Travel

Strikes in France Are Canceling Hundreds of Trains and Flights

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 10:27
<p>Strikes are continuing to cause cancelations and disruptions both on the ground and in the air in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/wine-cost-paris" target="_blank">France</a> this week. </p><p>The country's national airline, <a href="https://www.airfrance.us" target="_blank">Air France</a>, is currently dealing with delays and cancelations across its fleet, having already canceled 30 percent of its flights on Saturday. The strikes <a href="http://corporate.airfrance.com/en/press-release/strike-action-air-france-traffic-forecasts-tuesday-10-april-2018" target="_blank">are expected to continue</a> on Tuesday, April 10 and on April 11, 17, 19, 23, and 24. </p><p>As of Monday, Air France representatives estimated that some 27 percent of its medium-haul flights departing to and from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and 20 percent of its short-haul flights departing to and from Paris Orly Airport and from Marseilles, Toulouse, Nice, and Bordeaux will be affected on Tuesday, April 10. </p><p>For those who already have bookings through both Air France and its subsidiary <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/air-france-new-airline-joon" target="_blank">Joon</a>, the airline is offering free postponements between April 9 and April 30 for flights affected on April 10 and 11, and from April 15 through April 30 for flights affected on April 17, 18, 23, and 24.</p><p>Travelers can also get a one-year voucher if they need to postpone their trip for a date after April 30 or cancel it altogether. Meanwhile, any flights canceled or delayed by more than five hours are eligible for a full refund.</p><p>The strikes come as the airline’s pilots, cabin crew, and airport staff have been <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/air-france-strike-tickets-voucher" target="_blank">asking for a six-percent pay raise</a>, rejecting the airline’s offer to raise pay rates by one percent. </p><p>While airline representatives added that it's too soon for them to know how flights after Tuesday will be affected, travelers will be able to get real-time updates on the status of their flight a day before their departure, both on the airline's site and through text and email notifications. </p><p>Meanwhile, the country is also dealing with rolling strikes over the planned overhaul of its state-owned railway company, the Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF), causing cancelations across its rail transportation services.</p><p>Only one of every five scheduled high-speed <a href="http://www.raileurope.com/train/tgv-7537" target="_blank">TGV trains</a>, which service over 230 destinations in France and Europe, and only a third of the country’s regional <a href="http://www.raileurope-world.com/train/ter" target="_blank">TER trains</a> were running as of Monday, according to <em><a href="https://www.thelocal.fr/20180409/french-rail-strike-hits-monday-services-and-leaves-sncf-with-100-million-bill" target="_blank">The Local</a></em>.</p><p><a href="https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/disruption/service-information" target="_blank">Eurostar</a> is also currently seeing cancelations across its fleet through Saturday April 14. Passengers can find live updates on the railway’s website.</p><p>The railway strikes, which started last week, are planned to continue through June 28. The SNCF app will also provide regular updates on how strikes are affecting travel conditions on a daily basis.</p><p>Those who had a trip booked with <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/eurostar-london-netherlands-tulip" target="_blank">Eurostar</a> will be able to exchange or claim a full refund on their ticket, free of charge. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Is the One Chore Everyone Hates Doing Most

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 10:15
<p>Let’s face it: Doing any kind of chores, be it picking up your room, vacuuming, or cleaning windows, truly stinks. It's extremely common to argue over who's doing the most work around the house and who should take on which duties. But if there’s one thing that people do all agree on, it’s that one chore is worse than all the rest: washing dishes.</p><p>According to a new report by the <a href="https://contemporaryfamilies.org/men-are-helping-more-around-the-house-and-favor-more-gender-equality-new-research-shows/" target="_blank">Council of Contemporary Families,</a> a nonprofit dedicated to studying family dynamics, everyone hates doing dishes. But, as the report shows, it’s crucial to share the burden of scrubbing pots and pans in order to keep familial relationships happy.</p><p>“Doing dishes is gross. There is old, moldy food sitting in the sink. If you have kids, there is curdled milk in sippy cups that smells disgusting,” Dan Carlson, an assistant professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah, and the lead author of the study, told <em><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/04/doing-dishes-is-the-worst/557087/" target="_blank">The Atlantic</a></em>.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/making-plans-can-ruin-weekend-or-vacation" target="_blank">Why Making Plans is Ruining Your Weekend, According to Science</a></p><p>He explained that while other chores like gardening and cooking come with compliments at the end, doing the dishes is a truly thankless job. “What is there to say? ‘Oh, the silverware is so … sparkly?'”</p><p>And it’s women who bare the brunt of dishes duty, according to the study. They're also, unsurprisingly, the ones who suffer the consequences of having to always clean up other people’s messes.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-etiquette/messy-hotel-room" target="_blank">How Messy Should You Leave a Hotel Room?</a></p><p>As <em>The Atlantic</em> reported, women in heterosexual relationships who wash the majority of a household’s dishes report they have <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jomf.12313" target="_blank">less relationship satisfaction</a> and even <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Ffam0000161" target="_blank">have worse sex</a> than women who have help from their partners.</p><p>Furthermore, because doing the dishes has long been gendered as a “female” task, while chores like mowing the lawn are seen as a more masculine duty, women “see themselves as relegated to the tasks that people don’t find desirable,” Carlson said.</p><p>To ensure women don’t feel stereotyped and don’t have to always take on the worst chore on the list, Carson suggested that couples share the task, or even clean the dishes together. This way, he said, household chores feel more evenly divided and couples will get the chance to spend a little time with one another over the sink. Nothing like a hot date on a Friday night over some dirty dishes, am I right?</p>
Categories: Travel

The Latest Luxury Hotel Perk in China Is Filtered Air

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 09:47
<p>The newly opened luxury hotel <a href="http://www.cordishotels.com/en/shanghai-hongqiao/" target="_blank">Cordis Shanghai, Hongqiao</a> in China is trying a new tactic to lure guests: It's offering filtered air.</p><img alt="Cordis Shanghai "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523047514/Cordis-Shanghai-Lobby-CLEANAIRHOTEL0418.jpg?itok=uQc01Bcx"><p>In February, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/shanghai" target="_blank">Shanghai</a> reported a nine percent year-over-year increase in measurements of PM2.5, <a href="https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/health-and-environmental-effects-particulate-matter-pm" target="_blank">a tiny particle that can get trapped in the lungs and bloodstream</a>. The city now <a href="https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/02/12/shanghai-air-pollution-worse-beijing/" target="_blank">regularly exceeds the Chinese capital of Beijing</a> in terms of air pollution.</p><p>And entering a building provides no relief from the polluted air. PM2.5-laden air can still enter buildings and, when combined with formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, or gases from paint and building materials, can become even more toxic to breathe.</p><p>The Cordis Shanghai, Hongqiao, however, claims that its air is generally about 10 times cleaner than what’s outside.</p><p>All the air in the building passes through two levels of filtration. And, to keep the good air inside, the double-glazed windows remain closed at all times.</p><p>TV screens in the room display information about the air quality and PM2.5 levels both inside and out.</p><img alt="Cordis Shanghai "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523047514/Cordis-Shanghai-Lounge-CLEANAIRHOTEL0418.jpg?itok=5d48E8kq"><p>“I think back to the days when everyone used to charge for the internet,” John O’Shea, managing director of Cordis Shanghai, Hongqiao, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/27/china-clean-air-indoor-quality-shanghai-cordis-hongqiao-filters" target="_blank">told <em>The Guardian</em></a>. “Now the internet’s like hot water – if you don’t have high speed, fast, easy-access internet for free, then it’s over. The indoor air quality is going to be like that too – if you can’t guarantee your customers much better air quality than the competitors, it’s going to be a fait accompli. It’s already getting that kind of importance.”</p><p>In 2016, the <a href="http://www.shangri-la.com/beijing/chinaworld/press-room/press-releases/china-world-hotel-beijing-offers-clean-air-in-all-guestrooms2/" target="_blank">China World Hotel</a> in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/hotels-in-downtown-beijing" target="_blank">Beijing</a> also advertised the installation of its new PM2.5 air-filtration technology, saying that clean air inside would “enhance our guests’ experience during holidays, business trips and meetings in Beijing to make them a lot more enjoyable.”</p>
Categories: Travel

5 of the 20 Busiest Airports in the World Are in the U.S.

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 08:37
<p>It may be something you’ve considered while standing in the security line but never (until now) had the data to confirm: airports are busier than ever.</p><p>Across the globe, airports had 6.6 percent more passengers last year than in the previous year.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.aci.aero/News/Releases/Most-Recent/2018/04/09/ACI-World-releases-preliminary-2017-world-airport-traffic-rankings--Passenger-traffic-Indian-and-Chinese-airports-major-contributors-to-growth---Air-cargo-Volumes-surge-at-major-hubs-as-trade-wars-threaten-" target="_blank">data released Monday by the Airports Council International</a> (ACI), passenger traffic at the world’s 20 busiest airports grew 5.2 percent last year. Almost 1.5 billion passengers passed through the doors of these 20 airports, representing 17 percent of global passenger traffic.</p><p>Once again, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport is the busiest in the world, having welcomed almost 104 million passengers last year. However the airport may not retain its top spot for long. Hartsfield-Jackson was the only airport in the top 20 to report a decrease in passengers from the previous year.</p><p>The runner up was Beijing Capital International Airport, with 96 million passengers, followed by Dubai International, with 88 million.</p><p>Passenger growth at Asian airports was strong in 2017 — half of the 20 busiest airports were located in Asia and four were in China alone. Earlier this year, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/fastest-growing-airports-2018" target="_blank"><em>Routesonline</em> predicted that China had 11 of the world’s 20 fastest growing airports</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/where-americans-traveled-in-2016" target="_blank">Confirming other travel trends</a>, travelers are increasingly likely to pick international destinations. ACI estimated that the number of international passengers increased 8.4 percent last year.</p><p>Of the top 20 busiest airports, five were located in the United States: <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/los-angeles">Los Angeles</a>, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/denver-airport" target="_blank">Denver International</a> all made the list.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Job Comes With a Free House on a Beautiful Island in Cornwall

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 08:18
<p>Finally, a job that makes it easy to relocate.</p><p>A job opening for a Visitor Services Manager on St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, England, looks very appealing, especially if you only want a few coworkers, love the sea, and wouldn’t mind living on an island.</p><img alt="St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall, England "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523287829/st-michaels-mount-tide-in-ISLCASTJOB0418.jpg?itok=cMg93g3u"><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/summer-vacations/summer-jobs-to-get-away" target="_blank">Ditch the 9-to-5 for One of These Off-the-grid Summer Jobs</a></p><p>The position, according to the listing, involves “working with tide and weather,” and “responsibility for the visitor journey from the car parks to the castle and line management of over 30 seasonal employees.” It comes with housing on the island, should you wish to live there.</p><p>The ideal candidate would be a “practical, positive, solution focused individual” who can also “cope well under pressure.” While the <a href="https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/explore-the-mount/village-harbour" target="_blank">population is only 30</a>, the island welcomed about 350,000 visitors last year, so you shouldn’t expect to be lazing about the island all day.</p><p>St. Michael's Mount is a 58-acre tidal island, which means it's connected to the mainland by a causeway that is only exposed during low tide. </p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/how-to-get-remote-jobs" target="_blank">How to Get a Job That Will Let You Work From Anywhere</a></p><img alt="St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall, England "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523287829/st-michaels-mount-tide-out-ISLCASTJOB0418.jpg?itok=_8o3FTjX"><p>The position pays between £24,000 and £29,000 per year (about $34,000 to $41,000 USD), but this job is really about the perks. Not only are you living on a gorgeous island, but you’re also working in a real castle.</p><p>According to<em> <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/time-and-tide-await-the-right-applicant-for-jobs-on-st-michael-s-mount-rp7bn0cxz" target="_blank">The Times</a></em>, the position has already received some interest. Within a day of being posted on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stmichaelsmount/posts/10155686600474227" target="_blank">official Facebook page</a>, 10 people had applied.</p><p>The deadline for applications is April 17. To apply, go to the <a href="https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/work-for-us" target="_blank">St. Michael’s Mount website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Disneyland Now Has Dole Whip Donuts and We Know What We Want for Breakfast

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 07:42
<p>Turkey legs, Mickey-shaped beignets, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/disney-vacations/disney-world-disneyland-holiday-foods" target="_blank">sugar-dusted churros</a> — with so many must-have Disney foods, it’s tough to try them all in one day. However, a new treat debuting at the California theme park means you can get your fill a little closer to sunrise: You can now have Dole Whip for breakfast.</p><p>Disneyland’s latest Dole Whip donut concoction isn’t just pineapple-flavored, it’s a true Dole Whip doppelganger. This sweet new take on one of Disney parks’ most popular snacks matches the sweet-and-creamy combination of the historic frozen treat, without the worry of it melting before you finish.</p><p>Served at Disneyland’s donut cart, which is located to the left of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Dole Whip donut comes topped with pineapple icing and piled high with fluffy meringue; inside it’s packed with fruity filling and bits of pineapple, bringing to mind the flavors of the famed Disney treat in a brand new form.</p><p><a href="http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2018/04/08/its-here-the-dole-whip-donut-debuts-in-disneyland/" target="_blank">Disney Food Blog</a> broke the news of the latest in-demand Disney snack, which began to spread across Instagram late last week. According to the preeminent theme park food website, the selection often rotates, so hungry sweet tooths should get there early and check back often. A limited number of donuts are made each day, according to a spokesperson, and we they're sold out, they're sold out.</p><p>Disneyland’s pineapple Dole Whip soft-serve is massively popular with park guests, often causing a line of hungry hopefuls to wrap around Adventureland’s Tiki Juice Bar at all hours of the day. Early birds can now fulfill that same craving with a fruity start to their ride-filled day, but thanks to a recent development, a hankering for the sweet swirl will be easier to obtain.</p><p>With Disneyland’s new mobile ordering, guests will soon be allowed to order the parks’ most popular foods — likely including Dole Whip — <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/disneyland-order-food-from-phone" target="_blank">directly from their phones</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Her Lookalike Daughter Are on a Glamorous Trip to NYC

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 07:29
<p>Catherine Zeta-Jones is one lucky lady. Not only has she been blessed with an illustrious film career and beauty that defies time, but she also always seems to have her loving family by her side <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/michael-douglas-catherine-zeta-jones-in-india" target="_blank">no matter where in the world she travels</a>.</p><p>This week, the actress stepped out in New York City alongside her 14-year-old daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas. According to the <em><a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-news/catherine-zetajones-attends-event-in-new-york-with-lookalike-teenage-daughter-carys-zeta-douglas-a3809151.html" target="_blank">Evening Standard</a></em>, the mother-daughter duo were in New York to attend Dolce &amp; Gabbana’s Alta Moda couture event.</p><p>At the event, both Zeta women looked stunning in the designer’s outfits. Zeta-Jones wore a black corset with lace sleeves and a sheer black lace skirt. Meanwhile, her daughter opted for black trousers with an off-the-shoulder floral top.</p><p>In an Instagram video, Zeta-Jones shared, “Just arriving at the Dolce and Gabbana show with Carys. We are so excited.”</p><p>While this trip looked remarkably fashionable, it wasn’t the first time Zeta-Jones took one of her children to an incredible place.</p><p>In January, the actress and her husband Michael Douglas took their family, including Carys and her brother Dylan, on a tour of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/catherine-zeta-jones-family-vacation-asia" target="_blank">India, Cambodia, and Thailand</a>.</p><p>While in India, the entire family was lucky enough to tour the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/landmarks-monuments/taj-mahal-unique-facts-history" target="_blank">Taj Mahal</a>.</p><p>“At the Taj Mahal with the three other ‘Wonders of the World’ in my life,” Zeta-Jones wrote in an Instagram post.</p><p>Next, while in Cambodia, the entire family got together to see a truly special gift they donated to a local community.</p><p>“The best Christmas gift,” Zeta-Jones wrote on Instagram. “Today we went to see the well we donated to some families in Cambodia. Such a joy for us.”</p><p>Finally, while in Thailand the family showed off their sense of adventure while diving in the crystal-blue waters.</p><p>No word yet on where the family is jetting off to next, but odds are it will be somewhere amazing and you can bet they’ll be Instagramming about it.</p>
Categories: Travel

Drunk Tourist Accidentally Climbs Mountain Instead of Going Back to Hotel

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 06:07
<p>Next time you’re on vacation, it’s important you try to remember not to overdo it on the libations. Especially if you’re trekking through the Italian Alps.</p><p>An Estonian tourist, known only as Pavel, according to Italian news source <em><a href="http://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/06/edizioni/aosta/un-turista-era-cos-ubriaco-che-ha-scambiato-le-piste-da-sci-di-cervinia-per-la-strada-verso-lhotel-qZtE43VUqzmoBImKMHCBLL/pagina.html?zanpid=2418431716604851200" target="_blank">La Stampa</a></em>, apparently got a little <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/hottest-apres-ski-bars" target="_blank">too drunk</a> while vacationing at Cervinia, a resort in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta. Pavel reportedly thought he was headed back to his hotel, but he ended up climbing the side of a mountain instead.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/obnoxious-tourist-behavior" target="_blank">How Not to Be an Obnoxious Tourist While Traveling Abroad</a></p><p>Assuming he was on the road to the hotel, Pavel took a snow-covered street that led him to a ski run. Between 2 and 3 a.m., <em>La Stampa </em>reported, he managed to trudge his way up the mountainside until he found a local bar called Igloo, located about a mile and a half above sea level. </p><p>The man broke into the bar and took shelter there, <em>La Stampa </em>reported. A search party had been sent out to find the missing tourist before he was discovered by the bar staff, sleeping on one of the bar’s benches the next morning.</p><p>Pavel has not commented on the incident, but he was very lucky to have found shelter. Next time he should really travel with a buddy — and perhaps take it easy après ski. </p>
Categories: Travel

How to Pick the Best American Airlines Credit Card For You

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 16:12
<p>The world’s largest airline, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/american-airlines" target="_blank">American Airlines</a>, offers a number of different credit cards from various banks. Airline credit cards such as these can be a great way to quickly earn frequent flier miles — and to redeem points on free travel. As with a frequent flyer program, travelers see the most benefits if they consistently fly with a single airline or alliance.</p><p>American Airlines credit cards can be a smart option for travelers based in or near one of their major domestic hubs, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, North Carolina. Jetsetters who frequently fly with American Airlines' partner carriers in the Oneworld Alliance (British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, and Air Berlin, among others) can also benefit from carrying one of these cards in their wallet. </p><p>If neither of these is true, it may be more beneficial to stick with a basic, no-fee, cash-back card, such as the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/points-miles/chase-ultimate-rewards-credit-cards" target="_blank">Chase Freedom Unlimited</a> or Citibank Costco Anywhere Visa, or a more deluxe credit card with a flexible, travel-friendly rewards program (think: the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/points-miles/chase-sapphire-reserve-card" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Reserve</a> or the American Express Platinum cards).</p><p>Figuring out whether an AAdvantage card is the right fit — and then figuring out which of the TK AAdvantage cards is best for your spending style — can be tough.<b> </b>Citibank, for example, issues several American Airlines-branded credit cards, that you can apply for online. (<a href="https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/compare-credit-cards/citi.action?ID=american-airlines-aadvantage-credit-cards" target="_blank">Check out the AAdvantage cards Citibank currently has available</a>.) For an AAdvantage Barclaycard, you'll have to apply on an AA flight and in person, at an airport.</p><p>Regardless of the card you choose, be sure to confirm the details of the latest sign-up bonuses, as they change often.</p><h2>An American Airlines Credit Card Without Fees</h2><p>The <a href="https://secure.fly.aa.com/citi/ecm/citi-aadvantage-bronze" target="_blank">Citi AAdvantage Bronze Card</a> is a no-fee card, which means there’s zero cost for signing up. But potential cardholders will enjoy only a fraction of the rewards they’d receive from a comparable no-fee, cash-back credit card. The Bronze Card earns miles at a tedious snail’s pace, but traveler will enjoy a discount on inflight food and beverage purchases.</p><p><strong>Benefits:</strong></p>One mile for every two dollars spentSave 25 percent on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights<p><strong>Annual Fee</strong>: None</p><h2>American Airlines Credit Cards With Low Fees</h2><h3>Best For: Temporary American Airlines Frequent Fliers </h3><p>The low-fee <a href="https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/citi.action?ID=citi-aadvantage-gold-elite-credit-card&amp;category=travel-reward-credit-cards&amp;afc=1C1&amp;intc=7~7~67~1~MCT~1~CMSDefaultOffer~4XRW14Y781C1111111W" target="_blank">Citi AAdvantage Gold Card</a> offers more perks than the Bronze Card, including a generous sign-up bonus and a fee waiver for the first year. It's an especially attractive short-term option for travelers who may anticipate a series of upcoming American Airlines flights. After potentially collecting tens of thousands of AAdvantage miles, cardholders may find the Gold Card (with an average earning rate of one mile per dollar) in need of an upgrade.</p><p><strong>Benefits</strong>:</p>Earns one mile for every dollar spentReduced mileage award of 5,000 miles<p><strong>Sample Sign-up Bonus</strong>: 25,000 miles after you spend $750 in the first three months</p><p><strong>Annual Fee</strong>: $50 (waived the first year)</p><h3>Best For: Novice Points and Miles Earners </h3><p>The <a href="https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/citi.action?ID=citi-aadvantage-platinum-elite-credit-card&amp;category=travel-reward-credit-cards&amp;afc=1C1&amp;intc=7~7~67~1~MCT~1~CMSDefaultOffer~4XSX1HY771C1L00101W" target="_blank">Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Card</a> will immediately make traveling with American Airlines easier and more enjoyable, offering cardholders priority boarding, a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to four companions, and many opportunities to earn miles. With no foreign transaction fees, it’s a good card to use abroad as well. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year, making it a guilt-free way to get into the points and miles game.</p><p><strong>Benefits</strong>:</p>No foreign transaction feesEarns two miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchasesEarns one mile for every other dollar spentGet the first checked bag free for cardholder and up to four companionsPriority boardingReduced mileage award of 7,500 milesGet 10 percent of redeemed miles back annually<p><strong>Sample Sign-up Bonus</strong>: 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months</p><p><strong>Annual Fee</strong>: $95 (waived the first year)</p><h2>American Airlines Credit Cards With High Fees</h2><h3>Best For: Frequent (and Fancy) American Airlines Fliers </h3><p>The <a href="https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/citi.action?ID=citi-aadvantage-executive-credit-card&amp;category=travel-reward-credit-cards&amp;afc=1C1&amp;intc=7~7~67~1~MCT~1~CMSDefaultOffer~4XEB1WA7X1C1L00101W" target="_blank">Citi AAdvantage Executive Card</a> charges a considerable $450 a year in annual fees. But for frequent American Airlines travelers, the price is fair. The Executive Card offers not only priority boarding, but also a free checked bag for the card holder and up to eight<i> </i>companions, as well as automatic membership into the Admirals Club, which gives the cardholder free access to any of its 50 locations worldwide. There are also ample opportunities to earn AAdvantage miles and no foreign transaction fees to worry about. Travelers who are not AA-loyal, however, may opt instead for the <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rhUAVImVysz2EOQo7tUUl3WFuHBiUnaUevT4cJUSfMw/edit" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Reserve Card</a>, which has a more flexible set of benefits for the same price.</p><p><strong>Benefits</strong>:</p>Admirals Club MembershipNo foreign transaction feesEarns two miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchasesEarns one mile for every other dollar spentGet first checked bag free for cardholder and up to eight companionsPriority boardingEnhanced VIP experience, including private check-in areas and expedited securityReduced mileage award of 7,500 milesGet 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spent $40,000<p><strong>Sample Sign-up Bonus</strong>: 75,000 miles after you spend $7,500 in the first three months</p><p><strong>Annual Fee</strong>: $450</p>
Categories: Travel

A Rare Flower That Only Blooms in Death Valley Was Saved From Extinction

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 12:02
<p>Turns out, there is life blooming in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/traveling-to-hot-weather-locations" target="_blank">Death Valley</a>.</p><p>Despite its bare and dry reputation, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/pool-the-oasis-at-death-valley" target="_blank">Death Valley</a> in the Mojave Desert is actually the only place where you can see a particular <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/death-valley-wildflower-super-bloom" target="_blank">wildflower</a> that almost went completely extinct.</p><p>The Eureka Valley evening primrose, listed as endangered in 1978, has thankfully been saved from extinction thanks to the conservation efforts of Death Valley National Park, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.</p><p>The rare flower only grows in the remote dunes of the Eureka Valley, and designating the valley a “wilderness area” via the Organic Act and the Wilderness Act made it possible for it to grow without human interference. Prior to being included in Death Valley National Park, the Eureka dunes were a <a href="https://greenfriar.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/eureka-primrose-dune/" target="_blank">popular place for off-road vehicles</a>, which unsurprisingly had a detrimental effect on the plant population.</p><p>The night-blooming flower has white petals that fade to pink as it matures, and it can grow up to <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2014/feb/26/science/la-sci-sn-death-valley-plants-saved-20140226" target="_blank">two and a half feet tall</a>.</p><p>Of course, people can still get a look at the beautiful flower when they visit. The park is putting up even <a href="https://www.doi.gov/blog/eureka-rare-wildflower-pulled-brink-extinction" target="_blank">more efforts to educate</a> visitors about the plants in Death Valley and how to enjoy them without harming them, such as not camping too close to the plants and only parking or driving on designated areas and roads.</p><p>Along with the evening primrose, the same measures implemented by Death Valley National Park also <a href="https://www.endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com/2018/02/articles/delisting/fws-de-lists-one-california-desert-plant-down-lists-another/" target="_blank">downgraded the Eureka Valley dune grass</a> from “endangered” to “threatened.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Navigation Apps Keep Sending Drivers on the Same Dangerous Shortcut in Los Angeles

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:01
<p>It’s common knowledge that <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/los-angeles" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> is one of the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/los-angeles-traffic" target="_blank">worst places for traffic congestion</a>.</p><p>Drivers stuck in the hot <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/los-angeles-points-of-interest" target="_blank">Southern California</a> gridlock often find themselves wishing there was something — anything — they could do to get to their destination faster. Navigation apps like Waze have even offered some interesting detours, one of which has caused more trouble than it’s worth.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lopez-echo-park-traffic-20180404-story.html" target="_blank">Los Angeles Times</a></em>, some drivers might have noticed that their navigation apps have been offering a particular detour through Baxter Street in Echo Park in order to bypass the headache-inducing traffic.</p><p>This would be a dream come true, except if you’re not familiar with Echo Park, you might not know Baxter Street is notorious for its extremely steep incline.</p><p>The <em>Times </em>reported that some “inept” drivers have been unable to handle the huge hill, leading to a number of accidents, especially in bad weather. "A lot of people can't make it up the hill," Baxter resident Robbie Adams said. </p><p>Many drivers end up trying to go back down the hill, but that often causes complications when there are other drivers behind them.</p><img alt="A look at the steepest streets in Los Angeles. Baxter Street in Silverlake. "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522942737/baxter-street-los-angeles-STEEPSTREET0418.jpg?itok=tmkA34f2"><p>"Rain is a huge problem," Adams added. "People start skidding and spinning. We had our garden wall knocked down twice, and my wife's car got hit in our own driveway. I've seen five or six cars smash into other cars, and it's getting worse."</p><p>Adams and other residents teamed up to send a letter to Waze in order to get Baxter Street removed as a possible detour, or possibly get notifications sent in case of any hazards.</p><p>Waze, unfortunately, sent a letter back saying they could not remove the route due to the app’s algorithm.</p><p>Baxter ranks as the third-steepest street in Los Angeles with a 32-percent grade, behind 28th Street in San Pedro (33.3 percent) and Eldred Street in Mount Washington (33 percent), according to the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>, and it’s one of the 10 steepest streets in the U.S.</p><p>Residents met Wednesday and are attempting to find their own solution.</p>
Categories: Travel

Sweden Just Introduced a New Eco-friendly Aviation Tax

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 04/08/2018 - 16:00
<p>Sweden introduced a new aviation tax, effective this month, intended to offset the industry’s carbon footprint. The fee ranges from $7 to $49 per passenger, depending on the flight's destination. According to a <a href="https://www.afp.com/en/news/2265/sweden-introduces-eco-friendly-aviation-tax-doc-13j18s1" target="_blank">study published</a> in the Swedish newspaper <em>Dagens Nyheter</em>, over half of Swedes surveyed were in the favor of the new tax.</p><p>Writing in <em>Dagens Nyheter</em>, Climate Minister Isabella Lovin cited the “sharp increase in air travel” as the reason for the tax. The aviation industry produces from <a href="http://theconversation.com/airline-emissions-and-the-case-for-a-carbon-tax-on-flight-tickets-56598" target="_blank">3% to 8% of the world's emissions</a>, according to the GAO</p><p>Sweden's government expects the tax to lead to 450,000–600,000 fewer airline passengers per year, <a href="http://nordic.businessinsider.com/sweden-is-making-flying-more-expensive-with-a-contested-airline-tax--and-some-airlines-are-already-cancelling-routes--/" target="_blank"><em>Business Insider Nordic</em> reported</a>. While it could offset Sweden's emissions, it may simply shift flights rather than eliminate them: The new tax will likely cause some airlines to reroute their flights to neighboring countries like Denmark in order to avoid the fee, <a href="https://www.thelocal.dk/20180403/swedish-air-tax-could-benefit-danish-aviation-analyst" target="_blank"><em>The Local</em> reported</a>.</p><p>Analyst Jacob Pedersen of Danish bank Sydbank said the tax will be good for Danish aviation, as airlines could avoid Sweden and Norway, which now both have similar taxes.</p><p>“My best guess is that Denmark will see a positive effect without us really having to do anything,” he said, according to <em>The Local</em>.</p><p>The belief that airlines will avoid Sweden due to the tax isn't just rumor: Norwegian Air said this week it has already <a href="http://nordic.businessinsider.com/sweden-is-making-flying-more-expensive-with-a-contested-airline-tax--and-some-airlines-are-already-cancelling-routes--/" target="_blank">canceled at least one route</a> in response to the tax.</p>
Categories: Travel

Plan to More Than Double National Park Entrance Fees Halted by Public Backlash

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 04/08/2018 - 13:16
<p>U.S. Department of the Interior officials have decided to reconsider <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/national-parks-raising-entrance-fees" target="_blank">a proposal introduced in October 2017</a> that would drastically raise entrance fees at many of the country's most popular national parks.</p><p>The decision to reconsider comes after officials received more than 109,000 comments from the public opposing the new plan that would raise entrance fees from $30 to $70 during peak season at 17 parks including <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/grand-canyon-national-park" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a>, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/yellowstone-national-park-guide" target="_blank">Yellowstone,</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/syndication/starbucks-yosemite" target="_blank">Yosemite</a>. </p><p>The new proposal would also required that anyone riding a motorcycle in the parks pay $50 as opposed to $25, while cyclists would pay $30 instead of $15.</p><p>“So the NPS would more than double the current entry fee for peak season; I know if we were considering a trip to one of these parks and suddenly found that the trip would incur an exorbitant entrance fee, I would not…repeat not take my family on this trip,” read one of the 50,000 comments Department of the Interior officials provided to <em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/02/americans-tell-interior-to-take-a-hike-over-proposed-national-park-fee-increase/?utm_term=.1549da3fe811" target="_blank">The Washington Post</a>.</em></p><p>While some commentators supported increasing the rates, the majority did not, leading Interior officials to readdress and restructure the original proposal to help fund the close to $12 million maintenance backlog fees national parks are facing while avoiding making the parks too expensive to actually draw visitors. </p><p>In a recent survey conducted by the <a href="https://outdoorsallianceforkids.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/e-12281-outdoors-alliance-for-kids2.pdf" target="_blank">Outdoor Alliance for Kids</a>, close to 70 percent of people said they opposed the increased rate, with 83 percent saying the price hikes would make it more difficult to visit the parks down the line.</p><p>“The plan is still being reviewed and not yet finalized; we've taken the public's suggestions seriously and have amended the plan to reflect those,” a Department of the Interior spokesperson told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><p>“The secretary remains laser-focused on rebuilding our park infrastructure and this plan coupled with the bipartisan bill in congress will provide a historic investment," the spokesperson added, though details of what this plan will look like still remain unshared.</p><p>An official from the Interior who wished to remain anonymous told <em>The Washington Post </em>that some of the options being considered include a 10-percent fee increase on parks with entrance charges, as well as a $20 increase on the $80 annual and senior lifetime passes currently offered, though details have yet to be finalized. </p>
Categories: Travel

How to Throw the Perfect Nashville Bachelorette Party

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 04/08/2018 - 12:31
<p>Nashville, Tennessee has long been known as “a drinking town with a music problem." So it should come as no surprise that its nickname is NashVegas. These folks like to party, and know how to have a good time.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/austin-bachelorette-party-itinerary" target="_blank">The Perfect Austin Bachelorette Party Itinerary</a> </p><p>From the best <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/points-of-interest-nashville" target="_blank">things to do in Nashville</a> for a bachelorette party (<a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/what-to-eat-drink-and-do-in-nashville" target="_blank">including the greatest bars</a>), and the perfect hashtags for your Honky Tonky hen party, don't plan a Nashville bachelorette party without first consulting this exhaustive guide. </p><h2>Best Places to Stay in Nashville for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>The Estate at Cherokee Dock</h3><p>Twenty-five miles east of downtown Nashville, <a href="http://www.cherokeedock.com/" target="_blank">The Estate at Cherokee Dock</a> merges the best of authentic Nashville with classic Tennessee charm and rural surroundings. The Estate has seven bedrooms and bathrooms, in addition to a movie theater, gym, private pool, and wine cellar on site — making it the perfect spot for your girl gang. Brides-to-be can even book the Estate for their wedding day.</p><h3>Sheraton Grand Downtown</h3><p>After a glam remodel, <a href="http://www.sheratonnashvilledowntown.com/" target="_blank">the Grand Downtown</a> has luxe rooms perfect for a bachelorette home base. The hotel sits in the heart of downtown, and has a free shuttle to transport your party to all the best spots — a smart amenity for a boozy weekend. </p><h3>The Fairlane Hotel</h3><p>Looking for an upscale bachelorette experience? Try the recently-opened boutique, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/new-hotels-2018#fairlane-hotel-nashville-tennessee" target="_blank">the Fairlane</a>. Bachelorettes can reserve the 4,000-square-foot Penthouse, decked in 1970s swag, complete with wraparound terrace and rooftop views of the city. Up the game with the New Mile High Club package, providing an in-room house band, DJ, or lounge trio; a fully stocked bar and personal bartender; a classic car with a driver; security detail; and 3:00 a.m. in-room breakfast service and next day in-room hangover IV drips. Seriously. </p><h2>Best Restaurants in Nashville for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>Party Fowl</h3><p>A bachelorette party in Nashville must almost certainly include a stop for traditional southern fried chicken. Specializing in hot chicken and cold drinks, <a href="http://www.partyfowl.com/" target="_blank">Party F</a>owl will give your group a memorable (and filling) experience. The menu features a number of hot chicken dishes with specified heat levels, creative spins on classic Southern comfort food, more than 20 local beers on tap, and a delicious selection of boozy slushies.</p><h3>Boozy Brunch with Morph Hospitality Group</h3><p>We can all agree that no Nashville bach bash would be complete with boozy brunch — but with so many options to choose from, why limit the party to one spot? Celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan’s <a href="http://www.morphhospitality.com/" target="_blank">three restaurants</a> in The Gulch are all conveniently located next to each other, and offer the perfect brunch crawl. Start with dim sum brunch and Bloodys at Tànsuǒ, followed by main courses at Chauhan Ale &amp; Masala House. Finish off the brunch tour with desserts at The Mockingbird.</p><h3>Josephine</h3><p>Tucked away in one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Nashville, <a href="https://www.josephineon12th.com/" target="_blank">Josephine</a> is a favorite with locals and perfect for your girlfriend getaway. Led by Nashville media darling, chef Andy Little, this farmhouse restaurant features classic recipes (a whole chicken for two with crispy potatoes; scallops with smoked mushroom chowder) accompanied by a carefully selected wine and signature cocktail list.</p><h2>Best Bars in Nashville for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>Geist</h3><p>This <a href="http://www.geistnashville.com/" target="_blank">hangout</a> is a sophisticated neighborhood bar and restaurant, and one of Nashville’s new must-see spots. It’s a stunning renovation of one of the city’s oldest buildings — a 118-year-old former blacksmith shop. It features a chic bar and dining room with classic cocktails, as well as The Champagne Garden: a full garden and courtyard with an outdoor cooking stove.</p><h3>Tootsies</h3><p>Tootsies is a Nashville institution, one of the famous bars on Broadway known for live music. If you and the bach ladies are looking to party, this is your spot. Tootsies has all the charm that Nashville is known for — the ultimate Honky Tonk hangout — and plenty of cheap beer.</p><h3>Pinewood Social</h3><p>Looking to combine chic drinks and some wholesome fun? <a href="http://www.pinewoodsocial.com/" target="_blank">Pinewood Social</a> is a local hangout that serves fabulous craft cocktails and has six reclaimed bowling lanes. Just be sure to book well in advance for your group.</p><h3>The Valentine</h3><p>Another bustling Broadway bar, the <a href="http://www.thevalentinenashville.com/" target="_blank">Valentine</a> is a fantastic spot for you and your bachelorettes. Self-described as an "upscale saloon," this four-decker, Prohibition era-inspired space is one of the city's wildest new spots for party girls. Order a round of Debutante shooters: vanilla vodka, watermelon, sour, and cranberry juice.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/weekend-getaways/weekend-in-nashville" target="_blank">The Perfect Three-Day Weekend in Nashville</a></p><h2>Things to Do in Nashville for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>The Escape Game</h3><p>The <a href="http://nashvilleescapegame.com/" target="_blank">Escape Game</a> is an immersive experience designed to challenge participants as they try to beat the clock and break free from the carefully designed, themed rooms. It's perfect for bachelorette parties seeking a team-building activity (or a bride who has always dreamed of being Nancy Drew). They even have a Nashville-themed room in their downtown location.</p><h3>City Winery Nashville</h3><p>Round up the flock, because it’s time to spend a classy day at an urban winery. Located steps from downtown Nashville’s main strip, <a href="https://citywinery.com/nashville/" target="_blank">City Winery Nashville</a> even offers live music and a full restaurant. Enjoy a tasting with the crew, followed by dinner and a show at the winery's stage. City Winery also boasts twin outdoor patios, making it a great place to admire views of the Music City.</p><h3>Firepot Nomadic Teas</h3><p>For a bride in need of a little Zen, make time during the party to detox. When it debuts this spring, bachelorettes can drop by <a href="https://www.firepot.com/" target="_blank">Firepot</a> for a refreshing glass of sparkling tea on tap and a nutrient-rich raw chocolate energy ball. Visitors can also grab drinks and light bites to-go, or peruse the selection of organic, ethically-sourced teas for purchase. Find it in Nashville’s popular 12 South neighborhood.</p><h2>Nashville Bachelorette Party Ideas</h2><h3>Nashville Bachelorette Hashtags</h3><p>When planning a bachelorette, you have to have hashtags ready for the group to share. And when it comes to a Nashville bachelorette party, those hashtags should be extra wild and fun.</p><p>Some examples we love include #LetsGetNashty, #NashBachBash, #MarriedtoHoneyTonk, #Smashville, and #BachNashVegas. </p><h3>Nashville Bachelorette Party Shirt</h3><p>For the best Nashville bachelorette party tees, you’ll want to customize your group’s look so you can take plenty of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/photography/best-travel-vacation-instagram-captions" target="_blank">awesome Instagram</a> photos together. After all, these are memories you’ll keep forever (or at least refer to when wedding planning gets a bit too stressful).</p><p>Some awesome places to purchase custom T-shirts include <a href="https://www.bridalpartytees.com/shop/Bachelorette+Party" target="_blank">Bachelorette Party Tees</a> and <a href="https://www.zazzle.com/bachelor+party+tshirts" target="_blank">Zazzle</a>. If you’re looking for ideas, check out these fabulous on-theme ideas for NashVegas from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/586917509/nashville-bachelorette-party-shirts-nash?gpla=1&amp;gao=1&amp;utm_campaign=shopping_us_KTeesDesigns_sfc_osa&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_source=google&amp;utm_custom1=0&amp;utm_content=9328362&amp;gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwaDt5I_v2QIVxSaGCh34ggnwEAQYASABEgKAxPD_BwE" target="_blank">Etsy</a>, like "Boots &amp; booze &amp; babes in Nashville." </p><h3>Nashville Bachelorette Invitations</h3><p>Don’t forget the invitations! If you’re going to inspire a group of amazing women to get on a plane and head to Nashville for a bachelorette party, start with a great invite.</p><p>Etsy has a number of cute options — and we also adore these invitations from <a href="http://myladydye.com/shop/product/nashville-bachelorette-party-invitation/" target="_blank">My Lady Dye</a>, which feature <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/MyLadyDye?search_query=nashville" target="_blank">the Nashville city skyline</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Is the Comfiest Airline in the U.S., According to a New Study

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 04/08/2018 - 07:00
<p>If you’re looking to get comfortable on your next flight, knowing how much legroom the airline offers and what types of amenities and entertainment you can expect makes all the difference.</p><p>Those are the factors that personal finance site <a href="https://wallethub.com/edu/best-airlines/20916/" target="_blank">WalletHub</a> used to determine which U.S. airline provides the most comfortable experience for travelers across the nine largest U.S. airlines as well as two regional carriers.</p><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/jetblue" target="_blank">JetBlue</a> was given the distinction of having the most comfortable in-flight experience, scoring high marks across each of the categories in the report.</p><p>WalletHub looked at which airlines provide at least 30 inches of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/faa-must-investigate-shrinking-airline-seats" target="_blank">seat pitch</a> in economy, if they provide some type of entertainment, if they have amenities like free <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/the-grid/how-to-find-free-wifi-around-world" target="_blank">Wi-Fi</a>, and if they offer a selection of complimentary food and drinks. JetBlue scored perfectly on each category.</p><p>JetBlue previously took the top spot for the most comfortable airline in WalletHub's 2016 study.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Take Royal Classes to Become More Like Meghan Markle

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 04/08/2018 - 06:16
<p>Before she officially becomes a member of the royal family, Meghan Markle has had to undertake some pretty serious training. And now, thanks to a new program at <a href="https://www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-kensington-hotel" target="_blank">The Kensington</a> hotel in London, you can too.</p><p>Markle has been busy over the last few months gaining knowledge in everything from royal protocol and dinner etiquette to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/meghan-markle-prepping-for-royal-life-self-defense-training" target="_blank">how to defend herself against would-be attackers</a>.</p><p>“Meghan will be put through a number of training scenarios in which she will be a hostage who needs to be rescued," a source told <i>Harper's Bazaar.</i> “She will be tied to a chair and members of the SAS with sub-machine guns and live ammo will fight their way into the building and rescue her. The training will be very realistic, pretty tough and can be very scary. Meghan will be told what to do and then given a chance to put what she has been taught into practice.”</p><p>OK, so you likely won’t have to take things this far, but <a href="https://www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-kensington-hotel" target="_blank">The Kensington</a> is offering up a master class in all things useful to a royal including calligraphy, how to become the ultimate hostess, and how to furnish your future palace.</p><p>In the Become the Hostess with the Mostess class, students will spend time with author, chef, and entertaining expert Dani Tucker. Tucker, the founder of The Social Kitchen, will walk guests through how to set the perfect dinner table, personalize their own table setting, and keep their cool throughout the planning process. The famed chef will even share some of her most successful recipes, including her famous roast chicken, which happened to be the dish Meghan and Harry were cooking when he proposed.</p><p>And, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/syndication/meghan-markle-calligraphy-wedding-invitations" target="_blank">like Meghan</a>, guests can learn the craft of calligraphy in The Kensington’s Write Like a Royal class with Suzie Dicker, expert calligrapher and founder of bespoke stationery brand A L’Aise. In the class, Dicker will teach participants how to put pen to paper perfectly. Guests will go home with their own calligraphy guide book, inspiration sheet, calligraphy pen, and pot of ink.</p><p>And finally, in the Furnish Your Palace class, guests will sit down with interior design aficionados Jane Rockett and Lucy St George of Rockett St George and floral stylist Hannah Agnes Antmann of Saint Floral to learn how to dress their homes for every special occasion, royal or otherwise.</p><p>The Royal Masterclasses will be available on select days through April and May and run from 7–8:30 p.m. The best part is that classes are less than $50, meaning you won’t have to spend like a princess to learn how to act like one.</p>
Categories: Travel

The World’s First Luxury Space Hotel Is Now Taking Reservations

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/07/2018 - 17:15
<p>A hotel with an out-of-this-world view is now taking reservations — but it'll cost you.</p><p>Would-be space tourists have been waiting for years for the chance to finally take their dream vacation of orbiting around our little, blue planet. Now, that dream is close to becoming a reality. Thursday, during the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California, <a href="http://www.orionspan.com">Orion Span</a> introduced its space hotel, Aurora Station, and announced that it is officially open for reservations.</p><p>While it sounds spectacular-bordering-on-insane, Orion Span isn't the only company working on a space hotel. Just earlier this year, Bigelow Space Operations (of billionaire Robert Bigelow) <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/bigelow-aerospace-inflatable-space-hotel" target="_blank">announced plans for an inflatable space hotel</a> to launch by 2021.</p><p>Orion Span's proposed modular space station can host six people at a time, including two crew members. While in the station, guests can enjoy the astronaut experience during a 12-day journey, soaring 200 miles above the Earth’s surface in Low Earth Orbit. Guests will experience zero gravity, see Earth’s northern and southern aurora, and take part in research experiments like growing food in orbit.</p><p>The hotel orbits Earth every 90 minutes, giving guests a view of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.</p><p>Of course, a reservation for such a once-in-a-lifetime experience isn’t going to be cheap. Reservations on Aurora start at $9.5 million per person, and the company is accepting refundable deposits of $80,000 to get on the reservation waitlist.</p><img alt="Aurora Station Hotel - Orion Span "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523028024/Aurora-Station-interior-SPACERESI0418.jpg?itok=-V22_bxt"><p>Once the station is closer to opening, the company will be contacting guests on the waitlist to discuss potential dates. The station is planned to launch in late 2021 and host its first guests in 2022.</p><p>Frank Bunger, chief executive officer and founder of Orion Span, said that the price point is lower than most other people have paid to go to space. “We developed Aurora Station to provide a turnkey destination in space,” he said in a statement, “bringing travelers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before, while still providing an unforgettable experience.”</p><p>The company has apparently streamlined the process of preparing guests for space travel from a customary year-long regimen to just three months with the Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC). The first phase of the certification program is done online and the second is completed in-person at a training facility in Houston, Texas. The final certification is completed during a traveler’s stay on Aurora Station.</p><p>Beyond being a hotel, the station will also be a site for research and future planning. “We will offer full charters to space agencies who are looking to achieve human spaceflight in orbit for a fraction of the cost – and only pay for what they use. We will support zero gravity research, as well as in space manufacturing,” said Bunger. “We will later sell dedicated modules as the world’s first condominiums in space. Future Aurora owners can live in, visit, or sublease their space condo. This is an exciting frontier and Orion Span is proud to pave the way.”</p><p>If $9.5 million is out of your price range, the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore has a slightly more affordable option: <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/shangri-la-singapore-themed-family-suites" target="_blank">a space-themed suite starting at $488 a night</a>. And if you really must go to a galaxy far, far away, there's always the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/disney-star-wars-galaxys-edge-park" target="_blank">upcoming Star Wars Hotel</a>, opening at Disney World in 2019.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Get Away to the French Riviera for $430 Round-trip

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/07/2018 - 16:54
<p>With more snow on the forecast — and a number of flight deals on our radar — it’s time to consider a spontaneous getaway to the south of France.</p><p>Thursday night, <a href="http://scottscheapflights.com" target="_blank"><em>Scott’s Cheap Flights</em></a> spotted round-trip flights to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/video/things-to-do-nice" target="_blank">Nice</a> in the low $400s from cities across the United States.</p><p>Available in April and May, and again from <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-things-to-do-in-august-in-america" target="_blank">August</a> until February of 2019 (including Thanksgiving), the discounted flights to the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/how-to-travel-to-french-riviera" target="_blank">French Riviera</a> start at $430 round-trip.</p><p>Travelers in Boston, for example, can book those $430 fares, while Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City-based fliers can score tickets for around $450.</p><p>Flights from <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/new-york-city" target="_blank">New York City</a>-area airports start at $462 round-trip, while fares from Detroit are available from $481.</p><p>All of the flights on sale are for bookings with full service airlines such as Air France, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, and SWISS Air — meaning no bag fees or extra charges for seat assignments.</p><p>To find your <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/cheap-flights-french-riviera-nice" target="_blank">affordable flights to France</a>, use <a href="http://google.com/flights" target="_blank">Google Flights</a> to identify the most inexpensive departure and return dates from your preferred airport. Them, use a search engine like <a href="http://momondo.com" target="_blank">Momondo</a> to locate the cheapest possible ticket.</p>
Categories: Travel

Watch a Fiercely Adorable Baby Rhino Protect Its Mom From Humans

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/07/2018 - 15:46
<p>This little <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/toronto-zoo-baby-rhino-shower" target="_blank">rhino</a> may be (relatively) small, but it is fierce.</p><p>As vets attempted to treat its mother for her dislocated toe, a fiery little <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/animals/black-rhino-birth-blank-park-zoo" target="_blank">rhino</a> attempted to push them away from her. Clearly this baby rhino has a few trust issues when it comes to humans.</p><p>In the video above, the vets carefully treat the mother’s injured foot, putting their hands out to gently ward off the baby as it periodically charges at them as they work. Mom's eyes are covered during the ordeal, so she seems unaware of her baby’s rambunctiousness.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/baby-hippo-disney-world-animal-kingdom" target="_blank">A Baby Hippo Was Born at Disney World for the First Time in 13 Years</a></p><p>The vets continue to try and clean the mother’s toe in order to work on it, but it looks like her fearless protector's interruptions make their job a little more difficult. Also, it’s probably not a comfortable feeling knowing a rhino is ready and willing to charge at you at any second. Even if it is a baby.</p><p>Luckily, this rhino had not fully grown its horn yet — and is pretty adorable in the process. </p>
Categories: Travel

These Service Dogs Spent a Day at Disneyland and the Photos Are Absolutely Magical

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 04/07/2018 - 13:15
<p>A day at the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/new-disney-attractions-2018" target="_blank">Happiest Place on Earth</a> would get any dog’s tail wagging.</p><p>Hardworking pups who are participating in <a href="http://www.cci.org/" target="_blank">Canine Companions for Independence</a>, a nonprofit organization that provides free, highly trained assistance dogs to help people with disabilities, spent a day at Disneyland on Thursday, March 29.</p><img alt="Canine Companions puppies at Disneyland "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522960019/puppies-raisers-tigger-Disneyland-CCPUPSCUTE0418.jpg?itok=Djf7IFCX"><p>But the day wasn’t a fun day off to meet with Goofy and Minnie. These dogs were taking a trip to the park as part of their training. The highly stimulating environment is the perfect place for the dogs to demonstrate their skills and prove they can assist and be attentive even in loud, high-stress areas.</p><img alt="Canine Companions puppies at Disneyland "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522960019/puppies-ears-teacups-Disneyland-CCPUPSCUTE0418.jpg?itok=nCFpHavP"><img alt="Canine Companions puppies at Disneyland "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522960019/puppies-chip-dale-Disneyland-CCPUPSCUTE0418.jpg?itok=b0R0rBCw"><p>Of course, the pups also got to meet lots of nice people and took breaks to enjoy themselves. It’s just not Disneyland if it’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/dogs-need-vacation-too" target="_blank">all work and no play</a>.</p><p>Laura Allen, a representative from the organization, took lots of adorable photos and videos of the dogs posing with their <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/everything-millennial-pink-at-disney" target="_blank">Mickey ears</a> in front of iconic places in the park and posted them on social media. (Thank you, Laura.)</p><p>The dogs went on some fun rides.</p><p>And met some of Disney’s most beloved characters.</p><p>All in all, it was a fun, magical day. But some dogs got a bit tuckered out.</p><p>Clearly these dogs are ready to be someone’s new best friend.</p><img alt="Canine Companions puppies at Disneyland "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522960019/lab-puppy-minnie-ears-Disneyland-CCPUPSCUTE0418.jpg?itok=fkQ0w2s3"><img alt="Canine Companions puppies at Disneyland "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522960019/minnie-mouse-ears-dog-Disneyland-CCPUPSCUTE0418.jpg?itok=T6U-cmU4"><img alt="Canine Companions puppies at Disneyland "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522960019/mouse-ears-dogs-Disneyland-CCPUPSCUTE0418.jpg?itok=5HKKPZVj">
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