Travel


Disney announces when Toy Story Land will open

Fans of the “Toy Story” film franchise now know when they’ll be able to “shrink down” to the size of Andy’s toys and experience the immersive world Walt Disney Imagineers have been building. Guests to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios will officially be able to visit’s Andy’s backyard playsets starting June 30.  >> Read more trending...

Small-sized is big on the current RV landscape

MINNEAPOLIS — It took a camper the size of a fish house to address Ron Salargo’s midlife crisis.  To celebrate his 50th birthday last year, the Hopkins resident quit his full-time job as an accounts payable manager to hit the open road in a medium-sized Ford SUV. To affordably and comfortably circumnavigate the country in 82 days, he towed a teardrop camper so light and compact that...

They’re Disneyland superfans. Why a lawsuit is alleging gangster-type tactics against one social club

ANAHEIM, Calif. — They stroll through Disneyland in packs of 20 or more, motley crews that resemble a cross between the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and a grown-up Mickey Mouse Club with their Disney-themed tattoos and their matching denim vests strewn with trading pins and logos.  Disneyland social clubs, by most accounts, are harmless alliances of friends and family who meet up at the...

Hoping for better customer service, travelers turn to Facebook's Messenger

When Karen Korr wanted to change part of her European itinerary, she didn't call Travelocity, her online travel agency. She didn't send an email or a text message, either.  Instead, Korr, who works for a nonprofit organization in San Diego, clicked on Travelocity's Facebook page and sent the company an instant message. She asked if she could make arrangements to stay in Lagos, Portugal, for a...

The acceleration of #vanlife

Years before #vanlife took on a life of its own across social media in the United States, Bill Staggs was onto something.  He had fond memories, dating to his late-1950s childhood, of family trips in a Volkswagen van. In the early 2000s, he started thinking that others might like to dip their toes into that nomadic lifestyle, chugging along behind the wheel of a rented classic vehicle with a...

A bridge now crossed less freely

We were both headed to the bridge, in her case so she could cross back to Mexico after a long day of work, and in mine so I could eat and drink at one of the places I used to go when people still did things like go across the international bridge to eat and drink.  She was an older woman, maybe in her mid-60s, and like so many others she lived in Matamoros and worked in Brownsville, Texas. My...

Climber's death on popular Oregon peak underscores dangers

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's tallest peak rises above the streets of downtown Portland, its gorgeous snow-capped slopes luring 10,000 climbers a year.  The picture postcard view of Mount Hood makes it one of the most visited snow-capped peaks in the U.S., a destination to check off during any respectable visit to the City of Roses.   "It just stands there and calls...

A new shuttle service, minus the 1980s frills

The announcement by American Airlines seemed to hark to another era: The airline would be adding shuttle service between New York and Chicago this spring — and serving free beer and wine, no less.  But the American shuttle is a “shuttle” in only the narrowest definition: It will adhere to a regular, frequent schedule.   In the glory days of air shuttles, a few decades...

This is the year of the Mountain Coaster in Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — By the tracks of North America’s longest alpine coaster, all faces are smiling. But above, skiers rise on Steamboat Resort’s Christie Peak Express lift, and some look down to shake their heads and frown.  Like it or not, 2018 is the year of the coaster in Colorado ski country. The trade association with that name represents four resorts that have either...

Ski resorts hope for a lift from going green

In the peaks near Lake Tahoe, the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts are hoping to draw skiers and snowboarders with some upgrades that have nothing to do with snow.  The two resorts, owned by the same Colorado parent company, plan to become the country’s first resorts to operate entirely on renewable energy by December. Squaw Valley also plans to build a mountain-side structure...
Jazzed about New Orleans

Jazzed about New Orleans

There are close to 100 stations on my Pandora playlist, ranging from classical and folk to rock and hip hop. Despite the selection of artists and songs at my fingertips, I always seem to find myself choosing jazz. It’s comfort music, soothing my soul at the end of a long day, beckoning a liberal pour of red with a side of couch collapse and longneck candles. My “go to’s” are...
Boutique inns giving second life to LA’s historic office buildings

Boutique inns giving second life to LA’s historic office buildings

LOS ANGELES—The Bank of Italy once owned one of the finest office buildings in downtown Los Angeles, a 12-story neoclassical monument built in 1923 with towering Doric columns, an ornate, gold-ceilinged lobby and marble floors. By the late 20th century, however, it had fallen into neglect and for several years it was a shuttered eyesore — before reopening in January as the ritzy NoMad...

Medieval meets modern in charming Kilkenny, Ireland

On a sunny Friday afternoon in April, the sleepy city of Kilkenny, Ireland, began to wake up. Chattering students filled the sidewalks, their book bags slung across school uniforms, many of the boys carrying the short, hockeylike sticks used in hurling. Locals hurried through Butter Slip, a narrow passage between two streets where butter vendors set up stalls in medieval times. And shoppers ducked...

Two cities, two countries, common ground

“Please don’t write another story about drugs,” Sigrid Maitrejean, a volunteer guide at the Pimeria Alta Museum inside the old city hall in Nogales, Arizona, beseeched me in a playful tone. It was not the only time during my three-day visit to the region that people would make a similar plea: enough of the endless media stories and political rhetoric about the supposedly dangerous...

A region on New Zealand's North Island is the Southern Hemisphere's take on Yellowstone

I'd been warned about the stink. It hit me the instant I stepped off the plane in Rotorua: a mix of bad egg and warm sewer gas that has earned this city on New Zealand's North Island the nickname "Sulphur City" - or, less kindly, "Rotten-Rua." I sucked in a deep breath and smiled. That subterranean scent meant I would soon be soaking in curative hot springs, smothering my body...
WATCH: United Airlines plane loses engine cover on way to Honolulu, makes emergency landing

WATCH: United Airlines plane loses engine cover on way to Honolulu, makes emergency landing

Passengers aboard what one woman called the "scariest flight of my life" are breathing sighs of relief after making a safe landing following a midair engine problem. According to CNN, United Flight 1175 from San Francisco lost an engine cover over the Pacific Ocean less than an hour before it was set to land in Honolulu. "There was a loud bang ... and then the plane really started shaking...
Fiji pride: Where paradise is more than sand and sea

Fiji pride: Where paradise is more than sand and sea

TAVENUI, Fiji — If Fiji was nothing more than sand and sea, palm fronds and flowers, it wouldn’t matter which South Pacific beach resort you visited. Every vacation would be just another ho-hum adventure. But after 15 years and as many visits to this 333-island nation, I’ve got a pretty good idea why each destination promises a unique experience. What’s the secret? It&rsquo...

Family travel: Historic national park gems

Plan ahead for your National Park family vacation. (The best lodging fills quickly.) Choose from these historic gems to add a layer of history to your outdoor adventure:  Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park   There are few places on the planet as stunning as Glacier National Park. And one could argue that the historic Many Glacier Hotel is the ideal venue from which to appreciate...

Wanted: A yurt with a view

Vacation lodging used to mean a room with four walls in a hotel or motel. Today, travelers are increasingly seeking — and easily finding — accommodations that allow them to be more in tune with their surroundings, be it a forest, a beach or a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Airbnb’s booking data for the beginning of this year suggests that more travelers are interested...
Hard driving and smooth sailing in Coastal Connecticut

Hard driving and smooth sailing in Coastal Connecticut

Because there are no city-sized theme parks in Southern Connecticut, you must find your thrills there in real life. I had just come from helping to herd a crew of second-graders through the Visitor Center at the PEZ factory in the town of Orange—a fragrant, colorful diversion for the nation’s devoted army of “Pez Heads” and for civilians like us, who just like popping dispenser...

In Philadelphia, a medical museum puts the human body on display

"Where are the shrunken heads?"  Any day you get to ask that question is a good day.   When the answer could easily be "Go right at the orangutan's brain, and they're just past the leper's leg," that's the best day, because that means you're at the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.   The Mütter (pronounced MOO-ter) is...

New York's best new hotels: The Whitby, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

New York's already stellar hotel scene has gotten some serious upgrades of late. Visiting finance types looking to base themselves in lower Manhattan may be tempted to book into the retro-inspired Beekman hotel or the minimalist Four Seasons Downtown, which looks straight onto Calatrava's stark-white Oculus-and both would be wise choices. But way-downtown can feel sleepy once the sun goes down, so...
DOT reveals which airlines ranked highest for complaints in 2017

DOT reveals which airlines ranked highest for complaints in 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation received 18,148 complaints about air travel in 2017. It was a year when airline incidents were in the headlines, including a United passenger dragged from a plane and a Delta passenger mauled by an emotional support dog. >> Read more trending news  The number of complaints about air travel to the federal government last year — which...

Three Washington, D.C.-area airports offer plenty of choices, plenty of potential for confusion

Amid the usual queries at the information counter at Reagan National Airport - Where's the bathroom? Where's the Cinnabon? Where's my gate? - Leanne Omland gets a version of this whopper about once a day: Where's my airport?  It often falls to Omland to break the bad news to someone who has stumbled into the dark side of having three major airports serving one city: 1. You are at the wrong one...
BREAKING: Man arrested at PBIA after loaded gun found in bag

BREAKING: Man arrested at PBIA after loaded gun found in bag

A man trying to get through security Monday at Palm Beach International Airport was arrested after a loaded handgun was found in his carry-on luggage, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.  Deputies arrested Christopher Himschoot, 55, of Lehigh Acres after a TSA agent operating an X-ray machine reported that there was a gun in Himschoot’s bag. Himshchoot faces...
Flying with germs: 3 things you never want to touch at airports, on planes

Flying with germs: 3 things you never want to touch at airports, on planes

We know that airplanes can be a breeding ground for germs and other nasty things that could get you sick, but did you ever think about what you’re exposing yourself to before you even get to the jetway? A study that was recently released found that the airport itself is a haven for germs and bacteria and it is enough to make those who aren’t germaphobic squirm and grab the hand sanitizer...

The most bacteria covered surfaces at the airport

Be careful what you touch the next time you’re at the airport.  According to recent tests conducted at a handful of the United States’ top airports, self-check-in screens are covered in germs.   The same goes for the armrests on the chairs near airline gates, and water fountain buttons throughout the airport.   Over the recent holiday travel season, insuranceQuotes...

Easy travel with medications

When Kim Everett’s family travels, their carry-on luggage is filled with all the necessities for a fun-filled vacation, as well as quite a few epinephrine auto-injectors.  These are life-saving medications in case an Everett family member has a deadly allergic reaction, otherwise known as an anaphylaxis. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, anaphylaxis occurs in approximately...

Travel Tips: Exercise your desire for fitness

Think you won’t have time to exercise on your next vacation? Not according to Annette Lang, a certified personal trainer based in New York. “You can actually maintain and even improve your fitness level when you’re on the road,” she said.  Here are some travel tips she offers her clients.   — Experience Your Environment Through Activity: Think about how...

The most useful item in a hotel room, plus other travel secrets

Those of us who love to travel always want to make sure we're doing it right. So we're talking to globe-trotters in all of our luxury fields - food, wine, fashion, cars, real estate - to learn about their high-end tips and off-the-wall experiences. These are the Distinguished Travel Hackers.  - - -   Samantha Brown was a breakout star on the Travel Channel in the early 2000s, when she...

Disneyland resort raises prices as much as 18 percent

The Disneyland resort raised prices over the weekend, several months before the park plans to unveil a remake of its boardwalk-themed area at the California Adventure Park.  The prices rose the highest for annual pass holders, up as much as 18 percent. Daily tickets rose nearly 9 percent. By comparison, the consumer price index rose 2.5 percent in the 12 months ending January 2017.  ...

Antarctica is such a trendy vacation spot that Chinese officials made a don't-touch-Penguins rule

Last summer's news that a behemoth iceberg detached from one of Antarctica's largest floating ice shelves has sparked a sense of urgency among tourists eager to check the continent off their travel bucket lists.  That's especially the case for Chinese tourists, so much so that the Chinese government on Thursday established a new list of rules for people visiting Antarctica: No hunting. No leaving...

Review: Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa, Bristol, England

Check In  Rates: Doubles from 165 pounds (about $233).   Basics: The 42-room, four-story Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa provides a dose of 21st-century chic to Bristol’s Old City and its stately Victorian and Georgian facades. The British-based Harbour Hotels has turned two ornate bank buildings, including one inspired by a 16th-century Venetian library, into stylish accommodations...
Disney raises ticket prices again in Florida, California

Disney raises ticket prices again in Florida, California

If you have plans to go to the Happiest Place on Earth, be prepared to pay more for the privilege.  Disney officials have announced that both American parks have increased ticket prices. The increase went into effect Sunday at the theme parks at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, The Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  Take...
Solomon Islands: A deep dive

Solomon Islands: A deep dive

If a remote South Pacific destination with lots of World War II artifacts and world-class diving appeals to you, check out the Solomon Islands. This 992-island archipelago sits northeast of Australia, about 6,100 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Most of its 550,000 citizens are Melanesians and almost everyone speaks English. But among themselves they often speak Pidgin, a language devised in the 1800s...

A fare sale to Australia and a two-for-one price on Cuba cruise

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   - On The Go Tours has a two-for-one sale on two trips in Europe. The Barcelona to Madrid trip starts at $1,998 per person double (was $3,995) and includes seven nights' lodging in three- and four-star hotels, with breakfast; two dinners; guided sightseeing in Barcelona, Zaragoza, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Burgos, Salamanca...
Don’t hate Miami because it’s beautiful. The city has brains too

Don’t hate Miami because it’s beautiful. The city has brains too

MIAMI — I have often said that I think Miami is America’s sexiest city. The sun-kissed metropolis is the United States’ answer to jet-setting hot spots from Monte Carlo to Marrakesh. There’s South Beach and its continuous parade of socialites and stars, models and millionaires, who make Ocean Drive pulse with activity 24/7. There’s upscale Coconut Grove, hugging Biscayne...

Houston Livestock Show: A lively roundup for all

If you love horses, barbecue and live music, one of the world’s largest livestock shows and rodeos, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, is happening from Feb. 27 to March 18 at NRG Park.  The event, which began in 1932, welcomed more than 2.61 million visitors last year.   “Anyone from little kids to great-grandparents can have a good time because there is such a diverse...

Travel items that make great Valentine’s Day gifts

Looking for something special beyond hearts and flowers for Valentine’s Day? Think outside the (chocolate) box for some offbeat options that are still sweet surprises.  A toothbrush might not seem like an obvious choice for a Valentine’s Day gift, but the ergonomically designed ISSA Hybrid sonic toothbrush ($199.99) is not only pretty in pink — cobalt blue, mint and cool black...

A guide to eating your way through Latin America

My job is to cover the stock market. I do this with the mindset of a trader, something I honed while working at Bear Stearns and JPMorgan Chase & Co. As any sell sider knows, the physical act of trading is only half the job; the other half is taking care of clients and picking up the tab at dinner. Last summer, work took me to South America and Mexico, where I kept a running journal of all the hot...

Jon Bon Jovi loves France and wine (and now has his own label)

Jon Bon Jovi, 55, has been a rocker for more than three decades, but that doesn’t mean he is slowing down.  On March 14, his band Bon Jovi kicks off a two-month tour in the United States and Canada, and on April 14, the band will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland. But first, in mid-February, Bon Jovi and his son, Jesse Bongiovi, 22, will release a rosé wine...

What it’s like to visit San Juan now

Hurricane Maria’s devastating effects on Puerto Rico, along with the political faceoffs and logistical problems that ensued, have been widely reported. There are still important problems to address. But it seems that San Juan, the capital, is starting to regain its stride as a travel destination.  I first came to San Juan in the late ‘80s, when my stepfather was transferred here for...

In Plains, Ga., President Jimmy Carter's Sunday school program still draws crowds

While driving through Southwest Georgia last fall, I drove past a cotton field, a crop so loaded with historical significance that I couldn't help but stop the car and gape at the scraggly plants. Evocative as they were, they weren't the day's main agricultural attraction. That honor went to the peanut, a crop that symbolizes a different period in American history - a four-year period, to be exact...
Tourism leaders try to rid Google of unflattering photos of the county

Tourism leaders try to rid Google of unflattering photos of the county

Palm Beach County tourism officials are on a mission to rid Google of unflattering, outdated or inaccurate photos of the area’s cultural attractions and top travel spots. Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing organization, is using a Google Pixel phone with an app that allows the agency to flag images that it says are either inappropriate or don’t accurately represent...
A Southwest Florida town that really runs on sunshine

A Southwest Florida town that really runs on sunshine

Along a dirt road leading into Florida's past, I stopped to marvel at its future, or at least one vision of it. I was headed to Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours, where visitors pay to tour a working ranch and swampy backwoods on a state-owned preserve, when I pulled over to peer through a chain-link fence onto the edge of a spectacular sea of solar panels - 343,000 to be exact, stretching across some 440 acres...

Four fab, flexible foods for stocking your vacation rental

With private accommodation rentals being such a popular option for so many travelers, preparing for your next getaway with readily available, multipurpose meal items means more time will be carved out for making meaningful memories and enjoying the atmosphere. While I always make room in the budget for fun local ingredients and a few fancy accents, I also make it a point to maintain a working list...

In the Czech Republic, Habsburg family homes offer a haunting glimpse into history

Standing in line to buy the tour ticket to Konopiste, the Bohemian castle where Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria spent his last days before departing for Sarajevo, I let my mind wander: What if the Habsburg heir apparent had not taken that fateful trip to the Balkans, and been assassinated by a Serb terrorist on June 28, 1914, to spark the First World War? Would Hitler and Stalin have happened?...

A journey into Iraqi Kurdistan, haunted by war

The Mar Mattai monastery clings to the side of a steep mountain, and on a clear day a visitor can stand against its fortresslike walls and discern far below the winsome farmlands of Upper Mesopotamia. Here, in the cradle of civilization, the building is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world. From this peaceful perch, it is difficult to imagine the horror.  One hazy morning last...

Travelers are rethinking rental cars - here's why

If you are planning a vacation, then renting a car may be as automatic as making hotel or restaurant reservations. Or not. New ground transportation options are blossoming in the sharing economy. A recent Bank of America review of its credit and debit card users found that people are thinking differently about how they get around.  Total ride sharing transactions increased 109 percent over a...

Updating the landmark TWA terminal at JFK, this time as a hotel

NEW YORK — Aviation has declined from the days when air travel was considered glamorous and exciting. But Tyler Morse, a hotelier planning the first hotel within walking distance of the terminals at Kennedy International Airport, is enthusiastically embracing that earlier time.  Specifically, 1962.   “Sixty-two was a special year: John Kennedy was president, John Glenn circled...

Treasures offer window into ancient world of Japan

The Saitama Prefectural Museum of the Sakitama Ancient Burial Mounds is located among a group of nine ancient burial mounds in Gyoda, Japan, including large-scale examples about 100 meters (about 328 feet) long, that were built between the latter half of the fifth century and the early seventh century.  The mounds belonged to a powerful regional clan, and are in the center of what used to be...

Legoland’s 2nd hotel — a castle — ready to open in April

The wizards, dragons and royal princesses have not yet taken up residency in Legoland’s newest hotel, but the castle facade is complete and the themed guestrooms are on track for an April 27 opening, the Carlsbad, Calif., theme park announced last week.  The 250-room hotel, which started construction a year ago, marks the second themed lodging destination operating within the park itself...

At the Boxotel in Montreal, life Is lofty

Check In  Boxotel, 175 Rue Ontario Est, Montreal; boxotel.com.   Rooms start at about 165 Canadian dollars (about $131 at 80 cents to the U.S. dollar).   Basics   For her first hotel project, the Montreal property developer Marie-Jeanne Rivard wanted to mix the coziness of homestays, the services of a hotel and the downtown feel of loft living. The result, open since...

How to travel to (and around) China

China is one of the world’s most exciting and rewarding places to visit, but can be intimidating even to experienced travelers, who might struggle with communication and lack of familiarity with rules and customs. Here’s a handful of practical tips to help make sure your trip to the world’s most populous country is smooth sailing from start to finish.  Easier Visas  ...

Talk Travel: Things to see in Aruba and other travel questions answered

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: My husband and I are heading to Aruba at the end of the month! Any recommendations for off-resort activities? We have reservations at Carte Blanche but no other set plans. Is there anything superior to just sitting on the beach/at the pool and relaxing? ...

What if cruise-ship dining companions want to put politics on menu?

The problem: My husband and I are going on a cruise. This ship has open seating, so we will often be dining with strangers, and dinners can last up to two hours. One of the main purposes of this trip is to get away from the daily bombardment of politics, which has made our lives miserable for the past year. My dream is that the maître d’ will ask “red or blue?” before he seats...

If you only have time for three meals in Flagstaff, Arizona, make sure they're here

Don't just push through Flagstaff, Arizona, and on to the Grand Canyon, a 90-minute drive away. Grand Canyon National Park might be one of the seven wonders of the natural world, but its culinary options are about as limited as water along its South Kaibab Trail. In Flagstaff though, a college and railroad town of 70,000 located at 7,000 feet on a mountain surrounded by extinct volcanoes, the food...

Peru devises new rules to tackle the mounting crowds on Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu requires strong lungs, steady legs and mighty decision-making skills. Among the questions you must ask yourself: Trek or train? Day trip from Cusco or overnight in Aguas Calientes? Pisco sour or Inca Kola? And the latest this-one-or-that-one to ponder: morning or afternoon shift?  In an effort to protect Peru's most popular attraction from overcrowding and degradation, the...
More Travel Stories