10 Most Expensive Places to Rent a Car: Is it Worth the Cost?

Travelers who rented cars in U.S. cities shelled out quite a bit of money this summer. Skift reports on a study by CheapCarRental.net that lists the most expensive cities to rent a car in the past two months. While New York and Boston came in at number 2 and 3, the winner, Portland, Oregon, was a bit more surprising.

The results beg the question: why bother getting a car when you’re visiting a city?

We’ve rounded up the top 10 most expensive car rental cities in the U.S., and found a reason in each that might make it worthwhile. Some of these places can be reached by taxi or public transportation, but most visitors drive themselves. Check out the slideshow below and be the judge: is this place worth renting a car?

%Slideshow-88690%

What Travel Websites Do People Actually Use?

You probably have your own online travel planning regimen, but are you using the same websites as everyone else?

Tnooz reports on the most popular travel websites last month, listing what online travel agency, lodging and destination, airline and general travel search terms were most popular. Here are some of the winners:
Top 3 online travel agency websites:

  1. Expedia
  2. Priceline.com
  3. CheapOair

Top 3 accommodations websites:

  1. TripAdvisor
  2. Booking.com
  3. Hotels.com

Top 3 airline websites:

  1. Southwest Airlines
  2. Delta Airlines
  3. United Airlines

Top 3 travel search terms:

  1. mapquest
  2. google maps
  3. southwest airlines

You can see the top 10 in each category at Tnooz.

Do these results surprise you?

South Florida Tries A New Way To Stop Speeding Drivers: Magic

South Florida transportation officials want drivers to slow down, but rather than relying on radar guns or speed traps, they’re trying a new trick: an optical illusion. The Sun Sentinel reports that the state has painted the road with hash-marks (think football field yard lines) that get closer and closer together. This creates the illusion that a driver is going faster, and will (in theory) cause them to hit the brakes and slow down.You can see a diagram of the new system here.

This isn’t the first time “magic” has been used target speeders. Oregon installed a similar system last year to save money, and Virginia, Texas, Kansas and Mississippi have all tested the program as well. In Vancouver, a more chilling pavement image was added to the road a few years ago:

What do you think? Are pavement illusions the magical solution to heavy-footed road warriors?

What Hotel Amenities Do People Really Care About?

Luxury hotel offerings run the gamut, from 5-star restaurants and pet concierges to granting absurd guest bacon-based requests — but how many of these services do travelers really want? According to Skift, a new study by MMGY and Harrison Group shows that limited-service hotels are growing in popularity. American travelers are choosing these more budget-conscious options, which generally do away with in-house bars and restaurants, bed turn-down service, spas, airport shuttles and other amenities.This doesn’t mean pillow mints will become extinct overnight. According to Skift:

While those travelers preferring limited-service hotels are still in the minority, their ranks grew 55% from 2012 to 2013, according to the survey, and was the fastest-growing trend among the categories about hotel preferences [in the table here].

But it does indicate a growing trend away from travelers relying on the hotel to cater to their every need on the road. Many hotels are doing away with in-room telephones and pay-per-view television options, while free Wi-Fi is on the rise, especially at budget hotel brands.

Would you book a hotel that doesn’t have a bar or restaurant if it meant saving a few bucks? What hotel amenities can you live without?

Where To Watch Football In New York: A Bar For (Almost) Every NFL Team

If you’re visiting New York this fall (and you should, it’s the best time to go), and you like football, there’s an important thing to keep in mind. Jets and Giants fans may seem to run the show, but many — if not most — people in this city hail from somewhere else. And they’ve brought their football allegiances with them.

New York has a bar for almost every pro football team’s fans (and countless college teams as well, but that’s another can of worms). Some teams have a few bars to choose from. Others, like the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, share one space (usually peacefully, though that 2009 NFC championship game sure made things exciting…). Most of these spots are a microcosm of the place they’re cheering for, dishing out potlucks, swag and a chance to meet other people from your hometown. At the very least, you’ll have someone else cheering for the same touchdowns and interceptions that you are.

So don’t cut your NYC trip short — stick around on Sunday and cheer for your team at one of these bars:

Team Bar
AFC North
Baltimore Ravens SideBar, Wharf Bar & Grill
Cincinnati Bengals Phebe’s Tavern & Grill
Cleveland Browns Manny’s on Second
Pittsburgh Steelers Reservoir Bar, Public House, Hibernia Bar, Irish Exit
AFC South
Houston
Texans
Idle Hands Bar
Indianapolis
Colts
Keats Bar
Jacksonville
Jaguars
Legends
Tennessee
Titans
SideBar
AFC East
Buffalo
Bills
McFadden’s, Kelly’s
Miami
Dolphins
Traffic Midtown East
New England
Patriots
Professor Thom’s
New York
Jets
You’re in New York. If you can’t find a bar playing the Jets you’re not looking hard enough.
AFC West
Denver
Broncos
Mustang Harry’s, Butterfield 8
Kansas City
Chiefs
Village Pourhouse
Oakland
Raiders
The Watering Hole
San Diego
Chargers
Deweys Flatiron
NFC North
Chicago
Bears
Overlook Bar, Triona’s, The Gael Pub
Detroit
Lions
Mercury Bar East
Green Bay
Packers
Kettle of Fish
Minnesota
Vikings
Bar None
NFC South
Atlanta
Falcons
The Watering Hole
Carolina
Panthers
Brother Jimmy’s Upper East Side (draws a small crowd)
New Orleans
Saints
Bar None
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
Stillwater Bar & Grill
NFC East
Dallas
Cowboys
Stone Creek
New York
Giants
Again, close your eyes and point your finger and you’ll find a bar playing the Giants.
Philadelphia
Eagles
Shorty’s, Wogies, Merrion
Washington
Redskins
Redemption, The Australian
NFC West
Arizona
Cardinals
No dedicated bar
San Francisco
49ers
Finnerty’s
Seattle
Seahawks
Carlow East
St. Louis
Rams
Dewey’s Flatiron (There isn’t a huge following but this place draws occasional fans)

Did we miss one? Add your favorite football bars in the comments below.

MORE FOOTBALL: Check out how the NFL’s opening match-up teams stack up as travel destinations. Would you rather spend the weekend in Baltimore or Denver?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: This week Michigan hosts rival Notre Dame. If you’re going to the game, don’t miss these other must-dos in Ann Arbor.