Skopelos, Greece (Photo: Thinkstock/Hemera)

Airfare has been killing us recently. Fuel prices may be plummeting, but that simply means more cash for airlines, rather than more savings for passengers. So unless consumer demand drops (which we don't expect anytime soon), flying just about anywhere in the world will remain a costly affair. But that doesn't mean you should put off your travel plans. Instead, we suggest grinning and bearing it and ponying up for the flight—but choosing a destination that's cheap once you're there.

We found six spots around the globe—from Europe to Asia, from the Caribbean to Central America—that may be expensive to reach, but upon arrival, everything from food to activities to accommodations is incredibly affordable. You can even budget in an hour-long massage (at just $15!) every day—seriously.

And we also suggest not booking a return flight, because you just may get so accustomed to this affordable lifestyle, you won't want to leave. ... read more»

United New Plane (Photo: United Airlines)

Beginning on June 1, coach-class travelers on United's international flights will enjoy an amenity that disappeared on most United flights more than a decade ago: free beer and wine. ... read more»

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. already encompasses nine separate brands, accounting for more than 1,200 individual hotels, in 100 countries.

That's big. But in an industry where bigger is better, it's just mid-pack size-wise. Marriott, Hilton, InterContinental, and Best Western all have around 4,000 properties in their networks. Wyndham and Choice have even more.

So it's no surprise that Starwood today launched its tenth brand, Tribute Portfolio. ... read more»

Hotel: Key Handed to Guest (Photo: Shutterstock/.shock)

In its latest Hotel Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report, J.D. Power reports that travelers are happier with their frequent-stay programs than they were in 2014. On its 1,000-point scale, overall ratings increased from 676 in last year's report to 701 this year. ... read more»

Airplane: Airplane Wheel, Wing (Photo: Shutterstock/Jaromir Chalabala)

One of the keys to Southwest's success has been its core value proposition: a pretty comfortable seat for a pretty good price. Maybe not the most comfortable seat or the very lowest price, but a pretty good combination of the two.

So the airline's announcement at yesterday's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, of its plans for future seat orders generated considerable interest. ... read more»

In the great airfare arms race between airlines and consumers, there have been countless innovations aimed at getting either the best deal possible, if you're a traveler; or the most revenue possible, if you're an airline. For most consumers, it feels like the airlines usually come out ahead, and this drives intelligent people to explore and eventually market clever new ways of finding the ever-elusive "best deal."

The newest of these techy airfare workarounds comes from a company called SaferVPN, and its proposal is simple: Airlines sometimes have different fares in different countries, so you can save money if you trick the booking engine into thinking you're in, say, Guatemala instead of Georgia. SaferVPN is not shy about the potential results—it boasts savings of $475 on one route using its "simple trick." ... read more»

Hotel room door slightly open (Photo: iStockphoto/MBCheatham)

The headline of the latest press release from InterContinental touts "Enhancements to Its Award Winning Loyalty Program - IHG Rewards Club." Indeed, there are some changes that qualify as enhancements.

For many IHG Rewards members, however, the bigger story is anything but an enhancement: "To enable IHG to reward our guests who stay with us most often, starting from May 2016, IHG will expire all points for IHG Rewards Club Members if they have not earned or redeemed any points at all in the previous 12 months." ... read more»

While most travelers to Greece head for the islands, I head for the hills—the mountains and valleys of the Peloponnese. Attached to the rest of Greece by a thin isthmus, this rugged land has always seemed isolated from the rest of the country. And while it holds some of Greece's greatest ancient monuments—such as Olympia or Mycenae—there's a lot more to this region.

I particularly love the Mani Peninsula—the southern tip of the Peloponnese—empty and wild like a landscape in a Hollywood western. Once struggling with pirates and brigands, today the Mani is a peaceful land of rustic villages and untrammeled beaches. Many Mani towns feature sumptuous, old, fresco-slathered churches—pockets of brightness in this otherwise parched land. ... read more»

What Is it: A silk sleep sack from Grand Trunk.

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Photo: Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau

Enter the Grand Wailea "Grand Refresh" sweepstakes by June 23, 2015, for a chance to win the grand prize: a four night trip for four to Maui, including airfare, hotel, tours, activities, and dinners nightly.

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»

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