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A Travel Blog from the Editors of T+L

RSS Feed Posts by Amy Farley

Trip Doctor: Stylish Compression Socks for Long-Haul Flights

201208-hd-b-stylish-compression-socksjpg 

Q: As a frequent long-haul flier, I’m concerned about deep vein thrombosis—is there such a thing as stylish compression socks?

A: Surprisingly, there is! We found a great selection of colors, patterns (houndstooth, polka-dot, etc.), and styles on rejuvahealth.com. Look for socks with 15–20 mmHg compression—and be sure they fit correctly.

Need a travel Rx? The Trip Doctor is in. Send your question to Amy at tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo courtesy of rejuvahealth.com

Trip Doctor: American Airlines’ New Bundled Fares

American Airlines

Tacking on individual fees to your airline ticket is so 2012. The next big thing is bundling your airfare. American Airlines just introduced a new tiered fare structure that allows fliers to chose between a basic ticket (called “Choice”) and packaged fares (“Choice Essential” for an additional $68 or “Choice Plus” for an extra $88) that include everything from free checked bags to premium drinks onboard. As with most package deals, this one offers savings.

Take a look at the roundtrip fares we found from New York’s JFK into Los Angeles’s LAX in early March:

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Trip Doctor: Delta + Virgin—What It Means for You

Virgin Atlantic

Delta made a power move to increase its transatlantic presence earlier this week, announcing that it will acquire an equity stake in Virgin Atlantic. Though Virgin Atlantic president Richard Branson made it abundantly clear that his airline's brand and all of its hip trappings are not going anywhere (he even bet British Airways head Willie Walsh £1 million to that effect), the partnership does signal a significant shift in transatlantic alliances—one that has implications for Delta fliers.

More options into Europe. By gaining a strong foothold in London's notoriously tough-to-get-into Heathrow, Delta can now offer customers nine daily round-trip flights from the New York area to Heathrow, and 31 flights a day between North America and the United Kingdom. For the first time, Delta fliers can look to London (rather than, say, Amsterdam or Paris) as a viable European gateway. And they can get there in style via Virgin Atlantic's much-vaunted new Upper Class cabin.

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The Final Say: Using Electronics on Planes

electronic devises

Q: Why do I have to turn off my devices during takeoff and landing?

A: Electronics emit a variety of frequencies that can interfere with navigation systems. The problem is: no one is sure which devices pose a threat. Variations in aircraft and individual gadgets (a new device is different from one that’s taken some abuse) make each situation unique. For now, better safe than sorry.

Amy Send your dilemmas to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @afarles on Twitter.

 

Photo by istockphoto.com

Tipping Etiquette: Hotel Doorman

Tipping Etiquette

Q: When—and how much—should I tip the hotel doorman?

A: Holding doors and hailing cabs warrant tips only when extra legwork is required. Give two dollars for a taxi found during rush hour or a storm, one dollar for each suitcase handled, and a fiver for doing both. But tip on the spot: belated thanks can end up in the wrong pocket.

Have a travel conundrum? The trip doctor is in. Send questions to tripdoctor@aexp.com, and reach Amy on Twitter @afarles.

Photo © iStockphoto

Layover Vacation: How to Spend 18 Hours in Rome

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Q: Any advice on how to spend my daylong layover in Rome? I’ve done the classics. —Ania Byczkowska, Chicago, Ill.

A: Sure—here’s a tour of some of our favorite hidden gems around the city.

9 a.m.: The Outdoor Print Market, on Largo Fontanella Borghese, peddles hard-to-find art books and vintage prints. Finish your shopping with a coffee at nearby Ciampini (29 Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina).

2 p.m.: Head to the unsung Palazzo Nuovo (part of the Capitoline Museums) on Piazza del Campidoglio, where hundreds of statues and busts are displayed in their original 17th-century home.

7 p.m.: Craft beer is having its moment in Rome, and Open Baladin (6 Via degli Specchi) has more than 40 domestic varieties on tap.

9 p.m.: Inside the historic Palazzo Cenci, Ae Pompiere (38 Via Santa Maria de’ Calderari; $$$) feels like a private club. A burnished wooden staircase leads to a suite of frescoed rooms where you can dine on carciofi alla giudea (fried artichokes) and the signature porchetta. Then swing by the new Eataly emporium (Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492)—open till midnight—to pick up Antonio Mattei biscotti for the plane.

Have a travel conundrum? The trip doctor is in. Send questions to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by David Leventi

Trip Doctor: Thanksgiving Travel Advice

holiday travel

The busiest travel days of the year are upon us. Aviation trade group Airlines 4 America, forecasts some 24 million people will fly during the Thanksgiving holidays, with planes reaching 90 percent capacity on the busiest days: today, Sunday, and Monday. Here, eight strategies for getting through the terminal without losing your patience—or your mind.

Load up Your Phone: Check your flight status and get instant updates on any delays with the FlightTrack and the FlightAware Flight Tracker apps; stay on top of weather patterns (and potential problems) with the Weather Channel app; and use iFly, Kayak, and PointInside to navigate the airport like a pro.

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What to Do When You Order Wine You Don't Like

ordering wine

Do...

...speak up. A lot of customers feel intimidated by big wine lists and sommeliers, but it’s okay to trust your palate.

...snap a photo of the label and add it to an album of wines you’ve loved or loathed; use it to guide you on future selections.

Don’t...

...judge too early. As the wine opens up, you might change your mind.

...suffer through a poor choice. The sommelier’s goal is for you to be happy with your selection.

Have a travel conundrum? The trip doctor is in. Send questions to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Illustration by Matt Johnstone

Lessons from Sandy: Weather-Proofing Your Next Vacation

straded at airport

Travelers across the country had their plans disrupted by last week’s Super Storm Sandy. From being stranded in a powerless New York City, to getting stuck in airports far away from home, their plights yielded some lessons on how to prepare for disaster and what to do when it strikes. And travelers take note, these tips may be useful sooner than expected; a nor'easter is expected to hit the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic this week.

Use an excellent travel agent, especially if your trip is particularly complicated or important. (See Travel + Leisure’s favorite agents here.) These travel experts can save you time, headaches, and heartache by taking care of all the rerouting and rebooking on your behalf.

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How to Replace a Passport Lost While Abroad

How to Replace a Lost Passport

Q: What do I do if I lose my passport in a foreign country? —Amy Lin, Bridgewater, N.J.

A: Start by contacting the closest U.S. consulate or embassy to report your lost passport and have it invalidated to prevent identity theft. Ask what time the office opens, then visit first thing in the morning to submit forms DS-11 and DS-64 (available at travel.state.gov) and a copy of your outbound itinerary. If your passport was your only form of documentation, an interview may be necessary to confirm your identity. After paying a $135 fee and a short wait, you’ll be issued either a new passport that is good for 10 years or a temporary one that expires after three months, which should get you home without completely ruining your vacation.

Have a travel conundrum? The trip doctor is in. Send questions to tripdoctor@aexp.com, and reach Amy on Twitter @afarles.

Photo © iStockphoto

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