Put down that SkyMall, Bertram. Male passengers traveling Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic flights can indulge in something a little fancier than bed-side pet ramps or peephole spy cameras: The airline is offering custom shoe fittings from haute Finnish shoemaker the Left Shoe Company. Devote 20 minutes pre- or post-flight to having your foot scanned by a 3D digital scanner in the Clubhouse-the Virgin Atlantic lounge-at Heathrow and choose a style. Four weeks later, a courier will deliver your bespoke kicks. The soles are inscribed with your name, and if you choose, your Virgin Atlantic flight number and destination. The available shoe styles start at €225 ($310 at today's exchange rate), and roundtrip Upper Class fare on Virgin Atlantic runs around $10,000.
Won't taking your shoes off at the security line feel slightly less humbling when they're custom-fitted and inscribed with your name?
Ann Shields is Online Senior Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Run out of clever ways to show off your impressive array of passport stamps? Now you can proudly track your travels with this Places on Earth print. The print, a hand-drawn map of the world, comes complete with a container of pushpins, and four heavy bulldog clips (to keep the print from curling).
The Newseum, an interactive museum in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to the role of journalism in history. Sound dull and preachy? Not at all. In fact, it was declared the “best museum ever” by my three under-10 companions this past weekend.
Where else can you peer inside Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s stark cabin? Or stand in front of a real television camera and give your own fast-paced sports report? Or feel the breeze on your face as you ride the ferry to the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island alongside investigative reporter Nelly Bly?
Baechtold’s Best: Afghanistan visually explores a stunning variety of Afghan experiences. Each 2-page spread in this short book is dedicated to a simple theme like Taxi, Burka, Meal, or Poppy. The left-hand page offers sixteen thumbnail photos on the theme and a graphic map indicating where each was taken. The right-hand page has a large image chosen by the editors as the best example—Baechtold’s Best—with the briefest of identifying captions.
Wouldn’t you feel better if you carried your valuables in
the same waterproof storage bags that Navy divers use instead of plastic bags
engineered to transport a soft sandwich? aLOKSAK, may look like a Ziploc bag, but these heavy-duty,
puncture-resistant containers have a heat tolerance of 170 degrees and are
certified dry at 60 meters, even after two weeks underwater. Plus, it’ll keep sand and
saltwater out of your cellphone or Kindle while you use them.
Available in eleven sizes (from 5” x 4” to 32” x 16”) and in
multi-packs from $4.99 at REI and Amazon.com. (Photo courtesy of LOKSAK)
Ann Shields is Online Senior Editor at
If you’re stuck in the Windy City on account of the predicted 18” of snow (or if you’re avoiding being stuck somewhere not as cozy as a hotel), the Chicago-area Kimpton properties, the Hotel Allegro, Hotel Burnham, Hotel Monaco, and Hotel Palomar just announced a $99 “Stranded in the City” rate that is in effect from Tuesday through Friday. Just use the booking code 'COLD' when you’re booking a room online or over the phone.
Hotels realize that there is no single recipe for romance (though you might conclude that if there were one, chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne would be at the top of the ingredient list). While some guests may swoon at the sight of a petal-strewn bed, others may dismiss it as hackneyed.
Here’s a selection of ten Valentine’s Day packages that may strike your fancy: from no-holds-barred extravaganzas to simpler intimate breaks. Find the recipe that works for you.
Foursquare, a social media tool that encourages users to “check-in” at venues, realized a phenomenal 3,400% growth last year, with 381 million check-ins worldwide. The company just released a fun infographic that reveals the most popular places in 2010, according to its members’ updates.
You can have your lunar eclipse. For my money, the celestial event worth staying up late for is the Aurora Borealis. Throw in an up-close and personal Iditarod experience and you’d have the hottest ticket in Alaska. AdventureSmith Explorations, a California-based outfitter, has created a mid-winter soft adventure trip that’ll rouse you from your long winter’s nap.