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Walking in London

Where are some interesting places to walk in London? I am in London the next few days and would like to explore some new areas after work. All I know is Bloomsbury to Mayfair to Westminster, so not much at all! It would need to be reachable by tube and should be safe. I would love to find little shops or cafés as well as just a pleasant place to walk for a few hours. I am staying in Hackney, if that is relevant. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Jun 1, 2014 - 16 answers

1 woman + 1 island + 10 days = 1 bag?

Hello, efficient international travelers! I'll be in Reykjavik for 10 days this July and am hoping to do carry-on only (from the US). Given the changeable temps and varied activities I have planned (whale watching, guided horseback riding, museum visits and shopping, light hikes in the Golden Circle and dancing as much as I can) this should be do-able, right? I don't mind washing things in the sink at night or re-wearing jackets, etc., but do you have packing tips or experience to share? Oh and if I can add an addendum in - do people still use Traveler's Checks? Last time I was abroad they were very helpful in setting a daily cash budget but that was more than a few years ago. TIA!
posted by PaulaSchultz on May 31, 2014 - 20 answers

Those bike-boat travel things! Are they good?

Have you ever been on one of those group boat-and-bike travel expeditions? Are they terrible—or amazing? [more inside]
posted by RJ Reynolds on May 30, 2014 - 2 answers

Is there a vacation destination that both of us would enjoy?

My husband and I would like to plan a nice vacation for an upcoming anniversary. Unfortunately, our ideas of what would make it a nice vacation are pretty far apart. Is there a place that would suit us both? Our special snowflake requirements inside. [more inside]
posted by oblique red on May 29, 2014 - 22 answers

East coast vacation spots for the 10 to 78 set?

Do you know a great place near New York City for three generations of family to vacation for three to five days this summer? [more inside]
posted by snorkmaiden on May 29, 2014 - 5 answers

Affordable lodging in Toronto for long weekend vacation

We're in the beginning stages of planning a vacation to Toronto later this year. So far, all the hotels I have looked at online have been surprisingly expensive. Does anyone have suggestions for clean, safe, private (not hostels) hotels or B&Bs located either conveniently to interesting parts of the city (for tourists), or close (safe 5-10 min. walk) to public transportation to attractions? While I am at it, while we've done some research on our own, ideas for not-to-be-missed sights, museums, bookstores, or other attractions (for a middle aged, bookish, art-museum frequenting, ethnic food loving, but only moderately-fit couple) appreciated. Thanks!
posted by aught on May 29, 2014 - 11 answers

Trip Itinerary / Suggestions

I will be traveling around Europe this summer and wanted to get some suggestions in terms of logistics. I have already booked some travel arrangements, so I will describe them here. [more inside]
posted by nathanm on May 28, 2014 - 8 answers

Amex points - for a beginner

I have had an Amex card for some years, and have accumulated over 275,000 points. What is unclear to me is what can I do with them? My goal has always been to use points to upgrade an international flight to first class for my wife and me. But I have no idea how many points are required to do something like that. We would want to go somewhere in Europe. Does anyone have a sense for whether I could do something like that with this amount of points? Thanks!
posted by Blackcow167 on May 28, 2014 - 13 answers

Help Me Hack a Timeshare

My family owns a timeshare (yeah, I know) through Interval International. We haven't booked any travel through the timeshare in at least 8 years. I've been put in charge of figuring out how to use it, and I have no idea where to start. [more inside]
posted by therumsgone on May 27, 2014 - 3 answers

Vienna is old, knowing and fierce in its regard: Add to my itinerary.

Need guidance on trip to Vienna. Newest questions are from two years ago. Many questions after the fold. [more inside]
posted by jadepearl on May 26, 2014 - 8 answers

New York City Travel Question

Will be traveling to NY this summer for work for a week. Need to spend days on upper east side (5th and 104th). Nights I am free. Like to be able to walk to restaurants, windows browsing, perhaps some jazz. Any advice on what neighborhoods to look for hotels? I realize with the transit options perhaps this question doesn't make much sense, but I would rather not spend a lot of time or money in transit. And if you wouldn't mind suggesting some favorite gems of neighborhood restaurants, places that might be worth the trouble to get to?
posted by dougiedd on May 25, 2014 - 8 answers

Holiday in the city and the sun

This year I'd like to travel to Europe or South America and have the best of both worlds: an urban, cultural experience and an outdoorsy, quiet experience. These could be within an hour train or plane ride of each other. Maybe split the trip in half. Where could I go? [more inside]
posted by Jason and Laszlo on May 24, 2014 - 11 answers

Help me fly alone with two small kids: airport gate pass edition

In the near future, I will be flying alone several times with a 3.5 year old and a 7 month old. Lucky me. On at least some occasions, I will have someone bringing us to the airport or meeting us on the other end. I hear it's theoretically possible for that person to obtain a gate pass, and help us get to the plane (or meet us when we get off). We'll be fine ON the plane, but having help in the airport would be a real sanity saver. I know that gate passes are not handed out like candy and generally require cause. Does this constitute cause? What are your experiences with requesting / obtaining / being refused gate passes? Does it help to call ahead? Who would you call? Bonus points if you can speak specifically to Chicago O'Hare, Atlanta Hartsfield, or Panama City, FL.
posted by telepanda on May 23, 2014 - 20 answers

What's going on in Washington, DC this weekend, and where should we eat?

Visiting with my brother and a friend, mid-20s males. Museums and government-y stuff are fun but we don't want to spend entire days on them. Music, art galleries, performances, etc would be good. Partying and excessive drinking are definitely on the table. Also looking for restaurant suggestions, anything from ethnic holes in the wall to fine dining.
posted by scose on May 22, 2014 - 20 answers

Riding on planes with books.

Hi! I just got a new job that will have me on about three planes per week (mostly domestic, short-ish flights) for the foreseeable future. Sometimes I will have work to do on these flights, but in general I anticipate a lot of sitting around in airports/airplanes. Since these flights will often happen in the middle of my workday, I can't really default to my usual sky pastime of a Bloody Mary and a nap. Can you suggest your most engaging books for tearing through during travel? I have most recently devoured short story collections by Kurt Vonnegut and George Saunders, as well as a Joan Didion novel, but I really like to read almost everything. I've got an iPad, so things I can download on Kindle would be especially welcome, as would works by lady authors.
posted by justjess on May 20, 2014 - 26 answers

How do I find the cheapest best flights this summer?

I need to plan and purchase the most complicated flight I've ever planned and purchased before. I am SUPER BROKE and SUPER FLEXIBLE. I'm hoping you can answer a few questions (inside) about how to plan this. [more inside]
posted by rebent on May 20, 2014 - 9 answers

Wedding gift for a friend moving to Guam?

One of my oldest friends is getting married this summer and moving to Guam a few weeks later. As this is a big move, most of the traditional wedding gifts (e.g. housewares) don't make sense. What could I get her for a meaningful wedding gift?
posted by sciapod on May 20, 2014 - 9 answers

24 hours of free time in Brussels: Stay or Go?

In June, I'll be in Brussels for a conference. Sessions run from ~08:00 - 17:30 Monday - Thursday. However, I'll be getting into Brussels on Saturday around 16:30. Should I take the train to Ghent or Bruges, or should I spend Saturday evening / Sunday day in Brussels? If staying in Brussels, what should I do that I can't do in the evenings during the week? [more inside]
posted by msladygrey on May 20, 2014 - 7 answers

It's a Honker-Duckie-Dinger Jamboree

We are taking our toddler (almost 2) to Sesame Place this weekend. Have you been there? Do you have any tips for us to make our trip great? [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on May 19, 2014 - 5 answers

Travel in Hungary - how worried should we be?

My partner and I (both female in our 30s) will be traveling to Central Europe soon and the last leg of our trip will be in Budapest. When we planned the trip, we simply forgot about the current political climate there (right-wing extremism, anti-semitism, xenophobia, homophobia, you name it). How bad is it? Should we be extra-careful? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 18, 2014 - 4 answers

I heard the south of France is lovely this year?

I always found the answers to travel questions here very interesting, so here it goes: At the end of August/beginning of September, we want to go on a little post-conference vacation in the south of France. Our plan is to rent a car in Lyon and fly back two weeks later from Marseille. Do you have any tips and recommendations for us? Anything special we should keep in mind regarding to renting a car? We thought that the area of Languedoc-Roussillon is not as crowded as the Cotê d'Azure, so which cities should we visit? Primarily visiting some interesting places and relaxing at the beach is planned but tips for some short hikes are also highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
posted by ironicon on May 18, 2014 - 8 answers

Jburg me!

I will be spending three days in Johannesburg, South Africa at the end of June. I don't know a thing about South Africa or Johannesburg, so what should I do with myself? [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on May 16, 2014 - 7 answers

Can I let my 2 year-old sleep in the back during a 10 hour long drive?

My wife and I want to go on a trip to Luxembourg. Its a 10 hour drive, and we want to do it during nighttime. However we have a 2,5 year old and we're wondering if we can let her sleep in the back in the car-seat for the entire ride? Will we do permanent damage to her body if we let her sleep in the carseat? Usually we just take a break if we go on long rides, and we've never considered her sleeping during a really long ride.
posted by madcow20 on May 15, 2014 - 16 answers

Advice on Bryce Canyon/Escalante area with a toddler

My wife I will be visiting Bryce Canyon in early June with our 2-year-old son. We want to do the Navajo/Queens Garden loop. Would this hike be safe/doable considering one of us will be (mostly) carrying our son in a pack? We are in decent physical shape, but online I'm seeing some hikers say it is an easy hike and others saying it is strenuous and very steep. We're also looking for suggestions for other good bang-for-your-buck hikes in Bryce, Zion, Grand Staircase/Escalante area that would be good for us with the little one. Thanks in advance!
posted by burlsube on May 15, 2014 - 8 answers

traveling with my arm in a sling

Flying and vacationing with my arm in a stabilizing brace - give me hints and tips and answers! [more inside]
posted by Lucinda on May 15, 2014 - 3 answers

Does anyone have any information on the Obon Matsuri in Takayama, Japan?

Hello all, I'm looking at being in Takayama for Obon Festival this year, but I can't find any information on the dates they celebrate it or what exactly they do for it. I've searched in both English and Japanese, but my Japanese-language search skills are terrible. Any information you all could provide would be extremely helpful! Thank you. :) Best, Joe
posted by Televangelist on May 15, 2014 - 3 answers

New Orleans art shows in October 2014

My friend from Orange County (California) is a fine artist and photographer. He’s visiting New Orleans in October 2014 and would like to be part of some art shows while he’s here. [more inside]
posted by glass.hourousha on May 15, 2014 - 6 answers

Where should we camp in the South of France?

Some freinds and I are going to take a train from Amsterdam to the South of France this summer and we need some ideas for places to check out on a budget and with interesting places/events/people to check out. [more inside]
posted by Yossarian22 on May 15, 2014 - 4 answers

Where's a good place for a free, simple, trouble-free photo blog?

Hey, I'm traveling and I want to start a blog to catalogue my adventures. Just something for friends and family that's a bit nicer and a little more personal than Facebook. Must be free, fairly traditional blog format (not Tumblr), emphasis on photography with captions. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on May 15, 2014 - 10 answers

Upcoming trip airline travel question

I have an upcoming trip to and from Chapel Hill, NC. While there, we will be traveling to the Washington DC area. My return flight leaves RDU, near Chapel Hill and routes through IAD, Dulles, at DC. Skipping the flight from RDU would save about four hours of driving back to North Carolina and realistically provide another full day in the DC area. Can I do this? If so, what are the restrictions and gotchas? Can I roll the RDU-IAD flight revenue over into a seat upgrade? Personal experiences with trying to do this welcome. Direct experience from airline and travel pros also welcome. Speculative answers less welcome. Thanks very much! [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on May 14, 2014 - 9 answers

Planning a trip to western equatorial Africa

My niece is planning a trip to western equatorial Africa. We have several questions as she gets ready to go. [more inside]
posted by crapples on May 14, 2014 - 13 answers

Overnight in San Jose - questions about airport logistics and FOOD!

My family will be spending one Sunday night in June in San Jose. How can I not worry about making our flight out Monday morning? And what should we eat while we're there? [more inside]
posted by lyssabee on May 13, 2014 - 14 answers

Two weeks in Ireland

My fabulous in-laws are taking the family on a trip to Ireland this summer. Please help us find the real gems! [more inside]
posted by cellar door on May 13, 2014 - 19 answers

I bet one of you knows more about this than the airline claims to

Next week I have a short (50 min) layover in Philadelphia on my way from San Francisco to Ottawa. The US Airways person I spoke to on the phone couldn't tell me if I'll need to get from a domestic terminal to an international terminal in that short time. But I bet one of y'all has had a similar-enough travel arrangement, or a lot of experience with PHL that you know the answer. [more inside]
posted by colin_l on May 13, 2014 - 15 answers

Tech for Travel

I am very very fortunate to have the opportunity to add some new technology to my collegiate life, now or in the future! Should I get an iPad now, or put that resource towards new tech in years to come? [more inside]
posted by femmegrrr on May 11, 2014 - 11 answers

To Cancel or Not: Aeorflot from Bejing to Rome

My brother and I will be flying from Beijing to Rome on the Russian airline Aeroflot. We've recently heard about Aeorflot's terrible safety rating from friends. Additionally, we will have a four hour layover in Moscow and we're a little worried because of the current Russia-Ukraine situation. Should we cancel our flight and book another on a more reputable airline? [more inside]
posted by lalunamel on May 11, 2014 - 15 answers

Help me plan my 'adult family' trip to Belgium & Germany.

Questions inside. This is also related to the FIFA World Cup. [more inside]
posted by hellameangirl on May 10, 2014 - 7 answers

Book fall flight US to Europe now or later (very light flurries inside)?

Planning Ahead Filter: My travel buddy already has a ticket on Airline A (ATL-LHR round trip) for our planned trip together in November. (Miles & awards redeemed so she is set). We're deciding what to do about my ticket. [more inside]
posted by pointystick on May 10, 2014 - 4 answers

Seeking writings against travel

Could you point me to writings from people who either believed travel was a waste of time or just didn't like it and preferred to stay put?
posted by miaow on May 10, 2014 - 26 answers

Best way for a UK citizen to manage money and cellphones in Europe?

I'm a Canadian/UK citizen living in London and I'm going travelling in Europe for three months. What's the best way for me to manage my money/cell phone plan while I travel? Requirements and details over the fold. [more inside]
posted by Cpt. The Mango on May 9, 2014 - 6 answers

What info shows up at a border crossing?

Whenever I cross an international border, I hand over my passport and then the agents run some checks. What kind of info shows up when they do that?
posted by modernnomad on May 9, 2014 - 14 answers

Paris in June for a Month - Help!

Flat for entirety of June in Paris, with my British sister meeting me in Deauville for two days. I haven't left the USA since before 9/11, and my partner hasn't since he was a kid. I need ALL THE ADVICE: apps to help, other day trips, is Italy feasible sans car, June weather, language sites -- I am combing MeFi but am just overwhelmed, and fearful older content is out of date. Help! [more inside]
posted by Locative on May 8, 2014 - 23 answers

Paris for Paris haters.

I am booking a trip where the most cost-effective option will have me spending about 24 hours alone in Paris with nothing much to do. I've been many times before, done all the tourist stuff, and honestly, don't really like the city. Some bad memories plus something about France just doesn't sit right with me. What's the least Paris-like place in Paris where I can enjoy my day/evening? [more inside]
posted by jetsetlag on May 8, 2014 - 20 answers

Fly with a broken foot and a toddler?

My wife is in the UK, with our nearly 2-year-old son, I'm in Switzerland, where we live. Today she fell and hurt her foot, and it's possibly broken: she's going to have it checked out and possibly have a cast put on tomorrow. Her flight back is on Saturday morning. Is that a good idea? [more inside]
posted by Omission on May 8, 2014 - 15 answers

Backpack cover?

A friend is going on a year-long, multi-continent backpacking adventure. She wants a sturdy travel cover that will take the abuse from buses/baggage handlers/planes instead of her pack, like this--except hopefully sturdier. Any recommendations?
posted by flibbertigibbet on May 4, 2014 - 6 answers

Strangely specific question about horses

How long would it take a pair of inexperienced riders to travel by horseback from the Georgia coast (around Savannah) to Atlanta, with no paved roads? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on May 3, 2014 - 24 answers

Where should I travel to in South America?

I have a month off and some saved up money and I want to travel to South America! Where should I travel? [more inside]
posted by masters2010 on May 3, 2014 - 6 answers

Need Lodging Advice and Possibly Itinerary Tweaks for Peru

My wife and I are planning a two-week trip to Peru in November, and though the big pieces of the trip are in place, we need some advice on how to slot things in. Also, lodging help. [more inside]
posted by craven_morhead on Apr 30, 2014 - 2 answers

What are your favorite sights and restaurants in Seville, Spain?

We're going to Seville! What are your favorite sights and restaurants? Particularly I'd like to know about restaurants by neighborhood, since when I travel I often have a list of restaurants I've compiled but have trouble coordinating them with where I wind up after sightseeing. thank you, (if you happen to have favorite restaurants/sights in Cordoba that would be useful too!)
posted by DMelanogaster on Apr 29, 2014 - 7 answers

DC area short weekend trip help

I'd like to celebrate my SOs upcoming grad school graduation by taking him on a cute surprise trip. We are in the greater DC metro area and I would really like to get out of DC, but can only do one or two nights over the weekend. My SO is not much of city person, or else I would probably do NYC. Ideally it would be no more than 3 hours by car; or alternatively I am open to a flight or train ride that is not too long. We previously did Asheville NC and really enjoyed it. Charlottesville is close to what I think I am looking for, but we go there frequently already. Any ideas? My SO really enjoys things related to Architecture and Landscape Architecture if that helps.
posted by seesom on Apr 29, 2014 - 13 answers

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