Travel News & Deals Deals, tips, advice and more
Taking your pet on vacation? Which U.S. cities have the most dog parks

More proof it's good to be a dog: The number of off-leash dog parks is growing faster than any other type of park in American cities, a recent Trust for Public Land report says.

Portland, Ore., takes the top spot, while Las Vegas and San Francisco make the top 10. It's good news too for travelers who like to take their pets when they go on vacation.

Where to go first?

If you want plenty of open spaces options for your dog, head to Portland. The 2015 City Parks Facts released last week says it leads the per capita pack with 5.4 dog parks per 100,000.

The website BringFido recommends Sellwood Riverfront Park (Southeast Spokane Street and Oaks Parkway) on the Willamette River (it rates five bones), 200-acre Mt. Tabor Park (Southeast 60th Avenue and Salmon Street) and Chimney Park (9360 N. Columbia Blvd.).

Other cities that received high marks for the per-capita number of dog parks:

2. Norfolk, Va.

3. Madison, Wis.

4. Henderson, Nev.

5. Las Vegas

6. Arlington, Va.

7. San Francisco

8. Tampa,...

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Love flash sales? Princess takes half off prices on these cruises

Princess Cruises has launched a half-off sale on cruises to Alaska, the Mediterranean, the British Isles and other destinations. The Summer Clearance Sale features week-long cruises that start at $599 per person.

The savings are good (see below) on certain sailings, and you'll receive up to $400 on-board credit depending on what cabin level you choose. To get the deal, you must reserve and make a deposit by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on May 14.

One of the best deals is the seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise from Vancouver, Canada, to Anchorage, Alaska, on Aug. 15.

Prices aboard the Grand Princess start at $599 per person (discounted from $1,799) for an inside cabin and $489 per person for third and fourth passengers in the same room. Balcony staterooms go for $1,699 per person instead of $1,939, and come with a $50 on-board credit.

Other deals include:

--A week-long Mediterranean cruise from Rome to Barcelona -- with port stops in Sicily; Tunis, Tunisia; Florence; Genoa, and Toulon,...

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Deal: Book Las Vegas air-hotel package and get free show tickets

It's show time in Las Vegas with this deal from Vegas.com. You receive two free show tickets when you book a three-night stay with airfare at the website.

Deal: The airfare-hotel CA Bonus from Vegas.com is a perk aimed at California residents.

Book three nights and airfare at the website and you'll receive two show tickets to one of four shows: Human Nature (the Motown Show), Australia's Thunder From Down Under, the Australian Bee Gees Show or Divas Starring Frank Marino.

Theater tickets are available Mondays through Thursdays only.

After you book the package, you'll receive an email to choose what show tickets you want.

When: The deal is good through May 10 for travel between April 20 and Sept. 30.

Tested: You can take Mom to Vegas, baby, on a long Mother's Day weekend with this deal. I looked for the deal from May 8 to 11 to meet the three-day minimum stay requirement.

I found availability at these prices per person: $257 at the Luxor, $305 at the Flamingo, $306 at Mandalay Bay and $373...

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Gear: This bag acts like a briefcase, works like a backpack

Here’s an organizational tool most often found in briefcases but now adapted for backpacks: Ivar’s Urban 20 Backpack has a tiered vertical shelf system built into the double-zippered main compartment that provides file-like organization (including room for a 15-inch laptop).

The structure has the bonus of more evenly distributing weight and providing better load stability than backpacks with just one big open main compartment. The Urban 20 is 17 inches tall, 11 inches wide and 7 1/2 inches deep and has well-padded ergonomic curved shoulder straps and thick mesh-covered padding on the back.

Besides the three internal “shelves,” the bag has a roomy zippered external front pocket, and elasticized side pockets for quick access to water bottles, umbrellas or what have you.

An internal organizational panel on the main compartment’s upper back wall has an open stash pocket, two Velcro-closure flap pockets and a slim open pocket for pens/pencils and a hanging key clasp.

Info: Ivar Urban 20 Backpack...

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Festival of Books: Tips for travelers from safety expert Kevin Coffey

Visiting other countries should not be scary and compromise your safety. But if you take some basic precautions, it could save you a lot of headaches -- and your wallet.

In the "Street Smart, Street Safe" presentation Saturday at the Travel Smart Stage at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, former police detective and safety consultant Kevin Coffey gave a lively talk about how to stay safe while traveling overseas and around the U.S.

Coffey has done extensive research and makes presentations for traveling businessmen.

He was quick to point out that though most people are "honest law-abiding people," there have been pickpockets ever since they invented pockets to pick.

Coffey says travelers needs to plan for the "what-ifs" before heading to the airport.

For example: What will you do if you lose your credit cards, passport, keys and/or your medical information? Coffey recommends keeping your valuables with you in your carry-on bag rather than packing them in checked luggage.

"What if...

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Digiboo a movie-rental option for jet-setters

Think Redbox for jet-setters who prefer to download rather than stream. Say what? It's a new movie-rental option found in several airports in the U.S. and Canada.

Name: Digiboo

Available: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Requires iOS 6 or later. Also available for Android 2.3 or later on Google Play and Windows. Requires 4GB available space

Cost: The app is free; movie rentals are $4.99.

What it does: It's an app that works in conjunction with a digital rental kiosk.

What's hot: It was just what I needed at just the right time — on a 31/2-hour layover in Houston before the last leg of a return flight home. The kiosk directions were easy to understand, the app was quick to download to my smartphone and although the movie took 15 minutes to download, I was told in advance and continued because I had the time. The best part? I didn't have to rely on sluggish airport Wi-Fi because the Digiboo kiosk has its own.

What's not: User reviews are fairly poor on both the iTunes Store and Google Play....

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