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Trip Doctor Challenge: How Secure is Hotel Wi-Fi?



Looking for quick solutions to your travel concerns? Our resident expert Amy Farley has the facts with Travel + Leisure’s Trip Doctor Challenge. 

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Q+A with Master Beer Sommelier Marc Stroobandt

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Between trips to England, Israel, and his hometown in Belgium, Marc Stroobandt trained the staff of New York City's new Belgian Beer Café in proper serving techniques. Marc, a Master Beer Sommelier and Certified Beer Server within the Cicerone Certification Program with an honorary Knighthood in the Order of the Mashing Staff from the Confederation of Belgian Brewers, sat down with T+L's Laura Itzkowitz to share some expert travel tips for beer enthusiasts. 

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Points Guy Chat Follow Up: More to Know Before You Go

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"When work books a flight w/a sketchy seat, is there an easy way to change it without appearing uppity?" #TL_Chat

Michael Paul

There are many ways to get a better seat—without having to shell out cash. The key is being proactive.

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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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How Big Can My Carry-On Bag Be These Days?

Carry-on bag

Though some airlines (JetBlue; Alaska) give you a few extra inches here and there, the major domestic carriers are all in agreement: the maximum allowable carry-on bag is 22" x 14" x 9". This standard has been in place for years, but in the past airlines were lenient about ensuring bags adhered to it. United, however, started enforcing its size limits in March. So to play it safe, invest in a suitcase that doesn’t exceed those measurements.

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

Courtesy of Rimowa

Nancy Novogrod: The Exit Interview

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Before we let longtime Travel + Leisure editor in chief Nancy Novogrod walk out the door to pursue new opportunities (including writing a book), we had a few questions for her. As you can imagine, after 21 years traversing the globe on behalf of the magazine, Nancy has some opinions about travel—how it has evolved, where it’s going, and what experiences and destinations rise to the top. Here, the Nancy Novogrod Exit Interview. 

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The Best Hotel Loyalty Program Promotions for Fall 2014

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These days, competition is heating up in the hotel industry. The big chains are not only competing against each other, but they’re also competing against online travel agencies and startups like Rocketmiles and Hotelied for your business. When you book through the hotel directly, it’ll give you points, whereas reserving through online travel agencies generally disqualifies your stay from earning valuable hotel points and possibly even getting your elite status. So if you want those points, book directly with the hotel—especially during the busy fall travel season when many brands offer lucrative promotions.
 
Here are the major hotel chains and their promotion details. You should always double check and make sure that the hotel you want to book isn’t listed as an exclusion—a lot of hotels opt out of these promotions because they get charges for the extra points. You may also want to plan your stays around the days where you’ll earn the most points.
 
Starwood: More For You
 
SPG members can earn either double or triple Starpoints depending on which nights of the week their stay is with Starwood. This promotion is valid for stays between September 15 and December 15, 2014.

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Top Family Travel Tips from the Experts

Family Travel

I'm just back from a trip to Italy and like every long adventure with toddlers, it was a schizophrenic mix of life-could-never-be-better moments and how-am-I-going-to-get-through-this hell. There was Sebastian's meltdown at Heathrow because I wouldn't buy him the really big Paddington bear (thank god for the Terminal 5 play area); the relentless "I want milk" requests while driving through the milkless rolling hills of Tuscany; and the constant sticky faces and stained shirts from twice-daily gelato injections (Italian napkins just don't do the job). In anticipation of my next family excursion, I reached out to the pros for some tips on how to make the journey smoother. Here, my favorites:

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How to Prepare for an Icelandic Eruption

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Remember the great Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010 that spewed ash across European airspace, stranding millions of travelers throughout the continent—and beyond? Iceland may be giving us a repeat performance, this time care of the Bárðarbunga volcano (that's Bardarbunga to English speakers), which has been increasing its seismic activity over the last week.

A few days ago, the agency that monitors the volcano raised the threat level to the aviation industry to ”orange,” the second-highest rating, putting airlines around the world on alert for possible flight disruptions due to ash clouds. Though it’s still unclear if the volcano will actually erupt, travelers planning to fly to or through northern Europe in the coming weeks should be prepared. Here’s what you need to know:

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Gary Shteyngart's Misadventures in Air Travel

Air Travel

When I was told I was flying to an Indian literary festival via Kuwait Airways, I was ready to arrive in style. Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways—the region is known for its luxurious, pampered version of air travel. Perhaps Kuwait Airways would have a new Airbus A380 with an onboard lounge? High-thread-count bathrobes? Personal air butlers? In any case, I hoped the wine menu would have a nice dry Riesling to help me ease into a different climate, and, heck, some free spa products would be nice.

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