Navigating the world of villa rentals is a dicey proposition. What looks incredible online (spacious rooms, gorgeous pool, state-of-the-art kitchen) often ends up being in one word—a dump. Case in point: a couple of years ago, my husband rented a house in Costa Rica and arrived to discover the place had no roof. While I have no problem camping out under the stars, it’s a different story when the kids are with me. A new villa rental company launching in October, Kid & Coe, aims to assure families that you won’t reach your dream house to discover a 50-foot cliff drop off the pool. Launched by Zoie Coe, wife of DJ Sasha, from Sasha & Digweed, the company has properties in Europe and the US, as well as a few prime vacation destinations like Sayulita, Mexico and Transcoso, Brazil. All houses are approved by the Kid & Coe team, often by Coe herself who is constantly on the road with her little ones. Stylish, functional, and safe digs are guaranteed.
Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.
This week Silversea Cruises announced that for the first time in its 20-year history, one of their ships will have a female captain. Swiss-citizen Margrith Ettlin will be taking the helm of 132-guest Silver Explorer expedition ship.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty of our planet, and its countless different cultures,” Ettlin says. “I thought that spending a life at sea would be the perfect way to explore the world.” Her first stops as captain? The worlds tough-to-navigate, ice floe-filled polar regions.
How many people does it take to run a hotel’s front desk? Soon enough, the answer will be zero. Just last month, Marriott Hotels debuted a new app that lets guests check in from their smart phone starting at 4PM the day before their arrival. As it stands, these guests still need the help of a front desk clerk—if only to pick up their room key.
But Marriott isn’t alone. InterContinental Hotels Group (which owns the flagship InterContinental brand as well as Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn) has recently debuted a similar technology, letting guests at select properties check in via a mobile app. With theirs, a machine in the lobby can dispense your room key upon arrival, so long as you can supply some basic identifying information. (Can you hear the collective weeping of receptionists around the globe?) We’re also hearing rumblings that some clever hoteliers are attempting to take mobile check-in to a whole new level—perhaps even eliminating the need for a room key overall.
He recently released a new video, and dare I say, it's even better.
Luke traveled to 36 cities in 21 countries across Europe and shot more than 20,000 photographs to create this film called Nightvision. He describes it as a "celebration of the brilliant and diverse architecture found across Europe."
See it for yourself.
Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Everyone's heard of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, (see video) a tradition made famous by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises. I've run with the bulls too—not in Pamplona, but in Tecate, Mexico, in 1980, in a makeshift recreation of the Pamplona encierro. What a disaster. The bulls were small yearlings, far too young for such an event. It looked to me as if the tips of their horns had been purposely blunted. The runners were mainly drunk and rowdy college kids who yanked the animals' tails, knocked their legs out from under them, and piled on top of them as if it were a rugby scrum. And now, a group calling itself the Great Bull Run is bringing this extreme activity to a city near you. But hold the olés just yet.
Their new names will be ‘The Mayflower Grace’ and ‘The White Barn Grace.’
The boutique hotel group makes no secret of its plans to expand, opening beach resorts, residences, and city center properties in such diverse locales as Beijing, Santorini, and Cafayete, Argentina. And now, it also has the corner on New England. The Mayflower and White Barn will join the Vanderbilt, in Newport, Rhode Island, giving the Grace family the reins of three of the region’s most prestigious hotels.
It may be Wednesday, but don’t lose your bite! The weekend is on its way and there’s plenty to explore when traveling with your trusted companion. Take Camo the Jack Russell Terrier, for example. When he’s not napping, he’s taking on the great outdoors with his pal (and one of our top Instagram followers) Bridget Brunet at California’s Mammoth Mountain.
Have your own pet travel tips or photos? Submit them using the hashtag #TLDogs on Twitter or Instagram. Your pup could be featured next!
The global travel alertthat the U.S. Department of State issued at the end of last week has been met with a fair amount of criticism and head scratching. It’s vague. It’s frightening. And it’s not very clear what a traveler should do with this information.
The alert, which is valid through August 31, warns U.S. citizens about “the continued potential for terrorism attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.” It was prompted, according to news reports, by intercepted communications between al Qaeda operatives—chatter that Senator Saxby Chambliss, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee characterized on NBC’s “Meet the Press” as “very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11.” Though Yemen is obviously a major area of concern right now (the U.S. has not only evacuated the embassy there, but urged all Americans to leave the country), the State Department’s alert is not restricted to any particular region. It even goes so far as to remind travelers of the possibility of attacks on “public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure,” including subway, rail, and aviation services. (A threat that is underscored by a recent ABC News story about terrorists working to develop an as-yet-undetectable explosive liquid.)
Travel to East Africa came to a halt this morning as fire raged for several hours at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, suspending international arrivals traffic on Wednesday. Most international flights were diverted to the coastal city of Mombasa.
Flames and a massive cloud of dark smoke could be seen from the center of Kenya’s capital city, as part of the airport—the region’s largest—became a blackened shell. Emergency vehicles were immediately dispatched only to be caught in rush hour traffic on the main road to the airport. Fire trucks were faced with low water supplies at the site of the blaze.
This is only the latest twist in what has been a decidedly rollercoaster couple of years for guidebooks. After Google bought, for $23 million, the stalwart Frommer’s brand of travel guides and then bled the books for content (see the new and improved Google Maps), it sold the brand back to Arthur Frommer himself in April. The 83-year-old recently announced that he would begin publishing guides again in October, introducing a short EasyGuides series aimed at attention-deprived audiences. As reported in the New York Times, he hopes to have roughly 80 titles published by the end of 2014. To call this plan ambitious is an understatement.
Sicily’s allure is undeniable, but its capital is less universally loved. T+L reveals five compelling reasons to make it a destination.
Because wine tasting is surprisingly sophisticated. Forget cheap reds in straw-covered flasks: Palermo’s wine bars have become seriously chic. Try Vinoveritas(39-091/609-0653) for some 3,000 Italian and international pours and a tasty aperitivo spread; and Enoteca Picone, with its encyclopedic collection of small local producers. Kursaal Kalhesa, built into the medieval city walls, serves a dozen wines by the glass under ancient barrel arches.
Have you gone on any great trips this summer or are you still looking to get out of town? Need a quick weekend getaway and want to know the best hotels, restaurants, things to do, and destinations to visit in the summer? Join our live Twitter chat on Summer Travel this Wednesday, August 7th from 2pm to 3pm EDT. Our panel of experts will share tips on quick-and-easy beach weekends, the best places to get quintessential summer food, new destinations to discover, and summer travel trends. Ask them for their insider advice!
Join the conversation on Wednesday, August 7th from 2pm to 3pm EDT.
There is a definite method to packing shoes for a trip. Here are 3.
1. If you are not using a shoe bag then keep the soles towards heaven or facing away from your clothes, for obvious reasons; soles are dirty!
2. Shoes are one of the heavier items you will have in your bag so give lots of thought to taking too many. Chose a pair that can be worn in a variety of situations. Along with the one you are wearing, you’ll have enough.
3. Use the edges and corners of your suitcase to ensure every crack and crevice are used.
Mimi Lombardo is Travel + Leisure’s style director. Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having just got back from a family trip to Tuscany, Italy, I am deliriously in love with all things Italian–the food, the coffee, and most of all, the achingly beautiful architecture and art. So when I read that the country just called for free entry to all national museums and historical sites for kids under age 18, it made me want to pack up the twins and do the trip all over again. We didn't reap the benefits of the new law when we were there, and at often 15 euro a ticket, sightseeing became a costly venture. Now the Uffizi, Pitti Palace, the Medici museums, and hundreds of others are all gratis (see a full listing here). Who was it who said Italians do it better?
Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Starting today, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Lines—which represent nearly 90 percent of the cruise business in North America—will begin posting allegations of ship-board crimes on their websites, all in an effort to address concerns related to the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA). T+L reached out to Cruise Lines International Association for comment. Their take?
Cruising is one of the safest, most enjoyable vacation experiences for millions of people every year, and the crime rate on cruise ships is a small fraction of corresponding rates on land.
I’ll admit it: For years, Mexican food has seemed synonymous to me with street food. Although I mean that in the best possible way; there’s no place I’d rather spend my lunch money than on a gloriously drippy taco from a hole-in-the-wall joint or roving vendor. To my mind, a lightly charred masa tortilla, stuffed with juicy carnitas and generous dollops of salsa verde, is a thing of perfection—a dish that couldn’t possibly be improved upon. At least that’s how I felt before I traveled to Bajain early July, and got a taste of a new culinary movement underway there.
This morning’s news of a possible norovirus outbreak on a Qantas flight from Santiago, Chile to Sydney, Australia, has us all on edge. Known for wreaking havoc on cruise ships, the norovirus is not a typical worry for fliers. Should it be?
Here’s some news that will make you squirm in your airplane seat: complaints filed against airport security workers have increased by 26 percent over the last three years, according to a new study the Transportation Security Agency released yesterday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
About half the cases—9,622 in all since 2010—had to do with attendance and leave (32 percent) and screening and security (20 percent). Shockingly, those screening and security offenses included allowing travelers or baggage to bypass screening, sleeping on the job, drug and alcohol use while on duty, mishandling of classified information, and inappropriate or sexual misconduct. The report also cited a case in 2011 where a transportation security officer at Orlando International Airport pled guilty of embezzlement and theft charges for stealing more than $80,000 worth of laptops and other electronics.
We’ve long loved Hipmunk for its brilliant intelligent search capabilities, which help you find the least agonizing flights or the hotels that are best suited to your individual needs. Today, the app launches an update that once again changes the game: this time, it takes on the last-minute hotel booking sphere that has become quite the competitive space as of late.
Our most recent T+L Twitter Chat covered the best “secret” spots to visit in Europe, when you’re looking to skip the tourist attractions and head off the beaten path. Our panel of travel experts shared insider tips on unknown destinations, the best shopping spots, tourist-free beaches, and travel trends.
The food world is buzzing about brothers Joan, Jordi, and Josep Roca, whose restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, in the Catalonian river town of Girona, was recently crowned No. 1 on the planet. But we’re sweet on their other spot nearby: Rocambolesc Gelateria. The pint-size ice cream shop, decorated with vintage machinery and pipes that look like candy canes, dispenses a rotating roster of soft-serve flavors (baked apple; tangerine sorbet) topped with such novelties as caramelized sheep’s milk and lychee-strawberry “cloud”—and not a sprinkle in sight.
Look over on the highway to find a dog with his tongue hanging out of the window, ears flopping through the wind, and it’s hard to fight a smile. There’s something classic about a pup braving the open road.
But of course, safety comes first, and all those “Buckle Up” signs apply to Fido as well. For this week’s pet travel tip, we reached out to our Instagram follower Tiffany Tosh (@tiffxtosh). Sure enough, she confirmed that her Chihuahua, Louie (pictured), “is so happy go-lucky with traveling, but I always keep safety first and keep him buckled up in his car seat!”
Ahead of Glasgow-based band Franz Ferdinand’s new album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, front man Alex Kapranos shows T+L there’s more to touring than partying like a rock star.
Q: What are some perks of traveling as a musician? A: You pick up all sorts of musical influences. I love Colombian cumbia and Peruvian chicha. The melodies have great melancholy, but the rhythms are lively.
Q: Do you bring home souvenirs? A: I try to collect unusual instruments. My favorite is an earthenware bowl used at weddings in Peru. It has a space between two layers that’s filled with fine stones. After you eat, you shake the bowl to make a percussive sound while everyone dances.