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Who hasn't fantasized about experiencing Carnival in Rio? Marching bands and samba dancers. Elaborate floats accessorized by scantily clad hotties. Endless nights of dancing at balls and parties. Luckily, I've found some deals that can make these dreams come true -- and for less money than you might have imagined.
If you'd rather be slurping spaghetti and sipping red wide than tucking into turkey at Thanksgiving, there are still some deals available for the holiday season in Italy. Can't imagine Thanksgiving without football? There are some additional dates in fall and winter as well.
When you're busy doing big-picture trip planning like buying tickets, arranging for a house sitter, making hotel reservations, and packing, it's easy to let other things slide. While health and cultural sensitivity issues pertaining to your destination are hardly trivial, you may not have time to address them.
Although the term Persian Gulf is more likely to evoke images of Desert Storm than tourists frolicking on beaches, in fact there is a growing travel industry in many parts of this region. With stunning beaches, deserts, historic attractions, legendary duty-free shopping, and world-class hotels, a vacation in the Gulf States can be wonderful, eye-opening experience.
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Reader's Voice
From Melissa Noonan: "I'm beginning to plan a trip to Ireland with my 81 year old grandmother. Due to her age and decreased mobility it is much easier for her to unpack once and stay in one location, at least for one week. I am considering adding a few days on either side of that week for B & B stops. I have been to Ireland before (driven the whole circumference) and that is adding to my dilemma of where to base us for the week. The biggest issue for me is to find a place where we will have great day trips for a week."
From L Thayer: "I would like to recommend a wonderful apartment B&B in Venice called Gli Angeli. The proprietor, Sonia, has two apartments to rent. Ours was a two-bedroom with kitchen and spiral staircase down to a large (for Venice) yard. This wonderful apartment is near Campo Tana, a 10 to 15 minute walk along the water to Piazza San Marco and is near the Arsenale. This was the most amazing and best lodging of our 31-day trip to Europe. The website is: http://www.realvenice.it/gliangeli/index.htm."
From DIGGSCROSBY: "We arrive Bangkok at the end of October and, being retired people over 60, want to travel independently as much as possible but using air or sleeper trains to go from country to country. Does anyone have experience with an itinerary that includes Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia? Any ideas about the trip (twenty days) will be very gratefully received. It is our first trip to S.E.Asia. Diggs"
From Chet McQuaide: "This October my wife and I will have a few days in France following a conference in Bordeaux. We'd love to visit the Lauguedoc and/or Provence regions to see the Mediterranean (Collioure?) and/or Roman Ruins (Pont du Gard?). Based on the RailEurope site, TGV connections seem difficult/complex. What advice can you offer about booking economic domestic flights to smaller cities in Languedoc or Provence. Is it possible to make reservations/ticketing in advance of our trip?"
From smiller: "We will be traveling to Costa Rica over the winter holidays. We plan on driving from San Jose to Arenal and we would also like to see Monteverde. Should we use Arenal as our home base for exploring Monteverde, possibly taking a day trip via the boat, OR, should we plan on spending a night or two in the Monteverde area? I'm not excited about the drive from Arenal to Monteverde from what I've read. Thanks!"
 
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