The Spring Creek Wildfire in Colorado Transformed Overnight Into a Fire Tsunami

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 16:58
<p>The Spring Creek wildfire in southern Colorado swelled into a 300-foot-tall “fire tsunami” this week, charring more than 103,000 acres of land.</p><p>No injuries have been reported, however more than 130 homes have been destroyed and another 110 damaged by the fire.</p><p>The blaze grew by more than 8,000 acres over Wednesday night, prompting local fire fighters to name the massive fire a “fire tsunami.” The fire in the San Luis Valley started on June 27 and has since grown to become the third largest wildfire in Colorado history.</p><p>“It was a perfect firestorm,” public information officer Ben Brack <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Denver Post</em></a>. “You can imagine standing in front of a tsunami or tornado and trying to stop it from destroying homes. A human response is ineffective.”</p><p>Winds have blown in and changed the fire’s course multiple times, making it particularly difficult for firefighters to battle. So far, the fire has engulfed more than 103,000 acres of land.</p><p>Rain on Thursday helped firefighters contain the flames. While the rain did not put out the fire, it helped stop spread. Residents are being warned that the rainfall could cause flash flooding.</p><p>The fire was unintentionally started last week by a man cooking on a firepit who did not completely extinguish the flame before going to bed. <a href="" target="_blank">He has been arrested for arson</a>.</p><p>The wildfire is one of <a href="" target="_blank">10 currently active in Colorado</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

New Details Reveal the 'Star Wars' Hotel at Walt Disney World Will Have Special Access

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 16:51
<p>Fans staying at <a href="" target="_blank">Walt Disney World</a>’s Star Wars hotel will have their own route to the park.</p><p>According to permits filed with the South Florida Water Management District, <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Orlando Sentinel</em> reports</a>, guests of the new hotel will be able to make a short drive from the Hollywood Studios’ parking lot over a drainage canal to get to the main hotel entrance.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Secret Attraction at Disney World That Most Guests Don’t Know About</a></p><p>In addition to driving, pedestrians will be able to walk to a special entrance that will put guests between the Millennium Falcon and Battle Escape attractions.</p><p>According to plans <a href="" target="_blank">revealed on <em>WDW News Today</em></a>, the hotel itself will have limited on-site parking. However, it seems valet parking will be made available. The hotel will be located east of World Drive, on the south side of Hollywood Studios.</p><p>The unnamed hotel does not yet have a confirmed opening date, and so far, very few details have been released. Some renderings of proposed interiors like guest rooms and common areas have been released, but there have been no official photos.</p><p>But Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks &amp; Resorts, told the <em>Orlando Sentinel</em> that the hotel will be an innovative addition to the resort. And a real treat for fans.</p><p>“It’s unlike anything that exists today,” Chapek said. “It is 100 percent immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Your Favorite Sunscreen May Become Illegal in Hawaii

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 15:59
<p>Your sunscreen may soon be illegal in Hawaii.</p><p>Governor David Ige is expected to sign a bill this week that will make Hawaii the first state to ban sunscreens containing harmful chemicals in an effort to protect marine life.</p><p>The chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate, while effective at preventing skin cancer, could be contributing to bleaching of coral reefs, <a href="" target="_blank">according to several environmental studies</a>. The chemicals can also kill new coral growths.</p><p>It’s difficult to avoid these chemicals when purchasing sunscreen, as up to 70 percent of sunscreens currently on the U.S. market include oxybenzone or octinoxate. Major brands with the banned chemicals include Banana Boat, Coppertone, and Hawaiian Tropic.</p><p>The law will make it illegal to sell and distribute sunscreens with the chemicals. However, the law will not affect tourists who bring banned sunscreens from home. The ban will go into effect in 2021.</p><p>“When you think about it, our island paradise, surrounded by coral reefs, is the perfect place to set the gold standard for the world to follow,” state senator Mike Gabbard, who introduced the bill, <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Honolulu Star Advertiser</em></a>. “This will make a huge difference in protecting our coral reefs, marine life, and human health.”</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The island of Bonaire</a>, in the Caribbean, will also ban sunscreens with these chemicals, starting in 2021.</p><p>Mineral-based sunscreens that don’t come off in the water are among the best options for travelers who still want to protect their skin without harming the coral reefs. These sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect sun away from the skin. For some options, check out our <a href="" target="_blank">list of reef-safe sunscreens</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

France’s Green Volcanoes Just Received UNESCO World Heritage Status

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 15:17
<p>There are some places in France that everyone knows are worth a visit: the city of Paris, the lavender fields of Provence, the cliffs of the Cote d'Azur. But fewer people know about the volcanoes in the center of the country.</p><p>The Chaîne des Puys, or volcano chain, in the Rhone-Alpes region of France was <a href="" target="_blank">granted UNESCO World Heritage status</a> this week.</p><img alt="Regional Nature Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne. An elevated view of the Chaîne des Puys viewed from near the summit of Puy de Pariou. "src=""><p>More than 35 million years ago, in the aftermath of the creation of the Alps, a tectonic rift in Western Europe formed the chain. The last known explosion was in 4,040 B.C. And in its almost 6,000 years of being dormant, the chain has grown into a lush patch of greenery.</p><p>The 25-mile-long chain features several dormant volcano structures like cinder cones, lava domes, and explosion craters. <a href="" target="_blank">According to UNESCO</a>, the chain is “an exceptional illustration of continental break-up – or rifting – which is one of the five major stages of plate tectonics.”</p><img alt="France, Puy de Dome, the Regional Natural Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne, Chaine des Puys, Orcines, the crater of Puy Pariou volcano "src=""><p>Located in <a href="" target="_blank">Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park</a>, the chain is a unique series of green volcanic peaks that visitors can hike for a spectacular panoramic view. <a href="" target="_blank">According to Auvergne Tourism</a>, the hike itself is “pleasant and simple, by means of recently built wooden steps.” It’s also possible to take part in horseback rides, motorcycle rides or fishing in the region.</p><p>The range is the first natural landmark in mainland France to be awarded UNESCO status.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Louvre Is Offering Jay-Z and Beyoncé Tours to See Every Artwork in Their Recent Music Video

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 15:05
<p>There is now one more reason to visit Paris (as if we needed one).</p><p>Members of the Beyhive will be delighted to hear that the <a href="" target="_blank">Musée du Louvre</a> is now offering 90-minute Jay-Z and Beyoncé tours after the couple filmed a music video their hit single, “Apesh*t,” at the museum.</p><p>The tours highlight the 17 artworks that were featured in the video, including Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait d’une négresse, Jacques Louis David’s The Coronation of Napoleon, Théodore Géricault’s The Charging Chasseur and The Raft of the Medusa, and of course, da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa.</p><p>One drawback: The tours are currently all in French and self-guided. So, hopefully you have a good translator in your group if you don’t already speak the language. The museum may add new languages soon, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Lonely Planet</em></a>.</p><p>The tours themselves do not seem to relate the works in the museum to the context in which they are used in the video. In most, if not all cases, the works represent an aspect of African American identity.</p><p>The music video is the first single off of The Carters’ album, Love is Everything, which is on Tidal.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why You Should Be Skeptical of 'One Room Left' Alerts on Hotel Booking Sites

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 11:30
<p>Alerts that there is only “one room left” on hotel booking sites are misleading and may not be true at all, according to a new investigation from a U.K. watchdog.</p><p>The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a government competition regulator, released a report last week with the results of an eight-month investigation into hotel booking sites.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Single Best Way to Save on a Hotel Room</a></p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Simple Request That Will Get You a Bigger Hotel Room for Free</a></p><p>The report called out booking sites for “pressure selling.” These buy-now-or-pay-more deals may create a false impression of availability or rush customers into making a speedy purchase.</p><p>“Holidaymakers must feel sure they’re getting the deal they expected, whether that’s securing the discount promised or receiving reliable information about availability of rooms,” Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “It’s also important that no one feels pressured by misleading statements into making a booking.”</p><p>The investigation also concluded that the order of search results can be skewed. Hotels may appear earlier in searches simply because they’ve paid the site more in commission.</p><p>Other times, booking sites will tack on last-minute fees so the advertised “low price” is not what customers will actually pay.</p><p>The CMA declined to name specific sites partaking in the practice.</p><p>The regulator has sent alerts to booking sites to ensure they are advertising fair prices that comply with customer protection laws. “Our next step is to take any necessary action – including through the courts if needed – to ensure people get a fair deal,” Coscelli said.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Couple's Travel Horror Story Is a Reminder to Never Put Your Passport in the Airplane Seat Pocket

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 11:00
<p>Next time you board an international flight, <a href="" target="_blank">double — no, triple — check that your passport is with you</a>. Otherwise, you may run the risk of ruining your vacation, just like 27-year-old couple Lewis Mundy and Kimberley Floyd did. </p><p>According to the pair, who spoke to the <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Daily Mail</i></a>, they had been planning a trip to <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Akti Hotel</a> on the island of <a href="" target="_blank">Kos in Greece</a> for some time. They excitedly boarded their plane at London Gatwick, which is where the trouble began.</p><p>You see, according to the couple, they both put their passports in the seat pockets in front of them, buckled their seat belts, and settled in for the flight. Upon landing, the two stepped off the plane only to realize they both forgot their passports on board.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Why You Should Check Your Passport's Expiration Date Right Now</a></p><p>However, when they searched the plane with the crew members, their passports were nowhere to be found. So, according to the couple, they were not allowed into Greece as they had no identification. Instead, they were sent home to the United Kingdom on a flight 30 minutes after they had arrived. </p><p>“We were supposed to be sunning it up in Greece but instead ended up at Stansted,” Mundy told the <i>Daily Mail.</i> “There's no sign of our passports and we've had no help, no compensation, nothing. We've done everything we could but no one seems to care.”</p><p>To make matters worse, the pair said they also had to forfeit their $1,800 reservations at the hotel.</p><p>“They didn't care, they gave us a boarding pass and chucked us on the next flight, we didn't get a choice — it was disgusting,” Floyd said. “It was a nightmare, the biggest you could imagine,” Mundy added.</p><p>However, according to a statement by TUI UK, the airline the couple flew with, there was nothing they could do.</p><p>“We're sorry to hear of Mr Mundy and Ms Floyd's very rare experience on their flight to Greece,” a spokesperson said. “As a result of not having their passports they were not allowed into the country and were flown back to the UK. After searching the aircraft thoroughly we can confirm their passports were not found. We would like to remind customers, as we generally do before they leave the aircraft, to ensure they have all their personal possessions with them and to take responsibility of their personal items at all times.”</p><p>So, remember, when they say to make sure to bring all your personal belongings with you, they really, really mean it.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Spectacular Canadian Wildlife Reserve Is so Remote, You Can Only Get There Five Weeks a Year

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 10:40
<p>Canada’s Inuit people call the polar bear <em>nanuk.</em> In Torngat Mountains National Park, an Inuit-run nature reserve in the northernmost part of Labrador, I lost count of how many <em>nanuk</em>s I saw, often just yards away, in the space of four days. As I skimmed the bottle-green depths of the park’s spectacular fjords in a Zodiac, they appeared everywhere: prowling the coastline, paddling through the shallows, surveying their dominion from the barren mountainsides.</p><p>My guides were three senior members of the Inuit community: Jacko Merkuratsuk and cousins John and Paul Jararuse. They explained that polar-bear populations in northeastern Canada are not just healthy but may actually be on the rise, thanks to regional conservation programs. They pointed out a mother and her two cubs swimming across a bay, their snouts and little round ears poking out of the frigid waves. We were able to get so close we could hear them hissing, a warning sound not unlike steam escaping from an engine. After peering at us and huffing a few times, the creatures chugged toward land, leaped onto shore, and began lumbering away over the boulders at remarkable speed. I stared after them in astonishment: I had never seen wildlife of such grandeur before.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">The Best Places to See Penguins, Polar Bears, Narwhals, and More</a></p><p>The <em>nanuk</em> commands serious respect among Inuit people, and with good reason. On arriving at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp, every visitor has to watch a half-hour video about staying alive in polar-bear country. The film makes it clear that the bears are highly intelligent and, as the alpha predator in these parts, not to be underestimated. The recommended response to a surprise face-to-face encounter goes as follows: aim desperate punches at the animal’s nose and, as the narrator shouted into our screen, “FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE!”</p><p>Fortunately, there’s a sizable team of rifle-bearing Inuit guards in the park, and no visitor is allowed to venture beyond the buffer zone surrounding the base camp’s fenced-in, electrified perimeter without being accompanied by at least one of them. Several years ago, I was told, a group of hikers who attempted an overnight trip without notifying the guards were attacked as they slept in their tents, and one was mauled nearly to death. The lesson was clear: in the Torngats, if it’s humans versus the wilderness, the wilderness will win.</p><p>Like many Canadians, I’m fascinated by the idea of the far north, and by the possibility of connecting with and learning from the people whose ancestors inhabited this land long before European settlers arrived. Labrador borders my home province of Quebec, yet no Quebecker I know has ever been to the region. That’s partly because it’s complicated and expensive to get there, but also because, until the Torngat Mountains National Park’s visitor-friendly base camp was upgraded in 2010, there weren’t many places to stay. The camp, which doubles as a research facility, is open for just four or five weeks of the year, from late July to late August — the only time it’s warm enough to visit. Guests spend their days taking guided expeditions into the wilderness: hiking is the way to explore by land, helicopter by air, and Zodiac by sea.</p><p>The name <em>Torngat</em> means Place of Spirits in Inuktitut, the Inuit language. In the past, Inuit shamans would venture into this mountainous, 3,745-square-mile wilderness to communicate with the spirit realm. The park is located in the far northern tip of the remote, rugged province of Newfoundland and Labrador, within the autonomous Inuit region of Nunatsiavut. Inuit lived there year-round until the completion of a government-led relocation effort in 1959. One of the Inuit community’s guiding principles is defined by the phrase, “You find what you seek.” Should you be the kind of traveler who seeks a profound sense of our planet’s majesty, you will find it there.</p><img alt="Sights and people in Torngat Mountains National Park, Canada "src=""><p>Some rocks in the Torngats are almost 4 billion years old, making them among the oldest on earth. Simply being on my feet felt like straddling history — I could sense a kind of primeval energy billowing up from the ground. The mountains are geological mille-feuilles striated with ancient minerals in layers of ocher, copper, and taupe. In the park cafeteria one morning, I met a geologist who told me about the origins of this extraordinary topography, explaining that, many millennia ago, continental rifts caused the earth’s mantle to burst through its surface. In a way, he said, this is what the planet would look like turned inside out.</p><p>The park isn’t simply one of <a href="" target="_blank">Canada’s most striking corners</a>; it also embodies the nation’s efforts at reconciliation with its aboriginal peoples. The Inuit and their predecessors have inhabited Arctic Labrador for millennia, but during the 1950s, the government forced those communities to relocate southward, mainly to the towns of Nain, Hopedale, and Makkovik, where they were cut off from their way of life and underwent the notorious traumas of Canada’s residential school system. As part of land-claim settlements signed in 2005, the federal government agreed to hand control of this territory back to the Labrador Inuit and, in 2008, delivered on its promise to protect the Torngat region by granting it full national park status.</p><p>Flying there takes anywhere from a day or two up to a week, depending on the weather. This is the Arctic: scheduling extra days for contingencies is recommended. A fisheries researcher I met on the trip told me he recently sat through 10 days of storms waiting for flights to resume. “A week and a half late! The wife back home was pretty furious, eh?”</p><p>I was luckier. Arriving at Labrador’s Goose Bay airport with my friend John Cullen, who took the photographs for this story, I found our flight was due to take off within a few hours of its scheduled departure time. Once the conditions were right, a Twin Otter took us to Nain, the province’s northernmost town, and then an hour or so north to Saglek Bay, just outside the park. The plane, though cold and cramped, delivered a series of mind-blowing glimpses of the landscape below. I watched a pod of porpoises skim through the turquoise surface of the Labrador Sea and moose roam through the swaths of coniferous woodland covering the rocky Canadian Shield. The terrain was broken up by mirror-gray lakes, violet waterways, and forest-green bays. Then the spruce trees began to get smaller and sparser, until there were no trees anymore. We were now above the tree line, in the <a href="" target="_blank">Arctic tundra</a>.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">This Breathtaking Landscape Is Canada's Newest Protected Area</a></p><p>Soon, we were out over the ocean, a wrinkled cerulean tapestry broken, here and there, by icebergs. Then we entered a patch of cloud. The air in the plane grew colder. When the mist began to part, huge shapes appeared in the distance, indistinct at first. I couldn’t tell if they were mountains or some kind of low-air-pressure-induced hallucination. These were the Torngats, their glacier-capped peaks protruding above the clouds.</p><p>“What an incredible flight!” I exclaimed to the pilot as we stepped out onto the gravel landing strip at Saglek.<br />“You haven’t even seen the really beautiful stuff yet,” she said. “This is just the beginning.”</p><p>Arriving at Torngats base camp must feel a little like arriving on the moon. Part of the reason for that is the accommodation: a series of extraterrestrial-looking green geodesic domes, each of which comes equipped with propane heaters — crucial for getting through the chilly Arctic nights. The outer-space effect is compounded by the fact that the archaeologists, naturalists, and other scientists who use the camp as a research station, as well as many of the Inuit staff, often walk around in full-body mosquito suits, moon boots, and snow pants to protect themselves against the elements and the bugs. You’re also cut off from the rest of the world. There is a satellite phone for emergencies, and a weak Internet signal can sometimes be accessed in the cafeteria, but that’s it. Guests become part of a tiny human enclave set within a vast, permafrost wilderness.</p><p>On our first afternoon, we set off to explore the coastline by boat. Within minutes, we came across a <a href="" target="_blank">massive iceberg drifting gently</a> through the doldrums of the Labrador Sea like a blazing white palace. Everyone knows that the majority of any iceberg is actually submerged, but there’s something transformative about seeing the mansion-size tip with your own eyes, and contemplating what lies beneath. We could hear what’s known as the “bergy seltzer” — a popping soda-like sound caused by thousand-year-old air escaping from pockets in the ice.</p><img alt="Polar bear in Canada "src=""><p>Beyond all the <a href="" target="_blank">polar bears</a>, I was amazed at how much wildlife we spotted from the water as we toured the park coastline, from caribou on the tundra to bearded seals frolicking off the ice floes. Looking down through gin-clear water to the ocean floor, we could see colonies of sea urchins everywhere — enough uni to last several lifetimes. At one point, we rounded a headland to see a minke whale breaching right in front of our boat, flashing its dorsal fin as if flirting with us.</p><p>I asked John Jararuse what went through his mind when taking in such sights. “Home,” was his simple reply. Later that morning, he steered our boat into another fjord to show us a little plateau of greenery just above the shoreline, with nothing but a soaring wall of rocks as shelter. “This is where I was born,” he said. We all bobbed there in silence for a moment, imagining the drama of birth in such an open environment, so far from a hospital or modern comforts of any kind.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">You Can Swim — and Sing — With Adorable Beluga Whales in Canada</a></p><p>Inuit livelihoods have changed radically over the past half-century. Hunting and fishing are still a way of life, but these days, Merkuratsuk and the Jararuses live in Nain year-round, traveling to the Torngats for seasonal work. John Jararuse spoke to us of the painful realities he had experienced during the resettlements, being separated from his home and loved ones. But all the Inuit I met on this trip shared a sense of optimism and relief that this place has been returned to its rightful custodians. “Now that this is a national park, it will be safe for other generations,” Paul Jararuse said.</p><p>As we navigated the coastline, our guides talked about the old ways, how their families had thrived on this land, of their own happy childhoods here. They’d lived in the Torngats year-round, spending winter in igloos and sod houses at first and, later on, in homes they’d built in a now-abandoned community named Hebron. To survive in such an extreme climate (it’s so cold that, in places, the ground stays frozen all year) they relied on skills developed by their ancestors centuries earlier. These included being able to identify the medicinal properties of an array of fantastical-sounding indigenous plants. Their pharmacopoeia included a medicinal cottony grass called suputaujak, whose fluffy white seeds can be inserted into ear canals to help with earaches or used to staunch a newborn’s bleeding navel. They’d chew a tundra flower called the river beauty to prevent nosebleeds and mix black crowberries with fish roe and seal blubber to make suvalik, a kind of Inuit ice cream. As kids, they’d rub the leaves of northern bunchberry plants on their faces and giggle at the tickling sensations they caused.</p><p>As we bounced around through the waves, every new vista brought a fresh astonishment, from the shock of sudden color on a mossy hillside to the tranquility of mist curling through the opalescent bays. The mountains seemed as imposing and impressive as cathedrals of stone. In places, erosion had caused some of them to shatter apart into piles of scree deposits, which in turn had gradually formed rivulets of what look like crushed Oreo cookies. We saw Mount Razorback, ridged with jagged points, and Blow Me Down Mountain. “The name describes it, I’d say,” Merkuratsuk offered. “It’s windy up there. People have gotten blown off mountaintops here and died.”</p><p>On our last night, two Inuit throat singers joined us around the campfire, chanting in transcendental tones. In the past, missionaries forbade these songs, branding them demonic. Fortunately, the tradition survived, and anyone hearing the singers today can’t help being transfixed by the way they emulate the sound of wind coursing past rocks or water rushing along a riverbed.</p><img alt="Northern lights in Canada "src=""><p>As they sang, the <a href="" target="_blank">northern lights</a> appeared overhead, bright green vectors arcing through the firmament like gigantic flashlights. As we stood there next to the bonfire, our heads craned upward, it felt like something, or someone, was shining immense tunnels of light through the sky in order to survey its territory.</p><p>“How can you not believe in spirits in a place like this?” asked Evie Mark, a throat singer and cultural liaison for the park. “I sing to them all the time — to the spirit of the elements, of the mountains, of the rivers.”</p><p>These elements are perhaps at their most breathtaking in the corridor of cliffs rising above Tallek Arm, off Nachvak fjord. We were lucky enough to take a helicopter ride to that part of the park and, from above, got a sense of how the minerals leaching out of the mountains affect the surrounding waters. Some rivers were deep black, while other bodies of water shimmered with iridescent tones ranging from magenta to jade. Near Little Ramah Bay, we spotted a lake the pale blue of milky sapphires.</p><img alt="Fishing for arctic char in Canada "src=""><p>On my final afternoon, I joined a group of the staff on a fishing excursion. After casting for a while, I sat down on the shore next to Andrew Andersen, the park’s half-Inuit, half-Australian visitor-experience coordinator. “Guests want to hike and see polar bears and icebergs — all that’s super, but we also like it when visitors want to engage with us Inuit,” he told me. “A lot of people come here without knowing that this culture — our culture — is here. Many of them say that coming here changed their life, that it made them think in different ways.”</p><p>Andersen’s father, William Andersen III, was the president of the Labrador Inuit Association during the nineties and early aughts, and he played a key role in the talks that led to the national park status for Torngats. Andersen told me how his father spoke of this region as the Inuit gift to the rest of Canada and, by extension, the rest of the world. For travelers lucky enough to come here, that gift brings with it the chance to see this place as the Inuit do: as a land alive with elemental forces.</p><p>When I mentioned this to Andersen, he said that the relationship goes both ways. “Seeing this place the way you see it — the way newcomers react to things we’re familiar with — is also a gift for us, because it constantly allows us to see our homeland through fresh eyes and to be reminded of how special this place is,” he said. “Like all true gifts, it benefits the giver as much as the receiver.”</p><h2 align="left">How to Visit Torngat Mountains National Park</h2><p align="left">Set aside a week for a trip to this icy, rugged wilderness. You’ll need to plan carefully, but the experience will be unforgettable.</p><h2>Getting There</h2><p>Air Canada flies to Labrador’s Goose Bay airport from major U.S. hubs. From there, Parks Canada will arrange a puddle-jumper to Nain and, from there, a private charter flight to the Torngat landing strip. Weather delays are common and can last several days, so schedule extra time for contingencies.</p><h2>Tour Operator</h2><p>The park is open to visitors for only five weeks a year, so book well in advance. Base camp accommodations—huts and fiberglass domes — can comfortably accommodate up to six people and come with electricity and propane heaters. It is also possible to camp within the fenced-in property, in either your own tent or one provided by the park. In all cases, bathrooms and showers are shared. The four- or seven-night Tuttuk package, available through the park authority’s website, includes lodging, meals, guided excursions, cultural activities, and flights to and from Goose Bay. <em><a href="" target="_blank"></a>; from $4,978 per person. Helicopter tours start at $750.</em></p><h2>What to bring</h2><p>Pack wool socks, hiking boots, long johns, and rainproof gear; a down jacket and pants may also come in handy. Sunscreen and bug spray are essential.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Small City in Southern France Has Roman Ruins to Rival Rome Itself

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 10:00
<p>The <a href="" target="_blank">South of France</a> has long been a traveler's dream for its epic coastlines and iconic lavender-covered hills. But a visit to the city of Nîmes, between the Mediterranean coast and the Cévennes mountain range, will transport you not just to another place, but to another time — 2000 years ago, in fact.</p><img alt="Roman amphitheater in the old town of Nimes in France "src=""><p>In June of this year, the city opened the <a href="" target="_blank">Musée de la Romanité</a> ("Museum of Romanity") — the new home base for tours of the city's expansive network of Roman sites. Once among the most important cities of the Roman Empire, Nîmes is home to incredibly <a href="" target="_blank">well-preserved buildings and sites</a> from the first centuries of the Imperial era, rivaling even <a href="" target="_blank">Rome</a> itself.</p><p>At the center of this walkable city of 150,000 residents sits the <a href="" target="_blank">Les Arènes</a> amphitheater, built in the 1st century CE as a gladiatorial arena. With its perfectly elliptical shape and interlocking stone construction, the arena was a testament to the prowess of the Empire and soon christened the city a destination of prestige.</p><img alt="Musee De La Romanite Opens In Nimes "src=""><p>Thousands of years later, the new museum is located just across from the amphitheater, bridging the present and the past with its ultramodern design and expansive green spaces. Inside, virtual reality exhibits bring the ancient world to life, transporting visitors to scenes such as the construction of the ramparts that once surrounded the town. Nearby, recently unearthed mosaics are displayed with projections of their original setting.</p><img alt="Musee De La Romanite Opens In Nimes "src=""><p>From now until the end of September, visitors can also explore<em> Gladiators: Heroes of the <a href="" target="_blank">Coliseum</a></em>, a traveling exhibition on loan from Rome that covers everything from arena design to the daily lives of fighters.</p><p>After exploring the new museum, travelers to Nîmes will have added context for touring the many amazing sites around town. This ancient city rose to prominence after sprouting up around a freshwater spring; at the <a href="" target="_blank">Jardins de la Fontaine</a>, the ruins around this ancient fountain include the <a href="" target="_blank">Temple of Diana</a>, a monument built for Emperor Augustus set among 37 acres of manicured gardens.</p><img alt="MAISON CARREE, NIMES, FRANCE "src=""><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Maison Carrée</a>, or “square house,” once anchored the Roman forum and is known as a remarkably well-preserved example of Vitruvian architecture. Also a must-see: the ancient arched aqueducts at <a href="" target="_blank">Pont du Gard</a>, still standing after more than 20 centuries.</p><p><em>Our series <a href="" target="_blank">Reasons to Travel Now</a> highlights the news, events, and openings that have us scoping out plane tickets each day.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

The FAA Has Declined to Regulate Airline Seat Size

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 06:16
<p>Despite passenger complaints and a federal court case, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Tuesday that it will not regulate a minimum seat size on airplanes.</p><p>In <a href="" target="_blank">a letter to consumer advocate group</a>, the FAA said it found “no evidence that there is an immediate safety issue necessitating rulemaking at this time” regarding seat width and pitch.</p><p>Flyers Rights sued the FAA at the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. last year, alleging that cramped seats were a safety issue in the airplane cabin. Last year, the court ordered the FAA to file a “properly reasoned disposition” regarding seat pitch and safety.</p><p>In its letter, the FAA said it had “no evidence that current seat sizes are a factor in evacuation speed” and that it believed “seat pitch is unlikely to go below 27 inches under current technology and regulations.”</p><p>As evidence, the FAA watched videos of tests from aircraft manufacturers like Boeing, Airbus, and Embraer, which concluded that seat size does not slow down emergency evacuations.</p><p>In response to the decision, Paul Hudson, the lawyer for Flyers Rights, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>USA Today</em></a>, “If you don’t do the tests, obvious if you stick your head in the sand, you’re not going to have evidence.”</p><p>At the request of the House Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, the Department of Transportation will audit the FAA’s evacuation standards. The audit could call for new testing, based on passenger size.</p><p>Since the airline industry was deregulated in 1978, both seat width and pitch (the distance between seats) has shrunk. There is still hope for passengers looking for more room, though. Last year, American Airlines announced it would reduce seat pitch on some aircraft to 29 inches — but the airline soon <a href="" target="_blank">reversed course after customers spoke out</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Cities Where It's Cheaper to Uber Than Own a Car

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 16:38
<p>Services like Uber and Lyft have become popular options for people large urban centers like New York City and Los Angeles, especially for late trips home or commuting at odd hours. But many people treat these rides as once-in-a-while luxuries rather than their usual go-to.</p><p>Getting around in a big city is expensive no matter what mode of transportation you use, but according to a new study even private rides everywhere you need to go could be cheaper than owning a vehicle.</p><p>According to a <a href="" target="_blank">2018 internet trends report</a> by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, taking an Uber everywhere – namely to and from work – could be cheaper than owning a car in the cities of New York City, <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a>, Washington D.C., and <a href="" target="_blank">Chicago</a>.</p><p>The report takes into account vehicle maintenance, insurance, gas, and parking in calculating cost, as well as peak commuter times for “suburbs to city center trips mirroring the average commuting distance for the metro area.” According to the report, the average cost of owning a car in New York City is $218 per week, versus $142 in Uber rides. In Chicago, the average cost to own was $116 perweek, versus $77 to hail. In Washington D.C., it was $130 compared to $96, and in Los Angeles, $89 compared to $62.</p><p>Of course, average costs do not account for price surging in especially busy times, and major cities also have public transit. In New York City, for example, an unlimited ride monthly MetroCard is $121, and a weekly unlimited card costs $32.</p>
Categories: Travel

Save 30% off Stays at This Whimsical, Design-Forward Hotel in South Beach

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 15:01
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em></p><p>Miami: 30 percent off the <a href=";Chain=16500&amp;promo=TRAVEL" target="_blank">Mondrian South Beach</a>, a whimsical, Marcel Wanders-designed sleep with views of Biscayne Bay. Lounge in a hammock by the pool or borrow a bike and pedal to the beach. </p><p>The Mondrian’s Operation Vacation package includes:</p>One night in a Bay View Suite A bottle of rosé upon arrivalJet ski rentals Use of a poolside cabanaA 50-minute massage at GUYandGIRL Breakfast for two<p>Original Price: From $1,099 per night.</p><p><strong>T+L Price:</strong> $759 per night; valid for stays from August 1 to October 31, 2018.</p><p>Booking details: Book with code TRAVEL.</p><p>Availability: Not available for bookings over Friday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 5</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Cuba’s Southern Coast Should Be on Every Angler’s Bucket List

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 13:00
<p>I stood in the bow of our skiff, scanning the water. Behind me, on a platform in the stern, our guide Felipe Rodriguez poled us along, gondolier-style. It was sunny—ideal for visibility—but what the sun gave, the 25 mile-an-hour wind took, obscuring our view of the underwater world. Fly-fishing for bonefish has an aspect of hunting, but it always takes awhile before I can recognize my quarry. Until I could make out the ghostly shadow of a moving bonefish, Felipe would be my eyes. Every now and then, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a few bonefish in the lee of the low-lying mangroves. Ahead, all the way to the horizon, was a windswept expanse of emerald green, aquamarine, and sun-bleached white.</p><p>For fly-rod anglers, catching bonefish—silver-scaled creatures that inhabit the sun-drenched tidal flats of the tropics—is supremely challenging and rewarding. You must stalk with stealth: a sudden movement or errant cast will send the fish rocketing for deeper water. I've fished for them off the <a href="" target="_blank">Yucatán </a>and the <a href="" target="_blank">Florida Keys</a>, but I've long been entranced by the story of baseball immortal Ted Williams, who caught 40 bonefish one day in Cuba and called it the best fishing of his life. So last fall, when my old friend Tom Rosenbauer, now marketing manager at the Orvis Company, called to tell me about a trip he had put together off Cuba's southern coast with five other anglers, I was in.</p><img alt="Fly fishing gear strapped to a car in Cuba "src=""><p>Despite recent changes in regulations, U.S. citizens can still travel to <a href="" target="_blank">Cuba</a> easily, provided they spend a couple of days engaging with Cuban culture and meeting locals. That makes it harder for individuals to plan a trip but doesn't change much for organized tours. Orvis made the arrangements, hooking us up with a great guide, Orlando Ochoa Méndez, a DJ who told us he'd learned English by listening to Eminem. We started with a whirlwind tour of Havana, a part of the trip I thought would feel rote but wound up being a hit. We roamed art galleries and a museum, attended a living-room concert by a folk singer, and marveled at a workshop where jalopies are restored to their shining 1950s glory. We drank mojitos copiously and had a supernal suckling pig at Al Carbon. There was live music everywhere. You couldn't help walking around with a mambo bounce in your step.</p><p>Our fishing destination was located across the island, near the Bay of Pigs. A decommissioned army tank marked our turnoff to the Hotel Playa Larga. Not a luxury hotel, but fine for a fish camp: clean rooms, functioning air conditioners, screens to keep the bugs out, and plenty of hot water. From there it was an hour's drive to our boat launch. Each day, our group of anglers bumped along through a thick coastal forest and past tidal lagoons where pelicans and roseate spoonbills gathered. We drove to Ciénega de Zapata National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve whose mangrove forests and coral reefs are among the few places in this hemisphere that look virtually unchanged from the day the first humans arrived there. No more than 10 catch-and-release fishing boats per day are allowed into its 2,425 square miles—a far cry from the crowded waters of the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.</p><p>Our party set out in shallow-draft boats. Tom was my fishing partner. After a frustrating morning of trying to make out fish in the wind-whipped water, we came up on a sheltered area, no bigger than a walk-in closet, among the mangroves. I saw a fin flicker. I cast. The fish took my fly. It was all I could do to keep it out of the mangroves before my line got completely entangled. Not exactly your classic open-water bonefish run, but at least I'd put a score on the board.</p><img alt="Fly fishing in Cuba "src=""><p>That night, we rehashed the events in the hotel bar, an alfresco affair under a thatched roof. As we sipped, a quartet with a guitar and conga drums played what sounded like a love song. When I listened to the words, it turned out they were singing about Commander Che and his "querida presencia" (beloved presence). Come to think of it, I suppose it was a love song of sorts.</p><p>We had dinner at La Terraza de Mily, a paladar nearby. The specialty was local seafood: crabs, broiled rock lobster, and grilled snapper, served with rice and beans, fried plantains, or crispy yuca. On the nights that followed, we ate on the beach to the accompaniment of Afro-Cuban bands and some spontaneous mambo performances. My favorite restaurant was Don Alexis, where, because of a power outage, we dined by the light of the owner's motor scooter. Our long table sat next to a charcoal grill where the chef produced lobster, blue crabs, and red snapper—simply cooked and simply served. They don't do fancy in Cuba.</p><p>On our third day, Tom and I each caught eight or nine good-size bonefish, but soon it was time to rendezvous with the group. We cruised past saltwater flats and a string of mangrove hammocks. Suddenly, Felipe cut the engine. In front of us we saw a dozen bonefish nosing along the bottom, their tails wiggling above the surface, reflecting the flaming-pink sunset. This was the peak of the bonefish game. We tried a few shots. The fish ate our flies. It couldn't have been more perfect.</p><p>After some early clouds on our final morning, the sun came out and lit up the underwater world as warm and golden as a baby's smile. Here and there, we saw the silhouettes of bones eating their way across the white and watery plain. I slipped into the shallows to stalk the fish on foot. I was entranced, gauging the distance as I cast, trying to lead the moving fish by a few feet, stripping my fly, hooking up. A song bubbled up within me, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," an old hymn that became the sotto voce soundtrack of the next hour. Why that? And why then? I have no idea, but fishing will do that to you. When the bonefish finally departed the flat, I looked up, as if waking from a dream. Tom and I clambered back into the boat, lit a victory cigar, and headed for home.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Are the Cheapest — and Most Expensive — Cities for Expats

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 12:00
<p>Asia is now home to both the world’s most expensive and least expensive cities to work and live abroad in, according to consulting firm Mercer’s annual <a href="" target="_blank">Cost of Living Survey</a>.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">ranking</a>, which compares the cost of living across more than 200 categories that range from housing and transportation to entertainment and household goods in more than 375 cities around the globe, found that <a href="" target="_blank">Hong Kong</a> is now the most expensive destination for <a href="" target="_blank">expatriates</a> while Uzbekistan’s capital of Tashkent is the cheapest.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Asia</a> was home to six of the 10 most expensive destinations in this year's rankings, including Tokyo (in second place), Singapore (in fourth place), Seoul (in fifth place), Shanghai (in seventh place), and Beijing (in eighth place).</p><p>Several European and African cities also landed on the most expensive list. The top 10 are included below. </p><h2>The 10 Most Expensive Destinations for Expats: </h2><p>1. Hong Kong</p><p>2. Tokyo, Japan</p><p>3. Zurich, Switzerland</p><p>4. Singapore</p><p>5. Seoul, South Korea</p><p>6. Luanda, Angola</p><p>7. Shanghai, China</p><p>8. N’Djamena, Chad</p><p>9. Beijing, China</p><p>10. Bern, Switzerland</p><p>While expenses in Asian and European cities rose in 2018, U.S. cities dropped due to a decline in the U.S. dollar's value compared to several foreign currencies. New York City dropped four places to 13th while San Francisco and Los Angeles came in 28th and 35th, respectively.</p><p>Western European cities saw an overall rise, with German cities like Frankfurt and Berlin jumping up 49 spots from last year.</p><p>Decreases in housing rental costs led to a decline in various Middle Eastern cities, with Tel Aviv remaining the region’s most expensive at 16th place. Sydney ranked as Australia’s most expensive city in 29th place.</p><p>São Paulo came in as South America’s most expensive city in 58th place, while Tegucigalpa was its least expensive. Tegucigalpa also came is as one of the top 10 cheapest destinations for expats. The full list is below.</p><h2>The 10 Cheapest Destinations for Expats: </h2><p>1. Tashkent, Uzbekistan</p><p>2. Tunis, Tunisia</p><p>3. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan</p><p>4. Banjul, The Gambia</p><p>5. Karachi, Pakistan</p><p>6. Blantyre, Malawi</p><p>7. Tbilisi, Georgia</p><p>8. Minsk, Belarus</p><p>9. Tegucigalpa, Honduras</p><p>10. Managua, Nicaragua</p><p>If you’re considering making a big move yourself, take a look at the one thing <a href="" target="_blank">expats from around the world</a> say you should do to prepare.</p>
Categories: Travel

People Who Fell in Love on Planes Are Sharing Their #PlaneBae Stories and There Are so Many More Than You'd Expect

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 11:28
<p>The unlikely and romantic <a href="" target="_blank">story of #PlaneBae</a> has officially taken over the internet, and it doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. So in case you somehow missed this nearly unbelievable love story, let us recap it for you.</p><p>On July 3, Twitter user Rosey Blair recapped her epic flight from New York City to Dallas. As Blair explained, she and her boyfriend, Houston, boarded their flight and asked the woman in front of them, who has only been identified as Helen, to swap seats so they could sit together. She obliged, and happened to be seated next to a charming man named Euan Holden.</p><p>Throughout the flight, Blair updated followers on the pair, who appeared to quickly hit it off before exchanging numbers as they got off the plane. The love connection was certainly surreal — so surreal that many people refused to believe that two people could fall in love on a brief route.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Total Strangers Were Caught Having Sex on a Plane — Again</a></p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The World's Most Romantic Cities</a></p><p>But, because we live in the digital age, those naysayers were quickly proven wrong when several people took to social media to share their own stories of how they fell in love with their partner at 30,000 feet.</p><p>“My fiancé and I met while on the same flight! We were flying to DC... someone asked him where his final stop was &amp; he said “Pittsburgh” So... I naturally interrupted their convo &amp; said “I’m from there!!” I always think if he wasn’t asked that, would we have ever met,” Twitter user Gabriella DeLuca shared on Twitter.</p><p>“I was finally seated next to a cute guy when a woman asked me to switch seats so she could sit next to her daughter. We only spoke for a minute but it was long enough to <a href="" target="_blank">#CatchFlightsAndFeelings</a> Both of us ended up on the same<a href="" target="_blank"> #flyawaybus</a>. Happily Married 9yrs now,” Erin Gann also wrote on social media.</p><p>And the adorable love connections didn’t stop there.</p><p>“I met my beautiful future wife Becs on a plane LHR-DEN 10 years ago,” Warwick Goodall wrote, showing that the two kept their plane tickets as a sweet souvenir.</p><p>“My cousin met his wife at an airport bar. He legit purposely missed his flight so he could keep talking to her. Airport love is real,” Shannon Health shared. </p><p>“I sat in the wrong seat 20 years ago… 17yrs married, 2 kids &amp; a dog later,” Twitter user Angela shared.</p><p>“My parents met on a plane! My mom was going to the bathroom but they hit turbulence so my dad told her to sit by him. They talked the entire flight. He peeped her work logo on her watch &amp; called every single store until he found which one she worked at. Going on 30 years,” Twitter user Gail added.</p><p>So, if you’re really looking for love, maybe delete all those dating apps and just book a flight somewhere instead. At the very least you’ll get a great trip out of it, too.</p>
Categories: Travel

Best Practices for Traveling with Your Pet

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 11:17
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Air travel for pets</a> and emotional support animals has more than doubled in the past year, according to airlines. As a result, carriers are tightening their restrictions to avoid danger (and drama) for human and nonhuman fliers alike.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Delta</a>, citing an 84-percent increase in “reported animal incidents” since 2016, <a href="" target="_blank">recently announced a more stringent policy</a>. <a href="" target="_blank">United</a> also modified its rules, and <a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue recently announced updates as well</a>.</p><p>Since many pet owners aren’t sure what’s allowed or advised anymore, T+L asked travel insiders and animal specialists to share their tips for <a href="" target="_blank">worry-free travel with cuddly companions</a>.</p><h2>DON'T: Forget to pack the necessary gear.</h2><p>“Prepare a kit with proof of vaccinations, food, water, bowls, any medication your pet requires, and other necessities such as a litter box, litter, and waste bags,” says Lori Bierbrier, medical director at <a href="" target="_blank">ASPCA Community Medicine</a>.</p><h2>DO: Properly ID your pet.</h2><p>“Never travel with pets unless they have had microchips implanted and are wearing external tags that include your up-to-date contact information,” Bierbrier says.</p><h2>DON'T: Wait until the last minute to plan your pet’s travel.</h2><p>“The consequences of rushing range from relatively minor annoyances (like <a href="" target="_blank">unexpected costs</a>) to serious complications such as an airline denying your pet’s boarding — or even flying it back to your place of departure,” says Brent Reiter, operations manager at <a href="" target="_blank">Airpets America</a>. “A pet relocation service can help avoid those problems.”</p><h2>DO: Check species and breed restrictions.</h2><p>Reiter notes that "most airlines tend to restrict bulldogs, Boston terriers, boxers, chows, and pugs, as they are brachycephalic (short-headed, or snub nosed) and thus more susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity."</p><h2>DON'T: Sedate your pet before traveling.</h2><p>“Instead, help your pet get comfortable in the travel crate. Leave the carrier open in the house so your pet can spend time in it and eat inside,” says Derek Huntington, president of the <a href="" target="_blank">International Pet &amp; Animal Transportation Association</a>. “If it’s a comforting space, your pet will want to be in it during travel.”</p><h2>DO: Carry necessary paperwork.</h2><p>“This encompasses an import permit from the destination country and a health certificate that meets the country’s requirements,” says Huntington. “Pro pet shippers can assist with the transport process; find one using <a href="" target="_blank">IPATA's searchable database.</a>”</p><h2>DON'T: Let your pet ride loose in a car.</h2><p>For Gordie Spater, co-founder of pet travel gear company <a href="" target="_blank">Kurgo</a>, “this is the number one mistake pet parents are still making. A loose dog is a danger to the driver, other passengers, and of course, the animal itself.”</p><h2>DO: Invest in a comfortable pet harness.</h2><p>“Our job at <a href="" target="_blank">Kurgo</a> is to be very focused on safety in the car while traveling with a dog. <a href="" target="_blank">This crash-tested safety harness</a> is one of my favorites. We buckle up before we leave home — so why wouldn’t we <a href="" target="_blank">do the same for our pet</a>?”</p><h2>DON'T: Assume that your pet will travel in the airplane cabin with you.</h2><p>“With some airlines, only recognized assistance animals can travel in the cabin,” says Claire Beadle, manager at Gatwick Airport's <a href="" target="_blank">Animal Reception Centre</a>. “If you do need to use a cargo carrier, ensure that it meets the <a href="" target="_blank">requirements for air travel established by the International Air Transport Association</a>. Familiarize your pet with the travel crate and don’t forget to put water in there for the journey.”</p><h2>DO: Get a clean bill of health.</h2><p>“For example, check that your pet’s blood tests and vaccinations, such as for rabies, are current and have been administered within the proper time frame. If your dog is traveling, check that it has received an appropriate tapeworm treatment,” says Beadle.</p>
Categories: Travel

Here's How Much the Royal Family Has Likely Spent on Meghan Markle's Wardrobe so Far

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 11:02
<p>Meghan Markle, the <a href="" target="_blank">new Duchess of Sussex</a>, has quickly become a true power player in the royal family, in the style department and beyond. But that <a href="" target="_blank">new wardrobe</a> is apparently coming at a price.</p><p>Like her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Markle’s sense of style is truly infectious. Take, for example, this weekend when Markle was spotted at a polo match wearing a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Shoshanna midi-length cotton dress</a> and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">sandals from Sarah Flint</a>. Within minutes of photographs of the duchess hitting the web, both the dress and the shoes <a href="" target="_blank">were sold out</a>. And hopefully the duchess is getting a cut of the sales, because according to reports, that stylish wardrobe is costing the royal family $1 million.</p><p>Buy similar: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $375</p><p>According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, it’s tradition for Prince Charles to foot the bill for his family’s wardrobe, especially for outfits they will be photographed in while out and about on their royal duties. And Markle is apparently taking that generosity all the way to the bank as she picks up new outfits for her many public outings.</p><p>But, Nicholl noted, the royals likely find it more than appropriate to invest in Markle’s new look as she's "an ambassador" for the family.</p><p>"Look at the publicity she has brought in run up to the wedding. I'd argue that's worth every penny," she told <em><a href="" target="_blank">Entertainment Tonight</a></em>.</p><p>So where did most of this $1 million go? According to Nicholl, much of it was spent on a single day: her wedding day, of course. It was then that Markle spent a reported $440,000 on her <a href="" target="_blank">custom-made Givenchy gown</a>. She followed that up with her second dress, a custom Stella McCartney gown, for an estimated $157,000.</p><p>Next, the Duchess was spotted just days later at a <a href="" target="_blank">Buckingham Palace garden party</a> wearing a sheer <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Goat dress</a>, which retails for $643. A few days after that, she was photographed at the <a href="" target="_blank">Trooping the Colour</a> wearing a Carolina Herrera off-the-shoulder top and skirt that likely cost $4,000.</p><p>And, on her first official outing with the Queen, Markle was spotted wearing a <a href="" target="_blank">Givenchy cape dress</a>, which retails somewhere around $18,000. So yeah, her wardrobe is certainly starting to add up quickly. But maybe she can take Middleton’s advice and start wearing a few of her <a href="" target="_blank">favorite pieces time and time again</a>, because being frugal never goes out of style.</p>
Categories: Travel

Get 40% off a Stay at This Grand Castle Hotel in Ireland

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:29
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em></p><p>Ireland: 40 percent off <a href="" target="_blank">Lough Eske Castle</a>, a grand castle hotel that dates back to the 15th century and is set on forty acres of woodland and gardens outside Donegal Town. </p><p>Travel + Leisure Bed and Breakfast includes:</p>One or more nights in a Deluxe room Full Irish BreakfastAccess to the gym, outdoor pool and thermal suite at Spa Solis A VIP amenity in your roomComplimentary WiFi<p>Original Price: 270 euro (or $315) per night </p><p><strong>T+L Price:</strong> 150 euro (or $175) per night; valid from October 1 to March 31, 2019.</p><p>Booking details: Call 353-7497-25100. Mention “Travel and Leisure B&amp;B Offer” or “DTRADE” rate.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Live Account of Sparks Flying Between Two Strangers on a Plane Will Make You Believe in Love

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:23
<p>Airline travel today comes with plenty of stresses. Between <a href="" target="_blank">security</a>, boarding, stuffing your bags in the overhead bins, and dealing with a <a href="" target="_blank">lack of legroom</a>, sitting in the belly of a plane can be a tough place to find joy. Unless, of course, you happen to be watching two seatmates fall in love.</p><p>On July 3, Twitter user Rosey Blair shared the nearly unbelievable story of her airline encounter with love at first sight. As she explained, Blair and her boyfriend, Houston, boarded a flight from New York City home to Dallas. However, they were seated in different rows.</p><p>The pair asked the woman in front of them, only identified as Helen, to switch seats, which may have set up a serious love chain reaction as Helen was then seated next to a charming man named Euan Holden.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Total Strangers Were Caught Having Sex on a Plane — Again</a></p><p>“Last night on a flight home, my boyfriend and I asked a woman to switch seats with me so we could sit together. We made a joke that maybe her new seat partner would be the love of her life and well, now I present you with this thread,” Blair wrote.</p><p>Blair said the pair quickly started chatting up a storm and learned that they are both personal trainers, live in Texas, are vegans, and love their families.</p><p>Throughout the journey, Blair shared some spectacularly hilarious photos showing the two cozying up on the flight.</p><p>At one point the new It airline couple split a cheese board because, well, what’s more romantic than that?</p><p>Truly, Blair and her boyfriend couldn’t get enough, and neither could the rest of the internet.</p><p>Blair even shared some #PlaneBae (that's what they're calling him now, because it's the internet) fans' reactions to the story — and defended the story to the skeptics who called it all a publicity stunt. </p><p>According to Blair, the pair exchanged digits before disembarking and are now even following one another on Instagram.</p><p> </p><p>For his part, Euan thinks the attention is hilarious. As he noted to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">TODAY Show</a></em>, only time will tell if it’s true love, but he at least enjoyed a great plane ride, and that may be the greatest gift of all.</p><p> </p>
Categories: Travel

How Navy SEALs Plan on Rescuing the 12 Boys Trapped in a Cave in Thailand

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 08:08
<p>An elaborate plan to rescue a soccer team of 12 young boys and their coach from a cave in northern Thailand is taking shape.</p><p>The team has spent almost two weeks trapped underground in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave. They were found on Monday by Thai Navy SEALs and two British diving experts.</p><p>A military operation — called “Wild Boar” — has commenced to rescue the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach.</p><p>The rescue mission is tricky for numerous reasons. The pathway through the cave is almost completely flooded with water — and the water itself is thick with mud and impossible to see through. Some sections of the passageway are so narrow that divers can barely fit through with their oxygen tanks. Some of the boys do not know how to swim, let alone scuba dive.</p><img alt="Thailand Cave Rescue For Trapped Soccer Team "src=""><p>And <a href="" target="_blank">rain is forecasted for the weekend</a>, which could flood the caves even further. To avoid the flooding, the rescue team will likely take place within the next couple of days.</p><p>Rescuers hope that they will be able to drain the flooded cave passage enough that the boys will be able to walk out. So far, rescuers have pumped more than 32 million gallons of water out of the cave (about 40 percent of what’s inside), <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Guardian</em> reported</a>.</p><p>The boys are also being taught swimming and basic scuba inside the cave. Rescuers hope that once the water levels are sufficiently low, the boys will be able to walk through the pathway and spend only brief moments of time underwater, according to <em>The Guardian</em>. The boys will follow a static rope, which has already been mounted in place, to the entrance of the cave. Each boy will have their own rescue diver, who will lead them to safety, or be passed from rescuer to rescuer like a relay.</p><img alt="Thailand Cave Rescue For Trapped Soccer Team "src=""><p>The boys will be dressed in wetsuits, boots and helmets. Their rescuers will likely help them carry <a href="" target="_blank">oxygen tanks</a>, with additional “stage tanks” installed for safety along the route.</p><p>If that plan fails, other rescuers are looking for alternate pathways into the cave. Thai officials are also considering mining a hole into the top of the cave and lifting the boys out.</p><p>Thai Navy SEALs are working on the rescue mission, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The Washington Post</em></a>. A doctor and a nurse joined the rescue team this week to provide food and medical attention to the boys and their coach. The doctor’s report on Thursday said that two of the boys and the coach are suffering exhaustion from malnutrition.</p>
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