Travel


Viking joins Miami’s fleet of ocean-going cruise ships

Typically, it’s the biggest cruise ships that grab the headlines, the ones that could carry the entire population of a small city, have more restaurants than Ocean Drive, and claim the most thrilling recreational amenities at sea. But a smaller class of ships is becoming popular, vessels that have a more intimate feel, can get into smaller harbors than the big ships can and offer neither Broadway...

Travel dilemmas: Vietnamese currency tips

Question: I will be traveling to Vietnam. Am I legally permitted to bring Vietnamese currency into Vietnam from the United States?  —Joe Joffino, Torrance, Calif.   Answer: You may take Vietnamese currency into Vietnam from the U.S. and vice versa.   Just for background: The dong is the national currency issued by the State Bank of Vietnam, the central bank. It is one...

Denali National Park welcomes its first, and last, luxury hotel

One of the most luxurious lodges in Alaska, and one of the most remote anywhere, has just opened on a rocky glacier outcropping, or nunatak, smack in the middle of Denali National Park. From its wraparound windows, the resort's guests-a maximum of 10 at any given time-can watch the aurora borealis dance around the sky or survey an endless horizon of jagged peaks blanketed in untouched snow. The only...
Switzerland-Italy train ride traverses different worlds

Switzerland-Italy train ride traverses different worlds

It takes 27 minutes to pass through the Gotthard Base Tunnel. It’s something of a dreamlike experience: you’re on the train hurtling through lush Swiss scenery — trackside haystacks and farmhouses, small villages with a single towering steeple, distant mist-crowned mountains, and dramatic landscape unfolding in more shades of green than you knew existed. Then all of a sudden, everything...

In Chengdu, finding peace in parks and heat in cuisine

“Now, that bear is definitely not white,” said the Dutch tourist next to me. The giant panda turned in our direction at that moment and let out some kind of loud sneeze or snort as if to say, “Give me a break, pal.” It was raining and muddy, after all, and even slightly smudged, the panda bears at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding were still absurdly adorable...

A New Orleans restaurant offers creativity between bread slices

Plenty of people regularly ate sandwiches as kids. But few, if any, have spun that experience into culinary gold like Mason Hereford, whose restaurant Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans was lauded by Bon Appétit as the best new U.S. restaurant in 2017.  “I sure enough ate my share,” said Hereford, 31, who grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, before moving to New Orleans in...

Talk Travel: What to pack on a cruise 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: I (a mid-20s female) am going on a four-day Carnival cruise to the Bahamas in a couple of weeks with friends (all female, same age as me), with ports of call at Nassau and Princess Cays. As this is both my first time going on a cruise and to the Bahamas...

You're going where? Indianapolis

When I think of Indianapolis, I think about art. That may not be true for everyone who visits the "Crossroads of America," a place often associated with fast cars (the Indianapolis 500), sports fanaticism (the Pacers and Colts, for starters) and towering monuments. (The capital city of Indiana ranks just behind the District of Columbia in number of memorials and monuments.) But beneath the...

US passport ‘execution fees’ to increase in April

U.S. travelers who will need a new passport in 2018 can potentially save themselves a few dollars if they avoid waiting until the last minute to apply.  According to the U.S. Department of State, passport “execution fees” will increase from $25 to $35 starting April 2, 2018. The fee change will bump the total cost of a U.S. passport to $145 for adults and $115 for children 16 and...

A pilot program allows Walt Disney World resort guests to check in with Fido

At sunset on a warm January evening, I walked my dog along the edge of a man-made lake at Walt Disney World's Art of Animation Resort. She sniffed the grass and marked her territory while I kept my eye out for alligators and staffers' ubiquitous golf carts hauling guests' luggage to and from their rooms.  Six months ago, this would have been impossible. Annie Oakley Tater Tot is not a service...

Google really wants to take you there

Flight delay predictions, mobile trip-planning, automatic itinerary management, language translation through Bluetooth earbuds, and a smartphone that enables users to learn about landmarks by tapping an icon and aiming the phone at them: These are among the travel innovations Google has been introducing in recent days and weeks. While a Google Pixel 2 smartphone costs upward of $650, the company&rsquo...

Travel deals: Free night in the British Virgin Islands and a new low-cost carrier to Englan

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   Getaway Adventures, an adventure-tour company, is offering 25 percent off its guided biking, hiking and kayaking day tours in California Wine Country through 2018. For example, the Healdsburg Sip 'n Cycle winery bike tour costs $111 per person (down from $148) and the sunset bioluminescence kayak tour along the Jenner coast...

Suzhou Tourism has launched a sweepstakes for a four-night trip

NEW YORK (PRWEB) February 16, 2018 -- Suzhou Tourism has launched a sweepstakes giving consumers the chance to win a four-night trip to the charming city to learn about its rich cultural heritage, including the art of silk making.  Through February 26, 11:59 pm. EST, consumers are invited to visit traveltosuzhou.com to enter to win roundtrip airfare for one from a major North American gateway...

What Joel Embiid travels with

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers is almost as famous for his playful grandstanding as his considerable skills on the basketball court. The 23-year-old, who grew up in Cameroon, has become synonymous with the concept of “The Process,” a strategy for long-term talent building employed by Sam Hinkie, the former 76ers general manager (Embiid punctuates his feisty tweets with the phrase)...

Affordable European getaways to take this spring

What’s better than a spring getaway to Europe? Perhaps one to Europe at an attractive price, and if you’re looking for a bargain, March through May are value-friendly months for a European trip.  According to the airfare prediction app Hopper, the average price for round-trip tickets from the United States to Europe was $870 in April. In June, the start of Europe’s peak tourist...

Proposal aims to reduce Mt. Fuji climbers by up to 25 percent

TOKYO - Japan's Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures proposed on Thursday reducing congestion on Mount Fuji by 12 to 25 percent per day during the peak period by lowering the number of climbers using two of the mountain's four trails.  A scientific committee of the Mt. Fuji World Cultural Heritage council comprising officials from the central government, the two prefectural governments and others...

Travel dilemmas: All the right passport moves

It would be convenient to blame Les Leach of Thousand Oaks, Calif., for my current obsession with the documents one needs (or will need) for travel. Leach wrote to ask what one should do if a passport is misplaced or lost.  But instead, I will thank him because his question spurred a chat with a State Department official who offered this information:   The cost of a passport book or...

Travel Tips: How to get by in a country where you don’t know the language

Traveling to a foreign country can be daunting if you don’t know the local language, and while François Thibault, the cellar master and a founder of Grey Goose, speaks only French, his job requires constant travel around the world. “Over the years, I’ve learned how to navigate foreign countries with limited verbal communication,” he said.  Thibault has a number...
Paradise awaits on Holbox Island

Paradise awaits on Holbox Island

Spray from the Gulf of Mexico splashed high onto the deck, dampening my clothes and skin with a fine layer of crusty salt as I crossed the Yalahau Lagoon between mainland Mexico and Holbox Island. The charter bus had departed from the Cancun Airport two hours ago, but now Puerto de Chiquilá was finally fading away in the hot atmospheric haze of a late spring afternoon and, somewhere in the...
What’s new in Italy for 2018

What’s new in Italy for 2018

Italy bubbles with emotion, corruption, traffic jams, strikes, rallies, religious holidays and crowds. Irate ranters will be shaking their fists at each other one minute and walking arm-in-arm the next. It’s bella chaos, and if you’re well-organized for sightseeing and up-to-date on your transit info, you’ll love it. Here’s the latest, gleaned from the research done for the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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...

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...

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...
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...

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...

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...

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...
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...

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...

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...

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...
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...

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

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...
The most bacteria covered surfaces at the airport

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...

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.  ...

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...
Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

A Florida beach has been named the nation's best in TripAdvisor's annual Travelers' Choice awards. The travel website announced Tuesday that Clearwater Beach was the best in the U.S. in 2018, climbing from No. 4 in 2017. The beach also topped the national list in 2016.  >> Read more trending news  Meanwhile, Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, took the award for...
5 wine tours a lot closer to home than Napa

5 wine tours a lot closer to home than Napa

You can take some of the most lavish, expensive wine tours in the world in the Napa Valley, where wines are all about heritage, taste and sophistication. These days, though, even the snootiest oenophile can find a worthy wine tasting in places far from California. And the same goes for the Napa-style custom of wine tours. Travelers in the South or Southeast have lots of pleasurable wine tours...

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...

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...
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...
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