Stuck in the daily grind? Counteract those weekday blues with Travel + Leisure’s full guide to beautiful views. From the iconic skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan to a cliffside pool in Cap d’Antibes, France, we’re highlighting the best spots to stop and stare around the globe. Immerse yourself in Bora Bora’s turquoise waters from a few thousand feet up; get inspired by the 14,692-foot snow covered peak of Switzerland’s Matterhorn.
Want to get away this weekend? Sift through our list of America’s best national parks and plan a trip to Glacier’s Hidden Lake in Montana or Channel Islands in California.
No matter which sight you choose to admire, these daily daydreams promise to add some wanderlust to your workday.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Hotel du Cap
The past week has been a big one for cruising:
Last week in Southampton, England, a very pregnant Duchess of Cambridge (née Kate Middleton) christened the new 3,600-passenger “Royal Princess” ship from Princess Cruises. She said: “May God bless her and all who sail in her!” before cutting a ribbon that sent a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne scurrying towards the bow (godmothers for previous Princess ships have been equally glamorous, from Audrey Hepburn to Diana, Princess of Wales, who named the first Royal Princess in 1984). Life on board is decidedly royal-worthy, with private poolside cabanas and SeaWalk, a glass-bottomed walkway that extends 28 feet beyond the top deck.
In other news: Hong Kong just opened its new state of the art cruise terminal. The $1 billion, Norman Foster-designed space will allow mega ships to dock in Hong Kong (the first to pull in: Royal Caribbean’s 3,000-passenger Mariner of the Seas). Our favorite part of the terminal? The rooftop garden, where you can picnic with locals while taking in a prime view of the Hong Kong skyline.
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @ThePluckyOne.
Photo courtesy of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
This week, Amazon launched a fun new tool called "Around the World in 80 Books," poised to help you find the required reading for your upcoming vacation. The picks are great, from Peter Godwin's When A Crocodile Eats the Sun (for imminent safari-goers) to Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos (for the South America-bound). (Nikki Ekstein)
This Buzzfeed list of the 16 ways to make flying easier has a few ingenious solutions. Who'd have thought to bring golf balls on board to create your own little spa treatment? (Peter Schlesinger)
A Connecticut bill is claiming that the Wright brothers were not the "first in flight," 110 years after their historic plane took off in Kitty Hawk, NC. Whether or not German-born Gustave Whitehead is truly the grandfather of aviation, there's no doubt about his level of wanderlust. Via Circa. (Adrien Glover)
Newsflash: Oslo (pictured) is an expensive city.
Actually, according to a recent study by TripAdvisor, the Norwegian capital is the most expensive city for travelers. And while the priciest cities shouldn’t be too surprising (Oslo is followed by Zürich, Switzerland, and Stockholm, Sweden), the results are fascinating.
The website ranked 49 popular travel destinations around the world on a pricing index based on the relative costs of an evening out (cab rides, dinner, and drinks) and a one-night stay at a four-star hotel.
Here's something you don't think about packing for a trip to Munich: Your wetsuit.
But according to recent reports from CNN and the BBC, the German capital has become the epicenter for an increasingly popular, and fairly-extreme sport: river surfing.
Granted, river surfing may sound like a feeble substitute for catching an ocean wave—but it isn't. On Munich's Eisbach—a channel off the Isar River—the churning waters create a rapid, one-meter wave that must be ridden stationary, so you have to jump on fast and stay balanced. (And it ain't easy—hence, this is meant for expert surfers only.) The river itself can be just 12 meters wide, too, so only one person can go at a time, often resulting in long lines any time of day. Adding a nice bit of masochism, the water's mighty chilly: Eisbach, after all, translates to "ice brook."
Can you guess where this building with a bird on it is? If you need a hint, this building is in a town that's home to one of the coolest hipster hotels and also has beautiful coastal views. Head over to our Facebook page and leave your guesses there. Check back on Monday for the answer!
Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo Courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews
With so many new tools promising to help us find the best (or cheapest) flights, it’s easier than ever to turn flight searching into an all-day obsession. Enter Trip Watcher, a new site by Hotwire.com, which does all the constant searching for you. Enter your desired destinations and dates (or range of dates), and the site will monitor the fares on your behalf, sending you alerts every time it finds a new low price. You choose the preferred method of contact—email, Facebook, or Twitter—so that you can jump on the deal before it disappears.
I’ve been putting Trip Watcher to the test with five sample itineraries—three domestic and two international, some with set dates and others more flexible. In just one day, the engine found lower fares for three of those routes, dropping the price by 20% to Chicago, 15% to Lima, and a whopping 38% to Charleston. The latter—a deeply discounted fare of $102—disappeared quickly, but it was entirely within my reach thanks to the instant update.
Back in February we reported that several senators had expressed opposition to recent airline fees that force families to pay extra if they wish to sit together. Now, five lawmakers from New York and California are sponsoring a bill that would require airlines to change their policies.
The legislative push is still in its "early stages," according to the offices of the resolution's main sponsor, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY), so no news on when (or even if) to expect a vote. Right now the sponsors are working on outreach both with other members in Congress and their constituents.
Nadler introduced a similar proposal last July with 10 co-sponsers, but the resolution was never enacted.
Have strong feelings about this? Contact your Congress representative and write to them about House Resolution 2191.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Photo credit: iStockphoto
Welcome to the second installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:
• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love.
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.
Singapore + Malaysia and Borneo
The Highlights: Private full-butler dining in the Singapore Flyer; enjoying tea with a Malay family in Kuching; kayaking through the Borneo rainforest; and visiting the colorful Iban tribe in a traditional longhouse.
The Details: 10 days and 9 nights, from $5,900 per person—includes intra-tour airfare**
The Highlights: Tasting rare Tunki coffee and Peruvian ceviche in colonial Lima; observing sea lions and sea birds, such as the blue-footed booby, on the Ballestas Islands; and following in the steps of Hiram Bingham as you navigate the ruins of Machu Picchu.
The Details: 10 days and 9 nights, from $4,995 per person**.
Eight hundred bottles of alcohol, 1,600 pounds of food: this is the typical amount consumed on a weeklong European river cruise. But how does the vessel actually get from the shipyard to the river to the point of serving you dinner? We sent Nilou Motamed behind the scenes with Viking River Cruises in Germany to find out—and produce an exclusive backstage video.
The video is just one example of bonus T+L content you can get just by sending a tweet. In the magazine’s July issue, Travel + Leisure teamed up with Amex Sync from American Express, our parent company, to give readers special access to additional experiences. When you tweet hashtags found in the July issue, you’ll be able to unlock tips, restaurant lists, videos, and more.
If you’re hungry in the City by the Bay, you’ll be able to unlock our Foursquare guide to San Francisco’s best new restaurants by tweeting #TL4sqListSanFran.
For a good laugh and some holiday cheer, tweet #TLSMITTYsVid to watch Canadian airline WestJet’s video of a Christmas flash mob taking over their airport waiting area. The viral video won a 2013 T+L Social Media in Travel & Tourism Award (SMITTY), announced this month.
Planning a trip abroad? Listen to the Trip Doctor’s simple trick for saving money on international airfare—just tweet #AmexpubTLAirfare.
And of course, if you want to watch a cruise ship being built, tweet #TLVikingCruiseVid and watch our behind-the-scenes video with Viking River Cruises.
Gabrielle Blitz is an Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo credit: Emiliano Granado