Travel

Why You Might Spot Shaq on Your Next Caribbean Cruise

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:06
<p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/cruises/carnival-vista" target="_blank">Carnival Cruise Line</a> is already known for bringing it in the fun department, especially for families, but it appears the company is looking to ratchet things up a few notches with their latest hire, a CFO.</p><p>No, not a chief financial officer, but rather a “chief fun officer.” Clearly, the company needed to find someone who knows a thing or two about having a good time to fill such an important role and, after an extensive search, the person they hired couldn’t be more perfect for the job.</p><p>“I’ll be responsible for letting the world know that this ship is not just a ship with a whole bunch of rooms. There’s nothing boring about this ship,” Shaquille O'Neal — yes, the basketball legend — told <i>Travel + Leisure </i>about his new appointment as Carnival’s CFO.</p><p>And it seems O’Neal is in love with not only his new gig, but also all the amenities Carnival’s ships have offer. Especially the food.</p><p>“You’ve got an outdoor basketball court, you’ve got a library, you’ve an all you can eat buffet,” Shaq said as he listed off all the benefits of boarding the new <a href="https://www.carnival.com/cruise-ships/carnival-horizon.aspx" target="_blank">Carnival ship Horizon</a>. “You’ve got everything on this ship.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/large-ocean-cruise-ships" target="_blank">The Top 10 Large-ship Ocean Cruise Lines</a></p><p>As part of his CFO ambassador duties, Shaq will not only become the face of the brand in ads, but he will also be boarding at least two cruises this year. He wouldn’t reveal which ones, however, as he wanted to keep it a surprise for passengers. “I’ll give you a hint,” he said. “It’s somewhere in the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/islands-in-caribbean" target="_blank">Caribbean</a>.”</p><p>And really, who isn’t hoping to run into someone as fun-loving as Shaq when they are cruising through the open water?</p><p>“Much like our guests, Shaq is all about having a good time with a spontaneous up-for-anything mentality that makes him simply fun to be around,” Christine Duffy, Carnival's president, told <i>Travel + Leisure</i>. “When I was first approached about the idea of having Shaq in this role, I couldn’t think of a better person who embodies what the Carnival brand is all about.”</p><p>The Carnival Horizon is set to debut in Europe in the spring. Or, for something a bit closer to home, travelers from the U.S. can always hop aboard Horizon’s sister ship, Carnival Vista, which now comes complete with a Dr. Seuss-themed water park and a new Smokehouse Brewhouse from Guy Fieri. This year, Carnival will also be returning to Cuba aboard the Carnival Paradise.</p><p>“It’s great for families; moms and dads get to spend quality time with each other as the kids go play,” Shaq said. And really, the cruises are fun for anyone who's still a kid at heart.</p><p>“Let me tell you something, I was in the arcade room and I got in trouble a couple of times playing those games,” Shaq admitted. “I like going to places that bring me back to my youthful days.”</p><p>As for what to pack for a trip on a ship, Shaq said all you need are “six or seven” pairs of swimming trunks, linen pants, floral button downs, and a wide-brimmed hat.</p><p>Oh, and he has one more suggestion for Carnival: Let him bring on an assistant CFO. “I’d have to go with Kevin Hart,” Shaq said of who he’d pick for the job. “Could you imagine us on this ship?”</p><p>Yes, we can, and we hope it happens. Though for now it’s clear that Shaq is more than capable of fulfilling his job duties.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Simple Trick Will Help You Get More Done Every Day

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:00
<p>If you really want to achieve your goals in 2018, put down the to do list. It turns out that simply making lists isn’t the most effective workflow to get things done.</p><p>“Millionaires don’t use to do lists,” author Srinivas Rao wrote on <a href="https://medium.com/the-mission/why-calendars-are-more-effective-than-to-do-lists-9bc6ce3bee50" target="_blank">Medium</a>. The most successful people, he says, work from a calendar. Rao explains that using a calendar to organize your goals is more effective because “our lives are dictated almost entirely by units of time.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/richard-branson-bath-time-self-care" target="_blank">Richard Branson Says Taking Baths Could Make You More Successful</a></p><p>He noted several examples, such as “publishers give authors deadlines,” “professors give students a syllabus with important dates,” and “when you ship something you are told how long it will take to get to the recipient.”</p><p>Looking at a calendar can actually change the way you think about a goal. On <a href="https://unmistakablecreative.com/" target="_blank">Unmistakable Creative</a>, Rao's podcast meant to inspire creativity and help listeners find purpose in their lives and careers, he interviewed Timeful creator Dan Ariely. Timeful is a time management-focused tech company.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/how-to-travel-better" target="_blank">How to Travel Better: A T+L Master Class</a></p><p>“The moment you have a way to represent things easily like meetings and you don’t have a good way to represent something like writing a book or meditating or exercising and so on, the things that are represented will be carried out and the things that are not represented will not get carried out,” Ariely said. </p><p>Basically, we’re better at keeping scheduled meetings at work than we are at keeping a schedule of personal activities or goals. </p><p>Rao used this principal to add more reading time into his life, and it helped him read at least 30 minutes a day. So, let’s say you have a New Year’s resolution to write a book, keep in touch with more people, or exercise more. Putting it in your calendar will keep that resolution front and center in your mind and help you to work at it every day.</p><p>“When an event is consistently scheduled on your calendar, it’s much more likely to transform into an unconscious habit,” Rao said.</p><p>And the best part is, you can still use that calendar to list out your tasks. Especially if you use Google Calendar, you can write in simple, low-priority reminders to pay bills, change the sheets, or send follow-up emails on a daily basis. You can also use calendar apps to track your goals and schedule meetings as per usual.</p><p>At the end of the day, a calendar keeps you accountable. That’s a huge step up from simply listing your goals without any sort of deadline.</p>
Categories: Travel

This New Travel Show on Netflix Will Make You Plan a Culinary Trip to Venice

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 08:47
<p>Despite the warm glow of the magic hour, the outdoor tables facing the small canal at Il Refolo were empty but for one couple, due to the drizzle. It was so perfectly Venice that the producer asked Phil Rosenthal, the host of a new Netflix show that was filming in the restaurant, to sit at a table for a 10-second silent beauty shot. But Rosenthal doesn't do silent. Rosenthal wanted to know how the couple's pizza was and what they'd seen here in Venice. They were such a nice couple, in such a nice place, at such a nice time of evening. Rosenthal then went inside and secretly paid for their dinner — because what could make this experience nicer for all of them than a nice gesture? The most surprising thing about Rosenthal is that he doesn't whistle.</p><p>Or maybe that he's found success in front of the camera after so much time behind it. For nine years, Rosenthal was the showrunner on the sitcom <em>Everybody Loves Raymond</em>. Since then, he's built a career as a food and travel evangelist, beginning with his PBS series, <em>I'll Have What Phil's Having</em>, which won a James Beard Award in 2016. Rosenthal and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/anthony-bourdain-airplan-meal-service" target="_blank">Anthony Bourdain</a> share the same production company, but the similarities end there. "I'm exactly like Bourdain, if he were afraid of everything," he told me. "I want those guys who might relate to me to say, ‘If that putz can go outside, maybe I can, too.' " This month, Netflix will begin airing six hour-long episodes of a higher-production-value version of his show, now called <em>Somebody Feed Phil</em>. In it, Rosenthal goes to such places as Tel Aviv, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/mexico-city" target="_blank">Mexico City</a>, and New Orleans, eating at both Michelin-starred restaurants and food trucks and employing the broad, dumb smile and nod of a traveler eager to learn.</p><img alt="Phil Rosenthal films his Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil, in Venice, Italy "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515626318/phil-rosenthal-eats-cichetti-VENICEFOOD0218.jpg?itok=qrYzYmyR"><p>For five days, I followed Rosenthal, a friend, as he filmed an episode in Venice. Our first stop was Trattoria Vini Da Arturo<em>,</em> in San Marco. A 45-year-old, 22-seat sliver of a space, it's decorated with photos of Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, and producer Joel Silver, who has flown the chef, Ernesto Ballarin, out to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/los-angeles" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> to cook for him. Rosenthal ordered the trattoria's famous breaded bone-in pork chop, which is finished by cooking off two cups of white vinegar in the pan. He then got a second chop for the rest of us to taste, and before the bite hit my mouth, I coughed from the vinegar fumes. The only thing this vinegary I'd ever eaten was vinegar. But it was so interesting I kept going back for more, washing it down with a 2012 Capo di Stato, a soft, Bordeaux-style local blend the chef served to cut the acid.</p><p>Other than that pork chop and the excellent steak that soon followed, it was a week of seafood. At <a href="http://ristorantealcovo.com/" target="_blank">Al Covo</a><em>,</em> a traditional fish restaurant looking out onto a quiet palazzo, Phil befriended the Venetian chef, Cesare Benelli, and his wife, Diane, a Texan who makes all the pastries. They bombarded us with <em>crudo,</em> fried sardines, spider crabs, tiny fried soft-shell crabs, and the best raw shrimp I've ever had — sweet and briny. Diane's chocolate torte was zero percent Venetian but 100 percent delicious.</p><p>The next day, we joined up with Laura Sousounis, a professional massage therapist Rosenthal met in Hollywood who lives part-time in Venice. She took us on a crawl of wine bars that serve <em>cicchetti,</em> the city's version of tapas. At <a href="http://www.cantinaschiavi.com/" target="_blank">Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi</a><em>,</em> a small wine store and tavern, the owner impressed Rosenthal with tuna salad dusted with cocoa on a small baguette slice, while at All'Arco<em>,</em> Sousounis and Phil shared overstuffed, triangle-shaped white-bread sandwiches called <em>tramezzini.</em></p><p>On a warm, clear day, we piloted a rented boat to Burano, an island where the houses are all brightly colored and the air smells of vanilla from the local hard cookies, called <em>bussolà</em>. Our tour guide, food blogger Valeria Necchio, walked us over a tiny footbridge, putting us on what is technically a separate island called Mazzorbo, home to <a href="http://venissa.it/" target="_blank">Venissa</a> — a vineyard, five-room hotel, micro-farm, and Michelin-starred restaurant. It's a stunning, enormous property with a sculpture garden: an escape within the escape of  Venice. At the restaurant, Rosenthal became so hooked on the Lippia dulcis — microscopic flower buds that offer a flavor bomb of minty licorice sweetness — that he asked for a bag to go.</p><p>Over his five days in Venice, Rosenthal got upset only once. A man found his Achilles' heel, which is made of gelato. The gelateria Rosenthal wanted to see was closed, so he decided to walk into <a href="https://www.venchi.com/it/" target="_blank">Venchi</a> — a chain! When the young man behind the counter told us he was out of chocolate-dipped cones, and that we would have to pay before tasting, Phil shook his head in disgust. Then the gelato scooper said precisely the wrong thing: "Come on, guys, you're not buying a car. It's just ice cream." To Phil Rosenthal, there might be "just cars," but there is no "just ice cream." It took all of his will to leave peacefully with his mediocre cup of gelato.</p><img alt="Pasta at the Bauer Hotel, in Venice, Italy "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515626318/pasta-bauer-hotel-italy-VENICEFOOD0218.jpg?itok=U8u0xXke"><p>But other than the damned gelato scooper, Phil collected friends faster than meals. In fact, he decided to hold a dinner party at Venice's famed <a href="http://www.bauervenezia.com/" target="_blank">Bauer Palazzo</a> and invited friends he met three years ago in Florence while filming <em>I'll Have What Phil's Having</em>. Dario Cecchini, Italy's foremost proponent of nose-to-tail butchering, came up with his American wife, Kim Wicks. Silvana Vivoli, the owner of Vivoli, one of Florence's oldest gelaterias (it's a far cry from Venchi) was also there. Sitting outside on the Bauer's seventh-floor terrace, we all watched the crescent moon rise over Santa Maria della Salute, the church built to celebrate the end of the plague in 1631. Wearing red pants, red clogs, and a vest and belt with the colors of the Italian flag, Cecchini blew a horn to celebrate each course, humming Verdi in between. He ended the meal with a speech about Venice enduring, which made him cry. "The older I get, the more sentimental I get," he said. "This reminds me of my father. <em>L'chaim</em>."</p><p>On the last night of my trip, when Phil delicately asked me if it was okay if he went out alone with the crew — who were celebrating the end of spending 20 days in a row together traveling from Cape Town to Venice — I said yes. Back in my Airbnb, I thought about what Phil would have done with a free night in Venice. Normally, I wouldn't bother a stranger. But I texted Brittany Hymore, a friend of a friend who runs <a href="https://www.cimarosavenezia.com/" target="_blank">Cima Rosa</a><em>,</em> a five-room bed-and-breakfast, and took her up on what I'm sure was merely a polite offer for a drink. I stood next to the canal by the Rialto Bridge and waved nervously to Brittany, her Venetian architect husband, Daniele Vallot, and their two adorable kids as they picked me up in their motorboat. They brought me to <a href="http://www.altimon.it/" target="_blank">Al Timon</a><em>,</em> a casual bar where we snacked on <em>cicchetti</em> and downed Campari Spritzes. Later, we walked though a private, lantern-lit 13th-century courtyard to their palazzo, home to both the B&amp;B and their beautiful, minimalist apartment on the top floor. Dinner was a cheap feast of pasta, John Dory, and Prosecco a few doors down at <a href="http://osteriamocenigovenezia.com/" target="_blank">Osteria Mocenigo</a>, where we talked long after their son had fallen asleep on Brittany's lap. I walked home at midnight, and e-mailed Phil to thank him for inspiring me. He was, as you can guess, very happy.</p><h3>Eating Around the World with Phil</h3><p>The host of the globe-trotting series <em>Somebody </em><em>Feed Phil</em> — now streaming on Netflix — dishes on three other restaurants he fell in love with while filming.</p><h3><a href="https://www.facebook.com/caubaquan82" target="_blank">Cau Ba Quan</a>: Ho Chi Minh City</h3><p>"Chef Nikky Tran splits her time between Houston and Vietnam, where she does a completely original mash-up of delicious dishes. There's a beef salad that has every element of flavor in it, and they go together magically. They should change the name to ‘happy salad.' It's a small place on the water, so you think you're in Paris when you sit there." <em>entrées $4–$20.</em></p><h3>Lung Prakit Kad Kom: Chiang Mai, Thailand</h3><p>"This spot has the best bowl of anything I've ever had: <em>khao soi</em>. It's a coconut-curry-based soup with fresh noodles in it. It also has organic beef or whole pieces of chicken topped with crisp noodles. They gave me a big bowl of the chicken one and a big bowl of the beef one. I finished them both." <em>Kom Market, Suriawong Alley; 66-083-209-9441; bowls $1–$1.50.</em></p><h3>Cervejaria Ramiro: <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/lisbon" target="_blank">Lisbon</a></h3><p>"Incredible fresh seafood in a casual setting. They serve eight species of prawns and shrimp. One was a little brown guy that looked like Wilford Brimley, with the mustache. They keep everything in tanks and show you your order before serving it in the most delicious sauces. Seafood is light, and so they send you off with a little steak sandwich for dessert." <em>entrées $12–$30.</em></p><p><em>The content in this article was produced with assistance from Netflix.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

The One Carry-on Bag Tumi's Creative Director Can't Travel Without

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 08:46
<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/victorsanzdesign/" target="_blank">Victor Sanz</a> wants to ensure every part of your travel experience is beautiful, and that includes your luggage. As the creative director of <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.tumi.com//" target="_blank">Tumi</a>, Sanz is responsible for designing some of the most stunning and functional travel accessories on Earth.</p><p>We called Sanz to get his take on carry-on essentials, travel rituals, and all the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-places-to-travel-in-2018" target="_blank">places you should be visiting in 2018</a>. And you can trust him as a travel pro, because he’s already on his second passport this year after collecting too many stamps in the first.</p><h2>What is your relationship to travel?</h2><p>When I was a kid I’d spend the summers in Spain because my family's all from there. So I think I just kind of got used to travel at a very young age. We'd just pack up everything we had and be living in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/madrid" target="_blank">Madrid</a> for a month and then we’d go to Segovia for another month and then we’d be in Barcelona for a couple of weeks and that's how the summers pretty much went.</p><p>When the time came to go to university, I went off to New York and I never looked back and it's just been kind of this adventure ever since then. And luckily enough for me, I ended up scoring a job at Tumi. And being able to work for a travel company is awesome because that was part of the job. You know it's like traveling to Asia or traveling to Europe, traveling all over the place to talk to people about design and building products and it’s just this kind of epic journey that I've been on.</p><img alt="Carry on with Victor Sanz Tumi "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1511892747/carry-on-victor-sanz-tumi-TUMI1117.jpg?itok=OIo9PwJY"><h2>What do you always have in your carry-on?</h2><p>If I were to lose my luggage this is the thing that I would just dread the most to lose, but I always have my music with me on my iPhone. And that's also my camera. It's all inclusive in there. But really, my music, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Field-Notes-Kraft-Ruled-3-Pack/dp/B0034KDEMO" target="_blank">my sketchbook</a>, that's kind of where all my thoughts are and notes and all of that. And my <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/travel-accessories/best-travel-sunglasses" target="_blank">sunglasses</a>, those are the things that I just never, never leave on any trip without — my music, my sketchbook, and my shades. I can pick up clothes along the way. I can kind of replace everything else, but those are my essentials.</p><h2>Any good in-flight secrets?</h2><p>Just think about what time you’ll be landing and then plan your sleep schedule around that. But also to get up and walk around. Spend time walking up and down the aisles; try not to be sitting for eight hours straight. That's pretty rough on your body. And just make yourself comfortable as soon as you sit down. You know, just kind of set yourself up mentally for the journey.</p><h2>Where is your dream destination?</h2><p>I used to really want to go to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/travel-to-antarctica" target="_blank">Antarctica</a>. That was one kind of epic journey and I still want to do that, but I want to just do that a little bit later in life.</p><p>But right now I really want to go visit the Serengeti. I've never been to Africa, I’ve never been in that kind of an environment. I just want to go experience the culture there, the colors you know kind of connecting with this natural environment that is out of the norm for me. I’ve been to the rainforest and I've been to these great national parks, but I’ve never been there.</p><img alt="Carry on with Victor Sanz Tumi "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1511892747/carry-on-victor-sanz-tumi-4-TUMI1117.jpg?itok=5zFv5RMp"><h2>Is there one place you could travel back to again and again?</h2><p>There’s one place I always have a fantastic time. It’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/tokyo" target="_blank">Tokyo</a>.</p><p>I have this great group of friends that are there and every time I go I always kind of feel refreshed and inspired. I have a lot of great memories, a lot of great times going out for dinner and just experiencing things, going to different art galleries and just really kind of reinvigorating that creative energy that comes from that city. The other place for relaxing is <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/how-to-travel-to-amalfi-coast" target="_blank">the Amalfi Coast</a>. No one has to twist my arm to go back there.</p><h2>Best perk of being a frequent traveler?</h2><p>I think the coolest part is that things don't get boring. Sometimes you live in a city or you live in a town and all of a sudden things get a little bit stale. But when you're traveling a lot, you get to experience all these new things and you get to meet new people. You get to go on microadventures. And then when you get back you can take those experiences and try to mimic them to try and find those types of things in the area around your own town. And that's been one of the most intriguing things for me is just bringing that culture back home.</p><h2>Any travel rituals?</h2><p>The funny thing is I always buy a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-walking-shoes-for-travel" target="_blank">new pair of shoes</a> before a trip. I just started doing it because I just wanted something new and fresh and I would just go out and buy a pair that I liked and then after a while it's like, hey, trip's coming up and it’s a great reason to go out and get another pair of shoes. So it's become a bit of a problem since I'm traveling a lot.</p><img alt="Carry on with Victor Sanz Tumi "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/tumi-luggage-tumi1117.jpg?itok=ldL5pLsP"><h2>Which bag is your carry-on essential?</h2><p>Right now it's the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.tumi.com/p/international-carry-on-036860SLV2" target="_blank">19 Degree Aluminum carry-on</a>.</p><p>I've always wanted to be an artist, a fine artist. I wanted to be a sculptor and a painter and then I found industrial design and I was like, ”man this is awesome.’’ It was really this one moment where I was like, ”how can we create art that is just as functional.’’ And I think, for me, every time I see that piece it just reminds me that there is beauty in something that's truly kind of a functional element and we should celebrate that and take that moment to kind of enjoy it. There's something beautiful here and not just a piece of luggage or <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/ultimate-travel-essentials/essentials" target="_blank">travel gear</a>.</p><h2>What would your life be like without travel?</h2><p>A life without travel for me, I don’t think it would be complete, to be honest. I think inherently it's just something that I love to do. Whether it's just traveling locally or long distances, I think I would feel like something was missing. </p><p><em>*Interview condensed for length and clarity.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

Here's What it Actually Looks Like to Take Off and Land on the World's Shortest Commercial Runway (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 08:24
<p>Landing a plane is no easy feat, let alone trying to do it on the world’s shortest runway.</p><p>This is what the pilots over at <a href="https://www.fly-winair.sx/" target="_blank">Winair</a> have to do, transporting passengers to and from a 400-meter (roughly 1,300 feet) runway on the tiny <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/best-caribbean-vacations" target="_blank">Caribbean island</a> of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/solo-travel/best-places-for-women-to-travel-alone" target="_blank">Saba</a>.</p><p>Built along the rocky terrain of the island, the narrow <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/st-maarten-airport-runway-scary-landing" target="_blank">runway</a> sits in between cliffs on one end, and the blue waters of Cove Bay on the other, making for a nail-biting landing and takeoff experience.</p><p>A recent video uploaded by Just Planes shows just what that looks like, from the quick stops the pilot has to make when landing on the runway to what it looks like to take off from the short airstrip.</p><p>The runway at Saba’s Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport was built on one of the only grounded areas found on the island, according to <a href="http://www.sabatourism.com/sabasairport.html" target="_blank">Saba’s Tourism </a><a href="http://www.sabatourism.com/sabasairport.html" target="_blank">Board, </a>and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world's shortest commercially serviceable runway.</p><p>Tourism board representatives state that pilots can even land on the runway from both sides depending on the wind conditions of each day, swinging the plane as far as 180 degrees when they reach the end of the runway to prepare for their liftoff.</p><p>Only a 15-minute flight from St. Maarten, the island is home to prime scuba diving and mountain scenery.</p><p>Today, Saba has flights that depart four times a week throughout the year, though <a href="http://http://www.windwardexpress.com/" target="_blank">Windward Express Airways</a> also offers travelers charter flights to and from the islands that sit near Saba.</p>
Categories: Travel

GM's New Self-driving Car Has No Steering Wheel or Pedals

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 08:22
<p>General Motors revealed its <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/blogs/googles-self-driving-car-makes-the-road-trip-of-tomorrow" target="_blank">latest self-driving car</a> Friday, and observers might notice a few things missing: namely a steering wheel and all other manual controls.</p><p>As the vehicle is entirely autonomous, the company said there was no need for a steering wheel or even a brake pedal. Users instead interact with the car through a series of touch screen tablets.</p><p>The U.S. car giant plans to test the vehicles and have them on the road for use in ride-sharing apps by 2019, according <a href="http://www.gm.com/mol/selfdriving.html" target="_blank">to a press release</a>.</p><p>GM has applied for <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/ground-transportation/federal-guidelines-for-self-driving-cars" target="_blank">exemption</a> from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 16 safety standards, saying they don't apply to their automated car, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/12/technology/general-motors-cruise-self-driving-car/index.html?sr=twCNN011218general-motors-cruise-self-driving-car0627AMStory" target="_blank">CNN reported</a>.</p><p>“When you don't have a steering wheel, it makes no sense to talk about an airbag in a steering wheel,” Paul Hemmersbaugh, GM's policy director for autonomous vehicles, told reporters. “So what we do instead is put in an airbag that mirrors the right front passenger side, and show it provides equivalent safety.”</p><p>GM has seen a high incidence of accidents with its <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/ground-transportation/tesla-car-self-driving" target="_blank">self-driving cars</a>. Their autonomous fleet was involved in six separate accidents in September 2017, all of which the company says were not caused by their vehicle, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving-crashes/gm-more-than-doubles-self-driving-car-test-fleet-in-california-idUSKBN1C92VD" target="_blank">Reuters reported</a>.</p><p>GM released a <a href="http://www.gm.com/content/dam/gm/en_us/english/selfdriving/gmsafetyreport.pdf" target="_blank">33-page report</a> detailing how they plan to address safety concerns, including perception sensors and collision detection.</p><p>The software is also designed to cope with any potential vehicle malfunctions to maintain safety, according to GM.</p><p>“There’s a backup for backups. We have multiple break systems on the vehicle," Kevin Kelly, senior manager of advanced tech communications, told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meals Go Flying As Plane Hits Severe Turbulence

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 08:21
<p>Turbulence can be a scary. So much so it could make you lose your lunch — literally.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5258431/Turbulence-hits-packed-flight-seconds-food-service.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail</em></a> reported that a flight from Tunisia to Paris struck severe turbulence just moments after the crew served the in-flight meal, launching trays up and into the aisles.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/trick-for-dealing-with-turbulence" target="_blank">Here's What to Do If You Get Anxious About Turbulence</a></p><p>Thankfully no passengers were injured, despite the brute force of it. They were, however, left hungry since full meals were left turned over on the floor, along with napkins, drinks and cutlery.</p><p>Passengers on board caught some of the lunch carnage on camera and posted photos on social media. Trays and cups, as wells as both packaged and unpackaged food can be seen strewn on the ground as some passengers try to pick up trash and scattered pieces of their meals.</p><p>It is not clear whether passengers were able to get their meals replaced or were able to receive some alternative food service after the turbulence.</p><p>Tunisair has not commented on the incident, according to the <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.airlive.net/alert-tunis-air-tu722-experienced-severe-turbulence-while-meal-was-served/" target="_blank">AirLive</a>, the flight landed safely at Paris Orly at 7:35 p.m. local time.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Get a $458 Round-trip Flight to Hong Kong Right Now

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 08:17
<p>Want to visit the beautiful harbor city of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/hong-kong" target="_blank">Hong Kong</a> without ripping open your savings account? Right now, flights to the far-flung destination are on sale from $458 round-trip.</p><p>According to <a href="https://thriftytraveler.com/" target="_blank"><em>Thrifty Traveler</em></a>, the unusually cheap tickets are for flights with both American and United Airlines.</p><p>The most inexpensive tickets — <a href="https://www.momondo.com/flightsearch/?Search=true&amp;TripType=2&amp;SegNo=2&amp;SO0=PHL&amp;SD0=HKG&amp;SDP0=02-04-2018&amp;SO1=HKG&amp;SD1=PHL&amp;SDP1=11-04-2018&amp;AD=1&amp;TK=ECO&amp;DO=false&amp;NA=false&amp;currency=USD&amp;cmp2=true&amp;utm_source=webgains&amp;utm_medium=affiliate&amp;utm_campaign=%20191361&amp;utm_content=8613" target="_blank">$458 total</a> — are for flights departing from Philadelphia.</p><p>Flights originating in Miami, Dallas, and Phoenix are all priced at $472, while itineraries originating in Chicago and Los Angeles cost just a few dollars more.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/hotels-in-downtown-hong-kong" target="_blank">The Best Hotels in Hong Kong</a></p><p>Even East Coast travelers can jump on this flight deal. From the <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/new-york-city" target="_blank">New York City</a> area, tickets are selling for $484 round-trip. (Cleveland, Colorado Springs, and Washington, D.C. are all roughly the same price).</p><p>At this time, cheap flights to Hong Kong can be found from 20 major cities in the United States and Canada — all of them selling for under $500 round-trip.</p><p>There’s immediate availability, with flights available as late in the year as June (just as temperatures in subtropical Hong Kong start to really sizzle).</p><p>To find the best deal from your city, use <a href="http://google.com/flights" target="_blank">Google Flights’ low-fare calendar</a> to see the most affordable days to fly (marked in green). Then, use your preferred search engine, like Skyscanner or Momondo, to find a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/flight-deals/how-to-book-cheap-flights-with-third-party-website" target="_blank">third-party retailer</a> selling those seats at a better price.</p>
Categories: Travel

Get 33% off a Three-night Stay at the SLS Brickell in Miami

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 07:01
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation" target="_blank"><b>travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation</b></a></em></p><p>Miami: Get 33 percent off a stay at the SLS Brickell. It has Philippe Starck-designed rooms (behind a striking facade), restaurants from José Andres and Michael Schwartz, and a rooftop deck with hot and cold plunge pools.</p><p>Travel + Leisure Exclusive includes:</p><p>*Three nights for the price of two in a Superior King room (upgrades available)</p><p>Original Price: From $275 per night</p><p><strong>T + L Price:</strong> From $194 per night; book by March 31 for stays through September 30.</p><p>Booking details: <a href="https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=69950&amp;Chain=10237&amp;template=rMIASL&amp;shell=rMIASL&amp;start=availresults&amp;arrive=4/15/2018&amp;depart=4/18/2018&amp;adult=1&amp;child=0&amp;promo=TRAVEL" target="_blank">Book online</a> through the dedicated link with the booking code TRAVEL.</p><p>Availability: Subject to availability. Blackout dates apply.</p>
Categories: Travel

A New Luxury Hotel Is Opening in the Middle of an Alaskan Glacier

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 06:51
<p>Visitors to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/alaska-when-to-see-northern-lights" target="_blank">Alaska</a>’s Denali National Park no longer need to rough it to spend an immersive night in the glaciers. A new Alaskan resort will open in February where “guests become part of the landscape” — without sacrificing luxuries like a concierge, champagne or plush bedding.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/denali-national-park-100-years" target="_blank">Denali National Park Celebrates 100 Years</a></p><p><a href="http://www.sheldonchalet.com/the-chalet/#!" target="_blank">The Sheldon Chalet</a> is perched on a “nunatak” (an exposed hill surrounded by glacier) bordering Alaska’s Denali National Park, at 6,000 feet elevation.</p><img alt="Sheldon Chalet Winter Cabin Retreat Denali National Park Alaska "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515772471/view-sheldon-chalet-denali-alaska-DENALICHALET0118.jpg?itok=8pJ4Mv56"><p>The chalet's all-inclusive rate includes accommodations, food and beverage, sauna access and a “flightseeing” tour while in transit to and from the hotel. And of course, they offer a <a href="http://www.sheldonchalet.com/contact/" target="_blank">completely customized experience</a>.</p><img alt="Denali National Park Alaska Northern Lights Aurora Borealis "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515772471/northern-lights-denali-national-park-alaska-DENALICHALET0118.jpg?itok=jNVl9t1s"><p>When conditions are prime, guests can sit on the observation deck and watch the aurora borealis with a glass of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/food-drink/wine/man-sues-airline-champagne-sparkling-wine" target="_blank">champagne</a>. Staff can also arrange skiing, trekking or snowshoeing expeditions on the Ruth Glacier that surrounds the Sheldon nunatak.</p><img alt="Mt McKinley Denali National Park Alaska "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515772471/denali-national-park-alaska-DENALICHALET0118.jpg?itok=DePe_1fq"><p>The resort has a maximum capacity of 10 people across its five guest rooms. Each of the rooms includes showers with “carefully curated spa products” and panoramic views of the snow-capped Alaska range.</p><img alt="Sheldon Chalet Winter Cabin Retreat Denali National Park Alaska "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515772471/guestroom-sheldon-chalet-denali-alaska-DENALICHALET0118.jpg?itok=R5bXt13J"><p>The resort has neither cellphone coverage nor internet service, which Marne Sheldon, one of the operators of the resort, <a href="http://www.sheldonchalet.com/luxurious-disconnecting/" target="_blank">said contributes to “luxurious disconnecting.”</a></p><p>While guests are disconnecting from their internet lives, they will dine on locally sourced Alaskan meals, with a heavy emphasis on seafood like Alaska King Crab and Copper River Salmon.</p><img alt="Sheldon Chalet Winter Cabin Retreat Denali National Park Alaska "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515772471/interior-sheldon-chalet-denali-alaska-DENALICHALET0118.jpg?itok=Lc2C4JYa"><p>“Alaska doesn't have many of these crown-jewel experiences,” Sheldon <a href="http://www.travelweekly.com/North-America-Travel/Remote-refinement-Denali-lodge" target="_blank">told <em>Travel Weekly</em></a>. “We hope to fill that niche.”</p><p>Rooms start at $2,300 per person, per night, based on double occupancy.</p>
Categories: Travel

What a Rare Snow in the Sahara Looks Like From Space

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 06:37
<p>This winter has brought extreme weather to some unexpected places — like <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/snow-in-sahara-desert" target="_blank">snow in the Sahara</a>.</p><p>Images captured from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite show the blanketing snowfall in northwest Algeria, right on the edge of the Sahara desert — which averages between 104 degrees and 117 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The images were captured on January 7, according to the <a href="http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/01/Sahara_snow" target="_blank">European Space Agency</a>.</p><img alt="Ain Sefra Village Algeria Sahara Desert Snow Winter NASA "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515774535/berber-village-ain-sefra-snow-algeria-NASASNOW0118.jpg?itok=ur9tp4sX"><p>While the snowfall was less than an inch and gone by the next day, the satellite images — both from the ESA and NASA — offer an unusual view of this desert.</p><p>Other than this area being extremely warm, the Sahara is also very dry, which makes the accumulation of snow especially rare. However, snow can usually fall on the High Atlas Mountains, according to the ESA.</p><img alt="Ain Sefra Village Algeria Sahara Desert Snow Winter NASA "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515774535/ain-sefra-snow-algeria-NASASNOW0118.jpg?itok=nN0-krjm"><p>The images show the lower Saharan Atlas Mountain Range, where snow is not usually seen. There was snow last year, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/09/africa/sahara-snow-trnd/index.html" target="_blank">CNN reported</a>, but before that the last recorded snowfall was nearly 40 years ago.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Man’s Snow Sculpture of Mick Jagger Will Give You Satisfaction

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:40
<p>High school teacher Matt Morris in Waterloo, Canada, always gets excited for the colder months of the year. Because once the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/luggage-still-waiting-at-jfk" target="_blank">snow</a> starts to fall in sheets, Morris’ creativity starts to bloom in the form of incredible snow sculptures.</p><p>His latest work, a well-crafted, 6-foot-tall, spinning snow-head of Mick Jagger has been circulating around the internet. Frankly, it would give any winter-lover some satisfaction.</p><p>After the latest snowfall, Morris decided to carve Snow Mick after asking his Twitter followers who to carve in a poll. The choices were down to Jagger or another big-mouthed rocker, Steven Tyler.</p><p>Morris posted his carving progress on Twitter, sharing his process of first making his sculpture out of clay, then taking a simple cylinder of snow and turning it into a rock icon.</p><p>Since the other side of the rotating sculpture was blank, Morris carved another head on the other side. This unnamed sculpture is marked with its long, wild hair. Once he was done, he adorned his new creation with lights as a finishing touch.</p><p>According to <a href="https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8044618-waterloo-snow-artist-takes-passion-to-new-level/" target="_blank"><em>The Record</em></a>, Morris was inspired to start carving these snowmen after seeing the stone sculptures of Easter Island. “My wife and I were in a museum and we saw an Easter Island stone statue and I said, 'Man, we could do that on the bank,' and so we came back (home) and rolled three enormous snowballs,” he said.</p><p>Morris has created a number of other famous heads, including Albert Einstein, Frankenstein and Spock from Star Trek.</p><p>Fans can follow his snow creations on <a href="https://www.instagram.com/snowbankproductions/" target="_blank">Instagram</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Matthew_Morris" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Britney Spears Just Showed Off a New Diamond Ring While Vacationing in Hawaii

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:18
<p>Since ending her <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/las-vegas" target="_blank">Las Vegas</a> residency on <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/photography/happy-new-years-captions-instagram" target="_blank">New Year's Eve</a>, Britney Spears has stayed busy by jetting off to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/best-time-to-visit-hawaii" target="_blank">Hawaii</a> to frolic on the beach for some quality time with her sons without her boyfriend, Sam Asghari. Or, should we say, <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5256883/Britney-Spears-flashes-possible-engagement-ring-Hawaii.html" target="_blank">without her fiance</a>?</p><p>While splashing around along the shore, Spears showed off not only her rockin’ dancer’s body, but also showed off a new, sparkling ring on <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5256883/Britney-Spears-flashes-possible-engagement-ring-Hawaii.html" target="_blank">her left ring finger</a>. Though it could have simply been a fashion choice, the placement of the ring certainly has people thinking that wedding bells are in the future for Spears and Asghari.</p><p>The couple did, after all, just celebrate their one year anniversary after meeting on the set of the music video for her song, “Slumber Party.” And since going public the pair hasn’t stopped gushing over one another on their social media accounts.</p><p>If the rumors turn out to be true, this would be the third marriage for Spears, who was married to her high school friend Jason Alexander for a few hours back in 2004, before quickly getting it annulled. She then wed her backup dancer Kevin Federline and had two adorable children, Sean and Jayden, before divorcing Federline three years later.</p><img alt="Britney Spears and her sons on vacation in Hawaii "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515686589/britney-spears-hawaii-boys-BSVACAY0118.jpg?itok=_ikme9LH"><p>But, beyond sparking rumors on this trip, it looked like Spears and her boys had a blast while spending time in one of Hawaii’s many stellar resorts.</p><p>The pop queen shared more than a few photos from the trip with her millions of Instagram followers, captioning one snap with “Just a sprinkle of paradise!!”</p><p>She even shared a few photos of her boys, who are almost as tall as their mom now, adding in the caption, “Me and my boys enjoying the warm weather!!”</p><p>And really, vacationing just like Spears isn’t that hard. Just check out <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/hawaii" target="_blank">Travel+Leisure’s guide to Hawaii</a> and book your flights now to escape the winter for a few days.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Tourism Hotspot Could be the World's First City to Run Out of Water (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:04
<p>For the first time, a major city may run out of water this year.</p><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/city-vacations/johannesburg-transformation" target="_blank">South Africa’s</a> city of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/cape-town" target="_blank">Cape Town</a> has been grappling with <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/bluest-water-destinations" target="_blank">water</a> shortages that are the result of what the <a href="https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2018-01-10-cape-town-south-africa-water-shortage-day-zero">Weather Channel</a> calls the worst drought to hit the country in 100 years. The situation may result in Cape Town officials shutting off all of the city's water taps this April. </p><p>Irregularly dry winters have created exceedingly low dam levels within the country, leading city representatives to set a <a href="http://coct.co/water-dashboard/?ca_source=Website&amp;ca_medium=affiliate&amp;ca_campaign=Home%20page%20trends%20-%20Day%20Zero%20Dashboard&amp;ca_term=Day%20Zero%20Dashboard&amp;ca_content=Day%20Zero%20Dashboard" target="_blank">“Day Zero” date</a>, which is when they believe the country will see dam levels drop below 13.5 percent and lead to the mandatory shutting off of all taps.</p><p>Currently, the date is set for April 22. That's a <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/Media-and-news/City secures bigger yield from aquifers but consumption still too high as Cape Town moves closer to Day Zero" target="_blank">week earlier</a> than the previous date set for April 29, with the city’s current dam levels only providing 19.7 percent of water that is actually useable.</p><p>Despite taking measures that include <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-water-and-sanitation-services/Residential-water-restrictions-explained">reducing water pressure and banning the ability to water outdoors </a>or wash your car, city representatives are still finding that residents are using some 78 more million liters than the set goal.</p><p>Officials are continuing to urge individuals to take actions to decrease their overall water consumption in an effort to try and avoid “Day Zero,” which would lead to residents being forced to line up at some 200 checkpoints across the county to receive daily water rations under the supervision of police and military officials.</p><img alt="cape town south africa "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515689157/cape-town-south-africa-CAPETOWN118.jpg?itok=cQOzU-tW"><p>Travelers heading to the area will also find some changes regarding water consumption at their hotels. For example, properties like Hotel Verse are giving guests discounts if they refrain from using ice in their drinks, while others like the Taj Cape Town are closing their steam rooms and hot tubs in an effort to help with the situation, according to the <em><a href="https://www.facebook.com/CityofCT/videos/vb.144985128871748/1577231622313751/?type=3&amp;theater" target="_blank">New York Times</a></em>.</p><p>“The city of Cape Town could conceivably become the first major city to run out of water, and that could happen in the next four months,” Dr. Anthony Turton, who teaches at the Centre for Environmental Management at the University of the Free State, told the <em>Times</em> regarding the current crisis.</p><p>City officials are still welcoming travelers to visit Cape Town, beloved for its magnificent coastline and natural attractions, as they work to prevent one of its vital natural resources from disappearing.</p><p>Water shortages may become a reality in other locations as well, with the <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund</a> estimating that two-thirds of the planet's population could be facing water scarcity by 2025.</p>
Categories: Travel

Thousands of Bags Left at JFK After the Bomb Cyclone Returned to Customers

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:42
<p>Nearly a week after New York’s JFK Airport seemingly never-ending weather-related debacle commenced, more than 5,000 checked bags finally made it to their owners.</p><p>After the “bomb cyclone” hit the airport on January 4, international flight gates were backed up, with some flights sitting on the tarmac for hours. Over the weekend, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/planes-collide-at-jfk-airport" target="_blank">two planes collided on the ground</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/jfk-airport-water-main-break" target="_blank">a water main burst in Terminal 4</a>, drenching lost suitcases in water.</p><p>At its most hectic point, tens of thousands of bags were separated from their owners at JFK. As of Wednesday, that number was about 5,000. However, as flights continue at the airport, some of these bags have been left outside in the melting snow, <a href="https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/5000-Bags-Still-at-JFK-After-Weekend-Chaos-Airport--468619493.html" target="_blank">according to New York News 4</a>.</p><p>Passengers who returned to the airport to find their luggage had been left in <a href="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/01/10/jfk-baggage-debacle/" target="_blank">an unregulated scavenger hunt at the baggage carousel</a>.</p><p>The Port Authority said in a statement on Wednesday that it “shared the public's outrage and has directed the airlines to have all bags out of JFK and on their way to customers by day's end.”</p><p>On Monday, Delta — the airline that the water main break had affected — set up a customer service phone line dedicated to JFK baggage issues. On Wednesday, Delta returned about 3,800 bags to customers, as it returned its normal lost baggage rate of <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/01/10/thousands-of-luggage-bags-still-stuck-at-jfk/" target="_blank">about 1.5 out of 1,000</a>.</p><p><em>Note: This has been updated to reflect that all baggage was returned to customers by the end of the day Wednesday.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

U.S. Issues Highest Travel Warning for These 5 Mexican States

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:22
<p>The U.S. State Department has issued its highest travel warning for five states in <a href="http://The Best Places to Travel in Mexico and Central &amp; South America in January" target="_blank">Mexico</a> following a revamp of its travel advisory system Wednesday.</p><p>The Mexican states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas have been ranked as <a href="https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/mexico-travel-advisory.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%253A+ca%252Ftravelwarnings-alerts+%2528Travel.State.Gov+%25E2%2580%2593+Travel+Alerts+%2526+Warnings%2529" target="_blank">“level 4,”</a> with an explicit “do not travel” warning. “Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread,” the Mexico travel advisory reads, which puts the states in the same category as war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia. </p><p>Popular Mexico travel destinations like Cancún, the Mayan Riviera, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, and Mexico City remain free of travel restrictions, Mexico’s tourism secretariat said in a statement, <a href="http://time.com/5098354/us-mexico-travel-warning-violence/?xid=homepage" target="_blank">according to <em>TIME</em></a>. The tourism secretariat did not immediately return a request for comment from <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><p>A map of Mexico shows the states affected by the highest State Department travel warning border the Pacific coast, with the exception of Tamaulipas, which touches the Gulf of Mexico.</p><p>The State Department says that in Tamaulipas, armed criminals target passenger busses, “often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments.” Meanwhile in Guerrero, 11 people were shot dead last week in a police shootout, <a href="http://time.com/5092349/mexico-11-killed-guerrero-cabo/" target="_blank">the Associated Press reported.</a></p><p>The country in general may have suffered its deadliest year of murders in 2017, according to preliminary figures, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-42647501" target="_blank">the BBC reports.</a> The previous record was set in 2011, when more than 27,000 were killed in homicides, according to official numbers.</p><p>To ensure safe travel throughout Mexico, the State Department suggests the following tips: Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving at night, exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos, do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry, and be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.</p>
Categories: Travel

Tokyo Now Has a Snake Cafe for Everyone Who Thought Cat Cafes Were Too Tame

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:03
<p>There are cat cafés, dog cafés, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/everybody-is-running-to-this-sheep-cafe-in-seoul" target="_blank">sheep cafés</a>, and even goat yoga for people to get their fix of furry animal companionship whenever they like in major cities all over the world.</p><p>But what about the people out there who have love for the reptilian kind, or are just allergic to dander? It’s time to head to Tokyo.</p><p>Snake lovers can go to the <a href="http://snakecenter.jp/" target="_blank">Tokyo Snake Center</a>, in the Harajuku district, to hang out with over 20 different species of scaly friends.</p><p>The snake center has over 35 snakes, <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/japan-snake-caf-tokyo-snake-center-jungle-carpet-python-brazil-rainbow-boa-barons-green-racer-a8148326.html" target="_blank">according to <em>The Independent</em></a>, that guests can choose to be their table companion as they sip on their favorite teas and coffees or enjoy a delicious pastry. Naturally, the cafe has very strict rules regarding handling the snakes at the table, which the waiters are happy to assist with.</p><p>In order to enjoy an afternoon of tea and snakes, the cover for the snake center is Y1,000 (about $9 USD), which includes a drink and a chance to meet your new, slithery friend with a trained attendant — and a photo shoot. For an extra $5, you can even pet the snake.</p><p>The drink menu includes non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, ranging from teas, coffees, matcha, beer and sangria. They also serve cakes and pastries as well as light lunch fare likes hot dogs and quiche.</p><p>For those who are not fans of fuzzy puppies and kittens, this might be the perfect place to find that special bond with the animal kingdom. And get brunch while you’re at it.</p>
Categories: Travel

These British Tours Will Take You to London for the Royal Wedding

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 15:26
<p>On May 19, the couple that has taken <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/meghan-markle-deletes-social-media-accounts" target="_blank">social media</a> by storm are <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/prince-harry-meghan-markle-wedding-date-location" target="_blank">due to wed</a>.</p><p>Their <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/prince-harry-meghan-markle-wedding" target="_blank">official venue</a> is St. George’s Chapel, about an hour outside London in the royal family’s residence at Windsor Castle — but there’s arguably no better place to experience the pomp, circumstance, and frisson of national pride than the capital.</p><p>Royal events like this can tend to shut down the city and put the tourism sector into overdrive. If you haven’t booked your hotels by now — well, you probably never will. But there are other options for traveling to jolly old England and experiencing the wedding bells excitement firsthand: an all-inclusive tour, like the May itineraries from tour operator <a href="http://www.cietours.com/us/" target="_blank">CIE Tours International</a> (which has been operating in the British Isles for over 80 years) that will bring you to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/london" target="_blank">London</a>.</p><p>Those planning their own Royal Wedding-season vacations might run up against booked-up hotels and overpriced flights. But a tour operator like CIE has prices locked in for their all-inclusive tours (from $1,990) — meaning less stress and more reveling in the magic of Meghan and Harry.</p><img alt="Windsor Castle England United Kingdom "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/windsor_castle.jpg?itok=uh9OvN1v"><p>Trips that are timed to be in London for the wedding day will include special viewing parties and programming about royal wedding traditions and the significance of these events in British society. Options available during wedding season include the quintessential <a href="https://www.cietours.com/us/escorted_tour/2018/best_of_britain_9d/" target="_blank">Best of Britain</a> itinerary, as well as other itineraries that incorporate a <a href="https://www.cietours.com/us/escorted_tour/2018/british_and_irish_delight_9d/" target="_blank">detour to Ireland</a> or an emphasis on the region’s <a href="https://www.cietours.com/us/escorted_tour/2018/rockin_britain_8d/" target="_blank">rock and roll legacy</a>. And, of course, the tours will be packed with royal history and visits to the castles of Windsor, Edinburgh, Alnwick, and more.</p><p>If you’re as excited for the royal wedding as the internet seems to be, this might be the excuse you need to get yourself to London for the historic British-American union.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Floating Sauna Hotel Offers an Amazing View of the Northern Lights

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 13:46
<p>At this hotel, catching a glimpse of the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-places-to-see-the-northern-lights" target="_blank">Northern Lights</a> is sure to be a highly relaxing experience.</p><p>Opening later in 2018, the Arctic Bath hotel offers a unique experience by allowing guests to enjoy the view of the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/best-places-to-see-northern-lights-january" target="_blank">aurora borealis</a> from a floating water bath in the middle of a remote, Arctic river.</p><img alt="Arctic Bath Hotel Sauna Sweden "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515612365/aerial-sauna-arctic-bath-sweden-FLOATSAUNA0118.jpg?itok=0C2IBg86"><p>Located on the Lule River in Northern Sweden, the hotel features saunas, a spa treatment room, lounge, shop, bar, and restaurant. The main, floating bath, which resembles a bird’s nest, has a cut out in the middle that opens directly into the river, which unfortunately is freezing in the winter, but probably much more pleasant in the summer. The pool itself is kept at <a href="https://uncrate.com/article/arctic-bath/" target="_blank">four degrees Celsius</a> (39 degrees Fahrenheit).</p><img alt="Arctic Bath Hotel Sauna Sweden "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515612365/sauna-arctic-bath-sweden-FLOATSAUNA0118.jpg?itok=qwL8wmaF"><p>Of course, you can go warm up in a sauna, spa, or one of the six guest rooms. Each guest room, like the main bath, will be frozen in place during winter and will be free floating in the summer, <a href="https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/swedens-floating-arctic-bath-hotel-showcases-northern-lights" target="_blank">according to <em>Thrillist</em></a>. Plus, each room has big windows to catch amazing glimpses of the sky at night.</p><img alt="Arctic Bath Hotel Sauna Sweden "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1515612365/arctic-bath-hotellrum-sweden-FLOATSAUNA0118.jpg?itok=TSTPOP4X"><p>The Arctic Bath is not yet accepting reservations. However, you can check out the hotel’s <a href="http://www.arcticbath.se/" target="_blank">website</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/arcticbath/" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page to be the first to sign up.</p>
Categories: Travel

Queen Elizabeth Reportedly Fired Her Bra-Fitter for Revealing Royal Secrets (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:57
<p>Queen Elizabeth sacked her royal bra-fitter because the 82-year-old owner revealed royal secrets in a book last year. </p><p>Luxury London lingerie shop Rigby &amp; Peller had supplied unmentionables to the royal family since the 1900s and has held the Royal Warrant (a mark of exclusive suppliers to the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/royal-family-banned-from-giving-autographs" target="_blank">Royal Households</a>) for 57 years. </p><p>June Kenton, amid tears, revealed to the <a href="http://time.com/5099647/queen-elizabethroyal-bra-fitter/" target="_blank">Associated Press</a> that her shop was stripped of its warrant last year after the release of "Storm in a D-cup" last March. The book discussed meetings with the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/queen-elizabeth-jet-lag-trick" target="_blank">Queen</a> and other noted members of the royal family at <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/meghan-markle-buckingham-palace-teen-tourist-photo" target="_blank">Buckingham Palace</a>. </p><p>Kenton insists that she didn't mean to divulge the royals' private information and that the references to her famous clients were incidental – not salacious.</p><p>“There's nothing in there that makes you think, 'Oh! That's naughty,' ” she said in the interview.</p><p>However, Kenton did write about how she gave Princess Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, swimwear posters to put in their rooms during their time in school while supplying Diana with lingerie. </p><p>She also wrote about meeting Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace – focusing on her nervousness and surprise entering the royal bedroom. </p><p>"We never, ever have discussions of what we see in the fitting room," she insisted. "That's between you and the customer."</p><p>She also discussed details regarding the Queen Mother’s encounters with Princess Margaret and their disagreements on hats, quoting the Queen Mother as saying “I pretend to listen to Margaret and then, once she has gone, I order what I want.”</p><p>Unfortunately, the move cost the company the title, Kenton believes. However, officials from the Buckingham Palace refused to comment on whether this was the cause. Officials told the AP they never comment on individual companies. </p><p>Kenton purchased the luxury brand back in 1982, telling AP she was extremely saddened by the news and unaware of the consequences the book would have. </p><p>There are currently around 800 companies that hold Royal Warrants, according to the <a href="https://www.royalwarrant.org/" target="_blank">Royal Warrant Holders Association</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

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