5.14.19 Bike to work week; Alexa spying on kids; Travel bookings are lagging

It’s national Bike to work week. And electric bike sales are surging; Alexa is spying on your and your kids if you have an Echo device in your home; Travel bookings are lagging and that can often be a predictor of a possible recession.

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Canal and river boat holidays in Europe: readers’ travel tips

From navigating quiet forest rivers in Germany to chugging along France’s canals fuelled by cheese and wine, our tipsters explore idyllic waterways

Winning tip: Burgundy Canal, France
This waterway winds past chateaux and vineyards that will tempt you to stop everywhere. Pick up a barge at Chagny and follow the canal south – stock up with cheese, bread and wine for lunch as many locks close from noon to 2pm. Waking to dawn sunlight on the water and sitting on deck with a glass of Chablis (but not necessarily at dawn!) are pleasures we quickly got used to.
Several companies rent boats at Chagny from about €1,300 a week and sleeping 10, including Locaboat and Happy Charter
Nigel

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5.3.19 How to handle buying travel insurance before a trip; Clark Stinks

Travel insurance can be confusing. Clark talks about where to shop for travel insurance and how to know if you need it or not; Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here.

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How to travel with hand luggage only


Traveling light can be tough, especially with all the wonderful amenities we’re used to in day-to-day life. Packing light can really benefit your trip; wherever you may be going, it limits how heavy your luggage is and minimizes the possibility of losing a whole load of stuff. Besides, if you’re going traveling and you pack light, it stops you from worrying about what shorts go with which top, and it focuses your mind on the task at hand.

Get the right bag

This is probably the most vital part, is making sure you have chosen a bag that fits the hand luggage specification. Dimensions can change per airline, so it’s usually safer to go via the smallest, so you don’t get caught out. Don’t worry though, because they are all very similar; they’re just incredibly strict. You can check specifications online and then, if you don’t already have a bag that fits the requirements, then you will need to go purchase one. If you don’t follow this step, then your bag won’t be classed as hand luggage, and your efforts will have been for nothing. So, get the correct bag.

Photo: BURST

How many clothes to take

It can be tempting to take all of your very best items of clothing, but honestly, there’s no need. Make sure you pack clothes that can all be put together with each other. Don’t worry yourself over fashion sense; you’re going traveling, no one cares. Some experts have suggested using the ‘rule of three’ which is one pair to wear, one pair to wash and one pair drying. This essentially means you only need three of everything, even if you’re going away for two weeks as they’ll be on an effective rotation system.

It’s all in the roll

It’s not just what you pack; it’s how you pack it. This means that doing the usual fold that you do at home just isn’t going to work as well when you’re going traveling. We like to say that it’s all in the roll, while this may not be a great aesthetic for at home, it’s perfect for this. Rolling all your clothes into your bag will not only prevent creases, but it will also save on space.

Only pack necessities

What we mean by this is more the unnecessary bottles of items. You do not need to pack shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream and so on – not even the teeny weeny travel ones. The travel sizes are costly for the actual quantity, so that’s a money saver right there. More importantly, this is something you can purchase when you’ve reached your destination, and you won’t need to try and get it through airport security either. So, think twice before putting in anything you can purchase at your destination.

Photo: BURST

Entertainment

Last but not least, okay well it’s the least important, even if it might be a bit painful without it. However, technology has come a long way, and we now have the ability to pre-download TV shows, eBooks, movies and so on. This means ditch the physical copies, you don’t need your favorite magazine, and you don’t need to read those paperbacks. This saves space and allows you as much entertainment as your heart desires.

Traveling with only your hand luggage is much easier once you understand that most of what you’re planning on packing isn’t necessary at all. It will allow you to relax and enjoy your destination. Happy traveling!

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Great places to travel solo


There are so many perks to traveling solo. You can do what you want when you want without having to run it by someone else. You have the opportunity to make more friends. You get to learn about yourself. And, in most cases, you will become a stronger and more confident person. So now you know why to travel solo, where should you go?

Australia

One of the most popular places for backpackers, you are sure to find other solo travelers wherever you go, so although you will be on your own, you certainly won’t be lonely! Learn to surf on some of the gnarliest waves in the world, or go diving at the Great Barrier Reef. If you are looking to backpack long-term, Australia is full of jobs for travelers to make some extra money to fund the next round of travel.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Canada

Canada is known for being home to the friendliest people in the world, so it is the perfect place to go traveling on your own. If you don’t come back having made a friend or two, you’ve done something wrong! Another huge perk of Canada is that there is so much to see and do and the landscape is so diverse that you could climb mountains, explore lakes and beaches, and visit cities, all in one trip.

Italy

Italy offers so much in terms of architecture, culture and, of course, food which makes it a vibrant and exciting place for solo travelers to explore. Be sure to visit Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan if you have time for the perfect mixture of art, fashion, romance, and delicious dining. You can hop on a plane to Italy and feel right at home here.

Indonesia

There are so many reasons that Indonesia holds such a draw to solo travelers, from the stunning views to the mixture of cultures. Head to Bali to visit breathtaking temples, swim with jellyfish on Kakaban Island, experience the incredible color-changing lakes in The National Park in Dieng Plateau, and meet orangutans in Borneo.

Norway

Norway is an incredibly beautiful country, and we think that the fjords should be on everyone’s bucket lists to see – photographs just do not do them justice! Of course, the Northern Lights are also visible at certain times of the year, so that should be on your list too. It is also billed as one of the safest countries in the world so ideal for traveling around on your own.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Thailand

Another staple destination for solo travelers and groups alike, Thailand has something for everyone. Bangkok is a city of hustle and bustle, with noise, color, and excitement around every corner. For a little bit of relaxation and to recuperate from Bangkok, head to one of the islands to spend some time in paradise. Each island has a different feel, so make sure you research before deciding if you want a party island or a secluded haven.

Whether you are a seasoned solo traveler, or you are just contemplating traveling on your own for the first time, hopefully, this has helped you with some places to add to your list!

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Top travel podcast recommendations


If you’re anything like us, the times you’re not actually traveling, are spent dreaming of traveling and planning your next big adventure. Whether you’re stuck in traffic or sitting at your desk, podcasts are a great source of entertainment, and there are a whole load of fantastic travel podcasts that will help with (or make worse!) your wanderlust!

The Rough Guide to Everywhere

Yes, it’s that Rough Guide! The joy of this podcast comes from feeling as though you are sat in a bar with friends, swapping stories and anecdotes about your travels. Greg Dickinson hosts the first two seasons, and Rebecca Hallett takes over for season 3 before passing the reins to Neil McQuillian. It’s a must-listen for any avid traveler.

Photo: BURST

Amateur Traveler

During each episode of this podcast, Chris Christensen focuses on a specific destination and over the course of around an hour he discusses their appeal, along with locals from the area, or people who are pretty well-versed in that particular destination. It’s great for travelers who aren’t sure where to head to next.

Taste Trekkers’ Find Dining Podcast

If you are someone who travels with their taste buds, you will love Seth Resler’s chats with big names in food from across the world. Find out the best places to eat in every city from food bloggers and chefs alike! What’s better than seeing the world? Eating your way around the world, of course.

The Skift Podcast

The Skift is a podcast about travel as an industry, rather than exotic locations and wanderlust, but it’s fascinating to hear about the latest trends in travel, as well as how the editors of this travel media company see things changing in the next few years.

Photo: BURST

Indie Travel Podcast

Craig and Linda Martin host this 30-minute podcast, which offers advice, stories, and guidance. Find out what to pack in your under-seat carry-on bag, the top five things to do in London, and things you wanted to know about Prague and the Czech Republic to name just three episodes!

Coffee Break (Italian/French/Spanish)

These bite-sized language lessons are the perfect length to listen to while you sip your morning coffee. It’s probably not the kind of podcast where you will subscribe and listen to every episode religiously, but it’s ideal for checking out the back catalog of wherever your next trip is going to be, to nail the basics of the lingo.

We travel there with Lee Huffman

If you want to explore a destination beyond just the tourist attractions and see where the locals hang out, then this podcast was made for you! Lee Huffman talks with locals about their homes and uses their unique perspective to help travelers uncover some hidden gems.

If listening to these doesn’t have you checking for cheap flights, we don’t know what will! Travel podcasts are pretty different from many other types, as you may not want to listen to every episode from a particular host (although there will be some exceptions of course), but if you are booking a trip, or especially interested in a destination then we’re sure there will be plenty of offerings in this bunch.

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Scouted: The Best Travel Coffee Table Books That Let You Explore The World Without Leaving Your Home

About twice a month, the Daily Beast Travel section features some of the best (and most beautiful) coffee table books that focus on travel in a series called Just Booked. We’ve rounded up the eight you should have with you to showcase and appreciate the beauty that is all around you, from brutalist architecture to intricate library ceilings to the most influential maps ever created.

Theater of the World: The Maps That Made History by Thomas Reinertsen Berg, $ 35 on Amazon: “The book gets its name from Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius’s atlas Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the World). Like Ortelius, Berg has built upon generations of work and woven it into a digestible dive into everything from cartography to illustration and mapmaking. While not as hefty as some of our past selections, this mid-size book may be the most likely to cause you to lose a guest in its pages.” –  Read More Here

California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture by by Emily Bills, Sam Lubell, and Pierluigi Serraino, $ 31 on Amazon: “One of the best at documenting the explosion of this style in California after World War II was the photographer Marvin Rand. The book overflows with Rand’s gorgeous images capturing the aesthetic in all its simple So Cal glory.” – Read More Here

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Travel insurance ‘will not cover’ cancelled Sri Lanka holidays

Policies would pay out only if Foreign Office warned against travel, though airlines and tour operators ‘will consider’ requests to postpone

Holidaymakers who want to postpone travel to Sri Lanka in the wake of the bomb attacks that killed 290 people will not be covered by their travel insurance. The UK Foreign Office (FCO) updated its travel advice for Sri Lanka on Monday to include details of the nationwide curfew and pending state of emergency. However, the Guardian understands it is unlikely the FCO would issue a warning advising against all travel to Sri Lanka: such warnings area rare and usually region-specific.

Reflecting the increased threat, the FCO’s current advice states: “Security has been stepped up across the island and there are ongoing security operations. These may continue for a number of days and the situation remains dynamic. Please follow the advice of local security authorities, hotel security staff and your tour company. The airport is operating, but with increased security checks and long queues for taxi pick-ups.”

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What Are Your Business Travel Must-Haves?

stock photo of woman taking picture out plane window

Readers recently had a great discussion in the comments about their business travel must-haves (you can read it here!), and they shared so many good ones that we decided to compile them for a post today. (Recommendations for specific products included!) How about you? What do you always bring on the plane (or train, etc.) to make traveling more comfortable and enjoyable (or at least bearable)? 

{related: traveling for work: our top tips}

Here are Corporette readers’ business travel must-haves:

Beauty Products To Bring for Work Travel

  • Lip balm (e.g., Fresh)
  • Face wash / facial wipes 
  • Makeup remover/makeup remover wipes 
  • Eye cream (e.g., Kiehl’s)
  • Hand lotion (e.g., L’Occitane lavender hand cream)
  • Cuticle cream
  • Oil stick or rollerball for moisturizing 
  • Facial mist (e.g., Caudalie
  • Nail clipper (also handy for cutting loose threads, etc.!)
  • Nail file

Must-Have Travel Products for Health & Hygiene

  • Sudafed/Claritin/Benadryl 
  • Tylenol/Aleve/Advil
  • Aspirin
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste 
  • Mouthwash
  • Extra contact lenses
  • Eye drops (for contact lenses and/or dry eyes)
  • Ginger pills/candy for motion sickness
  • Nasal spray
  • Travel-sized tissues 
  • Hand sanitizer/wipes 

Tech Travel Must-Haves

  • Lots of podcasts, ebooks, and Netflix downloads (You can store up to 100 Netflix titles on one device!)
  • Noise-canceling headphones/earbuds (e.g., Bose, Sony
  • Phone charger (e.g., Anker PowerCore Fusion, lipstick battery)  
  • Charging cables/adapters (Kat loves this extra long charging cord!)

{related: small purchases that make your life better}

Food, Etc. To Bring When You Travel

  • Gum
  • Mints (e.g., Ice Breakers)
  • Pretzels and other snacks from home 
  • Lozenges/cough drops (e.g., Ricola)
  • A bar of high-end chocolate (Anonymous reader, I salute you.)

Business Travel Must-Haves for Comfort  

  • Ear plugs (e.g., Hearos)
  • Pashmina or other extra layers  
  • Eye mask 

{related: five things you must bring to a conference}

Readers, tell us your business travel must-haves! Do you bring anything different from the lists above?

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Thank you so much for your support! For more details see here.

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Best travel accounts on Instagram


Does anyone else find themselves scrolling through Instagram for inspiration on what to wear, what to eat and where to go? We are always struck with intense wanderlust when we see beautiful beaches, colorful cities or mystical mountains, and it feels so much more natural to look through social media for our next vacation idea than to check out an old fashioned brochure! So, if you need some travel inspo, here are the best accounts on Instagram for travel.

ExpertVagabond (@ExpertVagabond)

Proving that it’s never too late to start traveling, Marr Karsten had never even left the US when he quit his job as a freelance photographer in 2010. He then spent the next seven years traveling all over the world, covering over 50 countries from Tanzania to Italy and Hawaii to Russia. Although he has since gotten married and very recently had a baby (in Poland where he and his fellow photographer wife were traveling), he still spends half of the year traveling, so there is still plenty of content to give you itchy feet!

Photo: @ExpertVagabond

Wander Reds (@WanderReds)

One thing we love about Alvaro is his ambition! He wants to become the youngest Spaniard to visit all 197 countries of the world, and he’s not too far off it. His captions are captivating, asking questions of his audience about things such as their dream jobs or whether it’s better to travel solo or with others. There is so much more to this account than just beautiful photography. Alvaro is an absolute inspiration as he started off juggling his travel plans with a 9-5 job (relatable right?!) although eventually, he was able to quit and travel full time (the dream).

The Road Les Traveled (@lesleyannemurphy)

If you recognize Lesley, it may be because she was a contestant on the ABC show, the Bachelor, however now she is a full-time travel blogger and yoga lover. She has over 407,000 followers who love to follow her luxury adventures to far off tropical paradises or staying in quirky accommodation. Although a lot of what she does might be out of reach for the average Joe, there is still plenty that is obtainable.

Photo: @lesleyannemurphy

Alex Strohl (@Alexstrohl)

With one of the largest followings on Instagram (2 million at the time of writing), there’s no way we couldn’t include Alex and his breathtaking photography of the adventures he goes on. From his home in Montana to Iceland, Portugal, and beyond, the vibrant colors of his shots will have you reaching for your credit card! Alex’s travel photography is so good that it actually been used in Vanity Fair and Land Rover campaigns.

Next time you find yourself wondering where to book next, hopefully, these Instagram adventurers will inspire you a little. Instead of visiting the same beach every year, try somewhere a bit off the beaten path and really enjoy a new experience. Of course, nothing is stopping you becoming the next big travel influencer online, so get booking those trips and snapping those candids!

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Airlines issue travel waivers ahead of Midwest blizzard

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Best qualities for a travel buddy


When it comes to traveling, there’s a lot to be said for bringing along a companion. Doing it alone can offer you a wealth of great experiences, and it’s an excellent opportunity to take some time to reflect. However, when you’ve got someone else by your side, you avoid the stress that comes from being by yourself in a strange new land. Who’s the best person for the job though? You don’t want to jet off with just anyone, so it’s good to know what to look out for in a travel buddy.

An excellent navigator

Exploring somewhere new is a lot of fun until you get lost. There are few things more terrifying than being trapped in the unknown with the sun slowly starting to set. That’s why it’s always ideal to travel with someone who’s an excellent navigator. From being able to read maps to actually knowing how to use a compass, this kind of person can be a huge lifesaver on your adventure.

Photo: Unsplash.com

A great friend

When you go traveling, you make a wealth of new memories. Those experiences are unique and will stay with you for years, so you want to have them with someone you care about. If you’re going to be reminiscing about your adventures in 10-20 years time, you want to know you’re still going to be friends with that person by then.

Have street smarts

You’re never more vulnerable than when you’re visiting somewhere new. Even if you’re used to the lifestyle of traveler, you can never know what to expect from your destination until you’re there. Everywhere is different, and if you don’t have your wits about you, the locals could get the better of you.

That’s why you should travel with someone who’s got street smarts. They’ll quickly learn how to handle themselves in the new environment so that they won’t stand out as a tourist. Unless you want the locals to take advantage of you, you never want to look like you don’t belong somewhere.

An outgoing personality

If you’re going to go traveling, you can’t be shy. The whole experience will throw you out of your comfort zone, so you have to be prepared to put yourself out there. Or, at the very least, have someone who’s willing to do that for you. An outgoing travel buddy will always be prepared to do the things you may be too afraid to do yourself – as long as they speak the local language, of course.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Relatively easy-going

The last thing you want to do while you’re traveling is fall out with your companion. You’re the only person that each other has, so you need to spend your time working together, not falling apart. It’s wise to avoid anyone you tend to argue with, and instead, go for someone that’s relatively easy-going. They won’t get stressed out when plans go awry, saving the pair of you from losing your cool.

Traveling should always be an unforgettable experience, no matter where it is that you end up. Just make sure you choose the right person to go with you.

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10 of the best city B&Bs in Europe: readers’ travel tips

After wolfing down breakfast at these comfy B&Bs, our tipsters were ready to explore the town – often with top recommendations from their hosts

Outside the city centre but only 20 minutes or so by bus, this B&B is beautifully furnished and great value. One of the best reasons to stay here is Yolande, the friendly owner, who couldn’t do enough for us. She recommended great restaurants and gave us tips on what to see in Bordeaux. Her incredible breakfast spread, complete with homemade jam, was the best breakfast I’ve had in France, and that’s saying something. Bordeaux is a fantastic city – a cleaner, friendlier and warmer version of Paris.
Doubles from €80, laferrade.com
Helena

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Travel romances: Are they the real deal?


It’s a fantasy, to be swept up off your feet in a whirlwind romance, filled with a warm breeze billowing through your hair, an ice cold drink in one hand, and your dream partner in the other. It’s a pretty common romantic trope, meeting the love of your life on an exotic holiday; but are they the real deal?

While it’s entirely plausible that you might find your soulmate meandering through the beautiful city of Paris snacking on a croissant, or adventuring the untrodden forests of Croatia before hopping in a raft down a stream, what are the chances you’ll be able to convince them to meet the family?

Photo: Unsplash.com

Spring fling or an everlasting winter?

So, perhaps winter is not the best way to describe a relationship, but you get the drift. Starting a relationship can be full of wonder, excitement, and discovery – just like exploring a country! So, it stands to reason to suggest that those rose-tinted glasses might have some particularly dark lenses. That doesn’t mean it can’t work though; it just means that, while you’ll have an amazing story to tell your future grandchildren about how you met, you might have a few more hurdles to overcome before you set your heart.

An unwitting resident or a travel companion?

There are so many ways to meet people, travel is most certainly one for broadening those horizons. However, the chances are, if you’ve fallen for someone local, they’re probably not thinking about uprooting their whole life and following you on your adventure of self-discovery. All hope is not lost, many people have found love and romance with a travel companion and the best part of that is – you definitely have something in common.

Making the first move

It all depends on how it unravels, it would be a tragedy if your soulmate got away just because you didn’t get enough time together, but sometimes you can get there in the nick of time! You never know, it could have always been destined to be that breathtaking one-time-only experience, but then again, perhaps there’s a mutual love there that can be worked through. If you don’t take the plunge, then you’ll never know.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Where do we live?

So, if you’re one of those crazy-lucky couples where it all works out, and you accidentally fell in love with someone who lives in the same country as you – good for you! Other people, however, might have to make some forward-thinking decisions about moving in together or opting for the ever-popular ‘long-distance-relationship.’ Long-distance isn’t for everyone, but if your love is strong enough, it will prevail, at least for a few years until one of you want something more and then you’ll likely have to re-think your strategy.

While travel romances can be a wonderful tale to tell and give you that warm fuzzy feeling, there are still a lot of things you need to consider. Ultimately it depends on the two people involved, how quickly the relationship develops, and the sacrifices you’re willing to make. Chances are, it’s probably going to stay a great one-off story.

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Where to travel during the year to catch some rays


For many, there always comes the point where you are desperate for some sunshine, particularly in the colder months. Of course, sometimes it isn’t immediately apparent where is good to go and when, so we need to do a bit of digging to find our ideal destination. Thankfully, there are plenty of places that are blessed to have sea, sand, and sunshine almost all year round; and there are others that have a calm, warm serenity that will help quench that travel thirst. So for those of you who wish to soak up some vitamin D, here are some suggestions:

Where history and heat intertwine

Rome has been widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and historical cities in the world. You will need to be vigilant about what time of year you travel as they still have winter months, only perhaps not quite as cold. The best months to go, if you are looking for some warmth, are between April and September, with the hottest months being July and August ranging between a whopping 86-90 degrees. You will undoubtedly need some sunscreen in between all those sightseeing tourist adventures.

Why not somewhere closer to home?

Las Vegas! Sometimes, you don’t want a super long flight to reach your destination, so why not go somewhere a little bit closer to home? Vegas is in the middle of the desert, so you’re almost guaranteed amazing weather with a whole bundle of fun to have while you’re there! It is all about the temperature, and Vegas has it; highs of 100 degrees in the summer will have you baking a lovely tan in no time!

Where to travel during the year to catch some rays

You won’t need your temperature calendar for this one

If you are not on a budget and you desperately need to take off that winter coat, then Dubai is the place to go. It is incredibly popular, with sources suggesting that locals are outnumbered at six to one by British and American expats and tourists. However, sunshine is guaranteed in this rich, sunny country with temperatures reportedly never dropping below 70 degrees and heights of 108 degrees. At the moment, Dubai is a must-see, with the tallest building in the world and the largest flower garden; and that’s not to mention the beautiful beaches, the dinner cruises, the water parks, and so on.

It’s all about Australia

The Aussies are known for their fantastic climate and gorgeous landscapes – they’ve pretty much got it all! You have so many places to choose from depending on what experience you’re looking for – whether you want a backpacking holiday or a luxurious week in the city. The temperatures change depending on where you are in Australia, but no matter where you go, it is probably going to feel like summer.

Where to travel during the year to catch some rays

Choosing a holiday destination can be tough, but wherever you end up, you will likely have a better time if the sun is shining. So, now you are ready. Pack those bags, put on your sunscreen, and book those flights!

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Walking wellness – 2019’s hottest travel trend

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Travel has evolved so much over the years, and there is so much more to the experience nowadays. People used to travel to see the world, and this still happens as well. However, there are a whole host of reasons why people these days make the decision to travel. One of the major ones is the fact that people like to travel to improve their health and well-being.

There is nothing like getting away from it all for a week or so to really improve the way you feel. This is especially true when you are getting to explore and experience other cultures. Walking wellness is one of the biggest trends to have emerged over the last couple of years, and those who love to travel are big advocates of this; let’s find out more about it.

What is walking wellness?

So, you might well be wondering exactly what walking wellness is, and why people have chosen to embrace it so much. Walking wellness is the idea of spending most of your trip walking to places (where possible) and just enjoying the beauty and majesty of the natural world and your surroundings. It’s a concept that has become hugely popular over the years and links to the overarching idea of ecotourism and ethical tourism. A walking vacation can be walking wellness, but it is also something that can be adopted on a regular vacation as well.

Why is it crucial to your travel adventures?

Walking wellness combines walking with self-care, mindfulness, and wellness, and this makes it essential. Life is so fast-paced and stressful these days, and it can be difficult to relax and unwind now and again. Walking wellness lets you explore nature while allowing you to enjoy the fresh air and clear your head. You will see incredible sights, and enjoy plenty of mental and physical health benefits that you can take back with you. You need to slow down once in a while and embrace life in a much more laid back sort of way, and this can help you do that. And, as a bonus, you will have a smaller carbon footprint.

Where should you go to embrace it?

Now, you might be wondering where you should go if you want to fully embrace walking wellness. Well, you have a lot of choice, but it is probably best to steer clear of the big cities. These are full of people, noise, and pollution, and can make you more stressed. Try to favor the countryside, and places like the Amalfi Coast, the New England region of the US, and Aro Ha in New Zealand. These are some of the most amazing places to lose yourself in nature, clear your mind, and have the experience of a lifetime.

Have you ever wanted something more out of your travel? Something deeper and more fulfilling? Well, the way to achieve that is to embrace walking wellness, and do what you can to be healthier, fitter, and more active during your travels. You can see the world in a new light, and experience things you may never have experienced before.

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Cabin crews give their insider travel tips

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When you go traveling it is the perfect opportunity to cut loose, indulge yourself, and make the most of the opportunities you have. It’s not every day you get the chance to jet off to some far-flung location and spend a week or so forgetting about the stresses of regular life. If you want to enhance your travel experience, it is important that you use tips and hacks to improve your trip.

That’s why it is sometimes a good idea to think about what the experts suggest, and who better to offer travel tips and advice than airplane cabin crews?! Check out this list of some of the best and most revealing hacks that can help you to make your travel adventure the best it has ever been.

Try to make your luggage carry-on only

If you want to enjoy a stress-free trip, you can cut a lot of worry out by making sure you aren’t waiting for your luggage at the other end. Many cabin crews actually recommend that flyers do their best to back, so they are only bringing carry-on. Of course, for long-haul flights, this is practically impossible. However, for shorter trips, many planes will allow cases of a certain size to be stored in the overhead lockers.

Bring your own food

One of the big recommendations by a lot of cabin crew is that you bring your own food. Airline meals are not exactly the healthiest as they tend to be prepared well in advance. So, you can combat this issue by taking your own food and refusing the in-flight meal. This might seem less convenient, but it will be healthier, and you will be able to get a tastier meal out of it.

Dress smart

Think carefully about what you’re wearing when you get onto the plane, and consider your destination, and the time you will be landing. If it’s going to be sweltering, jeans and a sweater probably aren’t the best bet. Similarly, if it’s going to be freezing cold, shorts and a Hawaiian shirt would not be appropriate. Give a little more thought to what you are wearing, and be smart about how you dress.

Stay active where possible

Staying active is one of the biggest things people overlook when it comes to travel. Just because you have taken a break from day to day life, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be keeping fit. If you are on a long-haul flight, make sure you get up every couple of hours, stretch your legs, and walk around the plane for a bit. Once you arrive at your destination try to make sure you are staying active and keeping fit as much as possible.

These are just a few of the great tips you can use to have the most memorable travel experience possible. Your vacation adventure should begin the second you step onto the plane, and these are some of the best ways of making that happen. The next trip you take, make sure you follow some of these handy tips from the cabin crew members themselves!

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Ethical travel – how you can join in on travel’s best trend

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There is a new travel trend that’s gotten big over the past few years, and it’s one we all need to look a little closer at. Often, when we would go on vacation in the past, we might not have given much thought to the place we visited. Well, all this is beginning to change with the emergence of ethical travel, similar to eco-tourism. This is something that can really enrich your experiences traveling, as well as making a difference in the world.

In the simplest terms, ethical travel is the process of being more mindful and aware when you go abroad. This means respecting new cultures and environments, and doing what you can to help the local area thrive. Think more carefully about the impact you have as you travel the world and explore different places. So, how can you get involved? Well, here are some of the best ideas you can use that are going to help you make the most of the ethical travel, starting right now!

Get off the beaten track

It is so easy to get caught up in traveling to well-known places and indulging in tourist hotspots. However, this is not always a good approach, because much of the time that means you are giving business to larger organisations, rather than supporting locals. Getting off the beaten track and having more local experiences is really important. This can help to nurture the local community and allow smaller businesses and practices to thrive as a result.

Seek out meaningful experiences

Sometimes it can be difficult knowing the right way to approach the problem. Often, the seemingly obvious solutions are not necessarily the right ones. For instance, boycotting animal experiences because the animals are poorly treated could wind up in the animals being abandoned or even worse. It is much better to combat problems like this by looking for more meaningful experiences. This is something you can achieve with a bit of effort or research, and it will promote an ethical way of dealing with animals and running businesses.

Clean up after yourself

Nobody is expecting you to be able to change the mentality of whole generations of people, but you can do your small bit to help the environment, and hopefully set a good example in the process. This means you should focus on cleaning up after yourself, and doing your bit for the environment. Don’t leave your trash lying around, and try to make sure you walk (or cycle) as often as you can. Have a water bottle and refill it rather than replacing it with a new one. It’s little steps like this that can make a big difference to the environment.

There is a lot to think about when you are looking at how you can positively travel the world. Ethical travel and ecotourism have become popular in recent times, and this is something that you need to make sure you embrace. So, there are a lot of things you can do to help you achieve this, and it is important to get this right as much as possible right now.

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Off the beaten path – best travel destinations in rural Europe

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Travel broadens the mind and enriches life experience, and this is the reason it is so important to try to do as much of it as you possibly can. There are so many wonderful travel destinations these days, and the rise of budget travel has allowed more people to see much more of the world.

The most fulfilling travel experiences are those that take you off the beaten track and onto the road less traveled. Who knows what mysteries wait just around the corner, and where you can discover them? If you want an unforgettable break this year, away from the frenzied, tourist-filled streets, here are some amazing European gems just itching to be discovered.

Alentejo region, Portugal

If you’re planning on heading for a vacay soon, one of the best places to check out is Portugal’s stunning Alentejo region. This delightful part of southern Portugal comes alive in the springtime, presenting a smorgasbord of incredible floral colors. With pinks, oranges, yellows, and whites blanketing the ground, there are serene and elegant walking routes around Alqueva Lake and across beautiful countryside. Oh, and there are some amazing restaurants en route in the city of Evora as well.

Pyrenees, French-Spanish border

The Pyrenees Mountains are spread across France, Spain, and Andorra, and you can take an incredible road trip that allows you to travel across borders and see some of the most amazing parts of the Pyrenees. Hire a car and take a remarkable three-day road trip that scales mountain peaks, gorgeous valleys, and picture-postcard villages. Enjoy the 3,000m views from the top of the Pic du Midi mountain, accessible by cable car.

Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is a must-visit destination in Italy, and it’s one you might not think is that unique. Well, how about experiencing this amazing island as part of a sea kayaking adventure?! This offers an invigorating and unforgettable break, where you can hit hidden beaches, secret coves, and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of Porto Conte. Starting in April, these trips give you the perfect Sardinian experience, and something unique that lets you have the spring break you’ve always wanted.

Carpathian Mountains, Romania

The Carpathian Mountains demand discovery, and this is one of the places you need to check out for your spring break. There are so many amazing reasons to take a trip here, but one of the biggest is bison tracking! Yes, believe it or not, you don’t have to go on an African safari to get your bison fix. High up in the foothills of the Carpathians, a conservation project has allowed these majestic creatures to thrive. You can stay in Bucharest, and head out in groups (fronted by rangers) into the wilds of the Tarcu Mountains to see bison, bears, and other creatures.

How about these for some off the track destinations to explore the beautiful and majestic underbelly of Europe. These are some incredible choices that can take you away from the crowds, and allow you to experience things you might not otherwise have been able to. Indulge, slip away, and lose yourself in the elegance of European delight.

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The most beautiful travel destinations for cyclists

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Cycling allows you to enjoy some of the most amazing destinations in the world, and you can enjoy them from a completely different perspective. Hitting the open roads and dusty wastelands of the great outdoors as your legs pump like pistons and your tires drag you onward to parts unknown is one of the best ways of exploring the world and taking things further.

There are a lot of great places you can visit while cycling and biking destinations offer the opportunity to discover gorgeous scenery and keep fit while doing it. This is different to cycle racing, as you are taking in the world’s most picturesque places, and having a real experience. This is a list of some of the most jaw-dropping and sensational biking routes that every cyclist needs to know about right now!

Tuscany, Italy

Yes, believe it or not, Tuscany is not just a place you go to eat great food and drink delicious grape juice (wink); you can actually cycle an excellent route here. The rolling hills and sprawling vineyards of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Val d’Orcia makes for one of Europe’s most divine cycling routes. And, what better destination for refreshing pit stops than Italy’s famed vineyard region?!

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most striking, stunning, and unforgettable cities in the world. A place of wonderful architecture, aching beauty, and plenty to explore. Rent a bicycle and cycle along the banks beside the grey, glassy waters of the Danube River as it snakes away into the great beyond. Then head up into the hills and follow the mountain cycle trails that span 25 miles of forests, parks, dirt roads, and new discoveries. Divine.

 

New England, United States

It’s fair to say New England is one of the most stunning regions in the whole of the US, and with scenery like this, you’d be doing it an injustice not to explore it by bike. Everything about New England is better by bike, and the East Coast Greenway offers some of the best biking routes on Earth! With trails built on former railways, and some gorgeous surrounding scenery, places like Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, following routes like the National Rail Trail, Down East Sunrise Trail, and Island Line Trail, New England is an unmissable destination for cyclists.

Génolhac to Vallon Pont d’Arc, France

It’s no coincidence that the Tour de France, professional cycling’s showcase event, takes place in France. There is such beauty and diversity to the French landscape, and this is one of the most remarkable routes you can enjoy by bike. Starting in the small village of Génolhac, and cycling 42-miles across charming vistas, amazing towns, and picture-perfect tourist landmarks, the ride eventually ends up in Vallon Pont d’Arc. This is a stunning adventure on the breathtaking open roads of southern France.

Intrepid cyclists with a thirst for adventure and exploration need to check out the best routes on offer. There are so many incredible biking trails all over the world, and getting hands-on experience with these will really enhance and boost your enjoyment of adventure cycling.

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The best cities for budget travel in 2019

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You don’t have to have the budget of a Kardashian to have some epic travel adventures in 2019. In fact, the best thing about budget travel is that you can use the money you save for a duty-free shopping spree at the airport – or even more travel! Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the world. Here are the best cities for budget travel in 2019.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos is often overlooked in favor of Thailand and Vietnam, and as such, it is a lot cheaper or those who do visit it. If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, you are going to love the vast range of activities, from zip-lining and kayaking, to climbing and hot air ballooning. Although these are all activities offered in other places, you will find that the cost to enjoy them in Laos is a whole lot lower, with smaller crowds.

Budapest, Hungary

While everyone else is flocking to Rome or Paris and paying over inflated prices, make sure you head to Budapest, where you can get your fill of delicious food, culture, history, and amazing experiences for a fraction of the cost. A top tip for saving money on your budget trip in Budapest is to remember that the further away you are from the river, the cheaper things are going to be!

Medellín, Colombia

Colombia has such a mix of environments, from valleys to beaches, and jungles to mountain ranges, that you really get your money’s worth when you choose to visit. It really does feel as though you are passing through several counties at once. The food is cheap yet delicious, museums are cheap, if not free, and public transport is also a reasonable price; allowing you to have a fantastic vacation without breaking the bank.

Transylvania, Romania

If you have a love for all things gothic or medieval, a visit to Romania should be high on your list, and you will be pleased to know that it’s not too pricey either! Explore the forests (but be on the lookout for bears and wolves), visit historical castles, and step back in time in the medieval towns. Train travel is a cheap way to get around, and the daily menu in most restaurants will only set you back around $ 5.

Berlin, Germany

One of the biggest draws of this city are the many outdoor attractions and green spaces which are open for free access to the public. There are plenty of museums and galleries to enjoy, and be sure to experience the nightlife too! Berlin is ranked as one of the more affordable cities in Europe but has plenty to offer for its low price tag.

So if you are on a tight budget this year, you don’t have to forgo a vacation entirely. Instead, just choose one of these fantastic budget destinations and really make the most of every cent! After all, ‘budget’ doesn’t need to mean boring.

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Top 5 places to travel to in 2019

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We all need a vacation from time to time. When the stress of work and home life becomes too much, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a step back and recharge our batteries. Without that break, we can’t hope to be on the ball when it comes to our jobs, but where do we go to? So many places around the world are worth visiting, but which deserve our attention the most in 2019?

Belize

If you want to explore coral reefs, you don’t just have to visit Australia. Belize is home to the second-largest of these in the world, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the natural wonders there. Filled with underwater caves and a variety of aquatic life, the waters here will blow your mind. The area is still on the up, meaning you can vacation there now without having to share it with hundreds of other people. It won’t be quiet for long!

Sri Lanka

There’s pretty much something for everyone over in Sri Lanka. From thrill seekers to eco-tourists, you’d be hard-pressed not to find something to do there. With a rich blend of religions and cultures that each offer their own intriguing experiences, every day will come with a wealth of discoveries. Plus, more parts of the country are accessible now than they’ve ever been, meaning you’ll never run out of places to explore.

Panama

At the border between North and South America sits Panama, a small stretch of land that sees nature at its best. If you love relaxing on white-sand beaches and soaking up the sun, this is the place for you. It might not be the most popular tourist destination, but that’s all the more reason to visit. Fewer crowds mean more of the area for you to enjoy with friends and family. Plus, in August, they’ll be having the party to end all parties as they celebrate 500 years as a nation.

Indonesia

Made up of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the place to go if you love exploring. You probably won’t be able to visit everywhere during your vacation, but you can certainly fill your schedule with plenty of different sights. With transport links between the islands improving by the day, it’s never been easier to get from one place to the other. Plus, you’ll be able to fill a few photo albums with all the snaps you’ll want to take here.

Germany

Germany’s worth a visit in 2019 because the country is celebrating 100 years since the establishment of the Bauhaus. Although the school was closed in the ‘30s due to the political strife, the influential work that was done there is still remembered to this day. To commemorate the centenary, tons of events are planned throughout the year, including art exhibitions and museum openings. You’re sure to encounter something special during your visit.

Found some inspiration for where you want to travel to next? Why not make 2019 the best year yet by visiting somewhere you’ve never been before. Who knows, it might change your life forever!

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Steve Aoki Collaborates With Travel Accessories Brand Fūl

For the guy on the go, travel and gear accessories brand Fūl has unveiled a range of accessories — a collaboration with Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki called the “Fūl-Aoki” collection.
Fūl, originally founded by Justin Timberlake in 2004 and now owned by Concept One Accessories, has carved out a space in the travel category with backpacks, belt bags and travel gear inspired by the nomadic life of a musician but curated for anyone with an active lifestyle.
“Steve and I had been talking about doing something together for Fūl over the past couple of years,” said Sam Hafif, chief executive officer of the accessories brand. “Travel is such a big part of his life. No one I know travels as extensively as he does, so his vision for the product and how it should function comes from a unique personal experience.”

Grammy-nominated DJ and musician Steve Aoki. 
Brian Ziff

The line takes a cue from the streetwear scene and Aoki’s personal style, and splits into two distinct directions. The first is the “street” collection which is comprised of five backpacks and one waist pack, and features  caribiners for headphones, multiple pockets for cables, thick padded laptop sleeves, and ergonomic shoulder straps. “For the

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Best places to travel for Spring Break that won’t break the bank

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Few events in the yearly calendar are more exciting than Spring Break. For college students everywhere, it’s the time to leave classes behind and party until they can’t party anymore. It’s the last moment of freedom before they have to buckle down and complete their exams, so students rarely hold back when it comes to having fun. Unfortunately, the best Spring Break destinations aren’t always the cheapest. Undergrads aren’t exactly known for having much money, which means finding somewhere affordable to travel to is of the utmost importance.

Cabo San Lucas

Anyone living near, or looking to visit, the West Coast should find all they need at Cabo San Lucas. The gorgeous getaway offers many all-inclusive deals that will ensure you get everything you need without blowing your budget. With so much money saved on accommodation, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself more when you’re out and about. Luckily, the area is super lively, so you’re never short of things to do here, even when your wallet starts to look a little thin.

Myrtle Beach

If you intend to be on the beach during your Spring Break – and why wouldn’t you? – then Myrtle Beach has you covered. 60 miles of coastline means there’s plenty of space for you to do your thing without having to spend a cent. Plus, with some great nightlife options that typically cater to a younger population, you know you and your money will definitely be in good hands here.

Key West

Perhaps not the place that most people would think to visit for Spring Break, it’s lower popularity is exactly why it’s great to visit. Not only are crowds less of an issue, but prices are a lot more affordable. There are plenty of great budget hotels in the area, so accommodation is never a problem either, leaving you more money to spend on having the Spring Break of your life.

New Orleans

No-one does food quite like the South. Eating might not be the top priority on your Spring Break list, but you’ll be wanting something good to fill you up between nights of non-stop partying. New Orleans has plenty of great comfort food on offer to keep you going, and it’s a pretty cheap place to visit too. There are loads of rental deals to help you find somewhere affordable to stay, especially if you don’t mind lodging further away from the center.

Puerto Vallarta

With so many all-inclusive packages available, you’ve got to wonder why you’d have your Spring Break anywhere other than Puerto Vallarta. There are so many rental choices here that make staying in the area cheap and easy, especially if you book in advance. What’s more, with sun, sand, and sea as far as the eye can see, do you really need anything else for your Spring Break vacation?

 

You don’t get many opportunities to do Spring Break, so it’s important to make the most of each one while you can. Thankfully, you can still do that even if you’re low on funds; you just have to be a bit more picky about where you go to enjoy them.

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Chicago Judge Allows Jussie Smollett To Travel To Meet With Attorneys

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago judge says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett can travel out-of-state to meet his lawyers while he’s free on bond on charges he falsely reported being attacked by two masked men.

Anne Kavanagh is a spokeswoman for Smollett’s attorneys, who say he’s innocent.

Kavanagh says attorney Mark Geragos, who’s based in Los Angeles, is Smollett’s lead attorney. She says a defense lawyer asked Monday that Smollett be allowed to travel to California and New York for meetings with his legal team.

Chicago police charged Smollett with disorderly conduct. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Smollett, who is black and gay, staged a racist and homophobic attack , then told police his attackers yelled racial and anti-gay slurs and referenced President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.

He was released last week after posting $ 10,000 cash. He was ordered to surrender his passport.

PHOTO: AP


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Travel to the World’s Best Contemporary Houses

Courtesy of TASCHEN

There are few things we at The Daily Beast enjoy more than house porn. We love walking down residential boulevards in cities and towns, whiling away the hours admiring the ingenuity of some and the blanching at the choices of others. But, because only so many houses can be experienced on foot, books that transport you to the places and homes you’ll likely never get to see are often our favorites.

Therefor, it makes sense that this week’s selection for our Just Booked feature (our twice-a-month series on gorgeous travel-related coffee table books) is Taschen’s new Homes for Our Time. Contemporary Houses around the World by Philip Jodidio.

The book covers everything from outrageous mansions to tightly designed small homes around the world, and displays them against a black background which allows them to really pop. Big names like MVRDV are featured, but so are homes by less bold-faced names like our new favorite the Newberg Residence by Cutler Anderson Architects.

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Top places in the USA that Americans love to travel to

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When most people think of traveling, they picture crossing seas and oceans and venturing into foreign places with names they cannot even pronounce. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a lot of things to discover around your own country or continent that are just as interesting as what you’ll find overseas. This is something most Americans have come to embrace, and millions of them flock to tourist destinations in their own country.

Big cities that provide an extraordinary experience, small towns with a big history and cultural significance, and natural wonders are just some of the attraction factors. Below we’ll look at the top places in the USA that Americans most love to travel to and see what draws them to these places again and again.

1. New York City

The biggest and most populated city in the United States, New York City appears on the must-visit list of every travel enthusiast. Travel enthusiasts aside, it’s one of the few places that most Americans would love to say they visited at least once in their lives. Home to the world famous Statue of Liberty, there’s just so much to do and see in New York. Here, fashion enthusiasts can shop for anything and art and culture lovers can visit wonderful museums, while theatre goers get to catch a few Broadway shows. Central Park and the Empire State Building are other must-visit spots, and getting a view of the impressive Manhattan skyline is totally worth it.

2. Washington, D.C.

Home to the White House, there’s so much to see in this city. It’s the capital of the United States and the location of the federal government, and there is so much history here. In addition, the world famous Smithsonian museums boast free entrance. Other historical points in Washington, D.C. include the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson memorial.

3. Los Angeles

Home to Hollywood, Los Angeles is every movie and TV lovers heaven. It also has some of the most coveted beaches in the United States. Home to the most successful movie studios, a lot of people go there to get a taste of what goes on in the making of great films. The pleasant southern California weather makes a visit to beaches such as the Venice Beach an experience of a lifetime.

4. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida is home to Disney World, and we all dream of experiencing a piece of the fairytale world. Generally, Florida is home to some of the best amusement parks in the country. Another popular point of attraction in Florida is Cape Canaveral, on the coast. This is a must visit for anyone interested in space travel and the like. The Kennedy Space Center is particularly popular, being the launch venue of every human space flight in the U.S. since 1968, now even handling some unmanned flights. History lovers get their own share of fun with a chance to visit St. Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the U.S. Here, they find a port built by the Spanish way back in the 1600s, Castillo de San Marco.

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Business travel survival guide: How and why this entrepreneur refuses to settle

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Stacy Garcia, founder of Stacy Garcia Inc., a licensing and design company, travels frequently as part of her job as an entrepreneur and business owner. Her company, which focuses on interior design products, has roots in hospitality design, and today includes a collection of global lifestyle brands and product lines including textiles, carpeting, furniture, and lighting.

Part of Garcia’s success is due to her “never settle” attitude. “When I believe in something, I never settle until I’ve accomplished it,” she says. “I don’t stop just because I’ve heard a few ‘no’s.’ I’ve trained myself to hear ‘not yet’ instead of ‘no.’ This challenge is what has made my journey so meaningful, and so much sweeter when I finally get the ‘yes’ I deserve.” Read more…

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Travel to the Hudson River Valley’s Historic Livingston Estates

Desmond Reich

When people think of the Hudson River Valley, generally a handful of properties pop up—Hyde Park, Kykuit, Vanderbilt Mansion, Olana, and maybe Lyndhurst. But one family had an outsize impact on the region’s culture, architecture, and legacy through the variety of estates built by them and others on their land—the Livingstons (one of New York’s versions of an aristocratic family).

Thus, with spring just around the corner (we promise!) Life Along the Hudson: The Historic Country Estates of the Livingston Family by Pieter Estersohn is this week’s selection for Just Booked (our twice-a-month series on gorgeous travel-related coffee table books).

Esterhorn’s photographs are beautiful—capturing each of these historic properties in, literally, their best light. Even ones that have definitely seen better days, like Staatsburgh, are shown in the glory they once commanded. Thirty-five properties in total are featured, enough for anybody to fall in love and add one to their dream Hudson River trip.

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Business Travel Survival Guide: Do more and stress less with these tips from a successful millennial CEO

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“Behind every great woman, are great women.” As founder and CEO of the wildly popular networking platform Create & Cultivate, Jacyln Johnson practices what she preaches. With two successful businesses and recognition from Adweek, Forbes, Fast Company and Entrepreneur under her belt by the age of 30, Johnson doesn’t just have a career—she creates them

Recognizing a missing resource for accomplished millennial women, Johnson launched Create & Cultivate to empower women to achieve their career goals and become their own bosses. She started small, with a gathering of 50 entrepreneurs in Palm Springs. In response, Johnson received hundreds of emails from women eager for the next conference.“That’s when I realized there was real momentum around this idea,” said Johnson. “It feels like a dream job.” Read more…

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Why Ctrip, China’s Largest Online Travel Agent, Will Be Celebrating Chinese New Year

The largest annual human migration is underway. China’s 1.7 billion population will make 3 billion trips around Chinese New Year on February 5, according to government officials. It’s a logistical nightmare, clogging China’s airports, train stations and highways with traffic. But, for China’s leading online travel agent Ctrip.com International, it’s also a giant pay day.

The $ 20 billion Nasdaq-listed travel agent occupies 60% of China’s online travel industry and is the world’s second-largest online travel agent (OTA) after Priceline Group in terms of gross merchandise value, which measures the total value of services sold through a company’s platform. The Shanghai-based Ctrip, which bought flight comparison site Sky Scanner in 2016 and operates in the U.S. as Trip.com, expects to service 390 million domestic and seven million outbound trips by Chinese tourists this Chinese New Year.

According to Ctrip, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia will be the most popular overseas destinations for China’s tourists this New Year. The U.S. ranks number seven on that list, the same place it held in 2017. Ctrip co-founder and executive chairman James Liang said in January that he doesn’t expect China’s ongoing trade war with the U.S. to affect Chinese travel plans.

Liang founded Ctrip as a travel comparison site in 1999 after working eight years at Silicon Valley software company Oracle. Neil Shen, now founder and managing partner at Sequoia Capital China, joined as Liang’s co-founder along with Ctrip president Min Fan and board director Qi Ji.

The company’s first revenues came from hotel bookings, into which Ctrip expanded after the dotcom bubble burst and investor capital dried up. Two years later the company added flight reservations to its portfolio of services, then package holidays, corporate travel, bus tickets, train tickets and travel logistics.

Since 2003, when the company listed on Nasdaq, its market cap has swollen to 40-times its pre-IPO value and annual revenues have surged from $ 40.3 million in 2004 to $ 4.1 billion in 2017.

“The buying power is there, in China,” says CEO Jane Sun, who joined the company as CFO in 2005 after spending 12 years working in Silicon Valley finance. “In 2017 we offered 22 high-end tour packages priced at $ 200,000 each. It only took us 17 seconds to sell them all.”

According to McKinsey & Company, Chinese tourists made 131 million trips overseas in 2017 and spent a total $ 250 billion. The consultancy expects those figures to grow to 160 million and $ 350 billion by 2020. With only 5% of Chinese citizens owning a passport, outbound travel has exceptional room for growth and is one of the reasons why Ctrip was included amongst Fortune’s list of “Future 50” companies with strong growth prospects.

Ctrip’s tech prowess is one of its strengths. Sun says the company invests heavily in ABC – artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing – and uses its proprietary data analytics to do things like push targeted adverts towards customers and help business partners such as hotels predict peak periods.

In 2017 Ctrip created a credit rating system – ever more the vogue in China – based on customer’s booking history. In a letter to shareholders, Sun explained that customers with higher credit scores will enjoy perks, such as deferring payment until arrival, and the system also allows service providers to “get a better sense of what kind of customers they will serve.”

However China’s two most formidable tech titans, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, are both invested in the travel market too. Alibaba’s travel unit Fliggy, launched in 2014, has chipped away at Ctrip’s share in flight sales and, according to analytics company Trust Data, Tencent-backed Meituan Travel surpassed Ctrip in hotel bookings by volume last year.

Ctrip’s executives have routinely dismissed the idea that Meituan or Alibaba poses a threat to their own business and maybe that’s fair. With China’s outbound travel market still so unsaturated, there’ll be room for more than one player.

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Most crowded travel destinations

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The world is pretty incredible, and it seems as though we keep adding more and more to our bucket list each day. Yes, all we have to do is see a photograph online of a destination, or listen to our friend’s recent travel adventures, and we immediately want to pack our bags and explore what Mother Nature has gifted us with. However, it seems as though we’re not the only ones who get some serious FOMO about the world. Tourists flock to some of the most popular destinations in the world, but this also makes them incredibly crowded. These are the most crowded travel destinations and the best time to visit them so you can avoid becoming a sardine.

Venice, Italy

There’s no doubt about the fact that Venice is absolutely stunning. From the gondola rides along the canals to the bustling markets and town squares, this island has everything you could possibly want. Yet, a huge number of visitors make their way to this floating city every single year, and sometimes you just can’t see the wood from the trees. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your Venetian travel plans. All you have to do is visit Venice in the winter rather than the summer when the crowds have gone!

Shanghai, China

If you want to really expand your horizons, why not take a trip to China? Shanghai is a bustling metropolitan city that is full of bright lights, bubbly people, and a buzzing atmosphere. Most people make their way to Shanghai during the summer when the days are warm, and tourism is at its peak. Yet, having our shoulders jostled every minute of the day is not something we want to experience. If you want to check out every inch of this place, then it’s best to avoid the heat and visit between October and November.

Delhi, India

Everyone should visit India at least once in their lives, and Delhi is the obvious choice. This region is a conglomeration of sights, sounds, smells, and everything you could possibly need to make the most of it. However, with a population of 18.6 million and countless other tourists, it’s fair to say that it’s a bit of a squeeze in Delhi. That’s why it’s best to go in the heat of the summer if you can bear it. While the heat may be a little too hot to handle for some people, it’s incredibly quiet.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu isn’t for everyone, as it requires one heck of a trek before you reach your final destination. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop a huge number of people making their way to these Mayan ruins with their selfie sticks in hand each year. Because of this, it can be hard to enjoy the culture and the authenticity of the lost (but now found) city. That’s why it’s always best to visit this destination in November or April when the peak tourist season is over.

Looking to visit these crowded tourist destinations? You just need to do your research and choose the right time to visit!

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Queen Elizabeth’s favorite travel destination

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Let’s be honest; Queen Elizabeth II is a legend. Not only is she the longest-reigning monarch in British history, but she’s also one of the most lovable women in popular culture. Yes, ol’ Lizzie has impressed us in real life just as she has in the binge-worthy Netflix drama, The Crown. However, ruling a country and being the head of the Church of England isn’t an easy job, and this lady often likes to get away from it all and travel the world. When she’s not jumping on a jet around the globe, there’s one particular destination she loves to vacation at the most…

Traveling on the job

As the Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II has had to travel a huge amount for her job. She has traveled the whole world as well as her Commonwealth regions, and she used to fly around in her Royal jet to get to these places. However, as age has caught up with her, Lizzie has opted against flying long-haul and instead gives this pleasure to her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles. That’s not to say that she doesn’t travel at all. Elizabeth still flies every so often, and she even takes trains and boats to some of her favorite destinations. Her favorite place of all time? Malta.

Racking up some numbers

Over the course of her life, the Queen has racked up some huge numbers when it comes to her air miles. Although she has traveled to Canada nearly 30 times over the years, it’s not one of her favorite countries. That pleasure instead goes to Malta, where the Queen lived for many years before her father passed away and a crown was placed on her head. The reasoning behind this decision is rather emotional. Before she became Queen, Elizabeth lived with Prince Philip and their friends while Philip served in the Navy. They lived a simple yet luxurious existence before everything changed for them. Even now, the Queen notes that it’s the place she feels most normal, and the place that she remembers with a fondness in her heart.

The Villa Guardamangia

While Philip and Elizabeth lived in Malta, they set up shop in Villa Guardamangia. They loved this villa and their lives in Malta so much that it was a huge shock when they had to return to England after two years away. In fact, when the Queen made her way to Malta in 2007, she actually asked to visit their old home and revel in the old memories. Unfortunately, the new owners of the property refused the Queen entry. Despite this, the Queen has made her way back to the country on many occasions, and will always have a soft place in her heart for this place.

The Queen has had the chance to go anywhere in the world. She could travel from one end of the earth to the other if she wanted to, but there’s only one destination that truly makes her happy. That’s the place where she once lived a normal life.

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10 of the best activity holidays worldwide: readers’ travel tips

Kayaking, cycling, running and hiking from the Andes to Iran … Our tipsters aren’t content with a book and deckchair

For climbing and scrambling with a twist head to Le Bourg-d’Oisans in the French Alps south-east of Grenoble. Stay in one of the many campsites (Le Château de Rochetaillée is excellent) before finding La Montagne Sports shop in town who will kit you out for €10 per day with everything you need for the area’s seven spectacular via ferrata routes. On another day, head an hour’s drive west to Alpes du Grand Serre and experience the thrill of scrambling, climbing and traversing along rock, over a raging river and coming out at the top into a beautiful alpine meadow with rosy cheeks and a spring in your tired step. If you enjoyed this, head next to Cascade de la Fare in Vaujany, just half an hour north of Le Bourg. This is a step up and includes two long bridges over a ravine and an ascent to a waterfall with sensational views.
Karen Abell

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The best places to travel for winter break

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If you live in a cold climate, it is common to want to flee to a warmer place as soon as the snow begins to fall. Some people plan a long vacation from work in order to take a trip to warmer climates in the middle of winter. Relieving the chill for a few weeks in January or February can really help break the monotony of winter, and give your face the necessary sunshine. And with so many destinations battling for your holiday dollars, it can be hard to choose from a variety of holiday offers. Here are some of the best places to travel during winter break.

Mexico

Mexico is a warm destination for a winter vacation. No matter where you live, you can always find package deals if you want to travel to Mexico. Depending on your tastes and interests, you might want to look into taking a holiday in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Mexico City or Cozumel. Figure out what you want to get out of your vacation and choose your destination based on that. For each location, there are packages with activities and services that appeal to your specific interests.

Cuba

Another popular winter escape is Cuba. Plan ahead, however, because even though Americans can travel to Cuba, there are some restrictions that you must look into. Cuba is also a popular destination for Canadian travelers. Holidays in Cuba offer the luxury of sun, sand, and resorts, as well as beautiful cities and fascinating culture. A trip to Cuba can be very rewarding, relaxing and affordable.

Florida

Florida is a popular vacation spot for spring break, of course, but is still suitable for a warm winter vacation. You should not have difficulty finding a variety of interesting Florida vacation rentals during the winter season. Places like Miami Beach, Key West, and Daytona Beach are the favorites for tired winter travelers who love the sun and the beach. Take a look at each package so you can choose a destination that suits your interests. For families, Florida has the best resorts in the city of Orlando. Places like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld are great for children of almost all ages.

Hawaii

If your budget is a bit higher than average, the Hawaiian Islands have a beauty that can not be surpassed anywhere else. Places like Maui or Kauai offer sun, sand, beaches, and history lessons. Hawaii is often better suited for adults, but you can also find holiday offers with activities for children. Whatever you are looking for in warm winter weather, think about your budget and choose the destination and package that best suits your interests.

London

If you want to travel to Europe, the city of London is a great place to take a break. Many hotels offer seasonal discounts so you can surround yourself with luxury without breaking the bank. This is the perfect time to attend the Winter Wonderland celebrations held every year at Hyde Park, when skating on the huge ice rink will give everyone a cause to smile. Do not forget to go to Regent Street to take advantage of the huge savings during the annual January sales.

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Cheapest places to travel to in the winter

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We are living in a society where almost everyone is struggling to save up money while trying to fulfill their dreams. People spend their most of the time in a set routine, at offices, shops, factories, hospitals, and school. They are so stuck in their professional life schedule that they forget to enjoy their personal life.

It’s very important to spend quality time with your loved ones, and we should never forget to explore the beauty of nature. This is particularly true in the winter, that time of year when the holidays roll around. This season is a collection of festivals and vacations, and with the cold weather, it can be tempting to take a trip somewhere new.

Here are some of the best places to travel to in the winter – even if you are on a budget.

Gambia

Gambia is best for nature lovers. It is one of the smallest country in Africa, but there are a number of beaches to be found there. Some of the cities on the western coast of the country are Bakau, Fajara, and Kotu you can soak up the sun and sea at the coastal resorts there. There are a lot cheap and cheerful hotels available, like the beachside Lemon Creek Hotel Resort in Bijilo.

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

December is the time of winter when a lot of people start to think about sunbathing. Tenerife is balmy compared to rest of the places in Europe. The weather is still reliably pleasant all year round, with almost no rain. There are plenty of hotels and hundreds of delicious restaurants for people coming for shorter periods, but weekly and monthly rental apartments here are very popular.

Mexico

Mexico is a great destination for people who want affordable winter sun destinations. It is also closer to the United States than Europe, so might be easier for Americans to reach. There are frequently vacation deals, which can help bring down the prices, too.

For beautiful beaches, you can head to the Riviera Maya and soak up the Mexican culture on the breathtaking coastline. Riviera Maya is a tourist destination and resort town, so there are plenty of hotels, resorts, and hostels that will fit your budget.

There are many water sports and activities that you can do including scuba diving, jet skiing, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and more. The underwater caves are unique and unmatched by any other locations in the world. Plus, there are some excellent archaeological sites nearby such as Tulum, Chichen Itza, and Coba

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is the one of the finest destinations for those people who are living the coldest climates \across the globe. This is a fairly cheap city compared to North America or Europe, so bargains are not hard to find on the ground. Of course, hotels will be cheaper in early December than during Christmas week. 3-star hotels are available from $ 61 for a couple. There is so much to see and do here from the stunning nature to water sports and beaches.

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Why you should travel in the off-season

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Knowing exactly when to take a trip is an artת and if you are able to make the most of travel during the off-seasonת it’s possible to save thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, busy travel periods nearly always fall during school and national holidays, with the peak occurring through the Christmas and New Year period. If you can only travel during these times, you will be hit with higher costs for everything and more stress, with more people trying to get to their destinations.

If you can skip these busy periods and opt for a trip during the off-season, you’ll find many benefits. Here are some of the top reasons you should travel in the off-season.

Flights

Flights are a big factor in why you should travel in the off-season, and they do tend to be the biggest expenditure item for any kind of holiday. An off-season flight can be as much as 50% less than a peak season flight and sometimes you can save even more. It’s still always a good idea to research the area you are traveling to, just in case there are any negative factors that might put you off, such as rainy seasons or cold weather. There’s no point taking a cheap flight if you end up being miserable and cold.

Accommodation

Hotel prices do vary by season, with peak rates right at the top of the scale and off-season at the other end. Check prices online – you can look at individual hotel websites or follow a few of the websites that offer a number of hotel providers. The swings in price can be quite remarkable, with as much as a 100% increase for peak season rooms. That’s the world we live in, and hotels have to milk it as much as they can because high season rates only last for a short time. For example, in Thailand, high season might only run from November to January, and hoteliers have to cash in to cover for the nine-month low season.

Dining out

This one is not always easy to predict, and some restaurants in some countries might actually bring their rates up during the low season to try to make more money. It is a strange logic really, as the people traveling during low season are more interested in paying less. Other restaurants might only open during the high season, which means off-season travelers might be eating more with local people. This could prove a bonus as it’s a good way to get to know locals and they might be enjoying tastier food.

Fewer crowds

Since fewer people are able to travel during the low season, you will run into fewer crowds. This also frequently means no kids, as they should all be at school. Finding accommodation should not be a problem and you won’t get stuck in all kinds of different tourist lines. You should be able to visit places of interest in a stress-free way, compared with the high season. You will often even pay less to enjoy the benefits.

There are lots benefits to be enjoyed by traveling during the off-season, and if you’re a person with no set timetable, you can journey the world at half the cost of a high season traveler.

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10 life-changing retreats worldwide: readers’ travel tips

In havens from Inverness to India, readers have discovered their better selves through yoga, meditation and writing courses

Dhanakosa, on the banks of beautiful Loch Voil, near Balquhidder in central Scotland, is truly a place to stop, breathe, unwind and take stock. Amid the glorious scenery, you eat delicious, healthy vegetarian meals (and can even take a recipe book home), do yoga, hill walk, learn to meditate or reinvigorate your practice and your life. It’s the perfect place to come if you just want some time out to reset yourself. I’ve come here for the weekend and for a week. They operate on the Buddhist principle of Dana or generosity. You pay the deposit of £75 (for a week) or £50 (weekend) and then from a suggested scale (from £285 to £445 for a week). It’s a magical place.
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Carolann

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Healthy holidays and a sunscreen rethink: top five travel trends for 2019

Rising eco-awareness, wellness breaks and a farewell to passports … we look at changes in the world of travel for the year ahead

Last October, Club 18-30 holidays staggered off into the sunset, aged 50. To the relief of Mediterranean resorts that had spent decades dealing with the carnage caused by epic drinking challenges, it appears that buckets of warm sangria – or worse – have lost their appeal. We have entered the era of the healthy holiday, driven by young people who want to be sober enough to take a flattering selfie. The rise of ‘ego travel’ was cited by Thomas Cook when it retired the Club 18-30 brand, turning its focus on its Casa Cook and Cook’s Club brands, design-conscious hotels with gyms, tasting menus, upmarket cocktails and yoga.

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Travel Capsule: Eight Days in the Netherlands

Two weeks ago I flew back to the Netherlands to see my Dad and this is what I packed. I do the same trip every few months and have prepping for it down to a fine art. It takes me half an hour to decide what to bring after I’ve studied the weather forecast and finalized which pairs of shoes make the cut. I keep things simple by creating a daily outfit formula, and slotting my current favourite wardrobe items into the formula.

The weather was a wet and windy 2 to 11 degrees Celsius (35 to 51 degrees Fahrenheit). The wind and damp make it feel colder than sunny, still and dry weather at the same temperature, especially when you’re on foot and taking public transport.

I opted for the following practical outfit formula to wear each day:

Trendy Jeans + Fun Pullover + Coat/Jacket + Comfy Shoes + Bright Bag + Scarf/Hat/Umbrella

A few things upfront before I delve into the details:

  • I visited family, saw dear friend Inge, did errands, organized, shopped, ate out, and went to appointments. I hung out with my Dad in his home town of Velp, with daily trips to nearby Arnhem (a 15-minute bus ride). These very quaint and local towns are on the east side of the Netherlands and close to the German border. They are about an hour and a half away from Amsterdam.
  • I kept my outfits on the dressier side of casual because that’s true to my style.
  • I put a suitcase in the hold because I like to have more dressing options than a carry-on can accommodate. I also bring back presents for family, and do some shopping, which requires extra space.
  • I did not do laundry on the trip.
  • I can keep white and cream wardrobe items clean, and have been travelling with them for years. It’s a complete non-issue.
  • The capsule excludes the outfit that I wore on both non-stop ten-hour flights. It’s the same outfit, and I’ve shown the components at the end of this post.

Palette

I crave a change in colour more than a change in silhouette from day to day. This is why the palette of my capsule is colour-rich, yet the items create the same daily uniform. I kept things neutral with blue jeans, an animal print coat and navy puffer, but went to town with brights and stripes in the tops and accessories. White footwear makes my outfits crisp, bookends my hair, and adds a bright touch to my look. There was zero black in the palette. The darks that you see are navy and ink blue.

Most of the components can be mixed and matched with each other because I like to pattern mix and wear several brights together. That said, I ensured I could wear neutral from head to toe when the mood struck me. I could also choose a dressier outfit or a more casual one.

Footwear

I build a travel capsule around my shoes because it’s extremely important to have happy feet when you’re walking around a city and using public transport. Once I knew which ultra comfortable shoes I was taking, I planned the rest of the outfits to work with them. Both pairs of shoes are tried and tested 20,000-step city shoes.

I chose my new white boots because white or cream footwear is signature to my style. I chose cream hi-top sneakers because their fleece lining is very warm, and the grippy soles are good in grotty weather. They are my most comfortable shoes of all time. I wore the shoes with socks or knee-highs to keep warm. I wore the sneakers a little more often than the boots because of the rain.

Bottoms

I brought three pairs of trendy jeans so that my outfits looked fashionable and a little unique amidst a sea of Modern Classic skinnies. I wore the glitzy Simkhai Cig and GRLFRND Carpenter jeans the most because they’re dressier than the light-wash Levi’s Wedgies. Dark-wash jeans made the casual cashmere hoodie and navy puffer feel dressier too. My Dad adored the gold hardware on the Simkhai’s so I wore those the most. Who knew he liked glitz! All bottoms worked equally well with boots and sneakers.

Tops

I packed seven warm pullovers for eight days which was more than I needed. But I wanted the festive variety, so why not. I stuck to fine gauge knits because it’s easier to pack, but had ample variety in colour, solid, pattern and silhouette. Cropped, hoodie, classic, vented, lantern-sleeved, neck tie, and turtleneck. Each pullover worked well with either bottom. I was toasty warm with a camisole layered underneath.

Outerwear

I get bored wearing the same outerwear for eight days straight so I brought a dressier coat, and a short Sporty puffer. I chose my animal print coat because it’s on-trend, and a short puffer because it’s practical and warm. They worked well over every top, and with either pair of jeans or shoes. I wore each topper equally  and was happy to have two to choose from.

Accessories

I packed many accessories because they change up my look, create a maximal vibe, keep me warm, and don’t take up space. I chose two scarves – one patterned, one solid – that can work across any of the outfits in the capsule because I like bold colour combinations, and enjoy pattern mixing. The orange scarf creates a twinset effect with the orange pullover. I chose a watermelon crossbody because it’s matchy-matchy with my new watermelon specs, and easy for travel. It’s a dressy Furla because casual bags are not my thing, and I like the way they amp up a pair of jeans and sneakers. A cream beret was essential for walking in the cold morning and night. I wore my pearl necklace with every pullover except the striped turtleneck. I wore my pearl wedding ring, bracelets and specs daily. I added a pair of statement socks to outfits when the colour perfectly matched my pullovers. I took along sunnies and gloves, but didn’t wear them.

I also packed an umbrella and cashmere wrap. I’ve left the wrap out of the capsule because it was not styled into these outfits. It’s loungewear and a cosy blanket and scarf for plane travel only.

Travel Outfit

This is the exact outfit that I wore on the flight out to Amsterdam, and the flight back to Seattle eight days later. It follows my strategy for what to wear on long flights. Layers, fabrics with stretch, fluid fits, and soft textures are cosy, comfortable and insulating for plane travel. A jacket, scarf and dressy bag make my casual outfit look pulled together and polished. Comfortable shoes are essential when traipsing through airports and catching public transport with luggage. The toffee flares, cream top, wrap and denim jacket that I wore on both flights did not get worn during my trip, which is why they’ve been excluded from the travel capsule.

You can visit the collection page to see my travel capsule in its entirety. It ticked off all the boxes and worked very well. I posted photos of some of the outfits on our forum along the way:

Travel Capsule

The picture above shows the items just before I started packing. After giving his paw of approval, mini in-house Fashion Stylist Sam was bored and wanted to play.

Sam

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The best travel rewards credit cards of 2019

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Traveling can be pretty expensive, you’ll have to pay for flights, hotels, transport, and food. The costs soon add up, but there are ways that you can save money by spending money. Many financial companies will offer travel rewards credit cards to encourage their customers to spend money while they are on vacation. Here are the best of the bunch that are worth investing in.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

Many travel rewards cards require you to pay an annual renewal fee, but that is not the case with this card from Bank of America. You earn points on everything that you buy with this card, 1.5 points per dollar spent and if you spend $ 1,000 in the first 90 days of signing up, you will get a free bonus of 20,000 points, which adds up to $ 200 worth. It’s a pretty quick return on signing up with the credit card service as you can book your vacation after signing up and pretty much make yourself $ 200 in points just spending money were going to spend anyway. If you are a Bank of America customer, you can earn a bonus ranging from 10% to 75% when you redeem your points, all depending on how much money you have in your bank account.

The Platinum Card, American Express

The Platinum Card doesn’t come cheap, but you get some incredible perks for your money. It’ll cost $ 550 to renew each year, but some will say that is money well spent. Using your card within your first three months can earn you up to 60,000 reward points, allowing you to make $ 5,000 worth of purchases. You’ll get $ 200 worth of Uber credits each year and also $ 200 worth of credit for airline fees. For every dollar you spend using your card you’ll receive five reward points, meaning the rewards will soon add up if you travel a lot. The Platinum Card will gain you access to over 1,000 airport lounges across the world, meaning you’ll be able to grab some food and a drink in peace away from the masses in the main airport lounges of the world.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card

For many people, they don’t really care about how they get to their vacation destination as long as they can enjoy their stay when they are there. For those people, the hotel they stay in is more important than pretty much anything else. For those who spend most of their travel budget on their hotel then the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card is for them. It has a low annual renewal fee of $ 95, and for each year that you remain a customer, Marriott will gift you a free stay in one of their hotels. Each dollar that you spend at a Marriott Rewards participating hotel will earn you 6 reward points, meaning you can rack up the points pretty quickly on vacation. You’ll be upgraded to silver status on renewing your account, giving you exclusive offers, late checkout options and a 20% bonus on rewards points earned.

The cost of travel soon adds up, so it is often worth getting a rewards card if you travel pretty regularly. You’re going to be spending that money anyway so you might as well try and get some rewards for doing so.

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Readers’ best travel discoveries of 2018: your top tips

What an adventurous lot you are! Your 2018 highlights include mountain treks, centuries-old communities and exotic wildlife. Read on for 2019 inspiration …

The highlight of our fabulous week in Mull in June was our accommodation. A mile along a coastal path, Rubha nan Gall lighthouse cottage is off grid, but apart from not being able to use a hair dryer, you wouldn’t know it. The four en suite double bedrooms were furnished to a high standard and the kitchen well-equipped. The views past the lighthouse to the Ardnamurchan peninsula, not to mention the dolphin we saw just offshore, made this one of our favourite places ever.
Sleeps six, £158 a night, airbnb.co.uk
Mary Bythell

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Travel | The Guardian

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Best places to travel for history buffs

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The world is an ancient place, and humans have been around for a fraction of that time. Humans have been around for thousands of years, and during that time there have been great civilizations. Many of those places are still standing for modern history buffs to explore. If you want to get in touch with history check these places out.

Athens, Greece

The city of Athens in Greece is often called the birthplace of civilization, as it was one of the first places where culture truly took shape. The ancient city is thousands of years old and there are still some remnants from those days, including the Acropolis of Athens. Historians estimate the city has been occupied for over 7,000 years and there is plenty of history to be found in every corner.

Beijing, China

This Chinese city is over 3,000 years old and was once the stronghold for a hugely powerful empire. Much of the ancient city is still preserved, places such as the Great Wall of China, the Ming Tombs, and the Forbidden City are all there to explore. Not only was Beijing the center of power for the Qing and Ming Dynasties, but it was also where Chairman Mao ruled during the Chinese Communist Revolution. You can walk the Great Wall, and explore many of the ancient Chinese temples.

Petra, Jordan

Visiting the ancient city of Petra, Jordan, can feel like stepping onto the set of an Indiana Jones movie. The city has been carved into the rocks of a canyon and is described as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Silk and spice routes were established here many years ago, and the UNESCO World Heritage site is perfect for stepping back in time.

Angkor, Cambodia

The temples found at Angkor date back to the 12th century, and you can still explore many of them. There are many temples covered in ancient artwork and sculptures that were once lost to the jungle. The ancient city was rediscovered by explorers in the 1860s, and since then it has become a favorite spot for history buffs. Angkor Wat is the centerpiece as it is an almost perfectly preserved temple with a head carved from stone that stands over 12 feet tall. There is a winding maze to explore, and the fortified city of Angkor Thom is worth strolling through and getting lost in.

Boston, USA

History is everywhere, and to those who say the United States doesn’t have any history of its own, we would point them in the direction of Boston. Boston is one of the United States’ oldest cities, and it is where the country’s first college was established, Harvard University. The city was the backdrop of the American Revolution, and the layout remains largely the same now as it was back then.

If you love your history, you don’t have to get it all from books and the internet. There are plenty of places around the world that can transport you back in time and teach you about our ancient past.

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The best travel trends for the next few years

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From electronics to fashion, trends are constantly changing. It’s hard to keep up sometimes, especially when it seems like they change as soon as you’ve embraced the last one. Traveling is no different. Traveling trends alter year on year, including popular destinations, ways to travel, and our favorite activities. Here are some of the trends which are on the rise in travel at the moment. We’re likely to see these get big over the next couple of years.

The world’s natural beauty

One trend which has been on the rise for a number of years is sustainable traveling. Eco-travel involves staying in environmentally friendly locations and enjoying foods and activities which don’t harm nature or animals. Many of these trips are situated in densely populated areas of greenery and wildlife, like jungles and savannahs. These sorts of vacations are immensely enjoyable for nature lovers, seeing as many of the activities include bird watching, trekking, photography, and kayaking. With eco-traveling, you can enjoy a fun trip, while knowing that you’re not contributing to the damage caused to the environment.

Micro trips

Going away for a weekend rather than a couple of weeks has become incredibly popular recently and shows no signs of slowing down, with 53% of global travelers admitting that they’d like to take more micro trips in the coming years. These are a fun and cheaper way to travel, where you can explore different places and activities without spending too much money or taking weeks off of work.

Love for the cold

Supposedly, an up and coming trend is the winter season. It has been predicted that in years to come, winter will become the peak season over summer, where people will enjoy activities like skiing and arctic tours rather than your typical sunbathing and swimming vacations. Some locations are now hosting winter festivals and even reindeer herding trips, so winter traveling is set to become the new craze.

Keeping fit

Wellness traveling includes a range of attractions, such as mountain hikes, cycling, trekking, and sports, and is likely to become much more popular over the next few years. It might be best for you to get in on this trend now, before it takes over the travel industry. These vacations combine exploring new places with getting active, and it’s the perfect way to boost your happiness and health.

Learning while you travel

Volunteering trips are also set to gain popularity, with more people now wanting to help others, while also having fun. Volunteering includes working at animal sanctuaries and helping underdeveloped countries. If you love helping other people and the environment, then a volunteering vacation can be the perfect way to get involved and make a difference to something you’re passionate about.

These travel trends will no doubt become game-changers in the travel industry in the next two or three years, with people becoming more concerned about their health and the environment, as well as wanting to explore something different. They’re fun and innovative ways to travel and could make your next trip the best one yet.

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Readers’ travel photography competition: December winners

Our final selection of the year ranges from New York cops to Venice shops, camel fairs to penguins. Scroll to see the winner – chosen by Mick Ryan of fotoVUE – who receives a £200 voucher for an i-escape holiday property. The overall 2018 prize is a trip to Greenland with Wild Photography Holidays

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The best travel hacks you never thought of

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From checking you’ve got your tickets every ten minutes, to worrying whether or not you locked the front door when you left, there’s a whole load of things we have to think about when we travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s across the state or to the other side of the world, some unusual travel hacks can save you from the stress. Here are just a few of those all-important hacks.

Roll, don’t fold

One of the easiest ways to save loads of space in your suitcase is to roll your clothes. Instead of folding them and piling them in your bag, fold everything in half then roll them into tight sausages. You’ll save a ton of space, and they end up with less visible fold creases. Take it one step further and roll outfits together. Pick what top, pants, and undergarments will go together in an outfit, then pile them. Place each sock hanging out the sides so that when you roll the clothes up, they’ll all be intertwined with the openings of the socks hanging out each side of the roll. You can then fold the socks over to close the roll and keep it together. Genius!

Charge on the go

Maybe the simplest travel hack ever – but often overlooked – is the usefulness of a portable charger. Take a charger and lead with you everywhere you go and you never have to run out of cell phone battery. Charge the pack overnight in your hotel, and every day you’re free to take all the scenery pictures you could ever want.

Prove it’s yours

If you have no photos saved on your phone before your trip – to make room for hundreds of pictures of your destination, of course – or you’ve got an empty SD card in your camera, you’ve got no proof that it’s yours if it gets lost or stolen. Before you embark on your travels, therefore, take a selfie! If the first photo on the camera roll is of you, it’s undeniably easy to prove it belongs to you, and get it returned.

Space saving

In your bag, don’t waste valuable space. Stuff socks and underwear in your shoes, so that you don’t have any empty space taking up that precious room in your case. You could even fit a pair of socks in your glasses case or a t-shirt in an empty water bottle.

Waterproof your bag

This one is especially handy if you’re heading out on a trek or backpacking across several countries or cities. Place a bin bag inside your backpack while you’re out on excursions. Put all of your stuff inside the plastic bag, inside your main bag, and fold the top over. This will stop all of your belongings getting wet if rain was to seep through your backpack.

Use these unusual travel hacks so that you never have to stress about your luggage or belongings ever again! There are tons of hacks out there so that you can make the most out of your travels, but these are some of the most helpful and simple, to get you through your journeys.

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How a Staycation Cut our Travel Spending by $1,500

My partner Nick and I love to travel, so we prioritize vacations in our budget. But when we felt like we needed an unplanned vacation earlier this year and saw that we were just on track to hit our vacation-saving goals — a trip out West in 2019 and a European adventure in 2020 — we had to improvise.

For months, Nick had been renovating the house we bought earlier this year and managing his own small business. I’d been juggling a full-time job and my own freelance writing gig.

It was so tempting to book a $ 2,000 trip to Myrtle Beach.

We both needed a break. And we had the money elsewhere in savings, just not earmarked for a trip.

But instead, we agreed to save the $ 2,000 and allow ourselves $ 500 for five days at home — a staycation to explore our hometown (Dayton, Ohio), ease our stress and just enjoy one another.

Sure, a few days at the beach would have recharged us brilliantly. But when you have other savings goals — be they paying off student loan debt, putting a down payment on a house or even just funding a more extravagant vacation down the road — a staycation can work miracles.

Even experts agree. Nick Hatter, an accredited life coach in the U.K., told me about what happens in our brains when we create positive staycation memories.

“A staycation enables you to create positive neuro-associations between your home and fun, relaxation and unwinding,” Hatter says. “Often, we are so busy with other things that we don’t take time to enjoy ourselves in our homes. By taking a staycation, we can begin to change what feelings and interpretations we associate with our home.”

Not only do staycations allow us to create these positive neuro-associations with our homes and communities, but they also eliminate much of the stress associated with regular vacations. There is no need to book flights (and deal with airports), pack your bags or find a dog sitter. You’ll also eliminate many of the financial stresses of a vacation by sleeping in your own bed and skipping the flights and rental cars.

Are you working with a limited vacation budget? Plan a staycation instead. Here’s what we did with our $ 500 staycation budget.

Day 1: First Dates

A big dish of ice cream.

On the first day of our staycation, Nick and I re-entered the honeymoon phase of dating and combined a few first-date activities into one fun day. Together, we saw a movie at the theater (we went early enough so that I wouldn’t fall asleep), played a couple rounds of mini golf, went bowling and enjoyed several scoops of ice cream.

Nick has celiac disease, so it is challenging for him to dine out without getting sick from gluten cross-contamination. We know of a few gluten-free restaurants in the area, but they are somewhat pricy, which added to our expenses.

Total cost for the day: $ 115

Day 2: Kayaking and Hiking

two men sit in their kayaks on a lake.

Nick and I like to enjoy the outdoors together, so we woke up early for day two of our staycation to kayak down a nearby river that we hadn’t yet explored. Because we had bought our own kayaks when we lived by a large lake in Tennessee, there was no cost other than a bottle of sunscreen. Even if you don’t own equipment, you can typically rent kayaks, canoes or rafts at low rates along any sizable river.

After a quick lunch at home, we grabbed our dogs (a greyhound-Weimaraner mix and a Great Dane) and headed out for an eight-mile hike. Again, no cost.

Though we were exhausted by the time we got home, we spent $ 20 on groceries and baked a delicious (and gluten-free) meal of salmon, rice and veggies in our own kitchen.

Total cost for the day: $ 20

Day 3: Day in Bed

After kayaking and hiking for an entire day, Nick and I were exhausted. We spent the third day of our staycation really emphasizing the staying part. Other than trips to the bathroom (or to let the dogs out to do the same) and the kitchen to grab food, we spent most of the day in bed watching movies, playing video games and reconnecting. If you are feeling drained from your daily life, this is the task I most recommend for your staycation.

Nick and I are antsy by nature, so in the late afternoon, we left our bed to go antiquing, but we returned quickly, made another $ 20 dinner and got back in bed.

Total cost for the day: $ 20

Day 4: Art Museum and Cooking Class

For our fourth day vacationing at home, Nick and I went out in search of culture in our hometown. We grabbed lunch at a cafe, toured a local art museum and finished things off with a special gluten-free cooking class, which was admittedly pricey — but hey, at least it included dinner.

Total cost for the day: $ 140

Day 5: Water Park and Laser Tag

Though we had greatly enjoyed our staycation, we still wanted a taste of the beach. So we left our city and drove half an hour to a water park with towering slides, a lazy river and, my favorite: beers on a makeshift beach, complete with reggae music. On the way home, we even squeezed in another extreme activity: laser tag. (For the record: I won.)

We dined out one last time and reminisced about how we’d spent the last five days.

Total cost for the day: $ 170

A man and two dogs stand on the shore of a lake.

Our total cost for the whole five-day staycation came in under our budget: $ 465. That meant we were even less off track for our big upcoming vacations than we’d planned, and we returned to chaotic life feeling relaxed and refreshed… albeit a little sunburnt.

Timothy Moore is an editor, freelance writer and part-time adventurer. His favorite trips have included the Scottish Highlands, the beaches of Mexico, the roller coaster capital of the world, the California coast and, now, his own backyard.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Scouted: Stash Your Travel Tech in One of These Gadget-Friendly Bags

There’s no shortage of laptop bags out there: some are stylish, some have soft pockets for your phone, while others are camera-friendly or full of internal organizers for your stuff. But if you’re a serious gadget hound, you might be interested in a bag that takes tech-focused features to the next level.

Breeze Through TSA with a Butterfly-Style Bag

If you travel a lot, you know how much of a hassle it is to take out your laptop at every security checkpoint. Some bags get around this by allowing the laptop compartment to open butterfly-style, so you can lay it flat on the conveyor belt and zip it back up when you’re done. The $ 180 Incase EO is one of the most well-reviewed bags in this style, though the Timbuk2 Uptown backpack is a solid budget option for $ 75. If neither of those are quite your style, there are a ton of options on Amazon if you look at their Checkpoint-Friendly section. (And if you don’t use a laptop, you don’t need to worry about TSA, so check out the Osprey Pixel Port Daypack—it puts your tablet in a clear pocket under the flap so you can use it without taking it out of the bag.)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Travel With One of the Greatest 19th Century Explorers

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

There were few human beings in the 19th century more interesting and transformative than the German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. And yet his name and his story, at least in the U.S., is far from common knowledge. His adventures in Latin America and Siberia not only opened Europe’s eyes to the richness and wonder of those regions, but he also changed the future of science. His meticulous documentation of plants, geology, and climate still has effects in the worlds of ecology and science today.

That’s why this week’s selection for Just Booked, our twice-a-month series highlighting gorgeous new coffee table books related to travel, is H. Walter Lack’s Alexander von Humboldt and the Botanical Exploration of the Americas. Lack, a renowned German botanist, fills the pages with a serious (and not always flattering) look at Humboldt’s legacy in science. The book has beautiful illustrations of his journeys, including when he climbed what was then believed to be the world’s tallest peak, Chimborazo in Ecuador. The real gems in the book, however, are the richly colored prints of artistic renderings of the plants he documented along the way, as well as photographs of the specimens he retained for study in Europe.

Humboldt was incredibly courageous; he was challenged by a hostile power (Spain), the extremes going from some of the most deadly jungles in the world to its highest peaks, and the general perils of living in an era without modern medicine or communication. He remains, quite simply, an inspiration, and this book hopefully will continue the recent trend of a return to his notoriety.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Places to travel that are inspired by famous books

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We’re going to be honest; we’re complete bookworms! Because of, this, many of the books often inspire us to travel far and wide in search of these magical fictional places – and there are so many places we’d go. We’d start off at Hogwarts to hang out with Dumbledore in the castle; we’d then take a trip to the Shire to have a second breakfast with Pippin and Merry, and then pop on through the wardrobe to don our fur coats and explore Narnia. Of course, these places aren’t real (sob), but some are! Here are five places you can actually travel to that are inspired by famous books.

Snæfellsjökull Volcano, Iceland – Journey to the Center of the Earth

Okay, so visiting a volcano isn’t exactly the most common travel destination in the world – but it is so worth it. This volcano is Iceland was the inspiration for Jules Verne’s famous Journey to the Center of the Earth, which was published in 1864. The Snæfellsjökull Volcano is a whopping 700,000 years old – and even has a glacier on the top of it! According to Verne and his awesome novel, the entrance to the center of the Earth is through the volcano. Although, we don’t suggest you try this out for yourself. An average tourist isn’t allowed to climb to the top of the volcano, but you can take a tour around the Snæfellsjökull National Park which will give you amazing views of this novel inspiration.

Whitby, United Kingdom – Dracula

Even if you haven’t read the incredible book that is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, you’ll probably still know the story of the evil vampire, Count Dracula, who moves from Transylvania to England and resides in his castle. Well, that castle still exists today. In the book, Count Dracula moves to Whitby, in the UK, and the castle was based on Whitby Abbey – a 16th-century monastery which is still standing (although it is missing a roof). In fact, Bram Stoker first got the idea for Dracula while he was walking around the Abbey, and he first read about his muse, Vlad Dracul, in the local library in Whitby. So why not take a trip to Whitby, walk in Bram Stoker’s shoes and try to write your own vampire story?

Big Sur, United States of America – Big Sur

We don’t need to give you two guesses on which book was based on Big Sur. Of course, it’s Jack Kerouac’s 1962 masterpiece, Big Sur! This novel follows the life of Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti as they settle down for three months in a cabin, located in the Bixby Canyon in Big Sur, California. Although the novel isn’t exactly happy-go-lucky with flowers and marshmallows, the description of the location is beyond belief, and you just have to see it for yourself! You could even stay in a cabin, just like Kerouac.

Hathersage, United Kingdom – Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is one of the most iconic books of all time – and it’s believed that Bronte got most of her inspiration from the village of Hathersage, in Derbyshire, UK. This little village is steeped in rolling hills and green forests, with tiny little cottages and manor houses. Bronte visited Hathersage in 1985, drawing on the location and North Lees Hall to create her own story and Thornfield Hall. So grab your copy of Jane Eyre, take a stroll through the grounds of North Lees Hall and the Peak District National Park and have a read within the midst of the inspiration.

Prince Edward Island, Canada – Anne of the Green Gables

Hopefully, you’ve all read Anne of the Green Gables – if not, you need to get on that ASAP! Lucy Maud Montgomery published her first book in 1908 which was based on the Green Gables Farm she often visited as a child. Nowadays, the area is called the Green Gables National Park and is located on Prince Edward Island in Canada. If you visit, you can check out the surrounding woods and buildings that inspired her ‘Lover’s Lane,’ ‘Haunted Woods’ and ‘Balsam Hollow.’ What could be better?

Are you looking for your next travel destination? Are you a book lover? We think you’ve found your answer. Books are great at conjuring up beautiful scenes, epic castles and intricate village life in our heads, but how great would it be to go see your favorite locations in real life?

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The Black Travel Box Provides Travel Size Hair and Skin Products for People of Color

While away on a vacation, one of the last things you want to deal with is an exhaustive search for products to fix a bad hair day. So when Orion Brown found herself in Japan “dealing with a major miscalculation of weather and a head full of hair with no hope,” she turned her annoyance into opportunity.

“I didn’t have enough product to get me through the trip and there was nowhere locally I could find the products I needed,” said Brown. “Dejected, I avoided the selfies and made the best of it. But upon reflection, I could only hope that someone would make (or would have made) a product company for travelers like me. There weren’t. So I created The Black Travel Box.”

The Black Travel Box provides travel size hair and skin products for people of color delivered to your door when you want. The product line includes a conditioner bar, hair balm, body balm, and lip balm.

“They say that necessity is the mother of invention,” said Brown. “Well, there’s no greater necessity for me than the “necessities” of travel when on vacation. We’re not a typical subscription box company. Our ‘subscribe and save’ model is similar to Amazon’s, where customers can choose products they know and trust, and then select a personalized schedule for receiving them right to their door. Subscribing is optional, but offers savings over one-time purchases, its flexible, and it can be canceled anytime.”

Travel size hair and skin products for people of color

Black Travel Box.com

 

With a background in consumer goods marketing and brand management, Brown leveraged her lessons learned, while working in corporate to build her business model and test the market for the products and service before launching it.

The Black Travel Box could not be where it is today without that working experience,” said Brown. “While I’m still learning the ropes of entrepreneurship, the corporate experience of building and maintaining brands is exceptionally relevant here, particularly as we come into a personal care space that is both vast and nonexistent.”

For instance, according to a Nielsen study, “African Americans have cornered the ethnic hair and beauty market, ringing up $ 54 million of the $ 63 million total industry spent in 2017. Black shoppers spent $ 473 million in total hair care (a $ 4.2 billion industry) and made other significant investments in personal appearance products, such as grooming aids ($ 127 million out of $ 889 million) and skin care preparations ($ 465 million out of $ 3 billion).”  Plus, according to data from Mandala Research, black Americans spend $ 48 billion each year traveling and are among the fastest growing segments in the U.S., with 68% surveyed wanting to learn more about their history and culture through travel.

Travelers of color who want to look and feel their best when traveling abroad are the primary consumers of the Black Travel Box.

“They take photos, selfies, and love to share their experiences,” said Brown. “They are avid social media consumers and content makers. While they travel far and fairly often, the challenge of easily getting their look “just right” hasn’t yet been met. They compromise on the products that they bring along, spending time filling travel sized bottles with their favorite products, purchasing “basic” skin and hair care ingredients abroad, or struggling to make what’s available to them work for their unique needs.”

Perhaps the biggest appeal of the Black Travel Box is the sense of community it provides for black travelers.

“I started The Black Travel Box to give women of color a brand they could trust for all their travel personal care needs,” said Brown. “Globally, Black travelers have few if any places they can go to find personal care products that work for their hair and skincare needs. As the culture of international travel continues to grow in our community – more and more of us are exploring the world with a level of freedom and wanderlust that our parents and grandparents could never dream of. Our brand is here to help these millennial explorers travel in confidence (we call it #TravelInColor) knowing they have the products to put their best foot forward and rock those selfies in Croatia, London, China… or where ever their travels may take them.”

The post The Black Travel Box Provides Travel Size Hair and Skin Products for People of Color appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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The Movie Green Book Is Named for a Real Guide to Travel in a Segregated World. Its Real History Offers a Key Lesson for Today

The object that provides the title for the new movie Green Book is a Jim Crow-era travel guide with extensive listings of hotels, restaurants, gas stations, shops and tourist facilities that welcomed black patronage. The book doesn’t actually get much screen time, but one small moment in the film shines a light on an oft-forgotten truth about the history of segregation in the United States: this was not just a Southern problem.

The film tells a loose version of the true story of an unlikely friendship between Dr. Don Walbridge Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali) — an African-American polyglot, pianist and PhD — and Frank Anthony Vallelonga, known as Tony Lip (played by Viggo Mortensen), a nightclub bouncer. In 1962, Vallelonga was hired by Shirley’s record label, Cadence Records, to serve as the musician’s chauffeur and bodyguard during a tour, which included gigs in the Deep South. Despite the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which dismantled de jure segregation in public education, de jure and de facto segregation remained the order of the day in public accommodations throughout the nation. Consequently, while Vallelonga and the white members of the Don Shirley Trio, bassist Ken Fricker and cellist Juri Taht, had access to white mainstream public accommodations, Shirley remained confined by the limits of Jim Crow.

To assist him in navigating this racial landmine, Vallelonga was provided a copy of what was informally known as the Green Book. Vallelonga is primarily concerned with the logistics of travel in the segregated South, and that’s where the movie spends most of its time, but the Green Book was a valuable safety resource for black travelers in every region of the country. In fact, its initial focus was New York City, where Shirley and Vallelonga both resided. As Shirley’s tells his chauffeur, he doesn’t have to leave home in order to experience discrimination.

In 1930, New Yorker and social critic George Schuyler admonished those blacks “who could afford to do so” to “purchase an automobile as soon as possible in order to be free of discomfort, discrimination, segregation and insult,” which was part and parcel of public transportation. For certain, private motorists were shielded from public assault, police encounters notwithstanding — but blacks in cars still had to navigate the public landmines of restrooms, lodgings and eateries.

Hence, Victor H. Green, an African American New York City mail carrier, first published The Negro Motorist Green-Book in 1936 to assist black motorists in finding safe public accommodations during their travels. Green’s publication became the Bible of black travel guides and was published annually until 1966.

In the introduction to the 1949 edition, Green provided a historical overview of the first decade of the publication, noting that his ideas for his own publication had come from researching earlier African America travel guides that were out-of-print, as well as from the Jewish press, which “provided information about places that are restricted,” and from “numerous publications that give the genteel whites all kinds of information.” Green’s intended purpose for his guide was “to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties [and] embarrassments.” Green admonished the black motorist to “Keep this guide in your car for ready reference.”

In a 2010 NPR interview, civil rights icon Julian Bond recalled the importance of the Green Book during trips with his family while growing up. “It didn’t matter where you went — Jim Crow was everywhere then,” he stated, “and black travelers needed this badly. My family had a ‘Green Book’ when I was young, and used it to travel in the South to find out where we could stop to eat, where we could spend the night in a hotel or somebody’s home.”

It would be easy to assume that the Green Book was just a Southern travel guide. But Green made no assumption that black people would only need his help while traveling in the South. Not only did the book include information about international travel, it also contained listings about areas in the country where segregation was less visible but no less felt. Indeed, the 1936 edition of the book was a 15-page pamphlet that focused on locales in the New York metropolitan area — where a substantial part of the book’s audience would have lived.

Despite its multicultural and liberal reputation, New York City has a sordid racial history, which dates back to the colonial era.

As Brian Purnell and Jeanne Theoharis have described for the Washington Post, racial animus in the Big Apple began with the colonization of Native Americans and importing of enslaved Africans in the 17th century. Despite gradual emancipation, which ended slavery in the state by the 1830s, and a strong abolitionist movement to eradicate slavery in the South, racial equality continued to be withheld from blacks New Yorkers. With the New York economy “wedded to slavery,” the years leading up to the Civil War were dominated by pro-slavery sentiment that lead to racial violence in the city in 1863 when Lincoln called for a mandatory draft.

After the Civil War, New York mirrored the South as “black people . . . suffered from written and unwritten rules against racial mixing in marriage, public accommodations and housing.” New York maintained its policy of segregation during the decades following WWII by constructing “housing, parks, playgrounds, highways and bridges,” Purnell and Theoharis write, which “adhered to ethnic composition rules for urban planning,” leaving segregated neighborhoods and subsequently schools intact. In 1964, the year President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which ended segregation in public accommodations and banned employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin, a New York Times poll showed that most white people in New York City believed that “the Civil Rights Movement had gone too far” in granting black demands for racial equality.

Green made clear in the 1949 edition that he was optimistic about the future of the United States, if not the future of his book. “There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published,” he wrote. “That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please.”

The Green Book was discontinued shortly after its founder’s 1960 death, following a 1966-1967 Vacation Guide edition. That issue featured a statement assuring its patrons that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was fact and not fiction. The struggle was finally over.

But race still matters in the United States. As the incident at a Starbucks in Philadelphia — not in the South — demonstrated this year, the nation is still full of spaces like parks, swimming pools , golf courses, sidewalks, and parking lots that are not welcoming to black Americans. During that 2010 Julian Bond interview with NPR, a caller stated, “Well, I was thinking that this [The Green Book] might be a useful tool still today . . . because in some parts of the country, there are places where black people … dare not go.”

Indeed, sixty years after The Green Book was discontinued, the search for black safety continues.

Historians explain how the past informs the present

Arica L. Coleman is a scholar of U.S. history and the author of That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia and a former chair of the Committee on the Status of African American, Latino/a, Asian American, and Native American (ALANA) Historians and ALANA Histories at the Organization of American Historians.


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Packing for the Weather: Travel Fun

When traveling, what are your rules for clothing based on weather?

So here’s a fun question for today: When traveling, what are your rules for clothing based on weather? If you’re packing for a trip and hear that temperatures are expected to be in the low 70s, what does that mean for you? Do you have hard cutoff temperatures for things like sandals, tights, hats and gloves, and more? If you’re traveling for business, where is the pantyhose/tights/bare-leg temperature cut off, or open-toe versus closed-toe rule? Have you found any amazing pieces (scarves or cardigans, for example) that are so lightweight and effective across a wide spectrum that you ALWAYS pack them?

To back up a bit: Earlier this week, my husband and I took a “long date”/mini-vacation to New Orleans*. Before we went, I was totally flummoxed looking at the weather. 60s during Sunday evening. Raining but in the high 70s on Monday. Then in the 40s or 50s on Tuesday when we left. Soooooo… what does one pack for weather like that? I kept remembering a trip I took to Germany years ago, where the forecast had said 70s, so I happily packed dresses and sandals and was FREEZING the entire time. I wound up buying some great jackets on that trip! (I also bought sneakers because my feet were cold!) For NOLA, my guesses were mostly correct (lots of layers!) with the exception of Monday morning before the rain started, when it was high 70s and super humid. We were walking around Tulane’s campus, where my husband went for undergrad, and I kept passing girls wearing dresses with sandals and feeling Super Frump Tourist with my tall rainboots and hooded rain jacket, and sweltering in my ripped skinny jeans and t-shirt. Once it started to rain and the humidity broke, I was much more comfortable! 

So let’s hear from you, ladies: When traveling, what are your rules for clothing based on weather? What do you always pack when there will be a wide range of weather fluctuations? 

* Before anyone asks: yes, NOLA was amazing! I combed through reader comments before I went, and based on a lot of those we stayed at the Hotel Mazarin (lovely!), ate at Commander’s Palace (OMG — I expected it to be romantic and fancy but not necessarily great food, but it was probably one of the best meals I’ve had in my life!), and wandered the French Quarter and Tulane’s campus, and also made stops to Domilise’s for po’ boys and Tipitinas (which is a music venue, but we went midday because my husband needed a new hat to replace his decrepit one from his college years). We also tried to make reservations at Galatois (fail) and Meril (which closed at the last minute due to some technical problem, but was just as well because we totally ate and drank too much just wandering around the French Quarter). Great visit in the limited time we had.

The post Packing for the Weather: Travel Fun appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Black Girl Travel Movement Takes Black Women Abroad to Heal

Black Girl Travel Movement was created as a Facebook group to serve black women looking to go aboard, and quickly turned into a full-fledged business. The group was started in 2014, and has amassed a total of 22,476 members.

“I wanted to empower women to connect and explore the healing power of travel,” said founder Shay Sane. It did more than that. Not only did women feel the satisfaction of traveling, they received information, tips, and tools to engage in safe traveling, and deal with any traumas they’ve experienced.

[RELATED: AMERICAN BLACK WOMEN ARE MOVING IN DROVES TO THIS ONE COUNTRY]

Sane was dealing with deep depression herself when she decided to create the community. “Sharing my story of dealing with grief, depression, and how travel is helping me to heal,” Sane told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “I used the Facebook group to share my travel experiences, and eventually started using Facebook ads to promote TTraVsperience,” and that’s how she built the company.

She then added the second layer of building relationships with mental health professionals to combat the issues she had originally been dealing with. This proved to be extremely helpful to the ladies, allowing them to have very transparent conversations within the community that they have grown to know and trust.

So how do they make sure a person is in the right frame of mind before joining? “We have always done a screening process to ensure that prospective members fully understood that BGTM was not just another travel group that hosts group trips,” said Sane. “Our TTraVsperience is focused on travel with the intention to heal from past trauma and pain.”

black women abroad

Founder, Shay Sane (Image: Black Girl Travel Movement)

Sane describes TTraVsperience as a unique one of a kind transformational travel experience curated to allow its members to experience the healing power of travel. They select the most sought-after destinations to serve as the backdrop for a once in a lifetime opportunity to reconnect with the most important person in your life — you.

The post Black Girl Travel Movement Takes Black Women Abroad to Heal appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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How realistic is it to travel to Antarctica?

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Are you bored of going to the same ol’ travel destinations? We don’t blame you. Don’t get us wrong, we love lazing on a beach and soaking up the sun as much as the next person, but there are some instances where you just want more. You want to find a hidden destination that nobody has visited before, you want to explore all four corners of the earth, and you want to go somewhere that you never dreamed you’d get to visit. Because of this, there’s a high chance that you’ve had your eye on Antarctica. From the snow-capped mountains to the glaciers, to the penguins, Antarctica is the ultimate bucket list destination. But how realistic is it to travel to Antarctica?

It’s not a real country

So, Antarctica is just like any other country in the world, right? Not quite! Unlike every other country in the world, Antarctica is not a REAL country. This is because Antarctica has no permanent populations (you know, apart from the penguins and the polar bears), and no government. Because of this, there is no real economy or ethos to this landscape. Instead, it is preserved by some of the top companies and scientists so that they can understand the ecosystem and keep themselves up to date with the ever-changing and unique weather systems. This poses a problem for tourists, as there are very few hotels, there is no public transport system, and there are very few people out there who are willing to make you breakfast in bed…

It’s all about the expedition

If you really want to see what Antarctica has to offer, you won’t be able to do it alone. If you wanted to explore the frozen tundras by yourself, you will need explicit permission and a good reason for doing so. So, you can’t just rock up and frolic with the penguins! One of the best ways to see this area in all of its glory is to join an expedition or find one of the few companies out there who have licences to take tourists across these icy plains. If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to find a luxury cruise that stops off in this incredible non-country.

The environment is harsh

One of the biggest downfalls with a trip to Antarctica is the fact that the environment is incredibly harsh. This place doesn’t just harbor a brisk wind on a cold winter’s day. Instead, this is the kind of cold that will make it almost impossible to stay warm. You will need to shell out thousands of dollars on specialist equipment, you’ll need to know all of the tricks of the trade, and you’ll need to know how to survive in such an environment. Because of this, it’s not the kind of vacation that you would book for the sake of it. This one requires planning.

It’s ridiculously expensive

Because tourism in Antarctica is not as easily accessible as other countries on earth, a trip to Antarctica is ridiculously expensive. You will need to save up a huge portion of money to even think about grabbing your coat and checking out the glaciers. If you’re going on an Antarctic cruise expedition that takes you on a tour around this incredible landscape for 10-14 days, you can expect to pay around $ 10,000 to $ 12,000 per person. This huge chunk of money is not readily available for most people, which means it’s much less realistic to travel to Antarctica than you would think.

If Antarctica is on your travel bucket list, you might have already looked into the possibility of flying to this harsh landscape. However, it seems as though a trip to Antarctica may not be as simple as it seems.

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The post How realistic is it to travel to Antarctica? appeared first on Worldation.

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Best vegan restaurants in the UK: readers’ travel tips

With influences ranging from Van Gogh to Asia, these vegan venues serve up arty as well as delicious food – on beaches, buses … and in an underpass

Bundobust is fast becoming a Leeds institution for food lovers of all persuasions. Everything is veggie, and a large proportion of the menu is vegan, with an easy vegan sharing menu for two a great way in. From the okra fries dusted in black salt and mango powder (genius) to the chole dal and masala dosa, its south Indian street food, craft beer and Asian-inspired cocktails are a winning combo. With dishes from £4-6.50 it’s also easy on the wallet, so you can try a bit of everything.
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Laura King

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