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"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."
Augustine of Hippo







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FREE Travel rewards course. Learn to earn and redeem millions of rewards miles by taking this course: 

Travel Miles 101  which is the fastest and easiest way to get started 

with travel rewards points and miles.


Check this website for information on cheap travel:
 

Use Kayak.com/Explore to find deals right now.

Scott's Cheap Flights: Cheap International Flights

Get alerts for cheap international flights. Join 80000+ cheap flight aficionados and save an average of over $600 per ticket on your next international flight.
Other search engines to look for fare deals to Europe:


Shopping for rental car deals? Use AutoSlash - The #1 Site for Cheap Car Rentals
offers cheap car rentals, discounts and coupons from top brands like Hertz, Avis, National, Enterprise, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty and others.

Hotel Tonight: Last Minute Hotel Deals at Great Hotels 

last-minute deals. Book wherever, whenever on your mobile device for tonight, tomorrow and next week.


For trip overseas if you want to use data at no cost or do video calls or audio cost that cost nothing... try all this apps:
Download all of them for trips overseas.. if one doesn't work use another. They use WIFI.

 MagicJack: Whether traveling for work or fun, magicJack makes it free and easy to call back to the U.S. Forget international calling cards or buying foreign phone service. magicJack is portable and keeps you connected on calls to the U.S. from other countries at no charge! Once you have magicJack, you can free up your international call expenses so you can spend more on travel.

Find details about the area and plan your trip using:


Global Entry vs TSA Precheck: For domestic and international travelers, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck have made clearing security and customs much easier, allowing you to skip the lines at both. Here's what you need to know about the two programs and how to get them.

8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling
http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling
Other phones calling services that are cost effective to take overseas:

Project Fi by Google

or use Venmo - Share Payments  a free digital wallet that lets you make and share payments with friends. You can easily split the bill, cab fare, or much more

For best deals try:

For apps that look for fares try: 

For best hotels try (dont do less than 4 stars):

For ideas on what to see use (always chose highest ratings-of more than 8 people that have been there):


Need help planning your trip? Try Rome2Rio based in Melbourne, Australia, is organising the world's transport information. They offer a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries for air, train, coach, ferry, mass transit and driving options to and from any location.

About David's vacation rentals Years ago we learned about a great way to save on deluxe accommodations at Walt Disney World (and other Disney destinations): renting Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points. DVC members own timeshare “points” that they can use for stays at Disney Vacation Club resorts. Sometimes owners are unable to use the points before they expire, so they will “rent” them to others. Using DVC rentals could save you hundreds of dollars compared to booking the same deluxe accommodations through Disney directly!

Budget Travel: How to Save Money on Sightseeing and Train Passes
http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/budget-travel-international-trip/

       

Google Flights offers users flight search tools that make it easy to quickly find the best flight. Whether you’re planning a trip on your desktop, tablet or phone, you can use Google Flights to search for countries, states, islands and more from any origin in the U.S. and many countries around the world. Google Flights




Rent unique places to stay from local hosts in 190+ countries at Airbnb





www.globalgreeternetwork.com  

The Global Greeter Network is an informal association of Greeter programs around the world. Greeters are volunteers that love their city so much they volunteer to show their city to visitors. Not as a guide, but more like a newly met friend! Greeters will show special places that mean something in their lives. They would also show things visitors specifically ask for such as parks, shopping, architecture or a less wellknown neighborhood.

www.guidedbyalocal.com

GuidedByALocal is an online community serving as a platform to connect locals and travelers from around the globe. Connect with locals from over 500 cities worldwide and get local travel advice that goes beyond your typical travel guide.

www.yowtrip.com  

Traveling soon? Want to meet locals on this trip? This site will match you with people who know and love the city you're visiting next. If they're available they will contact you directly.  It's that simple.

Rent a Local Friend: Find places and experiences to enjoy like a local
Tours by Locals:Connecting travelers with local guides worldwide, since 2008
Vayable:  Discover and book unique experiences offered by local insiders.


 Book a trip online by checking several search engine sites first and then go to each individual airline and other discount airlines like Spirit Airlines, Southwest, AirTran and JetBlue directly to see if they have any special deals that appear only on their website. Popular search engines: www.expedia.com, www.orbitz.com , www.travelocity.com , www.kayak.com, www.mobissimo.com and

 www.sidestep.com and www.lastminutetravel.com .

www.FareCompare.com  tells you when the best time to buy a ticket is. Farecompare is a database of more than 77,000 possible routes in the United States and Canada and nearly 5 million fares. It displays historical fare information between two destinations, helping you predict the best time to purchase a flight based on historical price data. But sometimes a price that shows up on the site will be unavailable when you try to book the flight. They can provide free email alerts when price drop.

www.airfarewatchdog.com is known for fast posting of time sensitive, last minute bargain fares. This free service sends you an e-mail when the price of the plane ticket you want drops when you sign up for fare alerts.

www.farecast.com gives you predictions on price changes on airfares. Airfares tend to trend upward the closer you get to your departure date but not always. This website will tell you if you should buy now or wait based on the site’s prediction of whether the prices will rise or fall.

The web site of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (www.natca.org) offers airport specific reports on how to avoid delays like fly mornings at JFK and weekends at Logan. At www.flightstats.com you can check the specific flights you are considering and see their record of on time departures and cancellations. Also check www.avoiddelays.com which publishes rankings of the worst offenders, those airlines, flights and airports that had the most and longest delays last summer. As a general rule plan to fly as early in the morning as possible (6:30am instead of 9:00am) and when making reservations allow at least two hours between connecting flights. Better yet pay for a direct non stop flight and it may be worth the extra money. Give yourself a buffer day to make sure you get at your destination before the start of that important meeting or event. At  www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp (the air traffic control system command center) you can find information on flight delays by region or airport.

 

www.tsa.gov under “For Travelers”, “Air Travel” and “Wait Times” will tell you how long you will have to wait in the security line for your particular flight if you type in your airport, day and time.

Get reviews of hotels and restaurants online by going to www.TripAdvisor.com  and www.TravelPost.com  (for hotels mainly) or www.IgoUgo.com and

www.RealTravel.com (for reviews on lodgings, restaurants, night life and attractions.

Before you book your next vacation log on to www.tripconnect.com/ww and hear from others who have been there.

Here are places you can check first if you travel alone: www.tauck.com (Tauck World Discovery waives single occupancy surcharges on a wide variety of tours and cruises and itineraries include USA, Canada and Europe). Another option: Britain’s Just You offers trips exclusively for solo travelers In Europe and Asia…. www.justyou.co.uk )

At www.kayak.com you can also find the lowest priced cruises and amusement park passes.

Houseboats are available for rent on many lakes and rivers. They can range from 44 to 75 feet and most models have berths for eight or more people and are equipped with water slides. Additional equipment such as scuba gear, kayaks and fishing tackles are also available. For facts about houseboating go to www.ehouseboatsite.com and to find a rental at your destination visit www.houseboatrental.com

Another affordable option is renting an RV with rates anywhere from $70 to $200 a day. The largest motor homes get about 8 miles a gallon so your greatest expense will be fuel. On the other hand you save on lodging: staying in an RV campground can run as little as $22 per night. Online resources include www.rvamerica.com and www.GoRVing.com

 

Many times the bargains and special deals a Travel Club offers, you can get them yourself by going online. You can obtain better travel arrangements on your own this way. Remember that some initial fees for travel clubs typically range from $2,000 to $10,000 with annual renewals of $150 to $200. Save this money by finding discounts on hotels, airfare and cruises online yourself.

 

Find cheaper parking next time you fly by parking at an off site lot next time. They are a short distance from the airport but a free shuttle service is available and they can cost 70% less. Try www.longtermparking.com

 
If you are renting a car while traveling always check your car insurance and your credit card..... see if you are already covered for travel insurance before buying.

Save money by renting a house instead of a hotel room especially if you are traveling with three or more people…you can find a vacation rental at www.homeaway.com

 

 

Some Bed and Breakfast offer discounts or gift cards to help pay for your gas when you stay at their inn. Visit www.bedandbreakfast.com and click on “Free Gas Promotion”.

 

If you are wondering if you should fly or drive go to www.fuelcostcalculator.com were you can choose the starting and destination cities, then put your car’s make and model to find out the gas bill.

 

www.Flyertalk.com/forums  is a great place to get information on how to manage your airline miles.

You can donate frequent flyer miles to groups that fly sick kids and adults to out of state hospitals. Check out www.miledonor.com

If you need a few extra frequent flier miles to get a free flight or upgrade you can go shopping instead of taking another vacation. Many airlines allow you to earn frequent flyer miles when you shop at major retailers through their website. Find out if your favorite airline offers this option at www.webflyer.com.

 

Spend your free time doing a “volunteer vacation”. You will sweat like locals, eat like locals and will try to do something meaningful too. Check three of the most established volunteer groups: Cross Cultural Solutions which works in 12 nations (1-800-380-4777) www.crossculturalsolutions.org; Global Volunteers that has programs in the United States and 18 other countries (were they may end you to teach English)(1-800-487-1074) www.globalvolunteers.org  and Habitat for Humanity that sends teams around the world through its Global Village Program (1-800-422-4828), www.habitat.org . Patrol beaches to collect and relocate eggs of endangered sea turtles and help hatchlings reach the sea. Contact Tropical Adventures *800-832-9419, www.mytropicaladventure.com . GAP Adventures (800-708-7761, www.gapadventures.com , Earthwatch Institute (800-776-0188, www.earthwatch.org) and  i-to-I 800-985-4864 www.i-to-i.com. Aid researchers with wildlife surveys and help them collect biomedical samples from South Africa to South America. Contact Earthwatch Institute or i-to-i. Volunteer to feed and groom dogs, cats, horses and other abuse or unwanted animals near Kanab, Utah. You can feed and groom the animals, take them for long walks and train those that need new homes. Contact Best Friends Animal Society 435-644-201 X119 or www.bestfriends.org . Another place you can look is Volunteers for Peace 802-259-2759 www.vfp.org.

If you are considering a trip check out the guidebook Volunteer Vacations (Chicago Review Press 2006) by Bill McMillon, Doug Cutchins and Anne Geissinger which includes essential information on everything from trip locations to program fees for 150 organizations.

 

You can find people who will let you stay in their homes for free (or the cost of utilities) in exchange for taking care of pets, watering plants or picking up the mail. It will cost you an annual fee of $35 to enlist at www.housecarers.com

 

Get cheap last minute travel by going to www.freetraveling.com which lists great bargains for last minute travelers. You can also use these websites to buy last minute hotel rooms from someone who's trip has been cancelled and they are stuck with it (you can get a cheaper room or if you are the one were your plans have been cancelled and are stuck with a non-refundable hotel night you might get your money back:

Roomer: The marketplace for discounted hotel reservations


 

 

At www.seatguru.com you can find more than 275 seat maps from 40 airlines. It lists seat measurements, different features and even rates them. Very important information to know if sitting with enough leg room to stretch is very important to you.

 

Log on to www.uhaul.com/boxexchange and the site will hook you up with new neighbors looking to unload their cardboard boxes instead of buying them if you are moving.

 

If you are concerned about the health risks of traveling abroad consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which offers health information and advice for international travelers through www.n.cdc.gov/travel . The site lets you search information by destination, listing the vaccines needed in different parts of the world. It also has information about food and water safety and how to seek health care abroad.

The International Society of Travel Medicine has a travel clinic directory by state at www.istm.org plus a list of clinics abroad.

 

www.Yapta.com  will track your flight and email you about getting a refund if the price drops.

 

Top 3 things to buy at duty-free shops in the airport



ALL-AROUND TRAVEL AGENCIES

* Orbitz.com: Typically our first stop -- but certainly not our last -- when booking a trip, Orbitz clearly displays flights on an easy-to-read grid, showing airlines, number of stops and prices. The grids for hotels and cruises also make comparisons easy, and Orbitz offers deals on air-hotel and other packages. Orbitz's advanced software has a knack for finding low-cost combinations, such as flights to Europe or Asia that combine two airlines for the best deal. Another nice feature: the "My Trips" tab, an intuitive way to keep track of your recent or upcoming travels. The "Deals" tab on the home page has some good offers, but it isn't easy to find them based on your departure city.

* Expedia.com: Still the 800-pound gorilla of online travel booking, Expedia offers competitive prices on flights, lodgings, cruises, packages and rental cars. There are sections on vacation rentals, deals and activities. But Expedia doesn't always show all options. For example, if you're booking a rental car in Orlando, Expedia only shows its "Preferred" vendors. These don't include Avis or Thrifty, even if they have the best price. (You can select companies not on the preferred list by using a drop-down menu.) That said, Expedia remains a valuable resource for savvy shoppers who know how it works. Another all-around booking agency worth checking: Travelocity.com.

* Kayak.com: The pitch: Search more than 140 sites at once and find the cheapest fares. Sounds good, and it often is, but remember that you should never rely on just one site for the best deal. Kayak searches dozens of airline sites for each flight query. Handy slider bars let you sort results by departure times, return time, layover duration and total time of the trip. You can also select preferred airlines or search only for nonstops. When you query, you can automatically compare Kayak's results with that of other booking sites, including Orbitz and Expedia, and see how they measure up. The site recently merged with SideStep.com (see below), but both sites will remain separate, with improved technology on each.

* SideStep.com: SideStep, now a subsidiary of Kayak.com, scans more than 100 flight and hotel suppliers to find low fares based on your preferences. In our tests, SideStep and Kayak came up with the same results for both nonstop and one-stop flights. We give a slight nod to SideStep because its intuitive matrix comes up automatically, allowing easy comparisons among airlines and by number of stops (on Kayak, you have to click the "Matrix" tab to see this). Both sites have slider bars to narrow results by arrival and departure times, layover duration and total flight time. As with Kayak, you can use SideStep's "chart" feature to see historical fare patterns.

Also helpful: BookingBuddy.com, which links to booking engines from individual airlines to aggregators like Kayak. Enter your departure dates and destination and click on any of the featured options, such as Expedia, Cheap Tickets or Hotwire. We don't see huge value here, but it's a way to avoid retyping your flight info into one search site after another.

BUDGET

* TravelZoo.com: Well-organized and full of bargains, this site may be best known for its e-mail newsletter that highlights travel deals. Use the box on the home page to enter your destination, such as Mexico, and the 'Zoo spits out bargains. Also see AirTreks.com for round-the-world or multi-stop international flights.

* SmarterTravel.com: Editors vet and display deals on flights, rental car, hotel, cruises and vacations, and often offer coupons to get better deals. We've used the site to get a rental car on Kauai for about $20 a day (at Alamo) when other sites were showing prices of about $50 for the same car. And unlike at some other sites, almost all the deals on SmarterTravel exist; they don't mysteriously go up in price when you try to book them. Also see BudgetTravel.com, with features and advice from Budget Travel magazine and up-to-the-minute news on deals around the world.

CRUISES

* Cruise Critic: A definitive resource for cruise reviews and advice, Cruise Critic combines magazine-style features (such as top destinations for 2008), user-generated content (including videos), port profiles and late-breaking news. Click "Destinations" for detailed advice on dozens of options from Alaska to the South Pacific, then go to "Boards" for forums where you can read cruise reviews or post a question. And when you get back, you can post a review or photo to contribute to this lively, cruise-obsessed community. See also the similarly encyclopedic CruiseMates.com and the well-organized CruiseReviews.com.

CruiseCompete.com: check first with trip advisor for the best cruise excursions

and then use this site and let independent agents compete to offer you cruise deals. Compare offers, and contact agents directly for more information or to book.

DESTINATION GUIDES

* Frommers.com: This established guidebook line has placed all its content online, meaning you can get anything that's in the books on this site. The site features everything from detailed destination advice to outspoken opinions from lead blogger Arthur Frommer, who founded the series with "Europe on $5 a Day" a half-century ago. Daily deals and news keep the site fresh, and you can sign up to receive alerts by e-mail as well. Features on top destinations and topics such as "Travel Insurance: Do I Really Need It?" round out the site. Also see Fodors.com, which denotes top picks for restaurants and hotels around the world.

* LonelyPlanet.com: Once a guide for budget-conscious backpackers, LP now has a massive mainstream following. The site has maintained an intrepid attitude and has a vibrant message board. Unlike Frommer's, LP does not put all its travel content online, but you can buy chapters "by the slice" using a service called "Pick & Mix." Rates typically vary from $2 to $7 per chapter, with discounts for buying multiple chapters. Another useful site for off-the-beaten-path travelers: RoughGuides.com.

* RickSteves.com: The expert on travel to Europe brings his engaging personality to this wide-ranging site. Beyond guidebook-style info, there's the Graffiti Wall forum, where travelers swap opinions, and audio streams of Steves's radio show. Another excellent site for Europe-bound travels: Durant Imboden's EuropeForVisitors.com, with country guides, hotel recommendations and travel articles. The monthly magazine Travel News is packed with timely updates.

* About.com/travel: Experts showcase their advice and link to other resources on the topic. There are pages for just about every popular destination, from China to Las Vegas. A handy menu in the left column links to the most popular travel pages. The site also features pages on topics such as theme parks, golf and honeymoons/romantic travel.

* Viator.com: Many travelers spend hours researching airfares and hotels but don't plan what to do once they get there. Viator solves that problem by showing dozens of activities for popular destinations. The site can help you avoid getting shut out of must-sees and can save you time by helping you skip the long lines. Choose a destination, such as France, and see top picks, deals and tips for what to do, including a Versailles bicycle jaunt and a Paris pastry- and chocolate-tasting tour.

FREQUENT-FLIER

* WebFlyer.com: Frequent-flier guru Randy Petersen keeps his eye on bonuses and other deals for mileage junkies. Airline and other loyalty programs are rated by Petersen and his staff; use the "Head2Head" feature to compare them. The MilesLink newsletter keeps members up to date. And the robust discussions at the site's related forum, FlyerTalk.com, make this one of the best all-around destinations for frequent travelers to get advice. Also see the excellent FrequentFlier.com and MileMaven.com; the latter is especially useful for finding mileage bonuses.

HIDDEN PROVIDERS

* Priceline.com: This site's almost irresistible premise of "naming your own price" for hotels, airfares, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages has lost a bit of its luster during the past few years of full flights and crowded hotels, with less inventory to offer. (Bright side: If the economy continues to tank, the days of the $40 hotel room may return.) To bid for hotels, you select the city and neighborhood, then enter your price. If Priceline has a hotel in its database willing to accept the price, you get a room. We prefer Priceline's bidding feature for hotels rather than flights: We like to fly when we want (with Priceline, you have to accept departures at any time of day), but if we can get a three-star hotel for $68, we don't really care if it's a Radisson or a Sheraton. Wondering how much to bid? You can now see winning bid amounts in 27 cities on the site, but check the sites BetterBidding.com and BiddingForTravel.com for more detailed info, such as hotel names and failed bid amounts. Note: Priceline also offers standard travel booking, similar to Expedia and Orbitz.

* Hotwire.com: Similar to Priceline, but you don't bid. Hotwire shows, for example, a three-star hotel (without displaying its name) near the San Francisco airport for $59 a night; you decide whether to book it. All fees are shown before booking. Hotwire also shows the list price ($95 for this hotel), but bear in mind that "rack rates" are often higher than most guests pay.

 

LAST-MINUTE

  • Lastminute.com: This easy-to-use site, which features the content of the now-defunct Site59, has some great last-minute getaways, especially if you're willing to go offseason. The day we checked, a three-day weekend in Madrid, booked on five days' notice and including hotel and round-trip air from Washington, was going for $485 per person double -- including all taxes and fees, a refreshing approach. Also see SkyAuction.com, where you can bid on eleventh-hour trips.

 

www.luxury.com auctions off vacation dealsto the highest bidder.





Save money on Hotels





LODGING


Tips: Look at tons of pictures, read many reviews and always pay with a credit card to improve the odds that you are going to have a great experience.

Rent unique accommodations from local hosts in 190+ countries. Feel at home anywhere you go in the world with Airbnb

Find & book vacation rentals with Homeaway. Rent everything from cabins & condos to castles or villas. The whole house. The whole family. A whole vacation.

www.trivago.com - The world's #1 hotel search. Compare 100s of sites to find the best hotel at the best rate. Read reviews, compare prices and find hotel deals.

* Hotels.com: With more than 70,000 properties worldwide, from big chain hotels to tony B&Bs, this site is worth checking before booking a room. Hotels.com offers a "Price Match" guarantee: If you find another rate within 24 hours that's lower, the site will refund the difference. The site also has reviews from guests. Use the slider bars at the top of each results page to narrow your choices by price, star ranking and guest rating. If you book here, it's advisable to confirm your reservation and preferences directly with the hotel.

* Quikbook.com: Specializes in boutique properties and deals at hotels that aren't filling up. The site features more than 1,000 hotels in more than 100 cities, and its interface is easy to use. Pick a city and a neighborhood (optional) and Quikbook turns up rates, such as $90 a night at Las Vegas's Luxor hotel (average rate is $120 to $140). Especially good deals are highlighted with the "Quikpick" tag. Check the hotel's location carefully: When we searched for a New York City hotel, Quikbook coughed up properties in Brooklyn -- true, it's in the city, but not where most visitors to New York want to stay.

* Laterooms.com: With travel across the Pond getting ever more expensive, this specialist in European hotel rooms is worth checking. Inventory is updated daily by member hotels, so deals abound, especially on short notice and during the low season. Note that you book directly with the hotel (guaranteeing with a credit card), making it less likely that the hotel can't find your booking when you arrive. We found several options for a winter stay in London at upscale hotels for less than $200 a night. When results come up, click on the hotel's name for more details and reviews from fellow travelers.

 

BedandBreakfast.com: Top B&Bs, Inns, & Romantic Hotels 

With a vast inventory of B&Bs in the United States and around the world, this site is valuable for finding small-scale lodgings like the Inn at Cranberry Farm in Chester, Vt. Search by city, state or region. You can book on the site for many of the B&Bs listed; for others you must go to the inn's own site and book there (or call). The site includes maps, reviews and details, including architectural style and year opened. And if you're so inspired by what you see that you want to buy an inn, you can check the list of B&Bs for sale.

* VRBO.com: This site (Vacation Rentals by Owner) lists more than 94,000 vacation rentals around the world, with hundreds of choices in such hot spots as Hawaii. Select a U.S. state or foreign country to browse the properties, then select a region. The site's design is a bit retro, but all the information is there, including price, number of bedrooms and baths, pictures, and either a "book it" link or contact information for the owner. Some properties have calendars showing availability. This isn't the prettiest site -- the inability to sort by price is one deficiency -- but the volume of listings makes it the one to check for vacation rentals. Another useful site with lots of listings: Cyberrentals.com.

Oanda.com: This currency converter can tell you just how much your dollar is worth in more than 100 countries worldwide. As discouraging as this can be these days, it's good to know so you don't get ripped off. You can also print a handy, wallet-size "cheat sheet" listing current rates that show, for example, one euro is worth $1.49, two euros are worth $2.97 and so on. There's also a history link here, so you can see what those euros were worth when you spent them, a valuable tool for expense reports. Another good site for currency conversion: XE.com.

Never buy foreign currency before you get to your destination. You will get a much better deal on exchange once you land than you will ever get by getting the exchange money in advance. There are 2 ways that are best ways when traveling overseas to get your money:
1) Use a credit card for as many purchases you can and use a credit card that doesn't charge a foreign currency transaction fee.
2) Use your ATM card and find out from your financial institution what ATMs you are allow to use in that country that you don't have to pay a fee for using the ATM.
Use these tips and you might get a 20% better return on your money.

OUTDOOR/ADVENTURE

* Away.com: The destination guides here are superb and feature stories such as "Adrenaline Nation," showing the best places -- organized by region -- for raising your pulse. Other features offer recommendations for more sedate trips, such as a section on family road trips. Also see the similarly extensive GORP.com and the National Park Service site, http://www.nps.gov.

TRAVEL COMMUNITY

* BootsnAll.com: People love to talk about where they've been and share advice, and sites have sprung up to serve them. The easy-to-navigate BootsnAll targets young, independent travelers, with links to hostels and low international airfares. But the heart of the site is the BootsnAll Community, with well-trafficked message boards and "Ask an Insider," where you can get advice from an expert or someone at your destination. Two more excellent communal sites: VirtualTourist.com and Igougo.com.

TRAVELER REVIEWS

* TripAdvisor.com: This site provides advice and recommendations from fellow travelers -- more than 5 million reviews at last count -- and uses those reviews to rank hotels and attractions by popularity. However, the site's organization is clunky, so use the "Browse by Destination" box to zero in on your destination. Rankings, based on consumer reviews, help you find the most popular hotels for a destination. You can also upload images, so the whole world can see that hotel's cracked sink or stained ceiling. While some reviews are suspect, the sheer volume of reviews generally makes it possible to trace trends. Use the map on the home page to document your wanderings visually. Travelers also speak out at HotelChatter.com, WhereToStay.com and TravelPost.com.

TRAVEL SITE DIRECTORY

* JohnnyJet.com: An extensive directory of travel sites by category. Some sites are a bit dated, but there are still hundreds of useful links. Sign up for the weekly newsletter to follow Johnny's global peregrinations and links to stories in newspaper travel sections.

WIRELESS CONNECTIONS

* WiFi-FreeSpot: Why pay for WiFi? This directory lists thousands of free WiFi locations, including hotels, cafes, RV parks, vacation rental properties, even libraries. Also useful: JiWire.com.

www.amtrak.com cuts 15% off most fares for riders who are at least 62, while www.viarail.com (Via Rail Canada) offers travelers over 60 a discount of 10% off the full adult fare. For those 60 and over, both systems knock 10% off the North America Rail Pass which is a one month ticket to travel to more than 900 destinations on both sides of the border. Via Rail Canada also offers a “Bring a friend” program that lets you take a companion along for free (except during winter holiday seasons).

Other places to check for long distance buses are www.boltbus.com and www.megabus.com

 

If you are staying in a city buy book passes at www.citypass.com or restaurant discounts at www.entertainment.com


Cheap ways to communicate when traveling:

1) Find internet cafes around the world by checking 

TripAdvisor.com - TripAdvisor Official Site‎ where you will find internet cafes wherre you can communicate by e-mail by using a card... you will buy internet minutes.. better to buy a block of internet minutes


2) If you want to protect your communication, rent a sat phone for the time you will be traveling. Sat phone minutes are pricey but text not so much. Go to Telestial.com and look for information on renting a sat phone and what it will cost you especially text messages back and forth.