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Today Only: JetBlue Fares from $39

one-day jet blue sale

The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the slowest times of the year for travel, hence a great time to find bargains. JetBlue just announced a little more incentive to forego holiday preparation and the end-of-year work scramble. A one-day sale of airfares (for travel between November 29 and December 18) was announced this morning with fares that start at $39 each way.

Besides flying to big cities (where you could take advantage of holiday shopping and the height of the arts season), JetBlue can also deliver you to beachy destinations in Puerto Rico, Cancun, Florida, Aruba, Barbados, and St. Maarten.

For more information or to book, visit JetBlue. For other between-holiday travel bargains, we have 276 more come-hither options on our Deals page.

Ann Shields in an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of JetBlue.

45-Pound Marshmallow Chick to Herald the New Year

PEEPS Fest

Don’t forget the PEEPS™ when planning this year's New Year’s Eve celebration. That’s right—they’re not just for Easter any more.

From December 29-31, PEEPS Fest will be held in the center of historic Bethlehem, PA. Surely destined to rival Burning Man, this celebration of the age-resistant marshmallow treats will feature live music, art, performances, a recipe competition, a 5K run, ice-sculpting, glass-blowing, and a PEEPS diorama competition (with scholastic and corporate divisions!).

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Rome's Colosseum Staging Areas Open to Public

gladiator camp

For the first time in modern history, the below-ground tunnels of Rome's Colosseum, where the gladiators tied up their sandals and prayed to their gods before entering the arena, have been opened to the public. The hallways and holding areas, and even the workings of the wooden elevator platforms that would hoist the wild animals, slaves, soldiers, and prisoners up to the floor of the arena for mortal combat, are on view following a $700,000 restoration.

Also restored and reopened for the first time since the 1970s is the third tier of the Colosseum from which Rome’s middle class watched the monumental pageants and battles.  The Guardian reports, “This level boasts heart-stopping views of Rome, from Palatine Hill to the distant Vittorio Emanuele monument. And, at about 115ft in the air, you're still more than 70ft below where the highest seats would have been.”

The guided tours, open to 25 visitors at a time, must be booked in advance. Call Pierreci, the cooperative that handles ticket sales and tours at the Colosseum, at +39 06 3996 7700, to book the €20 tickets.

Ann Shields in an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of the Rome Cavalieri Hilton's Gladiator Training Program, which has nothing to do with the Colosseum tour but was too good not to use.

New York City's Michelin-Starred Restaurants Announced Today

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As New Yorkers will modestly admit, the city is home to more great restaurants than anywhere else in the country, and quite possibly the world. Got a problem with that? Yeah. I didn’t think so.

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News Roundup: Airport Shooting Range, Grape Thieves & More

Denver International Airport

— More questionable planning decisions out at the Denver International Airport (above).  At least they promise "No armor-piercing ammunition." Proposed shooting range near DIA raises concerns, DenverPost.com

— Simon Cowell’s bio tops the list of ten books most often left behind in this U.K. chain’s hotel rooms.  Which titles would you expect on Top 10 list of books most-often left behind in hotels, USAToday.com

— Amtrak unveils proposal for high-speed rail solutions along its Northeast corridor, cutting time between Boston and New York to just 84 minutes. Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel, FastCompany.com

— Thieves hit two vineyards, one in northern Germany and one in southern France, and absconded with the grapes—souring this year’s harvest. French wine thieves in grape harvest heist, AFP; Rare grape harvest cancelled in Hamburg after thieves strip vines, The Local

Ann Shields in an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Blaine Harrington III/Alamy.

Announcing Virgin America's 2-Day Sale from $39 Each Way

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Is it time for your Virgin voyage? Virgin America, which has held the number-one position for domestic airlines in our annual World’s Best Awards ever since it debuted in 2007, has yet another enticement for you. For a brief time, the airline is offering sale fares starting at $39 between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Diego. The sale prices extend to travel from all cities served by the airline—at the top of the price scale, a flight between Toronto and San Francisco is still just $169.

The catch? You must book before midnight, Pacific time, Thursday, September 23 for travel between September 29 and December 15.

For more information or to book, please visit Virgin America or call (877) 359-8474.

Ann Shields is the senior online editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo: Alamy.

Worse than Sand in the Labor Day Potato Salad? Hurricane Earl

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As of 2pm, the National Weather Service had issued a hurricane watch for the North Carolina coast. The state is currently evacuating visitors from Hatteras Island and the rest of the Outer Banks.

Virginia and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware, and the Jersey Shore (batten down the Situation!) are all under hurricane warnings, and small craft advisories extend into New England, and all the way south to the Florida Keys.

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Today Only: 2-for-1 $129 Virgin Flights to Cabo or Cancun

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In Los Angeles or San Francisco?  It’s a good day to multitask.  How often can you save Chihuahuas, eat tacos, and score a very affordable Mexican vacation all at the same time?

Virgin America has just announced new service to Cabo and Cancun from LAX and SFO starting this December.  To celebrate, they’re offering everyone special $129 fares from those airports to Mexico for the next three days.

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Dams, Dinosaurs & Deco: Scouting NYC Goes West

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In Flann O’Brien’s novel, At-Swim-Two-Birds, the protagonist takes a ‘vacation’ by propping a series of postcards around the wainscoting of his room and spending hours focusing on them, one at a time, while drinking to excess. When he gets out of bed at the end of the week, he feels like he’s gotten away.

While I’d never recommend such a voyage, here’s one way of getting away without leaving town. The man behind a great NYC blog, Scouting NY, is currently on a cross-country roadtrip, and his posts from the road may help you escape a little.

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Mexicana Files for Bankruptcy

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Poor Mexico.  First its tourism industry takes a hit from the H1N1 virus outbreak.  Then an escalation of drug-related crime scares other travelers off.  Now, the national airline, Mexicana, has filed for Chapter 15. The airline, citing increased fuel and labor costs as well as the drop in tourism, has racked up $1 billion in debt. While the airline says that flights will continue as scheduled, 31 Mexicana flights in Mexico and the U.S. have been suspended since Monday and passengers rescheduled with other carriers.  If you’re holding a Mexicana reservation, check the airline’s website, http://www.mexicana.com, or call (877) 801-2010, to confirm your flight’s status.  Ay, caramba.

Ann Shields is a senior online editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City: MJ Photography/Alamy

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