How to Get a Rental Car in Europe for Less Than $2

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 11:15
<p>No longer does budget travel mean roughing it: Travelers in Europe can now rent a car for cheaper than public transit.</p><p>French company <a href="" target="_blank">DriiveMe</a> links travelers with rental car companies who need their vehicles moved. For £1 (about $1.40), drivers can get behind the wheel of a rental car for up to 72 hours.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Know If Your Credit Card Insurance Will Cover a Rental Car</a></p><p>“Every day, thousands of vehicles need to be moved,” <a href="" target="_blank">the DriiveMe website explains</a>. “To reduce the cost of these transfers, DriiveMe offers an unprecedented solution to repatriate vehicles using private individuals.”</p><p>The £1 payment includes at least a 24-hour rental and enough miles to get from point A to point B (with some detours). The price includes “fully comprehensive insurance,” according to DriiveMe, and renters only pay for the cost of gas and any tolls on the road.</p><p>The only caveat is that drivers can only take the cars on predetermined routes. Once registered with DriiveMe, renters can set an alert to be notified when companies need vehicles transported along a desired route. Renters then must book the route before anybody else on DriiveMe snatches it.</p><p>The service — previously only available in France and Spain — has now expanded to the U.K. There are more than 17,000 routes available across the three countries, including Glasgow to London, Dijon to Paris and Barcelona to <a href="" target="_blank">Madrid</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Meghan Markle Changed Her Name (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 10:31
<p>On May 19, Prince Harry will <a href="" target="_blank">walk down the aisle</a> to wed his royal bride, Rachel.</p><p>No, that’s not a typo. In March, <a href="" target="_blank">Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal blessing</a> for Prince Harry to marry his future bride. But she confused people the world over when she wrote in her decree:</p><p><em>“My Lords,</em></p><p><em>I Declare my Consent to the Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council.”</em></p><p>Yes, Queen Elizabeth let the cat out of the bag that Meghan isn’t really the bride's given name. Keep scrolling to learn more about who Prince Harry is really marrying.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Meghan Markle Is About to Receive One Very Special Wedding Gift From Kensington Palace</a></p><h2>What Is Meghan Markle’s Real Name?</h2><p>Meghan Markle, who was born and raised in California, was actually born Rachel Meghan Markle. Yes, that means she does in fact share a first name with her character on <i>Suits</i>. Though, it’s not like Markle is trying to keep her first name under wraps. As <em><a href="" target="_blank">Business Insider</a></em> pointed out, her <a href="" target="_blank">IMDB page</a> states that she was born Rachel Meghan Markle.</p><p>We don't know for sure what made Markle embrace her middle name over her first, but a little alliteration does go a long way when it comes to a catchy stage name. And don't forget, Harry isn't her soon-to-be husband's given name either: <a href="" target="_blank">it's actually Henry</a>. It's no wonder these two get along.</p><h2>Will Meghan Markle Use Her Real Name to Say Her Vows?</h2><p>There’s no way to know for sure if Meghan will go by her given name or her middle name for her wedding, but if Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding is any indication, we will be hearing the name Rachel ring out at <a href="" target="_blank">Windsor Castle</a>.</p><p>You see, in 2011, Middleton went by her full name, Catherine, when saying her vows to Prince William. "I, Catherine Elizabeth, take thee, William Arthur Philip Louis, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward,” she said. This means odds are Meghan — we mean Rachel — will probably do the same.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle's Wedding Invitations Have Some Key Differences</a></p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Have a Very Unique 'Wedding Registry'</a></p><h2>Will Meghan Markle’s Name Change After She Marries Prince Harry?</h2><p>Markle actually has more than one option for a last name after she marries Prince Harry. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Town &amp; Country</a></em>, she could become Rachel Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor. This name reflects both the Queen’s surname, Windsor, and her husband <a href="" target="_blank">Prince Philip’s surname, Mountbatten</a>.</p><p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank">official royal website</a>:</p><p>"The Royal Family name of Windsor was confirmed by The Queen after her accession in 1952. However, in 1960, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family (without changing the name of the Royal House), as Windsor is the surname used by all the male and unmarried female descendants of George V. It was therefore declared in the Privy Council that The Queen's descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor."</p><p>However, just because the name is confirmed doesn’t mean the royals have to use it.</p><p>"Once married, Meghan will sign as Meghan, no last name. Just as Harry signs as Harry. Royals use only a first name," royal expert Marlene Koenig told <em>Town &amp; Country</em>. According to Koenig, Harry will, however, most likely use the last name Mountbatten-Windsor when he signs the marriage registrar. "This was used by Anne, Andrew, and Edward when they married. Charles had no surname on his registrar. We do not know what William used because unlike every other royal, he chose not to make it public," she said.</p><p>As for Markle's passports, credit cards, and official documents, those will all list her name as her royal title, according to Koenig, which has yet to be decided, though all bets are on Meghan and Harry becoming <a href="" target="_blank"> the Duke and Duchess</a> of Sussex.</p>
Categories: Travel

Kensington Palace Revealed a Few Members of the Royal Wedding Guest List

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 10:21
<p>On May 19, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will walk down the aisle at <a href="" target="_blank">St George’s chapel</a> — located inside the walls of Windsor Castle — in front of their friends, family, and a few thousand adoring fans.</p><p>Yes, that’s right: Despite the fact that <a href="" target="_blank">President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama</a> were left off the royal guest list, Harry and Meghan went ahead and <a href="" target="_blank">invited more than 2,000 members of the British public</a> to come join them for their big day.</p><p>"Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have said they want their Wedding Day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too," the official <a href="" target="_blank">Kensington Palace statement</a> read in March. "This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters and values of the Bride and Groom."</p><p>The only prerequisite for an invite, Kensington explained at the time, was that "the people chosen are from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities."</p><p>On Tuesday, Kensington began introducing the world to a few of those very special guests on Twitter.</p><p>“The couple asked Lord Lieutenants to invite 1,200 people to join the celebrations, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities,” a tweet explained. “Here are the stories of some of the people who will be joining the celebrations in the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 19th.”</p><p>First up is Philip Gillespie. According to Kensington palace he’s from Ballymena and "lost his right leg in an IED incident in Afghanistan and works to raise funds and awareness for ABF The Soldiers' Charity."</p><p>Next is Pamela Anomneze, who is from Haringey. "Pamela is the manager of Studio 306 Collective CIC, a social enterprise that helps those recovering from mental health issues through the creative arts.”</p><p>And then there's Reuben Litherland, who is from Derby. "Reuben was born deaf and has started lunchtime lessons to teach sign language at school."</p><p>Finally, Kensington shared a tweet about Amy Wright, from Annan. "Amy is Chair of Board of Directors for the Usual Place café in Dumfries, which provides employment training and support for young people aged 16-25 with special needs.”</p><p>Clearly, the palace and the couple are doing an excellent job of hand-picking some truly extraordinary citizens to join them for their big day. Though they better be careful: amazing people like this might just outshine the bride and groom.</p>
Categories: Travel

You May Not Have to Sign Your Credit Card Receipt Ever Again (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 10:16
<p>You might as well save your John Hancock for autographs, because the days of using your signature on credit card receipts are quickly coming to a close.</p><p>This month, all credit card companies will no longer require signatures for purchases made with a card that has a security chip, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Fox News</em> reported</a>.</p><p>You know, that little metallic square on the front of your card that you’re never sure whether to insert or swipe when you get to the register? That’s the one. It’s going to save you and the cashier time looking for pens.</p><p>The chip system has been used in Europe for many years, but was only widely introduced in the U.S. about two years. The chip is considered more secure than swiping a magnetic strip: Chip-enabled cards have reduced in-store fraud by about 70% since being introduced, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Visa</a>.</p><p>Signature-based transactions, however, do very little to keep people from stealing your card to go on a shopping spree.</p><p>“We assign a value to the signature. We think there are some sort of legitimacy to signing a receipt,” analyst Robert Barba, at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, told <em>Fox News</em>. “The reality is it’s just not a robust form of security.”</p><p>It’s even possible that <a href="" target="_blank">facial recognition, fingerprints, retinal scans, voice recognition, or even Bitcoin</a> could replace today’s credit card security measures. Some experts think that tech innovations like <a href="" target="_blank">mobile pay with smartphones and watches</a> could even replace credit cards completely.</p><p>In the meantime, just remember your PIN.</p>
Categories: Travel

Fall Asleep Under Millions of Stars at This Bubble Hotel in Northern Ireland

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 09:56
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Iceland</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Australia</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Canada</a> all claim bubble hotels, and now Northern Ireland has also joined the club.</p><p>In the town of Enniskillen, in Northern Ireland, Finn Lough Resort gives nature-loving glampers the opportunity to book a stay at one of their seven, luxurious <a href="" target="_blank">Forest Domes</a>.</p><img alt="Bubble Domes Night Stars View Finn Lough Ireland "src=""><p>The main appeal to these bubble domes are their 180-degree transparent walls, which promise unhampered views of the surrounding forest, peace, and solitude. According to <a href="" target="_blank">Dome Experience</a>, the design team behind the resort's bubble domes, the “quest was to bring guests ever closer to nature, away from the crowds, away from their screens and away from themselves.”</p><img alt="Bubble Domes Night Stars View Finn Lough Ireland "src=""><img alt="Bubble Domes Night Stars View Finn Lough Ireland "src=""><p>If the natural views aren't enough to entice you, the bubbles are buoyed by comfort: Each comes with a four poster bed and heated mattress; ensuite bathroom; comfy robes and slippers to wrap yourself in post-rain shower; wooden floors with electric heating; and complimentary breakfast and a Nespresso coffee machine to wake you up after a night of next-level stargazing.</p><img alt="Bubble Domes Night Stars View Finn Lough Ireland "src=""><p>Guests can also control their room's temperature, pressure, humidity, and electricity in case the weather outside is less than ideal, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>designboom</em> reported</a>.</p><p>Finn Lough Resort offers more than just an ultra-comfortable night underneath the stars. Guests have access to two miles of trails — home to wildlife like badgers, deer, and otters — as well as mountain biking trails that take you past lakes and castle ruins.</p><p>Likewise, visitors can hop in a kayak and explore nearby Lough Erne, a lake made up of islands, bays, and river inlets, or navigate a boat through one of the resort's two marinas.</p><p>And for those who need a little more R&amp;R, there's also a spa with saunas, a float bath, salt scrubs, and a hydrotherapy pool.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Rates start at £225 ($318) a night.</a></p>
Categories: Travel

WOW Air Is Offering Cheap Flights to Iceland Starting at $70

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 09:00
<p>Whether you want to go to Iceland to <a href="" target="_blank">swim between two tectonic plates</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">tour volcanoes</a>, or take a dip in <a href="" target="_blank">a mineral pool</a>, you can do it on the cheap if you take advantage of <a href="" target="_blank">WOW Air’s fare sale</a>.</p><p>The budget carrier is offering <a href="" target="_blank">30-percent off flights</a> to Reykjavik, which are already cheap (starting at about $100). That means you can grab a one-way flight to the country for as little as $70.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Tour Iceland in 360 Degrees</a></p><p>The sale is available through April 15, for flight dates between April 12 and June 12, or between August 20 and October 20.</p><p>Flights depart from several U.S. cities including Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Newark, New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Washington, D.C.</p><p>Use promo code <strong>WOWSALE</strong> to get the discount on flights. Passengers looking to hit other European hotspots can also find flights to London, Amsterdam, Dublin, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, and Brussels, starting at $150 one-way.</p><p>Travelers should note that WOW Air is a <a href="" target="_blank">budget carrier</a>, meaning amenities like food and drinks and seat selections cost extra.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Dog Chasing a Street View Car Is the Cutest Thing We’ve Seen on Google Maps

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 08:47
<p>A dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do. And sometimes a dog has to chase any weird-looking cars it sees.</p><p>And a Google Street View car probably looks pretty weird to a dog. After all, it’s got that strange looking camera sticking out on the top of it. Who knows what danger it could bring.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Google Maps Is Coming to the Faroe Islands — Thanks to Sheep</a></p><p>That’s probably why this adorable dog can be seen on Google Street View on a road in the Kumage district of the Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan, clearly being the “goodest of boys (or girls).”</p><img alt="Dog chasing Google Streetview Car "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Metro</em></a>, the dog can be seen down by a docked boat, looking very excited to see the unique car. Ears perked and tail raised, it looks ready for the chase. Who knows, it might be protecting its owner’s precious boat.</p><p><a href=",130.8625934,3a,75y,4.85h,85.04t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svnmuS7o8MgUlkPBcUAYoSQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=ja" target="_blank">More images in Google Street View</a> show the car passing the dock as the dog starts to follow it down the road. The photos of the dog stop a little farther down the road, as it seems the dog has done its job to get that pesky Street View car out of its territory.</p><p>That’s a very good dog.</p><p>Even though the pup didn’t quite catch its prey, it's still the cutest little guard we’ve ever seen.</p>
Categories: Travel

Glass Shatters on Giraffe After Safari-goer Closes Car Window on Its Head (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 08:41
<p>Officials at the <a href="" target="_blank">West Midlands Safari Park</a> in Bewdley, England, have launched an investigation after the window of a visitor's car came smashing down on the head of a <a href="" target="_blank">giraffe</a> that peeked its head into the vehicle. </p><p>In footage taken of the incident, the giraffe can be seen poking its head into the opened window of a stopped vehicle before the window is rolled up, leaving the giraffe’s head trapped inside until the window shatters around it.</p><p>Visitors who happened to be parked next to the vehicle recorded the incident, though park officials have yet to confirm when the footage was taken.</p><p>“The <a href="" target="_blank">giraffe</a> was checked over immediately by staff and sustained no injuries from the glass,” a spokesperson from the park told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. Officials also said they will be providing further details of what ensued once the investigation is complete.</p><p>While visitors are able to feed some animals in the park from their cars in certain designated areas, park officials ask that they keep their windows half shut and keep their hands stretched outside of the vehicle when doing so, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Times</a></em>.</p><p>The park has a <a href="" target="_blank">feeding experience</a> made specifically for giraffes, giving you the chance to take a private tour with a safari guide to get up close to the animals before the park opens to other guests.</p><p>The footage started making its rounds just as West Midlands Safari Park has been dealing with the <a href="" target="_blank">tragic death</a> of a two-month-old girl who suffered cardiac arrest at the park on the morning of Easter on April 1.</p><p>The child was taken to a local hospital, where she later passed away.</p>
Categories: Travel

JetBlue Two-day Sale Has Flights Starting at $39 (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 08:26
<p>JetBlue is having another <a href="" target="_blank">two-day sale</a>, so if you're looking to get away — even for just a long weekend — here's your chance to make it affordable.</p><p>Example fares include $39 between Atlanta and Orlando, and Las Vegas and Long Beach; and $44 between D.C. and Hartford, Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans, New York City and D.C., and across California destinations. In addition to the many domestic destinations, the sale includes many Caribbean spots that are great for a getaway.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">This Is the First Thing You Should Do If Your Flight Is Canceled or Diverted</a></p><p>The sale fares include taxes and fees, but travelers should note these are JetBlue's “Blue” fares, meaning checked baggage is not included. (A carry-on and personal item are included.) Travel dates are from April 17 to June 20, excluding Memorial Day week, and travelers must book by this Wednesday night.</p><p>JetBlue frequently has these two-day sales, so if the airlines services an airport near you, it's worth signing up for their emails.</p><p>If none of the destinations and fares JetBlue is offering appeal to you, or if you're looking for a more far-flung destination, you might consider Australia: Qantas and Virgin Australia are in something of a fare war and <a href="" target="_blank">flights have dropped as low as the high-$600s</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Didn't Invite Donald Trump or Barack Obama to the Royal Wedding

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 06:48
<p>Despite the fact that Meghan Markle is American, she won’t be inviting either current President Donald Trump or former President Barack Obama to <a href="" target="_blank">her royal wedding</a>.</p><p>On Tuesday, Kensington Palace announced that the upcoming royal wedding between Markle and her fiancé Prince Harry will be politics-free. That includes British leaders like Prime Minister Theresa May, who was also kept off the guest list.</p><p>"It has been decided that an official list of political leaders — both UK and international — is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle's wedding," a Kensington Palace spokesman told<em> <a href="" target="_blank">CNN</a></em>. "Her Majesty's Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by the royal household.”</p><p>Indeed, a White House official confirmed to <em>CNN</em> that neither the president nor first lady Melania Trump were invited. Downing Street also confirmed that Prime Minister May will not be in attendance.</p><p>This means that Markle and Prince Harry’s May 19 wedding at Windsor Castle will only be attended by family, friends, and a few <a href="" target="_blank">thousand members of the public</a>.</p><p>According to a source close to the couple, both soon-to-be newlyweds hope to see Barack and Michelle Obama soon, even if they won't be at the wedding. (Prince Harry has been <a href="" target="_blank">known to get along well with our former president</a>, after all.)</p><p>As <em>CNN </em>noted, Prince Harry and Markle's wedding will be a bit <a href="" target="_blank">different than that of Prince William and Kate Middleton</a>. In 2011, Prince William's wedding to Middleton was an official state occasion because he will one day be the reigning monarch. However, Prince Harry’s upcoming ceremony with Markle is regarded as a private event, meaning no political leaders are required to attend.</p><p>Other than this announcement, little is known about who did and did not make the guest list. Though, if you are to believe Scary Spice, AKA Mel B. of the Spice Girls, she, along with her bandmates Posh Spice, Sporty Spice, Baby Spice, and Ginger Spice will not only be in attendance, but will also be <a href="" target="_blank">performing</a><a href="" target="_blank"> at the big event</a>. But, only time will tell.</p>
Categories: Travel

NFL Player Trevor Davis Arrested for Making Joke About Explosives at LAX (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 06:34
<p>Airports take any potential security threat very seriously. Mentioning, or even joking about, the presence of explosives can land a passenger in hot water — or can even lead to <a href="" target="_blank">legal action</a>.</p><p>Unfortunately, this fact doesn’t seem to be common knowledge to all travelers, including NFL player Trevor Davis.</p><p>Davis was arrested on Monday at <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles International Airport</a> after making a joke to a ticket agent about bringing explosives in his bag, <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Washington Post</a></em> reported.</p><p>An airport spokesman, Rob Pedregon, told the <a href="" target="_blank">Associated Press</a> that Davis was boarding his flight on Hawaiian Airlines when he made the joke, which prompted the agent to call the police. He was subsequently booked on a charge of making a false bomb threat, which is a misdemeanor, and he was later released with a court summons, according to AP.</p><p>From the outside, it may seem like a big misunderstanding, but in actuality, it's a prime example of a passenger being far too casual about national security. When the ticket agent asked Davis if he packed any explosives in his bag, he reportedly replied, jokingly, “yes.”</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">TMZ Sports</a></em>, he then turned to the woman he was traveling with and said, “Did you pack the explosives?” The woman said “no” and refused to play along with Davis’ joke, <em>TMZ </em>reported, asking him to stop. Davis then said he was "just kidding," but at that point, the agent was already in the process of calling the police.</p><p>The woman traveling with Davis was not charged with any crimes.</p><p>Davis will have to appear in court on May 3. He could also be subject to discipline by the NFL and his team, The Green Bay Packers.</p><p>The team said in a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a> that they are “in the process of gathering more information and will refrain from making any further comment as it is an ongoing legal matter.”</p><p>Just last week, another false bomb scare <a href="" target="_blank">shut down Brisbane International Airport</a> after a bag with the word “BOM” written on it arrived on a baggage carousel. It was discovered later that “BOM” was actually an abbreviation for the airport in Mumbai. We hope now it's finally clear that jokes or even innocuous or vague references to bombs really have no place in an airport.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Take a Last-minute Getaway to These Popular U.S. Cities for Just $20 (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 17:21
<p>If you’re looking to take a last-minute getaway on the cheap, Frontier has a sale for you.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The budget airline</a> is having a <a href="" target="_blank">flash sale</a> on flights to U.S. cities like New Orleans and Austin, with fares starting at $20 one-way depending on the <a href="" target="_blank">departure city</a>.</p><p>You could save on flights to get some sun in <a href="" target="_blank">Palm Springs</a>, check out the breweries in <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Rapids</a>, take a break in <a href="" target="_blank">Denver</a>, or take the family to <a href="" target="_blank">Orlando</a>.</p><p>Travel dates for the sale are from April 14 to May 16. Flights need to be booked by April 9, but the airline’s recent announcement that it will be <a href="" target="_blank">launching 109 new routes</a> (starting at $29 one-way) means you can expect more cheap domestic flights in the future.</p><p>Frontier is a budget airline, meaning checked baggage and advanced seat assignment are not included in these super cheap fares. Get <a href="" target="_blank">more info on Frontier's baggage fees</a>, or use the airline's <a href="" target="_blank">bundling tool</a> to see what you'll pay to for the services you want.</p><p>If a domestic vacation isn't exciting enough, check out fares to Australia, which have fallen <a href="" target="_blank">as low as $717 round-trip</a> as Qantas and Virgin Australia try to undercut each other.</p>
Categories: Travel

An Airfare War Has Flights to Australia As Cheap As $717 Round-trip

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 16:58
<p>It’s not unusual to see flights to Australia selling for well over $1,400, according to <a href="" target="_blank">Thrifty Traveler Premium</a> — which makes these $717 flights an incredible find.</p><p>Monday morning, the flight deal service announced that Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia were slashing prices up to 50 percent, with tickets to cities all across Australia selling in the low $700s.</p><p>The most inexpensive fares are available on nonstop flights from San Francisco to Melbourne, which are available <a href=";TripType=2&amp;SegNo=2&amp;SO0=SFO&amp;SD0=MEL&amp;SDP0=07-11-2018&amp;SO1=MEL&amp;SD1=SFO&amp;SDP1=14-11-2018&amp;AD=1&amp;TK=ECO&amp;DO=false&amp;NA=false&amp;currency=USD" target="_blank">from $717</a>.</p><p>There are also $729 tickets from Los Angeles and San Jose, California.</p><p>But even travelers on the East Coast can take advantage of this Australia airfare war. From New York City, flights Down Under are available for $914 round-trip — still hundreds of dollars cheaper than an average ticket.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Best Times to Visit Australia</a> </p><p>Discounted flights to Australia can also be purchased from Oakland, Las Vegas, Boise, San Diego, Portland, Palm Springs, and Santa Ana. From Dallas, there are nonstop tickets for $922.</p><p>Though availability varies by departure, tickets are generally on sale between April and December. Cities included in the sale range from Australia’s most popular destinations (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane) to lesser-known spots like <a href="" target="_blank">Cairns</a>, Hobart, and <a href="" target="_blank">Perth</a>.</p><p>To take advantage, use Google Flights to identify the cheapest departure and return dates (indicated in green). Then, use your preferred search engine to find even lower-priced seats.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Have a Very Unique 'Wedding Registry'

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 16:50
<p>Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may already have everything, but they still have one request for their <a href="" target="_blank">royal wedding</a>.</p><p>OK, so they aren’t asking for the typical wedding registry items like a blender, some cutlery, or even a stand mixer. Instead, they are asking people the world over to forgo sending them any physical items and to <a href="" target="_blank">give to charity instead</a>.</p><p>“Prince Harry &amp; Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, &amp; have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift,” a tweet from Kensington Palace read.</p><p>It added that the couple has personally chosen seven different charities for people to give to in their honor. The charities represent “a range of issues that they are passionate about, including sport for social change, women's empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV, and the Armed Forces,” according to Kensington Palace.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Here's What Kind of Cake Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Have for Their Wedding Day</a></p><p>In a series of tweets, the palace then shared a bit about each charity, including <a href="" target="_blank">Chiva Projects</a>, which supports children growing up with HIV and their families.</p><p>And <a href="" target="_blank">Crisis UK</a>, a charity that helps people directly out of homelessness.</p><p>The couple also chose <a href="" target="_blank">Myna Mahila</a>, which works to empower women in the slums of Mumbai.</p><p>Harry and Meghan also wanted to let people know about <a href="" target="_blank">Scotty’s Little Soldiers</a>, a charity that supports children who have lost a parent while serving in the British Armed Forces.</p><p>They also sent a shout out to <a href="" target="_blank">Street Games</a>, a charity focused on empowering young people to kick-start a cycle of positive change. </p><p>And <a href="" target="_blank">Surfers Against Sewage</a>, a national marine conservation and campaigning charity dedicated to protecting oceans, beaches, waves, and wildlife.</p><p>Last, but certainly not least, Kensington tweeted, “...the couple have chosen<a href="" target="_blank"> @WildernessUK</a>, which promotes the benefits &amp; enjoyment of wild nature. Through the great outdoors, the charity helps build resilience in vulnerable teenagers &amp; introduces rural employment to urban youth.”</p><p>Hey, for a couple who has everything, giving back to help make the world a better place in their honor is a pretty solid gift idea.</p>
Categories: Travel

This New App Will Help You Identify the Plants and Animals You See in Nature

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 16:49
<p>New app <a href="" target="_blank">Seek</a> is giving curious outdoorsy types an easy way to identify the plants and animals they encounter, whether they're in the park, on a hike, or in their own neighborhood.</p><p>All users have to do is upload a photo of an insect, bird, plant, reptile, amphibian, or mammal to the app, and Seek will use image recognition to try to match it to one of 30,000 species in its database. If there’s a match, Seek will add the photo to your collection. As your collection grows, you will earn badges and work your way up from beginner “Tadpole” to expert “Explorer.”</p><img alt="Screenshots of the SEEK app to identify flora and fauna "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">iNaturalist</a>, a website where nature lovers can share and discuss their ecological findings with each other, created the image recognition app as part of an initiative to get amateur naturalists involved in “citizen science projects,” according to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>My Modern Met</em></a>. To that end, if Seek matches your photo with a particular species, you can learn more about the wildlife through a Wikipedia-provided summary.</p><p>Seek will also tell you which species you are most likely to see in your area, based on wildlife observations recorded and uploaded to iNaturalist. You will be given maps and charts to help you track down nearby flora and fauna — but if you prefer to explore on your own, Seek is happy to tell you about any random plant or insect that catches your eye.</p><p>iNaturalist encourages all users to take photos of everything they see – even if it’s not on the list – to develop the AI's ability to recognize wildlife. As co-founder Scott Loarie told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>My Modern Met</em>,</a> “The only way we can improve our modeling of species is to get more data, and to do that we need more people outside taking pictures.”</p><p>Seek is currently available on the <a href="" target="_blank">App Store</a> and is in beta testing for Android.</p>
Categories: Travel

These New Routes to New Zealand, Iceland, and More Are Ready to Book Now

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 16:38
<p>If you’re anxious to visit <a href="" target="_blank">Auckland</a>, praying for a trip to Prague, curious about Iceland or just keen on getting to New York City in style, check out some of the new flights and routes from these four domestic and international airlines.</p><h2>1. Chicago to Auckland nonstop</h2><p>Starting November 30, 2018, <a href="" target="_blank">Air New Zealand will debut nonstop</a>, year-round service three times a week between Chicago O’Hare and Auckland, New Zealand.</p><p>The new flights will be on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and are scheduled to take 16 hours to fly southbound between Chicago and Auckland and “just” 15 hours on the return trip. Currently, flying between these two cities requires a connection that can stretch the journey to about 20 hours.</p><p>Ready to go? Air New Zealand is offering <a href="" target="_blank">sale fares</a> on flights between Chicago and Auckland (and many other cities) through April 10.</p><h2>2. More Mint service from JetBlue</h2><p>On April 15, JetBlue will begin flying a Mint-outfitted A321 aircraft between <a href="" target="_blank">Seattle</a> and JFK International Airport, with small gate-side kick-off parties in both Seattle and New York.</p><p>This new Mint flight brings to nine the number of cities on JetBlue’s Mint map.</p><p>The premium service, <a href="" target="_blank">offered on select coast-to-coast flights and Caribbean routes</a>, features fully life-flat seats, privacy panels, a multi-course menu of tapas-sized dishes (including artisanal ice-cream), amenity kits and expedited check-in, boarding and baggage service.</p><p>Looking ahead a bit, on May 3, <a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue</a> begins new service between Boston and Minneapolis-St. Paul; between New York JFK and Worcester, MA; and between Newark (EWR) and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.</p><h2>3. New Chicago/LGA shuttle and nonstops from Philadelphia to Budapest and Prague</h2><p>On April 4, American Airlines inaugurated <a href="" target="_blank">shuttle service</a> between New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, with 15 flights scheduled each weekday. Passenger amenities include free snacks, beer and wine in the main cabin and complimentary snack basket, beer, wine and spirits in the First cabin, with free plated meals in First on some flights.</p><p>American begins seasonal summer service between Philadelphia and both Budapest and Prague on May 4, with the two Boeing 767-300 aircraft serving these flights leaving PHL with minutes of each other and from adjoining gates. VIPs from these three UNESCO World Heritage Cities will be on hand for a gate-side party with regional food and promo items for passengers.</p><h2>4. Icelandair adding more routes</h2><p>As part of its self-described “explosive” 2018 growth, in May, <a href="" target="_blank">Icelandair</a> will launch four new nonstop routes between the U.S. and Reykjavik, Iceland.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Take a 360-degree Tour of Iceland</a></p><p>The airline, which offers travelers free stopovers in Iceland, will add four flights a week from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport beginning May 16, seasonal service from Kansas City International Airport three times a week starting May 26; and four flights each week from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport beginning on May 30.</p><p>And 10 years after canceling its flights from Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Icelandair returns to <a href="" target="_blank">Charm City</a> on May 28 with four weekly flights.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Airline Is About to Shrink the Size of Carry-on Bags Allowed on Board

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 15:31
<p>In a few months, <a href="" target="_blank">Alaska Airlines</a> passengers may have to downsize. The airline is decreasing the maximum dimensions allowed for <a href="" target="_blank">carry-on baggage</a>.</p><p>Beginning June 4, passengers’ carry-on items must measure 22 x 14 x 9 inches (including wheels and handles). The change is a significant decrease from current measurements of 24 x 17 x 10 inches.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Alaska explained</a> that its current size allotment is “larger than most other international and domestic airlines allow” and that the change was made to “make sure that your carry-on bag will be accepted aboard all the flights within your itinerary.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a data-ecommerce="true" href=";node=16960994011" target="_blank">Shop the Perfect Sized Carry-on for Your Airline</a></p><p>The airline’s reasoning is logical. Over the past few years, several other airlines have shrunk the maximum size of carry-ons allowed in the overhead compartment. In 2015, <a href="" target="_blank">the International Air Transport Association issued guidelines</a> that set the ideal carry-on size at 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches. Most major U.S. airlines followed these guidelines. Onboard <a href="" target="_blank">American</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Delta</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">United</a>, the maximum size for a carry-on is now 22 x 14 x 9 inches.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Southwest</a> is the only airline that allows its passengers a slightly larger carry-on: 24 x 16 x 10 inches.</p><p>In its explainer, Alaska also notes that stricter carry-on dimensions will allow more passengers to store their luggage in the overhead compartments (as opposed to a gate-side check). Overhead space is an industry-wide concern.</p><p>The other method for dealing with limited overhead compartment space — <a href="" target="_blank">implemented by American and United</a> — is basic economy, which charges passengers for use of the overhead compartment.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Company Wants to Send You and a Friend on an Epic Road Trip Through the U.S. or Europe

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 13:31
<p>Two travel companies are teaming up to find two lucky winners who will spend the summer taking an all expenses paid, adventure-packed road trip through either the U.S. or Europe with a friend. </p><p>Student travel company <a href="" target="_blank">STA Travel and travel insurance provider World Nomads</a> are in search of two travelers who will embark on a month-long <a href="" target="_blank">road trip</a>, choosing to either hit <a href="" target="_blank">popular cities in the U.S.</a> or historic cities in <a href="" target="_blank">Europe</a> along their journey.</p><p>The companies will provide each winner and their companion with flights, travel insurance, van rentals, and up to $2,500 in travel gear.</p><p>The winners, who will each choose which continent to explore, will also get another $6,000 in spending money and up to $2,000 in tickets for music and cultural festivals that range from Spain's <a href="" target="_blank">La Tomatina</a> festival, the world's largest food fight, to popular music festivals like Belgium's <a href="" target="_blank">Tomorrowland</a>.</p><p>How each pair spends the month will be up to them: The winners will work with the World Nomads team to create a custom itinerary of where and what they want to see during their trip.</p><p>They'll also be able to use <a href="" target="_blank">Roadtrippers</a>, which taps into a GPS to find eclectic detours — from famed eateries and roadside attractions to natural swimming pools — to get some inspiration. </p><p>If you're interested in applying, you'll need to tell the company why you'd be the ideal candidate for the role by April 10, 2018. You'll also need to be at least 18 years of age. You don't need to be a student to apply. </p><p>The winners will have the option to plan out their month-long trip for anytime between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2018.</p>
Categories: Travel

Don't Forget About the 24-Hour Rule That Lets You Cancel a Flight for Free

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 11:01
<p>Purchasing flights can be stressful. Unless you’re confident you’ve found an unbeatable <a href="" target="_blank">fare deal</a> (or you’re traveling on a corporate card at your employer’s expense), making the decision to click “buy” can be one wrought with doubt and insecurity.</p><p>Unless, of course, you knew you could cancel your <a href="" target="_blank">tickets</a> for free.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Is the First Thing You Should Do If Your Flight Is Canceled or Diverted</a></p><p>Too many travelers may not realize that almost all flights are protected by strict cancellation policies, one of which was put in place by the Department of Transportation.</p><p>“The [DOT] requires U.S. and foreign airlines offering flights to or from the United States to allow reservations to be held at the quoted fare without payment, or canceled without penalty, for at least 24 hours after the reservation is made,” a DOT spokesperson told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><p>While this policy is restricted to bookings made one week or more prior to a flight’s departure, this catchall policy covers a majority of Americans’ travel plans.</p><p>It’s also important to note your specific carrier’s rules before authorizing payment, however. In certain markets, <a href="">American Airlines</a> offers travelers the option to hold a fare — and that’s the option you have to select if you think you might want to cancel your booking. If you select purchase, and not hold, you will not have a 24-hour cancellation policy in the event of last-minute buyer’s remorse.</p><p>But depending on your route and booking method, travelers may be able to mull over their purchase for even longer than 24 hours.</p><p>Last year, I booked flights through Priceline on a Friday — and was informed that I had until Monday to cancel.</p><p>“Cancelation policies are determined by the supplier and depend on their fare rules,” a press representative for Priceline told T+L. Meaning that weekend-long grace periods aren’t a rule, but can (and do) definitely happen.</p><p>And Southwest Airlines also has a carrier-specific policy that makes it easy to cancel flights. Travelers who are prone to last-minute schedule changes should consider booking directly with the airline, which never charges a fee to change flights (as long as the change was made at least 10 minutes prior to departure). That means you can rebook your flights time and time again, and pay only the difference in fares.</p><p>Even if none of these circumstances apply, travelers may still be able to walk away from a flight without penalty. If the airline <a href="" target="_blank">makes a significant change to your itinerary</a> (your morning flight is now leaving hours later than originally scheduled) you can make a convincing argument for a full refund.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Touristy Wasteland in Manhattan That’s Suddenly Worth Visiting

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 10:44
<p>No one was more surprised than New Yorkers themselves to learn that South Street Seaport — a patch of land at <a href="" target="_blank">Manhattan</a>'s lower end, right where the East River widens into New York Harbor — had become cool. For a generation, suburban-mall megachains dominated its cobblestoned streets, giving locals little reason to make a special trip. Then last year, developers launched a campaign to infuse the area — redubbed Seaport District NYC — with creative energy in the form of buzzy chef residencies, live music, and pop-up shops. The evolution had begun years earlier, after the area was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. But by mid 2017, there was little doubt: Seaport, strangely, had become Manhattan's neighborhood to watch.</p><p>These days, smaller merchants have mostly supplanted or outlived the retail giants. Northern Grade, a market of American-made housewares and apparel, opened a flagship in 2015, not far from <a href="" target="_blank">Farm Candy</a>, which sells small-batch pantry products, and Bowne &amp; Co. Stationers, a paper goods store and print studio operated by the <a href="" target="_blank">South Street Seaport Museum</a>, an area fixture since 1967. <a href="" target="_blank">Clinton Hall</a>, a laid-back beer garden with a location nearby in the Financial District, arrived last year, giving the after-hours scene a jolt.</p><img alt="The Northern Grade shop at the South Street Seaport "src=""><p>The neighborhood's first boutique lodging, the 66-room <a href="" target="_blank">Mr. C Seaport</a> <em>(doubles from $500)</em>, opens this spring, in a handsome Federal style brick building that for years languished as an unremarkable outpost of a chain hotel. Now it has a European feel, reflecting the sensibilities of designer Thomas Juul-Hansen (best known for his interiors at restaurants like Nougatine and Perry Street) and the Italian owners (two brothers from the Cipriani hospitality family). Rooms are luxurious yet subdued, with gray velveteen accent walls, lacquered-teak trim, and marble-clad bathrooms. Upon arrival, guests will be escorted to the jewel-box lounge for a cappuccino or cocktail while they check in; upstairs, negronis await in the mini-bars. It's just a block from the waterfront, so no matter which room you book, you're guaranteed a picturesque view: the Brooklyn Bridge from the upper floors or the cobblestones of Peck Slip from the lower.</p><img alt="Dining options and a room at the Mr. C Seaport Hotel "src=""><p>The old shopping mall at Pier 17 has been razed, replaced with a glassy structure that will open later this year with a rooftop event space and new ventures by restaurateurs David Chang, Andrew Carmellini, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. A branch of indie bookstore <a href="" target="_blank">McNally Jackson</a> will move in nearby, as will the cult-favorite Milanese concept store <a href="" target="_blank">10 Corso Como</a>.</p><p>This flurry of development points to a broader renaissance that's swept Lower Manhattan in the years since 9/11. Once quiet after Wall Street's closing bell rang, the area now draws locals and tourists in equal measure, whether they're seeking designer clothing at the Oculus or epicurean treats from Eataly. Now, at last, the revival feels fully realized, and Seaport, a sliver of waterfront nearly as old as the city itself, is gleaming anew.</p>
Categories: Travel