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A couple of weeks ago, Delta’s CEO Richard Anderson issued a rare public lashing on immigration wait times for passengers coming into the United States. Obviously, the leader of a U.S.-based airline has financial motives for wanting to get passengers off the plane and through passport control in a more efficient manner – but his rant still held a lot of truth. Immigration wait times in countries like Japan or the Netherlands are far shorter than what we face here in the United States.
For those looking to make informed decisions around their future travel plans, here’s a quick look at which airports boast the shortest wait times – and perhaps more importantly, which airports have the worst. Though we can’t guarantee you’ll miraculously breeze through immigration on your trip, at the very least, you’ll know which entry points to avoid or plan for longer layovers if you have a connection. Read more
With Hawaiian Airlines adding to its list of routes, such as the recent launch of its New York to Auckland service, chances are increasing that you might find yourself in Honolulu with some time to kill. Even if you can’t take advantage of the airline’s free stopover policy, you can still make the most of a short layover with our suggestions. Read more
Like anyone else, we love the idea of a free trip. And that’s just what major airlines are offering when they advertise a “free” stopover in one of their home cities — essentially a bonus side trip to another city while en route to your final destination.
Not to be confused with a layover (a few hours in the airport while waiting for your connecting flight), a stopover is any stay longer than 24 hours in which travelers leave the airport and go explore the surrounding city. The length of a stopover is entirely up to the traveler, and since there is often no extra cost added to the original ticket, the stopover is considered free. (In airline speak, this is known as a “dual destination vacation.”)
But how exactly does one go about booking a stopover? And is it a better deal in the long run?
First off, it is important to understand why certain airlines provide free stopovers. In almost every case, these are major international carriers based in major hubs (Emirates/Dubai; Singapore Airlines/Singapore; Japan Airlines/Tokyo; etc.) that want to lure more tourists to their destination. Enticing travelers with a “free” stopover leads to hotel bookings, restaurant meals, and other tourism dollars that otherwise wouldn’t have been spent.
To book a stopover, select “multi-destination” or “multi-city” on the airline’s website and plug in the specific dates for your desired stopover. As long as your stopover is in the airline’s home city, chances are it will cost the same price as a ticket without a stopover.
For example, if I’m looking up flights from New York to Budapest in October, Kayak tells me that Aeroflot offers the cheapest route for $808, with a 3.5 hour layover in Moscow. If I then go to Aeroflot’s website and type in a multi-destination trip that includes two days of sightseeing in Moscow, the flight is the exact same price: $808.
Here are some more examples: Read more
A visit to the museum needn’t be a serious, subdued affair – despite whatever you were told on the field trips of your school days. Many museums are catching on to the trend of keeping doors open after hours so that guests can combine a love of art and culture with good food, drinks, music and dancing. Here are a few of the best.
Warm Up at MOMA PS1, Long Island City, New York
This experimental summertime dance party is one of New York’s hottest tickets and runs on Saturdays from late afternoon through the evening. The museum’s courtyard is taken over by an installation created by the winner of their Young Architects Program while a stellar lineup of international DJs plays to the crowd. You can also expect food, drink and al fresco dancing come rain or shine. Read more
Think New York City has a lock on the most expensive hotels in America, or glitzy South Beach? Think again. The highest hotel rates in the U.S. are actually in Hawaii. So far in 2013, guests have spent an average of $233 per night for a hotel room in Hawaii – that’s an increase of $27 over the previous year! With airfare costs on the rise, this can make for a spendy island getaway. But not all Hawaii hotels cost a fortune. Here are some money-saving tips so you can enjoy the luau (or the whale watch, or six hours of lazying in the sun with a view of Diamond Head in the distance) without worrying about how you’ll pay for it: Read more
Have you booked a trip to Hawaii for 2013 yet? On and off since late fall, we’ve seen jaw-droppingly low fares from Hawaiian Airlines, offering non-stop service to the 50th State. And they’re back again this week.
Depart from New York City and head to the Aloha State’s capital, Honolulu, for just $365, round-trip, taxes included. For a more laid-back vacation on the islands of Maui, Kauai, or Kona (The Big Island), add just $13. For less than $400, you could trade next week’s chilly New York forecast for Hawaiian paradise. Seriously. Read more
In many parts of the world, temperatures are starting to slide in a bitter direction. The calling of Old Man Winter is growing tougher to ignore, and the yearning to escape to warmer weather is very, very real. It’s probably about time you rewarded yourself with a trip to Hawaii…or perhaps somewhere even more exotic.
For those already planning a jaunt to the 50th state, or those who have had it on their bucket list for many years now, there’s a little-known secret that could enable you to make that dream trip even more spectacular. Island lovers the world over have fawned over the gems tucked away in French Polynesia, but Tahiti is undoubtedly one of the most remote locales in the world. Getting there is not only trying, but incredibly expensive. If you’ve done even casual research on flying there, you’ve most likely turned away in disgust after seeing how high the fares were when connecting through LAX. Read more
JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines have announced a partnership that’s primed to make travel to the Aloha State easier than ever before, particularly for East Coast travelers. The newly inked arrangement will allow for seamless daily connections between flights out of New York City (via JetBlue’s JFK hub) and into Honolulu (on Hawaiian Airlines), allowing customers to book single tickets that combine travel on the two carriers.
The new partnership will be featured on Hawaiian Airlines’ soon-to-launch flights (on June 5, precisely) between New York City and Honolulu (where continuing connections are additionally available to Kauai, Maui, or Hawaii Island), on what will be the only nonstop offering on that particular itinerary (advertised rates start at $431 each way). Or, customers can book travel immediately via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where JetBlue operates, and Hawaiian Airlines currently offers multiple daily departures to Hawaii (rates start at $339 each way). Plus, the airlines have agreed to allow for reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between the two carriers. Read more
This whiskered mug (shown at right) was my last hurrah on Kauai before it was time to board a plane bound for covert Nextpedition destination #2.
Considering that I’m obsessed with any adorable wild creature – let alone one that waddles from the surf onto the beach before my very feet – this, I decided, was going to be a tough surprise act to follow.
When the plane’s wheels rolled down the runway in Honolulu, I have to admit that I still wasn’t entirely convinced that the second leg of my mystery trip could possibly live up to the past four days.
We’ve seen our fair share of unique hotel design elements, but the sheer number and grandiosity of on-property hotel aquariums took us by surprise. While some are in locations where you might expect to find elaborate shrines to the local ocean flora and fauna – Hawaii, the Bahamas, the Philippines – mega-aquariums have turned up in some unexpected places, like central Berlin and midtown Manhattan. A pair of Vegas showstoppers, a duo of Florida hideaways, and a monstrous aquatic playground only possible in everything-to-the-extreme Dubai round out our list of the largest and most extravagant. And unlike the tanks you may have encountered during grade school field trips, these 10 hotel aquariums aren’t just for pressing your nose against the glass: Some allow guests to plunge right in through scuba or snorkeling sessions, stingray feedings, or dolphin encounters. So take it from us – it really is better down where it’s wetter, under the (artificial) sea! Check out our Top 10 Hotel Aquariums to get a sneak peek of these watery wonders.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
Traveling to the Aloha State from the East Coast is set to get a lot easier next year with the launch of non-stop flights from New York’s JFK to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines. Though the new route won’t debut until June 4, 2012, the announcement has already got us thinking about palm trees and golden-sand beaches. Maybe that’s because Hawaiian has put the new flights on sale – but only through November 20. Book now for travel from June 4 to June 30 and one-way fares are just $212 in economy or $808 in first class. (See what they did there? 212 is NYC’s main area code, and 808 is the area code for Hawaii.) Travel on Hawaiian is a bit more civilized than some other airlines, with hot meal service on all flights to the islands and a range of seatback entertainment options. Visit HawaiianAirlines.com for details and booking.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
Aloft London Excel
Aloft’s first property in the United Kingdom has opened with time to spare before the 2012 Olympics. Located close to Olympic Park in East London, the 252-room Aloft comes with the brand’s namesake loft-like guest rooms, signature grab-and-go food pantry, free Wi-Fi, and, best of all, affordable nightly rates averaging around $200.
Hawaii’s first and only boutique hotel chain, Aqua, marks its 10th anniversary this August, and to celebrate its passage into double-digits, the brand is selling the first night of four-night stays (or longer) for just $10. Choose from 16 properties across Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, including 12 destinations within one mile of the famed Waikiki Beach. Book by August 31 for travel August 11 through December 22.
THE VALUE: Room rates start at $89/night, which amounts to a $79 savings the first night of your stay; with the discount, the average room rate for a four-night stay is $69.50.
THE CATCH: You must stay at least four nights to receive the discount.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book Aqua’s 10th Birthday Package.
WE’VE GOT MORE: See our Hawaii Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
Fly round-trip to Honolulu this fall and save hundreds with this air deal starting at just $353, including tax. Prices are slashed on routes from a number of continental US cities, including New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston and more. Book now and spend Labor Day on the beach. Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital city, is the perfect vacation spot for surfing, snorkeling, and relaxing before the start of winter.
THE VALUE: Flights from the mainland US to Honolulu often cost over $353 each way, so this round-trip deal halves the cost of a usual ticket. These are especially great prices for travel from the east coast, considering that flights from New York to Hawaii often cost as much as $800 round trip.
THE CATCH: These flights will get snapped up fast, so book now for the widest selection of dates. Lowest prices were found for weekday travel.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book your flight online with our Travel Search price comparison tool.
Hawaiian Airlines is offering up another great sale on airfare to – you guessed it – Hawaii! Currently, they’re offering round-trip fares from the West Coast to Honolulu and Maui, with every route starting at just $333! Flights depart from 10 different cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Seattle. Best of all, these fares are valid between January 11 and June 9, 2011 – an unprecedented five-month travel window to a sought-after, exotic destination – with no blackout dates! But, if you want to live the life of luaus and beach lounging, you’ll need to book by Monday, December 13, 2010.
THE VALUE: These rates can save you up to $250!
THE CATCH: Not all of us live on the West Coast. Taxes and fees are not included.
THE DETAILS: To book your flight to Hawaii, visit www.expedia.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find a low rate on flights to one of these 10 departure cities.
Check out our Hawaii Travel Guide to learn about all the best beaches, outdoor activities, and more!
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