Good news for those thinking about an affordable spring or summer rental. We learned this morning that HomeAway, one of the largest vacation rental companies, is expanding its offerings to include homes in South America. With its purchase of Brazil’s top rental site, AlugueTemporada.com.br, HomeAway, with more than 12,000 new properties to choose from, now has the most vacation rentals in the region—and some 453,000 additional homes spread across North America and Europe.
HomeAway appears to be on an acquisitions roll; the company also announced last week it purchased BedandBreakfast.com for an undisclosed sum.
Adrien Glover is the online deputy editor at Travel + Leisure.
Image courtesy of HomeAway
USA Today | An Arizona road that once led to the ruins of the ancient Hopi Native American civilization now dead-ends at a shut gate.
"Due to budget reductions," a sign reads, "park closed." [....]
Homolovi Ruins officially closed Feb. 22, victim of a state budget deficit that led Arizona lawmakers to cut parks funding last year by 61%.
Homolovi is part of the first in a wave of closures that by June are planned to padlock 21 of the state's 30 parks, leaving people far fewer places to explore the history and beauty of Arizona.
Arizona is one of many states struggling to balance recreational values and budget crises: Lawmakers in at least a dozen states have contemplated the closure of up to 400 state parks this year, according to a National Association of State Park Directors survey, says Philip McKnelly, the association's executive director.
Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews
MONDAY: To commemorate its 10th birthday, JetBlue is offering $10 tickets on remaining seats on flights between New York City’s JFK Airport and the first 10 cities it served. You must book the flights today but you can fly today and tomorrow between JFK and Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach FL; Buffalo and Rochester NY; Oakland, Calif.; Burlington VT; and Salt Lake City.
That’s a quick turnaround, but impulsive behavior flourishes when spring is in the air.
For more information or to book, please visit JetBlue.com before midnight.
Ann Shields is a online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Image courtesy of JetBlue Airways
Read correspondent Connie McCabe's first Chile dispatch here, and her second dispatch here.
Just over one week ago the earthquake—and we all know what earthquake I'm talking about—woke me up in the middle of the night. As reported, everything rattled, but nothing broke. A few picture frames toppled over and all seven perfume bottles fell, but they landed not on the marble floor but atop cushy piles of socks and stacks of t-shirts in the bureau drawers that were opening and closing with the lurching of the house. Some of us are lucky. Ridiculously lucky.
Five days later, on Thursday, it was my alarm clock chiming me awake at 3:30. Not because I had to get to work, but because my husband and stepson were setting off for Lebu, a small coastal town that straddles the Lebu River in the region of Bio Bio, about 90 miles south of Concepcion. Here, the earth jerked and cracked at its most violent 8.8, and most houses, made of wood panels and corrugated tin roofs, writhed and creaked along with it.
Twenty minutes later, the Pacific, which had been displaced 30 miles below its surface, rose, filled the bay and overpowered the river, forcing it—for the first time in history—to flow in reverse. Bunches of fishing boats that had been tied together on either side of the mouth of the river were dislodged, and more than half of them propelled upriver. Inexplicably they ended up beyond the bridge that most of the 20-meter long painted wood vessels are too big to clear. In the darkness, the Pacific retreated with a vengeance, sucking the river and one elder fisherman and his wife into the sea. The river had been reduced to a fraction of its original size. Now it was a creek, and stuck in its muddy remains, some 50 traumatized fishing boats, scattered and skewed helter-skelter.
Washington (CNN) | President Obama has tapped a former Army general to lead the Transportation Security Administration, sources have told CNN.
Obama plans to nominate Robert A. Harding, a retired major general with 33 years in the Army, to become the TSA administrator, sources said. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will announce the nomination Monday with Harding by her side, according to one administration official.
"The TSA administrator is the most important unfilled post in the Obama administration," one administration official said. "Mr. Harding has the experience and perspective to make a real difference in carrying out the mission of the agency."
FamilyGetaway.com, a new website for value-seeking families, just launched and is offering travel packages at up to 65 percent off retail prices at places like the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Koloa, Hawaii, Highmark Steamboat Springs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.
Owned by the same company as LuxuryLink.com, FamilyGetaway.com operates in a similar manner as the popular luxury travel website by offering two purchase options:
-Auction: Those with flexible travel dates can submit bids on the package of their choice, assuring the website’s best values.
-Buy Now: For those with less flexibility, there is the Buy Now option that still offers steep discounts (often up to 50 percent off!).
Utah and its frontiers for skiing and snowboarding have long been on my list for exploration, and my recent trip there did not disappoint. In fact, I was amazed at how easy it was to get there (a non-stop from JFK to SLC on Delta plus 35 minutes in my Enterprise rental car from the airport to Park City—with no harrowing mountain pass requiring tire chains). And it was so much fun (9,026 acres of skiing; hundreds of hotels to choose from, sunny skies, and, since 2009, no more “membership” necessary to enter a bar and buy a drink). One local told me he always felt like Park City was the redheaded stepchild of the U.S. ski areas, but I think it is soon to be (if not already) one of the favorites.
Apex and Spider Monkey, The Canyons (lift ticket $85 a day)—trails here are generally fairly narrow, which made me feel immersed in nature, much like when I hike. Apex varies intermediate and advanced tilt down a thrilling ridge, and Spider Monkey bops beneath a cathedral of tall pines.
Obscura Day, “an international celebration of wondrous, curious, and esoteric places,” is March 20. Find offbeat treasures in your own hometown, or wherever you plan to be that day.
There’s something for everyone:
Tours for the science nerd
+ In Palo Alto, CA, visit one of the world’s largest working pneumatic tube systems, a 4-mile network through Stanford University Hospital that works to “shuttle specimens and paperwork around at 18 miles per hour”
+ Head to Dunedin, New Zealand to see the Beverly Clock, a 146-year old science experiment, powered solely by atmospheric changes
+ Tour Reed College’s nuclear reactor in Portland, OR (controlled by undergraduates, God help us)
+ Take a tram ride 65 stories below street level through the Kansas Underground Salt Museum built on an actively mined vein of salt that stretches from Kansas to New Mexico. (The world’s oldest organism was found here!)
+ Stroll the poison garden at Northumberland, England’s Alnwick Castle
Call me a grinch, a misanthrope, a DINK (dual-income-no-kids), or the anti-cute-police, but I hate (hate a thousand times over) ill-behaved children/infants/screaming banshees in upscale restaurants.
Upon doing some research, it turns out I’m not alone. Not only are there message boards, websites, even petitions to promote child-free dining, it turns out there’s an international social club devoted to the baby-free lifestyle.
I’m not a card carrying NoKidding member yet, but for now I plan on asking restaurants what their child policy is before attending.
Here, a few pre-screened restaurants that refuse to break out the coloring books and crayons:
Read correspondent Connie McCabe's first Chile dispatch here.
Monster earthquake notwithstanding, this is a big year for Chile, nothing less than her 200th birthday. But no one is talking much about that anymore.
Michele Bachelet’s Bicentennial Advisory Committee had been mapping out a host of celebrations, initiatives and projects to benchmark the big year. New cultural centers were rising up. A satellite was to be ejected into space. Plazas were to be renovated; parks improved; poetry contests held.
Yesterday, thanks to catastrophe-hungry media, the only things the world saw being held were rifles and iron bars as angry Chileans cleaned out a mini-market just outside Santiago. And the world saw this again and again. That and images of tanks rumbling through debris-strewn streets of Concepcion and smoke billowing ominously out of supermarkets. There’s also the scene of the weary fishermen and their families—what is left of them—combing through the shattered remains of what was, just days before, a coastline of idyllic beach destinations. And people fighting tear gas and each other for a few canisters of powdered milk and scooping up water from blown-up baby swimming pools.