Woman Reading Map in Car (Photo: Thinkstock/Lifesize)

The 12 most sun-drenched beaches. The 15 destinations with the friendliest people. The best value-vacation spots for your dollar. Cities with the best pizza (or burger, or pastrami sandwich).

OK, fine. There's a place for all those places. But what about the 10 most dangerous U.S. cities? You know, must-visits for the truly adventurous traveler. Or, flipping that, must-not-visits for the danger-averse.

For them, the Law Street website has analyzed the latest FBI statistics and published its list of the "Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America."

According to the report, the most dangerous U.S. city with a population of more than 200,000 is... ... read more»

American Airlines aircraft tail (Photo: American Airlines)

Where the merger of AAdvantage and US Airways' Dividend Miles programs is concerned, American has proceeded in accord with the venerable marketing adage, "Under-promise and over-deliver."

Originally, American committed to consolidating the two programs "sometime in the 2nd quarter of 2015." That left them three months of wiggle room. Then, in early March, the target date was narrowed down to "next month," which would be sometime in April.

But today, an email update from AAdvantage pinned down the start date to a single day: "On March 28, we'll begin moving Dividend Miles members into the AAdvantage program. This transition to a single loyalty program will take several days."

So there it is. If all goes as planned, the conversion could be complete by April 1. ... read more»

(Photo: Rick Steves)

I'm all about traveling efficiently—and a great way to do that is by savoring local cuisine as you soak up the splendor of the place you came to see. While view restaurants often come with a steep price tag, I've learned to find scenic places to eat where the food is delicious, affordable, and memorable.

You might call taking in the view while you eat "killing two birds with one stone," but in Scandinavia, it's "killing two flies with one swat." This past summer, I "killed two flies" in the fascinating Swedish town of Kalmar, which has a wonderful beach at the edge of its Old Town on the Baltic Sea. On a hot summer day, I found a festive and happy slice of Swedish life, with views of the town's medieval castle, as well as of castles built of sand. With a snack-stand meal in hand, I walked to the end of a long pier to take in more views—plus some exuberant kid-leaping-into-water action. The combination Swedish beauty pageant/tattoo show on shore made for great lunchtime people-watching. ... read more»

Airplane: Flying Over Airport (Photo: Shutterstock/hxdyl)

Monday: "I'm going to start selling tickets between Europe and the United States for one pound (about $15)." Thursday: "No, I didn't mean it." Friday: "I still plan to do it." Ryanair's Michael O'Leary had an up-and-down press week. But the question he raised—about future low-fare transatlantic flights—remains a good one. Two players are currently in the game, both face barriers.


The active player is Norwegian, which flies from several U.S. points to Scandinavia and from Los Angeles or New York to London/Gatwick. Norwegian has several state-of-the-art 787s, with more on order, and it wants to expand in North America. But to do that, it wants to establish an affiliate or subsidiary company in Ireland, which participates in the EC open skies agreement with the U.S. and provides a more favorable business climate than Norway. ... read more»

When the snowbirds return from Florida to their northern homes, many rental cars do the same. As often in previous years, Avis/Budget, Hertz, and National are offering special one-way promotional rates, with no drop-off charge, for travelers who rent in Florida and return cars in the north.

Avis: Pick your car up April 1 through June 30 at "selected" Florida airport locations and drop it off at a company-owned location in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida (Pensacola), Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia. The base daily rate is $9.95 for an economy through full-size car, $19.95 per day for an SUV, and $24.95 for a minivan, with a maximum 14-day rental. Mandatory taxes, airport fees, and some "recoupment" fees and optional fees such as additional-driver fees are extra. On a one-week test booking from Miami Airport to Boston Logan Airport, the total bill amounted to a base rate of $69.65 plus mandatory fees and taxes of $73.37 for a total of $143.02. The Avis website automatically keyed in the promotional code of "S705900" for me, but be sure to enter it yourself if you don't see it. Sister company Budget has what appears to be the same deal. ... read more»

(Photo: Dominic Bonuccelli)

Enter the Budget Travel "European River Cruise" sweepstakes by April 17, 2015, for a chance to win the grand prize: an eight-day Europe river cruise for two, including two $500 vouchers to cover airfare, and meals.

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

If your flight is delayed, blame the airport, not the airline; that's the main takeaway from a detailed statistical analysis of DOT flight data conducted by Nate Sliver on FiveThirtyEight. The piece is exhaustive, explicit, and entertaining. Silver concludes that airports at both ends of a trip—not just airlines—are the most important factors in determining whether or not a flight will be late.

The most useful results of the analysis, for most of you, is to help decide two issues: If you're traveling to a destination with multiple airports, you should choose the airport least likely to delay you. If you have to connect somewhere, avoid hubs most prone to delays. Some airlines are better than others, but the differences are generally minimal.

... read more»

(Photo: Refuel)

What Is it: The Refuel Invictus, a case for your iPhone 6 that has a removable battery that adds an extra charge to your phone (and can be swapped out for fresh batteries).

... read more»

Vermont: Country Scenery-DD

With its idyllic setting, charming New England villages, and year-round outdoor activities, Vermont is the ideal spot for a romantic getaway. Here are our picks for the state's most romantic resorts and hotels—perfect for honeymoons, anniversaries, and other romantic occasions.

Green Mountain Inn

Nestled in the heart of Stowe Village, as in located directly on Main Street, the Green Mountain Inn has been entertaining guests and newlyweds for nearly 200 years.

The elegant resort sits within walking distance of a variety of shops, galleries, and eateries and is just a short drive to the slopes of Mt. Mansfield or a factory tour at Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream in Waterbury. The recently renovated rooms, which range from a cozy classic to a three-bedroom town home, offer everything you might need while away, including Vermont handcrafted furnishings, 300-count Egyptian cotton bedding, and fireside Jacuzzis (in certain rooms). ... 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.

As Planes Fly Full, the Price of Comfort Spikes

Finding air travel increasingly uncomfortable lately? A just-released report from the DOT confirms that load factors for U.S. airlines reached all-time highs in 2014.

Best Western's Customer Appreciation Falls Flat

For its fifteenth annual customer-appreciation week, Best Western is offering a thank-you bonus, although, as promotions go, it's barely worthy of the name. ... read more»

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