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Make-A-Wish Foundation Launches Loyalty Miles Campaign

Make-A-Wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is calling on fliers to donate extra airline loyalty miles in a month-long, national campaign. Communications Manager Josh DeBerge calls airline miles one of the organization's "most critical resources," and for good reason. Each year, it grants wishes to 14,000 children with life-threatening diseases. Ranging from "being a cowboy," to "seeing pineapples grow," nearly 75 percent of wishes require air travel, and the foundation needs 2.5 billion frequent flier miles annually.

The miles campaign leads up to World Wish Day on April 29th, and since most wishes occur during the summer, every mile donated in the spring makes a difference. Supporters can visit wish.org/miles for more information.

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.

Photo by Make-A-Wish®

Big Travel Innovations Revealed Today

There have been a boatload of travel innovations revealed today, and the Trip Doctor news team is pretty excited about them all. Here are a few of our favorites:

Microclimates on a Plane: Soon, passengers flying Virgin America will be able to set the temperature for their immediate surroundings thanks to a new partnership with thermostat company Nest (see video above). Expect the "Nest-controlled microclimates," with temperature settings ranging from "Cancun Afternoon" to "Chicago Polar Vortex," on Boston- and Newark-bound flights from both Los Angeles and San Francisco first, with implementation on all routes completed by the end of 2014.

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Swing into Spring with the Savannah Music Festival

Savannah Music Festival

There are many reasons to visit Savannah, Georgia: its historic architecture, delicious food, and hospitality. If you are a golfer, Hilton Head Island and its courses are only an hour away.   But now, while an endless winter keeps its grip on the Northeast, there may be no better reason to visit the gracious city where spring is in full bloom, than the Savannah Music Festival.

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London's Café Royal Hotel Unveils Apple iOS Bells and Whistles

Cafe Royal Hotel

One of London’s famous landmarks got a modern spin last week, as Café Royal Hotel—which opened just over a year ago on Regent Street—debuted a front- and back-of-house integration with Apple technology that's intended to streamline its entire operations process. Now, guests staying at the property can check in remotely using an iOS device, be it en route from the airport or over a cup of coffee in the restaurant, rather than having to queue up at the desk.

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Daily Transporter: Timbuktu

boats on the river niger

UNESCO and local masons have begun restoring sacred tombs in Timbuktu that were destroyed by occupying militants in 2012. (The traditional pinasse boats moored here still ferry travelers and goods to and from Timbuktu on the Niger.)

See World’s Most-Visited Sacred Places

Editor’s Picks: Mali
- World’s Coolest Bazaars
World’s Most Beautiful Buildings
Great Adventure Cruises

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Nature Calling? There's an App for That

As George Costanza can attest, one of the keys to urban survival is knowing where to go for the most magnificent facilities.

Bathrooms, that is. 

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Delta's New Innovation Class Reimagines Business Travel

Delta

Forget the 30-second elevator pitch: now you can have an entire three-hour flight to bounce ideas off your industry icon or dream business partner on Delta Air Lines’ new Innovation Class.

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Celebrate the Persian New Year with a Lavish Feast

Nowruz meal

If you haven’t heard of Nowruz, there’s still time to join more than 300 million people worldwide in welcoming spring at the Persian New Year Dinner & Book Signing this Sunday. 

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Westin's New Wellness Program Gets You a Little More Headspace

Columbus Circle

Travelling is one of the best ways to clear your mind—or at least that’s what Westin is hoping to prove. Starting next month, the Starwood brand will be offering seven meditation-themed video modules curated by London-based company Headspace, who has also created in-flight mediation sessions for Virgin Atlantic. They’ll help travelers zen out at the most stressful moments of their trips (say, at the airport or before a business meeting) or offer calming exercises to practice before bed. Sound a little new age? I tried a session with Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe—a once-Buddhist monk and former circus artist (yes, you read that right)—and was pleasantly surprised. Rather than feeling like a scene from hippie-ville, the 10-minute experience was as relaxing as a full yoga class. And with an emphasis on mindfulness rather than total mental silence, it seemed like a great way to reawaken your senses to the different stimuli of a new place. Find the videos on Westin’s website starting next month.

ne_headshotjpgNikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.


Photo courtesy of Westin Hotels & Resorts

Daily Transporter: Bangkok

monk outside bangkok

Heading to Bangkok now that the Thai government has given the all-clear? Find a cool way to escape the city heat: -5 Ice Bar, tucked inside the Jameson’s Pub, is so bracingly cold you may just need to wear one of the bar’s loaner parkas.

Editor’s Picks: Bangkok
See Bangkok in Buildings Shaped Like Animals
and World’s Coolest Bazaars  
and World's Most Beautiful City Parks

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

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