Take a 2-for-1 Flight to Europe for $324 Round-trip

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:26
<p>Because two vacations are definitely better than one, travelers itching to take a <a href="" target="_blank">European holiday</a> shouldn’t hesitate to book this flight deal with Icelandair. The low-cost airline is currently selling cheap tickets to cities all across Europe for $324 round-trip.</p><p>And because this airline is famous for its week-long, <a href="" target="_blank">free stopovers in Iceland</a>, you can book two complete trips for the price of one.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">Thrifty Traveler</a>, the most affordable flights are available on itineraries that stop in Helsinki, Oslo, Paris, and Amsterdam. Sale fares are generally available between October and June, depending on your departure city.</p><p>There are also cheap seats on trips to Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Glasgow, London, Munich, Reykjavik, Stockholm, and Zurich during the same months. </p><p>Boston-based travelers, for example, can find $324 round-trip flights to Helsinki in March.</p><p>There are also $386 round-trip tickets from Chicago to Oslo, $340 round-trip tickets from the New York City area to Oslo, $381 round-trip flights from Minneapolis to <a href="" target="_blank">Amsterdam</a>, and flights to Europe in the low-$400s from Denver, Orlando, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.</p><p>To find the cheapest dates of travel (and your ideal destination) from your city of origin, search for flights using <a href="" target="_blank">Google Flights’</a> multi-city itinerary builder. This feature will allow you to get the best price, while also building your free Iceland stopover into your trip.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hurricane Aftermath: What to Know If You've Booked a Caribbean Cruise

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:14
<p>Last month, two catastrophic hurricanes hit the Caribbean and Florida. <a href="" target="_blank">As <em>Travel + Leisure</em> previously reported</a>, cruise lines have been forced to drastically change their itineraries to avoid damaged ports of call.</p><p>While the skies have cleared, hard-hit destinations like Puerto Rico and St. Martin are just beginning a long and difficult recovery.</p><p><b>Related: </b><a href="" target="_blank">What Happens When Your Cruise Gets Stuck in a Hurricane</a></p><p>If you have a Caribbean cruise coming up, don’t panic — if your port of call has been impacted by the storm, cruise lines have plenty of other options to choose from. Either way, however, travelers should confirm itinerary details with the cruise in advance.</p><img alt=" "src=""><h2>What Cruise Ports Are Closed?</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Cruise Critic</em></a>, more than 30 cruise ports were damaged by the hurricanes, though many have already reopened. Key West, for example, <a href="" target="_blank">welcomed Royal Caribbean cruisers on September 24</a>. Shortly thereafter, Carnival announced its return to the region.</p><p>Unfortunately, not every destination was spared. The Turks and Caicos port, Grand Turk, is not expected to be in operation until November. And in St. Martin, ports will remain closed until November 11, while the U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. John could see cruise ships as early as October 15.</p><p>The British Virgin Islands, which were ravaged by Hurricane Irma, are hoping to reopen the port of Tortola by November 1.</p><h2>What Cruise Ports are Open?</h2><p>Travelers may be surprised at the number of Caribbean cruise ports that were entirely unaffected by the storms. In fact, both Irma and Maria avoided altogether the port cities of the Western Caribbean (which includes Mexican ports of call and Belize) and the Southern Caribbean (the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao).</p><p>Additionally, the Bahamas are <a href="" target="_blank">virtually unscathed</a> and open for business. And the St. Kitts port Basseterre opened almost immediately after Hurricane Irma.</p><p>Many other ports, including Gustavia on St. Bart’s, are open, but only for relief efforts — one of the reasons it's important to confirm itinerary details for your individual sailing. </p><h2>Puerto Rico Cruises</h2><p>Travelers with plans to embark from San Juan or call at Puerto Rico on a cruise should be in touch with their cruise line. The U.S. territory was devastated by Hurricane Maria when it barreled across the island as a category 4 storm on September 20.</p><p>Carnival has canceled six of its forthcoming itineraries heading to and from San Juan, <i>Cruise Critic </i>reported. It’s quite possible additional sailings will be rerouted or canceled.</p><p>Other islands that sustained maximum damage, including Barbuda and Dominica, are closed indefinitely.</p><p>Many cruise lines based in the area are — instead of accommodating vacationers — assisting with relief efforts. Royal Caribbean, for example, is using <a href="" target="_blank">its Puerto Rico-based ship</a>, the <em>Adventure of the Seas</em><em>, </em>to rescue locals and deliver much-needed provisions.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Iconic Parisian Hotel Is Back After a Four-year Makeover

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:44
<p>Each of Paris's ultra-luxury hotels occupies its own niche in the city's landscape. Fashionistas haunt the Ritz and the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme; one-percenter American families and jet-setting sheikhs go for the Four Seasons Hotel George V. <a href="" target="_blank">The Hôtel de Crillon</a> has always been for traditionalists and heads of state, thanks to its location overlooking the Place de la Concorde, within a stone's throw of the Élysée Palace and several major embassies.</p><p>You could do worse for French national glory. Commissioned by Louis XV in 1758, the Crillon has had several lives — as government offices, a private residence for a noble family, and finally a hotel, beginning in 1909. The heritage look of crystal chandeliers and gilt-tipped chairs had its admirers, but by 2010, when Saudi royalty purchased the property, a revamp was in order.</p><img alt="Courtyard dining at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, France "src=""><p>It would have been tempting to go the way of the Ritz, which faithfully maintained the arch-traditional look in its recent overhaul. But the team behind the Crillon's makeover — <a href="" target="_blank">Rosewood Hotels &amp; Resorts</a>, architect Richard Martinet, and Aline Asmar d'Amman's Beirut- and Paris-based firm, Culture in Architecture — did the opposite, applying an audacious, contemporary lens to 18th-century maximalism and artisanal techniques.</p><p>When I stayed at the Crillon this summer, the first thing that struck me was how brilliantly d'Amman and her designers (Tristan Auer, Cyril Vergniol, and Chahan Minassian) nailed what makes <a href="" target="_blank">Paris</a> tick. This is a city that celebrates being seen, yet the old lobby felt cavernous and devoid of energy, its public spaces impossibly stiff. Now it's as if <em>le tout Paris</em> is there. Check-in takes place in a semiprivate salon, where conversations can be had discreetly, but the remainder of the lobby has been transformed into multiple lounge spaces, with deep pile rugs and cushy silk sofas, to promote socializing. Les Ambassadeurs, formerly a fine-dining restaurant seen by only a fraction of visitors, is now a humming cocktail lounge with live music. The aim is to get guests — including locals — to kick back, relax, and people-watch.</p><p>Fine dining lives on at L'Écrin, the jewel-box formal restaurant, but the place to be is the more casual Brasserie d'Aumont. It offers easy Parisian staples, like oysters, steak tartare, and <em>pâté en croûte</em>, and has equal amounts of outdoor and indoor seating. During my late Tuesday night dinner, the brasserie was wall-to-wall with advertising execs, their Hermès handbags glowing in the soft light reflected off the Calacatta-marble-backed banquettes.</p><p>There's a new approach to service, too. White gloves and hushed tones are out; casual foulards and 1970s-retro knife-pleated skirts are in. I found the staff to be approachable and friendly, down to the butlers who service all 124 rooms and suites, but the team, at times, was still unpolished. It took several tries to put in a drink order at Jardin d'Hiver, the lounge and tea salon (though when my cocktail, a blend of calamansi, bitter rhubarb, rose cordial, and <a href="" target="_blank">champagne</a>, did arrive, it was magnificent). An order of oysters came out on a thin slate palette covered in rock salt, which made a righteous mess. The staff acknowledged every hiccup gracefully, and they will no doubt find their groove. But when room rates start in the four figures, snafus take on added weight.</p><img alt="Pool at the Rosewood Hotel de Crillon in Paris, France "src=""><p>Ah, but those rooms! They are sublime, and no expense has been spared. In one of the two Prestige suites designed by Karl Lagerfeld, there's a two-ton bathtub carved from a solid block of dramatically striated marble. Designer Cyril Vergniol, who did the vast majority of the remaining rooms, added dashes of Regency (ladylike armchairs upholstered in sky-blue raw silk) and Orientalism (mirrored mini-bars with botanical etchings), evoking the boudoir of a film noir femme fatale. I loved the amply sized toiletries from cult French pharmacist Buly and the premixed cocktails by Avantgarde Spirits. Better still, I found the in-room technology easy to master — the light switches are manual and labeled, the speakers are Bluetooth-enabled, and there is nary a twitchy tablet to be found. It all works seamlessly: no need to bother the butler. Could there be a better definition of 21st-century luxury than that? <em>doubles from $1,423.</em></p><img alt="A guest room at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, France "src="">
Categories: Travel

A British Airline Went Bankrupt and 110,000 People Are Stranded Around the World

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:23
<p>More than 110,000 passengers are stranded around Europe and the Middle East after a British airline ceased operations suddenly.</p><p>Monarch Airlines declared bankruptcy on Monday, immediately halting flights and canceling service. The collapse came with little warning: Monarch employees showed up to work only to be informed that their airline was no longer in operation.</p><img alt="Monarch Airlines airport empty check-in financial trouble "src=""><p>An estimated 860,000 people have lost future travel bookings because of the airline’s collapse. The government is calling it the “biggest ever U.K. airline failure.”</p><p>The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has commissioned special flights to <a href="" target="_blank">bring stranded Monarch customers back</a> to the UK at no additional cost over the next two weeks. The British transportation secretary <a href="" target="_blank">called the mission</a> “the biggest ever peacetime repatriation.”</p><p>“This is the biggest U.K. airline ever to cease trading, so the Government has asked the CAA to support Monarch customers currently abroad to get back to the U.K. at the end of their holiday at no extra cost,” CAA chief executive Andrew Haines <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>The Telegraph</em></a>. “We know that Monarch’s decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its customers and employees.”</p><p>Passengers who booked future flights with Monarch Airlines should not head to the airport.</p><p>The CAA will refund flights for those who are protected under an act called the Air Travel Organizer’s License (ATOL). Travelers who are protected — estimated only to be about 50 percent, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The Guardian</em></a> — received an ATOL Certificate when they booked. More information about ATOL is <a href="" target="_blank">available from the CAA</a>. Those who are not protected can seek a refund through their credit card company.</p><p>Over the past few weeks, Monarch had been negotiating with the CAA to extend its Air Travel Organizer’s License. On Sunday, after a 24-hour extension, the license expired and Monarch could no longer operate flights.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Cheap Airlines Around the World</a></p><p>Analysts are blaming the failure on traveler and financial uncertainty. Terrorist attacks in the Middle East (including Turkey, one of the airline’s destinations) and the aftermath of Brexit are both being cited as contributing factors.</p><p>Monarch is not the only European airline with financial difficulties. Earlier this year, Alitalia went into administration, a European state similar to bankruptcy protection, and Air Berlin puts its assets up for sale.</p>
Categories: Travel

Southwest Unveils Its Brand New Fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 Planes

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:16
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines</a> introduced its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes on Sunday, becoming the first carrier in North America to offer service on the aircraft.</p><p>“Today, we begin a new chapter in Southwest's history by introducing the Boeing 737 MAX 8 to our customers and employees,” <a href="" target="_blank">Gary Kelly</a>, Southwest’s chairman &amp; CEO, said in a statement onboard the inaugural flight from Dallas to Houston. “The MAX 8 is the future of the Southwest fleet.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Southwest Could Soon Fly to Hawaii</a></p><p>The new aircraft feature a single-class cabin with 175 seats, each with 32 inches of seat pitch. The planes offer an LED lighting sequence for each phase of flight and a “music-infused cabin experience featuring playlists for boarding and deplaning,” according to the statement, much like Virgin planes have done for years.</p><p>The airline has already started service with nine of the new planes, expects to have 14 in rotation by the end of this year, and has orders for 200 more Boeing MAX 7 and MAX 8 aircraft.</p><p>The planes boast all-new LEAP-1B engines, which are “designed to be more fuel efficient and produce less noise,” according to Southwest.</p><p>But of course with all this new something old must be retired. To make room for all these fancy upgrades Southwest retired 30 planes on Friday, including the classic Boeing 737-300s, which have been a part of the airline’s fleet for 33 years, <a href="" target="_blank">NBC reported</a>.</p><p>Those planes, however, may take to the skies again someday. As Jon Stephens, the airline's director of fleet transactions, told the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Dallas Morning News</em></a> “It’s going to be in a state where we could sell it to someone and they could turn around and fly it. Our thinking is it's a short-term storage program.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Is Disneyland's Jingle Cruise Gone Forever?

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 06:55
<p>Between the oversized trees, snow falling on Main Street, and blink-and-they’re-gone candy canes for sale, there’s plenty to celebrate at <a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland</a> this Christmas.</p><p>For Adventureland fans, though, there may be one less present under the tree.</p><p>That’s because Jingle Cruise, the seasonal re-theming of Disneyland’s historic Jungle Cruise attraction, will not be returning to the park this winter. Disneyland has confirmed that after four years of the jolly overlay, it will not join the rest of the park’s holiday entertainment lineup.</p><p>Debuting in 2013, the Jingle Cruise inserted festive cheer into the ride’s auto-animatronic scenarios, playing out what would actually happen if decorations were added to the African, Asian and South American riverfront settings. Tinsel and torn-up Santa hats laid at the feet of apes and ornaments spilled throughout savannah scenes, while fruitcakes floated in the hippopotamus ponds and glimmering snowflakes haphazardly adorned waterfalls.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland Just Made Their Scariest Ride Even More Terrifying</a> <p>Even the Jungle Cruise skippers’ comical spiels were amended to highlight the most wonderful time of the year, offering groan-worthy remarks like that elephants covered in bells were “ringing in the holiday.”</p><img alt="Jingle Jungle Cruise attraction Disney Disneyland Anaheim California Orlando Florida Holiday ride "src=""><p>Though the delightful attraction will not appear at Disneyland this year, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will still bring merriment with the Jingle Cruise overlay. In Florida, Jingle Cruise serves as the park’s only holiday-themed ride, but at Disneyland Park, there are still plenty yule-filled options. Haunted Mansion’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” overlay lasts well into the new year, and It’s A Small World Holiday sees the beloved boat ride exploding with Christmastime cheer, undergoing a transformation of lighting, costuming and set design that takes thirty-five days to complete.</p><p>Both nighttime shows at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure bring the wintertime festivities into the fold as well, offering plenty of opportunities to celebrate at the parks.</p>
Categories: Travel

Man Attempts to Skip Out on His Hotel Bill by Climbing Out a 19th-floor Window (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 06:29
<p>A man in China learned the hard way that skipping out on your hotel bill is not a good idea.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Mashable</em></a>, the young man attempted to flee a hotel in Panzhou, a city province in Guizhou, China, without paying by leaping out of a high-rise window and attempting to climb across to another building on telephone wires.</p><p>In a surprise to no one, this didn't go well: A terrifying video shows the man begin to swing perilously close to live wires that could have ended his life.</p><p>In the end, the man safely made it to the ground after being rescued by officers from the 196-foot-high wire. At the bottom he was, however, promptly arrested.</p><p>“The man did not suffer any injuries,” police told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail</em></a>. “He is safe now.”</p><p>It's unclear which hotel the man was actually trying to flee from, or just how much his hotel bill was.</p><p>So far the video of the man’s attempt has been viewed more than 7.3 million times on <a href="" target="_blank">Weibo</a>, a Chinese social media site. Viewers left comments noting the man’s “outrageous” antics, according to <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p><p>“Does he think it's okay to put his life in danger just to avoid paying for a night's stay in a hotel,” one user wrote. Another commented, “He really thinks he is filming some action movies, right?”</p><p>On the bright side, it doesn’t appear that his wildly dangerous stunt will inspire any copycat bill skippers anytime soon.</p>
Categories: Travel

Flights Resume at McCarran International Airport With Delays

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 06:17
<p>Flights at McCarran International Airport resumed Monday, after the airport was temporarily closed Sunday night after a gunman opened fire on an <a href="" target="_blank">outdoor concert in Las Vegas</a>.</p><p>In the wake of the tragedy, travelers should check directly with airlines and hotels for updates.</p><h2>What we know about the Las Vegas shooting</h2><p>A gunman fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort, shooting into a crowd of an estimated 22,000 people attending an open-air country music festival, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department</a>.</p><p>At least 58 people were killed, and more than 500 injured, <a href="" target="_blank">the Associated Press reported</a>.</p><p>Law enforcement have identified a local Nevada man as the prime suspect, saying he acted alone for unknown reasons before killing himself. The FBI said Monday the shooter had no connection to a terrorist group.</p><p>“It was an act of pure evil,” President Donald Trump said Monday. “We cannot fathom their pain. We cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims: we are praying for you and we are here for you.” The president will travel to Nevada to meet with victims and their families, as well as local law enforcement, on Wednesday.</p><h2>More travel delays and road closures expected</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Although McCarran International Airport has reopened</a>, travelers should check their flight status directly with their airline. The airport warned there would likely be ongoing delays.</p><p>Mandalay Bay Resort reopened to guests after security personnel lifted restrictions on Mandalay and all other MGM hotels Monday morning, according to the hotel. Other MGM resorts on the strip include the Bellagio and the Delano.</p><p>During the attack, people took shelter in a convention center in the neighboring Tropicana Las Vegas hotel, representatives from the hotel confirmed to <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. The hotel remained open to guests Monday.</p><h2>How to help</h2><p>Residents of the Las Vegas area can donate blood at local donation centers, and the City of Las Vegas recommended donating at United blood services.</p><p>The city also has call lines open for those with information surrounding the shooting or for people seeking to locate loved ones.</p><p>For people outside of the state, the ways to help are limited. Crowdfunding campaigns for those impacted will likely emerge in the coming days and weeks.</p>
Categories: Travel

Get 45% off an All-Inclusive Cruise on Portugal's Douro River

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:01
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="" target="_blank"><b></b></a></em></p><p>Get 45 percent off <a href="" target="_blank">Douro River Cruises in Portugal</a>, a luxury river cruise line with perks such as canapes served in-suite, innovative cabins, and guided hiking and biking tours.</p><p>Suite Deal includes:</p><p>*45 percent off any 2018 Douro River departure in a Premium Balcony Suite category or above</p><p>*A Premium Drink Package, which includes wine, beer, spirits served all day</p><p>*A Discover More tour: an excursion to Guimares and Ducal Palace</p><p>*A complimentary hotel night in Porto</p><p>*Airfare to Europe from select U.S. cities for $495 per person</p><p>Original Price: From $5,395 per person, all-inclusive</p><p><strong>T + L Price: </strong>From $2,985 per person, all-inclusive; book by December 31 for travel in 2018</p><p>Booking details: Valid for new bookings only. <a href="" target="_blank">Use offer code TNLOPVACAC</a>.</p><p>Availability: Offer applies to new 2018 bookings made between October 1 and December 31, 2017.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why You Should Book a Vacation ASAP If You’re in a Bad Mood

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:02
<p>The science is in: Bad weather puts you in a bad mood.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">A study released this week</a> from an environmental economist at Stanford University investigated the relationship between weather conditions and the emotions that people express on social media.</p><p>According to the study, people tend to use more positive phrases on social media when the weather is more pleasant. Bad weather — whether extreme temperatures, rain or humidity — causes the exact opposite effect.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Best Places to Travel in October</a></p><p>The study examined 3.5 billion posts from Facebook and Twitter from millions of users across 75 different U.S. metropolitan areas. Researchers measured the positivity or negativity of each post and compared it with local weather conditions.</p><p>Researchers concluded that <a href="" target="_blank">not only did weather have an impact on mood</a>, that impact was “statistically significant” and manifested itself even when users were talking about something other than the weather.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Enjoy Perfect Weather Year Round</a></p><p>For those who find themselves posting negatively on social media, it may be time for a warm weather escape. Or perhaps even a relocation.</p><p>In the United States, <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> leads the pack with the most nice days (183) per year, <a href="" target="_blank">according to government weather data</a>. In fact, all of California is great for those looking for the most pleasant weather year-round. Runners up were San Diego and San Francisco.</p><p>For those who are willing to travel internationally for better weather, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, Spain, is consistently <a href="" target="_blank">ranked at the top the world’s most pleasant cities</a> for its long streaks of beautiful days.</p>
Categories: Travel