St. Augustine, Fla., America’s oldest city

By: Victor Block

The 90-year-old Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine crosses the intercoastal waterway. It’s far younger than the city itself, which celebrated its 450th anniversary last year. St. Augustine remained under Spanish rule from 1565 to 1821, which accounts for its ornate Mediterranean architecture.Photo by Sean PavoneIn 1607, a small band of settlers founded the first permanent English... READ MORE

How to use credit and debit cards abroad

By: Ed Perkins

If you’re heading outside the United States, you will have to cope with foreign exchange. And despite all those stories you see about currency “secrets,” what you need to know is really pretty simple.Overall, your best bet is to use plastic as much as possible: credit cards for big-ticket purchases, debit cards for local cash.When you use a credit card outside the U.S.,... READ MORE

Avoid the crowds: visit Athens in winter

By: Aron Heller

As a seaside metropolis with a lively outdoor vibe and dozens of picturesque islands beckoning nearby, Athens is more often considered a summer tourist destination than a winter escape.But if you’ve got more than beaches on your mind, there’s plenty of upside to a brief cool visit that avoids the crowds and heat of summer.Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, often ... READ MORE

A bucket list trip to exotic Bora Bora

By: Jennifer McDermott

Somehow, I convinced my husband that the fifth wedding anniversary is the Tahitian anniversary. (The traditional gift, actually, is wood.)For years, I had dreamed of going to Bora Bora in French Polynesia. The lagoon’s glimmering turquoise, jade and cobalt blue waters, the overwater bungalows, the seclusion — for me, it was the ultimate bucket list destination.Some of the... READ MORE

Good times in Louisiana Cajun country

By: Glenda C. Booth

Each year, the town of Mamou, La., like many in the Cajun country of Louisiana, holds a colorful and raucous Mardi Gras celebration on the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent.© Philip Gould/Lafayette TravelLet the good times roll, they say. In French, “Laissez les bons temps rouler.” And roll they do in southern Louisiana’s Cajun Country.Locals ... READ MORE

Vacation bliss in the colorful Cook Islands

By: Giovanna Dell’Orto

Swaying in a hammock hung from coconut trees, floating down a cyan-blue channel, or swimming in a cloud of tropical fish, all I could think was, this place is too perfect to be real.Aitutaki consists of a handful of small islands encircled by a lagoon in the middle of the South Pacific. It’s the paradise you always dreamed of, but never quite believed could exist: uncrowded,... READ MORE