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Tourists / Travel News / Venice Travel / Italy Travel / Luggage / Baggage / Checked Luggage / Travel Bans / → All Tags
As there are only two ways to get around Venice (by foot or by boat), tourists who haven't lined their pockets with enough cash for a private water taxi transfer typically have to hoof it along canals, down alleys, and over bridges to reach their accommodation, lugging their baggage the whole way.
2013 was a record year for Venice tourism; La Serenissima welcomed nearly 60,000 daily visitors on average. The Venice Times actually figured out that each Venetian who lives in the historic center (excluding the islands) is "'in charge' of about 354 tourists per day." Compare that to Florence's 22 tourists per resident, and it's obvious Venice is a little crowded. Each visitor naturally arrives with some belongings, and that's exactly the problem.
Photo Gallery / Quantum of the Seas / Cruise Travel / Travel News / Ships / Royal Caribbean / New Jersey Travel / New York City / → All Tags
What's longer than five 747s and yet can turn on a dime in NYC's Hudson River?
The Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship and the first to be branded a "smartship," is officially out on the ocean. Godmother Kristin Chenoweth christened her at Cape Liberty, New Jersey on November 14 and, with that crash of a massive bottle of Perrier-Jouët champagne, she begins a year of sailings out of New York Harbor to the Bahamas and Caribbean.
We spent the weekend onboard the Quantum, pushing buttons and opening doors to discover her secrets and put the much boasted about technology to the test. But first, let's take a long look at the shipall 168,000 tonnes of funwith completely original photos:
Asiana Airlines / Accidents / Airlines / Airline News / Tragedies / SFO / Travel News / → All Tags
It’s been over a year since the crash of Asiana 214 over at San Francisco International Airport, and now it looks like the government of South Korea is penalizing the carrier for its missteps that day.
The country’s transport ministry has made the call to suspend the airline’s ability to from Seoul over to San Francisco. The flight ban will last 45 days, and things will automatically kick in after six months. There is a chance for the airline to appeal and what not, so we just kind of need to stay tuned to see how things shake out.
Photo Gallery / Airport News / Airports / New York City / JetBlue / T5 at JFK / T5i at JFK / JFK / Airline News / Travel News / Gensler / → All Tags
T5i's immigration and customs area sports the latest technology, like these automated passport processing kiosks
Next time you saunter through the market area at JetBlue's Terminal 5 at New York's JFK Airport and stand beneath the information halo wondering which way to go, you may notice there's a few more gates than usual. Go right or go straight ahead and it's all the same. Veer left, however, and you're heading for the spanking new international gate zone, dubbed T5i.
Yesterday marked the public opening of this, JetBlue's latest big project, and the first flights to arrive to the shiny new digs were JetBlue's non-stops up from Santo Domingo and Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Of course now it's open to all arriving JetBlue flights* from any of their nearly 25 international destinations from JFK.
Airports / San Fransisco Travel / SFO / Travel News / Social Media / Airport News / Travel Tech / → All Tags
From yoga rooms and prayer rooms to wineries and food trucks, airports sure are thinking outside the box lately. Now, the folks over at San Fransisco International Airport have done the most San Francisco-y thing ever and created a new concept room for travelers to spend a few final minutes brainstorming and networking on the ground before boarding a flight.
A special space called Converge is now set aside for SFO passengers to come together and exchange ideas about technology, start-ups, the shared economy, "disruption," travel, politics, and ways to change the world. While the room is not limited to these ideas, the airport thinks these are good ideas to start. The #Converge brainstorming room is designed to create more of a community for those flyers who might feel lonely on a long layover, or who maybe just seek fresh input. Kitted out with free wi-fi, tables, chairs, power outlets, a white board and a magnetic chalk board, the #Converge room actually sounds like it might also be useful for "digital nomads" in transit.
There's no doubt that obtaining a visa for travel is a headache, and for a long time Chinese visas were among the worst. There was the price ($140), the consular visits, the being separated from your passport during processing, and then the frustration that all that work only resulted in a visa valid for one year.
Then, in early 2013, the rules eased when China began allowing for 72-hour visa-free visits. Quick visits for business, shopping, or just taking advantage of great airfare sales to China became possible without the need to plan far ahead and fill your passport with visa pages.
Today brings more excellent news, as applications are open for a 10-year China visa. The move was only announced a few days ago, while President Obama was in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. Citizens of the US and China have similar visa rules thanks to reciprocity, whereby one country applies the same limitations and requirements as the other. Reciprocity continues with this new announcement, as visas to the US for Chinese citizens will also enjoy the decade validity.
Yesterday, we took a look at how peer-to-peer travel is beginning to truly shake the travel industry. Most of the matter lies in the battle between the hotel industry and vacation rental sites like AirBnb. But another segment of people-to-people travel has quietly been developing the past few years, one that could really enhance your dining experience on your next trip: A handful of sites aim at connecting hungry diners with home cooks – the AirBnb of dinnertime, if you will.
"When travelling and on holiday we all like to think that our experience is authentic to the destination,” said Simon Press, World Travel Market Senior Director. “How much more real can you get than by eating local food cooked by a local in their own home?”
After four years of renovations, one of Egypt’s iconic attractions, The Sphinx, is ready to be reopened to the public.
The courtyard of the Sphinx, which allows visitors to walk around the statue, was closed so that cracks could be repaired, mainly on the left side of the statue and on the chest and neck. Visitors could obviously still see the Sphinx from a distance, but they weren’t able to get close during the repairs.
Passports / Visas / Hong Kong Travel / HKG / Travel News / → All Tags
There's a certain smugness that comes with flipping through a passport full of stamps from all over the world. Unfortunately for travelers who enjoy that feeling, stamps from Hong Kong are no longer part of the action.
Forgive us for being super late on this news, but Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) started dispensing little slips of paper in place of stamps in March 2013, with a full goodbye to stamps in December 2013. It wasn't until our most recent visit last month that we were alerted to the change, and looked at this tiny piece of paper like a step backwards.
Last week, the 2014 World Travel Market Industry Report was released to the public. In short, it is an annual global survey of exhibitors and buyers that highlight travel trends, including who’s buying what and who’s going where and how they’re going about doing it. Like any industry report, it is to be analyzed and regarded as a single, general resource amongst a sea of information, but it is fun, and often useful, to step back and consider some of the major themes brought forth by the report.
The thing that jumped out at me has to do with the ever-emerging and ever-growing segment of peer-to-peer travelers. If an attitude of “ew, I don’t want to sleep in someone else’s bed” ever existed amongst travelers, it has certainly been silenced to the point of a whisper. Preference for vacation rentals, including the rooms to rent found on sites like AirBnb, have grown incredibly in the past decade.
Detroit's abandoned Michigan Central Station
For over five years, people from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal to even some of my fellow Detroiters, have been asking, endorsing, and even claiming Detroit as the next Berlin. Sure, comparisons exist. Both cities are insanely cheap—$1 for a house cheap in Detroit.
Detroit, much like Berlin, adorns abandoned lots, artistic empathy, and unrivaled city pride. Plus, where else in the world will you find techno parties located in vacated warehouses, which are equipped with beds so you can literally nap away a hangover and continue the party? Even recently, owners of famed Berlin club Tresor purchased a Detroit factory with the hopes of transforming it into an all-day-all-night-all-next-day Euro club paradise.
But most comparisons between the two cities stretch a little too far. This isn’t to say Detroit will never become a city on par with gentrified creative capitals like Berlin or Brooklyn. In fifty years, Detroit could be one of the world’s foremost artistic enclaves, but, as for right now, there’s much further to go than many make it seem.
Space Travel / Space Tourism / Virgin / Virgin Galactic / Spaceships / Travel News / Travel Tech / MHV / Ansari X Prize / Science Travel / Richard Branson / Rocket Science / New Mexico Travel / Spaceport America / → All Tags
[Update: This feature was written and published prior to the tragic events of 31 October, 2014, when SpaceShipTwo suffered an "anomaly" and was lost, with one fatality.]
How about Paris for the weekend, or a two-week trip around Southeast Asia? Forget itthat's so 2014, so terrestrial. Should Virgin Galactic have their way, 2015 will be the year you book a vacation of suborbital space travel, or perhaps a supersonic 45-minute flight from California to London.
This month SpaceShipTwo completed her 54th test flight, improving the odds that next year will indeed be the one to finally kick off space tourism. In fact, Virgin Galactic has already begun the big move from Mojave, CA to Las Cruces, NM, the latter being home to Spaceport America and, hopefully soon, flights to space full of paying passengers (6, to be specific, plus 2 pilots).
Seeing as the US treats spaceship technology with something of the same intense secrecy as defense technology, much of what Virgin Galactic's been up to out in their hangar in the California desert is hush-hush top secret. The 10th Anniversary of their Ansari X Prize win however opened up a small window for us to peek behind those massive doors. Here's what we can tell (and show!) you: