The LG Weekly Travel News Roundup: 10.15.2009

Air, Bike, Europe, Mexico, Walking, Weekly Travel News — By on October 15, 2009 at 6:00 am

by Molly Fergus
LG Travel News Editor

Missed the big travel stories of the week? And the weird, wacky and insignificant ones? We’ve got your round-up right here….


New side of the tracks

A sour economy isn’t all doom-and-gloom for the travel industry. Thanks to renewed interest in bike and walking paths nationwide, budget-minded vacationers are hitting the trails – and fueling small-town economies while they’re at it. America’s most popular route, the Great Allegheny Passage, follows abandoned rail tracks for 136 traffic-free miles. Business owners in the small industrial cities along the path say cyclists have re-energized their communities without sacrificing authenticity. Cheers to that!
Source: USA Today

Under the sea
Finally, scuba diving for people who don’t like fish! In November, Mexico unveils – or rather, submerges – the world’s largest underwater museum. Artist Jason de Caires Taylor will sink the exhibit’s first four statues off the coast of Cancun next month, but plans include boosting that number to 400 human-shaped figures. The eeriness isn’t just for show, though. Mexican officials hope the exhibit will deter coral-reef peepers and protect the region’s natural resources.
Source: Budget Travel

Sláinte, on the cheap
We never thought we’d see the day. A slumped travel market and an even slouchier economy have hotels in France and Britain giving away free rooms. With visitor numbers down across the continent, hoteliers and tourism companies are slashing prices on everything from seven-day Ireland tours ($659, including flight, from NYC) to rooms in Paris. Time to book that Grand Tour!
Source: New York Times

Wandering geniuses
One more reason to hit the road: traveling makes you smarter. A study at the University of California-Santa Barbara found that people who regularly cope with disorientation – like habitual travelers – sharpen their abilities to find patterns and logic in nonsense. Translation: When you’re playing napkin Pictionary with a waiter in Morocco, you’re actually learning and growing from the process. Well, duh.
Source: New York Times

Win a zillion frequent fliers miles on American Airlines
To celebrate it’s featured role in the upcoming Paramount Pictures film “Up in the Air” (the new George Clooney flick about a business traveler whose “life on the road is threatened just as he’s on the cusp of reaching 10 million frequent-flyer miles”), American Airlines has introduced a new sweepstakes, “A Year in the Air.” The sweepstakes offers a chance to win a sick, one-of-a-kind prize:

  • 700,000 AAdvantage® miles-enough for 12 First Class, round-trip tickets in the Continental United States or Canada
  • Two Economy Class, round-trip award tickets to travel to Los Angeles as special guests of American Airlines to attend the “Up in the Air” movie premiere
  • A $300 gift card to use for hotel or spending money while there

The sweepstakes runs now through Oct. 31, 2009. To enter, register at and purchase a flight on during the promotional period. To enter without making a purchase visit The maximum number of entries allowed per person is four.

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