Some travel surprises are good: discovering a hidden gem of a trattoria in Florence where you are greeted with hugs and an open bottle of Chianti. Or finding out that the Louvre is free the one day you are in Paris.
Florida has become known for the weird. Highly charged court cases, nudist colonies and a bounty of tanning salons seem to arise in the Sunshine State. And unfortunately, cut-off jeans and flip-flops are not in short supply here.
What's the first thing you think of when you think of Hawaii? The foaming-white sea lapping at a golden-sand beach surrounded by palm trees swaying in the breeze? Well, sure -- Hawaii's one of the world's ultimate beach destinations, an island paradise made for basking in the sun sipping daiquiris or hitting the waves to surf some righteous tubes.
I was recently given the option of paying about $20 more for a hotel room in New York City with a skyline view. It put me at eye level with the Chrysler Building, and as the sun went down and the city lights began to twinkle, I savored every beautiful minute knowing I'd made a smart choice in paying just $20 for a million-dollar view.
Think working at a beach resort is just one piña-colada-soaked-bash after another? Think again. Budget Travel got a four-year veteran of a Jamaican resort to spill the secrets of island-hospitality life.
The message is clear: No security, no classes! And thousands of teachers in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco are taking that message to the streets. Their goal is to make clear to the government that they're fed up with the violence that is terrorizing Mexico.
A honeymoon is a once in a lifetime trip, and choosing a romantic destination requires careful planning. While other trips might focus on an activity, like skiing, the honeymoon is a chance for newlyweds to focus on each other.
â¢ Before heading to Hawaii for a sunny beach vacation, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez shared a date - with two of their bodyguards! - inside Las Vegas's Cosmopolitan Hotel. The duo was hunting for the hotel's "secret pizza" spot - a hidden restaurant that serves New York-style pies in the hotel. According to onlookers, the two successfully grabbed pizza and were smiling as they chowed down.
Pascal Clemens arrived in Acapulco 17 years ago. The native of Germany who owns a real estate company in the Mexican beach resort says he immediately fell in love with the place. His original plan was to move to New York, but he couldn't get enough of the sunny beaches, friendly people, cool breezes, and above all, the spectacular weather in Acapulco.
Facing out onto the Mediterranean Sea, with its privileged location on the eastern edge of the Iberian peninsula, Barcelona is Spain's cultural capital -- as well as home to one of Europe's largest ports.
The political turmoil in Egypt and Tunisia has European tour operators scrambling to divert package tours to more stable destinations, and several thousand tourists have already been re-routed to beaches in Spain, a Spanish tourism industry official told CNN.
Striking expanses of coastline aren't exactly in short supply across the Mediterranean. But for some reason, only a few marquee spots -- the Greek Isles, the Amalfi Coast, the south of France -- get all the love. Chances are, Sardinia doesn't even make the list.
Some beaches suffer from pollution, but there are many gorgeous, pristine escapes that offer a sanctuary to wildlife and travelers alike. We scoured the planet to find the most spectacular shorelines -- and, no surprise, most of our top choices are on protected land or are nearly impossible to reach.
It wasn't so long ago that travelers could all but name their price. During the depths of the financial crisis, unheard-of deals abounded as hotel companies did anything to lure business. These days? Not so much. The luxury travel market is coming back, with bookings up as much as 40% since mid-2008. You can still find deals this winter; you just need to think creatively -- and follow our tips.
It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. 34-year-old Briton Ben Southall, winner of Queensland Tourist Board's "Best Job in the World" competition has now completed his six-month stint looking after Hamilton Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
I'm perched in a wooden treehouse lazing on a cushy double mattress atop a white sand beach along Mexico's Riviera Maya. Overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea, I'm about as far away from holiday hoopla and craziness as I can get when the beach butler comes by to see if I need anything.
The president of Maldives, who last year proposed relocating his entire country, is set to chair an underwater Cabinet meeting this month to highlight the threat global warming and rising sea levels pose to his low-lying nation.
We are sitting cross-legged in the water, 60 feet underground in a Mexican cave surrounded by some of the most beautiful formations I've ever seen, as the niece of a famous shaman chants a Mayan prayer asking the gods to let us go in peace.
â¢ Leighton Meester and boyfriend Sebastian
Stan, sharing champagne during a brunch party at Day & Night Restaurant
& Beach Club in Southampton, N.Y. The two were partying poolside - in a
cabana - alongside Mischa Barton.
We know your summer vacation time is precious: You want to land where you can truly relax, breathe fresh air, get in some exercise and eat well -- without breaking the bank. That's why we teamed up with a panel of travel and health experts to help us find the healthiest of the nation's most popular beach and lake towns.