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Crowd-Sourced Travel Show "Don't Kill Eli" Puts Viewer in the Director’s Chair

Eli Newell’s new crowd-sourced travel show Don’t Kill Eli can best be described as a real-life “choose your own adventure.” The 36-year-old comedian and world traveler will ask viewers (via videos on the YouTube channel) to vote on where he should go and what he should do when he gets there. As he puts it in his Kickstarter video, “No matter how gross or stupid or dangerous it is, if you want me to do, I’ll do it."

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Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas Introduces 24-Hour Checkout

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This week, the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas became the first major property in the U.S. to offer what may be the most genius perk ever, especially in a place like Sin City: 24-hour checkout.

For no additional cost, guests can select the 24-hour checkout option when booking a Superior, Premier, or Ivory Suite exclusively through the hotel’s website. They’ll be asked for their anticipated arrival time, and checkout is the same time on the following day (though it can’t be later than 11 p.m.). For added convenience, you can even checkout via text message. Now if only winning at blackjack was that easy.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1

Photo credit: Palms Casino Resort

Cuba Will No Longer Process U.S. Travel Visas

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Until a few weeks ago, travel restrictions to Cuba were looser than they’ve ever been, thanks to President Obama’s 2011 policy allowing tour companies to apply for travel licenses for “people-to-people” educational and cultural trips. But that’s all come to a halt now that the one bank responsible for processing these visas—M&T Bank in Buffalo, New York—has decided to stop offering its services to diplomatic missions. As of yet, no replacement bank has been found, despite efforts from both sides.

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"Global Kitchen" Cookbook by David Joachim Let’s You Travel the World One Dish at a Time

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“A culinary greatest hits of the world.” That’s how best-selling author David Joachim describes his 40th cookbook, Cooking Light Global Kitchen: The World's Most Delicious Food Made Easy (Oxmoor House; $29.95), which hit shelves this week. It’s a compendium of 150 recipes—including 120 pulled from Cooking Light’s 25-year-old archive developed by the likes of Lidia Bastianich and Rick Bayless.

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Green Hotel Trend: Wooden Key Cards

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Hotel chains have been going green for years, but the latest eco-friendly initiative to catch our eye are wooden key cards by Sweden-based Sustainable Cards.

According to head of sales Johan Kaijser, 30 billion plastic cards are produced every year—that’s 150,000 tons of plastic. Using cards made from wood can reduce the carbon footprint by 50%. So far, hotel brands such as Radisson Blu, Westin, Four Seasons, Accor, and Kempinski—plus retailers like Starbucks and Whole Foods (which use them as gift cards)—have signed on. The European hotel company Scandic was an early supporter, while Mövenpick is the first to adopt them across the brand.

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Four Seasons Resort Lanai Introduces an Airport Lounge in Honolulu

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We’ve told you about new developments in airline and airport lounges (most recently here and here)—but now the Four Seasons Resort Lanai has debuted its very own version at Honolulu International Airport. Located in the commuter terminal, the 1,000-square-foot lounge means that guests start their hotel experience even before setting foot on the island—and the hotel. Visitors awaiting their 25-minute flights to Lanai will have all the free perks: food, beverages, iPads, Wi-Fi access, charging stations, luggage holding areas, TVs. Plus, a Four Seasons concierge is on hand to assist with check-in and reservations at the restaurant or spa.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1

Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Travel Warning Issued to Airlines for Possible Shoe Bomb Threats

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According to an NBC News report, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning to airlines about a possible new threat of shoe bombs—specifically on U.S.-bound overseas flights. The warning mentioned nonstop flights from Johannesburg, Paris, London, and Cairo. Though it did not come with any directives to the airlines, passengers should expect heightened security, including additional pat-downs and full-body screenings.

Homeland Security released the following statement—the same one they used after the temporary ban earlier this month on carry-on gels, liquids, powders, and aerosols on flights from the U.S. to Russia.

 “Out of an abundance of caution, DHS regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners about relevant threat information as we work to meet our mission of keeping the traveling public safe. These types of regular communications are part of that important priority. Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment.”

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1

Photo credit: Juice Images/ Alamy

International Tourism is Up, According to Latest World Tourism Organization Data

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The World Tourism Organization recently released its annual international tourism numbers, and—even with the economic hurdles affecting parts of the world—the results exceeded expectations. Overall, an additional 52 million people traveled internationally in 2013, a 5% increase from the previous year. Here’s how the numbers break down:

Biggest Increases
In relative terms, Asia and the Pacific is the fastest-growing region for the third year in a row. It saw the strongest growth (+6%), with an additional 14 million visitors over last year—bringing the total to 248 million. Southeast Asia was the best-performing sub-region, with a 10% increase over 2013. Africa experienced an increase of 6%, reaching a new record of 56 million tourists (three million more than last year).

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Delta and United Add Seasonal Flights to Yellowstone

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Just in time for summer—the most popular season to visit National Parks—Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are increasing service to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Montana. Delta’s seasonal non-stop service will depart from New York-LaGuardia Airport on Saturdays from June 21 to September 27. Meanwhile, United will fly out of George Bush International Airport in Houston on Saturdays and Sundays between June 28 and August 17.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1

Photo Credit: Jim Peaco

Woman Embarks on Quest for Love—Without Leaving the Airport

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Call it The Bachelor of airports: a lucky lady by the name of Angela Malkina has signed up for the chance to meet her one true love by flying between airports around the world. The stunt is sponsored by MeetAtTheAirport.com, a free service that lets travelers arrange meet-ups and dates with others when faced with flight delays or long layovers. Her quest for love begins on November 17 in LAX’s Encounter Restaurant, and she’ll be streaming updates about her airport dates on MeetAtTheAirport.com.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

Courtesy of meetattheairport.com

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