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May 2012

May 30, 2012

Round-the-World vs. Point-to-Point Tickets

By BootsnAll

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Airplane travel-86482754(Thinkstock Images)
(Thinkstock Images)

Anyone who's in the early stages of around-the-world travel planning will testify that it can feel a bit like trying to drink from a fire hose. You can go from barely knowing the popular acronym "RTW" to learning the pros and cons of traveling East-West vs. West-East in no time at all—which means you'll hit information overload quickly. But one critical topic worth some extra attention is whether it's better to book round-the-world tickets or book point-to-point tickets as you travel.

For most simple round-trip flights, booking point-to-point is more expensive, so it's not an option most travelers are familiar with until they start learning about RTW travel. When it comes to multi-stop international trips, however, it can be cheaper—often by quite a bit—if you don't book official-sounding "round-the-world tickets" and just book one-way flights from city to city.

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Related Topics: Air Travel · Travel Tips · Trip Ideas

May 25, 2012

Get Rewared for Telling Your Best Fish Tale


Avid fishermen (and those who love—or tolerate—them) know the story of the one that got away is part of the experience. And with fly-fishing, which these days mostly embraces a catch-and-release philosophy, all you have to show at the end of the day is your wide smile. But if you’ve been inspired to capture some visual proof to back up those tall tales, here’s your chance to immortalize that perfect catch. 

Scotland’s Speyburn Single Malt Whisky recently announced their search for the “Perfect Catch.”  Upload a photo of your favorite fish, pair it with a 100-word story about the catch, and you could win a professionally framed artist rendering of your photo and a $500 Orvis gift card. Better yet, for every photo submitted, Speyburn will donate a dollar to American Rivers, the leading organization to restore and protect the country’s rivers and streams. In other words, not only do you get to brag about your epic fish prowess, but your (well-intended) vanity also gives back to the rivers that offer you so much joy.

As for the whisky itself? It’s distilled in the Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, a landscape tailor-made for fishing—as well as paddling, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. The caramel-colored, medium-bodied whisky drinks smooth and easy, and is best enjoyed with only a few drops of water to open up the hints of green apple and vanilla spice. We find it's also best enjoyed after a day spent on your favorite river.

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Related Topics: Food and Drink · Free Stuff · From Around the Web

May 23, 2012

Ships Invade Baltimore to Remember the (Sometimes Forgotten) War of 1812

Baltimore's Fort McHenry, Site of the Celebration of the American Flag Festivities on June 16 (Visit Baltimore)

The Civil War may have resulted in more American deaths than any other conflict, and the World War II Memorial now dominates a large section of the National Mall, but this summer Maryland proudly turns our attention the War of 1812, the conflict that solidified the United States’ independence from the British and gave birth to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The biggest celebration takes place in Baltimore, June 13-19, with the Star-Spangled Sailabration in Charm City’s famed harbor. The free week-long celebration includes ship tours of more than two dozen boats from the U.S. Navy, Canadian warships, and tall ships from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Mexico. The Blue Angles will conduct the Star-Spangled Air Show on June 16 and 17, a two-day festival held at Martin State Airport where you can meet the Blue Angels. And the world premiere of the “Overture for 2012” composed by Philip Glass will take place on the 17th at the Meyerhoff Symphonic Hall. Fort McHenry, the place that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” sits at the mouth of the Baltimore Harbor, and on Saturday the 16th, a fireworks display will be staged as part of the Celebration of the American Flag.

Continue reading "Ships Invade Baltimore to Remember the (Sometimes Forgotten) War of 1812" »

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Related Topics: Historical Travel · Holidays, Events, & Festivals · Last Minute Trips

May 22, 2012

Don't Believe the Hype: Mexico Is Safe

A deserted beach on Isla Espiritu Santo (Nathan Borchelt)

The grisly discovery of 49 decapitated bodies in northern Mexico understandably populated national headlines last week. But one very important fact gets lost amid the gore and violence: Parts of Mexico are still perfectly safe.

Two weeks ago—the same time that the gruesome discovery was made just outside of San Pedro—I was in La Paz, Mexico. This gem of a city sits on the southern Baja peninsula, a world away from the drug wars unfolding across Mexico’s northern mainland. In La Paz, as well as throughout Baja Sur, crime is exceptionally low; the murder rate for South Baja is 2.58 per 100,000 people, which is lower than Los Angeles (9.6), Detroit (18.1), and Washington D.C. (24), according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

La Paz also defies another common perception of Mexico. Though it’s only two hours from Cabo San Lucas—a realm of time-shares, congested traffic, and towering, all-inclusive resorts—La Paz embraces an island mentality more akin to the Caribbean than Mexico. Clear coastline rims the city of 200,000, with a long boardwalk—or Malacón—that attracts local families who wander up and down the walkway, playing soccer in the sand, watching the setting sun, and embracing the cool breeze that rolls off the Gulf of California. Kayakers and stand-up paddlers ply the mellow waters, while locals and tourists at the waterfront Bismarkcito restaurant dine on fresh ceviche, fish tacos, and the famed chocolate clams, best eaten from the shell with a spray of fresh lime and a dollop of soy and habañero hot sauce.

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Related Topics: Mexico Travel · Outdoor Adventures · Scuba & Snorkeling · Travel Raves

May 21, 2012

Reverse Culture Shock: What It Is and How to Beat It

By BootsnAll

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Most people are familiar with the concept of culture shock: You go somewhere that's foreign to you and feel confused, out of place, and even angry. But what if you come back home to surroundings and people that are supposed to be familiar and comforting, and you still feel confused, out of place, and angry? That's even worse.

When you experience the symptoms of culture shock upon returning from a trip it's called "reverse culture shock," and it's not hard to understand how this can happen. Once you get used to the formerly mystifying aspects of a place, a different set of social norms is going to feel strange, even if they once felt completely normal.

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Related Topics: Travel News · Travel Tips

May 15, 2012

Where to Eat, Sleep, and Play in London During the 2012 Olympic Games

By Guest Blogger

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The Natural History Museum,London-135525635(iStockphoto,Thinkstock)
The Natural History Museum, London (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

If you're going to the Olympic Games in London this summer, it's likely that your mind will be mainly on the sport, but there are a whole range of exciting other activities in the capital. Here's a quick rundown of some of the quirkiest things to do in London during the Olympic season.

It has been reported that Olympic swimming gold medallist Michael Phelps consumes up to 12,000 calories per day during training. If you're looking to emulate something similar, then be sure to visit some of London's best calorific restaurants.

Experimental chef Heston Blumenthal's Dinner, in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge, is a rare treat for any would-be food connoisseur. His latest restaurant, which was inspired by historical cooking methods researched in the British library, is a culinary feat. The restaurant was named number nine in the world's 50 best restaurants list, bringing Blumenthal's total on the list to two.

Continue reading "Where to Eat, Sleep, and Play in London During the 2012 Olympic Games" »

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May 04, 2012

Best Resorts for a Mother's Day Getaway

By Kate Chandler

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(The Inn at Palmetto Bluff)

This is a friendly reminder to all you spouses, sons, and daughters out there: Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday, May 13. And one of the best ways to show mom you appreciate her is with a weekend getaway. Resorts are a good solution for last-minute trips (less planning), and whether mom is looking for a relaxing spa retreat or a few days with the whole family, we have the resort for you.

Spa Resort
Mom loves all the chaos, er, fun that daily life brings. But sometimes she just needs a break. Cal-a-vie Health Resort in Vista, California, just outside of San Diego, provides over-the-top services like a pumpkin souffle body wrap, coffee massage, and micro-current hydrolift facial. If mom is not the type to lounge around all day, the resort also offers a full line-up of fitness classes.
See more spa resorts>>

Continue reading "Best Resorts for a Mother's Day Getaway" »

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May 02, 2012

2012 is the Year of the Girl Scout

In 1912, sitting in her childhood home in Savannah, Georgia, Juliette Gordon Low called her cousin Nina and said, "Come right over! I've got something for the girls of Savannah and all America and the world and we're going to start it tonight!" Now, 100 years later, more than 50 million girls have joined together to uphold the mission of the Girl Scouts organization that Juliette dreamed up long ago. Juliette believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to become tomorrow's leaders and ultimately make the world a better place. She formed the first Girl Scout Troop on March 12, 1912, and today there are troops in more than 92 countries.

Find yourself in downtown Savannah, Georgia, and you can walk in the footsteps of the founder by visiting where it all started, The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. A tour will teach visitors about Juliette and the Girl Scout movement. Special celebrations will be held throughout the year to commemorate the 100th anniversary.

The Girl Scout Organization will also celebrate its 100-year anniversary in the nation's capital from June 1 through June 11. The Girl Scouts Rock The Mall event will no doubt be a highlight. On June 9, more 200,000 Girl Scouts, friends, family, and alumni will come together to participate in the world's largest Sing-Along on the National Mall. Since the organization's beginning, songs have been used to celebrate friendship and the commitment to the principles of the Girl Scouts. So join the movement and support the scouts beyond your annual cookie buy.

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