How This 30-something Went From Taking One Vacation in 10 Years to Traveling the World Full-time

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 12:01
<p>Most of us have dreamed of <a href="" target="_blank">quitting our jobs and hitting the open road</a> for a life filled with adventure. But <a href="" target="_blank">Teha Kennard</a> isn’t most of us, because she actually did it.</p><p>A year and a half ago, Kennard found herself <a href="" target="_blank">nearly 40</a> and going through the motions at a job she had been in for more than a decade. Throughout all that working time she took just one single solitary vacation. Instinctively, she knew that wasn’t the way to live. But practically, she didn’t know how to begin planning the trip she envisioned for herself.</p><p>“I really hadn’t traveled as much as I would have wanted to,” Kennard told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. “And when I was realistic with myself, I realize I'd only taken one vacation that was more than a week and that was only because my sister was getting married in Europe. That's really sad. Ten years.”</p><p>Luckily, fate stepped in when a friend told her about a company called <a href="" target="_blank">Flash Pack</a>, which specializes in adventure tours for 30- and 40-something solo travelers around the globe (<em>Trips starting at $1,500</em>).</p><p>“One of the things that kind of held me back was the idea of traveling by myself for potentially months at a time,” she said. “I went home and looked [Flash Pack] up right away and was just really excited because I felt like they provided what I'd been looking for,” she said, “people my age who had the same adventuresome spirit as I did.”</p><p>So, she took a leap of faith and booked a trip. Only, it wasn’t a three-day weekend, a week-long journey, or even a month-long excursion. Instead, after assessing her personal savings and renting out her condo for extra income, Kennard booked herself on an adult gap year around the world.</p><p>First, she booked a trip with the company to Croatia. She loved it so much she booked another to Morocco. She loved that one so much that she booked another to Nepal, then India, and then a few more. In fact, on the day we talked, Kennard was packing her bags to go on her 11th trip with Flash Pack.</p><p>“It’s about the people,” she explained. “I have countless WhatsApp groups. Even from trips that were over a year ago. You really bond with people in a different way because you're experiencing new and cool things and you’re all in a similar place in life.”</p><p>Beyond making new friends, Kennard also fell in love with the idea of traveling solo around the globe without having to lift a finger for planning.</p><p>“You know it's going to be an awesome trip. You’re not the project manager, all you have to do is show up,” she said, noting it’s especially great to have the work done for you “when you're traveling somewhere and some of the places aren’t places that I really would have felt comfortable going by myself as a solo female traveler. Just the assurance that you know everything will be taking care of.”</p><p>For now, Kennard has no plans of coming home anytime soon. Instead, she’s itching to go out and learn even more. "The biggest gifts travel has definitely given me is a larger perspective on the world, a different perspective. There's just good people everywhere and it really restored my faith in humanity."</p><p>To book your own gap year, or just a guided trip, check out <a href="" target="_blank">Flash Pack</a> and start planning where you want to go with these <a href="" target="_blank">25 trips of a lifetime</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Halloween Parties, Parades, and Festivals of 2018

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 11:30
<p>A favorite holiday for kids and adults alike, <a href="" target="_blank">Halloween is celebrated</a> with <a href="" target="_blank">haunted houses</a>, parades, parties, fright walks, zombies and ghouls, jack-o-lanterns, and of course trick-or-treating.</p><p>Whether your Halloween conjures up sweet visions of never-ending candy, creative costumes, or blood-curdling, nightmarish adventures, the following Halloween events across the U.S. will exceed your expectations.</p><h2>NYC Village Halloween Parade</h2><p>Celebrating its 45th year, this Halloween night parade/pageant, touted as the world’s largest and held in New York City’s legendary Greenwich Village, spotlights wildly creative costumes, hundreds of puppets, floats, bands, and dancers. All costumed participants are welcome to march in this boisterous gathering to the delight of crowds of spectators.</p><p><strong>More info:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval </h2><p>California's West Hollywood “Halloween Carnaval” is one of the largest and most unique Halloween extravaganzas featuring elaborate costumes from innovative to outrageous, celebrity entertainment, and more. Leave the kids at home and avoid parking and transportation nightmares with a stay at the Design District’s gorgeous <a href="" target="_blank">Kimpton La Peer Hotel</a>.</p><p><strong>More info: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Providence Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular </h2><p>This family-friendly jack-o-lantern wonderland at Roger Williams Park Zoo stars over 5,000 elaborately carved pumpkins depicting real-life and imaginary characters from Oct. 4–Nov. 4. A stay in the heart of downtown Providence, Rhode Island's arts and theater district at the boutique <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel Providence</a> would be a fitting finale.</p><p><strong>More info:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade and More</h2><p>For maximum spook factor this Halloween, it’s impossible to top Salem, Massachusetts and its month-long list of events from the spine-chilling to the family-friendly. Festivities range from the Grand Parade on Oct. 4 to ghost tours, legendary tales of Salem witchcraft trials, and eerie escape rooms.</p><p><strong>More info:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights </h2><p>At this astounding adventure created by the team at <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Orlando Resort,</a> brave visitors will experience terrifying haunted houses, frightful scare zones and bone-chilling live shows. Be prepared to scream, laugh, and cry out in fear; not recommended for thrill-seekers under 13 years old. Select nights between Sept.14 and Nov. 3, 2018.</p><p><strong>More info: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><img alt="New Orleans Garden District Halloween Decor "src=""><h2>New Orleans Krewe of Boo Parade and More</h2><p>Second only to Mardi Gras for kooky costumes and events, Halloween in “The Most Haunted City in America” is a playground for kids of all ages. Youngsters enjoy the Krewe of Boo Parade (Oct. 20) and Boo at the Zoo while adults get their thrills on haunted tours, the Vampire Ball, and the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience. The WWII Museum will host a haunted happy hour, murder mystery party, and film screening on Oct. 29.</p><p><strong>More info:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>San Diego Hallo-wine &amp; Spirits </h2><p>Welcome Halloween with surf, sand, sun, and spirits at the iconic Hotel del Coronado’s Silver Screen-themed adults-only dinner, dessert, and wine tasting dance party on Oct. 27. A separate Transylvania Halloween Costume Party for children 4–12 includes dinner and trick-or-treating.</p><p><strong>More info: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Six Flags Fright Fest</h2><p>From Sept. 15–Oct. 31, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey boasts seven haunted mazes and five scare zones guaranteed to make your worst nightmares come true. Daytime family activities abound, but beware of spine-tingling horror once the sun goes down at Fright by Night.</p><p><strong>More info:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Sleepy Hollow Halloween </h2><p>With activities ranging from street fairs, farmers markets, and haunted hayrides to nighttime cemetery tours, live music, and parades, Sleepy Hollow is a town immersed in Halloween “spirit” throughout October. Only the fearless walk the spooky trail at Horseman’s Hollow leading to the haunted 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor.</p><p><strong>More info: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Park City Howl-o-Ween Dog Parade </h2><p>Mild weather and scenic foliage provide the backdrop for the puppy parade while costumed pets and owners strut their stuff down Main Street. Merchants hand out candy to the happy children and many provide grown-up tricks and treats after dark. Look for <a href="" target="_blank">Monty and Parker</a>, Montage Deer Valley’s canine ambassadors, dressed up for the occasion.</p><p><strong>More info: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Salt River Fields Spooktacular Balloon Festival</h2><p>This unique Halloween celebration in Scottsdale, Arizona features over 20 colorful hot air balloons, fireworks, a spook trail, tethered balloon rides, costume contests, and two tons of candy for the trick-or-treaters. The Spooktacular marketplace vendors sell locally crafted items, holiday-themed fare, and beverages on Oct. 26 and 27.</p><p><strong>More info: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><img alt="Reno Zombie Crawl "src=""><h2>Reno Zombie Crawl</h2><p>Over 20,000 participants from around the world will be celebrating Halloween at the 10th annual Zombie Crawl in Reno, Nevada, scaring up drinks at more than 50 different bars in their back-from-the dead best. At the <a href="" target="_blank">Eldorado Resort</a>, in the heart of the action, prizes for best costume will be awarded at their epic Halloween party.</p><p><strong>More: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Half Moon Bay Art &amp; Pumpkins Festival </h2><p>Half Moon Bay, California, the “World's Pumpkin Capital,” will host the 48th-annual event for a weekend of gourd-themed festivities (Oct. 13–14) including the great weigh-off, where farmers and families bring their heaviest pumpkins, some weighing over 1,000 pounds. Master carvers create incredible designs while guests enjoy pumpkin pie and watch the Great Pumpkin Parade.</p><p><strong>More info:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Miami Beach Halloween Half-marathon and Freaky Four-miler </h2><p>Runners in full costume, of course, start at Jungle Island and enjoy the South Beach views on their way to the finish line on Oct. 27. With some afternoon relaxation, they can be ready for the “Once Bitten” Halloween Party late that night on the 50th floor of the W Miami, an indoor-outdoor venue with stunning views.</p><p><strong>More info: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p>
Categories: Travel

The 10 Longest Flights in the World

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 11:17
<p>Now that <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore’s new world's longest flight</a> has commenced, here are the rankings of the top 10 longest flights in the world. They are ordered according to flight distance, as this metric remains constant.</p><p>The flight times listed are current as of October 2018, though these tend to vary seasonally thanks to factors like weather, climate conditions and airport traffic at different times of year. With all that in mind, here are the 10 longest flights in the world. How many have you been on?</p>Singapore Airlines: Newark (EWR) to Singapore (SIN): 9,521 miles; 18 hours, 45 minutesQatar Airways: Auckland (AKL) to Doha (DOH): 9,032 miles; 17 hours, 40 minutesQantas: Perth (PER) to London Heathrow (LHR): 9,010 miles; 17 hours, 20 minutesEmirates: Auckland (AKL) to Dubai (DXB): 8,824 miles; 17 hours, 20 minutesUnited Airlines (until October 27) and Singapore Airlines (starting November 2): Los Angeles (LAX) to Singapore (SIN): 8,770 miles; 17 hours, 15-50 minutesUnited Airlines: Houston (IAH) to Sydney (SYD): 8,596 miles; 17 hours, 20 minutesQantas: Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) to Sydney (SYD): 8,578 miles; 17 hours, 15 minutesUnited Airlines and Singapore Airlines: San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore (SIN): 8,446 miles; 16 hours, 35-40 minutesDelta Air Lines: Johannesburg (JNB) to Atlanta (ATL): 8,439 miles; 16 hours, 27 minutesEtihad: Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Los Angeles (LAX): 8,390 miles; 16 hours, 30 minutes<p>Special case. Air India: San Francisco (SFO) to New Delhi (DEL): The airline usually flies a polar route over Europe covering 7,707 miles. Sometimes, though, it flies the opposite direction over the Pacific to take advantage of strong tailwinds. When it does, the flight cover 9,507 miles — in less time that the shorter route. Flight time clocks in at 15 hours, 55 minutes to 16 hours, 30 minutes.</p><p>A flight lasting 19 hours might seem like news today. But as Boeing and Airbus continue to develop <a href="" target="_blank">future generations of jet aircraft</a> driven by both airline and passenger demand, we might see flights break the 20-hour mark. Or longer.</p>
Categories: Travel

Singapore Airlines Is Launching the New World’s Longest Flight Today — From Newark to Singapore in 19 Hours

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:45
<p>Can you imagine spending nearly 19 hours straight on an airplane? That’s what passengers aboard Singapore Airlines’ new flight between Singapore and Newark will embark on Thursday, when the route goes into operation. It's the new <a href="" target="_blank">longest flight in the world</a>, both by distance and time in the air.</p><p>Covering 9,521 miles, the journey is about 500 miles longer than the runners-up, Qatar Airways’ <a href="" target="_blank">Doha–Auckland service</a> and Qantas’s recently launched <a href="" target="_blank">Perth–London service</a>, both of which just crack 9,000 miles.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The 10 Longest Flights in the World</a></p><p>Singapore Airlines’ flight is blocked out at 18 hours, 25 minutes in the direction from Singapore to Newark, and an astonishing 18 hours, 45 minutes on the return. You know, for when you really want to challenge yourself.</p><p>For the first few weeks, Singapore Airlines flight SQ22 will depart Singapore at 11:35 p.m. and arrive in Newark the same day at 6:00 a.m. On the return, Singapore Airlines flight SQ21 will depart Newark at 10:45 a.m. and arrive the following day in Singapore at 5:30 p.m.</p><p>The flight will initially operate just three times per week, before going into daily service on October 18. Starting October 28, the schedule shifts slightly so that SQ22 will depart Singapore at 12:40 a.m. and arrive the same day at 6:30 a.m. (that makes it only 17 hours, 50 minutes). Flight SQ21 will depart Newark at 9:45 a.m. and arrive the following day at 5:15pm. Flight times shift again with Daylight Saving, so be sure to check the schedule for your specific dates.</p><h2>Same Route, New Plane</h2><p>Thursday’s launch actually marks <a href="" target="_blank">a return for nonstop flights</a> between Newark and Singapore.</p><p>“This is an event that, in many ways, has been five years in the making,” said Singapore Airlines spokesman James Boyd. “Though Singapore Airlines flew longest distance and duration flights for a full decade using a different aircraft, technology has advanced to the point where we can now re-launch ultra-long-haul flights in cost-effective way.”</p><p>Singapore Airlines flew Newark–Singapore until 2013 using an all-business-class Airbus A340-500. This time around, the airline will employ brand new Airbus A350-900ULRs. This jet, for which Singapore Airlines is the launch customer, is mostly the same as the standard <a href="" target="_blank">Airbus A350-900</a> already in service both with Singapore Airlines and other carriers like Cathay Pacific, <a href="" target="_blank">Delta</a>, and Qatar Airways. However, the ULR stands for “ultra-long-range,” and it can cruise for 11,160 miles. That's 1,800 miles more than a typical A350-900.</p><p>“What the new aircraft offers us, and traveling public, is a new set of options for saving time and traveling in greater comfort,” said Boyd. “For flights from the U.S., Singapore is located just outside the service range of planes like the Boeing 747 and 777 and the Airbus A380, all of which require an intermediate stop. The A350-900ULR is an aircraft that levels the playing field and will let us connect many more points within the U.S. to Singapore on a nonstop basis.”</p><h2>Seat Assignments</h2><p>To make the nearly 19-hour flight bearable, Singapore Airlines has opted for a cabin configuration with 94 premium economy seats and 67 business class seats. There are no economy or first-class seats.</p><p>The two business-class cabins feature some of Singapore Airlines’ <a href="" target="_blank">newest seats</a>. They are arranged in a front-facing 1–2–1 pattern. Each is an ultra-wide 28 inches across, with a pitch of 60 inches between seats. They recline to fully lie-flat beds that are six-and-a-half feet long. The individual entertainment screens are 18 inches wide, and they all have in-seat power and USB ports for staying charged.</p><p>Premium economy seats are spread across a single cabin in the back in a mostly 2–4–2 pattern. There are single C and H seats, however, in rows 40-42 if you can stand being near the lavatory. These are the airline’s latest premium economy seats, and are a roomy 19.5 inches wide. That’s about an inch wider than the premium economy seats on American and Delta. Each has 38 inches of pitch and eight inches of recline, with ergonomically designed leg and footrests. The personal entertainment screens are 13.3 inches wide and all seats have personal power outlets and USB ports.</p><p>“The concept of ultra-long-haul flight has matured in the five years since we last operated this flight with all business-class aircraft,” said Boyd. “Offering two classes of service represents a democratization of this type of travel and allows a broader swath of travelers the benefit of getting to Singapore in comfort four to six hours faster than taking connecting flights.”</p><p>In other words, the airline is hoping to lure not just business travelers, but leisure ones including seniors and millennials looking to reach Singapore and secondary destinations faster.</p><h2>Cabin Comfort</h2><p>Aside from seating, the A350 fields an array of <a href="" target="_blank">jet lag</a>-fighting features, all designed to minimize the effects of long-haul flight. The fuselage’s composite structure is stronger than steel so the cabin can be pressurized to the equivalent of 6,000 feet, versus 8,000 on conventional jets. Humidity can be kept near 20 percent, as opposed to 10 percent on conventional planes. Both these factors should help reduce symptoms like fatigue and lightheadedness.</p><p>The A350-900ULR also has multiple temperatures zones for precise climate control throughout the passenger cabin, and over 16 million ambient lighting settings that can be programmed to help travelers adjust their circadian rhythms on specific routes. There are also hospital-grade HEPA filters circulating air throughout the entire cabin every two to three minutes.</p><p>Singapore Airlines will put A350-900ULRs with the same cabin configuration into service flying between Singapore and Los Angeles starting November 2, shortly after United ends its flights between the two cities.</p><h2>What the Longest Flight in the World Costs</h2><p>Ready to test out the new service for yourself? At time of writing, airfares from Newark to Singapore in premium economy were $1,017 one-way, or $1,623 round-trip. Business class one-way fares start at $3,379 from Newark to Singapore later this month, or $5,098 round-trip.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The 10 Longest Flights in the World</a></p><p>You can use airline miles to book these seats as well. The easiest way to do so is to create a <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer frequent flier account</a>. The program is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards, so if you have credit cards that earn these types of points, you can transfer miles into your new account when it’s time to book a ticket.</p><p>Premium economy seats at the lowest mileage level cost 70,000 miles each way. Business class awards are 92,000 miles each way. Taxes and fees are about $6-$50, depending on your direction of travel.</p>
Categories: Travel

We Can’t Stop Watching This Mesmerizing Video of Utah’s Gorgeous Fall Foliage

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 08:32
<p>Worried about not being able to see the leaves change this fall? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered.</p><p>Leaf peeping season on the Eastern Seaboard has been a bit slow this year, but it’s in technicolor in Snowbasin, Utah. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Thrillist</a></em>, videographer Justin McFarland used a drone to capture the bright pinks, greens, yellows, purples and reds on full display in the Ogden Valley only last week.</p><p>These amazingly vibrant colors mean the fall foliage has reached its peak (or near-peak) in Utah, so if anyone is looking to see the hues up close and personal, it’s best to take a trip now.</p><p>But if you can’t, you still have this incredible, bird’s-eye drone video that you can play on repeat.</p><p>If you're still hoping to catch some of the season's changing hues, there's still time to explore many places on the <a href="" target="_blank">fall foliage map</a>. Even better, catch a last minute train ride on some of the <a href="" target="_blank">most scenic fall train rides</a> in the country for an extra special adventure. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Couple Got Drunk on Their Honeymoon and Accidentally Bought a Hotel (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 08:17
<p>Gina Lyons and Mark Lee, two British newlyweds, purchased what can only be described as the <a href="" target="_blank">best honeymoon</a> souvenir of all time: an entire beachfront hotel.</p><p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Mirror</i></a>, the pair were honeymooning in Sri Lanka last December when they checked into their <a href="" target="_blank">beachside hotel</a> and went to the bar to have a few cocktails to celebrate their wedded bliss. While there, the couple struck up quite the friendship with the hotel’s staff, including one of the bartenders. On their very first night, the couple revealed, they took a bottle of rum to the beach with the bartender and drank the night away.</p><p>During the drinking session, the bartender shared that the current hotel owner’s lease would soon be up. So, Lee and Lyons decided right then and there that they should take it over. And all it cost them was $39,500.</p><p>"After finding out that it was £10,000 a year, myself and Mark thought that it would be a brilliant idea to buy it - because we were so drunk,” Lyons told the <i>Mirror</i>. "Now, almost a year on from our drunken idea, we own the hotel and have started doing the hotel up and making it ours."</p><p>However, the lease wasn’t the only thing they had to plunk down a few dollars on. According to Lyons, additional legal fees and refurbishment coasts have set them back an additional $17,000.</p><p>Oh, and one more life event popped up — Lyons and Lee are now expecting their first child, who they say came as a bit of a surprise.</p><p>"Even our friends and family think we're idiots and shouldn't have been doing it - we owed a lot of money from the wedding and only lived in a tiny flat, and now we had a baby on the way,” she said.</p><p>But, rather than worry, the pair are now just going all in on their seven-bedroom hotel, called <a href=";label=Share-auW0I4%401535089263;sid=e4b9802369a6925119d714df2816db9b;checkin_monthday=14&amp;checkin_year_month=2018-11&amp;checkout_monthday=15&amp;checkout_year_month=2018-11&amp;class_interval=1&amp;dest_id=-2236847&amp;dest_type=city&amp;do_availability_check=1&amp;dtdisc=0&amp;group_adults=2&amp;group_children=0&amp;highlighted_hotels=3857528&amp;hp_avform=1&amp;inac=0&amp;index_postcard=0&amp;label_click=undef&amp;no_rooms=1&amp;offset=0&amp;postcard=0&amp;raw_dest_type=city&amp;req_adults=2&amp;req_children=0&amp;room1=A%2CA&amp;sb#sort_by" target="_blank">Lucky Beach</a>, which you can book a stay in now for just $18 a night.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Roles Prince George and Princess Charlotte Will Play in Princess Eugenie's Wedding

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 08:00
<p>On Friday, <a href="" target="_blank">Princess Eugenie</a> will walk down the aisle at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel to marry her fiance, Jack Brooksbank. While we know most of the royal family will be in attendance to watch the couple say their vows, Eugenie and Jack have also announced the few special people who will be on hand as part of their wedding party.</p><h2>Maid of Honor: Princess Beatrice</h2><p>This one is pretty obvious considering Beatrice is her older sister and only sibling. Following the announcement of Eugenie’s engagement, Beatrice told <em><a href="" target="_blank">British Vogue</a>,</em> “Euge is amazing,” adding, “She’s a very modern bride.”</p><h2>Bridesmaids: Royal Children and Rock Royalty</h2><p>Remember, royals don’t do “<a href="" target="_blank">bridesmaids</a>” like the rest of us. Instead of being a gaggle of your girlfriends and a cousin or two, royals choose to surround themselves with a group of cherub-like children who act as maids.</p><p>For her wedding, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Harper’s Bazaar</a> </em>reported, Eugenie will have several royal children helping her, including Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince William and Kate Middleton; Savannah Philips, daughter of Autumn and Peter Philips; Mia Tindall, daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall; and Maud Windsor, daughter of Lady Frederick Windsor and Lord Frederick Windsor. To round out the group, Eugenie also asked Theodora Williams, daughter of Ayda Field and British singer Robbie Williams, to join the group.</p><h2>Best Man: Thomas Brooksbank</h2><p>Like his future bride, Jack also chose his sibling, Thomas, to be his best man.</p><h2>Page Boys: More Royalty and Friends of Royalty</h2><p>Jack will also have at least one royal child on hand to help him throughout the day. The page boys will be none other than Prince George, future King of England and another one of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children, and Louis de Givenchy, son of Zoe and Olivier De Givenchy.</p><p>The wedding will be broadcast in the United States starting at 4:25 a.m. EST, with a three-hour tape delay for the West Coast. It will appear both <a href="" target="_blank">online and on the TLC network</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hurricane Michael Is Now a Category 4 Storm Expected to Cause 'Catastrophic Damage'

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 17:59
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Hurricane Michael</a> is currently making landfall in the Florida Panhandle. It is now a category 4 storm, meaning it is the strongest storm to come ashore in the region in at least a century.</p><p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank">National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association</a>, a category four hurricane will cause “catastrophic damage.” It will cause “well-built framed homes” to “sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls.” The storm could cause most trees to snap or become uprooted and power poles will likely be downed. “Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.” As it further noted, most areas hit with a storm this size will be uninhabitable for weeks or months to come.</p><p>“This is the worst storm that our Florida Panhandle has seen in a century,” Gov. Rick Scott of Florida said in a statement. “Hurricane Michael is upon us, and now is the time to seek refuge.”</p><img alt="PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 10: Cameron Sadowski walks along where waves are crashing onto the beach as the outer bands of hurricane Michael arrive on October 10, 2018 "src=""><p>While the storm will bring top sustained wind gusts of up to 145 mph and plenty of rain, officials are more deeply concerned with the possible storm surge. As <em><a href="" target="_blank">The New York Times</a></em> noted, officials are warning that the storm surge could reach 13 feet in some areas, which could be particularly devastating for the relatively flat region.</p><p>An estimated 375,000 people have already been told to evacuate the area, <a href="" target="_blank">CBS</a> reported. If they haven’t left already it may be too late.</p><p>“The time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone,” Scott said in a statement, adding that “First responders will not be able to come out in the middle of the storm.” But, if you can still safely leave, there are a number of shelters still accepting people who need a <a href="" target="_blank">safe place to stay</a>.</p><p>And those living along the Gulf Coast aren’t the only ones who need to worry about Hurricane Michael. The storm’s path will soon take it inland, up through Georgia and the Carolinas, and beyond. Stay tuned to news stations and the <a href="" target="_blank">Weather Channel</a> for the latest up to date information and warnings. If the hurricane is coming your way, <a href="" target="_blank">here’s how to ensure you’re prepared. </a></p>
Categories: Travel

All of Your Favorite Disney Snacks Are Now More Expensive

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 17:25
<p>Dole Whip, Mickey-shaped pretzels, cotton candy — they’re all crowd pleasers and some of the best foods you’ll find at Disney parks. Only problem is, these salty treats and frozen sweets are about to cost you significantly more than on your last Orlando vacation.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Disney Food Blog</a> broke news that food and drink prices have increased at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts, and the price hikes aren’t just affecting grab-and-go favorites.</p><p>Snack prices have changed across the board at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Popcorn and cotton candy now cost $5 each, up from $4.50 and $4.75, and churros $5.25 (they cost $4.50 last week). Mickey pretzels with cheese are now $7, up from $6 — cheese is not optional, requiring guests to spend the extra buck — and Mickey ice cream bars are up 75 cents, now costing $5.75. The chocolate-covered delights have increased 35% in the past three years, with Disney’s most iconic frozen treat costing $4.25 in October 2015.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Dole Whip</a> isn’t safe, either. The pineapple soft-serve is up fifty cents for cups (now $4.99) and floats (now $5.99). Disney Food Blog is even reporting that turkey legs, the famed oversized meaty snack, <a href="" target="_blank">now cost $1.50 more</a>, going for $13.25 each at Epcot’s Fife &amp; Drum Tavern.</p><p>Bottled drinks are up a full dollar at the Florida resort, from $3.50 to $4.50, and bottled water is now $3.50, from $3. Fountain drink prices <a href="" target="_blank">have actually increased at both Disney parks</a>, with regular-sized sodas increasing from $3.29 at Walt Disney World and $3.59 at Disneyland to $3.99 at both parks. Given that large drinks are $4.19, guests are incentivized to splurge on a bigger beverage, and likely choose to spend more than they may have previously.</p><p>Headed to Disneyland <a href="" target="_blank">for Halloweentime</a>? Many snack prices have stayed firm — churros are still $4.75, Mickey pretzels $5.25 (plus an optional dollar for cheese) — but one popular item has changed: popcorn. A scoop will now cost $5, up from $4.50, making it one of the more expensive noshes at the park.</p><p>It’s normal for Disney to increase prices for its snack cart items, but the frequency has pushed some of the most popular foods to surprisingly high prices. Cream cheese-stuffed pretzels, for example, <a href="" target="_blank">were $4.79 last July</a>. Now, they're $7.</p><p>The Disney Food Blog also noted <a href="" target="_blank">an unprecedented uptick on prices</a> on food and select alcoholic drinks at <a href="" target="_blank">Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival</a>, even though the celebration only lasts until Nov 12. A few Walt Disney World restaurants have also increased prices, with Epcot’s Biergarten costing <a href="" target="_blank">over 25% more</a> for lunch-seeking adults and children, the blog reported.</p><p>These are just the latest price changes hitting Disney parks. Walt Disney World recently announced it's overhauling its ticketing system, completely changing <a href="" target="_blank">the way you plan your next vacation</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Are Officially the Best Halloween Haunts in America

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 17:06
<p>If you’re looking to have a spooktacular October, the <a href="" target="_blank">Haunted Attraction Association</a> is here to help.</p><p>As the “only official association in the haunt industry,” the HAA takes its job of promoting safe and ethical haunted places very seriously. With that, it’s now revealing its list of the 31 top haunted attractions across the U.S.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">11 Theme Park Halloween Celebrations That'll Have You Screaming for More</a></p><p>According to the HAA, in order to gain its seal of approval, haunted sites must be a member of HAA and meet a list of 10 criteria relating back to the group's mission, which includes: to protect customers, promote haunted attractions, and educate industry professionals.</p><p>“Guest safety is a top priority throughout the industry,” HAA President Brett Hays said in a statement. “The number of certified Top Haunt attractions has more than doubled in the past three years, which shows the commitment to safety across the board from our members.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">25 Halloween Costume Ideas Travelers Will Love</a></p><p>Sure, this all sounds kind of tame for someone looking for a frightful Halloween, but trust us, you’ll still be screaming, crying, and calling your mom to tell her you love her at all of these places.</p><p>Seriously, you think you’re getting through the <a href="" target="_blank">Haunted Hotel in Kentucky</a>, where ghosts, goblins, and bad guys lurk around every corner, without screaming? How about the fact that the killers hiding inside are actually allowed to touch guests? Is that <a href=";v=Pl7ZpSVIfQs" target="_blank">horrifying enough</a>?</p><p>Oh, you assume you’re making it out of the <a href="" target="_blank">Fear Farm in Arizona</a> without peeing your pants just a little? I don’t think so, especially after you get a good look at their witches.</p><p>And don’t even get us started on <a href="" target="_blank">Terror in the Corn in Colorado</a>. Corn fields are already scary enough without ax murders hiding among them.</p><p>Here are 31 different places around the country you can visit with your family this Halloween season where we’re almost positive you’ll make it out alive.</p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">13th Floor Haunted House</a> </strong>– Denver, Colorado<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Creepy Hollow Haunted House</a></strong><strong> </strong>– Rosharon, Texas<strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Factory of Terror</a></strong><strong> </strong>– Canton, Ohio<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Fear Fair</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Seymour, Indiana<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Fear Farm</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Phoenix, Arizona<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Field of Screams</strong></a> – Lancaster, Pennsylvania<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Frightland</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Middletown, Delaware<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Hauntville Haunted House</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Cleveland, Ohio<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Haunted Hollow</strong></a> – Rockwood, Pennsylvania<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Haunted Schoolhouse &amp; Laboratory</strong></a> – Akron, Ohio<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>The Haunted Hotel</strong></a> – Louisville, Kentucky<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Hobb’s Grove</strong></a> –<strong> </strong>Sanger, California<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>House of Torment Haunted House</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Austin, Texas<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Headless Horseman Hayrides &amp; Haunted Houses</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Ulster Park, New York<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Hysterium</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Fort Wayne, Indiana<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>The Kingwood Asylum</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Houston, Texas<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Legends of Fear</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Shelton, Connecticut<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Niles Scream Park</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Niles, Michigan<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Chattanooga, Tennessee<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Reaper’s Revenge</strong></a> – Scranton, Pennsylvania<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>ScareHouse</strong></a><strong> </strong>–<strong> </strong>Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania <strong> </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Scare USA</strong></a> –Two Rivers, Wisconsin<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Shocktoberfest</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Spooky Ranch at Rockin'-R- Ranch</strong></a> – Columbia, Ohio<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary</strong></a> – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Terror in the Corn</strong></a> – Erie, Colorado<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Terror on the Fox</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Green Bay, Wisconsin<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>The Asylum Haunted House</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Denver, Colorado<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>USS Nightmare</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Newport, Kentucky<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Wiard's Orchards Night Terrors</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Township, Michigan<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Wisconsin Fear Grounds</strong></a><strong> </strong>– Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Categories: Travel

Richard Branson Is Just 'Weeks' Away From Sending Virgin Galactic Into Space

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 16:48
<p>Virgin Galactic is expecting to send its first rocket to space “within weeks,” CEO Richard Branson said on Tuesday.</p><p>"We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years," Branson told CNBC. "We will be in space with people not too long after that so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead.”</p><p>Branson’s estimation puts the Virgin Galactic project not far behind its initial deadline. Last year, <a href="" target="_blank">Branson announced that he wanted his company in space</a>, operating commercial flights, by the end of 2018. The original expected launch date was April 2018.</p><p>Over the past few months, Branson has been busy undergoing a regimen of astronaut fitness and centrifuge training. His training includes extensive tennis and cycling.</p><p>Virgin Galactic has already completed several successful trial flights this year. The next phase of testing will see the rockets test their endurance and range, hopefully soon reaching the limits of space.</p><p>Those who wish to journey into space with Branson will have to pony up the cash. The trip — a 2.5-hour journey with six minutes of weightlessness — <a href="" target="_blank">will set you back $250,000</a>. But Branson said there may be hope for those who can’t afford that hefty price tag. He told CNBC he expects the price could fall down to about $40,000 or $50,000 within the next 10 years. The price fall could take a while, though. There are already more than 700 people on <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin Galactic’s waiting list</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

How Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka Avoid 'Airplane Meltdowns' When Traveling With Their Kids

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 16:25
<p>Neil Patrick Harris and<b> </b>celebrity chef David Burtka aren’t your typical couple. The adorable pair — who you might recognize from “How I Met Your Mother” — both have demanding careers that send them jet-setting around the world to film movies and attend glamorous red carpet events with Hollywood’s finest.</p><p>But the star-studded life is just a perk. Their most important job is being parents to Gideon and Harper, who both turn 8 on Oct. 12. And with such exciting parents, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they go on some pretty special vacations together. The ridiculously cute family has been spotted <a href="" target="_blank">tossing coins in Rome’s Trevi fountain</a>, celebrating Christmas in Argentina, and spending plenty of quality time at Disney World.</p><p>We sat down with the couple to hear what it’s like traveling the world as a family at an event celebrating their new partnership with the <a href="" target="_blank">Capital One Savor Card</a>. Luckily for the duo — whose kids' elevated taste buds mean they refuse to eat off the children’s menu — the card offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment.</p><p>We got the scoop on what else their kids like to eat, how they stay relaxed on long-haul flights, and their favorite place to take an unexpected family vacation.</p><p><strong><em>Travel + Leisure</em>: Your kids are pretty well traveled. Do you have any tips for going on a longer adventure with young children?</strong></p><p><strong>Neil Patrick Harris:</strong> “We started our kids traveling early so that the travel element of it wasn’t disruptive to them. We don’t want airplane meltdowns and we didn’t want them to be annoyed by it. Any trip we try taking with the kids we honor the time zone. You don’t want to arrive into a place that’s six, seven hours away and then start your adventures. We’ll add a day or two as a buffer.”</p><p><strong>David Burtka:</strong> “We really don’t give the kids their iPads much, until we go on the airplane and then they’re ravenous for control of their iPads.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “We can fill up their iPad with whatever movies, whatever games are appropriate for them — 20 hours worth of material — and they can spend as much time as they want with them.”</p><p><strong>How do you decide where to take your family on vacation in the first place?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “We really think about what is good for children. This summer <a href="" target="_blank">we heard that Copenhagen was great</a> for kids and thank God we went there because it <em>was</em> a fantastic place for kids.”</p><p><strong>Why is Copenhagen such a great family destination?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “They have an amusement park right in the middle of town, <a href="" target="_blank">Tivoli</a>, and it’s unbelievable. It’s a place that Walt Disney went to, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. He went there for inspiration for Disney World. You can drive 20 minutes outside to <a href="" target="_blank">Hamlet’s Castle</a> where they’re doing reenactments of Hamlet. They’re in the dungeons with the ghosts and the kings and queens and you get to throw wet sponges at a jester. Then you go another 20 minutes and you’re on a viking ship and you’re actually painting viking swords and shields. It’s so fun.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “<a href="" target="_blank">The food is fantastic</a> and the People are nice. There’s tons of biking, it’s super safe and the architecture’s amazing.”</p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “It was like a storybook village.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “We never even had Denmark on our radar.”</p><img alt="Neil Patrick Harris David Burtka Kids "src=""><p><strong>Are your kids adventurous eaters?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “In Copenhagen there’s their famous <a href="" target="_blank">Noma</a>, and of course we’re not going to take kids to a four-hour, $300 meal with 18 courses. But any other restaurant, there’s no restraint because they’ll eat anything on the menu. Our kids eat better than we do.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “A part of the fun of life is trying things, right? So what we’ve said to our kids since they were really young: try something. Don’t not try sea urchin because it looks gross, taste it. If you don’t like it, we’re not going to force you to eat it.”</p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “One of their favorite foods is sea urchin.” </p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “I will say the only downside is that when you have two kids that have adventurous pallets, that like eating off the main menu, they’re not ordering from the less expensive children’s menu. We’re essentially eating for four adults. So it’s a nice thing that with the <a href="" target="_blank">Capital One Savor card</a> you get cash back.”</p><p><strong>Any advice for getting kids to eat like yours?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “Start them young and have them eat what you eat. There’s a lot of people who placate to their kids and will make a whole other meal for them instead of just having what you’re eating that night.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “Kids can take a lot of lessons from their parents and their behaviors, and they mirror them as much as they can. It’s who they spend the most time with so being adventurous is something to try and accomplish. If you decided as an adult you only like these 14 meals at different restaurants, your kids are going to see that and decide ‘I should only want to try specific things.’”</p><p><strong>What’s the next adventure with your family?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “We do a yearly trip to Orlando.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “<a href="" target="_blank">I work at Disney World</a> at the start of the holiday season. I get to tell the story of the birth of baby Jesus at Epcot Center thrice nightly for a week and we get to eat around the world at the World Showcase. That’s so much fun and we’re bringing our friends that brought us to Denmark and they’re bringing their two kids.”</p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “We’re very excited for a future safari somewhere.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “We actually really want to take them to Japan. That’s our big trip and we’re waiting for them to be the right age. I don’t want them to just be overwhelmed by it all. I want them to be able to process it in a more adult way.”</p><p><em>Note: The above interview has been edited for clarity.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

Your Favorite Disney Experience May Not Be There on Your Next Visit (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 13:34
<p>If you have a child obsessed with Captain Jack Sparrow, or ever wanted to see your little one as a <em>Star Wars</em> Jedi, brace yourself, because that favorite show, performance or character meet-and-greet may not exist on your next visit to Disney parks.</p><p>Disney has been quietly making entertainment changes at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts — sometimes where you’d least expect it.</p><p>Disneyland’s Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple <a href="" target="_blank">will end on November 4</a>, after a 12-year run at the park. The <em>Star Wars</em> offering allowed kids to channel their inner padawan powers and <a href="" target="_blank">battle Darth Vader in Tomorrowland</a> in California as well as at the Florida parks. Guests have hoped for a potential reopening for when Galaxy’s Edge debuts next summer, but it’s unlikely there will be enough space <a href="" target="_blank">within Star Wars Land to host it.</a></p><p>Disneyland’s Hook &amp; Ladder Co. firehouse band and Silver Dollar Six, who provided live music and surprise entertainment throughout Frontierland, ceased performing <a href="" target="_blank">in mid-September</a>. The cuts are affecting character meet-and-greets as well, with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit meet-and-greets at Disney California Adventure being reported as<a href="" target="_blank"> no longer existing</a>. Rights to the character, who predated Mickey Mouse, were long sought after by Walt Disney himself, and <a href="" target="_blank">famously retained</a> by trading sports commentator Al Michaels to NBC in 2006.</p><p>Disney has extended the cuts to Captain Jack Sparrow’s pirate tutorial at <a href="" target="_blank">Disney World</a>. The show, which has been running since 2006, ended last month at Magic Kingdom, and was replaced with a <a href="" target="_blank">Jack Sparrow meet-and-greet</a>. That removed all live entertainment from Adventureland. Positions have been eliminated for select <a href="" target="_blank">Citizens of Hollywood performers</a>, who participate in the “streetmosphere” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as <a href="" target="_blank">all four live actors</a> in Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light performances.</p><p>Though these changes are likely permanent, there’s always a possibility of them returning. Just last week, Disney uncharacteristically responded to rumors of Rafiki's Planet Watch shuttering at Animal Kingdom, announcing it would only be closed seasonally. Nothing is ever guaranteed, though — after rumors all-but-confirmed the January closure of Stitch’s Great Escape at Magic Kingdom, Disney spoke up to say it would only be operating seasonally. Now, it’s being reported that the ride has in fact already <a href="" target="_blank">quietly been removed</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Play With 20 Friendly Huskies at This First-of-its-kind Dog Cafe (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 12:00
<p>Sure, <a href="" target="_blank">dog cafés</a> are awesome, but if you <a href="" target="_blank">love huskies</a> above all other pups, there's only one you need to visit.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">True Love Café</a> at Neverland in Bangkok, Thailand is the only Siberian Husky café in the world. According to <a href="" target="_blank">TripAdvisor</a>, for about 500 Thai Baht (about $15 USD), guests can come in, play with more than 20 huskies (and some other dogs living at the café) for an hour, then enjoy some coffee and food in the restaurant.</p><p>It sounds like heaven.</p><p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Insider</a></em> sent filmmaker Filip Stransky to experience the cafe. According to his video, guests must first wash their hands and put on plastic booties before interacting with the dogs in order to protect them from foreign bacteria.</p><p>The café owner, Chotiros Ratanabirabongse, told<em> Insider </em>that even though the climate in Thailand is quite hot, the dogs are always kept comfortable. Ratanabirabongse and the staff keep the husky play area covered with a roof and keep fans running above the playground. Plus, visitors are encouraged to feed the dogs ice chips to keep them cool.</p><p>When playtime is over, the dogs are ushered into their indoor kennel, which Ratanabirabongse says is well air conditioned.</p><p>The owner also takes precautions to ensure safety. Visitors cannot be younger than 15 to interact with the dogs and there are outdoor enclosures for dogs who are “people shy” or, for whatever reason, aren’t feeling social, according to the blog <a href="" target="_blank">Exploding Belly</a>. All in all, it seems the staff makes sure everyone is having a good time.</p><p>As for the dogs who aren’t people shy, staff is happy to let you get a photo with them. According to Insider, they’re “practically professionals” when it comes to striking a pose.</p><p> </p><p>After your hour is up with the huskies, you can enter the café and enjoy delicious refreshments like iced coffees, sodas, teas and fruit juices, as well as cakes, cookies, and savory dishes like gyoza, karaage, and Thai green curry.</p><p>According to Exploding Belly, getting to the café, while definitely worth it, can be a bit of a hike. It takes a bus trip, then a 25- to 30-minute walk (or you can take a cab). The café itself looks like it’s nestled in a residential area, so if you feel like you’ve wandered into a random neighborhood, you’re probably on the right track.</p><p>But if you can’t get to Bangkok just yet, you can enjoy tons of photos and videos from the café on its <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Woman Tries to Smuggle Squirrel on Plane As Emotional Support Animal

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 10:41
<p>You can have a dog, cat, or even a mini horse. But most airlines have been <a href="" target="_blank">cracking down on which animals are OK</a> to bring on flights as “emotional support animals.”</p><p>For the record, <a href="" target="_blank">squirrels</a> are a no-go.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">News 5 Cleveland</a>, a woman on Frontier Airlines in Orlando, Florida seemed to miss that memo when she tried to smuggle a squirrel on her flight on Tuesday night.</p><p>A spokesperson for Frontier told News 5 the passenger noted that they were bringing an emotional support animal on board, but did not say it was a squirrel. Frontier only allows dogs or cats to be ESAs, and does not allow rodents on board, as explained on the carrier’s <a href="" target="_blank">special services page</a>.</p><p>The only <a href="" target="_blank">pets allowed</a> on board Frontier flights are dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, or small household birds. So, despite being fairly animal friendly compared to other airlines, still no squirrels allowed.</p><p>Sorry, little squirrel.</p><p>Unfortunately, the passenger was not as cooperative as the cabin crew would have hoped when they asked her to deplane with her squirrel. When she refused to leave her seat, Orlando police had to be called to escort her off.</p><p>The flight ended up being delayed two hours, however, according to News 5, not all her fellow passengers were angry about it.</p><p>“The joke of the plane was hashtag squirrel,” witness Amber Calhoun said.</p><p>When in doubt about your ESA, make sure to check your specific airline's rules.</p>
Categories: Travel

Flash Flooding in Spain Kills 10 People, Sweeping Away Cars and Devastating Homes

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 10:17
<p>At least 10 people are dead and at least one missing after flash floods swept across the island of Majorca on Tuesday.</p><p>Torrential rain caused a riverbank to burst, sending water through the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, about 40 miles outside of Palma. The overflowing water dragged cars down the street and damaged hundreds of houses with intense flooding, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>El Pais</em></a>.</p><img alt="Several people died in flash floods in Majorca island, Sant Llorenc, Spain - 10 Oct 2018 "src=""><p>Local weather forecasters reported that about eight inches of rain fell in four hours. The threat is still not over as forecaster are predicting more heavy rain through the end of the day Wednesday.</p><p>One British tourist couple is included in those found dead. They were in the back of a taxi when the water swept away their car and filled up the vehicle. Their taxi driver died as well.</p><p>"We did not expect it, the warning went from yellow to orange in a short time, Catalina Cladera, the minister of finance and public administration, told <em>El Pais.</em> “Too much water fell in a very short time.”</p><p>As of Wednesday afternoon, five roads remain blocked, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the <em>New York Times</em></a>. Emergency services are working to clear debris from the area.</p><img alt="Several people died in flash floods in Majorca island, Sant Llorenc, Spain - 10 Oct 2018 "src=""><p>Hundreds of people were displaced during the storm and remain in emergency shelters around the area.</p><p>The capital and main tourism hub, Palma, was spared from the storm. Damage is mostly restricted to the northeastern side of Majorca.</p>
Categories: Travel

Emirates Is Having a 2-for-1 Sale on Flights to Greece — but You'll Have to Book Fast (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 08:54
<p>There’s no time like the present to book a trip to Greece. Especially now that <a href="" target="_blank">Emirates just announced a limited-time sale</a> on companion tickets from Newark to <a href="" target="_blank">Athens</a>.</p><p>On Wednesday, the airline shared details of its sale, which will allow travelers to book two tickets from Newark (EWR) to Athens (ATH) on non-stop flights <a href="" target="_blank">starting from $949</a> in economy class. Passengers can also book business class fares starting at $5,999 and first class fares starting at $9,999.</p><p>But if you want to get in on the deal, you better act fast. The sale only runs through 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, Oct. 12.</p><p>The sale is also only valid for travel taking place between Nov. 5, 2018 and Dec. 18, 2018, and Dec. 26, 2018 through May 14, 2019.</p><p>If you’re hoping to not lift a finger in the vacation planning process, you could always book an <a href="" target="_blank">Emirates Vacation</a> for two, which will help you discover the best parts of Greece for seven whole nights starting at just $1,845.</p><p>Greece is a destination that can be enjoyed any time of the year. With the flight sale, Emirates — the only airline to offer a year-round non-stop service between the U.S. and Greece — made a few suggestions on what to do and see in both the fall and winter seasons.</p><p>On its list, <a href="" target="_blank">Emirates</a> suggested <a href="" target="_blank">checking out Athens</a>, the country’s capital. With fewer tourists crowding both the streets and historical sites visitors could get to see more than ever.</p><p>Next up, it suggested visiting an olive farm for some olive oil tasting. October and November are harvesting time for the plant, making it an ideal opportunity to taste test a new batch.</p><p>And since you’re there in the colder months anyway, Emirates suggested you take to the slopes at one of the country’s ski resorts, including taking a few runs down Mount Olympus itself. And for an aprés ski treat, get your hands on <em>kotosoupa avgolemono</em>, a Greek culinary specialty of chicken soup with an egg and lemon base.</p><p>So what are you still doing reading this? Go <a href="" target="_blank">book your Greek getaway now</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The World's Most Powerful Passport Just Got Even More Powerful

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 07:49
<p>After having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month, Japanese citizens cemented their place as holders of the <a href="" target="_blank">world’s most powerful passport</a>. A Japanese passport can now get you into 190 destinations either visa-free or with a visa on arrival, according to the results of the <a href="">Henley Passport Index</a>.</p><p>Citizens of Singapore maintained their position as holders of the second strongest passport, with access to 189 countries.</p><p>However, Germany fell in the rankings to a number three spot, which it now shares with South Korea and France. All three countries can visit 188 countries without a visa.</p><p>Both the U.S. and U.K. fell in the global rankings to fifth place, with visa-free access to 186 countries. </p><p>On the other end of the list, Iraq and Afghanistan’s passports are the weakest in the world, with visa-free access to only 30 countries. (To be clear: this does not mean citizens of these two countries can only visit 30 other countries. They must seek approval and gain a visa ahead of time in order to enter others.)</p><p>Bear in mind that these rankings are fluid and are likely to change based on diplomatic relations. Those on the world stage should pay attention to the United Arab Emirates. Since being ranked in 62nd place in 2006, the country has made the fastest leaps on the list, rising to the 21st spot in 2018.</p><p>The Henley Passport Index ranks 199 different passports, based on their access to 227 destinations. There are other passport rankings, including <a href="" target="_blank">Passport Index</a>, which counts only countries that can be entered visa-free and still ranks <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore</a> and Germany as No. 1.</p>
Categories: Travel

United Just Became Every California Surfer's Favorite Airline

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 16:24
<p><a href="" target="_blank">United Airlines</a> wants its passengers to be able to hang ten and get pitted in California for less.</p><p>Last week, the airline announced it will no longer be charging $150 to $200 for surfboard baggage fees for its flights to and from California. The exciting change came thanks to California Gov. Jerry Brown declaring <a href="" target="_blank">surfing as the official state sport</a>.</p><p>“We want to make it easier for customers to surf our beautiful beaches, whether they're visiting or call the Golden State home,” Janet Lamkin, United's president for California, told <em>Forbes</em>.</p><p>But, as <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em> noted, the idea to stop the baggage fee is not just a sign of good faith for its surf-loving passengers. Instead, it’s likely the airline made the decision to remain competitive with other airlines.</p><p>Alaska Airlines eliminated the surfboard surcharges (and other oversized equipment charges) of up to $75 one-way in <a href="" target="_blank">July 2017</a>. Now, Alaska merely charges its standard $25 first checked bag fee each way for boards, skis, golf clubs, and more.</p><p>Hawaiian Airlines also changed its surfboard policies in 2017. It now allows more boards per bag for a flat fee of $100 each way.</p><p>All surfers should also beware that the airline will still be charging $150-200 — along with standard checked bag fees — on other routes, including connecting flights.</p><p>But, perhaps most importantly, the airline also announced that it will be donating $50,000 to <a href="" target="_blank">Sustainable Surf</a>, a California-based nonprofit working to preserve the state’s coast and oceans.<br /><br />“We are looking forward to partnering with United to better enable our shared goals and values of keeping the world clean,” Sustainable Surf co-founder Michael Stewart said in a statement. "Sustainable Surf is thrilled to receive support from United Airlines to help us protect and regenerate ocean health."</p><p>Use that extra $200 and start planning your surf trip to some of <a href="" target="_blank">California's best beaches</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Now Google Assistant Can Book Your Hotel and Tell You What to Pack

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 16:02
<p>Expedia and Google are making it easier than ever for busy people to book their dream vacations. In fact, it’s so simple that they don’t even need to use their hands.</p><p>On Tuesday, Expedia announced the launch of the <a href="" target="_blank">Expedia Action</a> for the <a href="" target="_blank">Google Assistant</a>. With the partnership, customers now have the ability to book and manage their travel plans through hands-free voice commands on any Google Assistant-enabled device including the <a href="" target="_blank">Google Pixel phone</a>, the Google Home, and Google Home Mini.</p><p>“We’re excited to innovate with ways to make travel planning easier, no matter where you are or what device you're using. The market has seen rapid adoption of these new technologies within the past year and we want to make sure that Expedia customers are able to get the travel information they need, exactly when they need it. The Google Assistant is a step in that direction,” Brent Harrison, VP of product and technology for Expedia, said in a statement.</p><p>All customers have to do is link up their Expedia accounts to Expedia Action. Then, they can receive personalized assistance with existing itineraries, can check on their Expedia Rewards balances, get packing list tips for their upcoming trips, book hotels, add a rental car, and more.</p><p>Best of all, the new integration into Google Assistant is a free perk. All you need to do is say "Ok Google, talk to Expedia" on one of your connected devices. Then, simply use commands like “What should I pack for Los Angeles?” and “Book me a hotel in Rome, Italy.”</p><p>Your high-tech travels don’t need to stop there. Before takeoff, check out these <a href="" target="_blank">23 tech essentials that will upgrade every part of your trip</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel