Bus: High Speed (Photo: Shutterstock/Stephen Mcsweeny)

A month or so back, I was in Vancouver for a press showing, and on my return home I wanted to visit some cousins who live on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle. My plan was to rent a car, but a one-way car from Canada to the United States is a nonstarter. For Whidbey Island, the best place to rent a car would be at the Bellingham Airport, about 22 miles south of the international border. And although I had my usual anti-bus mind-set, the obvious way to get from Vancouver to the Bellingham airport was a bus. I found lots of bus trips, mainly serving the thousands of Vancouverites who flock to Bellingham for access to cheap flights to Hawaii, Las Vegas, and other tourist destinations on Allegiant, Alaska, and Frontier. And my successful—and uneventful—bus trip reminded me that bus travel is experiencing something of a renaissance in the U.S. and Canada. ... read more»

Airport: Blurred Travelers on Moving Walkway (Photo: Thinkstock/Digital Vision)

You can now travel to/from Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) by train. Last week, DART, the Dallas-area rapid transit system, opened the long-awaited extension of the Orange light rail line directly to Terminal A. From the airport, it runs to the central district, then turns northward again toward Richardson. Trains run frequently from 3:50 a.m. to 1:12 a.m. (12:12 on weekends). DART says that typical running time between the airport and downtown is about 50 minutes. You ride modern three-section light rail vehicles, with easy-boarding, low-level floors in the central section, but they do not provide racks or other special provisions for travelers' baggage.

Airport trains do not assess any surcharge: The regular fare is $2.50 for two hours of unlimited travel on the DART system (including transfers to other light rail lines or bus, if needed) or $5 all day. Seniors 65 or over and students pay half fare, but they require photo ID issued at the DART central office. ... read more»

Woman Frustrated at Laptop (Photo: iStockphoto/Brent Holland)

Do airline loyalty schemes actually foster loyalty among the programs' millions of members?

According to a new poll, conducted for TheStreet by GfK and reported on by Business Traveler, a solid 63 percent of Americans have no loyalty to any particular airline. Or, presumably, to any particular loyalty program.

That would suggest that mileage considerations play only a minor role in travelers' choice of airlines. And indeed, only 5 percent of the survey respondents cited miles as their primary focus when choosing an airline. ... read more»

(Photo: thisisbossi via flickr/CC Attribution)

Still haven't booked your Labor Day weekend getaway? Here are seven U.S. cities you can still get to for your end of summer libations. We checked TripAdvisor for the best hotel deals and average flight prices from Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. Disclaimer: Prices are not guaranteed and are an average calculation based on rates found 8/17/14 from LAX, Logan, JFK, and Dulles airports.

... read more»

Airplane Cabin with Side View of Seats (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

Hate your seat? AirrTrade lets you bargain for a better one ... read more»

London Telephone Booth in front of Big Ben (Photo: iStockPhoto/Jeremy Edwards)

Enter the Lucky Magazine "London Trip" sweepstakes by October 20, 2014, for a chance to win the grand prize: a three-night trip to London for two, including air, hotel, luggage set, and shopping sprees.

To enter, provide the requested information (name, address, email, etc.) on the sweepstakes landing page and press "Submit." Done! Time required to participate: less than 30 seconds. ... read more»

Surfer watches the sunset from the Pacific coast of Nicaragua (Photo: Ammon Cogdill/iStockphoto)

When you think of North Korea, do you picture a brutal dictatorship and years of depressing history, or do you imagine sun and surf? Apparently the controversial country is trying to reposition itself as a hot new tourism destination.

The Korean International Travel Company is now selling four night surfing tours to three resorts in North Koreas—and foreigners are welcome, according to Yahoo Travel.

The tours offer stays at three resorts on North Korea's east coast, and include visits to historical landmarks in the country's capital, Pyongyang. ... read more»

Automation is a growing trend in the hospitality industry. To an increasing extent, hotels are swapping human customer service providers with machines. There are self-service check-in kiosks, app-supplied virtual key cards, and, of course, the ubiquitous online hotel-booking platforms. At certain properties, it is entirely possible to complete a stay without ever having a face-to-face interaction with a person employed by the hotel.

Now, meet Botlr the robot butler. The innovative service robot is making its (his?) debut in the high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, naturally. Look for the trashcan-shaped apparatus zooming around the hallways of Aloft Cupertino, a Starwood property. Really, though, "zooming" is slight exaggeration: Botlr travels on little wheels at a human walking pace, and gets from floor to floor by elevator. He's cute, too. Botlr is outfitted in a vinyl butler uniform with bow tie and name tag. He's just like a person! ... read more»

Miles & Points (Photo: Shutterstock)

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly. ... read more»

Photo: PhotoDisc

When airlines are profitable, who should be the primary beneficiary of those profits: the travelers, whose contributions to the companies' coffers made the profits possible; or to the airlines' shareholders, who expect a return on their investments?

According to a BusinessWeek article published this week, carriers in the U.S. enjoy the highest profits (good for their share prices) and deliver the shoddiest service (bad for flyers). The article's headline says it all: "Where Do U.S. Airline Profits Go? Away From Travelers, Toward Investors." ... read more»

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