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Enter to Win Two Round Trip Tickets for a University Visit!

by margaret 27. September 2011 07:33

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Parents and Students. Enter for a Chance to WIN Two Round Trip Tickets!
Visiting college campuses can be an exciting time for students, and a stressful time for parents. While many students are worried about what school to go to, many parents are worried about travel expenses for their student (amongst other costs of course!).

We're here to help, giving away two round trip tickets to visit the University of your choice!

All you have to do is Like us on Facebook to get started!
Terms and Conditions apply. You must be 18+ to enter to win. If under the age of 18, you must travel with a parent or guardian. The Grand Prize is for two round trip tickets within the United States for a parent and student from the same household to visit an intended University.
Margaret Yekulis
212-391-2313 Ext 114

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Win a Trip on your Bucket List!

by margaret 23. August 2011 05:49
Bucket List Contest
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Every Traveler has a Bucket List, What's on yours?
When it comes to travel, everyone has a Bucket List of places all over the world they’ve wanted to see and visit. So many of us want to travel abroad and see the world, but sometimes miss out on what’s in our own backyard. We want to find out from you where in the United States or Canada you’ve always wanted to go, but haven’t quite gotten around to yet.

From August 23 - September 12, you can enter to win a chance to fly anywhere in the United States or Canada. The trick is, you have to tell us why you want to cross this place off your Bucket List. Don’t just tell us you want to go to Napa because you love wine, give us a good reason to send you there!

The lucky winner will not only get to cross that location off their list, but will get to blog about their trip for Fare Buzz!

Go ahead, Like Us on Facebook to get started!
Winners will be chosen on Friday, September 16th , so make sure you enter soon!

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Across the Pond to Liverpool

by margaret 3. August 2011 10:22

When planning your next trip to England, you could go to London like everyone else. Wait in a long line to get into Buckingham Palace (if it’s even open when you go), stop by Big Ben or take a ride on the London Eye. Or you could head north to Liverpool, the 2008 European Capital of Culture. It’s there that you can take in museums, theater, an abundant musical history, parks, shopping and more. Sounds fun right? Liverpool is fast becoming an even more popular destination for tourists, giving London a run for its money!  

Liverpool, Capital of Culture 

Liverpool is situated in the Northwest part of England on the Mersey River. A historic port city, Liverpool is famously known as the hometown of the Beatles. While there’s a lot to see and do that focus on the Fab Four’s rise to fame, we’ll start with everything else going on there first!

For the frequent shoppers heading to town, Liverpool ONE is one of Liverpool’s newest developments. Completed in 2009, Liverpool ONE is the UK’s largest open air shopping center and one of the largest in the world. Full of various shops (including one for each football club, called Liverpool One and Everton Two), a cinema, restaurants and hotels, the shopping center has seriously helped to boost Liverpool’s economy and pushed them into the top five most popular retail locations in the UK. While Liverpool ONE caters to most Liverpudlians (the locals) and visitors, the Cavern Walks hold many boutique and designer shops for those shopping with a bit more of a budget. 

Of course shopping isn’t all there is to do there. Liverpool is home to several different museums, from history to fine art. Some of the top art galleries are located in Liverpool, like the Liverpool Walker Art Gallery, the Tate Liverpool and the 290-year-old Liverpool Bluecoat. The brand new Museum of Liverpool, just opened in July of this year, focuses of course on the history of Liverpool’s culture and what it means to be a Liverpudlian. As Liverpool is known famously as a port town, the Merseyside Maritime Museum should definitely be a stop on your trip as it takes you through the history of people and ships connected to the port.


The Royal Liver Building is a famous part of the Liverpool skyline, with the two Liver birds on top that watch over the city  

Eating and Drinking Through Liverpool

Eating is a top priority on anyone's vacation list, and Liverpool offers plenty of options for anyone from the picky eater to foodies. Once a revolutionary docking system upon its creation in 1846, the renovated Albert Docks now offer several different bars and restaurants for visitors and locals to enjoy, including popular spots Spice Lounge and Blue Bar & Grill. Liverpool ONE of course offers a variety of restaurants, anything from tapas to Italian and Mexican cuisines. Liverpool is also home to Europe’s oldest Chinatown, a neighborhood full of restaurants serving authentic cuisine for sit down or take away. On a recent trip over there, we checked out Il Forno, an authentic Italian spot with so many amazing options on the menu, you definitely can’t go wrong! And while most foodies might put England at the bottom of their culinary list, Liverpool has been doing a lot lately to cater to them. That includes the upcoming Liverpool Food and Drink Festival that starts September 3, 2011. Anyone looking to attend can of course find cheap airline flights to Manchester International Airport, or cheap flights to London connecting to Manchester. Of course, if you want to try an authentic Liverpool dish, you’ll need to try a Scouse Pie, found at many local pubs. Scouse is a form of stew and Scouse Pies were eaten by the working class in Liverpool years ago, and quickly became something the area became known for, especially when the term Scouse was given to the local dialect. 

Liverpool is no different than anywhere else in England when it comes to pubs, and they really do have some of the best. Some of the most popular watering holes in the city are around Mathew Street in the City Centre. Home to places like the Cavern Club and The Grapes, the streets are lined with pubs, and on a busy night are full of people having a great time. But while the City Centre offers plenty of places to grab a pint, The Phil, as it’s called by locals, was one we could have stayed at and gone back to our whole trip! The beautiful art deco design was done in 1898 for brewers Robert Cain & Company and sits just around the corner from the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (it is, after all, technically called the Philharmonic Dining Rooms). It was at the height of its popularity in the 1960s, and was one of the places John Lennon hated giving up for the price of fame. 


The bar at the Philharmonic Dining Room, known to locals as The Phil  

The Beatles and Liverpool

One of the most popular reason people frequent Liverpool is all for one group, The Beatles. Even if you don’t claim to be one of their biggest fans, it’s still a reason to tour around the city, seeing their humble beginnings and places made famous by songs like “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” After being purchased by the National Trust, you can even step inside the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, redecorated to appear as they did when they were growing up. While on the Magical Mystery Tour around town (yes, you actually tour the city in a replica of the MMT bus!) you do get a glimpse of the homes George Harrison and Ringo Starr grew up in. But while Harrison’s home is still there (with a family residing there), nearly the entire neighborhood Starr grew up in is getting ready to be torn down. The bus will pick you up at the Beatles Story at the Albert Dock, the museum taking you through their lives and careers with a treasure trove of artifacts. The bus drops you off by the famous Cavern Club, where it all got started. 

Yes, you really can take a ride through town on the Magical Mystery Tour bus!

It’s hard to go far in Liverpool without stopping at a place the Beatles once went. Pubs like the Jacaranda and the Casbah Club (a bit further out of town) were favorite spots of the group before they rose to fame. But two of the most popular spots are found on the famous Mathew Street. One is the world famous Cavern Club, where the Beatles famously got their start and were discovered by a record shop owner named Brian Epstein who soon became their manager. When the Cavern Club opened its doors in 1957, it started as a Jazz club inspired by those the original owner had seen in Paris. It quickly caught the eye of local skiffle bands in the area that started to turn it into a rock and roll club. While the one that’s there isn’t the original (that was torn down in the 70s to make room for a project that never happened), the current Cavern Club is roughly in the same spot and was built with the same design using many of the original bricks. In the early days of the Cavern Club, alcohol wasn’t served, so before gigs, the Beatles and other bands used to frequent the Grapes a short distance away. As with many pubs around town, a photo of the Beatles in one of the booths sits on the wall next to that very booth, so patrons can sit and have a pint where their musical heroes once did.


The Beatles: They sat there, and so can you!  

Head North! 

With so much to do in Liverpool, it’s hard to think why anyone would want to visit London instead… ok, at least why anyone would want to miss out on Liverpool. It’s a city full of culture and life that has a lot to offer anyone who visits, and is easy enough to get to through cheap flights to Europe or even a direct flight to Manchester at low fares. But however you get across the pond, just don’t forget to add Liverpool to your list! 

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Low Fares and Tips on Pet Travel

by margaret 2. August 2011 06:16

Anyone who has a pet knows that they’re just as much a part of the family as anyone else! So it should come as no surprise that traveling with pets has become not just a trend, but quite the business. In fact, so many Americans are now traveling with their pets that pet only airline Pet Airways was created, and many hotels, including the Starwood Hotels, accommodate pets by offering everything from a custom pet bed to a birthday cake for your dog (a bit much?). While cheap flights can usually be found to accommodate pet travel, we talked to a pet travel expert for tips on making pet travel easy on the road.


Pet Friendly Cities

When choosing a spot to go for a weekend vacation, it usually depends on how far away it is, if you can get a good car rental deal, cheap hotel or cheap airfare tickets. But when going on vacation with your four-legged friend, there’s a bit more involved. What hotel would accept your pet? Are you able to leave them there if you want to go out for dinner? Is there a cleaning fee for the car rental? And of course for large dog owners, what’s the furthest point you can drive, as flying with large dogs for a quick weekend trip is usually not an option. 

So we’ll start with the first tip, where to go. There are a lot of dog friendly cities in the US, but one that strikes us as being very dog friendly is our capital, Washington D.C. When we asked Amy Burkert of, she couldn’t agree more, “From the Lincoln Memorial, to the Washington Monument, to the Capital Building - you can see them all with your pet.” With a good amount of things to see from the outside, you certainly can’t go wrong with bringing your pet on a trip to the capital to check out all the historic monuments (they’ll of course have to skip out on the museums unfortunately!). However, Burkert felt that one of the most pet friendly cities was actually to the south in Austin, TX. Her review of Austin includes many pet friendly restaurants and a list of pet friendly hotels, but nothing stood out more than the dog friendly beach located on Lady Bird Lake Trail. Of course, being a dog owner in New York City, we’ve found it to be quite the dog friendly place, full of dog parks in almost every neighborhood, and plenty of outdoor seating in the summer with restaurants allowing you to bring your dog along for brunch.


Pet Friendly Accommodations

Hotels all over the world will allow you to bring your pet; you just have to find the right ones with the right amenities. As Burkert told us, “One of the biggest challenges is determining a hotel's pet policy... can you leave the pet unattended, is there a weight restriction, will you have to stay in a smoking room because you're traveling with a pet?” As she has found over her years of traveling with pets, The Kimpton and Loews hotels are the best for their pet friendliness, though you never know what you’ll find if you look around. The Starwood line of hotels have also been known to have great amenities for pets, even, as previously mentioned, seriously catering to their every need from a toy at check-in to a special treat at turndown.

GoPetFriendly has a great list of pet friendly hotels all over the US, and of course, you can always book your hotel at a cheap rate through


On the Road

Of course it’s easy to get cheap airfare tickets for you and your Chihuahua, but what do you do when you want to travel with your Rottweiler? Not exactly a dog you can fit below the seat in front of you! That’s generally where road trips come in. Road tripping across America is something Burkert knows well. Burkert and blog co-founder Rod Burkert travel full-time with their two dogs, Buster and Ty, in their Winnebago. As the owners of a dog who isn’t the most excited about getting in the car, we asked her what tips she could give to people who are going on a road trip with their pet for the first time, or may not necessarily go on road trips that frequently. Of course, giving your dog treats when they get in the car is a good start, but the best thing to do is take them on little trips to a place they enjoy going. Most dogs may associate traveling in the car with going to the vet. Not the best association! Taking trips to the dog park or going for a hike nearby are good trips for your dog to associate car travel with. As Burkert says, “Make your trips longer and longer, and before long you'll be ready to hit the road for a couple of weeks.”


Go Pet Friendly!

No one likes to leave their pet behind when going on vacation, so when you can, there’s always an option to take them with you. has a great collection of hotels and places you can go to make travel pet friendly, and as always, you can find great deals and low fares on

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Travel to Wales: The UK’s Lesser Explored Country

by margaret 27. July 2011 10:40

When heading across the pond to the United Kingdom, many will make plenty of time for England and Ireland; some even may head north to Scotland. But outside of people within the UK, you don’t often hear about people visiting Wales, the tiny country west of England. Wales has a lot to offer, from beaches to inland resorts, famous castles and can easily be traveled to through cheap domestic flights within Europe and the UK. When starting your trip in the North of Wales, there are several can’t miss spots. 

Llandudno: The Welsh Resort Town 

For many Englanders, a popular local holiday is heading to the beaches of Wales, something the country has quite a bit of. The north is no exception with the beautiful beach town of Llandudno. Llandudno is Wales’ largest resort town. While home to many modern attractions for tourists to enjoy, boardwalk included, one of the first things you’ll notice are the Victorian style Bed and Breakfasts and hotels that line the beach area. Many locals and tourists will start frequenting the beaches as early as April, and enjoy them through the fall.

Among the gorgeous views of the area lies the Great Orme, which can be accessed by car, cabin lift or a tram system that was built in 1902. The Great Orme features picturesque views from the top and is one of two artificial ski slopes in Wales. One of the best ways to experience it is by driving along the coast, leading all the way up to the Great Orme Summit complex. Once at the summit, on a clear day, you can get views of the Isle of Man and the Lake District in Northern England.



The popular beach resort town of Llandudno from the Boardwalk


Conwy Castle 

Only a quick five minute drive from Llandudno is Conwy, where the famous Conwy Castle lies. Conwy is a walled town, with the primary focus being the can’t miss Conwy Castle, built in only six years between 1283 and 1289, and constructed by Edward I. Visiting Conwy Castle is definitely an experience, as is visiting and walking through any ancient castle in Europe. While a lot of it has deteriorated over the years, guides will tell you where everything was and how it looked as you walk around the Castle grounds. A trek all the way to the top of each tower (a narrow walk by the way!) will give you a magnificent view of the whole town, castle and the railway bridge built to the castle in the 19th century.

Outside of the castle, Conwy is a small town that does offer tourists pubs, restaurants and other little tourist attractions. Head towards the water and you’ll find the smallest house in Great Britain. Measuring in at 10 ft x 6 ft, it was once actually inhabited by a family and most recently by a fisherman who was too tall to even stand up in the house! Today visitors can take a peek inside, for a small fee of course.



A view of the famous Conwy Castle from one of the towers



The Smallest House in Great Britain 



Heading south of Conwy, you’ll run into Wales most popular inland resort town, Betws-y-Coed. The small village, population just 534, is the main village of the famous Snowdonia National Park. The exceptionally beautiful and peaceful area is where the River Conwy meets the River Llugwy and River Lledr. While there isn’t much more than a few café’s and tourist shops, the village shouldn’t be missed on your trip to Northern Wales, even if you’re just stopping by to get a view of the scenery.




The famous lush scenery of Betws-y-Coed  


Hiking Snowdonia 

If you’re into hiking and spending time in the great outdoors, stick around the Snowdonia National Park area after leaving Betws-y-Coed. Here you’ll find trails to hike through, with most people focusing on the popular Snowdon Mountain, though there are several mountains surrounding it that are less busy. There is of course a way of getting to the top if you’re not a fan of hiking or just want to get there quicker. The Snowdon Mountain Railway is available for visitors to get them to the top of Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales.  


A Name You Won’t Forget, But Can’t Remember

Another quick stop on your tour in Northern Wales is the longest named town in Europe (and only one of in the world!). That would be Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Go ahead, try pronouncing it! Llanfair PG, as it’s commonly shortened to, is village on the island of Anglesey in Wales. Many tourists only stop by on their way through Wales to get a picture of the town sign. Wondering what on earth the translation is? The name of the town means “St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave.” Easy to remember, right!?   



A sign by the train station in town shows the English translation of the long Welsh name 


With everything in such close distance, it’s easy to spend a full day exploring all that North Wales has to offer. Wales is easy to get to through England. You can find cheap flights to London or cheap flights to Europe and make your way over there from a smaller, local airport on one of the many cheap domestic flights. While often forgotten by many, Wales is a wonderful country to explore, through the north and beyond. 

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Facebook Promo Code for Future Fare Buzz Bookings

by margaret 25. July 2011 10:36

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To Cruise, or Not To Cruise

by margaret 21. July 2011 12:00

When it comes to traveling, I like to go where I want to go. If there are cheap flight tickets for the weekend to a place I’ve never been, I’ll take it! But going on a tour while I’m there? Forget about it! I’m there to see things that I’ve read about in magazines and blogs, eat where I want to eat and not necessarily end up in the most touristy of spots. And I know I’m not the only one. Travelers all over the world forgo the guidebook and do as they please while on vacation. So a cruise really isn’t the type of vacation for us. Or is it? I asked Carrie Finley-Bajak of Cruise Buzz to try and convince me and travelers like me to go on a cruise. Let’s see if she can get the job done!

Not to Cruise

The one thing that always deterred me from wanting to go on the cruise was the idea of being trapped on a boat (albeit a giant boat!) for days in the middle of the ocean. That’s of course a rather dramatic way of looking at things though! While you are on the boat for days at a time sometimes, people always seem to be on some sort of schedule. Anytime I’ve watched a travel show or listened to friend’s story about their cruising experiences, it all seems to revolve around doing activities when other people wanted you to do them. You dock into the port and only have a certain amount of time to see the local area you’re in. That kind of thing is great for some people, but it’s never really appealed to me. It’d be like the time I was trapped at an all-inclusive resort with nowhere interesting to go (apparently the idea there is to relax!).

 What is your opinion on cruising the open seas? Photo by Thomas Quine, Creative Commons


To Cruise 

Let’s start the convincing! I asked Finley-Bajak why a traveler like me would want to go on a cruise. “First off, anyone that loves water will probably enjoy a cruise. The challenge is to match the right cruise line to the individual. There are plenty of choices, so assuming that a person does not suffer from severe motion sickness, I am confident that cruising is a good choice.” Ok, so we have options it seems. And who isn’t a fan of spending some time in the water?

There are all sorts of travelers out there that cruises can appeal to. The one you might think would least enjoy a cruise are people whose entire vacation is based around outdoor activities like kayaking, boating, skiing, hiking and more. If you’re one of them, then according to Finley-Bajak, there are actually cruises out there for you. “For adventure cruisers that want to use the boat/ship to access remote places of Alaska, the Galapagos, and Antarctica there are small cruise lines or smaller cruises in larger fleets.”

Whether it’s a vineyard in France or a historical bar in Philly, when I travel, everything seems to center around food and drinks. To my excitement, there are cruise ships out there that cater to the foodie in all of us! Many larger luxury ships offer wine events and hangouts for foodies. “Foodies will love ships with facilities that allow for learning: Oceania Marina and the larger Holland America Line ships have purpose-built facilities for cooking,” mentions Finley-Bajak.

Overall, the best tip that came my way for first time cruisers though is to take one close to home. Out of New York, there are actually overnight cruises to nowhere. This gives you a chance to experience what it’s like to be on a cruise ship for a night, and see if you’d like to go on a longer outing in the future. Finley-Bajak does suggest staying close to home for your first cruise, and cheap tickets can always be found for first-timers cruising around the Caribbean. 


Where Will You Cruise? 

So adventurous travelers, are you convinced? While I admit I’ll never tire of traveling off the beaten path, I would be curious to try out a specific cruise that caters to my travel needs and interests. If there’s enough to keep me entertained between ports, then ok, I’ll try one!

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Malta: Europe's Secret Islands

by margaret 20. July 2011 12:34

When you mention traveling to the Mediterranean, most would think maybe Italy or Greece. But about 60 miles south of Sicily lays a tiny island that most would never know existed or even think to visit. A member of the EU since 2004, Malta is a great new destination to check out, especially if you (like many) haven’t even heard of it before! 

While non-stop flights haven’t been available to Malta from the US in years, it’s very easy to get to through various flights to Europe. Some of the top stop-over locations are FrankfurtLondon, Amsterdam and Rome. Once you finally get down to Malta, you’ll experience a world and culture as you’ve probably never seen before. Going to Malta can be like traveling through time. 


Meet Malta 

Malta, which many archeologists believe was settled in 5200 BC, has gone through a lot over the years, but still maintains a lot of character when it comes to appearance and attractions. The island has been influenced by everyone from the Italians to, most recently, the Brits who gave the country their independence in the 1960’s. The country consists of several small islands, only two of which are really inhabited (a third one, Comino, has become a favorite of film makers in recent years). The two most populated islands are the main island of Malta and the island of Gozo. Getting to Gozo from Malta is fairly simple and exciting for most tourists. Ferry’s between the two islands leave about every 45 minutes, and give you a great view of both islands during the 25 minute journey. 

The summer is a great time to visit Malta. Not only can you find reasonably cheap flight tickets, but you also get to experience one of the most popular events, the feasts. Feasts take place all throughout the summer in Malta and Gozo. Being a very religious (Catholic) island, each village has a saint, and each saint has a feast. These feast days are celebrated with parades, fireworks and everyone from the village coming out to mingle with family and friends. The best time to visit though is early on in the summer to beat the intense heat of August.


Hit The Beach

With the country entering the European Union in the past decade, it has more and more become a favorite getaway for people all through Europe and the UK. Think of it as the Florida of Europe (location and weather wise only of course!). While there, many enjoy what you would expect to enjoy on a small island in the Mediterranean… beaches! And Malta has plenty of them to offer, though they’re not necessarily the ones you may be used to from back home or traveling to locations like Fort Lauderdale or Honolulu. Most of the beaches in Malta consist of rocks instead of sand, making it a bit difficult to lie out in the sun and get a tan (though to be fair, you’ll get a tan just by being outside in general!). These rocky beaches are frequented by younger kids who would prefer to jump off the small cliffs and play in the water anyhow. If you make it over to Gozo however, there is one beach that seems to be everyone’s favorite. Ramla Bay is one of the few sandy beaches in Malta, making it a very popular destination for tourists. Another popular location is the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, located at the smaller island of Comino. Trips to the Blue Lagoon can be taken by boat from Gozo and Malta as a great day trip for the whole family.  


Take Malta Home 

We all do it with each vacation. Leave home with some extra space in the suitcase to bring back souvenirs. Luckily for you, but maybe not your wallet, Malta has a wide array of things you can take back home with you (and be happy to put on display). One thing Malta is famous for is handmade glass. You can find different locations in both Malta and Gozo where you can not only buy the glass, but watch as it’s being made. This might be a good time to hold onto the little ones though, as large glass pieces are displayed throughout shops, and could be very pricey if broken! 

As with anywhere, one of the best souvenirs you can take home is something edible. Café Jubilee is a great little café that has locations in both Malta and Gozo, very popular with tourists for its European appeal. Next door at the location in Gozo’s capital of Victoria is the Jubilee Foods Shop where you can take home goodies like sun-dried tomatoes, capers and local honey from Gozo and Comino (highly recommended!).  




Whether you spend your time picking up gifts to take home, exploring the history or just lying on the beach, the islands of Malta are a great way to spend your next vacation, and your cheap international flight is only a click away at


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Do New York Like A Local

by margaret 19. July 2011 11:51

New York City. It’s the one city in the world that everyone seems to want to live in… and if you live here it feels like everyone does live here! New York is always easy to get to, with a lot of cheap flights leaving on a daily basis. But while most people traveling to New York hit the tourist hot spots, why not go off the beaten path and see New York as a local? So forget Times Square (trust us, no New Yorker goes there unless forced!) and try to blend in a little more. 

Central Park 

Ok, yes, we know this is a big one on everyone’s list. But locals go there too; they just don’t take carriage rides or guided tours through it! One of the best uses of Central Park for locals is for working out. Walking through the Park (the best ways to see it, rather than by carriage), you’ll see people roller blading, running and biking. There are also areas of the park for baseball, soccer and volleyball games. One popular thing you tend to see on the weekends is group activities, like outdoor yoga. You can take part in this for free during the summer months on Saturday mornings. Of course, another popular pastime during the summer months is to just lie out on the grass and take in the sun. Another low budget activity New York offers!  

Going Out

While the guidebooks might tell you to eat somewhere like Little Italy (all three blocks of it), New York is a culinary goldmine. With chefs like Mario Batali and Bobby Flay owning several restaurants and many unknowns bringing authentic flavor from their own country, there’s no need to eat at an Applebee’s on your trip out here. Taking the subway downtown (another experience, with somewhat low fares) will get you into culinary paradise, whether you choose the east or west side. Heading to the East Village will put you around St. Marks Place, which is also known as Little Tokyo, giving you an authentic taste of Japan without having to pay extra for plane tickets. Head a little further down St. Marks for a famous hot dog spot, that just might have a speakeasy in it (but we didn’t tell you that!). Alphabet City is a neighborhood that takes up Avenue A-D on the east side, and is full of smaller bars and restaurants that are always packed with locals on the weekends.  

 Travel to Tokyo without even leaving New York in the East Village's Little Tokyo


If you choose to head west, stop by Murray’s Cheese down on Bleeker St. A neighborhood staple since 1940, Murray’s actually offers cheese classes to teach you about pairing cheese together and with different beverages. Check before you go as classes tend to fill up quick, but it's definitely worth the experience. Bleeker St in the West Village is also home to several different bars that feature live music. Many now famous musicians got their start at Kenny’s Castaway, so who knows what musicians you’ll see there now that could be big someday! And finally, for the West Village, if you’re dying to try Magnolia’s Bakery, skip the line that wraps around the tiny little shop and head up to Grand Central in Midtown. Magnolia opened a spot there in the last year, and while it’s still busy, it doesn’t get the crowds the downtown spot does. 

 Impress your friends back home at your next party by taking a cheese course at Murray's Cheese in the West Village 



Ok, we’ll give you another one. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. A little touristy yes, but once you’ve crossed over, skip pizza hot spot Grimaldi’s (unless you enjoy waiting in line for over an hour) and pick up a pie at nearby Ignatio’s. Take it over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoy spending the time you would have spent in line relaxing on the grass in the park with all the other Brooklynites. While you won’t experience the historic pizza parlor, alternative pizza places in the area are still great and will save you time during your vacation to New York.  


  Taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, while a bit touristy, is a great side trip out of Manhattan


A view of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park 



Stop by another one of the five boroughs by taking the 7 train out to Queens. Getting off by Citi Field, you’ll find Flushing Meadow Park. While there, you’ll find Arthur Ashe Stadium (home to the US Open), The Queens Museum of Art (which houses a great Panorama of New York City) and the Unisphere (built for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair). You’ll also find bike rentals that are much more affordable than in Manhattan and a Pitch & Putt golf course. Obviously summer and fall are great times to visit this area of the city that not many tourists ever venture out to.  


The Pitch & Putt golf course at Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, New York


While we could go on and on about where to eat and what to do when you’re in New York, we’ll leave the rest to you. Check out your favorite review site and see where the other locals are going and what they’re doing on a regular basis. If they love it, chances are, it’s not a tourist trap!

And don’t forget, you can always find cheap flights to New York at!  

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The Social Traveler

by margaret 15. July 2011 09:43

Once upon a time, when a relative or family friend would go on vacation, there was the dreaded slideshow. You know, that old machine that projected images on the wall while you sat there for hours listening to their boring vacation stories. Thankfully, we’ve gotten far away from that! Now all you have to do is upload your photos on Facebook for your friends and family to see what you did while you were on vacation. But for the intrepid traveler in all of us, there’s more out there than just uploading pictures to Facebook. What about sharing tips of where to go, where to eat, what to see? What about sharing travel itineraries with friends and colleagues? Thankfully, as social media continues to grow, so do the sites made available for sharing your travel tips with not just friends and family, but the world.


One of my favorites that I discovered at NYxSW earlier this year is called Gtrot. One of my favorite aspects is the ability to track every country and city in the world you’ve been to, so you can show off your travel portfolio to friends and connections. But besides that, Gtrot allows you to add and share information about upcoming and past trips, and by connecting through your Facebook account, allows you to tag your friends in trips as well. This helps by allowing you to share travel information between one another prior to your trip. After taking your trip, you can leave tips about where you’ve been to share with friends and family. This way, if anyone asks you what you suggest they do on their next trip abroad, you can point them to your previous trips on Gtrot for all the little details!

My Travel Portfolio: Clearly I need to see more of Asia… Australia, Africa and South America!


Dopplr is another great tool when it comes to social traveling, allowing you to share tips with everyone on the site. Let’s say you’re taking a trip for the first time to Rome. You know what the guide book tells you, but what little places did other people find when they went there? Where do people who frequently travel to Rome suggest going for a nice dinner out?

Once you’ve taken that amazing vacation of yours, you can start uploading information to share with others. You can share photos through your Flickr account, check off suggested items that you did or places you stayed and even participate in a Q&A, giving others suggestions on things they’re looking to do for their upcoming trip.
After a recent trip to Liverpool, I shared my thoughts on places to explore for others looking to visit the area


Sure, sending mom a postcard of your travels is nice. But don’t you think she’d love to get a postcard of you on your travels? Instagram has become one of the most popular photo sharing apps out there, and now you can take those photos (as well as iPhone and Facebook photos) and turn them into a postcard. For only 99c, the cost of maybe four, let’s face it, dated postcards, you can send a personalized Postagram home to the family so they can see what YOU have been up to on your vacation.

Stay Connected as You Travel the World

As social media continues to grow, more and more sites will continue to pop up allowing you to share your travel information with friends and family. Which site is your favorite to share travel information on? Are you devoted to Facebook, or have you branched out to share in other ways? Share your favorites in the comments below and keep reading our blog for more exciting ways to stay social while traveling!

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