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Travel Tips

Oktoberfest and foliage are arguably the biggest focus points of fall travel. And the benefit of Oktoberfest—besides, of course, the beer!—is that you don’t have to outguess nature about the peak time to visit. Although you can find literally hundreds of self-styled Oktoberfest celebrations around the world, only four are major league, with annual attendance …

Ready to feel the wind in your hair and see your destination from a bird’s-eye view? Here are some of the world’s best places to zip-line, from active volcanoes to historic landmarks.   Best Places to Zip-Line   Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica Costa Rica is perhaps best known for two things: active volcanoes and zip-lines. …

Between experiencing new cultures, navigating unfamiliar streets, and putting faith in strangers, stepping out of your comfort zone is an intrinsic part of travel. For some, this uncertainty is all part of the adventure. But if you’re traveling with anxiety, that vacation you’ve been dreaming about can turn quickly into a minefield. Before Your Trip: …

If you’re making any of these poor decisions, you’re cheating yourself of the best version of your cruise vacation. If you know what you’re doing, cruising can be an enriching form of travel. But plenty of people swear off the big ships because of some terrible experience that ruined their first time out. To prevent …

How Far in Advance Should I Book My Flight? Several sources publish data on the correlation between advance purchase period and airfares. The ideal time to buy a domestic ticket is 54 days in advance, says CheapAir, or seven weeks ahead, says Expedia, which are essentially the same findings. For international trips, the ideal period …

Each July, Azamara Club Cruises joins with golf tour company PerryGolf for a cruise and golf package that includes play at top courses in Scotland and Ireland and attendance at the British Open.   Pack your clubs or just your skills and take a cruise. In addition to such onboard facilities as putting greens, netted …

There has been a lot of discussion lately of passengers getting kicked off their flights: from the doctor who was violently dragged off an overbooked United flight, to the two girls who were blocked from boarding due to wearing leggings. It even happens to business and first class passengers. Don’t think that just because you’re …

Frequent cruisers and travel agents mean well when they give you advice about when, where, and how to cruise. Everybody and their Uncle Larry has an opinion about cabin choices, itineraries, and ship choice.   But how much of that advice do you need to follow and what can you take with a grain of …

We traditionally send off a new cruise ship by smashing a bottle of champagne against its bow. So why is there no similar tradition to celebrate the launch of a first-time cruise ship passenger? How great would it be if people going on their first cruises received a similar kind of ceremonial sendoff? Granted, smashing …

The day has arrived for that cruise excursion you’ve been eagerly anticipating. You can finally check zip-lining through the rainforest or sailing a luxury sailboat to a private beach off your bucket list. Before you grab your fanny pack, slip on sunglasses and head over to your meeting location, there are a few things you …

Whether it’s a quick business trip or a relaxing vacation, traveling often comes at the cost of all your healthy habits. Operating on a tight schedule and indulging in a new culture can mean more eating out and less exercise, but it doesn’t have to be that way.   Experts point to a few simple …

Too many times when people travel, they only skim the surface of their destination. They may check out some sites listed in their guidebook, snap some photos of interesting buildings, and eat at a few recommended restaurants, but what about finding a deeper connection? To help you really sink your teeth into a country and …

Most airline passenger rights are established by government regulation, and, for that reason, they’re the same for all scheduled airlines. But you might be surprised to find that, in the U.S., no federal law or regulation specifies what, if any, rights you have when an airline cancels your flight.   With cancellations, your rights derive …

Befitting their titles, grandparents and their grandchildren should engage in grand relationships. Since the dawn of man, grandparents lived in multigenerational communities, living and working alongside their children and grandchildren. They were not “in the way” or a “nuisance;” instead they served as teachers, advisers and role models – key figures that positively shaped the …

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium London’s first cat café also opened in Shoreditch earlier this year where Londoners can enjoy coffee with furry friends. Co-owner Anna Kogan said: “The idea is that you can come and have a peaceful lunch or high tea and be surrounded by cats. If you’re lucky they will fall asleep on …

Airport lines are at an all-time high, causing travelers to boil with frustration. A recent 8% increase in travel has led to a shortage of TSA officers. The TSA is working to rectify the problem. Until then, here is a quick guide to help: Enroll in the “TSA Pre” program offered at over 100 airports. …

Whether it’s modernism, brutalism or art deco that draws your interest, these guided trips reveal the unique stories of buildings and city designs. Palm Springs Modern Tours, Palm Springs, US Architecture buff Robert Imber knows everything and everyone in Palm Springs and is a leading voice in the California Preservation Foundation too. His company’s entertaining …

Heading to a tropical island or snowy wonderland is a great way to break up the dreary winter months—but packing for opposing climates can mean lugging a bigger travel bag. Caribbean-bound travelers foregoing winter coats might regret it when they return home during a blizzard (something I was recently guilty of), and brisker destinations of …

Traveling by cruise ship has many conveniences, no matter what your itinerary. You only need to unpack once, for example, and you have the added benefits of built-in entertainment, dining and family activities. There are some destinations that are particularly good to visit by ship. Sometimes it’s the sheer logistics of a land trip in …

There are bars with unique clienteles all across the U.S., but some play host to some more interesting patrons than you’ll find anywhere else: ghosts, spirits, and shades. With Halloween approaching, what better way to experience a haunting night than by being surrounded with spirits of the alcoholic and ghostly varieties? Here we’ve collected ten …

Traveling on its own can be, while exciting, a daunting experience. When you pair this with crippling anxiety, it can really deflate any excitement and fun you might be feeling for your upcoming trip. Anxiety feels different for people, depending on whom you ask. Remember the scene in the movie Titanic near the end, Jack …

For most, the depths of the ocean are shrouded in mystery. Few often venture below the surface of the deep blue sea, and even fewer have explored its far-reaching corners. Heck, according to the National Ocean Service, in all of the research and exploration scientists have accomplished up to this point, still we’ve covered less …

It doesn’t take luck or magic to have a fantastic time in Ireland. Whether it’s the plethora of tasty brews, the beauty of the countryside or something else entirely, the Irish are famous for their craic (pronounced crack), which essentially means entertainment, enjoyable conversation and good company all rolled up into one. So it’s unsurprising …

You have two passions: food and travel, but how do these work with kids? With the same trailblazing spirit that you circumvented the globe and sampled new dishes in your former life, share these passions with your kids. Forget Disneyland, where child-friendly corn dogs and pineapple Dole Whip are around the corner from every Mickey …

Check out links to the Top-Rated cruise destinations, as voted upon by Cruise Critic Readers: Alaska Destinations Asia & South Pacific Destinations Australia & New Zealand Destinations Baltic & Scandinavia Destinations British Isles & Western Europe Destinations Cruise Line Private Island Destinations Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda Destinations Eastern Mediterranean Destinations European River Destinations Hawaii …

Recognizing that some people need to stay connected for work, and that others will have trouble withdrawing from constant connectivity at home (plus the fact that social networking is good for the cruise business), cruise companies including Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean have invested millions to make shipboard Internet access faster and cheaper.   A …

Don’t: Tight clothing. Do: Natural, breathable fabrics. Tight clothes can restrict blood flow in the already-confining space of an airplane seat. Is the reward of showing off your fantastically toned thighs worth the risk of deep vein thrombosis? Ditch the skinny jeans and don loose-fitting natural fiber garments (clothes made from cotton or linen are …

When cruise lines introduce new onboard experiences (or even talk about their existing ones), it’s always done with a ton of hype and fanfare. This new restaurant will be amazing! This high-tech, top-deck attraction will change your life! This cabin category will revolutionize cruise travel! Meh.   The truth is we love some of these …

You’re at the gate. You’ve got your boarding pass. You’re heading somewhere exciting and you just can’t wait until you get there to share the news with your friends on social media. So you snap a picture of your boarding pass and post it to Facebook. Harmless, right? Maybe not. Because the information printed on …

Icy waters, wild encounters and a warm welcome from local residents highlight the first two weeks of the 32-day journey Crystal Cruises’ award-winning luxury ocean ship, Crystal Serenity, successfully entered the historic Northwest Passage and anchored in Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories on August 27, and Cambridge Bay on August 29. The calls mark Crystal Serenity’s official …

If you’re heading out on vacation soon, you need to make sure you’re well-prepared. Unfortunately, so much planning goes into getting ready for a trip that some things fall through the cracks. Here are five common mistakes you should avoid before traveling: 1. Posting online You’re super excited to go on your big vacation, so …

It never fails. Within hours of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane forecast for the year, emails start arriving in my inbox faster than most of the forecasted hurricanes. Almost all of them ask the same two questions: (1) Should I book a cruise during this period? (2) I am booked for this period…will …

Children can bring untold joy to our lives and make us look at the world with fresh eyes. Even so, there’s practically no end to the horror stories of parents taking their kids on a trip and seeing their dream holiday quickly degenerate into a singular nightmare even years of therapy can’t erase. Of course, …

Here are some of the top off-the-radar locales for leaf-peeping, comfort food and sweater weather. • Shenandoah National Park: Skyline Drive in Virginia If you’re looking for a stellar fall foliage road trip, Skyline Drive offers breathtaking views of beautiful Virginia landscapes along twisting, tree-lined roads. And there’s no shortage of top-notch hikes and nature …

If you need help planning the perfect beach vacation this summer, Dr. Beach has the spot for you. Stephen Leathermen, aka Dr. Beach, has rounded up his favorite U.S. beaches for 2015—with some tried and true sandy locales and a few soon-to-be favorite family finds. Leatherman, professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research …

Seasickness is a form of motion sickness experienced by people on ships. It happens for the same reason as any kind of motion sickness – a disagreement in the signals your body sends to your brain. Your body detects motion a number of different ways, but mainly through your eyes and your inner ear. If …

For economy fliers who silently shuffle by the cushy leather recliners in first class, upgrading from the bleachers to the VIP section for free might seem like a myth. But believe it or not, complimentary upgrades happen more than you think—you just need to know how to work your magic. Savvy travelers know how to …

It doesn’t take luck or magic to have a fantastic time in Ireland. Whether it’s the plethora of tasty brews, the beauty of the countryside or something else entirely, the Irish are famous for their craic (pronounced crack), which essentially means entertainment, enjoyable conversation and good company all rolled up into one. So it’s unsurprising …

We traditionally send off a new cruise ship by smashing a bottle of champagne against its bow. So why is there no similar tradition to celebrate the launch of a first-time cruise ship passenger? How great would it be if people going on their first cruises received a similar kind of ceremonial sendoff? Granted, smashing …

Each July, Azamara Club Cruises joins with golf tour company PerryGolf for a cruise and golf package that includes play at top courses in Scotland and Ireland and attendance at the British Open. The 2016 sailing is July 11 to 22, from Dublin to Southampton, on the Azamara Quest. GolfAhoy Pack your clubs or just …

It’s never been easier to stay fit and healthy on a cruise. More choices — on board and off — allow passengers to stay in shape while enjoying all the experiences and delicious food a cruise vacation has to offer. Those massive midnight buffets are ancient history, and fitness facilities are so popular and well …

It’s one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and it’s one of the most significant economic contributors to Caribbean tourism: weddings. The Caribbean is the most romantic place in the world, and it’s the dream location for a destination wedding. But there are so many questions to answer when you’re planning one of these: …

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium London’s first cat café also opened in Shoreditch earlier this year where Londoners can enjoy coffee with furry friends. Co-owner Anna Kogan said: “The idea is that you can come and have a peaceful lunch or high tea and be surrounded by cats. If you’re lucky they will fall asleep on …

The beach is supposed to be the place where we get to relax and be free, but when we bring our wallets and phones with us, we always end up anchored to our beach blankets, afraid to leave our valuables alone. If you have ever tried hiding them underneath a towel or beach bag, you …

We’re convinced. There has to be some kind of manual out there that horrible, inconsiderate airline passengers study before they board a plane. We’ve published what we imagine their checklist looks like in the hopes that you’ll read it and know what not to do, or at least find some humor in the situation next …

Most airline passenger rights are established by government regulation, and, for that reason, they’re the same for all scheduled airlines. But you might be surprised to find that, in the U.S., no federal law or regulation specifies what, if any, rights you have when an airline cancels your flight.   With cancellations, your rights derive …

Q: When Should I Buy Airline Tickets?   A: The very best time to buy tickets is when they’re on sale. In early June, for example, Southwest ran a nationwide sale that major lines matched on many routes. And you could buy fall transatlantic round-trips in the $350-$450 range or a round-trip New York-Hong Kong …

Nobody enjoys being that person who complains to an airline or travel company, but sometimes it’s the necessary difference between a nightmarish experience and getting what you paid for.   Hotel bookings get mixed up, flights get delayed, and tour companies miss their mark—it’s all part of the learning experience that comes with travel. But …

We have nothing against Cheetos and soda, but we prefer our vending machines stocked with wholesome treats and handy products—especially when we’re on the road. Automatic kiosks at airports, which began popping up in hubs around the world in the late 2000s and have since become quite common, offer an array of useful products available …

Despite air travel being one of the safest forms of transportation, accidents still (very unfortunately) happen. Whether it’s extreme turbulence or unusual airplane tragedies, airlines are still making headlines. AirlineRatings.com—a website dedicated to reviewing airlines and travel-related products—recently published their annual list of airline safety records. Before you read too much into this list, not all …

Want an upgrade? The key is availability: All upgrades are based on it. They’re also, largely, based on loyalty status. But even if you do belong to your airline’s or hotel’s loyalty program, you’re still competing with countless other travelers for the same upgrade. To rise above the pack, it’ll take smarts, a strategy, and …

Cruises, generally, are not known for excellent food.   Granted, it’s tough to churn out mass-produced grub for hundreds or thousands of passengers, and even tougher to let that food maintain some semblance of culinary integrity. Somehow, though, a few lines are figuring out how to present passengers—especially passengers who are willing to pay extra—with …

Is it normal to be jealous of a toiletries kit? I once felt pangs of dopp-kit envy when I caught a glimpse of a fellow traveler’s perfectly organized toiletries bag, filled with little labeled bottles and just the right amounts of everything. As a consequence, I endeavored to unearth the secrets of a lighter, leaner …

You may think of it as your “home away from home,” but try not to get too comfortable in that hotel room. Private hotel rooms are a surprisingly public space, shared by hundreds of strangers each year. And whenever you share something with that many people, things are bound to get dicey. For your own sake, …

Airport lines are at an all-time high, causing travelers to boil with frustration. A recent 8% increase in travel has led to a shortage of TSA officers. The TSA is working to rectify the problem. Until then, here is a quick guide to help:   Enroll in the “TSA Pre” program offered at over 100 …

If you know what you’re doing, cruising can be an enriching form of travel. But plenty of people swear off the big ships because of some terrible experience that ruined their first time out. To prevent yourself from becoming yet another cruise hater, take note of these rookie mistakes—and don’t make them.   You Book …

Whether it’s a quick business trip or a relaxing vacation, traveling often comes at the cost of all your healthy habits. Operating on a tight schedule and indulging in a new culture can mean more eating out and less exercise, but it doesn’t have to be that way.   Experts point to a few simple …

The best way to ease through airport security is to dress for success. Certain garments and accessories could get you flagged for extra screening, slowing down your progression through the airport. Want to roll through the security line like a pro? Avoid wearing the following attire.   Shoes That Are Difficult To Remove We advise …

Travel puts our bodies through a lot, whether we’re stifling our circulation on long flights or shocking or digestive systems with new foods. We’ve shared a lot of tips and tricks about how what you eat can affect the way you feel when traveling, but now we’ve discovered that it’s not just about avoiding the …

Prep While traveling solo and sans kids makes for an overall easier experience, preparation is the key for a hassle-free experience at the airport. Here’s how I prep:   When booking I always use the airline’s seat-selection tool and make sure to select a seat near the front of the plane. This means you’ll board …

These days, flying can be so stressful and soul-destroying that by the time you’ve navigated check-in, security and all the chaos of the concourse you’re desperate for a vacation  – even if you didn’t need one before. Which is why we’re fans of these Caribbean airports, which make our tropical transits that much easier. Featuring …

Carrying money on vacation is a balancing act between safety and utility. Making money difficult to access deters thieves, but when it comes time to pay for something, you still want to be able to get to it without stripping off clothes or playing hide-and-seek with a bag’s hidden pockets. With that in mind, here …

After a long day exploring a new destination, we often return to our hotel room with neck and shoulder pain—discomfort that’s directly tied into the heavy purses we cart around. These hefty handbags can cause everything from tension headaches to joint disease, not to mention temporary discomfort. Find out how you can lighten your purse …

If you manage to forego festivities at home, you are going to accrue two things by partying and traveling at New Year’s Eve this year: a hangover and debt.   That’s what seems to be the case from Hipmunk’s latest raucous research project. The travel website dug deep and found the cost of various hotels …

Discovering Club Med in Punta Cana   If you’ve vacationed in the Caribbean in the last few decades – particularly if you visited Jamaica or the Dominican Republic – it’s likely that you stayed in an all-inclusive resort. The all-you-can-everything concept has been popular in the Caribbean since the ‘70s. But it didn’t start here. …

Discovering a gaping hole where your bag’s zipper once was or opening your suitcase to find smashed souvenirs are both regrettable yet entirely preventable travel mishaps. There are preemptive measures you can take to safeguard your luggage well before you whisk off to faraway destinations. Here are seven smart strategies for protecting your bag from …

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of curbside check-in? For me, it’s a vague 1970s-toned image of a suitcase without wheels being hoisted out of a wood-paneled station wagon and into a pile, while a mustachioed skycap lassoes each with a bag tag.   If you have more recent, …

Chances are, not every item in your suitcase needs to go with you on vacation. Lighten your load by casting off unnecessary extras. From hair dryers and toiletries to makeup bags and magazines, here are 12 things to cross off your packing list.   Books And Magazines We’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy a good …

For at least two decades, industry experts have been speculating about basic timing factors in finding the lowest airfares. The big question: When is the best time to buy plane tickets? So far, nobody has been able to come up with definitive answers that stand the test of time for very long. But that doesn’t …

There are many ways to distract yourself on a flight: Read, watch something, listen to music or a podcast. But if you’re seeking a more dynamic activity—one that keeps you busy and imparts a least a small sense of accomplishment—we have an idea.   Get some crayons. Get a coloring book. Get coloring.   You …

Welcome to Cruise Critic’s guide to (responsible) drinking at sea. On this page, you’ll find a breakdown of each cruise line’s alcohol policy, ways to score free drinks, tips on how to decide if a beverage package is right for you and more. Click on the links for more info, and check out pictures of …

Jetting around the world isn’t free, but cultural enrichment can be. We uncovered 10 incredible museums—from Paris to Beijing—where cultural discovery is rich but admission is free for all.   Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. When we rounded up these amazing free museums in the U.S., of course the Smithsonian made the cut. These 19 separate …

Hello again. It’s time to re-introduce yourself to these 10 cities that have done the impossible and transformed themselves from C-list destinations into ones worthy of your precious vacation time. You’ll be glad you gave them that second chance to woo you, courtesy of new attractions, hotels, and restaurants that come wrapped up with a …

1. Jasper-Prince Rupert, Canada The Jasper-Prince Rupert is probably the least-known train operated by Via, Canada’s long-distance rail operator, yet some rate it highest for scenery and character. It travels 725 miles between the former fur-trading post of Jasper and the port named after Prince Rupert, first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, taking 31 …

Chances are, not every item in your suitcase needs to go with you on vacation. Lighten your load by casting off unnecessary extras. From hair dryers and toiletries to makeup bags and magazines, here are 12 things to cross off your packing list. Books And Magazines We’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy a good read …

If you clicked on this article, we’re guessing you didn’t win the Powerball jackpot and have to save up for your dream trip the old fashioned way. Travel can be wonderful and life changing, but even with all the great deals and last-minute sales out there, there is no denying how expensive it is. Dream …

Traveling together is one of the best ways to strengthen a friendship and create memories that you’ll look back on fondly for the rest of your life. It’s also a great way to cause a rift that may ruin your bond forever. Option A is better. Make these tips your roadmap for vacationing with friends, …

Today I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I took an old post of mine and have re-worked it into something new. Not just an old post, one of my very first posts way back in 2010 was Five Travel Lessons My Dog Taught Me. It was the first of many so-called philosophical posts, my …

The day has arrived for that cruise excursion you’ve been eagerly anticipating. You can finally check zip-lining through the rainforest or sailing a luxury sailboat to a private beach off your bucket list. Before you grab your fanny pack, slip on sunglasses and head over to your meeting location, there are a few things you …

Everyone gripes about economy-class air travel, and sometimes with good reason. But here are 10 strategies to fly in a bit more comfort. So you booked a fare on American, Delta, United, or some other airline that has economy as well as “premium” economy seating, and when you go to choose a seat, the website …

Maybe you don’t have a passport, or maybe you don’t want the hassle of a laborious immigration experience. Maybe you want to arrive at your Caribbean destination, get your bag and immediately head to the beach. Well, if you’re a US citizen or a green card holder, there are a host of places you can …

AIG Europe has released a helpful infographic outlining the eight most common scams currently affecting travelers in Europe. Study up so you don’t fall victim to “highway pirates” or bogus police officers on your next trip. Italy: Puncturing Tires Beware of “highway pirates” in Italy who will puncture your tires at a parking lot and …

What you eat before you board can make a big impact on how you feel once you’re in the air (and even how you feel once you land). Leave these dining disasters off your pre-flight checklist and avoid the dreaded “jet bloat,” being the stinky seatmate, and other in-flight horrors. Read on to find out …

Anyone can fumble their way through security and learn a few words in a foreign language. But expert travelers are the ones who can pick up a specific skillset that makes traveling easier wherever they go. Here are the 10 essential skills that will help you with domestic and foreign travel—and the best part is …

Befitting their titles, grandparents and their grandchildren should engage in grand relationships. Since the dawn of man, grandparents lived in multigenerational communities, living and working alongside their children and grandchildren. They were not “in the way” or a “nuisance;” instead they served as teachers, advisers and role models – key figures that positively shaped the …

The mosquito-borne Zika Virus continues to spread across Central and South America, as well as Mexico. The biggest risk is to pregnant women, because the virus is believed to cause birth defects. But for those who aren’t pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it can still cause a mild illness with fever, rash, joint pain, …

When boarding a plane, you have the purest of intentions: You’re going to use this rare empty stretch of time to catch up on much-needed sleep. You’ll land at your destination bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to take on the world! But things aren’t ever that simple, are they? In reality, you end up doing all …

Don’t make these mistakes! \ It’s easy to get wrapped up in the simplicity and ease of cruising — you book your accommodations, meals, and transportation in one easy step. But a little bit of forethought and planning can make the experience a whole lot better. Here, a few things to you don’t want to …

Anyone can fumble their way through security and learn a few words in a foreign language. But expert travelers are the ones who can pick up a specific skillset that makes traveling easier wherever they go. Here are the 10 essential skills that will help you with domestic and foreign travel—and the best part is …

Earn your vacation black belt with these hacks that turn free items into quick solves for common travel problems. From using a bar of soap to fix a stuck zipper to repurposing a hotel-room standard as a security device, hone your road-warrior survival skills with these easy tips. We know you’ve got more clever ideas …

Success can be defined differently for everyone but the fact is some people achieve it and some people don’t. What is it that successful people do or have to find success that others don’t? There has been a lot written about the skills and habits needed to live a successful life and I think most …

Practicing good hygiene is always a good idea, but bringing every toiletry you own on a trip is impractical. While you should feel confident the cruise you’re on will have at least the basics aboard, it’s always nice to have toiletries you normally use. Keep these things in mind when gathering toiletries for a cruise: …

Traveling on its own can be, while exciting, a daunting experience. When you pair this with crippling anxiety, it can really deflate any excitement and fun you might be feeling for your upcoming trip. Anxiety feels different for people, depending on whom you ask. Remember the scene in the movie Titanic near the end, Jack …

Too many times when people travel, they only skim the surface of their destination. They may check out some sites listed in their guidebook, snap some photos of interesting buildings, and eat at a few recommended restaurants, but what about finding a deeper connection? To help you really sink your teeth into a country and …

At the end of every year, Cruise Critic’s group of a dozen editors — based on travels on cruise ships and our coverage of news, tips and trends — assesses which new and different trends we’ll see in the year ahead. Below, we share our cruise trend picks for 2016. • Cruising as a Traveler …

The best part about train travel is watching the world pass by at ground level. For snow lovers, a winter rail journey offers a bonus chance to revel in the winter landscape from the comfort of a window seat. For Winter 2016, Amtrak has identified five rail routes that promise great seasonal scenery. California Zephyr, …

The Bluesmart carry-on is a suitcase that connects wirelessly to your smartphone so that you can remotely locate it, lock it, and even weigh it. The mobile app lets you see all your data and travel history in one place. A built-in battery lets you charge your phone up to six times so that you …

I flew out of New York City during Christmas week, when the temperature was in the 70s. I landed in southern New Mexico, hours before a giant snowstorm. The governor, Susana Martinez, declared a state of emergency. My flight back to New York was canceled. Even if it hadn’t been, I was snowed in. At …

Although many people only associate cruises with warm climates, it’s becoming more and more common to take cold-weather cruises. You might be asking yourself: Why would anyone ever choose the cold over a cruise in the sun? Many choose to take cruises to colder regions for the unique sights they provide. Cruises around Alaska and …

There was a soft knock on our door about an hour after we checked into Hotel Mansart in Paris, where tensions were high the week after the Nov. 13 terror attacks. “Housekeeping.” A tall woman stood at the door and behind her was Victor Mark, the hotel’s electrician/fix-it guy from Bulgaria, who quickly checked the …

So if you’re looking for the next big thing in travel, check out TripAdvisor’s hottest U.S. destinations on the rise for 2016. • 1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee Tucked away in the peaks of eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg offers outdoor recreation year-round in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park described by a TripAdvisor reviewer as “beautiful, clean and …

River cruises are one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry, the vacation choice for nearly half a million Americans in 2015 on European rivers alone. These sleek vessels that take fewer than 200 passengers offer an ideal way to explore several countries at a relaxed pace. But are they for you? Here are …

Holiday season is here, and for most people, that means there’s a lot of traveling to be done. If weren’t a nervous flier already, everything that’s going on from the downing of the Russian Metrojet airplane to the threats against air travel services from groups like ISIS, and even regular old holiday travel stress is …

Everything has a limit. Even the biggest winter lovers have had enough of snow at one point. Carrying 20 pounds of layers of clothes, hats, gloves, and big boots can be discomforting. Suddenly warm-weather trips for the holidays sound very appealing as opposed to going to a ski resort. This winter is likely going to …

If you’ve left buying Christmas presents for that keen cruiser in your life a little bit late, here are a few last-minute ideas that might help. Apart from actually springing for a cruise, which would be lovely – and at the time of writing there are still spots available on cruises sailing from Australia over …

Children can bring untold joy to our lives and make us look at the world with fresh eyes. Even so, there’s practically no end to the horror stories of parents taking their kids on a trip and seeing their dream holiday quickly degenerate into a singular nightmare even years of therapy can’t erase. Of course, …

Travel back in time by planning a stay at a castle bed and breakfast, where your fairy tale dreams are sure to come true. The following castles offer rooms and suites for rent within ancient, fortified walls — among rolling vineyards, medieval towns and landscaped lawns. These properties, which are located in the U.S. and …

The cruise industry is making huge strides when it comes to reducing its harmful impact on the environment. In the recent past, cruises have gained a bad reputation: Many people view cruises as wasteful and emission-heavy. As the concerns about climate change grow, more and more tourists are wondering, “Are cruises safe for the environment?” …

When you’re planning your cruise, you might be unsure which excursions to book. Cruise ships usually offer plenty of fun and exciting options, but when everything looks great, it can be hard to choose. Here’s how you can make sure you’re spending your time and money on the excursions that will be best for you …

This is a wonderful time of year, filled with deliciously indulgent eating, holiday cheer and hour-long TSA lines. Yes, there is plenty to love about this festive season, but traveling during the holidays is about as fun as watching Jingle All The Way 2, staring Larry the Cable Guy. Well, luckily we’ve got your back. …

Traveling by cruise ship has many conveniences, no matter what your itinerary. You only need to unpack once, for example, and you have the added benefits of built-in entertainment, dining and family activities. There are some destinations that are particularly good to visit by ship. Sometimes it’s the sheer logistics of a land trip in …

Peace returns to Nantucket in the fall. Visit during shoulder season and there’s no wait at the best restaurants, tony hotel rooms go for a song and the pub is full of locals, not tourists. All that, plus warm autumn weather lures Chris Johns to this empty island paradise off the coast of Massachusetts. A …

Seasickness is a form of motion sickness experienced by people on ships. It happens for the same reason as any kind of motion sickness – a disagreement in the signals your body sends to your brain. Your body detects motion a number of different ways, but mainly through your eyes and your inner ear. If …

With all the crazy things you can do on a cruise ship these days — surfing, skydiving, ice skating — it’s surprising that there are still some basic things you can’t do. It’s clear why mass waterskiing behind a mega-ship is not a fuel-efficient proposition or how hang-gliding off the top deck could be dangerous, …

If there is any one thing that drives me nuts about rental companies, it’s when they charge you for something weeks after you return the car, particularly when you return it to an agent who does not note any problems before handing you the “final” tally. Here are a few steps you can take to …

Service-dog owners have an extra concern when planning their trips and vacations. It’s not just a matter of figuring out your own affairs: You also have to take your service dog’s needs into consideration. Moreover, there’s the question of dealing with security, bathroom breaks and the flight itself with your companion by your side. Many …

If you’re heading out on vacation soon, you need to make sure you’re well-prepared. Unfortunately, so much planning goes into getting ready for a trip that some things fall through the cracks. Here are five common mistakes you should avoid before traveling: 1. Posting online You’re super excited to go on your big vacation, so …

The 2015 season has barely wound down, but theme parks are already hyping what’s on the way for 2016. We’ve highlighted the top coasters that will be rolling out next year. Now, let’s take a look at everything else that’s coming to parks soon from a king-sized hairy ape to a mega-popular Harry wizard. Harry …

There are few things that can put a damper on a great vacation like sore feet. If you don’t give some care and consideration to the shoes you’re bringing along on vacation, you might find yourself longing for a better pair – or even spending some of your daily budget on buying some better footwear. …

The kids have recently gone back to school and summer temperatures are just beginning to subside. But don’t be fooled. It’s not too early to start thinking about your holiday travel plans. Wondering where to begin? Start by asking yourself these five questions so that you can set your vacation plans into motion. 1. Are …

There are bars with unique clienteles all across the U.S., but some play host to some more interesting patrons than you’ll find anywhere else: ghosts, spirits, and shades. With Halloween approaching, what better way to experience a haunting night than by being surrounded with spirits of the alcoholic and ghostly varieties? Here we’ve collected ten …

The best Christmas markets in Germany, Austria, France, Sweden and beyond, with information on opening dates and what to buy Glühwein or Glögg? Gingery Lebkuchen or torrone? Santa or St Nick? All across Europe, the season of Christmas markets is approaching. Large and small, they promise conviviality, special food, drink, music and more. Best of …

The kids have recently gone back to school and summer temperatures are just beginning to subside. But don’t be fooled. It’s not too early to start thinking about your holiday travel plans. Wondering where to begin? Start by asking yourself these five questions so that you can set your vacation plans into motion. 1. Are …

Here are some of the top off-the-radar locales for leaf-peeping, comfort food and sweater weather. • Shenandoah National Park: Skyline Drive in Virginia If you’re looking for a stellar fall foliage road trip, Skyline Drive offers breathtaking views of beautiful Virginia landscapes along twisting, tree-lined roads. And there’s no shortage of top-notch hikes and nature …

As the saying goes, there’s a first time for everything. But choosing your first cruise can be a daunting and intimidating task simply because of the number of options that there are out there. Here we look at five of our favorite destinations for first-time cruisers. 1. The Caribbean The Caribbean is, for all intents …

Whether it’s modernism, brutalism or art deco that draws your interest, these guided trips reveal the unique stories of buildings and city designs. Palm Springs Modern Tours, Palm Springs, US Architecture buff Robert Imber knows everything and everyone in Palm Springs and is a leading voice in the California Preservation Foundation too. His company’s entertaining …

For most, the depths of the ocean are shrouded in mystery. Few often venture below the surface of the deep blue sea, and even fewer have explored its far-reaching corners. Heck, according to the National Ocean Service, in all of the research and exploration scientists have accomplished up to this point, still we’ve covered less …

Hiking is the most democratic of American pastimes: Almost everyone can do it, and there’s no special equipment necessary. All you need is a pair of sturdy, comfortable shoes and a spirit of discovery. And it’s an activity that can be enjoyed nearly year-round, by young and old. Here are 10 of the best day …

Travelers often get a little bit starry-eyed when it comes to planning their dream vacations. So starry-eyed, in fact, that they forget to consider how much their trip will cost. If you start planning your get-away without a budget in mind, you may end up with a much bigger bill than you can handle. Even …

It’s okay to like cruises, we promise. Contributing editor Mark Ellwood tries to convince even the surliest of cruise haters that there’s something on the high seas for everyone. Cruises are traveling Marmite, that sticky spread my fellow Brits either love or loathe (for the record, I’m part of the fan club). Like debating sex, …

Centuries ago, the steep, densely forested Blue Mountains of Jamaica were a sanctuary for indigenous people and African slaves who’d escaped their colonial owners. The rugged landscape is still honored by the descendants of those people and will now gain widespread recognition as Jamaica’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of 24 new inscriptions worldwide. …

When budgeting for a trip, we often list the big-ticket items — airfare, hotel, lodging, car rental, attraction tickets — add them altogether and call it the final price. But the trickle of funds to other costs starts almost as soon as we start moving: gas to and from the airport, tolls, airport parking, overpriced …

Which Caribbean tourism destinations are best at social media? Social media is a big part of our jobs here at Caribbean Journal. As an exclusively digital travel brand, and the largest digital travel publication covering the Caribbean, it’s the fastest way for us to share all the Caribbean news, travel and lifestyle stories you need …

Hidden Beach, Mexico, Swim through a dark tunnel to this secret spot The Baths, British Virgin Islands – Hidden pools are nestled between majestic boulders “What an amazing place, all those huge boulders tumbled on each other forming a walk-through cave. Worth seeing.” Maho Beach, Caribbean Watch planes fly right above your head “If you …

You have two passions: food and travel, but how do these work with kids? With the same trailblazing spirit that you circumvented the globe and sampled new dishes in your former life, share these passions with your kids. Forget Disneyland, where child-friendly corn dogs and pineapple Dole Whip are around the corner from every Mickey …

1. Request a special meal when you book your flight. This is one of the simplest ways of making an international flight tolerable. And they’re free on most airlines. I swear by the “Asian vegetarian meal,” which usually means Indian food. There are also vegan, halal and gluten-free options, to name a few. To me, …

There is something romantic about train travel. It’s a change of pace from the daily grind, a way to slow down and allow yourself to experience the journey as well as anticipate the destination. Trains offer you a different perspective on the world, holding you captive to the changing landscapes as they pass by your …

New York is the most expensive city in the US but our guide to cheap and even free sightseeing, ferry trips and world-class museums, plus affordable accommodation, make it possible to visit on a budget. Take to the water Despite recent stories of hapless tourists being charged $200 a ride by alleged scammers, the Staten …

Summer activities are winding down. Kids are back in school. The unrelenting heat of summer has started to fade. Sounds like the perfect time to book a Caribbean cruise. Then you turn on the weather report only to learn that Mother Nature is sending a wallop of a storm right where you planned to sail. …

Cruise lines continuously focus on providing clean and sanitary environments aboard their ships for the health of all on board. Should the need arise, cruise lines are equipped with medical facilities for guests and crewmembers. All of CLIA’s oceangoing members must adhere to “Health Care Guidelines for Cruise Ship Medical Facilities” established by the American …

From parasites (yuck!) to malaria to the bird flu, international travelers are exposed to many serious diseases around the globe — but it’s better to be prepared than scared. Beyond popping the requisite dose of multivitamins and packing a tube of hand sanitizer before boarding a plane, travelers must receive the travel immunizations that are …

If you need help planning the perfect beach vacation this summer, Dr. Beach has the spot for you. Stephen Leathermen, aka Dr. Beach, has rounded up his favorite U.S. beaches for 2015—with some tried and true sandy locales and a few soon-to-be favorite family finds. Leatherman, professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research …

AirGrub is an app that lets you order food before you’ve even landed at the airport. A new app called AirGrub could make eating at an airport much, much easier. The app lets iPhone and Android users browse menus and order food before they have even arrived in the terminal. That means if you’re hungry …

It never fails. Within hours of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane forecast for the year, emails start arriving in my inbox faster than most of the forecasted hurricanes. Almost all of them ask the same two questions: (1) Should I book a cruise during this period? (2) I am booked for this period…will …

Sometimes gritty, always hilly, Steel City’s charms are often hidden below the surface. While the revitalization of downtown Pittsburgh has earned lots of attention, lately much of the action is found farther out, in once-overlooked neighborhoods like Lawrenceville and East Liberty. Here, old-school stalwarts mingle with artsy young people, helping to create a city that …

The most common crimes against tourists are pickpocketing and snatch/run crimes. These are also the most avoidable crimes for you as a traveler. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk and if you still become a victim, reduce your losses. Fake wallets, clothing designed to prevent theft, and some …

In some ways the Caribbean is one huge water park, with azure seas, waterfall hikes, river rafting and surfing. Sometimes, though, a vacationer is looking for that extra level of water-based adrenaline. That’s where water parks come in, with their free-fall slides delivering unexpected twists and turns. While water parks are constantly trying to outdo …

It is a truth universally acknowledged that packing is a pain. No matter how much we travel, we agonize over what to bring and how best to maximize space in our luggage. Cruise packing is especially frustrating because even if we want to pack light, we end up needing 12 different outfits each day … …

Every season has its pleasures, but let’s face it: Summer is the ultimate time to hit the road in search of vacation bliss. So this year, make the most of your summer vacation. These red-hot worldwide destinations offer plenty of reasons to travel — think big birthday bashes, global celebrations, incredible new access and once-in-a-lifetime …

We traditionally send off a new cruise ship by smashing a bottle of champagne against its bow. So why is there no similar tradition to celebrate the launch of a first-time cruise ship passenger? How great would it be if people going on their first cruises received a similar kind of ceremonial sendoff? Granted, smashing …

Each July, Azamara Club Cruises joins with golf tour company PerryGolf for a cruise and golf package that includes play at top courses in Scotland and Ireland and attendance at the British Open. The 2016 sailing is July 11 to 22, from Dublin to Southampton, on the Azamara Quest. GolfAhoy Pack your clubs or just …

It’s never been easier to stay fit and healthy on a cruise. More choices — on board and off — allow passengers to stay in shape while enjoying all the experiences and delicious food a cruise vacation has to offer. Those massive midnight buffets are ancient history, and fitness facilities are so popular and well …

It’s one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and it’s one of the most significant economic contributors to Caribbean tourism: weddings. The Caribbean is the most romantic place in the world, and it’s the dream location for a destination wedding. But there are so many questions to answer when you’re planning one of these: …

They’re described as “giga,” “free-fly” and “wing” coasters, and they boast of being the “tallest,” “fastest,” you name it. All you really need to know is that more and more theme parks in the United States are trying to lure you in by creating rides that try to do what no other ride can. There …

St Paul’s Cathedral, City Sir Christopher Wren’s 300-year-old masterpiece never fails, with its colossal nave and crypt, glittering Victorian mosaics and mighty dome. Even the most resistant child will love the trek up to the Golden Gallery, 528 steps, 280ft – even in his 80s Wren was hauled up here in a bucket. The London …

Who is a green person in the Caribbean? It’s someone who is doing his or her part to help the environment — from conservation to renewable energy. And for Earth Day 2015, we decided to put together a list of the Caribbean’s 12 “greenest people,” those who are helping to make a big difference in …

Frequent cruisers and travel agents mean well when they give you advice about when, where, and how to cruise. Everybody and their Uncle Larry has an opinion about cabin choices, itineraries, and ship choice. But how much of that advice do you need to follow and what can you take with a grain of salt? …

“For those looking to save, Europe is a great option,” says Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor, a travel booking site. Booking.com has found that Americans may even pay less for accommodations in Europe than one in the USA. For instance, a 14-day stay in Barcelona can cost as much as a seven-day stay …

Let’s start off with the official line and say “YES”. All travelers should have all of their routine vaccines up to date before traveling. That is really not an answer because in coordination with your doctor, you should have your routine vaccinations up to date even if you are not traveling. The Centers for Disease …

Explore the Civil War battlefields Events in the US marking the 150th anniversary of key chapters in the American Civil War (1861–65) reach their climax this year. April 14, 1865, for example, was the date on which Abraham Lincoln was assassinated (visit nps.gov and civilwar.org for details of events). Group tours with Leger visit Appomattox …

Expensive Jewelry This should be common sense, still many people wear expensive jewelry while on vacation. Many people let there guard down while on vacation and will even take personal safety risk they would not consider doing at home. At home, you may know the more dangerous portions of your town. That may not be …

In A world of family-friendly ships some people prefer cruising with adult company and pursuits. Taking time to enjoy things such as fine dining and good wine at meals without someone else’s children screaming, relaxing by the pool without being bombed by a run-past grommet, and listening to lecturers rather than posing for photos with …

The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy is hitching a ride with Disney Cruise Line. Disney Dream is turning 5 this year, and that means going into dry dock for some upgrades. The line on Tuesday announced that areas dedicated to “Star Wars” as well as Disney Infinity will find new homes as part …

Not everyone enjoys being dragged around the shops on holiday. But flea markets – with their quirky stalls, colourful wares, and potential for hidden treasures – can prove entertaining attractions in their own right. Here we’ve rounded up ten of the world’s best. From Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market in New York, where a slight trek …

When you make your reservation for your dream cruise, the cruise line will refer you to the fine print on the last few pages of their brochure. Among all the other key contractual items will be a requirement to obtain the necessary travel documents for your trip. A few weeks before your cruise you will …

For most Americans carrying “plastic” is a common practice. Credit cards, Debt cards and ATM cards are found in most adult’s wallets. As the electronic age grows a larger number of Americans are using the internet and debit cards for their banking requirements. Many of the leading banks are even offering “checkless” checking accounts. Instead …

While the sun, surf and sand is a vacation bonanza, savvy travelers these days are venturing beyond that tropical trilogy in search of what makes an island a true original. Whether meandering around a craft market that doubles as a church, exploring a historic plantation, sucking on a freshly picked sugar cane stalk or soaking …

If you’ve been thinking about sallying forth with a companion, consider a train trip to discover Wes-Anderson-film-levels of nostalgia and beauty. From the Napa Valley to Maine, riding the rails has never been so romantic. Pullman Rail Journeys (Chicago-New Orleans) While in Chicago, ask about the Master Bedroom suite in the Pontchartrain Club car, and …

Trying to earn your Caribbean beach bum credentials? You can’t consider yourself a coastal connoisseur until you’ve planted your posterior on (at least) one of these marquee strands. Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica So what if its not actually seven miles long? The relaxed, reggae-fueled vibe and the colorful cast of characters that parades along …

The flutter of a fan and a the flicker of a mauve finger. The gaping of a tubular chasm and the wiggle of a beady eye. These aren’t the actions of aliens, but the movements of coral, some of the most fascinating living organisms on the planet. These marine invertebrates live in colonies made up …

These places of worship – whether still in use or not – are a reminder of the will, effort – and often significant financial resources – put into the construction of churches and chapels. Whether seen as the culmination of a pilgrimage or as a more casual visit, these religious buildings are some of the …

Recognizing that some people need to stay connected for work, and that others will have trouble withdrawing from constant connectivity at home (plus the fact that social networking is good for the cruise business), cruise companies including Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean have invested millions to make shipboard Internet access faster and cheaper. A cruise …

The three Dominican beaches were selected from a list of the Caribbean’s top 25 beaches. “Playa Bavaro” in Punta Cana, in the country’s easternmost region, “Playa Bonita” in Samana, on the northeast region, and “Playa Sosua,” on the north coast were selected by TripAdvisor, the popular travel site, which included the beaches in its Travellers’ …

A cruise can be an educational experience for children, both in terms of exploring new destinations and learning stuff on the ship. On shore, parents can immerse youngsters in local culture, wildlife and geographical wonders. Shipboard, kids may pick up a few nautical words (such port and starboard), try new kinds of food and socialize …

Fancy seeing wildlife in the great outdoors? Heritage and culture? A glorious beach? Check out the USA’s state parks (americasstateparks.org). They may not be as famous as the national parks, but crowds are fewer and entry fees are cheaper. Even better, there are thousands from which to choose. Here are 10 state parks worth a …

The Kenai, Alaska, US If sports fishing, canoeing and kayaking sound like the ingredients for a dream holiday there is no better place than the lush, rugged landscapes of the Kenai River. It runs 82 miles (132 km) westward from the Kenai Mountains, through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Skilak Lake, to the Pacific …

If you get sick at sea, here’s what you can expect From aqua parks to Michelin star chefs, cruise lines aren’t shy about advertising their high-end amenities. But what the ads don’t reveal is that the medical facilities on board are likely to be far less grand. “People assume that they will have access to …

Cruise lines offer shore excursions that get you easily to the top sights and activities at each port of call. The idea is making the most of your time – even if your goal is just to sit under an umbrella at the beach, this is a hassle-free way to do it. On the other …

(CNN)While Disneyland has long been known as the “happiest place on Earth,” Disney’s cruise ships sound like they’re also pretty cheerful spots to vacation. At least that’s what the 2015 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards, announced Monday, are indicating. Disney Cruise Line dominated this year’s awards, winning in 12 categories. Disney Cruise Line won the …

From the time you embark, all those extra budget-breaking costs kick in. But there are ways to keep your spending down. You’ve bagged your bargain cruise and worked out your budget – but it’s very easy to get carried away and overspend once you’re on the ship. Here are 10 tips, gathered from cruising friends …

It’s the fear of many would-be cruisers: “What if I get seasick?” The prospect of spending an entire vacation sick in your cabin’s bathroom imitating a human bilge pump has kept many people from trying out a cruise. That’s too bad because these days, motion sickness is not as big a problem as you may …

On even the most cursory of analyses, a volcano seems like a remarkably inadvisable subject for tourist interest. Why would anybody want to venture too close to a bad-tempered entity that has the ability to disgorge molten rock and asphyxiating ash? The answer, of course, is that the planet’s great geological vents are also usually …

Star Wars fans, your ship has come in. Literally. Disney announced February 11th that Star Wars characters will appear on its cruise ships for the first time in 2016 as part of eight special Star Wars-themed Caribbean sailings. Taking place on the 2,500-passenger Disney Fantasy, the seven-night Star Wars Day at Sea voyages will feature …

As much as you would like to bring along a good portion of your closet for your cruise so that your whole wardrobe is at your disposal, you are simply not going to have that kind of room to pack or store your clothes in a cruise ship room. To get the most of the …

The whole point of the Florida beach vacation is to relax. During peak season, the most popular beach towns attract tens of thousands of sun seekers, all looking to relax, which can make the atmosphere decidedly unrelaxing. Fortunately Florida has about 1,350 miles of coastline — east, west, south and north — much of it …

In some senses, a waterfall is the planet at its most rudimentary. Even the grandest of cascades is, after all, a simple case of physics – the raw effect of gravity on one of the most intrinsic elements of life in our world, no more remarkable than a summer raindrop, the first splatters of drizzle …

One of the world’s most dazzling natural phenomenons, few vistas can top the Northern Lights, officially known as the Aurora Borealis (signifying the meeting of Aurora, Roman goddess of the dawn, and Borealis, the Greek North Wind). Created by solar winds interacting with charged particles in the earth’s magnetic field, the Lights appear as otherworldly …

The Norovirus is a highly contagious disease that is spread through contact. As outbreaks of disease on cruise ships constantly hit headlines around the world, there are some definite facts that you need to know before you go on a cruise so that you are informed and protected. There is also some hype surrounding the …

If you’re traveling to Cancun or Cozumel after February 1, 2015, you will enjoy an extra hour of daylight in the evening! The Mexican state of Quintana Roo, which includes Cancun and Cozumel, is planning to change to Eastern Standard Time Zone. The state will set its clocks ahead one hour at 3:00 a.m. This …

Many visitors come to Argentina without realizing how vast the country is. It’s the eighth largest in the world by land mass, with about 41 million people — most of them concentrated in the capital, Buenos Aires, and the surrounding suburbs. If you’re short on time or you simply want to linger in one place, …

Pacific Crest Trail, USA The Pacific Crest Trail runs through Crater Lake National Park, in Oregon, which contains 33 miles (53km) of paths and is home to the deepest lake in the US. Writing about the best walks around the trail, Tim Jepson says that day treks in the park are possible from Route 62, …

By the Caribbean Journal staff Following this month’s historic thawing of relations between Cuba and the United States, the US government has announced a series of diplomatic and economic changes. Those changes include major shifts to the regulations governing travel to Cuba, although it does not mean full, unencumbered travel to the Caribbean island. So …

1. Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes and two pairs of pants, and wear the heavier items on the plane. 2. Don’t pack more than a week’s worth of clothes. For longer trips, plan to do laundry along the way. 3. Pack only garments that can be color-coordinated with everything else in your travel …

What’s worse: sitting in a middle seat on a long flight or having a hole drilled in your head? More than half of respondents to a recent survey would rather go to the dentist than tell a seatmate, “Excuse me; I need to go to the bathroom.” The survey, commissioned by 3M and run by …

A comprehensive guide to jet lag, prevention tips and jet lag remedies. Jet lag is a physical reaction to a rapid change in time zones. It affects most travelers, including seasoned fliers like flight attendants and pilots. Common symptoms include disorientation, irritability, fatigue, swollen limbs and eyes, headaches, cold-like symptoms, and irregular bowels. It doesn’t …

Don’t: Tight clothing. Do: Natural, breathable fabrics. Tight clothes can restrict blood flow in the already-confining space of an airplane seat. Is the reward of showing off your fantastically toned thighs worth the risk of deep vein thrombosis? Ditch the skinny jeans and don loose-fitting natural fiber garments (clothes made from cotton or linen are …

Many frequent and hardcore travelers are extremely busy people. One type of traveler crams business and pleasure trips into single junkets. Another type corrals an entire family through an itinerary that would kill a hardy donkey, let alone an exhausted working parent. Another type micromanages their trip down to the minute such that they’re setting …

Independent Traveler.com –written by Marsea Nelson Posted: 19 December 2014 The amount of variety South Africa packs within its borders is nothing short of astounding. From national parks and reserves chock-full of wildlife to beaches overlooking turquoise waters and countryside with seemingly endless rolling hills, South Africa enables visitors to have vastly different adventures all …

You arrive as prince and princess and leave as a king and queen.  Caribbean all-inclusive resorts practically invented destination weddings, and most certainly have perfected them. And having your ceremony and celebration at an all-inclusive property can eliminate so many things to think about both for you and for your guests. There is no place …

It takes more than just a playground and a children’s menu to guarantee a good time at a family all-inclusive. Here are the Caribbean resorts where we’d vacay with our own kin – and you should, too. Beaches, Turks and Caicos This trio of classic family all-incs (in Negril and Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and on …

With meals, entertainment and accommodations wrapped into one reasonable rate, cruising offers a convenient and affordable vacation option. Many cruises today offer stimulating onboard enrichment programs, unique culinary experiences and immersive shore excursions (think: ziplining through a Costa Rican rain forest or whale-watching in Maui, Hawaii), luring travelers of all ages and interests. Best of …

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium London’s first cat café also opened in Shoreditch earlier this year where Londoners can enjoy coffee with furry friends. Co-owner Anna Kogan said: “The idea is that you can come and have a peaceful lunch or high tea and be surrounded by cats. If you’re lucky they will fall asleep on …

It doesn’t take luck or magic to have a fantastic time in Ireland. Whether it’s the plethora of tasty brews, the beauty of the countryside or something else entirely, the Irish are famous for their craic (pronounced crack), which essentially means entertainment, enjoyable conversation and good company all rolled up into one. So it’s unsurprising …

Hawaii is one of the most isolated land areas in the world, and many animal and plant species can only be found in the Aloha State. The first Polynesian settlers, who came to Hawaii around 500 A.D., brought dogs, pigs, horses, sheep and goats with them, allowing natural defenses like thorns, camouflage and poison to …

Mardi Gras is the ultimate party in America, but it’s not just Fat Tuesday, the last day before Lent. Mardi Gras is a celebration that spans more than 10 days with extravagant parades—as many as 12 in one day!—outrageous parties, and voracious behavior. To celebrate Mardi Gras in the mecca New Orleans, you need to …

Vineyards are beautiful – no doubt about it. But some wineries, even state-wide tasting rooms, are located right in the city, so you can sip and savor minus the long drive home. Here are some of our favorites: Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco, CA Sip Sonoma Russian River Valley pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon …

Iceland – a country synonymous with beauty, culture, nature and delicious cuisine. Most people who visit Iceland are adamant they will return as soon as possible, such is the allure of this stunning Nordic land. The people are extremely friendly and welcoming – probably because Iceland cares for its citizens, providing excellent healthcare, schools and …

Under the FAA rule going into effect Wednesday, October 22, 2014, air travelers from the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea must enter the United States through one of five airports doing special screenings and fever checks for Ebola. The five approved airports are Chicago O’Hare, Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, John F …

1. London – Why? “There can be few more cosmopolitan cities on earth, that’s why. People pour in from across the world to visit, work or live. Londoners are used to hoardings marking the progress of colossal infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and the revitalisation of King’s Cross-St Pancras, and new skyscrapers, even entire new …

Graycliff, Bahamas – With its period furniture and plantation-era styling, Nassau’s premiere boutique hotel recalls the languorous pace of a bygone time, when there were ample hours in the day to linger over a bottle from its cellar, the third-largest in the western hemisphere. Round Hill, Jamaica – As much a boutique resort as a …

7. Panoramic View – Gatlinburg, Tennessee We arrived at the cabin just in time for sunset. One of the main reasons I chose this particular cabin was the view and it did not disappoint. We adored sitting in the rocking chairs or porch swing drinking coffee in the morning, eating at the little table, or lounging …

Many people don’t realize that the rivers and canals of Europe are open for travel. As many as 20,000 total miles of inland waterways let travelers absorb European culture at a relaxed, leisurely and up-close pace. The waterways of The Czech Republic, Austria, France, Germany, England, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, Russia, Portugal are open …

From The Caribbean Journal and Battlefield Travel   Secret Bay — Dominica This boutique resort is perched high on a cliffside at the northern edge of Dominica. Even by the standards of remote Dominica, it feels a world away from everything. Luxurious, romantic and enchanting, it’s simply the perfect place for a honeymoon escape.   Petit …

Where can you vacation, strolling through Central Park, eating in a European restaurant, trying a zip line, taking a SCUBA lesson, surfing and ice skating all in one day? You can do all of that and much more on Royal Caribbean’s mega-ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. Given the privilege of …

“Celebrate the Magic,” the Cinderella Castle projection show “Before the Wishes!” fireworks is not to be missed. There is now free WiFi available in all parks, so post those special photos to Facebook or Tweet about your adventures. Unless you do it in the first 30 minutes of the park opening, do not do stand-by; use …

When planning a vacation in Maui, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what activities to choose from. With so many adventurous offerings, how do you know which is the best hike for you on Maui? Take the stress out of your vacation planning, and check out Pride of Maui’s Top 10 Hikes in Maui …

The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book.  The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air. We began production of the U.S. Passport …

Although each airline has its own policies and regulations (and we recommend checking with your own airline), some general recommendations and policies: Carry On Luggage: maximum dimensions 9 in x 14 in x 22 in, including handles and wheels One Personal Item: Examples are a shoulder bag, purse, back pack, laptop bag, etc. 9 in …

Many non-U.S. citizens need a visa to enter the United States to visit, work, and live. The same applies for travel to other countries. For a complete list of the countries you may visit with a U.S. passport, but not a visa, visit the website below: www.doyouneedavisa.com/passport/unitedstates

Why it Pays to Book with a Travel Agent Booking a trip often proves to be an extremely stressful, grueling undertaking. You can spend hours online searching for deals on flights and hotels, bouncing from one website to another in pursuit of the perfect price. To avoid the hassle, some consumers are turning to travel …

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