by Jimmy Im
If you didn’t think hotel discounts could get any more attractive, think again. Launched few weeks ago by TripAdvisor, Tingo is a new booking site that promises users an instant refund of the price difference if the rate at which they reserve a room drops. Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
Here’s how it works: Tingo allows users to book virtually any hotel available on Expedia and then automatically tracks the rates of the property. This means that users don’t have to watch prices on their own to get a better deal, so you’re guaranteed to get the lowest possible rate on the hotel booking. Tingo is the first site to automatically rebook a hotel reservation if the price drops, and consumers save on the difference with a refund (Orbitz has a price assurance policy with a similar plan, but unlike Orbitz, you qualify for a refund at Tingo regardless of whether another traveler has also booked the lower rate).
The company says about a third of rooms drop in price between booking and check-in, and because you’re so busy, you’re not monitoring this. In comes Tingo to watch the prices for you and give you the difference provided there is a price drop (if the price never drops, obviously nothing happens).
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a trip to one of America’s stunning national parks? Explore the awe-inspiring rock formations of the Grand Canyon, wander through the spindly cartoon-like Joshua trees at Joshua Tree National Park, get inspired at FDR’s Hudson River estate and presidential library, go gator-spotting in the Florida Everglades or watch the waves crash against the national seashore. All of these incredible historic sites and natural wonders have been lovingly preserved by the National Park Service, often called “America’s Best Idea.”
Starting Saturday (and ending Sunday, April 29), more than 100 of the national parks that typically charge an admission fee will be completely free to enter, and a visit to any one of them will inspire you to help preserve all 84 million acres of them. If you’d like to get involved and help out with a project, visit Saturday for Volunteer Day. Or take your kids on April 28 to participate in National Junior Ranger Day, when kids will be taught to “explore, learn and protect” the parks and landmarks that we have inherited. READ MORE
Each year, half a million spectators line the streets of 8 consecutive Massachusetts towns to cheer on the 25,000 runners attempting to finish the winding, hilly 26.2 miles that make up the Boston Marathon. Held on Patriots’ Day — a Massachusetts holiday commemorating the beginning of the American Revolution — Boston’s marathon is the oldest and one of the most famous in the world.
But the marathon, in recent years, has obscured some other – much older – Patriots’ Day traditions.
Get a free dose of history this weekend at one of the many battle reenactments and demonstrations going on in the picturesque towns of Lexington and Concord. This Saturday, watch as 300 British and Colonial troops demonstrate the “Bloody Angle Battle.” Or get an up-close look at Parker’s Revenge when the Lexington militia company ambushes a group of British soldiers. Hartwell Tavern and the Captain William Smith House –2 historic sites that have been restored to revolutionary-era glory — will also be free and open to the public this weekend. READ MORE
Just because your bracket is totally shot, doesn’t mean you can’t get in on some Final Four fun this weekend. If you’re lucky enough to be in New Orleans, but not quite lucky enough to actually have tickets to the semifinals, fear not! You still have the opportunity to see the teams in real life, inside the Superdome, and for free!
From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. today, drop by the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to watch the Louisville, Ohio State, Kentucky and Kansas players practice for the last time before facing off in the semifinals. The best part? You’ll also have the chance to win tickets to the games. Add in local entertainment and interviews with all 4 head coaches and you’ve got yourself a seriously awesome Final Four Friday.
If you can’t quite get enough basketball, stick around to watch the Reese’s College All-Star Game. The best collegiate senior student-athletes in the country, hand-picked and split up onto 2 teams, will face off at 4:30 p.m. READ MORE
There’s no better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than Boston (well, OK, besides Ireland). Boston has one of the highest concentrations of Irish pubs (and people of Irish descent) in the US, and St. Paddy’s Day celebrations date back to the days before the American Revolution. But if you’re not interested in fighting through the throngs of people day-drinking along the parade route in “Southie,” put on all the green clothes you can find and head to Faneuil Hall for some family fun.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Faneuil Hall will feature free live entertainment on the West End Stage. Performers will include bagpipers, Irish step dancers and other Irish musical groups. We know you’ve been practicing your jig for just this occasion! READ MORE
Looking for a travel app after you purchase that new iPad? We’ve got something that might strike your fancy. Travel Channel launched the all-new Layover app so you can travel like Anthony Bourdain, the host of No Reservations and The Layover. Tony Bourdain has more than 10 years of travel experience; so, he’s the travel authority on traveling abroad and at home.
The new app –currently for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch– provides you with Tony’s favorite places to stay, eat and drink in 10 major cities around the world, including Hong Kong, Rome, LA, NYC and Montreal. Explore each destination using Anthony Bourdain’s travel tips and picks for must-see sights and must-do activities. It’s all provided on this brand-new app. But wait, there’s more! You have to see a cool video of the app in action –after the jump.
Communities are cleaning up today, after a string of tornadoes ripped through the Midwest and South on Wednesday. The stormy weather claimed 13 lives, and more twisters may be on the way.
According to the Washington Post, meteorologists warned that another line of storms set to strike the same path and potentially grow stronger than Wednesday’s system. Authorities at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK, said that about 10 percent of tornadoes strike between midnight and 6 a.m., a time when storms are harder to spot, and it’s harder to get the word out.
In case you didn’t know, more than 1,000 tornadoes, many of them with little or no advance warning, touch down in the United States every year. So we have few travel tips to help you stay safe when twisters strike while you’re traveling. Take a look at our travel safety tips for how you can recognize the danger signs of a tornado; how and where to take shelter; and the importance of owning an emergency weather radio.
More Weather-Related Content:
Flash Flood Safety: 5 Must-Ask Questions
Tips for Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness
Weather and Flight Apps
Prepare for Flight Problems
by Amanda DiGiondomenico
To celebrate that extra day we’ve been granted this leap year, many travel destinations — from Orlando to South Africa – are trying to make those extra 24 hours worth your while. Instead of wasting away your leap day, let these 5 travel ideas inspire you to make the day something to remember.
One More Disney Day
For starters, Disney wants your leap day to be extra magical, so they are officially calling leap day, “One More Disney Day.” To commemorate the day, Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando’s Disney World and Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, will be open 24 hours straight. Once the gates open at 6 a.m. on Feb. 29, Mickey fans can have the run of the park until the rides shut down at 6 a.m. on March 1. The lines will probably be short in the wee hours of the morning, offering maximum opportunities to ride.
Leap at Martha’s Vineyard
If peace and quiet are more your speed, then head to Martha’s Vineyard for a little rest and relaxation. But don’t take yourself too seriously there; at the Vineyard Square Hotel you can score a free bottle of wine if you bring a photograph of yourself leaping over something. So let loose, find the closest leap-able object and bring someone who has a camera.
Tonight at 9|8 c, catch an all-new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover. With only 32 hours before his flight out, Tony takes the Eternal City by storm. Watch as he embarks on a high-speed tour of the city’s sights in a classic Fiat 500, gets a lesson in Italian breakfast etiquette and challenges a Roman chef to make a Hawaiian pizza that Tony actually enjoys. Also, learn all about Rome from the people who know it best: the locals.
Don’t worry about making note of all the pizzerias, salumerias and gelaterias that Tony visits and recommends in the show. If you want to replicate his trip, just take a look at our Episode & Travel Guide and read through our selection of Tony’s travel tips from the episode.
For an extra dose of Tony after the show, check out this missing scene in which he rants about airport security inefficiency.
By The Lost Girls
Soaring ticket prices, delayed/canceled flights, bumper-to-bumper traffic and misplaced luggage—all part of the festive homecoming experience—can turn even the most put-together Lost Girl into a cheerless Grinch.
Here are just a few of the ideas that we’ve tried and traded amongst ourselves…all of which have helped us sidestep the most frustrating seasonal travel hassles. And if you wouldn’t mind sharing your own tips and strategies in the comments below, we’d consider it your holiday gift to us!
Holiday Saver #1: Don’t accept the first price—from any online source: For the longest time, I figured all airline ticket search engines, spit out the exact same fares for identical flights. Not so! After finding the “lowest-possible” (but still expensive) fare on a round-trip flight over Thanksgiving weekend on my favorite booking engine, I did a little more digging—and realized I could save nearly $100 by booking a series of one-way tickets on my airline’s own website. Because you can also cancel online reservations, penalty-free, within 24 hours of booking, I was able to make the change—and book the least expensive flight home. READ MORE