A Rare Winter Storm Covered the Sahara Desert in Snow (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:13
<p>It appears the United States isn’t alone in experiencing <a href="" target="_blank">record-setting cold this January</a>.</p><p>While it may be chilly along the Eastern Seaboard, the snow and ice there have nothing on the small town of Ain Sefra, <a href="" target="_blank">Algeria</a>, which experienced just its <a href="" target="_blank">second snowfall in nearly 40 years</a>.</p><p>To make that weather event even more spectacular, the blanket of snow covered parts of the Sahara Desert on Sunday, making for quite the picture-perfect winter scene.</p><p>“We were really surprised when we woke up to see snow again. It stayed all day on Sunday and began melting at around 5 p.m.,” photographer Karim Bouchetata told the<em> <a href="" target="_blank">Express</a></em>.</p><p>However even in its deepest parts, the <a href="" target="_blank">less than one inch of snow</a> quickly dissipated. Rising temperatures melted much of it by 5 p.m. local time Sunday.</p><p>Prior to this snowfall, the region actually experienced a light dusting in December 2016. Before that, the last snow was recorded in Ain Sefra on Feb. 18, 1979. And even then, the flakes fell for a mere 30 minutes.</p><p>"With the setup over Europe at the moment, which has given us cold weather over the weekend, a push southwards of cold air into that region and some sort of moisture would bring that snow,” a spokesperson for The Met told the <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Independent</i></a>. "It seems like the snowy pictures were taken across the higher areas in the north of the region, towards the Atlas regions, so it's not surprising that the area would see some snow if the conditions were right."</p><p>While this year’s snow in North Africa may feel unique, it’s actually part of a larger weather pattern shift for the region. As the <em>Express </em>explained, the desert has been experiencing a temperature and moisture shift over the past few hundred thousand years, and may become green again in about 15,000 years. Though, with that kind of lead time, we’ll all just have to imagine it.</p>
Categories: Travel

How This Couple Is Getting Paid to Sail Around the World

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:00
<p>Riley, 33, and Elayna, 24, are out there living just about everyone’s fantasy life. They are both being paid to sail around the globe.</p><p>Both Riley and Elayna, who originally hail from Australia, held (somewhat) regular jobs before their adventures began —Riley worked on an oil rigger, while Elayna performed as a singer in Greece.</p><img alt="Riley Whitelum Elayna Carausu Couple Travel Sail the World Boat Adventure "src=""><p>By 2013, Riley had saved just enough money to purchase a small Beneteau Cyclades yacht, which he bought in Italy and sailed to Greece, where he met with Elayna. From there, the two decided to sail the globe together and figure it out along the way.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Here’s How to Get Paid to Travel the World With Disney</a></p><p>Since their journey began, Elayna has been diligently documenting the journey for <a href="" target="_blank">their YouTube channel</a>, which has now amassed more than two million followers. And those followers, the couple says, are paying for their exploits around the globe.</p><p>According to the couple, their travels are supported through the crowdfunding platform, Patreon. There, fans and followers can pledge between $1 to $100 per month to help support the couple’s video productions and travels.</p><p>As an indication of their collective success, the couple was able to upgrade their boat to a catamaran worth $677,000.</p><img alt="Riley Whitelum Elayna Carausu Couple Travel Sail the World Boat Adventure "src=""><img alt="Riley Whitelum Elayna Carausu Couple Travel Sail the World Boat Adventure "src=""><p>So far, the pair have covered more than 41,000 nautical miles in their quest to <a href="" target="_blank">circumnavigate the globe</a>. They’ve even made crossings of the Atlantic and the Pacific, while whales frolicked in their boat’s wake. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How This Amateur Photographer Travels the World for Free</a></p><p>"I’m proud of the work and sacrifices I had to make to be able to buy my first boat,” Riley shared in a statement. "I have some incredible memories out on the water with her. I definitely didn’t have everything handed to me on a plate, but that makes our achievements all the more sweeter. For many people who watch our videos, it changes their life. We know because our viewers tell us and that’s a fantastic thing to hear.”</p><p>Riley added that a lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into producing their videos, to ensure they are “creative and thought-provoking” for their audience.</p><p>Elayna noted that their videos appear to be driving others to make the same radical life decisions. “How many people have we inspired to start sailing themselves?" She asked. "Tens of thousands. I’m not even joking. If you added together the amount of e-mails we receive, it’s staggering.”</p><p>As for others wanting to get in the game, Elayna shared this advice: “Don’t wait, just get out there and do it because it’s achievable.” </p><p>So who's up for a few sailing lessons?</p>
Categories: Travel

Spend Valentine’s Day in Paris for $421 Round-trip

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:33
<p>Impress your date this Valentine’s Day by ditching the flowers and boxes of chocolate in favor of a wildly romantic <a href="" target="_blank">trip to Paris</a>.</p><p>Today, <em>The Flight Deal</em> found a <a href="" target="_blank">round-trip flight to one of the most romantic cities on Earth</a> for $421 (more expensive than a Hallmark card, sure, but still cheaper than diamonds). The discounted fares to Paris, on sale with United, are available from the New York City area throughout the month of February, including Valentine’s Day.</p><p>Travelers can spend a week strolling hand-in-hand down the City of Light’s cobblestone streets, sipping wine on the banks of the River Seine, and admiring the <a href="" target="_blank">Eiffel Tower as it twinkles in the nighttime</a>.</p><p>If a warm-weather getaway seems more enticing, take your significant other on a holiday to Rome ($381), Ibiza ($424) or the Greek capital of Athens ($471).</p><p>And you don’t have to be located on the East Coast to take advantage of these impressive deals from St. Cupid. Los Angeles-based lovers can fly to Paris for $486 round-trip during Valentine’s Day, while steamy Mexican destinations like San José del Cabo, Cancun, and <a href="" target="_blank">Puerto Vallarta</a> can be reached starting at $166 round-trip.</p><p>To find the perfect Valentine’s Day getaway from your home airport, use <a href="" target="_blank">KAYAK's Explore tool</a> to find swoon-worthy flight deals in your budget.</p>
Categories: Travel

Your Seemingly Innocent Amazon Order Could Get You in Trouble With Border Control

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:30
<p>We have a pretty clear mental image of the type of person who’s flagged by border patrol for illegally importing goods. We may imagine they partake in shady midnight exchanges at docks, buy counterfeit goods in bulk and engage in seedy dark web purchases.</p><p>An Amazon order for a single luxury suitcase is generally not on this mental list.</p><p>Harper Reed, the former chief technology officer at Obama for America, tried ordering a Rimowa suitcase off the online marketplace “awhile back,” <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Racked</em> reported</a>. The suitcase never arrived, Amazon refunded the order and Reed purchased it in person at a Neiman Marcus. It appeared that the ordeal was over.</p><p>However, Reed didn’t know that the suitcase had been seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and that he had been flagged for importing a counterfeit.</p><p>In November, Reed went to an interview to renew his <a href="" target="_blank">Global Entry Trusted Traveler status</a>. The interviewer denied Reed’s renewal because he had been flagged by CBP for importing counterfeit goods: one Rimowa suitcase.</p><p>“This is pretty annoying,” Reed wrote on Twitter. “The listing was full price and seemed like all other Amazon Items. But I guess it wasn’t.”</p><p>As Amazon becomes a more sophisticated middle man — setting up warehouses, allowing third-parties to take part in Prime two-day shipping — it can be difficult to tell the difference between the real thing and a knock-off. Particularly when counterfeit companies can use misleading names, take imagery directly from a company, and undersell them by just a few dollars.</p><p>One way to avoid this potential problem is to buy luxury and brand-name items directly from the brand itself. For example, Birkenstock has pulled all of its products from Amazon and doesn’t allow any retailers to sell via Amazon, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Racked</em></a>. However Amazon users will still find hundreds of deceiving listings for the German shoe. When purchasing on Amazon, you should scrutinize the actual seller of the item.</p><p>Even if customers are lured to purchase by the counterfeiting company, the chances of the package being seized by border control are up to chance. Agents must <a href="" target="_blank">manually search through large bins of packages</a> to locate any that are suspicious.</p>
Categories: Travel

Watch a Humpback Whale Lift a Diver Out of the Water to Protect Her From a Shark

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:22
<p>It's official: <a href="" target="_blank">Humpback whales</a> are the guardians of the seas.</p><p>A new video shows a humpback whale protecting marine biologist Nan Hauser from a nearby tiger shark. The whale pushes her away from the shark using its head, tucks her under its pectoral fin, and even lifts her out of the water. Meanwhile, another whale uses its tail to ward off the shark.</p><p>Hauser, the president and director of the <a href="" target="_blank">Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation</a>, captured the video during a dive in the Cook Islands back in October.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">A Beluga Whale Learned to Speak Dolphin to Make Friends</a></p><p>"It's funny how the tables are turned here,” Hauser <a href="" target="_blank">told <i>The Mirror</i></a>. “I've spent the past 28 years protecting whales, and in the moment, I didn't even realize that they were protecting me!"</p><p>Hauser said that she was so focused on the whale, she didn’t see the tiger shark lurking nearby.</p><p>It’s a well-noted phenomenon that humpback whales, often in duos, protect smaller animals who are hunted by marine predators like orca whales. In 2009, a humpback whale <a href="" target="_blank">hoisted a seal out of the water</a> to protect it from oncoming orcas. In 2012, a pod of humpback whales off the coast of Monterey Bay, California attempted to protect a gray whale calf from being hunted by orcas.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Australian Kayakers Paddle Up to a Whale and Get More Than They Bargained for (Video)</a></p><p>“Although this behavior is very interesting, I don’t find it completely surprising that a cetacean would intervene to help a member of another species,” Lori Marino, president of the Whale Sanctuary Project, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>National Geographic</em></a>. “These attributes are those of a species with a highly developed degree of general intelligence capable of empathic responses.”</p>
Categories: Travel

How Kate Middleton's Birthday Celebrations Have Changed Since Becoming a Royal

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:01
<p>Kate Middleton turns 36 years old today. And though the Duchess of Cambridge is now a mother of two and is <a href="" target="_blank">expecting her third child in a few months</a>, we sort of hope she takes the day as an opportunity to put the kids to bed early and head out on the town with her husband Prince William and a few of their friends, just like the good old days.</p><p>What do we mean by the good old days? Keep scrolling to read up on how Kate has celebrated her birthday in the past, which may give us a glimpse into how she plans to celebrate her big day this year.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Kate Middleton Took an Awesome Solo Trip That None of Us Knew About</a></p><h2>2009: Kate’s 27th birthday, her first with Prince William</h2><p>In 2009, Kate celebrated her 27th birthday. While it’s not typically a milestone year, this one was big for both her and the entire royal establishment as it was the first birthday she spent with Prince William by her side. It was also the first time Prince William had publicly stayed over at the Middleton’s family home, according to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Popsugar</em></a>. No word on if the pair had to sleep in separate rooms.</p><p>In 2010, Kate celebrated at her parents' home once again with William in attendance.</p><img alt=" "src=""><h2>2011: Kate’s 29th birthday, her last before becoming a Duchess</h2><p>In 2011, Kate again had a low-key birthday affair. Though really, no one could blame her as she had a royal wedding to plan, which took place just four months later in April of 2011. Instead of going all out for her last year in her 20s, she and William celebrated at home after attending the wedding of their good friends, <a href="" target="_blank">Sarah Louise Stourton and Harry Aubrey-Fletcher in Yorkshire</a>.</p><h2>2012: Kate’s 30th birthday, the one where she went Hollywood</h2><p>On Kate’s 30th birthday, her first as a royal, she spent the evening not only with her new husband, but also surrounded by a few of Hollywood’s leading men. In 2012, she attended <a href="" target="_blank">the royal gala premiere of "War Horse"</a> alongside director Steven Spielberg, and actors Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch. During the screening, Kate was reportedly moved to tears, proving she was the royal everyone could relate to.</p><h2>2013: Kate’s 31st birthday, her last before becoming a mom</h2><p>In 2013, Kate celebrated her 31st birthday, while pregnant with <a href="" target="_blank">Prince George</a>. However, that didn’t stop the fun. At the time, Kate went out with family and friends to take in a <a href="" target="_blank">Cirque du Soleil performance of Kooza</a> at the Royal Albert Hall.</p><p>In subsequent years, Kate has kept an extremely low profile for her birthday celebrations, often celebrating at home with family. And while it’s likely she’ll do the same this year, it does appear that the <a href="" target="_blank">circus is back in town</a>. So perhaps we will all get another pregnant Duchess sighting after all.</p><p>Though, <a href="" target="_blank">she was spotted heading to church</a> alongside Prince William, Prince Philip, and her sister Pippa over the weekend, so it appears the family is still in Sandringham and will likely remain behind closed doors. Either way, we hope her birthday is filled with as much royal happiness as she can handle.</p>
Categories: Travel

Airline Promises to Refund Flights If It Can’t Cure Passengers' Fear of Flying

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:50
<p>An estimated 6.5 percent of the population suffers from fear of flying, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the National Institute of Mental Health</a>. That number may soon change however, as one airline is offering free flights if their “Flying Without Fear” course can’t cure this phobia.</p><p>Virgin Atlantic founded its “Flying Without Fear” course to teach passengers about aviation, technology and the very psychology behind fear.</p><p>When passengers show up for the program, they sit in a room and listen to presentations from experts in all different fields. Pilots talk about how a plane works and exactly what they’re doing up in the cockpit. Psychologists discuss different ways of managing fear. At the end of the day, passengers board a short Virgin Atlantic flight to put their new knowledge and techniques to the test.</p><p>U.K. customers who purchase a Virgin Atlantic ticket on Tuesday, January 9 can sign up for the course for free and if their fears are not cured before their trip, the airline will refund the cost of the ticket.</p><p>The course is available about 20 times per year across the U.K. But for Americans with a fear of flying, getting to the U.K could prove a challenge.</p><img alt="Virgin Atlantic flight "src=""><p>There are several similar courses set up throughout the United States. The <a href="" target="_blank">Fear of Flying Clinic</a> holds one-day workshops at the San Francisco International Airport. There are similar programs available at <a href="" target="_blank">Phoenix Sky Harbor</a> and Milwaukee General Mitchell. Travelers can contact their local airport to find out if similar courses are offered.</p><p>There are also digital ways of easing flying fears, like <a href="" target="_blank">an app that will explain turbulence in real time</a> or a <a href="" target="_blank">guided computer course</a>. Or, follow <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Travel + Leisure</em>'s 12-step guide to begin getting over fears of flying</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

It’s so Hot in Australia That Bats Are Falling Out of Trees As They’re ‘Boiled’ Alive

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:47
<p>Sure, <a href="" target="_blank">it's been cold here in the United States</a> — so cold in fact that <a href="" target="_blank">iguanas are freezing and dropping out of trees</a> in Florida — but our friends in Australia are experiencing the exact opposite issue.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">In Sydney, temperatures are running so high</a> that bats are boiling alive and falling from the sky.</p><p>According to <a href=";mc_eid=b3409cf30c" target="_blank"><i>Yahoo</i></a>, the bats, many of which are babies, fell from the trees in Campbelltown, a western suburb of Sydney, after the temperatures exceeded 113 degrees Fahrenheit in the area.</p><p>“They basically boil,” Campbelltown colony manager Kate Ryan told the local <i>Camden Advertiser. </i>“It affects their brain – their brain just fries and they become incoherent."</p><p>According to Ryan, the bats, known as flying foxes, not only lined the streets, but hundreds more were found dead dangling from the trees above.</p><p>“It would be like standing in the middle of a sandpit with no shade," Ryan <a href="" target="_blank">explained in a Facebook post</a>. She added, “I don’t know how many times I bent down and got on my knees to pick up a dead baby. There were dead bodies everywhere.”</p><p>However, it wasn’t all bad news for the bats. WIRES, a local wildlife rescue group, was on hand to rescue any bats found alive. According to <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Al Jazeera</i></a>, the volunteers were able to rescue and rehydrate more than 100 tiny bats and brought another 40 in for intensive care.</p><img alt="Deceased Bats from extreme heat in Bushlands "src=""><p>“In extremely trying conditions they [volunteers] worked tirelessly to provide subcutaneous fluids to the pups that could be reached and many lives were saved. But sadly many lives were lost too,” a spokesman for the charity <a href="" target="_blank">Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown</a>, explained to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p><p>And while the temperatures have been extreme enough, it appears Mother Nature isn’t quite done with Australia. Following the excessive heat, Sydney was hit with a severe lightning storm. According to the<i> Sydney Morning Herald</i>, the greater Sydney region was hit with more than 4,600 lightning strikes in just a three-hour period. More bad weather is expected to roll through Tuesday with the Central Coast expected to feel the brunt of it.</p><p>If you're in the area and run into a bat in distress, reach out to a local animal rescue or shelter for assistance. Of course, humans can be negatively affected by the extreme heat, too. Seek shelter from the heat when possible and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.</p>
Categories: Travel

Disney World Monorail Travels With Door Open in Alarming Video

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 06:45
<p>While <a href="" target="_blank">Disney World</a> guests might be expecting exciting thrills aboard <a href="" target="_blank">Space Mountain</a> or Expedition Everest, passengers on what was meant to be a routine Disney Monorail ride got a lot more excitement than they bargained for this week.</p><p>A pair of videos taken by a passenger on the Monorail and posted to Instagram show the train running from Disney’s Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) all the way to <a href="" target="_blank">EPCOT</a> with one of the car’s doors completely open. The videos, posted by <a href="" target="_blank">@abbieprimeknits</a>, show passengers clutching onto poles within the car for safety, as well as sighing with relief when the Monorail reaches its destination at Epcot.</p><p>Although the situation did not result in any injuries and passengers were able to avoid the open door during their journey, the malfunction points to a major oversight on Disney’s part. The ride from the transportation center to Epcot takes about 15 minutes, with the Disney Monorail’s average speed hitting 40 mph. Because the Monorail runs high above the parks, roads and water features at the resort, the possibility of someone falling through an open door is a grave one.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Disney Blog</em></a>, the Monorails are equipped with door sensors that are meant to alert the train’s “pilot” if something is ajar, as well as prevent the train from leaving the station in the event of an open door. However, according to a few comments left by the owner of the videos on her own posts, the door was not closing at the Transportation Center to begin with.</p><p>“Maintenance was called and worked on it for about 10 minutes and forced it to lock,” she wrote. “When we reached the first curve upon leaving TTC it opened and remained so.”</p><p>She also explained in a comment that no one in the car was aware of the emergency phone on board that would have allowed them to contact the pilot during their journey. When they arrived at Epcot, she said, staff watched them pull into the station with an open door and presumably took action to fix the problem after the fact.</p><p>The blog <a href="" target="_blank">WDW News Today</a> also posits that the incident could have resulted in “Do Not Lean” signage that was implemented that was added to every monorail door on January 8.</p><p>Although the situation isn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, this scary ride is not the kind of thing one hopes to experience at the most <a href="" target="_blank">magical place on Earth</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Another Big Snowstorm Is Coming for the U.S. This Week

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 17:29
<p>The East Coast was pummeled by a <a href="" target="_blank">“bomb cyclone”</a> of ice and snow last week, also known as <a href="" target="_blank">Winter Storm Grayson</a>, and now it’s the Midwest’s turn for extreme winter weather.</p><p>Starting Wednesday night through Thursday, a blizzard is expected to move over the mid-United States across I-70 to the I-90 corridor, affecting eastern Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">AccuWeather</a>, some areas should expect more than six inches of snow, and plenty of icy hazards and wind that will make getting around extremely difficult — so you might want to make other arrangements if you plan to travel this week. Ahead of Winter Storm Grayson, some <a href="" target="_blank">airlines began issuing waivers</a>. While none have been announced yet for flights in the affected area later this week, it's always a good idea to check directly with your airline.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Certain highways including interstates 25, 29, 35, 70, 80, 90, and 94 may expect the most accumulation of snow, according to reports. Moist air combined with the freezing blizzard conditions could also increase the risk of slick ice on roads and sidewalks.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How to Defrost Your Car Windshield in Less Than a Minute</a></p><p>“Major disruptions to logistical operations, travel delays and road closures are all expected due to the variety of hazardous weather as well as the areal coverage of this storm system,” said AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Adams.</p><p>After the storm passes, Midwesterners should also expect the freezing temperatures to linger throughout the week, according to AccuWeather.</p><p>This might be a good week for everyone to stay home... or at least bundle up.</p>
Categories: Travel

Donald Trump's New York City Apartment Building Caught on Fire

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 17:17
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Trump Tower</a> in <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a> caught on fire Monday morning, according to local authorities.</p><p>Video from the scene shows smoke billowing from the 58-story building.</p><p>The New York City Fire Department responded to the one-alarm fire at the fifth avenue building, and the fire was "under control" within a few hours, the fire department <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Washington Post </em></a>in a statement.</p><p>The fire was localized on top of the building and not inside it, according to a tweet from the New York City Fire Department. President Donald Trump's son Eric tweeted that the fire was electrical in nature, and he thanked the fire department in a tweet calling them "<a href="" target="_blank">true heroes.</a>"</p><p>One firefighter and two civilians sustained minor injuries at <a href="" target="_blank">Trump Tower</a>, the New York City Fire Department wrote in a tweet.</p><p>Trump maintains a three-story penthouse residence at Trump Tower in New York City. There are currently 21 units available to rent or buy, according to <a href="" target="_blank">Streeteasy</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hawaiian Airlines' New Planes Could Mean Cheaper, More Direct Flights to the Islands

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 17:13
<p>Monday's regularly scheduled Hawaiian Airlines <a href="" target="_blank">Flight 24</a>, from Kahului on <a href="" target="_blank">Maui</a>, to Oakland, California, marks the airline's first service to the mainland using its new plane, the Airbus A321neo.</p><p>While a new aircraft may not sound exciting to a lot of people, this addition to Hawaiian's fleet will have a big impact on passengers. Hawaiian isn't the first to use the A320 family of aircraft to Hawaii (<a href="" target="_blank">that honor went to Virgin America</a>), but the expanded use of the planes, which are smaller than the aircraft traditionally used across the Pacific, will mean more direct flights to more islands.</p><p>And, as several airlines increase service to Hawaii, <a href="" target="_blank">it also means cheaper prices</a>.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Score Cheap Round-trip Flights to Hawaii in 2018</a></p><p>Monday's flight is just the beginning of Hawaiian's launch of the A321neo to replace some of its older Boeing fleet and add new routes. It's taking over the Oakland route from the A330, and passengers will immediately notice the difference: The A330-200 is a long-range, wide-body, double-aisle aircraft. Hawaiian, which has <a href="" target="_blank">24 A330s</a>, configures the plane with 18 first class, 40 “extra comfort,” and 236 economy seats, for <a href=";date=" target="_blank">a total of 294</a>. The A321neo is a short- to mid-range, narrow-body, single-aisle aircraft with 16 first class, 45 extra comfort, and 128 economy seats, for <a href=";date=" target="_blank">a total of just 189</a>.</p><img alt="Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321 Neo Airplane "src=""><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">seat pitch</a> (the distance from the back of one seat to the back of the next) is basically the same for both planes: 31-32 inches in economy, 36 in extra comfort, and 45-46 in first class. The seat widths on the new planes, however, are slightly smaller, at 17.3 inches, compared to the A330's 18. The overall effect could mean a more cramped experience in economy — but there's another way the A321neo increases passengers' sense of space.</p><img alt="Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321 Neo Airplane "src=""><p>The overhead bins are designed to fold up into the ceiling to create more headspace. (Although during boarding and exiting, standing among the seats with the overhead bins open is pretty uncomfortable.)</p><img alt="Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321 Neo Airplane "src=""><p>But all of that is just what's most obvious to passengers. For the airline, the A321neo will make it possible to have more <a href="" target="_blank">nonstop flights</a> that are <a href="" target="_blank">cheaper to operate</a> — even with 100 fewer seats.</p><p>“The introduction of A321neo service to the Western U.S. heralds the dawn of a new era for Hawaiian Airlines and its guests,” Peter Ingram, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Hawaiian, <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The reason this is happening now is a feat of engineering. Beginning with the A320 <a href="" target="_blank">that Virgin America used in 2015</a>, the winglets (or sharklets) on the end of the wings made it possible to comfortably fly between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. While passengers may have never given much thought to the shape of the end of a wing tip, an upward-curved “winglet” adds to the aircraft's range. Along with certification for over-water flight safety, that added range means more flights and fewer stops the next time you're (hopefully) heading to Kona.</p><p>Changing out an airline's fleet is a slow process — after all, the first Virgin America A320 flight to Hawaii was three years ago. But Monday's flight marks the beginning of a significant rollout.</p><img alt="Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321 Neo Airplane "src=""><p>Flights between Portland, Oregon, and Kahului on the A321neo <a href="" target="_blank">begin January 18</a>.</p><p>Soon, you can expect to see the A321neo on <a href="" target="_blank">more Hawaiian Airlines flights</a> from San Diego to Maui; Los Angeles and San Francisco to Honolulu; and Oakland to Kona.</p>
Categories: Travel

Princess Charlotte Looks so Grown up in Her Adorable First Day of School Photos

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 16:44
<p>It’s official: Princess Charlotte is all grown up.</p><p>OK, so the princess is still just two years old, but time certainly seems to be flying by as evidenced by the fact that the youngest royal just attended her first day of preschool. </p><p>The tiny tot, who was enrolled in <a href="" target="_blank">The Willcocks Nursery School</a> by her parents, began classes this morning. Kensington Palace shared adorable photos from the special day, taken by her mother, Kate Middleton.</p><p>Kensington confirmed in a tweet that "the images were taken by The Duchess shortly before Princess Charlotte left for her first day of nursery at the Willcocks Nursery School." Charlotte looks adorable — and like she's taking after <a href="" target="_blank">her mom in the style department</a> — in a little red peacoat (you can get <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">a similar style for $42</a>) with matching shoes and a light pink scarf that matched her <a href="" target="_blank">Cath Kidston backpack</a>.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Why Prince George and Princess Charlotte Will Likely Never Live in Buckingham Palace</a></p><p>According to the <em>Express</em>, all parents were asked to stay in the school for the day to take part in its “stay and play” program. Though it hasn't been confirmed whether or not the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge obliged, according to the school, this activity is crucial to a child’s development. "As your child builds a rapport with the teachers, we will ask you to stay in the vicinity for the first few sessions so that you can return if needed,” the <a href="" target="_blank">school wrote</a> in its “settling in” page. It also suggests that parents pack a photo or special memento for the child to take with them so they feel more at home in their new school.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Prince George and Princess Charlotte Will Totally Steal the Show at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Wedding</a></p><img alt=" "src=""><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>cafemom</em></a>, the school is an ideal destination for a young princess, as it is run by a completely female staff, including its headmistress, Lavinia Taylor. The school, as it states in its mission, “ a traditional nursery school which strives to maintain its ethos for high standards, excellence and good manners.”</p><p>Giving a peek into what Charlotte's first day might be like, the school describes a typical day as including "a fun and structured morning with lots of free play where children embark on the first stages of learning to read, write and to understand simple numbers with the minimum of pressure.” She will attend the school three days a week.</p><p>Of course, you sort of have to be a royal, or at least a member of the British elite, to attend the school as it comes with a rather large price tag of $12,370 a year for just the morning sessions. If you want, you could send your toddler there for afternoon extension for an additional fee. While Kate and William may want Charlotte spending some of that time at home, the little royal may want to stay at school instead. Her home is, after all, <a href="" target="_blank">getting a little more crowded come spring</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Here’s How to Take the Ultimate Biking Trip Through Rioja

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 16:01
<p>A mountain range called the Sierra de Cantabria runs along the northern border of the Rioja Valley, and I had spent a good part of my morning riding up it. Behind and below me, the vineyards of Spain's most famous wine-making region spread out like a crazy quilt, a long skein of morning mist hanging above them. The air was almost perfectly still, the only sound a light wind rustling the beech trees that clung to the rocky escarpments on either side of the road. Once in a while, I'd hear a faint church bell from a nearby village or the muffled blast of a Basque hunter taking aim at a wild pig in the woods.</p><p>I was on a new trip from the Toronto-based active-travel company <a href="" target="_blank">Butterfield &amp; Robinson</a>, created in partnership with the editors of <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. My guide, Dale Sherrow, was way up ahead, riding with one hand while using his other to finalize our lunch plans on his cell phone. Fading a bit, I dropped down a gear. Amid the quiet, the loudness of the familiar sound startled me — the dry <em>click-click</em> of the shift lever, followed by the gentle metallic clang of the chain finding a new set of sprockets. You can go biking anywhere in the world and it always sounds the same when you change gears. When I finally reached the top, Sherrow praised my fortitude for having climbed more than 1,700 vertical feet. I hadn't been on a bike in a year, so I was grateful for the compliment. We looked at the road ahead, which pointed steeply downhill, into the shade of the forest. "Be careful and watch out for damp spots," he said. "But otherwise, let it rip! Let's get a coffee at the bottom."</p><img alt="Puente la Reina in Rioja region, Spain "src=""><p>I'd met Sherrow in Bilbao a few days earlier. The night before we began our four-day bike trip through the provinces of Navarre and La Rioja, he'd taken me on a beer-and-<em>pintxos</em> crawl along Calle Ledesma, a boisterous pedestrian thoroughfare that is a Xanadu for Spanish snacks. I was struck by his rakish enthusiasm, resemblance to Aaron Eckhart, and bio that includes stints living in <a href="" target="_blank">New Zealand</a>, Nicaragua, Denmark, and <a href="" target="_blank">France</a> in addition to 13 years of guiding for B&amp;R in Europe, Morocco, and Southeast Asia. He projected the kind of warm, effortless competency I've heard is typical of B&amp;R guides. "There are no problems, only solutions," he told me the first night as we discussed the trip. It proved to be one of his mantras.</p><p>My only problems, I soon discovered, were of the most rarefied, first-world variety: <a href="" target="_blank">jet lag</a>, which left me with no choice but to spend a few comfortable early-morning hours in bed with a novel; wooziness, brought on by too much charcuterie and fine Spanish wine; and, by my second day on the bike, a tender undercarriage. Nothing, in other words, to raise a fuss about.</p><p>It was October, and when we set out each morning, fingers of fog clung to the green hills and limestone peaks. We spent our first two days in Navarre, eventually joining the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrim's path that runs through northern Spain, as we approached Pamplona, where we stayed on our first night. For the trip's second half, we drove south to the Rioja wine region, the sweeping expanse of orderly vineyards, architecturally arresting bodegas (as the wineries are called), and medieval villages perched on small hills, many arranged around cathedrals that appeared to have been built as mosques in Moorish times.</p><img alt="Cycling along the Arga River, in Spain "src=""><p>Though the terrain wasn't overly difficult, it was rarely flat, and so after 40 or 50 miles of riding each day with plenty of climbing, I was more than ready to indulge in the wines for which Rioja is justifiably famous. Of the wineries Sherrow took me to each afternoon, my favorite was the bodega at Juan Carlos Sancha, a tiny producer in Rioja Alta, the part of the region where grapes are grown at high elevations. The owner, Juan Carlos Sancha González, who is also the director of enology at the University of La Rioja, is deeply committed to organic viticulture practices and the preservation of forgotten vines. "Wine should reflect the place where it is made — otherwise, it's Coca-Cola," he declared, obviously not for the first time, as we tasted several of his bottles. Then we packed into his Hummer and drove to the hilltop where he tends the gnarled Grenache vines his grandfather planted more than a century ago. The air was fragrant with the wild thyme and other botanicals that give the <em>terroir</em> its character.</p><p>Deeply satisfying meals, both humble and extravagant, followed the bodega visits. There were the <em>pintxo</em> bars of Logroño, La Rioja's capital, where we washed down Iberian-ham sandwiches, grilled mushrooms, <em>morcilla,</em> and pickled octopus with Tempranillo and beer. One night later, there were the "21 ideas" about Riojan cuisine that made up the playful tasting menu at the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Hotel Marqués de Riscal, which included an earthy mushroom appetizer inspired by the beech forests I'd recently ridden through.</p><img alt="Pintxos in Rioja, Spain "src=""><p>But for all the delightful food and wine, the essence of the trip was about pedaling a bicycle through those gorgeous Spanish landscapes — "slowing down to see the world," to borrow Butterfield &amp; Robinson's slogan. After Sherrow and I reached the other side of the Sierra de Cantabria, we passed road signs splashed with separatist graffiti. We were back in Basque Country: no sign of grapes there, just woods and farmland. We ordered <em>café con leche</em> at a small coffee shop where the figurines in the foosball table wore the local colors and two old men sat in the corner playing <em>mus,</em> a Basque card game. Then we meandered for a while through a landscape of rivers, pine trees, and green and brown hills right out of <em>For Whom the Bell Tolls</em> until it was time to climb back over the mountains.</p><img alt="Marques de Riscal winery, in Spain "src=""><p>Something I have always loved about biking is the time it gives you to be alone with your thoughts, and as I slowly crawled up the narrow country roads, I found myself reviewing the experiences I'd had on the trip so far. I thought about the pilgrims I'd seen on the Camino, with their tall sticks and their packs hidden beneath their ponchos. I thought about Francisco Glaria, my dapper guide in Pamplona, who'd explained at the beginning of an evening tour of his city, "I'm not politically Basque — but I'm one hundred percent culturally Basque," then cracked wise about animal-on-spectator violence at the running of the bulls. I thought of the parade of elegant small plates I'd had at Ábaco Restaurante, across the street from the bullfighting ring in Pamplona, especially the marrow topped with scallops accompanied by a burly Navarre Grenache, which together seemed to satisfy something instinctual and primal I didn't know I had in me. I thought about the gracious Lena Draghia, our host at the Propiedad de Arínzano winery, who'd served us heirloom tomatoes just picked from the vegetable garden as we sipped a young Chardonnay at a picnic table by a stream.</p><p>At the top, Sherrow congratulated me again. In front of us was the vast carpet of the Rioja Valley. I hadn't entirely realized what extraordinary fall colors grapevines can yield, but here they were: scarlet and goldenrod and rust. As we flew down the mountain in the direction of our next bodega, all I could think about was the view.</p><h3>About This Trip</h3><p>You don't need to be a regular cyclist to <a href=";utm_medium=Webpage&amp;utm_campaign=TravelLeisureWebpage" target="_blank">enjoy this itinerary</a>. Daily rides average about 30 miles, with options for additional cycling. You should pack biking clothes, but your guide will provide a bicycle and helmet. The best time to visit is between May and October, though midsummer can be hot. <em>Five days from $5,995 per person; 866-551-9090;</em></p><h3>Getting There</h3><p>Fly into Bilbao via Madrid or another major European hub. You will probably want to book a hotel there, since the package does not include one; the recently renovated <a href="" target="_blank">Gran Hotel Domine</a> <em>(doubles from $188),</em> opposite the Guggenheim, is an excellent option. You'll meet your guide in Bilbao and drive about an hour to begin riding.</p><h3>Trip Highlights</h3><p>On the first day, you'll ride through the green farmland of Basque Country to historic Pamplona, where you'll have dinner on your own — I recommend <a href="" target="_blank">Ábaco Restaurante</a> <em>(tasting menu $53)</em> — and spend the night at the <a href="" target="_blank">Gran Hotel la Perla</a> <em>(doubles from $210),</em> where each room contains a tribute to a famous guest (Hemingway's is 201). The next day, after riding through the Arga River valley, you'll reach <a href="" target="_blank">Propiedad de Arínzano winery</a><em>,</em> where you'll get a tour and a big lunch before you drive to the next hotel, <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel Viura</a> <em>(doubles from $172),</em> a Modernist property in the picturesque Rioja village of Villabuena de Álava. The routes on the third and fourth days are loops through Rioja wine country and up into the Sierra de Cantabria, stopping for lunch at places like La Tercera Estación <em>(Calle el Remedio; 34-94-133-4501),</em> a stylish, low-key wine bar in the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. The trip will conclude with a night at the Frank Gehry–designed <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel Marqués de Riscal</a> <em>(doubles from $412)</em>, where you'll have dinner at the wine estate's Michelin-starred restaurant.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Will Be the Hottest Swimsuit Styles in 2018

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:01
<p>The holidays have come and gone, and we’re left to face our <a href="" target="_blank">cold-weather fate</a> ahead. So give yourself something to look forward to and <a href="" target="_blank">plan a weekend trip somewhere warm</a>. Trust us, a little vitamin D will do your dry winter skin some good.</p><p>Below, we’ve rounded up the best swimsuit trends you can shop now for your upcoming warm-weather escapes.</p><h2>Romantic Ruffles and Frills</h2><img alt="Romantic ruffled swimsuits for 2018 "src=""><p>Elevate your swim game with ruffles and frills in romantic hues. This was a big trend last season and has continued to evolve as its ultra-feminine appeal is also flattering for every body type. Styles are listed clockwise from the top left.</p><p>Roxana Salehoun bikini, (top) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $144, (bottom) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $105</p><p>Marysia Swim bikini, (top) <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $189, (bottom) <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $189</p><p>Norma Kamali swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $350</p><p>Made by Dawn bikini, (top) <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $132, (bottom) <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $156</p><p>Karla Colletto swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $300</p><p>Sidway swimsuit, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $145</p><p>Lisa Marie Fernandez bikini, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $475</p><p>Johanna Ortiz swimsuit, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $650</p><h2>Belted Swim</h2><img alt="Belted Swimsuits for 2018 "src=""><p>Retro swimsuits have taken on new form this season. Stretching beyond the <a href="" target="_blank">high-waisted trend</a> of past seasons, swim brands have added a fun, new accessory to the mix: a belt. Whether you opt for a sporty style (i.e. Solid &amp; Striped) or a more feminine silhouette (i.e. new brand, Juillet), there's an option for everyone. Styles are listed clockwise from the top left.</p><p>Haight swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $220</p><p>Hunza G swimsuit, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $181</p><p>Kore Swim bikini, (top) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $123, (bottom) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $141</p><p>Solid &amp; Striped swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $210</p><p>Juillet bikini, (top) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $99, (bottom) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $99</p><p>Morgan Lane swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $258</p><p>Jade Swim swimsuit, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $245</p><p>Cover Swim swimsuit, (suit) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $190, (belt) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $40</p><h2>Graphic Neon</h2><img alt="Graphic Neon Swimwear for 2018 "src=""><p>It’s just a weekend, so have a little fun. Make a statement at the beach with a graphic neon swimsuit. Color-blocked, graphic patterns, new textures, and pops of leopard will be sure to make you stand out among the more common, muted swimwear palettes around you. Styles are listed clockwise from the top left.</p><p>Eres swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $570</p><p>Emma Pake swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $375</p><p>Ephemera swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $225</p><p>Diane von Furstenberg swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $220</p><p>Reina Olga bikini, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $191</p><p>Araks swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $325</p><p>Mikoh wetsuit, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $163</p><p>Fendi bikini, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $420</p><p>Acacia Swimwear bikini, (top) <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $132, (bottom) <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $106</p><h2>Minimal Shminimal</h2><img alt="Black and white swimwear for 2018 "src=""><p>If your style is more minimal, especially at the beach, seamless swimsuits with no ties or frills are your best bet. But maybe step it up a notch and embrace new shapes and patterns in blends of neutral hues. Styles are listed clockwise from the top left.</p><p>Matteau swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $280</p><p>Ward Whillas reversible swimsuit, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $365</p><p>Asceno bikini, (top) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $155, (bottom) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $168</p><p>Lido bikini, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $92</p><p>L*Space swimsuit, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $169</p><p>Rochelle Sara bikini, (top) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $66, (bottom) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $48</p><p>Bondi Born swimsuit, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $290</p><p>Myra Swim bikini, (top) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $71, (bottom) <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $71</p><p>Miné Mediterranean swimsuit, <a href="" target="_blank">minemediterranean</a><a href="" target="_blank">.shop</a>, $325</p>
Categories: Travel

These U.S. Cities Have the Worst Bed Bug Infestations

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:58
<p>New York may have a reputation for bad bed bugs, but it’s only the eight-worst city in the U.S. for infestations, according to a new study.</p><p>The top spot belongs to Baltimore, according to the report compiled by pest control services company Orkin, <a href="" target="_blank">Bloomberg reports.</a> It’s the second straight year the city ranked as No. 1 on Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list.</p><p>The list, which was released Monday, is based on the most residential and commercial treatments used on the critters from December 2016 to November 2017, Orkin entomologist Tim Husen said, Bloomberg reports. According to Husen, the list reflects a rising number of infestations across the country.</p><p>Second-place went to Washington, D.C, Baltimore’s neighbor 40 miles down the road. Chicago, Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio follow behind in that order</p><p>Rounding out the bottom five is Cincinnati, Detroit, New York City, San Francisco and Dallas.</p><p>While Baltimore does offer tips to residents infested with the blood-sucking bugs, the city doesn’t have any mitigation programs, according to its website.</p><p>But Tania Baker, director of communications for the Baltimore’s housing authority, said the city does take steps to remedy the situation.</p><p>“In Baltimore, the Department of Housing and Community Development’s property maintenance inspectors are specially trained to inspect and identify bed bug infestations,” Baker told Bloomberg. “If bed bugs are found, violation notices are issued to both the owner and occupant to take the necessary steps to eliminate the infestation.”</p>
Categories: Travel

British Airways Is Getting Rid of Reclining Seats on Some Flights

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:33
<p>British Airways passengers may want to prepare for a pain in the neck. Literally.</p><p>The airline is doing away with reclining seats on short-haul flights, a BA spokesperson confirmed to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Telegraph</em></a>. That reportedly applies to flights lasting four hours or less. The new seats will go into the airline's new fleet of 35 Airbus A320neos and A321neos, which are scheduled to come into service later this year.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Hawaiian Airlines' New Planes Could Mean Cheaper, More Direct Flights to the Islands</a></p><p>The spokesperson claims the seats will make things comfortable for all passengers, since people won’t have the ability to lean too far back and encroach on the seat behind them. Seats will all be set at a “gentle recline” and will stay that way. The airline's version of "gentle" has not yet been clearly defined.</p><p>“As well as new long-haul aircraft, we have 35 brand new short-haul planes arriving over the next five years,” the spokesperson said. “The new aircraft will have brand new seats set to a gentle recline to ensure everyone in the cabin enjoys a comfortable journey.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">There's a Secret Button on Your Airplane Seat That Will Give You More Room</a></p><p>Perhaps to help draw attention away from the fact that seats will no longer recline, the airline also announced they will add new amenities including “at-seat power throughout the aircraft" and onboard Wi-Fi. “These changes will also allow us to offer more low fares to customers,” the spokesperson said.</p><p>But this may do little to help customers feel better about booking with British Airways. In January of 2017 the airline stopped food service for short-haul flights and in August of 2016 it replaced the second meal on its economy “World Traveller” menu with a <a href="">fun-sized candy bar</a>. So you might be hungry and stiff, but at least you won't be <a href="" target="_blank">fighting with the person in the seat in front of you</a> over legroom.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Disney Cast Members Will Never Say 'I Don't Know'

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:32
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Disney Parks</a> go to great lengths to ensure guests have the most magical time of their lives while inside the park. This of course stretches to the incredible detail designers put into rides, to the perfectly Disney-friendly foods served throughout the park right down to the way each and every cast member interacts with guests.</p><p>Take, for example, the fact that cast members (otherwise known as employees) are never supposed to tell a guest “I don’t know.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Disney World’s Worst Attraction May Finally Be Closing for Good This Week</a></p><p>According <a href="" target="_blank">to a former cast member</a>, if a guest approaches a cast member inside the park with a question they are not allowed to answer with “I don’t know” even when they don’t actually know the answer. Instead, cast members must go to any and all lengths to find the answer, including calling other cast members around the park. This way, guests never have to wander around looking for something.</p><p>Moreover, cast members are never allowed to laugh or mock a guest for any of their questions. As another former <a href="" target="_blank">cast member revealed</a>, “If someone asks you ‘what time does the 3:00 parade start’ you can’t laugh. They may be serious! Actually, they are most of the time! You have to say ‘3:00′ with a smile that doesn’t suggest to them that you think they are a big stupid and should go learn something.”</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Of course, these rigid cast rules don’t stop there. For example, no Disney park employee is ever allowed to point with just their index finger. Instead, they must point using both the index and middle finger, which is known as the “<a href="" target="_blank">Disney point</a>.”</p><p>According to an anonymous Disney park employee, the gesture is indeed part of the training program for all employees and is actually an homage to Walt Disney himself. As legend has it, Disney would walk through his eponymously named park with a cigarette in hand. When he would point out different attractions he would do so by pointing with two fingers stretched out.</p><p>Now, however, Disney also uses the two-finger gesture to ensure that they are not misinterpreted as being rude with the single-finger point.</p><p>Beyond fingers and answers Disney cast members must also <a href="" target="_blank">cover any visible tattoos</a>, keep nails and makeup clean and simple and are banned from ever chewing gum. But hey, at least they get to dress up as princes and princesses.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Time to Visit Hawaii for Low Prices and Great Weather

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:31
<p>Hawaii is a <a href="" target="_blank">bucket-list destination</a> for many reasons. The Aloha State is home to an extraordinary culture, pristine landscapes, and <a href="" target="_blank">idyllic beaches</a>.</p><p>While there is no one “perfect time” to visit Hawaii, individual preferences can dictate the best time to book your vacation.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Hawaii Is Super Cheap This Fall</a></p><h2>The Cheapest Times to Visit Hawaii</h2><p>Flights to Hawaii are generally at their most expensive <a href="" target="_blank">from mid-December through mid-April</a>. With some planning, however, flights in January or February can be up to $175 cheaper than typical high season, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the farecasting app, Hopper</a>. Hotel rooms, on the other hand, are likely to be cheapest during the fall months, <a href="" target="_blank">from September through the middle of December</a>.</p><img alt=" "src=""><h2>The Best Weather in Hawaii</h2><p>Travelers looking for the best weather in Hawaii will find that rainfall is at its lowest <a href="" target="_blank">from April through September</a>. <a href="" target="_blank">According to Accuweather</a>, however, hurricane season in the Central Pacific lasts from approximately June 1 to November 3, with the chances of a tropical cyclone peaking in August. Just remember there’s still <a href="" target="_blank">plenty to do in Honolulu, even when it rains</a>.</p><h2>The Most Popular Times to Visit Hawaii</h2><p>The Hawaiian Tourism Authority reported that July has the most visitor arrivals of the entire year. December is the second-busiest month. Travelers who want to avoid crowds should also avoid booking trips during the last week of April and the first week of May. During this so-called “Golden Week,” hoards of tourists flock to Hawaii from Japan.</p><h2>The Best Times to Go Whale-watching</h2><p>Those who visit Hawaii with the intent of whale watching will find humpback whales off the islands’ coasts <a href="" target="_blank">from December through May</a>. February is considered by many as the absolute peak of the season, as it’s when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration completes <a href="" target="_blank">its annual whale survey</a>.</p><p>Those looking for a perfect combination of fewer visitors, lower prices, and good weather will likely find their ideal booking window during the shoulder seasons, <a href="" target="_blank">in either May or September</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

What to Do in Los Angeles When It's Raining

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:00
<p>You’ve traveled to <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> planning to enjoy the outdoor attractions, go shopping on Rodeo Drive, or maybe hike to the <a href="" target="_blank">Hollywood sign</a>. But when you get there, the weather isn't on your side. It’s raining.</p><p>Luckily, there are lots of indoor things to do in L.A. Here are a few of them.</p><h2>Museums</h2><p>There are several new museums in <a href="" target="_blank">L.A.</a> to check out. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles has a new home in downtown in a 12,700-square-foot industrial building. The first exhibits now open include Martín Ramírez: His Life In Pictures, and LA/LA, a site-specific installation by Abigail DeVille using found materials from neighborhoods around the museum.</p><p>You can also visit The Broad in downtown with an exhibit of 100 works by Jasper Johns. Or try the Marciano Art Foundation, which has rotating, thematic exhibitions. The Natural History Museum Los Angeles County has an incredible exhibit on tattoos running through April.</p><h2>Food Halls</h2><p>The new trend in L.A. dining is food halls, and there are several to check out. The <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Central Market</a> in downtown just celebrated its 100th anniversary this year and has more than 40 food stalls and vendors who represent L.A.’s diverse community. Be sure to stop by Sari Sari, the newest stall to open this July featuring Filipino food; Eggslut, a buzzy breakfast spot; and Madcapra, the first L.A. restaurant from chefs behind Kismet.</p><img alt="Grand Central Market "src=""><p>Also try <a href="" target="_blank">Spring Arcade Building</a> in downtown, which was built in 1924 and modeled after the nineteenth century shopping arcades of London and Paris. Now it’s been transformed into a food hall with offerings such as Blu Jam Café, Don Francisco’s ‘Casa Cubana,’ and Kai Japanese Roots. It also has Guisados, a popular taco restaurant known for its homemade and made-to-order tortillas and stewed meats; and Gelateria Uli, which specializes in gelato made from ingredients from local farmer’s markets.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Another option is <a href="" target="_blank">Corporation Food Hall</a> in downtown, one of the newest food halls to open in Los Angeles.</p><h2>Underground Bars</h2><p>There are several spots to get a cozy drink underground when the rain is pouring outside. Try <a href="" target="_blank">Birds &amp; Bees</a>, a speakeasy built under a downtown office tower with exposed steel and concrete interiors. Follow the wooden fence alongside the red brick wall at the northwest corner of the parking lot to find the secret entrance. <a href="" target="_blank">Rhythm Room</a> was originally a jazz lounge in the basement of the Hotel Hayward and a hotbed of music in the 1940s and '50s. The lounge closed when the hotel fell into disrepair in the 1970s, but reopened this year with much of the original architecture intact. Check out the marble staircase that leads guests down from street level to a cozy World War II-styled bar with retro furnishings.</p><img alt="Underground Bars Birds and Bees "src=""><p>Also visit <a href="" target="_blank">Clifton’s Republic</a>, an iconic L.A. restaurant that reopened in 2015 after a five-year, multimillion dollar renovation. The five-floor venue includes a revamped cafeteria, a miniature chapel, a 40-foot-tall fake redwood tree, a 19th-century gothic altar-turned-bar, a tiki bar with a full boat inside, and lots of taxidermy dioramas created in consultation with experts from the Natural History Museum.</p><p>The newest addition is a basement speakeasy bar called Shadowbox, which is set to open in early 2018.</p><h2>Los Angeles Sporting Events</h2><img alt="LA Derby Dolls "src=""><p>Get tickets to see basketball or hockey at the Staples Center, or go for college ball by seeing the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion or the USC Trojans at the Galen Center. If that’s not your thing, consider seeing the <a href="" target="_blank">L.A. Derby Dolls</a>, a roller derby league. Four teams compete within the league, and their duels involve fun team names and stylish uniforms.</p><h2>Indoor Sports</h2><img alt="Tempest Freerunning Academy "src=""><p>You can also get your own workout at indoor facilities throughout the city. Try the Los Angeles Athletic Club, which was started in 1880 as the first private club in L.A. Or you can try pole dancing at Evolve Dance Studio, aerial yoga at Hollywood Aerial Arts, or rock climbing at Rockreation. You can even attempt indoor surfing workouts at Sandbox Fitness, take a trampoline fitness course at Sky High Fitness, or tackle an obstacle course at Tempest Freerunning Academy.</p>
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