It's Almost Summer — So We Asked a Gelato University Graduate to Share Her Must-visit Italian Gelaterias

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:30
<p>Lisa Valmorbida, author of the new cookbook <em><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Pidapipó: Gelato Eight Days a Week</a></em>, literally attended Gelato University. If you didn't know that was a thing, you're not alone — we had no idea, before speaking to Valmorbida, that there is a full-fledged institution of higher education devoted to Italy's favorite frozen treat. It's called <a href="" target="_blank">Carpigiani Gelato University</a>, and its campus in Bologna trains today's generation of master gelato makers with various seminars and culinary intensives offered in Italian, French, German, and English.</p><p>Valmorbida knows her way around gelato. After graduation, she apprenticed with some of Italy's best gelato-makers, learning quickly that failure was not an option.</p><p>“Italians are masters of food,” she told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. “They are very particular in the way things are done. [One owner] would come in and taste the flavors, and he would know straight away if something wasn't made correctly.”</p><img alt="pidapipo gelato shop in Melbourne, Australia "src=""><p>Still, for Valmorbida, “what initially connected me to gelato was the challenge of making the recipes. There are so many ways to do it, so you're always learning.”</p><p>Eventually, she decided to keep the challenge going with her own shop, returning to her native <a href="" target="_blank">Melbourne</a> to open <a href=" " target="_blank">Pidapipó</a>. Here, all the gelato is made on site using fresh ingredients and seasonal fruits. “Sourcing ingredients is lots of fun ... the simplicity of the flavors means the ingredients are very important.”</p><p>Valmorbida's new book is packed with recipes from the shop, but also reflects back on her time in <a href="" target="_blank">Italy</a>. Here are her favorite gelaterias in the birthplace, the epicenter, the utopia of gelato.</p><h2>La Sorbetteria Castiglione, Bologna</h2><p>“I thought I'd had good gelato, until I went here,” said Valmorbida. “It's what inspired me to learn how to make it.”</p><p><a href=" " target="_blank">La Sorbetteria Castiglione</a> has been in business for 25 years, which is no small feat in Bologna, a city many call the “Gelato Capital of the World” that's home to hundreds of excellent shops. At this gelateria, every batch of gelato made on site in the glass-enclosed <em>laboratorio</em>. For Valmorbida, “anything here is amazing — but the pistachio in particular.”</p><h2>Gelateria Buonocore, Capri</h2><p>Tiny Capri, 25 miles off of Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea, punches far above its weight in the gelato world. <a href="" target="_blank">Gelateria Buonocore</a> has been serving the island for decades, its two small, funky locations also doling out traditional <em>caprese</em> pastries.</p><p>“It’s the region for lemons,” said Valmorbida, so don't miss their excellent <em>limone</em> flavor.</p><h2>Gelateria Brustolon, Vicenza</h2><p>Valmorbida remembers her introduction to <a href="" target="_blank">Gelateria Brustolon</a> well. “My nonno and nonna are from Vicenza, and on my first visit to Italy they took me here.” If you ever find yourself in this UNESCO World Heritage city, a short drive from Venice, she suggests their chocolate-and-hazelnut <em>bacio</em> gelato (“my go-to flavor”) or their <em>sorbetti</em> made with fresh seasonal fruit.</p><img alt="milk gelato "src=""><h2>Caffè Fiorio, Torino</h2><p>Founded in 1780, <a href="" target="_blank">Caffè Fiorio</a> has been a gathering place and center of discourse in <a href="" target="_blank">Torino</a> for nearly two and a half centuries. Aside from <em>aperitivi</em> and espresso, this grand cafe is famous for its gelato, made with a slightly nontraditional recipe that incorporates condensed milk (a relic of wartime scarcity that quickly became a local sensation). Valmorbida recommends the <em>gianduja</em> gelato, based on a Nutella-like hazelnut spread.</p><h2>Gelateria Alberto Marchetti, Torino</h2><p>After graduating from gelato school, Valmorbida worked at <a href="" target="_blank">Gelateria Alberto Marchetti</a>, honing her craft at one of Torino's best gelato shops. Among the many lovingly-sourced, high-quality ingredients is “an amazing pistachio paste from Bronte, in Sicily,” the basis of one of Valmorbida's favorite flavors there. She also recommends the dark chocolate <em>fondente</em>, “dairy free but so creamy and rich.”</p><h2>Pidapipó, Melbourne</h2><p>Even though it's not in Italy, Valmorbida's shop is perfect on a warm day in Melbourne. “I always have <em>bacio</em>,” she said. “Bacio is my go-to flavor anywhere and I’m very particular about it, so the recipe took me a while to perfect.” Another favorite on the <a href="" target="_blank">Pidapipó</a> menu: mascarpone and berry. “I’ve found this amazing mascarpone that is really creamy, but not too fatty, so it’s perfect for gelato.”</p><img alt="Pidapipo: Gelato Eight Days a Week by Lisa Valmorbida book cover "src=""><p><em>Pidapipó: Gelato Eight Days a Week</em> by Lisa Valmorbida</p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $28.50</p>
Categories: Travel

Careless Tourists Are Chased by Cheetahs After Leaving Their Car During Safari (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 10:53
<p>When you’re in an unfamiliar place, it’s important to follow directions for your own safety. This is especially true if you’re <a href="" target="_blank">on safari</a>.</p><p>It’s common for conservation areas to offer self-guided safari tours in which people can drive through to observe the wildlife, but that doesn’t mean these animals have abandoned all their instincts. Wild animals are still, well, wild.</p><p>A French family visiting <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Beekse Bergen Safari Park</a> in the southern Netherlands learned this lesson the hard way after leaving their car twice in order to get up close and personal with some cheetahs.</p><p>The people in the car behind them, who caught the family’s interactions on video, were flabbergasted that they would be so bold (read: foolish) as to leave their car in such a potentially dangerous area.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Right and Wrong Ways to Interact With Wild Animals While Traveling</a></p><p>In the <a href="" target="_blank">first video</a>, the family seemed to not bother any of the big cats and managed to take a photo and get back into their car. But further down the road, they decided to venture out a little further, which prompted the cheetahs to chase them (a natural reaction for the species).</p><p>The three adults and two children narrowly escaped being attacked as they ran for the car. One of the women and a small child could be seen lagging behind and getting blocked by a cheetah, but the woman scooped up the child and managed to shoo the animal away.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Safari in Kenya Can Turn Total Amateurs Into Skilled Wildlife Photographers</a></p><p>A spokesperson for the park told the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em> that all visitors are told explicitly, in many languages, to stay in their cars for the duration of their tours.</p><p>Lucky doesn’t even begin to describe this family.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hundreds of Mating Fireflies Put on a Dazzling Show in These U.S. Mountains Every Summer

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 08:23
<p>It’s time to get your summer glow on.</p><p>No, we’re not talking about your tan, we’re talking about fireflies. </p><p>In the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, namely <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">DuPont State Recreational Forest</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Great Smoky Mountains National Park</a>, fireflies light up the sky on summer nights, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists looking for a little taste of nature's magic.</p><p>The best time to see hundreds of the little <a href="" target="_blank">insects glowing in the Appalachian Mountains</a> is during firefly mating season, which happens in May or June each year. The male fireflies turn their lights on and off in search of mates, providing travelers with an unforgettable show and major photo opportunity. </p><img alt="Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) flashing light during their mating season at Great Smokey National Park. "src=""><p>With thousands of guests flocking to DuPont State Recreational Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park each season, both locations have restricted access in order to protect the firefly population. </p><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">News Observer</a></em> in Raleigh, 21,000 people registered for 1,800 available passes for a shuttle bus to Elkmont, which is inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.</p><p>Mating season only lasts about two weeks, so getting a peek at these locations can be hard to get. According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">The New York Times</a></em>, lines to get into Elkmont can take as long as four hours.</p><p>But there are other places to find these impressive little bugs. Bruce MacDonald, spokesman for DuPont State Recreational Forest, told the <em>News Observer</em>: "Somehow, through social media, we became known as the place in the world to see these things. They’re a regional phenomenon, and people drive past millions of them to come here and see hundreds of them."</p><p>But if you’re looking for an “official” tour, you can certainly plan for one in 2019. <a href="" target="_blank">The Cradle of Forestry</a> is planning a two-hour tour through its Transylvania County woodlands on any of the nights during mating season. <a href="" target="_blank">This year’s tours</a> are sold out.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Mischievous Squirrel Caused a Huge Power Outage at a Florida Theme Park

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 06:47
<p>Over the weekend, <a href="" target="_blank">Busch Gardens Tampa Bay</a>’s rides, restaurants, and streets came to a screeching halt for several hours as the park suffered a massive power outage. And it was all thanks to one pesky visitor.</p><p>According to <em>ABC Action News</em>, the park’s lights went out after a little squirrel somehow made his way into the park’s substation breaker. Luckily, the outage started in the morning, before guests entered the park.</p><p>“Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is experiencing a power outage, today, May 12,” a tweet from the park read. “We are currently delaying entry into the park, and our ambassadors are working with TECO to restore power as soon as possible.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Ice Cream Shop Serves the Same Squirrel Its Own Cones Every Day</a></p><p>Karen Varga-Sinka, a spokesperson for the park, told the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Tampa Bay Times</a> </em>that power was restored to some parts of the park by 1:20 p.m. and then was fully restored about an hour later.</p><p>Because of the inconvenience, the park offered guests refund options, explaining in a statement that anyone who needs a refund can “go to a ticket window if they are in the park or email <a href=""></a>."</p><p>While an odd story for sure, it shouldn’t really be that surprising considering squirrels have long been wreaking havoc on the United States electrical grid. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Washington Post</a></em>, the American Public Power Association even tracks outages caused by the critters on a “squirrel index.” As it further reported, while storms cause longer and larger outages across the nation, squirrels are actually responsible for far more outages than weather. (You too can track <a href="" target="_blank">global squirrel outages here</a>.)</p><p>And though the outage at Busch Gardens was certainly a pain for guests, people still couldn’t help but have a little fun at the park’s expense on social media.</p><p>Sure, it’s funny, but as several Twitter users also asked, is the squirrel OK? Busch Gardens, the people of the internet need answers.</p>
Categories: Travel

Where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Chose to Unwind Before the Royal Wedding

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 06:26
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle</a> may be walking down the aisle this Saturday, but before the big day comes they still had one very important task to take care of: a pre-wedding getaway.</p><p>According to reports, the couple quietly spent the weekend before their wedding together in a small cottage located in a heavily wooded area in the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Oxfordshire countryside</a>, which Meghan reportedly “adores.”</p><p>“The run-up to the wedding has been quite stressful for them and they just wanted to get away and relax before the big day,” a source told <em>The Sun</em>. “They like to escape to the country for the weekend and the cottage is just perfect for them. It’s very private, has a vast open-plan kitchen and dining area for Meghan to cook in and lots of large windows for the stunning views.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Staying the Night Before the Royal Wedding</a></p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Sun</a></em>, the house may be remote, but it also comes with enough modern-day security to protect the prince and his future bride, including motion detectors and a few armed royal guards.</p><p>In the week following their wedding, the pair is expected to get back to their royal duties and make a public appearance together. Then, Meghan and Harry will jet off on their royal honeymoon. </p><p>According to a source who spoke exclusively to <em>Travel + Leisure</em>, Harry and Meghan are expected to <a href="" target="_blank">head to Namibia</a>. There, they would likely take part in an ultra-luxurious — and ultra-private — safari with <a href="" target="_blank">Natural Selection</a>, and perhaps stay at the company’s <a href="" target="_blank">Hoanib Valley Camp</a>.</p><p>“We think frills are great, but they are no match for thrills, especially when it comes to <a href=",Here%27sWherePrinceHarryandMeghanMarkleMightSpendTheirHoneymoon,warrenj,NEW,ART,670876,201804,I/" target="_blank">African safaris</a>. Don’t get us wrong, we love a great bottle of wine and soft sheets as much as anyone. But for us, the greatest luxury of all, by far, is experience,” the tour company explained on its <a href="" target="_blank">website</a>. “That’s why we’re creating a portfolio of welcoming camps and one-of-a-kind experiences that are full of unique soul and colorful character, with extraordinary staff, located in the very heart of where the wild things are.”</p><p>On the trip, the couple would have to take a charter plane to the safari’s main camp. Upon arrival they would be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy themselves as likely the only guests at the resort (save for a lion, elephant, or zebra) because Namibia also happens to be one of the <a href="" target="_blank">least densely populated countries in the world</a>.</p><p>Moreover, the pair may not even need visas to travel to the beautiful African nation as Namibia is still <a href="" target="_blank">part of the Commonwealth</a>.</p><p>Following their honeymoon the duo may even continue their world tour with a stop in the <a href="" target="_blank">United States</a> to support the latest expedition from the armed forces charity <a href="" target="_blank">Support The Walk</a>, which Harry helped launch in April. Sure, the U.S. may not be as cool as Namibia, but it’s pretty close.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Company That Made Buses Cool Again in Europe Is Launching in the U.S. With $0.99 One-way Trips

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 06:01
<p>You might not think comfort when you think of bus travel, but a European company is headed to the U.S. to change that. </p><p>Since launching five years ago in <a href="" target="_blank">Germany</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">FlixBus</a> has become the largest bus network in <a href="" target="_blank">Europe</a>, busing travelers to 1,700 destinations in 27 different countries using a low-cost and high-comfort model. Next, it's hoping to make bus travel cool again on the West Coast. </p><p>Starting May 15, the company will offer tickets as low as $0.99 one-way on routes such as Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Los Angeles to Phoenix, Phoenix to Las Vegas, and San Diego to Las Vegas. </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">FlixBus</a> utilizes a network of coaches that are owned and operated by independent, local companies in each destination they serve. This way, the company is able to avoid extra costs like paying to park all of its buses when they're not in use. </p><p>FlixBus has also made the decision to spend its money on its product — not on advertising. </p><p>"Instead of giving that money to advertisers, we give it to our customers, who we consider our most important stakeholders," Pierre Gourdain, the company's U.S. managing director, told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. "We've seen tens of millions of people in Europe tell us that if it were not for FlixBus and the convenience and comfort they get, they would not have taken the trips." </p><img alt="flixbus "src=""><p>This model has helped drive down costs for both the company and its customers while allowing FlixBus to incorporate small luxuries into its fleet including free Wi-Fi, a selection of onboard entertainment passengers can stream to their personal devices, LED lighting, and up to 31 inches of legroom.</p><p>Each seat on the buses, which tend to only be one to two years old, also comes with a tray table, cup holder, and footrest. </p><img alt="flixbus interior "src=""><p>All of these amenities will cost U.S. travelers under $20 for one-way short-haul trips (three hours or less) and around $45 to $50 for one-way long-haul or overnight trips, Gourdain said. </p><p>Travelers will also be able to bring two pieces of luggage on board. They can make changes to their trips or request refunds through the <a href="" target="_blank">FlixBus app</a>. </p><p>“Today we see many things as a given, from food to water and electricity, but we think that travel should also be a given too, so we wanted to find a way to give a better experience to everyone rather than just a few number of people,” Gourdain said. </p><p>During its initial launch into the U.S., FlixBus will offer 180 connections operated by six regional partners: Arrow Stage Lines, American Explorer Motorcoach, Gray Line Arizona, Pacific Coachways, Transportation Charter Services, and USA Coach Services. </p><p>Buses will begin operations on May 31, and the company plans to expand to a total of 1,000 connections across the country by the end of the year. </p>
Categories: Travel

Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Cockpit Window Breaks at 32,000 Feet

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 16:41
<p>About 40 minutes after takeoff, the right cockpit windshield on a Sichuan Airlines flight broke off, causing decompression at 32,000 feet and leading to an emergency landing in Chengdu, China. The Airbus A319 was traveling from Chongqing to Lhasa.</p><p>“Without any sign, the windshield blasted open with a huge bang,” pilot Liu Chuanjian <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Chengu Economic Daily</em></a>. “When I looked over, the co-pilot’s body’s was hanging halfway out of the window.”</p><p>Parts of the cockpit, including the autopilot control panel, flew off the dashboard. Liu said that the emergency landing was extremely difficult because of the noise, flying debris, and inability to see much more than a few feet ahead of the aircraft.</p><p>The pilot who was sitting in the right-hand seat suffered scratches and a wrist sprain, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s (CAAC) Southwest Regional Administration. One crew member was injured during descent, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Reuters</a>.</p><p>Sichuan Airlines reported on its Weibo account that an aircraft had suffered a “mechanical failure.” The airline did not provide any more details.</p><p>There were 119 passengers on board, none of whom were injured by the incident. In Chengdu, they switched to another aircraft and continued their journey to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.</p><p>It’s not incredibly uncommon for airplane windows to crack during flight, but to have an entire window break off is rare. In 1990, a <a href="" target="_blank">British Airways pilot was injured</a> when he was sucked out a broken cockpit window. In April, a blade flew off a broken engine on a Southwest flight and cracked a window, and <a href="" target="_blank">one passenger was killed</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Save Money by Staying at a College This Summer

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 12:32
<p>Care to relive the glory days of college? In the summer, when students go home, most college dorms sit empty. But some enterprising universities are renting out their unoccupied apartments and dorms to travelers in their off-season months (typically January, and June through August).</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">University Rooms</a> lets travelers of all ages book unused rooms at more than 400 universities in more than 100 cities around the world. The service is popular in Europe and Australia and it is beginning to catch on in North America. Starting at about $22 per night, it can cost about the same price as a hostel but offers more privacy.</p><p>In Europe, travelers can stay at universities in Austria, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Spain, Turkey, and the U.K.. In the Americas, options are slightly more limited. There are a few cities in Canada that offer the service (including Montreal and Quebec), Buenos Aires in Argentina and two cities in the U.S.: Laredo, Texas (Texas A&amp;M), and Worcester, Massachusetts.</p><p>Of course, student accommodations are not the most luxurious on the planet. They’re basically just like what you remember from college. Some may be straight dorms (with a shared bathroom down the hallway), while others are more typical apartment options (with a kitchen and bathroom en suite). Many University Rooms stays also include breakfast in the dining hall.</p><p>But across the pond, the service could help live out some fantasies. Didn’t get into <a href="" target="_blank">Oxford</a> or Cambridge? You can still get the experience by staying in one of the universities’ historic dorms, some of which date back hundreds of years.</p><p>Ramen optional.</p>
Categories: Travel

Jane Seymour’s Travel Pet Peeves are Totally Relatable

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 12:01
<p>Jane Seymour is not one for slowing down. The 67-year-old “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” alum has been on the road for three solid weeks, traveling from England to Spain, France, Houston, D.C., Los Angeles, and <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a> for work and various fundraising events.</p><p>“I crave adventure and get bored very quickly,” Seymour told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. “Right now, I’m preparing for a new movie and doing a fair bit of public speaking. I just never stop.”</p><p>Last March, the former Bond girl posed for Playboy — the third time she’s appeared in the publication over the course of her 50-year career. Looking as confident and as radiant as ever, Seymour opened up about aging, her #MeToo moment, and the importance of feeling comfortable in your own skin.</p><p>T+L caught up with the actress at a Crepe Erase beauty event in New York City to learn more about how she stays looking and feeling her best despite her hectic travel schedule. She shared her favorite destinations, the items she never leaves home about, and her top travel pet peeves. (Hint: they’re hotel-related.)</p><p><strong>Travel + Leisure: What do you like to do on vacation?</strong></p><p>“I like a smorgasbord of things. I’ll hit the beach, visit archeological sites, hop from restaurant to restaurant trying out different dishes. I also like to walk around and take photos. I find travel to be incredibly inspiring, so I always carry my camera on me. When I was in New Zealand, I discovered this tree that has a beautiful bark and is indigenous to the country’s North Island. This summer, I’m coming out with a line of rugs that feature the bark formation in different color schemes.”</p><p><strong>How do you stay healthy away from home?</strong></p><p>“I take CoQ10, vitamins E and D, and omega-3 fatty acids. I also drink a green juice every morning. I love haute cuisine and can’t help but indulge when I’m in places like France or Spain. I’m also a sucker for the warm nuts they serve on airplanes. I try to balance it out by eating lots of fish, vegetables, and berries.”</p><p><strong>What are your top travel beauty essentials?</strong></p><p>Jane Seymour: “I always bring my own shampoo and conditioner and the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Phyto Volumizing Spray</a>. For skincare, I exfoliate and moisturize my face and body every day with the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Crepe Erase Exfoliating Body Polish</a> and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Intensive Body Repair Treatment</a>. Both work brilliantly for me. In my makeup kit, I have individual false eyelashes from the drugstore, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Sisley mascara</a>, and the Teddy lipstick and Spice eye shadow from MAC.”</p><img alt="Actress Jane Seymour poses during a photo shoot in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Nov 2017 "src=""><p><strong>Besides New Zealand, what are some other inspiring places you’ve visited?</strong></p><p>“Thailand and <a href="" target="_blank">Ayers Rock</a>, in Australia, were both incredible. I seek out places that are enlightening and allow me to meet interesting people and discover new things.”</p><p><strong>Any favorite hotels?</strong></p><p>“I love the Mandarin Oriental hotels. Their <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Columbus Circle location</a>, in New York City, puts you in the center of the action. The <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc</a>, in the French Riviera, is another favorite. And if money were no object, I’d stay at Aman. Their properties are spectacular.”</p><p><strong>What are your must-have hotel amenities?</strong></p><p>“An in-room coffee machine with an espresso feature is a must. And good lighting! I cannot stand moody lighting in a bathroom. It makes it impossible to apply makeup. While we’re on the subject of pet peeves, I also can’t stand hotels that hide light switches. Why do they do that?"</p>
Categories: Travel

Flights to Japan Are About to Get Cheaper

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 11:26
<p>Checking <a href="" target="_blank">Japan</a> off your bucket list could soon be cheaper than ever: The country's flag carrier <a href="" target="_blank">just announced</a> it's launching a new budget airline. </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Japan Airlines (JAL)</a>'s new low-cost carrier will fly passengers to and from Japan and other destinations across <a href="" target="_blank">Asia</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Europe</a>, and the Americas starting in the summer of 2020. </p><p>While details like the airline's name, its exact destinations, and ticket prices have yet to be announced, JAL representatives said flights will operate from Narita International Airport and will operate on two Boeing 787-8 aircrafts to start. </p><p>Though the airline holds a minority stake in <a href="" target="_blank">Jetstar Japan</a>, which is known for offering short-distance flights on a budget, this will be the airline’s first time launching its own budget carrier.</p><p>Low-cost carriers only currently account for about 10 percent of passenger flights in Japan, according to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Japan Times</a></em>, with full-service carriers like JAL and All Nippon Airways (ANA) dominating the airfield. </p><p>“Full-service airlines typically have high costs, but in Japan this is especially so; Japan needs new platforms to capture foreign visitors,” Will Horton, senior analyst at CAPA Center for Aviation, told <em><a href="" target="_blank">Reuters</a></em>.</p><p>This is what JAL plans to provide with its new budget carrier, just in time for the <a href="" target="_blank">2020 Olympics</a> in Tokyo. </p><p>The news comes shortly after ANA Holdings <a href="" target="_blank">announced its own plans</a> to integrate its two subsidiary low-cost carriers, Peach Aviation Limited and Vanilla Air Inc., into its network by 2019 “with the goal to become the leading low cost carrier in the Asian region.” </p><p>Other airlines are also jumping into the market, with <a href="" target="_blank">AirAsia Japan</a> relaunching its low-cost flights from Nagoya to Sapporo in October of 2017. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Cheeky Luggage Collection Was Made for Long Weekend Season

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 11:09
<p>Just in time for <a href="" target="_blank">Memorial Day weekend</a>, Paravel, the chic travel brand known for its lightweight, stain-proof luggage, has teamed up with luxury e-retailer Net-a-Porter to offer us the festive travel accessory of our long-weekend dreams.</p><p>For the first time, the brand will be launching a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">summer capsule collection</a> showcasing brand favorites, along with four exclusive styles. The popular (and fully collapsible!) Stowaway style and the brand’s new Main Line Duffel will feature cheeky phrasing like “Out of Office,” “Bon Voyage,” or “Ciao Aloha Au Revoir.” Plain options are also available for the traveler with a more subtle style.</p><p>All of the bags are made from Paravel’s signature Tuscan cotton canvas, which is entirely water- and stain-proof. So if you’re traveling straight into work on Tuesday, you won’t have to worry about baring the evidence of your weekend of partying. Those aperol spritz spills? There won’t be a trace.</p><h2>Main Line Duffel </h2><img alt="paravel duffel "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $385</p><h2>Stowaway Suitcase in Red</h2><img alt="stowaway bag "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $425</p><h2>Stowaway Suitcase in Tan</h2><img alt="stowaway camel "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $425</p><h2>Cross-body Capsule Bag</h2><img alt="crossbody "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $265</p>
Categories: Travel

Watch: A Plane Full of Passengers Gets Its Tail Sliced Off by Another Plane in Scary Video

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:16
<p>An Asiana Airlines plane swiped the rear tail off a Turkish Airlines plane on the tarmac at Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Sunday.</p><p>“We hadn’t even been stationary for a minute and the engines were still going when there was this huge noise,” Kaarina Barron, a passenger onboard the Turkish Airlines flight, <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Daily Mail</em></a>. “'It sounded like a bomb going off and the whole plane seemed to tilt over.” </p><p>The Turkish Airlines A321 plane was sitting almost 100 feet away from its intended parking spot, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <i>Newshub</i></a>, which meant that its tail was sticking out into an active taxiway. It had just arrived at Ataturk from Northern Cyprus.</p><p>The Asiana Airlines A330 aircraft was about to depart for Seoul Incheon. That flight was canceled and rescheduled for Monday.</p><p>Nobody on either plane was harmed although both aircraft suffered extensive physical damage. A fire started on the vertical stabilizer of the Turkish Airlines plane, but a fire brigade quickly put it out. The wingtip of the Asiana aircraft was also severely damaged in the collision. </p><p>The Turkish transport ministry has launched an investigation into the incident, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The Korea Times</em></a>.</p><p>In crowded and busy airports, ground collisions are not unheard of. In the past six months, there have been <a href="" target="_blank">two</a> <a href="" target="_blank">collisions</a> on taxiways at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport alone.</p>
Categories: Travel

First Class Passenger Kicked Off Flight for Sneaking Drinks Back to Economy (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:37
<p>A first class Robin Hood was kicked off a flight over the weekend for attempting to sneak free drinks to his friends in economy class.</p><p>The incident happened on an American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta, according to <a href="" target="_blank">Katie Genter of <em>The Points Guy</em>,</a> who was also on the flight. The premium class passenger boarded the flight with two friends in economy. After taking his seat, a flight attendant offered first class passengers a pre-departure drink, which the man had — and then followed up with an order for two more drinks.</p><p>The flight attendant told the man he could order only one drink at a time, so he said it was for the woman next to him. (It wasn't.) When the two drinks arrived, the man in 1A began his crusade back to economy class. But the flight attendant intervened, saying he must remain in first class with the drinks. He tried saying he was going to the bathroom — but there's a first class lavatory, and the attendant said he had to use that.</p><p>Despite the resistance, he pressed on. According to Genter, he texted his friends to come up to the bathroom and meet him in the middle. When they tried, they were directed to use the bathroom at the back of the plane. At that point, the gig was apparently up. Genter tweeted that a manager appeared, and the first class passenger eventually left the plane.</p><p>While it may sound like a good deed, airlines are not especially keen on economy passengers getting premium perks. Late last year, two professional basketball players in economy were kicked off a flight after a flight attendant <a href="" target="_blank">accused them of stealing first class blankets</a>.</p><p>As for drinks, <a href=";SID=9d44397fe14f0fe4366f769cf9d2956c&amp;r=SECTION&amp;n=14y3." target="_blank">federal regulations prohibit</a> drinking onboard aircraft unless the beverage is directly served by a flight attendant. <a href="" target="_blank">Some airlines may allow first class passengers</a> to share a drink with a passenger in economy — but it’s best to ask for permission and wait until the flight has taken off.</p><p>"The customer caused a disruption during the boarding process," American Airlines told <em>Travel + Leisure</em> in a statement. "We did offer to rebook the customer on a later flight, but he declined and we provided a full refund."</p>
Categories: Travel

Where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Staying the Night Before the Royal Wedding

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 08:14
<p>Kensington Palace announced on Monday where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will sleep on the eve of <a href="" target="_blank">their wedding</a>.</p><p>On Friday, May 18, the couple will check into separate luxury hotels in Windsor, located about 15 miles away from each other.</p><p>Prince Harry will be staying at the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park</a> with his brother, Prince William. Meghan and her mother, Doria Ragland, will stay at the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Cliveden House</a>.</p><p>Meghan’s accommodations have a salacious royal history. Cliveden House was built in 1666 by a Duke of Buckingham as a place to entertain his mistress and friends. Since then, it has had a “history of unapologetic debauchery,” <a href="" target="_blank">according to the hotel website</a>. It was the site of the Profumo Affair, considered one of the U.K.’s most infamous political scandals.</p><p>During the Cold War, John Profumo, the then-secretary of state for war, met Christine Keeler, the 19-year-old mistress of a suspected Russian spy, at the Cliveden House pool. From there, the two began an illicit affair. When it was revealed, Profumo was forced to resign and his party was marred by scandal.</p><p>Meghan will likely spend her night in the hotel’s <a href="" target="_blank">Spring Cottage</a>. The three-bedroom cottage “offers superb living space and private gardens ensuring the utmost in privacy and escapism,” according to the hotel. It is available from $2,793 (£2,055) per night.</p><p><strong>To book: </strong><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Harry’s hotel is decidedly less scandalous. Coworth Park is located about seven miles from Windsor Castle. If he chooses the hotel’s finest offering, he will sleep at <a href="" target="_blank">the Dower House</a>. The historic, private house dates back to 1775 — although it’s been updated with modern luxuries. There are three bedrooms, two fireplaces, and a private garden for the ultimate idyllic country retreat. The price per night is available upon request (but suites at the hotel cost upwards of $2,000 per night).</p><p><strong>To book: </strong><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>The couple will reunite on the morning of <a href="" target="_blank">May 19 at St George’s Chapel</a>, located about halfway between the two hotels.</p><p>Following the wedding, the newlyweds will linger in England. Three days after their wedding, they will attend Prince Charles’s 70th birthday celebration in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Then <a href="" target="_blank">it’s off to Namibia for their honeymoon</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Stunt-loving 91-year-old Is the Oldest Woman to Wing Walk Across a Plane (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 06:35
<p>A 91-year-old woman strapped herself to the wings of a vintage biplane last week and took off, reportedly becoming the oldest woman in the world to “wing walk.”</p><p>Norma Howard was strapped to the plane with a safety harness and stayed upright through a series of climbs, dives and banks, walking across the wings while the plane was in flight above an airfield in Gloucestershire, U.K.</p><p>She insists it was more thrilling than frightening.</p><p>“It was cold up there and I had so many layers on me I looked like the Michelin Man,” <a href="" target="_blank">she told ITV News</a>. “The hardest bit was actually getting up onto the plane wrapped in so many clothes.”</p><img alt="Norma Howard, 91, walks wing of plane as fundraiser for Dementia UK "src=""><p>Howard is a retired physiotherapist and former pilot who is no stranger to death-defying stunts. At the age of 80, she swam the equivalent of the length of the English channel doing laps in a pool. Twice. Eight years ago, at the age of 83, she sat on the handlebars of an Indian motorcycle as it looped around the “Wall of Death.”</p><p>Her husband, who passed away in 2007, was the first person to test a rocket-powered ejector seat, <a href="" target="_blank">according to local news <em>Wilts and Gloucester Standard</em></a>.</p><p>But this time around, she wanted to raise money and awareness for a charity. She chose dementia and, through a fundraiser online, collected <a href="" target="_blank">more than $2,800 for Dementia U.K.</a> with her wing-walk.</p><p>The previous record was <a href="" target="_blank">reportedly</a> held by an 88-year-old woman. Howard said she was watching the record-breaker on television when she facetiously said “88, is that all?” to which her son replied “Why, are you up for it?”</p><img alt="Norma Howard, 91, walks wing of plane as fundraiser for Dementia UK "src=""><p>Howard is not, however, the oldest person to wing walk. Tom Lackey, who wing-walked in 2013 at 93 years old, holds <a href="" target="_blank">that official record with Guinness</a>. And he may hold on to it.</p><p>Howard does not have any further adventurous plans, <a href="" target="_blank">telling local news</a>, “I think I am done for now.”</p>
Categories: Travel

The Reason the Leaning Tower of Pisa Leans Is the Same Reason It’s Never Fallen

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 14:31
<p>The Tower of Pisa has been leaning for more than 800 years, but it has never fallen.</p><p>For more than 20 years, researchers have been trying to figure out what makes the Leaning of Tower of Pisa such a unique landmark. And, in a twist that seems like a moral from Aesop’s fables, engineers and soil scientists have concluded that the very reason the tower leans is the same reason it has never collapsed.</p><p>In 1173, construction began on the Pisa cathedral’s new bell tower. By the second year of construction, it was already starting to tilt. It took almost 200 years to complete, with engineers and architects constantly trying — and failing — to stop the lean.</p><img alt="Leaning tower of Pisa and the cathedral (Duomo) in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy "src=""><p>Upon completion in 1370, <a href="" target="_blank">the tower was leaning at about two degrees</a>. In the 20th century, it was estimated that the tower was shifting about 0.05 inches per year. By 1990, the tower was tilted at a 5.5-degree angle (<a href="" target="_blank">about 15 feet</a>). Between 1999 and 2001, work was done on the tower to reduce its tilt by 0.5 degrees.</p><p>But despite all of this precarious leaning and correction, the tower has never fallen — despite being impacted by at least four very strong earthquakes.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The new study, led by a professor from Roma Tre University</a>, has attributed this to something called dynamic soil-structure interaction.</p><img alt="Summer, Cathedral and Leaning Tower of Pisa, with tourists, Square of Miracles, Pisa city, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tuscany, Italy, Europe. "src=""><p>Basically, because the tower is so rigid and high (191 feet) and the ground beneath it so soft, every time an earthquake hits, the “vibrational characteristics of the structure” are changed to make it so “the tower does not resonate with earthquake ground motion.”</p><p>The Leaning Tower of Pisa is just another lesson why we should all embrace flaws. It may <a href="" target="_blank">wobble, but it never falls down</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

What It's Like to Eat at the Best Restaurant in Iceland

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 13:31
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Iceland</a> is well known for its beautiful scenery, its natural spas, and the friendliness of its people — but what about the food? Thanks to shows like “Bizarre Foods” or “No Reservations” which feature hosts eating really gross things, many people associate the Viking island with what Anthony Bourdain described as “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing” in the world: Kæstur hákarl — chunks of Greenlandic shark that have been fermented in (among other things) urine for up to five months.</p><p>All that is about to change.</p><p>As Iceland's tourism booms — <a href="" target="_blank">attracting over 2 million visitors in 2017</a> — the hardy islanders are stepping up with their local cuisine.</p><p>But while Reykjavik is now full of acclaimed restaurants, gastro pubs, and fine dining establishments, the real Icelandic epicurean gem is one not many tourists know about: <a href="" target="_blank">Tjoruhusid</a>. Hidden in a former cod drying house hours away from the capital in the North West in the Western Fjord region of the country, I first heard of it last February while on a trip to see the Northern Lights.</p><p>“Ohhhh this is diviiiine,” I moaned to my friend Sif during lunch (at one of the lovely but will remain unnamed restaurants) in Reykjavik.</p><p>“Yes, it is very good,” she agreed, “But it is really nothing compared to Tjoruhusid Restaurant.”</p><p>It took me half a second before I asked if we could go now.</p><p>“No, no,” she laughed. “It is very far away in Isafjorder, in the West Fjords region. Not many tourists travel there but if you ever get the chance, you must go. It is very fresh — they only serve what they catch that day — and it is the most Icelandic restaurant in the country. Even Icelanders will travel for the food there. It is ... very special.”</p><p>“Thanks for the tease,” I grumbled, wondering how I was going to get to Isafjorder.</p><p>And then, four months later, while hitching a ride on the <a href="" target="_blank">Vintage Air Rally</a> across the Arctic Circle, I found myself in this exact town — and made a beeline for Tjoruhusid. My friend San who headed up the rally had booked our group a table and, after checking into the Isafjorder Hotel, seven of us headed to the restaurant.</p><p>Located in a longhouse just outside of the modern town, down a small farming road, Tjoruhusid is part of the original Danish whaling and trading settlement erected in 1781. Surrounded by an 18th-century church and a few historic houses, the building that houses the restaurant was originally used to put tar on shipping ropes, then later for curing cod in the 19th and early 20th century. It lay abandoned for several decades before being bought by Magnús Hauksson (“Maggi”) and opening as a restaurant in 2004.</p><p>My group arrived slightly out of breath 25 minutes late for our 7:30 p.m. reservation — which, despite the fact that it's seemingly in the middle of nowhere, is a problem at Tjoruhusid.</p><p>“I'm so sorry — we only hold reservations for 15 minutes,” the hostess explained over the din of a packed house.</p><p>“But we just flew in and were held up at the airport,” Sam said. “Isn't there anything you can do?”</p><p>“We are completely full,” the hostess said.</p><p>“Please, we're starving,” I pleaded. “I've heard about this restaurant forever — and who knows when we'll be back?”</p><p>“I suppose you could sit outside?” she said. “It is a bit cold but we have blankets and cushions ...”</p><p>And so, despite the chilly Icelandic evening air, we took her up on the offer, crowding onto a bench in the yard. Considering what came next, it was a sound decision.</p><p>Our waiter, Pordur Ingolfur Ulfur Juliansson ("Wolf"), explained, “There is no menu here. We serve only what is caught by our boat during the day and it is a buffet style. Tonight there are many dishes so please, don't take too much of one dish and try them all.”</p><p>We warmed up by starting with the fish soup. The soup was made with a cream, tomato and langoustine base, filled with chunks of cod and can only be described as heaven.</p><p>“Don't eat too much soup,” Wolf warned us after several in my group ordered seconds and then thirds. “You haven't seen the buffet yet.”</p><p>Inside the restaurant, everyone sat communally around long bench tables, and to the right was the buffet — a huge table loaded with over 10 large pans of fish dishes. As one pan would empty, another would appear from the kitchen located just behind the buffet.</p><p>On offer that evening were: Halibut in butter and capers (“We sauté the capers for a while in the butter first before adding the fish to bring out the flavor”), Cod cheeks fried with lemon and garlic; Salted cod with olives and sundried tomatoes; Massive seven inch long prawns sautéed in butter and garlic (freshly made, so if the pan of eight was empty you just had to wait a minute for another pan of never ending juicy jumbo prawns to arrive); Pollack cooked with blueberries, bacon, red onion and citrus (bacon and blueberries with fish — who knew it was so delicious?); Pan fried Place with oil, lemon and cherry tomatoes; Wallfish (arctic catfish) in a green peppercorn sauce; and finally, a divine spotted fatty wallfish in a cream sauce with mushrooms and capers that I still dream about.</p><p>It was a fish feast for the ages. Despite the fact that I ate till it hurt, first untucking my many layers and then finally unbuttoning my pants, I still tried to fit in more. I cried uncle when, after my third helping of prawns, cod cheeks and wallfish, Wolf announced there was a dessert table.</p><p>“That was the best meal I've ever had,” I announced to my fellow Vintage Air Rally participants, before waddling slowly back down the lane through town and to my hotel. Mark my words — I don't know when, but I will be back. Tjoruhusid is worth the trip.</p><p>Note: Make reservations and do not be late. Even in <a href="" target="_blank">winter months</a> or the shoulder seasons of spring and fall the restaurant is packed. The buffet price is $58 and includes all you can eat as well as coffee and tea. Alcoholic drinks are extra.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why You Should Never Put Your Passport in Your Carry-on

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 12:31
<p>When going through airport security, most people show up with their passport and keep it on them until the gate. But there’s one rookie mistake many travelers make while boarding the plane: putting their passports in their carry-on luggage.</p><p>There's one major reason this method is a problem: On completely booked flights, airlines may try to expedite the boarding process by asking passengers to check their bags gateside. Some with larger suitcases may be forced to leave their bags at the gate to make space in the overhead compartments. Earlier this year in Europe, budget airline <a href="" target="_blank">Ryanair introduced a new rule</a> requiring those with basic fares to check their luggage at the gate.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Most Powerful Passports in the World</a></p><p>No matter the reason, travelers are leaving their passports in their carry-ons and finding themselves in jams at their destinations.</p><p>Not every airport is equipped to give you back your gate-checked luggage at the destination gate. Sometimes it will go through handling and you’ll only be able to recover it at the baggage carousel after customs — which you need a passport to pass through.</p><p>“I had to wait behind the line at the desk until a friend brought me my passport. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise,” one traveler who was separated from his passport <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>The Telegraph</em></a>. “Airlines should tell you to keep your passport with you when they take your bag.”</p><p>Passengers in this predicament <a href="" target="_blank">are at the whims of airline or airport employees</a> and border control officers.</p><p>Moral of the story: Always keep your passport by your side.</p>
Categories: Travel

How Traveling Together Has Changed My Relationship With My Mom

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 12:01
<p>My mom has a hangup about washcloths.</p><p>It’s a preference she didn’t realize she had until we climbed the tiny, winding staircase of our boutique <a href="" target="_blank">Paris</a> hotel four years ago, exhausted from our first red-eye and in desperate need of a shower. As we stumbled into each other in our petite room, she kept inquiring about this face essential as I ordered us <em>du </em><em>vin</em>.</p><p>I continued to shrug — a ritual we still repeat in all of our travels. She’s full of questions and I don’t always have the answers, but when in doubt, we drink the wine. Despite the lack of her beloved washcloth, we fell in love with France on that trip — snacking on macaroons, admiring picture-perfect flower shops, climbing the winding steps of the Eiffel Tower in dresses and laughing as the Parisian air flirted up our legs. While I had looked forward to my first touchdown in Europe, what I didn’t realize was how important the experience would be with my mother, my ever-optimistic cheerleader, by my side. Especially since I never thought she’d also become my best travel buddy.</p><p>“I’m booking a trip to Paris and Rome by myself, mom,” I told her over the phone, commuting to my apartment on New York City’s Upper West Side. “I’m tired of waiting on my friends. I just want to see the world.”</p><p>“Well, don’t go alone. I’ll go with you!” she said.</p><p>I paused and asked her again. She affirmed. I booked the flights. She found our Paris hotel, while I scoured for the best deal in Rome. She took French lessons. I signed up for Italian ones. We both were poor students at the time but we somehow managed to navigate our way around these iconic European cities — sans working phones — for 10 days, giggling at the mishaps and the adventure. Apart from falling in love with the splendid joy of travel and fully adopting my sprouting wanderlust, our first mother/daughter trip cemented a new bond: not only could we talk about anything, but now we could go anywhere, too.</p><p>Since then, we’ve scaled the steps of Park Güell in <a href="" target="_blank">Barcelona</a>, been dazzled by the flamenco dancers in Granada, stood in awe of the Plaza de España in Seville, nibbled on <em>pastel de natas</em> in <a href="" target="_blank">Lisbon</a>, and rode horses into the sunset on the black-sand beaches of Costa Rica. Each time, I drag her around with an overpacked itinerary to see it all, walking for 12 hours each day to ensure we leave no must-see uncovered or un-Instagrammed.</p><p>But a few weeks ago, we had a different type of #TigarTakeover, the hashtag we’ve created for our adventures. At the age of 57, my mom had another foray of firsts when she traveled to another country — all by herself — to meet me in Peru. Not only did this trip add another destination to our shared bucket list, but it was a reunion, following the longest amount of time we’ve spent apart.</p><p>Almost 10 months ago, my mom encouraged me to quit my job and take a leap toward the freelance life, helped me pack up seven years of Manhattan into an overpriced storage space, and bought me a bottle of champagne when I signed on the digital dotted-line to join <a href="" target="_blank">Remote Year</a>. This year-long program gives digital nomads the opportunity to live in 12 cities and 10 countries while working around the globe, spanning countries like Croatia, Japan, Thailand, and Argentina. It was, and continues to be, the greatest leap of faith I’ve ever taken.</p><p>When I set off, leaving my beloved travel buddy back in North Carolina, my mom wasn’t upset. Instead, she excitedly picked Peru as her month to visit. “I’ve always wanted to see Machu Picchu!” she said in her thick and sweet Southern accent, the one I only share with her when I’m tired or have had too much to drink.</p><p>At half-past midnight, she arrived with tired eyes, grinning ear-to-ear as we made our way up to my temporary Lima home. With a bottle of wine one of my treasured new friends bought for her, it felt like introducing family to family. As we walked through Miraflores and Barranco, admiring the rush of the sea and the plethora of impressive street art, we caught up on our lives. And though I couldn’t put my finger on it right away, something felt different.</p><p>It wasn’t until we’d had one-too-many pisco sours at the Country Club of Lima that it occurred to me — our mother/daughter relationship had changed. Or more to the point: I had grown up.</p><p>She will always be my mother, and my psychologist, and greatest fan, but as I approach 30, she’s more so my best friend. My heartstrings had always been tied to her in some way over the years — after all, she didn’t want me to travel alone, and I had depended on her. But with 29 countries under my belt, a burgeoning career, and a newfound confidence, I was now able to stand — and fly — on my own.</p><p>Perhaps she said it best when we decided to lounge in <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">our Cusco hotel</a> to beat the altitude sickness with complimentary coca tea, “You’ve really calmed down, honey. You’re your own person now. It’s nice.”</p><p>And it was<i> </i>nice: we sipped on pisco sours and felt “fancy-schmancy” (my mother’s words) as we took the first-class Inca Rail train toward <a href="" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a>. We went a little overboard with alpaca and souvenir purchases in Aguas Calientes, trying to tire ourselves for an early bedtime and an even earlier 4 a.m. wake-up call. Even though I had lied to her about the “small hike” we were in for — Huayna Picchu, the mountain overlooking Machu Picchu with the best view — she scaled all 2,500 of those steps victoriously. And though she’s told me countless times how proud she is of me, it was my turn to return the favor. Once we returned to our hotel at the base, Sumaq, I ordered us a mini bottle of champagne and we toasted to the accomplishment. As I took a video of her popping the cork, I felt an immense admiration for my mom. For this best friend of mine.</p><p>Sure, she gave me life, but more so she encouraged me to live mine fully. She’s challenged me to say “yes” to chances, and she’s quietly followed behind my every step — sometimes literally, mostly figuratively. Much like travel is my gateway to new foods and cultures, fodder for my stories, and the fuel that keeps me curious, traveling has proven to be a mid-life permission slip for my mom. A way of stepping away from her responsibilities and experiencing wonder with her daughter. It’s become our middle ground and our challenge, creating the greatest friendship I hope will grow through new milestones — from marriage and children to aging and homeownership. It’s comforting to know she’ll be there, both as my pal and my ma, through it all.</p><p>And she’ll always bring washcloths. Just in case I need them.</p>
Categories: Travel

Take a Funicular up to This Spa for a Massage Overlooking the Caribbean Sea

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 11:31
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Pink Sands</a> resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is <a href="" target="_blank">Mandarin Oriental’s first Caribbean outpost</a>, and as one would expect from the luxury hotel group, the destination is stunning. Located on sparsely populated Canouan, one of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ most exclusive and under-the-radar islands, the spot is drawing luxury travelers who want to get away from the crowds and relax on a quiet beach, retreat to a private villa, or practice their swing undisturbed at the panoramic ocean view golf course.</p><p>However, there’s one place on property that will take even the most discerning traveler's breath away — their unique <a href="" target="_blank">spa</a>, or rather the way to get there. Why? You’ll have to ride a funicular up to your treatment room.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Caribbean Island That's Quietly Luring Americans Away From the 50 States</a></p><img alt="A funicular takes you to the spa at the Mandarin Oriental Pink Sands resort, in the Caribbean "src=""><p>Walk along the beach until you spot the tracks, then step inside a wooden carriage. A staff member will guide you up a steep hill until you arrive at your stop for the spa.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Why Americans Are Suddenly Flocking to This Gorgeous Caribbean Island</a></p><p>While the trip to the top will be a speedy one, the next few hours spent in one of the treatment rooms with floor-to-ceiling ocean vistas will be decidedly zen. Head inside one of nine suites and soak up the sound of rolling waves as you calm your mind while indulging in a signature treatment like the "After the 18th" — developed especially for golfers' aching muscles — or an in-depth facial or customized massage. You can partake in yoga sessions or visit the gym on the hilltop as well.</p><img alt="Beach at the Mandarin Oriental Pink Sands Hotel, in St Vincent and the Grenadines "src=""><p>Pink Sands is the ideal place to unwind and soak up some Caribbean sun no matter how you spend your time there, but if you want to quite literally take things up a notch, a visit to the elevated spa will truly make you feel like you’re on top of the world.</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p>
Categories: Travel