Travel & vacation planning tools, tips, destinations and ideas - – Rockford’s News Leader

8 easy ways to become an expert traveler


A veteran business traveler shares eight secrets he's learned over the years--from buying a Tom Bihn bag to carrying a spare battery.


3 unexpected (and easy) ways to cut travel costs

Most travel managers expect travel costs to rise in 2014, according to a recent survey from AirPlus International. Here's what you can do about it. More>>

Marseille, city by the sea

A new generation of chefs builds on the rich culinary legacy of the French port of Marseille. More>>

Vacation savings tips

Escaping from the confines of a cubicle or a classroom for a fun-filled vacation is something most people dream about. The good news is that you can enjoy your holiday without spending exorbitant amounts of money. More>>

9 ways to have better vacations

If you are going to take time off work for vacation, make sure to really do just that and enjoy yourself. Here are some tips to help you relax. More>>

7 things you can only get in Indianapolis

For some reason, sports in Indianapolis get all the attention. But instead of focusing on the Indy 500 or the Colts, we should start paying attention to the Midwestern capital city's food scene. Innovative chefs, a thriving craft beer scene, and milkshakes to die for -- these days, Indianapolis has a lot to offer. More>>

Finding a tomato in winter

A trip to Sarasota, Fla., means sunshine, beaches, and best of all, beautiful produce. More>>

The best hotel stays from 2013

From palatial luxury on the edge of the Arabian Sea in Oman, to a secluded women's writing residency on the Puget Sound, here are some favorite hotels, B&Bs, and the like from the last year. More>>

Luggage-lifting tips for safe travels

Carrying and lifting heavy luggage during the holidays can lead to neck, wrist, back and shoulder pain and injuries unless you take proper safety precautions, an orthopedic surgeon says. More>>

Lengthy car, plane rides pose risk of clots

Traveling long distances in cars and planes over the holidays could put you at risk for deep vein thrombosis -- potentially deadly blood clots in the deep veins of the lower legs and thighs, an expert says. More>>

Best road trips, coast to coast

Pack up and take your pick of these primo family-friendly routes.

FAA's new rules let you use gadgets during takeoff and landing

The days of being forced to turn off your gadgets before takeoff and landing will soon be a thing of the past. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced today that it will allow airlines to permit the use of most portable electronic devices during all portions of flights.

Guide to restaurants in Nebraska

Where to eat and stay in the Omaha area. More>>

Get spooked at historical haunted buildings

Every Halloween, some of the best opportunities for touring and staying in haunted houses arise, including historic homes with fascinating architectural and cultural histories. More>>

Family-friendly historical trips

Looking to plan a family vacation that is both entertaining and educational? Go historical.

My Spanish sanctuary

The first time I fell for the market in Cádiz it was because of the annealing sensuality of its produce and the friendship I found there. The second time I discovered an equally intense but more studious passion. More>>

Travel guide: Galilee, Israel

Where to stay, where to eat, and what to do during your visit.

4 best train trips in America

When you think about it, a family vacation by train is a no-brainer. The price is right, the scenery terrific, and everyone’s in a good mood.


Pack like a celebrity stylist

Check out this list of what all fashion fiends should include in their getaway suitcases this season. More>>

Top 12 vacation money savers

Whether you’re hopping in the car with the family for a weekend getaway or flying across the country, you can follow these simple tips to total vacation bliss. More>>

Travel guide to best travel apps

In the movies, you can get lost in the Luxembourg Gardens and encounter your soul mate. In real life, your face will be buried in a map too long to ever see him. What you need is a travel guide. More>>

Bright lights, safe cities

Americans who live in cities are less likely to die from accidental injuries than those who live in rural areas, a new study says. More>>

Honeymoon help 101

What's the best way to score honeymoon deals? Should you book a honeymoon package or plan excursions on your own? World-renowned travel planners answer these questions. More>>

Best beaches for families

Here are five sandy locations that offer something for everyone. More>>

Naples: Where to stay, and where to eat pizza

Check out these tips on where to visit in Naples, Italy.  More>>

Travel guide: Houston

Chef Chris Shepherd gives his take on what to eat, where to go, and what to do in his city, from family-run dim sum and BBQ joints to a pristine local farm. More>>

'Nonsmoking' hotel rooms may not fully protect guests

People who opt for nonsmoking rooms in hotels with a partial smoking ban are not fully protected from harmful exposure to so-called "thirdhand" smoke, according to a new study. More>>

7 bizarre Airbnb rentals that are almost too weird to believe

Weird accommodation options are part of Airbnb's charm, so we'd like to propose seven current listings that should be verified immediately. If these folks are offering what they say they're offering, we just might book a night or two. More>>

A dozen things to do in Maui

A dozen things to eat and see in Maui, from globally-influenced dining at Amasia to a hundred-year-old bakery and off-the-tourist-beat ramen. More>>

New Orleans: Eating in the Big Easy

The best dishes, grandest places, and most colorful culinary history. The heritage of Big Easy dining is alive, well, and thriving. More>>

A guide to the oyster regions of Virginia

Virginia is now once again a place that raises many happy oysters. More>>

10 tips to avoid vacation weight gain

After days of sampling every dish that your destination has to offer, it should come as no surprise when your jeans begin to feel tight. In order to avoid weight gain, try these 10 tips. More>>

Billionaire unveils plans for Titanic replica, can't promise it won't sink

Would you fancy sailing on the replica of a ship that 100 years earlier sank with the loss of more than 1500 lives? More>>

Why does traveling so often bring out the worst in people?

There's something about travel -- whether you're flying, driving or sailing -- that brings out the jerk in all of us. More>>

7 foods you can only get in Wisconsin

For one Madison, Wis., native, a visit home always evokes a sort of a happy anxiety—so much to eat, so little time. More>>

Travel etiquette: When reclining seats take away your space

I need to work on my laptop during a flight, he needs to lean his seat back. Where do we find the point of compromise and how do the airlines take part in the final decision? More>>

The great American road trip: Why rush through it?

Every now and then you'll see signs that say, 'What's your hurry?' which are nothing more than oblique warnings of an approaching speed trap. But should we read them another way? More>>

Have a healthy vacation

Here's how to keep the family healthy while you're away -- plus what to do if sickness does strike. More>>

Best cameras under $300

You don't need to take out a second mortgage for a DSLR to take great photos. Here are Digital Trends' favorite cameras that will do it for under $300. More>>

Can breastfeeding activists have it both ways on a plane?

One of the hot discussions this summer centered around the rights of mothers to nurse their babies on a plane. More>>

Whatever happened to enjoying the journey while traveling?

If you find yourself dreading the journey before you're able to enjoy the destination, perhaps it's time to stop accepting inadequate service from airlines, hotels and cruise lines. More>>

The truth behind airline codesharing

Frommer's reveals the truth behind some common myths about codesharing, or how airlines may deceive its passengers. More>>

How to actually have a vacation on vacation

Ever find yourself saying you need a vacation after your vacation? Here's how you can truly relax while you're away. More>>

Should children be banned from red-eye flights?

When it comes to red-eye flights, who has more rights -- the crying baby and the parents, or the tired passenger who desperately wants to sleep? More>>

New tipping traps to watch for

Travelers are often criticized for under-tipping, but what happens when travelers inadvertently over-tip? Beware of businesses that include gratuities on bills 'for your convenience.' More>>

What to pack for your summer getaway

Summer clothes are so lightweight and versatile, you won't even need to check a bag, whether you're spending a weekend at the beach or a week in Paris. More>>

Two people, one car and a 23-year, 500,000 mile journey around the world

This Mercedes Benz G-Wagen, affectionately named Otto, has carried Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine on an incredible 500,000 mile journey around the world. More>>

Do hotels charge for 'complimentary' items?

How can something that's complimentary end up costing you a few bucks? Leave it to some sneaky hotels to find a way. More>>

Is taking tech on vacation an intrusion or improvement?

From poolside smartphones to on-demand movies anywhere, technology has changed what it means to "get away from it all," for better and worse. More>>

Air travel gets even more absurd this summer

From difficult refund processes to bin-hogging passengers, this summer is poised to be another frustrating season for travelers. More>>

How to buy a camcorder

From palm-size pocket cams to full-fledged camcorders, here's how to choose a video camera that will work for you. More>>

How to turn your hotel keys into luggage tags Video included

Got a collection of plastic hotel room keys from your last vacation? Don't throw them away because they'll actually come in handy for your next trip. More>>

How to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa

If you want to see the famously faulty Italian tower, you're going to have to follow these rules very carefully. More>>

The best camping gadgets for technology lovers

Today's explorers want to stay connected even in the wilderness. And they can thanks to a wide range of products that let campers stay in touch with music, media content and more. More>>

Time travel with the family in Birmingham, England

In only four days, one family saw the 1400s, 1800s, mid-twentieth century and a glimpse of the future -- all without leaving the West Midlands. Here's how they did it. More>>

How to rent a villa in Tuscany

What you need to know before you trade in that urban hotel for a house in the Italian countryside. More>>

Cruise ship safety: What to expect in a muster drill

The tragedy aboard Costa Concordia has focused the spotlight on the cruise industry. Two experts offer their take on how to be prepared for onboard emergencies. More>>

Vacation travel advice for parents with young kids

Without question, traveling with young children over an extended period of time requires planning. Here are some tips to help you get over the river and through the woods without too much anxiety.

Airport X-ray body scanners banned in Europe over cancer risks

The controversial "backscatter" X-ray body scanners will no longer be used at European airports due to health risks associated with the technology. More>>

  • Recently Featured DestinationsMore>>

  • San Jose, Costa Rica

    San Jose, Costa Rica

    San José enjoys springlike temperatures year-round and its location in the Central Valley makes it both stunning and convenient as a base of exploration.More >>
    San José enjoys springlike temperatures year-round and its location in the Central Valley makes it both stunning and convenient as a base of exploration.More >>
  • Martha's Vineyard

    Martha's Vineyard

    New England sea captains' houses, ice cream shops, lighthouses and pristine beaches ... Martha's Vineyard is a picturesque island indeed.More >>
    New England sea captains' houses, ice cream shops, lighthouses and pristine beaches ... Martha's Vineyard is a picturesque island indeed.More >>
  • Cayman Islands

    Cayman Islands

    Ringed by coral reefs and pristine azure waters, the three islands that comprise the Cayman Islands are a marine paradise in the western Caribbean.More >>
    Ringed by coral reefs and pristine azure waters, the three islands that comprise the Cayman Islands are a marine paradise in the western Caribbean.More >>
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