Best Travel Deals and News – April 5, 2011 – Frequent Flyer Miles for Beginners, Duty Free Shops, Free Things in London, Cheap Things to Do in Rome

by brian on April 5, 2011

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.

Crime and Safety: Another Reason Why Americans Need to Travel Abroad

The biggest American cities may be rich in material wealth, but many travelers would feel safer from crime in developing countries. My theory: When there is such a disparity in wealth in developed nations like the United States, crime could be a problem. In a developing country, most everyone is poor. As a tourist people assume you may be rich, but you are still safer.

US Airlines average fare hikes every 9 days in 2011

US based carriers have averaged a price increase every 9 days. Is it collusion when everyone goes along with the same price increase? Or does there have to be premeditated and determined beforehand?

Travel Video of the Week
Hacking Frequent Flyer Programs
This is a nice, quick less than 6 minute primer on frequent flyer programs and why you would want sign up or programs and start accumlating miles. Then there is argument of flying with no purpose other than collecting miles vs the carbon emissions you’ve helped put into the environment to do it. I’m not judging, I’m just letting you make informed decisions whether this if for you.

(Almost) free travel ideas for extreme penny pinchers

Two organizations with ways that you can work for your room, board and meals. You don’t have to pay for your accommodations, but you will have to work.

Don’t expect a bargain at duty free airport shops

I have never seen a bargain at an airport duty free shop. It always felt like the price was raised just so that they can get the money that the taxes didn’t cover. Save your money and buy whatever you need at home or where the locals would get it.

10 More Things To Do in London For Free

London is easy for English speakers and while it can be expensive, here are some ideas to occupy your time.

Don’t let turbulence freak you out

It’s easier said than done to not scream in horror like a little girl when your plane is dipping like a roller coaster. Your logical mind knows you are probably not going to die, but your stomach and other senses just feel the sudden drop.

How I afford two-month vacations

Rolf Pitts is a well known travel writer who spills how focusing his money is certain places and not splurging allows him to travel for long periods of time…on a writer’s salary.

Ask lots of questions! Travel insurance is popular, coverage not so much

Everyone is getting on the travel insurance bandwagon, but many people don’t know exactly they are getting. Are you just getting coverage for missed flights and delays? What about medical coverage? Does it covers natural disasters only? Man made disasters like war? All questions you should ask and know the answers to before signing the dotted line.

If a European Merchant Offers You the Option of Dynamic Conversion, Don’t Accept It

Dynamic conversion means that the merchant will convert from euro to dollars for you. Sounds like a nice, thoughtful company, right? Wrong. The company can charge the conversion fee that the credit card company would charge for much less for. Refuse the dynamic conversion and let Visa, Mastercard or American Express do it for you.

The travel industry moves to preempt customer complaints

If something happens on your cruise or flight and you accept the offer made to to make amends, you may be limiting yourself if you feel the compensation was insufficient. The travel company can say that you’ve already accepted our offer, why should we give you anything else. And some would say they are right.

Rome: 10 things to do for less than €10

We had London for free and now we have Rome for just a few bucks.

Traveling to Europe this year? 5 things you need to know

London and apps for your smartphone are two of the five things you should know about. And don’t forget about the very developed train system that can get you around Europe to avoid airports.

Best Places in the World for Expats to Live

Mexico has a bad rep right now but it makes the list. The drug wars are not effecting the entire country, but from the news reports it just seems like it. Thailand is always a great ex-pat hideout because of the cheap prices, good food and decent Internet speeds. Colombia is a country you probably didn’t think as being an ex-pat haven, but it is raising its stature in the world from the days of drug cartels.

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