Dan LeccaTravel has never been more expensive, thanks to the surging cost of fuel and the plunging value of the dollar. You don't have to look any further than the airport to see it. Overpacking doesn't come cheap these days, with most major airlines charging upwards of $25 per piece of extra luggage you check in. (That fee more than doubles if the luggage weighs in excess of 50 pounds.) Airlines, looking to nickel and dime passengers to offset rising costs, also now charge for everything from on-board snacks to in-flight movies. Worst of all, the surcharge surprises don't end once you've exited the airport. On your next getaway you'll likely get socked by hidden fees tucked away in the fine print. Bring plenty of patience and lots of extra cash for these common charges.
1. Rental Car Insurance
If you're planning on being your own tour guide, you'll probably need a rental car to do it. Most renters agree to the optional car insurance thinking it's better to be safe than sorry. True, but you
Blog Posts by Marie Claire
Dan LeccaTravel has never been more expensive, thanks to the surging cost of fuel and the plunging value of the dollar. You don't have to look any further than the airport to see it. Overpacking doesn't come cheap these days, with most major airlines charging upwards of $25 per piece of extra luggage you check in. (That fee more than doubles if the luggage weighs in excess of 50 pounds.) Airlines, looking to nickel and dime passengers to offset rising costs, also now charge for everything from on-board snacks to in-flight movies. Worst of all, the surcharge surprises don't end once you've exited the airport. On your next getaway you'll likely get socked by hidden fees tucked away in the fine print. Bring plenty of patience and lots of extra cash for these common charges.Read More »from 3 Hidden Vacation Costs You Need to Know About
Christine BalderasIt's hard not to be a Chicken Little these days. The weak dollar has translated to higher prices abroad for everything from hotel rooms to bottled water. Gas is at $3.33 per gallon at last check, according to the Department of Energy, up almost 20% over a year ago. Never mind that being an American abroad isn't what it used to be. "Ugly American" may be among the nicer terms hurled at tourists these days. But, much of the grim news surrounding travel these days overshadows a rosier truth. Example: the market woes mean resorts are desperate for your business, and are willing to lower their prices to prove it. True, it's likely fewer travelers will hit the road this summer. But that will result in fewer tourists obstructing your view or elbowing you in line. Herewith, we refute the biggest myths about traveling today.Read More »from The 5 biggest myths about travel today
1. MYTH: Everything's so touristy - there are no genuine experiences left.
REALITY: Frustrated by the masses? Then get off the beaten path! Check out Wikitravel.org, which
By Maura Kelly of A Year of Living Flirtatiously
I'm starting off today with a little story about my past ... THE PARTLY-PARALYZED GUY I ONCE DATED - WHO'D NEARLY BEEN MURDERED!Read More »from Would You Date a Person With a Disability?
Back when I was in grad school, I went on a few dates with a guy who was partially paralyzed in one leg. Let's call him Joe California. Joe and I met at a party, and afterwards, a friend suggested we go out on a date. He was pretty cute--buff and blonde, jeans and cowboy shirts--and yet I didn't feel wildly attracted to him ... but at the same time, he was such a nice, upbeat, friendly guy that I was more than happy to take him up on his offer to go out for sushi. He picked me up in a red sports car; we had a pretty fun time; he asked me if I'd like to have dinner the following weekend.
On our second date, we were walking into the restaurant together from the red sports car, and I thought I noticed him limping. I figured he'd over-done it at the gym or sprained an ankle or something. During the
Image Source Photography/Veer.comTake this advice from Marie Claire's dating blogger - Maura Kelly of A Year of Living Flirtatiously if you've ever got the urge to call your ex...
IF YOU ARE TRYING TO AVOID CALLING YOUR EX-WHATCHAMACALLIT:
1. Remind yourself of how crazy he used to make you with the annoying things he used to do--like, for instance, showing up at least 15 minutes late every time you had a plan to hang out. Or somehow always managing to get bike grease on his leg and therefore on your sheets.2. Think about how bad you're going to feel if he doesn't pick up ... and how much worse if he never responds to the message you leave.
3. Go put your cell phone in the mailbox for a few hours.
If you can't manage that, call someone else and talk to him or her till you run out of time to make any other calls. Maybe it's your best friend, that old college buddy you haven't seen in years, or your grandma. Think of how happy old Nana Poo-poo would be to hear from you! You would make her day! And isn't thatRead More »from 4 Ways To Keep From Calling Your Ex
N. Hendrickson/iStockOver-sharers, take note: Twitter, the trendy microblogging site that has blabbers cataloging their comings and goings in up to 140 characters, is turning into the latest occupational hazard for those prone to TMI.Read More »from Don't Twitter yourself out of a job
One indiscreet job seeker learned that lesson firsthand in March when she "tweeted" this careless missive: "Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work." Someone at Cisco saw the snarky post and alerted HR, which quickly rescinded the offer.
Trifling as your Twitter updates may seem, don't be lulled into thinking they're harmless, warns Alexandra Levit, author of They Don't Teach Corporate in College. "Always assume that there are work people looking at your posts," she advises. And it's not just the obviously imprudent remarks-about a wicked hangover, your last one-night stand--that could garner a pink slip. Here, Levit's other social-networking guidelines:
Keep your politics
Oleg Prikhodko/iStock PhotographyNeed a life? Why not rent one! For the millions of people in Japan who spend too much time at work to have pets, a social life, or a partner, help is at hand.Read More »from International Trend: Rent-A-Cat Cafes in Tokyo
It started with Tokyo's cat cafés, where customers can sit around and sip coffee - and also rent a cat, for 10 bucks an hour. With Japan's economy in deep recession, cuddles are clearly in demand; customers ranging from schoolgirls to engineers are flocking to businesses such as Neko no Mise ("Cat Store"). Clients receive a "menu" of the felines available for petting; balls of wool and plastic mice are complimentary.
The cat cafés have become so popular that more than 150 businesses have sprung up to offer animals for hire - ferrets, turtles, squirrels, monkeys - on an hourly, weekly, or even monthly basis, if you want to bring the critter home. Dogs are predictably popular, but for those with a smaller apartment and budget, beetles are an option.
One agency has taken the idea of renting whatever makes your life complete a step
- Marie Claire | Summer Travel – Mon, Jun 15, 2009 12:05 AM EDT
Garth Johnson/iStock ImagesIf worst came to absolute worst, your vacation could end up like a Chevy Chase movie - a string of cringe-inducing mishaps and perpetual wrong-turns ("Look kids, Big Ben!"). But even in the event of utter disaster - the airline's lost your luggage, you were pick-pocketed while hailing a taxi - there are ways to salvage a vacation, be it a long-planned international trek or a quickie weekend at the shore. Check out these must-know survival tips for overcoming your worst-case vacation pitfall.
You lost your passport. Before you go: Color copy your Passport and a secondary government-issued photo ID, like your driver's license. Write the phone number of the US embassy in the country you're visiting on the back, and pack the copies in a separate place from the originals - so if one gets lost or stolen, you'll have backup ID. The fix: Call the US embassy right away and report your passport stolen; it may be a few days before you can pick up a new one, but having copies can expediteRead More »from 5 Worst Case Vacation Scenarios - and How to Fix Them
Radovan KrakerWinters are, of course, high season in the Caribbean. That's when snowbirds, fed up by numb fingers, perennial sniffles, and the incessant need to shovel their driveways, trek southward for sun, beaches, and sugary rum drinks. But a winter stint in the Caribbean will cost you as much as 40 percent more than an off-season getaway. Never mind the throngs of towel-toting families crowding the beaches. Price-conscious travelers should consider the Caribbean during early summer months. "The downside, of course, is that you're traveling during hurricane season," says Amber Herczeg, vice president of Reservation Center Operations at CheapCarribean.com. "But if you stay far south and buy travel insurance, you're minimizing your risks." (CheapCarribean.com includes free weather insurance on all trips). Herczeg offers her insider tips for the best all-around Caribbean destinations this summer. You'll find the sweetest deals and never have to elbow for space on the beach.Read More »from The Best Summer Carribean Destinations
1. Curacao Located very
Izvorinka Jankovic/iStockStaycations are the talk of the town this summer. With skyrocketing gas prices and more fees at the airport, it's not hard to understand why. Fewer Americans are taking to the skies this summer compared to last, according to the Air Transport Association. But sometimes the best part of a little R&R is the getaway--literally getting away from it all. Who can truly relax with real-world worries constantly intruding on your time off?Read More »from Vacationing: stay or go?
This summer I'm using a small chunk of my vacation time in August to hit the beach, but I'm doing it close to home. Getting there will be cheap. While staying there will be a little pricey, cutting the travel expense does help. And since I'm already saving up for a real vacation later in the year, a staycation isn't a bad move for now.
How are you planning to vacation this summer? Is it going to be a staycation or an all-out getaway?
By Jihan Thompson
By Annemarie Dooling Don't let the economic downturn take a toll on your travel plans. These simple globetrotter tips will save you some serious overseas money.Read More »from 4 Insider Travel Booking Tips
1. Although everyone knows about discount search engines like Kayak, Cheapoair, and Hotels.com, few contact the airline or hotel for a competitive quote. Try calling them, announcing the Web-provider rate, and challenging them to match it. You could not only end up with a better bargain, but you'll cut out those pesky middleman charges.
2. When searching for flights check all area airports. Smaller airports often have discounted fares - an easy trade for a cab ride or asking a friend for a ride across town. Also research shuttle-bus services and free parking to save money on your trip to the airport.
3. Look in the last-minute-package section of travel search engines, whether you need a package or not, as they could cost less than the original airfare alone. These bargain trips could end up being the most cost-effective even if