Peer-to-peer, local, authentic: these are all buzzwords permeating the travel world—with no hints of disappearing any time soon. Our latest P2P find takes a page out of Vayable, a worldwide marketplace of local-led experiences. The Barcelona-based Trip4Real, which launched last year, is solely focused on Spain, with 3,000-plus activities in 50 cities, from popular spots such as Barcelona and Madrid to small towns in Basque Country.
Oceania Cruises is the latest luxury line to launch complimentary Internet access on its five ships—a first for the brand. It joins Regent Seven Seas, which announced that it was adding free WiFi last month. The on-board Wi-Fi system was recently upgraded across its five mid-size ships, bringing connectivity that’s twice as fast as before to public spaces, outdoor decks, plus all suites and staterooms.
Domestic airlines have been upgrading right and left in recent months, from introducing premium economy seats (Hawaiian Airlines) to new-and-improved websites (Virgin America). This week, Southwest got in on the action, revealing top-to-bottom design updates that include a new logo, livery, app, and website.
Want to travel the country without leaving home? Or just need inspiration for your next American getaway? Turn to Hazel Lane, a new San Francisco-based start-up that curates monthly packages filled with artisan crafts and edible goodies from cities across the country. To start, the company is focusing on of-the-minute destinations—Nashville, Austin, Brooklyn, and Portland, Oregon, to name a few—and two six-month regional subscriptions will launch in time for the holidays: California Crawl (including wine country, Los Angeles, Oakland) and Hawaiian Island Hopper.
This fall, Chicago’s two airports give new meaning to the word runway. On September 21, Midway Airport is hosting the second annual Midway Fly Away 5K, benefiting the Special Olympics of Chicago. And on October 5, O’Hare International Airport gets in on the action with the O’Hare 5K on the Runway, which raises money for military vets through the Wounded Warrior Project.
Tickets are on sale now for the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, sponsored by Time Inc. sister publication Food & Wine. Taking place October 16-19, the annual food extravaganza has a few new events we’re excited about: Grammy Award-winning country star and cookbook author Trisha Yearwood is hosting the Down-Home Southern Brunch (Oct.19, $150), while actor/TV personality Mo Rocca will be at the Standard hotel’s biergarten for the Hot Dog Happy Hour (Oct. 17, $99, sold via Groupon). Ample Hills Creamery founders Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna are hosting an ice cream-making class (Oct. 19, $200). (If you prefer tasting to making, check out their new bi-level shop in Brooklyn.) Sadly, the nighttime dessert buffet hosted by pastry wizard Dominique Ansel is already sold out.
Katy Tur, a correspondent for NBC News, shares her business travel tips, from how to she survives red-eyes to her favorite airport terminal.
Q: How often do you travel?
A: I'm gone at least a full four months of the year. In the news business, it's feast or famine. A slow cycle can keep you home for weeks. Then suddenly, something bubbles up and you're gone for months. In March, I packed for a week in London. It turned into a seven-week journey that took me to Italy, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and Australia.
Booking a flight but not quite ready to pull the trigger—and you’re worried the fare could go up the next day? We’re already big fans of Options Away, an app and website that allows you to lock in a specific airfare for up to 21 days by paying between $4 to $45. (Click here for a Q&A with the start-up’s co-founder Heidi Brown.) Now, as a result of customer feedback, British Airways has a similar option that lets flyers put flights on both BA and codeshare partner Iberia on hold for up to 72 hours for $10. Available now, the option shows up on the web page after you've selected your flights (look for the red box that says "Hold your flights and price"). Only one traveler’s name is required to hold flights, and seats can be held up to three weeks before departure. Note that some destinations are excluded; visit the website for the full list.
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.