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A Travel Blog from the Editors of T+L

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This Summer's Must-Have Sunblock Items

Supergoop Sunscreen Swipes

Roll It: On your face, lips, or body, that is. Using natural antioxidants and a clear form of zinc oxide, the Own Active Block ball ($15; ownproducts.com) gives you all-around SPF 30 coverage without any surfer streaks. Plus, it’s fun to toss—and easy to find—in your beach bag.

Sweep It: A translucent mineral powder that flows through a portable, refillable brush, Chantecaille Protection Naturelle SPF 46 ($65; chantecaille.com) prevents both shining and burning, and gives you a healthy glow to boot.

Swipe It: Combining water-resistant UV protection with soothing green tea and vitamin E, these fragrance-free, SPF 30 Supergoop Sunscreen Swipes ($34 per box of 21; nordstrom.com) are great for sensitive skin. Individually wrapped, they’re also perfect for travel.

Wear It: The cotton-poplin Mott 50 tunic ($119; mott50.com) proves that sun-protective clothing can also be stylish. The brand’s easy, UPF 50 dresses and tops get the Skin Cancer Foundation’s stamp of approval—and T+L’s, too.

Photo by Lars Klove

Kate Betts on First Lady Fashion—and (Yes) the Royal Wedding Dress

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Wonder what Kate Middleton’s going to wear down the Westminster Abbey aisle this Friday? Or what Michelle Obama’s going to wear on just about any given day of the week? Recently, I chatted with T+L contributing editor and style guru Kate Betts—hot off the heels of publishing her new book, Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style (Clarkson Potter, $35)—about the fashion sensibilities of first ladies around the globe.

201104-b-first-lady-michelle-obamajpgQ: People the world over have been enraptured by Michelle Obama’s sense of style. Considering her presence on the international stage, what sort of statement is she making about herself—and America—through what she wears?

A: She is making a statement about the power of confidence. The idea of wearing young, unknown American designers perfectly mirrors many of the ideas her husband campaigned on: new faces, new ideas, change. And at the recent state dinner for the President of China, she made a very bold statement by not wearing a dress designed by an American. A lot of people were upset about that—particularly the American fashion industry. But to my mind her self-possession and confidence define American style better than any label in her dress ever would.

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Street Smart Sunglasses

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Nothing says summer like a good pair of shades. And nothing says summer in the city like these two pairs, which literally take their inspiration from the streets of New York and Los Angeles:

As part of its new Rare Prints collection, Ray-Ban just put out a colorful line of wayfarers embossed with the N.Y.C. subway map (from $140, available at sunglasshut.com).

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And from the left coast, there’s the brand new Freeway Eyewear, with five styles named and designed after  iconic L.A. highways, from Route 1 to Interstate 405 ($100 each, available at select Barneys New York stores).

Christine Ajudua is an assistant editor at Travel + Leisure.

Images courtesy of Ray-Ban and Freeway Eyewear

Luggage that Literally Stands Out

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T+L favorite Tumi recently announced that it would be releasing a limited-edition luggage collection in collaboration with cutting-edge fashion/concept shop Opening Ceremony. The occasion? The launch of OC's new, travel-themed store in New York City’s super-hip Ace Hotel.

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The goods: Two rollaboards ($595 each), a satchel ($295), and a laptop case ($175) in exclusive color-blocked shades of the label’s signature ballistic nylon. Each piece is cool enough to make a stylish traveler swoon—and bright enough that it won't get lost in baggage claim. The good news: The bags hit stores next Friday, May 14. The bad news: Tumi only made 100 of each. More good news: you can pre-order them at the Ace location or by clicking here.

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The Perfect Bag for the Perfect Vacation—Down Under

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Steven Alan, the man responsible for the proliferation of plaid shirts throughout New York and, increasingly, around the country, recently took a break from his day job. He went to Australia, in fact, to soak up Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef. It was the Perfect Vacation—one that you can take, too—with an itinerary crafted by Tourism Australia in collaboration with Virgin Airlines. And from it, he designed the Perfect Bag—a leather and waxed cotton carryon with rope detailing (and, yes, some signature plaid cotton lining the exterior pockets) inspired by his experience Down Under.

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One Bartender’s Ultimate Carry-on Bag

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Seems we at T+L aren’t the only ones on a constant search for the perfect carry-on bag. Enter New York mixologist Jim Meehan, the brains behind PDT—a hidden lounge attached to a hot dog joint in Manhattan’s East Village, serving classically and seasonally inspired drinks (recently named the World’s Best Cocktail Bar by Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Award '09, with Meehan as American Bartender of the Year).

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UnBEATable Soundtrack in New Kerouac Doc + Reasons to Reread "Big Sur"

Where did author Jack Kerouac go to escape the legend that came with his life "on the road?" Big Sur. He holed up in a cabin along this vast stretch of California coast for over a month in 1960, desperate to find some inner peace while struggling with fame and alcohol addiction. He chronicled the experience in his novel Big Sur, one of his lesser known autobiographical works that now—40 years after Kerouac passed away on October 21, 1969—is coming to life in a new documentary film.

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Premiering Tonight: "Man Shops Globe"

How’s this for a cool job (or, as he would say, “the greatest job in the world”): Anthropologie buyer-at-large Keith Johnson travels around the globe in search of unusual pieces—furniture, textiles, artwork—to sell at the store. It’s also the premise of my new favorite travel show, Man Shops Globe, debuting tonight at 10 p.m. ET on the Sundance Channel.

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See It Now: "Chelsea on the Rocks"

The first documentary from King of New York director Abel Ferrara takes the Chelsea Hotel, that Manhattan landmark (and not in a T+L 500 way), as a subject. Since 1905, the place has been a haven for artists (Andy Warhol, R. Crumb), writers (Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams), and musicians (Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan), not to mention a fair share of drug addicts and prostitutes.

But as Bob would say, the times, they are a-changin’—two years ago, new management ousted owner Stanley Bard and several long-term residents in effort to clean up and bring in a different type of clientele, or, as Ferrara puts it in the movie, to turn the hotel “into a more expensive version of itself.”

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See It Now (on your iPhone): Sally Potter’s "Rage"

Dear Traveler,

You are invited to the premiere of a movie called Rage.

Who: Director Sally Potter, starring Steve Buscemi, Dame Judi Dench, Jude Law, John Leguizamo, and Diane West, among others.
What: An unconventional murder-mystery—a series of individual interviews that look like they were shot on a schoolboy’s cell phone camera—set during New York Fashion Week. The first film ever to premiere on mobile phones.
When: Now. Or whenever you’d like. Since Monday, Babelgum has been debuting an episode a day (there are seven total, one for each day of the week)—that is, before the film’s theatrical release in London later today, which will be broadcast live across Europe via satellite and followed by a virtual Q&A at 5pm EDT with Potter, Law, and other stars Skype-ing in from around the world; you can send questions via text or Skype video.
Where: Everywhere. Anywhere.
How: Just download Babelgum’s free iPhone application and watch.

Fascinated? Me too. I spoke with Potter about her mobile approach and how it might revolutionize movie-going—and travel.

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