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Which cruise lines are making headlines? We’ve got the latest on protecting against Ebola at sea, packages for doing Europe right, new Caribbean sailings, and more.
The biggest news from this weekend: A lab supervisor who handled workup for the recent Ebola patient in Dallas jumped on a cruise after the case was closed. Crazy, we know — but the good news is that nothing actually went wrong, at least on the medical front. She and her companion voluntarily quarantined themselves on the cruise, and their tests have since come back negative. The only blip was that the ship, which returned to Galveston yesterday as scheduled, wasn’t allowed to dock in Cozumel (and the couple couldn’t disembark in Belize with the other passengers) as a precaution. And if you have a sailing scheduled, worry not. Cruise Lines International Association says that cruise lines have begun to perform contact screening at embarkation to protect against the virus on commercial ships. The group, which has been “actively engaged” with the CDC and is working on a standard monitoring protocol, is also urging its member cruise lines to deny boarding to any passenger or crew member who’s traveled through Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone within the previous 21 days.
The last thing you want to think about on vacation is how to eat well. But overindulging while away can mean extra work to get back in shape when you return home.
The good news? There are lots of little things you can do to minimize the damage and take advantage of your destination’s local fare at the same time. Registered dietician Cheryl Forberg — who’s the nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and a brand nutritionist for Omni Hotels and Resorts — offers specific tips for different types of escapes.
We love Austin for its loud bars, its excellent and cheap food, and its amiable locals. And more, we love that the city has a specific look, that its neon signs, low craftsman-style houses, and distinctly throwback-y flavor could exist almost nowhere else. Here are six of our favorite places in Austin — all of which show different sides of this utterly original city.
1. Antebellum-Style Opulence
You probably think of Charleston or Savannah as the places for sprawling historic homes, but Austin has one that easily competes — and you can stay in it. Hotel Ella, which opened in 2013 in a Greek revival mansion, doesn’t feel stuffy or pretentious, either. The hotel’s interiors reflect a modern take on a traditional aesthetic. Think artfully distressed mirrors, tufted velvet in bright colors, and modern sculpture by the pool. In fact, our favorite spot on the property is the ultimate mix of old and new: a classic set of wrought-iron chairs, perfect for an outdoor cocktail, that sits under a tree hung with an enormous glass chandelier. Locals and out-of-towners alike flock here in high season for weddings, so book early if you’re staying April through September. Rooms average about $279 per night.
Saver tip: Stay before the end of the year. We found some midweek rooms in October, November, and December going for as low as $219 — a great price for a luxury property.
Why spend a fortune for just a few hours at a fabricated haunted house when you can explore truly spooky sites for a whole day in the wild? Some of the most haunted sites in America are part of the National Park system, with varied histories from Civil War bloodshed to tragic love stories. Here are seven with spectacularly spooky reputations:
For decades, race fans have flocked to the Daytona International Speedway to watch history being made, from moments of speedster glory as well as tragedy — most notably the passing of legendary driver Dale Earnhardt in 2001. (Since his untimely death in 2001 after crashing in the Daytona 500, he’s been immortalized with a statue that stands proudly at the front of the Speedway’s Visitors Center.) Even for the biggest racing fans, though, attending an event has largely been a day-trip affair, thanks to a lack of on-site lodging as well as other entertainment options.
That’s all about to change in the next year or two. Two major projects, slated to be completed by 2016, will transform the Speedway into its very own multi-day destination with much more beyond the nearly mile-long stadium.
Looking for an excuse to get away? With this offer from the AAA 4-Diamond W Fort Lauderdale, you won’t need one. The chic oceanfront property is beckoning guests to pay South Florida a visit this season with its Any Occasion Celebration offer, which starts at $270 per night. That saves you 25 percent compared with rates over the busy winter and spring seasons.
We have lots of love for London, but there’s much more to England. If you’re looking to explore further, consider York, less than two hours away by train. Given its proximity, this historic walled city can easily be a day trip — but with its affordable B&Bs, free activities, and other cheap thrills, we suggest thinking about an overnight.
Shay Mitchell is one of those Pretty Little Liars. Well, at least that’s her day job.
When the actress and blogger isn’t working, she’s jetsetting. “I love traveling, and whenever I have a hiatus, that’s what I do,” says Shay. The Canadian-born traveler has explored Cambodia, Italy (she’s obsessed!), and Africa, among others. “You have to take that time and travel and see what is going on outside of where you live,” says Shay. “We live in a bit of a bubble and you need to pop it every once in a while.”
Read on for our exclusive chat.
It’s just about time to pack up the beach gear and wave goodbye to this year’s summer season. But before you do so, a collection of Nantucket properties beckons travelers to the island for one last time with an enticing last-minute deal.
For Lynne and Tim Martin, retirement wasn’t about slowing down — it was about seeing the world.
In 2011, the couple revealed to their family and friends that they were taking the unusual step of selling their California home, donating the furniture, and putting the rest of their belongings in storage so that they could travel the globe. But rather than set up shop in hotels, the Martins make themselves at home in vacation and apartment rentals through HomeAway, never staying less than a month in each destination. We sat down with Lynne to chat about how they manage this lifestyle — to get some advice for other roving renters.
Any good hotel can offer high end amenities, plush mattresses, and fine linens. But to truly capture the tastes and textures, history and culture, and people and personalities of a city is a much harder feat. Sometimes, it’s impossible.
That is, unless the hotel is ingrained in the founding and very being of that city. Then the hotel is no longer just a nice place to sleep within it, but a living part of it and a representation of what makes that city what it is. Such is the case with Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton, a true Grande Dame hotel that is as much a part of Chicago as deep dish pizza and Wrigley Field — and is affordable to boot.
It seems like “green” hotels are becoming more mainstream than ever before, with properties old and new adopting an overall ethos of eco-friendliness. But to the average traveler–someone who might not self-identify as environmentally conscious–what’s the real draw? Below, check out five hotels with perks that appeal to every type of traveler.
The Hamptons may steal the vacation spotlight during the summer season, but once autumn arrives, it’s all about the North Fork of Long Island — where farm stands and wineries offer peak-season products. If you crave fresh produce and local wines, this area is the perfect destination for a quick getaway. Weekends in October draw extra traffic, so consider a weekday stay to relax and enjoy the area like a local.
If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you know that vacations to the “most magical place on Earth” aren’t exactly cheap. Sticker shock can be a common result of tallying up prices for basics like hotel rooms, park tickets, and dining — and that’s before adding in extras like tours and special events.
But if you think that there are never savings to be had when it comes to Disney vacations, we’re letting you in on a secret: You’re just looking at the wrong times. During the low season, not only do hotel rates drop, but Disney itself releases special offers for is biggest fans. Promotions include room-only discounts, packages, and even a free dining plan — over which guests unsurprisingly go completely bonkers. And that’s not to mention significantly shorter wait times for attractions. As you might guess, this is definitely the time of the year that we recommend visiting.
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