Richard Branson Is Just 'Weeks' Away From Sending Virgin Galactic Into Space

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 16:48
<p>Virgin Galactic is expecting to send its first rocket to space “within weeks,” CEO Richard Branson said on Tuesday.</p><p>"We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years," Branson told CNBC. "We will be in space with people not too long after that so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead.”</p><p>Branson’s estimation puts the Virgin Galactic project not far behind its initial deadline. Last year, <a href="" target="_blank">Branson announced that he wanted his company in space</a>, operating commercial flights, by the end of 2018. The original expected launch date was April 2018.</p><p>Over the past few months, Branson has been busy undergoing a regimen of astronaut fitness and centrifuge training. His training includes extensive tennis and cycling.</p><p>Virgin Galactic has already completed several successful trial flights this year. The next phase of testing will see the rockets test their endurance and range, hopefully soon reaching the limits of space.</p><p>Those who wish to journey into space with Branson will have to pony up the cash. The trip — a 2.5-hour journey with six minutes of weightlessness — <a href="" target="_blank">will set you back $250,000</a>. But Branson said there may be hope for those who can’t afford that hefty price tag. He told CNBC he expects the price could fall down to about $40,000 or $50,000 within the next 10 years. The price fall could take a while, though. There are already more than 700 people on <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin Galactic’s waiting list</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

How Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka Avoid 'Airplane Meltdowns' When Traveling With Their Kids

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 16:25
<p>Neil Patrick Harris and<b> </b>celebrity chef David Burtka aren’t your typical couple. The adorable pair — who you might recognize from “How I Met Your Mother” — both have demanding careers that send them jet-setting around the world to film movies and attend glamorous red carpet events with Hollywood’s finest.</p><p>But the star-studded life is just a perk. Their most important job is being parents to Gideon and Harper, who both turn 8 on Oct. 12. And with such exciting parents, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they go on some pretty special vacations together. The ridiculously cute family has been spotted <a href="" target="_blank">tossing coins in Rome’s Trevi fountain</a>, celebrating Christmas in Argentina, and spending plenty of quality time at Disney World.</p><p>We sat down with the couple to hear what it’s like traveling the world as a family at an event celebrating their new partnership with the <a href="" target="_blank">Capital One Savor Card</a>. Luckily for the duo — whose kids' elevated taste buds mean they refuse to eat off the children’s menu — the card offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment.</p><p>We got the scoop on what else their kids like to eat, how they stay relaxed on long-haul flights, and their favorite place to take an unexpected family vacation.</p><p><strong><em>Travel + Leisure</em>: Your kids are pretty well traveled. Do you have any tips for going on a longer adventure with young children?</strong></p><p><strong>Neil Patrick Harris:</strong> “We started our kids traveling early so that the travel element of it wasn’t disruptive to them. We don’t want airplane meltdowns and we didn’t want them to be annoyed by it. Any trip we try taking with the kids we honor the time zone. You don’t want to arrive into a place that’s six, seven hours away and then start your adventures. We’ll add a day or two as a buffer.”</p><p><strong>David Burtka:</strong> “We really don’t give the kids their iPads much, until we go on the airplane and then they’re ravenous for control of their iPads.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “We can fill up their iPad with whatever movies, whatever games are appropriate for them — 20 hours worth of material — and they can spend as much time as they want with them.”</p><p><strong>How do you decide where to take your family on vacation in the first place?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “We really think about what is good for children. This summer <a href="" target="_blank">we heard that Copenhagen was great</a> for kids and thank God we went there because it <em>was</em> a fantastic place for kids.”</p><p><strong>Why is Copenhagen such a great family destination?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “They have an amusement park right in the middle of town, <a href="" target="_blank">Tivoli</a>, and it’s unbelievable. It’s a place that Walt Disney went to, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. He went there for inspiration for Disney World. You can drive 20 minutes outside to <a href="" target="_blank">Hamlet’s Castle</a> where they’re doing reenactments of Hamlet. They’re in the dungeons with the ghosts and the kings and queens and you get to throw wet sponges at a jester. Then you go another 20 minutes and you’re on a viking ship and you’re actually painting viking swords and shields. It’s so fun.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “<a href="" target="_blank">The food is fantastic</a> and the People are nice. There’s tons of biking, it’s super safe and the architecture’s amazing.”</p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “It was like a storybook village.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “We never even had Denmark on our radar.”</p><img alt="Neil Patrick Harris David Burtka Kids "src=""><p><strong>Are your kids adventurous eaters?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “In Copenhagen there’s their famous <a href="" target="_blank">Noma</a>, and of course we’re not going to take kids to a four-hour, $300 meal with 18 courses. But any other restaurant, there’s no restraint because they’ll eat anything on the menu. Our kids eat better than we do.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “A part of the fun of life is trying things, right? So what we’ve said to our kids since they were really young: try something. Don’t not try sea urchin because it looks gross, taste it. If you don’t like it, we’re not going to force you to eat it.”</p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “One of their favorite foods is sea urchin.” </p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “I will say the only downside is that when you have two kids that have adventurous pallets, that like eating off the main menu, they’re not ordering from the less expensive children’s menu. We’re essentially eating for four adults. So it’s a nice thing that with the <a href="" target="_blank">Capital One Savor card</a> you get cash back.”</p><p><strong>Any advice for getting kids to eat like yours?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “Start them young and have them eat what you eat. There’s a lot of people who placate to their kids and will make a whole other meal for them instead of just having what you’re eating that night.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “Kids can take a lot of lessons from their parents and their behaviors, and they mirror them as much as they can. It’s who they spend the most time with so being adventurous is something to try and accomplish. If you decided as an adult you only like these 14 meals at different restaurants, your kids are going to see that and decide ‘I should only want to try specific things.’”</p><p><strong>What’s the next adventure with your family?</strong></p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “We do a yearly trip to Orlando.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “<a href="" target="_blank">I work at Disney World</a> at the start of the holiday season. I get to tell the story of the birth of baby Jesus at Epcot Center thrice nightly for a week and we get to eat around the world at the World Showcase. That’s so much fun and we’re bringing our friends that brought us to Denmark and they’re bringing their two kids.”</p><p><strong>Burtka:</strong> “We’re very excited for a future safari somewhere.”</p><p><strong>Harris:</strong> “We actually really want to take them to Japan. That’s our big trip and we’re waiting for them to be the right age. I don’t want them to just be overwhelmed by it all. I want them to be able to process it in a more adult way.”</p><p><em>Note: The above interview has been edited for clarity.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

Your Favorite Disney Experience May Not Be There on Your Next Visit (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 13:34
<p>If you have a child obsessed with Captain Jack Sparrow, or ever wanted to see your little one as a <em>Star Wars</em> Jedi, brace yourself, because that favorite show, performance or character meet-and-greet may not exist on your next visit to Disney parks.</p><p>Disney has been quietly making entertainment changes at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts — sometimes where you’d least expect it.</p><p>Disneyland’s Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple <a href="" target="_blank">will end on November 4</a>, after a 12-year run at the park. The <em>Star Wars</em> offering allowed kids to channel their inner padawan powers and <a href="" target="_blank">battle Darth Vader in Tomorrowland</a> in California as well as at the Florida parks. Guests have hoped for a potential reopening for when Galaxy’s Edge debuts next summer, but it’s unlikely there will be enough space <a href="" target="_blank">within Star Wars Land to host it.</a></p><p>Disneyland’s Hook &amp; Ladder Co. firehouse band and Silver Dollar Six, who provided live music and surprise entertainment throughout Frontierland, ceased performing <a href="" target="_blank">in mid-September</a>. The cuts are affecting character meet-and-greets as well, with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit meet-and-greets at Disney California Adventure being reported as<a href="" target="_blank"> no longer existing</a>. Rights to the character, who predated Mickey Mouse, were long sought after by Walt Disney himself, and <a href="" target="_blank">famously retained</a> by trading sports commentator Al Michaels to NBC in 2006.</p><p>Disney has extended the cuts to Captain Jack Sparrow’s pirate tutorial at <a href="" target="_blank">Disney World</a>. The show, which has been running since 2006, ended last month at Magic Kingdom, and was replaced with a <a href="" target="_blank">Jack Sparrow meet-and-greet</a>. That removed all live entertainment from Adventureland. Positions have been eliminated for select <a href="" target="_blank">Citizens of Hollywood performers</a>, who participate in the “streetmosphere” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as <a href="" target="_blank">all four live actors</a> in Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light performances.</p><p>Though these changes are likely permanent, there’s always a possibility of them returning. Just last week, Disney uncharacteristically responded to rumors of Rafiki's Planet Watch shuttering at Animal Kingdom, announcing it would only be closed seasonally. Nothing is ever guaranteed, though — after rumors all-but-confirmed the January closure of Stitch’s Great Escape at Magic Kingdom, Disney spoke up to say it would only be operating seasonally. Now, it’s being reported that the ride has in fact already <a href="" target="_blank">quietly been removed</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Play With 20 Friendly Huskies at This First-of-its-kind Dog Cafe (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 12:00
<p>Sure, <a href="" target="_blank">dog cafés</a> are awesome, but if you <a href="" target="_blank">love huskies</a> above all other pups, there's only one you need to visit.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">True Love Café</a> at Neverland in Bangkok, Thailand is the only Siberian Husky café in the world. According to <a href="" target="_blank">TripAdvisor</a>, for about 500 Thai Baht (about $15 USD), guests can come in, play with more than 20 huskies (and some other dogs living at the café) for an hour, then enjoy some coffee and food in the restaurant.</p><p>It sounds like heaven.</p><p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Insider</a></em> sent filmmaker Filip Stransky to experience the cafe. According to his video, guests must first wash their hands and put on plastic booties before interacting with the dogs in order to protect them from foreign bacteria.</p><p>The café owner, Chotiros Ratanabirabongse, told<em> Insider </em>that even though the climate in Thailand is quite hot, the dogs are always kept comfortable. Ratanabirabongse and the staff keep the husky play area covered with a roof and keep fans running above the playground. Plus, visitors are encouraged to feed the dogs ice chips to keep them cool.</p><p>When playtime is over, the dogs are ushered into their indoor kennel, which Ratanabirabongse says is well air conditioned.</p><p>The owner also takes precautions to ensure safety. Visitors cannot be younger than 15 to interact with the dogs and there are outdoor enclosures for dogs who are “people shy” or, for whatever reason, aren’t feeling social, according to the blog <a href="" target="_blank">Exploding Belly</a>. All in all, it seems the staff makes sure everyone is having a good time.</p><p>As for the dogs who aren’t people shy, staff is happy to let you get a photo with them. According to Insider, they’re “practically professionals” when it comes to striking a pose.</p><p> </p><p>After your hour is up with the huskies, you can enter the café and enjoy delicious refreshments like iced coffees, sodas, teas and fruit juices, as well as cakes, cookies, and savory dishes like gyoza, karaage, and Thai green curry.</p><p>According to Exploding Belly, getting to the café, while definitely worth it, can be a bit of a hike. It takes a bus trip, then a 25- to 30-minute walk (or you can take a cab). The café itself looks like it’s nestled in a residential area, so if you feel like you’ve wandered into a random neighborhood, you’re probably on the right track.</p><p>But if you can’t get to Bangkok just yet, you can enjoy tons of photos and videos from the café on its <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Woman Tries to Smuggle Squirrel on Plane As Emotional Support Animal

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 10:41
<p>You can have a dog, cat, or even a mini horse. But most airlines have been <a href="" target="_blank">cracking down on which animals are OK</a> to bring on flights as “emotional support animals.”</p><p>For the record, <a href="" target="_blank">squirrels</a> are a no-go.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">News 5 Cleveland</a>, a woman on Frontier Airlines in Orlando, Florida seemed to miss that memo when she tried to smuggle a squirrel on her flight on Tuesday night.</p><p>A spokesperson for Frontier told News 5 the passenger noted that they were bringing an emotional support animal on board, but did not say it was a squirrel. Frontier only allows dogs or cats to be ESAs, and does not allow rodents on board, as explained on the carrier’s <a href="" target="_blank">special services page</a>.</p><p>The only <a href="" target="_blank">pets allowed</a> on board Frontier flights are dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, or small household birds. So, despite being fairly animal friendly compared to other airlines, still no squirrels allowed.</p><p>Sorry, little squirrel.</p><p>Unfortunately, the passenger was not as cooperative as the cabin crew would have hoped when they asked her to deplane with her squirrel. When she refused to leave her seat, Orlando police had to be called to escort her off.</p><p>The flight ended up being delayed two hours, however, according to News 5, not all her fellow passengers were angry about it.</p><p>“The joke of the plane was hashtag squirrel,” witness Amber Calhoun said.</p><p>When in doubt about your ESA, make sure to check your specific airline's rules.</p>
Categories: Travel

Flash Flooding in Spain Kills 10 People, Sweeping Away Cars and Devastating Homes

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 10:17
<p>At least 10 people are dead and at least one missing after flash floods swept across the island of Majorca on Tuesday.</p><p>Torrential rain caused a riverbank to burst, sending water through the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, about 40 miles outside of Palma. The overflowing water dragged cars down the street and damaged hundreds of houses with intense flooding, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>El Pais</em></a>.</p><img alt="Several people died in flash floods in Majorca island, Sant Llorenc, Spain - 10 Oct 2018 "src=""><p>Local weather forecasters reported that about eight inches of rain fell in four hours. The threat is still not over as forecaster are predicting more heavy rain through the end of the day Wednesday.</p><p>One British tourist couple is included in those found dead. They were in the back of a taxi when the water swept away their car and filled up the vehicle. Their taxi driver died as well.</p><p>"We did not expect it, the warning went from yellow to orange in a short time, Catalina Cladera, the minister of finance and public administration, told <em>El Pais.</em> “Too much water fell in a very short time.”</p><p>As of Wednesday afternoon, five roads remain blocked, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the <em>New York Times</em></a>. Emergency services are working to clear debris from the area.</p><img alt="Several people died in flash floods in Majorca island, Sant Llorenc, Spain - 10 Oct 2018 "src=""><p>Hundreds of people were displaced during the storm and remain in emergency shelters around the area.</p><p>The capital and main tourism hub, Palma, was spared from the storm. Damage is mostly restricted to the northeastern side of Majorca.</p>
Categories: Travel

Emirates Is Having a 2-for-1 Sale on Flights to Greece — but You'll Have to Book Fast (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 08:54
<p>There’s no time like the present to book a trip to Greece. Especially now that <a href="" target="_blank">Emirates just announced a limited-time sale</a> on companion tickets from Newark to <a href="" target="_blank">Athens</a>.</p><p>On Wednesday, the airline shared details of its sale, which will allow travelers to book two tickets from Newark (EWR) to Athens (ATH) on non-stop flights <a href="" target="_blank">starting from $949</a> in economy class. Passengers can also book business class fares starting at $5,999 and first class fares starting at $9,999.</p><p>But if you want to get in on the deal, you better act fast. The sale only runs through 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, Oct. 12.</p><p>The sale is also only valid for travel taking place between Nov. 5, 2018 and Dec. 18, 2018, and Dec. 26, 2018 through May 14, 2019.</p><p>If you’re hoping to not lift a finger in the vacation planning process, you could always book an <a href="" target="_blank">Emirates Vacation</a> for two, which will help you discover the best parts of Greece for seven whole nights starting at just $1,845.</p><p>Greece is a destination that can be enjoyed any time of the year. With the flight sale, Emirates — the only airline to offer a year-round non-stop service between the U.S. and Greece — made a few suggestions on what to do and see in both the fall and winter seasons.</p><p>On its list, <a href="" target="_blank">Emirates</a> suggested <a href="" target="_blank">checking out Athens</a>, the country’s capital. With fewer tourists crowding both the streets and historical sites visitors could get to see more than ever.</p><p>Next up, it suggested visiting an olive farm for some olive oil tasting. October and November are harvesting time for the plant, making it an ideal opportunity to taste test a new batch.</p><p>And since you’re there in the colder months anyway, Emirates suggested you take to the slopes at one of the country’s ski resorts, including taking a few runs down Mount Olympus itself. And for an aprés ski treat, get your hands on <em>kotosoupa avgolemono</em>, a Greek culinary specialty of chicken soup with an egg and lemon base.</p><p>So what are you still doing reading this? Go <a href="" target="_blank">book your Greek getaway now</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The World's Most Powerful Passport Just Got Even More Powerful

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 07:49
<p>After having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month, Japanese citizens cemented their place as holders of the <a href="" target="_blank">world’s most powerful passport</a>. A Japanese passport can now get you into 190 destinations either visa-free or with a visa on arrival, according to the results of the <a href="">Henley Passport Index</a>.</p><p>Citizens of Singapore maintained their position as holders of the second strongest passport, with access to 189 countries.</p><p>However, Germany fell in the rankings to a number three spot, which it now shares with South Korea and France. All three countries can visit 188 countries without a visa.</p><p>Both the U.S. and U.K. fell in the global rankings to fifth place, with visa-free access to 186 countries. </p><p>On the other end of the list, Iraq and Afghanistan’s passports are the weakest in the world, with visa-free access to only 30 countries. (To be clear: this does not mean citizens of these two countries can only visit 30 other countries. They must seek approval and gain a visa ahead of time in order to enter others.)</p><p>Bear in mind that these rankings are fluid and are likely to change based on diplomatic relations. Those on the world stage should pay attention to the United Arab Emirates. Since being ranked in 62nd place in 2006, the country has made the fastest leaps on the list, rising to the 21st spot in 2018.</p><p>The Henley Passport Index ranks 199 different passports, based on their access to 227 destinations. There are other passport rankings, including <a href="" target="_blank">Passport Index</a>, which counts only countries that can be entered visa-free and still ranks <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore</a> and Germany as No. 1.</p>
Categories: Travel

United Just Became Every California Surfer's Favorite Airline

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 16:24
<p><a href="" target="_blank">United Airlines</a> wants its passengers to be able to hang ten and get pitted in California for less.</p><p>Last week, the airline announced it will no longer be charging $150 to $200 for surfboard baggage fees for its flights to and from California. The exciting change came thanks to California Gov. Jerry Brown declaring <a href="" target="_blank">surfing as the official state sport</a>.</p><p>“We want to make it easier for customers to surf our beautiful beaches, whether they're visiting or call the Golden State home,” Janet Lamkin, United's president for California, told <em>Forbes</em>.</p><p>But, as <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em> noted, the idea to stop the baggage fee is not just a sign of good faith for its surf-loving passengers. Instead, it’s likely the airline made the decision to remain competitive with other airlines.</p><p>Alaska Airlines eliminated the surfboard surcharges (and other oversized equipment charges) of up to $75 one-way in <a href="" target="_blank">July 2017</a>. Now, Alaska merely charges its standard $25 first checked bag fee each way for boards, skis, golf clubs, and more.</p><p>Hawaiian Airlines also changed its surfboard policies in 2017. It now allows more boards per bag for a flat fee of $100 each way.</p><p>All surfers should also beware that the airline will still be charging $150-200 — along with standard checked bag fees — on other routes, including connecting flights.</p><p>But, perhaps most importantly, the airline also announced that it will be donating $50,000 to <a href="" target="_blank">Sustainable Surf</a>, a California-based nonprofit working to preserve the state’s coast and oceans.<br /><br />“We are looking forward to partnering with United to better enable our shared goals and values of keeping the world clean,” Sustainable Surf co-founder Michael Stewart said in a statement. "Sustainable Surf is thrilled to receive support from United Airlines to help us protect and regenerate ocean health."</p><p>Use that extra $200 and start planning your surf trip to some of <a href="" target="_blank">California's best beaches</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Now Google Assistant Can Book Your Hotel and Tell You What to Pack

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 16:02
<p>Expedia and Google are making it easier than ever for busy people to book their dream vacations. In fact, it’s so simple that they don’t even need to use their hands.</p><p>On Tuesday, Expedia announced the launch of the <a href="" target="_blank">Expedia Action</a> for the <a href="" target="_blank">Google Assistant</a>. With the partnership, customers now have the ability to book and manage their travel plans through hands-free voice commands on any Google Assistant-enabled device including the <a href="" target="_blank">Google Pixel phone</a>, the Google Home, and Google Home Mini.</p><p>“We’re excited to innovate with ways to make travel planning easier, no matter where you are or what device you're using. The market has seen rapid adoption of these new technologies within the past year and we want to make sure that Expedia customers are able to get the travel information they need, exactly when they need it. The Google Assistant is a step in that direction,” Brent Harrison, VP of product and technology for Expedia, said in a statement.</p><p>All customers have to do is link up their Expedia accounts to Expedia Action. Then, they can receive personalized assistance with existing itineraries, can check on their Expedia Rewards balances, get packing list tips for their upcoming trips, book hotels, add a rental car, and more.</p><p>Best of all, the new integration into Google Assistant is a free perk. All you need to do is say "Ok Google, talk to Expedia" on one of your connected devices. Then, simply use commands like “What should I pack for Los Angeles?” and “Book me a hotel in Rome, Italy.”</p><p>Your high-tech travels don’t need to stop there. Before takeoff, check out these <a href="" target="_blank">23 tech essentials that will upgrade every part of your trip</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel

The World’s Largest Underwater Restaurant Is Now Taking Reservations (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 12:00
<p>Along the coast of Båly, a small town on Norway’s southernmost shore, something like a sperm whale pokes out of the North Sea. But the irregular structure isn’t an animal. It’s the world’s largest underwater restaurant, preparing to welcome its first diners.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Under</a> — expected to open to the public in April 2019 — has two aquatic claims to fame, depending on whom you ask. It’s Europe’s first underwater restaurant and the largest of its kind in the world.</p><img alt="snohetta norway underwater hotel restaurant design "src=""><p>It took about six months to construct the building on a barge near the coast. In July of this year, <a href="" target="_blank">Snohetta</a>, the designer, submerged the building 16 feet underwater and secured it to the ocean floor. Now the agency is completing work on the interiors.</p><p>More than half the structure is underwater. Guests enter by land and then swirl down a staircase and past a champagne bar to the depths of the submerged dining rooms.</p><p>When it makes its debut, Under is expected to serve a menu of fresh seafood. Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard will place an emphasis on fresh, local food, including mushrooms, berries, seabirds and sheep from nearby locations.</p><p>The concrete building is designed to be a positive addition to the marine ecosystem. It will double as a marine research center in the off-hours and its concrete walls will eventually become an artificial mussel reef.</p><img alt="snohetta norway underwater hotel restaurant design "src=""><p>The restaurant is <a href="">already accepting reservations</a> for its opening in April (and it’s already limited through the summer). If you’re looking for the most fantastic dining experience, the architects suggest checking the weather forecast before making a reservation. "I think the most exciting experience will be visiting the restaurant during rough weather," Rune Grasdal, one of the architects of the building, <a href="" target="_blank">told CNN</a>. "It will be fantastic to see the sea surface broken up by the big waves and the rain, making for a very dramatic view -- although you will still feel safe and relaxed inside the restaurant."</p><p>Be warned: you’ll also have to plan how you’re going to travel to the destination restaurant. The closest airport, Kristiansand, is about an hour’s drive away. (But a boat service could be coming soon.)</p>
Categories: Travel

Gwyneth Paltrow Honeymooned in Paris and Showed Off the Best Part of Any Hotel Room: the Bathroom

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:31
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Gwyneth Paltrow</a> is having a pretty solid fall. Not only did she marry her fiancé, Brad Falchuk, in a lavish ceremony in the Hamptons last week, but then she spent her <a href="" target="_blank">honeymoon</a> in an over-the-top suite that will leave would-be travelers drooling.</p><p>On Sunday, the "Avengers" star posted a quick Instagram story showing off the couple’s honeymoon suite at the <a href="" target="_blank">Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris</a>. As the video showed, the room was tastefully decorated in earth tones with black-and-white accents. Also in the video, viewers got to catch a glimpse of the room’s enormous marble bathroom which came with white flowers, a chaise lounge just outside the door, and a large mirrored vanity.</p><p> </p><p>Paltrow then panned out to the bedroom and its plush, oversized, white bed. In the clip, Paltrow gave her seal of approval for the room by writing “WOW” in big purple neon letters.</p><p>The hotel is a perfect honeymoon getaway. As its site reads, “We offer a retreat of peace and comfort for newlyweds … For your honeymoon in Paris with us, we work with you to craft every unforgettable detail in the most romantic city in the world.”</p><p>Beyond the room, the couple could have also taken advantage of everything the hotel has to offer including its five-star spa, indoor pool, and expansive gym. Or, maybe the Paltrow-Falchuks chose a less active route and went to drink a few glasses from the hotel’s massive 46-foot wine cellar, which is home to 50,000 bottles, and dine in one of the three world-renowned restaurants. Let's just hope they didn't forget to get out and <a href="" target="_blank">explore Paris</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel

These $12 Travel Bags Are Packing Game Changers, According to These 5-star Amazon Reviews

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:30
<p>If you’ve been on the hunt for the best travel shoe bags to make packing footwear easier (and more hygienic), then rest assured, because we just found them.</p><p>While “best” may be an ambitious claim, these bags aren’t an <a href=";linkCode=ll2&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;linkId=d95587438eb7bdd942f44674ebdd383c" target="_blank">Amazon bestseller</a> for nothing. Nor do they have more than 1,000 four- and five-star reviews just for kicks. People from all around the world are going nuts for them, and rightfully so.</p><p>The <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B01N4B7C9X&amp;linkId=9c2e1e37509364e965845a4d4497b4cb" target="_blank">Yamiu Travel Shoe Bags</a> are made of waterproof nylon fabric and feature a sturdy zipper that multiple reviewers have found significant enough to praise — never underestimate the importance of a good zipper. They're also spacious, able to fit men’s shoes up to a size 14.</p><p>But don’t just take our word for it. Let us direct you to <a href=";_encoding=UTF8&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;linkId=a630c4ee0a1cddc852db20e57c73f86f&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325" target="_blank">Amazon's review section</a> where you’ll find more than 1,000 hyper-enthusiastic reviews, raving about the wonders of these shoe bags.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">23 Pairs of Travel Shoes Travel + Leisure Editors Always Pack</a></p><p>Amazon user DeniceAZ put the bags to the test, writing, “I laid a bag in the sink and sprayed it with water. Inside is dry!” While Laurie found the bags’ design to be super useful, sharing, “They have a sturdy fabric loop that fits over a door handle, so you can load and unload your shoes without bending over — a big plus for tired athletes or anyone with back problems.”</p><p>And if you’re still unconvinced that these shoe bags are the best on the market, then Paula’s here to share her experience: “The shoe bags for my husband and myself just took us through five African countries where I trekked for gorillas, chimps, golden monkeys, and other safari journeys. All the trekking meant using my ankle-high hiking boots, which went through mud, dirt, jungle, and forest. Here comes the great part regarding the shoe bags. Even though the shoes were cleaned after every trek there was still some particles of dirt on the shoes and sometimes they were still wet but I could put my boots in the bag (which fit my boots comfortably) and know my suitcase would remain debris-free. The shoes had many pack and unpacking and the zippers never failed to work. Upon arriving at home I washed the bags in the washing machine, hung to dry and they look good as new and ready for their next adventure!”</p><h2>Yamiu Travel Shoe Bags</h2><img alt="YAMIU Travel Shoe Bags "src=""><p>You can get yourself a set of four for $12 on <a data-ecommerce="true" href=";tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B01N4B7C9X&amp;linkId=1a39bf9cf2142457018a962da0274ee5" target="_blank"></a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Passengers Claimed to Be Robbed During a Flight to Hong Kong — and It's More Common Than You Think

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:19
<p>You usually don’t expect your possessions to be stolen when you’re stuck in an airplane. After all, where would the thief go if they decided to make off with your stuff in the air?</p><p>But, these things do happen, as a few passengers on one South African Airways flight found out.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Telegraph</a></em>, two passengers demanded to call the police when they found that some of their valuables had gone missing during a 13-hour flight from Johannesburg to Hong Kong last week.</p><p>South African Airways spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, told the <em>Telegraph</em> that one of the passengers who made the complaint noted that they saw some fellow passengers “who had behaved in a suspicious manner” and that they had been seen “opening some overhead compartments while other passengers were sleeping.”</p><p>But when police investigated the suspects, nothing was found, according to the <em>Telegraph</em>. <em><a href=";region=2&amp;m_id=Y!Y!vdmnb&amp;w_id=35279&amp;news_id=2034322" target="_blank">TravelMole</a></em> reported that the objects that the passengers thought to be stolen were later found by cleaning staff and returned to their rightful owners.</p><p>Unfortunately, in-air thefts can happen to anyone, especially on long flights when no one is paying attention. Absolute Software, a tracking and recovery solutions company for electronics, claimed that in 2012, "24% of travel-related thefts reported to the company took place up in the air," <a href="" target="_blank">reported CNN</a>. </p><p>Specifically on flights to-and-from Hong Kong, there have been <a href="" target="_blank">numerous reports</a> of people having cash stolen from their bags. One common tactic is people replacing larger bills found in a bag with smaller denominations, so it doesn't seem like anything is actually missing, reported the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>South China Morning Post</em></a>. </p><p>This isn't the first time passengers have reported thefts on South African Airways, either. In 2016, a passenger claimed that $1,800 worth of cash and jewelry was stolen on a similar flight from Johannesburg to Hong Kong, <a href="" target="_blank">reported the BBC</a>. </p><p>The best way to protect yourself, of course, is to be alert and make sure you’re aware of your belongings. One easy way to do this is by placing your bag in the overhead bin across the aisle from you instead of above you, pulling all the zippers to one side and placing that end at the bag of the storage compartment. </p><p>It’s also helpful to keep any valuables you don’t need at home, and your most important items closer to you in your personal bag below the seat. At the very least, it’s important not to rummage through your stuff or make a big show of anything valuable you have.</p><p>One great way to protect yourself is to invest in a good bag that comes <a href="" target="_blank">equipped with anti-theft features</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

People Are Calling This Eight-year-old the ‘Queen of Sweden' After She Found an Ancient Sword in a Lake

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 08:58
<p>Bow down to your new queen, world.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Local</a></em>, an eight-year-old girl named Saga Vanecek found a pre-Viking sword in Vidöstern Lake in Jonkoping County, Sweden earlier this summer. Now people online are calling her the "Queen of Sweden."</p><p>The local <a href="" target="_blank">Jonkopings Lans Museum</a> believes the sword dates back to around 1,500 years ago, the <a href="" target="_blank">BBC reported</a>.</p><img alt="Bargain of the sword in Vidöstern. The sword as it looked when it just pulled up out of the mire. "src=""><p>Apparently, the water was low due to drought and Saga was skipping rocks on the lake when she thought she found an odd-looking stick.</p><p>“I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty. I held it up in the air and I said 'Daddy, I found a sword!',” she said to <em>The Local</em>. After her father inspected the object, he was surprised to see that his daughter had found something pretty extraordinary.</p><p>Mikael Nordström, an expert who works at the local museum said the sword was “about 85 centimeters (33 inches) long and that there is also preserved wood and metal around it,” according to <a href="" target="_blank">CNN</a>.</p><p>Saga’s sword will be conserved and put in the museum .Nordström asked the family initially not to tell too many people about the sword since he was concerned it would “destroy the possibility of finding things later.”</p><p>Since they found the sword, the museum staff have been searching the lake for more artifacts, including a brooch from the 3rd Century, according to the BBC.</p><p>But now that the story has circulated online, many people have been giving Saga her new, regal title. Saga’s family is originally from Minnesota and only moved to Sweden last year to be closer to extended family, according to <em>The Local</em>.</p><p>While some people might not think finding a sword in a lake a solid basis for a system of government, we personally welcome the new queen with open arms. </p>
Categories: Travel

Bill and Hillary Clinton Went to Oktoberfest and Bill Went All Out in Lederhosen

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 08:39
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Oktoberfest</a> may be over for this year, but even if you didn’t make it to Germany for the festivities you can still celebrate thanks to a few ridiculously joyous photos of attendees, including Bill and <a href="" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton</a>.</p><p>Yes, the former president and former secretary of state were on hand in Munich last week to drink a few pints and spend time with fellow revelers at the world’s largest beer festival. And, to the delight of everyone, Bill went full out for the event, rocking his best traditional lederhosen complete with shorts, vest, and knee-high socks. Hillary didn’t wear a matching set, but she did wear a pretty awesome pantsuit with a festive orange jacket. </p><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, the couple seemed to be to be in high spirits when they arrived, with Bill lovingly draping his arm around Hillary’s shoulders. The pair even smiled, waved, and hugged a few fans as they walked through the event.</p><img alt="Former US President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Clinton, arrive at the 185th Oktoberfest beer festival on October 5, 2018 in Munich, southern Germany. "src=""><img alt=" Bill Clinton, former US President, and his wife Hillary arriving at the Kaefer festival tent at the Oktoberfest. "src=""><p>Now, the couple has to get back to America to get their literal show on the road. According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Associated Press</a></em>, Hillary and Bill announced on Monday that they will be going on a mini-tour as part of their show, "An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton."</p><img alt="Bill Clinton, former US President, and a guest (unknown) hugging each other in the Kaefer tent at the Oktoberfest. "src=""><p>The show, which is being produced by tour promoter Live Nation, will see the pair hold joint conversations and share "stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers in public service, while also discussing issues of the day and looking toward the future.”</p><p>The tour begins on Nov. 18 with their first show at the Las Vegas Park Theater, which can hold up to 5,200 people (and is also home to both <a href="" target="_blank">Cher and Lady Gaga’s residencies</a>). Next, the Clintons will visit Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Nov. 27, followed by Montreal's Bell Centre on Nov. 28 and finally ending at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land, Texas, on Dec. 4.</p><p>"Attendees will have the opportunity to hear one-of-a-kind conversations with the two leaders as they tell their stories from some of the most impactful moments in modern history,” Live Nation said in a statement. “From the American presidency to the halls of the Senate and State Department, to one of the United States' most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections, they provide a unique perspective on the past, and remarkable insight into where we go from here.”</p><p>If you want to grab tickets to the show you better act fast when they go on sale at Friday at 10 a.m. </p>
Categories: Travel

Thousands Ordered to Evacuate 'Monster' Hurricane Michael's Path As Storm Continues to Strengthen

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 07:56
<p>UPDATE: Hurricane Michael was upgraded to a category 3 storm Tuesday evening, on track to hit the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as the most powerful hurricane to hit the mainland U.S. this year, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em></a> reported. </p><p>—</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Hurricane Michael</a> is rapidly approaching the Florida and Alabama coastlines and bringing plenty of potentially destructive rain and wind with it.</p><p>On Tuesday, the <a href="" target="_blank">National Hurricane Center</a> upgraded Michael to a category two storm, which comes with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. The storm’s new categorization means it can cause well-constructed frame homes to “sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks,” according to the <a href="" target="_blank">NHC</a>.</p><p>But it isn’t done yet. According to the <a href="" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>, a hurricane hunter plane flew into the storm Tuesday morning and found the storm was rapidly intensifying, which mean winds could push the storm into a category three before it makes landfall sometime on Wednesday.</p><p>"Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more dangerous. We're 12 hours away from seeing impacts," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said during a <a href="" target="_blank">news conference</a> on Tuesday morning. "The time to prepare is now."</p><p>Because of the storm’s potential power, mandatory evacuation orders are already underway for an estimated 12,000 people, including those living in Panama City Beach and other low-lying parts of the coast. The AP reported parts of Florida’s lightly populated Big Bend area could see up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) of storm surge. Other Panhandle communities could see up to one foot of rain. Should surges of water like that hit and people do not evacuate, Scott warned, “no one's going to survive."</p><img alt="Florida panhandle residents prep for Hurricane Michael "src=""><p>“People need to start leaving now,” sheriff Tommy Ford told an emergency meeting Monday night, according to the AP. He added that people will “not be dragged out of their homes,” but if they choose to stay they will be doing so at their own peril.</p><p>“If you decide to stay in your home and a tree falls on your house or the storm surge catches you and you’re now calling for help, there’s no one that can respond to help you,” Escambia county sheriff David Morgan said in a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p><p>Again, if this wasn’t made clear enough this storm is coming and you need to get out of its way.</p><p>“Today it is about life and safety,” Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum said. “There’s nothing between us and this storm but warm water’ and I think that’s what terrifies us about the potential impacts.”</p><p>For more tips on how to prepare for this hurricane and any others that may come this season, check out all of <em>Travel + Leisure’s</em> advice <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Win a Trip to Puerto Rico to See Lin-Manuel Miranda Perform in 'Hamilton'

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 16:02
<p>Tickets for “Hamilton” are <a href="" target="_blank">notoriously elusive</a> (not to mention expensive).</p><p>But one lucky person could nab not only tickets, but a trip to Puerto Rico, for only $10.</p><p>To raise money for an arts foundation, Lin-Manuel Miranda is auctioning away a trip for two to Puerto Rico to see him revive his role in “Hamilton.”</p><p>“To share this production in Puerto Rico and reprise the lead role means so much to me,” <a href="" target="_blank">Miranda wrote</a>. “More importantly, it’s an opportunity to revitalize the arts on the island, which, like so many other areas, have been devastated since Hurricane Maria.”</p><p>Anybody who donates <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=Ham4PR&amp;" target="_blank">$10 on Prizeo</a> will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to San Juan to watch Miranda reprise the lead role.</p><p>The prize includes two VIP tickets to the opening night performance and after-party. Winner will receive a signed and framed photo with Miranda, alongside other <a href="" target="_blank">“Hamilton”</a> merch. The trip includes three nights at a Marriott hotel in San Juan and round-trip flights from JetBlue.</p><p>Contestants can increase their chances of winning by donating more. In addition to more chances to win, contestants can nab exclusive merchandise, including posters and memorabilia signed by Miranda.</p><p>All proceeds benefit the <a href="" target="_blank">Flamboyan Arts Fund</a>, which benefits cultural institutions, art organizations, and independent artists in Puerto Rico.</p><p>“Hamilton” will be on tour in Puerto Rico at the Teatro UPR Jan. 8–27, 2019.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Learn Hawaiian With Duolingo

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 14:29
<p>Hawaii may still be in the United States, but it’s a world away. And your trip to the 50th state will definitely be more fruitful if you can drop in something a bit more local than “<em>Aloha</em>.”</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Duolingo</a> has partnered with a network of more than 50 schools teaching Hawaiian culture to bring a f<a href="" target="_blank">ree ōlelo Hawaiʻi course</a> to the app.</p><p>Over the past few years, there has been <a href="" target="_blank">a movement</a> in Hawaii to bring back the Hawaiian language. Those who are pushing re-education imagine a Hawaii where the language is so widely spoken, you could walk into a coffee shop and order with a “<em>ke ʻoluʻolu</em>.”</p><p>“This course is not about replacing classes; it’s about making ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi more accessible,” Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, who is working with Hawaiian cultural schools to bring back the language, said in a statement. “If you are too busy to enroll in classes or even if you just want to brush up on what you learned, Duolingo is an accessible resource.”</p><p>In order to create the course, Duolingo worked with a team of bilingual Hawaiian-language specialists. Through the course, learners may be able to gain a better grasp of traditional Hawaiian culture and storytelling.</p><p>Hawaiian will be available on the app from October 8 to coincide with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.</p><p>Good luck and <em>laki maikaʻi</em> with your new studies.</p>
Categories: Travel

Fat Bear Week Is a Thing in Alaska — and This Park Needs Your Help Finding the Fattest of Them All (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 09:40
<p>In Brooks River, the biggest bear is the best bear.</p><p>That’s why <a href="" target="_blank">Katmai National Park and Preserve</a> in King Salmon, Alaska pays tribute to its voluptuous bear residents by hosting its annual Fat Bear Week to determine the fattest (read: <em>best</em>) bear in the reserve.</p><p>The competition is styled kind of like March Madness. The public votes on commonly seen brown bears on the park’s <a href="" target="_blank">Bear Cam</a>, pitting them against one another on a bracket until one bear reigns supreme.</p><p>Just in case you feel sorry for the bears, don’t be. Since brown bears require stores of fat to help them survive the winter during hibernation, being the “fattest bear” is a sign of good health. The park’s website notes that this is actually the time when bears start to eat non-stop in order to prepare for the winter, so a fat bear is a happy and healthy bear.</p><p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank">park’s website</a>, some notable competitors include Bear 747, whose “belly barely makes clearance with the ground,” Bear 435 Holly who is a “mother of two cubs,” and the previous year’s champion Bear 480 Otis.</p><p>This year’s competition kicked off on October 3 and will continue until October 9. </p><p>For more information, or to vote, head to the <a href="" target="_blank">Katmai National Park and Preserve website</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel