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Pacific Getaways in Mexico

Reem on July 19, 2012 |
Reem is looking for a West Coast escape south of the border and asked: "Can you please tell me about places to visit along the Pacific Coast of Mexico?"

Of course, Reem. Mexico is actually a very diverse country to visit. Most people think of the beaches, and for good reason. The country is home to thousands of miles of coastline and balmy tropical weather -- the ideal combination for the perfect beach escape, not to mention that it's a very easy flight from the U.S.

The Pacific side of Mexico offers... View full answer

Repositioning Cruises 101

Cheryl on April 17, 2012 |
Cheryl is thinking beyond the typical cruise and asked: "What is a repositioning cruise?"

Hi Cheryl. Clunky name, but a repositioning cruise is precisely what the name implies. Many cruises do not sail the same route all year long. They transition from region to region depending on the season and weather. The one-way route cruise ships take to get to the next region is called a repositioning cruise, and it generally takes place in the spring and fall.

An example is the Caribbean. While you could technically... View full answer

Visit New York City by Train

Patty on March 30, 2012 | New York
Patty lives just outside of NYC and asked: "I'd like to take my daughter to NYC for her 21st birthday but don't want to drive. What are some affordable options for transportation and hotel?"

Hi Patty. Tell your daughter happy birthday from Travel-Ticker! What a great way to spend a milestone birthday. I hear you on not wanting to drive into New York City. The last thing you want to deal with while on vacation is the stress of navigating NYC's crowded streets.

Taking the train into the city is a great... View full answer

Destinations That Don't Require a Passport

Keith on February 23, 2012 | Passport, Cruise, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico
Keith wants to get out of town but doesn't want to deal with bringing a U.S. passport and asked: "What are some destinations outside of the USA that I can visit without a passport?"

Hi Keith. There are some good reasons to want to travel without a passport -- not having one is probably one of the biggest. As a U.S. citizen, you cannot travel outside of the U.S. without a passport, but there are some areas that you might not be aware of that are actually considered U.S. territories, where an ID to... View full answer

Airfare Taxes and Fees

Mark on January 13, 2012 |
Mark asked a timely and important question: "I've heard in the news that there are new regulations regarding airline taxes. Can you explain?"

I'd be happy to, Mark. The airline industry has gone through many changes in recent years. You'll remember the increased checked baggage fees of 2008 and the doomed toilet fees proposed by RyanAir in 2010. Luckily, the trend of giving passengers more rights and transparency is on the rise. In 2009, the Department of Transportation set a limit to the amount of... View full answer

Best Skiing on the West Coast

Linda on November 29, 2011 |
Linda asked a great question just in time for the ski season: "Where is the best place to mountain ski on the West Coast?"

Hi Linda. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. It is getting to be that time of year, isn't it? Ski resorts have just started to open up for business, so I think the timing of your question is perfect.

Starting up north in Canada, an easy flight to Vancouver gets you access to one of the most popular ski destinations in North America -- Whistler Blackcomb. Home of the 2010 Winter... View full answer

Ft. Lauderdale vs. Miami: Where to Stay

Jeff on October 28, 2011 | Florida, Cruise
Jeff will be cruising the Caribbean soon and asked: "Our flight lands in Ft. Lauderdale, but our cruise sails from Miami. Which of the two cities do you recommend staying in and what is there to do?"

Great question, Jeff. I had a similar situation the last time I took a cruise out of South Florida, so this is probably a pretty common dilemma for people, especially for newcomers to the area.

Some background: Ft. Lauderdale and Miami are about 27 miles apart from each other. While that may not sound... View full answer

Las Vegas: More Than Just Casinos

Janice on October 7, 2011 |
Janice is looking beyond the casino walls of Las Vegas and asked: "I'm going to Las Vegas for the first time with my husband. He loves to gamble, but I could care less about it. What are some other things I, or we, could do?"

True, Janice. When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of the bright lights, the ringing of the slot machines, and the nonstop action of the casinos. But there is so much more to Vegas than that. Don't get me wrong, a lot of Sin City is about the casinos, but a lot of... View full answer

Best Times to Visit Disney

Don on September 21, 2011 |
Don has the mouse on his mind and asked: "I'm not sure if there is such a thing, but what are the best times to go to Disney World to avoid the crowds? How far is the beach from Orlando?"

Don, how I wish there was a magic formula that would figure out the perfect days to go to Disney World with the least amount of people. Unfortunately, every holiday, weekend, and school break is going to be packed with people, which means if you have kids, your best bet for minimal crowds is to go on a school day,... View full answer

Seattle's Best

Todd on September 9, 2011 |
Todd has plans to visit Seattle and would like some insight: "I'm headed to Seattle next month for the first time. What's not to be missed? I'm open to touristy and non-touristy attractions."

Excellent destination choice, Todd. Seattle is one of those cities that everyone must experience at least once (but the more the better). I'm not sure how long you're going for, but Seattle is the perfect city to enjoy over a few days--perfect for a weekend getaway. But if you can spare the extra time, you can... View full answer

Heat Things Up this New Year's

Doug on August 26, 2011 |
Doug wants to ring in the New Year sans wool hat and down jacket and asked: "I want to spend New Year's Eve in a warm climate. Where is the best place to spend the New Year and warm up from the cold Minnesota winter?"

Well Doug, right off the bat, I can think of dozens of places to spend New Year's in t-shirt friendly locales--Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean to name a few--but the list gets considerably smaller when you factor in the cost. But there's a light at the end of the tunnel. If you're beach-minded,... View full answer

Thailand Honeymoon: Which Beach Spot?

Tania on August 11, 2011 |
Tania is getting married soon, will be honeymooning in Thailand, and asked: "I'm having a tough time deciding which beach destination to visit in Thailand. Can you tell me more about Koh Samui, Krabi, Ko Phi Phi, and Phuket?"

Congratulations on the impending marriage, Tania! You picked a honeymoon destination that's very special to me, because that's where I went for my honeymoon. Since the southern half of Thailand is practically surrounded by gorgeous beaches, deciding on a destination can be daunting.... View full answer

Italy Vacation for First-Timers

Ben on August 8, 2011 |
Ben hopefully has some gelato and pizza in his near future and asked: "I would love to take my wife to Italy for her first time and it just so happens that we have some time this summer. Any suggestions?"

Great choice, Ben. Italy is one of my favorite vacation destinations. I can't think of a city that I did not fall in love with, so I'm very excited about your plans. Since Italy is in Southern Europe, it gets warm in the summer, especially if you're headed to Naples, Rome, and even Central Italy... View full answer

Tips for the Caribbean's Hurricane Season

Rhonda on July 21, 2011 | Caribbean
Rhonda sounds like she's looking to take advantage of the Caribbean's amazing summer/fall deals and asked: "I'm hoping to travel to the Caribbean but have heard of their hurricane season. Which months does this affect? Is it just a little bad weather or should I avoid it entirely?"

Great question, Rhonda. Gregory asked a similar one, which I'll link to here. But I'd like to add that while hurricane season is officially June through November, there are variables that make certain months and islands... View full answer

Hawaii for the holidays

Marsha on July 6, 2011 | Hawaii
Marsha is considering Hawaii for this upcoming holiday season and asked: "Can you help or suggest what to do to plan a trip to Hawaii for the holidays?"

I like the planning ahead, Marsha, especially when it comes to the holiday season. If there's one time that I highly recommend people book as early as possible, it's travel over the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year's, but also when you're planning on hitting the road over a long weekend like Labor Day, Presidents' Day, and... View full answer

What all-inclusives actually include

Bobby on June 15, 2011 |
Bobby wrote to us and asked, "What does all-inclusive actually mean?" We've addressed it once before, however it's an excellent question and one that many Travel Ticker readers still seem to have.

You'll find this term used with many resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico, and what this means is that you pretty much have everything covered for your stay while at a resort. This generally includes your room, your food and drinks at the resort's restaurants and bars, entertainment, the kids club (if there... View full answer

Advice on Alaska cruises

Bettie on June 14, 2011 | Cruise
Bettie wants to cruise the glaciers and asked: "We are planning our first family vacation & our Mom's 70th Birthday Party. We will be a party of about 20 and want to go to Alaska on a cruise. Can you recommend a good time to go, which cities are best to depart/arrive from, what to bring etc.?"

Good news, Bettie, you're just in time for the Alaska cruise season, which happens to be going on right now! Having a party of 20 is going to make things really fun. I think cruises are an excellent idea for... View full answer

Affordable Fourth of July getaways

Nadine on June 10, 2011 |
Nadine is getting into full summer mode and asked: "What are some affordable destinations for a July 4th trip, preferably a beach location?"

Nadine, it sure is time to start planning that Fourth of July getaway, whether you want to go somewhere local or hop on a plane in search of sun. And I think that all of us are looking for ways to relax without spending too much cash, so I'm glad you asked this question.

The Caribbean is a great place to go over the summer because it's considered off-peak season,... View full answer

Travel Ticker's new website

Sandy on June 3, 2011 |
Sandy noticed that the Travel Ticker website has a new look and asked: "Hi, I noticed some changes to your website. What's with the change?"

Thanks for the question, Sandy. I'm sure there are others of you wondering the same thing. What you're seeing is our new, revitalized website! The first difference you'll probably notice is the size of our images, which have been bumped up in size to offer a visually inspiring experience to complement our amazing deals.

When you click the "See details" link for... View full answer

Mother-daughter trip: where next?

Ellen on May 26, 2011 |
Ellen is looking for her next mother-daughter destination and asked: "Hi Angela, I'm looking for suggestions for a 3 or 4 day mother-daughter trip in the fall. We prefer to walk the city, don't want to rent a car but will use public transit. We've done New Orleans, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Toronto, DC, San Fran, and Seattle, Savannah & Charleston in the past. Where to next?"

Hi Ellen. It sounds like you and your daughter are quite the travelers, so well done! I think traveling with children... View full answer

Highlights of Spain

Debbie and Amelia on May 17, 2011 |
I received two similar questions about Spain in the span of a few days, so I thought I'd combine them into one answer. Debbie asked: "What is a must see in Spain? I am going there in about two weeks and am open to suggestions." Amelia asked: "I will be going to Spain for a Student Exchange Programme for one semester. May I know what are the must-see attractions/places/events?"

Viva la España! Spain is just a lovely country that combines culture, history, shopping, and my favorite of all -- amazing... View full answer

Europe travel for soccer (football) fans

Lin on May 10, 2011 |
Lin is planning something very fun and special for someone and asked: "I'm looking to take my 16 year old grandson on a surprise Europe trip, as he loves soccer. Any suggestions?"

Wow, Lin, what an amazing treat for your grandson! This is a trip he'll never forget, and 16 is a perfect age -- he's mature enough to appreciate this type of experience, yet young enough to catch the travel bug early, which hopefully will last a long, long time.

I'm not the biggest soccer fan myself, but I've been to Europe... View full answer

Top national parks to visit

Nicole on April 28, 2011 |
Nicole wants to experience the great outdoors in the U.S. and asked: "I'd love to take a trip to see more of America's national parks. Which ones do you recommend?"

Hi Nicole. What a great idea to see the natural wonders right on our home turf. I know that I spend a lot of time thinking about trips that are outside of the country, but your question is a good reminder that there are plenty of amazing things to do and see within these 50 states. And visiting national parks is a budget-friendly option,... View full answer

European cities in North America

Holly on April 21, 2011 |
Holly is looking for a Europe that's closer to home and asked: "I have fond memories of Europe, but with high costs and less time to travel, I can't make it across the pond as much anymore. Do you have any suggestions of more local areas that offer the same type of charm and feel?"

Oh, the cobblestone streets, history, and idyllic cafes and shops. I miss Europe as well, Holly. So needless to say, I was delighted to get your question. Even though the United States is only a few hundred years old compared... View full answer

Tips on packing light

Darrell on April 12, 2011 |
Darrell wants to keep things light on his next trip and asked: "I'm headed to the Caribbean for a weeklong spring getaway, and wanted to try to use only a carry-on. Do you have any tips on how I can make this happen?"

You're a smart man, Darrell. I think packing light is almost always the way to go. There's no need to bring your rock collection that nobody is going to see. These days, checking in luggage can be more of a pain than a benefit, between airlines losing your stuff to having to wait at... View full answer

Tactics for nervous fliers

Fred on April 5, 2011 | Flights
Fred is seeking serenity amongst the clouds and asked: "I am a very nervous flier and am looking for ways to reduce my stress mid-air. I've heard that using noise canceling headphones makes the flight less stressful. Do you agree? If so, can you recommend a cost effective model? What other suggestions are there?"

A fear of flying is probably more common than you think, Fred. I'm glad you asked this question because I think most of us are at least a little nervous about flying, and some tips couldn't... View full answer

Best Mexico destinations for kids

Melissa on March 30, 2011 | Mexico
Melissa is looking for a south-of-the-border getaway for her family of five and asked: "What places in Mexico would you recommend for families? Safety and things to do are my top concerns."

Hi Melissa. I think Mexico is a great option for families. Luckily, many of the beach destinations frequented by tourists are considered safe, particularly Los Cabos and the Cancun/Riviera Maya areas. Regardless of where you go, it's always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings.

What's great about these two... View full answer

Where to go for blues and history

Terri on March 25, 2011 | New Orleans,
Terri is about to celebrate a milestone and asked: "I'm trying to find somewhere that my husband and I could go and enjoy our 18th anniversary in June. Do you have any ideas? We love listing to the blues, good music, historical sites, and just having fun."

Happy upcoming anniversary, Terri. You and your husband sound like such a fun couple! I have a few good ideas of cities you can check out. The first place that comes to mind is Austin, Texas. There's a reason why this city is called The Live Music... View full answer

Things to do in Scottsdale

Nicky on March 15, 2011 |
Nicky is going to Scottsdale soon and asked: "I am planning on a trip in April to Scottsdale, Arizona. Any good ideas of what to do in the area? Any good deals on anything?"

April's a great time to visit Scottsdale. Average temperatures are in the 80s -- about the last month you can visit before the stifling heat Arizona is known for hits. As far as options, there are many things to do. It just depends on the type of activity you're looking for. Golf and spas are the two things that Scottsdale is... View full answer

Ideas for a romantic Ireland trip

Rick on March 10, 2011 |
Rick is making anniversary plans and asked: "I am looking for a romantic place to take my wife for our anniversary. She wants to go to Ireland. Any suggestions?"

If you're looking for romance, Rick, Ireland is a great place to go. You're practically surrounded by romance, between the charming bed and breakfasts, the scenic drives overlooking cliff sides, and the local and quaint pubs (who doesn't love a Guinness?). Depending on how much time you have, my recommendation would be to start in Dublin.... View full answer

The waiting game, aka flying standby

Cheryl on March 3, 2011 | Flights
Cheryl may be hitting the skies soon and asked: "How does a standby flight work?"

Hi Cheryl. Unfortunately, standby rules vary from airline to airline, and in general, standby has changed from what it was just a few years ago. Flying standby usually means that you missed your original flight and are trying to get a seat on a later flight, or you've arrived at the airport early enough to make it on to your airline's earlier flight to the same destination. There are other situations, but these would... View full answer

Whale of a vacation

Wanda on February 28, 2011 |
Wanda wants to have a whale of a vacation and asked: "I want to plan a whale watching trip. Where is the best place to go? I'd like to select a fun travel destination and plan a trip around it."

Wanda, whale watching is an amazing experience and is something that can actually be experienced in many parts of the world, but I'm going to narrow it down to locations in North America since I assume that's where you're looking to travel. On the West Coast, you can view whales migrating all the way from... View full answer

Planning for Machu Picchu

Karen on February 24, 2011 |
Karen wants to see one of the greatest wonders of the world and asked: "What is the best time to travel to Machu Picchu? Do you have any suggestions when planning a trip?"

Hi, Karen. In my opinion, the best time to visit Machu Picchu is May through September. That's because you miss the rainy season, which starts in September and gets progressively worse through February and March. If you plan on hiking either to the top or on the trails within Machu Picchu, you'll have to do it during the dry season... View full answer

Resorts with kids clubs

Leanne on February 17, 2011 | Mexico, Caribbean
Leanne is looking to take the kids on the road and asked: Do you know of any affordable resorts with kids clubs for young children?

Leanne, kids clubs are a great way for the entire family to enjoy a vacation. You may want to spend some days with the family all together, and some with the kids at the club so you can enjoy a worry-free, relaxing day. As far as affordable resorts offering these kids clubs, instead of giving you a list of specific resorts, I think your best bet is to see what deals are... View full answer

Ideas for a spa getaway

Christy on February 14, 2011 | Las Vegas, Arizona
Christy is planning a ladies-only trip and asked: My girlfriend is turning 60. She wants to take a 3-4 day "destination spa" trip (just us girls). Do you have any suggestions?

Aren't girl trips just the best, Christy? I'm glad your friend knows how to have a fun trip. And she's turning 60; what a fabulous milestone, and it definitely needs to be celebrated with a relaxing getaway. The first place that comes to mind for spa getaways is Scottsdale, AZ. Known by some as the "spa capital of the world,"... View full answer

Transportation through Western Europe

David on February 10, 2011 | Europe
David is going to hit the road in Europe and asked: I am traveling through the UK and Western Europe and am curious about transportation. Should I get an international license and rent a car, take trains or fly in between countries?

Hi, David. You're going to have three completely different experiences depending on whether you choose to drive, take the train, and fly, so it depends on the type of trip you're looking for. But I think that all of these options are wonderful ways to see Europe.

If you... View full answer

Finding adventure in the Amazon

Joe on January 28, 2011 |
Joe wants to get adventurous in South America and asked: "I am looking for a vacation to the Amazon. Do you have any itinerary suggestions?"

What an exciting trip, Joe! I think the Amazon is an exciting destination full of culture, wildlife, and natural beauty. If you want a true Amazonian experience, you should take a river cruise. You can find plenty of good companies to give you an amazing experience (if you're up for it, you can even sleep in a hammock!). Activities include jungle trekking, interacting... View full answer

All about all-inclusives

Bryan on January 21, 2011 |
Bryan asked an excellent question that may interest many of you: "We're planning a beach vacation and keeping seeing the term 'all-inclusive' but aren't exactly sure what it means or entails. Can you explain?"

I'm glad you asked this question, Bryan. Although we use the term pretty regularly here at Travel Ticker, I'm sure there are many readers who aren't completely clear on the meaning. You'll find this term used with many resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico, and what this means is that you pretty... View full answer

Seeking sun this winter

John on January 19, 2011 | Mexico, Caribbean, Hawaii, Summer
John wants to follow the sun and asked: "Where can I go in February/March for some tropical heat? I'm ready for some warm weather!"

Some sun right about now sounds perfect, John! And I'm sure many others would love to go somewhere warm as well. This winter seems to be unusually chilly. The good news is that you don't have to go too far for a sunny beach getaway. A flight down to the Caribbean or the Gulf side of Mexico would get you to tropical weather that's in the 80s right now with no end in sight... View full answer

Planning for Egypt

Michael on January 14, 2011 |
Michael is curious about Egypt and asked: We plan on taking a vacation to Egypt. Do you have advice on how to plan for this trip? Thank you.

Hi, Michael. It all depends on what type of traveler you are -- are you independent, or do you prefer to have a planned, stress-free trip? I do have to say that Egypt is one of those destinations where an organized tour is a great way to go. You can choose to arrange your own flight there, or add it on to your package. Getting around Egypt can be a bit hairy... View full answer

Alaska advice

Samuel on January 6, 2011 | Alaska, Cruise
Samuel wants to go north to Alaska and asked: I'm interested in exploring Alaska, perhaps on a cruise. Do you ever get any good Alaska deals? What is the best time of year to travel there?

Samuel, you picked a great time of year to start planning that Alaska trip, and I highly recommend a cruise because it's the best way to see what makes Alaska so unique and interesting. You'll be able to get up close to the glaciers and even see some whales if you're lucky. Unlike other cruise regions like the Caribbean,... View full answer

Purchasing International airfare

Gina on December 7, 2010 | Flights
Gina is thinking of going abroad and asked: Do you have any good advice on when to buy international airfare? Is it best to book as far in advance as possible or wait a few weeks before my departure date?

Gina, I wish there was one straightforward answer that could solve this ever-popular question. Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all response when it comes to getting the lowest international airfares. What I can say in general is that these days, there's much less availability in air travel... View full answer

Spending the holidays in NYC

Jackie on November 23, 2010 | New York
Jackie wants to enjoy the holidays in the Big Apple and asked: I would like to visit New York during the Christmas season to experience the holidays in a big city. Can you suggest some festive ideas or activities in New York?

Jackie, I can't think of a better big city to visit over the holidays than NYC. Between the fantastic shopping, the stunning decorations, and wintery weather, New York is such a fun place to visit in December. The classic holiday spot in NYC is Rockefeller Center's larger-than-life... View full answer

Go West for Thanksgiving

Katie on November 19, 2010 | Southwest, Southern California, Northern California
Katie has some last-minute planning to do and asked: "I'm interested in Thanksgiving destinations … not sure where, just somewhere interesting, probably on the West Coast or Arizona this year. Thanks."

Hi Katie. There's still time to plan that last-minute Thanksgiving getaway, and I'm seeing a ton of amazing deals for Thanksgiving week, including hotels in the West. So while time may not be on your side, having a big selection of deals in destinations you're looking for is.

The West Coast and Arizona... View full answer

A Northern California Christmas

Marvina on November 15, 2010 | Northern California
Marvina is making Christmas plans and asked: "Do you have any suggestions for a Christmas getaway north of San Francisco, CA?"

What a great idea to go out of town for Christmas, Marvina, and north of San Francisco is a good choice. I think a fun way to spend the holidays would be to rent a house in the wine country—both Napa and Sonoma have a big selection of rental homes available. You could bring the family or friends and spend a few days or even the whole week there. Get some groceries and cook... View full answer

Europe over the holiday vs. summer

Marki on November 10, 2010 | Europe, summer, winter
Marki is looking for some insight on Europe and asked: "Barbara, what are the pros and cons of traveling to Europe during the Christmas holidays versus the summer?"

Hi, Marki. Those are two wonderful but very different times of the year to visit Europe. I actually think that Europe is fantastic any time of the year, but let's start with the holidays since they're right around the corner. Winter as a whole is a very affordable time to travel to Europe. In fact, it's the absolute lowest season―that... View full answer

Hawaii for a first-timer

Sunita on November 5, 2010 | Hawaii
Sunita is celebrating her anniversary with a trip to Hawaii and asked: "We are planning our 25th anniversary in November to Hawaii. It is our first time there and we don't know which island to visit. What makes each unique?"

Happy anniversary, Sunita! What a fabulous way to celebrate. I'm a big fan of Hawaii for many reasons. You have four main islands to choose from, and each one offers a different experience. All the islands are very easy to get to from the Mainland with direct flights from many... View full answer

Traveling Peru

Barbara on November 3, 2010 |
Barbara has South America on her mind and asked: "I would like to plan a trip to Peru: Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Colca Canyon. Do you have any suggestions on what are the must-see cities and attractions?"

Barbara, you picked one of the 'it destinations' for 2010. We're seeing a lot buzz about Peru these days. Depending on how much time you have, the must-see places in my order of preference are Cusco (charming local city culture), Machu Picchu, Lima (gastronomical capital of South America), and... View full answer

Cruise 101

Lili on October 28, 2010 |
Lili is looking to take her vacation to sea and asked: "I would like to go on a cruise but am a total novice. What do I need to know? How can I tell if I would enjoy this method of travel?"

Lili, cruises are a wonderful way to see many cities--or even countries--in one trip with very little planning needed on your end. I would say the toughest part of planning is deciding which cruise to take. There are so many itineraries and cruise lines to choose from. Most cruises travel to warm-weather destinations... View full answer

Round-the-world ticket

Ingrid on October 14, 2010 | Flights
Ingrid is looking to do some globetrotting and asked: "What is an open ticket? I am hoping to travel around the world and am curious about this option."

I like your sense of adventure, Ingrid. Most airlines will sell you an open ticket, which offers a lot of flexibility if you’re unsure of your return travel. This type of ticket leaves your return flight open, meaning you can schedule which route you want to take at a later time. While open tickets may seem ideal, they do come at a hefty price.

Your... View full answer

Europe for the solo woman traveler

Sarom on October 13, 2010 | Europe
Sarom wants to travel solo and asked: "I am a single mother looking to get away for some peace and serenity. I love Europe but am hesitant to travel by myself. What would be a safe and enjoyable European trip for a woman traveling solo?"

Hi Sarom. Europe is a very doable destination for solo women travelers. In fact, I would rank it high on my list of top places for women traveling alone. With so many safe cities and accommodation options, and such a diverse range of things to do, it's really up to... View full answer

Change your email address on Travel Ticker

Ken on September 30, 2010 |

Ken has a new email address and asked: "My email address has changed but I want to make sure I still receive your emails with exclusive Travel Ticker deals. How can I update this?"

It’s easy to change your email address, Ken! Simply visit the Travel Ticker site at and scroll down to the bottom of our homepage. Just select “Change email address,” enter your new email address and zip code, and click “Save.” You’ll start receiving deals at your updated email address within a few

... View full answer

European travel advisories

Patrick on October 11, 2010 |
Patrick is headed to Europe soon and asked: "I have seen travel advisories posted for Europe. I am planning on heading there in a few weeks. Any thoughts on how to treat this news? What should I be on the lookout for?"

Patrick, it's totally understandable to have mixed feelings about your trip, but you should continue on with your vacation and not worry too much about the alert. The alert is just a warning to be vigilant, and isn't actually advising travelers to cancel their trips. It's still very... View full answer

What to see and do in Australia

Bonnie on October 6, 2010 | Australia
Bonnie wants to go Down Under and asked: "We are planning to go to Sydney and Melbourne. What are the main attractions or things we must do when we are there? Please advise."

It's a great time to plan that Australian getaway, Bonnie. In case you didn't know, our fall and winter is Australia's spring and summer. In other words, perfect weather right when you could use a bit of sun and warmth the most.

In Sydney, I would stay along the bay, from The Rocks to Wollomoo. There are many highlights to this... View full answer

Dollars abroad

Jessica on October 5, 2010 | Europe
Jessica plans to go on a vacation outside the U.S. but is concerned about the dollar’s ups and downs. She questions: “Where is the best place to go if I want to make sure my money stretches the furthest?”

Not all economies are created equally. In general, I’d make Latin America my first pick. The dollar has remained strong against currencies in such great locations as Costa Rica, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Some Asian destinations like Laos, Thailand or Vietnam also offer a lot for low prices.... View full answer

Update your zip code on Travel Ticker

Carey on September 30, 2010 |

Carey recently moved and asked: "I moved from the East to the West Coast but I’m still receiving emails advertising flight and vacation packages from my old location. How do I update my zip code so that I begin receiving emails about deals closer to my new home?"

Carey, thanks for asking. I’m sure there are other Travel Ticker readers wondering the same thing. To update your zip code, go to the Travel Ticker home page at Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Change zip

... View full answer

Chicago sightseeing

Ryan on September 24, 2010 | Chicago
Ryan is taking his first trip to the Windy City and asked, "I am planning a trip with friends to Chicago in the next month, for four days. What are the must-do things? What sights should someone that has never been to the city before see?"

I love Chicago. There is so much going on there these days. During the day, must-do’s I would recommend are the Art Institute, the Field Museum, the architecture boat tour on the Chicago river, and walking the city! Check out Armitage in Lincoln Park, meander in... View full answer

Requirements for driving abroad

Sam on September 23, 2010 | International, Cars
Sam wrote to us and asked, "I am traveling abroad, but was also hoping to rent a car. Do I need to get some sort of special license?"

Hi Sam. Good news -- you do not need any special license to rent a car abroad, just your US (state-issued) driver’s license. Happy driving!... View full answer

Snorkeling in Thailand

Karen on September 15, 2010 |
Karen is a water-lover, and wrote to us to ask, "My husband and I love snorkeling and plan to spend a week in Thailand. Do you have any suggestions?"

Sabaidee Karen! That is hello in Thai, by the way. Thailand is one of my favorite spots in the world, and I loved the snorkeling at the Similan Islands off the coast of Phuket (you can do an organized day trip on a boat very easily once you arrive). I also love Ko Phi Phi if you can stay at the Phi Phi Island Village or a hotel nearby on that side of... View full answer

All-inclusive options for a group

Sharon on September 14, 2010 | Riviera Maya, all-inclusives
Sharon wrote to us and asked, "A group of us (15) are trying to plan a June vacation that won't empty out our bank accounts. We all agreed on a cruise, but at the end of the cruise you always have a large bill for beverages and extras. We are thinking of an all-inclusive. Any suggestions would be very appreciated."

Sharon- I love all-inclusives because everyone can have a great time and there are no nasty surprises at check-out on the bill (as in, did I really drink 20 margaritas at $16 a pop?). For... View full answer

Caribbean and hurricanes

Gregory on September 13, 2010 | Caribbean
Gregory wrote and asked, "I want to go to Caribbean in November. Is that a bad time because of hurricane season? If so, can you suggest another warm location?"

Hi Gregory!   As you know, hurricane season runs from the beginning of June to the end of November in the Caribbean.  That being said, the likelihood of a hurricane and your vacation colliding are pretty small statistically, so if I were you I would certainly consider a November vacation to the islands. Some resorts even offer hurricane guarantees... View full answer

Central America getaway: cruise or resort?

Mike on August 27, 2010 | Ecotourism,Mexico
Mike has Central America on his mind and asked: "My wife and I are looking to go somewhere South this winter. I need to get away January or February for 1 week. I would be willing to do a last minute deal on a cruise or perhaps a resort... I'm open to suggestions. Is it too early to look?"
First of all, it is not too earl y to look—and January and February are great getaway times as long as you travel well after the Christmas holidays and also you avoid President’s Day weekend. I love the resorts... View full answer

San Antonio attractions

John on August 20, 2010 | Southwest
John is off to San Antonio in late September. He writes: “I know the River Walk has a shuttle that takes us most everywhere along the river. Other than going to the Alamo, what other places might we want to visit? We have three days.”

John, San Antonio is such a fun city, and while the Alamo and River Walk are perfect first stops, there’s a lot more to Texas’s “River City.” I highly recommend the King William Historic District -- it's about a half mile south of the River Walk. It’s a fantastic place... View full answer

Portland trip

Joann on August 13, 2010 | Pacific Northwest

Joann is off to Portland for a full week in September. She asks: “Can you give us some suggestions for things to do and stuff not to miss?”

Good choice, Joann. Portland is beautiful in September, and there's plenty to do. If you like a good meal, a laid-back pub culture, and a bit of biking, you’re going to have a great time. I’d bring a healthy appetite because Portland is a fabulous city for foodies. Highlights include the huge Saturday farmers’ market downtown at Portland State University, and

... View full answer

Honeymoon spots in the U.S.

Kristin on August 13, 2010 | Southwest,Hawaii,Las Vegas,Northern California,East Coast

Kristin is about to get married. She and her fiancé weren’t planning a honeymoon but are now regretting that decision. She writes: “Do you have any suggestions on someplace exciting and fun, but where we wouldn’t need a passport?”

... View full answer

Vegas attractions for kids

Tricia on August 12, 2010 | Las Vegas,Traveling with children
Tricia has two boys ages 13 and 11. Her husband is pushing for a family vacation to Las Vegas. Her question is, “Can I find fun activities for my kids there?”

Las Vegas is a great destination for kids and adults alike, Tricia. This action-packed city may be known for gambling and other adult-oriented entertainment, but there are a number of great kid-friendly choices as well. My first stop would be Adventuredome at Circus Circus. The 5.5-acre indoor theme park has tons of rides, theaters, an arcade,... View full answer

Active vacation for solo female traveler

Dixi on August 12, 2010 | Traveling solo,Mexico,Caribbean
Dixi is a solo traveler who loves tennis, hiking, and jogging. She writes that she’s looking for “vacations that a single female in her forties can go on safely. Maybe an active sports-type place.”

Dixi, travelling solo can be both exhilarating and daunting, and the last thing you should have to worry about is safety. The good news is that even in exotic locations, you'll have plenty to do and enjoy at reputable resorts. The first one that comes to my mind that combines outdoor activities with a... View full answer

All inclusive with great food and wine

Tom on August 11, 2010 | Cancun and Riviera Maya,wine
Tom wrote: "My wife and I are going on our 15th Anniversary and I wanted to try an All-inclusive... the key is great food  and a good wine selection. I’m looking for the biggest bang for the buck. We can go anywhere from Oct – Jan and we’re very flexible on departure dates too. Finally, we would like to be able to swim with the dolphins, if possible."

Hi Tom- congratulations on your upcoming 15 years!  That is fantastic and a trip is the absolute best way to celebrate.  In terms of your request, all-inclusives... View full answer

When to buy airline tickets to Europe

Bill on August 10, 2010 | Europe,Flights
Bill needs some help on strategy for lining up flights to Europe. He asks: “When is the best time to purchase European airfare for a trip in December? Is it best to buy now or wait to see if prices go down?”

Bill, knowing when airlines are going to offer their best deals is one of those great mysteries. I wish I could pinpoint the perfect time for you to buy. That said, I can offer some general guidance. My first piece of advice is not to wait until the last minute. Yes, you can occasionally find... View full answer

Resorts near San Francisco

Renata on August 9, 2010 | Northern California,San Francisco
Renata has a big milestone anniversary coming up. She writes: “My husband and I would like to go on our 20th anniversary to …? Seven to 10 days, small resort, no kids -- from San Francisco in late April or early May 2011. What would you recommend?”

Renata, perfect call on the early planning -- you won't have to worry about availability wherever you go. As much as I’d love to send you off to Hawaii or an exotic Caribbean destination, I actually think you should save the money on travel and choose one... View full answer

Museums and a change-of-pace vacation

Suzanne on August 9, 2010 | D.C.,Boston,New York,Philadelphia,Virginia
Suzanne is a solo female traveler with enough frequent flyer miles for a domestic trip. She wants to get away for a week either in late summer or early fall. She writes: “I live in San Diego, like cities and museums, and I wouldn’t mind heading to another part of the country. Where do you recommend?”

Considering the time of year and your zest for museums, I’d look for a trip to the Northeast or mid-Atlantic. And if you have enough miles for a domestic ticket, you might as well travel the distance!... View full answer

Mother-daughter budget vacation from Texas

Andrea on August 6, 2010 | San Diego,Washington,D.C.
Andrea wants to take her 11-year-old daughter on a special trip. She writes: “We have never been out of Texas or been on a plane. I am looking for a memorable trip at a very reasonable price. I would like to go somewhere where we do not have to rent a car. I was really hoping for Colorado Springs or the beach. We do not have passports.”

Andrea, I love that you’re planning this kind of vacation with your daughter and fully appreciate wanting to do it on a budget. Let’s start with some general tips.... View full answer

Hotel ratings

Sonia on August 6, 2010 | Hotels
Sonia is concerned about her hotel. She asks: “I booked a three-star hotel and later on I saw it listed on other websites as a two-star. Is this a scam?”

Sonia, I totally understand your frustration, but I doubt it’s a scam. There are a couple of honest reasons why you might be seeing this discrepancy. The first is that the ranking on the initial website could be outdated. Another more likely explanation is that travel websites, organizations, guidebooks, and reservation services can each have their... View full answer

Fall birthday celebration

Maryann on August 5, 2010 | Chicago,Myrtle Beach,Canada,Fall
Maryann is turning 60 in late September and is looking for a rollicking “girls time out” to enjoy the occasion -- within a budget. She writes: “We live in Massachusetts, and we want to go somewhere fun -- somewhere with lots of things to do and see, and of course, shopping. What do you suggest? Late September to early November would be great.”

Maryann, I love that you're going all out and celebrating an important milestone. I’ll offer up three very different potential party spots for your big celebration.... View full answer

Tropical vacation in August

Shanequa on August 5, 2010 | Caribbean,Hawaii
Shanequa and her fiancé are looking for a tropical trip in August. She says: “We want to go somewhere tropical with beaches or maybe to the Caribbean. Money is kind of tight. What do you suggest?”

Shanequa, August can be a bit of a tricky month for tropical vacations. It is right in the middle of the Caribbean hurricane season, so going to a number of the old standbys like Jamaica or the Bahamas can be risky. If you find a great deal, by all means take advantage of it, but make sure you have travel... View full answer

A hometown vacation

Mark on August 4, 2010 |

Mark needs a cheap and easy break. He writes: “I’m low on funds but could use a weekend trip to get away from the daily grind. I’m not sure what to do.”

I hear you on that Mark. I love my kids, but I completely appreciate the need to get away for a brief break every once in a while. One underrated choice is a vacation in your own town or a city close by. Often the most expensive part of a trip is the airfare, so you’ll be cutting that expense out right from the start. Car rental headaches can also

... View full answer

Kids flying alone

Jeanine on August 3, 2010 | Flights,Traveling with children
Jeanine has a six-year-old granddaughter who will be flying alone. She asks: “What rules, policies, and regulations do I need to know?”

Jeanine, I know there’s a lot of stress involved with sending a little one off alone on a flight, so l will describe the process as best as I can. Each airline sets its own rules about unaccompanied minors, so be sure to check directly with the carrier you choose. It's important that the carrier is aware well in advance that she’ll be flying alone. Be sure to find... View full answer

Golf trips on a budget

Allen on August 2, 2010 | Myrtle Beach,Las Vegas,Orlando,golf
Allen and his wife are retired golf lovers. He writes “Because of our fixed income, we haven’t flown or done any traveling for years. Any suggestions on great affordable golf destinations?”

Allen, let’s figure out a good way to get you and your wife on the links. In terms of keeping costs down, so much depends on where you’re located. The closer the destination, the less you’ll have to devote to the travel budget. Another important factor I’d consider is timing. Going in the off-season will help the... View full answer

Fantastic food and sun

Michelle on August 2, 2010 | Los Angeles,South Florida,Summer
Michelle’s husband is turning 40 and loves fine dining and balmy weather. She explains: “It’s a special event and I want to take him somewhere in the U.S. that is both warm and a great food destination.”

Two cities immediately pop into mind: Los Angeles and Miami.

If you prefer dry heat and want to go to the West Coast, L.A. is a gourmet paradise. Wolfgang Puck’s Spago remains a go-to landmark for experiencing fine California cuisine. Beacon is an underrated Asian-fusion option in Culver City, while... View full answer

Working farm vacation

Lisa on July 27, 2010 | Ecotourism
Lisa wants a unique outdoor adventure. She asks: “Where can I stay for a few days on a working farm and work with the farmers?”

Lisa -- great question. Many people are looking for just the same experience, which is part of the ever-growing agritourism industry. You need to decide what you want to do and where, and then do an Internet search. For example, if you’re looking to help with feeding lambs and tending gardens in Southern Vermont, there’s Shepherd’s Hill Farm. If you want to dig up beets and... View full answer

Fall foliage trip

Margaret on July 28, 2010 | New England,Boston,Fall
Margaret writes with a cool weather question. She says: "I want to see the leaves changing color in the fall. Any ideas?"

Margaret, fall is such an ideal time to travel, and enjoying the change of seasons is a great focus for your vacation. If you haven't been, I'd say going to New England is the perfect choice. I'd suggest flying into Boston, which is a beautiful big city to see fall foliage in. You should spend some time taking in the sites there, and then go on a road trip. Henry David Thoreau's... View full answer

Language translators

Joe on July 27, 2010 |
Joe is very interested in international travel but is concerned about language barriers. He writes: “Are there any particular books or pocket translators that you would recommend? I’ve even heard there is an iPhone application. Are these worth the money?”

Joe, the language factor is an understandable issue. But fear not, if you have an iPhone, you’re going to have a lot of options to help you navigate the language in just about any foreign country. The best part: most of them have limited free versions... View full answer

Golf road trip: Miami to Atlanta

Sylvia on July 26, 2010 | Florida,Orlando,South Florida,golf
Sylvia and Rob are planning a drive from Miami to Atlanta to see their kids. They want to golf along the way. Sylvia writes: “We could drive either the East or the West Coast of Florida. Any ideas?”

Sylvia, this will be a fun road trip. Heading west through Tampa would add a lot of driving time so I’d probably pass. The central route is the shortest, and will get you nearest to some fantastic golf courses in Orlando. My two top choices are the Southern Dunes and the Orange County National. Unfortunately,... View full answer

A Spanish fiesta

Mark on July 26, 2010 | Europe
Mark has a vacation to Spain on his mind but is still working out the details. He asks: “When is the best time to go to Spain and save money? How do I get the best airfare? And do you have any suggestions on the best places to visit?"

With the exception of holiday weeks, I’d say October to March is the ideal time to save money on your airfare to Spain. You’ll want to fly into either Madrid or Barcelona. Which city you choose will depend on your tastes, the rest of your itinerary, and of course, prices.... View full answer

Spa and recreation resorts outside of Chicago

Nanette on July 26, 2010 | Chicago
Nanette and her husband are about to celebrate their 33rd anniversary. She says: “We’re looking for something not too far from Chicago. Our interests: golf, swimming, biking, and spa treatments. Any suggestions?”

Congratulations Nanette. You should definitely treat yourselves to something special for the occasion. If you’re willing to drive about 2 ½ hours north to Wisconsin, there are a number of excellent resorts that should fulfill all of your requirements. The Osthoff Resort on Elkhart Lake has... View full answer

Vegas deals

Mike on July 28, 2010 | Las Vegas,
Mike wants a deal on a Vegas trip. He writes: “I don’t care much for gaming, but I am looking for value, the best place to stay at the best price.”

You’re definitely at the right place. Check our site regularly for excellent deals to Vegas. Travel Ticker should be able to get you a great deal. I can also give you some more general advice on how to save a few extra dollars on travel and hotel prices. Although Sin City is perennially popular, there are a few times in the year when the crowds dwindle... View full answer

Fuel-only fares

Jay on July 26, 2010 | Flights
Jay has seen “fuel-only fares” advertised and asks the basic question: “What does it mean?”

Jay, you’re likely to see the “fuel-only” concept when searching for fares on Spirit Airlines. Earlier this year, Spirit started letting customers know what part of their fares went directly to fuel costs. Then they started offering discounted tickets that represented just the cost of the gas to get you to your destination. These tickets do reflect a good price, but don’t forget that Spirit does charge in other... View full answer

Culture spots in Cabo and the DR

Kylee on July 27, 2010 | Cabo San Lucas,Dominican Republic
Kylee and her sister are planning a girls’ trip to either Cabo San Lucas or the Dominican Republic. She says: “Other than cocktails, sun, and nightlife, we were hoping to add in some culture. What do these locations have to offer?”

Kylee, I know the reputations for Cabo and the DR are built on beautiful beaches and partying after dark (nothing wrong with that), but there are definitely other attractions that make them worthy vacation spots. Cabo’s most noteworthy historical draw is the Iglesia de... View full answer

A vacation with teens: Martha's Vineyard?

Nathalie on July 26, 2010 | Canada,Traveling with children
Nathalie is planning a vacation with her husband and two teenagers (ages 13 and 15). She writes: "We are thinking of heading to Iles de la Madeleine in Quebec, Canada, or Martha's Vineyard. What do you suggest? We need to have activities planned because the boys won't spend an entire week on the beach."

Nathalie, both locations are beautiful and will give you a great beach experience, but I'd go with Martha's Vineyard for its activities off the sand. The Vineyard's Katama Airfield is the perfect non-beach... View full answer

Out-of-the-ordinary summer spots

Becca on July 21, 2010 | Canada,Pacific Northwest,San Diego,Northern California,Summer

Becca sends along a checklist for her ideal summer family plans: “We want it to be outdoors, cost-effective and different from the ordinary. What are your thoughts?”

While it may not immediately pop into mind, ski resorts are a great destination during the summer months. Many mountain resorts are keen to keep business going after the snow melts, so they combine good prices with lots of mountain biking, hiking, and unique summertime mountain activities.

Located near Vancouver, BC, Whistler-Blackcomb

... View full answer

Eating in the Big Easy

Katie on July 21, 2010 | New Orleans

Katie is looking forward to enjoying New Orleans on an upcoming trip, but has a few food-related questions. She asks: “Has the restaurant scene in New Orleans completely recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina? How has the BP oil spill impacted restaurants? I’m going, and I’m looking for a classic New Orleans dining experience.”

Katie, New Orleans can’t seem to catch a break. It’s been five years since Katrina, and New Orleans is still recovering from it. And while the horrible BP oil

... View full answer

Thanksgiving road trip from Vegas

Colleen on July 21, 2010 | San Diego
Colleen lives in Las Vegas and wants to go elsewhere for Thanksgiving. She says: “I’m looking for a road trip for my adult family of six, but we are on a tight budget.”

Colleen, you’re in great driving range of a number of excellent outdoor spots. Zion National Park is breathtaking and has great weather during the late fall. The Grand Canyon is a longer trip but doable over the Thanksgiving holiday. The season does limit what you can experience though. For example, the Grand Canyon’s North Rim is... View full answer

Road trip: San Francisco to San Diego

Maggie on July 21, 2010 | San Diego,San Francisco,Los Angeles

Maggie is looking forward to enjoying the California Coast. She writes: “I’d like to take a 6-day road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. Any suggestions?”

You picked a great state for a road trip, Maggie. The first piece of advice I'd give you is to try to add more time to your trip. You could spend 6 days in San Diego and Los Angeles alone. What I’ll do is give you a laundry list of some of the must-sees along the way, and then you can pick and choose based on what you’re looking for.

In terms

... View full answer

Airline baggage fees

Dorothy on July 19, 2010 | Flights
Dorothy has a simple but important travel-by-air question. She asks: “Which airlines have no baggage fees?”

The bad news is it’s pretty much an industry standard now to charge baggage fees, even with the first bag. If you’re flying domestically, there are two major carriers that will allow you to check your first bag for free -- Southwest and JetBlue. For all other airlines, you’re looking at fees typically running between $15 and $25 if you’re flying economy. As for a second bag, it’s going to cost... View full answer

Disney World decisions

Maria on July 19, 2010 | Orlando
Maria would like to vacation at Orlando's Walt Disney World but needs some direction. She writes: "I don't know where to begin. How do I find where we should stay? Should we book a condo or a hotel? And where do I get tickets for the theme parks at a good price?"

Great question, Maria. With four different amusement parks in Orlando, two water parks, and 24 onsite themed resorts, I'm not surprised you're a bit overwhelmed by Walt Disney World! The absolute best way to sidestep all the stress is to... View full answer

Family float trip near Kansas

Christina on July 19, 2010 | Midwest
Christina lives in Kansas and wants to take a road trip to some good old-fashioned water excitement. She asks: “Where is a good place to take a fun family float trip?”

Christina, float trips are a great family adventure. I’m not sure where you are in Kansas, but I can offer a few popular float routes that are within a reasonable driving distance of Kansas City. Blue Springs Ranch on the Meramec River in Bourbon, Missouri (about a 3.5-hour drive) is a well-known family-oriented resort and offers good... View full answer

Water-themed family getaway from Chicago

Rick on July 16, 2010 | Chicago,Canada
Rick and his wife have two active kids (ages 9 and 6). He writes: “We live in the Chicago suburbs and would like to fly to somewhere in Canada, or we would like to go to a resort/waterpark within an eight-hour drive. Any suggestions?”

Rick, if you haven’t been before, waterparks in Wisconsin Dells might be exactly what you’re looking for in a family vacation. The Dells -- a.k.a. “The Waterpark Capital of the World” -- is just a little more than a three-hour drive from Chicago. Noah’s Ark Waterpark... View full answer

Tennis at Wimbledon

Disha on July 15, 2010 |
Disha wants to see some of the world’s best tennis. She writes: “We’d like to go to England for Wimbledon in 2011. We’re two adults who are semi-budget conscious. Any recommendations?”

Disha, what a fun plan! Wimbledon is such a special event—even if you’re not at center court eating strawberries and cream at the finals. I must admit that getting tickets, especially if you don’t want to go through a pricey ticket broker, can require determination and patience waiting in line. If you want seats at... View full answer

Solo in the Caribbean

Collins on July 15, 2010 | Caribbean,Traveling solo
Collins is considering traveling by himself to the Caribbean and asks: “Is Barbados or St. Lucia a good place to go if you are single?”

Truth be told, both islands attract a lot of weddings and honeymooning couples. This can be a bit of a downer when you’re on your own. But I wouldn’t rule out a vacation on either island. So much depends on what you want as a single traveler. If you’re looking for a safe island, both have good track records for the Caribbean. If you’re looking for breathtaking beauty,... View full answer

Buenos Aires vacation tip

Larry on July 13, 2010 |
Larry will be visiting Buenos Aires in March and April 2011. His questions: “Any suggestions on areas of the city to stay in? Also any ‘must see’ things?”

Larry, I’m thrilled for you. Buenos Aires should be on every self-respecting traveler’s bucket list for destinations to visit. In terms of where to stay, a lot will depend on your budget. If you’re up for going high end, Recoleta is the place to go. It has a Paris feel to it, and numerous top-notch hotels. The downside (besides price) is that it... View full answer

Beach and fishing vacation

Ellie on July 13, 2010 | Canada
Ellie has a his-and-hers dilemma. She writes: “We are thinking of going to a resort in either Canada or maybe the Florida Keys that has fishing for him and a pool or a beach for me. Suggestions?"

Hi Ellie. Fishing and beach/pool are both water related but pretty different activities. (I have to side with you on the beach/pool.) Nevertheless, I have suggestions. Canada has a good range of beach and fishing options depending on what vibe you’re looking for. If you’d like to enjoy a traditional resort... View full answer

Girlfriend getaway

Beth on July 12, 2010 | Mexico,Caribbean
Beth and a group of girlfriends are gearing up for a vacation where they leave everything behind (kids, jobs, husbands, etc…) She writes: “Looking or a ‘safe,’ fun, all-inclusive destination for a group of women celebrating our 50th years.”

Beth, your plan is wonderful. Whether you want to sip mimosas by the water, take yoga classes, or go on a shopping binge, you’ll be happy to know that the travel industry offers many girls getaway options. I’d suggest a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico... View full answer

Infant airline travel

Susan on July 12, 2010 | Flights,Traveling with Children
Susan is looking at ticket prices and has a question about fares for her young child. She asks: “Do you need to pay full airline fares for a 23-month-old child?”

Susan, do you want the good news or the bad news first? I'll start with the good. If you’re flying within the U.S. or to Canada or Mexico, you can avoid paying for a ticket for kids under 2. It’s also possible to pay just 10% of the regular cost of a ticket for overseas flights. (Yeah!) The big downside is your child is going to have to sit... View full answer

Avoiding hurricanes

Lisa on July 12, 2010 | Caribbean
Lisa is planning a Caribbean vacation with her husband during the final week of July or the first week in August. She writes: “We are concerned about the hurricane season; what do you recommend?”

I certainly appreciate the hurricane jitters. The season runs from June 1 through November, so there are no assurances you can avoid one if you plan a vacation during that period. That said, I can make a few suggestions. August is historically the peak month for hurricanes, so the earlier you can plan your... View full answer

Hollywood Hotel

David on July 12, 2010 | Los Angeles
David is heading off to the bright lights of Hollywood, California, but is frustrated by his hotel search. He says: “I’m having a great deal of difficulty finding an inexpensive place to stay that isn’t a low-rated motel, according to some of the reviews. Also, while searching on the motel websites I’ve found that they charge their customers huge parking fees. Help…”

David, you’re totally right—it’s hard to find a good inexpensive hotel near Hollywood’s biggest attractions. The truth is that while... View full answer

Missing Travel Ticker newsletter

Cristina on July 12, 2010 |

Unfortunately, Cristina hasn't received the Travel Ticker newsletter for the last couple of weeks. She writes: "I used to get deals on a weekly basis from your site usually on Wednesdays, but I haven't gotten any for the past two weeks. What happened?"

Cristina, let's see what we can do to resolve this asap. You don’t want to miss out on another deal. The most common reason why people no longer receive their Travel Ticker newsletter is because it was sent to the Spam folder, also known as the Junk

... View full answer

San Juan Islands

Tami on July 12, 2010 |

Tami would like to take her two children, ages 12 and 17, to the San Juan Islands. She writes: “We would love to bike, hike, and possibly try kayaking. Do you have any suggestions on which island would be the best? We would also like to keep accommodations affordable.”

Tami, the San Juan Islands are breathtaking and whichever you choose—Lopez, Orcas, or San Juan—you and your family will have plenty to do. If you haven’t been there before, I’d go with Orcas as the must-visit spot. It’s probably the

... View full answer

Texas family weekend getaway

Sharon on July 8, 2010 | Southwest

Sharon has two teenage boys and is looking to take them on a fun summer weekend getaway in her home state of Texas. She asks: “Do you have any suggestions? We have already been to San Antonio.”

I think it’s great that you’re taking this time to vacation with your teenage sons. The first option that comes to mind for your family is South Padre Island. I know, it’s known for college spring break craziness, but if you like water sports and nice beaches, it really is a great family friendly spot during

... View full answer

Budget, beauty, and shopping vacation

Barbara on July 8, 2010 | Mexico
Barbara knows exactly what she is looking for in a vacation with her husband -- she just needs to figure out where to get it. She says: "I am looking for an inexpensive destination that we can explore by walking and riding on local buses. I want a place where I can take photos of nature's beauty. I also love "shopportunities" for things made by the locals. Maybe Mexico or Puerto Rico would be the right destinations, but where?"

Barbara, I like your combination of requirements: shopping, beauty, easy... View full answer

Latin American honeymoon

Joel on July 7, 2010 | Mexico
Joel is getting married and wants a special—yet affordable—post-wedding trip. He says: “I’m a U.S. soldier looking for an affordable honeymoon to South America. Could you help me with ideas that would give me the most value for my dollar?”

Joel, South America is a great honeymoon destination. But of all the potential locations in the region, I’d recommend Costa Rica. I know you're thinking, Costa Rica is actually in Central America, but there are so many fantastic all-inclusive deals there that I... View full answer

Cruise to Mexico: passports for minors?

Molly on July 7, 2010 | Cruises,Traveling with children
Molly has a passport question. She writes: “I was wondering if my 7-year-old son needs a passport. We will be travelling on a Carnival Cruise to Mexico from Los Angeles and returning to Los Angeles.”

Hi Molly. I'm excited to hear about your cruise. A cruise offers something for everyone, especially kids. To answer your question, under U.S. law your 7-year-old can travel on this cruise without a passport as long as you have an original or a copy of his birth certificate. This is the case for any child... View full answer

Catching the Cubs and dinner

Mike on July 6, 2010 | Chicago
Mike is heading to Chicago and asks: “A friend and I have Cubs tickets and could use some advice on places to eat after the game.”

First, let me give you a big thumbs up on your choice of ball parks. I think Wrigley Field is the best place to enjoy a game (sorry Fenway Park fans). More good news: Wrigleyville and the close-by neighborhoods of Lake View and Lincoln Park are packed with dining options. If atmosphere and draft beer is a priority, you should head across the street following the game to... View full answer

Short break: cruise or Myrtle Beach?

Brittany on July 6, 2010 | Myrtle Beach,Cruises
Brittany has vacation time set aside for July 22-25, and she appears to have narrowed her choices down to two options. She writes: “I want something fun and relaxing. Maybe a mini-cruise or just a beach vacation to Myrtle Beach? I want something under $500. What do you suggest?”

Brittany, I love your plan of turning a short break into a memorable chill-out vacation. I’d suggest going with the mini-cruise. You should be able to find a deal on Travel Ticker in your price range, and with so much built... View full answer

Vacationing on your own

David on July 6, 2010 | Traveling solo,
David is bothered that the travel industry doesn’t seem to give much thought to the solo vacationer. He says: “Does the travel industry think that everyone travels in pairs? What about us single travelers?”

David, I can completely appreciate your frustration. It’s true that couples or groups are often the focus for the travel industry. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t solo-friendly options out there. Hotel chains that have received good marks from single travelers include the Fairmont Hotels... View full answer

Cottage for London Olympics

Melinda on July 1, 2010 |
Melinda has a great vacation idea and wants some guidance on accommodations. She writes: “I would like to go to the 2012 Summer Olympics with my family and rent a cottage in the outskirts of London. Can you suggest how I should begin to arrange this?”

Melinda, enjoying the English countryside and attending the Olympics sounds like a lot of fun. You’re also really smart to get an early start on planning. There are a number of online services that can help you find a cottage. I googled “London Cottage... View full answer

Seafood vacation

Terri on June 30, 2010 | East Coast
Terri has a hankering for seafood but doesn’t know where to satisfy her hunger. She says: “I’m looking for vacation destination that offers good seafood at a reasonable price. I would like to go for four days or so.”

Well Terri, I can think of a lot of places that would fit your needs. But to keep your trip within budget, I’m going to suggest Cape Cod. Cape Cod is just the right size to explore on a four-day trip. And there’s practically a seafood restaurant on every corner (finding the best lobster... View full answer

Chicago hotels on a budget

Sabrina on June 30, 2010 | Chicago
Sabrina is planning a last-minute road trip to Chicago with her two kids for the Independence Day weekend. She writes: “I’m looking for a reasonable, good hotel in Chicago or outside of Chicago. Can you suggest a nice place to stay? It’s our first time going there.”

Sabrina, I’m thrilled for you! Chicago is such a fun town and a great place for the kids to explore. Luckily there are a number of reasonably priced, family-friendly choices in town close to all of the attractions. The Hampton Inn & Suites... View full answer

Fun in Puerto Rico

Delvis on June 28, 2010 | Caribbean,Mexico
Delvis is attending a wedding in Puerto Rico, but doesn’t want the fun to end after the couple ties the knot. He writes: “On the Monday following the wedding we would like to head out and explore the rest of the island and nearby islands. Any suggestions?”
Delvis, I think there’s enough on the island to keep you busy for five days (if nothing else, this will give you an excuse for another Caribbean getaway later!). I’m not sure where you’re staying for the wedding, but your sightseeing should start... View full answer

Midwest beach vacation

Wendy on June 28, 2010 | Midwest,Chicago
Wendy is from Iowa and is looking for some sand and sun. She says: “My family wants to go on a vacation and we’d like to go to a beach somewhere. We are on a budget and there are seven of us. Any suggestions?”

Wendy, it doesn't take much to hit the beach, even from Iowa. There are actually some great beaches throughout the Midwest that are either a doable road trip or short flight away. Oval Beach near Saugatuck, Michigan has been ranked one of the 25 best shorelines worldwide by Condé Nast Traveler... View full answer

Road Trip: Bar Harbor to Nova Scotia

Anne on June 24, 2010 |
Anne lives in Rhode Island and is planning a road trip to Nova Scotia. She wants to know: “What are the must-sees from Bar Harbor, ME to Nova Scotia?”

Anne, get your camera ready for this adventure because you’re planning a seriously scenic route. Exploring Acadia National Park is a great starting point for taking in Maine’s rugged beauty. From there, I’d head up to Saint John, New Brunswick, where you can grab the CAT Ferry -- this takes you and your car to Nova Scotia. (Let's hope for a clear day... View full answer

Independence Day holiday

Mukesh on June 24, 2010 | Los Angeles,Chicago,Summer,Washington D.C.
Mukesh wants to take his family away for the Fourth of July weekend. He writes: “Can you please suggest a good vacation for a family of four (including a 12- and 15-year-old) from July 4th to 8th?”

Hi Mukesh. I always love getting away for the Fourth of July, especially when it creates a three-day weekend. This is a unique time to experience a new locale because it brings out a city’s inner-party (family friendly, of course). Expect any location to combine three essential elements: fireworks, food,... View full answer

All-inclusive resort wedding

Jerri on June 23, 2010 | Packages,Mexico
Jerri is getting married and is dealing with the all-important question: location, location, location. She writes: “I’m thinking of having my wedding at an all-inclusive resort. Do you have any suggestions?”

Jerri, it’s a great idea to do your wedding at an all-inclusive! You’ll save on costs and with so many activities already set up, you can rest easy that your guests will have things to do even if you need some “me time” to prepare for your big moment. I’m thinking the best spot would be Mexico... View full answer

Family getaway to San Diego

Johanna on June 23, 2010 | San Diego,Traveling with children
Johanna is planning a trip to San Diego, California and has a nicely straightforward question. She asks: “Can you tell me what there is to do with my family?”

Johanna, you’ve made a fantastic choice because when it comes to family friendly locations, San Diego is near – if not at – the top of the list. The must-enjoy spots for the kiddies are Legoland (about a 30 minute drive from downtown San Diego), SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo. Another option is catching a baseball game at Petco Park (even if... View full answer

Christmas vacation

June on June 18, 2010 | San Francisco,San Diego,Mexico,Wine,

June wrote to us asking, “My family agreed that I do not have to host "Christmas" this year. We live in northern Arizona, would love to get away and have two single adult children. We are not particular about where we go, we just want a great vacation at a bargain price. Any suggestions?”

That’s nice of your family.  Give moms everywhere a break people!   Now to answer your question, given that you live in a perennially sunny spot, I’m guessing you’re OK with not going to a sun destination.   Also

... View full answer

Northeast girls trip

Cynthia on June 17, 2010 | Washington D.C.,New York,East Coast

Cynthia had the great idea of a Northeast girls trip and asked, “We are looking for a sisters trip to the North East Coast. Something with sun, shopping and good food. What do you recommend?”

I’m guessing that you are looking for a trip for the summer? My favorite northeast spots that meet all of your requirements are Martha’s Vineyard and Provincetown on Cape Cod, the Hamptons in New York, Narraganset, Rhode Island, and Cape May, New Jersey. To be honest, I don’t think the shopping will blow you

... View full answer

Flying pets

Stephanie on June 16, 2010 | Pets

Stephanie is searching for some animal advice. She writes: “I need to have a pet transported. What airlines do this?”

This is a great question because pet travel can get tricky. The good news is that most airlines will transport your precious animal – it’s just a question of how, when and for what price. Depending on the size of your pet, you have the option to either bring the little one on board as a carry-on or to check it with baggage. To get your pet flying with passengers, it must be small enough

... View full answer

Pets in Vegas

Phyllis on June 16, 2010 | Pets,Las Vegas

Phyllis and her standard poodle are searching for a spot to in Las Vegas. She asks: “I need to find a hotel in Las Vegas that allows dogs. Can you tell me which hotels are available?”

Phyllis, I’m sad to say it, but surprisingly Vegas hotels are not the most pet friendly.  The only hotel in the center of the action on the Strip that allows dogs is The Four Seasons. It’s a lovely hotel, but I suspect it won’t solve your problem as it insists its “pet guests” weigh less than 25 pounds. Circus Circus

... View full answer

Napa and Sonoma wine country getaway

Rhoda on June 15, 2010 | Northern California,Wine

Rhoda is contemplating a vacation to California wine country. She explains: “I enjoy driving and want to make the best of time spent. When and where should I begin?”

I live in San Francisco, so Wine Country (Napa is about 50 miles away) is an essential oasis for me. In terms of when to go, values are best between November and March. You’ll miss the planting and “crush” (aka picking) seasons, but you’ll also sidestep the most crowded tourist times. If that period doesn’t work for you, be sure to consider

... View full answer

Hawaiian honeymoon

Donna on June 15, 2010 | Hawaii

Donna is seeking some romantic Hawaiian inspiration. She writes: “I just got married and want to go to Hawaii. Any suggestions?”

Donna, the question is where to begin!  I’d probably aim for Maui. I’ve been there many times, and I’m always looking for an opportunity to go back.  There’s a good reason why it’s been named “Best Island in the World” fifteen times in Conde Nast Traveler’s annual readers’ poll. Maui has everything you’d want in a Hawaiian getaway:  stunning natural beauty, tons of activities

... View full answer

Dominican Republic trip

Maribel Rodriquez on June 14, 2010 | Dominican Republic

Maribel asked, “What places would be fun to see in the Dominican Republic?” 

I love the Dominican Republic, which many folks refer to as the DR.  The DR is a great island in that it has rich culture and history, great beaches, friendly people and a lush interior. 

In Santo Domingo, I recommend walking around the bustling and historic Colonial Zone and if you can, stay at the Sofitel which is right in the heart of it.  Have a seafront lunch on the Caribbean or in the old town is the well-regarded Meson

... View full answer

Inclusive trips with young children

Lise on June 14, 2010 | Dominican Republic,Mexico,Traveling with children

Lise wrote in to ask, “I am planning a family Christmas vacation for 2011. I’m looking for an all inclusive children’s program starting at 2 years old… most start at age 3 or 4. Any suggestions? Mexico, Dominican Republic or anywhere South would be good.”

First of all, how organized are you?!  You are already on the ball for 2011!  Good for you- you should have your pick of the rooms. Your question is good, because it is hard to find all-inclusive programs that offer kids clubs or childcare programs

... View full answer

Northern California family getaway

Lara Ray on June 9, 2010 | San Francisco,Northern California,Summer

Lara Ray asks,  “I am planning a vacation to California with school age kids. We will be in Yosemite for 4 nights - could we do a package trip to California, and do 2 nights in San Francisco and 2 nights in Carmel or Monterey?”

Summer vacation—such a great time to explore with your kids, and you’ve got a guaranteed crowd pleaser with Yosemite and Northern California.   I’m not aware of anyone that does a package trip that combines San Francisco and Monterey/Carmel, but with a rental car you can easily

... View full answer

Oil spill impact on Destin beaches

Kellie on June 8, 2010 | Destin,oil spill,

Kellie writes  “We want to go to Destin, Florida on June 16 & stay on the beach but I am worried about the oil spill.  They say it is 7 miles out from the Destin beaches.”

The oil spill is such a mess, literally.  Is there anything worse than the pictures of the birds with their wings all gummed up in oil, or the sad fisherman who have lost their livelihood?  Arghhhh!  I could write a diatribe about how angry this makes all of us, but that is not Kellie’s question. 

To answer your question, Kellie,

... View full answer

All-inclusive option

Michael on June 3, 2010 | Packages,Mexico

Michael wants a getaway this winter and is open to a variety of destinations. His big request: “Can you recommend an all-inclusive package at a great price?”

Michael, great call on the all-inclusive vacation. You get your food, accommodations, drinks and a multitude of scheduled activities in a great environment, which means you can have fun with fewer headaches. And, equally as important, you know in advance exactly what you are spending to avoid sticker shock at check-out.

Mexico is a go-to choice

... View full answer

Roadtrip from Tulsa

Jerry on June 3, 2010 | Midwest,Southwest

Jerry and his wife have an upcoming break from the kids, and needed advice on a getaway. He wrote,  “Hey Barb, I will have my wife to myself, finally, since my son and daughter will be gone from July 6 to July 31.  I live in Tulsa now and would love to know about some weekend getaways I could drive to.”

Hallelujah!  Send those kids packing!  It is my pleasure to offer you some suggestions for a getaway.  (or even two … or three)  First, how about Branson, MO?  At ~220 miles, it’s a hike but I’d say

... View full answer

Middle Eastern getaway

Paz on June 3, 2010 |
Paz is looking to explore the Middle East. He asks: “When is the best time to travel to Jerusalem, Egypt and Jordan?

Sounds like a great trip. For me, two factors would influence the timing decision: the weather and the crowds. While Jerusalem is surprisingly temperate all year round thanks to its high altitude, Jordan and Egypt are going to be insanely hot in the summer. (The winters can also get pretty cold.) The weather is great in late September and October, but you’re going to have to deal with... View full answer

Hurricane insurance for flights

Nancy G. on June 3, 2010 | Flights

Nancy G. is curious about flight insurance in the case of a hurricane. She asks,  “Can you buy insurance if a hurricane is coming to our area to cancel the flights without losing money?”

It is the season!  And it is a great question.  The short answer is “yes you can”, but there are a few caveats.  Travel insurance providers offer plans that will compensate you in the event that your trip is cancelled or interrupted.  Now here are the caveats.  First, there is always a cap on the amount they will

... View full answer

Traveling with pets

John R. on June 3, 2010 | Pets,Flights

John R. had a question about traveling with pets. He wrote, “I want to take my dog with me on the airplane in the cabin.  Are there restrictions and if so what are they?  He is 35 lbs. and a puppy.”

Dear John –

Oh no!  A “Dear John” letter in more ways than one.  John, I have bad news for you.  As far as I know, there is no air carrier in the US that will allow you to have your puppy in the cabin.  Most carriers have weight restrictions – the pet can be no more than 20 lbs.  And there are also kennel

... View full answer

Myrtle Beach getaway

Norma on June 2, 2010 | Myrtle Beach
Norma has a very meaningful trip coming up. She writes: “My daughter, grand daughter, great granddaughter and myself are planning a trip and are looking in the Myrtle Beach, SC area. Do you have any suggestions?”

What a fun trip! You won’t be disappointed with Myrtle Beach because it’s a gem. Not only are the beaches great but there are also fantastic activities beyond just lounging at the beach (not that there is anything wrong with that). I’d recommend exploring Barefoot Landing, a collection of... View full answer

Inexpensive flight to Germany

Susie on June 2, 2010 | Europe,Flights

Susie has a price question for a European excursion. She asks: “I need a mid-June flight to Germany. Is there any chance that a round-trip ticket will go below $1,000?”

Susie, this is a tough one. Even with maximum flexibility on your dates and assuming you’re leaving from America’s most inexpensive European departure point (New York City), you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a fare in that range at this point. Everything we’re hearing is that air fare to Europe this summer is going to be up 20%

... View full answer

Road Trip: Boston to Scranton to Myrtle Beach

Iris on June 2, 2010 | Boston

Iris has one serious road trip planned that covers more than 1,000 miles! She writes: “My hubbie and I are going from Boston, MA. to Scranton, PA. and then through Myrtle Beach, SC. What places do you recommend to stop by? At least five top things to see and experience.”

Iris, I’m loving the specificity of this request. For the first half of the trip – Boston to Scranton – you’re going to want to check out the Nook Farm area in Hartford, CT. In particular, the homes where Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher

... View full answer

Subscribing to the "deals" newsletter

Mark on May 28, 2010 | Newsletter

Mark asked, “Is there any way to get weekly e-mails from you with the best deals in travel?”

First of all, I have to make clear to everyone that we did not pay Mark to write this one!  In fact, we don’t even know Mark!  But seriously Mark, I love your question.  Everyone should get our deals right into their inbox.  You can subscribe to our deals newsletters at this link:


... View full answer

International Flights Pricing - Regulated?

Lynette on May 28, 2010 | Flights

Lynette asked, “Are the prices of international flights somehow regulated?”

Thanks for writing in, and the answer is that they are not.   The prices are set competitively by the individual airlines.  I can see why you might think that is possible, because it seems like prices are always with in a range of each other on multiple airlines.   When prices shift up or down at the same time, it is because of either seasonality demands (lots of people want to travel that route at the same time) or because

... View full answer

Environmentally conscious traveling

Mark on May 28, 2010 | Ecotourism

Mark has some time off and is looking to make sure he’s eco-friendly during his holiday. He says: “I definitely want to have fun, but I also want to minimize my carbon footprint. What would you recommend to meet both objectives?”

I’ve always wondered what a carbon footprint looks like.  Not really.  But seriously, and thankfully, more and more people have your attitude and the tourism industry is listening. No matter where you go, there are numerous ways to reduce your environmental impact. If you

... View full answer

Budget Honeymoon destinations

Lauren on May 28, 2010 | San Diego,Northern California

Lauren is planning a honeymoon and writes: “My fiancé and I are running out of time to book a honeymoon. He doesn't want to go to Hawaii yet and would have to expedite getting a passport if we were to leave the country. This limits us somewhat. We'd like to be away for a week or so and don't have the money to stay in an expensive hotel for that length time. We are active and wouldn't like being stuck on a beach the entire time. We love beautiful scenery but don't want to be scorched in the desert

... View full answer

Flexibility in package deals

Kim on May 28, 2010 | Packages

Kim asked, “Can you fly and use a package deal, but stay to travel an extra week and then fly the return leg?  Or do you have to fly as soon as the package deal is completed?”

I can relate- sometimes you see a price for a package deal that is so great, but you just want to spend more time at the destination than is allocated.  Well the good news is that in most cases, you can extend the airfare.  The price may change depending on your dates, but many times it won’t.  It really depends on the type

... View full answer

When to book summer travel

Laureen on May 28, 2010 | Flights

Laureen wrote in the following: “I'm trying to book a flight to Portland for the end of June and have been following Bing/travel's price predictor. For the past two weeks it's been telling me to wait....but prices are steadily rising and I'm getting nervous. Is there a secret as to when I should be booking travel? Prices seem to be just as high for August too.” 

Laureen, thanks for writing in.  I can only tell you what I would do—which is book!  All I’ve read these days is that summer load factors

... View full answer

Summer family travel

Melissa on May 26, 2010 | Summer,Mexico,San Diego,Caribbean

Melissa has an 11-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son and wants to plan a summer vacation that meets all her family’s needs. She says: “We’ve done Walt Disney World (twice) and could really use an alternative.”

Disney is great for families, but I hear you. While I recommend every family visit Disney at least once, there's a whole world to explore with an abundance of deals in kid-friendly locales. If you're looking for low stress and lots of sun, an all-inclusive vacation at a beach resort is the

... View full answer

Cash, check or card?

Nancy on May 24, 2010 |

Nancy needs help dealing with one typical financial snafu on trips abroad. She writes: “On vacation, should I get traveler’s checks, bring cash, or rely on a credit or ATM card?”

Ha, it’s the million-dollar question! I hate to say it, but this one really depends so much on where you’re going and which bank you use. I’ll say that when I travel, I tend to use a combination of credit cards and ATM cards.

If you’re big on safety, traveler’s checks may be the way to go. Just be sure to keep your receipt—most

... View full answer

Cruise novice

Gloria on May 24, 2010 | Cruises

Gloria has never been on a cruise and asks: "With the recession, is now the best time financially to go for it? Are cruise lines cutting back on routes, or will I have choices?"

I say go for it. The cruise industry has weathered the economic storm, so you're not going to find rock-bottom prices, but you can still find reasonable rates.

Rather than discounting cruises, most companies will look to offer low everyday prices on certain routes at certain times of the year. Cruises can be unbelievably inexpensive

... View full answer

Heading to the beaches - with a passport

Ginger and Pam on May 24, 2010 |

I received 2 good passport questions.  Ginger asks whether she needs a passport to go the Caribbean, and Pam wanted to know if she needed one for Mexico or the Bahamas.  Great question since this has changed quite a bit over the past few years.

The answer in nearly all cases is that yes, you will need a passport to travel to the Caribbean, Mexico and the Bahamas.  The one exception in the Caribbean is if you are traveling to the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.  Since these are US territories you

... View full answer

Flying 101

Jessica on May 21, 2010 | Flights
Jessica asks a simple but very important question: "If I have flexibility and want to keep costs down, when is the best time to fly?"

Jessica, you've got what it takes to find the lowest fares: flexibility. I love it when people tell me they're flexible. It's like music to my ears. If you're not tied down to specific travel dates and times, I can think of a million other, and better, ways to spend that extra money. Fares are usually the lowest when you travel on a Wednesday, followed by Tuesday and... View full answer

A Memorial Day vacation with meaning

Laura on May 20, 2010 | Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco,Summer

Laura is planning a family vacation during the Memorial Day holiday and is hoping for something out of the ordinary. She wants to know: "Can you give me a suggestion for a trip where we can emphasize the true meaning of Memorial Day?"

While we all love having a three-day weekend at the end of May, it's sometimes easy to forget the point of Memorial Day, which is to recognize soldiers who gave their lives in service to our country. The good news is that there are some great spots where you can combine

... View full answer

Farm-to-table travel ideas for foodies

Josh on May 19, 2010 | Ecotourism,New York,San Francisco,Chicago
I received a great question from Josh.  He writes: "I'm really interested in the farm-to-table restaurant trend. Which are the best cities to go to for this type of restaurant?"

As a food lover myself, I really love this trend of organic, local food.  Fine dining on farm fresh foods has grown so popular that you can find quality farm-to-table restaurants in just about every major city nowadays. In New York, Blue Hill is a great choice, while Chez Panisse has been leading San Francisco's traceable... View full answer

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For the last four years, Angela has negotiated exclusive deals with multiple hotel, airline, package, cruise, and car partners, giving expert commentary and context as to what makes each deal so amazing. Through her experience, Angela has made valuable contacts throughout the travel industry from which she's able sto gather great insider information.

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