Travel


NEW: Brightline will be model for other U.S. regions, Congressman says

As All Aboard Florida’s Brightline kicked off its inaugural weekend on Friday, transportation planners from across the country were already looking at ways to replicate the service in other large metropolitan areas where traffic is a problem. The private train service shuttled dozens of federal, state and local officials and other dignitaries between its stations in West Palm Beach and Fort...

Embrace the Bold North in Minneapolis for Super Bowl

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis is the northernmost city to host a Super Bowl. Tourism officials are making the most of that as they prepare to welcome visitors to the "Bold North." Many activities surrounding Super Bowl will take advantage of Minnesota's wintry weather, including outdoor concerts, ice sculptures and opportunities for winter sports.  Super Bowl events will be held...
6 top tiny home vacation rentals that won’t cost you your mortgage

6 top tiny home vacation rentals that won’t cost you your mortgage

Need a vacation that isn't followed by a barrage of credit card bills? Tiny home vacation rentals are a wallet-friendly option, with beach, mountain and ranch locations available. Renting a small space for a weekend getaway or weeklong adventure is also a great way to test drive the tiny home concept.  »RELATED: Here's what a $1 million house looks like in 7 major US cities »Here...

Talk Travel: Ideal stops on an Atlanta to Memphis roadtrip

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I am taking road trip from Atlanta to Memphis, Tennessee and back by way of the Delta and Birmingham over winter break. Any favorite spots in the deep south for these Yankees to visit?   A: For Birmingham, here are some of my favorite places...
Tasmania's Three Capes trail is spectacular, but it's not cheap

Tasmania's Three Capes trail is spectacular, but it's not cheap

Hilly, forested and wet Tasmania is regarded by many Australians as their most picturesque state, a kind of Vermont of the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the most economically depressed, which is one of the reasons the Tasmanian government has upended a great walking tradition - that natural beauty owned by the state should be open to all, at minimal cost, in the spirit of democracy.  Less than...

You're going where? Greenville, South Carolina

I've never fallen in love with a place as quickly as I did with Greenville. This was a surprise, because I arrived in South Carolina with low expectations. In the late '80s and early '90s, I spent most childhood school vacations and several weeks each summer visiting grandparents who lived elsewhere in the Palmetto State. On many trips there, we would take time to explore a new area recommended to...

More places to go in 2018

From Bourbon Street to the South Pacific pull of Fiji, destinations abound for the tourist with a strong case of wanderlust. — An indigenous tourism boom.   Australia’s remote Top End — the Northern Territory’s northernmost hunk — is experiencing an uptick of tourism to its aboriginal communities, the world’s oldest civilizations, according to 2017 DNA...

Family travel: Getting your fill with an EAT vacation

One of the hottest trends in travel is EAT vacations. We’re not talking about tours with celebrity chefs. Rather, families are looking for trips that provide memorable Experiences, real Adventure and Transformative moments.  Here are five ideas that may fit the bill.   1. Discover Palau   Located in the westernmost corner of Micronesia, Palau, an archipelago of more...

American won’t let you pay with cash at Miami’s airport anymore. Here’s how it’ll work

MIAMI — If you’re traveling on American Airlines from Miami International Airport, leave the cash at home.  The leading airline is moving to a cashless model at MIA, meaning that any transactions for additional fees, such as checked bags or overweight bags, will have to be made with credit or debit cards. The change is effective on Thursday.   The airline already has transitioned...

US travel industry launches plan to reverse tourism decline

NEW YORK (AP) — Travel industry representatives sounded an alarm Tuesday over declines in international tourism to the U.S. and announced plans to reverse the trend.  Organizers of the new Visit U.S. Coalition portrayed the decline as long-term, going back to 2015, and said they would work with the Trump administration to reverse the decline.   In a conference call Tuesday, coalition...

You snap pix of national parks on vacation. Jarob Ortiz takes them for a living.

Jarob Ortiz stood on a rocky mound and waited. He watched the sky for a break in the clouds and the ground for shadowy patterns. Then, a shazam! of light burst through, illuminating the campfire circle.  "Oh my God, it just got really bright for a second," he said at Camp Greentop in Catoctin Mountain Park in north-central Maryland. "Excuse me for a second."   Ortiz...
Shake up your cruise routine with these adventurous options

Shake up your cruise routine with these adventurous options

Cruisers who are tired of the Caribbean and Mediterranean and want to spice up their next water-based vacation should check out new offerings for 2018 from AdventureSmith Explorations. Destinations include Tasmania, Patagonia and remote areas of Indonesia. Or, to get really off the grid, there’s a 17-day journey into the high Arctic to explore the Northwest Passage. The 132-passenger Ocean Adventurer...

Can't remove the lithium battery from your smart luggage? Then consider it grounded.

If you own smart luggage, you should test its intelligence as soon as possible. The IQ exam that matters - if you can take out its lithium battery.  On Monday, airlines including American, Alaska, Hawaiian, Delta, United and Southwest will no longer allow passengers to fly with smart bags that contain nonremovable lithium batteries. The policy change applies to checked and carry-on bags that...

Ritz Carlton, a luxury Saudi prison, takes Feb. 14 bookings

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Ritz Carlton in Saudi Arabia's capital may be reopening its doors in time for Valentine's Day, after serving for several months as a prison for the country's elite caught up in what the government has described as a crackdown on corruption.  The Ritz Carlton's website on Monday showed bookings available beginning Feb. 14.   An unidentified...

How to plan your family's first international vacation

It is exponentially easier to plan a trip with kids to somewhere you've been before than it is to plot an adventure someplace new. I was forced to acknowledge this last spring as I struggled to map out my family's itinerary for a three-week, three-country European vacation. Plan a skiing, camping and hiking trip in the American West, where I was born and now live? No problem. But picking a handful...
Following in the footsteps of fictional character Doc Ford

Following in the footsteps of fictional character Doc Ford

Darkness has descended over the southwest Florida swamps as I ease my rental car into the parking lot of Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island. Grabbing my bag, I head for the marina to meet up with Captain Jack La Plante, whose boat will be my ride over to Cabbage Key. As we skim across Pine Island Sound on a moonless night, I let my imagination run wild and think how easy it would be to dispose of a body...
Artist illustrated President Trump tweets to help “understand him”

Artist illustrated President Trump tweets to help “understand him”

Shortly after President Trump’s inauguration, cartoonist Shannon Wheeler  was trying to put together a book of his work that had been published in “The New Yorker,” “Mad” magazine and “The Onion.” “But my heart wasn’t in it,” said Wheeler, who said at the time he was still thunderstruck by Trump’s election. “I was...

If you can only eat three meals in Aspen, Colorado, make sure they're here

Fitting for a town with multiple Type-A personalities - a refuge of the elite, a proving ground for mountain athletes and a center for arts and culture - Aspen serves up a diverse buffet of high-quality dining. It wasn't always so: After a spectacular mining boom and bust (1880-1930), the Colorado community grew around skiing, creativity and partying, along the way earning a hedonistic rap as a town...
Fodor’s No List 2018 includes Missouri in top 10 places to avoid

Fodor’s No List 2018 includes Missouri in top 10 places to avoid

It seems reasonable to discourage travel to Myanmar because of human rights abuses there. Or the Galapagos Islands because of their ecological fragility.  But why would one of the most respected travel promotion and guidebook companies tell people to stay away from the state of Missouri?   That’s what Fodor’s is doing with its No List 2018, which lists Missouri as one of...

American Airlines’ new lounge for elite fliers at LAX includes a Bloody Mary bar

To compete for the travel dollars of big-spending fliers, American Airlines recently unveiled two ways to pamper its most elite fliers.  The Fort Worth-based carrier, the world’s largest, opened a new lounge at Los Angeles International Airport last month that includes all the luxuries of a buffet restaurant and bar, plus a counter where fliers can make Bloody Mary drinks with crispy strips...

Start planning your 2018 vacation now: Here are the best times to book flights

Congratulations, you survived another year of holiday travel. However, before you settle into your leather sectional and refuse to lift your "Complete Purchase" finger for another 316 days, you might want to rethink your non-strategy strategy.  "This is a great time of the year to start planning a trip," said Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper, the online booking...

Travel deals: Free airfare on European river cruises and 10 percent off packages to Africa

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   - Book by Feb. 2 and save up to $400 on select trips with EF Go Ahead Tours. For example, the Highlights of Eastern Europe tour departing March 26 starts at $1,769 per person double, a $400 savings. The trip includes 13 nights' lodging in Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw and Krakow, Poland; 18 meals; six tours; motorcoach transport...

These airplane ‘seats’ are the closest thing to your bed at home

Airlines make a big deal about the comfort their lie-flat seats provide to business and first-class customers. It’s unusual today to find an airline that doesn’t offer 180-degree recline, fully flat seats in their business and first-class cabins on long-haul flights. Even so, let’s face it: sleeping well on a plane, even sleeping fully horizontal, is a challenge. The cabin air is...
Places to go in 2018

Places to go in 2018

From Bourbon Street to the South Pacific pull of Fiji, destinations abound for the tourist with a strong case of wanderlust.  — A one-of-a-kind U.S. city turns 300.   There is no city in the world like New Orleans. Influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and indigenous peoples have made it the ultimate melting pot. And that diversity expresses itself in a...
Eyelashes freeze, thermometer breaks as -62°C temperatures hit world's coldest village

Eyelashes freeze, thermometer breaks as -62°C temperatures hit world's coldest village

As Americans continue to brave the winter weather, photos from a remote village in Russia might make them count their blessings that it’s not worse. According to the experts, Oymyakon in Siberia is the world’s coldest permanently inhabited area. Recent temperatures came in at a bone-chilling -62°C, or -79.6°F. In fact, it was so cold that the town’s thermometer...
NEW: 2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections

NEW: 2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections

Two of the newest ships in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet have received failing grades in health inspections designed to control the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses.  Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze both scored below a passing grade of 86, the Miami Herald reported. Vista, the cruise line's newest ship, received a 79 while Breeze was given a 77.  Vista's crew hid potentially...
Warning: Travelers through Chicago O’Hare International Airport may have been exposed to measles

Warning: Travelers through Chicago O’Hare International Airport may have been exposed to measles

Anyone who traveled through Chicago O’Hare International Airport earlier this month may want to check for signs of measles. The Illinois Department of Health issued an alert that a passenger on board an international flight that landed on Jan. 10 tested positive for the disease. The department has not released what flights the person was on, or where they traveled to or from. >> Read more...

Hotels with fresh ideas, from Shanghai to Denali

Innovative design and other features that channel the destination unify the following coming and just-opened hotels, which are among the most promising debuts of the new year.  China   Amanyangyun, Shanghai   When a new reservoir threatened their destruction, an entire camphor forest and 50 Ming and Qing dynasty-era houses were moved 400 miles from the Jiangxi province to...

The next airline IT outage could happen at any time - are you prepared?

For Gojko Adzic, it's not a question of if, but when, the next airline IT outage will happen.  He should know. As the author of "Humans vs Computers," a book about ordinary people caught between wrong assumptions and computer bugs, he's had a front-row seat to several recent technological meltdowns. And as a London-based software expert, he also understands how fragile and error-prone...

Airline employee orders passengers to delete videos of a dispute or risk arrest

Passengers left stranded at Boston's Logan International Airport after last week's winter storm say an airline employee ordered them to stop filming near the carrier's gate counter and delete videos from their phones. The employee threatened to call police and have them arrested if they failed to comply.  At least one passenger on the Toronto-bound Porter Airlines flight scheduled to leave Friday...
Southern states join to promote civil rights tourism

Southern states join to promote civil rights tourism

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Southern states that once fought to maintain racial segregation are now banding together to promote civil rights tourism at sites including the building where the Confederacy was born and the motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died.  Fourteen states stretching from Kansas to Delaware, including all of the Deep South, are joining to promote the U.S. Civil Rights...

What should you put on your personal travel bucket list?

Question: I recently retired. My wife and I have traveled throughout Europe but want to visit more far-flung destinations now that we have time and are still healthy. Cost is not a primary concern. I’m more interested in nature than my wife; comfort is definitely a criteria. What are your top suggestions?  — Doug H., Miami   Answer: What suits you and your wife best may...

Venezuela's economy is collapsing; violence is rampant. Its solution: woo tourists.

TODASANA, Venezuela - With its oil industry floundering, Venezuela is searching for a new engine of growth for an economy in free fall. The embattled socialist government thinks it has an answer - a future built not only on drilling and roughnecks, but beach umbrellas and piña coladas.  "Tourism is the oil that never runs out," Marleny Contreras, the nation's tourism minister...

Raising the bar in competition

After years of planning and construction, the Winter Olympics and the World Cup are generally regarded as the marquee sporting events of 2018. But there is an abundance of events throughout the year for sports enthusiasts around the globe, from the British-centric Commonwealth Games to the rough-and-tumble Rugby World Cup Sevens to the refined World Equestrian Games.  — Super Bowl LII will...
Cerabino: For Brightline, it’s a time for many to try rail

Cerabino: For Brightline, it’s a time for many to try rail

Roger and Mary Hansen were among the curious. The Wellington retirees had friends, Tom and Wanda Werneking, visiting from The Villages, a Central Florida retirement community. “We usually go to the fair, but we thought we’d try the train today,” Roger Hansen said. So the four friends made an outing of the area’s new train service, Brightline, by catching a noon train from the...
Las Vegas hotels bet on technology to attract, dazzle guests

Las Vegas hotels bet on technology to attract, dazzle guests

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In the hypercompetitive world of Las Vegas tourism, the staples of hotel-room technology — a phone on a nightstand and a flat-screen TV — aren't cutting it anymore.  Guests at some Sin City casino-hotels can get towels, food and toiletries delivered to their rooms with just a text. They can also use tablets to control room features like lights and temperature...
What Washington, DC, looks like, from the middle school perspective

What Washington, DC, looks like, from the middle school perspective

WASHINGTON - Ask middle schoolers to show you their city through the lens of a camera and here's what you'll get: a colorful mosaic of images featuring their favorite people, places and things, from flowers to friends, street scenes to sneakers, and trees to trains. The photographs make up an exhibition that is the end result of a special citywide photography lesson called "Everyday DC."...

State Department updates travel advisories so they're understandable

WASHINGTON - The State Department on Wednesday unveiled four tiered categories to warn travelers of potential dangers overseas, using common-sense language ranging from "Exercise normal precaution" to "Do not travel."  The new rankings replace the vague and often confusing system of issuing "travel alerts" for short-term dangers posed by events like health epidemics...

Allowing music to guide you

Where will the sounds of music take travelers in 2018? The destination may depend on your favorite song, but whether that means jazz, Afropunk, rock or another rhythm entirely, there’s definitely a place to go.  — For blues fans, the Tremblant International Blues Festival (July 6 to 15), in the village of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in a big way. The...

From politics to Picasso

Travelers seeking inspiration for 2018 trips may want to consider art exhibitions and cultural festivals.  — At the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, notable exhibitions include “Women House” (March 9 to May 28), which explores the role of women in U.S. culture through photography, video, sculptures and large-scale installations, and “Heavy Metal &mdash...
Tips for riding powder at Utah’s famed resorts

Tips for riding powder at Utah’s famed resorts

If you’ve ever wanted to ski or snowboard on powder, now is the time to visit Utah’s legendary Wasatch Front resorts — Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude. Storms are finally coming in.  It’s been a lean time until now, with only one storm back in October and practically no snowfall since then. Connie Marshall, public relations director at Alta, explains why. &ldquo...
Florida B&Bs struggle, cry foul as unregulated home-sharing options soar

Florida B&Bs struggle, cry foul as unregulated home-sharing options soar

MOUNT DORA, Fla. — Gwendolyn Smith, co-owner of the Grandview Bed & Breakfast, sees unfair competition for customers growing, putting some B&Bs in peril.  “There are over 200 unlicensed (vacation) rentals here,” she said, citing Mount Dora listings on home-sharing web platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO.   “Bed-and-breakfast owners like us are struggling...
Beautiful day for train ride: The curious come out to take Brightline

Beautiful day for train ride: The curious come out to take Brightline

Brightline’s second day of operation Sunday attracted lots of families, singles and others looking for an outing on the chilly, windy day that was too cold for the beach. A steady stream of people entered the station at 260 Quadrille Plaza Drive in downtown West Palm Beach, hoping to buy a tickets at $10 apiece one way to Fort Lauderdale. Some weren’t planning to take the 38-minute trip...
Must-see: Passenger jet skids off runway, gets stuck on edge of cliff

Must-see: Passenger jet skids off runway, gets stuck on edge of cliff

A passenger jet carrying 162 people got stuck on a cliff's edge moments after skidding off a runway early Sunday at Turkey's Trabzon Airport. According to The Associated Press, no one was hurt in the incident, and everyone on board was evacuated safely. The airport was closed temporarily. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said they did not know what caused the incident involving the...
A banner year for history fans

A banner year for history fans

It’s a big year for civic tricentennials, artistic anniversaries, wilderness salutes and one baseball birthday party where the fans will get the presents.  — In 1718, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville found a bit of high ground 100 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River and founded New Orleans where today Jackson Square sits. The city will celebrate...
Happy rails to you: Brightline high-speed trains roll into action

Happy rails to you: Brightline high-speed trains roll into action

Over, almost before it began. That’s how it felt as Brightline’s first train pulled into Fort Lauderdale, a quick 35 minutes after rolling out of downtown West Palm Beach. Barely had the seat-back trays come down, laptops opened, Wifi connected and snack-and-beverage cart made the rounds, then the destination city skyline came into sight and it was time to de-train. “It’s...
Michelin star boosts chef at outdoor Thai kitchen to stardom

Michelin star boosts chef at outdoor Thai kitchen to stardom

BANGKOK (AP) — After spending more than three decades cooking in an unassuming outdoor kitchen, a wok-wielding, goggles-wearing Thai chef has been propelled to international culinary stardom by having her restaurant awarded a Michelin star.  Supinya Jansuta, better known as "Jay Fai," is among 17 Bangkok-based chefs whose venues received the coveted honor from Michelin in a guidebook...
Airlines teaching staff to de-escalate passenger conflicts, but it’s really customer service

Airlines teaching staff to de-escalate passenger conflicts, but it’s really customer service

Passenger meltdowns are nothing new to the airlines.  But the sometimes ugly situations between ticket-holders and airline workers — incidents that frequently go viral — are prompting air carriers to teach employees how to handle problems before they get out of hand.   American Airlines is requiring nearly 68,000 employees to take classes on how to “de-escalate&rdquo...
Wellington’s making moves in the world of ‘slow fashion’

Wellington’s making moves in the world of ‘slow fashion’

Art can be inspired by many things, but for fashion designers Anabella Montgomery and Kate Hannah the inspiration comes mostly from people and places. And lately, their muse can be found in Palm Beach County. The two women own Elizabeth, a Colorado-based label sold at Hannah’s store, Tula. The women’s clothing brand focuses on “slow fashion” made of high-quality...

Family travel: Tips for car rentals

Choosing a rental car (or not) can be an important part of the family vacation planning process. Here are five ideas to consider:  1. Explore the options. Sure, you may be comfortable renting from the same name brand agencies. But if you are looking to save or get the best deal on a great car, be open to the options. Before you book, think through the specific transportation needs of your trip...
Finding Prince Shotoku's light in Horyuji tour

Finding Prince Shotoku's light in Horyuji tour

Horyuji temple in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan, holds organized hikes twice a year in which participants walk the "Taishimichi" - routes with historical ties to Prince Shotoku (574-622), a tireless promoter of Buddhism during the Asuka period.  Each of the two events - held on Feb. 22, the anniversary of Shotoku's death, and Nov. 22 - takes participants along a different route of...
The most magical surprise at Disney World? The world-class food

The most magical surprise at Disney World? The world-class food

Let's count the reasons visitors flock to Orlando, Florida. There are the endless theme parks, the sprawling convention center, and the proximity to world-class golf courses andthe Kennedy Space Center. In 2016, 68 million visitors spent $41.8 billion there on lodging, entertainment, and dining, making it the nation's top tourist destination. On a recent visit, I went for a less obvious purpose: to...
In Cuba, but a world apart

In Cuba, but a world apart

There’s nothing like a total absence of safety measures to add a little excitement to a historical site. Within an hour of landing on La Isla de la Juventud, the Isle of Youth, I was clamoring through an underground tunnel in the Presidio Modelo, or Model Prison, Cuba’s most dreaded pre-revolutionary prison, using my iPhone as a torch and trying not to slip on wooden planks and rubble...
What Whitney Cummings can’t travel without

What Whitney Cummings can’t travel without

The comedian Whitney Cummings is used to being on the road, starting back when she regularly visited 80 cities a year to perform stand-up comedy. Her book “I’m Fine … and Other Lies” was published in October. The film “The Female Brain,” which she wrote and directed, will be released on Feb. 9.  Cummings has mastered the art of travel, from maintaining her...
Carnival Triumph gets rare failing grade in sanitation inspection

Carnival Triumph gets rare failing grade in sanitation inspection

Flies in the food preparation areas. Milk, cheese, eggs and yogurt kept in too-hot temperatures. Soiled and clogged machinery.  These were some of the conditions uncovered by two inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during a routine November inspection of the Carnival Triumph.   More than two dozen violations aboard the 2,754-passenger vessel led the CDC to...

Angry tweets, viral videos are teaching airlines to observe social media, and respond

As everyone learned when a passenger was forcibly removed from a United Express flight, social media and the ubiquity of mobile phone cameras have shifted the ground rules for airline customer service. The best and worst corporate interactions speed across the Internet, with potentially dire results for corporate targets of public anger.  For air carriers in particular, "the world changed"...
A streetcar ride away from the madding crowd

A streetcar ride away from the madding crowd

Henry Howard Hotel, 2041 Prytania St., New Orleans; 504-313-1577; henryhowardhotel.com.   Rates   From $209   Basics   While most visitors to New Orleans want to be in the heart of the city’s dynamic French Quarter, there’s no denying that its boisterous vibe doesn’t appeal to all travelers. Fortunately, there’s a more relaxing option...
If you can only eat three meals in Tampa, make sure they're here

If you can only eat three meals in Tampa, make sure they're here

Many out-of-towners think Tampa, Florida, is mostly about Cuban food. Fair enough. It is home of the famed Cuban sandwich. (Sorry, Miami, local historians have unearthed documents that reveal the sandwich's true birthplace as the cigar factories of the city's Ybor City neighborhood a century ago.) But as someone who has called Tampa home for nearly three decades, I've seen this town's food scene -...
Travel dilemmas: What you must know for 2018

Travel dilemmas: What you must know for 2018

Whoever said “The more things change, the more they stay the same” was not a traveler, based on what you’ll see in 2018. Here are 18 things on the horizon.  1. Your new (maybe) driver’s license   Beginning Jan. 22, Californians can apply for a driver’s license that will be compliant when airplane-boarding ID rules change Oct. 1, 2020.   If you...

Harbin, China, shines a light on the beauty of winter

If you live in northeastern China, you expect long, cold winters. The residents of Harbin don't just tolerate the cold, however; they embrace it. The city of 10 million is home to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which claims to be the largest ice festival in the world. Even with temperatures typically close to zero, crowds of people head to city parks to see giant ice sculptures...
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