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Travel News: Broken Trust Edition
A budget traveler gets scammed, but we’ve got reliable deals for readers this week By Sophie Gilbert
Comments () | Published January 28, 2011
Prior to yesterday, we had never heard the word “thundersnow.” And unfortunately, because we were holed up in the office, we’ll have to wait another ten years or so to experience it in person. Yesterday’s snowstorm did its best to mess up travel in the Washington area, leading to epic commutes, canceled Metrobus routes, and hundreds of thousands of homes losing power. Luckily, the airports seem to be recovering pretty well: Dulles has two runways operating, and Reagan National has most of its flights running on a normal schedule. For up-to-date information, follow @DCairports on Twitter.

We’re big fans of Seth Kugel, the New York Times’ Frugal Traveler blogger. So we were sorry to read this post, detailing a scam he fell prey to. While a gorgeous, modern studio in London’s Notting Hill for 45 pounds a night does seem too good to be true, short-term apartment rentals on Craigslist are all too easy to fall for. Remember the golden rules: Never send money via wire transfer, be wary of badly misspelled Web sites, and always do as much research as you can on an independent ratings site.

Fortunately, we can assuage our wounded sense of trust with two great deals to sunnier climes this week, both out of Washington. ET African Journeys is offering a six-night safari vacation in Kenya for $1,999, including return flights on Ethiopian Airlines, accommodation at four hotels and national parks, ground transfers, transportation, English-speaking guides, and most meals. The trip stops at Serena Mountain Lodge in Mount Kenya National Park, Lake Nakuru Lodge, and Mara Simba Lodge (for those of you unfamiliar with Disney movies, “samba” is Swahili for “lion.” Sure, they have leopard cubs in the National Zoo now, but they don’t have sunsets like this.

Closer to home, CheapCaribbean.com has a four-night, four-star trip to Nassau in the Bahamas for $459, including airfare, accommodation at the Sheraton Nassau Beach resort, and an upgraded pool-view room. Each room at the resort features a private patio or balcony, and wi-fi is included. The trip is available through March as well as for May and June; book by February 1.

Finally, we’ve spent our fair share of time gazing miserably at airport carpets, but never have we become as inspired as this anonymous blogger. Carpets for Airports links global airports with reader-submitted photos of their particular carpets, along with some interesting commentary. Unfortunately, thanks to a CNN report, the site’s sudden spike in popularity has helped it crash, so we were unable to check out the carpets at our beloved DCA. Maybe next time.

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Posted at 06:49 AM/ET, 01/28/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs