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Travel


Check out these staycation steals for summer

Spring break may be over, but local tourism leaders are promoting a handful of deals for Palm Beach County residents looking for summer staycation.

Family Travel: under the spell of sunny Puerto Rico

You know things are going pretty well when the big family argument is over whether to splash in the rain forest waterfall or loll around on the white-sand beach.  You know things are even better when you realize you can do both in a single day and not tax the patience or interest of three children.   From our weeklong base at a rental condo in Rio Grande — there are plenty of...
Encountering true luxury in St. Moritz

Encountering true luxury in St. Moritz

You are always alone atop a mountain, even in a crowd. At a beach — any beach — a solitary figure standing at the edge of your vision can make you feel intruded upon. On the summit of an Alpine mountain, a chairlift dumping out bystanders six at a time will offer you no companionship. I stand next to my wife at nearly 11,000 feet of altitude, in the St. Moritz region of Switzerland, on...

U.S. travel industry fears a 'lost decade' under Trump

Like many Washington lobby groups, the U.S. Travel Association was quick to congratulate the new president on his victory last November.  "We are encouraged that Mr. Trump's extensive business and hospitality background … will make him a ready and receptive ear," the trade organization said. Upon the Republican's inauguration, the USTA's chief executive, Roger Dow, pledged the...

Travel talk: How to cruise Alaska, navigate California

Q: We finally have a consensus month for perhaps a last big family vacation (parents mid-60s and two mid 20s-daughters). Unfortunately because of everyone's job issues, it's has to be soon - preferably June. I know. That's already in the high cost season. 1) Do you have any recommendations for cruise-lines and/or specific ships for a family trip to Alaska - seven days that goes a bit inland would...
Celebrity Cruises’ new ship has floating bar and ‘infinity’ cabins

Celebrity Cruises’ new ship has floating bar and ‘infinity’ cabins

Inside Royal Caribbean Cruises’ new Innovation Center called “The Cave,” executives, designers and architects can walk through a virtual cruise ship, granted their 3D goggles are on of course. The VR technology allows them to fine tune new features as simple as where to place tables in the rooftop garden and as radical as redefining the skeletal structure on the 2,900-passenger Celebrity...

Tips from an ambassador for Israeli cuisine

Michael Solomonov has become an ambassador of sorts for Israeli cuisine. The chef is an owner of five restaurants in Philadelphia, including Zahav, his award-winning flagship, and is the co-author of “Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.” He is also the host of the documentary “In Search of Israeli Cuisine,” directed by Roger Sherman, which just opened in New York and will be...
'I could never live in Texas. This is Austin.'

'I could never live in Texas. This is Austin.'

AUSTIN, Texas - With a Texas-size shiny, red boot kicking up its heel on the roof, Allens Boots was hard to miss. Inside were more than 10,000 pairs of cowboy boots, silver belt buckles ranging from merely shiny to massive statement and stack after stack of Stetson hats.  Not to be outdone, Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, a few doors down on South Congress Avenue, was crowned with an outsize...
Security lines and flight delays? This kid’s in paradise

Security lines and flight delays? This kid’s in paradise

I used to think there were two types of people in this world: those who are so nervous about making their flight that they are only truly happy if they get to the airport four hours early, and those who are so blasé about making their flight that they are only truly happy if they get to the airport just minutes before takeoff.  Often these two people are married to one another.  ...
Leggings on a plane: Delta weighs in on United Airlines controversy

Leggings on a plane: Delta weighs in on United Airlines controversy

It was the leggings policy heard ’round the world. After United Airlines declined to allow girls who were wearing leggings to board a flight on pass travel and another passenger tweeted about it, the question of airline dress policies went viral. But some have also pointed out that airlines often have more stringent policies for employees’ friends or family who are traveling on reduced-rate...
Palm Beach County sees rise in tourism-related spending

Palm Beach County sees rise in tourism-related spending

Tourists visiting Palm Beach County spent $4.6 billion here last year, up 1 percent over 2015’s level, according to Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing organization.

Sail the Galapagos from April through June and save up to 30 percent

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   - Receive a free night at 11 Hilton properties on four Hawaiian islands. The Another Day in Paradise package is valid at hotels on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Minimum-night stay requirements vary. For example, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on Oahu, book four nights and earn a free fifth night...

How to turn any hotel room into a sleeping cave, and other travel tips

Sam Shank has been a travel junkie for almost his entire career, logging periods at search engine DealBase and pioneering hotel review site TravelPost, which Kayak has since absorbed. Now he logs up to 100,000 miles a year as chief executive officer of HotelTonight, a slick last-minute booking app he co-founded in 2010. When he's not at home in San Mateo, California, with his wife and two young sons...
Cornwall's stunning countryside holds everything from Iron Age wonders to Land's End

Cornwall's stunning countryside holds everything from Iron Age wonders to Land's End

Cornwall, at the stunningly beautiful southwestern tip of England, was too much for the Romans and the Saxons, who halted their invasions of Britain before they got that far, leaving rocky Cornwall to the Celtic tribes who controlled the area first inhabited in about 10,000 B.C.  It's still no picnic to get down to Cornwall, and you really need a car to explore it. My husband, Dave, and I had...

Hotel packages for cherry blossom time in Washington

A much-anticipated annual tradition in Washington is here: The National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place through April 16. The event, celebrating its 90th anniversary, commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Japan to the United States. Today, there are 3,800 cherry blossom trees, and visitors to the city during the festival can see them in bloom.  Numerous hotels in Washington...
Why record crowds are flocking to Joshua Tree

Why record crowds are flocking to Joshua Tree

JOSHUA TREE, Calif. — Wind blows hard and cold over the high desert here, howling between boulders and bending legendary yuccas that once reminded Mormons of the Biblical Joshua reaching up in prayer.  It may be difficult to believe such an environment could capture the world’s imagination. But the combination offers a mysterious and mystical stew that is increasingly intoxicating...
How to entertain children when on the road

How to entertain children when on the road

Vacationing with your children, whether they’re toddlers or teenagers, is a chance to create cherished family memories. But the journey to and from your destination, be it in a car or on a plane, may be a memory you will want to forget.  “Children can get impatient and cranky when they’re traveling, which makes parents cranky and that trip unpleasant,” said Eileen Ogintz...
Three reasons why US airlines are not losing your luggage as often

Three reasons why US airlines are not losing your luggage as often

There are few quicker ways to ruin a vacation than for your luggage to end up in a different city than you are.  And while nearly every traveler has a story of waiting around a terminal while employees hunt for his or her misplaced bag, the truth is U.S. airlines are doing better than ever at taking care of passengers’ luggage.   Through a combination of new technologies that...
Travel diversions for children, with substance added

Travel diversions for children, with substance added

With spring break around the corner, many families will be facing full flights and long road trips. To help maintain order in the back seat and stave off midair meltdowns, do yourself and fellow passengers a favor: Throw out your usual screen time limits and let the children binge on movies and gaming apps for those travel hours.  Quash parental guilt by loading your phone or tablet with apps...
For Ybor City in Florida, a historic cigar town faces a cloudy future

For Ybor City in Florida, a historic cigar town faces a cloudy future

A sultry morning in Ybor City feels like a good time for a cigar. That's what I told myself around 10:45 on my third day in this old quarter of Tampa, as I sweated out the previous night in front of the King Corona Cigar Bar and Cafe, sipping a milky iced Cuban coffee and puffing on a particularly robust, particularly expensive Nicaraguan stogie.  Okay, who am I kidding? Every minute of every...
Historic cigar town faces a cloudy future

Historic cigar town faces a cloudy future

Ybor City, a historic cigar town, faces a cloudy future

Ybor City, a historic cigar town, faces a cloudy future

A sultry morning in Ybor City feels like a good time for a cigar. That's what I told myself around 10:45 on my third day in this old quarter of Tampa, as I sweated out the previous night in front of the King Corona Cigar Bar and Cafe, sipping a milky iced Cuban coffee and puffing on a particularly robust, particularly expensive Nicaraguan stogie.  Okay, who am I kidding? Every minute of every...
The first Cuba tourism boom is over. Here comes the next wave: cruises

The first Cuba tourism boom is over. Here comes the next wave: cruises

Havana was exploding in yanqui frenzy. Seven hundred Americans streamed across its streets one steamy May 2016 morning on an expedition of rediscovery. They were the first to arrive via sea since John F. Kennedy was president. The wave of change was crashing over Cuba. For passengers on this historic voyage, the visit included hours of tours through the city’s highlight reel. Dinner at a private...
Japanese archery and unexpected lessons

Japanese archery and unexpected lessons

In Japan, an archery quest leads to unexpected lessons

In Japan, an archery quest leads to unexpected lessons

Buddha has perfect posture, but I'm awkwardly hunched in the earthen alcove we're haring. The street lanterns of Yamanouchi, Japan, don't illuminate much, so I'm grateful for the bulbs of this shrine. I've just traveled 6,738 miles - nearly nonstop - but I don't know where to go from here.  Yamanouchi's geothermal waters attract people from all over the country - as they have for thousands of...
Knott’s Berry Farm plugs into virtual reality, the new park thrill on the cheap

Knott’s Berry Farm plugs into virtual reality, the new park thrill on the cheap

Knott’s Berry Farm is getting in on the latest theme park craze: putting visitors in a virtual world created primarily by software engineers instead of carpenters and welders.  The new VR Showdown in Ghost Town, which opens next month at the Buena Park, Calif., theme park, will put virtual reality headsets on up to 16 visitors at a time, letting them shoot futuristic blasters at robot creatures...
Slovakia is a worthy European destination without the crowds

Slovakia is a worthy European destination without the crowds

I always search for the road less touristed. Yet it was not without trepidation that I drove with my spouse across the Hungarian plain from Budapest into Kosice, Slovakia's second-largest city. As the industrial outskirts gave way to a skyline dominated by Communist-era block apartment buildings, I grew convinced that I had made a terrible vacation choice.  The windowless entrance to our pension...
The other Airbnbs: alternative home-sharing rentals

The other Airbnbs: alternative home-sharing rentals

What Airbnb has popularized — the peer-to-peer rental of apartments, homes and spare bedrooms — the market has embellished with a roster of new and growing services that offer home sharing.  In a sign of a maturing market, these alternatives to Airbnb often carve potential users into niches, targeting, for example, interior design fans or gay travelers. They also reduce the volume...

Anime theme park to open on Japanese island

AWAJI, Japan - An amusement facility under the theme of popular manga and anime will open in Awajishima Koen park on Awajishima island in Hyogo Prefecture in July.  The new theme park is called Nijigen No Mori, which means "two dimensional forest." Operated by temp agency Pasona Group Inc., it will take advantage of the island's abundant nature and employ the latest visual media technology...
Frugal Traveler: Come for the beer, stay for the vistas

Frugal Traveler: Come for the beer, stay for the vistas

I’m a fairly big guy — 6-foot-3 with plenty of mass to soak up alcohol — but I was being particularly careful as I hopped (no pun intended) from brewery to brewery in San Diego. Touring the dozens of worthy beer options in the sprawling, beautiful city requires a car, and I was being conservative with my intake. But this Electric Youth coffee pale ale from Thunderhawk Alements was...
For some airline passengers, new warnings bring new hurdles

For some airline passengers, new warnings bring new hurdles

NEW YORK (AP) — As far as the indignities of modern air travel go, the latest ban on laptops and tablets on some international flights falls somewhere between taking off shoes at the security checkpoint and testing baby food and milk for bomb residue.  It's yet another impediment in the name of security for already weary travelers, especially those from or passing through the...

US temporarily bans electronic devices on some Middle Eastern and African flights

Several Middle Eastern and African airlines say they are temporarily banning laptops and other electronic devices on U.S. flights to comply with requests from U.S. officials.  Royal Jordanian Airlines told its passengers via Twitter that it is banning electronic devices — laptops, tablets, cameras and DVD players — for in-flight use and in carry-on bags starting Tuesday on flights...
Back in the saddle: Dude ranch vacation stands test of time

Back in the saddle: Dude ranch vacation stands test of time

We rode our line of horses along a trail winding between giant saguaro cactuses towering nearly 30 feet in the air like spiky desert signposts. Despite being in southern Arizona, we shivered in the December winds, the desert hills above us painted an incongruous white with frost. Our motley crew of the old, young and unsteady plodded along on horseback like a lost pioneer troupe. Fortunately, the...
In Vietnam, a doyenne of food expands to tasteful lodging

In Vietnam, a doyenne of food expands to tasteful lodging

Check In  Maison Vy, Hoi An, Vietnam  Rates   Doubles from $120.   Basics   Maison Vy, a stark-white, colonial-style hotel, is from Trinh Diem Vy, the doyenne of food in Hoi An, a charming UNESCO World Heritage town in central Vietnam. Vy (pronounced “Vee”) runs four of the most popular restaurants in the town, and Maison Vy is her first hotel venture...
Once the queen of the skies, the 747 will soon be just a flying truck

Once the queen of the skies, the 747 will soon be just a flying truck

LOS ANGELES — The wide-bodied Boeing 747 was once known as the queen of the skies, an instantly recognizable behemoth revered for its luxury and spaciousness.  As time passed, however, the original jumbo jet was outstripped by more efficient twin-engine planes.   Now the 747’s days as a passenger plane are numbered. Delta and United — the last two U.S. airlines that...

With just 100 days of water left, Cape Town risks running dry

Cape Town, the crown jewel of South Africa's tourism industry, has 100 days before it runs out of water.  After two years of the least rainfall on record, the average level of the six main dams that supply the city of 3.7 million people has dropped below 30 percent, one of the lowest levels on record. The last 10 percent of the reservoir water is unusable, and the risk is mounting that taps and...
Tourism may be too much of a good thing for overwhelmed New Zealand

Tourism may be too much of a good thing for overwhelmed New Zealand

When their flight home to the U.S. from Auckland was delayed last month, a group of 53 elderly American tourists was put up in a traditional Maori meeting house for the night because all the city's hotels were full.  The visitors were welcomed by an elder and given biscuits and a cup of tea before being shown to their sleeping arrangements -- mattresses on the floor of the tennis court-sized...

Airlines expect 4 percent rise in passengers this spring

DALLAS (AP) — Coming off another highly profitable year in 2016, U.S. airlines expect traffic this spring to increase 4 percent over last year, and they are adding seats to handle the crush.  The trade group Airlines for America forecast Monday that a record 145 million U.S. passengers will fly between March 1 and April 30.   The group's chief economist said traffic will rise...
Parade watch: What’s the seat-saving situation at Disney?

Parade watch: What’s the seat-saving situation at Disney?

ORLANDO, Fla. — The world is made up of two kinds of people: Seat savers and the people who give the stink eye to seat savers. Tension between the two may have escalated at Disneyland, where some visitors were spreading out stuff on the walkways, holding space for hours and hours in advance of parades.  In fact, Disney altered its stance about this practice, according to a report by Theme...
At the Houdini Museum, in Scranton, Pa., indulge in a different kind of escape

At the Houdini Museum, in Scranton, Pa., indulge in a different kind of escape

Dorothy Dietrich, the First Lady of Magic, stood alone on a compact stage, her blond hair stark against the backdrop of heavy red curtains. She raised a flat hand to her eyebrows, almost in mock salute, looking for a volunteer. She scanned the cross-legged children seated before her and the crowd of teenagers, parents and other adults behind them. She held her gaze for a moment toward the back of...

The shortest route to America's 49,603 historic sites will only take you 50 years

Adventurers whose spirit Muppet is Count von Count can visit all 50 U.S. states or capitals, 413 national parks or 38 cities or towns named Springfield.  But for the ultimate quantifiable trip, consider this challenge created by a math professor in Canada: Checking off nearly 50,000 sites placed on the National Register of Historic Places. William Cook, of the University of Waterloo, and colleagues...
Comic-Con Museum to open in San Diego’s Balboa Park

Comic-Con Museum to open in San Diego’s Balboa Park

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Comic-Con International will open a museum of popular culture in Balboa Park under an agreement announced  by the San Diego Hall of Champions and its Breitbard Hall of Fame.  “The Hall of Champions has our deepest appreciation in helping us to achieve the new chapter in Comic-Con history,” a Comic-Con spokesman said. “This center will provide...
Cold snap kills nearly half of D.C. cherry blossoms, delaying peak bloom date

Cold snap kills nearly half of D.C. cherry blossoms, delaying peak bloom date

WASHINGTON - Persistent frigid temperatures and a blustery snowstorm last week have ravaged about half of the city's cherry blossoms, leaving them unable to bloom this year. Most of the remaining buds are expected to fully bloom by the end of next week, according to officials at the National Park Service.  Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the Park Service, described the scenario as venturing into...
Disney theme parks soon to get a whole lot of Marvel

Disney theme parks soon to get a whole lot of Marvel

ANAHEIM, Calif. — “Kaboom!”  That’s the word used by Joe Rohde, the Disney executive overseeing the transformation of the California Adventure ride formerly known as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!   “Kaboom!”   He says it repeatedly — once mixing in the word “kablam!” &mdash...
PT boat that saw WWII combat restored, back in Louisiana

PT boat that saw WWII combat restored, back in Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A U.S. Navy PT boat that sank three vessels and saw action in Europe in World War II is back in New Orleans where it was built, what historians describe as the nation's only fully restored combat ship of that type from the era.  The National World War II Museum said the 78-foot (24-meter) patrol torpedo boat — PT-305 — is the only fully restored and operational...

Best bets for a D.C. getaway

When time is tight but you're looking for a getaway, it can be tough to figure out where to go, says Beth Homicz, co-author of "AMC's Best Day Hikes Near Washington, D.C." Here are some of her suggestions, depending on your situation:  With kids: Little ones will have a blast at Watkins Regional Park in suburban Largo, Maryland. It boasts a playground, an antique carousel and a farm...

Victim of its own success, Iceland considers new tax on tourists

One of the world's hottest and most expensive holiday destinations could soon become a little more expensive.  Overwhelmed by a record number of visitors in spite of its far-flung location, Iceland's government is considering ways of raising taxes in the tourism sector. The alternative would be to limit sightseers' access to the country's most popular spots.   "The sector and all...
A restaurant that brings the Italian coast to Miami Beach

A restaurant that brings the Italian coast to Miami Beach

Forte dei Marmi is a tale of three seaside resort towns. You have Miami Beach, home to this pale, airy and nicely tailored restaurant that opened in late 2016. Then there is its name, which comes from a popular Tuscan beach town. Finally, there is Nerano, down on the Amalfi Coast, where the chef, Antonio Mellino, has had a restaurant since 1983. It all adds up to food kissed by a sea breeze, always...
Discover the treasures of the D.C. area, one step at a time

Discover the treasures of the D.C. area, one step at a time

Back when Beth Homicz was a tour guide in Washington, she developed her own fitness plan: Lead groups through Arlington National Cemetery twice a day. "It's a good way to drop 10 pounds in a week," Homicz says.  Exploring places on foot is better exercise than most people realize, she adds, because they're distracted by the scenery. In the Washington region, that's a smorgasbord. ...
Travel Tips: How to combine a business trip with a vacation

Travel Tips: How to combine a business trip with a vacation

Combining a work trip with a vacation — often called “bleisure” — can be a win-win situation, said Kendra Thornton, the president of the Chicago travel agency Royal Travel & Tours and an expert on planning such trips. “You’re already at your destination, and your employer has likely picked up the tab to get you there,” she said. “So why not tack on a...

Eurostar taps U.S. tourist return as terror concerns ease

Eurostar International said American tourists are returning to Europe as concerns about terrorist attacks ease, with the number of U.S. travelers on its Channel Tunnel express trains up 17 percent so far this year compared with the same period in 2016.  Demand for business travel has also picked up, particularly in Britain, where bookings were 4 percent higher in the first 10 weeks, Eurostar...

Deals include a St. Lucia resort, flights to South Africa and packages in Ireland

Land  - Marigot Bay Resort and Marina by Capella Hotel Group, a luxury resort on St. Lucia, has a package with savings of 35 percent. The Taxes at Bay deal starts at $3,800 per couple and includes four nights' accommodations; an all-inclusive meal plan with beverages; a choice between a meal at Masala Bay, an Indo-Chinese restaurant, and Julietta's, which features local dishes; a couples' massage...
In San Diego, the hottest hotel in town is an apartment building

In San Diego, the hottest hotel in town is an apartment building

SAN DIEGO — The online rental listings tantalize with descriptions of stunning city views, marble bathrooms and quartz countertops, rooftop lounges and state-of-the-art gyms — all hallmarks of the latest in downtown luxury apartment living.  Interested? If so, no need to sign a lease; these listings are for overnight stays promoted on vacation rental platforms advertising nightly...

Detentions and travel orders coincide with dip in interest in coming to America

It should have been a routine flight from Paris to Houston for Henry Rousso, a prominent French historian and a Holocaust scholar. Instead, it became another high-profile and unflattering episode for U.S. customs authorities who enforce President Donald Trump’s border security initiatives.  Rousso, who is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University, had visited the United States many...
On the Mediterranean coast, Argeles-sur-Mer is France's 'capital of camping'

On the Mediterranean coast, Argeles-sur-Mer is France's 'capital of camping'

"You English," the taxi driver says, "most of you can't speak French at all. But you speak it really well!" My chest swells with childish pride, but it doesn't last. He has something else to add. "But why is Britain leaving the E.U., and who is this Nigel Farage?" I stammer. I stutter. I struggle to remember the French for, "It's quite complicated. Can we talk about...
One sweet trip: hotel packages for maple syrup season

One sweet trip: hotel packages for maple syrup season

The cold nights and warming days of March and early April trigger maple sap flows and sugaring season deals across the Northeast.  In Vermont, the Inn at Manchester is offering a Maple Getaway package through April 15. It includes a tour of a sugar shack, a quart of maple syrup, a half-pound of buttermilk pancake mix, overnight accommodations and breakfast from $195.   In New Hampshire...

Hotel industry-funded study slams Airbnb

SAN DIEGO — The hotel industry is stepping up its campaign against home-sharing giant Airbnb with the release of a study this month documenting what it says is the rapid rise of “commercial” hosts actively listing multiple rentals on the home-sharing platform.  The study, funded by a foundation arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, reports that hosts who rent out...
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