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Rethinking a hotel price? DreamCheaper looks for better after booking

No need to second-guess the price you paid for your hotel. There's a new website to take care of that for you.


What it does: Forward your hotel booking confirmation email (for hotels with free cancellation) to If DreamCheaper finds the same room — or better — at a cheaper price, it will book it for you and cancel your previous, more expensive booking.

What's hot: Savings keep getting bigger if you're booking more than one room for more than a day or two. It claims to have found savings for two out of three bookings and cut rates an average of 15% and sometimes by as much as 60%. Visit the "All about the financials" section in Frequently Asked Questions if you have want more information about the payment process.

What's not: It works best when one person does the booking. For example, if someone in your party (like a spouse) doesn't know you have been using DreamCheaper and receives a cancellation email from the first hotel booked, he or she...

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Letters: Memories of the Grand Canyon

The cover and center spread of the April 19 Travel section brought back wonderful memories of the Grand Canyon ["Alive in the Shifting Light," by Christopher Reynolds].

In my youth, on my bucket list was a mule trip to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon before I reached age 50. I was older when I was able to go and pulled it off the year the ranch allowed visitors to stay two nights instead of one. My then-college-age daughter went with me. We arrived a day early, stayed in one of the historic cabins with a fireplace, had a drink in the lobby of El Tovar and looked forward to the trip the next day.

The morning after arriving at the ranch, my daughter and I hiked six miles along the Bright Angel Trail to Ribbon Falls, which still had water trickling down the algae-covered rock faces.

Before we left Phantom Ranch, we dropped postcards in a pouched leather bag that was labeled something like "Mule Train Express" — a clever take on the Pony Express and a way to authenticate that our...

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Events offer tips on BritRail, long-distance hikes and other travels



Distant Lands rail agent Susan Hickman will discuss the British train system and help you decide which, if any, BritRail pass is best for your trip.

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena.

Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220.



Learn the basics of planning your hike on the John Muir or other long-distance trail, including how to schedule resupplies and logistics.

When, where: 7 p.m. Wednesday at the REI store in Tustin, 2962 El Camino Real.

Admission, info: Free. (714) 505-0205



Angel Castellanos will share his travel tips and tricks to improve your excursion.

When, where: 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Adventure 16 store in Tarzana, 5425 Reseda Blvd., and 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Los Angeles store, 11161 W. Pico Blvd.

Admission, info: Free. (818) 345-4266 for Tarzana, (310) 473-4574 for Los Angeles.

Please email announcements at least three weeks before the event to

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Reader recommendation: Rio de Janeiro tour guide Marco Madeira

I can't help but recommend Marco Madeira. He is a great guide: knowledgeable, funny and made our visit to Rio de Janeiro a superb experience. A full day in Rio (six to eight hours) costs $270 and includes Sugarloaf Mountain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer and the old part of the city. Price includes car and tour guide but not admission tickets.

Marco Madeira,

Tryg Sletteland

By email

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Video: Time flies (and tourists look antsy) at the Grand Canyon

You have to see the Grand Canyon. It’s one of the very few sites in North America that justify use of the word “awesome.”

But when you do get to the South Rim, the hub of Grand Canyon National Park, you also have to expect that you won’t be alone. This video shows the canyon’s beauty and heavy tourist traffic all at the same time. (Because the video is accelerated, the tourists look not only tiny but very busy. In a word, antsy.)

As the video notes, in its first year as a national park, in 1919, the Grand Canyon drew about 37,000 recreational visitors. The park gets that many in three typical days now.

For more on the canyon -- a lot more -- check out this package of photos, stories and video.

“A Minute Away” is a video series in which nothing much happens -- except you see the world, and hear it, and get a respite from workaday life. We’ve covered Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, the Alamo, an Alaskan float plane and the reading room of the New York Public Library, among other places....

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Zoom in on National Park Foundation's 'Share the Experience' photo contest

Can you find a more touching mother and child portrait in a national park? The photograph of a polar bear cuddling with her cub at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska took top prize in the National Park Foundation's 2014 "Share the Experience" photo contest.

Cameron Teller of Seattle took the winning photo, which also will appear on an annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass. He received $10,000 and other goodies.

His submission was selected from nearly 22,000 photographs from amateur photographers who made the pictures on public federal lands. National parks, preserves, historic sites, lands managed by federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife all quality.

Second place and $5,000 goes to a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, not your typical wild lands shot. Eric DaBrea of Chico, Calif., took the photo around sunset from Marshall Beach, south of Fort Point. It's part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

An image...

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