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Hurricane Irene is bound for the East Coast and ruining vacation plans (but airlines are being sympathetic), the Boeing Dreamliner finally has a takeoff date and route, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:

Hurricane Irene affects last summer travel plans, airlines waive fees
In anticipation of Hurricane Irene hitting the US East Coast this weekend, airlines are offering passengers with dashed summer vacation plans the option of refunds or free ticket changes, the Huffington Post reports. On land, the Associated Press reports, officials along the East Coast are weighing whether to evacuate tourists near the beachfront during one of the final weekends of summer; North Carolina Outer Banks officials have already done so.  The Bahamas airport is closed, MSNBC Travel reports 450 cruise passengers are stranded in Puerto Rico, which has already been hit, and CBS says the category 3 hurricane “has makings of historic storm”.

Dreamliner to take to the skies 26 October
At long last the fabled Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft we reported on earlier has an official takeoff date, USA Today reports. On 26 October the liner will fly round-trip between Tokyo Narita and Hong Kong --- optimally pressurized air cabins, extra legroom in economy, LCD touch screens, spacious bathrooms complete with bidets and all. Its first long route is set for January 2012 between Tokyo Narita and Frankfurt airports. The certification is still to come, though; the Associated Press says it will take place Friday.

“Rather than choosing a location based on what’s available, think about what will be the most intriguing place to live and go there. There are countless independent study abroad companies with programs in Barcelona, Bangkok and everywhere in between. Browse through, which maintains a pretty comprehensive database of programs around the world to find your perfect fit.”

– The Huffington Post published Back to School: The Dos and Don'ts of Studying Abroad.

The mega retweet
We scour Twitter to publish a standout travel tweet

“What's the world's best-selling beer? You've probably never heard of it | (via @TIMENewsFeed)”

-@Time Here is a hint: If you have been to China, you will probably recognize it.

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