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New Catskills B&B: The Arnold House

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If the words "The Catskills" still conjure images of Milton Berle and Henny Youngman trading one-liners—or Jennifer Grey carrying a watermelon across a sweaty dance floor—you haven't been here in a while. While most of the Dirty Dancing–era bungalow colonies and Borscht Belt resorts are gone, a new generation of young innkeepers are opening up shop, luring New York City weekenders eager for a taste of country life.

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Pop-Up Beaches Bring Summer to Cities, Far and Near

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Summer in the city can be stifling, with its sticky-hot subway cars and the odor of leftovers slowly broiling behind every restaurant. For those of us who don’t have a Hamptons-home perched on a sandy stretch of beachfront, it can be hard to slip away from the city for the ultimate, sink-your-toes-in-the-sand summer escape. 

That is, until the pop-up beach became a thing.

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Vermin Disrupting Vacations Underground, in Gardens, and Up in the Air

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Hand sanitizers are no match for the creepy crawlies that have made headlines around the world this week: In New York, a bedbug infestation forced three subway cars out of service. In Paris, rats by the Louvre have tourists screaming. And in India, officials grounded a plane in New Delhi when scores of rats made an appearance.

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Test-Driving the New Foursquare

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Today, Foursquare unveils its newly refreshed self to the masses—and we got an early look at the overhauled app. The verdict? Falling closer to Yelp than Facebook, the decidedly less-social app is better suited to travelers than ever before.

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Orbitz Rewards Adds Restaurants to Loyalty Program

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On the heels of Priceline’s OpenTable acquisition, Orbitz is getting into the restaurant space—the company yesterday launched Orbitz Rewards Dining, a new program that allows loyalty members to score extra perks for dining at specific restaurants. It’s the result of a partnership with Rewards Network, a Chicago-based company that maintains a database of 11,000 restaurants.

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New App Targets Last Minute Flight Deals

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Last week during our Twitter chat on Best Apps & Websites for Travelers, we asked participants what travel app they’d invent, if given the opportunity. The resounding ask? HotelTonight for flights. Dear readers: ask and you shall receive.

This week, Hopper, a data-driven fare finder that’s largely flown under the radar, is jumping into the spotlight with its new Flight Tonight app. Available for iOS 7 devices, the app aggregates last-minute fares and offers a snapshot of where you could go if you wanted to—quite literally—fly by the seat of your pants. Today’s searches pulled up flights from New York to Savannah for $280, Los Angeles to Vancouver for $352, and Miami to the Bahamas for $282—all round trip fares.

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CheapTickets Loyalty Program: $75 Back on Any Flight

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The OTA wars rage on. Last week, CheapTickets.com launched a loyalty program so worthwhile, we had to do a double take. The proposition: sign up for free at checkout, and you’ll automatically get money back on each booking—the rewards are paid out in the form of credits that can be applied to your next transaction. What you get: $50 back on any flight you book on the website, $75 for any flight booked on mobile, $25 for any hotel booked online, and $50 for hotel bookings on mobile. Unlike almost every other OTA, CheapTickets puts the emphasis on unbundled bookings—the only non-eligible purchases are package deals. And there’s no minimum spend, either, so a $150 ticket from New York to Nantucket would remain eligible for a $75 kickback if booked on mobile. This makes CheapTickets the second OTA to incentivize in-app bookings—Orbitz similarly offers roughly twice the rewards points for bookings made by smartphone.

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Hilton Rolls Out Mobile Room Selection

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Hilton is taking a page out of the airline handbook. This week, the hotel giant announced a plan to open room selection for members of the brand’s HHonors loyalty program—for the first time ever, this would allow guests to review floor plans of open rooms and pick their favorite before check-in. Roll-out is expected for over 650,000 rooms at 4,000 hotels across the Hilton portfolio—including its Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands—by the end of the year, with limited availability piloting by the end of the summer.

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Priceline.com Introduces FunRides, For (Guaranteed) Luxe Car Rentals

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A few weeks back, we got word that Priceline.com was bringing high-end car rentals to the masses via a new program called FunRides, in partnership with a variety of big name rental companies (Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Sixt among them). With a summer trip to Florida already in the works, we took the program on a test drive.

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Improve Your Dating Life While You Travel

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If dating at ground level has proved difficult, perhaps it’s time to set your relationship sights a bit higher. About 30,000 feet higher.

Like your mother, airlines and social entrepreneurs have taken an interest in your love life.  But thanks to social media, a handful of tech tools, and a high-security environment with few exits, they may actually be able to help you.  

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