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QVC's Lisa Robertson's Top 10 Packing Tips

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There are two kinds of travelers in the world: over-packers, those who try to stuff their entire closet into the overhead compartment on the plane, and under-packers, those who head directly to the store once they get to their destination because they don't have what they need. Not only am I a former over-packer, but I was a random over-packer, so I had a suitcase full of nonsense. Nothing ever went together so I was constantly asking myself, "Why did I pack that?"
 
I'm proud to say I've come a long way in the packing department. But it's an acquired skill and one worth spending some time on as summer approaches.
 
Here, 10 questions to ask yourself when you're trying to decide what to put in your suitcase.
 
1. What activities do you KNOW you're going to do?
The reason I was an over-packer was because I allowed my mind to go crazy with 'maybes.' Maybe I'll want to do this activity, maybe I'll want to do that activity, and pretty soon I was taking my whole closet because I wasn't focusing on what I was really going to do. So first and foremost: what activities do you KNOW you're going to do? Start there, and then you can tweak at the end as space allows.

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Virgin Atlantic Introduces New $160 Million Upper Class Cabin

Travel Pulse  |  Virgin Atlantic Airways has introduced a new Upper Class cabin that is part of its £100 million redesign of the Upper Class product. Virgin has created a new website that has a virtual tour of the new cabin. The site links to more than 40 YouTube videos that feature the new cabin.

The new cabin features an eight-foot-long bar billed as the longest in the sky...

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T+L Facebook Chat: The Trip Doctor Is In!

headshot_small_reasonably_smalljpg As Travel + Leisure's news editor, I've spent nearly a decade working behind the scenes to deliver the strategies you need to make the most of your travels. Now it's time to speak with readers directly. In my new role as T+L's Trip Doctor, I'm here to answer your most pressing travel dilemmas, from how to save money in a time of rising airfares to what apps and websites you really need to make your life easier.
 
Tomorrow afternoon, in honor of our upcoming June hotels issue, I'll be hosting a live Facebook chat to tackle your thorniest hotel questions—just in time for your summer getaways. Want to know when to book a hotel room online to get the best rate? Curious about which guest-rewards programs give you the most bang for your buck? Want to know the tricks for getting a room upgrade, or how (once and for all) to tip your housekeeper? Log onto Facebook.com/TravelandLeisure tomorrow, April 24, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. ET to send your questions my way. And look for our new Trip Doctor column in Travel + Leisure's June issue.
 
P.S. If you can't make the chat, you can always reach me at TripDoctor@aexp.com and by following @afarles on Twitter.

Video: Travel Tips for New Orleans

From hotel deals to cooking classes, Travel + Leisure's digital projects director, Sarah Spagnolo, shares her favorite tips for making the most of New Orleans right now.

The Best New Accessories for Your iPad

For my last round-up, I shared a collection of my favorite new cell phone accessories. This week I want to showcase a my fave iPad accessories. So let’s just cut to the chase and dive right on in, shall we?

201204-b-techsafe-casejpgNot everyone likes to bring their iPads with them when they’re walking around a strange city. For starters, showing off your flashy, expensive toy can turn you into a target for a mugging. Second, you kind of look like a jerk using an iPad as a camera. I’m sorry, but it had to be said. However, it can be understandably nerve-wracking leaving it behind in your hotel room, especially when there is no personal safe. For peace of mind, pick up the TechSafe Case ($80; griffintechnology.com), which connects to a steel cable that can be tethered to just about anything (like the heavy hotel desk, perhaps).

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Ask An Editor Day: T+L Answers Your Travel Questions

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Need help planning your next dream vacation? Looking for a few money-saving travel tips? You’re in luck! T+L invites you to our first-ever "Ask An Editor Day," taking place right on our Facebook Wall tomorrow, April 12.

From 10 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET, you can post your travel quandary on our Wall—and throughout the day our expert editors will respond with an answer.

Simply like our Facebook page and then head over to the Wall, where the Q+A party will take place. Don’t miss this chance to access T+L's expert editors—and get tips straight from the ultimate travel source! We look forward to hearing from you.

Travel Tweet-Up: Europe Travel Tips

Booking a trip to Europe? Have a ton questions that need answering? Then join us tomorrow (April 11), from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. ET, for a live “tweet-up” chat. Hosting the chat will be Travel + Leisure Senior Editor Clara Sedlak. Also joining in the conversation is a panel of travel experts, all eager to answer your burning travel questions. Our expert panelists include:

- Alexia Gobit-Abril, Manadarin Oriental, Paris: @MO_Paris
- Dan Askin + John Deiner, Cruise Critic: @CruiseCritic
- Ellen Lecompte, T+L A-List Travel Agent, with Brownell Travel: @BrownellTravel
- Geri Jacobs, Vice Chairman for the European Travel Commission: @VisitEurope

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter any time from 3-4 p.m. ET and be sure to follow the chat hosts: @TravlandLeisure and @csedlak1
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 resident tech aficionado at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis

Owe The IRS? Bill Would Suspend Passport Rights For Delinquent Taxpayers

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A bill authored by a Southland lawmaker that could potentially allow the federal government to prevent any Americans who owe back taxes from traveling outside the U.S. is one step closer to becoming law.

Senate Bill 1813 was introduced back in November by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Los Angeles) to “reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes.”

After clearing the Senate on a 74 – 22 vote on March 14, SB 1813 is now headed for a vote in the House of Representatives, where it’s expected to encounter stiffer opposition among the GOP majority.

In addition to authorizing appropriations for federal transportation and infrastructure programs, the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” or “MAP-21″ includes a provision that would allow for the “revocation or denial” of a passport for anyone with “certain unpaid taxes” or “tax delinquencies”.

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The Best New Accessories for Your Smart Phone

I’m addicted to my iPhone. There, I said it. I feel better. Now that that’s out of the way, I should also admit another addiction: I can’t get enough of cell phone accessories. It doesn’t matter if it’s something like a cool new case, or an addictive—and in many cases, mind-numbing—game that I’ve downloaded to waste time while busing back and forth between NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia, as I’m known to do. (Yes, I do consider an app a cell phone accessory, of sorts.) I just love anything that makes my already cool phone even cooler.

That being said, I want to share my latest favorite cell phone accessories:

201203-b-tripodjpgI just picked up the XSories Mini Deluxe Tripod ($29.99; xsories.com), and am in love. It works with just about any smart phone by gripping it via a spring-operated clasp and is perfect if you, like me, use your phone as your primary camera while out and about. It’s small enough that it can fit in your bag, or even a back pocket. It's super lightweight, and you can even bend the legs for even more flexibility with positioning it. Couple it with the Photo Timer app (free; iOS) and you can make sure the whole gang gets in the shot.

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Doggie Vacation: Pairing Pooches with Homestays

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MSNBC.com Travel
  |  Valerie Steiger, a life coach in Canyon Country, Calif., had a 4-month-old puppy and tickets for a 10-day trip to Thailand.

Steiger knew that Joey, a cavalier King Charles spaniel-shih tzu mix, would need more attention than what a traditional stop-by-the-house pet sitter could provide, so she went online in search of a good boarding kennel.

Instead she found DogVacay.com.

The site, which officially launched March 1 in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and soon after in other major cities, matches dog owners in need of pet-care services with people willing to host dogs in their homes for a fee. (Photo courtesy of Debra.)

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