Think of it as the StubHub for hotel rooms: with new site Roomer.com, travelers are able to offload non-refundable reservations onto anyone looking for a good deal. Unlike the ticket scalping site, bookings are re-sold at a discount—and often a steep one. On a recent search, we found half-priced rooms at the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental Miami, as well as rooms under $100 in New York City (yes, seriously). Here’s how it works: those looking to book simply browse through Roomer’s search engine and pick where they’d like to spend a night (or more). Each reservation must stick to the same dates as the original booking—one key downside—but Roomer takes care of transferring the reservation details to your name and credit card. We love the way the site puts the “current market value” next to your discounted price on numerous listings—it’s that kind of data that really gets a bargain hunter going!
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Think your trip to Paris or voyage to Sydney was totally unique? Think again.
French artist Thomas Jullien took viewers around the world in 852 Instagrams when he released his short film a few weeks ago. On foot, bike, plane and train, we see some of the world’s most beloved landmarks—the Arc de Triomphe, the Sydney Opera House, and the Statue of Liberty.
Jullien’s travelogue highlights how eerily similar 852 individual Instagramers picture the world through the same 16 frames and filters.
Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
We here at T+L have been reading a lot about Bitcoins lately.
The virtual currency—unaffiliated with national institutions and easily traded anonymously—has seen its value skyrocket to over $1,000 per “coin.” Whispers abound of a potential bubble (remember Tulipmania?). Today those whispers turned to full on warnings, when Chinese banks instructed financial institutions not to trade in the digital money. Yet while the news briefly caused the prices to tumble, they're once again on the rise.
In addition to the Art Basel buzz, Miami is getting extra attention today with the opening of the Pérez Art Museum Miami. The three-level, $131 million state of the art building took 28 months to build. Notable features include 200,000 square feet of program space, floor-to-ceiling hurricane resistant windows, and views of both the downtown skyline and Key Biscayne. Verde, the museum's restaurant by Steven Starr, will offer seasonal dishes, craft cocktails, and quick bites like pastries and sandwiches. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the venue was inspired by Stiltsville—the atmospheric collection of shacks off the coast of Key Biscayne. Tip: Stay at a Bal Harbour–area hotel for free admission to PAMM and three other museums.
The Transportation Security Administration (a.k.a. TSA) is opening its first Precheck enrollment center, at the Indianapolis International Airport today. Until now, PreCheck has been available only to loyalty-program members of the TSA's partner airlines and people enrolled in one of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Trusted Traveler programs, such as Global Entry. Today marks the first time any traveler, regardless of frequent-flier status, can sign up to get expedited security privileges. All you need is $85 (which covers five years), proof of citizenship (though not necessarily a passport), and a little extra time at the airport. The TSA plans to roll out an additional 300 such centers by spring 2014—with the next ones coming to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
This week, travel industry leaders descend on Cannes, France for the International Luxury Travel Marketplace (ILTM). The networking event is one of the largest of the year for the travel market; it's estimated that more than 57,000 meetings will take place between hotel groups, destinations, tour operators, travel agents and the media, including Travel + Leisure editors. In the interview chair? Jill Taylor and Lindsey Woodcock of Jet Set World Travel and Royal Monceau Raffles Paris general manager Omer Acar.
Sarah Spagnolo is special correspondent & new media editor at Travel + Leisure.
Miami Art Week kicks-off another year of buzzworthy fairs this week, drawing the international cognoscenti for the latest round of high-priced purchases and ritzy parties. It’s an especially notable time for a culture scene whose boundless growth has shifted the art world’s center of gravity toward South Florida—the glittering Pérez Art Museum Miami’s debut is the latest jaw-dropping splash, and hotels like The Betsy have a full slate of arts programming—exhibits, meet-the-artist events, and more.
As its cachet continues to rise, T+L sat down with Art Miami Director Nick Korniloff to get the scoop on the 2013 rendition.
Q: What are the can't-miss exhibitions at Art Miami this year?
A: The 2014 edition of Art Miami will provide an unprecedented group of high-quality galleries from around the globe that will have a selection of works at the forefront of the contemporary market. The fair will have three distinct curated projects—Check Out (above), Think Big and Zoom In (below)—that clearly define the overall depth, diversity, and quality of the Art Miami Fair. Each project area incorporates large-scale sculpture, flat work, video, and new media. In addition, we will have a special exhibition of Banksy original works, including one piece from his recent NY residency program.
A: If the child is an infant, try to be sympathetic. Intervening won’t help, but some earplugs might. When an older child is misbehaving (kicking the back of your seat, for example), then go ahead. Usually, talking directly to the parent—or even the child—will do the trick. If the problem persists, you should involve a flight attendant to keep the situation from escalating.
37: The percentage of passengers who would prefer to sit next to a smelly adult than a crying baby.
By now, we’re used to hearing the big news that Trip Advisor has acquired some smaller company—it seems to happen about once a week. But the past couple months, we’ve also been hearing big news almost every week from a very different type of company: the Ritz-Carlton.
The luxury hotel company has unleashed a flurry of new properties on the world in the past couple months, opening three in October (Chendgu and Tianjin in China, and Bangalore, India) and two in November (Almaty, Kazakhstan and Aruba), with another on the way mid-December (Herzliya, Israel).
In fiscal 2012, travelers left $531,000 in pennies, nickels, and dimes at airport security checkpoints, according the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Nearly 95% of the loose change collected came from domestic flights, with $22,000 coming from LAX alone. Altogether, the TSA has amassed over $2 million in the last five years.
What is the TSA planning on doing with all the money?
Currently it sits mostly untouched in an “aviation security fund,” but Florida representative Jeff Miller last week issued a committee report recommending the unused coins go toward upgraded travel amenities for members of the U.S. military and their families while traveling.
Congress is set to vote later this week on Miller's bill.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.