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Greetings fellow travelers and welcome to this week’s Carnival of Cities. I’m happy to be your host as we jet around the world following tales of tapioca, tumbling and taxidermy. Intrigued? Read on . . .

New York City, NY, USA: Sascha Zuger from Travel Savvy Mom scoops a great hotel package, describes her run-in with Sesame Street’s Gordon and highlights the Kids’ Night on Broadway offer in her post Broadway, Baby!

Rome, Italy: speaking of perfect hotels, Mara at Mother of All Trips has identified a real winner for young families near the Coliseum in her post Mondays Are for Dreaming: Hotel Lancelot.

Naples, Italy: Karen Landes is blogging at WhyGo Italy on the shades of life on display when slicing Naples in two in the post Spaccanapoli: Naples’ Historic Main Street.

Washington, DC, USA: Jon at The DC Traveler gives us a peek at the folks folding themselves in half and risking their lives nightly for our enjoyment when he goes Backstage at Cirque du Soleil KOOZA.

San Francisco, CA, USA: DFernandez takes us along on a twisty insider tour of his favorite tourist spots in The (Crooked) Road Not Taken at You’re So City.

London, UK: Caitlin at Roaming Tales is serving up top tips for London’s East End — not the least of which is where you may spot folk-dancing squirrels selling high-end clothes . . . Check out her post A Stroll through London’s Quirky East End for directions, or simply let your badger on a leash lead the way!

Prescott, AZ, USA: Granny J takes in an impressive number of public scupltures in Prescott’s Heroic Bronzes at Walking Prescott.

Dublin, Ireland: A detail on the airport wall caught the eye of Fin Keegan in the post Bitter in the End.

Dresden, Germany: You’d have to be blind to miss the detail on the tiled wall called the Procession of Princes in my post Saturday Photo Friday #4 here at Less Than a Shoestring.

Bangkok, Thailand: The news about hundreds of air passengers stranded as rebels seize the airport putting your Thai travel plans on hold? Conan Stevens serves up a perspective on the impact of the foreign spender in Is Thailand Safe to Travel in Now?

Shanghai, China: Our benevolent leader Sheila Scarborough gives us the scoop on a bubble tea chain discovered in China which has a branch in — no joke — Albuquerque in the post Stop into China’s rbt for Tea and Juice Drinks at the Family Travellogue.

Mexico City, Mexico: Gilocafe has a video to share from their visit to Teotihuacan Pyramids: Mexico City, Mexico.

Kanyakumari, India: Maneesh of Admirable India shares his photos from two museum visits in the post Trip to Kanyakumari: Chapter 2: Wandering Monk Exhibition, Kanyakumari and Government Museum, Kanyakumari: Part 1.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Jason Sarracini of Trip Quips gives a quick resort tip for a stay on the island.

That concludes this week’s Carnival — the next Carnival of Cities will be hosted by the friendly folks at UpTake. Submit your (one, non-spammy) blog post about any aspect of ONE city to the next edition before next Tuesday using the carnival submission form. If you like these posts, try browsing the extensive Carnival of Cities archives.

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Shoestring reader and friend of the blog James D., currently of the Big Apple, took a trip to Montreal this summer and had the following tips for fellow no-budget travelers:

+ Getting There: if you have time, take the train from NYC. Yes, it is a long ride, but it is a beautiful one, and the best part is the train station is right in the middle of downtown. The airport is about 30 minutes outside of the city.

+ Getting Around: like NYC, the city is on a grid, making traveling around really straightforward. The Metro is fast, cheap and easy to navigate.

+ A City of Green Neighborhoods: during the days, I explored the city on foot. A great hike is up the Mountain (Parc du Mont-Royal). This was an all day hike, up and around. There are breathtaking views of the city and there were a lot of people picnicking up there.

The sightly less trendy part of the city is the Plateau. This is north of Parc la Fontaine, another wonderful park in the city. Down the hill from the park (down rue Amherst) is a nice little market that is a great place to pick up a snack for lunch.

For the historic charms of the city, head to Vieux Montreal — the Old City (think European cobblestone streets). Here you’ll find lots of museums and a nice walk along the water. Wandering around the back streets, I found a small store with a sandwich and drink combo for under $5.

The last day I walked over to one of the islands in the St. Lawrence River, Parc Jean-Drapeau. The home of the Biosphere and the Olympic Fields, you can beat the crowds by getting lost instead in the surrounding woody area.

+ Free (and Useful!) Brochures: the two best things I picked up were totally free: the first was the official tourist guide to the city. I saw stacks of these in every hotel and B&B. It has some small maps and lots of historical information about the different areas of the city and some of the more touristy things to do. It is paid for by advertisers, so I was wary of the food recommendations. The second was a free city map. This was large, but even the locals had them, so you don’t stand out holding one.

+ Practice that French: while a lot of people do speak English, a little bit of French will go far. If you get lost, it is faster to start off in broken French and the person will do their best to help you out.

+ Bring your Own: the main street in Montreal is Ste. Catherine. It is great during the summer since the majority of it is closed off and becomes pedestrian-only. However, like all downtown areas, it is the most expensive part of the city for food. I went there almost every night with a coffee and sat in one of the many little parks just to watch the city go by.

+ More Cheap Entertainment: Montreal also has a great bar culture, with many no-cover shows: jazz, rock-a-billy, etc.

+ When to Visit: every weekend during the summer, the city comes alive with festivals and parades. During the Jazz Fest you’ll find numerous free concerts all day long. Another festival I caught while visiting was Gale-rue d’Art, an art street festival.

+ Where to Stay: Montreal is filled with B&Bs. The one I stayed at fed me tons of food and allowed me to do laundry there. The manager also gave me suggestions on things to do every day. Talk to locals! Plus, if it is a good B&B, they will feed you enough for two meals.

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If you’re new to Less Than a Shoestring, please take some time and have a poke around! I welcome your questions and comments on the site. This blog shows that travel can indeed be both pleasurable and frugal. Because I live in Europe, you’ll find loads of information on European no-budget travel — but in keeping with This Just In’s post and for your ease, I’ve put together below a collection of my U.S. tips and bargains.

Once a month, the Travel on a Shoestring Carnival turns its focus to the Americas. You’ll find lots of great tips from around the blogosphere collected in the following posts:

Every Friday, the blog features a travel freebie. Some timeless classics for U.S. staycationers and backyard travelers:

Not free, but cheap activities include:

For those traveling a bit further afield, take a look at the posts:

If you’ll be driving to your destination, you’ll want to read:

Before flying, from the wild and wooly world of U.S. airline travel:

Changes U.S. travelers and visitors should know about:

See the no-budget traveler take on the New York Times’ “Frugal Traveler” in the posts:

If you like what you see, subscribe to the RSS feed and have the latest no-budget travel tips delivered to you! It takes just a second to set up, ensuring you never miss a single post.

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Carnival of Cities logoWelcome travelers!  I’m happy to be hosting the Carnival of Cities this week.  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you should appreciate the variety of locations included in this weekly carnival; if you’re a follower of the carnival, welcome to my blog on no-budget travel and feel free to poke around!

Now, without further ado . . .

If planning a weekend trip to Canada, you’ll want to stop by Go Green Travel Green‘s post Vancouver in 2 (Eco-Friendly) Days at Go Green Travel Green.

Heading south to California with Fido? Nancy Brown presents Upscale and Affordable Dog-Friendly Lodging in Mendocino County posted at What a Trip, saying, “Welcome to my new website! Less Than a Shoestring readers will appreciate the budget minded and dog friendly Fort Bragg recommendations, as well as the insider tip on a FREE off leash dog beach in Mendocino County.”

Another California destination — Half Moon Bay, to be exact — is presented by the baglady in Expensive cars are unnecessary for a good time – The Baglady’s 1st Anniversary Trip posted at xynny.

Looking for a cheap hotel in Chicago?  You can’t believe everything you read on the internet says Neil in B.Y.O.F. posted at Your Mileage May Vary, saying, “Some shoestrings are stringier than others…”

Hopping the Atlantic to Europe, I’ve got a post on what to see on a quick layover in Berlin in my post Two Hours in . . . Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Part II here at Less Than a Shoestring.

A train ride eastward brings us to Caitlin Fitzsimmons’ Photo Friday: Jewish Krakow posted at Roaming Tales, saying, “The Jewish quarter in Krakow still persists but it’s a shadow of its pre-World War II self. The Jewish Cemetery is a poignant reminder of what’s lost.”

Down on the Mediterranean, Jason Green presents The other side of Croatia – Pula « Europe a la Carte Blog posted at Europe A La Carte Blog, saying, “The Croatian city of Pula has beautiful beaches, a Roman arena and excellent seafood.”

Flying on to the subcontinent, AdmirableIndia.com presents Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore: Part 1: Ancient Watch Tower and Organic Cultivation posted at AdmirableIndia.com.

Closing ceremonies this week in Beijing make Wendy’s post on City Icons: Beijing China at Escape From New York the fitting end to this carnival edition! 

Thanks for visiting and submitting!  You can easily get in on the next edition of Carnival of Cities by using the handy-dandy carnival submission form.  See you next week at the newly rebranded Family Travel Logue!

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Welcome to the sixth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for Asia, Oz. Here you’ll find Asian, Australian, New Zealand and Oceania travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Photographic inspiration this week from Nancie McKinnon, another fabulous image courtesy of Intelligent Travel’s Global Eye. You can read more about Nancie’s stay in a South Korean Buddhist temple here.

Intelligent Travel‘s got quite a few recent posts worth a gander:

If you are heading to the Olympics (or just flying into Beijing anytime soon), David Feng of CNReviews has written a great post to familiarize you with your transportation options called Beijing Capital International Airport Express(way) Guide (PEK). His extensive guide to getting around the city by underground avec color map can be found at Beijing Subway Guide: Map, Stations and Colors.

Beijing is the latest city to join the bicycle-rental trend — if you’re not afraid of traffic and thousands of other bicyclists, try Donald Morrison‘s Beijing on Two Wheels, posted at IHT Globespotters Blog.

Also at IHT, Joyce Hor-Chung Lau has just the thing for a sunny Hong Kong day in her post It’s Hong Kong beach season!

If it’s rather Australia you’re headed for, Vera Lang advises saving money and enjoying nature in her post Bushwalking in South Australia posted at Travel Trip Vacation. “South Australia offers amazing diversity and breathtaking beauty in every direction … and it does not come cheaper than walking.”

Onward to India, Anand Giridharadas of the IHT Globespotters Blog presents his advice on How to Behave Like a Local in Mumbai. My favorite tip, especially for business travelers, is his #9:

To save time and whiz through a meeting, specify in advance that coffee-tea service not be done. To extend the meeting for hours, on the other hand, keep asking for tea and coffee at regular intervals. If you really want to create an awkward situation, wait until everyone is about to leave the meeting and then call for tea and coffee and some “snacks,” which usually will mean something fried and time-consuming.

Maneesh at AdmirableIndia.com presents Bangalore to Mysore on Bike: Day 1: Part 2: Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Brindavan gardens and Krishnarajasagara or KRS dam.

You’ll find other advice on traveling in Karnataka in J‘s posts on Chikmagalur, Srirangapatna and his Trip to Dharmasthala, Kukke Subrahmanya and Mangalore.

Wrapping up this week, nomad4ever Chris drags his broken motorscooter across an “unspoiled” Indonesian island near Bali in Around Lombok in 4 days – if you are insane enough.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Submit your blog article (or encourage your favorite travel bloggers to submit) to the next edition of Travel on a Shoestring: Asia, Oz using the carnival submission form. Next week this time we travel to South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Antartica. You can still submit your posts to that carnival till Wednesday.

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Welcome to the sixth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for the Americas. Here you’ll find North American, Central American and Caribbean travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Photographic inspiration this week comes from Ralph Grunewald via Intelligent Travel’s Global Eye feature. You can read the details of his photo from the Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin here.

Kicking us off this week is Alistair Wearmouth at Away.com Family Travel Blog, giving us a rundown of his Top 10 Budget Vacations for Families.

Elizabeth helps you curb your hunger for under $2 in The Cheapest Lunch in Washington, DC posted at Go Green Travel Green.

Stephanie keeps costs down vacationing in the area around Asheville in her post Fun and Frugal in Western North Carolina at Stop the Ride!

If it’s a trip to the Mouse you’re after, Karyn has useful information on visiting Orlando, Florida on the Cheap at All About Orlando. She writes, “With the economy the way it is many visitors planning trips to Orlando are looking for discounts or other ways to save money. Here are some of the best ways to see Orlando and save a few bucks in the process.”

Ashley Thompson of Intelligent Travel gives readers the lowdown on one of the most interesting cities in Kansas in There’s No Place Like Lawrence.

When in Texas, Sheila Scarborough of Perceptive Travel Blog outlines a delightful, free and “funky” museum in Houston in her post Baby, You Can Drive My (Art) Car.

If it’s Northern California you’re headed to, check out Weekend Sherpa‘s regularly updated advice on what’s cheap, free and on.

If NYC is on the agenda, you’ll want to read these sites:

  • Getting a cab from the airport to the city and vice versa just got a lot cheaper with Hitchsters.

Mother of seven Jeana Mitchell shares tips on traveling cheaply with a brood in the post 20 Money Saving Tips For Traveling with a Large Group at Family Hack.

Hilary Green‘s post Best Road Trip Cars at Cars for Girls outlines the average cost of an 800-mile road trip in eight of the season’s newest models.

And if you decide you can’t afford to drive away after all, Tip Diva presents Top Ten Tips – Taking A Staycation posted at Tip Diva, saying, “With gas prices and travel costs rising, many people opt just to stay home on their vacation time – hence, a ‘staycation.’ But being at home, or close to it, can make it seem like less of a break. Here are ways to ignore the fact that you’re home and enjoy your time off.”

If you inherit some money, don’t spend it on airfare! You might just afford your own private island (some are far cheaper than you can imagine). Read more in Neelakantha‘s post 10 Beautiful Private Islands for Sale (That You Could Actually Afford) at International Listings Blog.

Nick presents Honduras wants Sustainable Tourism industry posted at EcoFuss Green News, saying, “Honduras is a cheap Central American destination, and new eco-friendly development could make it an attractive destination.”

Finally, if you’re looking for inspiration to stop resting on your laurels and start experiencing life under your own steam, look no further than Couple Quit Jobs, Sold Possessions To Bicycle Around The World For A Year…Find Adventure And Freedom posted at The Life Less Traveled. “In 2006, James and Sarah Welle sold all of their possessions and left their comfortable jobs at Microsoft to bicycle around the world. During their year-long adventure, the pair encountered interesting people, delicious food, new found athletic prowess and the realization of how close at hand freedom and the choice to shake up your daily life truly are. Read about how they decided to bicycle around the world for a year…and how you can, too!”

Thanks to everyone for participating. Submit your blog article (or encourage your favorite travel bloggers to submit) to the next edition of Travel on a Shoestring: Americas using the carnival submission form. Next week this time we travel to Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. You can still submit your posts to that carnival till Wednesday.

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Welcome to the fifth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for Europe. Here you’ll find European travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Photographic inspiration this week comes from yours truly, one of the many intricate details I captured (in this case, a carved door) in June at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

If you’re headed to Spain in August, you’ll want to pop over to Karen Bryan at Europe a la Carte Blog who has a lead on 10 Euro Spanish Saver Rooms from Travelodge.  (I’m surprised no one commented the rooms are so cheap because — as I was told by locals on my trip in June — August is simply too hot to enjoy traveling there!  Make sure that room has air conditioning, I guess.)

Just a hop, skip and a jump away is lovely Lisbon.  Pennypinchers will welcome Kristie‘s advice on Where To Stay In Lisbon, Portugal posted at Norway – An American In Oslo.

If you find yourself on your last krona before flying home, Anna Etmanska gives the lowdown on overnight options at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport in Shopping and Sleeping Part 2 at Budget Trouble.

The Amateur Traveler updates us on what’s new from the road in England and Greece Revisited – Episode 138

Carter Dougherty outlines how to get away from the city for a perfect Riesling in Frankfurt, Wine and the Rheingau at IHT Globespotters Blog.

If you’d rather drink with your eyes, take a tip from Sheila Scarborough and head to Belgium to enjoy Artful color: Carpet of Flowers in Brussels at Perceptive Travel Blog.

EuroCheapo Blog has had some great guest posts on getting around Europe cheaply on trains.  You’ll want to check out both European rail passes: Read this before you buy and France Night Train Alert: €15 couchettes through July 14.

Wrapping up, it seems that everyone’s got Paris on the brain.   NYT travel writer Elaine Sciolino presents Hidden Gardens of Paris and Budget Travel’s This Just In had an article by Laurie Pike on Affordable Europe:  In Paris, Secret Spots for Visitors.  When you’re knackered and longing for a taste of home, Joe Schmid of the IHT Globespotters Blog can help you out with his article Parisburgers: Finding the Great American Meal in France.

Thanks to everyone for contributing! If you’d like to see your post on budget European travel in August’s carnival, submit using our online form. Next week, we’ll be back to North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Submit your posts for that carnival before next Wednesday!

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