Travel Tips

Travel TipsTraveling Tips That Will Get You Far And Save!

If you are traveling overseas, it’s a wise strategy to join using the Clever Traveler Enrollment System (STEP), a complimentary federal government services for inhabitants of America who are now living in a foreign nation or are planning to go to one. Providing Stage along with your contact info and some information on your trip enables these people to contact you in case there is an emergency and to counsel you of travel cautions and alerts.

If you wish to journey abroad, try out learning about the language. It is possible to get small books which contain all the important words and phrases, in case you go missing or need to have something. Tend not to think that everyone will talk the English language and people may well be more friendly if you try talking their language.

Have a photograph of the suitcases in advance. This makes it quicker to determine your travelling bag if it becomes lost. Many parts of luggage seem very similar, and it can be tough to recall the attributes of your bag which make it diverse. Also, if you are vacationing worldwide, an overseas clerk may not fully understand English but they’ll understand a photo.

When you are traveling using a toddler, preparing plus a properly-loaded case are crucial. Pack a case with everything that your toddler needs. Incorporate comfort and ease goods that will aid her feel better. Create a list of items that you utilize on your toddler every day, like system cleanse, shampoo, lotion, combs, diapers, child wipes, and so on. Creating a record will help reduce the risk of forgetting to pack something.

Give some thought to picking up have-out menus and employing them as your travel souvenirs. By eating with a especially good way, request a duplicate of your menus and make a note of everything you ate on it. These menus may help you keep in mind everything you appreciated as well as let you seek out similar food in your area.

If the journey does not have precise times that need to be adhered to, adapt your time structure by way of a time or two when looking for bargains. Evaluate each of the accessible vacation and resort fees for the two full week period of time about your journey windowpane. You may find there presently exists particular prices which are precise to such dates and you can reduce costs by being adaptive.

When you are traveling aboard, ensure your passport is not really expired. In the turmoil of get yourself ready for a visit, may very well not understand your passport has expired. You may renew your passport by postal mail as much ahead of time as one year prior to it is set up to expire and up to two years following it has presently expired.

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The Final Definitive Case For Why You Should Never Recline Your Seat On An Airplane

My high school sat on a well-trafficked two-lane road with a stop sign near the entrance to the parking lot. Cars on that road that were not headed to the high school typically drove in the left lane, headed straight, while those full of, or driven by students, would take the right lane in order to turn into the parking lot.

Inevitably, traffic would back up massively in the turn lane. Faced with being late, the occasional student would feign as if they were going straight, pull to the front of the much shorter through lane on the left and then turn rightcutting off the cars who had patiently waited their turn and, often times, stealing one of the few remaining parking spots from the drivers who had followed the rules.

Everyone knew of this potential cheat and for the most part, the honor system kept it in check.

Then I remember one day, a kid was bragging about how hed gotten the last parking space in the school that morning by pulling precisely such a maneuver. Overhearing this, another student walked up to him and slapped him in the face. He said, Dont you ever do that again and then walked away.

Even fifteen years later, its proof to me that not all heroes wear capes. Some of them wear backpacks and enforce basic social norms. And it is this example of swift, vigilante justice that I fantasize about almost every time I am on a plane.

Not in the boarding queues where anxious travelers jostle to see who can be the first steer in the cattle chute (as if they were going to somehow lose their purchased spot on the plane), but about that moment wherewhether its five seconds or fifty minutes into the flightthe groaning, grunting oblivious man in front of me rams his seat back and steals the tiny allotted personal space that I always foolishly assume was mine since I paid the airline for it.

I say man because its almost always a man. I could have said middle-aged, big-bellied salesman who held up the entire plane as he stood in the aisle, shoved other peoples bags around and folded his suit coat nicely into the overhead bin too, but as accurate as that stereotype would be, Id really just be ranting about the specific guy in front of me as I write this. In every case, it is done by an entitled, thoughtless monster of a human being.

Ill tell you, I take no joy or interest in writing another post about travel etiquette but I am doing so because its necessary, because people have asked me to once more, and because each time I do, its clear from the comments I receive that you still

It is undebatable: Reclining your seat on an airplane is a defenseless, selfish, rude thing to do. It is, simply put, uncivilized.

And before you objectas I know you already want tothe fact that seats have a recline button is not a defense! Plane bathrooms have an ashtray but that doesnt mean you can smoke heroin in there. The fact that the aisle is big enough to do yoga in does not give you license to stick your ass in some strangers face. Theres plenty of viewable pornography to be watched on Uniteds Wi-Fi but Im sure Nobody blocked me! is a horrible defense to employ on the mother and her child who happen to be nearby. Just because you can do it, doesnt mean you should do it.

Life is full of things that, technically speaking, we are able to do, but that reasonable, considerate people refrain from doingbecause it negatively impacts the other people around us. My car can go much faster than is safe or appropriate. I could be as unpunctual as I likethere is no law requiring me to be on timeor when I have to cancel something, I could just neglect to inform the people waiting. My wife could gel her shoulder length hair so it stands straight up and then we could sit in front of you at your kids school play. But we dont do any of that. Not because we cantbut because its indecent and unnecessary.

There is no question that reclining your seat negatively impacts other people. It takes your seat and directly leans it several inches into another persons face, computer, and legroom.

The fact that they can turn around and pass the same shitty, selfish inconvenience onto the person behind them is not a justification. (Beside, its not even true. Not all seats recline). If some jerk is listening to music without headphones at the gym, the response isnt Oh, thats ok, I can do it too. No, its to think, What an asshole thing to do and then to ask, Could you not? There are other people on this planet.

No matter how much easier or nicer it might be for you, make no mistake, every time you recline your seat, you are being an asshole.

On long international flights? Yes.

If youre really tall? Yes.

Even though you dont mind when other people do it? Yes.

Well if they didnt want us to use them, why did they add the feature? If you are one of those people who has trotted out that question in defense of your little silver button-pushing, understand something: they dont want you to use them, they just know that if they didnt offer that feature, people like you would bitch at them about it. Its the same reason theres a close-door button on a elevator. For principle.

In my opinion there is only one time that its okay to recline your seat: when there isnt anyone else behind you. Im convinced that is the singular use-case which brought the recline function into existence in the first place. Just as it would be rude to lay across the lap of a total stranger on a long flight because youre tired, if the row is empty, sleep away. If no one is there, go for it! If you have a row mate, sit up like a grown up.

Almost every other case is unjustifiable. I mean Im sure I can think of some: If youre flying to Sloan Kettering for cancer treatment and the person behind you sees your obvious distress, taps you on the shoulder and says, Hey, I want you to recline your seat, it would be rude to refuse their offer. If you personally own the plane youre flying on, do as you like. If youre Aaron Rodgers and you just put the entire Green Bay Packers on your back again and gritted them to victory, by all means, take a little legroom from an offensive lineman in exchange. Youve earned it.

But thats about it. (I used to think First Class was free game, but why should it be? It falls to the same logic.)

I understand this post will not change many minds. Selfishness and cognitive dissonance are a wicked combination. I dont say that in a condescending way. There are many things I did when I was younger, that I struggle to not do today, which I once blissfully enjoyed out of ignorance of others and confidence in my own basic decency. Anyone with a spouse has probably been hit with one of those Who do you think cleans this up? comments that pierce through the convenient bubble you and your habits previously and contentedly occupied. Anyone thats ever heard a thoughtful explanation of why a certain word is hurtful knows what Im talking about.

Reclining your seat is like that. I know you think youre a good personand you probably are. I know you want to be comfortable. Who doesnt? But reclining your seat on a plane is comfort at the cost to someone else. Its a thing that the vast majority of people do not like having done to them (and heres a question: Would you prefer the person in front of you recline or not recline their seat? Its an easy answer), that comes at a minimal cost to you, and therefore we should commit to not doing it.

Its really that simple.

So stop. Please.

If you dont, some hero might slap you.

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Asia travel: Top luxury holiday homes for travelers who shun hotels

(CNN)Will the linens be up to snuff?

Were the espresso beans sourced locally?
    Is there a chef who can meet my family’s diverse dietary needs?
    Such details might sound horribly pedantic to some travelers.
    But to those paying upwards of $10,000-a-night for a vacation home rental, it’s the little things that matter.
    And for the world’s cash-rich/time-poor crowd, that means entrusting someone to make sure these essentials are covered.
    Enter the luxury travel destination club, which offers members access to super high end vacation homes and hotels while also playing something of a concierge role.
    The concept has long been popular in the US market, with players such as Quintess, Solstice and Inspirato offering a variety of programs for luxury vacation seekers.
    And now, it’s arrived in Asia.

    Lifestyle consultants and on-site concierges


    Launched in November 2016, Singapore-based Afini refers to itself as a “bespoke luxury travel destination club that crafts customized journeys for its members at exclusively managed residences and iconic hotels across the world.”
    Membership costs $8,888 while the annual renewal fee is $2,000.
    “Members are paired with a personal lifestyle consultant who will oversee that every component of their holiday is prepared prior to departure, promising a hassle free vacation,” says John Blanco, co-founder and CEO of Afini.
    “Each residence has an on-site concierge who will ensure that every detail is perfectly executed and to assist with any additional requests.”
    Blanco says because Afini controls and manages most of its residence collection, members get access to properties at nightly rates averaging 20-60% below market rates for comparable properties.
    So far, he says they’ve received particularly high interest from luxury travelers in Hong Kong and Singapore.
    “Each and every Afini residence goes through a meticulous vetting process and only the finest properties are selected,” he adds.
    “Our operations team then goes in and installs our Afini touches ranging from the Rivolta Carmignani bed linens and towels to locally sourced coffee beans in a state of the art espresso machine.”
    What types of properties will Asia’s luxury seekers get access to? We asked Afini to share some of the top homes in its collection, which can be viewed in the gallery above.

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    9 Ways To Properly Prep For Traveling With Your Pet This Holiday Season

    Ah, the holidays:Tisthe season to take time off from work, hop on a flight or jump in the car, and visit relatives you havent seen in what feels like ages.

    As a result of traveling together, your immediate family also gets to spend quality time with each other whenyou dont usually get to. (Of course, a few fights here and there are expected, but avoiding these trip-ruining scams might lessen those chances.)

    However, there are some family members sometimes the happiest and most lovable ones of all whooften dont get to go on these holiday excursions: your pets.

    Whether its your ball-of-fur cat or your energetic puppy, it feels like you have no choice but to ignore those sad eyes looking up at you and drop them off at their alternative home, both for their own safety and to maketraveling easier.

    But what if it wereeasier tobring your pet along for the holidays?

    Well, heres some delightful news for you: it can be. By prepping your furry friend accordingly for the journey ahead and planning pet-friendly options for when you arrive, you and your entire family two- or four-legged can come along for the ride this holiday season.

    And these nine tips for traveling with your pet will let you do just that.

    Did we miss any important pointers that you use to safely travel with your animal? Let us know in the comments below, and

    Thumbnail source: Twitter

    1. Book An Appointment At The Vet


    Make sure to get your pet checked for sicknesses and up-to-date with vaccinations around two weeks prior to your journey. Ask your veterinarian for a dated health certificate, too, in case you run into any issues during thetrip like your pet getting sick or biting someone.

    2. Make Your Animal’s (And Your Own) Whereabouts Known


    It is important to double-check (and triple-check) that your animal has an ID tag attached to his or her collar in the unfortunate but possible case you are temporarily separated. These ID tags should include your name, cell phone, and information about the destination you are traveling to.

    This also goes for providing information on your pets crate or carrier, according to theAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    3. Pack Accordingly


    Make sure to bring extra food and a collapsible bowl for waterand food on the go. And depending on where youre traveling to and the type of animal you have, Travel + Leisure suggests bringing a cooling vest or sweater.

    4. Bring Calming Remedies


    Pets find comfort in familiar objects they encounter on a daily basis at home, so be sure to pack an abundance of favorite toys, blankets, and treats. Also, for an out-of-the-box idea, bringlavender oil with you: rub it between your hands and apply as a massage to your furry friend.

    5. Give Smart Pre-Travel Meals


    Feed your four-legged friend longbefore you travel between fourto sixhours before, according to Travel Channel in order to prevent stomach issues from any sort of motion sickness. And in case this wasnt already a given, keep your pet hydrated!

    6. Know How To Travel By Plane


    As soon as you know that youll be traveling via airplane, register your pet with the airline immediately. Aircrafts have a limited amount of carriers they can take on each flight, and you arent the only one thinking about bringing your cat or dog along for the holidays.

    7. Know How To Travel By Car


    If you plan on crating (this actually makes pets feel safe) your dog or cat for the ride, make sure it is large enough for your pet to move around, lie down, and stand up. And if you dont plan on using a carrier, make sure you have a pet-friendly harness to attach to a seat belt.

    8. Consider A Pet Shipping Agency


    Not a fan of either of those options above, but still desperately want to bring your pet along for the holidays? Consider using the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, who can connect you with reliable pet shipping agencies that can handle taking care of your four-legged friends.

    9. Book A Pet-Friendly Hotel


    If youre not planning on actually staying with extended family or friends (sometimes seeing them for a few hours is just enough), make sure you look into pet-friendly policies at hotels before booking a room. Luckily, with so many pet owners around the world, you most likely won’t have a problem finding one especially in big cities.

    Did these travel tips help you decide to bring your furry friend along for the holidays? Please SHARE with your friends and family on Facebook so they can do the same!

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    Lonely Planet names new attractions worth visiting this year

    A rare quokka appeared!
    Image: flickr/ruerto42

    It’s safe to say there’s an abundance of choice when it come to place to visit in Australia from urban landmarks like the Sydney Opera House to natural ones like Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef.

    But according to Lonely Planet’s New In 2017 list, there are two stand-out destinations you’ve been overlooking.

    One of which is Pinky’s Eco Retreat and Beach Club, opening in December 2017. It’s located on Rottnest Island in Western Australia, famous for its shameful colonial history, as well as its beaches and the so-called “happiest animal in the world,” the quokka.

    The marsupial is internet famous, thanks to its adorable looks and gentle nature, making it a popular animal for selfies.

    Just look at that face.

    A photo posted by Geocaching (@geocaching) on

    Quokka + me + forehead vein make three!

    A photo posted by Bridget Over Troubled Water. (@bridgetmalcolm) on

    When you’ve got your fill of cuteness, the freshly-opened Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is another stand-out attraction.

    It’s not for the faint-hearted, however. The trek is 61 kilometres (41 miles) long, and will take approximately five days to complete.

    The rewards are immense though, as you stroll “through forests and along clifftops, beaches and freshwater lagoons, passing abundant wildlife as well as photogenic natural formations like Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch,” according to Lonely Planet.

    If the journey to Australia is too long, there’s plenty of other new places on the list.

    Like Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution, set to open in April. It’s dedicated to the volatile time U.S. history, arguably fitting considering the country’s political climate today.

    There’s also LAVA, a centre dedicated to Iceland’s volcanoes and earthquakes, which even has an earthquake simulator for the uninitiated.

    Or for the style conscious, Muses Yves Saint Laurent in Paris and Morocco are two museums dedicated to the fashion luminary.

    Better revisit your travel “to do” list, we say.

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    The secret history of Ellis Island


    Between 1892 and 1954, immigrants arriving on the shores of the United States passed below the towering face of Lady Liberty before docking at Ellis Island. A processing center for more than 12 million people, Ellis Island earned the dubious nickname of the Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.

    Following its close, Ellis Island was transformed into a museum. Every year, visitors come for a glimpse at the historical gateway to New York Cityincluding the Renaissance Revival architecture featuring intricate Guastavino tiling. But a place like Ellis Island is not without its share of mysteries and unknown facts.

    Ellis Island was once barely even an island

    If you go back a few centuries, you’ll find that the site of Ellis Island was merely part of a tidal flat colonized by oysters, which were an important food source for the native Lenape people. One of the flats was eventually dubbed Gibbet Island (after some pirates were publicly hanged there) before being purchased by Samuel Ellis (whose name stuck around). Eventually, the island became the site of Fort Gibson and continued to function as a military base for much of the 1800s. It wasnt until railroad construction in the Northeast required a place for land filling that the island grew in size.

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    17 Epic Places You Never Thought To Travel, But Should

    Paris? Been there. London? Done that. No offense to thosestoried standbys, but 2017 is a time to break out of your travel bubbleand try someplace youve never thought to visit before.

    Travel teaches usinvaluable lessonswe cant learn in school. It expands our worldview. It pushes us to be better, stronger, more empathetic human beings. And these 17 places, in no particular order, are where that magic is going to happen this year. Some of them can be experienced in the lap of luxury, while others are for only the most adventurous souls. But all of them have the potential to be the best trip youve ever taken.

    1. South Korea

    Dont let its northern neighbor scare you off: South Korea is full of adventurous travelers delights like national parks, mountains and islands.Ski resortshere are top-notch, as some are preparing to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.For a more urban feel, try Korean BBQ in Seoul or chill out in Busan, a coastal city.

    Visuals Unlimited, Inc./Geoffrey Schmid via Getty Images

    Seoraksan National Parkis the proud site of South Koreas third-highest mountai. It also features hot springs, temples and jagged rock formations.

    Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Locals vacation onJeju Islandfor its beaches, outdoor spas and spine-tingling lava tube tours.

    cozyta via Getty Images

    Changdeokgung Palace, a 15th-century royal villa in Seoul, is aUNESCO world heritage site. Builders expertly designed the complex to accommodate the uneven terrain at the foot of a mountain peak.

    Sungjin Kim via Getty Images

    Cable cars haul skiers at what is now Deogyusan Resort, where hot springs await after a day on the slopes.

    2. Mauritius

    Mauritius is delicious. This tiny island nationin the Indian Ocean offers up a low-key vibeand endless turquoise waters perfect for sports like wind and kitesurfing. You can also samplelocal rum and street foodor explore churches, temples, mosques and lighthouses from Mauritius rich history as a colonial trade hub.

    Sapsiwai via Getty Images

    Le Morne Brabant is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site that serves as an exceptional testimony to… resistance to slavery. The mountains forbidding cliffs hid runaway slaves known as maroons, and their oral traditions live on.

    Liese Mahieu via Getty Images

    It doesnt get better than this.

    ullstein bild via Getty Images

    This is theSeven Colored Earths in Chamarel, where naturally occurring sands of different colors form unique striped dunes.

    Bon Espoir Photography via Getty Images

    Above is a shopping center in the capital of Port Louis. English, French, and Mauritian Creole are the most commonly spoken languages in Mauritius, while Hinduism and Christianity are the top two religions.

    3. Kazakhstan

    The worldsninth-largest country is not just for Borat: Fans of architecture, city tours and wilderness explorations will feel right at home in this little-explored corner of the earth. Start in Almaty, the biggest city, for clothing markets and upscale restaurants. Then, venture out to the Tian Shan mountainsand hike sacred forestswhere manymodern fruit cropswere first cultivated.

    huseyintuncer via Getty Images

    Astana has been called theworlds weirdest capital city, in part because it hardly existed 20 years ago. CNN reports the area was an empty patch of land… best known as a former gulag prison camp for the wives of Soviet traitors before it was declared the new capital in 1997, sparking the quick rise of a futuristic skyline.

    Leonid Andronov via Getty Images

    Almatys wooden Ascension Cathedralwas constructed without nails between 1904 and 1907, and is one of the only buildings in the city to survive a 1911 earthquake. Used for state and public purposes after the Russian Revolution, it was returned to the Russian Orthodox church in the 1990s.

    AlesiaBelaya via Getty Images

    Big Almaty Lake sits in the Tian Shan mountains. The western Tian Shan range stretches into China and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site,in part for its biodiversity.

    ekipaj via Getty Images

    The city of Aktau, a hub for the oil industry, sits on the Caspian Sea and is a popular spot among locals for swimming.

    4. Cyprus

    This lush Mediterranean islandsat under the rule ofmany ancient empires, and it shows: A trip here might includevisits to a Byzantine monastery, a mosque or the tombs of high-ranking Hellenistic and Roman officials,which are part of a larger UNESCO world heritage site. Oh, and did we mention the islands postcard-perfect beaches?

    Rosita So Image

    In the port town of Kyrenia,you can take a boat cruiseto swimming and snorkeling spots orvisit a castlefor a charming birds-eye view of the harbor.


    Limassol, Cyprus second-biggest city (and still a quaint one at that), has a lively bar and restaurant scene.

    Kirillm via Getty Images

    See remains of an ancient outdoor theater, villas and baths at Kourion, a former city-kingdom on the coast.

    A good snapshot stops a moment from running away

    AdorablePissouri village is the place to go for horseback riding and pub-hopping. Dont be fooled, though: The ocean and impeccable divingare still within reach.

    5. Latvia

    Did you know Latvia has white sand beaches? This Baltic Sea gem, formerly part of the Soviet Union, is full of little surprises and a slight Scandinavian flair. The capital, Riga, was named theEuropean Capital of Culturein 2014, and roughly half of the country is made up of pristine, accessible natural ecosystems. Historical Old Towns, churchesand castles abound.

    Angel Villalba via Getty Images

    Rigas town hall square features the iconic House of the Blackheads, which was built in 1334, destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 1999.

    Sven Zacek via Getty Images

    Above is the Gauja River, on the border between Estonia and Latvia. Its namesake national parkholds more than 500 cultural and historical monuments.

    Rihards via Getty Images

    Not a bad place to spend a summers day! Latvia sits across the Baltic Sea from Stockholm, Sweden.

    Federica Gentile via Getty Images

    Kemeri National Park features a variety of wetlands, including the Great Kemeri Bog, which can be traversed by boardwalk.

    6. Ecuador

    Perched between Colombia and Peru on the Pacific, Ecuador has everything: mountains, beaches, rainforest, volcanos, hot springs, and the famous wildlife of theGalapagos Islands. Once part of the Inca Empire, this dramatically beautiful land is steeped in both pre-Colombian and Spanish colonial culture and is perfect for cheap travelers,trek-happy adventurers and history lovers after all, Quitos sprawling UNESCO-tapped city centeris the colonial jewel of South America. (Bonus:Ecuador is on the dollar, so theres no need to exchange currency.)

    DC_Colombia via Getty Images

    Above is a photo of Bartomole Island in Ecuadors Galapagos Islands. The endemic species in this volcanic archipelago inspired Charles Darwins theory of evolution, and both land and sea are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

    Maremagnum via Getty Images

    Llamas frolic near the Chimborazo volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador.

    John & Lisa Merrill via Getty Images

    The historic center of Cuenca is yet another of Ecuadors UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The town still subscribes to the rigid planning guidelines with which it was founded in 1557.

    Luis Davilla via Getty Images

    Quitos Jesuit Church of the Society of Jesus, informally known as la Compaa, has enough gold leaf inside to wow the most jaded travelers. The stunning baroque church also has a charming number of hidden nods to the local culture, including symbols of suns that salute Inca history and indigenous faces and plants worked into the ornate interior designs.

    7. Samoa

    This island nation not be confused with its equally awesome neighbor, American Samoaincludes 10 islands brimming withvolcanoes, waterfalls, rainforests, swimming holes and beaches. Journeying to a naturalocean blowholeor diving deep into a cave pool is just the beginning. Down-to-earth travelers will enjoy its lack of fancy resorts, too.

    Michael Runkel / robertharding via Getty Images

    Swimmers hop into To Sua Ocean Trench,part of a larger area with natural rock pools and blowholes.

    Tim Jordan Photography via Getty Images

    Perfect water awaits you on Upolu Islands southwest coast.

    Michael Runkel via Getty Images

    Papapapaitai Fallsis about as impressive as waterfalls get: This showstopper tumblesinto a giant gorge. Continue down the Cross Island Road for more falls, swimming holes and picnic spots.

    David Kirkland / Design Pics via Getty Images

    Upolu Island has plenty of beachfront hotels and ecolodgesto maximize your time on the warm white sand.

    8. Uruguay

    Uruguay doesnt get as much attention as neighboring Argentina and Brazil, but this polished, progressive paradise on the Atlantic has a pinch ofEuropean flairand is well worth a visit.Experience gaucho culture on a ranch of rolling hills, take to the surf atPunta del Diablo, or party the night away in the clubs at Punta del Este.

    Richard I’Anson via Getty Images

    Stroll the cosmopolitan streets of Montevideo, including the famous Plaza Independencia.

    MIGUEL ROJO via Getty Images

    The rambling, eccentric Casapueblo resort in Punta Ballena was built by late Uruguayan artist Carlos Pez Vilar, who was inspired by the mud nests of native hornero birds.

    fotoquique via Getty Images

    The resort town of Punta del Este is known as a place to party, but the public art deserves a hand, too.

    Mr.Lomein via Getty Images

    Uruguays interior hills are rich in gaucho culture. Book a rural lodge and explore the beautiful countryside on horseback.

    9. Namibia

    First-time visitors to Africa should start here, in the worlds oldest desert, to experience the thrill of feeling like the last tourist on Earth. Considering its vast selection of wildlife,national parks, shipwrecks and larger-than-life sand dunes, Namibia somehow remains awesomely uncrowded. Many cities and towns have a distinctly German feel complete with Germanrestaurants and colonialarchitecture due to years under European rule.

    Digital Vision. via Getty Images

    Zebras drink at a waterhole in Etosha National Park, which offers various epic safaris.

    pilesasmiles via Getty Images

    Ludertiz, a confusingly colonial harbor town, includes an old Lutheran churchand bustling village shops that make it feel likeanywhere but Africa.

    Daniel Osterkamp via Getty Images

    Namibias national symbol, the quiver tree, stands tall in a nature park known asGiants Playground.

    Adrian Carr via Getty Images

    Off-roaders sit ready to explore the deserts massive sand dunes, which also make for a daring day hike.

    10. Guatemala

    Mayan ruins play a starring role in Guatemala. Deep in the jungle, Tikal National Park is a lush playground of plazas, temples and dwellings that are well over 1,000 years old. Equally gorgeous are Guatemalasactive volcanoes, cascading lagoons and the Caribbean-blueLake Petn Itz. Even with all these natural wonders, a historic hotel-museum tops the list of places to visitnationwide.

    SimonDannhauer via Getty Images

    From the 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D., Mayans inhabited what is now Tikal National Park. Current residents include jaguars, howler monkeys and more than 60 species of bats.

    Ben Pipe Photography via Getty Images

    Parque Central is a popular outdoor gathering place in Antigua, a city in the highlands.

    SimonDannhauer via Getty Images

    At Lake Petn Itz, the blue water is perfect for sunsets and swimmingwith the locals.

    Laura Grier via Getty Images

    Daredevils can hike or camp near a handful of active volcanos in Guatemalas rugged wilderness, though be careful to do so at the right time of year.

    11. Papua New Guinea

    One look at the water should make it, ahem, clear that this is a paradise. The U.S. State Department cautionsthat due to crime, an organized tour booked through a travel agency is the best way to explore this stunningly diverseand practically untouched country. (Theres little luxury involved, but its a trip of a lifetime.) Try a trekking tour along the rugged, mountainous Kokoda Trackor journey to a sing-sing festival, at which Papua New Guineans display their many unique tribal cultures through music and dance.

    David Kirkland / Design Pics via Getty Images

    White sand beaches and few interruptions are hallmarks of the New Ireland Province.

    David Kirkland / Design Pics via Getty Images

    Capital Port Moresby is beautiful from the air, though its crime ratecalls for sensible precautions. Infrastructure is virtually non-existent outside PNGs major cities another reason to book a tour rather than traveling on your own.

    Michael Runkel / robertharding via Getty Images

    Local tribes celebrate a sing-sing in the Highlands. Some 836 indigenous languages are spokenin Papua New Guinea, most by fewer than a thousand speakers each.

    Jeff Rotman via Getty Images

    Of course, Papua New Guinea boasts excellent snorkeling and diving.

    12. Newfoundland, Canada

    Why Newfoundland? Here, east coasters can kayak with icebergs without taking a long flight to Greenland or Alaska and beyond. Then theres 18,000 miles of unspoiled coastline with some 200 walking trails, plus the22 species of whalesthat pass through Newfoundland and Labrador between May and September. Add in dramatic, glacier-carved fjords, and this part of Canada is truly a dream for nature lovers who prefer their international travel over-easy.

    Thomas Kitchin & Victoria Hurst / Design Pics via Getty Images

    Icebergs arrive from the Arctic each spring to places like Trinity Bay, above. Check the map of Iceberg Alley, then book a boat or kayak or car to experience them up close.

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    We really cant get enough of Gros Morne National Park, which, in addition to cool neon jellyfish, contains towering fjordsyou can tour by boat.

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    The Fort Amherst historical site in St. Johns honors Colonel William Amherst, who recaptured the area from the French in 1762.

    CHare Photography

    Fall in Newfoundland is not too shabby. This is the Humber River in autumn.

    13. Romania

    Draculashomeland oozes eeriness and intrigue: The country has emerged from its Communist pastto the delight of travelers who come to explore its medieval townsand ornate castles, including the onewhere fictions scariest bloodsucker once lived.Beyond the charming cobblestone streets, youll find adventurous alpine hikesthrough the towering Carpathian Mountains and all-inclusive beach resorts on the Black Sea coast.

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    The Black Church, with its interior walls adorned with Turkish carpets,is the star of Brasov, a popular medieval town at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains.

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    Corvin Castle in Transylvania features about 50 rooms of medieval art. Its known as the most impressive Gothic castle in the country.

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    It can take all day to drive the hairpin turns of Transfagarasan Road, which connects the provinces of Transylvania and Walachia through the mountains. Thanks to a gentle gradient, you can even bike it if you dare.


    Bucharest, Romanias capital, is known forhigh energy and good food. Socialist and Art Nouveau architecturecoexist here, and the nightlife is some of Eastern Europes best.

    14. Laos

    Even backpackers who have seen it all in Thailand and Cambodia will be awestruck in Laos. Stunning waterfalls, soaring mountains and blazing green rice fieldsare best enjoyed at the Laotian locals decidedly slow pace of life. Take a break from zip-lining and cave kayakingto join a yoga retreator help out on an organic farm. The cuisine think sticky rice, papaya salad and fresh fish is worth savoring, too.

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    A hot air balloon flies overViet Vang, a jungle town and magnet for backpackers.

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    Kuang Si Fallsare a refreshing but cold! place toswim. Prepare for the hike in, and look out for hidden pools along the way.

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    Terraced rice fields overlook a village in Mu Cang Chai.

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    Buddha Park in Vientiane is probably the most stunning sculpture park youll ever see.

    15. Azerbaijan

    Untapped may be the best way to describe this coastal country between Iran and Russia. Start in the capital of Baku, whoseOld CityhasUNESCO world heritagestatus as a rare example of ancient architecture. Then, move out to explorequaint rural villagesat the base of the Great Caucasus mountains. Former Peace Corps volunteers have set up a network of local homestaysto help visitors enjoy the countrys outer fringes, where paved roads are scarce but the land is lush.

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    Bakumixes old architecture with glittering 21st-century towers on the Caspian Sea.

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    The Government House is just one of many historic monuments to see in Baku.

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    Baku also offers museums, theaters, libraries and an opera house.Treat yourself to a balcony room at the glimmering Four Seasons Hotel.

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    High in the mountains, Xinaliq is home to friendly shepherds who can point you in the right direction for adventurous hikes.

    16. Slovenia

    Croatias been a hot travel destination for a few years now, but dont overlook its charming neighbor to the north. The snowy peaks of the Julian Alps are the dramatic backdrop for Slovenias storybook Lake Bled, while outdoor restaurants line the riverwalk in the friendly capital city Ljubljana and the sprawling Postojna Cave is a dramatic diversion. (Pro tip: Youll likely save a few dollars by flying into Venice, Italy, rather than Ljubljana its not far over the border.)

    Matthew Williams-Ellis / robertharding via Getty Images

    The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation overlooks Ljubljanas famous Triple Bridge, a lively spot at night.

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    Above youll see Lake Bled in the summer. Swim or row in the crystal-clear lake, dine at Bled Castle perched high on a cliff, or stroll the equally Instagram-worthyVintgar Gorge.


    A tour boat on the Ljubljanica River in Ljubljana.

    RossHelen via Getty Images

    The town of Piran is a luminescent pearlon the Adriatic Sea.

    17. The Seychelles

    Will and Kate honeymooned here, so you know the views are fit for royalty. This collection of around115 islands in the Indian Oceanis basically a beach-y theme park, with inlets ofevery size and type.It could take weeks to see them all. Thank goodness there are both private island villasand casual B&Bsto stay in.

    Jon Arnold via Getty Images

    With its pink sand and smooth boulders,Anse Source DArgentis regularly praised as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Get there early in the daybefore other fanatics arrive.

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    The beaches atBeau Vallonare some of the most highly trafficked in the Seychelles, but theyre still pleasantly low-key.

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    From above, Mahe Islands jungle flora and coastal townsshine in all their glory. Aside from the usual lineup of tucked-away beaches, the islands forested interior is a hikers paradise.

    FilippoBacci via Getty Images

    St. Pierre is the teensy-tiny islet of your wildest dreams. Seriously.

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    Study: Netflix now more popular than adult entertainment in hotel rooms

    When it comes to in room entertainment, a new study says that today’s hotel guests may just want to Netflix– without the “chill.”

    According to data from Enseo, a company that provides in room entertainment solutions for some of the world’s biggest hotel brands like Marriott, more hotel guests are streaming a show or movie from Netflix in hotels that have axed pornographic video-on-demand (VOD) than ordering traditional adult-themed programming.

    Around 1 percent of occupied hotel rooms order paid VOD, with 90 percent of those profits deriving from adult entertainment, Variety reports. But according to Enseo, hotels that replaced VOD with Netflix saw about 40 percent of hotel rooms stream content from the service.


    The difference is so stark, according to Enseo CEO Vanessa Ogle, that theres now a major industry wide push to replace porn with the popular streaming service.

    Its a hard conversation, Ogle told Variety, noting that, traditionally, late night offerings have been a big revenue stream for hotel brands. 

    But Ogle said that Netflix users in hotels use the service for much longer than other sources of content– the average news or sports viewing sessions comes in around 14 minutes but the typical Netflix session is around 90 minutes. In fact, Ogle said, Netflix ranks among the top three networks in any of the hotel rooms in which it’s available nationwide.

    The research comes amid a new deal between Enseo and Netflix which allows an integration of the Netflix app into hotel rooms around the globe. Netflix is now functional in more than 100,000 hotel rooms including properties like the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas luxury hotels like Ritz Carlton.

    Enseo encourages customers to sign-in to the app with their own accounts to access personalized recommendations while on the road. The hotels also provide a Netflix button on their in-room remote control.

    As for those porn purchases, Ogle argues that it’s no longer a big money making enterprise for hotel properties. The CEO says that could be due in part to customers purchasing adult entertainment then disputing charges later at checkout– leading to numerous return payments.

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    The 12 Types Of Trips You Should Take In Your Lifetime

    To some travelers, “vacation” means lying on a tropical beach or staying in an urban hotel, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the start of a new year is time to think outside the box and start planning trips that help you both unwind and grow as a person.

    In 2017, and for years to come, do yourself a favor and get creative with the types of trips you take. Of course, we don’t always have the time or finances available for regular getaways. But many of these unique trip ideas cost less than your typical beach break, which makes them easier to get on the calendar.

    Which not-so-average experience will you have in 2017?

    • 1 A solo trip
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      Solo travel stretches you in waysthatcompanion travel won’t.Choose a destination whereyou feel safe but are still outside your comfort zone, and enjoytherush ofself-confidence along withnew friends.

    • 2 An ancestry trip
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      Do you know where your family is from? Find out, then plana journey to wherever that may be. If possible, askrelatives forpersonalized guides to their hometowns before you go.

    • 3 A last-minute flight trip
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      There are plenty of ways to find cheap last-minute flights, but are you willing to drop what you’re doing andtake advantage? Block a few days out onyour calendar, thenletan app like Get The Flight Outchoose yourdestinationat the last minute.

    • 4 A digital detox
      Martin Valigursky via Getty Images

      Try life with no phone, no computer and no TV for just a few days, to see whatyour creative mind does on its own. Of course, this is easier if you travel someplacewhere service is scarce. If an exotic island isn’t in the cards, the small town down the highway works just fine.

    • 5 A long-distance trek
      Lidija Kamansky via Getty Images

      A trek is the ultimate way to clear your head, buildquiet confidenceand maybe even get a betterpicture of what you want to do with your life. Consider the Pacific Crest Trail in the U.S. and theCamino de Santiago in Spain for starters.

    • 6 A homestay or couchsurfing trip
      Granger Wootz via Getty Images

      There’s no better way to understand a city than by livingday-to-day life with the locals. Stay with a friend in their hometown, see if your destination has a homestay program, or couchsurf for free to get a taste of what it’s like to “do life”somewhere completely new.

    • 7 A snorkel or dive trip
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      Research shows thatpreparing fora tripboosts happiness morethan the journey itself. Work toward your scuba license at home, and then head to one of theworld’s best dive spots.

    • 8 A volunteer trip
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      Strongrelationships, cultural understandingand a sense of accomplishment are just a few benefits of doing something valuablewith your timeaway. Use a site like Go Overseasto find opportunities vetted by trustworthytravelers.

    • 9 A U.S. road trip
      James O’Neil via Getty Images

      Too often, we take our country’shuge variety ofadventuresfor granted. Whether it’sa trip to every national park, driving throughthe Southor to 48 states in one fell swoop, a road trip is the hilariousjourneyyou’ll never forget.

    • 10 A staycation
      Morsa Images via Getty Images

      It’s rare thatwe drop everything, forget our chores and simply enjoy our hometowns.A staycation— think dinner parties, movie marathons and long, quiet days of reading– is an easy,cheap way to relax and reset.

    • 11 A river cruise
      ake1150sb via Getty Images

      While ocean cruises stop atmajor portsafter long stretches at sea, river cruisinglets you see lesser-known sites with much less lag time in between. River cruise boats are often smallerthan ocean liners, letting you get to know everyone on board as you float down the Amazonor through Budapest.

    • 12 A wine tasting trip
      gilaxia via Getty Images

      Besides the obvious benefit of copious sipping, a wine tasting trip can serve to bring old friends orfamily closer together: Nothing spurs conversation quitelike a shared table, good cheese and endless hours without a care in the world.

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    15+ Iceland Photos You Wont Believe Are From This Planet

    Even if you are living under a rock, you must have heard already that Iceland is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. With only around 320,000 people living there, the country is now becoming packed with tourists flying in from all over the world, coming to see its rich nature. Roaring volcanoes, deep fjords, sharp mountains and glaciers, the country has everything under its roof.

    Show Full Text

    Not convinced? Then check out this list compiled by Bored Panda of the best photographs of Iceland we could find. With lots of new flights opening to Iceland recently, you can find rather cheap tickets if you search long enough, however, this might be the only thing you can expect to save up on. Eating, staying in hotels, renting a car – these are on the expensive side, for example, a typical meal costs around 40$. If you want to save up some money it’s good to travel in winter, since everything is a bit cheaper then, although you will have fewer hours of daylight. On the plus side, you might be lucky and see the Northern Lights. If you’re traveling in the summer you’ll have all the daylight you need in order to see a lot in one day, since the night almost never comes. On the downside, the most famous landmarks will be packed with tourists. A good way to save up some money then is to stay in tents or find a Couchsurfing host rather than going to a hotel.

    For anyone interested in capturing images of stunning landscapes filled with raw power, Iceland is an absolute must-see. Nonetheless, you should remember that sometimes it’s best to put the camera down and just enjoy the view.

    #1 Arctic Fox

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    Youre Packing Your Carry-On All Wrong. Heres How to Do It Right

    1. Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 | $280 Holds five days worth of stuff; great for longer trips. 2. Filson 48 Hour Duffel | $395 This cloth cavern is great for short jaunts. 3. Frank Clegg Signature Travel Duffle | $925 A 33-liter leather carryall to classy up your weekend. STEPHANIE GONOT

    What you shove into your suitcase determines how youre going to live for the next little while. Assemble your payload correctly.

    Picture Me Rollin

    Stop folding your clothes. Rolling everything and slotting it vertically into your carry-on will earn you gobs of space, and itll keep your shirts from wrinkling too. This isnt a lifehack; this is a must.

    Do the Math

    Pack everything you think you need, then get rid of half of it. If that feels extreme, try this: For every three days, bring two tops and one pair of pants. Undies and socks for every day, though.

    Use the Washing Ma-Sink

    Bring along some concentrated detergent and a travel clothesline (13 bucks on Amazon). A sinkful of water is all you need to replenish your wardrobe.

    Kill the Wrinkles

    Pro tip: If it doesnt smell, its clean. Fool everyone with a couple of spritzes of Downy Wrinkle Releaser ($6).

    Layer, Layer, Layer

    Dont think about clothesthink about combinations. Mix and match tops and bottoms to get more use out of everything. Light jackets, scarves, and funky ties all keep you looking fresh and your suitcase looking empty.

    Stow Away a Small-Things Bag

    Go to a drugstore and stock up on essentials: shampoo, toothpaste, Advil, lip balm, deodorant. Put it all in a small bag, tuck it into your luggage, and forget it until you need it. Youll need it.

    Vacuum Your Wardrobe

    If you cant bring less, at least break out the shrink-o-matic. Buy a bunch of bags, throw your clothes in, and suck all the air out with a pump or vacuum cleaner. Slot your paper-thin parcels right into your bag. Give them a minute to reinflate on the other side.

    Prep Offline Mode

    Before you hit the road, hit download. Kindle books, a dozen podcasts, a few Spotify playlists, an offline movie or two in Amazon Video. Nothings worse than flicking over to airplane mode and finding your phone is suddenly useless.

    Styling by Bryson Gill

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