Craving a proper vacation, even with a new baby in tow? Try this great all-inclusive family getaway in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Twenty minutes from the Cancún airport, Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma(from $288 per adult, all-inclusive; kids under 3 free, ages 3–13 $144 per day) features round-the-clock room service and cribs, changing tables, strollers, toys, and high-quality baby food on request. Best of all: free babysitting twice a week during happy hour, cocktails for parents included.
Hide out at this remote family resort in the Bahamas. Its soft sand,
calm seas, and stellar bonefishing are well-known among sailors and yachting types—and almost no one else. That’s surprising, given the quick flight from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to Abaco’s Treasure Cay and the water taxi to the Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina (doubles from $169). Feast on conch and spend your days tooling from beach to beach—all empty, all extraordinary.
See the state in truly epic fashion on the weeklong Seldom Seen Alaska package from Off the Beaten Path(from $3,695 per person, excluding airfare). The route goes from Anchorage to Nome, with stops for snowshoeing, a helicopter ride, and a snowmobile tour of the Bering Sea ice pack. Given the ambitious itinerary, the trip is best for ages 13 and up.
Margot Guralnick is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.
Lobby DJ’s are so last decade. The latest amenity: live concerts at hotels by Grammy Award–winning musicians.
As part of Renaissance Hotels’ new program RLife Live, guests may very well check in while listening to musicians—Thievery Corporation, Solange Knowles, or the Neon Trees—perform live. To know who’s playing where, visit rlifelive.com (dates are posted two weeks in advance). One recent showstopper: Bruno Mars’s New Year’s Eve concert at the R Lounge Times Square, with a certain crystal ball as the backdrop.
There’s something for everyone this week at Vacationist, but urbanites will be particularly pleased with deals at hotels in New York, Miami, and Mexico City. Looking for great ideas for what to do nearby? Try some of our favorite arts and culture venues, from New York’s New Museum and 11 11 Lincoln Road, a 2011 Design Awards winner in Miami Beach, to the Museo Universitario Arte Comtemporáneo in Mexico City.
New Jersey Star Ledger | By all accounts, the Federal Aviation Administration’s "tarmac rule" has dramatically reduced the number of passengers who are stuck inside an aircraft on the ground for three hours or more.
Violations of the rule, which went into effect last April, can cost airlines $27,500 per passenger, or $2.75 million for a planeload of 100 people going nowhere fast. In fact, there were just three cases nationwide of three-hour tarmac delays in December—compared with 34 the previous December, according to the federal Department of Transportation, the FAA’s parent agency.
But critics say an unintended consequence of the rule is becoming apparent and spoiling travel plans for a far greater number of would-be fliers.
A Star-Ledger analysis of federal DOT figures reveals airlines are simply canceling more flights, presumably to avoid idling on the tarmac and exposing themselves to the whopping fines. In fact, the cancellation rate at the nation’s major airports surged 24 percent during the eight months after the rule went into effect.
Now that full-body scans and pat-downs are making the skies seem a little too friendly, vacationing by car is more appealing than ever. It also helps that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has pumped nearly $27 billion into the nation’s bridges and highways since 2009. Here, Jamie Jensen, author of the best-selling Road Trip USA series (Avalon Travel)—and father to 12-year-old twins who are his frequent backseat companions—shares a few pointers on making it a fun and squabble-free ride.
Ken Burns, whose documentaries about our nation have taught us more than any textbook, believes that American history “doesn’t have to be a dose of castor oil.” To prove it, he’s joined forces with 85-year-old tour operator Tauck (tours from $4,390) to create customized U.S. itineraries based on his most beloved sites and subjects. “As a filmmaker, I’ve had access that many people don’t get,” Burns says. “I’m excited to share my experiences.” A 10-day tour of six national parks takes in the Grand Canyon as well as Arches, in Utah, a personal favorite of Burns’s, and includes a private “flight-seeing” adventure over Capitol Reef National Park. Burns is planning Tauck’s five-day jaunt to New Orleans in October. His favorite spots in the Big Easy: “Arnaud’s for Creole food and Preservation Hall for music are classics.” David A. Keeps is a contributor to Travel + Leisure
This week we head West, dear Vacationists, for hotel deals in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and Vancouver, amongst other destinations. Which property is offering rates of less than $100 a night? Click here for more.
Run out of clever ways to show off your impressive array of passport stamps? Now you can proudly track your travels with this Places on Earth print. The print, a hand-drawn map of the world, comes complete with a container of pushpins, and four heavy bulldog clips (to keep the print from curling).