Free, reliable Wi-Fi is becoming standard practice at many hotels—but not so for cruise lines, where passengers are expected to pay for the service. In a sign of good things to come for the industry, Regent Seven Seas Cruises will now offer free Internet access in all public spaces and suites for voyages setting sail after January 1, 2015.
The news coming out of West Africa this week as been alarming—to say the least. The latest outbreak of Ebola, which started in Guinea earlier this year, has now spread to Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. (There’s even been a suspected Ebola death in Saudi Arabia.) To date, nearly 1,000 people have died of Ebola—a number that will surely increase in the coming weeks as public-health officials struggle to contain the virus. The crisis is such that the World Health Organization has now declared the outbreak “a public health emergency of international concern."
How do you stay healthy while traveling? From fitness tips to advice on scoring the best spa appointments, join our Wellness and Spa Retreats Twitter chat on Tuesday, August 12th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join along to ask the experts for tips and advice!
T+L's Senior Editor, Travel and Beauty, Jacqueline Gifford, @jacquigiff
If the words "The Catskills" still conjure images of Milton Berle and Henny Youngman trading one-liners—or Jennifer Grey carrying a watermelon across a sweaty dance floor—you haven't been here in a while. While most of the Dirty Dancing–era bungalow colonies and Borscht Belt resorts are gone, a new generation of young innkeepers are opening up shop, luring New York City weekenders eager for a taste of country life.
Time to book last-minute flights to Salt Lake City: The renowned Utah Symphony is running free open-air concerts against the backdrop of five of the state's—and country's—most treasured national parks.
Summer in the city can be stifling, with its sticky-hot subway cars and the odor of leftovers slowly broiling behind every restaurant. For those of us who don’t have a Hamptons-home perched on a sandy stretch of beachfront, it can be hard to slip away from the city for the ultimate, sink-your-toes-in-the-sand summer escape.
Hand sanitizers are no match for the creepy crawlies that have made headlines around the world this week: In New York, a bedbug infestation forced three subway cars out of service. In Paris, rats by the Louvre have tourists screaming. And in India, officials grounded a plane in New Delhi when scores of rats made an appearance.
In Richard Linklater’s new Boyhood—a masterful film documenting twelve years of a boy’s life—little happens but everything seems monumental and emotionally charged. The same could be said for the film’s cinematography by Lee Daniel and Shane F. Kelly. Texas has never looked so good, so colorful, so inviting.
From an Austin dawn seen through the bleary eyes of up-all-night high school kids, to a sparkling swimming hole at Pedernales Falls State Park; from a peyote-enhanced sunset in Big Bend National Park to a family visit to a working ranch, the Lone Star State is observed through a loving and nostalgic lens. There are myriad reasons to see the movie (really), but it almost works as an extended Texas travelogue. The porch of an old stone house, a broad alley running behind small-town shops, the lacquered pine panels of an historic ranch cabin, every frame takes on the kind of atmospheric magic that state tourism boards dream of creating. The kind of magic that makes a person start planning a trip.
Opening shot: a seemingly blissed-out New Yorker drives a lonesome West Texas highway in the cramped cab of a Toyota pickup, the Sir Doug Quintet on the radio…
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc.
Big Bend National Park photo: Steven Stokan, via the T+L Photo Contest
Crystal Cruises, a perennial World’s Best winner, is going where no luxury cruise has gone before: the Northwest Passage. Starting in 2016, the Crystal Serenity (voted best cruise for families) will journey the Arctic wilderness from Anchorage, Alaska to New York City.
Just back from the Hamptons, T+L editorial assistant Katie James reveals her packing musts.
Nearly every Friday in July and August, I find myself toting a weekend bag to work—and rushing like mad to catch the 6 o’clock train en route to the Hamptons. Growing up, I spent summers out East, where I play golf in the morning, hang at the beach club in the afternoon, and eat dinner with family before heading to John Scott’s Surf Shack for a Corona with friends. And while my beauty regimen tends to be low maintenance out at the beach, I never leave home without these essentials:
La Prairie Foam Cleanser: I love feeling squeaky-clean after a day on the beach, where I often leave covered in sand and surf. This La Prairie formula provides a deep cleanse, and natural plant extracts counter balance for a soothing, moisturizing effect that keeps skin hydrated, and never dry. Not to mention the packaging and rosy scent are super luxurious. $80
Today, Foursquare unveils its newly refreshed self to the masses—and we got an early look at the overhauled app. The verdict? Falling closer to Yelp than Facebook, the decidedly less-social app is better suited to travelers than ever before.
On the heels of Priceline’s OpenTable acquisition, Orbitz is getting into the restaurant space—the company yesterday launched Orbitz Rewards Dining, a new program that allows loyalty members to score extra perks for dining at specific restaurants. It’s the result of a partnership with Rewards Network, a Chicago-based company that maintains a database of 11,000 restaurants.
Sick of the selfie? Tourism New Zealand’s new take on the trend may peak your interest. Enter the “dronie,” a video taken by a high-flying, remote control-operated drone. Through August, the company will hit the slopes with its own miniature aircraft to shoot 8-second HD clips of visitors to several South Island ski areas. The drone-toting representatives email the videos to participants, free of charge.
We already know that Munich International Airport is one of the best for a long layover—and now it's even better, thanks to “Surf & Style,” an indoor wave-riding pool located between Terminals 1 and 2.
Dinner and a movie is pretty much the lamest date idea ever. Dinner and a movie while soaking in a hot tub or sitting in a castle? Better!
Because nothing's better than watching The Goonies under the stars and drinking beer out of a Nalgene, we've tracked down some of the most stunning, scenic, or otherwise odd outdoor theaters around the globe.
One of the best ways to explore a destination is through its local (or visiting) culture. From theater to the arts and performances, we're discussing Summer Culture in our Twitter chat on Tuesday, August 5th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join along to ask the experts for tips and advice!
Last winter, we loved Switzerland’s creative “pay what you want” hotel initiative—and for three weeks this summer, Paris is following in its neighbor’s footsteps. Now through August 10—peak high season—five Right Bank hotels in the City of Light are letting guests spend the night and then decide what they think their experience is worth.
Actor George Takei, best known for his role as Lt. Hikaru Sulu on the Star Trek TV series and films, is the focus of a new documentary, To Be Takei, which opens in selected theaters on August 22. The affable Takei, who, as Mr. Sulu, boldly navigated the Starship Enterprise where no one had gone before, is quite a terrestrial traveler, as well. In fact, he is currently on board the Cunard Queen Mary 2 as a guest lecturer. We caught up with him at a pre-sailing press conference on the ship followed by a one-on-one travelandleisure.com interview to ask him about traveling, Howard Stern, his long-running feud with Star Trek co-star William Shatner, and why he agreed to play a talking head, literally, on the animated series Futurama.
Think you know what it takes to make airport security checkpoints less hellish? The Transportation Security Administration has put a call out for ideas on Innocentive, asking for ways to create a more efficient screening process that accommodates all levels of travelers—standard, premier, and TSA Pre✓™—employees, flight crews, and passengers in wheelchairs.
It’s pretty much indisputable that airlines are making frequent flyer miles harder to use. Across the board, we’ve seen programs increase the amount of miles needed for awards—all while restricting the amount of seats available at the lowest level and adding new fees. However, it isn’t all doomsday. Luckily, credit card bonuses are extremely lucrative and there are now more ways to earn miles than ever before. Whether from online shopping or dining out, you should be getting miles for almost every purchase.
In a move that dramatically challenges the monetized world of inflight entertainment, Delta Airlines announced that all classes of passengers on domestic and regional flights longer than one and a half hours will be able to access movies, television shows, music, and video games for free.
On August 4, Finnair is upping the airline lounge ante with a new Premium Lounge at Helsinki Airport, open to Platinum and Gold Finnair Plus members and other oneworld top-tier customers. Set near Gate 36 in the non-Schengen area, the space has interiors by dSign Vertti Kivi & Co—and includes everything you’d expect from the design-forward carrier: Eero Saarinen’s renowned Tulip and Womb chairs, Marimekko tableware, and Iittala Ultima Thule glasses—originally created for the airline in 1968. Other perks: private shower suites and a Finnish sauna, complete with Finland-made toiletries that incorporate forest berries.
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Hawaiian Airlines—one of T+L's World's Best Airlines for food (and the only U.S. carrier to still serve complimentary meals in coach)—is the latest to invest in a new premium economy class, launching today. Installed on all A330 aircraft, the Extra Comfort seats have five more inches of legroom for a total 36 inches of pitch (on par with most other domestic carriers, though Virgin America and JetBlue both have 38 inches). Other benefits include priority boarding; free on-demand, in-seat entertainment; and personal power outlets. On international flights, travelers will also receive a souvenir pillow and blanket and premium meals.
Last week during our Twitter chat on Best Apps & Websites for Travelers, we asked participants what travel app they’d invent, if given the opportunity. The resounding ask? HotelTonight for flights. Dear readers: ask and you shall receive.
This week, Hopper, a data-driven fare finder that’s largely flown under the radar, is jumping into the spotlight with its new Flight Tonight app. Available for iOS 7 devices, the app aggregates last-minute fares and offers a snapshot of where you could go if you wanted to—quite literally—fly by the seat of your pants. Today’s searches pulled up flights from New York to Savannah for $280, Los Angeles to Vancouver for $352, and Miami to the Bahamas for $282—all round trip fares.
Ever heard of Latin Boogaloo? I'm crazy about this spicy fusion music genre from the 1960s; it's having a moment again. The Boogaloo Assassins, LA's hottest crossover band, is playing in New York City at Nublu on August 1 during Fania Records 50th anniversary celebration. Drop by or download this road trip playlist they've created exclusively for T+L. Vamos!
The OTA wars rage on. Last week, CheapTickets.com launched a loyalty program so worthwhile, we had to do a double take. The proposition: sign up for free at checkout, and you’ll automatically get money back on each booking—the rewards are paid out in the form of credits that can be applied to your next transaction. What you get: $50 back on any flight you book on the website, $75 for any flight booked on mobile, $25 for any hotel booked online, and $50 for hotel bookings on mobile. Unlike almost every other OTA, CheapTickets puts the emphasis on unbundled bookings—the only non-eligible purchases are package deals. And there’s no minimum spend, either, so a $150 ticket from New York to Nantucket would remain eligible for a $75 kickback if booked on mobile. This makes CheapTickets the second OTA to incentivize in-app bookings—Orbitz similarly offers roughly twice the rewards points for bookings made by smartphone.
We first wrote about EatWith—a website that connects locals with amateur and trained cooks for private, home-cooked meals—last year, when we identified “eating with a local” as one of the most important travel trends of 2014. While the company continues to champion its original vision, last month it launched a chef series in New York, inviting guests into the homes of professionals.