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San Francisco

THIS ITEM ORIGINALLY APPEARED JAN. 11 on POSTMEDIA AND SUN MEDIA SITES IN CANADA. The loonie remains in the doldrums. But winter’s getting you down and you’re dying to hit your favourite U.S. getaway spot. Lucky for us, there are still some great American destinations that aren’t too expensive. There also are ways to save on visits to cities and places you might think of as outside your budget. Here are some suggestions. ST. PETERSBURG/CLEARWATER This is a favourite area for Blue Jays fans, as the Jays play their spring training games in nearby Dunedin. Dunedin is a great spot ... continue reading →

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NOTE: All thoughts about destinations and the kayak.com websites are my own. But KAYAK paid for the posting of this blog and for me to let people know about the blog via social media. The Internet is a wonderful thing when it comes to travel. But sometimes a bit terrifying at the same time. The choices are seemingly endless. Iceland’s hot springs and towering waterfalls look funky and off-the-beaten-track. But the temples and beaches of Thailand are tempting, too. Not to mention the pristine hikes you could take among the Alberta Rockies. On top of all that, the options for ... continue reading →

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Europe can get hot and crowded in summer. So why not try a trip in winter? Air fares and hotels will be less expensive, often wildly so. And you won’t have the crowds. Which means more time to delve deep and really explore. Here are some great spots to try. IRELAND A bit cool, you say? Well, it’s not like summer in Ireland is a guaranteed heat furnace. So why not explore Dublin’s Temple Bar when you don’t need a reservation for the best bar stool? And why not try a night at a sumptuous spot like Ashford Castle in ... continue reading →

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What a great study. I mentioned on Twitter the other day how I found a study that compared the cost of club sandwiches and a mini-bottle of vodka at various hotels around the world. That was fun. But now comes a far more exhaustive study that looks around the world at everything from the cost of a Big Mac to the price of a man’s haircut, a standard beer, a cheap date and the cost of a five-star hotel room. It’s useful information if you can believe all of it. But I’ll get to that in a minute. In the ... continue reading →

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The other day I talked about my favourite Canadian destinations and travel bits for 2014. Here are some thoughts (okay, a LOT of thoughts) about the U.S. and a couple Caribbean and European spots I visited during the year. Most surprising U.S. destination: Apalachicola, Florida. A super-relaxed, fun town in a quiet section of the Florida panhandle with just the right mix of old-time charm and trendy, new shops. A very good brewpub, too. Most wonderful host: The delightful Anthony Hunte of Hunte’s Gardens in Barbados. A lovely man, great conversationalist and incredible gardener. His garden is always the highlight ... continue reading →

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