Travel and Leisure - Msn Feeds
Updated: 2 hours 59 min ago

You Can Legally Buy a Passport From Another Country — If You Can Afford the Investment

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:00
<p>If you have enough money, you truly could become a citizen of the world.</p><p>"For a lot of wealthy people having a second or third passport is important for the ability to travel,” Nuri Katz, an advisor on the matter, <a href=";IR=T">told <i>Business Insider</i></a>. “For some it's also a status symbol, like buying a fancy car to show your friends."</p><p>Purchasing a second (or even third) passport is a growing trend among the wealthy. But it’s not an option for everyone and it doesn’t work everywhere. This type of program is called “citizenship by investment” (or CIPs) and is available in a number of countries around the world.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Why the U.S. Passport Keeps Getting Weaker (Video)</a></p><p>While some may use the second passport to travel to destinations that may be off-limits (or even just difficult to reach) with their first, many others use the documentation to buy residencies in countries where the taxes are lower. Why some opt for CIPs over residency permits is that citizenship is more permanent. It cannot be taken away — unless, of course, the person in question has committed some very serious crime.</p><p>Countries involved in these types of programs are looking to recruit wealthy foreign investors to invigorate local economy. This may bring to mind images of places like Barbados or Grenada — but the United States has its own version of this, too. Costs to get involved can range anywhere from $3,000 per year in Thailand to an investment of $1 million in an American enterprise. <a href="">In Caribbean countries</a> — like Antigua, St. Kitts or St. Lucia — it’s likely to cost between $100,000 and $150,000. Some countries, <a href="">like the UK</a>, may stipulate that an applicant must have lived in the country for a few years before submitting a CIP proposal.</p><p>To find more information on how to invest in a second citizenship, simply search whichever country you’re interested in (there are many) and “CIPs” or “citizenship by investment.” Each participating country has quite specific rules and different regulations for applying. Although there’s always one thing in common: be prepared to pay.</p>
Categories: Travel

Canadian Air Traffic Controllers Are Sending Pizzas to Their American Counterparts Who Aren’t Getting Paid

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:57
<p>The <a href="" target="_blank">government shutdown</a> is well into its third week and has now become the longest in U.S. history. While that is most certainly becoming problematic for government workers who continue to go unpaid, as well as the <a href="" target="_blank">national parks that are going largely unmonitored</a>, there is at least one piece of good news: Canada is stepping up to feed our air traffic controllers.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">CNN</a>, the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association was looking for a way to help out their American counterparts as they faced their first payday without a check. So, on Thursday, the CATCA's control center in Edmonton, Alberta, shared the idea of sending pizzas over the border to their friends in Anchorage, Alaska.</p><img alt="Portland Air Traffic Controllers "src=""><p>Other units heard about the plan and started to order pizzas for their friends across the border as well, including random stations who don’t even share air space. According to Peter Duffey, president of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, one unit in Alberta even chose to send pizzas to a unit in El Paso, Texas, because both places happen to be oil towns. And the program really seems to be taking off. Since Thursday, CNN reported, more than 350 pizzas have been sent to 49 FAA units across the United States.</p><p>"In the big scheme of things, sending some pizzas to people that are missing paychecks is a small gesture," Duffey told CNN, "but the message that it sends them is a big gesture."</p><p>While it may also seem a bit frightening that FAA employees are going without pay, the governmental body released a statement on Twitter in December saying there is nothing to worry about, noting, "Air traffic control is fully operational and there is no impact to safety or FAA oversight for travelers."</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">TSA Agents Are Quitting and Pilots Are Concerned About Safety As the Government Shutdown Continues</a></p><p>And, on Friday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association took things into their own hands and filed a lawsuit in a District of Columbia US District Court alleging the government has "unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages," according to CNN. The lawsuit, it added, is seeking a temporary restraining order as well as back payment for hours worked since the shutdown began.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Real Reason You Always Have so Many Tabs Open — and How to Finally Close Them

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:45
<p>Take a look at the top of your browser. What do you see?</p><p>If you see maybe one or two or even just a handful of essential tabs open: Congratulations! You’ve clearly achieved some sort of Marie Kondo-like serenity. We’re very proud and very jealous of you.</p><p>But if you’re like the other 99 percent of us, you probably have somewhere around 50 plus tabs of random webpages open.</p><p>Sure, you’ve got the essentials: your email, your Google Drive, your social media. But you also have dozens of websites you’ve visited once or twice and decided to save “just in case.” That random article on getting your finances in order. That news report you meant to read yesterday. That internet list about cute puppies. A shopping site for a pair of shoes you’ve been waiting to go on sale. A random Keto recipe you’ve totally been meaning to try. And everything in between. We just can’t seem to click that little “X” and be rid of these tabs once and for all (or, internet forbid, organize them in a Bookmarks folder).</p><p>So, why do we have so many tabs open at all times? According to <a href="" target="_blank">Ellen Scott of <em>Metro</em></a>, it’s a sort of multi-tasking called “task switching.”</p><p>When we task switch, it’s like “protection against boredom,” says <em>Metro</em>. We use multiple tabs to satiate all our different needs and whims, from everything like our more productive, work life to our need for fun. So, this is why you probably have internet quizzes up in a tab next to your work email.</p><p>However, there’s a big drawback of task switching. “People tend to believe they’re good at multi-tasking, that they really can pay attention to multiple things at once and get a load of work done. But that isn’t the case,” Scott says. Instead of multi-tasking, we should instead be focusing on one thing in order to get better results.</p><p>“Having lots of tabs open can potentially result in information overload...and rather than creating efficiency, switching frequently between tasks may lead to short attention spans and a lack of depth in the ongoing tasks,” Dr Daria Kuss, the course leader of Cyberpsychology at Nottingham Trent University, told <em>Metro</em>.</p><p>Think about it: You’re sitting at work, writing an email to your boss. Then, a notification pops up. You check it. Then a different one pops up. Then another. Then another. Suddenly, you realize it’s taken you over half an hour or more to write a simple work email when it should’ve taken you five. This is the danger of the tabs.</p><p>“People are scared of missing out on any information so keep tabs open. It is a case of 'I might miss something' if I close a tab,” said Professor Mike Berry, a psychologist at Birmingham City University, to <em>Metro</em>.</p><p>But how do we combat this internet FOMO and conquer the tabs? Well, the first thing is to accept that our computers, much like our own brains, have limitations.</p><p>“We treat our computers as if they have an unlimited capacity, just like we treat our brain. But when we overload our brain, we become tired, forgetful, irritable. When we overload tabs, the page slows down, and the computer/phone may be less efficient,” Marc Hekster, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at The Summit Clinic, told <em>Metro</em>.</p><p>Of course, says Scott, you don’t need to get rid of all your tabs in order to break this habit. Many people keep a few tabs open in order to quick reference the few things they need to stay productive during the day. After all, who wants to close and open a new window every time they need to fact check something or respond to an email?</p><p>The only thing to be wary about is whether you’re keeping tabs open to be efficient or keeping them open as a distraction. No one can focus on or remember 1000 things at once, so why should your computer browser?</p><p>Go ahead, take a breath, and click that “X.”</p>
Categories: Travel

WOW Air Launches Its Most Affordable Flights to Europe With Deals Starting at $49 One-way (Video)

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 09:31
<p>Budget carrier <a href="" target="_blank">WOW Air</a> is already known for its cheap flights from the U.S. to <a href="" target="_blank">Europe</a>, and travelers looking to head to popular European stops can now book the lowest airfares the airline has ever offered with its <a href="" target="_blank">latest sale</a>.</p><p>The airline is currently offering travelers $49 one-way flights from various U.S. cities to several stops in Europe, with the price including all taxes and carrier charges.</p><p>Deals are available from U.S. cities including Boston, New York, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. to stops that include Dublin, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, and Reykjavik.</p><p>The $49 one-way flights can be found from each of the mentioned U.S. cities to the European stops, with return fares starting as low as $99.99 to give you a round-trip total of about $149.</p><p>Travelers who can’t make the January through March dates will also find $99.99 one-way flights across several routes in April and May.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Should You Buy That Cheap WOW Air Ticket?</a></p><p>The fares are available for booking through midnight of Jan. 18 (or until seats sell out) for travel between Jan. 21 and March 11 only when booking round-trip fares. The deal is only available on 1,000 seats on selected flights, so you’ll want to act fast to grab the best bargain.</p><p>Travelers will also want to note that WOW Air is a <a href="" target="_blank">budget carrier</a> and charges additional fees for amenities that include seat selection, checked baggage, and in-flight meals and drinks.</p>
Categories: Travel

Southwest Is Offering Flights Starting at $49 One-way With Its Latest Sale (Video)

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 08:09
<p>If you’re looking to take an affordable trip to popular U.S. stops this winter and spring, Southwest Airlines is currently offering domestic flights that start at just $49 one-way as part of its <a href="" target="_blank">New Year sale</a>.</p><p>Travelers can take advantage of $49 one-way flights to popular stops like <a href="" target="_blank">San Diego</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> when booking tickets through Jan. 24 for travel anytime between then and May 22.</p><p>Return flights also start at $49 one-way, giving round-trip totals that start at just $98.</p><p>Most of the deals under $60 are available on shorter routes between stops like Las Vegas and Long Beach (starting at $51 one-way), San Francisco and Las Vegas (starting at $51 one-way), Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale (starting at $59 one-way), or Las Vegas and Salt Lake City (starting at $59 one-way).</p><p>There are also $62 one-way flights from Providence to Washington, D.C and $67 one-way flights from Nashville to Atlanta, while $69 one-way flights are available from stops like Cincinnati and Chicago, Denver and El Paso, and Oklahoma City and Denver.</p><p>For under $90, travelers can head from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans (starting at $87 one-way), from Columbus to Chicago (starting at $88 one-way), or to popular music stops like Memphis from Chicago (starting at $89 one-way).</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Southwest Is Giving New Credit Card Holders a One-year Companion Pass — and It’s Seriously Unheard Of (Video)</a></p><p>There are also a variety of deals under $100 one-way, including flights between Chicago and New York (starting at $91 one-way), Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale (starting at $96 one-way), and Nashville and New York (starting at $99 one-way).</p><p>Meanwhile, those in search of sunshine can head to <a href="" target="_blank">San Juan</a>, Puerto Rico starting at $119 one-way from Fort Lauderdale and at $162 one-way from Chicago.</p><p>Tickets to San Juan are available for travel between Jan. 29 and Feb. 28, and from April 23 through May 16.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Delta Passenger Managed to Get a Gun Past TSA and On a Flight to Tokyo

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 06:50
<p>The TSA works tirelessly to make sure we’re all safe in the sky, but one unfortunate misstep can lead to a serious situation.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">WSB-TV Atlanta</a>, a passenger on Delta Airlines managed to sneak a gun past the security checkpoint at <a href="" target="_blank">Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport</a> and fly all the way to Tokyo, Japan before being discovered.</p><p>A spokesperson for the TSA told <a href="" target="_blank">CBS News</a>, “Standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on January 2.”</p><p>The passenger apparently alerted the airline about the gun himself, CBS News reported. It’s unclear whether he will face any charges, especially since there were no further incidents.</p><p>Despite the TSA becoming <a href="" target="_blank">extremely short handed</a> by workers calling in sick or even quitting due to the government shutdown, the organization says that this instance was not a result of the federal government standstill over the last three weeks.</p><p>According to CBS News, the amount of workers calling in sick on the day of the incident, Jan. 2 of this year, was the same as the numbers reported almost one year ago on Jan. 3, 2018.</p><p>However, according to <a href="" target="_blank">CNN</a>, reports of TSA workers calling in sick due to the shutdown had already started to circulate on Jan. 4.</p><p>The TSA still dismisses claims that the government shutdown played a role in this incident. Instead, the fault lies with possible technology glitches or human error. After all, the TSA occasionally still misses items, including firearms, even when the government is functional, according to CNN.</p><p>Assistant administrator for public affairs for the TSA, Mike Bilello, said on Twitter, “TSA, airport authorities and airlines continue to work closely to ensure resources are optimized, efforts to consolidate operations are actively managed, and screening and security are never compromised.”</p><p>TSA Administrator David Pekoske told CBS News, “It happens because the technology doesn't get everything all the time....either there's a technology issue, there's a procedural issue, or there's a training issue.”</p><p>Still, TSA officials understand that the discovery of firearms getting through security is alarming to travelers, and intends to “hold those responsible appropriately accountable,” CNN reported.</p>
Categories: Travel

The New Delta One Suites Are Just As Luxurious As You Imagined — and This Trick Will Let You Fly in It for Free

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 14:01
<p>Delta was the first airline to introduce the concept of an <a href="" target="_blank">all-suite business class</a> back in August 2016, and is still the only U.S. airline to offer suites in business class. (Qatar Airways also unveiled its <a href="" target="_blank">own suites version</a> of business class in 2017.)</p><p>With doors that slide shut for privacy, lie-flat beds, bigger entertainment systems and signature Delta amenities like Westin Heavenly Bedding and designer Alessi serviceware, the new Delta One Suites began <a href="" target="_blank">winning awards</a> shortly after going <a href="" target="_blank">into service</a> aboard next-generation <a href="" target="_blank">Airbus A350s</a> in October 2017.</p><p>So far, Delta has taken delivery of 11 A350-900s from Airbus. Delta also started refitting some of its Boeing 777-200s with the suites, and plans to put suites aboard its Boeing 767-400s, too. In all, the airline expects to have 13 A350s in service and to refurbish all 18 of its Boeing 777-200s by the end of 2019.</p><p>However, the new suites are still only aboard a select number of flights throughout the airline’s network (note that some of these start dates might change). Fliers can find them on routes from the airline’s hub in <a href="" target="_blank">Atlanta</a> to Seoul, Paris (starting March 1, 2019), and Tokyo Narita (starting March 1, 2019); from <a href="" target="_blank">Detroit</a> to Amsterdam, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo Narita; from Los Angeles to Shanghai, Tokyo Haneda (starting March 31, 2019), Sydney (starting April 5, 2019) and Paris (starting May 25, 2019); from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Tokyo Haneda, Paris, and Seoul (starting April 1, 2019); and from <a href="" target="_blank">Seattle</a> to Tokyo Narita (starting March 1, 2019).</p><p>Because of the limited number of flights and aircraft with the Delta One Suites on board, it can be extremely difficult to redeem miles for them. But using one simple strategy can save you both a lot of time and money if you would like to experience the new suites for yourself.</p><h2>Using Miles To Fly For (Almost) Free</h2><p>International business-class flights on Delta range from around $3,000 to over $10,000 round-trip, depending on the routes and dates. Unfortunately, the Delta SkyMiles program also prices out awards in the new Delta One Suites at exorbitant levels – up to 465,000 miles each way, in some cases.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Delta Was Just Named the Most On-time Airline in the World (Video)</a></p><p>Unless you are racking up Delta SkyMiles right and left, that puts an award in Delta’s suites out of reach for most fliers. But by leveraging Delta’s partnership with Virgin Atlantic and that airline’s Flying Club frequent-flier program, awards in Delta One Suites become much more reasonable. Mileage levels range from 50,000-75,000 miles each way, depending on the regions to and from which you are traveling.</p><p>Don’t have Virgin Atlantic miles? Luckily, the Flying Club program is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Rewards. That means if you have a credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi ThankYou Premier, or the Platinum Card from American Express, you can transfer the points you earn on everyday spending to your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club account. What’s more, Amex and Citi sometimes offer transfer bonuses of 30-40%, stretching the value of your points even further.</p><p>Sign up for a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club membership <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. It is free and only takes a couple minutes. That way, you will have everything set up if and when you need to make a transfer.</p><h2>Searching For Awards</h2><p>When you are ready to search for an award ticket, visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin Atlantic homepage</a>. In the search box at the top of the page, enter your airports and dates of travel. If your airport code or city does not automatically populate in the field, you might have to click on the “Full Airport List” link to search by country and city. You can select one-way or round-trip and the dates and number of passengers.</p><p>Then click on the “Advanced Search” link and another field will appear allowing you to select “Miles” and the class of service. To search for awards in Delta One, select “Upper Class,” which is Virgin Atlantic’s equivalent of business class.</p><p>Click the “Search” button and this should pull up a week of results, which you can scroll forward or backward through by “+/- 3 days.”</p><p>Up at the top of the page, you should also see a link that says, “Refine Search.” Click on it and more options will appear, including a search that should show availability for five weeks at a time. This is especially useful if you are flexible as to travel dates and would like to see all your options. Just make sure you keep “Pay with miles” checked under the payment field.</p><p>When the dates with award availability pop up, you can click on each one individually to see your options. Be sure to check what type of aircraft your flight will be operated with since Delta flies many of these routes with different types of planes on which the Delta One Suites might not be installed. Remember to look out for Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s.</p><h2>Mileage Levels and a Transfer Bonus</h2><p>For my own travel plans, I was looking for a one-way flight on Delta’s A350 from <a href="" target="_blank">Shanghai</a> Pudong International Airport to<a href="" target="_blank"> Los Angeles</a> in November.</p><p>Whereas Delta SkyMiles priced out awards at a jaw-dropping 230,000 miles plus $31 in taxes and fees, I was able to find awards on several dates that would have worked for me for just 60,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles and the same $31 in taxes and fees.</p><p>Due to the timing, I was also able to leverage a 30% transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou Rewards. I only needed to transfer 47,000 Citi points to my Virgin Atlantic Flying Club account to end up with 61,100 Virgin Atlantic miles – more than enough to book my ticket.</p><p>Curious, I did a few more searches on other routes operated by aircraft with the Delta One Suites aboard. Whereas Delta charges 86,000-300,000 miles for one-way flights between Detroit and Amsterdam, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club only requires 50,000 miles each way.</p><p>From Detroit to Tokyo Narita, you can find Virgin Atlantic awards in Delta One Suites for 60,000 miles...compared to 300,000 Delta SkyMiles.</p><p>Once the new Delta One Suites go into service on the route from Los Angeles to Sydney in April, you can book them for just 75,000 Virgin Atlantic miles, versus 120,000-465,000 Delta SkyMiles.</p><p>Award availability using Virgin Atlantic miles to fly on Delta is not always readily available, but if you can be a little flexible, you can save hundreds of thousands of miles on a single award redemption.</p><img alt="Overview of the Delta One All-Suite Cabin "src=""><h2>The Experience</h2><p>So what was the experience flying the Delta One Suite actually like? In a word: delightful.</p><p>The suites are arranged in a staggered, front-facing 1 – 2 – 1 pattern where seats are alternately closer to the aisle or to the window on the sides. The two seats in each center section are shifted either to the right or the left of the preceding row so as to maximize their seat pitch. Each suite is 21-24 inches wide and reclines to a fully flat bed that is 79-81 inches long.</p><p>The suites’ dimensions are like most of Delta’s other international business-class seats. However, they have doors that you can slide closed for privacy. I found that made it much easier to get a good rest on a long flight without being disturbed by activity on the aisle. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Delta provides plush Westin Heavenly Bedding and that the seat cushions are made from memory foam for a particularly comfortable ride.</p><img alt="Bed setup in a Delta One Suite "src=""><p>My suite on the side of the aircraft felt spacious and stylish thanks to colorful upholstery, sleek finishes, and smartly designed storage areas, including a second shelf on the armrest under which you could stow a laptop for takeoff and landing.</p><p>In terms of technology, Delta One Suites have fast-charging USB ports and universal power plugs, not to mention customizable lighting settings and Do Not Disturb indicators that passengers can illuminate to be left alone, say, if they want to skip meal service. I did not quite get the hang of the customizable lighting, so I did not make many adjustments. But I did like the “Feature Light” setting, which provided accent lighting.</p><img alt="Controls in the Delta One Suite Cabin "src=""><p>Each suite has Delta’s newest 18-inch high-resolution touchscreen entertainment system and passengers are given fashionable LSTN headphones to use with it. If you have your own preferred noise-cancelling headphones, though, I’d suggest bringing those instead. You can also expect TUMI amenity kits stocked with Kiehl’s skincare products to freshen up over the course of the flight.</p><p>The meal service, including dishes created by celebrity chef Jereme Leung, was decent, if not remarkable. I opted for a green salad with bamboo and beets in a sesame dressing, and beef tenderloin in a red-wine sauce with parmesan polenta and garlic spinach, which I enjoyed along with a glass of Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir from France.</p><img alt="Dining experience in the Delta One Suites "src=""><p>When it was time for a snooze, I lit up the Do Not Disturb indicator, reclined my seat to lie-flat bed mode, slid my door shut and curled up under my Westin duvet. I got a solid six-hour sleep in and woke up just in time for breakfast service before landing at LAX.</p><p>Overall, the flight was very pleasant – all the more so thanks to the unique design and technological elements of the new Delta One Suites, the privacy afforded by those closing doors, and the fact that I was able to fly for nearly free by redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for the experience.</p>
Categories: Travel

Lance Bass Hates to Travel Without This One Super Adorable Thing

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00
<p>Many of us will always remember Lance Bass as one of the members of the overwhelmingly popular music group N'Sync during that magnificent time period that was the early aughts. Since then he has flourished as a producer, host, and media personality, as well as dedicated philanthropist and environmental activist. He is a member of the <a href="" target="_blank">Environmental Media Association's</a> board of directors. But when he isn't traveling all over the country for work, he can be found playing games both online and on the board, and traveling with his husband, artist Michael Turchin.</p><p>The gamer recently partnered with Tru by Hilton to host their Tru Connections CONNECT 4 Tournament to celebrate the brand’s recent 50th hotel milestone at <a href="" target="_blank">Tru by Hilton Salt Lake City Airport</a>. Travel &amp; Leisure spoke with Bass about his best travel hacks, his most memorable trip and what he can't travel without—it'll make you cry it's so sweet!</p><p><strong><em>Travel and Leisure</em>: What’s the one thing you can't travel without?</strong></p><p>I used to say my husband. I hate traveling alone. My husband is the best traveler. That is the reason I knew I could marry him.</p><p><strong>What’s the one place you’ve never been to, but you’ve always wanted to visit?</strong></p><p>A couple of places: New Zealand, I've always wanted to go. I've never done anything like Bali. The only tropical places I've been to [are] The Bahamas and Mexico.</p><p><strong>What's the best trip you've taken?</strong></p><p>We've had some pretty incredible trips, but we do <a href="" target="_blank">New Orleans</a> a lot. That's always a really fun thing for me because I grew up around there. One of my favorite trips was when we went to South Africa and went on a safari in a place called <a href="" target="_blank">Singita</a>. It was just the most magical week.</p><p>[With some safaris] it feels like you're at a Disney park and this was just so authentic. There were only about 12 of us staying at this camp and I got to see the Magnificent Seven (rhino, elephant, leopard, lion, and buffalo, plus southern right whales and great white sharks), which I guess is really hard to see. And at the end of the week I proposed to my husband!</p><p><strong>What is your routine on the airplane?</strong></p><p>I like it all. I treat planes as a bed. It's the only time I can really catch up on sleep. If I'm not sleeping <a href="" target="_blank">I'll definitely be eating</a> and watching all of the latest movies. I actually enjoy the downtime of flying. It reminds me of being on a bus, and I grew up on a bus. Anything that makes noise and moves, it rocks me to sleep.</p><p><strong>Do you have a plane uniform? </strong></p><p>My assistant used to call it my Jetson uniform, because it is always the same thing: Workout pants by Lululemon — they have these amazing cargo pockets; you are basically wearing a purse — v-neck t-shirt, and a hoodie, which I use as a pillow in case they don't have good pillows. It's all about the layering. You never know if the plane is gonna be hot or cold. They never know how to get it perfectly.</p><p><strong>What brand and size is your go-to carry-on bag?</strong></p><p>My <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">little Tumi bag</a> is the best thing ever. I have a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">big one too, of course</a>, but I hate checking luggage and Tumi has this perfect size bag. I've had it for five years now and it's just been my buddy.</p><p><strong>What skincare products do you always travel with?</strong></p><p>I hate having dry skin, which happens on the plane, so I always carry <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Squalane oil</a>. Squalane is made from sharks but, of course, we don't want to kill sharks for this so they invented this chemically-made one that is just great and makes my skin glow.</p><p><strong>What other items do you consider essential for your carry-on bag and why?</strong></p><p>I have every charger. My favorite thing is my iPad 2. I've had it for 9 or 10 years. It is the best thing I've purchased in my life. I've gone through 20 iPhones, but this has never broken! It stays charged for 4 days. I'm a big gamer, especially on planes, so it has Smurf Village, every Angry Birds you can think of. Transformers, I have it all.</p><p><strong>Do you have a trick for beating jet lag?</strong></p><p>Immediately get on the time zone and drink <a href="">tons and tons of water</a>.</p><p><strong>What is the best hotel you ever stayed at?</strong></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Tru by Hilton</a> of course! It's just the perfect connection for me to work with them because travel is such a huge part of my life. I travel every week. I've seen pretty much every hotel in this world so it's nice to find places like Tru that make it a little bit more home feeling when you're there. What they've done with their lobby is incredible. There's something for everyone. From the food to the leisure time to meeting people and playing board games. It's just a really great way to connect. I love the one here in Salt Like cause it's right next to the airport. No mad dashes. You get a good extra 30 minutes of sleep.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Scuba Dive to an Underwater Coral Sculpture Garden at This Art Immersive Resort in the Maldives

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 14:00
<p>Imagine yourself gliding and weaving through an underwater playground filled with extraordinary sculptures submerged in tropical waters. Stop imagining—that dream is now a reality.</p><p>Opened at the end of November, the Maldives welcomed <a href="" target="_blank">Joali</a>, the very first art-immersive luxury <a href="" target="_blank">hotel</a> in the country, to its sun-kissed utopia of islands. On land, the area is laced with an ever-growing collection of bespoke creations that wind their way around a total of 73 sprawling overwater and beach <a href="" target="_blank">villas</a> on Muravandhoo Island in the Raa Atoll. Joali exudes a “Joie de Vivre” philosophy and sustainable glamour that is grounded in a reverent art foundation.</p><img alt="Aerial view of the Joali Maldives resort "src=""><p>Created by Esin Güral Argat — Vice President of the family-owned <a href="" target="_blank">Gürallar Group</a>, a Turkish company with over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry — Joali was an opportunity to bring something new to the Maldives: a soulful and unconventional approach to luxury that emphasizes the intimacy of nature and art to “find the in-the-moment joys of living." These experiences seek to captivate guests’ senses and enable them to find their inner joy.</p><p>Joyful expressions of Maldivian majesty are revealed in the form of 24-hour service where personal butlers, affectionately called Jadugars, which translates to “magicians," greet you the moment you arrive at the grandiose arrival jetty. The jetty, conceived by internationally-renowned design studio <a href="" target="_blank">Autoban</a>, bobs above the glimmering Indian Ocean and is built in homage to the classic Maldivian roofs found in the country, replete with abstract ocean-wave flourishes. Like the jetty, Autoban imbued each of the spacious, airy villas with sustainably and ethically sourced Norwegian forest-colored marble, hand-carved wooden panels, and woven bamboo screens. Villas are further bolstered with oceanfront views, artisan amenities (made with 100% natural ingredients), and personal infinity pools.</p><img alt="Exterior of a villa at the Joali Maldives "src=""><img alt="Aerial view of a villa pool at the Joali Maldives resort "src=""><p>Within Joali’s 24 acres of lush palatial paradise, the hotelier opts for a multi-layered approach to enveloping guests in nature, design, form, and function with a desire to honor the surrounding integrity of the environment above all. Global warming and coral bleaching is at the forefront of these concerns and for Argat, “Joali helps us express and share our feelings about nature to draw awareness to important issues that affect us all.”</p><p>Art is one way the property expresses these pertinent sentiments. <a href="" target="_blank">Studio Hoick</a>, based in South Africa, created an art map for guests to explore the grounds with and discover the hotel’s permanent and ever-growing collection, currently sitting at 60 pieces. Curated by Ala Onur and Zeynep Ercan, Concept Executors at Istanbul-based <a href="" target="_blank">No L</a><a href="">ab</a>, they strived to offer a mixture of 14 upcoming and renowned artists from around the world. Of the many outstanding pieces, one is artist <a href="" target="_blank">Misha Kahn</a>’s Coral Sculpture Garden, where guests can scuba dive approximately 40 feet to see six ornate pieces nestled between tropical fish and coral reef. “My hope is that when you swim amongst these sculptures and through the environment, you’ll be reminded of our delicate and precious oceans and that it will inspire you to help them,” Kahn explains.</p><img alt="Artwork on the grounds of the Joali Maldives resort "src=""><img alt="Bedroom in a villa at the Joali Maldives Resort "src=""><p>Art and nature further permeate during epicurean experiences at Joali. Of the many bespoke dining options (there are over 10), the <a href="" target="_blank">Manta Ray Tree House</a>, crafted by artist <a href="" target="_blank">Porky Hefer</a>, is not to be missed. Intimately spaced for 8-10 people, guests dine in a gigantic manta ray shaped art installation that hovers 16 feet off the ground with views of golden sand and azure waters. As Hefer is a vernacular architect and artist, it was important for him to use only local palm trees from the island and construction reflecting Maldivian craftsmanship and traditions. While watching the sunset, guests feast on an omakase menu conceived by <a href="" target="_blank">Culinary Director Ashley Goddard</a>. Concepts are guest driven, according to Goddard, and “no request will be unthinkable." Here, dishes are only limited by one's gastronomic imagination and Goddard takes "each one as a personal challenge." </p><img alt="Mura Bar at the Joali Maldives resort "src=""><p>Looking forward, Joali will continue to epitomize its philosophy of offering unconventional luxury and captivating the senses by further incorporating more experiential art components including music therapy with sound composer <a href="" target="_blank">Gorkem Sen</a> and the extraction of smell molecules to heighten appreciation and awareness of surroundings and sensory dining with smell researcher <a href="" target="_blank">Sissel Tolaas</a>.</p><p>Until then, there's still plenty of refined luxury to go around in the <a href="" target="_blank">world’s lowest-lying nation</a>, but Joali might just be in a league of its own.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Is the Secret to Getting Huge Hotel Discounts From Google

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 12:00
<p>Adding more storage to your Google account could get you discounts on hotels.</p><p>Google One members are eligible for discounts up to 40 percent off when they look for hotels through the search engine.</p><p>And it appears that the Google-exclusive discounts are actually worthwhile.</p><p>Google One users are finding hotel discounts worth hundreds of dollars off. And they’re only available through Google. The hotels offering the discounts partner directly with the search engine.</p><p>In order to see what discounts are available, <a href=";hl=en-US&amp;gl=us&amp;un=0&amp;q=Hotels%20near%20me&amp;rp=OABAAA&amp;ictx=1&amp;hotel_mode=1&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=onboarding&amp;utm_campaign=perk_hotels&amp;utm_content=cta_search_hotels&amp;hrf=CgUI4QEQACIDVVNEKhYKBwjjDxABGBQSBwjjDxABGBUYASABWAGaARESD05ldyBZb3JrIENvdW50eaIBJQoIL20vMG5sN20SGUxvbmRvbiBCb3JvdWdoIE9mIExhbWJldGiSAQIgAQ&amp;tcfs=Ej8KCC9tLzBubDdtEhlMb25kb24gQm9yb3VnaCBPZiBMYW1iZXRoGhgKCjIwMTktMDEtMjASCjIwMTktMDEtMjEiGAoKMjAxOS0wMS0yMBIKMjAxOS0wMS0yMVIA" target="_blank">search for hotels via Google</a> on your mobile device and look for the exclusive Google One member prices. They will appear in a multicolored box on top of participating hotel listings.</p><p>If you aren’t a member, you can <a href="" target="_blank">sign up directly through Google</a>, It starts at $2.99 per month, which could very quickly pay for itself if you do all your hotel bookings through the service. (If you’re using extreme storage, membership prices go up to $300 per month.)</p><p>Hotels aren’t the only travel service that Google can help you save money on. <a href="" target="_blank">Look for flights with Google</a> and the search engine will help you compare airfare, letting you know whether or not you’re actually getting a good deal on that upcoming jaunt out of town.</p>
Categories: Travel

Prince Charles and Camilla Are Hiring a Personal Assistant — Here’s How to Apply

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 16:51
<p>The British royal family is on a hiring spree. In 2018, the family hired a new <a href="" target="_blank">communications assistant</a>, a <a href="" target="_blank">new butler</a>, and even a <a href="" target="_blank">kitchen porter</a>. And now, just a few days into 2019, they are at it again. This time, however, it’s a more personal role as Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are on the hunt for a personal assistant to come work with them at St. James Palace.</p><p>In the role, the new assistant will be responsible for plenty of personal matters for the future king and his wife. According to the <a href="" target="_blank">job posting</a> that includes: “managing diaries, arranging meetings, organizing and assisting with visits, events and travel, and undertaking recces with senior members of staff.” The assistant is also expected to handle all incoming telephone calls and respond to emails and inquires about the pair.</p><p>In order to be considered for the role, the right candidate must already possess personal assistant experience. He or she must also have experience managing “complex diaries” and be well-versed in drafting “high volume correspondence.” In other words, the right candidate has experience working for a CEO, celebrity, politician, or some other royal around the world.</p><p>The right person must also be a tech expert, be flexible, have “excellent organization and communication skills" and "a willingness to undertake a wide variety of tasks,” the job listing added. “Candidates will have the ability to liaise with a broad spectrum of people in order to develop good working relationships and will have experience of working constructively and collaboratively. The ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion at all times is paramount.”</p><p>So, if you’re good at just about everything you can go ahead and <a href="" target="_blank">apply here</a>. However, if you don’t somehow already have these skills but still want to work for the royal family you could always try applying for one of their <a href="" target="_blank">other current vacancies instead</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Dive With Orcas in the Norwegian Fjords — and You Might Even See the Northern Lights While You’re There

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 16:48
<p>It had just turned one o’clock on a frigid day in January, and already the light was beginning to fade. By 2 p.m., it would be completely dark. From the deck of a trawler out in the Norwegian fjords, the ocean looked deeply forbidding: choppy, black, and bone-numbingly cold.</p><img alt="Boat in Norway "src=""><p>For the divers lined up on the prow, however, the conditions were perfect. Under the surface, <a href="" target="_blank">a pod of orcas</a> had gathered, drawn by a shoal of herring that had migrated to this stretch of the Norwegian Sea that morning. The divers were about to swim with the orcas in their natural habitat, something few amateurs have experienced. One of them was Felix Odell, the Swedish photographer who shot the images on these pages.</p><img alt="Orca pod in Norway "src=""><p>In an interview after his return from <a href="" target="_blank">Norway</a>, Odell admitted he’d had some misgivings before setting off. “My daughter, who’s eight, was really frightened,” he recounted. “ ‘Maybe they’re going to eat you up,’ she said.” Standing on the deck in his dry suit, snorkel, and mask, the temperature somewhere in the teens, he had hesitated. But once he was in the water, his apprehensions evaporated. “It felt great, completely natural,” Odell said. “And because of the Gulf Stream, the water was actually warmer than the air.”</p><p>Odell’s group was led by Patrick Dykstra, a naturalist who for almost a decade has filmed and studied the orca population that comes to this part of the <a href="" target="_blank">Norwegian coast</a> each winter. A lifelong whale enthusiast, Dykstra gave up his day job as a corporate lawyer in 2013 to try his hand at underwater video. He has since contributed footage to the BBC’s award-winning Blue Planet II. Guests on his orca safari, which is run by British tour operator Natural World Safaris, must be strong swimmers with a passion for marine life. And they should not expect five-star service. As Dykstra put it, “I’m out there filming the orcas because it’s what I love doing. Sometimes I take guests along.”</p><img alt="Patrick Dykstra, a photographer with Natural World Safaris "src=""><p>Part of the dolphin family, orcas hunt for herring alongside their calves, working in family groups. A typical day aboard Dykstra’s vessel begins by figuring out where these orca pods are headed next, which can be an adventure in itself. The morning of Odell’s dive, Dykstra began by consulting several online resources, then hitting the phones. “Patrick has connections with fishermen in the area. He calls them to find out where the pods are each day,” Odell explained. Once Dykstra receives a tip, the race is on to reach the orcas’ reported location before they finish hunting and move on. “You have to be quick, because they can travel very fast. We got lucky that first day and located a group swimming around a fishing boat,” Odell said.</p><p>But with daylight fading, visibility under the water was low. Only at a distance of around 15 feet could the divers make out the orcas, which can range from 23 to 32 feet long — roughly the equivalent of a London bus. When one did appear through the murky, sediment-filled water, the experience was transformative. “Seeing these enormous creatures up close was truly fantastic,” Odell said. “When you’re underwater, you can hear them communicating, talking to each other. Their presence is extremely gentle. At the same time they’re very powerful, of course.”</p><img alt="Adult Orca (killer whale) in Norway "src=""><p>Attacks on humans by orcas in captivity are well documented; in the wild, however, there is little evidence of their harming people. Still, the trip leaders take safety seriously, giving guests lengthy briefings on how to interact with the creatures underwater. “I’ve been scared before,” Dykstra admitted. “Ultimately these are wild animals, so of course you need to be careful.”</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>Of greater concern for him is the crisis facing the world’s orca populations. Orcas belong to a class of animals known as apex predators: they sit at the top of the food chain, so they take in massive concentrations of pollutants absorbed by smaller creatures. According to new research published in the U.K. journal Science, the world’s orca population could be reduced by half in the next 30 to 50 years. “There’s a real danger that these creatures will die out if nothing is done to save them,” Dykstra said. To that end, he works with researchers to collect DNA samples from Norway’s orcas, which are added to a database and matched with samples taken elsewhere to create population studies, monitor diet, and more. “It’s a huge help in understanding what’s going on with orcas right now,” he said.</p><p>Above all, Dykstra is motivated by his fascination with the species. “<a href="" target="_blank">Orcas are so incredibly intelligent</a>,” he explained. “They have something called bio sonar, which gives an MRI-type reading of their surroundings. They know right away that you’re not their typical prey. After a while, they begin to recognize you. And of course I recognize individual orcas, having come back year after year.”</p><img alt="Diver in Norway "src=""><p>The thrill of seeing other orca enthusiasts interact with these sensitive yet extraordinarily powerful creatures for the first time is addictive, Dykstra admitted. “I love seeing people who don’t get to spend their lives out in nature, like I do, get so excited by seeing the orcas close up. I see guests cry all the time.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Southwest Is Giving New Credit Card Holders a One-year Companion Pass — and It’s Seriously Unheard Of (Video)

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 16:22
<p>Credit card companies are well-known for offering great perks to new customers, but a new offer from Chase and Southwest Airlines surely takes the cake.</p><p>This week the credit card giant — which is already one of the <a href="" target="_blank">best in the game for travelers</a> — announced that for a limited time, people who apply for any of their co-branded credit cards with Southwest will not only be granted 30,000 miles but will also be able to earn a <a href="" target="_blank">Companion Pass</a> as a bonus.</p><p>What that means is if you apply and are accepted for the card you can then book free airfare tickets for a companion (friend, family member, your favorite dog walker… maybe some writer named <a href="" target="_blank">Stacey Leasca</a>, if you’re feeling so inclined) on flights throughout the year. All you need to do is pay the taxes and fees.</p><p>Of course, this offer does come with a little catch. In order to earn the sign-up bonus, once accepted, cardholders must spend $4,000 on the card within the first three months of opening it, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Business Insider</a></em> reported. The offer is only available until Feb. 11, which means you better apply now and start spending some serious cash as soon as possible. This Companion Pass also has one big restriction: It’s is only good until Dec. 31, 2019. (Traditionally, the points earned Companion Pass is valid for the rest of the same calendar year it’s earned as well as the entirety of the next calendar year.)</p><p>But still, going on a shopping spree may be worth it when you consider just how much you may be able to save on airfare for your next <a href="" target="_blank">family trip</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">romantic getaway for two</a>, or just a buddy weekend. Moreover, it’s worth it simply for being able to brag that you actually obtained a coveted Companion Pass in the first place, which is notoriously hard to gain off travel miles alone. As <em>Business Insider</em> reported, a Companion Pass is normally obtained when one traveler has earned 110,000 qualifying points with Southwest within a single calendar year, making it nearly impossible for mere mortals to get their hands on.</p><p>To get your buddy pass now just <a href=";jp_cmp=cc/SWA_Brand_BMM_SWA_SEM_US_No+xLOB_Standard_NA/sea/p25773683682/Southwest+Card&amp;gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8oveh43m3wIVGIzICh3bBgBeEAAYASAAEgJxNPD_BwE" target="_blank">apply for the Southwest Priority Card</a>, the Rapid Rewards Plus, or the Rapid Rewards Premiere. Then, <a href="" target="_blank">start planning your Companion Pass travels</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Notoriously Touristy Hoi An Is Actually One of the Most Exciting Cities in Vietnam

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 12:00
<p>In the middle of Hoi An is an area called Ancient Town, and the sobriquet fits. Commanding a prime location on <a href="" target="_blank">Vietnam</a>’s central coast, where the Thu Bon River empties into the South China Sea, this city was a maritime heavyweight for much of its history. The region was settled more than 2,000 years ago, and it served as a strategic port until the mid 1800s for Chinese, Japanese, Indian, French, Dutch, and Portuguese seafarers and traders plying the spice route.</p><p>In 1999, Ancient Town, inland from the ocean, was <a href="" target="_blank">named a UNESCO World Heritage site</a>, which protected its pagodas, wooden bridges, and merchant houses, many built between the 15th and 19th centuries. Ever since, tourists have crowded this historic center, essentially a romantic (if somewhat kitschy) living museum. But now a newly revamped beach resort is bringing attention back to Hoi An’s oceanfront — and a lively renaissance is under way, with entrepreneurs from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and beyond intent on steering Hoi An into the present. </p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">Stunning Hyperlapse Immerses You in the Beauty and Culture of Vietnam</a></p><p>Key to this resurgence is the <a href="" target="_blank">Four Seasons Resort the Nam Hai</a>, a recently renovated property on one of Asia’s most picturesque beaches. Like Hoi An itself, the Nam Hai is an intriguing blend of old and new: each of the 100 villas reinterprets the garden courtyard house typical of this part of Vietnam, with marble and dark wood interiors, regal platform beds draped in luscious fabrics, and floor-to-ceiling windows that bathe the space in palm-diffused light. Private verandas encourage hours of blissful ocean-gazing, and sleek infinity pools offer views of the sea and the Cham Islands beyond. The resort’s spa, inspired by the teachings of the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, incorporates mindfulness training and spiritual wisdom into its treatments. At once luxurious and imbued with a deep awareness of its surroundings, <a href="" target="_blank">the resort has consistently nabbed a spot</a> on <em>Travel + Leisure</em>’s <a href="" target="_blank">World’s Best Awards</a>.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Nam Hai</a>’s aesthetics are indicative of a broader trend, as new shops and restaurants bring a contemporary eye to the city’s layered culture. One such innovator is Didier Corlou, who was among the first European chefs to work in postwar Vietnam, at Hanoi’s iconic Metropole hotel. Now he is researching the influence of the sea and the spice trade on Hoi An’s culinary practices, like the use of turmeric, cassia, and curry leaves. He serves dishes such as “ocean soup,” a simple consommé with purple seaweed and ginger, and spring rolls stuffed with coriander-and-anise-marinated mackerel in the leafy courtyard of <a href="" target="_blank">Cô Mai</a>, a repurposed 200-year-old merchant’s house.</p><p>Cô Mai is just one of several new spots exploring Hoi An’s unique culinary tapestry and the cross-cultural contact that informed its cuisine. <a href="" target="_blank">Tadioto Hoi An</a>, owned by artist Nguyen Qui Duc, serves Japanese fare and shots of rare sake and whisky. Nguyen also has a Kyoto-style “eating street” in the works. Nearby, chef Nyugen Nhu Thinh blends traditions he picked up in London and Tokyo at <a href="" target="_blank">Aubergine 49</a>. Similar currents weave through the menu at <a href="" target="_blank">the Hill Station</a>, which channels Indochinese cool with imaginative charcuterie and appetizers like Camembert roasted with pineapple-infused rice wine. And the drinks list at <a href="" target="_blank">T-Room Gin Bar</a>, in a historic teahouse, includes gins infused with native vanilla, cardamom, and black pepper.</p><img alt="Sunday in Hoi An shop "src=""><p>As a trading stop, Hoi An was historically a hub for textiles and leather — and these days, new boutiques are livening up the town’s respected apparel and design scenes. Head to the French-Vietnamese atelier <a href="" target="_blank">Metiseko</a>, with its understated prints and smart silhouettes, or <a href="" target="_blank">Chula</a>, where colorful patterns and architectural motifs are embroidered onto bohemian frocks. <a href="" target="_blank">Lam</a>,<i> </i>near the central market, reimagines the traditions of Ancient Town with embroidered velvet slippers and silk slip dresses in the spirit of the ao dai, the customary women’s dress of Vietnam. Tapping into the town’s leisurely vibe, <a href="" target="_blank">Sunday in Hoi An</a> has an atmospheric white-and-blue atelier filled with ceramics, bedding, and linens.</p><p>Even with all the new activity, Ancient Town’s dreamy golden façades still evoke a bygone age. People start the morning by lighting argan wood incense, the musky scent perfuming the sepia-tinged lanes all day. Farmers peddle herbs, fishermen fillet catfish and eels, and hawkers advertise noodles and dumplings. Come nightfall, floating candle offerings flicker on the river. This colorful port city has matured gracefully — but a new golden era is just beginning</p>
Categories: Travel

There Are Only 30 of Singapore Airlines’ Exclusive First Class Suites in the Sky — Here's How I Flew in One for Free

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 11:16
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Singapore Airlines</a> unveiled new, industry-changing <a href="" target="_blank">first-class suites</a> back in November 2017 as part of a complete cabin refresh aboard its double-decker <a href="" target="_blank">Airbus A380s</a>. Virtual hotel rooms in the sky, the suites are 50 square feet each, have closing doors for privacy, and contain Poltrona Frau leather armchairs, twin-size beds, and 32-inch entertainment screens, among other features.</p><p>Oh, and so far, there are also only 30 of them in the airline’s entire fleet – just six per plane on five A380s – though the airline does plan to retrofit its 14 older A380s with them by the end of 2020.</p><p>That makes the new Singapore Suites one of the most exclusive experiences in the sky today. Thanks to a <a href="" target="_blank">strategic redemption</a> of 50,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, though, I got to enjoy the utmost in in-flight luxury on a recent trip from <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore Changi International Airport</a> to <a href="" target="_blank">Shanghai</a>. Here’s what flying in Singapore Airlines’ new first-class suites was actually like.</p><h2>Airport Amenities</h2><p>The experience started on the ground. My flight departed at 9:20 a.m., but I arrived at the airport at 7:30 a.m. in order to enjoy some time in the airline’s lounge. Singapore Suites passengers can utilize a dedicated first-class check-in reception area, with its own private driveway, at Singapore Changi’s Terminal 3. The moment my taxi pulled up, a porter was present to take my bags inside to one of check-in desks.</p><p>The agent there confirmed my travel and identification details, took my carry-on and escorted me to the dedicated customs and immigration checkpoint, which I breezed through in a moment.</p><p>Once I arrived at the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge within the terminal, the entrance agent there personally escorted me through the main lounge to the Private Room, an area reserved exclusively for passengers flying in first class or suites on Singapore Airlines.</p><p>The main lounge has several sitting areas where passengers can work or unwind, but I headed to the dining room. There was a small buffet, but also an entire à la carte menu available with items like shrimp fried rice, dim sum, waffles, and eggs benedict. Other passengers were enjoying glasses of 2009 Dom Pérignon, but it was still a bit early for me, so I had a cappuccino and scrambled eggs with chicken sausage and asparagus. I did not want to fill up, though, because I knew what was still to come on my flight.</p><h2>Scoping Out the Suite</h2><p>I headed to the gate early so that I could be among the first passengers to board, and I was the first to arrive in the suites section at the front of the A380’s top deck. The flight crew could not have been friendlier, showing me the various features of the suite, and even pouring me glasses of Dom Pérignon and water while I snapped photos of everything.</p><p>What blew me away most was just how much room there was in my suite, 1F, which was the first one along the right side of the plane. It felt like stepping onto my own private jet.</p><img alt="View inside Singapore Airlines suites "src=""><p>The armchair faced forward for takeoff and landing, but could swivel 270 degrees to face the windows or toward the entertainment screen on the interior wall during the rest of the flight.</p><p>A console near the door held the oversize dining table, while the one near the windows contained small stowage compartments and a lit vanity mirror. Next to it was a touchscreen tablet that I used to adjust the suite’s lighting, call flight attendants, and control the entertainment system.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">How to Take the World’s Longest Flight for (Almost) Free Using Miles</a></p><p>Speaking of which, the entertainment screen was 32 inches and included a current selection of movies, television shows, music, games, and information on my flight.</p><p>The first-class section had two lavatories – that’s right, two bathrooms for just six passengers – one of which was enormous and contained a sit-down vanity counter and a changing area in addition to the toilet and sink, but no shower like on Emirates or Etihad. Flight attendants cleaned them between each use, so they were spotless the whole flight.</p><h2>Time Flew By</h2><p>Once we took off, the crew came through closing the suite doors so passengers could have privacy from the rest of the cabin. The doors were really more like thick screens since there were small holes through which flight attendants could look in from time to time and ensure passenger safety and comfort. Incidentally, they also contain what amounts to a small closet where passengers can hang clothes and stow small bags during the flight.</p><p>I told my flight attendants (there were three helping me at various points) that I wanted to be sure to have some time in my suite’s bed, so they began my meal service immediately. I had pre-ordered my main course using the airline’s Book The Cook service, but I had plenty of time to enjoy several other dishes as well.</p><img alt="Champagne service in the Singapore Suites on board Singapore Airlines "src=""><p>I started with an amuse-bouche of chicken and lamb satay…along with a glass of 2004 Krug Champagne. Among the other wines available were a Chablis Premier Cru and a Pinot Noir Premier Cru Monopole from Albert Bichot Domaine Long-Depaquit in Burgundy, Chateau Rauzan-Ségla Margaux from Bordeaux, and a 2013 Pieropan Amarone from Italy.</p><p>I moved on to a smoked salmon appetizer, skipped the soup course, and had a salad of radicchio and baby spinach before the entrée of grilled king prawns with lemon garlic sauce and couscous.</p><p>For dessert, I tried a mango-coconut charlotte with thyme sauce and crème fraîche ice cream. Everything was served on the airline’s signature Wedgwood china, of course. In between courses, flight attendants were constantly on hand to make sure my water and wine glasses never got below the half-full mark, and dishes were cleared as soon as I’d finished each course.</p><img alt="Lobster in Singapore Airlines Singapore Suites "src=""><p>I concluded my meal just under two hours into the flight. One of the flight attendants took me for a brief tour of the rest of the plane so I could see the new business-class seats as well as premium economy and economy.</p><p>While I freshened up afterwards, the crew prepared my bed. Unfortunately, because this was a short daytime flight, I was not given the Lalique pajamas or amenity kit that suites passengers can expect on the longer-haul flights, but there were Lalique products to use in the lavatory.</p><p>When I returned to my suite, I found the bed dressed with a Lalique duvet and sheets, and two full-size pillows. The bed measured 26 inches wide by 76 inches long, which was plenty of space for me, but if you’re tall, you might have to squeeze in. I promptly curled up and fell asleep for nearly 90 undisturbed minutes.</p><img alt="View of Singapore Airlines Suites class cabin "src=""><p>I had declined a wake-up call offered by the flight attendants, but woke up in time to have a cappuccino and watch part of a movie before we landed. Then before I knew it, the flight was over. The experience from gate-to-gate had lasted around six hours.</p><h2>Final Impressions</h2><p>Although I wish I had been able to fly Singapore Airlines’ new suites on a longer route, even this quick daytime trip was enough to thoroughly enjoy one of the most luxurious experiences ever offered in commercial aviation.</p><p>The two most memorable aspects of my flight were the sheer space of the suite itself and the excellence of the service both on the ground and in the air. Although top-notch customer service is the norm for Singapore Airlines, the crew on my flight specifically were able to tread a perfectly calibrated line between friendliness and diligence.</p><p>As for suite itself, while 50 square feet might not sound like much on the ground, it can turn a first-class cabin into an experience that feels more like flying private – especially thanks to that separate bed and the Lalique trimmings.</p><p>The fact that I was able to experience all this for nearly free by redeem miles for the flight only made it that much more enjoyable.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Taking a Fishing Trip Is Good for Your Mental Health

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 11:00
<p>If you’re feeling down or burnt out, it might be time to get back into nature.</p><p>According to Niels Eék, psychologist and co-founder of mental wellbeing and self-development platform Remente, spending time in nature may be the key to good mental health.</p><p>“Several researchers have looked into the health benefits connected to spending time out in nature. One study specifically, which was recently published in <em>BioScience Journal</em>, found that daily exposure to nature can, among other things, help reduce feelings of stress and even improve your self-esteem, for up to seven hours. Reconnecting with nature can also help you become more mindful and present in the moment,” Eék said in a statement.</p><p><strong>Related</strong><b>: </b><a href="" target="_blank">How to Plan a Vacation That Will Actually Leave You Relaxed, According to an Expert</a></p><p>Moreover, a study from the <a href=";IR=T#walking-in-nature-could-improve-your-short-term-memory-1" target="_blank">University of Michigan</a> suggests that being in nature not only improves your mood for the time, but also has positive long-term effects when it comes to depression and memory, as well as decreasing the risk of certain cancers and high blood pressure.</p><p>So what should you do to boost your mental health effectively in nature? Well, there is always camping, biking and hiking, but some experts believe the best way to take care of your mind is to go on a <a href="" target="_blank">fishing trip</a>.</p><p>An Australian survey funded by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Scheme reports relaxation and stress relief are the main benefits people get from recreational fishing, according to reps for <a href="" target="_blank">Fishbrain</a>, a mobile app and social network for people who love to fish.</p><p>The free app has attracted millions of users who have discovered fishing as their newfound self-care hobby. The app uses an interactive map to allow users to find the best places to fish, as well as record their catches, plan trips, share tips and techniques, and purchase the latest gear.</p><p><strong>Related</strong><b>: </b><a href="" target="_blank">Baths Are Better for Depression Than Exercise, Study Suggests</a></p><p>“Fishing is one of the most popular sports in the world and one of only a few truly global hobbies,” Johan Attby, CEO and founder of Fishbrain, said in a statement “With data and sophisticated technology at its core, and an engaged community as its heart, Fishbrain has become a social network that both inspires and equips users across the globe to have more fun by fishing smarter, not harder.”</p><p>So it’s easier than ever to go fishing, even if you’re a newbie, without the added stress of not catching anything.</p><p>Fishbrain’s users can attest to the mental health benefits of fishing. “Fishing has become critical to my mental health. My job as a sales/production manager can be quite stressful at times, and nothing relieves stress and centers me like fishing,” said Gabe Beaudry of Central Oregon.</p><p>“Going fishing outdoors increases your vitamin D, which helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, keeping your bones and teeth healthy. It boosts your immune system and has been linked to fighting depression,” added Chasten Whitfield of Cortez, Florida.</p><p>More information on Fishbrain can be found on the <a href="" target="_blank">app’s website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Enjoy 30% off Alaskan Cruises on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 10:54
<p>Alaska: 30 percent off sailings to Alaska on <a href="" target="_blank">Cunard</a>’s Queen Elizabeth, the youngest ship in the fleet, featuring a games deck, performance venue, and spa. </p><p>The deal includes:</p>30 percent off launch fares on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2019 Alaska voyages<p>Original price: 10-nights from $3,299 per person (or $329 per night) in a balcony cabin. </p><p><strong>T+L Price:</strong> 10-nights from $2,099 per person (or $210 per night) in a balcony cabin.</p><p>Booking details: Book from December 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019. To reserve your stateroom use promo code XTL when booking <a href="" target="_blank">online</a>, or call 800-728-6273. </p><p>Availability: Promotion has limited availability and is not combinable with all other public offers. Taxes, fees, and port expenses of $235 per person are additional and subject to change.</p>
Categories: Travel

Prince Philip Said Economy Class 'Sounds Ghastly' and We're Crying All the Way to the Back of the Plane

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 10:46
<p>Whoever said that the royals were out of touch?</p><p>He's now 97 years old, but Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has never wasted time beating around the bush.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">When speaking to the Royal Aircraft Association</a> back in 2002, Prince Philip commented on the British royal family’s air travel conditions.</p><p>"If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort,” he said, “provided you don't travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”</p><p>(And that was back when meals were still free in economy.)</p><p>Members of the royal family travel commercial when going abroad, particularly if they’re flying for personal reasons. They only take private jets when traveling on official state business.</p><p>But Prince Philip may be the only one in the family with an aversion to the back of the plane. <a href="" target="_blank">Kate Middleton surprised fellow economy passengers</a> when she boarded a British Airways flight to Amsterdam in 2016. Last year, <a href="" target="_blank">Meghan Markle and Prince Harry boarded an economy flight</a> from London to Nice. Although, to be fair, they took up the entire last three rows of the plane.</p><p>Some may balk at the snooty comment, but there’s no denying that Prince Philip is right. Economy class <i>is </i>pretty ghastly.</p><p>Sure, sure, aviation is a modern miracle and the ability to travel is a privilege — but it’s rather difficult to maintain this point of view when you’re slammed between two strangers, one of whom (invariably) smells and takes over your armrest and the other who’s either got a gnarly eating habit or a crying baby with the lung capacity of Michael Phelps.</p><p>Economy class is a place of abandoned hopes and dreams, where people who thought they could smile their way into a business class upgrade sit and order whiskey after whiskey (which they have to pay for) and, if they’re lucky, stare out the window, imagining better days and comfier conditions.</p><p>Every minute of a long-haul flight in economy is spent longing for a moment back on the ground, where one can put their body in a horizontal position, stretch out their legs, and go more than two inches without touching another person.</p><p>Economy class is a ghastly thing, Prince Philip. ‘Tis indeed. May you never have to experience it.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Get a Super-soft Cashmere Travel Wrap for Just $30 Right Now

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 10:10
<p>Finding affordable cashmere is a feat. And finding affordable cashmere for under $50 is near impossible, but the great people at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Uniqlo</a> have made it happen — that is, while the sale (and supplies) last.</p><p>The Japanese fashion brand, known for its super-popular <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Heattech collection</a> and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Ultra Light Down jackets</a>, have a selection of cashmere scarves on sale right now for just $30, and we’re finding it hard to not buy one in every color.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Thousands of Amazon Shoppers Are Obsessed With This Super Warm and Cozy Winter Jacket</a></p><p>Uniqlo’s cashmere stoles come in either a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">checked</a> or <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">solid colorway</a>. Choose a light gray one that’ll go with any outfit, or go for a bold red checked scarf to amp up your winter wardrobe. Wear it as a scarf, cozy up in it as a <a href="" target="_blank">travel wrap</a>, or use it as an office blanket — the cashmere scarf possibilities are endless. And at just $30? It’s too good to pass up.</p><img alt="Uniqlo Cashmere "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $30 (originally $50)</p><img alt="Uniqlo Cashmere "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $30 (originally $50)</p>
Categories: Travel

This Delayed Traveler's 4-hour Dance Around the Atlanta Airport Is Going Viral

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 09:46
<p>Sometimes there’s just <a href="" target="_blank">nothing left for you to do but dance</a>.</p><p>Over the past few weeks, <a href="" target="_blank">the government shutdown</a> has caused aggravation at airports around the country. Earlier this week, Katie Gould, a law student, was stranded at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.</p><p>“I actually missed my flight because security was so long,” Gould told <i>Travel + Leisure</i>. “I'm used to Hartsfield-Jackson security being busy, but this was more than usual for the time of day. They had less TSA agents than they normally do, so I assumed the shut down had something to do with it.”</p><p>It was four hours until Gould could board the next flight to Milwaukee. Instead of killing time watching TV like she normally does, Gould turned the delay into an opportunity.</p><p>Whereas some people might head to the airport bar and stew over their bad luck, Gould decided to let out her feelings through the medium of dance.</p><p>After polling friends for their interest, Gould got to work. “I just decided to put my phone in random places and film myself doing little dances,” she told T+L. “My mom is a flight attendant so I know my way around the airport very well. I just spent the next 4 hours waiting on my next flight by going to different gates and dancing!”</p><p>Putting on Hall &amp; Oates’ undeniable bop “You Make My Dreams,” Gould popped, shimmied and two-stepped around the airport. She even <a href="" target="_blank">attempted a floss</a>.</p><p>And, because no dance video is complete without a guest appearance, halfway through the exuberant montage, a cat (whose name is Bowie) graces the screen.</p><p>“I was pretty frustrated that whole day with missing my flight, but doing something fun and silly really helped remind me not to take life too seriously,” Gould said. “I'm just glad it made so many people happy! Also, I hope it inspired people to travel a bit more and not be afraid to get out of their comfort zone, I think the world needs that right now.”</p>
Categories: Travel