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Budget Travel
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sir Francis Drake Hotel, San Francisco, Calif.
You don't have to spend a fortune to stay in San Francisco or other cities around the world; you just have to know where to look. Here's a selection of properties that offer a reasonably priced place to lay your head—plus useful booking advice.

Discount airline Southwest has introduced a new Business Select fare that is $10 to $30 higher each way than its usual refundable fares but comes with a guarantee that the buyer will be among the first to board the plane. Frequent fliers will also get to jump to the front of the line. Your chances of getting to board first have dropped dramatically—unless you buy this higher fare or you're a frequent flier. read post
Now What?
When tour operators such as Traveland implode, their customers get burned. Here's what to do if… read more
Few people get to travel all the time, so we're pooling our knowledge: We ask you a question, you share your advice, and then we spotlight the most helpful tips in a future magazine issue. This week's question is: "My friends and I will be spending New Year's in New Orleans. For most of us, it'll be our first time in Louisiana. We'd like to explore the area while still being respectful. Can you recommend any swamp or plantation tours? What are some great local restaurants? Do we need to rent a car the entire time?" —Amy Chen, Assistant Editor submit a tip

Previous Questions:
Richard Havers and Chris Tiffney
On Tuesday, November 13, at noon (ET), Richard Havers and Chris Tiffney, coauthors of Airline Confidential: Lifting the Lid on the Airline Industry, will share some hilarious, ghastly, and amazing stories—and answer your questions about what goes on behind the scenes on airplanes. Submit a question now

Transcripts of Recent Trip Coach Chats:
The Western Wall in Jerusalem
Round-trip airfare, an escorted tour of the historic, religious, and cultural landmarks of Tel Aviv, Galilee, and Jerusalem, train travel, and seven nights' accommodations from $1,199. Budget Travel readers get a $100 discount! why it's a deal
A sampling of football-themed hotel packages in Boston, New Orleans, New York, and San Diego. why they're a deal
Kitchen Casanova
Swing Ernie is a curvaceous, heart-stamped sponge that seems to be romantically involved with a hedgehog. In commercials, the two dance and roll around on a countertop to Paul Anka's "Put Your Head On My Shoulder." Why use sex to sell a sponge? "It's very French," laughs Spontex's marketing manager. Sold for $4 or so across France. read more
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