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United Airline’s New Frequent Flier Minimums

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Woe to frugal miles hoarders like me: United, the world’s largest airline, recently announced annual spending and mileage minimums in order to earn status on its frequent flier program. This seems to be the new reality among legacy carriers: United’s statement comes just a few months after Delta, the world’s second-largest airline, made a similar decree.

Come January 2014, United fliers will need to travel 25,000 miles within a year (or 30 qualifying flight segments) and shell out at least $2,500 total on fares—and buying tickets for other travelers don’t count—to qualify for Premier Silver, the program’s entry-level elite status. And for top-tier 1K Premier status, you need to spend a whopping $10,000. Check out the site for more details.

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Trip Doctor: New Index Ranks International Cities by Cost

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Newsflash: Oslo (pictured) is an expensive city.

Actually, according to a recent study by TripAdvisor, the Norwegian capital is the most expensive city for travelers. And while the priciest cities shouldn’t be too surprising (Oslo is followed by Zürich, Switzerland, and Stockholm, Sweden), the results are fascinating.

The website ranked 49 popular travel destinations around the world on a pricing index based on the relative costs of an evening out (cab rides, dinner, and drinks) and a one-night stay at a four-star hotel.

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Hotel Challenge: What Are You Giving Guests For Free?

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You know me: Always complaining about excessive fees aimed at travelers. I've kvetched about the worst rental car rip-offs. I've bemoaned the world's most outrageous hotel fees. I've griped, groused, growled, and grumbled about airline surcharges here and here and here. But before I have to rush back to my thesaurus again for another way to say complain, let me acknowledge that there are some travel companies that are doing it right: They're giving stuff away, free. May I just say, yay.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: Santorini, NYC, Puerto Rico + Nicaragua

Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.


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Sales ends in 5 days!

Carpe Diem Santorini - up to 65% off
Pyrgos (Santorini), Greece
Carpe Diem is set between tourist-filled Firà and Oia, ideal for travelers who want to experience Santorini's quiet charms.

Seton Hotel - up to 39% off
New York, New York
A small but chic newly renovated hotel in midtown Manhattan, within walking distance of Grand Central Station.

O:live Boutique Hotel - up to 35% off
San Juan, Puerto Rico
This sexy retreat in Condado, Puerto Rico, has 15 rooms—some overlook a white-sand lagoon—and a rooftop pool.

Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan's Rock - up to 29% off
Playa Ocotal, Nicaragua
A 15-room eco-lodge in Nicaragua's El Aguacate nature reserve, on the country's eastern coast.

Vacationist is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Carpe Dien, Santorini.

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Greece, Sundance + California

Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.

Sales end in 3 days!


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Naxian Collection - up to 41% off
Naxos, Greece
Sea views from a clutch of bi-level villas at a petite property on the Greek island of Naxos.

Sundance Resort
- up to 53% off
Sundance, Utah
Actor-director Robert Redford's rustic-chic mountain retreat is set high in Utah's Wasatch Range, less than an hour's drive from downtown Park City.

Santa Ynez Inn - up to 41% off
Santa Ynez, California
Explore the small-batch wineries of California's central coast from this gracious inn, accented by Tiffany lamps and four-poster beds.

Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

Photo courtesy of Christos Drazos Photography / Naxian Collection.

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Chicago, Costa Rica + Kauai

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Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.

Sale ends in 3 days!

Public Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Ian Schrager's Chicago hotel brings an infusion of style to the Gold Coast neighborhood.

Sale ends in 5 days!

Kura Design Villas (pictured) - up to 41% off

Uvita de Osa, Costa Rica

Six minimalist, open-air villas in Bahía Ballena, Costa Rica.

Ko`a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach - up to 29% off

Koloa, Kauai

A 121-room boutique hotel on Kauai's Poipu Beach.

 

Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

Photo courtesy of Kura Design Villas.

Family Friday: Embracing The All-Inclusive Resort

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Admit it. As a parent, the idea of an all-inclusive is incredibly appealing. I never thought I'd be a fan, but two kids later, things are changing.

It's the easiest kind of travel: non-stop supervised activities for the kids, free time for you, restaurants within walking distance, and of course, nighttime babysitters. And with the new crop of stylish all-inclusive resorts, it's not all blue cocktails and spring breakers. Here, four of my favorite deals for spring and summer.
 
° Club Med: Starting in May, kids under 4 stay free; ages 4 to 12 get 50% off; and teens receive a 40% discount. Clubmed.com; April through October.

° Now Resorts & Spas: With every night at the resort (3 night minimum), you'll get a $50 air credit, per room. Do the math and that could save you $200 for a four-night stay. Bonus: You're eligible for up to $400 in resort coupons. Nowresorts.com; April 1 through December 22.

° Elite Island Resorts: Travelers get a $300 air credit on stays 3 to 6 nights, and $500 for 7 nights-and one child stays free. Eliteislandresorts.com; April 8 through end of August.

° Beaches: If you book a minimum of 3 nights at any Beaches resort, you'll get 65% off. Beaches.com; through 2013.

Clara Sedlak is a mom of two and a senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Club Med

TODAY Show Video: Spring Break Getaways

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It's not too late to get away this spring. We've found five travel deals within $200 a night, from a ranch in Jackson Hole to a beach resort in St. Kitts.

St. Kitts: St. Kitts Marriott Resort
Set right on Frigate Bay Beach, this resort offers plenty of ways to play and to relax. Swim in one of several pools, work out at the fitness center or spinning center, or enjoy the on-site casino. There's also a championship golf course, as well as water-sports such as snorkeling. Go to the Emerald Mist Spa for a bamboo massage and a papaya pineapple polish, and feel free to bring your kids along as well for a princess manicure. Doubles from $199/night in April.

Florida: One Ocean Resort & Spa, Jacksonville
While the 193 rooms and suites all come with full or partial ocean views with floor-to-ceiling windows, put in a special request: the balcony rooms on the hotel's east side overlook the beach, and rooms on floors 6 to 8 have the best views. You'll begin to unwind immediately thanks to the butler service that helps with unpacking your bags and so much more. The Spa at One Ocean Resort has more than 40 marine-inspired treatments, such a Seashell Massage and a rubdown designed especially for windsurfers. Head to the nearby Beaches Town Center for shops and art galleries, or go down the coast to historic St Augustine. Doubles from $179/night.

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TODAY Show Video: Affordable Getaways

T+L's Nilou Motamed stopped by The Today Show this morning to talk about budget-friendly vacations with Matt Lauer and Yahoo's Farnoosh Torabi. They discussed New Orleans, Hawaii, and affordable road trips. Watch the clip above.

Don't miss: America's Best Affordable City Hotels and Best U.S. Cities for Affordable Getaways

Vacationist Hotel Deals: The Bahamas, Chicago + Santa Fe

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Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.

Sale ends in 5 days!
Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour (pictured) - up to 35% off
Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas
Unwind in a contemporary Colonial suite at Old Bahama Bay Resort, set on the western tip of Grand Bahama Island.

Hotel Sax Chicago
- up to 64% off
Chicago, Illinois
The 353-room Hotel Sax is located next door to Chicago's House of Blues, one block south of the Loop.

Sale ends in 6 days!
Inn and Spa at Loretto - up to 55% off
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Experience authentic Santa Fe at this pueblo-style inn with Native American design elements (geometric patterns, bold colors) and a southwestern-style restaurant.

Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

Photo courtesy of Old Bahama Bay.

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