Travel


Racing around the world: Exotic marathons for runners with wanderlust

Not many people can say they’ve been to all seven continents. Far fewer can say they’ve run marathons in all of them. Wendy Balthazor belongs to that elite club. It’s a membership that bestows bragging rights Balthazor couldn’t have imagined in 2011, as she milled about the start corrals of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, waiting to embark on her first 26.2 mile run....
The 747’s final approach

The 747’s final approach

How much do I, a Boeing 747 pilot, love the airplane that I fly? It’s tough, and maybe a little embarrassing, to answer. But as the iconic jet’s eventual retirement draws closer, I am surely not the only 747 fan who’s taking some very long flights down memory lane.  To share with you the jumbo dimensions of my 747 obsession, I could describe my wedding cake (hint: it had wings...
Betting on a shore thing: Four megaship veterans try cruising on a smaller scale

Betting on a shore thing: Four megaship veterans try cruising on a smaller scale

Some people like hosting relatives at their homes. We prefer cruising with family because it gives us time together (and apart), plus interesting ports, entertainment and meals without the hassle of shopping, cooking and housekeeping. Every summer since 2009, my cousins Wayne and Mary Jane have joined me and my husband, David, on the high seas.  This year, when it came time to map out our annual...

Jetliner's early days: power, style and size

The 747, one of history’s most iconic airplanes, is heading toward retirement. Mark Vanhoenacker, a pilot and the author of “Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot,” writes that for “those who grew up under 747-crossed skies, it can be hard to appreciate how revolutionary the jet’s dimensions were when it first (and improbably, to some observers) got airborne in 1969.&rdquo...
Fresh oysters and a slice of history on the Long Beach Peninsula

Fresh oysters and a slice of history on the Long Beach Peninsula

OYSTERVILLE, Wash. — Usually, razor clams get all the publicity. Last spring’s razor clam-digging opening on the 28-mile-long Long Beach Peninsula’s ocean beach was a big deal because state fisheries honchos temporarily upped the daily limit after a long closure assured a good harvest. Fanatical diggers descended in droves. But cross the 13/4-mile-wide peninsula to where the Pacific...
A Taste of Transylvania in North Carolina

A Taste of Transylvania in North Carolina

Looking for a couple’s getaway to keep you both happy? A surprisingly attractive option lies a reasonably short distance from the Asheville, N.C., airport. Home to world-class mountain bikers drawn to its extensive trail network and mild winters, nationally known fly fishermen and an internationally acclaimed music center, this rural getaway offers travel amenities, a publicly accessible NASA...
River or ocean? How to pick the cruise that’s right for you

River or ocean? How to pick the cruise that’s right for you

What’s your cruising style: river or ocean? As with many things, size matters. The biggest differentiator? Those massive, oceangoing ships packed with thousands of passengers are themselves the destination: floating cities with lots to do and see. Not so with river ships. River ships, trim and nimble, are engineered to dock in the heart of your destination — a short walk from the Eiffel...
More U.S. parks and attractions are offering online reservations

More U.S. parks and attractions are offering online reservations

Does a vacation really feel like a vacation when every little thing is scheduled? Perhaps not, but with more attractions offering reservations, chances are you’ll have to do a little more planning.  Certainly, there are upsides to reservations. They slash wait times, allowing travelers to see and do more. They curb disappointment; there’s no driving for an hour only to find out that...
Frugal Traveler: Through three neighborhoods, revisiting Chicago’s charms

Frugal Traveler: Through three neighborhoods, revisiting Chicago’s charms

No travel assignment is ever straightforward, but reporting on the place you grew up presents specific challenges. Walking along the bungalow- and tree-lined streets in the Beverly neighborhood of southwest Chicago, where I lived until second grade, a fog of memory followed me as I passed businesses my family used to frequent and the houses of old neighbors. I scarcely recognized Sutherland Elementary...
A Yosemite park ranger’s five favorite spots

A Yosemite park ranger’s five favorite spots

Yosemite National Park is not just about Half Dome, spectacular as it is. There’s so much beauty and bounty to check out in its northern reaches, where the crowds are sparse and the sights spectacular. So we asked park ranger Jamie Richards about some of her favorite spots. She’s particularly fond of Tuolumne Meadows and the points along Tioga Road, she says, and now is the perfect time...

How to care for your skin before, during and after a flight

Everyone loves going on vacation, except for the actual traveling part. The arid environment of an airplane or bus can wreak havoc on the skin and leave it looking dehydrated, blotchy and fatigued.  We asked Elizabeth Tanzi, a dermatologist and director of Capital Laser and Skin Care in Washington, to share her skin-saving travel secrets so your skin looks fresh and ready upon arrival.  ...
While cruising, learn more by tapping the power of plugged-in local guides

While cruising, learn more by tapping the power of plugged-in local guides

During a Caribbean cruise in January, we found ourselves on a half-hidden, empty beach on the island of Dominica. Shrouded by sea grapes and visited only by brown pelicans, it was, we learned, the intended setting for a nasty paramilitary coup planned in 1981.  We were three couples who wanted to know how the histories of the United States and the island intertwine, and we discovered - on that...
The least and most affordable places to spend your holiday vacation

The least and most affordable places to spend your holiday vacation

As the song goes, there’s no place like home for the holidays. But if you prefer to get away, there are plenty of cheap holiday trips you can take.  To help you pinpoint where to spend your Thanksgiving or Christmas without breaking your budget, GOBankingRates looked at six factors in popular destinations: the cost of hotels, holiday flights, food, drinks, transportation and entertainment...
Yayoi Kusama museum opens to sellout crowds

Yayoi Kusama museum opens to sellout crowds

A museum featuring the works of avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama, who gained worldwide fame through her use of motifs such as polka dots and pumpkins, opened Oct. 1 in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, with tickets already sold out for this year.  The Yayoi Kusama Museum offers tickets that are valid for 90-minute viewing sessions, with four time slots per day.   Kusama, 88, has grown in popularity...
On an Oregon lake, a lodge serving kicked-up camp food

On an Oregon lake, a lodge serving kicked-up camp food

There are fish sandwiches, and then there is the fish and chips sandwich at the Boathouse, an all-day counter service spot tucked into a former boathouse at the Suttle Lodge, a magisterial 1930s-era property located in central Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest. A brawny trout filet is encrusted in pulverized Kettle brand potato chips, fried golden brown, and crammed into a squishy potato bun...
Fall day trip: A bike ride between two Minnesota icons

Fall day trip: A bike ride between two Minnesota icons

Someday the Gitchi-Gami State Trail might extend 89 miles along Minnesota’s North Shore from Two Harbors to Grand Marais — a cyclist’s answer to the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail.  Until that utopian vision comes to pass, the paved bike trail exists in only a few short segments. The highlight so far may be the 7 or 8 miles between two iconic Minnesota destinations: Split Rock...
Five places to go in Athens

Five places to go in Athens

ATHENS, Greece — Travelers looking for a sense of where locals in Athens hang out should head to Kifissia, a leafy, upscale suburb north of the city center. While homegrown stores have long been a trademark here, eateries have been scarce. In recent years, that’s changed as it’s become easier to obtain restaurant licenses. Now, the neighborhood includes an enticing mix of stores...
On a Windjammer cruise in Maine, passengers knit a seaworthy yarn

On a Windjammer cruise in Maine, passengers knit a seaworthy yarn

Captain Annie Mahle stood on the deck of the J. & E. Riggin and welcomed more than a dozen passengers already knuckle-deep in the theme of the September cruise.  As the guests knitted and purled, she described life aboard the two-masted schooner with no engine and marine plumbing. She discussed the toilet, which requires vigorous hand-pumping, and the bathing options, which include a rinse with...
Familiar frights at these haunts

Familiar frights at these haunts

LOS ANGELES — Six years ago, director Eli Roth pulled on a costume from his film “Hostel” and staged an impromptu performance inside the film’s maze at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights.  “He showed up, he had the costume from the movie, and he acted in every single scene in the maze for over an hour,” recalled John Murdy, creative director at...

Special VIP events are a less-known credit card perk

You probably already know many of the advantages of using a credit or charge card: earning miles and points on purchases, or cash back rewards, of course. Some airline-affiliated cards offer free checked bags and other perks such as priority boarding when flying. Some of the benefits, however, may appear less obvious. For example, I left a valuable item in overhead compartment after deplaning and...
Texas couple survives being stranded 6 days while on vacation in rural Utah

Texas couple survives being stranded 6 days while on vacation in rural Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Texas couple who set out for a day trip to Lake Powell while on vacation in southern Utah ended up narrowly surviving six harrowing days stranded on a rocky, desolate dirt road that was impassable in their rental car, authorities said Friday.  Helena Byler, 78, was found lying on the road Oct. 2 by a rancher who happened to be checking on his cattle in the area of...
How to navigate extreme weather on a trip

How to navigate extreme weather on a trip

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are recent examples of how extreme weather can lead to endless flight cancellations and delays. Now, with the snowstorm season fast approaching, the threat of inclement weather disrupting the most well-laid travel plans continues to be top of mind. While you can’t control the climate, Andrew Collins, the chief executive and president of the private aviation company...

How climate change is affecting travel - and what you can do about it

When Kimberly Button drove her RV to Glacier National Park in Montana this summer, she expected relief from her muggy home town of Orlando, Florida. "We assumed that we'd have mild temperatures," she says. "We couldn't have been more wrong."  Instead, the Rocky Mountains baked in mid-90-degree temperatures. Button's family camper, which didn't have air conditioning, felt like...
10 best places to sit down, relax and enjoy art in Washington, D.C.

10 best places to sit down, relax and enjoy art in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON - A good sit at the art museum is about much more than giving your feet a break from the hard floors and walking. A well-placed sofa or bench can change your relationship to what you are seeing, transform the social dynamic of how you relate to the crowds around you and dramatically alter the experience of the building you are in. Sitting down, in a museum, can be an almost radical act...

Tips for cruise newbies

First-time cruisers have a lot to wrap their heads around. There are hundreds of cruise lines out there, and sifting through the options — like the themes (“The Walking Dead” or “Oprah”?), destinations (Caribbean, Alaska, Mediterranean, Asia?) and even ship sizes (travel on the largest cruise ship in the world!) — can be overwhelming. But here’s a little secret...
Planes, trains and automobiles: How best to get around in Europe

Planes, trains and automobiles: How best to get around in Europe

In Europe, getting from Point A to Point B is a snap. The train system shrinks what is already a small continent, making a whirlwind or far-reaching tour a reasonable possibility for anyone. For me, trains remain the quintessentially European way to go, and the best option for romantics. However, the proliferation of extremely competitive discount airlines — and more affordable car rental options...
Vancouver Island, through an artist’s eyes

Vancouver Island, through an artist’s eyes

A light rain was falling in Victoria, but it wasn’t keeping anyone inside on a Saturday afternoon. The horse-drawn carriages and pedicabs were out in force, a ska band was tuning up by the harbor, and all along Wharf Street, people strolled, most of them without umbrellas. This was British Columbia, after all, and no one was going to let a little rain get in the way.  Fresh off the ferry...
Taking selfies with llamas? Leaning out of a helicopter? Travel photographer Gray Malin has done it all.

Taking selfies with llamas? Leaning out of a helicopter? Travel photographer Gray Malin has done it all.

Winter is coming, but you wouldn't know it flipping through Gray Malin's new book.  "Escape," Malin's latest collection of travel photographs, can transport you from the sun-drenched beaches of St. Barts to the dusty plains of Namibia, no passport required.   The 31-year-old Los Angeles-based fine arts photographer, who got his start hawking travel prints at a West Hollywood...
Book the next rocket to New York? Elon Musk’s bizarre travel plan

Book the next rocket to New York? Elon Musk’s bizarre travel plan

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk envisions a time in the near future when long-distance travelers on Earth can hop on a rocket to go across the globe in less than an hour. But before Musk can set his plans in motion, there are a few down-to-Earth logistics questions he’ll have to answer first. Under the plan announced recently by Musk, passengers would board a large rocket and spacecraft system...

Turkey suspends visa applications for US tourists, halting travel to the republic

Earlier this week, a brief note appeared on the website and Twitter account of the Turkish Embassy in Washington. The meat of the message was: " . . . effective immediately we have suspended all visa services regarding the U.S. citizens at our diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. This measure will apply to sticker visas as well as e-Visas and border visas."  The implications...

Is your flight about to be canceled?

Flight cancellations are a fact of travel life and cannot always be predicted.  The key to managing a cancellation is to get out ahead of it as far as possible. During the recent hurricanes, I happened to be traveling with a group of seasoned travel professionals including some fellow travel writers — all full of advice about determining the odds of cancellations and managing the wiggle...

Talk Travel: Best places to explore Vermont in the winter

The Washington Post's travel writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I'm trying to plan a trip to Vermont in February, but I have way too many requirements and can't figure out where best to stay for two or three days. Right now I'm trying to decide between Burlington and Stowe. Each has part of what I'm looking for, they both...
Harpers Ferry: ‘… worth a voyage across the Atlantic.’

Harpers Ferry: ‘… worth a voyage across the Atlantic.’

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — “The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature,” Thomas Jefferson wrote of the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in 1783. “This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.” Many appear to have heeded his recommendation. On a recent weekend, you could hear Hindi, Chinese,...
In the rough: Losses mount at Trump's Scottish resorts

In the rough: Losses mount at Trump's Scottish resorts

BALMEDIE, Scotland (AP) — David Milne loves the view of the North Sea from his home high above the roiling surf, but he finds his eye often falling onto the golf course next door and, when it does, on the tiny figures below.  He counts the people coming off the buses in the parking lot and the people swinging at the 1st tee and the 10th tee and he counts the people walking the fairways...
London’s newest attraction, Mail Rail, delivers

London’s newest attraction, Mail Rail, delivers

LONDON — In 1913, the British Post Office realized that London’s congested traffic was slowing down mail delivery and something needed to be done about it. (They are turning in their graves if watching London’s traffic snarl these days.) That year, Parliament approved building the Post Office Railway, as it was officially known, and construction began two years later. The Great War...

When our vacation turned into a nightmare, Puerto Ricans came to our rescue

Vacations are not supposed to go like this. Never did I imagine that instead of swimming in the Caribbean, we would be trudging through sewage-contaminated water in a desperate attempt to reach the airport. The airport, like everything else in Puerto Rico, was crippled. No electricity, no flights. This was the reality that my wife and I, along with six of our closest friends, were facing days after...

Don't get competitive about leaf-peeping. Everyone's a winner.

There are few harbingers of seasonal change as dramatic as fall foliage. When entire hillsides of hardwood forests transform from varying shades of green into vibrant oranges, yellows, purples and reds, summer is definitively over - no matter what the calendar says. As days shorten and nights lengthen, the changing leaves deliver a riot of color that demands to be seen. And travelers of all stripes...
Not just rooms, hotels offer one-of-a-kind experiences

Not just rooms, hotels offer one-of-a-kind experiences

With competitors like Airbnb nipping at their heels, hotels are rolling out experiences to their most faithful customers that go far beyond extra nights and room upgrades.  Want to improve your cooking skills? How about a class with a Michelin-starred chef? Or snorkeling in Hawaii with Jean-Michel Cousteau? Or basketball tips from NBA standout Dwyane Wade?   Marriott, with 30 hotel...
Leaf peeping in Virginia wine country

Leaf peeping in Virginia wine country

LEESBURG, Va. — The rolling hills around this historic town and county seat northwest of Washington, D.C., has long been known as horse country. Jackie Kennedy famously rode with the Piedmont Fox Hounds in nearby Middleburg, and even today there are more horses than houses in Loudoun County, which was settled in the mid-1720s and still feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of...
12 pumpkin patches to consider across the state

12 pumpkin patches to consider across the state

The time for meandering through corn mazes, picking out pumpkins and posing in bright orange patches has officially arrived. Carve some time out of your schedule to gather gourds and collect fall-fringed memories at one of these 12 trip-worthy pumpkin patch experiences found throughout Texas. Barton Hill Farms, Bastrop Distance from Austin: 27 miles Hours and pricing: Weekends through Nov. 5 (10 a...
4 perfect picnic spots in the Sierra foothills

4 perfect picnic spots in the Sierra foothills

There’s something irresistible about autumn picnics. The crisp air makes us long for al fresco feasts — perhaps with a Thermos of something warm and hearty to accompany those sandwiches, cider and sides. The foothills of California’s Gold Country are dotted with beautiful picnic spots. Here are just a few of our favorites. ——— HETCH HETCHY VALLEY, YOSEMITE At 3...
Wind-whipped wildfires sweep through California wine country

Wind-whipped wildfires sweep through California wine country

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — More than a dozen wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through California wine country Monday, destroying at least 1,500 homes and businesses and sending an estimated 20,000 people on a headlong flight to safety through smoke and flames.  One person was killed in a fire further north, in Mendocino County.   The state's fire chief called the damage estimates...
In Portugal, uncorking some unexpected culinary delights

In Portugal, uncorking some unexpected culinary delights

João, our guide, led our small group through the narrow streets of Lisbon's Chiado district. That morning, we were hunting for culinary traditions and new flavors. Having started with vinho verde for breakfast, we weren't sure where he would take us next. João pointed to the doorway of a nondescript building his mother had told him about. We piled into a cramped, ancient elevator. At...

Commercial flights come to one of the world's most remote islands

One of the remotest islands in the world is about to enter the modern tourist age.  When the British exiled Napoléon Bonaparte to St. Helena in 1815, it took the conquered emperor a full 10 weeks to reach the island. Two centuries later, it's still a five-day trip by mail boat - assuming you happen to be starting from somewhere as close as Cape Town, South Africa.   But on Oct...
A polished Victorian standout in a sea of island inns

A polished Victorian standout in a sea of island inns

Check In: The Christopher, Martha’s Vineyard  Rates   From $179   Basics   The Christopher is the third boutique property on Martha’s Vineyard by Lark Hotels, a boutique hotel brand based in Amesbury, Massachusetts, with 17 properties. (The Christopher’s sister location, the Sydney, is two blocks over in Edgartown, and the cheerfully named Summercamp...
During Texas Wine Month, these are 10 top Texas wines to seek out 

During Texas Wine Month, these are 10 top Texas wines to seek out 

Do you feel that chill in the air? Finally, the weather in Texas is starting to feel like fall, and there’s no better place to spend an afternoon than outdoors at one of the scenic wineries in the Texas Hill Country. October, after all, is Texas Wine Month. Although this year’s Texas Wine Month Passport has now sold out, people can still visit any of the participating wineries and enjoy...
Why is the sun red, the sky yellow in London? 

Why is the sun red, the sky yellow in London? 

An eerie weather phenomenon across parts of the United Kingdom is turning the skies an anemic yellow color and making the sun appear blood red. The anomaly is not the beginning of the end of days or a sign of the apocalypse, scientists said. Instead, it’s directly related to Hurricane Ophelia, which is whipping through the region. The storm’s tropical air dragged in dust from the Sahara...

Love Brutalist architecture? There are maps for that

The most visibly arresting buildings are, paradoxically, sometimes the most overlooked in the modern cityscape.  But the independent publisher Blue Crow Media celebrates unsung and anachronistic monuments. The company’s series of two-sided folded maps are part design manifesto, part urban architecture guide. On one side, notable structures are plotted out; on the flip side, black-and-white...

Family travel: Tips when letting a child join another family’s getaway

Long weekends, school breaks and holidays mean your child could be invited to join another family’s getaway. Here are five tips to consider before flashing the green light.  1. Different families, different rules. Is your child comfortable in the other family’s home or company? Do they share similar values and family rules? While your youngster may be required to unplug from technology...

Travel app: Visit a City

Ever wanted to just pick a place on the map and go? Visit a City's designed to make that dream as close to reality as possible. This travel app has suggested itineraries for cities around the world, from Accra to Zagreb. Sure, some cities have more comprehensive guides than others, but all of those listed in the app have at least some suggestions - often accompanied by reviews from travelers who've...
New blocks on the block

New blocks on the block

Legoland, the Lego toy company’s flagship theme park, draws some 2 million visitors annually to the tiny town of Billund, Denmark, where the company has its headquarters. Now, there’s a new attraction on the block.  Lego House, which opened in late September in Billund, is a brick-shaped behemoth in the center of town that is both a shrine to the toy and a place to let loose. ...
More Travel Stories