Also, check out our Most Crowded Spring Break Destinations.
Here are a few recent travel stories that piqued the interest of T+L's news team.
Be careful where you shake, folks. USA Today reports that the FAA is looking into possible safety violations after a group Colorado College students lead a Harlem Shake on a recent Frontier Airlines flight. (Amy Farley)
United has launched an official investigation of the crew that threw Live and Let's Fly blogger Matthew Klint off the plane for snapping photos of his business class cabin. Klint's takeaway? The seven words you shouldn't use on an airplane. (Nikki Ekstein)
Farecompare founder Rick Seaney has great advice for people traveling in a group (including families): save money by searching for airfare one person at a time. We’d explain here, but best to just go straight to his brilliant USA Today column. (AF)
Oh, the people you'll meet. Novelist Nathaniel Rich finds himself sharing intimacies, aspirations, and a little bit of heartbreak with his fellow passengers on a two-day journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles on the Sunset Limited train in this weekend's New York Times Magazine. (AF)
What's more lonely than being in a strange hotel in a strange city all by yourself? Being without your beloved $8 M&Ms. In an essay in The Atlantic, journalist David Samuels laments the demise of the hotel mini bar. (AF)
From beachfront hotels to snowy mountain retreats, we have an easy—and affordable—weekend getaway for you.
Southeast: Florida Coast
Stay: B Ocean Fort Lauderdale
The 240 rooms at this hotel come with white-on-white leather furnishings and equally fabulous ocean views. There's a heated infinity pool, a spa suite, a fitness center, and a few dining options including Saia, a sushi restaurant. Guests are also treated to complimentary Wi-Fi, iPad rentals, and Aveda bath products. Doubles from $199/night on weekends.
Northeast: Catskills, NY
Stay: The Graham & Co., Phoenicia, NY
A three-hour drive from New York City, the Graham & Co. is a new retro-chic inn that's great for families. The décor has a Brooklyn-feel to it, notably the hanging Edison lights and reclaimed-wood tables. There's an outside fire pit, and bikes available to borrow. Special winter offers include discount ski tickets at nearby Hunter Mountain. Doubles from $99/night on weekends.
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“Don’t miss dinner at Larkspur. Tuesday’s happy hour menu is the best.” —Jennifer Lesseraux Collins, via Facebook
“The new Sebastian hotel is cozy yet chic, and its Frost bar has an awesome scotch selection.” —Alex Schack, via Facebook
“We always stop in at the Golden Bear Vail (183 Gore Creek Dr.) for one-of-a-kind jewelry, bags, and scarves.” —Michael Cartwright, via Facebook
“Check out Phil Long’s classic rock set at the Red Lion—he plays weekend nights at nine.” —Scott Kling, via Facebook
Freda, a therapist at a well-known U.S. destination spa, reveals a few of her own pressure points.
“People today just can’t disengage—they even put their cell phone under the face cradle. The world is not going to fall apart in one hour!”
“If your therapist says she needs to leave the room to get a product, she’s probably going to the bathroom. I once told a client I spilled oil on myself and went outside to throw up.”
“I’ve seen famous actresses come out of the steam room with long, black rivers of mascara running down their faces. I wish I could take a picture and get rich!”
“Yes, some men expose themselves to us, but I’ve never had anyone come right out and ask for a ‘happy ending.’ They might just ask us to ‘massage a little higher’ up their leg.”
Photo by iStockphoto
We always like to hear about spa treatments that are a little different, like reiki on horseback, or getting tapped with wooden pegs. The spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills offers some interesting treatments, too, like a Biomeditation Therapy meant to remove energy blockages. And for Valentine's Day, they're introducing another.
Their couples' Spellbound Massage, available only February 14–17, uses products containing pheromones—those naturally occurring chemicals that are elemental in occurrences of natural "chemistry."
It's $175–$250 for the 60- or 90-minute versions; on V-Day itself you and your partner can even opt to have the treatment in a "Valentine Suite" decked out with (what else?) candles, rose petals, soft music, and chocolate truffles.
From the spa it's just a few steps to the hotel's fantastic restaurant, Culina, Modern Italian for the special four-course menu ($85 per person) featuring oysters and lobster. (Look for Larry Flint—he's a regular). And from there, of course, you're just steps away from the spacious rooms upstairs overlooking the City of Angels.
Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Los Angeles
Travel + Leisure's trip doctor, Amy Farley, gives tips for tracking airlines on social media and the best ways to re-book a canceled flight.
For more info, see Trip Doctor: Winter Storm Nemo—Resources for Stranded Fliers.
Mark Orwoll shares travel websites and apps that will make it easier to book your next trip.
Backbid: Reverse hotel bids
Post a reservation request (dates, location, number of stars) with maximum rate you're willing to pay. Hotels in that destination will bid for your business, presenting the lowest rates they can offer. Unlike other bidding sites, you know the specific hotel where you'll be staying using Backbid. When I tried it, I got my first reverse bid within two minutes at a savings of more than 10 percent of what I would have paid on the hotel's own website.
Tingo: Automated hotel rebooking at lower rates
Book your hotel through Tingo and if the rates go down, Tingo automatically rebooks you at the lower rate. It's great for those travelers who know which hotel they want to stay at but are concerned whether they really got the "best" rate at time of booking. Tingo only rebooks if there are no rebooking or cancellation penalties and the price difference is refunded automatically to your credit card. All you have to do is enjoy your hotel stay.
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“For a great view of the Bellagio fountains (and wonderful crêpes), stop by the Sugar Factory (3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.).” —Michelle Nolan, via Facebook
“Don’t miss the olive-oil ice cream with grapefruit at José Andrés’s Jaleo, in the Cosmopolitan.” —Bhadri Kubendran, via Facebook
“The best people-watching is in the Crystals shopping arcade at City Center.” —Alex Walters, via Facebook
“Bundle up and hit the Minus 5 Ice Lounge (3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) at Monte Carlo—you drink out of ice glasses!” —Irina Adler, via Facebook
“Public House (3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) is a new gastropub with an impressive selection of beers.” —Erin de Santiago-Domue, via Facebook
Do you know a travel company that's making a difference?
Each year, Travel + Leisure recognizes the standard-bearers for responsible tourism in our Global Vision Awards. From airlines that are lightening their footprints to hotels that are investing in the communities around them, the winners represent travel's best ideas for a better world. (You can find the 2012 Global Vision Awards here.)
Please drop a note to TLGlobalVision@aexp.com if you know of a company or organization that should be among this year's winners. The deadline for the 2013 Global Vision Award application, available here, is April 1, 2013.
Photo: Editor Nancy Novogrod speaks with the jurors and winners of the 2012 Global Vision Awards at the annual luncheon in October.