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Free Restaurant Recs on the Go from Google+ Local and Zagat

Google+ Local

Don't you hate it when you get to a new city and have no idea where to find a great restaurant? More often than not, unfortunately, a lack of knowledge leads to mediocre meals and a poor understanding of local cuisine. Google is out to fix that.

Google has added a new feature to their Google+ social network: Local. Like its competitor, Yelp, Google+ Local will show you recommended businesses, museums, and even—yes—restaurants that are nearby.

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Video: GloboMaestro Goes to The Paris Theatre

Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: Few cinemas are as iconic as the films they show, but The Paris Theatre, America's oldest continuously operated art-house cinema, is itself a celebrity. The cinema, located just a stone's throw away from The Plaza Hotel, was opened by Marlene Dietrich in 1948 and remains one of the New York's last single screen theaters. You won't catch this summer's blockbuster here (the theater shows only movies shot on film), but you'll be sure to see some of the finest independent and foreign films. While only one flick is shown each week, this cinephile wonderland never ever plays any pre-show ads.

Video courtesy of GloboMaestro, the only web series where hotel concierges dish their insider destination tips.

 

App Lets Kids Explore the Globe with a Flick of the Finger

Barefoot World Atlas App

What's the perfect gift for young, inquisitive, would-be travelers? The Barefoot World Atlas App, available for iPad. The result of a collaboration between Barefoot Books and Touch Press, a popular app developer, the app lets your little one explore the globe with a flick of the finger.

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Travel Tweet-Up: Las Vegas Travel Tips

jennifer-flowersjpgWe all know Las Vegas is the place in the U.S. for anyone looking for a getaway chockfull of gambling. But there’s more to Sin City than just poker and slots. With an ever-growing (and improving) culinary scene, shopping galore—both high- and low-end—and tons of possible day trips off the strip, the options are seemingly endless! Sound overwhelming? Then join us tomorrow (6/6) for a live tweet-up, hosted by T+L Associate Editor Jennifer Flowers. She’ll be joined by a panel of experts to help dish out the best advice so you can make the most of your next Vegas retreat. Our panel of experts includes:

- Jeanne Mills, MGM Grand: @MGMGrand
- Bruno Maddox, T+L Contributing Editor: @BrunMad
- Courtney Fitzgerald, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Bureau: @Vegas
- John Curtas, Eating Las Vegas: @EatingLasVegas
- Ana Maria Pickens, T+L A-List Agent, My Little Swans: @MyLittleSwans

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter any time from 2–3 p.m. ET and be sure to follow the chat hosts: @TravlandLeisure and @JennFlowers
2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow and participate in the Getting Great Service Tweet-Up.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to http://tweetchat.com/room/tl_chat
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions! Or ask your own questions! Take advantage of this special access to this fab panel and get some expert travel advice.

We hope to "see" you there!

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Joshua Pramis is the social media editor and tech aficionado at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis

Video: GloboMaestro Visits Chic NYC Cigar Lounge Club Macanudo

Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: One of the last remaining places in NYC where smoking is still allowed indoors, Club Macanudo gives the vibe of a private lounge, but is completely open to the public. The Plaza Hotel's insider, chef concierge Raphael Pallais, stopped by to get a sneak peek at the atmosphere, world class cigar offerings, and a taste of one of the lounges many single malt scotches. Go to Globomaestro.com for more insider travel videos and tips.

Video courtesy of GloboMaestro

Patricia Urquiola's Packing Checklist

 

Patricia Urquiola

The architect and designer opens her (well-edited) suitcase.

“The less I pack, the more relaxed I feel,” says the Spanish-born, Milan-based designer, known for her punchy Modernist style in hotels from Puerto Rico (W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island) to Barcelona (Mandarin Oriental). “I’ve lost my luggage several times, so I only take a carry-on”—usually a well-worn Globe-Trotter cabin bag with leather trim (price upon request) and a roomy Céline tote (from $2,400). Whether she is traveling to Berlin (where she is working on the Das Stue hotel), Istanbul, or São Paulo, Brazil, Urquiola chooses a simple look that can be dressed up or down. One fail-safe outfit: a vintage Marni jacket, V-neck sweater from Cos ($87), and slightly faded Acne jeans ($250). Accessories include comfortable Robert Clergerie brogues ($495) and a Rolex Air-King watch. “Telling time using my cell phone just isn’t as reliable.”

What’s in Her Bag:

“A reversible silk and wool scarf by Pierre-Louis Mascia is great for converting day to evening wear, and doubles as a wrap.”

“I pack Prada heels and jewelry in case I need to make a quick change in the taxi for a work party.”

“Before getting off the plane, I apply YSL’s lash-lengthening Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara and Chanel Teint Innocence face powder. They’re my armor.”

Photo by Andrea Wyner

Insider's London: Black Tomato's Tom Marchant Shares His Favorite City Spots Right Now

Black Tomato's Tom Marchant

The line up for the summer in London is as exciting as it is daunting. Try and do too much and you'll be running all over town, exhausting yourself. Take it too easy and you'll be kicking yourself for missing half the action. A little careful planning will go a long way if you're planning to take part in London's many festivities this summer. We caught up with Tom Marchant, co-founder of bespoke travel company Black Tomato, for his rundown of secret locales, restaurants, and tips.

Q: There's a lot of discussion about the transport system and how it will cope with the millions of visitors heading your way. What's your preferred way of getting around town?
A:
London is bigger than you think so it depends on how far I'm going. I just got a new dog (Ernie), so try and walk as much as I can. When I am not with him, for short distances, I use a Boris Bike (nicknamed after Boris Johnson, our mayor) you can rent them from all over town for a pound a day. When the suns out there's no nicer way to get around. For long distances, I use taxis. My new find is HAILO, an app that lets you hail Black Cabs without even leaving your seat—useful when it's raining! 

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Last Dash to London! Essential Booking Tips for the Olympic-Bound

201205-b-london-cityscape95605583jpgLast Saturday, the Olympic Torch relay set off in Great Britain and began a 70-day journey through the United Kingdom that will end on July 27 at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. The countdown has begun.

Set on making it across the pond this summer? It’s not too late—but you must act now! To inspire you procrastinators to begin booking, we present our last-minute get-to-London guide.

The good news: flights to the city’s hub airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, London City) are still available. Right now, a search of round-trip fares from major U.S. cities range from $1,100 to $1,500. Departing from Chicago, you’ll fork over about $1,200 for a round-trip economy ticket on Virgin Atlantic Airways (a seat in the carrier’s newly revamped Upper Class cabin will cost you $2,800).

These fares are steep—and getting steeper—but they aren’t higher than this time last year. “I don’t think airlines are price gauging,” says George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com, a site that monitors ticket prices. “It’s still the summer season and we’re seeing reasonable fares for this time of year.”

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How to Tip Your Hotel Housekeeper

tipping your housekeeper: envelope

If you want to make absolutely sure that your tip is distributed evenly, follow this rule of thumb: leave $5 to $10 for each day in an envelope at the front desk. Note your room number and dates of stay on the envelope, and that you’d like it divided among all your housekeepers.

Have a travel dilemma? The trip doctor is in. Send your question to Amy at tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by iStockphoto

Think Before You Stow! Spirit’s Carry-On Fee Spotlights Airline Charges

201205-b-spirit-airlines-carry-on-luggagejpg
You may have heard the news: Spirit Airlines, one of the first carriers to implement a carry-on fee, will charge up to $100 per bag starting November 6. 

That’s up from $45, the current carry-on cost for customers who wait and pay at the departure gate. Even if you plan ahead, you’ll still have to fork over a fee: the carry-on price at the airport kiosk will increase to $50 from $40. (Spirit considers carry-ons to be luggage stored in the overhead bin—passengers will still be entitled to a free personal item that can fit under the seat.)

What can you do to avoid a carry-on crisis the next time you travel?

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