Harry Potter Land Is About to Get Even More Magical in 2018

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 08:31
<p>Following the success of Universal’s <a href="" target="_blank">holiday festivities</a> on both coasts, Universal Orlando Resort has confirmed that there will be a second Hogwarts castle projection show <a href="" target="_blank">coming this year</a>. The exhilarating Christmas display, which wrapped the castle in celebratory cheer, magic curses, and Hogwarts ghosts singing carols will return again in winter, but the famed school for witchcraft and wizardry is doubling down on its delightful nighttime performances for a new, yet-to-be-determined nighttime display.</p><img alt="Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Holidays Light Show Universal Orlando Florida "src=""><p>While no specifics have yet been released, we’re crossing our fingers for a magical evening show involving one holiday in particular: Halloween. Universal Studios Japan debuted an Expecto Patronum Night Show last fall with Lumos spells, castle projections, and dementors floating across Hogwarts and even throughout the sky. The spooky bonanza, which would surely knock any wannabe wizard off their broom, also brought seasonal decorations to Hogsmeade shops and, most excitingly, trick-or-treating for non-muggle candy.</p><img alt="Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Holidays Light Show Universal Orlando Florida "src=""><p>Whether or not Harry Potter Halloween happens in 2018, there’s another addition beyond nighttime entertainment that’s definitely coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the near future. Universal has confirmed they will release details this year about a <a href="" target="_blank">brand new ride that will open in Hogsmeade village</a> and replace Dragon Challenge, a set of intertwined roller coasters that closed in September.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Universal’s two Orlando-based theme parks also confirmed they’d soon be releasing further information about big changes in the coming years, including new hotels, additions to Universal CityWalk, and much-anticipated details on a likely <a href="" target="_blank">Nintendo-themed land</a>, which has been kept tightly under wraps. (Answers to this, too, might be found overseas: Universal Studios’ Japan park recently begun work on a Super Nintendo World, which is set to open by 2020.)</p><p>Even with news about a shortlist of forthcoming attractions — which includes new rides, shows, and nighttime entertainment — there’s plenty to look forward to in the meantime. Universal Studios Florida will welcome a new ride, Fast &amp; Furious — Supercharged, based on the successful film franchise in spring, as well as Universal’s Aventura Hotel, the resort’s sixth, in summer of 2018.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Are the Worst Airports, According to Pilots (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 08:22
<p>If you spend a lot of time traveling, you’ve probably developed a list of your <a href="" target="_blank">most and least favorite airports</a>. It’s probably based on the food, the lounges, or maybe even the crowds, but there’s one type of frequent flier that cares more about what's on the outside of the airport than what’s on the inside: a pilot.</p><p>In <a href="" target="_blank">a recent thread on Reddit</a>, users asked pilots what their least favorite airports are — and the answers are eye opening. It seems the type of terrain surrounding an airport’s runway is what pilots care about most. We can’t say we blame them, after all, it is their job to safely deliver passengers from one destination to the next.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">What Your Pilot Means When They Say 'Go Around,' 'Crosscheck,' 'Vector' and More</a></p><img alt="LaGuardia Airport New York City "src=""><p>Read on to see which airports bother pilots the most, and why.</p><h2>LaGuardia, New York</h2><p>“LaGuardia. Hands down. Just a complete pain from 18,000 feet until you’re at the gate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.</p><p>“The airport is packed. The food sucks and it’s insanely expensive. There’s people everywhere. It’s old.”</p><h2>Jiggalong Mission Airport, Jiggalong Western Austrailia</h2><p>“Too many rocks.”</p><h2>Georgetown Airport, California</h2><p>“This is why I dislike it so much: 1. it's on a mountain 2. one end of the runway ends on a cliff 3. the other ends 10 ft from some trees 4. the runway has an incline 5. the runway is narrow, bumpy, and a bit short 6. it's in the middle of nowhere, and almost completely deserted if you fuck up 7. it's not the worst airport in the world, but it's not great either.”</p><h2>Yeager Airport, Charleston, West Virginia</h2><p>“The end is on a mountain, so you get to do a 180 on the edge ... I can emotionally accept a Crash Landing, I have real trouble with a Crash after Landing.”</p><h2>Los Angeles International Airport, California</h2><p>“Even though it's my home airport, LAX is a pain in the ass. The whole airport has been a construction zone for as long as I can remember, with no end in sight.”</p><h2>Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina</h2><p>“ATP here. I'm surprised no one has said Charlotte NC. Congested and massive taxi delays for no reason other than a shitty layout and incompetence on the part of ramp controllers.”</p><h2>Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ontario, Canada</h2><p>“Actual pilot:</p><p>“Toronto Pearson international. Yes this airport is massive... but the second it gets windy or they get a mm of snow, the whole place goes to shit. Cancellations and delays everywhere. 2 days ago, 200 flights cancelled for a bit of wind. Last week we landed 5 hours late because of some snow. When we landed, I counted at least 20 planes sitting around waiting for gates, apparently some had been waiting for 2+ hours.</p><p>“Not to mention the landing fees are insane.”</p>
Categories: Travel

National Weather Service in Boston Warns People to Not Float on Icebergs

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 07:56
<p>Bostonians know their way around a blizzard. But with <a href="" target="_blank">Winter Storm Grayson</a> pummeling the area with snow and causing some serious coastal flooding, the local branch of the National Weather Service offered some unique advice: Please don't float on icebergs.</p><p>It all started when Fox 25 News Assignment Editor Bill Sheerin tweeted a photo of reporter Kathryn Burcham seemingly floating on an iceberg while giving updates on the storm. </p><p>Burcham <a href="" target="_blank">later clarified on Twitter</a> that the ice chunk was actually on pavement, and only appeared to be floating — but not before the National Weather Service posted its own warning to would-be copycats.</p><p>In addition to the freeze on icebergs, the National Weather Service has put out coastal flood, wind chill, high wind, winter storm and blizzard warnings for the Boston area, which is <a href="" target="_blank">expected to get well more than a foot of snow Thursday</a>. </p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Boston isn’t the only area seeing significant snowfall thanks to <a href="" target="_blank">Grayson’s “bomb cyclone”</a> effect. New York City and Philadelphia both have winter storm warnings in effect, while most parts of the coastal Northeast, all the way down to Washington, D.C., have been slapped with blizzard warnings, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the Weather Channel</a>.</p><p>Some parts of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts can expect a foot or more of accumulation, the Weather Channel reports — but that’s nothing compared to the 18 to 24 inches of snow expected to hit Northern Maine and parts of Canada on Thursday.</p>
Categories: Travel

Who Will Be Meghan Markle's Maid of Honor? We Have a Few Ideas

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 07:13
<p>In just a few short months, Meghan Markle will walk down the aisle and marry her literal Prince Charming, Prince Harry.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The couple plan to wed on May 19</a>, at St George's Chapel, a beautiful and historic church situated inside the walls of Windsor Castle. There, the entire royal family will gather (and sit to the right of the church per tradition), along with Meghan’s family and friends to celebrate the future of the British royal family.</p><p>It will be a gorgeous event, no doubt, but a few planning secrets still remain: For one, who exactly will be standing by Meghan’s side as her maid of honor for the big event?</p><p>It should be noted that technically, <a href="" target="_blank">neither Prince Harry nor Meghan</a> will have a true best man or maid of honor As Marlene Koenig, a European royal expert, told <em><a href="" target="_blank">Town &amp; Country</a>,</em> the title of best man isn’t a thing in royal circles. Instead, “the best man or best men are officially called supporters.”</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Of course, Harry’s supporter will most likely be Prince William (and frankly it would be a scandal if he wasn’t), but as for Meghan that answer remains a bit of a mystery.</p><p>“While it is very much a British wedding, expect a few American touches too. She's not picked a chief bridesmaid, she's chosen a maid of honour,” a source told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Us Weekly</em></a>.</p><p>And that person, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Elle UK</em></a> theorized, could be Meghan’s longtime best friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney.</p><p>Or, it could even be Priyanka Chopra. Theories have been circulating that the actress, a good friend of Meghan's could at least <a href="" target="_blank">be a bridesmaid</a>.</p><p>But maybe, just maybe, it’s Meghan’s <em>Suits </em>costar Sarah Rafferty.</p><p>Meghan could always throw a curve ball and choose her good friend Serena Williams. How amazing would those wedding photos be?</p><p>Though, you never know, Meghan could ask soon to be sister-in-law Kate Middleton to fill the role.</p><p>No matter who she chooses, we’re sure the day will be beautiful and make Brits proud. And hey, at least it will make them a bit wealthier, too. According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Reuters</em></a>, the wedding is expected to bring $680 million to the local economy, so really it’s a win-win for everyone.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Keep Pipes From Freezing — Even During a 'Bomb Cyclone'

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 06:52
<p>As <a href="" target="_blank">severe winter weather</a> continues to <a href="" target="_blank">sweep across the East Coast</a>, it's important to be careful to stay safe. And part of that is making sure you'll still have running water if you're snowed in for days.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">10 Sunny Destinations for a Great Warm-weather Holiday</a></p><p>When the temperatures drop below <a href="" target="_blank">freezing</a> for an extended period of time, water pipes — particularly those that run along external walls, or are in unheated spaces — can freeze.</p><h2>How to Keep Pipes From Freezing</h2><p>There are a few things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing: Leaving faucets dripping slightly can keep water from freezing, as can insulating them with foam wraps or electrical heat tape. The heat should also be kept running, if possible, even if you'll be away from home.</p><img alt=" "src=""><h2>How to Thaw Frozen Pipes</h2><p>When, despite your best efforts, pipes freeze anyway, it’s imperative that you act fast — before they crack. Start by cranking up the heat, turning off the water (either to the suspect pipe or the entire home), and opening the taps.</p><p>If the frozen pipe is behind a wall, things get tricky. <a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>The Spruce</em></a>, you can use an infrared lamp to heat the wall, or remove a section of the wall altogether to expose the pipe.</p><p>If the frozen pipe is exposed, you can use a heat lamp or hair dryer to slowly and safely melt the blockage. Hot towels can also be wrapped around frozen pipes to thaw ice.</p><p>Always call an expert if you’re unable to successfully unfreeze your pipes — or if you suspect a pipe has cracked or burst.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Get a Travel Waiver If You're Flying During Winter Storm Grayson

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 17:46
<p>A severe winter storm is set <a href="" target="_blank">to hit the East Coast</a>, pummeling the region from Georgia to Maine.</p><p>Forecasters have dubbed the storm a “bomb cyclone,” as falling low pressure will create conditions similar to a hurricane. The storm comes as much as the U.S. has been experiencing an <a href="" target="_blank">extreme cold snap</a>, pushing temperatures 20-30 degrees below average.</p><p>From Florida to South Carolina, residents can expect a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the National Weather Service</a>. The northeast will experience bitter cold, along with a probability of at least 4 inches of snow in much of New England.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Airlines across 50 airports</a> have already begun to issue waivers ahead of the storm. With weather-related cancelations and delays, airlines are usually not required to pay for accommodation or meals, making it a good idea to rebook sooner rather than later.</p><img alt="East Coast Winter Storm Forecast Snow Warning "src=""><p>Here's what you need to know for the top U.S. domestic airlines.</p><h2>Alaska Airlines</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Alaska Airlines travel waivers</a> are available to passengers flying in or out of the Northeast (New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) on January 4-5. Travel must be rebooked for no later than January 10.</p><h2>American Airlines</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines travel waivers</a> are available to passengers flying to or from the northeastern or mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. Waivers are available to travelers who booked their flight before January 2, are scheduled to fly January 4-5, and can rebook for January 2-8.</p><h2>Delta</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Delta travel waivers</a> are available to passengers flying to or from the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, or southeastern regions of the U.S. <a href="" target="_blank">Waivers are available</a> to travelers flying January 3-5 depending on the region, and travel must be rebooked by January 7.</p><h2>Frontier</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Frontier travel waivers</a> are available to passengers flying in or out of the Northeast (New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and New Jersey) on January 3-4. Travel must be rebooked for no later than January 24.</p><h2>JetBlue</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue will waive change and service fees</a> for passengers flying in or out of the following airports for passengers flying out of the Southeast January 3 or flying out of the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic January 4. Flights Must be rebooked for travel by Janaury 10.</p>Charleston, SC (CHS)Savannah, GA (SAV)Albany, NY (ALB)Boston, MA (BOS)Buffalo, NY (BUF)Hartford, CT (BDL)New York, NY (JFK)New York, NY (LGA)Newark, NJ (EWR)Newburgh, NY (SWF)Philadelphia, PA (PHL)Providence, RI (PVD)Rochester, NY (ROC)Syracuse, NY (SYR)Westchester County, NY (HPN)Worcester, MA (ORH)<img alt=" "src=""><h2>Southwest</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Southwest passengers can rebook</a> flights flying in our out of the following airports on the following days for a flight within 14 days of their original departure date:</p>Baltimore-Washington (BWI)-January 3 thru January 4Charleston (CHS)-January 3 thru January 4Charlotte (CLT)-January 3 thru January 4Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP)-January 3 thru January 4Jacksonville (JAX)- January 3 thru January 4Norfolk (ORF)-January 3 thru January 4Philadelphia (PHL)-January 3 thru January 4Raleigh Durham (RDU)-January 3 thru January 4Richmond (RIC)-January 3 thru January 4Washington D.C. (DCA/IAD)-January 3 thru January 4Albany (ALB)-January 4 thru January 5Boston (BOS)-January 4 thru January 5Hartford (BDL)-January 4 thru January 5Islip/Long Island (ISP)-January 4 thru January 5Manchester (MHT)-January 4 thru January 5New York/LaGuardia (LGA)-January 4 thru January 5Newark (EWR)-January 4 thru January 5Portland (PWM)-January 4 thru January 5Providence (PVD)-January 4 thru January 5<h2>Spirit Airlines</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Spirit Airlines travel waivers</a> are available to passengers flying to or from Myrtle Beach January 3-4 and must be rebooked by January 7. Waivers are also available to travelers flying out of Spirit's northeastern airports January 4-5, and travel must be rebooked by January 10.</p><h2>United</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">United travel waivers</a> are available to passengers flying to or from the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, or southeastern regions of the U.S. Waivers are available to travelers flying January 3-5 depending on the region, and travel must be rebooked by January 7-8.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Ryanair Passenger Who ‘Needed Air’ Opened the Emergency Exit to Sit on Wing

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 17:32
<p>After a series of delays on a New Year’s flight to Malaga Airport, one <a href="" target="_blank">Ryanair</a> passenger decided that he had enough — and opened the emergency exit and sat on the aircraft’s wing.</p><p>The flight arrived in Malaga, Spain <a href="" target="_blank">about 40 minutes late</a> from London Stansted and continued taxiing around the airport for a half-hour. Passengers onboard the flight said that they were told why taxiing was taking particularly long.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">You Can Book a Flight to Hawaii for As Cheap As $305 Round-trip Today</a></p><p>During the length taxi, the passenger went out the emergency exit and sat on the airplane wing, going back inside the aircraft once because he forgot his carry-on baggage.</p><p>Video footage captured by another passenger show the evacuee walking across the airplane wing and sitting down as the aircraft drove across the tarmac.</p><p>The passenger who was seated next to the man <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Daily Mail</em> that</a> he “was suffering from asthma” and exited the plane because he “needed air.” A fellow passenger reported that the man tried to jump off the airplane wing, but was dissuaded by grounds staff. The man came back inside the aircraft and exited out the front door with the rest of the passengers.</p><p>Airline crew held the man until Spain’s Guardia Civil came to deal with the infraction, <a href="" target="_blank">Ryanair said in a statement</a>. The man is <a href="" target="_blank">expected to pay at least a four-figure fine</a> for opening the emergency exit.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Time to See Tonight’s Quadrantids Meteor Shower

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 17:10
<p>Now that the <a href="" target="_blank">Wolf Moon</a> has come and gone, stargazers can look forward to the annual Quadrantid meteor shower, which will reach its peak tonight, Wednesday, January 3.</p><p>The Quadrantids actually appear from December 22 to January 17, but the best time to see the <a href="" target="_blank">meteor shower</a> will be late on Wednesday, through the early hours of Thursday morning. On the East Coast, the peak will be a bit before sunset, so viewers will have a better chance of catching the sight a bit after when it's darker. During peak hours, viewers can expect to see up to 40 meteors per hour, according to <a href="" target="_blank">NASA</a>.</p><p>Quadrantids are lesser known compared to other annual <a href="" target="_blank">meteor showers</a>, since the shower produces less visible meteors. However, the shower is just as brilliant for those who manage to catch a glimpse.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, in order to see the Quadrantids, you simply need to find a dark, outside space that has minimal little light pollution, and let your eyes adjust for about 20 minutes.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>To find the best spot in the sky to search for meteors, look for the constellation Boötes, between latitudes +90° and −50°. It’s quite close to the Big Dipper, which many people can recognize by its familiar shape. If you follow the “arc” of the Big Dipper's handle across the sky, you’ll find the red giant star Arcturus, which anchors the bottom of Boötes.</p><p>If you look slightly away from the constellation, you’ll find meteors with the longest tails, according to</p><p>Winter is shaping up to be the perfect time to gaze at the night sky.</p>
Categories: Travel

A U.S. Soldier Boarded 10 Flights Over 2 Days to Witness His Daughter's Birth

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 16:19
<p>An American soldier abroad went to extraordinary lengths to witness the birth of his first child back home.</p><p>U.S. Army combat engineer Francois Clerfe utilized a special policy in his battalion that allowed him to return from <a href="" target="_blank">Iraq</a> to Monterey, California in time for the delivery. But to do so required an incredible journey: Seven planes, 10 connections, two days and thousands of miles, <a href="" target="_blank">according to ABC affiliate WCVB.</a></p><p>“Kuwait, to Turkey, to Turkey to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Baltimore, Baltimore to Atlanta,” Clerfe told the station. “It was fun and exciting at the same time, you know the thrill of thinking the what-ifs.”</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Fortunately for Clerfe, the what-ifs never had to be answered. He made it back in time to witness his wife, Natalia Svistunova, gave birth to a girl, Julia Clerfe, on <a href="" target="_blank">New Year’s Day.</a></p><p>“You know I had the feeling that he would make it because he really wanted to be here, next to us,” Svistunova told WCVB.</p><p>“That moment, having a first kid into the world [on] the very first day of the New Year, I think that it’s going to be a very good year,” Clerfe said.</p><p>The policy Clerfe took advantage of will allow him to stay at home for 30 days in addition to another 10 days for paternity leave, according to WCVB.</p><p>The best part: Baby Julia was actually due on January 9, so Clerfe made it home just in time for her early arrival.</p>
Categories: Travel

Winter Storm Grayson Is About to Bring Freezing Cold and Snow to the East Coast (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 16:16
<p>Winter Storm Grayson is barreling towards the northeastern United States this week, with its effects to be felt as far south as northern Florida, meteorologists say. </p><p>As of Wednesday morning, forecasters are expecting the storm system to hit New England the hardest, with as much as 24 inches of snow possible in Maine and New Hampshire, <a href="" target="_blank">according to AccuWeather.</a> Blizzard conditions are also expected in several other states, including New York’s Long Island.</p><p>But the East Coast is not the only region in danger of receiving snow and wintry conditions — much of the coastal South is within the path of Grayson as well, forecasters say.</p><img alt="Winter Storm Grayson "src=""><p>And while Winter Storm Grayson will affect different regions in varying ways, one thing should remain consistent throughout: the freezing temperatures.</p><p>Rob Miller, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, said another storm system developing across the Midwest and Ohio will bring “slightly milder air, but the places affected by [Winter Storm Grayson] should remain sub-freezing throughout the weekend and parts of next week.”</p><p>“Any warmup will be brief,” he added.</p><p>Here’s a breakdown of how Winter Storm Grayson is expected to impact various regions throughout the country:</p><h2>New England</h2><p>New England is expected to receive the brunt of Grayson’s might, thanks to a weather phenomenon known as “bombogenesis.”</p><p>Bombogenesis, or a weather bomb, is a storm that undergoes rapid strengthening, which in this case could result in 1 to 2 feet of snow throughout Thursday in parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the eastern edge of Long Island, according to AccuWeather.</p><p>In these areas, blizzard-like conditions could develop with winds ranging from 35 to 70 miles per hour, whiteout conditions and a “few claps of lightning,” Miller said. Power outages are likely and travel will be difficult or impossible in some area, he said.</p><p>Major cities that could experience these conditions include Boston, Portland, Maine, and Providence, Rhode Island, though they could receive slightly less snowfall than the northernmost part of New England and parts of Canada.</p><h2>Mid-Atlantic</h2><p>While Long Island is the only part of the Mid-Atlantic states predicted to experience blizzard-like conditions, the coastal sections of the region will likely all get snow and windy conditions.</p><p>As of Wednesday morning, New York City is projected to get around 3 to 6 inches of snow, along with parts of New Jersey and coastal Delaware. Philadelphia could receive up to 3 inches.</p><p>The Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas should be spared from significant snow, Miller said, but parts of Maryland and Virginia bordering the Atlantic Ocean could get some fresh powder. Virginia Beach also falls in Winter Storm Grayson's path.</p><p>Inland areas of the larger states should be free of concern outside of debilitating cold. Not much snow is expected to fall west of Philadelphia or New York City, Miller said.</p><h2>The South</h2><p>While it is typically the warmer section of the country, the South will not be immune to snowfall during Winter Storm Grayson.</p><p>“The cold air is pressed pretty far south and allowing the wintry mix into Florida and southern Georgia,” Miller said.</p><p>He added that Georgia and the Eastern portion of the Carolinas could see a “stripe of snow" that may dump up to 6 inches on the area.</p><p>Nearby cities include Savannah, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, may also get some snow, though estimates are currently closer to 1 to 3 inches for those areas, <a href="" target="_blank">according to AccuWeather’s forecast.</a></p><p>But even Raleigh, a city near the center of North Carolina that Miller described as the “backend of the storm,” could get a coating of snow from Winter Storm Grayson.</p><p>The same goes for Florida, which should receive an “icy mix” in the northernmost part of the state as well as in Jacksonville and Tallahassee.</p>
Categories: Travel

It’s So Cold in Orlando That Some of the Theme Parks Are Actually Closing

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 16:11
<p>While many Americans currently <a href="" target="_blank">suffering through sub-zero temperatures</a> in northern parts of the country would love a few days of 50-degree weather, sun worshippers in <a href="" target="_blank">Orlando</a> are struggling with the cold.</p><p>With temperatures hitting a high of just 48 degrees Fahrenheit on January 3 and a freeze watch in effect overnight, the theme park capital of the world, like much of the rest of the country, is experiencing much lower than average temperatures for the rest of the week. The temps have dipped so low, in fact, that some of Orlando’s biggest theme parks are shutting their doors until the days grow warmer.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Somewhat unsurprisingly, frigid temps and even a few possibilities of flurries have caused closures of three major water parks in the Orlando area. <a href="" target="_blank">Disney World</a> will close Typhoon Lagoon until at least Thursday, January 4, while Disney’s other water park (the ironically named Blizzard Beach) already remains closed for refurbishments. Disney’s neighbor <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Orlando</a> will close its newest park, <a href="" target="_blank">Volcano Bay</a>, through Friday. SeaWorld will also close its water park, Aquatica, through at least Thursday.</p><p>While Orlando water parks will sometimes close early on cold days if attendance levels are far below normal, it's very uncommon that the parks would announce multiple days of closures in advance.</p><p>As of today, the other parks have not announced any further closings, and water rides within the parks (like <a href="" target="_blank">Splash Mountain</a> at Magic Kingdom or the Jurassic Park River Adventure at Universal) remain operational. For any guests willing to brave the cold temperatures for a thrill on one of these attractions, we can assure you the lines will be short.</p><p>Disney World’s main parks, including Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, have never in their history closed due to cold weather alone. The parks have, however, closed four times due to hurricanes, including once earlier this year for <a href="" target="_blank">Hurricane Irma</a>.</p><p>Although the unusually cold temperatures this time around may not make for the most enjoyable park days, they might be the perfect setting for runners as we close in on Disney World’s marathon weekend. Athletes competing in the runDisney marathons, half marathons and 10ks can expect pleasant temperatures in the 50s and low 60s as they work up a sweat throughout the parks this weekend.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Book a Flight to Hawaii for As Cheap As $305 Round-trip Today

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 15:51
<p>Since June, we’ve been <a href="" target="_blank">watching out for cheap flights to Hawaii</a>. United, Hawaiian, and Alaska Airlines have all recently increased service to the Aloha State and started to drive down prices — particularly for West Coast travelers.</p><p>Now, however, travelers all across the country can reap the rewards of this airline competition in the form of cheap airfare.</p><p>This morning, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Thrifty Traveler</em></a> revealed flights to Hawaii for as little as $305 round-trip from more than 60 cities across the United States and Canada.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Score Cheap Round-trip Flights to Hawaii in 2018</a></p><p>The cheapest tickets are from West Coast cities including San Diego ($355); Los Angeles ($341); San Francisco ($353); Seattle ($344); and Victoria, Canada ($305).</p><p>Travelers in the Midwest, the South, and all along the East Coast can also find steeply discounted flights to Hawaii. From Dallas, for example, flights are available for $488 round-trip — and Montreal-based travelers can score $405 round-trip tickets. Tickets from are on sale for $481 round-trip from Boise, $502 from Nashville, and $577 from airports in the New York City area.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The lowest fares, according to <em>Thrifty Traveler</em>, are to Honolulu and Kona. But travelers can also find cheap flights to the Hawaiian city of Kahului, on Maui.</p><p>Travelers interested in kicking off 2018 with a <a href="" target="_blank">dream trip to Hawaii</a> should use Google Flights’ low-fare calendar to find the most affordable travel dates from their preferred airport. Most cheap tickets will be found between January and March, with some availability scattered throughout the calendar year as late as May.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Coachella Lineup Has Been Announced, and Beyoncé Is Finally Headlining

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 15:44
<p>The <a href="" target="_blank">2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival</a> is shaping up to be one singularly epic music festival this year. Among other headlining acts such as The Weeknd and Eminem, the number one queen of all music, Beyoncé, will be gracing the stage.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Beyoncé’s $13K Airplane Outfit Proves She’s the Queen of Travel</a></p><p>Beyoncé has performed at Coachella as a guest performer in the past, and was supposed to headline the festival in 2017, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>USA Today</em> reported</a>. However, the singer had to postpone her appearance after announcing her pregnancy with her twins, Rumi and Sir.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Along with the festival’s headliners, other acts including SZA, David Byrne, HAIM, St. Vincent, The War on Drugs, Cardi B, and Fleet Foxes will be performing.</p><p>Festival passes go on sale at 12 p.m. on Friday on the Coachella <a href="" target="_blank">website</a>. General admission passes are $429, while the Festival Pass and Shuttle Combo is $504. VIP Festival Passes are $999 and VIP parking is $150.</p><p>If you are planning on attending Coachella, be sure to wear your best festival outfit, prep your food and supplies, and start <a href="" target="_blank">looking into nearby lodging now</a>. The 2018 festival takes place two weekends this spring: April 13-15 and April 20-22.</p>
Categories: Travel

JetBlue's 'Big Winter Sale' Has Fares Starting at $39 — With Cheap Flights to the Caribbean

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 13:55
<p><a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue</a> is having another sale, so if the frigid weather in much of the U.S. has got you down, you can book a getaway right now.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">“Big Winter Sale”</a> has fares starting at $39 one-way, with fares to ideal warm-weather winter destinations (like Barbados and the Bahamas) starting at $89 depending on where you're flying from.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Here Are 365 Beaches — One for Every Day in 2018</a></p><p>The sale is on until Thursday night at midnight local time or ET, whichever is earlier in your time zone. Travel dates are from January 10 to April 25, 2018, and there are restrictions limiting which days of the week the cheap fares are available. The good news: The listed fares include taxes and fees.</p><p>The cheapest flights are from Pittsburgh (where it is currently *4* degrees Fahrenheit) to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For those in Florida who aren't satisfied with the current 60 degrees Fahrenheit there, flights to Barbados start at $89 one-way. It's in the 80s there.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>From New York City, fares start at $84 one-way to Florida, $113 to Puerto Rico, $124 to Bermuda, $129 to Antigua, $134 to the Dominican Republic or Turks and Caicos, <a href="" target="_blank">and on and on</a>. If you were looking for an excuse to book a trip to the Caribbean, here it is.</p><p>There are also many cheap domestic flights — primarily from JetBlue's hubs in Boston, New York and Fort Lauderdale — although we can't promise warmer weather in the immediate future.</p><p> </p><p>The cheapest fares are JetBlue's “Blue” fares which does not include a <a href="" target="_blank">checked bag</a>. Be sure to check all restrictions before you book to ensure you're getting the deal you expect.</p>
Categories: Travel

Man Arrested for Bomb Threat Says He Was Only Checking His Flight Status

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 11:26
<p>A man in India is facing criminal charges after a misunderstood phone conversation.</p><p>Vinod Moorjani, originally from <a href="" target="_blank">Mumbai</a> and now CEO of a US-based IT company, grew frustrated after his flight from Mumbai International Airport on New Year’s Eve was delayed several times. Moorjani was traveling with his family to Virginia.</p><p>Worried he would miss his connecting flight in Rome, Moorjani used a toll-free booth in the airport in order to check on his flight status, asking the customer service representative about his “BOM-DEL” flight. (Mumbai was formerly called Bombay).</p><p>Unfortunately, according to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">BBC</a></em>, the representative misheard Moorjani and thought he said “<em>bom hai</em>,” meaning “there is a bomb.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">A Flight Was Diverted Because of a Wi-Fi Network Named 'Bomb on Board'</a></p><img alt=" "src=""><p>An official from the airport told the <em>BBC</em> that Moorjani hung up the phone before the representative could hear more. However, Moorjani claims the call was merely interrupted. The representative promptly called the police based on the information she heard.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Guardian</a></em>, another flight in April 2016 was also delayed due to a phony bomb threat. Apparently, writing on a passenger’s ticket appeared to read the word “bomb.” It was later discovered that the writing was merely the passenger’s gate, B-47.</p><p>Moorjani has now been charged with criminal intimidation, among other offenses. He pleaded not guilty in his court appearance on Jan. 1, according to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Times of India</a></em>. He was released on bail for 30,000 rupees (about $473 USD).</p>
Categories: Travel

The Taj Mahal Is Now Limiting the Number of Visitors Allowed Each Day

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 10:46
<p>After <a href="" target="_blank">five people were injured</a> during a stampede at the <a href="" target="_blank">Taj Mahal</a>, authorities are capping the number of visitors who can enter the world-famous mausoleum each day.</p><p>On Dec. 28, <a href="" target="_blank">the dangerous stampede</a> occurred towards the exit at the monument’s closing time. On Wednesday, the Archeological Survey of India (the organization that operates the monument) announced that only 40,000 Indian visitors will be allowed to enter the Taj Mahal complex each day. The cap does not affect foreign tourists.</p><p>"We have to ensure the safety of the monument and visitors as well,” an official from the Archeological Survey of India <a href="" target="_blank">told AFP</a>. “Crowd management was emerging as a big challenge for us.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How Cinque Terre Is Handling the Pressure of Being on Every Traveler’s Bucket List</a></p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The Taj Mahal has towered over Agra since the 17th century when the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan ordered its creation in memory of his wife who died in childbirth. But in recent years, a swelling number of tourists have threatened the future of the building.</p><p>In 2011, <a href="" target="_blank">a group of preservationists warned the world</a> that the monument was in danger of collapsing within five years. According to the group, the marble building began to show cracks in 2010 and its wooden foundation was eroding. Others were concerned about the effect acid rain from a nearby factory would have on the mausoleum’s facade.</p><p>The Taj Mahal attracts an estimated <a href="" target="_blank">8 million visitors every year</a>, an average of 22,000 every day. The cap is unlikely to affect visitors except on the monument’s busiest days.</p><p>Indian visitors who want to enter the temple and find themselves visitor number 40,001 or later can purchase a foreign entry pass for $16 (1,000 rupees). The typical admission for domestic visitors is about 60 cents (40 rupees).</p>
Categories: Travel

Scoring an Invite to United’s Secret Airport Restaurant Just Got Easier

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 10:30
<p>United’s much-anticipated <a href="" target="_blank">“speakeasy” restaurant at Newark Airport</a> just opened its doors a crack for us commoners.</p><p>CLASSIFIED debuted back in late August and <a href="" target="_blank">was quickly touted as</a> “one of the most elite restaurants" in the New York area.</p><p>When the restaurant opened, access was limited to the crème de la crème of United’s frequent flier program. Guests had to be “pre-selected” and invited by United to experience the restaurant.</p><p>CLASSIFIED is still invitation-only, but now it’s possible to request an invitation. A spokesperson from United told <i>Travel + Leisure </i>that any MileagePlus member can <a href="" target="_blank">request access to make a reservation</a>. However that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they will be granted admission.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>After receiving an invitation and confirming a reservation, passengers receive an email from United, detailing how to find the restaurant (behind the Saison restaurant in <a href="" target="_blank">Terminal C</a>). An employee greets visitors upon arrival and escorts them through a nondescript hallway to gain access to CLASSIFIED.</p><p>Once inside the restaurant, guests are seated at tables overlooking the tarmac as planes come and go. Each table has an iPad for ordering — by far the most contentious issue among restaurant reviewers and clientele. The menu includes items like a 42-ounce Tomahawk steak, butter poached lobster, and a $575 bottle of wine (a 2012 red blend from Opus One Winery in California). The menu is farm-to-table fare, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a review in the <i>New York Times</i></a>, with much of the produce coming from New York City’s Union Square Greenmarket. It’s possible to pay either in cash or with United frequent flier miles.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Customers at the restaurant have reported</a> being gifted small items at the end of their meal at CLASSIFIED, like a box of chocolates. Frequent fliers with United can <a href="" target="_blank">check online</a> to see if they have access to the restaurant.</p>
Categories: Travel

Goldie Hawn's Family Has the Best Aspen Vacation Every Year and We Want an Invite

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 10:19
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell</a> are without question the definition of couple goals, and their annual family trip to <a href="" target="_blank">Aspen</a> is further proof of their perfection.</p><p>The pair, who have been together since 1983, are often spotted in the Colorado winter wonderland over the holiday season and this year was no different. First, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>People</em></a> spotted the pair just before Christmas as they strolled through town while doing a bit of Christmas shopping for their extended brood. The pair also looked like the coolest version of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, with each rocking their best shearling and fur-lined coats.</p><p>While Russell looked as rugged as ever with a full beard and faded jeans, Hawn looked simply timeless in her all black everything, long blonde locks flowing out of her hood.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Hawn recently claimed that she doesn’t have a regular beauty secret to keep her looking ageless, however. Instead, <a href="" target="_blank">she said</a>, “I try to drink my juices. I try to work out every day a little bit. I find moments in the day. I have short meditation spurts during the day, if I don't have a long one in the morning, which sometimes the phone rings and you're off and running, but I do find time to get quiet. I hike. I bike. I try to have as much fun as possible.”</p><p>And she certainly had plenty of fun in Aspen, if her daughter <a href="" target="_blank">Kate Hudson</a>’s Instagram photos are any indication.</p><p>In a post, Hudson showed her parents cuddling up in their best ski sweaters with the caption, “Pendleton love birds.”</p><p>In her own post, Hawn showed off her silly side again as she hiked through the Colorado snow, telling everyone to have “the best year ever.”</p><p>And really, it’s no surprise the entire family loves spending time in Aspen. It is in their home state after all. As <em>People</em> noted, Hawn and Russell raised their children in nearby Snowmass, Colorado, so really, this annual tradition is just like going home again. Now if only they’d invite us to a family dinner.</p>
Categories: Travel

Disney World’s Worst Attraction May Finally Be Closing for Good This Week

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 09:58
<p>While most <a href="" target="_blank">Disney attractions</a> around the world are beloved by the fans who ride them, even the Mouse can make a mistake.</p><p>When it comes to Magic Kingdom, many fans would agree: that mistake is Stitch’s Great Escape.</p><p>The attraction, which is a theater-in-the-round experience featuring the escaped alien Stitch, opened in the Tomorrowland area of Magic Kingdom in 2004 and is commonly regarded as one of the <a href="" target="_blank">worst attractions</a> at Disney World. In fact, after analyzing the opinions of 126,000 children in 2016, the site <a href="" target="_blank">Touring Plans</a> found that Stitch’s Great Escape came in dead last among kids’ most-liked attractions. However, despite the ride’s unpopularity, Stitch has hung around at the Magic Kingdom for nearly 14 years, overstaying his welcome and finally being put on a seasonal schedule in 2016.</p><p>As <a href="" target="_blank">Ken Storey at <em>Orlando Weekly</em></a> so aptly put it, “After the world is inevitably thrown into a nuclear holocaust where all life comes to an end, there will only be three things left on this fire crusted Earth; cockroaches, Cher, and Stitch’s Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom.”</p><p>For the past two years, the attraction has only run when Magic Kingdom is <a href="" target="_blank">extremely busy</a>, such as during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s when families flock to the parks. Now, it seems that the ride may finally close for good.</p><img alt="Sign for Stitch's Great Escape ride at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World "src=""><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>WDW News Today</em></a>, the attraction is rumored to be closing on January 6 after making its final run over the 2017 holiday season. While this rumor is now widespread throughout the “kingdom,” Disney has yet to confirm the news. On Wednesday, Disney’s official in-park Twitter feed even responded to a query about the ride, offering no answer as to the fate of the attraction, but merely sharing the operating hours with the user.</p><p>Another user was quick to point out that while the Disney World website lists operating hours through this coming Saturday, hours are unavailable starting Sunday, January 6, the day the ride is rumored to close for good.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Although the news is not confirmed, many loyal Disney guests have been treating this week as Stitch’s last, putting aside their differences with the friendly alien and waiting in line to experience his escape one last time.</p><p>Rumors also say that the ride will be closing to make way for a brand new experience in Tomorrowland, but Disney has yet to comment on this information as well.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Delta Flight Was Forced To Go Back to the Airport — Twice

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 09:02
<p>As <a href="" target="_blank">Chrissy Teigen pointed out last week</a>, having a plane turn around after its takeoff can be pretty frustrating. Now imagine doing it twice.</p><p>That’s the situation <a href="" target="_blank">Delta passengers</a> found themselves in Tuesday night when not one, but two of their planes opted to turn around following their departures from the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.</p><p>Both flights were bound for London but decided to turn back due to safety concerns, local station Channel 2 Action News reported, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the <em>Atlanta Journal-Constitution</em>.</a></p><p>Flight 284 first left the airport around 8 p.m. but later turned around after pilots heard a loud noise, Delta spokeswoman Sarah Lora said, according to Channel 2.</p><p>The flight landed safely at 9:21 p.m. Passengers were then put on a replacement plane, which departed shortly after midnight. But that plane too emitted a strange, loud noise, Lora told the station, and pilots opted to turn around once again “out of an abundance of safety.”</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Mechanics are investigating the planes in order to determine what caused the noises, Lora added.</p><p>A passenger, Alex Brown, told the station that he heard the banging noise as well.</p><p>“It was like someone dropping a lead ball on the floor,” he said. “And [a Delta official] came back on and said we’re going to turn around. Everything is OK with the airplane but ... we’re going to turn around.”</p><p>As compensation for the delay, Delta put Brown and the remainder of the passengers in a hotel, according to the J<em>ournal-Constitution.</em> They’re scheduled to fly out of Atlanta Wednesday at 6 p.m.</p>
Categories: Travel