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Mark Kahler

Mark's Budget Travel Blog

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Design Changes Coming. Blog is Going.

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Early next month, you're going to see a wonderful new look at About.com Budget Travel. In fact, all of the About.com sites are undergoing an impressive redesign.

You'll notice a cleaner look and a more convenient interface. All of  the more than one thousand sites at About.com will be better connected, and that should result in a more positive experience as you seek information.

Expect some small tweaks as the new design rolls out in the coming weeks -- that's to be expected with an undertaking this large.

Important: The mission and the content of this site will not change -- with one exception. The blog you are now reading will no longer exist.

New content will be linked from this home page as always, but it will not be introduced through blog posts in the center of the home page once the redesign is in place.

I enjoy blogging, and I will continue to do so at MarkKahler.com.

This blog always was just a small part of our total effort to add value to your travel budget. Our newsletters and budget-focused content won't change.

So join me in anticipating the new look at About.com. From the previews I've seen so far, I think you're going to love it.

What to do About a Missed Flight

Sunday May 25, 2014

It's an awful feeling -- the realization that there is no way you'll make it aboard your flight.

What happens next?

Take a deep breath, remain calm and proceed to the airport. There are steps you can take to get your trip back on track and perhaps avoid any financial penalties.

Consider what you should do about a missed flight.

Deals for the Week of May 26

Saturday May 24, 2014

Here's the latest list of 10 travel deals for this week. Many of these links lead to offers with a very limited shelf life, so if you're interested, act quickly. But don't act so quickly that you miss the fine print. Spring Travel Deals aren't quite so fleeting, and are also worth a look. Among this week's deals: savings on resort stays in the U.S. Virgin Islands, discounts for hotel stays that are prepaid, and a sale on Go City Cards.

Travel Advisories

Saturday May 24, 2014

Travel advisories are often misunderstood. Some people take them far too literally, while others completely ignore them.

Neither response is a good idea.

If a country you're planning to visit pops up on the U.S. State Department's warning site, ask yourself where the trouble is in that country and how close you'll be to it. If distance is on your side, you still need to know if the situation could seal you off from an evacuation should that become necessary.

The point is not to change your plans simply because the country's name appears in a warning. Think about the various travel advisories and how they impact budget travel.

Booking Budget Travel with Airbnb.com and VRBO.com

Tuesday May 20, 2014

You've selected a great neighborhood in Panama City, Panama. It will be home base during your exploration of this vibrant Central American capital.

But hotel rooms in this safe, desirable area are about $250/night. That's not exactly a budget-friendly rate. Is it time to pick another neighborhood?

Don't give up just yet.

A few yards from the expensive chain hotel is an apartment house with clean, modern units that rent for about $60/night. You'll have ample space and the same great access to restaurants and entertainment.

You don't need local connections to find such places if you use a website that features private properties for vacationers.

You will need to be aware of the differences you'll encounter in opting for a private home instead of a hotel room. Take a look at Airbnb and VRBO, two popular sites with vast inventories of private properties for your consideration.

Deals for the Week of May 19

Saturday May 17, 2014

Here's the latest list of 10 travel deals for this week. Many of these links lead to offers with a very limited shelf life, so if you're interested, act quickly. But don't act so quickly that you miss the fine print. Spring Travel Deals aren't quite so fleeting, and are also worth a look. Among this week's deals: discounts on TGV train travel in France, a pair of offers for vacations in New York City and and an airfare sale.

Over-Looked Summer Travel Tips for Seniors

Saturday May 17, 2014

Many active senior travelers want to do more than sit by the pool on a summer trip. They reach for new understanding of history or that elusive scenic view.

Cost is always a factor in the degree to which these activities can be pursued.

With summer just a few weeks away, consider five tips for senior travelers seeking an affordable summer vacation. It's not too late to create an enduring travel experience.

Family Vacations - Common Mistakes

Sunday May 11, 2014

Summer ushers in family vacations, and many readers probably are in the final planning stages of such a trip.

Some will travel to national parks and theme parks. Some will take in the wonders of places such as the Johnson Space Center near Houston.

Whatever your plans or destinations, there are few things in life more enduring than sharing quality time with loved ones. Many of us also strive to instill a love of travel in our children. Budget travel exists to make these experiences as affordable and rewarding as possible.

With those lofty thoughts in mind, it's important to avoid some common mistakes made on family vacations. These miscues will cost both time and money, devaluing vacation investments at any time of the year.

Deals for the Week of May 12

Saturday May 10, 2014

Here's the latest list of 10 travel deals for this week. Many of these links lead to offers with a very limited shelf life, so if you're interested, act quickly. But don't act so quickly that you miss the fine print. Spring Travel Deals aren't quite so fleeting, and are also worth a look. Among this week's deals: gift certificate discounts for bed and breakfast stays, a promotional coupon for a resort in Cabo, and a deal on Paris Pass.

Ecuador: Affordable South America

Saturday May 10, 2014

Brazil, Argentina and Peru are favorite destinations for travelers to South America. But to visit on a budget, much depends on finding an affordable airfare. That can be difficult.

Before you give up the idea of a vacation in South America, take a look at Ecuador. Airfares often are more reasonable from North America to Quito and Guayaquil. Quito has a new international airport.

Travel time from Miami is only about four hours. Hotel bills and dining expenses are reasonable.

Scenery is spectacular. For example, you can visit some of the continent's most spectacular volcanic peaks on an all-day scenic train trip. The cost is only about $15/person round-trip from Quito.

Quito and Ecuador are likely to see more tourists in the upcoming years, and that demand could bring price increases. So consider a trip now to mountains, jungles and beaches offered in Ecuador.

Story Index for Quito and Ecuador

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