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#ShopLikeALocal as Only the Experts Know How

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If you had a limitless budget, where would be the one city you’d shop in and what would you buy? Whether you’re a top designer, devoted foodie, or just travel-obsessed, responses to this type of question are nothing short of daydream-worthy.

For our most recent #ShopLikeALocal Twitter chat, answers to this question ranged from Designers Yeardley Smith of Marchez Vous and Kara Ross of Kara Ross NY both choosing New York City; Designer Chris Benz voting for Paris to hunt down the many treasures he covets; Creative Director, Rafe, wanting to head off the map and buy a beachfront house in Palawan; or Designer Cynthia Vincent dreaming of a summer home in Istanbul so that she can decorate it with everything from local markets and bazaars—for us, we would choose all of the above.

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Preserving the Charm of Beijing's Hutongs

Hutong

In and around the Gulou district of China’s development-hungry capital, an enclave of hutongs—alleys formed by walls of traditional courtyard residences—has managed to dodge the wrecking ball. Determined to preserve the charm (and avoid the fate of hutongs in nearby Nanluoguxiang, now overrun with souvenir shops), entrepreneurs have moved deeper into these narrow streets. French-owned Wuhao showcases one-off furniture and accessories by emerging talents. At Good Design Institute, everyday objects get a twist, such as lampshades made of bed slats. Serk stocks carbon-fiber bikes—and doubles as a bar serving Belgian beer. For a more local tipple, head to Mai (40 Beiluoguxiang, Dongcheng), known for its craft cocktails.

Photo courtesy of Serk

T+L Twitter Chat on Shopping Like a Local on Wednesday, September 18th

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Whether you’re navigating unknown streets, haggling in markets, or browsing a boutique, sometimes the best shopping is accomplished when locals point out the unknown spots that aren’t mentioned in your guidebook. Join our live Twitter chat on Shopping Like a Local this Wednesday, September 18th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Our panel of experts will share their favorite go-to stores in the world, tips on scoring a deal, and stories about the myriad of fashion triumphs (and mistakes) that they’ve made on their travels. Find out about global street style from the insiders.

Join the conversation on Wednesday, September 18th from 2pm to 3pm EDT.

The Hosts:

Mimi Lombardo, Style Director, @MimiLombardo

Kathryn O’Shea-Evans, Associate Editor, @ThePluckyOne

Brooke Porter, Associate Editor, @BrookePorter

The Panelists:

Sharleen Ernster Lazear, Chief Design Officer, @GUESS

Chris Benz, Designer, @cmbenz

Mark Wiesmayr, Design Director, @AGJeans

Tumi, American heritage travel brand, @TumiTravel

Rafe, Creative Director of Handbags for The Jones Group and Designer for RAFE New York, @RafeNewYork

Kara Ross, Designer, @KaraRossNY

Cynthia Vincent, Designer, @TwelfthStreet

Yeardley Smith, CEO and Designer, @MarchezVous

Fiona Kotur, Designer, @FionaKotur

Ryan Hartman, Creative Director, @FIELD_SCOUT_

Elizabeth Minchilli, T+L Contributor, @eminchilli

Shane Mitchell, T+L Special Correspondent, @shanegoesforth

Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford, Menswear Designers, @CaselyHayfordUK

Suzy Kellems Dominik, Founder and Publisher, @OfWitandWill

How does it work?


1. Log in to Twitter before the chat starts at 2pm ET and be sure to follow @TravlandLeisure.

2. Head over to http://twubs.com/TL_Chat to follow the chat in real time. You can log-in using your Twitter account.

3. Remember to always add the hashtag #TL_Chat to your tweets—however, if you're in the twubs chatroom it will be added automatically (note for character spacing purposes).

4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own responses. Or ask questions of your own! 

All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial. See full social media terms and conditions.

Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: Celine Clanet

The Republic of Tea Herb Tea for Immunity

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Are the latest beauty and wellness products worthy of a spot in your teensy carry-on? T+L Associate Editor Kathryn O’Shea-Evans shares her take.

The product: The Republic of Tea Herb Tea for Immunity, $5

Pros: Yes, my body is my temple—but occasionally this temple gets sick (especially when roaming the globe). Thank god for the new, clove-tasting “Get Wellness” Herb Tea for Immunity, filled with organic rooibos, Echinacea, and elderberries. Best of all, it comes in a recyclable, travel-friendly tin ($5 for six).

Cons: These round tea bags don’t come with strings, so you’ll have to fish them out of your cup by spoon once they steep. That’s a small price to pay for their protective powers, though. The next time a flight attendant wants my drink order, I know exactly what it’ll be: “hot water with a side of lemon, please-and-thank-you-very-much.”

Verdict: Packable.

Kathryn O'Shea-EvansKathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @ThePluckyOne.

Photo courtesy of The Republic of Tea

Tech Thursday: Samsung Announces Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

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The new tech trend is… smartwatches? Yes, it’s true. Samsung announced their latest device—the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which goes on sale September 25—at an electronics trade show in Berlin yesterday. Part James Bond, part Nike Fuelband, the $299 gadget will come pre-loaded with 60 apps (Facebook; a pedometer; a Siri-like personal assistant) and snap photos and video. Don’t expect to make calls on it, or have it replace your phone, though: it’s intended to fulfill relatively simple functions and act as a “companion” that can sync to your Samsung phone for easy access to messages and texts. And it wouldn’t be a trend if Samsung was the lone smartwatch pioneer. Similar products include a new Sony device announced in June, and an Apple version that’s still spinning in the rumor mill. So what’s it all mean for travelers? Just one more way to navigate, snap, and share on the road.

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

Photo Courtesy of Samsung

Historic to Hip: Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine Neighborhood

Over the Rhine: Washington Park

Over-the-Rhine (OTR)—known for its Italianate architecture—has gone from historic to hip.

Inventive Japanese gastropub and sushi bar Kaze amps up its ramen with littleneck clams and red miso broth; turkey sliders are piled high with sugar bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and house-made pickles. 1400 Vine St. $$$

The founders of 21c Museum Hotel set their sights on a landmark building for their second art-filled property. Technically just outside of OTR, it displays works in unexpected places; take the lobby floor, where a panel of wormlike neon patterns changes as you walk on it. Make sure to grab a drink on the rooftop terrace. 609 Walnut St. $$

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Pet Travel Wednesdays: Travel Gear

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Think packing’s a pain? It’s hard for people—and even more of a drag for pets (paws weren’t made for closing zippers!). So I sought out three essential pieces to pack, whether you're headed for a walk in the park or a sprint through the airport.

1. The Ruffwear Bivy Cinch bowl closes and collapses for a quick bite and storing uneaten kibbles.

2. Even Fido can get sick, so be well prepared with this Deluxe Pet First Aid Kit.

3. Last but not least, make sure your small dog gets his share of shut-eye in this Sleepypod mobile bed—for a bark-free transition from the car to the hotel suite. And when your friend's done napping, it makes a great carrier for toys, treats, leashes, you name it.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of @tokyoshiba

Kristen Chenoweth's In-Flight Beauty Must-Haves

Kristen Chenoweth's Must-Haves

The actress, singer, and godmother of Quantum of the Seas—the new ship from Royal Caribbean International—reveals her in-flight must-haves.

Tiger Balm ($12): “Really good for neck pain—it’s basically Icy Hot times ten.”

Dental floss ($3): “It’s always nice to have clean teeth.”

Purell hand sanitizer ($2): “For when I can’t wash my hands.”

Nivea A Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care ($4): “My lips get so dry when I fly.”

Vitamin E oil ($10): “Put this on wrinkles and creases. People ask for my secret—this is it.”

Vicks VapoRub ($12): “I believe that a little bit under your nose keeps the germs out.”

Kleenex ($2): “I don’t want to sneeze and not be prepared.”

Tylenol ($4): “Stops a migraine before it starts. Wow, I sound like a walking ad!”

Photo by John Lawton

Editor Obsession: Nikon FE

Nikon FE

I bought my Nikon FE in 1983, after months of careful shopping and comparing and saving of money. I was 14. I had never owned an object I loved as much as this one: it was all black, a beautifully utilitarian piece of machine-tooled aluminum and glass. That summer, my family went on vacation to the Loire Valley, and I took many hundreds of photographs of castles, and a few of my parents and brother, too. The strange thing is not that I still love this camera, though of course I do, but that I still use it. Today it’s technically an antique, but the FE is notoriously rugged, hailed by professionals back in the day for its ability to operate in extreme conditions. Needless to say, the photographs, too, seem more rugged than any JPEG. I pile them in a shoebox—tangible, permanent records, far from the iCloud ether.

Photo by Sam Kaplan

Lauren Santo Domingo's Guide to Cartagena

Lauren Santo Domingo

Lauren Santo Domingo, the founder of online fashion boutique Moda Operandi, considers herself an unofficial guide to Cartagena, Colombia (her wedding to Colombian-born Andres Santo Domingo—held in the ancient walled city—was the society event of 2008). The top stops each time she visits? “I love the Tcherassi Hotel & Spa ($$), which has an airy, sleek vibe,” she says. And La Vitrola ($$$), a Havana-inspired jazz club, “makes the best ropa vieja I’ve had.” Here, what she brings along whenever she visits.

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