Security lines. Passport stamps. Checked luggage. Have you ever stepped back and really thought about why we travel the way we do? In some ways, this industry is—pardon the pun—on autopilot. And that mindset is exactly what author Doug Lansky set out to question.
A project 10 years in the making, new e-book Travel: The Guide is anything but your typical destination handbook, a clarification the intro makes abundantly clear.
International roaming as we know it is on the verge of becoming obsolete: the EU has proposed a single network for all European countries, T-Mobile no longer charges customers when surf the web abroad, and apps like Ringo help you tap onto local networks to circumvent pricey roaming packages and overages. Now, Apple is also getting in on the act with Apple SIM, a proprietary SIM card built into the new iPad Air 2.
All it takes is one safari to get a visceral sense of the importance of conservation in Africa. You feel it in your gut: the twinned awesomeness and fragility of the continent’s wild places. That’s why so many travelers give so generously to the parks and reserves they travel through. But how do you activate this protective instinct for place a few travelers have seen—and in a country as fraught as the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been riven by conflict and exploitation since the days of King Leopold? Give documentarian Orlando von Einsiedel a hand for finding a way to distill (but not diminish) these complex issues into the riveting Virguna, which premiers today on Netflix and in select theaters in New York City and Los Angeles.
The Setai Miami Beach’s latest spa treatments fit the hotel’s Asian-inspired aesthetic to a tea thanks to their partnership with Thémaé. The Paris-based cosmetics and spa brand is inspired by and named after the Japanese tea preparation ceremony. The Spa at The Setai by Thémaé was introduced earlier this year and features treatments that use exclusive products made from the extracts of red, white, green, and black teas—each of which has its own specific medicinal benefit.
Last year, Starwood unveiled plans to swap plastic keycards for Bluetooth technology—enabling guests to unlock their hotel rooms with a simple wave of their smartphone. We predicted it would be one of the biggest travel trends for 2014, and indeed, Hilton Worldwide and Caesars have since announced plans to bring the technology to their hotels as soon as this winter. But this week, Starwood is back in the spotlight as they pull back the curtain on how mobile entry works—and introduce it to ten properties in the Aloft, W, and Element portfolios.
As a die-hard coffee obsessive, I’m always seeking out the best brews in any city I visit. But I do need a starter cup to tide me over in the morning, and what I can get in my hotel room is rarely up to snuff (sorry, Nespresso). A new solution: the Coffee Travel Kit by Timbuk2 and Blue Bottle Coffee, a packable pour-over set roughly twice the size of your standard amenity kit. Included are a Japanese-made hand grinder with adjustable grind settings, a pack of filters, two Falcon enamelware mugs with felt cozies, a non-leeching plastic cone dripper, and—of course—a two ounce sample of Blue Bottle beans, all in a waved canvas and leather bag. So how do these expert-grade tools perform on the road? We took the kit for a test drive.
Combine old-fashioned customer service with a novel use of technology, and you get Double Robot. Indianapolis Airport recently rolled out its newest employee to complement guest services and assist in answering passengers' questions—airport transportation, gate locations, direction, more. An airport agent visibly appears and communicates with passengers through a tablet screen, propped up on a roller dressed in a blue customer service shirt similar to other employees. Cute, convenient, or creepy?
Nicoletta Richardson is a freelance editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure
New beauty services by Essie, XpressSpa, and 3FLOZ offers last-minute pampering before take off.
Essie Color Boutique: Equipped with 42 permanent shades and six seasonal hues, the new essie color boutique vending machine at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Oakland Airport, John F. Kennedy Airport, and Houston George Bush Airport¾lets travelers purchase polish on the go. Our favorites for fall: Take It Outside taupe; Partner in Crime dark brown; and Fall in Line, a fabulous jade green.
A cacti-filled garden in Morocco, lush country homes in England, a tropical oasis in Florida: the world is filled with countless public and private green spaces—and the new book The Gardener’s Garden brings together more than 250 of the world’s best.
Last week, the Iceland-based Wow Air announced that starting in March 2015, it would offer special introductory fares from Boston and Baltimore: $99 one-way flights to Reykjavik and $228 roundtrip flights to London and Copenhagen. The discount carrier is taking a page from Norwegian, which is now flying out of five U.S. cities, with more to come. (Though unlike Norwegian, it won’t include free WiFi.) As for luggage charges, expect to pay $29 for a carry-on booked online, or $48 at the airport.
The City of Light is known for streets steeped in history, stunning sights and nightlife, and of course legendary food. This quick video is an episode of the Travel + Leisure video series called #TLMoment, which captures the serendipitous and unexpected travel moments we experience around the globe.
It’s been a full fifteen years since Westin introduced the Heavenly bed—an icon so popular it’s since been adopted by Delta and sold to consumers worldwide. To mark the occasion, the brand is now introducing a sleep sensor lending program in collaboration with wearables company Lark Technologies—the latest in a series of wellness-related innovations by the Starwood brand.
New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood, often affectionately called “Hollywood East,” is one of the city's most dynamic neighborhoods. Follow our T+L guide and you’ll do it right.
Many attribute much of the transformation of Tribeca—a former no-man's land now filled with cool shops and hip restaurants—to Robert De Niro, who is the owner of the handsome, 88-room Greenwich Hotel. During the star-studded Tribeca Film Festival, this is his home base.
To get a taste of the pseudo-casual yet super hip restaurant scene now led by of-the-moment chefs like Matt Abramcyk, try his unassuming yet undeniably cool bar Smith & Mills, in a design-forward space on North Moore Street. Keep an eye on this restaurateur; he turns out new projects almost every year.
Like Tribeca itself, Aire Ancient Baths retains its old Manhattan roots but has a shiny, new veneer. The Roman-style bathhouse, formerly a 19th-century textile factory, is furnished with wooden benches made from scaffolds of the city’s Triborough Bridge. Visit for a soak and forget all about the hustle outside.
Seemingly every day, we hear about the new “must-have travel accessory.” Sometimes they’re brilliant—Power solutions! Noise cancelling earbuds!—and some just miss the mark. Then somewhere in the middle are items we debate about furiously—like this Sleeper Scarf. Designed by a self-proclaimed frequent flier, the loop-style scarf (which comes in any of four colors) has a U-shaped neck pillow tucked into a hidden pocket. Blow it up and deflate it easily with a few breaths, or take it out of the scarf to cut the excess bulk.
In a world-class city like Paris, great hotels—and great hotel spas—are everywhere you turn. The hardest part is choosing which to visit first—a task that just got more challenging with the addition of U Spa Barrière Shiseido at the Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière, located on the posh avenue George V, in the 2nd arrondissement.
South Pigalle is a stylish, family-friendly, and authentic area in the ninth arrondissement of Paris that’s truly up-and-coming. Shops, boutiques, and cocktail bars lie hidden just around the corner from Montemartre and Sacré-Cœur. Sarah Spagnolo shows how to spend a day in “So-Pi."
Sting relived his past as a cruise ship entertainer with an intimate performance aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 earlier this week. The show took place just two days after the Broadway debut of his first-ever musical, The Last Ship, now playing at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Even more precious than the Tuber Magnatum is the dog on the scent of a truffle. In Roddi, Italy, an area just a few miles away from Alba's Truffle Fair, Daisy (a Lagotto Romagnolo) shows off how quickly she can find the precious tuber.
I still remember the thrill of walking into the old Max Fish when I first moved to New York in 2007. The Ludlow Street indie rock bar was one of the last remaining holdouts of a fabled era on the Lower East Side, one marked by edgy music venues, Velvet Underground burnouts, and downtown hipsters before hipster was a look sold in SoHo retail windows. Heaps of trash and roving dope dealers still gave the block an authenticity that was under siege from frat bros and cheesy lounges—hallmarks of the modern LES. Inside, Max Fish was far removed from its '90s heyday, but vestiges of its bohemian glory remained, like the legendary jukebox and graffitied bathrooms. It smelled of stale beer, cigarettes, and sweat. It was gritty. It was perfect.
South America’s celebrated chef and grillmaster, Francis Mallmann,just released his second English-language cookbook—a follow up to the instant classic Seven Fires. Mallmann on Fire, written with Peter Kaminsky, is far more than the sum of its 100 live-fire recipes. It takes us on a vibrant culinary journey around the world and into the heart of a gentleman gaucho with a peripatetic soul.
The global economy is up and business travelers are back in airplane cabins. Most major airlines are posting healthy profits and airlines are scrambling to score lucrative premium-cabin travelers. Just look at JFK-LAX: lie-flat beds in business class are the norm and even JetBlue is getting in on the action with its new Mint service. (I'm actually writing this post from a Mint seat with blazing fast Wi-Fi!)
So with the cash rolling in, airlines are getting stingier when it comes to leisure travelers and the perks bestowed by elite status. Starting January 1, 2015 Delta and United will stop awarding miles based on how far you fly—it’s now all about how much you spend.