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    Holiday Travel: Travel Spots, Saving Money, Staying Sane

    By travel
    December 03, 2012, 9:40:14 AM EST

    Tips for Budget Friendly Family Travels

    Travel is broadening, they say, but it’s also expensive. After gas and lodging, few have cash left for food and fine dining. While we all want to experience the local cuisine, there are several easy ways to bring down total costs. Here are eight ideas that should get your frugal juices going…

    1. Rent a Kitchen

    Book a place with a kitchen or kitchenette to cook your own food. Before you go, research local cuisine and download a few recipes that require readily available regional ingredients. Not only will you have fun shopping at local markets, but it’ll also give you an opportunity to interact with residents willing to share their cooking tips. You can save on non-exotic ingredients by using the CouponSherpa app for a grocery store in your travel destination.


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    Click here for more helpful tips on saving money on your holiday trip!

    Be Prepared for the 'What Ifs' of Holiday Travel

    Traveling with kids can bring the mightiest among us to our knees, but that doesn’t mean we have any intention of staying home. Instead we try to think ahead for all the “what ifs” and make sure we’re prepared. But, if all else fails, deep breaths and a few hugs work too.

    Checking bags when you have kids is pretty much a given, but we’d never go anywhere without the essentials in our carry-on too. Put them in the stylish, easy-fill Silicone Carry-On Travel Bottles by Paul Koh. They not only look cool, they have a special silicone sheath to keep what’s in the bottle inside it and not all over everything else in your bag. ($20 at Uncommon Goods).

    Dwell Studio’s Scribble Kit gives kids an easy-to-carry tote for crayons, scribble pad and some small toys to keep them occupied whether in the air or on the road. Plus it’s small enough for them to carry on their own. ($36).

    See more tips!

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    Best U.S. Hotels for the Holidays
    After sipping wine by the fireplace and tree, you sit down to a seven-course Christmas Eve dinner. It all sounds just about perfect—and it gets better. There are no dishes to clean and no unexpected relatives dropping in. Why? You’re celebrating at Seattle’s chic Hotel Vintage Park.


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    Getting away for the holidays can be the best gift of all. And while it’s not always easy—you’ve got to contend with potential foul weather and crowds—once you arrive, there’s nothing to do but soak up the festive atmosphere and experience how another place celebrates. From Charleston to Yosemite National Park, we’ve found appealing lodges, hotels, and historic inns with holiday goings-on to suit any personality.

    Click to continue reading!

    America's Best Cities for Winter Travel

    This winter’s forecast: plenty of snow, and even more travelers fleeing it.


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    That’s the message, at least, in this year’s America’s Favorite Cities survey. Every year, Travel + Leisure readers vote on dozens of qualities in 35 U.S. cities—from the best microbrews and museums to the most pet-friendly vacations. Last year, Salt Lake City took the gold medal in the winter category, but this year, the snowy Utah city—along with Denver—skidded down the mountain of readers’ affections, while warmer cities took their places, literally, in the sun. Compounding the situation, The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting another big-snow winter for parts of the U.S., especially in the Northeast.

    Keep reading about great destinations for the holidays!

    Top Five U.S. Cities for Holiday Lights

    Tis the season to indulge (even briefly) in tourist attractions like the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink and Christmas tree and the Magnificent Mile Lights in Chicago. Done up with thousands of lights, towering Christmas trees, fireworks displays, and sparkling winter wonderlands, cities across the country go all out for the holidays. Here are our top five picks for family-friendly holiday fun this year.

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    New York City

    Of course, New York City is the classic holiday city destination, with that iconic giant Christmas tree, festive shop windows down Fifth Avenue, ice skating rinks, and charming Christmas markets. Step in from the cold to see Grand Central Station’s (free) Holiday Kaleidoscope Light Show displayed on their walls, sip hot cocoa at Central Park’s Wollman Rink, and snack on roasted chestnuts from street vendors all over town.

    Read more about the best holiday lights!

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