Travel

Southwest's New Terminal at LAX Is Like a Mini Trip to LA in Itself

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 08:07
<p>What does more than half a billion dollars get you at <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/lax-airport" target="_blank">Los Angeles International Airport</a>?</p><p>From a first look at the new and improved 13-gate <a href="https://www.flylax.com/en/terminals/terminal1" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines Terminal 1</a>, quite a lot.</p><p>Southwest invested $516.7 million to make over what a newsstand clerk described as “a boring, bland totally nothing of a terminal” dating back to the early 1980s.</p><p>The new terminal is a light- and art-filled space with a fresh check-in/ticketing lobby, nine-lane security checkpoint, and more than 20 new dining and retail outlets, many of them unique and well-loved local brands.</p><img alt="Trejo's Tacos at LAX "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543959815/trejos-tacos-lax-SWXLAX1218.jpg?itok=pshVZlyt"><p>The terminal’s dozen dining options now include Beaming Organic Superfood Café, Rock &amp; Brews (a dining chain founded by KISS band members), the Urth Caffé (an organic café from Manhattan Beach), and LA’s iconic Cassell’s Hamburgers. T1 now also features the first airport branch of Trejo’s Tacos, a local taqueria from actor <a href="https://www.facebook.com/officialdannytrejo/" target="_blank">Danny Trejo</a>, who joined LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, and others at a recent ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the curb-to-gate terminal makeover.</p><img alt="Ribbon-cutting ceremony at LAX's new Southwest terminal "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543959815/ribbon-cutting-ceremony-SWXLAX1218.jpg?itok=IIwiX2IG"><p>“Working together with Southwest Airlines and our partners, what we have created is more than a terminal that connects passengers to flights — it’s a destination in its own right,” Garcetti said.</p><p>“It is truly a transformation,” Kelly added, noting that the carrier offers 133 departures a day to 32 cities out of Terminal 1’s 13 gates. “If there’s a better facility in the United States, I wouldn’t believe it.”</p><p>Shopping and pampering options range from MAC Cosmetics, Be Relax spa, and SOL Surf to I Love LA, Treat Me Sweet candy, and a fun newsstand called, appropriately enough, New Stand, that offers travel essentials and a charming assortment of California-themed souvenirs. Marvin’s Complimentary Shoeshine (pay what you wish; tips encouraged) has a stand here as well.</p><img alt="Photo friendly art installation at the new Southwest terminal at LAX "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543959815/southwest-terminal-art-installation-SWXLAX1218.jpg?itok=UlRRQDM-"><p>As passengers enter the terminal after security, they’re met with both permanent and rotating art installations, including a selfie-friendly, sunset-inspired work by Pilar Castillo commissioned by Southwest to celebrate the new terminal. Nearby is the first airport branch of<a href="https://laoriginal.com/" target="_blank"> LA Original</a>, a store selling LA-branded products designed, assembled, or manufactured locally, with proceeds going to programs that help women transitioning out of homelessness.</p><p>What’s next? Construction on Terminal 1.5 is underway to create a connecting structure between Terminals 1 and 2 that will give Southwest passengers access to the LAX automated people mover expected to be operational in 2023.</p>
Categories: Travel

Alaska State Troopers Ask People to Stop Taking Selfies on Road Destroyed by Earthquake

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 07:29
<p>If you’re traveling in Alaska any time soon, put away the Instagram.</p><p>After the <a href="http://time.com/5468178/earthquake-anchorage-6-6-magnitude/" target="_blank">massive earthquake that hit Anchorage</a> last week, authorities in Alaska are asking travelers and locals to stay away from a shockwave-mangled highway that has become a popular spot to snap a selfie, according to <a href="https://apnews.com/1872cc7617394cff843c05cb5837c2f1" target="_blank">the Associated P</a><a href="http://apnews.com/1872cc7617394cff843c05cb5837c2f1" target="_blank">ress</a>.</p><p>Alaska State Troopers have set up barricades and signs on Vine Road near Wasilla, north of Anchorage, which sustained extreme damage during the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake left the road in giant, broken pieces strewn across the area with massive holes containing asphalt sticking out of them. Alaska State Trooper spokesman Jonathon Taylor told the AP that the road looks like “shards of glass...from above, which makes a very fascinating visual. But it is also unsafe to be there.”</p><p>Taylor also mentioned that people have been dangerously seen trying to climb on the large cracks in the road in order to take photographs. Besides risking bodily harm or a nasty fall, Taylor warns that aftershocks can still be felt in the region, leading to further potential risk to people in the area — especially if they’re on unstable ground like the damaged road.</p><p>According to the AP, more than 2,100 aftershocks have occurred since the earthquake, with one shock measuring up to 5.7 in magnitude.</p><p>The gaping holes and shattered asphalt on Vine Road were actually due to the ground liquefying and buckling during the initial earthquake, the AP reported. Repairs are currently underway, according to <a href="https://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Alaska-State-Troopers-Stop-taking-selfies-in-front-of-earthquake-ruptured-Vine-Road-in-Wasilla-501900881.html" target="_blank">KTUU</a>.</p><p>“While it’s tempting to take selfies and explore, doing so is unsafe and inhibits the ability of officials to address the situation,” Alaska State Troopers said in a dispatch report, KTUU reported. “Construction work has begun, and heavy equipment is being brought into the area to facilitate repairs.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Southwest Is Having a Massive Winter Sale With Flights As Low As $49 (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 06:38
<p>Pack your bags and leave the winter coat at home.</p><p>Just in time for the winter freeze to arrive, <a href="https://www.southwest.com/" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines</a> is running a huge flash sale this week with super inexpensive flights as low as $49 for this winter and into spring.</p><p>This special sale won’t last long, only until Thursday, Dec. 13, at 11:59 p.m. But with travel dates available from Dec. 18 to May 22, 2019, you can start thinking about that <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/winter-vacations/affordable-winter-vacations" target="_blank">post-holiday getaway</a> to get over your winter blues. Some blackout dates around Christmas and New Years do apply.</p><p>Some of the best fares we found include:</p><p>Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale for $84 and Orlando for $85.</p><p>Los Angeles to both Las Vegas and San Francisco for only $61.</p><p>Denver to San Francisco and San Jose for $89.</p><p>Sacramento to San Diego for $49.</p><p>Orlando to New Orleans for $91.</p><p>Milwaukee to Nashville for $62.</p><p>Minneapolis/St. Paul to Denver for $97.</p><p>Fort Lauderdale to the Cayman Islands for $71.</p><p>Boston to Baltimore for $70.</p><p>New York, La Guardia and Newark to Chicago, Midway for $91.</p><p>Providence to Washington, D.C. for $62.</p><p>Salt Lake City to Las Vegas for $61.</p><p>Washington Dulles to Fort Lauderdale for $92.</p><p>All airfares listed are for one-way, nonstop service only. However, it’s likely to get a comparable price on your flight back home. Fridays and Sundays are generally not available, so it’s also important to be flexible with your dates (and make sure you have some <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation/best-travel-offers" target="_blank">vacation days lined up</a>).</p><p>You can check airfares from your departure city of choice and book flights on the <a href="https://www.southwest.com/html/promotions/click_n_save_sale_181204_offers.html?clk=2375062" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines sale page</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Olympian Shaun White's Gross Experience Is a Reminder to Never Take Your Shoes Off on a Plane

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 17:45
<p>There is one cardinal rule you must never break on an airplane, and it involves your feet.</p><p>Going barefoot on a plane is generally considered a social faux pas (or just plain gross) by most people’s standards, but you still come across fellow passengers who didn’t seem to get the memo. Even if you’re a celebrity, even if you’re a famous athlete, even if you’re, for example, Shaun White.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/746162/Flights-plane-passenger-Shaun-White-horrified-bizarre-Instagram-Shaun-White-video" target="_blank">Daily Star</a></em>, the three-time Olympic gold medalist was traveling from Japan — <i>Travel and Leisure’s </i><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/destination-of-the-year" target="_blank">2018 Destination of the Year</a> — back to the U.S. when he encountered a barefooted passenger, much to his dismay.</p><p>In a video White posted on Instagram, he shows the person’s feet, poised on White’s seat back, naked and bare for all the world to see. White shakes his head, disapprovingly.</p><p>While many of us can agree that not only taking off your shoes and possibly socks on a plane is egregious enough, resting them on someone’s seatback seems extra deplorable. We feel you, Shaun.</p><p>But, on the other hand, we should take comfort in the fact that the feet look impressively clean. Perhaps even pedicured. And, it’s pretty impressive that the passenger was able to rest their feet so high on the seat at all, considering how cramped airplanes are these days – but <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/luxury-travel/biggest-perks-of-flying-first-class" target="_blank">that’s first class</a>, for you.</p><p>Many people who aren’t celebrities or athletes also <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/offbeat/bare-feet-on-plane-seat" target="_blank">encounter fellow barefooted passengers like this one</a>, often in coach class where the chance for escape is much narrower. If anything, White should count his lucky stars that first class seats have a little more separation.</p><p>But taking off your shoes is much more of an issue than just politeness. Keeping your shoes on is also a health issue and <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/dont-take-shoes-off-on-flights" target="_blank">flight attendants recommend keeping them</a> on since plane floors can be filled with germs or other mess.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in 2019 — and When to Plan Your Trip

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 17:23
<p>Spring is always the best time to see flowers and trees blossom, but there are few sights that compare with seeing cherry blossom trees in full bloom.</p><p>In 2018, the cherry blossom trees in Japan surprised many spectators by blooming a <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/cherry-blossoms-appear-early-japan" target="_blank">full six months early</a> – in October instead of April, as usual. Yoshino cherry trees typically develop buds in the summer but don’t actually bloom until spring, their extremely fragile flowers only showing themselves when the conditions are just right. But last fall, meteorologists theorize that the <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-are-japans-cherry-blossom-trees-blooming-fall-180970590/" target="_blank">irregular weather</a>, including unseasonably warm temperatures, storms, and damage caused by typhoons, caused the early bloom.</p><img alt="Cherry Blossoms in Central Park, New York City "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543859619/new-york-city-central-park-cherry-blossoms-CHERRYBLOSSOMS1218.jpg?itok=JvDAAkNF"><h2>When will cherry blossoms bloom in 2019?</h2><p>A premature cherry blossom bloom at the end of 2018 doesn’t mean cherry blossom season is over. Far from it. While it may be a little early to predict exactly when the next bloom will happen in the spring of 2019, <a href="https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0001033/" target="_blank">flowering in Japan typically begins in March and April</a>, usually starting in the southern part of the country and working north. Flowers generally don’t reach full bloom for about a week.</p><img alt="Cherry Blooms at Chureito Pagoda and Mt. Fuji in Japan "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543859619/japan-chureito-pagoda-and-mt-fuji-cherry-blossoms-CHERRYBLOSSOMS1218.jpg?itok=6n2HagH3"><h2>How to see the cherry blossom bloom in Japan</h2><p>If you do want to check out the gorgeous trees in Japan, Kyoto and Tokyo are generally the most popular destinations for flower-watchers, usually in April. Visitors to Osaka, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka may be able to view them even earlier, while tourists to the northernmost part of the county, like Sapporo, can see them as late as early May. If you are worried about traveling to Japan and still missing out, you can also opt to take a <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/cruises/japan-cherry-blossoms-by-cruise-ship" target="_blank">cruise to various ports</a> in the country, greatly increasing your chances of seeing the trees at various stages of bloom.</p><h2>How to see the cherry blossom bloom in Washington, D.C.</h2><p>Those of us in the U.S., however, won’t be left out of the dazzling cherry blossom display either. In Washington, D.C., where the famous <a href="https://cherryblossomwatch.com/" target="_blank">cherry blossoms bloom around the Tidal Basin</a>, visitors can enjoy the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The trees generally reach peak bloom during the last week of March to early April. In 2018, the trees peaked on April 5. The 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival will be held between March 20 and April 14.</p><img alt="Cherry Blossoms at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543859619/seattle-washington-university-cherry-blossoms-CHERRYBLOSSOMS1218.jpg?itok=MRVAd2FH"><h2>Where else can I see cherry blossoms in 2019?</h2><p>Around the U.S., many flower watchers can also enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms in their own hometowns. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is home to 26 types of cherry blossom trees, and holds its own <a href="https://www.bbg.org/visit/event/sakura_matsuri_2018" target="_blank">tribute to cherry blossoms and Japanese culture</a> around their peak bloom. You'll also find impressive cherry blossom blooms in <a href="https://www.greaterseattleonthecheap.com/where-to-view-cherry-blossom-trees-in-seattle/" target="_blank">Seattle</a>, <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/cherry-blossoms-festivals-outside-of-dc" target="_blank">Nashville, Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco</a>, and <a href="https://rove.me/to/south-korea/cherry-blossom" target="_blank">Seoul, South Korea</a>.</p><h2>The best cherry blossom festivals</h2><p>Die-hard flower fanatics often opt for the Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festival or the Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival, but there is also a 10-day-long festival in Macon, Georgia, which also considers itself the “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World.” Even though the trees are not native to the area, it’s home to more than 350,000 Yoshino cherry blossom trees. The <a href="https://cherryblossom.com/" target="_blank">International Cherry Blossom Festival</a> attracts thousands of people every year and is set for March 22 to March 31 in 2019.</p><img alt="Cherry Blossoms at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543859619/seoul-south-korea-cherry-blossoms-gyeongbokgung-palace-CHERRYBLOSSOMS1218.jpg?itok=bi7Vlhm_"><h2>Cherry blossom 2019 forecasts</h2><p>Cherry blossom forecasts generally start coming out in December. You can check the <a href="https://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/News/indexe_news.html" target="_blank">Japan Meteorological Agency's website</a> for the country's updates, likely starting with Okinawa, and <a href="https://cherryblossomwatch.com/" target="_blank">cherryblossomwatch.com</a> for the latest from Washington, D.C.</p>
Categories: Travel

Another U.S. Airline is Raising Drink Prices on Flights

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 15:47
<p>Economy passengers flying with <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta" target="_blank">Delta</a> can expect increases in the price of drinks offered on flights starting Dec. 1.</p><p>The airline is raising its drink fees by $1 for alcohol beverages, though the price of sparkling wine will remain the same at $9.</p><p>The new prices will be $9 for a featured cocktail, $8 for a domestic beer, $9 for craft/imported beer selections, $9 for liquor selections and $9 for wine selections.</p><p>Passengers booking seats on <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta/what-is-delta-comfort" target="_blank">Delta Comfort+</a>, which comes with up to four inches of additional legroom, dedicated overhead bin space, and access to priority boarding, will continue to receive complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails.</p><p>Meanwhile, passengers across cabins receive complimentary beer, wine, and spirits on international flights.</p><p>The change comes after several other U.S. carriers, including <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/american-airlines/american-airlines-increases-drink-prices" target="_blank">American Airlines</a> and Southwest Airlines, raised the price of alcohol beverages on flights earlier this year. </p><p>Meanwhile, travelers flying on regional Alaska Airlines flights — operated by Horizon Air — can take advantage of free beer or wine. The airline also offers Mileage Plan members flying from 29 cities on the west coast to check in a <a href="https://www.alaskaair.com/content/deals/special-offers/wine-flies-free" target="_blank">free case of wine</a> on flights.</p><p>Delta also recently announced it will be expanding its <a href="https://news.delta.com/popular-pre-select-meal-program-expands-delta-one-customers-globally" target="_blank">pre-select meal program</a>, which allows customers flying onboard Delta One routes between the U.S. and Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America to get a notification from Delta representatives three days prior to take-off to select a preferred meal. The program will expand to over 200 markets across the globe starting on Dec. 6.</p>
Categories: Travel

Amtrak Is Having a 2-for-1 Sale on Private Roomettes So You and a Friend Can Cross the Country in Style

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 15:01
<p>Travelers looking to take a train ride past some of America’s most beautiful scenery in comfort and privacy can now do so for a fraction of the price with Amtrak’s roomette sale.</p><p>Amtrak is offering a <a href="https://protect-us.mimecast.com/redirect/eNpVUMtqwzAQ_JWis6VYfiXxKSG0p7aHhlAoAaPI20S1ZBk9YkLpv3edBkIvkhjNzM7sN3FyCKQmQWglmDiLTol-FZw4gxZ9q0H56IBJa0hCtJWkThPiUJElBLxqSc2zPOXLeV5WCQkmvNoW0C9NCxSoAZ8Zr9icM16UbD6Bw6Qq84REp_H7FMLg6_1sPxvHkQmDs7tp3n7mrDUQAlAvNNBDvFDbAz1CuN6fDoCdgtFoCVOFx49mt11QXjWb3XbNOV-XvMlSvuB4NHkTfQBnCorRKC8WJc-LZcWnQAJrkbsIISEnx80JZLd7e0ZAohrTOPlX7x_Z961DrFPmAE5f2Ght61f3JkhxcFS2R9LgbAAZaPTMKANS-HCj-Hj4QsLTe_2wvkrJdZ8vNva4L3JLT35-AfNFhkc" target="_blank">two-for-one-deal</a> on its roomettes — private rooms with their own large panoramic windows, sleeping accommodations, and a range of amenities.</p><p>The roomettes are ideal for travelers heading on a trip with friends and family and for couples looking to take a scenic ride in the winter and spring thanks to features that include their own sliding doors, two seats that face one another and convert to a bed in the evening, and a bunk bed that folds down from the ceiling.</p><p>Roomettes also come with fresh linen and towel service, complimentary bottled water, and access to the Amtrak Metropolitan <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/station-lounges" target="_blank">lounges</a> that come stocked with complimentary snacks and drinks, showers, Wi-Fi, and work areas at select stations.</p><p>The biggest perk might be that sit-down meals are included for guests staying in any of Amtrak’s Sleeper Service accommodations, which includes roommettes.</p><p>For additional comfort, roomette passengers have a dedicated attendant who will book meal reservations, make and take down beds, assist travelers with their luggage, and even share insider stories of life on the rails.</p><p>The deals for the roomettes are available on the <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train" target="_blank">California Zephyr</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/capitol-limited-train" target="_blank">Capitol Limited</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/cardinal-train" target="_blank">Cardinal</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/city-of-new-orleans-train" target="_blank">City of New Orleans</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/routes/coast-starlight-train.html" target="_blank">Coast Starlight</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/routes/crescent-train.html" target="_blank">Crescent</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/empire-builder-train" target="_blank">Empire Builder</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/lake-shore-limited-train" target="_blank">Lake Shore Limited</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/silver-service-palmetto-train" target="_blank">Silver Service</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/routes/southwest-chief-train.html" target="_blank">Southwest Chief</a>, <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/routes/sunset-limited-train.html" target="_blank">Sunset Limited</a>, and the <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/texas-eagle-train" target="_blank">Texas Eagle</a>.</p><p>Views passengers can enjoy range from the Pacific Northwest coast on the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/bus-train/scenic-train-ride-pacific-coast" target="_blank">Coast Starlight</a> to the snow-dotted caps of Mount Hood, Glacier National Park, and the Mississippi on the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/bus-train/amtrak-empire-builder-trip" target="_blank">Empire Builder</a>.</p><p>No blackout dates apply for roomette bookings. Companions are required to stay in the same room for the deal to apply.</p>
Categories: Travel

Your Messy Desk Makes Your Co-workers Think of You As 'Cranky,' New Study Finds (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 11:31
<p>There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have clean desks and those who don’t.</p><p>Just because you have a <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-etiquette/messy-hotel-room" target="_blank">cluttered or messy</a> desk doesn’t make you a bad person, or even a bad worker, but it does send a particular, and possibly negative, message to the people around you, according to a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019188691830549X?dgcid=author" target="_blank">study conducted by the University of Michigan</a>.</p><p>In a series of experiments, psychologists from UM’s Flint and Ann Arbor campuses had about 160 participants sit in researcher’s offices that were either clean or messy.</p><p>According to the <a href="https://news.umich.edu/is-your-office-messy-if-so-you-may-be-seen-as-uncaring-neurotic/" target="_blank">UM website</a>, the clean office was stocked with neatly organized books, papers and journals, as well as cleared of all trash. In the messy office, books were left askew, papers were strewn around the room and some trash and paper was on the floor. The clock was also an hour off.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/what-makes-the-best-travelers" target="_blank">If You Have This Personality Trait, Chances Are You’re an Ideal Travel Companion</a></p><p>After sitting in the offices, participants had to then guess what the researcher’s personality might be like, judging their sociability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and “openness to experience,” according to the UM website.</p><p>As a result, the participants rated the researcher with the messier office as crankier, less caring, careless, more neurotic or less agreeable than the researcher with the clean office.</p><p>“When there are cues related to less cleanliness, order, organization and more clutter in an owner’s primary territory, perceivers ascribe lower conscientiousness to the owner,” said lead study author Terrence Horgan, professor of psychology at UM-Flint on the university blog.</p><p>“An employee who is very disorganized, difficult to get along with, and emotionally unstable might be problematic in any work setting that requires individuals to work together in a relatively calm and disciplined manner,” said co-author and clinical researcher at Michigan Medicine, Noelle Herzog.</p><p>Turns out, there may be some truth to the saying, a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind.</p>
Categories: Travel

Universal Studios Hollywood Is Hosting Its First Ever In-park 5k

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 11:17
<p>Universal Studios Hollywood, home to <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/wizarding-world-harry-potter-hollywood-details?xid=PS_FWx" target="_blank">The Wizarding World of Harry Potter</a>, will host its first-ever <a href="https://www.runninguniversal.com/minion-5k-event-info" target="_blank">Running Universal</a> event next year, bringing the worlds of films like “Despicable Me”<i> </i>and “Minions” to life. The inaugural 5K race, scheduled for May 11th, 2019, will take participants through the actual theme park and behind-the-scenes at Universal’s film lot before it opens with — who else? — but a gaggle of the goofy yellow creatures in tow.</p><p>Given that Universal Studios Hollywood operates a <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/guide-to-universal-studios-hollywood" target="_blank">theme park atop a working movie studio</a>, runners and walkers will have a chance to trek past both, taking in the towers of Hogwarts castle and<i> </i>“The Simpsons’” famed Kwik-E-Mart before whizzing past famed backdrops and cityscapes on Universal Studios’ back lot, where movies like “Back to the Future,” “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and “War of the Worlds” were filmed.</p><p>Character meet-and-greets and live entertainment will be positioned along the course of the Minions-themed race as well, which includes peeks at behind-the-scenes areas of the California theme park.</p><img alt="Universal Studios Hollywood 5K Run "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543599514/universal-studios-hollywood-5k-run-5KUNIVERSAL1218.jpg?itok=Uz629azA"><p>Whether you’re considering the fun run for exercise or just for some early morning hang time with Bob, Kevin and Stuart, the event culminates in a private post-race party in Universal CityWalk prior to opening hours that’ll be worth running towards. Immediately once participants cross the finish line, they’ll join in on a celebration with food, live entertainment and “post-race swag”, providing plenty of post-sweat revelry.</p><p>Standard packages, which include Minion-themed race medals, collectible pins and commemorative t-shirts, cost $75, with VIP packages <a href="https://www.runninguniversal.com/minion-5k-event-info" target="_blank">offered for $135</a>. Neither include park entry beyond the early morning event, but celebrating with a Minions medal around one’s neck is a must.</p><p>Running Universal marks Universal Studios Hollywood’s first entry into hosting races inside their theme park, something Disney has popularized over the past 22 years. <a href="https://www.rundisney.com" target="_blank">runDisney</a>, the fitness-centric arm of the Walt Disney Company, offers character-themed 5K, half-marathon and marathon races at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris and on Castaway Cay, a Disney Cruise Line island. As of October 2017, all runDisney events at Disneyland Resort have ceased operation, making the new Minions-led 5K the only theme park run on the West Coast.</p><p>A Minions-led workout might be an unusual start to a vacation, but spending an early morning pounding the pavement on hallowed Hollywood ground sure beats running on that hotel treadmill.</p>
Categories: Travel

Michelle Obama Just Gave Meghan Markle Some Seriously Good Advice

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 10:47
<p>Sure, Meghan Markle has always lived a little bit in the limelight. After all, before marrying Prince Harry she was on the hit show <i>Suits</i>. But that’s nothing compared to the microscope of attention she’s now under as a <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/meghan-markle-preparing-south-pacific-royal-tour" target="_blank">member of the royal family</a>. And perhaps nobody can relate to the feeling of having to watch your every move thanks to your husband’s career more than former first lady Michelle Obama. And that’s why she’s the ideal woman to give Meghan a little heartfelt advice.</p><p>“Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she'd have a life like this, and the pressure you feel — from yourself and from others — can sometimes feel like a lot," Obama told <a href="https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/news/a25345575/michelle-obama-inspire-meghan-markle/" target="_blank"><i>Good Housekeeping</i></a> in a new interview. “So my biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don't be in a hurry to do anything. I spent the first few months in the White House mainly worrying about my daughters, making sure they were off to a good start at school and making new friends before I launched into any more ambitious work. I think it's okay — it's good, even — to do that."</p><p>Obama knows that Meghan, like herself, has ideas, aspirations, and platforms she cares about outside of her royal duties. Though the royals are notoriously closed off about their own personal beliefs, Obama believes Meghan could do a lot to change that and still support all the things she cares about on a global level.</p><p>"What I'd say is that there's so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that — and I think Meghan can maximize her impact for others, as well her own happiness, if she's doing something that resonates with her personally," Obama said.</p><p>Obama, like Meghan, cares deeply about women’s issues around the world. While Obama was candid about the fact that things may not be exactly perfect for women in 2018 but she still believes in the power of female voices.</p><p>“...what's inspiring to me is that so many of the young women I've met are triumphing in incredible ways. Unlike my generation, they're not as held back by the societal belief that girls and boys can't do the same thing," she said. "They're charging forwards in sports and maths and science and technology. They're speaking up and speaking out, not just in classrooms but in the public arena at a young age. I find great hope in this generation of young women."</p><p>We have a feeling <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/meghan-markle-changing-royal-wedding-tradition" target="_blank">Meghan feels the same</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

American Airlines Denies Abandoning Elderly Woman in Wheelchair at Chicago O’Hare

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 08:53
<p>American Airlines is denying a family’s claim that the company left their wheelchair-bound mother stranded for several hours at O’Hare International Airport on Friday after initially issuing an apology.</p><p>On Monday, according to <em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/12/03/women-wheelchair-abandoned-ohare-airport-after-her-flight-is-canceled/?utm_term=.36c838d1d4b4" target="_blank">The Washington Post</a></em>, American Airlines said the company was “deeply concerned about what occurred Friday evening at Chicago O’Hare,” when it was discovered that 67-year-old Olimpia Warsaw, who has Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and has trouble communicating, was allegedly left alone at the airport for five hours after her flight to Detroit was canceled. Warsaw was in Chicago attending her ex-husband’s funeral.</p><p>“This is not the level of service we aspire to provide to our customers, and we apologize to Ms. Warsaw and her family for letting them down,” American Airlines said in the statement released Monday. According to <em>The Washington Post</em>, American Airlines has reached out to the family and refunded Warsaw’s ticket. She was able to fly to Detroit on Saturday, <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2018/12/03/american-airlines-passenger-wheelchair-chicago-ohare/2191054002/" target="_blank"><i>USA </i><em>Today reported</em></a>.</p><p>However, new footage from closed circuit television revealed that Warsaw was not abandoned as her family originally claimed, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/12/04/security-footage-shows-woman-wheelchair-was-not-abandoned-ohare-airport/?utm_term=.ba5dd9dfc425" target="_blank"><em>The Washington Post</em> reported</a>.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/woman-wheelchair-ohare-overnight-american-airlines-olimpia-warsaw/" target="_blank">Chicago Sun-Times</a></em>, her son, Claude Colteau said his mother was “found in an empty hallway near a restroom, where another passenger had taken her upon request.” He also claimed he had no idea that his mother had been left alone until he discovered she did not arrive in Detroit, and was found by security officers in Chicago several hours later, according to <em>The Washington Post</em>.</p><p> </p><p><a href="https://wgntv.com/2018/12/04/american-airlines-says-security-footage-proves-woman-in-wheelchair-not-abandoned-at-ohare/" target="_blank">WGN News</a> in Chicago acquired a timeline of the camera footage from American Airlines, which shows that Warsaw had actually been picked up at O’Hare about 45 minutes after her flight was canceled and an attendant had left her to wait.</p><p>According to the timeline, Warsaw’s flight was canceled at 11:20 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30. At that time, she was given a hotel and meal voucher since she would have to rebook her flight for the next day. At 12:06 a.m., the wheelchair attendant for American Airlines is seen on CCTV with Warsaw, and is seen on a six-minute call with Colteau at 12:10 a.m. The wheelchair attendant dropped her off on the Upper Level waiting area at 12:30 a.m. Warsaw waits there until 1:13 a.m., when two relatives arrive to pick her up.</p><p>As Warsaw waited, it is seen on the CCTV that she uses her walker to go outside to smoke a cigarette two separate times. The full timeline is published on <a href="https://wgntv.com/2018/12/04/american-airlines-says-security-footage-proves-woman-in-wheelchair-not-abandoned-at-ohare/" target="_blank">WGN News</a>.</p><p>It is unclear how the original claim came up in the first place, given the new evidence. American Airlines said in a statement to <em>The Washington Post</em><i>,</i> “We launched an investigation with our Chicago team and the vendor we utilize that provides wheelchair services at O’Hare.” That investigation found the claim to be inaccurate.</p>
Categories: Travel

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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/beach-vacations/how-to-travel-to-the-greek-islands" target="_blank">Greek island</a> of Mykonos, <em><a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/lindsay-lohan-beach-house-preview-premiere-date" 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="https://ew.com/tv/2018/12/03/lindsay-lohans-beach-club-trailer/" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/athens-cultural-revival" 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="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12nL4JUkS4c" 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="https://www.passportindex.org/byRank.php" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/hsbc-best-country-expat-explorer-2018" target="_blank">Singapore</a> and <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/sleep-inside-wine-barrel-sasbachwalden-germany" 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="https://www.henleypassportindex.com/passport-index" target="_blank">Henley Passport Index</a> <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/worlds-strongest-passport-japan" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/a-list/thomas-robinson-peru-itinerary" target="_blank">Peruvian Amazon</a>, and gone on scuba diving expeditions to private islands in <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/all-inclusive-resorts/all-inclusive-resorts-belize" target="_blank">Belize</a> and shark-filled atolls in the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/island-vacations/maldives-on-a-budget" 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="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543608234/phuket-thailand-como-point-yamu-resort-JOHNTHAI1118.jpg?itok=wd21O3jJ"><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="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543608234/doi-luang-chiang-mountain-thailand-JOHNTHAI1118.jpg?itok=o26Q6zGA"><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="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543608234/chiang-mai-lantern-festival-JOHNTHAI1118.jpg?itok=hD5p1fZe"><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="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543608234/wat-benchamobophit-thailand-JOHNTHAI1118.jpg?itok=xhw7y2iQ"><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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/kate-middleton-cute-quote-meghan-markle-pregnancy" 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="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6452741/Harry-Meghan-spend-Christmas-Sandringham-Wills-Kate.html" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/queen-elizabeth-invited-meghan-markle-mother-christmas" 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="https://people.com/royals/meghan-markle-and-kate-middleton-are-not-the-best-of-friends-but-got-on-last-christmas/?xid=socialflow_twitter_peoplemag&amp;utm_campaign=peoplemagazine&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/best-time-to-visit-iceland" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/hsbc-best-country-expat-explorer-2018" target="_blank">Singapore</a> — perhaps thanks in part to the influence of <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/tv-movies/crazy-rich-asians-singapore-landmarks-sights" target="_blank">smash hit film “Crazy Rich Asians.”</a> Japan, our <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/destination-of-the-year" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-trends/iceland-summer-tourism-on-the-rise" target="_blank">explode onto the scene in recent years</a>. In fact, figures indicate that the country has <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/iceland-american-tourists" target="_blank">more tourists than citizens </a>each year, inspiring the tourism minister to <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/budget-travel/iceland-considering-tourist-tax" 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="https://www.bluelagoon.com/accommodation/retreat-hotel" target="_blank">Retreat at Blue Lagoon</a>, the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/iceland-retreat-blue-lagoon-hotel-opening" target="_top">first luxury property</a> on the <a href="https://www.bluelagoon.com/" 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="https://ioniceland.is/" target="_blank">a duo of ION properties</a>, one in the capital and one adventure lodge located farther afield; <a href="https://www.bluelagoon.com/accommodation/retreat-hotel" target="_blank">Deplar Farm</a>, in the north, from luxury adventure brand <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/skiing-trips/crested-butte-colorado-skiing-eleven-experience-hotels" target="_blank">Eleven Experience</a>; more offerings in the remote peninsulas of the western region, like the <a href="https://www.heyiceland.is/accommodation/detail/1192/arnarstapi-center" target="_blank">Arnarstapi Hotel</a>; and, of course, <a href="https://www.buubble.com/" target="_blank">the inevitable bubble hotel</a>, for glamping under the breathtaking Icelandic sky. Future openings include a sleek <a href="https://www.editionhotels.com/coming-soon/" target="_blank">EDITION</a> hotel in Reykjavik, debuting in 2019, and there are <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/spa-vacations/iceland-spa-red-mountain-resort" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/new-routes-air-new-zealand-icelandair" target="_blank">new nonstop routes</a> from several U.S. cities. <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/american-airlines-dallas-fort-worth-iceland" target="_blank">American Airlines</a> and <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/wow-air-travel-guide-job" target="_blank">WOW Air</a> are also adding new flights. Keflavik Airport, in the capital, <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/iceland-airport-expansion" 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="https://www.silversea.com/destinations/northern-europe-british-isles-cruise/reykjavik-to-reykjavik-1918.html" target="_blank">circumnavigate the island</a> next year, Oceania Cruises has <a href="https://www.oceaniacruises.com/baltic-cruises/port-reykjavik-REK/landprograms/" target="_blank">new pre- and post-cruise land itineraries</a> leaving from Reykjavik, and <a href="https://en.ponant.com/cruises/the-arctic-the-icelandic-loop-c220819-2" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/photos-iceland-landscapes" target="_blank">sheer natural beauty</a>, which remains jaw-dropping — if no longer “under the radar.” Visit the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/iceland-glacier-cave-photography" target="_blank">Vatna Glacier</a>, a stunning underground ice shelf; snorkel in the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/snorkeling-iceland-silfra-fissure" target="_blank">Silfra Fissure</a>, between two tectonic plates; or take a dip at one of the country’s <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/beach-vacations/black-sand-beaches" target="_blank">famous black-sand beaches</a>. <em><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/iceland-game-of-thrones-photography-tour">Game of Thrones</a></em><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/iceland-game-of-thrones-photography-tour" target="_blank"> tourism</a> is a big draw, as is spa and wellness travel (there’s even a <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/spa-vacations/iceland-beer-spa" target="_blank">new beer spa</a>, if that’s your thing). There’s <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/in-search-of-icelands-nordic-cuisine" target="_blank">stellar new Nordic food</a> and <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/food-drink/restaurants/best-restaurant-iceland" target="_blank">destination restaurants worth traveling for</a>. And what better place to see the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/winter-vacations/tiny-iceland-cabin-northern-lights" target="_blank">northern lights</a>? Iceland might not be the “next” big thing anymore, but by all accounts, <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/places-that-live-up-to-the-hype-reddit" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/destination-of-the-year-2018-japan" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/smelly-fruit-grounds-airplane-indonesia" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/los-angeles" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> this winter.</p><p>The <a href="https://disgustingfoodmuseum.com/north-america/" 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="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543599811/sheep-eyeball-juice-GROSSFOOD1118.jpg?itok=zRbWOfS9"><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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/culinary-vacations-agritourism/cheese-lovers-destinations" 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="https://disgustingfoodmuseum.com/north-america/" 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="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543599811/natto-fermented-soybeans-GROSSFOOD1118.jpg?itok=CBq-4Les"><p>Curator Dr. Samuel West also added in a statement to <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2018/11/29/la-disgusting-food-museum/" 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="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1543599811/jello-salad-disgusting-food-museum-GROSSFOOD1118.jpg?itok=lTQQcTJm"><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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/alaska-airlines" 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="http://www.dietdetective.com/airline-food-investigation-2018-19/" target="_blank">Platkin wrote in his review</a>.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/swiss-international-air-lines-fondue-food" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/colombia-hotels-tours" 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="http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20140903-colombias-liquid-rainbow" target="_blank">BBC</a>.</p><p>But it’s not magic that makes this river look so vibrant. According to <em><a href="http://news.algaeworld.org/2015/11/macarenia-clavigera-in-the-scenic-river-of-five-colors-is-a-water-plant-not-algae/" 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="https://rove.me/to/colombia/cano-cristales-river" target="_blank">Rove</a>.</p><p>Generally, the colors are at their peak vibrancy between July and November. According to <em><a href="https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/cano-cristales" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/resort-hotels-in-south-america" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/beach-vacations/how-to-travel-to-the-greek-islands" target="_blank">latest trip t</a><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/destination-of-the-year" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/tripit-app-fastest-security-wait-time" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/tsa-restrictions-powder-security" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-carry-on-luggage" target="_blank">carry-on baggage</a>.</p><p>As of June 2017, <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/news/releases/2017/07/05/tsa-precheck-reaches-milestone-more-5-million-travelers-enrolled" 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="http://time.com/money/4355097/tsa-precheck-fee-survey/" target="_blank">25 million travelers</a>.</p><h2>How to Get TSA PreCheck</h2><p>Your first step is to <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/precheck" target="_blank">apply online</a>. Then you’ll schedule an in-person appointment at one of the nearly <a href="https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/locator?serviceCode=11115V" 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="https://www.chase.com/card-benefits/sapphirereserve/travel" 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="https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/map" 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="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/customs-immigration/global-entry">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

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