This Dazzling Light Show in a Japanese Flower Garden Is One for the Bucket List

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 08:33
<p>Winter may be the darkest season, but every year Japan’s Nagashima Resort glows with millions of LED lights.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Nabana No Sato</a>, the resort’s flower garden, hosts one of Japan’s largest light festivals every winter, drawing <a href="" target="_blank">an estimated 2 million visitors</a> each year.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">6 Places to See the Cherry Blossoms in Japan This Spring Minus the Crowds</a></p><p>Organizers festoon the park with seemingly endless lights, including illuminated fields of flowers, an animated show, and large tunnels of lights which visitors can walk through.</p><p>The festival uses <a href="" target="_blank">more than 8 million LED lights</a> to depict intricate scenes from nature. In the past, the light show has recreated Mt. Fuji, the Swiss Alps, and the Aurora Borealis. But this year, festival organizers have themed the show around Kumamoto, a city in Japan that was <a href="" target="_blank">struck by a series of earthquakes in 2016</a>.</p><img alt="Nabana No Soto Flower Light Festival Winter Nagoya Japan "src=""><p>“These earthquakes have destroyed most of the significant sightseeing areas, including Kumamoto Castle, which is under reconstruction right now,” Yasuyo Otani, a spokesperson for the Nagashima Resort, <a href="" target="_blank">told CNN</a>. “This year's illumination theme was decided with a strong desire to cooperate with Kumamoto's reconstruction through promoting Kumamoto by illumination.”</p><img alt="Nabana No Soto Flower Light Festival Winter Nagoya Japan "src=""><p>Through winter and the beginning of spring, the light installation will change as flowers begin to bloom.</p><p>The event takes place at the Nagashima Resort in Kuwana City, about 30 minutes outside of Nagoya (<a href="" target="_blank">accessible by train or bus</a>).</p><p>The festival will remain illuminated through May 6, 2018.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Take Perfect Travel Photos With Your New iPhone X

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 08:31
<p>Apple dominated the marketplace over the holidays this year, making the iPhone <a href="" target="_blank">the most gifted smartphone across the world</a>. According to the analytics firm Flurry, the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X models were responsible for a third of those sales.</p><p>While the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are pretty familiar to longtime Apple loyalists, <a href="" target="_blank">the iPhone X</a> is a significant departure.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How Much the iPhone X Costs in 11 Countries Around the World</a></p><p>Besides facial recognition and the absence of a home button, the iPhone X’s most defining feature is its new camera system. With the iPhone X, users can take selfies in Portrait mode, try expanded portraiture lighting, and experience the fully redesigned rear camera.</p><p>To help travelers make the most of their new iPhone, <em>Travel + Leisure</em> asked <a href="" target="_blank">pro travel photographer Austin Mann</a> his tips and tricks for taking perfect photos with Apple’s latest device.</p><img alt="Guatemala Volcano iphone X "src=""><h2>You Can Zoom in the Dark</h2><p>“One of my favorite upgrades on the iPhone X is its better 2x lens, especially in low light,” Mann told T+L. That means you can use both lenses, regardless of the lighting conditions, without sacrificing image quality.</p><h2>Try Brightening the Scene With Flash</h2><p>“We typically think of smartphone flashes as cold, harsh, and [unflattering],” Mann said. But the iPhone X’s new technology, called Slow Sync, has made it possible for the camera to “capture beautiful, warm images” while using the device’s cutting-edge Quad-LED True Tone flash. Mann suggests giving this a try in a dim restaurant or outside, after sunset.</p><h2>Play With New Live Photo Effects</h2><p>While capturing live photos — or images with a few seconds of video before — is not a new function, the iPhone X came with a trio of effects utilizing this technology. Now, you can blur the action like a DSLR camera with the Long Exposure setting (for smooth waterfalls), create a continuous Loop, or make a Boomerang-like Bounce that plays the action backward and forward.</p><img alt="Patagonia Camp iPhone X "src=""><h2>Use Portrait Mode on Food</h2><p>The iPhone X made major advances with the Portrait mode. In addition to capturing beautiful portraits with blurred backgrounds, Mann encourages travelers to try the setting on food photography.</p><p>The iPhone X also has five new lighting modes for Portraits, including natural light, studio light, contour light (for dramatic shadows), stage lights (to illuminate subjects against a black background), and mono (to produce stage light-like photos in black and white).</p><h2>Experiment With Burst Mode</h2><p>For your best chance at the perfect shot, use the phone’s Burst Mode to shoot 10 pictures per second. To use this feature, simply hold down the shutter button in your Camera app.</p><p>“Travel photography is often about capturing a fleeting moment,” Mann said.</p><img alt=" "src=""><h2>Don’t Forget About Video</h2><p>Mann reminds travelers to play with the iPhone’s various video modes, especially when a moment “has movement or sound.”</p><p>“If you see amazing clouds slowly moving across the sky,” for example, “you might use time-lapse mode.” But if the scene features “super fast motion like birds landing in water,” you should try slo-mo.</p>
Categories: Travel

At This Boston Hotel, Room Rates Match the Temperature — Even If It’s Zero Outside

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 06:10
<p>Winter weather will <a href="" target="_blank">whip across the entire country this week</a>, bringing snow to Florida and subzero temperatures to the Northeast.</p><p>But travelers courageous enough to brave the winter weather could find a fantastic hotel deal that will only get better as temperatures continue to drop.</p><p>The Colonnade Hotel in Boston will base its rate Friday off of whatever the temperature is outside. <a href="" target="_blank">The Weather Channel predicts</a> an expected high of 12° F, with a low of -3° in Boston on Friday, meaning that guests could get their hotel room for a single-digit price. If the temperature goes below zero, the room is free.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The deal is part of the hotel’s <a href="" target="_blank">“Frosty Fridays” program</a>. Of course, there's a slight catch: When guests book a two-night weekend stay at The Colonnade, they pay whatever the temperature may be for Friday, and then $289 for Saturday night.</p><p>The hotel’s Friday night rates are determined by the National Weather Service’s report at 5:00 p.m. And customers who book this weekend at The Colonnade are unlikely to pay any more than $300 for a two-night stay.</p><img alt="Exterior of The Colonnade hotel at night "src=""><p>The package also includes four tickets to Boston’s Old Town Trolley Tour or skating rentals at the Boston Common Frog Pond Skating Rink. Guests who don’t want to venture outside can instead visit the hotel’s hot chocolate bar, complete with marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, candy canes and caramel. Booking also includes a late check-out on Sunday at 2 p.m.</p><p>The hotel warns that the package is popular and likely to sell out so guests should consult their Farmers’ Almanacs and book in advance. The promotion runs through April 8.</p>
Categories: Travel

Harry and Meghan's French Vacation Got Much More Luxurious After Their Economy Arrival

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 06:02
<p>Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a quiet escape to the French Riviera just after Christmas to ring in the new year.</p><p>The pair reportedly got to their holiday destination by <a href="" target="_blank">flying economy class just like the rest of us</a>, boarding an early morning flight before any other passengers just before New Year’s Eve. In a further attempt to go unnoticed, the couple sat in the very last row of the plane, right next to the toilets. Harry tried to go incognito by sitting next to the window baseball cap pulled over his eyes, while Meghan sat in the middle seat. Spoiler alert: Everyone saw them.</p><p>While the couple’s vacation started off like a commoner’s trip, it ended as anything but.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail</em></a>, while in the French Riviera, Harry and Meghan spent some quality time with friends who reportedly included Prince Albert, and his wife, Princess Charlene. Prince Harry and Meghan reportedly stayed in Monaco with their fellow royals for two days as they celebrated the start of 2018.</p><p>According to a source, “Harry and Meghan were somewhere very private and very expensive. Monte Carlo is party central at this time of the year, and the word is that the British royals really enjoyed themselves.” The source added: “The fun could well have been laid on by Prince Albert, who is a close friend of Harry's. What's certain is that they were partying like tycoons on New Year's Day.”</p><p>However, this may be simply hearsay as a source close to Prince Albert called the partying “news” to them.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>For Prince Harry and Meghan’s return trip to England they reportedly upgraded their transportation to a private helicopter, which took off on Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. Though the couple’s trip was brief we’re sure they had plenty of fun. The couple, however, has more than a few things on their 2018 plate that they simply must attend to.</p><p>As <em>Daily Mail</em> noted, the pair will next be spotted together next week when they will visit the <a href="" target="_blank">London</a> studios of 107.3FM, which trains young people with new media and employment skills.</p><p>Then, you know, they just have that <a href="" target="_blank">pesky royal wedding to plan</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Boarded an Economy Flight — and Sat in the Back

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 17:23
<p>Meghan Markle and Prince Harry once again proved how down to earth they really are by taking an economy flight to Nice for their holiday vacation. According to the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Telegraph</em></a>, the pair even sat in some rather unroyal seats.</p><p>The royal duo, <a href="" target="_blank">who will wed in May</a>, reportedly took a scheduled British Airways flight to the <a href="" target="_blank">French Riviera</a> just before New Year's Eve. Harry and Meghan reportedly traveled to the area to celebrate the new year with friends and spend a few days alone before the wedding madness begins.</p><p>Harry and Meghan allegedly boarded the 9:55 a.m. flight before any other passengers in a bid to go unnoticed and sat in the very back of the plane — right next to the toilets. Harry reportedly sat by the window, with a baseball cap pulled over his eyes, while Meghan sat in the middle seat.</p><p>Though, to be fair it's not like the couple simply sat with other passengers surrounding them. According to the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail</em></a>, the royals took up the last three rows of the aircraft and sat with three “edgy and nervous” bodyguards throughout the entire flight.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Upon landing the royal couple's attempt to be normal flew out the window as they were then met by armed French border police and whisked away to the VIP area of the airport.</p><p>The pair may want to head home soon as there is still plenty of planning to do <a href="" target="_blank">before their spring nuptials</a>. One decision, according to the <em>Telegraph</em>, has already been made on which company will cater the event. That honor goes to Table Talk, which also catered the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton for their 2011 wedding and by Pippa Middleton when she married last year.</p>
Categories: Travel

Fire Rages at Grand Bear Resort in Illinois' Starved Rock Park

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 17:10
<p>A four-alarm fire burned at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort outside of <a href="" target="_blank">Chicago</a> Tuesday morning, <a href="" target="_blank">the Associated Press reported</a>.</p><p>Firefighters were on the scene of the Utica county resort and <a href="" target="_blank">water park </a>soon after a 5:30 a.m. alarm, and the fire was centralized in the resort's main lodge and pool. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, according to local authorities.</p><p>The resort is located in Utica county in northern Illinois just two miles from Starved Rock State Park. Firefighters from LaSalle, Peru and Ottawa counties all joined in the effort to fight the blaze, <a href="" target="_blank">local news outlets reported</a>. Authorities said no injuries occurred during the blaze, and all guests were safely evacuated.</p><p>The fire was under control within several hours of the alarm, according to the AP. Details on the damage to the resort and water park were not immediately available.</p>
Categories: Travel

President Trump Took Credit For Zero Air Travel Deaths in 2017. But What Did He Actually Do?

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 16:35
<p>President <a href="">Donald Trump</a> took credit for a banner year in commercial air travel, in which zero deaths were recorded, according to multiple studies.</p><p>“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “Good news - it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!”</p><p>But what did the president actually do?</p><p>Trump did not detail any specific measures he implemented to improve <a href="" target="_blank">aviation safety.</a> His biggest proposal for the industry — privatizing air traffic control — has yet to move through Congress. The idea has also been kicking around since well before his presidency. </p><p>The current head of the Federal Aviation Administration — the U.S. government’s top agency for civil aviation — has been in office since January 2013, meaning Trump was not responsible for nominating a new leader to improve safety.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">major U.S.-based airlines</a> in particular haven't suffered a fatal crash since Sept. 11, 2001, and all U.S. carriers in general have avoided fatalities since February 2009, <a href="" target="_blank">according to CNN.</a></p><p>This week, Dutch consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network both reported that there were no commercial jet passenger deaths in 2017, making it the “safest year for aviation ever,” Adrian Young of To70 said, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Reuters.</a></p><p>To70 estimated that the rate for fatal accidents on large commercial passenger flights is 0.06 per million flights, or approximately one fatal accident for every 16 million flights.</p>
Categories: Travel

Is It Safe to Travel to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea?

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 12:21
<p>While most of the world looks forward to seeing nations compete for the gold in the Olympics every few years, this year’s 2018 Winter Games have been somewhat shrouded by simmering fear and doubt over the safety of the games’ proceedings in South Korea. The Olympics, scheduled for Feb. 9-25, will take place in Pyeongchang, a city only 50 miles away from the demilitarized zone that separates South Korea from North Korea.</p><p>Due to the current political climate — one in which President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have had a number of <a href="" target="_blank">heated exchanges relating to the threat of nuclear war</a> — some Americans are left feeling that increased tensions between the countries could make for an uncomfortable or even dangerous situation at the games.</p><h2>Will the U.S. Participate in the Games?</h2><p>Safety concerns were furthered back in December when the American envoy to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, said that it was an “open question” whether American athletes would be able to participate in the Winter Games because of recent tensions. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, tweeted shortly after, assuring the nation that America looked forward to participating and would make safety at the games a top priority.</p><p><em><a href="" target="_blank">The New York Times</a></em> also notes that Mark Jones, a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee, has said the possibility of American athletes sitting out the games was never even discussed.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Take a One-hour Tour of North Korea's Capital Without Leaving Home</a><br /><br />“We have not had any discussions, either internally or with our government partners, about the possibility of not taking teams to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” Jones said in a statement. “We plan on supporting two full delegations in Pyeongchang.”</p><h2>What Do Travelers Need to Know?</h2><p>While tensions with North Korea are still a concern as the U.S. moves into 2018, the U.S. <a href="" target="_blank">Department of State</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Pyeogchang Organizing Committee</a> have not posted any substantial safety warnings related to Americans traveling to the games. </p><p>When asked if travelers should be aware of any safety concerns or take any extra precautions at the games, a spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee stated, “We continue to be in constant contact with the South Korean government. We have been informed that the position of the South Korean government with regard to security at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 has not changed. We are working with the Organising Committee on the preparations of these Games which continue to be on track.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Airlines Reroute Flights to Avoid North Korean Missiles</a></p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em> also notes</a> that many experts agree an attack will likely not happen during the games, although a minimal threat of large-scale action or attack exists for all iterations of the Olympics due to the scale of the events and sizes of the crowds.</p><p>Still, media coverage of U.S. tensions with North Korea may have done its part to scare some possible visitors away, with <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Time</em> reporting</a> that the games had sold just 55 percent of their targeted number of tickets as of Dec. 10.</p><h2>Will North Korea Attend the Games?</h2><p>While we know that two North Korean athletes, figure skaters Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik, have qualified for the games, it’s still unclear whether or not the country will participate in the games. However, a recent development in North and South Korean relations could put some travelers and participants at ease.</p><p>On the <a href="" target="_blank">first of the year</a>, Kim Jung-un himself suggested that the two countries meet to discuss the easing of military tensions and North Korea’s participation in the games. South Korea then proposed holding high level talks between the countries on the border on Tuesday, Jan. 9. If North Korea responds positively to this proposal, the talks will mark the first official dialogue between them in two years, and could bode well for the future of the games.</p><p>President Moon Jae-in of South Korea has long been urging North Korea to participate in the games and is hopeful that Kim Jung-un’s recent remarks could point to the start of reconciliation around the Olympics. Successful talks could have a positive impact on ticket sales and visitor numbers as well.</p>
Categories: Travel

Delta Will Give You a Refund If Your Flight Is Affected by the East Coast Winter Storm

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:52
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Delta Air Lines</a> is offering a waiver to customers who may find themselves in the midst of the upcoming winter storm.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The airline</a> is offering the waivers to customers <a href="" target="_blank">flying</a> through nine affected cities from January 3 to January 4: Allentown, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Newport News, Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Washington-Dulles, Virginia, and Washington-Reagan, in Arlington, Virginia.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Passengers must use the waiver on or before January 7; otherwise they will be subject to a price differential.</p><p>The storm, which has been named Grayson, is expected to <a href="" target="_blank">dump ice and snow along the eastern United States</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Delta Flight Had to Turn Around Because of One Tiny Bird

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:32
<p>The last thing you want on your flight is a bird-brained pilot in the cockpit — or an actual bird in the cockpit.</p><p>On Saturday, Dec. 31, a small bird — witnesses say it may have been a <a href="" target="_blank">sparrow or a hummingbird</a> — flew into the cockpit of Delta Air Lines flight 1943.</p><p>The bird was spotted before takeoff in Detroit by a pilot, according to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Washington Post</a></em>, however after workers searched the cockpit and found no bird in sight, the plane took off for Atlanta.</p><p>But shortly after takeoff, the bird made another appearance in the cockpit. According to the <em>National Post</em>, the pilot made the announcement to turn the plane around and land back in Detroit, which was met with a “chorus of groans” from passengers.</p><p>The plane reportedly made it almost halfway to Atlanta before turning back.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>After landing back in Detroit, some passengers had to deplane to find alternative flights in order to meet their connections to other destinations.</p><p>After a brief search, airport workers eventually found the little bird that caused so much trouble.</p><p>A Delta spokesperson said in a statement: “Out of an abundance of caution, the Captain made the decision to return to Detroit to avoid a potential distraction during flight. The bird was safely removed and set free.”</p><p>We suppose the tiny bird will have to use its own wings to make it to Atlanta. </p>
Categories: Travel

Watch a Pilot Propose to His Flight Attendant Girlfriend in Front of the Whole Plane

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 10:38
<p>Proposals are memorable for every couple, but this pilot definitely aimed for the sky when he popped the question to his <a href="" target="_blank">flight attendant</a> girlfriend.</p><p>On Dec. 23, flight attendant Lauren Gibbs was working a very special flight, namely because she was working alongside her pilot boyfriend, Jon Emerson. While the couple has flown together before, this particular shift was also on their anniversary.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">5 Outrageous Ways to Propose on Vacation</a></p><p>But Gibbs was in for a surprise when Emerson marked this flight with an adorable, and very public, proposal during the pre-flight announcements. While passengers got their normal flight details like altitude and flight time, Emerson also asked Gibbs to marry him.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Independent</a>, </em>Emerson started out by telling the plane: “This is a very special day for Lauren and me. It’s our anniversary today and she’s one of our very best flight attendants.I want this day to be known for the rest of our lives. I want to spend the rest of my life with her.”</p><p>Of course, Gibbs accepted the proposal, saying it was the “easiest YES of [her] life” on <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>. The proposal was filmed by an off-duty pilot.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Where in the World You Should Propose, Based on Your Partner's Zodiac Sign</a></p><p>Gibbs told <em>The Independent</em>: “I was caught so off guard. Jon is a really quiet guy, with a very shy personality so for him to do it in front of passengers was so not like him.”</p><p>The wedding itself, according to Gibbs, won’t be quite as public and flashy. “We will probably have something more quiet and smaller for our friends and family,” she said.</p>
Categories: Travel

Jennifer Aniston Took BFF Jason Bateman to Her Favorite Vacation Destination

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 09:52
<p>If Jennifer Aniston loves one thing, it’s going to Cabo San Lucas.</p><p>The former <i>Friends</i> actress has been a frequent visitor to the popular <a href="" target="_blank">Mexican tourist destination</a>, often bringing her famous pals along for some rest and relaxation in the sun. In previous visits Aniston has brought along fellow <i>Friends</i> alumna Courteney Cox, as well as actress Emily Blunt, actor John Krasinski, and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. And it looks like this New Year’s Eve was no different.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Top 10 Resort Hotels in Mexico</a></p><p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Daily Mail</i></a><i>,</i> Aniston, along with her husband Justin Theroux, rang in the new year at her favorite vacation spot alongside longtime buddy Jason Bateman and his wife Amanda Anka.</p><p>The group looked relaxed as they lounged by their resort and played a little bean bag game as they simultaneously worked on their tans.</p><p>“Jen and Justin rang in the new year with friends. For the past few days, they have enjoyed the sunny Cabo weather,” a source revealed to <em><a href="" target="_blank">People</a></em> about the group’s trip. “They have hosted friends by the pool and for dinner. They both seem great and very happy.”</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Though there is no official word on where the group was staying, <a href="" target="_blank">Aniston has revealed</a> before that her favorite resort in the area is the <a href=";cjsku=415858" target="_blank">One&amp;Only Palmilla</a>.</p><p>The luxurious resort, which was originally built as a private home by Don Abelardo Rodríguez, the son of Mexico’s former president, has every amenity a star could ask for. That includes two world-class restaurants serving up specialties like Kobe and Wagyu beef, and perfectly-appointed guest rooms with deep soaking tubs, infinity pools, and epic views of the ocean. Moreover, the One&amp;Only Palmilla happens to sit on one of Cabo’s few swimmable beaches.</p><p>Of course, staying in the same place as an A-list star also comes with an A-list price. A one-night stay at the <a href=";cjsku=415858" target="_blank">One&amp;Only Palmilla</a> can set you back about $940 for an oceanfront standard room.</p>
Categories: Travel

Catherine Zeta-Jones Is on an Amazing Trip That Will Have You Booking a Flight to Asia in 2018

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 09:16
<p>Catherine Zeta-Jones has been a busy traveler as of late.</p><p>The actress has added more than a few stamps to her passport over the last few weeks, including one from India. There, Zeta-Jones traveled alongside her family, including her husband Michael Douglas and their children, Dylan, 17, and Carys, 14. And while in India the family fulfilled one of her bucket list dreams when they <a href="" target="_blank">visited the Taj Mahal</a>.</p><p>“At the Taj Mahal with the three other ‘Wonders of the World’ in my life,” Zeta-Jones shared in an Instagram post.</p><p>Following their vacation to India, the family then jetted off to Cambodia, where they visited the well that they donated to a local community.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>“The best Christmas gift. Today we went to see the well we donated to some families in Cambodia. Such a joy for us,” she shared in an Instagram post of her two children next to the well.</p><p>Next, the family stopped over in Thailand where they were welcomed with gorgeous traditional flower garlands.</p><p>In Thailand, according to Zeta-Jones’ Instagram account, the family spent a great deal of time in the water, diving and enjoying the gorgeous scenery.</p><p>But their adventures didn’t stop there. According to Zeta-Jones, the family took one more flight to ring in the new year in <a href="" target="_blank">Hong Kong</a>. From there, the actress shared a video of the very bright and festive Hong Kong skyline.</p><p>Though it’s unclear if the family’s holiday break is now over, we’re certainly glad that Zeta-Jones has been playing tour guide on social media on the family’s getaway. If you’re looking to travel through Asia like Zeta-Jones just check out <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Travel + Leisur</em>e’s guide to the top 10 cities to visit along the way</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

One Simple Travel Resolution That Will Make All of Your Trips Better in 2018

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 09:06
<p>The new year is a time of reflection and resolutions. And travelers shouldn’t be any different.</p><p>As we start 2018, <a href="" target="_blank">the avid traveler may be thinking about what they want to do differently</a> this year. This could mean visiting a bucket-list destination, taking advantage of accrued frequent flier miles, or <a href="" target="_blank">finally signing up for TSA PreCheck</a>.</p><p>For those who have yet to make a resolution, we have one suggestion: Resolve to look up from your phone while traveling.</p><p>We don't necessarily mean undergoing a complete <a href="" target="_blank">digital detox</a>. After all, a phone can be a 21st-century traveler’s most useful tool for <a href="" target="_blank">capturing photos</a>, navigating unknown streets, finding a great restaurant, or even communicating in a foreign language.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>However, <a href="" target="_blank">researchers at the University of Texas</a> recently found that simply looking at a cell phone — even if it’s turned off — decreases our abilities to conduct tasks and recall information. There’s also evidence that taking too many <a href="" target="_blank">photos may actually interfere with our abilities to recall memories</a>.</p><p>And constant exposure to a cell phone screen does more than limit our memories — it could also affect safety.</p><p>In the United States, there are <a href="" target="_blank">more than 1,000 injuries from phone-related distractions every year</a>. Last year, Honolulu made it <a href="" target="_blank">illegal for pedestrians to text while crossing the street</a>. People around the world have even <a href="" target="_blank">plummeted to their deaths while attempting to take selfies</a> on their phones. In December, the FBI’s Assistant Director in Charge, <a href="" target="_blank">Bill Sweeney, asked New Yorkers</a> to “maybe to look up from your phone” in the aftermath of a bombing at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.</p><p>Travelers who rely on smartphones to capture travel shots can keep their devices on airplane mode while out exploring. Or, at the very least, <a href="" target="_blank">disabling push notifications</a> allows travelers to stay focused on exploration without being interrupted by a “ping.”</p><p>After all, to paraphrase Ferris Bueller, life moves pretty fast. If you don’t look up from your phone once in a while, you could miss it.</p>
Categories: Travel

Niagara Falls Looks Like a Winter Wonderland After This Last Cold Snap

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 08:01
<p>Niagara Falls might be giving the North Pole a run for its money this week.</p><p>The famous Horseshoe Falls turns over 681,750 gallons of water every second, according to the Niagara Falls State Park <a href="" target="_blank">website</a>. On top of the enormous amount of water the falls turns over, this last week has been so cold that the falls has become a frosty winter wonderland.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Why It's Freezing Outside Right Now and When It Will Stop</a></p><p>But don’t believe the internet rumors: The falls itself are not frozen solid. However, the area surrounding the rushing waters has been coated with thick frost and ice that makes the whole area look practically sparkling. This further proves that Niagara is not only a fun place to go in the summer, but also in the winter.</p><p> </p><img alt="Winter Ice Frozen Niagara Falls New York Canada "src=""><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Why January Could Be the Best Time to Book (and Take) Trips</a></p><p>Tourists are braving the incredible cold, which has reached an icy 5 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of 11 degrees below zero, according to measurements from the Canadian government, as reported by <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Boston Globe</em></a>.</p><p>Stunningly large icicles have grown off the sides of the falls, on benches, trees and railings. The whole area practically looks like an overrun freezer. Tourists and news media have been taking dozens of gorgeous, wintery pictures since late last week.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The cold snap is expected to continue through the rest of the week, so anyone who wants to experience the frozen beauty for themselves still has time before and semblance of thaw begins.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Hotel Offers Puppy Cuddles on Demand

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:42
<p>Travelers who miss their furry companions while on the road can now book a puppy cuddle on demand.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel Nikko San Francisco</a> has appointed a “Canine Operating Officer” in charge of visiting guests and dispensing dog kisses.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Upon check-in, guests will find a stuffed animal dog and a notecard on their beds. The notecard informs guests that it will be $29 to take the stuffed animal home (purchases <a href="" target="_blank">benefit a local animal shelter</a>) — or they can dial the operator and book a “meet and greet” with the real thing.</p><p>Buster Posey Presutti has been the Hotel Nikko’s Canine Operating Officer since 2015. As part of his official duties, Buster meets and plays with guests at the hotel. An official meeting takes place on the outdoor patio, where guests can sit on a couch and cuddle with Buster. He’s a therapy dog, so visits are basically guaranteed to improve your vacation.</p><p>Buster will also play with any traveling dogs who need extra canine company.</p><p>He may even make special appearances at the front desk and welcome guests at check-in.</p><p>And, when Buster cannot make appearances, Tamago, his best friend, is available to take over official hotel dog duties.</p><p>For those who want to bring their own dogs on the road, the hotel offers <a href="" target="_blank">a puppy special</a> which includes a dog bed, bowl and treats from $50 per night. Dogs stay on the VIP (Very Important Pet) floor and can meet fellow canine guests at the outdoor patio and dog-run.</p><p>Buster is not the only dog employed in hospitality. Guests at the <a href="" target="_blank">Park Hyatt Melbourne can stroll around the property with Mr. Walker</a>, a Labrador Retriever with a very friendly disposition. And at the Park Hyatt Chicago, Parker the Pug welcomes visitors at the front door.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why It's Freezing Outside Right Now and When It Will Stop

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:17
<p>Anyone who left their house or apartment Tuesday morning with nothing but their eyes exposed to the elements will be unsurprised to learn of the record-breaking cold snap affecting much of the U.S.</p><p>The cold weather is reaching down all the way to Florida, with freeze warnings in place from Texas to the Atlantic Coast, <a href="" target="_blank">Reuters reported</a>. Most of the states located east of the Rocky Mountains are seeing temperatures 20-30 degrees below normal, thanks to a blast of Arctic air pushed south by the jet stream.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Here Are 365 Beaches — One for Every Day in 2018</a></p><p>Southern states — except for parts of southern Florida — are not immune to the chill. Mobile, Alabama could see the temperature drop to 16 degrees Fahrenheit, and parts of Florida will see temperatures dip into the 40s.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>“Tuesday morning, we’re looking at temperatures with very high probability of record lows,” Brian Hurley, a National Weather Service meteorologist at College Park, Maryland, told <em>Reuters</em>.</p><p>In most of the U.S., the temperatures are expected to warm up Wednesday.</p><p>The past week has been 15-20 degrees colder than normal in New York City, according to a <a href="" target="_blank">release from the Governor's office</a>. Revelers who watched the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve in <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a> experienced the coldest New Year's Eve celebration since 1962, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em> reported</a>.</p><p>Northeastern residents won't see relief as soon as the rest of the country, as below freezing temperatures are set to continue through to the end of the week in much of the northeastern U.S., with another blast of Arctic air set to hit the region Thursday and Friday, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Newsweek</em> reported</a>.</p><p>If the cold temperatures already have you <a href="" target="_blank">planning a tropical getaway</a>, <em>Travel + Leisure</em> has rounded up <a href="" target="_blank">365 of the best beaches in the world</a>, so don't burn that bikini for warmth just yet.</p>
Categories: Travel

Drop Everything and Buy a $383 Round-trip Flight to Italy or Greece

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 06:22
<p>Celebrate a new year of travel by booking a cheap flight to Italy or Greece this winter. Flights are on sale starting at $383 round-trip.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Thrifty Traveler</em></a> reported Tuesday the discounted tickets are available for trips taken between January and March, and later between September and November.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Flights to <a href="" target="_blank">Athens</a> are available from Newark Liberty International Airport, outside New York City, while flights to <a href="" target="_blank">Milan</a> are operated from John F. Kennedy International Airport.</p><p><b>Related: </b><a href="" target="_blank">Why January Could Be the Best Time to Book (and Take) Trips</a></p><p>While most of these tickets are available with <a href="" target="_blank">Emirates</a>, travelers can also find deals with <a href="" target="_blank">Delta Air Lines</a> and Alitalia, among others, according to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Scott's Cheap Flights</em></a>.</p><p>Those <a href=";TripType=2&amp;SegNo=2&amp;SO0=NYC&amp;SD0=MIL&amp;SDP0=07-02-2018&amp;SO1=MIL&amp;SD1=NYC&amp;SDP1=14-02-2018&amp;AD=1&amp;TK=ECO&amp;DO=true&amp;NA=false" target="_blank">$383 round-trip flights from New York City to Milan</a>, for example, are available with KLM and Air France.</p><p>To book this affordable European getaway, travelers should use <a href="" target="_blank">Google Flights’ low-fare calendar</a> to find the most inexpensive tickets. Then, use a search engine like <a href="" target="_blank">Skyscanner</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">Momondo</a> to book your flight at a potentially even better price.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Pro Surfer and a Pro Snowboarder Sailed All the Way From Tahiti to Hawaii — Here's What They Learned

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 13:00
<p>Travis Rice and Ian Walsh may just be the preeminent experts in adventure. In fact, both men are professionals when it comes to pushing the limits and doing the things most people are too sane to do.</p><p>If you’re unfamiliar with their names, let us explain: Rice is a 35-year-old professional snowboarder, who over his career has starred in more than 20 snowboarding films and racked up more medals than we care to count off here. His counterpart, Walsh, is a 34-year-old professional surfer, who like Rice has starred in innumerable films and paddled his way to his fair share of titles.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Why Pro Surfers Love This Cheap Costco Surfboard</a></p><img alt="Ian Sails to Tahiti "src=""><p>And you’d think this was enough for the duo, but that’s where your understanding of thrill-seekers falls short. For them, it’s not enough to win some awards. Rather, it’s key to keep pushing for the next life-changing experience. For Walsh and Rice, that experience included sailing from Hawaii to Tahiti on a combo adventure-eco mission for a new film, "<a href="" target="_blank">Lines to Hawaii</a>." The pair sailed off into the sunset with the goal of searching for epic surf and exploring some the most remote islands on Earth, the Line Islands.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">For the First Time in History, You Can Book a Commercial Flight to This Remote Island</a></p><p>Oh, and it’s crucial to note neither one had ever really sailed before.</p><p>“For me this trip was a bucket list item,” Walsh told <i>Travel + Leisure</i> over the phone<i> </i>as he sat on the shore in Hawaii. For their 19-day trip, Walsh explained, he and Rice immersed themselves in learning all they could about sailing, but it really came down to “trial by fire.”</p><p>So the pair, who typically operate on opposite work schedules for obvious reasons, simply blocked off the time to make this trip of a lifetime happen. And truly, it was a fairly solitary mission as the 25-foot boat was only big enough to hold Wash, Rice, and two other guys, first mate Graham Scott and Amory Ross, who would be filming their journey.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>“I think we all bonded really well and everyone had incredible decision-making and were really accountable,” he said. In fact, the group became so close that when their trip came to a close and they pulled into port in Hawaii they skipped out on their luxury hotel stay and all slept on the boat one more night together instead.</p><img alt="Ian Sails to Tahiti "src=""><p>Of course, <a href="" target="_blank">living on a tiny boat</a> meant the entire crew had to pack like professionals too. And Walsh said they all did a fine job of bringing along just the essentials, like “some <a href="" target="_blank">good polarized sunglasses</a>” and a few small bags. “I actually packed lighter for that trip than almost every trip I did that year,” Walsh said. “You just kind of wear what you have on and can sort of wash as much as you can.”</p><p>But this trip wasn’t just about a group of guys having a good time on a boat. Rather than simply making the journey about getting from point A to point B, Walsh said they chose to incorporate a little eco-mission into their trip. This way their travels would not only be beneficial to them, but also to the scientific and global community.</p><img alt="Ian Sails to Tahiti "src=""><p>“The trip actually officially became an expedition when we started to do some scientific research,” Walsh said. “Basically every hundred miles we were collecting water samples for Adventure Scientists.”</p><p>Thanks to their efforts along the way, scientists were then able to test for microplastics in very remote parts of the ocean that only the two athletes had traveled through. And sadly, the athlete’s found that 73 percent of the water samples contained microplastics, despite being in some of the most remote areas on Earth.</p><img alt="Ian Sails to Tahiti "src=""><p>“There was something that was so gratifying about being that removed,” Walsh said of his trip highlights. “You're kind of at the mercy of your own decision making and you're constantly living in this window of looking at what's right in front of you and adapting and adjusting to whatever that might be... It's a unique feeling to be completely self-sufficient on your own out there.”</p><p>Check out their entire journey going <a href="" target="_blank">2,500 nautical miles from Tahiti to Hawaii here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

What to Do in Honolulu When It's Raining

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:31
<p>You’ve traveled to Honolulu dreaming of sunny days on the beach. But when you get there, it’s raining. What to do?</p><p>Luckily, there are fabulous indoor activities in Honolulu. Here are a few of them.</p><h2>Museums</h2><p>There are several indoor museums in Honolulu that are worth checking out. The Bishop Museum is the largest museum for Hawaiian and Pacific cultural objects.</p><img alt="Honolulu Museum of Art "src=""><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Honolulu Museum of Art</a> has a large collection of Asian art and textiles, plus rotating exhibits. The Shangri La is an Islamic art museum housed an Islamic-style mansion built by heiress Doris Duke.</p><h2>Cultural Sites</h2><p>Along with museums, there are other indoor cultural attractions to visit near Honolulu. You can tour the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on U.S. soil. The <a href="" target="_blank">Hawai'i State Foundation on Cultural and the Arts</a> has free admission and its own art collection, plus a guide to art in public places you can visit. The <a href="" target="_blank">Queen Emma Summer Palace</a> served as a summer retreat for Queen Emma of Hawaii in the 1800s and now is open for tours as well as tea. The Hawaiian Mission Houses includes three restored houses, including two of the oldest houses in Hawaii, plus research archives that show 19th-century Hawaii.</p><h2>Hula Lessons</h2><img alt="Hula dance lessons in Honolulu "src=""><p>You can take a hula lesson at a number of places, including Hula With Aloha at Ala Moana. There are beginner, intermediate and expert classes available.</p><h2>Indoor Attractions</h2><p>There are also several indoor places to visit. The <a href="" target="_blank">Waikīkī Aquarium</a> shows off lots of Hawaii’s amazing sea life, including coral, jellyfish and sharks. The Polynesian Cultural Center is an interactive exhibit of the Polynesian islands. And the Hawai‘i Children’s Discovery Center is a children’s museum with places for children of all ages to play.</p><h2>Indoor Games and Music</h2><p>Try Lucky Strike Social, the new two-story venue that has bowling, live music, games and a bar and restaurant. Or rent a karaoke room or head to a karaoke bar, including Wang Chung’s, which has a Sunday drag brunch and a popstar costume contest.</p><img alt=" "src=""><h2>Shopping</h2><p>There are lots of places to shop in Hawaii’s capital. Try <a href="" target="_blank">Ala Moana Center</a>, the largest mall in Hawaii. It’s open air, but you can spend time in stores to stay out of the rain. Or check out Kāhala Mall, the Royal Hawaiian Center, Ward Village, International Market Place, or Waikele Outlets.</p><h2>Spas</h2><p>Hawaii is famous for its spas, and a rainy day is a great way to fit in some relaxing. Some island favorites include Lani Wai, Moana Lani and SpaHalekulani.</p><h2>Eat Hot Food</h2><p>Warm up from the rain at some of the city’s best ramen spots, including <a href="" target="_blank">Agu</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Goma Tei</a>. Or get pho at <a href="" target="_blank">Rice Paper</a>, The Pig &amp; The Lady or Piggy Smalls. Try hot pot or shabu at Ichiriki, Asuka, or Umami-ya, or oxtail soup at Liliha Bakery or o Aiea Bowl.</p>
Categories: Travel