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This Week in Photos

India celebrates Makar Sankranti, an International Kite Festival, and more in this week in photos. From a panda selfie to YOLO vacations, this week in travel brings you the best of the internet.

CNTraveler shared photos of stunning bodies of water around the world.

According to Today, The National Zoo launched its Instagram account with a panda cub selfie you just have to see.

Gadling brought to our attention a Singapore-based photographer who artfully depicts the passage of time.

Refinery29 presented 13 Tips for Taking a YOLO vacations. #nuffsaid

And while the NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2014 caused much debate among travelers (including those in this office), Skift narrowed done the list to just one.

At Travel Channel, of course, we think Spain and Morocco should top your list — and we’re even giving away $100,000 trip there.

 

With temperatures dropping, don’t let winter doldrums set in. Bundle up and embrace the cold (albeit the bone-chilling, artic-blasting cold of recent days) with some of our favorite things to do in winter.

1. Sleep in an ice hotel.

If you aren’t afraid of a little cold or a bed made out of ice, spend an unforgettable night in an ice hotel. Chill out in a luxury igloo full of hard-carved ice sculptures and cozy fur hides to keep you warm at night.

2. Toast with a decadent drink.

The ideal cure for a winter chill? A cocktail to warm you up. Toast to shorter days with these 10 cold-weather cocktails, from a traditional hot toddy to an innovative dry-ice-infused concoction.

3. Take an icy plunge.
What better way to plunge into 2014 than with an icy dip! There are still New Year dips taking place throughout January, or head to Finland where ice swimming is a popular custom all winter long.

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This Week in Photos

Winter was in full force in this week in photos with a Polar Vortex in much of the US, China’s 15th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, and an Igloo Village in Germany. See Niagara Falls on ice and more of the week’s best posts in our travel news roundup.

CN Traveler unearthed these winter wonderland photos of Niagara Falls’ “ice-crusted cascades.”

Gadling shared the top 5 family travel destinations for 2014 — and possibly beyond.

According to Gothamist, former Travel Channel star Anthony Bourdain is opening an international food market in NYC.

Check out 5 of the most awesome star-gazing spots on Earth thanks to The Huffington Post.

Skift has the scoop on New York City’s tallest hotel (753 feet!) opened by … Marriott.

 

 

This Week in Photos

The New Year was greeted by Vikings with torches, a massive flour fight, midnight kisses and more in this week in photos. A slow news week, 2014′s first travel blog roundup highlights what will be (or should be) overtaking your social media feeds this year.

What’s that clogging up your Instagram feed? Next to the -2 degree weather forecasts and Champagne glasses, Skift discovered an unexpected hit: Disney’s giant turkey legs.

JohnnyJet shares 14 travel tweeters to follow in the new year, including our favorite @ThePointsGuy and a flight attendant,  @Heather_Poole.

Off Track Planet’s favorite travel apps of 2013 included the likes of RoadTrippers, WeHostels and Kurrency.

Our own Andrew Zimmern, and James Beard-nominated Executive Chef of Chicago’s Sepia Restaurant, describes the perfect foodie day in the Windy City over on JetSetter.

Finally, Adventurous Kate, one of our favorite solo female travelers, brings us 9 more entertaining travel blogs to follow.

Caviar and Bananas

The world reflects on the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, lauds a Nobel Prize laureate and more in this week in photos. For some lighter travel news, if you’ve ever wondered if a picture is really worth a thousand words — read on to find out.

Want to remember the last sunset on your vacation forever? Don’t Instagram it. A new study in CNN suggests the taking that snapshot actually diminishes your memory of the sunset.

Gadling unearthed a trend, or 2 rather, we can’t wait to try — all aboard the Pinot Express. A vineyard with a zipline? Yes, please.

Still Christmas shopping? Camels & Chocolate says forgo all the “stuff” for the ultimate gift: A cruise through Europe.

We’ll leave you with the clip that went viral this week, FunForLouis’ Epic World Adventure. Prepare to be very jealous.

Every wonder, what the hect is “Hygge?” We bet you are now. Fathom Away delves into Danish culture to find out.

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Pardon the interruption to our usual programming, but while we hit pause for Thanksgiving (and lots of Turkey), the world continued celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, a king’s birthday and a 3-month-old giant panda in this week in photos. For more holiday celebrations, toasts, and maybe some snow, check out our weekly travel blog roundup below.

NBC’s live broadcast of the the Christmas classic The Sound of Music got a lot of flack. “The acting was bad, the costumes St. Pauli-esque and the mountains … were fake.” However, Gadling went on to find one “winner” from the production — the city of Salzburg, Austria!

As snowfall threatens most of the country, bookmark this now: Johnny Jet shares 6 things to do in the face of weather delays and flight cancellations.

LoveTaza’s adorable family of 4 ventured to Amsterdam for the first time and posted some of the highlights of their trip, including an apple-and-bacon pancake we’ll be ordering next time we’re in town.

Our favorite Expert Vagabound came down with dengue fever! We’re glad he had a speedy recovery. If you find yourself snowed in or under-the-weather, check out one of his picks for the best travel movies of all time.

This Week in Photos
Oprah in the White House? Horse and buggy rides disappearing from Central Park? See why both are turning heads in this week in photos. If you’re looking for more fact vs. fantasy, turn your attention to our weekly news roundup where we learn that traveling from DC to NYC in an hour is possible and whether or not Middle-earth exists.

For all you Hobbit fans out there, Google mapped J.R.R. Tolkein’s fantasy world Middle-earth, in advance of the Dec. 13 release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of  Smaug. Head on over to WSJ’s Speakeasy for more details – and video!

Fast Company’s eloquently titled “Why Airline Food Sucks” suggests the passengers are to blame – or at least their sense of taste at 30,000 feet. But don’t take our word for it, Co.Design explains how the lack of humidity affects taste buds – and what airlines are doing to solve the problem.

This week the Dreamlifter, as opposed to the Dreamliner, made headlines when the cargo jet landed at the wrong airport – and was stranded for hours on the too-small runway. Kansas City, the “Air Capital,” was especially captivated by the wayward plane.

From DC to NYC in an hour? Gadling, or rather the U.S. Travel Association, says it’s possible, but we can watch this video together and dream.

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission announced it would soon consider letting people make cell phone calls on airplanes. You read that right. And as the Huffington Post pointed out – people really hate that idea.


From the sexy (Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, anyone?) to the serious (2 solemn anniversaries in Berlin) — see this week in photos around the world. For another dose of sexy (as in hotel rooms) and more, read on for this week’s travel roundup.

Pearl furniture, white linens and bright curtains surprisingly helped a hotel in London recently earn the title of “world’s sexiest bedroom.” Blakes Hotel won the honor from travel publisher Mr. & Mrs. Smith in the announcement of their annual “Smith Hotel Awards.” The “fantasy cocoon” at the Ca Maria Adele Hotel in Venice, and the Secret Cay Resort in Dominica were runners up in the contest.

Imagine sitting on an airplane and hearing the pilot say over the intercom “we’re going down” moments before the plane takes a nose dive. That’s what happened on a recent Southwest Airlines flight where, according to a passenger, the pilot panicked and made the frightening statement over the intercom. The airline says the pilot accidentally broadcast the crisis to the entire plane rather than just his crew. The FAA is investigating the incident.

Not into the stigma that goes with the definition of a “tourist?” The Huffington Post has put together a guide to tell you the difference and help you become less of someone who “plops” themselves into a new area, and more like an explorer seeking new adventures. One of the major tips? Stop posing with statues.

If you’re traveling through Los Angeles International, Chicago O’Hare International, or one of the other airports expected to top of the busiest passenger list over the Thanksgiving holiday, you might want to check out this list of “10 Ways to Get to Your Gate Faster” from USA Today. Make sure to plan ahead before you head to the gate if you want to get the Grandma’s house on time for dinner.

This Week in Photos is full of twists on tradition: A Halloween surf competition, a Zombie Walk to commemorate the Day of the Dead … and more. Expect nothing less from our travel news roundup, where you’ll meet an inspiring 100-year-old and go on a record-breaking cross-country road trip.

We all have ideas of trips we’d like to cross off of our “bucket list,” but one 100-year-old adventurer is showing us it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Elsa Bailey recently traveled to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada to see polar bears in their natural habitat. She said it’s something she’s always wanted to do, and when the opportunity came, she “jumped at it.”

In other adventure trip news…an Atlanta man took “road tripping” to a whole new level this week, setting a record for the fastest cross-country drive from New York to California in just 28 hours and 50 minutes. Ed Bolian started planning about 18 months ago, adding gas tanks to his Mercedes Benz and purchasing high quality radars to avoid police – something that he says he doesn’t endorse. Find out more about his journey here.

If you’re travelling this Thanksgiving, you might want to prepare yourself for some long lines. Between Nov. 22 and Dec. 3, more than 25 million people are projected to board flights for the holiday. The total number would be a 1.5 percent increase over last year’s travelers, according to Airlines for America.

Before you leave on your trip this holiday season, Johnny Jet says there’s an important step you need to take in order to protect your money. He says notifying your bank and your credit card company that you’re traveling out of the country can put an end to suspicious activity that comes through from your hometown. Safe travels!

This Week in Travel

There are not 1, not 2, but 3 Guiness World Record attempts in This Week in Photos – find out who’ll set the next record. There’s some history-making in our travel news roundup as well, at least where your smartphone or tablet is concerned on your next flight.

Soon you won’t have to put down that book on your iPad as your plane hits the tarmac thanks to a decision by the FAA to allow the use of electronic devices for the duration of flights. While this does mean you can play games and work on drafting a blog post about your trip, it does not give you the freedom to pass time by calling Grandma or texting a friend – voice calls and use of data plans will remain banned aboard flights.

Virgin Airlines is joining the recent trend of high-quality in-flight safety videos (if you haven’t seen Air New Zealand’s video featuring Betty White you must catch up), releasing an information music video led by G.I. Joe and Step Up 2 director Jon M. Chu. The video brings together dancers, singers and choreographers from American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, and is a little catchy (I may or may not be humming the tune as I write this).

Gadling reports that the Leaning Tower of Pisa, isn’t “leaning” as much as it once was. The iconic bell tower is standing up a little straighter these days due to a massive restoration project. A new study out this week says that the tower has straightened by 1 inch (2.5cm) since 2001.

Still haven’t booked Thanksgiving travel? It’s not too late, but you’re going to need to be creative. Johnny Jet has rounded up 10 ways to find cheap Thanksgiving travel that could be your key to saving some money this holiday season.

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