Best Travel Deals and News – July 6, 2010 – U.S. Passport Fees Rise, Google Travel Domination, Full Body Scanners, Travel Around New Zealand

by brian on July 6, 2010

Travel news and deals of interest to YOU from around the Web compiled and edited by

If you know any great travel stories or tips we all should read, please send it to me and I will put an acknowledgment of your contribution in the posting.

Giant Step Into Travel for Google
From loyal reader Karen

Google Acquires ITA, World Domination Almost Complete

Google buys ITA, which many feel is a precursor to Google dominating the travel booking market. This may sill have to pass regulators but anytime a company with the reach and cash of Google makes a grab like this, it could make things diffuclt for smaller firms. And if competition is stifled, there is always the chance of raised fares for the public.

Passport and Visa Fee Hikes Hit July 13

I talked before about passport fees rising and now it is here. Find your passport and get it renewed. If this is your first one, so much the better. And if you need to add pages to your passport, the fee goes from $0 to $82. Huge jump!

Travel Video of the Week
Cranky Taste-Tests the JetBlue Snack Boxes

Most everyone has a story about airline “food” and how the quality and taste has gone down in the last ten years. A blogger ranted about JetBlue’s meal selections and they offered to let him try them all. This is his story.

TBEX ’11 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Those of you that follow me on Twitter know #TBEX has been all the rage. By the time you read this the pre-registration might will have been sold out, but keep an eye on Twitter or craigslist for someone who can’t go and is selling their ticket. That is how I got my ticket for 2010.
If you don’t want to chance it, another batch goes on sale September 5.

Full-body scanners could pose cancer risk at airports, U.S. scientists warn

We should have seen this coming. Full body x-ray machines mean more exposure to damaging radiation. If this concerns you, ask if you can get the manual patdowm from agents instead passing through the machine. Heard reports that the agents are a little more aggressive if you opt for this to conduct as thorough a check as possible. Prepare to have things squeezed, tugged and jostled in public.

5 Ways to Travel Around New Zealand

New Zealand is a place where you wonder how you would get around without a car. So what do you do when you want to see the magnificent greenery that captivates visitors from all over the world? You can hop aboard backpacker buses. Or ride the buses or trains. Or a campervan. All legitimate options for exploring New Zealand or any geographically large country. They recommend hitchhiking too, but I’ve got to pass on that.

6 Adventurous Destinations for Solo Travelers

Looking for some ideas? Check out this traveler and some of the things she recommend you vist. The best thing: She’s been to these places.

An Amazon Cruise for $17 a Day. Hammock Not Included

Excellent adventure from the new Frugal Traveler in the New York TImes. Down the Amazon River in a boat, with a hammock, meals everyday and the friendliest Brazilians you would ever meet. The whole idea seems fantastic. Would love to do it.

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