Tag: Budget Travel
by Eva Holland | 06.01.12 | 10:09 AM ET
A few years back, we posted news that the cheap and occasionally safety-challenged Chinatown buses—cult favorites among budget travelers in the Northeastern U.S.—were reportedly cleaning up their act. Turns out the effort fell short. After a year-long investigation, federal safety officials have closed down 26 carriers operating in the busy Northeast corridor—16 based in New York, and 10 in Philadelphia.
So R.I.P. Chinatown buses. But never fear, budget travelers—BoltBus is still kicking.
by Doug Mack | 04.04.12 | 10:53 AM ET
Editor’s note: For his new book, Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day, Doug Mack traveled around the continent using a decades-old copy of Arthur Frommer’s “Europe on Five Dollars a Day.”
So what will $5 buy in Europe these days?
During the course of their World Hum interview, Leif Pettersen asked Doug just that. Here’s what Doug came up with:
- Florence: Some crappy knockoff designer sunglasses from an unofficial vendor by the Arno (but only after you bargained down from the original price and the salesman, with a practiced sigh/grin, says that he’s never, EVER made an offer this low, but ...).
- Paris: A pain au chocolat and maybe a macaron from Gerard Mulot on the Left Bank, along with eternal, wistful memories of same, an enduring, bittersweet nostalgia for that transcendent instant when all seemed right with the world. This is all true. Or a couple of condoms from the Eiffel Tower gift shop. Also true.
- Amsterdam: Aw, bro, I know this kinda shady place down a back alley, you gotta bang on this steel door, but for five bucks they’ll hook you up with a little bag of this, like, super-primo ... Gouda.
- Brussels: A couple of chocolate bars in the shape of Manneken-Pis.
- Berlin: Two fake East German stamps in your passport at Checkpoint Charlie.
- Munich: Beer! Or a prostate cancer test from a vending machine at Oktoberfest. I promise this is a real thing. Unfortunately (or not), it does not involve a little robot hand cranking out of the machine, finger extended. In fact, it’s a little stick; you pee on it, like a pregnancy test, which you can also procure from the same machine.
- Zurich: Ha! Good one. Right, like you can get something for $5 in Zurich. You take a single breath of that crisp Alpine air and it sets you back 8.35 CHF, which is, like, $210.04 at the current exchange rate. Though that does include VAT.
- Vienna: Your choice of all manner of Mozart-themed tchotchkes. A Mozart wig, alas, will set you back quite a bit more than 5 dollars, but such is the price of timeless fashion.
- Venice: A map, so you can figure out where the *%$@!! you are in that enchanted labyrinth-land. Or a shoddy plastic version of those famous Venetian masks.
- Rome: Gelato. Gelatogelatogelato. Go to Gelateria del Teatro, near the Piazza Navona. Five bucks (or, you know, the equivalent in euros) will get you two scoops of creamy transcendence that rivals the Sistine Chapel for awesomeness. (Hyperbole? Of course not.) Try the lemon. Or the chocolate-wine. Thank me later.
- Madrid: A ticket in the highest, most sun-blasted seats at a novillada con picadores bullfight. Available online through a Ticketmaster subsidiary. (Again, I am not making this up.)
by Eva Holland | 09.24.10 | 9:38 AM ET
by Eva Holland | 06.15.10 | 9:40 AM ET
Kayak has unveiled a pretty cool new Google maps-powered feature, Explore. Enter a price range and departure city—plus a few optional bonus fields, like your preferred temperature at destination—and Explore generates a map of all the places you can fly to on the budget you’ve specified. $550 dollars from my home in Whitehorse to San Francisco? Tempting, Kayak. Very tempting. (Via Kottke)
by Eva Holland | 03.24.10 | 3:18 PM ET
Frugal Traveler Matt Gross tells all. Hint: Neighborhoods with a high wine shop density are key.
by Peter Ferry | 10.16.09 | 10:21 AM ET
Drug cartels. Murders. The news is often bad out of Mexico. Peter Ferry journeys beyond the headlines.
by Eva Holland | 09.24.09 | 3:18 PM ET
Anyone who was intrigued by L.A.s kimchi tacos will want to read the latest Frugal Traveler dispatch from Vancouver, wherein Matt Gross explores daikon- and soy-sauce-topped hot dogs and other low-budget fusion delights.
by Eva Holland | 09.02.09 | 11:13 AM ET
Jaunted predicts that the not-so-cuddly budget airline wouldn’t go over well with Canadians, who “prefer their service providers amiable and their experiences congenial.” Too true, eh?
by Eva Holland | 08.21.09 | 12:39 PM ET
by Eva Holland | 08.20.09 | 3:01 PM ET
by Eva Holland | 08.14.09 | 10:23 AM ET
by Eva Holland | 08.13.09 | 10:16 AM ET
Christopher Elliott has come across an unexpected statistic: According to a recent survey, 10 percent of Americans believe that William Shatner, the public face of travel clearinghouse Priceline.com, is “the best negotiator out there.”
Barack Obama clocked in just behind Shatner, with 9 percent of the vote—maybe the President should recruit “The Negotiator” for his ongoing battles with Congress?
by Eva Holland | 08.05.09 | 1:30 PM ET
Yep, the roadside budget standby has got a flashy new interior design, described as “bold, sleek, frugal euro-modernism”—but don’t worry, the new look won’t affect the reliable prices. The Los Angeles Times has photos and a review.
by Eva Holland | 08.03.09 | 1:23 PM ET
So said a message that the popular bus tour company posted on Facebook awhile back, with the added boast that Contiki holidays were “hundreds of dollars” cheaper than independent travel in Europe. Nomadic Matt objected—and now he’s crunched the numbers to prove Contiki wrong, on the savings claim at least. As for backpacking being “so 1997”? I guess that’s subjective.
by Eva Holland | 07.22.09 | 3:36 PM ET
Frugal Traveler Matt Gross has just posted his latest in the New York Times: the top ten travel gadgets that cost less than $50. It’s a good list—I’ve never been much of a gadget lover myself, but I especially liked his suggestions of a money clip instead of a wallet, a power strip with multiple outlets, and a good old notebook and pen.
by Jim Benning | 07.16.09 | 3:22 PM ET
The Economist has a great chart on parking fees around the globe. Among the highlights from its report: “European cities have some of the highest daily parking rates, with Amsterdam and London coming out on top. Tokyo is the most expensive place to leave your car outside Europe.”
Cheap travel tip: You’ll find great rates in Chennai, India. Um, road trip!
(Via the Idea of the Day blog)
by Alicia Imbody | 07.09.09 | 11:46 AM ET
A new promotion from Sage Hospitality encourages travelers to “give a day” of service and “get a night” back, via a free hotel stay or 50 percent off the rate at 52 hotels across the U.S.
Programs like these show potential to encourage public service in exchange for travel perks, especially among folks with more spare time right now than spare change. There’s no obligation to stay additional nights. Just complete eight documented hours with a registered 501(c)3 non profit organization. Extra (karma) points if you work for a green cause to help offset the environmental impact of your trip.
by Alicia Imbody | 07.01.09 | 4:24 PM ET
Tourism in Thailand has been suffering significant declines lately, and desperate vendors are offering discounts like free domestic flights, extra nights and other perks to lure money-conscious visitors.
But in spite of the setbacks to leisure and luxury travel, the AP reports “budget travel hasn’t suffered as badly, with beer stalls and hostels along Bangkok’s Khao San Road and other havens for backpackers still bustling.”
Keep on, keepin’ on, backpackers!
by Alicia Imbody | 06.25.09 | 9:28 AM ET
According to Jean-Philippe Pérol, Chairman of the European Travel Commission, “for the first time in many months, global traffic to Europe is growing,” thanks in part to the fact that the dollar is stretching 15 percent further across the pond today than it did a year ago. The boost in primarily leisure travel was also fueled by drastically lower trans-Atlantic fares and packages, like these discount tips just posted by Frommer’s.
by Eva Holland | 06.24.09 | 1:54 PM ET
Forget a blurring of the lines: the boundary between Onion-esque humor and real airline news is long gone. Today’s headline caps a story about the budget airline’s plans to scrap checked luggage entirely. The Independent adds blandly: “An in-flight online gambling system is also being considered.”
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