Best Travel Deals and News – August 2, 2011 – Dirtiest Hotels, Avoiding Vacation, How to Get Vaccinations, Taking Your Passport When You Shop Overseas

by brian on August 2, 2011

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

America Avoids Vacation

In this tight economy, many are avoiding vacation because they worry about not having a job to come back to. That’s a shame, because even a few days off can increase your performance and your outlook.

Little known travel tricks with Google Maps

Nice feature with the city tour by punching in your location and Google suggesting a walking sightseeing tour. Very cool that you can download a map to your phone so that you don’t have to incur data charges, especially when you’re overseas. I personally know of people ringing up $13000 US in data charges when they thought the phone was turned or didn’t realize the phone was still doing something in the background.

10 Most Visited Countries

For France to have the rep of having some of the rudest people, it makes the top of the list for visitors. Odd paradox? Or is the rudeness and abruptness of the French overstated?

Do Books Influence Where You Go On Vacation?

Book, magazines, television, movies. Anything that can put an image in your head can help you want to be there in real life.

Free hours at NYC museums, zoos and gardens

Another edition to the New York City on saving money post, which grows and grows. Another fine link to free cultural centers around the city. London still beats everyone with most of the their museums being free all the time.

Travel Video of the Week
World’s Dirtiest Hotels 2011
Not just America’s but the world’s. How these places remain in business is beyond me. But not everyone sees this list or even knows it exists. I call this my public service of the week. Note the hotels listed and avoid them like the plaugue. How do you get body fluids on hotel walls?! Ewwww…
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7 Things A Woman Backpacker Should Always Remember to Pack

Female backpackers have special concerns and this article tries to address them.

One Way to Get the Frequent Flyer Miles You Need: Swap with a Friend

I didn’t even know you could do that. According to the post you can even swap between airlines. Not sure how it works but definitely worth investigate it.

Buy a Plane Ticket, But Price Drops – Can You Recoup?

The quick answer is yes, but you really have to work for it. And it does not apply/work for all the airlines or travel agencies. Some fees invloved might eat the refund that you’re supposed to be getting back.

My Big Fat American Passport

This traveler’s tale of actually getting the visa to put in her expanded passport is interesting unto itself.

The high life of the air hostess? Hardly

I think their American counterparts would agree with this assessment of flight attendants/air hostess. Everyone says it was different back in the days. New travelers with cheaper fares make for a much different experience than when flying was a first class experience, even in economy class.

Planning a Vac(cin)ation

Get those vaccinations. They may cost alot but they last for years before you need a booster. You don’t want to go overseas and come back with something a simple trip to the doctor’s office would have prevented.

Flights are usually cheapest 4 to 6 weeks before departure. Here’s why…

That 4-6 week period is that sweet spot when the early purchasers have their tickets and the folks who buy a few days from departure are not really concerned about the price. But the airlines have to make sure the plane is filled. Hence prices drop and probably the best deal you’ll find.

Always Keep Your Passport Handy When Making Purchases Abroad

Merchants are concerned about fraud and want to make sure you are the person you say you are on your credit card.

How the airlines handle the ‘mishandled’ luggage problem

Apparently not too well.

How To Live Like a VIP in Bangkok for $285.06 Per Month

Southeast Asia is ridiculously cheap for travelers. The same holds true for folks who want to hang around for a while.

To Japan or Not? Travelers Weigh Risks With Bargains

I just had a family member come back from Tokyo and he had a great time. Tokyo is far away from the nuclear reactors and tsunami ravaged areas of Japan. There have been reports of higher radiation levels in food, but nothing that would cause people to abandon their trips. If you want to go, just go.

The skinny on peer-to-peer car rentals

Private citizens renting their cars to other private citizens as opposed to a car rental or something like ZipCar. But how does the car owner’s insurance work if you’re lending your car out for money?

Some cruise lines take the ‘all’ out of ‘all-inclusive’

Be prepared to pay more. All these little surcharges add up, even with the all inclusive tag on your cruise.

Top Ten Travel Health Myths

I can personally attest to eating street food NOT making your sick and eating in fancy or established restaurants ensuring that you won’t get sick. I had a group tour to Egypt and on the last night after being herded around Cairo in tour buses with armed guards (that’s another story) I became the Porcelain King. Combined that with my jet lag, it was not a good reentry to the USA. I learned my lesson after that and now always carry Imodium and some type of antibaterial for the stomach. Because you never really know…

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