CNN | SkyMiles no longer expire, Delta Air Lines announced Tuesday.
The frequent flier perk system, which enables users to earn free plane tickets or in-flight upgrades, is the first among major U.S. airlines to preserve points indefinitely.
Before January 1, 2011, SkyMiles became invalid if no qualifying mileage activity, such as acquiring or redeeming miles, occurred for more than 24 months.
This year, Crystal Cruises is taking voluntourism at sea to a new level with its just-launched You Care, We Care program, which offers passengers the option of free, service-oriented shore excursions on all 2011 itineraries. Each of the 58 trips has been carefully designed by local tour operators to help communities. You can decorate a children’s center in Lima, Peru; tend to an urban farm in Cartagena, Colombia; or help in beach clean-up efforts in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Sherri Eisenberg is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.
Illustration by Laurie Rosenwald
USA Today | It will be if Sheldon Adelson, best known as the man behind The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas, has his way. His Las Vegas Sands corporation also has holdings in Macau and Singapore, which have become Asian gaming meccas.
Now, Adelson is eyeing Spain. According to the Agence France-Presse wire service, the mogul is betting on establishing a "Euro Vegas."
Photo Courtesy of The VenetianREAD MORE
Invest in a good roll-aboard—it makes life so much better on the road. Clockwise from top: Tumi Alpha Bravo Bremerton in ballistic nylon, $495; Britto Collection by Heys Landscape Flowers 22-inch hard-side Spinner, $250; Timbuk2 Checkpoint in ballistic fabric, $250; Longchamp Darshan Luggage, $475; the North Face Rolling Thunder in durable nylon, $229; Halsea Roller Suitcase in laminated canvas, $335; Trunki by Melissa & Doug child-size Trunki Ruby, $40.
Dorkys Ramos is a contributor to Travel + Leisure
Photo by Levi Brown
David vs. Goliath.
Cain vs. Abel.
Tyson vs. Holyfield.
Sure, those fights were pretty epic, but they pale in comparison to one battle that has been going on since the dawn of time…or, y’know, for a few decades. Or something. I’m talking about the duel between NYC and Los Angeles.
Residents from the bicoastal cities historically have been actively engaged in an extreme competition to be the best of the best. But a new blog, based in of one of those cities (New York), is beginning a campaign to win a different, seemingly unexpected title: rudest.
This time of year, there’s nothing more tantalizing than a sunny getaway. Or is there? Sure, a bungalow on the beach sounds great, but what if you could stay there for less than $250 a night? T+L Features Editor Nilou Motamed shares her tips for where to soak up the rays—and save.
Want more? Check out our slideshow of all 30 of T+L’s picks for best affordable beach resorts right now.
Dying to leave your coat, scarf, and hat behind? February is an ideal month for a winter escape, especially for those of us on the East Coast, where snow still covers the sidewalks. Here are a couple great ideas at two price points, so you can decide whether now’s the time for a splurge or a steal.
A Greek Islands getaway is one for the bucket list—a trip of a lifetime complete with tours of whitewashed villages, lunches at seaside food stands, and endless hours on sun-soaked deserted beaches. But with almost 3,000 islands in all, how do you hone in on the right hotels? Enter Vacationist’s Greek Islands Week, for deals on charming properties in Patmos, Kos, and Crete, and up to 40 percent off at the 88-room Margi Hotel, in Athens, just minutes from the Adriatic. Book your Greek Islands experience now.
Still not a Vacationist? Click here to join.
With treatment “journeys” based on healing rituals from around the globe, Hilton’s Eforea spa concept is paving a new path in the world of wellness. Slated to open in Bangkok and Melbourne in March, it will be rolled out to 90 properties worldwide. Our favorite treatment? The Aboriginal-inspired Escape body wrap: an exfoliation with mother-of-pearl followed by a cocoon of warm pearl-and-kelp mud. At the spa’s Travel Bar, you can buy products from the treatments in TSA-approved sizes. hilton.com; treatments from $115.
Nora Zelevansky is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Hilton Hotels & Resorts
CNN | Feeling crowded at the airport and on your flights? Get ready to have even more company when flying.
Air travel in the United States is expected to more than double in the next 20 years, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's annual forecast released on Tuesday.
It also predicts U.S. airlines will carry 1 billion passengers a year by 2021, a milestone that will come two years earlier than previously thought. (To put that number into perspective, about 712 million passengers flew on domestic carriers in 2010.)
Photo by Don Wilson/Courtesy of Port of Seattle.
Director and vintner Francis Ford Coppola gives T+L the scoop on his Francis Ford Coppola Winery, in Sonoma, California, and his soon-to-open Palazzo Margherita, in Basilicata, Italy (coppolaresorts.com).
What’s on the menu at the winery? It’s a family resort, but with no hotel. You can swim, play bocce, see movie memorabilia, and eat at Rustic. The menu has all my favorite things: for meat, we have an Argentine parrilla grill. For dessert, there’s a cream puff with a cannoli filling my mother used to make. And to drink, our Archimedes Cabernet or caipirinhas.
Oops, even if you missed the chance to sneak away for Valentine’s Day this year, there’s still time to redeem yourself and steal away with your loved one. After all, romance is a year-round affair, and what better way to celebrate togetherness than to escape to a dreamy hideaway?
T+L Features Editor Nilou Motamed’s top picks for a romantic hotel getaway are:
Sick of Valentine’s Day? Even if you love to hate the holiday, you’d still accept a free trip to Paris, non?
If your answer is “OUI!” click over to NileGuide and enter their “Fall in Love with the City of Love” contest to win a trip for two to the City of Light. In addition to airfare and seven nights in a furnished luxury apartment courtesy of iStopover, the grand prize also includes dinner at the Les Deux Magots, tickets to the Eiffel Tower, and a visit to the Museé Rodin.
All you have to do is become a fan of NileGuide on Facebook and enter your contact information. C’est facile, n’est pas?
Last year I had the pleasure of meeting the mother-daughter team behind Extraordinary Journeys. As their name implies, Marcia and Elizabeth Gordon (below) custom craft some pretty swoon-worthy adventures—to Africa, a place they know top to bottom (and all the secret spots in between) and that easily inspires dreamy visions of exotic animals, ancient baobab trees, and untamed landscapes where it’s impossible not to get away from it all.
Since my husband and I have a new baby and no real plans on deck for celebrating Valentine's Day this year, I thought I’d call on Elizabeth to share her expert tips—and provide me/Carry On with a vicarious dose of travel-inspired romance. Clip and save, dear readers. Sleeping under the stars on the Savannah beats a box of chocolates any day.
Question: In your opinion, what are some of the most romantic and memorable experiences in Africa?
With the release of the iPad nearly one year ago, the device is changing the way we do business. And while it might seem an unlikely combination, even restaurants have hopped on the bandwagon. Yes, a handful are loading their menus onto iPads for customers to peruse—a costly and wasteful business practice, all in the name of flashiness, as far as I'm concerned. But that’s not exactly what I’m talking about; there are more and more turning iPads into useful (and yes, flashy) tools that actually improve the dining experience.
Washington D.C.’s new, one-off Yola yogurt parfait bar near Dupont Circle is a great way to start the day. First, there’s the general feeling of well-being derived from the warm, polished wood floors, the exposed-brick walls, and the contemporary tables and chairs, made from recycled aluminum and bamboo (Yola is a certified green restaurant, after all, powered in part by carbon offsets and locally generated wind power).
Baechtold’s Best: Afghanistan visually explores a stunning variety of Afghan experiences. Each 2-page spread in this short book is dedicated to a simple theme like Taxi, Burka, Meal, or Poppy. The left-hand page offers sixteen thumbnail photos on the theme and a graphic map indicating where each was taken. The right-hand page has a large image chosen by the editors as the best example—Baechtold’s Best—with the briefest of identifying captions.
Looking for a room at one of New York City’s buzziest hotels? Look no further than Vacationist, where we offer exclusive deals at the world’s best hotels, including this one, on the northern edge of Manhattan’s Flatiron District. The property is also the site of new John Dory Oyster Bar, featured on our brand-new Romance edition for iPad, on sale now. For those looking for something special for two—it almost Valentine’s Day, after all—we also have over 30% off at properties in Costa Rica, three hotels in Italy, and more. What could be more romantic than that?
A nouveau addition to the foodie scene has San Francisco’s downtown Financial District buzzing. The melding of two San Fran staples has lunchtime crowds bending around street corners for up to an hour in order to get a taste of a new hybrid—the sushi burrito.
Northern California is a nursery of innovation and Sushirrito has answered the call with creations like the Crispy Ebi, a nori-wrapped, one-pound roll with ingredients that dance between Asian and Latin influence—tempura shrimp, melted pepper jack, shredded crab, and plantains. Or the Mamacita Roll, a tuna wrap packed with shiitake mushrooms, Daikon radish, and Tobiko fortified with a Mexican Kabayaki sauce. So far, the diminutive space and long wait haven’t done anything to temper the enthusiasm for the Bay Area’s newest gastronomic revelation.
Just get there early.
Nate Storey is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Sushiritto
USA Today | Delta Air Lines will add a premium economy section to its international flights, charging non-elite fliers between $80 to $160 each way for "Economy Comfort" seats that come with extra legroom and more recline.
Delta and SkyTeam frequent-fliers at the Platinum and Diamond level can book the seats at no extra charge, while Gold-level frequent-fliers will have access to the seats at a 50% discount. Silver members can purchase the seats for a 25% discount.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says "passengers will get seats with up to four inches of extra legroom, beyond the roughly 31 inches of pitch in international economy. They also will get 50% more recline than regular international economy seats. Passengers in the new section … also will be able to board early and get free alcoholic beverages during the flight."
Wouldn’t you feel better if you carried your valuables in the same waterproof storage bags that Navy divers use instead of plastic bags engineered to transport a soft sandwich? aLOKSAK, may look like a Ziploc bag, but these heavy-duty, puncture-resistant containers have a heat tolerance of 170 degrees and are certified dry at 60 meters, even after two weeks underwater. Plus, it’ll keep sand and saltwater out of your cellphone or Kindle while you use them.
Ann Shields is Online Senior Editor at TravelandLeisure.com.
USA Today / Wall Street Journal | The iconic, former TWA airline terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport could be reopened as a luxury boutique hotel, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The airport's operator is looking for developers who could tackle the famous modernist structure, designed by Eero Saarinen. The curved, winged terminal opened in 1962 at the old Idlewild Airport and closed in 2001 after American Airlines bought TWA.
Boutique hotels usually offer guests something unique, and in this case, it would be the striking structure.
"There are few buildings designed for airports that have resonated with the public as much as this one," Frank Sanchis, an advisor at the Municipal Art Society of New York, told the paper.
Here it is: your moment of Monday travel zen. Never mind that this video, which takes place at Aeroporto do Galeão in Rio de Janeiro, is a marketing ploy by TAP Airlines. Just enjoy. Air travel? This much fun? Maybe someday...
USA Today | Who doesn't love a splashy, new hotel opening?
Travelers love to stay in them, the press loves to write about them - and owners love to celebrate them.
"New hotel development is very sexy. They get a lot of press," Nicholas Clayton, president of the Viceroy Hotel Group, noted during the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in San Diego last week.
Yet, despite all the excitement - and the uptick in travel this year, we'll see fewer new hotels open their doors in the USA this year compared past years, a new forecast shows. (Photo by iStock)
Sick of winter yet? New York City just experienced its snowiest January on record, and Chicago is currently digging itself out from yesterday’s Groundhog’s Day blizzard, which was the third worst snowstorm to ever hit the city.
In a season like this, weather dictates how people travel. Weather Underground, home to the world's largest historical weather database, just re-launched its website Wunderground.com yesterday, which caused weather geeks around the world to rejoice. It's built several great travel tools, drawing info from their massive database to help you stay one step ahead of the weather while planning your next trip. Here are my favorites:
USA Today | In an attempt to restore natural peace and quiet to the Grand Canyon, the National Park Service has proposed limits on "flight-seeing" and other aircraft over the canyon.
The proposal raises height limits for aircraft flying over the area, suggests no-fly zones and calls for phasing in quieter aircraft.
Air tours currently carry about 400,000 passengers annually over the canyon. And while "they play an important role in visitor enjoyment … without more thoughtful management, air-tour flights can interfere with the enjoyment of visitors on the ground," the park service said in a statement. (Photo by Lenny Konieczski)
What makes Vacationist stand apart from other sites? It delivers T+L-quality hotels at prices that can’t be beat. Case in point: the list of hotels on sale now, which includes Il Salviatino, a 15th-century estate that was featured on the 2010 It List, T+L’s compendium of the biggest hotel openings of the year. And you won’t want to miss the Langham Huntington (one of this year’s T+L 500 hotels) for 20% off the standard rate. Looking for deals at more award-winning T+L hotels? Click here now.
London’s Luton and Manchester airports officially have received a Trekkie–approved makeover. Starting today, passengers approaching the security check-in sections of the airports will welcomed, and given instructions, by holograms. Well, sort of. They’re not holograms in the traditional sense, they’re close (and cool) enough. Large sheets of glass are cut into the shape of people, with images of attendants Holly and Graham—get it??—projected onto them.
The idea is not to replace airport security staff with holograms, but to “help them to do their job even better, by communicating compellingly and consistently,” according to Glyn Jones, managing director of London Luton Airport.
If you’re stuck in the Windy City on account of the predicted 18” of snow (or if you’re avoiding being stuck somewhere not as cozy as a hotel), the Chicago-area Kimpton properties, the Hotel Allegro, Hotel Burnham, Hotel Monaco, and Hotel Palomar just announced a $99 “Stranded in the City” rate that is in effect from Tuesday through Friday. Just use the booking code 'COLD' when you’re booking a room online or over the phone.
USA Today | A fight between a major U.S. airline and some Web-based travel companies is having a ripple effect in the travel industry, as players take sides in a battle that could ultimately affect how fliers shop for tickets and find the best fares.
More than 125 of the nation's biggest travel organizations and agencies, including online travel giant Expedia, have formed a coalition that is taking aim at a new booking system, preferred by American Airlines, that challenges the way most major airlines make their fares available to the public.
American says that its new, direct link will better inform travelers of services it offers for a fee, such as priority boarding, and also pare the airline's costs. But the newly formed Open Allies for Airfare Transparency and other critics argue that bypassing the systems that pool fare information from multiple airlines will make it harder for the public to find the best deals, or even the best routes, to their destinations. (Photo courtesy of American Airlines)