Cue a collective sigh of relief: after much hoopla several months ago, the TSA has finally retracted their effort to take small knives off their banned items list. Also still prohibited: novelty baseball bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, golf clubs, and lacrosse sticks—all of which fell under the same (now dropped) proposal that would have allowed the potentially dangerous items on planes. We asked a TSA spokesperson what pulled the final straw, and it seems there was plenty of consensus between the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, law enforcement officials, passenger advocates, and "other important stakeholders"—opening this can of worms simply wouldn’t be a good idea (told you so). Instead, the TSA says they’ll continue to focus on Risk-Based Security, which allows them to “keep passengers safe by focusing on those we know less about.”
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Our informal poll of luxury hotels found that taking one set of toiletries a day is generally acceptable—even expected. (They know us well.) But don’t be surprised if the hotel—especially a mid- or lower-tier property—cuts you off during a longer stay. if that happens, you’ll just have to dig some of that shampoo back out of your suitcase.
17: The percentage of U.S. hotel guests who admit to taking linens and towels from their rooms in a Hotels.com survey.
Sure, National Donut Day might be the perfect excuse to try a SoHo cronut (croissant + donut), but did you know the Salvation Army started the holiday 75 years ago to raise funds during the Great Depression? Neither did we. (M.P.)
Tourism in Myanmar is estimated to increase by a full 700% in the next seven years—but thanks to a $500 million loan from the government of Norway, concerned citizens can rest assured that the resulting footprint will be a light one. The Asian Development Bank outlines their plans (and we raise a glass to the generous Norweigans who made it happen). (Nikki Ekstein)
Q: I’m heading to Nantucket’s Wauwinet resort in July. Any New England summer wardrobe tips? —Jake Collistro, Santa Monica, Calif.
A: The Wauwinet is a casual classic; you won’t feel out of place in a few East Coast mainstays. A preppy nylon windbreaker from Gant Rugger($225) and wrinkle-free seersucker Mac pants ($225) are fantastic options in the summer months, when afternoon temperatures hover around 75 degrees but nights are cool. For accessories, we love these lightweight yet sturdy Hush Puppies slip-ons ($89)—perfect for walking Great Point beach—and Steve McQueen–worthy folding Ray-Ban aviators ($470).
Mimi Lombardo is Travel + Leisure’s style director. Packing is rarely easy-we're here to help. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 1,980-room hotel, New York City's largest, isn't the first hotel to discontinue that amenity, but it's probably the biggest. It's all part of a lodging industry trend to cut the frills and concentrate on basic service—a trend that the airlines pioneered with the introduction of controversial fees.
Around the nation and across the globe, hotels are curtailing such extras as business centers, minibars, bellhops, doormen and even traditional front desks for checking in. Yotel New York in Midtown Manhattan, for instance, asks guests to check themselves in at kiosks in the hotel's "Ground Control." And if their rooms aren't ready, Yotel's guests check their suitcases with a robotic baggage storage system.
A: Good question. And one you should ask of your hotel, too. Resort fees, which can add a full 30 percent onto a hotel bill, may cover everything from wireless Internet and gym access to faxing and use of a notary (huh?)—services and amenities that you may have no interest in using. Yet travelers who kick and scream about baggage fees are often surprisingly mute when it comes to these hotel charges. The difference? In the case of baggage, you’re at least paying for a service that you intend to use.
Check in with your dog at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and your pooch will get first-class treatment: a personalized doggie biscuit (name emblazoned in icing), a custom bed and a can of pink hotel-logo tennis balls. But when it comes to flying, "first class" has not really existed for pets.
United is hoping to change that. The airline just announced the opening of a first-class style kennel at O’Hare for pets who are too big to fly in the cabin. Similar to facilities in the airline’s Newark and Houston hubs, O’Hare’s PetSafe kennel promises 28 clean, ventilated and temperature-controlled enclosures, comfy vans that will chauffeur critters to their flights, and staffers who will exercise your pet and, according to the release, “provide grooming and bathing on request” (presumably your request, not Sparky’s).
It’s hard to believe that just a year and a half ago, Mama Shelter was a lone boutique hotel in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, serving up Philippe Starck design, in-room iMacs and high thread count sheets for travelers on a hostel budget. But the Trigano family, who previously set up a little company you may have heard of called Club Med, doesn’t play small.
Now Mama has touched down in Marseille (April, 2012), Istanbul (mid-March, 2013), Lyon (late March, 2013), Bordeaux (October 2013) and eventually Hollywood. Serge Trigano, Mama Shelter’s co-founder with the poet and urban theorist Cyril Aouizerate, made a bet that city tourism would be to the 21stcentury what beach tourism was to the previous one, and with occupancy rates ranging from 85% in Paris to 70% in Marseille, his bet is paying off.
New York's Dan P. Lee looks at the space tourism and notes, "There are at least ten companies seriously engaged in commercial space transport." But what should you pack? (Matt Haber)
This is for people braver than us: Slate directs us to this Atlas Obscura gallery of photos of tourists standing on Kjergabolten, a rock wedged between two cliffs in Norway. (M.H.)
Also for fans of high places, The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Michaels' looks at Belgium's Dinner in the Sky, which allows adventurous diners to enjoy (?) a meal while suspended 180 feet in the air on a crane. Sure, people have been doing this for years, but the advice remains the same: Don't drop your fork. (M.H.)
More space travel news, this time from Cannes: one unidentified bidder paid $1.5 million to join Leonardo DiCaprio on Virgin Galactic's inaugural flight into space. The auction took place at the tony Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, and proceeds went to a nonprofit devoted to AIDS research, as Rebecca Keegan from the LA Times reports. (Peter Schlesinger)
Speaking of Cannes, want to know where the celebs are staying during the festival? Tara Imperatore from The Huffington Post picks the top five hotels where you're most likely to ride the elevator with the likes of Nicole Kidman or Toby Maguire. (P.S.)
One of the senior execs at Accor—the company that oversees popular brands from Sofitel to Mercure—gets caught red-handed for posting fake reviews (and lots of them) on TripAdvisor, Tnooz reports. But it wasn't TripAdvisor's much-hyped fraud detection tool that caught him, making us wonder how many other high-volume fake reviewers are still at large. (Nikki Ekstein)
Delta opens its new $1.4 billion Terminal 4 at New York's JFK, which includes an outdoor Sky Deck. CoolHunting got a sneak preview of the innovative lounge. One word: Bad*ss. (Amy Farley)