Tulum Kicks Off Its First Arts and Culture Festival 'Art With Me'

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 17:26
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Tulum</a>, the coastal town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, has been a magnet for young tastemakers from all over, whose hotels, restaurants, and shops have come to define a new aesthetic. Those who have visited know that this creative energy is palpable — and now, there’s a way to be part of it.</p><p>Kicking off its inaugural iteration Thursday, May 10, a four-day arts and culture festival, called “<a href="" target="_blank">Art With Me</a>,” will bring together local businesses to showcase the town’s talent.</p><p>There's a packed itinerary — including music, art, food, and wellness — that seeks to educate visitors and residents on the environmental issues concerning the area.</p><p>“This is a learning process for all involved,” said founder David Graziano, who has opened boutique hotels Ahau, Alaya, and Villa Pescadores since moving to Tulum in 2013. “But what better way to learn how to protect something than by celebrating it?”</p><p>Some of the eclectic events include a late night set by electronic music duo Thievery Corporation at Papaya Playa Project, a fully robotic orchestra using traditional percussive instruments from Indonesia by artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner at Ahau hotel, an art installation called IK LAB by Santiago Rumney Guggenheim (the great grandson to Peggy) at Azulik hotel, and dinners from Nu Tulum, Habitas, and Wild.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Tickets start at $350</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Sleep Beneath the Northern Lights in Your Own Planet at This Norwegian Planetarium

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 16:56
<p>Sleeping under the stars could soon feel a lot more celestial. The <a href="" target="_blank">Solobservatoriet campus</a>, an astronomical research observatory center about 45 miles north of Oslo, is planning an expansion that will bring galactic design down to the ground.</p><p>At the new astronomical center, a glowing planet-like dome will rise up from the landscape, engraved with constellations.</p><img alt="Rendering of the new Snohetta Solobservatoriet planetarium project in Norway "src=""><p>Around the central planet will be seven cabins, which visitors will be able to book for overnight stays. The layout of the cabins is meant to evoke the feeling of “a planet system” on the ground, Ingebjørg Skaare, a senior architect working on the project, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Quartzy</em></a>. Upon completion, it will be the largest astronomical center north of the Alps.</p><img alt="Rendering of the new Snohetta Solobservatoriet planetarium project in Norway "src=""><p>Once inside the planetarium, visitors will be in a world inspired by “astronomical architecture,” drawing references from the planetary orbits to Mars’ moons to the world’s first planetarium, conceived by Archimedes around 250 B.C.</p><img alt="Rendering of the new Snohetta Solobservatoriet planetarium project in Norway "src=""><p>The entire project is designed to blend into the surrounding forest. The top of the dome will be covered in indigenous flora like grass, wild heather, blueberry and lingonberry bushes.</p><p>Developers of the site, which was once used by the U.S. during the cold war to spy on soviets, hope to attract international tourists with the new facilities.</p><img alt="Rendering of the new Snohetta Solobservatoriet planetarium project in Norway "src=""><p>Those who stay overnight in a cabin can choose from a cozy two-person accommodation to a camp-style building that sleeps up to 32 people. Because of its location, visitors to the center will be able to see and learn about not only stars but also the <a href="" target="_blank">Northern Lights</a>.</p><p>The observatory is due to be completed in 2020.</p>
Categories: Travel

Photos: Inside WestJet’s Brand New Canada-inspired Dreamliner

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 15:52
<p>WestJet revealed the design of its new <a href="" target="_blank">Dreamliner</a> this week, including a new livery and state-of-the-art <a href="" target="_blank">comforts onboard</a>.</p><p>The airline’s president and CEO described the introduction of the new Dreamliner service as “the dawn of a new era for WestJet and the next step in our transformation to a global network airline.”</p><p>From business class to economy, the airline focused on giving passengers what they need to work, rest and be entertained. That includes convenient storage, new in-flight entertainment and connectivity, and access to power for their electronic devices. The airline also played up the unique features of the Dreamliner; for example, by angling the Business class seats so that passengers can enjoy the views out of the large, dimmable windows.</p><img alt="WestJet Dreamliner business class "src=""><img alt="WestJet Dreamliner economy "src=""><p>We spoke with Ben Rowan, a director of PriestmanGoode and the lead designer on the project, to discuss the distinctive design details of WestJet’s new look.</p><p>“All of the materials were developed bespoke for WestJet,” Rowan told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. “Taking the aesthetic of Canada, with a reference of the landscape, and integrating that with the brand palette which reaches across the cabin.”</p><p>WestJet picked the color scheme to echo natural features, with rich blacks and deep blues to represent Canada’s open skies at night; glacier and deep turquoise to recall the country’s abundant water features; and warm hues and tans to mirror warm sunsets contrasted with the silvers and greys of misty mountain mornings.</p><p>In textures and shapes, there is a strong reference to the new livery developed for the aircraft by Ove Brand Design, Teague, and Boeing.</p><p>“The angular nature of the decorative elements are derived from that, but there are also landscape references to mountains,” Rowan said. “Those very angular forms felt very WestJet, and they represent Canada as well.”</p><p>Producing the complex design features in the cabin required a lot of attention to detail, but that was something WestJet wanted to reflect its commitment to quality.</p><p>“We also really tried to play off on the craftsmanship of it,” Rowan said. “You can see it on all of the dress covers all the way through the cabin. Each is stitch plays up on the angular theme. That is a signature feature that runs through the classes.”</p><p>Personalization of the cabin space and experience in-flight was also very important.</p><p>“The business class is best example of that. We did a lot of work with improvement to privacy for the passenger, improving privacy as much as is allowable on this seat platform. You have the center privacy screen, and the seat shell is extended as well,” Rowan said. “It moves away from standard seats to something much more bespoke for WestJet.”</p><p>Business class features on-demand meal service which can be ordered through the seat’s touch-screen. Passengers can also order turn-down service when they are ready to sleep, and their seat will be converted into a comfortable bed with luxury bedding and pillows.</p><p>In premium economy, passengers will enjoy a custom menu and also get a self-service bar where they can hang out and stretch their legs a bit.</p><img alt="WestJet Dreamliner seatback in-flight entertainment "src=""><img alt="WestJet Dreamliner premium economy "src=""><p>“One of the big things that WestJet wanted was to develop spaces that were social areas,” Rowan said. “We identified an opportunity with them, in the partition, to convert that from a functional space for the crew to a functional and recreational space for the passenger.”</p><p>WestJet has a reputation for approachability. The airline has fun every year with new April Fools jokes, and known for surprising its customers around the Christmas holidays. That corporate character is genuine, Rowan said, and really helped deliver this new project.</p><p>“We worked very closely together to develop the WestJet customer experience team,” Rowan said. “It was a real pleasure working with them because they are really very friendly and inviting. It shows that if you have an ambitious airline, and you get the right people working together, you can make a real difference in your product onboard, to improve the passenger experience.”</p><p>The new WestJet Dreamliner will enter service in 2019.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Seaside Spanish Town Wants to Stop Airbnbs From Taking the Best Views

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 12:01
<p>A group of residents of Valencia, Spain, are supporting a bill that would ban tourists from booking the rooms in town with the best views.</p><p>Valencia city hall is considering a new tourism law that would limit private rentals (like Airbnbs) to the ground and second floor levels of apartment buildings. The law would essentially ban all private home rentals that offer a view of Valencia’s coastline and historic buildings. It would also ban tourist rentals from the historic heart of the city and allow holiday rentals to be regulated on a zone-by-zone basis, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The Local Spain</em></a>.</p><p>Locals have complained that Valencia’s tourism boom is pricing locals out of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods.</p><p>“With this new legislation, councils can take back control of what properties may be used for, and in Valencia we are going to impose an important barrier to ensure the trend does not grow in future,” Sandra Gómez, the deputy mayor of Valencia, said in a statement.</p><p>Valencia is just the latest in a string of European cities that are fighting against private holiday rental sites like Airbnb. Last year, <a href="" target="_blank">Barcelona threatened to ban all Airbnbs</a> from the city over hundreds of properties that were operating without a tourism license. And just last month, the city of Paris <a href="" target="_blank">filed a lawsuit against Airbnb</a> and illegal listings on the site. A court hearing, scheduled for June 12, could affect up to 85 percent of listings on the site.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Swim With Sharks at This Daring Diving Spot — No Cage Required

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:31
<p>The cage, Cassie Weinberg tells us, is optional.</p><p>It’s a sunny morning on the southern coast of South Africa, and we’re bobbing on indigo waves a few miles off shore, while the wind kicks around air that smells of salt, stale wetsuit and a dash of fear. We’ve come this morning with Aliwal Shoal Scuba for a cage dive with sharks, specifically oceanic blacktips, which reach lengths of about seven feet and are generally non-aggressive. But the scuba divers will be outside the metal enclosure, and snorkelers can ditch it too, provided we’re competent swimmers and committed to one crucial contingency.</p><p>“If you see a bull or a tiger shark, you have to swim toward it,” our captain, Weinberg, says seriously.</p><p>They’re rare around here, a “special treat,” but the blacktips’ larger cousins can be “cheeky.” Flee, the skipper warns, and you'll look like prey.</p><p>“How will we know if we see one?” I ask.</p><p>“Oh, you’ll know,” he says.</p><p>An hour south of Durban off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, Aliwal Shoal is an ancient sand dune turned rocky reef, renowned for its wreck diving and abundant sharks. Here, powerful waves bash golden beaches, and divers explore caves and gullies, floating alongside predators, including blacktips, tigers, bulls and ragged-tooth sharks, whose mouths gape open in a perpetual grin. The waters are clear and warm, dive schools and lodges dot the shore, and the annual sardine run brings a swarm of dolphins, whales and other species to feed on massive schools of the silvery fish.</p><img alt="Swim with Sharks "src=""><p>For its shark dives, <a href="" target="_blank">Aliwal Shoal Scuba</a> uses sealed bait drums to attract the animals, a controversial practice that some people say conditions sharks to be too comfortable around humans and teases the creatures with enticing aromas sans the satisfying payoff. Unlike Gansbaai, another popular South African diving destination two hours from Cape Town, great white sharks are only occasional visitors here, so snorkelers are encouraged to escape the cage’s confinement for a more relaxed experience.</p><p>Aliwal Shoal is also known for its tricky boat launch, which involves leaving from a placid riverbank and charging through relentless surf to reach the open ocean. Never mind the toothy fish out there. This, Weinberg claims, is the most dangerous part of the day.</p><p>Snorkelers and divers from Spain, the Netherlands, the United States and South Africa cinch lifejackets snug and jam our feet under straps on the floor of the motorized raft. We grip ropes with both hands, so we’re braced against the brunt of the pounding break, while the skipper engages in a sort of nautical flirtation, zipping forward, darting laterally, pausing, then forging ahead until finally we’re clear — soaked, smiling and coursing with adrenalin.</p><p>A few minutes later, the guides drop the bait bucket and steer in gentle loops until a silver shadow cruises under the surface inches from the boat. First it’s one, then two, then they’re everywhere — oceanic blacktip sharks gliding like gray ghosts all around us.</p><p>I shriek. I am actually terrified, and it’s time to get in the water.</p><p>Not entirely confident I can look a bull shark in the eye and stroke towards it, I opt for the relative safety of the open-topped cage, plopping in ungracefully and standing for a second with my head above the surface, willfully ignorant of what’s happening below. Then I put my face in. The water is full of sharks, graceful silver streaks that seem to move by magic. They slide effortlessly around the bait bucket trailed by smaller remora fish, occasionally swimming straight for the cage before swerving away at the last second.</p><img alt="Swim with Sharks "src=""><p>Once the initial “Shark!” jitters subside, it's entrancing, beautiful and surprisingly peaceful.</p><p>“They sneak up on you,” Weinberg had warned in the boat, and he was right. Just when I think I’ve gathered the entire shiver — as a group of sharks are called — in my field of vision, one slips past the wide metal mesh, close enough to reach out and stroke. (Though that would be a terrible idea: Most blacktip bites are on hands or fingers mistaken for fish, according to our guides.)</p><p>Eventually, I heave myself out of the cage and float on the surface, a blob of wet-suited human admiring the aquatic view. It feels like a great privilege to be here, free of the cage, resting on the ocean, witnessing these elegant animals in their natural environment.</p><p>No bull or tiger sharks make an appearance; no one’s fingers are mistaken for fish. A few passengers succumb to seasickness, but even between leaning over the side of the boat, we all agree it’s been an incredible morning.</p><p>As Weinberg steers us through the chop toward shore, a whale breaches nearby and a pod of dolphins arch through the waves, hunting down their next meal. The rich waters of Aliwal Shoal have delivered spectacularly, no cage required.</p>
Categories: Travel

We Planned the Perfect Las Vegas Bachelor Party So You Don't Have to

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:02
<p>If there was ever any doubt that <a href="" target="_blank">Sin City</a> was the ultimate bachelor party destination,<em> "</em>The Hangover" put it to rest. But with five-figure-a-night suites, bottle service, and transportation in the cards, a long weekend with the guys could end up costing as much as the wedding. Read on for <em>Travel + Leisure</em>’s recommendations to make sure it’s all worth it.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Where to Stay, Eat, and Drink for an Unforgettable Montreal Bachelor Party</a></p><h2>Best Hotel Suites in Las Vegas for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>The perfect Las Vegas bachelor party needs a proper crash pad.</p><h3>Aria: Sky Villa</h3><p>Take your stay to the next level in <a href="" target="_blank">Aria</a>’s epic Sky Villa, a sleek, 3,370-square-foot suite split into two levels. You and your friends can crash in the opulent three-bedroom suite overlooking the skyline while enjoying private butler service, VIP treatment at the club-level pool, two in-room bars, and a billiards room. As a bonus, Aria throws in complimentary limo service to and from the airport.</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h3>Nobu Hotel: Nobu Penthouse</h3><p>The penthouse suite inside Robert De Niro’s swanky <a href="" target="_blank">Nobu Hotel</a> can sleep up to 12, depending on the configuration you book. Its sprawling size and masculine, Japanese-inspired design — plus amenities like a pool table, massive TV, and priority service at the hotel’s club-like restaurant — make it a popular choice for Vegas bachelor parties.</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Best Restaurants in Las Vegas for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>Between the day drinking and the partying, you’re going to need some serious meals. These group-friendly restaurants are perfect for a bachelor party in Las Vegas.</p><h3><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">STK Las Vegas</a></h3><p><a href="" target="_blank">STK</a>’s flashy Las Vegas edition inside the Cosmopolitan hotel is the perfect mix of style and substance, with undulating banquettes, gold plating on the walls, pulsing music, and some of the best steak on the Strip.</p><h3><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Yardbird</a></h3><p>Miami’s famous bastion for fried chicken and waffles opened its Las Vegas outpost inside The Venetian in 2015, and has generated a consistent buzz ever since. <a href="" target="_blank">Yardbird</a>’s barnyard-chic design, friendly service, and A-plus Southern cuisine make it a popular choice for bachelor parties.</p><h2>Best Bars in Las Vegas for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>Before you hit the club, you and your crew will want to stop at these downtown Las Vegas bars.</p><h3><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Commonwealth</a></h3><p><a href="" target="_blank">Commonwealth</a> is an airy bar in Downtown Las Vegas that draws locals and visitors alike thanks to its 1920s-inspired cocktails and lively rooftop. Text ahead so you and your bachelor party crew get the password for “The Laundry Room,” a speakeasy-style back room with its own cocktail menu.</p><h3><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Beer Park</a></h3><p>Budweiser is responsible for the first rooftop bar and grill to the Strip, at the Paris hotel, so you know it's all about the beer. Overlooking the Bellagio fountains, this <a href="" target="_blank">all-American spot</a> has more than 100 beer options, 36 on tap, plus roaming food carts that give off a sports stadium vibe. It's the ideal spot for a bachelor to kick back and watch the game by day, pregame with a live DJ by night, or chill out with an after-party drink.</p><h2>Best Clubs in Las Vegas for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>You came to Las Vegas to party, didn’t you? These clubs deliver in spades.</p><h3><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Omnia</a></h3><p>The one club to rule them all in Vegas is <a href="" target="_blank">Omnia</a>, Hakkasan Group’s mega-venue that draws leading DJs like Kaskade, Calvin Harris, and Steve Aoki. The 75,000-square-foot club centers around a mesmerizing, kinetic chandelier with concentric rings that move to the music.</p><h3><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">XS Las Vegas</a></h3><p>Whereas Omnia has Calvin Harris, <a href="" target="_blank">XS Las Vegas</a> has Diplo and David Guetta. Supposedly inspired by the curves of the human body, this indoor-outdoor club can be reached by a sexy, gilded staircase. Once inside, revelers dance the hours away under pyrotechnics as the biggest names in the industry spin songs in the DJ booth.</p><h2>Things to Do in Las Vegas for a Bachelor Party</h2><p>Planning a bachelor party in Las Vegas with more than the standard tequila shots and slot machines? Here’s what to do.</p><h3>Pool Parties</h3><p>Vegas is one of the sunniest major cities in the world, and pool season runs from March through October. Many resorts host daytime pool parties that rival the scene-factor of Sin City’s nightlife. The most popular are the rooftop <a href="" target="_blank">Drai’s Beach Club</a> atop The Cromwell; <a href="" target="_blank">Marquee Dayclub</a> at The Cosmopolitan, MGM Grand’s <a href="" target="_blank">Wet Republic</a> — with its above-ground, glass-sided pool — and The Hard Rock Hotel’s <a href="" target="_blank">Rehab</a>. Each offers household name DJs, rowdy crowds, and plenty of cocktails.</p><h3>See a Golden Knights Game</h3><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Golden Knights</a> took the NHL by storm this year, becoming the first team since 1980 to make it to the playoffs in their inaugural season. Unsurprisingly, their games are one of the hottest tickets in town. Get group seating and catch a match between the startup hometown team and its visiting rivals.</p><h2>Las Vegas Bachelor Party Packages</h2><p>Bachelor party packages are a dime a dozen in Vegas. Here are a few that stand out.</p><h3>Vegas Party VIP</h3><p><a href="" target="_blank">Vegas Party VIP</a> helps travelers planning a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with multiple packages at various price points. From brewery dinners to bottle service in the hottest clubs, the local company helps you celebrate worry-free.</p><h3>High Roller</h3><p>The world’s tallest Ferris wheel, Las Vegas’s <a href="" target="_blank">High Roller</a> lets groups reserve one of its glass pods for private parties overlooking the Vegas skyline, complete with an open bar during the ride.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Make Dinner Reservations on Instagram

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 09:13
<p>If you’re scrolling through Instagram and a bowl of ramen or plate of pasta calls your name, you can now book a restaurant reservation or order delivery without leaving the app.</p><p>Through partnerships with Resy, OpenTable, Yelp, ChowNow, Eatstreet, GrubHub, Reservations and several more platforms, customers can get food through Instagram. After scrolling through your feed and finding a tempting post, visit that business’s Instagram page. If you see buttons with “Start Order” or “Reserve,” you’ll be able to make your move.</p><p>Upon clicking the desired action, a window will pop up, leading customers through the steps. If you have accounts with GrubHub, Yelp, or any of the other services, log in and the platform will take care of the details (including payment and contact information). Otherwise, you will need to create accounts for each platform. When everything is done, close the window and you’ll be back to scrolling Instagram.</p><p>Other businesses in addition to restaurants will be able to use this feature in the coming weeks. It will soon be possible to book a fitness class through Instagram and MINDBODY. Movie theatres can sell tickets to shows via Instagram and Fandango. Or you could get an appointment at the hair salon with Schedulicity.</p><p>No longer just a place to find inspiration, Instagram wants to be part of your real life.</p>
Categories: Travel

Canadian Zoo Faces Charges After Taking a Kodiak Bear to a Dairy Queen Drive-thru (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 07:57
<p>A Canadian zoo is in trouble after taking a one-year-old Kodiak bear through a Dairy Queen drive-thru for some ice cream.</p><p>The owner of Discovery Wildlife Park in Alberta, Canada plans to plead guilty for failing to “to notify the provincial government prior to the bear leaving the zoo,” Alberta Fish and Wildlife said in a statement, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The Guardian</em></a>.</p><p>Earlier this year, staff at the zoo took a one-year-old Kodiak bear named Berkley through the drive-through of a local Dairy Queen.</p><p>“There was never any public present. It was done long before the Dairy Queen even opened,” Serena Bos, a trainer at the zoo, <a href="" target="_blank">told CBC in January</a>. “Berkley is a captive bear, so not a wild bear in any way.” Zoo officials insist that there was never any danger as Berkley was kept on a chain for the entire trip.</p><p>The video was posted to Twitter and Facebook back in January and meant as a PSA against feeding wild animals. It has since been removed.</p><p>Canadian wildlife officials didn’t mind that the bear went to Dairy Queen, but rather that Discovery Wildlife Park did not properly warn the Fish and Wildlife Department that the animal was leaving zoo property.</p><p>This is not the first time the zoo has been under scrutiny for safety practices. A 2015 review found <a href="" target="_blank">more than 50 violations of Alberta zoo standards</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Truck Tragically Spills 12 Tons of Liquid Chocolate on Highway

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 07:48
<p>Imagine a magic land where the streets are paved with chocolate. As sweet as it sounds, this actually turned out to be motorists' worst nightmare.</p><p>A highway in Poland had to be shut down after a tanker truck full of liquid chocolate overturned and spilled its contents onto the road. About 12 tons of chocolate ended up coating the pavement, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the <em>Washington Post</em></a>.</p><p>To make matters worse, clean-up crews had a difficult time dealing the mess as the chocolate quickly cooled on the ground. While crews worked, traffic was blocked between the towns of Wrzesnia and Slupca in Western Poland, the <a href="" target="_blank">Associated Press</a> reported. Senior brigadier Bogdan Kowalski told the AP that “cooling chocolate is worse than snow.”</p><p>The crew, using hot water to melt the chocolate and wash it away, didn’t seem to mind the job. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many smiles on the faces of emergency rescue folks and police officers at the scene of an accident,” Marlena Kukawka, Slupca’s police spokeswoman, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>The New York Times</em></a>.</p><p>It’s not clear what caused the accident. The driver was taken to the hospital with a broken arm, and no other injuries were reported.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hawaii Is Still Safe to Visit Despite the Kilauea Volcano Eruption

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 06:02
<p>There may be a volcano eruption but Hawaii is still safe to visit.</p><p>Despite days of eruption from Kilauea volcano, the Hawaii Tourism Authority insists there is “no reason at this time for travelers to change or alter their leisure or business plans.”</p><p>It is only a 10-square mile section of residential housing that has been affected by the lava, according to authorities. Since the lava flow began last week, <a href="" target="_blank">it has destroyed 35 homes</a>. The volcano is dangerous, but only for those in the evacuation zone.</p><p>All flights to and from Kona Airport are operating as usual. Hotels remain open. Businesses and schools have reopened. Limited sections of Volcanoes National Park reopened last week following a two-day closure.</p><p>“Slipping in the tub at the hotel is just as likely as any danger coming from the volcano to the majority of the tourism spots,” Ross Birch, executive director of the Hawaii Island Visitors and Convention Bureau, <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Washington Post</em></a>. “Hilo is the closest area that has hotels and it’s really unaffected.”</p><p>Air quality directly around the eruption is the only health risk that state officials have identified. “Vog,” or hazy post-volcano air pollution, contaminates the air with sulfur dioxide. The International Volcanic Health Hazard Network and Department of Health are operating a “<a href="" target="_blank">vog watch</a>” to inform visitors and residents about current air quality.</p><p>Airlines including <a href="" target="_blank">United</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">American</a>, and <a href=";sf188814998=1" target="_blank">Hawaiian</a> are offering waivers for those who wish to change their flights. However, those with vacation plans should not be deterred from visiting.</p><p>Travelers to Hawaii with questions are encouraged the call the Hawaii Tourism call center at 1-800-GO-HAWAII (1-800-464-2924) and <a href="" target="_blank">stay tuned for alerts</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Entenmann's Will Pay You $5,000 and Give You a Year's Worth of Donuts to Be Its Chief Donut Officer (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 16:57
<p>National Donut Day is June 1, and in honor of the occasion Entenmann's is looking for its first ever <a href="" target="_blank">Chief Donut Officer</a>. Whoever takes on the title will get $5,000 and a year's worth of donuts.</p><p>The biggest qualification for the job, according to Entenmann's: a love for donuts.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Weird Reason Why Donut Boxes Are Pink</a></p><p>To enter, legal U.S. residents age 18 or older can apply on Entenmann's website from now through June 30. <a href="" target="_blank">The application</a> includes questions like “How would you help spread the love of Entenmann’s Donuts if you become the honorary Chief Donut Officer?” and “How would you make Entenmann’s Donuts even better?”</p><p>The top five applicants will be asked to create a video explaining why they should be named Chief Donut Officer, and the winner will be decided by public vote.</p><p>The winner will get the $5,000, the year's worth of donuts, as well as a bunch of Entenmann’s gear like sweatshirts and donut tote bags. The rest of the finalists will get $1,000 and a year’s worth of donuts.</p><p>And if you’re looking for guaranteed ways to celebrate National Donut Day, head to one (or several) of the <a href="" target="_blank">best donut shops in the U.S.</a></p>
Categories: Travel

The 100 Top Restaurants for Mother's Day Brunch

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 16:35
<p>If there’s one thing people take seriously, it’s brunch.</p><p>In advance of Mother’s Day, OpenTable has released its list of the <a href="" target="_blank">100 best restaurants for brunch</a> in America. The list, generated from more than 12 million OpenTable diner reviews of more than 45,000 restaurants, features dining options in 24 states and Washington, D.C.</p><p>California came out the clear brunch winner with 19 winning restaurants among the top 100, followed by New York with 15 different spots.</p><p>“Mother’s Day is the single busiest day of the year for group dining,” Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer, shared in a statement. “A celebratory brunch at any of this year’s winning restaurants makes honoring the mom in your life easy.”</p><p>Check out all 100 top brunch destinations, listed here in alphabetical order — and don't forget to make a reservation.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">ABC Kitchen</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Atchafalaya Restaurant</a> - New Orleans, Louisiana</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Bacon Social House</a> - Denver, Colorado</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Balthazar</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href=";covers=2&amp;dateTime=2017-04-27%2019%3A00" target="_blank">Beachcomber Cafe - Crystal Cove</a> - Newport Coast, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Beatrix - River North</a> - Chicago, Illinois</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Beehive </a>- Boston, Massachusetts</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Blend on the Water</a> - Long Island City, New York</p><p><a href=";covers=2&amp;dateTime=2017-04-27%2019%3A00" target="_blank">Brennan's</a> - New Orleans, Louisiana</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Bristol Seafood Grill</a> - Multiple Locations</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Bud &amp; Marilyn's</a> - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Cafe Luxembourg</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Cafe Monte</a> - Charlotte, North Carolina</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Cafeteria 15L</a> - Sacramento, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Catch LA</a> - West Hollywood, California</p><p><a href=";covers=2&amp;dateTime=2017-04-27%2019%3A00" target="_blank">Chez Zee</a> - Austin, Texas</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Clubhouse - Oak Brook</a> - Oak Brook, Illinois</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Cookshop</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Copper Hen</a> - Minneapolis, Minnesota</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Dandelion</a> - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Dead Fish</a> - Crockett, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Deerpark Restaurant-Biltmore Estate</a> - Asheville, North Carolina</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Farmers &amp; Distillers</a> - Washington, D.C.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Farmers Fishers Bakers</a> - Washington, D.C.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens</a> - Corona Del Mar, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Food Market</a> - Baltimore, Maryland</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Founding Farmers</a> - Multiple Locations</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Gandy Dancer</a> - Ann Arbor, Michigan</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Geoffrey's Restaurant</a> - Malibu, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Georgia Brown's</a> - Washington, D.C.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Gertrude's - Baltimore</a> - Baltimore, Maryland</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Giada - The Cromwell</a> - Las Vegas, Nevada</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Grace's</a> - Houston, Texas</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Gracias Madre</a> - West Hollywood, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Grand Concourse</a> - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Great Maple San Diego</a> - San Diego, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Greens Restaurant</a> - San Francisco, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Halls Chophouse</a> - Charleston, South Carolina</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Hamilton</a> - Washington, D.C.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Hampton Social</a> - Chicago, Illinois</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Hau Tree Lanai</a> - Honolulu, Hawaii</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Hell's Kitchen Minneapolis</a> - Minneapolis, Minnesota</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">High Cotton - Charleston</a> - Charleston, South Carolina</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Ida Claire</a> - Addison, Texas</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Ivy</a> - West Hollywood, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Jane</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Lafayette</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Lake Elmo Inn</a> - Lake Elmo, Minnesota</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Las Brisas</a> - Laguna Beach, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Le Coucou</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Le Diplomate</a> - Washington, D.C.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Lindey's</a> - Columbus, Ohio</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Little Goat</a> - Chicago, Illinois</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">LuLu's</a> - Richmond, Virginia</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Majestic Yosemite Hotel</a> - Yosemite Village, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Maggiano's - South Coast Plaza</a> - Costa Mesa, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Magnolias</a> - Charleston, South Carolina</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Mere Bulles</a> - Brentwood, Tennessee</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Meson Sabika</a> - Naperville, Illinois</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Mon Ami Gabi</a> - Multiple Locations</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Old Ebbitt Grill</a> - Washington, D.C.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Oxford Exchange</a> - Tampa, Florida</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Palisade</a> - Seattle, Washington</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Parc</a> - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Perch LA</a> - Los Angeles, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Pier W</a> - Cleveland, Ohio</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Print Works Bistro</a> - Greensboro, North Carolina</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Publican</a> - Chicago, Illinois</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Pump </a>- West Hollywood, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Queen Mary Champagne Sunday Brunch</a> - Long Beach, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Ray's on the River</a> - Sandy Springs, Georgia</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Red Rooster Harlem</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Relish</a> - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Rusty Scupper - Baltimore</a> - Baltimore, Maryland</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Sadelle’s</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Salty's</a> - Multiple Locations</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Sarabeth's</a> - Multiple Locations</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Shaw's Crab House - Chicago</a> - Chicago, Illinois</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">SkyCity Restaurant at the Space Needle</a> - Seattle, Washington</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Smith</a> - Multiple Locations</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Spencer's Restaurant</a> - Palm Springs, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Stephanie's On Newbury</a> - Boston, Massachusetts</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Summer House Santa Monica</a> - Chicago, Illinois</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Sundy House</a> - Delray Beach, Florida</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Tabard Inn</a> - Washington, D.C.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Talula’s Garden</a> - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Tavern on the Green</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Terrain Garden Cafe</a> - Glen Mills, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Tower Oaks Lodge</a> - Rockville, Maryland</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Town</a> - San Carlos, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Tropicale</a> - Palm Springs, California</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Tupelo Honey - Arlington</a> - Arlington, Virginia</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Ulele</a> - Tampa, Florida</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Upland</a> - New York, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Warmdaddy’s</a> - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">White Dog Cafe - Wayne</a> - Wayne, Pennsylvania</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Willa Jean</a> - New Orleans, Louisiana</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Woodberry Kitchen</a> - Baltimore, Maryland</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">X2O Xaviars on the Hudson</a> - Yonkers, New York</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Yardbird Southern Table &amp; Bar</a> - Multiple Locations</p>
Categories: Travel

A Step-by-step Guide to What Meghan Markle Has to Do to Become a British Citizen

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 16:28
<p>Meghan Markle may soon be marrying into the British royal family, but that doesn’t mean she will automatically become a British citizen. In fact, she will have to go through the exact same process as any person hoping to gain residency in the United Kingdom.</p><p>In 2017, representatives at Kensington Palace announced that Meghan will indeed undergo the long process of <a href="" target="_blank">becoming a U.K. citizen</a> after she marries Prince Harry on May 19 at <a href="" target="_blank">St. George’s Chapel</a>.</p><p>Prince Harry’s communication’s secretary <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>BBC</em></a> last year that Meghan would be “compliant with immigration requirements at all times ... she intends to become a U.K. citizen and will go through the process of that, which some of you may know takes a number of years.”</p><p>Here’s exactly what being compliant with immigration really means.</p><h2>Meghan will have to pass a test.</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>TIME</em></a>, Meghan, like the rest of those hoping to come citizens, will have to pass a 24 question, 45-minute exam known as the “<a href="" target="_blank">Life In The U.K</a>” test. The test consists of questions on British customs and traditions, something that we are sure Meghan has more than a bit of knowledge on.</p><h2>She must meet general requirements.</h2><p>Like all would-be citizens Meghan must be:</p>Over the age of 18 (check, she’s 36)Of sound mind, able to think and make decisions for yourself (we think check)Have no serious criminal record (check)In the U.K. for at least three years before submitting your application (she’ll have to wait this out)Granted indefinite leave to stay in the U.K. or have a <a href="" target="_blank">permanent residence card</a> or document showing you have permanent residence (again, she’ll have to wait this one out)<h2>She must get married in a hurry.</h2><p>As <em>TIME</em> reported, non-EU citizens who enter the country as the fianceé of a current British citizen are required to marry within six months of entry. But, as the world knows, that’s not an issue as Harry and Meghan will become husband and wife in less than two weeks.</p><h2>She'll have to decide if she wants to remain a U.S. citizen.</h2><p>While one would think Meghan would want to retain her United States citizenship, she may in fact decide to give it up for one very big reason: Taxes.</p><p>The U.S. is only one of two nations that taxes its expats, meaning Meghan will have to file taxes each and every year to the IRS just like the rest of us. However, if she decides to renounce her citizenship she will no longer have to file. It’s a tough choice, but Meghan may indeed give up her passport because keeping it would mean <a href="" target="_blank">revealing many royal financial secrets</a>.</p><p>As the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em> reported</a>, if Meghan keeps her U.S. citizenship she will have to file <a href="" target="_blank">Form 8938</a>, which is used to specify foreign financial assets. Having to file that form would “reveal the detail of these assets, which could include foreign trusts,” the <em>Washington Post</em> noted. And we doubt the Queen would be okay with that.</p>
Categories: Travel

The One Thing Most Likely to Be Taking up Space in a Flight Attendant's Carry-on

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 12:30
<p>There are a lot of special tricks to <a href="" target="_blank">packing like a flight attendant</a>. One big rule all members of a flight crew abide by: Take care of your feet.</p><p>While some travelers have to make sacrifices when it comes to their footwear, often leaving behind those extra pairs of shoes in an effort to save space, flight attendants know that an <a href="" target="_blank">extra pair of comfy kicks</a> will really come in handy in their line of work.</p><p>Flight attendant Kelly Kincaid told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>HuffPost</em></a> that most female flight attendants have to wear at least two-inch heels while walking through an airport. Maybe that’s not a big deal for people who get to work in a chair all day, but for a flight attendant running up and down narrow aisles for hours at a time, it can be excruciating by the end of a shift.</p><p>“Once you’re on the plane for 10-plus hours, 2-inch pumps just won’t cut the mustard. So, many flight attendants bring <a href="" target="_blank">flat, comfortable shoes</a> for working, or what we like to call ‘in-flights.’ So you’ve got your ‘airport’ or ‘terminal’ shoes,” Kincaid said.</p><p>Kincaid also said flight attendants wear heels during takeoff and landing.</p><p>“I also know of some flight attendants that always travel with <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">fold-able flip-flops</a>, you know, just in case their flights get rerouted to a beach somewhere,” Kincaid said. </p><p>Other items flight attendants interviewed by <em>HuffPost</em> mentioned they always keep in their carry-ons include <a href="" target="_blank">exercise clothes</a>, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">lip balm</a>, a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">personal Wi-Fi hotspot</a>, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Airborne</a>, and a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">selfie stick</a>.</p><p>While all these items seem pretty essential as well, this definitely makes us rethink how we pack our footwear.</p>
Categories: Travel

Everything You Need to Do in London to Celebrate Harry and Meghan’s Royal Wedding

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 12:02
<p>More than <a href="" target="_blank">37 million people</a> are expected to travel through the United Kingdom in 2018. And while most will be there to take in the country’s rich history, many more will undoubtedly make the journey to take in the biggest event of the year: <a href="" target="_blank">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding</a>.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">Visit Britain</a>, the couple’s nuptials will likely attract upwards of 4 million extra visitors and bring in an additional $2.7 billion for the local economy.</p><p>What should one do while visiting for such a spectacular event? <em>Travel + Leisure</em> sat down with a local expert, Tatiana Moses, one of American Express Travel’s <a href="" target="_blank">destination managers</a>, to find out where tourists visiting London for the wedding should eat, drink, and celebrate royal history.</p><p>“I wanted to share some places that are my personal favorites,” Moses said of the itinerary she created for us as we sat at dimly lit but supremely iconic <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">American Bar at The Savoy</a>, which as it turns out, is also a <a href=";utm_source=cjunction&amp;utm_medium=affilliate&amp;utm_campaign=cjunction" target="_blank">favorite haunt of the entire royal family</a>.</p><p>“Some of the spots are off the beaten track, some are very trendy and popular, and some are part of this new wave,” Moses said.</p><p>Here are the restaurants to eat at, the excursions to take, and more ways to celebrate the royal family, the country’s history, and Meghan and Harry’s very bright future — even if you don't have an <a href="" target="_blank">invitation to the wedding</a>.</p><h2>Where to Stay:</h2><h3><a href="" target="_blank">Ham Yard Hotel</a></h3><p>If you’re heading to London, try booking a stay at the Ham Yard Hotel. Not only will the lavish rooms and amenities impress you, but the Ham Yard also happens to be located in the very hip neighborhood of Soho, which is an <a href="" target="_blank">alleged favorite area</a> of Harry and Meghan’s.</p><p>The Ham Yard Hotel features 91 individually designed rooms and suites, along with an original 1950s bowling alley, a 190-seat cinema, a private rooftop bar, and an extremely well-appointed spa and gym where you might even be inspired to <a href="" target="_blank">work out as hard as Prince Harry</a>.</p><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h3><a href="" target="_blank">Grosvenor House Suites</a></h3><p>If you’re going to London strictly for the wedding then there’s one place you absolutely have to stay: The Grosvenor House Suites. Why? Because it’s Meghan’s favorite hotel in the city.</p><p>"I can give you the most honest answer; it's my favorite property I've ever stayed at," Meghan said <a href="" target="_blank">in an interview in 2015</a>. "I'm very fortunate that I have the luxury of staying at so many amazing places, but the service, and being able to stay somewhere where it feels like home, where every need is anticipated, it's all fantastic. I really love it here and I'm happy to be staying."</p><p>It’s no surprise she loves the hotel so much. It is, after all, a stone’s throw away from Kensington Palace and offers several luxury-serviced apartments that overlook Hyde Park.</p><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h3><a href="" target="_blank">Goring Hotel</a></h3><p>The royal family may know London better than any other group, so why not stay exactly where they recommend?</p><p>The Goring Hotel, which is the closest hotel to Buckingham palace, is <a href="" target="_blank">a royal warrant holder</a>, making it the favored hotel of Queen Elizabeth II and her family.</p><p>Indeed, Kate Middleton stayed here with her family the night before her 2011 wedding to Prince William, so it would be no surprise if Meghan did the same before her wedding on May 19.</p><p>Beyond the gorgeous rooms and around-the-clock butler service, guests can also enjoy the hotel’s restaurant, which has a Michelin star, for both dining and afternoon tea.</p><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2>Where to Eat:</h2><h3><a href="">Duck and Waffle </a></h3><p>There may be no better place in London to eat breakfast or brunch than <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Duck and Waffle</a>. The restaurant, located on the 40th floor of the 110 Bishopsgate, not only boasts the best views in town, but also offers 24/7 service to hungry patrons. There, guests can chow down on everything from pig’s ears and eggs, to, you guest it, duck and waffles.</p><p>But the star of the show is definitely the view. Make sure to request a table along the windows so you can look out on the Queen's entire kingdom below.</p><h3><a href="" target="_blank">High Tea: Sketch </a></h3><p>A visit to the London, or the United Kingdom in general, for that matter, would not be complete without afternoon tea. But, since we’re discussing Harry and Meghan — the young, cool members of the royal family — we must advise you to visit <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Sketch</a>.</p><p>Sketch is by far the chicest place you’ll get a cup of tea in the city. There, guests sit in a deep-pink dining area and are served by wait staff wearing coats and ties. Once seated guests then pick from an assortment of hundreds of teas. If you want to get truly fancy, you can order their champagne afternoon tea, which includes bubbly and caviar. How regal of you.</p><h3><a href="" target="_blank">Dinner: Bocca di Lupo</a></h3><p><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Bocca di Lupo</a> may legitimately be one of the only restaurants in town where you have a chance of actually spotting Meghan and Harry in the flesh.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Elle</i></a>, the former <em>Suits</em> star is a big fan of Bocca di Lupo, an Italian restaurant located in London's Soho neighborhood, right around the corner from The Ham Yard Hotel.</p><p>There, Meghan perhaps dines on spaghetti and mussels, enjoys some grilled quail on bruschetta, or loads up on her favorite vegetables including braised chickpeas with tomato, chili, and mint. But, no matter what you (or Meghan) eat there it’s bound to be delicious.</p><h2>What to Do:</h2><h3><a href="" target="_blank">Tour Kensington Palace</a></h3><p>If you’re coming to check out the royal wedding, why not go check out where the royals live, too? You can do that by simply taking a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Kensington Palace tour</a>.</p><p>Sure, you can’t exactly see the cottage where Harry and Meghan reside, but you can get an up close and personal look at the way royals before them lived.</p><p>On the tour, visitors can see the Kensington gardens, walk through the new <i>Diana: Her Fashion Story</i> exhibit, and see where Harry’s great-great-great-grandparents and so forth partied throughout the night. And don’t for one second think this tour is boring. Trust us, you’ll <a href="" target="_blank">learn some pretty weird stuff</a> along the way.</p><h3><a href="" target="_blank">Check Out the Crown Jewels </a></h3><p>While in town make sure to take some time to go visit the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Tower of London</a>, home to the Crown Jewels. There, you can sneak a peek at all the luxury gems the Queen owns, including the tiara she lent to Kate Middleton on her wedding day, and a few of the tiaras she could lend to Meghan on May 19.</p><p>If you really want to make this event unique try <a href="" target="_blank">booking an after-hours tour.</a> Then, you’ll get a private guide and get to see the jewels in a much more intimate way.</p><h3><a href="" target="_blank">Visit East London for a Street Art Tour </a></h3><p>The rest of this list is highly posh, but while visiting this gorgeous city, take a bit of time to venture out to vibrant East London. </p><p>Here, visitors can take a number of street art tours to explore the various nooks filled with colorful, playful, and politically charged art from some of the city's most well-known artists.</p><p>Furthermore, in East London you can visit <a href="" target="_blank">Violet Cakes</a>, owned by California baker Claire Ptak, who happens to be creating <a href="" target="_blank">Meghan and Harry’s wedding cake</a>. And nothing in London is sweeter than that.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Corner of California You’ve Never Been to Has Junipers, Waterfalls, and Unbelievably Starry Skies

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 11:30
<p>California is full of clichés. Sandy beaches line the coast, the ocean waves dotted with surfers. Hollywood starlets wink from the red carpet. Hippies and tech moguls (somehow) coexist in the Bay Area. Even majestic <a href="" target="_blank">Big Sur</a> is a well-trod tourist destination.</p><p>But there’s one corner of the state that gets little attention, and many residents prefer it that way. The northeast has been called California’s best-kept secret, a high-altitude treasure trove of federally preserved mountain ranges, lava beds, and desert.</p><p>And while it may be dry, it’s no <a href="" target="_blank">Death Valley</a>. Vast fields of juniper and wildflowers give way to dense ponderosa pines, and if you know where to look, gushing waterfalls bust through the dusty hills. In short, it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with a lot less traffic than <a href="" target="_blank">Yosemite</a>.</p><p>The region’s borders are defined as much by culture as by geologic characteristics. The far northeast actually has more in common with southern Oregon and eastern Nevada than the rest of northern California, with its agricultural valleys and coastal redwoods.</p><img alt="Tule Lake Refuge in California "src=""><p>Mosey through politically conservative Modoc County, the third least populous county in the state, and you might spy its official slogan, “Where the West Still Lives,” not to mention a few shotguns. Stay for the <a href="" target="_blank">Fourth of July parade</a> in Alturas, the county seat, for prancing cattle princesses, vintage hot rods, and loads of country music. Brave the lines for a plate of popular Native American fry bread. Modoc is named for the tribe of people that from 1872 to 1873 defended their land from the U.S. Army in a strategic lava tube stronghold. The federal government has since established several <a href="" target="_blank">tribal reservations</a> and a <a href="" target="_blank">Lava Beds National Monument</a>.</p><p>Besides the lava beds, volcanic terrain abounds given the proximity of four active volcanoes that comprise part of the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire. <a href="" target="_blank">Mt. Shasta</a> is a mountaineer’s paradise, while further south <a href="" target="_blank">Lassen Peak</a> is one of only two volcanoes to erupt in the contiguous United States in the 20th century. Thanks to its active status, people visit hot springs and mud pots; one of the more popular hydrothermal areas is called <a href="" target="_blank">Bumpass Hell</a>.</p><img alt="Big Boiler pool and fumarole steam vents at Bumpass Hell area. "src=""><p>Cool-water-seekers will not leave disappointed, either. <a href="" target="_blank">Burney Falls</a> is a shocking 129-foot waterfall tucked off of Highway 89, a mere 60 miles northeast of Redding, California. Fly fishers catch-and-release from the pool at the bottom, but more flock to the lower <a href="" target="_blank">Pit River</a>. Or they tackle trout in one of <a href="" target="_blank">Surprise Valley’s</a> crystal clear creeks (pronounced “criks” in this region), but beware of mountain lions that shelter in the adjoining <a href="" target="_blank">South Warners</a>. Instead, discover tons of other wildlife: deer, antelope, geese, quail, and, in some areas, wild horses.</p><img alt="Burney Falls "src=""><p>Blink and you’ll miss the nearby town of <a href="" target="_blank">Likely, California</a>, one of this writer’s favorite stops. On close inspection it’s not, in fact, a ghost town. As of the 2010 census, 63 souls lived in Likely. Fuel up at the one-pump gas station in front of Likely General Store, a creaky shop that stocks everything from frozen dinners to firewood to off-color greeting cards. Next door is the town saloon. If you have an RV or a tent, camp out next to the 18-hole golf course, an unlikely yet beautifully maintained green in the middle of nowhere.</p><img alt="Warner Mountains located in Modoc County, California "src=""><p>You needn’t worry about light pollution blocking the unparalleled view of the Milky Way galaxy, which bursts like a creamy paint streak across the sky. Stargazers travel to the region from all over the world; the high altitude makes for clearer air and better views. And the sunsets will stupefy anyone.</p><p>California as a whole is lacking neither great sunsets nor starry vistas. The state’s sheer variety is one explanation for the relative untapped tourism of the Northeast—that and its fiercely protected way of life. The Wild West is alive — it’s just not being advertised.</p>
Categories: Travel

Tiny Shampoo Bottles Are Disappearing From Hotel Rooms (and Not Because Guests Are Taking Them)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 11:01
<p>It could soon be the end for tiny hotel shampoo bottles.</p><p>Both InterContinental Hotels and Marriott International have begun replacing signature tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body gel with large bottles with pumps attached to the wall.</p><p>The hotels argue that the larger, multi-use bottles are more environmentally friendly, eliminate the need for guests to call the front desk for toiletries, and don’t have small caps that can fall down drains and back up plumbing. But hotel guests are not necessarily convinced.</p><p>“What’s next, getting rid of the packs of coffee and making us scoop out of a can?” one frequent traveler <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>. “I think it’s cheap, incredibly cheap.”</p><p>However, a spokesperson for Marriott said the program is not really about the savings. Large shampoo bottles would only save each hotel about $2,000 per year.</p><p>This year, about 450 Marriott locations will replace the small bottles with wall-mounted pumps, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the <em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>. Locations include the Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, TownPlace Suites, Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites. Other Marriott brands, including Four Points, Moxy and some Starwood Hotels &amp; Resorts have already switched. Intercontinental Hotel brands like Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Avid Hotels, Even Hotels and The Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants have already made the switch.</p><p>On the more luxurious end of the spectrum, some hotels <a href="" target="_blank">count on guests</a> taking home <a href="" target="_blank">their small, specially formulated toiletries</a>. But when the bottles stay, they often just end up in the trash. Programs like <a href="" target="_blank">Clean the World</a> partner with hotels to collect old supplies and redistribute them to those in need. The organization estimates that it has redistributed more than 41 million bars of soap <a href="" target="_blank">since 2009</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

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

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 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 data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Amazon</a><a href=";linkCode=ll2&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;linkId=d95587438eb7bdd942f44674ebdd383c" target="_blank"> 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=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;linkId=cf6abf2f2a1fc24ded24d3a3d2f7bfeb" 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=";reviewerType=all_reviews&amp;linkCode=ll2&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;linkId=3bb69b1505ec115205b4526901b3a3c3" 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=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=tlshoebags-20&amp;linkId=cf6abf2f2a1fc24ded24d3a3d2f7bfeb" target="_blank"></a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

American Airlines Apologizes to Breastfeeding Mom After Argument Over Carry-on

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 10:15
<p>Passenger Kelsey Myers was boarding a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago on American Airlines when a gate agent told her she had too many items with her.</p><p>She was traveling with a cooler of breast milk, a pump, a personal item and a carry-on, <a href="" target="_blank">NBC News reported</a>. When she resisted checking her bag, the agent reportedly asked her, “How many boobs do you have?”</p><p>Myers wrote in a Facebook post that the gate agent “yelled” at her, according to NBC. Myers checked her carry-on in order to avoid further confrontation, but she said the situation left her upset. “I’m shocked that a supervisor would show such disrespect,” <a href="" target="_blank">she wrote</a>. I’m also very surprised that a supervisor would have no knowledge of what seems to me like a simple policy.”</p><p>It states on the <a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines website</a> that “diaper bags (1 per child), soft-sided cooler bags with breast milk, child safety seats, strollers and medical or mobility devices don’t count as your personal item or carry-on.”</p><p>After the incident, American Airlines has issued an apology. “It’s difficult enough to travel as a breastfeeding mom,” Leslie Scott, an American Airlines spokesperson, told NBC in Chicago. “We want it to be easier, not more difficult.”</p><p>Scott added that the airline has also reached out to Myers and will be compensating her for the issue.</p>
Categories: Travel

Airline Battery Bans Put This Smart Luggage Company Out of Business

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 10:05
<p>Smart luggage company Bluesmart is shutting down, after struggles following U.S. airlines bans on baggage with non-removable batteries at the end of last year.</p><p>The company was “forced to wind down its operations and explore disposition options, unable to continue operating as an independent entity,” <a href="" target="_blank">according to a blog post</a>.</p><p>Beginning in December, airlines started banning <a href="" target="_blank">all smart luggage that could not have lithium batteries removed</a>.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">$400 Bluesmart suitcase</a> was one of the first to be able to charge USB devices, tell owners how much it weighed and track itself with an app and GPS. However, it was difficult to remove the battery. It required <a href="" target="_blank">unscrewing the battery pack with a screwdriver and disconnecting a few wires</a>.</p><p>But when the battery is removed, Bluesmart luggage loses all of its cool features.</p><p>The company announced that it will no longer manufacture, sell or advertise any products. It will not honor warranties. A company called Travelpro has bought all of Bluesmart’s intellectual property, designs and branding.</p><p>Those who bought Bluesmart luggage will still have a few months to continue using the tandem app but, according to the company, “functionality or service quality will be reduced in the future.”</p><p>Other smart luggage companies — like Raden and Away — have not been affected by the battery ban, as their battery packs are easier to remove. Early customers of Away luggage still need to remove their battery packs with screws. The company emailed customers of its original design last week to announce that it is introducing an ejectable battery pack. Customers will be able to visit an Away store or send away for <a href=";utm_campaign=20180501battery&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=newsletter&amp;utm_content=hed" target="_blank">a new airline-approved battery pack</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel