Four Reasons Traveling in October Can Save You Money and Enhance Your Trip


October is the quintessential month of autumn.

The seasons start to turn, and the scents of fall, from cinnamon brooms to pumpkin spice, welcome you.

Winter isn’t far off — nor are the dark and freezing mornings to come.

It’s the perfect in-between month, not only for weather, but for travel.

While everyone is preparing for the holidays, you could be having the time of your life for a fraction of the cost.

Why Travel in October

It seems like a strange month to travel with the kids back in school and the holidays just around the corner. Yet those are the exact reasons it’s one of the best months to travel.  

Shoulder Season

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Most people know that off-season travel has the best deals, but many don’t consider the perks of traveling during shoulder seasons.

Shoulder season is the period between the peak season and the off-season.

It generally means lower prices and fewer crowds.

October comes after the peak summer season, on the heels of Labor Day and ahead of the holiday season, making it ripe for travel.  

Zag when everybody zigs,” said Mark Murphy, travelpulse.com founder.

“Go to places that are just out of their main season, when the crowds are gone, and you’ll have a better experience at a hard-to-beat price.

Deals, Deals, Deals

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Prices turn in the traveler’s favor in October, just like the color of leaves.

Skyscanner determined that September and October will be the cheapest time to fly in 2018.

Which totally makes sense because October follows the post-summer slump for airlines and cruises. Less demand for tickets and tours means cheaper offers to drum up business.

Iceland’s low-cost airline, WOW Airlines, offers $ 160 or less round-trip flights to select cities in Europe during October.

The same goes for gas prices, too.

Since 1993, gas prices for all petroleum types have averaged about $ 2.16 a gallon in October, making it the fifth cheapest month in which to travel by car, according to a Penny Hoarder analysis of U.S. Department of Energy data.

Murphy says the end of summer marks the end of peak demand for travel.

“This leads to aggressive pricing, value-added offers and even two-for-one deals the world over,” he said.

Weather

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There’s hardly a place on Earth where the weather is bad in October.

It’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere and autumn in the Northern. There’s no drastic temperature extreme, making it the perfect Goldilocks in-between.

Autumn brings a wave of colorful foliage down the East Coast along with cooler mornings and nights.

It’s too early to ski, but the first snowfall of the season could come early and bring fresh powder from Killington Peak, Vermont, to the Arapahoe Basin, Colorado.

Wanna watch the northern lights dance across the sky? October is one of the best months to witness them from any arctic viewing point including Norway, Iceland and Alaska.

Just don’t expect to see them on an Alaskan cruise — most of those close up shop come October.

Meanwhile, Caribbean cruises and resorts entice brave travelers with discounted rates since it’s the tail end of hurricane season.

Murphy said the threat of bad weather means better deals for you, like the recent volcano eruptions in Hawaii.

Bad news means a great deal… Usually nothing close to how they are actually portraying it, leading to a great deal for you,” he said.

School Is in Session

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Since October is sandwiched between Labor Day and the holidays, most families stay grounded during the month.

More kids in school means smaller crowds at main attractions.

For folks without kids, October is a prime month to travel if you’re looking for quieter experiences or you just want to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter without thousands of middle schoolers around.

It’s also prime time for couples and solo travelers to explore the world without sharing a romantic or individual experience with herds of families on spring and summer vacation.

It’s much harder to travel in October if you have children, but if you do, lines at Disney are shorter and you might be the only family on the shoreline for miles.

Murphy suggests Iceland, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico.

If you’re looking to stay stateside, big cities like New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas offer stellar deals, while national parks like the Grand Canyon and Shenandoah see fewer crowds but have the same great views.

The 10th month also is home to pumpkins galore, apple pickin’, wine tastin’, Halloween Horror Nights, the return of the monarch butterflies in Big Sur and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Seriously, why are you staying in again??

The Penny Hoarder data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this post.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. October is her favorite month.

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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Fan Catches Possum on a Power Trip at the Big Football Game and It Was Clearly a Good Luck Charm

As the Cleveland Browns stormed to their first win since 2016, one fan’s act of courage seemed to usher in a new era for the city’s long-suffering football team.

In the midst of the Browns’ 21–17 victory over the New York Jets on Thursday night, a possum was spotted wandering the stands at FirstEnergy Stadium. Security was quickly alerted to the situation and attempted to coral the wild marsupial. But it wasn’t until one daring Cleveland fan grabbed the animal by its tail and gently placed it in a box that the incident was resolved.

The Browns went on to snap their 635-day losing streak just a few hours later, a turn of events that instantly elevated the possum to good luck charm status. By Friday morning, the newly-nicknamed “Rally Possum” already had its own t-shirt.

And of course, Twitter was rife with on-point possum jokes, including some from an account posing as the possum itself.

Sports – TIME

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How to plan a trip in the last moment

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Sometimes, you catch the traveling bug off guard, and you just have to take yourself away for a couple of days to explore a new place, travel to exotic lands, or spend some quality time with people you love. However, planning a last minute trip can be super stressful. The prices go up, the time limit goes down, and there’s so much to do when you are up against the clock. When the world is your oyster, but you have no time do plan it, how do you sort out a last minute trip without pulling your hair out?

Work out your budget

The first step in planning a last-minute trip is working out your budget. Naturally, every single country in the world varies in price, so working out how much you can afford to spend is the most important aspect of planning your trip. Look at your savings, at how much you could potentially use, and the maximum budget for your trip. This way, you can cross off the destinations which don’t fit your budget and circle the places that do. If you haven’t got a huge amount to work with, all-inclusive holidays are always a great option – pay one upfront fee, and you won’t need any spending money, so you’ll never go over your budget.

Keep an eye out for any last-minute deals

Although it is true that the later you book, the more the prices rise – it’s not necessarily true for all vacations. Many travel booking sites offer ‘last-minute deals’ where the airlines and the hotels offer reduced prices to fill up their flights and hotel rooms. Sign up to get travel alerts from these sites, so you can always get the best deals as soon as they come out.

Be flexible about where you want to go

At the end of the day, the world is a pretty massive place. Unless you travel to a new destination every month, there are bound to be hundreds of places you still haven’t visited – so be flexible when deciding where you want to go. Because you are booking last minute, you may find that you can’t travel to the exact place you want to go. If this is the case, look up places that are similar to your desired destination and see if you can go there instead. Or pick somewhere completely random – just because you can! Grab a pin, open up a map, close your eyes, and stick it in. Go there!

Keep it simple

If you book a vacation months in advance, you have months to sort out the right flights for you, the perfect hotel, trips or excursions, and what you want to see while you’re there. But if you’re booking a spur of the moment trip, you don’t have time to do that – nor do you need to. Keep your trip simple and let the spontaneity in you decide where you’re going next. This will make the whole trip run smoothly.

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Bilbao baggings: the ultimate picnic road trip

It’s no surprise that a region with so many Michelin-starred restaurants is also home to world-class food producers. Time to fill up the picnic basket for a Basque country food odyssey

Price aside, eating at a one of the Basque country’s many Michelin-starred restaurants and sitting on a sea wall with a picnic have more in common than you’d imagine. The region’s greatest chefs – including Eneko Atxa, Elena Arzak, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, and Victor Arguinzoniz of Asador Etxebarri – all say the fertile land and seas, fresh produce, independent artisans (cheesemakers, winemakers, bakers), plus a culture with food at its heart, make for a transcendent gastronomic experience. It’s this holistic convergence that made Bilbao the destination of choice for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants event this summer.

You’ll remember a meal in one of the Basque country’s restaurants for a lifetime. But visit the region’s artisan producers yourself and you’ll get the ultimate picnic – and a lot more euros left in your pocket. I set off on my epicurean treasure hunt from Bilbao, visiting shops, food producers, and wine and beer makers, to enjoy the tastiest treats and finest drink in the most scenic picnic locations.

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Travel | The Guardian

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6 trendy pieces of luggage for your next trip

Before you take off on your next trip, make sure to have the best luggage in tow. No trips planned? From affordable staples to statement pieces, this gear will inspire you to get moving. Duffel shuffle Leave it to chic clothing e-tailer Everlane to reinvent the classic duffel. Its Mover Pack ($ 78) is a hybrid…
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Take a national parks road trip this summer

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The United States is home to so many amazing national parks. The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite – they’re all filled with natural wonders that are worth checking out. Getting around to seeing all of these can be difficult though. When you can only take a week or two off at a time, you want to make the most of every opportunity. Fortunately, by going on a national parks road trip, you can explore more than a few of America’s best sights without having to miss out.

Why a road trip?

There’s so much to see in the United States, a lot of which we’ll never have time for in our lives. If we could spend our free time traveling instead of working or studying, then we gladly would. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t get very far on vacation without money to fund everything.

By going on a road trip, you’re allowing yourself a chance to see more of the world without taking too much time away from your life at home. While you don’t always get to spend as long as you’d probably like to at each location, it’s still enough to see the wonders that each place has to offer. Plus, exploring America’s national parks on a road trip is much more exciting than simply flying out to visit somewhere. You’re likely to have a more memorable experience being out on the road with friends or family, and come away with a greater sense of accomplishment too.

Where exactly should you go on a road trip, though?

The Grand Circle

This road trip will take you through the states of Arizona, Nevada and Utah, focusing primarily on the latter as you explore national parks like Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. Across the space of two weeks, you’ll drive through much of Utah, with stops in Arizona for the all-important visit to the Grand Canyon. If you’re able to, you can stretch the road trip across a longer timeframe so that you can enjoy all that these places have to offer. Likewise, you can also shorten it to just one week, giving yourself enough time to see the national parks mentioned here, as well as Zion Canyon and Kaibab.

It’s recommended that you start somewhere like Las Vegas, although you could also begin in Salt Lake City or Phoenix. By opting for the former, you’ll also give yourself a chance to enjoy a day or two in Nevada’s famed Sin City.

Yellowstone & Arches

If you want a bit of variety with your road trip, why not give the Yellowstone & Arches road trip a try? You’ll explore a good number of states, including Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho, as you move from the Arches National Park to the Dinosaur National Monument. The biggest attraction on this route is Yellowstone National Park, home to the United States’ largest supervolcano. The presence of the Yellowstone Caldera has resulted in many attractive geothermal features, such as the Old Faithful geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring that many visitors love to see.

Yosemite & Big Sur

For an experience around California, this is the road trip to try out. It’ll take you to Yosemite National Park, home to a landscape sculpted by ancient glaciers where every corner is perfect for a photo. Yosemite Valley, Nevada Falls and the Cathedral Range are all places of interest here, so you’ll want to stick around long enough to get a good look at the national park. There are plenty more places to see on this road trip, though, including Sequoia Canyon, Point Reyes and Big Sur. If you want to spend a day relaxing by the coast during your travels, the latter will give you somewhere to chill out.

Everyone needs to go on vacation at some point, especially when things at home are stressing you out. Road trips might not offer you the chance to completely shut off from the world, but they’ll give you an experience you won’t soon forget.

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10 Secrets for a Stress-Free Trip to IKEA

Those blue-and-yellow IKEA signs have become synonymous with Swedish chic, good deals—and a dose of frustration. Whether it’s the crowds, DIY furniture, or enormous inventory, IKEA shoppers can feel overwhelmed. Navigate the aisles without breaking a sweat by following our insider’s guide.
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Yankees open 2019 season in the Bronx against the Orioles, Mets start with two-city road trip

The MLB released its official 2019 schedule on Wednesday, with the Yankees opening their season at home in 2019 against the Baltimore Orioles on March 28. The Mets open the same day and begin the season with a two-city road trip in Washington D.C. and Miami.

The Mets will have their home opener…

Sports – New York Daily News

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A sequel to Girls Trip is reportedly in the works, and Tiffany Haddish had better win an Oscar this time

A sequel to Girls Trip is reportedly in the works, and Tiffany Haddish had better win an Oscar this time


A sequel to <em>Girls Trip</em> is reportedly in the works, and Tiffany Haddish had better win an Oscar this time

Sometimes, a movie is so fun to watch that you feel like you’re part of it. Every time you watch Girls Trip, it’s hard not to imagine yourself as the fifth member of the Flossy Posse. The four best friends inspire us to take our own girls trips and make us so, so thankful for our gal pals.

Girls Trip was a female friendship movie that came along at exactly the right time. The fact that the film was so successful was incredibly important as well. It made history as the first all-black team to hit $ 100,000 million at the box office.

The success of Girls Trip blasted Tiffany Haddish straight into the spotlight. And deservedly so. Though each of the actresses in Girls Trip is hilarious, Haddish was the true scene stealer. After the film did so well, Haddish started popping up everywhere, from hilarious Groupon commercials to an epic episode of SNL. And now? The girls are reportedly back at it.

On Friday, August 17th, Regina Hall was a guest on BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM. And as Entertainment Weekly reports, she said that a Girls Trip sequel is in the works.

Nothing is finalized yet, but it’s all in motion.

“We’re trying to make that happen,” Hall said. “We’re trying to get everything together with the schedule. I think they’re working on something. I don’t know where we’re going. I don’t know where the girls are going, but—we’re going somewhere.”

A Girls Trip sequel can’t happen soon enough. Our abs already hurt from laughing.

The post A sequel to <em>Girls Trip</em> is reportedly in the works, and Tiffany Haddish had better win an Oscar this time appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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What To Pack For A Short Business Trip

For a short business trip, a small carry-on is ideal. We talk about what items you should bring so you have a very versatile, flexible, and appropriate business wardrobe.

Sven Raphael's go-to carry on

Sven Raphael’s go-to carry on

First of all, it starts with a choice of the right suitcase or carry-on. Personally, I’m a big fan of wheels, especially four wheels, because you can easily maneuver them with one hand.

So when you start packing, I suggest to first lay everything out on your bed or maybe on a carpet, in a clean space where you have a good overview. Depending on the length of your business trip, you may just need one pair or sometimes two pairs of shoes. I suggest you wear a pair when you travel and keep another one in your suitcase because shoes last you a lot longer if you don’t wear them consecutively day after day. To save on space, you can put your underwear, as well as your socks, rolled up and stuff them in your shoes, that works like a substitute shoe tree without having the extra weight. Because shoes are dirty and everything is close together, I suggest putting your shoes in shoe bags.

Essential Items To Pack

John Lobb City II Oxford shoes

John Lobb City II Oxford shoes

Black Dress Shoes

Black is the ultimate color. I suggest you go with a black cap toe oxford. Alternatively, you can also go with a black oxford half brogue or black oxford quarter brogue. A little bit of broguing makes it a little less formal, at the same time, it’s perfectly appropriate for everything, from boardroom meetings to general office meetings. If you have a big foot and you have issues with the closed lacing system on an oxford, a derby shoe is acceptable as well.

Oxblood Dress Shoes

The second pair to bring is a dark red or oxblood burgundy colored dress shoe. It could either be a tassel loafer and you could travel with that because it’s easy to take on and off when you’re through security or you could go with a derby shoe or maybe even an oxford. I like the color burgundy because it’s dark enough to be appropriate for most office and business environments, yet at the same time, you can wear it interchangeably with any kind of brown tone if you go to a more casual outing afterwards or during the business trip.

So if I had to bring just one pair of shoes on my trip and I knew there were events with different degrees of formality, I would opt for an oxblood or dark red shoe. Maybe during the winter, you can get away with a pair of boots. If your space constraints in your carry-on, I suggest putting one shoe on one side and one on the other. Ideally by the wheels, that way, the weight of the shoe won’t squish your suits or your shirts or any other garment on your carry-on.

A selection of dress shirts

A selection of dress shirts

Dress Shirts

Even if you’re just going on a one day trip, there’s always a chance that someone will spill something on you and it’s much better to have something that you can change into than having to figure out where you can have it dry-cleaned. Honestly, I think plain white solid shirts, maybe cream, or light blue are perfect. You can also go with pastel tones such as light yellow, light green, light lavender, and so forth. Now, a proper business shirt usually doesn’t have a chest pocket because you shouldn’t use it anyways and you also want double cuffs or French cuffs for cufflinks. Now, if you travel to a climate that is warmer or maybe if you don’t like cufflinks, you can also get away with barrel cuffs. It’s acceptable in this day and age.

For invisible layering, try an undershirt close to your skin tone.

For invisible layering, try an undershirt close to your skin tone.

Undershirts

If you decide an undershirt is right for you, I suggest not to go with the traditional fine rib wife-beater undershirts. Instead, I suggest you get t-shirt like undershirts that sit fitted on your body with relatively tight sleeves and a deep cut v-neck because that way, if you wear a dress shirt without a tie and you wear a dress shirt unbuttoned, people won’t be able to see the t-shirt underneath which is a style and fashion faux pas. In terms of color, I suggest you pick something that is as close to your skin tone as possible so don’t go with white, rather go with black or maybe heather gray or even skin tone colors if you can find them. No, a regular t-shirt is not a good substitute because it’s thicker than an undershirt and has thicker seams that you can see on the outside of the shirt.

Sven Raphael's go-to suit when travelling

Sven Raphael’s go-to suit when traveling

Business Appropriate Suit

There’s probably no other garment that is more business appropriate than a dark suit. If you have to pick one, I suggest to go with a navy worsted suit, ideally single-breasted with notch lapels, either one button or two buttons, side vents, maybe some cuffs at the bottom of pants so they pull down the pants and prevent any potential wrinkles. In terms of weight, I’d go for a three-season weight. If you want just one all-rounder, you can also opt for something with an open weave. That way, you feel the breeze because sometimes when you’re in an office environment, it can get quite hot but you know yourself if you’re likely to overheat or if you feel cold all the time.

Dark Flannel Suit with Silk Tie & TV Fold Pocket Square

A dark flannel suit is also ideal for colder climates

If you are in a colder climate, you can also go with a flannel suit. If you decide you want to bring a second suit, I suggest going with a double-breasted suit simply to mix it up and have different degrees of formality. Also, I wouldn’t go with the same color but have maybe one in gray and one in blue. If you decide to just bring one suit, I think the navy suit is ideal because you can wear just the jacket with a contrasting pair of pants, either let’s say gray flannels or a pair of chinos and it looks like a blazer combination, that way, you have a more versatile wardrobe and you don’t have to bring on an extra jacket.

Neckwear

When it comes to accessories, I think a necktie is essential especially in a classic business environment. If you’re a little more flamboyant or if you are maybe independent or in an area where dress codes are a little more relaxed, you can also go with a bow tie, otherwise, I suggest to stay with a classic necktie.

Pocket Squares

A pocket square can really help to make your outfit look more polished. So if you have a white shirt, a white linen pocket square especially in a TV fold or a crown fold, it can add a finishing touch.

Cufflinks

I suggest going with a simple pair such as a monkey fist knot cufflink. Skip the colored enamel cufflinks as well as the gemstone or diamond cufflinks. They’re better for evening wear or areas or events where you know you can just be a little louder. If you want to travel light, I suggest putting the cufflinks right into the double cuffs of the shirt before you fold them. The same is true for your collar stays, put them in the shirt so you don’t have to pack them separately. If you have more items such as rings or watches, you probably want to go with a travel jewelry case. If you work in a classic white collar environment, you probably don’t want to wear a boutonniere. I, on the other hand, oftentimes wear one simply because I can and I enjoy it and the Green Fort Belvedere box is the perfect travel companion for that because it protects your flowers and that way, they stay in shape and you can wear them wherever you are on the globe.

Toiletry kit

Toiletry kit

Toiletry Kit

I suggest keeping a small bag that you can easily remove at any point in time because sometimes at security, you have to remove it depending on your status. To save on space, definitely go with travel sized items and don’t bring your regular size aftershave, shaving cream or toothpaste. I know it’s just a little thing but all those items add up, they add weight, and especially volume and bulk. I also find that sample sizes of either cologne or shaving cream sometimes also shampoo are perfectly enough for a short business trip and they hardly take any space at all. So keep that in mind.

Philips Norelco Electric Razor

Philips Norelco Electric Razor

Rather than a safety razor or a straight razor which you can’t bring in carry-ons, I suggest you go with an electric shaver. Yes you may also go with a cartridge system, however, I find the shave to be inferior to an electric shaver. If you go with a wet shave and it’s my preferred item because I just bring one item with one charge and I can use it, I don’t have to worry about the blades getting dull or having the right blades or a TSA agent not knowing what he’s talking about and who made me throw away something I actually need afterwards.

OTC Socks

Of course, you also need socks and underwear but that goes without saying. For a business trip, I suggest you go with over the calf socks because you will never want to expose your calves.

Loro Piana Cardigan

Loro Piana Cardigan

Sweater Or Cardigan

If you want a few more casual items, like a sweater or a cardigan, it’s okay to pack it. I suggest going with thinner cotton ones rather than bulkier wool ones because space is very limited in your carry-on. If it’s warmer, you also may want to bring polo shirts, if you want to work out maybe a pair of workout shorts and t-shirts. All of these shouldn’t be folded but rolled, unlike your dress shirts which should be folded.

Brown leather bag for laptop and camera

Brown leather bag for laptop and camera

Leather Bag

Personally, as an online entrepreneur, I always bring my laptop as well as my camera gear in a separate leather bag that I can put on top of my carry-on that I can hook on so it doesn’t fall off and I can still easily push it with one hand while doing something on the phone or checking things out so it’s extremely convenient.

Overcoat For Winter

It could be a double or single-breasted overcoat in either navy or black or charcoal. If you travel during the warmer months of the year, I suggest you bring a trench coat. Yes you can also go with a traditional kind of khaki trench coat but it stains more easily then let’s say a black or navy one.

What are your must-haves when going on a short business trip?


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An alternative road trip in County Kerry, Ireland

Spinning off south-west Ireland’s famous tourist route, there’s a less-visited crock of Kerry gold amid the islands, peaks and cliffs of the Skellig Ring

The 180km Ring of Kerry drive in south-west Ireland is justly famous – with stunning panoramas of bays, inlets, lakes and mountains, and views to the Unesco world heritage site (and location of the latest Star Wars film) of Skellig Michael island (pictured above), 12km off the tip of the Iveragh peninsula. But there is a lesser-known alternative, that is original, eye-opening, and avoids the tour buses that clog the Ring’s roads, especially in summer.

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Travel | The Guardian

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British Columbia road trip: the art of getting lost

This epic Canadian landscape is best enjoyed on a meandering, unplanned overland tour – in a Jeep with a bed on the roof
Plus four more overland adventures in Canada

The best road trips have few set plans. They’re about the thrill of discovery, of not knowing what comes next. Forget detailed itineraries that look like a shopping list. As Kerouac said: “There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars.” That’s my kind of road trip.

This is why I was so excited to find out about overlanding, defined as self-reliant adventure travel, usually in 4×4 vehicles, where the journey is as important as the highlights visited along the way, and the emphasis is on exploration and the freedom of the back roads. It’s been big in Africa for years, but a new company, Hastings Overland, has just launched the concept in western Canada.

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Travel | The Guardian

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An old flame: a return trip to the beaches and mountains of Çıralı, Turkey

This low-key south-coast village with family-friendly beaches, natural rock fires, mountain walks and fantastic food proved just as special on a second visit

The second time you visit an area is always a test. You are presumably going back because you enjoyed it the first time. Will the second visit live up to expectations? We were first recommended Çıralı, on the Turkish coast south of Antalya, by a friend who had lived in Kardamyli in Greece. It was apparently very similar: a beautiful but low-key resort, surrounded by mountains and lots to explore. He was right: we loved it.

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Travel | The Guardian

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UK’s Harry and Meghan visit Dublin in first trip as married couple

Prince Harry paid tribute on Tuesday to Britain’s complex and “at times tragic” shared history with Ireland, at the start of a two-day visit to Dublin with his wife Meghan, their first trip abroad since their wedding in May.
Reuters: People News

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Royal Wedding trip guide (for people not from the UK)

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll know that there is a pretty special event coming up. No, it’s not your yearly vacation or your birthday (although that is kinda important), it’s the royal wedding! Sure, were pretty upset that Prince Harry will finally be off the market, but we can’t wait to see the dress that Meghan Markle wears on the big day. As these two lovebirds exchange their nuptials, you can guarantee that people from around the world will descend onto London to share the excitement. So, it’s probably best you know where you’re going and what you’re doing…

Where to stay

Because the royal wedding is kind of a big deal, there will be thousands of people making their way into London in the run-up to the main event, and they will all be looking for somewhere to stay. Most tourists will try to stay as close to the center of London or Windsor as they could possibly be – which means it’s best to avoid it. It’s best to stay clear of these two hotspots and venture into the outskirts of London. This way, you can find the hotels that haven’t already been booked up, and those that are a little cheaper.

How to get around

It doesn’t matter if you’re two or ten miles away from London, you’re still going to be able to get around. England has one of the best train and underground systems in the world – and it’s super easy to use! You can buy yourself an Oyster Card (no, it doesn’t taste like oysters) and make your way around London and the surroundings as you hop on and off the public transport. You can either take yourself off to a traditional English pub to watch the events unfold with a glass of Pimms in your hand, or you could stand outside Buckingham Palace and join the hubbub of people all celebrating the marriage.

Where to go

For one day only, the pubs in and around England are staying open extra late to celebrate Harry and Meghan, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss is all about and try your very first bite of bangers and mash. Although almost every single pub in the UK will be showing the wedding on their television screens, you might also want to check out the other celebrations that are on offer. If you fancy rubbing shoulders with the married couple themselves on the day, you can make your way to Madame Tussauds, where you can see the new waxwork figures of Meghan and Harry as they are unveiled! Once you’re done, make your way to one of the many open-top bus tours in London and Windsor to see the celebrations from above and take some epic pictures. If you’re lucky, you might even stumble upon a British street party, where you can hang with the locals and wear a union jack around your neck. You know you want to.

If you’re going to the UK to witness the royal wedding in all of its glory, you’re going to need a little help – because you’re not the only ones. The best way to get the ultimate royal experience is to plan in advance. Book your flights, book your hotel, and plan where you want to go and what you want to do before you leave! Trust us; you’ll thank us for it after…

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Melania Trump Wears Jacket Saying ‘I Really Don’t Care’ During Child Detention Center Trip

First Lady Melania Trump visited a Texas detention center Thursday to check in on immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

After the White House announced its “zero-tolerance” policy in April, over 2,000 children have been separated from their parents. Trump decided to make the trip a day after the president signed an executive order to stop the separation of families, but it’s not her timing people are questioning–it’s her fashion choice.

When boarding the plane in Maryland, Trump was spotted wearing a khaki green jacket with the words “I really don’t care, do you?” scrawled in white graffiti-style writing on the back. Trump removed the jacket before deplaning, but the internet had already latched onto this paradoxical clothing choice, some finding it hard to believe.

Others compared the event to the 2014 incident when then-President Barack Obama was bashed for wearing a tan suit, or the time in 2009 when conservatives criticized Michelle Obama for wearing a dress than exposed her bare arms.

“It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message,” said Melania Trump’s publicist, insisting reporters instead focus on the First Lady’s detention center visit.

Trump toured the facilities of the Upbring New Hope Children’s Center in McAllen, Tex. and participated in a roundtable discussion with staff members. She inquired about the children’s physical and mental care. When she asked how often children are allowed to speak to their families, she was told children with verified families get a 10-minute phone conversation twice a week.

“We all know they are here without their families and I want to thank you for your hard work, your compassion, and your kindness you are giving to them in these difficult times,” Trump told the staff members.

This visit was an attempt to lend support to those caring for the immigrant children, although Trump did not make a public statement about the plight of separated families until this past Sunday. While the visit shows Trump is making an effort to be involved with the care of the children, her jacket choice sent a confusing message.

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7 tips to planning a music festival trip with your girlfriends

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Summer is finally on the way, and all those music festivals are about to hit. After years of dreaming, you and the girls are finally off on your adventure! But there are some things to remember before loading up the car and setting off.

Which bands matter?

You’ll be making a list and checking it twice as you sit with your besties and decide who is a top priority to see. Sadly, there could be two bands on at the same time. As much as it would be great to see them, no one can be in two places at once. It’s all about working out who will be the best to see as well as who goes on tour more than others before making your final decisions. Plus, you may have to sacrifice seeing one of your bands in favor of your friends.

Final check

As much as you have planned, many festivals may change their lineup shortly before the big event. It’s time for another night of gossiping as you go through the schedule one more time. Has anyone been added? Is someone missing? Although everything may not go according to plan, at least you know when the main ones to see will be playing. Who knows, the festival may have even kept one of the leading acts a secret until the final few days. The suspense is too much to handle!

Expect the unexpected

Of course, the headliners may have been the ones to draw you to the festival in the first place. However, there are plenty of other bands and musicians in the lineup, too. One of the best parts of heading to a festival is getting a chance to enjoy all the new music on offer that you may never have heard before. By being open to new plans, you could soon discover a new favorite band. As well as new music, you could walk past a stall or food truck that is offering up a brand new experience. After all, you only live once.

App check

Smartphones are wonderful inventions, and now there are many apps to give us even more excuse to be on our phone. Before heading off to the festival, have a look and see if there is an app available to download. It could include a planner for your time away, or even offer up unique camera option to capture the perfect moments with your squad. Plus, everything will then all be in one unique place without the worry of losing those precious memories or that ever important schedule.

Keep hydrated

It’s all too easy to forget to drink water, but spending all day in the sun and walking around can quickly leave you dehydrated. Team that with any drinking and it could spell a recipe for disaster. The last thing you’d want after forking out on the tickets and planning all the details is to miss your favorite bands down to something so avoidable such as dehydration. Many festivals will let music lovers carry an empty bottle around with you to keep yourself topped up at all times.

Portable chargers = lifesavers

Many festivals now offer up opportunities to charge your phone while your out and about with their various outlets dotted around. However, what happens if you haven’t had a chance to get some juice and you’re wandering around the festival grounds all day? Plus, there is always the chance that you could get split up from your group. What if your cell dies? Having a portable charger means you’ll be able to keep on top of taking all those incredible pictures, as well as having a backup just in case you need someone in an emergency.

Shoe worries

Yes, those new high heels look beautiful. Are they suitable for a festival? Probably not. Going to a festival is the perfect excuse to buy a new pair of shoes, but it’s vital to think about how comfortable they will be after walking around for hours. Will you still be able to enjoy yourself with massive blisters? Chances are, it will be a good mood ruiner. Instead, opt for something that will be comfortable to wear all day rather than something that will look good in an Instagram post.

The most important thing to remember while at the festival is to have fun. After all, why else would you be there? Music festivals offer atmospheres like no other and create everlasting memories with your girlfriends. Now you all know how to make the most of your time away.

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How to avoid long customs and immigration lines on your next trip

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So you’ve just sat on a plane for thirteen hours traveling from Indonesia, what you’ll then have to do is stand in line for another few hours waiting to get through customs and immigration. If only there some sort of guide was available to help you get through quicker…

You’re standing in line, it seems as though time itself has stood still and seconds can feel like hours. Not to mention you’ve got someone behind you huffing and puffing so much you can actually feel their breath on the back of your neck. Don’t even get us started on the crying baby that seems to have followed you from the plane to the customs line.

There’s an app for that

Re-entering the country doesn’t have to be as much of a hassle as you think though. It is possible to download the Mobile Passport app on your cell phone which will get you through customs and immigration in mere minutes instead of the several hours it usually takes. It is relatively unheard of so the lines for getting through are very small at the airport. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you will need to save a bit of your basic personal information on it, such as a photo and your passport number. After you have landed and are being taxied, you can take your phone off airplane mode and access the app. You will have to answer some basic questions just like you would at customs. Once complete and you’ve arrived at the customs kiosks you can head on over to the Mobile Passport lane and show them the QR code you’ll get for completing the questions on the Mobile Passport app. Show them the code and then proceed through and you can leave the misery of standing in the customs and immigration line to everyone else. You can even include your family members traveling with you.

Global Entry

You can enroll in the Global Entry scheme which gains quicker passage through customs and immigration for American citizens. Low-risk travelers qualify, and it allows them to bypass lines when they get to customs and immigration in the U.S. They just have to simply stroll up to a kiosk and enter their pin number, known as a Trusted Traveler number, along with doing a fingerprint scan. The Global Entry scheme doesn’t work for family members though, they will have to become approved individually, so if you’re planning a family trip abroad, you’ll need to get the whole family enrolled or else you’ll have to wait anyway. Global Entry will set you back $ 100 for five years, which is a good return for your investment if you are a frequent traveler. You’ll just need to head over to the Global Entry website to see whether you qualify and you can begin your application process.

Those were the two tips we think will save you a bunch of time at the airport when you land back in the States. We think it is worth giving them a go as anything beats being stuck in line for hours at a time.

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How I survived my first trip to Disney World

I’ve been traveling my whole life, so I’m not easily fazed by trip-planning. Where to stay, what to eat, what to do while I’m there? No problem, I’ve got it covered. That’s before I encountered Disney World. Save for a few hours I spent there with my aunt and grandmother when I was 10, I…
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Condé Nast exec spent thousands on Oscars trip

Long gone are the days of lavish clothing allowances, limo service and carte blanche on entertainment expenses for high-flying magazine industry employees. But some old habits are hard to kick, especially when you work at Condé Nast. While the New York-based publisher is in the process of firing employees to cut costs, one exec is…
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The best way to plan a trip

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Are you going on a trip soon? Are you going on a post college/army trip to Southeast Asia or South America or Europe? Maybe you are just travelling around the United States with some buds. But no matter what you are doing, the difference between a fun and exciting trip versus one which falls on its face and is a drag lies in the planning. Here are five important steps to planning out your next great adventure.

Deciding what your trip will be

So you’ve decided to go on an international adventure. Congratulations! So now you have to make some decisions. What type of trip are you looking for? Are you looking to go on safari in the serengeti in Africa, lay on the beach all day in Koh Phangan, go hiking in the Himalayas? Maybe you just want to live it up in Europe and see the art and architecture and history that brought you Western Civilization?

With all of these choices, it’s hard to find out what will fit best for you. But once you decide where you want to go and what you want out of your trip, the next most important thing to consider is the length of your trip. One week? A month? A year?

Get an idea of your budget

So you’ve decided where you want to go and more or less what type of a trip you want along with approximately what time of year you want to go. Now is the time to start looking into what flights and lodging will cost. Do you want direct flights or are you fine with layovers? Do you want a five star hotel or do you want to backpack and live in hostels? Additionally, how much does a meal typically cost? What about taxis or renting a car in this country? By figuring all of this out you can get a good idea of how much money you need to save up. It is best to do this stage at least two months before your flight.

Pro tip: always assume things will be a bit more expensive than they really are. It’s better to bring money and not need it than need it and not have it!

Things to do

You don’t want to arrive at your destination and after a day say to yourself “ok, now what?” It’s important to have an idea of the sights and sounds of the city so that you can know what to go see and what things are. You will know where the good restaurants are, where the big shopping streets are, and the awesome cultural aspects of the place you are in.

This is the trip of a lifetime, and you don’t want to waste all of it staying in bed. This is the stage where you buy guidebooks or look online to understand what there is to do in a certain place. Also, this is the part which make you super excited for the trip.

Start planning out the actual logistics

This is where your trip really starts and where it starts to feel real. This is when you buy the tickets, reserve the rental car, or just start figuring out how to get around. As opposed to winging it and wasting a half a day hitchhiking, it’s a better idea to see how the busses in the country you are going to work. Where the train station or airport is and how to get to where you need to go (keep in mind that airports are usually MILES away from the actual city).

This is also the point when you decided where exactly you will be going, for how long, and how exactly you will get there. Make sure all of your documents are in order.

Can’t travel without documents

Remember, make sure you have everything you need. Some countries require a visa before entering them (you don’t want to be turned around at the airport). Make sure your passport is up to date, and make sure you have some sort of ID.
Good luck on your trip.

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Tiffany Haddish Wants To Cast Meryl Streep As Her Mother In ‘Girls Trip 2’

Tiffany Haddish has figured out how Meryl Streep could believably play her mother in the sequel to “Girls Trip.” The comic has been vocal about the dream casting ever since she hurdled a velvet rope on the Oscars red carpet just to meet the screen legend.“I told Meryl that I wanted her to play momma one day,” she said during her visit to “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Monday.

“I want her to be my mother in Girls Trip 2. I think it will be so cool if we find out that (my character) Dina has a white mom!” Haddish said she had to explain how the genetic possibility of the mother-daughter combo to her co-stars Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith.

“I was like, ‘She could have married my dad, see… Maybe my real momma passed and then she married my dad… but she’s turnt up like Dina, and then you find out why Dina is the way she is – because she gets it from her stepmomma, who happens to be Meryl Streep’,” she said. Tiffany believes Streep would add another Academy Award to her collection if she can convincingly play her hood mama.

“If you see Meryl Streep turnt up like me, you’ll be like, ‘She can do anything…!’ She’ll get an Oscar for that… I need to see her hood side,” Haddish said.

Watch the clip below:

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7 essentials for a great road trip

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The season for road tripping is upon us and there’s no better time than the hot summer days to grab a friend, or two and hit those long, endless windy roads. There is something so liberating about taking a road trip. It gives you an opportunity to explore the country (whether you decide to go local or travel abroad) from a different side and perspective. On a road trip you get to see the sides of the country that you would have never been able to otherwise. It’s also about taking some time for yourself and your thoughts, just because you are traveling with another person, it doesn’t mean there has to be talking 24/7. As much as a road trip can seem like a spontaneous adventure to embark on, it does take some planning before you hit that road. So if you are planning to embark on a nice long road trip any time soon, don’t forget to bring along and pack these essential items.

Audio books

Road trips can be a long and journey, and so you might find it more interesting to listen to some audio books instead of the radio while you’re in the driver’s seat. Moreover, it you called shotgun and you’re not driving, reading while in motion can make you feel nauseous, so it could be a great alternative.

Snacks

Preferably healthy ones. One of the greatest things about going on a road trip is that you don’t always know when your next stop for freshening up will be (unless you’re using a special app for that). In case you get hungry or just craving some sweets, you’ll have those snacks ready right by your side.

Baby wipes

Once you use those baby wipes, you really won’t understand where they have been your entire life. Baby wipes are useful for pretty much everything. From cleaning your seat, to making you feel like you just washed your hands. Trust us, you would probably want to take more than one pack of baby wipes. You’ll thank us later.

Spare car keys

Do yourself a favor and take along another pair of keys, especially when traveling with kids. The last thing you want to happen is getting licked outside your car. Always make sure you carry those spare kids in your bag every time you leave the vehicle.

Games

While smartphones and other devices that can be held with your hands are nice, there’s nothing like working your creative juices while driving through the country. Put aside those digital devices and you will realize how nice it could be to connect with the people around you by even playing ‘stupid’ car games. You have travel bingo, cards, word games and counting games.


Cash for those road tolls

It might sound like an obvious tip, but you don’t want to get stuck without any cash when you hit a toll road. They can really pop out of nowhere and you don’t always know what their fares will be. Just stock your front drawer with some coins and you’ll be good and ready to go.

First Aid kit

Just like you won’t forget your portable phone charger, that’s how you should treat a first aid kit. It contains all the basic essentials in case of a small scratch or a bigger emergency. You can get those ready-to-go kits at AAA and it will seriously be a lifesaver.

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Kourtney K & Younes Bendjima Planning Hot Couple’s Trip — Why Their Destination Will Anger Scott Disick

Kourtney Kardashian and Younes Bendjima’s love life is as hot as ever, and we’ve got EXCLUSIVE details on why they’re planning an ‘adult only’ vacation!

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The 6 Best Travel-Friendly Fabrics for a Wrinkle-Free Trip

Packing for a trip is always challenging, especially since you want to arrive at your destination looking polished and fresh. Although, this can prove to be a nearly impossible task when all your clothes have gotten wrinkled in your suitcase. Who has time for steaming, ironing, or dry cleaning when you have places to go and people to see upon reaching your destination?

Lucky for you, the solution is simple. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with the best wrinkle-free fabrics and keep them in mind the next time you’re shopping or packing for a trip. Even fabrics that do have a tendency to wrinkle (e.g., cotton, rayon, and silk) are much less likely to do so when blended with one of the fabrics below. Scroll down to see and shop stylish, travel-friendly pieces to pack for your next trip.

Not only will wool keep you warm and toasty in the winter, but it’s also incredibly wrinkle-resistant. This is a great option if you’re traveling somewhere chilly.
Available in sizes XXS to L.
Available in sizes 00 to 8.
Available in sizes 00 to 12.
Lyocell is a semisynthetic form of rayon, commonly referred to as its brand name, Tencel. It’s soft and strong, drapes nicely, is machine-washable, and (most importantly) resists wrinkling.
Available in sizes XS to XL.
Available in sizes XS to L.
Available in sizes XS to XL.
Polyester gets a bad rap (thanks to ubiquitous ’70s connotations), but it can be surprisingly soft and comfortable for a synthetic fabric. It’s also affordable, durable, and wrinkle-resistant!
Available in sizes 18 to 26.
Available in sizes 0 to 14.
Available in sizes XS to L.
This luxury fabric is strong and warm yet lightweight and soft. If it appears wrinkly when taken out of your suitcase, just hang it or lay it flat for a bit. The creases should release. Fun fact: Cashmere is a hair acquired from goats, not sheep (contrary to popular belief). Even more wrinkle-resistant is alpaca, which some are touting as the new cashmere.
Available in sizes XXS to XL.
Available in sizes XS to L.
Available in sizes S to M.
Knit is technically classified as fabric made from interlocking loops of thread. It’s usually made of wool yarn, but some knits like jersey can be made of wool, cotton, and synthetic fibers. Thicker knits (and fabrics in general) are less wrinkle-prone than thin knits.
Available in sizes S to M. 
Available in sizes XS to XL.
Available in sizes S to L. 
Found in some of our favorite workout gear and denim, spandex tends to aid in wrinkle resistance when blended with other fabrics. It’s a durable synthetic fabric also known as Lycra or elastane.
Available in sizes 24 to 32.
Available in sizes 6 UK to 16 UK.
Available in sizes 1X to 3X.

Now that you know which fabrics to pack, it’s time to pick out a new carry-on bag

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Travel Capsule for an Eight-Day Trip

It’s time to head out to see my darling Dad in the Netherlands, which I do four times a year. I’ll be flying out on Sunday but this time Greg will join me while Yorkie Sam and his pet-sitter hold the fort at the Cox Castle. This is what I’ve packed. 

A few things upfront before I delve into the details of the travel capsule:

  • I’ll be visiting family, seeing dear friend Inge, doing errands, organizing, shopping, eating out, and going to appointments. I’ll be hanging 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 keep my outfits on the dressier side of casual because that’s true to my style.
  • Temperatures will be around 0 to 7 degrees Celsius (32 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit). Very grey and a little wet. Hopefully there won’t be much snow and ice, but there’s a biting icy wind in the Netherlands that makes it feel colder than it is — especially when you’re walking. Since I do a LOT of walking and take public transport when I visit my Dad, it’s very important to layer, wrap up, and wear comfortable footwear.
  • I’ll be putting a suitcase in the hold because I like to have more dressing options than a carry-on can accommodate. I’ll also be bringing presents for family and doing some shopping, which requires extra space.
  • I will not be doing laundry on the trip.
  • I can magically 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 will wear on both non-stop ten-hour flights. It’s the same outfit, and I’ve shown the components at the end of this post.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I crave a change in colour more than a change in silhouette. This is why the palette of my capsule is colour-rich, yet the items create the same daily uniform.

The Palette

I’ll create high-contrast, colourful outfits that look punchy and make me feel alive. Blue denim, navy, orange, citron and cream are the dominant colours in the capsule. Navy is a slam dunk with orange, and looks lovely with citron and chartreuse. Creams and white lighten the palette and match my hair. There are gold, white and burgundy accents just for fun, and an extremely small smattering of black.

The Outfit Formula

Foundation: Turtleneck + Jeans + Blazer + High-Shaft Flat Shoes + Coat + Specs

Finishing Touch: Scarf + Pom-Pom + Hat + Gloves + Watch + Jewellery

The items in the capsule can be mixed and matched till the cows come come. It’s a satisfying mix that is true to my style since it combines classics with trendier items, wardrobe essentials with statement pieces, solids with patterns, neutrals with colours, and old items with newbies. Plenty of variety but with a good amount of discipline. The silhouettes are simple. It’s the colour of the item, the bold combination of the colours, the accessories, and the mix of patterns that give the outfits their kick. Do not underestimate the power of colour as an effective styling tool.

Here’s more detail on each part of the capsule. Note that wardrobe basics, like undies, camisoles, sleepwear, loungewear, socks and knee-highs are not represented here. For the rest, these are the exact wardrobe items that I packed and will be wearing en route.

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.

I chose my gold boots to inject newness and futuristic glam into my outfits. They’ve been on shopping trips with clients so I know they can go the distance. 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’ll wear the shoes with socks or knee-highs to keep warm.

Bottoms

I desperately wanted to take Winter dresses and tall dressy boots, but jeans and booties are more practical for the activities and weather on this trip. I chose three pairs of jeans, although two would have been sufficient. A pair of cropped blue straights, full-length dark skinnies, and white boyfriend jeans create variety.

Tops

I’ve packed five tops, which is more than I need. I’ve stuck to fine gauge woolly turtlenecks and one crew neck because they’re dead right for the weather, AND they layer well under blazers. Plenty of colour variety — just how I like it! Each of the five pullovers can be worn under either of the two blazers.

Toppers

I’ll wear a blazer each day to add polish and dressiness to my outfit, hence I packed two Winter weight blazers so that I can alternate and prevent outfit boredom. Both blazers are patterned, although the navy polka dot is like a “false plain.” I’ll need a coat for outside and chose my warm chartreuse cocoon coat because it fits beautifully and comfortably over the blazers. I’ll be very layered, but I don’t mind one bit. I’ll be warm and insulated, and feel pulled together with blazer and pullover when I remove my coat indoors.

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. I chose a citron crossbody because it’s matchy-matchy with the coat, 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.The patterned pom-pom hooks onto my bag and makes me smile. I chose two dressier belts because they also add polish to my casual outfits. Cream headgear and gloves are essential for walking in the cold morning and night. I’m leaving off my pearl necklace, but wearing pearl wedding ring with bracelets and watch daily.

I will also be travelling with an umbrella and a cashmere wrap. I’ve left the wrap out of the capsule because it will NOT be styled into these outfits. It’s loungewear and a cosy blanket for plane travel only.

Travel Outfit

This is the exact outfit that I will wear 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 fabrics are cosy, comfortable and insulating for plane travel. A jacket, scarf, belt and dressy bag also make my casual outfit look pulled together and polished. Comfortable shoes are essential for comfort when traipsing through airports and catching public transport with luggage. I’ll pack my jacket and coat into my hand luggage during the flight and while I’m at the airport, but will need it on the other side when when we take organized transport through to my Dad’s apartment.

The jeans, pullover and denim jacket that I wear on both flights do not get worn during my trip, which is why they’ve been excluded from the travel capsule. I will wear the scarf, and possibly the navy boots and belt, if I feel like it.

I tried on the outfit combinations I was a little unsure about BEFORE I made my final decision on what to pack. You can visit the collection page to see my travel capsule in its entirety. The picture below shows the items just before I started packing.

Travel Capsule

NOTE: Some rich content in this post was omitted because it isn’t supported by the feed. Please visit the post on youlookfab.com to see the additional content.


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6 Best Beaches In Europe If Your Study Abroad Trip Needs Some Sand & Sunshine

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There are some pretty stunning places in the world, and it’s so important to get out of your comfort zone and go see them. Spread your wings, fly the nest, and take in some of the glorious sights and sounds the world has to offer. And, these days you can further your education and cultural experiences by choosing to study abroad. We would recommend this to anybody who gets the chance to do it.

Studying abroad is essential for improving and developing your scope for learning. There are a lot of places you can go if you’re serious about studying abroad, but Europe is perhaps the best. So much history and wild, untamed beauty lie all across Europe, and it’s time you go out and experienced it. So, why not split your European study sessions up, with a visit to these awesome beaches?

Brac Island – Croatia

Croatia is a country with tons to do, and one of the best attractions here is to head to Brac Island, the stunning beach outside Split. Take a boat out and visit this idyllic paradise, it might just be the best thing you do while you’re here. There’s no sand here, but it’s lovely a pebbly, and the perfect place to relax. You could even bring some books and do a bit of studying in paradise!

Cinque Terre – Italy

This hidden gem is going to be your new favorite place on the Amalfi Coast. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy parts, this stunning place is built into the mountains. You’ll feel like you are on the vacation of your life, and you can escape the rigors of studying for a while. You could do it in a day, or even make a weekend of it, and slip away to heaven on Earth.

Corfu Island – Greece

You might have heard that Corfu is something of a tourist trap these days, but it largely depends on where you go. This is still the best place in the country to find a beautiful, stunning beach on which to relax. The white, hot sand, licked by waves from the Ionian Sea makes this small island a must-visit for anyone. Put the books aside for a day, and discover the tranquility of Corfu.

Lagos – Portugal

A trip to southern Portugal wouldn’t be complete without heading out to Lagos. This is one of the most picture perfect parts of Portugal and home to some of the country’s best beaches. The Atlantic Ocean will be a great departure from the Mediterranean, and there are some stunning rock formations here as well.

Positano – Italy

Italy certainly is the place for all seasons, with somewhere to appeal to anyone, no matter what time of year. Positano is another of the unforgettable places you have to visit when you travel to Italy. Head to the island of Capri while you’re here, and try to visit the Blue Grotto; that’s before we even get to trying the food.

La Barceloneta in Barcelona – Spain

Is there anything Barcelona isn’t great for? Aside from the delicious paella, tapas, and Picasso, this stunning Catalonian city also has an amazing beach called La Barceloneta. We highly recommend you check out this beach, and soak up a different side of Barcelona.

So there we have it, some of the best beaches in the whole of Europe. These are some of the most stunning places in the world, and they can all be found in Europe. Make your European study experience even better by checking out these incredible beaches.

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Trump Says He’s Canceling His London Trip Because Obama Chose a Bad Spot for the New U.S Embassy

President Donald Trump has ditched plans to visit London next month to open a new U.S. embassy, in a decision that poses a new test for the so-called “special relationship” with the U.K.

“Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location for $ 1.2 billion,” Trump said on Twitter. “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon — NO!”

While the sale was made under Obama’s watch, the decision to relocate the embassy was made under George W. Bush in 2008.

Trump’s decision was reported late Thursday by the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper. It said some officials believed he decided not to come because he felt the arrangements for the visit were too low key, and would instead send Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to open the embassy.

Read: Trump Touts Sale of Fighter Jets That Only Exist in ‘Call of Duty’ Video Game

Speaking on condition of anonymity on Friday, a British official said the U.K. government had been working on the basis that Trump would arrive in late February, though no firm date had been set. The U.K.’s official invitation to Trump for a full “state visit” still stands.

Strained Relationship

Trump’s friend and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said the president may have been put off by the prospect of his visit being overshadowed by street demonstrations from people protesting about his views.

Relations between the U.S. and its closest ally have been repeatedly strained since Trump took office a year ago and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May became the first foreign leader to meet him at the White House. May’s invitation for Trump to visit the Queen has faced growing opposition, fueled in part by the president’s Twitter criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and retweets of propaganda from a far-right British anti-Muslim group.

Read: President Trump Said He’d Prefer Immigrants From Norway Over ‘Shithole Countries’

Khan said Trump “would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests” if he hadn’t canceled the trip. “It appears that President Trump got the message.”

British opposition politicians said Trump was not welcome in the U.K. Former opposition Labour party leader leader Ed Miliband tweeted to Trump that the reason he cancelled was really “because nobody wanted you to come. And you got the message.”

Wedding Snub

Farage, who was the first British politician to meet Trump after his election victory, suggested political opposition to Trump’s views may have played a part. “It’s disappointing,” Farage told BBC Radio’s Today program on Friday. It’s possible that plans for “mass protests, those optics he didn’t like the look of.”

Another explanation could be reports that Trump isn’t happy because he may not be invited to the forthcoming wedding of British royal Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The prince is on friendly terms with former President Barack Obama, who U.K. media have suggested will be invited.

“Who his Royal Highness Prince Harry and Miss Markle invite to their wedding is really a matter for them,” said senior Conservative Party lawmaker Tom Tugendhat. Foreign heads of state should not automatically expect an invitation to the wedding, he added.

Read: Carrier Factory ‘Saved’ By Donald Trump to Lay Off 200 More Workers

Trump’s decision to stay away from the embassy opening is “a great shame” but will not cause lasting harm to the transatlantic relationship, Tugendhat told the Today program. “The United States is very much one of our closest allies but the alliance isn’t based on who lives in the White House and who lives in Number 10, it’s based on shared values, common interests and an absolute commitment to the international rules-based system.”

The new site on the south bank of the river Thames near to the Palace of Westminster had been scheduled to open during Obama’s term, but delays pushed back its formal opening until this year. The State Department agreed to sell the existing embassy building on Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, to Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. in 2009 to fund the relocation. The investors have sought approval to turn the building into a hotel, according to the project’s website.


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Taos, New Mexico: a road trip of highs and pueblos

Snowboarders love the unpisted gullies of Taos, in New Mexico. Off the slopes, the region’s adobe villages offer an insight into Native American culture and a chance to support local communities, as our writer discovers on a road trip

In the biting cold of the dark, incense-scented St Jerome chapel, tour guide Francisco Velarde, or “Flying Hawk” in his native Tiwa language, is explaining his people’s history to a small audience of tourists huddled in pews in their ski jackets. His ancestors, the “red willow people”, have lived here in Taos Pueblo for 1,000 years, he says, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the US; an unusually successful revolt made them the only tribe to never be displaced on to a reservation. It’s a fascinating history, especially from the mouth of this passionate, streetwise student, part of Native American hiphop group Po.10.Cee, which has 27 albums to its name.

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Travel | The Guardian

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A trip to Dordogne

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What we love about France is that it is one of the most diverse nations in the world in terms of geography. With the delightful cobbled streets, winding back alleys, and rustic wine taverns of places like Bordeaux, to the contemporary, sprawling cityscapes of Paris and Marseille, France has everything. It’s this, coupled with the stunning cuisine and amazing culture that makes it a must for tourists everywhere. Vive le France!

But, there’s one part of France that is untouched by so many of us. One area of the country that so few of us have ever set foot in. Nestled in Southwestern France, between the Pyrenees and the Loire Valley, we find the magical department (that’s what they call it) or Dordogne. Now, sit back and prepare to be wowed as we take an unforgettable trip through Dordogne.

Slow it down

The first thing you’re going to notice here is a much more relaxed way of life; there isn’t that mad rush to do things that you might have in the city. And this is important, because a place like Dordogne is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Head to the small village of Limeuil, where time seems to stand still, and gaze down the hill at the stunning Panoramic Gardens, and the crossing of the rivers Dordogne and Vezere.

Get some Roman infusion

We highly recommend you head to the old Roman town of Perigueux, and enjoy some of the great culture on display here. There is a traditional farmer’s market here every Wednesday and Saturday, and you absolutely must attend for some stunning local produce. There are also the shimmering white domes of Perigueux Cathedral and absolutely stunning work of architecture and opulence. The Byzantine beauty dates back to 1669 and is an absolutely essential sight for visitors.

Truffle shuffle!

One of the things we love best about Dordogne is the delicious delicacies on offer here. Travel just 20 minutes north of Perigueux to the town of Sorges. Here you will find some of the freshest and most delectable truffles anywhere in the world. In fact, there is even a truffle museum here, where you can find out all about their legendary fresh truffles. You might even want to buy some, as they are sold all year round. This is a unique experience that you won’t get to have anywhere else in the world.

Bergerac

No, we’re not talking about the ‘80s BBC detective series starring John Nettles – though that was rad. Bergerac is a small, medieval commune in Dordogne, and it’s famed for our favorite French thing – wine! There are two exquisite vineyards rising high above, and, yes, you can do tastings. If you head for the famed House of Wines, there are 13 different types of wine you can try during your tasting.

So, though this is just a small sliver of what makes Dordogne so great, you can see that it has plenty to offer. This stunning department in the south of France offers everything great about this region of the country. It’s the perfect vacation spot for anyone wanting to discover more about France, and uncover the secrets of its hidden treasures.

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How to Get Ready for a Backpacking Trip

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A backpacking trip is becoming one of the most popular choices for people wanting to get away from it all. It’s a stripped back and hands-on holiday experience. You can learn to enjoy a different way of life. So, take a look at these ideas to help you get ready for the perfect trip.

Where to Go

The first thing you have to do is decide where you’re going to go backpacking. There is so much choice these days, and that’s the beauty of it. You may want to go abroad and really immerse yourself in another country. Or, you may decide you’d like to enjoy all the wonderful natural beauty of our own nation! Making a decision about where to go is an important first step because sets the tone for the rest of the trip. It might be a good idea to choose somewhere new you’ve never visited before. The idea of this sort of trip is to become inspired and broaden your experiences.

Who Are You Going With?

Many people enjoy backpacking on their own, while others prefer to go with friends and family. Either way is fine; it’s really about personal choice and what you want to get out of the experience. Think about the advantages and disadvantages of each choice. Sure, it will be safer to travel in a group, but you won’t have as much freedom as you would on your own. Before you make any sort of arrangements you need to decide who’s going to be accompanying you.

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What to Bring

Next up, you need to think about what you’re going to bring with you. Now, one of the things it’s important to remember is that backpacking is an adventure in the great outdoors. A stripped back and simple way of being at one with nature and having a different experience to normal. And this means you’re going to have to kiss goodbye to a lot of your creature comforts. But that’s okay; you’re doing this for the experience! Ditch the iPads; you won’t need them. Instead, you’ve got to think practically! Warm and durable clothing is a must because it may become very cold. You’re going to need a tent and sleeping bag, as well as cooking equipment. Never forget the importance of an emergency kit like first aid, maps, a torch and a pocket knife. Make a list of everything you want and need to take, then whittle it down to the essentials.

Packing Tips

Okay, now we’re at the boring but important part of the process – the packing. Your eyes are probably rolling right now, but packing is crucial, and you need to get it right. You’ve got a lot to pack, and it needs to be done methodically and practically. You need to divide up your bag(s) into sections. The top, for instance, needs to be reserved for the stuff you’ll be using regularly. The bottom can hold things like your sleeping bag. Bear in mind you’re going to need to unpack and repack on a daily basis, so it’s best you get used to it as much as possible. Do what you can to practice and try out different combinations to get the fastest and most efficient outcome. It all went in to start with, so it will all go in again! It’s simply a matter of packing sensibly and being logical about it.

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Food

You’ve got to give some consideration to sustenance while you’re on your trip. It’s not as though you’re going to be able to call Domino’s and order a ‘Pepperoni Passion’! You’re going to need to think carefully about the best sorts of food to take. The trick is to pick things that will give you a lot of calories but won’t add too much weight. You’ll have your cooking stove remember, so things like dried noodles would be great. Tinned foods add weight, but some of them are essential. Sometimes it’s nice to get a few fresh bits as you pass through towns to make mealtimes a little better.

Be Prepared

The Cub Scout motto is ‘be prepared’, and this seems a good philosophy. Even if you weren’t a Cub or Girl Guide, you could still follow this ethos. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in the wilderness and in harsh weather. So you need to make sure your body and mind are prepared for this. This means getting into good physical shape before your trip. This is going to help a lot with the walking and heavy bag. It’s also essential that you have the right footwear, and that it’s broken in and comfortable. You have to ensure you have all the right gear as well so it might be worth taking it on a trial run before you go for a weekend.

What if Something Bad Happens?

When you’re facing the Great Outdoors, unpredictability is an issue. Something bad could happen at any time. So, you need to take measures to deal with the event of an emergency. This includes telling a friend where you’re going and trying to check in every day with someone. Making sure you have proper training and carrying something for protection is also very important.

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The Trip of a Lifetime – Surfing With Icebergs

Surfing expedition to one of the coldest places in the world. See how the surfers can get waves with hundreds of icebergs around. An adventure to the nicest country in the world.

Surfers: Adrián Fernández de Valderrama, Lucia Martiño, Aritza Saratxaga

Filmed with: Sony A7rII, nikon lens, Phantom 3 professional

music: Michael Ayars – Intrinsic
Mountains Crave – Anna Von Hausswolf

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Take 15% Off Element products at Shop.Surf. Use Code: ELEMENT15

Purchases on My Recent Trip

I travel to the Netherlands four times a year to hang out with my Dad. When I’m there, I throw in a bit of shopping with dear friend Inge, who drives through from Antwerp for the day. We have a ball, catching up on everything and enjoying some Dutch retail therapy. 

On my recent trip in November, I bought some Autumn and Winter wardrobe items. The exact items are represented in the collection below:

  • Orange cashmere pullover
  • Casual flat navy booties
  • Holiday clutch
  • Graphic Mod dress
  • Graphic Mod scarf

Someone on the forum recently asked how I decided on these particular items, so here’s some of the thinking behind the purchases.

  • I don’t have a rigid shopping list, nor do I buy items that I have in abundance. I am careful with my purchases because I want to keep my wardrobe moderately sized and wear the heck out of my clothes.
  • I like to get items on my trips that are hard to get back in Seattle.
  • I had navy boots on my shopping list because I passed on two uncomfortable pairs this year. Since dark blue is my black, I missed my navy boots (and so did my lonely navy bag that needed its footwear buddy). The navy boots had to be flat, tailored, simple, sleek, smart casual, beautifully made, and very comfortable. I found exactly what I wanted.
  • I had a clutch for this year’s holiday outfits on my list because my rose gold party complement needed refreshing. The clutch had to work with a tonal burgundy vibe and fit my large iPhone. I did not want to spend a designer price on the bag. I hadn’t planned on suede, but loved the equestrian saddle bag vibe of the clutch I found in a versatile cherry red.
  • I was NOT allowed to buy neutral knitwear because I’m sorted, but a colour was fine because I wear warm knitwear into Spring and never tire of my happy colours. The orange pullover did not fill a wardrobe hole, but was a fun addition to my new Burgundy capsule and the cropped silhouette was different. The orange also looks great with all my blue.
  • I was NOT allowed to buy a coat unless it was turquoise.
  • I was NOT allowed to buy jeans, blouses or skirts.
  • I was open to another fun, short fashion puffer jacket, but didn’t see one.
  • I’m always looking for flattering dresses with longer sleeves and sufficient length, across the seasons. When I came across the Mod patterned frock, I was intrigued. I didn’t have anything like it, and I liked the graphic pattern. The fit was fluid and not body-con. Nice sleeves and a good length. It would work with my tall ink blue boots, blazer, gilet, and several of my coats. It also had a matching scarf. The concept was unique, so that was that.
  • I was open to fun woolly trousers, but didn’t find a pair.

I have an effective, cohesive wardrobe of items that are in good condition, fit well, fulfill my needs, and make me happy. As a result, I seldom have glaring wardrobe needs. Most of my purchases are about adding that next layer of newness so that I keep my fashion feet moving and don’t get bored with my style.

Navy Booties

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How to improve your camping trip

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In life, people are in one of two camps (pun intended!), they either love pitching a tent and sleeping under the stars, or they simply couldn’t think of anything more horrifying! Whether you’re a camping lover or a hater, here are some top tips to help improve your camping trips and who knows, you may even end up loving it!

Make sure you have the right gear

If you don’t have everything you need, you’re going to have a pretty lousy time! When choosing a tent, make sure it can comfortably fit your group in it, as well as all of their belongings and supplies – you don’t want to leave anything outside overnight! It’s essential that you will be warm when you sleep so bring enough sleeping bags and bedding for everyone. If you can, use something that you can put underneath you so you’re sleeping on something softer than hard ground, such as an air mattress, or even just another sleeping bag to cushion your body. Make sure you have packed any safety equipment you might need, as well as a first aid kit and plenty of clean drinking water.

Food and drink

Although you may be planning to fish or hunt your food, make sure you also have plenty of food packed just in case it doesn’t work out. It’s useful to have some things that are ready to be eaten rather than just meals that need preparing, as this will save you time. If you are camping in an area where bears may be around, use secure storage containers to ensure that the smell doesn’t lure them over!

Plan some adventures!

Sometimes, the best thing about camping is the fact that you don’t have to do a whole lot and you can still enjoy it. That said, sometimes it’s nice to have a few ideas already thought of before you arrive, in case you find yourself feeling a little bored. These don’t have to be anything too structured, but perhaps check out local walking routes, if there are water sports events or even just pack some games or a deck of cards.

Be a fire starter

Although there is something very primitive and cool about starting a fire from scratch using some twigs, it is not always practical or doable. Fire is a pretty important part of camping as it is how you keep warm, boil water and cook food so without it you’re going to have some trouble. Even if you’re pretty confident in your fire-making skills, take along some fire starting equipment just in case. Some people swear by a used toilet roll inner with lint from the dryer inside as a DIY recycled fire starter! It’s better to be over prepared than end up having to cut your trip short because you can’t get a fire going!

A lot of camping negatives come from not being prepared, or not having the right equipment. As long as you are ready for any eventuality, and you go into a weekend camping with an open mind expecting to have a great time, the chances are that you will love it!

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A culinary trip in Italy

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Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It is full of staggering monuments, breathtaking architecture, and, of course, unbeatable cuisine. If you are visiting Italy on vacation, you can’t possibly do so without making the most of all the delicious food that’s available here. We think Italy has some of the best cuisine in the world, and the best way of sampling it is to make sure you take a culinary trip.

There are so many amazing areas of Italy, and many of them are perfect for sampling mouth-watering food and drink. If you are a passionate foodie, someone who falls asleep dreaming of sensational dishes, this is certainly a place you have to go. Here are some of the best destinations for anyone planning to indulge in a culinary adventure of Italy.

Tuscany

One of the most famous and luxurious areas of Italy, Tuscany is a dream for all lovers of wonderful food and sensational surroundings. Rolling hills, sprawling grape vines, epic mountains, and the wild seas, Tuscany has some of the best cuisine in Italy. Florence and Pisa are two of the standout cities in this region, and places you can find a great deal of incredible food. Zesty soups, local salami meat, rustic bread, and prime Tuscan meat is here in abundance. And, you can wash it all down with some of the best vino in the country.

Veneto

Veneto is one of the great lesser-known tourist destinations, and one of the real culinary gems of Italy. Not only is this arty region incredibly easy on the eyes, but, it has an epic food scene to match. The cities of Venice and Verona are the shining beacons of Veneto, and the ideal places to find unbelievable cuisine. Risotto, polenta, and chicken are just a few of the favorites for people in this region. Verona also has a pretty big seafood culture, so, if you love the taste of fresh fish, this is definitely somewhere you should visit.

Piedmont

This northern region of Italy is the place to come for some really opulent, decadent, complex cuisine. In fact, Piedmont is one of those places that prides itself on deliciously decadent dishes. They have some world-class chocolates here, as well as a lot of gnocchi, polenta, and some tasty truffles as well! This is also the home of fonduta – it’s like fondu, but with additional egg yolks and truffles added! If you really want to indulge yourself in a big way, Piedmont is certainly the right choice for you.

Sicily

Sicilian food is some of the best in the world, and we feel like it could even rival Tuscany for the ideal culinary excellence. Sicily has a wonderful blend of Italian dishes and Mediterranean infusions, as well as influences from African and Arabic cuisine. Lots of seafood, peppers, and eggplant are eaten here, and there is a big emphasis on dessert – with a special focus on citrus fruits.

The thing we love the most about Italy is how much diverse cuisine they have on display. There are a lot of wonderful dishes, to choose from, and so many great areas with their own influences. If you want to enjoy one of the most diverse culinary experiences in the world, Italy is a no-brainer. Start looking into booking your Italian culinary adventure as soon as you can – awaken your palate right now!

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Travel apps that will improve your trip

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Travel is so important these days, and there is a lot you need to think about when you make a journey. Whether you’re going traveling for business or pleasure, it’s important to have the experience of travel, especially if you’re going to be going abroad. It’s pretty clear that the whole travel process can be pretty exhilarating, but it can also be stressful as well. And, it’s important to make sure you look for things that will help make it a more bearable journey.

Improving your travel experience can come down to a number of factors. When you choose to travel, and the company you use play important roles in this. Make the travel process as efficient and effective as you possibly can. But, there are also some excellent mobile apps you can use to help you with your journey as well. These are some of the best apps we reckon you should download for your next trip.

WikiTravel guide

This one is surely a no-brainer, right guys? If you’re traveling to a new place, you want to have as much information about that place as you can. So, the best thing to do is to download this wonderful app – it’s cheap and incredibly useful. If you want a comprehensive breakdown of the place you’re visiting, and what it offers in terms of accommodation, food & drink, and sightseeing, this $ 1 app is absolutely essential.

Speak & Translate

The worst thing is when you go abroad, and you’re unable to communicate with anyone because you don’t understand one another. Well, the best thing to do here is to download some sort of translation app to help you communicate. We feel the best choice to do this would be the Speak & Translate. This voice and text translator allows you to communicate and translate in many different languages. It’s essential for your travel experiences, especially if you’re heading to Europe.

PackPoint

Okay, consider your life officially changed from here on out! This is the absolutely ideal app for anyone who hates packing – so, basically, everyone! PackPoint is basically the demon packer you wish you were. It will take into account the duration of your trip, the weather, and the activities you have planned, and compile a packing list for you! It’s a free download that is sure to revolutionize the way you approach the whole packing situation before going away.

Circa

One of the really annoying things, when you go abroad, is keeping track of the time differences. This doesn’t just apply to your circadian rhythm, it also applies to friends or family (or business colleagues) in other time zones. Got an important call you’ve arranged to make? Well, in that case, you need to know what time it is in a different time zone. This is where Circa comes in so useful, and reduces the stress in your life. This is an essential app for anyone who has trouble with other time zones.

These are some of the best travel apps that will improve your life and enhance your travel experience. It’s something you need to make sure goes as well as possible for you, and that often means using the resources that are available. So, you need to look at these apps and think about how much they are going to improve your life and boost your travel experiences.

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The Perfect African American Road Trip

Holiday time means time to hit the road, something that isn’t a necessarily stressful thing for African Americans according to a new report.

For black America, the perfect road trip lasts for six hours, was one of the findings from research conducted by Chevrolet and Harris Poll. Many African Americans also said that they had fond memories of road trips taken with their families as children. In fact, 99% of African American parents said they enjoyed road trips.

(Image: iStock/FatCamera)

 

Some other interesting tidbits about African American road trip preferences:

 

  • 86% said their favorite way to pass time during car travel is by listening to music with their family.
  • 81% said talking was a good way to pass time.
  • 52% preferred watching or listening to a movie or TV show to pass time.

Almost all of the survey respondents said that spending time with family was their favorite part of a road trip. Next was exploring and stopping at attractions along the way, and many stated that just “unplugging from daily life” is what made road trips so fun.

African Americans also like to travel in style—those surveyed preferred conducting their road trips in an SUV—with many preferring a large SUV with three rows. Parents also emphasized the importance of in-vehicle technology such as infotainment systems and in-vehicle Wi-Fi—features becoming more commonplace in automobiles.

By the way, the survey also revealed that Moms are more stressed about keeping kids busy and entertained during a road trip than Dads. Maybe that’s because 75% of those surveyed said Dads did the driving; only 31% of Moms drive.

Parents also bring plenty of electronic toys. Families bring along an average of 6.6 devices on family road trips, (yes, we don’t know what .6 of a device is, either).

 

 

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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Useful things you’ll need when going on a business trip

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Business trips are the backbone of the modern corporate world. Without them, there is no way for your company to thrive, and there is no diversity across the business world. It’s essential to get out in the world and try to make a connection with people from all walks of life. When you’re jetting off abroad for business, you want to have the perfect blend of work and play, and really showcase why you and your company are worth the investment.

Now, many people are seasoned pros and know exactly what to bring on business trip, while others have no idea where to begin. Packing right is essential if you want to enjoy a successful and stress-free business trip. So, we thought we’d put our heads together, and come up with some awesome ideas of the most useful things you will need when you decide to go on a business trip.

Electronics

These days everything is pretty much digital, and it’s almost impossible to do business of any kind without electronics. So, you have to make sure you pack the relevant electronics with you that you’ll need for your trip. For instance, you will need to take your smartphone, laptop, and, possibly a tablet as well. Don’t forget to pack charges and ports as well so you will always have access to working electronics.

Currency

It’s a brave person who goes abroad without any of the local currency changed up. Make sure you have at least some with you before boarding your flight. Yes, it may be cheaper to change it up when you’re out there, but, at the very least make sure you have the cash for a taxi and a snack with you before you go. Now, some currencies are easy to come by, but others may need to be ordered, so make sure you account for this and order yours in plenty of time.

Paperwork

Now, there is a preference these days for making everything digital, and that includes your business documents and information. But, we think it’s also important to have hard copies as well, not to mention the fact that it looks more professional as well. So, make sure you compile all your information before going and print it off, so you have a hard copy of the relevant paperwork. This is a good way of keeping a backup and is essential for helping you to stay in the game, so to speak.

The right clothing

Don’t forget that, even though you’re traveling on business, you’re still going to a separate country, and the climate can be very different. You need to make sure you pack the right kind of clothing to help you acclimate to the weather. This means packing warm clothing for colder climates, and vice versa. You may not think about this too much, but it can definitely make a big difference to your comfort and experience on the trip.

Business cards

The most important part of business is marketing and networking, and business cards play a crucial role in this. They are a calling card, and a wonderful way to generate interest in the company, and put the feelers out when connecting with people. Business cards should be your bread and butter, and you need to carry them with you at all times because you never know when they might come in handy.

These are just a few of the amazing tips we’ve come up with that you need to know about for your business trip. If you’re serious about having the most productive and enjoyable trip imaginable, this advice is invaluable. Don’t forget, the whole purpose of a business trip is to make a connection and help your business thrive in another country. With the advice and tips in this post, we hope you will be able to do that emphatically!

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Trump: Asia trip ‘tremendously successful’

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Wrapping up his extensive tour of Asia, President Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed “tremendous amounts of work” on trade and said nations around the globe have been put on notice that the U.S. will demand improved trading conditions.
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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

Things to plan for your road trip

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Taking a road trip is a rite of passage for any young (or old!) person, and the best way of ensuring you have one of the greatest coming-of-age experiences. Road trips are an excellent way of getting out on the open road and exploring the great outdoors, with the wind in your hair and the sun on your back. But, in order to get the best possible experience, you need to make sure you plan adequately for your road trip.

There are a lot of great things you will need to do to have an unforgettable road trip experience. A lot of the time it takes the right people, the right attitude, and the right preparation, and you can really have an amazing time if you tick all these boxes. This is the perfect experience and one that can be shared by friends and family members alike. Get a load of these sensational road trip planning tips that you definitely need to make use of.

Plan your route

The most important part of the road trip process is making sure you plan your route. Now, this is a delicate thing because you have to get the right balance. You need to have some idea of where you’re going, so don’t make it up as you go. But, you also need to make sure you have a degree of spontaneity because that’s truly what makes a road trip great. You’ve got to make sure you do a bit of planning, so you know where you’re going, but, also, make sure you leave some stuff to the moment. Trust us, if you find that balance then you’ll have a road trip to remember!

Pack supplies

Supplies are a crucial part of having a successful road trip, and you have to make sure you stock up accordingly. There are plenty of things you will need for a road trip, and you need to ensure you don’t miss anything. Bear in mind that it might take a while for you to get to a store or a place that has supplies while you’re on the open road. So, make sure you pack a first aid kit and a map so you can plot your route. You’ll need the relevant electronics (phones) and charging cables. Not to mention plenty of water and snacks for everyone who is coming on the trip.

Budget

It’s actually pretty important to budget for your road trip as it’s going to cost you. And there are bound to be unforeseen costs as well (such is life)! Budget for supplies at the start of the trip, and gas when you fill up the car, but also make sure you account for the fact that there are likely to be other costs you’re going to face. These could include replacing lost items, car repairs, buying clothing, or an impromptu stop at a new restaurant. Making sure you have the right budget is essential for improving and enjoying the road trip more.

Make sure the car is in working order

The most important member of a road trip entourage is the vehicle, without question. Your car is going to have to dig deep and do more work than it has ever done before in its life. And, you need to make sure it is in full working order. That means getting it serviced before you embark on the trip, and ensuring that everything is fine. We can’t stress enough how important this is – the last thing you want is for your car to break down in the middle of the trip.

A road trip can be a fun, adventurous, and exciting time for everyone, and is a great way to travel with a difference. But, to avoid the obvious pitfalls of road trips, you need to make sure you plan and execute your properly. The best way of doing that is to make sure you follow some of the advice we’ve offered above. Happy road tripping!

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Travel Capsule for an Eight-Day Trip

This is the fifth time in twelve months that I’m travelling to the Netherlands to see my 85-year old Dad. I’ve got the packing and commuting thing down across four seasons and in all sorts of weather. The trips have become a way of life and are part of our quarterly routine. 

I’ll be heading out tomorrow morning while Greg and Sam hold the fort at the Cox Castle. Including travel, it’s an eight-day trip, and this is what I’ve packed.

A few things upfront before I delve into the details:

  • I’ll be visiting family, seeing dear friend Inge, doing errands, eating out, and going to a few appointments. I’ll be hanging out with my Dad in his home town of Velp, with daily trips to nearby Arnhem (a 15 minute bus ride). These very quaint 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 keep my outfits casual, although my outfits are on the dressier side of casual.
  • Autumn in the Netherlands is very similar to Seattle. Chilly, grey, dark, quite windy, and somewhat wet. Hopefully we’ll have some sunny intervals. Daytime high temperatures of about 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) will be the norm, but colder in the morning and at night. Hopefully temperatures will stay just above freezing. I do a LOT of walking and take public transport when I visit my Dad, which means wearing the right footwear, cosy socks, woolly scarves, and an assortment of toppers so that I stay warm, comfortable and dry.
  • I’ll be putting a suitcase in the hold because I like to have more dressing options than a carry-on can accommodate. I’ll also be bringing presents for family, and doing some Christmas shopping which requires extra space.
  • I will not be doing laundry on the trip.
  • I can magically keep white and cream wardrobe items clean, and have been travelling with them for years. It’s a complete non-issue.
  • The capsule also includes the outfit that I will wear on both non-stop ten-hour flights. It’s the same outfit, and I’ve shown the components at the end of this post.

The Palette

Burgundy, tomato red, ink blue and blue denim with a touch of cream and a smattering of pearl grey. No black! Tomato red adds life to the burgundy. The cream brightens and lightens the look. The dark blues ground the palette. My Dad likes bright colours so I like to incorporate them for him too.

To create a satisfying mix that is true to my style, I created a capsule that combines classics with trendy items, wardrobe essentials with statement pieces, solids with patterns, knits with wovens, neutrals with colours, and old items with newbies. Plenty of variety but with a good amount of discipline. The silhouettes are generally quite simple. It’s the colour of the item, the bold combination of the colours, the accessories, and the mix of patterns that give the outfits their kick. I can create tonal looks with burgundy and tomato red. Wear a column of colour with burgundy and navy. Throw in high contrast with cream, and pattern mix with ease because the patterns are in the same colour spectrum.

Here’s more detail on each part of the capsule. Note that wardrobe basics like undies, camisoles, sleepwear, loungewear and knee-highs are not represented here. For the rest, these are the exact wardrobe items that I packed and will be wearing en route.

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 shoes I was taking, I planned the rest of the outfits to work with them. (NEVER take new shoes on a trip. Take tried-and-tested styles that you know go the distance).

I chose booties because those are right for the weather and extremely comfortable. They have been weatherproofed with spray, and the grey booties are weatherproof already. I almost brought my tall riding boots but booties are easier to pack. I would have been fine bringing two pairs of booties, but packed a third in case my feet need a change, or I feel like a change. All three pairs work with all four bottoms. I suspect I’ll wear the burgundy and grey most of the time, and leave the dressier cream pair for appointments.

Bottoms

I chose four bottoms, but actually it’s only three bottoms because I’ll wear the blue boyfriend jeans on the flights ONLY. That means I’ll wear the full-length dark wash denim straights, cropped straights and burgundy velveteen crops twice. I’ll wear them with navy knee-highs or socks. That’s plenty of variety so I don’t feel bored.

Tops

I’ve packed five tops, but actually it’s only four because the oversized ink pullover is for plane travel only. I’ve stuck to fine gauge woolly knitwear because that’s dead right for the weather. Fits are fluid and tailored with varying necklines. I went with two neutrals (one light and one dark), and two non-neutrals to create variety. That way I can remix looks depending on my mood – like high contrast, tonal, or a column of colour. All tops work with all bottoms so I can mix and match as I please.

Toppers

I’d get bored wearing one topper for eight days, which is why I chose to bring two with different vibes. One long, dressy, classic, solid and very warm. The other short, trendy, patterned, casual and not quite as warm. I can wear either topper with any top or bottom.

Accessories

I packed many accessories because they change up my look, and don’t take up space. I chose two scarves that work perfectly with the palette. The burgundy scarf creates an effective complement with the burgundy bag, boots, belt and specs. The red scarf is a good match with the red coat and pullover, creating a tonal twinset effect. It also pattern mixes well wth the plaid jacket. The burgundy scarf looks as fab over the red coat. The orange pom-pom hooks onto my bag and makes me smile. I chose a crossbody because it’s easy for travel, and a dressy Furla because casual bags are not my thing. Cream beret and gloves are essential for walking in the cold morning and night. I’ll wear the pile of pearls over my cream and red pullovers. And the patterned socks are fun to make a casual statement with the palette when I feel like it.

I will also be travelling with an umbrella and a cashmere wrap. I’ve left the wrap out of the capsule because it will NOT be styled into these outfits. It’s loungewear and a cosy blanket for plane travel only.

Travel Outfit

This is the exact outfit that I will wear tomorrow 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 fabrics are cosy, comfortable and insulating for plane travel. A jacket, scarf and dressy bag also make my casual outfit look pulled together and polished. Comfortable shoes are essential for comfort when traipsing through airports and catching public transport with luggage. I’ll pack my jacket into my hand luggage during the flight and while I’m at the airport, but will need it on the other side when when I take organized transport through to my Dad’s apartment.

I tried on lots of outfit combinations using the items to make sure I liked them BEFORE I made my final decision on what to pack. You can visit the collection page to see my travel capsule in its entirety. The picture below shows the items just before I started packing.

Travel Capsule

Travel Capsule

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How Much a Trip to the 2018 Winter Olympics Would Cost You

Why simply watch the 2018 Winter Olympic games on television when you can be there in person and feel feel the energy of the crowd?

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games kick off in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Feb. 9, 2017. Athletes from roughly 90 countries, as well as hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to descend on the region for the 17 days of intense competition in sports like ice hockey, skiing, figure skating and curling.

As with any popular event, you’ll need to start planning and booking your trip in advance for the best experiences and values. Booking site Fareness.com has already seen an uptick in searches to South Korea during October, indicating people are planning potential travel.

Whether you’re looking to splurge on a front-row experience to see your favorite sports or simply get by on a shoestring budget, MONEY scouted the options and priced out what it really costs to spend a week at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Sample Budget

$ 915: Average flight cost from the U.S. to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport

$ 200: Pyeongchang Rail Pass from Seoul

$ 1,870: Average cost of a hotel for a week near the Games

$ 1,548: Four ticket packages to alpine skiing, pairs figure skating, speed skating, men’s hockey match and snowboarding

$ 150: Meals

_________________

Total: $ 4,683

Tickets

Scoring tickets to the actual events is still possible, but prices can vary widely depending on what you want to attend and which seating section you opt for. For example, tickets for the Opening Ceremony start at just over $ 400, but a front-row seat is currently selling on Stubhub for as high as $ 5,946. Depending on which countries make it to the medal rounds, you may be able to score resale tickets cheaper closer to various events.

For U.S. residents, there are still plenty of event tickets left on the Games’ official vendor, CoSport/Jet Set Sports. For example, you can purchase a two-day package that includes ski jumping and figure skating for $ 480. But keep in mind that the medal rounds for popular sports command a high price. A ticket package for a men’s hockey playoff game and medal ceremony is going for about $ 1,739.

Flights

Flights from the U.S. to Seoul are averaging about $ 915 for the timeframe around the Olympics, according to airfare prediction app Hopper. And despite it being about 125 miles from the Olympic Stadium in Pyeongchang, Incheon International Airport is really your best bet to get to the Olympic Games on time, says Fareness founder and CEO Scott ‎Wainner.

Out of major U.S. cities, Fareness found that a seven-day trip from L.A. to Seoul was currently the cheapest at a mere $ 694 for those leaving Feb. 10 or 12, 2018. But flights from cities in the middle of the U.S. are usually higher—for example, Austin during roughly the same timeframe and for the same duration were about $ 1,080.

“Travelers should keep in mind that most flights are going to take over 12 hours so make sure that you book your hotels and transportation to account for time zone changes,” Wainner says.

Before booking your flight, check what time it’s set to land both in South Korea, as well as what time that would be in your home city. It could be a cheaper flight gets in at 3 a.m. your time. That’s an especially important consideration if you’re the type of traveler who doesn’t sleep well on flights. You may want to spend an extra night in Seoul to recoup and get acclimated before heading onto the Games.

Hotels

Book your 2018 Winter Olympics hotel as soon as possible, Wainner advises, noting that accommodations are limited and neighboring towns can be over an hour away by local transit.

If you’re planning to stay in Pyeongchang where the opening and closing ceremonies are taking place, the lowest rate available is $ 117 a night at the Oclaire Pension, according to Booking.com. If you’re willing to splurge, a night at the upscale Mamestar Pension—which includes an outdoor pool and free wi-fi—starts at $ 449. Some rooms even include spa bathtubs and kitchenettes.

Want to stay closer to the action? The hockey, figure skating and and speed skating events are taking place in Gangneung, about 13 miles east of Pyeongchang. The most budget friendly option in this town is at The Ocean Capsule Hotel, where a room for the night will set you back $ 269.

Getting Around

The easiest way to get from Seoul to the Olympic Games is via the newly expanded bullet train route, which reduces the travel time from 2.5 hours by car to about an hour by train. You can purchase a 7-day pass from around $ 200. That’s a good deal, considering a one-way ticket from Boston to New York during peak times can cost around $ 120.

Once you’re at the Olympic venues, you’ll be able to use spectator shuttle buses. Connecting the cities of Jinbu, Hoenggye and Gangneung, ticket holders may use spectator shuttles on the day of the event. The buses are scheduled to start running the day before the Opening Ceremony and operate through the last day of sporting events.

Meals

While you may end up grabbing a snack or a quick meal at one of the venues before or after an event, there are other dining options. Generally, meals at inexpensive restaurants are about $ 6, while a 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant is about $ 18 per person, according to cost estimate site Numbeo. The Team USA friends and family guidebook recommends checking out the Gyo-Dong region (near Wonju University) in Gangneung, which is a quick cab ride from the Olympic Park. Here you’ll find small restaurants and coffee shops.

In Pyeongchang, there are several well-known restaurants worth checking out, according to MyBucketlistevents.com. The 30-year-old Paldo Myeon Ga restaurant offers meals for around $ 10, including broiled eels and spicy stir-fried chicken. The slightly more expensive Youngchun Garden is also recommended. Try their famous stewed chicken dish using traditional medicinal herbs for around $ 18.

Currency Exchange Rates

The South Korean currency is the won (pronounced wʌn). Currently a U.S. dollar is worth about 1,110 won, but the spending power of the dollar against the won has been on a steady decline over the past year. Expect that trend to continue into the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“Exchange your currency early at your local bank,” Wainner says. And make sure you do this in advance, as your local bank may have to special order won, which could take up to a week. If you wait and exchange your currency at the airport you could be paying an exchange fee, whereas many banks in the U.S. don’t charge their customers a fee for this service.


Sports – TIME

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Mark Wright enjoys boozy night out in London with Extra co-host Mario Lopez as he jets home for short trip

MARK Wright enjoyed a boozy night out in London with his Extra co-host Mario Lopez last night.

The 30-year-old is currently back in the UK for a short trip after recently relocating to the US for his new job.

Mark Wright and Mario Lopez enjoyed a very bozzy night out
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Mark was back in London for one night out

Joined by his new best mate and work buddy, the former Towie star hit the town, showing Mario how an Essex lad likes to party.

But rather than going to his usual haunts, the evening started at five-star London hotel Claridges before heading to a bar.

There things got a little raucous as the pair were presented with tequila shots.

Filming the evening, Mario joked:  “Look at these tiny tequila shots that Wrighty has. They’re like tiny baby shots. What is going on?”

Clearly a little lively, Mark replied: “But are you gonna do one? If they’re baby, do two!”

Mark and Mario looked like they were having ball
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The pair were joined by a woman and a tray of tequila shots
Instagram

At another point in the evening Mark was seen pouring tequila down Mario’s throat as they continued to party away.

Mark clearly had a great time as he later tweeted: “Been away from London for a bit. Spent the day and night here today and realised, wow !! what a city this is !! 🇬🇧.”

His wife Michelle Keegan was noticeably absent from the evening’s activities .

It’s thought she is currently still away filming scenes for the next series of her BBC show Our Girl.

The guys couldn’t wait to get stuck in
Instagram
Mark was seen pouring tequila down Mario’s throat
Instagram

While Mark has seen his family since his move, he’s yet to be reunited with his wife thanks to their conflicting work schedules.

He previously opened up about how hard it was, telling the Sun Online: “I’ve had the same group of friends since I was a kid. I miss them lots, I miss my family, my wife’s away working, we can’t get to each other right now because she’s working solidly every day like I am, too.

Mark also gave some to their mate
Instagram

“I’m without my friends, without my family, without my wife – it’s always going to be a bit lonely but I’m not complaining just yet.

“I’m enjoying the job. Going to bed early, waking up early, doing the best I can and then in a couple of months I’ll be reunited with my wife and I’ll be feeling a lot better by then.”



Got a story? email digishowbiz@the-sun.co.uk or call us direct on 02077824220.

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TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun

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14 Things I Pack for Every Trip to New Orleans

As a Louisiana native, I’ve spent a lot of time in New Orleans over the years. While I’m no longer a resident of the state, the majority of my family is, and I’m currently planning my upcoming wedding in The Big Easy, so my trips to New Orleans have been more frequent as of late. Over the years, I’ve realized that there are certain wardrobe essentials when visiting the city, so if you’re not sure what to wear in New Orleans, I’m here for you. 

You’ve probably heard that heat and humidity are trademarks of The Crescent City, and while that’s not exactly the case all 12 months of the year, the rumors are pretty much true. Spring, summer, and even early fall can be downright steamy in New Orleans, rain showers are a frequent occurrence throughout the year, and you’re probably going to spend a good deal of your time walking to places like Cafe Du Monde, the Garden District, and St. Louis Cathedral, or Frenchmen Street and Bourbon street after dark. The point is, you’re going to be walking outside a lot and you’ll need appropriate attire that suits the festive yet chill vibe of the city. 

Keep scrolling to find out which 14 things I pack for every trip to New Orleans (so you can spend your time planning what to eat there, not what to wear). 

I’ll go ahead and start with the obvious—you’re going to want to pack a few pairs of shorts. 

Next up, find out what to wear in Chicago.

Free up your hands to take Instagrams of the French Quarter and hold your to-go cup.

Thunderstorms often come out of nowhere in NOLA, so be prepared.

If the forecast calls for a jacket, a leather or denim one is usually the perfect weight.

The nightlife scene is a big part of New Orleans’ charm, so pack accordingly. I tend to rely on tops that will look cute with jeans and any shoe style.

Romantic dresses suit New Orleans to a T, and you can dress them down with sneakers or up with block-heel sandals.

See above re: thunderstorms… 

I love my 100 percent cotton Levi’s but when heading to New Orleans, I stick to thin, stretchy denim.

I love to wear vintage-inspired shades in NOLA, and highly recommend local sunglass brand Krewe.

You’ll never look out of place when wearing a cool tee in New Orleans, so stock up.

Stay comfortable when exploring the city via a pair of trouser-legging hybrids.

I’m always sure to pack a pair of fun block-heel shoes for when I want to kick things up a notch for a night on the town.

It may not be cold outside but you can bet that every restaurant and shop will have the A/C blasting.

Jumpsuits are easy to style and don’t have up a lot of room in your suitcase. Win-win.

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

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Monkeying around in Borneo: a voluntourism trip with a difference

Voluntourism is popular but controversial. In Indonesian Borneo, however, the Orangutan Foundation puts conservation (and graft) first, as our writer discovers

I’ve got a hammer in my hand when the cry goes up: “Orangutan in the camp.” Nine people down tools and grab their cameras and a chance to snap one of the critically endangered primates that we are here to help on our three-week stay in Indonesian Borneo. Rimba, a 17-year-old male orangutan, doesn’t disappoint: he circles the camp, going from tree to tree just a few metres above our heads for almost 30 minutes, hooting gruffly if anyone comes too close.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

TRAVEL DEAL UPDATE:

Pharrell & ‘Girls Trip’ Writer To Produce Horror Film Together

Musician and fashion icon Pharrell Williams is joining forces with Tracy Oliver the writer of the hilarious Girls Trip are bringing an adaption of the YA book Survive The Night to the big screen.

According to the Hollywood Reporter,  Warner Bros. got on board with the film right away. Oliver will write the script and direct while Williams will produce the film alongside Mimi Valdes his partner at I Am Other Entertainment.

The two worked together on the sensational film Hidden Figures which told the story of three amazing Black women essential to the NASA in the 1960’s.

The films about a group of college girls who get trapped inside an underground warehouse festival on Halloween. They have to survive the night, pun intended, from an attacker who tries to hunt them down in the night.

Williams, Valdes, and Oliver are very familiar with each other as they worked together on the on the YouTube show Awkward Black Girl that starred Issa Rae.

Oliver is no stranger to directing as she totes a short film under her belt that featured R&B singer Jhene Aiko.

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(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)


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Inside the Stunning Resort Kim Kardashian West Chose for Her Birthday Trip

Where do you go for a laid-back birthday trip? Well, if you’re Kim Kardashian and you’re turning 37, you go to Amangiri Resort, a remote spot in Canyon Point, Utah. (You may remember that stylish British It girl Lucy Williams Instagrammed from the same resort just last week.)

Kardashian posted several photos on Instagram Stories, captioning one of them: “Most relaxing bday trip! #Amangiri.” One look at the property, and it’s easy to see why Kardashian chose it: The tranquil desert landscape looks like the perfect place to unwind (and show off your new swimsuit).

“Amangiri’s geometric planes are hued with ochre, yellow and pink to blend with the cliff curve it sits within,” the resort’s website reads. “Each Suite features a large living area that opens onto a terrace offering Utah desert views that change color by the hour.” Ready to feel inspired? We rounded up some of our favorite images of the resort below.

Scroll down to take a peek inside Amangiri Resort, where Kim Kardashian West spent her birthday getaway.

Next up, see where six stylish It girls are vacationing this fall

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

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One Family’s Trip Through the History of U.S. Racism

Nietzsche wrote that he always trusted thoughts that came while walking; I chose to revise this form of mobility to a road trip this summer to the Deep South with my family.

I am, or shall I say I was, a high school history teacher. Why I became one is a bit of a long story, but I took the advice of a mentor who said: if you want to make a difference in the world, working in a soup kitchen is okay, but you really should teach high school—get them when they’re young. After years of teaching at the college level, I made the move in 2012. My mostly affluent, predominantly white students loved hearing about the civil rights battles of the 1950’s and 1960’s, but had little or no exposure to this grass roots movement—a wellspring of most reform movements in this country. They wanted more, especially a readable account of the civil rights movement. There were always questions and a desire to learn more about the women of the civil rights movement who stood in the shadows of the male triumvirate—Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers.

This spring I had an ah-ha moment: I would write that book. It took me some time to come up with a recipe to bring this history alive, and then I thought on one of my favorite pastimes, the road trip. This one would take me and my son, Augie, home from Beloit College and my 12-year-old daughter, Gemma to the seat of the Old Confederacy.

Gemma and Augie walking over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, AL.

It made perfect sense. I turn 60 this fall, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the day when the Little Rock Nine walked up the steps of an all-white high school in Arkansas. Emulating the powerful Civil Rights monument granite table in Montgomery, we would drive in a circle—we would begin at our home base of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and then go to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and back again.

Little did I know when we set out on the trip that the scab of racial hatred would be torn off once again this summer over Confederate statues. Uncannily, we found ourselves in southern locales that frighteningly mirror the past with events of the present: We were in Pulaski, TN—the birthplace of the KKK—on Friday, August 12th, the precise evening of the intimidating torchlit parade in Charlottesville. The next day, we were in Memphis, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot dead at the Lorraine Motel—and where we heard the news of the subsequent acts of terror in Charlottesville that led to the death of Heather Heyer and the injuries of dozens more.

For our Friday evening trip to Pulaski, TN, we learned that it was another evening, Christmas Eve of 1865, when six Confederate veterans met there to form the Ku Klux Klan. In 1917, a bronze plaque was nailed to the building that read: “Ku Klux Klan organized in this, the law office of Judge Thomas M. Jones, December 24, 1865.” KKK supporters in Pulaski wanted the plaque because they felt that the town had been overlooked in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, a 1915 film that championed the Klan.

Things stayed that way until 1986. That’s when the KKK started returning to Pulaski every January to parade by the plaque as a way to spite the new Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. As if it was a sacred relic, KKK members would walk up to the plaque and kiss it. This angered a civil rights hero, Marguerite Massey, who owned the building that held up the plaque. In August 1989, Marguerite unbolted the plaque, flipped it to face the wall, screwed the bolts back in and then welded them in place. The words commemorating the Klan were hidden. All that can be seen is the plaque’s blank back side.

“This,” she said, “was better than simply throwing the plaque away.” It showed that she and Pulaski had turned their backs on the KKK.

Former birthplace of the KKK in Pulaski, TN.

President Trump would not agree with Marguerite’s gesture, but Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans would be the first to applaud her. President Trump and others see the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville as a part of our history. The KKK placard in Pulaski, Tennessee is also a part of our history—and men like Trump would likely say it should not have been turned around. But we know that this placard was like a perverse icon, to be kissed and cherished by the KKK instead of seen in solemn mourning for a darker time.

We should not, the president says, “change history.” Instead, we must see it more clearly. We must confront it. And we must overcome it.

This brings me to a more sensible view of history as expressed by Mayor Landrieu of New Orleans: “The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered.”

Indeed, earlier on our trip, when dusk was settling in on New Orleans, Gemma, Augie and I were on a trolley after we visited the William Frantz School, and the facade that remains to remember and honor the heroics of six-year-old Ruby Bridges, who was escorted up those school steps in November 1960 by federal agents through a gauntlet of screaming white mothers. The conductor later that afternoon announced the next stop: “Lee Circle!” We looked toward the setting sun that glowed atop the column; the sun, not statue a of Robert E. Lee, became the pinnacle of the pedestal.

Mayor Landrieu did not change the name of Lee Circle. He did not demolish the site. He kept the name and the column to confront history—but the column pedestal is now an homage to the sun and stars, a literal a shining beacon of racial healing.

After our haunting visit to Pulaski, we went to Memphis. That morning, before the distressing news out of Virginia, Augie, Gemma and I headed for the Lorraine Motel—where Martin Luther King, Jr. drew his final breath before being shot on its balcony on April 4, 1968. Our hope was to revisit that sorrowful day, as we did at the home of Myrlie and Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi, where a bullet from a white KKK member was put into his heart in their driveway on June 12, 1963.

But as we walked up to the Lorraine Motel, we ran into Jacqueline Smith.

Gemma and John standing with Jacqueline Smith in front of the Lorraine Motel/National                                                Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.

For 29 years and 198 days!—through rain and snow, cold and heat, night and day—this unrecognized African-American heroine has staged a one-woman protest against the new owners of the Lorraine Motel—the National Civil Rights Museum and, as she infers, its largely corporate board. She lived at the Lorraine Motel from the time she was a young girl until 1988, when the police forcibly removed her and her belongings to the street to construct the museum. The incident drew national attention. She has since then been camped out all these years in front of the museum with all of her measly worldly possessions, wishing all visitors to boycott a commercialization of the slain civil rights leader.

Jacqueline Smith believes strongly that this enterprise undermines the ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr. Like a mantra, she quotes Dr. King: “Spend the necessary money, to get rid of slums, to eradicate poverty.” As she says to people who pass by, “rather than standing in the museum’s shoe prints of the alleged assassin, James Earl Ray, do something good today for society.”

After showing us photographs of people who have listened to and supported her, including Cindy Lauper and Kevin Durant, Augie looked at his phone to tell us all the news. “A car driven by 20-year-old James Alex Fields, a misguided neo-Nazi sympathizer from Ohio rams through Charlottesville’s counter-protestors, killing Heather D. Heyer and injuring countless others.”

Jacqueline chimed in: “assassination, terrorism—my god, what kind of a country is this that feels like a broken record?”

Given the context of this news that arcs precisely from the founding of the KKK and the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. to this summer’s torch-lit neo-Nazi parade and the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, this was a weighty question. All citizens of this democratic nation urgently need to grapple with it—especially given that we have a president who continues to stir the pot of racial animosity.

John J. Ciofalo received his B.A. in History at Colorado University and Ph.D. in Art History and Comparative Literature from The University of Iowa in 1995. He went on to teach at a variety of universities and wrote a book on Goya’s self-portraits that was published by Cambridge University Press. The book won wide acclaim. After teaching for around 15 years at the college level, he took the advice of a mentor who said that if you want to make a difference in the world, you probably want to teach high school students. Since 2012, he has taught history at the high school level. He left his post on the cusp of his 60th birthday to write a necessary book, The Summer of Hate: A Family’s Southern Sojourn to Honor Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement. You can find John on Facebook

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The post One Family’s Trip Through the History of U.S. Racism appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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A huge unsung milestone: Our first trip without a diaper bag

by

Maggie Downs

posted in Life

It finally happened. The day I didn’t believe would happen, the milestone I never saw coming, the definitive sign that I no longer have a baby.

The diaper bag is gone!

Toddler boy in pajamas jumping off a rock

I’ll admit I’ve had a rocky relationship with diaper bags. By the time my son was born, I owned three of them – a practical one that I registered for, an impractical one that I didn’t register for, and one I ordered off eBay in a wild, 9-months-pregnant-and-I-need-more-stuff panic.

I ended up keeping just one bag – the most massive one, because I thought carrying around a mini version of Target in bag form made sense. Diaper rash cream, bandages, bananas, water, packets of Starbucks instant coffee, a full first aid kit, a muslin blanket, an extra set of clothes for both baby and me, utensils, hand sanitizer, nursing pads, diapers, teethers, toys, I was PREPARED.

After about a year of dragging that bag to play dates and the park, the bag’s straps shredded, the bottom was threadbare, and I had a perpetual achy shoulder.

Next my husband surprised me with a new diaper backpack, which was glorious. I don’t know why I ever wasted my time with anything other than a backpack. It was roomy, easy to haul around, and the knots in my upper back almost disappeared.

I carried that bag for two years. Then I went away for a week without my family, and when I returned I never wore the bag again. It wasn’t a purposeful decision; this coincided with my son being potty trained, and I didn’t need all the stuff anymore. I didn’t even notice for a while that I wasn’t carrying it.

A selfie with a white woman who has curly brownish hair and her son, the world's cutest toddler, who is wearing a straw fedora and some cool shades.

Last week I made a road trip to Las Vegas with my son, and the diaper bag stayed at home. That made it official. A diaper bag was no longer necessary.

Sure, it only makes sense that the diaper bag would disappear eventually – like, around the same time my son finished with diapers. But over the past three years, the darn thing became such a constant companion, I grudgingly accepted it. It became a part of me. We were one.

And now? I feel like a camel that has just shed a hump.

I currently have an extra set of boys’ clothes and a travel package of wipes stashed in the trunk of my car. If we need snacks, a toy, or a bottle of water, I put them in my son’s backpack, which he loves to carry. (And why not? I carried him for 42 weeks, then all his stuff for the next 156 weeks. The least he can do is haul around our granola bars.)

A tiny red-haired girl and her toddler boy friend, who is wearing a backpack

As for me? I have the tiniest, most frivolous handbag. More like a wallet. It’s so slim, sometimes it slips under the seat in the car and I can’t immediately find it. If I sneezed, it might blow away. It’s like Tinkerbell’s purse or like something a mouse might carry. I can’t even fit anything in it. I adore it.

Every time I grab my little purse, a tiny sparkler of excitement sizzles within me. This is something I never thought would happen again.

Walking upright with no back pain is just a bonus.

How long did you carry a diaper bag?

BabyCenter Blog

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‘Girls Trip’ PR Exec Explains Why We Shouldn’t Look to Hollywood to Tell Our Stories

Ryan Ford talks diversity in Hollywood

As the executive vice president and chief creative officer of Cashmere Agency, Ryan Ford is behind public relations, social media, and experiential activations for Hollywood hit films like Girls Trip. But beyond Ford’s day-to-day position, he’s also committed to providing solutions for multicultural creators to get the spotlight they deserve.

Photo credit Ryan Ford

 

Below, Ford exclusively shares his insights on the one debate that has circled around Hollywood for quite some time.

What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in the film industry and how are you working to make that change happen?

I’m constantly perplexed when movies like Girls Trip or Straight Outta Compton are deemed as surprise hits. Since the very first moment that films like that are announced, everyone that I know understands that they are going to be huge hits. I mean, like everyone. TV is the same thing. Whether it’s Netflix’s Luke Cage or Master of None or more traditional outlets like TNT’s Claws or FX’s Atlanta, shows that are offering viewers new and engaging yet wholly authentic looks at multicultural life shouldn’t be deemed as surprise hits.

Cashmere is a marketing agency that helps clients engage diverse communities through culturally authentic content. So, it’s our main focus to be able to anticipate hits before they happen. To achieve that? Just listen to the demos that you are trying to target. Or simply go to a barbershop or check in with Black Twitter.

What’s your solution for changing the diversity landscape in Hollywood?

The landscape has already changed. The entertainment industry is recognizing the value of diversity. On average, films with more diverse casts are outperforming their less inclusive competitors.

It’s clear what people want to see. It’s just that Hollywood is behind. Hollywood is good at doing something second. They don’t want to be first. It’s too risky for them. That’s why we shouldn’t even be looking to Hollywood to give us the kind of depictions that we are so hungry for. Social media is offering a new generation of content creators to thrive. And it’s not only the subject matter of the content; it’s the various forms that it’s coming to us in. Digital influencers are using Snapchat stories, or YouTube videos, or Facebook memes, or even Instagram carousel pictures to offer us visions of ourselves through new, always-on mediums.

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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Short break or big trip? Holidays to book now

Featuring a wild west-themed break in Spain, a weekend in Budapest, the reopening of Tate St Ives and Singapore flights for £179, our budget travel ideas for October and November have arrived

October and November are still a little early to soak up northern Europe’s wintry charm (and most Christmas markets don’t open till the end of November/early December) but thanks to the city’s incredible thermal baths, Budapest will always be a great destination for getting warm and cosy. It’s among the cheapest city-break destinations in Europe, too, with a recent survey by No1 Currency estimating that a three-day break can cost £300, including flights. A Skyscanner search picked out flights from London to Budapest for as little as £52 return for a weekend in November. Book a stay at a budget boutique hotel, such as chic Brody House (rooms from around £60 a night), and wile away a weekend in the bathhouses. The art nouveau Gellert Baths feels like bathing in a palace and admission is £15, including locker use; massages and treatments start from £15.
For more ideas check out our Budapest travel page

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Travel | The Guardian

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#RHOA Exclusive: Porsha Williams BOOTED From ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Group Trip After She Tried to Attack Marlo Hampton

Sources exclusively tell lovebscott.com that Porsha Williams and Marlo Hampton got into a MASSIVE blowout during the cast trip to Barcelona and Porsha got sent home early.

According to our source, Porsha and Marlo got into an argument and things escalated quickly when Porsha pointed an object in Marlo’s face.

Marlo then snatched the object from Porsha, which prompted her to LUNGE in Marlo’s direction.

Porsha didn’t touch Marlo, but security did break them up and Porsha had to be restrained before being escorted from the venue.

The ladies aren’t set to leave Barcelona until tomorrow, but Porsha was put on a flight yesterday.

It wouldn’t be a RHOA season without Porsha trying to fight someone.

The post #RHOA Exclusive: Porsha Williams BOOTED From ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Group Trip After She Tried to Attack Marlo Hampton appeared first on B. Scott | lovebscott.com.

B. Scott | lovebscott.com

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5 Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Trip to Barbados

Barbados

Back in August, I had the opportunity to take a second trip to Barbados and experience the Crop Over Festival for the first time—and what an experience it was! I fell in love with soca, explored the wonder of Harrison’s Cave, got a taste of “the rum that invented rum,” and jumped in the Grand Kadooment! Beyond that, I had the chance to chat with locals and take a tour of George Washington’s Barbadian home.

As working professionals, we all deserve an occasional break from the daily stresses of work and life. Such trips are not only relaxing but they oftentimes broaden your world perspective and present you with a creative space to come up with new, fresh ideas. Here are five reasons why I would encourage working professionals and business owners to book a trip to the amazing island of Barbados.

 

 1. Crop Over

 

Barbados Grand Kadooment

 

Crop Over is a two-month long celebration of Bajan culture and history that runs from the beginning of June to the first Monday of August. During this time, Bajans party with their family, neighbors, and loved ones, while extending a warm invitation to foreigners who want to join in on the festivities.

“I love the people,” Jaqueline Blenman, a native of Barbados and a school teacher, told Black Enterprise during a Crop Over breakfast party. “I like that I see all my friends, and my family, and people that I don’t even know. There is no other festival like it in the world.”

Blenman also touched on the roots of Crop Over, which began as a harvest festival on sugar cane plantations in the 17th century. Back then the celebration was called “Harvest Home” and signaled the end of the yearly sugar cane harvest.

“Every plantation had a Crop Over festival. So this thing was literally islandwide,” Richard Sealy, the minister of Tourism and International Transport in the Cabinet of Barbados, told Black Enterprise in an interview. However, the festival was disbanded after World War II and then later resurrected in 1974 by the Barbados Tourist Board in effort to attract tourism and business. “When Crop Over was [relaunched], there was the Jambay Festival in Bahamas, there was Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica, and there was nothing in Barbados,” explained Sealy.

Since being resurrected, Crop Over has evolved into Barbados’ biggest national festival, similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad. The tradition has also become “synonymous with Barbados,” said William Griffith, the CEO at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI). “We’ve managed to grow over the past several years into a major festival of food and music and Carnival atmosphere,” he added. “What we try to do is not only promote the beauty of the island, but also the cultural aspects of the island. The original birthplace of rum. And it’s really about the persona of the island. It’s alive. It’s music, food, and top-class resorts, as well.”

The festival officially concludes with Grand Kadooment, a huge parade of masquerade bands usually held on the first Monday of August. This is a stunning spectacle of visual and aural music and dancing to the sounds of soca and calypso. This is also where Rihanna was when she broke the internet by sharing photos of her Crop Over costume.

 

 


 

2. History 

 

George Washington House in Barbados is a historic house where the future first U.S. President visited in 1751 when he was 19 years old (Image: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

 

Outside of the Crop Over festivities, concerts, and parties commonly referred to as fetes, I had a chance to delve into the history of Barbados, which, like all Caribbean nations, was colonized by Europeans and built on the backs of slaves. I also toured the home where George Washington resided as a teenager during his first and only trip overseas in 1751. It is said that the trip greatly expanded the future U.S. president’s worldview and helped him develop an immunity to smallpox.

The 18th century home, which has been renamed the George Washington House and preserved as a national landmark, also includes a room dedicated to the history of slavery. In the clip below, historian, former diplomat, and university lecturer Dr. Karl Watson talked about Washington’s interactions with slaves on the island while impersonating the first U.S. president

 

In the following clip, Watson talks about the kid-size slave chains that are now preserved as artifacts.

 

 

Barbados (Image: BE Digital Editor Selena Hill at Gun Hill Signal Station, St. George)

 

Furthermore, I had the opportunity to explore other historic sites like the Gun Hill Signal Station in St. George, the largest and most important military outpost in Barbados. The outpost dates back to 1697 and was recognized as one of the four points where guns were placed in order to send an alarm about an invasion.

 


 

3. Culture

 

In addition to its world-class beaches, Barbados is defined by its warmth, casual charm, and sophistication. According to Griffith, it has a culture and “personality of people that is second to none.” He added, “we think that we are a very friendly island, we think that we have a fantastic array of food choices of restaurants on the island, we think that we are a wonderful vacation destination for clients.” And he’s right!

The flavor of Bajan cuisine is derived from a mixture of African, Indian, Irish, Creole, and
British influences. A typical meal consists of meat or fish marinated in herbs and spices, hot side dishes, and salad, along with one or more sauces. The national dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish with spicy gravy. Another local favorite is pickled pork with spiced sweet potatoes called “pudding and souse.”

The best way to wash down a Bajan meal is with a glass of Mount Gay Rum, which is recognized as the world’s oldest remaining rum company. According to locals, it’s “the rum that invented rum.”

 

 


 

4. A Future of Promise

 

(Image: Little girl at the Grand Kadooment)

 

Although Barbados is known as a luxury destination for mature travelers, Sealy says the island is in a period of growth and aiming to attract younger visitors. For example, a new Sandals hotel is projected to open at the end of the year. The ministry of culture “is constantly looking at what they can do with the festival and there are numerous proposals about how they can improve it. Make it larger as well. Adding events, and so on. Extending the festival.” For example, “Crop Over is attracting a younger clientele. So is the Reggae Festival and the Food and Rum Festival, which is in November,” he said.

The island also plans to introduce Uber sometime in the future in order to meet the demand and expectations of new visitors. “The Uber folks have been to Barbados. They are talking to the officials with responsibility for that sector, the ministry of transport,” Sealy confirmed. “Uber and/or Uber-type companies are going to be a reality [on the island].”

He added that local taxi drivers and companies are being taken into consideration so that they are not negatively impacted by Uber. Uber “is talking to the Ministry of Transport and Works, who has a responsibility for that sector [of local drivers]. All of those sensitivities are things that they are looking at. Uber isn’t coming here next week or next month, he said, adding, “the local taxi community will be integrated because they have to be a part of it if it’s going to happen.”

 


 

5. Support the Caribbean

 

(Image: Sugar Bay Barbados Beach Resort)

 

Barbados, like many tropical islands in the region, is economically dependent on tourism to a large degree. Tourism has also helped transform the island from a low-income agricultural economy primarily producing sugar into a high-income economy. Hence, those of us with the privilege to take an overseas vacation should consider planning a trip to the Caribbean— not only to experience the paradise that it has to offer but because these black-populated nations need tourism to survive. Especially in light of Hurricane Irma, which ripped through the Atlantic earlier this month, causing billions of dollars of destruction and completely decimating Barbuda and Anguilla.

 

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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Storify: Lonely Planet’s epic road trip

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There’s nothing like a road trip – exploring the world on four wheels, windows down, wind in your hair and an epic playlist cranked up to full volume…

Because we’re all about practising what we preach, last month a group of intrepid Lonely Planet staffers hit the road, travelling the length of the UK in a Tesla Model S to experience a road trip like no other, inspired by our latest release: Epic Drives of the World

Here’s how we got on.

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See the world with Virgin Atlantic – Over 30 Destinations Worldwide

I went on a trip without my kids and I did NOT miss them

by

Deidra Romero

posted in Parenting

Since having kids, I have never spent a single night child-free. But that all changed last week. My husband and I had 3 glorious nights away for the first time in FIVE WHOLE YEARS.

And it was the stuff of dreams.

We stayed up late talking with friends and watching Game of Thrones. We had long, lingering brunches. We traveled light without the strollers, car seats, and baby wipes. I even carried a small cross-body purse.

mom on vacation wearing cross-body purse

I thought: Someone pinch me.

I enjoyed the most mundane activities like standing in line at Starbucks. It was amazing not answering one million questions about all the things in the whole wide world.

I will be honest, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to click out of mom-mode.

I was worried I would miss them so much I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself. I was worried I would be worried the whole time.

But when we got to the airport, we had so much time before our flight (it’s amazing how quickly you can move kid-free). So I snuck in a pedicure and manicure with my favorite podcast and one of those massage chairs.

That was enough to put me right into vacation mode.

I was afraid to Facetime my kids who were staying with my mom. I had heard stories of kids breaking down over Facetime and I just didn’t want to deal with all that guilt on my vacation. But my husband insisted we try it.

They were 100 percent fine. Happy, even. They loved spending time with my mom who was spoiling them.

There were very few tears shed in our absence. None of the things I feared happened.

happy woman jumping on bed holding pillow

Do you remember that weightless feeling you had before kids?

When you would wake up and the entire day was yours? You could literally do whatever you wanted. I had forgotten that feeling.

I had forgotten that feeling.

While we were away, it was as if my husband and I were visiting our life before children. I felt like a time-traveler in a sacred land.

husband and wife smile

Until this trip, I didn’t realize how quickly I move through my days. I rush from the moment I get up in the morning until bedtime. I was expending so much emotional energy every single moment so I could maximize my productivity while parenting effectively.

That time away provided me with so much clarity. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought I would come back feeling rested, but I didn’t foresee this renewed perspective.

Now, I’m trying to move through each day at a well-measured pace. These days with small children are marathons, not sprints. I got into the habit of rushing all the time and the seconds I save are not worth it.

I’m organizing my days much better and I’m learning new ways to incorporate rest and relaxation. I’m putting my phone away more too. It’s a time suck and emotionally draining. I can’t go back to the hectic life I created before.

Even though I didn’t miss my kids at all, I was so happy to come home to them. That weightless, child-free feeling is euphoric, but I live a life tethered to this earth by these two precious children. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

Have you managed a child-free getaway since becoming a mom?

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Man Pleads to Felony Murders of Maryland Sisters Who Vanished During Mall Trip in 1975: ‘It’s Been a Long Time’

On Tuesday morning a 60-year-old sex offender admitted to the felony murder of two young Maryland sisters who vanished during a trip to the mall in 1975, PEOPLE confirms.

Lloyd Lee Michael Welch Jr. pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree felony murder when he appeared in court in Bedford County, Virginia, the Washington Post reports — partially resolving a decades-old case with a long grip on the community.

Despite Welch’s plea, key questions about what happened and by whom remain unanswered. Prosecutors have said that Katherine Lyon, 10, and 12-year-old Sheila Lyon were abducted in Maryland in March 1975 and then killed, after which their remains were disposed of — but never found.

Welch was prosecuted in Bedford because it is believed the remains of at least one of his victims was buried there, according to the Post.

According to the Associated Press, Welch denies being responsible for the girls’ deaths or sexually assaulting them, but he admitted to being a party to their abduction, during which they were killed. Under Virginia law, that allowed him to be charged with felony murder.

On the day they vanished, the Lyon girls went to the Wheaton Plaza mall in Montgomery County, Maryland, to shop for Easter decorations and grab a bite to eat. They were never seen or heard from again.

Welch was sentenced to 48 years in prison as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. However, his sentence won’t start until after the completion of a sentence he is serving Delaware for molesting a 10-year-old girl

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

As part of his deal with prosecutors, Welch agreed to plead guilty to two unrelated child sex abuse cases, according to the Post, with sentencing concurrent with his term for the felony murders. Montgomery County prosecutors further declined to pursue charges of their own as a result of Welch’s plea, the newspaper reports.

Bedford County prosecutors did not immediately return a call. Welch’s defense team was not immediately available to comment.

His admission so many years after the girls were killed — and despite a lack of physical evidence, including bodies — was heralded by some this week as an accomplishment by law enforcement.

“I think what they did was unprecedented,” Robert Lowery, a vice president at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, told the Post.

Welch was only developed as a suspect in recent years, after he was already incarcerated in an unrelated sexual assault case. However, he eventually gave multiple incriminating statements about his role in the Lyons case to law enforcement, only some of which were suppressed ahead of trial.

• PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: 35 Real Cases That Inspired the Show Law & Order is on sale now.

Welch’s plea meant “we can all be assured that will never be free to victimize another child or destroy another family,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger, according to the Post.

Authorities have reportedly said they believe Welch did not act alone in abducting and killing the Lyons, but other participants are either dead or their roles could not be proven.

Katherine and Sheila’s parents and siblings were reportedly at the hearing on Tuesday. Afterward their dad, John, addressed the media.

“We just want to say thank you,” he said outside the courtroom. “It’s been a long time. We’re tired and we just want to go home.”

• Reporting by ADAM CARLSON


PEOPLE.com

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Places that you have to visit during a US road trip

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If you live in America or want to travel the world for a bit, there is nothing more exhilarating than a good ol’ American road trip. Grab your mates or grab your partner, grab your car (the more vintage, the better) fill the tank up with gas and let the road take you to your next destination. You can explore the deepest corners of the country, visit some of the most popular attractions and really see what the land of Stars and Stripes is all about. Nevertheless, the best part about an American road trip is exploring some of the hidden gems the country has to offer. So check out these 5 places you have to visit during your US road trip.

The Grand Canyon – Arizona/Nevada

Okay, so it’s not actually a hidden gem. In fact, it’s actually a really, really big tourist attraction. However, no American road trip is complete without at least a little stop off in Arizona or Nevada to check out the Grand Canyon. Although you’ve probably seen pictures of it before, nothing compares to seeing this incredible sight for your very eyes (and it looks a lot bigger in real life). If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even stop off and kayak along the rivers or white water raft through the water and rocks. It’s well worth a visit.

Big Sur – California

Have you ever wanted to follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac? Then a trip to Big Sur has to be on the cards. This destination is perfect for the road tripper, as the 90-mile stretch along the coast is the perfect place to put your car into cruise control and take in the incredible surroundings. You can check out the redwood forests, park up on the edge of the Pacific Ocean or just coast through. Nevertheless, it is a sight everyone needs to experience at least once.

Mount Rainier National Park – Washington

If you find yourself driving near Washington, a stop-off at the Mount Rainier National Park would be one of the best decisions you could make. Of course, you’ll want to take in the views from far away to start with. The Mount Rainier National Park winds its way around this active volcano (keep an eye out for spewing lava. Just kidding) and features impressive meadows, forests, lakes and more to check out. You could go for a walk, take a boat around the lakes, or just take the perfect picture in this serene spot.

Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs – Texas

After being on the road for a while, you’ll probably want a good wash – and if you take a trip to Texas, you’ll find the best watering hole there is. The Hamilton Pool Preserve is a one-of-a-kind natural pool that lies in a limestone cave. The pool is sourced by a natural spring and is popular with the locals who fancy a dip or a swim. You can cool off underneath the 50-foot waterfall, or you could just relax in the mineral-laced waters.

Monument Valley – Utah/Arizona

Let’s be honest; there’s going to be a couple of times during your US road trip when you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. But what if you could be in the middle of nowhere and see some of the most iconic views in US history? Bonus. Monument Valley is located in Utah/Arizona and is definitely something you need to check out – even if it’s while you’re trying to find your way back to Florida.

You just have to check out these places on your American road trip! There are so many beautiful spots to see in America, but if you can plan your route so that you can visit these places, it will be well worth it – even if it involves a detour!

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The post Places that you have to visit during a US road trip appeared first on Worldation.

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Brand New Tour Merch + Win Trip To See Stones In Paris

Just landed in The Rolling Stones store and here for one week only, there is some exclusive No Filter Tour merch available, featuring limited edition t-shirt designs by Philadelphia based artist/designer Jeremy Dean, best known for his “Wonders of Black Flag” t-shirts – a mashup of iconography that explores the cultural crossover between Black Flag and the Grateful Dead.

Alongside all this brand new merch, we’re giving you the chance to win an all paid for trip to Paris, to watch the Stones live in concert! (T&Cs apply)

CLICK HERE TO SHOP & ENTER NOW!

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5 apps for a successful camping trip in Australia

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There might be something quite contradicting with the idea of getting away, especially on a camping trip and using your phone constantly, however, in this day and age, it’s almost impossible to escape our sliding friends. Australia, being a country as well as a continent, you can only imagine the number of attractions and things to do in this miraculous place. From swimming with sharks in The Great Barrier Reef to exploring the outback and just simply relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches the country has to offer. Yet, one of the most adventurous and exciting things to do in Australia is hands down – camping. It can be in the form of a tent in the middle of nowhere or inside a caravan. The camping sites and caravan parks are incredibly organized and are accessorized with the best features and amenities. All of these make the whole outdoor experience a much more pleasant one.

While camping is pretty much about going back to nature, having a smartphone in your hands can be quite useful and will enable you and your camping mates to enjoy and relax your camping vacation more freely. Here are five apps that will help you turn your next Australian camping adventure to a better one.

Wiki Camps Australia:

If you decide to go camping in the Land Down Under, you really should download Wiki Camps to your smartphone. This app will be your ultimate guide with the most updated information regarding different points of interest, parks, campgrounds and more. The bonus is that you don’t necessarily need internet connection as it works offline as well. The app is user-friendly and is simple to use.

Willy Weather:

They say that in Australia in just one day, the weather can change drastically. Sometimes, it’s almost like there are four different seasons happening at the same time, and that’s why you need a good weather app that will help you plan your trip according to the weather. Willy Weather app is great in the sense that intuitive and user friendly. You will have all the weather-related information you will need from forecast to sunrise and sunset and rain radars.

Australia Bushwalking:

It doesn’t get more Aussie than that, really. A big part of a camping trip is exploring the area around your campsite, and what better way than getting to know the area than by foot? Bushwalking is pretty much synonymous to hiking. The app will provide different useful and detailed track points. It chronicles almost 100 of Australia’s bush walks including the Larapinta Trail and the famous Great Ocean Walk. It’s both informative and includes some great personal insights, which makes it more authentic.

Show the Loo:

When nature’s calling, you just have to go. The only problem is that when you’re in the middle of nowhere, you’re not sure where the closest and most decent place to go is. This app is extremely useful for those who traveling in a van that doesn’t have an ensuite bathroom or toilet facilities. It will provide you with information on the closest toilets as well as their opening hours.

Star Chart:

What’s more romantic than staring at the stars when you are sleeping outside, it’s literally written in the stars for you to use this app. Even if you’re not a big astrology fan, it could be pretty cool to get some in depth information when you are stargazing. From a star to a constellation, the app will notify you what you’re looking at, even during the day.

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‘Girls Trip’ and Other High-Grossing, Black-Directed Movies

moviesmovies (Image: Instagram/malcolmdlee)

 

Despite seeing a 12% downturn in box office tickets this summer, Girls Trip, a film celebrating black sisterhood, has earned $ 100 million. This makes the comedy the first movie with an African American cast, director, and writers to reach this benchmark. As a result, the film’s director, Malcolm D. Lee, has joined 11 other African American directors who’ve achieved such a landmark, domestically.

Back in 2013, Lee’s Best Man Holiday earned $ 30 million during its opening weekend but only $ 70 million in total domestic gross. Still, the director told BlackFilm.com that he remained confident that he would eventually reach the “century club.”

“I thought it would be possible at some point in my career. There was talk that it could have happened with Best Man Holiday and I loved our release date, but we were sandwiched between Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in a very busy holiday season. I thought it could possibly happen there, but this is certainly the one that I thought could possibly happen. I’m grateful that the fans came out and supported it. They got me to the century club,” Lee said.

In honor of Lee’s milestone achievement, here’s a look at five other high-grossing movies directed by African American filmmakers.

 

The Fate of the Furious – Directed by F. Gary Gray 

 

Following its release in April, The Fate of the Furious earned a whopping $ 225 million in the U.S. in less than a week. The film, which was directed by F. Gary Gray, went on to gross $ 541 million around the world, making it the biggest worldwide film opening since 2002.

This is not the only film that Gray directed to tip over the $ 100 million mark. Straight Outta Compton (2015) raked in $ 161 million in a mere nine days while The Italian Job (2003) made $ 106.1 million over the course of a little more than three months.


 

Get Out – Directed by Jordan Peele

 

Jordan Peele’s socially conscious horror flick Get Out grossed $ 117 million in just 16 days, making Peele the first African American writer and director to earn over $ 100 million at the box office with a debut feature film. Just as impressive is the fact that the comedian-turned-filmmaker made the movie on a shoestring budget of $ 4.5 million. Altogether, Get Out grossed a total of $ 175 million, which is a hell of an ROI!


 

Stir Crazy – Directed by Sidney Poitier

 

Legendary filmmaker Sidney Poitier is the first black director to make a film that earned over $ 100 million following the release of Stir Crazy in 1980. The film was also the third-highest-grossing move that entire year.


 

Fantastic Four – Directed by Tim Story

 

Tim Story’s 2005 Fantastic Four was a commercial success that earned $ 154 million domestically in 10 days and a gross income of over $ 330 million around the world. Story also directed the sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), which made $ 131 million in the U.S.


 

 

Creed – Directed by Ryan Coogler

 

Ryan Coogler was only 29 years old when he released Creed in November 2015, a spin-off and sequel to the Rocky film franchise. The film earned $ 30.1 million in its opening weekend and ended up grossing $ 42.6 million within five days. Its earning tipped over the $ 100 million benchmark in 38 days.

 

 

Other black directors whose films topped $ 100M in the U.S. include Keenan Ivory Wayans for Scary Movie (2000), which grossed $ 157 million; John Singleton, whose 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) earned $ 127 million; and Clark Johnson for S.W.A.T (2003), which earned $ 116 million. (See a full list at BlackFilm.com.)

Despite these examples of high-earning films made by black directors, the amount of diversity in Hollywood remains scarce. According to a report published by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, only 10% of films were directed by a person of color. Diversity is profitable, but when will Hollywood get the picture?

 

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Girls Trip Is First $100M Movie To Be Produced, Written, Directed And Starring African-Americans

When Thursday’s take comes in tomorrow, Universal’s Girls Trip will have crossed the $ 100M mark domestically, making it the first film to be produced (Will Packer, Malcolm D. Lee), directed (Malcolm D. Lee), written (Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver) and starring (Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Tiffany Haddish) African-Americans.

At a time when articles are being written on how this summer has been brutal for films with, according to Box Office Mojo, ticket sales are down 12% from last year, Girls Trip is one of the few bright spots. Not only did it defy expectations, having grossed $ 31M in its opening weekend but it held up over the following weeks.

It dropped 36% in its second weekend for a $ 20M take and has remained among the top five at the box office since then. This comes as other competing films that were released at the same time and afterwards such as Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Atomic Blonde, The Dark Tower, and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature failed to live up to their potential.  Girls Trip and Warner Bros.’ Dunkirk as the only films released on the same date this year (July 21) to gross over $ 100M domestically. The last time two films did that was Passengers and the animated film Sing, which were released during Christmas week (Dec.21).

For director Malcolm D. Lee, after eight previous films, it’s his first trip to the century club, joining 11 other Black directors to do so domestically. He came close with 2013’s Best Man Holiday, which had a $ 30M opening but ended with a $ 70M total gross domestically. In speaking exclusively with Blackfilm.com, Lee expressed the same feeling when asked if he ever thought he would make the century club.

“Yeah. I thought it would be possible at some point in my career. There was talk that it could have happened with Best Man Holiday and I loved our release date, but we were sandwiched between Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in a very busy holiday season. I thought it could possibly happen there, but this is certainly the one that I thought could possibly happen. I’m grateful that the fans came out and supported it. They got me to the century club.”

It’s also the highest grossing comedy, R-rated at that, this year, surpassing the likes of CHiPs ($ 18M), Snatched ($ 45M), Baywatch ($ 58M), Rough Night ($ 22M) and The House ($ 25M). The last comedy to surpass the century mark was 2016’s Bad Moms, which grossed $ 113M and also featured Jada Pinkett-Smith.

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With the exception of the underperforming Rough Night, Girls Trip continued the trend that Bad Moms, Ghostbusters (2016), Trainwreck, The Heat, Bridesmaids, and Sister Act established. Female-led comedic films can sell if given the right script, cast and marketing.

When you throw Hidden Figures in the mix, because it went wide on January 7th of this year and ended with an $ 169M domestic gross, films led by an African-American female cast have big draw potential that hasn’t been tapped into and Lee recognized that.

I definitely think it was a combination of things. First of all, you’re dealing with an underserved audience that (producer) Will (Packer) and I and the studio (Universal) as well felt that this was a ‘Sex and the City’ for Black women. Quite honestly, the precursor to ‘Sex and the City’ was ‘Living Single’ and ‘Girlfriends.’ I think that it’s a movie that celebrated them at a place that felt like an event with the setting being at the Essence Festival.

Instagram Photo

I felt women were going to own this movie and claim it as their movie. There’s a powerful box office when you talk about black women. Yes, the movie crossed over. Girl Power, and Black Girl Magic and strong black women are all part of the zeitgeist right now; and on top of that, fortunately for us there were no comedies that really broke out before Girls Trip. It was one of those movies that worked on a number of levels and was really funny and audiences and critics alike agreed.”

With a current score of 88% (94 fresh, 13 rotten), Girls Trip was certified fresh from Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates reviews from hundreds of newspapers and websites across the country.

Despite the low returns from the Tom Cruise starred-film The Mummy, which has a $ 80M take domestically, Girls Trip has added to Universal Pictures’ phenomenal year the box office. This is the studio’s 5th film to hit the century mark domestically following M. Night Shyamalan’s Split ($ 138M), Jordan Peele’s record-making surprise hit Get Out ($ 175M), Fifty Shades Darker ($ 114), the ever-growing The Fate of the Furious ($ 225M domestically but $ 1.2 billion worldwide) and Despicable Me 3 ($ 248M and coming close to a billion dollars worldwide).

Peele’s Get Out, F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious, and Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip,  marks the 1st time that three African-American directors have had $ 100M grossing films in one year, especially under one studio. In 2015, Gray’s Straight Outta Compton ($ 161M) and Ryan Coogler’s Creed ($ 109M) broke into that list for Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. respectively.

Interesting enough, this is producer Will Packer’s 2nd $ 100M grossing film as a producer. He was an executive producer on Straight Outta Compton. His first came with 2014’s Ride Along ($ 134M). He’s come close a couple of times with Ride Along 2 ($ 91M) and Think Like a Man ($ 91M). It’s worth noting that out of Packer’s 16 produced films, 8 have opened at #1 at the box office and 4 have come in 2nd place, including Girls Trip.

Having co-written Girls Trip with Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver is the 1st African-American female screenwriter to have a $ 100M film. She and Barris join that rare company of Black screenwriters (Scary Movie’s Shawn and Marlon Wayans, Creed’s Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington, and Get Out’s Jordan Peele) as a part of that club.

With the continued success of Girls Trip, naturally there will be talk of a sequel. After all, Bad Moms is having a sequel released later this year, so why not put Girls Trip in the conversation. Lee knows the game well enough to have the right answer to that question.

“Of course, they always bring up sequels when a movie does well. They’ve been doing that since the beginning of my career. Best Man, Undercover Brother, and we even talked about Roll Bounce. Speaking of Roll Bounce, I remember Peter Rice, then President of Fox Searchlight Pictures, said to me on the set of that film that he thought it would be Fox Searchlight’s first $ 100M movie. So, when you asked earlier if I thought I would get there, the answer is yes, possibly. So, there’s always talk of a sequel but nothing is materialized as of yet.”

Here are the other African-American directors whose films grossed $ 100M domestically and the amount of days it took.

F. Gary Gray’s 2017 The Fate of the Furious (4 Days, $ 225M total domestic cume)
F. Gary Gray’s 2015 Straight Outta Compton (9 Days, $ 161M)
Tim Story’s 2005 Fantastic Four (10 days, $ 154M)
Tim Story’s 2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (12 days, $ 131M)
Keenan Ivory Wayans’s 2000 Scary Movie (14 days, $ 157M )
Jordan Peele’s 2017 Get Out (16 days, $ 175M)
John Singleton’s 2003 2 Fast 2 Furious (17 days, $ 127M)
Tim Story’s 2014 Ride Along (23 days, $ 134M)
Clark Johnson’s 2003 S.W.A.T (24 days, ($ 116M)
Ryan Coogler’s 2015 Creed (38 Days, $ 109M)
Lee Daniels with 2013 Lee Daniels’ The Butler (46 days, $ 116M)
Antoine Fuqua’s 2014 The Equalizer (66 days, $ 101M)
Peter Ramsey’s 2012 Rise of the Guardians (67 days, $ 103M)
F. Gary Gray’s 2003 The Italian Job (95 days, $ 106.1M)

Sidney Poitier’s 1980 Stir Crazy took in a domestic total $ 101.3M but there are no records that show how many days it took to reach that mark. It’s worth noting “Crazy” was the first time a film directed by an African-American earned more than $ 100 million.

Bronx based writer, Scorpio and pen collector Wilson Morales is the editor of Blackfilm.com and can be reached via his social media:

Twitter @blackfilm – https://twitter.com/blackfilm

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Entertainment – Black America Web

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