South Florida taxicab drivers are adding a surcharge to make up for rising fuel prices.
If the price of gas averages $3.50 per gallon, riders will pay an additional $1 on top of the meter fee. If gas prices are at $4, the surcharge will add $1.50 to the cab fare. An extra $3 will be added if gas prices stretch to $5.50. Look for a notice on cab windows.
Foreign visitors choose NYC
New York got a record-setting 7.6-million foreign visitors last year, making it the U.S. city most visited by travelers from overseas, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
The rest of the top eight meccas for foreign tourists:
Los Angeles, 2.7-million visitors
San Francisco, 2.3-million
Las Vegas, 1.7-million
Spending by international travelers added $122-billion to the domestic economy last year.
Travel guide leans to the left
Progressive Nation is described on its cover as "a travel guide with 400-plus inspiring landmarks and left turns." The book, by Jerome Pohlen, a Green Party candidate for Congress in Illinois, lists sites including the spot where the Montgomery bus boycott was launched in Alabama; the church in Brunswick, Maine, where Harriet Beecher Stowe was inspired to write Uncle Tom's Cabin; the Dayton, Tenn., courthouse where the Scopes Monkey Trial took place; and the Wounded Knee massacre site in South Dakota. The book, $18.95 from Chicago Review Press, includes sites in every state and Washington, D.C.
Preview Disney with 3-D maps
Tourists overwhelmed by the mind-boggling size of Walt Disney World in Orlando can plan their tour with the help of a 3-D Google Earth map created by the Walt Disney Co. The map of the four theme parks and 22 hotels at Disney World shows souvenir shacks, merry-go-round horses and even benches for resting.
About 100,000 shots from eight photographers went into 1,500 three-dimensional images of a variety of structures at Disney World. The entry contains links to blogs and YouTube videos and information on everything from the minimum rider height for certain attractions to menus at park restaurants. Information: www.disneyworld.com/3dparks.
Check your can of Raid at door
A museum devoted to insects opened this month in New Orleans. The Audubon Insectarium, above, has 23,000 square feet of exhibits featuring live and mounted insects. It is believed to be the largest free-standing museum in the nation dedicated to insects. Advance tickets are required and can be purchased at WeLoveBugs.org or AudubonInstitute.org. Tickets are adults $15; ages 2-12, $10; 65 and older, $12. Information: toll-free 1-800-774-7394.
Annoying fee is still a bargain
You may be annoyed at the $15 charge to check a bag on American Airlines. But before you grouse too much, know this: It's still the cheapest method of getting your bag to your destination. Here's what it would cost to ship a 35-pound suitcase from downtown Tampa to downtown San Francisco.
U.S. Postal Service: $36.96 via seven-day parcel post; $123.90 for overnight express service.
DHL: $54.13 for seven-day ground service; from $307.84 for next-day air.
FedEx: $37.71 for five-day ground service; from $193.92 for overnight delivery.
UPS: $44.37 for five-day ground service; from $193.92 for next-day air.
Pinch your travel pennies
Here are more tips to save your airline dollars this summer. Travel midweek, if possible, when fares may be lower. Be willing to accept a stopover. Those flights are usually less expensive than nonstops. Don't buy too far in advance: If you're vacationing after Labor Day, wait, see what the market does. Do as much as possible online, from buying tickets to booking frequent-flier-award travel. Most airlines now charge $10 to $15 extra for booking travel on the phone or in person.
Compiled from Times wires