Try finding a hotel mystery shopper willing to dish on one of their stays. Ask them to reveal the dirt on the unkempt suite, the coquette of a concierge, or the wilted flower that sullied the room service tray. You can't.
Lots of Americans these days want something more from a vacation than vegging out on a beach, a mojito close at hand. Some 30% of respondents to a Travel-Ticker.com survey put adventure travel on their 2012 wish list, and spending in the category has been growing 17% a year, even as economic woes slowed leisure travel overall.
Phrases such as "reviews you can trust" and "reviews from real travelers" have misled TripAdvisor users in the United Kingdom, according to a judgment issued Wednesday by the Advertising Standards Authority in Britain.
Whether it's balanced on the rim of a volcano or made of crystallized salt, the right hotel can provide you with a good year's worth of bragging material. These are the kinds of places you have to go at least once, if only to say you have.
Whether you want to leap from a helicopter onto the icy slopes below or cycle through the Italian countryside, adventure travel is filled with niche experiences for any personality. But finding one that suits your budget, fitness level, expectations and safety needs can feel overwhelming.
The Web should make things easier for travelers, but the sheer volume of services out there is often more overwhelming than useful. Unfortunately, you don't always know which outfits pay off until you've already invested your time. The Budget Travel team puts websites -- new and established -- to the test every day.
When Americans think of "five star" hotels, they conjure up images of on-site spas, white-gloved service, and pillow menus. That's no surprise, given that the dominant rating systems in the U.S. are two of the most trust-worthy on the planet -- Forbes and AAA.
A hotel may tout a great location, tasteful decor and soft Egyptian cotton sheets, but for many people looking for a room these days no amenity can shake the dread of what could be lurking just out of sight.
Finally, a Caribbean beach that's everything a Caribbean beach should be -- quaint, with hammocks strung from palm trees, crystal-clear water perfect for snorkeling, white sand, a first-rate beach bar and enough water toys to keep the kids happy (banana boat ride anybody?). Welcome to Rum Point on Grand Cayman's North Side.
These days, it's not unheard of for hotels to charge $15 for a mini-bar diet Coke, $40 for access to the gym, or $45 for rush laundry service. (Alas, these are actual fees on T+L editors' receipts.) But there's good news ahead: the extra charges are expected to decrease by six percent this year as hotels and resorts compete to attract guests.