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TODAY Show Video: Options If You're Stranded by a Storm

 

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Travel + Leisure's trip doctor, Amy Farley, gives tips for tracking airlines on social media and the best ways to re-book a canceled flight.

For more info, see Trip Doctor: Winter Storm Nemo—Resources for Stranded Fliers.

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

Jia Collection's Reversible Winter Coat

reversible winter coat

Q: We’re spending two weeks in Stockholm in February, and I want a new warm winter coat. I can only take one, so I’d like it to be versatile. Recommendations? —Marna Eklund, Palo Alto, Calif.

A: I’m currently obsessing over Jia Collection, a line of convertible clothing by Chinese designer Jia Li that includes dresses, cardigans, and more. Her hunter green cashmere-and-Italian-wool jacket with leather trim ($940) is toasty and reverses to ash gray. Two for the price of one!

Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by John Lawton

Winter Storm Nemo—Resources for Stranded Fliers

stranded passengers

Winter Storm Nemo has yet to hit the East Coast, but its impact is already being felt among travelers. Nearly 3,000 domestic and international flights have been canceled for Friday and almost 1,000 (and counting) for Saturday according to live flight-tracking service FlightAware. The effects of the storm—which may be historic—could snarl air traffic for several days, so travelers scheduled to fly into or out of the Eastern seaboard on Friday and Saturday should rebook in advance, if they haven’t already. Most carriers are waiving change fees to encourage preemptive rebooking.

If you are one of the unlucky, stranded passengers, T+L has a few apps and services to make your delay a little more bearable.

Navigating the airport. Gateguru offers detailed listings (with reviews) for restaurants, stores, and other services at over 120 different airports. It will also give you security wait times and updates on flight delays, and can coordinate with your Kayak and TripIt itinerary planners.

Last-minute hotel rooms. HotelTonight and all of the major online travel agents (Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak, and Priceline) have mobile apps that help you find nearby available hotel rooms at a discount. Their inventories are not the same, so if you strike out with one, try another. 

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Tech Thursday: Mophie Juice Pack Helium for the iPhone 5

201302-b-tech-thursday-mophiejpg

We constantly obsess our iPhone accessories here at the T+L offices—deciding between that J.Crew chevron stripped case or the Otterbox may be Trip Doctor's debate of the century—but our eyes are officially turning to a third option. Mophie, the adventure-friendly brand whose juice pack cases add extra battery life (and heft) to your mobile devices, is launching a super-slim model—the first of its kind for the latest generation of iPhones. The Helium is expected to add 80% extra charge to your battery life (that's six hours of talk time, or seven hours of web browsing)—and it also features forward-facing speakers for enhanced sound. Pre-orders opened to the public yesterday, with devices shipping nationwide on February 19. For now, the slim gunmetal finish will do—but we'll take this opportunity to plea for some fresh designs on the Helium 2.0.

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of mophie.

Trip Doctor: Istanbul's Best Walking Tours

Istanbul Walking Tours

Culinary Backstreets–Istanbul Eats: Go off the beaten path to under-the-radar restaurants, bakeries, and candy shops. From $125.

Sea Song: Itineraries from Sea Song, which has custom tours in 17 Turkish destinations, are crafted around themes—food; archaeology; sacred places; artisan traditions—and include unique experiences such as lunch at a historic Ottoman house. From $150.

Amy Send your dilemmas to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @afarles on Twitter.


Photo by Richard T. Nowitz/CORBIS

Trip Doctor: 5 New Hotels to Watch in 2013

201302-best-new-hotels-cresto-ranchjpg

I am a hotel nerd. At the start of each year, I scan the next 12 months for openings to obsess over. Here, five newcomers that have me at the edge of my seat.

United States
I’ve found a new way to play out my Wild West fantasy. Set on 1,600 acres deep in the Colorado Rockies, Cresto Ranch (pictured) opens in June with a main lodge in a restored 19th-century farmhouse and eight safari-style tents, all with en-suite bathrooms, gas stoves, enormous beds, and—color me happy—private porches where you can daydream while gazing out at the vast wilderness. The retreat is four miles down the Dolores River from sister property Dunton Hot Springs, a luxury pioneer in the Rockies. (And yes! Cresto guests can pop over to Dunton for a dip).

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Best Sun-Protective Clothing for Travel

Sun-Protective Clothing: Parasol shirt

Q: My husband and I are traveling to Brazil. We both have fair skin, so we’ll be wearing plenty of sunscreen. Does sun-protective clothing really work? —Sadie Walker-Jones, via e-mail

A: Definitely! Clothes are rated on a different scale, though: UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor. The average T-shirt has a low UPF (anywhere between five and eight). By contrast, all of the following have the highest possible amount—50-plus. Parasol, founded by a former Vogue editor, offers pieces made of quick-drying Italian Lycra, while Coolibar creates its fabric from Australian eucalyptus trees (both also wick away moisture to keep you cool). The Patagonia line comes in everything from wide-brimmed hats to leggings.

Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by John Lawton

Trip Doctor: OpenTable Acquires Foodspotting for $10 Million

OpenTable

It’s been a big week for tech news, but for this foodie, no announcement was more exciting than OpenTable’s $10 million acquisition of Foodspotting. For starters, the dish-sharing app will bring new, visual content to the reservation titan’s portfolio of listings. But over time, we can expect the partnership to yield unprecedented search tools to help us find (and enjoy) our next great meal.

Officially, the deal isn’t yet written in stone, but OpenTable users will already see some changes. In advance of Tuesday’s announcement, OpenTable began rolling out preliminary features, such as incorporating user-generated photos from Foodspotting onto restaurant listings. Eventually, most restaurants on OpenTable will have a visual menu, documented with snapshots from Foodspotting users. And from a social standpoint, the partnership will allow you to canvass your Facebook friends for their favorite dishes at the restaurants you’re scheduled to visit.

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Trip Doctor: How Do the New BlackBerry 10 Smartphones Stack Up for Travel?

Blackberry 10

Much ink has already been spilled on the relative pros and cons of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that powers the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10, announced Wednesday in New York, but what does this latest update in the super-competitive and ever-evolving smartphone space mean for travelers? Here’s a peek at our favorite features.

BlackBerry Balance: Taking advantage of BlackBerry’s work-friendly DNA, this feature lets you toggle between “Work” and “Personal” modes, so that you don’t have to worry about getting disturbing emails from the office while relaxing on a stunning Caribbean beach (both the Z10 and the Q10 are world-compatible for roaming, regardless of carrier).

BlackBerry Peek: Say a message comes in for you while you’re streaming a movie—just swipe from left to right and you’ll get split-screen preview of the message while your movie continues to play. In other words, you don’t need to turn off your in-terminal entertainment just to see if that email contains a Delta upgrade.

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Trip Doctor: Airline Fees, Simplified

airline checkin

They account for much of the $36 billion a year in revenue that airlines get from ancillary services—and an untold number of headaches (and heartaches) for passengers. We’re talking, of course, about airline fees, which include everything from advance seat-selection charges to blanket and pillow fees (we’re looking at you, US Airways and JetBlue) to Spirit’s dreaded carry-on bag fees, which now range from $25 to $100. What makes these charges all the more unpalatable is the difficulty of keeping track of them. Enter the good folks of Airfarewatchdog, the terrific fare-alert and travel-advice website. They’ve just updated their Comprehensive Airline Fees Guide and housed it on the site as a handy PDF file. Go ahead, download it. And don’t make us have to say “We warned you” next time you show up at airport.

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

 

Photo by iStockphoto

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