What to Know About the Mandatory Pilot Retirement Age

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:30
<p>Pilots around the world have expensive careers that require many years of education and training before they can enter commercial service. Even after many get started, they may not be making salaries that help pay back the money they spent on accruing required flight hours until they get a coveted job with large commercial airlines.</p><p>So it’s little surprise that once pilots have that job, they’re eager to stay and earn the pay increases that come with seniority. But that time is limited.</p><p>The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) sets the maximum retirement age at 65, which the FAA has adopted. However, some local civil aviation authorities have extended that age to address a shortage of pilots in their markets.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Why Pilots Are Always Calling Everyone 'Roger'</a></p><p>Japan’s civil aviation authority raised the mandatory retirement age to 67 in 2015, and the Civil Aviation Administration of China, which currently sets the maximum retirement age at 60, is considering extending that age, too.</p><h2>Pilot Retirement Ages at Different Airlines</h2><p>Individual airlines may have different retirement ages, within the specified limits, to ensure they have enough pilots to support their operations. But all have strict health and skills testing requirements to ensure individual pilots — regardless of age — are qualified to fly.</p><p>Some pilots associations around the world are pushing for airlines to keep more of their senior pilots onboard. This is in part because the age to qualify for state retirement income is higher than the mandatory pilot retirement age, but some associations also make a case that keeping more experienced senior pilots onboard — who have learned to fly without the help of advanced digital systems — is better for aviation safety. The contributions of more senior pilots may be in training, if not directly in the cockpit.</p><p>“I do feel like a mandatory retirement age is a good idea because motor skills and overall physical vitality diminish with age,” says commercial airline <a href="" target="_blank">Captain Chris Manno</a>. “Presently in the U.S. the mandatory retirement age is 65 and due to the predicted pilot shortage, there’s talk of raising that to 67, although I have yet to hear anything official on that.”</p><p>Manno has had a long piloting career which began by flying as a 727 Flight Engineer, and moved up to flying the DC-10 as a Flight Engineer in only a few months. He became First Officer flying an MD-80 after his first year, and First Officer on the DC-10 in his fifth year of piloting. By the sixth year of his career he had made it to Captain flying the MD-80, and also flew F-100 as Captain for two years before returning to the MD-80 for twelve years. He has been working as a 737 Captain since 2010.</p><p>“I could move on to the 777 or 787 captain position now, but I choose the narrow-body lifestyle: 737 turnarounds, home every night, minimum work days,” he says. “Every 777 and 787 trip has at least one red-eye leg — the South American flying has two — and at least three days away from home per trip. That’s physically exhausting. One pilot friend told me after any long-haul trip, ‘You don’t use power tools.’ That would make my present routine of running, weight lifting and biking impossible, and that physical regimen is key to my well being.”</p><p>The physical drain and mental strain that Manno refers to are why the retirement age rules exist, and also why there are strict rules for pilot rest hours between flights. But there are also good aspects to the pilot’s career, which is why many want to keep flying as long as they are allowed.</p><p>“The main advantages are probably the high income and schedule flexibility associated with longevity at a particular airline,” Manno says. “But those who get hired late — say their 40s or 50s — will not enjoy either advantage. I’ve been with my airline for 32.5 years and have an ideal flying schedule: 13 days a month, home every night. That’s hard to give up. But, I’ve been a captain for over 26 years. Many pilots in their late 50s and early 60s who make captain will have to endure the junior schedules I did at first as well: red-eyes, on-call, four-day trips, 16 or more days a month. So, if you’re very senior, it’s hard to give up the airline career. If not, extending the career might not make sense.”</p><h2>What Pilots Do After They Retire</h2><p>After retiring, many pilots pursue second careers as flight trainers or find other jobs in aviation, but Manno has no such plans.</p><p>“Absolutely not,” he says. “When I retire, I want no more check rides, procedures tests, evaluations, FAA scrutiny, flight physicals — none of that. I plan to walk away, to be done flying and call it good. There are so many other interesting things to do.”</p><p>Manno is a unique case because he hasn’t limited his current career to piloting. He also holds a PhD in English, is a novelist and cartoonist, and teaches as an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan University — a post he’s held since 2002.</p><p>“At around the 15-year mark in my airline career, I decided there just had to be more to life than climb, cruise, descent and landing.” At that point, he started on a doctorate in rhetoric and literature at Texas Christian University, which he completed seven years later. Manno says that academia is a wholly different world from the skies, which balances the “strictly by rules and regulations” life. “Academia and the English lit studies have given me entry to this very fulfilling world that is both rich and a perfect compliment to the strict and arcane sphere of an airline pilot.”</p>
Categories: Travel

This James Bond Museum Built Into a Mountain Has Us Shaken (Not Stirred)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:39
<p>Which fictional character would have a museum on top of a snow-covered mountain in Austria? Bond. <a href="" target="_blank">James Bond</a>.</p><p>And so an immersive museum dedicated to Britain’s most famous spy will open in Solden, Austria this summer. Designed to resemble a Bond villain lair, <a href="" target="_blank">007 Elements</a> will give fans an unprecedented glimpse into the world of the suave spy.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Best Hotels Around the World for Spotting Celebrities</a></p><p>“It’s an authentic James Bond location,” Neal Callow, creative director of the museum and several Bond films, <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Telegraph</em></a>. “We wanted people to feel like they’re walking through the world of James Bond while learning about how the films are made in a new and modern way. It’s more a cinematic installation than your archetypal museum.”</p><img alt="Wide view of the Tech Lab at the 007 Elements James Bond experience in Austria "src=""><img alt="Barrel of a Gun hallway at the 007 Elements James Bond Experience in Austria "src=""><p>The building — in typical over-the-top Bond world fashion — is actually built inside the summit of Gaislachkogl mountain, in the Austrian Alps. The museum is located next to ice Q, the futuristic-looking restaurant that stood in for a dystopian clinic in the recent “Spectre” Bond film.</p><p>The whole experience is designed so visitors feel like they’re helping fight a Bond villain. The visit starts in the circular “lair” where “Spectre” director Sam Mendes welcomes visitors to the world of MI6. From there, it’s a winding maze through the history of Bond films, complete with clips and props from the sets.</p><img alt="Exterior of the new James Bond attraction on a mountaintop in Austria "src=""><img alt="Briefing Room at the 007 Elements James Bond experience in Austria "src=""><p>Visitors learn about the gadgets, the locations and the action-packed sequences the franchise has become known for. Diehard fans will geek out over memorabilia like Bond’s golden gun and the remains of the plane crash from “Spectre.”</p><p>007 Elements will open to the public in July.</p>
Categories: Travel

The One Change to My Travel Routine That Lightened My Luggage for Good

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:32
<p>The front zip pocket of my <a href="" target="_blank">carry-on suitcase</a> has always been reserved for a book or two — real books, the printed kind that you flip through and dog-ear to mark your place and sometimes dribble beverages onto because drinking, unlike reading, has never come naturally to you.</p><p>I've listened to many a friend and colleague sing praises about their e-readers but, despite three good tries, I just can't read on a screen for more than 10 minutes. It's not the same. Physical pages are easier on the eyes; they never run out of battery; you can <a href="" target="_blank">Instagram the cover atop your sand-speckled beach towel</a> for an easy 55 Likes. And holding a book above my face to block the sun has long been a key part of my summer strength-training program.</p><p>But here’s the thing about being a screen-resistant snob: books are heavy. Only once will you need to lug a <em>Harry Potter</em> hardback to the <a href="" target="_blank">Outer Banks</a> the first year your parents make you carry your own luggage to know this. Until recently, I'd resigned myself to forgoing an extra pair of shoes in favor of 3.8 pounds of creative nonfiction (or self-help or a shameless YA series).</p><p>Then, before a recent trip to Spain, I decided to give audiobooks a go and signed up for a 30-day free trial of <a href=";tag=tlaudible-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00NB86OYE&amp;linkId=39c915a8e000ee74764715ebee11594f" target="_blank">Audible</a>. And just like e-readers, audiobooks aren't the same as their printed counterparts, but in certain situations — and especially when traveling — they're better.</p><p>Moving to New York City made me a podcast obsessive. I refuse to commute without one now, so audiobooks were a natural next step. With Audible, <a href=";tag=tlaudible-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00NB86OYE&amp;linkId=39c915a8e000ee74764715ebee11594f" target="_blank">Amazon’s audiobook service</a>, the month-long trial gives you one credit, which you can redeem for one book regardless of price. With a membership, you pay $15 a month, automatically get another download credit, and you get to keep all the books you download forever.</p><p>I worried that reading via my headphones wouldn't feel as immersive, but I then proceeded to spend five flights, two train rides, and a rainy day totally enchanted by Anthony Doerr’s “<a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlaudible-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00IZGQ780&amp;linkId=04b51d6ca1c343d7b26277d582d82726" target="_blank">All the Light We Cannot See</a>” — without the distraction of my own very poor French and German phonetics — and now I'm hooked.</p><p>I'd even scheduled a reminder in my calendar to cancel the subscription when the month was up, but I didn't do it. Now, here I am a loyal audiobook evangelist. Here are seven reasons I’m never going back — at least while on the road.</p><p><strong>1. Audiobooks weigh nothing</strong>. For travel, this is perhaps the most important factor. </p><p><strong>2. Listening feels easier than physically reading</strong>. There’s something about being read to aloud that relaxes me more than reading with my eyes. Call it regressive, call it “cheating,” but only after you've tried it.</p><p><strong>3. It's broken my bad habit of flipping ahead. </strong>I do kind of miss it though.</p><p><strong>4. Motion sickness is no longer a concern.</strong> This only happens to me when I'm facing backward and trying to read in a window seat, but for people who always get carsick, an audiobook is a game changer.</p><p><strong>5. You'll never have to worry about pronouncing character names incorrectly.</strong> Going back to <em>Harry Potter</em>, poor Hermione was “Her-mo-nine” in my head until the “<a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlaudible-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B017V4NQGM&amp;linkId=8e015ee1079365bdc5362fc8f3cf1dbf" target="_blank">Goblet of Fire</a>,” and this grave injustice could have been avoided.</p><p><strong>6. You can multitask</strong>. Read while driving or buying groceries — or even running, if running is a thing you do. These are all options when an audiobook is delivering the caramel-frosting-coated voice of <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlaudible-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B004HYHTN6&amp;linkId=73a8a44f49eefcaa06828490b5617c0d" target="_blank">Maya Angelou</a> directly into your ear canals.</p><p><strong>7. And, my personal favorite: no one can judge your book choices</strong>. Gone is the creeping desire to swap out the jacket of the latest <a href=";tag=tlaudible-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B074F3T529&amp;linkId=3980fb016e61b7eefb4c48d503d64e16" target="_blank">John Green teen tale</a> for something more capital-L literary and this, I believe, is true liberation.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Could Dive to the Titanic Next Year

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:01
<p>After more than 100 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, the Titanic could welcome visitors next year.</p><p>Two different luxury tour operators — <a href="" target="_blank">Blue Marble Private</a> and The Bluefish — are preparing to take tourists to the storied wreckage in 2019.</p><p>Blue Marble Private, in collaboration with OceanGate Expeditions, had originally intended to take divers down to the Titanic this year, but had to push back. While testing out the self-contained submersible built for the journey, lightning hit the water and damaged “over 70% of the electronics” onboard, OceanGate's marketing manager <a href="" target="_blank">Dana Hall told <em>CNN Travel</em></a>.</p><img alt="You could soon take a tour of the Titanic wreckage "src=""><p>Explorers will take part in <a href="" target="_blank">11-day research missions</a>, helping scientists operate sonar, navigate and log data. Testing was delayed but the company is confident tours will take place next year. Despite a price tag of $105,129, the first tour is already sold out.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">A Titanic dive with The Bluefish</a> will be about half the cost at $59,680. The trip itself, leaving from Newfoundland, will take 13 days to complete with six days of diving down to the Titanic in submersibles. The company has already confirmed reservations with deposits for the 2019/20 diving season.</p><img alt="The Titanic wreck. "src=""><p>The timeline for a dive to the Titanic could be closing fast. Oceanographers have said there are <a href="" target="_blank">microbes on the ship that are eating away the metal</a> hull and the wreck could disappear in less than 20 years.</p><p>If it disappears completely, a company in China is working on <a href="" target="_blank">a lifesize replica of the Titanic that will recreate the terrifying moment</a> the cruiseliner crashed into a glacier.</p>
Categories: Travel

Just 6 Dreamy Hotels That Will Make You Want to Quit Your Job and Move to Zanzibar

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:01
<p><em>Today in Reasons to Travel Now, an upcoming opening in Zanzibar is part of a crop of chic new stays that are making Tanzania’s island paradise the next must-visit beach destination. </em></p><p>This July, Tanzania's first Design Hotel, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Zuri Zanzibar</a> (bungalows from $345), will debut on the northwestern tip of Zanzibar's main island, Unguja. The 55 thatched-roof bungalows have warm, earthy décor and private terraces. The garden-like setting — a product of two years of meticulous plant selection — gives each villa a sense of seclusion. If you need a break from the private white-sand beach, head over to the Spice Garden, a mini-park with shaded footpaths, lounge areas, and an outdoor kitchen for cooking classes.</p><img alt="View from the Zuri Zanzibar hotel, a Design Hotel "src=""><p>But Zuri Zanzibar is only the latest in a wave of arrivals that have reached this ocean idyll. For years, Zanzibar’s luxury hotel scene was dominated by <a href="" target="_blank">Mnemba Island</a> — a private island off the eastern coast — and the white-washed beachfront <a href="" target="_blank">Kilindi Hotel</a> in Nungwe. But as the popularity of this easygoing east African island chain grows, so do the accommodation offerings.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Chuini Zanzibar Beach Lodge</a> opened in 2016, bringing a chic hotel with a collection of thatched bungalows to the west coast. Across the island, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Xanadu Villas and Retreat </a>opened six beach-facing villas nestled between tropical palms. And in 2020, Blue Amber, a luxury development with residences and an <a href="" target="_blank">Anantara Zanzibar</a>, will be unveiled.</p><p>Despite the archipelago’s expanded offerings, some things don’t change — no matter when you go or where you stay, you’re still guaranteed those stark-white beaches and an iridescent blue sea.</p>
Categories: Travel

How Alaska Airlines Is Trying to Fight the 'Shapeless Blob' at the Boarding Gate

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 09:47
<p>Alaska Airlines is trying to clear up some confusion. Starting July 18, the airline will “simplify its boarding process” by <a href="" target="_blank">switching from numbers to letters</a>.</p><p>Previously, <a href="" target="_blank">Alaska would pre-board</a> (military, families with young children, those who need extra time), then move onto first class, frequent fliers and premium boarding. General boarding made up the last two groups, starting with those seated behind the emergency exit rows.</p><p>The new boarding is not all that different. But there’s a new system. Passengers will be assigned to Group A, B, C or D and their assignment will be clearly displayed on their boarding pass.</p><p>Pre-boarding and first class passengers will board the aircraft before any of the lettered groups are called. Those in Group A will be <a href="" target="_blank">Million Milers</a>, Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold status elites. Group B boarding will be those in premium class or Alaska Mileage Plan MVPs. Group C will be the back half of the plane and Group D will be those in the front section of economy.</p><p>Previously, those in general boarding had to wait to hear which row numbers were being called. Now, they’ll be assigned a letter and a group, which the gate agent will call and the gateside monitors will display.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Alaska is hoping</a> that the new system will eliminate the unorderly “shapeless blob that forms when people aren’t sure if it’s their time to board.” The new boarding call may help, but the “shapeless blob” is a problem <a href="" target="_blank">gate agents across airlines have been trying to combat for years</a>. And no matter the boarding process, its formation seems inevitable.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Raciest Art and Culture Festival in Australia Starts Today — Here’s Why You Should Consider Going

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 09:37
<p>During winter solstice, Persians traditionally stay up late into the night feasting and reciting poetry. The Japanese bathe in yuzu-scented hot springs to ward off illness in the coming year. In <a href="" target="_blank">Hobart, Tasmania</a>, Australians strip naked, burn effigies and bury people alive as part of <a href="" target="_blank">Dark Mofo</a>, a two-and-a-half-week arts festival dedicated to the weird, dark and esoteric.</p><p>The event's provocative nature makes sense when you consider the organization that produces and helps host it. The seven-year-old <a href="" target="_blank">Museum of Old and New Art</a> — colloquially referred to as MONA, or more irreverently as the “museum of sex and death” — initially made a name for itself with its unusual underground architecture and anti-establishment attitude. But beyond its eccentric permanent collection, which includes 150 porcelain vulvas, MONA has bolstered its reputation with two annual festivals: Dark Mofo and its summer counterpart Mofo, a contraction of MONA FOMA, which itself is short for the MONA Festival of Music and Art.</p><img alt="Dark Park at the Dark Mofo festival hosted by Mona, in Hobart, Tasmania "src=""><p>Both Mofo and Dark Mofo champion experimental and subversive art and music. But the winter fest — with its themes of light and dark, life and death — has historically been the more controversial of the two. To wit, last year organizers received more than 100 death threats over a performance piece by Hermann Nitsch which involved a freshly slaughtered bull carcass and 500 liters of animal blood. Yet the festival thrives off infamy. Over the last six years, it's helped turn Tasmania, Australia’s smallest and poorest state, into the country’s fastest growing tourist destination and a hotbed of avant-garde culture. Festival attendance jumped from 297,000 in 2016 to 427,000 in 2017, almost double the population of Hobart. And this year Dark Mofo expanded to include an extra weekend of programming, featuring a sold-out talkfest dubbed Dark and Dangerous Ideas. Among the topics to be discussed are religion, sanctioned killing, and whether it’s justifiable to harm an animal in the name of culture.</p><p>This year, in the name of culture, performance artist Mike Parr will be entombed in a metal box for three days underneath a busy main road; in other words, he’ll be buried alive for an artwork that no one can see. There will be screenings of the Australian political satire film Terror Nullius, whose principal funder called it “a very controversial piece of art” before withdrawing support the day before it premiered. Musical performances range from industrial noise and doom metal, to Canadian Inuk throat singing, to the avant-pop stylings of St. Vincent and Laurie Anderson. (A sound installation by Anderson’s late husband, Lou Reed, is also on the bill.) Benjamin Britten’s opera <em>The Rape of Lucretia</em> will be staged at the Theatre Royal, while DJs and bands set up in various inner city laneways.</p><p>Although much of the festival is designed to provoke, it is also meant to be fun and convivial. Groups of friends snap selfies at Dark Park, the nighttime art precinct that transforms Hobart’s industrial waterfront into a wonderland of interactive sculpture and immersive installations. Tasmania’s renowned culinary scene is in full force at the Winter Feast food festival, where punters sit shoulder to shoulder at long communal tables or are lured to large outdoor bonfires by the smell of barbecuing meat. (For visitors, this is an excellent opportunity to sample the island’s superlative cheeses, wild salmon, cider and world-class whiskey.)</p><img alt="Bass Bath experience at Dark Mofo, Mona, Hobart, Tasmania "src=""><p>In the ruckus of the Balinese-inspired Ogoh Ogoh ritual, attendees write down their fears and deposit them into wooden effigies. At the end of the festival, the wooden Ogoh Ogoh beasts are paraded through the streets and set alight amid a cacophony of <em>taiko</em> drumming and noise art. Traditionally this rite is meant to expel evil spirits; in this iteration, it’s an exorcism of inner demons, a mass purging of a city’s anxieties, neuroses and inhibitions.</p><p>That is, if there are any inhibitions left after the Nude Solstice Swim, when more than one thousand intrepid bathers plunge into the Derwent River at dawn on the shortest day of the year. It’s a cheeky riposte, if you’ll excuse the pun, to the cold dreariness of midwinter. Other cultures may have sacred solstice rituals dating back to ancient times. But this is how they do it Down Under: a mass skinny dip, and a festival that is unapologetically weird, gleefully disconcerting and totally worth attending in person.</p><p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Dark Mofo</a> takes place June 7-24 in Hobart, Tasmania. Many events are free but some are ticketed. Hobart is just over an hour’s flight from Melbourne, and a two hour flight or <a href="" target="_blank">six-day cruise</a> from Sydney.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

This Travel Blogger Learned the Hard Way That Ancient Ruins Aren't Props for Instagram Photos

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 07:40
<p>A Belgian travel blogger is busy this week profusely apologizing on social media after he snapped a photo inadvertently desecrating an <a href="" target="_blank">ancient historical site in Italy</a>.</p><p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Daily Mail</i></a>, the travel blogger, who goes by the name Nils Travels on social media, posted a photo on June 1 sitting on top of an ancient pillar at the Pompeii ruins. In case you were unaware, climbing on top of sites like this is not only disrespectful, but also forbidden.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Man Arrested for Skinny Dipping in Trevi Fountain in Broad Daylight</a></p><p>Once the blogger posted the image to social media he was immediately flooded with comments condemning his actions. He even received a few death threats for the photo, according to the <i>Daily Mail</i>.</p><p>Area researcher Vincenzo Marasco wrote in a <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook post</a> about the image that “the fragility of our historic heritage must be protected,” noting that he also reported the blogger, who has amassed some 43,000 followers, to the archaeological site's authorities.</p><p>According to the <i>Daily Mail</i>, the image was first captioned with the words, “Found a little area that had NO people! Meaning, nobody to yell at me meaning I had to come down from this thing! Exactly what I needed!”</p><p>He has since taken the caption off the image on Instagram. On Facebook he also replaced the caption with a lengthy apology, which reads: “I would like to apologise to everyone that I have offended by sitting on this stone column. I admit that it was not my smartest decision, and I was not thinking about the historical significance of the place and how it could be perceived by others if I pictured myself in this manner. In my photography, I try to always convey the beauty and feeling that I experience myself in a place, so I meant in no way to disrespect the cultural and historical heritage this place signifies. Browsing through the latest photos on Instagram which were taken at Pompeii, I see many photos exactly like mine. However, as someone with a large online following in the tourism niche, I realise I bear a greater responsibility than others to be an example of what and what not to post, or how to behave as a traveller. Now more than ever that is clear to me. We all know the internet can be a hostile place, but this was my first brush with the ugly side of it. I love traveling from the bottom of my heart, it is what drives me and feeds my soul, and to read the – often nationalistic and xenophobic – harm and death wishes that I have received over the past 24 hours hurts me to the core. However, I have learned from this experience and I will apply it to my future travels. I hope others can learn from my mistake too. I am ready to move forward, discuss and engage in a healthy debate with anyone who wishes.”</p><p>He then urged his fans and followers to donate to the <a href="" target="_blank">Pompeii Preservation Project</a>.</p><p>Maybe next time he should think twice about where he poses, unless of course he wants to end up on <a href="">our tourists behaving badly list</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Fly Across Niagara Falls on an Exhilarating Zip Line This Summer

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 07:17
<p>While visitors can get great views of Niagara Falls from both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the border, there's a third option that offers the most thrilling view of this natural wonder.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Wild Play Element Parks</a> has installed four exhilarating zip lines across Niagara Falls, so you can get a view of the falls from 220 feet up — while going about 40 miles per hour across 2,200 feet.</p><p>At cruising speed, the ride only takes about half a minute, but it’s a half minute that you’ll remember forever.</p><p>The ride begins at Niagara Parks Grand View Marketplace and zips across to finally land at the Ontario Power Company building at the base of Horseshoe Falls. And if you’re not an experienced zipliner, don’t worry. The experience is fully guided by an expert.</p><p>Of course, anyone who has been to Niagara knows that the warm, sunny weather doesn’t last forever. And you definitely don’t want to get stuck up there in the winter time when the whole area is frozen over.</p><p>The zip lines will be available this summer until October and a flight is about <a href="" target="_blank">$50 per person</a>. (The price can vary a bit because of the Canadian dollar exchange rate.)</p>
Categories: Travel

Reese Witherspoon Just Dished on All the Hilarious Things Her Mom Carries in Her Travel Bag

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 06:58
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Reese Witherspoon</a> announced Thursday that she'll soon be making a comeback as Elle Woods for the <a href="" target="_blank">next installment of the <i>Legally Blonde</i> franchise</a>, but for now, she’s busy putting her own mother on <a href="" target="_blank">blast on Instagram</a>.</p><p>Witherspoon, who also founded the lifestyle brand Draper James, spilled the beans on what her mother, Betty, packs inside her travel bag on Wednesday. In an Instagram story, the actress revealed that her mom’s to-go tote is filled with snacks "straight from the '80s."</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Reese Witherspoon Will Inspire Your Next Girls Trip (and Your Summer Wardrobe)</a></p><p>“This is how I know my mom's visiting, she always packs her snacks,” Witherspoon shared.</p><p>For the camera, Witherspoon unpacked Betty's favorites including <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";qid=1528393337&amp;sr=8-27&amp;keywords=folger%27s+coffee" target="_blank">Folgers coffee crystals</a>: “She always has to have her Folgers.” Next, she took out <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1528393447&amp;sr=1-3&amp;keywords=coffee+mate+creamer&amp;dpID=51-qayyhQEL&amp;preST=_SY300_QL70_&amp;dpSrc=srch" target="_blank">Coffee Mate — the original powdered creamer</a> — followed by <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1528393495&amp;sr=1-4&amp;keywords=sweet+%27n+low+granulated+sugar+substitute&amp;dpID=51gTXfK6v3L&amp;preST=_SX300_QL70_&amp;dpSrc=srch" target="_blank">Sweet 'N Low</a> for “all her beverages.”</p><img alt="Bag of Reese Witherspoon's mom's snacks "src=""><p>Witherspoon further revealed her mom always packs <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1528393529&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=ensure&amp;dpID=416TV4wMohL&amp;preST=_SY300_QL70_&amp;dpSrc=srch" target="_blank">Ensure shakes</a>, adding, “vodka shot optional.” This, of course, is referencing her <a href="" target="_blank">mom’s recent set visit</a>, where she was seen on video telling Reese that you can “put vodka in the Ensure.” We want to party with Betty.</p><p>Oh, and lest we forget, Reese also revealed her mom travels with everyone’s favorite beverage enhancer: <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";qid=1528393830&amp;sr=8-5&amp;keywords=crystal+light+blackberry+lemonade+drops&amp;dpID=51yBkIex9TL&amp;preST=_SX300_QL70_&amp;dpSrc=srch" target="_blank">Crystal Light</a>. Necessary because, as Betty likes to say, according to Reese, "Water tastes bad." She also packed some <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1528393865&amp;sr=1-2&amp;keywords=quaker+rice+cakes+caramel&amp;dpID=51QXC6URKIL&amp;preST=_SY300_QL70_&amp;dpSrc=srch" target="_blank">caramel-flavored Quaker rice cakes</a>.</p><p>By the way, all of these items were packed inside the ultimate summer tote that you can own too from Reese’s Draper James line. It’s known as the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">“Cool It Y’all” tote</a>. The insulated cooler bag, the site says, is perfect for “the beach or for a picnic in the park.” Or, you know, for packing all your snacks when you visit your daughter's house.</p><p>You can grab the bag and be <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">just as cool as Mama Witherspoon for $58</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Airbus’ New Business Jet Is Like Flying on a Spaceship

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 16:49
<p>At the <a href="" target="_blank">European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition</a> in Geneva, Switzerland, <a href="" target="_blank">Airbus Corporate Jets</a> (ACJ) revealed its new Harmony cabin design for wide-body private planes — and it is out of this world.</p><p>“Harmony is a timeless and elegant design concept because we dare to break the conventions that are traditionally imposed on us as cabin designers,” says ACJ Head of Creative Design Sylvain Mariat. “Our creativity needs to be unique to fit the needs of our customers, as befits a host receiving their guests in their ‘world above the world.’”</p><img alt="Airbus Harmony Business Jet "src=""><p>The new design is based on the Airspace design for Airbus airliner planes. It offers the environmental control and lighting improvements as well as a cabin shell design that leaves more room for passengers.</p><p>The interior of the new ACJ flows in curves and semi-circles, from a grand entrance complete with a holographic globe that shows the airplane’s trajectory around the Earth, to the spaceship-like lounge area featuring round-tables and concentric chaises for socializing that would make the knights of Camelot very happy. A conference/dining room features an arched table with room for six, a long, curved sofa and a VIP bathroom.</p><img alt="Airbus Harmony Business Jet "src=""><img alt="Airbus Harmony Business Jet "src=""><p>At the front of the plane, there is a master bedroom with en-suite bath, a private office, and a crew rest area.</p><p>The back of the plane holds four-room guest suites complete with private office space, sofas that convert to double beds, and private bathrooms with shower facilities. There is a separate room at the very back for personal staff which fits six business-class seats, lavatories, and storage.</p><img alt="Airbus Harmony Business Jet "src=""><img alt="Airbus Harmony Business Jet "src=""><p>“Long-haul flights provide time for productive work and socializing, as well as rest, and ACJ’s Harmony cabin concept is wonderfully well designed to enable all of these while bringing the world within a single flight,” says ACJ President Benoit Defforge.</p><p>This new Harmony interior was designed for the ACJ330neo — a private jet version of the wide-body A330neo that airlines fly — and can be adapted to the Airbus ACJ350XWB. Airbus Corporate Jet customers can also decorate the interior of their “homes in the sky” to suit their tastes.</p><p>If you have a few hundred million dollars to spare, it's the only way to fly.</p>
Categories: Travel

What You Need to Know About JetBlue's New Policy for Emotional Support Animals

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 16:30
<p>After some <a href="" target="_blank">high-profile animal incidents</a> on planes in the last year, airlines are updating their policies on emotional support animals to protect themselves and customers alike.</p><p>JetBlue is the latest airline to tighten and modify its policies on animals taken onboard. <a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines</a> recently implemented its new policy, and United has completely <a href="" target="_blank">banned certain dog breeds</a> from traveling on its planes.</p><p>Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to leave your well-behaved pets home every time you travel, but you definitely shouldn't try to bring on any peacocks or pot bellied pigs. In their new guidelines, JetBlue states that the only animals permitted on planes will be dogs, cats, and miniature horses.</p><p>Owners of emotional support animals will need to submit advanced notification and documentation to JetBlue that they are traveling with an animal. Documentation includes a signed form from a medical or mental health professional, a veterinary health form, and a form confirming that the animal is fully trained and can behave properly while on board. The airline reserves the right to approve or refuse the animal at the airport.</p><p>“As always, we welcome the opportunity to support customers who require special assistance or accommodation while ensuring a safe environment for everyone onboard,” John Allen, vice president safety at JetBlue, <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “This is not only a requirement, it’s simply the right thing to do.”</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">new policy</a> goes into affect July 1, 2018. Policies for service animals, as opposed to emotional support animals, will remain unchanged.</p>
Categories: Travel

Feral Peacocks Are Attacking Cars in Canada After Seeing Their Own Reflections

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 16:16
<p>Yes, peacocks are beautiful and rather majestic, but for these Canadians, they're not exactly a sight for sore eyes.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">CTV News</a>, residents of the Sullivan Heights neighborhood in <a href="" target="_blank">British Columbia</a> have lived side-by-side with the animals in relative harmony for the last few years. However, when the animals go through their mating season each year, they get louder, more aggressive, and malt everywhere — including all over residents' cars and homes.</p><p>In fact, as CTV noted, this year, the peacocks are causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to cars parked in the neighborhood’s streets.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">United Airlines Forced Emotional Support Peacock to Give Up Its Seat</a></p><p>"With the dark-colored cars, they can see their reflection fairly clearly, so they mistake that as another peacock and have at it," resident Ryan Cragg told CTV Vancouver. He added that the peacocks will often stare at their reflections for hours at a time. "They'll get the front panel, the side panel, the rear panel, and then work around to the other side."</p><p>What’s worse is that their mating season won’t be over anytime soon as it apparently runs through October. "It's like living with a colicky baby from March all the way through to October," Cragg said.</p><p>To help keep things under control, the city is asking its citizens to not feed or house the birds. Anyone caught doing either of those things will be fined. However, there’s no real getting rid of the birds because as CTV explained the local Wildlife Act doesn’t apply to peacocks.</p><p>"They're really in this gray area where there's no clear legislative responsibility," Surrey's manager of public safety operations, Jas Rehal, told CTV.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Is Just How Bad U.S. Airports and Airlines Are Compared to the Rest of the World

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 16:14
<p>When every minute counts, make sure you aren’t flying out of an airport notorious for being late.</p><p>Travelers looking for punctuality will be pleased with a Qatar Airways flight out of Doha’s Hamad International Airport, according to the results of a survey from AirHelp, a company that helps passengers receive compensation for delayed and cancelled flights.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">2018 AirHelp Score</a> survey ranked 72 airlines and 141 airports around the world on their on-time performance, quality of service, time for claims processing, and how passengers spoke of them on Twitter.</p><p>According to AirHelp’s data, other top-ranking airlines included Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and South African Airways. Runners up for the best airport included Athens International Airport and Tokyo Haneda International Airport.</p><p>U.S. airlines and airports did not perform well in the global survey. The best-performing U.S. airline was American. Only six U.S. airports ranked in the top half of the total 142 airports. Airports on the West Coast tended to perform better, with <a href="" target="_blank">Seattle-Tacoma Airport</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">San Francisco International Airport</a> ranking in 34th and 46th places. Newark Airport ranked among the worst 10 percent of airports around the world.</p><img alt="Overview of planes at Newark Liberty Airport "src=""><p>“It is clear the U.S. is in need of significant improvement, with overbooked flights and cancellations making national headlines month after month, and the consistent mistreatment of U.S. consumers,” Henrik Zillmer, co-founder and CEO of AirHelp, said in a statement. “It is no wonder most U.S.-based airlines and airports received poor ratings on the AirHelp Score. It is more important than ever for consumers to fight for their air passenger rights.”</p><p>But U.S. airlines did not rank among the absolute worst in the world. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the lowest-ranked airlines included Air Mauritius, easyJet, Pakistan International Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and <a href="" target="_blank">WOW Air</a>.</p><p><em>Correction: American was the best U.S. airline, not United.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

A Whisky-themed Hotel Is Coming to Los Angeles

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 15:57
<p>A boutique hotel celebrating whisky is coming to <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a>.</p><p>Appropriately called The Whisky Hotel, the new <a href="" target="_blank">134-room property</a> will feature whisky-themed minibars filled with rare selections in each of the rooms, restaurateur and hotelier <a href="" target="_blank">Adolfo Suaya</a> told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><p>Suaya, whose hotels and restaurants have become hotspots for celebrities, locals, and travelers alike, is also planning a rooftop restaurant and bar on the seven-story hotel. The rooftop will resemble a giant greenhouse, with lush plants and glass panels offering views over Hollywood.</p><p>The Whisky Hotel will naturally host whisky-themed events, like cocktail classes and tastings, and Suaya also imagines playful features like a whisky fountain in the lobby.</p><img alt="The facade of the Whisky Hotel opening in Hollywood, California. "src=""><p>On the ground floor, there will be a bar with vintage whisky offerings from <a href="" target="_blank">Scotland</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Ireland</a> (<a href="" target="_blank">where it's “whiskey”</a>), Japan, the U.S. and beyond. A whisky sommelier will be on staff.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Difference Between Whisky and Whiskey</a></p><p>Suaya was inspired to create the property after the success of <a href="" target="_blank">The Phoenix</a>, a whisky bar he runs in Los Angeles. Construction on the property is expected to near completion by early 2021.</p>
Categories: Travel

Driver in Canada Blames Plane for Deluge of Poo From the Sky

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 15:21
<p>Warning: Turn away now if you don’t have a strong stomach.</p><p>Many people have heard tales of “blue ice,” otherwise known as waste from airplane lavatories that has been frozen and expelled from planes, raining down from the sky. But very few can actually say they have witnessed it first-hand.</p><p>But one family in Canada not only unfortunately encountered some unwanted airplane excrement, their experience pretty much sums up everyone’s nightmare when they think about what happens to waste once they press “flush.”</p><p>Susan Allan and her mother were driving in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada when they were suddenly deluged with a brown liquid, which they mistook for mud at first, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Guardian</em> reported</a>.</p><p>The nice, sunny weather meant Allan had the windows and sunroof open in her car — which only made matters worse, in retrospect.</p><p>The two women quickly discovered that the “mud” had a distinctly foul smell of feces, so there was no mistaking what had actually fallen on them. “It looked like slops of wheaty, lumpy poo,” Allan told <em>The Guardian</em>.</p><p>She elaborated <a href="" target="_blank">on CBC's <em>As It Happens</em></a>, “I had it in my eyes, my hair. We were inundated.”</p><p>Allan suspects that the excrement came from an overhead plane, but an investigation conducted by Transport Canada is <a href="" target="_blank">still underway</a>. According to <em>The Guardian</em>, Transport Canada doesn’t have statistics on how often this kind of incident occurs. However, once is probably enough.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Are the Top Summer Destinations in America, According to Google

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 11:03
<p>Summer is almost officially here, which means it’s time to start making plans with your friends for a few warm weather excursions around the country. Planning can be a be a bit hectic when traveling in a pack, but fear not, because Google has your adventurous back.</p><p>On Wednesday, Google updated its <a href="" target="_blank">Lists feature</a> in the Google Maps app so now you can share your bucket list destinations with your family and friends with ease. As Google explained of Lists, all you have to do is open the app, “find that BBQ spot you’ve been wanting to try,” and tap on it to save. You can save it to one of your pre-set lists like “Want to Go” or “Favorites.” Then, simply share that list with your friends.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The 18 Best Summer Caption Ideas for Your Instagram</a></p><p>Additionally, Google updated the feature to now list trending places around the nation in a few different categories to help you narrow down your road trip search. According to Google, it picked each place by looking at historical Google Maps data to determine “what beaches, national parks, and historical landmarks are trending across the U.S.” Each of the spaces was then added to one of three lists: Seek, Tap, and Seas. (Read: Parks, historical monuments, and beaches)</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Fun, Free Things to Do in June Across the U.S.</a></p><h2>The Most Popular U.S. Parks:</h2><p>On the Seek list, Google said you’ll find the most popular U.S. parks to visit this summer. Here, they suggest you take a hike, stargaze, or just take time to breathe in the nature around you. </p><p>The top 10 destinations on this list include Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, Crater Lake, Zion, Sequoia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Grand Tetons. <a href=",-98.0319105,4z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!11m1!2s18oWUunK4g31Ckh9nU8gtZ7rEDbE" target="_blank">Check out the entire list here</a>.</p><h2>The Most Popular U.S. Historical Landmarks: </h2><p>In the Tap list, users will find every destination they need to tap into their inner <a href="" target="_blank">U.S. history buff</a>. “Whether your wanderlust takes you to Mount Rushmore or the Hollywood Sign, our <a href="!3m1!4b1!4m2!11m1!2s1jgyHwdRJ9N1zUpTaZkxVhaF88TU" target="_blank">list</a> of trending historical landmarks can help you keep your history game strong,” reps for Google explained.</p><p>The top 10 destinations include Mount Rushmore, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Plymouth Rock, Kennedy Space Station, Empire State Building, Liberty Bell, Hollywood Sign, Alcatraz, Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Park, and the Painted Ladies in San Francisco. <a href="!3m1!4b1!4m2!11m1!2s1jgyHwdRJ9N1zUpTaZkxVhaF88TU" target="_blank">Check out the full list here</a>.</p><h2>The Most Popular U.S. Beaches:</h2><p>As the name implies, the Seas list will show you all the top <a href="" target="_blank">trending coastal destinations</a>, from "Coney Island to Hawaii."</p><p>The top 10 destinations to soak in the sun or ride a wave include Belmar Beach, Montrose beach, Lake Welch Beach, Coney Island beach, Nahant Beach, The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park, Lanikai Beach, Corona del Mar State Beach, Misquamicut State beach, and Lido Key Beach. <a href=",-114.3275061,4z/data=!4m2!11m1!2s1AtXhfHVt6fe622n54LkWikR0jco" target="_blank">Check out the full list here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Airline Rewards Programs With the Best Return on Your Money

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 11:00
<p>Free flights are good. Free seats on the flights you want are better.</p><p>Because airlines have different rules about how customers earn and claim awards and sometimes limited seating availability on popular flights, <a href="" target="_blank">airline mileage programs</a> are notoriously difficult to value. Seat upgrades and free flights make these programs attractive — but what airline is most likely to have the seats you want available on the flights you need to take?</p><p>Ideaworks and CarTrawler answered this question, and the results may surprise you. Many airline reward programs have changed in how they value miles or points. Most once rewarded customers for the number of flights they took and the distance traveled. Now, many rewards are based on how much customers spend on their tickets. Out of 25 airlines included in the <a href="" target="_blank">2018 Reward Seat Availability</a> survey, eleven programs are based on ticket prices.</p><p>It’s not bad news. Being rewarded more when you spend more is fairer. Also, competition from low-cost carriers has pushed traditional airlines to lower the points or miles you have to trade-in to book flights.</p><p>“For example, reward prices as low as 12,000 miles roundtrip were found on select Delta routes in the US, where the previous price was 25,000 miles roundtrip,” IdeaWorks and CarTrawler state.</p><p>The 2018 Overall Reward Availability rankings show that <a href="" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards</a> program is still the best. It’s the only airline to earn a perfect 100-percent score, as it did in last year’s rankings. <a href="" target="_blank">Air Canada’s Aeroplan</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Turkish Airlines’ Miles&amp;Smiles</a> rank second and third with 96.4 percent and 95 percent availability respectively.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> program was most improved, rising 27.8 points over last year’s report to rank ninth, with 82.1 percent seating availability.</p><p>Here’s how other U.S. airlines performed:</p><a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue</a>’s TrueBlue program ranks fourth with a 94.3% chance that you’ll find a reward seat on the flight you want.<a href="" target="_blank">United Airlines’ MileagePlus</a> program ranks 12th with 75.7% seating availability, an improvement of 10.7 points over last year.<a href="" target="_blank">Delta’s SkyMiles</a> program follows closely on United, ranking 13th with 72.1% availability.<a href="" target="_blank">Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan</a> ranks 14th with 69.3% seating availability.<p>Canada’s WestJet made the rankings for the first time this year. Its <a href="" target="_blank">WestJet Rewards</a> program ranked 20th with 57.1 percent availability. Low-cost long-haul airline Norwegian also made the IdeaWorks CarTrawler rankings for the first time. Its Norwegian Rewards program was eighth on the list with an 84.3 percent chance that you’ll find seats to claim. Norwegian was beaten by the third newcomer in the rankings, China Eastern’s Eastern Miles program, which ranked seventh and scored 89.3 percent availability.</p><p>Maybe you’re saving your airline rewards for long-haul flights, helping to cut down costs on those <a href="" target="_blank">vacations you’ve dreamed about</a>. IdeaWorks and CarTrawler also ranked airlines by availability of long-haul flight rewards.</p><p>Turkish Airlines’ Miles&amp;Smiles program topped that list with 98.6 percent availability, an improvement of 31.4 points over last year. Air Canada and Norwegian are tied in second place with 94.3 percent availability. The Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) EuroBonus program comes in at the bottom, with only 7.1 percent availability.</p><p>Since airlines are moving to rewards based on fares, Ideaworks and CarTrawler found a way to measure the overall value of rewards programs. The “Rewards Payback” metric measures how much value North American airlines give back for the money customers spend.</p><p>The best news is that Ideaworks and CarTrawler say airline rewards programs have improved over last year. Hopefully, that trend will continue.</p>
Categories: Travel

Dallas/Fort Worth Opens World’s First Airport Emergency Room

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:42
<p>A brand new addition to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the first of its kind, according to the airport, and it might make a big difference to passengers when an emergency strikes.</p><p>DFW, in collaboration with <a href="" target="_blank">Code 3 ER</a>, has opened a full emergency room facility on airport property, <a href="" target="_blank">WFAA reported</a>. Getting to the emergency room from the airport's terminals only takes about a minute. Having the facility on the 27-square-mile property could greatly cut down on waiting and transport time, especially for passengers suffering with serious medical issues.</p><p>Nurses and doctors at the ER have already treated airport workers for heat exhaustion and passengers for medical emergencies on board flights since opening on Friday. “We had one woman that had chest pains and we checked for a clot,” Dr. Carrie de Moor, the CEO of Code 3, told WFAA.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Dallas Morning News</em> reported</a> that medical emergencies happen on 1 out of every 604 flights, according to a 2015 study in the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em>.</p><p>In additino to handling everyday emergencies, the staff at the new emergency room are also fully trained for disaster scenarios such as plane crashes or disease outbreaks like Ebola.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Brand That Makes My Favorite Travel Pants Now Makes My Favorite Swimsuits

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:30
<p>I'll admit it: My ever-growing activewear collection often sees more action at airports than at the gym. Go ahead and judge, I'll be too busy <a href="" target="_blank">sprinting past you to the gate</a> to notice your disapproving glances anyway. </p><p>Anyone who travels often knows comfort is key. For me, finding the <a href="" target="_blank">ideal pair of sneakers</a> (breathable, cushioned, slip-on, cute enough to be seen in upon landing) came first. Next, I set my sights on something slightly more elusive: <a href="" target="_blank">travel pants I wouldn't hate spending hours in</a> on a cramped airplane but that also <a href="" target="_blank">wouldn't rule me out for a potential spur-of-the-moment first class upgrade</a>. (Still waiting for that to happen, by the way.)</p><p>There are endless options out there when it comes to athleisure clothing these days, so this was definitely a trial-and-error process. After <a href="" target="_blank">swearing off all jeans</a> — a decision I have not once regretted — I realized I'm not a big fan of leggings either. That's where Athleta's Tribeca Crop Pant came in and changed my airport look forever.</p><p>Athleta's site actually has a “<a data-ecommerce="true" href=";mlink=1006482,10131442,flyout_sport_Travel_Essentials&amp;sop=true" target="_blank">Travel Essentials</a>” shop, where you'll find these front and center. Why? Because the absolute best travel pants are comfy without necessarily looking it. If I didn't see these listed as travel pants, I may never have given them a second glance, assuming they were stiff and office-y. But that's where they'll fool you: They actually are made out of a lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, stretch fabric with a waistband that's both supportive and stretchy. (By now you may be picking up on “stretch” as a key word here.) And my favorite part is probably the wide-leg style that comes with snaps so you can open them up a bit for extra flair (and a breeze) when it's hot and keep them closed when it's cold. Another key packing word: versatility. </p><img alt="Athleta Travel pants "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";pcid=1107457&amp;vid=1&amp;pid=281969002" target="_blank"></a>, $89</p><p>Don't just take my word for it, though, these pants have a 4.8 out of 5 customer rating. “My new go to pants,” one reviewer wrote. “These would be fabulous travel pants, which I will be using them for travel, work, and every day." Another added, "The lightest, most comfortable and versatile pants to wear every day ... definite must have for travel.”</p><p>Content with my travel pant inventory, I went back to Athleta hoping to solve another packing woe, especially as summer approaches: the need for a swimsuit that would look good poolside while also working for snorkeling, Jet-Skiing, not-so-skillfully trying out kitesurfing for the first time, or catching a wave. I'm inventive when it comes to finding new ways to get a tan on vacation.</p><img alt="Athleta Swimsuits "src=""><p>To buy: (top) <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";pcid=1031353&amp;vid=1&amp;pid=578167062" target="_blank"></a>, $49; (bottom) <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";pcid=1026482&amp;vid=1&amp;pid=578111022" target="_blank"></a>, $46 </p><p>While I might not be an athlete (seriously, you should've seen the kitesurfing), Athleta has real athletes try out their swimwear, so when they say it's high-performance, they mean it. For the average beach-goer, this means many come with UPF, so built-in sun protection; are made with a long-lasting material they call Lycra Xtra Life, so you don't have to worry about wear and tear; and tend to hold you in a bit and support you when a big wave comes out of nowhere. Some of my favorites are the <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";pcid=1031353&amp;vid=1&amp;pid=578167002" target="_blank">high-neck bikini styles</a>, which happen to block out my most vulnerable sunburn spot, but there are plenty of <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";pcid=1031353&amp;vid=1&amp;pid=291976012" target="_blank">one-piece options</a> and even a <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";pcid=1031353&amp;vid=1&amp;pid=293158002" target="_blank">cropped rashguard</a>. Very surfer girl chic.</p><p>To see the full collection, visit <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";mlink=14320755,topNav_Swim,visnav&amp;clink=14320755&amp;sop=true" target="_blank"></a>.</p>
Categories: Travel