Here's Why You Won't See Prince Harry or Meghan Markle Again Before Their Wedding Day (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 08:43
<p>Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been two extremely visible people since announcing their engagement last fall. The pair has made a <a href="" target="_blank">plethora of appearances</a> both together and apart over the last few months, dazzling crowds all around the United Kingdom. However, it will likely be radio silence over the next few weeks, because the pair are officially on a break from the public.</p><p>As<i> </i><em><a href="" target="_blank">People</a></em> reported, the soon-to-be married duo has no official engagements on the books from now until their wedding day on May 19. This means it’s highly unlikely you’ll see either one until they <a href="" target="_blank">walk down the aisle at St George’s chapel</a> at Windsor Castle.</p><p>Though it’s not like either one will be kicking up their feet and relaxing before the wedding. Instead, the pair are likely in ultra-wedding planning mode.</p><p>According to reports, for Harry this means <a href="" target="_blank">getting in tip-top shape</a> for the big day by hitting the gym and taking on his fiancé’s clean lifestyle by eating kale and quinoa instead of burgers and beer.</p><p>As for Meghan, <em>People </em>explained that she may be entertaining her bridal party over the next few weeks as they stealthily fly in and out of London for various fittings and meetings.</p><p>Though her bridal party has yet to be announced, we do know at least one person who will be standing with the couple on their big day: <a href="" target="_blank">Prince William</a>. Just last week, Kensington announced that Prince Harry had asked his big brother to be his best man. So, William too is likely in preparation mode, writing his best man speech and thinking of ways to playfully torture his little brother on his wedding day.</p><p>And like any couple, Harry and Meghan are also likely checking in on their vendors, <a href="" target="_blank">trying their wedding cake</a>, tasting their menu, having dress and suit fittings, and of course practicing for their first dance as a married couple. Except, unlike other couples, Harry and Meghan will have to say their vows as the entire world watches. No pressure or anything. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Is the Worst Thing People Do on Flights, According to Annoyed Travelers (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 06:02
<p>When you're squished into a tin can with hundreds of other people at 35,000 feet, there’s certain etiquette you should be sure to follow. First and foremost: Keep your socks on.</p><p>Expedia's <a href="">Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study for 2018</a> found that while many people have their own personal pet peeves, a majority of people surveyed had the same complaints about other passengers.</p><p>The top things most people can't stand on flights: barefoot passengers, seat kickers, and excessively chatty or loud travelers.</p><p>Ninety percent of survey respondents said that going barefoot on a plane is definitely not cool, and 51 percent of those surveyed said seat kickers are the worst.</p><p>Ninety percent or respondents said they prefer to keep to themselves during a flight, opting to sleep instead of talking to other passengers. Take note, chatty seatmates. (If you want to deter your neighbors from talking to you, consider some <a href="" target="_blank">over-the-ear headphones</a>.)</p><p>Among the other annoyances people noted in the survey were inattentive parents, “party-goers” or people who drink to excess, and, ironically, complainers.</p><p>The study also asked people their worst hotel annoyances, and found that many travelers get irked by loud parties either in-room or in hotel hallways. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said they always or frequently use the “<a href="" target="_blank">do not disturb</a>” door hanger during their stay.</p>
Categories: Travel

Cat Manages to Evade Authorities for Nearly a Week at JFK Airport

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 17:41
<p>Seems someone let the cat out of the bag. Literally.</p><p>A four-year-old tabby cat named Pepper managed to escape her carrier on April 20 at John F. Kennedy Airport, darting through Terminal 4, <a href="" target="_blank">NBC News reported</a>. The owner was checking in for a flight to China when Pepper escaped, <a href="" target="_blank">according to ABC News</a>, and anfortunately, they had to catch their flight without their precious pet after trying to catch her themselves.</p><p>Ever since Pepper’s daring escape, Port Authority police have been attempting to retrieve the elusive feline with the help of her owner’s friend, Nuan Lang.</p><p>The search party had spotted Pepper periodically before she was caught. On April 27, the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association tweeted that the cat “appears healthy.”</p><p>The police set out humane traps in order to catch Pepper. She was finally found on Saturday, April 28, after more than a week. According to ABC News, she is being cared for by Lang until she can be reunited with her owner.</p><p>Pepper will definitely have a long “tail” to tell when she gets home.</p>
Categories: Travel

Take a Look at BMW’s New Designs for Hyperloop’s Passenger Capsules

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 17:19
<p>Designworks, a BMW Group company, has teamed up with Virgin Hyperloop One and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai to <a href="" target="_blank">reveal a new design</a> for the passenger capsules coming to Dubai.</p><p>The designs mark the first physical, full-scale hyperloop prototype to be made public. In an aim to transform the “typical utilitarian notion of public transport,” Designworks has focused on the individual, with seats that offer plenty of personal space and features like personalized mood lighting and entertainment systems, and built-in heating and cooling systems.</p><img alt="bmw hyperloop one "src=""><p>The company incorporated traditional Arabic patterns into a modern design for these futuristic pods that will travel through vacuum-sealed tubes at speeds of 671 mph.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Virgin Hyperloop One</a> is currently working with the RTA to negotiate the next stage of development, with the goal of having three hyperloop systems in operation by 2021.</p><p>The company first began working with the RTA in 2016 to evaluate a link between <a href="" target="_blank">Abu Dhabi</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Dubai</a> that would reduce travel time from 90 minutes to 12.</p><p>Virgin Hyperloop One currently has feasibility studies underway in a number of locations including the U.S., UAE, and several countries in Europe.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Drive Through the Scottish Highlands Brings You Face to Face With Ancient Ruins, Nessie’s Home, and Plenty of Sheep

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 16:28
<p>It started with a flat tire. Ten minutes after picking up a rental car outside of Inverness, the first stop on a driving tour of the Scottish Highlands, I heard a loud pop and rolled to a stop. Roadside assistance came to my rescue, with a spare tire and a few jokes about how continental Europeans are even worse at driving on the left side of the road than Americans.</p><p>My mishap was in many ways a fitting introduction to a region characterized by both its severity and its levity. For centuries, the Highlands were known as a place of hard-won survival, where the damp cold shaped daily life. At the same time, the region’s steep mountains and rolling green hills have attracted travelers since the early 19<sup>th</sup> century, when Sir Walter Scott extolled virtues of the <a href="" target="_blank">Highlands</a> in the popular novels he set there. The area’s rich cultural heritage, world-renowned whisky, and welcoming locals continue to draw travelers to this day.</p><h3>Day 1</h3><img alt="Clava Cairds, Scotland "src=""><p>Inverness<b>, </b>considered the unofficial capital of the Highlands, is a three-hour train ride from Edinburgh. The trip north is a pleasure, as the route skirts the jagged coastline, cutting through villages and sheep farms along the way.</p><p>Some locals argue that Inverness was at its most charming prior to World War II, before contemporary buildings marred a cityscape dominated by 18<sup>th</sup> and 19<sup>th</sup> century constructions, but most of the well-known attractions have been lovingly maintained.</p><p>In the heart of the town, the Victorian Market, with its vaulted ceilings, long arcades, and rows of shops carrying the work of local craftsmen, is reminiscent of Paris’s covered passages. <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">The Mustard Seed</a>, a restaurant just two blocks away, serves up hearty local fare, including haggis bonbons, a savory dish akin to meatballs but composed of sheep’s stomach.</p><p>The winding River Ness cuts through the middle of the city, and stone bridges connect the river’s banks. The picturesque St. Andrew’s Cathedral, built in the 19<sup>th</sup> century of red stone and granite, sits right on the water’s edge. Nearby, Leakey’s Bookshop occupies a former church, and is heated in part by wood-burning stoves. Owner Charles Leakey can navigate the stock of nearly 100,000 volumes with a deft hand.</p><p>My first stop on my way out of Inverness was <b>Clava Cairns</b>, about a 10-minute drive away. The cairns are an example of the many burial sites scattered across the Highlands, but what makes them remarkable is their great age—they were first used by Iron Age residents in 2,000 B.C. Sites like these can be found throughout the British Isles — most notably at Stonehenge — and their supposed mystical qualities have inspired a range of cultural homages, including the novel-turned-television-hit <em>Outlander.</em></p><p>The coastal village of Dornoch, population 1,000, is an hour’s drive from Inverness. Castle Dornoch, a hotel with a distillery attached, offers simple but comfortable lodgings (and a decanter of whiskey next to one’s bed). Despite its modest appearance, the restaurant at Castle Dornoch serves some of the best food in the area, including fresh pasta tossed with local prawns and king scallops.</p><h3>Day 2</h3><img alt="Fort Augustus, near Loch Ness, Scotland "src=""><p>Set out before sunrise on the road to Croick Church,<b> </b>an hour north of Inverness<b> </b>in rural<b> </b>Ardgay, and you’ll see mist still clinging to the hilly terrain, especially near the coast. Lined with trees and old stone walls, the twisting routes have 30 mph speed limits. Dilapidated castles dot long stretches of farmland. Budgeting extra time into a driving trip of the Highlands is crucial, as rogue livestock and scenic overlooks make for frequent interruptions. The road to the church eventually narrows to one lane, with sheep farms on either side for almost 10 miles.</p><p>Croick Church has become a monument to the Highland Clearances, when British soldiers and Scottish landowners cleared the land of subsistence farmers starting in the late 18th century. An estimated 150,000 people were forced to leave their homes over the course of the next century. The 18 evicted families of Glencavie parish were too pious to shelter in the church itself, so they took refuge in the courtyard, carving their names and messages into the windowpanes. Their etchings are preserved in the glass, and the church never locks its doors as a symbolic gesture.</p><p>The cultural heritage of the Highlanders isn’t entirely somber, however. The region is known for <a href="" target="_blank">its world-class whisky</a> and the celebrations that go with it. Founded in 1838, Glen Ord Distillery, an hour’s drive south, has been producing its Singleton malt for nearly two centuries. Aged in sherry and bourbon casks, the whisky has a smoother, less peaty flavor than that of some neighboring distilleries. Glen Ord is the last remaining distillery on the Black Isle, a region so named for its dark loam, which provides ideal conditions for growing the barley used in scotch.</p><p>The route south from the distillery to Fort Augustus stretches along one side of <a href="" target="_blank">the famous Loch Ness</a> for nearly 25 miles. The dark waters of the loch hug one side of the road, and signs warning of falling rocks from steep cliff faces stand on the other.</p><p>Loch Ness looks ominous on cloudy days, and it’s not difficult to imagine a mythical sea creature lurking in the deep, black water.</p><p>Fort Augustus is the perfect stop for a late lunch of Scottish comfort foods (fish and chips, haggis sandwiches). Situated at the southern tip of Loch Ness, the compact village has a population of just a few hundred people, giving it a small-town charm. Boats sail up and down the narrow canal that cuts through the town and feeds into the loch. A handful of craft and gift shops line the canal, hawking tartans of every color. A dock at the end of the canal juts into the loch, giving one the sense of standing almost in the water.</p><p>The Lovat, a four-star hotel housed in a Victorian home along the Caledonian Canal, is ideal for an overnight stop.</p><h3>Day 3</h3><img alt="Invergarry Castle "src=""><p>The neighboring <a href="" target="_blank">Invergarry Castle</a> dates from an era when powerful clans ruled the Highlands. British soldiers attempted to burn it down on two separate occasions, but the scorched bones of the original framework remain, a fitting embodiment of Highland resiliency. A restoration project is underway, and safety concerns prevent visitors from entering the building, but the grounds of the estate remain open. Some four-stories high, the façade of the castle towers over the edge of Loch Oich, its winding stone staircase visible from the exterior.</p><p>The four-hour drive out of the Highlands to Glasgow winds through some of the steepest peaks in the country, including <b>Ben Nevis</b>, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom at 4,413 feet. With Scotland’s near-constant drizzle, driving on the mountain roads can be a frightening but powerful experience. There are almost no streetlights, even on the larger routes (which often have just two lanes), and with few cars in the off-season, only a handful of BBC radio stations interrupt the quiet. From certain vantage points the mountains seem like a never-ending sequence of slick pavement and rising peaks.</p><p>If the long drive starts to take its toll — or if the one road to Glasgow is briefly closed for construction, as it was for me — the 300-year-old Drover’s Inn in Loch Lomond serves up tea and hearty meals. It’s also rumored to be <a href="" target="_blank">one of the most haunted places in Scotland</a>.</p><p>Soon the roads turned to multi-lane highways, and within an hour I arrived in Glasgow. With its manicured squares and Art Nouveau architecture, the city is a stark return to metropolitan life. A cultural and educational hub, Glasgow is home to the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, and a host of galleries and museums.</p><p>After driving alone for several days and seeing more sheep than people by a factor of at least 10, I was thrust back into the crowds and the hum of noise that goes along with them. Even in the middle of the week, the city bustles, as students from the art and architecture schools smoke cigarettes on the way to class, and young professionals meet up for pints in the city’s many pubs. I settled in with a pint of Guinness near the center of town, still shaking the caked Highland mud off my boots.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Caribbean Island That's Quietly Luring Americans Away From the 50 States (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 16:00
<p>When dreaming of a window-seat view on a flight to the Caribbean, one color comes to mind: blue. Or, more specifically, that sparkling turquoise-blue that can only be found in nature when the water is crystal clear, the sand is white, and the sun is shining.</p><p>But anyone who has flown over the area in the seven months since hurricanes Irma and Maria caused widespread devastation has probably noticed another, less idyllic shade of blue: royal blue FEMA tarps covering the missing or damaged roofs of residents' homes.</p><img alt="Hilltop view of St. Croix "src=""><p>On the <a href="" target="_blank">U.S. Virgin Island</a> of St. Croix, which was largely spared by Irma but hit hard by Maria, the blue of the water finally overpowers the blue of the roofs once again. Ninety percent of all businesses have reopened, according to St. Croix Chamber of Commerce president Edgar Bengoa, and power has been restored. The island's oldest hotel, The Buccanneer, which played a vital role in post-storm rehabilitation efforts by housing relief workers for months, is fully operational, and the first new hotel in 31 years, The Fred, is welcoming visitors to Frederiksted. Restaurants from Savant and Balter to Zion and the new Uptown Eatery even came together in early April to celebrate the <a href="" target="_blank">island's culinary scene</a> with the <a href="" target="_blank">St. Croix Food and Wine Experience</a> — fittingly, this year, themed “Resiliency in Action.”</p><img alt="Christiansted St. Croix "src=""><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">This Caribbean Castle Was a Countess's Dream Home Brought to Life — and Now It Could Be Yours</a></p><p>Still, traces of Maria's wrath remain on roadsides littered with downed power lines and hillsides that are less green than usual because there are fewer trees to shade them. But really, now is a better time than ever to visit St. Croix for a true taste of the optimistic, proud, and welcoming spirit that makes it so much more than a beautiful beach destination.</p><p>That is clearer than ever when lifelong resident Sharon Rosario, assistant director of communications at the USVI Department of Tourism (and, it becomes obvious about 15 minutes into traveling around town with her, the island's unofficial mayor), speaks about the annual Crucian Christmas Festival held in December.</p><p>“There was this giant tree down in the middle of the road,” she said, scrolling through photos of smiling Crucians in their gorgeous, bright costumes. “So we danced around it!”</p><p>It's clear at the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">St. George Village Botanical Garden</a>, where another fallen tree is not only being kept alive, but an entire garden is being built around it for what will soon be a breathtaking outdoor wedding venue.</p><p>And it's clear at every restaurant or bar where someone from the continental U.S. is raving to a stranger-turned-friend about their decision to relocate there for good, post-storm leaks or home repair delays aside.</p><img alt="St. Croix gardens "src=""><p>After all, it doesn't take long to become a Crucian “cousin,” as Rosario took to calling us, no matter where you're traveling from. Just don't let the relaxed rhythm of the Caribbean Sea hypnotize you into staying at your resort; you'll miss so much if you don't venture out for a roadside lunch, a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">gas station party</a> (yes, that's a thing), or an early morning at the <a href="" target="_blank">fish and farmers' market</a>. Rent a car and explore the 28-mile-long island from end to end, and who knows — the next expat chatting blissfully about the vacation that changed their life's path forever could be you.</p><h2>Getting There</h2><p>There are <a href="" target="_blank">direct flights to St. Croix</a> from Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, and San Juan. The average summer flight from New York City is about $300-400 round-trip, according to <a href="*STX./m/02_286.2018-06-15;c:USD;e:1;sd:1;t:f" target="_blank">Google Flights</a>, with a stopover in San Juan or Miami. Many <a href="" target="_blank">cruise ships</a> stop in Frederiksted as well. And U.S. citizens <a href="" target="_blank">don't even need a passport</a>.</p><img alt="Christiansted boardwalk St. Croix "src=""><h2>Where to Stay</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Buccaneer</a>, the oldest hotel on the island and the only one with an on-site golf course, played host to Michael Jackson on multiple occasions and was featured on Sean Lowe's season of “<a href="" target="_blank">The Bachelor</a>.”</p><p>The 70-year-old, bubblegum-pink resort in Christiansted has 138 rooms and a six-bedroom villa, all with ocean views, on 340 acres that encompass two pools and three beaches. There are family-friendly cottages, water sports, reefs for snorkeling, and an iguana trail kids can explore with an on-site camp counselor during the day while parents relax on one of the expansive waterfront balconies or in a hammock with a cocktail.</p><img alt="The Buccaneer St. Croix "src=""><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, from $299 per night</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Fred</a>, the first new hotel to open on St. Croix in 31 years and the only one that's both in town and on the beach in Frederiksted, is quaint and classic on the outside but quirky and wild on the inside. The pool and restaurant/bar are still under construction, but a large porch in front and a balcony lounging area in the back offer plenty of outdoor space and the bright blue walls, green couches, and giant rooster painting let you know your stay at the adults-only hotel will be anything but dull as soon as you enter. The cheeky “Sleep with Fred” T-shirts are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser if you're looking for a gift to bring home.</p><img alt="The Fred St. Croix "src=""><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, from $156 per night</p><h2>Where to Swim</h2><p>All U.S. Virgin Island beaches are public, so no stretch of sandy shore is out of reach. But to really feel like you're in on a local secret, walk through the mangrove tunnel to get to <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Shoys Beach</a>, on the East End outside of Christiansted, where there are no amenities but also no crowds. Bring your own snorkeling gear and refreshments.</p><p><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Mermaid Beach</a>, on the grounds of The Buccaneer, features an on-site restaurant, beach volleyball, corn hole, paddle boarding, kayaks, and more. Plus, there are plenty of lounge chairs shaded by palm trees for those who need a break from the sun.</p><p><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Rainbow Beach</a>, in Frederiksted, is the place to be if you love a good beach party, want to hit a food truck after your swim, or have a “lime in the coconut” drink at <a href="" target="_blank">Rhythms</a>.</p><img alt="Buck Island Reef National Monument "src=""><p>For snorkeling, there's no better spot than <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Buck Island Reef</a>. President John F. Kennedy declared it a national monument in 1962 after being struck by its natural beauty. <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Big Beard's Adventure Tours</a> will sail you out from the Christiansted Boardwalk, and after you search for sea turtles, lemon sharks, rays, and browse the stunning coral reef, endless rum punch is included on board.</p><h2>Where to Eat and Drink</h2><p>The candlelit courtyard at <a href="" target="_blank">Savant</a> feels like a scene out of a romantic movie, and that's because it was designed by owner Tom Miller's wife, Kate, who worked on film sets. The carved walls and twinkle-lit trees add so much to the ambiance you'll have to remind yourself to pay attention to the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">fresh seafood specials</a> and powerful cocktails.</p><img alt="Savant St. Croix "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">Uptown Eatery</a> is the new kid on the scene in Christiansted, but it's run by two St. Croix culinary veterans, <a href="" target="_blank">Dave and Jane Kendrick</a>. The colorful island decor is complemented by a menu of local fish such as tuna and wahoo and homemade key lime pie.</p><p><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Zion Modern Kitchen</a>, a leader in the island's <a href="" target="_blank">"Reef Responsible"</a> sustainable seafood movement, welcomes guests into its palm tree-strewn courtyard for handmade pasta, grilled fish and meats, and Cruzan Rum cocktails infused with local ingredients.</p><p>For sunset drinks, surf and turf, or decadent desserts inches from the sand in Frederiksted, try the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Beach Side Cafe</a> at Sand Castle on the Beach. If it's a creative drink in downtown Christiansted you're in search of, the bartenders at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">BES Craft Cocktail Lounge</a> will mix anything that suits your mood. Of course, if you prefer to learn while you sip, the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Cruzan Rum Distillery</a> is also a top-rated attraction.</p><img alt="La Reine Chicken Shack St. Croix "src=""><p>And for a no-frills local treat, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">La Reine Chicken Shack</a> is the can't-miss pre- or post-airport stop. The family-run joint is so popular it's been known to cook more than 360 fire-roasted chickens on a busy day. Grab a half-chicken in a to-go container with Johnny cakes, stuffing, tostones, and all the traditional fixings. For local sweets, hit <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Thomas Bakery</a> on Queen Mary Highway for a guava or coconut tart.</p><h2>What to Do on Land</h2><p>Take in the first U.S. sunrise of each day at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Point Udall</a>, the nation's easternmost point. It's the site of a giant sundial, a monument to the Millennium, and the start of a scenic <a href="" target="_blank">hiking trail down to Jack and Isaac Bays</a>. Less outdoorsy visitors can browse the many jewelry shops of downtown Christiansted (getting a hook bracelet at <a href="" target="_blank">Sonya Ltd.</a> is practically a rite of passage for Crucian women), and then souvenir shop their way to the boardwalk.</p><img alt="Fort Frederik St. Croix "src=""><p>History buffs will want to tour <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Fort Frederik</a>, the proud site of the island's slave rebellion, and not far from downtown Frederiksted is an enchanting rainforest <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">you can tour or just drive through</a> on your own. You'll find seemingly endless greenery mixed with eccentric human touches like out-of-nowhere bakery carts and yes, those infamous <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">beer-drinking pigs</a>. It's non-alcoholic, they swear.</p><p><em>Note: The USVI Department of Tourism provided support for the reporting of this story.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

How to Get Paid $10,000 to Take a Month-long Vacation This Summer

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:31
<p>If you’ve ever dreamed of spending your days soaking up the sun, traveling across the country, and getting paid for it, now’s your chance.</p><p>From April 30 through May 20, Days Inn is accepting applicants for this summer’s hottest gig, as an intern, or rather “<a href="" target="_blank">Sun-tern</a>,” who will traverse the nation documenting everything summer in the U.S. has to offer.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">These Are the Hottest Destinations for a Summer Vacation in 2018</a></p><p>“The Sun-ternship will have you jet-set across America’s sunniest cities with pre-paid adventures along the way, from sunrise yoga in San Diego to a sunset sail in Miami, and lots of sunny moments in between,” Days Inn told <em>Travel + Leisure</em> in a statement. And at the end of it, they'll pay you $10,000.</p><p>Along the journey it will be the Sun-tern’s job to document the adventure, and photos from the trip will be featured in select Days Inn hotels and on Days Inn’s website and social channels.</p><p>To apply, you should be a “bright, creative, aspiring photographer,” a thrill-seeker open to new, unforgettable experiences, someone who has a passion for travel, adventure and the outdoors, and be available to travel across the U.S. for one month (with Sundays off). Unlike most job applications, you don’t need to worry about having an applicable degree, you just need to take compelling photos and be familiar with how to apply sunscreen.</p><p>Applicants can submit their best original outdoor photograph, along with 100 words on why they’re the best person for the job, at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Once the internship is complete the person will walk away with $10,000 and a glowing recommendation from a Wyndham exec, and Wyndham Rewards Diamond Status for five years, which is honestly a pretty amazing package for an internship that also lets you see the country.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Is Meghan Markle’s Favorite Hotel in London — and You Can Stay There, Too

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 11:31
<p>Meghan Markle may soon become a resident of Kensington Palace, once she <a href="" target="_blank">walks down the aisle to marry Prince Harry</a> of course, but she’s still got a few favorite <a href="" target="_blank">hotels around London</a> that she recommends for a quick getaway.</p><p>Before she met Prince Harry, Meghan had already fallen in love with London and the British way of life. In 2015, while in London for business meetings and to do a bit of press for her show, <i>Suits</i>, Meghan sat down with <i>Jumeirah</i> magazine to share a few of her favorite things about London, including her favorite place to stay: the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Grosvenor House apartments</a>.</p><p>"I can give you the most honest answer; it's my favorite property I've ever stayed at," Meghan said. And although it must be noted Grosvenor House is a Jumeirah property, she sounded like she genuinely meant it. "I'm very fortunate that I have the luxury of staying at so many amazing places, but the service, and being able to stay somewhere where it feels like home, where every need is anticipated, it's all fantastic. I really love it here and I'm happy to be staying. I'm even happy that I don't have to fib.”</p><p>The hotel, located on Park Lane in Mayfair, is serendipitously located just one mile away from Kensington Palace. There, the hotel offers several luxury serviced apartments that overlook Hyde Park and come with the "privacy, comfort and generous living space of a contemporary Mayfair residence,” according to <a href="" target="_blank">the website</a>. Apartments at the hotel range from about $500 to $2,000 a night.</p><img alt="Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living - Grosvenor Penthouse Suite "src=""><p>“If there is one thing you won’t have to worry about during your stay at Grosvenor House Suites, it’s effortless living and experiencing London like a true local,” the hotel further explains on its site. “Our specially created ‘At Home with Jumeirah Living’ program offers a truly unique way to enjoy the luxury London lifestyle from your home on Park Lane. From organising a dinner party, to setting up your home office and stocking your home with the finest groceries, we make everything completely effortless from the moment you arrive.”</p><p>The hotel, <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Hello Magazine</i></a> further explained, includes 130 residences, including four London Suites and four Penthouse Suites.</p><p>In each of the apartments guests can access 24-hour room service, all the in-residence spa and beauty services, an on-site fitness center, and a restaurant, along with a stunning atrium.</p><p>Perhaps following their wedding, Meghan will take Harry to the hotel for a staycation where they can get away from it all just one mile down the road from their real royal life.</p><p><strong>To book:</strong> <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p>
Categories: Travel

Why You Should Book a Trip to Palermo Now, Before the Rest of the World Does

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 09:27
<p>Early evening: the perfect time for a stroll through Palermo’s <em>centro storico</em>. Eighteenth-century palazzi lined the streets, their windows framed by the ruffs and frills of Baroque stonework. Some were in a state of utter dilapidation, others alive with the sound of laborers bringing their stately façades back to life. From the dust-covered sidewalks, churches reared up in a profusion of carved decoration. My partner, Matthew, and I stepped inside the Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita and were greeted by a riot of Rococo stuccowork created by Giacomo Serpotta — a Palermitani artist who turned this interior into a theater of religious storytelling, rendering statues of the virtues and scenes from the Passion in plaster as crisp and white as royal icing.</p><p>The whole of <a href="" target="_blank">Palermo</a>, in fact, seemed to us a theater, the window of each store or artisan’s studio offering a snapshot of drama: a tailor in his workshop strumming on a mandolin; a confectioner’s store piled high with marzipan fruit; a shop lined with models of Padre Pio, a favorite cult figure of southern Italy identifiable by his mittens and brown cassock.</p><p>%image10</p><p>It was early September, a popular week to get married in Palermo, and the guests in all their finery were hanging around outside those spectacular Baroque churches, downing coffee at nearby bars before their various ceremonies. (No one hangs around quite so stylishly, it turns out, as a Sicilian wedding guest.)</p><p>As the light began to fade, it seemed like a good idea to stop for a <a href="" target="_blank">pre-dinner negroni</a>. We ducked through an archway on a narrow, darkening street to find Caffè Internazionale: a slender, vine-shaded courtyard filled with scattered tables, where we were met with a friendly greeting from the owners, Italian artist Stefania Galegati and her African-American husband, Darrell Shines. As well as serving an excellent cocktail, the couple hosts concerts and art workshops in the mazelike series of rooms out back. The place was quiet the night we visited, so we chatted with Galegati and Shines as their children scampered about the courtyard in the golden light of evening.</p> <img alt="Night views of Palermo and Trapani, Sicily" src=""> From left: Palermo’s Via Orologio, part of the recently pedestrianized centro storico; restaurant tables lining the streets of Trapani. Simon Watson <p>Later, feeling hungry (it’s hard not to feel hungry in Palermo), we stopped at a hole-in-the-wall named Ke Palle, on Via Maqueda, where we ordered arancini the size of tennis balls, crisp and hot on the outside, their interiors collapsing into a delicious morass of eggplant, rice, and cheese. We ate them — along with some <em>panelle,</em> earthy-tasting golden squares of fried chickpea batter — sitting on a bench, watching a group of boys play an intensely serious game of soccer in a square, their goalposts a fountain and a set of church gates.</p><p>It has not always been like this in Palermo. The very fact that we were able to stroll through the city center is evidence of a sea change, a revival driven by steady but hard-won victories against organized crime and a refreshed urban landscape. What, a decade or so ago, would have been a hair-raising walk on a series of narrow, potholed footpaths amid roaring traffic and fumes is today a pleasant, pedestrianized amble, with many main streets now home to restored old buildings and intriguing new restaurants.</p><p>Inhospitable streets were just one symptom of neglect in the Sicilian capital, the center of which was left derelict by decades of poverty, local government inaction, and organized crime — the work of La Cosa Nostra, or the Sicilian mafia. Mary Taylor Simeti, an American who came to Sicily in the 1960s and stayed, wrote <em><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">On Persephone’s Island: A Sicilian </a><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Journal</a> </em>at the height of Palermo’s troubles in the 1980s. In it, the author portrayed a city center plagued by collapsing ancient buildings, where the Teatro Massimo, its magnificent opera house, lay closed and silent and where, above all, the community was cursed with regular mafia killings. The most notorious moments of this violent period were the assassinations of magistrates Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone, both killed in 1992 while investigating La Cosa Nostra. Many other magistrates were murdered too — adding to a list of 527 “innocent,” or non-mafioso, Sicilians killed since the first murder occurred back in 1871, with the vast majority of deaths taking place from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s.</p><p>The fight against the mafia has been long and arduous — and it is not yet over. The current mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando, who also presided over the city in the late 1980s and again in the 90s, has been one of La Cosa Nostra’s most vocal opponents. During his current stint in office, which began in 2012, he has been focused on transforming the image of the city from a hotbed of organized crime into an outward-looking community that welcomes both immigrants and tourists, honoring this island’s historical position as a junction between cultures and continents.</p><p>Pedestrianizing the main arteries has been part of Orlando’s mission in recent years; he is pleased, too, that Palermo’s last Gay Pride march was said to have attracted a crowd of 200,000. I met him at the town hall in Piazza Pretorio, his suite of offices splendidly palatial with their Murano-glass chandeliers, antiques, and deep upholstered sofas. He told me that for much of the 20th century, “Palermo was the capital of the mafia. It was known across the world as the capital of the mafia. The words <em>mafia</em> and <em>Palermo</em> were almost interchangeable. There were people in this chair who were friends of mafia bosses. In fact, there was one mayor who was not just a friend of mafia bosses — he <em>was</em> a mafia boss.”</p> <img alt="Palermo opera and homes in Trapani, Sicily" src=""> From left: Guests at the Teatro Massimo, the restored home of Palermo’s city opera; the streets of Trapani. Simon Watson <p>Now, however — a quarter of a century after the killings of Borsellino and Falcone — Palermo has been named Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2018, a reversal of its dark history and an achievement of which Orlando is immensely proud. The city’s bid for the title emphasized its links to the African and Arab worlds — relationships that have been central to Palermo’s identity since at least the 12th century, when its glorious Arab-Norman churches were built. (Most notable among these is the cathedral just outside Palermo in the town of Monreale, the interior of which is a golden haze of biblical stories picked out in exquisitely detailed Byzantine mosaics.)</p><p>In fact, the year 2018 may prove something of a watershed for the city: from June to November it will also host Manifesta 12, one of Europe’s most important biennial art festivals, each edition of which takes place in a different city. Exhibitions and installations are scheduled in some of Palermo’s most striking locations, including a war-damaged 17th-century church, a disused theater, and the city’s glorious botanical gardens, where Matthew and I walked one afternoon among groves of bergamot, orange, lemon, and citron; through 19th-century greenhouses filled with giant cacti; and past giant ficus trees with trailing aerial roots.</p><p>There are some important openings in the city this year: the Palazzo Butera, for example, a lavish 18th-century building in the Kalsa district purchased in 2015 by the wealthy northern Italian Massimo Valsecchi and his wife, Francesca. It will open as a museum for their art collection, which contains works by names ranging from Annibale Carracci to Gerhard Richter. Francesco Pantaleone, the owner of one of the very few contemporary art galleries in the city, is working with the Valsecchis to stage a spectacular installation to coincide with Manifesta 12: the Norwegian artist Per Barclay will flood the palace’s stables with a thin layer of oil, creating a mirrorlike surface that will reflect its processions of columns and fan vaulting in its dark sheen. (Pantaleone and Barclay have undertaken a similar project in the past, carefully flooding a Palermitan oratory with a layer of milk, so that its elaborate Serpotta stuccowork seemed to loom from a still, pale lake.)</p> <img alt="Art, food, and culture in Sicily" src=""> From left: Busiate topped with fried potatoes at Saragó; an exhibit by Israeli artist Shay Frisch at ZAC gallery, in Palermo’s Zisa cultural quarter; Palermo’s central post office. Simon Watson <p>This summer will also see the full reopening of the city’s superb archaeological museum, known as Museo Archeologico Regionale Antonio Salinas. Housed in yet another glorious palazzo, with galleries opening out onto cool courtyards, it was only partially accessible when we visited. The museum will display, among other things, sculptures from the great Greek temple complex of Selinunte, on Sicily’s southern coast. They include amazingly vivid fifth-century-B.C. reliefs, fragments of their original paint still clinging to them, that show graphic scenes from classical myth, such as Actaeon being ripped apart by his own hunting dogs.</p><p>To try to get a better grasp of the impact of La Cosa Nostra on the residents of Palermo, Matthew and I took an “antimafia” tour of the city with a group called Palermo NoMafia. It was led by an activist named Edoardo Zaffuto, who, in 2004, was one of a group of exasperated friends in their 20s who began a grassroots movement against the <em>pizzo,</em> the “protection” payment extorted from local businesses by the mafia. Back then, he said, the mafia “was like a parasite. They were asking for money and getting it from the entire town.” It would always be relatively small, affordable amounts — the idea being that everyone would end up paying, conferring a kind of legitimacy on the practice.</p><p>In the beginning, he and his friends staged guerrilla actions — pasting posters around the city that proclaimed, “An entire people who pays the <em>pizzo</em> is a people without dignity.” Over time they transformed themselves into a consumer movement. Now their organization, Addiopizzo (“good-bye extortion”) has around 1,000 signed-up restaurants, shops, and other businesses that resolutely refuse to bend to the criminals. (An orange sticker in the window with the slogan “<em>Pago chi non paga,</em>” or “I pay those who do not pay,” identifies these establishments.)</p> <img alt="Food, Culture, and Art in Sicily" src=""> From left: Francesco Colicchia, owner of Colicchia, a sweetshop in Trapani; an art installation in Palermo’s Zisa cultural quarter; Carlo Bosco and Maria Giaramidaro, proprietors of Saragó restaurant, in Trapani. Simon Watson <p>Zaffuto’s tour began outside the elegant Teatro Massimo — now home to a flourishing opera company. The program has included a staging of the Italian classic <em>Rigoletto </em>by the Italian-American actor and director John Turturro, as well as more adventurous repertoire such as Bartók’s <em>Bluebeard’s Castle</em> and Schoenberg’s infrequently performed <em>The Hand of Fate.</em> Looking up at the building’s grand Neoclassical exterior, it was hard to imagine that from 1974 to 1997 the theater stood empty, supposedly under renovation, but really the victim of the city’s mafia-induced sclerosis.</p><p>But the mafia, Zaffuto cautioned, is far from wiped out. We followed him through narrow alleyways between the tumbledown buildings that frame the Mercato del Capo, Matthew and I eyeing hard <em>ricotta salata,</em> tiny ferocious chiles called <em>denti di diaboli,</em> and salted Pantelleria capers to take home. As we entered the market proper, Zaffuto pointed out a stall owner —his table a glut of green basil, Romanesca cauliflower, and comically long, pale-green <em>cucuzze, </em>or Italian zucchini — who had affixed a crude cardboard sign to his table announcing the murder, the previous week, of his brother, a victim of an ongoing internecine struggle between criminal factions.</p><p>The tour ended, as all Sicilian walks should, with the promise of hearty food — this time at the Antica Focacceria San Francesco, where it was easy to forget Sicily’s troubled history amid plates of sharp-sweet caponata made with eggplant, tomato, and plenty of celery. For meat lovers, there were <em>pani ca’meusa,</em> or rolls stuffed with fried veal spleen and sprinkled with ricotta.</p> <img alt="Boats and Markets in Sicily" src=""> From left: Boats in the harbor of Trapani; shopping for local produce at Palermo’s Mercato del Capo. Simon Watson <p>The cultural rebirth that Palermo has enjoyed in recent years has begun to spread to Sicily’s far west, traditionally the wildest, poorest, most mafia-dominated part of the island — and, as a result, less of a tourist destination. But today, amid the undeniable hardship that characterizes life in Italy’s extreme south in the long wake of the European debt crisis, there are signs of revival here, too. We began a tour of the region by driving to the Belice Valley, where, in 1968, the village of Gibellina was destroyed by an earthquake. It was afterward rebuilt as Gibellina Nuova on a new site, with the help of an array of prominent artists and architects. One artist, the Umbrian Alberto Burri, turned his attention to the ruins of the old town, intending to transform it into Cretto di Burri, a vast piece of land art. In the 1980s funding for the project ran out, and the work lay unfinished until 2015, when, to commemorate Burri’s centenary, his vision for the place was finally completed.</p> <img alt="Cretto di Burri installation in GIbellina, Sicily" src=""> The Cretto di Burri, a recently completed work of land art in Gibellina, west of Palermo, built to commemorate a village destroyed by an earthquake in 1968. Simon Watson <p>Burri’s idea was to encase the ruins of Gibellina’s buildings in blocks of hard, gray concrete, leaving its roads and alleyways clear, so that the whole place is, in effect, a maze. Seeing it from afar, as we approached on roads that snaked through fields and vineyards, it resembled a rhomboid handkerchief draped over the hillside. Walking inside, we quickly lost ourselves among its winding paths. Everything was silent but for the <em>thwunk-thwunk</em> of a nearby wind turbine. Tendrils of caper plants forced their way through the concrete, a reminder that one day nature will reclaim this modern ruin, a strangely solemn monument to a lost town.</p><p>To explore Sicily’s far west, we stayed in the <a href="" target="_blank">Baglio Sorìa</a>, an 11-room hotel — or perhaps more accurately a restaurant with rooms — owned by a local winegrower. The building is converted from a 17th-century <em>baglio</em>: the typical walled, gated farmhouse where landowners once lived with their servants, its rooms laid out around a central courtyard. Surrounded by groves of mulberry and pistachio trees, Baglio Sorìa is a pleasant refuge, with simply furnished rooms, a peaceful pool, and a courtyard bar.</p><p>We dined on the terrace, feasting on local dishes refined to perfection. The carpaccio of shrimp with candied melon and eggplant caviar, followed by linguine with sea urchins harvested that morning, was particularly memorable — especially with an accompaniment of a minerally, almost salty white wine from the hotel’s vineyards on the nearby island of Favignana.</p> <img alt="Culture and Food in Palermo, Sicily" src=""> From left: Porta Felice, one of Palermo’s original city gates; black fagottini with mussels, calamari, and a tomato-saffron sauce at Osteria dei Vespri, in Palermo. Simon Watson <p>From the Baglio, we took many pleasant outings: to the town of Mazara del Vallo, for example, home to one of Italy’s biggest fishing fleets, which has dozens of fish restaurants lining its seaward edge. The town’s churches are built in a warm golden tufa, its little parks are dotted with palm trees, and its Kasbah district is a warren of alleyways reflecting the footprint of the town established here by Arabs in the ninth century. Mazara del Vallo is just one of several picturesque coastal towns in this part of the island; there is also Marsala, home of the famous wine. And there is Trapani, a delightful, sleepy town built on a spit of land narrowing into a point, like a comma, as it stretches out into the sea.</p><p>We wandered toward this waterbound tip along the <em>centro storico</em>’s main street, the elegant, arrow-straight Corso Vittorio Emanuele, passing Baroque and Art Nouveau façades on either side and glimpsing slices of twinkling blue sea through the side streets. Turning down one of these, we couldn’t resist the mountains of pastries and cakes piled in the window of a traditional <em>pasticceria.</em> We tried a <em>paradiso </em>— a rum-soaked sponge covered with a layer of latticed golden marzipan, which lived up to its name.</p><p>On a small island nearby is the town of Mozia, successive home to Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks. Its most recent full-time inhabitants were the Whitakers, an Anglo-Sicilian family who produced the Marsala wine the British liked so much in the 19th century. The little island is a 10-minute boat ride from the mainland, and as you look back to the shore, you can see old salt pans spread behind you and white pyramids that, from a distance, resemble giant gazebos but are in fact hillocks of sea salt. The whole island, which is partially covered in vines and scrub, is an archaeological park, and the Whitakers’ villa, charming and somewhat old-fashioned, is its museum. The standout object is the Motya Charioteer, a gorgeous fragment of fifth-century Greek sculpture found by workmen during an excavation in 1979: it’s an extraordinarily sensuous object, with stony fabric clinging to the figure’s hips and thighs.</p><p>The soil and sea of Sicily seem endlessly to produce such treasures: another, even more impressive ancient Greek sculpture is the bronze <em>Dancing Satyr, </em>literally fished from the Strait of Sicily in 1998. After years of study and conservation — not to mention trips to exhibitions in Rome, Paris, and Tokyo — it finally has its own excellent, brand-new museum, the Museo de Satiro, in a converted 16th-century church in Mazara del Vallo. Though it is missing its arms and one of its legs, it is still a compelling object, the figure seeming to whirl in a frenzy of ecstatic dance, his head thrown back and hair streaming behind, his body twisting, his eyes staring. The sculpture is beautifully displayed, while a film explains the fascinating process of its discovery and the painstaking work of conserving it. (A former mafia boss, now collaborating with the authorities, recently admitted that he was ordered by his superiors to steal it and sell it through Switzerland, according to the Sicilian press. Happily, the order was never carried out.) There in the cool of the gallery, it struck me that the sculpture is an apt metaphor of Sicily itself: ancient, battered, subject to the reversals, near misses, and catastrophes of history — and also spellbinding in its power and beauty.</p> <img alt="Food and Culture in Sicily" src=""> From left: Staff at Osteria dei Vespri, in Palermo; fresh fish on the harborside in Trapani; touring Palermo in a three-wheeled Piaggio Ape. Simon Watson <h2>Experiencing Western Sicily</h2><p>Divide a weeklong trip between Palermo and the west of the island, and you’ll have plenty of time to take in the following highlights.</p><h3>Getting There</h3><p>Fly in to Palermo Airport (PMO) by connecting through Rome or another major European hub. Central Palermo is walkable, but driving is the best way to reach the western part of the island; you’ll find plenty of car-rental options near the airport.</p><h2>Palermo</h2><h3>Stay</h3><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Grand Hotel Villa Igiea</a>: </strong>This 19th-century hotel is an icon of Italian Art Nouveau overlooking the Bay of Palermo.<em> doubles from $291.</em></p><h3>Eat &amp; Drink</h3><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Antica Focacceria San Francesco</a>:</strong> This historic spot has been baking traditional flatbreads since 1834 — making it older than the nation of Italy itself.</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Caffè Internazionale</a>:</strong> A courtyard bar, café, and community space with frequent gallery shows and art events<em>.</em></p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Ke Palle</a>:</strong> A favorite Sicilian arancini chain offering more than a dozen versions of the fried rice-ball snack.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Osteria dei Vespri: </strong></a>This old-school restaurant is a Palermo institution—as is the wine list, which features around 350 bottles. <em>prix fixe from $35.</em></p><h3>Arts &amp; Culture</h3><p><strong>Palazzo Butera Museum:</strong> This lavish residence, which houses a large contemporary art collection, will be a venue for the Manifesta 12 art biennial when it comes to Palermo in June. <em>8 Via Butera; 39-91-611-0162.</em></p><p><strong><a href=";sort=0" target="_blank">Palermo NoMafia</a>:</strong> Profits from these “antimafia” city tours go to an organization working to end protection payments<em>. </em></p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Salinas Archaeological Museum</a>:</strong> An expansive collection of ancient artifacts — including treasures salvaged from Phoenician shipwrecks — slated to reopen in June.</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Teatro Massimo</a>:</strong> Long dormant during the height of Palermo’s mafia troubles, the city’s grand opera house now hosts a variety of innovative productions in its famously Baroque (and acoustically perfect) space.</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">ZAC–Zisa Arte Contemporanee</a>: </strong>Art-world icons like Ai Weiwei have exhibited at this space in the colorful Zisa cultural quarter.</p><h2>Trapani &amp; the West</h2><h3>Stay</h3><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Baglio Sorìa</a>:</strong> Make this boutique farmhouse hotel outside Trapani your base for exploring western Sicily. <em>doubles from $168.</em></p><h3>Eat &amp; Drink</h3><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Saragó</a>: </strong>This restaurant on the tip of Trapani’s harbor peninsula serves seafood-focused dishes like roasted sea bream and red peppers.</p><h3>Art &amp; Culture</h3><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Cretto di Burri</a>:</strong> This striking land-art project in Gibellina, an hour south of Palermo, is well worth the detour<em>. </em></p><p><strong>Museo de Satiro:</strong> Sicily’s most famous Greek bronze has a new home: a small museum inside the Church of Sant’Egidio, in the village of Mazara del Vallo, south of Marsala. <em>Piazza Plebiscito; 39-923-933-917.</em></p><p><strong>Whitaker Museum:</strong> Take a ferry from Marsala to this museum on the island of Mozia to view treasures from the Phoenician colony that lived here in the fifth century B.C. <em>Isola di San Pantaleo; 39-923-712-598.</em><em> </em></p>
Categories: Travel

Why Alaska Airlines’ Basic Economy Fare Will Be Better Than Most (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 08:51
<p>Alaska Airlines will join the other major U.S. airlines and introduce basic economy fare later this year — however it’s not nearly as bad as it could be.</p><p>Alaska Airlines’ “Saver Fare” will make it the fourth major airline in the country to introduce basic fares (after American, Delta and United). But Alaska’s version of the product will have a few more perks than other bare bones options.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Basic Economy Is a Success for Airlines, Even If Travelers Don't Buy the Tickets</a></p><p>Unlike many other basic economy fares, customers who book Alaska’s Saver Fare will still be able to pre-select their seats and bring aboard one personal item and one carry-on. Other major airlines have removed seat assignments and carry-on bags from their basic fares, meaning you get told which (middle) seat you get when you get to the airport, and you better fit everything you're traveling with under the seat in front of you unless you want to pay more.</p><p>However, the Saver Fare seats for sale will not be glamorous. They are at the rear of the aircraft, and those who book them will be among the last to board the plane. Passengers who book Saver Fare tickets also give up their ability to rebook, cancel tickets, or upgrade their seats.</p><p>Saver Fares will be introduced in the fall of this year, <a href="" target="_blank">Alaska Airlines executives said in an earnings call last week</a>.</p><p>Although basic economy fares are unpopular among passengers, they’re unlikely to go away anytime soon. Airlines created basic economy to stop passengers from booking their trip on other competitive low-cost airlines. In fact, airlines measure their success by <a href="" target="_blank">how many passengers don’t choose basic economy tickets</a>.</p><p>As Alaska Airlines takes over the former Virgin America airline, changes abound. <a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Business Insider</em></a>, Alaska will start selling exit rows and initiating dynamic pricing for premium seats, among other changes in the next couple months. And earlier this month, Alaska Airlines <a href="" target="_blank">decreased the allotted size for carry-on luggage</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Watch the World's Tallest Active Geyser Have Back-to-back Eruptions at Yellowstone National Park

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 08:44
<p>The world’s tallest active geyser has erupted for the third time in six weeks at <a href="" target="_blank">Yellowstone National Park</a>, marking the first time since 2003 that the geyser has seen such frequent eruptions.</p><p>The national park’s <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Steamboat geyser</a> is known to shoot water as high up as 300 feet in the air, creating a spectacular sight for those lucky enough to catch it.</p><p>According to scientists from the <a href="" target="_blank">U.S. Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory</a>, the geyser does not erupt very often, sometimes going as long as decades without any activity.</p><p>This year, however, it's been seeing back-to-back eruptions, erupting on March 15, April 19, and April 27. </p><p>Scientists don't know what exactly has been causing the recent frequency of eruptions, though they will be monitoring the area for the next few months to see if any new thermal disturbances may have taken place. “There is nothing to indicate that any sort of volcanic eruption is imminent,” scientist Michael Poland told <em><a href="" target="_blank">Reuters</a></em>. </p><p>While witnesses weren't around to catch 2018's first two eruptions, some were there to spot the latest eruptions. </p><p>Take a look at the video below to see what it's like to catch an eruption: </p><p>With more than 10,000 hydrothermal features, the national park is home to an impressive collection of hot springs and <a href="" target="_blank">geysers</a> thanks to its location atop a <a href="" target="_blank">volcanic crater</a>. If your timing is right to spot a spouting geyser, you're in for a striking natural display. </p>
Categories: Travel

Hawaii Is Giving Away Free Trips to Stressed-out New Yorkers

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 07:37
<p>In the email era, work rarely stops for vacation.</p><p>About 60 percent of people report <a href="" target="_blank">working while they’re on vacation</a>, according to a survey by the Hawaii Tourism Association. But 83 percent of millennial respondents also said they feel more productive when <a href="" target="_blank">working away from the traditional office setting</a> — which is why the state of Hawaii will host six stressed-out New Yorkers for a weeklong work escape.</p><p>Hawaii Tourism United States is giving away six free <a href="" target="_blank">trips to Hawaii</a> with their new initiative, “Work From Hawaii.” The program will allow musicians, writers, techies, and entrepreneurs to work on their best ideas in paradise.</p><p>Each of the six different residencies is in a different location: Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island).</p><p>Each getaway is designed for a person with a specific type of career. The stay includes a workspace (with Wi-Fi, of course), a daily allowance for meals, and a curated itinerary. The “Corner Office” intends to be a retreat for future leaders and executives. Accommodations are at the <a href="" target="_blank">Four Seasons Resort Lanai</a>, with views of Hulopoe Beach. The itinerary includes a visit to the royal residence of King Kamehameha to study his leadership style. Creative types can stay at the <a href="" target="_blank">“Design Loft”</a> in Waikiki’s <a href="" target="_blank">Surfjack Hotel</a> and collaborate with local artists in Honolulu. Techies in Maui can program from their indoor/outdoor workspace and then explore the island on nature treks.</p><p>The Hawaii Residency program is only available to those in the New York metropolitan area aged 24 through 36 who have a public Instagram account. Contestants can <a href="" target="_blank">apply online through June 4</a> for a chance to win. The weeklong residencies will be held in September — giving you plenty of time to craft the <a href="" target="_blank">perfect “OOO” e-mail auto-response</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle Reportedly Has Prince Harry on a Strict Pre-wedding Diet

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 07:14
<p>For many brides and grooms, getting in shape for their wedding day is a major priority. And it appears <a href="" target="_blank">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle</a> are no different.</p><p>According to reports, Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan are getting in tip-top shape for their upcoming wedding. And as the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em> reported, that includes Prince Harry joining Meghan in her clean eating lifestyle.</p><img alt="Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in London in April 2018 "src=""><p>That lifestyle reportedly includes juicing, cutting out almost all carbohydrates, and eliminating all processed foods. Instead of enjoying sugary treats, Prince Harry is now said to be chowing down on healthy favorites like kale and quinoa. And, according to the <em>Daily Mail</em>, thanks to his new lifestyle the Prince has lost “half a stone,” or about seven pounds.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Prince Harry's Best Man Announcement Will Melt Your Heart</a></p><p>“They have bought a top-of-the-range juicer and she has him on fruit and veg smoothies. She’s also weaning him off meat,” a source told the <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p><p>Beyond choosing healthier meals, Prince Harry is also reportedly hitting the gym a bit harder these days. Harry, a former British Armed Forces captain, hired a personal trainer and is at his gym sessions by 7 a.m. "almost every day," according to the <em>Daily Mail. </em></p><img alt="Prince Harry at a school activity program in London, February 2018 "src=""><p>Though his exact workouts haven’t been revealed, in 2017 <em>Men’s Health</em> dug deep into what his training would have looked like for the British Armed Forces. That, the magazine explained, included a <a href="" target="_blank">ton of calisthenics and bodyweight exercises</a>, which you can do anywhere, too.</p><p>While working out and eating clean are certainly worth celebrating, there’s one health step Harry has taken that should be celebrated more than any other: <a href="" target="_blank">quitting smoking</a>.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Vogue</a></em>, Harry has cut out smoking and cut back on drinking since Meghan moved into his Kensington Palace home, which may be the most impressive and important health step of all. Now, all we need to do is wait a few more weeks to see if all this wedding prep pans out when the two walk down the aisle at <a href="" target="_blank">St George’s chapel on May 19</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Picturesque New Trail in the South of France Is Every Hiker’s Dream

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 06:18
<p>A new hiking trail that will take you along the gorgeous, blue coasts of southern France is opening just in time for summer.</p><p>The Grand Sentier de la <a href="" target="_blank">Côte Bleue</a> — or Big Blue Coast Trail in English — is a nearly 40-mile coastal hiking route that runs between Marseille and Martigues. It took two years to plan out the route that will open in May, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Lonely Planet</em></a>.</p><img alt="Cote Bleue hiking "src=""><p>The gorgeous hike takes you through picturesque villages and stunning cliffs, coves and abundant seaside views.</p><p>Along with the beautiful sights, there is an abundance of plant species to be found along the route.</p><img alt="Marseille Martigues Coastal Blue Hike Trail France Bouches du Rhone "src=""><p>Even though this specific route is new, it connects with 17 other hiking routes, ranging in distance from about four miles to about 15 miles, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Connexion France</a>. That makes it perfect for hikers of every experience level, and the route is also accessible by train.</p><p>Hikers who are particularly looking for a challenge can also stop at La Boucle des Calanques, or Cove Loop, where they can test their endurance on a 1,148-foot climb.</p>
Categories: Travel

Prince William and Kate Middleton Celebrated Their Wedding Anniversary With the Cutest Photo (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 06:01
<p>There’s a lot going on with the British royal family these days, including <a href="" target="_blank">new babies entering the world</a>, Harry and Meghan’s <a href="" target="_blank">upcoming royal wedding</a> — not to mention <a href="" target="_blank">Princess Eugenie’s fall nuptials</a> — and the <a href="" target="_blank">Queen’s 92nd birthday celebration</a>. So it would be understandable if important anniversaries fell through the cracks.</p><p>However, this is the royal family we are talking about. They’re not only highly romantic, but apparently love to celebrate everything, including Prince William and Kate Middleton’s seventh wedding anniversary.</p><p>On Sunday, William and Kate celebrated their copper anniversary by sharing an adorable throwback photo to their wedding day, April 29, 2011.</p><p>“Seven years ago today - thank you for all the lovely messages on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding anniversary,” Kensington Palace shared on its Instagram account alongside a photo of the couple as they drove away from their ceremony in a blue vintage Aston Martin Volante. The car, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Us Weekly</a></em> noted, actually belongs to Prince Charles, making the drive all the more meaningful.</p><p>Furthermore, <em>Us Weekly</em> explained, the car was actually decorated by William’s best man, Prince Harry, for the cute drive around London. Harry went all out for his best man duties, attaching red heart balloons and a license plate with the words “JU5T WED.”</p><p>William will soon have the opportunity to return the favor for his little brother as he will act as <a href="" target="_blank">Harry’s best man</a> at his wedding on May 19.</p><p>On Thursday, Kensington made the official best man announcement in a statement that read, “The Duke of Cambridge is honored to have been asked, and is very much looking forward to supporting his brother at St George’s Chapel, Windsor on May 19th.”</p><p>While making an appearance at the Greenhouse Sports Centre in London on Thursday William told reporters that being asked to be Harry’s best man, “...feels great. I’m thrilled and delighted obviously ... Revenge is sweet. I’ll be looking forward to it.”</p><p>So are we, William, so are we.</p>
Categories: Travel

Jimmy Buffett Is Bringing Margaritaville to New York City

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 06:00
<p>New York City’s <a href="" target="_blank">Times Square</a> might be the last place you think of when you imagine a laid-back <a href="" target="_blank">beach</a>, but a new, $300-million <a href="" target="_blank">Margaritaville</a> resort is about to change that.</p><p>Slated to open in 2020, the Margaritaville Resort will be the national chain’s first property in the northeast, bringing “an authentic, no worries vibe to the city that never sleeps,” according to a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p><p>Started by musician <a href="" target="_blank">Jimmy Buffett</a>, the hotel chain has 12 resorts and hotels across the U.S and the Caribbean. The New York City property will have a Margaritaville Restaurant and a rooftop LandShark Bar and Grill. The rooftop will have a pool where you can enjoy the city’s sky-high views and lounge areas throughout the resort that also overlook the Big Apple.</p><img alt="margaritville hotel nyc "src=""><img alt="margaritville hotel nyc "src=""><p>There will also be a 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar, a St. Somewhere Spa, and a Floridays Aistream Café, which is named after Buffett’s 1986 album.</p><p>And New York City isn't the only place about to get more relaxed. Margaritaville has plans for more than 20 new properties, including one in Gatlinburg, Tennessee opening this summer, and one in Costa Rica opening this fall.</p>
Categories: Travel