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Once a year, Ben and Jerry’s gives away ice cream at its scoop shops free.

fcdheader2TODAY’S THE DAY!

In the U.S. and Canada, find your nearest scoop shop here.

Overseas, give one of these two links a try:  1, 2.  (You’ve got a chance if you’re in Aruba, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, or the UK.)

Enjoy!

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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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For the price of a €10 RyanAir airfare (round-trip), I’m headed to Edinburgh in mid-November (because who doesn’t like traveling when it’s dark and cold?!).

I turn to you again, my wise and fearless readers, for your no-budget travel advice. I’ve got 4.5 days and 5 nights in Scotland, flying in and out of EDI. Know where to get the best pub food or — God forbid — haggis in the city? Visited a must-see exhibition on right now? Recommend heading to Glasgow instead and have a great deal on train or bus travel around the country? I’d love to hear it all!

Your wisdom can earn you a modest prize in this absolutely subjective contest if I deem your advice the best. Enter by leaving your comments below.

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RyanAir just finished another €1 for select routes in September and October. It is still possible to book some of these tickets for €5-10/leg, so have a look at the site if you’re thinking of traveling during that timeframe.

However, when estimating the price, don’t overlook their recent increase in debit card and EC-card fees — now up from €1.50 to €5 per leg! Whereas the booking fee was once included in their “no taxes, no fees” sales, it is now always an additional charge. The only way to avoid booking charges is to use a Visa Electron card (not available in the U.S., Canada or Australia, according to Wikipedia).

Also, RyanAir recently released a statement reiterating its one bag carry-on policy. Not mincing words, they write,

We will not allow anybody to exceed these permitted allowances, and will be rigidly enforcing our one bag rule this summer. Passengers presenting themselves at a boarding gate should be warned, they will not be permitted to travel if they do not comply with this one bag rule.

Deutsche Bahn is offering any and all comers a 30-day DeutschlandPass for a flat €299 (under 26? a bargain €249). The pass is valid in the 2nd class of all trains, including IC/EC and ICE trains; part of your journey, however, must take place on a long-distance (i.e. not regional or S-Bahn) train [though I’m not exactly sure HOW they expect to police that]. This offer ends August 31, so to get your money’s worth, purchase soon! Tickets are available online (German only).

Finally, EuroCheapo has had a series of guest posts recently from the folks behind Hidden Europe, who shared the following transportation gems:

Tomorrow we’ve got a guest post from Dana on the ins and outs of Japanese rail passes for visitors, so stay tuned!

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I recently discovered a post by the folks over at SkyScanner entitled Satellite Airports – do you know where you’re going?  While I know that Schoenefeld Airport lies 17 rather than 71 km from Berlin, I did think the *idea* was a good one; nevertheless, the chart needed more information:  HOW do you get to and from the airport, HOW MUCH additional money will you shell out to get there, HOW MUCH LONGER will it take you to get to/from a more remote airport?  This is the information you really need in order to make an informed choice about whether or not that bargain airfare is as cheap as you think it is.

So without further ado, the first in a two-part series of charts outlining the nitty-gritty of how, how much and how much longer, today in Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Italy, UK and Poland:

AIRPORT CITY DISTANCE (km) TRANSPORT OPTIONS COST O/W EST. TRANSIT TIME (min)
Charleroi Brussels 47 Charter bus, local bus/train  €13; €10.50 60, 20+50
Skavsta Stockholm 106 Charter bus, local bus/bustrain SEK 150; SEK 21+89-135  80, 20+60-85
Torp Oslo 86 Charter bus, train NOK 180; from NOK 199 110
Bergamo Milan 47 Charter bus, local bus/train  €8; €1.65+4.10  60, 30+60
Ciampino Rome 38  Charter bus (1, 2), local bus/train, local bus/subway from €5-8; €1+1.30; €1.20+1  40-45, 5+15, 15+25
Pisa Florence 70 Charter bus, (local bus/)train €8; €(0.95+)5.60  70; (5+)65
Treviso Venice 31  Charter bus, local bus/train  €6; €1+2.35  70, 15+35
Forli Bologna 67  Charter bus (1, 2), local bus/train €10-12; €3.50+3.90  85, 15+60
Stansted London 56  Charter bus (1, 2), express train from £2-8; from £14  75, 45
Luton London 52  Charter bus (1, 2), express train (1, 2) from £7-10; £10-11  70, 25-35
Katowice Krakow 100  Charter bus (1, 2local bus/bus (1, 2)-train 44 zl; 20 zl + 12-16 zl 120, 50+70-100 

If you have a request for information about a mystery airport, send it along post-haste, via comment or email, and I’ll include it in the next chart.

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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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Welcome to the fourth 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, with a sloping street view of flowering balconies, rain-slicked cobblestones and lush wisteria growing over ancient stone walls captured in Girona, Spain in April.

Andrew Evans reminds us of the pleasures travel has to offer if we simply give in to fate in Paris Sans Agenda posted at Intelligent Travel.

Karen Bryan of Europe a la Carte has the scoop on the latest cheapo hotel rooms for early-bird bookers across the UK in Travelodge UK £19 rooms Summer offer and a warning for rental car travelers flying out of Pisa in Almost impossible to refuel your hire car near Pisa airport.

See the new Europe on two wheels with help from Tim Leffel‘s resource-studded guide to getting off the beaten path of cycling tours in Biking in Eastern Europe, posted at Transitions Abroad.

Headed to Firenze?  Tom Meyers of EuroCheapo Blog is helping Italian travelers easy the pain of dropping dollars with his tip-off on a new program in Florence: Americans save 10% on hotels, food throughout 2008.

Alex Robertson Textor provides a few more clues on the architectural and cultural puzzle that is Brussels in his post Brussels: Some Impressions, Some ‘Hoods, and a Great City Guide at Spendthrift Shoestring.

Get your celeb on with Christine at the Cannes 2008 – Short Film Corner – Tarantino in Cannes posted at Me, My Kid and Life: An American Single Mom Living in France.  Unless you’re there to work, Christine advises enjoying the festival from the outside rather than in.

If you haven’t had enough Hollywood action after that post, check out the Indy Adventure Contest Winner: #3 posted at Intelligent Travel.  Anyone who’s ever chased a speeding bus will sympathize with this one. 

Christopher Cook describes one easy method for avoiding transaction costs in Understanding ATM Fees: cutting the cost of bank fees overseas posted at noambit -Travel Europe.  One tip, from experience:  before you go signing up for a Bank of America account, make sure you search the internet for their latest account signing bonus, which usually ranges from $75-100 in FREE MONEY.  (If that link has expired, try a quick search for “Bank of America” at the site Bank Deals.)

Who knew guidebooks were so darn useful?  If you haven’t figured that out cornerstone of travel yet, take a gander at Global Traveler‘s post Vacation Guides – Your New Best Friends at Traveling Around The World.

Raymond of Money Blue Book is still gaming the credit-card offers in The Best Frequent Flyer Airline Miles Credit Cards For Cheap Flights and How To Maximize Your Free Citi Thank You Network Credit Card Rewards.

Wrapping up, Joshua Seth presents a USB solution to your in-flight power problems in Laptop Charger Travel Tip posted at Joshua Seth Blog.

Thanks to everyone for contributing! If you’d like to see your post on budget European travel in July’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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