Travel

There’s a Real-life Neverland and You Could Take a Free Trip There If You’re Named Peter or Wendy

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 09:01
<p>The Film Theorists, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3sznuotAs2ohg_U__Jzj_Q" target="_blank">on YouTube</a>, recently claimed a major discovery: They say they've <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRSm7DUvykk" target="_blank">found Neverland</a>.</p><p>They claimed they were able to pinpoint the exact location of Peter and Wendy’s home using details found in J.M. Barrie’s book, along with information found in the 1953 animated film. They took details like fly to the “second star to the right, and straight on till morning,” along with the location of famous London landmarks in the film to estimate which direction Wendy and Peter were flying.</p><img alt="Sandy Beach in Belize, Turneffe Atoll, Caribbean, Belize "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525881303/Belize-Turneffe-Atoll-PTRWNDYBLZE0518.jpg?itok=8GfGJCcr"><p>Using the film’s illustrations of the wildlife and environment of Neverland, they further narrowed down their search. And finally, the team used Captain Hook’s history with Blackbeard the Pirate to align the location where he may have sailed to find the fountain of youth. So where did they determine Neverland sits? Right off the coast of Belize.</p><p>Specifically, they say Neverland can be found on the Turneffe Atoll.</p><img alt="American Crocodile, Belize "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525881303/American-Crocodile-PTRWNDYBLZE0518.jpg?itok=lGAXc3TE"><p>While the theory is cool, what’s even cooler is that the country of Belize is wholeheartedly welcoming the idea that they are the place where you can go and never grow old. Now, the <a href="https://www.travelbelize.org/" target="_blank">Belize Tourism Board</a> is looking to send one lucky duo on a free, five-day vacation to the real-life Neverland.</p><p>But, there’s a catch: The pair must be named Peter and Wendy.</p><p>So, if your name is Peter, find a friend named Wendy, and email <a href="mailto:BelizeNeverland@gmail.com">BelizeNeverland@gmail.com</a> by May 14, 2018. You’ll be entered to win a trip to Neverland, er— Belize. That’s it.</p><img alt="Hawksbill Sea Turle, Belize "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525881303/Hawksbill-Sea-Turtle-Belize-PTRWNDYBLZE0518.jpg?itok=JhDDXLoT"><p>Of course, if you really want to travel to Neverland all you have to do is think happy thoughts.</p>
Categories: Travel

Los Angeles Might Legalize Short-term Airbnb Rentals — but With Tight Regulations

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 08:42
<p>There’s good news and there’s bad news for home sharers in <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/los-angeles" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a>.</p><p>The Los Angeles City Council approved a new draft ordinance last week that includes new regulations on short-term rentals in the city. While the new policy would officially make many Airbnbs legal in L.A., it would also place pretty strident regulations on hosts.</p><p><a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/airbnb-vrbo-regulations-los-angeles-what-it-means-for-hosts-renters-2018-5" target="_blank">According to <em>Business Insider</em></a>, one of the biggest regulations limits the number of days people can rent out their home to 120 days per year. Plus, hosts will only be able to rent out their primary residence, and rent-stabilized or affordable housing cannot be rented out.</p><p>“We crafted an ordinance that allows good operators to thrive and weeds out those who are cited as nuisances to their neighbors,” Councilman Jose Huizar said in a statement, the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-airbnb-vote-20180502-story.html" target="_blank"><em>Los Angeles Times</em> reported</a>. Housing activists have been campaigning for restrictions like these for a long time, saying that homeowners who rent out their properties like hotels make housing concerns worse.</p><p>If the new policy becomes law, all hosts will have to register their home with the city or pay fines. Websites like <a href="http://airbnb.com" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> and <a href="http://homeaway.com" target="_blank">HomeAway</a> would also face fines if unregistered listings are found on the sites.</p><p>According to the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>, it’s possible that the new policy will also include a code of conduct that hosts will have to agree to as well.</p>
Categories: Travel

What to Know About National Park Fees for Summer 2018

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 07:50
<p>America’s national parks have always been beautiful, but from new glamping options and guided hikes to private tours and farm-to-table dining experiences, there are tons of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/national-park-summer-trip" target="_blank">exciting reasons to visit in summer 2018</a>. However, while many national parks remain free, 117 sites will be increasing entrance fees beginning June 1.</p><p>Fee increases will not be as dramatic as <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/national-parks-raising-entrance-fees" target="_blank">proposed by the U.S. National Park Service</a> last fall due to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/department-of-interior-national-park-fee" target="_blank">public backlash</a>; instead of doubling fees, they will be increasing by an average of about $5. There are <a href="https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm" target="_blank">four days a year</a> when all the parks are free, but none of them are during the summer months. The next free day in 2018 is September 22.</p><p>Though there’s never a bad time to visit our spectacular national parks, what better way to spend an incredible family summer vacation? Wherever you live or travel, there’s likely a spot nearby that offers impressive sights and an educational experience.</p><p>Activities abound: In addition to hiking, fishing, and camping, there are helicopter and train rides, horseback riding, mountain climbing, sand dune sledding, cave tours, whitewater rafting and so much more.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="https://flipboard.com/@travelleisure/summer-adventures-49g991a3y" target="_blank">How to Have a Great Summer Vacation</a></p><p>Whether you’re in search of an enriching getaway with the kids, an invigorating experience with friends, or an adventure to cross off your bucket list, look no further than our awe-inspiring national parks. Here’s what you’ll pay this summer at the top 10 most popular U.S. national parks.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Products-g1438847-d108327-Blue_Ridge_Parkway-North_Carolina_Mountains_North_Carolina.html" target="_blank">Blue Ridge Parkway</a></h2><p>Stretching 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, there is no fee to travel the scenic parkway.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g155988-d104207-Reviews-Golden_Gate_National_Recreation_Area-Marin_County_California.html" target="_blank">Golden Gate National Recreation Area</a></h2><p>This collection of locales in and around San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay area is free with the exception of Muir Woods, where guests 16 and older will pay a $10 fee. Admission to Alcatraz is free though the ferry charges a fee.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g143031-Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park_Tennessee-Vacations.html" target="_blank">Great Smoky Mountains National Park</a></h2><p>Located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, there is no entrance fee.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46800-d125273-Reviews-Gateway_National_Recreation_Area-Sandy_Hook_New_Jersey.html" target="_blank">Gateway National Recreation Area</a></h2><p>Encompassing areas in New York and New Jersey, including the New York City boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, there are no entrance fees, but parking fees apply during the summer months.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28970-d10105731-Reviews-Lincoln_Memorial-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html" target="_blank">Lincoln Memorial</a></h2><p>This national monument honoring Abraham Lincoln is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and no fees apply.</p><h2><a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28949-d135569-Reviews-Lake_Mead_National_Recreation_Area-Nevada.html">Lake Mead National Recreation Area</a></h2><p>Located in southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona, entrance fees range from $15-$25.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28967-d266875-Reviews-George_Washington_Memorial_Parkway-Virginia.html" target="_blank">George Washington Memorial Parkway</a></h2><p>This 25-mile roadway situated almost entirely in Virginia with small portions in D.C. and Maryland charges no fess with the exception of $5-$10 at Great Falls Park.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60746-d550082-Reviews-Natchez_Trace_Parkway-Tupelo_Mississippi.html" target="_blank">Natchez Trace Parkway</a></h2><p>Running 444 miles through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, there is no entrance fee.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g143028-Grand_Canyon_National_Park_Arizona-Vacations.html" target="_blank">Grand Canyon National Park</a></h2><p>Located in northwestern Arizona, entrance fees range from $20-$35.</p><h2><a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28970-d104863-Reviews-Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html" target="_blank">Vietnam Veterans Memorial</a></h2><p>This two-acre national memorial in Washington, D.C. charges no fee.</p><p>To see the fees charged at the other 407 U.S. national parks and historic and cultural sites, visit <a href="https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/entrance-fee-prices.htm" target="_blank">nps.gov</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Turks and Caicos Estate Isn’t Just Heaven on Earth — It Used to Belong to Prince

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 06:55
<p>Prince may have called Minneapolis home, but the late, great artist also owned a truly gorgeous island retreat in Turks and Caicos. And this paradise is now available to the highest bidder.</p><p>Prince initially acquired just the home on the land, then expanded by purchasing the surrounding property, <a href="https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/prince-island-house-turks-caicos-auction-photos-258569" target="_blank">according to <em>Apartment Therapy</em></a>. The parcel now includes more than five acres of private land on the island of Providenciales.</p><img alt="Prince's Estate in Turks and Caicos "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525811478/Prince-Turks-Caicos-Estate-aerial-PRINCECRBNHOME0518.jpg?itok=i7zi8up3"><p>The compound, according to a statement to the press, “boasts 10,000-plus square feet including six bedrooms, six full and one half bathrooms, panoramic ocean views, a tennis court, two private beaches and a 200-foot personal dock.”</p><p>The home itself is rather subdued, with gleaming white walls and floors along with Caribbean-infused style. But that doesn't mean Prince didn’t leave behind a few personal touches.</p><img alt="Prince's Estate in Turks and Caicos "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525811478/Prince-Turks-Caicos-Estate-entry-PRINCECRBNHOME0518.jpg?itok=JkASkNlw"><p>“Prince also put his characteristic unique touch on the property by creating a purple driveway welcoming guests to the estate,” the statement noted.</p><p>While there is no listed minimum bid on the property, <a href="http://people.com/home/princes-private-island-estate-will-be-sold-at-auction-see-inside/" target="_blank"><em>People</em> explained</a> that would-be buyers are required to sign over a $100,000 check just to put in a bid. Don’t worry, it’s refunded if they don’t get the property.</p><p>“With a unique property like Prince’s Turks and Caicos estate, we anticipate significant interest and multiple bidders,” Todd Wohl, founder of Premiere Estates, <a href="https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/96281-prince-s-turks-and-caicos-estate-heads-to-auction" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>.</p><img alt="Prince's Estate in Turks and Caicos "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525811478/Prince-Turks-Caicos-Estate-interior-PRINCECRBNHOME0518.jpg?itok=466R6dqf"><p>So how much should someone bid? That’s truly up in the air, even for the people selling the house.</p><p>“Real estate values in the area ranges quite dramatically. We suggest that all buyers do their own due diligence in regards to assessing value,” <a href="http://premiereestates.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QandA_turksandcaicos1.pdf" target="_blank">Premiere Estate</a>, the company running the auction, noted. “This is the only opportunity to purchase this property. We will provide you with market data for your review.”</p><p>Premiere Estate is offering home tours to those interested in checking out and inspecting the property before they place a bid. The auction will take place on July 12, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET, so get your bids ready now.</p>
Categories: Travel

Authorities Are Warning Tourists to Stop Feeding Kangaroos to Get Selfies

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 06:42
<p>Contrary to what their cuddlesome appearance might suggest, kangaroos are wild animals. Tourists visiting them in New South Wales, Australia are learning that the hard way.</p><p><a href="https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/hospital/1454Q1010/morisset-hospital" target="_blank">Morisset Hospital</a> in <a href="http://www.visitlakemac.com.au/what-to-see-and-do" target="_blank">Lake Macquarie, New South Wales</a> draws <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/kangaroos-addicted-carrots-attack-tourists-australia-2018-5" target="_blank">thousands of tourists</a> every week hoping to catch a glimpse of its resident wild kangaroo population. Several visitors have lured the animals into selfies <a href="http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-02/agro-kangaroos-addicted-to-carrots-attack-tourists/9716612?pfmredir=sm" target="_blank">with carrots, bread, chips — and even McDonald’s and KFC.</a></p><p>As a result, some of the kangaroos have become <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2018/05/02/please-stop-feeding-the-kangaroos-or-risk-getting-mauled-australian-officials-warn-tourists/" target="_blank">aggressive and even violent toward visitors</a> in their search for human food. The photos below show some of the injuries sustained in kangaroo attacks. Warning: Some of the images are graphic.</p><p>Melbourne resident Anita Bielaszka <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/kangaroos-addicted-carrots-attack-tourists-australia-2018-5" target="_blank">told <em>INSIDER</em></a> that she had been attacked by one of the male Morisset kangaroos.</p><p>“He jumped on my back as I was on my knees and he scratched my legs,” Bielaszka <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/kangaroos-addicted-carrots-attack-tourists-australia-2018-5" target="_blank">told <em>INSIDER</em></a>. “Everyone got scared and people took their kids and walked off. It wasn't a big injury, more scary than painful, but that could've been a little kid instead of me — then it could've gotten nasty.”</p><p>The kangaroos’ increasing aggression has spurred Australian MP Greg Piper <a href="http://www.gregpiper1.com/index.cfm?module=news&amp;pagemode=indiv&amp;page_id=724937" target="_blank">to call for a coordinated response</a> from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Minister for Health and the Minister for the Environment.</p><p>“Despite <a href="http://www.gregpiper1.com/index.cfm?module=news&amp;pagemode=indiv&amp;page_id=724937" target="_blank">a number of warning signs</a> being placed throughout the area, people still come in droves and they feed the kangaroos processed foods,” Piper said in an address to Parliament. “Recently one attacked a man, who required 17 stitches in his face.”</p><p>“I do not want to stop people from seeing the kangaroos, but the situation <a href="http://www.gregpiper1.com/index.cfm?module=news&amp;pagemode=indiv&amp;page_id=724937" target="_blank">has to be better managed</a>,” Piper added.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/man-mauled-by-bear-india-over-selfie" target="_blank">Authorities Say Man Was Killed Trying to Take a Selfie With a Bear</a></p><p>This may seem like common sense, but it bears repeating: Feeding wild animals is not a good idea. First off, human food isn’t healthy for animals. Second, it can make wild animals lose their fear of people. According to <a href="http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/feed_wildlife.html" target="_blank">the Humane Society</a>, “Once animals learn they can panhandle for food, they can become a nuisance — or even worse, a safety risk.”</p><p>So the next time you feel tempted to take a selfie with a wild animal, just put that phone back in your pocket and observe from a distance. You’ll be ensuring both your own safety and the safety of the animal.</p><p>And if you do want to cuddle up with a kangaroo, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/animals/kangaroo-sanctuary-alice-springs-australia" target="_blank">there is a way to do it safely</a>. Just head to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/animals/kangaroo-sanctuary-alice-springs-australia" target="_blank">the Kangaroo Sanctuary</a> in Alice Springs, Australia for a guided encounter.</p>
Categories: Travel

Video From a Helicopter Shows What the Inside of Kilauea's Crater Looks Like After Eruption

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 06:15
<p>The Kilauea volcano eruption, on the Big Island of Hawaii, sent a plume of smoke into the air and lava down to the surrounding area below. So far, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/05/08/ominous-images-show-kilauea-volcanos-destruction-on-hawaiis-big-island/?noredirect=on&amp;utm_term=.acde4747125e" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em> reported</a>, it has covered 104 acres on the island.</p><p>Though the lava flow has subsided, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory <a href="http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts" target="_blank">is warning</a> that toxic fumes remained a danger, and due to winds, could spread as far as 60 miles around the island, <em><a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/05/07/hawaii-volcano-science-behind-eruption-kilauea/586268002/" target="_blank"><em>USA Today</em> reported</a>.</p><p>Because people were asked to stay away, the world has yet to see the extent of the volcano’s destruction. However, helicopter pilots are now offering a glimpse of the island’s newly formed volcanic fissures, along with a view of Kilauea’s crater for the first time since the eruption.</p><p>“The Leilani Estates Subdivision on the East side of the Big Island (Puna) is literally being ripped apart,” Mick Kalber wrote in the caption of his video showing the volcano’s destructive force in action while riding with Paradise Helicopters. “Generally, these fissure outbreaks have begun violently, and quit quickly ... but this one appears to be an exception.”</p><p>In a new video <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2018/05/09/helicopter-flyover-gives-rare-look-inside-kilaueas-crater/34718435/" target="_blank">posted by <em>USA Today</em>, viewers can see smoke billowing from the volcano’s crater.</p>
Categories: Travel

Flight Attendants Reveal What You Should Wear If You're Looking for a First Class Upgrade

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 12:30
<p>Sometimes getting an upgrade isn’t about the right timing or knowing the right people. Sometimes, it’s all about having the right outfit.</p><p>There's one way you can score a free upgrade to first class without having to do very much, flight attendants told with <em><a href="http://www.whowhatwear.co.uk/what-to-wear-to-get-upgraded-on-a-flight/" target="_blank">Who What Wear</a></em>: just pick the perfect ensemble. And the good news is, you don’t need to be a fashion icon to do it.</p><p>While many travelers prefer to wear <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/fashion/best-travel-pants-women" target="_blank">sweatpants</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/shoes/cute-comfy-airport-sneakers" target="_blank">sneakers</a> (<a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/cardi-b-blanket-airport-outfit" target="_blank">or even blankets</a>) when they fly, these seasoned cabin crew members say that putting a little more effort into your appearance can go a long way.</p><p>“When we fly, we have a strict dress code to follow. No jeans or trainers — so I always go for tight black trousers and a blazer or a dress. For men, chinos or trousers and a shirt are worn,” one flight attendant told <em>Who What Wear</em>.</p><p>Another flight attendant elaborated that you don’t have to be on trend or wearing designer clothes. “Smart but understated. You should look like you travel often ... It helps; someone who is potentially due to get an upgrade can be knocked back if they aren't dressed suitably.” </p><p>Essentially, you can still be comfortable, but don't dress like you're going to the gym; think more casual workday chic. Dirty sneakers, flip flops, leggings, old shirts, jeans, and other “comfy” but generally too casual clothes will probably keep you in your economy seat.</p><p>Luckily, there are lots of comfortable, business-casual <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/fashion/cute-womens-oversized-sweaters" target="_blank">sweaters</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/best-comfortable-stretch-pants-for-travel" target="_blank">stretchy slacks</a> out there.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Most Common Reason People Get Kicked Off Flights

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 12:30
<p>The flight crew doesn’t make the rules, but they can make sure you follow them.</p><p>Packing people on a tiny plane with cramped seats and less-than-desirable food options isn’t anyone’s idea of a party, but whenever you board a flight, it’s important to remember that everyone is there for the same reason: to get to where they need to be.</p><p>Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop some people from ignoring the rules that are put in place to make sure your flight is safe and on time.</p><p>Flight attendants spoke to<em> <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/what-will-get-you-kicked-off-a-flight-2018-3#trying-to-open-the-plane-door-mid-flight-5" target="_blank">Business Insider</a> </em>about the most common reasons people get kicked off flights, and you might be surprised to find out that decision is rarely up to the flight attendant. While they can try to calm passengers and remind them of safety issues, it’s ultimately up to the pilot whether or not the flight needs to make an emergency landing to boot a problematic passenger.</p><p>So, in other words, if someone is raising enough of a ruckus to prompt the pilot to get involved, a delay is probably coming your way.</p><p>But what are the key factors flight attendants look for when deciding if a passenger is going to cause problems? According to <em>Business Insider</em>, passengers get kicked off flights most often due to being <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/drunk-jetblue-passenger-emergency-landing" target="_blank">visibly intoxicated</a> or <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/where-to-sit-to-avoid-getting-sick" target="_blank">sick</a>.</p><p>“Because we don't need you to get up to 35,000 feet and get crazy on us,” flight attendant Annette Long told <em>Business Insider</em>. As for sick passengers, flight attendants are usually keenly aware of people who look physically ill and generally suggest they take later flights during the boarding process.</p><p>Along those lines, insulting, threatening or getting physical with crew members and other passengers is a serious infraction that can lead to prosecution — and it’s often tied to passengers who are also intoxicated.</p><p>“If you cuss at a flight attendant, it's immediately considered a threat,” one flight attendant said. “If you got physical, depending on what the act was, how it happened, and who it happened to, that might <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/canceled-diverted-flight" target="_blank">divert the plane</a>,” Long added.</p><p>Of course, the most serious reason why someone would get booted from their flight practically needs no explanation. Never, ever <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/flight-passenger-screaming-god-open-door" target="_blank">attempt to open the plane door</a> (unless instructed). Again, this problem often is attributed to passengers who have been drinking — but not always.</p><p>Luckily, it’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/open-plane-door" target="_blank">physically impossible to actually open the doors</a> mid-flight. But, depending on the situation, it can still pose a huge safety hazard.</p><p>Let’s keep the “friendly skies” friendly, and maybe keep that pre-flight cocktail hour short.</p>
Categories: Travel

The One Word That Will Make Your Family Vacation Stress-free

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 12:01
<p>Patience is a virtue, or so I’m told.</p><p>To say my dream week in Tuscany, with its rolling hills, mountains of truffles, and wine — all the wine — started off on a bad foot would be putting it mildly. What should have taken three hours and 29 minutes to drive from the airport in Milan took about seven. Gridlock is never fun and when you put two people in the car with admittedly very little of that thing called patience, it only compounds the problem.</p><p>After hours of screaming and making threats to jump out of the car on the highway, the whole family was gathered around the living room in our rented villa and happily drinking wine, employing self-deprecating humor as if we hadn't been at each other’s throats just moments before.</p><p>That’s family.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/family-vacations/best-travel-stroller-foldable" target="_blank">The Foldable Stroller That Saved My Family Vacation</a></p><p>And while we love and annoy each other in nearly equal measures sometimes, going on family vacations is just part of what we do. It is possible to go away with your entire family (and the baby) without wanting to pull your hair out — and to still eat all the pasta and gelato while you do it.</p><p>Here’s the simple truth: we all get caught up in ourselves at times and things don’t always go as planned. Beyond realizing that sometimes you have to just shut up and let your dad rant about the traffic, it’s also imperative when traveling with a big group to roll with the punches.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/family-vacations/travel-necessities-for-family-vacation" target="_blank">Travel Must-haves for a Family Getaway</a></p><p>That was never more apparent than when we got caught in a hail storm in Rome, rain pelting us so hard it evoked images of a monsoon. Suddenly I had socks so soaked I was squishing with each step. </p><p>Wringing out my hat and wishing I could find a store that sold dry socks, I sloshed around the ancient city, squinting up at the towering columns of the Roman Forum and huddling under the imposing archways of the Colosseum.</p><p>But as the light faded and I stood at the foot of the Trevi Fountain, with golden lights and water so blue it felt like it glowed, I was suddenly less concerned with how cold and wet I was. Ready with my two coins — one with a wish to return to the romantic city and one my mom insisted I throw in to find someone to return with — I tossed them back, grateful that my family was there to tell me to stop complaining and actually focus on the moment.</p><p>An hour later, finally a bit drier but no closer to that elusive coin-promised romance, I stuffed my face with a slightly spicy <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d4313949-Reviews-Trapizzino_Testaccio-Rome_Lazio.html" target="_blank">Trapizzino sandwich</a>, garlicky greens and chili tucked into a buttery pizza bianca, followed by a towering cup of stracciatella gelato and whipped cream, happily shivering as I ate. </p><p>This was not my first trip to Italy, and I’ve been lucky to have seen a lot of the magical, romantic country. So when told on Christmas Day to get in the car, we were going to the often tourist-choked Leaning Tower of Pisa, I have to admit I wasn't thrilled. But it wasn’t just me in Tuscany. I was with six other adults who wanted to go and I was outnumbered.</p><p>As the bells rang out over <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/florence" target="_blank">Florence</a> and families likely gathered to unwrap their presents, we started out for Pisa. While they stared up at the tower and gulped down shots of espresso, I looked at the map. I’d never seen the romantic cliffside towns of Cinque Terre, with their terraced gardens and rainbow houses, humming with life. But after years of wanderlusting after each town and spending hours committing them to memory through Google as I sat at my desk at work, the town of Manarola was within reach.</p><p>I ran through town, chasing the last of the sun, marveling at the rocks jutting out into the deep, dark sea and the fairy-tale, multicolored homes dotting the hillside. Most things were closed on Christmas Day, and as darkness took over and holiday lights sparkled against the water, the whole town took on a fantastical, deserted quality.</p><p>Just say yes. When you don’t want to, just do it anyway. Your family will get what they want and you’ll likely end up with something unexpectedly special — just one nail-biting, winding drive away.</p><p>But while compromise is always important, when traveling with a large group it can also be absolutely necessary to do something just for you.</p><p>Sunglasses on, I walked along the Arno River on my last day in Italy, watching couples, kids, and families stroll along the glistening water separating the heart of Florence from our villa. I had said goodbye to my sister and the baby, on their way to meet the rest of the family for a walking tour. But I wanted to roam the Boboli Gardens, the 16th-century maze of towering cypress trees and intricately painted and carved stone grottos, set atop a hill overlooking the Tuscan city and surrounding countryside. On the way there, I popped into a vintage clothing store where Chanel and Ferragamo mingled with costume jewelry so bright and colorful it would put anyone in a good mood. My time was my own, a rare luxury when exploring with a large group.</p><p>I walked down the narrow street hugging the edge of the gardens and around to the back until the city melted away. Once inside, I turned off the main path and walked through a labyrinth of greenery. Silence took over. There was no one around and the only sound was the scraping of my boots against the gravel path. I wandered with only my thoughts, took photo after photo of the terracotta-colored skyline, and stopped for as long or little as I wanted. It felt powerful to experience it alone.</p><p>Getting to the bottom of the hill and back to the street, I waited just a little longer to call the rest of the family. I extended my solo time, slowly strolling along the Ponte Vecchio, allowing myself to stop at every shiny window with a rainbow of jewels playing their siren songs.</p><p>When I finally did find the group, standing in the middle of Piazza della Signoria, it was with a thick and rich hot chocolate in hand, the sun at my back and excited to tell them all about my morning. We then started the arduous climb to the top of Florence’s Duomo, holding onto the smooth stone walls for balance as we ascended, and carrying my 7-month-old nephew up to the lookout point. We capped off the week watching the sun set on Florence and on this vacation, together, as a family.</p>
Categories: Travel

Jupiter Is As Bright As It Ever Gets This Month — Here Are the Best Ways to See It

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:00
<p>What's that bright star in the southeastern sky? If you're looking just after dusk at anytime in May, it's probably the planet Jupiter.</p><p>Shining brighter than at any point of the year, the giant planet is close to what astronomers call “<a href="http://www.ianridpath.com/jupiter.htm" target="_blank">opposition</a>.” It's the best-ever time to look at Jupiter, and for anyone with even the smallest telescope, the astronomical highlight of the year.</p><h2>When is the best time to look at Jupiter?</h2><p>Technically that's the night of Tuesday, May 8, when Earth is exactly between the sun and Jupiter, so we see a full Jupiter. It's exactly the same as when Earth is between the sun and the moon, and see a totally illuminated full moon all night long, except that Jupiter's opposition happens only once every 13 months.</p><p>On May 10, it's also the closest Jupiter and Earth get to each other. Jupiter will be visible all night long, and highest in the sky just after midnight.</p><h2>How to see Jupiter</h2><p>You don't need a dark sky, nor any knowledge of the night sky, to enjoy Jupiter at its brightest and best. Rising in the southeast after sunset, Jupiter will cross the sky and sink in the west at dawn. It's in the constellation of Libra, near to its second-brightest star Zubenelgenubi.</p><img alt="Jupiter "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525709656/night-sky-bright-planets-JUPITER0518.jpg?itok=8SixvuhM"><p>Although it's a majestic sight with the naked eye, if you can find any pair of binoculars or a small telescope you can get a stunning close-up. In binoculars you will see a bright disc and possibly four moons — Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto — arranged either side of Jupiter. If you have trouble keeping binoculars steady enough to see anything, bring your elbows in to rest on your chest, which should lessen the wobble. However, for a much better view, use any small telescope. As well as making the moons much easier to see, you'll be able to see Jupiter's cloud bands.</p><h2>Where to see Jupiter through a telescope</h2><p>The best way to see Jupiter close-up is through a reasonably large telescope. That's done most easily by attending an observing session run either by <a href="http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-clubs-organizations" target="_blank">your local astronomy society</a> or by an observatory.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.aaa.org" target="_blank">Amateur Astronomers Association</a> will be at the Pioneer Works, Brooklyn on May 13, while on the west coast Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles is holding its <a href="http://griffithobservatory.org/programs/publictelescopes.html#starparties" target="_blank">monthly star party on May 19</a>. The 40th annual <a href="https://texasstarparty.org/welcome" target="_blank">Texas Star Party</a> is being held at Fort Davis, Texas from May 6-13, while nearby MacDonald Observatory is staging a <a href="https://mcdonaldobservatory.org/visitors/programs/star-parties" target="_blank">star party on May 8</a>. Eagle Lake Observatory in Minnesota has a <a href="http://www.mnastro.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018-ELOPublicStarParty.pdf" target="_blank">special Jupiter at Opposition star party on May 19</a>, while Arizona's Robert Ferguson Observatory has a <a href="http://rfo.org/star-parties.htm" target="_blank">star party scheduled for May 12</a>.</p><h2>When is Jupiter next at opposition?</h2><p>Jupiter will next be at opposition on June 10, 2019, and again on July 14, 2020 and August 19, 2021. The timing of Jupiter's opposition is caused by the differing speeds of Earth, an inner planet 93 miles from the sun, and Jupiter, which is an outer planet 484 million miles from the sun.</p><p>Jupiter takes 12 years to orbit the sun, in which time Earth orbits the sun 12 times. So every 13 months, Earth catches up and overtakes it. When that happens, Jupiter looks exceptionally bright from Earth.</p><p>However, Jupiter's opposition on May 8 is only the first of three planetary oppositions this summer. On June 27, it's Saturn's turn, followed by Mars a month later on July 27 (when it will be twice as bright as Jupiter). If you've never seen the Giant Planet, the Ringed Planet, or the Red Planet up close, this summer you'll have three chances to get to know our neighbors.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Great Wall of China Is Getting Restored With the Help of Drones

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 10:40
<p>The Great Wall of China is more than 2,000 years old, so naturally, it could use some work.</p><p>However, this world wonder is more than 13,000 miles long, stretching over a wide range of terrain that can be very steep, rocky, eroded and dangerous for people to access. That makes repairs a little tricky.</p><p>In an effort to address the issue, Intel and the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation are partnering on a plan to deploy drones to scan 3D images of parts of the wall that have fallen into disrepair, <a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/611036/drones-are-about-to-start-mapping-the-great-wall-of-china-in-incredible-detail/" target="_blank"><em>MIT Technology Review</em> reported</a>.</p><p>In the 700-year-old Jiankou region of the wall, near Beijing, the drone fleet could help prioritize repairs along the mountainous terrain.</p><p>“Using drones, we are able to inspect multiple aspects of the structure including areas that are quite inaccessible,” Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager of Intel’s drone team, <a href="https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intels-drone-artificial-intelligence-technology-help-restore-chinas-great-wall/" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “We look forward to leveraging our technology to aid in the preservation of more world heritage sites in the future.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Frontier Is Having a Sale With Cheap Flights Starting at $20

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 10:04
<p>Whether you’re looking for a last-minute getaway to visit mom this <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/gift-guides/mothers-day-self-gift-guide" target="_blank">Mother’s Day</a> or just want to head to the beach, here's a chance to do it on the cheap.</p><p><a href="https://www.flyfrontier.com/ways-to-save/online-deals/" target="_blank">Frontier Airlines</a> is offering flights to destinations across the country starting at $20.</p><p>The $20 one-way flights are available on routes including Albuquerque to Denver, Atlanta to Orlando, Austin to Indianapolis, Chicago to Charleston, and <a href="https://www.flyfrontier.com/ways-to-save/online-deals/" target="_blank">many more</a>. There are also deals to San Juan, Puerto Rico, starting at $33 one-way from <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/miami" target="_blank">Miami</a>.</p><p>Return flights are also cheap, and there are round-trip fares available for less than $50.</p><p>The Frontier sale runs through Wednesday, May 9, and the cheap flights are available for travel from May 11 to June 6.</p><p>Frontier is a budget airline, so seat selection and baggage cost extra. Depending on what extras you'll need on your trip, it could make sense to <a href="https://www.flyfrontier.com/ways-to-save/bundles" target="_blank">purchase a bundle</a>. Make sure to check any and all fees before purchase so you really do get a great deal.</p>
Categories: Travel

Photos and Videos Show the Incredible Destruction From the Kilauea Volcano Eruption

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 08:23
<p>A day after the Kilauea volcano erupted on Hawaii’s Big Island, the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/hawaii-kilauea-volcano-erupts-people-evacuated" target="_blank">state experienced its strongest earthquake</a> in 43 years. Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate their homes due to the threat of lava and sulfur dioxide gas, <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/07/609090552/photos-fissures-lava-flow-and-evacuations-continue-on-hawaiis-big-island" target="_blank">NPR reported</a>.</p><p>The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) updated on <a href="http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts" target="_blank">Monday evening</a> that volcanic activity has subsided, but toxic fumes were still a danger. At least 31 homes have been destroyed by lava flow. Although a limited number of residents are being allowed to check on their property, there is no time frame for when residents will be able to permanently return to the area.</p><p>A temporary flight restriction was in place for part of the island, <a href="http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/38110613/list-shelter-opens-schools-closed-as-a-result-of-lava-threat-at-kilauea" target="_blank"><em>Hawaii News Now</em> reported</a>, and some airlines are waiving flight change fees for travelers impacted by the eruption. (If you are traveling to the area, check the status of your flight with your airline.)</p><p>While the sight of spewing lava is intriguing to many, authorities are warning people to stay away from the volcanic activity. “This is not the time for sightseeing,” HVO on its website. “You can help tremendously by staying out of the area.”</p><p>Locals and officials have been sharing updates, photos and videos of the situation on social media, and the footage is both astounding and terrifying.</p>
Categories: Travel

Google Maps Is Personalizing Dining and Activity Recommendations, and Will Even 'Match' You to Restaurants

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 07:30
<p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/offbeat/google-maps-faroe-islands-sheep" target="_blank">Google Maps</a> is redesigning its “Explore” tab this summer to improve its recommendations for restaurants, events, and activities. Among the key features will be a personalized score indicating how much Google thinks you'll enjoy a restaurant or bar (at least on the surface, comparable to Netflix's percentage telling you how much you might like a movie).</p><p>Google announced the changes at its developer conference, <a href="https://events.google.com/io/" target="_blank">Google I/O</a>, in Mountain View on Tuesday.</p><p>The idea, according to Google Maps Senior Product Manager Sophia Lin, is that “in addition to helping you get where you need to go, we’ll help you discover new places to eat and things to do around you.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/hopper-secret-cheap-flights" target="_blank">How 'Secret Fares' Could Save You $500 on Flights</a></p><p>On the Explore tab, you'll be able to see dining, event and activity options in the selected area. There will also be lists that show top-ranked options; for example, a “Foodie List” will include recommendations for trending restaurants based on local experts, Maps' own algorithms, and Google's trusted publishers. If you go to places on the list, Maps will cross them off to show your progress. (Gotta catch 'em all.)</p><p>For each place, Google Maps will also be using machine learning to display a “match” number meant to show “how likely you are to enjoy a food or drink spot based on your unique preferences,” Lin told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><img alt="Match score on Google Maps "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525799046/fattoush-GOOGLE0518.jpg?itok=jNQ7rLZr"><p>“We've heard from our users that combing through lists, star ratings, photos, and reviews was often information overload — some called it 4-star fatigue,” she said. “The benefit of getting a match is that it helps you identify which restaurants you might like based on your unique interests and preferences, so you can spend less time planning and more time having fun.”</p><p>Of course, as anyone with an odd Netflix watch history is well aware, algorithm-based recommendations are only as good as the data points put into them.</p><p>“There are a few things you can do to make sure your match is as accurate as possible,” Lin told T+L. “You can rate places on Google Maps, which helps us determine which restaurants you like so we can improve your match for similar places moving forward.”</p><p>“You can also tell us about your food and drink preferences,” she said, “so we’ll know if you enjoy certain types of cuisines or restaurant types, like family friendly spots or places with live music.” (In the app's settings, users will be able to select among various options.)</p><img alt="Food and drink preferences "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525801536/food-and-drink-GOOGLE0518.jpg?itok=imIu3rv8"><p>It will also be easier to create and share lists in Maps, so you can come up with some ideas and share them with friends and family and — assuming the group has similar or comparable tastes — vote on what to do and where to go.</p><p>And finally, expect to see a new “For You” tab that rounds up all of those personalized recommendations. Trending places and restaurant openings, among other things, will be highlighted in your preferred neighborhoods.</p><p>While reviews aren't going anywhere, they do seem to have peaked, while curation is on the rise. So if you're tired of sorting through all those 4-star options, soon you can just go with your machine-based match.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Get an 'All You Can Fly' Summer Pass to See Everything There Is to See in Norway

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 07:23
<p>This <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/photography/summer-instagram-captions-quotes" target="_blank">summer</a>, travelers can take advantage of an offer from Norwegian airline Widerøe for unlimited flights throughout Norway.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.wideroe.no/en/tickets/explore-norway-ticket" target="_blank">Explore Norway Ticket</a> allows ticket-holders to book unlimited flights between 42 destinations in Norway. It is valid for two weeks between July 1 and August 31.</p><p>The country is divided up into three “zones.” Unlimited travel within one week will cost $435. Two zones increases the price to $512, and to fly without restriction through all of Norway will cost $589.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="https://flipboard.com/@travelleisure/summer-adventures-49g991a3y" target="_blank">Ideas for a Great Summer Vacation</a></p><p>After booking the first flight with their unlimited pass, travelers can change their itinerary as much as they would like, up to two hours before departure. The only stipulation is that travelers cannot book more than four flights between the same pair of cities.</p><p>The journey can even start and end outside of Norway. The ticket includes flights to and from select destinations in the U.K., Sweden and Denmark that Widerøe services.</p><p>Within Norway, travelers can use their unlimited tickets to sightsee in Oslo, explore the western fjords, venture into the Arctic circle, or take part in a whale safari on the coast. Travelers who head north with their ticket will be able to experience the “<a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/iceland-midnight-sun-video" target="_blank">midnight sun</a>” phenomenon throughout the summer season.</p><p>And if two weeks doesn’t seem like enough time to explore all that Norway offers, it’s possible to extend the pass to three weeks for an additional $255.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Eat Free at Disney World

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 13:52
<p>With <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/disney-toy-story-land-theme-park" target="_blank">Toy Story Land</a>, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/star-wars-galaxys-edge-timeline" target="_blank">Star Wars rides</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/disney-vacations/disney-new-marvel-attractions" target="_blank">Marvel attraction</a>s on the way, Disney parks are only getting more expensive — but if you’re smart about booking your next trip, you can save nearly one thousand dollars.</p><p>Walt Disney World’s current Free Dining promotion, which must be booked by July 7, lets families eat for free when booking a five-night vacation package at a Walt Disney World Hotel that starts on specific dates in August, September and December, with limited dates in late November.</p><p>Typically an add-on cost, Disney’s “Free Dining” promotion simply adds a Disney Dining Plan feature onto a trip for each guest for no cost, letting families enjoy princess character lunches, stellar views of nearby sights and even some of Magic Kingdom’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/disney-vacations/disney-world-restaurants" target="_blank">most popular restaurants</a> for no cost.</p><p>The stipulations of booking Free Dining, Disney Dining Plans and Magic Your Way packages can become incredibly confusing, so we’ve broken down every element you’ll need to know about the annual Walt Disney World promotion and if it’s right for you.</p><p>Don’t miss out on saving hundreds of dollars by getting lost in the details.</p><h2>What is the Disney Dining Plan?</h2><p>The Disney Dining Plan is a pre-paid meal plan for use on vacations at Walt Disney World. It can be purchased exclusively by guests staying at Disney-operated hotels, and converts money into meal “credits” that can be used at different food &amp; beverage locations throughout Walt Disney World resort.</p><h2>What — and where — can I eat on the Disney Dining Plan?</h2><p>It depends. There are three different Disney Dining Plans available — Quick-Service, Dining and Deluxe Dining plans. Each comes with a refillable drink mug for use at any resort hotel and two snacks (like popcorn, Mickey ice cream bars or a 20oz Coca-Cola) per person per day. Quick-Service plans allow for 2 meals per day per person at cafeteria-style eateries like Sunshine Seasons or <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/wacky-new-theme-park-food#cheeseburger-buns-disney-pandora" target="_blank">Satu’li Canteen</a>. The standard Disney Dining plan allows for 1 meal at a quick-service restaurant and 1 at a table-service restaurant each day per person — at locations including ‘50s Prime Time Café and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/be-our-guest-beauty-and-the-beast-restaurant-makeover" target="_blank">Be Our Guest</a> — while the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan allows for 3 meals per day at table- or quick-service eateries per person. Every meal on every plan includes and entree and beverage, and table-service lunches and dinners include an appetizer, entree, dessert and drink per guest or buffet entitlements (applicable for any meal). All Disney Dining Plans are compatible with mobile ordering, but note: higher-end table service restaurants may require “double” credits.</p><h2>What is Free Dining?</h2><p>Free dining is a special seasonal and annual promotion wherein participating <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/disney-vacations/best-disney-world-hotels" target="_blank">Disney Resort Hotels</a> offer <a href="https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2018/04/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-free-dining-plan-offer-available-now/" target="_blank">complimentary Disney Dining Plans</a> when booking a full-price Walt Disney World vacation package with tickets and lodging.</p><h2>Which hotels offer Free Dining?</h2><p>Only Disney-operated hotels are eligible for the Free Dining promotion, and select locations and availability varies. Free dining is offered among multiple hotel pricing tiers but the program varies; eligible Disney Deluxe Villa and Deluxe Resort Hotels offer a free Disney Dining Plan, while eligible Disney Moderate and Value Resort Hotels come with a free Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan. (Guests can pay to upgrade to the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.)</p><h2>What’s the catch?</h2><p>Disney’s Free Dining promotion is only available by booking a full-price, non-discounted “Magic Your Way” package, locking every member of your family into a minimum day Park Hopper ticket. If you buy tickets elsewhere, plan to visit a single park each day, or have an annual pass, you won’t be eligible for Free Dining.</p><h2>How do I know if it’s right for me?</h2><p>Do the math. If your dates are flexible, there may be other promotions that suit your needs best, but if you were planning on visiting over Thanksgiving or Christmas — two of the busiest times of year — a Free Dining booking could save you hundreds of dollars.</p><h2>How do I book Free Dining?</h2><p>As fast as humanly possible, <a href="https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2018/04/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-free-dining-plan-offer-available-now/" target="_blank">either on the Walt Disney World website</a> or over the phone. There are famously a limited amount of eligible rooms and they fill up quickly. Missed the boat this time? Consider working with a travel agent for your next trip who will be ready and willing to wait on the phone to assist in booking your vacation the next time around.</p><h2>Do people actually save money with the Disney Dining Plan?</h2><p>With “Free Dining”, absolutely; on a regular visit, it depends. A major benefit of choosing to prepay for meals with a Disney Dining Plan is that it frees one up to enjoy vacation without worrying about the nickel-and-diming, but larger plans can be too much food for light eaters. As of 2018, all three Disney Dining Plans now includes alcoholic drinks, which could save loads of money for guests who would otherwise <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/food-drink/bars-clubs/best-bars-disney-world" target="_blank">hit the bars</a>, but if you’re a teetotaler or prefer snacking your way across the parks instead of sitting down to eat, lower-tier plans or no plan at all may be a better choice.</p>
Categories: Travel

These First Class Fliers Want You to Know What You're Missing Out on Back There in Coach (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:31
<p>Have you ever squeezed yourself into your coach seat, only to sit and wonder how life would be at the front of the plane?</p><p>Well, people who have <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/when-to-upgrade" target="_blank">flown first class</a> are happy to tell you about their experiences. An <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/7mh2ev/redditors_whove_flown_first_class_what_are_the/" target="_blank">AskReddit</a> thread asked some lucky travelers for the best <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/first-class-better-than-business-class" target="_blank">perks of flying first class</a>, and they jumped at the chance to share.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/emirates-first-class-floor-to-ceiling-cabins" target="_blank">The Newest First Class Perk Is Not Having to See Another Human Being on Your Flight</a></p><p>Read the answers to "Redditors who've flown first class, what are the people in coach missing out on?" and just try not to cry over your sad bag of pretzels. </p><h2>Lie-flat Seats</h2><p>At the top of the thread, a Redditor stated that one of the best perks is seats that not only come with more leg room, but fold down into a bed. Another clarified that these seats usually measure under six feet, but still, you can always curl up.</p><h2>A Better Boarding Experience</h2><p>Have you ever wondered how first class passengers seem to already be settled comfortably in their seats when you get on the plane, even if you’re in the first boarding group? That’s because most airlines board first class even before Group 1 (or Group A), and some use different boarding doors.</p><h2>Toiletry Kits and Champagne</h2><p>Yes, the rumors are true. You can get complimentary champagne and a nice swag bag of travel essentials.</p><h2>Privacy</h2><p>One Redditor said your “seat is like a little pod - your divider is up and you cannot see who is next to you, and your pod exits to the aisle so you never have to disturb anyone if you need to get up or use the lavatory.” Heaven.</p><h2>The Food</h2><p>Forget the shrink-wrapped options in coach. One Redditor mentioned there are wine lists, warm nuts, and even shrimp cocktail.</p><h2>Real Silverware and Linens</h2><p>Plastic forks and paper napkins are nowhere in sight.</p><h2>Better Entertainment</h2><p>One Redditor mentioned that they got noise cancelling headphones.</p><h2>Onboard Chefs (Sometimes)</h2><p>“Air France...had an on-board chef to individually make the meals,” said one Redditor.</p><h2>A Shower</h2><p>One Redditor mentioned that Emirates has a first-class shower, which is especially great for travelers on extremely long flights.</p><h2>Peace and Quiet</h2><p>Many Redditors mentioned that the chaos and noise of economy is virtually nonexistent in first class.</p><p>While many of us deal with cramped seats and noisy neighbors, you have to admit the very thought of first class would make anyone jealous.</p>
Categories: Travel

Icelandair is Offering Free Stopover Experiences Hand-picked by Iceland’s National Football Team

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:01
<p>Earlier this year, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/iceland" target="_blank">Iceland</a>'s national football team became the smallest to ever quality for the World Cup, and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/icelandair-transatlantic-play" target="_blank">Icelandair</a> is inviting its passengers to share in the celebration.</p><p>The airline, a sponsor of the team, is launching a free Team Iceland Stopover program that offers passengers one-of-a-kind Icelandic experiences to get up-close with the players and their favorite stops in the country. Passengers can choose from a variety of 90-minute excursions — created by the players — that showcase the history of the sport as well as their culture.</p><p>Options include attending a national men’s or women’s team match to see team members in person, relaxing in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/iceland-retreat-at-blue-lagoon-hotel" target="_blank">geothermal lagoons</a> like the <a href="https://www.fontana.is" target="_blank">Laugarvatn Fontana</a> picked out by midfielder Birkir Bjarnason, or taking one-one-one training sessions with members of the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/jun/08/iceland-stunning-rise-euro-2016-gylfi-sigurdsson-lars-lagerback" target="_blank">Breidablik’s academy</a> to learn the sport yourself.</p><p>Along with the excursion, the stopover program also highlights Iceland's spectacular scenery. Training sessions created by athletes like midfielder Dagný Brynjarsdóttireven let you learn the sport at locations where you’ll simultaneously enjoy views of the country’s dramatic terrain.</p><p>The free stopover perk is available to passengers taking a transatlantic flight through June 2018, at which point the airline's regular <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/airlines-with-free-stopovers" target="_blank">free seven-night stopover program</a> will resume.</p><p><em>Note: Information in the article about which experiences players will be at has been corrected.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

What It's Like to Use the Inflatable Emergency Slide on a Plane (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:01
<p>Lots of travelers know the pre-flight safety demonstration pretty much by heart, but we all hope to never have to actually use that information in real life.</p><p>Securing the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/how-to-use-airplane-oxygen-masks" target="_blank">overhead oxygen mask</a>, using a seat cushion as a flotation device, or deploying the emergency slide are thankfully things most travelers have not had to experience.</p><p>So one thing you might not know is how incredibly designed and easy it is to use an airplane's inflatable slide actually is.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/pilot-airplane-safety-trick-emergency-evacuation" target="_blank">Why You Should Start Every Flight With This Pilot's 3-second Safety Trick</a></p><p>Demonstrations of the slide posted to YouTube and <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/mechanical_gifs/comments/7g9lqj/deploying_plane_evacuation_slide_from_passenger/" target="_blank">Reddit</a> show what it’s like to deploy the inflatable plane slide in an emergency. By a simple pull of a lever, the slide is activated and instantly inflated in order to evacuate hundreds of people in a matter of minutes — which is pretty mind-blowing if you think about it.</p><p>However, deploying a slide isn’t a small task. The cost of repacking or possibly repairing an emergency slide could be between $6,000 and $30,000, according to a <em><a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/united-airlines-flight-attendant-emergency-slide-not-employed-2016-4" target="_blank">Business Insider</a> </em>report.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/airlines-that-never-crashed" target="_blank">Here Are All the Airlines That Have Never Had a Fatal Plane Crash</a></p><p>And while the volunteers in the demonstration videos look cheerful — probably because they’re going down a slide — having to use the device in an emergency isn’t a happy situation. On <em><a href="https://medium.com/@SusannahFox/what-i-learned-going-down-an-emergency-slide-b05717355ed5" target="_blank">Medium</a></em>, writer Susannah Fox detailed her experience after her flight’s engine blew out and the plane’s emergency slide had to be deployed.</p><p>“A line from the safety demonstration popped into my head like a snippet of an old song: 'the closest exit may be behind you.' That was true in my case, but there was a bottleneck. People were refusing to go down the slide,” Fox wrote.</p><p>“A bunch of us moved quickly down the aisle. Without hesitating I jumped out the door and onto the slide. Whoosh! Down I went. It was fast and, I have to admit, pretty fun. The slide is made of a somewhat slick material and you definitely pick up speed as you go.”</p><p>Fox described how some passengers managed to take items with them, such as backpacks or purses — though that is very much <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/always-leave-carry-on-during-emergency-evacuation" target="_blank">the wrong thing to do</a>. One person even grabbed a salad they weren't finished eating, Fox wrote, which unsurprisingly ended up all over the slide. So, take note: Don’t bring food on the slide. In fact, don't bring anything or you are putting yourself and others at risk. Also, take off your shoes and keep them with you.</p><p>Here's to hoping the only slide you ever get to use is in a playground, not an airplane. </p>
Categories: Travel

The Simple Request That Will Get You a Bigger Hotel Room for Free

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 11:32
<p>Travelers are always looking for tricks to get the most out of their vacation budgets.</p><p>While surprise free upgrades are always nice, you can’t rely on luck to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your hotel stay. This is why lots of travelers find clever ways to maximize their hard-earned cash.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/budget-travel/cheap-hotel-room-trick" target="_blank">The Single Best Way to Save on a Hotel Room</a></p><p>For instance, many vacationers have experienced paying top dollar for a hotel room that looked better on the website than it did upon arrival. Of course, travelers can always pay higher rates for bigger suites with better views, but who wants to do that?</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/what-you-can-steal-from-hotel" target="_blank">Here’s What You Can and Can’t Steal From Your Hotel Room</a></p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/cheapest-weeks-to-book-hotel-room" target="_blank">This Is How to Know When You’ll Find the Cheapest Hotels in Different Cities</a></p><p>There is one way you can guarantee yourself an extra spacious room without extra fees: Ask for a corner room.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5307813/Experts-reveal-best-deals-hotels.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, because of the way many hotels are built, corner rooms end up being slightly larger than other rooms without technically being categorized as fancier luxury suites. In other words, those guests in the corner rooms paid less per square foot than the ones in the middle of the hallway.</p><p>Plus, asking the front desk for a corner room is a much more polite (and reasonable) option than asking for a free upgrade — as long as the hotel isn’t overbooked.</p>
Categories: Travel

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