/
Close
Newsletters  | Mobile

A Travel Blog from the Editors of T+L

RSS Feed Posts by Nikki Ekstein

Priceline.com Introduces FunRides, For (Guaranteed) Luxe Car Rentals

201407-hd-funrides-2jpg

A few weeks back, we got word that Priceline.com was bringing high-end car rentals to the masses via a new program called FunRides, in partnership with a variety of big name rental companies (Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Sixt among them). With a summer trip to Florida already in the works, we took the program on a test drive.

Read More

The Verdict on Amazon's Fire Phone

201407-hd-amazon-fire-phonejpg

The Amazon Fire phone is officially on shelves—and we’ve taken it for a test drive. The verdict? It’s unquestionably a first-generation product with room for improvement, but it succeeds at bringing something new to the table for travelers.

Read More

TransAsia Flight Crashes; 51 Passengers Feared Dead

201407-hd-taiwan-airplane-crash-penghujpg

It’s been a terrible week in aviation. This morning, reports confirm that at least 51 passengers are feared dead following an accident on regional Taiwanese TransAsia flight GE222, from Kaohsiung to Magong. The short, 35-minute flight was stymied by extreme weather on its course and crashed after a failed attempt to land; the wreckage has been found near the village of Xicun, where the plane is said to have gone up in flames. 54 passengers, including four children, were on board, along with four crew members—all of whom are currently thought to have suffered injuries or fatalities from the crash.

Read More

Kimpton Introduces Progressive New Karma Rewards

Just as airline loyalty programs are making it harder to cash in on rewards, hotels are upping the ante, letting guests earn points for tweets and social media interactions—not just night stays. The latest to join the nascent trend is Kimpton, who today announces a new loyalty program to replace InTouch. The name, Karma, says it all—the more love you give Kimpton, the more love comes back to you. Here’s how it works:

Read More

Expedia Refreshes Loyalty Program

201407-hd-expedia-rewardsjpg

With airlines devaluing their loyalty programs left and right, the door is wide open for OTAs to benefit—and we’ve certainly seen them try. Orbitz has recently introduced a rewards system (enhanced by their credit card) that offers instant cash back on every purchase—as much as ten percent on certain purchases. Hotels.com offers a free night for every ten you book. And now Expediais jumping back into the game, with a refreshed loyalty program that aims to compete. But does it? Here are the basics you need to know.

Read More

How to Rent Camera Lenses Before Your Next Trip

201406-hd-borrowlensesjpg

A new travel tech discovery we are digging? Borrowlenses.com. The site, which is owned by Shutterfly, offers cameras, lenses, and a broad range of photography accessories for week-long rentals. The idea solves an age-old travelers’ dilemma without the typically-requisite financial commitment—if we had a nickel for every time a T+L editor has canvassed the office for pro-grade photo gear before heading off on a safari or transatlantic adventure, we’d be made.  Here, lenses that retail for well over a thousand bucks can be rented for as little as $20. For instance, a $1,395 Carl Zeiss wide angle lens (great for landscapes) runs $65 for a week, while a $6,749 Nikon 200-400mm f/4G lens (for sports and wildlife shots) costs $271 to rent. Travel packages bundle a few essentials and a tripod for $131, and most camera brands are supported. Time to sharpen those photo skills.

ne_headshotjpgNikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of BorrowLenses

New TSA Regulations Target Dead Electronics

201407-hd-airport-security-dead-electronicsjpg

Traveling abroad? Be sure to keep your gadgets fully charged. A new mandate by the Transportation Security Administration is asking airport security to pay special attention to travelers’ electronics, following reports of terrorist threats involving explosives concealed in phone look-alikes. While Apple and Samsung phones were specifically called out on the TSA’s memo, any electronics that can hold a charge—laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.—are being screened. Those that don’t turn on will be confiscated, and their owners will be subject to further investigation.

Read More

Why Google's Acquisition of Songza Is Great News for Travelers

201407-hd-songza-googlejpg

There’s been an overwhelming amount of news following the Google I/O conference last week, but one of the things we’re most excited about is the search giant’s big acquisition of music service Songza. Why? Unlike Pandora or Spotify, Songza ditches the algorithm-based method of suggesting tunes that riff on your existing preferences. Instead, it learns about your circumstantial preferences—where you are, what the weather is like, and so on—to offer up beats that fit for the time and place. And if that sounds interesting for travelers, you’d be right: Songza has a music conciergethat helps you explore the world through regional music. (Ireland? Italy? Brazil? They’re all there.)

Read More

Jeni's Ice Cream Pops Up Tonight at Manhattan's Gotham West

201407-hd-jenis-ice-creamjpg

Which city has the best artisan food markets in America? That’s up for debate in our America’s Favorite Places survey right now. But my vote—at least for this summer—is with New York City, thanks to a new pop-up store debuting today at Gotham West Market. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, the cultishly beloved small-batch producer from Columbus, Ohio, will be peddling their signature sweets from the Midtown West marketplace for the next two months. If you haven’t tried Jeni’s signature ice creams yet, run there tonight (when scoops will be free!) and order the Salty Caramel or Milk Chocolate Bombay (a NYC exclusive). Take it from this Jeni’s aficionada—you’ll never want any other ice cream again.

ne_headshotjpg
Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of Andie Diemer

A New Spin on the Pedicab at The Mark

201406-hd-pedicabs-at-the-markjpg

Hotel-branded bikes? Been there, done that. But on New York City’s Upper East Side, The Mark Hotel is putting a new twist on the now-classic amenity. Launching in July, the hotel’s black-and-white striped pedicabs will be whisking guests to nearby attractions—Central Park, Bergford Goodman, or the Guggenheim Museum—on a complimentary basis. To add to the sweet nostalgia factor, guests can also request a seasonal picnic basket to be brought on board, courtesy of Jean-Georges’ on-site restaurant—perfect for a throwback-style afternoon on the Great Lawn.

ne_headshotjpgNikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of Jon Nissenbaum for The Mark

Advertisement

Sign Up


Connect With Travel + Leisure
  • Travel+Leisure
  • Tablet
  • Available devices

Already a subscriber?
Get FREE ACCESS to the digital edition


Advertisement


Advertisement

Advertisement

Marketplace