This Water-resistant Weekender Bag Has a Pocket for Everything

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 10:32
<p>We're always on the hunt for the next great <a href="">carry-on</a> and airline <a href="">personal item bags</a>, and this sleek duffel from <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Caraa Sport</a> is a worthy contender. When it comes to carry-ons, weekenders, and personal item bags, we're looking for something that is spacious without being bulky as well as full of organizational pockets. The <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Nimbus Weekender</a> is a multi-purpose bag that can easily take you from home to your destination or from work to the gym. Thanks to its streamlined design and convenient pockets, this bag is perfect for travel, commuting, and everyday use. </p><p><strong>Related: </strong>More <a href="">weekender bags</a></p><img alt="Black Nylon Duffel Bag "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $250</p><p>This sleek nylon bag is impressively lightweight and water-resistant, making it easy to carry wherever your travels may take you. Two exterior drawstring pockets keep essentials within reach. There's a padded shoulder strap and a longer strap, both of which allow you to carry the bag across your body, depending on your preference. </p><p>On the inside, there are even more pockets that are sure to keep even the messiest of packers organized. First, there's a 15" padded laptop sleeve. There are also see-through mesh pockets, an elastic water bottle holder, and multiple card slots. In addition to the pockets within the bag, the Nimbus Weekender comes with a separate shoe pouch. A particularly unique feature we love is the zippered pocket inside the bag that's meant to hold a portable power bank. It connects to the exterior phone pocket, which makes charging your devices on-the-go a breeze. </p><img alt="Interior of Black Nylon Duffel Bag "src=""><p>Shoppers love this bag for its convenience and versatility, as shown by rave reviews on <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Caraa Sport's</a> website. One reviewer specifically commented on how convenient this bag is for travel. "I've been looking for a bag for a very long time that would allow me to consolidate my bags to board a plane. This bag holds and organizes everything's brilliant. It's light and can be shoved under an airplane seat with ease."</p><p><em>Love a great deal? <a href=";fm=340&amp;regsource=25567">Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter</a> and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week. </em></p>
Categories: Travel

These New Flats Are Lightweight, Packable, and Perfect for Travel

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 10:17
<p>When you're <a href="">packing shoes for an upcoming trip</a>, comfort and versatility are probably at the top of your priority list. You want a pair of shoes you can walk in for hours, but that, at the same time, take you from day to night. It's a bonus if they're lightweight and <a href="">easy to pack</a>. The newly-released <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Ballare flats</a> from M.Gemi are an ideal <a href="">travel shoe</a> thanks to their versatile style and variety of colorways, comfort, as well as how easy they are to throw in your suitcase (or even your <a href="">carry-on</a>). </p><p><strong>Related: </strong>More <a href="">comfortable shoes</a></p><img alt="Black and Grey Ballet Flat "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $228</p><p>The flats feature a soft leather and suede upper with an elastic band on the middle of the foot. The square toe gives them a modern edge, while a padded insole provides plenty of comfort. They're impressively lightweight, too, which means you can easily pack them in your suitcase, or even throw them in your tote or backpack if you want to carry a spare pair of shoes. </p><p>In addition to their comfort and lightweight feel, these shoes are also great for travel because of how many unique color combinations are available. In particular, the colorway called Luggage combines camel leather, black suede, and a black strap, so no matter what colors you're wearing, your shoes will go with everything. Similarly, the Navy and Black style combines several different neutral colors that will help pull any outfit together.</p><img alt="Navy and Grey Ballet Flats and Camel and Black Ballet Flats "src=""><p>Shoppers are loving these flats so far, as evidenced by rave reviews on M.Gemi's site. "This ballet flat is hands down the most comfortable flat I've worn. It fits like a glove and true to size. I can dress them up and down. The elastic strap is comfy and chic! It gives me the support I need," one reviewer wrote.</p><p>Another shopper commented on just how comfortable these flats are. "The best part of the shoe had to be the cushy footbed, like literal clouds. Also love the rubber bottom especially on wet days [because] there is no slippage on any surface."</p><p><em>Love a great deal? <a href=";fm=340&amp;regsource=25567">Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter</a> and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week. </em></p>
Categories: Travel

A Man 'Punched' This Woman's Seat When She Reclined on a Flight — and the Video Is Going Viral

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 09:36
<p>An American Airlines passenger claims that a man sitting behind her on a recent flight continually punched the back of her seat, leaving her with headaches and need of medical care.</p><p>Wendi Williams, who recorded the situation described her experience on Twitter last week, said the whole incident stemmed from a dispute over reclining her seat.</p><p>“After much consideration, and exhausting every opportunity for #AmericanAirlines to do the right thing, I’ve decided to share my assault, from the passenger behind me, and the further threats, from an American Airline flight attendant,” Williams <a href="">wrote on Twitter.</a> “She offered him a complimentary cocktail!”</p><p>Williams was traveling from New Orleans to Charlotte, North Carolina, on an American Eagle flight (owned by American Airlines). According to <a href=";depapt=MSY">FlightView</a>, this flight is an average of three hours long.</p><p>Apparently, she began to recline her seat and the man behind her asked her to put her seat back because he was eating. Williams claims that she obliged, but after he was finished eating, she reclined her seat again.</p><p>In the video posted by Williams, it looks like the man is purposefully and incessantly tapping or lightly punching the back of her seat. While this looks like a nuisance, Williams says that the man was punching much harder on the back of the seat before she started recording. She also says she had a previously existing condition that she had to have neck surgeries and spinal fusions to treat since the incident. </p><p>"I’ve lost time at work, had to visit a doctor, got x-rays, and have has horrible headaches for a week," <a href="">she explained.</a> </p><p>To make matters worse, according to Williams, the flight attendant did not help the situation.</p><p>“When the FA came. She rolled her eyes at me and said, “What?” She then told him it was tight back there and gave him rum! She told me I had to delete the video! It’s against the law to video on a plane. I asked her name &amp; She gave me a Passenger Disturbance Notice,” <a href="">she wrote.</a></p><p>American Airlines <a href="">released a statement to <em>NBC News,</em></a> saying, “We are aware of a customer dispute that transpired on American Eagle flight 4392, operated by Republic Airways on January 31. The safety and comfort of our customers and team members is our top priority, and our team is looking into the issue.”</p><p><em>NBC News</em> also noted that they could not verify what happened before or after the video was taken. </p><p>The issue caused Twitter users to sound off — both in support of Williams and not. </p><p><a href="">One Twitter user,</a> who tried to see both sides of the situation said, “No offense but this gentleman, although he's an idiot, his seat does not recline. So it is unfair for the person in front to recline their seat.” Although some people consider reclining seats a nuisance or “rude”, there are no rules, spoken or unspoken, about not reclininy your seat if the person behind you does not. Either way, getting physical with other passengers is not a solution to the problem."</p><p><a href="http://">Williams said</a> that she has been in contact with American Airlines, saying that the carrier apologized for the incident, but did not “accept responsibility” for the flight attendant.</p>
Categories: Travel

Amtrak's Valentine's Day Sale Includes Two-for-one Fares As Low As $29 (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 08:31
<p>Amtrak may be giving one of the best <a href="">Valentine's Day</a> gifts out there with a two-for-one deal for you and a loved one. </p><p>Thanks to their <a href="">Amtrak Loves You Sale</a> the rail line is offering two rail tickets for half the price. Both tickets are issued together, so both passengers must be traveling at the same time.</p><p>Between Feb. 13 and Feb. 17, you can take advantage of this buy-one-get-one deal on the Amtrak website. Seating may not be available on all trains, at all times, but it’s the best way to sneak in a cozy weekend together. Other restrictions and blackout dates may also apply.</p><img alt="Amtrak Surfliner train "src=""><p>Travel fares could be as low as $183 from New York to Washington D.C., $66.50 from San Francisco to Los Angeles, $31 from Chicago to St. Louis, $54 from Richmond, Vir. to Charlotte, $29 from Portland, Maine, to Boston, and even $164 from New York to Atlanta.</p><p>Actual travel days must take place between Mar. 9 and Aug. 30, so even if you can’t get out of town right away, you can still make plans for an amazing spring and summer vacation. Discounted tickets are only available for coach passengers.</p><p>The deal applies to many routes (including long distance) across the company’s national network, including the Acela, Adirondack, Carolinian/Piedmont, Cascades, Downeaster, Downstate Illinois Services, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Heartland Flyer, Maple Leaf, Michigan Services, Missouri River Runner, Northeast Regional, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, and Vermonter lines.</p><p>In order to cash in on this deal, visit Amtrak's Valentine’s Day sale <a href="">here,</a> or use the discount code (V214) when making your booking. AutoTrain service is not available for this deal and changes on itineraries once travel begins are not permitted.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Adorable A-frame Airbnb in the Catskills Will Make Your Instagram Dreams Come True (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 08:25
<p> </p><p><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">The Hunter Greenhouse</a>, a stunning <a href="">Airbnb</a> located in the tranquil woods in the midst of the <a href="">Catskills</a>, is inviting travelers to stay and take a break from the world.</p><img alt="Hunter Greenhouse in Upstate New York "src=""><p>The home, situated some two hours north of New York City, is “a place to slow down, indulge in personal nostalgia, drink a glass (or two) of wine, and let your mind disconnect and wander,” the homeowners describe. They also note it’s “a place designed for friends and family. For good food and good conversation. There's hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter, mountain fresh air and dark, starry nights.”</p><p>If that isn’t enough to convince you to book a stay perhaps taking a look at the home’s adorable farmhouse decor will.</p><img alt="Kitchen at Hunter Greenhouse in Upstate New York "src=""><p>The A-frame greenhouse comes with three bedrooms and two baths with enough room to comfortably house up to six guests at once. Each of the home’s bedrooms come with plush white bedding, and one room even comes with its own hammock to stretch out in.</p><p>As for the rest of the house, the owners say it comes with everything you’d ever need for a relaxing stay, including a fully equipped kitchen with a waffle maker and “more coffee brewing devices than are probably necessary,” Avalon Organics bath products in each room, a record player, board games, and a television that comes with Netflix already set up.</p><img alt="Bedroom at Hunter Greenhouse in Upstate New York "src=""><img alt="Living room at Hunter Greenhouse in Upstate New York "src=""><p>The house is located on three wooded acres of land but also backs into protected state land, meaning guests get the utmost privacy during their stay.</p><p>But, for those looking for a bit more action, the home is also just a few minutes’ drive outside of the town of Tannersville. There, visitors can check out all the local shops, dine in its delicious restaurants, or even take to the mountains in the winter at the nearby Windham Ski Resort.</p><img alt="Cozy corner at Hunter Greenhouse in Upstate New York "src=""><p>Rent the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Hunter Greenhouse for $359 per night here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Tour Company Is Offering a $29 Deposit Deal for Leap Year

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 08:14
<p>If you’ve been waiting for the deal of a lifetime before going on vacation this is for you.</p><p>In honor of <a href="">leap year</a>, the global tour operator <a href="">Friendly Planet Travel</a> is offering vacation-goers the opportunity to book a trip by plopping down just a $29 deposit now through Feb. 29. Guests then simply pay the rest later.</p><p>The deal allows guests to secure a spot on one of Friendly Planet Travel’s small group tours to destinations like <a href="">Egypt</a>, <a href="">Kenya</a>, <a href="">Turkey</a>, <a href="">Peru</a>, <a href="">Morocco</a>, and more.</p><p>For example, in Egypt, guests can hop on an 11-day cruise down the Nile, which includes stops in Cairo, Luxor, Esna, Kom Ombo, Aswan, and a return journey to Cairo. All this begins at $2,749 and includes flights to and from JFK airport in New York, meals, excursions, transportation, guides, and more.</p><p>Not sure about a guided tour? Read up on one of the many five-star reviews of this trip alone: “Everything was first class from beginning to end. The accommodations were wonderful, the tour guide was extremely competent, and our egyptologist, Amani, was amazing. It was a bucket list trip that did not disappoint! I would recommend this trip by Friendly Planet to anyone.”</p><p>Or, guests can choose to put down a $29 deposit for a small group tour through Peru. That 10-day journey includes stops in Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Puno, and Machu Picchu. That trip goes for $3,699 and again includes flights from Miami, as well as all transfers, most meals, excursions, local guides, and more.</p><p>“Amazing is an apt description! Excellent itinerary and knowledgeable guides,” one traveler wrote about this trip. “Outstanding hotels, several had spas onsite. Peru is a super destination for history lovers and scenery fans alike. Friendly people too. Machu Picchu is more impressive than pictures.”</p><p>Check out all of <a href="">Friendly Planet’s offerings</a> and put down just $29 for the adventure of a lifetime now. Because these deals likely won’t be back until 2024.</p>
Categories: Travel

What to Know About the Cruise Ships That Have Been Affected by Coronavirus

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 07:53
<p>Amid the spread of coronavirus, which has infected over 60,000 people globally, passengers on cruise ships following the outbreak quickly had their itineraries changed. </p><p>Holland America’s Westerdam cruise ship — that was denied entry in five countries even though there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus on board — has finally been allowed to dock in Cambodia. Early Thursday local time, the ship docked at the Sihanoukville port where it will remain for a few days. Guests will disembark as they are cleared to travel, and will fly home on flights arranged by the cruise line. They also received refunds and were offered a future cruise credit, <a href="">the company said in a statement.</a></p><p>The ship, that departed Hong Kong on February 1, was scheduled to disembark in Shanghai last week before coronavirus — now known as covid-19 — spread in mainland China. Over the past few days, the ship was also denied disembarkment in the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Guam and Thailand, amid fears of spreading the virus despite its assertion that all 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members onboard were healthy.</p><p>“All guests on board are healthy and despite erroneous reports there are no known or suspected cases of coronavirus on board, nor have there ever been,” the cruiseline said at the time. </p><p>Another cruise ship that has been significantly affected at sea by the deadly outbreak is the Diamond Princess that is <a href="">currently under quarantine.</a> Docked in Yokohoma, Japan since Feb. 4 with 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members aboard, 218 passengers are infected with 44 of those cases having been confirmed in the past day, <a href="">according to an update</a> from the cruise line. </p><p>Those infected with the virus will be hospitalized, however the ship will remained quarantined until Feb. 19. Passengers are encouraged to spend as much time outside as possible for fresh air while on the ship. </p><p>A Royal Caribbean cruise ship underwent 48 hours of testing by the CDC last week after docking in New Jersey. A total of 27 passengers were tested for coronavirus and all results came back negative.</p><p><strong><a href="">Related: Everything You Need to Know If You're Traveling During the Coronavirus Outbreak (Video)</a></strong></p><p>In January, Carnival’s Costa Smeralda ship was also quarantined in a port north of Rome after a passenger who had arrived from Hong Kong was suspected to have coronavirus. They were instead diagnosed with the common cold and the ship's passengers were allowed to disembark, <a href="">according to <em>The BBC</em>.</a> </p><p>Meanwhile, on land, the U.S. confirmed its 15th case of the virus on Thursday, <a href="">according to the CDC.</a>. </p><p>"The patient is among a group of people under a federal quarantine order at JBSA-Lackland in Texas because of their recent return to the U.S. on a State Department-chartered flight that arrived on February 7, 2020," the CDC said. </p><p>More than 1,300 have died of the virus, <a href="">according to <em>CNN</em></a><em>.</em> At least 3,400 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Could Win a Free Trip to Portugal by Showing up at Newark Airport in a Wedding Dress or Tux

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 17:59
<p>It’s Feb. 12. Have you made <a href="">Valentine’s Day</a> plans yet? If you just broke into a cold sweat because you absolutely forgot to plan a big romantic gesture for your partner it’s okay. TAP Air Portugal has your back and is giving away free trips to Lisbon. However, like all good things in life, this giveaway has one big catch.</p><p>On Wednesday, the airline announced its plans to give three couples free tickets for a three-night weekend in Lisbon from Feb. 14 to 17. The lucky Valentine’s Day lovers will be gifted the tickets along with a stay at the recently renovated <a href="">Tivoli Avenida Liberdade</a>.</p><p>However, to qualify for the tickets, couples have show up at Newark Liberty International Airport in full wedding attire. That’s right, that means a dress and tuxedo of some variety. Couples must also meet at TAP’s ticket counter in Terminal B, at 2 p.m., ahead of the 6:05 p.m. flight the lucky winners will take to Lisbon.</p><p>Should more than three couples arrive in wedding gear on Feb. 14, the airline explained an onsite panel of judges will determine who will receive the free trips.</p><p>Once aboard, the winning couples will each be provided with a glass of champagne to toast to their last-minute trip. And, on Sunday, the winning couples will be treated to a romantic four-hour wine tour, with tastings, courtesy of Estrela d’Alva Tours, before packing their bags to return home the next day.</p><p>Check out all the rules and eligibility requirements for entry on <a href="">TAP’s website now</a>. Not sure you’re ready to commit to wearing a wedding dress or tuxedo for a trip to Portugal? That’s okay, you can still plan your own getaway to <em>Travel + Leisure’s</em> <a href="">2016 destination of the year</a> by <a href="">checking out our tips</a> and booking your own trip from Newark to Lisbon with TAP Air Portugal. And, if you and your honey can wait a few weeks to plan your visit, those flights could cost you just a <a href=";_a=FTUSen-US&amp;adt=1&amp;chd=0&amp;inf=0&amp;_l=en-us&amp;origin=NYC&amp;destination=LIS&amp;depDate=13.03.2020&amp;retDate=16.03.2020&amp;depTime=0&amp;retTime=0&amp;resident=false&amp;maxConn=-1&amp;yad=0&amp;market=US&amp;cabinClass=Y&amp;currency=&amp;searchType=fixed&amp;uh=8916f0a77f94ecbd2d671620b46345be&amp;">few hundred bucks</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Sleep in This School Bus in the Woods That's Actually an Adorable Airbnb

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 17:38
<p>Sleeping on a bus just got a lot more comfortable.</p><p>Travelers looking for a little zen in a tiny space can find just that by <a href="">boarding a school bus</a> turned tiny home nestled in the Black Mountains just outside of <a href="">Asheville</a>, <a href="">North Carolina</a>.</p><p>“This is not your typical hippy bus,” the owners of the adorable tiny home describe in their Airbnb listing. And, just taking one look at the photos of the property proves they are right.</p><img alt="Airbnb Bus on a Farm in Weaverville, NC "src=""><p>From the outside, the baby blue bus looks like any other mode of transportation, however, upon stepping inside guests will find a delightfully decorated space that comes with every amenity they may need to have an excellent stay in the middle of nature.</p><img alt="Airbnb Bus on a Farm in Weaverville, NC "src=""><p>The bus comes with an extra-comfy full-size bed surrounded by windows to let natural light in. The home also comes with a working sink for guests to use to clean dishes or wash up, along with a cute sitting and eating area right in the middle. The bus also comes equipped with electricity as well as a coffee maker to ensure guests can have the perfect morning with a cup of coffee while taking in the view.</p><p>But, there’s one more special reason to book this bus.</p><p>“This bus is a special project,” the owners describe. “We are using the funds generated from guests like you to sponsor an artist residency here at Sparklebark during July and August.”</p><p>The owners further explain, they are collaborating with the group <a href="">SONG</a>, a multi-issue southern justice movement whose membership base is largely LGBTQ southerners and people of color.</p><p>“The goal is to provide a safe, nurturing, and inspiring retreat to LGBTQ southern artists, free of charge,” the owners said. “By staying in our gorgeous bus, you will be helping to provide opportunities to folks who would otherwise not have the chance to come on retreat to a quiet place and let their creative juices flow.”</p><p>Check out the bus and its <a href="">availability on Airbnb here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Photograph of 2 Mice Fighting Over Crumbs Won a Major Wildlife Photography Award

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 17:06
<p>When someone says “wildlife photography,” most people picture something majestic like lions prowling the Serengeti or whales breeching out of an ocean. But the winner of this year’s “Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People’s Choice Award” stunned the contest with something a bit more (extra)ordinary.</p><p>Sam Rowley, a photographer from Bristol, England, visited different platforms in London’s underground every night for a week to capture the perfect shot of typical late-night Tube dwellers — mice.</p><p>He waited patiently for his moment, getting on the ground of in order to capture the mice at the perfect angle and scored his winning shot. Entitled “Station Squabble,” the image shows two mice fighting over a crumb dropped by passengers. It’s surprisingly poignant and shows mice in a manner seldom seen, or noticed.</p><p>“I'm so pleased to win this award,” Rowley said in a statement. “It's been a lifetime dream to succeed in this competition in this way, with such a relatable photo taken in such an everyday environment in my hometown. I hope it shows people the unexpected drama found in the most familiar of urban environments.”</p><p>The winning image was selected from more than 48,000 entries. Judges from <a href="">Britain’s Natural History Museum</a> narrowed the results down to a final 25. From those finalists, the winner was selected by a public vote of more than 28,000 people.</p><p>The entry pool included amateur and professional photographers from around the world, capturing striking images of polar bears, jaguars, frogs and more. A total of five shortlisted photographs were awarded a prize.</p><p>Rowley’s winning image will be on display at the Natural History Museum in London until May.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Hotel Has a Room With a $200,000 Mattress

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 16:48
<p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Lotte New York Palace</a> is already well-known as a luxurious <a href="">New York City</a> hotel that provides every amenity a guest could ever need. However, thanks to its new partnership with Hästens, the hotel is now giving guests amenities they never even dreamed of. That includes a night on a $200,000 mattress.</p><p>In November, the hotel unveiled its <a href="">Ultimate Sleep Suite</a>, featuring the Vividus king bed by Hästens, which retails for $200,000. The room also comes with other Hästens-branded accessories including bathrobes, sleep masks, and custom linens, as well as Hästens pajamas and slippers that every guest gets to keep.</p><img alt="Lotte NY Palace Ultimate Sleep Suite "src=""><p>“At Hästens, we are about family and that feeling of family,” Jan Ryde, executive chairman and fifth-generation owner at Hästens, told <em><a href="">Hotel Business</a></em>. “We met with the Lotte New York Palace team over a sleep consultation at one of our stores, and we could see there was a connection of an extensive history for both brands and shared goals. We had this dream of offering a Sleep Suite and sharing our mattresses with the hotel industry, but our main goal is to deliver the best sleep in the world. We believe that in order to make that happen, people need to try our beds.”</p><p>As Hästens explains of the mattress on its <a href="">website</a>, it’s a “masterpiece of the finest natural materials, traditional craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. It takes an un-rushed 45 days to complete a single order – and even then, there are nine of the world’s most foremost bed artisans on the task.”</p><p>Each bed, including the one found in the hotel, is crafted with horsetail hair, cushioning flax, slow-growing pine, superior wool, and long-fiber cotton, making for the softest sleep experience one can imagine.</p><p>However, the mattress isn’t the only reason to book the room. The entire sleep suite is actually a 2-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot masterpiece that comes with a spacious living/dining area, open kitchen, dining table seating six, a library nook, massive bathrooms with soaking tubs and glass showers, and some sweeping views of New York City below.</p><img alt="Lotte NY Palace Ultimate Sleep Suite "src=""><p>And, as part of the stay, guests will get a free consultation with a "sleep curator" before they arrive. According to <em><a href="">House Beautiful</a></em>, the consultant will work with guests to optimize their sleep by asking about the guest’s pillow preferences, wake-up call time, ideal sleep temperature, and more.</p><p>While the suite sounds relaxing the hotel may want to watch out for its investment. After all, more <a href="">guests steal hotel mattresses</a> than you may realize.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Famous Winter Festival In Japan Had to Import Snow This Year (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 16:36
<p>The Sapporo Snow Festival, an annual event in Hokkaido, Japan, is known its towering sculptures and snowball fights — but this year, the festival was forced to import its snow after a year of abnormally low snowfall and warm temperatures. </p><p><a href=""><em>CNN </em>reported</a> that, despite the lower-than-usual snowfall and number of visitors, more than 200 snow sculptures were on display during the 11-day festival. These sculptures usually require about 30,000 tons of snow. This year, the powder was brought in on trucks from as far away as Niseko (about 37 miles).</p><p>The snow sculptures on display included a gigantic cup of Ramen noodles, a tribute to "Star Wars," and a 50-foot tall replica of Warsaw’s Lazienki Park, created to commemorate 100 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Poland. </p><p>Some concessions were made because of the lack of snow. The extra-long snow slide was about 100 feet shorter than in previous years.</p><img alt="Visitors at the Sapporo Snow Festival "src=""><p>The festival, which ended on Tuesday also saw a dramatic drop in attendance amidst fears of the coronavirus outbreak, <a href=""><i>The Japan Times </i>reported</a>. A little over 2 million attended, which is about 716,000 fewer than last year which was an all-time high record number of attendees. </p><p>Organizers of the festival had anticipated fewer visitors this year after a sudden mass cancellation in hotel bookings after the coronavirus epidemic broke out. Local elementary schools also canceled their traditional visits to the festival as a safety precaution.</p><p>The more than two million visitors who did attend the festival were asked to wear surgical masks and use disinfectants.</p>
Categories: Travel

Emirates Is Having a Two-for-one Sale Just in Time for Valentine's Day (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 16:29
<p>A romantic trip for two sounds like the perfect <a href="">Valentine’s Day</a> — and one of the best international airlines is making it easier to book.</p><p><a href="">Emirates</a> announced its <a href=";intc_type=offers-Emirates&amp;intc_name=Valentine-s-Day-companion-fares&amp;intc_location=book_special-offers&amp;intc_creative=valentines-day-2020-w230x210%5B1%5D_tcm272-7193217.jpg">special, two-for-one fares</a> for Valentine’s Day, according to the airline’s website. <a href=";intc_type=offers-Emirates&amp;intc_name=Valentine-s-Day-companion-fares&amp;intc_location=book_special-offers&amp;intc_creative=valentines-day-2020-w230x210%5B1%5D_tcm272-7193217.jpg">Discounted fares</a> are applicable to both economy and business class seats.</p><p>In some cases, you can get a booking for you and a loved one for as low as $878 (that’s $439 each), which is about as much as you might pay for a domestic flight from New York to Los Angeles, let alone an international flight across the world. Fares from New York City (JFK) to Milan in economy class are available for this discounted price.</p><p>Other economy fares include Newark to Athens for $898, Chicago to Nairobi for $1,578, Los Angeles to Dubai for $1,718, New York to Bali for $1,718, Boston to Bangkok for $1,758, and San Francisco to Maldives for $2,038.</p><p>Business class fares are (unsurprisingly) a little pricier, but this is also an airline that’s well known for providing comfortable service no matter what class you’re in. Fares include New York to Milan for $5,898, Newark to Athens for $7,418, Boston to Bangkok for $7,838, San Francisco to Cape Town for $8,718, Dallas to Dubai for $9,738, and the most expensive ticket: San Francisco to Maldives for $11,938. Business class fares have a minimum stay of seven days and a maximum stay of one month.</p><img alt="Emirates plane "src=""><p>The availability of bookings can depend on your desired route, but flights are generally available for travel between Feb. 18 and Nov. 15. To get the deal, travelers must book by Feb. 16.</p><p>You can even travel in a group. According to the Emirates website, these “companion” deals are applicable to parties that have a minimum of two travelers to a maximum of eight travelers. So, you can bring the whole family or go on a special double, triple, or quadruple date.</p><p>For more information or to make your booking, visit the <a href=";intc_type=offers-Emirates&amp;intc_name=Valentine-s-Day-companion-fares&amp;intc_location=book_special-offers&amp;intc_creative=valentines-day-2020-w230x210%5B1%5D_tcm272-7193217.jpg">Emirates Valentine’s Day sale page</a>. Some restrictions, surcharges and blackout dates may apply. </p>
Categories: Travel

From Los Angeles to the Outer Banks, Hotels Around the U.S. Are Celebrating Leap Day With Discounted Stays

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 14:16
<p>Leap Day as we know it is just an extra day in the year, but why not spend it in a hotel at a specially discounted price to celebrate? </p><p>The<a href=""> InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown</a> is offering guests $29 stays on Leap Day night. The hotel is in a famed LA skyscraper, the tallest building west of Chicago. Those who book a full-price night on Friday, February 28 will be able to get Leap Day night reservations for the low $29 price.</p><p>While you’re there, be sure to take in some of the city’s best views from the lobby on the 70th floor or the 73rd floor open-air bar. In order to make the leap day booking, guests must call to make a reservation at 1-877-666-3243 or 866-782-2743 and mention rate code IKOTH.</p><img alt="InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown "src=""><img alt="InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown "src=""><p>The <a href="">Sanderling Resort</a> on North Carolina’s Outer Banks is offering a similar deal. Guests who book a night from February 16 through March 1 can tack on a second night for only $29. Book the offer by calling 855-412-7866 or texting “LEAP” to 866-281.</p><p>Those who wish to spend their Leap Year in Las Vegas can book nights at <a href="">The Venetian</a>. The resort is offering suites at up to 29 percent off when you book two nights. The offer is good if you book your reservations from February 24 through March 8 although the stay can be anywhere from February 24 through September 13, 2020 (blackout dates may apply).</p><p>In New York City, Moxy hotels are offering 29 percent off bookings. If your stay includes leap day, you can get 29 percent off that night. Guests will also receive two glasses of prosecco to celebrate the day.</p><p>If you happen to have been born on Februrary 29, you can receive a free night’s stay and a bottle of prosecco at the <a href="">Moxy Chelsea</a>, <a href="">Moxy East Village</a> or <a href="">Moxy Times Square</a> when you show a valid license. To make the booking, email <a href=""></a>, <a href=""></a> or <a href=""></a>.</p><p>Denver’s <a href="">Halcyon Hotel </a>is offering 29 percent off rates for Leap Day. Guests who book the “Forever Young” package will also get free access to Denver’s fitness studios including SoulCycle and Corepower Yoga, a bottle of Chandon champagne and late check-out, depending on availability. And if you’re lucky enough to have been born on February 29, the hotel will give you a free upgrade to a suite when you show your valid license. To book, use the promo code “LEAP20”.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Train Pass Is the Secret to City-hopping Through Europe on the Cheap (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 14:01
<p>For many travelers, exploring Europe is a must — a rite of passage, even. And for travelers looking to plan the perfect Eurotrip, snagging a Eurail pass is vital.</p><p>Since its debut in 1959, Eurail has helped travelers squeeze the most out of their time abroad. The pass has long been a favorite among backpackers, study-abroad students, wandering nomads, and those with limited vacation days, but a strong desire to see the world. If you’re out to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, or you just want some freedom from the hassle of travel planning, investing in a Eurail pass is a no-brainer.</p><p>Below, we’ve put together a complete guide to the Eurail pass, covering everything you need to know to use the pass and optimize your time in Europe.</p><img alt="Man on Swiss Highspeed train with Eurail Group "src=""><h2>Who Should Buy a Eurail Pass and Why </h2><p>Eurail is a single rail pass that grants access to 40,000 destinations across 33 different countries in Europe. In other words, it's the most flexible and convenient way for visitors to explore the continent with ease. Unlike a traditional train ticket, a Eurail pass gives travelers the ability to utilize existing infrastructure — Europe’s thousands of railways — to travel between destinations for a set amount of days.</p><p>If you’re heading to Europe and planning on visiting more than one location — as in, multiple countries or even multiple cities within the same country — then you’re going to want to equip your journey with a Eurail pass. The pass essentially provides all-inclusive access to Europe’s well-connected train system, meaning you don’t have to book tickets for each individual leg.</p><p>Eurail passes are available to anyone — college-age backpackers, couples, families, and travelers looking to make the most of their time in Europe on a budget — but special discounts are provided to certain age groups.</p><p>The catch? Eurail passes are not available to Europeans; they’re solely for non-European residents. However, European citizens do have the option of purchasing an Interrail Pass, which is similar to a Eurail pass, but for Europeans only.</p><img alt="Interior of Annecy train to Paris on Eurail Group "src=""><h2>How to Buy and Use a Eurail Pass</h2><p>Currently, Eurail offers two different pass types: the Global Pass and the One Country Pass. A Global Pass is essentially the all-inclusive option: It gives travelers the ability to take a train between any of Eurail’s 33 participating countries. Meanwhile, the One Country Pass works only within a single country (there are 29 countries currently available on this pass).</p><p>Travelers select either a Flexi Pass, which includes a predetermined amount of train travel days (such as four travel days within one month), or a Continuous Pass, which includes unlimited train travel days during a predetermined trip length (such as 15 days or three months).</p><p>Eurail also groups certain regions, so that you can score multiple countries for the price of one. For example, the Benelux Pass includes Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, while the Scandinavia Pass includes Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.</p><p>Once you’ve chosen the pass that best fits your needs, you can order it through <a href="">Eurail’s website</a>. Eurail ships the physical pass booklet to you worldwide, including an address in Europe, if you’re already there. It’s best to order your pass at least four weeks before your trip to ensure it ships in time and you can secure any necessary reservations. However, you can plan as far as 11 months in advance. You can also purchase a pass at European train stations.</p><p>Before you can use the pass, you’ll need to activate it. Validating the pass can be done online using Eurail’s free pre-activation service at checkout, or at a European train station once you arrive. You must activate the pass within 11 months of its issue date.</p><p>Once your pass is validated, you’re ready to go. Simply choose a train and then present your pass upon boarding. Make sure to fill out the required information in your pass booklet for each ride, as the conductor will come by to verify and stamp it.</p><p>Eurail’s easy-to-navigate <a href="">Rail Planner App</a> lets you search train timetables, plan your route, and make reservations where needed. The My Trip section of the mobile app makes it simple to save your journey and see your route broken down as a day-by-day itinerary.</p><p>Note that some trains in Europe require a seat reservation. In these cases, railway carriers charge a reservation fee that is not included in the price of your Eurail pass. However, seat reservation prices are typically nominal (around $10 to $25, even for overnight trains).</p><p>Most reservations can be booked through Eurail’s <a href="">Self-Service</a> option. Alternatively, you can book in person at the station, over the phone, online, or through the Rail Planner App.</p><h2>Eurail Pass Cost and Discounts</h2><p>In 2019, Eurail retired its two- to four-country Select Passes, focusing instead on the Global and One Country Passes. These changes enabled Eurail to roll out significantly discounted prices, add a second-class option on all adult Global Passes, and even introduce a Senior category, encouraging an older generation to travel as well.</p><img alt="Passengers at Germany train station with Eurail Group "src=""><p>The cost of a Eurail pass varies widely depending on the type of pass you purchase. For example, a Global Pass with five travel days in one month is usually between $319 and $425, while a 15-day unlimited pass falls between $501 and $667. A three-month unlimited pass usually costs between $1,019 and $1,358, and a One Country Pass for Italy is usually $144 to $271, while France is typically $87.</p><p>There are various age-group discounts available: Travelers aged 12 to 27 can purchase Youth tickets and receive a 25 percent discount (up from 23 percent in 2019), while seniors aged 60 or older receive a 10 percent discount. Children under 11 travel for free.</p><p>If you’re not eligible for an age-based discount, keep an eye out for special promotions — Eurail regularly runs deals, especially for booking far in advance.</p><h2>Where to Go With a Eurail Pass</h2><p>Eurail’s network includes 33 of the 44 countries in Europe, so your options are plentiful, and you can travel to a new country every day, if that’s what strikes your fancy.</p><p>Plus, Eurail regularly adds new countries and routes to <a href="">their portfolio</a> — as of Jan. 1, 2020, Estonia and Latvia are the most recent additions. Popular destinations like France, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, and Poland have long been included.</p><p>Eurail also recently added a <a href="">Greek Islands Pass</a>, which covers ferry trips between 53 Greek islands aboard partner carriers Superfast and Blue Star Ferries. The Greek Islands Pass is available for $102 (five trips within one month) or $199 (six trips within one month). The pass is also available at Eurail’s discounted Youth rate of $77 or $175 for the five- and six-trip option, respectively.</p><h2>Benefits of Having a Eurail Pass in Europe</h2><p>The main perk of exploring Europe with a Eurail pass is the fact that it enables you to hit multiple stops with minimal hassle. For one affordable price, you can board trains across the continent and hop between destinations with ease, freeing you from the logistical nightmare of planning and arranging tickets for each individual leg of your journey.</p><p>A Eurail pass allows travelers to be as flexible or organized as they choose to be on a trip to Europe. During one short visit, you can check off bucket-list spots like Italy, France, Great Britain, Spain, Germany, and more. Or, you can explore just one country in-depth, without having to arrange tickets every time you want to head somewhere new.</p><p>Eurail also partners with hostels, tour operators, and restaurants across Europe, so there are some added <a href="">pass benefits</a> such as discounts at Generator Hostels, free or discounted ferry and bus trips, and cards that grant access to a city’s top attractions.</p><p>To maximize your pass, figure out the optimal pass type for your needs and then fully explore the benefits that come with your purchase. You’ll be posing in front of the Eiffel Tower and snacking on pizza in front of the Colosseum in no time.</p><img alt="Glacier Express train station in Switzerland "src=""><h2>Recommended Eurail Pass Routes</h2><p>If you’ve never been to Europe, you’ll likely want to use your Eurail pass to hit highlights like London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, and Berlin, but don’t pass up the opportunity to get off the beaten path a bit, too. With a Eurail pass, you’re free to get creative.</p><p>If you’ve always wanted to visit Luxembourg and Lithuania, but have no interest in Spain or Portugal, that’s not a problem: Depending on the pass type you purchase, your travel plans are entirely up to you. Just make sure to consult a map and plot a route that makes sense geographically.</p><p>Are you more into nature’s wonders than mankind’s? Book a Scandinavia Pass and wander through Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland in pursuit of the northern lights. Or, experience the beauty of Switzerland, a favorite among families — Switzerland’s Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt, included in a Eurail pass, traverses 91 tunnels, crosses the Oberalp Pass, and winds through the stunning Swiss Alps. The Golden Pass route, also included, skirts Lake Geneva and passes through some of the most picturesque mountain towns in Europe, including Gstaad and Interlaken.</p><p>Another idea is to add a theme to your itinerary: With the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics around the corner, why not take an Olympic tour of Europe? You can start at the site of the first-ever Winter Olympics in 1924 — Chamonix, France — and then head to Paris, home of the second-ever Summer Olympics in 1900. From there, hop to Antwerp, Belgium — home to the first Olympic games after the turmoil of World War I — and then take the high-speed Eurostar under the English Channel to London, England, the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics.</p><p>Exploring lesser-visited Eastern Europe is also made easier by Eurail. With 2020’s inclusion of Estonia and Latvia, the pass now covers rail travel across all of the Baltic countries for the first time in its history. Plus, with the pass, you can take the ferry between Riga and Stockholm or Germany, or from Tallinn to Stockholm or Helsinki, all for up to 50 percent less than you’d pay for these same international ferry connections without the pass.</p>
Categories: Travel

Airbus Unveils Design for Manta Ray-shaped Plane That Will Cut Carbon Emissions

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 13:28
<p>This week Airbus revealed that it has been been working on a new plane that could reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent. And although becoming more environmentally friendly in aviation is in full swing, this plane has a whole new look. </p><p>The MAVERIC (which stands for Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls), that debuted at the Singapore Air Show on Tuesday, looks like a manta ray. The wings of the plane are blended into its body to create a more aerodynamic shape that would burn about 20 percent less fuel, compared to a traditional aircraft with the same engine. The aircraft would be more complicated to control but much more fuel-efficient, <a href="">according to <em>Reuters. </em></a></p><p>Airbus is currently working a scale-model technological demonstrater that has a surface area of about seven square feet. But if/when the aircraft is fully developed, t believes that it could create a more spacious cabin experience for passengers, with more legroom and wider aisles than the traditional single-aisle aircraft.</p><p>“Although there is no specific time line for entry-into-service, this technological demonstrator could be instrumental in bringing about change in commercial aircraft architectures for an environmentally sustainable future for the aviation industry,” Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus’s executive vice president of engineering, said in a statement.</p><p>Airbus said that its flight test campaign for the demonstrator aircraft will continue through the middle of 2020.</p><p>Airbus is developing the MAVERIC alongside several other more experimental projects through a research program called AirbusUpNext. The manufacturer is also investigating aircraft with hybrid-electric propulsion, v-shaped “formation” flight and autonomous taxi take-off and landing.</p><p>The aviation industry is considering all sorts of new types of aircraft in an effort to reduce its carbon emissions. <a href="">Earlier this week, a concept for a new jet that looks like a flying “T” emerged</a>. The concept would operate with zero carbon emissions.</p>
Categories: Travel

10 Totally New Things to Do in Hawaii in 2020

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 13:01
<p>You can add exotic island destinations like <a href="">Bali</a> and <a href="">Fiji</a> to your 2020 <a href="">bucket list</a>, but the reality is that some of the world’s most beautiful islands can be found right here in the U.S. And you won’t need a passport (or a lot of money) to visit the Hawaiian islands. Thanks to increased airline competition in 2019, airfare to the state has been dropping, and the experts at <a href="">Scott’s Cheap Flights</a> expect that trend to continue in 2020.</p><p>Great flights aren’t the only thing driving <a href="">tourists to Hawaii</a>, though. Alongside new hotels, tours, and restaurants, the state is rolling out plenty of fresh experiences in 2020. From <a href="">whale watching</a> by kayak to climbing a volcano and stargazing, even Hawaii regulars will find something new to do, see, or experience this year.</p><p>Below are some of the most exciting new things to do in Hawaii in 2020.</p><img alt="Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, A Sensei Retreat "src=""><h2>Treat yourself to an adults-only wellness retreat on Lanai.</h2><p>Hawaii’s brand new Four Seasons is doing things a bit differently. Located on the exclusive island of Lanai, the property takes visitors off the typical tourist track and transports them to an adults-only all-inclusive wellness destination. Thanks to a partnership with <a href="">Sensei</a>, a well-being company, and the renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the <a href="">Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, a Sensei Retreat</a> is offering programs and experiences that are expertly tailored to each guest.</p><img alt="Milky Way and Venus over Haleakala "src=""><h2>Watch the sunset and stargaze from a volcano on Maui.</h2><p>During this tour, you’ll have the chance to watch the sunset from the summit of Haleakala, a shield volcano on Maui, before enjoying dinner and an evening of stargazing. According to <a href="">Hoku Hawaii Tours</a>, guests will “discover the ancient art of wayfinding” and hear “legends passed down for generations that perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.”</p><h2>Stay in a bungalow with private beach access.</h2><p>Skip the island of Hawaii’s busy (albeit beautiful) <a href="">Punalu'u Beach</a> and enjoy the ultimate luxury: a two-bedroom, three-bath bungalow with a private pool, spa, and beach access. It’s all possible at the newly renovated <a href="">Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection</a>, a hotel that also boasts standard guest rooms and suites, five restaurants and lounges, three pools, and a spa and wellness center.</p><img alt="Passengers on a whale watching boat out of Lahaina, Maui "src=""><h2>Look for whales from a kayak on Kauai.</h2><p>Winter is humpback whale season in Hawaii, but instead of watching from shore, why not book a sea kayak tour for a closer look? On Kayak Kauai’s new <a href="">Po’ipu Whale Watch &amp; Snorkel by Sea Kayak</a> tour, you’ll paddle the same canoe paths taken by early Polynesians and whaling captains. In addition to occasional whale spotting, guests can spot spinner dolphins and green sea turtles. The tour is available to book through April 17, 2020 on the island of Kauai.</p><h2>Check out the all-new luau show on Oahu.</h2><p>You’ve always been able to dine like royalty at the <a href="">Polynesian Cultural Center</a>'s authentic Polynesian luau on the island of Oahu, but now you can top off your meal with the venue’s all-new Onipaa show. The performance is a tribute to Kingdom of Hawaii’s monarch Queen Liliuokalani.</p><img alt="Archival image of young boys from the Mai Kinohi Mai: Surfing in Hawaii exhibit at Bishop Museum "src=""><h2>Take a tour of surf history in Honolulu.</h2><p>Surfers traveling to Hawaii before May 2020 will want to schedule in a rest day to make a stop at Honolulu’s <a href="">Bishop Museum</a>. The museum’s new exhibit, dubbed <em>Mai Kinohi Mai: Surfing in Hawaii</em>, explores the ins and outs of surf history, including the ongoing technical and cultural developments that made the sport an international phenomenon. The exhibit includes traditional Hawaiian surfboards, interactive displays on surf forecasting, and archival photos and memorabilia that showcase surfing’s roots in traditional Hawaiian culture.</p><h2>Test out solar-powered bikes while exploring mountain rainforests in Honolulu.</h2><p>If you’ve been wanting to explore the island on two wheels, but aren’t up for those uphill climbs (you are on a volcanic archipelago, after all), <a href="">Bike Hawaii</a> has you covered. The tour company recently introduced a solar-powered bike tour, allowing guests of all levels to experience the magic of Honolulu’s Koolau mountain rainforests.</p><img alt="Rainbow waterfal in Hilo, Hawaii "src=""><h2>Make Hawaii your own.</h2><p>If you’re over the one-size-fits-all tour mentality, check out <a href="">Hawaii Forest &amp; Trail</a>'s new personalized excursions. On the company’s private, exclusive trips, everything is customizable. Guests can opt for a waterfall swim, beach walk, or two great hikes within a four-hour minimum tour. Up to 12 guests can join in, and Hawaii Forest &amp; Trail takes care of transportation, snacks, and drinks.</p><h2>Fly over Oahu in a helicopter.</h2><p>For a next-level air tour, test out <a href="">Paradise Helicopters</a>' new five-hour trip over Oahu. During the company’s Oahu Eco Landing Tour, participants will have the opportunity to plant native trees at Gunstock Ranch’s Hawaiian Legacy Forest. And if a near five-hour experience is too much, Paradise Helicopters also recently announced a 90-minute Legends of West Oahu Tour.</p><h2>Go rum tasting on Kauai.</h2><p>No island vacation is complete without some time spent on the beach, with rum cocktail in hand. Take that experience up a notch with a rum tasting at <a href="">Koloa Rum Company</a>'s new Koloa town headquarters. The 45,000-square-foot distillery and warehouse on Kauai should be complete by Sept. 2020, giving you just another reason to make Hawaii your 2020 holiday destination</p>
Categories: Travel

This New Hybrid Ship Is the Most Eco-friendly Way to Visit Antarctica

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:15
<p>The great irony of visiting Antarctica is that a trip there can damage the very ecosystem you’re going to see. As the continent registers <a href="">record temperatures</a> — and warming that’s occurring at a rate <a href="">three times faster than the global average</a>, according to the World Meteorological Organization — there’s also a rush on Antarctica, as travelers race to see it before things change even more dramatically. The Arctic, meanwhile, is seeing <a href="">much of the same</a>: more ships, more travelers, and ecological impacts due to climate change.</p><img alt="Pool on cruise line Ponant's new hybrid ship "src=""><img alt="Balcony on cruise line Ponant's new hybrid ship "src=""><p>Now, the French cruise line Ponant is working to do something about this conundrum, while still meeting massive traveler demand for epic polar expeditions. The company’s newest ship, <em>Le Commandant Charcot,</em> will be the first of Ponant’s hybrid-electric ships, designed to run on comparatively cleaner-burning liquid natural gas and battery reserves. That will reduce, though not eliminate, carbon emissions when the ship makes its inaugural trip to the Arctic in May 2021.</p><p>The inaugural season for the <em>Charcot,</em> formerly known as the <a href=""><em>Ponant Icebreaker</em></a><em>,</em> will include Arctic itineraries with stops in Greenland, Iceland, and Norway’s Jan Mayen Island. Later in the season, the ship will go to the Geographic North Pole, Ponant says, before transiting the Northwest Passage during the month of September.</p><img alt="Spa on cruise line Ponant's new hybrid ship "src=""><img alt="Bed in cabin on cruise line Ponant's new hybrid ship "src=""><p>The <em>Charcot</em> will then sail south — all the way south — to Antarctica, where its hybrid capabilities will enable ultra-long itineraries, Ponant says. Trips there will include a 20-day journey through the Drake Passage and Bellingshausen Sea, off the Antarctic Peninsula. All <em>Charcot</em> sailings will include naturalist-led tours, Zodiac excursions, and just about everything on board.</p><img alt="Deck jacuzzi on cruise line Ponant's new hybrid ship "src=""><p>As for the amenities, the ship will have room for 270 passengers in 135 suites, including 68 suites with balconies. There will be two restaurants, a massive infinity pool overlooking the stern, another indoor swimming pool, and a small spa, complete with a “snow room.” You know, just in case.</p>
Categories: Travel

Every Day Is Summer at the 10 Best Indoor Water Parks in America

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 11:31
<p>Summer may come and go, but that doesn’t mean we have to let summer vibes slip away when it starts to get colder. And while much of the country won’t be <a href="">hitting the beach</a> when they days get shorter, we can still chase those memories of long, warm days at an indoor water park.</p><p>Safe from the <a href="">crisp bite of fall air</a> or <a href="">winter snow</a>, these all-weather water parks are the perfect escape.</p><p>From hotels with indoor water parks that are totally over-the-top to ski resorts with water parks — so you can spend the morning on the slopes and warm up in the afternoon with some extra thrills — these parks offer fun for every age.</p><p>These are the 10 best indoor water parks in the U.S. so you don’t ever have to give up the <a href="">best of summer</a>.</p><h2>Kalahari Resort — Wisconsin</h2><img alt="Kalahari Resorts Indoor Waterpark "src=""><p>This 125,000-square-foot Wisconsin Dells <a href="" target="_blank">indoor water pa</a>rk is the largest in the state (and that’s saying something for an area that is overflowing with water parks). Float down the 920-foot lazy river or take the whole family on the Victoria Falls water slide, a 504-foot group raft ride. Later, adults can grab a drink at the park’s swim-up bar while kids try swimming with the fish at the park’s underwater virtual reality experience.</p><h2>Kahuna Laguna — New Hampshire</h2><p>This <a href="" target="_blank">New Hampshire water park</a> offers 40,000 square feet of slides, wave pools, and splash pads that will entertain just about any kid (and their parents too, for that matter). Start on one of the four slides that make up the 3-story slide tower before heading over to the 67,000-gallon zero-entry wave pool. And the youngest adventurers won’t be left out: they can check out the Little Kahuna Play Area, including a 12-inch deep pool and a 3-person slide.</p><h2>Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort — Pennsylvania</h2><p>This <a href="" target="_blank">Pennsylvania water park</a> is kept at a balmy 84 degrees so it feels like summer all the time. Get your thrills with the Cyclone slide, where you’re spun around four times before you’re shot out into a pool. Want more thrills? Try out the Black Hole, a pitch black slide where you won’t know where you’re going until you’re shot out at the end. Later, jump inside the Aqua Tumbler — a giant inflatable ball that shoots water at you while you run inside it — then take a break from getting wet and hit the 3-story-high Tree Tops Ropes Course.</p><h2>Great Wolf Lodge — Wisconsin</h2><img alt="Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park "src=""><img alt="River Canyon Run at Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park "src=""><p>Race your friends on the toboggan-style slide at this <a href="" target="_blank">Wisconsin Dells water park</a> with 13 different slides and nine pools. Afterwards, experience the twists and turns of Lookout Mountain, which shoots you through big boulders. If the 84-degree temperature inside the park isn’t warm enough for you, soothe your muscles in the South Hot Springs warming pool.</p><h2>Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark — Pennsylvania</h2><p>This <a href="" target="_blank">Pennsylvania water park</a> gives you the best of both winter and summer: you can ski outside and then go inside to the water park to play with penguins at the Penguin Play Bay, a (warm) shallow adventure lagoon. If you’re looking for a little more excitement, try the Skydive Plummet, a free-fall body slide with a 360-degree figure eight loop. Later, slow down with a float down the The Lost River, made to look like the site of ruins, or simply relax in the Mystic Springs hot pool.</p><h2>Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark — Michigan</h2><p>This <a href="" target="_blank">huge indoor water park</a> clocks in at 88,000 square feet, with slides, pools, and thrills perfect for kids of all ages (and kids at heart). Young swimmers will love the zero depth Kitz Pool complete with sprinklers, basketball hoops, and a mini-slide, while bigger kids will gravitate to the The Big Couloir, where riders are launched from a capsule through a trap door into a narrow tunnel where they accelerate to 38 feet per second.</p><h2>WaTiki Indoor Waterpark Resort — South Dakota</h2><p>A total of 30,000 square feet of fun await visitors inside this <a href="" target="_blank">glass-enclosed water park</a> that stays a nice 82 degrees, even in the dead of South Dakota’s brutal winters. Speed down several giant water slides that are all connected to the park’s lazy river. Younger kids will love KoKo’s Kingdom, where they can shoot water and stand under a big bucket that dumps a whole heap of water down every eight to ten minutes.</p><h2>Massanutten Resort — Virginia</h2><p>Who needs a regular playground when you can have a <a href="" target="_blank"><em>water-powered</em> playground</a>? Climb to the top of the Massanutten Meltdown for a good overview of all the water cannons, waterfalls, and the giant tipping bucket before making your way over to the Blue Ridge Rapids to float past even more waterfalls. Adventure seekers can then check out the park’s body slides, 39 feet above the ground, or try surfing the Pipeline, which pumps 48,645 gallons of water each minute.</p><h2>Wilderness at the Smokies — Tennessee</h2><img alt="Wilderness at the Smokies River Lodge indoor water park "src=""><p>You can tan all year long at this resort’s 66,000-square-foot Wild <a href="">WaterDome indoor water park</a> with its Foil Tech glass roof that allows the sunshine in year round. Gather the whole family for the Runaway Canyon, a five-story-high raft ride that sends you shooting through 450 feet of tunnels and loops before dropping you nearly 60 feet. Looking for an even greater thrill? Try the Storm Chaser Thrill Ride that sends you into a zero gravity fall before shooting you into a funnel and then a pool below.</p><h2>Jay Peak Pump House — Vermont</h2><p>Take a break from skiing this mountain’s slopes and relax in the <a href="" target="_blank">park’s indoor and outdoor hot tubs</a> — you can even watch the snow fall while you sit in 100-degree-plus water. Later, test how brave you are with the resort’s La Chute slide, which stands 65 feet in the air and shoots you down at 45 miles per hour, or float down the Big River where you’ll encounter rapids and strong currents (so the resort doesn’t exactly call it a lazy river).</p>
Categories: Travel

Take in Some of the Best Views of Patagonia at This New Lodge in Argentina

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 11:15
<p>Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words. At the forthcoming <a href="">Explora El Chaltén</a>, guests will be able to wake up in one of 20 rooms, step up to their windows, and take absolutely breathtaking (and jealousy-inducing) photos of the snow-covered peaks of <a href="" target="_blank">Patagonia’s</a> Los Huemules Natural Reserve without even stepping outside.</p><p>Not that they’ll want to stay indoors. This new lodge, slated to open in October, will put travelers in the heart of a more than 14,000-acre privately held tract of land, with hiking trails, rock climbing routes, and expeditions to nearby glaciers. (In some seasons, they’ll even offer ice climbing.) Guests get access to 15 miles of marked trails within Los Huemules, and they’ll also be within reach of the trails and monumental ice floes of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, or Glaciers National Park, on the border with Chile and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s without a doubt <a href="">one of South America’s most epic attractions</a>.</p><img alt="Explora El Chaltén lodge common area in Patagonia "src=""><p>Explora El Chaltén follows the model of six other Explora lodges across Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru: Stays are fully all-inclusive, with accommodations, all food and drinks, as well as most activities included, so you don’t have to worry about getting nickel-and-dimed on certain treks or experiences. (A few of the available expeditions at El Chaltén will come at extra cost, like “a full-day exploration to Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate. [Which] includes transfers, time spent with gauchos, lunch, and navigating by vessel in front of the Perito Moreno glacier, all in the company of an expert guide,” Explora says.) The overall vibe is one more focused on the experiences outside the lodge than the amenities within — not to mention the preservation of this fragile environment.</p><p>That said, the lodge itself deserves a mention. The property will be built in what Explora calls “the classical style of ancient Patagonian estancias.” Renderings show lots of blonde wood and dark accents, with picture windows onto the stunning landscapes of this corner of Southern Argentina. There will be three suites and 17 guestrooms, all with Jacuzzi-style tubs; kids will be welcome at the lodge, with rollaway beds and even cribs available. A 1,300-square-foot spa, a bar, and a full-service restaurant with an Argentinean menu round out the amenities.</p><img alt="Explora El Chaltén lodge exterior in Patagonia "src=""><p>Rates will start at $2,190 per person for a three-night stay or $2,883 for four nights. That includes just about everything on site plus “round-trip transfers to El Calafate International Airport as well as hotels in Calafate,” Explora says. Not bad for those billion-dollar views.</p>
Categories: Travel