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Holiday Sparkle in NYC: See Elizabeth Taylor's Jewels at Christie's

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New York City sparkles during the holidays but this year it dazzles as never before!  Just around the corner from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, on display at Christie’s auction house are the jewels, fashion, paintings, and memorabilia that were owned by film star Elizabeth Taylor.  And what an assemblage of bling and color. Here, among almost 300 remarkable pieces of jewelry are 80 iconic diamonds, gemstones, legacy jewels, including the 33.19-carat Elizabeth Taylor Diamond (once known as the Krupp diamond), the legendary pearl La Pérégrina (that belonged to the Spanish royal family), and a spectacular group of emeralds and diamonds—ring, necklace, bracelet, earrings—acquired by Richard Burton and Taylor from Bulgari in Rome around the time they made the movie Cleopatra (1963). Serious jewels.

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Book Cyber Monday Deals for Travel All Winter

Lake Placid Lodge

We’ve rounded up a passel of deals that individual hotels and hotel chains are offering for winter travel.  While many have to be booked next Monday, November 28, most apply to hotel stays through the rest of the winter.  Below are the barebone details for 19 deals; please follow the links to get more information or to book.

Lake Placid Lodge (above), New York
Up to 50% off with rates from $250/night (regularly $500 - $1,500).  Available for booking Monday, November 28, through 12pm Friday, December 2, for travel through March.  Some blackout dates.  For more information or to book, please visit Lake Placid Lodge.

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Tech Tips for the Thanksgiving Road Tripper

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If you, like me, are one of the crazy people hitting the road the day before Thanksgiving, and at least have the good fortune of not having to be behind the wheel—let’s hear it for bus travel!—there are a few ways my good friend ‘technology’ can help you pass the time while you’re (inevitably) sitting in traffic, without completely losing your mind.

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Reminder: Thanksgiving-Themed Twitter Chat Today!

Don't forget! Today we're hosting our first-ever Twitter chat, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. The chat, which will be hosted by T+L's Mark Orwoll, will help try to calm the nerves of those of you gearing up for travel around Thanksgiving, when all methods of transportation can prove to be rather congested.

Also joining us will be this fab panel of travel experts:

1. Stacy Small, @EliteTravelGal
2. George Hobica, @Airfarewatchdog
3. Tiffany Dowd, @LuxeTiffany
4. Heather Hunter, @AAA_Travel
5. Heather Poole, @Heather_Poole

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Thanksgiving Travel Tweet-up with Travel + Leisure

Dreading the seemingly inevitable headache that tends to go hand-in-hand with traveling around the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving? While crowded airports, congested highways, and cranky little ones may not be completely avoidable, there are some tricks that can make the whole order a little less painful.

To help you plan your travels this Thanksgiving, we're hosting a live Twitter chat on Thursday, 11/17, from 3p.m. until 4p.m. EST, along with Travel + Leisure International Editor Mark Orwoll.

Also joining us is a panel of travel experts, all eager to answer your burning holiday travel questions. Our expert panelists include:

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TODAY Show: Spooky Halloween Trips

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Travel + Leisure's digital projects editor Sarah Spagnolo on five destinations—from San Diego to Salem, Massachusetts—that offer ghost tours, costume contests, pumpkin carving, and more for a spooktactular Halloween trip.

TODAY Show: Labor Day Trivia

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

With the holiday weekend just a few days away, Travel + Leisure's digital projects editor, Sarah Spagnolo, headed to NBC's Studio One to try to stump the Today show audience with Labor Day trivia.

Question: Which city was the first to celebrate Labor Day? Here's your hint: The city celebrated on a Tuesday, believe it or not. The date: September 5, 1882. Check out the clip for the answer to this Labor Day question, plus other fun facts.

Q&A: Most Romantic Experiences in Africa?

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Last year I had the pleasure of meeting the mother-daughter team behind Extraordinary Journeys. As their name implies, Marcia and Elizabeth Gordon (below) custom craft some pretty swoon-worthy adventures—to Africa, a place they know top to bottom (and all the secret spots in between) and that easily inspires dreamy visions of exotic animals, ancient baobab trees, and untamed landscapes where it’s impossible not to get away from it all.

201102-b-africa-1jpgSince my husband and I have a new baby and no real plans on deck for celebrating Valentine's Day this year, I thought I’d call on Elizabeth to share her expert tips—and provide me/Carry On with a vicarious dose of travel-inspired romance. Clip and save, dear readers. Sleeping under the stars on the Savannah beats a box of chocolates any day.

Question: In your opinion, what are some of the most romantic and memorable experiences in Africa?

Answers:

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V-Day Hotel Getaways From Maine to Marrakesh

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Hotels realize that there is no single recipe for romance (though you might conclude that if there were one, chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne would be at the top of the ingredient list).   While some guests may swoon at the sight of a petal-strewn bed, others may dismiss it as hackneyed. 

Here’s a selection of ten Valentine’s Day packages that may strike your fancy: from no-holds-barred extravaganzas to simpler intimate breaks.   Find the recipe that works for you.

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For Smart Travelers, New Year's Weekend Deals Await

New Year's Eve

No one wants to travel during the holidays. Even outside of Europe, getting from point A to B can quickly turn nightmarish. How about this: Stay home until the Christmas surge has safely passed, then head against the traffic for a New Year's weekend. While your patdown- and scanner-weary pals are coming home, you'll enjoy shorter lines getting out of town.

To help your wintery scheme come to fruition, several hotels, resorts, and even entire islands have put together New Year's Eve packages. Below, a small sampling.

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