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Big Changes Are Coming for Marriott Customers This Year — Here’s What You Can Expect

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:42
<p>Marriott International is now offering a slew of new perks for members of its rewards program to make it easier to take advantage of benefits that range from free stays and discounted packages to exclusive amenities.</p><p>From a more seamless way to integrate and combine rewards points to new experiences and ways to make your stay easier once you arrive at your hotel, here are the changes you can expect. </p><h2>Unified Rewards Program: </h2><p>Starting in August, members of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/points-miles/marriott-starwood-secrets" target="_blank">Marriott Rewards</a>, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/points-miles/starwood-points-marriott-merger" target="_blank">Starwood Preferred Guest</a> (SPG) programs will have one unified option to look forward to.</p><p>This will give members the chance to book stays and earn points across the 29 different brands and 6,500 hotels that make up the program, ranging from boutique properties and extended stay accommodations to select service and luxury hotels.</p><p>Members will be able to earn an average of 20 percent more points for every dollar they spend under the new program with added points for money spent on food, drinks, and room incidentals. The program will also shorten the length of stays required for travelers looking to earn elite status.</p><p>Starting in August, members will only need to stay 10 nights (as opposed to 10-49 nights) to earn Silver Elite status. Perks include free Wi-Fi and no blackout dates. Gold Elite Status, which includes guaranteed room type, complimentary upgrades, and late checkout, will be earned after 25 nights as opposed to 50-74. And Platinum Elite status, which gives you a 50-percent bonus on rewards points, gifts upon arrival, and 48-hour guaranteed availability, will require 50 nights as opposed to 75. </p><p>None of the programs will have blackout dates and all will operate under a single currency, making it simpler to transfer your points and earn additional points.</p><p>For example, SPG members will be able to triple their points balance when they combine them into the new program starting in August, while all members can earn 10 points for every dollar spent at all brands except for Resident Inn, TownPlace Suites, and Elements, where they’ll earn five points for every dollar they spend.</p><p>Customers will be able to book through both Marriott’s and SPG’s websites, as well as through each of the brand’s mobile <a href="http://mobileapp.marriott.com" target="_blank">apps</a>, which will also have new features that allow you to get room alerts, chat with hotel staff, and open your room door with your phone.</p><h2>New Credit Cards: </h2><p>The brands will also unveil two new credit cards, the Chase Marriott Rewards Premiere Plus Credit Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card.</p><p>Most of the perks will look the same for customers, with Marriott’s card providing six points per dollar spent at participating hotels and two points per dollar on other eligible purchases, in addition to a free night’s stay that amounts to up to 35,000 points.</p><p>The Starwood card provides you with three points per dollar spent on flights and restaurants, two points on other eligible purchases, an automatic upgrade to Gold Elite status, $100 for Global Entry, and a free night award of up to 50,000 points.</p><h2>New Experiences: </h2><p>Travelers will now be able to purchase 110,000 new <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/marriott-experiences-place-pass" target="_blank">experiences</a> coming to <a href="https://moments.marriott.com" target="_blank">Marriott’s Moments</a> with a credit card, regardless of whether or not they are a member of the rewards program.</p><p>These experiences will rage from adrenaline-pumping activities like shark diving to destination tours and tickets to popular attractions. </p><p>Meanwhile, Marriott is also adding 10,000 new Moments that will be exclusively for its rewards members and redeemable with points. These include everything from VIP experiences like meet and greets with Jared Leto, a food tour of New York City with chef Daniel Boulud, behind-the-scenes access to Keith Urban’s upcoming tour, and master classes with the likes of Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Throw the Perfect New York City Bachelorette Party — Without Losing Your Mind

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:01
<p>Planning a bachelorette party can be overwhelming. And when that bach bash is happening in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/new-york-city" target="_blank">New York City</a>, it can be system overload. There is just so much to do and see in the City That Never Sleeps, including world-famous bars and restaurants, Broadway shows, and top New York City hotels offering wild bachelorette party packages. It's no surprise that in our annual <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/americas-favorite-places-spotlight" target="_blank">America's Favorite Places</a> survey — where we ask <em>Travel + Leisure</em> readers to dish about their hometowns — New York City landed in the top 10 for destinations worthy of a bachelor or bachelorette party.</p><p>Unlike T+L's <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best" target="_blank">World's Best Awards</a>, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best. </p><p>So if you want to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/destination-weddings/international-bachelorette-party-planning-tips" target="_blank">plan an unforgettable bachelorette party</a>, take a cute from the locals and head to the Big Apple. And be sure to read our definitive NYC bachelorette party itinerary for the best places places to stay, eat, and drink.</p><h2>Best Bachelorette Party Hotels in New York City</h2><h3>The Redbury New York</h3><p><a href="http://theredbury.com/newyork/?_ga=2.35070753.10043845.1521215231-1615026560.1521215231" target="_blank">The Redbury</a> is the ideal home base for the bride who loves luxury. Located in Midtown, close to Bryant Park and the Empire State Building, this historic spot exudes glamour with its newly renovated rooms and Vini e Fritti: the hotel’s champagne bar. At this Instagramable location, you can toast the bride before a night on the town.</p><h3>Soho Grand Hotel</h3><p>Situated in the heart of Soho, <a href="http://www.sohogrand.com/" target="_blank">this hotel</a> is right by the city’s best shopping and nightlife, making it a great location for a New York City bachelorette party. It boasts an Old World vibe and 24-hour room service — an amenity you'll appreciate after a late night out. The hotel is also happy to organize room blocks for guests to ensure they are situated on the same floor.</p><h3>Hotel Americano</h3><p>Located in the gorgeous Chelsea neighborhood, <a href="http://www.hotel-americano.com/" target="_blank">Hotel Americano</a> is a comfortable distance from the ceaseless crowds of Times Square, and is ideal for an art-loving bride-to-be. Just steps from the Highline walkway and the best art galleries in the city, Hotel Americano offers a retro vibe with luxe amenities.</p><h2>Best Dinner Restaurants in New York City for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>Brigette</h3><p><a href="https://www.brigitteles.com" target="_blank">Brigette</a> is a French restaurant with a touch of Brazilian influence nestled in the upscale Two Bridges neighborhood in Manhattan. With excellent service and group accommodations, this is a great choice for big parties. Be sure to start the table with Berber-spiced olives, the charcuterie board, and oysters. </p><h3>Añejo</h3><p>With locations in Tribeca and Hell’s Kitchen, and an in-house Agave Sommelier, <a href="http://anejonyc.com/" target="_blank">Añejo</a> is a convenient spot for a bridal party craving Mexican (or tequila shots). After all, the restaurant stocks an impressive selection of tequilas, and mezcals, alongside inventive Mexican cuisine. The Tribeca location can even host private parties in the downstairs cellar area, Abajo, which is able to accommodate a range of group sizes and budgets</p><h3>Becco</h3><p><a href="http://becco-nyc.com/" target="_blank">Becco</a> is hidden along Restaurant Row, near the Theater District. You’d never even know it was there, save for an inside tip from your longtime New Yorker friend (or T+L). It is the perfect place for family-style feasting — you can even get $20 bottles of wine and all-you-can-eat pasta.</p><h2>Best Brunch Restaurants in New York City for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>Socarrat Paella Bar</h3><p>Famous for its Brunch-Without-Limits, <a href="http://www.socarratnyc.com/" target="_blank">Socarrat</a> guests can enjoy unlimited sangria or mimosas for 90 minutes, as well as one tapa, for a cool $39. The menu also includes <em>churros con chocolate</em> for dessert. Make a reservation at either the Midtown East or Chelsea location, both of which have private rooms.</p><h3>Selena Rose</h3><p>Selena Rosa is a Mexican restaurant and cantina with a private back room and garden, making it an ideal location for a bachelorette party with. Brunch here also icludes bottomless margaritas and classic plates of enchiladas and fajitas.</p><h3>Bocca di Bacco</h3><p>This happening New York City <a href="http://nycrg.com/bocca-di-bacco/" target="_blank">brunch place</a> has three locations and a seriously amazing deal on beverages. Order an entree and for less than $10, you get one hour of unlimited mimosas or Bellinis. Upgrade to a bottomless margarita or Bloody Mary for $15.</p><h2>Best Bars in New York City for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>The Happiest Hour</h3><p>Located in the West Village, <a href="http://www.happiesthournyc.com/" target="_blank">The Happiest Hour</a> is a whimsical cocktail bar and full-service restaurant. Especially big parties can book the downstairs Slowly Shirley lounge for a more intimate affair.</p><h3>Beauty Bar</h3><p>For stressed brides who love to multi-task, you can do no better than <a href="http://thebeautybar.com/martinis-manicures-new-york/" target="_blank">Beauty Bar</a>, in the East Village. For $10 guests get a martini and a manicure. And at midnight, the backroom opens, and the space fills with classic 90s jams. Call ahead to reserve space for your crew.</p><h3>Hill and Dale</h3><p>Hill and Dale is everything you could want for a fun girls' night out. It has an old-timey, speakeasy feel (Ernest Hemingway would have probably ordered a drink here). <a href="http://www.hillanddalenyc.com/" target="_blank">Hill and Dale</a> also has board games, giant jenga, and a huge backroom for large parties, this East Village hangout is an incredible place for you and your crew to get the party started.</p><h2>Best Clubs in New York City for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>House of Yes</h3><p>Located in Brooklyn, <a href="http://houseofyes.org/" target="_blank">House of Yes</a> is the ultimate nightclub for bachelorette ladies who really want to dance. With aerial dynamic shows, incredible club music, and costumes <em>de jour</em>, this is a can't-miss for especially wild groups.</p><h3>Le Bain</h3><p><a href="http://www.standardhotels.com/new-york/features/le-bain" target="_blank">Le Bain</a> is one of the chicest nightclubs in New York City. Located on the roof of the Standard Hotel, this glitzy joint has an indoor pool and some of the best views of the city and Hudson river.</p><h3>The Electric Room</h3><p>Find the <a href="http://electricroomnyc.com/" target="_blank">Electric Room</a> on the lower level of the Dream Downtown Hotel. This place has all the trappings of a nightclub, without any of the skeeziness. You and your ladies can even dance freely at your own private table.</p><h2>Things to Do in New York City for a Bachelorette Party</h2><h3>Lips</h3><p>Located in Midtown, this drag club is the <a href="http://www.nycdragshow.com/bachelorettes/" target="_blank">ultimate bachelorette party</a> dinner and show. Your ladies will be serenaded by the most talented queens in the city while enjoying cocktails and a three course dinner. </p><h3>Artful Bachelorette: Heart for Art</h3><p>For bachelorette ladies craving a bit of condensed culture, <a href="http://www.heartforartinstitute.com/vip-group-tours/" target="_blank">Heart for Art</a> is one of the city's premiere art tours. For $80 a person, you and your girl gang will see only gallery highlights (no dull details). Because exhibits are constantly changing, you can even rely on this activity for future bachelorette parties.</p><h3>Body and Pole</h3><p>For the more adventurous (and health-conscious) bachelorettes, check out <a href="http://bodyandpole.com/parties/" target="_blank">Body and Pole</a>. This premiere studio offers some of the best aerial classes in New York City. Special offers for groups are an extra incentive to take our ladies pole dancing.</p><h3>Haven Spa</h3><p><a href="http://www.havenspa.nyc/" target="_blank">This spa</a> is a popular, well-known New York City hangout for wedding groups. And with accommodating spa packages for bachelorettes parties, your group can even book the entire spa for a full or half day. Consider the Pre-game Primp, which includes an express scrub, a European pedicure, a manicure, and a blowout. </p><h3>Company XIV</h3><p>Company XIV is New York City's premiere burlesque ballet. <a href="http://companyxiv.com/company-xiv/" target="_blank">The performance</a> combines classical ballet with sexy burlesque and gravity-defying acrobatics. Get tickets now for the company’s impressive rendition of <em>Cinderella</em>.</p><h3>Circa Brewing Co.</h3><p>This super hip spot is a go-to for beer-loving bachelorettes. Located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, <a href="http://circabrewing.co" target="_blank">Circa</a> brews their own beers in-house and has an impressive menu of gourmet pizzas that are perfect for sharing. On Saturday afternoons, there's even live music.</p><h2>New York City Bachelorette Party Ideas</h2><h3>New York City Bachelorette Hashtags</h3><p>When it comes to NYC bachelorette parties, you can’t possibly complete the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/weekend-getaways/weekend-in-new-york-city" target="_blank">weekend in New York City</a> without a perfect, appropriate hashtag. Hashtags can be customized to fit the group and the gorgeous bride-to-be, but some of our favorites include #BigAppleBeforeTheChapel, #BachelorettesThatNeverSleep, #BigAppleBachBash, and — of course — the bride’s name “In The City” to capture those Carrie Bradshaw vibes (think: #SamInTheCity).</p><h3>New York City Bachelorette Party Shirts</h3><p>Having the right outfit is almost as important as planning unforgettable activities. You’ll want to customize your group’s look so you can take take plenty of pictures and commemorate this incredible experience (with aforementioned hashtags, of course). Try a <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/236967238/new-york-bachelorette-party-shirt-sets" target="_blank">New York City-themed</a> option from Etsy with the iconic skyline.</p><h3>New York City Bachelorette Invitations</h3><p>For the perfect Big Apple bachelorette, you’ll need appropriately-bold invitations. We love these New York City skyline cards from <a href="http://www.invitationbox.com/ic-d-mw1c-66.html" target="_blank">Invitation Box</a> and from <a href="https://www.paperstyle.com/is-bin/NYC-Skyline-Bachelorette-Party-Invitations-p-606-94-NYC" target="_blank">Paper and Style</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Woman Fined for Accidentally Taking a Ride on the Baggage Carousel at Moscow Airport

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:07
<p>A passenger went for an unexpected ride on a baggage carousel at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow on Sunday after losing her balance. To add insult to injury, her fall ended up costing her a small fine for damaging the airport’s freight transportation system.</p><p>The passenger, a woman in her late 50s, according to <a href="https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/passenger-gets-unintended-ride-on-moscow-baggage-carousel-10141616" target="_blank">Channel News Asia</a>, was reaching for <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/pet-friendly-travel/dog-air-travel-safety" target="_blank">a pet carrier with her dog inside</a> as it made its way around the carousel. A transport police spokesman told the Moskva news agency that she accidentally lost her balance and wound up riding the conveyor belt all the way to the baggage room.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/dog-airport-bird-chaser" target="_blank">The World’s Coolest Airport Employee is a Runway Patrol Dog Named Piper</a></p><p>There were no details on how fast the conveyor belt was moving, but from all accounts everything seemed to be operating normally.</p><p>Even though the woman's fall was an accident, she still reportedly had to pay a fine for damages. The fee was a small one, however; police said the maximum fine for such an offense was 1,500 rubles (about $24 USD).</p><p>The woman had flown into Moscow from Belgrade, Serbia earlier that day. Reports did not detail <a href="http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2018/04/16/Passenger-gets-unintended-ride-on-Moscow-baggage-carousel.html" target="_blank">whether the woman or the dog were hurt</a> during the incident, but this is an important reminder to travelers with heavy luggage to be extra careful when lifting a bag off a moving carousel.</p>
Categories: Travel

Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Passenger Threatens Crew With Fountain Pen

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 08:34
<p>An Air China flight was diverted on Sunday due to a passenger threatening the plane’s crew with a fountain pen, according to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-security-flight/air-china-flight-diverted-after-passenger-threatens-crew-with-fountain-pen-idUSKBN1HM05E?il=0" target="_blank">Reuters</a>.</p><p>The flight, bound for Beijing from Changha, made an <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/emergency-landing" target="_blank">emergency landing</a> at Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, in central China, around 9:58 a.m. local time. No passengers or crew were harmed in the incident.</p><p>The plane landed about an hour after the man threatened the crew, according to the <em><a href="https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/04/16/air-china-flight-diverted-man-holds-crew-member-hostage-fountain-pen/" target="_blank">Hong Kong Free Press</a></em>.</p><p>The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement on its website that the 41-year-old man, who is only identified by his last name, Xu, used the pen to hold a flight attendant “under duress.” The man allegedly also had a “history of mental illness,” according to the statement.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/emergency-landing-for-passenger-farting" target="_blank">Unapologetic Farting Man on Plane Causes Emergency Landing</a></p><p>“The incident was successfully dealt with by 1:17pm, and passengers and crew members are safe,” the statement concluded.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-15/china-flight-diverted-after-man-holds-attendant-hostage-with-pen/9660906" target="_blank">ABC News Australia</a>, a passenger told the <em>Xiaoxiang Morning Herald</em> that the incident happened in the first or business class cabin, but they were unable to see.</p><p>Another passenger recounted being awoken on the flight by a scream, the <em><a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/air-china-flight-forced-to-divert-after-man-threatened-staff-with-fountain-pen-a3814576.html" target="_blank">Evening Standard</a> </em>reported.</p><p>Photos of the incident have been circulating on Chinese social media sites, one of which was acquired by the <em>Hong Kong Free Press</em>. Details on the attack and what happened to the man after being escorted off the plane have not yet been reported.</p>
Categories: Travel

British Tourists Scammed Spanish Hotels Out of $74 Million by Claiming to Have Food Poisoning

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 08:02
<p>The British government is closing a loophole that allowed tourists to scam Spanish hotels and tour operators out of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/05/crackdown-on-uk-tourists-over-food-poisoning-scams-in-spain" target="_blank">more than $74 million in one year</a> by claiming they had contracted food poisoning while on vacation.</p><p>The loophole allowed claims management firms to request unlimited compensation for incidents that took place overseas. Some firms allegedly used this loophole to basically extort money from hotels and tour operators. Rather than enter lengthy and expensive legal battles, most businesses would settle out of court.</p><p>Over the past few years, these types of claims have increased by 500 percent. In 2013, only 5,000 of these claims were reported. By 2016, that number was 35,000, according to the Association of British Travel Agents.</p><p>“Claim farmers” reportedly approached British tourists looking for a vacation to Spain and promised more than $3,090 (€2,500) for their help. An <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/6038578/fake-brit-holiday-sickness-claims-crackdown-as-government-targets-shady-law-firms/" target="_blank">estimated 9.5 million Brits</a> were contacted by the scammers.</p><p>“Claiming compensation for being sick on holiday, when you haven’t been, is fraud,” U.K. Justice Minister Rory Stewart <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-curbs-on-bogus-holiday-sickness-claims" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “This damages the travel industry and risks driving up costs for holidaymakers. This behavior also tarnishes the reputation of British people abroad. That is why we are introducing measures to crack down on those who engage in this dishonest practice.”</p><p>Tourists participating in the scam would file a complaint once they were back in the U.K., after it was too late to be inspected by a Spanish doctor. <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/spanish-police-food-poisoning-claims-british-tourists-a8012436.html" target="_blank">All they needed to do was provide a receipt</a>, proving that they had purchased anti-diarrhea medicine. The firm representing the scammers would then file cases in small claims court or complain directly to their tour operator.</p><p>The British Civil Procedure Rule Committee will enstate rules on legal costs. The predictable costs will make it easier for hotels and tour operators to fight bogus claims in court.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Family of 5 Is Crossing the Country in a Beautifully Renovated School Bus

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:30
<p>A New Mexico <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxGbYZA7fxHywcgkW5nuT8w" target="_blank">family of five</a> transformed a school bus into a tiny, photogenic mobile home.</p><p>Denver and Vanessa Miller, along with their three sons, London, Phoenix and Everest, are traveling around the country in their renovated school bus. They routinely post pictures of their bus life under the Instagram handle <a href="https://www.instagram.com/nomadicmillers/" target="_blank">@NomadicMillers</a> and have attracted more than 11,000 followers.</p><img alt="Nomadic Millers - Family Travels in Bus "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523546891/nomadic-millers-family-FAMILYBUS0418.jpg?itok=hBMXGrj8"><p>Because Denver works remotely, the family is able to move the bus around the country. They have been living aboard the bus for two years with no immediate plans to move back to a fixed-location life.</p><p>The Millers spent two years renovating the bus before moving in. Renovations included raising the roof 20 inches (Denver is 6’ tall and needed more headspace), installing “rooms,” and adding a water system.</p><img alt="Nomadic Millers - Family Travels in Bus "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523546891/nomadic-millers-dining-FAMILYBUS0418.jpg?itok=H-0SO3em"><img alt="Nomadic Millers - Family Travels in Bus "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523546891/nomadic-millers-kitchen-FAMILYBUS0418.jpg?itok=6oUwm7YL"><p>And just because they’re living in a 250-square-foot bus does not mean the Millers need to give up the comforts of a family living room. At the front of the bus, they have installed a flat screen TV and a surround sound system for movie nights. The kitchen includes an oven, stove, fridge and deep sink.</p><p>The interior features trendy touches like snake plants and letterboard signs. The master bedroom transforms into the school room thanks to a Murphy bed with a chalkboard installed on the bottom. (Vanessa homeschools the three boys, all under the age of five.)</p><p>The Millers are currently driving through New Mexico but hope to take their bus through the entire country and up to Canada and Alaska.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Radiant Lyrid Meteor Shower Is Coming to Light up the Sky — Here’s How to Watch

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:00
<p>Will you see a shooting star streak across the night sky this month? The oldest meteor shower of all, the Lyrid meteor shower, begins in mid-April and continues for nearly the rest of the month. If there are no clouds where you are, and you're under a reasonably <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/dark-skies-skyglow" target="_blank">dark sky</a>, expect this <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/lyrids-meteor-shower" target="_blank">annual celestial event</a> to bring visible shooting stars on average every three to six minutes.</p><h2>When is the Lyrid meteor shower?</h2><p>This April meteor shower happens every year. The 2018 Lyrid meteor shower will take place between April 16 and April 25, but it's due to reach peak activity on the night of Sunday, April 22 and into the early hours of Monday, April 23. The rate is expected to be around <a href="http://earthsky.org/?p=158735" target="_blank">10 to 20 shooting stars per hour</a>, which makes it a medium-brightness shower. However, just occasionally the Lyrids can unexpectedly surge to 100 shooting stars per hour. Will that be this year?</p><h2>What time is the meteor shower?</h2><p>Although the 2018 Lyrid meteor shower peaks on April 22-23, there's a rule of thumb for stargazers that applies to all meteor showers: look after midnight. Since that's when your location will be firmly on the night side of Earth, the sky will be at its darkest and the shooting stars will be appear at their brightest. However, since April 22 will see a <a href="https://www.amsmeteors.org/2018/04/viewing-the-lyrid-meteor-shower-in-2018/" target="_blank">first quarter moon</a> in the sky until 1:46 a.m. EST, the chances of seeing Lyrid meteors will be highest between around 1.30 a.m. EST and dawn.</p><h2>Where can I see the Lyrid meteor shower?</h2><p>For the Lyrid meteor shower, where to look in the night sky is not hugely important. As the name suggests, the meteors appear to come from the small constellation of Lyra, the harp, which is rising in the eastern sky at dusk. That's called the radiant by astronomers. By moon-set, <a href="http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/lyrids/lyrids.html" target="_blank">Lyra is halfway up the eastern sky</a>, so ideally placed to gaze at without straining your neck. However, it's not so important to fixate on Lyra because shooting stars can appear anywhere in the night sky.</p><p>Can't find Lyra? It's easy to find because its brightest star, Vega, is the second brightest in the entire northern hemisphere night sky. Look east and you can't miss it.</p><h2>What locations are best for the Lyrids 2018?</h2><p>Anywhere with a clear, dark sky. Both can be hard to find at this time of year depending on where you live. However, light pollution — including moonlight — can considerably dim all meteor showers. Picking a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/dark-sky-reserve-us" target="_blank">dark sky site</a> is doubly important for Lyrid meteors because they tend to be rather faint, but anywhere out of town with low horizons will work well. As usual, the western U.S. will have a clearer view of the Lyrids meteor shower, with a higher chance of a clear sky in April.</p><h2>What causes the Lyrid shooting stars?</h2><p>Shooting stars occur when our <a href="https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20180423_10_100" target="_blank">Earth travels through a cloud of debris</a> and dust particles in the solar system. When that dust collides with the Earth's atmosphere, it heats up and glows momentarily as shooting stars. Occasionally one will glow extra bright, and that's called a fireball. They occur rarely and last just a few seconds, so patient shooting-stargazers will have the best chance.</p><p>In the case of the Lyrid meteor shower, the dust and debris was left by <a href="https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/lyrids.html" target="_blank">comet Thatcher</a>, which orbits the sun every 415.5 years and was last in the solar system in 1861. It will return in 2276.</p><h2>When is the next meteor shower?</h2><p>After the meteor shower in April 2018 is over, the next will be the <a href="https://www.space.com/36502-eta-aquarid-meteor-shower-guide.html" target="_blank">Eta Aquarids meteor shower</a>. That begins on April 19 and last until May 28, peaking on the night of May 5 and into May 6. Again, just after midnight until dawn will be the best time to observe shooting stars.</p><p>Wherever you go for a glimpse of the Lyrid meteor shower, wait until the moon is down, grab a lawn chair, resist the temptation to look at your smartphone (its white light will completely ruin your night vision), and sit back and wish upon a shooting star.</p>
Categories: Travel

5 Tricks for Getting Discounted Uber Rides

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 15:31
<p>It’s late at night, it’s raining, and you can’t find a cab. To make matters worse, when you open your Uber app, you’re faced with severely inflated surge prices. </p><p>Fortunately, there are ways to make the ride-sharing service more affordable, even at peak hours (think: 12:01 a.m. on <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/uber-surge-pricing-new-years-eve" target="_blank">New Year's Day</a>). </p><p>Uber is the largest and oldest of the ride-sharing apps, with operations in <a href="https://www.uber.com/cities/" target="_blank">more than 600 cities worldwide</a>. And while most Uber promo codes are offered only to first-time users, there are a few ways existing Uber customers can enjoy free or steeply discounted rides.</p><h2>Get the New User Uber Promo Code</h2><p>Officially, Uber only offers <a href="https://www.uber.com/promo/" target="_blank">promo codes to new users</a>. If this applies to you, you're in luck. When scheduling your first ride, just make sure you’ve entered — and received credit for — your new user promo code. The code changes often, so find the most current iteration at uber.com/promo. To enter the code, tap the “Payment” menu item within the Uber app, and then “Add Promo/Gift Code.” After submitting, the free credit will appear on your account, usually up to $15. </p><h2>Get Free Rides with Referrals</h2><p>Existing users can continue to earn Uber promo codes by <a href="https://help.uber.com/h/03db9e2b-270b-4fdb-95a7-afce7c6b4b3b" target="_blank">referring new users to the service</a>. Find your individual Uber referral code (which you can also personalize) under the Promotions section of the mobile app, as well as on the Uber website. The free rides, which will cover trips up to $10, don't appear immediately — so be sure to get your friends and family to sign up in advance. </p><h2>Share a Ride with a New User</h2><p>If you’re looking for a ride with fellow passengers who don’t have Uber, have them download the app and activate the introductory free ride promo code. (Better yet, ask that friend to sign up using your unique referral code, too.) That first ride credit has no limitations on the number of passengers, so hop in and take advantage of the discounted drive. </p><h2>Download Other Apps</h2><p>No, this is not an Uber promo code. But just because you’re not a new Uber user, doesn’t mean you're out of options. Try downloading a rival ride-sharing app, like <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/lyft-toronto-uber" target="_blank">Lyft</a> or Sidecar, and activate their new user promo codes. At the time of publication, for example, Lyft's promo codes for first-time riders include a $20 credit valid for $2 per ride for 10 rides; a $10 credit for $5 per two rides; or a $9 credit split evenly between three rides.</p><h2>Carry the Right Card</h2><p>If you frequently find yourself loading up the Uber app, you may want to consider applying for a new credit card. Through <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/mobile-apps/uber-rewards-program" target="_blank">Uber's rewards system</a>, which launched in 2017, visa cardholders who opt-in and have the card saved in their Uber account can collect ride credits simply by shopping a partner stores and chains like Regal Cinemas and Dunkin' Donuts. And if you've committed to the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/american-express-platinum-card" target="_blank">American Express Platinum Card</a> (and it's $550 annual fee), you'll enjoy $15 in Uber credit every month, with a bonus $35 in December. </p>
Categories: Travel

Get Gorgeous Ocean Views at This All-inclusive Hotel in Playa del Carmen for Only $171 Per Night

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 11:02
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation" target="_blank"><strong>travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation</strong></a></em></p><p>Mexico: At least 30 percent off the a <a href="https://www.barcelo.com/en-us/hotels/mexico/riviera-maya/allegro-playacar/offers" target="_blank">Allegro Playacar</a>, a seaside all-inclusive with unobstructed ocean views, located near the cenotes, Tulum ruins, and other attractions in Playa del Carmen.</p><p>Early booking offer includes:</p>One or more nights in a Superior roomUnlimited meals, snacks, and beverages at five restaurants and barsSports and water activities<p>Original Price: From $237 per room per night, all-inclusive</p><p><strong>T + L Price: </strong>From $171 per room per night, all-inclusive; book by December 20, 2019.</p><p>Booking details: <a href="https://www.barcelo.com/en-us/hotels/mexico/riviera-maya/allegro-playacar/offers" target="_blank">Book </a><a href="https://www.barcelo.com/en-us/hotels/mexico/riviera-maya/allegro-playacar/offers" target="_blank">online</a> or call 52-984-877-2770 at least seven days in advance.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle Just Made a Stealthy Trip Back to the United States

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 16:53
<p>Soon-to-be British citizen Meghan Markle was spotted back on American soil this week, giving her motherland one last visit before <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/royal-wedding-special-guests-revealed" target="_blank">her royal wedding</a>.</p><p>According to reports, Markle touched down in Chicago earlier this week and was spotted at O’Hare rocking <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/leggings-celebrities-wear" target="_blank">black leggings</a>, a black sweater, and a White Sox cap as she made her way through the airport. Oh, and of course the future royal was traveling with four large bodyguards, so the nondescript outfit wasn’t really making her invisible.</p><p>As <em><a href="https://www.thecut.com/2018/04/meghan-markle-incognito-chicago-immigration.html" target="_blank">The Cut</a></em> explained, this wasn’t really a social visit. Instead, Markle was visiting the United States to take care of a few details before her wedding, most notably to complete her visa application. At the VFS Global U.K. Visa Application Center, <em><a href="http://www.tmz.com/2018/04/12/meghan-markle-uk-visa-application/" target="_blank">TMZ</a></em> reported, Markle likely shelled out $1,500 for “premium processing” of her application, which will allow her to get her visa within a few days.</p><p>The entire process of filling out the form likely took the future royal about 10 minutes to complete. So hopefully she was able to make the most of her time in the United States by going out and seeing <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/weekend-getaways/weekend-in-chicago" target="_blank">a few of the Chicago sights while she was there</a>.</p><p>Moreover, <em>TMZ </em>reported, Markle likely submitted for a family visa, which people can apply for as a partner or spouse of a British citizen.</p><p>Though this doesn’t mean Markle will become a citizen just yet.</p><p>Next, she has to walk down the aisle with Prince Harry on May 19. Then, Markle can apply for permanent citizenship after six months. However, that process could take up to three years to complete. Then, Markle will decide if she wants to become a dual citizen or renounce her U.S. citizenship. But, for now, Markle will have to keep her U.S. passport handy, especially for the pair’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/meghan-markle-prince-harry-honeymoon" target="_blank">upcoming honeymoon</a>. <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/queen-elizabeth-does-not-need-passport" target="_blank">Royalty or not</a>, she won't get through the airport without it. </p>
Categories: Travel

Cheap Flights to Hawaii Are on Sale Now From 45 Cities

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 16:35
<p>If you haven’t taken advantage of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/cheap-flights-hawaii-airfare-war-buying-guide" target="_blank">the great Hawaiian airfare war</a> yet, it’s not too late. Just this week, <a href="http://thriftytraveler.com/premium" target="_blank">Thrifty Traveler Premium</a> spotted another round of steeply discounted flights to Hawaii, this time with ticket prices starting at $312 round-trip.</p><p>The most inexpensive route is on flights from western Canada — but travelers all along the West Coast can find tickets in the low $300s.</p><p>At this time, travelers can purchase $348 round-trip, nonstop flights from Los Angeles, as well as tickets from San Diego and Portland for $342, and from Seattle for $332.</p><p>But the flight sale, which applies to more than 45 cities across the United States and Canada, can also be enjoyed by travelers based on the East Coast.</p><p>Nonstop tickets from New York City are on sale for $576 round-trip, and there are seats from Washington, D.C., Boston, and Chicago selling for approximately $550.</p><p>Cheap flights to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/island-vacations/hawaii-islands-travel-guide#napali-coast-kauai-hawaii" target="_blank">Hawaii</a> can be found between April and May, and again from September until February 2019, though availability (and specific destination) will vary depending on your departure city.</p><p>To find the best deal from your home airport, use <a href="https://www.google.com/flights/?gl=us#flt=SEA.OGG,KOA,HNL,LIH.2018-05-07*OGG,KOA,HNL,LIH.SEA.2018-05-14;c:USD;e:1;a:-SY*-SY;sd:1;t:f" target="_blank">Google Flights to simultaneously search for trips</a> to Oahu, Kauai, Kona, and Maui. The best option — and your Hawaiian island destination — will be bumped to the top of your search results, and affordable dates on the low-fare calendar will be emphasized in green.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Stand-up Airplane Seats Look Like a Roller Coaster Ride

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 16:32
<p>For everyone who ever fancied riding a unicycle from <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/new-york-city" target="_blank">New York City</a> to <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/miami" target="_blank">Miami</a>, or from <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/los-angeles" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> to <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/san-francisco" target="_blank">San Francisco</a> — at 30,000 feet in the air — we have found the perfect seat.</p><p>Worried about legroom onboard? No more! Stretch your legs all you want. You’ll have no pressure on your knees from the seat in front of you when you're nearly standing up.</p><img alt="Skyrider standing seats "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523632709/Skyrider-saddle-seat-vertical-STANDUP0418.jpg?itok=KDB9scB5"><p>Aviointeriors, a seat manufacturer based in Italy, has updated their stand-up seating concept that has been floating around for years (but which no airline has bought yet). The SkyRider 2.0 is the smart and modern stand-up seating solution for tomorrow’s aircraft.</p><p>So what does the SkyRider 2.0 have over the original SkyRider? As the manufacturer explains, “Ultra-high density.” In lay terms, that means these seats could fit even more people on planes.</p><p>Aviointeriors says SkyRider 2.0 “ensures an increased upright passenger position, allowing installation of the seat at a reduced pitch, while maintaining an adequate comfort.” (Your own definition of “adequate” may vary.)</p><p>The saddle is so narrow that the domed container below, which holds tightly-folded life jackets, has become a prominent design feature instead of an invisible element of the seat.</p><p>On the plus side, the arm rests on these beauties are far more generous than some of the armrests we’re seeing on new economy light seats that are actually taking off. More good news: “The design of this seat enables to increase the passenger number by 20 percent allowing increasing profits for airline companies. Furthermore, Sky Rider 2.0 weighs 50 percent less than standard economy class seats and the reduced number of components enable minimum maintenance costs,” Aviointeriors claims.</p><img alt="Skyrider standing seats "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523632709/Skyrider-saddle-seats-STANDUP0418.jpg?itok=Vgup9OJO"><p>The company revealed the SkyRider 2.0 at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, which is an event targeted at airline buyers, and not at the flying public. In an ideal world, interests of both airline buyers and passengers should overlap, but here in the real world, that's not always the case.</p><p>For the show, the company dressed the new Sky Rider 2.0 in Ryanair colors, and that’s not a coincidence.</p><p>Around the time that the first version of the saddle seats debuted, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary joked that he would consider having people fly standing up. But this was just another in a series of O’Leary’s headline grabbers. Ryanair has standard seats on planes, and has announced no plans to launch a stand-up saddle class.</p><p>Experts in aircraft seating give the SkyRider side-eye. Just for a start, there are questions of safety if passengers are standing up during an accident. Overhead bin space would get smaller, as regulations require vertical clearance between passengers’ heads and the hard surface above, in case of turbulence. And there’s no room for stowing personal items under the saddle seat.</p><p>Aviointeriors doesn’t spend all of its time re-designing a seat no one buys. They also make very comfortable economy, business, and first class aircraft seats for airlines. You know, just to keep the business going while they wait for the SkyRider to take off.</p>
Categories: Travel

Escape Your Own Murder at This Serial Killer-inspired London Hotel

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 16:26
<p>Trying to outrun a serial killer isn’t typically what comes to mind when one thinks about taking a relaxing vacation, but that’s exactly what The Hollow Hotel in London has in store for guests.</p><p>According to <em><a href="http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/25/try-to-escape-your-own-murder-at-the-hollow-hotel-inspired-by-a-real-serial-killer-7414998/" target="_blank">Metro</a></em>, The Hollow Hotel will soon welcome guests to come in and reenact how 19th-century serial killer H. H. Holmes murdered his victims. How did he, you ask? In hotel rooms, of course.</p><p>The hotel experience, <em>Metro</em> noted, comes complete with difficult labyrinths and traps, so brave guests will have to figure out how to escape every turn.</p><p><a href="http://differencengine.co.uk/the-hollow-hotel/" target="_blank">DifferenceEngine</a>, the theater group putting on this spooky hotel event, explained on its site that The Hollow Hotel will be “an immersive interactive psychological horror that draws inspiration from the historical events surrounding America’s first and most terrifying serial killer – H.H. Holmes – the man whose preferred instrument of murder was a hotel.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/flight-deals/friday-the-13th-cheap-flight-deals" target="_blank">Here’s Why Flying on Friday the 13th Might Be a Really Good Idea</a></p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/bus-train/venice-simplon-orient-express" target="_blank">A Trip Inspired by 'Murder on the Orient Express'</a></p><p>The group added, “If you listen to the whispers in its winding corridors, you might lose yourself as each turn entices you to delve further in; until you can’t turn back.”</p><p>While scary, this event should definitely be entertaining. According to Broadway World, differencENGINE is an Off West End-nominated immersive and interactive theater company whose first show, "Heist," was meant to run for a mere three weeks but ran for nine months thanks to its incredible demand.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/scotland-st-kilda-island" target="_blank">This Abandoned Scottish Island Is Spooky but Stunning</a></p><p>In that immersive show, guests had to break into a building, interact only through headsets, and attempt to steal a painting without being caught. Since then, the company has gone on to produce a number of popular high-impact events that make guests both the heroes and the villains.</p><p>As the group said, <a href="http://thehollowhotel.com/" target="_blank">starting now</a> they are inviting everyone to come “Uncover the hotels’ intricate histories, dark secrets and hidden agendas – whoever built <i>The Hollow Hotel </i>built a literal death trap; designed just for you.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Emma Watson and Kate Middleton Go Everywhere in These Sneakers — and They're 25% Off Right Now

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 14:16
<p>Two of the world’s most famous fashion icons appear to be pulling from the same closet.</p><p>Emma Watson, everyone’s favorite well-dressed wizard, stepped out in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/new-york-city" target="_blank">New York City</a> rocking a pair of <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/superga-cotu-sneaker-women/4888327" target="_blank">Superga Cotu Classic Sneakers in White</a>, along with a light gingham top and white jeans.</p><p>Her entire look is perfect for summer, but the shoes shine as the ultimate <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-walking-shoes-for-travel" target="_blank">travel-ready accessory</a> because they are not only stylish but also ridiculously comfortable, making them the perfect pair for both walking the city streets and taking an evening stroll on the beach.</p><p>While the actress certainly looked fantastic (and totally BBQ ready), she isn’t the first Brit to wear the ultra-popular sneaker. Last spring, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was also spotted wearing the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/kate-middleton-affordable-sneakers-style" target="_blank">trendy footwear</a>.</p><p>Even <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/shoes/princess-diana-kate-middleton-sneakers" target="_blank">Princess Diana</a> was known to sport a pair at her more casual appearances. So what makes these shoes oh-so-spectacular? As <a href="http://www.whowhatwear.com/emma-watson-superga-sneakers" target="_blank"><i>Who What Wear</i></a> noted, just check out the sneaker’s Amazon reviews.</p><p>“I walked all over NYC for 12 hours in these and they were some comfortable! Not only that they are super cute (cuter and fit better than classic Keds). I have wide feet and they are very comfortable,” one five-star review said.</p><p>“Very nice well made shoes from Superga!!! I see what the hype is over these shoes because they are designed w heavy outsole but does not feel like that when you're wearing them just shows the durability and quality of the shoes not to mention they're adorable,” another exclaimed.</p><p>The simple and totally understated sneaker may just be the perfect footwear for 2018 – and, on sale for 25 percent off (<a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/superga-cotu-sneaker-women/4888327" target="_blank">nordstrom.com</a>, $49), they're surprisingly affordable. After all, that's a small price to pay for the right to say you, Kate, Princess Diana, and Emma have the same style.</p><h2>Superga 'Cotu' Sneaker</h2><img alt="Superga White Sneakers "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1496333766/superga-white-sneakers-SUPERSHOE0517.jpg?itok=HlgDlVn_"><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/superga-cotu-sneaker-women/4888327" target="_blank">nordstrom.com</a>, $49 (originally $65)</p>
Categories: Travel

Experience the Beauty of the Kimberley in Australia on This Rugged 10-day Tour

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 12:00
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation" target="_blank"><strong>travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation</strong></a></em></p><p>Australia: 2-for-1 10-day tours to the Outback with <a href="https://www.intrepidtravel.com/us/australia/4wd-darwin-broome-overland-2018-110638" target="_blank">Intrepid Travel</a>, an adventure travel company that offers under-the-radar trips with a focus on local culture.</p><p>4WD Darwin to Broome Overland includes:</p>A 10-day tour of Western Australia and the Northern Territory with select meals and basic accommodations in tented camps and campgroundsTransportation in an all-terrain vehicleHighlights include: Explore the red domes of Bungle Bungle ranges in Purnululu National Park, Paddle around in waterfalls, hike through gorges and access remote parts of El Questro Station. Discover Tunnell Creek’s rich Aboriginal and bushranger history by walking through the underground passage with an Indigenous Bunuba guide<p>Original Price: From $2,118 for two people</p><p><strong>T + L Price: </strong>From $1,059 for two people; book by April 30 for travel through June 30.</p><p>Booking details: Contact Intrepid Travel at 855-299-1211</p>
Categories: Travel

This Is the Most Scenic Airport Runway in the World

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 11:30
<p>From gorgeous coastlines to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/landing-worlds-shortest-runway-saba" target="_blank">rocky islands</a>, some of the world's most striking landscapes are also where you'll find the most scenic runways.</p><p>In a recent poll, conducted by <a href="https://www.privatefly.com/airport-poll/privatefly-airport-poll-results-2018.html" target="_blank">PrivateFly</a>, Ireland’s <a href="https://www.donegalairport.ie" target="_blank">Donegal Airport</a> in County Donegal was voted the world’s most scenic airport runway. The airport, which is located right on the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/relaxing-getaways" target="_blank">Wild Atlantic Way</a>, beat out 111 other airports with its views of Mount Errigal and the Atlantic coastline.</p><img alt="donegal airport runway aerial "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523460174/donegal-airport-aerial-DONEGAL418.jpg?itok=WaCVIBv5"><p>“From the smattering of clouds, the Wild Atlantic Way appears like an oasis; beautiful clear blue waters and the clearest sand you’ve ever seen,” one survey respondent wrote.</p><p>Landing at Donegal offers miles of ocean views including <a href="http://www.govisitdonegal.com/do/blueflag-beaches/carrickfinn-blue-flag-beach" target="_blank">Carrickfinn Beach</a>, recognized as a <a href="http://www.blueflag.global/" target="_blank">Blue Flag Beach</a> thanks to its clear water and extensive dunes.</p><img alt="donegal airport runway beach "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523460174/donegal-airport-runway-DONEGAL418.jpg?itok=riwdDUha"><p>When the airport opened in 1986, it had nothing but a tarmac runway and a grass strip. In the 1990s, the runway was extended and the terminal was developed.</p><p>Today, <a href="https://www.loganair.co.uk" target="_blank">Aer Lingus</a> has twice-daily service to connect travelers to Dublin, and <a href="https://www.loganair.co.uk" target="_blank">Loganair</a> has up to five flights per week to and from Glasgow.</p><img alt="donegal airport runway beach "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523460174/donegal-airport-runway-DONEGAL418.jpg?itok=riwdDUha"><p>Fun fact: The area's stunning scenery was used as a backdrop in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/star-wars-last-jedi-locations" target="_blank">“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,”</a> when the Millennium Falcon makes its landing on Malin Head.</p><p>Some of the other airports that ranked in the top 10 include Scotland’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/worlds-scariest-airports-landings" target="_blank">Barra Airport</a>, where the beach serves as runway, and the <a href="https://en.nice.aeroport.fr" target="_blank">Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport</a> in France, where you can see the Mediterranean and the Alps as you come in to land.</p><h2>Top 10 Most Scenic Airports Around the World</h2><p>1. Donegal Airpport — Ireland</p><p>2. Barra Airport — Scotland</p><p>3. Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport — France</p><p>4. Queenstown Airport — New Zealand</p><p>5. Saba Airport (Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport) — Caribbean island of Saba</p><p>6. Orlando Melbourne International Airport — Florida</p><p>7. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport — Canada</p><p>8. London City Airport — England</p><p>9. Princess Juliana International Airport — <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-trends/jumbo-jets-maarten-maho-runway" target="_blank">Sint Maarten</a></p><p>10. Miami Airport — Florida</p>
Categories: Travel

How You Can See Mars And Saturn Conjoin This Month

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 11:00
<p>Have you ever seen Saturn's rings? Or caught a glimpse of Mars, our bright red neighbor?</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/rare-planetary-alignment-march-7" target="_blank">Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter Will All Align This Week — Here's How to See the Rare Event</a></p><p>If you've been up before dawn this month, you may have noticed some particularly bright celestial bodies glowing in the southeastern portion of the sky. But they're actually the planets Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, as well as the star Antares in the constellation of Scorpius. Throughout April and into May, Saturn and Mars will stay extremely close together. Astronomers call this a conjunction, and it's one’s worth waking early for.</p><h2>Why Are Mars and Saturn so Close to Each Other?</h2><p>In reality, these planets are not close at all — it's merely a line of sight phenomena as seen from Earth. All the planets in the solar system are orbiting the Sun at different speeds, so our view of the planets is constantly changing. Mars is around 102 million miles from Earth (and the closest planet to Earth) while Saturn is much farther out at 746 million miles.</p><p>To see exactly what's going on in the solar system right now, take a look at <a href="http://www.theplanetstoday.com/" target="_blank">The Planets Today</a>, which shows an amazing live view of the solar system. Mars takes 687 Earth days (almost two Earth years) to orbit the Sun, while much slower Saturn takes 29 Earth years to complete one Saturn year.</p><p>In the first few days of April this year, Mars appeared to 'lap' Saturn, as they were just a degree apart in the night sky. They're still very close, but not for long.</p><h2>When Is the Best Time to Look for Saturn?</h2><p>With Mars now moving away from Saturn, don't waste any time if you want to catch them in this celestial chase. Look low on the southeast horizon about an hour before sunrise throughout the month of April. Naked eye observation is fine, but if you do have binoculars or a small telescope, both planets are easily visible. As a bonus, with any telescope you will see Saturn's beautiful rings as well as its giant moon, Titan.</p><h2>When Is the Best Time to Look for Mars?</h2><p>Although you can look at <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/mars-photos" target="_blank">Mars</a> perfectly right now, the planet will be brighter than it's been for 15 years in late June and early July of 2018. That's when the planet comes into 'opposition,' meaning the Earth is directly between the Sun and Mars, so the planet's disk will be fully lit. This opposition is extra special, however, because Mars hasn't been this close to the Sun since 2003, meaning it will be even brighter than usual. In fact, it will shine a brilliant red, and be brighter even than Venus.</p><img alt="Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, our Moon and Earth together in pre-dawn light overlooking a rugged stretch of Nova Scotian coastline. "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1523468526/saturn-mars-moon-more-conjunction-SATURNMARS0418.jpg?itok=nrW7E0CC"><h2>What's the Other Bright Light Above Mars and Saturn?</h2><p>High in the southwestern sky just before sunrise in April is the brighter fifth planet, Jupiter. If you have any kind of binoculars, even a small pair, point them at this giant planet and you'll see its four largest moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Between Saturn and Jupiter, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/dark-sky-reserve-us" target="_blank">stargazers</a> can also spot the famously red supergiant star, Antares, in the constellation of Scorpius. This star is frequently confused with Mars, so look closely. With Saturn in the middle, Mars is on the left, and Antares is on the right.</p><h2>When Is the Next Time Mars and Saturn Will Conjoin?</h2><p>Because Saturn is so slow-moving, and Mars take about twice as long to orbit the Sun as Earth does, Mars appears to lap Saturn — as seen from Earth — once every two years or so. The last conjunction was on August 25, 2016, and the next will occur on March 31, 2020, with Mars and Saturn appearing to pass less than a degree apart.</p>
Categories: Travel

Where to Stay, Eat, and Drink for an Unforgettable Montreal Bachelor Party

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 10:16
<p>Want to plan an unforgettable European bachelor party without the transatlantic flights and unfavorable exchange rate? Look no farther than the Great White North. <br /><br />Just an hour and a half flight from New York City and two hours from Chicago, Montreal has an Old World atmosphere (cobblestone streets, a Gothic-Revival basilica) with all the modern conveniences you'll need for a bachelor bash.</p><p>Use our guide for the best restaurants, hotels, bars, and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/city-vacations/things-to-do-in-montreal" target="_blank">things to do</a> for a Montreal bachelor party.</p><h2>Best Places to Stay in Montreal for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>You’ll need the right digs for the perfect Montreal bachelor party. Here’s where to stay. </p><h3>W Hotel</h3><p>Best for carousing with your crew, the <a href="http://www.wmontrealhotel.com/" target="_blank">W</a><a href="http://www.wmontrealhotel.com/" target="_blank"> Hotel Montreal</a> has a dimly-lit lobby, eye-popping red-and-blue color scheme, and pulsating music that make it party central — and not just for guests in its 152 club-like rooms. The local going-out set heads to its Bartini for cocktails, and to the new restaurant Nom Nom for Asian meets French cuisine. Opt for the bi-level Wow suites, which are perfect for hosting big groups (and afford epic city views from the outdoor terrace).</p><h3>Hotel Le St-James</h3><p>It’s going to be a long weekend, so you might want your hotel room to be more relaxing oasis than club<em> part deux</em>. <a href="http://www.hotellestjames.com/" target="_blank">Hotel Le St-James</a> exudes Old World elegance, and rooms feature 19th-century details. But the main draw here is Le Spa, nestled in the bank’s historic vault (whose stone walls formed part of the city’s original fortifications). Get a Swedish massage or exfoliation treatment to properly detox before hitting the town (or returning home to the fiancée). </p><h2>Best Restaurants in Montreal for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>You and your bachelor party group can fuel up at these Montreal restaurants.</p><h3>Au Pied de Cochon</h3><p>Martin Picard’s cult restaurant in Plateau, <a href="https://aupieddecochon.ca/qc/" target="_blank">Au Pied de Cochon</a>, is a bastion for macho meals, with unapologetically large portions of rustic French cuisine — <em>foie gras</em> is all over the menu, and the duck in a can is one of Montreal’s must-try dishes. There's also a lively bar for pre and post-dinner drinks.</p><h3>Liverpool House</h3><p>Legendary Joe Beef caps its reservations at six, so book a table next door at <a href="http://joebeef.ca/" target="_blank">Liverpool House</a>, a popular restaurant from the same team. Expect a few Joe Beef standards such as lobster spaghetti, plus new favorites including braised rabbit. As a bonus, Liverpool House's prices are lower than its more famous neighbor.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/food-drink/montreals-best-street-for-food-lovers" target="_blank">The One Montreal Street Every Food Lover Should Visit</a></p><h2>Best Bars in Montreal for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>A Montreal bachelor party is going to need more than a few watering holes.</p><h3>Chez Serge</h3><p>Mile End hotspot <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ChezSergeMontreal/" target="_blank">Chez Serge</a> is a sports bar that ups the party vibes with a wheel of fortune drinking game, oversized cocktails, and the only mechanical bull in town.</p><h3>La Distillerie</h3><p>Strong drinks are the norm at <a href="http://pubdistillerie.com/" target="_blank">La Distillerie</a>: a mainstay on the bachelor party itinerary with three locations in the city. Avoid the tourists in the Latin Quarter and opt for the Mont-Royal or Masson outposts instead, ordering cocktails by the liter and snacking on popcorn and house-made beef jerky.</p><h2>Best Clubs in Montreal for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>Time to hit the clubs. Here’s where you and your boys can party through the night.</p><h3>Stereo Nightclub</h3><p>For more than two decades, <a href="http://www.stereonightclub.net/" target="_blank">Stereo</a> has set the bar for Montreal’s nightlife scene, attracting international house and techno DJs who play to a packed dance floor with shock-absorbing floors.</p><h3>Blvd 44</h3><p>Inside the trendy Hotel 10, this Montreal nightclub has three distinct sections. Most of the dancing occurs in <a href="https://www.blvd44montreal.com/en/home/" target="_blank">Blvd 44</a>’s lively main room, while the mezzanine and terrace are welcome places to catch your breath and plan the next adventures for your Montreal bachelor party.</p><h2>Things to Do in Montreal for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>Get the gang together for these fun activities during your Montreal bachelor party.</p><h3>Axe-throwing at Rage Montreal</h3><p>Find your inner Canadian lumberjack at <a href="https://www.ragemontreal.com/en/" target="_blank">Rage</a>, an indoor axe-throwing center (because, Canada). There are 11 lanes, and friendly, expert instructors on hand to help you perfect your technique.</p><h3>Escape Games at A/Maze</h3><p>Muster everyone’s creative energies to discover clues, unlock codes, and solve real-time puzzles in <a href="https://www.amazemontreal.com/" target="_blank">A/Maze</a>’s hilarious collection of immersive escape-the-room-type adventures. Choose from the scenarios, including a 1920s prison break, and see how good at teamwork and working under pressure your friends really are.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Traveler’s Guide to Port Aransas Beach

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 10:01
<p>Located on the 18-mile long Mustang Island — a four-hour drive from <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/weekend-getaways/weekend-in-austin" target="_blank">Austin</a> — Port Aransas stands alone as the only town on this barrier island. And after a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-warnings/hurricane-harvey-aftermath-travel-warning" target="_blank">swift recovery from Hurricane Harvey</a>, the laid-back destination is gearing up for another busy tourist season.</p><p>In April, 70 percent of Port Aransas restaurants reopened. And by June, the destination's hotels will be running at 80 percent capacity, with all 2,000 vacation homes available for bookings. </p><p>Because of its mild, year-round temperatures, "Port A" has always been a popular summer spot for travelers seeking a mix of outdoor activities, excellent seafood restaurants, and cultural attractions such as art galleries, boutique shops, and cafes. So rest assured, Port Aransas is ready to welcome back vacationers seeking a traditional southern getaway. And this year's special events promise to make a Port Aransas trip especially memorable. </p><h2>Go Birding </h2><p>Due to its ideal location along the Central Flyway (a major migratory bird route) Port Aransas is home to hundreds of species of birds, with thousands of species migrating here annually. Six sites on the Great Texas Birding Trail are located on the island, making it easy for ornithologists to enjoy the abundance of birds in the area. Make sure to stop by the Port Aransas Wetlands Park and the Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond. Just don’t forget to bring binoculars!</p><h2>Enter a Fishing Tournament</h2><p>Known as the “Fishing Capital of Texas," it’s no wonder there are tournaments for all experience levels almost every weekend during the summer months. And at this time, half of the island's fishing guides have resumed operations. For those who prefer a more leisurely fishing experience, there are many offshore excursions to consider, including fishing the channels and back bays. Anglers can also cast off one of the public piers on the island, the majority of which will reopen this summer following repairs. During the summer, check out the <a href="http://www.deepsearoundup.com/" target="_blank">Deep Sea Roundup</a>: a family-friendly saltwater fishing tournament that's the oldest of its kind on the Gulf Coast. </p><h2>Stay at a Seaside Resort</h2><p>Located on a 25 acre property, the <a href="https://port-royal.com/" target="_blank">Port Royal Ocean Resort</a> has 210 beachfront condos, and offers a host of activities to get visitors on island time. Guests lounge on the beach (accessible via a private boardwalk) or enjoy the lagoon pools, and can break a sweat in a game of tennis or golf.</p><p>Meanwhile, the vacation home properties at Cinnamon Shore will all be available by the end of May, as will the condos and cottages at Palmilla Beach Resort &amp; Golf Club. </p><h2>Take a Hike</h2><p>The Port Aransas Nature Reserve has three miles of trails located on 1,217 acres. In addition to hiking, the Preserve also contains a pavilion, bicycle paths, and two overlook towers, making it a great place for those who want to take a break from the beach.</p><h2>Build a Sandcastle </h2><p>From April 27 until April 29, thousands of visitors converge on the Gulf Coast beaches for the nation's largest native-sand sculpture competition, Texas Sandfest. In 2018, 23 sculptors from across the world will craft masterful sand artworks from the beach — and even travelers can test their talents in the Amateur Competition. </p><h2>Order the Seafood</h2><p>You don't have to fish to enjoy incredible seafood during a trip to Port Aransas. The island has especially good Tex-Mex fare, like the signature wahoo or Mahi-filled homemade tortillas at Irie's Island Food, and the lobster tostada at Black Marlin Bar &amp; Grill's. (It comes with a sweet-and-spicy slaw and mango salsa.)</p>
Categories: Travel

This 'Singing Road' in the Netherlands Has Been Driving Locals Batty

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 08:20
<p>Have you ever had a noisy neighbor who loves to play their music seemingly 24 hours a day, seven days a week? It can really wear a person down, even on their best days. But at least with noisy neighbors, you can try to ask them to turn down the volume. Residents of the Dutch village of Jelsum aren’t dealing with any kind of disruptive human, they’re dealing with a road that sings to them all day and all night.</p><p>Rumble strips that have been installed on a highway located in the Friesland region, in northwest part of the Netherlands, make the road play the Frisian national anthem when drivers pass over them at 40 mph, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43725796" target="_blank">the BBC reported</a>.</p><p>The new addition to the road was meant to promote the city of Leeuwarden, this year’s European Capital of Culture. But instead, it has turned into the residents’ nightmare. According to the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43725796" target="_blank">BBC</a>, one resident called it “psychological torture.”</p><p>“You can't sit outside and you can't sleep at night,” resident Sijtze Jansma <a href="https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nederland/politiek/zingende-weg-maakt-friezen-gek-we-worden-er-horendol-van" target="_blank">told <em>RTL News</em></a>.</p><p>Some drivers attempt to drive over the strips at high speeds to create a particular cacophony instead of a pleasant tune, according to resident Ria Jansma, who spoke to <a href="http://www.reuters.tv/v/j76/2018/04/11/singing-road-drives-dutch-villagers-mad" target="_blank">Reuters</a>.</p><p>“[Taxis] tried to go across the lines as quickly as possible and we had the anthem playing all night at high speed,” she said.</p><p>Officials began removing the singing rumble strips, which cost €80,000 ($99,000 USD) to install, just one day after they officially debuted.</p>
Categories: Travel

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