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Packing Tips & Secrets Straight From Our Experts

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How do you travel better? We asked a team of experts in a recent Twitter Chat for their rules of the road, which we’re revealing in a series of blog posts. With the holiday season upon us, we asked for packing tips and tricks.

Co-Founder of Skift.com, Jason Clampet (@jasonclampet) mails the big-ticket items ahead, so that he can pack (and bring) as little as possible.

Weather Channel Meteorologist, Maria LaRosa (@TWCMariaLaRosa), lays dresses and pants across the bottom of a suitcase to create a lining. She then fills in the contents of the suitcase with other items and folds the “lining” over the packed goods. She swears—no wrinkles! Sounds to us like enough of a reason to try this trick on our next getaway.

Our T+L Trip Doctor (@TLTripDoctor) brings contact lens cases for small amounts of toiletries like eye makeup remover and moisturizer. She’s the Trip Doctor for a reason!

Follow @travlandleisure on Twitter and #TL_Chat for more expert tips.

Gabrielle Blitz is associate social media editor at Travel + Leisure

How to Survive a Flight Delay

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How do you travel better? We asked a team of experts in a recent Twitter Chat for their rules of the road, which we’re revealing in a series of blog posts. With Christmas being one of the biggest travel days of the year, we wanted to know the first thing our panel does when their flight’s delayed (don’t worry, it won’t happen to you!).

Our T+L Trip Doctor (@TLTripDoctor) is responsible by checking @flightstats to see options for getting on another flight. Well, at least she starts out that way…

In the end, there was an overwhelming consensus by our panelists and chat participants. Digital and Brand Marketer, Melanie Nayer (@chic_travel) and T+L’s Rich Beattie (@richbeattie), Brooke Porter (@brookeporter1), Peter Frank (@pfrank1), and Shane Mitchell (@shanegoesforth) all seem to agree—find the nearest bar!

Follow @travlandleisure on Twitter and #TL_Chat for more expert tips.

Gabrielle Blitz is associate social media editor at Travel + Leisure

Is Your Photo Worth $100,000? Let The Instagramers Gallery Decide

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A picture is supposedly worth a thousand words. But when it comes to an Instagram photo, the worth may be more like 100,000 (dollars, not words).

The Instagramers Gallery is an initiative that is not only creating the world’s biggest online photo gallery, but the largest photography prize in history. There will be a $100,000 Grand Prize for the best Instagram photo in the world and a daily prize of $1,000 for the best photo of the day.

The online gallery is becoming a thriving art community that is supported by a physical gallery in Miami and soon one in Madrid.

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Our Airport Survival Kit For Holiday Travel

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How do you travel better? We asked a team of experts in a recent Twitter Chat for their rules of the road, which we’re revealing in a series of blog posts.

With the holiday season upon us, we asked our panel what’s in their airport survival kit. Designer, Chris Benz (@cmbenz), plans ahead and brings adapters and chargers for the airport and a large bottle of water for the in-flight experience. SeatGuru (@SeatGuru) said hand sanitizer is a necessity for the airport, if you want to stay fresh.

Follow @travlandleisure on Twitter and #TL_Chat for more expert tips.

Gabrielle Blitz is associate social media editor at Travel + Leisure

Instagram Hits The Wall at Portland's Hotel Lucia

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This month, a wall in the lobby of Portland’s Hotel Lucia became the first permanent installation of futuristic social art. 

Like a scene from The Outer Limits, Intel Labs has installed a massive projector with custom software and optical sensors to display images from Instagram tagged #LuciaWallPDX. Everyone, from hotel guests to local Portlanders, is encouraged to drop in and swipe through the pictures, arranged as an enormous and ever-changing collage.

The immersive experience blends science fiction, social media, and art, allowing users to tag their emotional response and complete the circle by uploading their own photos to the wall.  

Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Lucia

Instagram Direct Launches For Private Sharing

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Today, at a rare NYC-based launch event, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced a new feature called Instagram Direct. Like your private inbox on Twitter or Facebook, it’s a new way to share privately—either with one individual or a group of up to 15 friends. Simply select who you want to share your photo with, and each person’s avatar shows up in a bubble underneath your caption—first grayed out, then in color with a green check mark once they’ve seen your message.

The new feature (available today on mobile) comes in response to the tendency of self-curating—not wanting to overwhelm your feed with every single shot of your Roman holiday, for instance—and the need to share those extra images with the people who really do want to see them. (Named groups, such as “Family” or “Foodie Friends” will follow in the 2.0 version of Direct, making it easier to share that ump-teenth baguette and cheese shot in Paris without annoying your best carb-avoiding gal pal.) So why have the launch in New York? Said Systrom: “Instagram isn’t just about Silicon Valley. Instagram is all about sharing moments all around the world.” We couldn't have put it better ourselves.

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 Maria Pedone

Instagram Mashup Makes Two-Minute Tour of World

Think your trip to Paris or voyage to Sydney was totally unique? Think again.

French artist Thomas Jullien took viewers around the world in 852 Instagrams when he released his short film a few weeks ago. On foot, bike, plane and train, we see some of the world’s most beloved landmarks—the Arc de Triomphe, the Sydney Opera House, and the Statue of Liberty.

Jullien’s travelogue highlights how eerily similar 852 individual Instagramers picture the world through the same 16 frames and filters.

Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Hyatt Place Launches Seamless Travel Series to Make Your Journey Easier

Travel shouldn’t be so complicated: “This one’s too big…This one’s too small…This one is just right.” Hyatt Place wants to get it right the first time for today’s busy travelers with practical amenities and the best overall experience.

From what to bring on a business trip to how to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road, Hyatt Place wants to know what’s on travelers’ minds. They’re enlisting experts to offer advice and insights, in a crowdsourced, real-time approach to their guest experiences.

Travelers are invited to share topics and questions on the Hyatt Place Facebook page, join upcoming Twitter chats, and comment on the expert’s social channels.

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Warm Winter Getaway Travel Tips Straight From Our Experts

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In the spirit of it getting cold out there (thank you, Winter Storm Boreas), we have beaches on the brain. Our recent Twitter chat on Warm Winter Getaways was the perfect way to get tips on the best sunny destinations to visit this season.

Our panel of experts also have sun and sand on the brain, and shared the exciting warm winter getaways they have planned. T+L Senior Editor, Jacqueline Gifford is “skipping out on turkey in favor of rum punches at Petit St. Vincent island resort in the Grenadines this #Thanksgiving.”

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Holiday and Airport Travel Tips Straight From Our Experts

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Where are you going for the holidays? We recently asked a panel of travel experts in an Airport and Holiday Travel Twitter Chat, and the answers ranged the gamut.

The Weather Channel is having a “Staycation #HomeForTheHolidays.” T+L International Editor, Mark Orwoll, has a similar plan—he said, “Turns out everyone’s coming to MY house this year. Now I guess I have to invite all of you too, to avoid hurt feelings.” What’s for dinner, Mark? We’re not about to turn down that invitation!

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