These days, competition is heating up in the hotel industry. The big chains are not only competing against each other, but they’re also competing against online travel agencies and startups like Rocketmiles and Hotelied for your business. When you book through the hotel directly, it’ll give you points, whereas reserving through online travel agencies generally disqualifies your stay from earning valuable hotel points and possibly even getting your elite status. So if you want those points, book directly with the hotel—especially during the busy fall travel season when many brands offer lucrative promotions.
Here are the major hotel chains and their promotion details. You should always double check and make sure that the hotel you want to book isn’t listed as an exclusion—a lot of hotels opt out of these promotions because they get charges for the extra points. You may also want to plan your stays around the days where you’ll earn the most points.
Want to travel the country without leaving home? Or just need inspiration for your next American getaway? Turn to Hazel Lane, a new San Francisco-based start-up that curates monthly packages filled with artisan crafts and edible goodies from cities across the country. To start, the company is focusing on of-the-minute destinations—Nashville, Austin, Brooklyn, and Portland, Oregon, to name a few—and two six-month regional subscriptions will launch in time for the holidays: California Crawl (including wine country, Los Angeles, Oakland) and Hawaiian Island Hopper.
These seasonal cruises, when ships relocate from one part of the world to sail in another, can offer as much as 70 percent off the price of regular voyages—though be prepared for more days at sea and potentially costly one-way flights. We asked cruise editor Jane Wooldridge to find the best ones.
Crystal Cruises, San Diego to Auckland, New Zealand; Cost per day*: from $212; 15 days You’d ordinarily pay more than $400 per night on the luxury 922-passenger Crystal Symphony, where a recent update added Murano glass, Calcutta marble, and a 37-foot-long living wall. Guests have two days to explore Oahu, Hawaii, then a dozen more on board that are filled with filmmaking and art classes, magic shows, and lectures on maritime history and international relations. Oct. 28, 2014.
This fall, Chicago’s two airports give new meaning to the word runway. On September 21, Midway Airport is hosting the second annual Midway Fly Away 5K, benefiting the Special Olympics of Chicago. And on October 5, O’Hare International Airport gets in on the action with the O’Hare 5K on the Runway, which raises money for military vets through the Wounded Warrior Project.
Less than $200 a night and brand new. Meet the latest crop of affordable new hotels in the U.S.
The Remote Outpost: Outlook Lodge, Colorado Springs, Colorado
To get to the new Outlook Lodge, in Colorado, you’ll set off along a dirt road into the Rocky Mountains. After being welcomed by a strapping host, you’re on your own to explore the area trails or just grab a book and relax on the rustic porch.
What do some of the most experienced travelers think of life on the road? T+L and Fortune surveyed them to find out. Readers of both magazines offered insights into the best—and worst—parts of business travel.
Travel Habits Besides work, here's what business travelers have done while on the road:
• 71% snuck in sightseeing between meetings • 71% only bring a carry-on bag • 68% said they maintained their regular exercise and eating habits • 54% have extended a work trip for leisure • 40% ordered room service • 28% say scrutiny of expense reports has increased from five years ago • 23% have not removed liquids from their bag at security • 7% got "creative" with their expense report
Smartphone, tablet, laptop. Chances are you carry at least two of these devices on the road. I’ve been known to pack all three, along with a BlackBerry, for good measure. (Yes, I know: overkill.)
In many ways, our gadgets have become invaluable travel companions. But with their proliferation come new opportunities for cybersecurity breaches—whether it’s using an insecure Wi-Fi hot spot to check your e-mail or losing a device as you move from place to place. Unless you are carrying state or trade secrets, you are probably not a target for major espionage. But even the most leisurely of leisure travelers is still vulnerable. The risks run the gamut from having your credit card information stolen to full-on identity theft. Here are the major threats you should be aware of—and how to avoid them.
Climate change was the theme of Ann Yee's Spring/Summer 2015 collection—something that was on the minds of those who turned out for her presentation yesterday morning in 90-degree September weather. Prior to the show, the scene was cool, calm, and collected on the rooftop of midtown Manhattan's Refinery Hotel.
With New York's Fashion Week kicking off on September 4, the New York Palace is getting in on the fun.
Once home to Gossip Girl stars, the hotel is celebrating #NYFW and the series finale's 9th anniversary on September 5-6, by inviting fans to share a picture dressed as their favorite character for a chance to win goodie bags or cocktails. Here are details on how to enter.
Use the hashtag #SpottedAtThePalace on Twitter and Facebook to have a chance to gossip over cocktails and remember, XOXO.
Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Each carrier makes its own rules regarding who gets boarding priority when a flight is oversold or over capacity because of a change in aircraft. After looking for volunteers to give up their seats, some domestic carriers bump those who checked in last; others start with passengers in the lowest fare class. All of them give priority to people in special circumstances: those whose trips would be severely delayed, travelers with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, and (naturally) people in premier cabins or with elite loyalty-club status.
Travel + Leisure’s Sarah Spagnolo shares four destinations with affordable prices after Labor Day. Check out the video here.
1. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth is a charming town with an artisanal feel and an independent spirit—plus delicious seafood! The historic Wentworth By The Sea is a top choice for its recently renovated restaurant Salt, grand interior spaces, and incredible landscaping, plus an outdoor pool with marina views.
The best time to head to “the End,” as locals call it, is in the fall, when the weather still sparkles and the crowds have cleared out. Montauk Yacht Club, right on the water, has a classic sense of style, with blue-and-white rooms, tennis courts, and a spa.
It’s not ski season yet, which means that prices at the alpine-chic Washington School House are still affordable. Fall is a great time to visit Utah: there’s the bright fall foliage, crisp weather, and lots of outdoor activities from rock climbing to hiking.
Late summer and early fall in San Diego promises warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Make the Lakehouse Hotel & Resort your home base for access to water sports (kayaks, pontoons, stand-up paddle boards) and an outdoor fire pit.
Where do the Travel + Leisure editors want to go? These three destinations are on our radar now.
T+L Pick: Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee has always been home to country music but we’re noticing the rise of exciting, enterprising chefs. Start at Josephine, a farm-to-table-style spot in the 12 South area, then hit Pinewood Social, with a menu by local star Josh Habiger. The stellar turkey and cranberry sandwich tastes like Thanksgiving any day of the year.
Are you tired? Stressed from work? Want to take a vacation but feel like no one else can do your job or that you’ll return to an avalanche of unanswered e-mails and Excel spreadsheets? You are not alone; using paid time off is a pipe dream for many working Americans.
According to a survey conducted GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications for the U.S. Travel Association, one in four American workers are reporting that they are “very” or “extremely” stressed. But almost four out of ten American employees do not plan to use all of their paid time off (PTO) in 2014, despite having paid vacation days as part of their employment compensation.
Ever dreamed of going to outer space? Your chance has arrived.
Land Rover just announced its brand new premium compact SUV, the 2015 Discovery Sport. In conjunction with its luxury newcomer, the company has created a “Galactic Discovery” competition via its partnership with Richard Branson’s space-travel venture, Virgin Galactic. And it plans to take four lucky winners to the final frontier.
The Athenaeum Hotel—small, warm, stylish—puts you at the very heart of London: a walk through Green Park across the street takes you to Buckingham Palace; a short stroll up Piccadilly lands you at Fortnum & Mason or the Wolsely or peering through the window at Ladurée.
See London (and the Atheneum) this September with an exclusive deal for T+L readers from the Athenaeum: • Overnight accommodations with an upgrade to the next available room-category • Complimentary wi-fi, mini-bar, and use of the spa, gym, and hot tubs • Kids 12 and under can eat for free with an adult and all meals are 20% off during your stay
Rates begin at £249 ($410) per night, plus VAT. Good for stays throughout September.
For more information or to book, visit the Athenaeum online or call +44 (0)20 7499 3464; use booking code OUR GIFT TO T+L.
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc.
If you have yet to encounter the RedBall Project, get ready, because this traveling art project might be coming to a city near you. Passersby have been amazed to see the giant red ball hovering above London's Golden Jubilee Bridge, perched in front of Paris's Pompidou Center, or squished between two Beaux-Arts buildings in Barcelona. It's currently in Montréal, and first appeared at the Biosphere Environment Museum.
On every journey, I am always on the lookout for stylish souvenirs, but what really catches my eye are pieces with "you can only get it there" bragging rights. These wearable mementos might turn up in bazaars, vintage stalls, artisan workshops, even late-night bars where ex-pat jewelers will trade the occasional ruby-studded bangle over cocktails.
While exploring Shahpur Jat, an urban village where many of Delhi's next-wave stylists (Nida Mahmood, Olivia Dar, Sonam Dubal) have recently set up shop, I walked into interior designer Punit Jasuja's Second Floor Studio, filled with boldly silkscreened pillows and other tempting accessories.
How do you avoid looking like a tourist when you travel? Find out in our Local Experts Twitter chat on Tuesday, September 2nd from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join along to ask the experts for tips and advice!
T+L's Deputy Digital Editor, Adrien Glover, @xoadrien
Grab your cameras and passports! The Buenos Aires-based travel photography company, Foto Ruta, is launching workshops in Barcelona and London. Founded in 2011 by professional photographers Beck Hayes and Jocelyn Mandryk, Foto Ruta champions the idea of “experiential travel" by offering tours/workshops that allow travelers to have an immersive experience in a destination—and take home some great photos to boot.
Tickets are on sale now for the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, sponsored by Time Inc. sister publication Food & Wine. Taking place October 16-19, the annual food extravaganza has a few new events we’re excited about: Grammy Award-winning country star and cookbook author Trisha Yearwood is hosting the Down-Home Southern Brunch (Oct.19, $150), while actor/TV personality Mo Rocca will be at the Standard hotel’s biergarten for the Hot Dog Happy Hour (Oct. 17, $99, sold via Groupon). Ample Hills Creamery founders Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna are hosting an ice cream-making class (Oct. 19, $200). (If you prefer tasting to making, check out their new bi-level shop in Brooklyn.) Sadly, the nighttime dessert buffet hosted by pastry wizard Dominique Ansel is already sold out.
For the adventure traveler, extreme sports such as sky-diving, zip-lining, and base jumping may be the ultimate adrenaline kick. The thrill of hurtling through the air with nothing but a parachute and a thin windsuit is a bonus to the unique, birds-eye perspective jumpers get.
Yet even in these death-defying leaps, there is a moment of Zen that may appeal to even the mellowest sightseer.
As autumn descends around the globe and the light grows softer, there is a hush. Tourists have gone home and children are back in school, but as seasoned travelers know, fall is one of the best times to travel under the radar and experience cultures a little more intimately. Part of the charm of the season is the earthy, hearty ingredients and specialties gracing local markets. Here are just a few to savor.
Crayfish in Stockholm: Swedes celebrate the end of summer with crayfish parties, orkräftskiva, at their summer cottages, donning silly paper hats, singing songs, and drinking lots of Aquavit while eating the heavily dilled crustaceans. Don’t have a Swedish idyl of your own? Try Sturehof restaurant in Stockholm for a taste of this joyous tradition.
Come fall, people around the world will be celebrating the season’s bounty with food festivals. Lots of them. While New Englanders gather to taste the best artisanal ciders, coastal communities feast on fresh seafood. In California, it's time to sip wine. Whether you're craving a foodie getaway or are simply in the right place at the right time, these are five of fall’s top food festivals.
CALIFORNIA: Flavor! Napa Valley This November, join the Culinary Institute of America and the region's top vineyards for a week of wine and food tastings. Culinary superstars Michael Chiarello, Todd English, and Andrea Robinson will be at the helm of vine-to-table signature dinners and hands-on demonstrations. Learn to make your own cheese, and to note a wine's distinct terroir while blindfolded. November 19-23.
Boyish British choreographer Liam Scarlett created Asphodel Meadows, his first major work—and sensational hit—for London’s Royal Ballet in 2010. Now the 27-year-old serves as the company’s artist-in-residence, and this fall mounts world premieres for New York’s American Ballet Theatre as well as the Royal. He spoke to T+L about the new ballets and his cultural agenda for the season.
A: It’s a chamber piece with four couples, debuting on the opening night of ABT’s 75th anniversary season. I’m looking forward to working with the exceptional Marcelo Gomes and the talented Misty Copeland and Sarah Lane (Oct. 22–Nov. 2).
The Rat. Besides having the single best name for a nightclub ever—short for The Rathskeller, which no one ever once called it—the cramped and dingy Kenmore Square dungeon known as “The Rat” was Boston’s most celebrated and notorious rock club, in an era when Boston had one of the nation’s great rock scenes. Between 1974 and 1997—from the protean days of punk through its latter-day revival—every band that mattered passed through that scuzzy, smoky basement: The Ramones, the Talking Heads, the Police, R.E.M., Husker Du, and local heroes like the Cars, Mission of Burma, and the Pixies. The club’s former owner recalls to the Boston Globe the subzero February night when Metallica played at the Rat—for six people.
With their shaggy corn-silk hair and seafarer beards, the strapping members of the Danish String Quartet could be mistaken for 21st-century Vikings. But unlike their marauding forebears, this supremely gifted group of thirtysomething Scandinavians—three Danes who met as schoolboys and a Norwegian cellist—is out to conquer the world through sheer musical charisma. Already hailed as one of the finest ensembles of their generation, and now in the middle of a three-year residency at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, in New York City, the DSQ will continue to win over North American audiences this fall with a tour that includes Chicago; St. Paul, Minnesota; Washington, D.C.; Vancouver; New York City; and La Jolla and Santa Barbara, California. Oct. 10–Nov. 18.
Photo courtesy of Caroline Bittencourt / the Danish String Quartet