Travel

A Solar Storm Is Expected to Hit Earth on Thursday, Bringing the Northern Lights With It (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 17:39
<p>The sun has been <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/solar-storm-northern-lights-2018" target="_blank">one active star</a> over these last few months. And this week is no different as NASA captured a photo of a brand new solar flare on Sunday.</p><p>Thanks to that solar flare, the space agency is now predicting a solar storm will reach Earth at some point early Thursday morning.</p><p>Yes, a solar storm sounds highly terrifying, but have no fear, earthlings: it will have little to no effect on humans, other than bringing us all stunning views of the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-places-to-see-northern-lights-february" target="_blank">Northern Lights</a>.</p><p>You see, when the sun experiences its own solar storm, it emits superheated plasma. That plasma is known as a coronal mass ejection (CME). That CME can then trigger a geomagnetic storm, and that can in turn cause the Earth’s Northern Lights to light up even brighter than usual.</p><p>“[CMEs] are huge explosions of magnetic field and plasma from the Sun’s corona,” the <a href="http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/phenomena/coronal-mass-ejections" target="_blank">Space Weather Prediction Center explained</a>. “When CMEs impact the Earth’s magnetosphere, they are responsible for geomagnetic storms and enhanced aurora.”</p><p>These solar storms are measured on a scale of G1 to G5, with G5 being the most extreme and most rare storm category. During a G1 storm, little on Earth is affected.</p><p>But, if a G5 were to hit Earth, NOAA explained, widespread problems with our electrical grid would occur, and some areas might even experience complete collapse or blackouts. Meanwhile, satellite navigation would be degraded for days, low-frequency radio navigation could be out for hours, and the Northern Lights could be seen as low as Florida and southern Texas.</p><p>However, the storm expected Thursday will simply be a G1, a minor <a href="http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/news/g1-watch-15-february-2018" target="_blank">geomagnetic storm</a>. Even with a G1, though, an increase in sun activity means people hoping to see the Northern Lights in places like Alaska, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland will be in for quite a show.</p><p>During the last G1 solar storm, which occurred in March, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/surfers-lofoten-islands-norway-capture-northern-lights" target="_blank">a few surfers in Sweden</a> got to see the Northern Lights in all their glory while they paddled out in the frigid waters.</p><p>Meanwhile, folks in Lapland were able to capture this stunning video from the same storm, showing just how colorful the Northern Lights can really get.</p><p>And there’s really no need to be jealous of these adventurers as you too can <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/places-to-see-northern-lights-in-us" target="_blank">start planning your Northern Lights adventure right now</a>. Just make sure to pack a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/travel-accessories/baubax-travel-jacket" target="_blank">warm jacket</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-digital-cameras-for-travel" target="_blank">your camera</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Here’s Our First Behind-the-scenes Look at Disney's Star Wars Millennium Falcon Ride

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 16:03
<p>In the months since Disney first announced it was building a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/disney-world-star-wars-panel" target="_blank">new park dedicated to <em>Star Wars</em></a>, it has only divulged very few details about the experience. But unlike a movie franchise, it is very difficult to keep a theme park secret for long.</p><p>New <a href="https://wdwnt.com/2018/04/breaking-test-footage-of-the-millennium-falcon-attraction-in-star-wars-galaxys-edge/" target="_blank">footage obtained by <em>WDW News Today</em></a> shows exactly what fans will be able to see aboard the Millennium Falcon, one of the most anticipated attractions in the park.</p><p>The ride promises to be more than just a bucket of bolts. Those aboard the Millennium Falcon ride will be able to pilot the legendary spacecraft through obstacles and, presumably, make the jump to lightspeed.</p><p>“We’ve all seen her on screen, but until you climb through that hatch, walk through her hallways, sit inside the cockpit, power her up and actually FLY her yourself, it’s not quite the same,” Disney creative executive Scott Trowbridge <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/disney-world-star-wars-panel" target="_blank">said of the ride last year</a>.</p><p>This is not the first spoiler regarding the Millennium Falcon to be revealed. Despite Disney’s best attempts to hide the ride with shipping containers, fans can sneak a bird's-eye view of the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/tv-movies/disney-millennium-falcon-google-maps" target="_blank">via Google Maps</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/disney-star-wars-galaxys-edge" target="_blank"><em>Star Wars</em>: Galaxy’s Edge</a> park is expected to open at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019.</p><p>The fully interactive parks will include <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/disney-star-wars-galaxys-edge-park" target="_blank">a <em>Star Wars</em>-themed hotel</a> where guests will interact with staff in costume and become “active citizens of the galaxy.” Other anticipated attractions include a battle simulation ride, a street market, and a restaurant. Disney staff are expected to parade around the grounds in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/disney-star-wars-land-photos-details" target="_blank">detailed costumes straight from the film series</a>.</p><p>The 14-acre parks are <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/star-wars-land-opening" target="_blank">the largest single expansion</a> that Disney has ever created.</p>
Categories: Travel

More Than 250 People Killed in Deadliest Plane Crash Since 2014 (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 15:55
<p>At least 257 people have been reported dead in a military plane crash in northern Algeria on Wednesday, Algeria’s Defense Ministry said. It is the deadliest aviation crash in four years.</p><p>The crash happened shortly after takeoff from the Boufarik military airport, located near the capital of Algiers. Those on board were military personnel and their families. Ten of those reported killed were crew members, <a href="http://www.radioalgerie.dz/news/fr/article/20180411/138427.html" target="_blank">according to state-run <em>Radio Algérie</em></a>.</p><img alt="Algerian army plane which crashed near the Boufarik airbase from where the plane had taken off on April 11, 2018. "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523456446/Algerian-plane-crash-CRASHNEWS0418.jpg?itok=TyP0U4r-"><p>The Defense Ministry said that there were at least two survivors of the crash, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/world/middleeast/algeria-military-plane-crash.html" target="_blank">according to <em>The New York Times</em></a>. The cause of the crash is still unknown.</p><p>The Ilyushin Il-76 transporter crashed into an empty field shortly after takeoff. Video from the scene shows smoke billowing from the plane and emergency responders rushing towards the crash. Emergency responders <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/algerian-military-plane-crash-kills-least-100-officials-say-n864906" target="_blank">told Associated Press</a> that some bodies pulled from the plane showed “deep burns caused by the fuselage catching fire.”</p><p>An Algerian ruling party official said that 26 of the people onboard were members of the Polisario Front, a political group in Western Sahara, seeking independence from Morocco and supported by Algeria.</p><p>The plane’s destination was Béchar in western Algeria, located less than 50 miles from the Moroccan border. The plane was <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/11/algeria-military-plane-crash-boufarik" target="_blank">scheduled to make a stopover in Tindouf,</a> near the Western Saharan border.</p><p>The crash is the deadliest since 2014, when 298 people were killed on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, shot down over Ukraine.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Could Soon Be Able to Nap in the Cargo Holds of Planes (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 15:45
<p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/qantas-worlds-longest-flight" target="_blank">Long-haul flights</a> are no picnic, unless of course you’re in first class in a lie-flat bed. For most of us, however, the cost of booking that luxury travel experience is well out of reach, but Airbus is hoping to change that with new “nap pods.”</p><p>Airbus is currently working with seat manufacturer <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/ZC:FP" target="_blank">Zodiac Aerospace</a> to design new lie-flat beds to fit in the lower-deck cargo areas of their planes, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-10/sleeping-on-the-fly-airbus-to-offer-naps-in-the-cargo-hold" target="_blank"><em>Bloomberg</em> reported</a>. Guests can go in, snooze for a bit, and return back to their seat for a movie or a meal. Though the beds won’t be available until 2020, they would most certainly be a game-changer.</p><p>According to Airbus officials who spoke during a conference in Hamburg on Tuesday, the sleeping berths would be installed as modules that could quickly be moved out of the way for regular cargo fittings during an aircraft’s typical airport turnaround.</p><p>It really may be an easy plan to implement when you consider Airbus isn’t reinventing the wheel. Holds have actually been sued for some time as cabin crew rest areas for long-haul flights.</p><p>And <em>Bloomberg</em> notes the idea appears to be catching on: Qantas Airways Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said they too were thinking about ways to make long-haul flights more comfortable for passengers.</p><img alt="Airbus Zodiac Module - napping in cargo "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523378448/Airbus-Zodiac-Module-mock-up-CARGONAPS0418.jpg?itok=wJPLRFxG"><p>“Our research project with Qantas includes strategies to counteract jet lag, including on-board exercise and movement, menu design and service timing, pre- and post-flight preparation, transit lounge wellness concepts and the cabin environment,” Professor Steve Simpson, a consultant with Qantas who is working to make those hours-long flights a bit better, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/qantas-longest-flight-perth-london-passenger-comfort" target="_blank">previously told <em>Travel + Leisure</em></a>.</p><p>Sure, we’ll have to wait a few years until these nap pods become reality, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer through your flight. Before boarding your next long-haul flight to a magical destination make sure to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/ultimate-travel-essentials/in-flight-essentials#bucky-40-blinks-sleep-mask-ultimate-travel-essentials" target="_blank">stock up on all the right gear</a> including ear plugs, sleep masks and more, and read up on one engineer’s amazing tips to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/woman-engineer-solves-economy-class" target="_blank">making economy way more comfortable</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle's Psychic Says He Predicted Her Royal Future Before She Met Prince Harry

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 15:32
<p>Meghan Markle may have known she was going to marry Prince Harry long before the two even met.</p><p>According to Markle’s one-time makeup artist Spencer Barnes, the former <em>Suits </em>actress used to frequent a very special psychic who claims to have predicted she’d end up in England well before her engagement ever happened.</p><p>“Today I want to take a moment to thank this beautiful soul, #MeghanMarkle for introducing me to someone who has become a powerful friend over the last couple years,” Barnes wrote in an Instagram post last week with a photo of Markle. “His name is Richard Win. He is 72 years old and a gifted intuitive.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/meghan-markle-buckingham-palace-teen-tourist-photo" target="_blank">This Photo of 15-year-old Meghan Markle at Buckingham Palace Proves Dreams Do Come True</a></p><p>Barnes went on to explain in his post that Markle introduced him to the clairvoyant who helped him “move an important project from the back burner to the front line.” Barnes added that he trusts the man so much that he is now working with him regularly in a developmental creative role.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/meghan-markle-home-movie" target="_blank">Watch 8-year-old Meghan Markle Pretend to Be the Queen in a Leaked Home Video</a></p><p>“If you've never sat down for an hour or two with a truly gifted psychic - it only takes a few minutes to recognize that Richard is the real deal, in service to the light,” Barnes added. </p><p>According to Win himself, who spoke to <em><a href="http://www.tmz.com/2018/04/10/meghan-markle-psychic-saw-london-future-before-meeting-prince-harry/" target="_blank">TMZ</a></em>, during his very last session with Markle, which happened a few months before she met Prince Harry, he told her, “I see you in London with a lot of British people,” to which she allegedly responded, “I love London…I love British people.”</p><p>Win also told <em>TMZ</em> that Markle is highly intelligent and poised, and pointed added that she “wasn't hungry for fame.”</p><p>If Win really did predict Markle’s engagement, then maybe he’s actually worth your money too.</p><p>As Barnes added in his Instagram post, you can slide into his DMs and he’ll give you Win’s number. Typically a session with Win runs for $250 for an hour, but if you mention Barnes he may be willing to knock $50 off the price.</p><p>And just because Harry is taken doesn’t mean Win won’t see a royal future for you too. After all, there are more than a few <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/bachelor-princes" target="_blank">royal bachelors still left on the market</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Here's How You Can Rent One of Hawaii's Most Famous Surf Shacks

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 13:32
<p>Hawaii is already a vacationer’s paradise thanks to the state’s endless beaches, hikes, sightseeing, and rich culture, but if you’re going to the Aloha State as a family or group there’s only one way to do it right: renting a super sweet, and uber-famous, beach-front surf shack.</p><p>OK, so the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.vrbo.com/1198907" target="_blank">Volcom House</a> — located directly on the shores of <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g2534322-d207510-Reviews-Banzai_Pipeline-Pupukea_Oahu_Hawaii.html" target="_blank">Pipeline</a> on the island of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/oahu" target="_blank">Oahu</a> — is far from a shack, but you get the idea.</p><p>Each year, the lifestyle apparel brand makes its four-bedroom, four-bathroom home available for rent for the summer months. And because it sleeps 14 people and is located on one of the most famous surf breaks in the world, it is well worth any traveler’s attention.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/cheap-flights-hawaii-airfare-war-buying-guide" target="_blank">There's an All-out Airfare War for Flights to Hawaii — Here's How to Take Advantage</a> </p><p>On a recent trip to Hawaii for the <a href="http://www.worldsurfleague.com/events/2018/mqs/2609/volcom-pipe-pro" target="_blank">Volcom Pipe Pro</a>, we got to check out the house firsthand. It was packed to the gills with professional surfers, but sorry everyone, they don’t come included.</p><img alt="Volcom House in Hawaii "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522267764/volcom-house-hawaii-surfers-SURFLODGE0318.jpg?itok=qGPyIRiR"><p>Instead, visitors looking to book will find an expansive first floor with floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that open up straight to the sand. The open kitchen and large dining area make it the perfect spot for a sit-down dinner for 14 as the sound of the waves crash outside and the cool ocean breeze flows in.</p><p>Walk up the short flight of stairs and you’ll be on the home’s second floor. There, you’ll find two bedrooms, both of which open up to decks that once again provide brilliant views of Pipeline. Each bedroom also comes complete with its own bathroom.</p><p>On the home’s third floor you’ll find two master suites that each come with private bathrooms as well. Again, both bedrooms open up to a large deck. This deck, however, provides the most expansive views of the beach as you’re perched at the highest point in the home.</p><img alt="Volcom House in Hawaii "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522267764/volcom-house-hawaii-water-SURFLODGE0318.jpg?itok=GTXKBDSf"><p>Beyond providing visitors with the coolest place to lay their heads at night, the home also comes complete with all the accoutrements you’d need to have an epic beach vacation including coolers, beach toys, chairs, umbrellas, and body boards.</p><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/island-vacations/oahu-north-shore-kamehameha-highway#haleiwa-shops-stores-oahu-hawaii" target="_blank">While visiting the North Shore</a> there are a few local favorites to stop at that will make you look like you’re as much of a surf pro as the Volcom riders.</p><p>First, make sure to stop in a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1865931-d831999-Reviews-Ted_s_Bakery-Sunset_Beach_Oahu_Hawaii.html" target="_blank">Ted’s Bakery</a>, which sits just up the road from the beach house. There, make sure to grab a slice of its world-famous pie. As you sit outside you’ll likely see more than a few surfers milling about, downing the sugary treat post-surf session.</p><p>Next, head into <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60647-d10053296-Reviews-Haleiwa_Town_Center-Haleiwa_Oahu_Hawaii.html" target="_blank">Hale‘iwa Town</a>, a short bike ride up the road, for more dining, shopping, and sightseeing. From there, visitors can rent paddle boards, snorkel gear, or double down on the sugar trip and get a delicious shaved ice.</p><p>Finally, make dinner plans at one of the many restaurants at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.expedia.com/Oahu-Hotels-Turtle-Bay-Resort.h470837.Hotel-Information" target="_blank">Turtle Bay Resort</a>. Our favorite is <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60651-d10746548-Reviews-Roy_s_Beach_House-Kahuku_Oahu_Hawaii.html" target="_blank">Roy’s Beach House</a>. The small restaurant sits directly on the sand, providing visitors with the most scenic views as they sip a Mai Tai and let the stress melt away. Then, head home to the Volcom house, open up the deck doors to let the cool ocean breeze in, and let the sound of the waves lull you to sleep. Finally, wake up and do it all over again.</p><p><strong>To rent:</strong> $1,000 per night, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.vrbo.com/1198907" target="_blank">vrbo.com</a></p>
Categories: Travel

How Post-it Notes Can Extend the Life of Your Passport

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 11:32
<p>For frequent international travelers, there are few encounters more quietly frustrating than when a customs officer stamps a completely blank page with a flagrant disregard for visa space.</p><p>Visas require at least a full blank page — and some countries <a href="https://lifehacker.com/check-if-your-destination-requires-blank-passport-pages-1693495156" target="_blank">may require between two and four blank pages</a>.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/what-your-passport-color-means" target="_blank">What Your Passport Color Really Means</a></p><p>But there’s one clever trick using common office supplies that can keep passport pages pristine for future visas.</p><p>Chris Chamberlin of <a href="https://www.ausbt.com.au/making-your-passport-last-longer-when-running-short-of-pages" target="_blank"><em>Australian Business Traveler</em></a> recommended saving blank space in your passport with two Post-it Notes and a gently written note.</p><p>Stick a note on each page you would like to remain blank with a polite and concise message to the effect of “stamp elsewhere.” In his passport, Chamberlin has written “Please kindly stamp on any other page. Saving space for one visa.”</p><p>“I’ve been travelling with these in my passport for over a year now to preserve my last remaining ‘double blank’ page, and all the passport officers I’ve encountered have been most obliging,” <a href="https://www.ausbt.com.au/making-your-passport-last-longer-when-running-short-of-pages" target="_blank">Chamberlin wrote</a>.</p><p>Chamberlin estimates that the trick will have extended his passport’s life by about two years.</p><p>Because the Post-it Notes are impermanent and easily removed, they do not break any passport regulations. And, if worst comes to worst, the immigrations officer can rip off the Post-it and stamp wherever they please.</p>
Categories: Travel

Gigi Hadid's Favorite Slip-on Sneakers Are 50% Off Right Now

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 11:25
<p>Whenever <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/fashion/cashmere-tracksuit-for-travel" target="_blank">Gigi Hadid steps out in a stellar outfit</a>, we can’t help but to take notes. There’s no denying it: The supermodel has impeccable style, and we have a lot to learn. So when she was spotted heading to a hockey game supporting the Rangers with her red, white, and blue color scheme, we jumped at the chance to copy her look.</p><p>And lucky us, we found out her sneakers are on sale for half off.</p><img alt="Gigi Hadid "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523466571/gigi-hadid-reebok-zip-sneakers-on-sale-outfit-GIGISNEAKERS0418.jpg?itok=bxQUI7M9"><p>Hadid’s <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.nordstromrack.com/brands/Reebok" target="_blank">Reebok</a> sneakers are ‘90s-reminiscent but with modern updates: a sleek silhouette and a silver zipper for easy slip-on action. And we’re not going to lie, the 50 percent off markdown is definitely an added bonus. You can get yourself a pair over at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2293391/reebok-club-c-85-zip-sneaker?color=CHALK-SANDSTONE-PAPER%20WHI" target="_blank">nordstromrack.com</a> for $50 (originally $100).</p><img alt="Reebok Club C 85 Zip Sneaker "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523466571/gigi-hadid-reebok-zip-sneakers-GIGISNEAKERS0418.jpg?itok=m3viNdWN"><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2293391/reebok-club-c-85-zip-sneaker?color=CHALK-SANDSTONE-PAPER%20WHI" target="_blank">nordstromrack.com</a>, $50 (originally $100)</p>
Categories: Travel

Here Are All the New Routes You Can Now Fly With Southwest

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 11:21
<p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/seat-saving-problem-southwest-airlines" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines</a> passengers just got even more travel options.</p><p>On Sunday, the airline started operating 11 <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/new-airlines-routes-2018" target="_blank">new routes</a>, including San Francisco to Austin, San Jose to New Orleans, Sacramento to St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego to Newark, and more.</p><p>The airline is also beginning new international service on Saturday, April 14: weekly, seasonal flights from Columbus and New Orleans to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/best-times-to-visit-cancun" target="_blank">Cancún, Mexico</a>.</p><p>Also on April 14, the airline will begin weekly, nonstop Saturday service between Oakland and Orlando. This route will become daily on June 15.</p><p>Weekly, nonstop service between Phoenix and New York (LaGuardia) on Saturdays will also start April 14 and continue until June 2. Travelers will also be able to enjoy seasonal, weekly service on Saturdays from Kansas City to Pensacola and between Orlando and Oklahoma City.</p><p>To book a flight and see more new routes, visit the <a href="https://www.southwest.com/" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Cash-back Credit Cards for Travelers

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 10:16
<p>Typically, travelers searching for a new credit card have to decide between cards with great rewards (think: <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/american-airlines-credit-cards" target="_blank">airline-branded credit cards</a>, hotel-branded credit cards, and even gas station-sponsored cards) and those with excellent cash-back benefits.</p><p>But despite the common misconceptions, it is possible to find a cash back credit card that makes sense for even serious jetsetters.</p><p><b>Related: </b><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/hotel-credit-cards-that-earn-free-nights" target="_blank">Hotel Credit Cards That Earn You a Free Night Every Year</a> </p><h2>How Cash-back Cards Work</h2><p>Cash-back cards are (for the most part) easy. You spend, and then you automatically get cash back. But even though they side-step the Byzantine rewards systems of conventional travel credit cards, even cash-back cards have their complexities.</p><p>While some offer a flat rate of return on every purchase, others offer higher rates for specific vendors or categories of purchase. Some cards offer miles or points that can be converted, while others display a straight dollar amount.</p><p>Those cash-back cards that award miles or points may lack the simplicity of cards that have no miles or points to decipher, value, transfer, or redeem, but they offer a greater variety of benefits. And many of those are a great appeal to travelers.</p><p>Because credit card bonuses and terms change from year to year, be sure to confirm the current offer before applying for a new card.</p><h2>Cash-back Cards with Travel Perks</h2><p>Travelers who can't choose should consider applying for one of these travel-friendly, cash-back credit cards. They're available from Chase and Citibank, and give frequent fliers a wide range of ways to redeem rewards. </p><h3>Best For: Travelers Who Want Maximum Flexibility</h3><p>The <a href="https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-cards/funl0117" target="_blank">Chase Freedom Unlimited</a> card offers a flat cash-back rate for all purchases, which means that credit card holders can spend without crafting a complex rewards strategy. With perks like rental car insurance, travelers can enjoy significant savings on daily surcharges. However, it charges foreign transaction fees, which is not great for international travelers.</p><p><strong>Benefits</strong>:</p>1.5 percent cash back on all purchasesConvert cash to Ultimate Rewards points, or vice versaDamage and theft protection on new purchasesGuaranteed 90-day returns on new purchasesExtended warranty protectionRental car insuranceZero Liability Protection, which means you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges made with your credit card<p><strong>Sample Sign-up Bonus</strong>: Get $150 (15,000 points) back after you spend $500 in the first three months.</p><p><strong>Annual fee</strong>: $0</p><h3>Best For: Travelers With a Serious Spending Strategy </h3><p>The <a href="https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/home" target="_blank">Chase Freedom</a> card offers a much higher cash-back rate than the Freedom Unlimited card — but only for purchases that fall within a rotating spending category. This is not a credit card for set-it-and-forget-it types, because to really get the most value out of Chase Freedom, cardholders need to monitor the changing categories (which alternate every quarter) and plan spending accordingly. It’s possible to convert cash rewards to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/points-miles/chase-ultimate-rewards-credit-cards" target="_blank">Chase Ultimate Rewards points</a>, which can be redeemed for air travel or hotel stays. This card also has a valuable rental car insurance benefit that is augmented by damage and theft protection, 90-day guaranteed returns, and extended manufacturer warranties. Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, however, it charges foreign transaction fees.</p><p><strong>Benefits</strong>:</p>5 percent cash back on rotating spending categories1 percent cash back on all other spendingConvert cash to Ultimate Rewards points or vice versaDamage and theft protection on new purchasesGuaranteed 90-day returns on new purchasesExtended warranty protectionRental car insuranceZero Liability Protection<p><strong>Sample Sign-up Bonus</strong>: Get $150 (15,000 points) back after you spend $500 in the first three months.</p><p><strong>Annual Fee</strong>: $0</p><h3>Best For: Frequent Travelers Who Only Occasionally Want Cash Back</h3><p>The <a href="https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/chase-sapphire-preferred" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</a> is a premium card and, unlike the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards, cardholders will have to pay an annual fee. (Though this is waived in the first year.) The perks for frequent travelers, however, quickly add up. With no foreign transaction fees, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is ideal for people frequently out of the country, especially when packaged with the built-in delayed baggage insurance, trip interruption and cancellation insurance, and rental car insurance. Cardholders also earn double the cash-back rate for travel and dining-related purchases. Cash back rewards can be converted to Chase Ultimate Rewards points.</p><p><strong>Benefits</strong>:</p>2 percent cash back on travel and dining purchases1 percent cash back on all other purchasesConvert cash to Ultimate Rewards points, or vice versaSapphire Preferred points are worth 25 percent more when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards online travel portalZero foreign transaction feesDelayed luggage insuranceTrip interruption and cancellation insuranceRental car insuranceAccess to <a href="https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-cards/experiences" target="_blank">events and experiences</a> like Sundance cast parties or exclusive lounges at music festivals<p><strong>Sample Sign-up Bonus</strong>: Get 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months, plus another 5,000 points if you add an authorized user who also makes a purchase of any value in the first three months</p><p><strong>Annual Fee</strong>: $95 (waived the first year)</p><h3>Best For: Costco Junkies</h3><p>The <a href="https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/citi.action?ID=Citi-costco-anywhere-visa-credit-card" target="_blank">Citibank Costco Anywhere Visa Card</a> offers a great value for cardholders who love Costco as much as they love travel. (We know you are out there.) With incredible cash back rates on gas, travel, and Costco purchases, the card still offers a solid 1 percent back on all other spending. This Citibank card also comes with benefits like trip interruption and cancellation insurance, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance, rental car insurance — and it has no foreign transaction fees. Because the card doesn't come with an annual fee, it's easy to recommend it to travelers with active Costco memberships.</p><p><strong>Benefits</strong>:</p>Get 4 percent cash back on eligible gas purchases (including at Costco gas stations) for the first $7,000, and 1 percent afterwards3 percent cash back on eligible travel (including Costco Travel) and restaurant purchases2 percent cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com1 percent cash back on all other purchasesDamage and theft protection on purchasesExtends manufacturer warranties by 24 monthsCiti Price Rewind, which conducts a 60-day search for lower prices on your registered purchases (and if they find one, you may receive the difference in cost)Trip cancellation and interruption protection (consumer card only)Worldwide car rental insuranceWorldwide travel accident insuranceTravel and emergency assistanceNo foreign transaction fees<p><strong>Sample Sign-up Bonus</strong>: None</p><p><strong>Annual fee</strong>: $0</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Take a Road Trip on a Tour Bus Built for Rock Stars

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 10:01
<p>We love <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/road-trips" target="_blank">a good road trip</a> as much as the next person. But there are certain aspects to road travel — cramped quarters and a lack of facilities, to name a few — that can make the experience less than ideal.</p><p>Enter <a href="http://roadies.coach" target="_blank">Roadies</a>, a new travel company that promises to elevate the classic <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/road-trips/road-trip-interview-karen-catchpole-eric-mohl" target="_blank">road trip</a> with a fleet of luxury coaches. Built for rock stars but designed for you and your friends, Roadies buses come outfitted with sleep pods, a bathroom with a shower, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and a variety of food and snacks.</p><p>Each trip comes with a tour manager who will plan out free daily activities like hikes and beach outings as well as à la carte excursions like hot air balloon rides, helicopter tours, and recording studio sessions. And most of the driving is done at night, so you’ll wake up each day with plenty of time to explore.</p><p>But it gets better: the coaches will park at high-end hotels like the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.expedia.com/Los-Angeles-Hotels-Sunset-Marquis.h577893.Hotel-Information" target="_blank">Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles</a> and the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.expedia.com/Palm-Springs-Hotels-Ace-Hotel-And-Swim-Club.h22864.Hotel-Information" target="_blank">Ace Hotel in Palm Springs</a>, where travelers will have access to amenities like pools, gyms, restaurants, bars, and spas at no additional charge.</p><img alt="Roadies Touring Bus Company "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523308975/roadie-bus-tour-california-ROADIES0418.jpg?itok=qwQg-Azr"><p>The company is kicking things off this summer with two inaugural routes along the West Coast. There’s the week-long “Sunshine &amp; Lights Tour,” with stops in San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas. And the week-long “Hot N’ Spicy Tour,” which hits all the same locations in reverse order.</p><p>Rates start at $1,299 per person and each tour sleeps up to 11 travelers. To book, visit <a href="https://roadies.coach/book-now/" target="_blank">roadies.coach</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Face Mask Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian Swear by to Revive Jet-lagged Skin

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 09:45
<p>If you’ve been keeping up with the beauty crowd on Instagram, chances are you’ve seen a slim blue tube floating all across your news feed — and for good reason. Just barely a month old, new beauty brand <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.sephora.com/summer-fridays?icid2=product_link_brand" target="_blank">Summer Fridays</a>’ first product, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.sephora.com/product/jet-lag-mask-P429952" target="_blank">the Jet Lag Mask</a>, is not only visually Insta-worthy, it’s also just a really great skincare product — and we have the product reviews to prove it.</p><img alt="Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523390041/summer-fridays-jet-lag-mask-face-cream-JETLAGMASK0418.jpg?itok=wxR8raC6"><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.sephora.com/product/jet-lag-mask-P429952" target="_blank">sephora.com</a>, $48</p><p>Earning its spot as a best-selling product at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.sephora.com/" target="_blank">Sephora</a>, the Jet Lag Mask is an ultra-hydrating face cream meant to replenish dry, dull skin, whether you’ve been traveling through different time zones or just bouncing back from harsh winter weather. You can leave it on for 10 minutes and wipe off the excess, or use it as an overnight treatment — no wipe-off necessary.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/beauty/skin-moisturizing-oils-serums" target="_blank">These Oils and Serums Kept My Skin Soft and Moisturized in Flight</a></p><p>Sephora reviews have been raving about the product’s ability to deliver not only hydrated skin, but also a noticeably plumper texture. Take it from shopper cpatron, who claims the mask works well on sensitive skin: “When I heard about Summer Fridays, I immediately ordered the Jet Lag Mask and have been using it consistently for the past three days. My skin feels SO HYDRATED!!!!! It’s insane. I grew up with dry skin and still struggle with eczema, but this mask didn’t irritate my skin the way some new products do.”</p><p>Another commenter, tanfav, compares it to getting a HydraFacial: “Within minutes I could see my face transforming plumping glowing... I could go on and on. My skin felt like I just had a 90 minute facial in just 10 minutes. I got a glow u get after a hydrafacial.”</p><p>Plus, both <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/shoes/jessica-alba-shoes" target="_blank">Jessica Alba</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/travel-bags/best-celebrity-handbags-for-travel#kim-kardashian" target="_blank">Kim Kardashian West</a> are fans. Uh, sold.</p><p>Head over to <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.sephora.com/product/jet-lag-mask-P429952" target="_blank">sephora.com</a> to purchase the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask ($48) before it sells out — again.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Filmmaker Is Traveling Around the World With Godzilla

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 09:33
<p>Ryan Godzilling is an $8 action figure from Chicago. He loves traveling the world, but his brute strength, sheer size, and proclivity for destruction can sometimes get in the way.</p><p>He is the brainchild of Kieran Murray, who posts to Instagram under <a href="https://www.instagram.com/ryangodzilling/" target="_blank">@RyanGodzilling</a>.</p><img alt="Godzilla Travels "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523465060/Oculus-Godzilla-ZILLATRVLS0418.jpg?itok=HRZ6OEI2"><p>The two were united in Chicago in 2014 and over the years, they’ve traversed the globe together, wreaking havoc from <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/los-angeles" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> to <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/london" target="_blank">London</a>.</p><p>The project started when Murray, an Australian filmmaker, came across the Godzilla figurine while traveling alone through Chicago.</p><p>“At first I would travel with Ryan as my little plastic travel companion. I would take photos of him in front of landmarks because it was easier to do that rather than to ask strangers to take photos of me,” Murray told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. “After a while I decided to exercise my photoshop skills and really bring him to life.”</p><p>Murray began posting his photos to Instagram and inserting Godzilling into all of his travel pictures. Although the project began as a bit of clever play with perspective, it has grown into an impressive use of Photoshop.</p><p>Godzilling now changes size depending on whether he’s helping Murray with laundry or wreaking havoc in the city of New York.</p><p>One single image can take up to five hours to create as Murray edits and alters Godzilling.</p><img alt="Godzilla Travels "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523465060/Madrid-Godzilla-ZILLATRVLS0418.jpg?itok=gy-7uz2z"><p>Godzilling has a personality “you wouldn't expect to belong to a colossal reptilian creature,” Murray told T+L.</p><p>“He can’t hold his alcohol. He loves squirrels. He takes ages to get ready before we leave the house and he’s always obsessing over his appearance,” he said. “He’s quite quaint and endearing but still bears some traditional ‘godzilla' personality traits like the occasional urge for mass destruction.”</p><p>Murray is currently based in New York City, so most of Godziling’s recent antics have taken place in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The figurine will head out on more adventures later this year, Murray said, and will branch out with more video and photo projects.</p><img alt="Godzilla Travels "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523465060/San-Antonio-Godzilla-ZILLATRVLS0418.jpg?itok=X0QJ7Fix"><p>On the bucket list is meeting his namesake.</p><p>“One day he will get to meet Ryan Gosling and that will be the best photo yet,” Murray said.</p>
Categories: Travel

Security Officer Who Dragged Dr. Dao Off Plane Is Suing United for $150,000

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 09:04
<p>Almost exactly one year ago, Dr. David Dao made headlines when he was forcefully dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight at O’Hare International Airport. Now, one of the Chicago Aviation Police officers who did the dragging is suing both United Airlines and the city of Chicago because he was fired.</p><p><a href="http://dig.abclocal.go.com/wls/documents/2018/041018-wls-iteam-united-complaint-doc.pdf" target="_blank">In his lawsuit</a>, filed on Tuesday morning in Illinois, James Long claims that he did not receive proper training about how to deal with such situations, including procedure for what “level of force” he should implement.</p><p>He is seeking more than $150,000 in financial losses and punitive damages from the Chicago Department of Aviation and United Airlines. A spokesperson for United <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/fired-aviation-cop-who-dragged-doctor-from-plane-at-ohare-sues-city-united/" target="_blank">told the <em>Chicago Sun Times</em></a> the airline had “not been served with this suit and are unable to comment.”</p><p>Long was suspended immediately following the incident and fired on August 8, 2017. Long said that his firing caused “mental anguish,” for which he is now suing. The lawsuit also claims that Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans slandered Long on social media by saying that officers were not armed “for good reasons.”</p><p>Long was called off his lunch hour to assist two other aviation officers in escorting Dao off the plane. Long maintains that he used “minimal but necessary force” and that Dao’s injuries were caused by his own misbehavior. Dao left the flight with a concussion, a broken nose and two teeth missing.</p><p>According to the lawsuit, United “should have known that calling the aviation police on April 9, 2017 to remove a passenger who was refusing to leave their plane would require the use of physical force.”</p><p>In response to the incident, the Chicago aviation department determined that Chicago Police would be the lead responders to airport emergency calls and not the unarmed security officers. Aviation security officers also had the word “police” removed from their uniforms.</p><p>In October, an investigation by Chicago’s Office of Inspector General concluded that aviation security “mishandled” the situation and “deliberately removed material facts from their reports,” <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-aviation-cops-fired-20171017-story.html" target="_blank">the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> reported</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Engagement Photographer Is Spilling New Details From Their Shoot (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 07:38
<p>Just a few weeks after <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/meghan-markle-real-name" target="_blank">Meghan Markle</a> and Prince Harry announced their engagement to the world, the pair also released some truly <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/prince-harry-meghan-markle-engagement-photos" target="_blank">stunning engagement photos</a> in the most millennial way possible: on Instagram.</p><p>“Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have chosen to release this official portrait photograph to mark their engagement,” Kensington Palace wrote on Instagram. “The photograph was taken by photographer Alexi Lubomirski earlier this week at Frogmore House, Windsor.”</p><p>And now, Lubomirski is spilling more details about how he was chosen to take those portraits, and it turns out Instagram played an even bigger role than we thought.</p><p>"It was nutty. It was a very surreal end to the year because it came out of nowhere," Lubomirski told <em><a href="http://www.eonline.com/news/926287/prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-s-engagement-photographer-spills-details-on-joyful-shoot?cmpid=rss-000000-rssfeed-365-topstories&amp;utm_source=eonline&amp;utm_medium=rssfeeds&amp;utm_campaign=rss_topstories" target="_blank">E! News</a></em>. "I think one of Meghan's friends saw me on Instagram that I was in England during the announcement of the engagement and I was told later that this person said to her, 'You should meet Alexi. He's great. You'd love him' and that was it."</p><p>Lubomirski, who has photographed other famous people like Julia Roberts, Gloria Steinem, and Keira Knightley in the past, revealed that photographing the royals may have been his easiest gig yet.</p><p>"It was one of the easiest, most joyful jobs because they were so deliciously in love," he said. According to Lubomirski he simply told the couple, "Just be yourselves and I will take pictures of you."</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/prince-harry-wants-to-have-kids-soon" target="_blank">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle May Have a Royal Baby Sooner Than You Think</a></p><p>Things apparently went very well, as Lubomirski and his wife were both <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/royal-wedding-special-guests-revealed" target="_blank">invited to attend the royal wedding</a>. However, he will be a guest and will not be taking photos during the big day.</p><p>"I was so incredibly proud of my husband and I couldn't think of anyone better than him because he's a romantic at heart,” Lubomirski’s wife Giada added. We’re glad he took these out-of-the-box royal engagement photos, too.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Leaving Off Your Middle Name Could Get You Denied From Boarding Your Flight

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 06:39
<p>Here’s an important tip for your next trip: Make sure your name is exactly the same on all your documents if you want to fly.</p><p>When it comes to your identity, airports and airlines don’t take chances. After all, there are several “Amanda Johnson”s out there, and it’s common for airlines to ask for your middle name in addition to your first and last (just like a driver’s license or passport). Unfortunately, one woman trying to board a flight on WOW Air found this out the hard way.</p><p>Ashley Collins was at Pearson International Airport to catch her flight to Iceland on WOW Air on Sunday, <a href="http://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/04/09/no-middle-name-ticket-keeps-mississauga-woman-off-flight/" target="_blank">Toronto's <em>City News</em> reported</a>. Upon arriving at the ticket counter, she was told she could not get on the flight since her boarding pass didn’t match her passport.</p><p>The one thing that was missing was her middle name. That’s it.</p><p>“Once we got to the front, the lady said to her supervisor, ‘It’s another one,’” Collins told <em>City News</em>. “She handed me my passport and ... I was denied boarding the flight.”</p><p>The issue is common: Collins was told 11 other passengers were turned away the previous day for the same reason. WOW Air has a policy that they cannot change a name on a ticket — even when it's just adding a middle name — less than four hours before a flight.</p><p>With no other options, Collins purchased a new ticket for a flight the next day, plus an extra $23 to change her name on her return ticket.</p><p>“We encourage all passengers to use the names as they appear on the official identification they will use when traveling,” spokeswoman Marie-Anyk Côté told <em>City News</em>.</p><p>Not all airlines require a middle name on boarding passes. Some ask for a middle initial or don’t prompt you at all. However, the <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening" target="_blank">TSA’s Secure Flight Program</a> involves <a href="https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/06/19/tsas-secure-flight-program-means/" target="_blank">tighter guidelines</a> on names on documents in order to cut back on the number of passengers being misidentified. Some airlines may not require a middle name while booking, however, these guidelines are required for international flights.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle's Rumored Wedding Dress Designer Shares His Perfect Day in London With T+L

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 17:56
<p>Fashion designer Erdem Moralioğlu, the man rumored to be creating Megan Markle’s wedding dress, was born in Montreal to a Turkish father and an English mother. It’s no surprise, then, that his floral-print fashions — from the floor-length gowns beloved by Sienna Miller, Claire Foy, and other actresses, to last year’s capsule collection for H&amp;M — pair the colorful abundance of a Victorian garden with Arabian Nights allure. The designer moved to London in 2000 to attend the Royal College of Art and launched his namesake label five years later. His favorite London shops reflect the same eclectic sensibility that informs his craft: a passion for art and literature and an embrace of both classic design and Midcentury Modernism.</p><h2>Chelsea</h2><p>I have so many things from <a href="https://sigmarlondon.com/home" target="_blank">Sigmar</a><em>.</em> The owners, Nina Hertig and Ebba Thott, collaborate with the Viennese workshop of Carl Aubock on some extraordinary pieces, like a biomorphic ashtray. For the Erdem flagship store I picked up a wicker chair by Nanna Ditzel and a bent-plywood chair by Alvar Aalto.</p><h2>Mayfair/West End</h2><p><a href="https://www.heywoodhill.com/" target="_blank">Heywood Hill</a> has a wonderful mixture of new and vintage books. It’s a stone’s throw from the Erdem store, and I try to sneak in as often as I can. The last time I was there I bought a catalogue of David Hockney drawings and a first-edition Evelyn Waugh book.</p><p><a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.selfridges.com/US/en/" target="_blank">Selfridges</a><em> </em>is a London institution. It has everything under one roof, from furniture to luggage. And the most amazing food hall. <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.drakes.com/" target="_blank">Drake’s</a> is my go-to for clothing. It always has something beautiful. I wear its tweed jackets with a pair of slip-on Vans that my fiancé bought me from <a href="https://london.doverstreetmarket.com/" target="_blank">Dover Street Market</a> near Trafalgar Square, which I admire for its incredible curation. Also, on the top floor of Dover Street is a branch of <a href="https://www.labourandwait.co.uk/" target="_blank">Labour &amp; Wait</a><em>,</em><em> </em>which carries a fantastic collection of practical household objects.</p><h2>Bloomsbury</h2><p>For art supplies, <a href="https://www.cornelissen.com/" target="_blank">L. Cornelissen &amp; Son</a> is a hidden gem near the British Museum. It’s been around since 1855. I draw all of my designs, and I go there to buy my sketchbooks, mechanical and charcoal pencils, and watercolors from a German paint supplier called Schmincke.</p><h2>Hackney</h2><p><a href="https://donlonbooks.com/" target="_blank">Donlon Books</a> is very close to where I live, and has a unique selection of fascinating art and photography books. Conor Donlon, the owner, is always going to Japan and bringing back interesting first editions. I recently bought a kimono catalogue from the 1970s full of little fabric swatches. <a href="http://www.momosanshop.com/" target="_blank">Momosan Shop</a> stocks lovely objects and housewares, from blown-glass vessels to locally made ceramics. It’s the perfect place to find a gift for someone. After a busy day, I enjoy the roast chicken at <a href="http://bistrotheque.com/" target="_blank">Bistrotheque</a><em>.</em> It’s near Vyner Street, which is where a lot of the best modern art galleries are located. On a Thursday night it’s packed with people stopping by after an opening.</p><p><img src="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/orange-line-3.jpg" /></p><h2>Spotlight: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://erdem.com/en-us/" target="_blank">Erdem</a></h2><p>The fashion label’s flagship store at 70 South Audley Street in Mayfair, which opened its doors in 2015, was designed by Moralioğlu’s fiancé, architect Philip Joseph. A curving marble staircase unites the boutique’s two floors; works by Hockney and Jean Cocteau are from Moralioğlu’s personal collection. But the true showstoppers are the clothes: luxurious, inventive, and appealingly exotic<em>.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

You Can See America's Most Stunning Sights By Purchasing a Single Amtrak Ticket

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 17:37
<p>A little while ago college friends rented a house in Montana for the summer and invited my family and me to visit. In an e-mail containing information on nearby airports they wrote, "The train is also an option." Amtrak has a line that goes from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest, terminating in either Portland or Seattle. It passes through <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/jonathan-irish-stephanie-payne-best-national-parks-america#glacier-national-park" target="_blank">Glacier National Park</a>, a few hours away from the house. There's a train station on the eastern edge of the park.</p><p>I wasn't sure I had ever seen a real glacier. In <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/iceland" target="_blank">Iceland</a> once, maybe? My doubt suggests how present I was for the experience. This would certainly be my first sober-ish glacier. Plus I love trains. Over the past four or five years I've been taking the train back and forth between my home in North Carolina and New York City. I get a sleeper. The cost is less than a last-minute plane ticket. I board at Rocky Mount, a country station, around 2 a.m., then immediately lie down and read myself to sleep. An hour before I reach New York, they wake me up to let me know breakfast is ready. I sit over my coffee and eggs and watch the fields and old brick buildings of northern New Jersey go by, and it could be any decade of the past 150 years.</p><p>Amtrak's name for the Chicago-to-Pacific-Northwest line is the Empire Builder. When I looked it up on the Web, I found a Reuters headline that read: "To see why Amtrak is bleeding money, hop aboard its rumbling Midwestern ‘Empire Builder' train." That suggested a skeeviness that appealed to me. If it's retro travel you're after, you have to maintain a taste for skeeviness. But the accompanying article turned out to be about how the line, which began operating in 1929 as part of the Great Northern Railway, is losing money despite increased ridership. In this way, the Empire Builder is an emblem of the fading fortunes of American rail travel. An important early line connecting the Midwest to the West, it tracks part of the Lewis and Clark Trail. In its heyday, it represented American, well, empire — not to mention the idea that there was no better way of viewing the country than from the comfort of a rail car. It's worth noting that the current administration has proposed discontinuing Amtrak's long-distance routes, including the Empire Builder. For this storied journey, the end of the line could be near.</p><p>As we got ready to board in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/chicago" target="_blank">Chicago</a>'s Union Station, the first thing I noticed was the Mennonites. Loads of them. They gathered together, easily a dozen families, or possibly one very large extended family. These were Old Order Mennonites who wore the plain homespun clothes of an 18th-century Central European farmer — blues and blacks and whites, hats and bonnets. They had calm, friendly expressions. I found myself studying their faces and translucent eyes. My rude staring did not keep me from hissing at my two daughters whenever I caught them looking. A crucial part of parenthood is being okay with hypocrisy.</p><p>Amtrak calls the compartment we had the Family Bedroom. Its design is truly ingenious. It's the size of a closet but it fit the four of us comfortably, or at least comfortably enough that we actually slept. Two of the four beds come down from the walls, above the other two, like the flaps of a cardboard box. During the day you can push them up and use the bottom two as couches. Card table, window. I won't lie: it was tight. After a few days you would start to lose your mind. But for a few days? Much fun.</p><p>The train has two levels, like a double-decker bus. On top are the observation and dining areas. Two of us were generally up there while the other two were in our compartment, making the close quarters more doable. Invariably we passed Mennonites on the narrow staircases. They were exceptionally polite about staircase etiquette, backing up so the other person could pass. And quiet. At dinner, for instance, their tables were so silent that I felt the need to control my voice, so that I wouldn't ruin their dinners with my godless yakking.</p><p>But it wasn't hard to keep the talk down. I mean, the scenario was quite dramatic. I was sitting there having a not-disgusting steak and a not-disgusting bottle of wine, as the train blasted through the prairie at high speed. Through the windows I could see the American sky opening up, the horizon receding. My chest heaved. We had put on nice clothes for the meal. I looked around — others had done the same. Everybody was smiling. We were all invested in the experience of this train ride, which has something to do with a certain vision of America. I tried not to analyze it, knowing it would go poof on inspection.</p> <img alt="Scenes from Glacier National Park, in Montana" src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522948021/st-mary-lake-swiftcurrent-glacier-EMPIREBUILDER0418.jpg?itok=VH1jqQCv"> From left: Lake Josephine, one of the many glacially carved lakes in Glacier National Park; the park's Swiftcurrent Glacier, as seen from a hiking trail. Christopher Simpson <p>The train goes more than 2,200 miles, northwest through Minneapolis and Fargo, North Dakota, then west over the glacial plain, into and across Montana. An epic journey, but the land is not all pretty. On that first evening, the train stopped somewhere in southern Minnesota for a smoke break. I asked the woman from Amtrak who was in charge of our car about the Mennonites. Were there always so many? Not always this many, she said, but there were often a lot. They were ideal passengers. The same could not be said, she lamented, for some of the fracking miners who rode the train to and from the fields in the north.</p><p>And who were the Mennonites? I asked her. Why did they ride this train all the time? I don't know why I cared so much.</p><p>She said they had communities all along the line. Maybe they'd settled in these areas to be close to the train's path? She wasn't sure. The Mennonites are a communal people. Getting together, having reunions, is crucial. If a family in a far-flung community wants to build a house or has just welcomed a baby and is about to baptize it, their extended relations in other towns come and stay for weeks or a month. It wasn't that they were expected to or that they were exceptionally generous. It was a rhythm in their way of life.</p><p><img src="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/orange-line-3.jpg" /></p><p>As promised, there was a train station called East Glacier Park at the edge of the park, about 40 miles south of the Canadian border. We disembarked. Directly in front of us, surrounded by an expansive green lawn, stood Glacier Park Lodge, where we would spend the night. It hinted at a cozy relationship between corporate interests and the state. In fact, Glacier's very existence is due in no small part to the efforts of the Great Northern Railway, which built up the original tourist infrastructure and lobbied the government to establish the national park. But I don't mean "cozy" in a bad way. The idea of a major passenger train taking you straight into a national park and letting you out there and not trying to sell you anything — I didn't know we did that in America.</p><p>There weren't many people climbing off with us. From childhood I have associated national parks with crowds and, consequently, unpleasantness. But unlike at <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/best-time-to-visit-yellowstone" target="_blank">Yellowstone</a> or Yosemite, Glacier's attendance rates are quite low. We were there for five days in summer and we hardly waited in a line.</p><p>Family fun aside, we had come to see glaciers. The next day we rented a car at a counter in the general store and drove an hour north. We checked in to St. Mary Lodge and a little while later took a boat trip on St. Mary Lake. The wooden boat was something like 100 years old. The captain was a cute, young kid, with curly blond hair like a surfer. He knew his stuff, though. He started talking about the hills around us. It was surprising how many were visibly scarred by something: fires, blight, insects. Some of it was the natural cycle of forests, he said, but much was new and worrisome. We could see the evidence, yet enough undamaged vistas remained that he could give a tour of nature's beauty. This gave me a sense of America's vastness, but also its fragility.</p><p>%image3 article</p><p>Soon, the captain said, we would come in sight of a real glacier, Sexton Glacier. It would be visible on a mountainside. He told us a little about what glaciers are. There were snowfields all through the mountains around us. I had sort of assumed we'd been seeing glaciers the whole time. But, as the captain explained, there are real and technical differences between a giant snowfield on a mountain and a bona fide glacier. A glacier forms when snow turns to ice through a process of seasonal deposition and compaction. As new layers of snow mount, the lower layers change into a dense, tightly packed ice called firn. After many decades, the firn fuses into a glacier, which then starts to spread outward like a liquid. It moves slowly, over eons, but as invincibly as a tidal wave. Glaciers don't just come and go, in other words. They are part of the earth's long seasons, the ones that last hundreds, or hundreds of thousands, of years.</p><p>"It's estimated," the captain said, "that the glaciers in Glacier National Park will all be gone by about 2030."</p><p>Murmuring stopped. Everyone sat there stunned. As in, about 15 years from now?</p><p>"That's what the scientists say," the captain said.</p><p>I looked at my daughters, the backs of their heads next to each other above the back rest in front of us. This was probably the only time they would see glaciers in their own country. It is deeply strange, to be living in the time when all of this becomes real. Even writing this, I want to tell myself to cheer up and not put it so starkly, but the facts are stark. In the 19th century there were more than 100 glaciers in the park. Today there are 25. It is happening fast.</p><p>"2030?" came out of someone's mouth, equal parts incredulity and concern.</p><p>"I know," the young captain said.</p><p>We sailed around a curve in the lake, and the glacier came into view. "This is Sexton Glacier," the captain said. We all turned and saw. It was not an especially large glacier, but a thrill ran through us anyhow. We were spotting a white whale. It shone in the blue air.</p><p>There is an interesting upside to the retreat of the glaciers, if the end of the world can be said to possess an upside. The melting ice both reveals artifacts and allows archaeologists to reach dig sites that were once impenetrable. One thing they are learning is that prehistoric people spent more time at high elevations than had been assumed. The Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition from Central Wyoming College has discovered that 11,000 years ago people made camps on glaciers in the Rockies. The evidence includes buffalo jumps, arrowheads, and spear points. "There wasn't much to draw people up here in terms of hunting or gathering or foraging," lead archaeologist Todd Guenther told NPR. "And it appears that people were coming up here to see the glaciers. You know, to see where the water comes from. Where does the water spirit originate?"</p><p>I noticed that every time the captain asked for questions, my five-year-old daughter, Jane, would thrust up her hand. But he never called on her. There were plenty of adults with their hands up, and she was small. I knew it was making her mad. She's a little copper-haired gymnast, and full of fire. Finally I leaned forward and whispered over her shoulder, "What is it you want to ask?" She looked back and spoke to me in her whisper, which is oddly close to our standard conversational volume. "You see that cloud up there?" she said, pointing through the window at a giant billowy white cloud perched on a mountain peak. I nodded. "Do you see the way that mountain is just sticking into the cloud?"</p><p>"Yes," I said. "Isn't that amazing?"</p><p>"But is it <em>normal?</em>" she said. Of course, she had never seen such a thing. We are from beach country. The mountains are so tall they stick into the clouds? It was wonderful to see it through her eyes. It so often is, with children. Mine have made me like vacations, which in the past more often caused me to long for death.</p><p>I told her I thought it was probably normal, but that she would have to ask the captain.</p><p>The boat got all the way to our destination — a waterfall — and she had still not been called on. I watched her jump down from her bench with her jaw set in an underbite. She meant business. She ran forward to catch him before the others could. From the back of the boat I could see her looking straight up into his eyes, gesticulating like her mother does. He had the kind of expression they invented the word <em>bemused</em> for.</p><p>A few minutes later when I rejoined Jane on land, I asked her what the captain's answer had been.</p><p>"He said ‘Yes'!" she said. And looked at me like, Can you believe that?</p><p><img src="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/orange-line-3.jpg" /></p><p>The friends we had gone to visit were staying in Paradise Valley. It looked like a place you would call Paradise Valley. Huge, green, fertile. We ate pizza at an outdoor hippie joint and drank local beers and the children behaved, and I kept looking at the sky. The West!</p><p>The next day everyone went <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/adventure-travel/rock-climber-photographer-irene-yee" target="_blank">rock climbing</a>, but I stayed behind. It doesn't take me many days on the road to feel ragged and disassociated, even when I'm happy. I wanted to read and work and recover myself. Nobody looked super-bummed when I said I wasn't coming. I'm not the first guy you pick for your rock-climbing team.</p><p>Two hours later I woke with a start. The sound that had woken me didn't stop. Instead it got louder. It seemed like the world was suddenly continuous thunder. I ran to the little balcony porch and saw a hailstorm of tremendous intensity. The stones were the size of shooter marbles, and there were so many that they clumped together as they fell. The ground turned white. I grabbed my phone, to shoot a video for everyone else. Then it hit me that this same hail could be falling on them too. I pictured Maria, my eldest, who'd been unexpectedly excited to climb that morning (she often shies away from sports, preferring her journal or phone), now dangling from a rope on an exposed cliff, screaming, pelted by hail. And then I looked up and saw two vibrantly glowing rainbows, one inside the other, so bright and perfect that you could follow them with your eye from one end to the other. It seemed that they should signal the end of the hailstorm, but instead the hailstorm roared and the rainbows blazed simultaneously, ice and fire. I wanted to shout, "Is this <em>normal</em>?"</p><p>When the others came back, they said that they had indeed almost been caught in the hailstorm, but got off the rock in time. Everyone got home safe, from the rock-climbing and the train trip west, and my children can tell their children that when they were young, they saw an American glacier.</p><p><img src="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/orange-line-3.jpg" /></p><h2>How to Take the Train to Glacier National Park</h2><h3>Getting There</h3><p>Glacier National Park is accessible by <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/empire-builder-train" target="_blank">Amtrak's 2,206-mile Empire Builder route</a>, which travels between Chicago and Seattle or Portland, Oregon. A range of cabin options includes compact but comfortable family bedrooms that sleep up to four. The dining area serves such satisfying dishes as mussels in white wine and steak béarnaise. <em>one-way sleeper car suites from $260.</em></p><h3>The Park</h3><p>Occupying more than 1 million acres in the northwestern corner of Montana, Glacier National Park is a paradise of mountain lakes, secluded campgrounds, and 745 miles of hiking trails. Disembark the train between April and October at East Glacier Park Village, the gateway town to the park's eastern edge; the rest of the year, the train stops at Browning, a short drive away. <em>high-season entrance fees from $15.</em></p><h3>Lodges</h3><p>Three-story tree trunks surround the lobby of <a href="https://www.glacierparkcollection.com/lodging/glacier-park-lodge/" target="_blank">Glacier Park Lodge</a> <em>(doubles from $159)</em>. Built in 1913, the hotel is charming and well-maintained. An hour north is <a href="https://www.glacierparkcollection.com/lodging/st-mary-village/" target="_blank">St. Mary Lodge &amp; Resort</a> <em>(doubles from $119)</em>. In addition to the busy, friendly Great Bear Lodge — which has a first-class restaurant — the property just introduced 10 "tiny homes."</p><h3>Activities</h3><p><a href="http://glacierparkboats.com/" target="_blank">Glacier Park Boat Company</a> has been sailing the area's many glacial lakes since 1938. Its tour of St. Mary Lake takes passengers around much-photographed Wild Goose Island while showing off the panorama of surrounding peaks. Tack on a guided hike to nearby Baring Falls free of charge. <em>adult fares from $27.50.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

Watch a 106-year-old Great-great-grandfather Break the World Record for Oldest Person to Ride a Zip Line

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 17:19
<p>While the rest of us are wasting our birthdays on cake and parties, one man is outdoing us all by breaking world records to celebrate turning another year older — and this year he's 106 years old.</p><p>Jack Reynolds, a great-great-grandfather from Hollingwood, England, broke the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/road-trips/greg-cayea-south-america-road-trip" target="_blank">Guinness World Record</a> for the oldest person to ride a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/zipline-grand-canyon" target="_blank">zip line</a> last week on his 106th birthday. (To put that in perspective, he was born the year the Titanic sank.) This is his third world record-breaking birthday in three years, having also become the <a href="http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2018/4/fearless-centenarian-sets-third-record-by-riding-zip-wire-on-his-106th-birthday-520840" target="_blank">oldest person to receive their first tattoo</a> on his 104th birthday, and the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/105-year-old-man-breaks-record-rollercoaster" target="_blank">oldest person to ride a rollercoaster</a> on his 105th.</p><p>The daring centenarian, who normally uses a wheelchair, rode the 196-foot-high Grizedale Forest zip line in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/english-lake-district-new-flights" target="_blank">England’s Lake District</a>, cruising down the 1,312-foot length at 40 miles per hour. Afterwards, surrounded by his family, Reynolds gave a wink and a big thumbs up, saying, “That speaks for itself.”</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/velocity-2-worlds-fastest-zipline-north-wales">The 'World’s Fastest Zip Line' Now Goes Even Faster</a></p><p>Reynolds’ adventurous spirit and young-at-heart attitude have inspired many, who took to Twitter to express their admiration:</p><p>In addition to bagging world records, Reynolds is giving back by using the attention he's garnered to raise money for good causes. His daughter Jayne <a href="http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/22/105-year-old-still-goes-abseiling-says-thanks-whiskey-7250265/" target="_blank">told <em>Metro</em></a>, "He just decided to use his old age to make money for charity, that’s his main motive but in the meantime, he is getting a lot of fun out of it." On <a href="https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jack-reynolds4" target="_blank">his JustGiving page</a>, Reynolds writes, “It has become somewhat of a tradition that on my birthday I use my new age to help raise money for worthy charities.” This year his charity of choice is the Stroke Association. </p><p>Reynolds is no stranger to challenges, having rung in his <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-derbyshire-43667111" target="_blank">102nd year by participating in the viral ice bucket challenge</a> wearing just a pair of Union Jack flag underwear. At 104, he became the world's oldest person to fly in a vintage 1930s Tiger Moth plane, and he <a href="http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/22/105-year-old-still-goes-abseiling-says-thanks-whiskey-7250265/" target="_blank">also recently learned to rappel</a> at a climbing facility hear his home.</p><p>When asked how this year’s record felt different than his other birthday challenges, he said, “It’s been different, but it’s been better!” We can’t wait to see what Jack has up his sleeve for year 107.</p><p>As for his secret to longevity? A <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/news/105-year-old-whiskey-health" target="_blank">daily regimen involving whiskey</a>. He has previously credited a drop of the stiff stuff in his morning tea, as well as a couple shots of scotch with lemonade at night as the key to keeping him healthy all these years.</p>
Categories: Travel

How Much It Costs to Be a Wedding Guest Across the U.S.

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 13:30
<p>The need for a wedding budget doesn’t just apply to the bride and groom.</p><p>In fact, wedding bells ringing are a signal that everyone should start their financial planning — even the guests.</p><p>According to a new <a href="https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/smart-money/cost-of-attending-wedding-survey-0318/" target="_blank">Bankrate.com</a> report, which surveyed 2,228 adults across the U.S., Americans spend an average of $628 to attend a wedding of their nearest and dearest. And that’s just to be a guest. They're not even the ones who have to find formal wear in the bride’s and groom’s chosen colors or figure out <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/destination-weddings/international-bachelorette-party-planning-tips" target="_blank">planning bachelor and bachelorette parties</a>. Although they are assumed to be attending the shower and bachelor or bachelorette parties. More distant guests spend an average of $371.60, according to the report.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/etiquette-destination-weddings" target="_blank">Your Destination Wedding Etiquette Questions Answered</a></p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/prince-harry-meghan-markle-expensive-wedding" target="_blank">Here’s Who’s Paying for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Very, Very Expensive Wedding</a></p><p>Being part of the wedding party, as you might guess, is a whole new and even more expensive ball game. According to the report, bridesmaids and groomsmen across the U.S. spend an average of $728 on gifts, clothes, travel, bridal showers, bachelor parties, and so on.</p><p>If they live in the Northeast, bridal parties spend an average of $1,070.</p><p>If you have a friend who recently said "yes," it’s best to start planning. Bankrate.com suggests wedding guests and bridal party members should think practically about what they can spend, and begin saving as soon as the engagement is announced.</p><p>Or you can just hope the next wedding you go to is a casual, backyard barbecue. But it’s not likely.</p><p>More details on the report can be found on <a href="https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/smart-money/cost-of-attending-wedding-survey-0318/" target="_blank">Bankrate.com</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

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