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You did it. All that studying worked, and now, you’ve graduated. The perfect reward? A vacation, of course! There are tons of options, whether you want to turn your brain off and veg out or finally put those geography lessons to good use. See where’s editors would go, or consider these 6 options for a post-grad trip. After all, you earned it!

1. If those graduation checks are burning a hole in your pocket …
Then a shopping excursion is for you! For variety, head to the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis, where you can spend your newfound wealth at 520 stores and 50 restaurants. When that gets old, visit the mall’s indoor amusement park, aquarium or Star Trek and CSI exhibits. Or, for a major splurge, go instead to Los Angeles to cruise Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. You may leave with far fewer shopping bags, but you’ll go into the next phase of your life feeling like a star.

Need more ideas? Check out the top 10 US shopping malls and the world’s best shopping cities.


This Week in Travel
We sincerely hope you’re reading this by slowly scrolling your phone screen with your thumb while you’re lying on a beach somewhere. No? Here are 5 travel blog posts that will, at the very least, inspire a virtual vacation.

We never dreamed of traveling around Mexico for 6 weeks to learn to cook like a local — until now, thanks to Laura Hobbs and her beautiful essay over on Boat.

Everyone knows the importance of maps in our daily lives (Google or otherwise), but what about when they literally explain nothing? Vox rounded up 27 hilariously bad maps you have to see to believe.

Coming to Mecca in 2017? The world’s largest hotel, complete with 10,000 4- and 5-star rooms, 70 restaurants and a mall, plus several helipads and entire floors reserved for royals. Head over to Conde Nast Traveler to see renderings of Saudi Arabia’s planned $3.5 billion mega-hotel.

For all you recent college grads, BuzzFeed shares 34 underrated (and affordable) US cities you’ll actually want to move to.

In honor of Memorial Day, we’re featuring our hometown gal The Dining Traveler’s guide to Arlington, VA. Think: a tour of Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon and beyond.

Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

Want to relive a bygone era of classic trans-Atlantic ocean-liner travel? With Cunard Line — which is impressively celebrating its 175th anniversary this year — and its fleet of elegant vessels, you can do that and more.

The only true liner in operation today, the magnificent Queen Mary 2, cuts through the towering swells and choppy waves of the northern Atlantic Ocean nearly like butter. Art-deco interiors romantically enchant while modern amenities pamper and entertain passengers. Live classical music permeates throughout as a parade of formalwear enters the stately dining room, and the chandelier-clad ballroom beckons well-dressed couples to the dance floor.


Wes Dening with Mount Everest in the background.

Wes Dening with Mount Everest in the background.

“This is Nepal in front of us. The border closes at 5:30. We made it with 8 minutes to spare.”

Those are the words you’ll hear from Bruce Kirkby as he and his family rush across the Tibet/Nepal border in Travel Channel’s Big Crazy Family Adventure. But truth be told, they weren’t alone. Off-camera, racing alongside the family like a pack of wild broncos, was our production team in tow. As Bruce uttered those words in his one-of-a-kind Kirkby accent, our crew (with pelican cases in 1 arm, personal bags in the other, and passports wedged in our mouths) scurried by his side. Just like Bruce; his wife, Christine; and their 2 sons, Bodi and Taj, we, too, had made it into Nepal with only 8 minutes to spare.

As we crossed the border, we were greeted by warm, healthy smiles and friendly pats on the back. We could feel it in their welcoming hug — an instant kinship with our Nepalese production team, with passports still wedged between our teeth. We would be living and working with this group of locals for the next 7 days. READ MORE

Times Square (Photo Courtesy of NYC’s Original City Guide)

Want to take a big bite out of your Big Apple vacation budget?

This is your chance to win everything you would want to do while in NYC for free.

We’ve befriended the folks at New York’s original City Guide to put together an incredible package of prizes that we’ll be giving away to 1 lucky winner each week for the next 30 weeks.

Finding entertainment can be surprisingly complicated in the entertainment capital of the world. Los Angeles’ sheer size makes careful planning paramount in executing a fun day out on the town. But it’s a mistake to focus only on the established culture hubs. LA has no real center, and neither do its cultural offerings.

There’s no shortage of things to do — it’s all about looking in the right places.

Jane Lynch Annie

‘See Jane Sing!’
May 1 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Actress Jane Lynch is known for playing characters who, in striving to project normalcy, reveal a core of surreal madness that’s as fascinating to watch as it is hilarious. Probably best-known for her role as no-nonsense coach and principal Sue Sylvester on Fox’s Glee, she also made her debut on Broadway in 2013 as Miss Hannigan in Annie. Prepare for a night of musical shenanigans.


We are a vacation-deprived nation. Americans are taking almost a full workweek less of vacation than they did just 15 years ago. It’s time to change. With temperatures rising, spring blooming, and summer around the corner, here’s why you need to plan your next vacation right now. READ MORE

Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

To connect or not to connect? While on a cruise vacation, that is the question.

There was a time when staying connected at sea was nearly impossible, and disconnecting was preferred for the sake of relaxation. But in this day and age, it seems almost blasphemous to give up our smartphones and laptops while traveling. The issues are a lack of onboard apps and slow-as-molasses internet speeds — that is, until now.

Vintage Hotel Pool

Courtesy of Hilton Worldwide | Megan dreams of lounging poolside like these bathing beauties, but is that in the cards for her as the series finale nears?

By now, Mad Men fans are painfully aware that the end is near — or, rather, that the AMC series’ final episodes will start to air Sunday. Never has life “up in the air” looked more glamorous — Don, in a pressed suit, was accustomed to complimentary cocktails, cigarette smoke and sexy seatmates aboard his frequent TWA flights.

In 7 seasons, the homes, the bars and the hotel rooms all oozed a midcentury style that we’ve resurrected in our own homes and hotel rooms. And when they traveled, boy, was it beautiful. Don and Betty’s Roman holiday, Megan and Don’s honeymoon in Honolulu, even Don’s sojourn to Palm Springs with some mysterious strangers — it’s hard to tell where we’ll end up in the second half of Season 7.

Whether you plan to settle in for Sunday’s premiere at home with a martini (or 3), or you would rather toast the end of an era as Don would have, with an Old Fashioned at a hotel bar (maybe the Waldorf Astoria in New York, where episodes of the show have been shot), there’s still time to Travel Like Mad Men to some of the show’s iconic filming locations.

International Travel Goods Show (Photo Courtesy of Troy Petenbrink)

Talking about weight is usually not polite conversation, but it has been a hot topic this week at the International Travel Goods Show in Las Vegas. Hosted by the Travel Goods Association, the show lets manufacturers link up with retail buyers in hopes of getting their goods to consumers.

In this day and age, when an extra pound can be the difference between a $25 or $100 check-baggage fee, it is no surprise that luggage manufacturers have put themselves on major diets. Nearly all of the 300 exhibitors were touting new, lighter products.

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