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20% Off Travel Photography at 20x200

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Still looking for that perfect Father's Day present for your travel-loving dad? Fear not. Affordable online art gallery 20x200, which has a wonderful collection of travel prints, just kicked off their semi-annual sale this afternoon. Nab an extra 20% off of orders of $50 or more by entering the code RIDONK at checkout. $20 prints are now just $16, $50 now $40, and so on! The sale goes from now until Monday.

They’ve already curated a great gift guide for dads so you don’t have to dig through their entire archives. They also have gift guides for grads and newlyweds.

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of Tod Seelie/20x200.com

Contest Watch: Fiji, French Riviera + More

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This month’s Contest Watch celebrates the senses. From the romance-inspired Bachelorette giveaway to a quick jaunt to the French Riviera, there are prizes for the eyes, mouth, and soul. Celebrate good health with the luxurious Casa del Mar’s “Live Well Again” program promoting fresh food—and luxurious spa relaxation. Take in Austin’s quintessential sights and sounds in a Facebook scavenger hunt to win a Four Season’s getaway for two to any of the chain’s properties in the U.S. Lastly, share your culinary talents with shrimp and you could be off to a seafood-fueled vacation for six in Georgia. Read on for the delicious details.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: Urban Escapes in New York, Rome, and Venice

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Whether you prefer the fast-paced streets of Manhattan, the ancient ruins of Rome, or the romantic gondolas of Venice, we’ve got your next vacation covered—all for more than 30 percent off standard rates. And don’t forget that all Vacationist reviews include tips, a room to book, and destination information from T+L insiders, so you can explore the world’s most exciting cities like a true insider.

PLUS This month we’re also offering special two-day sales at over 100 Preferred Hotels thanks to the Check-in For Japan program, and all proceeds will be donated Japan relief. So no matter what you’re looking for, we have an experience for you.

Still not a member? Click here to join.

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Video Q+A: Dhani Jones Talks Travel, Sports, and His New Book

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Fact: We live in an era marked by overachievers. Witness the declining average age of American Idol contestants; the proliferation of cats who play the piano; and football star Dhani Jones.

After 11 seasons as one of the NFL’s most indomitable bruisers, the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker has made a name for himself off the field as a thrill-seeking citizen of the world. Jones is an entrepreneur with his own charitable bow-tie company; an environmental advocate; a photographer, poet, and musician; and the host of Travel Channel’s “Dhani Tackles the Globe,” in which he competes in the native sport of a foreign country—everything from dragon boat racing in Singapore to capoeira in Brazil—and uses his interaction with trainers and teammates as a way into the culture. Now he can add author to that list.

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Should You Pay for Wi-Fi? Airports Explore Tiered Service

USA Today |  For years, one of the top if not the top amenity on many road warriors' wish lists has been free Wi-Fi at the airport. Slowly but surely, it's happening.

Take a look at the USATODAY.com Airport Guides, airport websites, and various commercial and user-generated Wi-Fi directories. You'll see there are now hundreds of U.S. airports offering travelers complimentary wireless Internet access.

San Francisco? Free. Orlando? Free. Seattle, St. Louis and San Jose? Free, free, free. Washington's Dulles and National airports? As of April, 2011, free as well.

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The Airplane of the Future Will Melt Your Mind

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I have seen the future of air travel, and it will be (to use scientific jargon) freakin' awesome. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus today released its report on what air travel may be like in 2050. And all I can say is hold on to your hat, Cap'n Sully, because it is going to be one way cool ride.

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Tweeting My Way Through San Francisco


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Whenever I head out of town, I turn to my small but trusty band of Twitter followers for recommendations in my destination, but I really discovered the power of social media during my visit to San Francisco last month. As has become the norm for me now before any of my trips, in the days leading up to my departure I hashtagged away to glory and beseeched strangers and friends alike for tips.

Soon an itinerary was taking shape (many thanks, @PaperDaydream, @JasleenK, @streetno8, @BeautyNDFeast, @LettuceVeg, and @chiratsu!), incorporating classic landmarks like Lombard Street with restaurants and neighborhoods I never would have found in my guidebook.

 One place that kept making its way onto my Twitter timeline was a sandwich shop called Ike’s Place (3489 16th St.) on the fringes of the colorful, mural-bedecked Mission District. It generated so much buzz in response to my queries that the first thing I did was plug the address into my GPS to make it my starting point.

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TODAY Show: Quick Weekend Getaways

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

New Website Helps Travelers Pick the Best Hotel Room

Brad Gerstner

Who He Is: As founder and CEO of Altimeter Capital, a hedge fund that specializes in travel-themed tech companies, Brad Gerstner spends a lot of time on the road as both a business and a leisure traveler. As a result, he knows how to spot a good hotel room (“on a high floor and away from the elevator”)—a skill he leveraged when creating his latest company.

His Big Idea: The website room77.com promises to help travelers pick the perfect hotel room. (Sort of like what SeatGuru did for airline seats.) The site offers floor plans, pictures, user reviews, and window views for rooms in 2,500 three-star-plus hotels (and counting). A new iPhone app provides the same service for free, on the go. So now guests can book a room and not worry about that blocked ocean view the hotel’s website neglected to mention.

Photo courtesy of Brad Gerstner

Editor Find: Fabulous Flats in Florence

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I don't know about you, but I'm forever on the hunt for that quintessential thing that you can only find locally—like the conch shells from the beaches of Turks and Caicos or Ladurée macaroons (before the French company decided to sell out and populate the earth). It's that thing you would ask a friend to pick up if you knew they were going. Rare as it is with the internet at our fingertips, it's still fun to make discoveries when we travel.

While in Florence on a T+L Sept cover shoot, I noted a great pair of navy suede ballet flats on an effortlessly chic Italian colleague. Always on the hunt for great travel flats, I became obsessed when she told me how much she paid and had to make a mad dash to the shop before I got on the plane the next morning.

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America Voted "Funniest Nation," Germany "Least Funny"

eTurbo News |  The Americans have been voted the world's "funniest nationality" - the one "best at making people laugh" - in a global poll, which also names the Germans the "least funny" nationality and the British "not as funny as they think."

30,000 people across 15 countries were asked to name both the "funniest" and "least funny" nationality in a poll conducted by Badoo.com, the world's largest social network for meeting new people, with 119m users worldwide.

The Americans were voted the funniest nationality, ahead of the Spanish - the funniest Europeans - in second, Italians in third and British in seventh.

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Two Road Shows: New Films Worth Watching

In between blockbusters at the drive-in this summer, catch up with
these two insightful journey documentaries.
Airing on mun2 and iTunes digital download, Harlistas: An American Journey profiles Latino Harley Davidson motorcyclists as they take their hogs to the highway.

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Buy Dad an Airline Beverage Cart on eBay

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Ever wonder what happens to the bits and bobs of airplanes after they’re decommissioned?  You can find them on eBay.

Universal Asset Management buys retired planes and strips them to recycle their components.  The company runs an eBay storefront where you can shop for all your engine aft thrust fitting needs—from an entire A320 lavatory (!) to cockpit seats, galley carts, overhead bins, first aid kits, a row of luridly colored 747 seats, to more technical items like circuit panels, wheels, assembly valves, tail cones, and oil gauges.  The products that make the eBay store are not longer flight-worthy, of course, except for flights of fancy.  Those overhead bins would look cool mounted over a airplane-crazy child's bed...

Ann Shields is an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Universal Asset Management.

Guess Where? Yellow Buddha

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This vibrant building, decorated in small sculptures of the Buddha, is part of an imperial garden complex that re-opened as a public park in 1924. Do you know where this is?

Log in and leave your guesses below and check back here on Monday for the answer.

UPDATE 6/17/11: Sorry for the delay! Again, no guesses this time. Remember, leave your answers here if you're coming from Facebook. This ornate building is in the Summer Palace in Beijing.

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

Ritz-Carlton for $10 a night. No, really.

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Yep, just 1 Alexander Hamilton can get you a room at Florida’s Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne. Of course, we didn’t say there wasn’t a catch. Actually, there are several, so listen up: the Ritz has set aside only 10 rooms for this ridiculous rate; it’s available over selected dates in July (5-7, 10-13, 18, 25, 26); it’s a resort-view room (you want to see water for $10?); and to get one, there’s just a 4-hour window in which to make your reservation—this Friday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST. Here’s the magic number to call: 305-365-4582.

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Big Sky Ranch Lodges Go Glam

Resort at Paws Up

Pack your spurs: two ranches are adding a new dose of glamour to Big Sky Country. Opening this June in Wyoming, the Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch (doubles from $1,200, all-inclusive) is located on 13,000 sprawling acres. On the itinerary? Twilight tours past a roaming buffalo herd, juniper-oil massages, and plenty of relaxing in the 17 cabins with roaring stone fireplaces. Outside Missoula, Montana’s Resort at Paws Up (doubles from $820, including all meals) is unveiling a new six-tent camp with oversize tubs and butler service this summer.

Photo courtesy of Resort at Paws Up

New Tourist Slogans Twist Arms

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Cheesy travel slogans are a dime a dozen. There's something decidedly square in the art of selling destinations, and rightly so. Not only must you lure new travelers, you also have to represent the locals who live in these places—and you probably shouldn't tick them off.

So, it's all the more interesting to notice some chance-taking of late.  A few brave tourist boards—hoping to zap awake a sleepy economy, defibrillator-style—have unveiled a slew of over-the-top, playfully arm-twisting slogans.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: Beach Escapes in Jamaica, Oahu, and the Florida Keys

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Steamy scenes across the U.S. have us yearning for cool beach breezes. Enter Vacationist, with hotel deals at oceanfront properties from the Caribbean to the Florida Keys. PLUS Don’t forget: This month we’ve teamed up with Preferred Hotels to present Check-In for Japan. Book one of the 21 Preferred Hotels on sale now, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund.

Still not a member? Click here to join.

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Beach Tomato Names Its Top 5 Favorite European Beaches

SPECIAL REPORT: With summertime now in full stride, UK-based Beach Tomato has announced its list of favorite European beaches. Check out its expert picks for the best southernly stretches of sand around:

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1. Cala Boix, Ibiza
On the sleepy side of the Balearic island, just outside the typically Ibizan whitewashed village of San Carlos is a little known black-sanded beach popular with local families and off-the-clock DJs seeking respite from the thud thud thud of Ibiza’s glamorous beach clubs. Pack a picnic and that book you’ve been meaning to read since Christmas. Then, at sundown, hop a couple of beaches over to dine at the waterfront beach shack El Bigote. The seafood supper (think fresh daily catches) served here is an island institution.

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New Study: What U.S. City is No. 1 for Bed Bug Infestations?

USA TodayNew York, for the second year in a row, according to a study just released by pest-control giant Terminix. Not really a surprise, since NYC is a populous metropolis with well-publicized infestations everywhere from apartment buildings to businesses such as department stores, magazine offices, even Lincoln Center.

Terminix reports an increase in bed bug infestations in most states during the past year, in part because consumers are more aware and on the lookout for the tiny pests, Terminix entymologist Paul Curtis told me.

The company's list of most bed bug-plagued cities, based on customer complaints validated by Terminix and infestations discovered during pest calls:

1. New York
2. Cincinnati
3. Detroit

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If Travel Searches Are Any Indication, You're Probably Going to Vegas This Summer

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Anyone still wondering where to go on vacation in the next few months might get some ideas from the 20 top hotel destinations searched for this coming summer on Kayak.com, the price-comparison travel site. Most popular: Las Vegas, where the average hotel rate from June through August is $130, down slightly from summer 2010. Most expensive: New York, where rooms averaged $218, up nearly 15 percent from a year ago. Biggest increase: Bangkok, whose average room rate was up a whopping 40 percent from last year. (On the other hand, the summer average for a hotel in Bangkok is just $117, so stop complaining.) Cheapest: San Jose, Costa Rica, with an average rate of $94.

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Singapore 'to Overtake Vegas' as Gambling Hub

Breitbart |  Singapore is set to overtake Las Vegas as the world's second-largest gambling hub this year, a US gaming industry head said Tuesday, as Asia cements its place as a major betting market.

Singapore has emerged as Asia's hottest new gambling destination with a revamped cityscape and billions of dollars pouring into the economy, after the opening of two resort casinos in 2010.

The strong growth came after Macau—the world's biggest gaming hub—leapfrogged Las Vegas in gaming revenue and continues to post record-breaking growth, thanks to burgeoning numbers of wealthy Asians.

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Our New Favorite Amenity: Cool Hotel Vehicles

custom seaplane at Beach House Maldives

Our favorite new amenity? Getting your own private escape-mobile. As far as airport transfers go, it doesn’t get much better than Beach House Maldives, a Waldorf Astoria Resort (doubles from $815), where guests are greeted by a DeHavilland Twin Otter seaplane tricked out with everything from iPads to Bose noise-canceling headphones.

Coming this summer to all stateside Fairmont Hotels (doubles from $169): BMW Cruise bikes (plus helmets and locks, of course).

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Open Wide: The Big New York Sandwich Book

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“Too few people understand a really good sandwich,” lamented the consummate foodie, James Beard, in a quote that appears on The Big New York Sandwich Book, by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang (Running Press).

The new cookbook attempts to remedy this quandary with 99 creations from some of the best chefs in the Big Apple—a city that understands a thing or two about sandwiches.

While the recipes make it a worthwhile edition to your cookbook collection, the tone and selections make it fun—no matter what you’re in the mood for.

Here are a five of our favorites. Which one are you?

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Vacationist + Preferred Hotels: Deals Benefit Japan

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Great news from Vacationist! Starting today, 21 new Preferred Hotels will launch 48-hour Check-In For Japan sales on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through June 30th at Vacationist.com—and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to American Red Cross disaster relief for those affected by the earthquake in Japan.

Room rates are as low as $50 a night at properties both close to home (Laguna Beach, California and Vail, Colorado) as well as more exotic destinations, from Maui to Madagascar. Act fast, do good, and stay for less through 2011! See offers below.

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Travel Outfit: Anna Trzebinksi

Anna Trzebinski

When Nairobi-based fashion designer Anna Trzebinski boards a Tropic Air helicopter or a single-engine Cessna, she’s usually heading for Lemarti’s Camp, the eco-glam safari lodge she owns in the northern frontier of Kenya with her Samburu husband, Loyapan Lemarti. “I have to pack ultralight when traveling this way,” she says. “But that doesn’t mean I leave my favorite pieces behind.” Her look: cross-cultural bohemian. “I love clothes that have harmony and balance,” says Trzebinksi, who pairs a paisley cotton Etro shirt ($525) with stretch-twill Worn Jeans jodhpurs (from $80) and canvas Ed Hardy slip-on sneakers ($59). She never takes off the gold-and-citrine Carolyn Roumeguere snake talisman ($1,950) that hangs around her neck or the stack of beaded bracelets ($45 each) that she designed with the names of her husband and her daughter, Tacha. Trzebinski tops off the ensemble with a vintage suede-and-shearling hoodie vest. And it all works, whether she’s on a game drive in her custom-fitted Land Cruiser or jetting off for one of the African-inspired trunk shows that she hosts from New York City to Aspen, Colorado.

Her Packing Picks:

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Atlanta’s Top Food & Wine Festival Restaurants

chef Steven Satterfield

With the debut of the very first Atlanta Food & Wine Festival last month, T+L takes a tour of the city’s Westside—a meatpacking district turned culinary and cultural hot spot.

The fried chicken is so popular at JCT. Kitchen & Bar—named for the railroad junction that once transported livestock to the area—that it regularly sells out. The daily catch, served with local cauliflower, is just as delicious. 1198 Howell Mill Rd., Ste. 18; 404/355-2252; dinner for two $72.

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Top New Spring-Summer Art Exhibits

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New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” (May 4–July 31) pays homage to the late British fashion designer by displaying more than 100 of his creations (a jacket with horns in place of epaulets; bulbous “armadillo” shoes).

France: With various exhibits across 30 institutions in the French Riviera, “Contemporary Art and the Côte d’Azur” (June 25–Nov. 7) spans 60 years of work by more than 200 artists, from Picasso to performance artist Philippe Ramette.

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Tech Review: T-Mobile G2x Smartphone

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With the advent of the smartphone, finding a cell phone that has access to travel-friendly apps is easy. Nowadays, the real trick is finding one that not only can run all those apps, but also do it seamlessly.

So when I tested out the new T-Mobile G2x, powered by Android 2.2, I was happy to see that it was top notch. The phone, released just a few weeks ago, is a great addition to the slew of new Android-based smartphones. I found the touchscreen to be extremely responsive and on point when making selections and even typing texts. (Though I should admit, I don't think it's quite up to par with iPhone's responsiveness, but that's a feat that seems to be among the biggest challenges for all creators of touchscreens.) Still, the mistakes made while firing off texts were few and far between.

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Guess Where? Brewery

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What you're looking at here is a series of trucks, trains and boats hanging from the ceiling of a famous brewery in Europe. Can you guess where this is?

Log in and leave your guesses below and check back here on Monday for the answer.

UPDATE 6/06/11: Nobody got this! If you're eager to know, it's the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

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