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Cincinnati's Red Bikes and an Update on Destination Bikeshares

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Visitors to Cincinnati now have access to a collection of 200 bikes at 30 stations around the Ohio city’s central neighborhoods. With its new Red Bikes rentals, named after the hometown baseball team, Cincinnati is just one of an ever growing list of cities to embrace bicycle sharing programs.

While often designed primarily for locals, the hourly bike rentals serve travelers equally well. Here’s a quick update on the state of two-wheeling in America’s cities.

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Expedia.com Explores Vacation Rentals With HomeAway

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Travelers looking for accommodations can now test the waters in vacation rentals, via Expedia’s expanded listings from HomeAway. Following up on its 10,000-listing pilot program last October, it has added 115,000 properties for families and groups to choose from.

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MFA Houston Showcases the Grand Estate of Houghton Hall

Houghton Hall

It is fair to say that the popular television drama Downton Abbey has reawakened interest in the grand English estate—and aristocratic life—as never before.  This weekend visitors to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston  have a last chance to experience one of the grandest of all such houses in the exhibition “Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House.” 

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Hop Aboard Amtrak's Vintage Great Dome Train for Fall Foliage Viewing

Amtrak Dome Car

As oak and birch leaves turn to deep reds and warm yellows, Amtrak will offer passengers the ideal viewing arrangement. From September 25 to November 4, its 1955 Great Dome car will be rolling through the Adirondack Mountains. The only one of its kind in Amtrak’s fleet, this double decker train car offers stunning panoramic views of New York state’s mountains and lakes from its floor-to-ceiling windows.

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Vegan Food Truck Wins Tenth Annual NYC Vendy Awards

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We love food trucks here at T+L, so this year's NYC Vendy Awards had our attention. Food truck vendors traveled to Governors Island, New York, Saturday for a cook-off at the tenth annual Vendy Awards. This year, twenty-five finalists were nominated online and competed in one of five categories at the event. 

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Trip4Real Offers Peer-to-Peer Tours in Spain

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Peer-to-peer, local, authentic: these are all buzzwords permeating the travel world—with no hints of disappearing any time soon. Our latest P2P find takes a page out of Vayable, a worldwide marketplace of local-led experiences. The Barcelona-based Trip4Real, which launched last year, is solely focused on Spain, with 3,000-plus activities in 50 cities, from popular spots such as Barcelona and Madrid to small towns in Basque Country.

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T-Mobile Breaks All Roaming Rules With Wi-Fi Calling

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This week, T-Mobile continued on its rampage to break all the rules we've ever come to know about mobile carriers, this time with a move that throws the need for a 4G network all but out the window. The big reveal? Wi-Fi calling on all new T-Mobile smartphones, a feature that will make roaming workaround apps like Viber largely irrelevant. This comes on the heels of Apple's iPhone 6 debut, which also included Wi-Fi calling as a standard feature.

The implication for travelers is huge. First and foremost, it signals an enormous change in the way we think about roaming and international phone charges (already, the carrier has made data roaming and music streaming abroad worries of the past).

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T-Mobile Now Offers In-Flight Texting

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Is T-Mobile trying to be the world's best network for travelers? All signs say yes. You likely already know about T-Mobile's free international data roaming features. Earlier we reported on T-Mobile's Wi-Fi calling features. Now, there's one more feather in the carrier's cap: free in-flight texting, picture messaging, and visual voicemail on all gogo-powered flights. The service is made possible thanks to a partnership with the in-flight Wi-Fi provider; like most announcements of this kind, this is being considered a limited time promotion (no end date has been announced).

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Air France and Lufthansa Pilots Strike: What You Need to Know

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Welcome to airline strike season in Europe. Air France canceled half of its flights today as pilots expressed their opposition to the airline's plan to shift focus to a lower-cost (and lower-paying) subsidiary. Thousands of travelers across Europe have been impacted—a number that will surely increase if the strikes continue through the week as planned.

And in Frankfurt, Lufthansa pilots declared an eight-hour strike set for Tuesday, which will disrupt the airline’s long-haul flights. In negotiations regarding Lufthansa’s early retirements packages, the pilots union has led strikes (at the budget subsidiary Germanwings) and walkouts since August.

Both airlines have worked proactively to minimize the strikes’ impact on travelers, rebooking with partner carriers and offering hotel-stays in the event that no alternative flight is found.

While strikes can throw a wrench in anyone’s travel plans, there are a few ways to lower your risks, as detailed by T+L’s Trip Doctor, Amy Farley. Here's what you need to know: 

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New Luxury Rail Itinerary Travels to Iran

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A new luxury train itinerary has us dreaming of the Orient Express. "Jewels of Persia," on Golden Eagle’s Danube Express, will run from Budapest to Tehran, beginning in October.

And while Orient Express trains could transport passengers from London to Baghdad in eight days, the Danube Express will take its time, covering a far shorter route in almost double the time.

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