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December 29, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Is it time to say goodbye to the hotel minibar? A recent survey by the travel website found that the hotel minibar was the least important amenity for U.S. travelers. Only 21% of travelers ranked the mini-bar as an important amenity, compared to 89% who called free in-room wireless Internet the most important. There is little financial reason to keep minibars. Hotel consulting firms estimate that minibars generate no more than 0.24% of total hotel revenue, with much of that eaten up by the cost to check and restock the bars.
December 16, 2013 | By Hugo Martín
If you are a parent who lets your children scream and go nuts on a plane, congratulations - you top the list of most annoying etiquette violators in the air. Parents who travel with loud children are considered more annoying than passengers who kick the in front of them and travelers with foul odors. Even fliers who take off their shoes and socks in the air-tight cabin are less offensive, according to a survey of 1,001 Americans by the travel website Expedia. Annoying children and their parents were ranked by 41% of those surveyed as the most annoying airplane etiquette violators.
December 15, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Here's a tip on saving lots of dough on a hotel room: Don't book a room when a big convention is in town. As with all other industries, hotels boost rates when demand increases. The average hotel rate in San Francisco jumped to $272 per night for the period Dec. 10 to 14, a 75% hike compared to earlier in the month, according to the travel website Trivago . The hike came when three major conventions rolled into town, including a gathering of geophysicists, online and mobile executives and construction experts.
November 20, 2013 | By Hugo Martin, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Because of economic uncertainty, the number of Americans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday is expected to drop slightly compared with last year. The annual forecast by AAA predicts 43.4 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home for the holiday, a 1.5% decrease from last year. Still, the Auto Club noted that the travel volume would still be the second highest since the recession dropped travel numbers dramatically in 2008 and 2009. "Economic growth remains muted, showing only marginal improvements from a year ago, while the labor market continues to struggle to maintain a meaningful pace of job creation," the study said in explaining the decline in travel volume.
November 10, 2013 | By Jen Leo
Here's a website that helps you locate vacation rentals in proximity to your interests. Name: What it does: It lets you search based on activities you like and how far you want to drive or fly from major cities in the U.S. and Europe. There are 85 activities to choose from or combine. What's hot: It's helpful that Pinocular pairs vacation rental options with activities I am interested in - and some I hadn't even considered. I could find properties that are near horseback riding, fishing, hot springs, opera, laser tag, geocaching and more.
September 1, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The digital revolution has imperiled the future of many job categories, including darkroom film processor, typewriter repairman and telephone operator. With the surge of sophisticated travel websites, can we include travel agents to the list of nearly obsolete jobs? As you might expect, the American Society of Travel Agents doesn't think so. The trade group that represents more than 5,900 travel agents and travel firms rejects the notion that travel websites will eventually put warm-hearted agents out of work.
July 4, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
On-site movie theaters and sleeping areas. Those topped the list of amenities that travelers said they wanted at their dream airport. Scotland-based travel website Skyscanner asked 10,000 travelers worldwide what services would improve their airport experience. According to theĀ  website 's survey, the rest of the top 10 are: -- Libraries that would allow you to grab a book for the trip and return it when you land -- Parks -- Hair salons and spa treatments -- Children's play areas -- Pools -- Fitness centers -- Man-made beaches -- Bicycles Many airports already offer services such as massages and hair salons, and some feature sleeping areas.
June 28, 2013 | By Terry Gardner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
On my last two flights, I've sat next to passengers who never turned off their cellphones. One passenger was sending texts during our Wi-Fi-free flight from Salt Lake City. Beyond violating federal regulationsĀ  federal Federal Communicationss C and FAA regulations, should we worry when passengers continue to use their devices? "Given that we know pilots and flight attendants admit that they sometimes accidentally leave their phones on, it's likely not a huge safety risk," says Warren Chang, vice president and general manager of , a travel website owned and operated by Travelzoo.
June 14, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The most and least expensive summer destinations in the U.S. both offer lots of sand, sun and palm trees. Honolulu was ranked the most expensive summer destination on an annual ranking by the travel website TripAdvisor. Las Vegas was ranked as the cheapest vacation spot. Los Angeles came in as the sixth most expensive, largely because hotel prices have jumped nearly 30% in the last year. Quiz: What can't you take onboard a jetliner? The ranking was based on the total cost of a one night stay at a four-star hotel, drinks and dinner for two and a round-trip taxi ride.
June 8, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Scrape the bugs off your windshield and check your radiator coolant because the next few months are stacking up to be one of the top summers for road trips in years. With consumer confidence up, fuel prices down and frustration over airline fees growing, Americans are expected to hit the road in big numbers over the next few months, rolling to such hot spots as Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Lake Tahoe. Travel experts and surveys conducted in the last few weeks point to a season of busy freeways and crowded roadside attractions.
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