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Winter Feels Good logoOn Saturday, January 10, retailers, resorts and recreation programs across the United States will be sponsoring free introductions to the outdoor sports of cross-country skiing and snoeshoeing.

If it’s not too darn cold, Winter Trails 2009 is an excellent reason to get off your kiester and get moving!  Are you one of the millions of Americans who’ve resolved to shed weight this year?  Take your first steps toward that goal, on a pair of free rental skis or snowshoes!

If there’s snow on the ground in your state, there is probably an event being held somewhere.  Check out the full list of locations here.  Before heading out, fill a thermos with your warm beverage of choice, consult the list of appropriate outdoor wear and fill out, print and sign the event release form.

Stay warm and have fun!

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December or no, things aren’t always roses and sunshine in the world of a no-budget traveler. Being human (and not just a blogging robot), even an “expert” is also bound to make mistakes. After the jump, I share three recent travel planning misadventures and the lessons learned from each. Share your own budget travel blunders in the comments. (more…)

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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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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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Better late that never, welcome to the fourth 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.

Sky HeartPhotographic inspiration this week comes from the ever-inspiring Global Eye at Intelligent Travel. Mary Hockenbery snapped this photograph of a heart made of horseshoes on a rancher’s fence — check out the details in Hearts in Nevada.

Geographically closest is Ben‘s post Save Money in Las Vegas – A Cheapskate’s Guide to Sin City, over at Money Smart Life. Ben writes, “I had just as much fun as everyone else at the conference and left with more money in my pocket!”

Driving over to California, Mudslide Mama of the Traveling Mamas explains that a supposedly expensive tourist destination needn’t break the bank in her post How To Have a Budget Vacation in High-End Santa Barbara. Then CalebL outlines budget entertainment in one of San Francisco’s parks in the wonderfully titled If a bum can live there, I can afford it, posted at City on a Dime.

A red-eye to JFK has us arriving just in time for Sarah‘s tour of New York City’s art highlights in her Directory of NYC museum free/pay-what-you-wish days posted at SARAHSPYChris Christensen of the Amateur Traveler has hot tips on unique and inexpensive places to stay in NYC in his podcast interview with budget guru Pauline Frommer.

South of the border, Janelle Nanos of Intelligent Travel elaborates on the rewards of enjoying local sports after becoming a Mexican soccer fan in Been There: Becoming a Fan.

Finally, James Brausch of Costa Rica HQ shares general advice on potables and getting around in his posts Costa Rica Drinks and Transportation In Costa Rica. From his pages, I convolutedly linked to a really useful site, Travel for Kids. They have an excellent section on Costa Rica; their Americas selections further include Canada, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and the U.S. What is especially noteworthy about this site is their recommendations of appropriate kid lit to read in preparation for the trip. Definitely worth checking out for my librarian friends or those traveling with tots in tow.

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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Last week’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York left me with two thoughts burning in my mind:

Uno wins Best in ShowFirst, OH MI GAWD SOOOOO CUTE I WANT ONE I WANT ONE MOMMY I WANT ONE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!

I mean, you saw the Best in Show winner Uno, right? WOOK AT HIS WITTLE FACE! I’m not even really a dog person (gentle reader, please don’t hold it against me!), but I want an arrROOOOing bucket full of beagles to take home with me. All the press for this cutie has rekindled a desire for a beagle I developed after staying at a B&B near Middlebury, VT, that had two or three fat beagles lazing around on the couch, tummies exposed for scratching by a never-ending supply of guests, in front of a fire in the common room. Boy, did they have the life!

But enough of that. The real question is: where do those thousands of dogs and their owners stay in New York City? Find this answer and other advice for keeping your pets in top form on your travels after the jump.

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Welcome to the third 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. We have an eclectic mix of posts this week, so let’s get right to it.

Winner in the “I Can’t Believe They Blogged About This” category is Jessica Hupp and her post Top 10 Competitive Eating Contests competitive eatingposted at Travelhacker. I must say there is something so . . . American about making eating competitive, focusing on quantity (and speed) over quality. And yet, probably because there’s so much money at stake, an entire industry has blossomed around this idea. You can read more about the big names in (I swear I am not making this up) gurgitating at the Major League Eating homepage, and get one competitive eater’s take on FAQs about the sport here. Find other upcoming eating events on this page.

Best deal of the month goes to Jamie at Go San Diego Card Blog, saying, “February is Museum Month in San Diego, where Macy’s is offering a free pass to get 50% off all museum ticket prices for the whole month.”

Best no-budget find for February goes to Alex Robertson Textor at Spendthrift Shoestring. His Nassau Layover Suggestion on where to score good food at the airport illustrates why no-budget travelers in doubt always ask (or follow) the locals.

Rookie of the week award goes to Matt Caldwell‘s post We’re Not in Kansas Anymore…but why? at his brand-new blog Life, Analyzed… We’re looking forward to more thoughtful posts from Matt on travel in the future.

bruncherific Looking for a Big Apple splurge on a little budget? Sarah of SARAHSPY recommends the Best NYC brunch spots — my picks. My favorite thought from the post: “Does that restaurant you can’t afford for dinner offer brunch?” Priceless.

For travelers headed to Eureka Springs, Arkansas (believe it or not, I found myself there in 2007), Sheila Scarborough at Family Travel: See The World With Your Kids has a budget spa idea with Photo of the Week: 1901 spa therapy still used today. Don’t worry — I’m sure you can squeeze it in after the antiquing . . .

If you’re headed even further west, try the free whitewater kayak park in Reno – Not Just Divorces and Casinos posted by Susan at The Innovative Traveler.

Not sure how to get there? Lana Burris touts her favorite U.S. low-cost carrier in The Feel Good Airline: 11 Reasons to Fly Southwest posted at Happiness Quotient Headquarters.

Finally, in a piece of advice I’ve been known to throw around, Raymond presents Join and Participate In Hotel Rewards Programs To Earn Free Hotel Stays posted at Money Blue Book. What’s great about this post is it has many of the sign-up pages in one place, for easy reference.

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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