Win a Stay in a Castle Worthy of "Beauty and the Beast," Courtesy of HomeAway

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/09/2017, 2:45 PM

(photo courtesy of HomeAway) For those of you longing for more than this provincial life, a la Belle from Beauty and the Beast, vacation-rental site HomeAway is dispensing some storybook magic via a new contest. To celebrate the eagerly anticipated release of Disney's new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson as the book-loving beauty in the yellow dress), Ho...

NYC Airbnb Hosts Fined for Illegal Rentals

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/09/2017, 12:00 AM

Two New York City Airbnb hosts have been slapped with fines for listing illegal short-term rentals—making them the city's first individuals punished under a law signed last fall by New York Governer Andrew Cuomo. That measure made it illegal to rent a residence for fewer than 30 days. For violating the law, Tatiana Cames and Hank Freid now owe the city a combined $17,000. It's worth notin...

Trump's Regulation Orders Have Stalled FAA Safety Notices

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/08/2017, 12:00 AM

Even if you think the federal government should stay out of most things, you're probably glad somebody's keeping an eye on airplane safety. Too bad the guy in the White House is making that harder to do. President Donald Trump has moved swiftly to roll back federal regulations on businesses, signing an executive order that put all new and pending regulations on hold for 60 days (a fairly ...

The New World's Longest Flight

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/07/2017, 12:00 AM

If aviation were an endurance sport, there'd be a new reigning champ. As of this week, the longest flight in the world is now operated by Qatar Airways, whose new 9,032-mile service between the carrier's hometown of Doha and New Zealand takes 16 hours and 10 minutes to reach Auckland, and a tush-mushifying 17 hours and 30 minutes to come back. That beats the previous record-holder, Emirat...

Bowling Green Strikes Back

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/06/2017, 7:00 PM

Today we received a topical press release from the people who promote Bowling Green, Kentucky. It seems they've read the same headlines that we have about terrible things that never happened there. Cleverly, they're seizing the hashtag moment to remind Americans of all the great things that truly are actually, really, honestly happening in Bowling Green. We won't act as factual ga...

Best Hotels in North America Rankings

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/06/2017, 12:00 AM

The best hotels in North America have been named in U.S. News & World Report's seventh annual rankings. Taking top honors: Chicago's posh the Langham, which opened in 2013 in a 52-story modernist tower alongside the Chicago River. Runners-up include two hotels in Hawaii—the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (#2) and the Montage Kapalua Bay (#4)—as well as the Jefferson in Washington, D.C. (#3...

Two New Reasons to Join TSA PreCheck

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/03/2017, 12:00 AM

There are several good reasons for enrolling in the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program. If accepted, you get to take advantage of an expedited screening process at airports, during which you don't have to remove your shoes, belt, or jacket, and you can keep your laptop in its bag. Recently, two more incentives have been added: First, 11 airlines serving more than ...

Best Days in 2017 to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/02/2017, 12:00 AM

Spring will get here before you know it—and in Japan, that season means cherry blossoms decorating the country in shades of pink and white. Travelers who'd like to see those beautiful displays in person now have a handy resource for timing their visits to coincide with the days when trees are in peak bloom. The Japan Meteorological Corporation has put together an online forecast with pro...

Small Colorado Ski Resort Offers $700 Lift Ticket

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/01/2017, 12:00 AM

Long overshadowed by bigger, glitzier Colorado ski resorts like Aspen Snowmass and Vail, the small, usually understated Sunlight Mountain in Glenwood Springs is making a bid for attention this season with a new lift ticket going for an astronomical $700. By comparison, peak-season, walk-up lift tickets cost $189 at Vail and $159 at Aspen Snowmass. In fact, the standard price for hitting th...

New Ideas from Marriott: Communal Rooms and Automatic Booze Dispensers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/31/2017, 12:00 AM

Last week Marriott International gave the public a preview of some of the ideas the hotel megachain is considering for rollout in the coming months. The sneak peek was given to attendees of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in downtown Los Angeles. One of the most talked-about concepts had to do with hotel layout; another had to do with booze. The layout idea, which is being consider...

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