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Great travel links for 04.21.2008

Our roundup of useful travel info:

** For my US readers who are considering blowing that tax refund on travel (I’m already seeing articles about where to visit to spend it) I offer a few spring/summer ideas….

Just make sure you program your cell phone with these 10 handy numbers, pack the family road trip must-haves and remember to properly thank your hosts if you stay in someone’s home.

Send me a postcard, would you?

** Are you a pretty good amateur travel photographer? Send your best into the Remarkable Photo Contest (deadline is 31 May.)

** Oh, the pain of air travel these days makes me really wish that we had a decent train system in the US.

** Thinking about Latin America?

** Budget Travel says to give it up for the tourist traps that you love.

** National parks in the US have always been good for families; here are some money-saving tips for the parks, special deals & events for National Parks Week, there’s specific advice on a Frommer’s thread for taking a little one to Zion, and your state parks are getting onto the wireless bandwagon so everyone can still check their email from the tent/cabin.

** Go fly a kite with the kids, for Earth Day.

** In the Midwest, there are special offers at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, special offers in Kansas City and hotels in Chicago (plus 3-day Chicago getaways,) family-friendly adventures in Illinois and even a taste of France at the 38th annual rendezvous at Fort de Chartres.

** Finally, in honor of National Tire Safety Week (April 20-26), I encourage my road trippers to be “tire smart” to save money and energy (with better fuel economy from correctly inflated tires) and to save lives. The Pep Boys auto shops will be offering free tire pressure checks in all stores across the country April 20-26. Their PR folks say I’ve been named one of their Tire Safety Gurus (why, thank you….) so if you want to check your own pressure, just open the driver’s side door of your car and look at the door frame. A sticker there will tell you the proper cold temp pressure for your vehicle’s tires. Look carefully; the front and back tires may have different suggested pressures. That’s what you use, not the pressure on the actual tire sidewalls. Such a guru am I….:)

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