Are you a wealthy philanderer or disgraced politician looking to woo back your spouse? When compared to the alimony and lawyers’ fees you could be served with, the over-the-top Valentines packages below may seem like a cautious investment. For the rest of us, don your Holly Golightly sunglasses and look through the windows at Tiffany & Co. to see how the rich can opt to show their affection. (Honestly, when you factor in the fancy dinners and multiple night stays of some of these packages, they don’t seem quite so out of reach even for those of us without guilty consciences or fat wallets.)
Back in mid-December, Tyler Thompson, creative director at New York web-hosting site, SquareSpace, took a Delta flight from New York’s JFK airport to Seattle, on which he apparently didn’t have adequate reading material. Thompson cast a professional eye at his boarding pass and found it lacking not only visual punch, but also clarity of information.
In-flight, Thompson sketched out a few different ways to better communicate the pertinent information, and then back at his computer he created some mock-ups. Next, he opened up the redesign project to the design community through a web site: Boarding Pass/Fail. What has transpired since the site went live in early January is an entertaining public conversation about everything wrong with this small, disposable necessity of air travel. Here’s hoping the airline industry takes notice.
On my wish list for Thompson and his fellow designers to tackle next? The ground transportation signage at JFK airport, please. Any travel-related designs you love to hate?
Ann Shields is an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo Credit: Tyler Thompson
The video is noteworthy because Ms. Love is calmly applying makeup and blandly rehearsing a Replacements cover song with a guitarist for her performance that evening in the hotel's Boom Boom Room. No one takes drugs (although a hotel employee comes in to see if anyone needs anything from the pharmacy! That never happens when I stay in hotels...). No one shrieks or weeps. Nothing is thrown from the window. Even when Ms. Love reports that some fans knocked on the door looking for her and the hotel employee asks if she'd like to talk to security, she demurs, "No. They were children."
Hit the ground running. CityGoRound.com, a remarkably useful new website, has compiled tools that can help you get around wherever it is you’re heading. Just type in your destination city for up a list of websites and easily-downloaded apps for mobile phones (not just iPhones) that can get you up real-time help in navigating the mean streets.
Some of the available tools are tried-and-true favorites like Google Maps, but others possess that tingly magic of future must-haves:
If you’re traveling more than 1,000 miles, hopping on a carbon-squandering jet is actually the greenest choice for lone travelers or couples. (Well, honestly, bus travel is a more conscientious choice, but traveling by bus for 1,000 miles sounds like the plot of the most boring yet frightening horror movie ever.) Air travel even beats out trains for this distance, though the carbon equation shifts for trips shorter than 500 miles, when train trumps plane travel.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, which bills itself as “the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world,” knows you’re not going to give up travel and they don’t think you should.
Everyone has a Thanksgiving travel horror story, don’t they? Heading “over the river and through the woods” takes longer and involves more encounters with the surly and stressed hoi polloi than it did when we traveled by sleigh with lap blankets.
Google has granted travelers a respite from watching people freak out in airports during our holiday layovers en route to grandmother’s house. The benevolent search-master is footing the bill for free WiFi in 47 U.S. airports around the country between now and January 15.
In the mood for a thrill ride? Mapquest has modified its maps for Halloween. Go to the map for your destination city, then click the shrieking ghost icon on the right-hand tool bar to display all the haunted houses, creepy corn mazes, and ‘screamparks’ open for business through Halloween. You’ll find happenings like Austin House of Torment, Cleveland’s 7 Floors of Hell, or the haunted house at Pennsylvania’s de-commissioned and ultra-skeevy Eastern State Penitentiary.
This week, American, Continental, Delta/Northwest, Southwest, United, and US Airways announced fare increases that range from $5-10 for short hops to $8-16 for flights farther than 751 miles—a move that will result in millions in profit for the beleaguered airline industry.
In the plus column, the airlines haven’t ascribed new fare hikes to “amenities” like those HandiWipe headrest covers or, you know, lighting and oxygen in the cabins, but FareCompare.com, a site that tracks ticket pricing, reports that airlines are ganging up to raise fares nonetheless.
When I was a little kid in Los Angeles, my dad would take our family of 7 on long Sunday drives. Once he drove us over a desert pass to a ranch Hollywood had used for old Westerns and where he'd heard there were pony rides. When we pulled off onto the dusty road, it became clear that the decrepit ranch was no longer open for tours.
Dad blithely drove into the movie-set town, wooden sidewalks and Western building facades attached to the fronts of battered house trailers. He made a U-turn and drove back through. "John," my mother hissed, "Hippies!" A few very scruffy men had ventured out onto the sidewalks and more faces appeared in windows, watching our Ford wagon hightail it back to the highway. Months later, from news coverage of the Sharon Tate murder trial, my parents realized that those hippies out at the Spahn Movie Ranch had been the Manson Family. Thus, my first (and only, to date) true-crime road trip adventure.
Switzerland's discretion, especially in terms of banking, is well known. Now, the alpine country thinks that Google should comply with its national penchant for privacy. On August 18, Google added Street View, 360-degree street-level imagery, to its maps of cities in Switzerland, Taiwan, and Portugal. Three days later, Switzerland's data protection agency asked that the new service be rescinded.