Skijoring Is the Nordic Winter Sport We Never Knew We Needed

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 13:00
<p>On a bluebird <a href="" target="_blank">Montana</a> morning in February, I found myself in a vast, snow-covered field, clipped into a pair of downhill skis and holding on to a towrope attached to the saddle of a handsome bay horse named Buckshot. The place was the <a href="" target="_blank">Resort at Paws Up</a>, a 37,000-acre luxury retreat and working cattle ranch in the Blackfoot Valley, east of Missoula. It’s a <a href="" target="_blank">wonderful place to stay</a>, with spacious, haute-rustic cabins that feel like private homes, shaded by ponderosa pines. But as comfortable as the accommodations are, you don’t really want to linger in them too long, because there are just so many fun things to do in this beautiful corner of the country.</p><p>In midwinter, said fun things include dog-sledding through the woods and snowmobiling up to Garnet, a perfectly preserved 1860s mining town — both of which I tried — as well as cross-country skiing, <a href="" target="_blank">snowshoeing</a>, and downhill tubing. But I had come specifically to experience the peculiar thrills of equine skiing, better known as skijoring. This unusual pastime has been popular in the western United States since the early 20th century, when Scandinavian immigrants imported it from <a href="" target="_blank">Lapland</a>, where it has been practiced for centuries using reindeer or dogs (<em>skikjøring</em> means “ski driving” in Norwegian). The version practiced with a horse and rider can also be a competitive sport: there have been several campaigns to include it in the Winter Olympics, and each January, at the <a href="" target="_blank">Ski Joring Invitational in Whitefish, Montana</a>, top skijorers compete on a course with jumps, gates, and jousting rings they have to capture as they go.</p><p>Jackie Kecskes, Paws Up’s equestrian manager, assured me that if I could ski, I could skijor. She sat astride Buckshot, wearing a wide-rimmed felt hat, a Barbour jacket, and jeans. “We had one guest struggle,” she said, “but everyone else has been able to do it, from a 69-year-old man to a teenager with a <a href="" target="_blank">GoPro</a> taking selfies.” After asking if I was ready, she murmured to Buckshot, who took off in a gentle trot along a path in the snow about the size of a high-school track. All I had to do was rock back slightly on my skis in a kind of half-squat while feeding the rope back and forth to modulate my distance from the horse. A full circuit took less than a minute. Kecskes was right: skijoring was easy enough, though the position took a bit of getting used to. Part of what felt strange was that I didn’t feel like I was really <em>doing</em> anything — other than hanging on, which I didn’t do so well when Buckshot sped to a gallop, slingshotting me around a curve.</p><img alt="Scenes from The Resort at Paws Up, in Montana "src=""><p>After a few loops I tried slaloming in and out of the colored markers on the course, quickly realizing how important the edges of my skis were for navigating the turns. Eventually, my forearms and some mysterious small muscles in my sides — obliques? — started to bark. “Everyone feels it in a different part of their body,” Kecskes told me. I took a breather while she swapped Buckshot for his lighter-colored buddy, Doc. Once we started up again, I just focused on holding the rope and appreciating the sensation of gliding behind this powerful animal, the wind on my cheeks, the sturdy snowcapped mountains on the horizon.</p><p>After lunch, Kecskes and I went trail riding. She gave me a white draft horse named Traveller, named after the one owned by Robert E. Lee, and we ambled through the snow along the banks of the Blackfoot River, chatting about her horses’ cliquishness. “It’s like in high school,” she said. “They’re like, ‘<em>You</em> can’t sit here for lunch, <em>you</em> can’t say hi to my friend.’” We passed under Lookout Rock, where Lewis and Clark are said to have stopped to decide which way to go next. A storm was coming in from the west, a dark, sculptural cloud formation massing against the blue sky. I felt an acute, ringing happiness at the majesty of this American landscape, and the pleasure of getting to know the beautiful animal whose reins I held. I knew that when I got home I’d tell everyone that in Montana I’d spent a highly entertaining hour getting pulled around on skis by a horse. But then I’d add that there’s nothing in the world better than riding one.</p><p><em>Travelers can reach the <a href="" target="_blank">Resort at Paws Up</a> (doubles from $650 per person, all-inclusive) by flying into Missoula, Montana. Complimentary round-trip transportation is included in the rate. One-hour skijoring sessions are $200.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

People Are Paying to Go to Prison in South Korea Because Life Is Too Stressful

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:30
<p>When the stress and fatigue of the daily grind gets to us, who among us has not dreamed of being locked away from all human contact?</p><p>Wistfully, we might imagine all the books we would read or how buff we would become from working out if we were locked up (just for a month or two!) in prison with no interference from the outside world.</p><p>The wish is reality in Hongcheon, South Korea, and you don't even need to commit a crime.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">At This Prison-themed Hotel in Bangkok, Guests Get a Mugshot and a Curfew</a></p><p>“<a href="" target="_blank">Prison Inside Me</a>” is a hotel of sorts in South Korea where people pay to be locked away in solitary confinement for 24 hours. Inside, “jail mates” wear matching uniforms, sleep in spartan 54-square-foot cells, and are forbidden from speaking to each other. Minimal meals — a steamed sweet potato and banana shake for dinner, rice porridge for breakfast — are fed through a slot in their cell doors. Cell phones and clocks are prohibited inside the walls of the prison.</p><p>Accommodation kits include a yoga mat, tea set, pen, and notebook. Everybody sleeps on the floor.</p><p>Participants can pay about $90 to be kept in solitary confinement for 24 hours, away from the stressors of the outside world. More than 2,000 people have stayed at the prison since it opened in 2013. Most of those who opt for the unusual vacation are stressed out workers and students.</p><p>“After a stay in the prison, people say, ‘This is not a prison, the real prison is where we return to,’” Noh Ji-Hyang, one of the co-founders, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Reuters</em></a>.</p><p>Like any good getaway, the prison stay comes with a souvenir: a certificate of parole upon completing their stint in solitary confinement.</p>
Categories: Travel

Toy Story Land During the Holiday Season Is Disney Magic at Its Best

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:17
<p>From jumbo trees to themed parades, Walt Disney World takes the holiday season seriously, and Toy Story Land is about to experience it firsthand. Disney's newest land will, for the very first time, be doused in <a href="" target="_blank">yuletide cheer</a> with over-the-top decor designed to make you feel like a toy inside Andy's backyard. Even better? Because everything in Woody and Buzz Lightyear’s expanse is <a href=";utm_content=5b4cb6899ebbef00077aed7f&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;;xid=TrueAnthem_Twitter" target="_blank">larger than life</a>, the festive additions are too, giving an eye-popping new take on tinsel and tree toppers.</p><p>November and December can be some of the <a href="" target="_blank">best times to visit Walt Disney World</a>: the parks are doused in cheerful spirits, <a href="" target="_blank">every single Disney hotel</a> is decorated to the nines, and the festivities happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are aplenty.</p><p>Here’s what you’ll find this wintertime at the cutest new land at Walt Disney World:</p><h2>If you think your home’s holiday decor is big, think again</h2><p>Massive ornaments honoring "Toy Story’s" Little Green Men sit outside their Alien Swirling Saucers ride, and a life-size sugar cookie of Hamm, the film’s popular piggy bank, is held upright by the helping hand of a green army man toy soldier. The most heartwarming holiday addition comes from Rex, the lovable toy dinosaur who is perched high atop a pile of Jenga blocks near <a href="" target="_blank">Slinky Dog Dash coaster</a>. Given the ride’s backstory — Andy combined his toys with a coaster kit, placing his springy dachshund on top — it makes sense that Rex’s antlers are hand-drawn onto cardboard with a red pen, making the toy chest magic of Walt Disney World’s newest land that much more homespun.</p><h2>Deck the halls with new ride soundtracks</h2><p>Even though they’re just a few months old, Toy Story Land’s attractions have changed for the season as well. Alien Swirling Saucers’ audio has donned a kind of costume, updating its music to feature festive holiday tunes and themed lighting, while Slinky Dog Dash coaster has added sleigh bells into its soundtrack.</p><img alt="Christmas lights and Antlers on the Slinky Dog Dash "src=""><h2>Even the characters are catching the holiday spirit</h2><p>To Infinity — and the top of a Christmas tree! Don’t think those beloved characters would dare ignore the festivities winter brings, as Buzz Lightyear boasts a Santa cap while Woody and Jessie have swapped ugly Christmas sweaters for colorful vests and tinsel tucked inside in their cowboy hats. It may not be a meet-and-greet with Santa — for reference, that’s on the other side of the park — but it adds a bit of warmth to those memories made during year-end vacations.</p><h2>There’s a special seasonal treat, too</h2><p>Woody’s Lunch Box, known for serving toasted grilled cheese and s’mores French toast out of a jumbo lunch box, is covered in a traditional popcorn-and-cranberry garland with green tinsel string for the season as well. There’s even a riff on the land’s popular lunch box tart dessert done in festive flavors: cinnamon cran-apple delight is slathered in icing and topped with pink pearls and white snowflakes.</p><img alt="Alien oraments at Toy Story Land "src=""><h2>And, it’s not the only way to toast to wintertime</h2><p>At nighttime, expect that same amount of Christmas-y charm, thanks to oversized string lights hanging overhead all year round. It’s part of the entertainment and festivities that have arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this holiday season, lasting through Jan. 6th. The “Flurry of Fun” lets guests toast to wintertime magic with themed food and hot cocoa flights, special entertainment, falling “snow” and the live nighttime show Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! featuring fireworks and characters from Prep &amp; Landing, now on its third year running.</p>
Categories: Travel

4 Sites That Let You Book Flights and Pay Later

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:00
<p>No matter <a href="" target="_blank">what your budget is</a>, travel still costs money. In fact, one of the biggest reasons why people don’t travel more often is due to the high airfare and hotel rates that force travelers to shell out huge amounts of cash all at once. For many people, this can be a serious blow to your budget and finances.</p><p>Luckily, there are a plenty of companies out there that can cater to your budgetary needs by allowing installment payments on your biggest expenses, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Lonely Planet</a></em>.</p><p>Perhaps the most recognizable way to spread out your travel expenses is through the popular booking site, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Expedia</a>. If you are paying for a booking that is over $200, you’re eligible to spread out your payments in monthly installments for up to three, six or 12 months, thanks to Expedia’s partnership with the online lender, Affirm. In order to get the option, customers can select a flight and hotel package and then select the “Monthly Payments” tab.</p><p>The start up <a href="" target="_blank">Airfordable</a> goes one step further by allowing travelers to submit a screenshot of their itinerary in order to get a customized payment plan, <em>Lonely Planet</em> reported. And there’s no commitment to book with a specific site, since Airfordable actually works with several booking sites, such as <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Google Flights</a>, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Priceline</a> and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Expedia</a>.</p><p>In addition, airlines like <a href="" target="_blank">Thomas Cook</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin Holidays</a> have their own monthly installment plans, according to <em>Lonely Planet</em>. Thomas Cook offers a “buy now, pay later” plan that is available for travel dates between Nov. 1, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019. Virgin allows customers to set up a direct debit line, which takes payments up until 12 weeks before departure.</p><p>Next time you’re thinking of going on vacation, you might want to look at these sites in order to book the trip of a lifetime without spending your whole life savings.</p>
Categories: Travel

Spot the Northern Lights in Your Pajamas From This Floating Lodge Above the Arctic Circle (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 10:46
<p>Seeing the <a href="" target="_blank">Northern Lights</a> is on every traveler’s must-do list, but actually catching a glimpse of Mother Nature’s most spectacular show is more difficult than one may think. After all, it can involve nights of hunting for the perfect location, waiting out the weather, and hoping the sun sets off just the <a href="" target="_blank">right magnetic charge</a>.</p><p>But a new <a href="" target="_blank">Off The Map Travel</a> experience may help (nearly) guarantee visitors see those lights right from their own floating home.</p><img alt="VOLDA Floating House Barge to See the Northern Lights "src=""><p>The Arctic travel experts at Off the Map Travel have created a new floating lodge that will spend time just off the coast of <a href="" target="_blank">Tromso, Norway</a>, which also happens to be a hotbed of Northern Lights activity.</p><p>The floating lodge was created from a refurbished 1960s ferry boat and totally reimagined into a luxury accommodation. The interior of the boat is done in classic Scandinavian design and can sleep up to 14 guests in its seven bedrooms.</p><img alt="VOLDA Floating House Barge to See the Northern Lights "src=""><p>“The lodge offers an incredibly generous space that you wouldn’t expect from a floating lodge. It’s comfortable and relaxing, and you can choose to search out the Northern Lights indoors or outdoors as you stay in one place,” Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel, shared in a statement.</p><img alt="VOLDA Floating House Barge to See the Northern Lights "src=""><p>In addition to the bedrooms, the boat also comes with an open plan living room and kitchen area, two open lounging zones, and one private lounge in the officer’s cabin.</p><img alt="VOLDA Floating House Barge to See the Northern Lights "src=""><img alt="VOLDA Floating House Barge to See the Northern Lights "src=""><p>“The Arctic is a dream destination for anyone looking for a bit of adventure including a hunt for the Northern Lights,” Cooper said. “But a trip north of the Arctic Circle doesn’t mean you need to compromise on luxury and comfort. We’ve created a program for you to have it all.”</p><p>According to the company, a four-day, three-night “Floating in Tromso” itinerary will include all meals, a personal hostess on board, dog sledding, and a Northern Lights hunt. However, all programs can be customized based on travelers' preferences and will begin at $2,429 per person (not including flights).</p><p>The dream trip is available now through March 2019, so go out, explore, and see the Aurora for yourself without changing out of your warmest pajamas.</p>
Categories: Travel

One of New York City’s Most Iconic Views May Soon Disappear (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 10:06
<p>One of New York City’s most iconic views could disappear forever.</p><p>Locals and tourists alike flock to the cobblestone of Washington Street in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood to spot one of the city’s most perfect views: the Empire State Building framed by the legs of the Manhattan Bridge. But a proposed quartet of high-rise buildings in Manhattan’s Two Bridges neighborhood could kill the view forever.</p><p>Builders have proposed four skyscrapers along the east side of Manhattan that would obstruct the view of the Empire State Building from the <a href="" target="_blank">Brooklyn side</a> of the river.</p><p>The Municipal Art Society (MAS) is trying to preserve the view and block the buildings from construction. <a href="" target="_blank">Those who live in Manhattan are also against the building project</a>, saying that the buildings would drive up rent in Two Bridges and force the evictions of longtime residents.</p><p>"A person standing on the street... where previously you would see the Empire State Building, you will now see part of this development," Tara Kelly, MAS vice president of policy and programs, told the <em><a href="" target="_blank">New York Post</a></em>.</p><p>The four buildings would be capable of housing about 6,000 new residents. Two of the towers, stacking 62 and 69 stories would share a four-story base. Another “super tall” 1,008-foot tower would consist of 79 floors. A third building could house up to 62 stories.</p><p>The Historic Districts Council argues that the preservation of historic views is as important as preserving physical buildings or neighborhoods.</p><p>“The one place in New York City where the views are protected is from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which they are now trying to destroy,” local Simeon Bankoff <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Brooklyn Paper</em></a><em>.</em> “We don’t have protected views.”</p><p>New York’s city planning commission will vote on the proposed buildings, although a date has not yet been set.</p>
Categories: Travel

America’s First Biometric Airport Terminal Is Officially Opening to All Passengers

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:02
<p>Delta announced that <a href="" target="_blank">Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal</a> at the Atlanta airport is ready to become America’s first “biometric terminal.” This means travelers will be able to use facial recognition technology “from curb to gate.”</p><p>As <a href="" target="_blank">Travel+Leisure previously reported</a>, Delta has been working on the technology, which will help guests seamlessly move through airport security, for some time. The system will be implemented from check-in through boarding and will employ facial scanning machines at the self-service kiosks, baggage drop-off counters, TSA checkpoint, and all Terminal F boarding gates.</p><p>“We’re removing the need for a customer checking a bag to present their passport up to four times per departure – which means we’re giving customers the option of moving through the airport with one less thing to worry about, while empowering our employees with more time for meaningful interactions with customers,” Gil West, Delta’s COO, said in a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Passengers Are Happier Interacting With Technology Than With People, Study Finds</a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>USA Today</em></a>, the new biometric option will be available to international passengers flying nonstop from Atlanta on Delta and its partner airlines Aeromexico, Air France-KLM or Virgin Atlantic.</p><img alt="Delta Biometric scanners in Terminal F at ATL in Atlanta "src=""><p>The step-by-step process begins with passengers entering their passport information during online or airport check-in. Passengers can then click “look” at one of the airline’s automated kiosks. Their faces will be scanned and kept on file with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And it appears almost all travelers are opting into the program.<br />“Nearly all 25,000 customers who travel through ATL Terminal F each week are choosing this optional process, with less than 2 percent opting out,” Delta said. “And, based on initial data, the facial recognition option is saving an average of two seconds for each customer at boarding, or nine minutes when boarding a wide body aircraft.”</p><p>Delta also isn’t stopping at Atlanta. The airline shared it is also implementing the technology in Detroit in 2019.<br /><br />“It is a great honor for Detroit Metropolitan Airport to become one of the nation’s first biometric terminals,” Chad Newton, the interim CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority, told <i>USA Today</i>. “We look forward to partnering with Delta, CBP and TSA to provide passengers with the option to utilize facial recognition throughout their entire travel process.”</p>
Categories: Travel

WOW Air — and Those $99 Flights to Iceland — Could Soon Disappear

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 08:40
<p>WOW Air — <a href="" target="_blank">the Icelandic airline famous for $99 transatlantic flights</a> — could be in danger of folding.</p><p>On Thursday morning, Icelandair Group announced that it no longer planned to purchase its flailing Icelandic rival, bringing the future of the budget airline into question. Without stable financial backing, it is not unlikely that the airline could fold, which could have an effect on the entire Icelandic travel economy.</p><p>"This conclusion is certainly disappointing," Bogi Nils Bogason, interim president and CEO of Icelandair Group, said in a statement. "We want to thank WOW Air's management for a good cooperation in the project during recent weeks. All our best wishes go out to the owners and staff of the WOW Air."</p><p>While the airline attracted attention through its low fares, sometimes reaching as low as $69, it would make money by charging passengers for seat assignments, food, and checked baggage.</p><p>WOW Air began operating in 2012 and has since expanded rapidly to several U.S. cities. But last year, <a href="" target="_blank">the airline reported a $13.5-million loss</a>. It was expected to lose an additional $28 million in 2018.</p><p>Since a bond issuance in September, the airline has been faltering financially in public, which it attributed to rising fuel costs. Earlier this week, it returned four of its aircraft to lessors, <a href="" target="_blank">according to PAXEX.AERO</a>. One aircraft is operating under lease.</p><p>This puts the future of its longest routes — from Reykjavki to Los Angeles and Delhi — at risk. The long-haul flights require an A330 aircraft. The airline now only has one in their fleet.</p><p>WOW Air is not the only transatlantic budget airline that has been wavering this year. <a href="" target="_blank">Scandinavian Airline Primera Air suddenly declared bankruptcy</a> back in October. Last year, a British airline declared bankruptcy, <a href="" target="_blank">leaving more than 100,000 passengers stranded around the world</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Enjoy Cheese Fondue Mid-flight on This Airline

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 08:08
<p>Economy passengers flying with Swiss International Air Lines across <a href="" target="_blank">Europe</a> can enjoy cheese fondue in the skies starting on Dec. 1.</p><p>The airline is <a href="" target="_blank">renewing</a> its recently launched <a href="" target="_blank">Swiss Saveurs</a> menu concept, which allows passengers across cabins to order a la carte food, drink, and snack options inspired by traditional Swiss dishes.</p><p>The offerings for the 2018-2019 winter season include a traditional Swiss cheese fondue made of 50 percent Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese (noted for its nutty flavors and long-lasting taste) and 50 percent Gruyère<b> </b>cheese. The fondue is served alongside bread for dipping. </p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">10 Restaurants Every Cheese Lover Should Visit at Least Once </a></p><p>New menu options also include hot chocolate (made fresh from Swiss chocolate), freshly baked pain au lait served with a Cailler chocolate bar, and a Carac tartlet, a tartlet made with shortcrust pastry and filled with dark chocolate praline before being topped with bright green frosting.</p><p>The fondue is available for a price of 17 Swiss Franc (about $17) on flights from <a href="" target="_blank">Geneva</a> to Malaga, Athens, Stockholm, Moscow, Gothenburg, Hurghada, Lisbon, St. Petersburg, and Marrakesh, and can also be paired with a charcuterie board complete with cured ham, Gruyere salami, and dried meats.</p><p>While the airline has offered cheese fondue in the past, this is the first time economy passengers can enjoy the treat, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Local</a></em>.</p><p>Passengers looking to purchase the local dishes can pay for them directly on the flight, while Swiss also offers the ability to have snacks that range from pastries and sandwiches to salads <a href="" target="_blank">delivered right to your gate</a> for orders placed up to an hour before departure.</p>
Categories: Travel

Kate Middleton Just Said the Cutest Thing About Meghan Markle's Pregnancy

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 07:51
<p>Meghan Markle, duchess of Sussex, is getting her first taste of the downsides of becoming a royal.</p><p>Since she and her husband, Prince Harry, announced they will be <a href="" target="_blank">moving to the Frogmore Cottage</a> on the grounds of Windsor Castle, the couple has been the subject of more than a few negative headlines. Each one more specific than the last, speculating on a <a href="" target="_blank">“rift” between Meghan and Kate Middleton</a>, and even drama between Harry and William.</p><p>However, according to Middleton herself, that could not be further from the truth. On Wednesday, while making an appearance in Leicester, England, Middleton shared with well-wishers that the entire family is overjoyed about Meghan’s pregnancy and have come together to support her and Harry.</p><p>“It’s such a special time to have little kiddies, and a cousin for George and Charlotte, as well, and Louis. It’s really special,” she said of Harry and Meghan’s future royal baby.</p><p>Middleton was also happy to discuss her own children with fans as well. During the event, Middleton shared that her kids are all getting rather excited for the holiday season.</p><p>"They’re doing well, thank you," she said. "They’re getting excited for Christmas time because they’ve started all their Christmas songs and Christmas trees are going up. It was really sweet. And Louis’s getting big. I can’t believe he’s like seven months now. He’s getting to be a big boy."</p><p>Middleton even shared a little inside tidbit on her family, revealing the sweet nickname her children have for their father, Prince William. According to an onlooker named <a href="" target="_blank">Fiona Sturgess</a>, "Kate said that William was playing football [soccer] with the children last night and one of them said, I think it was George, ‘Are you playing football tomorrow, Pops?’”</p><p>So there you have it. Rift over. And William goes by “Pops.” We can all relax now, the royals are just fine.</p>
Categories: Travel

This 'Game of Thrones' Actor Apparently Caused Quite the Airplane Frenzy After Filming 'The Red Wedding'

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 07:35
<p>Robb Stark arguably suffered one of the most gruesome deaths in “<a href="" target="_blank">Game of Thrones</a>” history. After (spoiler alert) watching his pregnant wife be stabbed to death and his army brought down in a single room, Stark himself met his fate when he too was stabbed in the gut. Which really, makes it totally understandable that the actor behind the role, Richard Madden, cried the entire way home following the filming.</p><p>In a new interview with <em><a href="" target="_blank">GQ</a></em>, Madden revealed that he was overwhelmed with his final scene. In fact, he was overcome at having to watch the scene again as part of the interview, he told <i>GQ</i>, “I think it’s really rude you made me watch this.”</p><p>While re-watching the scene, Madden became a bit emotional, sharing second-by-second details. He even revealed that after filming the grueling final death, he had to immediately hop on a plane back to <a href="" target="_blank">London</a>. He didn’t even have time to wash the fake blood from his hands.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong><b> </b><a href="" target="_blank">Travel the Seven Kingdoms by Visiting the Filming Locations of 'Game of Thrones'</a></p><p>On the flight back, Madden said: “I remember being on this flight back to London, covered in fake blood, exhausted and just sobbing,” he said in the video. “It looks like I just murdered someone and got on a flight. Which, in fact, I hadn’t. I’d been murdered.”</p><p>People around him started to also catch on to his odd behavior and bloody appearance and a cabin crew member even approached him to ask if he was OK.</p><p>“And then people moved and the rows behind me moved. I was sobbing and covered in blood. I looked like I’d murdered someone and got on that flight,” he said.</p><p>If those lucky fellow passengers knew they were actually flying with the true King of North they’d be totally OK with his less than desirable flight antics.</p>
Categories: Travel

Giant Teddy Bears Are Taking Over Paris for the Cutest Reason

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 06:39
<p>Imagine if your neighborhood was taken over by an “army” of bears.</p><p>No, not real bears — cuddly, soft teddy bears to be exact.</p><p>Residents of one neighborhood in Paris, Les Gobelins, have noticed the growing number of giant teddy bears that have been popping up at different locations, and the locals absolutely love the new visitors, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Local</em> reported</a>.</p><img alt="Teddy bears in the window of a Paris hotel "src=""><p>Don’t worry, the bears are not suddenly gaining sentience and walking around when nobody's looking. In fact, the bears are part of a project by a local bookshop owner named Phillipe, in an effort to bring the community together in a fun, unexpected way, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Le Parisien</a></em>.</p><p>“I've been working here for 25 years. There were people I had never spoken to. Now they call me Philippe,” the bookseller told Le Parisien, as translated by <em>The Local</em>.</p><p>There are 50 teddy bears all in all, which Philippe has been putting in different places around the neighborhood since late October. Another shop owner, a pharmacist named Emmanuel, told <em>Le Parisien</em> that no one is sure where Phillipe gets the bears, but he’s also lending them out to people in the area.</p><img alt="Teddy Bear at the Les Gobelins metro station in Paris, France "src=""><p>The bears are continually appearing in many different spots for residents to stumble on. They “eat” in huge groups in front of restaurants and hotels, “climb” lamp posts or just greet people on street corners.</p><img alt="Giant teddy bears at a cafe in Paris, France "src=""><p>Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo even enjoys the new, furry addition to Les Gobelins.</p><p>The bears have now become so popular that fans of the fuzzy creatures can keep up with them and their shenanigans on the bears’ official <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p><p>According to <em>The Local</em>, the bookshop owner plans to keep the bears moving around the community until the <a href="" target="_blank">La Gallette des Rois celebration</a>, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, on Jan. 6.</p>
Categories: Travel

Someone's E-cigarette Caused an Evacuation at Boston Logan Airport

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 06:33
<p>It’s important to properly pack everything you bring along on your trip, especially when it comes to electronics.</p><p>Many devices, from laptops to phone chargers, use lithium batteries, which the <a href="" target="_blank">TSA requires</a> all passengers to pack in their carry-on bags. The main reason for this is that lithium batteries used for electronics can pose a rather unpredictable fire risk while in the air if they are checked.</p><p>At Boston Logan International Airport on Saturday, a lithium battery used to charge an e-cigarette ended up causing a suitcase that was checked onto a flight to expel smoke, causing a temporary evacuation in the checked baggage screening room, NECN reported.</p><p>Airport workers noticed the smoke only a few minutes before loading the suitcase onto the plane. The TSA posted a video of the smoking bag on Twitter. According to NECN, the owner of the bag was a man traveling to Kansas City.</p><p>Luckily, despite the smoke, the bag was determined to be safe after a check by the Massport Fire &amp; Rescue and a state police bomb unit, according to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. No other parts of the airport were affected by the evacuation.</p><p>“TSA is focused on ensuring that nothing catastrophic occurs on an airplane, and so of course a suitcase that has smoke emitting from it is definitely suspicious,” a TSA official said in a statement.</p><p>One witness told NECN, “I don't smoke, but now I certainly won't have one of those. Never! I rather take my chances with a lit one.”</p><p>Even if a lithium battery is packed in a carry-on, it can still cause problems. But having it in the cabin with you makes it easier to detect an igniting battery before it can cause serious harm. <a href="" target="_blank">Phone and laptop chargers</a> have been the culprits in recent incidents.</p><p>If you must take your battery with you, make sure to stow it where you can keep an eye on it. And remember to make sure it’s undamaged and functioning properly before taking it on a trip.</p>
Categories: Travel

Watch This Hang Glider Hang on for Dear Life after Instructor Forgets to Strap Him in

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 17:44
<p>As far as terrifying vacation mishaps go, this story has to take the cake.</p><p>All Chris Gursky wanted to do was take a nice trip to Europe. Gursky, from Florida, thought he was well on his way to doing just that when he landed in <a href="" target="_blank">Switzerland</a>. On the very first day of his trip Gursky thought he’d take in the sights by going on a relaxing <a href="" target="_blank">hang gliding tour</a> so he could sit back and just chill. Oh, how wrong he was.</p><p>The second the glider took off Gursky realized he wasn’t actually strapped into the contraption or to his instructor. This left him hanging on for dear life as the glider went up 4,000 feet in the air.</p><p>“I just glanced down, and said this is it: I am going to fall to my death,” Gursky <a href="" target="_blank">shared with Fox</a>. “It wasn’t my time, I was going to hold on as long as I possibly could.”</p><p>According to Gursky, he tried to remain calm as an “up draft (was) pulling us higher and higher,” however, he felt like he was “losing grip the whole way down.”</p><p>Thankfully, after four excruciating minutes, Gursky and his pilot were able to land the craft, albeit with Gurksy suffering a fractured wrist on his less than ideal landing.</p><p>"By the time we hit the ground, or I hit the ground, I would say we were going about 25 miles an hour," Gursky said.</p><p>Gursky’s video of the incident quickly went viral, garnering more than 5.2 million views to date.</p><p>But, despite it all, Gursky still has a positive outlook on hang gliding and on the pilot, who Gursky said, "did all he could to get me down to the ground." Gursky even noted that he’s open to trying hang gliding again. Which, good for you sir, but the rest of us who watched your terrifying incident may need a bit longer to recover.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why You Should Get Global Entry and How It's Different Than TSA PreCheck (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 17:21
<p>If you’ve ever arrived on an <a href="" target="_blank">international flight carrying 500 passengers</a>, you know that the line at customs can be brutally long. And when you’ve been traveling for 18 hours and have already been through <a href="" target="_blank">two layovers</a>, the last thing you want is to spend another hour in line waiting to officially reenter the country. Time spent in the customs line is really just time you’re never getting back—and it’s further delaying the post-flight shower you’ve been longing for. This is where Global Entry benefits come in handy. For international travelers with Global Entry, there’s little-to-no line at customs, and instead of meeting with a customs agent, you just scan your documents at the kiosk and are on your way. If you’re ready to expedite your homecoming, here’s everything you need to know about the U.S. Global Entry program.</p><h2>What is Global Entry?</h2><p>Global Entry is essentially a way to not stand in the customs line when coming back into the U.S. Travelers who have gone through the Global Entry application and screening process are able to enter the U.S. after a quick check-in at an electronic kiosk. There are no customs lines, no paperwork (it’s an environmentally-friendly system!), and you end up reunited with your luggage and family faster as a result of Global Entry.</p><h2>How to Get Global Entry</h2><p>The first step is to create a <a href="" target="_blank">Trusted Traveler Programs</a> account on the U.S. Customs and Border protection website. Once you’re logged in, fill out the Global Entry application and pay the associated fee. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will review your application and conduct a background check once you’ve submitted, and if it’s conditionally approved, you’ll make an in-person interview appointment at a U.S. Global Entry Enrollment Center.</p><h2>What’s the Global Entry Interview Like?</h2><p>First off, <a href="" target="_blank">applying for U.S. Global Entry</a> doesn’t mean your interview is going to happen next week. In fact, it could take a few months. However, if you don’t want to wait, you can try your luck as a walk-in. Whether you walk in or show up for a scheduled appointment, you’ll need to bring a printed copy of your conditional letter of approval, your passport or permanent resident card, and proof of residency (your driver’s license works).</p><h2>How Much Does Global Entry Cost?</h2><p>It costs $100 (non-refundable) to apply for Global Entry, and that fee covers you for five years. However, you may be able to get Global Entry for free, or even help a friend or family member do so. Credit cards like the <a href="" target="_blank">American Express Platinum Card</a> offer a rebate if you use your credit card for the Global Entry application fee. Furthermore, on some cards — AmEx Platinum included — you can use your credit card to pay for someone else’s Global Entry and still receive the rebate. (This is only true if you haven’t used the card for your own Global Entry fee.)</p><h2>What if the Person I’m Traveling with Doesn’t Have Global Entry?</h2><p>You can’t take anyone through Global Entry kiosks with you, and that includes your young children. In other words, if you want your four-year-old to enter the U.S. with Global Entry, they need to undergo the same global entry application and screening process in order to enroll.</p><h2>How Does Global Entry Help Me?</h2><p>Travelers approved for Global Entry <a href="" target="_blank">also get TSA PreCheck</a>. So in addition to getting back into the country faster, you’ll have an easier time getting through security. Once you’re approved for Global Entry, you’ll receive a Known Traveler Number, which you can add to your frequent flyer profiles and plug in when you’re booking flights.</p><h2>How to Use Global Entry</h2><p>First, when you’re given a Known Traveler Number after getting approved for Global Entry, you’ll want to start entering that number when booking flights. When heading to customs to get back into the U.S., follow signs for Global Entry and wait in the (wonderfully short) kiosk line. You’ll scan your passport or permanent resident card at the kiosk, verify your fingerprints, and declare any items you’re bringing back into the country. You’ll then get a receipt, and you won’t have to fill out the infamous blue-and-white customs form flight attendants hand out on international flights.</p><h2>How is Global Entry Different From TSA PreCheck?</h2><p>Is TSA Global Entry even a thing? Is there some sort of fusion between Global Entry and TSA PreCheck? To be clear, TSA PreCheck expedites your security process when entering the airport, whereas Global Entry eases your customs experience when returning to the U.S. However, Global Entry travelers qualify for PreCheck as a perk of their Global Entry status. Global Entry essentially gets you PreCheck and then some—and it only costs $15 more than TSA PreCheck alone.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Ice Fishing for Your Dinner Is a Quintessential Minnesota Winter Experience

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 13:01
<p>I have fished with the Tsimané in the <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon</a> with a bow and arrow. I have cast my line just 700 miles from <a href="" target="_blank">Antarctica</a> in the teeth of Force 5 gales. I have accidentally bounced a fly off an ancient statue at <a href="" target="_blank">Udaipur</a>’s Lake Palace. But ice fishing? Sitting around on a frozen lake always seemed like nothing more than an excuse to drink beer while staring at a hole. It had never really appealed to my angling instincts.</p><p>Until now. On a recent trip to Minnesota, I explored the frozen waterways around Lake Minnetonka, just west of the <a href="" target="_blank">Twin Cities</a> — where I discovered there is actually an active, exciting side to ice fishing, one that involves not rods and reels but spears. Ice spearfishing is a tradition first practiced in the Midwest by the indigenous Ojibwa, who have fished here for millennia. Tenting themselves under thick blankets, they would hack a large hole in the ice and lie in wait for northern pike, trout, walleye, or bass. Today, you can still see anglers spearfishing on many of Minnesota’s more than 10,000 frozen lakes, sheltered from the cold in the shantytowns of ice huts that have replaced the traditional Ojibwa mats.</p><p>There was another draw in the area, I must admit. <a href="" target="_blank">Gavin Kaysen</a>, a local chef whose food I had eaten in New York, recently opened <a href="" target="_blank">Bellecour</a>, a French bistro and bakery in the town of Wayzata — once a bucolic Lake Minnetonka getaway for well-heeled Minneapolitans, now a fashionable suburb of the Twin Cities. Here, he enjoys a well-deserved reputation for reverent updates of French seafood classics, from hearty bouillabaisse to a refined Minnesota trout Véronique with champagne beurre blanc.</p><p>“You catch them and I’ll cook them,” Kaysen told me. “<em>After</em> I take my kids ice-skating.” Typical. Here, locals don’t see winter as an excuse to hibernate and get all <a href="" target="_blank"><em>hygge</em></a> by the fireplace. Whether they are ice-skating or ice boating, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, Minnesotans consider getting outdoors when the temperature nosedives to be a civic virtue.</p><p>The next morning, I rendezvoused with Luke Swanson, a boundlessly enthusiastic fishing guide from the local outfitter <a href="" target="_blank">Livin’ the Dream</a>, at a smaller lake not far from Lake Minnetonka (one that I’ve promised him I will not name). We drove across the icebound surface to one of the shacks that he rents out to fishers each winter: a low-ceilinged hut that looks like a toolshed has lost its way and wandered onto the ice. Inside, a foldout bench, some fishing tackle, a set of spears (each reminiscent of a weaponized hay rake), and — bless Luke’s soul! — a space heater.</p><p>And then the magical part: Swanson had sawed a rectangle in the middle of the ice floor. It was like a picture window opening onto a dream-haunted realm. The shack was kept dark so that meandering fish could not see us, but the underwater scene was illuminated by the even, white light of the sun shining on the lake through two feet of ice. Scattered clamshells and tree branches were clearly visible along the pale lake bottom, through 10 feet of gin-clear water.</p><p>Swanson took a live sucker, a bottom-feeding baitfish, and secured it with a metal clip tethered to an eight-foot line. He hoped that it would catch the attention of a pike: a fearsome-looking predator with a face straight out of a Jurassic nightmare. As a further come-on, he dipped in a second line holding a fish-shaped decoy with bright red fins.</p><p>And there we sat, swimming the wooden decoy in lazy circles and occasionally pulling the live bait back into the center of the window. Nothing moved below us save our offerings. I was growing sleepy...<em>very</em> sleepy.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">Why a Hot Spring Tour of the American West is the Perfect Cure for Your Winter Blues</a></p><p>Then, a yell from Swanson. “There’s a big one coming!” I awoke to the sight of a <em>huge</em> pike fastened onto our sucker. In one motion, Swanson picked up his spear and pierced the fish. He lifted it from the water — an impressive 38-incher. “I’ll keep this guy for myself,” he said. “Great fish, but the smaller ones make better eating.” We didn’t catch anything else that day, but an angler in a neighboring hut generously obliged us with a smaller pike that we took, hungrily, to Kaysen’s home.</p><p>The first thing anyone will tell you about pike: they are extremely bony. It’s a drag to tweeze out each slender splinter. But Kaysen has the knife skills of a master, perfected during his years working under <a href="" target="_blank">Daniel Boulud</a>. He deftly skinned the fillets and called for his young sons. “Feel how fresh this is,” he said. “The muscle still moves when you touch it.” And, yes, when I pressed on the fillet I could feel the slightest tremor in the flesh.</p><p>Kaysen cooked the pike simply, with only melted butter, lemon, garlic, and a bay leaf. After just a few minutes, it was ready, garnished with deep green chervil alongside a winter salad of shaved fennel, wafer-thin slices of celery, and radishes dressed with garlic-laced yogurt and dill.</p><p>We gathered around the counter, forks at the ready. In the afternoon light of the bright, uncluttered kitchen, I was struck by the green of the herbs, the white flesh of the pike. Outside, the snow-covered backyard and the fir trees that ringed it were in harmony with our kitchen tableau. The warm, buttery fish, snatched from winter’s grip on a frozen lake, was a plateful of proof that the outdoor lifestyle in icy Minnesota has its own delicious rewards.</p><h2>Minnesota Trip Planner:</h2><p>Rent a car for the 30-minute drive to Wayzata from the Minneapolis−St. Paul airport; it will be useful for lake-hopping.</p><p>One of the town’s more recent lakeside attractions is the 92-room <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel Landing</a> <em>(doubles from $199)</em><i>,</i> its first new hotel in 50 years. Comfy Scandinavian-inflected suites make it a perfect home base after a day outdoors.</p><p>At <a href="" target="_blank">Bellecour</a> <em>(entrées $25–$33)</em><i>, </i>chef Gavin Kaysen’s menu rotates through hall-of-fame French seafood dishes like <em>moules frites</em> and a classic <em>fruits de mer</em>.</p><p>There is no shortage of ice-fishing guide services, but I opted for the expertise of Luke Swanson at <a href="" target="_blank">Livin’ the Dream</a> <em>(from $85, including equipment rental)</em><i>. </i></p><p>You’ll need a valid <a href="" target="_blank">Minnesota fishing license</a><i> </i><em>(from $14)</em> as well as one for “dark house spearing”<i> </i><em>($17)</em><i> </i>if you want to try your hand at spearfishing. </p>
Categories: Travel

The Travel Hack Olivia Munn and the Queen of England Have In Common

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 11:31
<p>Though Olivia Munn is a movie and TV star — recognizable in "Newsroom," "Predator" and a cameo in "Ocean’s 8" — when it comes to traveling she insists she is just like one of us. As in, she also doesn’t look like a celebrity when she gets off a plane. She insists she is nowhere near one of those Pinterest-worthy super organized packers but she does have quite a few impressive hacks up her sleeves. <em>Travel + Leisure</em> caught up with her recently at the opening of Luxury House by #spgamex to celebrate the new <a href="" target="_blank">Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card</a> to talk about what kind of traveler she is (and the kind she aspires to be).</p><p><strong>T +L: Is there something you can absolutely not travel without?</strong></p><p>"Yes! A <a href=";tag=olivamunncarryon-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B016W7W9JE&amp;linkId=b43d86a8e9b3033a057971b1bced4789" target="_blank">hot water bottle</a>. Just the regular one from the drug store. It is so cold on planes. And if you just have this, in 5 minutes you have boiling hot water. Just fill it up right before you take off and it changes the whole game. It is the best. And super inexpensive."</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The One Item the Queen Absolutely Can’t Sleep Without</a></p><p><strong>T+L: What is the best trip you have been on?</strong></p><p>"<a href="" target="_blank">Turks and Caicos</a> with my girlfriends last year. It was amazing. We had this amazing home right on the beach. I had a little window of time between work and I'd never taken a proper girls' trip with all of my girlfriends. We just found this house and I loved it. There is nothing that sounds more luxurious to me then being on a beach with warm ocean water and all of my friends and unlimited food."</p><p><strong>T+L: What is one place you are dying to go?</strong></p><p>"Egypt."</p><p><strong>T+L: Do you have a travel uniform?</strong></p><p>"No, I wish I did. I need to have more go-to uniforms. I'll be rushing and do something like wear shorts and it's kind of weird to wear shorts on a plane because it's so cold. I always admire celebrities that are decked out when they travel. The other day I landed in <a href="" target="_blank">LAX</a> and there were paparazzi there and it seems like whenever I come from an event and am in full glam they aren’t around but when I come off the plane like looking sick, they are there."</p><p><strong>T+L: Do you have a great packing hack?</strong></p><p>"No. These people that put out their blogs about how they pack are amazing. I'm going to get to that. I do make a separate bag with duplicates of all my chargers, international converters and those won't go anywhere else. I used to carry way too many and now it's paired down to exactly what I need and I never take that out of the bag except for in the hotel and then I put it back. And then I have a skincare kit just for when I travel and I replenish that. I make that a special thing with a face mask and my skincare stuff and I'll use that for on the plane as well. And I make a separate bag for my makeup and a whole bag for makeup brushes. I had to do that because things get so messy. And then I have a medicine bag. Those four sit in my travel case and I store them there. When I am going to pack I make sure those are OK and that really helps pair everything down."</p><p><strong>T+L: What are the beauty products you use when you travel?</strong></p><p>"I use the <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlcyberweekdeals-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B07933ZYNF&amp;linkId=39ccdf174f18f14e8c33e43667b3743b" target="_blank">Lancome hydrogel mask</a> and then the <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlcyberweekdeals-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00W66NRME&amp;linkId=51b7426ddeae47b0586a4ea7410acb7a" target="_blank">Tatcha setting spray</a>, great for hydrating your face. I use a couple of different <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlcyberweekdeals-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00HXDZZXO&amp;linkId=8464c0fae283534d9a122fe9a810d823" target="_blank">lip liners from Shiseido.</a> Lancome also makes this really great <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlcyberweekdeals-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B01GIA0RT4&amp;linkId=b3fd9177cbe9e3c9a5822d073dc0fcdb" target="_blank">rouge lipstick</a> I like to use when I travel. I use a lot of products from L'Oréal. They have a really good <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlcyberweekdeals-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B078JMR4H2&amp;linkId=77f9eb00e14e2e4fad10935161d538cb" target="_blank">eye shadow palette</a>. <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Liv Lash</a> is also great because I really need to get my eyelashes stronger and thicker.</p><p><strong>T+L: Is there a certain brand of luggage you use?</strong></p><p>"I am kind of all over the place with <a href="" target="_blank">my luggage</a>. The case needs to be lightweight. I used to never care and then I landed in London and someone was helping with my baggage and they said, 'It's all mismatched.' I wasn’t insecure and then they made me insecure."</p><p><strong>T+L: You’ve been very outspoken on experiences you’ve had as a woman in Hollywood and also speaking up for others. Do you have any advice for other women when it comes to speaking out?</strong></p><p>"I think you have to start to weigh what you're protecting. For me I understand these things aren't easy to do but I’m much more afraid of living in a world where I can't speak out or am punished for speaking up. People who are abusing their power do need to be trapped. Not speaking up is a much scarier option."</p><p><em>Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity</em></p>
Categories: Travel

This New Plane Has No Middle Seats — and That's Not Even the Coolest Part (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 10:46
<p>Traveling certainly comes with plenty of perks. Sure, you get to see the world, visit family and friends in far-flung places, and experience new things. But, there’s one thing that can put a damper on all that good. And that is the downright terrible experience of <a href="" target="_blank">traveling in the middle seat</a>.</p><p>OK, so flying in the middle seat is just about at the bottom of the world’s problems right now, but it still matters to some, and <a href="" target="_blank">Embraer is catering</a> to those people who simply abhor the middle with its new E190-E2 jets that come with zero middle seats. Ever.</p><p>The aircraft manufacturer has been taking its new 2-2 configured plane on a world tour in recent months. And it’s certainly a noticeable plane as it comes decked out with some seriously out of this world great white shark livery.</p><img alt="Embraer E190-E2 Livery "src=""><p>Inside, fliers will find that new configuration comes with up to 150 seats, according to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>. For those looking for even more space, they can upgrade to the premium cabin, which offered a staggered seat arrangement. The plane also comes with more overhead bin space and larger windows for passengers to peer out of.</p><p>"Preserving passenger personal space is the goal," Rodrigo Silva e Souza, vice-president of marketing for Embraer Commercial Aviation, told <a href="" target="_blank">CNN Travel</a>. Souza noted that the interiors of the new aircraft aim to bring that "wide-body cabin feel" to "give passengers the impression of having greater space, or of being on a larger aircraft."</p><p>While the middle seat upgrade is certainly the prime detail, the plane does come with other noteworthy upgrades. According to Embraer, its new aircraft comes with improved fuel efficiency and burns 17 percent less fuel than its predecessor. This, <em>Daily Mail</em> noted, makes it the most efficient single-aisle aircraft on the market.</p><img alt="Embraer E190-E2 Livery "src=""><p>Currently, passengers can book flights on the plane with Scandinavian Airlines' regional subsidiary, Widerøe, but, as CNN noted, its largest customer is SkyWest, which is <a href="" target="_blank">a regional airline affiliate</a> flying with American Airlines, Delta, United and Alaska Airlines. And that means the 2-2 plane will delight frequent fliers throughout the United States soon.</p>
Categories: Travel

Richard Branson's New Miami Cruise Terminal Looks So Nice You Might Not Want to Leave Port

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 09:35
<p>On Wednesday, Richard Branson, alongside <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin Voyages</a> president and CEO Tom McAlpin and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, announced plans to build a brand-new cruise terminal just for the soon-to-launch Virgin Voyages. The first ship that will officially dock at the new Port Miami Terminal is called The Scarlet Lady.</p><img alt="Scarlet Lady cruise ship at the Miami Port "src=""><p>“South Florida is our home, and with our fleet now growing to four ships, we’re humbled and thankful to soon have a gorgeous new terminal overlooking the Miami skyline, an incredible view that will set the stage for the alluring journey that we will take our sailors on,” McAlpin said in a statement.</p><p>Along with the new terminal and planned commitment to PortMiami, Virgin Voyages also announced that its first ship, <a href="" target="_blank">The Scarlet Lady</a>, will continue to sail to the Caribbean from Miami throughout the 2021 season. Its second ship will also sail out of Miami beginning in the fall/winter cruise season of 2021-2022.</p><img alt="Exterior of the bar on the Virgin Scarlet Lady "src=""><img alt="Pink Agave Mexican restaurant onside the Virgin Cruises Scarlet Lady "src=""><p>“Miami is an incredible city and one of my favorite places to work and play,” Branson added in the statement. “From our headquarters for Hotels, Voyages, and now <a href="" target="_blank">Trains USA</a>, South Florida has quickly become another home for Virgin brands in the leisure travel sector.”</p><p>According to a press release shared with <em>Travel + Leisure</em>, the new terminal will be a whopping 100,000 square feet and will come with a palm grove-inspired design developed by the Miami-based designers from Arquitectonica. The terminal’s rooftop will resemble a palm tree grove and allow plenty of natural light to flow through. The storm-proof glass facility will also have designated areas for drop-offs of VIP cruisers and promises a seamless shore-to-ship experience.</p><p>%image5<br /><br />“It’s gratifying to see Virgin Voyages expand its presence in Miami-Dade County," Gimenez said. “By constructing a new cruise terminal at PortMiami, Virgin Voyages is signaling its confidence in our thriving community, which is not only the Cruise Capital of the World but also the Gateway to the Americas.”<br /><br />Construction on the project is set to begin next year and is slated for completion by November 2021.</p>
Categories: Travel

Get Ready, Star Wars Fans: Disney's Millennium Falcon Ride Looks Truly Out of This Galaxy (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 17:35
<p>A trip inside the Millennium Falcon cockpit, ride names, and a sneak peek at Batuu: it’s all happening.</p><p>With <a href="" target="_blank">Galaxy’s Edge</a> opening at Disneyland Resort in summer 2019 and Walt Disney World in late fall 2019, we’re just a few months away from Disney’s<em> Star Wars</em>-themed lands welcoming their first visitors, and these recent reveals are enough to have you saying “Chewie, we’re home” to anyone who will listen.</p><p>The 14-acre intergalactic themed lands opening on both coasts are finally starting to take form, and with announcements of the names of both Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions and other new details announced at D23: Destination D conference in Orlando, Florida, it now feels closer than ever.</p><img alt="Disney World Star Wars Resort Hotel "src=""><h2>Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run</h2><p>The much-hyped attraction which lets guests actually pilot the oft-reliable vessel, is set to be a high-flying adventure Han Solo himself would approve of. With <a href="" target="_blank">200 cockpit controls</a> operated by only a few park-going passengers, the attraction is set to give an intimate experience similar to that of actually steering the fastest ship in the galaxy, based on details revealed in <em>The New York Times</em><i>.</i> (It looks<a href="" target="_blank"> just like the real thing</a>, too.)</p><h2>Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance</h2><p>The second attraction takes park goers on an out-of-this-galaxy journey aboard a Star Destroyer where, according to the <i>Times,</i> they will be greeted by <a href="" target="_blank">50 audio-animatronic Stormtroopers</a>. The ride will culminate in a face-to-face encounter with Kylo Ren, which is sure to send a shiver down one’s spine, even that far out in space.</p><p>World-renowned composer John Williams, who penned the iconic scores for past films, will be <a href="" target="_blank">creating new music</a> specifically for the new <em>Star Wars</em>-themed land as well, and new drone footage <a href="" target="_blank">over the craggy mountain region of Batuu</a> — the fictional planet Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge resides upon — all but confirms a visit will be as interactive and immersive as fighting the resistance alongside Luke, Rey, Poe, and Finn.</p><p>No news yet on when the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Star Wars</em>-themed hotel</a> will be open — we’re estimating at least a couple of years — but other announcements at D23: Destination D dialed down on new happenings at Walt Disney World in the not-so-distant future.</p><p>Two nighttime shows will debut next year: Epcot Forever, an interim show to celebrate the historic park before an all-new show launches in 2020, will arrive in fall 2019. Wonderful World of Animation, a nighttime projection show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will start on May 1, 2019.</p><p>Mickey and Minnie will have a themed celebration — and costumes to match — at the Magic Kingdom from mid-January through September, which will satiate guests looking forward to riding Mickey &amp; Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The opening date for the Disney’s Hollywood Studios attraction — and <a href="" target="_blank">Mickey’s first-ever ride</a> — was just announced to be during fall of next year.</p>
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