Travel and Leisure - Msn Feeds
Updated: 4 hours 47 min ago

The History Behind the 'Jackie Kennedy Blue' Air Force One Design That President Trump Hates

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 09:12
<p>President Donald Trump has had a troubled relationship with his official jet, complaining early on that the new version Boeing was working on was too expensive and threatening to cancel the contract. But his latest displeasure is with the aesthetic of the plane that doubles as a <a href="" target="_blank">residence and command center</a> in the sky.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Axios</em></a>, President Trump wants to get rid of the iconic livery that has graced the Air Force One fleet or decades, complaining that the ‘luminous ultramarine blue’ is a “Jackie Kennedy color.” <em>Axios</em> reports the President would rather have a “more American” look.</p><p>During Jackie Kennedy’s time as first lady, she earned the admiration of millions around the world for her grace, elegance, and style. She inspired a revival of design in the White House and abroad.</p><p>But the livery of Air Force One was actually created by someone with a greater design legacy: the father of industrial design <a href="" target="_blank">Raymond Loewy</a>. Loewy was an American designer, born in Paris, and famous around the world for a range of industrial designs and logos ranging from Coca Cola machines to the Exxon logo and even to the iconography of the U.S. Postal Service.</p><p>His early design career started when he emigrated to New York in 1919, after completing his military service in the engineering corps during World War I. Loewy’s illustrations appeared in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He also worked on window displays for Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. Loewy’s massive body of work earned him a place on the <a href=",16641,19491031,00.html" target="_blank">cover of TIME magazine</a> in October 31, 1949, surrounded by many of his creations, including planes, trains and automobiles. He also appeared on the cover of the New Yorker <a href="" target="_blank">shown in his design office with a number of his enduring logos</a>.</p><p>Loewy had a very grounded and practical design philosophy, favouring a functional, clean beauty over garish decoration.</p><p>“Good design keeps the user happy, the manufacturer in the black and the aesthete unoffended,” he said.</p><p>Loewy also had a passion for aerospace, helping NASA by developing over 3,000 designs for the space program.</p><p>He worked on the Air Force One project at the request of President John F. Kennedy and donated the work in the service of the nation. President Kennedy selected the design in blue and specified that the letters for ‘The United States of America’ should be similar to the lettering on the heading on the Declaration of Independence.</p><p>His original design concept for the Presidential plane, which is in the collection at the New York Museum of Modern Art (<a href="" target="_blank">MoMa</a>), was for a Boeing 707 aircraft which entered service in 1962.</p><p>The 747 model which flies as Air Force One today did not have its <a href="" target="_blank">first flight until 1969</a>, and the first VC-25s—747s that are specially modified to meet the security and communications needs for the President— were introduced during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. But, even though the aircraft changed in the years after Kennedy, Loewy’s iconic livery has been constant, an easily recognised symbol of the U.S. around the world.</p><p>One of Loewy’s initial drawings, at MoMa, shows a red stripe to complement the luminous ultramarine. President Trump can simply go back to the drawing board and re-introduce Loewy’s red white and blue color scheme, respecting the livery’s legacy while making himself happy.</p><p>If he decided to try something radically new, it wouldn’t be the first time that an American livery abandoned a world-famous designer. American Airlines got a lot of flack in 2013 for ditching the <a href="" target="_blank">eagle logo and livery design</a> by Massimo Vignelli which had served the airline since 1967, and replacing it with a new logo and livery by Futurebrand. Most have now made their peace with the new look. Of course, the presidential plane is more symbolic than any commercial airline.</p>
Categories: Travel

Now Even Luxury Airlines Are Charging for Seat Assignments

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 09:03
<p>Hidden fees are no longer just a tactic of budget airlines.</p><p>Etihad Airways, the airline that offers <a href="" target="_blank">the most expensive flight in the world</a>, is now charging economy passengers to pick their own seats.</p><p>The airline, based out of the United Arab Emirates, is attempting to come up with different ways to make revenue. <a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Loyalty Lobby</em></a>, the airline sent an email to its customers, advertising a new way to “enhance” their journey: seat selection for a small fee. Up until this point, the enhancement had always been available for free.</p><p>For a one-way flight, passengers can expect to pay $25 to select a standard seat on Etihad during booking. Once the flight is 24 hours away from departure, economy passengers can select a seat for free, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the Etihad website</a>. Passengers who don’t choose their seat within 24 hours of departure will have a seat automatically assigned.</p><p>Those who wish to book a preferred seat (one in an exit row or quiet section of the cabin) can expect to <a href="" target="_blank">pay up to $140 per flight</a>. The airline has offered the “preferred seat” charge since 2017. Passengers also have the option of paying for an extra legroom seat or bidding to have an empty seat next to them.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Etihad still allows two free checked bags</a>, up to 50 pounds each, on flights to and from the United States.</p>
Categories: Travel

One of Delta's First Flight Attendants Reflects on How Flying Has Changed Since the 1940s

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 08:57
<p>Flight attendants do so much for us travelers. They work long hours under stressful conditions just to ensure our comfort when we fly, so it’s important to pay tribute and thank them whenever possible.</p><p>And there's no better time than now, because one of the first Delta Air Lines flight attendants ever turned 102 on July 9.</p><p>Sybil Peacock Harmon, an original Delta flight attendant (then called stewardess) from 1940 to 1943, was born in Minden, Louisiana on July 9, 1916. She’s one of the first women to work as a flight attendant and has experienced commercial flight practically from its inception.</p><p>"I was nine when I said, 'I'm going to go all over the world,'" she said. "And I did."</p><img alt="Sybil Peacock Harmon at 102nd Birthday Celebration "src=""><p>Harmon recalled her time with Delta in a <a href="" target="_blank">2014 interview with the airline’s flight museum</a>, offering some insights on how travel has changed over the years.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Why You Should Always Ask Your Flight Attendant Before Changing Seats</a></p><p>“Most of the customers we had in the beginning were businessmen and you got to know them real well because you would see them over and over. But this was the beginning, really, of people flying. An emergency would come up ... people would get on a flight ... But this started people to flying because they realized how quick it was. It was quick for those days, anyway,” she said.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Europe’s Oldest Living Person Said She Reached 116 by Eating Chocolate Every Day</a></p><p>Harmon said in the interview that back then, air sickness bags were actually quart ice cream containers that fit under the seat. Air sickness was fairly common since planes often had little air conditioning and were not pressurized, so flight attendants would also give chewing gum to passengers to help them swallow so they wouldn’t have ear issues.</p><p>Harmon marked her 102nd birthday with a party on Monday, which was attended by Delta's senior vice president of in-flight service, Allison Ausband, and two of the airline's newest flight attendants. Ausband presented Harmon with her second set of Delta wings; a U.S. flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 7, 2017 as a show of gratitude for her military service as a nurse in World War II; and orchid, a Delta tradition started by founder C.E. Woolman, who grew orchids and gave them to female employees on special occasions.</p><img alt="Sybil Peacock Harmon's Flight log book "src=""><p>“It’s an honor to be here and celebrate Sybil. People like her made Delta into what it is today. She’s part of our Delta family,” Ausband said.</p><p>Delta CEO Ed Bastian filmed a birthday message to Harmon, and her party was decked out with special decorations like a display of Harmon’s original flight log books, an authentic 1940 flight attendant uniform, and a life-size cut-out of an iconic Delta photo featuring Harmon when she participated in a marketing photo shoot in the early 1940s.</p><p>At her party, Sybil reflected back on the early days of her career, when families would line up outside the airport to watch the flight crew board the plane.</p><p>"As a stewardess, you felt like a celebrity. People would come out to the airport with their children and they would say, ‘Look, that’s the stewardess!’ They even asked for our autographs,” she said.</p><p>After Delta, Harmon became a special duty nurse to U.S. Air Force Gen. Hap Arnold from January to April 1945, according to <a href="" target="_blank">NBC 11</a>. Harmon was then promoted to first lieutenant and joined the 830th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron in Stockton, California. She was discharged May 1946 and became an obstetrical nurse and supervisor at Baylor University Hospital in Dallas, Texas. She officially retired in 1985.</p><p>Harmon certainly has done a lot for the people around her, whether it's passing out chewing gum, keeping them safe in the air, or nursing them back to health. She deserves a great, big happy birthday.</p>
Categories: Travel

Airbus Is Well Aware That Its Plane Looks Like a Beluga Whale

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 08:55
<p>Earlier this week, Airbus unveiled the new BelugaXL aircraft at its factory in Toulouse, France.</p><p>Although the technical name of the aircraft is the Airbus A330-700L, it is much more likely to be known for its uncanny resemblance to the white whale without a dorsal fin.</p><p>When deciding how to deck out the new aircraft, 40 percent of the manufacturer’s employees voted for <a href="" target="_blank">a beluga paint job</a>, complete with eyes and a smile.</p><img alt="The first BelugaXL oversize cargo airlifter shows off its special beluga whale-inspired livery "src=""><p>The aircraft will be used to carry airplane parts to Airbus’s final assembly factories in Toulouse; Hamburg, Germany and Tianjin, China.</p><p>Although belugas are the smallest species of whale, the BelugaXL is the opposite. The plane will have the largest cargo capacity of any non-military aircraft in operation today. It is about 20 feet longer and three feet wider than the current Beluga, used to carry plane parts like the wings of an A340.</p><p>The plane is currently undergoing ground testing and is scheduled to make its first flights later this year. Airbus <a href="" target="_blank">will build five BelugaXLs</a>, with the first expected to enter service in 2019.</p>
Categories: Travel

'Coco' Fans Can Create Their Own Dia de Los Muertos Skeleton at Epcot

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 07:35
<p>A new “Coco”-themed attraction came to life at Epcot at Walt Disney World over the July 4th holiday, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Orlando Weekly</em> reported</a>. An interactive, Mirror de los Muertos video screen exhibit known as “Remember Me! La Celebración Del Dia de Muertos” at the Mexico pavilion now allows guests to design their own Dia de Muertos skeletons.</p><p>Disney first announced the “Coco”-themed exhibit <a href="" target="_blank">last September</a>, but this part of the exhibit was just activated.</p><p>Guests can pick their own hairstyles, eyeglasses, eye colors, skull designs, and other features to totally customize their skeleton’s look. Then, via a screen capture technology, guests can make the skeletons move around the screen using their own body movements, essentially “becoming” the skeletons themselves. Kind of like a Wii avatar.</p><p>They can even save their skeletons via the Disney PhotoPass, which is linked to a guest’s MagicBand.</p><p>Beyond the screens at the pavilion, guests may be able see their skeleton avatars on a Coco-themed ride in the near future, if a ride were also to come to the pavilion. According to <em>Orlando Weekly</em>, there are rumors that the <a href="" target="_blank">Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros</a> boat ride may be replaced with a “Coco” ride.</p>
Categories: Travel

Europe’s Oldest Living Person Said She Reached 116 by Eating Chocolate Every Day

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 06:36
<p>The oldest person in Europe passed away last week at the age of 116.</p><p>Giuseppina Projetto lived in Italy from her birth in 1902 until her death on July 6. She was the second oldest living person in the world when she died.</p><p>Known as the “nonna of Italy,” <a href="" target="_blank">Projetto credited her long life</a> to eating chocolate every day and a positive attitude.</p><p>Now in her place, there’s another Italian as Europe’s oldest woman and the third-oldest woman in the world. (The two frontrunners both live in Japan.)</p><p>Maria Giuseppa Robucci is 116 years old and lives in Sardinia. In 2015, she gained the title of Italy’s oldest mayor when she was made honorary mayor of Poggio Imperiale, her hometown.</p><p>Robucci’s advice for longevity is less fun than Projetto’s, but backed by science. Robucci said that by abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes, she reached her old age. This is despite the fact that she used to manage a bar with her husband, who died in 1982.</p><p>Robucci has five children, nine grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. She also <a href="" target="_blank">told the local paper <em>Foggia Today</em></a> that she loves to eat bread and tomatoes.</p><p>The current oldest living person in the world is Chyho Miyako of Japan, who is 117 years old.</p>
Categories: Travel

Father and Son Get Stuck on Zip Line Dangling 40 Feet Above an Alligator Pit

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 06:15
<p>A dream vacation to Florida swiftly turned into a nightmare for a man and his son after the pair became stuck suspended 40 feet above an alligator pit.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">the New York Post</a>, the two were above the pit while attempting to cross a zip line ride at Gatorland in <a href="" target="_blank">Orlando</a>. As footage shared with local news anchor Stewart Moore of WESH News showed, the two simply had to sit midair and wait for help to arrive.</p><p>“You really think you’re having a bad day?” the man who took the video can be heard saying in the clip. “Lemme show you what a real bad day looks like.”</p><p>Additional footage from the park, which was also shared by Moore on Facebook, showed the two being <a href="" target="_blank">reeled back toward the zipline</a>’s tower. At one point a staffer from the park even went out on the line to meet the two midair.</p><p>Eventually, both the man and the boy were safely rescued. However, according to Nick Cahippina, manager of the zipline ride, who spoke to WESH, neither one was ever in any imminent danger. In fact, Cahippina noted that this type of incident actually happens “fairly often” and the staff is properly trained in how to handle it.</p><p>“On Saturday, July 7th, the zip line experience at Gatorland stopped midway with a father and child aboard during one of the scheduled rides,” the park <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>New York Post</em></a>. “This was due to the gravity breaking system that stopped the two riders just short of the landing tower. This happens from time to time based on the weight of the riders and the direction of the wind. At no time was anyone in danger. Our zipline staff is highly trained to handle a variety of possible situations. A zip line staffer on the receiving tower immediately hooked himself on the line and retrieved the two people by pulling them to the landing area.”</p><p>If you want to try your luck at making it all the way across, Gatorland has two <a href="" target="_blank">zipline</a> rides for you to try, including zipping across the park’s “Alligator Breeding Marsh” and Cuban and Nile crocodile exhibits.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Has a New Rock-themed Pinball Exhibit

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 17:55
<p>Two classic American pastimes — playing pinball and grooving to rock music — join forces in <a href="" target="_blank">Cleveland</a>, Ohio at the Rock &amp; Roll Hall of Fame’s new exhibit opening Wednesday, featuring both vintage and new rock-themed pinball machines that visitors are welcome to play.</p><p>In addition to the “Wizard” and “Tommy” pinball machines that pay tribute to The Who’s 1969 rock opera “Tommy,” which tells the story of a “deaf, dumb and blind boy” who is a pinball wizard, the machines in “<a href="" target="_blank">Part of the Machine: Rock and Pinball</a>” celebrate rock icons ranging from Elvis, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Ted Nugent to Metallica, KISS, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Alice Cooper and Dolly Parton.</p><p>“Rock and pinball have a lot in common,” said Karen Herman, the Rock Hall’s Vice President of Collections and Curatorial Affairs, “Both are loud, colorful and rebellious. And both were once considered corrupters of youth.”</p><img alt="Pinball Hall of Fame at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "src=""><p>Pinball was banned in many cities until the mid-1970s because it was considered gambling. But once those prohibitions were lifted, the images of scantily clad women, baseball and cars that adorned the earlier machines gave way to licensed images from popular culture — including rock and roll stars.</p><p>“The images on the machines are works of art,” said Herman. “They’re like album covers and they tell a story.”</p><p>Many of the playing fields on the machines are works of art as well.</p><p>“They’re some of the first interactive, immersive experiences,” said Herman, citing the circa-2004 Elvis pinball machine that has as its soundtrack Elvis recordings from both the iconic <em>’68 Comeback Special</em> and the 1973 <em>Aloha from Hawaii</em> broadcast.</p><p>In the KISS-themed machine, songs pop up thematically. Others allow players to choose which of a band’s songs they’d like to hear in the background.</p><p>The Aerosmith machine from 2017 features nine of the band’s hits and an interactive “Jacky in the Box” mechanical feature, while the brand-new Alice Cooper-themed machine not only plays 10 Cooper hits, but features Cooper’s voice, gives instructions to players on a video screen and includes a small working version of a guillotine, one of the singer’s iconic props.</p><img alt="Pinball Hall of Fame at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "src=""><p>“Rock ‘n’ roll-themed pinball machines feel like they represent the genre’s original energy and excitement: Lots of sound and fury, flashing lights and clanging bells,” said Jasen Emmons, artistic director of Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, which has a disco-themed pinball machine in its collection. “For KISS or Guns N’ Roses, having your own pinball machine meant you'd arrived. And like rock ‘n’ roll, pinball machines can adapt to every skill level, so whether you play like a punk or guitar god, it's still fun.”</p><p>Artifacts related to the rock and roll stars featured on the pinball machines are on display in the Rock Hall’s “Part of the Machine: Rock &amp; Pinball” exhibit as well.</p><img alt="Pinball Hall of Fame at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "src=""><p>The 1968 Gibson J-200 acoustic guitar The Who’s Pete Townshend used to compose “Pinball Wizard” and several other songs from “Tommy” is here, as is the circa 2000 drum kit that original KISS drummer Peter Criss played on the band’s 2000-2001 Farewell tour. The exhibit also includes a vest Dizzy Reed of Guns N’ Roses wore on a tour, the electric chair stage prop Alice Cooper used in his 1971 tour and the yellow dress that inspired the illustration on the back glass of the Dolly Parton pinball machine.</p><p>Visitors to the <a href="" target="_blank">Rock &amp; Roll Hall of Fame</a> will get unlimited pinball machine play July 11-15, with <a href="" target="_blank">paid admission</a>. Starting July 17, four game tokens will be included with each paid admission and additional tokens will be available for 25 cents each.</p>
Categories: Travel

Newly Engaged Woman Strikes the Best Space Mountain Photo Pose Ever

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 16:10
<p>Going on Space Mountain was not the most thrilling thing to happen to one guest at Disneyland.</p><p>Park-goer Sonni (<a href="" target="_blank">@sonni_nicolette</a> on Twitter), was already in the happiest place on Earth when her boyfriend got down on one knee in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and presented her with an engagement ring.</p><p>In case it’s not obvious, she said yes.</p><img alt="Disneyland Proposal - Sonni @sonni_nicolette "src=""><p>Sonni posted photos of their magical engagement on Twitter, including the best Space Mountain photo in the world.</p><img alt="Disneyland Proposal - Sonni @sonni_nicolette "src=""><p>As they careened down a hill, Sonni held up her shiny, new engagement ring for the cameras. Because when you get engaged at Disney, you have to tell the world about it.</p><img alt="Disneyland Proposal - Sonni @sonni_nicolette "src=""><p>And her ring is quite lovely. Anyone would want to show it off, even while riding a coaster at 28 miles per hour.</p><p>The other rides in the front of the picture, of course, seem to have no idea they’re officially part of this couple’s love story.</p><p>Let’s hope these two have a fairy-tale wedding.</p>
Categories: Travel

How Anthony Bourdain Left His Frequent Flier Miles in His Will

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 15:50
<p>Anthony Bourdain encouraged people to travel. Even after death, he continued to empower others to explore the world.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Page Six</em></a>, he bequeathed his frequent flier miles to his second wife, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain. In his will, he asked that she “dispose of [them] in accordance with what [she] believes to have been my wishes.”</p><p>The will, written shortly before the couple’s separation in 2016, left the bulk of Bourdain’s estate to his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane.</p><p>Frequent travelers planning on passing their miles to loved ones after death should know that each airline has a different policy for points.</p><p>“Loyalty programs are essentially contracts with the airline and you need to review each airline’s contract to see what is possible after death,” Paula Leibovitz Goodwin, a partner in the Personal Planning Group at Perkins Coie LLP, <a href="" target="_blank">told <i>Forbes</i></a>. “You cannot assume all of the contracts are the same. It is possible that the contract is not even assignable, and the airline spells out who the beneficiaries will be.”</p><p>While some airline loyalty programs are not eligible to be passed on when you do (like <a href="" target="_blank">Delta and Southwest</a>), others may transfer points for a fee. Those planning on bequeathing their miles should specifically mention a recipient in their will.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Remote Island in Indonesia Is Home to Super-rare Orangutans — Here’s How to Visit Them

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:02
<p>Long ago, there lived an ape. The ape had babies, and those babies grew up and had babies of their own, and over time their descendants drifted apart to the point that they could no longer be considered one type of ape, but five. All were highly intelligent, but one was smarter than the rest. With its gift of speech, this super-smart ape gave the others names: “gorilla,” “chimpanzee,” “bonobo,” and “orangutan.”</p><p>This intelligence, however, came at a cost. Though this talking ape was capable of creating wonders, it was also capable of destroying them. Among the wonders it destroyed were many of the forests in which the other apes lived. One such forest is on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where members of a unique species of orangutan are clinging to what little remains of their native habitat. Last summer, feeling less confident than usual in the merits of my own species, I went to Sumatra myself, hoping to meet one of these survivors. My destination was the Leuser Ecosystem, <a href="" target="_blank">a sprawl of jungle</a> in the north of Sumatra, the westernmost of Indonesia’s more than 16,000 islands. Orangutans once lived throughout Southeast Asia, but today the only two surviving species are confined to the scattered remnants of <a href="" target="_blank">rain forest on Sumatra</a> and nearby Borneo. The Sumatran orangutans, almost all of the remaining 7,000 of them, live in the Leuser—a nominally protected stronghold of biological diversity that is growing smaller and less biologically diverse each year. Logging, hunting, and the illegal pet trade have all played a part in the orangutan’s demise, but the main culprit is the global demand for palm oil, a commodity often produced on deforested land.</p><img alt="Orangutans in Sumatra "src=""><p>Conservationists warn that the Sumatran orangutan could become the first great ape to reach extinction, with the Borneo species following close behind. Meanwhile, the slash-and-burn conversion of their habitat into palm plantations is helping fill the earth’s atmosphere with excess carbon, threatening the existence of us all. Travelers who don’t want to spend their vacations contemplating such truths may want to give Sumatra a miss. Bali is nice, I hear. But Bali doesn’t have wild orangutans. Or tigers. Or flowers the size of truck tires. Or the vanishingly rare Sumatran rhino. Although Sumatra’s tourism infrastructure is improving, this vast, wild, jungle-clad island remains much less developed than a place like Bali. For a certain kind of traveler, that’s precisely why it’s such an exciting place to go.</p><p>On my way to the Leuser I spent a night in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, before heading to the jungle the next day. Riding out of town, I found it hard to imagine that in less time than it takes to drive from New York City to Boston, I would arrive at the edge of one of the richest forests in Asia. Medan was a crush of people and motorbikes and trucks and endless rows of street stalls filling economic niches I didn’t know existed. We passed a stall selling only kitchen clocks, another selling only birdcages, and a purse vendor who, lacking a stall, had hung her wares from the sprawling limbs of a tree, prompting my travel companion, Stefan Ruiz, who took the photographs for this story, to make one of his trademark observations: “It’s literally a money tree.”</p><p>Finally the traffic thinned and the city faded, and we were rumbling through the palm plantations, acres and acres of them, the tall, spare trees stretching as far as we could see in every direction, in rows as straight as supermarket aisles. Palm oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil in the world, found in snacks, soaps, cosmetics, and a good number of the other products on our shelves, and Indonesia produces more of it than any other country, accounting for about a third of the world’s supply. If there is a money tree in Indonesia, it is the oil palm.</p><p>As we neared the forest, I asked our driver, Adi, who didn’t speak much English, if he had seen a lot of <a href="" target="_blank">wildlife</a> over the years. He started talking excitedly about something called a “mina,” which I assumed was a kind of monkey, or maybe a local word for orangutan. In fact, Mina was the name given by researchers to one particularly notorious orangutan. As a local would later put it, “she had mental problems.” There were rumors that Mina had bitten tourists. It turned out she had a troubled past: captured as a baby, she’d spent years in a cage.Eventually, she was rescued and brought to a rehabilitation center for orangutans in Bukit Lawang, a village on the outskirts of the Leuser rain forest. But by then, her time with humans had taken its toll.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">10 Wildlife Trips Where You Can Get Up Close With the World’s Coolest Animals</a></p><p>The Bohorok Rehabilitation Center closed in the 90s, but several of the orangutans that passed through it still live in the part of the jungle closest to the village, and so do their progeny, who tend to take after them. Considered “semi-wild,” they generally aren’t afraid of people, and some of the guides capitalize on this fearlessness, luring them closer to tourists with fried rice.</p><p>Green Hill, a company that organizes jungle treks and runs the village guesthouse where we stayed, doesn’t go in for that kind of thing. Andrea Molyneaux, who manages Green Hill with her husband, is an Englishwoman with a master’s in primate conservation who did her fieldwork at Camp Leakey, on Borneo. The camp was established by the pioneering Lithuanian-Canadian conservationist Birutė Mary Galdikas, who is to orangutans what Jane Goodall is to chimps. Andrea’s motto is painted on a big sign out front: keep wildlife wild.</p><p>For the most part, Bukit Lawang resembles the other towns in the region—humble concrete buildings with rusty corrugated metal roofs. But at its far end, the road gives way to a footpath that meanders through the trees, and if you follow the path along the river, past the shops selling orangutan T-shirts and orangutan carvings, you’ll find yourself in the hotel district, a sort of fantasy of an Indonesian village filled with guesthouses made with bamboo, jungle logs, and branches.</p><p>That night, Stefan and I slept in rustic rooms overlooking the jungle. The next day, we planned to march right into that seething mass of green. We were to spend the morning close to the village looking for semi-wild orangutans, which we were practically guaranteed to see. Then our guides would take us deeper into the forest, to an area rarely visited by people where the foliage would be thicker, the trails rougher, and the wildlife truly wild. We planned to camp there for two nights. If we saw an orangutan in the deep forest, we’d be among the very few people who ever have.</p><p>Early the next morning, as the sun rose above trees across the river, we went into the forest. Stefan and I were joined by our head guide, Anto Cebol, his assistant, Ipan, and a pair of college students from Colorado. Anto, a native of Bukit Lawang, is 38, with the long hair and philosophical outlook of someone who has been exposed from an early age to the beliefs and customs of stoned Australian backpackers. Sitting on a boulder, he said, “No one knows how much longer the earth will be.” He smiled defiantly. “Maybe we go to the moon.”</p><p>We’d been following him for only a few minutes when he pointed out a troop of black-mohawked Thomas’s leaf monkeys in the trees. Though we were still on easy, well-worn paths, sweat started pouring out of me at a rate I’d never imagined possible. Then we saw it: our first orangutan. This was exciting, of course, that flash of orange in the trees, but she clearly wasn’t wild. She was stretched out on a limb, unafraid and unimpressed. Antol recognized her; he said he knew her mother. As we stood there staring, a long-tail macaque walked right past us, not even bothering to glance in our direction. Then a group of Homo sapiens approached in flip-flops, taking selfies.</p><img alt="An Orangutan in Sumatra "src=""><p>So by the time we got on the motorbikes and headed down the road toward a more remote area, I was ready to go a little deeper. After a bumpy ride through palm plantations, we arrived at Bukit Kencur, a hamlet on the edge of the part of the jungle that the Green Hill staff had described as untouched. It was clear that this place didn’t get many foreign visitors. Clusters of reddish palm fruit sat in the dirt outside the sun-bleached wooden huts. The villagers who came over to look at us didn’t attempt to speak English, and no one tried to sell us orangutan carvings or anything else.</p><p>One of the villagers approached with a basket of supplies. His name was Chilik, and he was going to serve as an extra guide for the rest of our trip. His training, as I’d later learn, had been unconventional. Some years ago, he got lost in the forest while gathering medicinal plants and sustained himself for five days by watching the orangutans to see which fruits they ate. Chilik didn’t speak any English. Unlike Anto, he wore his hair short, and did not bother with the rubber trekking shoes worn by the guides in Bukit Lawang. He led us through the jungle barefoot, scraping leeches off his ankles with a rusty machete, and he carried most of our supplies on his back in a basket made from rattan vines, which the Bukit Lawang guides had long since abandoned for Western-style backpacks. During snack breaks, he would go off by himself and squat on the forest floor, chain-smoking until it was time to leave.</p><p>That first day, we hiked only a short distance, maybe a quarter-mile. Still, it was tough going, as the rest of the trip would be. The trail rose and fell at such a steep incline that we often had to grab at roots and vines just to stay upright. At times it disappeared completely, at which point Chilik would move to the front of the pack and hack a path through the bush with his machete. At last we came to the campsite. It sat on a slope overlooking a picturesque river. As we rinsed off in the cool, clear water, a pair of cooks showed up out of nowhere and built a fire. They boiled a pot of rice, fried some tempeh, sautéed a sackful of tapioca leaves, and whipped up a delicious dish of dried anchovies with wild ginger and chili.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">The Top 5 Resort Hotels in Indonesia</a></p><p>We slept beneath a tarp stretched over a frame of lashed-together bamboo poles. The soundscape was a layered mix of cicada, bird, stream, and rain, with a smattering of monkey howls thrown in. We awoke early the next morning, at the first hint of daylight. Toast, eggs, strong Sumatran coffee, then back on the trail, pausing every 15 minutes so that Anto could pass out pieces of leaves and bark, schooling us on the names and medicinal or culinary uses of each species. There was the hot-pink flower of a tree he called assam kimchin. (A lemony herb; goes well with curry). The woody stalk of pasak bumi. (Bitter; defends against malaria). The glossy leaf of the satykop bush. (Per Anto: “To make not broken the first baby when baby is still drinking from mama and mama pregnant.”) On we hiked, our eyes lifted to the treetops, when suddenly Anto saw something that made him break into a sprint. “Mawa!” he shouted, crashing through the foliage. “Lucky!”</p><p>Mawa, I knew by then, is the local word for orangutan.</p><p>Seeing a truly wild orangutan does feel different from seeing one that has grown up around humans. You see in his eyes that he is frightened, and in his innocence and awe, he reminds you of a child. You feel a rush of nostalgia for your own childhood, when all the world felt like this corner of the forest, mysterious and full of wonder. At the same time, you can’t help suspecting you feel this way primarily because you come from the West, where you and your compatriots, having benefited from centuries of environmentally destructive agricultural and industrial practices, have forgotten the hardships of forest life. This is one of the reasons you can afford to look back at that bygone existence through a romantic lens, much in the way you can afford to romanticize your childhood only after the pain of growing up has receded. You think these things, and you wonder what the orangutan is thinking. And then the screeching ape demonstrates his mastery of simple tools by breaking off a stick and throwing it at you. Knowing what you know about humans, can you blame him?</p><p>Eventually the orangutan calmed down and just hung there from the branches staring back at us. Then we heard a rustling of leaves a little way off. “Another one!” Anto cried. Two, in fact—a mother and baby. So that’s why the first one hadn’t fled at the sight of us: he was protecting his family. The mom and baby were moving slowly through the treetops, not leaping like monkeys but plotting a careful course, shifting their weight from foot to foot, and hand to hand.</p><p>My last few days in North Sumatra unfolded at a rambling hotel on the shore of Lake Toba, eight hours southeast of Bukit Lawang. At 436 square miles—about the size of Los Angeles—Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world, and maybe the nicest. The water is sparkling and calm. Soft green mountains rise all around it. The hotel, Carolina Cottages, is a collection of bungalows with sharply peaked roofs and ornately carved wooden façades, a tribute to the traditional building style of the local people. A breeze blew onto the hotel veranda, ruffling the edges of the batik tablecloths. On the beaches, the Coke came in glass bottles and the coconuts came with straws.</p><img alt="Scenes from Sumatra "src=""><p>At the center of the lake lies Samosir Island, the heartland of the Batak, an indigenous group known for their love of singing. One night, we partied with a crowd of Batak schoolteachers on their summer break. They fed us boiled eggs with chili paste and passed out cups of herbal liquor and brought out a guitar and sang for us and begged us to dance with them and laughed hysterically when we did. Even Stefan, who has been everywhere and isn’t easily impressed, conceded that one of the guests had a solid case when he called Lake Toba “heaven on this earth.”</p><p>On my way back to Medan, as I boarded a ferry headed across the lake, a stranger handed me a pocket map. He turned out to be a mapmaker from Java who had traveled all over Indonesia for his work. He told me Toba held a special place in his heart. For years, he said, the Indonesian government had done too little to develop the tourism industry in this provincial outpost, but that was beginning to change. An airport had been built nearby, and there were plans to extend the highway from Medan to the lake. “We want people to know the story of Toba,” he said.</p><p>The story of Toba is one worth knowing. The massive volcanic eruption that created the lake some 70,000 years ago nearly wiped out the entire human species—and may have made us who we are today. According to the “Toba catastrophe theory,” originally posited by the science writer Ann Gibbons, the blast plunged the earth into a six-year winter, leaving as few as 3,000 people alive on the planet. Those survivors were the most resourceful of our kind, and they passed on those qualities to their descendants, our ancestors, planting the seeds of human civilization.</p><p>It was perhaps because of Toba that our ancestors learned to make fire, and grow crops, and cure diseases, and come up with clever theories about human civilization. And it was perhaps because of Toba that we learned to clear forests, and developed a habit of wiping other species off the face of the earth.</p><p>As the ferry pulled into the dock, I said goodbye to the mapmaker and hauled my bags to the driver waiting onshore. Then we began the journey back to Medan, with its truck-clogged streets, passing palm plantations where there used to be forest. With luck, you’ll get to visit one of the forests that remain. If you do, keep your eyes raised to the treetops. You might see someone you used to know.</p><h2>Plan an adventure in Sumatra</h2><p>Explore this unsung Indonesian island at the front end of a two-week trip. Its extraordinary natural riches make an ideal prelude to the cultural wonders of Java or the beaches of Bali.</p><h2>Getting There &amp; Around</h2><p>Fly to Kualanamu International Airport in Medan via a regional hub such as Singapore. The best way to reach Gunung Leuser National Park and Lake Toba is to hire a car and driver (your hotel can easily make arrangements). Although Sumatra’s tourism infrastructure is getting better, most roads remain rough and crowded, so expect to spend a day traveling to each destination.</p><h2>Medan</h2><p>For most travelers, Indonesia’s fourth-largest city is a gateway to the natural attractions of North Sumatra. I arrived after dark and set out for the jungle the next morning, skipping such sights as <a href="" target="_blank">Our Lady of Velangkanni</a>, an Indo-Mughal-style church, and the museum at Maimun Palace <em>(66 Jl. Sultan Ma’moen Al Rasyid; 62-61-452-4244)</em>. I did stick around my hotel, <a href="" target="_blank">Aryaduta Medan</a> <em>(doubles from $110)</em>, long enough to sample a grand breakfast spread that combined American, Chinese, and Indonesian food. Another comfortable option is the <a href="" target="_blank">JW Marriott</a> <em>(doubles from $58)</em>, which has a lovely rooftop pool.</p><h2>Bukit Lawang</h2><p>This riverside town at the entrance to <a href="" target="_blank">Gunung Leuser National Park</a> is where most orangutan treks start. I stayed at <a href="" target="_blank">Green Hill</a> <em>(packages from $240)</em><i>,</i> a guesthouse where the staff arranges trips into the jungle. For optimum orangutan sightings, those willing to rough it should consider booking a three- or four-day trek.</p><h2>Lake Toba</h2><p>After an eight-hour drive from Bukit Lawang, I took a ferry to Samosir Island in the middle of the lake. Lodging at <a href="" target="_blank">Carolina Cottages</a> <em>(doubles from $12)</em> was basic but comfortable. For a more luxurious stay, try the <a href="" target="_blank">Taman Simalem Resort</a> <em>(doubles from $87)</em>, a group of lodges and private villas overlooking the lake. I recommend a visit to the Huta Bolon Simanindo <em>(Jl. Pelabuhan Simanindo, Samosir Island; 62- 813-9672-1133)</em>, a preserved historic village of traditional wooden houses.</p><h2>Tour Operator</h2><p>ATJ’s Jarrod Hobson is known in the industry as “the Indonesia guy” and is a long-standing presence on T+L’s A-List of top travel advisors. He can create custom itineraries that combine Sumatra with other islands, such as Java and Bali.; from $350 per person per day.</p><h2>What to Pack</h2><p>You’ll need a powerful insect repellent, sunscreen with a high SPF, a headlamp, a waterproof wallet for your passport and papers, tough hiking boots, and light, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. </p>
Categories: Travel

Our Editor in Chief Explains Why This Is the No. 1 Hotel in the World

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 12:30
<p>Like many of you, I’m sure, when I read the results of our annual <a href="" target="_blank">World’s Best Awards</a> — the best of the best in travel, as rated by you, the world’s most sophisticated travelers — I scan first for places I already know and love, and then I look for ideas about where to go next. </p><img alt="Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan Hotel in Indonesia "src=""><p>When this year’s results came in, I was in the middle of planning a trip to Asia, so I jumped at the chance to pop over to this year’s <a href="" target="_blank">No. 1 Hotel in the World</a>: the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan</strong></a> <em>(doubles from $418)</em>, just outside Ubud, Indonesia (itself an honoree, in the <a href="" target="_blank">City category</a>). I wanted to check it out, to see for myself what makes a No. 1 a No. 1.</p><p>One fact of life about <a href="" target="_blank">Bali</a> is that it has been significantly developed, which hasn’t spoiled its charms, but it does mean that you really want your resort there to feel like a haven. On this front, the <a href="" target="_blank">Four Seasons</a>, built on a hillside along the Ayung River, 100 percent delivers. From the moment you arrive — via a dramatic bridge that leads you to a huge infinity-edge lotus pool seemingly suspended in the air — you feel transported to a world apart. </p><p>The resort’s main building is an eye-catching (read: highly Instagrammable), multilevel, open-air pavilion that looks like something you’d find on one of those Edenic planets from Star Wars, but nearly all of the resort’s other physical infrastructure is hidden away. Most of the accommodations are villas built into the sloping ground; you enter from above and descend to your living quarters, which have expansive open-air lounge areas, private pools, teak beds draped in mosquito netting, slick marble bathrooms, and outdoor showers. </p><p>The choice to integrate the villas with the landscape has the dual benefits of giving guests an incredible sense of privacy — you can neither see nor hear your neighbors — and making a walk around the property feel like a wander through the Balinese countryside. This is simply great hotel design: rooted in the local vernacular and lovingly cared for, it reinforces all the other positive aspects of your experience. </p><img alt="Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan</a> happens to be turning 20 this year, and one of the advantages of not being brand-new is that you’ve figured a few things out by now. The food is great (don’t miss the tasting table, a fascinating demonstration meal where the chef cooks you traditional Balinese dishes you won’t find on any other restaurant menu), the service is deeply friendly but also polished and anticipatory, and there is a terrific program of interesting things to do both on and off the property, from a purification ritual at a local “water temple” and hikes along the river to visits with local artists and artisans. </p><p>The spa is exceptional: I did something called the Sacred Nap, a kind of guided meditation while floating in a gauzy hammock that calmed my mind in a way I can’t explain, leaving me uncommonly refreshed. </p><img alt="Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan "src=""><p>Obviously, to be named No. 1 a hotel must be consistently excellent across the board. It’s got to have good bones, yes, and it needs to have great people who can build on those bones to transform the place into an experience. At the Four Seasons I especially appreciated how often I was surprised by something I saw or tasted or did, which reminded me that the most memorable hotels and resorts are also about creativity, experimentation, and innovation. </p><p>They are more than just luxurious or beautiful — they are agents of discovery that expose you to new things, opening your eyes to the world. Therein lies greatness, and I love that each year our <a href="" target="_blank">World’s Best Awards</a> lead me — and you — to it. </p><p><strong><em>See all of our readers' favorite hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the <a href="" target="_blank">World's Best Awards for 2018</a>.</em></strong></p>
Categories: Travel

Why Singapore Changi Airport Is Still the Best

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 11:01
<p>Most fliers just want to reach their final destination as quickly as possible. But intentions are different when passing through Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 4, according to the results of Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Singapore Changi Airport</a> was voted by Travel + Leisure readers as the <a href="" target="_blank">best international airport in the world</a>. And its new terminal, T4, has quickly endeared itself to travelers since opening to the public on October 31, 2017. </p><img alt="Unique design on display at Changi Airport Terminal 4, in Singapore "src=""><p>The entire airport is renowned for its inclusion of nature, and the new terminal — which is two stories and 8.6 square miles— is no exception. Passengers will see more than 582,000 plants, trees, and shrubs as they pass through T4, and be able to experience 80 plus different shops and restaurants. Traditional Singaporean brands like Bee Cheng Hiang, Bengawan Solo, and Heavenly Wang have boutiques here, giving passengers an opportunity for one-of-a-kind last-minute souvenirs.</p><img alt="Traditional Singaporean Peranakan building facades adorn a wall in the Heritage Zone of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 "src=""><p>Indeed, the entire terminal was designed as a “theater of experience.” Several different exhibits and art installations immerse passengers in the history of Singapore and its culture. A sculpture by Chong Fah Cheong shows a mother and young boy hailing a trishaw on their way home. Petalclouds, an installation that runs along the Central Galleria, is designed to mimic clouds shifting in the sky. The sculpture also shifts form, as each cloud has 16 motorized “petals” that can turn. The Immersive Wall, an installation near security, has an LED display that lights up with Singapore landmarks.</p><img alt="A cleaner robot at Singapore Airport Changi Terminal 4 "src=""><p>T4 is tech-savvy, too. Travelers can take advantage of a fully automated departure process. With a boarding pass to scan,you can go through check-in, bag drop, immigration, and boarding all with self-service. (A facial recognition system is also in the works.) There’s no need to take electronics out of your bag as you go through security, which is capable of processing more than 5,400 bags per hour. </p><p>If you’re looking to book your way through T4, nine airlines operate at its gates: Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, Spring Airlines, and the four airlines that make up the AirAsia Group. </p>
Categories: Travel

This New England Painter Continues to Spark Our Wanderlust — and a New Exhibit Explores Some of His Best Works

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:00
<p>Since the invention of the camera in the early 19th century, painters from Bonnard to Munch to Hockney have carried on a complicated dance with photography. This summer, a new exhibition at the <a href="" target="_blank">Bowdoin College Museum of Art</a> in Brunswick, Maine, takes a look at how the American painter Winslow Homer embraced the new medium — and how it changed the way he viewed his subjects and approached the canvas.</p><img alt="High Cliff, Coast of Maine, 1894, oil on canvas by Winslow Homer. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William T. Evans. Photography: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC / Art Resource, NY. "src=""><p>Homer, one of <a href="" target="_blank">New England</a>'s most famous landscape artists, acquired a dry plate camera in 1882 during a two-year stint in England.</p><p>He would continue to take photos while traveling — to Quebec, Florida, and elsewhere — and at his seaside cottage on Prouts Neck, the rocky spit of land outside Portland where he painted the maritime scenes for which he’s most famous.</p><img alt="Cliff at Prout’s Neck, ca. 1885, albumen silver print by Winslow Homer. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine. The- "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of </em></a><em><a href="" target="_blank">Painting</a>, </em>which runs until October 28, features a generous selection of Homer’s paintings and drawings, photos of Homer taken by friends and family members, and an intriguing assortment of his belongings and tools of the trade that includes two cameras, brushes, wooden modeling figurines, and Homer’s walking stick. </p><p>Need more inspiration for planning a summertime vacation in Maine? Check out our guide for <a href="" target="_blank">a perfect weekend in Portland</a>, one of the region's coolest cities, or take <a href="" target="_blank">a perfect road trip along the state's famous rocky coast</a>.</p><p><strong><em>Our series <a href="" target="_blank">Reasons to Travel Now</a> highlights the news, events, and openings that have us scoping out plane tickets each day.</em></strong></p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle Just Wore an Estimated $22,000 Worth of Clothing in 90 Minutes

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 09:47
<p>Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have certainly been making a splash during their <a href="" target="_blank">royal visit to Dublin</a> this week. But it’s Meghan’s quick wardrobe changes that have everyone talking.</p><p>On Wednesday, during the couple’s final day of their tour, Meghan and Harry took part in two separate visits before the lunch hour even began. For each of her stops, Meghan put on quite a fashion show.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, the Duchess of Sussex rocked two different designer looks in the span of just 90 minutes, estimated to be worth about $22,000 in total.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Meghan Markle and Sofia Vergara Swear by This $18 Eyeliner</a></p><p>As<em> <a href="" target="_blank">People </a></em>explained, Meghan's first look — which she wore to Ireland’s President Michael Higgins’ residence — was a bespoke gray-green dress by <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Roland Mouret</a>. The dress featured Meghan’s favored boatneck design and had a flattering drape detail along the waist. She paired it with a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">black Fendi bag</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">earrings by Birks</a>, and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">black suede pumps by Paul Andrew</a>. The dress alone, <i>Daily Mail </i>reported, is estimated to be worth nearly $2,000, while her earrings are estimated to be worth $9,000 and the Fendi bag at $5,100.</p><p>Following the visit to Higgins’ home, Meghan quickly changed for her visit to Croke Park. There, she sported a Givenchy pantsuit — which also marked the first time she’s worn pants to an official outing as a duchess — and finished the look off with a pair of <a href="" target="_blank">Sarah Flint pumps</a>, a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Givenchy logo-buckle belt</a>, and a coordinated <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Givenchy clutch</a>. The suit, <em>Daily Mail</em> estimated, is worth about $3,300.</p><img alt="Duchess Meghan of Sussex Wardrobe details "src=""><p>Though this may seem like a hefty price tag to pay for a few items of clothing, it’s actually well in line with what Meghan has already spent on royal attire. As<i> </i><em><a href="" target="_blank">Travel + Leisure</a></em><i> </i>previously reported, the Duchess’ stylish wardrobe has cost the royal family an estimated $1 million.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Meghan Markle’s Sold-out Leather Tote Is Back But You’ll Have to Hurry</a></p><p>Meghan likely isn’t paying for these designer duds herself, though. According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, Prince Charles typically pays for his family’s wardrobe, especially for clothing items they will be photographed in while performing royal duties, such as state visits.</p><p>It may seem odd for a father-in-law to do this, but, as Nicholl further explained, the royal family sees Meghan as "an ambassador" and want her to look and feel her best.</p><p>"Look at the publicity she has brought in run up to the wedding. I'd argue that's worth every penny," she told <em><a href="" target="_blank">Entertainment Tonight</a></em>. Now if only all fathers-in-law were that cool.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best-selling Travel Pillow on Amazon Is on Sale for $20 Right Now

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 08:29
<p>As we’re counting down the days to <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon Prime Day</a>, the online retailer is saucing <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tltrtltravelpillowsale-20&amp;linkId=fa6fae94b47f2cb5ec88013fe1e02efa" target="_blank">Prime members</a> up with daily flash sales on some of its most popular items.</p><p>And lucky us! Today’s deal is on the bestselling <a href=";psc=1&amp;refRID=ES5T4KDVN9ZEW2EC64V2&amp;linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tltrtltravelpillowsale-20&amp;linkId=0f187b296bdbd8deffd6a666f3a9594a" target="_blank">Trtl travel pillow</a> — a long-time favorite of T+L editors and readers alike. And with more than 3,000 rave reviews, an Amazon-certified “<a href=";linkCode=ll2&amp;tag=tltrtltravelpillowsale-20&amp;linkId=d7a9e47e7c70f07207f9e2ed3ed8ed3b" target="_blank">#1 Best Seller</a>” banner, and 30 percent off, how can you <i>not</i> hit “add to cart?”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Amazon Prime Day 2018: When It Starts and How to Score the Best Deals</a></p><p><a href=";psc=1&amp;refRID=ES5T4KDVN9ZEW2EC64V2&amp;linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tltrtltravelpillowsale-20&amp;linkId=0f187b296bdbd8deffd6a666f3a9594a" target="_blank">The Trtl Pillow</a> looks like a trendy scarf and works like an ultra-comfy neck support pillow to keep your head upright on long flights and car rides — meaning no more annoying head bobbing as you try to catch some Zs.</p><img alt="Trtl Pillow "src=""><p>To buy: <a href=";psc=1&amp;refRID=ES5T4KDVN9ZEW2EC64V2&amp;linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tltrtltravelpillowsale-20&amp;linkId=0f187b296bdbd8deffd6a666f3a9594a" target="_blank"></a>, $21 (originally $30)</p><p>You’ll need to act fast because this major deal ends tomorrow morning at 3:00 a.m. EST. Head over to <a href=";psc=1&amp;refRID=ES5T4KDVN9ZEW2EC64V2&amp;linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tltrtltravelpillowsale-20&amp;linkId=0f187b296bdbd8deffd6a666f3a9594a" target="_blank"></a> now to score one for yourself and prepare for more deals coming this <a href="" target="_blank">Prime Day 2018</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

George Clooney Thrown From His Scooter in Car Accident in Sardinia

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 17:28
<p>George Clooney was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries Tuesday after crashing his scooter in Sardinia.</p><p>Officials from the John Paul II hospital in Olbia said that he was released after a few hours, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>La Nuova Sardegna</em> reported</a>.</p><p>Clooney was leaving his hotel in Costa Corallina, in the north of the island, around 8:15 a.m. when a Mercedes turned and hit him. Clooney was thrown from his scooter and fell onto the windshield of the car.</p><p>The car had cut across an intersection and collided with Clooney’s scooter, Carabinieri Lt. Alberto Cicognani <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>NBC News</em></a>. An ambulance came to the scene and brought Clooney to the hospital. Doctors gave him an MRI and determined he was “not seriously injured,” Cicognani said. He reported “trauma to the pelvis and bruises to one knee and one arm,” <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>La Nuova Sardegna</em></a>.</p><p>His wife, Amal Clooney, joined him at the hospital and they left together through a side door. He was advised to rest for a few days.</p><p>Clooney is in Sardinia to film a mini-series, “Catch 22,” based off Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name. He is directing, producing, and acting in the series.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why this Balinese Escape Is a T+L Reader Favorite

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 15:08
<p>Bali’s Ayung River is famous for its adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting. But hidden in the jungle off the bank of the river is a sanctuary for travelers seeking to relax and reset: the <a href="" target="_blank">Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan</a>. The 60-room resort was voted by <em>Travel + Leisure</em> readers as the <a href="http://ttps://" target="_blank">best in the world</a> in the 2018 World’s Best Awards.</p><p>Every year for our <a href="" target="_blank">World’s Best Awards survey</a>, T+L <a href="" target="_blank">asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe</a> — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">The 2018 World's Best Awards</a></p><p>The resort hotel seamlessly blends elements of traditional Balinese culture with modern amenities. Calming fountains complement the crystal-clear swimming pools. Balinese carvings and motifs are scattered throughout the property, and there is greenery all around from the surrounding jungle.</p><p>The accommodations (suites or villas are available) are a calming, private escape. Guests can sit on their terraces and admire the stunning views of the surroundings.</p><p>You also don’t have to leave the resort to find things to do. In an effort to promote well-being and relaxation, group yoga and meditation classes are offered on the grounds every day.</p><p>The hotel takes full advantage of its prime setting along the river. <a href="" target="_blank">Whitewater rafting tours</a> are available, and travelers can even make a stop at a shrine beside a holy spring.</p><p>Three times a week, traditional Balinese dancers come to the hotel and put on a show. Guests can also learn how to prepare Balinese ceremonial dishes in a hands-on cooking class or help local farmers plant rice and turn soil.</p><p>After an active adventure, unwind at the hotel’s Sacred River Spa. While there are typical services like massages and facials, spa-goers can also opt for a more cultural experience. It’s possible to take part in an energy-healing ceremony with a <em>balian</em> (a traditional spiritual healer) or find balance with a <a href="" target="_blank">chakra ceremony</a>.</p><p>The dining menu features local Balinese flair, as well. Those who wish to commit to the theme of wellness can opt for healthy bowls, salads made with vegetables from the hotel garden, or freshly caught seafood. Diners who would prefer something more decadent can opt for the seven-course <a href="" target="_blank">Chef’s Table experience</a> and watch the kitchen as a parade of traditional Balinese dishes becomes an elaborate feast.</p><p>No matter your travel style, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan offers seemingly endless ways to enjoy paradise.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why the Multifaceted Java Is a T+L Reader Favorite Destination

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 15:01
<p>The first thing anybody will say about Java is that it’s the most populated island in the world. More than 140 million people live in Indonesia’s beating heart, in an area of just under 50,000 square miles. It’s also a thriving place for culture and food, art and adventure.</p><p>Every year for our <a href="" target="_blank">World’s Best Awards survey</a>, T+L <a href="" target="_blank">asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe</a> — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">The 2018 World's Best Awards</a></p><p>Java is truly a diverse island, offering a multitude of different experiences for travelers. Visitors can see everything from the major metropolis of Jakarta to the slow-paced fishing scene in <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Kepulauan Seribu National Park</a></strong>.</p><p>Java also has 112 volcanoes — 35 of which are currently active. Outdoorsy types can get a sense of the land at Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park. The park is home to two dormant volcanoes (both of which you can climb) and more than 85 square miles of beautiful rain forest.</p><p>No visit to Java is complete without a stop at <a href="" target="_blank">Borobudur</a>. Dating back to the eighth century, the Buddhist temple complex is one of most significant and oldest in the world. It is considered the single largest Buddhist structure on the planet. Wake up early and visit at sunrise for an unforgettable experience (and fewer crowds) at this UNESCO World Heritage site.</p><p>Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is home to more than 10 million people. One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions is the 433-foot-tall National Monument (called Monas) in Merdeka Square. It was opened in 1975 to commemorate the Indonesian struggle for independence from the Dutch, achieved in 1949. Today visitors climb to the top observation deck for a cityscape view of Jakarta. </p><p>For another window onto Indonesian culture, swing by Taman Mini Indonesia Park. The 250-acre park contains 26 replicas of traditional chieftain’s houses that would be found throughout all of the islands. The park also showcases Indonesia’s coexistence of religions. Several different faiths (Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu) have religious buildings in the park. Learn more about religious history with visits to the Istiqlal Mosque and the Jakarta Cathedral, some of Java’s most historically significant places of worship.</p><p>After Jakarta, take a train ride across the island to Yogyakarta. The eight-hour journey is popular among tourists as a way to take in Java’s countryside. Get a window seat and take in the views as the train passes small villages, lush green hills, and rice paddies.</p><p>And, of course, Java is famous for its beaches. For those who wish to escape to a hidden paradise, Karimunjawa Island is touted by visitors for its pristine white sand and impossibly turquoise sea. Go snorkeling among some coral and shipwrecks to experience the best of what Javanese waters have to offer.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why This Under-the-radar Asian City Is a T+L Reader Favorite

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 14:59
<p><em>Travel + Leisure </em>readers chose Udaipur, India, as their <a href="" target="_blank">favorite city in Asia</a> in the 2018 World’s Best Awards.</p><p>Every year for our <a href="" target="_blank">World’s Best Awards survey</a>, T+L <a href="" target="_blank">asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe</a> — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.</p><p>Long considered a must-see in India — along with other major metropolises like New Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur — this Rajasthani city has preserved its charming past. And its smaller scale is what makes Udaipur such a memorable place to visit, from the ornate palaces and narrow, winding streets, to the boutique jewelry stores and bustling markets. It’s no surprise that these attributes have made it a T+L reader favorite.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">The 2018 World's Best Awards</a></p><p>Udaipur is known as the City of Lakes. Renting a rowboat and exploring it at leisure is one of the city’s most iconic activities. Those who want a bit of cinematic history should book a stay at the luxury Taj Lake Palace, voted one of the Top 10 Asia resort hotels by readers this year. The hotel was used as Octopussy’s Floating Palace in the 1983 James Bond film of the same name.</p><p>Architecture and history aficionados should stop at City Palace. Started in 1553 and taking more than 300 years to complete, the palace is a stunning mélange of Rajasthani, Mughal and British styles of architecture — but it’s often the antiques and paintings inside that make the biggest impact on visitors. Don’t leave without visiting the City Palace Museum and Durbar Hall, the royal reception room with a dizzying amount of crystal chandeliers.</p><p>Sajjan Garh, also featured in <em>Octopussy</em>, may not be quite as opulent, but it is still worth a visit. The late-19th-century palace has become run-down since its heyday more than 100 years ago. However, visitors still trek up the mountain to see its fantastic sunset views. If you’d rather take things easy, ride the Udaipur Ropeway (cable car) up the mountains to see the city from above without breaking a sweat.</p>
Categories: Travel