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More Snow Means More Winter Travel

Winter storms like Hercules may have injured retail traffic, but T+L News Editor Amy Farley expects travel to boom, as told to CNBC. Anxious skiers will be hitting the slopes in destinations like Vail, Lake Tahoe, and Utah, while beach-goers are likely to score great deals to sunny spots like Florida and Aruba during January and February.

Sharks in Australia Are Now Showing Up On Twitter

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Sharks in Western Australia will now be making their way from the sea to your social news feed. Over 300 great whites, whaler sharks, and tiger sharks have been tagged with acoustic transmitters by government researchers, says NPR, which monitor exactly where the animals are swimming.

Once any of the 338 sharks come within a half-mile of the beach, its tag automatically sends out a tweet from the Surf Life Saving Western Australia (@SLSWA) Twitter account. Included in the alert is the shark’s size, breed, and approximate location—really giving away any attack plans for poor Jaws. While this is a truly innovative way to protect the area’s surfers and sunbathers, not every shark out there is tagged. Just because you don’t see it on Twitter, doesn’t mean a great white isn’t lurking close to shore. Our advice? Look both ways (and below) before diving in.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo credit: Macduff Everton/Corbis

Best Vacation Spots to Unplug

Device-free policies, gorgeous scenery and invigorating activities will leave you feeling recharged.

Pocahontas County, WV

The Place: West Virginia is one of our most beautiful states, full of rolling mountains, deep green valleys, picturesque farms, and endless options for outdoor recreation. Pocahontas County, on the state’s eastern end near the Virginia border, is no exception.

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Guess Where? European Palace

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Can you guess where this unique European palace is? Leave your guesses on our Facebook page. Check back on Monday for the answer.

Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @matthewslyndsey

Photo Courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Paris Falls for the Eclair—Again

David Lebovitz's favorite eclairs

Put down that macaron! Paris has fallen once more for the slender, seductive, defiantly retro éclair. Two new spots are testing the pastry’s limits, filling and topping them with more than just chocolat and café. In the Marais, jewel-tone glazes and quirky ingredients—caramel popcorn; yuzu—liven up the petite treats from L’Éclair de Génie (pictured). And at L’Atelier de l’Éclair, in hip Montorgueil, sweet éclairs are covered with Nutella and fluffy folds of meringue, while sandwich-like savory versions include—how very French—foie gras with fig confit.

Photo by Matthieu Salvaing

How To Prepare For Winter Storm Hercules

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With a name like Hercules, the snow storm set to bear down on the Northeastern U.S. tonight and tomorrow is sure to cause some heavy damage. Inches of predicted snow fall are in the double-digits for cities from New York to Washington, D.C. (up to 18 inches), while the National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings for Long Island and parts of lower New England. Major highways like I-87 and I-84 will close from midnight until 5 a.m. Friday. Take these tips from T+L to prepare for the first blizzard of 2014:

Be aware of flight delays by signing up for text and email alerts from FlightStats as well as your airline.

Bring adapters and chargers with you to the airport to keep all of your gadgets and mobile devices running (entertainment for your toddler means sanity for you). Travel-friendly board games and packable snacks are also smart for kids.

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New Renzo Piano Pavilion Opens at Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth

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There may be no greater reason for cultural travel now than the extraordinary new pavilion designed by Renzo Piano for the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The building plays a compliment in design and spirit to architect Louis Kahn's celebrated original structure, a modernist masterpiece of travertine and concrete, renowned for its deployment of natural light. Yet, the Piano Pavilion is its own distinct achievement. It sits on the lawn across from the Kahn and, like it, follows a tripartite plan, distinguished by an arrangement of bleached Douglas fir beams, transparent end walls, and galleries with a roof of fritted glass through which light imparts a singular luminous quality to exhibition spaces. For the next several weeks, much of the Kimbell's permanent collection—a veritable treasury of masterworks—is showcased in the Piano building.

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Q&A with Cécile Adam: Founder of Mendoza's Entre Cielos Wine Hotel + Spa

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Entre Cielos, which translates to “between heavens” and “between skies,” is a holistic hospitality concept nurtured to life by three Swiss friends in the foothills of Mendoza, Argentina.

Daniela Wäger-Spreafico, David Wäger, and Cécile Adam dreamed of a wine hotel and spa where guests could reconnect with themselves, commune with nature, sip wine, and delight in impeccable gastronomic experiences. A worldwide pursuit for the perfect location led the group of three to Vistalba, Mendoza, where they invested their savings to purchase a 20-acre plot of land with sweeping views of the Andes mountains.

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Three Words on How To Travel Better

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We asked a team of experts in a recent Twitter Chat for their travel rules of the road, which we’ve been revealing in a series of blog posts. We asked our panel to reveal how they travel better in only three words.

Designer, Chris Benz (@cmbenz) must be a T+L-type traveler because he lives by the words: “Carry, On, Only.”

T+L’s Travel News Editor, Jennifer Flowers (@JennFlowers), is traveling the world and trying food that she encounters in new cultures, so naturally, Imodium, Pepto-Bismol, and Tums are necessities in her suitcase.

T+L’s Director of Editorial Product Development, Peter Frank (@pfrank1), makes sure Ambien is available for long-flights (assuming there wasn’t a flight delay and he met the T+L team at the bar first!).

Follow @travlandleisure on Twitter and #TL_Chat for more expert tips.

Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure

 

Best Apps and Websites to Travel Better

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How do you travel better? We asked a team of experts in a recent Twitter Chat for their rules of the road, which we're revealing in a series of blog posts. We started off the chat by asking our panel for the apps and websites that help them travel more efficiently. Our T+L Lifestyle Editor, Shane Mitchell (@shanegoesforth), loves Google Translate to help her ask for necessities—like WiFi, of course. 

Our Editorial Assistant, Nikki Ekstein (@nikkiekstein) includes Spotify Premium among her must-have travel essentials. A-List Agent, Joel Zack of Heritage Tours Private Travel (@HeritageTours), has clearly learned a lesson from high roaming charges and uses WhatsApp for texting. Smart agent!

Follow @travlandleisure on Twitter and #TL_Chat for more expert tips!

Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure

Facebook 's Top 25 Most Checked-In Places for 2013

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Facebook just released its 2013 Trends report, and the big winner is Disney.

The map of most checked-into destinations for 25 countries shows that the theme park empire holds the number one spot in an impressive four countries: Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland.

The California park's ranking increased a slot since 2012, overtaking Times Square to become the most checked-in locale in the US.

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Instagram Releases The Most Photographed Places Around the World

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Instagram has released their latest list of the most-Instagrammed locations for 2013. In our October issue, we mentioned the top nine around the world, with Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport beating out spots like Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA, and Times Square in New York City for the #1 spot. Since then, the busy Thai airport has plummeted to #9, with another Bangkok location, the Siam Paragon shopping mall (pictured), taking its place. Other additions to the list include the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas, Disney World in Florida, and New York’s Central Park. Which of these top ten spots can you check off?

1. Siam Paragon shopping mall, Bangkok, Thailand

2. Times Square, New York

3. Disneyland, California

4. Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas

5. Disney World Florida

6. Staples Center, Los Angeles

7. Central Park, New York

8. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

9. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Bangkok, Thailand

10. The High Line, New York

Check out the best Instagram photos of the year from our T+L community here.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of @2grace02

Tips for Entertaining Business Clients

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Any successful business traveler knows the value of meeting in person and how deals often come together over drinks or during the final minutes of an amazing basketball game.

Face time is just half the formula. Clients need to be entertained at venues designed to impress.

The extremely trendy restaurants—the ones that would really wow a client—book up 30 days in advance. But business meetings often come together at the last second. So here are some tips about how to get access to that impossible restaurant, show or sporting event.

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FlipKey Names Top Ten Vacation Rental Destinations

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All eyes are on Brazil, host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. It should be no surprise then that Rio de Janeiro tops the list for the number one vacation rental destination for next year, as determined by FlipKey®, a leading vacation rental website.
 
While some travelers are hoping to go across the world to Bali, one of the leading vacation rental destinations, many are instead planning to relax stateside—and in Florida, in particular. The Sunshine State dominated the top 10 list, with Miami Beach taking the number two spot.
 
Overall, whether travelers are crossing time-zones or staying local for vacation rentals, they’re all asking the same question—which way to the beach?

For more information on the top 10 trending vacation rental destinations, visit FlipKey®.

Gabrielle Blitz is associate social media editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: FlipKey.com

Q+A with Paul Scialla, Wellness Pioneer and Founder of Delos

Paul Scialla

After more than a decade at Goldman Sachs, Scialla left his position as partner to focus full time on Delos. The company, founded in 2007, pioneered wellness-driven real estate, or housing that keeps health and quality of life in mind during its design and construction process. Along with a soon-to-open residential community in Greenwich Village, Delos has transformed 42 units at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casinos in Las Vegas into Stay Well Rooms—design details include water and air filtration systems, natural cedar closets and minibars packed with healthy snacks—and 142 more rooms are in the works. Below, Scialla tells Travel + Leisure more about Delos, and gives us tips for staying healthy on the road.

Q: What got you interested in wellness real estate?

A: A few years ago I was renovating my loft in New York City’s Meatpacking District, and I wanted to enhance the space by adding in some spa-like wellness amenities. I began doing some research and quickly discovered that no one was offering this type of wellness solution for homes. While there was such a large focus on green building and environmental sustainability, I started wondering, “Why stop at environment sustainability? Why not focus on human sustainability, as well?”

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Guess Where? European Clock Tower

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Can you guess which European town this clock tower is in? Leave your guesses on our Facebook page. Check back on Monday for the answer.

Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @matthewslyndsey

Photo Courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Things to Do on New York's Upper East Side

Upper East Side: East Pole

Could it be? New York’s ever-genteel Upper East Side has found a decidedly downtown groove.

The team behind Lower East Side favorite Fat Radish keeps the focus on ingeniously prepared vegetables at their new uptown restaurant, the East Pole (pictured). Carnivores will find solace in the bacon cheeseburger with duck-fat chips. 133 E. 65th St. $$

Lauded gallerist Dominique Lévy just transformed three floors of a former bank building into a dramatic backdrop for contemporary and postwar art. Currently on view: photographer Boris Mikhailov. 909 Madison Ave.

Is Cesare Casella (Beppe; Maremma) the city’s most underrated Italian chef? His latest New York spot, Il Ristorante Rosi, makes a persuasive case, not least with a knockout pork lasagna. 903 Madison Ave. $$$

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Port Canaveral's Cool New Cruise Terminal

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Port Canaveral, Florida—home to America’s coolest cruise terminal? Soon, it just may be. In 2014, the city is pumping some $85 million into the ultimate cruise complex—complete with a new 1,400-foot-long berth (their eighth). Among its other amenities: three public beaches (including four-acre Rodney S. Ketcham Park, a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail), a seven-story observation deck, an outdoor crafts market, and waterfront Tiki bars. Now that’s worth cruising to.

Kathryn O'Shea-EvansKathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @ThePluckyOne.

Photo Courtesy of the Canaveral Port Authority

6 Places to Eat in Washington, D.C.

Places to Eat in Washington, D.C.: Doi Moi's Bun Ho Hue

Our abridged meal-by-meal guide to where and what to eat now.

Breakfast: Crème Brûlée Doughnut at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
Line up early at the pint-size shop near the White House for its signature treat, stuffed with vanilla pastry cream and coated with a caramel glaze. $3.

Lunch: Grilled Octopus Causa at Del Campo
The Chinatown restaurant channels Argentina’s asados, with many ingredients finished on the grill—including the octopus, piquillo peppers, and avocado in this salad. $16.

Snack: Mushroom Tart at Le Diplomate
At restaurateur Stephen Starr’s D.C. debut, Capitol Hill elites make deals over French brasserie classics such as the flaky, rich pioppini-mushroom tart with truffle pecorino. $14.

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Art Collector Jane Holzer Talks Andy Warhol and Their Mutual Love for Palm Beach

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In February, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, is honoring a hometown girl made good, Jane Holzer, who went to New York in the early 1960s and dazzled Andy Warhol, Diana Vreeland, and the known pop universe.

To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol’s First Superstar (February 2–May 25, 2014) includes the high-1960s outfits Holzer—then known as “Baby Jane Holzer”—modeled, as well as Vogue spreads shot by David Bailey and Irving Penn. It’s Warhol-palooza, starring films with Holzer (Screen Test: Jane Holzer, Kiss, etc.) and iconic Warhol pieces like Flowers, Round Jackie, and Heinz Tomato Ketchup Box. These days, Holzer is all grown up but still in love with art, fashion, and sweet home Palm Beach.

Q: When did you first meet Andy Warhol?

A:I was on the street one day, near Bloomingdales, with David Bailey; Andy was on the opposite street corner. After we were introduced, Andy took one look at me and immediately said `Want to be in the movies?’

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Hyatt Wishes Followers a Happy #HyattHoliday on Instagram

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Does your mantle, bookshelf, or fridge look a little heavy from all of the holiday cards? This year, Hyatt took a social approach and was one of the first brands to take advantage of Instagram’s new direct messaging feature, by sharing a personal and spirited surprise with their most engaged followers.

The photo revealed Hyatt’s social media team, to let followers see the people behind the brand that they’re engaging with every day. That’s right, it’s not just robots!

Many fans have responded with personal messaging about their 2014 travel plans as well as about their recent stays at Hyatt hotels. For more, visit Hyatt on Instagram.

Gabrielle Blitz is associate social media editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: Hyatt Hotels

Kobe vs. Messi Make a Hilarious Comeback in Turkish Airlines' Latest Video

Turkish Airlines loves taking the stage for viral videos. Last year, its commercial featuring Kobe Bryant trying to outdo Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi scored big on YouTube (over 106 million page views and counting). The hilarious campaign also earned them a T+L SMITTY award for Best Overall Use of Social Media in the global airline category.

Now, Turkish Airlines is attempting to recreate the magic with their latest video, once again featuring Bryant and Messi in a face-off, quite literally. In “The Selfie Shootout” the two athletes send pictures of themselves while traveling the globe (walking the Great Wall of China; scuba diving in the Maldives) to one another—the takeaway being that Turkish Airlines can help “widen your world.” With a video this funny, we can’t disagree.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Merry Christmas from America's Sweetest Hotels for the Holidays

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Aside from more affectionate holiday themes like peace and joy, Christmas to me means one thing: sweets. Whether it’s fresh-baked fruitcake, intricately iced gingerbread cookies, or chocolate squares straight out of an Advent calendar, Santa’s not the only one indulging this season. But hotels are pushing the candy-coated envelope when it comes to desserts this holiday. A festive take over at the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Las Vegas (above) includes an eight-foot-tall reindeer coated in chocolate and a life-size candy house, while an elevator lined in gingerbread bricks at Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower shuttles guests to and from the property's Michelin-starred restaurant Sixteen. Read on for more of America’s Best Hotels for Christmas.

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What Should You Wear On a Plane?

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When it comes to picking the right travel clothes, it's all about fabric, fit, and comfort. Here's a look at what to wear on your next flight.

Mimi LombardoMimi Lombardo is the fashion director at Travel + Leisure. Have a packing dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.

Hyatt Place & YouTube Star Sonia Gil Name the Perfect Holiday Gifts for Travelers

Need a gift for a traveler in your life? Or better yet, want to give someone a little inspiration on what to get YOU this season?
 
Globetrotter and YouTube Vlogger, Sonia Gil of “Sonia’s Travels” shares the perfect small gifts for the holidays (think stocking stuffers, Secret Santa, and holiday grab-bag!) on Hyatt Place's new Seamless Travel Series, which is designed to arm travelers with tips to ensure that their travel experience is just right.
 
From packing cubes to gear ties (I need these), and tips on what to do if you forget your charger, her video includes great gifts for travelers.
 
For more on Sonia's expert tips and Hyatt's Seamless Travel Series, visit Hyatt on Facebook.

Gabrielle Blitz is associate social media editor at Travel + Leisure.

How to Maximize Your Miles and Points

Maximize Your Miles and Points

Frequent-flier miles and hotel points are perks of life on the road—currencies that are supposed to make it all worthwhile. A string of stays at cookie-cutter convention hotels and side-of-the-road motels adds up to a free tropical family vacation at a jaw-dropping resort.

That’s the promise, at least.

Most frequent travelers know the ins and outs of these programs well. Some people even become obsessed with their mileage balance. But even the best pro can learn something new. Here are my favorite tips for some of the more obscure ways to earn and redeem miles. Feel free to add your own in the comments section below.

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Americans Let Paid Vacation Days Go To Waste

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With the holidays right around the corner, many Americans are cashing in precious vacation days. And while it may seem that offices across the nation are empty, many employees are still hard at work. With only 14 paid days off, on average, it may surprise you to learn that Americans generally let four of those go to waste every year.

This year, Expedia’s annual Vacation Deprivation Survey revealed that even though Americans get, and use, less paid vacation time than any other country—they didn’t feel nearly as deprived as others.

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Sneak Peek: Breckenridge’s New Peak 6

It’s not every day that a ski resort massively expands out its skiable acres. Maybe it opens a new lift or on-mountain restaurant, but for a resort to increase its footprint by 20% is an enormous undertaking. Yet that’s exactly what Colorado’s Breckenridge Ski Resort is doing with its new mountain, called Peak 6, which opens on Christmas Day. And since I was out in Colorado, I stopped by Breck for a pre-opening look.

First off, the stats: Peak 6 brings 400 acres of lift-served terrain and 143 acres of hike-to terrain (skewing intermediate but pretty evenly split between intermediate and expert trails), three new bowls, eight new cut trails, and two new chairlifts. In all, it’s one of the biggest ski-area terrain expansions in North America in the past decade. And it’s on top of Breck’s existing five peaks, 2,900 acres, four terrain parks, a 22-foot superpipe, 11 bowls, and the highest chairlift in North America.

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Business Travel Tips from T+L

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Business travel may be more hectic than your average getaway, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be every bit as enjoyable. T+L gathered all of our top tips on how to make your work trip easier on our business travel page, from packing a suit to ordering wine with dinner—to save you time while on the road—or in the air. We’ve uncovered the best apps and the worst airports for flight delays to help you arrive on time to that next big meeting. Every Tuesday, we’ll also highlight the hottest trends in business travel on our blog. Look for pieces by Scott Mayerowitz, airline reporter for The Associated Press. Scott shares his take on the latest news, from new hotel check-in processes to updates on the Global Entry program.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo credit: ColorBlind Images / Blend Images / Corbis

Packing Tips & Secrets Straight From Our Experts

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How do you travel better? We asked a team of experts in a recent Twitter Chat for their rules of the road, which we’re revealing in a series of blog posts. With the holiday season upon us, we asked for packing tips and tricks.

Co-Founder of Skift.com, Jason Clampet (@jasonclampet) mails the big-ticket items ahead, so that he can pack (and bring) as little as possible.

Weather Channel Meteorologist, Maria LaRosa (@TWCMariaLaRosa), lays dresses and pants across the bottom of a suitcase to create a lining. She then fills in the contents of the suitcase with other items and folds the “lining” over the packed goods. She swears—no wrinkles! Sounds to us like enough of a reason to try this trick on our next getaway.

Our T+L Trip Doctor (@TLTripDoctor) brings contact lens cases for small amounts of toiletries like eye makeup remover and moisturizer. She’s the Trip Doctor for a reason!

Follow @travlandleisure on Twitter and #TL_Chat for more expert tips.

Gabrielle Blitz is associate social media editor at Travel + Leisure

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