5 ways to stay safe while traveling abroad that you haven’t considered yet

The US Government offers the free service STEP, or the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, for Americans who are traveling abroad. A free STEP enrollment means you connect with the nearest US embassy and enroll your trip with it. The embassy knows when you’ll be out of the country, which means it can contact you more easily if the area experiences any disasters, such as bad weather or civil unrest. Friends and family members can also contact you if an emergency occurs.

How To Enjoy Your International Flight

By Chris Owen What to expect on that flight from the United States to someplace across the pond for your first European cruise vacation. That’s really the focus of this post; to address the concerns of those who have not flown internationally, choosing the safe and convenient Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska or other close-by areas of the world instead.   Not that … Read more

Is a River Cruise for You? Ten Things to Know Before You Commit

By Wendy Perrin   A riverboat gliding along the Seine in Vernon, France. See more photos of Europe’s scenic waterways.   Remember how I took to three European rivers—the Rhine, the Danube, and the Seine—on three different ships last spring? You can now read the article I was on assignment to report: “The River Cruise Revolution,” just published in Condé Nast Traveler’s … Read more

Avid Cruiser & Son Cruising Crystal Serenity, Fit For A Teen?

The Avid Cruiser with Ralph Grizzle ralph.grizzle@gmail.com (Ralph Grizzle) My son and I leave Western North Carolina and our mountain bikes behind to travel to Turkey, where we will board the Crystal Serenity for a 12-day cruise from Istanbul to Monte Carlo. The journey doesn’t finish there for us, so stay tuned, as we spend a month traveling Europe. On … Read more

The Best Credit Card Companies for Overseas Travel

By: Odysseas Papadimitriou Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Card Hub Summer is the busiest season for Americans traveling abroad. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, over 26 million people, or nearly 30% of all annual international commercial passengers, departed on scheduled flights abroad during the summer months in 2010. With the economy continuing to recover, the positive growth in … Read more

The Truth About Airline Fuel Surcharges

Ed Perkins on Travel by Ed Perkins, SmarterTravel Staff I’ve seen all too many travel writers—who should know better—whining about the fuel surcharge horror. Have you heard something like this? “Fares are really high to Asia and Europe this year, plus you have to add around $400 in a fuel surcharge.” If you have, then you’re only getting half the … Read more

Travel Q&A: Exchanging dollars for euros

by Penny Walker The Arizona Republic Q: My wife and I are traveling to southern Italy. We are renting an apartment, and a portion of the payment needs to be in euros (cash). What is the least expensive way to exchange U.S. dollars to euros? – D.P.J., Scottsdale A: ATMs are usually the best bet. I like to get a … Read more

Oceania Cruises to offer overnight stays on every Europe voyage

By Gene Sloan, USA TODAY   MIAMI — Oceania Cruises today announced that every one of its sailing in Europe in 2012 will include an overnight stay in a port — a first for the company. “We’re a destination-oriented cruise line, and if you’re a destination-oriented cruise line, you should spend as much time in the destinations as possible,” Oceania … Read more

Ships sent to Europe forecast cruise industry future

by Chris Owen This week Norwegian Cruise Line announced that they were sending 4 ships to Europe in 2012 and 2013, their largest deployment ever. Norwegian joins some other cruise lines in a movement that started several years ago to redeploy ships to more profitable European waters. In 2008, USA Today reported “Europe is the hottest story in cruising these … Read more