After Obama lifted the Cuba travel ban in 2014, Trump has reversed it. It’ll take some time, but this means that US citizens won’t be able to visit Cuba as freely as we’ve been able to the last couple years. You can still go there but only through a people-to-people exchange (licensed tour group) and it’s expected airlines will reduce their routes to Cuba.
Floating Luxury Hotel
Ritz-Carlton just announced plans for three luxury yachts, translating the same service you can expect at their hotels to the sea. The yachts will be smaller than other cruise ships, with a maximum capacity of 298 passengers. You can expect great amenities and rather than big entertainment, they’ll have smaller, intimate acts. As for ports, they plan to stay longer in each destination, sometimes with ships leaving late at night or the next morning. The first yacht will debut late 2019.
Machu Picchu Mucho Rules
Starting July 1st, Peru will be requiring tourists to purchase tickets for 1 of 2 time windows and entering the site with official tour guides. This is to preserve the space and will keep visitors on specific paths.
Baby Gets Free Travel FOR LIFE
A baby born midair was gifted a lifetime of free travel by the airline. The baby was born midflight in Saudi Arabia on Jet Airways. This is not the first time a baby has been born on a plane but usually they just give money or miles, not a whole LIFETIME.
Wyndham and Caesar’s Have Teamed Up
Wyndham Hotels and Caesar’s Palace have teamed up which means you can redeem Wyndham points for stays in Vegas. It’s not just Caesar’s – all their properties including Bally’s, Flamingo and Planet Hollywood are included. You’ll also be able to get your status matched between the two chains.
Travel Deal of the Week: Not a deal this week, but a recommendation to go to Cuba ASAP (as in next week). Sounds like the new ban won’t take effect for roughly 90 days.
The Tony Awards were this past Sunday and Dear Evan Hansen took home the top honor of Best Musical (as well as Leading Actor and a few other awards). Hello, Dolly and Bette Midler also won big. Check out my guide to getting tickets here.
The International Olympic Committee just voted Paris to host the summer Olympics in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028. 2024 will be the 100th anniversary of the last time Paris hosted the Olympics. 2028 will be when Trump is for sure out of the White House (assuming he would win 2020 and be in office in 2024).
British Airways massive meltdown has a massive paycheck
Last month, British Airways had a massive IT failure, which caused flights out of London airports to be cancelled for a few days. Now it’s coming out that it cost the company over $100 million and counting. Ouch.
Southwest revolutionizing the de-planing process
Southwest is experimenting with using two doors for passengers exiting its planes. The idea is that it will get passengers off the planes faster. It’s currently being tested out in Sacramento and San Jose. My only question is when this will be available on all flights.
Travel Deal of the Week: The play Oslo took home the Tony Award for Best Play. In its honor, travel from SFO to Oslo, Norway for $578 roundtrip and see the real city.
The world’s best airport is about to get an amusement park. Singapore’s Changi Airport just announced a plan for a canopy park with bouncing nets, a tube slide, maze and waterfall. It already has tons of amenities, ranking in the best airport in the world.
Trump launching budget-friendly hotel brand
If you’re boycotting Trump products, take note. Trump is launching a budget three-star hotel brand under the name American Idea. They’ll be found in smaller cities and the plan is to retrofit existing properties.
If you’re coming to NYC anytime soon and have any interest in seeing a Broadway show, you’ve got to check out the Tony Awards. It’s a great chance to see what shows might interest you and even better, what you need to buy a ticket to NOW before it becomes the next Hamilton.
British Airways faced an IT issue last weekend, causing all flights from Gatwick and Heathrow on Saturday to be cancelled. They’re blaming it on a power outage. It’s back up and running but the airline is still facing problems due to the cancellations.
JetBlue is going paperless
JetBlue is the first airline to start using biometric boarding passes, using facial recognition software. The passenger will just need to step up to a camera and your photo will be connected to your passport, visa and immigration photos in the US Customs and Border Patrol systems. Which means you can travel internationally as well. Game changer.
No Excuses to Get Your Sweat On
Hilton just introduced ‘Five Feet to Fitness’ in two of its properties (with plans to expand). They’ve brought the gym to your room with an exercise bike, weights and 200 guided workouts from a touch screen. So there’s no excuse to skipping the gym on your trip.
Covfefe is the hottest new travel destination
Well, not exactly. The internet exploded when Donald Trump made a typo in a late night tweet. He posted the word ‘covfefe’ instead of a word we don’t exactly know. The internet exploded with jokes including Conde Nast Traveler which made the word into a hot new destination.
Travel Deal of the Week: Flights to Europe keep dropping their prices and this one is $55 ONE WAY on WOW Airlines from LAX, MIA or SFO. Check it out!
Disney’s Hall of Presidents might be making a change due to our current president. Despite many petitions, Bob Iger has confirmed that Trump’s bust will be included but it’s unclear whether he’ll have a speaking role, like Obama did. Instead, the attraction might be going back to the old format where only Abraham Lincoln speaks.
Feeling nostalgic about your childhood camp days? Well, adult summer camps are popping up and could be the perfect vacation for you this summer.
The rumors aren’t true
After some speculation that Europe was jumping on the laptop ban-wagon (ha), the rumors are not true and you can keep on using your laptops on those flights.
Italy will give you a castle for free
Italy has been reeking of some desperation lately. First, the town of Bormida offered up $2100 to move there. Then this week, the country announced it’s giving away over 100 historic buildings (including castles) as long as you plan to turn it into a tourist destination like a hotel. New career, maybe?
Customs declaration: A kitten?!
A US couple hiking Macchu Picchu found a homeless, scared kitten and after discovering there weren’t any animal shelters to take her, brought her home on their flight to the US.
Travel Deal of the Week: Here’s a deal that even I considered – $526 round trip from NYC to the MALDIVES. Flights often cost over $1500 so this is a pretty incredible deal.
The electronics ban that was announced in March for flights originating in Africa and the Middle East might be expanding to Europe. Which means you’ll be back to paperback novels and crossword puzzles like they used to do in the old days before iPads and laptops.
(No) Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park in Montana is losing its glaciers, having lost 85% of its size in the last 50 years. Scientists estimate they’ll be completely gone by the end of the century. And it’s happening everywhere. So it looks like now’s the time to head to the parks!
A boy’s quest for free chicken nuggets gets him a free flight
A 16-year old boy just got himself a free flight on United after tweeting Wendy’s asking for a year of free chicken nuggets. So in United’s quest for some much needed good publicity, they challenged him to 18 million retweets for a free flight to any Wendy’s in the world (that they fly to of course). He didn’t quite make 18 million RT but he did break the record with 3.5 million RT (the last record was held by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars) and they still gave him the flight. No word yet on those nuggs though.
The best beaches in the world are in….
Spain. Turns out they’ve got 579 beaches and have ranked the best since 1987. Greece came in second.
Largest Michelangelo exhibit ever coming to NYC
The Met just announced that a huge Michelangelo show is coming to NYC this fall, running from November 13th to February 18th, 2018. It will be the largest Michelangelo exhibit ever with pieces coming from across America and Europe.
Deal of the Week: Check out the world’s best beaches with a flight from New York to Palma de Mallorca Spain for $374
A tourist got a little too close to a komodo dragon in Indonesia and ended up becoming the animal’s food (well, his leg). Turns out, these creatures DON’T like to be disturbed while they’re eating. Also to be noted: the tourist was NOT American, he was actually from Singapore.
If you’re in Canada, stock up on gin!
Canada is launching a nationwide recall of bottles of Bombay Sapphire Gin after they discovered the bottles actually contain 77% alcohol rather than 40%. I call this a happy accident and encourage you to go out and stock up!
Tall people may be avoiding American Airlines soon
AA announced this week that it will be adding more seats to planes, thereby reducing space between seats by two inches. At 29”, it will be just one inch more than Spirit Airlines is offering and a whopping four inches less than Southwest.
West (Jumbo) Jet
Canada’s budget airliner WestJet just ordered 20 new Dreamliners, which will allow the airline to travel to further destinations. This move will help compete with Air Canada, Canada’s largest carrier, taking the airline to Asia, South America and Europe.
United is trying reeeeeeal hard to get back your business
ICYMI (which you probably didn’t), earlier this month, a video went viral of a passenger literally being dragged off a plane and images of his bloody face. Not great. Then the United CEO released a statement passing all blame on the passenger. Not surprisingly, #BoycottUnited went viral.
So now United has released a 10-point plan to get back your business, including offering up to $10,000 compensation for giving up your seat. Better?
Recharge by the minute
Recharge, an app that allows you to book hotels by the minute (for you know what) is expanding to NYC. According to its website, it’s great for things like taking a shower or a power nap.
Nike and Converse have teamed up to create the perfect shoe
Classic Converse Chuck Taylor’s have been my go-to shoe for a long time BUT might not offer the best support for a lot of walking. Now Nike and Converse have teamed up to create a shoe that looks like a Converse but with the comfort of a Nike Flyknit. These shoes are perfect for your casual travel shoe that’ll look great with any outfit. I can’t wait to get my hands on one (and they come in 6 different colors!).
You’ll never have to see those awful TMZ videos of celebrities at LAX again
Forbes just released a first look into the new Celebrity Terminal at LAX. It’s got its own TSA screening and located in a converted cargo facility to avoid the paparazzi. It’s got a hefty price tag too – $7,500 for an annual membership fee.
See Chihuly work up close at the New York Botanical Garden
A new exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass installations just opened at the NYBG last weekend and is on display until October 29, 2017. Special events associated with the work are available on the weekends, as well as nighttime events with illuminated artwork. Check out my review here.