Everyone loves to gripe about air travel. And I should know. As the creator of a website devoted to airlines and airfare hunting, I’ve read every type of complaint imaginable. But what about hotel rooms? Here are a few simple fixes that would go far to make me, and other guests, happier.
TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands — It was like something out of an action movie.
First cruise line to have a children’s playroom, lounge for women, gymnasium, ship’s newspaper and hot and cold water in every cabin. First to offer a world cruise, introduce refrigeration at sea, launch a ship lit by electricity, provide private facilities in every passenger cabin, send an SOS signal, debut a health spa. Cunard.
There are family vacations. And, then there are epic adventures that may qualify as the experience of a lifetime. Here are five to consider. 1. PLAN A FAMILY SAFARI Visit northern Tanzania’s Serengeti for a wildlife viewing and cultural extravaganza.
It seems fitting to quote lyrics from Leonard Bernstein’s 1944 Broadway musical “On The Town,” considering that this year is the centenary of his blessed birth: particularly so, since I just spent four days in New York. So here it goes: “New York, New York, a helluva town, The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down.
The invitation read: The Master and Wardens of the Worshipful Company of Solicitors of the City of London request the pleasure of the company of … And there was my name in perfect, rectilinear calligraphy. I was being invited to a livery dinner. A livery company is a form of association descended from medieval trade and crafts guilds.
Dean Klinkenberg stopped counting the miles he’s cruised on the Great River Road when he hit 120,000. “I wore out one car, and I’m working on wearing out another,” said the author of the recently released “Road Tripping Along the Great River Road.
CLEVELAND — Above, the ceiling was done up in silver, beige and blue like frosting on a wedding cake. Below, at the lip of the stage, a tall man in a black suit and white bow tie leaned forward with a tip. “This is going to be something,” said Mark Jackobs, one of the Cleveland Orchestra’s viola players. “This is a freight train.
I wanted to find wild Maui, so naturally, I piled my family into a rental car for a five-hour drive on a narrow road with single-lane bridges and curves so sharp that I sometimes lost sight of the pavement — and oncoming cars. Horns and brakes get a workout on this roadway. Knuckles turn white.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — It was love at first sight. As one all too accustomed to America’s obsession with a standardized urban design — every other block decorated with a Rite Aid, Panera, Starbucks and McDonald’s — Portsmouth came as a breath … no, make that a gust of fresh air.
Meet Inspector 63. Her job: evaluating hotels for AAA. Her expertise: extensive. Her gift to you: what she looks for in a hotel that can enhance your stay — or give you the willies. Those diamonds you see in AAA reviews are the result of what she and many other inspectors do.
In a crowded corner of Carnival Horizon’s pool deck, I ate my first lunch of the day at BlueIguana Cantina’s burrito bar. My made-to-order burrito contained lime-cilantro rice, black beans, charred corn, grilled chicken and a medium-spicy pico de gallo — no refried beans, thank you very much.
INUYAMA, Japan — This nation may have more theme parks per capita than any other country. Besides Disneyland, Legoland and Universal Studios, there are smaller parks featuring a miniature Spain, a miniature Holland and celebrations of Pokemon and Thomas the Tank Engine. Then there’s Meiji-mura in central Japan, northeast of Nagoya.
Watch out France, here comes China. According to a new report from Euromonitor International titled Megatrends Shaping the Future of Travel, by 2030, China will overtake France as the world’s No. 1 destination.
MAGOME, Japan — For two centuries the Nakasendo Way was a major pedestrian route that connected a string of villages providing lodging and sustenance for the shoguns, retainers and daimyo, or feudal lords, traveling between Tokyo and Kyoto.
When former Chicago chef Sara Bradley heard
“What I didn’t expect was to feel so completely in the moment,” Laura said. My friend and I were walking along a forest path and had stopped to photograph lichens on a fallen branch. Behind us, the Cross River burbled toward Lake Superior. The sun broke through clouds. We’d just spent nearly an hour on a rocky beach watching salmon spawn and gulls fly.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — I had been looking forward to this for a long time — a road trip in Rhode Island with two friends to see New England fall foliage at its best. The only problem was that while my friends and I were there, the foliage was a no-show.
I am wandering inside the Pizitz Food Hall, past grand pillars, under a soaring ceiling, trying to decide what to have for lunch. In the center of the sleek space, a colorful tower of bottles rises behind a marble bar, where at midday, small groups of people are enjoying cocktails.
Given the vagaries of winter weather, the best ski plan may involve a mountain destination with diversity. That was the thinking that led our family to Jackson, aka Jackson Hole, last winter.
Looking to rent a tree house with a slide-down pole and space for nine? A tent site on a private horse farm? A riverfront spot to park your RV near a half-dozen natural springs? You can find all these — plus 300 other campsites — in Florida thanks to Hipcamp, a website that has just launched in the Sunshine State.
KILMAINE, Ireland — Ireland is a proudly haunted island, its landscape defined by ancient cairns and standing stones, by ruined abbeys, castles and cottages.
“Ever since I was a kid, I was dead set on getting into West Point. I was in the class of 2005. We are considered to be the class of 9/11 because 9/11 happened our freshman year. It got very real when classmates started dying. Every once in a while, they’d make an announcement at lunch that we lost another classmate in combat.
CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. — It was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. After what seemed like hours waiting patiently for something to happen, the seismic shaking of the earth signaled the main show was about to begin. Riders on horseback fanned out across the top of the hill, while below in the valley the rest of us in rack trucks waited for our cue.
Anthony Bourdain, the late, great food and travel writer and celebrity chef host of the CNN series “Parts Unknown,” may have done more than anyone else to awaken America to the savory delights and unique cultural significance of Cajun food.
As the birthplace of the Round Peak sound prized by aspiring artists from around the world, Yadkin Valley has been on the travel radar of old-time music lovers for quite some time.
HILO, Hawaii — If you arrive here on a moonless night, you can hear the water before you can see it rushing to seek its lowest point, as water always does. At first, it sounds like a hose that’s been left on, but as you try to track down the source, it begins to sound like a horrendous water main break.
It started out innocently enough. After a long stretch without vacation, I flew to Chicago on a Wednesday, full of energy and purpose. I would see as many friends as I could, take a trip to Michigan and back (no matter that it was over 200 miles from the city), and catch a 6 a.m.
There’s a new California State Park trail at Lake Tahoe, but for this one you’ll have to put away your hiking boots and grab a dive mask to explore it. California’s first maritime heritage underwater trail showcases historic recreational boats and barges that have sunk to the bottom of Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe. Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail opened Oct. 1.
Kids and their parents know it’s cool to be smart. Here are five places that will supercharge your family’s brainpower. 1. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Encouraging curiosity and celebrating questions, this is the place to see a German submarine, understand how tornados and avalanches happen and discover the process behind Pixar’s popular films and characters.
When I was a child growing up in a small, rural town in Georgia, I was an addict of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan of the Apes” series of books in that they opened the door to my love affair with Africa. Even as young as I was, my imagination often carried me away to Africa, to the jungles and creatures of Tarzan’s wild kingdom.
YEREVAN, Armenia — My son, Marc, and I had tromped through shin-deep snow for several hours, and by the time we reached the blustery top of the peak, we couldn’t see more than 25 feet because of a whiteout. Somewhere in front of us was a deep crater and the surrounding peaks of a volcanic rim we had hoped to reach.
In the shadow of the ruined spire of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a platoon of protesters lifted banners and voices in outrage. Their grievances were with the policies of Recep Erdogan, the president of Turkey, who would be arriving in Berlin the next day for a state visit.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) protects and preserves significant and inspirational places around the world. Locations carrying the important designation of World Heritage site provide an impressive history lesson as well as a virtual tour of many of the world’s most meaningful places. Here are five you and your family might like to visit: 1.
I’ve either been pixie dusted or turned into Barney Rubble. Everywhere I look, towering rock “fairy chimneys” dot Turkey’s fantastical wonderland of Cappadocia.
Where? That question lingered on the lips of Americans in October 1983 when news broke that President Ronald Reagan had sent U.S. troops to invade this tiny Caribbean nation. Grenada, population 110,000, didn’t register on the radar of many folks, and certainly not as enemy territory. By Christmas, the conflict had ended and peace was restored.
MEXICO CITY — Like a lot of Californians, I’ve made dozens of trips to Mexico over the decades — beach resorts in Baja, Maya ruins in the Yucatan, colonial towns in the interior. Yet I’d never made time to explore the capital’s top museums and landmarks, even though their global popularity has boomed in recent years.
The lakes of Northern Italy, nestled near the foothills of the Alps, are magical, especially, I think, on one’s first visit. It was mine — a birthday celebration that I chose to spend with a dozen strangers from the United States, Canada and Brazil.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — This was the heart of Saturday night, and honky-tonk singer-songwriter Whitey Morgan had Ryman Auditorium in an uproar. Wearing a determined scowl and a long beard, Morgan prowled the stage as if looking for a fight. Now and again he’d let his band, the 78’s, carry the tune while he paused to pull on a bottle of whiskey.
Leavenworth is a trip. Nestled against the far side of the Cascade mountains just a few hours east of Seattle, this little town does an impression of a Bavarian village with all its might. The beer flows freely and the music is oompah; buildings are decorated with wooden beams, family crests and gingerbread trim (or their trompe l’oeil versions).
CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio — There was nothing obviously out of the ordinary about the middle-aged man sitting near me in the hotel breakfast area, except for the beverages he chose to supplement his morning coffee: a flight of beers.
Disney Cruise Line is putting the Big Easy on its 2020 plate, sailing for the first time from New Orleans with the ship that best fits the theme: Disney Wonder. Home to relatively new Tiana’s Place restaurant on board that features its own tastes and sounds inspired by the film “The Princess and the Frog,” the ship will sail six times from Feb. 7-March 6.
I had repeated it over and over again as the weekend approached: “We’re going on an adventure!” “We’re going on an adventure!” My boyfriend, some friends and I were going to Victoria, British Columbia, for a few days in February. It would be their first time taking the Victoria Clipper, a high-speed catamaran; it was my second, and I had sold it to them hard.
Airline passengers around the world are looking to new technology to give them more control and information when traveling, while also making the entire experience more efficient. These insights were revealed as part of the 2018 Global Passenger Survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association, or IATA. The study is based on 10,408 responses from 145 countries.
You don’t go to the most isolated islands in the San Juans for the amenities. You go for the quiet, for pitch-black nights with the sound of waves hitting the beach. You go for the rare opportunity to disconnect from your modern, plugged-in life.
Walt Disney World is changing its ticket structure by moving to date-based pricing that reflects the expected demand on specific days. It’s also introducing a new platform on which to make those purchases. The changes and additions, including the price to enter the parks, kick in Oct. 16. At that time, a one-day, one-park ticket price will become between $109 and $129.
Always eager to create memorable experiences, some of Europe’s best hotels are introducing their guests to some of Europe’s most celebrated motor vehicles. I first got an inkling of this trend upon exiting the Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel in Monte Carlo one morning this past summer.
PADUCAH, Ky. — Here’s an intriguing travel question – when you think of a charming, culturally significant, Southern river city, what springs to mind? All the usual suspects, of course: New Orleans. Memphis. Charleston. Savannah. One that probably isn’t on your list, but just might be the quintessential Southern river town is Paducah.
EUGENE, Ore. — You can visit the Willamette Valley in Oregon just about any fall to sample wines, beers and spirits, hike the buttes, float in a river or cycle alongside one. But this August, there was a baby boomer bonus: the chance to see “National Lampoon’s Animal House” slip awkwardly into middle age.
It was only after my son turned his back to the water and jumped off the 5-meter platform, his arms reaching into space, his legs flying up and over in an inversion that rang alarm bells deep in my Dad brain, that I realized he was attempting a backflip from high above the Muggelsee, Berlin’s largest lake.
Floating on the waves and hiking through the jungle are must-do activities on Kauai. But to better commune with the westernmost of the well-populated Hawaiian Islands, I also wanted to taste the local bounty. Fortunately, there are great ways to savor what makes Kauai unique without breaking the bank at gourmet restaurants.
Crossing the bumpy prairies in covered wagons would have been so much nicer for the pioneers if those prairie schooners had air conditioning. Maybe even a Keurig coffeemaker. Alas, they did not. But this is 2018, and covered wagons can be tricked out with all manner of modern-day amenities. Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging in Groveland, Calif., has done it.
HONIARA, Solomon Islands — If it weren’t for the potholes, cavernous pits slowing us down on the road to Honiara, in the Solomon Islands, I might have missed the sign on the tree, “Dolphin View Cottage.” But Andrew, our guide, knew the road by heart.
FORT WORTH, Texas — Visitors to the newly renovated American Airlines’ C.R. Smith Museum can sit at the controls of an MD-80 cockpit. In a simulated operations center, they can make judgment calls about whether to send a virtual aircraft through bad weather.
Throughout the year, families can uncover exotic and culturally diverse experiences without leaving the United States. Here are five ideas to consider: 1. Lourdes, France, in Chimayo, N.M. Pilgrims visit this “Lourdes of America” in search of physical and spiritual healing.
A year after Hurricane Irma, hotels and resorts in the Florida Keys are gearing up for the fall and winter tourism season. Hawks Cay Resort reopened completely Aug. 30 after $50 million in renovations. Cheeca Lodge reopened in March. But Little Palm Island Resort will be at work restoring the luxury property for another year.
Paddling across White Iron Lake, I looked up at the sky, cloudless and blue. Then I glided around a bend and spotted them: a pair of slim maple trees, rising from the rocky shoreline, burst into a brilliant orange. It was still early. Mid-September. In this northern edge of Minnesota, just outside Ely, most of the trees still shimmered green.
A little taste of Spain will be coming to Miami when Norwegian Encore arrives to Florida in 2019. Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo will be the designer for the hull artwork for the line’s fourth and final Breakaway-Plus class ship. The colorful and abstract design is inspired by Arranz-Bravo’s hometown of Barcelona.
Juggling appointments, project deadlines and video conferencing from the road with a constant ticking clock on battery power is problematic to say the least. Factor in a GPS misfire, a flat tire or even an unexpectedly long meeting, and the situation is amplified significantly.
Travel to Cuba can be confusing, especially in light of U.S. travel restrictions and advisories that often make people think twice about visiting the island. But a new U.S. travel advisory should at least help alleviate some concerns about safety.
When traveling on Amtrak, pack well, warns Wyatt Johnston of Rochester, Minn. “Bring snacks, bring extra batteries, bring one of those portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices you can buy at Walmart. Just be an adult: Be prepared.” That is wisdom born of experience — a very bad experience.
Norwegian Cruise Line is set to finish up its first summer season of sailings from Port Canaveral, Fla., on board the Norwegian Sun, but will be back with more in 2019. The ship’s first season came as it debuted from a dry-dock overhaul, sailing on four-night voyages with overnight stops in Havana, as well as Key West, and three-night itineraries to the Bahamas.
GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND — I knew I was going to like Deserene Miller, also known as Miss D or Lady D — when she picked me up at the Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town. A tiny bundle of energy with an ever-present fedora perched jauntily on her head, Miss D had been assigned as my driver/guide for the four days I was on the island.
Passengers are cruising Alaska’s icy coast in record numbers. Cruise ships have been making more waves in the rivers of Europe. Even the outer Great Lakes are drawing more and more luxury vessels. With the cruising industry booming across the globe, officials in Duluth, Minn., are betting that someday soon their ships will come in, too.
The federal government punished Allegiant Air this week for failing to provide passengers comfortable cabin temperatures on 10 delayed flights, including a summer 2017 flight out of Dayton. The U.S. Department of Transportation fined the low-fare airline $250,000 and ordered it to cease and desist from future similar violations.
CHICAGO — “Dancing Aloud,” a sign said. On stage, guitarist Corey Dennison, 43, white and well tattooed, had just opened an instrumental conversation with a grandfatherly figure in a White Sox cap. “This is my old man, Mr. Carl Weathersby,” Dennison told the crowd. “He taught me everything I know about the blues.
Marge Padgitt had always loved Ginger Rogers. “I was a fan of Ginger Rogers, as was my mother,” said Padgitt, a longtime resident of Independence, Mo. “She got me interested in old-time movies and, of course, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing. There was nothing like the two of them. They were the best.
SEATTLE — Seeing Seattle’s Chinatown through the lens of the martial artist reveals the community’s rich living history. Don Wong knew Bruce Lee. As young men, they worked at Ruby Chow’s restaurant together.
The fresh air and vibrant colors of the season inspire families to harvest fall travel plans. Here are five ideas to consider: 1. Crested Butte-to-Aspen Hike. Colorado Considered one of the most scenic day hikes in the country, this trek from one iconic mountain town to another offers stunning vistas and the chance to see the famous aspen groves in all their glory.
Long before Harry Potter cast a collective spell with his wizardly ways, a chubby Midwest kid who dabbled in magic was fending off evil in the fictional town of New Zebedee, Mich. His name is Lewis Barnavelt, the lovably nerdy protagonist in a series of gothic mysteries that debuted in 1973 with the children’s book “The House With a Clock in Its Walls.
Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport officials plan to seek about $1 million in state money for a new taxiway and other infrastructure work to improve safety. The airport in Miami Twp. has received federal approval for a plan that includes extending the runway 500 feet. But that project is a relatively new proposal and could take years, according to airport officials.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — When I started out on my trail ride on a scorching day with temps well into the 90s, I didn’t know I would be riding from Wyoming to Colorado. What I did know — according to the trail leader — was that along the way we could possibly see wildlife that might make the horses skittish enough to spook.
During the final holiday weekend of the summer, a record 16.5 million people are expected to fly on U.S. airlines, a 3.5 percent increase over the Labor Day weekend in 2017, according to Airlines for America, the trade group for the nation’s air carriers. The country’s airlines are expected to fly 2.
"It sounds weird - and it sounds weird - but if you slurp it, you'll get better flavor," the server said as he arranged a flight of four teas before me. I glanced around the busy tasting room of Steven Smith Teamaker. Everyone else was delicately sipping their brews, so I slurped surreptitiously.
Welcome to the 21st century, where a request for extra towels in your hotel room may be answered by a roughly 4-foot-high purple robot on wheels. Miami YotelPad — an unfinished 30-story mixed-use development in downtown Miami — will employ three robot butlers for its guests.
Each time I’ve come to Yerevan in the past decade, the city has surprised me with its evolving elegance and cultural richness. The downtown has an energy that is a long way from the sleepy Soviet city I first visited in the 1980s.
If you feel a little jittery in the moments before you leave for the airport, you might be suffering from pre-trip anxiety. It's an increasingly common malaise in a world of uncertainty and inconsistent customer service. "Pre-trip anxiety is a form of anticipatory anxiety," explains Marie Casey Olseth, a psychiatrist based in Minneapolis.
“I want to go to somewhere nice in the Caribbean,” my wife, Sharen, has told me maybe a thousand times. So finally, for her birthday, I arranged a five-day visit to St. Lucia that, I’m relieved to say, exceeded our expectations. Even though getting there required a couple of flights from our home in Carlsbad, Calif.
Princess Cruises has given a name to its fifth Royal Class ship: Enchanted Princess. Coming in 2020, the ship follows the lineup of the fleet’s newest class of ship that saw Royal Princess in 2013 followed by Regal Princess in 2014 and Majestic Princess in 2017. A fourth ship, Sky Princess, will debut in 2019.
ORLANDO, Fla. — The sun is sweltering, but a little girl wears her long-sleeved Frozen dress anyway at Walt Disney World. Another family from Chicago wakes up early so their children can ride Frozen Ever After twice by midday. Behold the power of Frozen — a ride at Epcot that is both beloved and known for breaking down.
A century has passed since the battles that baptized the U.S. military into the horrors of modern industrialized warfare. Nearly three years after the guns of August opened the First World War, the first doughboys in Gen. John J. Pershing's American Expeditionary Forces - young, enthusiastic and prone to breaking into song - arrived on French shores to join the weary Allied Forces.
The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts: Q: I failed to use or exchange a few hundred dollars worth of soles when I had to leave Peru early due to an emergency.
Ne-Yo, the Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, songwriter and dancer, released his seventh album, “Good Man,” in June. In addition to making music, he is also a judge, along with Jennifer Lopez and Derek Hough, on the reality competition TV show “World of Dance.” Ne-Yo divides his time between Los Angeles and Atlanta, where his two oldest children live.
Vibrant blue-green water lapped at my kayak, bobbing beside towering sandstone cliffs. Seagulls squawked overhead. The water that sprayed from my paddle was ice-cold, a reminder that I was paddling the largest — and coldest — of the Great Lakes.
After Mexican officials discovered eight bodies in Cancun last week, the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for the country. Not surprisingly, the incident has caused some travelers to reconsider vacationing on the Yucatán Peninsula. However, security experts and tourism officials say the area remains safe for foreign visitors.
Delta Air Lines announced last week the carrier was expanding its trans-Atlantic network for summer 2019 with new routes and additional frequencies. The airline will launch a nonstop flight from Tampa Bay to Amsterdam, Netherlands, on May 23, 2019, marking Delta’s 11th Amsterdam route from the United States and second from Florida.
JetBlue Airways, which for years let passengers check luggage at no charge, became the first major U.S. carrier to bump the fee for a first checked bag to $30. The $5 increase is effective for trips booked starting Monday, Aug. 27. JetBlue also increased the charge for a second checked bag by $5 to $40 and for a third piece to $150 from $100, according to the airline's website.
I didn't realize it at the time, but for one frantic, exhilarating, exhausting September minute, I impersonated an Oregon winemaker. With a newfound friend's arms bracing me, and my wife and daughter madly clearing stems and gathering fruit below, my stomping feet released a purple rivulet of grape juice.
When planning a family trip to Montenegro last spring, I found myself telling perplexed friends who knew next to nothing about the Balkan country: “Imagine yourself in Venice, sail down the Adriatic coast, look east and stop before you reach Albania.
Chef David Nayfeld is a Bay Area native who, after four years at Eleven Madison Park in New York and a year in Europe, has returned home. His time away, he said, helped make clear the kind of restaurant he did, and did not, want to open. “I want this to be a casual neighborhood restaurant, not somewhere posh and Michelin-starred,” he explained.
Airline tickets are more complicated and confusing than ever. Do they also need warning labels? Maybe. A provision in the Senate version of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act requires air carriers to disclose their baggage fees, cancellation fees, change fees, ticketing fees and seat selection fees "in a standardized format.
There’s a lost city called Kilstiffen beneath the Cliffs of Moher — or so the story goes — which sprawl grandly over the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast of Ireland. The city was submerged and, according to legend, will remain so until the golden key to the gates are found.
Blame it on the religieuse pastry, two stacked, chocolate cream-filled puffs that sent me to patisserie nirvana the first week of my long-ago junior year in Paris. When you're used to Twinkies, that kind of experience is, indeed, a revelation.
If there's one thing you should know about Lionel Uddipa it's that he forages. The executive chef at Salt, an upscale yet casual restaurant that dubs its food "creative Alaskan cuisine," gets up early to head to the wilderness. Sometimes, he brings his 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Juniper, with him. She's perfect for it, he says.
NEW ORLEANS — The family stepped warily onto Bourbon Street. Heather and Chad Bruton, a clean-cut couple from Texas, didn’t want to visit this historic city for the first time without witnessing its famed promenade of debauchery. But with three young children in tow, they didn’t want to see too much.
Universal Orlando has announced the ninth of its 10 haunted-house mazes to be featured in the upcoming 2018 edition of Halloween Horror Nights. The latest to be revealed is called Horrors of Blumhouse and will features scenes from the films “Happy Death Day” (2017) and “The First Purge” (2018).