Picture crystal-clear turquoise waters, an endless stretch of sea surrounding a saltwater lagoon. Lying back on a beach lounger, you adjust your shades and take a deep breath. You feel that kind of relaxation that comes only from a vacation well spent—one where there is no clock running, no plans for the day, no agenda except to go where the wind takes you. The only interruption to this absolute serenity is the occasional rustling of a nearby shrub as its resident iguana turns his body to better soak up the sun. Now remind yourself that it is, in fact, December. And it's 80 degrees. No, this isn't the Caribbean; this is Hawks Cay Resort, in the Florida Keys. ... read more»
Fortune magazine this week released its annual listing of the 50 world's most admired companies, according to a survey of 3,920 business executives from 30 countries.
It is, arguably, the Academy Awards of the corporate world, not least insofar as the results reflect the opinions of industry insiders and may be at odds with the consensus view of consumers. ... read more»
American and Marriott are among the companies and lawmakers that have come out against Senate Bill 1062, passed by the Arizona Senate and currently being reviewed by the state's governor, Jan Brewer.
The bill would allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to customers on religious grounds, and is widely understood to be an attempt to allow discrimination against gays. ... read more»
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary promises to get you across the pond for 10 bucks.
Speaking at the Irish Hotels Federation conference in Meath, O'Leary vowed to sell 10 buck flights across the Atlantic, as soon as his carrier acquires the necessary aircraft. Flights from the U.S. to Europe would sell for $10, and transatlantic trips going the other direction would cost €10. According to O'Leary, budget airline Ryanair already has a business plan in place to make this happen.
O'Leary said no-frills Ryanair "would fly from 12 to 14 major European cities to 12 to 14 major U.S. destinations, and a full service would begin within six months of Ryanair getting the aircraft to do so." ... read more»
Last week, TripAdvisor announced this year's winners of its Travelers' Choice Islands awards. And it's a good list, full of islands that deserve the praise they're getting.
The islands were judged on the "quality and quantity of the most highly rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each island on TripAdvisor gathered during a 12-month period."
So here they are, the top 10 islands in the world:
- Ambergris Caye, Belize
- Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
- Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Marco Island, Florida
- Lewis and Harris, Scotland
- Naxos, Greece
- Aitutaki, Cook Islands
- Nosy Be, Madagascar
- Easter Island, Chile
- Ko Tao, Thailand
... read more»
Just about anywhere you look you see "tips" on how to "save" money on the big-ticket travel services: air tickets, hotel accommodations, rental cars, and cruises. But if you're really being careful, you will want to take advantage of ways to cut the costs of daily activities at your destination, notably food and entertainment. And, as you might expect, some folks are eager to help you there, as well. ... read more»
Probably no single issue will have a greater impact on our air-travel system than the NextGen (Next Generation) air-traffic control (ATC) system, slowly being implemented by the FAA, airlines, and other airspace users. And emphasize the "slowly" part: Even the nominal 2025 completion date looks iffy. This isn't just my own conclusion. Last week, in Washington, I met with Charlie Leocha, director of the Consumer Travel Alliance and consumer representative on the Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protections, and his organization is also strongly advocating for faster installation of NextGen. ... read more»
Even when it's hot, crowded, or on strike, Italy is lots of fun. More than any other Western European country, though, travelers to Italy need up-to-date information to travel smart and save both time and money. Here are a few updates to help you make the most of Italy in 2014.
Florence is notorious for long lines at sights. Thankfully, ticketing and line-skipping options for the city's blockbuster sights continue to improve. The Firenze Card, which admits you to 60-some museums for €72, is now good for these cathedral (Duomo) sights: Baptistery, Campanile bell tower, dome climb, and Duomo Museum. If you want to see any single cathedral sight without a Firenze Card, you'll need to buy the new €10 combo ticket. It's still free to enter the cathedral and have a look at Brunelleschi's sublime dome from the inside. ... read more»
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.
A new study by Brand Finance ranks the world's top 500 brands, including those in travel. See which companies made the cut.