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Travel


48 hours in Breckenridge, two ways

What happens when a solo-adventure junkie hits Breckenridge, Colorado, for a quick visit — and how does her trip differ from one taken by a mom and her 5-year-old? Fit City columnist Pam LeBlanc and travel editor Kristin Finan compared notes after each spending 48 hours at the popular ski resort. Pam: I spent a few days in Crested Butte Mountain Resort in January, and that just amped up my craving...
Meet San Antonio’s grand dame: Hotel Emma

Meet San Antonio’s grand dame: Hotel Emma

The brick-lined road ends and your car shifts into a time-warping slow motion, allowing you to appreciate the sound it makes as it rolls over the crushed granite circular drive. The crunch of the stones beneath your tires evokes the sensation of entering an old estate in a foreign country. Maybe it’s that hypnotizing sound, or the squared cupolas of the historic building’s Second Empire...
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...

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...

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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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...
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...

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...
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...
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. ...

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...
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...
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...

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...
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...

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...

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...
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...

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...
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...
Is Gascony the most delicious corner of France?

Is Gascony the most delicious corner of France?

Look closely at a map of southwestern France and you’ll notice it: a blank spot just west of Toulouse where the place names thin out and the train lines and expressways veer away, like a stream flowing around a boulder. That blank spot is Gascony, one of the most rural regions in all of France. Gascons are for the most part proud of their provinciality, and many of them have developed the curious...
Empty-nesters take up where they left off on Spain's most storied mountain trail

Empty-nesters take up where they left off on Spain's most storied mountain trail

Nineteen years ago my wife, our 14-year-old daughter Cate and I set out from the little principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees mountains and headed west on the long-distance Spanish hiking route called GR 11. With optimism born of ignorance, I had bought a dozen detailed trail maps - enough to get us 200 miles closer to the Atlantic. At the end of our allotted 19 days, we had used six of the maps...
Big snowpacks mean longer ski season

Big snowpacks mean longer ski season

Big snows in February and March mean an extra-long ski season this year, and from California to Colorado, resorts are pushing back closing dates. At Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in California, officials say the current snowpack should last until at least July 4, when Texans are typically floating rivers in bikinis and barbecuing on the back deck. The resorts get an annual average of 450 inches...
In Portugal, a haven of ecotourism rises from rocky ruins

In Portugal, a haven of ecotourism rises from rocky ruins

Why would a young, dynamic person pack up and leave buzzing Lisbon for a life in a dilapidated stone hamlet with just 40 residents? It didn’t take long for my guide, Pedro Pedrosa, an environmentally conscious entrepreneur and avid mountain biker, to make the case. I was instantly enamored with my accommodation, a contemporary cottage stocked with homemade cheese and fresh-baked bread, and with...
The art of journaling

The art of journaling

When I travel, I make it a habit to collect only one thing: memories. The most treasured keepsake of any trip I take is the journal I bring home, filled with descriptions and observations of the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen and the experiences I’ve had. Thinking back, it seems I’ve always had a desire to capture my discoveries and eureka moments in a journal. On my...

New cruise ship reimagines what it means to be outdoors

Richard Fain, the chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises , is willing to bet $5 billion that he can take everything you know about cruising and flip it upside down. Or at least outside in.  On Monday, he and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity Cruises-one of three brands in the Royal Caribbean family-announced a new category of ship that, among other transformational design moves...

Airlines drop Cuba flights, citing lower demand than anticipated

Just six months after being the first airline to sell seats on regularly scheduled flights to Cuba, Silver Airways, a regional carrier based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that specializes in smaller markets, will scrap its service to the island next month. It is the latest industry move to underscore that fewer Americans are traveling to Cuba than originally anticipated.  Citing low demand and...
Death Valley is a place of unique features, unexpected character

Death Valley is a place of unique features, unexpected character

The desert landscape and extreme climate of Death Valley National Park seem a little off, otherworldly even. Crooked peaks are capped with black lava, like thick fudge sauce drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Rocks mysteriously move across a dry lakebed. Some of the highest temperatures on earth have baked layers of mineral-stained sediment and volcanic ash into surreal outcroppings. Death Valley looks...
Atlantis, like its namesake island, is a resort like no other

Atlantis, like its namesake island, is a resort like no other

ATLANTIS RESORT, Paradise Island, Bahamas — Over the years, I have kissed a lot of things in my quest for a good story — Ireland’s Blarney Stone; my luck goodbye in Las Vegas and shipboard casinos; terra firma after returning wobbly-kneed from the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb. But nothing I’ve ever kissed in the line of duty has given me as much pleasure as smacking lips with...

Top travel agents on how to stay safe while traveling

No matter where you are traveling, you need to be safe. Things can happen — injuries, theft, losses and more. You need to learn how to protect yourself when on the road and especially when you’re in another country. Here are eight tips from travel professionals to help you stay safe and secure while on your vacation: ——— PROTECT YOUR MEDICINES “Consider taking a...
From business to pleasure in Switzerland

From business to pleasure in Switzerland

By good luck, winter break was just days away at our second-grader’s public school as I flew Swiss International to represent my firm at meetings in Zurich. As business-class travelers who do the trans-Atlantic night run often enough know, you should arrive at the airport a half hour earlier than otherwise necessary, have your dinner in the lounge and sleep through the service on the plane....
Gaslights to brighten Yokohama evenings

Gaslights to brighten Yokohama evenings

YOKOHAMA, Japan - A project to establish a "gaslight promenade" about three kilometers long is about to kick off in Yokohama, where the first gaslights in Japan were introduced 145 years ago.  The promenade will connect Yamashita Park, a famous sightseeing spot, and the Kannai area, where a historical streetscape remains. The Yokohama municipal government has allotted 2 million yen...
Taste the difference on beer brewery tour in Japan

Taste the difference on beer brewery tour in Japan

YOKOHAMA, Japan - Kirin Brewery was established in 1907 in the city of Yokohama, the epicenter of western culture in Japan at the time. After its original production base near the port of Yokohama was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, the company relocated operations to its current Yokohama location.  Kirin Yokohama Brewery today has the capacity to produce about 2,000 cans of beer...
Where to go for dining and drinks in Portland

Where to go for dining and drinks in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — Once, as a tourist some dozen years or so ago, I took a wrong turn from downtown and crossed over a bridge to the east side of town. Let me tell you, it didn’t take long to realize I wasn’t in the posh Pearl District anymore.  With boarded-up windows and rundown warehouses, the Central Eastside Industrial District looked soulless. The only dude I encountered...
High design in the design district

High design in the design district

Check In Hotel Lilla Roberts, Pieni Roobertinkatu 1-3; 358-9-689-9880; lillaroberts.com.   Rates   From 199 euros (about $210).  Basics   The Hotel Lilla Roberts, a stylish 130-room property, has brought new energy to a landmark building whose previous tenants include a power station and the Helsinki Police Department. Built in the early 20th century in classic Finnish...
American brings back free meals on some flights

American brings back free meals on some flights

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines said Tuesday that it plans to offer free meals to everyone in economy on two cross-country routes starting May 1.  The decision by the world's biggest airline comes a month after Delta Air Lines announced that it would restore free meals in economy on a dozen long-haul U.S. routes this spring.   Airlines dropped free sandwiches and other meals in...
In Portugal, a haven of ecotourism rises from rocky ruins

In Portugal, a haven of ecotourism rises from rocky ruins

FERRARIA DE SAO JOAO, Portugal - Why would a young, dynamic person pack up and leave buzzing Lisbon for a life in a dilapidated stone hamlet with just 40 residents? It didn't take long for my guide, Pedro Pedrosa, an environmentally conscious entrepreneur and avid mountain biker, to make the case. I was instantly enamored with my accommodation, a contemporary cottage stocked with homemade cheese and...
Opinion: Evicting spring break was the easy part for Panama City Beach

Opinion: Evicting spring break was the easy part for Panama City Beach

One of Florida’s most popular beach hot spots is learning how hard it is to kill its reputation as a college and high school spring break guzzle-a-thon and replace it with something safer. Panama City Beach locals this year thought they found a fresh way to woo Atlantans and others from around the nation to the amazing powdery white sand: three weekends packed with Christian music concerts...

Japan eyes certification for guide interpreters for foreign visitors

TOKYO - The central government intends to create a certification for regionally based guide interpreters that local governments will grant to people who participate in training sessions, in response to the rapid increase in foreign visitors to Japan.  The government plans to submit a bill to revise the Licensed Guide Interpreters Law to the current Diet session.   Unlike existing national...
The world’s hub airports could learn from some French savoir-faire

The world’s hub airports could learn from some French savoir-faire

Love them or hate them, hub airports are here to stay. Although many passengers prefer nonstop flights, hub and spoke systems allow airlines to offer more destinations and routes, resulting in lower airfares. That’s because while there might not be enough demand for four or five airlines flying a nonstop route between any two given points, with the hub airport model several airlines can compete...
Ticket costs for theme parks climb more than for other forms of entertainment

Ticket costs for theme parks climb more than for other forms of entertainment

For the last seven years or so, Joseph Armendariz of West Covina, Calif., has watched the price of his annual Disneyland pass creep higher, prompting him to wonder when the cost finally would be out of reach.  Armendariz, who works at a community college administration office, paid $619 for his annual pass, which lets him into the park on all but 50 days of the year. If the charge continues to...

5 ways to stay healthy while traveling this year

You’ve waited a long time for your trip, so the last thing you want is to get sick.  Unfortunately, it can happen, throwing a wrench in your plans or even sidelining you for a few days (or weeks). You can catch a cold, flu or virus anywhere. You can eat something that wasn’t prepared properly.   It’s important to be prepared so you can do what you set out to do &mdash...
Let’s all get small: tiny houses for short stays

Let’s all get small: tiny houses for short stays

Small rooms are in the DNA of a number of new hotel brands, including Moxy Hotels from Marriott and Vib from Best Western, that are chasing millennial travelers. Now house rentals are shrinking too with the rise of the tiny-house hotel.  Proponents of shrunken living spaces champion environmental and economic efficiencies. And while there is no standard definition of a tiny house, the Small House...

An airline passenger made a scene over a $12 blanket - and the pilot diverted the plane

A Honolulu-bound Hawaiian Airlines flight was diverted to Los Angeles International Airport when an "unruly" passenger threatened to "take somebody behind the woodshed" over the cost of an in-flight blanket, according to officials.  The 66-year-old man had gotten into an argument with the crew over the blanket's price tag aboard the flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu on Wednesday...
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