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Hey Hotels.Com, When Were You Planning To Tell Me I Needed A Visa?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: On my recent trip to Southeast Asia, I needed to spend the night in Hong Kong en route to Hanoi, Vietnam. I looked up hotels near the Hong Kong International Airport on Hotels.com and found the Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai listed under the category "Near Hong Kong International Airport."

Before making the reservation, I called Hotels.com's ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Having a souvenir strategy

Travel / Taking The Kids /

How Many? How much? When? After "are we there yet?" the next questions, and unfortunately ones that last the entire vacation, have to do with souvenirs. And it doesn't matter if your kids are five or 15. They all want to know:

How many souvenirs can I get?

How much can I spend?

When can we shop? (Possibly the most asked question from older ...Read more

Speeding through Europe on a bullet train

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

European train travel is easier and better than ever, thanks to faster trains, new routes, and additional amenities to keep you comfortable and entertained on the journey. For me, there's nothing better than stretching out in a quiet car, blitzing through the European countryside, with hours of uninterrupted time to think and write.

Recently I ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Bellamy Young

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

"There is nothing I love more than to travel," says actress Bellamy Young, who portrays the first lady of the United States of America, Melody Grant, on the ABC drama "Scandal." "I want to see everything before my hips stop working. If I had two months off, I would work my way right around the world. That's what I would do. I always have a ...Read more

Chattanooga: Fun metropolis known for outdoor activities, natural beauty

Travel / Travel News /

With nicer weather finally reaching the frozen tundra that is the Northern United States, many people are looking forward to a change of pace and scenery. While it has been warmer recently, it's not quite "spring" north of most of the Mason-Dixon. This year, why not head to the "Scenic City" of Chattanooga? This fun and funky metropolis located ...Read more

Gambling is losing its appeal in Las Vegas

Travel / Travel News /

Gambling, once the mainstay of Las Vegas, is slowly taking a back seat to other entertainment in Sin City.

The latest survey of Las Vegas visitors found that fewer people go to the city to gamble and that first-time visitors are more likely to travel there for a wedding or a convention or to visit friends and family.

The number of visitors ...Read more

Scalloping in Gulf County, Fla.

Travel / Travel News /

Have you ever gone scalloping? Personally, I had not, until a recent trip to Gulf County, Fla. I wasn't even sure what the act of "scalloping" was. Yes, getting scallops, surely, but how? And what did that entail? It turns out, it's both fairly simple, and not as easy as you would expect.

One basically needs to get to a body of water that ...Read more

Panoramic photo guide spotlights Blue Ridge Parkway

Travel / Travel News /

Panoramic views can take your breath away. But sometimes they can leave questions, like "What exactly is that over ... there?

That's not a problem for photographer Tim Barnwell, whose eye-candy book, "Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas," says it all with the subtitle: "A Comprehensive Identification Guide to What you See from the Many Overlooks."

The ...Read more

Around the World: Prepare to Pass the TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule, and Be Grateful

Travel / Around the World /

It's not easy to pack for travel, especially if you're trip encompasses several destinations and specific events. Even f you have multiple sartorial obligations, it's good to keep your luggage light and best to limit it to carryon.

For the sake of packing efficiency, think things through before you start stuffing clothing and accessories into a...Read more

Our Vacation Rental In St. Lucia Is Closed -- Are We Out Of Luck?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: A few months ago, my family and I booked a hotel and flights through Expedia for a trip from Cleveland to St. Lucia. We had a reservation for a three-bedroom villa at Cotton Bay Village.

Earlier this week, I called the hotel to set up a few tours and was told that the property was closed for renovations and that they had notified Expedia ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Outside of London

Travel / Taking The Kids /

What could be more English then coming face to face with a snowy owl, exploring a "Lost in the Willows" maze, inspired by the classic children's tale "The Wind in the Willows," playing hide-and-seek in huge hedges and then climbing a haunted staircase at a centuries-old castle?

Let's not forget the kids' favorite at homeandleisure/travel/takingthekids/s-1642985">Read more

Disneyland to offer new souvenirs, snacks, drinks for 60th anniversary

Travel / Travel News /

Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration this summer will give the park a chance to unveil a new fireworks show, a new parade and a water and light show hosted by Mickey Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris.

But it will also give the park an opportunity to generate hefty revenues from the sale of more than 500 new souvenirs, clothing items, drinks ...Read more

Europe for the active traveler

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Whether you're a serious athlete or a weekend warrior, those who like to keep their heart pumping while sightseeing have plenty of great options in Europe. From scenic jogs through Stockholm to paddling a boat in Hyde Park to biking through bustling Amsterdam, active travel can be better travel.

Biking not only provides a workout; it's an ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Salvador Paskowitz

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Salvador Paskowitz is the screenwriter for new film "The Age of Adaline," which stars Blake Lively and Harrison Ford. If he were to script his own past, he couldn't have made up his fascinating family background, he says. Raised by bohemian parents, Salvador and his siblings were raised in a camper on a beach in Southern California. His father -...Read more

Finding Mister Rogers in Pittsburgh's museums

Travel / Travel News /

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor,

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?"

You'll find yourself singing this song through the many stops along the "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" trolley of memories that pop up throughout Pittsburgh.

There are more formal tours of the town where Fred Rogers lived and ...Read more

While the kids play, see these more adult Pittsburgh museums

Travel / Travel News /

I am sitting quietly on a stool against a black backdrop trying to channel my inner Edie Sedgwick as the camera rolls for 4 minutes and 41 seconds. I'm ready for my screen test, Andy Warhol.

But it's hard to know what to do. Do I sit still or do I fidget? I should do something, right? But what? So I play with my hair and I blink and smile and ...Read more

South Dakota's Badlands: Don't let the name deter you

Travel / Travel News /

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, South Dakota -- As far as sunsets go, it had to be one of the best I'd ever seen.

Bands of vibrant colors stretched across the horizon -- each taking its turn at center stage. First came gold in the form of a starburst that dazzled the eye, followed by hot pink that slowly melted away like a glob of strawberry ice cream....Read more

Florida's night light

Travel / Travel News /

By day, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, on a Coast Guard base where Florida's Loxahatchee River flows toward the Atlantic, is an elegant burnt-orange baton that rises 108 feet above the town of Jupiter, in Palm Beach County, on the easternmost point of the Sunshine State.

It stands on a natural sand dune -- which is why it's there: In the 1840s, ...Read more

Is This Car-Rental Repair Bill A Scam?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: My wife and I recently flew up to Knoxville, Tennessee, to visit my family. We prepaid for a rental car through Alamo. The rental process was a little confusing and disorganized. We had to wait half an hour, and Alamo ran out of cars in our class, so it gave us a vehicle from Enterprise.

When we returned the car a week later, a ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Finding your park

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Who would have thought a big hole would wow the kids? Of course, it's not just any hole. The Grand Canyon is perhaps the most spectacular hole anywhere. It's a mile deep with 10 miles separating the South Rim, where we were, from the North Rim.

No wonder it attracts 5 million visitors a year, who ...Read more