Browse thousands of rentals at FlipKey

Among the vacation rental sites that have popped up is FlipKey, a division of TripAdvisor. FlipKey offers more than 160,000 apartments, condos and homes to rent in 7,000 locations worldwide. Check out details, including photos and reviews from past guests (rental owners don't have access to the review section of their listing). Some owners provide special offers and discounts. You'll be asked to sign a rental agreement and provide a small deposit via PayPal or credit card. Information at 1-877-354-7539;


Find fall fun at

Several events around Wisconsin promise plenty of fall fun, including Menomonie's Fall-o-Ween celebration this coming Saturday. Check for complete listings.


W New Orleans shows off $9 million makeover

The W New Orleans French Quarter has just completed a $9 million renovation, with a new Living Room reception area, a fabulous new restaurant (from the venerable Commander's Palace family), a new fitness facility and a new design for its 97 guest rooms. Two room designs -- "Jazz" and "Tarot" -- play off New Orleans' vibrant music heritage and its shadowy relationship with mysticism. Rooms begin at $239; information at


Smart Traveler app: U.S. alerts and more

Smart Traveler is a fantastic app from the U.S. Department of State that gives up-to-date information, travel alerts, warnings and U.S. embassy locations around the world. A lot of serious information here -- but the app has a fun feature, too: Shake your phone, and it randomly picks a country to tell you about. For Android and iPhone; get links at