Comic-Con starts July 24th and we couldn't be more excited—for the drinks that is. Now in its 45th year, comic enthusiasts take over San Diego each summer clad in their favorite costumes for—well, we don't exactly know what. While we admire the costumes from afar, we've rounded up our favorite cocktails and where you can drink like a superhero in San Diego's Gaslamp district.
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Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.
If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.
Although the overall trend is clear, not all airlines are equally oppressive when it comes to the current fee-for-all. There are more and less egregious gougers. ... read more»
Much is currently being made in academic economics journals about the widening wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots. And the idea has gotten considerable traction among travelers as well. Whether the two phenomena are linked or not remains to be established, but at least figuratively, the wealth gap is on daily display in the world of travel, in the form of the comfort gap.
Even as many of the world's airlines invest heavily in cushy lie-flat seats for their business- and first-class cabins, the comfort levels in coach are declining. As the average passenger's height, weight, and girth have increased, the airlines have been squeezing coach passengers into ever-smaller seats. Over the past two decades, seat pitch, the distance between seats, has been cut by 10 percent, from 34 inches to between 30 and 32 inches. And during that same period, average load factors, the percentage of seats occupied, have soared from around 65 percent to 80-plus percent.
Never have so many flyers been shoehorned into so little space.
As bad as it is, the worst may be yet to come. ... read more»
There are countless unanswered questions surrounding the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. For flyers getting on a plane in the near future, however, a common concern is whether the tragic jet strike will directly affect passengers' travel plans. ... read more»
The airlines call them ancillary revenues. Travelers call it nickel-and-diming. By whatever name, the dizzying array of fees that airlines now impose for everything from checked bags to carry-on bags to seat selection to ticket reissues is big business.
And it's getting bigger.
A new study by industry consulting firm IdeaWorks found that the airlines' ancillary fees had increased by almost 1,200 percent between 2007 and 2013, from $2.45 billion to $31.5 billion.
Although the overall trend is clear, and inescapable, not all airlines are equally oppressive when it comes to tagging every imaginable atomic particle of air travel with a surcharge. There are more and less egregious gougers.
According to the report, on a per-person basis, the airlines imposing the highest fees are as follows ... read more»
It's not something most people take into consideration when planning a day of travel, but it's something each one of us does every day—several times a day, actually. When nature calls, locating a loo—quickly—is crucial. We did the research, so all you have to do is go. Here are three apps that will help you locate a public bathroom wherever your travels take you in the U.S.
Where to Wee
Restroom facilities are never far away with the Where to Wee app. This is easily one of the most comprehensive lists of restrooms available, and it's no surprise, because the app developers cleverly partnered with Cintas Corporation, a company that stocks more than a million businesses with bathroom supplies. Cintas' expertise in the field also gives the company the privilege of honoring the most-proper loo with the highly coveted America's Best Restroom Award. ... read more»
Kimpton, with just over 50 hotels and restaurants in its network, is a David among Goliaths when it comes to hotel chains. Marriott, for instance, just passed the 4,000-hotel mark, and it's not the largest of the major chains.
Size is a decided advantage for hotel loyalty programs: The more hotels, the easier it is to earn points wherever you go, whether you're traveling on business or on vacation. And the converse: It's harder to be loyal to a smaller chain, because you won't find participating hotels everywhere you go.
That competitive disadvantage means that a small chain's loyalty program has to be better than those offered by the mega-hotels. ... read more»
Flashback four years to Australia's Bondi Beach, where IKEA set up 30 of its bookcases stocked with thousands of books for a massive pop-up swap. Although this was a one-day affair, it sparked us to find some more permanent (well, somewhat permanent) beachside "free" bookstores.
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Your secret island awaits, ringed with rocky cliffs and sparkling ocean, adorned with wildflowers and lighthouses. Grand Manan Island sits just off the shore, at the point where New Brunswick meets Maine. And while it's within sailing distance of two of the world's largest countries, it feels like a world unto itself. The island's Inn at Whale Cove Cottages is the unhurried embodiment of this mostly undiscovered borderland.
Owned and operated by Laura Buckley, the Inn at Whale Cove Cottages beckons travelers seeking a taste of the island's rugged red and green cliffs and driftwood-adorned beaches. As Buckley will tell you, it's a place "for readers, nappers, and explorers." ... read more»