorts are great at keeping their guests busy. Included yoga classes and dance lessons are a fun way to spend a less-than-sunny day, and free-to-use kayaks and snorkeling gear can get you away from the pool and into the ocean. But many resorts also offer additional activities and day-trips that aren’t covered by the basic all-inclusive rate. (Usually the division between included and not lies with the type of activity. If the activity is “non-motorized,” it’s probably included. If it requires a ride off the property or a heavy piece of equipment, it probably requires an additional fee.) The good news? In many cases, that additional fee is worth it.
The eight itineraries listed below will give you a sense of what’s available, and how much these day-trips cost. And keep in mind that these are just examples to show you the breadth of resort offerings. There are many other resorts that offer similar excursions.
America’s pastime is in full swing this spring as baseball fans head south to Florida’s Grapefruit League and west to greater Phoenix’s Cactus League to catch Major League Baseball in preseason action. Training stadiums offer closer access to your favorite players, often with designated areas to snag an autograph. You’ll also find yourself merely a fly ball away from the action. Compare the new Cubs Park in Mesa, Arizona, which has 15,000 seats, to Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, which has a whopping 54,000.
If you’re traveling this spring, here are a host of baseball-related activities that are tailor-made for travelers, and you don’t even have to go all the way to Florida or Arizona to experience them… Read more
The United States maintains more than 6,000 federally-protected sites, spanning over 1 million square miles and totaling roughly 27 percent of the U.S.’s entire land area. Attracting millions of visitors worldwide, the U.S. National Park System offers tourists incredible variety, from the lush Everglades, to windswept Death Valley, to the grandaddy of national parks, the Grand Canyon.
Traveling to each, individually and together, can cost a fortune, so if you’re planning a road-trip, you can save a ton with a national parks pass, or consider showing up on one of the many free-admission days. For those still wondering where, when, and how to visit, here is our guide on planning a trip to the country’s top six national parks in 2014. Read more
In a year that is filled with milestones – from the Independence Referendum, to the Commonwealth Games, to the year-long festival called The Homecoming – it’s tough to pick just one reason to visit Scotland in 2014. For outdoor enthusiasts, however, April 21 is possibly the date to save. On that date, the 134-mile-long John Muir Way, named for the Scottish conservationist, will officially open. The walking trail (which takes seven-to-10 days to walk, or four-to-five days by bicycle) runs coast-to-coast from Muir’s hometown of Dunbar to Loch Lomond National Park, passing by castles, hills, and canals along the way. It ends at the waters of the River Clyde at Helensburgh. To celebrate, the John Muir Festival, from April 17-26, will host events and public performances along the trail. Read more
Depending on the size (or existence) of the check coming your way post taxes, you could be looking at extra vacation money. And if you’re anything like us, money like that burns a deep, deep hole in your pocket. We thought you’d appreciate a few tips on ways to blow your tax refund on a trip in late April/May. Consider it a reward for getting them done in the first place. Read more
Even if you’ve never been to South America, or left your hometown, you’ve probably heard of Machu Picchu: it was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has been declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary. Even though visiting this historic Inca site site requires a certain degree of planning, it turns out that it’s entirely possible to visit Machu Picchu in a single day. Here’s how to do it… Read more
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