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March 2012

March 30, 2012

Timing is Everything: Getting Flight Deals

By BootsnAll

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Online flight booking(iStockphoto,Thinkstock)
It might seem to the outsider that the prices on airline tickets are as capricious as teenagers in love. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to how much tickets cost, and you may have read about the enormous difference between the ticket prices paid by passengers seated next to one another on the same flight. It's particularly notable with international airfare, where the disparities in ticket prices can be several hundred dollars.

What appears to be entirely random, however, actually has some method to the madness. You may not be able to pinpoint the exact nanosecond when a given flight will be at its lowest fare, but there are enough patterns to the pricing of airline tickets that you can get much closer to the lowest prices just by knowing a few simple rules about timing.

Continue reading "Timing is Everything: Getting Flight Deals" »

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Related Topics: Travel Deals · Travel Tips

March 26, 2012

A Walk to Remember: The Best Street Art Around the World

By Lacy Morris

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Oscar Romero by Juana Alicia, Mission District, San Francisco, California (Nathan Borchelt)

The world is your oyster, your baby, your litter box, your classroom—but to many, it's their canvas, which, for the rest of us, makes it our giant art gallery. From political statements to pop culture references and youth subcultures, street art is becoming more and more acceptable, as cities strive to preserve the artist's work instead of the whitewashing of previous years. To inspire the artist in you, here are some of the coolest displays of street art around the world.

San Francisco, California
San Francisco's Mission District is a neighborhood that has gone through many regentrifications over the years. Today, it is an eclectic mix of subcultures and easily one of the most vibrant areas of the city. The narrow streets are frequented by the youth of San Francisco, as questionable bars, food stands, and used clothing boutiques line the streets. Balmy Alley is particularly popular as one of the best streets to take in some street art. The collection of murals runs between 24th Street and Garfield Square, and serves as a way to express concerns, disagreements, and statements of support for religious and political struggles. More than 30 different paintings cover brick buildings, garage doors, trash cans, and basically anything with a hard surface. Organized tours can take you into the alleyways and offer a glimpse into the artist's life and some of their other work.

Continue reading "A Walk to Remember: The Best Street Art Around the World" »

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March 23, 2012

The Best of Easter: Five Places to Seek the Golden Egg

Decorated Easter eggs(Thinkstock Images,Getty Images,Comstock)
(Thinkstock Images)

Easter usually brings a break for school, basket's full of Cadbury eggs, and of course Easter egg hunts! So to help you decide which way you want to hop, we've found some unique egg hunts and other fun activities along the bunny trail.

The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt
London, England
The world's largest Easter Egg hunt began on February 21st in London and will go through Easter Sunday on April 8th, hosted by Russian jeweler, Fabergé. Over 200 two-and-a-half-feet-tall eggs were designed by famous artists, designers, and jewelers and have been placed throughout 12 "Egg Zones" in central London. So grab your Easter basket (or more likely your cameras and your phone to text each egg's keyword) and get to hunting. At the end of the egg hunt, the eggs will be auctioned off for charity and one lucky egg hunter will win the Fabergé Tribute Egg: The Diamond Jubilee Egg. Travel Guide: Going to London

Continue reading "The Best of Easter: Five Places to Seek the Golden Egg" »

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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Holidays, Events, & Festivals · Trip Ideas

March 22, 2012

Winter Is Dead! Long Live Winter!

By awayblog

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Snowboarder admires Grand Tetons from slopes of Grand Targhee, Wyoming (Michael Petrik)

Although winter's a fading memory—or barely a memory, if you had weather like we had in balmy D.C.—we're offering one last chance to admire the chilly majesty of Old Man Winter here on Last month, we asked you to enter your most inspirational photos in our Winter Dream Destinations Contest, and you obliged with an avalanche of your favorite snow- and ice-covered moments. The chill set in from Alaska to Antarctica, Lake Tahoe to Lapland, but the one that captured our frosty hearts was the above shot of the Grand Tetons doing a wintery "striptease" in front of skiers and snowboarders at Wyoming's Grand Targhee Resort. Makes us want to brew up a cup of cocoa and watch the rest of the show! Congratulations to Ohio-based reader Michael Petrik, who wins a $100 VISA gift card for his entry.

Have a great photo that captures your love of travel? This month we're asking our readers to send in their most inspirational Caribbean scene. Or stay tuned in April for our National Parks Dream Destination contest!

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Related Topics: News · Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Photography

March 21, 2012

How to Honeymoon Like a Celebrity

By BootsnAll

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A private cove in the Seychelles (Goodshoot/Thinkstock)

Despite living a life most of us can't relate to in any way, celebrities occasionally do things that normal people do. Even while performing mundane tasks, however, celebrities are hounded by paparazzi—and that feels particularly invasive when celebs are trying to do something intimate like get married or go on a honeymoon.

Given how challenging it can be to really "get away from it all" when your every move is photographed, it's easy to understand why the most popular celebrity honeymoon destinations are especially known for their high level of privacy.

The most popular destinations for celebrity honeymoons are outlined below, and you'll note some common themes. They're almost all sunny spots focused on beaches, and none of them are cheap. Money can buy a certain degree of privacy, so the high-end resorts and locales make sense. In some cases, the location itself is so remote that the difficulty of getting there makes it exclusive and therefore more private.

Continue reading "How to Honeymoon Like a Celebrity" »

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March 19, 2012

Why Indians Like to Drink

From my experience, Indians love their blended whisky (specifically Johnny Walker). Perhaps it’s a lingering influence from the days of English colonization. But I hazard to guess that, if they elected to try a single malt whisky harvested and distilled in their own country, they may change their allegiance.

Last week I had the good fortune to be introduced to Amrut, a whisky distillery whose variety of single malts are fully developed in India—a kind of locavore movement for the drinking set. I was able to sample two of their whiskies at a tasting event held on a surprisingly balmy night on the roof deck of Washington, D.C.’s Jack Rose, one of the best cocktail-themed restaurants in the nation’s capital.

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Related Topics: Asia Travel · Food and Drink

March 16, 2012

Rugged Luxury: The World's Most Remote Luxury Lodges

By BootsnAll

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Sanctuary Lodge at Machu Picchu, Peru

There are luxury hotels all over the world, and they all provide some variety of over-the-top amenities to make guests feel eminently comfortable—but perhaps the best way to demonstrate luxury is to contrast it with rugged surroundings.

Here are seven luxury hotels and resorts in rugged and often remote locations, where you'll be no less pampered, but where you may need to watch out for wild animals prowling the grounds at night.

Phinda & Beyond Private Game Reserve—South Africa
There's no denying the luxury of a stay at Phinda, regularly called Africa's top luxury safari, where guests choose from six different lodge areas set beautifully among nearly 59,000 acres of wilderness. Each guest gets an entire lodge building to themselves, there's no end to the gourmet food available, and all of the Big Five are found at this African safari reserve. Just note that you'll need a staff chaperone to walk around after dark in order to avoid the animals that lurk unseen.

Sanctuary Lodge—Machu Picchu, Peru
Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is on many a bucket list, but if you'd like a slightly more luxurious route to the same iconic view, you can book a stay at the Sanctuary Lodge. It's the only hotel anywhere near Machu Picchu, and guests get to experience the World Heritage Site when it's not overrun by day-trippers, and of course everything from the suites to the restaurants to the spa services is top-notch (not to mention eco-friendly).

Continue reading "Rugged Luxury: The World's Most Remote Luxury Lodges" »

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Related Topics: Exotic Escapes · Places to Stay · Trip Ideas

March 15, 2012

How to Give Back: Pack for a Purpose

By Lacy Morris

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In navigating the tricky world of airline luggage-weight limits, safari-bound Rebecca Rothney realized that, while she was limited to 40 pounds while on safari, she was allowed 100 pounds (plus a 40-pound carry-on) on the larger airlines. Rothney and her husband, Scott, contacted the safari company, Wilderness Safaris, about how they could use the extra weight allowance to bring supplies to local peoples. Thus spawned the idea of Pack for a Purpose—a non-profit organization that encourages travelers to use extra luggage space to bring supplies to communities in need around the world. 

On her next trip, the former teacher delivered school supplies to a school in Botswana. Six years later, the couple visited Kenya and toured several of the classrooms where Pack with a Purpose supplies had been going to. “We were allowed to take a map into one classroom and show the students where we were from. Then we visited one of the upper-grade classrooms, which was having a geometry lesson at the time. The amazing thing was that there was not a single geometry kit in the school, but we had just brought ten with us in our duffel bag. It was so rewarding to know that these students would now actually have the geometry tools readily available to every student in Raleigh, North Carolina, where we live.”

Continue reading "How to Give Back: Pack for a Purpose" »

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March 12, 2012

The Unofficial London 2012 Summer Olympics Guide to the East End

Museum of the Docklands near Canary Wharf (courtesy, Museum of London)

Walking down from Canary Wharf through the Isle of Dogs on a crisp winter afternoon last month, it was hard to imagine that this part of London will, in mere months, become the center of the sporting and cultural galaxy with the arrival of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Yes, construction cranes dot the skyline, workers scurry to complete renovations to the Cutty Sark exhibit over in Greenwich, and vendors are starting to hawk overpriced London 2012 Olympics regalia. But the overall impression I got was of a city that's still busy with other affairs. In fact, a palpable British restraint hangs over getting too excited about the event until it actually starts; for now, there's moaning to be done about cost overruns, the ability of the Tube to handle all those visitors, and the fact that Brits just don't do extravaganzas.

Let's face it, though, London is used to tourists. Millions upon millions each year. But those same tourists aren't quite so familiar with the side of London where the Olympic events will take place. The London Olympic Stadium is located in the east London borough of Newham, which is a world away from the tony Kensington or Notting Hill neighborhoods with which so many North Americans tourists are familiar. The East End has historically been the poorer, working-class side of this sprawling capital city, a place that was blackened by factory soot in the Victorian era and leveled by German bombers during World War II.

Continue reading "The Unofficial London 2012 Summer Olympics Guide to the East End" »

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Related Topics: European Travel · Holidays, Events, & Festivals

March 01, 2012

A Rush of Beauty: The Best Waterfalls by Continent

By BootsnAll

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Angel Falls(Top Photo Group,Thinkstock)
Angel Falls in South America (Top Photo Group/Thinkstock)

Even if you're a city person, it's hard not to be impressed with the sheer power of Mother Nature—especially when you're close to the deafening roar of a massive waterfall in full flow. There's an invigorating combination of fear, awe, and wonder that we feel when thinking about its possibilities—both for bad and good.

There are waterfalls worth visiting in nearly every corner of the planet, so making a list of all the cool-looking ones would be more than a bit challenging (and make for a ridiculously long article), so instead, here's a list of one exceptionally cool waterfall from each continent—yes, including Antarctica.

South America: Angel Falls
While the Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil is possibly more famous for its enormous size, the distinction of the tallest waterfall on earth goes to Angel Falls in Venezuela. This waterfall plunges a grand total of 3,212 feet from top to bottom, and never fades completely, even during the dry season. Reaching Angel Falls isn't easy—it requires a flight into the jungle to the point from which river tours depart—and although the falls have water flowing year-round, these tours typically only run in the wet season.'s Top Venezuela Vacation Spots

Africa: Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls can't compete with the likes of Angel Falls when it comes to height, but this enormous waterfall spans a width of more than 5,600 feet along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe—the volume of water that runs over the edge during the wet season is phenomenal, and the spray from the pool at the bottom of the falls is often more than three times the height of the falls themselves. Victoria Falls isn't the kind of waterfall where you can attempt to go over and live to tell the tale, but adventurous souls will want to plan to swim in "Devil's Pool," a natural swimming pool in the river right at the edge of the falls—and yet completely safe (during a few months a year, anyway).'s Victoria Falls Travel Guide

Continue reading "A Rush of Beauty: The Best Waterfalls by Continent" »

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