Coping with travel gouges at holiday time

By: Ed Perkins
Posted on: November 19, 2012

With Christmas and New Year’s Days falling on Tuesdays, many of you will also be taking the two Mondays off from work, meaning two successive four-day weekends and an 11-day period with only three working days.A vacation clearly beckons. But travel suppliers can also look at the calendar, and many hike their rates for what they expect to be top-demand times.Best days to flyEvery year, ... READ MORE

Festival of Lights makes season bright

By: Connie George
Posted on: November 12, 2012

A winter wonderland of freshly fallen snow, horse-drawn carriages, live reindeer, an outdoor ice skating rink, cheerful holiday decorations, 17th-century-style carolers and other live entertainment — illuminated by the brilliant effect of more than 3.5 million twinkling lights — await Coachella Valley residents only about an hour away in historic downtown Riverside.The 20th... READ MORE

Costa Rica preserves its natural wonders

By: Victor Block
Posted on: November 01, 2012

Two spider monkeys show off their human-like expressions in Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica. They are among the thousands of species of wildlife that live in the country, which prizes its preservation efforts.© Hugoht | Dreamstime.comI knew before traveling to Costa Rica that it has a well-deserved reputation for preserving its magnificent environment. I was aware of the... READ MORE

Airline-like fees on cruises add to costs

By: Ed Perkins
Posted on: October 15, 2012

Following the lead of airlines, some big cruise lines are moving toward the airlines' pricing philosophy: Keep the base price low, and make up the difference with fees. How this will play out is anybody's guess, but if you're considering a cruise, you need to look past the initially featured rates.My friends at Cruise Critic ( recently reported that Royal ... READ MORE

Eastern & Oriental Express defines glitzy

By: Charmaine Noronha
Posted on: October 08, 2012

Beads of sweat trickle down my forehead on a muggy night in Bangkok when I realize I'm late for the Eastern & Oriental Express train. I've missed the shuttle from my hotel, and my baggage bounces over the unevenly paved streets as I run to the station in a panic.As I fly down the platform, my dress billows behind me. I feel like a character in an old movie as I sprint for the ... READ MORE

Laid-back living in eclectic Key West, Fla.

By: Victor Block
Posted on: October 01, 2012

A sightseeing train chugs past Sloppy Joe’s Bar, where Ernest Hemmingway was a regular patron when he lived in Key West from 1931 to 1942.Photo by Victor BlockEven after several days luxuriating in the sun that bathes Key West in its glow, the essence of the Florida destination eluded me. I had immersed myself in the tiny island’s history, wandered narrow streets lined by... READ MORE