Travel Hosts Exposed, Week of July 6, 2011
See what your favorite TV hosts were up to over the 4th of July weekend.
Best Site for Travel Packages: HolidayPirates.com"For great package deals, check out the website HolidayPirates.com. They find incredible deals for packages, flights and more departing to and from Europe. I've found some incredible, hard-to-find offers on that website, like $500-roundtrip flights to Europe or $50 flights from Europe to Turkey." -- Matthew Kepnes, Nomadic Matt 960 1280
Best Times for Off-Peak Travel: Jan. 15 to Feb. 28; Oct. 15 to May 15"US Airways offers economy round-trip tickets to Europe from North America for just 35,000 miles from Jan. 15 to Feb. 28. If you have their co-branded credit card, that price drops to 30,000 miles roundtrip. American Airlines also offers off-peak discounted award tickets to Europe from Oct. 15 to May 15 for 40,000 miles, down from the usual 60,000. If you have their co-branded credit card, you can even get 10% of those redeemed miles back, up to an annual cap." -- Summer Hull, Mommy Points 960 1280
Best Hotel Rewards Program: Starwood Preferred Guest"Starwood Preferred Guest is a great hotel program, with a vast portfolio of hotels throughout the world. Redemptions start at just 2,000 points and members have the option to transfer points to dozens of airlines at a 1-to-1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus on every 20,000 points transferred." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280
Best Phone App for International Travel: Viber"Calling, texting and emailing while abroad can rack up thousands of dollars in fees. However, there are great apps like Viber that you can use for free with an internet connection. Viber users can send free text messages, photo messages, video messages and more with other users, and it’s compatible with iPhone, Android, and other major mobile and desktop devices." -- Brian Kelly, The Points Guy 960 1280
Best-Value Trip: Eastern Europe"For a great-value trip, head to Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine) for very cheap destinations, great food, friendly people and few tourists. It's the medieval Europe you want without the crowds in Prague or Tallinn." -- Matthew Kepnes, Nomadic Matt 960 1280
Best Car Rental Option: Costco Travel"If you have a Costco membership, you can get good deals from Costco Travel such as no additional driver fees with certain rental companies. If booking abroad, AutoEurope.com gives good rates in Europe. I used it to book a wagon for a trip to Paris which saved me about 40% off booking directly with the rental company." -- Arthur Hsu, Mileage Runner 960 1280
Best Frequent Flyer Program: United MileagePlus"United MileagePlus is a great program, as it offers access to an extensive route network and award inventory. In short, they make it easy to redeem your miles. United miles are also easy to earn, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offering instant 1-to-1 transfer of points to United." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280
Best Site for Fare Alerts: Yapta"If you don’t want to constantly check and recheck websites for the best fares, then sign up for Yapta’s fare alerts. They will automatically keep you updated on the fares you are interested in. All you have to do is set the date(s), city pairs and the price point, and they will alert you via email." -- John E. DiScala, Johnny Jet 960 1280
Best Site for Blind Travel Bids: BiddingForTravel.com"When I shop around for hotels and car rentals, I don't think there is any better place than Priceline. But keep in mind when you use their Name Your Own Price feature, you can't cancel. Before I make a blind bid, I always log on to BiddingForTravel.com to see what other people's luck was with their bids. It shows how much people paid for which dates and will give you a pretty good idea of which hotel you will end up with." -- John E. DiScala, Johnny Jet 960 1280
Best Credit Card for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred"The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers generous sign-up bonuses and flexible points that can be transferred to both airline and hotel partners. The Sapphire Preferred makes it easy to amass points quickly, with 2x points on travel and dining. The original signup bonuses can be worth over $500 in travel after you meet the required minimum spend, within the first 3 months typically." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_001_596x334In ' Unplugging
Enjoy life and live in the moment instead of toting around your hand-held device or laptop. Unplug and immerse yourself in a new culture and destination. Siberia, here we come!
Out ' Internet Access/Wi-Fi
Don't be a geek. Checking Facebook, Foursquare and tweeting on your Smartphone is so old-school. Travel isn't an anti-social hobby. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_002b_596x334In ' Pat-down
Underwear bombing is all the rage, which means we all get a free grope on the way to Grandma's house. What's that? You don't want the TSA creeper touching you? Step into the body scanner to the right, also known as the free peep show starring you.
Out ' Shoe scan
Who hides explosives in shoes anymore? 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_004_596x334In ' Ground Zero Memorial
The New Year will be big for New York when the memorial at Ground Zero opens to the public on Sept. 11, 2011.
Out ' Sleeping on Matresses
With the increase in bedbug infestations in NYC, where can tourists sleep without fear? Travelers can prepare in advance by checking hotel reviews online, using luggage liners, looking behind headboards and keeping luggage or clothes off the floor. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_005_596x334In ' England
Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton have made England a hot destination after setting a date for their wedding day, on April 29, 2011.
Out ' Sweden
Sorry, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, marrying your fitness trainer in 2010 is so, well, 2010. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_006_596x334In ' Vanuatu
With 83 islands featuring roaring waterfalls, tropical beaches and remote villages, Vanuatu is bursting with eco-friendly excursions.
Out ' Riviera Maya
Only 20 years ago, you could sneak into the remote, dusty Mayan ruin and crash next door in a $5-a-night beach hut. Not anymore. Cancun has officially jumped the shark. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_007b_596x334In ' Dance
Everyone's a dancer, even Bristol Palin! Visit Argentina for traditional tango lessons or go on a themed cruise, where dance competitions are increasingly popular.
Out ' Wine
Dissing Merlot while singing the praises of Pinot Noir on a California wine tour is so 2004. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_008_596x334In ' Bike-sharing
Bike-sharing really took off in Paris in 2007 with 20,000 bicycles distributed across 1,450 stations. Since then, networks have launched in Portland, OR, Washington, DC, and Montreal, Canada.
Out ' Segway
The Segway is out after the company's owner was killed when he accidentally drove one off a cliff last year. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_010b_596x334In ' Fakecation
If you can work from home, why not work from Egypt instead? Any exotic location will do. Worldwide Wi-Fi and mobile coverage is expanding exponentially each year, and with Skype, there's no reason to pay for long-distance calls.
Out ' Staycation
You no longer have an excuse to stay at home when you can travel the world without ever using a vacation day. 960 1280
idea_ss_celebrities-dont-travel_003_596x334Russian Hockey Team
It's always fun until someone gets kicked off a plane. The Russian hockey team celebrated too hard after beating Canada in the World Junior Championship. The players were removed from a Delta flight for allegedly being too drunk to fly. 960 1280
You may not want to share a taxi with hot-tempered Naomi Campbell. New York City Police filed a harassment report after a limo driver claimed the fashion icon slapped and slugged him while he drove her through midtown. No formal charges were filed. 960 1280
Traveling with Kevin Smith? Be prepared to share elbow room or catch a different flight. The movie director was thrown off a Southwest Airlines plane even after he bought 2 seats -- policy requires larger passengers buy 2 seats. Kevin was on standby, boarded a plane that had an available seat, but the captain would eventually oust him off. 960 1280
Think before you make travel plans with Dave Chapelle. While flying on a private jet, the comedian grabbed the pilot's arms and asked how long the flight would be. The pilot made an emergency landing in Pittsburgh after Chapelle freaked the crew out. Dave's publicist said he just had to use the bathroom. Sorry, Dave, but if a trip to the restroom results in an emergency landing, you're probably doing it wrong. 960 1280
Keep a safe distance from Paris Hilton. You never know what might show up in her "friend's" purse. The celeb was busted for cocaine possesion in Las Vegas last August. At the World Cup in South Africa, she was arrested after marijauna was found in a purse she claimed belonged to a friend. The charges for the latter case were dropped. 960 1280
It's best if you steer clear of Charlie Sheen altogether. He's already started the New Year off in the tabloids, taking Vodka shots with 'female companions' in Las Vegas. Charlie's latest scandal comes a few months after the actor flipped out in the New York Plaza Hotel, forcing his paid trickster to lock herself in the bathroom. 960 1280
You really can't travel with Lindsay Lohan because she's usually spending time in bars, behind bars or in rehab. Since 2007, Lindsay has been busted for 2 DUIs. Don't count on her to keep her travel documents straight either. In May 2010, the celeb told a judge she missed her court date because someone stole her passport after a trip to Cannes. It wasn't because she was partying into the wee hours of the morning? 960 1280