Travel


SeaWorld Orlando sails into summer with free beer, dolphin show, ‘Ignite’ fireworks

SeaWorld Orlando is all set for summer. The theme park has its Electric Ocean promotion in place with special nighttime activities, but there are other changes — including the (eventual) opening of its Infinity Falls raft ride. Here are five things to know before you go to SeaWorld.  EXCUSE ME WHILE I. The park has introduced a show called “Touch the Sky,” which basically acts...

How seeing rhinos may help save them

We'd been driving for close to three hours. The sun was setting in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, casting the bush in a gray and orange haze, our eyes working harder to adjust to the darkness. Soon we'd have to give up the search. Sitting in the tracker's seat at the front of the Land Rover was Barry Peiser, rhino monitor at Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve. He had been analyzing dung...

With jet fuel prices up nearly 50 percent, fliers eventually will pay more, experts say

Jet fuel prices have shot up 40 percent to 50 percent over last year, but airline passengers in the U.S. don’t need to worry about airfares following that trend — yet.  Two of the nation’s largest airlines warned this week that rising fuel prices are cutting into their profits but suggested that air travelers probably will not feel the pinch of higher ticket prices for several...

Critics question influence of air perks on Congress

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., canceled most of the Senate's August recess, lawmakers and staffers didn't have to worry about one thing: airline ticket change fees.  That's because airlines allow members of Congress and their staff to book fully refundable fares at about the same rate their constituents pay for a highly restrictive nonrefundable ticket - a potential savings...

Five getaways with local food festivals that are worth the trip

Some hotels try to create buzz by opening restaurants with high-profile chefs. Lately, however, a growing number of properties want to offer more and are throwing entire food festivals instead.  Michael Heflin, senior vice president for the hotel division of Travel Leaders Group, thinks that hotels are getting into the festival business because they want to offer guests, as well as the local...

Place 16 of 52: The arts are flourishing in Cincinnati

Before last month, I had been to Cincinnati only once or twice, but I could have sworn I had lived there. My freshman year roommate, Dargie, grew up there, and, I’m convinced, must have been sent from the tourism board of the future to indoctrinate me with the idea that Cincinnati is one of the greatest places on Earth. Her family even got involved, with shipments of the city’s famous...

Travel deals: Sale fare to Seattle and free third night at a luxury California resort

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - The Monarch Beach Resort, a AAA five-diamond property in Dana Point, California, is offering a free third night plus a resort credit. A three-night stay starts at $1,106 and includes taxes, the free night (worth $550) and a $250 credit that can be applied to golf, spa treatments and on-site dining. Book by Sunday and travel by Oct. 31. Info...

DC's secret Navy museum is amazing - if you can figure out how to get in

WASHINGTON - Last month, I wrote about the Naval Heritage Center, a museum that's easy to visit but offers little to see. Now I want to tell you about a museum that's tough to visit but absolutely jam-packed with fascinating stuff: the National Museum of the United States Navy.  Though the NMUSN is free and open to the public, it's on the Washington Navy Yard - a military base that intentionally...

The latest luxury hotel perk? A chance to hit the racetrack

"Track driving is one of the world's great equalizers," says Maggie Smith, owner of Winvian Farm, a 10-cottage hotel in the posh countryside of Lichfield, Conn.  By most accounts, Winvian Farm is a slow-paced getaway. It's an oasis for overworked New Yorkers and New Englanders where activities typically consist of biking around the woodlands, picking herbs from an organic garden and...

Hawaii Rep. Gabbard wants tourists to stay away from volcano

Traveling between Washington and the eight Hawaiian islands she represents is second nature for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. It’s a 5,000-mile, two-flight, 11-to-15-hour trip home to Oahu. Then she boards another plane to each of the islands.  This has been a rough couple of months for Hawaii. The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island that erupted May 3 has frequently been in the...

5 perks travel agents offer beyond booking your trip

Most people assume travel agents do little more than charge you money for booking trips, something most people are comfortable doing online. However, they can do a lot more beyond planning your vacations.  “Of course we specialize in building travel itineraries, but good advisers can help you in all sorts of ways that most people don’t realize,” said Rob Karp, chief executive...

In Eastern Oregon, a unique golf resort emerges with ‘a story to tell’

SILVIES, Ore. — Scott Campbell is an unlikely golf pioneer in an unlikely place — building an 18-hole, reversible golf course in the high desert of Eastern Oregon, 35 miles from the nearest small towns and about a 3-hour drive from the nearest population centers of Boise and Bend, Ore.  The Retreat and Links at Silvies Valley Ranch intends to introduce travelers to “Frontier...

Musk company to build Chicago-to-O'Hare express transport

CHICAGO (AP) — Entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday a high-speed transportation system that will whisk people between downtown Chicago and O'Hare International Airport at speeds of up to 150 mph could be operational in about three years.  Musk joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to formally announce that a Musk-owned enterprise, The Boring Company, was selected for the project and will fully...

How airline stopover programs can work for you

Travelers increasingly can visit two destinations for the price of flying to one: Several new airline stopover programs are trying to entice fliers to do that by offering appealing reasons to spend time in the city that they are connecting through.  George Hobica, an airline industry analyst, said that attractive stopover programs, created for destinations where the airline is based, are a growing...

Carrying a real apple or a fake Gucci? Tell a Customs and Border Protection officer anyway.

Earlier this year, a passenger was standing on the jet bridge, moments from boarding his South African Airways flight, when an obstacle appeared in the shape of a Customs and Border Protection officer. During the random search at Washington Dulles International Airport, the law enforcer asked the man how much money he was carrying. He responded $500, normally not an amount an officer would question...
Trump and Cuba: A year after big speech, what’s changed?

Trump and Cuba: A year after big speech, what’s changed?

A year after President Donald Trump came to South Florida to announce he was “canceling” his predecessor’s “one-sided deal with Cuba,” not much seems to have changed. “What it did was make people think, ‘I can’t go to Cuba,’” said Renee Radabaugh, CEO of Paragon Events, a Delray Beach agency that offers Cuba tours. “But it really didn&rsquo...
Day trippin’: 9 colorful and inspiring stops in Lake Worth

Day trippin’: 9 colorful and inspiring stops in Lake Worth

Treating yourself to a vacation doesn’t mean traveling to some faraway land and breaking the bank. The things you can explore and learn in your own backyard will surprise you, so why not take a daycation instead of a vacation? Start with downtown Lake Worth! I just love this quirky city, and I think you will too. Keep an open mind when visiting this artistic and very-far-from-pretentious...

Talk Travel: Is Nicaragua safe for tourists? Maybe. Check with the State Department.

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I've not seen a lot of news on Nicaragua, but from what I have seen there are protests and some clashes between the government and protesters resulting in some deaths. I was planning a trip there in January, but I don't really know if the scope of this...

The airports with the speediest free wi-fi

If you're looking for an airport with quick, complimentary wi-fi, head west. Seattle-Tacoma International's connection took the top place in a new ranking of North American airports by software firm Ookla LLC, which runs the site Speedtest.net.  SeaTac more than doubled its download speed from last year, reaching 103 Mbps. Denver, which topped the list over the past two years, came in second...
Disney: ‘Star Wars’ land village will be called Black Spire Outpost

Disney: ‘Star Wars’ land village will be called Black Spire Outpost

When Walt Disney World visitors go to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next year, they’ll be able to visit the village of Black Spire Outpost via Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. That’s the latest incremental news about the under-construction land. Walt Disney Co. recently announced that the Star Wars area will open in late fall of 2019 at Hollywood Studios and debut in Disneyland...

These new airport lounges are designed to fight jet lag

A stretching studio. Guided meditation sessions. Shower suites with light therapy. They sound like the features of a new age spa. But all are elements of Qantas Airways' new international transit lounge at the Perth Airport. And they're all designed with one purpose in mind: helping you combat jet lag.  It's an especially relevant proposition for the Australian carrier that in March launched...
Ecuadorian Amazon is a watery paradise

Ecuadorian Amazon is a watery paradise

If I close my eyes, I can still feel the warm, tropical breeze blowing across my face as our cigar-shaped motorboat purrs down the brownish, silt-laden Cuyabeno River, heading for the remote Siona Lodge in Ecuador’s Amazon region. Our two-hour boat ride into the heart of the 2,300 square-mile Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve exposes our small group of adventurers to the wonders of a tropical rainforest...

Extreme fire danger forces another national forest to close

DENVER (AP) — Extreme fire danger prompted officials to shut down a sprawling forest that includes some of Colorado's most stunning mountains in a region that attracts tourists from around the world, a rare tactic also being used in neighboring states as the U.S. Southwest struggles with severe drought.  National forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico have already been shut down as...
Travelers overlooking Cincinnati, N. KY miss out on style, substance

Travelers overlooking Cincinnati, N. KY miss out on style, substance

Cincinnati is a city that often fails to get its proper due. Along with fellow Midwestern stalwarts St. Louis, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Kansas City, Mo., it’s often overlooked in favor of other metropolises perceived as being more glamorous. In a classic case of substance over style, the Queen City shrugs its shoulders and soldiers on — re-vamping, re-inventing and re-energizing itself...

Tastes from Mexico and beyond under one roof

MEXICO CITY — The best time to visit Mercado Roma Coyoacán — the new three-floor food hall made up of 42 different vendors in the Mexico City neighborhood of Coyoacán — is during a televised soccer game. As the scent of simmering pork and just-heated corn tortillas lingered in the air, the cries of “gooooooaaaaallll!” from the various TVs echoed through...

The pros and cons of buying a timeshare

While many of us would like to own a vacation home, the cost and year-round upkeep prevent us from turning that dream into a reality. If you’re set on the idea of having a home away from home, owning a timeshare might be the best option. However, you need to do your homework. First, you’ll need to understand how timeshares work.  When you buy a timeshare, you are purchasing the right...

Disneyland adds blackouts

Already struggling with crowding problems, Disneyland resort officials have long hinted that they will be forced to add restrictions to deal with the surge of crowds when a Star Wars land opens next summer.  The first attempt at controlling the expected throngs was announced recently as the resort added blackout dates — thus cutting access — for some pass holders who want to visit...

How to cut the hotel room service line, and other travel tips

Jason Atherton is one of Britain's buzziest, most dapper chefs. After learning his trade under rant-master Gordon Ramsay, he founded Social Company, which oversees a global restaurant empire that includes his flagship, Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social in London, and the Clocktower restaurant, inside New York's Edition hotel. He will soon debut a third restaurant inside the new Edition hotel in...

Universal Orlando: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride now in 4K-HD

Universal Orlando has upgraded the projection system on one of its rides in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Now seen in 4K-HD is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the thrill ride set inside the Hogwarts castle building at Islands of Adventure theme park.  The ride, which opened with the original segment of Wizarding World in 2010, now has “superior clarity,” according to...

How travelers can protect themselves during hurricane season

Memorial Day signaled the unofficial start of summer, the conch shell reveille rousing travelers dreaming of an ocean getaway. Then four days later, hurricane season shows up like an unwanted beach house guest. Just when you thought it was safe to jump on a water-centric holiday ...  Last year was devastating, with 17 named storms and more than $200 billion worth of damages, the costliest season...

Where to watch old episodes of Anthony Bourdain's TV shows

Since Anthony Bourdain's death last week at the age of 61, fans of the man who influenced America's palate and approach to travel have been turning to the vault of television programming that he left behind.  Old episodes of his CNN series, "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," were scheduled to come off Netflix on June 16, prompting a bit of an internet outcry. But the streaming provider...
This city just north of PBC named one of happiest seaside towns in America

This city just north of PBC named one of happiest seaside towns in America

Thinking about escaping for a weekend getaway or quick day trip? A city just a little over an hour north of West Palm Beach has been named one of the happiest seaside towns in America.  Sophisticated but low-key Vero Beach ranked in fourth place, according to Coastal Living.  “It feels less like a city than a village with urbane gifts: high-end hotels and historic architecture...

Don’t let your flight interfere with the creative process

Terminal A in New York City’s La Guardia Airport can be a disorienting place. It isn’t connected to the rest of the airport. And upon entering, you find few of the amenities familiar in America’s busiest airports today.  The terminal, which opened in 1939 to launch seaplanes, has an Art Deco feel. A 235-foot James Brooks mural, “Flight,” adorns one wall. It was done...

The travel contract: How to make sure vacation expectations sync up before you go

You love your friends, you love your spouse, but what happens when your expectations for a trip don’t match up?  Everyone travels and relaxes differently. Some see vacations as opportunities to lounge by the ocean or pool while reading a book. Others get their enjoyment from being on the move. Many travelers have very different ideas of what the pace should be and how much downtime is appropriate...

Stalking the elusive permit from a fishing boat in Belize

I was standing at the front of a 23-foot-long panga in the Bay of Honduras, some 10 miles northeast of Punta Gorda, Belize, as my angling partner, Nelson Mathews, was perched in a seat below. A group of frigatebirds circled above, reminiscent of cruising fighter jets, while several pelicans and cormorants watched from a snag on a mangrove island nearby. The low-lying Maya Mountains were just visible...

The best Asian food in North America? Try British Columbia.

On a steamy Friday evening, early last summer, I exited a Korean-made metro train with a crowd of teenagers and parents with young children, who filled the elevated platform at Bridgeport Road with a congenial babble of Cantonese, English, Tagalog and Mandarin. Crossing an expansive parking lot, we entered a makeshift village of canopied stalls, set amid a forest of simulated cherry trees whose LED...

Bourdain became a TV star in part because people stopped caring about poker

Anthony Bourdain delighted millions of people with a career that took him around the world, introducing viewers to all kinds of new culture and food.  That career almost never happened.   In the television business it's often better to be lucky than good, the adage goes. But sometimes it's best to be something else: in the company of the desperate.   Bourdain, who tragically...

In Seville, Spain, young chefs are creating the next generation of tapas

The first time I encountered tapas, I was 6 and didn't like them. My head was level with a huge wooden bar, and all I could see was a school of shiny silvery fish languishing near slices of bread. I've grown some since then; my head clears the bar most days. Meanwhile, tapas have become an international phenomenon.  Because every country I went to seemed to be offering some version of tapas or...

Family travel five: Summer destinations that offer adventure, memories

Where will you be this summer? Here are five destinations that promise to deliver family adventure and magical memories:  Find your way to this iconic Caribbean resort, where you’ll find a multitude of ways to enjoy family time within 400 beachfront acres. Young guests are greeted with their own welcome drink and invited to discover the Anancy Children’s Village, a play area for kids...

A former prison for Jews unlocks their ancient Italian history

Ready for a quick history lesson?   About 1,952 years ago, Rome sacked Jerusalem. Its soldiers carried off the treasures of the temple and thousands of Jews. The money and slave labor were then used to build a gigantic amphitheater you've probably heard of. It's called the Colosseum.   So there's no denying that Jews have been in Italy for a very, very long time. It's the most ancient...

SeaWorld bans plastic bags, straws from 12 theme parks

ORLANDO, Fla. — To protect the environment, SeaWorld Entertainment has removed all single-use straws and plastic bags from the company’s 12 theme parks, including those in Orlando.  The Orlando-headquartered company made the announcement Friday in a news release.   “We see the harmful effects of plastic pollution in the animals we rescue and rehabilitate, and therefore...

Singapore Postcard: Summit island hides macabre history

SINGAPORE (AP) — A new surveillance camera was installed and restaurants closed on Singapore's Sentosa Island, a popular tropical getaway thrust into the spotlight ahead of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  Located a quarter mile (400 meters) off the coast of the city-state, Sentosa is no stranger to celebrities and VIPs. It is linked to the city...

Tastes from Mexico and beyond under one roof

MEXICO CITY — The best time to visit Mercado Roma Coyoacán — the new three-floor food hall made up of 42 different vendors in the Mexico City neighborhood of Coyoacán — is during a televised soccer game. As the scent of simmering pork and just-heated corn tortillas lingered in the air, the cries of “gooooooaaaaallll!” from the various TVs echoed through...

Chicago hotels roll out panic button systems to protect housekeepers from sexual harassment

CHICAGO — As Chicago hotels gear up for the busy summer tourist season, they are pushing to meet a July 1 deadline to supply their housekeepers with panic buttons.  The portable buttons, mandated in an ordinance that won unanimous City Council approval in October, allow employees to instantly summon help if they are sexually assaulted or harassed by a guest — a job hazard worker advocates...

What Janelle Monáe can’t travel without

Janelle Monáe is enviably multitalented, appearing in movies like “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight” and creating futuristic musical soundscape. She’s on tour to promote her latest album, “Dirty Computer.”  Life on the road has changed for her.   “I think early on I wasn’t seeing anything,” Monáe said. “I...

4 simple tips to stay healthy on your next trip

Traveling can take a toll on your health, said Dr. Douglas Kaiden, medical director of Priority Private Care, an emergency care facility in New York City.  “Flying and being in new destinations makes you vulnerable to all sorts of illness and injuries,” he said. “It’s extra important to be vigilant about your health when you’re on the road.”   Before...

Skiing below the equator

Summer is a popular time for beach vacations, but if you’re not into sun and sand, why not consider a ski getaway instead?  In parts of the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s winter, the slopes beckon.   Valle Nevado, which is 90 minutes from Santiago, Chile, has access to 7,000 acres of terrain and is one of the largest ski resorts in South America. The resort offers weeklong...

US hits Nicaraguan officials with travel bans over violence

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is placing travel bans on police and government officials accused of human rights abuses in Nicaragua.  The State Department said Thursday that visa restrictions would be imposed on officials responsible for recent deadly violence against demonstrators in anti-government protests that erupted in mid-April. It said the violence by police and "pro-government...

Travel goods for today: Briggs & Riley marks 25 years of innovation

First with a lifetime luggage guarantee. First to place trolley bar handles on the outside of the bag, thereby freeing up precious packing space while simultaneously creating a flat packing area, the end result being wrinkle-free clothing. First to introduce the checkpoint-friendly laptop bag.  It’s not surprising that Briggs & Riley, founded in 1993 and today one of the one of the leading...

The best and worst airlines and airports of 2018, according to AirHelp

Last summer, on a bucket list trip through Southern Africa, I took a total of six flights with South African Airways. On the first one, a 15-hour trip from New York's JFK Airport to Johannesburg, my air vent and seat-back screens were both broken. On my next five flights, the situation was only marginally better.  Within a week of my return, a customer service agent at South African Airways received...

Handmade dinosaur figures make Japan town proud

TAKASAKI, Japan - Dinosaur figures meticulously handmade at the Kanna Dinosaur Center in Kanna, Gunma Prefecture, have grown to become a new local specialty item. Their sales have increased year after year, contributing to the town's increased publicity.  The figures are produced by non-regular municipal government employees recruited from among local residents.   A room of the center...

Travel deals: Icelandair sale to Europe and free bus ride to more than 100 cities

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Don't sweat your ride to your job interview: Megabus is offering employee-hopefuls a free round-trip bus trip to more than 100 mostly domestic destinations. (A few go to Canada.) Savings vary. For example, round-trip fare from Washington to Atlanta starts at $102; a round-trip ticket from Arlington to New York City costs $135, including fees...
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