Get 33% off a Three-night Stay at the SLS Brickell in Miami

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 07:01
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="" target="_blank"><b></b></a></em></p><p>Miami: Get 33 percent off a stay at the SLS Brickell. It has Philippe Starck-designed rooms (behind a striking facade), restaurants from José Andres and Michael Schwartz, and a rooftop deck with hot and cold plunge pools.</p><p>Travel + Leisure Exclusive includes:</p><p>*Three nights for the price of two in a Superior King room (upgrades available)</p><p>Original Price: From $275 per night</p><p><strong>T + L Price:</strong> From $194 per night; book by March 31 for stays through September 30.</p><p>Booking details: <a href=";Chain=10237&amp;template=rMIASL&amp;shell=rMIASL&amp;start=availresults&amp;arrive=4/15/2018&amp;depart=4/18/2018&amp;adult=1&amp;child=0&amp;promo=TRAVEL" target="_blank">Book online</a> through the dedicated link with the booking code TRAVEL.</p><p>Availability: Subject to availability. Blackout dates apply.</p>
Categories: Travel

A New Luxury Hotel Is Opening in the Middle of an Alaskan Glacier

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 06:51
<p>Visitors to <a href="" target="_blank">Alaska</a>’s Denali National Park no longer need to rough it to spend an immersive night in the glaciers. A new Alaskan resort will open in February where “guests become part of the landscape” — without sacrificing luxuries like a concierge, champagne or plush bedding.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Denali National Park Celebrates 100 Years</a></p><p><a href="!" target="_blank">The Sheldon Chalet</a> is perched on a “nunatak” (an exposed hill surrounded by glacier) bordering Alaska’s Denali National Park, at 6,000 feet elevation.</p><img alt="Sheldon Chalet Winter Cabin Retreat Denali National Park Alaska "src=""><p>The chalet's all-inclusive rate includes accommodations, food and beverage, sauna access and a “flightseeing” tour while in transit to and from the hotel. And of course, they offer a <a href="" target="_blank">completely customized experience</a>.</p><img alt="Denali National Park Alaska Northern Lights Aurora Borealis "src=""><p>When conditions are prime, guests can sit on the observation deck and watch the aurora borealis with a glass of <a href="" target="_blank">champagne</a>. Staff can also arrange skiing, trekking or snowshoeing expeditions on the Ruth Glacier that surrounds the Sheldon nunatak.</p><img alt="Mt McKinley Denali National Park Alaska "src=""><p>The resort has a maximum capacity of 10 people across its five guest rooms. Each of the rooms includes showers with “carefully curated spa products” and panoramic views of the snow-capped Alaska range.</p><img alt="Sheldon Chalet Winter Cabin Retreat Denali National Park Alaska "src=""><p>The resort has neither cellphone coverage nor internet service, which Marne Sheldon, one of the operators of the resort, <a href="" target="_blank">said contributes to “luxurious disconnecting.”</a></p><p>While guests are disconnecting from their internet lives, they will dine on locally sourced Alaskan meals, with a heavy emphasis on seafood like Alaska King Crab and Copper River Salmon.</p><img alt="Sheldon Chalet Winter Cabin Retreat Denali National Park Alaska "src=""><p>“Alaska doesn't have many of these crown-jewel experiences,” Sheldon <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Travel Weekly</em></a>. “We hope to fill that niche.”</p><p>Rooms start at $2,300 per person, per night, based on double occupancy.</p>
Categories: Travel

What a Rare Snow in the Sahara Looks Like From Space

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 06:37
<p>This winter has brought extreme weather to some unexpected places — like <a href="" target="_blank">snow in the Sahara</a>.</p><p>Images captured from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite show the blanketing snowfall in northwest Algeria, right on the edge of the Sahara desert — which averages between 104 degrees and 117 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The images were captured on January 7, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">European Space Agency</a>.</p><img alt="Ain Sefra Village Algeria Sahara Desert Snow Winter NASA "src=""><p>While the snowfall was less than an inch and gone by the next day, the satellite images — both from the ESA and NASA — offer an unusual view of this desert.</p><p>Other than this area being extremely warm, the Sahara is also very dry, which makes the accumulation of snow especially rare. However, snow can usually fall on the High Atlas Mountains, according to the ESA.</p><img alt="Ain Sefra Village Algeria Sahara Desert Snow Winter NASA "src=""><p>The images show the lower Saharan Atlas Mountain Range, where snow is not usually seen. There was snow last year, <a href="" target="_blank">CNN reported</a>, but before that the last recorded snowfall was nearly 40 years ago.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Man’s Snow Sculpture of Mick Jagger Will Give You Satisfaction

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:40
<p>High school teacher Matt Morris in Waterloo, Canada, always gets excited for the colder months of the year. Because once the <a href="" target="_blank">snow</a> starts to fall in sheets, Morris’ creativity starts to bloom in the form of incredible snow sculptures.</p><p>His latest work, a well-crafted, 6-foot-tall, spinning snow-head of Mick Jagger has been circulating around the internet. Frankly, it would give any winter-lover some satisfaction.</p><p>After the latest snowfall, Morris decided to carve Snow Mick after asking his Twitter followers who to carve in a poll. The choices were down to Jagger or another big-mouthed rocker, Steven Tyler.</p><p>Morris posted his carving progress on Twitter, sharing his process of first making his sculpture out of clay, then taking a simple cylinder of snow and turning it into a rock icon.</p><p>Since the other side of the rotating sculpture was blank, Morris carved another head on the other side. This unnamed sculpture is marked with its long, wild hair. Once he was done, he adorned his new creation with lights as a finishing touch.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Record</em></a>, Morris was inspired to start carving these snowmen after seeing the stone sculptures of Easter Island. “My wife and I were in a museum and we saw an Easter Island stone statue and I said, 'Man, we could do that on the bank,' and so we came back (home) and rolled three enormous snowballs,” he said.</p><p>Morris has created a number of other famous heads, including Albert Einstein, Frankenstein and Spock from Star Trek.</p><p>Fans can follow his snow creations on <a href="" target="_blank">Instagram</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Britney Spears Just Showed Off a New Diamond Ring While Vacationing in Hawaii

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:18
<p>Since ending her <a href="" target="_blank">Las Vegas</a> residency on <a href="" target="_blank">New Year's Eve</a>, Britney Spears has stayed busy by jetting off to <a href="" target="_blank">Hawaii</a> to frolic on the beach for some quality time with her sons without her boyfriend, Sam Asghari. Or, should we say, <a href="" target="_blank">without her fiance</a>?</p><p>While splashing around along the shore, Spears showed off not only her rockin’ dancer’s body, but also showed off a new, sparkling ring on <a href="" target="_blank">her left ring finger</a>. Though it could have simply been a fashion choice, the placement of the ring certainly has people thinking that wedding bells are in the future for Spears and Asghari.</p><p>The couple did, after all, just celebrate their one year anniversary after meeting on the set of the music video for her song, “Slumber Party.” And since going public the pair hasn’t stopped gushing over one another on their social media accounts.</p><p>If the rumors turn out to be true, this would be the third marriage for Spears, who was married to her high school friend Jason Alexander for a few hours back in 2004, before quickly getting it annulled. She then wed her backup dancer Kevin Federline and had two adorable children, Sean and Jayden, before divorcing Federline three years later.</p><img alt="Britney Spears and her sons on vacation in Hawaii "src=""><p>But, beyond sparking rumors on this trip, it looked like Spears and her boys had a blast while spending time in one of Hawaii’s many stellar resorts.</p><p>The pop queen shared more than a few photos from the trip with her millions of Instagram followers, captioning one snap with “Just a sprinkle of paradise!!”</p><p>She even shared a few photos of her boys, who are almost as tall as their mom now, adding in the caption, “Me and my boys enjoying the warm weather!!”</p><p>And really, vacationing just like Spears isn’t that hard. Just check out <a href="" target="_blank">Travel+Leisure’s guide to Hawaii</a> and book your flights now to escape the winter for a few days.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Tourism Hotspot Could be the World's First City to Run Out of Water (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:04
<p>For the first time, a major city may run out of water this year.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">South Africa’s</a> city of <a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town</a> has been grappling with <a href="" target="_blank">water</a> shortages that are the result of what the <a href="">Weather Channel</a> calls the worst drought to hit the country in 100 years. The situation may result in Cape Town officials shutting off all of the city's water taps this April. </p><p>Irregularly dry winters have created exceedingly low dam levels within the country, leading city representatives to set a <a href=";ca_medium=affiliate&amp;ca_campaign=Home%20page%20trends%20-%20Day%20Zero%20Dashboard&amp;ca_term=Day%20Zero%20Dashboard&amp;ca_content=Day%20Zero%20Dashboard" target="_blank">“Day Zero” date</a>, which is when they believe the country will see dam levels drop below 13.5 percent and lead to the mandatory shutting off of all taps.</p><p>Currently, the date is set for April 22. That's a <a href=" secures bigger yield from aquifers but consumption still too high as Cape Town moves closer to Day Zero" target="_blank">week earlier</a> than the previous date set for April 29, with the city’s current dam levels only providing 19.7 percent of water that is actually useable.</p><p>Despite taking measures that include <a href="">reducing water pressure and banning the ability to water outdoors </a>or wash your car, city representatives are still finding that residents are using some 78 more million liters than the set goal.</p><p>Officials are continuing to urge individuals to take actions to decrease their overall water consumption in an effort to try and avoid “Day Zero,” which would lead to residents being forced to line up at some 200 checkpoints across the county to receive daily water rations under the supervision of police and military officials.</p><img alt="cape town south africa "src=""><p>Travelers heading to the area will also find some changes regarding water consumption at their hotels. For example, properties like Hotel Verse are giving guests discounts if they refrain from using ice in their drinks, while others like the Taj Cape Town are closing their steam rooms and hot tubs in an effort to help with the situation, according to the <em><a href=";theater" target="_blank">New York Times</a></em>.</p><p>“The city of Cape Town could conceivably become the first major city to run out of water, and that could happen in the next four months,” Dr. Anthony Turton, who teaches at the Centre for Environmental Management at the University of the Free State, told the <em>Times</em> regarding the current crisis.</p><p>City officials are still welcoming travelers to visit Cape Town, beloved for its magnificent coastline and natural attractions, as they work to prevent one of its vital natural resources from disappearing.</p><p>Water shortages may become a reality in other locations as well, with the <a href="" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund</a> estimating that two-thirds of the planet's population could be facing water scarcity by 2025.</p>
Categories: Travel

Thousands of Bags Left at JFK After the Bomb Cyclone Returned to Customers

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:42
<p>Nearly a week after New York’s JFK Airport seemingly never-ending weather-related debacle commenced, more than 5,000 checked bags finally made it to their owners.</p><p>After the “bomb cyclone” hit the airport on January 4, international flight gates were backed up, with some flights sitting on the tarmac for hours. Over the weekend, <a href="" target="_blank">two planes collided on the ground</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">a water main burst in Terminal 4</a>, drenching lost suitcases in water.</p><p>At its most hectic point, tens of thousands of bags were separated from their owners at JFK. As of Wednesday, that number was about 5,000. However, as flights continue at the airport, some of these bags have been left outside in the melting snow, <a href="" target="_blank">according to New York News 4</a>.</p><p>Passengers who returned to the airport to find their luggage had been left in <a href="" target="_blank">an unregulated scavenger hunt at the baggage carousel</a>.</p><p>The Port Authority said in a statement on Wednesday that it “shared the public's outrage and has directed the airlines to have all bags out of JFK and on their way to customers by day's end.”</p><p>On Monday, Delta — the airline that the water main break had affected — set up a customer service phone line dedicated to JFK baggage issues. On Wednesday, Delta returned about 3,800 bags to customers, as it returned its normal lost baggage rate of <a href="" target="_blank">about 1.5 out of 1,000</a>.</p><p><em>Note: This has been updated to reflect that all baggage was returned to customers by the end of the day Wednesday.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

U.S. Issues Highest Travel Warning for These 5 Mexican States

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:22
<p>The U.S. State Department has issued its highest travel warning for five states in <a href="http://The Best Places to Travel in Mexico and Central &amp; South America in January" target="_blank">Mexico</a> following a revamp of its travel advisory system Wednesday.</p><p>The Mexican states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas have been ranked as <a href=";utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%253A+ca%252Ftravelwarnings-alerts+%2528Travel.State.Gov+%25E2%2580%2593+Travel+Alerts+%2526+Warnings%2529" target="_blank">“level 4,”</a> with an explicit “do not travel” warning. “Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread,” the Mexico travel advisory reads, which puts the states in the same category as war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia. </p><p>Popular Mexico travel destinations like Cancún, the Mayan Riviera, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, and Mexico City remain free of travel restrictions, Mexico’s tourism secretariat said in a statement, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>TIME</em></a>. The tourism secretariat did not immediately return a request for comment from <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><p>A map of Mexico shows the states affected by the highest State Department travel warning border the Pacific coast, with the exception of Tamaulipas, which touches the Gulf of Mexico.</p><p>The State Department says that in Tamaulipas, armed criminals target passenger busses, “often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments.” Meanwhile in Guerrero, 11 people were shot dead last week in a police shootout, <a href="" target="_blank">the Associated Press reported.</a></p><p>The country in general may have suffered its deadliest year of murders in 2017, according to preliminary figures, <a href="" target="_blank">the BBC reports.</a> The previous record was set in 2011, when more than 27,000 were killed in homicides, according to official numbers.</p><p>To ensure safe travel throughout Mexico, the State Department suggests the following tips: Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving at night, exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos, do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry, and be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.</p>
Categories: Travel

Tokyo Now Has a Snake Cafe for Everyone Who Thought Cat Cafes Were Too Tame

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:03
<p>There are cat cafés, dog cafés, <a href="" target="_blank">sheep cafés</a>, and even goat yoga for people to get their fix of furry animal companionship whenever they like in major cities all over the world.</p><p>But what about the people out there who have love for the reptilian kind, or are just allergic to dander? It’s time to head to Tokyo.</p><p>Snake lovers can go to the <a href="" target="_blank">Tokyo Snake Center</a>, in the Harajuku district, to hang out with over 20 different species of scaly friends.</p><p>The snake center has over 35 snakes, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The Independent</em></a>, that guests can choose to be their table companion as they sip on their favorite teas and coffees or enjoy a delicious pastry. Naturally, the cafe has very strict rules regarding handling the snakes at the table, which the waiters are happy to assist with.</p><p>In order to enjoy an afternoon of tea and snakes, the cover for the snake center is Y1,000 (about $9 USD), which includes a drink and a chance to meet your new, slithery friend with a trained attendant — and a photo shoot. For an extra $5, you can even pet the snake.</p><p>The drink menu includes non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, ranging from teas, coffees, matcha, beer and sangria. They also serve cakes and pastries as well as light lunch fare likes hot dogs and quiche.</p><p>For those who are not fans of fuzzy puppies and kittens, this might be the perfect place to find that special bond with the animal kingdom. And get brunch while you’re at it.</p>
Categories: Travel

These British Tours Will Take You to London for the Royal Wedding

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 15:26
<p>On May 19, the couple that has taken <a href="" target="_blank">social media</a> by storm are <a href="" target="_blank">due to wed</a>.</p><p>Their <a href="" target="_blank">official venue</a> is St. George’s Chapel, about an hour outside London in the royal family’s residence at Windsor Castle — but there’s arguably no better place to experience the pomp, circumstance, and frisson of national pride than the capital.</p><p>Royal events like this can tend to shut down the city and put the tourism sector into overdrive. If you haven’t booked your hotels by now — well, you probably never will. But there are other options for traveling to jolly old England and experiencing the wedding bells excitement firsthand: an all-inclusive tour, like the May itineraries from tour operator <a href="" target="_blank">CIE Tours International</a> (which has been operating in the British Isles for over 80 years) that will bring you to <a href="" target="_blank">London</a>.</p><p>Those planning their own Royal Wedding-season vacations might run up against booked-up hotels and overpriced flights. But a tour operator like CIE has prices locked in for their all-inclusive tours (from $1,990) — meaning less stress and more reveling in the magic of Meghan and Harry.</p><img alt="Windsor Castle England United Kingdom "src=""><p>Trips that are timed to be in London for the wedding day will include special viewing parties and programming about royal wedding traditions and the significance of these events in British society. Options available during wedding season include the quintessential <a href="" target="_blank">Best of Britain</a> itinerary, as well as other itineraries that incorporate a <a href="" target="_blank">detour to Ireland</a> or an emphasis on the region’s <a href="" target="_blank">rock and roll legacy</a>. And, of course, the tours will be packed with royal history and visits to the castles of Windsor, Edinburgh, Alnwick, and more.</p><p>If you’re as excited for the royal wedding as the internet seems to be, this might be the excuse you need to get yourself to London for the historic British-American union.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Floating Sauna Hotel Offers an Amazing View of the Northern Lights

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 13:46
<p>At this hotel, catching a glimpse of the <a href="" target="_blank">Northern Lights</a> is sure to be a highly relaxing experience.</p><p>Opening later in 2018, the Arctic Bath hotel offers a unique experience by allowing guests to enjoy the view of the <a href="" target="_blank">aurora borealis</a> from a floating water bath in the middle of a remote, Arctic river.</p><img alt="Arctic Bath Hotel Sauna Sweden "src=""><p>Located on the Lule River in Northern Sweden, the hotel features saunas, a spa treatment room, lounge, shop, bar, and restaurant. The main, floating bath, which resembles a bird’s nest, has a cut out in the middle that opens directly into the river, which unfortunately is freezing in the winter, but probably much more pleasant in the summer. The pool itself is kept at <a href="" target="_blank">four degrees Celsius</a> (39 degrees Fahrenheit).</p><img alt="Arctic Bath Hotel Sauna Sweden "src=""><p>Of course, you can go warm up in a sauna, spa, or one of the six guest rooms. Each guest room, like the main bath, will be frozen in place during winter and will be free floating in the summer, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Thrillist</em></a>. Plus, each room has big windows to catch amazing glimpses of the sky at night.</p><img alt="Arctic Bath Hotel Sauna Sweden "src=""><p>The Arctic Bath is not yet accepting reservations. However, you can check out the hotel’s <a href="" target="_blank">website</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page to be the first to sign up.</p>
Categories: Travel

Queen Elizabeth Reportedly Fired Her Bra-Fitter for Revealing Royal Secrets (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:57
<p>Queen Elizabeth sacked her royal bra-fitter because the 82-year-old owner revealed royal secrets in a book last year. </p><p>Luxury London lingerie shop Rigby &amp; Peller had supplied unmentionables to the royal family since the 1900s and has held the Royal Warrant (a mark of exclusive suppliers to the <a href="" target="_blank">Royal Households</a>) for 57 years. </p><p>June Kenton, amid tears, revealed to the <a href="" target="_blank">Associated Press</a> that her shop was stripped of its warrant last year after the release of "Storm in a D-cup" last March. The book discussed meetings with the <a href="" target="_blank">Queen</a> and other noted members of the royal family at <a href="" target="_blank">Buckingham Palace</a>. </p><p>Kenton insists that she didn't mean to divulge the royals' private information and that the references to her famous clients were incidental – not salacious.</p><p>“There's nothing in there that makes you think, 'Oh! That's naughty,' ” she said in the interview.</p><p>However, Kenton did write about how she gave Princess Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, swimwear posters to put in their rooms during their time in school while supplying Diana with lingerie. </p><p>She also wrote about meeting Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace – focusing on her nervousness and surprise entering the royal bedroom. </p><p>"We never, ever have discussions of what we see in the fitting room," she insisted. "That's between you and the customer."</p><p>She also discussed details regarding the Queen Mother’s encounters with Princess Margaret and their disagreements on hats, quoting the Queen Mother as saying “I pretend to listen to Margaret and then, once she has gone, I order what I want.”</p><p>Unfortunately, the move cost the company the title, Kenton believes. However, officials from the Buckingham Palace refused to comment on whether this was the cause. Officials told the AP they never comment on individual companies. </p><p>Kenton purchased the luxury brand back in 1982, telling AP she was extremely saddened by the news and unaware of the consequences the book would have. </p><p>There are currently around 800 companies that hold Royal Warrants, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">Royal Warrant Holders Association</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

3 Types of Flight Deals That Will Save You a Ton — and How to Spot Them

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:01
<p>Cheap flights reveal themselves in a number of ways — <a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue’s limited run flash sales</a>, $187 round-trip flights from the United States to Africa, and even as all-out airfare wars.</p><p>At <em>Travel + Leisure</em>, we’re always on the lookout for unbeatable flight deals. After all, what inspires travelers to get up and go faster than <a href="" target="_blank">$383 round-trip flights to Italy</a>?</p><p>But not all cheap flights are the same. Some are only bookable through the airline with a special promo code, while others are accidents — and can disappear even after you’ve booked them.</p><p>Whether we’ve pointed you in the direction of a great flight deal, or you’ve stumbled upon one on your own, knowing the difference between an internal promotion and an error fare can help you determine where to book, how to book, and when to start planning your vacation.</p><h2>Flash Sales</h2><p>To encourage travelers to book directly with the airline, carriers will discount flights or offer a limited number of cheap seats. Emirates, for example, regularly runs 2-for-1 sales (think: <a href="" target="_blank">$799 round-trip for two tickets to Milan</a>), while the Irish budget airline, Ryanair, might sell <a href="" target="_blank">100,000 tickets for less than $6</a>. <em><a href="" target="_blank">Thrifty Traveler</a></em> calls this your “traditional fare sale.”</p><p>Airline-sponsored sales typically have restricted travel dates, a curbed number of available seats, and rigid cut-off times for purchase.</p><p>While it’s not uncommon for airline sales to yield small savings, the promotions can occasionally be massive. In November, for example, Spirit Airlines offered <a href="" target="_blank">87.1 percent off flight bookings</a> to celebrate on-time arrivals.</p><p>Travelers who are interested in predicting airfare sales should be on the lookout during holidays (Black Friday fares are not uncommon) and make note of regular airline promotions. Every June and October, for instance, <a href="" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines runs a 72-hour sale</a>.</p><h2>Airfare Wars</h2><p>There may be no better example of a full-on airfare war than what’s happening on Hawaiian routes right now.</p><p>It started when United Airlines announced a massive route expansion to the Aloha State, offering travelers new ways to fly to Hawaii. <a href="" target="_blank">As we predicted</a>, competitors like Hawaiian Airlines were forced to drop their prices.</p><p>Since then, both <a href="" target="_blank">Hawaiian</a> and Alaska Airlines have expanded their services and lowered ticket prices. And with Southwest announcing an intention <a href="" target="_blank">to enter the Hawaiian market</a>, it’s likely flights will continue to get more affordable.</p><p>In December, flights to Hawaii dropped to $179, thanks to increased service from Hawaiian Airlines.</p><p>What’s happening in Hawaii can also take place over a much shorter period of time. <em>Thrifty Traveler</em> noted that in the event of a “share recapture,” an airline can lower ticket prices in another market to impact an airline adversary — an often localized and short-lived event — or a brief fare war in which an airline attacks another carrier’s hubs by lowering flights from those specific airports.</p><h2>Mistake Fares</h2><p>Impossible to predict and one of the most lucrative ways to save on airfare, mistake fares (sometimes called error or “fat finger” fares) are ticket prices that seem too good to be true.</p><p>Round-trip flights from the United States to Australia for $509, for example, or <a href="" target="_blank">First Class flights to London from the West Coast</a> for $1,522 round-trip are two examples of accidentally published fares.</p><p>They occur when a misplaced decimal point, miscalculated currency conversion, computer glitch, or data entry error turns a $2,594 Business Class seat into a $594 Business Class seat.</p><p><em>Thrifty Traveler</em> noted that these outrageously cheap tickets appear less frequently than ever, as airlines are increasingly cautious about preventing these accidents.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Mistake fares</a> are incredibly short-lived, because they disappear as soon as the airline notices what’s happening. And because airlines are no longer required to honor mistake fares, tickets can be canceled even after booking.</p><p>For that reason, travelers are encouraged to wait until the ticket has been issued to make any additional travel plans, like hotel or tour reservations. When an airline rescinds mistake fare tickets, they’re required to reimburse the purchase, as well as all out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the traveler in confidence of the reservation.</p><p>Whether you’re looking for a squeaky-clean promotion or a once-in-a-lifetime mistake fare, follow your preferred airlines on social media, check flight deal-hunting websites like <a href="" target="_blank">Thrifty Traveler</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Scott’s Cheap Flights</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">the Flight Deal</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">the Airfare Spot</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">sign up for airfare alerts</a> with Airfarewatchdog or Hopper to see prices plummet on your favorite routes — and make sure you never miss a cheap flight of any kind.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Hotel Robots Will Carry Your Bags, Check You In, and Serve You a Drink

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 09:46
<p>Robots with jade-colored digital eyes could one day turn airports and hotels into a human-free zone.</p><p>At the CES tech show in Las Vegas this week, LG unveiled three robots for the hospitality industry whose duties include delivering meals and drinks in hotels and airports, taking luggage to guests’ rooms, and scanning items in stores.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Man Forgets Where He Parked, Finds Car 20 Years Later</a></p><p>They're part of <a href="" target="_blank">a range of concept robots</a> called CLOi (pronounced <em>KLOH-ee</em>). The unthreatening name is part of a transparent attempt to make hard robot tech seem soft and friendly, because who wants an evil-looking robot serving a cocktail?</p><p>The CLOi robots for the hospitality industry are subtly different. Designed to deliver food and drinks to travelers in hotels and airport lounges, Serving Robot has a built-in sliding tray, which it presents to the customer. CLOi wheels it back to the kitchen as soon as you've tapped its touchscreen to confirm you've got your order. Ah, the personal touch.</p><img alt="LG's CLOi personal assistant robot is displayed during CES 2018 "src=""><p>Meanwhile, the Porter Robot puts bellboys out of work first by carrying heavy luggage without expecting a hefty tip. It then performs check-in at your room, and checks you out at the end of your stay while carrying your things to a waiting car. Don’t expect much witty conversation, though it does come with voice recognition, so don’t talk down to it.</p><p>The third machine is Shopping Cart Robot, which scans items using its own barcode reader, which could be used in hotel stores and kiosks.</p><p>Serving Robot, Porter Robot, and Shopping Cart Robot follow in the footsteps of LG's Airport Guide Robot and Airport Cleaning Robot, which have been trialed at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport in Seoul.</p><img alt="A hospitality robot. "src=""><p>Whether or not travelers will like being served by robots remains to be seen, but they do have a huge advantage over the existing staff. After all, robots work 24/7, 365 days a year. (Unless <a href="" target="_blank">there's a malfunction</a>.)</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">This Robot Can Kill 99% of Germs on a Plane in 5 Minutes</a></p><p>As well as performing specific functions themselves, the CLOi robots work on LG’s ThinQ platform, so can interact with TVs, air conditioners and other compatible smart electronics. So as well as asking the Porter Robot to put your bags in the corner, you can also instruct it to switch-on the coffee machine — before giving it no tip and yelling at it to leave.</p>
Categories: Travel

Disney Will Allow Some Guests to Buy Extra FastPasses, and People Aren’t Happy About It

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:47
<p>Disney diehards know it’s not uncommon to see an astronomical 240-minute wait time posted for Animal Kingdom’s new Flight of Passage attraction, or even a substantial hour-long wait at the classic Peter Pan’s Flight. Luckily, Disney’s <a href="" target="_blank">FastPass+ system</a> has, for years, helped guests ride these attractions without the wait, allowing them to reserve ride times well in advance and enter through a special FastPass+ line, away from the crowds.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Now, however, thanks to a few recent updates to the FastPass+ system that Disney plans to implement, things in the land where dreams come true might be changing.</p><p>Beginning January 12, Disney World will allow some resort guests to purchase three extra FastPass+ selections per day for $50 per person, a Disney spokesperson confirmed to <a href="" target="_blank">Spectrum News 13</a>. The option, now in its pilot stages, will only be available to those guests staying in club level rooms and suites on property.</p><p>Club-level rooms can be found in many Disney deluxe resorts, like the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, and Yacht Club Resort, and also encompasses cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, bungalows at the Polynesian Village, and various suites at the Swan and Dolphin Hotels.</p><p>According to <a href="">The Kingdom Insider</a>, guests must participate in the program for a three-day minimum ($150 per person) and can only purchase one Fastpass+ per ride, but will be able to use FastPasses in more than one park per day, as well as book FastPasses 90 days in advance, as opposed to the traditional 60 days for resort guests.</p><p>While there are already claims that these extra FastPasses will NOT affect other guests’ ability to book their regular selections in the future, many Disney fans are worried about the consequences of the seemingly small change. The pilot program introduces Disney’s first foray into a “pay-to-play” system for FastPasses, offering those families who have the means to stay in Disney’s most expensive rooms to spend additional money to skip some of Disney’s lines. Many argue that now that a price has been applied to FastPass+, it can only point to a larger trend in the future, especially if the pilot program is rolled out to more guests.</p><p>Others maintain that, for now, the number of people taking advantage of the program will not cause a noticeable difference in the number of FastPasses available, especially while the program is in the pilot stages.</p><p>The idea of <a href="" target="_blank">paying to skip the lines</a> isn’t altogether new, though. Disney neighbor <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Orlando Resort</a> has been offering an Express Pass system for years, allowing guests to skip every line in the park for about $90 a day. The pass is also included with your room at some of Universal’s on-property resorts. While the option to skip the line over and over again can be well worth the money, the price is still steep, causing many fans to look at Disney’s FastPass+ as a more “fair” system.</p><p>Some Twitter users point out that Disney’s increasing hotel prices, ticket costs and (now) FastPass+ upcharges are making it less and less affordable to take an enjoyable Disney vacation. Disney day guests who do not have the luxury of booking FastPasses months in advance are also at a loss, especially if the system continues to allow for more purchasable FastPasses.</p><p>Another notable change is Disney’s recent decision to allow some neighboring hotel guests to book FastPasses and participate in Extra Magic Hours (a change from the usual system that only allows Disney resort guests to do so.) While this could allow for a more affordable trip for families who do not stay on property, it does not benefit the annual passholders who already live in the area, and could make FastPasses even more scarce.</p><p>Of course, much of this is merely conjecture for now, and only time will tell how these new policies affect Disney’s overall wait times, costs and crowds.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Stay in This Harry Potter-themed Apartment in Scotland — As Long As You're Not a Muggle

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:42
<p>“Harry Potter” fans can now stay in the apartment of their dreams — and they don’t even need to know any spells to get it.</p><p>Canongate Luxury Apartment, a deluxe “<a href="" target="_blank">Harry Potter</a>”-themed apartment located in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a master bedroom that is decorated just like a Gryffindor dormitory, including a four-poster bed with a top that gives the illusion of floating candles, gilded mirrors, old (presumably magic) books, gold and red decor and plenty of “Harry Potter”-themed knick knacks.</p><img alt="Canongate Luxury Apartment - Harry Potter Theme - Edinburgh, Scotland "src=""><p>The apartment is owned and was designed by “Harry Potter” fan Yue Gao, who has painstakingly collected objects for the apartment himself, some of which belonged to J.K. Rowling herself.</p><img alt="Canongate Luxury Apartment - Harry Potter Theme - Edinburgh, Scotland "src=""><p>“There is a desk which actually belonged to J.K. Rowling,” Gao told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Metro</em></a>. “I managed to acquire it as the furniture restorer’s son went to the same school and was in the same class as <a href="" target="_blank">J.K. Rowling</a>’s daughter.”</p><p>“I didn’t want to turn it into a cheap copy of the film, so it’s more like an homage from a huge fan rather than the copy of the movie scene,” he said. “I put my heart into it — it’s my dream realised.”</p><img alt="Canongate Luxury Apartment - Harry Potter Theme - Edinburgh, Scotland "src=""><p>Along with the gorgeous bedroom, the apartment includes a fully functional kitchen, a smaller bedroom that looks like a carriage from the Hogwarts Express and a living area that is modeled after the Gryffindor common room. Each door in the apartment is painted in honor of each Hogwarts house. Yes, even Slytherin.</p><p>To stay in the apartment of any young witch’s or wizard’s dreams, nightly rates are £150 (just over $200 USD) per night. More information on booking a stay can be found on the Canongate Luxury Apartment <a href="" target="_blank">website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Virgin America Flight Attendants Give the Airline an Emotional Final Farewell (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:32
<p>Thursday is <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin America’s final day</a> of operations as an independent airline.</p><p>About 10 years after the airline began operations, it will merge with and operate underneath <a href="" target="_blank">the Alaska Airlines name</a> beginning on Jan. 11.</p><p>Molly Choma, a Virgin America flight attendant who <a href="" target="_blank">photographed and filmed the airline behind the scenes</a>, created a farewell video, compiled from her nine years at the airline.</p><p>The video features flight attendants explaining why they loved working for the airline, a look inside the galley during meal service, and a test emergency evacuation training.</p><p>“We were encouraged to be the best version of ourselves, nothing less,” Choma said of the airline. “Unbeknownst to guests, the galleys were a place of refuge and vulnerability where we shared our successes and fears with teammates we’d only known for hours. We didn’t just tolerate each other, we embraced each other’s uniqueness and built a family during the good times and the bad.”</p><p>Virgin America was founded in 2004 and operated its first flight from New York to Los Angeles on August 8, 2007. In April 2016, the airline was acquired by Alaska Airlines for $2.6 billion.</p><p>However this week won’t be the last time we’ll see Virgin America planes in the sky. It will take about another year for the brand to fully retire. Come Thursday, the brand will be integrated under Alaska Airlines only in the eyes of the Federal Aviation Administration. The Virgin America callsign (“Redwood”) <a href="" target="_blank">will be officially retired</a>.</p><p>Beginning April 25, passengers will notice a difference at the airport. On that day, the two airlines will have a merged passenger system, meaning that the flight numbers, airport check-ins, app, and website will all be under the Alaska name.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Alaska Airlines has already begun replacing visuals</a>, including new crew uniforms, a new livery for planes, and retrofitted Alaska cabins on former Virgin America aircraft.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Flying, Autonomous Taxi Could Be Your Uber in 2 Years

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:27
<p>The public transportation of the future could look like a lot like modern luxury.</p><p>Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter revealed its prototype for a flying, autonomous taxi at the CES in Las Vegas this week.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Flying Car Concepts Coming Soon</a>
Categories: Travel

Kansas City Is Getting Its First Nonstop Transatlantic Flight — to Iceland

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:07
<p>Getting to Iceland — and from there Europe — just got easier for travelers in Kansas City.</p><p>Icelandair has announced new seasonal service from Kansas City International Airport beginning in May. The airline will offer three <a href="" target="_blank">nonstop flights</a> to Reykjavik each week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. In addition to making it much easier to get to Iceland, the new flights will offer an easy link to Europe.</p><p>“Today marks the first time in that history that Icelandair will offer nonstop flights to and from the heart of America to Iceland and beyond,” Icelandair CEO Bjorgolfur Johannsson said in a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a>. “This will not only benefit families and leisure travelers wanting to explore the world but will also open up many opportunities for business, trade and foreign relations between Europe and Kansas City.”</p><p>Flights from Kansas City to Reykjavik are estimated at about seven hours, according to Icelandair. Plus, Icelandair offers an <a href="" target="_blank">Iceland Stopover</a> for travelers to stay and explore the country for up to seven nights at no additional fare.</p><p>What better excuse for a layover than seeing glaciers and soaking in hot springs?</p>
Categories: Travel

How This Traveler Gets Paid to Tag Along on Other People's Vacations

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:01
<p>A Finnish travel blogger is now offering her services as a “personal travel assistant” for anybody who doesn’t mind paying for her company.</p><p>Henna Rinnekangas is the 32-year-old Finnish travel blogger behind <a href="" target="_blank">Whatta Wow World</a>. On Tuesday, she announced her availability as a travel companion, telling <i>Travel + Leisure </i>that she hopes to help people who need assistance traveling “make their adventures come true.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How One Woman Gets Paid to Travel the World Staying in Luxury Homes</a></p><p>“Overall, I don't think there are too many people offering this kind of service globally - so I can be a great help for the people who otherwise wouldn't be able to travel (disabled, elderly etc),” Rinnekangas told T+L.</p><p>Although the idea of a short-term traveling personal assistant or companion is not exactly new, Rinnekangas’s approach is unique: Travelers who agree to pay for everything for both themselves and the “personal assistant” will benefit from Rinnekangas’s company, experience, and planning skills. She will plan the itinerary and take care of any issues that pop up while on the road in exchange for transportation, accommodation, and food.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World, According to People Who Have Done It</a></p><p>“I really enjoy traveling but also having good conversations with different people,” Rinnekangas said. “So I thought that it would be great to combine these too. I think you always learn a lot from other people, especially when traveling with them.”</p><p>Rinnekangas began traveling in 2011 and has since visited 40 countries, including Cuba, Fiji, and Iceland. She can assist clients throughout the world in English, Finnish, German, and Swedish.</p><p>Since launching the service on Tuesday, Rinnekangas said she has already received many inquiries. “Now, I just have to start browsing them through and see what I can do for them,” she said.</p><p>Her next trip will be through Asia for 10 weeks, passing through South Korea for the <a href="" target="_blank">2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel