Escape in Venice

The JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is the sole resident of Isola delle Rose, a lush private island in Italy's Venetian Lagoon. The 40-acre island is reached via a 20-minute boat ride. The main hotel building is four stories and gleaming white; small outbuildings contain semi- to super-private guesthouses. The grounds include manicured gardens, lawns with olive trees and wild areas where spruces, palms or weeping willows encroach on white pebble paths. The seasonal property closes for winter in mid-November. We booked the basic room, a "De Luxe" (not the two-bedroom Villa with private pool for 4,445 euros). Our small space was outfitted with contemporary wood furnishings. It had a king bed, flat-screen TV, a tiny refrigerator filled with treats and a closet with a safe. For travelers with deep pockets who want to experience the splendor of Venice with serene breaks from the crowds, this hotel is ideal (from about $460/night).

New York Times

Tweet the TSA

If you're stuck in a long airport security screening line this summer, don't just stand there and fume. Airlines for America, the trade group for the nation's air carriers, suggests that you use your idle time to point out the delay to the Transportation Security Administration through Twitter. The trade group seemed to be taking a shot at the TSA by asking travelers who are waiting in long lines to "alert TSA by tweeting your airport code or location to askTSA along with your issue and the hashtag iHateThe­Wait." A TSA spokesman declined to comment when asked if the tweeting idea would help the TSA reduce lines.

Los Angeles Times

Camp with REI

Looking for ways to camp with the kids? Consider REI Signature Camping. For those families that want to go deep into a national park but also appreciate a deluxe experience, you have options. Oversized tents are outfitted with cots, comfy bedding, floor coverings and lighting. Community areas are a great gathering place for families as hammocks, covered dining areas, outdoor games and twinkle lighting create a festive atmosphere. French press coffee will be delivered to your tent and regional cuisine is served to hungry explorers upon return to camp. Destinations include Zion, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains (

Dallas Morning News

Calculate travel costs

What type of vacation can you afford? Vacation Cost Finder ( can help you make smart travel decisions. The interactive map takes your travel choices (domestic or international, beach, city or adventure, as well as four levels of daily spending) and calculates destinations in your price range. Once you make your selections, scan the world map and click on the pinned destinations that are within your budget. The average cost per day covers a one-mile taxi ride, three meals and one night in a hotel. When we tested International, Beach and two dollar signs ($150-$199 per day) it resulted in Cartagena, Colombia, for $167.79 per day; Cape Town, South Africa, for $170.10 per day; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for $176.09 per day; and La Oliva, Spain, for $167.23 per day. It doesn't seem to consider the cost of your flight, though. Use this to get a rough idea before you dig deeper into travel planning on other sites.

Los Angeles Times