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Daily Transporter: The Bahamas

bahamas resort

The Grand Lucayan Resort will treat its millionth guest to a completely free stay (accommodations, food, and activities). The only caveats? Book before April 30 and be one-in-a-million lucky!

See the Grand Lucayan Resort in Best Hotels in the Bahamas

Editor’s Picks: Bahamas
See the Bahamas in World’s Best Islands
And Best Beaches on Earth
And Best Places to Travel After a Divorce

Lyndsey Matthew is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of Grand Lucayan Resort

Packing Tips: Lightweight Rain Gear

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Q: We are hotel-hopping through europe and we want to be prepared for mixed weather. any suggestions for lightweight outerwear? —Julia Stuopelis, via e-mail

A: Your best option for a fickle forecast: gear that packs into a pocket or pouch (see video below). Here, easy-to-stash coats and boots that offer protection from the elements or can be tossed into a tote or backpack during bouts of sunshine. Clockwise from left:

Men’s reversible nylon jacket with stowing pocket, Victorinox.
Men’s nylon windbreaker with stowing pocket by Swims.
Men’s coated-cotton jacket with packable pocket, K-Way by Marc Jacobs.
Women’s reversible nylon parka and matching bag, Louis Vuitton.
Rollable rubber-and-canvas wellies, Hunter.
Women’s compressible down jacket and pouch, Moncler.

Video: Stylish Raingear

Related Links:
How to Pack a Suitcase
How to Pack a Suit
How to Weather-Proof Your Vacation

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.

Photo by Levi Brown

Trip Doctor: Hotel Tipping Guide

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When it comes to hotel gratuities, even the most seasoned travelers admit to being stumped. That’s why we’ve put together this handy cheat sheet below, which you can take with you the next time you’re on the road.

  • Bellman: $1 to $2 per bag.

  • Concierge: $10 to $20 for performing a special service, such as scoring tickets to a sold-out event or wrangling lost luggage from your airline.

  • Doorman: $2 for hailing a cab in rush hour or in the rain; $1 for each bag.

  • Housekeeping: $5 to $10 per day. Leave it at the front desk if you want it divided equally among all your housekeepers.

  • Room Service: A service charge is almost always included in the bill. To personally thank your server, 5 percent will suffice.

  • Valet: $5 when your car is delivered.

  • Free Town-Car Service: Because they’re providing a complimentary amenity, drivers are instructed not to expect tips. However, it’s not uncommon for travelers to offer a gratuity. The minimum starts around $5 and goes up as the distance increases. While chauffeurs are generally making above-market wages, they still appreciate being recognized for going the extra mile—literally.

Note: Gratuities are often lower or not expected outside North America. Follow 
local tipping customs when traveling overseas.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is the Travel News Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo credit: Bernd Vogel / Corbis

Daily Transporter: Czech Republic

gorgeous fungi

Each year, 70 percent of Czechs go mushroom-picking (and know to avoid ones like the poisonous Amanita muscaria, pictured here).

See mushrooms in World’s Most Dangerous Foods

Editor’s Picks: Czech Republic
See the Czech Republic in Europe’s Most Beautiful Villages
and World’s Creepiest Attractions
and Beautiful Castles Around the World

Lyndsey Matthews is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Bagan Prohibits New Hotel Construction While Awaiting UNESCO World Heritage Status

Myanmar

Bagan, an ancient city in Myanmar with thousands of Buddhist temples and stupas dotting the landscape—and a place that I was lucky enough to visit last December—has put a halt on new hotels while the government applies for UNESCO World Heritage status.

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Chef's Tour: Northern Spain

Travis Swikard

If you’re looking for some travel inspiration this spring, get thee to New York’s Boulud Sud, where Executive Chef Travis Swikard just launched a series of special dinners highlighting the global cuisines he’s obsessed with now—Israel, Greece, Sicily, the Cote d’ Azur, and more (get tickets here). In the meantime, I asked him to share the highlights of his recent culinary adventures in Catalonia and Basque Country.

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New Book Turns Sushi into Art

Smiling Sushi Roll cover

We love this new book from celebrated Japanese food artist Tama-chan. A photo-anthology of her works, Smiling Sushi Roll showcases sushi at its most whimsical. While not all of the rolls themselves are smiling—a shockingly accurate copy of Edvard Munch's The Scream, for example, is not—readers certainly will be when they flip through the pages. The text is in Japanese, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Especially when it's a picture of a sushi tyrannosaurus.

Sushi Roll Dinosaur

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Just Back From Namibia

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Just back from the African country’s dramatic sand dunes and wildlife-filled reserves, T+L deputy editor Laura Begley Bloom shares a few of her favorite finds.

Most Memorable Sundowner: Here I am, having an end-of-day drink while at Okahirongo Elephant Lodge ($$$$), in the Kaokoveld—known for its rare desert elephants and black rhinos.

The Sands of Sossusvlei: Full disclosure: I didn’t quite make it to the top of Dune 45. We stayed nearby at Little Kulala ($$$$$), where I coveted the ostrich eggshell chandeliers, below, and bought this recycled glass necklace.

Local Souvenir: Wood-and-seed earrings from Okahirongo, where I also got the best wakeup call on the trip: an elephant purring just outside my window.

Top View: Watching animals gather around the watering hole at Onguma The Fort ($$$), a hotel near Etosha National Park.

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Video News Update: Disney, Airbnb & the Four Seasons Restaurant

In this week's travel news round-up, Disney launches its smart travel app, Airbnb is on the rise for business travelers, and we recap the controversy over the Picasso curtain at the Four Seasons Restaurant, New York.

Related Links:
More Travel Videos
Disney Guide
Best Apps and Websites for Travelers

Empire State Building Adds New Multimedia Experience

Empire State Building

Waiting in queue at New York City's Empire State Building just got a whole lot more enjoyable, thanks to a new interactive multimedia tour. User-friendly, social-media-connected, and highly informative, the experience teaches visitors the ins and outs of the historic high-rise.

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Daily Transporter: Charleston

charming streets of Charleston

Bringing a decidedly luxurious edge to an educational travel package, Belmond Charleston Place is offering a midweek stay that includes a lesson in plastering, an art revered in a town that values historic preservation.

See Charleston in World’s Best Cities for Romance

Editor’s Picks: Charleston
See Charleston in America’s Best Places to Eat Like a Local
and America’s Best Coffee Cities
and America’s Best Beer Cities

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.  Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

From Thrillist: Climb the Tallest Mountain in the World in 30 Minutes

 

Mauna Kea

Mount Everest gets all the credit, but Hawaii's Mauna Kea (an idle volcano that's been around for, you know, a million years) is technically the world's tallest mountain. Technically. While it stands 13,800 ft above sea level, more than two thirds of the hill is actually submerged underwater, which brings the total height to 33,136 ft.

Best part of that mathematical sleight of hand is that you can get to the top of Mauna Kea without training, oxygen masks, or even having to ask a dude to carry your fanny pack. All you have to do is sign up for this tour and hop on a mini-coach.

SEE MORE AT THRILLIST

Photo courtesy of Thrillist

Cool Hotel Amenities

Cool Hotel Amenities: Burberry trench coat

Why stop at Nespresso machines and turndown chocolates? When it comes to services and perks, some brands are taking things to the next level. Here, a few of our favorites.

Before: The hotel umbrella
After: Burberry trenches in every suite
Seen At: Maybourne Hotel Group

Before: Welcome wishbones
After: Puppies as concierges
Seen At: Kimpton

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Packing for a Business Trip

Packing for Business Travel: Dress

Q: I take a lot of business trips. what pieces travel best? —Janet Dewitt, Highland Park, Tex.

A: For a classic shape, we love the wrinkle-free shirtdress (pictured; $330) from Elizabeth Roberts—the fabric is nylon, so it’s lightweight, dries fast, and is virtually indestructible. Knits tend to stay wrinkle-free— this knee-length skirt ($445) and top ($195) by Wolford will take you through all manner of meetings. A sheath is fitting for day-to-night negotiations; roll up the cherry-red stretch version ($415) from David Meister for extra packability.

Plus: Our Secret Weapons

Roll-on fragrances are ideal for your carry-on. Try Elizabeth and James’s Nirvana Black ($22), with sandalwood and vanilla; Kate Spade’s citrusy Live Colorfully Eau de Parfum ($24); fresh and woody Marchesa Parfum D’Extase ($25); or Tory Burch’s namesake scent ($25).

The Esteam by Jiffy Steamer ($75) is the T+L style department’s de-wrinkler of choice. The best part? It heats up in less than two minutes.

Related Articles:
How to Pack a Suitcase
How to Pack a Suit
Confessions of a Packing Maximalist

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.

 

Photo by Victor Prado

The First American Retrospective on Italian Futurism is at the Guggenheim

Guggenheim Italian Futurism

New York City's Guggenheim Museum has raised the curtain on the future—and it's very big and very particular. Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe, organized by curator Vivien Greene, brings together more than 360 works of art, including documents and a wide range of objects, from around the world to reveal a largely unknown but dynamic and ambitious aesthetic movement of the first half of the 20th century.

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Daily Transporter: Tanzania

wild chimpanzee

It was wildest, untouched Africa, and it was magic.
Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Goodall, the primatologist and conservationist who turns 80 years old today, arrived in Africa at age 23 intending only to visit a childhood friend’s farm in Kenya.

See Tanzania in Best Life-Changing Trips

Editor’s Picks: Tanzania
See Tanzania in World’s Greatest Animal Migrations
and Best Hotel Bathroom Views
A safari camp for chimpanzee-viewing: Greystoke Mahalepictured

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of Nomad Tanzania

From Thrillist: The 10 Most Photographed Places on Earth

gargoyle

There’s only one rule to keep in mind when traveling: If you don't take photos, it didn’t happen. (That, and don’t drink the tap water.) An un-Instagrammed Eiffel Tower may as well not even exist—or, at least, you didn't see it. Yes, travel pics are important.

But what are the most popular shots travelers snap while traipsing the globe? Sightsmap recently used data from a Google-powered photo-sharing app to calculate the most captured spots, right down to the specific landmark. Here are the top 10.

SEE MORE AT THRILLIST

Photo courtesy of Thrillist

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi Debuts New Look

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

The Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi—six-time World's Best Award-winner and perennial Santa Fe favorite—is debuting a new look this week after a total renovation of the guestrooms.

Designed by the same firm that built the Inn's interiors 22 years ago, the rooms now boast brighter, earth-toned walls and local terracota ceramics. Bathrooms, previously done up in green, have quartz counters and white porcelain tiles. Not everything is new, however. the kiva-style gas fireplaces located in each of the property's 58 rooms? Thankfully, they are staying.

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Make-A-Wish Foundation Launches Loyalty Miles Campaign

Make-A-Wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is calling on fliers to donate extra airline loyalty miles in a month-long, national campaign. Communications Manager Josh DeBerge calls airline miles one of the organization's "most critical resources," and for good reason. Each year, it grants wishes to 14,000 children with life-threatening diseases. Ranging from "being a cowboy," to "seeing pineapples grow," nearly 75 percent of wishes require air travel, and the foundation needs 2.5 billion frequent flier miles annually.

The miles campaign leads up to World Wish Day on April 29th, and since most wishes occur during the summer, every mile donated in the spring makes a difference. Supporters can visit wish.org/miles for more information.

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.

Photo by Make-A-Wish®

Best Los Angeles Restaurants Now

Los Angeles Restaurants: Bar Ama

Gary Shteyngart takes on Los Angeles’ restaurants and eats his way through the best food in the city right now.

I’m East Coast through and through, but I’m not ashamed to say it: I love L.A. My first encounter with the mega-megalopolis took place at the advanced age of 30. A college friend of mine had a cousin who rented a place by the beach. Which particular beach, I do not recall, but the path to the sands was lined with giant swaths of bougainvillea, which made me think for just a brief moment that I was in southern France. That notion was dispelled when we reached the beach, which abutted a body of water that was no mere Mediterranean. I had never seen the Pacific Ocean before, had understood its vastness only on childhood maps. Made placid by the better portion of a bottle of California Chardonnay, I walked into the moonlit water, bent down, and slapped the onrushing waves. Somewhere up (or down) the coast, an enormous industrial building, a waste-processing plant, perhaps, smoked its way deep into the night. But I refused to let go of the moment’s magic, because that lump of ugliness amid the grandeur of the Pacific was Southern California too. I continued to walk into the ocean, the water dark blue around my legs, the temperature, as always, perfectly set to sixty-eight degrees, my gaze resolutely drawn toward Asia in the infinite distance. And I thought: Oh, this isn’t so bad.

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April Vacation Deals

Topping Rose House

Napa Valley Wine tastings. A Provençal cooking class. Dinner from a celebrity chef in Mexico. This month’s exclusive deals are guaranteed to make you hungry.

Hamptons: 35% off Greek Revival manor house

Customized Culinary Experience tour includes:

• 2 nights' accommodations in a king room at Topping Rose House (pictured) in the Hamptons, a Greek Revival manor house with 4 ultramodern cottages and a Tom Colicchio restaurant
• Scour the property’s farm to create a dinner menu suited to your tastes

Cost: $1,000 ($500 per night)

Book now for travel through May 31.

For more information or to book, please visit Topping Rose House.

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Daily Transporter: Rome

evening on the piazza

Antico Caffe della Pace, an Art Deco landmark off the Piazza Navona, has been the place to spot celebrities since the 19th century. (Woody Allen and Coppola, among others, have used the café as a film location.) A recent plan to close the café was quashed by a number of petitions supporting the “historic and cultural monument.”

See Rome in Celebrities’ Favorite Places

Editor’s Picks: Rome
See Rome in Best Hotels in Rome
and World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions
and Europe’s Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Big Travel Innovations Revealed Today

There have been a boatload of travel innovations revealed today, and the Trip Doctor news team is pretty excited about them all. Here are a few of our favorites:

Microclimates on a Plane: Soon, passengers flying Virgin America will be able to set the temperature for their immediate surroundings thanks to a new partnership with thermostat company Nest (see video above). Expect the "Nest-controlled microclimates," with temperature settings ranging from "Cancun Afternoon" to "Chicago Polar Vortex," on Boston- and Newark-bound flights from both Los Angeles and San Francisco first, with implementation on all routes completed by the end of 2014.

Read More

Swing into Spring with the Savannah Music Festival

Savannah Music Festival

There are many reasons to visit Savannah, Georgia: its historic architecture, delicious food, and hospitality. If you are a golfer, Hilton Head Island and its courses are only an hour away.   But now, while an endless winter keeps its grip on the Northeast, there may be no better reason to visit the gracious city where spring is in full bloom, than the Savannah Music Festival.

Read More

New Book of Portraits Spotlights New York City's Most Stylish Bicycle Riders

Stlish Bicyclist: Brian

Few could argue the fact that New York is one of the most fashionable cities in the world—and thanks to the book New York Bike Style (April 1; $29.95; Prestel), it’s clear that its residents don’t sacrifice their sartorial flair when on two wheels. Brooklyn-based photographer Sam Polcer took to his own teal Lotus 10-speed from the late '80s, seeking out stylish riders across the five boroughs.

Read More

London's Café Royal Hotel Unveils Apple iOS Bells and Whistles

Cafe Royal Hotel

One of London’s famous landmarks got a modern spin last week, as Café Royal Hotel—which opened just over a year ago on Regent Street—debuted a front- and back-of-house integration with Apple technology that's intended to streamline its entire operations process. Now, guests staying at the property can check in remotely using an iOS device, be it en route from the airport or over a cup of coffee in the restaurant, rather than having to queue up at the desk.

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Daily Transporter: Timbuktu

boats on the river niger

UNESCO and local masons have begun restoring sacred tombs in Timbuktu that were destroyed by occupying militants in 2012. (The traditional pinasse boats moored here still ferry travelers and goods to and from Timbuktu on the Niger.)

See World’s Most-Visited Sacred Places

Editor’s Picks: Mali
- World’s Coolest Bazaars
World’s Most Beautiful Buildings
Great Adventure Cruises

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Nature Calling? There's an App for That

As George Costanza can attest, one of the keys to urban survival is knowing where to go for the most magnificent facilities.

Bathrooms, that is. 

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Delta's New Innovation Class Reimagines Business Travel

Delta

Forget the 30-second elevator pitch: now you can have an entire three-hour flight to bounce ideas off your industry icon or dream business partner on Delta Air Lines’ new Innovation Class.

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Earn Free Stays Through Peer-to-Peer Rental Site Cosmopolit Home

Cosmopolit Home

The latest player in the peer-to-peer vacation rental game? The France-based Cosmopolit Home, which is trying to revolutionize a concept they call “nightswapping.” The idea is the brainchild of Serge Duriavig, who, after experiencing some downfalls of home swapping—agreeing on dates, finding accommodations up to his standards—created a new avenue to book free overnight stays.

Here’s how it works

Read More

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