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This story originally appeared on Yahoo! Travel.

Women now make up nearly half of all business travelers in the United States and abroad, and most of them are solo travelers. So it's no surprise that in recent years, more hotels have been clamoring to offer services catering to women's needs and preferences.

While some road warriors applaud the extra touches—from smaller slippers and padded hangers to entire floors set aside for female guests (complete with female staff)—there are others who take offense to the notion of women receiving different treatment (especially when it comes to the mildly patronizing touches of floral decor or the latest issue of Cosmopolitan). Some might also argue that prohibiting men from certain rooms or services is flat-out discriminatory or that it might open the door for other forms of separate treatment—after all, men-only floors would generate a lot of controversy. ... read more»

(Photo: Comfy Commuter)

What Is it: The Comfy Commuter Travel and Neck Pillow.

Price and Where to Buy: At the time of publication, the pillow was on sale on Amazon and The Comfy Commuter website for $39.99.

... read more»

You choose a hotel because it advertises free Wi-Fi. But when you log on, you find the connection is agonizingly slow.

"Aha," says the hotel. "You want high-speed, we'll give you high-speed—for just $15 a day more."

That's the newest hotel-fee scam. I've heard more and more reports of hotels offering free, yet painfully slow Wi-Fi, then charging guests to upgrade to a more practical Wi-Fi speed. So far, I haven't seen any published statistics on the number of hotels that are doing it, which hotels do it, and how much they charge. ... read more»

Hotel Safe (Photo: iStockPhoto.com/Jaap Hart)

It isn't your imagination: Hotel prices really are rising.

Hotels.com has just released its Hotel Pricing Index for the first six months of 2014. Among the findings:

  • Average hotel prices worldwide rose 4 percent during the first half of 2014.
  • The Hotel Price Index for North America reached 118, just one point off its all-time high of 119 set in the first half of 2007.
  • Average prices in the U.S. rose 5 percent, to $137 per night.
  • Prices rose in 47 of the 50 most popular U.S. cities (exceptions: Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, Reno).

Following are the average first-half rates and year-over-year changes in the 10 most popular U.S. cities ... read more»

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

We know—you don't even want to think about the holidays while your summer tan (or sunburn!) is still lingering. Unfortunately, now is exactly when you need to start figuring out your plans for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, unless you want to be left out in the cold when it comes to the best flights at the cheapest prices. Here's what you need to know about booking holiday travel this year. ... read more»

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

By the time you're on the sunrise side of a red-eye flight, you've got a night's worth of recirculated air and polyester seat sweat on your skin. Whether you're traveling for pleasure or business, you probably don't want to carry around the lingering sleep/airplane smell for an entire day. So what's a traveler to do? Find a shower so you can kick off Day One at your destination right.

At the Airport

Airline Lounges: Some airline lounges have showers. Even if you don't have membership in the airline's lounge program, you can still get a day pass and use the facilities. Added bonus: You can usually get a rejuvenating breakfast (or at least some coffee) before you head out.

Airport Showers: Some airports have showers available to passengers for a few dollars. San Francisco International and London Heathrow are among the airports that have non-airline-lounge showers available to passengers for a fee. Non-airline-affiliated lounges such as Plaza Premium Lounge and Airspace Lounge also often have showers.

Near the Airport ... read more»

(Photo: Eagle Creek)

What is It: Eagle Creek Adventure Pop Top Carry-On

Price and Where to Buy: $235, available on EagleCreek.com

Two bags in one, the EC Adventure Pop Top Carry-On converts with a few zips from an under-seat wheeled tote to a larger, overhead bin carry-on.  

Pros: With two main compartments and a series of smaller mesh and zippered pockets, organization and quick access is built in. It’s easy to convert from an underseat wheeled tote to a larger carry-on, and it has a back-slip panel so it can be stacked onto a wheeled suitcase. The wheel placement makes the bag virtually unflippable while it’s rolling, a quality I tested extensively on the broken sidewalks of Boston. The lower external pocket has an organizer built in, making it a true carry-on alternative to a purse or man bag. And at 5 pounds 11 ounces, it’s fairly lightweight. ... read more»

(Photo: Otterbox)

What Is it: The OtterBox Resurgence Power Case and Alpha Glass Screen Protector.

Price and Where to Buy: $99.95 for the power case and $29.95 for the screen protector on OtterBox's website.

... read more»

(Photo: Migle Seikyte via flickr/CC Attribution)

As soon as your local coffee shop starts advertising its pumpkin-spice latte and cider donuts, you know you've reached the end of ice cream sandwiches and boardwalk fried glory. But, along with the crisp fall weather comes incredible fall flavor. We've rounded up the best all-American culinary festivals around the country, so no matter where you live, you can get to at least one of these foodie-filled havens. ... read more»

(Photo: Rick Steves)

I love France—it is one of Europe's most diverse, tasty, and exciting countries. It brims with the good life and a special appreciation for culture, music, art, food, and wine.

But Americans can feel pretty dowdy when confronted with the casual sophistication of the French, who are matchless when it comes to just about anything suave and urbane. In my early days of touring France, I used to worry about being a cultural bumpkin—but now I embrace it. After all, I travel to learn.

Take cheese, for example, which I used to think of as a yellow square wrapped in plastic. It was daunting when I first faced a French cheese course—even more so when it was offered as dessert and arrived on a chariot de fromages (cheese cart). But that cheese board—on which every gooey, stinky, and moldy product was the happy creation of a local artisan—was my invitation into l'art de vivreI—the art of living. ... read more»

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