Fear of Flying

We all love traveling and seeing new places, but there’s one part of travel that many of us don’t love: flying. For some,hy flying is simply a hassle, thanks to high fares, airport delays and lost luggage. But for other travelers, flying is more than inconvenient; it’s terrifying.

Fear of flying can be caused by a number of factors, including claustrophobia or a fear of heights. Many fearful fliers feel an irrational anxiety that their plane will malfunction and crash, no matter how many times they hear the statistics about how safe flying is compared to driving. Other travelers worry about terrorist hijackings or panic at the idea that they’re not in control of the aircraft that’s carrying them.

No matter why you’re afraid of flying, there are certain steps you can take to help alleviate your fears. Whether or not to fly is a personal decision, and one that we can’t make for you. But for those of you who are determined not to let this change your way of life, we offer a few tips on how to overcome fear of flying.


Scenic Autumn Drives in the Northeast

When the mercury drops and the air is crisp, say hello to sweaters, pumpkin pie and — of course — foliage. There’ser still plenty of time to plan a leaf-peeping trip or, if you prefer, read along and find out when the brilliant autumn colors will come to your area.

Our timeline is a general outline of when peak foliage is likely to arrive at your destination. There are many factors that can impact the leaves, such as a sudden drop in temperature or a violent storm that blows the leaves off the trees before they have a chance to fall. Our calendar is based on past leaf-peeping seasons, but you’ll want to check with the area’s tourism bureau (we’ve provided several useful links at the end of this article) for the most up-to-date foliage reports.

We’ve outlined a great drive for every part of the foliage season in the Northeast, from the most northern parts of Maine to southern Pennsylvania. Driving is the most popular way to view fall foliage, so keep in mind that you may hit traffic along some routes. As you plan your leaf-peeping trip, be sure

Foul Weather Travel

Imagine that your bags are packed for the getaway of your dreams. You’ve rearranged your schedule, canceled iomeetings and lost hours of sleep planning every detail of it. You arrive at the airport two hours early, proceed through security, almost unable to contain your vacation excitement. Then disaster strikes, in flashing letters on the arrival/departure screens: FLIGHT DELAYED. Or, even worse: FLIGHT CANCELED.

Inclement weather can affect air travel in any season, even on the clearest of days. Whether it’s high winds, rain, sleet or snow, each year brings a slew of delays that could severely cramp your travel plans. With some simple planning you can alleviate the frustration of last-minute itinerary changes and flight delays or cancellations so that a bad start (and bad weather) doesn’t ruin your trip.

Get Forecasts as Soon as Possible
Before you leave for travel of any kind, it’s always a good idea to check the forecasts for your departure and destination city. For complete weather information and forecasts for just about any destination on earth, visit Weather.com. You can find weather maps, storm watch information and even seasonal travel information, like foliage and

5 Simple Ways to Make the Most of Your Vacation

There’s a smartphone app that generates a map of the nearest public bathrooms when you’re desperate for a place to squat. There are countless travel review sites offering first-hand critiques of anything with a front desk and a bed. There’s even a Web site dedicated to globetrotting canines, DogFriendly.com, that features dog-focused travel guides and a compendium of canine beach etiquette.

In today’s world of information overload and species-specific travel tips, it’s easy to forget about the most fundamental (and free) means of improving our travel experiences. You don’t need a smartphone or a computer to positively change the way you travel. Below are five refreshingly simple ways to make the most of your trip — easy tips for pulling off a more enjoyable, less stressful vacation.

1. Slow down.
A surefire way to turn any vacation into an epic wreck is by crafting an itinerary with too many activities — or by not making an itinerary at all and simply expecting to see and do way more than your two-night weekend getaway can handle. Expectations set too high are bound to cause disappointment. The solution? Always make an itinerary (discover clever tips in How to Create the Perfect

Top 10 Reasons to Travel by Train

Taking the train has long been popular in Europe — it’s almost considered a rite of passage for young backpackers. But while trains have been under-appreciated in the U.S., they’re gaining popularity here as well. Amtrak ferried 31.6 million passengers around the country in its last fiscal year, an all-time record for the railroad. With the economy still slumping, train travel is looking increasingly attractive to budget-conscious travelers. Plus, a scenic train ride can even be a vacation in itself. Need more reasons to take the train? You’ve come to the right place.

1. Money Savings

Trains are an increasingly cost-effective alternative to planes, particularly if you’re going a relatively short distance or if you’re traveling in the busy Northeast Corridor, where train service is fast and frequent.

While some rates are quite competitive ($104 on the train vs. $108 by plane between New York and Boston in a recent search), you’ll sometimes see dramatic fare differences. For instance, we found a $134 roundtrip fare on Amtrak between New York and Montreal, as compared to $294 for the cheapest roundtrip airfare. The train ride will be longer than the corresponding flight, but for travelers

Six Lies Your Hotel Might Tell You

Ever been hoodwinked by a hotel? Maybe you booked a stay on the strength of its beautiful website, showing photos of sumptuous rooms and promising a location within walking distance of a major museum — only to arrive and realize that your digs were the size of a closet and “walking distance” was a 25-block schlep.

To be fair, most hotels don’t tell outright lies; instead, they use purposely vague phrasing, lies of omission, “marketing speak” and clever camera angles that lead you to believe their properties are offering more than they actually are. Buyer beware! Below are six common ways that hotels often mislead potential guests.

Breakfast Included

In a quick IndependentTraveler.com staff poll, nothing drew more ire than hotels misleading us on the quality of their breakfast. Sure, it’s great when the most important meal of the day is included for free, but that’s not saying much when the offering is nothing more than stale coffee, a couple of Lipton tea bags and a piddly selection of prewrapped Danishes. When we see the words “continental breakfast,” we’re not expecting omelets and fluffy pancakes — but can’t we at least get a few

Travel Warnings and Advisories

These days, you’re probably not planning a trip to Iraq or Afghanistan — the United States and other developed nations are currently advising citizens against all non-essential travel to these countries. But a government travel warning doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad idea to plan a trip to a particular part of the world. In fact, within the past few years the governments of the U.S., Canada and the U.K. have also released warnings about the following countries: Thailand, Mexico, China, India and the United States.

All of these are popular tourist destinations (if not home!). But before you decide to avoid these countries altogether — or to move to Canada — it’s worth taking a closer look at what a government’s travel advisories mean, why they’re released and how to evaluate them.

About Travel Warnings

Governments issue warnings to let their citizens know about safety concerns that may affect travel to a particular country or region. In the United States, warnings are issued by the State Department.

Travel advisories are released for a variety of reasons, including terrorism, natural disasters, political unrest, wars, health emergencies and outbreaks of crime. Warnings may

Travel Guide 24 Hours in Rome

Rome is a pretty compact city so you naturally come upon many of the famous sites just walking around.

This stylish city is a wonderful juxtaposition of ancient and modern, and with so much to see follow our guide to get the most out of Italian capital.

Must Visit

Even if you’re not interested in the religious heritage, a visit to The Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica is still worthwhile because it has artworks and sculptures collected by various popes over the centuries and the wonderful Sistine Chapel, painted ceiling by Michelangelo.

St Peter’s Basilica is home to Michelangelo’s breathtaking sculpture ‘Pieta’ and the tomb of St Peter. You can go down to the catacombs and see more of it (if you are interested in catacombs head right out of the walled part of Rome and marvel at La Catacomba di San Callisto and San Sebastian on the Via Appia Antica).

Outside St. Peter’s Square, the obelisk in the centre dates from 13th-century-BC Egypt and was brought to Rome in the 1st century to stand in Nero’s Circus nearby. Take time to check out the monumental colonnade surrounding the square and admire