There’s a lot to love about Hopper, a data-driven fare finder that recently launched the Flight Tonight app to search for last-minute airfare. The company recently released results from an internal study, which pinpointed the most popular travel destinations for each state based on flight search data as compared to the national average (versus the most searched destinations for each state). Among the discoveries: Those in Illinois mostly search for flights to Poland, 239% more times than the national average—most likely because Chicago has one of the largest Polish populations in the world.
In a partnership with MIT, Marriott Hotels is trying to revolutionize how business travelers socialize while on the road—and it all begins in the hotel lobby. The centerpiece of the project—currently being tested at the Marriott in Cambridge—is Six Degrees, a social app that taps into LinkedIn accounts to make connections among hotel guests. The app, which only works inside the hotel, is used in tandem with an interactive digital screen and communal LED table in the lobby.
When Eden Collinsworth moved to China to write a guidebook on Western etiquette for Chinese businessmen, it’s safe to say that she encountered some cultural differences (like the time when a man asked how much she cost). In fact, there was enough material for another book, I Stand Corrected: How Teaching Western Manners in China Became its Own Unforgettable Lesson, which hits shelves October 7. In this humorous memoir, the former media exec and business consultant sheds light on her time living abroad. Here, she shares some of her experiences, tips for traveling in China, and more.
Smithsonian museums are amazing for many reasons—not least of which is the fact that entrance to all of them is free. In honor of this perk, Smithsonian Magazine sponsors the annual Museum Day Live!, when more than 1,500 museums across the country do away with admission fees for one day. This year’s event—the 10th anniversary—takes place September 27.
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.