Escapism looks a little different for everyone, but we can all agree that a reasonable price tag spells relaxation almost as much as a hammock and a cold one. So we've rounded up our favorite affordable beach resorts worldwide, each checking in between $50 and $250 per night.
It's back-to-school time at the Lindberg household, as a new semester of Vietnamese lessons begins this week. Once again I'll climb the stairs to my tutor's Chinatown walk-up, dog-eared vocab book in hand. Once again I'll return to my well-worn boulder and confounding hill, to resume my lifelong, Sisyphean attempt to learn a foreign language.
By now, there should be enough cheat sheets, calculators and apps out there to finally put an end to questions about tipping. Why is it, then, that even seasoned globetrotters, Travel + Leisure editors among them, still fret over it?
"Randal was supposed to be your guide into the rain forest today, but a tree fell on his house," the woman behind the counter tells me. "He's fine," she goes on, seeing my concern, "but his house isn't."
What lies behind the walls of Wayne Newton's Vegas estate? Penguins and Elvis memorabilia, as it turns out. And come next spring, when Newton's Casa de Shenandoah opens as a museum, you'll be able to see this collection for yourself.
I am a terrible packer. Fact: not once in my traveling life -- whether for a two-week tour of Asia or a three-night trip to the countryside -- have I ever packed just a carry-on. "Just a carry-on"? You must be insane. I can hardly keep my hand luggage to regulation size, let alone my checked bags. (And yes: it is almost always "checked bags," plural.)
You're out for drinks at a tango hall in Buenos Aires, with your bulky digital SLR camera back in the hotel room. As the dancers pause in a dramatic embrace, you reach for your smartphone. But it's too dim, and by the time the built-in camera focuses, the moment has passed.
Gunny, a devoted Peninsula Beverly Hills guest, often visits the posh hotel, and the staff joyously greets him as he strides along the lobby's marble floor. Retiring to his room, Gunny finds a specially monogrammed towel beside his bed and sits down to a grilled New York sirloin and scrambled eggs with aged Tillamook cheddar on bone china. And when he needs styling, the hotel's Rolls Royce shuttles him to the salon.
New Yorker Marsha Sharpe, 31, travels constantly for her corporate music business SongDivision -- logging trips to Turkey, South Africa and across America. But she's no longer flying business class. "Economy has become the new black," says Sharpe.
The changing leaves are just one lure for outdoor adventurers during the fall season. The tourist crowds of July and August have dissipated, and in many spots, the blistering summer heat has passed. And happily, an abundance of premier tour operators offer ready-made autumn adventures that are relatively easy on the wallet. They bring expert guides and top-quality gear and arrange all meals and accommodations -- you just bring your thirst for adventure.
These days, it's not unheard of for hotels to charge $15 for a mini-bar diet Coke, $40 for access to the gym, or $45 for rush laundry service. (Alas, these are actual fees on T+L editors' receipts.) But there's good news ahead: the extra charges are expected to decrease by six percent this year as hotels and resorts compete to attract guests.
Over the past few years, airlines have been creating new ways for you to get award tickets and with good reason: co-branded credit cards that allow you to accumulate miles are profitable for many carriers.
Boston-based wedding planner Bernadette Smith has helped arrange the same-sex nuptials of nearly 75 Massachusetts couples during her five-year career. But she's never seen quite the surge in business as she has during the past few months.
Some people travel so they can climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or ski the Rockies, or feast on rare delicacies in Bangkok. Not me. I think of the world as a series of fabulous flea markets, displaying each culture's best bibelots -- many of which can be had for a paltry few pounds or yen, euros, or dollars.
Nothing, but nothing, has the power to spoil New Orleans' appetite. The people of this city love to eat, and they eat it all -- from simply fried oysters and perfectly dressed po' boys to cutting-edge dishes served Cajun style. Here, a meal-by-meal primer of the Big Easy from a lucky visitor who came to eat and stayed to listen.
The hum of the single-engine Cessna fills your ears as you ascend above the Peruvian high desert. Below you, flat expanses of dry, brown earth extend in every direction, punctuated only by twisting dry riverbeds ... a lifeless landscape. Then the plane banks, and over the intercom the pilot directs you to look at what appear to be just another set of curving, squiggly lines.
"Voluntourism is not about martyrdom," says Christopher Hill, CEO of Hands Up Holidays, a London-based company that arranges high-end excursions that incorporate volunteering. "It's about making a difference, even if you're staying at a luxury hotel."
Guests at W Hotels have come to expect "Whatever/Whenever." But this year's presidential election finds the luxury chain partnering with get-out-the-vote organization Declare Yourself in order to push that motto one step further --allowing guests to register to vote right from bed.
It's 10:45 a.m. on a cloudy day, and the crew of Druk Air flight KB205 is preparing to land at their home airport of Paro, Bhutan. Suddenly, ominous warnings start blaring, alerting them that their flight angle is all wrong and their rate of descent is far too fast. They fly a series of unconventional right-and-left banks through a narrow channel of hillsides before centering the swaying jet and putting it on the tarmac.
What do "30 Rock" and "Entourage" have in common, outside of their showbiz theme? Their settings -- some of the hottest venues in New York and L.A., respectively -- make for great places to visit. And what better time to venture into TV land than with the start of the fall television season? Pack your bags for a weekend of sightseeing and clubbing ... camera crew optional.
Warm beige tones, rich graphic accents, and futuristic chairs give Le Jules Verne a contemporary elegance, while dishes from superstar chef Alain Ducasse create a joie de vivre in diners' mouths. But the real showstopper at this restaurant -- set more than 400 feet above Paris in the Eiffel Tower -- is its panoramic view. From the tower's south pillar, diners look out on barges navigating the Seine and clusters of steely gray rooftops stretching for miles.
Lower-priced hotels have long been the realm of Muzak-filled lobbies outfitted with worse-for-wear furniture and industrial carpeting. But the genre has entered a new era. A wine bar? A sleek lounge area? Free Wi-Fi?
You're sitting in a hip Tokyo cafe, having a fish cake and sake. Your server has been especially attentive, so when the check arrives, you think nothing of pulling out some extra yen and leaving a healthy 20 percent tip. But suddenly things go horribly wrong: the server turns wide-eyed, becomes agitated, and walks away. What happened?!
Say you're in the mood to indulge in a shoe-shopping spree -- does a certain city pop to mind? How about an urban destination for a romantic weekend? Where in the U.S. can you find the most compelling museums or thrilling club scene? Is the city with the most attractive citizens also the one with the best opportunities for people-watching?
The Web is an essential tool for travelers, but as booking engines and trip forums evolve and multiply, you have to know where to look -- and whom to trust. To help you, Travel + Leisure has assembled the ultimate online guide.
Lately, my local Starbucks baristas have started suggesting specific pastries to go with my tea, and consequently I've developed a lasting relationship with cinnamon-swirl coffee cake. In other words, I've been upsold.
Some Americans celebrate Memorial Day by welcoming the first sunburn of beach season; others opt to spend the long weekend in their favorite cities. If you're the kind of person who is drawn to the energy and romance of great cities, we want to hear your opinion in the 2007 America's Favorite Cities survey.
Travel + Leisure, Headline News and CNN.com want to know what you like (and dislike) about 25 great American cities. On April 30, Travel + Leisure launched its America's Favorite Cities survey, asking visitors and locals to rate major destinations in a variety of categories, from people and culture to shopping and dining.
British Columbia's lake country is producing Pinot Noirs and Rieslings well worth tasting. Here, a Travel + Leisure wine expert's primer on the best way to explore the region -- and which bottles to take home with you.