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Tips to Avoid Altitude Sickness: Not the Same Old Advice

Recently I crossed something big off my must-see-before-I-die list: Machu Picchu. I took a day-trip to the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site during my volunteer vacation to Cuzco, Peru. Machu Picchu is situated 8,000 feet above sea level and Cuzco, where I spent the majority of my time, was at 10,800 feet.

Leading up to the trip, every single pamphlet, website, and guidebook I read discussed how to avoid altitude sickness and I must confess, I skimmed it. It didn’t feel like there were any good options. For instance, the side effects of the prescription medicine for altitude sickness are often worse than the actual symptoms of it. One woman on my trip who was taking it kept saying, “My nose is tingling! I can’t feel my fingertips!” Uh…no thanks.

5 Tips for Renting a Car in Europe

Here’s a secret: the two main reasons I spent a college semester in Paris were nine years of French lessons and National Lampoon’s European Vacation. I saw it when I was very young and could not wait to explore Europe…by car, of course.

In a classic case of careful-what-you-wish-for, that first spring-break road trip—through Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic—was indeed decidedly Griswoldesque.

But I’ve rented cars in Europe since then, and each trip goes more smoothly than the last. So as I prepare for another European road trip next week and ponder past hits and misses, I’ve come up with my top five tips for seeing Europe through the windshield. If you follow these guidelines, I’m confident you’ll discover the joys of renting a car abroad.

7 Free Ways to Beat Airport Boredom

One of my favorite opening lines to a book, from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, reads: “It can hardly be a coincidence that no language in the world has ever produced the expression ‘as pretty as an airport.’” Unfortunately, I don’t think the same can be said about the expression, “as boring as an airport.”

Anyone suffering through a particularly bad flight delay (or worse, cancellation) is going to experience two things before they finally board: (1) a sudden renewed faith in Murphy’s Law, and (2) near-crippling boredom. And if–reaffirming the former–your book is mind-numbing, the power outlets have been spoken for, and your wallet’s a bit thin, I suggest making your own airport adventure:

Big Deal Destinations for Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend kicks off in less than two weeks, and what we’re seeing for the holiday comes to no surprise. Keeping with the trend of 2009, airfare is down year-over-year as are hotel rates. In fact, Labor Day weekend is the cheapest three day travel holiday that we’ve tracked so far this year.

But, where can travelers go to nab the best deals for the holiday? I’ve been conducting interviews with media outlets across the country to talk Labor Day travel and have been asked this very question countless times. To find the answer, I looked to Travelocity booking data to analyze the top 25 vacation spots. Here are the big deal destinations that I found:

Domestic Deals for Labor Day Weekend

New York City – airfare down 18 percent, hotel rates down 20 percent

Honolulu – airfare down 13 percent, hotel rates down 21 percent

Kimpton Hotel’s Eye Candy Welcome Wagon

Who knew that the little honeys who opened the door for me everyday at Hotel Monaco in Seattle could inspire an entire blog post? It was the doormen’s dashing good looks and mannish abilities to pull off the color purple that won them a spot on my 17 Things I Love About Kimpton Hotels list from a few weeks ago. However, it was brought to my attention by our readers that I neglected to include one key element in my post: proof that “a piece of eye candy will open the door for you.”

Well, ladies, here’s your proof…