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Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans (Photo: Getty Images)

The final countdown has begun to “Fat Tuesday” around the world. But only in New Orleans can you celebrate with the true flair of a party-ragin’ Cajun. There’s plenty to do during one of the biggest annual celebrations in America. And in a multilingual city with a rich French colonial history, there are myriad options for Carnival fun. It’s no coincidence that The Big Easy is sometimes referred to as the “most unique in the United States,” and this annual bead-begging bash shows exactly why.

A direct flight from New York to New Orleans is about 3 hours. From Los Angeles it’s just 1 hour more. And from Washington, DC, it’s only a 2 1/2 -hour jaunt, all of which makes it easy to jump right into the Mardi Gras mix. Once you arrive in New Orleans you’ll want a comfy place to rest up and energize from the day’s travels. Here are a few suggestions for enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans that will fit almost any budget. READ MORE

(Photo Courtesy of Embratur)

Recife will set the scene for the much-anticipated USA vs. Germany World Cup game, scheduled for June 26. In addition to being an entertaining host for the big game, Recife is also an ideal destination for a relaxing vacation full of adventure, culture and beaches just waiting to be explored. Recife is a popular city that is no stranger to grand celebrations and festivals. In the upcoming months, travelers can experience various events with the locals.

Recife, the City of Many Bridges
Recife is referred to as the “Brazilian Venice” because of its 50 bridges, which cross over various waterways and rivers similar to the ones in Venice, Italy. These bridges serve the purpose of connecting the city’s smaller surrounding islands like Santo Antonio, Sao Jose and Bairro do Recife. Nestled in Recife’s modern metropolitan style, the city also has an “Old Recife,” known as Recife Antigo, which is the oldest, most traditional district in the state of Pernambuco. Visitors can appreciate the city’s cultural and historical landmarks, all while enjoying its modern attractions, like the dozens of restaurants and craft fairs that are attended by locals and visitors alike.

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Photo Courtesy of Thinkstock

We’ve all done it before… Just moments before the plane takes off, we watch the airline attendants go through their routine of demonstrating the proper procedures in case of an emergency. So, where is your floatation device stored? Should you or your child receive an oxygen mask first? And where are the emergency exits near you?

Well, if you don’t know the answers to those questions, you are probably one of several people who “zone out” by thumbing through the latest SkyMall magazine or you’re one of those passengers who has to focus on wrapping up that last-minute text before the plane takes off.
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Todd Carmichael and Samantha Brown

Samantha Brown and Mysteries at the Museum host Don Wildman

UPDATE: Todd Carmichael can no longer attend the Travel and Adventure show. Don Wildman will be speaking in his place on Saturday at 2:45 p.m.

This weekend the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show is in town — along with Samantha Brown, Don Wildman, Todd Carmichael and yours truly — in fact, you’ll see lots of Travel Channel faces. On Feb. 8 and 9, get advice from veteran travel experts, climb a rock walk, take in cultural performances, and sign up for giveaways all under one roof at the Long Beach Convention Center.

What not to miss:

Who: Samantha Brown
What: “How to Travel Better” Seminar + Autograph Signing
When: Sat. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Sun. 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Who: Don Wildman
What: Mysteries at the Museum Host Talk
When: Sat. 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Sun. 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

It’s not too late, buy your tickets now and find your next vacation. See you there!

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Enter to Win a $100,000 Trip
Dangerous Grounds Tues @ 9|8c
Mysteries at the Museum Thurs @ 9|8c
More From Samantha Brown on Travel

Ponta Negra Beach (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)

The city of Natal is “painted” with the same organic colors proudly displayed on the Brazilian flag: blue skies, golden-yellow sand dunes and green palm trees. During the FIFA final draw, it was announced that the USA team would be playing against Ghana in the Arena das Dunas for their first game on June 16, 2014. Even though the USA is in Group G — which is considered one of the hardest group’s in the 2014 World Cup — fans really hit the jackpot with having Natal as the perfect host city to cheer on the US team.

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Waikiki Beach (Photo: Reuters)

Congrats, you survived the holidays. Now it’s time for a real vacation, and here’s the good news: The first few weeks after the New Year are a great time to snag some killer travel deals, says travel deals expert Johnny Jet.

“Not only is it cheaper, but all the resorts are going to be empty — you won’t have to fight for a beach or restaurant chair,” says Johnny Jet. (The other good window for travel deals is the week after Thanksgiving, he adds). “Everyone is offering huge discounts,” says Jet, whose site offers up-to-the-minute listings of post-New Year’s travel deals.
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Beaches Resort in Turks & Caicos (Photo Courtesy of Beaches Resorts)

A polar vortex is making its way across the US, and we have 10 ways to escape this bone-chilling, cold weather. Our Travel’s Best All-Inclusive Resorts will inspire you to visit a luxurious, warm-weather destination. Kick of the new year right with a trip to one or more of our favorite resorts.

Our panel of advisors — including Hotel Impossible‘s hotel fixer Anthony Melchiorri, hospitality consultant Shane Green and travel personality Jimmy Im – share their favorite all-inclusive resorts, which include Hermitage Bay in Antigua, Mii amo Spa in Sedona, AZ, and Travaasa Hana in Maui, HI.

After you take a look at our panelists’ favorite resort picks, feel free to suggest other resorts that you think should’ve made our list. Add them to the comment section on our Fan Favorite page. We’ll get fans to vote on a few recommended resorts — and the winner will be added as the 11th pick on our Best All-Inclusive Resorts list. So warm things up and dive into our hot list of all-inclusive resort picks.

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Shane’s Top 10 Resorts
Travel’s Best for 2014
Editors’ Picks: Cozy Winter Getaways

Kids flying on a plane“I can go anywhere …”

Everyone is frightened of something, but sometimes our fears can prevent us from exploring our world. Most of the time, facing our fears can help us overcome them. But what if the fear is your child’s? And what if it’s his or her fear of flying that makes going to see grandma or taking a family vacation a nightmare … for everyone? READ MORE

Cheap winter getaways

Cheap winter getaways: Add San Juan to the list (Photo: Getty Images)

Whether you’re looking to escape the winter cold or chase it, there are plenty of affordable places to visit this winter without breaking the bank. Several airlines are running amazing winter fare sales on domestic and international destinations, many under $300 round-trip. Here are 5 of the cheapest winter fares right now.
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Photo Courtesy of Embratur

The vigorous sounds of beating drums, flags flying, fans singing and chanting; finally, the FIFA World Cup 2014 has come to Brazil. With the excitement of the tournament setting the scene, visitors to the 12 host cities should take the opportunity to absorb themselves in the local culture and experience the hidden gems that make each location unique.

São Paulo, the City of Paulistanos
True to its city motto of “Non ducor, duco,” which translates to “I am not led, I lead,” São Paulo will lead the celebration by hosting the first games of the World Cup. Located in the southeastern part of Brazil, between Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo is a major business hub, but its hospitable people, the “Paulistanos,” know how to enjoy the diverse pleasures of life through food, art and music.

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