Why Anderson Cooper Orders Room Service Off the Kids’ Menu

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:01
<p>Anderson Cooper is sentimental.</p><p>Whether traveling around the world or ordering at a restaurant, Cooper reverts to comfort and memory.</p><p>“I have the palette of a five-year-old. I order off the kids menu at hotels,” he jokes in an interview with <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><p>Cooper had just finished dining with Anthony Bourdain at Heidelberg, a German restaurant on New York City’s Upper East Side. The menu was not for kids.</p><p>The two CNN hosts sat behind giant boot-shaped steins of pilsner, eating pickled herring, various sausages, and liver dumplings — tame in comparison to previous meals. “Anthony likes to torment me,” Cooper laughed. “I’ve eaten the aorta of a heart and all sorts of French blood things, like pudding and sausage and stuff. But this was pretty straightforward.”</p><p>For the past few years, Bourdain and Cooper have met at a <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a> restaurant to sample foods (often to Cooper’s horror) and discuss the locations in each new season of Bourdain’s series, “Parts Unknown.”</p><p>Because of his annual meals with Bourdain, one of the world’s most adventurous eaters, Cooper said he’s “a little more willing to try new things.”</p><p>Bourdain’s influence also extends to Cooper’s travel plans. “I’ve actually traveled to a bunch of places because he’s been there,” Cooper told T+L. “Like Tangiers. I went after seeing his episode. It was funny because I was there and I ran into people that he had had on his show.”</p><p>Although Cooper doesn’t have much free time to travel. Between his nightly news show on CNN, “60 Minutes,” and “AC2,” a traveling talk show with Andy Cohen, he has only one weekend off per month. (That weekend is lowkey, generally spent at his home in Connecticut.) But when he does travel, he’s “a creature of habit.”</p><p>“I tend to go to the same places over and over again,” Cooper explained. “I go to Rome a lot. I go to Africa a lot.”</p><p>Cooper holds Africa particularly dear. At 17, he left high school and rode in a truck across sub-saharan Africa (the lead-up to which he self-effacingly refers to as “a long, boring story,” by the way). In the years since, he has returned numerous times to the continent. He cites seeing mountain gorillas in Rwanda and diving with great white sharks off the coast of <a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town</a> as two of his most memorable travel experiences.</p><p>He returns often to his seaside house in Trancoso, Brazil (<a href="" target="_blank">he wrote about it for <em>Travel + Leisure</em> in 2015</a>) — a place he is trying to convince Bourdain to visit. “My town is this really unique little place so I’m always trying to get him to go there,” Cooper said.</p><p>Asked where he plans on traveling next, Cooper mentions Luang Prabang, Easter Island or the Galapagos — although it’s impossible for him to say for certain where he’ll end up next.</p><p>“I’m hugely disorganized and because of my schedule, I can’t plan things very far in advance because, inevitably, it will change,” Cooper said. “So I’m always last minute thinking ‘okay, I’d like to go to Laos next week.’ I don’t have time to call a travel agent or anything. It’s all last minute.”</p><p>During those last minutes, Cooper said he will “always look at <em>Travel + Leisure</em>, their website to look at all the articles they’ve had on Laos and recommendations, places to stay.” Although, it’s unlikely Cooper is browsing for restaurant recommendations. No matter where he goes, “you can’t go wrong with peanut butter and jelly.”</p><p><em>Anderson Cooper’s interviews with Anthony Bourdain will air on Anderson Cooper 360 every Friday night, beginning April 27. </em></p>
Categories: Travel

The Queen Shows Her Sassy Side While Joking About Her Grandchildren in New Documentary

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:32
<p>A new documentary from ITV shows just how humorous <a href="" target="_blank">the Queen</a> can be — while providing a rare look into some of the traditions that have taken place behind closed doors at <a href="" target="_blank">Buckingham Palace</a>. </p><p>The documentary, titled <a href="" target="_blank">“The Queen’s Green Planet,”</a> brings the 91-year-old face to face with another famed 91-year-old, British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. The duo discuss the Queen’s love of trees and her dream of creating a global network of protected forests around the world through the <a href="" target="_blank">Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy</a>.</p><p>Aside from being impressed by the project’s ambitious aim of bringing people together across the U.K. and all of the 53 Commonwealth countries to plant forests, viewers are smitten with the Queen’s sassy humor.</p><p>From discussing the royal family’s Christmas traditions to joking about garden parties, the Queen provides viewers with a rare look into her personality.</p><p>As the two walk through the palace grounds, the Queen makes Attenborough laugh and the two discuss <a href="" target="_blank">Christmas</a> traditions at the palace, including the Queen's gifts to her staff and Prince George and Princess Charlotte's habit of knocking the ornaments off the tree.</p><p>"The problem is the children love knocking those," the Queen says. "The great thing is to make them decorate it, and then they're a bit more careful."</p><p>The documentary also reveals how the Queen’s love of trees started in her early childhood and reveals that she planted trees for each of her children throughout the palace grounds. </p>
Categories: Travel

A Mesmerizing Flower Bloom Turns This Entire Forest Blue Every Spring

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:00
<p>Head to the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Hallerbos forest in Belgium</a> in the springtime and you’ll be treated to a magical scene as the lush grounds become blanketed in seas of <a href="" target="_blank">blooming</a> bluebells.</p><p>Hallerbos is known as <a href="" target="_blank">“The Blue Forest”</a> thanks to the millions of hyacinths (also known as bluebells due to their striking purple-blue hue) that carpet the forest floor. Visitors will find winding paths with prime views of miles and miles of the colorful flowers made all the more striking against the forest's lush beech trees.</p><img alt="belgium hallerbos "src=""><p>While the bluebells bloom at different times each year based on weather conditions and how much sunlight the forest is getting, Belgium's Forestry Service representatives recommend visiting the area around the second half of April for the best chance of seeing the flowers in all their glory.</p><p>The forest, which is located in the municipality of Halle, has <a href="" target="_blank">already started seeing bluebells</a> blooming this year, with increased sunlight expected to bring more bluebell blooms to the forest over the upcoming weeks.</p><img alt="hallerbos belgium "src=""><img alt="belgium hallerbos "src=""><p>For those curious about when the bluebells are blooming, the Forestry Service provides regular <a href="" target="_blank">updates on its website</a>, adding that bluebells typically staring to change from a bright blue to a grayish-blue in May.</p><p>When the birch trees start to sprout their leaves, they begin to darken the area, which in combination with fog can make the scene all the more striking.</p><img alt="belgium hallerbos "src=""><p>Visitors can take their own paths through the <a href="" target="_blank">forest</a> or join in on a series of hosted walks to learn about the various plants and animals like deer and <a href="" target="_blank">rabbits</a> that call the space home.</p><p>If you are planning to visit the forest, being mindful of its paths and avoiding stepping on the flowers can help ensure their beauty lasts for years to come, as tourists who step on the plants can cause devastating destruction.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle's Crossbody Bag Is Surprisingly Affordable — Here's Where to Buy It

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:09
<p>Meghan Markle has done it again. And by “it,” we mean stepped out in an <a href="" target="_blank">eye-catching outfit that inspires us</a> to scour the internet for the <a href="" target="_blank">exact pieces to replicate her look</a>. This time around, the soon-to-be royal joined fiancé Prince Harry at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London, wearing a head-to-toe monochromatic look and — what’s that? — a surprisingly affordable bag.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Meghan Markle’s Sold-out Leather Tote Is Back, But You’ll Have to Hurry</a></p><img alt="Meghan Markle "src=""><p>Markle is no stranger to affordable fashion. The <i>Suits</i> alumna has been <a href="" target="_blank">spotted with an under-$200 handbag before</a>, but somehow, this look still caught us by surprise. Perhaps it’s the fact that she’s paired it so effortlessly with a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">striped Altuzarra dress</a> ($1,995) and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">menswear-inspired blazer</a> ($700) — both of which cost a lot more than the bag’s $221 price tag. Or maybe the real surprise is the sheer fact that she made a crossbody bag look elegant enough for a royal occasion. Ah, the power of Meghan Markle.</p><img alt="Meghan Markle "src=""><p>If you’re wanting to cop Markle’s exact bag, head to <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a> to shop the "Avalon" zip-top crossbody. Or if you’re looking for an even more affordable alternative, you can shop one on <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p><img alt="Kate Spade Cameron Street Straw Clarise Crossbody Bag "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $178</p>
Categories: Travel

Queen Elizabeth Just Said Goodbye to Her Last Corgi

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 08:56
<p>On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II lost a beloved member of her family, Willow, <a href="" target="_blank">her last Corgi</a>.</p><p>As <em><a href=";utm_medium=f1&amp;utm_campaign=feed-part" target="_blank">The Cut</a></em> noted, Willow’s death means the Queen is royal corgi-less for the first time since 1936.</p><p>Willow, who reportedly died of cancer-related causes, lived for 14 wonderful years by the Queen’s side. She was also the 14th generation of corgis bred by Queen Elizabeth.</p><p>The Queen <a href="" target="_blank">received her very first corgi</a> as a gift when she was just 7 years old. That pup was a Pembroke Welsh corgi named Dookie.</p><p>Next, the Queen and Prince Philip were gifted a corgi they lovingly named Susan prior to their wedding. The dog was so beloved that she even accompanied them on <a href="" target="_blank">their honeymoon</a>. The couple then used Susan to begin their long breeding line, which led all the way down to Willow.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Is Why the Queen Dresses in Bright Colors</a></p><p>“She has mourned every one of her corgis over the years, but she has been more upset about Willow’s death than any of them,” a source told the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>. “It is probably because Willow was the last link to her parents and a pastime that goes back to her own childhood. It really does feel like the end of an era.”</p><p>Though the Queen had to say goodbye to her long line of royal corgis, she’s not done with being a dog mom just yet. As the <em>Daily Mail </em>noted, she still has two corgi-dachshunds named Vulcan and Candy. Moreover, in 2017, the Queen kindly agreed to adopt a corgi named Whisper after the death of his owner, who happened to be a former Sandringham gamekeeper.</p><p>Still, this doesn’t make Willow’s death any easier for the Queen or her dog-loving fans.</p><p>“Willow represents a significant thread running through the Queen’s life from her teenage years to her 90s,” the source added. “For many, many years she bred and raised corgis and to think that the last one has now gone is something of a milestone.”</p><p>According to the source, the dog is now buried on the castle grounds. Soon, its grave will reportedly be marked with a headstone with Willow’s name and the words “A faithful companion of the Queen.”</p>
Categories: Travel

This Is How You Should Use Your Airplane Oxygen Mask

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 07:53
<p>The frightening and tragic accident on a Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday, <a href="" target="_blank">in which one passenger died</a>, is an uncomfortable reminder to always pay attention to those pre-flight safety instructions.</p><p>Except for a few minor injuries, the other passengers on the flight were safe and were instructed to use their oxygen masks after the incident. Photos of passengers started circulating shortly after the accident, and it’s pretty easy to see what’s wrong with this picture.</p><p>Many of the passengers did not seem to know how to properly put on their oxygen masks, putting their safety and health at risk. It can be difficult to remember what to do in an emergency, which makes it all the more important to pay attention to safety instructions at the beginning of every flight.</p><p>At tens of thousand feet in the air, the air is thinner and there’s less oxygen, so plane cabins <a href="" target="_blank">use a pressurized system</a> to help people breathe normally. Southwest Flight 1380’s engine malfunctioned at 32,000 feet, causing a window to break and damage to the plane’s fuselage. This also caused a drop in cabin pressure, which, if you’re familiar with pre-flight safety presentations, makes the oxygen masks on most commercial jets drop from above.</p><p>If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you have to use one of these masks, it’s important to remember to always cover <em>both</em> your nose <em>and</em> mouth with the mask, using the elastic straps to tighten it. The mask does not need to be perfectly tight to provide oxygen. Even if the mask seems like it is too small or just more comfortable fitted only on your mouth, using it in this way could affect how much oxygen you get.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Why You Should Start Every Flight With This Pilot's 3-second Safety Trick</a></p><p>According to the FAA, the masks are capable of giving passengers enough oxygen to prevent oxygen deficiencies in emergencies up to 40,000 feet, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>SF Gate</em> reported</a>. However, this is only true when used properly. Breathing only through your mouth can block a sufficient flow of oxygen to your lungs.</p><p>Think of it this way: When you’re hyperventilating, one of the first things you’re told to do is calmly breathe through your nose. The nose is actually the main, direct pathway to the lungs. Using your nose to breathe also creates greater air pressure and gives the lungs more time to extract oxygen from the air, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Livestrong</em></a>. Mouth breathing is considered inefficient, and can actually cause hyperventilation, rather than prevent it.</p><p>Hopefully, you’ll never have to use the skills provided in pre-flight safety presentations. But just in case, make sure you pay attention on your next flight.</p>
Categories: Travel

Disneyland Is Hiring, and Holding Two Job Fairs in May

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 07:18
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland</a> will be holding two job fairs in May for people who are eager to find jobs in the hospitality industry.</p><p>The first job fair will be a general <a href="" target="_blank">Anaheim Resort Job Fair</a>, held at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel on May 3, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT. The second will be for housekeeping and laundry positions only, held at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel &amp; Spa on May 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., <a href="" target="_blank">ABC 7 reported</a>.</p><p>Disneyland is a major employer in the Orange County, California area. The park most famously employs performers for characters, but also hires thousands of hospitality workers, security, and food service workers.</p><p>And if you don’t want to wait around for the job fair, there are also several open positions that can be applied for online.</p><p>More information about current Disneyland park job postings can be found on the <a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland Jobs website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Everything We Know About What Went Wrong on Southwest Flight 1380 (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 06:10
<p>Southwest Flight 1380 <a href="" target="_blank">made a dramatic emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday</a> afternoon after an engine malfunctioned mid-flight and a piece of shrapnel broke a window. One passenger was sucked toward the open window as passengers pulled her back and performed CPR. She died Tuesday afternoon at a Philadelphia hospital.</p><p>About 20 minutes after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport, a blade from the engine of a Boeing 737-700 separated from the engine and smashed a hole in the aircraft. In a press conference, National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said there was evidence of “metal fatigue” at the point of the engine where the blade meets the hub.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">woman killed was Jennifer Riordan</a>, an executive at Wells Fargo, in New Mexico, and a mother of two.</p><p>This was the first fatal incident on a U.S. passenger airline since 2009.</p><p>Seven passengers were treated for minor injuries at the scene. There were 144 passengers and five crew members onboard the flight.</p><p>Tammie Jo Shults piloted the aircraft to the ground, calmly alerting air traffic control “We have a part of the aircraft missing.” Over the course of five minutes, the plane dropped altitude from 31,684 feet to about 10,000 feet.</p><p>“The pilot was a veteran of the Navy,” <a href="" target="_blank">passenger Kathy Farnan told CNN</a>. "She had 32 years in — a woman. And she was very good.” Fellow passengers praised the pilot’s technical skill and professionalism after the landing.</p><p>The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have launched investigations into the incident. The NTSB has received the flight data recorder and voice cockpit recorder from the aircraft. Investigations could last up to 15 months.</p><p>Last month, a <a href="" target="_blank">Southwest flight made an emergency landing</a> in New Mexico after smoke was reported in the cabin. Two people were hospitalized.</p><p>Southwest announced that it will examine engines in its fleet for signs of similar fatigue over the next 30 days.</p>
Categories: Travel

Forget Overwater Bungalows — an Underwater Villa Is Opening in the Maldives

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 13:03
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Overwater bungalows</a> are so 2017. Now, it’s all about the underwater experience.</p><p>On Tuesday, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Conrad Maldives Rangali Island</a> announced that it will finish work on what it claims will be the world’s first undersea residence of its kind by the end of 2018.</p><p>The residence will allow guests to quite literally immerse themselves in an underwater world in the Indian Ocean. It will join the brand’s undersea restaurant, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Ithaa</a>, as yet another pioneering travel experience.</p><img alt="Conrad Maldives Undersea Villa "src=""><p>According to the hotel, the undersea residence will go by the name <a href="" target="_blank">Muraka</a>, which means coral in Dhivehi, the language of Maldivians. </p><p>Muraka, the hotel added, is designed to blend into its undersea environment, allowing guests to become one with the vibrant and diverse ocean life surrounding them.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">You Can Do Underwater Yoga Surrounded by Tropical Fish in the Maldives</a></p><p>“Driven by our inspiration to deliver innovative and transformative experiences to our global travelers, the world’s first undersea residence encourages guests to explore the Maldives from an entirely new perspective below the surface of the sea,” Ahmed Saleem, director at Crown Company and chief architect and designer of the undersea residence, said in a statement. </p><p>The structure will be two levels comprised of an above sea level floor and an undersea suite designed for sleeping 16.4 feet below the ocean’s surface. The undersea suite features a king-size bedroom, living area, bathroom, and spiral staircase that leads to the upper-level living room.</p><img alt="Conrad Maldives Undersea Villa "src=""><p>In the upper level of the residence guests will find a twin-size bedroom, bathroom, powder room, gym, butler’s quarters, private security quarters, integrated living room, kitchen, bar, and dining room, which also features a deck that faces the direction of the sunset for optimal views.</p><img alt="Conrad Maldives Undersea Villa "src=""><p>But, have no fear, guests will still get great views of the sunrise too thanks to the relaxation deck on the opposite side of the villa, which also comes complete with its own infinity pool.</p><p>The upper level also contains an additional king-size bedroom and bathroom that boasts an ocean-facing bathtub. In total, Muraka can accommodate up to nine guests.</p><p>“We are excited to present Muraka’s unique sleeping under the sea experience to our future guests, providing them with an extraordinary seascape of the Maldives from an entirely new perspective,” Stefano Ruzza, general manager at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, added.</p><p>And if you can’t book this suite that’s ok because the resort also features even more thoughtfully designed villas and suites, 12 award-winning restaurants and bars, two spas, and a selection of culturally inspired experiences, including scuba diving and snorkeling, set against the awe-inspiring nature that the Maldives has to offer.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Perfect 'Mary Poppins' Travel Bag, According to a Pop Star on Tour

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 11:31
<p>In the final days of Betty Who’s headlining tour across North America — which included shows in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Atlanta, and Orlando — the Australian-born singer-songwriter took time to open up her suitcase for <i>Travel + Leisure.</i></p><p>What's inside? A collection of practical toiletries, a cozy sweatshirt that doubles as a do-not-disturb sign, and even a nostalgic gift that she's never taken out. </p><p><strong>Travel + Leisure: Tell us about your suitcase.</strong></p><p>Betty Who: “When I was 19, I saw Zoe Saldana in an airport carrying a <a href="" target="_blank">Louis Vuitton monogrammed weekender</a> roller bag. When I signed my record deal a year or so later, I went and bought myself one. I take it everywhere with me.”</p><p><strong>What do you love about it?</strong></p><p>“It's a Mary Poppins bag. I have no idea how but it is the perfect size for a four-day trip, no matter where in the world I'm going. It also is a perfect size for my laptop, which never fits in any of my backpacks. [My]<b> </b>best friend gave me an N*SYNC pin of JC Chasez and it's lived in that bag now for three years. It always makes me smile when I open it.”</p><p><strong>Window or aisle?</strong></p><p>“Window, always.”</p><p><strong>What are a few items you always pack in your carry-on bag?</strong></p><p>“An oversized scarf (my favorite is the <a href="" target="_blank">Aritzia Wilfred Mosaic Blanket Scarf</a>). My fiancé makes fun of my <a href="" target="_blank">blanket scarf collection</a> until he's freezing on a seven-hour plane ride and I can bundle him up.</p><p>I'll always pack a pair of <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Hanky Panky underwear</a> because you never know when you'll get stuck somewhere, and I <a href="" target="_blank">wear T-shirts on planes</a> because you never know if you'll be sweating or freezing — so I always pack a sweatshirt in my carry-on (I wear my own “Ignore Me” sweatshirt in black a lot on planes because it's so comfortable).</p><p>I learned the hard way that you always want to dress in and pack layers when flying. So these items prepare me for getting stuck overnight somewhere unexpectedly [and] the ever-changing temperature on a plane. It's also a great way to travel in between climates.”</p><p><strong>What about toiletries?</strong></p><p>“I always travel with a small, see-through bag of my face wash and lotion [with SPF], a travel-sized <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Oribe texturizing spray</a>, a tube of mascara, and a tube of <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";qid=1523647419&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=lucas%27%2Bpapaw%2Bointment&amp;dpID=31cRggPNZpL&amp;preST=_SY300_QL70_&amp;dpSrc=srch&amp;th=1" target="_blank">Lucas Papaw Ointment</a>.”</p><img alt="Betty Who "src=""><p><strong>What else do you consider an essential for your carry-on bag?</strong></p><p>“I love my <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";qid=1523647479&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=ipad+pro&amp;dpID=41XNzG1wfzL&amp;preST=_SY445_QL70_&amp;dpSrc=srch" target="_blank">iPad Pro</a>. It's the same screen size as a laptop, but weighs nothing and is so easy to use. Perfect for a constant traveler like me. It has a screen protector that also unfolds into a keyboard and I can download endless Netflix shows for long flights.”</p><p><strong>You’re really dedicated to wellness — how do you stay fit and healthy on the road?</strong></p><p>“My go-to snack is a tub of Fage Greek Yogurt and some walnuts and berries. It's high protein, high in good fats, and is quick and easy but doesn't make me feel awful after. I'll eat this post show most nights on tour.</p><p>We also spend about an hour before every show warming up which includes lots of planks, squats, <i>chaturangas,</i> and TRX band rows.”</p><p><strong>This tour has brought you all over — do you have a favorite destination you love performing in?</strong></p><p>“I always love playing <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a>, of course, because I have so many friends who come out to the shows. But honestly, my favorite cities might be Minneapolis and Chicago. I love playing in the Midwest.”</p><p><strong>What destination is at the top of your bucket list?</strong></p><p>“I have never been to <a href="" target="_blank">Amsterdam</a> so I'm dying to go ride bikes and wander around with my soon-to-be husband. We love exploring cities by walking, so that's definitely top of our list.”</p><p><strong>When you’re on a plane, what’s playing in <a href="" target="_blank">your headphones</a>?</strong></p><p>“I've recently had a few of my friends make me playlists of their favorite music of all time, so I've been delving deep into those any chance I get. My best friend Sara's [playlist] has a lot of Alison Krauss and Bon Iver, so it's one of my favorites.”</p><p><strong>You were born in Australia. Do you visit often?</strong></p><p>“I don't visit enough, that's for sure.”</p><p><strong>What’s the one travel tip you would give first-time visitors?</strong></p><p>“The thing I miss the most is absolutely Australian breakfast. Scrambled eggs, mushrooms, a baked or grilled tomato, baked beans, and toast with butter, vegemite, and avocado. It's the first thing I [eat] when I land in Sydney.”</p><p><strong>If you had to spend the rest of your life living in one hotel, which one would you choose?</strong></p><p>“<a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">The Plaza in New York City</a>, so I could be just like Eloise.”</p>
Categories: Travel

What It Means for a Restaurant to Get a Michelin Star

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:00
<p>In the 2007 Pixar film, <i>Ratatouille</i>, renowned chef Auguste Gusteau dies of heartbreak after his flagship restaurant (named after him) loses a star.</p><p>The animated movie <a href="" target="_blank">drew striking comparisons</a> to the real-life story of Bernard Loiseau: a chef whose suicide in 2003 was linked to rumors that his acclaimed Burgundy restaurant, La Côte d’Or, was in danger of losing a Michelin star. This real-life tragedy — and indeed, even the fictional film about a rodent chef — have cemented the Michelin star’s mystique and gravitas.</p><p>Though the Michelin Guide has simultaneously brought famously unapologetic chef <a href="" target="_blank">Gordon Ramsay</a> to tears, while delivering chef Maxine Meilleur unmeasured joy (“it’s like winning the gold medal in the Olympics”), the restaurant rating system has humble beginnings.</p><p>According to <em>Business Insider</em>, Michelin guides were <a href="" target="_blank">originally a promotional freebie</a> from the eponymous French tire company eager to use any excuse to get drivers behind the wheel, Michelin began sending anonymous inspectors to evaluate restaurants in 1926 and now, more than 90 years later, Michelin is a watchword for excellence, exclusivity, and expense.</p><p>The three Michelin-star ranking is considered the highest accolade in the industry. And yet the guide never presents itself as a list of the best restaurants in the world, an inventory of the top chefs, or even the most expensive meals.</p><h2>What Michelin Stars Actually Mean</h2><p>Unlike other systems ranking luxury or quality in the hospitality industry (which typically use a scale of five stars), the Michelin Guide has only three. In addition to its one to three-star rankings, the Michelin guide also includes restaurants it has highlighted in its “Bib Gourmand” category, as well as those restaurants whose only commendation is their inclusion in the guide. Here’s how Michelin’s five categories break down:</p><h3>The Michelin Plate</h3><p>The least prestigious of Michelin’s categories of recognition, L’Assiette Michelin, or the Michelin Plate, signifies any restaurant included in the Michelin Guide with neither stars nor a “Bib Gourmand” designation. This is not nothing, however. Many restaurants never see the inside of a Michelin Guide, much less a star. The Michelin Plate indicates “restaurants where the inspectors have discovered quality food.” This is a new addition, introduced in the guide’s 2018 edition.</p><h3>Bib Gourmand</h3><p>The second youngest of Michelin’s categories of recognition, the Bib Gourmand ranking dates from 1955. Measuring “quality food at a value price,” it’s essentially Michelin’s inexpensive eats category. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean the restaurants are actually cheap. After all, Michelin inspectors aren't reviewing dollar slices.</p><p>To be considered, the meal must include two courses, a glass of wine, and dessert without exceeding $40 per person. The denomination honors the Michelin Man, whose name (yes, he has a name) Bibendum comes from a famous line from the Roman poet Horace, who wrote, "<em>Nunc est bibendum,</em>” or “Now we must drink.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How to Road Trip to Every Michelin-starred Restaurant in America</a></p><h3>One Michelin Star</h3><p>Restaurants deemed to be “<em>une très bonne table dans sa catégorie</em>," or a very good restaurant in its category, are awarded with a single Michelin star. Michelin commends these restaurants for offering food at a consistently high standard, and deems them worth a stop if you’re already there.</p><h3>Two Michelin Stars</h3><p>Restaurants judged as having “<em>table excellente, mérite un detour," </em>or excellent cooking worth a detour. Michelin commends these restaurants for offering exceptional cuisine, with skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. According to Michelin, you'll want to go out of your way to have a meal there.</p><h2>Three Michelin Stars</h2><p>Restaurants recognized for “<em>une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage," </em>which translates to exceptional cuisine worth a special journey. Michelin commends these restaurants as places that feed guests extremely well, often superbly, and serve distinctive dishes executed from superlative ingredients. Basically, the guide says these <a href="" target="_blank">restaurants are worth traveling for</a>. </p><h2>Who Makes the Michelin Guide?</h2><p>More mysterious than the Michelin Guide’s criteria for selection are the people who make those decisions. A team of 120 anonymous inspectors work in 23 different countries around the world, traveling three out of every four weeks (every night at a new hotel) and eating both lunch as well as dinner out while on the road.</p><p>Michelin covers the costs of their inspector’s travel, but not that of any guests or companions. On average, a Michelin inspector drives over 18,000 miles a year and eats at 240 different restaurants.</p><p>Restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide are visited once every 18 months, unless they are being considered for a change in status. One-star restaurants will receive four visits in a single year if they are to receive a second star, and two-star restaurants will be visited ten times if they are to receive three.</p><h2>What Michelin Gets Right — and Wrong</h2><p>The Michelin Guide is no stranger to criticisms that they are Francocentric, that they are limited by their geography-based guides, and that <a href="" target="_blank">they are biased towards expensive</a> or “fancy” restaurants.</p><p>A casual analysis of Michelin rankings does give these observations some merit. France has the most Michelin stars in the world, with 600 starred restaurants — nearly 200 more than second-place Japan and almost twice as many as Italy, in third. (French food is really very good. But is it that good?)</p><p>Moreover, restaurants in areas without Michelin Guides — no matter how good they are — will never receive Michelin stars. And a Venn diagram of four-dollar sign restaurants and three-Michelin star restaurants would show a Michelin island surrounded by a very costly sea. (Not all expensive restaurants have three Michelin stars, but all restaurants with three Michelin stars are expensive.)</p><p>“It is all about the food,” Rebecca Burr, the editor of the Michelin Guide, <a href="" target="_blank">insisted in a 2014 interview with <i>The Telegraph</i></a>. But when she cited the qualities that elevate restaurants through the rankings, she described — in addition to “technical strength” and “signature dishes" — a quality of “refinement, something that sets them apart” and a restaurant’s ability to provide the “ultimate culinary experience.” (These qualities tend to cost a lot, even if they relate back to food.)</p><p>Though Michelin famously awarded single stars to two (delicious) hawker stalls in Singapore in its 2016 guide — why not three?</p><p>Many travelers, in fact, would likely prefer to make the “special journey” to Singapore to explore the city’s veritable buffet of hawker centers, rather than to visit its one three-star restaurant, Joel Robuchon, of which there are 24 more in the world and four more of equal rank.</p>
Categories: Travel

Rare Bali Flight Sale Has Fares Starting at $564 Round-trip

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 09:14
<p>Paradise is just a flight away — and at least today, that flight is on sale.</p><p>If you've always dreamed of vacationing in Bali, the “<a href="" target="_blank">Island of the Gods</a>,” <em>Scott's Cheap Flights</em> has just spotted fares to Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) starting at $564 from Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles and San Francisco; from $587 from Seattle, and from $595 from New York City (JFK). That's a great deal, considering round-trip fares typically start at $1,000 and up.</p><p>To see if the cheap flights are available from your airport and to find the dates when prices fall the lowest, check out <a href="" target="_blank">Google Flights</a>' fare calendar. From New York City, <a href="*DPS./m/02_286.2018-12-04;c:USD;e:1;sd:1;t:f" target="_blank">a quick search</a> shows prices dipping in September and staying low throughout the fall. From Chicago, prices get extra cheap into November.</p><p>Once you have dates in mind, you could save even more than what you see on the fare calendar if you search Skyscanner, Momondo or FareCompare.</p><p>Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, with coral reefs that host some of the most diverse marine life on the planet. As we've highlighted before, its appeal is in its white and black sand beaches, the ancient temples, and the wild jungles — not to mention the surfing and gorgeous resorts. For more about what to expect, <a href="" target="_blank">check out our guide</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Ecuadorian City Is More Than Just a Stopover on Your Trip to the Galápagos Islands

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 08:42
<p>There was a moment, on my first day in Quito, when I lost the ability to breathe. At 9,350 feet above sea level, the Ecuadorian capital is the world's highest — an improbable city where walking up a flight of stairs can put an ill-adapted pair of lungs in a vise grip. But I was higher even than that. After being driven through the blue-black of early morning to a grassy airfield on the outskirts of town, I was in the cockpit of a helicopter, rising to a hover just minutes after the sun had broken the horizon, so overwhelmed by my first glimpse of the landscape that I began involuntarily gasping as the pilot maneuvered into a 360-degree turn.</p><p>Expanding from the pastel sprawl of this city of 2.6 million was a primordial panorama that brought to mind computer simulations of the big bang. Worlds that were not supposed to coexist, at least in my understanding of the natural order, spread before me in implausible harmony. The jagged, snowcapped peaks of the Andes blurred into lush, tropical basins that glowed an almost neon green. Goats and cattle grazed on cascading hills of farmland that morphed into inhospitable lunar expanses. There were glaciers and waterfalls, rocky gorges and velvety highlands, tundras and rain forests, all crowned by pink-tinged clouds that skimmed the earth like stretched cotton.</p> <p>And then there were the volcanoes. The hour-long flight, a new excursion by Metropolitan Touring, Ecuador's oldest travel outfit, followed part of the Avenue of Volcanoes — the majestic string of summits south of Quito named in the 19th century by the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt. They seemed to be everywhere, these mysterious formations that rose from valleys of green and gold to poke through the clouds like breaching whales. The pilot pointed out the craggy silhouette of the long-dormant Chimborazo, Ecuador's tallest mountain at 20,458 feet. Natives speak of it with particular reverence, and for good reason: because of its location on the equatorial bulge, Chimborazo's peak is the farthest terrestrial point from the earth's core (as well as the closest one to the moon).</p><p>The pilot banked into a sharp, swooping turn, and suddenly we were following a river toward Cotopaxi, a solitary marvel just shy of 20,000 feet that is one of the world's tallest active volcanoes. We rose along Cotopaxi's ice-shrouded face to hover just above the perfectly conical summit. Looking into the crater, I felt a visceral sensation that remained with me throughout my week-long stay in Quito. There I was, still technically within the boundaries of a major city, yet consumed by the unnerving impression that I was looking directly into the soul of the planet.</p><p>For some, Ecuador is less a country than it is an idea about the world before countries — or even before mankind. It is best known for what lies some 600 miles off its rugged Pacific coastline: the Galápagos Islands, the storied archipelago containing one of the planet's highest concentrations of endemic species. Many travelers see Quito as little more than a way station on a trip to go see giant turtles and pink iguanas. While neighboring capitals like Lima and Bogotá have become increasingly popular, Quito has remained something of a question mark. From my helicopter tour through my days wandering the city streets — and during an excursion to a place in the cloud forest that is, somehow, still a part of greater Quito — I found a metropolis whose intimacy belies its vastness. It is both humble and feral, a city that accepts nature's powers rather than trying to overcome them. There are few destinations that still deliver the intoxicating jolt of true discovery, but it is one.</p> <img alt="Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador, and a Quechuan woman and child" src=""> From left: Cotopaxi, one of the world’s tallest active volcanoes, as seen from a helicopter; a Quechuan mother and child in Quito’s Centro Histórico. Peter Bohler <p>I stayed in the Centro Histórico, a hilly, staggeringly beautiful labyrinth that 40 years ago was designated UNESCO's first World Heritage city. My hotel, Casa Gangotena, was an immaculately preserved Neoclassical mansion typical of the area. Overlooking the Plaza San Francisco, one of the city's main squares, it had floors of Egyptian marble, a flower-filled atrium, and opulent, high-ceilinged guest rooms.</p><p>After checking in, I roamed the delightfully cacophonous urban center. Motorbikes slalomed through the catacomb-like streets, dodging stray dogs, diesel buses, and rusted-out trucks filled with freshly slaughtered chickens. On every corner someone was selling something: fresh fruit, vegetables, quail eggs, ice cream, braised pork, spit-roasted guinea pigs, chocolate, and more varieties of corn and grain than I knew existed.</p><p>Even by Latin American standards, the density of churches was astounding; around every bend there seemed to be another weathered Gothic façade, Baroque spire, or intricately tiled dome. During a flash thunderstorm — Quito's weather changes dramatically by the hour — I unknowingly took refuge inside the most famous church in the city, La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, colloquially known as La Compañía. It's an apt metaphor for a city that requires a bit of patience to appreciate: the modest exterior opens into a vaulted room painted entirely in dazzling gold leaf.</p><p>Hungry, I ventured toward San Roque, one of the oldest sections of the Centro Histórico. It is home to the Mercado San Francisco, a no-frills, uorescent-lit bazaar that has been in operation since 1897. Here, indigenous women in embroidered skirts and men sporting handmade cowboy hats squeezed between fruit stands overflowing with mangoes, passion fruit, and custard apples. Butchers hawked cow's feet and miscellaneous innards. I made my way to the food court in the rear, possibly the best spot in town for sampling Ecuador's traditional cooking.</p><p>One stand specialized in stuffed potato patties called <em>llapingachos</em>. Another served <em>encebollado</em>, an oniony fish soup that is a popular hangover cure. But what about that goat stew simmering in a cauldron over here, or that platter of chicken and plantains over there? Since almost everything was less than three dollars (Ecuador has used the American dollar since 2000, following a banking crisis that destroyed the value of its former currency, the sucre), I decided to try everything, washing it all down with a juice made from tamarillo, a tart Andean fruit better known as <em>tomate de árbol</em>, or "tomato of the tree."</p> <img alt="Traditional fish stew, and paper mache masks, in Ecuador" src=""> From left: Encebollado, or fish soup, at the Mercado San Francisco in Quito’s Centro Historic; traditional Ecuadorian papier-mâché masks for sale in Quito. Peter Bohler <p>Returning to Casa Gangotena just before dusk, I was grateful for the respite from the fray: a horizontal recharge on luscious bedding, an exquisite cocktail made from chamomile-infused gin and fermented sugarcane juice, which I sipped in the cozy wood-paneled bar. After taking in the sunset from the hotel's rooftop terrace, I ventured out of Quito's historic core for dinner.</p><p>Navigating the city beyond the Centro Histórico can be a small adventure. Though Quito has become safer, walking at night is still frowned upon, so the streets take on a slightly desolate cast after dark. Taxis are really the only way to get around — at least until next year, when a 15-station metro system is set to open. The taxi system, however, could charitably be described as quirky: licensed yellow cabs are indiscernible from their fake counterparts, which often charge double. Thankfully, the city is so affordable that getting hoodwinked, as I did, means parting with only a few extra dollars.</p><p>From the window of my gypsy cab, the Centro Histórico's Spanish-colonial decadence gave way to what locals call "the modern city": a dense grid of concrete towers and wider avenues illuminated by the dim yellow glow of the street lamps. My destination was Laboratorio, a restaurant on a residential block at the edge of La Floresta, the city's bohemian neighborhood. A loftlike room with poured-concrete oors and polished-wood benches, Laboratorio is, as the name suggests, a kind of experiment. Rather than offering a set menu or even a consistent culinary experience, it hosts chefs from Ecuador and beyond to showcase their talents in pop-up restaurants that stay open a few months at a time.</p><p>Laboratorio is the brainchild of Camilo Kohn, an easygoing young Ecuadorian with a fierce entrepreneurial streak. "The food scene here was a bit stagnant," he told me, explaining how he came to open the place three years ago after attending culinary school in the United States. "The fanciest restaurants were basically the same food you could get on the street, but served on a white tablecloth for ten times the price."</p><p>Kohn was the chef for Laboratorio's first pop-up, Banh Mi, which introduced Quiteños to the joys of the Vietnamese sandwich. It was such a success that Kohn turned it into a stand-alone restaurant nearby. When I visited Laboratorio, Rodolfo Reynoso, a chef from Veracruz, Mexico, was helming the latest pop-up, MX.593, which served a menu featuring Mexican classics (pork adobo tacos) with nods to Ecuadorian cuisine (a gordita filled with llama meat). The margaritas came in beakers. Everything was as delicious as you'd find in any trendy spot in a major global city.</p><p>"We're trying to reclaim our heritage in a new way," Kohn told me. "Things that are common in other places, like using high-end ingredients in casual settings, are still kind of foreign here. It's exciting to be able to push those trends and introduce new ideas."</p><p>On my third morning in town, I was greeted in the lobby of Casa Gangotena by Klaus-Peter Fielsch, a tall, affable Quito native who works for Metropolitan Touring. He had come to take me to Mashpi Lodge, an upscale eco-hotel in the cloud forest at the northwestern edge of Quito's expansive municipal boundary, which runs far outside the central city. The four-hour drive passed through the same shape-shifting land I'd seen days earlier from above. As we followed the vertiginous mountain roads along the spine of the Andes, deciduous trees were replaced by towering palms and the crisp, cool air turned swampy.</p> <img alt="The rainforest, and a room, at Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador" src=""> From left: Looking down on the forest canopy from Mashpi Lodge’s Dragonfly cable car; a guest room at Mashpi, an eco-resort in the cloud forest of northern Ecuador. Peter Bohler <p>"And yet, technically speaking, we are now traveling from summer to winter!" Fielsch laughed as we passed the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, where a vaguely Brutalist monument on the equatorial line marks the center of the world. (Constructed before GPS technology, it is technically a few degrees off the mark.) Paved roads soon gave way to dirt. Suddenly, Fielsch brought the van to a halt. "Look!" he said in a shouted whisper. A scarlet king snake was slithering off the road into the forest. "Keep in mind that you are still in Quito," he told me.</p><p>Arriving at Mashpi was an experience in itself, the muddy, axle-rattling road opening up to a sleek structure of sharp angles and soaring glass walls that could have been airlifted from the Hollywood Hills. The hotel was developed by Roque Sevilla, the preservation-minded former mayor of Quito, on a 3,200-acre site previously owned by a logging company. It sits within one of the world's most biodiverse regions, the Chocó rain forest, which snakes from Panama through Colombia to northern Ecuador. Since it opened six years ago, Mashpi has played an integral role in raising the profile of Ecuador's mainland. "It will never be a Galapágos-size economy — nothing will," Fielsch told me. "But, more and more, we have visitors who want to do both."</p><p>Mashpi doesn't stint on luxury: there's a day spa, a bar with floor-to-ceiling windows onto the prodigious vegetation outside, and a world-class restaurant specializing in inventive takes on the Ecuadorian staples I'd sampled a few days earlier at the Mercado San Francisco. Having such a lavish base camp from which to explore the wonders of the forest made the next three days a sublime blur. Returning to the lodge after long days spent traipsing about in rubber boots never got old: the warm towel waiting at the door, the hot shower in the minimalist room, the supple bed on which I sank nightly into a deep slumber, the experience of waking to the singsong of the many species of birds that inhabit the forest.</p><p>One morning, I sat hypnotized on a bench in the hummingbird garden watching hundreds of birds dart about, their iridescent wings flashing like sparklers in the mist. Later I took a hike that culminated with a revitalizing dip in a waterfall. On another hike, I discovered a family of toucans fighting over plantains. At nightfall, guides led guests on walks around the grounds, showing them wildlife in the beams of their flashlights. I saw neon-bright frogs, a tarantula, an iguana, and a lemon-colored vine snake resting on a steroidal fern leaf.</p> <img alt="Emerald glass frog in Ecuador, and the "Healing Waterfall"" src=""> From left: An emerald glass frog, a species indigenous to the Andes, spotted on a night hike at Mashpi Lodge; The Healing Waterfall, the end point of a popular hike from the lodge, in the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes. Peter Bohler <p>After getting to know the forest from the ground, I spent my final morning at Mashpi seeing it from above, riding the lodge's recently launched Dragonfly, an open-air cable car that carries guests for more than a mile above the tree canopy. Though completed during the construction of the hotel, its opening was delayed for years because of bureaucratic wrangling. The experience was a lower-altitude version of the helicopter ride — a chance to observe Ecuador's primeval landscape from the vantage point of a pterodactyl.</p><p>While wandering Quito's streets earlier in the week, I'd noticed the many small shops devoted to "ancestral medicine" that Quiteños frequent to buy potions and undergo healing treatments. I'd been too intimidated to enter, but after my time in the forest, I felt more acclimated to the city's strange fusion between the civilized and natural worlds. So on my last day in town, I stopped in to one for an assessment of my soul.</p><p>The healer who ran the shop, a wizened woman with a beaming smile, looked me up and down before declaring that I had some "dark energy" that needed purging. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that her diagnosis mirrored that of my therapist's. She led me to a nook that could have been an interrogation chamber — concrete walls, exposed lightbulb dangling from a cord — and told me to strip to my underwear.</p><p>As she rubbed my skin with a mysterious bundle of herbs and flowers, my whole body began to itch. The main ingredient, it turned out, was stinging nettle. Pointing at the constellation of small bumps breaking out on my arms, I voiced concern in my pidgin Spanish. She was unfazed. <em>"Bueno!"</em> she said, explaining, as best I could decipher, that this was the dark energy rising to the surface.</p><p>If so, there sure was a lot of it. By the time I got dressed, my entire body was a continuous welt from the neck down, and I felt as if I were on fire. Walking around in a daze, I began to worry that my desire to savor Quito's authenticity was going to end in anaphylactic shock. But within about an hour the welts were gone, just as the healer had promised. As for the dark energy? For the rest of the day, and long into my last night in the city, I found myself bathed in a rare calm.</p><h2>How to Visit Ecuador, from Quito to the Cloud Forest</h2><p>Give yourself about a week, divided evenly between the city and the wilderness, which can be easily combined with a second week in the Galápagos Islands. Most restaurants and other businesses in Quito are closed on Sundays (and some on Mondays), so plan accordingly.</p><h3>Getting There</h3><p>American and Delta have direct flights from Miami and Atlanta to Mariscal Sucre International Airport, which opened in 2013 just outside of Quito.</p><h3>Operator &amp; Lodging</h3><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Metropolitan Touring</a>:</strong> Ecuador’s oldest travel outfit, put together my fantastic itinerary, which included its latest offering, a helicopter flight along Ecuador's renowned Avenue of the Volcanoes. The company also owns both hotels where I stayed: <a href="" target="_blank">Casa Gangotena</a> <em>(doubles from $450)</em>, a converted Neoclassical mansion in Quito’s historic center, and <a href="" target="_blank">Mashpi Lodge</a> <em>(doubles from $1,098)</em>, a bastion of Modernist luxury in the cloud forest a few hours away. Mashpi can arrange transfers to and from central Quito.</p><h3>Eat &amp; Drink</h3><p><strong>Banh Mi:</strong> The city’s premier destination for Southeast Asian fare and well-made cocktails. <em>entrées $9–$16.</em></p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Bandido Brewing</a>: </strong>A hipster hangout in the La Tola precinct of the Centro Histórico serving craft beer, artisanal pizza, and draft kombucha.</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Dios No Muere</a>:</strong> A sprawling café spread across three stories of a former monastery where you can find both Ecuadorian dishes and Cajun classics. <em>entrées $5–$10.</em></p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Laboratorio</a>:</strong> At this chic spot in La Floresta, different chefs showcase their talents in residencies that last several months. <em>entrées $12–$14.</em></p><p><strong>Mercado San Francisco: </strong>Quito's oldest market is the best place to sample traditional Ecuadorian cuisine. Corner of Rocafuerte and Chimborazo.</p>
Categories: Travel

Mark Cuban Says This Airline Pass Was One of the Best Purchases He Ever Made (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 08:10
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Mark Cuban</a> knows how to travel. The billionaire investor already owns three private jets, including a <a href="" target="_blank">Gulfstream V private jet</a>, which he purchased for $40 million in 1999. But, as it turns out, he doesn’t even really need his own plane because he’s one of just a handful of people who can access <a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines'</a> first class cabin any time he wants.</p><p>You see, in 1981, when American Airlines was in deep financial trouble, it offered up a lifelong, unlimited first class ticket good for flying anywhere in the world for a one-time fee of $250,000. Just 28 people in the world purchased the ticket and Cuban happened to be one of them. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Maxim</a></em>, Cuban called the decision to buy the ticket "one of the best purchases [he's] ever made.”</p><p>As part of the purchase, Cuban and the others had no restrictions on when and where they could fly. Moreover, they can still <a href="" target="_blank">earn frequent flier miles</a> for their global adventures.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Hustle</a></em>, financier Steve Rothstein and marketing executive Jacques E. Vroom Jr. also both purchased the unlimited AAirpass. Rothstein, the site noted, bought his pass in 1987 and took 10,000 flights over the next 25 years using the pass. He once reportedly used the pass to fly to Canada because he was craving a specific sandwich.</p><p>“The contract was truly unlimited,” he said. “So why not use it as intended?”</p><p><em>The Hustle</em> explained that Vroom used a loan to purchase his ticket because he knew it was too good of a deal to pass up. Vroom used his ticket to fly from Texas to Maine on a regular basis to watch his son play football. And on one occasion he flew his daughter to Buenos Aires for just one single day because she was writing a report on South American culture while in middle school. Though he also used all those frequent flier miles for good. According to <em>The Hustle</em>, Vroom started donating all of his unused miles to AIDS patients so they could visit their families.</p><p>Sadly, you can’t buy this ticket anymore. After realizing they were losing money, American Airlines discontinued sales in 1994. But, who knows, maybe you’ll meet Cuban in an airport and he’ll offer you his companion seat for free.</p>
Categories: Travel

One Dead After Engine Explodes Mid-air on Southwest Flight (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 07:58
<p><em>UPDATED: April 17, 3:20 p.m. ET</em></p><p>One person is dead and several others are injured after a jet engine on a Southwest Airlines plane exploded mid-air and shrapnel broke through a window in the plane cabin.</p><p>Flight 1380 to Dallas diverted to Philadelphia on Tuesday after one of the plane’s jet engines exploded shortly after the <a href="" target="_blank">flight took off</a>, passengers and air traffic controllers told <a href="" target="_blank">local NBC affiliate WCAU</a>. The cause of the incident is under investigation.</p><p>“There was blood everywhere,” passenger Marty Martinez told <a href="" target="_blank">CBS News</a>. In addition to the fatality, seven more passengers were treated for minor injuries at the scene, officials from the Philadelphia Fire Department and Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management said. There were 143 passengers and five crew onboard, according to Southwest.</p><p>Tod Baur, whose daughter-in-law was on the plane, <a href="" target="_blank">told NBC</a> that the woman was “drawn out” of the plane when the window broke open, at which point other passengers pulled her back.</p><p>Photos taken by passengers show the damage to the Boeing 737-700.</p><p>Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board are sending a team to investigate the incident further, while Southwest Airline representatives said they are also investigating.</p><p>While planes are once again darting from the Philadelphia International Airport, airport representatives <a href="" target="_blank">said</a> travelers should expect delays.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Pugs and Dachshunds Raced in a Doggie Dash and No Sporting Event Will Ever Compete

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 07:33
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Dog owners</a>, their pups, and passersby looking for a four-legged show gathered for the first inaugural Hong Kong Doggie Dash on Sunday to watch pugs and dachshunds in adorable bandanas compete in a race to benefit the <a href="" target="_blank">Hong Kong Dog Rescue</a>. </p><img alt="Owners and their dogs take part in "HK Doggie Dash 2018", an event held to raise money for for abandoned and surrendered dogs in Hong Kong on April 15, 2018. "src=""><p>Dogs were registered to compete for a fee of HK$130 (about $17). Their entire fee was donated to the dog rescue, which works to re-home local dogs in need. And the event wasn’t exclusively for dachshunds and pugs — <a href="" target="_blank">canines of all breeds</a> were there to enjoy the race.</p><p>But the Doggie Dash was not just for raising funds and spotting cute dogs. The organizers also used the event as an opportunity to educate the community about animal ownership.</p><img alt="Owners and their dogs take part in "HK Doggie Dash 2018", an event held to raise money for for abandoned and surrendered dogs in Hong Kong on April 15, 2018. "src=""><p>“There are lots and lots of dogs that are abandoned each year in Hong Kong,” Marilyn Ho, one of the organizers, told <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Japan Times</a></em>. “We need to educate the Hong Kong public that dogs are not just commodities and possessions, that they are living beings who have feelings.”</p><p>Despite the rainy weather on Sunday, people from all over the world flocked to the neighborhood of Sheung Wan to see the race. In addition to bandanas, some competitors wore full costumes. The winners of the race were treated to a prize, too: a <a href="" target="_blank">well-deserved doggie spa day</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel

Baby Gorilla Bonds With His Mother Moments After Birth in Adorable Video

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 06:30
<p>Calaya, a 15-year-old Western Lowland gorilla at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C.</a>, warmed hearts across the internet when the zoo posted a video of her bonding with her new baby, Moke. </p><p>In the video, Calaya showers her newborn with kisses and cuddles as she cleans him off, proving those first few tender moments between a mother and her baby are special for gorillas, too. </p><p>Moke is the first Western Lowland gorilla to be born in just under a decade, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">9 News</a></em>. The species is considered “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Watch a 300-pound Gorilla Dance Like No One's Watching</a></p><p>Moke means “junior” or “little one” in the Lingala language, if he’s not already cute enough for you.</p><p>Since Moke’s birth is a huge advance for the survival of the species, animal care staff is keeping a close eye on the newborn as Calaya nurses him through his first stages of life. Moke is currently a very healthy gorilla and the zoo is confident he will thrive. So if you love cute baby animals and mother-son bonding, it might be time to <a href="" target="_blank">plan a trip to our nation's capital.</a></p>
Categories: Travel

This Glamorous Safari Lodge Will Have Wildlife Views From Your Private Pool, Bed, and Even the Shower

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 06:02
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Travelers on safari</a> in South Africa are about to have <a href="" target="_blank">another luxurious place to retreat</a>.</p><p>The intimate <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge</a>, located in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, will be reopening in June 2018 after a complete refurbishment.</p><img alt="andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge "src=""><p>Experiential travel company <a href="" target="_blank">andBeyond</a> leads luxury tours across three continents: Africa, Asia and South America. Guests who stay at the Phinda Vlei Lodge can enjoy a personalized butler service, private pools, in-room massage, and an array of safari experiences.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Top 10 Safari Outfitters</a></p><p>Inspired by “old world” luxury, the interiors of the lodge are a mix of antiques and modern furnishings, meant to reflect the history of the area. The lodge is accented with antique tapestries, fine art, vintage cottons and linens, silver and crystal.</p><img alt="andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge "src=""><p>Guests will be able to sit in the library while they’re not out having adventures, and will be able to dine al fresco with views of the South African wetland.</p><img alt="andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge "src=""><p>“The gracious spaces of Phinda Vlei Lodge are designed for quiet contemplation of the African bush,” andBeyond says on its website. “Overlooking the Reserve’s unique vlei (wetland) system on the edge of the sand forest, its location offers ever changing game viewing from the comfort of your bed, your shower or your private plunge pool.”</p><img alt="andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge "src=""><p>The lodge also offers a wide range of activities, such as game drives, walking safaris, village tours, scuba and ocean safaris, black rhino tracking, and participation in conservation efforts as well.</p><p>For more information on booking a retreat to Phinda Vlei Lodge, visit the <a href="" target="_blank">andBeyond website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This New Beer Bottle Is Designed So You Can Drink Beer in Space

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:03
<p>A real-life <a href="" target="_blank">space hotel</a> is already taking reservations, and now those contemplating <a href="" target="_blank">space travel</a> in the very near future are one step closer to enjoying the world’s first beer made for zero gravity.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Vostok</a>, a venture of Australia’s 4 Pines Brewing Company and Saber Astronautics, has spent the last eight years developing the space-friendly beer. The company is named after Russia's Vostok program, which put cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into Earth's orbit in 1961, and was created with the sole purpose of creating a luxurious beer-drinking experience possible once commercial space travel takes off.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">A New Craft Beer Hotel Will Have a Tap in Every Room — and Cold Beers in the Shower</a></p><p>The beer is a dry, Irish-style stout with aromas of coffee, chocolate, and caramel (with an alcohol content of 5.1 percent). Its taste has already won it gold medal at the Australian International Beer Awards, but flavor is only one part of the puzzle for zero-gravity beer.</p><p>The next challenge: A beer bottle that can go into orbit.</p><p>Vostok has launched an <a href="" target="_blank">Indiegogo campaign</a> for the new bottles, of which there are currently two different prototypes. The design utilizes an insert, created by <a href="" target="_blank">Saber Astronautics</a>, that uses surface tension to wick the beer up from the bottom of the bottle to the mouthpiece, similar to the way a fuel tank works.</p><p>This offers the ability to drink the beer without relying on a squeeze-style packet that astronauts typically use for liquids.</p><p>“Beer has a specific shape and feel that people recognize and no beer drinker would want to use a straw,” Jason Held, CEO of Saber Astronautics, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Gizmodo</em></a>. “So a space beer bottle is really a luxury, something which we hope will make the hard-working astronaut feel more at home.”</p><p>The company is trying to raise $1,000,000 with crowdfunding to continue research and development, and hopes to start shipping the bottle by the end of 2019.</p>
Categories: Travel

Carnival Is Supporting Bermuda’s LGBTQ and Funding Efforts to Bring Back Gay Marriage

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:02
<p>In February, Bermuda made world headlines when it became the first nation in the world to repeal same-sex marriage. Just nine months after the British territory first legalized same-sex marriage, <a href="" target="_blank">Governor John Rankin signed the Domestic Partnership Act</a> (DPA) which revoked marriage rights for same-sex couples. The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda decried the law, saying that it created “separate-but-equal status under the law.”</p><p>The passage of the DPA posed significant problems for Carnival cruises. Because of “longstanding law and custom,” ships registered in Bermuda (Carnival has several from P&amp;O Cruises and Cunard ships) could perform legally binding weddings at sea. When same-sex marriage was passed in Bermuda, Carnival began offering wedding packages to same-sex couples.</p><p>But, with the passage of the DPA, Carnival can no longer perform same-sex marriage on Bermuda-registered ships, no matter where in the world the ship is when the wedding takes place.</p><p>Last week, Carnival Corporation released a statement that it would provide financial, civil and public relations support to <a href="" target="_blank">OUTBermuda</a>, an LGBTQ organization that submitted a summons to the Supreme Court of Bermuda declaring that the DPA is unconstitutional.</p><p>“While we always abide by the laws of the countries we sail to and from, we believe travel and tourism brings people and cultures together in powerful ways,” <a href=";p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=2340880" target="_blank">Carnival said in a statement</a>. “As a result, we believe it is important to stand by the LGBTQ community in Bermuda and its many allies to oppose any actions that restrict travel and tourism.”</p><p>Immediately after the passage of the DPA, <a href="" target="_blank">many Internet activists called to #BoycottBermuda</a> by cancelling vacations, believing that the absence of tourism dollars would pressure the Bermuda government into reinstating same-sex marriage. The hashtag gained celebrity support from Ellen Degeneres, Patricia Arquette, and Suze Orman.</p><p>However, some LGBTQ Bermudians believe that a boycott may not be the most effective manner to bring same-sex marriage back to the island territory, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a report by <em>Them</em></a>.</p><p>“As a gay Bermudian, I actually feel pretty lucky,” Kevin Dallas, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Them</em> last month</a>. “The freedom, protections, and inclusivity we enjoy is something that, frankly, most LGBT communities aspire to. That doesn’t mean we don’t clearly still have some battles to wage, but life is actually pretty good for us.”</p><p>Same-sex civil ceremonies are still legal in Bermuda and the country’s Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. The same is not true in many other Caribbean countries and territories — or even in many American states. <a href="">In 28 states</a>, it is still legal to fire someone solely because of their sexual orientation.</p><p>Bermuda’s reversal reflects the trajectory of one of our country’s most left-leaning states. California, the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2008, overturned the decision just a few months later in a ballot proposition. Gay marriage returned to the state in 2013 after the proposition was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in 2010.</p><p>Bermuda’s Domestic Partnership Act will go into effect on June 1. OUTBermuda is hoping to be in court <a href="" target="_blank">against the DPA in May</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel