Travel

Iceland Is Planning a Huge Airport Upgrade to Accommodate All the Tourists

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 16:49
<p>There will soon be <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/iceland" target="_blank">one more reason to go to Iceland</a>: the airport will be top-notch.</p><p>According to <em><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-15/booming-iceland-has-airport-spending-1-billion-on-capacity" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a></em>, the efforts to boost tourism in Iceland have led to some big changes at Keflavik airport in Reykjavik. The airport is predicting more than 10 million travelers will pass through its terminals this year — five times more than the number of passengers seen over the past nine years.</p><p>Now, the airport wants to invest about $1 billion over the next seven to eight years to make room for new airlines and routes. Over the last few years, Icelandic airlines like <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/cheap-flights-europe-wow-air-69-99" target="_blank">WOW Air</a> and Icelandair have been making names for themselves as a “gateway” to Europe with low airfares and special deals for U.S. travelers.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/new-airlines-routes-2018" target="_blank">The Most Exciting New Airline Routes Coming in 2018</a></p><p>As these airlines continue to grow, expanding and renovating Keflavik Airport is becoming essential in order to accommodate the influx of travelers.</p><p><a href="https://www.isavia.is/" target="_blank">ISAVIA</a>, the company that operates all airports in Iceland, is currently looking for investors in Keflavik’s expansion, according to Bjorn Oli Hauksson, its managing director. </p><img alt="Keflavik airport in Iceland "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1518025524/leifsstod-utan-exterior-ICELANDAIRPORT0218.jpg?itok=IXSrstDG"><p>“It is simply a question of when in the next three to four years we will give the signal for the biggest step which will be a new finger for Keflavik,” he told <em>Bloomberg</em>.</p><p>The Icelandic airport is surrounded by blackened lava fields, so there is potentially plenty of room to grow after years of neglect. The main issue at hand is gaining enough funds to complete the project.</p><p>“We haven’t before experienced an infrastructure build-up on this scale within one company in Iceland,” Hauksson said.</p>
Categories: Travel

South Carolina Zoo Needs Your Help Naming This Baby Giraffe

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 16:48
<p>The Greenville Zoo in South Carolina is asking for help naming their newborn female calf, born to their proud mom giraffe, Autumn. The 6-foot, 2-inch, 157 pound baby was born on January 31, 2018.</p><p>The zoo posted about the competition on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/greenvillezoo/posts/10156013470785295" target="_blank">Facebook</a> on Monday, February 5. To submit a name for the newborn, fill out the form on the <a href="https://app.mobilecause.com/form/6KWNFw" target="_blank">Greenville Zoo website</a>.</p><p>Submissions will be taken through Thursday, February 8 at noon, Eastern standard time. The zoo will announce the winner at a news conference Friday, at 10:00 a.m.</p><p>At the moment, the zoo is closed for routine maintenance, but will open again to the public on Saturday, February 10, so everyone can marvel at the latest “little” addition -- hopefully with an adorable, new name.</p><p>In the meantime, you can keep up to date on the happy giraffe family by watching the Greenville Zoo’s giraffe live stream on its <a href="https://greenvillezoofoundation.org/giraffecam/" target="_blank">website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Google Just Made It Easier Than Ever to Book Flights and Hotels From Your Phone

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 16:02
<p>Google has long been an invaluable resource for destination discovery, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/google-flights-hotels-update-savings" target="_blank">flight and hotel bookings</a>, and all other aspects of vacation planning.</p><p>Now, the search giant has added new functionalities that make it easier than ever to book travel on your mobile device.</p><p>Among the just-dropped features is the ability to book a hotel and flight reservation directly from search on mobile, obviating the need for separate searches and multiple windows. Also new is an image viewer function that makes it possible to click through a hotel’s picture gallery without having to leave the results list. The same goes for customizing for dates and prices — users can now shop around for the best deal without having to click off to another site.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/google-flights-basic-economy" target="_blank">Google Flights Will Now Show Which Tickets Are 'Basic Economy'</a></p><p>But our favorite addition has to be the new tab layout, which completely streamlines the process of toggling between flights and hotels while allowing users to discover attractions at their chosen destination (“Explore”), and locate all their travel-related itineraries in one convenient place (“My Trips”).</p><p>Consider this yet another reason to start planning that <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/travel-bucket-list" target="_blank">dream trip</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The One Piece of Advice From the Queen's Mother That Made Her More Confident

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 11:01
<p>Just <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/why-queen-elizabeth-wears-bright-colors" target="_blank">looking at Queen Elizabeth</a> one might think, “There goes a confident woman.” Her stoic stance, quiet pride, and confident gaze lead many around the world to assume the Queen has always had it all together. But, according to Lady Penn, a former lady in waiting to the Queen Mother, Elizabeth wasn’t always as calm, cool, and collected as she seems. All it took to change that, however, was a little motherly advice. </p><p><b>Related: </b><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/queen-elizabeth-purse" target="_blank">How Queen Elizabeth Uses Her Purse As a Secret Code</a></p><p>“The Queen Mother told the Queen when she was very young to be brave,” <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/04/queens-calm-confidence-can-traced-single-tip-mother/" target="_blank">Penn said</a> while filming a new documentary series broadcasting on Channel 5. “I think the Queen probably felt walking into a room full of people was rather daunting.”</p><p>So the Queen Mother shared one simple piece of advice with Elizabeth to build up her confidence right as she entered a room. And it’s advice we surely all could use.</p><p>“She said to her, 'What you want to do, when you walk into a room, walk through the middle of the door.' And I think by that she meant, don’t sort of go in apologetically. You walk through as if ‘I’m in charge.’”</p><p>This wasn’t the only revelation Penn, other former staffers, and historians shared on the documentary, which kicked off by examining the Queen’s earliest years as the reigning monarch.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/travel-bags/queen-elizabeth-luggage-globe-trotter" target="_blank">Queen Elizabeth Has Been Traveling With This Luggage Since Her Honeymoon in 1947</a></p><p>Historian Kate Williams also detailed the moment when Elizabeth learned she would one day be Queen. Following Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936, Elizabeth learned she would be Queen while at a swimming lesson alongside her sister Margaret. When Margaret heard the news she reportedly responded, “poor you.”</p><p>Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne came years later, following her father’s death in 1952, when Elizabeth was just 25 years old. Tuesday, Feb. 6, marked the 66th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. According to the<i> </i><em><a href="https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/914422/Queen-Elizabeth-II-Queen-Mother-Her-Majesty-Channel-5-documentary-Lady-Penn" target="_blank">Express</a></em>, Her Majesty quietly celebrated the day at home. For the outside world, the day was marked with a 41-gun salute by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery at both Green Park and the Tower of London.</p>
Categories: Travel

Last-minute Travel Deals for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Vacation

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:31
<p>With <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/holiday-travel/valentines-day" target="_blank">Valentine’s Day</a> just around the corner (one week, actually), now might be a good time to start planning that little getaway for you and your SO. Lucky for you lovebirds, major flight and hotel deals are popping up all over the web so you can celebrate V-Day without, you know, depleting your entire bank account (that's called romance, people).</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/airbnb-experiences-romantic-getaway-cities" target="_blank">These Are the Most Popular Valentine's Day Destinations on Airbnb This Year</a></p><p>What’s more is we’ve already done the grunt work so you don’t have to. Below are some standout travel package deals set at various destinations so you can choose depending on your mood. Craving some fun in the sun? Book a tropical, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/best-times-to-visit-cancun" target="_blank">all-inclusive vacay in sunny Cancun</a>. Wanting an adrenaline rush and some bright lights? <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/las-vegas-nevada" target="_blank">Las Vegas</a> packages are in abundance, too. There are even <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/disney-vacations" target="_blank">Disney</a> deals for all you Mickey enthusiasts. But really, you should see it for yourself.</p><h2>Southwest</h2><p>Here’s your chance to see the Eiffel Tower without flying international (and also the Las Vegas Strip). Southwest is offering a deal at the iconic Paris Las Vegas in which you can save up to $100 if you use the promo code 100VEGAS when booking.</p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.southwestvacations.com/Deals/Package.aspx?onsaleid=630850&amp;nights=3&amp;price=99999" target="_blank">southwest.com</a></p><p>Or up the ante on your Disney World vacation by booking this flight + hotel package for four nights or more at the Walt Disney World Swan in Orlando. Perks? Aside from the obvious one — you’re going to Disney World — you also get to save $100 when booking with the promo code SAVEINMCO. And oh yeah, a room upgrade doesn't hurt either.</p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.southwestvacations.com/Deals/Package.aspx?onsaleid=632636&amp;nights=4&amp;price=99999" target="_blank">southwest.com</a></p><h2>JetBlue</h2><p>You can save $150 if you book a minimum four-night stay for anytime between Feb. 7 and April 30 with the promo code VDAY150 — just make sure to book by Feb. 12.</p><p dir="ltr">Or if you’re planning to gift your SO with a getaway later this year, JetBlue is also offering $125 off travel between May 1 and Oct. 27 with the promo code VDAY125 if you also book by Feb. 12.</p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.jetblue.com/" target="_blank">jetblue.com</a></p><h2>Expedia</h2><p>Expedia isn’t kidding around with their "Unreal Deals." For Valentine’s Day, the travel booking site is offering a two-night stay in Chicago at the Waldorf Astoria hotel — and get this, you can save 100 percent on your roundtrip flights.</p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.expedia.com/Chicago-Hotels-Waldorf-Astoria-Chicago.h2717582.Hotel-Information?chkin=2%2F13%2F2018&amp;chkout=2%2F15%2F2018&amp;rm1=a2&amp;regionId=178248&amp;sort=recommended&amp;hwrqCacheKey=24e95951-3e94-41c9-9eca-d0e4bd29ae4aHWRQ1518040932525&amp;vip=false&amp;c=d2296caa-0371-4522-8cec-87f736bd7dcd&amp;packageType=fh&amp;exp_dp=673.7&amp;exp_ts=1518040933161&amp;exp_curr=USD&amp;swpToggleOn=false&amp;exp_pg=HSR&amp;inttkn=9mtGlXQKQs8JSTPa" target="_blank">expedia.com</a></p><p>Chicago not your vibe? No biggie, you can check their <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.expedia.com/g/c/lastminute?mcicid=home.topdeals.65424986" target="_blank">last-minute deals page</a> for a Valentine’s Day vacation that’s right up your alley.</p>
Categories: Travel

102-year-old Man Sets Record for Oldest Zipliner

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:25
<p>You’re only as old as you feel. Especially when you feel like ziplining over a valley, 800 feet in the air.</p><p>To mark his 102nd birthday, Glenn Quillin, a retiree from Carlsbad, California, decided to go ziplining, allegedly setting the record for the oldest person to do so. The previous record holder (<a href="http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/427405-oldest-person-to-ride-a-zip-wire-zip-line" target="_blank">not confirmed by Guinness</a>) was 90 years old, according to Quillin’s grandson, Mike Welch.</p><p>Quillin and Welch organized a trip to <a href="http://www.lajollazipzoom.com/" target="_blank">La Jolla Zip Zoom</a> park, a mountainside attraction specializing in “extreme” rides where passengers travel at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.</p><p>“He's always had an adventurous spirit and he loves doing things that make people's jaws drop,” Welch <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sd-man-ziplining-record-20180204-story.html" target="_blank">told the <em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>. “They had suggested that he skip one of the shorter runs today and take a rest, but he wanted to do them all. He just charged through it all and enjoyed the whole thing.”</p><p>“He's braver than most of the people who come out here. We've had people quit on the first one, and he couldn't wait to do them all,” said a manager at La Jolla Zip Zoom.</p><p>Quillin was never the stay-at-home type. A World War II veteran, he worked on the Manhattan Project during the war, then on to Hughes Aircraft. You could say he’s used to the altitude. And although now he lives in a retirement community, according to the <em>L.A. Times</em>, he still visits the gym several times a week.</p><p>Quillin hopes to mark his 103rd birthday by setting yet another world record: the world’s oldest skydiver. The current record holder claimed the title <a href="http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/oldest-tandem-parachute-jump-(male)" target="_blank">at 101</a>.</p><p>“I have my eye on that airplane,” said Quillin. “I wouldn't mind doing that again, not one bit.”</p>
Categories: Travel

The New Airbus A350 Is a Plane You’re Going to Want to Fly

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:16
<p>Some say the golden age of travel is behind us. But now is actually the most exciting time in decades to fly thanks to the next-generation jets debuting now — and the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/international-airlines-in-us" target="_blank">creature comforts</a> they provide passengers.</p><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/airlines-airports/boeing-dreamliner-demo-video" target="_blank">Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner</a> has gotten the lion’s share of attention because of the revolutionary new technologies the plane features, as well as the fact that <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/american-airlines" target="_blank">American Airlines</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/united-airlines" target="_blank">United</a> have these planes in their fleets. However, there's also the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/inside-new-airbus-a350-xwb" target="_blank">Airbus A350</a>, which passengers in North America are going to see a lot more of in the coming days and years.</p><img alt="Singapore Airlines A350 "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513878001/Singapore-Airlines-a350-2-NEWAPLANE1217.jpg?itok=sFraXaKt"><p><a href="http://www.hongkongairlines.com/en_HK/homepage" target="_blank">Hong Kong Airlines</a> began flying an A350 from its hub in Hong Kong to <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/los-angeles" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> on December 18, with service to San Francisco beginning in March, and the airline is just the latest to put Airbus’s newest long-haul plane on its U.S. routes.</p><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta/delta-a350" target="_blank">Delta began flying the A350</a> from Detroit to Asia back in October, with more planned services to Europe and beyond scheduled to begin this year. Cathay Pacific is using the A350 on its routes from Hong Kong to San Francisco and Newark, and Qatar Airways flies the A350 to several U.S. airports.</p><h2>Airbus A350 Cabin Comfort</h2><p>What makes the A350 so special? Like the Dreamliner, the A350 incorporates <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/a350-first-flight" target="_blank">a range of technological touchstones</a> that improve both aircraft operation and the passenger experience aboard the long-haul routes for which the plane was designed.</p><p>The A350 is constructed from plastic composites that are 25-percent lighter than the metal used in conventional planes, so it is much more fuel-efficient than older planes. Composites are also stronger and more durable than metal, which enables a host of other benefits that impact passenger comfort.</p><img alt="Singapore Airlines A350 "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513878001/Singapore-Airlines-a350-NEWAPLANE1217.jpg?itok=bf82vwJ_"><p>The cabin can be pressurized to the equivalent of 6,000 feet in altitude, compared with the 8,000-foot mark on most jets, which can alleviate symptoms including fatigue and light-headedness. Composites do not corrode from moisture the same way metals do, so cabin humidity can be kept at around 20 percent — versus the 8-10 percent normally experienced on planes, leaving passengers feeling less exhausted after flights. The A350-900 has seven cabin temperature zones (there are eight on the forthcoming A350-1000) for more precise climate control aboard.</p><p>To help combat jetlag, the A350 has LED ambient lighting with up to 16.7 million settings and sequencing that can be customized over the course of a flight, plus larger windows to let in more natural light.</p><p>The A350 carries hospital-grade HEPA H13 air filters, which circulates air in the entire passenger cabin within two to three minutes, so all those other passengers’ germs are less likely to reach you.</p><p>Even the plane’s physical dimensions play a role. The A350 is 220 inches wide, a full five inches wider than the 787. That incremental difference means economy seats in a typical nine-abreast 3–3–3 configuration can remain a relatively roomy 18 inches wide. The plane’s overhead bins are also among the largest flying today, with space for two roller bags per person in business class.</p><p>Airbus uses a high-bandwidth fiber-optic cable for in-flight entertainment systems that does not require those bulky individual boxes under seats, so passengers have more legroom. The manufacturer can also install Wi-Fi systems on the jet at its own factory, making it easier for airlines to offer in-flight internet.</p><p>The A350 is quieter than comparable long-haul jets thanks to Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, which are the most fuel-efficient engines in service today. The average cabin noise level is just 57 decibels, which Airbus claims is 75-percent less than conventional aircraft, and up to 6 decibels lower than on the 787.</p><p>Finally, for the #avgeeks out there, the A350 has one thing the Boeing 787 does not: A tail camera, so you can watch your flight’s progress from takeoff to landing.</p><h2>A350 Planes, New Seats</h2><p>While none of the Airbus A350s currently in service offer first-class cabins, the airlines that use the jet have installed the latest versions of business, premium economy and economy seats on their new aircraft.</p><img alt="Lufthansa Presents Its First Airbus A350-900 "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513878001/Lufthansa-Airbus-A350-900-NEWAPLANE1217.jpg?itok=MYwtYNaI"><p>The plane was the first to feature Delta’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta/delta-a350" target="_blank">new all-suites business class</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta-premium-economy-international-flights-airplane-travel" target="_blank">international premium economy seats</a>. “Delta’s A350 is the culmination of many years of product and service investments all coming together to enhance the customer experience inflight,” said Delta’s Manager of On-Board Product, Robbie Schaefer.</p><p>Schaefer detailed design evolutions in the Delta One suite that include closing doors for privacy, personalized ambient lighting controls, new stowage areas and new 18-inch in-flight entertainment monitors. He also noted the A350 is the first international aircraft to offer high-speed 2Ku Wi-Fi, and that Delta was able to install a 6TB server aboard, which is six times larger than its previous largest server, to provide more entertainment content for passengers in all cabins.</p><p>“A new aircraft like the A350 represents the opportunity for evolution,” said Cathay Pacific’s Senior Vice President of the Americas, Philippe Lacamp. “We completely redesigned all our cabins’ seats.” In addition to improved business-class seats with extra stowage space and service features like “Do Not Disturb” and “Wake-up Call” functions, Cathay Pacific’s A350 has new economy seats with <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/architecture-design/cathay-pacific-headrest" target="_blank">six-way headrests</a>, “Whose proprietary design providing better support and sleeping comfort,” said Lacamp.</p><h2>A350 Airlines and Routes</h2><p>Thanks to its size and fuel efficiency – it is smaller than other long-haul jets like the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A380 – airlines can employ the A350 on routes that are seasonal or between cities that might not otherwise be economically viable.</p><p>Sixteen commercial airlines currently operate A350s, including Air Mauritius, Finnair, THAI and Vietnam Airlines. Here are the ones flying them to North America now or in the near future.</p><p><strong>Asiana A350:</strong> The South Korea-based airline already flies an A350 on its route from Seoul Incheon to San Francisco and will put another A350 into service from Seoul to Los Angeles starting in August 2018.</p><p><strong>Cathay Pacific A350:</strong> The airline flies A350-900s from its hub in Hong Kong to Newark, San Francisco and Vancouver, and will put the first of its A350-1000s into use on a new route from Hong Kong to Washington Dulles launching September 16, 2018.</p><p><strong>China Airlines A350:</strong> Taiwanese carrier China Airlines flies A350s from its base in Taipei to Honolulu and Vancouver.</p><p><strong>Delta A350:</strong> The airline’s main A350 airport is its hub in Detroit, from which it flies to Tokyo Narita, Seoul Incheon, Beijing starting January 17, Amsterdam Schipol starting March 31 and Shanghai Pudong starting April 19. It will also fly from Atlanta to Seoul starting March 24 and from Los Angeles to Shanghai beginning July 2.</p><p><strong>Hong Kong Airlines A350:</strong> In direct competition with Cathay Pacific, upstart Hong Kong Airlines has begun flying the A350 to Los Angeles and will begin flights with the jet to San Francisco in March.</p><p><strong>LATAM A350:</strong> South American carrier LATAM flies the A350 from São Paulo to New York JFK, and to Orlando from January 1 – February 19 and then March 25 onward.</p><p><strong>Lufthansa A350:</strong> The German giant’s sole U.S. route using an A350 is from Munich to Boston.</p><p><strong>Philippine Airlines A350:</strong> Starting sometime in 2018, the carrier will begin flying from Manila to New York JFK and Toronto Pearson using A350s.</p><p><strong>Qatar Airways A350:</strong> The launch customer of both the A350-900 and A350-1000, this Middle Eastern carrier flies the jet from Doha to Boston, Miami (beginning again in February 16, 2018), New York JFK and Philadelphia.</p><p><strong>Singapore Airlines A350:</strong> This Southeast Asian carrier flies from Singapore to San Francisco using an A350, and has plans to use an ultra-long-range version of the jet to begin flights to Los Angeles and New York JFK as well.</p><p>But one final, important note on booking: These airlines operate multiple daily flights on several of these routes using different aircraft types. For instance, one of Cathay Pacific’s flights to San Francisco is aboard an A350 while the other is on a Boeing 777.</p><p>Before you book, use a tool like <a href="http://routehappy.com" target="_blank">Routehappy</a> or <a href="http://google.com/flights" target="_blank">Google Flights</a> to double check that the flight you are reserving is aboard an A350, rather than another model.</p>
Categories: Travel

McDonald's Is Giving Away an 18K Gold, Diamond-encrusted Ring Inspired by Big Macs

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:00
<p>Calling all Big Mac enthusiasts: Today is your day. In honor of McDonald’s three different Big Mac sizes — Grand Big Mac, Big Mac, and Mac Jr. — the American fast food empire is creating an 18K gold, diamond-encrusted ring inspired by the iconic Big Mac. (Never thought you’d read that sentence, huh?) The best part is it’s real, and you can win it.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/queen-elizabeth-mcdonalds" target="_blank">Queen Elizabeth Owns a McDonald's Outside of London</a></p><p>Designed by fine jewelry designer <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.modaoperandi.com/nadine-ghosn-ss18" target="_blank">Nadine Ghosn</a>, the “Bling Mac” ring is made up of seven stackable, individual tiers of glimmering champagne diamonds, tsavorite gems, and orange sapphires, all made to represent the flavorful ingredients of the famed Big Mac burger. What’s more is there will only be one version of the ring, as it will be custom made for the winner of the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://promo.playatmcd.com/mcd18/blingmac/rules" target="_blank">#BlingMacContest</a>. Truly bespoke.</p><p>So wait, how exactly does one win such a fine jewelry piece? All it’ll take is a heartfelt tweet at @McDonalds with the hashtag #BlingMacContest, “pledging your love to your favorite Big Mac burgers.” Just make sure to tweet it before <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/gift-guide/valentines-day-gifts" target="_blank">Valentine's Day</a>. If McDonald’s likes it, they’ll put a ring on it. Watch the video above to see the Bling Mac in action (and a poised hand model sensually grazing and ambiguously pointing at the ring; it's chill).</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Times to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms and Bargain Prices

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:00
<p>A snowy getaway in Hokkaido, a beach vacation in Okinawa, or a photography trip to capture cherry blossoms in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/tokyo" target="_blank">Tokyo</a> — the best time to visit Japan depends entirely on what you want to do when you arrive.</p><p>As a country with a seemingly endless amount of activities and festivals on offer year-round, there really isn’t a bad time to visit. But if its shrine-hopping in Kyoto that brings you, or the pink hues of the cherry blossoms, you’ll want plan to make sure you don’t end up visiting during rainy season, or after all the blush pink cherry petals have already dropped.</p><p>Use this guide to nail the perfect time for your dream trip to Japan.</p><h2>The Best Times to Visit Japan</h2><p>Japan, while not especially large, is surprisingly vast. Frigid winters in Hokkaido make the subtropical islands of Okinawa seems worlds away. If you aren’t traveling to hit the ski slopes, the months from March to May and from September to November are generally considered the best times to visit the country.</p><p>That's when travelers can find vivid autumnal leaves or, on the other hand, the iconic cherry blossoms that seem straight out of a postcard. Plus, during these seasons, rainfall is at a low, skies are clear, and temperatures are rather mild.</p><p>Summer in Japan is typically warm and humid throughout most of the country, but is also an ideal time for nature expeditions like hiking. It's also considered the season of festivals (think: outdoor beer gardens). Meanwhile, winter in Japan is a time for snow sports and <i>onsen </i>hopping. The northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido is undeniably the best place to hit the slopes, but areas outside of Tokyo such as Niigata are only a Shinkansen ride away, and boast a number of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/japan-hot-ski-destination" target="_blank">great ski resorts</a>.</p><h3>The Best Times to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms</h3><p>For travelers determined to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/see-cherry-blossoms" target="_blank">visit Japan during cherry blossom season</a>, the dates of bloom depend on the weather conditions each year. From late March, trees in the warmer south begin to bloom, but in northern cities like Sapporo, don’t expect to see any pink until at least May. If you are staying between the Kansai and Kanto regions, the best time to see blossoms is either the last week of March or the first week of April.</p><h2>The Worst Times to Visit Japan</h2><p>Since weather significantly depends on which region you visit, bad weather in one area of Japan may mean clear skies in another. Rainy season typically runs from early June to mid-July throughout most of the country, except in Okinawa where showers begin in early May. Meanwhile, in Hokkaido, summertime brings mild temperatures and blue skies.</p><p>Because travelers all over the world admire Japan’s cherry blossoms, it shouldn't be surprising that <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/japan-cherry-blossom-season" target="_blank"><i>sakura</i> season</a> marks the busiest time for tourism. Domestic travelers take advantage of Golden Week (a national holiday in Japan), from the end of April to about mid-May. This means trains, hotels, and popular sightseeing spots can be overcrowded or entirely booked full.</p><p>And if crowds really aren’t your thing, you should note that Japan will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the summer Olympics in 2020, so crowds will be at a high. With that said, 2018 is a wonderful time to visit Japan and dodge the throngs of sports fans.</p><h2>The Cheapest Times to Visit Japan</h2><p>Another side effect of the upcoming Rugby World Cup and the Summer Olympics is that prices are about to skyrocket. Japan is already a pricier destination, and not popular with extremely frugal travelers — and the influx of crowds means you’ll be fighting with the masses for bargains on flights, hotels, and activities. Plan your trip for 2018 and aim for a winter visit to save the most money.</p><p>The country sees the least number of visitors from mid-January through March, meaning more deals are on offer for both airfare as well as hotel rooms and activities.</p>
Categories: Travel

Louis Vuitton Just Opened a Shop Dedicated to 'Ugly' Sneakers

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:48
<p>Today in fashion: Ugly is in. Well, specifically when it comes to footwear. And even more specifically when it comes to athletic footwear. In recent months, the “ugly” sneaker (or <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/kendall-jenner-airport-style-dad-sneakers" target="_blank">“dad” trainer</a>, if you prefer) movement has been on the rise, growing stronger with every designer iteration (<a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.matchesfashion.com/us/products/Balenciaga-Triple-S-low-top-trainers%09-1179330" target="_blank">Balenciaga</a>, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/stella-mccartney-low-top-sneaker-women/4786740?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&amp;fashioncolor=GREY%2F%20GREEN%2F%20%20YELLOW" target="_blank">Stella McCartney</a>, and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.ssense.com/en-us/men/product/acne-studios/black-sofiane-sneakers/2512728" target="_blank">Acne Studios</a>, just to name a few) and every It-model’s social media endorsement (because when a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/kendall-jenner-bella-hadid-vacation-photos" target="_blank">Hadid or Kardashian/Jenner</a> makes a trend Instagram official, you know it’s the real deal). There’s no denying it. The shoes — so unattractive, they’re chic — are here to stay, and you can most definitely count <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.farfetch.com/shopping/women/louis-vuitton-vintage/items.aspx" target="_blank">Louis Vuitton</a> in.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/kendall-jenner-airport-style-dad-sneakers" target="_blank">Kendall Jenner's 'Dad Sneakers' Are a Comfy Travel Shoe Trend We Can All Get Behind</a></p><p>Introducing the Archlight sneaker, the French luxury brand’s take on the less-than-beautiful athleisure shoe. With its exaggerated arch, Michelin Man-like sole, high-top silhouette, and (yes) $1,090 price tag, the Archlight is already in high demand ahead of its Feb. 23 worldwide launch date. But good news for those in the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/new-york-city" target="_blank">New York City</a> area who want to get their hands (feet?) on a pair: Louis Vuitton’s Archlight-dedicated pop-up shop opens today.</p><p>Starting now and going through March 10, you can see the ugly-chic sneaks up close and personal at 122 Greene Street, plus you’ll be able to shop an exclusive all-black colorway, you lucky sneakerhead, you.</p>
Categories: Travel

2018’s Most Relaxing and Affordable Vacation (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:45
<p>In its annual report, Pinterest detailed the ideas users looked at most last year, giving insight into what they’re planning to do this year.</p><p>Travel trends identified by Pinterest include climbing mountains, visiting Mediterranean islands and exploring the world’s deserts, but there’s another category that will keep vacation-lovers closer to home. Searches for “self care” rose by a whopping 537% last year, leading researchers to identify the “self-care <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/best-staycation-ever" target="_blank">staycation</a>” as one of 2018’s top trends.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/gordon-ramsay-favorite-place" target="_blank">Gordon Ramsay’s Favorite Place to Travel Is One You’ve Never Heard Of</a></p><p>“We’re seeing this self-care come into clear focus as something that people consider to be essential to health and wellbeing,” said Larkin Brown, a user researcher at Pinterest. “People are actively creating spaces and setting aside the time to focus on themselves and find balance in their lives.”</p><p>Self-care elevates the staycation — a vacation at home — to the next level, allowing you to focus your energy on taking care of yourself.</p><p>“Ultimately, self-care retreats are about doing something that brings you joy, calms your mind, and leaves you feeling refreshed and better able to handle some of the stresses of everyday life,” said Brown.</p><p>Follow the steps below to plan your own self-styled, self-care staycation.</p><h2>Home or away?</h2><p>The first thing to decide is where exactly you’ll stay. For a bit of indulgence and a change of scenery, book local accommodation. If you’re on a budget, or are planning on short notice, staying home can be just as good. It’s essential that you make your home a comfortable, pleasant space. Book a cleaning service for the day before your staycation starts, set out some candles and fill your living area with things that make you feel cozy.</p><h2>Unplug.</h2><p>It’s okay to catch up on a few items on your to-do list, but stay offline as much as possible. Turn on an out-of-office message, turn off push alerts for social media and news, and avoid any non-essential email. Not only will this get you out of the hunched posture we all spend so much time in, it will allow you some breathing space.</p><h2>See something new.</h2><p>Just because it’s a staycation doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Some of the best parts of traveling can be the small interactions with locals, learning about the history of a place or trying new cuisines, and the same is true here. If there’s a café you’ve been wanting to try or a museum you’ve been meaning to check out, now’s the time.</p><h2>Catch up on sleep.</h2><p>A <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/weekend-getaways/camping-cures-sleep-issues" target="_blank">study</a> out of University of Colorado, Boulder last year found that camping was a great way to get your body clock back on track. People who headed out into the Rocky Mountains sans electronics fell asleep and woke up earlier than their stay-at-home counterparts, and got almost 10 hours of sleep at night.</p><p>Your self-care staycation is meant to be luxurious, so no need to pitch a tent, but try to get as much natural light throughout the day as possible in order to reap similar benefits. Make sure there’s no light getting in at night either, and seriously, no cell phones or computers in the bedroom.</p><h2>Go natural.</h2><p>Get outdoors. One of last year’s top trends was <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/forest-bathing" target="_blank">‘forest bathing’</a>, the Japanese practice of spending time in nature. Even if you’re in a big city, you can head to a park with a picnic blanket and a book to get some fresh air. Bonus: this will help with your intake of natural light, too.</p><h2>Plan to be pampered.</h2><p>A staycation is meant to allow you to relax and recharge, and that means planning ahead. Without giving yourself some structure, it will be easy to fall into your weekend routine or feel forced to catch up on chores. Book a spa treatment in advance, plan for where and what you’ll eat, sign up for yoga or gym classes and gather a stack of books or magazines you want to read.</p><h2>Bring home a souvenir.</h2><p>A souvenir from your staycation will have the same effect as a trinket or bottle of wine from your last holiday, by helping you recall those pleasant memories. Give yourself something that will remind you to take a deep breath and take care of yourself, like a candle or a set of soft Turkish towels.</p>
Categories: Travel

Norwegian Chef Uses Google Translate to Place Order at the Olympics, Accidentally Gets 13,500 Extra Eggs

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:36
<p>Which came first, the typo or the eggs?</p><p>The chef for Norway’s Olympics team accidentally ordered an extra 13,500 eggs because of an error in <a href="http://google.com/translate" target="_blank">Google Translate</a>.</p><p>Norwegian chef Stale Johansen meant to place an order for 1,500 eggs to feed his country’s Olympians at the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/south-korea-pyeongchang-winter-olympics-safety" target="_blank">Pyeongchang Games</a>. But last week, he was shocked when 15,000 eggs showed up in his kitchen.</p><p>“The eggs was more like a misunderstanding than something that we needed, so it was an extra zero on the order, so 1,500 to 15,000,” <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-2018-nor/how-do-you-like-your-eggs-norway-by-the-thousand-idUSKBN1FS1MW" target="_blank">Norwegian chef de mission Tore Ovrebo told <em>Reuters</em></a>.</p><p>South Korea has a notoriously complex numerical system, with different systems of counting for different purposes. One simple syllable change could easily cause the mix-up. The chefs were able to return the extra 13,500 eggs, so that the Olympic athletes can have more than omelettes, egg salad, hard-boiled and deviled eggs while at the games.</p><p>Despite the scrambled order, the toughest part of cooking for Olympians is scheduling.</p><p>“The biggest challenge is that we will serve food almost 24 hours a day,” chef Johansen <a href="https://www.aftenposten.no/100Sport/andreidretter/Norges-OL-kokker-bestilte-feil---mottok-15000-egg-249525b.html" target="_blank">told Norwegian newspaper <em>Aftenposten</em></a>. “We have cross-country skiing and ice skating here, and there is food from half past eight in the morning for almost two nights.”</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Get Access to Delta's Sky Club Lounges

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:32
<p>Elite Delta Air Lines fliers don't hang out at the gate before boarding. You can find them instead in the airline's branded <a href="https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/airports-and-aircraft/delta-sky-club.html" target="_blank">Delta Sky Clubs lounges</a>, which are in airports all over the world, including Santiago, Chile and Tokyo, Japan. Before you travel, check to see if you can get access to one of these <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/points-miles/airline-secret-elite-delta-united-american" target="_blank">exclusive lounges</a>. Believe us — it sure beats moseying around the airport terminal. </p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="http://This Is the Luxury Airport Lounge We All Want Access To" target="_blank">How</a><a href="http://This Is the Luxury Airport Lounge We All Want Access To" target="_blank"> to Get Access to American Express Centurion Lounges</a></p><h2>How to Access Delta Sky Clubs</h2><p>Members of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta/delta-frequent-flyer-miles-program" target="_blank">Delta's SkyMiles frequent flier program</a> with Gold, Platinum, or Diamond Medallion status receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs, as well as partner lounges (from fellow SkyTeam Alliance members such as Virgin Atlantic, Air France, and Aeroméxico). In total, elite Delta travelers have access to approximately 230 lounges around the world.</p><p>Travelers without the required Delta Medallion status may also purchase annual memberships to access Delta Sky Clubs.</p><p>An Individual Membership costs $495 per year of unlimited access, and members may bring up to two guests for $29 each. The Executive Membership, on the other hand, includes complimentary access for the member and up to two guests per visit. The Executive pass costs $745 for the year. Travelers flying with Delta can also opt for the $59 single visit pass, available exclusively at the Delta Sky Club check-in desk and dependent on capacity.</p><p>Access to Delta Sky Clubs is also granted on certain travelers flying on a Delta or SkyTeam ticket. First and business class travelers on international flights, for example, enjoy this cushy perk. </p><p>Delta Reserve credit card holders also have complimentary access to these lounges when flying on a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta" target="_blank">Delta Air Lines</a>-operated flight, as do American Express Platinum and Centurion card holders. Travelers with a Delta Gold or Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card can hang out at the lounge with up to two guests for a discounted price.</p><h2>Delta Sky Club Amenities</h2><p>All Delta Sky Clubs feature a number of standard amenities, including flight assistance from the welcome desk and complimentary Wi-Fi.</p><p>Delta Sky Clubs offer healthy food options and a large array of beverage options all day, as well as a fully stocked bar with wines, craft beers, and spirits. (Selections vary depending on your location — in Santiago, Chile, for example, the bar might feature local pisco sour mix.) Work stations provide travelers with printers and, depending on the lounge, fax machines may also be available.</p><p>Travelers can look forward to a refreshing shower before or after a flight, and many Delta Sky Clubs have conference rooms for crucial business meetings. There are also televisions and a wide selection of magazines for travelers who would rather take a break from work (think: <i>The Wall Street Journal</i>, <em>Th</em><em>e Ne</em><i>w</i><i> York Times</i>, <i>USA Today</i>, the <i>Financial Times</i>). Local and international papers and publications are available, too. </p>
Categories: Travel

These $298 Flights to Hawaii Are Too Good to Miss

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:28
<p>Pristine beaches, dramatic volcanic landscapes, lush tropical rainforests, and now, a new reason to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/island-vacations/hawaii-islands-travel-guide" target="_blank">visit the Hawaiian islands</a>: $300 round-trip flights.</p><p>This sale, reported by <a href="https://scottscheapflights.com/" target="_blank">Scott's Cheap Flights</a>, is just the latest in a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/flight-deals/cheap-flights-hawaii-delta-hawaiian-united-alaska" target="_blank">series of exciting airfare sales</a> that suggest affordable flights to Hawaii could soon become the norm, thanks largely to increased competition from major domestic airlines like United and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/hawaiian-airlines-a321neo" target="_blank">Hawaiian</a>.</p><p>While the best deals continue to be found from cities in the western United States <a href="https://www.momondo.com/flightsearch/?Search=true&amp;TripType=2&amp;SegNo=2&amp;SO0=LAS&amp;SD0=OGG&amp;SDP0=10-04-2018&amp;SO1=OGG&amp;SD1=LAS&amp;SDP1=17-04-2018&amp;AD=1&amp;TK=ECO&amp;DO=false&amp;NA=false&amp;currency=USD&amp;cmp2=true&amp;utm_source=webgains&amp;utm_medium=affiliate&amp;utm_campaign=%20191361&amp;utm_content=8613" target="_blank">($298 round-trip from Las Vegas</a>; $330 round-trip from Albuquerque; $331 from Seattle; and $313 from Santa Ana) travelers as far east as Boston can take advantage, too.</p><p>Right now, there are $395 round-trip flights from Boston and flights in the low $400s from Florida. Even travelers in major Canadian cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal can score discounted tickets to Hawaii.</p><p>Flights to Honolulu, Kauai, Kona, and Kahului are all included in the sale, though Honolulu has the most availability.</p><p>For the best price, use Google Flights to search for trips to Hawaii between April and May, and from September to October. (<a href="https://thriftytraveler.com/" target="_blank">Thrifty Traveler</a>, which also reported the deal, found some tickets in March and August, too.)</p><p>Travelers should note that many of these flights will require extra fees for checked baggage.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Spice Girls Are Making a Comeback — Here's the Story From A to Z

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:18
<p>Get your platform shoes out of storage, because 2018 just got spicier. Coming off the 20th anniversary of Spice World, Posh, Baby, Ginger, Sporty, Scary, and their former manager Simon Fuller have announced they will be reuniting for a tour across the U.S. and U.K.</p><p>Whether you currently live in the touring countries or need an excuse to visit, the time to "spice up your life" is now. Last seen together at the 2012 London Olympics, the girl group cited their infamous message of female empowerment as motivation to get back together this year.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/victoria-beckham-london-kids-style-guide" target="_blank">Victoria Beckham's Favorite Kids' Shops in London</a></p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/victoria-beckham-best-makup-remover" target="_blank">Victoria Beckham’s Favorite Makeup Remover Is Incredibly Easy to Pack for Trips</a></p><p>“The Time’s Up and #MeToo movements have shone a light on how powerful we can be when we work together to bring about change,” Victoria Beckham said, according to the <em><a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-news/spice-girls-set-to-perform-in-uk-and-us-as-part-of-reunion-tour-but-won-t-be-recording-new-music-a3761161.html" target="_blank">London Evening Standard</a></em>. “That is incredibly inspiring. My career has always focused on empowering and celebrating women, so the momentum that these movements brought only make me even more determined and passionate in my beliefs.”</p><p>While specific tour dates have not yet been announced, you will be able to moonwalk the foxtrot and polka the salsa by late summer. Sounds like a good reason to go to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/london/things-to-do" target="_blank">London</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

These 6 Countries Are Competing in the Winter Olympics for the Very First Time (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:47
<p>The <a href="https://www.olympic.org" target="_blank">2018 Winter Olympics</a> will kick off this week in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/south-korea-pyeongchang-winter-olympics-safety" target="_blank">Pyeongchang</a>, South Korea, marking the <a href="http://time.com/5125436/winter-olympics-2018-dates/" target="_blank">first time in 30 years</a> that the country will be hosting the games after the Summer Olympics took place in Seoul in 1988.</p><p>But South Korea isn’t the only country that will have an historic moment during this year’s Winter Olympic Games.</p><p>Six countries will be making their debut in the Winter Olympics, which will host over 2,000 athletes across 92 countries.</p><p>%image5</p><p>A majority of the competing athletes on these new teams are representing the countries their parents migrated from rather than where they grew up.</p><p>Below is a list of the countries coming to the Winter Olympics for the first time and what you can expect from each.</p><h2>Ecuador</h2><p>Though snowfall isn’t a sight you’ll commonly see in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/cruises/best-galapagos-cruises" target="_blank">Ecuador,</a> the country will be making its debut with an athlete competing in cross country skiing. </p><img alt="ecuador "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1518102539/ecuador-olympics-OLYMCOUNTRIES218.jpg?itok=u3D-n23Z"><p>Klaus Jungbluth Rodriguez will be representing the country in this year’s games as the <a href="https://www.olympic.org/news/olympic-winter-games-participation-expanding-on-1-february-the-olympic-village-will-open-its-doors-to-six-new-national-olympic-committees" target="_blank">first Ecuadorian</a> to reach the Winter Olympics and will carry the country’s flag during the opening ceremony. </p><p>Klaus, who will be participating in the 15 km race on Feb. 16, is nicknamed the <a href="https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/en/game-time/results/OWG2018/en/cross-country-skiing/athlete-profile-n3037565-klaus-jungbluth-rodriguez.htm" target="_blank">“tarmac skier”</a> because he spent his younger years training on the cycle paths and country roads of Guayaquil with rollerskis due to the lack of snow found in Ecuador.</p><h2>Eritrea</h2><p>The country of Eritrea, which is located in northeast Africa on the Red Sea Coast, will also make its debut at an Olympic Winter Games with 21-year-old Shannon-Ogbani Abeda, who will be competing in the alpine skiing slalom and giant slalom events.</p><p>Both of <a href="https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/jp/game-time/results/OWG2018/en/alpine-skiing/athlete-profile-n3048200-shannon-obgnai-abeda.htm" target="_blank">Abeda’s parents</a> immigrated from the country to Alberta, Canada, where the athlete was born.</p><p>Abeda <a href="http://www.olympic.org/news/olympic-winter-games-participation-expanding-on-1-february-the-olympic-village-will-open-its-doors-to-six-new-national-olympic-committees" target="_blank">got his start</a> competing at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck back in 2012, securing several top-20 spots on the FIS circuit to make it to the 2018 Winter Olympics. He will also be carrying the country’s flag at both the opening and closing ceremonies.</p><h2>Kosovo </h2><p><a href="https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-grants-provisional-recognition-to-kosovo-olympic-committee" target="_blank">In 2014</a>, the International Olympic Committee recognized <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-places-to-travel-in-2015" target="_blank">Kosovo’s</a> ability to compete as an independent nation, allowing the country to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Alpine skier <a href="https://www.olympic.org/pyeongchang-2018/results/en/alpine-skiing/athlete-profile-n3017235-albin-tahiri.htm" target="_blank">Albin Tahiri</a> will be representing the country’s first participation in the Winter Games, competing in the men’s downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and alpine combined events.</p><img alt="kosovo olympics "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1518103028/kosovo-olympics-OLYMCOUNTRIES218.jpg?itok=oq7FdwBx"><p>The 28-year-old athlete, who was born in Slovenia, will be representing his father’s home country. He learned to ski at a young age in Slovenia, where alpine skiing is a popular activity. His father introduced him to the sport.</p><p>Tahiri, who will also be the country’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, became the first alpine skier to represent the country at the 2017 world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.</p><h2>Malaysia </h2><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/vacation-days-different-countries" target="_blank">Malaysia</a> will have two competitors at this year’s winter games.</p><p>Jeffrey Webb, who is 18, will be competing in men’s alpine skiing. After moving to the U.S. around the age of five, Webb spent the majority of his time training in the states while visiting Malaysia for about three months each year, according to the <em><a href="http://malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/685880-18-year-old-makes-history-as-first-m-sian-athlete-to-compete-in-winter-olympics.html" target="_blank">Malaysian Digest.</a></em> An interest in the sport runs in Webb’s family, as his mother is also the vice president of Ski Malaysia, according to the publication.</p><img alt="malaysia "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1518102870/malaysia-olympics-OLYMCOUNTRIES218.jpg?itok=HB9Gkb0V"><p><a href="https://www.olympic.org/pyeongchang-2018/results/en/alpine-skiing/athlete-profile-n3022657-jeffrey-webb.htm" target="_blank">Webb</a> became the first Malaysian to compete at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, last year. </p><p>Malaysia will also have 20-year-old Julian Zhi-jie Yee competing in the men's figure skating events on Feb. 16 and 17. Yee’s mother, who was the former vice <a href="https://www.olympic.org/pyeongchang-2018/results/en/figure-skating/athlete-profile-n3026597-julian-zhi-jie-yee.htm" target="_blank">president of the Malaysian Ice Skating Association</a>, introduced him and his brothers to the sport back in 2001.</p><p>Originally training at the local ice rinks found in shopping malls, the athlete told the <em><a href="http://www.malaysiandigest.com/features/701043-growing-up-in-tropical-malaysia-julian-yee-reveals-how-he-achieved-the-astounding-feat-of-qualifying-for-the-winter-olympics.html" target="_blank">Malaysian Digest</a></em>, he eventually moved to Canada in 2016 for snowier conditions better suited for training. He will be the country’s flag-bearer during the opening ceremony.</p><h2>Nigeria </h2><p>The 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang will showcase <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/tv-movies/anthony-bourdain-parts-unknown-season-10" target="_blank">Nigeria's</a> first bobsled team. <a href="https://www.olympic.org/pyeongchang-2018/results/en/bobsleigh/athlete-profile-n3084497-moriam-seun-adigun.htm" target="_blank">Moriam Seun Adigun</a> set out to build the country’s first bobsled team in 2016, teaming up with Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga to create Nigeria’s National Bobsled Federation.</p><p>The three athletes, all of whom grew up and studied in America and were known as track athletes, created a <a href="https://www.olympic.org/news/olympic-winter-games-participation-expanding-on-1-february-the-olympic-village-will-open-its-doors-to-six-new-national-olympic-committees" target="_blank">GoFundMe</a> campaign to secure funding for the training, equipment, and travel expenses needed to represent the country in this year’s Winter Olympics.</p><p>They will be the first Nigerian athletes delegated to compete at an Olympic Winter Games alongside Simidele Adeagbo, who will be competing in the skeleton events.</p><p>Adeagbo, who has been involved in a variety of sports for years, <a href="https://www.olympic.org/pyeongchang-2018/results/en/skeleton/athlete-profile-n3084500-simidele-adeagbo.htm" target="_blank">took up the sport</a> in Calgary, Canada, last year after taking a nine-year hiatus from athletics. After discovering that Nigeria had never had a representative in the sport, she decided to compete for the spot. </p><h2>Singapore</h2><p>Cheyenne Goh will be the first Singaporean athlete to compete at the Winter Games, racing in the women’s 1500m on Feb. 17.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/en/game-time/results/OWG2018/en/short-track-speed-skating/athlete-profile-n3020947-cheyenne-goh.htm" target="_blank">18-year-old athlete</a>, who has been based in Canada since the age of four, first played ice hockey before eventually turning to short track speed skating.</p><p>In Singapore, the athlete trains at the country's only Olympic sized-rink, which is at the JCube mall, she told <em><a href="https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore-s-first-winter-olympian-cheyenne-goh-looks-forward-to-9478810" target="_blank">Channel NewsAsia</a></em>. According to the cable television news agency, the athlete trains six times a week for a minimum of six hours a day.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Queen of England Just Took Public Transportation Like the Rest of Us

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:36
<p>This week, it seems as though the British royal family is on a mission to prove they are just like the rest of us. First, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, went through the anguish that millions of women before her have experienced when she <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/kate-middleton-heel-stuck" target="_blank">got her high heel stuck in a grate</a>. And now, it appears as though Queen Elizabeth is trying to one-up her by taking public transportation like a true commoner.</p><p>On Wednesday, the Queen was spotted at the King’s Lynn train station in Norfolk, England where she boarded a train to head home to London. She had been in the area for the last few weeks, first celebrating the holidays with friends and family at her home in Sandringham and then quietly celebrating the 66th anniversary of her <a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/queen-marks-66-years-since-she-took-the-throne-a3758821.html" target="_blank">ascension to the throne</a>.</p><p>As she entered the platform, onlookers appeared to be shocked by the sight of the reigning royal just moseying on by.</p><p>Though really it’s no surprise Queen Elizabeth was the center of attention at the train station. She was, after all, wearing <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/why-queen-elizabeth-wears-bright-colors" target="_blank">her signature bright colors</a>, which the Queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, previously explained is a calculated fashion choice to make sure she stands out.</p><p>"She needs to stand out for people to be able to say, 'I saw the Queen,'" Sophie shared in the documentary "<a href="https://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/the-queen-at-90/0/3433630" target="_blank">The Queen at 90.</a>" "Don't forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, 10, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the Queen's hat as she went past."</p><p>Moreover, the Queen commanded attention by walking squarely through the center of the train platform’s doors. And this <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/queen-elizabeth-mother-advice" target="_blank">confidence-boosting tip</a> came from her own mother, who once told her that by walking through the center of a doorframe you can command any room.</p><p>She also was the center of attention because she’s, you know, the Queen of England walking into a public place with photographers snapping photos of her every move. But everyone’s still happy she put in the effort to stand out anyway.</p>
Categories: Travel

Chrissy Teigen Called Out John Legend for a Very Relatable Pet Peeve

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:53
<p>Chrissy Teigen is sick of John Legend stealing her phone chargers and took to Twitter to vent.</p><p>The 32-year-old model and television host, who is expecting <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/chrissy-teigen-girls-getaway-instagram" target="_blank">her second child</a> with Legend in just a few months, called out her musician husband for taking all of her phone chargers with him to work.</p><p>“I buy and leave all the phone chargers all around the house just so you can unplug them all and take them to work with you,” she tweeted, describing a problem the entire internet seems to be able to relate to.</p><p>She followed up by tweeting a photo of a unicorn-shaped phone charger and said she was buying it — right before sending out a cheeky third message saying simply, “take this one u thief” and tagging her husband.</p><p>Judging by the internet’s reaction, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/why-chrissy-teigen-rarely-flies-private-planes" target="_blank">Teigen</a>, who has almost 10 million Twitter followers, has successfully shamed Legend for a common problem couples have. One Twitter user even suggested she get a custom charger made with a photo of her face.</p><p>Other celebrities chimed in to put their own partners on blast for doing the same thing. Ruby Rose tagged her girlfriend, The Veronicas singer Jessica Origliasso, saying she had to request extra cell phone chargers on her show riders because of Origliasso’s sneaky habit.</p><p>Andy Richter added his two cents, joking to Teigen that Legend has been stealing his phone chargers, too.</p><p>If you’ve got a phone-charger-stealing spouse like Teigen's, you can find a similar unicorn portable phone charger for $15 on <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.amazon.com/External-Battery-Unicorn-Portable-pink-white/dp/B076B8LY76" target="_blank">amazon.com</a>, or take it up a notch with a charger in the shape of <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.amazon.com/Portable-FOLAMEET-Ultra-Compact-External-ES-Brown/dp/B073SR2NJ3/" target="_blank">a cat's face, $25</a>, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.amazon.com/Colourful-Lauging-Cartoon-External-Portable/dp/B01N6EA1KK/" target="_blank">a rainbow poop emoji, $15</a>, or <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://www.amazon.com/Tospania-Protector-iPhone-Lightning-Charger/dp/B01HW9CIJ2/" target="_blank">Hello Kitty, $13</a>.</p><p>Teigen's hilarious tweets are just a handful of many that the model has become well-known for. She regularly spouts off entertaining gripes and advice about ordinary problems, like <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/flight-to-nowhere-pilot-chrissy-teigen-security" target="_blank">flight delays that may or may not be government conspiracies</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Blind Man With a Fear of Dogs Gets a Guide Horse Instead

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 17:59
<p>A horse is a horse, of course, of course. But not just any horse is a seeing-eye horse.</p><p>For the visually impaired, getting a seeing-eye dog can exponentially improve their quality of life not only by helping them be more mobile, but also by offering a little extra companionship. But what if the person is allergic or has a severe phobia of dogs?</p><p>BBC journalist Mohammed Salim Patel, who is visually impaired, is one of the many people in the world who lives with this phobia. “Having an assistance animal is something I gave up on,” Patel told the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-lancashire-42954075/uk-s-first-guide-horse-for-blind-man" target="_blank">BBC</a>.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/pet-friendly-travel/dogs-smarter-than-cats" target="_blank">Scientists Believe That Dogs May Be Twice As Smart As Cats</a></p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/queen-elizabeth-horse-racing-winnings" target="_blank">How Queen Elizabeth Is Making Millions on Horse Racing</a></p><p>But now, because of a miniature horse named Digby, Patel has a lot more options. “I can go where I want, when I want,” Patel said.</p><p>Digby, an eight-month-old American miniature horse, is only two feet tall. An while he’s already been through a lot of training, he still has a long way to go. It will be a few years before he can live full-time with Patel.</p><img alt="Mohammed Salim Patel with Digby in the streets of Blackburn "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1517938497/seeing-guide-horse-blind-UKSEE0218.jpg?itok=J97tVemC"><p>Digby regularly goes out with Patel in his hometown of Blackburn, where plenty of people stop when they see him on the street. It’s not easy being the U.K.’s famous first guide horse.</p><p>While Digby may be the first of his kind across the pond, miniature guide horses have been gaining popularity in the United States. In 2010, a woman from California, Mona Ramouni, made some headlines <a href="https://www.today.com/news/miniature-guide-horse-opens-doors-blind-student-wbna40195834" target="_blank">with her own horse, Cali</a>.</p><p>There’s even a <a href="http://www.guidehorse.com/" target="_blank">foundation for guide horses</a> to help the visually impaired in the U.S. Like dogs, horses are good at learning, bonding, and having empathy for people. </p><p>Digby’s trainer, Katy Smith, who has eight horses currently in training, told the <em><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5357073/Blackburn-man-UK-guide-HORSE-help-him.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a>,</em> “They have a great therapeutic value, they can tell when a person is really unwell. When someone is approaching end of life they seem to know.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Victoria Beckham’s Favorite Makeup Remover Is Incredibly Easy to Pack for Trips

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 17:59
<p>Traveling can really throw a wrench in your daily routine – particularly when it comes to skincare, which tends to fall by the wayside during trips because you didn't have <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/beauty/best-travel-size-skincare-kits" target="_blank">travel-sized</a> products to bring or tried to pack light.</p><p>Celebrities, however, always have to be photo-ready and don't typically forgo <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/bring-sunscreen-on-flights" target="_blank">skincare steps during trips</a>, whether for work or pleasure. Luckily for the rest of us, that means they can provide some helpful tips on how we, too, can step off a plane looking fresh-faced and ready to take on the world.</p><p>Victoria Beckham, who was <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/fashion/victoria-beckham-airport-style" target="_blank">voted World's Best-Dressed traveler</a> last year, recently took <a href="https://intothegloss.com/2017/10/victoria-beckham-beauty-routine/" target="_blank">Into the Gloss</a> through her entire beauty routine, spotlighting one particularly travel-friendly product that anyone can pack for a trip.</p><p>The former Spice Girl said, “The only face wipes that actually take off all my makeup are the Bioderma ones. I always use a cleanser after, but these wipes really get everything off.”</p><p>Bioderma makeup remover wipes – available on <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.amazon.com/Bioderma-Sensibio-H2O-Biodegradable-Wipes/dp/B01CDPCWYG" target="_blank">amazon.com</a> for $10 – use micellar water to cleanse your face and take off both face and eye makeup, and they come in a re-sealable pouch that prevents the unused wipes from drying out between uses.</p><p>With makeup removing towelettes, you won’t have to worry about a liquid leaking onto your clothes or try to measure out 3.4-ounces of your usual product into a container to get it through security.</p><p>Beckham also detailed the rest of her skincare drill for combating dry airplane air. After cleansing her face, she uses the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.net-a-porter.com/us/en/product/821417" target="_blank">Sarah Chapman Stem Cell Collagen Activator Duo serum</a>, making sure to get her eye area and neck as well.</p><p>Next, Beckham said, “Right before I get off the plane, I always use the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.net-a-porter.com/us/en/product/821565/victoria_beckham_estee_lauder/morning-aura-illuminating-creme" target="_blank">Morning Aura</a> we developed for my line."</p><p>She explained, “When we started working on it, I said to the team that when I travel to LA and I get off the plane after 12 hours, and there’s always tons of paparazzi. So I need a product that’s going to hydrate, moisturize, lift, give a glowy, dewy feel about it…something that’s going to make me photo-ready. That’s how we came up with Morning Aura. It’s a primer — I use it with powder — but it’s also great on its own as a skincare product.”</p><p>While the last two products she mentions might not be for everyone with price tags of $265 and $95 respectively, Beckham demonstrates that maintaining your skincare routine is manageable even while traveling.</p><p>And at $10, her preferred makeup remover is an affordable skincare staple that will help you land on vacation <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/photos/photo-of-the-day#/userhome/?_k=l8v5cm" target="_blank">ready to snap some photos</a>, even if no paparazzi are waiting for you.</p>
Categories: Travel

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