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Travel News: Holiday Lull Edition

Royal-wedding deals, soccer in Qatar, and terrific pies in Washington

Now that Thanksgiving is over, and the over-hyped TSA protests seem to have fallen by the wayside, welcome to December! So far the month has been reasonably trouble-free, assuming you’re not traveling to Europe, flying US Airways, or driving on I-90 near Buffalo. Fingers crossed for the rest of the holiday season.

Local soccer fans were disappointed yesterday when the FIFA governing body announced that the 2022 World Cup will be hosted not by the United States but by Qatar, a country that (a) has never previously qualified for a World Cup tournament, (b) has summer temperatures averaging 110 degrees, and (c) has a name that few people know how to pronounce. The tiny Middle Eastern emirate does have significant oil and gas reserves, which it’ll need to pay for the several shiny new climate-controlled stadiums required to host the tournament. No word yet on how the country is going to deal with a 100,000 rowdy tourists—under the country’s Sharia law, it’s illegal to be drunk in public.

Prince William and his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton, have already appeared on a gazillion magazine covers since announcing their engagement, so it was inevitable that the travel industry would jump on the royal-wedding bandwagon. British Airways is currently offering flight-and-hotel packages over Wedding Weekend for $879 before taxes, which actually doesn’t sound too unreasonable (but it’s still a lot to pay if you’re not even getting a piece of cake out of it).

A few deals this week: Flights to Los Angeles from Washington have been pretty cheap all year, but just announced nonstop, round-trip fares from January through March for $191 including taxes and fees. This is officially the lowest price we’ve seen all year. AirTran is celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with Festivus—a 12-day sale to various locations. Today, day three, features Boston, San Francisco, and Indianapolis, with fares listed at $111 from Reagan National to Indianapolis and $134 from Reagan to San Francisco. These prices aren’t stunning, but it’s worth keeping an eye on for the next few days.

Finally, two reasons to celebrate Washington. Not only does ZooLights kick off today at the National Zoo—and it’s free this year—but we also have one of the five best new pie shops in America. And nothing says “the holidays” quite like a savory barbecue-pork pie.

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