Teaches Students How and Where to Travel on a Budget

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwire – Aug 3, 2011) – With the summer holidays winding down, many college students are gearing up for the year ahead. For students who are already anticipating the stress of essays and exams,, the online leader in publishing travel deals, is here to tell them not to fret. Taking a break to shake off the stress that comes from all-nighters and dining hall “food” is not only essential but can be done within a student budget with tips from’s guide on How To Travel on a Student Budget. And whether you’re in need of a weekend away to detox before exams or a spring break packed with parties — er, culture — has some suggestions. Our list of Top 10 College Student Destinations features affordable getaway ideas for a long weekend break, spring break, winter break or the summer holidays.

Below are four student getaways from’s Top 10 College Student Destinations from each of the vacation categories.

Over a long weekend… Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada – As a college student, it’s important to get your money’s worth without spending an arm and a leg. Niagara Falls can satisfy that for cash-strapped youth. Cheap hotels by the Falls abound, and you can move around town easily on foot, as many of the attractions are within walking distance of each other. Pack your weekend with visits to the Falls and Marineland Theme Park, where you’ll get your fix of seafaring animals like dolphins and killer whales — combined with the thrill of amusement park rides. The drinking age is 19, so a visit to the Fallsview Casino — and Dragonfly Nightclub after — is an absolute must. Search and compare cheap flights to Niagara Falls.

Over spring break… San Juan, Puerto Rico – No passport necessary for this trip. Sizzling Puerto Rico offers more for your money and is generally less crowded than your typical spring break destination. You’ll understand why it’s called the Island of Enchantment after just a day enjoying the island’s perfect weather and amazing local food. For college students on a budget, it combines water fun with non-stop nightlife, as well as the opportunity for cheap accommodations and flights. Note before you go: Spanish is Puerto Rico’s dominant language, so brush up on your linguistics (otra cerveza, por favor) before you go. Search and compare cheap flights to Puerto Rico.

Over winter break… Thailand – Make your vacation count for something a little extra by volunteering over winter break in Thailand. You can experience more than the average visitor and get involved in the religious and cultural life of Thai people by providing childcare or building houses. For adventure lovers, combination packages are available that fuse volunteerism with outdoor excursions like kayaking, bamboo rafting and elephant riding. And an extra perk: you’ll get some sun and heat in the midst of cold winter months. Search and compare cheap flights to Thailand.

Over summer vacation… Australia – If you’re looking to spend the bulk of your summer in one place, but you don’t necessarily want that place to be at home, consider Australia. During your summer vacation, it’ll be winter in Australia, so pack accordingly. Explore Australia’s mesmerizing beaches, deserts, and outback in the warmer northern territory and take in its wildlife, like kangaroos, koalas and wallabies that live in forests and national parks. To really save, find a hostel in Melbourne to stay, buy groceries, and master Sydney’s public transit system. Search and compare cheap flights to Australia.

For more ideas on great and affordable student getaways, read’s complete list of Top 10 College Student Destinations at

When your primary source of income is student loans or savings from your summer job, budgeting for student travel can seem impossible. But with a little know-how and help from, it’s possible to travel even abroad on a student budget. Here are some of’s essential tips on how to save for your student getaway:

  • Pack smartly – Baggage fees are the worst, especially if you’re not expecting them. If you can, plan your wardrobe ahead of time and pack only a carry-on to avoid baggage fees or consider flying domestically with a low-cost airline like Southwest, which allows two checked pieces free of charge, or JetBlue, which permits one.
  • Load up a currency card – Unlike on a credit card, you can only spend the amount loaded onto a pre-paid currency card, plus your family can add to travel budget as needed. Select those that don’t charge for usage or cash withdrawal, and are protected by a PIN — like Mastercard, MyTravelCash, and Travelex.
  • Invest in an International Student ID Card – Your student status can get you discounts on flights, hotels, transportation, and admission to museums, concerts and other attractions. If you’re staying stateside, your college ID should work. But for travel overseas, consider an International Student ID Card, available through STA Travel.

To read additional details on the above tips and for more essential advice, read’s complete guide on How to Travel on a Student Budget at

About Cheapflights Media
Cheapflights Media is an international media network helping over 11 million visitors a month find top travel deals. Our Cheapflights brand was launched in 1996 and pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users. Today, users compare a wide range of deals from hundreds of partners including online travel agents, consolidators and airlines to find the very best flight deals. With a mission to be the starting point for travel, Cheapflights works to deliver the industry’s best airfare bargains, expert tips and inspiration. There are currently Cheapflights sites in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. For more information, visit Our newest brand, Momondo, is a leading travel search engine for finding comprehensive worldwide pricing and availability on airfares. Winner of several awards, the site is ideal for users on specific travel schedules. For more information, visit

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Google Hotel Finder (Experiment)

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

As far as experiments go, Google Hotel Finder (Experiment) is a successful one, but don’t expect it to shake up online travel booking any time soon. Hotel Finder highlights popular areas using a Google Map overlay; however, compared to Hipmunk’s heatmap layers, that illumination doesn’t shed much light on a city. As with Bing Travel, Google’s Hotel Finder shows you how today’s price compares to the typical tally—only instead of color-coding deals, Hotel Finder uses a slider. And because it prowls the same basic sites as the competition, results are largely redundant. Google’s key innovation is a drawing tool through which users can craft shapes over cities to define the parameters of their search: It’s a fun idea, but in practice it’s more gimmick than innovation. None of this stops Google Hotel Finder from being a pleasant way to search for hotels. However, for the time being, this flightless experiment lacks the tools and innovations to lift it above the competition.

Connected Traveler

What’s Your Shape?
It all starts with a destination. This can be a city name—Google proposes options as you type), a zip code, or even a neighborhood (e.g. Gramercy, New York). Beginning with the stunningly general “New York, NY” I received a list of results and a small Google Map with somewhat triangular shape (Google’s figure uses four points) over Manhattan. From here you can continue searching from the list view, tailoring your dates, price, hotel class, and user rating, or you can edit your shape on a Google Map to visually define the limits of your search.

View Slideshow
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Location, Location, Location

Hotels Visualized

Google Places Reviews

Impressive Imagery

This sounded like a better idea than it was. The issue is in finding the right view. In the case of a Manhattan search, I wanted to narrow to just a few neighborhoods, but pulling in the four points required me to work from a distant zoom. Tightening the shape of my figure (I eventually settled on an arrow) required a lot of panning in and out in order to find my neighborhoods. For less densely populated cities, though, this ought to be less of an issue.

There are two smart things about shapes. First, you can have more than one. This means that I can really target my search with one shape over, say, Gramercy, and another over Tribeca. Second, Google highlights the most popular areas of a city (less popular sections are cast in the shadows). In an already popular city such as New York, a Hotel Finder’s popularity filter does little to help you plan your trip. I wish, instead, that Google mimicked Hipmunk’s more specific—and useful—overlays: “food,” “tourism,” “shopping,” “nightlife,” and the deliciously-titled “vice.”

Filtering Results
You can work from a Google Map or list view, though I found myself using the list because of its sortable headers. It’s easy to change check-in and check-out dates, set a price range, or pare back results based upon hotel class (1-5 stars) or user rating, courtesy of Google Places. In my star-shaped search of lower Manhattan, I began with 24 hotels. These results could be saved for later or booked through a variety of partners including,,,,,,,,, and official hotel websites.

Breadth aside, price will probably be the main priority for most Hotel Finder customers. While results were largely the same with Bing Travel and Hipmunk, Hotel Finder does have some useful filtering options. In addition to pulling out hotels without prices (I had 10 hotels that returned without booking information, thanks to Google’s own searches) you can also trim results based upon how they compare to their usual costs. By default, Hotel Finder retrieves everything, but users can control deals through a slider that ranges from “Any” (all prices) to “Typical” (no discount) to “50% less” (half off). As you start scrolling, hotels start vanishing. Of my 24 results, 2 disappeared when I moved the slider to “Typical.” When I scrolled to about 25 percent, I was down to 4 options. At 50 percent, I had a clean slate.

While I commend the slider-based approach for its simplicity, I’d like to have the option to compare low, medium, and high priced hotels simultaneously. Bing Travel’s color-coded tags are particularly useful. Meanwhile, Hipmunk’s “Ecstasy” system, which color-codes results based upon a combination of variables (including price, user reviews, and amenities) strikes me as the most thoughtful solution.

Just Another Search Tool—For Now
Google Hotel Finder is entirely functional, but, for the time being, I don’t see anything that ought to give other online travel sites the jitters. The shape-based searching is cool conceptually, but less cool empirically. Despite the intuitiveness of highlighting popular areas, as long as you don’t know why areas are popular—and with whom they’re popular—light doesn’t shed light. Finally, despite all the concerns about Google’s acquisition of ITA, what is available today is hotel-specific and comparable in scope to existing services. Give it a try—there’s no reason not to—but don’t forget the excellent alternatives, Bing Travel and Hipmunk.

More Education and Reference Software:
•   Google Hotel Finder (Experiment)
•   Locavore (for iPhone)
•   Biblion: The Boundless Library (for iPad)
• (for iPhone)
•  more

Article source:,2817,2390331,00.asp

NFL tickets — plus hotels and even airfare — all in one package

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Sports Travel and Tours offers packages to all the NFL contests this season, setting up tickets, hotels, even the airfare if you like. “Any game … Any place … Any time,” is the tour organizer’s motto.

Sounds like a challenge. So we tried it.

What about the Green Bay game in San Diego on Nov. 6, sure to be one of the toughest tickets of the year in California? The company quoted us a price of $385 per person for seats close to the action, plus a night at the Sheraton Mission Valley. Those are for end zone seats, but they are on the plaza level at Qualcomm, which is close to the action. If you’re willing to sit up high, you can get tickets for as little as $309 in a package that also includes a night at the Sheraton. That compares to $250 for a decent seat from one of L.A.’s biggest ticket brokers. Better seats are in the $350 to $425 range (plaza level at about the 20-yard-line). So, assuming you are staying overnight, the Sports Travel package pencils out pretty well.

Note that tickets to individual games are no longer available through the Chargers box office.

For NFL junkies, the company’s website is worth a look (even though pro football prices are totally ridiculous and out of reach for many). On the Sports Travel and Tours website, you pick your game and choose the level of luxury you’re after. You can even customize your trip with car service and concerts. The company has made a name for itself with its popular baseball road trip tours and spring training packages. But I can only imagine what the resolution to the lockout means to tour companies like this and other ticket services.

In the meantime, whom did the Packers beat in last season’s Super Bowl? Seems like a million yesterdays ago, right? Answer: the Steelers, of course.

Dust off the cobwebs. Preseason games begin next week. Which is good, because it gets people who wear cheese on their heads off the street.

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Guide promotes Civil War sites in Appalachian (AP)

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – A newly released map will guide history buffs to Civil War historical attractions all around the Appalachian region to mark the 150th commemoration of the war.

Tennessee Department of Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker will discuss the impact of Civil War tourism in Tennessee during the rollout of the map at the Andrew Johnson Early Home in Greeneville on Wednesday.

The Appalachian Regional Commission developed the guide to highlight the diversity of tourist attractions and boost tourism. An online interactive of the map can be found at .

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French beach goes butt-less with smoking ban (AP)

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

LA CIOTAT, France – A small town in Provence is attracting more vacationing families by turning a stretch of sun-drenched Mediterranean seafront into what it calls the first non-smoking beach in France.

The smoking ban came into effect earlier this summer, and compliance among the public at the packed beach has surprised even the city official who came up with the idea, deputy mayor for the environment, Noel Collura.

Similiar limits on smoking in French cafes, bars and restaurants are gradually undoing what was once a notoriously laissez-faire attitude to smoking.

Beachcombers who arrive at the “Plage Lumiere” beach pass under a large sign reminding them that smoking is off limits, and two cigarette-shaped ashtrays attached to the sign invite them to stub out their butts before they slather on the sun cream.

“We don’t stop smokers from going elsewhere, but this one we want to reserve for nonsmokers, for mothers and children so they can make sand castles and not cigarette butt castles,” said Collura.

The population of the small town of La Ciotat triples in summer, as vacationers from across France join day-trippers from the nearby city of Marseille rushing to stake their parasols on the sandy crescent lapped by gentle waves and dazzling turquoise waters.

The town of 34,000 is known as the birthplace of the traditional Provencal game Petanque, and it was the location for one of the first films in cinema history, the Lumiere brothers’ “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat.”

Now it wants to be known for its clean and family-friendly beaches.

Collura contends that La Ciotat is the first and so-far only no-smoking beach in France — and Europe. The only place he found with a similar law is New York City, which earlier this year banned smoking from all city parks, beaches, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas.

La Ciotat’s ban was a last resort after more gentle measures failed, said Collura.

“For years we sent people around the beach passing out ashtrays, we handed out pamphlets asking people to not drop their cigarette butts on the beach, but nothing worked,” Collura said.

“We found that like anywhere else in the world, nothing will change unless there is the threat of a fine behind it,” Collura said, “It’s not enough just to hand out ashtrays.”

Police, who already patrolled the beach before the ban, can hand out a (EURO)35 ($50) fine to anyone seen lighting up on the sand. But Collura says so far peer pressure and gentle warnings have been enough.

A recent survey by polling agency Ifop showed three-quarters of French people support a beach smoking ban.

The nonsmoking policy only covers one part of La Ciotat’s 8 miles (13 kilometers) of sea front, leaving smokers plenty of other places to go to smoke while they tan.

On a recent sunny day at La Ciotat’s beach, smokers were obediently leaving the beach and taking their smoke breaks just outside the beach entrance, where a cafe has set up outdoor tables with a beach vista.

Few of the smokers complained about the new rule, like Eliane Namiach, a bathing-suited grandmother who lit up just under the beach’s no-smoking sign. “It’s super,” said Namiach, who has made the trip from Marseille “three or four times” already since the ban took effect, each time coming to the nonsmoking beach. “Me personally, I have grandchildren, so I think it’s very good. It doesn’t bother me at all to leave the beach to smoke.”

But there are limits to the smokers’ tolerance.

“One nonsmoking beach is OK. But more than that, no,” said Namiach.


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Groupon sets its sites on Asia – eTravelBlackboard

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Bag a bargain with Groupon

Groupon Hong Kong has this week launched a new travel deal website ‘Groupon Getaways’ offering people in Hong Kong and greater Asia specialty travel deals.

The new deal site offers Asia travel specials including discounts on flights, hotels and cruisers, with weekly deal updates.

Through the new site consumers are able to access travel packages and travel information on cities and hideaways across the globe.

Groupon Getaways gives holiday planners a variety of holiday options which covers luxury travellers to budget accommodation.

Groupon Hong Kong chief executive Danny Yeung said he is committed to providing more value to consumers in Hong Kong whilst providing travel partners another outlet, of reaching travellers.

“We are pleased to launch the Getaways site and bring online shoppers unbeatable holiday packages across Asia,” Mr Yeung said.

The launch of the site will showcase exclusive holiday packages from some of the following hotel partners, The Marina Bay sands, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur, Hua Hin by Six Senses Thailand, and Mangosteen Phuket.

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Airlines cut ticket fares to spur Ramadan travel

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Travel deals are luring passengers with the onset of the holy month of Ramadan, as major carriers offer up to 20 per cent discount on airfare.
Emirates, Etihad Airways and British Airways have already announced deals that include discounts on travel across the Middle East, Europe, the Far East and the Americas.
The Dubai-based Emirates has announced special fares to 32 select destinations, including Delhi, Bangkok, London, Beirut, Geneva, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Cairo, Manila and Johannesburg.
The special fares start from Dh1,075 return in economy class to Karachi and Dh3,025 return in business class to Delhi. Customers can save up to 20 per cent to certain destinations when travelling in economy or business class.
The offer is valid until August 20 for outbound travel until September 30.
“For many, Ramadan is an important time to be together as a family unit. The UAE is largely an expatriate community with family networks often spread around the globe. To help bring families together during the holy month Emirates has established these special fares,” said Khalid bel Jaflah, Emirates Vice President Commercial UAE in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is offering a range of reduced rates on Coral Economy Class, Pearl Business Class and holiday packages for travel from Abu Dhabi to more than 20 worldwide destinations during Ramadan.
The special promotional rates are on sale now, applicable for travel through to September 30, with blackout dates applying for Coral class between August 25 and September 1, 2011.
Promotional airfares on Etihad include flights to Muscat from Dh485 on economy, while flights to Manchester, UK costs Dh17,175 on business class.
Hareb Almuhairy, Etihad’s Vice President UAE Sales, said: “Ramadan is a time of sharing, which is why we are so pleased to share these generous deals on some of Etihad’s most popular destinations. We encourage UAE residents to take advantage of the exceptional value on offer and make the holy month even more special with our award-winning services.”
And if local carriers are celebrating the spirit of Ramadan, the UK carrier, British Airways, is not going to be left out.
Available on bookings made to London, Heathrow and beyond before August 31, for travel from until 31 December 2011, customers can book return flights in Club World business class from Dh10,635, World Traveller Plus premium economy from Dh4,855 and World Traveller economy class from Dh2,595.
Paolo DeRenzis, Regional Commercial Manager said: “With Ramadan coinciding with the extreme temperatures of the summer months in the Middle East, British Airways’ great value travel packages offer people the option of spending the holy month in cooler climates.
“Together with our promise of providing nothing less than world-class quality products and services – all at great value for money – customers who book online can also take advantage of some great offers on hotel and car rental.” 

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Travelzoo Surpasses 24 Million Subscribers Worldwide

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

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My news for Investors

NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ: TZOO), a global Internet media company, today surpassed 24 million subscribers worldwide.  In the past three months, Travelzoo added more than 1 million new subscribers.  Three million subscribers are in Asia Pacific, where Travelzoo is operated independently by Travelzoo (Asia) Limited and Travelzoo Japan K.K. under a license agreement.  

Chris Loughlin, Chief Executive Officer for Travelzoo, said, “There are very few Internet media companies that are able to reach such a large, highly-affluent group of travel and leisure enthusiasts.  As we continue to extend our coverage of local deals, we are attracting new subscribers who first learn about us because of an outstanding spa or restaurant deal, but then quickly fall in love with our exceptional travel deals.”  

Travelzoo publishes travel, entertainment and local deals in 11 countries worldwide.  More than 250 Deal Experts research, evaluate and test thousands of deals each week, publishing only the very best to Travelzoo subscribers.  

To become a Travelzoo subscriber, sign up for free at  

About Travelzoo

Travelzoo Inc. is a global Internet media company.  With more than 24 million subscribers in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and 23 offices worldwide, Travelzoo® publishes deals from more than 2,000 travel, entertainment and local companies.  Travelzoo Deal Experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.  In Asia Pacific, Travelzoo is independently owned and operated by Travelzoo (Asia) Ltd. and Travelzoo Japan K.K. under a license agreement with Travelzoo Inc.  

Certain statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.  These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations, prospects and intentions, markets in which we participate and other statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts.  When used in this press release, the words “expect”, “predict”, “project”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “seek” and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements.  Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including changes in our plans, objectives, expectations, prospects and intentions and other factors discussed in our filings with the SEC.  We cannot guarantee any future levels of activity, performance or achievements.  Travelzoo undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.  Travelzoo and Top 20 are registered trademarks of Travelzoo.  All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Media Contact:
Christie McConnell
Travelzoo, North America
(212) 484-4912

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Grab a one-way rental car to Arizona for $5 a day

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

The ultimate road-trip incentive is back. Hertz is offering one-way car rentals to Arizona from California and other Western states for $5 a day. It’s a great excuse to take off, explore somewhere you’ve never been and save a bundle.

The deal: I like this deal because it appeals to my sense of adventure on a shoestring. I used this promotion in the spring for a 13-day road trip that covered more than 3,400 miles. My car rental cost: $65, excluding gas and tax. Who can beat that?

This Drive for $5 offer allows you to pick up an economy or compact car at locations in California, Colorado or Utah and drive as much as you want (unlimited mileage) as long as you drop the car off in Arizona. The deal is limited to 14 days, but you can take advantage of this offer more than once. Use the code “DRV5″ when making a reservation.

When: The offer is good for car rentals Aug. 18 to Oct. 12.

Tested: I checked online for availability during the Labor Day weekend and found a rental I could pick up at Los Angeles International Airport at 10 a.m. Sept. 2 and return at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) at the same time on Sept. 6. How you get back to California is up to you.

Contact: Hertz, (800) 654-3131

Article source:,0,5981074.story travel deals

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Tom Parsons, with, has the travel deals for the summer traveler. Click on and search WFAA for the deals highlighted on midday.


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