Dreaded fees come to vacation rentals

Don’t look now, but vacation rental companies are piling on the fees, many of them pure junk. Among the most common: booking fees, change fees, cleaning fees, hot tub fees, parking fees, reservation fees and — everyone’s favorite — amorphous “convenience” fees.

What to do when you get dumped by your travel company

Barry Shiller’s vacation rental owner got a better offer just before he checked in. And suddenly, his family had no place to stay for their theme park vacation this spring. He’d booked a house in Orlando through, a vacation rental Web site. But a few weeks before the family was supposed to check in, […]

The incredible but true story of how hotels became vacation-rentalized

Want a hotel that feels like home? So did Kristin Stallings when she recently looked for accommodations in Florida to celebrate her wedding anniversary. A small, pricey room, where everything felt “smashed together,” wasn’t at the top of her list, says Stallings, a loan risk analyst from Houston. “I remembered how much I dislike middle-of-the-night […]

Six tips from Ansel Adams for making your travel photos

Ansel Adams, the great American photographer and environmentalist, died more than 30 years ago; however, people viewing his work for the first time or even for the thousandth time still are wowed, often blown away by his images. While known for his amazing landscape photographs, he was also a major innovator of systems and techniques. […]

Don’t make financial mistakes which can ruin your vacation, part 2

With summer vacations not far away, many are actively investigating new vacation plans, while other are finalizing the details for their upcoming travels. Last week, I spoke about a number of important measures for vacationers to employ to help ensure that once home, the great memories of their vacation aren’t ruined by financial blunders made […]

Don’t make financial mistakes which can ruin your vacation, part 1

April arrives later this week. Summer vacations start just a few months from now. Many are actively investigating summer vacation plans, while others are finalizing their travel plans. There are, of course, many ways to lower one’s costs of vacation and increase their enjoyment too, but there are also many important measures vacationers can and […]

Would you give up sex for more vacation days? What about chocolate, TV or coffee?

Eighty percent of Americans said that vacations make them happier than marriages (and weddings), religion, cats and birthdays. Eighty-two percent of Americans get more pleasure out of vacations than possessions, and 94 percent would give up at least one of life’s “prized possessions,” including alcohol, video games, chocolate and favorite clothing for an entire week, in return for a single extra vacation day.