The Most Delicious Way to Protect Hawaii’s Natural Beauty? Eat the Invasive Species

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 01/07/2019 - 14:01
<p>My spoon slides through an unidentifiable substance, unexpectedly similar to foie gras, as I glance over my menu to double-check the dish in front of me. “Eat Your Invasives,” it reads. It’s a <em>kiawe</em> flour paté — and it’s delicious..</p><p>I’m on <a href="" target="_blank">Maui</a> at the Grand Wailea's<a href=""> </a><a href="" target="_blank">Humuhumunukunukuapua’a</a> restaurant (named after a species of native fish — Humuhumu for short) where the Chef de Cuisine, Mike Lofaro, highlights invasive species on his menu. My current plate includes interlopers like <a href="" target="_blank">kiawe</a> (a type of mesquite, similar in shape to a green bean, but sweeter) and <em><a href="" target="_blank">waiawi</a> </em>(also known as “strawberry guava,” a variety nicknamed for its sweet-tart flavor). <a href="" target="_blank">Hawaiian culture</a> is grounded in cultivating symbiotic relationships with the land — so why, I wonder,<em> </em>am I not eating poi?</p><p>What I didn’t know at the time: native plants such as taro, the main ingredient in poi, are increasingly threatened by an invasive species crisis across the Hawaiian Islands — which has some chefs rethinking their ingredients.</p><img alt="Invasive Dish at Humuhumu Restaurant at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort "src=""><p>“Kiawe and waiawi are the two most invasive plants on the islands,” said Lofaro during dinner, justifying his additions to the Humuhumu menu. "We have an opportunity to get this information and awareness in front of so many guests every year. It’s a responsibility to us, not a choice."</p><p>I turned to Josh Atwood, Invasive Species Coordinator of the <a href="" target="_blank">Hawaii Invasive Species Council</a> (HISC), to learn more. “Hawaii is the invasive species capital of the world,” he said. "The species that evolved here did so in isolation for up to 70 million years.” Atwood continued to explain that, as a result of colonialism and Western contact, more than 500 species have been introduced to the islands — including hoofed animals and mosquitos, in addition to kiawe and waiawi. “Now, we don’t know how many species are in Hawaii at any given time because they come in at such regularity.”</p><p>Waiawi was introduced in 1824 by a horticulturist from Rio de Janeiro. The shallow-rooted, tightly-packed trees quickly invaded native forests to the point of takeover — covering 200,000 acres at time of writing. The kiawe plant also grows in dense thickets. The HISC describes its ability to crowd out native coastal plants, with long, poison-tipped thorns sharp enough to pierce through rubber boots or tires. According to a Council report, “it is capable of rendering large areas impassible.”</p><p>The idea to use Hawaii’s invasive species for food was championed by innovators like Hawaiian cultural practitioner Vince Dodge, who lives on <a href="" target="_blank">Oahu</a> and uses kiawe for his <a href="" target="_blank">Wai’anae Gold flour</a>, and wild food educator <a href="" target="_blank">Sunny Savage</a> of Maui. “For any indigenous culture, you look to the land to provide,” Savage told me. “These [invasive species] are things found in most abundance, with a double bonus; being good for the earth to harvest, and beneficial for our human bodies as nutrient-packed food.”</p><img alt="Waiawi, Strawberry Guava, Hawaii "src=""><p>“It is important to remember that these plants, which are horribly damaging our environment, are native somewhere else,” said Grand Wailea’s resident Cultural Ambassador, Kainoa Horcajo, in an interview. Take kiawe — invasive in Hawaii, but a nutritious native staple in South America.</p><p>Dodge initially visited Argentina’s Wichí people to learn how they grind kiawe bean pods into a gluten-free, high-fiber, diabetic-friendly flour — something they’ve been doing for thousands of years. He brought the technique back to Hawaii and encouraged a more purposeful use of the species.</p><p>Following this lead, chefs throughout <a href="" target="_blank">Hawaii</a> have begun harvesting, cooking, and serving invasive species, with the aim of educating tourists and locals alike about the invasive crisis.</p><img alt="Kiawe, Mesquite, Hawaii "src=""><p>While waiawi and kiawe are the main focus for both the HISC and the state’s culinary innovators, there are a variety of other species that may also appear on menus soon — from plants like gorilla <em>ogo</em> (an edible seaweed), spiny amaranth (a leafy green), and <em>kahili</em> ginger (a perennial flower) to proteins like <em>chital</em>, or “axis deer,” and Tahitian prawns.</p><p>For Horcajo, there’s a certain give and take: “On one side, you want guests to eat taro and fish — Hawaiian foods — because it tells our story. But if you want them to gain a deeper understanding of the reality of our story, eating <em>all</em> our foods is the way to do it.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Traveling to These Popular Destinations Will Be Way Cheaper in 2019, According to Kayak

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 01/07/2019 - 13:01
<p>We are already several days into 2019, which means it’s time to start planning your next adventure. But, traveling this year doesn’t have to break the bank thanks to sites like Kayak.</p><p>The booking site released its <a href="" target="_blank">2019 Travel Hacker Guide</a> earlier this week and it’s chockfull of information, including the best times to book flights and hotels, trending destinations, and where travelers can go for a budget-friendly trip. And, best of all, heading to these spots will still make your trip feel like a million bucks.</p><p>To come to its final destination list, Kayak analyzed more than 1.5 billion annual travel searches and looked at flight and hotel prices to find the top cities to visit on a budget this year. Coming in at number one: Denver, Colorado.</p><p>According to Kayak, traveling and staying in Denver in 2019 may be up to 55 percent less expensive than the average trip cost in 2018. In the city, the site recommends checking out exhibits at <a href="" target="_blank">MCA Denver</a>, which has an entry cost of just $8. To make the excursion even better, be sure to head up to the rooftop cafe to take in the city views for free. It also recommends would-be travelers book their flights about one month in advance for the best deal. As for where to say, check out the <a href="" target="_blank">Hilton Denver City Center</a>, which comes at a great price and has an excellent 8.7 rating out of more than 300 user reviews.</p><p>But, if Denver doesn’t fit your travel fancy there are still plenty of other good options, including <a href="" target="_blank">Myrtle Beach</a>, South Carolina. According to Kayak, travelers can save up to 54 percent on trips this year to the sunny destination versus last. As for a few budget-friendly activities, Kayak recommends spending time at the beach, which is free, or taking a hike at Myrtle Beach State Park, which costs just $5 for admission.</p><p>The other top destinations for budget-friendly travel in 2019 include <a href="" target="_blank">Salt Lake City</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Las Vegas</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Boston</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Baltimore</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Cincinnati</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Cleveland</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Houston</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Fort Myers</a>.</p><p>Of course, there are always options for when money is no object or for when you simply want to splurge on your next travel experience. For trips like that check out the <a href="" target="_blank">50 best places to travel in 2019</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Your New iPhone Has a Secret App to Make Shortcuts for Your Favorite Tasks

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 01/07/2019 - 11:01
<p>Now you can truly make your brand new iPhone totally unique.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">TIME</a></em>, the new generations of iPhone are not just beautiful to look at, but they also have some seriously customizable functions to enhance your smartphone experience.</p><p>Depending on your preferences and lifestyle, having a phone that’s optimized for how you use it can be an incredibly useful tool. If you have an iOS device, <em>TIME</em> rounded up some excellent tricks for making it totally yours.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Secret iPhone Hack Will Turn Your Phone Into a Flight Tracker</a></p><p>Firstly, phones with the latest iOS update have a new control center screen, which can be accessed by swiping down on their home screens. But you’re not stuck with the same old controls if you don’t want them. In the Settings App, you can pick and choose which controls you want at a swipe’s notice by selecting "Control Center," then "Customize Controls." There, you can decide which options you’d like to include on your quick control center, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, media players, flashlight, timer and accessibility shortcuts.</p><p>Furthermore, you can choose to opt-out of Apple’s default apps like Mail and Safari by using a third-party app like <a href="" target="_blank">Opener</a>, according to <em>TIME</em>. Or, you can use an app like <a href=";ign-mpt=uo%3D4" target="_blank">Copied</a> to save things to a useful clipboard rather than typing all your important info in Notes.</p><p>One of the best and newest features that Apple has also introduced is the Shortcuts app, where you can take care of your daily, repeated tasks more efficiently. Sending commonly used texts or automatically sharing what you’ve just saved to your Camera Roll is now easier than ever.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This iPhone Hack Is Perfect for People Who Always Miss Messages (Video)</a></p><p>Plus, if you’re having trouble reading your screen, or just want to protect your eyes from blue light, you can access your Settings app, then select "General," then "Accessibility," then "Display Accommodations" to manually adjust the brightness of your screen, or choose the new "Reduce White Point" option to keep your eyes healthy even if you’re on your phone all the time.</p><p>Use these tricks and tips to help you make 2019 even easier and more efficient than the year before.</p>
Categories: Travel

Canada's Coziest Getaway Includes Fireside Chess, Hard Cider with Monks, and the Best Grilled Cheese

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 01/06/2019 - 13:00
<p>There is something magnetic in the air of Canada’s Eastern Townships region.</p><p>Located smack dab between Quebec City and Montreal, the area's French connection is vividly painted and the spirit of artisan entrepreneurship is palpable. It’s everything a quiet yet thrilling getaway should be and it all begins at an iconic hotel called <a href="" target="_blank">Manoir Hovey</a>.</p><p>Named one of the <a href="" target="_blank">World's Best Resort Hotels in Canada</a> by <em>Travel + Leisure </em>readers in 2018, Manoir Hovey is a rustic lakeside estate offering gorgeous rooms and suites with cozy fireplaces and balconies with scenic views of the surrounding woodlands. Book the Oriole Suite in the warmer months for its outdoor amenities and the Bellechasse Suite in the colder months for its central location in the main building.</p><p>While the hotel's impressive accommodations might have you reluctant to leave your room, the property is full of the details that will truly make your trip unforgettable.</p><p>For instance, surround yourself with century-old books in Manoir Hovey’s rustic library while sipping French-pressed, artisanal tea beside a roaring fireplace. </p><p>You can also nestle into the vintage teepee on site while drinking cordials and engaging in a fireside chess match. The teepee’s antique ambiance sets the mood for long conversations over Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and the like.</p><p>These unexpected moments weave together to tell the story of Manoir Hovey's legacy. A Relais &amp; Chateaux member, the hotel also serves as a cultural beacon of the Eastern Townships. This plays out beautifully at their signature restaurant, <a href="" target="_blank">Le Hatley</a>, where a seasonal tasting menu features the region’s diverse bounty of ingredients and makers.</p><img alt="cuisine - Manior Hovey "src=""><h2>Visit a Castle Monastery Where Gregorian Chanting Monks Make Hard Cider</h2><p>Yes, you read that right. Both times I’ve visited the Eastern Townships, a trip to the <a href="" target="_blank">Saint Benedict Abbey</a> has been a standout. It’s included in the Manoir’s Chants, Cheeses &amp; Wine tour, and whisks you into an architectural beauty that has been home to Benedictine monks since 1912.</p><p>Each day the monks hold a mass that is electrified with ancient Gregorian chanting. Though the chants are in Latin, it’s impossible not to feel the power that radiates from the chorus across the arched walls. After the inspiring service, an exploration of the grounds leads to mesmerizing hallways of multi-colored granite and fairy tale-like views of Lake Memphremagog. </p><p>The monks at Saint Benedict Abbey have invested in self-sustainment, which has resulted in the production of hard apple cider from its orchards and cheese from its cows. We picnicked on both in the monastery, but during warmer months you can enjoy them outside. The monastery also offers silent retreats, which some say completely changed the way they see the world. Reservations are required, and the wait list can be long.</p><img alt="Manior Hovey "src=""><h2>Indulge in the Ultimate Cheese Experience</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Fromagerie La Station</a> is more than just a dairy farm, cheese factory, and sandwich shop — it’s a showcasing of real entrepreneurship. The business has been passed down by four generations of farmers, rapidly increasing in size and production. In 2019 the company is opening the doors to an onsite warehouse that will be storing 30,000 wheels of cheese.</p><p>Tours of the farm that bring to life the process from milk to cheese are offered daily, but just a taste of the cheese and one of their grilled classics is worthy of a trip in itself. While I was there, <a href="" target="_blank">I created a sandwich</a> I dubbed the "Eastern Township Grilled Cheese," which infuses one of La Station’s new cheese varietals with maple syrup. Trust me on this one.</p><h2>Return Home With a New Signature Scent</h2><p>The last thing I expected from this trip was to reshape the way I saw soap and perfume, but the purchases in my checked baggage on the way home said otherwise. From the magical scents at La Grange du Perfumeur to olive and coconut oil soaps at Savon des Cantons, I couldn't get enough.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">La Grange du Perfumeur</a> is helmed by perfumer Alexandra Bachand and her husband, Eric Delbaere. The pair are artists who have been able to craft poetry in motion within their self-dubbed “Barn of the Perfumer.”</p><p>The shop is the first perfume house open to the public in Canada. The standout was Bachand’s unisex scent, Dream in Paris. I wasn’t surprised to learn that her work will be featured in an art exhibition that explores historical aromas.</p><p>Those who appreciate artisanal soap should make the pilgrimage to <a href="" target="_blank">Savon des Cantons</a>, a boutique producer of pure olive oil and coconut oil soaps whose infusions range from lavender to coffee. I stocked up on their men’s scents, particularly the Blue Note and Viking. This would be a pretty dapper surprise for any guy who appreciates a high quality, artisan product.</p><h2>Toast Regional Wine at Boutique Vineyards</h2><p>The Eastern Township’s <a href="" target="_blank">scenic Wine Route</a> features 22 vineyards that can be explored by tour, car, or even bicycle. Wine varietals both unique and familiar will be found throughout the trail, which also boasts quaint villages to explore and restaurants to stop at and soak up all that wine.</p><h2>It’s a Country Getaway You Won’t Forget</h2><p>When you see the rolling mountains and flat country weave together throughout the townships, you’ll realize that you’re in a very interesting region of Canada’s countryside. Elevated accommodations, historical novelties and the spirit of boutique excellence are prime highlights of the region’s growing tourism scene. Though dotted with lively towns and villages, nightlife here is best served up next to a warm fire and cold whiskey.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Become a Travel Agent

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 01/06/2019 - 12:01
<p>If you’re someone who spends their days scanning flights, loves <a href="" target="_blank">hotel rewards points</a>, and in general, is a fervent traveler, you’ve probably wondered how to become a travel agent. And while it’s true that living in the age of Expedia means travel agents are not as vital as they once were, people use travel agents a lot more than you might think. Just because travelers aren’t calling up an agent every time they need to book a quick flight doesn’t mean they don’t want to consult an expert for a big trip. Especially when it comes to honeymoons or <a href="" target="_blank">bucket-list trips</a> that have a lot of moving parts — coordinating <a href="" target="_blank">tour companies</a>, translators, or multiple resort stays, for example— and it’s often easier to leave the logistics to someone else: travel agents.</p><p>You don’t need a specific career background to become a travel agent. So if you’re looking into how to become a travel agent for a fresh career start, that’s totally OK. You have to start somewhere on your path to becoming a travel agent, and the sooner you jump in, the sooner you’ll build your client base. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to parlay your experience in a semi-related industry, be it marketing or hospitality, that can help because you’ll have even more context for your new career. Either way, working as a travel agent can be a rewarding career path (with some fun perks), so here’s what you need to know to become a travel agent.</p><h2>What Formal Training Do You Need to Become a Travel Agent?</h2><p>While some four-year colleges, community colleges, and trade schools offer tourism certifications, it is not a requirement for those trying to become a travel agent. Certificates of tourism can be very helpful, but so can previous training in marketing, hospitality, or even event planning. Ultimately, your knowledge of destinations, sales, itinerary planning, and booking software will be crucial for your career as a travel agent.</p><p>In terms of the training time you need to put in before becoming a fully fledged travel agent, it all depends. You could start your career right after high school, or you could put in one to four years earning a certificate, associate's, or bachelor’s degree in tourism. Of course, you could also change course from a related career, and morph your experience as, say, a <a href="" target="_blank">destination wedding planner</a> into a career as a travel agent.</p><h2>What Kinds of Training Programs Are Out There To Help You Become a Travel Agent?</h2><p>One example of a training program is taking courses with <a href="" target="_blank">The Travel Institute</a>. Not only will they teach you the basics of planning itineraries, but they’ll also make sure you’re learning about new cultures, world geography, and experiences you can have all over the world. They’ll also help you decide what business route you want to take.</p><h2>How to Become a Travel Agent: The Logistics</h2><p>Becoming a travel agent will likely mean starting your own business. On the plus side, in terms of starting a business, becoming a travel agent comes with relatively little overhead. If you’re becoming a small business owner and opening a yoga studio, for example, you need to rent a space, deal with permitting, buy supplies, build a website, and pay yoga teachers and someone to work the front desk. However, if you’re starting a business you can operate from your living room, there aren’t nearly as many upfront costs.</p><p>You will have to think about what type of business you want to become. Do you want to incorporate or become an LLC? Would you rather be a sole proprietor? Incorporating takes the most effort, and is often the most expensive. Becoming an LLC is a good happy medium, because it can help protect you as a business entity without having as many associated costs. Small business owners typically become an LLC to protect their personal assets; If you get sued as an LLC, someone can come after your business holdings, but can’t come after your house, car, or personal savings.</p><p>If you choose to remain a sole proprietor (which doesn’t require any fees or legwork), you are essentially a freelancer or independent contractor. You can be an LLC and an independent contractor, too—they aren’t mutually exclusive. If you want to be an independent contractor, it likely means you’re working as part of a larger host agency, which is smart to do when you’re starting out as a travel agent. Down the road, you can also own a franchise of a travel agency. Owning a franchise might come with more overhead costs, and that would be a reason to incorporate.</p><p>If you’re an independent contractor, you should know that your taxes aren’t going to be as straightforward as a full-time employee's might be. You may have to start keeping track of your business expenses, as you might be able to write them off. You also might not get things like health benefits from your employer. As you plan your new career, consider sitting down with an established travel agent to ask them some logistical questions: where they get their health insurance? How do they keep track of their income and expenses? Do they use an accountant to do their taxes? While meeting with the travel agent, you can discuss the pros and cons of working as a travel agent for a larger agency. If you’re not sure how to get in touch with other travel agents, consider using social media, like LinkedIn or even Instagram.</p><h2>What to Think About When You Become a Travel Agent</h2><p>Once you’ve secured work as a travel agent, you’ll want to think about how you can earn more money and distinguish yourself from other agents. Here are three things to consider as you start your career:</p><p><strong>Making commissions.</strong><b> </b>If you’re working for a larger travel agency as an independent contractor, how do commissions work? Make sure you have this conversation early on before accepting the position. When you’re starting out, you want to make sure the commission rate you’re receiving is similar to the industry standard.</p><p><strong>Growing your client base.</strong> How do you make more money as a travel agent? Clients, clients, clients. You want happy customers who will return to you every time they want to book a travel experience. You’ll want to work at keeping your clients happy by finding them great deals, curating unbelievable experiences for them, and just being great to work with.</p><p><strong>Establishing a niche</strong><b><strong>.</strong> </b>This is by no means a requirement for how to become a travel agent, but as you establish your career, you may want to consider focusing on a specific niche. For example, maybe you’re someone who focuses on <a href="" target="_blank">honeymoon travel</a>, luxury travel, or <a href="" target="_blank">adventure travel</a>. Your niche can help you attract clients, and it can be whatever you want it to be in the travel realm, as long as there’s a need for it.</p>
Categories: Travel

JetBlue's Winter Sale Has Fares As Low As $44 — but You Have to Book Today

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 17:33
<p>The cure for your winter blues are just a click away.</p><p>Starting today, Jan. 4, JetBlue’s gigantic “Big Winter Sale” is here to help you find the best fares for a last-minute winter getaway. Because we’re all already aching to start using those vacation days, and the year has only just begun.</p><p>According to JetBlue’s <a href="" target="_blank">official sale page</a>, travelers can score fares as low as $44 for a one way ticket.</p><p>And on top of being inexpensive, JetBlue is offering deals for some amazing destinations as well.</p><p>Some of the more impressive deals include one-way fares from Atlanta to Orlando (and vice versa), as well as San Jose to San Francisco for only $44, Long Beach to Las Vegas for $54, Boston to New York for $69, Fort Lauderdale to Aruba for $89 and Orlando to Havana, Cuba for $99.</p><p>There are also some flight plus hotel deals for travelers looking to book multiple night stays, including a four day, three night deal from Atlanta to Orlando for $265 and a three day, two night deal from Long Beach to Las Vegas for only $99.</p><p>Of course, with every deal comes a few terms and limitations. In order to cash in on the deal, travelers must book by 11:59 p.m. local time on Friday, Jan. 4.</p><p>Special fares are also only valid on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between Jan. 16 and April 10, with blackout dates on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20. It’s also important to note that these fares are only for the carrier’s Blue Fare, which does not include a checked bag.</p><p>If you’re not looking to fly in the middle of the week, you can still find plenty of inexpensive fares on JetBlue. But if you are looking for a major cash in, check out the <a href="" target="_blank">airline’s full sale page</a> on its website.</p>
Categories: Travel

Herb Kelleher, Beloved Founder of Southwest Airlines, Dies at 87

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 16:57
<p>Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines, died at the age of 87 on Thursday morning, the company announced in a statement on its <a href="" target="_blank">blog</a>.</p><p>The eccentric businessman, born in New Jersey in 1931, served as Southwest’s Executive Chairman from March 1978 to May 2008 and as President and CEO from September 1981 through June 2001, according to the company blog.</p><p>Kelleher incorporated Air Southwest, Inc. with Rollin King in 1967, but after some legal battles and a name change in June 1971, Kelleher officially founded Southwest Airlines, a low-cost, Texas-based airline.</p><p>“One of the greatest joys of my life has been working alongside Herb for more than 30 years. His stamp on the airline industry cannot be overstated. His vision for making air travel affordable for all revolutionized the industry, and you can still see that transformation taking place today,” said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly. “His true impact can only be accurately measured by the hearts and minds of the People who he inspired, motivated, and engaged on a daily basis.”</p><p>The popular airline is famous for its affordable prices and easygoing policies, like never charging to check bags or change your booking. This has made the airline stand out against its competitors as many people’s carrier of choice.</p><p>Kelleher himself is also famous for his big personality. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em>, many people in the industry have amusing and endearing stories to tell about him. He also used his playful presence for the company’s advantage, once appearing in a commercial with a bag over his head when a competitor said people should be “embarrassed” to fly on “no frills” Southwest, according to <em>USA Today</em>.</p><p>Kelleher even stood barefoot on a Southwest plane for an official photo shoot, <a href="" target="_blank">CNN reported</a>.</p><p>“Herb was a Freedom Fighter. He revolutionized the skies...Herb was a Pioneer. A Maverick. An Innovator. He celebrated and exemplified the esprit de corps of the Southwest People with such vigor that the spirit has grown exponentially,” it said on the company blog.</p><p>President Emeritus Colleen Barrett said that Kelleher “always supported me and always treated me as his complete equal. His generosity and inclusion from the very beginning allowed me opportunities and experiences that have been my guiding lights.”</p><p>Kelleher himself is also quoted on the blog, saying, “It is my practice to try to understand how valuable something is by trying to imagine myself without it.” He is survived by his his wife, Joan, three of their four children, several grandchildren, and “his pride and joy, the Employees of Southwest Airlines,” the company said. The cause of death has not been published.</p><p>The full company statement can be read on the <a href="" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines community blog</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Dream Job Will Pay You $130,000 a Year to Run an Island Inn Off the Coast of San Francisco

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 11:31
<p>If you’re a firm believer that modern conveniences like Wi-Fi and cell service are overrated, happen to be on the job market, and are looking for a $130,000 annual salary, we’ve got an opportunity for you.</p><p>More specifically, the <a href="" target="_blank">East Brother Light Station</a>, located on a small island in the middle of the San Pablo Bay off San Francisco, has an opportunity for you.</p><p>The island is home to both a lighthouse and a small inn that operates four days a week year-round. Its current keepers, Che Rodgers and Jillian Meeker, are moving on from their roles and are actively seeking their replacements.</p><p><strong>Related</strong><b>:</b> <a href="" target="_blank">These Are the Best Jobs in the U.S. Right Now</a></p><p>While this is most certainly a dream gig for anyone in the hospitality space, it does come with a fair amount of work. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">SFGate</a></em>, applicants must be willing and ready take on basically every role in the inn including housekeeping, bookkeeping, front desk work, and last but most certainly not least, the job of ferrying the guests to and from the island.</p><p>“As much as we would like to call ourselves lighthouse keepers, that’s definitely not in our duties out here. We’re responsible for running the operations of the bed and breakfast,” Meeker told <a href="" target="_blank"><i>NBC</i></a> in August. “Which pretty much entails everything from running the reservation system to cooking, answering the phones, cleaning, running the boat. Everything that goes into, well not all of the maintenance … but as far as innkeeping goes it really is just the two of us.”</p><p><strong>Related</strong><b>:</b> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World, According to People Who Have Done It</a></p><p>The only thing some may want to be wary of is the fact that it is indeed rather isolated, but that was OK with Meeker.</p><p>“There is no access to Wi-Fi out here, there is no television, which again, when I tell people about that who aren’t on the island, they tend to ask, ‘Do you guys get bored, do you get super cut off,’ and the answer is absolutely not,” she said. “Before we came out here, we might have been a bit nervous about that. But it hasn’t been a huge hindrance. Boredom is not an issue.”</p><p>To qualify for the job, the applicant must be a couple and one person must possess a Coast Guard commercial boat operator's license, according to the not-for-profit which operates the location. In addition, “high-quality culinary experience and capability will be a critical qualification.” The chosen candidates will start in mid-April of 2019.</p><p>For all that work, the new keepers will get room and board and will enter into a revenue sharing model with the non-profit, which typically equates to $130,000 a year, though the salary could go higher if the new operators do a good job of marketing the property. Interested in applying? Just make sure your Coast Guard license is up to date and <a href="" target="_blank">download the application here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Do You Need to Visit Your Destination Wedding Location Before the Big Day?

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 11:15
<p>For couples planning their destination wedding, one burning question tends to top the rest: Do I need to see the venue in person before the wedding? I’m just starting to plan my own destination wedding, and have asked numerous wedding coordinators and planners this exact question. The resounding answer is: If you can go see your venue, you should. However, if it’s just not possible, Skype, shared Pinterest boards, and a deluge of emails can be enough.</p><p>There are essentially two reasons to visit a venue before your destination wedding. The first is to choose a venue and <a href="" target="_blank">see your wedding spot</a> before booking. The second reason is to actually visualize the event and finalize your vendor contracts, taste your menu, and figure out all the logistics. If your plan is to visit venues before you book a <a href="" target="_blank">destination wedding</a>, a good rule of thumb is to plan a wedding-focused visit that will still feel like a vacation. The reality is, visiting a venue is going to cost you money. And if you’re going to shell out, it may as well feel relaxing and exciting, rather than just an item you need to check off your wedding to-do list.</p><p><a href=";gclid=CjwKCAjwrNjcBRA3EiwAIIOvqzKxfuIWNw_m8akoaHuO0L4EfUWntT3qgMWP3YaK8gPuY_sBwNP_gBoCc7QQAvD_BwE" target="_blank">Ritz Carlton Kapalua</a> director of catering and wedding extraordinaire Akiko Nakazato says about 25% of couples who wed at their Maui property visit before their wedding. When the couples come to visit the resort, they <a href="" target="_blank">tour Maui</a>, take advantage of the luxe hotel’s amenities, see some of the sights they won’t have time to visit during their wedding festivities, and even meet with Kapalua’s on-site culture coordinator to talk about Hawaiian wedding customs they want to fit into their big day. Nakazato says that if the couple can’t make a visit happen, there are an abundance of digital resources to help you plan your wedding from afar. “A pre-planning visit is not a requirement,” says Nakazato. “We communicate over the phone and emails. Many of our brides share their wedding inspirations via pinterest or Instagram.”</p><p>Nakazato says if you’re going to come do a site visit, whether before or after you’ve booked the venue, come with an agenda in mind. “It’s good to know what is important to the wedding couple prior to their visit to our property. With their preferences in mind, I conduct [a more personalized] tour,” she explains.</p><p>In terms of making decisions on site, you may want to choose exactly where your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception will be held. At the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Nakazota likes to take the couples through each of the three ceremony venues and three reception options. Sometimes the venue you originally had in mind gets out shined by the waterfront cliff you didn’t realize was an option.</p><p>If you’re going to plan a site visit before booking a venue, try to visit multiple properties with different feels to get a sense of what you might like. After checking out the Kapalua venue in Maui, my fiancé and I hopped a quick puddle jumper flight to <a href="" target="_blank">Oahu</a> and toured urban venue options at the <a href="" target="_blank">Ritz Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach</a>. If you’re still in the ideation phase of planning and aren’t sure what you want the atmosphere of your destination wedding to be, taking a town-and-country trip, wherein you choose a destination (like Hawaii) that allows you to look at off-the-beaten path outdoor venues and the innovative city venues could be incredibly helpful.</p><p>When planning a destination-wedding-visit itinerary in Hawaii, bouncing from the Ritz Carlton Kapalua to the Ritz Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach allowed us to contrast the lush tropical vibes of Maui with the luxury waterfront buildings in Honolulu. If you’re deciding whether you want unadulterated tropical beauty, or a chic rooftop patio with an ocean view for your reception, a two-stop trip that’s relatively easy to plan can help inform your decision.</p><p>Of course, Hawaii isn’t the only spot where you can do a town-and-country wedding tour excursion. You can visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Riviera Maya</a> in Mexico and visit city venues in Cancun and jungle venues in Tulum. You can fly to Italy and tour urban venues in Florence and <a href="" target="_blank">country villas in Tuscany</a>. And of course, you can orchestrate a trip like this without hopping a flight: <a href="" target="_blank">drive to Denver and visit urban breweries</a> contrasted with mountain venues in the Rockies. Think of it as an <a href="" target="_blank">engagement moon</a> with a wedding inspo twist.</p><p>Venues need to be booked well in advance — often at least 12 months out — but that doesn’t mean you can’t book a venue and then go visit. After all, you reduce the amount of work you’ll need to do on your wedding weekend by planning on the ground before the big day. In terms of putting down a deposit before seeing the venue, my rule is: If you aren’t going to see the venue, you need to not only speak with the venue at length, but also talk to someone who has been there in person. Having trouble finding someone who has worked with the venue? Search for wedding planners in the area, get on Facebook and join a destination wedding group (there are plenty), or ask the on-site coordinator if they can refer you to a couple who has gotten married at your dream venue in the past.</p><p>If you’ve already locked down your <a href="" target="_blank">destination wedding venue</a>, your visit might be more about visualizing your event. Visiting your wedding location to see where you might host your cocktail hour, your reception, and the ceremony could be well worth it. And that’s especially true if you’re hosting an event that involves changing locations from the ceremony to the reception. Don’t forget that most destination wedding spots have more than one venue option, and seeing them in person can make all the difference. Sometimes pictures just don’t do these romantic spots justice. Similarly, you might assume you don’t want to consider an indoor reception if you’re getting married in a gorgeous destination, but actually seeing the indoor venues may change your mind. I toured a ballroom that had air conditioning and an ocean view at Ritz Kapalua — an air conditioned ocean view reception might pique your interest if your wedding will be held in 85-degree heat.</p><p>Ultimately, you reduce the risk by going to see the venue before your wedding, but you also reduce the element of surprise. And just think, if you aren’t able to visit your venue before the wedding, it will be a truly stunning surprise on the big day.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Millennial-focused Hotel Chain Has Some of the World’s Most Instagram-worthy Hotel Rooms — and You Can Actually Afford Them

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 11:00
<p>Walking into <a href=";gclsrc=aw.ds" target="_blank">The Hoxton</a> in Paris’ <a href="" target="_blank">2nd Arrondissement</a>, I checked and then re-checked my Google map to make sure my Uber dropped me in the right location. As any smartphone equipped traveler may know, it’s easy to get sucked into the specific instructions of a robotic GPS voice, or worse, trust a rideshare service to take you to a place you’ve never been before, without actually gaining a sense of place. The first time I arrived in Paris, fresh off the RER train from Orly Airport, I carefully navigated the curving streets to find an address I’d scribbled down in an empty <a href="" target="_blank">Moleskine journal</a>, a journal I’d hoped to fill with observations about the city.</p><p>But as of this past fall, I felt familiar enough with Paris and unwaveringly confident in my iPhone to dedicate half as much attention to navigating the city. Which is how I arrived, confused, standing in the shadow of a swooping spiral staircase, across from a marble-topped bar, where a bearded bartender shook up various hues of cocktails. In ripped jeans and a T-shirt, I felt severely underdressed (and overtly American in what seemed to be a sea of Parisians) and embarrassed to be lugging a suitcase, backpack and shoulder bag in the hyper stylish space. But before I could re-confirm I was in the wrong place, a woman in a henley shirt offered to help with my bag, guiding me past chic, velvet tufted furniture and an inner courtyard to a concealed check-in desk. I was in the right place — and it was unlike any other boutique hotel. I had, after all, discovered this place and its signature black and white gridded sheets on a fashion influencer’s Instagram, and everything was starting to add up: The anti-hotel hotel has arrived.</p><img alt="Th Hoxton Paris "src=""><p>The Hoxton, which has properties in London, Amsterdam, <a href="" target="_blank">Brooklyn</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Portland</a>, and soon in Downtown LA and Chicago, is redefining the boutique hotel experience to lure Airbnb-minded millennials into impeccably designed, immensely cool spaces that locals actually want to hang out at. Small details, like a complimentary light breakfast delivered each guest's door every morning rather than a (typically disappointing) breakfast buffet, and the ability to purchase local minibar items at <a href="" target="_blank">The Hox Shop</a>, rather than peruse a lackluster mini fridge full of stuff you don’t want in your room.</p><img alt="Th Hoxton Paris "src=""><img alt="Th Hoxton Paris "src=""><p>“For millennials and modern travellers, it’s about more than just a comfy bed and good shower; it’s about the whole experience. They want more. At The Hoxton, we engage with the community and become a real part of the neighbourhood, being a space for locals as well as guests,” explains Martina Luger, the London-based Chief Marketing Officer at The Hoxton. “Day and night, you’ll always find interesting locals and guests in our lobby, whether they’re brainstorming over breakfast, plugging away at a laptop or catching up with friends over cocktails. Our cultural programming brings the best of our neighbourhoods in and our Hox Friends initiative — a hand-picked group of locals who echo our values — share local tips and favourite spots to offer authentic recommendations and experiences to our guests.”</p><img alt="Th Hoxton Paris "src=""><p>Each property is distinctly different based on location — Paris’ Hoxton was built in an 18th century mansion and retains various elements of French charm. “The design concept of each Hoxton is always inspired by the building it’s in and the streets and scenes that surround it. We strive to be a reflection of the neighborhood, with functional spaces and a residential feel,” explains Charlie North, Design Director at The Hoxton. “We use authentic materials and strive for a timeless and individual aesthetic. We always want our spaces to be comfortable and relaxed, and for guests to treat our lobby like their living room.” Free Wi-Fi, accessible outlets, cozy sofas and meeting-friendly setups recognize the way that a new generation of workers/travelers are also freelance or remote workers, meaning visitors can spend hours at a time in the lobby with coffee and a laptop, explore a city and then return for cocktail hour.</p><img alt="Th Hoxton Paris "src=""><p>In the geotag era, design and decor is, arguably, more important than ever. North and his team <a href="" target="_blank">use Instagram for research</a> and inspiration, but don’t ignore the impact social media has on The Hoxton’s brand. “We’re acutely aware of setting out those Instagram moments when installing projects,” he says. “You can plan them into your design but there’s nothing more exciting than finding a selection of furniture pieces and materials and colours that just work when you’re installing a project. More people have access to design inspiration than ever before, via the likes of Pinterest and Instagram, so this is constantly pushing us to do new things, and keep our designs evolving and fresh.”</p><p>Moving into a Hoxton property isn’t quite an option yet, but recreating the experience at home is getting easier. The furniture, decor, dramatic accent walls, and even the food served at the Hoxton stir up a fair amount of Insta-envy. It’s like living in your favorite HGTV show, if only for a few nights. People love it so much the hotel has decided to sell its bedding, as well as other decor souvenirs in its hotel shop. Or, you could do what I did, and buy remarkably similar pieces (okay, and paint colors) after you check out and put the full Hoxton treatment on your own bedroom. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Book-filled Hotel in Cambridge, England, Is the Ultimate Getaway for Bibliophiles

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 09:59
<p>Ever since Isaac Newton more or less invented modern physics in Cambridge in the 17th century, the city has been a locus of innovation. When I visited, I saw a graft of the tree whose falling apple gave the Trinity College fellow his aha moment about gravity, and I poked my head into the Eagle, the pub where James Watson and Francis Crick announced their discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953. There are now roughly 4,500 science and technology firms, from start-ups to giants like Apple and Amazon, in the low-lying area the media has dubbed “Silicon Fen.”</p><p>You might not be aware of these developments, however, while wandering the town’s medieval center. Enter the gates of almost any of the 31 colleges that make up the University of Cambridge, and you’re likely to find magnificent Gothic architecture, cloistered gardens, and tightly clipped lawns. But the high streets and shop-lined alleys, the cafés and theaters, have a spirited, cosmopolitan energy, and now the city has a hotel to match.</p><img alt="Restaurant at the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge, England "src=""><p>The newly refurbished <a href="" target="_blank">University Arms, Cambridge</a> <em>(doubles from $265)</em> was founded in 1834 as a 15-room coaching inn. Over time it was expanded piecemeal in an ungainly amalgam of styles. A two-year overhaul has reimposed order, creating a 192-room entity with a graceful porte cochère by architect John Simpson. But this understated exterior doesn’t prepare you for the exuberance and wit inside, where designer Martin Brudnizki plays with the history and iconography of Cambridge and England. The pattern of the hallway carpets echoes the university’s blue-striped necktie. Prints of churches, birds, boats, bicycles, and other things English people like hang salon-style in the public spaces. An audiobook of <em>The Wind in the Willows</em> is piped into the restrooms.</p><p>The suites, painted in soothing English country-house blues and greens, are named after famous Cambridge graduates: Byron, Tennyson, Newton, Darwin. Each is decorated with portraits of its eponymous writer or scientist. I stayed in a top-floor suite devoted to Renaissance playwright Christopher Marlowe. Its bathroom occupies a turret with immense arched windows overlooking Parker’s Piece, a large, open commons. (You have to close the blinds, or hope that the people in the boot-camp classes and pickup soccer games below are too distracted to notice your ablutions.) <a href="" target="_blank">Books are everywhere</a> — on étagères and dressing tables, and in the ground floor’s clubby library. They’re not just props, but well-chosen new releases and classics you can actually imagine reading.</p><p>On a Saturday night, <a href="http://parkers​" target="_blank">Parker’s Tavern</a> <em>(entrées $14–$63)</em><i>,</i> the hotel’s restaurant, was filled to capacity with both hotel guests and locals. Chef Tristan Welch, a Cambridge native who has cooked in Paris and the Caribbean, puts a global spin on traditional English dishes. I sampled a rich risotto, with Somerset truffles and salty-sweet Berkswell <a href="" target="_blank">cheese</a>, and the wondrous Duke of Cambridge tart, a thick slab of muscovado custard with marmalade and candied citrus peel.</p><img alt="Punting on Backs by St Johns College, Cambridge, England, UK "src=""><p>The next morning, I lounged on cushions while the cheerful, chatty Max Thompson of <a href="" target="_blank">Rutherford’s Punting</a> used a long pole to propel our small, flat-bottomed boat down the Cam. This narrow, tranquil river winds through “the Backs” — the postcard-perfect grounds of some of the more famous colleges, including St. John’s, King’s, and Trinity. After this quintessential Cambridge activity, I revved up with a Chelsea bun, the signature currant-filled pastry at <a href="" target="_blank">Fitzbillies</a><i>,</i> and hopped onto one of the bicycles for hotel guests, which are painted powder blue, the official school color. (Cycling, typically with a basket embellishing your prow, is the preferred method of transport among locals.) I followed a path southward along the Cam, through a necklace of parks and fields — finding some of the fabled cows that freely roam the city’s green spaces—to the hamlet of Grantchester. There, at the <a href="" target="_blank">Orchard Tea Garden</a><i>,</i> you can buy a cuppa and cake at a pavilion, sink into one of the folding deck chairs under the apple trees (just like Rupert Brooke, E. M. Forster, and Virginia Woolf used to do), and fall into an English pastoral delirium. On my way back to the city, I swung onto Mill Road, which I learned about by Googling “hippest neighborhood in Cambridge.” Amid the antique shops and ethnic restaurants, I stumbled upon <a href="http://urban​" target="_blank">Urban Larder</a><i>,</i> which was hip indeed, and served an indulgent pressed sandwich.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">England's Next Foodie Destination</a></p><p>Cambridge’s scientific breakthroughs get all the press, but the city also has transcendent art. In the 1950s, Jim Ede, a former Tate curator, reconfigured a cluster of stone cottages into a home for himself and his wife, filled it with paintings and sculptures, and opened it as a gallery that he dubbed <a href="http://kettles​" target="_blank">Kettle’s Yard</a><i>.</i> Ede was friends with the great English Modernists Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, and Alfred Wallis, and he placed his large collection of their works, as well as pieces by Joan Miró, Constantin Brancusi, and dozens of other artists, alongside meticulous arrangements of stones, flowers, pottery, and driftwood. Recently reopened after a two-year renovation, it’s an enchanting place, with a newly expanded auxiliary space that showcases contemporary artists who fit the Kettle’s Yard ethos, including, during the coming year, Louise Bourgeois and Oscar Murillo. Architects Adam Caruso and Peter St. John took design inspiration from Kettle’s Yard when they converted an Edwardian stable into the <a href="" target="_blank">Heong Gallery</a><i>,</i> just inside the gates of Downing College. Its two rooms, flooded with natural light, house temporary exhibitions of artists as diverse as Ai Weiwei and children’s book illustrator Quentin Blake.</p><p>In a slender row house just outside the city center, I found <a href="http://restaurant​" target="_blank">Restaurant Twenty-Two</a> <em>(tasting menus from $52)</em><i>.</i> The simply decorated ground floor contains just a few tables and chairs. The staff is friendly and astute. My fellow patrons ranged from Instagram kids to a party of natty octogenarians, who I imagined were university dons. When I visited, the $32 set lunch menu included warm bread made with Guinness; a peppery watercress and potato soup; a plate of braised carrots dusted with <em>dukkah</em><i>,</i> an Egyptian nut and spice mix; and a velvety ragoût of coco beans, Parmesan, and spring onions. After only a few bites, I realized I was eating one of my favorite meals ever. Like Cambridge, it was innovative, intelligent, and sublime.</p>
Categories: Travel

'Real Housewives' Star Bethenny Frankel's Severe Fish Allergy Forced Flight to Turn Around

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 08:10
<p>Flights can be forced to make emergency landings for a variety of reasons.</p><p>One reason, for example, can be due to someone with severe allergies on board. Bethenny Frankel, entrepreneur and star of <i>Real Housewives of New York City</i> learned this the hard way, though through no fault of her own.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">Entertainment Tonight</a>, Frankel wrote on Twitter about her ill-fated flight on Thursday that was forced to turn around due to her severe fish allergy (which has landed her in the hospital before).</p><p>In Frankel’s post, she wrote that she called the airline multiple times to tell them she had a fish allergy, but found out when she boarded that the flight was serving bass. To make matters worse, Frankel’s allergy is not only foodborne, but also airborne, so cooking fish alone could have set off a potentially deadly allergic reaction.</p><p>When Frankel told the crew of her allergy and asked that they not serve fish, she was told that it was impossible for them to honor her request. Instead, the plane returned to the airport.</p><p>“Then they were turning around which I protested [because] it would delay people. Cabin asked to not serve it &amp; pilot made announcement to plane,” Frankel wrote.</p><p>She added, “The airlines and world needs to change. I was always self conscious about it &amp; today didn’t help...I don’t care about the meal. Being trapped in a cabin [with] no windows w cooking fish is a death trap.”</p><p>Frankel did not disclose which airline she was flying with, but instead wrote that they “know who they are.” She also accused the pilot of “delightfully” announcing that Frankel ruined everyone’s night. It’s unclear as to how specific the announcement was.</p><p>Many airlines have eliminated some common allergy-exacerbating foods like <a href="" target="_blank">peanuts from planes</a>, but it seems some have yet to extend their policies to all airborne allergens. Hopefully Frankel was able to find herself a fish-free flight without much trouble.</p>
Categories: Travel

The First Solar Eclipse of 2019 Is Coming This Weekend

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 07:36
<p>Remember the total solar eclipse <a href="" target="_blank">that swept across the U.S.</a> on Aug. 21, 2017? Although Sunday's celestial event in East Asia won't be anything as dramatic, the moon will again pass in front of the sun as seen from cities including Tokyo, Japan; Seoul South Korea; Shanghai, China; and Yakutsk in eastern Russia.</p><h2>What is a partial solar eclipse?</h2><p>Only possible at New Moon, a partial solar eclipse is when the moon moves in front a portion of the sun, as seen from specific locations on Earth. It's exactly what everyone in the U.S. saw who watched away from the Path of Totality on Aug. 21, 2017. It's also what everyone inside the Path of Totality that day saw either side of totality. There will be no marvelous minutes of totality on Sunday, so observers in Russia, China, North and South Korea, and Japan will need to keep their protective solar eclipse glasses on at all times, and use special solar filters on cameras and telescopes.</p><h2>When is the partial solar eclipse?</h2><p>What time the partial solar eclipse occurs depends on where you watch from. The entire event takes a few hours, but here are a few local times for the peak of Sunday’s partial solar eclipse in cities around Northeast Asia, with the maximum percentage of the Sun being covered from that location. <a href=";Acc=2&amp;Umb=0&amp;Lmt=1&amp;Mag=1&amp;Max=1" target="_blank">A clickable Google Map is available here</a>.<br /><br />Yakutsk, Russia – 10:14 a.m. (57%)<br />Oymyakon, Russia – 11:29 a.m. (60%)<br />Vladivostok, Russia – 10:57 (37%)<br />Tokyo, Japan – 10:05 a.m. (30%)<br />Osaka, Japan – 09:57 a.m. (25%)<br />Sendai, Japan – 10:09 a.m. (35%)<br />Sapporo, Japan – 10:13 a.m. (43%)<br />Harbin, China – 08:52 a.m. (37%)<br />Beijing, China – 08:34 a.m. (20%)<br />Shanghai, China – 08:32 a.m. (9%)<br />PyeongChang, North Korea – 09:46 a.m. (25%)<br />Seoul, South Korea – 09:45 a.m. (24%)</p><h2>What happens during a partial solar eclipse?</h2><p>It's an event that takes a few hours, starting from 'first contact' when the moon begins to move in front of the sun. It slowly takes a larger and larger 'bite' from the sun, until slowly moving away. On Sunday, the biggest 'bite' it takes is 62% as seen from Northeastern Siberia in Russia. The actual Point of Greatest Eclipse is over the Kolyma River in the Sakha region of Siberia.</p><h2>When is the next total lunar eclipse?</h2><p>There is set to be a 'Super Blood Wolf Moon' eclipse on Jan. 20-21, 2019. Visible from the entirety of North and South America, as well as from Western Europe, a total lunar eclipse happens only during the occasional Full Moon. It happens to be during a supermoon, too. During that spectacle, the moon will slowly turn a reddish, copper color, and stay that way for around an hour. It's the third total lunar eclipse in the last 18 months, but the last until 2021.</p><h2>Why is there a lunar eclipse two weeks after a solar eclipse?</h2><p>Solar and lunar eclipses always come together, sometimes as many as three in a row. If the conditions are right to cause a solar eclipse — a New Moon crossing the ecliptic, the path the Sun takes through the sky — they are also right to cause a lunar eclipse two weeks later. However, the alignment is rarely spot-on, so it's common for a partial solar or lunar eclipse to precede or follow a total solar or lunar eclipse.</p><h2>When is the next total solar eclipse?</h2><p>July 2, 2019 will see a total solar eclipse lasting just over two minutes, almost exactly the same as that seen across the USA on Aug. 21, 2017. However, this time it will be visible from the southern hemisphere, specifically the South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina.</p>
Categories: Travel

Disney World Is Having a Major Hotel Sale — Including Summer Dates

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 17:58
<p>Staying at Disney this summer is going to be better than ever.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Walt Disney World News Today</a></em>, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida announced a brand new offer for park goers who are looking to save a little money on their Disney vacation – even during the summer.</p><p>The new “Sun &amp; Fun Room Offer” will give guests up to 30 percent off rooms at certain hotels between the end of April and September.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">These Are the Best and Worst Times to Go to Disney World in 2019</a></p><p>The deal extends 30 percent off stays at deluxe resorts and villas including Jambo House and Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Villas, Disney BoardWalk Villas, the Old Key West Resort and Saratoga Springs Resort &amp; Spa, Animal Kingdom Lodge, BoardWalk Inn, and the Grand Floridian Resort &amp; Spa and Yacht Club Resort starting on May 28, as well as 25 percent off stays between April 28 and May 27.</p><p>The park is also offering 25 percent off stays at Disney’s Beach Club Villas between the end of May and end of September, and then 15 percent off between April and May. Stays at Beach Club Resort as well as cabins at the Fort Wilderness Resort, the Caribbean Beach Resort, and Coronado Springs are being offered at 25 percent off between April and September.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Going to Disney World</a></p><p>Budget hotels like All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Art of Animation, and Pop Century, as well as campsites, are also on sale at 20 percent off for the hotels between May and September, and campsites from Sunday through Thursday between August 4 and Sept. 12. Budget hotels are also offering 15 percent off between April and May.</p><p>Lastly, guests can book Boulder Ridge Villas at the Wilderness Lodge, Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort, Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Polynesian Villas &amp; Bungalows, as well as the Contemporary Resort and Polynesian Village Resort, for 15 percent off between April and September. A 10 percent discount is also offered for Port Orleans Resort French Quarter and Riverside hotels for April through September.</p><p>In order to get the offer, all stays must be booked by March 24. To book, visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Small World, Big Fun website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

January Will Be Colder Than Average With 'Risk of Widespread Snowfall,' Weather Experts Say

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 17:33
<p>You may want to go outside and enjoy the “warm” winter weather now. Because things are about to get nasty.</p><p>According to a new report in <a href="" target="_blank">Axios</a>, the polar vortex may be splitting into three different pieces soon, bringing severe winter weather to parts of the United States and Europe. And this, Axios reported, is thanks to global warming.</p><p>"In general, we see colder than normal temperatures over much of the U.S. and Europe/Northern Asia, and warmer than normal temperatures over Greenland and subtropical Africa/Asia,” Amy Butler, a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, told Axios.</p><p>Previous splits in the polar vortex have brought on major winter storms like last year’s “<a href="" target="_blank">beast from the east</a>.” Those storms not only wreak havoc on travel plans, but they could also drive up the cost of natural gas and other energy sources as humans put a strain on the grids, Axios reported.</p><p>And those major storms are coming. Soon.</p><p>“January is looking like a colder than average month overall, and we could see some of the lowest temperatures of winter so far during the next three weeks or so,” Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden told <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Express</a></em>. “There is also going to be a risk of widespread snowfall through the month, this is something we are keeping our eyes on.”</p><p>Madden added that February may be slightly warming, but people can expect temperatures to remain below average throughout Europe, while the risk of heavy snowfall will remain until spring.</p><p>“Arctic change has increased the frequency of these polar vortex disruption events and following these polar vortex disruption events you get more severe winter weather," Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at AER, a Verisk company, told Axios.</p><p>This year, be prepared and learn how to <a href="" target="_blank">stay safe in the cold weather</a>, or escape it instead with one of these <a href="" target="_blank">15 warm-weather getaways</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

San Diego Is Becoming Southern California’s Coolest City — And It Has Mexico to Thank

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 12:01
<p>Walking to Chicano Park in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood, I got the distinct impression that I was lost. According to my phone’s GPS, I was less than a block away from the seven acres that locals had described to me as a stronghold of the city’s Mexican-American community. All I could see, however, was a colossal highway overpass — a sea of highway overpasses, actually. It was hard to imagine that the thing I’d come to <a href="" target="_blank">San Diego</a> hoping to understand — how the city is continually shaped and reshaped by its standing on the border with <a href="" target="_blank">Mexico</a> — would be revealed in what looked like an urban no-man’s-land.</p><p>But as I entered this imposing tangle of concrete, the atmosphere brightened. I saw majestic bands of color crawling up the gigantic pillars — dozens of intricate murals painted with the aggression of graffiti and the precision of fine art. This near-mystical constellation framed sculptures, plantings of cacti and wildflowers, a skate park, and swaths of grass where children played and people lounged at picnic tables painted in the colors of the Mexican flag.</p><img alt="Dining and street art in San Diego, California "src=""><p>Chicano Park evolved from an act of protest. In 1970, residents of the predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood learned that the area, which had been promised to them for parkland, was set to be turned into a highway patrol station. Frustration had been mounting for decades among locals, who lost access to the waterfront when naval installations were built during World War II and, later, saw the neighborhood’s integrity suffer when it was rezoned for industry. Tired of feeling marginalized, hundreds of people occupied the land for 12 days, demanding to be heard. They were; the city backed off of its plan. In 2017, the park, which contains one of the largest collections of outdoor murals in the country, was designated a National Historic Landmark.</p><p>I didn’t know this history as I walked around. But I could <em>feel</em> it. A cross-cultural vibrancy percolates through San Diego in ways that are thrilling and unexpected, if a little hard to uncover. This aspect of the city is particularly potent throughout Barrio Logan, still a Mexican-American stronghold but hardly a stagnant one, as younger immigrants and transplants are changing the neighborhood in compelling ways. Earlier that day, I’d eaten a tasty lunch at ¡Salud!, a boisterous, newfangled taco shop on the main stretch of Logan Avenue, where piñata shops and galleries showing Chicano art have been joined by places like the vintage-vinyl shop Beat Box Records and the white-cube gallery <a href="" target="_blank">BasileIE</a>. After hanging around Chicano Park, I made my way to <a href="" target="_blank">Border X Brewing</a>, a Mexican craft-beer tasting room with a punkish vibe, where the Horchata Golden Stout offered yet another taste — subtle, delicious — of the ways San Diego is rediscovering and reinterpreting its heritage.</p><img alt="Dining and shopping in San Diego, California "src=""><p><img src="" /></p><p>Prior to arriving, I hadn’t given much thought to the idea of San Diego as a border town. I wasn’t familiar with its longtime slogan — <a href="" target="_blank">“America’s Finest City”</a> — but that’s more or less the impression I had of the place. I knew it had a fine zoo, <a href="" target="_blank">fine beaches</a>, fine surf breaks, a thirst for <a href="" target="_blank">fine craft beer</a>, a fine military presence, and some of the finest weather on the planet, which goes a long way toward explaining why it’s often talked about as a fine place to retire. There are American cities I’ve never set foot in — Nashville, say, or Boston — that conjure up something more dynamic in my mind than San Diego, a sprawling metropolis of 1.4 million that I’d actually been to twice before but somehow retained no memory of. It was so fine, in my limited understanding, as to verge on forgettable.</p><p>Yet beneath that very fine façade is a singular culture built through crisscrossing. Lying between San Ysidro, the southernmost district of San Diego, and Tijuana, Mexico, is the busiest land border on the planet. Some 200,000 people cross there each day, for a multitude of reasons: Mexicans entering San Diego for work and school; Americans skipping into Tijuana for medical care, cheap groceries, and rollicking food and art scenes. The completion in 2015 of the Cross Border Xpress, a bridge linking San Diego to the Tijuana airport, has been a boon to tourism to the city and for San Diegans looking to travel throughout Latin America. While San Diego and Tijuana are two distinct cities in two distinct nations, they function more like a single megalopolis that happens to have an international border running through it.</p><p>Of course, that border has become an incendiary topic over the past two years, thanks to the national debate over immigration and polarizing discussions about “the wall.” During my time in San Diego, where I stayed at the <a href="" target="_blank">Pendry</a>, a chic hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter, I got the impression that locals have responded by embracing an aspect of their city that in the past they might have taken for granted. “The most interesting thing about San Diego is Mexico” is a common refrain—the implication being not just that you could head to another country for a raucous evening or affordable dentistry but that the border is what makes San Diego more than just a sleepy seaside town.</p><p>“I came here to live the California dream — beaches and sun — without really thinking about Mexico,” Toni Cass, a young musician from Florida, told me on my first night in town. Cass was my server at the newly opened El Jardín, an inventive Mexican restaurant in the upscale Point Loma district. “Now I think of here and Mexico as the same place,” she went on, describing another country as if it were a neighborhood she was stoked to have discovered. Her girlfriend lives in Tijuana, and she spends time each week on both sides of the border.</p><img alt="Street art and dining in San Diego, California "src=""><p>We were joined by the restaurant’s chef and co-owner, Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, a former <em>Top Chef </em>contestant with tattooed arms and dark violet hair. She was born in San Diego, raised in Mexico, and grew up going back and forth. “This restaurant is an extension of that,” she told me, explaining that she regularly goes to Mexico to scour for ingredients unavailable in the U.S. Her food was outstanding — crispy tuna carnitas, charred octopus sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and habanero pepper — and representative of a new development in the city’s culinary landscape. “High-end Mexican is harder to do here than other places,” Zepeda-Wilkins said. “There’s still a perception that Mexican food in San Diego is supposed to be cheap. I’d like to change that attitude, though it’s a challenge.”</p><p>That challenge speaks to San Diego’s complicated relationship with its neighbor and the city’s role as a microcosm of America’s ongoing reckoning with Mexico. If you are affluent and white, as many residents and visitors are, the border is easy to overlook. Whereas the density of Tijuana butts up against the gigantic wall that marks the border, the busiest parts of San Diego are 15 miles away, a geographic reinforcement that Mexico is “the other.” That San Diego is a big military town, with politics that have historically tilted conservative, further underpins this paradox.</p><p>For years this meant that many San Diegans thought of Tijuana as a kind of lawless playground, and a visit as a rite of passage for spring breakers. In the wake of the drug-cartel violence that erupted between 2008 and 2011, residents came to view Tijuana in a darker light: as one of the world’s deadliest cities, with the border serving as a means of protection rather than a portal. But as the violence ebbed, creative young Tijuanans reclaimed their city, experimenting with food and culture in ways their counterparts in San Diego began to notice. The irony is that by the time America elected a leader who made the border synonymous with strife, San Diegans had begun to appreciate Mexico as never before.</p><img alt="Where to eat and stay in San Diego, California "src=""><p>If a restaurant like El Jardín aims to bridge the divide on a micro level, the city’s cultural institutions are doing the same on a macro scale. When I was in town, the excellent Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which has had a binational mandate since the mid 1980s, was showing an exhibition of works by 42 artists, half from San Diego, half from Tijuana. Since 2013, the museum, located in the heart of downtown, has operated a “field trip” program, taking locals and visitors into Mexico to visit artists’ studios and cultural institutions. “The idea was to inspire San Diegans to go across the border, enjoy a day out, learn about people living the border life and, in turn, learn more about themselves and their city,” Cris Scorza, the museum’s director of education and engagement, who cocreated the program, told me. Originally from <a href="" target="_blank">Mexico City</a>, she moved to San Diego from New York seven years ago “for the U.S.-Mexico hybrid life that you can only live here.” The field trips, she explained, have empowered people who were once scared of Mexico to explore on their own. “That’s my favorite part,” she said. “First they came with us, then they started going over in the evenings for dinner.”</p><p><img src="" /></p><p>The more time I spent in town, the more I came to understand the border’s subtle influences. One of my most memorable meals was at the recently opened <a href="http://bornand​" target="_blank">Born &amp; Raised</a>, a lavish steak house in Little Italy that could double as the set of a Baz Luhrmann film: gaudy leather booths, green marble tables, glittery brass. Nothing about the experience seemed to exude a distinctly Mexican spirit. But this turned out to reflect my ignorance. I didn’t realize that one of the menu’s signature items — a Caesar salad made tableside — could be traced back to Caesar’s, the Tijuana restaurant where the salad is said to have been invented.</p><p>Similarly, had I not known better I would have thought the scene on Friday night at Bar Pink, in the trendy North Park neighborhood, could have been airlifted out of any American hipster enclave: loud music, dim lighting, twenty- and thirtysomethings shaking their bodies and sipping cheap beer. But the DJ was from Tijuana, and the night was part of a series called Grrrl Independent Ladies, which hosts female and nonbinary musicians from Tijuana, Los Angeles, and San Diego in venues in all three cities. It was created by Mónica Mendoza, a laid-back and fiercely intelligent 34-year-old architect and musician who grew up in Tijuana and conceived of the series as a means of tapping into, and broadening, the cultural singularity of the surrounding region.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">Free Things to Do in San Diego</a></p><p>“I’m a <em>frontera</em> kid,” Mendoza told me at the bar, using the Spanish for <em>border</em><i>,</i> and explained that she started coming into San Diego as a child and then every day for school at 13. She got the idea for Grrrl Independent Ladies after hosting a festival in Tijuana. “I’m searching for a way to bridge Tijuana with San Diego and Los Angeles through music,” Mendoza said. “Obviously we’re not going to tear down the wall physically, but we can begin to tear it down through art. I have people come to a San Diego show and then I’ll see them in Tijuana at the next.” She paused for a moment, surveying the room, where an indie rock band from Los Angeles was preparing to take the stage. For all the activism behind the evening, it was also simply a whole lot of fun. “Nights like this are when you <em>almost</em> forget the wall is there,” Mendoza said. “It’s been amazing, especially in this political moment.”</p><img alt="Dining and drinking in San Diego, California "src=""><p>That same night I visited <a href="http://hundred​" target="_blank">Hundred Proof</a>, a bar on the edge of the University Heights neighborhood, where I met Stephen Kurpinsky, who was two weeks into his position as the beverage director. A bearded and sardonic dude from San Francisco, he recently helped open Nórtico, an upscale speakeasy in Tijuana. Though he has lived in San Diego for 12 years, the experience changed his understanding of the region. “You’ve got southern Californian culture, which is basically L.A., right?” he said, pouring me a “split base” Old-Fashioned of mezcal and <em>bacanora</em><i>,</i> an agave-derived liquor. “We’re still a bit player compared to L.A., and we probably always will be. But when you start thinking of this place as Cali-Baha, that’s when you realize how genuinely cool it is.”</p><p>Kurpinsky attributed his passion to his love of classic cocktails and his distaste for the political climate. “I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be involved in opening a bar in Mexico while we have a president trying to build a wall,” he said. “The craft cocktail scene is still so new there—it has that addictive kind of excitement. And it’s a two-way street. In Mexico, there’s a showmanship to bartending, with old-school twirling of glasses and dramatic pours, which I’ve started incorporating myself. I taught them about making classics. They taught me how to make a performance for the customer.”</p><p>He paused for a moment, before fixing me with a curious stare.</p><p>“Dude,” he asked, “have you gone over to Mexico yet?”</p><p><img src="" /></p><p>This had become something of a running theme during my visit: all this talk of the cross-cultural fluidity that makes San Diego unique, followed by the casual suggestion that I make a trip across the border. I’d explain that, great as that sounded, I didn’t think I had the time. “What do you mean?” I’d invariably hear. “You just take an Uber to the border and Uber around Mexico!”</p><p>On my last day in town, I spent the morning hiking at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, reveling in the pink-tinged cliffs and pristine coastline, then decided to drive south and venture across. Just before the border, a sign reminded travelers that marijuana, now legal in California, cannot be brought into Mexico, a nation long associated with the drug trade. While car traffic can bottleneck at certain hours, crossing by foot was no more of a hassle than picking up my rental car earlier in the week. I parked, walked to the border, flashed my passport, and was in Mexico less than half an hour after being on the beaches of San Diego.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">T+L Summer Shortlist: What to Do in San Diego</a></p><p>In Tijuana, I was met by Ruffo Ibarra, the gregarious chef and owner of Oryx Capital, a local gastropub. The restaurant houses Nórtico, the bar that Kurpinsky had helped open. We spent the day doing what a lot of people go to Mexico to do: eating and drinking. We started off at Telefónica Gastro Park, a kind of bohemian collective of food trucks where the food ranges from Greek to Korean, before making our way to Plaza Fiesta, which has nearly a dozen craft-beer tasting rooms. In a sense, it reminded me of Chicano Park, an unexpected place where cultures braid to create something astonishing. “The influence goes both ways,” Ibarra told me as we sampled beers at Insurgente, a minimalist taproom. “We gave San Diego the fish taco. They gave us craft beer!”</p><p>After dinner at his restaurant, and a few superb cocktails at Nórtico, I caught an Uber back to the border, crossed, hopped in my car, and was soon back in the heart of downtown San Diego, where I entered the polished lobby of the Pendry. Sun-burnished guests jostled for drinks at the bar. The delicate thump of music could be heard from a pool party. It was a surreal moment. Here was the San Diego I’d imagined before the trip — a very fine place, indeed, though one made all the more fascinating because of what I now knew existed outside these walls.</p><img alt="Waves crashing at La Jolla beach, in San Diego, California "src=""><h2>The New San Diego</h2><p>Allot three or four days to soak up the cross-cultural exchange enlivening the city — and make sure to include a trip across the border.</p><h2>Getting There and Around</h2><p>Multiple carriers fly direct to San Diego International Airport. Ride-share apps are great for moving around town, but renting a car is ideal, given the city’s sprawl.</p><h2>Lodging</h2><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Pendry San Diego</a></strong> <em>(doubles from $315)</em><i>, </i>located in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, is one of the newest hotels in town and hands down the most stylish. There’s plenty to do within walking distance, and the pool scene is perfect for a dose of pure SoCal glitz. For a touch of eccentricity, try the <strong><a href="http://lafayette​hotel​" target="_blank">Lafayette Hotel</a></strong> <em>(doubles from $129)</em> in trendy North Park; its pool was designed in 1946 by <i>Tarzan</i> actor Johnny Weissmuller.</p><h2>Eat and Drink</h2><p>Logan Avenue, in Barrio Logan, is home to an emerging food scene. I had a great lunch at <strong><a href="" target="_blank">¡Salud!</a></strong> <em>(entrées $3–$12)</em><i>,</i> a fun taco shop. <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Border X Brewing</a></strong> specializes in Mexican craft beer, like a saison with traces of hibiscus. <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Por Vida</a>,</strong> a café, makes a mean horchata latte. At <strong><a href="" target="_blank">El Jardín</a></strong> <em>(entrées $23–$38)</em><i>, </i>in the Point Loma neighborhood<i>, </i>Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins channels her border-straddling upbringing with inventive dishes. If you’re in search of a more decadent experience, plan an evening at <strong><a href="http://bornand​" target="_blank">Born &amp; Raised</a></strong> <em>(entrées $42–$88)</em><i>,</i> a steak house in Little Italy with lavish décor. <a href="http://hundred​" target="_blank"><strong>Hundred Proof</strong></a><i>,</i> in University Heights, offers exquisite cocktails and small plates, while <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Bar Pink</strong></a><i>,</i> in North Park, features DJs and live music.</p><h2>Shopping</h2><p>Logan Avenue is great for strolling and browsing. I enjoyed <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Beat Box Records</a>,</strong> a no-frills vinyl outpost specializing in rare soul and funk, and <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Simón Limón</a></strong><i>,</i> a shop that showcases housewares, jewelry, and crafts made by local artists.</p><h2>Art and Culture</h2><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Chicano Park</a></strong><i>,</i> in Barrio Logan, is a living monument to the city’s Mexican-American heritage. Located under a highway overpass, it contains one of the largest collections of outdoor murals in the country. Around the corner, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>BasileIE</strong></a><i>,</i> a gallery in a former grocery, focuses on emerging artists. <strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego</a></strong>, in the city’s downtown, emphasizes exhibitions that bridge the U.S.-Mexico divide.</p><h2>Outdoor Experiences</h2><p>There’s no shortage of natural beauty in San Diego, from the white sands of Coronado Beach to Mission Bay’s pristine cove. But my top choice is <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve</a></strong><i>,</i> where a hike along the sandstone cliffs above La Jolla offers superb views of the Pacific.</p><h2>Crossing the Border</h2><p>No trip to San Diego is complete without a visit to Tijuana. The easiest way to enter is by foot. Take an Uber to the crossing — or drive and park. My day trip was idyllic: lunch at <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Telefónica Gastro Park</a></strong><i>,</i> a food truck collective; craft beers at the tasting rooms at <a href="http://plazafiesta​" target="_blank"><strong>Plaza Fiesta</strong></a>; and dinner at <a href="http://oryx​" target="_blank"><strong>Oryx Capital</strong></a> <em>(entrées $13–$30)</em><i>,</i> an upscale gastropub with a speakeasy-style bar. </p>
Categories: Travel

How to Get Extra Vacation Time (Without Asking Your Boss) in 2019 (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 11:01
<p>Even if you only have a handful of paid days off for the next year, you can still maximize your vacation time.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">Project Time Off</a>, 52 percent of Americans do not use up all of their vacation days. Considering that in 2017, the average worker with five years of experience or less has about 15 days of paid vacation (20 days for workers with 20 years of experience), according <a href="" target="_blank">CNBC</a>, that’s nearly a week of time that we’re not using to travel, be with family, or have new experiences outside the office.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2019</a></p><p>But if it's feeling limited and thinking you don't have enough time to have a truly restful, rich travel experience on the number of allotted days you have, there is a trick to <a href="" target="_blank">maximizing your travel time</a> without having to request more days off from your boss.</p><p>All you have to do is <a href="" target="_blank">take advantage of national holidays</a> in order to extend your vacation time in 2019.</p><p>Many U.S. national holidays (not including Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, or Christmas) are celebrated on Mondays. So if you’re looking to finagle your time off, choose a weekend like President’s Day in February, Memorial Day in May, Labor Day in September, or Veteran’s Day in November. By leaving the Friday before or coming back the Tuesday after, you’ll find that you’ve actually grabbed yourself three extra travel days while only using one or two days of your paid time off.</p><p>So, if you want a nice vacation, opt for leaving Friday, enjoying yourself Saturday, Sunday, and even Monday, and return Tuesday without making too much of a dent in your PTO — so you’ll still have plenty saved for visiting family during the holidays or taking another summer excursion.</p><p>Or, when it comes to the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, you can also plan your getaways for an extra two to four travel days without using up PTO, especially since offices often close for the days before or after these holidays as well.</p><p>There’s never been a smarter way to spend your vacation days.</p>
Categories: Travel

Here Are All the Books You Should Read This Year, According to Barack Obama (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 10:16
<p>New Year, new books to read.</p><p>Whenever Jan. 1 rolls around, many people out there are looking for some new ways to better themselves and enrich their lives. One way to do this is to gather up some <a href="" target="_blank">good reads</a> in order to expand your horizons in 2019.</p><p>But if you don’t know where to start, you’re in luck, because former President Barack Obama has some excellent recommendations.</p><p>It has become a yearly tradition for Obama to recommend his favorite books, movies, and music at the year’s end, and 2018 was no different.</p><p><strong>Related</strong><b>:</b> <a href="" target="_blank">Obama Once Got Kicked Out of Disneyland for Breaking This Major Rule</a></p><p>The former president posted on social media to recommend his picks for the best in entertainment over the last year, including movies like “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” and “Annihilation,” as well as songs from artists like The Carters, Cardi B, H.E.R., and Hozier.</p><p>But his list of books is especially incredible for anyone in need of a few page turners.</p><p>At the top of the list, of course, was <a href="" target="_blank">Michelle Obama</a>’s memoir, “Becoming,” which is already the best-selling hardcover book of 2018, according to <a href="" target="_blank"><i>The Washington Post</i></a>.</p><p>Former President Obama’s other picks include “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, and “Florida” by Lauren Groff.</p><p>Below is a full list of Obama’s favorite books.</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B07B3JQZCL&amp;linkId=6e54f9bc7eec3395b9a80e96221e0ef9" target="_blank">Becoming</a>” by Michelle Obama</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1616208775&amp;linkId=864dd9263408c36f03f373f0e1947378" target="_blank">An American Marriage</a>” by Tayari Jones</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0307455920&amp;linkId=0dce9317e570fb66f650485c91e9c2d6" target="_blank">Americanah</a>” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0143128906&amp;linkId=b6e9d7c5ed3659eb903e6fac3a578770" target="_blank">The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die</a>” by Keith Payne</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0399590501&amp;linkId=33ddb9c92feb5dcae6652258cdc3112d" target="_blank">Educated</a>” by Tara Westover</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1250107814&amp;linkId=ef5dabae63ae4ad25122c6fac597892e" target="_blank">Factfulness</a>” by Hans Rosling</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B01MR40T3V&amp;linkId=95fc6ae3bf08f6ee2a47a2acd990488d" target="_blank">Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging</a>” by Alex Wagner</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0143106767&amp;linkId=d0c74d484a0187295bce3ce8defc5d3b" target="_blank">A Grain of Wheat</a>” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0375707166&amp;linkId=a6e1e2296f1244e04fa61fb686675450" target="_blank">A House for Mr Biswas</a>” by V.S. Naipaul</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1524762938&amp;linkId=60ef759820fa1909b5d3bc887164c89b" target="_blank">How Democracies Die</a>” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B077M2PM84&amp;linkId=cbc2ba8b4cd6ae4bc16c1cb2f8210ca5" target="_blank">In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History</a>” by Mitch Landrieu</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0316548189&amp;linkId=e4b0c8812318a452adc23d048848a430" target="_blank">Long Walk to Freedom</a>” by Nelson Mandela</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0544028058&amp;linkId=eba406bd9a61d8d3c86183a28d98f5b9" target="_blank">The New Geography of Jobs</a>” by Enrico Moretti</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0812985087&amp;linkId=36da99a99553c76dfd0dfb76ee0b60ad" target="_blank">The Return</a>” by Hisham Matar</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0385474547&amp;linkId=b8c42ac8e13020bbd232f0b069de4bc1s+Fall+Apart+by+Chinua+Achebe" target="_blank">Things Fall Apart</a>” by Chinua Achebe</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0525521194&amp;linkId=e0b2323e4a4e25875fca84354a992c8b" target="_blank">Warlight</a>” by Michael Ondaatje</p><p>“<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0300223447&amp;linkId=61ffbb561c8786f1971cb8bf9b2ab478" target="_blank">Why Liberalism Failed</a>” by Patrick Deneen</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0525509356&amp;linkId=1977291529f82aaee73efd830784af63" target="_blank">The World As It Is</a>" by Ben Rhodes</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0735223580&amp;linkId=ecf260f27aece786c8ed0cb7df69cf45" target="_blank">American Prison</a>" by Shane Bauer</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1439189048&amp;linkId=9c6bc324f93f479e9e43afaefbb1df14" target="_blank">Arthur Ashe: A Life</a>" by Raymond Arsenault</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B074ZDRGBC&amp;linkId=d03df5d87801b3d10ba05106d45a7a6f" target="_blank">Asymmetry</a>" by Lisa Halliday</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1594206252&amp;linkId=1999ba5bb3eca2f45fdb99233f07c545" target="_blank">Feel Free</a>" by Zadie Smith</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1594634513&amp;linkId=743ea5581eb83818c9c3fa914b751c08" target="_blank">Florida</a>" by Lauren Groff</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1416590315&amp;linkId=dda8d4e29f3e87571e2b1a5650f658b0" target="_blank">Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom</a>" by David W. Blight</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0525520759&amp;linkId=5eb91534044b6a7b5e2314c7a0da3daa" target="_blank">Immigrant, Montana</a>" by Amitava Kumar</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0812988639&amp;linkId=13cf470749258a7c1e154a595169385a" target="_blank">The Largesse of the Sea Maiden</a>" by Denis Johnson</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B06WGNPM7V&amp;linkId=b9225d5096263a5d33509daa37250635" target="_blank">Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence</a>" by Max Tegmark</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0525520376&amp;linkId=68442a160b935d3f4321204c66a2423f" target="_blank">There There</a>" by Tommy Orange</p><p>"<a href=";tag=tlobamabooks2018-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0525521429&amp;linkId=8a746e92b8c084e7a99fd40a2cca003f" target="_blank">Washington Black</a>" by Esi Edugyan</p><p>The full post can be found on <a href="" target="_blank">former President Barack Obama’s Facebook page</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This New Zip Line Lets You Fly Right Over the Las Vegas Strip With All Your Friends

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 08:18
<p>There’s a new way to get a thrill in <a href="" target="_blank">Las Vegas</a>. </p><p>A brand new attraction at the LINQ Promenade called FLY LINQ is the very first (and only) zip line on the Vegas strip. The ride officially opened on Jan. 1 with a special superheroes-themed display.</p><p>Ten fliers in FLY LINQ-branded superhero costumes opened up the new, $20-million attraction by soaring above The LINQ Promenade outside of Caesars Palace with the fanfare of colorful confetti cannons.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">You Can Now Zip Line More Than 1,000 Feet Above the Grand Canyon</a></p><p>FLY LINQ is the newest attraction from High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel. It features 10 side-by-side zip lines, which can be engaged simultaneously. So, it looks like your next bachelor or bachelorette party will be a bit more extreme.</p><p>Fliers launch from a 114-foot tower (about 14 stories) to another 54-foot landing tower (about five stories) across the promenade, about 1,121 feet away. Guests may fly either seated or in a “superhero” position. Think: Superman on his way to his Fortress of Solitude. Guests who want to soar in the clouds (or just pretend they’re part of the Justice League) must weigh a minimum of 60 pounds.</p><p>Each ride takes approximately 35 to 45 seconds as guests soar at an average speed of 35 miles per hour.</p><p>The zip line will be open daily, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Ticket prices vary depending on what time of day you wish to fly. During the day, seated passengers pay $25, while “superhero” passengers pay $35. At night, ticket prices go up slightly to $30 and $40 depending on flight position.</p><p>For more information and tickets, visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Caesars Palace website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Delta Was Just Named the Most On-time Airline in the World (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 08:17
<p>Plane delays can be unpredictable, but if you’re looking to hedge your bets you might want to book yourself on this particular airline.</p><p>FlightGlobal, an aviation data company, has named Delta the most punctual mainline airline in the world as part of its On-Time Performance Service (OPS) Awards, the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail</em> reported</a>. The company measures top carriers in the U.S., and found that 86.09 percent of Delta flights arrived on time in 2018.</p><p>The company analyzed more than 120,000 operated flights per day, as well as real-time flight status and departure and arrival data from over 600 global sources, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">FlightGlobal press release</a>.</p><p>FlightGlobal considers a flight to be “on time” if the aircraft arrives at the gate within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.</p><p>Delta has been providing such punctual services for many years. Though 86 percent is an impressive rate of punctuality, it is only a 0.19 percent increase from 2017, meaning that the carrier’s excellent service is not only reliable, but consistent over the years.</p><p>According to FlightGlobal, this is the second year in a row for Delta to earn this distinction of punctuality. Behind Delta was <a href="" target="_blank">Qatar Airways</a> (85.88 percent OTP), followed closely in third by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (85.04 percent OTP).</p><p>Qatar Airways was named the world’s most on-time global airline network, as opposed to mainline airline, when you factor in not only flights by the major airline but also its affiliates and partners.</p><p>Other U.S. airlines such as United Airlines (80.75 percent OTP) and American Airlines (80.28 percent OTP) ranked as eighth and ninth place, respectively.</p><p>As for budget airlines, the company found that Azul was the most on-time with an OTP of 86.47 percent, followed by Iberia Express (86.47 percent OTP) and Spirit Airlines (82.04 percent OTP).</p>
Categories: Travel