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Poor Segway. It was billed as the future of transportation. Sadly, it never caught on (and isn’t street legal in many major cities). The owner of the company died when he fell off of a cliff…while riding a Segway (there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?). That failure has left us all to walk places. Oh, the tedium! Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. Over and over and over again! I’m exhausted just thinking about my next trip to the Calzone Emporium. There must be a better way for me to get around when I leave SkyMall Tuesday headquarters. Thankfully, SkyMall realized that Segways weren’t the future. All of those wheels are just overkill. And those handlebars? What, you can’t balance yourself? If you want to get yourself from Point A to Point B, all you need is one wheel. Now, before you think that I’m advocating for the use of unicycles, rest assured that I firmly believe that those devices are nothing but pure nonsense. Just disastrous contraptions better left to circus freaks. What I meant to say is that all you need is one wheel and a small motor. You need the Solowheel.
Recently, my friend and I took a girls’ getaway to St. Lucia. We were both excited to get away from the office for a week; we planned on unwinding at the beach on Sunday – the day we left New York – then spending six days swimming, sunning, and sleeping.
Then we looked at our plane tickets. Yes, we were leaving Sunday morning and returning Friday night, but we actually had just four full days in St. Lucia – and eight hours in the San Juan airport in both directions. While more and more direct routes to smaller Caribbean islands are becoming available, the cheapest flights still require layovers, and often long ones, in the Puerto Rican capital. Read more
Squeeze out the last bit of summer or take in the fall foliage in laid-back Rochester, New York, the “photography capital” that’s home to a number of surprising attractions. Check out the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the legendary George Eastman House, take a tour of one of the Finger Lakes nearby wineries, or experience Rochester’s blossoming food, art, and festival scene.
Kids will love the National Museum of Play at Strong (Rochester’s world-famous interactive children’s museum), as well as Ontario Beach Park which boasts soft-sand, a beautiful hand-carved carousel, and plenty of playgrounds and picnic areas. The centrally-located Rochester Plaza Hotel makes it easy with the Stay and Play Plus package that bundles accommodations, four attraction tickets (including the National Museum of Play and George Eastman House), and a pizza dinner starting from $139. Additional nights can be added for $89.
THE VALUE: Depending on where you choose to spend your tickets, the added value of this package can total as much as $70.
THE CATCH: The second day doesn’t include all the extras for $89, but you can opt to purchase the package again.
THE DETAILS: This offer is valid through October 16. Visit Rochester Plaza to book, or call 585-546-3450. Use promo code SSP. (Insider Tip: Head to the Owl House for a taste of the city’s up-and-coming restaurant revolution).
WE’VE GOT MORE:
See why the Finger Lakes, located just outside of Rochester was voted a Top Ten Lake Vacation.
Grab a flight to Rochester on the cheap using our Travel Search tool.
Are you watching the royal wedding, not to see Kate’s gown, but in the hope of catching a glimpse of London scenery? British Airways’ spring and summer sale lets you see the city without spending a royal amount. This deal features airfare from a number of cities nationwide starting as low as $267 (one-way) and a free London Sightseeing pass, which gives free admission to over 55 attractions, including Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and Windsor Castle! Best of all, this sale is valid for travel May 3 through August 31, which is the magical time of year when London is likely to be sunny and warm, and not gray and rainy. Book by May 5 to get this deal!
Sample Fares to London (O/W):
• Philadelphia: $267
• New York City: $304
• Boston: $304
• Chicago: $341
• Miami: $341
• Houston: $341
• Denver: $366
• Los Angeles: $366
THE VALUE: Tickets to London in May on other airlines are over $800, so this sale saves you over $200 on airfare alone. Plus, the London Sightseeing pass is valued at around $70, saving you even more!
THE CATCH: Taxes and fees are not included, and prices are one-way, based on round-trip purchase.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book with British Airways.
Imagine standing on both sides of the equator, the northern and southern hemispheres splayed out before you in a landscape of Amazon rainforest, mountains, and ancient stone monuments. Friendly Planet’s 8-night Exotic Ecuador journey will take you where your imagination can’t. For a dreamlike $1,199 per person, choose between the August 9 and September 6 departures (other dates are available April through October for only $100 more). Book by March 31 to take advantage of this superb offer, which boasts a savings of $800 per couple!
Discover the amazing culture of one of the world’s oldest civilizations on this affordable tour through historic China. This popular 10-day itinerary from Friendly Planet Travel covers three fascinating cities – all for the low price of only $999. Begin your tour in the cultural capital of Beijing, where you’ll have four full days to explore renowned sites like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the extraordinary Great Wall of China. Next, board a transfer flight to ancient Xi’an, home to the life-sized army of 2,200-year-old Terra Cotta Warriors. Round out your tour with several days spent in bustling Shanghai, renowned for its gorgeous gardens and picturesque canals. A full-day optional sightseeing trip includes tours of the renowned Shanghai Museum and the soaring 1,536-foot-high Oriental Pearl TV Tower. The trip includes round-trip airfare on Air China, transfers, and many meals, with various departures available throughout 2009. Package rates normally start at $1,299, but you’ll save $600 per couple if you book before September 23.
Strapped for cash this summer but want to get away? Consider visiting our northern neighbors in the sprawling city of Toronto. If you’ve never been, Toronto offers a mix of lively waterfront, impressive architecture, world-class restaurants, inviting parks, and a theater scene that rivals London’s and New York’s. Not to mention that there’s a top-notch lineup of festivals and events, and of course nothing says summer like watching the Blue Jays play ball at Rogers Center. In addition to the slightly favorable exchange rate that will help cut costs a bit, the Best of Toronto Package bundles together attractions, accommodations, and entertainment for a total savings of over 55 percent.
The Luxury What sets Hurtigruten apart from most cruise lines is that its ships are working ferries. So even though the onboard accommodations and restaurants are excellent, the ship’s distractions (such as shows or gambling) are few. Passengers can instead focus on experiencing Norway’s cities and fjords. The 11-day Norwegian Holiday itinerary begins in Oslo with two full days for sightseeing before the journey to Kirkenes and Bergen. Hurtigruten travel experts are on hand to help with planning. Or simply ask the locals.
This Sydney bargain vacation includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles via Air New Zealand, airport transfers, a full-day Sydney sightseeing tour, and four nights’ accomodations. Bed down at the Old Sydney Holiday Inn, situated between the world-famous Harbor Bridge and the landmark Opera House, and just steps away from the upscale shops, cafes, and restaurants of The Rocks, the city’s old colonial district. Spend your time here exploring the picturesque promenade and local cultural attractions, or embark on a harbor cruise from nearby Circular Quay. Package rates start at just $998 per person.
Explore the Land of the Rising Sun with this ten-night guided excursion currently on offer from SmarTours. This itinerary begins in Tokyo, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Imperial Palace district, dating back to the 15th century. Next up, you’ll visit the surrounding countryside around Mt. Fuji and Hakone National Park, a pristine natural area revered by poets for thousands of years. Other package highlights include the historic thatched-roof village of Shirakawago, a UNESCO world heritage site, and more than 2,000 ancient temples and shrines in Kyoto. This comprehensive tour includes round-trip airfare from LA and all local transportation and transfers, plus daily breakfast and guided sightseeing. Book by May 28 (for various departures dates through November 2009) to save up to $800 per couple. Package rates start from $2899.
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