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For Super Bowl weekend, Phoenix-area hotel room rates have soared

We hope Super Bowl XLIX fans who bought tickets for the Feb. 1 game near Phoenix next year already booked a hotel room. If not, there'll be a stiff price to pay. 

Hotel room prices have skyrocketed in and around the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., where the NFL showdown will take place.

Travel booking site Cheaphotels.org conducted a survey of room prices on Nov. 15, and the news was not good.

"Currently only about one in 10 hotels in the greater Phoenix region still have vacancies for the Super Bowl weekend of Jan. 30 to Feb. 2," the website says.

Four- and five-star hotels have sold out, and even budget hotels have raised prices more than 300% above their usual rates.

I checked hotel websites Tuesday afternoon and found rooms available at these prices:

--Best available rate at La Quinta Inn & Suites Phoenix I-10 West about 10 miles from the stadium starts at $849 a night for Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 rooms. The following weekend the same rooms start at $99. 

--Gaslight Inn...

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New San Diego Dr. Seuss exhibit focuses on Seuss the artist

Most of us know about Dr. Seuss the author, but a new exhibit in San Diego showcases Seuss the artist.

"Ingenius! The World of Dr. Seuss" focuses on original sketches and oil paintings by Seuss, the visual and literary genius behind the fantasy world of the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat and other characters.

"Many locals know that Dr. Seuss lived here, and while they have read his books, many have not yet seen his art," Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises L.P. says in a statement. "This exhibition will show the community another fantastical side of Dr. Seuss."

Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Geisel, was born in Massachusetts but lived and worked in La Jolla for more than four decades. He died in 1991 at age 87.

The show, which opened last weekend, includes artwork of famous characters such as the Cat in the Hat and the Lorax as well as a Seussian interpretation of local landmarks like the historic Hotel del Coronado.

Other original artworks on display include a wildly colorful...

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Guatemala: Culinary tour blends cuisines, culture

Experience Guatemala's rich cultural heritage from a unique perspective in February when a four-day Antigua culinary tour blends Southern-style United States cuisine with Maya flavors. The Cultiva Tours itinerary includes sightseeing in Antigua, as well as cooking classes, a rum tasting and several multicourse meals, including a lunch prepared by four Atlanta chefs at a 400-year-old, family-owned coffee farm, Finca el Pintado.

Dates: Feb. 2-6.

Price: The Atlanta-Antiqua Culinary Tour is $2,000 per person, double occupancy (single supplement $400). Included are airport transfers, accommodations at El Convento Boutique Hotel in Antigua, Guatemala; meals, sightseeing and activities and guide. International air fare is not included.

Info: Cultiva Tours, (404) 538-8939

Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel

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Lucky you! You can marry for free on Dec. 13 on the Vegas Ferris wheel

Couples who marry on Dec. 13 can have their ceremonies performed free in Las Vegas aboard the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

Why that date? Followers of numerology believe sequential dates — 12/13/14, for instance — are lucky, so that Saturday is expected to be a big day for getting hitched in Vegas, the self-proclaimed marriage capital of the world.

Don’t rush into anything, but if you’re into the sequential thing, this is probably your best bet for the foreseeable future.

Those who don’t mind getting married en masse can join other happy couples for free services aboard the High Roller.

At the observation wheel, up to 20 couples will join an officiant in each of the attraction’s 28 cabins for mass marriages at no charge. To add to the numerical significance, the free weddings will be performed between 10:11 a.m. and 12:13 p.m.

The offer also includes a complimentary photo and a champagne toast.

A large crowd is expected, so couples can begin lining up at 8 a.m. They must provide their...

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Airlines ease change fees for Thanksgiving travel ahead of Northeast storm

Airlines are allowing Thanksgiving travelers flying to the East Coast on Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year, to change their tickets without penalty because of a storm expected to dump rain and snow from Virginia to Maine.

Many U.S. airlines announced Monday that they are waiving change fees for Wednesday flights to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and other Northeast destinations.

Accuweather predicts major travel disruptions and delays due to a storm expected to hit Wednesday and Thursday. It will bring snow as far south as northern Virginia and into New England, where 6 to 12 inches of snow is predicted.

American Airlines, which includes American Eagle, US Air and US Air Express, will allow passengers to fly Tuesday or on Thanksgiving Day rather than Wednesday without being charged to change their tickets, according to its website.

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and JetBlue Airlines are allowing fliers to travel as late as Friday without...

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7 things you need to know to survive Thanksgiving travel

If you're traveling during the Thanksgiving weekend, you expect crowds on the roads and at airports. Here's are 7 things you need to know to survive the madness.

Survive? Well, yes. That's because you'll be one of 3.5 million Southern Californians predicted to be driving to Grandma's house or somewhere else between Wednesday and Friday.

Or you may be one of almost 2 million passengers who were expected to pass through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) between last Friday and next Monday.

Either way, delays on the roads and at airports are inevitable during the holiday weekend.

Here are some ways to make your travels smoother.

1. Keep a watch on the weather: LAX is predicted to be the busiest airport in the country, but that's the least of your worries. A major storm expected to hit the East Coast from Virginia to Maine on Wednesday and Thursday could mean flight headaches for travelers across the country.

Accuweather says New England could receive 6 to 12 inches of snow starting...

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