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Politcal Travel: Support Your Candidate With a Last-Minute Trip to a Swing State

I recently took a look at travel patterns on the days leading up to the three Presidential and one Vice Presidential debates and found a significant uptick in travel to host cities. Nashville (up 54 percent), Oxford (up 56 percent), St. Louis (up 72 percent) and New York (up 16 percent) all saw an increase in arrivals when compared to last year.

With the election less than three weeks away, more people are expected to visit the “swing states” in a final attempt to win votes for their candidate. Whether you’re looking to fly to a destinations or drive to a political battleground closer to home, for those passionate about politics, here is a sampling of last-minute deals travelers can find to Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia:

photo courtesy of IgoUgo member ArnyZona

Larry Olmsted’s Book Tour

My new book Getting Into Guinness, was released by Harper Collins on September 16th, and ever since, my life has been a frenzy of radio interviews, plus the occasional book signing and television appearance. This activity, in turn has taken me places I might never otherwise go– like Philadelphia!

Philly is a great tourist town, and I can’t say why I haven’t been in about 15 years, other than that I grew up in New York and went to school in Washington, D.C., and always just sort of took it for granted. But its attractions are many, and packed into a very user friendly pedestrian downtown. From one of the world’s greatest art museums (and for film fans, the steps Sylvester Stallone ran up while training as Rocky) to an American Icon, the Liberty Bell, downtown is full of tourist sights worth seeing.

How to Know a Local in Nine Cities

This weekend, I was walking in my neighborhood when a family suddenly stepped into my path wielding two sharp questions that forced me to confront a couple of embarrassing issues:

1. I do not speak a lick of Spanish.
2. I don’t actually know where the New York Stock Exchange is, even when I am standing on Wall St.

In that one short exchange, my hopes of becoming a Big Apple Greeter were dashed.

Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member tvordj

Budget Travel in Iceland This Winter

When a good friend of mine told me last month that she was considering spending this New Year’s Eve in Iceland, I nearly laughed her right out of the room. Iceland in the wintertime? You know that’s north, not south, right? Besides, Iceland has such a high standard of living. Who has the kind of cash to travel there now given the state of our economy?

Well, maybe more of us than you’d think. Iceland’s largest bank collapsed yesterday, the last of the island nation’s three major banks to tank in recent weeks. This flurry of financial problems is bad for Icelanders, but potentially good for U.S. visitors. Earlier this year, one U.S. dollar was worth around 70 Icelandic Krona; now it trades for 100 Krona or more. Which means this island nation might actually be a splendid winter destination for budget-minded U.S. travelers.

Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member Ksu.

Blood on the Streets of Bangkok: How to Travel Safely in an Unsafe World

I am getting married in exactly 30 days and then stealing away on an exotic two-week honeymoon in Thailand, the Land of Smiles. At least that was the plan. Today my iGoogle news ticker reported the headline, “Blood on the Streets of Bangkok: Political Crisis Worsens,” and my spirits slumped.

When we booked our trip six months ago, all was calm in Thailand and we dreamed of nothing more than touring a few temples and relaxing on a deserted tropical island. The second half of our trip to Chiang Mai and Koh Phangan should be fine, but we’re increasingly asking ourselves if going to Bangkok is a good idea.