Travel

The World’s Largest Underwater Restaurant Is Now Taking Reservations (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 12:00
<p>Along the coast of Båly, a small town on Norway’s southernmost shore, something like a sperm whale pokes out of the North Sea. But the irregular structure isn’t an animal. It’s the world’s largest underwater restaurant, preparing to welcome its first diners.</p><p><a href="https://under.no/" target="_blank">Under</a> — expected to open to the public in April 2019 — has two aquatic claims to fame, depending on whom you ask. It’s Europe’s first underwater restaurant and the largest of its kind in the world.</p><img alt="snohetta norway underwater hotel restaurant design "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1508857581/underwater-hotel-by-snohetta-norway-AQUARESTO1017_0.jpg?itok=nWG70M0d"><p>It took about six months to construct the building on a barge near the coast. In July of this year, <a href="https://snohetta.com/" target="_blank">Snohetta</a>, the designer, submerged the building 16 feet underwater and secured it to the ocean floor. Now the agency is completing work on the interiors.</p><p>More than half the structure is underwater. Guests enter by land and then swirl down a staircase and past a champagne bar to the depths of the submerged dining rooms.</p><p>When it makes its debut, Under is expected to serve a menu of fresh seafood. Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard will place an emphasis on fresh, local food, including mushrooms, berries, seabirds and sheep from nearby locations.</p><p>The concrete building is designed to be a positive addition to the marine ecosystem. It will double as a marine research center in the off-hours and its concrete walls will eventually become an artificial mussel reef.</p><img alt="snohetta norway underwater hotel restaurant design "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1508857581/entry-underwater-hotel-by-snohetta-norway-AQUARESTO1017_0.jpg?itok=l-Gist2E"><p>The restaurant is <a href="https://under.dinesuperb.com/reserve/guests">already accepting reservations</a> for its opening in April (and it’s already limited through the summer). If you’re looking for the most fantastic dining experience, the architects suggest checking the weather forecast before making a reservation. "I think the most exciting experience will be visiting the restaurant during rough weather," Rune Grasdal, one of the architects of the building, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/snohetta-underwater-restaurant-construction/index.html" target="_blank">told CNN</a>. "It will be fantastic to see the sea surface broken up by the big waves and the rain, making for a very dramatic view -- although you will still feel safe and relaxed inside the restaurant."</p><p>Be warned: you’ll also have to plan how you’re going to travel to the destination restaurant. The closest airport, Kristiansand, is about an hour’s drive away. (But a boat service could be coming soon.)</p>
Categories: Travel

Gwyneth Paltrow Honeymooned in Paris and Showed Off the Best Part of Any Hotel Room: the Bathroom

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:31
<p><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/gwyneth-paltrow-bachelorette-party-cabo-mexico" target="_blank">Gwyneth Paltrow</a> is having a pretty solid fall. Not only did she marry her fiancé, Brad Falchuk, in a lavish ceremony in the Hamptons last week, but then she spent her <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/honeymoon-destinations" target="_blank">honeymoon</a> in an over-the-top suite that will leave would-be travelers drooling.</p><p>On Sunday, the "Avengers" star posted a quick Instagram story showing off the couple’s honeymoon suite at the <a href="https://www.fourseasons.com/paris" target="_blank">Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris</a>. As the video showed, the room was tastefully decorated in earth tones with black-and-white accents. Also in the video, viewers got to catch a glimpse of the room’s enormous marble bathroom which came with white flowers, a chaise lounge just outside the door, and a large mirrored vanity.</p><p> </p><p>Paltrow then panned out to the bedroom and its plush, oversized, white bed. In the clip, Paltrow gave her seal of approval for the room by writing “WOW” in big purple neon letters.</p><p>The hotel is a perfect honeymoon getaway. As its site reads, “We offer a retreat of peace and comfort for newlyweds … For your honeymoon in Paris with us, we work with you to craft every unforgettable detail in the most romantic city in the world.”</p><p>Beyond the room, the couple could have also taken advantage of everything the hotel has to offer including its five-star spa, indoor pool, and expansive gym. Or, maybe the Paltrow-Falchuks chose a less active route and went to drink a few glasses from the hotel’s massive 46-foot wine cellar, which is home to 50,000 bottles, and dine in one of the three world-renowned restaurants. Let's just hope they didn't forget to get out and <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/ile-de-france-paris" target="_blank">explore Paris</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel

These $12 Travel Bags Are Packing Game Changers, According to These 5-star Amazon Reviews

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:30
<p>If you’ve been on the hunt for the best travel shoe bags to make packing footwear easier (and more hygienic), then rest assured, because we just found them.</p><p>While “best” may be an ambitious claim, these bags aren’t an <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Shoe-Bags/zgbs/fashion/15744061/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;linkCode=ll2&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;linkId=d95587438eb7bdd942f44674ebdd383c" target="_blank">Amazon bestseller</a> for nothing. Nor do they have more than 1,000 four- and five-star reviews just for kicks. People from all around the world are going nuts for them, and rightfully so.</p><p>The <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4B7C9X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B01N4B7C9X&amp;linkId=9c2e1e37509364e965845a4d4497b4cb" target="_blank">Yamiu Travel Shoe Bags</a> are made of waterproof nylon fabric and feature a sturdy zipper that multiple reviewers have found significant enough to praise — never underestimate the importance of a good zipper. They're also spacious, able to fit men’s shoes up to a size 14.</p><p>But don’t just take our word for it. Let us direct you to <a href="https://www.amazon.com/YAMIU-Travel-Waterproof-Nylon-Zipper/product-reviews/B01N4B7C9X/?&amp;_encoding=UTF8&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;linkId=a630c4ee0a1cddc852db20e57c73f86f&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325" target="_blank">Amazon's review section</a> where you’ll find more than 1,000 hyper-enthusiastic reviews, raving about the wonders of these shoe bags.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/style/editors-favorite-travel-shoes" target="_blank">23 Pairs of Travel Shoes Travel + Leisure Editors Always Pack</a></p><p>Amazon user DeniceAZ put the bags to the test, writing, “I laid a bag in the sink and sprayed it with water. Inside is dry!” While Laurie found the bags’ design to be super useful, sharing, “They have a sturdy fabric loop that fits over a door handle, so you can load and unload your shoes without bending over — a big plus for tired athletes or anyone with back problems.”</p><p>And if you’re still unconvinced that these shoe bags are the best on the market, then Paula’s here to share her experience: “The shoe bags for my husband and myself just took us through five African countries where I trekked for gorillas, chimps, golden monkeys, and other safari journeys. All the trekking meant using my ankle-high hiking boots, which went through mud, dirt, jungle, and forest. Here comes the great part regarding the shoe bags. Even though the shoes were cleaned after every trek there was still some particles of dirt on the shoes and sometimes they were still wet but I could put my boots in the bag (which fit my boots comfortably) and know my suitcase would remain debris-free. The shoes had many pack and unpacking and the zippers never failed to work. Upon arriving at home I washed the bags in the washing machine, hung to dry and they look good as new and ready for their next adventure!”</p><h2>Yamiu Travel Shoe Bags</h2><img alt="YAMIU Travel Shoe Bags "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525801238/amazon-bestselling-travel-shoe-bags-SHOEBAG0518.jpg?itok=B5Fvfy7C"><p>You can get yourself a set of four for $12 on <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4B7C9X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B01N4B7C9X&amp;linkId=1a39bf9cf2142457018a962da0274ee5" target="_blank">amazon.com</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Passengers Claimed to Be Robbed During a Flight to Hong Kong — and It's More Common Than You Think

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:19
<p>You usually don’t expect your possessions to be stolen when you’re stuck in an airplane. After all, where would the thief go if they decided to make off with your stuff in the air?</p><p>But, these things do happen, as a few passengers on one South African Airways flight found out.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/theft-hong-kong-south-africa-flights/" target="_blank">Telegraph</a></em>, two passengers demanded to call the police when they found that some of their valuables had gone missing during a 13-hour flight from Johannesburg to Hong Kong last week.</p><p>South African Airways spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, told the <em>Telegraph</em> that one of the passengers who made the complaint noted that they saw some fellow passengers “who had behaved in a suspicious manner” and that they had been seen “opening some overhead compartments while other passengers were sleeping.”</p><p>But when police investigated the suspects, nothing was found, according to the <em>Telegraph</em>. <em><a href="https://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?c=setreg&amp;region=2&amp;m_id=Y!Y!vdmnb&amp;w_id=35279&amp;news_id=2034322" target="_blank">TravelMole</a></em> reported that the objects that the passengers thought to be stolen were later found by cleaning staff and returned to their rightful owners.</p><p>Unfortunately, in-air thefts can happen to anyone, especially on long flights when no one is paying attention. Absolute Software, a tracking and recovery solutions company for electronics, claimed that in 2012, "24% of travel-related thefts reported to the company took place up in the air," <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2013/06/04/travel/carry-on-theft-from-plane/index.html" target="_blank">reported CNN</a>. </p><p>Specifically on flights to-and-from Hong Kong, there have been <a href="https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2127067/how-rampant-theft-planes-flying-and-out-hong-kong" target="_blank">numerous reports</a> of people having cash stolen from their bags. One common tactic is people replacing larger bills found in a bag with smaller denominations, so it doesn't seem like anything is actually missing, reported the <a href="https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2127067/how-rampant-theft-planes-flying-and-out-hong-kong" target="_blank"><em>South China Morning Post</em></a>. </p><p>This isn't the first time passengers have reported thefts on South African Airways, either. In 2016, a passenger claimed that $1,800 worth of cash and jewelry was stolen on a similar flight from Johannesburg to Hong Kong, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35324034" target="_blank">reported the BBC</a>. </p><p>The best way to protect yourself, of course, is to be alert and make sure you’re aware of your belongings. One easy way to do this is by placing your bag in the overhead bin across the aisle from you instead of above you, pulling all the zippers to one side and placing that end at the bag of the storage compartment. </p><p>It’s also helpful to keep any valuables you don’t need at home, and your most important items closer to you in your personal bag below the seat. At the very least, it’s important not to rummage through your stuff or make a big show of anything valuable you have.</p><p>One great way to protect yourself is to invest in a good bag that comes <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/style/travel-bags/anti-theft-travel-bags" target="_blank">equipped with anti-theft features</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

People Are Calling This Eight-year-old the ‘Queen of Sweden' After She Found an Ancient Sword in a Lake

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 08:58
<p>Bow down to your new queen, world.</p><p>According to <em><a href="https://www.thelocal.se/page/view/eight-year-old-swedish-girl-pulls-1000-year-old-sword-from-lake" target="_blank">The Local</a></em>, an eight-year-old girl named Saga Vanecek found a pre-Viking sword in Vidöstern Lake in Jonkoping County, Sweden earlier this summer. Now people online are calling her the "Queen of Sweden."</p><p>The local <a href="https://jonkopingslansmuseum.se/" target="_blank">Jonkopings Lans Museum</a> believes the sword dates back to around 1,500 years ago, the <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45753455" target="_blank">BBC reported</a>.</p><img alt="Bargain of the sword in Vidöstern. The sword as it looked when it just pulled up out of the mire. "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1539028561/vidostern-sword-saga-SWEDSWORD1018.jpg?itok=EuZNzt9n"><p>Apparently, the water was low due to drought and Saga was skipping rocks on the lake when she thought she found an odd-looking stick.</p><p>“I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty. I held it up in the air and I said 'Daddy, I found a sword!',” she said to <em>The Local</em>. After her father inspected the object, he was surprised to see that his daughter had found something pretty extraordinary.</p><p>Mikael Nordström, an expert who works at the local museum said the sword was “about 85 centimeters (33 inches) long and that there is also preserved wood and metal around it,” according to <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/05/europe/sword-lake-girl-sweden-intl/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a>.</p><p>Saga’s sword will be conserved and put in the museum .Nordström asked the family initially not to tell too many people about the sword since he was concerned it would “destroy the possibility of finding things later.”</p><p>Since they found the sword, the museum staff have been searching the lake for more artifacts, including a brooch from the 3rd Century, according to the BBC.</p><p>But now that the story has circulated online, many people have been giving Saga her new, regal title. Saga’s family is originally from Minnesota and only moved to Sweden last year to be closer to extended family, according to <em>The Local</em>.</p><p>While some people might not think finding a sword in a lake a solid basis for a system of government, we personally welcome the new queen with open arms. </p>
Categories: Travel

Bill and Hillary Clinton Went to Oktoberfest and Bill Went All Out in Lederhosen

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 08:39
<p><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/festivals/oktoberfest-facts" target="_blank">Oktoberfest</a> may be over for this year, but even if you didn’t make it to Germany for the festivities you can still celebrate thanks to a few ridiculously joyous photos of attendees, including Bill and <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/hillary-rodham-clinton-travel-insight-what-happened-book" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton</a>.</p><p>Yes, the former president and former secretary of state were on hand in Munich last week to drink a few pints and spend time with fellow revelers at the world’s largest beer festival. And, to the delight of everyone, Bill went full out for the event, rocking his best traditional lederhosen complete with shorts, vest, and knee-high socks. Hillary didn’t wear a matching set, but she did wear a pretty awesome pantsuit with a festive orange jacket. </p><p>According to the <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6245891/Bill-Hillary-Clinton-attend-Oktoberfest-Munich.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, the couple seemed to be to be in high spirits when they arrived, with Bill lovingly draping his arm around Hillary’s shoulders. The pair even smiled, waved, and hugged a few fans as they walked through the event.</p><img alt="Former US President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Clinton, arrive at the 185th Oktoberfest beer festival on October 5, 2018 in Munich, southern Germany. "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1539101335/bill-clinton-hillary-octoberfest-BILHIL1018.jpg?itok=0pCdPURD"><img alt=" Bill Clinton, former US President, and his wife Hillary arriving at the Kaefer festival tent at the Oktoberfest. "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1539111970/bill-clinton-hillary-clinton-oktoberfest.jpg?itok=H2Xkl6GM"><p>Now, the couple has to get back to America to get their literal show on the road. According to the <em><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/08/hillary-and-bill-clinton-to-go-on-tour-this-year.html" target="_blank">Associated Press</a></em>, Hillary and Bill announced on Monday that they will be going on a mini-tour as part of their show, "An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton."</p><img alt="Bill Clinton, former US President, and a guest (unknown) hugging each other in the Kaefer tent at the Oktoberfest. "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1539111970/bill-clinton-oktoberfest-2018.jpg?itok=mQnWdUYe"><p>The show, which is being produced by tour promoter Live Nation, will see the pair hold joint conversations and share "stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers in public service, while also discussing issues of the day and looking toward the future.”</p><p>The tour begins on Nov. 18 with their first show at the Las Vegas Park Theater, which can hold up to 5,200 people (and is also home to both <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/las-vegas-residency-shows-music" target="_blank">Cher and Lady Gaga’s residencies</a>). Next, the Clintons will visit Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Nov. 27, followed by Montreal's Bell Centre on Nov. 28 and finally ending at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land, Texas, on Dec. 4.</p><p>"Attendees will have the opportunity to hear one-of-a-kind conversations with the two leaders as they tell their stories from some of the most impactful moments in modern history,” Live Nation said in a statement. “From the American presidency to the halls of the Senate and State Department, to one of the United States' most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections, they provide a unique perspective on the past, and remarkable insight into where we go from here.”</p><p>If you want to grab tickets to the show you better act fast when they go on sale at Friday at 10 a.m. </p>
Categories: Travel

Thousands Ordered to Evacuate 'Monster' Hurricane Michael's Path As Storm Continues to Strengthen

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 07:56
<p>UPDATE: Hurricane Michael was upgraded to a category 3 storm Tuesday evening, on track to hit the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as the most powerful hurricane to hit the mainland U.S. this year, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/us/hurricane-michael.html" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em></a> reported. </p><p>—</p><p><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-warnings/hurricane-michael-path-towards-florida-panhandle" target="_blank">Hurricane Michael</a> is rapidly approaching the Florida and Alabama coastlines and bringing plenty of potentially destructive rain and wind with it.</p><p>On Tuesday, the <a href="https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">National Hurricane Center</a> upgraded Michael to a category two storm, which comes with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. The storm’s new categorization means it can cause well-constructed frame homes to “sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks,” according to the <a href="https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php" target="_blank">NHC</a>.</p><p>But it isn’t done yet. According to the <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/florida-threatened-as-michael-strengthens-into-a-hurricane_us_5bbb7dcae4b0876edaa069f7" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>, a hurricane hunter plane flew into the storm Tuesday morning and found the storm was rapidly intensifying, which mean winds could push the storm into a category three before it makes landfall sometime on Wednesday.</p><p>"Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more dangerous. We're 12 hours away from seeing impacts," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said during a <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/09/michael-to-make-landfall-in-florida-as-a-major-hurricane-nhc.html" target="_blank">news conference</a> on Tuesday morning. "The time to prepare is now."</p><p>Because of the storm’s potential power, mandatory evacuation orders are already underway for an estimated 12,000 people, including those living in Panama City Beach and other low-lying parts of the coast. The AP reported parts of Florida’s lightly populated Big Bend area could see up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) of storm surge. Other Panhandle communities could see up to one foot of rain. Should surges of water like that hit and people do not evacuate, Scott warned, “no one's going to survive."</p><img alt="Florida panhandle residents prep for Hurricane Michael "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1539102023/florida-panhandle-gas-MIKEPREP1018.jpg?itok=JsuvROme"><p>“People need to start leaving now,” sheriff Tommy Ford told an emergency meeting Monday night, according to the AP. He added that people will “not be dragged out of their homes,” but if they choose to stay they will be doing so at their own peril.</p><p>“If you decide to stay in your home and a tree falls on your house or the storm surge catches you and you’re now calling for help, there’s no one that can respond to help you,” Escambia county sheriff David Morgan said in a <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/florida-threatened-as-michael-strengthens-into-a-hurricane_us_5bbb7dcae4b0876edaa069f7" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p><p>Again, if this wasn’t made clear enough this storm is coming and you need to get out of its way.</p><p>“Today it is about life and safety,” Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum said. “There’s nothing between us and this storm but warm water’ and I think that’s what terrifies us about the potential impacts.”</p><p>For more tips on how to prepare for this hurricane and any others that may come this season, check out all of <em>Travel + Leisure’s</em> advice <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/how-to-prepare-your-house-during-a-hurricane-to-stay-safe" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Win a Trip to Puerto Rico to See Lin-Manuel Miranda Perform in 'Hamilton'

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 16:02
<p>Tickets for “Hamilton” are <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/hamilton-new-york-locations" target="_blank">notoriously elusive</a> (not to mention expensive).</p><p>But one lucky person could nab not only tickets, but a trip to Puerto Rico, for only $10.</p><p>To raise money for an arts foundation, Lin-Manuel Miranda is auctioning away a trip for two to Puerto Rico to see him revive his role in “Hamilton.”</p><p>“To share this production in Puerto Rico and reprise the lead role means so much to me,” <a href="https://www.prizeo.com/campaigns/lin-manuel-miranda/Ham-PR" target="_blank">Miranda wrote</a>. “More importantly, it’s an opportunity to revitalize the arts on the island, which, like so many other areas, have been devastated since Hurricane Maria.”</p><p>Anybody who donates <a href="https://www.prizeo.com/campaigns/lin-manuel-miranda/Ham-PR?utm_campaign=Hamilton-PR&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=Ham4PR&amp;utm_source=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2Fa5HVPRuHmP" target="_blank">$10 on Prizeo</a> will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to San Juan to watch Miranda reprise the lead role.</p><p>The prize includes two VIP tickets to the opening night performance and after-party. Winner will receive a signed and framed photo with Miranda, alongside other <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/landmarks-monuments/alexander-hamilton-harlem-homestead" target="_blank">“Hamilton”</a> merch. The trip includes three nights at a Marriott hotel in San Juan and round-trip flights from JetBlue.</p><p>Contestants can increase their chances of winning by donating more. In addition to more chances to win, contestants can nab exclusive merchandise, including posters and memorabilia signed by Miranda.</p><p>All proceeds benefit the <a href="https://flamboyanartsfund.org/" target="_blank">Flamboyan Arts Fund</a>, which benefits cultural institutions, art organizations, and independent artists in Puerto Rico.</p><p>“Hamilton” will be on tour in Puerto Rico at the Teatro UPR Jan. 8–27, 2019.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Learn Hawaiian With Duolingo

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 14:29
<p>Hawaii may still be in the United States, but it’s a world away. And your trip to the 50th state will definitely be more fruitful if you can drop in something a bit more local than “<em>Aloha</em>.”</p><p><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/learn-another-language" target="_blank">Duolingo</a> has partnered with a network of more than 50 schools teaching Hawaiian culture to bring a f<a href="https://www.duolingo.com/course/hw/en/Learn-Hawaiian-Online" target="_blank">ree ōlelo Hawaiʻi course</a> to the app.</p><p>Over the past few years, there has been <a href="https://www.livinglanguage.com/blog/2016/05/16/the-hawaiian-language-a-revitalization-success-story/" target="_blank">a movement</a> in Hawaii to bring back the Hawaiian language. Those who are pushing re-education imagine a Hawaii where the language is so widely spoken, you could walk into a coffee shop and order with a “<em>ke ʻoluʻolu</em>.”</p><p>“This course is not about replacing classes; it’s about making ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi more accessible,” Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, who is working with Hawaiian cultural schools to bring back the language, said in a statement. “If you are too busy to enroll in classes or even if you just want to brush up on what you learned, Duolingo is an accessible resource.”</p><p>In order to create the course, Duolingo worked with a team of bilingual Hawaiian-language specialists. Through the course, learners may be able to gain a better grasp of traditional Hawaiian culture and storytelling.</p><p>Hawaiian will be available on the app from October 8 to coincide with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.</p><p>Good luck and <em>laki maikaʻi</em> with your new studies.</p>
Categories: Travel

Fat Bear Week Is a Thing in Alaska — and This Park Needs Your Help Finding the Fattest of Them All (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 09:40
<p>In Brooks River, the biggest bear is the best bear.</p><p>That’s why <a href="https://www.nps.gov/katm/index.htm" target="_blank">Katmai National Park and Preserve</a> in King Salmon, Alaska pays tribute to its voluptuous bear residents by hosting its annual Fat Bear Week to determine the fattest (read: <em>best</em>) bear in the reserve.</p><p>The competition is styled kind of like March Madness. The public votes on commonly seen brown bears on the park’s <a href="https://www.nps.gov/katm/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm" target="_blank">Bear Cam</a>, pitting them against one another on a bracket until one bear reigns supreme.</p><p>Just in case you feel sorry for the bears, don’t be. Since brown bears require stores of fat to help them survive the winter during hibernation, being the “fattest bear” is a sign of good health. The park’s website notes that this is actually the time when bears start to eat non-stop in order to prepare for the winter, so a fat bear is a happy and healthy bear.</p><p>According to the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/katm/learn/news/fat-bear-week-begins-october-3rd.htm" target="_blank">park’s website</a>, some notable competitors include Bear 747, whose “belly barely makes clearance with the ground,” Bear 435 Holly who is a “mother of two cubs,” and the previous year’s champion Bear 480 Otis.</p><p>This year’s competition kicked off on October 3 and will continue until October 9. </p><p>For more information, or to vote, head to the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/katm/learn/news/fat-bear-week-begins-october-3rd.htm" target="_blank">Katmai National Park and Preserve website</a> or <a href="https://www.facebook.com/KatmaiNPP/" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hurricane Michael Is Gaining Strength on Its Way to Florida — Here's What You Need to Know (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 08:27
<p>Tropical Storm Michael rapidly gained strength while moving through the Gulf of Mexico Monday, growing into a category 1 hurricane as it makes its way toward the Florida Panhandle, <a href="https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT4+shtml/080856.shtml" target="_blank">the National Hurricane Center</a> announced. Hurricane Michael is expected to <a href="https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2018-10-08-hurricane-michael-forecast-gulf-coast-florida" target="_blank">strengthen into a category 3</a> by time it hits land. Here’s everything you need to know about the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/weather/hurricane-season-2018-forecast" target="_blank">storm</a>, its path, and how to stay safe. </p><h2>How strong will Hurricane Michael get?</h2><p>According to the National Hurricane Center, "Michael is forecast to be near or at major hurricane strength when it reaches the northeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday." The storm could become a category 3 hurricane before making landfall, according to <a href="https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2018-10-08-hurricane-michael-forecast-gulf-coast-florida" target="_blank">The Weather Channel</a>, with winds in excess of 100 mph. </p><h2>Who is in Hurricane Michael’s path?</h2><p>The <a href="https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT4+shtml/080856.shtml" target="_blank">National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning</a> for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio and a hurricane watch for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River. It issued a tropical storm warning for Cuba's Isle of Youth and the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel, and a tropical storm watch for the Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay, and the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border. A storm surge watch is in effect for Navarre, Florida to Anna Maria Island. </p><p>Florida Gov. Rick Scott isn’t taking any chances and has already declared a <a href="https://www.flgov.com/2018/10/07/gov-scott-declares-state-of-emergency-for-tropical-storm-michael/" target="_blank">state of emergency</a> for 26 counties.</p><img alt="NOAA gif of Hurricane Michael "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1539021645/noaa-hurricane-michael-GULFCANE1018.gif?itok=037EbJoM"><p>"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous," Scott said at a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2018/10/08/us/tropical-storm-michael-emergency-wxc/index.html" target="_blank">press briefing</a>. "This storm has the potential to bring devastating impacts to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend and every family must be prepared."</p><p>He added, "Everybody's got to get ready. Don't take a chance. We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes."</p><h2>How to prepare for Hurricane Michael:</h2><p>The most important thing you can to do get prepared for a storm is to stay tuned to local radio and television news channels to stay up to date on the latest information. From there, make sure to heed any warnings and evacuate when told to do so.</p><p>Next, take care of your home and personal belongings by cleaning up your yard and storing any outdoor furniture that could become a projectile during high winds.</p><p>Close off all doors and windows by boarding them up and ensure your gutters are cleaned before a storm.</p><p>Prepare the interior of your home by stocking up on bottled water and nonperishable food items. Lastly, ensure all your important documents are stored in a safe place, or even on a hard drive so you can take them with you if you need to evacuate. Check out all of <i>Travel + Leisure</i>’s advice on <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/how-to-prepare-your-house-during-a-hurricane-to-stay-safe" target="_blank">how to prepare for a hurricane here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Watch Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding Live in the U.S. (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 07:22
<p>It’s official: You will be able to watch Princess Eugenie marry Jack Brooksbank in the second royal wedding of the year.</p><p>TLC announced last week that it will <a href="http://www.tlc.com/tlcme/watch-the-royal-wedding-princess-eugenie-and-jack-brooksbank/" target="_blank">broadcast the wedding</a> starting at 4:25 a.m. EST on Friday, Oct. 12. But in case you don’t want to get up that early, the network will also re-play the broadcast starting at 7:25 a.m. ET.</p><p>“Weddings are an essential part of our programming DNA, and having two royal weddings is cause for celebration on TLC,” Howard Lee, president and general manager of TLC, <a href="https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/tlc-to-be-exclusive-u-s-television-destination-for-the-wedding-of-her-royal-highness-princess-eugenie-and-jack-brooksbank/" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “In May, we were thrilled to provide live coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Now it’s Princess Eugenie’s turn, and U.S. fans of the royal family will get to witness all the flourishes of this big day only on TLC.”</p><p>Surely, the royal family is thankful that the network is picking up the wedding. After all, just a few short weeks ago, news broke that the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/princess-eugenie-royal-wedding-watch-bbc" target="_blank">BBC refused to pick up Eugenie’s ceremony</a> because it feared it wouldn’t result in good enough ratings.</p><p>“From the outset, the instruction from the very top was that Eugenie’s wedding must be televised,” a royal inside source shared with <em>Daily Mail.</em> “The BBC was approached because they have a special relationship with Buckingham Palace and a formula that works. But they turned it down because they don’t think enough people will tune in and that there isn’t enough support for the Yorks.”</p><p>While watching Eugenie’s wedding, things may feel a little familiar as her plans closely mimic those of <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/royal-wedding" target="_blank">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials</a>, which took place in May.</p><p>According to <em><a href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/a23299264/princess-eugenie-royal-wedding-schedule/" target="_blank">Harper’s Bazaar</a></em>, Eugenie’s wedding will take place on the grounds of Windsor Castle, which, <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/princess-eugenie-meghan-markle-wedding-comparison" target="_blank">like Harry and Meghan’s event</a>, will also be opened to the public. Eugenie, like her cousin, also invited several charitable groups that are close to her heart.</p><p>Next, the pair will reportedly say their vows inside St George’s Chapel, where Harry and Meghan wed, in front of a few crossover guests including George and Amal Clooney and David and Victoria Beckham. But, surely, Eugenie’s wedding will be a unique event that’s well worth tuning into.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why You Should Always Alert a Flight Attendant If You Lose Your Phone on a Plane

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 13:00
<p>On Sept. 26, a man traveling in business class on Qantas Airways <a href="https://www.aeroinside.com/item/12142/qantas-a388-near-sydney-on-sep-26th-2018-crushed-phone-and-burnt-smell-on-board" target="_blank">dropped his phone in his seat</a>. The flight was about two hours from landing in Melbourne, Australia.</p><p>While he was trying to fish the phone out from his seat, it got crushed and began smoldering, smelling like burning rubber. Flight crew considered making an emergency diversion to Sydney, but before the situation escalated flight attendants used fire extinguishers to put out the flames.</p><p>The flight landed in Melbourne without any further problems, but the incident highlights an important safety issue not many passengers consider.</p><p>In safety announcements, airlines now advise passengers to alert a flight attendant if they lose their phone in the seat. While some may believe the precaution is so passengers don’t mess up the reclining mechanisms built into the seat, it’s actually a fire safety issue.</p><p>Lithium batteries can quickly overheat and, if damaged, can start a fire. <a href="https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/lithium-ion-battery-on-delta-air-lines-flight-explodes-catches-fire-quick-thinking-crew-averts-disaster.html" target="_blank">According to the Federal Aviation Administration</a> (FAA), there were 46 lithium-ion battery fires on flights around the world in 2017.</p><p>If you lose your phone in your seat during a flight, alert a flight attendant immediately. If the phone starts a fire or overheats, they are equipped to extinguish the flames. A flight attendant may take your overheating phone and submerge it in liquid or lock it in a fireproof box until landing.</p><p>If you’re packing spare batteries in your carry-on, keep them “protected from short circuiting with terminal caps or tape and never pocketed where they could come into contact with change, keys and other conductors,” <a href="http://aviationweek.com/business-aviation/lithium-battery-hazards-know-how-respond-when-heat" target="_blank">says <em>Aviation Week</em></a>.</p><p>And one final note of warning: don’t pack spare lithium-ion batteries in your checked luggage. The FAA has banned lithium batteries from flying as passenger cargo and airlines will only allow them in <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-carry-on-luggage" target="_blank">carry-on luggage</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Major Money-saving Hack You Need to Know If You're Going to Universal Orlando

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 12:30
<p><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/universal-orlando-resort-guide" target="_blank">Universal Orlando Resort</a> is now offering up to six months free with the purchase of an annual pass. And that means you may want to plan now to get the best value.</p><p>Theme park insiders know that you can save loads if you purchase an annual pass instead of a gate ticket, especially if you plan on visiting more than once. With Universal’s <a href="https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/tickets-packages/annual-passes/promo/index.html#2-park-annual-passes" target="_blank">current promotion</a>, which can cover admission from now until 2020 with one payment, you can essentially pay for this year’s visit and get your next two visits for free.</p><p>Even if you only plan to visit <a href="https://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/orlando" target="_blank">Orlando</a> once, you’re likely to save money. 2-Park annual passes, which grant admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure, start at $304 per person (before tax) and top out at $559 (before tax) to visit any day of the year. Compared to a five-day ticket — which costs $314.99 (before tax) per adult — you’ll save just by approaching your vacation differently.</p><p>Planning a trip for this winter or spring break? You’re in luck. To activate the promotion, annual passes need to be used before April 4, 2019 — meaning this year’s visit to see the towering Macy’s Holiday Parade floats and awe-inspiring Christmastime decor at <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/harry-potter-land-2018-changes" target="_blank">Wizarding World of Harry Potter</a> will set up your summer vacation to cost much less.</p><p>Even the most expensive option, a 3-Park Premier Pass, sounds expensive at $734 (before tax), but it’ll get you on Island of Adventure’s sky-high Hulk coaster, Universal Studios Florida’s cinematic attractions and Volcano Bay’s <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/universal-volcano-bay-waterslide" target="_blank">mind-bending water coaster</a> as many times as you want, any day of the year, from now through Spring 2020.</p><p>Universal Orlando Resort is offering the promotion on <a href="https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/tickets-packages/annual-passes/promo/index.html#2-park-annual-passes" target="_blank">all four tiers of annual pass admission</a>, with Seasonal and Power passes offering three free months and Preferred and Premier passes offering six months on both 2-Park and 3-Park passes. The free months of admission are added to the end of your annual pass, extending year-long admission from the first date of use to 15 or 18 months of access to Gringotts, Hogwarts, and beyond.</p><p>If you prefer visiting Universal for its world-renowned spooks, you’re also in luck. <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/holiday-travel/halloween/universal-studios-halloween-horror-nights" target="_blank">Halloween Horror Nights</a> fans should take note that Premier Passes even include a free ticket to select nights of the spine-chilling event, essentially saving another $60.</p><p>Not sure if it’s a good fit for your travel plans, or just scared to commit? Consider having just one family member sign up. With benefits like hotel room discounts and higher-tier passes offering free parking and discounts on <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/universal-orlando-cotton-candy-factory" target="_blank">food and merchandise</a>, you’re likely to save in the long run.</p><p>Be sure to check the blackout calendar before taking the plunge. If you plan on visiting the parks in mid-to-late April or during July, you’ll have to have a higher-tier pass to enter the front gate at Volcano Bay, Islands of Adventure, and Universal Studios Florida.</p><p>Buying an annual pass instead of admission is a weird trick theme park fans know well, but Universal’s unprecedented promotion makes the deal even sweeter. With a new Harry Potter-themed roller coaster <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/wizarding-world-harry-potter-new-roller-coaster" target="_blank">coming next year</a> and plenty more on the way, the best thing you can do for next year’s vacation might very well be to visit this year, too.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Surprising Trick to Saving Money When You Shop

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 12:00
<p>You know the drill.</p><p>You walk into Target looking for one thing — like a new pair of gloves or a package of toilet paper — and you walk out with a cartload of items. Were you planning on getting them? No. But as soon as you saw those salt and pepper shakers you couldn't resist picking them up.</p><p>As you dump your glorious, new purchases in the trunk of your car, you are probably wondering how you even wound up in the kitchen goods section in the first place. Blame the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/syndication/target-effect-meaning-scientific-reasoning-cant-only-buy-one-thing" target="_blank">Target Effect</a>.</p><p>You see, the store's aesthetic is designed to make you spend. "You have good people in the marketing department at Target, and they have really good designers who have created such an ambient atmosphere for people," <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/07/203255/shopping-at-target-impulse-buying" target="_blank">psychologist Dr. Kevin Chapman told <em>Refinery 29</em></a>. “It's really well lit at Target, right? There's a lot of color at Target. It's pretty consistent throughout the store and generally that's going to make people happier. And what do people do in happy-feeling environments? Why, spend money, of course!”</p><p>Creating this happy-inducing atmosphere goes beyond the look, though. According to <a href="https://medium.com/the-mission/the-science-backed-ways-music-affects-your-brain-and-productivity-e11145079305" target="_blank">Chad Grills, CEO of The Mission</a>, studies show that listening to music can boost your productivity as well as your mood. Target knows this, and up until recently, <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2017/06/08/now-playing-at-more-target-stores-background-music.html" target="_blank">the store used to forego playing background music</a> at its stores to limit distractions and keep you focused on shopping (which could explain why we spend so much time slowly meandering through the aisles).</p><p>Over the past few years, however, music has been slowly introduced to at least 245 Target stores in the country, <a href="https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2017/06/08/now-playing-at-more-target-stores-background-music.html" target="_blank">reported the <em>Minneapolis Business Journal</em></a>. A Target spokesperson said the playlists would be “<a href="https://www.delish.com/food-news/news/a53619/the-strange-thing-you-never-noticed-about-shopping-at-target/" target="_blank">upbeat, positive and [have] a playful personality</a>.”</p><p>But whether or not your local Target has a soundtrack, you can take steps ahead of time to work a little psychology on yourself. If you'd like a little help saving money the next time you're heading to Target, bring some headphones. Listen to faster music to keep yourself moving more quickly and spending less — and make sure you're not listening to <a href="https://thinkgrowth.org/stores-are-using-music-to-make-you-spend-more-d6c85974b20b" target="_blank">slow</a> or <a href="http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/7467/volumes/v20/NA-20" target="_blank">classical music</a> while you're running errands — you may find yourself moving more slowly through the store and buying more expensive items.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Airplane Seat Covers Might Be Embarrassing, but They're the Best Way to Avoid Germs on a Flight

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 10:30
<p>You may have to fact check us, but germs are pretty gross. So it’s unfortunate for us traveling folk that airplanes and <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/dirtiest-germy-places-in-airports" target="_blank">airports are filled with them</a>. <a href="https://www.travelmath.com/feature/airline-hygiene-exposed/" target="_blank">A 2015 study</a> found that airplane tray tables have the most bacteria of any surface in the plane’s cabin. How much bacteria, you hesitantly ask? An average of 2,155 colony-forming units per square inch — excuse us while we puke.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/meghan-markle-trick-for-not-getting-sick-on-airplanes" target="_blank">Meghan Markle’s Trick for Avoiding Germs on a Flight Is Kind of Genius</a></p><p>Now with flu season upon us, we’re thinking it would be wise to take extra precautions to avoid such nasty germs. So, enter <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0774WWQ4P/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=tlseatsittersseatcoverkit-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B0774WWQ4P&amp;linkId=1717f87eaf95f3109dae26e8b60d5e09" target="_blank">Seat Sitters</a>, a glorious $15 kit on Amazon that comes with both a reusable seat and tray table cover, sanitary wipes, and even an allergy mask for next-level protection. Maybe it’s a little embarrassing, but think about the alternative (coming into direct contact with 2,155 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch). Maybe it’s worth it.</p><img alt="Seat Sitter Airplane Seat Cover "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538769516/seat-sitter-amazon-SEATSITTER1018.jpg?itok=kaLUYF7q"><p>To buy: <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0774WWQ4P/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=tlseatsittersseatcoverkit-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B0774WWQ4P&amp;linkId=1717f87eaf95f3109dae26e8b60d5e09" target="_blank">amazon.com</a>, $15</p><p>Just slip the lightweight cover over your airplane, bus, or even movie theater seat and then wash or recycle when you’re done. Simple as that. Just ask the Amazon reviewers. Amazon customer Catherine Prall gave the kit a five-star review, writing, “This is perfect for the plane and bus! The durable material provided a nice barrier and was still comfortable for my daughter to sit on with shorts.” Several other reviewers praised the $15 product for its protection against peanut and tree nut allergies.</p><p>You can shop the Seat Sitters Airplane &amp; Theater Seat Cover and Tray Table Kit on <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0774WWQ4P/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=tlseatsittersseatcoverkit-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B0774WWQ4P&amp;linkId=1717f87eaf95f3109dae26e8b60d5e09" target="_blank">amazon.com</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

New Mexico's Sky Will Be Filled With Colorful Hot Air Balloons This Weekend — Here's What It's Like to Take a Ride

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 10/07/2018 - 13:32
<p>Up before the sun and bleary-eyed, I walk through the dim parking lot at Red Rock Park near Gallup, New Mexico to meet my pilot, Bill Lee, for today’s adventure: a <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/cappadocia-hot-air-balloons" target="_blank">hot air balloon ride</a> over desert and Navajo Indian territory. All of Lee’s flights are scheduled at sunrise for optimal weather, but before even attempting to launch the balloon, Lee assesses the elements, which must be just right: fairly calm winds at the surface and above, no rain or storm activity, and no moisture, which can ruin the balloon fabric.</p><p>He’s also checking wind direction, as the balloon travels with the wind and the chase crew must be able to secure a safe spot to retrieve passengers and the balloon upon landing. Bad weather would mean no balloon ride. My fingers are crossed that my early wake-up isn’t a waste. After wind and weather tests, Lee gives his verdict that Mother Nature is cooperating today, and we get to work setting up for launch.</p><p>It’s all hands on deck as we unload the 901-pound balloon named True-Lee New Mexico. It doesn’t look like much more than a gigantic, crumpled wad of fabric right now, but after laying down a massive tarp, we unroll the deflated balloon from all sides and I see its gorgeous design: purple, blue, and pink squares against a black background with a large, vibrant sugar skull in the center. After securing the flat balloon to the tipped-over basket, Lee’s assistants grab a big fan from the trailer, and we start the process of adding air.</p><p>First, we use the fan for cold inflation to get some air into the balloon. As I stand next to the basket helping hold back the cables attaching basket to balloon, I turn away a bit as the powerful cold air blasts through my hair. Next comes the hot inflation, when the burner that’s attached to the top of the basket blasts hot air into the balloon. Lee gives a warning of “loud and hot” as the flames from the burner roar past my arms. As I hold the cables and ties open and away from the flame, a smile spreads across my face as I see the balloon slowly rising from the ground.</p><p>Once the balloon has enough air in it, we tip the basket upright and I see the sheer size of it: 66 feet tall and 63 feet wide. The balloon is fighting to get off the ground now as I help the crew hold it down until Lee tells me to climb on board. Suddenly, I see a crew member below waving up at me, and I realize we’re airborne, slowly climbing up as Lee uses the burner to send in more hot air.</p><img alt="Hot Air balloons with Church Rock in background; Red Rock Balloon Rally at Red Rock State Park, Gallup, New Mexico "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538756510/church-rock-balloons-NMHOTAIR1018.jpg?itok=qCxMEZsy"><p>As we soar 1,500 feet above limestone and sandstone canyons, a hawk glides past us on his way to a perch. I peek below the basket at the landscape as Lee points out natural landmarks like Church Rock in the distance. In Navajo territory, a horse and her foal stride through an open pasture as we admire from above. At one point, Lee guides us 400 feet deep into Padre Canyon — named for the rocks' structure resembling a robed priest — where he gently lowers the basket onto a canyon rock, allowing us to reach out and touch it before flying away again.</p><p>After a relaxing ride, a smooth landing (thanks, Mother Nature), and a team effort to get the balloon unassembled, Lee greets me, champagne bottle in hand, for the traditional balloonist’s ceremony for first-time fliers. He tells the story of how hot air ballooning came to be, pins a brooch representing True-Lee New Mexico to my shirt, and instructs me to drink my glass of champagne without using my hands, for comedic effect. As we toast the glorious flight, I’m already wishing I were back in the sky, flying with the hawks and gazing down at the beautiful desert scene below.</p><img alt=" Hot air balloons fly near the red rock cliffs during the 23nd Annual Red Rock Balloon Rally at Red Rock State Park December 6, 2003 "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538756510/gallup-balloon-rally-NMHOTAIR1018.jpg?itok=VFYqKwaM"><h2>Take Flight</h2><p>The <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/albuquerque-hot-air-balloon-fiesta" target="_blank">Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta</a> runs from Oct. 6-14, but rides are often sold out, as more than 800,000 people attend. Skip the crowds and take a private ride where you get to help set the balloon up with<a href="http://www.scenicballoonrides.com/" target="_blank"> X-Treme-Lee Fun Balloon Adventures</a>. For those wanting to see a balloon-filled sky, the <a href="https://www.redrockballoonrally.com/" target="_blank">Red Rock Balloon Rally</a> from Nov. 30–Dec. 2 is a great alternative to the <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-places-to-travel-in-2018#albuquerque-new-mexico" target="_blank">Albuquerque</a> festival, with 200 balloons.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hotels Where You Can Rock Out Like Britney, Aerosmith, and Drake

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 10/07/2018 - 13:00
<p>When it comes to the crème de la crème of recording studios, music lovers will recognize names like Abbey Road, Electric Lady, and Motown as places where The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, and the Supremes left their musical marks. Though you can tour some of those soundproof walls, if you want a truly immersive experience, you’ll want to book a stay at one of these hotels — all of which feature built-in recording studios and rooms for writing, jamming, and mixing.</p><h2>Geejam Hotel in Jamaica</h2><p>Your first clue that this tropical hideaway was made for music lovers? Its deluxe cabins and suites — along with three hilltop villas — are all named for musical genres (i.e., Ska, Rocksteady, and Drum &amp; Bass). As tempting as it might be to spend your time wandering amid the avocado groves and decades-old fig trees or lounging by one of several pristine swimming holes like Frenchman’s Cove or Geejam Beach, the true draw here is the large, modern studio complex. (Drake, Katy Perry, and Gwen Stefani have been among the artists to lay down tracks here over the past ten years.) Guests can take advantage of the customizable workspaces and showcase suite, as well as an entire team of talent, including an A&amp;R admin, in-house engineer, session musicians, and local performers. One of the most notable resources at your disposal: piano and keyboard aficionado Jonny O’Brien, who has collaborated with legends such as Frank Sinatra, Fats Domino, and Nina Simone.</p><p><strong>To book: </strong><a href="http://geejamhotel.com" target="_blank">geejamhotel.com</a>; doubles from $425, recording studios rates available upon request</p><h2>NightBird Recording Studios at the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles</h2><img alt="Nightbird Studio at Sunset Marquis "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538584587/nightbird-sunset-marquis-MUSICHOTEL1018.jpg?itok=lmQooiHB"><p>In a town known for big acts (and sometimes even bigger egos), this West Hollywood icon comes from relatively humble beginnings. When writer/producer Jed Leiber and guitarist Jeff Beck were holed up in a room and making a bit too much noise working on new material, the hotel manager offered them a laundry chamber in the basement so they could riff in peace. Since then, an impressive list of rock, pop, country, and reggae artists — Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Keith Urban, and Damian Marley to name a few — have followed suit.</p><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a href="http://sunsetmarquis.com" target="_blank">sunsetmarquis.com</a>; doubles from $415, Nightbird Studios rates start at $1,500-2,000 for a 12-hour period</p><h2>nhow in Berlin</h2><img alt="nhow Berlin "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538584587/nhow-berline-music-lounge-MUSICHOTEL1018.jpg?itok=GZjA3IUO"><p>As the only hotel in Berlin devoted to the musically inclined traveler, this sleek Friedrichshain property provides two standout amenities: a pair of professional recording studios for mixing, producing, and post-production, and a one-of-a-kind room service concept that lets you borrow a guitar or keyboard, delivered straight to your quarters free of charge. Throughout the property, you’ll spot various shades of pink — it’s the hue hotel designer Karim Rashid favors for creative inspiration.</p><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a href="http://nhow-berlin.com" target="_blank">nhow-berlin.com</a>; doubles from $112; recording studio rates start at $763 for the day</p><h2>Hutton Hotel in Nashville</h2><img alt="Hutton Hotel, Nashville "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538584587/hutton-hotel-nashville-MUSICHOTEL1018.jpg?itok=wwYq2hRn"><p>Opening any new music project in a city that’s home to such iconic country venues as the Grand Ole Opry and the Bluebird Café requires careful thought and killer features. This West End boutique hotel nods to Music City U.S.A.’s rich legacy with its Analog music venue and cocktail lounge (housed in the hotel’s former parking garage) and Writers Studios, two spaces that provide access to top-of-the-line equipment, instruments (both modern and throwback), and vocal booths. Country star Dierks Bentley and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder helped give the rooms a homey feel by weighing in on design touches (think: Saltillo-tile floors, layered Navajo area rugs, and vintage tchtotchkes). Another fun fact? “The Middle” by Zedd and Maren Morris was recorded here.</p><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a href="http://huttonhotel.com" target="_blank">huttonhotel.com</a>; doubles from $249, Writers Studios rates available upon request</p><h2>Hotel El Ganzo in Los Cabos, Mexico</h2><img alt="Hotel El Ganzo "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538584587/hotel-el-ganzo-MUSICHOTEL1018.jpg?itok=cMU0aW_0"><p>Since its renovation and reopening in 2015, this artsy Baja hotel has always drawn a cool crowd: Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine and supermodel Behati Prinsloo rented out the entire place for their nuptials, and Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash once showed up and played an impromptu concert. Countless singer/songwriters and composers have also called the arts-and-music haven home while recording in The Underground, a soundproof studio that can be accessed via a trap door in the lobby floor. Regularly used for recording El Ganzo Sessions — the performances are streamed in all rooms, around the property, and on their YouTube channel — this recording lair has the appeal of quality equipment brands like Fender and Gibson. The 70-room hotel’s rooftop also boosts a stage setup for acts and their artist-in-residence free performances.</p><p><strong>To book: </strong><a href="http://elganzo.com" target="_blank">elganzo.com</a>; doubles from $250, recording studio bookings by invitation only</p><h2>W Sound Suite in Hollywood, Bali, Barcelona, and Seattle</h2><img alt="W Sound Suite "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538584587/w-sound-suite-MUSICHOTEL1018.jpg?itok=96GQVUo1"><p>With their Wet Deck dance parties, Wake Up Call festivals, and clubby, destination-specific soundtracks, W Hotels have more than earned their reputation as high-energy getaways. At the Seattle, Barcelona, Bali, and Hollywood locations, the chain’s Eat. Sleep. Record. Repeat. sound suites take the nightlife vibe to the next level. Functioning as both private recording studios and creative chambers, the spaces include a lounge, live room, and a main mixing area. And though you may not have a tour rider, you can take advantage of the W’s signature Whatever/Whenever services in the form of a late-night munchies room service menu, premiere dry-cleaning concierge, and portable snacks for your departing plane ride.</p><p><strong>To book: </strong><a href="http://whotels.com" target="_blank">whotels.com</a>; doubles from $332, Sound Suite rates available upon request</p><h2>Gold Diggers in Los Angeles</h2><img alt="Gold Diggers, Los Angeles "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538584587/gold-diggers-los-angeles-MUSICHOTEL1018.jpg?itok=yqs1V7S3"><p>The erstwhile Gold Diggers Bar has been transformed from a dilapidated watering hole into this chic, music-inspired boutique hotel. Eleven well-appointed rooms are styled with graphic wallpaper and painted brick, velvet couches, curated rare books, and bluetooth Audio Technica turntables, plus upscale comforts such as 2920 Sleep Mattresses and Malin+Goetz bath products. A transformed warehouse, tucked behind the development, houses nine recording studios and a main stage that hosts its fair share events and disco parties. Even if you choose not to book a session or hit the dance floor, you’ll leave with a special musical memory: a limited-edition, seasonally-released vinyl record left on your pillow, given as a welcome gift.</p><p><strong>To book: </strong><a href="http://gold-diggers.com" target="_blank">gold-diggers.com</a>; doubles from $159, Gold-Diggers Sound Studios rates available upon request</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Rent a Private Pool Wherever You Are With This New Site

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 10/07/2018 - 11:01
<p>Sure, a private Airbnb is nice, but what about something for those days when you just want to lounge by the pool?</p><p>Well, there’s a site for that, too.</p><p><a href="https://www.swimply.com/" target="_blank">Swimply,</a> also known as “the Airbnb of pools,” is an online marketplace where you can search for privately owned swimming spots for you and your friends to chill and work on your tans.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/best-international-rooftop-pools-hot-tubs" target="_blank">25 Rooftop Pools to Dream About While You Sit in the Office</a></p><img alt="Swimply Pools Available "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1536788214/seahorse-oasis-pool-SWIMPLY0918.jpg?itok=T4BDXHi9"><p>Even though the warm summer weather is over for many people, there are still plenty of perpetually hot places where staying poolside is pleasant all year round. Or, you can always look for an indoor pool.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/hotel-pools-with-a-view" target="_blank">19 Hotel Pools Around the World With Incredible Views</a></p><p>Just like Airbnb, a pool owner lists their pool with images and price per hour (sometimes the price varies based on the day), and notes details about their space. Customers can leave and read reviews as well as book directly on the site.</p><p>Swimply founder Bunim Laskin told <em><a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2018/09/10/rent-private-swimming-pool-for-the-day/" target="_blank">Lonely Planet</a></em> that “owning a pool can be expensive, enjoying one doesn’t have to be.”</p><p>The idea for the start-up came to him when he decided to ask a neighbor to use their pool and pay them to cover costs. Soon, other kids in the neighborhood started doing the same thing.</p><img alt="Diving into a pool "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1536788950/vacation-pools-SWIMPLY0918.jpg?itok=qLLgTwEn"><p>“When my neighbor expressed gratitude for introducing the concept, Swimply was born,” Laskin said.</p><p>Swimply lists all kinds of pools, including ones that have hot tubs, grills, cabanas, and other activities available with them. The company has listings in 20 states and Canada, but availability can be sparse, since the company is still new.</p><img alt="Swimply Pools Available "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1536788214/gilbert-pool-SWIMPLY0918.jpg?itok=9dHB9gBu"><p>According to <em>Lonely Planet</em>, listings in New York City and Los Angeles can range between $50 and $200 per hour. The only pool listings in New York City are currently in Brooklyn, but Swimply also has an option to contact them if you don’t see your location.</p><p>More information on booking a pool can be found on the <a href="https://www.swimply.com/" target="_blank">Swimply website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Lake Tahoe Has a New Underwater Trail That Lets You Explore Over 100 Years of History

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 10/06/2018 - 17:23
<p>A new underwater trail lets explorers discover <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/modern-family-filming-lake-tahoe" target="_blank">Lake Tahoe’s</a> marine past.</p><p>Starting Oct. 1, visitors to California’s <a href="https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=506" target="_blank">Emerald Bay State Park</a> will be able to explore an underwater world filled with historic features dating back to the early 20th century. </p><p>While divers could previously explore two large barges in the Historic Barge Dive Site located on the bay, the new <a href="http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=29931" target="_blank">Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail</a><strong> </strong>will allow them to explore three new additional sites and an array of ships that rest under the bay’s surface.</p><p>These include a wooden fishing boat dating back to the early 20th century at a depth of 35 feet and an early 20th-century hard chine skiff located at a depth of 60 feet.</p><img alt="Historic vessels sit on the newly opened Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail. "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1538669803/emerald-bay-underwater-trail-UNDERWATER1018.jpg?itok=SV7nQhBo"><p>The new trail also includes the earliest and largest vessel that was part of the fleet of recreational ships used at the Emerald Bay Resort, a simple family resort in the park that was a popular vacation destination before being removed in the 1950s to make way for campgrounds.</p><p>The 27-foot-long vessel, known as Florence M, was built in 1915 and used for excursions around the lake. Traces of its paint are still visible on its hull.</p><p>Visitors will also find several historic small vessels that were likely sunk at their moorings some 30 to 60 feet deep. These vessels include a metal kayak, a day sailor, wooden fishing boats, rowboats, and motorboats.</p><p>The creation of the new attraction marks the first time <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/california-changes-camping-reservation-system" target="_blank">California State Parks</a> have opened an underwater maritime heritage cultural trail to the public, inviting history buffs to dive through recreational watercraft and barges used in the park’s past. The collection is also the nation's largest and most diverse group of sunken small craft known to exist in their original location, according to park representatives.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/videos-travel-tips/boss-underwater-scooters" target="_blank">These Underwater Scooters Are Basically Like Being In Your Own Submarine</a></p><p>Part of what makes exploring the underwater terrain so memorable is how well preserved these vessels are, in some cases after more than 100 years.</p><p>This is due to the water's cold temperature, which can average from 43 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the deepest parts of the bay and from the mid-60s to below freezing during the winter and early spring in the top 12 feet, park representatives told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. </p><p>Divers and snorkelers will find underwater interpretive panels placed at the dive sites to give context about each location, and waterproof interpretive cards can also be found at the park’s visitor centers, local dive shops, <a href="http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/506/files/Dive_Cards_v5.pdf" target="_blank">on the park’s website</a>, or on the <a href="https://sierrastateparks.org/new-emerald-bay-maritime-heritage-trail/" target="_blank">Sierra State Parks Foundation’s website</a>.</p><p>Park representatives recommend fall as the best time for diving thanks to warm temperatures and calmer waters in comparison to the summer, when recreational boats are in the area. </p>
Categories: Travel

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