Lindsay Lohan’s Reality Show About Her Mykonos Beach Club Is Wild — and the First Trailer Is Here

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 07:56
<p>There’s going to be a new name in vacation luxury, and it’s Lindsay Lohan.</p><p>Yes, you read that correctly.</p><p>Lohan is forging ahead into a new chapter in her life by opening a posh nightclub called Lohan Beach House on the <a href="" target="_blank">Greek island</a> of Mykonos, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Vogue</a></em> reported.</p><p>And even if you can’t get to the island yourself, you can watch Lohan run her new business on a brand new MTV reality show called “Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club,” starting Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. EST.</p><p>According to <em>Vogue</em> and "Entertainment Tonight," Lohan has teased the show as a “more glamorous ‘Vanderpump Rules.’” If you can believe anyone <em>can</em> be more glam than that.</p><p>The new teaser <a href="" target="_blank">released by MTV</a> features lots of dreamy shots of Lohan posing and dancing on Greek beaches. She says in the video, “I want to build an empire here.”</p><p>Lohan Beach House is Lohan’s third location in Greece, after Lohan Nightclub in Athens and Lohan Beach House Rhodes. Each location is an exclusive destination for tourists who love to drink and dance while visiting stunning Greek islands and <a href="" target="_blank">vibrant nightlife of Athens</a>.</p><p>The show will follow Lohan and her team of VIP hosts as they run her island club locations, according to <em>Vogue</em>. It’s not completely clear what the format of the show will be, but there will definitely be plenty of gorgeous views, luxurious visitors, restaurants, beaches, fancy cocktails, Lohan dressed in designer fashions and plenty of pretty people dancing in a club. Hopefully doing Lohan’s iconic “<a href="" target="_blank">Mykonos dance</a>,” that took the internet by storm earlier this year.</p><p>According to <em>Vogue</em>, MTV said in a press release that the series will show the “new side of Lohan as she calls the shots with her handpicked team of young and ambitious VIP hosts who will have to do whatever it takes to secure Lohan’s name as the definition of vacation luxury.”</p><p>Looks like we all have a new favorite travel show to look forward to.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Passport Is Now the World’s Most Powerful (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 07:52
<p>The United Arab Emirates is now home to the world’s most powerful passport, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">Passport Index</a>.</p><p>The real-time index ranks the strength of passports from the United Nations’ 193 member countries and six additional territories based on the number of countries a holder can visit either visa-free or by obtaining a visa on arrival. </p><p>According to the Passport Index, the UAE passport currently grants holders entry into a total of 167 countries, with 113 countries allowing visa-free entry and 54 countries allowing visas upon arrival. </p><p>The UAE overtook <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Germany</a> for the position, both of which allow passport holders access to 166 countries without a prior visa. Passports from Singapore allow entry to 127 countries visa-free and entry to 39 countries with a visa upon arrival, while German passports allow entry into 126 countries visa-free and entry into 40 countries with a visa upon arrival.</p><p>It’s important to note that these rankings are fluid and change regularly based on diplomatic relations. There are also rival rankings that offer varying results.</p><p>For example, the noted <a href="" target="_blank">Henley Passport Index</a> <a href="" target="_blank">ranks Japan</a> as the world’s most powerful passport. The index ranks 199 different passports based on their access to 227 destinations, utilizing data from the International Air Transport Authority and publicly available sources. According to the Henley Passport Index, the UAE falls in 21st place with access to 161 countries either visa-free or with visas upon arrival, while Japan remains in top place with access to 190 countries either visa-free or with a visa obtained upon arrival. </p><p>Data from the Passport Index is based on research conducted from publicly available sources and official information from government agencies.</p>
Categories: Travel

‘Overlord’ Star John Magaro Is Celebrating the Release of His New Film With an Epic Thailand Trip

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 16:27
<p>You know John Magaro as the versatile young actor from such award-winning films as "The Big Short" and "Carol," as well as J.J. Abrams’ new World War II horror movie, "Overlord." What you don’t know about the New York-based star is that he’s equally as serious about traveling as he is cinema. </p><p>He’s traveled to every continent except Antarctica, trekked through the <a href="" target="_blank">Peruvian Amazon</a>, and gone on scuba diving expeditions to private islands in <a href="" target="_blank">Belize</a> and shark-filled atolls in the <a href="" target="_blank">Maldives</a>. Naturally, Magaro's bucket list is long and varied: Sierra Leone, the Galapagos, and Uganda are among his top picks.</p><p>This month, the actor will get to cross yet another destination off the list when he travels to Thailand for an action-packed getaway. Read on to get a peek at his itinerary. </p><img alt="COMO Point Yamu resort in Phuket "src=""><p>"My wife and I are huge scuba diving fanatics — she even considered becoming a marine biologist! — so we’re spending the first few days of our trip diving in Phuket. We’re staying at the beautiful COMO Point Yamu, which is located on the island’s east coast overlooking the Andaman Sea. When we’re not hanging out there or going on reef and shark dives, we’ll probably charter a catamaran and explore the island."</p><img alt="Doi Luang Chiang Dao mountain in Thailand "src=""><p>"After Phuket. It’s off to Chiang Mai, where we’ll embark on a four-day trek through the hills north of the city. I don’t really know anything about this part of the trip except that a guy named Mike is going to be our tour guide. But I imagine we’ll sleep in remote villages and visit elephant sanctuaries. I love the kind of trip that allows you to disconnect from everything. I’ve trekked around Nepal, Northern India, and the Rocky Mountains, and there’s nothing more rewarding than pushing yourself physically during the day and crashing hard at night."</p><img alt="Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand "src=""><p>"We’re spending New Year’s in Chiang Mai at a villa at the Dhara Dhevi resort. After the isolating experience of trekking through the hills, I think it will be nice to be reunited with our creature comforts. Apart from hanging out at the hotel, we’ll probably eat street food, wander around some cool neighborhoods, and hopefully track down a good dive bar."</p><img alt="The Marble Temple in Bankgok, Thailand. (Wat Benchamabophit) "src=""><p>"The final day of our trip will be spent in Bangkok, where we'll visit temples and eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant during the day and go drinking and sing karaoke at night!"</p>
Categories: Travel

Contrary to Reports, Prince William and Kate Middleton Will Spend the Holidays with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 16:19
<p>Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, are willing to do just about anything to squash these family rift rumors. And that includes changing their own holiday plans just to make sure everything looks copacetic between them and Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle.</p><p>In case you’ve missed the kerfuffle, let us <a href="" target="_blank">break it down for you</a>: Over the last few weeks, headline after headline suggested there’s a major breakdown happening between the royal foursome. It all came to light after Prince Harry and Meghan announced they’d be moving out of Kensington and into a cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Many took this as a sign that the couple no longer wants to be associated with William and Kate, but royal insiders say that couldn’t be further from the truth. And this change of plans for the holidays is one way to show that everything is OK between them.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Daily Mail</a></em>, William and Kate typically trade off years for the holidays, with one year spent with the royal family and the next with the Middletons. But, this year, it appears they will double-down on the royal madness by spending their time in Norfolk for a traditional royal Christmas.</p><p>“Reports regarding Christmas are wrong. Everyone is in Norfolk this year,” a source noted to <em>The Daily Mail</em><i>. </i></p><p>This year’s holiday celebration will undoubtedly be a big one for the entire royal family as Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, will also reportedly join them for the first time. As <i>Travel+Leisure</i> previously noted, the <a href="" target="_blank">Queen likely invited Doria</a> out of respect for Meghan, who has no family of her own in England and is expecting her first child sometime in the spring.</p><p>Though, as a source noted to <i>People</i>, the decision by Will and Kate to head to Norfolk with the royals may simply be because they want to, not because they had to.</p><p>“They really loved Christmas and all had a wonderful time,” the source told <em><a href=";utm_campaign=peoplemagazine&amp;;utm_medium=social&amp;__twitter_impression=true" target="_blank">People</a></em><i>.</i> “I think the two women got on—they are definitely not best friends, but it was a really special time for them all to spend together.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Reader’s Choice Destination of the Year 2018: Iceland

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 12:01
<p>This year’s readers’ choice winner for <em>Travel + Leisure’</em>s Destination of the Year is <a href="" target="_blank">Iceland</a>, which earned just over 14.5 percent of the vote in our online survey. In second, with 10.5 percent of the vote, is <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore</a> — perhaps thanks in part to the influence of <a href="" target="_blank">smash hit film “Crazy Rich Asians.”</a> Japan, our <a href="" target="_blank">editor’s choice Destination of the Year</a>, comes in a very close third.</p><p>The Nordic destination, a 40,000-square-mile island 700 miles northwest of Scotland and 185 miles south of Greenland, is an obvious choice; even those who don’t work in travel media are bound to have noticed the destination <a href="" target="_blank">explode onto the scene in recent years</a>. In fact, figures indicate that the country has <a href="" target="_blank">more tourists than citizens </a>each year, inspiring the tourism minister to <a href="" target="_blank">contemplate a travel tax</a>. And while Icelandmania was already in full swing back in, say, 2015, the constant influx of travelers has brought unprecedented development and even more ways to experience the country.</p><p>There’s plenty of hotel news, as demand for rooms remains steady and new types of properties arrive on the island. The headliner this year was the <a href="" target="_blank">Retreat at Blue Lagoon</a>, the <a href="" target="_top">first luxury property</a> on the <a href="" target="_blank">famous geothermal spa</a>, with suites that look out onto the mossy, alien landscapes of the surrounding volcanic terrain. Other new additions include <a href="" target="_blank">a duo of ION properties</a>, one in the capital and one adventure lodge located farther afield; <a href="" target="_blank">Deplar Farm</a>, in the north, from luxury adventure brand <a href="" target="_blank">Eleven Experience</a>; more offerings in the remote peninsulas of the western region, like the <a href="" target="_blank">Arnarstapi Hotel</a>; and, of course, <a href="" target="_blank">the inevitable bubble hotel</a>, for glamping under the breathtaking Icelandic sky. Future openings include a sleek <a href="" target="_blank">EDITION</a> hotel in Reykjavik, debuting in 2019, and there are <a href="" target="_blank">more in the works</a>.</p><p>And there are even more ways to get there, with IcelandAir — which already offers free stopovers in the country on the way to other destinations — adding <a href="" target="_blank">new nonstop routes</a> from several U.S. cities. <a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">WOW Air</a> are also adding new flights. Keflavik Airport, in the capital, <a href="" target="_blank">is expanding to accommodate growing numbers</a>. And more people are seeing the island by boat: Silversea’s <em>Silver Cloud</em><i> </i>will <a href="" target="_blank">circumnavigate the island</a> next year, Oceania Cruises has <a href="" target="_blank">new pre- and post-cruise land itineraries</a> leaving from Reykjavik, and <a href="" target="_blank">Ponant’s new <em>Le Champlain</em></a><i> </i>will loop around Iceland in its inaugural season.</p><p>But what’s really bringing people back? Iceland’s <a href="" target="_blank">sheer natural beauty</a>, which remains jaw-dropping — if no longer “under the radar.” Visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Vatna Glacier</a>, a stunning underground ice shelf; snorkel in the <a href="" target="_blank">Silfra Fissure</a>, between two tectonic plates; or take a dip at one of the country’s <a href="" target="_blank">famous black-sand beaches</a>. <em><a href="">Game of Thrones</a></em><a href="" target="_blank"> tourism</a> is a big draw, as is spa and wellness travel (there’s even a <a href="" target="_blank">new beer spa</a>, if that’s your thing). There’s <a href="" target="_blank">stellar new Nordic food</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">destination restaurants worth traveling for</a>. And what better place to see the <a href="" target="_blank">northern lights</a>? Iceland might not be the “next” big thing anymore, but by all accounts, <a href="" target="_blank">it lives up to the hype</a>.</p><p><strong><em>Read about Travel + Leisure’s editors’ pick for the 2018 Destination of the Year: <a href="" target="_blank">Japan</a>.</em></strong></p>
Categories: Travel

This New Museum in L.A. Will Let You Taste the World’s Most Disgusting Foods (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 11:31
<p>Ever wanted to try a durian, the <a href="" target="_blank">world's smelliest fruit</a>? Or how about some maggot cheese?</p><p>If either of these made your stomach churn, you’re not alone. But if you actually are curious about these considerably gross culinary wonders, you might want to make your way to <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> this winter.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Disgusting Food Museum</a>, an exhibition from Sweden, is opening its doors for the first time in North America at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in LA.</p><img alt="Sheep Eyeball Juice at the Disgusting Food Museum, which has locations in Sweden and Los Angeles "src=""><p>The exhibition will feature 80 of the world’s most disgusting foods. Among the many repulsive offerings will be casu marzu (maggot-infested <a href="" target="_blank">cheese from Sardinia</a>), stinky tofu (pungent bean curd from China) and cuy (roasted guinea pigs from Peru). And yes, visitors will get the opportunity to both smell and taste these unique “delicacies.”</p><p>But the point of the exhibition isn’t just to gross you out. The exhibition, instead, aims to have visitors “explore the world of food and challenge their notions of what is and what isn’t edible,” according to the <a href="" target="_blank">museum's website</a>.</p><p>“Disgust is one of the six fundamental human emotions. While the emotion is universal, the foods that we find disgusting are not. What is delicious to one person can be revolting to another,” it says on the website.</p><img alt="Natto at the Disgusting Food Museum, which has locations in Sweden and Los Angeles "src=""><p>Curator Dr. Samuel West also added in a statement to <a href="" target="_blank">Lonely Planet</a>, “The museum aims to change our view of what is disgusting or not and expose our minds to what is known as normal in other cultures.”</p><p>So come with an open mind and an empty stomach.</p><img alt="Jello Salad at the Disgusting Food Museum, which has locations in Sweden and Los Angeles "src=""><p>The exhibition will be open Wednesday through Sunday between Dec. 9 and Feb. 17. Museum hours vary depending on the day. Admission will be $15 on weekdays and $18 on weekends for adults and $10 for kids.</p>
Categories: Travel

What You Should and Should Not Order From the In-flight Menu (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 11:15
<p>Every frequent flier has a <em>strong</em><i> </i>opinion on airplane food. Some refuse to touch a bite, some claim it’s best to only order vegetarian and others have some strange affinity for the in-flight Salisbury steak of a particular airline. But, no matter your taste preferences, a new survey has revealed the in-flight meals that are best (and worst) for your diet.</p><p>Of 11 U.S. and Canadian airlines, <a href="" target="_blank">Alaska</a> was rated the best by Dr. Charles Platkin, executive director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center.</p><p>“Alaska’s meals are now on the lighter, better and healthier side, having gone from ‘Island hash’ and teriyaki chicken bowls, for example, to Fall Harvest Salad on coast-to-coast flights,” <a href="" target="_blank">Platkin wrote in his review</a>.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">You Can Now Enjoy Cheese Fondue Mid-flight on This Airline</a></p><p>Alaska Airlines passengers can reserve their meals anywhere from 12 hours to two weeks before their flight, which makes meal-planning easier. All nutrition information is available on the Alaska Airlines app.</p><p>Runners-up for the healthiest in-flight meal offerings were Delta, Air Canada and JetBlue.</p><p>On the opposite end of the spectrum, Frontier Air was deemed to have the least healthy inflight meals, earning only 0.85 stars out of a possible five. “The trail mix could be the healthiest option, but travelers would be best off bringing their own food,” according to Platkin.</p><p>Passengers who are looking for the healthiest options on their flights should avoid “eating lots of heavy carbs such as pasta with thick, dense sauces, breads, muffins or cakes will leave you feeling lethargic, cranky and not full or satisfied,” Platkin said. “Your blood sugar levels will spike and then fall, which will negatively impact how you feel.”</p><p>The survey recommended purchasing healthy options in the airport or packing a meal at home, as most food is allowed through TSA security checkpoints. Cereal, fruit, salads, energy bars, sandwiches and nuts are all good options for healthy eating while traveling.</p><p>Platkin also suggested staying away from snack boxes, unless you will share with others. People tend to eat most, if not all, of the food put in front of them, so be conscious of what you order.</p>
Categories: Travel

This River in Colombia Turns Into a Liquid Rainbow You Have to See to Believe

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 11:01
<p>What’s at the end of a rainbow? Perhaps it’s not actually a pot of gold, but a fantastic and colorful river.</p><p>The Caño Cristales river in La Macarena, <a href="" target="_blank">Colombia</a> is dubbed the “River of Five Colors” and “Liquid Rainbow” because of the many colors you can see below the clear waters. Bright greens, yellows, reds, and purples appear to be flowing down the river depending on the light and water conditions, according to <em>Insider</em>.</p><p>Sometimes, the river can also appear a bright blue, hot pink, orange, or a deep maroon, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">BBC</a>.</p><p>But it’s not magic that makes this river look so vibrant. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Algae World News</a></em>, it’s the macarenia clavigera plant, which is a particular aquatic plant that’s different from algae or moss. The right water level and weather can make a big difference in what colors you can see on any given day.</p><p>Besides being beautiful, the plant is also very sensitive to its environmental conditions. The best time to go is when the weather is bright and sunny, so light can reflect the colors. The waters must be high enough for the plants to thrive, but not so high that you can’t see the river bottom, otherwise they’ll die and turn brown, according to the travel website, <a href="" target="_blank">Rove</a>.</p><p>Generally, the colors are at their peak vibrancy between July and November. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Atlas Obscura</a></em>, to get to the river, travelers must first fly into Villavicencio, in central Colombia, then charter another plane to La Macarena. There, travelers can find a guide to take them to Serrania de la Macarena, the fairly isolated mountain range where you can access the river.</p><p>Not only is the rainbow river an excellent photo opportunity, you can also go swimming in certain parts. Only 200 people are allowed to swim per day, however, in order to protect the picky plants.</p><p>Next time you go on a <a href="" target="_blank">South American adventure</a>, be sure to pack your suit and a waterproof camera. This is a sight that shouldn’t be missed.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why You Should Get TSA PreCheck and How It’s Different Than Global Entry

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 10:45
<p>Struggling through an hour-long security line is so easy to forget about when you’re fondly looking back on your <a href="" target="_blank">latest trip t</a><a href="" target="_blank">o Japan</a> or wine tour through Northern California. But in the moment, when you’re lugging your bag through a painstakingly slow security line, it’s pretty brutal. It is in that dreaded <a href="" target="_blank">security line</a>, listening to a crying baby and biting my tongue as someone cuts the line, that I vow to finally, <em>finally</em> sign up for TSA PreCheck. Because when I’m in the security line thinking that there simply has to be a better way, it then dawns on me that <em>there is</em>. All it takes is actually applying for TSA PreCheck, and once you’re approved, you could be sailing through a virtually non-existent line, keeping your shoes on and your laptop in its case.</p><p>If you’re someone who has heard murmurs about TSA PreCheck but put off actually learning more about it, here’s your quick-and-easy guide to everything you need to know about game-changing program.</p><h2>What is TSA PreCheck?</h2><p>TSA PreCheck is essentially a way to expedite the <a href="" target="_blank">airport security process</a>. A government program that started in 2011, it provides a separate security screening lane for TSA-approved passengers. With TSA PreCheck, you don’t have to take off your shoes, belts or your sweater for the plane. You’re also spared having to put your laptop in a separate bin and removing your liquids from <a href="" target="_blank">carry-on baggage</a>.</p><p>As of June 2017, <a href="" target="_blank">5 million travelers</a> had signed up for the program. However, this is actually well below TSA’s goal of signing up <a href="" target="_blank">25 million travelers</a>.</p><h2>How to Get TSA PreCheck</h2><p>Your first step is to <a href="" target="_blank">apply online</a>. Then you’ll schedule an in-person appointment at one of the nearly <a href="" target="_blank">400 enrollment centers</a> in the U.S. Your appointment will include a 10-minute background check, and they’ll take your fingerprints. You might be approved just a few days after your appointment, but it will take two to three weeks to receive your written approval in the mail.</p><h2>How Much Does TSA PreCheck Cost?</h2><p>To secure five years of TSA PreCheck, it costs $85. Before paying, find out whether your credit card will reimburse you for the the program cost. Some credit cards — especially ones that offer travel rewards, like <a href="" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Reserve</a> — may pick up the cost of your application fee.</p><h2>What if the Person I’m Traveling with Doesn’t Have PreCheck?</h2><p>Unfortunately, they won’t be able to enter the PreCheck line with you. Because every PreCheck recipient had to go through an application and screening process, any traveling companions that don't have PreCheck can’t enjoy the same perks. That means your spouse or relative traveling with you will not be able to go through the PreCheck security lane. The only exception to this is if you’re traveling with young children. If your child is 12 or under, and you’re TSA-approved, they can join you in the PreCheck security lane.</p><h2>Where is TSA PreCheck accepted?</h2><p>Some airports don’t permit TSA PreCheck, but <a href="" target="_blank">56 major airlines and more than 200 airports do</a>. It’s typically safe to assume that your airline will accept TSA PreCheck (if you’re flying Delta, American Airlines, JetBlue, Lufthansa, United, Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, or British Airways, for example, you’re in the clear). However, there are still a few airlines that haven’t started offering PreCheck, including Aer Lingus, Ryanair, EasyJet, and Qatar Airways.</p><h2>Will it Say Whether I’m PreCheck on My Boarding Pass?</h2><p>If you have TSA PreCheck, your boarding pass should reflect that. Those who have TSA PreCheck will often have “TSAPRECHK,” “TSA PRE,” or “TSA Pre✓” on their boarding pass. And when your boarding pass is scanned, the barcode should also signify that you are TSA PreCheck, and the airport staff will point you toward the PreCheck line accordingly.</p><h2>Is TSA PreCheck Worth It?</h2><p>Predictably, it depends how often you travel and who you travel with. If you travel once a week for business by yourself, then yes, TSA PreCheck can end up saving you quite a bit of time each week. If you and your partner or favorite travel buddy like to plan a few trips together each year, it could still be very worthwhile, as long as you both have PreCheck. If you take only a few trips a year with the whole family or a big group of friends, it may not be as worth it. It’ll still make things more convenient for you, but you’ll end up having to wait around for your PreCheck-less companions. So the time you save will, unfortunately, be spent waiting for anyone in your party who got stuck in the non-PreCheck security line.</p><h2>How is TSA PreCheck different from Global Entry</h2><p>Similar to PreCheck, <a href="">Global Entry</a> is a TSA program that allows travelers to move through customs lines much quicker when re-entering the United States. For people who fly outside of the United States regularly, it's worth considering applying for Global Entry instead of PreCheck, as Global Entry includes PreCheck. Additionally, the price of Global Entry is $100, only $15 more than PreCheck alone. Even if you're not flying out of the country often, the small up-charge may be a smart investment for five years of Global Entry and PreCheck in the chance you go on a foreign trip in that window. If not, you still get to skip the lines at security. </p>
Categories: Travel

Flying in the Dreaded Middle Seat Could Actually Pay Off This Holiday Season — Here's How (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 06:52
<p>The <a href="" target="_blank">middle seat</a> can be a dreaded location for fliers, which is exactly why Stella Artois wants to reward travelers flying on the middle seat this holiday season with a selection of prizes.</p><p>Starting Dec. 3 through Dec. 21, Stella Artois will be awarding travelers who share their travel woes in the middle seat a slew of freebies that range from hundreds in flight credits to free Lyft rides and memberships to speed through airport security as part of the <a href="" target="_blank">Stella Artois Holiday Travel Contest</a>. </p><p>The prizes passengers can receive include $500 in credit via either a pre-paid debit card or to the winner’s PayPal account to be used towards seat upgrades on any domestic and international flights. The credit is available for use on any airline and will be awarded to 60 winners.</p><p>A total of 28 winners will also get $500 credits to use either with Ticketmaster or Stubhub, while 42 folks will receive up to $50 in <a href="" target="_blank">Lyft</a> credits and 28 travelers will receive a free yearly membership to Clear airport security.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Clear</a> allows travelers to skip airport security lanes and ID checks through fingerprint and iris scanning technology, and is also available for use at select sports arenas throughout the U.S.</p><p>Travelers who wish to enter simply need to snap a photo of their middle seat travel woes and post it to one of Stella Artois’ social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with <a href="" target="_blank">@StellaArtois</a> and the hashtags #StellaUpgrade and #Contest, between now and Dec. 21 to be eligible for the prizes. </p><p>Stella will be awarding winners on a daily basis, with participants required to be a resident of the U.S. and at least 21 years of age to apply. Participants will also need to like Stella Artois’ social media pages (<a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Instagram</a>, or <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>) for their entry to apply.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Fashion Designer’s Vacation Photos Will Make You Want to Go Island-hopping Through Greece

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 13:00
<p>If we could rent anyone’s wardrobe for our next beach getaway, it’d be New York City-based designer Kee Edwards’. The founder of resort wear brand <a href="" target="_blank">Loup Charmant</a>, Edwards is the woman behind the line's ethereal coverups, flouncy maxi dresses, and beach-ready basics. </p><p>The fashion maven has traveled all over the world, donning her covetable styles everywhere from the <a href="" target="_blank">alluring coast of Portugal's Algarve region</a> to the surf-centric beaches of <a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town</a>. Her most recent adventure — a two-week trip through the <a href="" target="_blank">Cyclades</a> with her husband — is arguably her most picture-perfect adventure yet. Hopping from one island to the next, Edwards alternated between swimming in the crystal-clear Aegean Sea, exploring medieval villages, eating fresh seafood at restaurants on water's edge, and painting watercolors of the azure landscapes. Below, she recounts some of her favorite moments exclusively for <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><h2>Pollonia, Milos</h2><img alt="Scenes from Milos, Greece "src=""><img alt="A taverna by the sea in Milos, Greece "src=""><p>"The first stop on our trip was Pollonia, a charming fishing village on the northeast tip of Milos. We stayed at the family-run <a href="" target="_blank">Milia G Suites</a>, where our hotel room had a private rooftop deck with a hot tub. Part of the reason my husband and I chose Milos was its food. People take so much pride in the local cuisine, so it was really a treat to sample island specialties — goat, anyone?! — at fabulous restaurants like <a href="" target="_blank">Taverna Embourious</a> (pictured). When we weren’t eating, we were exploring the island’s rocky shoreline and aquamarine waters. The owner of our hotel recommended we visit this one beautiful little cove that you accessed via ladder. We were so blown away by the beauty of the place that we ended up hanging out on the beach the whole afternoon!"</p><h2>Verina Astra, Sifnos</h2><img alt="Scenes from Verina, Greece with designer Keen Edwards "src=""><img alt="Vacationing in Verina, Greece with designer Kee Edwards "src=""><p>"After three days in Milos, we went to Sifnos and checked into the <a href="" target="_blank">Verina Astra Hotel</a>, a collection of cottages overlooking the sea. Because the accommodations are set on the side of the mountain and surrounded by lush gardens, the vibe is really private and serene. I’d start each morning meditating on my outdoor veranda and my afternoons painting watercolors. I found the landscape to be so inspiring."</p><h2>Vathi Beach, Sifnos</h2><img alt="Squid drying at Vathi Beach, Greece "src=""><img alt="Scenes from Vathi Beach, in Greece "src=""><p>"One day in Sifnos, we rented a car and drove to Vathi Beach, a beautiful bay on the southwestern side of the island. Getting there was a rather harrowing experience — we had to drive down one unpaved road after another, at one point even venturing down a road that was nearly vertical — but the payoff was big. The beach had velvety golden sands and there were plenty of charming seaside restaurants."</p><h2>Kastro, Sifnos</h2><img alt="View of Verina, Greece "src=""><img alt="View of Kastro village in Greece "src=""><p>"One of my favorite things to do while staying at Verina Astra was wandering the medieval town of Kastro. It was once the capital of the island, so it has incredible history. I loved exploring the little churches, like the blue-domed Church of Seven Martyrs, which hovers on the edge of a rocky peninsula."</p><h2>Mandrakia Village, Sifnos</h2><img alt="Harbor of Mandrakia, Greece "src=""><img alt="Scenes from Mandrakia, Greece "src=""><p>"From Sifnos, it was back to Milos to stay in the small fishing village of Mandrakia. We wanted an authentic experience, so we stayed in a rental property a short stroll from the water. Our neighbors were 85 years old and didn't speak a word of English! Next door to our place was this wonderful restaurant, Taverna Medusa, which was parked on the water's edge and served mouth-watering Greek food. It was so good, we went back three times!"</p><h2>Kimolos</h2><img alt="Relaxing in the waters of Pollonia, Greece "src=""><img alt="Scenes from Pollonia, Greece "src=""><p>"One of the coolest things we did on our trip was take a boat trip around Milos. Our guide, Captain Andreas, had a traditional fishing boat and toured us around some of his favorite small islands — Kimolos being one of them. Once we docked the boat, we were greeted by a herd of wild goats that roam the island and who we fed with melon rinds from Captain Andreas’ garden. After, we went swimming and collected rocks while he cooked us a lunch of lamb and fresh vegetables on the beach."</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Meet the Grinch This Winter in a Real-life Whoville

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:00
<p>If you’re itching to visit Whoville after watching "<a href="" target="_blank">The Grinch</a>," you’re not alone. This sweet new take on the classic Christmas tale makes the heartwarming imaginary neighborhood more appealing than ever before. And we have good news: to visit the snow-capped mountain town — where you can sing wintertime songs, bask under the glow of a tree, and actually meet Max the dog, Cindy Lou Who, and the furry, fiery Grinch first-hand — you won’t even have to travel too far.</p><p>All you’ll need is a flight to Los Angeles or Orlando.</p><p>The Grinch’s signature sass and sourpuss behavior hits Universal theme parks on both coasts each winter, bringing Christmas cheer and The Grinch’s lackluster jeers to Universal Studios Hollywood and <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure</a>.</p><img alt="Grinch with Family "src=""><p>With merchandise from the film for sale, character meet-and-greets, and special photo opportunities, there are as many Grinch experiences in the theme parks as there are ornaments hanging on the movie’s massive Whoville tree. Since the new film’s green giant is animated, the theme park Grinch still resembles that of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," played by Jim Carrey — a magnetic maestro of festive feels that cannot be missed, no matter which you prefer.</p><p>Grinchmas descends upon Los Angeles in December, where a Christmas tree fit for a Who towers 60 feet tall in the center of <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Studios Hollywood</a>. The wavy-shaped, whimsical emblem, which is topped with snow, ornaments, and colorful lights, serves as the backdrop for live entertainment and photos with characters like the Grinch and Max. Singers and performers even provide a festive spin on caroling, with their noses turned up towards the sky just like the townsfolk in the film. Find the Who-liday Singers and Who Dolls on the first two weekends in December (1–2 and 8–9) and daily from Dec. 14–30, included with park admission.</p><p>Celebrations continue at the Florida theme park, where "The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular," a stage show bringing Cindy Lou Who, the Grinch, and <a href="" target="_blank">the entire town of Whoville</a> to life in a rousing rendition of the popular tale performed multiple times per day from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6. Stick around afterwards to meet the Christmas-hating villain and his precious pup in a tinsel-covered Seuss Landing for next year’s ironic Christmas card, also included with admission.</p><img alt="Wizarding World of Harry Potter "src=""><p>Guests traveling to Orlando can even sit down for bacon, eggs, and toast with the mean one if they dare. <a href="" target="_blank">The Grinch &amp; Friends character breakfast</a> at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park brings the Christmas-despising recluse tableside for a fun and comical visit with perfect photo opportunities. (No word on if the coffee will also be prepared and delivered by Max, but one can only dream.) The meal is $35 for adults and $21 for children on select dates in November and December; park admission is required for entry.</p><p>Whoville’s joyful celebration makes for unadulterated holiday cheer, but it’s not the only festivity happening at Universal theme parks. <a href="" target="_blank">The Wizarding World of Harry Potter</a> on both coasts will embrace Christmas for the second year in a row with nightly snowfall and an illuminating castle show, and Universal Orlando fills its park with sky-scraping merriment by way of massive balloons shaped like "Despicable Me," "Shrek," and "Madagascar" characters as part of <a href="" target="_blank">Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s</a>.</p><p>This much holiday glee and you won’t even have to pack a parka? Consider it a Christmas miracle.</p>
Categories: Travel

Amazon's 12 Days of Deals Start Now — Here's What You Can Save on Each Day

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 10:15
<p>If you missed both <a href="" target="_blank">Black Friday</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Cyber Monday</a>, it’s OK, you’re still in luck. That’s because Amazon still has your back with even more deals as part of its <a href=";node=5550343011&amp;_encoding=UTF8&amp;tag=tlamazon12daysofdeals-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;linkId=34a804630ea1e53b0174af18675bddf3&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325" target="_blank">12 Days of Deals</a> event.</p><p>Starting today, Sunday, Dec. 2, Amazon is rolling out extra savings on popular holiday products and <a href="" target="_blank">gift items your friends and family are sure to love</a>. Just make sure to buy everything in your cart by Dec. 13, when the sale officially ends.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Best Gifts No One Will Realize You Ordered on Amazon</a></p><p>Just like <a href="" target="_blank">last year</a>, Amazon will put <a href=";node=5550343011&amp;_encoding=UTF8&amp;tag=tlamazon12daysofdeals-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;linkId=34a804630ea1e53b0174af18675bddf3&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325" target="_blank">all of its deals</a> live each night at midnight PT. Each day the sale will come with a different theme. For example, day three marks the big toy sale, where you’ll likely be able to scoop up serious savings on all the hot toys this year and a few games the entire family can enjoy. On day six, expect to see plenty of savings on your favorite brands as it’s fashion day at Amazon. And, on the last day of savings, my true love (Amazon) will give to me: deals on sports and outdoors.</p><p>Here are all the dates and themes so you can mark your calendars accordingly:</p><p>12/2: Home improvement<br />12/3: Video games<br />12/4: Toys<br />12/5: PC<br />12/6: Home (bedding, bath, décor)<br />12/7: Fashion<br />12/8: Baby, pets, camera<br />12/9: Beauty and personal care<br />12/10: Electronics<br />12/11: Kitchen<br />12/12: Furniture lawn and garden<br />12/13: Sports and outdoors</p><p>Of course, this isn’t the only way to save on Amazon. You can also save by signing up to become a regular on its <a href=";_encoding=UTF8&amp;tag=tlamazon12daysofdeals-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;linkId=ae6f8b010f766a667803257ee756c7f4&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325" target="_blank">Today’s Deals</a> page, where you’ll get reminders on what exactly is on sale at all times on Amazon. The online retail giant also suggests customers follow them on <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a> to receive minute-by-minute updates on the <a href=";node=5550343011&amp;_encoding=UTF8&amp;tag=tlamazon12daysofdeals-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;linkId=34a804630ea1e53b0174af18675bddf3&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325" target="_blank">12 Days of Deals</a> as well as exclusive Amazon content. Lastly, you can download the Amazon app to stay up to date on deals and save on your purchases no matter where you are.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Norwegian Town Has More Books Than People

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 12/02/2018 - 13:01
<p>People are the worst sometimes.</p><p>For travelers who wish to escape humanity, there’s a remote village in Norway that officially has more books than people.</p><p>Mundal, in western <a href="" target="_blank">Norway</a>, is an introverted bibliophile’s dream. There are only 280 people but more than 150,000 books. In fact, the country often refers to Mundal as “<a href="" target="_blank">The Norwegian Booktown</a>.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Rural Train Offers the Most Breathtaking Views of the Norwegian Alps</a></p><p>Between secondhand shops, roadside stalls and bookshelves along the coast of the fjords, the town of Mundal embraces readers. Secondhand bookstores are integrated into local cafés, art galleries and even souvenir stores. When in doubt, any structure probably has a shelf of books tucked into it.</p><p>Most of the bookstores around town sell used books because of the belief that <a href="" target="_blank">old books should be preserved</a> in an increasingly digital age.</p><p>Readers should be sure to plan their visit with the seasons. The outdoor bookshops are only open from mid-may through June. But those who visit from mid-May through June can take part in the annual Solstice Book Fair.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Norwegian Book Town</a> began stocking its shelves in 1995. Since then, it boasts that its collection has grown so much that if all the books on all the town’s shelves were lined up, it would stretch over 2.5 miles.</p><p>But Mundal isn’t the only town in the world with more books than people. The remote village of <a href="" target="_blank">Hay-on-Wye</a> in Wales has a population of only 1,400 people but thousands upon thousands of books lining its open-air “Honesty Shelves.” The town also sponsors a literary festival and is home to more than two dozen different booksellers.</p>
Categories: Travel

This London Hotel Only Has One Room — and a Whisky Vending Machine

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 12/02/2018 - 12:02
<p>Love whisky, hate people? The <a href="" target="_blank">Napoleon Hotel</a> in <a href="" target="_blank">London</a> might be the retreat of your dreams.</p><p>The one-luxury-suite hotel, already home to three different whisky-filled bars, now also has a whisky vending machine that serves a variety of labels ranging from Macallan to Aberfedly to Royal Lochnager.</p><p>The machine, which stands in front of the hotel’s entrance, comes form <a href="" target="_blank">Whisky-Me</a>, a U.K. subscription service that delivers pouches of <a href="" target="_blank">Scotch whisky</a> to customers’ homes each month.</p><p>Since the concept of Whisky-Me is to make whisky more accessible, each pouch features simple tasting note photographs to let drinkers know what they can expect. </p><img alt="Each pouch comes with depictions of the flavors a customer can expect. "src=""><p>Customers can choose from selections that come with an eclectic range of flavors like the <a href="" target="_blank">Laphroaig Lore</a>, which includes hints of chili pepper and smoked fish, according to Matthew Hastings, head consultant for <a href="" target="_blank">Fluid Movement</a> (the company behind Whisky-Me, Black Rock, Sack, The Devil’s Darling, and The Napoleon Hotel and Bars).</p><p>Be sure to also try the Table Whisky, created at the hotel’s Black Rock Bar, where an 18-foot-long English oak tree has been turned into a table and has channels cut into it that are lined with oak barrels and streamed with a combination of aged whisky to produce a continuously revolving house blend.</p><img alt="The Black Rock Bar includes a large English oak tree that has been made into a table where whisky is aged onsite. "src=""><p>“We age it in the table to that you can sit and taste and drink something that is aging and changing in front of you,” Hastings said.</p><p>Besides the <a href="" target="_blank">Black Rock</a> bar, which specializes in whisky and includes selections from Japan, Ireland, Finland, France, and more, the hotel also includes the Wes Anderson-inspired <a href="" target="_blank">Devil’s Darling</a> bar, and <a href="" target="_blank">Sack</a> (noted for serving affordable sherry selections in a space inspired by the bodegas of Spain).</p><img alt="The Devil's Darling bar is meant to resemble hotel bars found around the world. "src=""><p>The only suite on the property comes with a lounge area, complimentary Wi-Fi, Spotify music selections, an LED television, cold and boiling water on tap, fresh coffee, a mini-bar, and a roll-top bath. </p><img alt="The Napoleon Hotel in London only includes one luxury suite. "src=""><img alt="Enjoy complete privacy in the one suite property of the Napoleon Hotel in London. "src=""><p>The best feature of the room, though, might be the service elevators guests can use to send down and receive drinks and food straight to their room.</p><p>Guests can simply fill out a paper with their request and send it down the service elevator attached to the room to have their order sent directly through the chute, all without ever having to speak to anyone or leave the room. Rates for the suite start at about $230 per night.</p><p>While Whisky-Me announced the machine is guaranteed to be available through December, there are no current plans to remove it, Hastings said. To purchase a whisky from the machine, guests and passersby can head to the Devil's Darling bar from 5 p.m. every day to purchase a token.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Disneyland Is the Best Place on Earth to Celebrate the Holidays

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 12/02/2018 - 10:46
<p>Unless you nab a ticket to the North Pole, there’s no better place to celebrate winter than at <a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland Resort</a>. Holiday time at the parks is so much more than Christmas trees, parades and hugs from Santa Goofy — which happens to be a very real thing. Between the nightly snowfall, majestic gingerbread houses and celebrations of every seasonal holiday beyond just Christmas, there’s plenty worth coming back for time and time again. Thankfully, holidays magically last longer at Disneyland, too, with the park filled with tinsel-topped joy through January 8th.</p><img alt="Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland Resort during the Holidays "src=""><p>Here’s every sugarplum-dusted, icing-slathered, icicle-covered bit of the holiday season you can expect at Disneyland this winter:</p><h2>Christmas Magic Is Better Here Than Anywhere Else</h2><p>Disneyland doesn’t have a well-appointed tree — it boasts a 60-foot behemoth covered in lights and oversized ornaments. (The holiday emblem used to be fresh, but after <a href="" target="_blank">an inopportune fire</a>, live trees have since been replaced with artificial versions.) Holiday cheer can be seen everywhere from garlands and tinsel lining Main Street, U.S.A<strong>.</strong> to the storefronts of Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street, along with photo ops, like Santa &amp; his reindeer flying across a Hollywood Land backdrop and California Adventure’s own tree, featuring secret nods to Walt Disney’s origins throughout.</p><img alt="Christmas Tree Lights at Disneyland Resort "src=""><p>Santa Claus is even on hand at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail until Christmas Eve — as is Santa Goofy, who takes over through January 8th once the real work is done.</p><p>Even Disneyland Park’s colorful afternoon parade is swapped out for a festive one, filled with themed floats, an appearance by royal Disney couples and even Santa. But our favorite part of A Christmas Fantasy Parade remains the quirky reindeers, toy soldiers and twirling snowmen dancing their way across Disneyland each day.</p><img alt="Main Street at Disneyland Resort during the Holidays "src=""><h2>The Yuletide Cheer Is Indoors, Outside And Limitless</h2><p>Disneyland “decks the halls” on four of its attractions, which are completely re-themed to toast the holiday season. It’s a small world is completely overtaken by wintertime settings and new global rendition of “Jingle Bells”, while Haunted Mansion keeps its "The Nightmare Before Christmas" overlay, complete with its gigantic gingerbread house <a href="" target="_blank">made from 90 pounds of the sweet stuff</a>.</p><p>Over at Disney California Adventure, the entirety of Cars Land dresses up for the holiday — picture towering “trees” made from tire stacks — as Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters play their own auto-inspired soundtracks throughout the winter months.</p><p>Sleeping Beauty Castle gets in on the festive spirit too, glowing bright with <a href="" target="_blank">over 50,000 lightbulbs</a> that make for a majestic display come nighttime, adding extra delight to Believe...In Holiday Magic, Disneyland’s nightly wintertime fireworks show.</p><img alt="Holidays at Disneyland Resort "src=""><h2>They Make It Feel Like Winter</h2><p>Huddling around the hearth, snow falling every night like clockwork — it may be nestled in Southern California, but Disneyland still manages to bring every cold weather tradition to life.</p><p>Pop into <a href="" target="_blank">Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel</a> for a peek at the seven-foot-tall gingerbread house, made with fresh icing, white chocolate and peppermint. Holiday cookies, Mickey whoopie pies and hot apple cider are available on site as well, best enjoyed by the picturesque fireplace.</p><p>Snow fills the sky by Main Street, U.S.A. and it’s a small world after each fireworks show, as well as throughout the night along the Grizzly Peak path leading Grizzly River Run.</p><img alt="Minnie Mouse poses for photo during the holidays at Disneyland Resort "src=""><h2>It’s More Than Just Christmas</h2><p>Disneyland Resort celebrate all wintertime holidays throughout November, December and January. The Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street party fills the park’s Paradise Gardens with mariachi and samba music, folkloric dancers and fun character interaction with The Three Caballeros, as well as eye-popping oversized Santa and Mrs. Claus <i>mojiganga</i> puppets.</p><p>Live performers, like a modern klezmer band and all-female mariachi band play sets throughout Disney California Adventure all season long, as modern takes on favorite foods from Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and beyond are offered at the festival food booths scattered across the park. And, early next year, Three Kings’ Day will bring a week’s worth of activities, entertainment and decor to Disney California Adventure.</p><h2>And The Food? It’ll Beat That Friendsgiving Potluck</h2><p>A couple hundred new desserts, dinners and drinks arrive to Disneyland Resort each winter; expect candy apples and krispie treats shaped like Mickey Santas, peppermint bark and macarons to give some warmth to the flavors of the seasons. 2018’s flavorful lineup includes eight new churro flavors, seasonal toffee and so much more.</p>
Categories: Travel

Richard Branson Will Become the First Person to See the Bottom of Belize's Famed Great Blue Hole This Weekend — Here's How to Watch

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 12/01/2018 - 17:40
<p>At this point, is there anything Richard Branson won’t do? Probably not.</p><p>The Virgin Group founder has been busy lately with everything from <a href="" target="_blank">high-speed trains</a> to <a href="" target="_blank">cruises</a>, but this Sunday he's embarking on what might be his boldest adventure yet.</p><p>Branson and Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed explorer Jacques Cousteau, will dive deep into the inky blue depths of the <a href="" target="_blank">Great Blue Hole</a> off the coast of Belize, all in the name of science. And luckily for everyone, the pair will be streaming their expedition live with the Discovery Channel.</p><p>“This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known as one of the most amazing places on Earth,” Branson said in a video announcing the trip. “We all share the common goal of conserving and protecting our beautiful global ocean.”</p><p>Truly, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime look at the bottom of the Great Blue Hole, as divers who venture to the popular destination typically only dive about 130 feet. However, it goes much, much deeper than that. <em><a href="">The Telegraph</a></em> reported the hole is large enough to swallow two Boeing 747s “with room to spare.”</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, the hole’s exact measurements come in at approximately 984 feet across and 410 feet deep. It is the world’s largest natural formation of its kind.</p><p>The team, <i>The Telegraph</i> noted, is hoping to not only bring attention to ocean conservation, but to also gather high-resolution footage and data on the hole including water quality at varying depths and bacterial activity. They are also hoping to gain further information about the oxygen-depleted layer at the hole’s floor. This, according to <i>The Telegraph</i>, could provide more clues to the environmental forces that may have led to the fall of the Mayan civilization.</p><p>In case you’re not sold on canceling your plans to watch the dive, just read this description of the hole by Glyn Collinson, a NASA scientist who personally dove in before:</p><p>“It was the deepest, deep blue hole imaginable; A chasm that fell away deep into the deep, dark blue. It had been forged out of solid rock as caverns, hundreds of thousands of years ago during the last ice age. For eons, water filtered through the rock and into these great stone cathedrals, breeding multicolored stalactites and stalagmites. Then, one by one they collapsed in on each other, creating a chasm four hundred feet deep. As Earth’s swollen polar ice-caps receded, the warm Caribbean ocean swept in to fill the chasm with boiling white hands, the last rays of sunlight struck the chasm’s floor. Then, as the limestone broke down, it began to rain tiny fragments of rock, which slowly began to fill the great Blue Hole.”</p><p>In other words, this is going to be a seriously amazing adventure for Branson. Tune into the Discovery Channel to watch from 9 to 11 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2.</p>
Categories: Travel

Marriott Data Breach May Have Affected up to 500 Million People — Here's What to Do If You're One of Them

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 12/01/2018 - 16:36
<p>On Friday, Marriott International announced a data breach that may have affected up to 500 million guests who used its Starwood guest reservation database. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">NBC</a></em>, it could be one of the largest consumer data breaches in history.</p><p>According to Marriott, it received an alert on Sept. 8 from an internal system about an attempt to access the Starwood database in the United States. At that time, <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em> reported, the hotel group brought in security experts. Those experts found that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network, which includes W Hotels, St. Regis, Westin Hotels, and more, since 2014. The breach could affect anyone who made reservations at Starwood properties on or before Sept. 10, 2018.</p><p>"The company has not finished identifying duplicate information in the database, but believes it contains information on up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property," company reps said in a statement.</p><p>Out of those 500 million guests,<em> NBC</em> reported, around 327 million had some combination of their name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences stolen. For some guests, their credit card information may have also been taken. Marriott cannot rule out that the credit card information may have been decoded.</p><p>"We deeply regret this incident happened," Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said in a statement. "We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward."</p><p>Marriott <a href="" target="_blank">set up a website</a> for any guests who would like to learn more about the breach and be notified via e-mail if their information was stolen. Marriott will also provide guests who sign up with one year of WebWatcher, a digital security service, for free.</p>
Categories: Travel

Couple's Mid-flight Fight Causes American Airlines Plane to Return to the Airport

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 12/01/2018 - 15:44
<p>An American Airlines flight from Chicago to Toronto was forced to turn around on Wednesday after a fight broke out between a couple on board.</p><p>American Airlines flight 3284 took off from Chicago at 5:06 p.m. on Wednesday. It was only in the air for about 15 minutes before it turned back around for O’Hare airport due to a “disruptive” passenger on board, <a href="" target="_blank">an airline spokesperson told the </a><em><a href="" target="_blank">Chicago Sun-Times</a></em>.</p><p>It arrived back at O’Hare at 5:48 p.m., <a href="" target="_blank">according to FlightAware</a>. Police met the flight as it landed. <a href="" target="_blank">Police told NBC Chicago</a> that the flight was turned around due to a “small verbal argument” between the couple and that nobody was injured in the argument.</p><p>However, <a href=";" target="_blank">one passenger wrote on Twitter</a> that a flight attendant said the woman was punched in the face and that the husband refused to get off, so the entire flight had to deplane.</p><p>It has not been confirmed whether or not this was a case of domestic violence. Police said <a href="" target="_blank">no charges were filed</a>.</p><p>After the incident, the flight was delayed about five hours, due to a crew swap, a passenger said. It took off again from O’Hare at about 10 p.m. and landed in Toronto after a one-hour flight.</p><p>The couple was rebooked on a later flight.</p><p>In issues of a mid-flight fight, <a href="" target="_blank">it is up to the discretion of the pilot</a> whether or not to turn the plane around. At first, cabin crew will attempt to talk down the passenger. If unsuccessful, they must call local police. The pilot will then decide whether or not the disruptive passengers poses a threat to others in the cabin. If so, they will turn the flight around or land at an alternate airport, depending on the circumstances.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Airport Nap Pods Are Like Tiny Hotel Rooms for Tired Travelers (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 12/01/2018 - 11:15
<p>Everything's better when naps are included, especially while traveling.</p><p>A brand new micro-hotel is opening up at <a href="" target="_blank">Washington Dulles International Airport</a> just in time for busy holiday travelers with long layovers, according to <a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a>.</p><img alt="Sleepbox sleeping pods reception room "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">Sleepbox Nap Lounge</a>, located in Concourse A, is a little like those privacy pods that have been popping up in airports all over the country, except it’s better because you can actually rest at the micro-hotel. Weary travelers will be able to sleep on a memory foam bed in a soundproof room, plus have access to power outlets and wireless entertainment, making it a great place to recharge yourself and your devices at the same time.</p><p>“We believe that the opportunity to relax and recharge in the midst of our busy lives is a valuable asset,” Mikhail Krymov, Sleepbox CEO and founder, said on the <a href="" target="_blank">company blog</a>. “We are thrilled to have won this prestigious contract and look forward to joining the Dulles Airport community.”</p><p>One tiny drawback, however, is that Sleepbox Hotels do not offer private bathrooms or showers.</p><img alt="Interior of a Sleepbox sleeping pod "src=""><p>The rooms themselves are about 30 square feet each for a compact suite with eight foot ceilings – so they feel anything but cramped. A larger “standard” room is slightly bigger, at 45 square feet, USA Today reported. All in all, the <a href="" target="_blank">upcoming micro-hotel</a> will have 16 rooms available for booking.</p><p>Compact rooms will cost a rate of $25 per hour, while standard rooms will cost $35 per hour. But besides being a quiet, cozy and affordable place to rest, Sleepbox Hotels allow for flexible check-in so you can choose when to come and go. And if you are on an especially long layover, you can also book a room for 12 hours for between $120 and $150 for the stay.</p><p>According to USA Today, Washington Dulles will be the first U.S. hotel to offer a Sleepbox hotel, but there are more on the way, including a flagship <a href="" target="_blank">Boston</a> location.</p><p>Travelers passing through Washington D.C., will have the opportunity to book rooms through the Sleepbox app starting December 7.</p>
Categories: Travel