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Travel briefs: Cutting the cost of a European vacation

Associated Press

Associated Press

Side Trip

STRETCHING THE DOLLAR

WITH CHEAPER DIGS IN EUROPE

1. Go in the offseason (roughly October to March) or shoulder season (September and April).

2. Stay outside the center city. Look for hotels at the end of a subway line or in a suburb with regularly scheduled buses or trams.

3. Share a bathroom. Private bathrooms cost more.

4. Ask about promotions. Chains, independent hotels and B&Bs often discount rates for multiple nights.

5. Don't pay for breakfast. Look for hotels that include it in the room rate.

6. Stay in regional capitals, such as Naples instead of Rome, or Toulouse instead of Paris.

7. Avoid festivals. Check city and country tourist bureau Web sites to steer clear of special events when hotel rates are highest.

8. Choose countries that are not on the euro. Countries that have not adopted the euro, including Switzerland, are generally cheaper than those that have.

New Newseum opens in D.C.

The Newseum, above, the museum devoted to the history and practice of journalism, has opened its newly relocated facility in Washington, where it moved from its original location in the suburbs. It is designed to be both fun and educational, with a goal of teaching visitors about the free press and the First Amendment.

One gallery features every photograph that ever won a Pulitzer Prize. Interactive kiosks let visitors try various journalism roles — photographer, editor, reporter or anchor. A memorial gallery is dedicated to journalists who died covering the news.

Facilities include a restaurant by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and two broadcast studios, one of which is a new home for ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos.

Tickets for the Newseum, at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, are $20 for adults, $13 for children 7 to 12, $18 for those 65 and older. More details at www.newseum.org.

Web site rates the airlines

Flying is such an ordeal these days that it's better to be armed with information before you take your coach class seat. At Airlinequality.com, the Web site of Skytrax, an air-transport industry research company based in Britain, you can find out how the airlines stack up.

What's hot: The site rates airports, airlines, economy seats, lounges, first and business classes and more. It awards stars to airlines based on their quality in a variety of categories. You'll find reviews by actual fliers, signed with their names and dated. And, yes, you can add your own.

What's not: Adding a category for airline safety rankings would be useful.

Quirky camps for grownups

Looking for a different vacation? Traveland

leisure.com cites these grownup camps:

Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp (New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London)

Gladiator Training (Cavalieri Hilton, Rome)

Ghost Hunter University (Hotel Maison de Ville, New Orleans)

Space Camp (Huntsville, Ala.)

Elephant Mahout Training (Four Seasons, Golden Triangle, Thailand)

Gondolier Training (Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice)

Crossword Puzzle Creation (on board Holland America's Statendam)

Poker Camp (Las Vegas; Atlantic City; Biloxi, Miss; Connecticut)

African Vet Safaris (South Africa)

Winemaking Camp (Sonoma and Napa, Calif.)

Chicago architecture cruises

Tickets are on sale for Chicago's architecture cruise, which starts running again for the season beginning May 3. The 90-minute tour, organized by the nonprofit Chicago Architecture Foundation, highlights 53 historic and architecturally significant sites including Trump Tower, Merchandise Mart, the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower, the Sears Tower, River City, Marina City and the site of the Spire. Through Nov. 23. Tickets are available from (312) 902-1500 or www.ticketmaster.com/rivercruise. The print-at-home option allows quicker check-in for passengers at the dock. Tickets are $28 a person weekdays and $30 weekends and holidays. They can also be bought at the dock or at the Chicago Architecture Foundation shop at 224 S Michigan Ave.

Compiled from Times wires

Travel briefs: Cutting the cost of a European vacation 04/12/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 14, 2008 12:11pm]

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