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The Doctor Recommends: Must Reads for the Week Ending March 29, 2013

The Department of Transportation delivered a sobering assessment of the safety record of recently shuttered Fung Wah Bus company, known for ferrying people cheaply between Boston and New York. Transportation Nation's Alex Goldmark reports. (Amy Farley)

Where’s Europe's dirty money? Gadling's Anna Brones reports that Oxford researchers tested currencies across the continent and found that the Danish krone has the highest bacteria count of them all. Hey, Denmark: Ever heard of money laundering? (A.F.)

A Norwegian economist is in the spotlight after proposing that airlines charge passengers according to their weight, a move that he claims “may provide significant benefits to airlines, passengers and society at large." CNN's James Durston has the scoop. (A.F.)

Cheeeeeeese! Slate presents a collection of vintage tourist shots by photographer Roger Minick, bringing back all sorts of memories of childhood family vacations. (Matt Haber)

Another slideshow, this time a beautiful side-by-side comparison of present-day Paris with photos from the turn of the century. (M.H.)

What happens to a man stuck in the 'It's a Small World' ride for 30 minutes?  (M.H.)

Do not try this: Russian tourists illegally scaled the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Gawker's Max Read presents their admittedly pretty awesome (but so wrong!) photos. (M.H.)

The most terrifying hotel-based horror movie of all time now has a documentary dedicated to its most obsessive fans. Rodney Ascher's Room 237, which presents various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, is out in limited release and is being hotly debated. Back in July 2010, The Atlantic's James Parker checked into The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado to experience the place that inspired Stephen King's novel. (M.H.)

A Los Angeles restaurant has gotten some attention for tweeting about its no-show guests. (Peter Schlesinger)

A list of international airlines that'll keep WiFi junkies happy, via The Points Guy.(Jennifer Flowers)

How stunning is this new airport terminal that just opened in Amman, Jordan? Plus, it's super green. Inhabitat's Charley Cameron shows us the Queen Alia Airport. (Nikki Ekstein

Google maps steps it up again, with live transit updates in NYC, Washington DC, and Salt Lake City. TechCrunch's Drew Olanoff has the scoop (hat tip to Skift's Samantha Shankman). (N.E.)

Trip Doctor Series: Villa of the Week (Portugal)

Casa Abelha villa

Now that spring has sprung, we’re daydreaming about Portugal’s spectacular southern Algarve region, filled with whitewashed towns and miles of sun-soaked coastline—and with a price tag like this one, it’s all within reach. Find more gems by checking out our full list of agents and Standout Properties in the March issue’s Global Guide to Villa Rentals.

THE COUNTRYSIDE HIDEAWAY
Casa Abelha, Algarve, Portugal
$140 per night, per room
The Details: This four-bedroom retreat is the perfect base for exploring the region’s sandy beaches and postcard-perfect villages. Start your mornings on the sun-dappled terrace with a decadent breakfast spread made with produce from the local market; cool off in the afternoons with a dip in the pool, which overlooks rolling green hills.
The Agent: Abercrombie & Kent Villas; akvillas.com.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

 

Photo courtesy of Abercrombie & Kent Villas

Trip Doctor: Smart New Initiative Rethinks Bottled Water in Hotels

water

You already knew that the bottle of Evian on your hotel room nightstand comes with a hefty price tag. But if you happen to see a swanky, Yves Behar-designed bottle next time you’re traveling, that charge will go to a good cause.

Last week, a number of luxury hotel chains, including several Ritz-Carltons, Dusit International, Banyan Tree, Six Senses, Soneva, and others have signed on to a new campaign called Whole World Water, whereby each property will filter, bottle, and sell their own water rather than importing. The proceeds go to various clean water programs around the world, yielding an estimated $1 billion-a-year to resolve our global water crisis.

Speaking about what prompted the idea, co-founder Jenifer Willing said, "There are one billion people who live without clean water, and one billion tourists travelling the globe each year." And the idea has (sea) legs: Richard Branson, Edward Norton, Treehugger founder Graham Hill, and Charity: Water president Cristoph Gorder are all pledging support. We couldn’t agree more.

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

Photo courtesy of World Water

Tech Thursday: Your Travel-Friendly Google Reader Replacement

Feedly

New reading apps and aggregators are in the spotlight this week, as Google Reader officially goes dark. And as it turns out, our favorite replacement for Google's popular RSS reader is a proving a great tool for travel planning, too: Feedly not only aggregates content from your favorite blogs, it also de-clutters the search process so that you can easily find the inspiration you’re looking for. (Think: #London #food.)

For users of the old Google Reader, Feedly will still deliver all the basic functions you’ve come to know and love (though we haven’t yet found a way to search for other people’s reading bundles). Google Reader subscriptions are automatically updated into your Feedly stream, to make the transition seamless. And to improve upon the old model, Feedly introduces magazine-style reading, with big, splashy images that feel far less daunting than a long list of headlines.

After a pilot run, our favorite travel features are without a doubt access to hotel deals. A reading list filled with special offers from Expedia, Orbitz, and each of the Starwood brands (Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, W, Westin, to name a few), is teasing us today with free champagne and breakfast in bed in Paris, or a free night’s stay in Hong Kong. And on other tabs, our London, Paris, and Rome lists offer the latest on museum exhibits, restaurant openings, and cultural events. What’s not to love?

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

Photo courtesy of Feedly

Locals Only: U.K. Antique Shop Bans Tourists

antiques shop

Where does browsing end and loitering begin?

Mark Galpin, owner of Alladin's Cave, an antique shop in Christchurch, in Southwest England might say that the "oitering" starts as soon as you enter his establishment. The shopkeeper has made his store the subject of a brouhaha recently after he posted signs that say "Sorry No Tourists" and banned shoppers who don’t live within a 30-mile radius. "We have put up with it for three years, and we believe that maybe one in every 2,500 tourists has spent a pound or two," Galpin told the Daily Mail. "The rest have spent nothing." The sign explains the ban on the grounds that the store's items would be too large to ship. ("So, scram, why doncha!" is all but implied.)

Galpin told reporters that his sales have shot up since the ban—now that there's more room for paying customers to wander around—but some of Christchurch’s civic leaders are not happy about it. "It's just so depressing that we have got one eccentric trader taking this stance," Peter Watson-Lee, the chairman of the Christchurch Chamber of Trade, told reporters. "Tourists bring a lot of money into the town. He is in the wrong town if he doesn’t want to welcome them."

Galpin reportedly said that he might consider allowing tourists again—if they chip in some money to a pot for charitable donations.

Photo by Peter Jordan_NE / Alamy

Connecticut Lures 'Mad Men' Fans with 1960's Style Vacations

Mad Men

If you haven’t made plans yet for the Season Six premiere of Mad Men on April 7th, don’t panic. Maybe you want to watch it in Connecticut?

T+L has already discussed how the TV series boosted tourism in New York City, but after last season, which saw Pete and Trudy Campbell move to the 'burbs, Connecticut is doing its part to offer some Don Draper-inspired vacations.

Citing its collection of nearly 90 architect-designed mid-century modern homes, among them Philip Johnson’s famous Glass House, the state’s tourism board is touting New Canaan, CT, as the main destination for true Mad Men aficionados. In addition to the mid-century homes, you'll find the Elm Restaurant ($$$), where you can sip a "Lucky Strike" cocktail. The drink, inspired by the old fashioned that Draper drinks while working on the Lucky Strike cigarette campaign, has cherry-wood-smoked bourbon, cherry bitters, and sherry, all topped off with a garnish of, you guessed it, ash.

Read More

Trip Doctor: Are You Right for the World's Greatest Internship?

Kura Design Villa

When you think of an internship, chances are you imagine a young collegiate making photocopies and going on coffee runs. But what about spending two weeks living large (while getting your hands dirty) at some of Costa Rica's best eco retreats, including Lapa Rios on the Osa Peninsula, the Fica Rosa Coffee Plantation & Inn, or the chic new Kura Design Villas (pictured) on the Costa Ballena?

Cayuga Collection, the company behind eight pioneering eco resorts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua (and 2010 Global Vision Award winner) is accepting applications for what it calls "The Best Internship in the World," open to anybody with extensive travel experience and interest in getting a behind-the-scenes look at how luxury and sustainability can be compatible. According to Cayuga cofounder Hans Pfister, the successful candidate will be "a well traveled person or couple who can put our blend of high end service and responsible tourism to the test." In other words: "age doesn’t matter, attitude does."

Read More

Trip Doctor: How the U.S. is Losing Tourists at the Airport

airport waiting area

Do you sometimes need a reminder of how great it can be to travel in the U.S.? Apparently overseas travelers do too. According to a new survey conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, 43% of foreign travelers will tell their friends to avoid coming to the States. But it’s not cultural, culinary, or political differences that are turning off the international crowds—it’s our customs entry process, which 84% of visitors complain about and believe could be vastly improved. The survey polled 1,200 non-U.S. Resident overseas travelers—of whom 1 in 7 missed a connection because of long customs lines. First impressions really do speak the loudest, it seems.

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

Photo by Jeff Greenberg / Alamy

Free WiFi Coming Soon to IHG Hotels

The winds of change are upon us. IHG, the company behind InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Hotel Indigo, announced that it will offer free internet access to all 71 million members of its loyalty program beginning in 2014. With this decision, it joins Fairmont, Kimpton, and Omni Hotels, all of which offer free Wi-Fi access to members of their (also free) loyalty programs.

By covering more than 4,600 hotels, IHG is certainly the largest company to make such a commitment to its loyalists of all ranks. And the IHG twist: you won’t need to be a guest of the hotel to access the internet. The service will be available free of charge even to loyalty-program members who just pop into the lobby.

Trip Doctor: How to Deal With Food Poisoning While Traveling

food poisoning

Do...

Ask the local pharmacist for a loperamide-based drug (like Imodium), to prevent dehydration.

Seek medical attention if you experience signs of dehydration, such as dizziness or dry mouth.

Don’t...

Jump back to solid food. Start with electrolyte-fortified liquids (coconut water), then move on to rice and bananas.

Kiss your entire vacation good-bye. Food poisoning usually subsides within two to four days.

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.


Illustration by Joanna Neborsky

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