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Lessons from Sandy: Weather-Proofing Your Next Vacation

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Travelers across the country had their plans disrupted by last week’s Super Storm Sandy. From being stranded in a powerless New York City, to getting stuck in airports far away from home, their plights yielded some lessons on how to prepare for disaster and what to do when it strikes. And travelers take note, these tips may be useful sooner than expected; a nor'easter is expected to hit the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic this week.

Use an excellent travel agent, especially if your trip is particularly complicated or important. (See Travel + Leisure’s favorite agents here.) These travel experts can save you time, headaches, and heartache by taking care of all the rerouting and rebooking on your behalf.

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Tips for Successfully Booking a Caribbean Trip During Hurricane Season

cruise during Caribbean hurricane season

Q: Is it out of the question to travel to the Caribbean in October?

A: While the odds of a hurricane in the region increase in the fall, the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao are hit much less frequently. To be extra safe, T+L A-List agent Scott Kertes suggests a cruise, since ships can steer away from inclement weather. And it doesn’t hurt to buy some travel insurance before packing your bags.

Have a travel conundrum? The trip doctor is in. Send questions to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by Andy Newman / Carnival Cruise Lines

Weather Channel Video: Weekend Getaways From Cleveland

Travel + Leisure's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from Cleveland on the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go.

1. Geneva on the Lake, Ohio
Ohio’s first summer resort, on sparkling Lake Erie, has both a state park (for hiking and bird-watching) as well as an undiscovered wine region. WHERE TO STAY Try the Lodge at Geneva on the Lake, a quaint cottage right on the water. The hotel’s wine shuttle brings guests to nearby vineyards. PRICE $139 a night. BOOK NOW

2. Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania
Want to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water? Head 3.5 hours southeast of Cleveland to Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains. WHERE TO STAY The 1907 Summit Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a charming spot with an expansive deck lined by rocking chairs. Besides being the closest inn to Falling Water, it also has a nine-hole golf course founded by Pete Dye’s father. PRICE From $120 a night. BOOK NOW

3. Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincy is an emerging cultural destination, and two notable stops are the Contemporary Arts Center by Zaha Hadid and the new National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Up next: the soon-to-open 21C Museum Hotel, where works by contemporary artists will be on display. WHERE TO STAY Until 21C opens later this year, try the city’s grand Cincinnatian Hotel, complete with in-room fireplaces and soaking tubs and an afternoon tea service. PRICE $179 a night. BOOK NOW

For more easy escapes from major cities, sign up for our new Weekend Getaways newsletter here.


Weather Channel Video: Weekend Getaways From New York City

T+L's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from New York City on the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go.

1.    Litchfield County, Connecticut
This posh enclave is where many of Manhattan’s boldfaced names go to escape the bustle of the city. WHERE TO STAY Falls Village Inn for bright interiors by designer Bunny Williams. Ask for the Green Room: it’s the only guestroom with a bathtub. PRICE $199 a night. BOOK NOW

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Which Keeps You Drier in the Rain, Walking or Running?

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Walking umbrella-free in the rain may be romantic when the temperature is warm and you’re not headed to a job interview or fancy restaurant. But how should you respond if you’re caught in a shower and want to stay as dry as possible?  Common sense may tell you to run, but how can you be absolutely sure?

The BBC (bless them) dumbs down an article from the European Journal of Physics about whether or not to run in a downpour. The physicist who conducted a recent study, Dr. Franco Bocci, concludes that running as fast as you can is best in most situations. 

However, it gets complicated if you want to be exacting, as physicists often do.

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Weather Channel Video: Weekend Getaways From Charleston

This morning on the Weather Channel, T+L's Sarah Spagnolo presented easy weekend getaways from Charleston, South Carolina. We know T+L readers love this destination: It ranked No. 4 on the list of Top Cities in the United States and Canada in the just-announced 2012 World's Best Awards readers' survey. Take a look!

A TRIO OF WEEKEND ESCAPES

1.  Downtown Charleston
Travel + Leisure readers love Charleston. Proof? The city was ranked as the No. 4 Top City in the U.S. and Canada on the 2012 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. With top-notch restaurants, pristine beaches, and plenty of Lowcountry charms, Charleston is an ideal southern escape. WHERE TO STAY The 19th-century Wentworth Mansion offers a perfect downtown location as well as great value. There are drinks in the parlor each afternoon, chocolate at turndown, and a complimentary breakfast that includes some of the best shrimp and grits we’ve ever tasted.  PRICE $329 a night, including breakfast for two. BOOK NOW

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NOAA Predicts 4-8 Atlantic Hurricanes

CNN  |  A near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is expected this year, with nine to 15 named storms and four to eight hurricanes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday.

Of those four to eight hurricanes, NOAA expects one to three to be major. The Atlantic's six-month season begins June 1, although it got off to an early start this year, with Tropical Storm Alberto moving through the Atlantic off the U.S. East Coast last week.

NOAA also said it predicts a near-normal season for the Eastern Pacific, estimating a 70% chance of 12 to 18 named storms – with five to nine hurricanes, of which two to five would be major – for that area. The Eastern Pacific's season is May 15 to November 30.

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See the Sea: Ocean Currents As Art

The Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has released a mesmerizing animation, Perpetual Ocean, in which 2½ years' worth of data recording the oceans' surface currents was fed into a modelling program. The result—extravagant and whimsical and truly beautiful—merits a couple of minutes viewing. 

(Do yourself a favor and watch it full-screen.)

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

Weather Channel: Weekend Getaways From Austin

Headed to Austin for the South by Southwest music, film, and interactive festival (March 9 - 18)? On today's installment of the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go segment, T+L's digital projects editor, Sarah Spagnolo, offers affordable escapes if you want to beat the crowds headed to the Lone Star State this weekend.

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Venice on Ice: Freak Weather in Northern Italy—and Beyond!

The Guardian  |  Italy, like most of Europe, is experiencing icy temperatures, with the Venice lagoon freezing over for the first time in more than 20 years. Check out this quick video of the ice sheaths:

For more images of "Venice on Ice," go here.

And, for some truly stunning pics of icy Europe, The Atlantic's photo coverage of the deep freeze across the Continent is a must-see.

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