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Monday, January 22, 2018

Are These Luxe Sleeper Buses Better than Flying?

For most travelers, a city-to-city bus journey is the lowest option on the transportation ladder. Buses are usually dirty and crowded, get stuck in traffic, bump and sway, and are slow. They’re for those on a budget, only—but that may be quickly changing, thanks to sleeper buses. Greyhound and MegaBus express options have long serviced much of the country with low, advance-purchase fares that are sometimes faster, and typically much cheaper, than Amtrak—although both set an admittedly low bar. Most trips offer onboard bathrooms, Wi-Fi, seating in pairs, electrical outlets, and little legroom or seat width to work with. Related: The World’s 6 Most Incredible Luxury Train Trips But not all buses are like that now. New bus lines operating luxury or lie-flat sleeper buses offer accommodations and services far beyond what Amtrak, airlines, or other bus lines can. Sleeper Buses: “Moving Hotels” (Photo: ridecabin.com) A new service called Cabin is offering lie-flat sleeper buses overnigh..

Save 20% on United Award Flights to Hawaii

One of the best ways to get the most value from airline loyalty programs is to take advantage of periodic award sales, which effectively make your earned miles worth more. Here’s the latest from United. Offer Details Through December 8, United MileagePlus members can book roundtrip saver award travel between the mainland and Honolulu, Maui, Lihue, Kona, or Hilo for 36,000 miles, a 20 percent discount from the 45,000 miles normally required. Related:Good News for Flyers – Less Bumping, Fewer Lost Bags Travel at the discounted rates must be completed between January 7 and March 10, 2018. Deal or No Deal Any discount beats no discount. What makes this one extra-special is the travel period: colder months, when a trip to sun-and-fun Hawaii would be an especially welcome respite. Nice! More from SmarterTravel: Hungry? Here Are the World’s 10 Best Cities for Eating Out How to Snag a NYC Hotel for $100 per Night The Top 25 Travel Apps to Upgrade Your Smartphone After 20 years workin..

Here’s How You Can Win 500,000 American Miles, Plus a Cruise

Enter the American Airlines “500,000 Miles” sweepstakes by January 31, 2018, for a chance to win the grand prize: 500,000 American AAdvantage frequent-flyer miles, and a $3,000 cruise voucher redeemable at aa.cruises.com. There are five runner-up prizes of 100,000 AAdvantage miles each. To enter, provide the requested contact information (name, email, etc.) on the sweepstakes landing page and press “Submit.” Done! Time required to participate: less than 30 seconds. Related:Here’s How You Can Win a 6-Night Bali Retreat NOTE: As is often the case with online sweepstakes, by entering you are agreeing to receive email marketing messages from the sponsors. You can easily opt out at any time. The Fine Print Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia, who are at least 21 years old at the time of entry. Limit: one entry per person. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of the grand prize: $12,950. Somebody has to win this trip, right? Mig..

Number of Bumped Travelers Hits All-Time Low

Good news: Fewer and fewer travelers are being bumped from flights. And according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), it isn’t just fewer, it’s the fewest on record: For the third quarter of 2017, the 12 U.S. carriers who report involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, data posted a bumping rate of 0.15 per 10,000 passengers, the lowest quarterly rate based on historical data dating back to 1995 and down from both the rate of 0.69 for the third quarter of 2016 and the previous lowest quarterly rate of 0.44 posted in the second quarter of 2017. Not only that, but bumping is at record lows for the entire year, and almost half the rate it was in 2016. Related:United Airlines Has a Plan to Fix Its Public Image Of course, involuntary bumping has been a prominent news story this year, thanks largely to the aggressive, controversial, and very involuntary removal of a United Airlines passenger several months ago. That story threw the practice of ..

Soon There Will Be a Hotel for Political Progressives

Political progressives who want to make their hotel stays in Washington, D.C., alongside politically like-minded travelers will soon be able to do just that. Related:Good News for Flyers – Less Bumping, Fewer Lost Bags The Eaton Workshop, which opens its doors in early 2018, will be a combination hotel, communal workspace, and wellness center, catering specifically to those with a leftward political bent. As a gathering place for an inclusive tribe of changemakers and creatives, Eaton Workshop invites activists, artists and entrepreneurs from around the world to instigate meaningful and positive initiatives on both a local and macro scale, as well as to hang out, indulge and follow their bliss. The Eaton, billed as the first politically motivated hotel, is the brainchild of Katherine Lo, daughter of Ka Shui Lo, creator of Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group. The Washington property, conspicuously sited in the nation’s center of political power and activity and just blocks awa..

A Hotel for Political Progressives Is Opening in D.C.

Political progressives who want to make their hotel stays in Washington, D.C., alongside politically like-minded travelers will soon be able to do just that. Related:Good News for Flyers – Less Bumping, Fewer Lost Bags The Eaton Workshop, which opens its doors in early 2018, will be a combination hotel, communal workspace, and wellness center, catering specifically to those with a leftward political bent. As a gathering place for an inclusive tribe of changemakers and creatives, Eaton Workshop invites activists, artists and entrepreneurs from around the world to instigate meaningful and positive initiatives on both a local and macro scale, as well as to hang out, indulge and follow their bliss. The Eaton, billed as the first politically motivated hotel, is the brainchild of Katherine Lo, daughter of Ka Shui Lo, creator of Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group. The Washington property, conspicuously sited in the nation’s center of political power and activity and just blocks awa..

Hungry? Here Are the World’s 10 Best Cities for Eating Out

There are many reasons to choose to visit one destination over another: weather, history, language, affordability, visual appeal, culture, and so on. For a growing number of travelers, food is among the top motivators. For them, it’s “Go where the eating’s good.” So where is the eating good? Caterwings, self-described as an “online marketplace connecting customers and caterers,” has just released its 2017 Best Food Destinations Index, which attempts to answer just that question. To compile its list of the top 100 foodie cities, the company applied four criteria: the opinions of critics, accessibility and variety of food, the quality of the food, and the affordability of restaurant dining. Related:Good News for Flyers – Less Bumping, Fewer Lost Bags Here are the top 10: San Sebastian, Spain Tokyo, Japan New York City, U.S. Barcelona, Spain Singapore, Singapore Paris, France Madrid, Spain Lima, Peru London, U.K. Munich, Germany If you’re planning a food-oriented trip, there’s a clear..

Here Are the World’s 10 Best Cities for Eating Out

There are many reasons to choose to visit one destination over another: weather, history, language, affordability, visual appeal, culture, and so on. For a growing number of travelers, food is among the top motivators. For them, it’s “Go where the eating’s good.” So where is the eating good? Caterwings, self-described as an “online marketplace connecting customers and caterers,” has just released its 2017 Best Food Destinations Index, which attempts to answer just that question. To compile its list of the top 100 foodie cities, the company applied four criteria: the opinions of critics, accessibility and variety of food, the quality of the food, and the affordability of restaurant dining. Related:Good News for Flyers – Less Bumping, Fewer Lost Bags Here are the top 10: San Sebastian, Spain Tokyo, Japan New York City, U.S. Barcelona, Spain Singapore, Singapore Paris, France Madrid, Spain Lima, Peru London, U.K. Munich, Germany If you’re planning a food-oriented trip, there’s a clear..

This Is the Safest Part of the Plane

If you’re a nervous flyer, you’ve probably wondered if there’s a safest part of the plane cabin. It’s a somewhat ridiculous question—especially since your chances of being killed in a plane crash are dramatically lower than in a car accident (one in 96,566 vs. one in 112). But the question has been answered with multiple crash data reports—and there’s one consistent standout. Here’s where anxious flyers should choose to sit. The Safest Part of the Plane The most up-to-date crash data available on seat safety shows that in the safest seat on the plane is usually in the rear section. The Aviation Safety Network analyzed 65 jetliner accidents that had at least one survivor, and determined (based upon the locations of fatalities) what the safest part of the plane was for each crash. Out of the 65 fatal accidents, there were 36 in which the rear was among the safest locations of the aircraft. The center and front were deemed among the safest in 21 and 30 instances, respectively—making the..

New Books for Winter Travel Delays

Anticipating lengthy holiday or winter-weather travel delays? Pack these exciting titles to make long waits fly by. The post New Books for Winter Travel Delays appeared first on SmarterTravel.

How to Snag a NYC Hotel for $100 per Night

According to research company STR, average room rates in New York for the year-to-date, through October, have been $248.61, among the highest in the country. Still, you can book hotels in New York City for $100 a night. Or at least you will be able to, during the upcoming Hotel Week NYC, when a broad range of hotels will be discounting their rates. The seventh annual Hotel Week NYC features hotels at fixed price points of $100, $200, $300, and $400, discounted from as much as $500 a night. The special rates will be in effect for stays between January 5 and January 15, 2018, the post-holiday period when travel demand traditionally slumps. Related:Good News for Flyers – Less Bumping, Fewer Lost Bags Among the hotels so far offering $100-per-night rates: Wolcott Hotel (normal nightly rate: $125) Econo Lodge Times Square (normal nightly rate: $145) The Paul Hotel (normal nightly rate: $202) Other hotels, at higher price points, include The James New York-NoMad, Gansevoort Meatpacking,..

9 Travel-Friendly Dresses with Pockets (2017 Edition)

World travelers need two things: a sense of adventure and … pockets. On men’s clothing, pockets are standard. But women’s clothing in general, and dresses in particular, often lack this key feature. 9 Travel-Friendly Dresses with Pockets But dresses with pockets are on the rise. Travel-clothing companies and athleisurewear brands are leading the way, giving travelers who want the option of going purse-free plenty of great options. Here are nine great dresses with pockets to suit all destinations and body types. Columbia Departure Point Dress (Photo: Amazon) Headed to a Zika zone? Pack Columbia’s Departure Point Dress, which has an omni-shield treatment to help protect against bug bites. The dress is wrinkle-resistant as well, and has zip-closed security pockets. Related: Warm Winter Clothing to Add to Your Travel Wardrobe Betabrand No-Sweat Cocktail Dress (Photo: Betabrand) Betabrand understands that dresses should have pockets. Among its impressive selection of dresses with pock..

11 New Books to Read During Winter Travel Delays (2017)

Anticipating lengthy holiday or winter-weather travel delays? Then you should have some exciting titles on hand to make long waits fly by. New Books to Read This Winter Here are some of the best new books to read this travel season, whether you’re a paperback person or e-book addict. Related: Best New Books of 2017 Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng (Photo: Amazon) A New York Times bestseller from the author of the wildly popular Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng’s new novel Little Fires Everywhere tells the tale of a suburban family, a Chinese immigrant mother, and a custody battle that divides an entire town in the late 90s. What People Are Saying: “Witnessing these two families as they commingle and clash is an utterly engrossing, often heartbreaking, deeply empathetic experience, not unlike watching a neighbor’s house burn.” –The New York Times “I am loving Little Fires Everywhere. Maybe my favorite novel I’ve read this year.”—John Green Available on Amazon. The Cub..

What Customer Rights Do Hotel Guests Have? Not Many.

When someone raises the question of travel rights, the focus is usually on airlines and not hotel guest rights. That’s probably because air travelers have lots of rights, many guaranteed by government regulations and airline contracts. Moreover, key government-enforced rights have teeth: Failure to honor your rights often leads to some combination of mandated traveler repayments and airline-paid fines. But on a typical trip, you spend more on a hotel, resort, or at vacation rental than airfare. So what are your resort, vacation rental, or hotel guest rights? Your (Limited) Hotel Guest Rights Few people have much to say about hotel guest rights—mainly because they’re so limited. Here’s what you can (and can’t) depend on as a hotel guest. A Room A room reservation—even when it’s not prepaid—is a contract, which a hotel is legally obligated to honor. Occasionally, however, when you arrive to claim your reservation, the room you chose might not be available. At that point, usually, the h..

The Tenement Museum

Explore the history of immigrants in New York City by taking a tour through this life-size time capsule. The Tenement Museum contains two of the city’s old tenement buildings that offer a peek into the past. Through historical recreation, the apartments of 97 Orchard Street have been restored to reflect the lives of the real people that lived there two-hundred years ago. And opening in December of 2017, the new exhibit at 103 Orchard Street, Under One Roof, tells the more modern story of post-World War II immigrants who all resided in the Lower East Side building. The post The Tenement Museum appeared first on SmarterTravel.

Spirit Turns to Disney to Upgrade Service

Spirit has long been the ugly face of the airline industry, the airline everyone loved to hate. Its reputation for poor service, uncomfortable seats, and out-of-control fees has set the low bar for airline performance for years. And it continues to do so. In the DOT’s most recent Air Travel Consumer Report, Spirit was by far the most-complained-about U.S. carrier in September, racking up 6.65 complaints per 100,000 enplanements. Related:Alaska Air Is Latest to Cut Cuba Flights It’s not as though the airline’s managers were unaware of the problem. When Robert Fornaro replaced Ben Baldanza as Spirit’s chief over a year ago, he pointedly included customer service among the areas targeted for improvement: I plan to improve upon the already very strong base of fundamentals that Spirit possesses with a focus on continuing to improve operational reliability and customer service, and maintaining our financial discipline to drive value for all of Spirit’s stakeholders. Indeed, Spirit has do..

Spirit Turns to Disney for a Service Upgrade

Spirit has long been the ugly face of the airline industry, the airline everyone loved to hate. Its reputation for poor service, uncomfortable seats, and out-of-control fees has set the low bar for airline performance for years. And it continues to do so. In the DOT’s most recent Air Travel Consumer Report, Spirit was by far the most-complained-about U.S. carrier in September, racking up 6.65 complaints per 100,000 enplanements. Related:Alaska Air Is Latest to Cut Cuba Flights It’s not as though the airline’s managers were unaware of the problem. When Robert Fornaro replaced Ben Baldanza as Spirit’s chief over a year ago, he pointedly included customer service among the areas targeted for improvement: I plan to improve upon the already very strong base of fundamentals that Spirit possesses with a focus on continuing to improve operational reliability and customer service, and maintaining our financial discipline to drive value for all of Spirit’s stakeholders. Indeed, Spirit has do..

Here’s How You Can Win a 6-Night Bali Retreat

Enter the Acanela Expeditions “Retreat to Bali” sweepstakes by December 3, 2017, for a chance to win the grand prize: a six-night trip to Bali, including a $1,000 airfare voucher, six nights at the Sumberkima Hill Retreat, breakfast buffet, snorkeling trip, yoga class, cooking class, temple tour. To enter, provide the requested contact information (name, email, etc.) on the sweepstakes landing page and press “Submit.” Done! Time required to participate: less than 30 seconds. Related:Here’s How You Can Win a 5-Night Trip for 2 to Fiji NOTE: As is often the case with online sweepstakes, by entering you are agreeing to receive email marketing messages from the sponsors. You can easily opt out at any time. The Fine Print Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 47 United States (excluding residents of Alaska, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia), who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry. Limit: one entry per person, plus bonus entries for promoting the spo..

The Worst Airlines and Airports for Thanksgiving

Flying during Thanksgiving? Here are the airlines and airports most and least likely to get you to Grandma's house in time for turkey. The post The Worst Airlines and Airports for Thanksgiving appeared first on SmarterTravel.

10 Instant Cameras Recommended by a Travel Photographer

Instant print cameras are the perfect gift for travelers looking for a new way to take home their travel memories. The post 10 Instant Cameras Recommended by a Travel Photographer appeared first on SmarterTravel.