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Pet Travel Wednesdays: 4 Tips from The Points Guy, Brian Kelly

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While you may be a seasoned solo-traveler, jet setting with your pet can be a bit harrier. So we turned to Brian Kelly, travel expert and founder of The Points Guy, to ask for his personal tips on flying with Miles (pictured), his adorable French bulldog. You need only to scroll through their Instagram feeds (Brian and Miles each have their own) to be impressed by this dynamic duo.

Here are Brian’s top four tips for flawless pet travel:

It’s not as stressful for you OR your pet as you think: I think my major concern before traveling with my puppy was that it would be too grueling and tiring for him, but he seemed to handle everything in stride. During our time at the airport and on the plane, I'm within his sight at all times, and as long as he can see me or feel my hand on his travel carrier, he's absolutely fine. The same is true in hotel rooms – Miles is just happy to be wherever I am and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t at home. 

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Message in a Bottle Lands Irish Family a Trip to Quebec

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In a day and age where we’re constantly hounding websites, iPhone apps, and Twitter feeds for the best travel deals, it’s nice to know that serendipity still plays a role.

Eight years ago, two Québec girls threw a message in a bottle into Montréal’s St. Lawrence River, uncertain if their letter would ever be answered.

Fast-forward to 2013, and the same bottle has made it across the Atlantic Ocean and into the hands of ten-year-old Oisín Millea from County Waterford, Ireland. His spontaneous discovery (which he suitably deemed as ‘treasure’) stirred the hearts of Tourisme Québec minister Pascal Bérubé, who then invited Oisín and his family to the province for a 12-day visit, gratis. Besides meeting up with the two girls (now young women) to celebrate the bottle’s long-awaited arrival, the family trip will include visits to Montréal, Québec City, the Irish Memorial park on Grosse Ile, sleeping in a yurt, and whale watching on the St. Lawrence River.

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Kickoff: Pet Travel Wednesdays

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From their wind-sniffing snouts to their wagging tails, dogs truly are travelers' best friends. Besides the obvious perks (wet kisses), travel companies are also rewarding us for bringing Fido along. Virgin Australia and JetBlue offer frequent flier miles for your pet, while D Pet Hotels Chelsea takes care of feeding (private chef) and grooming (“pawdicures”).

So we decided to show some appreciation to our furry friends, as well. Each week, we’ll turn to our most trusted pet travel experts—our followers—for tips on traveling with your four-legged companion.

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Tech Thursday: Travel Safe With React Mobile App

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Safety is a constant concern when traveling, whether you’re hopping in the car for a weekend getaway or backpacking across Europe. Besides being unfamiliar with a location, language barriers can also make communication difficult. Cue new mobile security app, React Mobile.

Free to download for iOS and select Android systems, the app allows you to create a list of emergency contacts (friends, parents, doctors, etc.) that will be instantly notified if danger strikes. Just tap once to “activate your shield” and GPS coordinates of your location will be sent to members on your list, with an option to link your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Have a serious problem? Send a message to police directly from the app. React Mobile has world-travelers covered, with availability in 39 countries and four continents including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, European Union, Australia, China, Japan, Israel, Jamaica, Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, and Argentina.

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Where to Celebrate July 4th, From Cape Cod to San Diego

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While we all love to travel, there’s no denying the perks to living in the land of red, white, and blue. From Texas barbecue to New Orleans jazz music, America’s melting pot continues to stir up some of the tastiest and liveliest traditions around. So when it comes to our nation’s biggest bash—the Fourth of July—celebrate by seeing all America has to offer while getting your dose of hot dogs, fireworks, and flag t-shirts.

The U.S. keeps its title as the Land of the Free thanks to these no-cost attractions, from Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Museums to the 2,000-pound Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Of course, if you’re more interested in making history than looking at it, any of these wacky state fair contests could prove you to have the stinkiest sneakers or most decorative hay bale in the country.

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OpenAirplane Service Lets You Play Pilot By Renting Airplanes

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While flying cars are still a figment of our travel dreams, renting airplanes is now a reality. OpenAirplane, a Zipcar-style rental service for small airplanes, launched last Monday at airports in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Jose, Kissimmee and Detroit. To reserve a plane, all you need is an internet browser or their mobile app…oh, and your pilot license.

While just the service’s name can give you vertigo (I prefer my airplanes closed), members are required to take a standardized flight exam once a year before taking off, twice as often as mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Pilots are also required to return the airplane to its home base.

With six aircraft rental companies and flight schools on board (and more in the works), it might just be time to swap your wheels for some wings.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Tradewind Aviation

Beautiful Views: Escape the Daily Grind

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Stuck in the daily grind? Counteract those weekday blues with Travel + Leisure’s full guide to beautiful views. From the iconic skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan to a cliffside pool in Cap d’Antibes, France, we’re highlighting the best spots to stop and stare around the globe. Immerse yourself in Bora Bora’s turquoise waters from a few thousand feet up; get inspired by the 14,692-foot snow covered peak of Switzerland’s Matterhorn.

Want to get away this weekend? Sift through our list of America’s best national parks and plan a trip to Glacier’s Hidden Lake in Montana or Channel Islands in California.

No matter which sight you choose to admire, these daily daydreams promise to add some wanderlust to your workday.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Hotel du Cap

Announced: T+L's 2013 SMITTY Awards Winners

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From hilarious YouTube videos (WestJet surprised travelers with a fleet of airport elves) to jaw-dropping Instagram photos (see everything from kangaroos to the aurora australis on Tourism Australia’s feed), travel companies are putting major effort into their social media campaigns. In celebration, Travel + Leisure has announced the winners of our second annual SMITTY Awards, recognizing the innovative ways airlines, hotels, cruise lines, bloggers, and more are interacting with their online audience.

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Twitter Chat: It List + Hotel Trends

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This month, Travel + Leisure announced the 61 hottest new hotels of the year in our 2013 It List. In celebration of these splashy properties—from the Amanzo'e resort on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula (pictured) to Tuscany's rustic Monteverdi—we’ll be hosting a one-hour Twitter chat to discuss the latest in hotel tech, design, and industry trends. Our expert panel of luxury travel agents and T+L editors will share their secrets on maximizing your hotel stay and where to travel next.

Join the conversation on Wednesday, May 22nd from 2pm to 3pm.

The Hosts

Clara O. Sedlak, T+L special projects editor, @csedlak1

Jennifer Flowers, travel news editor, @JennFlowers

Nikki Ekstein, editorial assistant, @nikkiekstein

The Panel

Sara Chapman, Vacationist.com, @GoVacationist

Bobby Zur, Travel Artistry, @travelartistry

Kendra Thornton, Room 77, @Room_77

Jared Simon, HotelTonight, @HotelTonight

Dawid Grausch, Design Hotels, @Design_Hotels

Tiffany Dowd, Luxe Social Media, @LuxeTiffany

Stacy Small, Elite Travel International, @EliteTravelGal

Shane Mitchell, T+L special correspondent, @shanegoesforth

Heidi Mitchell, T+L contributor, @heidismitchell

Andrew Sessa, T+L contributor, @SessaSaysWhat

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter any time from 2–3 p.m. ET and be sure to follow the chat host: @TravlandLeisure.
2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to tweetchat.com/room/TL_Chat.
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions. Or ask your own questions!

All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial. See full social media terms and conditions.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Amanzo'e

Beauty Bust: Turkish Airlines Lifts Lipstick Ban

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Calling all flight attendants: if you enjoy getting dolled-up for work, you are now allowed to board Turkish Airlines. 

As we mentioned earlier this month, the national carrier had placed a ban on red and dark pink lipstick and nail polish, in fear that it would impair the “visual integrity” of its staff, according to Skift. Chief Executive Temel Kotil claims this was a decision made by junior managers, and that there is in fact no ban on the beauty products—female staff can wear lipstick and nail polish of any color.

My only question—why were the junior managers so concerned with these classic lip colors? Blue lipstick was a huge fad in the 1990’s, and who can forget the coral-colored pouts of the ‘80’s? Let’s just hope the airline was aiming for retro, and hold tight to our shadow and mascara.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: iStockPhoto

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