This Disney Packing Hack Could Make Your Next Trip so Much Less Stressful

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 14:54
<p>You never have to worry again about leaving something at home when you go to <a href="" target="_blank">Disney World</a>.</p><p>Packing for yourself and your family members can be a chaotic experience, so it’s natural that some things get left behind — like hair brushes, toiletries, or other essential items that you totally thought you packed.</p><p>While the resort hotels at Disney World also sell sundries, such as deodorant, Band-Aids, or sunscreen, they may not always have exactly what you’re looking for in stock. </p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Ultimate Disney Packing List for the Whole Family</a></p><p>Amazon is now offering <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">same-day delivery for all Prime members</a> in Orlando, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Reader’s Digest</a> </em>reported. That means your personal items like shampoo or diapers, groceries, or even an extra stroller is only a click away. (And if you're not a Prime member, you can always <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">sign up for a free trial</a> and instantly reap the benefits). </p><p>It stands to reason that this offer is available to Orlando residents and non-Disney tourists as well, so it’s also great news for people visiting <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Studios</a>.</p><p>In order to get same-day delivery, you must place an order greater than $20. If you want it delivered to your hotel, go to the Amazon <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Prime Now</a> storefront and type in your resort name with the word “guest” + “your name” after it, and add the resort’s physical address.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="">This $26 Travel Backpack Is Lightweight, Water-resistant, and Pickpocket-proof</a></p><p>Then, feel free to place your order and add delivery instructions so it gets to you as quickly as possible. According to <em>Reader’s Digest</em>, the package will be taken to the resort’s front desk and held for you there, so you can enjoy the parks and never worry about your items getting delivered.</p><p>Looking for more Disney World hacks? There are plenty of ways to <a href="">make your Disney vacation even more magical</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Company Is Giving Free Kayak Tours in Europe If You Pick up Trash From the Water

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:16
<p>One of the best ways to see a new destination is to truly immerse yourself in it. And for many <a href="" target="_blank">European destinations</a> that means hoping in the water.</p><p>This summer, <a href="" target="_blank">GreenKayak</a>, a Denmark-based nonprofit, wants every tourist to jump into the canals and rivers through Ireland, <a href="" target="_blank">Denmark</a>, Germany, Sweden, and Norway to paddle their way along on kayaks. And their willing to gift you this activity for free, so long as you’re willing to pick up trash along the way.</p><p>“In Denmark, people hang out on canals and eat pizza and unfortunately see trash floating by,” Tobias Weber-Andersen, GreenKayak founder and CEO, told <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em>. “You can’t take your shirt off and jump in, but you can get in a GreenKayak and make an impact.”</p><p>The free kayak and cleanup project began in Denmark in April, 2017, <em>USA Today</em><i> </i>explained. Since then, thousands of kayak volunteers have cleaned up 11 tons of trash from the <a href="" target="_blank">Copenhagen</a> harbor. And now, the program is expanding to new waterways including Dublin, Bergen, and Hamburg. Those who’ve taken part in the program have even shared their adventures on social media with the hashtag, #GreenKayak.</p><p>As part of the program, visitors can book a free kayak. Life jackets and equipment are also provided.</p><p> “We had hoped to have 30 kayaks this year, but most likely we will have around 50 spread across all of our locations,” Weber-Andersen said.</p><p>The GreenKayaks, the company’s website explained, are a highly effective tool for collecting waste from water bodies as they are flexible and can access areas that are otherwise hard to reach.</p><p>Each kayak is a double seater, meaning there’s enough space for two people. If you can’t physically use the kayak yourself you could still donate to the nonprofit’s mission to clean up European waterways <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Way to See Vietnam’s Iconic Ha Long Bay Is by Soaring Over It in a Helicopter

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:00
<p>A visit to Ha Long Bay tops the list for most travelers in <a href="" target="_blank">Vietnam</a>. And once you see it, it’s easy to understand why. The bay in northeastern Vietnam is dotted with forest-covered limestone islands that tower over the bay’s emerald green waters. Most visitors explore the bay by boat or kayak, but starting now, they’ll be able to see the <a href="" target="_blank">UNESCO heritage site</a> from the sky.</p><img alt="Ha Long Bay, Vietnam "src=""><p>Helicopter manufacturer <a href="" target="_blank">Bell</a> announced that the <a href="" target="_blank">Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company</a> will be offering tourism flights in their new Bell 505 helicopters. The five-seaters will take passengers high in the sky for rare, aerial views of Ha Long Bay and the surrounding area. Bell said in a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a> that the Bell 505's “forward-facing seats and large windows give all passengers outstanding visibility during flight while large doors make boarding and loading cargo easier.”</p><p>In addition to offering flights for tourists, Bell says the Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company will use the helicopters for point-to-point transfers from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, charter flights, and wedding photography.</p><p>Booking details and availability have yet to be announced. Those looking to book a flight should contact the Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company’s <a href="" target="_blank">tourism service</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

We Found Your New Go-to Travel Wallet — and It’s Only $10 on Amazon

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 10:31
<p>If you’re in the market for <a href="" target="_blank">a new travel wallet</a>, there’s a good chance we just found it. Not only does the <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tltravelwalletrcarhart0519-20&amp;linkId=82047e68492d6bf814955a135e9570dd" target="_blank">Travelambo Slim RFID Blocking Wallet</a> have a coveted Amazon’s Choice recommendation, but it has also racked up over 4,200 perfect five-star reviews with multiple shoppers calling it the best wallet they’ve ever owned.</p><p>The simple design features multiple card slots and a roomy middle section that will hold all your essentials without any added bulk. Besides being slim and compact (making it ideal for travel), the wallet also boasts RFID-blocking technology to help keep your personal information safe and secure. The <a href="" target="_blank">stylish unisex wallet</a> is handmade from a soft and supple Nappa leather that gets better with age and each wallet comes in a cute box — making it an excellent gift option for the travelers in your life.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">We Found Your New Go-to Travel Hat — and It’s Under $20 on Amazon</a></p><p>So it’s no wonder that <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon customers are going crazy for the cute accessory</a> which has an impressive 4.6-star rating. “Best wallet ever,” raved one customer. “Very durable and minimalist. Bought it as a temporary wallet to travel so I can have it in my front pocket but ended up replacing my old Perry Ellis wallet afterwards. It is that good. The slim/low profile actually forces you to only carry the essentials which is great for me. It might appear small at times especially if you are coming from the larger billfolds but the slots will expand and form fit your cards over time as you wear it. It can easily fit 7-9 cards and 200 USD in 20 dollar bills. Your back (and butt) will appreciate less bulk in your back pocket!”</p><p>“It really changed my life. I travel a lot and got a new credit card. So I wanted to throw away my old bulky wallet and upgrade something more convenient for the modern age. I did a lot of research and this looked the best. It arrived and I'm really glad I bought it. It carries everything you need. I have five cards including an ID, debit card, two pretty thick credit cards, and a fair amount of cash. It stays thin and it makes me look pretty cool when I pay from this stylish, minimal wallet,” said another.</p><p>The best part? <a href="" target="_blank">This top-rated travel accessory</a> retails for just $10, and it comes in 25 different colorways and textures, so you are sure to find a style (or two or three) that you love. Plus, if you aren’t fully satisfied, you can receive a full refund or free replacement with the company’s one-year warranty. Whether you’re looking for a wallet that protects your info while you travel, or just want a slim everyday option, this sleek and affordable wallet is definitely a smart buy.</p><img alt="Travelambo wallet "src=""><p>To buy: <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tltravelwalletrcarhart0519-20&amp;linkId=82047e68492d6bf814955a135e9570dd" target="_blank"></a>, $10</p>
Categories: Travel

These Are the Busiest Airports in the World, From Atlanta to Beijing

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 09:00
<p>Like the slowest traffic lane, the busiest airport is always the one that you’re stuck in. But if you’re flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, chances are it really is crowded. That’s according to Airports Council International’s <a href="" target="_blank">preliminary world traffic report</a>, which crowned Atlanta as the world’s busiest airport for handling a whopping 107 million passengers last year. The report, released in March, estimates that passenger traffic hit 8.8 billion in 2018, up from 6 percent the year prior.</p><p>Despite a worrying backdrop of global trade tensions, passenger traffic “remained resilient in 2018,” the ACI said. In fact, at the world’s 20 busiest airports, it grew 4.7 percent, with more than 1.5 billion people passing through.</p><p>Of course, it’s one thing to read about the world’s busiest airports and another to actually deal with them. Which is why <a href="" target="_blank">Julie Danziger</a>, managing partner of Embark, a luxury travel agency in New York, stresses the importance of allowing enough time for layovers and researching connecting airports beforehand. Two hours is never enough, she says, and on several occasions, she’s had to race through an airport because she didn’t realize the connecting flight was in a different terminal. <a href="" target="_blank">Betty Jo Currie</a>, founder of Currie &amp; Co. Travels Unlimited in Atlanta, gives herself three hours to navigate Hartsfield-Jackson. “The lines can be shockingly long,” she says, and people underestimate the time they need.</p><p>For those unfamiliar with airports like Dubai, which ranked third on ACI’s list, Danziger recommends hiring an airport greeter, who can go “beyond the scope of a traditional driver to meet at baggage claim.” Not only will he or she usher you past the “hectic craziness” to your connection or out of the airport, they’ll handle your bags and can lessen the hassle of traveling in a large group. If a greeter is out of your budget, check for a smaller “boutique” airport you can fly into instead, suggests Danziger. “For example, I recently flew to YTZ, Billy Bishop Toronto City airport, instead of the more heavily serviced Toronto Pearson.”</p><p>Another way to make the most of the world’s largest airports? Lounges. For long connections, layovers or a much-needed cocktail, a lounge pass is worth it, says Danziger. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the world’s busiest airports.</p><h2>15. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport: Grapevine, Texas </h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>DFW makes it surprisingly easy to get from your car to your flight, but that all might change if Americans Airlines has its way, <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Star-Telegram</em> reports</a>. For the next two months, the airport, which saw 69,112,607 passengers last year, will hold talks with the airline about the proposed construction of Terminal F. The “half-circle or half-moon design,” as <em>Star-Telegram</em> calls it, may lack a garage, which would spell bad news for local flyers. If you find yourself at DFW, we've created a <a href="" target="_blank">handy guide</a> to help you navigate the massive airport. </p><h2>14. Frankfurt Airport: Frankfurt, Germany</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>For international travelers lost in Frankfurt Airport, the presence of FRAnny, its new robotic concierge, should be comforting. The brainchild of Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport AG and DB Systel GmbH, “FRAnny is based on an artificial intelligence and a cloud-based voice-user interface,” <a href="" target="_blank">writes <em>TravelDailyNews</em></a>, which draws information from the airport’s own information system. For Germany’s largest aviation hub, that’s likely been helpful — surely one of its 69,510,269 passengers needed help accessing the Wi-Fi last year.</p><h2>13. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport: Guangzhou, China</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>The Flower City had 69,769,497 passengers pass through its Baiyun Airport, making it a serious rival to other major airports in Asia. Hot off the heels of the opening of a new terminal designed to handle 100 million passengers a year by 2025, according to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">South China Morning Post</a>, </em>the airport is constantly expanding international and regional services.</p><h2>12. Indira Gandhi International Airport: Delhi, India</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>The largest airport in India is also among the world’s busiest, clocking 69,900,938 passengers last year. Travelers can thank Terminal 3, which opened in 2010, for making that possible, as it improved the airport’s ability to bring international and domestic flights (excluding low-cost carriers) under one roof.</p><h2>11. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Amsterdam, Netherlands</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>Summer is looking up at <a href="" target="_blank">Amsterdam</a> Airport Schiphol, which saw 71,053,147 passengers last year. KLM is launching flights to Boston three times a week, while easyJet is adding several new routes such as Verona (three times a week) and Genoa (twice a week). United Airlines will also begin flying to San Francisco seven times a week.</p><h2>10. Charles de Galle Airport: Paris, France</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>Perhaps one of the 72,229,723 passengers at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport will be eager to catch one of Air France’s new nonstop flights to Dallas. Up to five weekly flights will be available from the carrier, which recently signed a deal with Athens-based Sky Express and KLM to bolster its regional offerings.</p><h2>9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport: Shanghai, China</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>Shanghai’s Pudong airport had 74,006,331 visitors last year, so it’s no surprise it’s also the fifth busiest airport in Asia. What is surprising, however, is how much Apple spends on flights there — <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Fast Company</em></a>, almost a quarter of the $150 million it spends every year on United flights goes toward tickets from SFO to PVG.</p><h2>8. Hong Kong International Airport: Hong Kong</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>Hong Kong International Airport has long been regarded as a world-class facility — after all, it saw 74,517,402 passengers last year. But it’s about to get HK $140 billion (US $18 billion) in major upgrades, <a href="" target="_blank">reports CNN</a>, which could take it to the next level. Its T1 Annex will include an observatory deck and a 28-meter-high sky bridge for A380s to pass under, and a new 12-story building will boast added parking and recreational facilities for all airport staff, plus a nursery for working parents.</p><h2>7. Heathrow Airport: London, England</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>London’s Heathrow Airport had 80,126,320 visitors last year, which shouldn’t faze anyone who’s visited the U.K. It’s the city’s main hub and a notorious stop for international long-haul flights. Fortunately, most visitors have little to fret about — Heathrow’s Terminal 5 was voted the best in the world at <a href="" target="_blank">the 2019 Skytrax World Airport Awards</a>.</p><h2>6. O'Hare International Airport: Chicago, Illinois</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>With 83,339,186 passengers last year, Chicago’s O’Hare is bustling. So it was a big deal last January when the Chicago Department of Aviation invited the public to vote on a design for its new $8.5 billion terminal. <a href="" target="_blank">Studio ORD</a> was the winner and plans to start the project, which will expand Terminal 5 and bring much needed improvements to Terminals 1, 2 and 3, in 2021.</p><h2>5. Haneda Airport: Tokyo, Japan</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>Haneda airport, which hosted 87,131,973 passengers last year, is rebranded its international arrival terminal as Terminal 3 in 2021, reports the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Japan Times</a></em>, in an effort “to cope with an increase in international flights ahead of the Olympics and Paralympics” next year. The government will add nearly 40,000 international flight slots before the events, and Terminal 2 will be renamed to avoid more confusion.</p><h2>4. Los Angeles International Airport: Los Angeles, California</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>The world’s fourth busiest airport, with 87,534,384 guests last year, knows its aging facility doesn’t cut it. So in preparation for the 2028 Olympic Games, it’s considering adding “up to two new terminals and nearly two dozen new gates to help handle the influx of travelers,” <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Los Angeles Times</em> reports</a>. A $1.6 billion midfield concourse is also in the works, while terminals used by American, Delta and Southwest airlines are undergoing renovations.</p><h2>3. Dubai International Airport: Dubai, UAE</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>The busy airport, which hosted 89,149,387 passengers last year, is currently getting a much-needed facelift. Its southern runway will be closed until May 30, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Time Out Dubai</em></a>, which noted the maintenance has been scheduled during a “seasonal lull” when fewer travelers tend to pass through. Among the upgrades on the agenda: strengthening the runway and taxiways with 60,000 tonnes of asphalt.</p><h2>2. Beijing Capital International Airport: Beijing, China</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>Watching 100,983,290 passengers pass through Beijing Capital International probably hastened officials’ plans to get cracking on the new Beijing Daxing International Airport. The highly anticipated facility, whose operations will begin before September 30, <a href="" target="_blank">notes <em>Business Traveler</em></a>, are intended to ease the former’s capacity issues, which cause frequent delays.</p><h2>1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: Atlanta, Georgia</h2><img alt="World's Busiest Airports "src=""><p>Hartsfield-Jackson saw 107,394,029 customers last year, which is impressive by any standard. The primary hub for Delta and favorite among low-cost carriers like Frontier and Southwest, the airport excels at people management, says Currie, who finds several ways to pass the time there. Here’s <a href="" target="_blank">a primer on how to do it.</a></p>
Categories: Travel

Divers Discover World's Biggest Cave Is Even Bigger Than Previously Thought (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 07:24
<p>A team of divers has discovered that the largest cave in the world is even bigger than anybody previously thought.</p><p>During a dive last month, a British team discovered an underwater tunnel connecting the largest cave, Son Doong, in Vietnam, with another gigantic cave, called Hang Thung. Once the caves are officially connected, it will measure an estimated 1.4 billion cubic feet.</p><img alt="The cave is nearly Sondoong cave in Quang Binh provice, Vietnam "src=""><p>“It would be like someone found a lump on top of Mount Everest, making it another 1,000 meters higher,” Howard Limbert, one of the organizers of the dive, <a href="" target="_blank">told CNN Travel</a>. “Any cave in the world will be able to fit comfortably inside Song Dong when it's connected -- it's just outrageous in size.”</p><p>The dive included some members of the team that <a href="" target="_blank">rescued the Thai soccer players from a cave where they were trapped for two weeks last year.</a></p><p>Son Doong is located in Central Vietnam, in the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. It is considered the largest cave in the world, based on volume. It was discovered by accident in 1990 and was only explored by the British Cave Research Association in 2009. It opened up to visitors in 2013 and is currently <a href="" target="_blank">accessible only through the adventure tour company Oxalis.</a></p><img alt="Cave hiking and camping tour in Son Doong Cave, the worlds largest cave in Vietnam "src=""><p>The river cave is thought to be at least 3 million years old. It measures more than three miles long, and at its largest, the cave is more than 650 feet tall, and almost 500 feet wide.</p><img alt="Cave hiking and camping tour in Son Doong Cave, the worlds largest cave in Vietnam "src=""><p>The divers plan to return in April 2020. That month is considered the best for diving as it’s when the caves are easiest to explore because of low water levels and high visibility.</p>
Categories: Travel

Eiffel Tower Closed to Tourists After Man Tries to Climb It

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 07:12
<p>The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, and consistently ranks as one of the world’s <a href="" target="_blank">most popular</a> tourist sites — so you can imagine the disappointment when tourists showed up today to find the iconic monument closed.</p><p>Officials evacuated the Eiffel Tower Monday after a man tried to scale the monument. <a href="" target="_blank">The Associated Press</a> reports that the man could be seen dangling just below the highest level of the structure — almost <a href="" target="_blank">900 feet</a> in the air. It wasn’t immediately clear why the man had attempted to climb the tower or how he got past the monument’s security.</p><p>Tourists were evacuated, and the monument is closed indefinitely, according to the French news site <a href="" target="_blank">20 Minutes</a>.</p><p>The Eiffel Tower Exploitation Company, which operates the monument, advised tourists to postpone their visit.</p><p>A member of the Paris police said a climbing specialist and a team of firefighters were on the scene and were in touch with the intruder.</p><p>Further information was not disclosed and it’s not known when the Eiffel Tower will reopen.</p><p>The closure comes less than one week after the Eiffel Tower celebrated its 130 anniversary with an elaborate light show.</p>
Categories: Travel

Kate Middleton Can’t Stop Wearing These White Sneakers — and They're on Sale Right Now

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 06:02
<p>On Monday, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, unveiled her newly designed garden for the Chelsea Flower Show. The garden, titled “Back to Nature,” was co-designed by the Duchess and landscape designers Andrée Davies and Adam White. And though the garden itself is stunning, it was Middleton’s outfit — specifically <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">her sneakers</a> — that really stole the show.</p><p>At the event, Middleton looked wildly garden chic in a pair of <a href="" target="_blank">culottes from Massimo Dutti</a>. She paired the tan wide-legged pants with a white eyelet button-down shirt from M.I.H Jeans. The Duchess then finished off the look with a pair of fresh <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">white Superga sneakers</a>.</p><img alt="Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge "src=""><p>The comfortable and flattering sneaker brand is a <a href="" target="_blank">true favorite of the Duchess</a>, who is often photographed in the shoe during more casual events. Middleton isn’t the only A-lister who’s fallen in love with Superga either. Emma Watson is also a known fan, and Princess Diana was also reportedly a <a href="" target="_blank">regular customer as well</a>.</p><p>Middleton’s pair this week appeared to be the brand’s <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">2750 COTU Classic Sneaker</a><a href=";AID=11554337&amp;utm_source=Meredith+Corporation&amp;splash=none&amp;utm_medium=affiliate&amp;cjevent=851c98d37b0411e983a502f70a180514&amp;utm_campaign=4522830&amp;utm_term=7876402&amp;utm_content=11554337&amp;zap_placement=TL%2CEmmaWatsonandKateMiddletonGoEverywhereinThese%2465Sneakers%28Video%29%2Cchenk%2CFAS%2CART%2C566468%2C201811%2CI" target="_blank">,</a> which retails for $65 (and is <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">on sale at Zappos</a> right now!) and comes with a thick rubber sole that may be the ideal shoe for walking around fancy gardens in this summer.</p><img alt="Superga White Sneakers "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $51 (originally $65)</p><p>Though the shoes are cool, they still shouldn’t take away from all the hard work the Duchess put into designing her space, built around the idea of inspiring others to get outside more.</p><p>“Over the past few months, The Duchess and landscape architects Davies White have visited plant nurseries, suppliers and specialist craftspeople who have been growing and building elements of the garden ready for Chelsea,” Kensington shared in an Instagram post. It further explained, the Duchess worked with the team to “highlight how being active in nature can positively impact our physical and mental health. The garden has a natural woodland feel and contains lots of unique design features to inspire families to get outside and explore nature together.”</p><p>But hey, nobody said you can’t enjoy the outdoors and look cute in some fresh white kicks, too. </p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Times to Save on a Trip to America's Most Popular National Parks

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 14:00
<p>At America's <a href="" target="_blank">most popular national parks</a>, travelers are greeted with everything from one of the country’s oldest mountain ranges to terrain dotted with as many trees as all of Europe, which is why the locations often draw large crowds. </p><p>This can often mean higher accommodation rates when staying around the parks, which is why <a href="" target="_blank">Priceline</a> took a look at 16 of the most popular parks to pinpoint the most affordable time of the year to stay at accommodations ranging from hotels to lodges and bed and breakfasts near each park. </p><p>To determine this, Priceline looked at weekly hotel bookings from 2017 to 2018, selecting nearby locations that offered an ample amount of lodging and were around an hour-and-half drive or less from the park. </p><p>For cases where there was only one main city or location near the park, Priceline looked at lodging solely for that area. In instances where a park had multiple entrances or spanned a larger territory, Priceline looked at the nearest locations that offered ample lodging availability and were easily accessible by car. </p><p>The list of most popular parks was based on the <a href="" target="_blank">2018 visitation numbers from the National Park Service</a>, although the following parks were not included due to limited inventory to pull from on Priceline: Bryce Canyon National Park, Hot Springs National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Glacier National Park.</p><h2>Great Smoky Mountains National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">Great Smoky Mountains National Park</a> was the most popular park for 2018, drawing in more than 11 million visits for the year. The park, which borders North Carolina and Tennessee, is home to one of America’s oldest mountain ranges, over 90 historic structures, and an array of wildlife inclding some 1,500 black bears and 65 different mammal species.</p><p>Accommodations at Tennessee's Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and at North Carolina's Cherokee and Bryson City are most expensive from July and October, when daily rates average over $120. </p><p>January and February are the most affordable times to visit to get daily rates between $86 and $100, with Pigeon Forge offering the best rates overall at $109 a day throughout the majority of the year. </p><h2>Grand Canyon National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Arizona’s <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Canyon National Park</a> is the second most popular, drawing in over six million visits in 2018. The most crowded times at the park tend to overlap with the most expensive times for lodging, which fall between May through June in Flagstaff and Page. Average daily rates during this time are around $143. </p><p>Meanwhile, the cheapest times coincide with some of the least-crowded months for the park, which fall between October and January. During this time, average rates can be as low as $75, while winter is also when park <a href="" target="_blank">representatives recommend visiting</a> to take in popular hikes like the Bright Angel Trail without the crowds and to experience dramatic storm clouds in the park that few travelers ever get to see.</p><h2>Rocky Mountain National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Colorado’s <a href="" target="_blank">Rocky Mountain National Park</a> was the third most popular location, with 4,590,493 recreation visits in 2018. The park is home to a series of hiking trails that weave through lakes and are dotted with wildlife. While the most expensive lodging options at the nearby town of Estes Park are in June and July (over $180 a day), visiting from November through January not only allows travelers to take in the lowest lodging rates, but to also be able to see a different side to the park.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">fall</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">winter</a> can be some of the best times of the year to see the park’s magnificent foliage in hues of gold, orange, and bronze, and to witness animals like elk, mule deer, coyotes, and large mammals. Average daily rates during November through January are as low as $100.</p><h2>Zion National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Utah’s first national park, <a href="" target="_blank">Zion National Park</a>, is a popular option thanks to its combination of large sandstone cliffs in hues of pink and red and <a href="" target="_blank">hikes that weave through canyon terrain</a>. Stays at the nearby cities of Hurricane and St. George are most expensive from February through April, with average daily rates of $116. The most affordable rates are available in December and January at an average of $80 per day.</p><p>Hurricane, Utah offers the most affordable options throughout the year, with average daily rates of $94, while visiting in the winter also allows travelers to take part in activities that range from scenic drives and hiking to biking at locations like Zion Canyon thanks to <a href="" target="_blank">low elevation that make for mild weather conditions</a> at the park. </p><h2>Yellowstone National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Summer is the busiest season for <a href="" target="_blank">Yellowstone National Park</a>, which is why staying at various nearby locations (Cody and Jackson in Wyoming, Gardiner in Montana, and Island Park in Idaho) are most expensive in June and July. During these months, average daily rates are $220, while the most affordable rates in November and December come in at an average of $133 per day.</p><p>While the months of November and December can be some of the most quiet in the park, allowing for activities away from crowds, travelers need to note that most roads close <a href="" target="_blank">except for one road</a> on the north side. </p><p>Travelers who do head here during this time, though, can take part in activities ranging from viewing geothermal features at Mammoth Hot Springs and enjoying scenic drives with views of elk and bison to skiing and snowshoeing through the park. </p><h2>Acadia National Park </h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Maine's <a href="" target="_blank">Acadia National Park</a> drew more than three million visitors in 2018, thanks to its combination of seven different peaks that rise over 1,000 feet, its more than 100 miles of hiking trails, its 45 miles of carriage roads to explore, and its dreamy coastline views.</p><p>August is the most expensive time of the year to book stays in the nearby town of Bar Harbor, Maine, with average daily rates at over $210.</p><p>November offers the most affordable daily rates at $138, though May can also be a good month for affordable options with average daily rates for lodging starting at $161.</p><h2>Grand Teton National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Head to Wyoming's <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Teton National Park</a> in November and December to snag the lowest rates at locations that include Jackson and Teton Village. The daily average rate during this time is between $138 and $149, compared to $291 during the most expensive months of June and July.</p><p>While <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Teton National Park can be stunning in the fall</a> with its colorful foliage, <a href="" target="_blank">winter</a> also offers opportunities to explore the park away from large summer crowds and take part in cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobile rides. A variety of tours are also available for travelers in the winter.</p><h2>Olympic National Park </h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Washington’s Olympic National Park combines a variety of scenery to give visitors the feel they’re visiting <a href="" target="_blank">three parks in one</a>. The park is home to dense forests, miles of coastline, and soaring peaks dotted with glaciers.</p><p>The peak season at the city of Port Angeles is during July and August, with average daily rates of more than $160, while traveling in both March and October through December offer the most affordable rates with average daily prices ranging from $84 to $99.</p><h2>Joshua Tree National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Besides the famed trees and their unusual shapes <a href="" target="_blank">Joshua Tree National Park</a> is known for, it is also a prime destination for stargazing thanks to dark night skies.</p><p>The month of April is the most expensive time to head there, with average accommodation rates at the nearby cities Indo and Palm Springs coming in at over $250.</p><p>Traveling in July brings in the most affordable rates at $118, but high heat means visitors need to take precautions like hiking in the early morning and carrying at least double the amount of water they normally would, according to park representatives. </p><p>A popular activity during this time is to drive through the park to take in its formations and views before having an al fresco picnic to enjoy its scenery, all while still keeping cool. </p><h2>Cuyahoga Valley National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Ohio’s <a href="" target="_blank">Cuyahoga Valley National Park</a> is home to the winding Cuyahoga river, which carves through the park and its surrounding terrain of forests, rolling hills, and farmlands.</p><p>The park is in close proximity to Akron and Cleveland, with the most affordable options available from November through December. Average daily rates during this time fall between $109 and $119, though staying in Akron can bring in even cheaper daily rates at an average of $78. August is the most expensive month, with average daily lodging rates of $130.</p><p>The park’s more than 125 miles of hiking trails stay open throughout the year, with many of them becoming all the more scenic as <a href="" target="_blank">winter</a> arrives.</p><h2>Gateway Arch National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Missouri's <a href="" target="_blank">Gateway Arch National Park</a> is home to the 630-foot Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse, where the first two trials of the Dred Scott case took place and where Virginia Minor’s case for a woman’s right to vote went to trial in the 1870s.</p><p>Prices in St. Louis stay relatively steady throughout the year, though June and July are the most expensive times to book stays, with average daily rates coming in at $118. Prices for the rest of the year hover around $102 to $114, though December and January offer daily rates that can often be slightly under $100.</p><p>Winter often offers mild temperatures and no lines to take the park’s tram or explore its offerings, which is why park <a href=" " target="_blank">representatives also say it’s a “perfect time to visit.”</a></p><h2>Indiana Dunes National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">Indiana Dunes National Park</a> might be the country’s most recent national park, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most popular locations with close to two million visitors in 2018.</p><p>The park is home to 13 miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline, offering beaches, woods, prairies, dunes and more.</p><p>The most affordable time for stays at the nearby locations of Chesterton, Michigan City, and Valparaiso is between November and January, when daily rates average between $81 and $87. Overall, prices don’t escalate too high, with the most expensive options from June to August averaging $112 per day.</p><h2>Death Valley National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">Death Valley National Park</a> is a park of extremes, known as America’s hottest, driest, and lowest national park.</p><p>The park’s popularity has created an overall rise in accommodation prices in the nearby towns of Lone Pine and Pahrump, according to Priceline representatives, with the most expensive options arriving April through July with average daily rates of $140.</p><p>The most affordable rates come in November and January, when visitors can find daily rates ranging between $80 and $91. The periods after Thanksgiving and before Christmas are also the least-crowded at the park, <a href="" target="_blank">according to park representatives</a>, with a combination of snow-capped peaks and winter light making it a beautiful time to explore the park in serenity. </p><h2>Arches National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Utah's Arches National Park is known as a <a href="" target="_blank">“red rock wonderland”</a> thanks to its thousands of stone arches that rise in intricate shapes in hues of red.</p><p>The park is near Moab, where lodging is most affordable in December (average daily rates of $93) and most expensive in May (average daily rates of $193).</p><p>Thanks to the hot temperatures in the area, visiting in December gives travelers a chance to take in the park’s beauty with less crowds and mild weather that makes strolling through its terrain all the more enjoyable. <a href="" target="_blank">Ranger-led hikes and campfire talks start in the winter</a>, while 25 camping sites are available between November and February.</p><h2>Mount Rainier National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Washington’s <a href="" target="_blank">Mount Rainier National Park</a> is home to the towering Mount Rainier, which rises more than 14,000 feet above sea level and stands as the most heavily-glaciated peak in the lower 48 states.</p><p>July and August are the priciest times to stay in the nearby cities of Olympia and Tacoma, with daily rates averaging $119. November through December offer some of the most affordable options with average daily rates ranging from $86 to $97, while April can also offer average rates as low as $97.</p><p>Locations like <a href="" target="_blank">Paradise</a>, famed for the views it provides, becomes a winter wonderland to provide snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and tubing in late December. Meanwhile, the park starts to see snow in late October, creating magical scenery throughout its grounds.</p><h2>Shenandoah National Park</h2><img alt="Visit U.S. National Parks "src=""><p>Located in Virginia, <a href="" target="_blank">Shenandoah National Park</a> hosts everything from cascading waterfalls and over 500 miles of hiking trails to incredible fall foliage.</p><p>Lodging in nearby Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Waynesboro are most affordable in December and January (average daily rates between $91 and $99) and most expensive in September and October (average daily rates of $130).</p><p>Park representatives say winter is one of the better times to visit to catch woodland animals ranging from deer to squirrels and turkey that forage for food, while the combination of falling leaves and improved visibility with cooler temperatures means views of the valleys and mountains are “more spectacular than ever.”</p>
Categories: Travel

I Went on a ‘Hotel Crawl’ in San Francisco and It Changed the Way I Travel

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 13:00
<p>I dare you to name something better than waking up on a Saturday morning to a tap on the door and someone announcing “room service” while you’re tucked into fluffy white linens and your head is resting on a cloud-like pillow. Can’t think of anything? Me either.</p><p>I love hotels. In fact, I wish I could pull a <a href="" target="_blank">Tinsley Mortimer</a> from “Real Housewives of New York,” and just live in one full time. While that may not be an option for me — <em>right now</em> — I have found a way to fully immerse myself in hotel culture when I travel, and it’s more than just binging on room service every morning. Think back to your college days, or early 20s, and the experience of a bar crawl. Now transform that into a long weekend, but instead of shooting Jager at bar after bar, you <a href="" target="_blank">take a long weekend</a> and check into three different hotels in three completely different neighborhoods.</p><p>Friends thought I was crazy when I did this in February on a weekend visit to <a href="" target="_blank">San Francisco</a>. “Who wants to have to pack up their stuff three different times?” they repeatedly told me. “Who wants to deal with learning the layout of three different neighborhoods?” Well, I wanted to. So I did.</p><p>Here’s what I learned on San Francisco hotel crawl, and what you need to know to try it yourself.</p><img alt="San Francisco Hotels "src=""><h2>Pick neighborhoods you really want to immerse yourself in.</h2><p>Going to San Francisco was overwhelming for me, because there are plenty of distinct neighborhoods to experience. After some exhaustive research I narrowed it down to two areas I really wanted to explore, plus one simply based on the fact that I wanted to visit a certain hotel — <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin Hotels San Francisco</a>. Part of going on a hotel crawl is also experiencing the hotels themselves.</p><h2>And pick hotels that have a solid hotel bar or restaurant.</h2><p>Personally, if a hotel doesn’t have a serious place to eat or drink, I’m not interested. A bar or restaurant is a great place to dive into an area because you can have drink or eat a nice meal, and use that time to set up your journey. Over dinner at <a href="" target="_blank">The Proper Hotel’s Villon</a> (the short rib is insane), my boyfriend and I were able to have an upscale dining experience before hitting some dive bars in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. And at <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin’s Commons Club</a>, we chatted with local bartenders about their favorite nearby hotspots while sipping on craft cocktails.</p><h2>Plan your daytime hours ahead of time.</h2><img alt="San Francisco Hotels "src=""><p>Since you only have a limited amount of hours in each neighborhood, have a rough idea of what you want to do and experience. After taking three years of Japanese in College, I knew I wanted to experience Japantown — so we checked into the <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel Kabuki</a>, one of the city’s coolest boutique properties and simply wandered the streets our first night. We also knew we could carve out a little time to wonder to the nearby “painted ladies,” a slight cheat, but part of our plan. Just don’t not have a plan because ...</p><h2>You have to consider your luggage.</h2><p>Each morning we moved our <a href="" target="_blank">luggage</a> to the next hotel and considered that area our base for the day. Since we arrived on a Friday, we hit Japantown at the night and then moved to the <a href="" target="_blank">ultra-chic Proper Hotel</a> the next morning. You can easily leave your luggage at the hotel you checked out of, but no matter what you have to be mindful of your bags and where they fit into your plan.</p><h2>Take time to sleep in and order room service.</h2><p>Look, you’re on a hotel crawl, so it’s okay to sleep in and just veg out at the hotel. If you don’t want to do anything one day, pick that most comfortable looking hotel and ask for a late checkout, and relax. Did I mention that champagne for breakfast is always a good idea?</p><h2>A hotel crawl is a good way to find deals.</h2><p>If you’re <a href="" target="_blank">on a budget</a>, staying at different hotels each night could save you some cash. One hotel may have a great rate on Sunday night, but be through the roof on Saturday. If you’re smart, you’ll do some research and figure out which hotel is the cheapest when, and then plan your trip in that order.</p><h2>Pack light, and unpack smart.</h2><p>On our first night we were too excited for our trip and didn’t consider that we’d have to pack everything up the next morning. Getting ready for our night out we got messy trying to decide what to wear and getting ready. But this isn’t that type of trip. As you get ready or take things out of your bag, be mindful of the mess you make. My advice, <a href="" target="_blank">pack less</a> — a lot less — than you normally would, and try to put everything back where it belong as soon as you’re done with it. You’ll thank me later.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Hike in Yosemite National Park Has Gorgeous Waterfalls and Scenic Views — but It’s Also the Park’s Most Difficult

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 12:01
<p>This hike is not for the faint of heart.</p><p>One of the most famous and <a href="" target="_blank">popular hikes in Yosemite National Park</a> is the Half Dome, found at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley.</p><p>The gigantic hike attracts hundreds of hikers all year long due to its unsurpassed views, gorgeous waterfalls and miles of beautiful forests you can see along the trail.</p><p>It also happens to be an extremely dangerous hike, especially if you’re unprepared.</p><p>Forest rangers for Yosemite warn hikers that this all-day hike is best to be started at dawn, or even a little before, in order to complete it safely. Depending on where you begin the trail, you could be walking between seven and 23 miles round trip. Usually, hikers need a full 12 hours in order to walk the full trail, and no one wants to find their way down the steep path in the dark.</p><img alt="Half Dome Yosemite National Park Cable Route Hike NPS "src=""><p>Hikers should make sure they have plenty of food, water and are physically fit to hike the trail — and you’d be surprised at how demanding it actually is. The <a href="" target="_blank">park suggests</a> hikers have a full gallon of water to drink during the day, plenty of food and <a href="" target="_blank">well-tread hiking boots</a>. You’ll also need a permit to even begin the trail.</p><p>In addition, always keep an eye on the weather. Most accidents and rescues happen when the trail is wet, making it very slick. Especially when hikers are at the top of the dome, exposed to the elements, or holding on to the metal cables, risk of lightning strikes can be treacherous.</p><img alt="Half Dome Yosemite National Park Cable Route Hike NPS "src=""><p>But as long as hikers take the proper precautions, hiking the Half Dome is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Half Dome’s peak rests at 8,842 feet, which is about 4,800 feet from Yosemite Valley, and the trail has 900 feet of waterfalls and quite possibly the widest view you can find once you reach the top.</p><p>If you do plan on prepping for a hike, you can find more information on the Half Dome on the Yosemite National Park <a href="" target="_blank">website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Chemical-free and Reef-safe Sunscreen Has a Perfect Safety Score — and It’s on Amazon

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 10:30
<p>You’ve probably heard the news: The chemicals used in sunscreen <a href="" target="_blank">can seep into your bloodstream</a>, according to a recent study released by the <a href="" target="_blank">Food and Drug Administration</a>. The main four chemicals used in a majority of sunscreens — avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule — were found in the bloodstreams of 24 participants observed in the study after one day of use.</p><p>While this definitely doesn’t mean you should stop wearing sunscreen, you may want to consider <a href="" target="_blank">switching to more natural sunscreens</a> (that are free of those particular chemicals) while the FDA continues to do more research. Aside from potentially being harmful to our bodies, these chemicals are also damaging to coral reefs and sea life. In fact, Key West, Florida, and Hawaii have already started the movement to <a href="" target="_blank">completely ban sunscreens</a> that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate (another questionable chemical that has been found to contribute to bleaching of coral reefs) beginning in 2021. Other Caribbean and Pacific islands are following suit, and it’s anticipated that other locations around the globe will also consider the ban soon. Fortunately, there are sunscreens out there that are completely chemical-free and reef-safe, like <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tlbeautychemicalfreesunscreencbutan0519-20&amp;linkId=656cb31370a68708360c270ff24c61ba&amp;language=en_US" target="_blank">Love Sun Body’s 100% Natural Mineral Sunscreen</a>.</p><img alt="Love Sun Body’s 100% Natural Mineral Sunscreen "src=""><p>To buy: <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tlbeautychemicalfreesunscreencbutan0519-20&amp;linkId=1d92eab06ba26fa682ef89824735f935&amp;language=en_US" target="_blank"></a>, $21</p><p>Love Sun Body is actually the first natural sunscreen brand in the United States to be <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">certified by Ecocert</a>, an organization that inspects and certifies natural and organic cosmetics, and has also been given a perfect scored by the <a href="" target="_blank">Environmental Working Group (EWG)</a>. Its main ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide, which is not harmful to the environment, won’t enter your bloodstream, and still offers strong UV protection. Plus, the sunscreen includes other safe ingredients that are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and nourishing — like vitamin E and almond oil.</p><p>While the sunscreen doesn’t have tons of Amazon reviews just yet, all of its current ones are so positive that it has a stellar 4.7-star rating. Shoppers rave that it’s lightweight, smells nice, and is a great sunscreen for the entire family.“<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tlbeautychemicalfreesunscreencbutan0519-20&amp;linkId=781cf6dd597b4fbc036b8bbf368d8bc4&amp;language=en_US" target="_blank">I love this sunscreen</a>. I was so happy I finally found a sunscreen that isn't full of chemicals. I took it on a family vacation down the shore and used it on the whole family AND it works — no sunburns for us! It was easy to apply to the kids,” one customer wrote. “It soaks right in and doesn't make them look like little ghosts. It even survived a day at the waterpark. I even use it under my makeup — I found that I can just use the sunscreen without a moisturizer. My skin is so soft, probably from the natural oils and vitamin E. Even my hands that are normally very dry are so smooth and soft just after a week of using it. I highly recommend this product!”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">This Sunscreen Got a Perfect Consumer Reports Score — and You Can Get It on Amazon</a></p><p>Love Sun Body has three-ounce and six-ounce sizes of its SPF 30 sunscreen (<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tlbeautychemicalfreesunscreencbutan0519-20&amp;linkId=f99d93e3a2a0413d5a59c009694cf539&amp;language=en_US" target="_blank"></a>, $32) available. Plus, there’s a <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tlbeautychemicalfreesunscreencbutan0519-20&amp;linkId=005fd8089639a41f1abe4c8802b5e469&amp;language=en_US" target="_blank">naturally vanilla scented option available</a> (<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tlbeautychemicalfreesunscreencbutan0519-20&amp;linkId=005fd8089639a41f1abe4c8802b5e469&amp;language=en_US" target="_blank"></a>, $21) alongside its fragrance-free version. While the price point may be a little higher than what you’d usually spend on sunscreen, it’s definitely worth it for the peace of mind that the sunscreen you’re putting on your body isn’t harming you — or the environment.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Backpack Sold Out 10 Times in One Year— and It’s Finally Back in Stock

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 10:16
<p>Finding <a href="" target="_blank">a travel backpack</a> that meets our lengthy criteria can be tricky, but thousands of people think they’ve found a bag that checks all the boxes. <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">The Brave backpack</a> from under-the-radar <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">vegan leather goods brand Matt &amp; Nat</a> sold over 10,000 units in just one year.</p><p>This take-off style has been impossible to keep in stock — last year alone, the Brave sold out 10 times, accruing waitlists in the hundreds each time inventory ran out. So why all the hype around this one bag from a relatively unknown brand?</p><p>For one, there’s its excellent design. A top zip closure forms a bucket-like shape that’s ideal for holding a ton of stuff without adding extra bulk. The <a href="" target="_blank">bag’s carriage can fit a 13-inch laptop</a>, shoes, a change of clothes, and a water bottle. A zip-up front pocket makes reaching your wallet or passport easy.</p><p>This <a href="" target="_blank">best-selling rucksack</a> is also incredibly comfortable, thanks to its adjustable, double-lined straps that provide ample weight distribution. Made with sustainable materials like a vegan leather shell and recycled nylon lining made from plastic bottles, the bag does what it can to have a negative footprint.</p><p>Usually <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">available in 10 colors</a>, the bag is already selling out again in a couple of shades. Shop the bag that refuses to stay in stock for <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">$150 at Matt &amp; Nat</a>.</p><img alt="Matt & Nat’s Brave Travel Backpack "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $150</p>
Categories: Travel

These Are the Best Theme Parks in the U.S. to Visit This Summer

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 14:01
<p>Jaw dropping thrill rides and dizzying roller coasters can be found all over the U.S., but which ones are truly the best?</p><p>Ask <a href="" target="_blank">TripAdvisor</a>.</p><p>With thousands of users and reviews for different attractions around the world, TripAdvisor is a treasure trove of incredible and highly-recommended places to visit on your next vacation. We asked the travel review website for the best <a href="" target="_blank">amusement parks</a> in the U.S., and naturally, there are a lot of amazing places to choose from.</p><p>For the purposes of this list, we decided to combine all parks within Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Disneyland in Anaheim, and <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando</a> in order to see greater diversity in the types of theme parks included below, even though TripAdvisor’s collection of the highest rated theme parks in the country separates them. The list itself is based on overall TripAdvisor ratings from users and are winners of the site’s <a href="" target="_blank">2018 Choice Awards</a>.</p><p>From sea to shining sea, there are plenty of places to enjoy a calming Ferris wheel, ride a classic wooden roller coaster, or scream your head off on a state-of-the-art thrill ride.</p><p>Naturally, <a href="" target="_blank">Disney World and Disneyland</a> take some of the top spots, since there seems to be something for everyone at these two locations. Of course, Disney rides in general, tend to be pretty mild in terms of thrills since both parks are designs to be family friendly and good for all ages. But if you’re a true coaster lover, there are some incredible parks with record-breaking rides that will truly blow your hair back.</p><p>Some locations are owned by beloved international brands, while others are more of a local favorite, but every park listed below practically guarantees a day of fun.</p><p>Take a look at this list of the highest rated theme parks across the U.S., according to TripAdvisor, and get ready to pack your bags.</p><h2>1. Universal Studios: Los Angeles, California and Orlando, Florida</h2><img alt="Universal Studios in Hollywood, California "src=""><p>One of the only bicoastal parks to rival Disney, Universal Studios is the number one place for movie and roller coaster lovers alike. With the new <a href="" target="_blank">Wizarding World of Harry Potter</a> parks opening up in both Orlando and Los Angeles, Potterheads have been flocking to Universal Studios to grab their wands, drink some butterbeer, and ride some magical rides.</p><h2>2. Walt Disney World Resort: Orlando, Florida</h2><img alt="Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park "src=""><p>Perhaps unsurprisingly, <a href="" target="_blank">Walt Disney World Resort</a>, with its many parks, restaurants, lovable Disney characters, and things to do for guests of all ages, takes a top spot for TripAdvisor users. Even if you spend all week at this massive park (roughly the size of two Manhattan islands), you still might not be able to do absolutely everything, so naturally, people are eager to visit over and over again.</p><h2>3. The Island in Pigeon Forge: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee</h2><img alt="The Great Smoky Mountain Sky Wheel located at the Island entertainment complex in the resort town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee "src=""><p>The number one thing you absolutely have to ride while you’re at this family-friendly park in Tennessee is the multi-colored, fully lit Ferris wheel. The Great Smoky Mountain wheel is a 200-foot-high observation wheel where you can see the entire park and surrounding scenery. Not only does <a href="" target="_blank">The Island in Pigeon Forge</a> offer some fun rides, but it’s also a great shopping and restaurant destination in the area.</p><h2>4. SeaWorld: Orlando, Florida</h2><img alt="Seaworld marine park, Orlando Florida, USA "src=""><p>This aquarium and theme park is also a certified autism center, so all kids can enjoy the park safely. The park has always had shows, including ones with Orca whales that have sparked some controversy, as well as ones with seals and dolphins. Outside of the aquarium, you can also find fun roller coasters and water-based rides that are sure to put a smile on your face.</p><h2>5. Disneyland, Anaheim: California</h2><img alt="Visitors arriving at entrance of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA "src=""><p>The first Disney park is nothing to sneeze at. Disneyland officially opened in 1955 and has been getting better ever since. Like its Florida cousin, this park has something for everyone, including a few classic roller coasters like Space Mountain, as well as family friendly rides, shows, and restaurants. With the <a href="" target="_blank">opening of new <em>Star Wars</em> attractions</a> on the horizon, park attendance has nowhere to go but up.</p><h2>6. Silver Dollar City: Branson, Missouri</h2><img alt="Silver Dollar City amusement park in the Ozark mountains of southwest Missouri "src=""><p>This 1880’s theme park is truly a celebration of Americana. Not only can you enjoy the thrill of wooden roller coasters, log rides, and even some classic carnival rides, you can also take in some unique shows, watch crafts being made, and tour Marvel Cave. There are also lots of delicious places to eat within the park, including lots of places with classic American dishes and pioneer-themed eateries.</p><h2>7. Busch Gardens: Tampa, Florida and Williamsburg, Virginia</h2><img alt="A spiraling yellow roller coaster gives riders a thrill at Busch Gardens amusement and wildlife park in Tampa, Florida "src=""><p>Busch Gardens has some of the best roller coasters in the country. The Tampa Bay park is actually home to the <a href="">tallest and scariest roller coaster</a> in Florida. In Virginia, guests can visit Colonial Williamsburg, a popular early-America themed amusement park with some fun activities including craftwork and tours in the world’s largest living history museum. Water Country USA, Busch Gardens’ water park, is also a popular destination for summer vacationers.</p><h2>8. Santa’s Village: Jefferson, New Hampshire</h2><img alt="Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree swings at Santa's Village "src=""><p>Enjoy the Christmas spirit all year long in this quirky, holiday-themed park. Christmas lovers can enjoy the magic of the North Pole even when it’s mid-July by riding antique cars, a Christmas train, and rides like the Chimney Drop and elf Flying School (a circular, flying sleigh ride). In the summer, you can even enjoy a trip to the water park, which opens in late May.</p><h2>9. Knoebels Amusement Resort: Elysburg, Pennsylvania</h2><img alt="Knoebels is a free-admission amusement park for families in Pennsylvania "src=""><p>Welcome to America’s largest free admission park. That’s right. Admission is 100 percent free. Classic coasters, swimming, camping, golf, and kid-friendly rides and attractions make this an incredible destination for families. There is even a bald eagle habitat with two eagle residents where you can take your kids to learn about the majestic, endangered species. Guests who are especially interested in Americana will also love the Carousel Museum and Mining Museum.</p><h2>10. Cedar Point: Sandusky, Ohio</h2><img alt="Roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio "src=""><p>This park is the so-called roller coaster capital of the world with a grand total of 18 roller coasters throughout the park. Perhaps the most famous is the Steel Vengeance, the fastest and longest hybrid roller coaster in the world. In addition to roller coasters, Cedar Point is also chock full of thrill rides, family-friendly rides, and a water park for visitors during the summer.</p><h2>11. Bay Beach Amusement Park: Green Bay, Wisconsin</h2><img alt="Riders round the second hill before making a big drop on opening day of the rebirthed Zippin Pippin roller coaster at Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin "src=""><p>Bay Beach is another family-friendly and affordable park, with tickets at only 25 cents a pop. Considering that many theme parks charge upwards of $100 per person, this is music to any parents’ ears. The local favorite has 16 carnival-like rides, including a small Ferris wheel, for a fun afternoon no matter your age.</p><h2>12. Hersheypark: Hershey, Pensylvania</h2><img alt="View of Hershey, Pennsylvania, including Hersheypark "src=""><p>Chocolate lovers, of course, have to visit Hersheypark at some point. Named after the famous chocolate brand <a href="" target="_blank">Hershey’s</a>, this park touts over 70 attractions, including 14 roller coasters and a water park. While you’re walking around, be sure to say hello to the adorable chocolate-bar characters strolling through the park and stop by ZooAmerica to visit more than 200 animals within the park’s 11-acre zoo.</p><h2>13. Nickelodeon Universe: Bloomington, Minnesota</h2><img alt="Nickelodeon Universe indoor amusement park in the center of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota "src=""><p>90’s kids, rejoice. This park is themed for everyone’s favorite kids TV channel, Nickelodeon. If you’ve ever been a fan of SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Teenage Ninja Turtles and the long list of classic Nick shows, this is a bucket list destination for you. It’s also extra kid-friendly, as it is a certified autism center. Get ready to have your fill of bright orange attractions and try not to get slimed.</p><h2>14. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park: Glenwood Springs, Colorado</h2><img alt="Canyon flyer (an alpine rollercoaster), Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs, Colorado USA "src=""><p>This park might be the most fun and thrills you can get while you’re in the Rockies. Some of the more popular attractions include the country’s first alpine coaster, a gold-rush themed haunted mine drop, and a canyon swing. Guests can also enjoy cave tours inside Colorado’s largest show cave (also known as a public or tourist cave).</p><h2>15. Funland: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware</h2><img alt="Funland Amusement Park bumper cars, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware "src=""><p>This boardwalk theme park is fun at the beach and then some. It’s also a great destination for the whole family, with kid-friendly rides like a carousel and kiddie wheel, and more thrilling attractions like a haunted mansion and a few gravity-defying rides. You can also take a walk on the boardwalk to find yourself some old-fashioned snacks like hot roasted peanuts, cotton candy, pretzels, and popcorn. </p>
Categories: Travel

Inside Praga, Warsaw's Most Hipster Neighborhood

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 13:02
<p>On the right bank of the Vistula River, you will find a neighborhood of derelict art nouveau architecture, the exteriors of the buildings dotted with bullet holes and grimy with dirt. It looks like it's been decades since they've seen a paint job.</p><p>It's been more than 70 years, in fact. And although Warsaw's city center was mostly destroyed by Nazis during the Invasion of Poland and the <a href="" target="_blank">Warsaw Uprising</a>, Praga, the city's eastern district, remained intact. <a href="" target="_blank">A visit to Praga</a> is as close to pre-war Warsaw as it gets.</p><p>Until recently, Praga was a place to avoid — its streets considered unsafe, unwelcome, and crime-ridden.</p><p>But the once dangerous neighborhood has begun to earn a new reputation. In the last few years, Praga's affordable living costs has drawn an influx of students and artists who have quickly transformed the area into a hipster haven.</p><p>With street art decorating the buildings, and a host of art galleries, museums, coffee shops, and clubs beckoning to be explored, Praga has indeed become Warsaw's coolest neighborhood.</p><p>So on your next trip to the <a href="" target="_blank">Phoneix City</a>, get out of Old Town and spend a day exploring Warsaw's edgy side.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">19 Photos That Will Have You Planning a Trip to Warsaw</a></p><h2>In the morning</h2><p><strong>Centrum Zarządzania Światem</strong></p><p>With its large space and exposed pipes, its cozy chairs and friendly staff, this cafe manages being both industrial and intimate. For breakfast, try the pulled pork on brioche: while you might think barbecue should be reserved for backyard cookouts, <a href="">Centrum Zarz</a><a href="" target="_blank">ądzania Światem</a> will seriously upend your thoughts on what can and cannot be eaten in the a.m. Add a cappuccino to your order and you’re looking at a delicious — and decent-sized — <a href="" target="_blank">meal for a meager $4.32</a>, less than the price of a latte in New York City.</p><p>The cafe is open throughout the day, so be sure to come back later for their Alsatian pies, and for live music and a cocktail in the evening.</p><img alt="Bazar Rozyckiego, old market place in Praga, Warsaw's district on the right side of Vistula river "src=""><p><strong>Bazaar Różyckiego</strong></p><p>While <a href="" target="_blank">Warsaw’s oldest market</a> has drifted out of fashion over the past few decades, Bazaar Różyckiego remains a neighborhood institution that offers an echoing glimpse into the city when it was under Nazi and communist regimes, when <a href="" target="_blank">Różyc served as a hotspot for black market trade</a>.</p><p>Besides the usual market fare like hats, scarves, toys, shoes, and purses, today you can find uncommon and unusual goods among the rundown stalls (I’m talking polyester wedding dresses, suits, and, <a href="" target="_blank">if the rumors are true</a>, fake IDs and illegal contraband from Russia). While you’re here, consider getting pyzy (potato balls), a local delicacy sold by elederly women out of trolleys, and see if you can catch a performance by the market’s resident band.</p><p><strong>Park Praski</strong></p><p>With over 30 parks and gardens to enjoy in Warsaw, it is impossible to say which one truly is “the best.” However, what makes Park Praski truly unique is its three resident brown bears, Tatra, Mała, and Sabina. According to travel guide <em><a href="" target="_blank">In Your Pocket</a></em>, the park has raised over 400 bears since 1949. While it’s not exactly known <i>why</i>, the <a href="" target="_blank">most popular theory</a> is that the nearby Warsaw zoo is trying to get them acclimated to humans before having them sent over. The bears are kept in a concrete enclosure so they cannot hurt you — just don’t try to climb in.</p><p><strong>Warsaw Zoo</strong></p><p>Right next door to Park Praski is the Warsaw Zoo. While you might like to pay a visit for the 12,000 animals alone, the attraction is better known for its historical significance. During World War II, zoo director <a href="" target="_blank">Dr. Jan Żabiński and his wife Antonia hid nearly 300 Jews inside the zoo</a>: in empty animal cages, in underground tunnels, and in their house on the zoo’s grounds. <a href="" target="_blank">On the first Sunday of every month</a>, you can visit the home and take a tour of the cellars where the Żabińskis kept the Jews safe.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">This Historic Warsaw Hotel Just Got a Luxurious Makeover — and It's Going to Make You Dream About Poland</a></p><h2>In the afternoon</h2><p><strong>Caffee Galeria Sztuki</strong></p><p>For lunch, wander over to <a href="" target="_blank">Caffee Galeria Sztuki</a> on Ząbkowska Street. Featuring soups, salads, quiches, and pastas, this cozy chic restaurant offers an assortment of upscale dishes at affordable prices. And if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, a slice of the tort bezowy, a Polish meringue cake, is sure to hit the spot.</p><img alt="A visitor reacts at the Polish Vodka Museum "src=""><p><strong>Praga Koneser Center</strong></p><p>For years, the site of the former Warsaw Vodka Factory sat abandoned — but in the last year the industrial complex has seen a complete resurgence. In addition to its host of art galleries, restaurants, shops, and bars, <a href="" target="_blank">Koneser</a>’s biggest draw might be the <a href="" target="_blank"><b>Polish Vodka Museum</b></a>, which opened in June 2018. Learn about the history of the traditional Polish spirit through interactive exhibitions, or, if you’re more interested in drinking vodka than learning about it, there’s a tasting room for you to sample different types.</p><img alt="Warsaw's couat of arms, the siren "Syrenka", shining in an exhibition of restored lighting advertisements from the 50s through to the 70s in Europe's one-and-only Neon Museum in the Praga district of Warsaw "src=""><p><strong>Soho Factory</strong></p><p>Soho Factory is the go-to destination for artsy types thanks to its mix of art studios and design shops. The prize jewel in this post-industrial complex, though, is the <a href="" target="_blank"><b>Neon Muzeum</b></a>. This colorful museum features over 200 neon signs from the 1950’s to 1970’s, salvaged by photographer Ilona Karwinska and graphic designer David S. Hill. Other than the fact that the bright and colorful pieces are pretty to look at, the signs offer an interesting history lesson in <a href="" target="_blank">Poland’s neonization movement</a>.</p><h2>In the evening</h2><p><strong>Zabkowska Street</strong></p><p>Head back to Ząbkowska Street to experience the neighborhood’s nightlife. You’ll find many restaurants on Praga’s busiest street, including <a href="" target="_blank">Tłusto i Syto BBQ</a>, Russian-inspired <a href="" target="_blank">Skamiejka</a>, and <a href="">COŚ na Z</a><a href="" target="_blank">ąbkowskiej</a>, a restaurant worth walking past even if it’s just to see its foil-covered exterior. Round out dinner with drinks at <a href="" target="_blank">Łysy Pingwin</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">W Oparach Absurdu</a>, a local pub with live music and beer, pierogi, and cocktails on the menu.</p><img alt="Street art in the Praga district of Warsaw, Poland "src=""><p><strong>11 Listopada Street</strong></p><p>Walk down 11 Listopada Street until you reach no. 22. Not only is this courtyard <a href="" target="_blank">known for its street art</a>, its three clubs — <a href="" target="_blank">Skład Butelek</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Chmury,</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Hydrozagadka</a> — are thought to be <a href="" target="_blank">some of the best in Warsaw</a>. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Culture Trip</a></em>, fans of folk and contemporary music can also come to the backyard of no. 22 for the occasional music festival.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Versatile Maxi Dress Has Over 1,700 Near-perfect Reviews — and It’s on Sale Right Now

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 10:30
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Summer dressing</a> can seem like an oxymoron. When we’re sweating through July’s oppressive 90 degree heat, the last thing we want to think about is adding on layers. But since there’s no getting around it (because, well, society), we can be comforted by the fact that hundreds of people think they’ve figured out a solution.</p><p><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Nordstrom’s Knit Maxi Dress</a> is the hot weather staple you need that will stop you from melting while keeping you looking sharp. At least, that’s what over 1,700 reviewers thought when they gave this piece a near-perfect rating.</p><p>The spaghetti strap column dress cinches at the waist with an elastic band and slips easily on and off. It comes in black and navy (which is actually closer to cobalt blue), and is an excellent solution for modest dressing, even in high heat. The loose-fitting skirt keeps things breezy, despite the full-coverage length.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">13 Comfortable Dresses That Are Made to Travel In</a></p><p>Reviewers love that this simple dress can be worn casual or accessorized for fancier occasions — <a href="" target="_blank">a must for your packing list</a> when space is limited.</p><p>“Just received this dress and I LOVE it,” writes one buyer. “I’m 5.4” and 128 pounds and the small fits perfectly. It hangs just above the floor so I can wear it with flats or wedges, dress it up or down depending on the occasion. It’s so comfortable and light. And the straps are adjustable so if you’re a bit shorter or taller you can adjust the length.”</p><p>This summer dress is already affordable — with a regular retail price of $52 — but today, it’s even cheaper. You can <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">snag this versatile wardrobe piece for just $39</a>.</p><img alt="Nordstrom’s Knit Maxi Dress "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $39 (originally $52)</p>
Categories: Travel

American Airlines Has a New Lounge at Dallas Fort Worth That Will Make You Want to Pay for the Upgrade (Photos)

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 05/18/2019 - 17:40
<p>Premium American Airlines passengers will notice a big difference at the airline’s renovated lounge at Dallas Fort Worth.</p><p>On Thursday, the airline’s Flagship Lounge re-opened after a yearlong renovation. The all-new <a href="" target="_blank">Flagship Lounge</a> is open to first and business class passengers, and everything is complimentary.</p><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><p>The space is a calming getaway from the hectic airport terminal, with quiet rooms, individual work pods and showers available.</p><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><p>The lounge includes hot and cold food buffets and a chef’s table of made-to-order meals. Lounge access also includes wine, champagne or something from the “make your own cocktail” station.</p><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><p>"From here to Heathrow, you may need to sleep as soon as you get on the plane," Janelle Anderson, the airline’s vice president of marketing, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Dallas Business Journal.</em></a> "You're able to have a nice experience here and not have to necessarily wait for food service on the plane."</p><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><p>Within the lounge is Flagship First Dining, a sit-down restaurant open to first class passengers on international flights. The meal service is complimentary for these passengers and features locally-inspired menus, according to the airline. Choices include Texas Beef Brisket Platter, Roasted Redfish on the Halfshell and Crisp Gulf Oysters.</p><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><img alt="New American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport "src=""><p>The lounge is the airline’s fifth Flagship Lounge and the fourth Flagship First Dining location. It’s located next to gate D21 in the airport.</p><p>The airline is in the midst of a $200 million project to renovate lounges across its network. Other Flagship Lounge locations include Los Angeles International, Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK and Miami airports. The airline will soon open additional lounges in London and Philadelphia.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hershey's Chocolate World Is Opening a Theatrical Show for Chocolate Lovers

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 05/18/2019 - 17:27
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Hershey's Chocolate World</a>, in <a href="" target="_blank">Hershey, Pennsylvania</a>, is opening a new interactive experience for the whole family on May 20.</p><p>The experience, <a href="" target="_blank">Hershey's Unwrapped</a>, is a 30-minute theatrical show at the “Hershey Academy.” To kick off the show, each member of the audience is handed tasting kits containing four different types of chocolate: milk, dark, white, and gold. Adults and kids alike will then learn how to “practice utilizing their senses,” according to a statement, as they eat the treats under the guidance of a “quirky Professor.”</p><img alt="Hershey's Unwrapped at Hershey's Chocolate World "src=""><img alt="Hershey's Unwrapped at Hershey's Chocolate World "src=""><p>After this tasty introduction, the audience will follow Doc Chocolate into his chocolate lab. There, families can take part in a chocolate experiment and learn some of the history of how Milton Hershey created his iconic treats. Of course, you can expect to sample more chocolate while you're in the lab. And if you still haven't had your fill of chocolate by the end of the show, Doc Chocolate has a yummy surprise waiting for you.</p><img alt="Hershey's Unwrapped at Hershey's Chocolate World "src=""><img alt="Hershey's Unwrapped at Hershey's Chocolate World "src=""><p>“For our guests, the standard for a new attraction is high,” said Suzanne Jones, vice president at The Hershey Experience, noting the park attracts multiple generations of repeat visitors. “That's why I'm so excited about Hershey's Unwrapped. This experience will truly exceed those high expectations.”</p><p>Hershey's Unwrapped joins many other attractions at Hershey's Chocolate World, including Hershey's Chocolate Tour, where you can see how Hershey's chocolate gets made, and Create a Candy Bar, which is exactly what it sounds like.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Tickets</a> are $15.95 for adults, $12.95 for children between the ages of three and 12, and kids two and under get in free. Hershey's Chocolate World also offers <a href="" target="_blank">ticket bundles</a> if you plan to check out some of the other attractions while you're there.</p>
Categories: Travel

This New Stargazer Lodge in Bolivia Will Make You Feel Like You're Sleeping on a Space Station

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 05/18/2019 - 16:14
<p>Some experiences are so unique they’re impossible to overlook.</p><p>A stay at <a href="" target="_blank">Kachi Lodge</a> in Bolivia is one such experience. Located in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat, the arid landscape can give you the feeling you've traveled to another planet. The only giveaway that you’re on Earth might be the towering Tunupa Volcano (and, if you’re an avid astronomer, the location of the constellations above).</p><img alt="Kachi Lodge "src=""><p>The property is made up of multiple space station-style domes that were built for optimal stargazing; each geodesic dome has clear panels that provide unobstructed night sky views. But just because guests are sleeping in space-like structures doesn’t mean they have to do without. Each dome has a private bathroom, luxurious interior, and proper heating. The bed is centrally placed to provide optimal sky viewing.</p><p>Kachi Lodge is located at 11,800 feet, bringing stargazers closer to the star-packed night sky. Expert, on-site guides are available to educate guests on constellations, Andean cosmology, and ancient cultural theories about the night sky.</p><img alt="Kachi Lodge "src=""><img alt="Kachi Lodge "src=""><p>However, the property offers more than stargazing. Guests can hike to the lower lip of the volcano crater, explore a giant-cacti covered island, visit nearby archeological sites, and bike around the salt flats — all as part of their booking package.</p><p>Food is also included, and it’s something the resident chefs take seriously. The property is committed to using products exclusively from Bolivia to provide guests with the ultimate cultural experience.</p><p>All meals, drinks, activities, and airport transfers are included under the introductory rate of <a href="" target="_blank">$1,980 per person</a> for a double-occupancy, two-night stay. An extra night is an additional $990 per person.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Photographer Behind One of T+L’s June 2019 Covers Reveals How He Got the Shot

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 05/18/2019 - 12:01
<p>Earlier this year, photographer <a href="" target="_blank">Simon Roberts</a> traveled to Egypt for this month's issue of <em>Travel + Leisure. </em>His photographs accompany a story about a country in flux; in it, writer Aatish Taseer explores the vast, unknowable nature of antiquity, the enduring scars of Egypt's tumultuous political history, and the ways in which this <a href="" target="_blank">ancient nation</a> is envisioning its future as tourism steadily rebounds.</p><p>Roberts had worked with T+L before, traveling not so far from his native London to photograph <a href="" target="_blank">Scotland's Isle of Skye</a>. Needless to say, this most recent assignment took him to a dramatically different environment. Rather than encountering desolate landscapes, remote towns, and the occasional sheep, this trip dove into the bustling, beating heart of one of the oldest civilizations on earth. His images that accompany the feature are dense with things humans have built there: pyramids, mosques, <a href="" target="_blank">burial chambers</a>; a luxury cruise ship passing villages <a href="" target="_blank">along the Nile</a>; a sneak peak inside the forthcoming Grand Egyptian Museum, still under construction in <a href="" target="_blank">Giza</a>. </p><p>But one of Roberts' photographs, which makes an appearance on the issue's newsstand cover, rises above these built environments — literally, since it was taken from a hot air balloon above the famous Valley of the Kings — to show the contours of the landscape in an even more epic way.</p><p>Here's how he got the shot:</p><p><strong>T+L: Had you ever been to Egypt before? What was your overall impression of the place and the subject matter?</strong></p><p>Simon Roberts: "It was my first visit, and I was apprehensive about traveling to one of the most photographed places in the world! However, the experience was quite profound and did not disappoint. In fact, it's hard to describe the experience of witnessing, first hand, some of civilization's earliest achievements."</p><p><strong>What was it like shooting from a hot air balloon? Any particular distractions or unique opportunities? </strong></p><p>"I’d photographed from a hot air balloon before — but never one that contained an additional 35 people! The biggest challenge was getting into a position where I could photograph in the direction facing the Valley of the Kings as the sun came up behind me, which required some skilled flying by the balloon pilot and careful diplomacy with my fellow passengers so as not to spoil their experience.</p><p>Initially, when I was taking the photographs, I was frustrated that the view was obscured by other hot-air balloons — but in the end, I like how the balloons appear suspended in the sky and also give a sense of scale to the scene."</p><img alt="Travel + Leisure June 2019 Subscriber cover (Egypt) "src=""><p><strong>Do you have any tips for shooting wide, relatively monochromatic landscapes like this one?</strong></p><p>"Well, some height always helps. I often photograph from the roof of my motorhome when shooting landscapes; a slightly elevated vantage point allows the relationship of individual bodies and buildings in the landscape to be clearly observed. I also like to photograph at times of the day or in weather conditions that give me a more restrained, pastel palette of colors."</p><p><strong>What time of day did you take the picture? What type of equipment did you use?</strong></p><p>"The photograph was taken at dawn using a <a href="" target="_blank">Phase One</a> medium format digital camera, which was mounted on a monopod to give myself some stability and prevent camera shake."</p><p><strong>Do you have any other cool projects in the works that you’d like to share?</strong></p><p>"I’m currently working on a longer-term project, in Cuba, which brings together four European and four Cuban photographers to collaborate on a book and exhibition for the <a href="" target="_blank">2021 Havana Biennial</a>. I’m looking at the role of faith in a post-Castro era, where various religious practices — from Christianity and Islam to Baha'i and Santeria — have been allowed to grow, and appear to form an important part of contemporary Cuban society."</p>
Categories: Travel