Maybe you've seen Japan, but have you seen Japan through the eyes of a cat? A new website launched by a Japanese tourism board is offering a virtual tour of Onomichi guided by its furrier residents.

Launched earlier this month, Cat Street View has been taking the Internet by storm. Part of the Hiroshima Pefecture Tourism Division's "Look! Eat! Drink!" campaign, the website allows users to explore the port city of Onomichi, located 70 kilometers east from Hiroshima. The app works just like Google Street View, only instead of the Google car, you are following the footsteps of a Japanese cat and viewing the world from its perspective. ... read more»

In June, we warned that the REAL ID Act could soon render your government-issued driver's license useless as a form of ID at the airport. Under the act, state licenses are required to have all the regular information such as a photo ID, date of birth, signature, etc., as well being equipped with "machine-readable technology" in the form of a chip.

Since the REAL ID Act passed in 2005, many states have either complied with the new regulations or have asked for an extension to comply. Arizona, whose compliance was questionable the last time we wrote about the REAL ID Act, is now fully compliant. However, a handful of states and territories still have not issued new licenses that meet the federal regulations. If you're a resident of Louisiana, Minnesota, American Samoa, New Hampshire, or New York, you might need to begin traveling with your passport in 2016. ... read more»

Oyster hotel investigators have visited over 15,000 hotel properties around the world, so we've just about seen it all: crazy luxurious suites, creepy sex motels, itsy-bitsy rooms, castle hotels...but that doesn't mean that every now and then we come across a hotel stay that even we weren't expecting. From jail cells to ice rooms (yes, like literally made of ice), these are the eight weirdest places we've visited where you can actually book a room and stay the night.

A Jail Cell: Malmaison Oxford Castle, England

This 95-room, upscale boutique hotel is housed in a beautifully refurbished former Victorian prison that retains a large portion of its original fixtures. Most rooms comprise three cells and are cozy and contemporary, though some can get stuffy. The rooftop bar looks out over the hotel's prime central Oxford setting and is lovely on sunny days. It's hard to imagine that the posh surroundings once housed (and hanged) British prisoners, though period furniture and preserved dungeon-like punishment cells are scattered throughout the property.

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What's your travel persona? Are you a careful planner or perhaps an open-minded adventurer?

SITA, a technology solutions company for the air industry, recently released a report analyzing U.S. passenger behaviors with technology in regard to the flying process. It identified four different types of travelers: the careful planner, independent and hyper connected, pampered, and the open-minded adventurer. ... read more»

It's funny how after many years of travel, a place can still take you by surprise. We were meant to spend one night in Prizren, Kosovo, as a way to refresh our passport visas. But we spent three, because we fell in love with this beautiful little city, one of the most affordable we've found in all of Europe. The people are so friendly and welcoming, the history is fascinating, the food is not only delicious but cheap—and did we mention that you can get a pint of beer at a nice bar for as little as $1.50? Score.

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Fun facts: McDonald's is the world's largest fast food chain, with more than 35,000 restaurants spread across 119 countries. Sixty-eight million hungry customers pass through its doors each day.

That's a lot of restaurants (and Big Macs) since the original McDonald's was opened as a drive-through barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, Calif., by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald. They turned that family business into a hamburger stand that mass-produced burgers and fries, until the company was bought by businessman Ray Kroc in 1955. Kroc is responsible for the first set of huge golden arches out in front of the first McDonald's as we all know and love it, in Des Moines, Iowa.

While those golden arches can be found in almost every major city across the world, there are some restaurant locations that are, well, McCrazy. From a McDonald's owned by the queen of England (really) to one in a plane, here are the coolest McDonald's on earth.

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With the start of fall nearly here, another summer travel season is in the books for the travel industry. It has been a controversial few months for Airbnb, an alternative accommodation website, amid a few safety concerns and allegations against hosts.

Airbnb was in the national news this summer, when a 19-year-old Massachusetts resident made allegations against his Airbnb host, leaving some questioning the company's safety procedures and policies. However, Airbnb's Summer Travel Report paints a rosier picture. On the last page of the report (view here), the company states that of the 17 million travelers it connected with hosts this summer, there were only 300 calls into their Trust and Safety team that were considered "urgent situations." How the company defines "urgent" is unclear but they do guarantee that their "Trust and Safety team" is available 24/7 in every time zone with over 250 employees handling issues.

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Right now there's a major love affair going on between France and America. The French President just pinned the legion d'honneur, France's highest honor, on three young Americans who acted to stop a terrorist act on a train bound for Paris. So, in honor of all this, it's a great time to head for France, one of the most beautiful countries on earth. Specifically, head for Bordeaux, which with 350,000 souls, has everything on a human scale: food, art, history, location, and, of course, wine.

What's more, the dollar is up, the euro is down, and you will find a big welcome. And in the coming weeks the harvest will begin and there's no better time to visit. Bien sur.

So have a glass of wine and check out these 10 reasons to go to Bordeaux right now.

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Italy: Venice, Canal and Gondola (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

For too many years, the mighty euro put a cramp in the travel style of Americans visiting Europe. Since 2007, euro-to-dollar exchange rates have generally kept to the $1.30 to $1.50 range, soaring for a while to nearly $1.60. With prices for everything in the eurozone at a premium for Americans, many sought out travel bargains. And splurges? Forget it—they were simply out of the question.

That all changed in 2015. Earlier this year, the euro fell back down to sub-$1.20 earth, and while it's since toyed with $1.05 (and some still predict euro-to-dollar parity ahead), it's steadily and wonderfully remained in the $1.10 to $1.15 range.

For you the traveler, that means that for the first time in a decade, you can plan your European trip with confidence that prices won't break the bank—and more importantly, that you can treat yourself to a European splurge or two.

Here are our picks for some of the smartest ways to spoil yourself.

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What is it: A lightweight, portable canopy that's great for the beach or camping.

Price and Where to Buy: Available on Amazon for $89.99.


  • Very lightweight (3.9 lbs)
  • 50 UPF sun protection
  • Water repellent
  • Zippered main compartment keeps your stuff secure
  • Folds down into included shoulder carrying bag
  • East to set up (no stakes required)


On the expensive side for a sun canopy.

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