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During its golden age in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Prague was a hotbed for intellectuals and artists. Bohemians, the original hippies, spent their mornings creatively splashing paint on a canvas or writing poetry on napkins, followed by long afternoons lounging in provocative cafes drinking coffee or sipping absinthe.

RELATED: 5 cheap European destinations you’ll love

Today, the Czech Republic’s vibrant historical capital is one of the most visited cities in Europe, and it’s not difficult to understand why.  An amazing 866 hectares of the old city are UNESCO protected for their Gothic, renaissance and baroque mix of architectural wonders. But there’s more here than just outstanding history and architecture—Prague has once again become boho chic. Here’s how to live out your bohemian dream in the City of a Hundred Spires.

Trover photo by Michal Bosina

Start with art

Bohemians value self-expression and creativity over status or material things, so begin your Prague tour with a visit to the National Gallery. Czechs love the arts, and the history of this gallery dates back to 1796 when a society of nobles wanted to raise the artistic tastes of the common folk. Permanent collections are displayed in eight locations, including five palaces, and range from a “Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe 1200-1550” collection to the 21st century. The National Gallery houses one the most famous paintings in the world, Albrecht Dürer’s Feast of the Rosary.

Have a bite

Although there weren’t vegan restaurants in the 19th and 20th centuries, bohemians with their defiance of the norm, would have approved of a vegan diet. They likely would have flocked to Vegan’s Prague to indulge in familiar comfort dishes like avocado toast and bruschetta, or to try their vegetarian spin on Czech specialties, like meatless goulash. Also worth a visit is Farm Urban Kitchen & Coffee, an eco-friendly café serving an all-day brunch menu based on available produce acquired at the local farmers’ market every day.  It doesn’t get much more natural than that.

Trover photo by Geoff and Katie Matthews

Have a sip

Back in the day, café culture flourished as bohemian guests met to debate, write or sketch for hours for the price of a good cup of coffee. During the Czech Republic’s takeover by the USSR in 1948, however, the communist regime considered cafes elitist and most were closed. Coffee became coarsely ground, watery cups of swill. Fortunately, there is once more a renaissance of the Prague café.  And the beauty is that several of the original pre-Soviet cafes are again going strong. There’s the Grand Café Orient, the only cubist café in the world. Designed by cubist architect Josef Gocar in the early 1900s, the façade and floor plan are geometric, right down to the interior designs like the buffet bar and chandeliers.  Even Czech pastries, like venecek, which are usually round, are square here.  Order a coffee, along with a Prague ham sandwich or a palacinky-sladke (pancakes with sweet toppings); then kick back and pretend you’re Picasso. There’s also the Café Louvre, re-opened in its original 1902 location. This is where the likes of Karel Capek, Franz Kafka and even Albert Einstein hung out.

ALSO: Book your Prague vacation and earn CheapCash good on hotels—sign up today!

Abandon inhibitions

The bohemians valued their freedom to live their life their own way without socially-defined restraints. A visit to the Sex Machines Museum, the only museum in the world of its kind, reminds us that sexual freedom of expression didn’t just start with the hippies in the 1960s. When you walk through the door and see the lipstick-red walls, you know you’re in for a ride as you view 7,300 exhibits, including screenings of erotic black and white films from the early 20th century.

Connect with nature

There’s no better place to get in touch with your childlike wonder like the bohemians loved to do, than with a visit to a green space.  Prague is filled with wonderful palace gardens, but the structure of these would be too restricting for a true bohemian, so head to Riegrovy Sady, a 100-year-old park filled with woods, walking paths, and lush grassy areas where you can lay and watch the clouds go by, listen to the birds and connect with Mother Nature. The park is also home to some small intimate cafes, or opt for the large outdoor beer garden, open from April to October.

Indulge in the green fairy

Let’s face it, bohemian artists were known for drinking beverages stronger than coffee, and absinthe was a favorite (maybe because it was frowned upon by social conservatives—after all, bohemians were political anarchists). Today the Czechs still like to resist conservative traditions, and Prague is home to absinthe bars, despite them being banned in some other European countries. At the Absintherie Bar & Museum (there are two locations, one on Jilska Street where they have, of course, regular art exhibitions and live music some days, and another at Franz Kafka Square), you can tap into your inner Vincent Van Gogh. Learn about the history of the “green fairy,” browse old bottles and paraphernalia in the museum, then sample more than 60 types of this licorice-flavored liqueur either in cocktails like zombies, in ice cream or even a slushie. It’s a must, though, to try the traditional style, poured over a sugar cube in a special spoon into a special glass. It will turn cloudy, but don’t worry—that’s a sign of good quality.

Shake a tail feather

No need to stop the party there; just move it over to Karlovy Lazne, the biggest music dance club in Central Europe. Located in a 15th-century building that once housed Roman baths, the club is spread over five floors, each with a different theme. Bust out your best dance moves, and sway across the original mosaic tiles while the LED lights strobe. If you like to choose how long you hang out in the crowds, reserve the VIP room or a private box right next to the dance floor. All that dancing getting you hot? Chill out in the ice pub, once of the few bars in the world where walls, tables, bar, glasses and everything are made from ice (reserve your 30-minute visit; parkas and gloves provided).

Photo courtesy of the K&K Hotel

Bohemian Relaxation

When it’s time to kick your feet up bohemian style, stay at the K&K Hotel Central, a boutique property that has beautifully balanced 1930s art deco architecture with modern luxury. Choose the breakfast option—the buffet is huge—but even better is the setting: a unique avant-garde glass cube. For more art deco from the bohemian days, choose the Radisson Blu Alcron, which has preserved the original marble floors, soaring ceilings and antique lighting.  The on-site restaurant is worth a visit, to sample its award-winning, Michelin-approved menu. The décor, with walls that showcase images of dancing couples and a 1930s fireplace, will have you feeling boho chic in no time.

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Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, City, Destinations, International, Types of Travel

Kate Robertson

Kate Robertson

Kate Robertson

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Whether you’re planning to ping-pong around Europe or deep-dive into a single country for weeks at a time, consider Eurail your new best friend. Knowing how to use the continent’s intricate train system will give you access to 28 distinctly beautiful European countries and ultimately save you from the high cost of single trip tickets (freeing up more money for important things, like pizza and booze). Here are some handy tricks to keep in your back pocket (along with your mobile charger).

RELATED: 9 gorgeous hostels in Europe starting at $4

Get the best bang for your buck

First things first: Know which Eurail pass is best suited to your travel agenda. Depending on how long you’ll be adventuring through Europe and how many countries you want to check off that bucket list, you’ll have a few different options to choose from. All passes
can be customized, but the three main choices are the Global Pass, Select Pass and One Country Pass. There’s even a handy
online tool to figure out which pass is best for you, but in a nutshell…

Global Pass: This pass gives you the flexibility to travel anywhere at anytime. This is the most expensive option, but offers the most freedom in return. Go for this one if your travel style is more about winging it than having an advance game plan.

Select Pass: This one can be a bit tricky because the countries you’re
traveling between must adjoin. For this pass, first choose 2 to 4 bordering countries and then figure out the number of days you’ll need to use the pass within 2 months. If you already have in mind a general outline for which bordering countries you want to visit, the Select Pass is for you.

One Country Pass: The name says it all. The price of this pass depends on which country you want to explore and how many days of train travel you’ll need (options range from 3 to 8 days). The One Country pass is best for backpackers who want to explore one country, in-depth.

If you’re young, own it

If you’re under 27 years old, reap the benefits while you still can. The Eurail Youth Pass offers a 20% discount to any standard adult ticket and can be used with any of the above passes. Perks for being young? Amazing.

Return of the buddy system

Over 27 years old? No problem. Up to 5 travelers ages 28+ can be added to one Saver Pass, which offers a 15% discount on additional Eurail passes. Just make sure your group plans on staying together throughout the journey as you will only have one pass to share. This option is ideal for couples and friends traveling together.

ALSO: Sign up for CheapCash and save even more!

Get some shut eye en route to your next country

It’s a backpacker secret that you can save money on a hotel or hostel by taking an overnight train to your next destination. If you book a train after 7pm and cruise through the night to your next destination, only the following day will be counted as a “ride day”
on your Eurail pass. So if you get on an overnight sleeper train from Italy to Switzerland on Wednesday night, you’ll only account for Thursday on your Eurail pass. Expect to get cozy with your neighbors for the evening as the standard sleeper compartments
hold anywhere from 1 to 6 bunk beds (think: ear plugs).

Stay at a cheap, but-great hostel

Thankfully for us world travelers, long gone are the days when “hostel” and “dirty” were synonymous. The last decade has ushered in an era of clean, stylish hostel accommodations at unbeatable prices that make traveling much more feasible on any type of budget. For example, if you’re looking for adventure, try the Balmers Hostel. It’s nestled right in the Alps in Interlaken, Switzerland and offers bedded tent camping for $20 nightly. Staff members can book you for skydiving, bouldering, paragliding and a number of other adrenaline-fueled activities. Up for a party? The Pink Palace in Corfu, Greece has a reputation as one of the most famous youth hostels in the world, primarily because of it’s infamous toga parties, and starts at only $27 per night. Looking for something unique? Try the Train Hostel in Brussels, Belgium, where you can sleep in an authentic railroad car for $56 nightly.

Get those freebies

This one is a surprising but solid perk of your Eurail pass. You can snag seriously great discounts on hostels, attractions, inter-city transportation and more, just by flashing your Eurail pass. Get a 50% discount on a boat cruise through Austria’s scenic Lake
Constance, for example, or score the Bordeaux City Card for 10% off and spend the day meandering through 20 of France’s most renowned museums. You can also take advantage of a 30% discount with Blue Star Ferries to island hop around the Greek isles, and much more.

Tagged: City, International, Tips & advice, Types of Travel

Emeri Callahan

Emeri Callahan

Emeri is a freelance travel, wellness and lifestyle writer who divides her time between San Diego, CA and San Juan, PR. You can most likely find her planning her next trip or on the hunt for a burrito. Some of her greatest travel experiences include adventuring into the wilderness of Northern Kenya, spending time with a monk in Myanmar, and exploring the Italian countryside on a Vespa.
Emeri Callahan

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Call for all cheap travel tips, big and small!

How cheap are you? So cheap that you have enough cheap travel tips to fill a book? That plethora of knowledge could win you 1 of 5 free vacations if you enter it into the Show Us Your Cheap contest.

We’re giving away trips to 5 winners with the best tips to Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe and Hawaii.

Enter here and share your best cheap travel time along with a vacation photo. Just for entering and sharing the Show Us Your Cheap contest with your friends you can get $20 in CheapCa$h to use on a hotel booking.

For a little bit of inspiration, here are some travel hacks from lifehacks to get the creative juices flowing:

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Tagged: Beach, Caribbean, City, Flights, FREE!, Hawaii, International, Mexico, Tips & advice

Kelsie Ozamiz

Kelsie Ozamiz

Kelsie Ozamiz

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Sure the Euro is down, but that does nothing for the Anglophile cheapster. London’s on the pound sterling, a.k.a., the oldest currency still in use, but don’t let the old pound keep you from hopping over the pond. You can actually experience London on the cheap and it’s bloody brilliant.

Related: 5 cheap European destinations

Inside the British Museum

Inside the British Museum | Photo courtesy of Luca Piffaretti

1. Museums in London are FREE. That means you can see the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum, pose next to a painting of the handsome royal brothers at the National Gallery, learn about the city both prehistoric and present at the London Museum, and tell all your friends you went to Tate Modern for zero cost. You’re basically making money.

London- Food vendors at Camden Market

Food vendors at Camden Market | Flickr CC Credit: Herry Lawford

2. Cheap street food at Camden Lock Market. At Camden Town you’ll find yourself amongst tattoo parlors, street art, Amy Winehouse’s old stomping grounds and tons of leather. It is CRUCIAL that you grab a bite to eat at one of the many food vendors whiletaking in the area’s unique grunge vibe. You can get three tacos smothered in sour cream and a can of Coke for just under £6 pounds. If Mexican isn’t your fancy, you can find Chinese, falafel, donuts, mac n’ cheese, or just about anything you had or didn’t have your eye on.

Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace

Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace | Flickr CC Credit: Rennett Stowe

3. Changing of the Guard is FREE. We already know that you’re standing outside Buckingham Palace in hopes that you’ll eventually exchange a wave with the queen, so why not spare 45 minutes to experience Changing of the Guard, for free?

Boris Bikes

Boris Bikes | Flickr CC Credit: Gary J. Wood

4. Bike share, old chap. Rent a “Boris Bike” (Santander Cycle, i.e. the red bikes you see everywhere) and take a ride along the South Bank where you can check the time at Big Ben and look upon the London Eye. You’ll only be out £2 for a 24-hour rent. Tube, who?

London- Inside the Globe Theatre

Inside the Globe Theatre | Flickr CC Credit: McKay Savage

5. Standing room tickets at the Globe Theater. Relive your high school Shakespeare days by catching a show at the Globe Theatre and bring your college wallet because you can find standing room tickets for £5 (which also happens to be the best view in the theatre).

Tower Bridge at night

Tower Bridge at night | Photo courtesy of Monica Pedraja

6. Bridge bargains. Recent updates to Tower Bridge means that you can experience the hustle and bustle of bridge traffic below by walking across a glass floor way up above for only £8.

Marylebone Bar

Marylebone Bar | Flickr CC Credit: Ewan Munro

7. Yes, a box of shots. The Marylebone bar will give you a buzz to match the buzzing city with a treasure chest full of shots for just £20. You don’t need all eight, so save yourself a hangover and split the cost with a few friends. Choose from an assortment of infused liquors such as caramel tequila, white chocolate vodka, or chili Nutella cognac.

Primary Store Front

Flickr CC Credit: Mikey

8. Posh threads for less. Primark is like the Forever 21 of London, meaning tons of clothes, shoes and accessories for way cheap. Plus, when your friends ask where your top is from you can say, “I got it in Europe,” to make yourself seem even more trendy.

Ben's cookies storefront

Flickr CC Credit: Viaggio Vero

9. DIY high tea. Sweet-tooth cravings call for a trip to Ben’s cookies where you’ll find flavors like coconut, ginger & dark chocolate, and lemon. Grab a cup of teato-go from Café Nero and you’ve created your own “high tea” for less than £10.

Picnic in the park

Picnic in the park | Photo courtesy of Monica Pedraja

10. Lunch al fresco. Pack a basket and take your pick of London parks to have a picnic. We highly suggest Regent’s Park because after lunch you can escape the city and spend a peaceful afternoon in apaddleboat for just a tenner.

View from the Shard

View from the Shard | Flickr CC Credit: Raphael Chekroun

11. Buy a cocktail, get a view. Indulge in a cocktail while 1,016 feet inside the tallest building in London and Western Europe, The Shard. Cocktails at Aqua Shard can be costly, but you’ll get a drink and see Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, which is cheaper than buying the tourist-trap ticket to the top.

View of the London Eye

View of the London Eye | Photo courtesy of Monica Pedraja

12. Twice around the Eye. If you planned on seeing the views from inside of the London Eye, then kill two birds with one stone and invest in the “Day and Night Experience.” This ticket will get you two rotations so you’ll have a lot more bang for your buck.

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Tagged: City, FREE!, International, Tips & advice, Uncategorized

Ciara Collins

Ciara Collins

Ciara Collins

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Cheap Right Now gives a snapshot of a cheap weekend getaway each month.

September in Rome is unmatched. The evenings are becoming cooler, making that glass of red wine on the cafe patio after dinner a little more inviting, but the days are still warm enough to encourage gelato indulgences. Harvest time gives way to festivals honoring the grape, and fall wines are becoming more prevalent. The tourist crowds of summer are subsiding and the Romans are returning from their holidays. Fall is in the air and the city is coming alive again.

Related: 7 breath-taking cruise ports around the world

Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Plane, train or automobile: When visiting Rome, you’ll likely fly intothe Leonardo Da Vinci Roma – Fiumicino Airport. It’s 16 miles outside the city and connected to Rome by rail and by road. You can hop a train, grab a taxi (make sure it has a meter or it could be a scam) or grab a bus, but the cheapest option is the Terravision bus. It departs from Terminal 3, costs 4 euros one way and will deposit you at Rome’s Termini Station near the city center. If you are coming into Rome from another city, take a train into Termini and see the countryside. It should be beautiful as summer nears its end. 

Courtesy of Giovanni.

Courtesy of Giovanni.

Cheap local transit: Once you get into Rome, your cheapest and best mode of transportation is going to be your feet. There is history literally everywhere, and you won’t want to miss a single step of it. Take your time traversing the city and soak in all the sights, sounds and delicious smells wafting out of every cafe and restaurant you pass. If your feet can’t take it any longer, you can resort to Roma Bike Share, but the system has largely been viewed as a failure, according to many reports. If your budget allows it, swing by a bike or scooter rental shop to see the city like a true Roman.

 

Courtesy of Maria Eklind.

Courtesy of Maria Eklind.

Wander with wine: If you’re doing Rome right, there will rarely be a moment when you don’t have either a cup of gelato or glass of wine in your hand. It’s no secret that the wine in Italy is unmatched, but there’s another key fact that makes Roman drinking so great: it’s cheap. Indulge in a carafe of house wine during your meals to experience different standards. Indulge in a bottle, some burrata and people watching one afternoon for a cheap lesson on life in Roma.

Spanish Steps at night. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Spanish Steps at night. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Take a free tour: Multiple companies operate in the city that give free tours of the city. They’re given in English, last about two hours, and dish out history on some of the more famous landmarks—such as the Spanish steps and Trevi Fountain—but also take you through unassuming alleys and buildings chock full of history. Go online to book or swing into one of the local travel agents once you arrive in town to find out a start time and location and just show up. Maybe your tour guide can point you toward his favorite nearby pizza spot. 

Sagra dell'uva 2012. Courtesy of Brunifia.

Sagra dell’uva 2012. Courtesy of Brunifia.

Foray in the forum: Each September, Sagra dell’uva is held in the Basilica of Constantine in the Forum. It’s a festival honoring the grape, and an honor it deserves, as all the delicious wine offerings will quickly remind you. There are bushels of grapes for sale for those wishing to make their own, and plenty of samplings for others who don’t want to wait that long.

 

Trevi Fountain by night. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Trevi Fountain by night. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Tango with the Trevi: Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and it is said you will return to Rome again soon. The fountain lies at the junction of three roads marks the terminal point of an aqueduct that supplied water to ancient Rome. Legend has it that a young girl led thirsty Roman soldiers there for a drink in 19 B.C. It is that scene depicted in stone on the fountain. The only cost you’ll incur enjoying thefountain is the coin you threw into its waters. Tip: Get some gelato from a nearby store and enjoy it by the fountain.

View of Saint Peter's Square from the dome of the basilica. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

View of Saint Peter’s Square from the dome of the basilica. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

 Stroll through the square: Saint Peter’s Square, or Piazza San Pietro, expands in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It’s where people often gather when the Pope speaks, and it’s especially beautiful at night. Grab a bird’s-eye view of the piazza from the top of the dome of the basilica.

 

Courtesy of Rodrigo Soldon.

Courtesy of Rodrigo Soldon.

Partake in pasta: It goes without saying that some of the best food in the world can be found in Rome. Any cafe or restaurant will do, but for the authentic tastes that go beyond stereotypical spaghettis and run-of-the-mill rigatonis, go off the main streets. Duck into an assuming cafe off an alley and experience the way Italians really eat, not just the things they make for tourists. Eating off the beaten path will keep the prices lower, too.

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Tagged: Cheap of the Month, Cheap Tips, City, Family, Festivals, Food & drink, Holidays, International, Last minute travel, Seasonal

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It’s “wave season.” That means from January-March every year, cruise lines and cruise distributors offer their cheapest rates in an effort to get people to book their cruises early in the year. Cheap cruises–we’ll take it! Here are some cruise ports that will take your breath away from the deck of the ship as you glide into port.

Port of Venice, Italy

[captionid=”attachment_5580″ align=”aligncenter” width=”500″]Venice's grand canal at night. Courtesy of Kosala Bandara. Venice’s grand canal at night. Courtesy of Kosala Bandara.[/caption]

By land or sea, Venice is one of the most beautiful cities you’ll ever see. People visit Venice to see the canals, to eat the food, to experience the culture and learn some history, before it all sinks beneath the Adriatic Sea. But what visitors don’t necessarily expect is how the water weaving between each and every block plays with the light. In the daytime, the blue of the canals contrasts the color of the architecture, making its orange hue even more vibrant. At night, the lights play on the water, dancing and illuminating the canals to the point that almost becomes a second light source. The best time of day, though, is twilight. That time of day when the sun has dipped below the horizon but it’s not quite dark yet. A purple hue falls over the city and envelopes everything in a way you can’t experience anywhere else. Plan a cruise that docks just as the sun sets to experience the magic.

Port Vell, Barcelona, Spain

A view of Port Vell in Barcelona from Montjuïc. Courtesy of David Merrett.

A view of Port Vell in Barcelona from Montjuïc. Courtesy of David Merrett.

Continuing around from Italy and through the Mediterranean, is Barcelona, the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia. Barcelona is steeped in history that remains visible today and is evident as soon as your cruise ship begins making its approach toward Barcelona’s Port Vell (that means “old port” in Catalan). If you can peel your eyes away from the beautifully blue Mediterranean waters and palm trees gently blowing in the sea breeze (and maybe a few topless women on a beach nearby, because, well, this is Europe), you’ll be taken aback by Barcelona’s architecture. To your right as you approach the port, you’ll see the outlines of Antoin Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, the famed yet unfinished church that’s been under construction for decades. To your left, you’ll see the ancient fort perched atop Montjuïc, which served as a lookout for invaders from the sea. The ship will dock at the base of La Rambla, one of the most vibrant and well-known boulevards in the city. When you step onto that Barcelona soil, your adventure really begins.

Port Santorini, Greece

Santorini port. Courtesy of Shane Gorski.

Santorini port. Courtesy of Shane Gorski.

The whitewashed buildings stand out starkly against the vibrant blue of the sky and sea as you approach the Grecian island by way of the Aegean Sea. Tales of Greek monsters are nowhere near your mind as you sail toward Santorini, but you wonder if maybe this is Mt. Olympus because only the gods could tread somewhere this beautiful. The crescent-shaped island is southeast of Greece’s mainland and is the remnants of a volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest dwellers. As you approach the island’s main port, Athinias, you’ll see the remnants of the centuries-old eruption in the dark, steep cliffs holding up the white towns and villages.

Papeete port, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahitian palm with the island of Moorea in the background. Courtesy of Lori Branham.

Tahitian palm with the island of Moorea in the background. Courtesy of Lori Branham.

You may feel as though you’re a castaway finally washing ashore in Tahiti after the hundreds of remote miles you traveled through the South Pacific to arrive. But at least you’ve arrived to paradise. The largest in the Windward group of French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is an explosion of green among the vast blue, with mountains jutting upward and palm trees framing the port. Tiki huts line long docks jutting out into the pristine waters. The island is centered on volcanic mountains, and is famous for its black sand beaches, formed with bits of lava fragments. Much of Tahiti’s beauty also lies beneath its waters. Farming for the Tahitian black pearl is a huge part of the countries economy, and coral reefs surrounding the island teem with colorful wildlife.

Misty Fjords port of call, Alaska

Misty Fjords, Alaska. Courtesy of Andrew Malone.

Misty Fjords, Alaska. Courtesy of Andrew Malone.

Although there are dozens of ports of call in Alaska (and most Alaskan cruises hit several per trip), Misty Fjords is not to be missed. The cruise ship is dwarfed by the rising, snow-capped mountains seemingly enveloping the fjord on all sides. A fjord is a narrow inlet lined with steep cliffs that was formed by a glacier. And this one will take your breath away. There are 1,000-foot waterfalls, sheer granite cliffs, pristine lakes and low-hanging mist in this remote section of the Alaskan panhandle. While you are awe-inspired from the landscape, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as bald eagles, grizzly bears and moose peeking out toward the ship.

Kona Port, Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kailua-Kona after sunset, with volcanic rocks on the beach in the foreground. Courtesy of Steve Dunleavy.

Kailua-Kona after sunset, with volcanic rocks on the beach in the foreground. Courtesy of Steve Dunleavy.

There are about 150 distinct ecosystems throughout the Hawaiian islands, and you’ll be able to see a slew of them as you cruise into the port in Kona. Ships use the port at Kailua Kona, on the western side of the Hawaiian island. The Kona Coast has been distinguished by recent lava flows that continue to build on top of each other. Lush vegetation grows in over the flows as time goes by, making it possible to go from lush vegetation to a landscape of barren, hardened lava just by turning a corner. Some beaches also feature black sand. Whales are likely to be seen on cruises traveling now through April.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Downtown Reykjavik, Iceland. Courtesy of O Palsson.

Downtown Reykjavik, Iceland. Courtesy of O Palsson.

For being the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik offers some surprising small town charm. Nordic settlers founded the town that has grown up along the pristine Atlantic coastline in 874. Iceland seems to have a little bit of everything, as far as geologic formations go, and cruising into Reykjavik will give you an introductory taste. There are inlets and peninsulas, straits and islands, mountains and glaciers. There are volcanoes and hot springs, ice fields and thermal pools, all engulfed in a bubbling yet sophisticated culture gathered around fresh seafood. Iceland offers snapshots of landscapes that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world, and Reykjavik is the beautiful gateway. Make sure you look up at night for a potential glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.

Story by Ally Marotti

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Tagged: Cruise, Family, Hawaii, International

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This week we’ve got the spotlight on two flight sales, with cheap fares to far away lands on American Airlines and sweet flights to quaint cities with United Airlines.

American Airlines: Europe flights on sale
This fall you can fly cheap to Europe with American Airlines. For fantastic flight deals to Madrid, Milan, and more, book your trip by June 30 and travel between October 29, 2010, to December 14, 2010. You’ll enjoy cheap round-trip flights like these:

  • New York City to Milan: $212
  • Chicago to Frankfurt: $302
  • Los Angeles to London: $412

United Airlines: Flights to small cities on sale
Grab a cheap flight on United Airlines to less frequented, quainter cities like Louisiville, Tampa, and Sacramento. Book by June 23, 2010, and travel through September 3, 2010, for cheap round-trips fares that include: 14, 2010. You’ll enjoy cheap round-trip flights like these:

  • Chicago to Louisville: $162
  • Sacramento to Colorado Springs: $266
  • Boston to Jacksonville: $208

See individual flight sales for complete terms and conditions.

Tagged: Last minute travel, Limited-time Offers

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Cheapcruises
Cheap cruises from CheapTickets make European vacations easy and affordable. With European cruises, your accommodations and meals are prepaid in U.S. dollars, so you don’t have to worry about the exchange rate. And you’ll visit multiple destinations without having to think about local transportation. Plus, CheapTickets has travel deals on a variety of cruises. Check out these trips:

The 12-night Western Mediterranean cruise on the Azamara Journey takes you to Monte Carlo, Florence, Cartagena, Spain and much more. Interior rooms start at just $799. Or choose a verandah room at get $400 in free onboard spending.

The Carnival Liberty takes you on a 12 Night Northern Europe cruise, with stops in Amsterdam, St. Petersburg and more. Enjoy an elegant dinner at Harry’s Supper Club, eat at the ship’s sushi bar or try one of the many other dining options. Interior rooms start at $1,149.

CheapTickets has cruises to Europe starting for as little as $399 for a seven night Western Mediterranean cruise from Norwegian Cruise Line. So explore Barcelona, Rome or the Greek Isles — all with the luxury and comfort of one of our cheap cruises.

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Tagged: Cruise, International

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Want to travel to Europe this fall? You can, with cheap flights on Lufthansa.

Imagine strolling along the streets of London, sitting in a Paris cafe or enjoying the art and architecture of Amsterdam. These cheap tickets make it easy to travel to cities throughout Europe. Check out these sample flights:

  • Atlanta to Amsterdam: $693
  • Houston to London: $632
  • New York City to Frankfurt: $456
  • Orlando to Paris: $708

These cheap flights are for travel August 18 through October 26, 2008 and December 12 – 24, 2008. Sample airfares don’t include taxes and some fees. Cheap tickets like these are available for a limited time; the Lufthansa sale ends August 20. So don’t wait. Make your Europe travel plans now.

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Tagged: City, Flights, FREE!, International, Limited-time Offers

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Cruiseblog
Want to travel to Europe? Here’s one of the travel deals that can help save you money: take a Europe cruise.

With cruises, most of your travel is prepaid is U.S. dollars, so you don’t need to worry about the exchange rate, and cruises can be a great way to see several cities at once.

And with these cheap cruises, you can see Europe for prices starting at less than $500.

A seven-night Mediterranean cruise aboard the Costa Romantica takes you to Rome, Sicily, Greece and Turkey. Interior rooms start at $499 for the November 3-10 sailing. Onboard, you can enjoy a cocktail outdoors at the Terraza Bar or sit at the Juliet wine bar. And the Botticelli Dining Room features signature Italian dishes with floor-to-ceiling windows for a fantastic view.

Or, take the seven-night Ancient Treasures cruise on the Costa Serena. The voyage starts in Venice and includes stops in Greece, Turkey and Croatia. Interior rooms are just $549 for sailings starting November 9 and 16. The ship’s Samsara Spa and Wellness Center complex includes 87 special spa cabins and 12 suites, along with treatment rooms and a spa eatery.

You can travel to Europe without spending a fortune. Just find a cheap airfare, book your Europe cruise and pack your bags!

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: Cruise, FREE!, International, Limited-time Offers