Forecasts Predict Winter Will Arrive Late and Leave Early This Year

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:30
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Winter</a> has been arriving later, bringing milder conditions, and staying for shorter periods of time over the past several years, and this year is set to continue the trend.</p><p>The first freeze of the year has been steadily moving later, with the first thaw arriving earlier as well, making winters shorter and milder, according to data from <a href="" target="_blank">NOAA's Climate Prediction Center</a>.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">A warmer winter</a> can be more favorable to growing conditions, but it can also damage plants that need lower temperatures while raising water levels and potentially causing flooding, <a href="" target="_blank">Associated Press reported</a>.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Last year’s first freeze arrived two weeks later than the 20th century average, making it “way off the charts,” Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at NOAA told AP.</p><p>Two thirds of the U.S. is predicted to see warmer-than-average temperatures this winter, including the entire east coast, Hawaii, and even Alaska.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How This Year's Hurricane Season Compares to Past Years</a></p><p>The warmer temperatures are due in part to the effects of climate change, including an increased level of carbon dioxide, according to Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. Forecasters also pointed to the potential effects of weather system La Niña in changing precipitation levels and temperatures.</p><p>“It does, undoubtedly, play a role,” he said in a call with reporters. “The increase in CO2 factors into our model forecast.”</p><p>Last year ranked as the sixth warmest winter on record, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Washington Post</em> reported</a>. This winter is expected to be slightly cooler than last year’s.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Spa in Iceland Would Disappear Into the Surrounding Volcanoes

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 07:38
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Iceland</a> is famous for its unique landscapes.</p><p>Soon, visitors to the country could be able to book luxury accommodations without feeling like they’ve left the outdoors. The design firm Johannes Torpe has proposed an Icelandic spa and resort that disappears into its surroundings.</p><img alt="Red Mountain Resort Iceland Renderings "src=""><p>Upon entry, visitors wouldn’t see the Red Mountain Resort until the last possible second. It’s hidden by mountains and volcanoes until it “magically” emerges from the land, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Johannes Torpe</a>, the design studio behind the building.</p><img alt="Red Mountain Resort Iceland Renderings "src=""><p>“We wanted to create the illusion that one is entering another world when they arrive at the resort,” <a href="" target="_blank">Torpe said</a>. “It is a world that awakens and stimulates your senses in ways everyday life doesn’t have the capacity to do.”</p><img alt="Red Mountain Resort Iceland Renderings "src=""><p>The resort faces Snæfellsjokull, a glacier-covered stratovolcano where, according to Icelandic legend, a man named Barður Snæfellsás moved when he wanted to leave behind civilization and live in solitude.</p><img alt="Red Mountain Resort Iceland Renderings "src=""><p>The resort will include a 150-room hotel, artist residences, 20 bungalows and a restaurant. But the resort’s main draw will be <a href="" target="_blank">an expansive spa</a>, designed to bring guests through a “transformational journey” akin to that of Snæfellsás.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Best Places to See the Northern Lights</a></p><p>The spa experience starts in a steam room where, through the fog, guests may feel lost. They are then guided through states like contemplation, clarity and enlightenment. The “journey” features showers of rain, hot and cold baths and a floating salt bath.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The relationship with nature and Icelandic lore will continue throughout the resort. A natural lagoon flows into the reception area; rooms look out at the landscape through floor-to-ceiling glass windows; red-pigmented concrete will blend into the surrounding area, making the hotel appear to fade into the land.</p><p>The developer is currently making ground tests in the resort’s proposed location, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Dwell</em></a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

American Airlines Passengers Delayed for 24 Hours Tried to Get Hamilton Tickets for Compensation

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 07:19
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Pizza</a> makes everybody happy, right?</p><p>In order to pacify almost 300 passengers during their two unscheduled diversions, American Airlines fed everybody a slice of pizza.</p><p>After flight crew aboard an American Airlines flight from Milan to Miami on Saturday noticed a crack in the windshield, <a href="" target="_blank">they made an emergency diversion to Stephenville Airport</a> in Newfoundland, Canada.</p><p>While the aircraft was taken out of service for repairs, the airline had a two-part plan. One: fly an alternate plane up to Newfoundland to collect the 287 passengers. And two: feed them pizza.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How One Woman Made $11,000 Off of Delta Flight Delays</a></p><img alt=" "src=""><p>After eating pizza at Stephenville Airport, passengers boarded an alternate plane 10 hours later. However, instead of flying down to Miami, the plane went to New York’s JFK airport. A spokesperson for the airline told <i>Travel + Leisure </i>that due to crew time and customs availability, they were unable to fly the passengers directly from Canada to Miami.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Best Places for Pizza, According to Someone Who Travels to Eat It</a></p><p><a href=";opt=0" target="_blank">One commenter on</a> who claimed to be a passenger onboard the flight said that although the “flight crew was awesome and professional,” they were frustrated to have a second unscheduled stop. He “suggested AA could make it up to passengers with Hamilton tickets. Unfortunately they decided a slice of pizza was a better customer service gift.”</p><p>But all the Broadway shows were long over by the time passengers <a href="" target="_blank">reached New York at 11:50 p.m. on Saturday night</a>. Passengers spent less than 12 hours there and took off from <a href="" target="_blank">JFK Airport at 10:30 a.m.</a> on Sunday. They arrived in Miami around 1:45 p.m., about <a href="" target="_blank">24 hours after their original landing time</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

OKC Thunder Players Surprised to Find Huge Dent in Plane After Landing

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 05:45
<p>NBA players from the Oklahoma City Thunder got a surprise when they got off their flight in Chicago this weekend: The front of their aircraft was badly dented after likely colliding with a bird during the flight.</p><p>Although the giant dent in the nose cone looks scary, none of the passengers or crew were injured. The status of the bird, however, is probably not good.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>After the collision, many of the players wondered what could have possibly hit the plane to cause such damage. One player, Steven Adams, even jokingly tweeted to NASA, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye for some guesses.</p><p>Another player, Carmelo Anthony, wrote on Instagram, “What possibly could we have hit in the SKY at this time of night?”</p><p>The plane landed safely, and Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Elizabeth Wolf confirmed in an email to the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Chicago Tribune</em></a> that the accident was likely caused by a bird.</p><p>Bird strikes are not uncommon, and this is definitely not the first time a feathered friend has made an impact. Last year, an American Airlines flight was forced to turn around after <a href="" target="_blank">hitting a large bird mid-flight</a>. That incident left similar damage to the aircraft.</p><p>Thunder Coach Billy Donovan said that the collision caused “some turbulence” and caused the plane to drop, according to the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Queen's Secret Airport Security Info Was Found in a USB Stick Lying on the Street

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 05:29
<p>Heathrow Airport officials have launched an internal investigation after a memory stick containing sensitive security information was found simply lying on the street.</p><p>The information on the card, which was found by a member of the public, reportedly contained maps, restricted documents, and even information about the detailed security measures used to protect the Queen when she travels through the airport.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Sneak Out of Heathrow Airport</a></p><img alt=" "src=""><p>After finding the USB stick, the citizen first gave the information to the <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Sunday Mirror</i></a>, which in turn alerted authorities. According to the <em>Sunday Mirror</em>, the stick contained a total of 76 folders with maps, videos, and ­documents about the airport. It was not encrypted and did not require a password to access. It also reportedly included detailed maps and information about the Royal Suite, which is used by the Queen as well as cabinet ministers when they travel through the airport.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How Queen Elizabeth Uses Her Purse As a Secret Code</a></p><p>“In the wrong hands this would represent a profound threat in terms of terrorism or espionage,” a security source told the paper. "Aviation security is under the microscope because of the desire by terrorists to bring planes down in a spectacular fashion. Security services would not want this leaked or sold to hostile parties.”</p><p>And while the stick has been recovered and delivered to authorities, it may be too late for the information to be contained.</p><p>“The fear is that this information could have been downloaded and disseminated God knows where,” a police source noted to the <i>Sunday Mirror</i>. "The worry is it ends up on the dark web and used by bad guys to pick holes in airport security.”</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Queen Elizabeth Refuses to Travel Without One Very Specific Snack</a></p><p>However, Heathrow officials appear to be unfazed by the discovery of the memory stick, telling <em><a href="" target="_blank">CNN</a></em>, "We have reviewed all of our security plans and are confident that Heathrow remains secure...We have also launched an internal investigation to understand how this happened and are taking steps to prevent a similar occurrence in future."</p>
Categories: Travel

Clear Pumpkin Pie Is Here to Make Your Thanksgiving Even More Awkward

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 05:24
<p>This is not your grandmother’s pumpkin pie.</p><p>Frankly, pumpkin pie — or <a href="" target="_blank">pumpkin-flavored foods</a> in general — can spark quite a debate. There seems to be no middle ground: You either love it or you hate it. But what do you do when your beloved (or despised) food gets a total makeover?</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Enter clear pumpkin pie.</p><p>It’s chic. It’s surreal. It’s so very Instagramable. And it will give many people mixed feelings.</p><p>The pie concoction was created at Chicago-based <a href="" target="_blank">Alinea</a>. In an Instagram video, Alinea chef Simon Davies holds a tiny piece of gelatin pie with a seemingly normal crust and itty-bitty dollop of whipped cream on top.</p><p>“Pumpkin pie for the fall menu. #surrealism,” it says in the caption.</p><p>Davies explained in the comments how the pie is made with a “distillation of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and clove.”</p><p>“Texture is very important to us. This melts away,” he added. “If it were over-gelled it would not be worth serving. The main texture that brings on nostalgia is from the pate brisee.”</p><p>When he puts it that way, it sounds delicious.</p><img alt="clear pumpkin pie dessert dish grant achatz alinea restaurant chicago "src=""><p>Despite it being a little unconventional, the pie does remind us a little of the equally Instagramable “<a href="" target="_blank">rain drop cake</a>” that took the internet by storm a few years ago. If we can love our gelatin as a cake, surely we can love it as pie.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Use Your Costco Membership to Get Amazing Vacation Deals

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:01
<p>Costco seems to have everything: really inexpensive frozen yogurt sundaes, free samples, and more ketchup than a very large family can consume in a year. But even serious deal-hunters may not know that the membership-based wholesaler also sells discounted vacations.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Why Pro Surfers Love This Cheap Costco Surfboard</a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Costco Travel</a> sources affordable travel offers the same way Costco it stockpiles non-perishable canned goods. The company buys in bulk, and then passes off the discount to its members. When it comes to travel, that means the company is able to secure hotels, car rentals, and more at a <a href="" target="_blank">group rate</a>. Costco Travel even applies to cruises, theme parks, vacation packages, and all-inclusive resorts. </p><h2>Cruises</h2><p>Costco offers special rates on cruise lines such as Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Viking River Cruises. They also offer special cruise itineraries available only to Costco members, such as an eight-day Kirkland Signature Wine Cruise through Burgundy and Provence on a Uniworld River Cruise vessel.</p><h2>Rental Cars</h2><p>Costco members can search for the lowest rate available from Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise rental car companies. There’s no fee to cancel <a href="" target="_blank">rental car reservations booked through Costco</a>, so if you find a better deal before your departure, you can rebook for the lower price without a financial penalty. Enterprise, in particular, offers Costco members a 10 percent discount, a waived additional driver fee, and (sometimes) eligibility for a vehicle upgrade.</p><h2>Theme Parks</h2><p>Costco offers theme park packages from Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resorts, and Universal Orlando. Packages might include seven nights for the price of five, or complimentary theme park tickets with a room reservation.</p><h2>Specialty Vacations</h2><p>Costco members can shop a global array of specialty vacation offers from Trafalgar Worldwide Guided Vacations, Lion World Travel, and Guided Vacation. And there's really nothing "budget-like" about these trips, which range from safaris in South Africa to guided tours of yuletide Europe to culinary expeditions through India.</p><h2>All-Inclusive Resorts</h2><p>Find the <a href="" target="_blank">best deal for an all-inclusive resort</a> (where trip-goers pay a flat price up front for all their vacation needs) when you use Costco's travel portal. Costco offers packages across the world’s sunniest, sandiest spots: Hawaii, Cancun, and Aruba, among others. Search for packages with “Included Extras” to find potential upgrades or benefits such as resort credit or a Costco Cash Card.</p><h2>Good to Know</h2><p>Don’t forget to shop around. While Costco is justifiably famous for its discounts, that doesn’t mean it’s got the best (much less only) deal available at any given time.</p><p>Also, travelers who book through Costco Travel will likely still need to shop around to find <a href="" target="_blank">the best deal on flights</a>. Airfare can, however, also be purchased as an add-on. </p><p>Flexible travelers who prioritize value should check Costco's weekly special offers, which might include a <a href="" target="_blank">five night stay</a> in an overwater suite at the <a href="" target="_blank">InterContinental Bora Bora</a> in Tahiti — with airfare — for a cool $4,345. </p><p>Costco memberships start at $60 per year for Gold Star members, and reach $120 for Executive-level members who can earn a 2 percent reward on eligible Costco and Costco Travel purchases. </p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Scuba Dive Surrounded by Prehistoric Fossils in Florida's 'Devil's Den'

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 13:01
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Devil’s Den</a>, in Florida, is an underground spring inside a cave that got its name from early settlers, who thought the steam rising from the Earth looked like it was coming from hell.</p><p>Now, the collapsed river bed has become a popular spot to scuba dive and snorkel while being surrounded by ancient rock formations and fossil beds.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The 10 Best Resort Hotels in Florida</a></p><p>Some of the fossils in Devil’s Den date back to the Pleistocene Age, and as old as 33 million years. Fossils of mastodons, ground sloths, and even sabre-toothed cats have been found in the spring — and many of the fossils are now on display at the <a href="" target="_blank">Florida Museum of Natural History</a>, at the University of Florida.</p><p>One of the best parts of the Devil’s Den is heading underwater with your scuba and snorkel gear and exploring the warm, clear, 72-degree waters.</p><p>Once you’re done exploring, the site also has picnic tables and a food truck, in case you’ve worked up an appetite.</p><p>And if you’re worried that such a prehistoric site is hard to get to, have no fear. It’s located in Willeston, Florida, about a 30-minute drive from Gainesville. Lodging options include hotels and camping.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Newest Travel Trend Involves Cryotherapy and IV Infusions

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 12:00
<p>I always felt I had little in common with the world of wellness, one which I associate overwhelmingly with any kind of juice that costs more than a few dollars and <a href="" target="_blank">Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop.”</a></p><p>I can’t blame it on a lack of exposure either. Living in New York City, there is no shortage of women who — either sincerely or as part of their persona — swear by yoga, supplements, eastern meditation, or some combination of the three. My mother, a brilliant woman with a master’s degree in theological studies, runs a successful company teaching meditation.</p><p>And somehow, I’ve always found more comfort and wisdom in a glass of wine and <a href="" target="_blank">a good book</a>. The thought of being the kind of woman who moves through life with inner peace and glowing skin has always held an allure, but the closest I’ve ever come to it was investing in both a <a href="" target="_blank">day <em>and</em> a night cream</a>.</p><p>When I found out the boutique <a href="" target="_blank">hotel HGU New York</a> had created a package touting the health benefits of cutting-edge wellness treatments, including cryotherapy and vitamin infusions, I was skeptically curious. So I decided to try everything in a single afternoon.</p><p>The hotel, housed in an early 20th-century building in Manhattan, first opened in July of 2016, gradually adding to their health and wellness packages. Where visitors to other hotels might enjoy facials or massages, guests at HGU New York can schedule cryotherapy sessions, find their bliss in one-on-one meditation in their rooms, or revitalize their bodies after a long flight with an IV infusion.</p><p>“We talk always about, ‘How do we make our guests lives better?’ and I think this wellness package achieves that,” said ML Perlman, executive director of wellness and lifestyle at HGU New York Hotel. “We’re thoughtful and we’re human, and we want to celebrate the thoughtfulness and humanity of our guests.”</p><img alt="Cryotherapy chamber "src=""><p>Up first was cryotherapy, a practice that has risen to prominence in recent years. Similar to ice baths or icing sore areas in general, proponents of cryotherapy claim it reaps a variety of benefits, from easing aching muscles to combating depression to stimulating weight loss. Some have even <a href="" target="_blank">said it could help with jet lag</a>.</p><p>The process uses nitrogen to cool a chamber to as low as -300 degrees Fahrenheit, triggering some of the body’s emergency responses and serving as a dramatic anti-inflammatory. Full-body cryotherapy has become popular with athletes, many of whom had previously used ice baths and were looking for a more effective and timesaving method. (Full-body cryotherapy lasts a maximum of three minutes.)</p><p>Stepping into the chamber wearing a robe, booties, and knit gloves felt like something out of a sci-fi movie, and as I handed <a href="" target="_blank">Michael Perrine</a> of Vitality NYC my robe, the cooling process began. Three minutes in sub-freezing temperatures — the chamber at this unit goes down to -246 degrees Fahrenheit — can feel like an eternity, though Perrine did an excellent job keeping me distracted by regaling me with his own, much longer, journey into wellness.</p><p>Perrine, founder of Vitality NYC, has a deep background in health and wellness, working as a certified colonics specialist, serving as a natural food chef, and hosting his own podcast, EveryDayDetox. He has tried just about every trend in the field, and dismissed most of them as just that: lacking in long-term wisdom. But he preaches the effects of cryotherapy.</p><p>“Mostly things are fads,” he said. “This was not a fad.”</p><p>The scientific community is still undecided as to whether cryotherapy works. Within an hour of stepping out of the chamber I felt more flexible and less achy, but much of the evidence surrounding cryotherapy is similarly anecdotal. Few studies have been completed on cryotherapy chambers, and the ones that have been conducted are often <a href="" target="_blank">inconclusive in their results</a>.</p><p>“We’re all about evidence. So we certainly don’t have good evidence that any of these cryotherapy treatments make that much of a difference,” said <a href="">Dennis Cardone</a>, chief of primary care sports medicine at NYU Langone Health. Some medical practitioners have even made a complete reversal on the idea that icing is the best way to treat injuries, according to Cardone. In some cases, particularly with tendon injuries, the body’s initial inflammatory response is a good thing, and he discourages some patients from even taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.</p><p>Cardone expressed a similar skepticism of my next activity: a vitamin IV infusion a few blocks south at REVIV. “Again, it’s back to evidence. We have no evidence,” he said.</p><p>Perhaps it was vein constriction caused by the low temperatures of cryotherapy, or maybe it’s just my genetics, but apparently I have tiny veins. After a seemingly interminable amount of arm-flicking and needle adjustment administered by a registered nurse at REVIV, my vitamin infusion began.</p><p>The atmosphere lands somewhere between a doctor’s office and a spa, with a mix of white walls and massage chairs. There were no televisions or magazines, so I was left to contemplate the needle in my arm, as I tried to relax into the experience.</p><p>Friends, celebrities, and users of the Internet have lauded vitamin infusions as the best way to cure <a href="" target="_blank">hangovers and jet lag</a>, as they are essentially extreme hydration, bypassing the digestive system to put vitamins and electrolytes directly into the bloodstream. Some people even use them to ward off illness when they feel a winter cold coming on, according to the nurse who gave me my IV drip. <a href="" target="_blank">Prices at REVIV</a> range from a simple hydration infusion for $99 up to $249 “royal flush” that delivers two liters of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, electrolytes and medications.</p><p>In the name of journalism, I made sure to have a couple beers the night before my infusion to test the rehydration theory, and can report that I did not feel any major changes in my minor headache. I could have sworn my skin was glowing, but that might have been the soft light of the spa/doctor’s office.</p><p>After 40 minutes of sitting in the massage chair with my arm extended — it was supposed to take 20 minutes, but again, my tiny veins — I returned to HGU New York for the evening.</p><img alt="HGU Suite "src=""><p>With posters of 1970s-era John Lennon, a rooftop bar offering views over Manhattan, and C.O. Bigelow bath products in their rooms, HGU combines elements of classic New York City style with a modern twist.</p><p>After an afternoon of purported wellness activities, I decided to balance things out with a glass of red wine (for the antioxidants) and what turned out to be one of the highlights of my stay: a burger with melted raclette cheese and truffle fries from the hotel’s room service. My proverbial hat goes off to whoever decided to combine the magic of Swiss fondue and hamburgers.</p><p>Part of HGU’s wellness program includes the option to enjoy in-room guided meditation, from <a href="" target="_blank">Biet Simkin</a>, an artist and spiritual teacher who once cited <a href=";taken-by=guidedbybiet" target="_blank">Leonardo da Vinci as her role model</a>.</p><p>With Simkin out of town during my stay, I spoke to her over the phone about meditation and “the inner world of the soul.”</p><p>The Los Angeles-based teacher says she wants to challenge the assumptions made about who meditation is for, namely that real meditation is reserved for monks who want to give up their worldly possessions and join an ashram. Simkin was adamant that everyone can benefit from meditative practices, describing her offerings at the hotel as “an immersive meditation experience that incorporates art, music, fashion, and meditation.”</p><p>Guests can order a variety of different types of experiences, whether they’re looking for a guided meditation or more of a seminar about a given topic.</p><p>“I love creating luxury experiences for people and bridging the world of New York City crazy speed, beauty and insanity, and the inner world of soul,” Simkin said.</p><p>While meditative practice might appear to be the least scientifically oriented of the three activities, it is the one with the most evidence behind it.</p><p>Dr. Cardone was quick to praise meditation as a way to lower stress and enhance performance in daily life or sports, and the scientific community at large has found an increasing amount of evidence to the health benefits of meditative practices in decreasing <a href="" target="_blank">stress and depression</a> and even serving as a form of <a href="" target="_blank">pain management.</a></p><p>“To get people to step away from their daily grind — these are all great daily interventions,” he said.</p><p>Amid the freezing temperatures, IVs, and bevy of information on New Age treatments, the element of intervention resonated most. Stepping away from my usual grind of deadlines and list-making gave me a feeling of restoration that lasted longer than my vitamin glow.</p><p>Room rates at HGU New York start at $200 per night.</p><p><em>Editor’s note: HGU New York provided the services to T+L for review.</em></p>
Categories: Travel