You Could Get Paid to Live on a Greek Island and Cuddle Cats All Day

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:39
<p>It turns out dreams really do come true, at least for cat lovers.</p><p>Earlier this week, an organization known as <a href="" target="_blank">God’s Little People Cat Rescue</a> announced it’s hiring a new caretaker to oversee its cat sanctuary and to take care of its few dozen kittens.</p><p>The job posting seems normal enough until you learn that the sanctuary isn’t in some sad brick building lined with cages, but is instead located on the stunning <a href="" target="_blank">Greek island of Syros</a>, where all the cats run free.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">You Can Play With Adorable Cats All Day on This Hawaiian Island</a></p><p>“A very special position and living circumstance on offer on a little Greek island called Syros (a small paradise no less!) for a mature and genuinely passionate cat lover who knows how to handle many cats and would love their company,” the job posting stated. It added that they are specifically on the hunt for someone who can “take over the daily running of my Greek cat sanctuary in my absence. You will have 55 cats in your care and need to be able to overview them all + feed and medicate (big added bonus if you’re trained vet. nurse!).”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Ferrero Will Pay You to Move to Italy and Become a Professional Nutella Taster</a></p><p>With the job, you’ll not only have the love of many cats, but you’ll also have a fully paid for, modern little house with its own garden that also has a view of the Aegean Sea, and a small salary to boot.</p><p>Moreover, you’ll have plenty of time to explore, as the job is just four hours a day.</p><img alt="Cats on the island of Syros, in Greece "src=""><p>Those looking to apply must also be able to drive a manual car, as that’s all that is provided on the island. Applicants must also be OK with frequent visits from tourists in the summer months.</p><p>“We are located in a secluded nature preserved area which is very tranquil and quiet in the winter time but busy during the summer. You’ll no doubt thrive best if you are the type of person who appreciates nature and likes tranquility - and rest comfortably in your own company,” the listing says. “That said, you’ll never feel lonely in the company of the cats and you’ll be expected to live with a small handful of cats in your house.”</p><p>According to the posting, this job is likely most suitable for those who are 45 years of age or older, and someone who is “responsible, reliable, honest, practically inclined - and really, with a heart of gold!”</p><p>If this sounds like your dream gig all you need to do is send your resume and photograph to <a href=""></a>. Then, once you’re there, invite us to come to visit and cuddle the cats with you. </p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Sleep in the Belly of a Giant Snake at This Amazing Mexico City Airbnb

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 15:44
<p>Aztec legend reveres the feathered serpent god Quetzalcóatl. The master of wind, air, and learning is still a mythic figure in Mexico — but the legend is particularly vibrant just north of Mexico City.</p><p>About 30 minutes outside of downtown Mexico City, a gigantic tiled serpent slithers across the forest. And it’s available for rent.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">14 Airbnbs T+L Editors Would Book Again in a Heartbeat</a></p><img alt="Quetzalcoatl Airbnb, Mexico "src=""><p>Newly listed on Airbnb is <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Nido de Quetzalcóatl</a>, or Quetzalcoatl's Nest. Up to eight people can sleep across five bedrooms in the belly of the beast. From round windows throughout the snake’s body, guests have views of the surrounding park.</p><img alt="Quetzalcoatl Airbnb, Mexico "src=""><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">10 Airbnbs for Incredible Stargazing</a></p><p>Guests can wander around the fantastic structure, walking in and out of the serpent’s mouth or lounging by the nearby reflecting pools. Labyrinths, tunnels, and flower gardens invite visitors to explore the nature of the 5,000-square-meter site. The park is full of caves and caverns, one of which inspired the architect to design his modern Aztec building.</p><img alt="Quetzalcoatl Airbnb, Mexico "src=""><img alt="Quetzalcoatl Airbnb, Mexico "src=""><p>“One day, I thought that the mouth of the cave resembled a snake's head with open jaws,” <a href="" target="_blank">Mexican architect Javier Senosiain said of the project</a>. “It seemed a virtual snake going in and out of the land. We decided then to add a tail and call it Quetzalcoatl.”</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, from $226 per night.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Credit Card Concierges Are the Most Magical Benefit You're Not Using

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 13:00
<p>Driven by intense competition in the <a href="" target="_blank">high-end travel</a> market, issuers including Chase, American Express, and Citibank offer more cards and better perks than ever. But one benefit tends to get lost in all the buzz: free, unlimited access to a live assistant who can research trips, make reservations, and even help you find gifts for finicky in-laws. Below, we answer the most common questions about how the system operates and offer ideas for how to make good use.</p><h2>Which cards provide concierge services?</h2><p>A few popular options are <a href="" target="_blank">American Express Platinum</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Reserve</a> (a Visa Infinite card), and <a href="" target="_blank">Citi Prestige</a> (a Mastercard World Elite card), all of which have an annual fee of around $500. The concierges associated with these higher-cost products also have access to exclusive preferred rates and hotel perks like complimentary breakfast and spa credits.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">The Ultimate Credit Card Battle: How the 3 Best Travel Rewards Cards Stack Up</a></p><h2>How exactly do credit card concierges work?</h2><p>By calling the toll-free phone number on the back of the credit card, consumers can talk to an actual human being 24 hours a day and get help with booking hotels and flights — overcoming language barriers and time crunches. Still haven’t seen <em>Hamilton</em>? Some concierges can secure tickets to sold-out sporting events, concerts, and theater performances, as well<br />as VIP tables at hot restaurants. In addition, they can locate lost items in taxis, arrange roadside towing, contest erroneous charges, and do the research for sightseeing activities or a full itinerary based on your preferences. Most concierges will also find public parks that have restrooms, inexpensive long-term parking near airports, and bookable conference rooms. Basically, you can call them any time you have a problem that needs to be solved, even while you’re traveling.</p><h2>How can cardholders get the best results?</h2><p>Phone calls and online chat produce instant responses, but you can also use e-mail, which is searchable and captures the conversation in writing. Some concierges will also send texts. As you might expect, the more advance notice you give, the more likely you are to have your request fulfilled by the deadline; plus, concierges will be more thorough if given a few days to do research. But if need be, they can check prices and availability — and even book travel — while on the phone. If you adore a particular concierge, you can request that person in the future (no guarantee, though). New VIP offers are often announced via the card’s e-mail newsletters, so it’s smart to sign up.</p><h2>Anything they won’t do?</h2><p>Concierges cannot plan a wedding, run errands, or procure anything illegal. And though they can often work wonders, they’ll never promise access anywhere.</p><h2>What are some more unusual asks?</h2><p>A concierge at <a href="" target="_blank">Ten Lifestyle Group</a> (a company utilized by clients like Merrill Lynch, US Bank, Visa, HSBC, and American Express) once sourced a rare 18-year-old whiskey for a member and set up a match with a chess grand master for another. Mastercard’s World and World Elite concierges found doggy day-care options for a pet owner seeking a day trip sans pooch, booked a <a href="" target="_blank">hot-air-balloon ride</a> for a romantic getaway, and located a tailor for a last-minute dress repair.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Use Your Airline Miles to Reunite Immigrant and Refugee Families (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 12:01
<p>Under President Donald Trump’s <a href="" target="_blank">"zero-tolerance" policy</a>, thousands of immigrant children were separated from their families by border patrol agents and kept in detention centers this summer. Although more than 1,400 children have been reunited with their parents over the past few weeks, <a href="" target="_blank">hundreds remain separated</a>.</p><p>On Monday, Beth Wilensky, a law professor at University of Michigan, tweeted a simple solution for travelers looking to help out.</p><p>Charity organizations are accepting donations of frequent flier miles to reunite immigrants, refugees, and families seeking asylum. Wilensky said her husband used his frequent flier miles “to fly a 3-yr-old and his dad, who had been separated at the border, from Michigan (where the son had been taken) to their extended family.”</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Miles4Migrants</a> is an organization that collects frequent flier miles and puts them towards “the relocation of those displaced by war and persecution to start a new beginning in a new home.”</p><p>Since Wilensky’s tweet went viral, Miles4Migrants has received more than 4 million miles. The organization said it will be able to fly at least 220 people with the donations.</p><p>“[We] have big plans for use of these miles,” Andy Freedman, a spokesperson for Miles4Migrants, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Lifehacker</em></a>, “both to support separated immigrant families, and continue our global family reunification work with refugees around the world.”</p><p>Other organizations including <a href="" target="_blank">Immigrant Families Together</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Michigan Support Circle</a> are also accepting donations of frequent flier miles to reunite immigrant families. <a href="" target="_blank">United Airlines</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Uber</a> have partnered with legal organization to donate transportation to detainees.</p><p>For more ways to make your travel socially impactful, check out our guides to <a href="" target="_blank">being a citizen diplomat</a> while on the road and <a href="" target="_blank">packing emergency supplies for communities in need</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The World's Oldest Hotel Has Been in the Same Family for 52 Generations (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 11:30
<p>The hotel industry goes back way further than you might think. Sure, there are classic properties in historic cities such as Paris and Rome, but there's an <a href="" target="_blank">inn in Japan</a> that has those places beat by centuries.</p><img alt="Lobby of Niyishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan, believed to be the world's oldest hotel "src=""><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan</a>, a Japanese resort not far from Mount Fuji, has been in business since 705 A.D. The hotel has been passed down within the same family for 52 generations. <a href="" target="_blank">Guinness World Records</a> has officially recognized it as the oldest continuously running hotel in the world.</p><p>Fujiwara Mahito founded the inn 1,313 years ago, and his family has been experts in the hospitality industry ever since. Although the inn has undergone quite a bit of modernization and upkeep over the years, the main attractions, namely the <a href="" target="_blank">soothing hot springs</a> and gorgeous views, have remained the center for its appeal.</p><img alt="Food from the Niyishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan, believed to be the world's oldest hotel "src=""><img alt="Bath at the Niyishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan, believed to be the world's oldest hotel "src=""><p>Many people, from historical samurai to A-list celebrities and politicians, have come to the inn for its history and healing waters. Keiunkan’s famous bath, <em>Mochitani no Yu</em>, has water fed directly from the hot springs. Guests are invited to drink directly from the springs as well.</p><img alt="Interior of Niyishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan, believed to be the world's oldest hotel "src=""><img alt="Interior of Niyishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan, believed to be the world's oldest hotel "src=""><p>The hotel itself has 37 rooms, all decorated in the traditional Japanese style. Prices begin at $470 per night. For more information on booking a trip, visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Woman Detained at Dubai Airport After Admitting to Drinking One Glass of In-flight Wine

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 07:35
<p>One woman's seemingly innocuous in-flight beverage choice landed her in hot water in Dubai. </p><p>On July 13, Ellie Holman, a dentist from Kent, England, was flying <a href="" target="_blank">Emirates</a> with her four-year-old daughter, Bibi, from London to Dubai. On the flight, Holman had a glass of wine, as serving <a href="" target="_blank">alcohol is permitted on Emirates</a>, despite United Arab Emirates laws being extremely conservative when it comes to drinking.</p><p>People over the age of 21 are <a href="" target="_blank">allowed to drink alcohol at licensed venues</a> (hotels, bars, etc.), and on flights to the UAE, but drinking or being intoxicated in public is strictly prohibited. "British nationals have been arrested and charged under this law, often in cases where they have come to the attention of the police for a related offence or matter, such as disorderly or offensive behaviour," the U.K. government warns on its <a href="" target="_blank">official website</a>.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Why You Should Think Twice Before Ordering Coffee or Tea on a Plane</a></p><p>When Holman landed, an official informed her that her visa had expired and said she had to return to the U.K. immediately, she told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Sun</em></a>. But Holman did not want to get on another eight-hour flight with her daughter and argued with the officer. Holman said the officer then began to question her about whether she had been drinking. </p><p>Holman admitted she had one complimentary glass of wine on her flight, she said. Her blood test was consistent with that claim, as her blood alcohol was only a 0.04 percent, well below the legal driving limit in the U.K. </p><p>However, Holman said the official told her that in the UAE, possession of alcohol is prohibited, even “inside a person’s body.”</p><p>Both Holman and her daughter were detained in a cell for three days. Holman’s partner, Gary, flew to Dubai to take Bibi home, but Holman must stay in the country until her case is processed, which could reportedly take up to a year.</p><p>Holman says she has spent £30,000 (just over $38,000 USD) in legal fees and other expenses, and has had to close her practice as a result of her detainment.</p><p>Radha Stirling, chief executive of Detained In Dubai, told <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Sun</a></em> that airlines should be held accountable for misleading and endangering passengers by serving free drinks on flights.</p><p>“If consumption of alcohol is illegal in the UAE, airlines are complicit in serving alcohol to their passengers and need to be accountable and liable for their actions,” Stirling said. “I expect that we will soon see airlines being sued for damages and losses incurred by their passengers when they are arrested.”</p>
Categories: Travel

This New Cruise Will Take You to 56 Famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites on 6 Continents

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:29
<p>If you’re looking for a trip that lets you explore the ancient history, natural beauty, and rich culture that make UNESCO's most famed World Heritage Sites so special, <a href="" target="_blank">this world cruise</a> is your ticket.</p><p>Regent Seven Seas Cruises is inviting travelers to embark on a 117-day journey to six continents, 30 countries, and 56 different <a href="" target="_blank">World Heritage Sites</a>.</p><p>Guests will hop on board the cruise line’s <a href="" target="_blank">Seven Seas Mariner</a>, the first all-suite and all-balcony ship of its kind, and will set sail out of Miami to a whopping 61 ports in South America, French Polynesia, Australia, Asia, and the Mediterranean.</p><p>Travelers will head to Caribbean islands like the Bahamas and Aruba before crossing through the Panama Canal to South America’s west coast to explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites that include the ancient adobe city of Chan Chan (the largest city in pre-Columbian America), and Peru's <a href="" target="_blank">Nazca Lines</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a>.</p><p>The cruise will also spend a night at <a href="" target="_blank">Easter Island</a>, where travelers will be in awe of moai statues, pink sand beaches, and volcanoes. </p><p>The trip includes both popular spots like the Great Barrier Reef and lesser-visited locations like the Bay of Islands and the uninhabited Whitsunday Islands National Park in Australia.</p><p>They'll also sail through the Indian Ocean and into Indonesia, Oman, and bucket list locations like Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan, where they’ll be treated to a dinner featuring traditional Arabic cuisine and dances before continuing to cruise along the Red Sea.</p><p>In the Mediterranean, the cruise will visit the coast of Limassol in Cyprus before hitting the <a href="" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a> in Italy to swim in hidden locations like the fjord of Furore. They'll also get to wander the streets of the medieval town of the Greek island of Rhodes. You'll have a total of 11 overnight stays in locations including Dubai, Bali, Singapore, and Mumbai. </p><p>The cruise departs on Jan. 5, 2021, with fares starting at $61,999. Fares include first class airfare to Miami with free airport to ship transport, and business class airfare back from the final stop in Barcelona at the end of the journey. Fare prices also include a pre-cruise gala event and one-night hotel stay in Miami, unlimited onboard beverages, door to door luggage services, unlimited dry cleaning and pressing services, and onboard medical services.</p>
Categories: Travel

Grand Canyon National Park Wildfire Doubles in Size, Closing Popular Roads and Trails

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 16:56
<p>A rapidly growing wildfire has led to several road and trail closures at Arizona’s <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Canyon National Park</a>.</p><p>The Obi Fire, started on Saturday, July 21 by lightning that struck the Walhalla Plateau on the park’s <a href="" target="_blank">North Rim</a>, has <a href="" target="_blank">spread to an estimated 7,420 acres</a> as of Wednesday, Aug. 8. It more than doubled in size over the course of <a href="" target="_blank">three days</a>; estimates reported the fire's size at 3,550 acres on Monday.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">InciWeb</a> officials, southwesterly winds combined with dry air have continued to spread the fire through the park’s ponderosa pines and brush areas, leading to temporary closures of the Cape Royal Road.</p><p>Several trails are also closed as a result, including the Cape Final Trail, the Cliff Spring Trail, the northern portion of the Ken Patrick Trail stretching from Point Imperial to Cape Royal Road, and the southern section of the trail, which stretches from Cape Royal Road into the <a href="" target="_blank">Bright Angel Trail</a>.</p><img alt="Grand Canyon Obi Fire Perimeter Map "src=""><p>The road closures will remain in effect until further notice as firefighters continue to tackle the flames. Smoke from the fire can now be seen on both the park’s North and South Rims.</p><p>The road to Point Imperial and the park’s other North Rim trails are still open at this time, though visitors will want to check on the <a href=";cityid=31" target="_blank">park’s air quality conditions</a> before their arrival.</p>
Categories: Travel

New Zealand's New Human Slingshot Will Fling You Across a Breathtaking Valley at 60 MPH (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 16:37
<p>The newest <a href="" target="_blank">way to see New Zealand</a> is being flung almost 500 feet over it in a human slingshot.</p><p>A daring new exhibition of <a href="" target="_blank">adventure travel</a>, the <a href="" target="_blank">Nevis Catapult</a> in Queenstown is now open for intrepid travelers who want their bodies to be hurled 60 miles per hour through the air.</p><p>The daredevils who visit the catapult will “be propelled 150m up and out across the Nevis Valley, experiencing up to 3Gs of force as you reach speeds of almost 100kms an hour in 1.5 seconds flat,” according to the attraction’s website.</p><p>The catapult itself will last between three and four minutes, but the entire trek will take about four hours, including a bus ride to and from the Nevis Valley, where the catapult is located.</p><p>The Nevis Catapult claims to be the largest catapult in the world.</p><p>Humans who wish to try out the slingshot must be at least 13 years old and weigh at least 60 pounds. It costs about $170 ($255 NZ) to experience. </p><p>Those who thrive on adventure travel can plan an <a href="" target="_blank">entire itinerary in Queenstown</a>. The city also has bungee jumping, jet boating, canyoning, <a href="" target="_blank">a wire climb across a waterfall</a>, and something called <a href="" target="_blank">OGO</a> (an inflatable ball you can climb into and roll around the countryside).</p>
Categories: Travel

Suspect Breaks Into Car, Steals Nothing, Leaves Hilarious Doodle on Man's Passport Photo

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 15:56
<p>Criminals can be awfully sketchy sometimes. </p><p>In the town of Folkestone, Kent, in the U.K., a man named Ian Sheppard was dismayed to find that his car had been broken into on Shorncliffe Road, according to a post by his daughter, Chara Farrant, on the We Love Folkestone Facebook page.</p><p>Luckily, nothing was actually stolen from Sheppard’s car and there was only minor damage, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Metro</em> reported</a>. Instead, the vandal decided to spend their time doodling on Sheppard’s passport photo.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Samantha Brown's New Passport Photo Just Debunked a Major Traveler's Myth</a></p><p>The doodle, with his bushy, long sideburns, goatee, and moustache, ended up making poor Sheppard looking like a <a href="" target="_blank">Wooly Willy</a> or a villain in a low-budget, 1970s cop movie. But that doesn’t make the picture any less hilarious.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Woman's Passport Photo Is Going Viral for a Hilarious Reason</a></p><p>“He wanted to get something out of his car and then realized the door had been jimmied open,” Farrant told <em>Metro</em>. “He checked over the car and nothing was gone – but then he had a look in his glove box and found somebody had doodled on his picture. When he showed me, I’ve never laughed so much.”</p><p>Luckily, Sheppard also thought the vandalism was funny, but probably only because there was limited damage done to the car.</p><p>Farrant calls the incident “Folkestone at its finest,” even if it was a "pointless" crime.</p><p>The suspect is still at large, though we’re not sure if Sheppard would actually press charges at this point. Maybe he'd just ask for a new, more flattering portrait instead. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Weekend’s Meteor Shower Could Be the Best One of the Year (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 12:31
<p>Save all your wishes for this weekend. Shooting stars could happen every minute.</p><p>From Aug.11–13, the Perseid meteor shower will send between 60 and 70 meteors shooting across the sky every hour. The meteor shower's peak is expected to occur the night of Sunday, Aug. 12 into the wee hours of Monday morning.</p><p>This weekend’s show is expected to be particularly spectacular. The Perseids happen every year, but this year’s crescent moon will make the sky darker, allowing the meteors to shine.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">10 Incredible Nighttime Adventures That Take Stargazing to New Heights</a></p><p>"The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it,” <a href="" target="_blank">NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told</a>.</p><p>Those who live in areas with little light pollution will be able to see the shower best, if there’s clear weather. Urban dwellers can check out <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Active Junky’</em>s guide to the best places in major metropolitan areas</a> to watch the astral phenomenon.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">10 Airbnbs for Incredible Stargazing</a></p><p>If you’re planning on watching the Perseid meteor shower, bear in mind that it will take at least 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. The longer you’re outside in the dark, the better your vision of the meteors will be. The best time to be outside to catch the peak is <a href="" target="_blank">between midnight and dawn.</a> Stargazers won’t need to look at any particular point in the sky to catch a glimpse of a shooting meteor. They should be everywhere.</p><p>“Relax, be patient, and let your eyes adapt to the darkness,” J. Kelly Beatty, senior editor of <em>Sky &amp; Telescope</em> magazine, <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. "The Perseids will put on a great show."</p>
Categories: Travel

Prince Harry Reportedly Broke a Major Royal Travel Rule for Meghan Markle (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 12:02
<p>Prince Harry has long been head over heels for his now wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Of course, you likely knew this because <a href="" target="_blank">they are married</a>, but long before they walked down the aisle Harry was reportedly willing to do just about anything to make his love happy. That includes breaking a few royal rules.</p><p>In 2016, while the two were just beginning their courtship, Prince Harry went on an official two-week Caribbean tour as part of his royal duties. He was reportedly booked to fly back on a British Airways flight to resume his duties as a prince and was scheduled to make several appearances back home. But, rather than flying to England, the love-struck prince canceled the flight and instead went off to Toronto to see his new girlfriend.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Sneak Out of Heathrow Airport</a></p><p>Seems innocuous enough, right? Maybe not, as according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Telegraph</a></em>, palace policy says “working visits should not be combined with personal travel.”</p><p>While it may not seem like a huge deal, the change in plans can easily be misconstrued as misuse of public dollars. And that’s exactly how Prince Andrew got in trouble in 2004 after he combined personal trips with business trips that were paid for with taxpayer money.</p><p>According to <em>The Telegraph</em>, in 2004, the Royal Household said: “In order to avoid confusion, combining private and public engagements in the same trip is actively discouraged.”</p><p>But, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Elle</a></em> reported, Prince Harry likely at least paid for his flight to and from Canada on his own.</p><p>And that, of course, wasn’t Harry’s only visit to Canada over their courtship. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Hello</a></em>, Harry flew to Canada two months prior to the couple’s engagement to see Meghan and meet the entire cast and crew of <em>Suits</em>.</p><p>"He was super low key, met some crew, and was so happy to watch his lady," a source told <em>Hello</em> at the time. "He's incredibly supportive of her work."</p><p>Clearly, it was true love even then, especially if Harry was willing to skirt the royal rules and risk <a href="" target="_blank">getting in trouble with the Queen</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

What Astronauts Really Think About Having Tourists in Space

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 11:01
<p>Many modern-day, adventurous travelers who have “Been there, done that” on Earth have set their sights on space.</p><p>Officially, seven private citizens have already been there, each paying from $20 million to $40 million between 2001 and 2009 (before the trips were put on hold) for a ride on a Russian spacecraft and a stay at the International Space Station.</p><p>Now numerous private companies — including <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin Galactic</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Blue Origin</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">SpaceX</a> and others — are developing a variety of space tourism programs and out-of-this-world experiences. Some promise earthlings the opportunity to experience weightlessness, while others are selling rocket ship rides and week-long stays at <a href="" target="_blank">luxury hotels to be built in space</a>.</p><p>And while these journeys won’t ever be cheap, carefree, or 100-percent safe, most are already bookable — although details such as departure dates are still to be determined.</p><p>Another detail not yet determined: what “regular” people who travel into space should be called. Merriam-Webster <a href="" target="_blank">defines an astronaut</a> as “a person who travels beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.” And while some professional astronauts are fine sharing that title, others suggest a better term for someone who purchases a rocket ride might be “spaceflight participant” or simply “space tourist.”</p><p>After all, notes retired NASA astronaut <a href="" target="_blank">Anna Lee Fisher</a>, “Every passenger on an airplane is not called a pilot.”</p><p>Whatever citizen astronauts are called, Fisher, one of the “original six” women accepted into NASA’s Astronaut Training Program, and many of her peers don’t seem to have an “I got mine, let’s pull up the ladder now,” attitude when it comes to novices visiting space.</p><p>“I seriously believe that if more people had the opportunity to go into space and see the Earth from that vantage point they would definitely stop thinking of themselves as being from this country or that country and slowly start feeling like they’re just from this planet,” said Fisher.</p><p>And while he wouldn’t have wanted extraneous people on board when he was flying multi-billion-dollar missions, “that’s different than having a spacecraft designed from the get-go for tourists, which I applaud,” <a href="" target="_blank">said former NASA astronaut Frederick “Rick” Hauck</a>, a veteran of several Space Shuttle missions. In the same way tourism helped grow the airline industry on earth, “I think the space science and space engineering industry could benefit from amortizing the cost of developing new ways to get tourists into space,” said Hauck. “That’s a win-win.”</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Jean-Francois Clervoy</a>, a European Space Agency astronaut and veteran of three NASA Space Shuttle missions, is all for space tourism even if, for the foreseeable future, it’s an experience only available to rich people.</p><p>“The travelers who have the money, the time, and the courage to try space tourism are and will be great ambassadors,” said Clervoy. “They know people will want to hear about their adventure and that is what explorers and pioneers going first are supposed to do. Bring back the experience.”</p><p>Before putting down a deposit and heading to space, though, “There’s one thing people to need understand,” warns former NASA astronaut <a href="" target="_blank">Sherwood “Woody” Spring</a>, who logged 165 hours in space, 12 of them doing spacewalks, “When you get into orbit, 99 percent of astronauts go through what we call ‘space adaption syndrome’; some people throw up, some don’t, but you’re probably not going to feel well the first two days.”</p><p>It can feel like a mild case of the flu, said Spring, who highly recommends the IMAX space movies to those who just want to see what Earth looks like from space.</p><p>But for travelers who have their hearts set on that exclusive space experience, “If that’s what you want, and you have the money to afford it, go for it,” said Spring, “You don’t need my permission.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Pilot Listed Taylor Swift As Emergency Contact Before Crashing His Plane in Nashville

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 07:31
<p>A Canadian pilot who was tragically killed in a <a href="" target="_blank">plane crash</a> was apparently a big <a href="" target="_blank">Taylor Swift</a> fan.</p><p>According to a report by <a href="" target="_blank">WSMV News 4</a>, Michael Callan died on Oct. 29, 2013 when his Cessna 172R plane crashed in Nashville. According to a 2016 investigation on the crash, Callan was drunk and attempted to land during a thick fog after circling Nashville International Airport for two hours. He was alone in the plane and never tried to contact air traffic control, investigators said. </p><p>But that was after Callan has listed singer Taylor Swift as his emergency contact on his membership application to the Windsor Flying Club. A copy of his application was <a href="" target="_blank">obtained by WSMV</a> this week.</p><p>Callan’s obsession with Swift began years before and had escalated to the point that he underwent a mental health evaluation in 2012, when his evaluator said he had been writing letters to Swift that had the “flavor of stalking,” according to WSMV.</p><p>The Nashville news station reported that Callan was actually an infamous bank robber in Windsor before becoming a pilot, allegedly having <a href="" target="_blank">robbed five banks in 11 months</a>. </p><p>Swift’s publicist told the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Tennessean</a></em> the singer never met Callan.</p>
Categories: Travel

Drunk Wasps Are Going on 'Stinging Rampages' at U.K. Beer Gardens

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 06:59
<p>You can be a happy drunk, a sad drunk, or an angry drunk. And apparently, these rules also apply to wasps.</p><p>Of course, the <a href="" target="_blank">little pests</a> are likely to get even more pest-like when booze is involved. According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, wasps that have been imbibing in leftover cider at beer gardens have been going on “stinging rampages” in the U.K., wreaking havoc on lager-loving humans.</p><p>Apparently, the insects have been turning to cider for sustenance after a harsh U.K. winter. Remember <a href="" target="_blank">Storm Emma</a>? It affected way more than just you and your neighbors.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">14 Natural Insect Repellents That Actually Work</a></p><p>“Wasps have built absolutely massive nests and, now that all the larvae have grown up and the queen has stopped laying eggs, the colonies have a workforce with nothing to do – and nothing to eat. So they go down to the pub, obviously,” Shane Jones of Ridtek Pest Control told the <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p><p>So Britons shouldn’t be surprised if they find some swarms hovering over their leftover ciders or fruity beers. However, the alcohol makes the wasps very testy, which leads them to sting people more aggressively. Sounds a bit like other pub patrons we know, frankly.</p><p>A rep for the Sussex Wildlife Trust told the<em> Daily Mail</em>, “In the spring, queen wasps wake from hibernation and start to build their nest, laying eggs and raising their first brood of daughters.” So the nests only get bigger, the wasps get more numerous, and the wasp party debauchery continues. </p><p>These pests are also attracted to sweet foods, much like humans are.</p><p>Dee Ward-Thompson, technical manager at the British Pest Control Association, told the <em>Daily Mail </em>that the best way to avoid these drunken insects is to dispose of your trash properly.</p><p>“We always advise waste to be securely bagged and held within a clean container, away from where young children might play,” Ward-Thompson said.</p>
Categories: Travel

TSA Will Not Stop Screening Passengers at Small Airports After All

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 06:41
<p>Don’t expect the Transportation Security Administration to be going anywhere anytime soon, travelers. Even if you are flying out of a tiny airport.</p><p><em><a href="" target="_blank">CBS News</a></em> reported that the TSA has no plans to <a href="" target="_blank">drop security screenings</a><a href="" target="_blank"> at 150 small airports</a> across the country, as an exclusive <a href="" target="_blank"><em>CNN</em> report</a> claimed earlier this month. TSA sources told <em>CBS</em> the report was based on “worst-case scenarios” for the 2020 budget.</p><p>“We’re not doing that. Real simple," TSA chief David Pekoske told <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em>. “We looked at that and decided that was not an issue worth pursuing. Off the table.”</p><p>Airports will continue to screen passengers as usual, with some potential modifications coming in the near future. Separate lines for passengers who have been sniffed by bomb-sniffing dogs have been proposed as well as expanding the use of new, <a href="" target="_blank">3D scanners</a>, which could speed up the security process. </p><p>These 3D scanners would allow passengers to keep their shoes on as well as their <a href="" target="_blank">liquids and electronics in their bags</a>. Size restrictions on liquids, however, will still apply. Passengers who have been screened by dogs will also get an expedited screening process since they are deemed “lower risk” after being sniffed, according to Pekoske.</p><p>The first phases of the plan are tentatively scheduled to go into effect this fall or early next year.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Obamas Are Back in Their Favorite Summer Vacation Destination (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 17:59
<p>Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle are once again back on their beloved island of Martha’s Vineyard for their <a href="" target="_blank">annual summer vacation</a>. Though it looks like they won’t have the <a href="" target="_blank">quiet vacation</a> they were probably hoping for.</p><p>Each year, the Obamas descend on the island for a bit of quality time together. Their youngest daughter, Sasha, even famously had her first summer job on the island, <a href="" target="_blank">working at Nancy’s</a>, a popular seafood restaurant, in the summer of 2016. And, the former first family spent <a href="" target="_blank">seven out of eight summer vacations on the island</a> while Obama was running the nation. The only year they missed out was 2012, when Obama was running for re-election.</p><p>So far this summer it appears to just be Michelle and Barack on the island. On Monday evening, the couple attempted to have an intimate dinner with a few friends at a restaurant called <a href="" target="_blank">The Cardboard Box</a>, which is owned by Ben DeForest, who also owns another island restaurant, the <a href="" target="_blank">Red Cat Kitchen</a>. According to DeForest, the couple has dined at the Red Cat Kitchen a number of times.</p><p>“They could’ve gone to the Red Cat, where they know the experience, where they know what to expect,” DeForest told “It’s a very private experience over there. It’s quiet. It’s contained.”</p><p>However, this dinner was anything but private. Well-wishers soon caught wind that the Obamas were dining at the restaurant and showed up in droves to catch a glimpse of them. A screaming crowd waited outside the restaurant for the two to emerge, and when they did, the rowdy crowd began chanting, “Obama! Obama!”</p><p>But, it appears the couple at least found a little solitude on their trip. Just a few days prior to their very public dinner date, Michelle posted a sweet snapshot of her husband relaxing by the shore to celebrate his 57th birthday. She wrote in the caption, “Happy birthday <a href="">@BarackObama</a>! The view is always better with you.”</p><p>According to reports, the couple will likely be spending most of August on Martha’s Vineyard, so who knows, maybe you’ll be able to spot them dining out next weekend too. But maybe let them finish their appetizer before you start chanting at them.</p>
Categories: Travel

Amazon Is Hiring More Than 200 Work-from-home Positions Right Now

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 17:32
<p>Amazon fans, your dream job just became available.</p><p>The gargantuan online retailer is looking to fill more than 200 <a href="" target="_blank">work-from-home jobs</a>, both full- and part-time, across the globe, including in the U.S., Europe, and South America, <em><a href="">USA Today</a></em> reported.</p><p>The company is <a href="" target="_blank">looking to fill positions in various fields</a>, including marketing, employee relations, logistics, human resources, sales, software development, and digital content development.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Keep Your Mental Health in Check If You Work From Home</a></p><p>Employees enjoy a wide range of benefits, including health care, 401K, maternity and paternity leave, paid time off, and employee discounts. Just imagine the savings on <a href="" target="_blank">Prime Day</a>.</p><p>If you happen to be based in the U.S. but speak Japanese, you'll want to check out the part-time <a href="" target="_blank">customer service associate role</a> in particular. There's also an opening for a U.S.-based <a href="" target="_blank">Spanish speaker</a>, and one that will <a href="" target="_blank">work from home in Costa Rica</a>, so if moving to a tropical paradise is a goal of yours, now could be the time. </p><p>To search jobs and find out more about the open positions, visit the <a href=";result_limit=10&amp;sort=relevant&amp;distanceType=Mi&amp;radius=24km&amp;latitude=&amp;longitude=&amp;loc_group_id=&amp;loc_query=&amp;base_query=&amp;city=&amp;country=&amp;region=&amp;county=&amp;query_options=&amp;">Amazon Jobs website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Man Planted a Tree Every Day for 35 Years and Created a Forest Larger Than Central Park

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 16:47
<p>It may take a village to raise a child, but it only takes one man to plant a forest.</p><p>In 1979, 16-year-old <a href="" target="_blank">Padma Shri Jadav "Molai" Payeng</a> was devastated when he stumbled upon a pile of dead snakes, scorched to death by extreme heat on the banks of Majuli Island in Assam, <a href="" target="_blank">India</a>.</p><p>Due to erosion, Majuli — the largest river island in the world — has lost more than half its land mass in nearly 50 years. Scientists say the island could be gone in another 15 to 20, according to the award-winning documentary "<a href="" target="_blank">Forest Man</a><em>.</em>"</p><p>The snakes, which came to the island by way of flooding from the Brahmaputra river, could find no shade to escape the heat.</p><p>When he saw the snakes, Payeng told <em><a href="" target="_blank">NPR</a> </em>he knew he had to do something about it or else even humans might "have to die this way in the heat." </p><p>And so, with an unquestionable love for his homeland and the most admirable dedication, Payeng planted one sapling on the barren land every day for the next 35 years.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Tracking Siberian Tigers, Replanting Hurricane-ravaged Forests, and More Ways to Help Save the Earth While You’re on Vacation</a></p><p>Payeng's tremendous efforts have paid off 39 years later. Spreading over 1,360 acres, the woodland, named Molai Forest after Payeng, is about 1.6 times larger than <a href="" target="_blank">Central Park</a>.</p><p>The forest contains several thousand varieties of trees, according to <i><a href="" target="_blank">The Guardian</a></i>, and has attracted elephants, rhinos, deer, wild boars, reptiles, vultures, and Royal Bengal tigers. </p><p>Aptly nicknamed the "Forest Man of India," Payeng said that planting was "very time consuming" before he started collecting seeds from the trees. Even now, Payeng starts his day around 3 a.m. to reach Majuli by 5 a.m. to care for his woodland.</p><p>In 2015, Payeng won the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in India, for his perseverance and hard work. He considers Molai Forest his family and advocates for environmental protection and better education, teaching children from a young age how to raise trees.</p><p>Payeng plans to plant 5,000 more acres on Majuli, creating a 500-mile stretch of flora on the Brahmaputra river's sandbars, <em><a href="" target="_blank">NPR</a></em> reported.</p><p>"My dream is to fill up Majuli Island and Jorhat with forest again," <a href="" target="_blank">Payeng said</a>. "I will continue to plant until my last breath. I tell people, cutting those trees will get you nothing. Cut me before you cut my trees!"</p>
Categories: Travel

People in These States Travel More Than Everyone Else (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 16:30
<p>Project: Time Off, <a href="" target="_blank">a U.S. Travel Association campaign</a> that seeks to prove the importance of vacation, conducts a survey every year to get a state-by-state picture of America's vacation habits. This year, the coalition interviewed over 4,300 full-time employees to find out which states take the most — and least — amount of paid time off, and how each state utilizes their time when they get the chance to escape the daily grind.</p><p>The results are now in, and <a href="" target="_blank">Project: Time Off</a> reported that Colorado residents are the best in the U.S. at taking vacation. Whereas the average American takes approximately 17 days off each year, Coloradans reported using 20.3.</p><p>Following closely behind are Virginia and Arizona, where residents take about 19 days on average.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Want a Promotion? Take a Vacation</a></p><p>Montana residents, on the other hand, take the least amount of vacation, using an average of 16.3 days a year. Rhode Island and Delaware residents don't fare much better: full-time employees in these two states take only 16.5 days off.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Is Where You Should Go Based on How Many Vacation Days You Have Left This Year</a></p><p>Rather than proving that Montana, Rhode Island, and Delaware are the hardest working states, the data seems to indicate that vacation is viewed in a more positive light in Colorado, Virginia, and Arizona than in the rest of the country. While Americans receive 23 vacation days a year on average, residents in Colorado earn about 28 and residents in Virginia 25. More than half of full-time employees in Virginia also reported working for companies that actively encourage taking vacation time. Meanwhile, Montanans are able to take off an average of 21.8 days each year, while Rhode Islanders and Delawareans get 21.6 days of PTO.</p><p>In addition to taking the most time off, Virginians and Coloradans also travel the most during their PTO, according to the report. Compared to the average American, who uses less than half of their vacation days to travel, employees in Virginia spend an average of 12.2 — or 64 percent — of their vacation days on the road. Workers in Colorado and New Jersey fall closely behind, with each taking 11.7 and 11.1 days respectively to travel during their time off.</p><p>And the state that travels the least? The average full-time employee in South Dakota uses only 26 percent of their vacation days to travel.</p><p>Residents in Missouri and Iowa are also likely to choose staycations: they spend on average 29 percent and 31 percent of their paid time off traveling.</p><p>With 64 percent of South Dakota residents feeling stressed at home and 78 percent feeling stressed at work, the case for getting away from the office (and onto a plane) has never been stronger. According to a <a href="" target="_blank">previous report by Project: Time Off</a>, Americans who use most of their paid time off to travel are significantly happier than those who do not travel. They also reported greater happiness with their work, and were more likely to have been promoted within the last two years.</p><p>So whether your company has given you 10 days off or 25, try to maximize your PTO to the fullest extent and get out of town: you and your boss will be much happier for it.</p>
Categories: Travel