Were you high-school sweethearts? Was it love at first sight? Just because your love story might be cliché, it doesn’t mean your vacation has to be. From New York City to Rome, the world is riddled with romantic hideaways beyond the expected destinations. Yes, landmarks like the top of the Empire State Building are classic date spots for a reason, but they’re also usually coursing with crowds, lines and even price gouging.
Often times you’ll find that it’s the local gems, just off the tourist-laden path, where you can truly enjoy each other’s company. After all, when it comes to a romantic getaway, who you are going with is always going to outweigh where you are going. So if you want to remember more than, “We went to the Eiffel Tower,” consider these fun, alternative date ideas around the world compiled by Gifts.co.uk. READ MORE
Your first trip to Europe (or anywhere abroad, for that matter) is a transformative experience, often defying and exceeding your expectations at the same time. Expectations such as the ideas that as an American, you will stick out like a sore thumb (probably true) and that you are unwelcome (probably false). “Contrary to popular belief, most Europeans are super-friendly to tourists,” Raul H. told us when we asked our fans what surprised them the most about traveling to Europe. Check out some more of our favorite observations.
1. “The sheer variety inside such a small space. Pick 4 countries, and you’ll have 4 different experiences.” — Travelsewhere
2. “How friendly the people are. Take time to talk to them, and they’ll also help you out if you are lost!” — Austin W.
3. “They do not use top sheets on their beds. Also, I noticed they do not use wash cloths.” — Donna D.
Summer is drawing to an end. Perhaps you’re preparing to part ways with your passport or say goodbye to weekslong sabbaticals in the sand. So what is someone with perpetual wanderlust (and permanent roots) to do? Make the most of the beloved weekend getaway. Here are the 10 best cities to spend the day exploring, according to our Facebook fans. Tell us: Which city ranks No. 1 in your heart on your itinerary?
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Some roads are better experienced on the back of a bike. Here are our picks for America’s 5 best motorcycle road trips.
Tail of the Dragon (Deals Gap, NC)
Route: 11 miles
The Tail of the Dragon is largely considered the most popular motorcycle road trip, with 318 curves in a short stretch of US 129 along Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Tennessee/North Carolina border.
Start in North Carolina at Fugitive Bridge — yes, of Harrison Ford’s 1993 thriller The Fugitive — where you’ll navigate a magnificent series of “S” curves before crossing the Tennessee state line.
Make sure to pack: A proper windshield. Trust us, you’ll be happy you sprang for one. READ MORE
Jennifer Aniston and new husband Justin Theroux have embarked on a luxurious honeymoon in the South Pacific after quietly tying the knot in front of 70 friends and family members at their Bel Air, CA, manse. Here’s what we know so far to inspire your own fantasy honeymoon (even if you have to settle for flying first-class like a mere mortal).
Mr Moeava de Rosemont / Four Seasons
The Getaway Plan
Odds were on Cabo, the couple’s frequent Mexican getaway, as the honeymoon destination. Instead, they went all-out to mark the special occasion by hopping on a private jet for the roughly 8-hour flight from LA to French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands. In all fairness, Bora Bora already received the couple’s stamp of approval when they celebrated Theroux’s 43rd birthday and their second engagement anniversary there last August.
Breaking With Tradition
While Bora Bora is a honeymooners’ tropical paradise, the newlyweds certainly didn’t plan on holing up in one of 100 overwater huts for a week. Aniston stayed true to her vacation style of beach, bikinis and besties, bringing along Courteney Cox, Jimmy Kimmel, Jason Bateman and their families to continue the wedding celebrations. Talk about #squadgoals. READ MORE
It’s really a tale of 2 countries: 1 the land of opportunity, tolerance and freedom; the other, the land of insecurity, rudeness and the Big Mac. In which category does the rest of the world see us? That’s what author and journalist Rene Zografos set out to discover. He spent 7 years interviewing people on all 7 continents for his new book, Attractive Unattractive Americans. Whether they love us or hate us — or love to hate us — here’s a snapshot of what other countries think of America in 15 quotes.
“In America you are, in fact, not considered weird if you talk to people you just have met on the street; it’s the opposite [reaction] where I come from.” — Theresa, Hungary
On our unique culinary tastes:
“The only time I eat ketchup is when I’m having pasta. The only time Americans don’t eat ketchup seems to be when they’re having pasta.” — Ellen, Norway
Wet, hot American summer. That’s what’s expected of the Fourth of July weekend, but we’ll take 73 and sunny any day. And there are few places — our nation’s capital excluded — that are better suited for celebrating than Boston, where you can take in the brilliant Boston Pops fireworks display over the Charles River Esplanade. Whether you round out your weekend with requisite stops along the Freedom Trail or by witnessing Revolutionary War-era re-enactments at the annual Harborfest, here are some key pieces for a (not-so-subtly) patriotic weekend.
Photo by Bill Brett/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
Clockwise from top left: A 2-pack of organic tanks for layering | Handsome navy duffle with a pocket for your shoes | Red boat shoes, because when else are you going to wear them? | Portable charger for when adding fireworks to your Snap story eats up your battery
Ah, Montauk, NY — its lighthouse, its Revenge-style manses and its gorgeous beaches beckon to city dwellers all summer long. Whether you go by plane, train or jitney, get thee to the Surf Lodge, where you can watch the sunset with a Montauk Storm in hand. But first, some essentials for your lobster-roll-filled weekend:
Clockwise from top left: Classic 1-piece that stays put but still looks cute | Colorful sandals for dockside fun | Gold studs that can go from the beach to drinks | Just-big-enough sturdy canvas overnight bag
All month long, we’ve been giving you the chance to be a high roller on a $10,000 getaway to Las Vegas. True, only 1 lucky winner will get VIP access to Vegas’ red-hot culinary scene or a bird’s-eye view of the Strip from a hot-air balloon, but there’s nothing stopping you from planning a last-minute trip to Sin City. Already picturing yourself lounging in a poolside cabana or testing your luck at the craps tables? Mentally add these Vegas weekend must-haves to your packing list.
Clockwise from top left: Classic Panama hat to shield the sun | Thong sandal that’s as easy on the eyes as it is to slip on and off | Colorful carry-on that will stand out from the crowd | Abstract pouch for packing or poolside essentials | Metallic cat-eye shades to make a statement
Last week, Skift released a report that the majority of Americans will take little to no vacation this summer. We’d find that hard to swallow, but our friends at the US Travel Association echo the sentiment, stating that Americans failed to use 429 million vacation days in 2013. That’s 3.2 days of paid time off wasted per worker. We sympathize with the half of vacation-deprived people who say they simply can’t afford it this summer, but for the other half, we imagine the reasoning goes something like this:
Because you prefer to enjoy your coffee from the comfort of your cubicle.
And who craves more quality time with loved ones? Not you.