Last month, we introduced you to a new series on YouTube’s Reserve Channel called EX-PATS that took viewers to St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands in its premiere episode. This month, those daydreaming about moving to a foreign country can look forward to another great story from a neighboring island, St. Croix.
Traveling with the kids in tow can be quite the challenge. Where should you go? How do you guarantee a smooth flight? Can you make everyone happy? What about the adults? Is there something for them to do? It can be exhausting just planning the trip. That being said, there are myriad ways to smooth out the process and help guarantee a memorable trip for everyone involved. How? Well, just join us for a live tweet-up tomorrow, from 2–3 p.m. ET, hosted by T+L Senior Digital Editor (and mom of two) Ann Shields. (Or, as she’s known in the Twittersphere: @aegisnyc.) Joining her will be a panel of experts to help give you some essential tips to help you plan your next family getaway.
Priceline’s Name Your Own Price bidding system was once the most novel way to find a discounted hotel room online, but a slew of innovative new booking websites and apps make it easier than ever to prevent buyer’s remorse. The seven-month-old website BackBid turns the Name Your Own Price approach on its head: instead of guests bidding on hotel rooms, hotels bid on guests. After you submit your existing hotel reservation and travel preferences to BackBid, the site invites hotels in the same area to make you offers for less expensive rooms or upgraded ones at the same price. (A five-star hotel was recently offered in place of a three-star property in Washington, D.C.) As long as you have a refundable reservation, you can cancel and book the new room.
The idea of chucking it all and decamping to a new exotic land has surely crossed many a world traveler’s mind. This is a passing daydream for some, but for others, it’s a calling—a chance to truly immerse oneself in a foreign culture and community, and to reinvent one's life.
If you’re interested in what the experience of being an ex-patriot is all about, the risks and the rewards, we invite you to watch the new web-series EX-PATS on YouTube’s Reserve Channel. Created in cooperation with Travel + Leisure (our editors are advisors on the show), the series takes viewers around the world to profile ex-pats who’ve made the move and have some wild and wonderful stories to share.
The first time I ever flew into JFK was during a flight back to NYC from Los Angeles. I hadn't gone to bed until the sun came up earlier that day, was running on just a couple hours of sleep, and I was ready to get home and collapse onto my bed. So when faced with the decision to wait in the long taxi line or take up some guy on his car service option, my foggy brain decided the latter was a sound decision. I followed the guy to his “taxi” which was a rusty old pick-up truck, but thankfully had enough sense to stop, say “Absolutely not,” and turn back around to deal with the line for a legit cab.
Ana Lissa Sison, director of housekeeping at the Peninsula New York, can make a king-size bed in five minutes flat. Her method:
1. Pillows: Karate-chop down the middle to fluff feathers. Fold in half lengthwise and insert into case. From the outside, pinch a corner of pillow; pull case down. Set aside.
2. Bottom Sheet: Use a flat sheet (more durable than fitted). Tuck in top and bottom. At each corner, lift overhang to form a triangle. Pull and tuck sheet under.
3. Top Sheet: Tuck in bottom, leaving sides hanging. Fold top of sheet back six to eight inches.
4. Duvet, Part I: Fold duvet cover in half, with opening facing headboard. Fold duvet as mirror image, and place at foot of bed.
5. Duvet, Part II: Grab duvet at bottom right; pull into right corner of cover. Repeat on left. Holding cover in place, pull it completely over duvet.
6. Finish: Leave duvet untucked, smoothing out wrinkles and crisping corners. Place pillows on top and align patterns. Add accents to taste.
Illustration by L-DOPA
If you’re one of the lucky ones to be attending the Olympics this year in London, but are a little nervous about navigating a foreign city—particularly during what will very likely become a rather chaotic time with the huge influx of travelers and athletes—there are a few apps out there that can help you out. (And most of them will still be useful outside of London, after the Games are long over.)
Looking good is part of the job description for Omer Acar, the jet-setting general manager of Le Royal Monceau–Raffles Paris. Here, he reveals his travel-friendly toiletries, all 3.4 ounces or less.
Kiehl’s Amino Acid Conditioner ($7): “Blended with coconut and jojoba oils and a savior for my hair.”
Rembrandt toothpaste ($8): “Whitens and brightens.”
Comme des Garçons Incense Kyoto eau de toilette ($85): “The scent is fantastic—rare, earthy, spiced.”
Arnicare Gel ($10): “Arnica has been used since the 1500’s to reduce inflammation.”
Clear Eyes ($4): “I’ll put in a few drops to look fresh just before greeting VIP’s.”
Rubis tweezers ($39): “The Swiss make the best nonslip tweezers—no surprise, in the land of the watch.”
My Blend by Clarins ($145): “A personalized moisturizer only sold at Le Royal Monceau.”
Photo by Charles Masters
Those of you traveling to Madrid this summer are doubly lucky because until July 22nd you will find PHotoEspaña in full swing. The photography festival, a long-standing highlight on the city's summer cultural calendar, brings more than 70 exhibits to town displaying work by history’s and today’s greatest lensmen.
Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: Say hello to the new New-York Historical Society. For years New York City's oldest museum was perhaps best known for the placement of a hyphen between "New" and "York" in its title (a common usage during the museum’s founding in 1804). While steadfastly holding on to its own history, the New-York Historical Society has transformed into a cultural powerhouse thanks to a recent three-year $70 million renovation. Exhibitions are enhanced by shrewd uses of new technologies, from touch-screens to state-of-the-art video projections. Paintings, photographs, maps, and documents have never looked more attractive. It'll make you fall in love all over again with Gotham.
Briana Fasone is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Video courtesy of GloboMaestro, the only web series where hotel concierges dish their insider destination tips.