Delta is taking the hip in-flight safety video meme to a new level with a new 80s-themed instructional, debuting on planes on January 30. Here, five reasons to watch (and love)—even if you’re not a former Aqua Net user.
The girls who have to switch seats because their teased side-ponies are blocking the aisle.
The John McEnroe lookalike who rocks the worm down the aisle.
United is celebrating the reopening of its Terminal 3 East at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with an online sweepstakes for two free tickets. All voters need to do is choose their favorite feature at the $138 million renovation of T3E, helmed by design firms Hansel Phelps, Gensler, and KPA.
Here, six aspects of the new space T+L loves most:
You can stay connected: Over 375 power outlets dispersed at work stations, make it easier than ever to keep your gadgets up and running—to better enjoy SFO's free WiFi.
Or you can disconnect: Yoga studios let visitors find their zen before that longhaul to Hong Kong.
You'll actually want to visit the bathroom: With private dressing rooms and comfortable nursing areas, it's no wonder SFO is touting these as “5-star restrooms.”
Today, Google Glass got a big makeover. Once a standardized design that said little more than “Look at me—I’m tech savvy!” the frames now come in four new looks, each worthy of a spot in Warby Parker’s lineup. Along with the upgrade is a practical twist, too: the new models can be fitted with prescription lenses, making the frames (which cost $225) eligible for insurance reimbursement. It’s a huge move for the product, which is expected to hit mass market by the end of the year. And as Google gears for the big launch, Glass is kicking it up both with style and substance, introducing a slew of new apps—some perfectly suited for travelers.
Frequent travelers, it’s time to conquer our worst enemy: jet lag.
While there’s no easy way to completely beat jet lag, there are several steps you can take to ease the pain of crossing multiple time zones quickly.
Travel wasn’t always this difficult on our internal clocks. But each technological advancement in transportation also brought changes to our time management. When long-distance railroads took off, matching timetables with local times became a challenge. So in 1883, we created standardized time zones.
The advent of the jet age in 1958 brought a new problem. We suddenly could traverse several time zones faster than our bodies could adjust. Eight years later, the term “jet lag” appeared in the Los Angeles Times (the earliest recorded mention, according to Air & Space magazine).
The term caught on, of course. And, as we know, jet lag is particularly bad when flying east.
This charming mountain town is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Nature is always nearby so don't be surprised if you have to stop your car to let an elk cross the road. Built with romance in mind, each of the 14 suites at the Della Terra Mountain Chateau have a fireplace, claw-foot tub, and private patio hot tub with a view. Rates from $185/night.
Innovative design can make your travel experiences better and even more memorable. Whether it's a classically designed hotel or a high-design destination, we'll be discussing the latest from design and travel experts this Tuesday, January 28th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. Ask them for their insider advice!
My recent Why We Travel post discussed the potential risks of traveling to the Sochi Olympics in the wake of Russia's new anti-gay law. But the Duma is far from the only legislative body on earth enacting prohibitive policies against LGBT individuals.
The list of countries with draconian laws includes many of the expected players: Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria call for the death penalty as punishment for homosexual activity. In Bangladesh and Guyana, life imprisonment awaits transgressors. Yet these countries are not exactly top destinations for most Americans. So however they may feel about the laws, US travelers are unlikely to base their vacation plans off of them. A travel boycott by Americans to the Solomon Islands, where homosexuals face up to fourteen years in jail, is unlikely to hold much sway.
Want to know the number one destination to hit in 2014? So do we. T+L reached out to our panel of travel experts during a recent Twitter chat to find where to go this year and why. Here's what they had to say:
Innovations in tech-savvy travel seem to be made every second. In a recent Twitter chat, we asked our panel of experts for the gadgets and apps that will change the way we travel in 2014. Here's what they had to say:
Travel is exciting, yes. But, the packing process—especially for families—is stressful. To do it efficiently takes time and focus. To avoid mass dumpage into the suitcase, I start packing two weeks before we leave. And, I challenge myself to halve what I “think” we need.
I place a cardboard box next to the table and drop things in as I think of them: books, sunscreen, shampoo, and medicine. First, I pack the kids. I begin laying the clothes out by category on the dining room table: undies, PJs, tops, bottoms, dresses, hats, shoes. Then, I create a small grooming kit for each kid with brush, toothbrush, hair ties, and Band-Aids. A few days later, I revisit the mounds and remove what is not entirely necessary.
Our kudos goes to Expedia; the online booking giant has kicked off 2014 with a slew of intuitive, new features. Filling a void we’d always lamented, there’s itinerary sharing, by which customers can share live itineraries with whomever they choose (updates on delays get sent as real-time notifications). Also new: Scratchpad, a dashboard where you can save your searches and then access them from any device, or sign up for email notifications on price drops on your select routes. And finally, there’s Flight Recommendations, which analyzes your search parameters and suggests alternate airports or itinerary tweaks that might get you a better deal. And none of this could have come at a better time for Expedia, given the groundswell of rumors surrounding Google’s reinvented travel search tools—likely to hit the web come March.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Chef Bobby Chinn is shaking things up at his new restaurant, House of Ho, in London’s SOHO. He’s bringing the bright flavors of Vietnamese street food inside and giving them a twist by adding unexpected ingredients like truffle oil to his ceviche and caramel sauce to his monkfish. Chinn roams through his sexy new space, greeting diners and serving drinks alongside his knowledgeable staff, a practice not often done in these parts.
The bitcoin continues to establish itself in the travel industry, with online booking site PointsHound and two Las Vegas casinos joining the growing list of companies utilizing the cryptocurrency this week.
PointsHound, a website which helps travelers book vacations and earn points for their various loyalty programs, will now let users earn their rewards in bitcoins. For example, rather than boosting their AAdvantage points by 3,400 miles, PointsHound users can opt for 0.1093 bitcoins instead when purchasing a night at over 150,000 hotels worldwide. (Those numbers come from booking a $1,124, one-night stay at the T+L World's Best Award winner Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.)
T+L reached out to some of the industry's top travel experts during a recent Twitter chat to learn what trends would make it big in 2014. From airports enveloped in botanical gardens to in-cabin WiFi on your next cruise, here are their predictions:
When it comes to saving money on flights, booking early is key—especially since many ski areas are accessible via mountain airports that accept only a small number of flights each day. Other smart times to look for tickets: right before Thanksgiving and just after the New Year. Kayak crunched the numbers for us, and found that the average domestic airfare to Salt Lake City was at its lowest during those periods last year.
Berlin has gone to the dogs (and cats)—or at least its restaurant scene has. Pets Deli, Germany’s first eatery specifically for choosy canines and felines, recently opened over the holiday season and offers gourmet treats and meals from three to six euros ($4-8) a pop. Pets can chow down on high-quality beef, turkey, or kangaroo (!) meat from metal bowls in the restaurant, or take snacks like animal-approved cupcakes to go. Sides include broccoli, berries, rice, pasta, and potatoes, and all products pass store manager and animal nutrition expert Katharina Warkalla’s test.
The numbers are in, and 2013 was one of the safest years on record to board a passenger plane. According to Dutch research group Aviation Safety Network, the year's 29 airline “accidents” led to 265 deaths, well below 2012's 475 casualties and nowhere near the ten-year high of 1,074 fatalities in 2005.
Data shows a sharp decline in both casualties and incidents since the late 1990's, while the 1960's and 70's repeatedly saw over 80 accidents and upwards of 2,000 fatalities a year. So even though this month's Southwest debacle may keep some Americans afraid of flying, the reality is that there hasn't been a safer time to take to the skies since the 1940's. See the full charts here.
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.
Last month, the TSA debuted its first Precheck enrollment center at the Indianapolis Airport—with 300 more to open by spring—making an expedited security process more accessible than ever. Meanwhile, Canada’s Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International airport is testing another strategy to alleviate waits: a free, timed reservation system called SecurXpress. Here’s how it works: Enter your flight number and phone number on the airport website. Then, you’ll receive a text message, which acts as a ticket, with a reserved time for a specific SecurXpress checkpoint. Think of it like Disney’s FastPass. One text message is good for up to five people traveling together, and it’s up to you to get there on time. Unfortunately, the system only works on domestic and some international flights within Canada—but if it’s successful, maybe we’ll see it cross the border one day soon.
Brooke Porter is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo Courtesy of Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
The New York restaurant scene is “ever changing, full of surprises, and more delicious than ever,” says T+L Contributing Editor, Adam Sachs. From reinvented cuisines to out-of-the-box thinkers, join us for a one-hour Twitter chat today, Tuesday, January 21st from 2-3pm ET on New York restaurants and the innovative chefs behind them.
I’m writing this week’s column while riding Amtrak’s flagship train, the Acela Express, between Washington, D.C., and New York. In many ways, I love this train. But it can also disappoint me.
Let’s face it: Amtrak has to provide good enough service to have travelers pick it over flying, driving, or taking the bus, but it doesn't have to do much more. Multiple airlines and bus companies travel between Boston, New York, and Washington. But only one train line connects all three: Amtrak.
Need a dose of wanderlust to get your week going? We're having a T+L influencer take over our Instagram account every Monday to show you the most beautiful destinations in the world. To kick it off, we looked to our award-winning properties.
Based on ranking in the World’s Best Awards, followed by location, and Instagram followers, we picked several hotels and resorts to initiate the takeovers.
One&Only Palmilla was the first property to take over our Instagram account and was armed with beautiful pools, sunsets, and beach scenes.
Guess which destinations will be featured next by checking out TLWorldsBest.com and voting in the 2014 World’s Best Awards. Get ready to start your week with a peek...
We just returned from Cruise Lines International Association's 2014 State of the Industry Report, a mini-conference-of-sorts held in Manhattan's Alexandria Center. Our takeaway: 2014 will be a particularly great year to cruise—for many reasons. Here, a peek at some of the news that really excited us:
Glamorous new ships, including Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas (replete with its own 23-foot sky diving center); Windstar’s 212-guest Star Pride; new sister ships from AMA Waterways, the AmaSonata and AmaReina, cruising the Rhine and Danube rivers; and the Costa Diadema (don’t miss the Bar Bollicine prosecco bar), to name a few.
Even as excitement grows for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, news over the games has been dominated by controversy. Just last week the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert to Russia. Much of the fuss over the past few months—and one of the six “risks” outlined by the travel alert—pertains to Article 6.21, a country-wide anti-gay law in place since June.
The Godfrey Hotel Chicago knows a thing or two about the elements. Resembling large stacking blocks made out of modern steel, the luxury boutique hotel features nods to the elements throughout its property.
This past year, scientists discovered element 139, which has yet to have an official name. Ever a fan of the periodic table, the Godfrey is offering the following for the wittiest name suggestions:
First place: Discounted rate of $139 throughout the entire year of 2014, one night complimentary stay, and a $25 gift card to I|O Urban Roofscape
Second place: Complimentary one-night stay
Third place: $25 gift card to I|O Urban Roofscape
Enter now through January 21 on the Godfrey Hotel Facebook page here.
Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure
If you’ve ever gone around and around the block looking for a free spot, you know what a nightmare parking in the city can be. For the visitors and residents of Westminster, this takes an average of 15 minutes.
Fortunately, navigating London’s congested Westminster district just became much more simple—and high-tech.
Thanks to a successful trial of infrared sensors on five main thoroughfares, drivers can now use the ParkRight app on their smartphone to detect a vacant space as they approach their destination.
Fact: South Beach is a paradise for grown-ups: sun, sea, sand and a super-sexy party scene.
But, here’s a little-known secret: Miami is a spectacular family getaway. This past winter break, I headed down to South Florida with my husband and two daughters to defrost and indulge in some family fab adventures.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
For this trip, we shacked up at the Fontainebleau. Located on the beach, this iconic hotel offers apartment style suites outfitted with a washer/dryer and kitchen, a major bonus for a travelling family. This allowed me to pack less and be better prepared for the hunger-inspired tantrums that crop up every few hours. Having a leisurely breakfast in our PJs versus having to get dressed and face the crowds (pre-caffeine) for overpriced cereal is a game changer. It is a luxury that adds that extra element of relaxation to the vacation.
The first time I went to Tokyo, one of my favorite parts of the city was discovering the delightfully strange Kit Kat flavors sold there (Gouda Kit Kat, anyone?). I was delighted to discover the world's first Kit Kat specialty store opens January 17 in the Seibu Department Store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district.
Located in the depachika (department store basement food hall) of Seibu, the Kit Kat Chocolatory will have a variety of delicious (and outlandish) flavors that will rotate seasonally, including Cherry Blossom Green Tea and Chili. Some of these bizarre flavors can already be found in gift shops and specialty candy stores around the city, but a one-stop Kit Kat only store? I only wish it was open when I went.