(CNN)With dreamy landscapes and an out-of-this-world feel, it’s not surprising that the Golden Circle tour is considered one of the best things to do in Iceland.
Þingvellir National Park
(CNN)With dreamy landscapes and an out-of-this-world feel, it’s not surprising that the Golden Circle tour is considered one of the best things to do in Iceland.
The fantastic cuisine, textiles and parties of the southern Mexican city stem from a resilient indigenous culture, says mezcal producer Santiago Surez Crdova
Oaxaca has some of the richest and strongest traditions in Mexico. If you go in July for the Guelaguetza festival, the whole city explodes. People from the surrounding villages come in their traditional costumes and perform dances at the Cerro del Fortn, a huge amphitheatre on a hill overlooking the city. Guelaguetza means offering and refers to the tradition still alive and strong in rural communities where if there is an event, everyone contributes, so they have these amazing parties.
(CNN)Long train journeys are inescapably romantic. They’re all about the journey; the destination is irrelevant and distance is an ally.
We all want to travel the world. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture and discover what life is like somewhere else?
But let’s face it that’s not always possible. A recent survey by Hilton revealed that 29% of Americans say that limited time is the biggest thing preventing them from taking a vacation. Whether we’re dealing with limited time off, financial hurdles, or maybe even a fear of flying, sometimes taking a vacation for longer than a weekend just isnt an option.
Luckily, there are ways around this roadblock and Curio Collection by Hilton offers one-of-a-kind hotels stateside along with some local guides to make your vacation or weekend getaway memorable #IRL so you dont have to partake in the #bowwowchallenge.
The United States is bursting with its own unique culture. There are many different things each region has to offer the discerning traveler, and there’s no shortage of activities to keep you occupied.
At these five unique hotels and resorts, you can get a remarkable vacation experience without ever leaving the U.S. And since each hotel is part of the Hilton Honors guest-loyalty program you can rack up points to use toward free nights, bypass the front desk with Digital Check-In on the Hilton Honors App and much more.
Want to get in touch with your American pride? There’s no better place to do that than in the nation’s capital.
This gorgeous hotel complete with a Haberdashery and a complimentary cocktail hour for guests is centrally located in the trendy 14th Street corridor near Logan Circle. The prime location allows you to see all the famous monuments you want before catching a meal in one of DC’s hottest new restaurants, Siren a farm-to-table restaurant from acclaimed chefs Robert Wiedmaier and Brian McBride, which is located in The Darcy and features fresh seafood, a raw bar, and live jazz.
You’re also not too far from several Smithsonian Institute museums and galleries such as the Hirshhorn; the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, which holds Jazz in the Garden during the summer months; the New Columbia Distillers, where you can partake in tours and tastings from the creators of Green Hat gin; and more fun and educational places to explore.
Need to brighten up your day? No problem, because this hotel features a bi-monthly pop-up Flower Bar through a partnership with local start-up UrbanStems.
For an authentic taste of the Midwest, Chicago is the place to go and this iconic hotel is the place to stay.
LondonHouse Chicago boasts a structure that is almost 100 years old. Originally opened as the London Guarantee Building in 1923, the historic, award-winning work of architecture was recently restored to pay homage to its storied past while also embracing modern amenities. It also features the citys only tri-level rooftop with sweeping views of the city.
This is a phenomenal city for food-lovers. Not only is Chicago famous for hot dogs and deep-dish pizza, but they also have some great places to indulge for dessert. Fans of ice cream, for example, should make it a point to visit Jeni’s.
Avid Instagrammers and SnapChatters will want to take advantage of the beautiful views and architecture in this city, perhaps on a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise a favorite even among locals.
Ah, Beantown a city that perfectly encapsulates all the unique passion, history, and charm of New England.
Ames Boston Hotel is located right in the middle of the city, so you wont have to go far to check out what Boston has to offer. And with complimentary bicycles (available seasonally) its easy to explore the city from the stylish hotel.
And if history is your thing, be sure to check out the Freedom Trail, Paul Revere’s House, and the Old State House. For shopping, food, and caf’s, Faneuil Hall is your perfect spot. For a bite with a view, stop in at Granary Tavern gastropub and enjoy the patio overlooking the lush Rose F. Kennedy Greenway.
And all those sports fans out there will absolutely have something to root for. You can see where the Celtics or the Bruins play at TD Garden, or cheer on the Red Sox at the famous Fenway Park. (But beware of the Green Monster!)
For a more relaxing getaway, head to Indian Wells in California just a short drive from Palm Springs.
Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa is the perfect place to unwind amid olive trees and citrus groves. Guest rooms and suites feature sprawling views of the Santa Rosa Mountains, and you’ll have plenty of space to spread out. It’s the home of the 12,000 square foot Well Spa a must-visit for anyone who needs some recharging, complete with a courtyard with two private saltwater pools.
Even if a spa isn’t your thing, the resorts immaculate manicured gardens and palm tree-lined roads will put your mind at ease and allow you to exhale for a while.
Coffee-lovers will need to check out IW Coffee, famous for their awesome latte art.
And it wouldn’t be a trip to sunny California without some sushi. Make sure you stop into Misaki Sushi & Grill to get your fix.
Nope, not that Hollywood. The East Coast one.
If you’re looking for a beach resort, this is the one to visit. The glamourous hotel fresh off a $100 million transformation complete with celebrity chef restaurants has breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. If you want to just chill out on their (private) beach, make way for the shore and dig your toes into the sand. But more active types will also find this area enticing.
There’s a boardwalk for you to peruse and a ton of shops to explore. Fans of contemporary art will need to check out the interactive fountains created by Japanese artist Ritsuko Taho in Arts Park at Young Circle.
For the perfect night out, visit The Village at Gulfstream Park. There, you can see some live entertainment or give gaming a try.
So no matter what corner of our beautiful country you decide to visit, these places will offer you an authentically local experience you’ll never forget. All Curio Collection hotels are bookable online or by using the Hilton Honors mobile app, where members get the best rates and other exclusive benefits including Digital Key and Points Pooling to make that weekend getaway or summer vacation with friends a reality.
Through Lyft and Uber, the sharing economy has taken a charge at cabs. Airbnb is making hotels palpitate in their pants. If TRVL has its way, its the travel agencies turn to tremble. Armed with 2.7 million freshly minted dollars from a conglomerate of angel investors, the company is hoping to augment services like Booking.com, Hotels.com and TripAdvisor by adding a soupon of crowd magic.
Amsterdam-based TRVL launched its product late last year, and has been busy working on improving its service and lobbying investors. The company today announced it has closed a 2.5 million ($2.7 million) round to fuel further product development and growth.
Today, when youre researching and planning a trip for yourself or the people you travel with, youre essentially doing the work of a travel agent, the companys CEO, Jochem Wijnands says. He is quick to highlight the biggest difference between you and a travel agent: You dont get rewarded for it.
Thats the part of the equation the company is planning to change. TRVL enables the power of the crowd to work as a travel agency. Making the booking earns the agent a commission of up to 10% on every booking made. The bookings themselves are done through more traditional booking sites such as Booking.com.
Think of TRVL as TripAdvisor with an earning model, Wijnands explains. We believe TRVL will change the way millions of people will book their trips online.
The company currently employs 12 people, including some heavy hitters in the industry. The companys COO isArthur Hoffman, whos best known for setting up businesses for Expedia in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and India. The companys CEO Jochem Wijnands sold his previous company to Apple, before it subsequently turned the platform into Apple News, now featured on one or two iPhones around the world.
Travel continues to be a fiercely competitive space, but its one thats been relatively untouched by the sharing economys grubby paws so far. Im looking forward to seeing how that changes and how TRVL is planning to sidestep regulatory challenges in the travel industry as the company continues to gain ground.
(CNN)Mauritius is a model of true democracy for every African country.
(CNN)Nestled amid the high-end shops, art galleries and traffic of Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, blueberries and raspberries will flourish in a rooftop garden come springtime.
(CNN)“Have you seen ‘The Lion King‘?”
Barbados holiday guide:
You dont need a pop stars budget to enjoy the palm trees and sunny Caribbean sea of this popular island. Genie Austin reveals her homelands best beaches, cheap eats, rum shops and typically tropical activities
When I tell people Im from Barbados, I usually get some variation of the same response. Ooh, paradise, they say, as they conjure up coconut trees, tropical drinks, bright sunshine and foam-crested azure waves.
But on an island where holidays can come at shockingly high prices, this idea of paradise feels woefully beyond the reach of the average traveller. However, as every Bajan knows, the charms of this tiny coral island between the Caribbean and the Atlantic can be unlocked without breaking the bank at a luxury hotel or being limited by a package deal.
There are plenty of charming low-cost hotels, cheap-and-cheerful eateries and bars, under-the-radar beaches and free or low-cost fun activities to be enjoyed if you know where to look.
Barbados doesnt have soaring peaks, waterfalls, rivers or tropical rainforests like some of its neighbours. Nevertheless, it is a tropical island, and its vegetation can be lush, wild, and breathtakingly beautiful. Hike Barbados is a local organisation that conducts free hikes through less accessible areas. Its three-hour hikes run throughout the year, with morning walks starting at 6am, afternoon walks at 3.30pm, and moonlight walks at 5.30pm.
(CNN)Downtown Port Louis always feel hotter than the rest of Mauritius, maybe because this is the only place in the country where people are in a rush.
(CNN)Getting in shape for vacation isn’t just about looking good in a bikini.
The cabin baggage ban on laptops and tablets on direct flights to the UK from six countries will be in place by Saturday, the government has confirmed.
Passengers travelling from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia must put big electronic devices in the hold.
BA, Easyjet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomson and Thomas Cook flights are affected.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the move was in response to an “evolving threat” from terrorism.
He told the Commons the government’s decision was thought necessary to protect the safety of UK passengers, but would not give any more detail.
“We have taken the steps for good reasons,” said Mr Grayling.
The ban applies to any device larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep. It includes smart phones, but most fall inside these limits.
Under the new rules, all large electronic devices, including Kindles and similar e-readers, must be packed into luggage going into the hold.
Mr Grayling told MPs he would write to insurers to ask them to be mindful of the changes.
The new security measures would be brought in “over the coming days and no later than Saturday 25 March”, said a Department for Transport spokeswoman.
She added that passengers “should go to the airport with the expectation that the measures are already in effect”.
So far, only Easyjet has confirmed to the BBC that the restrictions are already in place.
UK carriers affected by the ban include:
Overseas airlines affected are Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia.
The ban follows a similar move in the US, where officials say bombs could be hidden in a series of devices.
Mark Shepherd, from the Association of British Insurers, advised travellers to check their insurance policy covers valuables placed in the hold.
He said some might find they have additional cover under a household contents policy for gadgets outside the home.
“Wherever possible, travellers should keep valuables, including tablets and laptops, with them on flights and, if travelling from destinations affected by the new regulations, it may be sensible to leave valuables at home,” he added.
“If devices are damaged during a flight, there’s also the potential to seek compensation through the airline.”
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39352133
(CNN)Trying to do the best of New York City in a few days is like announcing you plan to see Africa in a week: it minimizes just how much there is to experience and completely disregards travel times.
With a week of stormy weather again hitting the east coast of the United States and backing up airline operations nationwide as a result, tens of thousands of weary passengers are left stranded at airports across the country waiting for an empty seat on another flight to become available. In times like these and this past week has been particularly bad we hear stories of angry travelers yelling at gate agents, sleeping in airports, and venting about it all on social media.
But this series of storms, which seems to have been more disruptive than usual, should serve to remind travelers that it is not only a good idea, but also their responsibility, to have a reasonable backup plan prepared before embarking on itineraries that may intersect with inclement weather.
The storms that hit the southeastern U.S. this week were reported days in advance. National weather services issued alerts and warnings and diligent travelers checking weather forecasts not only in destinations but in layover cities as well could have easily predicted the disruptions to come and either altered travel plans or requested a re-routing through an unaffected connection airport.
The importance of such pro-activity in travel planning becomes self-evident when we see how many transiting passengers were caught off guard by the well publicized approaching storms. Most became frustrated with the ensuing delays and cancellations, and understandably so. But some decided to lash out and blame their air carriers and airline staff for their misfortunes, even going so far as to demand meals and accommodations during weather delays.
Some airlines did improvise to provide food to standard passengers, such as when Delta ordered several enormous pizza deliveries and passed out slices to stranded passengers in airports like Norfolk and Atlanta and even on planes that were stuck out on runways. But this example was just a generous gesture on Deltas part. The airline was by no means obligated to dip into its own pockets to feed passengers in airports while waiting for bad weather to pass.
In fact, theres little that airlines are required to do in cases of delays caused by weather or even air traffic control issues. These are situations beyond the airlines control, and such delays are commonly disclosed risks about which passengers should be well-informed and adequately prepared.
So what can one do to prepare if youre stuck transiting through a region that may get hit with weather delays? Other than the initial options mentioned above change dates or request re-routing you can also research alternate forms of transportation and make backup reservations to use in case the worst comes to pass.
As planes finally got clearance to return to the air in parts of the southeast on Thursday and passengers on canceled flights realized that they would have to be accommodated on a space-available basis as regularly scheduled flights began departing again, some started getting the idea to rent cars and drive to their final destinations. A few passengers in Atlanta took to social media to declare that they were securing one-way rentals for under $100 to make 5-10 hour drives and get home in the same day, while many more who caught wind of this strategy later were out of luck after car rental agencies quickly sold out.
But a prepared passenger, knowing bad weather was highly probable this week, could have made a refundable rental car reservation in advance just in case it might be needed. The same could be done for a hotel room, just in case youre stuck overnight. Most hotels have a refundable reservation option, even if it costs slightly more than the standard rate. By the time a late flight is canceled and a frustrated passenger realizes that the airline cannot provide accommodation because the cancellation was due to weather, hotel room capacity in major hub cities will disappear very quickly as other passengers rush to book from their smart phones before even leaving the gate.
Right now I am sitting in the SkyClub at Reagan National Airport in our nations capital and listening to countless stories of passengers around me who have been trying to get home for days. In a city like Washington, DC, here is what I would have done knowing that severe weather warnings had been issued for the area to or through which I was flying.
First, I would have checked my itinerary to make sure I was not flying into the chaos. In this past weeks case, Atlanta seems to have been hit the worse. Unfortunately thats the largest hub for Delta, which is a major carrier out of the national capital region. But Charlotte, an American Airlines hub, was also predictably affected, as well as other cities up and down the east coast.
If I could not alter my travel dates or re-route through the northeast or midwest, I would have made a hotel reservation with free cancellation near the airport in case I ended up being stuck here overnight. I would have also booked a one-way car rental reservation if my destination was within reasonable driving distance, but I would have made sure not to use a pre-paid option. That option may offer a small five or ten percent discount off of the rate, but it would not have been refundable had I decided not to use the reservation in the end.
I would have also considered booking a backup train ticket on Amtrak too, which usually allows refunds with only a very small fee deducted. This would have been ideal had I been traveling to or transiting somewhere in the northeast like New York City or Boston, and just adds another level of preparedness and options that my fellow passengers may not have if our flight were severely delayed or canceled.
As I sit for hours and hours in this crowded airport today, I watch as my weekend jet-setting plans fade farther and farther into the realm of fantasy. Good thing I thought to make a weekend car rental reservation just in case. So instead of jetting off to the Caribbean to escape the returning cool weather as I had planned, I have decided instead to bundle up and embark on a weekend road trip out to a dog-friendly northern Virginia winery.
I have never been to a winery anywhere, so now I will be able to check that off my must-do travel list. But one experience I will not be checking off my list today, thanks to some foresight and pre-planning, is camping out in an airport.
(CNN)Many in Canada complain that Torontonians have a center-of-the-universe attitude. True or not, the city can cast a shadow over the rest of the country.
(CNN)For those who can afford them, the French and Italian rivieras have always been unbeatable destinations for anyone in search of sun, sea, sand and style. Or have they?
(CNN)With a climate that ranges from desert dry to tropical lush to freeze-your-North-Face-off in the Andes, Peru packs a ton of diversity between its sea level elevation Pacific beaches and the 22,204 foot top of its highest mountain, Nevado Huascaran.
Idiotic TV shows and all the latest apps bumming you out on the 21st century? Ready for some “me time” on the world’s remotest islands?