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Travel News of the Week

Week Ending August 5, 2011

Twitter is a valuable source for the latest travel news and keeping up to date on all the tricks of the trade to save money on trips, get upgrades, stretch loyalty reward programs and so much more. Here are some stories (and tweets) I’ve selected as “Favorite Tweets” this past week that will give you great travel ideas and information on where to go and how to save.

13 Things a Hotel Desk Clerk Won't Tell You

1. The 1-800 reservations number will probably send you to a central office with set rates. If you call the hotel directly instead, you can negotiate. Read More

From @TheTripChicks

Most Incredible Castle Hotels in the World

Taj Lake Palace - Rajasthan, India. The Taj Lake Palace, located in the middle of Lake Pichola is a dream of white marble and mosaic glistening in the moonlight, very reminiscent of the most beautiful tourist cliché in the world; the Taj Mahal. Conceived in romance, the palace was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II, 62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar – believed to be descendants of the Sun God.

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Aravalli Mountains on one side of the lake, and lofty palaces on the other, the Taj Lake Palace spreads across a four-acre island – an almost surreal vision in marble. The Royal Butlers descendents of the original palace retainers look after all contemporary comforts. Read More

From @GotSaga

Delta Making $4 Million a Day on Expired-Tax Fare Hike

Delta Air Lines says its decision to offset expired FAA taxes by raising fares has increased revenue by between $4 million and $5 million per day, The Wall Street Journal reports. The newspaper adds: "Delta said it has no plans to change its ticket prices." Read More

From @USATodayTravel
Via @SkySteward

IRS: No Tax Refunds for Fliers after FAA Shutdown

The Internal Revenue Service said Friday that no fliers who flew during the past two weeks — when the Federal Aviation Administration was partially shut down — are eligible for ticket tax refunds.

The decision may come as a surprise to millions of airline passengers who were expecting a refund — up to 15% of the ticket price — after the FAA's partial shutdown on July 23. Read More

From @USATodayTravel
Via @NomadicMatt

How to Travel Solo

It’s only when a person plans their first solo adventure that they realize how different it might be from traveling with a friend or partner. There’s more to think about. You are totally responsible for all the details. Safety is a somewhat greater concern. And then, if you want to take a tour, you discover that they actually penalize you for traveling solo.

All these points make solo travel sound terrible. But the truth is quite the opposite. Before I give you a few tips on how to travel solo, I must pause and tell you how great it is. Read More

From @Landlopers

Reasons to Travel by Train in Europe

There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned train-tour, especially when it’s your first time visiting a country (or two!) and you’ve got a lot to see and limited time to do it. Here are a few excellent reasons why you should consider traveling by train in Europe.

1. For one, it’s affordable, especially when compared to the cost of driving. Far too many people end up spending huge amounts of money on lodging and car rentals when they could take a train from destination to picturesque destination. Read More

From @WeBlogTheWorld Via @HotelPRGuy

Five (And Then Some) Tech Tips for Travel

In the big airports, you sometimes see three different lanes for the X-ray machines. They’re marked by a black diamond (expert travelers who know the routine and have their laptops out and shoes off), blue square (casual travelers) and green circle (families and people who need extra help).

I have no idea if that self-selecting system actually lets anyone get through the lines faster. But it occurred to me that if there were such a thing as a black-diamond lane for technology, I’m probably in it.

I’ve been racking up about 70 round-trip flights a year, so I know this space pretty well. I’ve got the tech part of it down to a science. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way—tips for maximum flying efficiency and minimum misery.

1. Use Tripit is this amazing, free Web site. Every time you book a flight, hotel or car rental online, you forward the e-mail confirmation to Read More

From @EliteTravelGal

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Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer
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Avoid Jet Lag

You're packed and ready to go on vacation, so now comes the most important issue at hand: avoiding jet lag when you arrive at your destination. A survey by Conde Naste said that 93% of travelers get jet lag but you don't have to be one of them if you use my tips.
~Marianne Schwab

Book Your Trip

Booking travel online should be quick and easy…not to mention affordable and that's why I like Expedia. Did you know that you can save up to $525 when you book your flight and hotel together at For the best deals, book 60 days or more before you travel because usually the further out you plan, the better the package rate.
~Marianne Schwab

Top Travel Mistakes to Avoid Now

I have put together a list of the top five travel mistakes people make that translate into paying too much for a vacation no matter where you book your trip (through a travel agent, airline or online).
~Marianne Schwab

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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer

For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more