This Couple Wanted to See Inside Their Neighbors’ Houses So They Started a Weird Homes Tour

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 09:35
<p>Humans have been curious about what their neighbors' homes have looked like ever since the first Neanderthals wondered about the interior of the cave next door. Luckily for the inquisitive among us, there are home tours now covering every type of residence, from the historic home to the modern home to the estate home. But what about the really quirky ones, the ones designed or landscaped in unusual or unexpected ways?</p><p>Husband and wife David J. Neff and Chelle Neff were intrigued one night while out walking their dogs in their Austin neighborhood when they noticed a house that looked like the Alamo. Not content to only see it from the outside, Chelle says she wanted in.</p><p>“I thought there must be a Keep Austin Weird Homes tour where you can go in and see those houses,” she told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. “David went home and researched it and he could not find anything on a weird homes tour. So we created our own.”</p><p>She says she was bored of all of the other home tours where every house starts to look the same by the end, so on their <a href="" target="_blank">Austin Weird Home Tour</a>, now in its fifth year, “you get to speak to every home owner and every house is really different.”</p><p>David agrees. “We’re not putting [the owner] in a hotel for the night; we want them to be there,” he said. “Weird to us was always a positive, and never a negative. There’s been a zeitgeist about weird the last 20 years in Austin. And we’re uncovering this as a positive in other cities now, too. We want to preserve and protect what’s unique and odd in these magical places.”</p><p>After the <a href="" target="_blank">Austin</a> tour took off, with roughly 10 houses on the tour each year, carefully curated to strike the right balance between kooky, odd, unexpected and whimsical, the Neffs decided to add Houston to the mix in 2016, and New Orleans followed in 2017.</p><p>This summer, they’ve added <a href="" target="_blank">Portland and Detroit</a>. And David says they will include San Francisco in 2019 which will be like, “shooting fish in a barrel in terms of finding homes and finding people. And I think the year after that, we would go to New York and figure out the strategy of dividing that city up.”</p><p>Even with all of these tours, they still have their day jobs, originally thinking the tour would just be a fun passion project. By day, David is an author and digital strategy consultant, and Chelle owns and operates two Urban Betty hair salons in Austin.</p><p>“We just thought it would be a fun thing to do in Austin once a year,” said Chelle. “It has its own momentum now, and we don’t want to get in the way.”</p><p>So just how weird are these homes? In New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood is the lavish and vivid home of an ordained Vodou priestess and artist with her assortment of alters, mermaid shrines, and giant geckos.</p><img alt="Weird home tours "src=""><p>Houston boasts a ‘Hippo’ home with a collection of over 2,000 hippopotamus’ including a red hippo car.</p><img alt="Weird Home Tours, Austin Texas "src=""><img alt="Weird homes. "src=""><p>And on the Austin tour on April 21, ticket holders can visit a flowing, undulating ‘mushroom’ house, called the Bloomhouse, sculpted by designer Charles Harker which ‘grew’ out of the forest in harmony with the natural landscape.</p><img alt="Houston hippo home "src=""><img alt="Weird Home Tours, Houston Texas "src=""><p>David and Chelle worry about how the cost of living effects the artists in their city as many of the homeowners on the tour are working artists and property taxes and the cost of living has skyrocketed in Austin in recent years. So they decided that in each city they host a tour in, they’ll donate 10 percent of proceeds to local, affordable-housing nonprofits.</p><p>It’s clear a Weird Homes empire is in the works with their recently launched book, “<a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Weird Homes: The People and Places That Keep Austin Strangely Wonderful</a>,” and there’s no doubt there will be more coffee table books with each expansion into another city. The Neffs say their intent with the book is for readers to find something that will inspire design creativity in their own home.</p><p>Chelle jokes that creating the Weird Homes Tours has certainly influenced her own décor and that she is now more inspired to think outside of the decorating box. She’s gone from collecting interesting skulls for their home to collecting baby doll heads and putting them under glass domes after she saw one of the Austin artists creating habitats for the doll heads in birdcages.</p><p>“We are also huge Halloween fanatics and I feel like I leave 5 percent of our Halloween décor out more and more every year and I want to see it year round,” she said. “We are on the path of having a weird home in the next few years.”</p>
Categories: Travel

We Need to Talk About Prince Harry in a 'Golden Girls' Sweatshirt on Meghan Markle's Instagram

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 07:53
<p>Just prior to announcing her engagement to Prince Harry in the fall, Meghan Markle sadly shut down her lifestyle website, <em>The Tig</em>, along with <a href="" target="_blank">all of her personal social media channels</a>. But, because this is 2018 and we live in the internet age, people kept the receipts. And one of them may prove that Prince Harry made a low-key appearance on Meghan’s Instagram account a few years ago.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Buzzfeed News</a></em>, Meghan and Harry revealed that they started dating sometime in 2016. During that time, Meghan gave her followers more than a few clues that she had someone special in her life.</p><p>For example, in one deleted photo, Meghan shared a bouquet of flowers she received from someone special in London. In another post from 2016, she can be spotted wearing a blue beaded bracelet, which is identical to the one Harry owns.</p><p>But, perhaps most telling of all is an October 2016 post that appears to show the lower half of Prince Harry’s face. The best part is, he's wearing a <em>Golden Girls</em> sweatshirt.</p><p>At the time, Markle posted the picture with the caption: "I take full responsibility for this sweatshirt. He wears it well. #goldengirls #truth."</p><p>To further prove this theory to be true, <em>Buzzfeed </em>compared a few side-by-side images of the Instagram shot and other publicity shots of Harry and we’ve got to say, the evidence is pretty compelling.</p><p>Thankfully for these two they no longer have to sneak around and hide their relationship from the public eye. On May 19, the couple will <a href="" target="_blank">walk down the aisle at St George’s chapel</a> while the world watches.</p><img alt="Golden Girls Sweatshirt "src=""><p>And if you really want to get in the royal wedding spirit, you can buy that very same <em>Golden Girls sweatshirt</em> on <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Amazon for $26</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel

American Express Is Bringing Centurion Lounge Luxury to Denver Airport

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 07:43
<p>Travelers may soon want to consider taking a long layover at <a href="" target="_blank">Denver International Airport</a>.</p><p>American Express has announced plans to open a new high-end Centurion lounge at DIA next year. The 14,000-square-foot space will be accessible to all passengers in the Concourse C Mezzanine.</p><p>AmEx already has Centurion lounges in airports in Dallas, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, among others. The lounges are especially popular with frequent fliers, as <a href="" target="_blank"><em>USA Today</em> noted</a>.</p><p>The lounge’s perks include complimentary Wi-Fi, quiet workspaces, food prepared by renowned chefs, cocktails, and even spa services and wine tastings at some locations.</p><p>It’s unclear which amenities will be available at the new Denver location. According to <em>USA Today</em>, the lounge will have some more local decor, inspired by Colorado itself.</p><img alt="Centurion Lounge Entrance Rendering at Denver International Airport "src=""><p>“The American Express brand is well known for offering a high-quality experience for their guests, which aligns with [our] vision of the customer experience for our passengers,” Denver Airport's Chief Commercial Officer Patrick Heck <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Airport Technology</em></a>.</p><p>AmEx Platinum Card and Centurion Members can access the lounge for free, while other passengers can do so for a typical fee of $50.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Disney-themed House Is for Sale and It's Almost As Magical As Cinderella's Castle

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 07:25
<p>If you’ve always wanted to live in the most magical home on Earth, now’s your chance.</p><p>A Disney-themed house that is chock-full of Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, and other beloved Disney character memorabilia is on the market for $888,000.</p><p>The beautiful seven-bedroom home, nicknamed “Mickey’s Home,” in Windermere, Florida, is just 5 miles north of Cinderella's Castle at <a href="" target="_blank">Walt Disney World</a>, and usually has some sort of Disney display happening both inside and outside. </p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland Is Hiring, and Holding Two Job Fairs in May</a></p><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Orlando Sentinel</a></em>, the house includes Mickey Mouse wood floor stain, huge cabinets with porcelain figures of every character you can name (and some you probably can’t), collectible glassware, and specially themed rooms.</p><p>The current owners, Mickey and Minnie Baus (no, we’re not kidding), purchased it for $550,700 back in 2005. About three years ago, the couple reportedly nearly lost their property during the housing market crisis, but they managed to stall the sale.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">An Expert Disney Mom Shares Her Can’t-Miss Rides, Restaurants and Resorts</a> </p><p>In addition to its prime location near Disney, the 4,822-square-foot home comes with a lakefront view. The <em>Orlando Sentinel </em>reported that the asking price for the home is significantly higher than others in the neighborhood, though those other homes probably don’t come with a king’s share of Disney memorabilia.</p><p>In addition to the seven (Disney-themed) bedrooms, there are four (Disney-themed) full bathrooms and two (Disney-themed) half-baths. You have to admit, even for fairy tale fans, it’s really over the top.</p><p>More information and photos of the home can be found on <a href="" target="_blank">Zillow</a>. The home also has its own <a href="" target="_blank">website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Time Mary Berry Was Held Up at the Airport After Security Mistook Her Flour for Cocaine

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 06:16
<p>As a former judge of BBC One’s <a href="" target="_blank">“The Great British Bake Off”</a> and a food writer, 83-year-old Mary Berry has spent plenty of time around flour and sugar, but none as exciting as the time she got stopped at the airport.</p><p>Chatting with Graham Norton on his program, <a href="" target="_blank">“The Graham Norton Show,”</a> Berry revealed that years ago she was traveling with some loose flour in a clear plastic bag (as you do) when it was apparently mistaken for cocaine.</p><p>“I was going to the U.S. to do some cookery demonstrations and was worried that there might be problems,” Berry explained in the program. “So I weighed out all the ingredients — flour, sugar — and put them all in little plastic bags.”</p><p>The moment she arrived the airport, Berry said sniffer dogs made their way straight to her. “Suddenly I was surrounded by uninformed people and my assistant and I were put in separate cells,” she told Norton.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Weirdest Things That Are Completely Acceptable to Bring on the Plane With You </a></p><p>While Berry said the incident was “alarming,” she managed to use her humor even in times of stress. “When I was asked if I was going to make money from the stuff, I said, ‘I do and my fee has already been agreed,’” she said.</p><p>Berry appeared on “The Graham Norton Show” to discuss her new BBC One show, “<a href="" target="_blank">Britain’s Best Home Cook</a>.” The episode airs Friday, April 20, on BBC One.</p>
Categories: Travel

Everything You Need to Pack for Machu Picchu

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:48
<p>If you’re headed to the Sacred Valley, be sure to pack the right essentials.</p><p>Travelers with their sights on <a href="" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a>, located high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, are in for plenty of challenging trails, gorgeous views, and fascinating historical sites.</p><p>The 15th-century fortress, considered the most famous icon of the Inca civilization, is about 7,970 feet above sea level. The high altitude makes it important to not only pack the right supplies, but to not pack any more than what you need to keep your pack light.</p><p>To start, always begin with the right trail bag. Something light, durable and supportive will help you get through the day without weighing you down or making you tired. If you need a suggestion for a specific bag, the video above has a great recommendation: the <a href="" target="_blank">REI Co-op Flash 65 Pack</a>.</p><p>Inside your bag, you’ll also want to efficiently pack only what you need on the trail while also planning for all kinds of weather and situations. Some tour operators may provide camping basics, but more personal supplies are up to you.</p><p>Remember to always have a good pair of <a href="" target="_blank">hiking shoes</a> with good traction and support. In your bag, keep a pair of sunglasses, a hat (for the sun) and <a href="" target="_blank">sunscreen</a> to protect your skin from damage. For colder or unpredictable weather, also pack a thicker, knit hat and gloves, long underwear, flannel, a long sleeve thermal, a <a href="" target="_blank">light down jacket</a>, a <a href="" target="_blank">rain jacket</a> and a rain cover for your bag. You can get <a href="" target="_blank">stuff sacks</a> to save space in your bag for all these items.</p><p>It’s great to pack layers, so also bring one or two T-shirts and your <a href="" target="_blank">hiking pants</a>. Bring a swimsuit and flip-flops, too, for bathing and potential swimming opportunities. And, don’t forget lots of socks (we like <a href=";node=2588109011&amp;field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Darn+Tough" target="_blank">Darn Tough</a>). Hikers always have to take care of their feet.</p><p>Campsite essentials include a camping pillow and an ultra-warm <a href="" target="_blank">sleeping bag</a>, a dopp kit for toiletries and a <a href="" target="_blank">headlamp</a> (because no one wants to get stranded outside in the dark).</p><p>Throughout the trip, remember to stay hydrated with a <a href="" target="_blank">special pack</a>, which is easier than carrying a water bottle, too. Don’t forget your medications or passport as well.</p><p>Once you get to the site, you’ll have to store your large, hiking bag somewhere safe. But, in order to carry your daytime essentials, bring a small <a href="" target="_blank">day bag</a>. Bring your <a href="" target="_blank">camera</a> and <a href="">portable chargers</a> as well, because you’ll want lots of pictures.</p><p>If you’re worried about carrying all this stuff, don’t worry. Keep heavier items low in the bag and daily essentials packed in the front. As long as your bag is under 25 pounds, you’ll still be comfortable on the trip.</p>
Categories: Travel

Run Away to Spain This Fall for $356 Round-trip

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 16:54
<p>As the Northeast’s <a href="" target="_blank">interminable winter rages into spring</a>, we’re already looking for ways to extend our summer fun. Running away to Spain this fall sounds like just the way to do it.</p><p>As <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Points Guy</em></a> reported yesterday, several airlines are offering round-trip flights to Barcelona and Madrid in the mid-$300s. <a href="" target="_blank">Iberia</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Air Europa</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Tap Air</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Norwegian Air</a> are all offering the discounted fares.</p><p>There are flights from Boston to Barcelona, with basic economy tickets starting at <a href="" target="_blank">$356 round-trip</a> in September. And if you’re in New York City, there are tickets starting at <a href="" target="_blank">$370 round-trip</a> to Madrid this October.</p><p>In the mood for an island getaway? <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Scott’s Cheap Flights</em></a> found deals from New York to Mallorca, Málaga, and Tenerife starting at just over $400 round-trip, with fares available this September through February 2019.</p><p>If you’re interested in flying to Spain this fall, use <a href="" target="_blank">Google Flights</a> to search for deals. Once you’ve identified the best possible fare, you can purchase your ticket with your preferred online travel agency like <a href="" target="_blank">Orbitz</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Momondo</a>, or <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Expedia</a>, or just book directly through the airline.</p>
Categories: Travel

Sail Across Alaska's Prince William Sound on This Seven-night Adventure Cruise

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 16:36
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="" target="_blank"><strong></strong></a></em></p><p>Alaska: 34 percent off a 7-night cruise from <a href="" target="_blank">Offshore Outpost Expeditions</a>, a small-ship expedition company that offers wildlife-focused itineraries in the Sea of Cortez and Alaska.</p><p>The Discover Alaska’s Prince William Sound deal includes:</p>Seven nights aboard the Pacific Provider, sailing from Whittier to Cordova to in a spacious stateroomThree chef-prepared meals per dayAll snacks and beverages, including a well-stocked open barAdventure gear for fishing and kayakingOvernight accommodations in Anchorage and transfer to the ship in WhittierActivities such as: kayak in remote coves and along unspoiled shorelines alongside rafts of otters; catch Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon or gather fresh prawns (the chef will prepare them for your next meal or vacuum seal your catch to take home); encounter pods of humpback whales and orcas across Prince William Sound; watch tidewater glaciers calve into the sea (Prince William Sound has the world’s largest concentration of tidewater glaciers)<p>Original Price: From $8,900 per person (or $1,271 per night)</p><p><strong>T + L Price:</strong> From $5,900 per person (or $843 per night); book by May 10, 2018 for May 27 and June 3, 10, 17, 24, 2018 departures.</p><p>Booking details: Use booking code TandL34 <a href="" target="_blank">when booking online</a> or call 877-460-9757.</p>
Categories: Travel

Voodoo Doughnuts Is Opening Its First East Coast Location in an Amusement Park

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 16:24
<p>Portland point of pride Voodoo Doughnuts is opening up its <a href="" target="_blank">first East Coast location</a> at <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Studios Florida</a>.</p><p>The flamingo-colored donut shop with a cult following will open at Universal CityWalk in Universal Resort.</p><p>“We used to joke that we dreamed of opening a donut palace, and we’d say things like, ‘wouldn’t it be cool to have a water slide in it?’ Now there’s one right nearby!” Tres Shannon, one of Voodoo Doughnut’s founders, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Delish</em></a>.</p><p>The shop became famous for its inventive flavor combinations after opening in Portland in 2004. The maple bacon doughnut (<a href="" target="_blank">beloved by the likes of Anthony Bourdain</a>) has become the shop’s bestseller. <a href="" target="_blank">Other unique doughnuts</a> include Oh Captain My Captain (topped with Captain Crunch cereal), Voodoo Bubble (topped with a piece of Double Bubble gum) or Memphis Mafia Fritter (with banana chunks, peanut butter and chocolate chip).</p><p>The shop is so beloved by its customers that <a href="" target="_blank">it’s even possible to get married there</a>. <a href="" target="_blank">Half-hour lines</a> have already formed to get into the Universal shop.</p><p>The Orlando location will officially open later this spring, although staff has already begun operating the store in “preview” mode. It will stay open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays to satisfy late night doughnut cravings.</p><p>This will be the eighth location for Voodoo Doughnuts. There are already shops in Portland and Eugene, Oregon; <a href="" target="_blank">Denver</a>, Colorado; <a href="" target="_blank">Austin</a>, Texas; and Los Angeles, California.</p>
Categories: Travel

Enjoy 30% off a Four-night Stay in a Luxury Seaside Villa in Barbados

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 15:51
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="" target="_blank"><strong></strong></a></em></p><p>Barbados: 30 percent off Villas at Port Ferdinand, a luxe seaside escape on the historical northwest coast with spacious villas that have coral stone walls, marble and limestone touches, and covered terraces. The resort’s new features include an outpost of the club Nikki Beach, complete with an octagonal bar and docks for yachts and a refreshed restaurant, 13/59, with Mediterranean and Asian inspired cuisine.</p><p>The Exclusive Summer Deal includes:</p>A minimum of four nights in a VillaVIP meet and greet upon arrival at the airportUnlimited water taxi service between Port Ferdinand and sister property Saint Peter’s BayActivities such as swimming and snorkeling with turtles and non-motorized water sportsA $100 spa credit<p>Original Price: From $2540 (or $635 per night)</p><p><strong>T + L Price:</strong> $1,778 (or $445 per night); book by May 15, 2018 for travel from April 14 – December 14, 2018</p><p>Booking details: Use booking code TL3018 when <a href=";s=default&amp;l=en_US" target="_blank">booking online</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Playlist You Should Listen to Depending on the City You're Visiting

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 15:32
<p>America is full of rich musical history, but that doesn't mean we all agree on what to listen to.</p><p>To show just how diverse our musical tastes can be from coast to coast, Spotify has teamed up with <a href="" target="_blank">Visit the USA</a>, part of U.S. marketing organization <a href="" target="_blank">Brand USA</a>, to put together a series of playlists based on the songs locals listen to most in 22 different cities across the country.</p><p>Visit the USA chose <a href="" target="_blank">22 cities known for their musical offerings</a>, like <a href="" target="_blank">Nashville</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">New Orleans</a>, as well as up-and-comers like Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. </p><p>Curated playlists can be found for each of the following cities: Miami, New York City, Chicago, Memphis, Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans, Nashville, Portland, Houston, San Juan, Atlanta, Denver, Baltimore, Providence, San Antonio, Sioux Falls, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Charleston, Cheyenne, and San Francisco.</p><p>Spotify customized each playlist based on the listening habits of users in each of the cities, comparing this data to their aggregate user base to pull the top hits. Brand USA also created a "mood" to describe each of the cities and their playlists, like “Undiscovered, Serene” in Sioux Falls and “Upbeat, Excitement, Dance, and Latin” in <a href="" target="_blank">Miami</a>.</p><p>Top songs range from "I Feel For You” by Chaka Khan and “All Falls Down” by Kanye West in <a href="" target="_blank">Chicago</a> to Miley Cyrus' "Malibu" and the appropriately named "Californication" from the Red Hot Chili Peppers in <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a>. </p><p>“Only Wanna Be With You” by Hootie and the Blowfish, “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band, and “Let’s Twist Again” by Chubby Checker landed in <a href="" target="_blank">Charleston’s most popular songs</a>, while Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” and The Avalanche’s “Since I Left You” were popular in <a href="" target="_blank">Providence</a>, Rhode Island. </p><p>Each of the playlists can be viewed on <a href="" target="_blank">Visit the USA's Spotify page</a> starting Thursday, April 19, and on <a href="" target="_blank">Visit the USA’s website</a> starting Monday, April 23. </p><p>The partnership is part of Brand USA's <a href="" target="_blank">“Hear the Music, Experience the USA”</a> campaign, which explores the musical range of America through five artists who create their own version of the famed song, “Do You Wanna Dance?” by Bobby Freeman in their respective cities.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Miami Hotel Has a 'Grocery Guru' Who Teaches Guests How to Make Healthy Choices at the Supermarket

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:31
<p>Wellness resorts are all the rage these days: Top health hotels like <a href="" target="_blank">Canyon Ranch</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Rancho La Puerta</a> help harried urbanites reconnect with nature, rediscover nutritious, plant-based foods, and conquer stress.</p><p>But it’s one thing making healthy choices, say, at a luxury wellness resort on the ocean, and another when you’re back to your daily grind.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Carillon Miami Wellness Resort</a>, a newly renovated hotel on North Beach, understands the challenge of bringing these healthy practices back home, and has launched a number of services and unique amenities in response.</p><p>One such offering is a one-on-one consultation with a so-called “grocery guru,” who teaches guests how to make healthy choices in the supermarket. After an initial conversation in which the client’s goals and lifestyle is discussed, the grocery guru and the guest hit the aisles, analyzing nutrition labels, doing product comparisons, and examining produce.</p><p>We caught up with the grocery guru, registered dietitian and personal trainer Monika Arenas, to learn more about the one-of-a-kind service and get her best tips for eating well at home and on the road.</p><img alt="Monika Arenas, RD, helps guests with healthy grocery shopping at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort "src=""><p><strong>T+L: Where did idea behind the “grocery guru” service originate?</strong></p><p>“The Carillon is really committed to the long-term wellness game. We want to teach guests how to make mindful changes that they can apply to their lives back home. The grocery guru service is an extension of that philosophy.”</p><p><strong>What does the tour to the grocery store entail?</strong></p><p>“The whole thing takes 90 minutes. We start in the produce aisle, where we look at the organic and seasonal options and learn how to do price comparison. Then it’s on to the rest of the store to find nutritious snack options, good quality meats and fish, and more. I'll ask guests what they typically buy, then make recommendations on healthier alternatives. For example, if someone regularly buys potato chips, I'll suggest baked or kale chips."</p><img alt="Gym at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort "src=""><p><strong>What are the biggest mistakes people make at the store?</strong></p><p>“Where to start?! For one, grabbing whatever looks appealing. Whether it’s fancy packaging or eye-catching labels, I see a lot of people reaching for things that are well-marketed but not great from a nutritional standpoint. I also see a lot of people buying fat-free items, not realizing that a lot of these foods are packed with fillers and chemicals. Lastly, too many people are buying packaged products that are super high in sugar and sodium.”</p><p><strong>Beyond the grocery store, how can people make good dietary choices when they travel?</strong></p><p>“Keep snacks on you at all time. I love Shanti bars, RX bars, and raw nuts. And when you eat out, fill half your plate with vegetables and allow yourself to only indulge in only one of the three: breads, beverages, or dessert.”</p><img alt="Pool at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort "src=""><p><strong>Any other tips?</strong></p><p>“Make sure you’re moving during the day and not eating to the point of being stuffed. You’re allowed to indulge on vacation— you just have to do some mindfully and with moderation.”</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Get Free Admission to Any National Park This Saturday

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:31
<p>National parks that typically charge entrance fees will be offering free admission this weekend to mark the start of <a href="" target="_blank">National Park Week</a>.</p><p>On Saturday, April 21, visitors will be able to visit popular parks like <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Canyon </a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Joshua Tree</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Yosemite</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Death Valley</a> free of charge. Depending on the park, visitors can save up to $30.</p><p>In addition to a free admission day, National Park Week also offers a <a href="" target="_blank">series of special events and free guided tours</a>. Activities range from guided hikes at popular stops like Zabriskie Point at <a href="" target="_blank">Death Valley</a> to stargazing in Joshua Tree. This year’s theme of “<a href="" target="_blank">Park Stars</a>” celebrates the dark skies and natural gems that travelers can admire at U.S. national parks, as well as the NPS employees that keep the parks welcoming to visitors.</p><p>Earth Day is April 22, and there will be <a href="" target="_blank">festivals</a> at parks like Yosemite with live music, ranger meet and greets, photo walks, and Shakespeare performances.</p><p>There are <a href="" target="_blank">two more days in 2018</a> when there will be free admission at the parks: National Public Lands Day, on September 22, and Veterans Day, on November 11.</p><p>Budget conscious travelers will want to take note of the free days, since the National Park Service will be increasing fees to <a href="" target="_blank">117 popular parks</a> like Zion, Acadia, and the Grand Canyon starting June 1, 2018.</p>
Categories: Travel

Once-abandoned 'Wizard of Oz' Theme Park Is Opening for the Summer (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:30
<p>An infamous theme park dedicated to “<a href="" target="_blank">The Wizard of Oz</a>” is reopening this summer for just six days in June. While the dates are limited, you won't need a hot air balloon or ruby slippers to get there.</p><p>The Land of Oz, a famously failed theme park on Beech Mountain, in North Carolina, will be offering one-hour guided tours every Friday in June, as well as Saturday, June 30, <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Charlotte Observer</em> reported</a>.</p><img alt="Tin Man at the Land of Oz on Beech Mountain, N.C. "src=""><p>The “Journey With Dorothy” tour asks you to “drop all inhibitions and to remember your childhood,” according to the <a href="" target="_blank">park’s website</a>. “With Dorothy as your guide, you will skip down the yellow brick road through the magical Land of Oz™ to help her search for the wonderful wizard during this interactive experience.”</p><p>Guests may even be asked to play Dorothy or another Oz character for the tour, as it makes stops at particular points on the Yellow Brick Road to act out scenes. So, brush up on your improv skills.</p><p>The park got famous on the internet after urban explorers posted spooky pictures of the desolate park. Features look decrepit, plants are overgrown, and parts of the road are missing.</p><p>Even though it has been closed for over 35 years, only opening from time to time over the years, management of the park says it is not “abandoned.” The park originally opened in 1970 and officially “closed” in 1980. In the 1990s, the park began opening once a year in the fall. Sales from its Autumn at Oz event are put toward restoring the park, according to the website.</p><p>Tickets for June’s Journey With Dorothy are $25 per person, and will officially go on sale on April 20. More information can be found on the <a href="" target="_blank">Land of Oz website.</a></p>
Categories: Travel

Oprah’s Cute Travel-friendly Sneakers Are Actually Orthopedic

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:02
<p>Let it be known that stylish orthopedic shoes exist! Need proof? Fine. Look no further than <a href="" target="_blank">Oprah Winfrey</a> on the cover of <i>O, The Oprah</i> <i>Magazine</i> wearing a sleek pair of <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Vionic</a> sneakers that are as comfy as they are chic.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Emma Watson and Kate Middleton Go Everywhere in These $65 Sneakers</a></p><p>The shoe brand, known for its comfort technology, is a certified Oprah favorite — having made the Hollywood icon’s <a href="" target="_blank">personal list of favorite things</a> last year. So, of course, she had to sport them for the April 2018 issue of <i>O</i>, where she’s seen dressed up in all-white everything, completing her relaxed outfit with <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Vionic’s ‘Hattie’ espadrille-sneaker hybrid</a> — and honestly, have orthopedic sneakers ever looked chicer? Anybody? Just asking for a friend here.</p><img alt="Vionic White Hattie Sneaker "src=""><p>You can shop the sneakers (plus four other colorways!) at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a> for $90.</p>
Categories: Travel

'Cliff Camping' Lets You Sleep in a Bed Dangling 60 Feet Above the English Channel (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:00
<p>Most people love hotel beds because they’re <a href="" target="_blank">soft and luxurious</a>. However, there are some travelers out there who prefer a constant adrenaline rush to a comfortable night's sleep.</p><p>A unique B&amp;B, the brainchild of climber Eddy Young, offers thrill-seekers the chance to sleep on the face of a cliff in Dorset, about 60 feet above the English Channel.</p><img alt="Cliff Camping Dorset "src=""><p>Sounds relaxing.</p><p>Young’s website describes his “portaledge,” or cliff camping, idea as “a tent in the world of vertical life.” In order to go cliff camping, apparently all you need is a “sense of adventure, a head for heights, and a basic level of fitness.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">If You’re Having Trouble Sleeping, a Weekend of Camping Could Be the Cure</a></p><p>Of course, if you’re prone to tossing and turning at night, we assume this is not right for you.</p><p>An overnight stay, which includes dinner, costs £450 (just under $640 USD) for one person, and £250 (about $355 USD) per person for two people. If you have three or more people in your party, you’ll need to contact Young’s company directly.</p><p>It’s slighting cheaper to enjoy lunch and watch the sunset without staying overnight.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, only six people have opted for this experience. Young told the news site, however, that the experience is very comfortable and safe.</p><p>“The clients will stay tied to a harness and the portaledge sinks a bit in the middle to stop you rolling off,” Young said.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">These New Stackable Tents Are Like Bunk Beds for Camping</a></p><p>Guests need to bring warm clothes, appropriate climbing shoes, a camera (of course), and any personal essentials such as medications they may need on the trip.</p><p>“Of course, a sense of adventure is most important,” it says on the website. For more information on booking a <a href="" target="_blank">cliff camping</a> trip, as well as other activities, visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Young’s Adventure Solutions website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Expedia Is Offering Up to 90% Off Hotels This Weekend

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:35
<p>Summer is right around the corner, and if you’re already planning a vacation, you could save some money on your hotel with <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Expedia’s latest sale</a>. The booking platform is launching its first <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">semi-annual sale</a>, with discounts up to 90% off of hotel stays in cities across the U.S., Europe, and Asia.</p><p>The sale starts at 9:00 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET on Friday, April 20. The biggest savings (of up to 90% off) will be available through Expedia's mobile app (available on <a href="" target="_blank">iOS</a> and <a href=";hl=en" target="_blank">Android</a>), while there will also be a selection of hotels up to half off on <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Expedia’s website</a>.</p><p>Travelers can also save on package deals that combine Delta flights with 50% off hotels, as well as up to $750 off a $1,000 vacation package, or $50 off a $200 hotel coupon. If you're waiting for the catch, here it is: The best deals will be available in limited quantities, so you'll have to act fast if you want to score a cheap vacation.</p><p>The sale runs through Monday, April 23, with Monday’s last-chance deals offering 25% off hotels through the app, and 20% off hotels on Expedia’s site, as well as $50 off of a $200 hotel coupon.</p>
Categories: Travel

After Years of Delays, the Queen Elizabeth 2 Is Finally Opening as a Floating Hotel (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 15:54
<p>After 10 years of sitting in <a href="" target="_blank">Dubai</a>, the historic <a href="" target="_blank">Queen Elizabeth 2</a> ocean liner is opening as a hotel.</p><p>The QE2 rose to prominence when it set sail in 1969 as an emblem of Great Britain. For almost 40 years, the ship traversed the globe on more than 1,400 voyages. In its seafaring history, the QE2 circumnavigated the globe 25 times, hosted 2.5 million passengers, and sailed more than 6 million nautical miles.</p><p>In 2008, the ship took its last voyage to Dubai. The city had spent $100 million on the ship with the intent to quickly transform it into a floating hotel. But a global recession stalled plans, and the QE2 has sat in Dubai’s port for the past 10 years.</p><p>This week, the hotel finally opens with 224 rooms and suites, 13 restaurants and bars, a movie theater, and an exhibition detailing the ship’s history. Visitors will be able to step onboard the boat, docked permanently at Mina Rashid, just to sample the cuisine at a few of the restaurants.</p><img alt="Queen Elizabeth 2 ship hotel "src=""><p>“To finally open the QE2 is a dream come true for my team and I,” Hamza Mustafa, chief executive of PCFC Hotels, <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “It is one of Dubai’s most highly anticipated projects and we know that a lot of people are going to be very excited to see her for the first time, or to step back on board the vessel that created so many wonderful memories during her 40 years at sea.”</p><p>The QE2’s sister ship, <a href="" target="_blank">the Queen Mary</a>, is also a floating hotel and tourist attraction. It has been docked in Long Beach, California, since 1972.</p><p>Cabins are available from April 18, starting at $190 (AED 700) per night for the soft opening. The hotel will host <a href="" target="_blank">its grand opening in October</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

U.K. Cracks Down on Drunk Passengers With Proposal to Put Alcohol in Sealed Bags

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 15:47
<p>There are many reasons why a flight could have a disruptive passenger on board, but one of the most common is too much alcohol.</p><p>According to the Civil Aviation Authority in the U.K., one in six people have witnessed aggressive behavior on flights in the last three years. One way the British government is cracking down on disruptive, and particularly drunken, passengers is by proposing all alcohol bought in airports be sealed in plastic bags.</p><p>At the moment, according to <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Daily Mail</em></a>, sealed bags are already in use, but only for passengers on international flights.</p><p>While it’s <a href="" target="_blank">not true that people can get drunk</a> quicker on a flight, it is still true that both the cabin air and alcohol can <a href="" target="_blank">dehydrate</a> you, which can significantly affect a passenger’s health if they drink too much. It’s also not a good game plan if you want to get a <a href="" target="_blank">restful sleep while flying</a>.</p><p>In addition to the sealed bags, the British government is considering more extreme punishments for people who disrupt flights due to drunkenness.</p><p>Currently, a person is still prohibited from being drunk on a plane in the U.K., despite being able to drink their own alcohol and being able to order as many drinks as they wish. Punishment can include up to two years in prison and an unlimited fine, according to <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Scotsman</em></a>. U.K. officials are also considering adopting a policy prohibiting passengers from drinking their own alcohol, as well.</p><p>The new measures will be discussed this fall, and most likely put into effect early next year.</p>
Categories: Travel

The World’s Coolest Public Swimming Pool Will Be in Copenhagen’s Harbor

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 14:31
<p>No matter where you are in Denmark, you’re never more than <a href="" target="_blank">30 miles from the sea</a>.</p><p>Seaside life is an important part of Danish culture — and something that architects will hope revitalize a disused artificial island in Copenhagen’s harbor.</p><p>Japanese architecture firm Kengo Kuma &amp; Associates recently won a competition to build <a href="" target="_blank">Copenhagen</a>’s new <a href="" target="_blank">Waterfront Culture Center</a>, paying homage to the Danish seaside culture.</p><p>Visitors to the center will be able to swim in indoor/outdoor pools that terrace down directly to the sea while elevated glass pools will allow visitors to swim through brick pyramids. The mock-ups are a fantastic, almost futuristic look into the elegant potential for public swimming pools. The building will also include spaces for sports and wellness activities.</p><img alt="Water Culture House in Copenhagen "src=""><img alt="Water Culture House in Copenhagen "src=""><p>“Our focus in design is to create an experience, and not just a standalone object, in the form of the landscape, art and architecture that are unified and defined by the water,” the project's lead architect Yuki Ikeguchi, <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “Our design attempts to soften and dissolve the edge and blur the sense of boundary of the land.”</p><img alt="Water Culture House in Copenhagen "src=""><img alt="Water Culture House in Copenhagen "src=""><p>The architects have not released an expected date of completion for the project.</p><p>The project is part of a redevelopment to turn an disused artificial island into a center of culture as Copenhagen expands and revitalizes its waterfront. Christiansholm (known locally as Paper Island) used to be the home of the Danish press. Today, <a href="" target="_blank">it is a public center</a> where visitors wander through former industrial warehouses that now house street food stalls, event space and an experimental science and technology museum.</p>
Categories: Travel