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Stay close to home; guide shows how

Stay close to home; guide shows how

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The 2010 Illinois Travel Guide is now available in hard copy or online.

The Illinois Bureau of Tourism publication lists 50 "must-see" attractions, restaurants, lodging, activities, nightlife and events.

The 142-page guide can be found at tourist information centers, local convention and visitors bureaus and regional tourism development offices. You also can order a hard copy by calling the state travel hotline at 1-800-2CONNECT or download a PDF version at the Illinois Bureau of Tourism's Web site at www.enjoyillinois.com.

Visitors to Chicago should check out the 2010 Chicago Southland Visitors Guide. It lists all kinds of family adventures, including trips to see Chicago Fire Soccer, Chicago White Sox baseball, concert venues featuring national touring acts, championship golf courses, children's museums and recreation.

Check out affordable weekend getaways, lodging, dining, entertainment and more. Call 888-895-8233, e-mail info@visitchicagosouthland.com or visit www.visitchicagosouthland.com.

Travel discounts

The people at CurrentCodes.com promise travelers they can cut spending by visiting the Web site that offers thousands of coupons and checkout codes for free. Save 30 to 50 percent on luggage, airfare, rental cars, hotels and resorts, travel accessories and more. Companies that take part include Samsonite, Travelocity, Sheraton Hotels, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

Cuba travel?

Havana for vacation? It may be sooner than you think. The travel news Web site www.tramedia.com reports that representatives of the U.S. travel sector will meet with their Cuban counterparts in late March to discuss potential travel between the America and Cuba.

The meeting, to be held in Cancun, Mexico, will attract more than 100 representatives, including companies and airlines from the United States and 20 representing Cuba.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is lead sponsor of the Senate bill to lift restrictions to travel to Cuba.

Learn details of the U.S.-Cuba Travel Summit at www.uscubasummit.org.

Universe expands

StudentUniverse.com, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year as an online student and faculty travel broker, is extending air travel discounts to people ages 18 to 25, from high school to graduate students.

Recent users of StudentUniverse.com saved $80 on average on a one-way domestic ticket and $125 round trip when booking last minute back-to-school travel. The site also offers discounts on international travel.

The company boasts working relationships with 35 airline partners. Visit www.studentuniverse.com.

Check your baggage

When Connecticut boarding school teacher Luke Dudley saw the problems students faced when rising luggage costs became an issue in 2008, he launched luggagelimits.com last year. The Web site tracks luggage fees for more than 125 major airlines. The site receives up to 11,000 visits a day.

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