ALL POSTS IN [Special Features]

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After 68 years, locals in Hiroshima, Japan, lit lanterns to remember the lives lost during the 1945 bombing of the city. Aside from this reflective, solemn event, this week had its share of fun events, including the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in England, the Medellin Flower Festival in Colombia, and the Stiletto Run in Spain. Take a look at the other events and destinations that we highlighted in this week in photos.

Check out more travel buzz on our radar this week:

US Evacuation and Travel Alerts: The Chicago Tribune reported that the US has ordered the evacuation of non-essential staff from its consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, warning US citizens not to travel to the country. Last Friday, the US issued a worldwide travel alert for US citizens traveling abroad due to an unspecified al Qaeda threat. Nearly 20 embassies in North Africa and the Middle East have closed until Aug. 31.

JetBlue Reveals New First Class Seats: Known for shuttling vacationers from Northeast cities to the warmth of Florida and the Caribbean, JetBlue will take strides to attract business travelers. Sources at Jaunted report that starting next year, the airline will offer 16 lie-flat seats on flights between New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s the first time the carrier will have a second class of service.

Running of the Bulls in the US: Yep, you read that right. Promoters Brad Scudder and Rob Dickens have arranged bull runs in 10 cities around the US for people who can’t afford to take the trip to Pamplona, Spain. Already 20,000 Americans have put down $35 for an adrenaline rush that comes with running in front of a group of angry bulls that can reach speeds of 35 mph. According to Yahoo Travel, the first US bull run is scheduled to kick off on Aug. 24 at a drag-racing strip south of Richmond, VA.

“Love Boat” Sails to Final Destination: Turkey will be the new home to the iconic MS Pacific also known as “The Love Boat.” According to Gadling, the 42-year-old ship was purchased for 2.5 million euro by a Turkish ship recycling company, where it will be stripped for metal and parts.

Breaking Bad Fuels Albuquerque Tourism Boom: Even after the popular TV show has ended, fans may still be able to pick up bags of “Breaking Bad Candy” — blue-tinged crystals made of rock candy — at the Candy Lady shop in Albuquerque, NM. Not only has the show helped to create new revenue streams for local businesses, but according to Skift, the long-term tourism growth will be dependent on the city’s support in attracting future film projects.


REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

The world finally returned to normal after last week’s royal baby mania with less-than regal celebrations this week like a flash mob pillow fight in Ukraine, the Lumberjack World Championships in Wisconsin and the so-called Mud Olympics in South Africa. See more highlights from the week in This Week in Photos.

Check out more travel buzz on our radar this week:

Twitter-Themed Hotel: Is this the future of travel? Daily Mail UK goes inside an anti-digital detox stay at @SolWaveHouse hotel in Majorca, the world’s first Twitter-themed hotel. Check in and order room service by hashtag? We say it’s #brilliant

Swimming with Sharks: Intrepid blogger LandLopers doesn’t just watch Shark Week — he lives it while swimming with whale sharks in Mexico. There’s nothing to fear, he says — they’re just very large fish.

Call it a Comeback: Gadling shares the top tourist spots that were once  “no-go zones” for travelers. Better put these new-and-improved cities — like Berlin, Buenos Aires and New Orleans — back on your radar.

Keep Calm and Don’t Carry On: Skift reveals the latest new hidden airline fee popping up. More and more budget airlines, like Spirit and now Frontier Airlines, are charging for carry-on bags. Our advice? Fly in cargo pants.

Fancy Yourself a Gypset? What’s that, you say? Our favorite travel shopping portal, L-Atitude showcases the globetrotting gal who coined the term “Gypset” and the iconic style — gypsey meets jet set — it symbolizes.

This Week in Photos

Let’s be real: All eyes are on the royal baby, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, in This Week in Photos. And we aren’t the only ones with baby fever — literally EVERYONE has something to add. Read on for some of our favorite royal travel posts.

Johnny Jet presents “Babymoons” for England’s royal baby moon, otherwise known as the best vacations and travel experiences for new families.

HuffPost reveals Las Vegas has invited the royal baby to visit … in 21 years.

DailyMail says England hopes to see a tourism surge as well-wishers flock to the UK.

The NYT has a roundup of merchandise hoping to cash in on the royal baby, including, but certainly not limited to “books, brioche and baby clothes.”

And yes, Gadling not only has travel advice for Prince George (and his parents), but also 7 travel options for those obsessed with the royal baby.

 

This Week in Photos

With the San Fermin festival winding down, the celebrations keep coming with Bastille Day fireworks, the eccentric Chap Olympiad and the 101st Calgary Stampede rodeo in This Week in Photos. Want even more travel highlights from this week? Read on for the viral news stories on our radar.

Music to the ears of any ‘90s kid and geography whiz, HuffPost rounds up the rumors surrounding the triumphant return of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.”

The Smithsonian reports that a rare, smelly corpse flower is about to bloom in the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington DC. Seriously, we couldn’t make that one up.

USA Today continues to cover the fallout surrounding the Asiana plane crash in San Francisco earlier this month. The latest? Asiana is now suing a San Francisco TV station over their use of fake, and racially offensive names for the 4 pilots on air.

The NY Daily News covers a couple who managed to snap a photo in all 118 of Manhattan’s subway stations – in a span of 9 hours.

Watch “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen throw the worst first pitch ever. Enough said.

This Week in Photos, Washington Monument Lit

A plane crash, peak US customs wait times, and phony phone cards? It wasn’t all doom and gloom for our favorite travel bloggers this week, well, at least not for Johnny Jet.

Skift has the 13 longest wait times at US customs. In May 2013, the average daily wait time at JFK Terminal 4 skyrocketed to 93 minutes, a 35% increase year over year.

After the Asiana Airlines evacuation in San Francisco this week, you may be wondering how to survive a plane crash. The Daily Traveler shares 10 ways fliers can improve the odds.

Johnny Jet provides 12 reasons to take a scenic river cruise in Europe — like you need more than one. Find out how he started the massively popular travel site in our inaugural Our Type of Traveler feature.

Is your phone card phony? Elliot has 5 ways to tell. The Federal Trade Commission recently discovered some cards only offer 40% of the call minutes customers thought they were paying for — in other words, your pre-paid “hour” could turn out to be a measly 36 minutes.

Nomadic Matt found out the hard way that 3 days is not enough time to see some cities, but he also learned what to do when that’s all the time you have.

Want even more travel highlights from this week? Check out our This Week in Photos slideshow!

Happy birthday, America! Even our favorite ex-pats and travel bloggers were feeling patriotic this week. If you’re like us and back in the office, here are some of the best posts to get you through the workday.

Gadling has video of the world’s largest American flag. Watch 600 people unfurl the 505-foot, 3,000-pound “Super Flag.”

Johnny Jet got a first look at Sir Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri Kenya Safari Camp. Located in the Motorogi Conservancy in Masai Mara, Kenya, the breathtaking lodge officially opens August 1, 2013.

HuffPost Travel has 51 facts and attractions you need to check out, from the historical to the natural to the wacky.

Backpacker Becki tells you exactly how much it costs to travel in Myanmar / Burma, the newly-opened-to-tourism hot spot in Southeast Asia.

The Frugal Traveler plans a kid-friendly day in Washington D.C. — with lots of free art.

Want even more travel highlights from this week? Check out our This Week in Photos slideshow!

Ready for a road trip, but don’t know where to go? Buckle up with our picks for road trips that include ocean views, seasonal dishes, wine tasting, heart-pounding adventures and more.

1.    Food-Themed Road Trips

Have far will you travel for food? Summer is the perfect time to head to the mid-Atlantic for Old Bay-seasoned blue crabs. Plan a food-themed road trip to other delicious destinations in the US that are well worth the drive.

 2.    Pacific Coast Highway

Dreaming of ocean views? Take a road trip along California’s Pacific Coast Highway for spectacular sea panoramas. For those afraid of dizzying heights, stick to flatter roads driving through America’s Heartland.

3.    RV Stylin’

Is a vintage “Silver Bullet” Airstream more your style than a high-tech trailer? See how styles and comforts evolved over time with our look back at RVs through the years.

4.    Road Trip Gear Guide

Cook dinner, charge your phone and feel good about your carbon footprint on the road! It’s possible with this eco-friendly BioLite Campstove. See what else to pack for a stress-free road trip.

5.    Napa Valley Road Trip

The best way to take in California’s wine country is to sample the goods along the way. Drive through the scenic countryside in Napa Valley and Sonoma, and stop to enjoy a glass of cabernet or take a winery tour while you stretch your legs.

6.    Grand Canyon Adventure

For the ultimate US road trip, explore Grand Canyon National Park. Experience the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon with heart-pounding adventures like hiking, white-water-rafting  … or trying to catch your breath on the Skywalk’s 800-foot vertical-drop overlook.

Don’t forget music! Set the mood with our road trippin’ playlist.

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This Week in Travel

It may be the longest day of the year, but it’s been a very slow travel news week, which allowed for some creative posts from a few of our favorite outlets. From the unbelievable (a Pole-to-Pole run) to the random (most Sweden-y things?), here are some headlines that kept us entertained this week.

Gadling sits down with Pat Farmer, the Aussie who ran 20,919 kilometers from the North to the South Pole, to find out what makes someone want to run 40 kilometers a day for 10 months.

The NYT finds out what this famous designer (and mom to 2 young daughters) can’t travel without, and there are quite a few fun surprises in her suitcase.

Flavorwire has 10 literary restaurants for hungry book nerds around the world.

Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast, is becoming more than a backpackers’ destination with a violent past. NPR reports 60 cruise ships now stop in the city thanks to its new tourist attractions, such as the Titanic museum and HBO’s soundstage for Game of Thrones.

And last, but not least, Buzzfeed rounds up the 33 most Sweden-y things that ever happened in Sweden. Because, why not?

Want even more travel highlights from this week? Check out our This Week in Photos slideshow!

Barcelona

Barcelona is Spain’s coolest and most modern city. Tourists pour from every corner of the world to experience the town’s vibrant nightlife, excellent cuisine, beautiful Gothic and one-of-a-kind Modernist architecture, and cutting-edge design scene. This — and the great Mediterranean climate — means you might find crowds wherever you go, but it’ll be worth it for sites like the bizarre Sagrada Familia cathedral, world-class MACBA museum, hopping Barri Gotic neighborhood, and unusual Parc Guell. Plus, the Catalonia capital is arguably one of the top party destinations in Spain (along with Madrid and Ibiza Island).

The luxurious Majestic Hotel & Spa has a prime location, steps from designer shops and Gaudi monuments. All rooms are spacious with modern bathrooms; suites offer views over Passeig de Gracia, and some have private terraces and 24-hour personalized service. Another luxury option, which nonetheless offers a solid value, is Hotel Icaria Barcelona. It doesn’t boast the location of the Majestic Hotel, but it offers a large, sunny fitness center, a rooftop pool, and stylish rooms. Acevi Villarroel, which also often offers reasonable rates, has family-friendly features such as family-size suites, a breakfast buffet, and a quiet location in a residential neighborhood.

Rio de Janeiro

Host to the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro is continuing to grow as a tourist destination and its beaches are a major draw. Practically year-round, beaches are crowded with visitors and locals. The beaches not only provide a space for lounging, surfing, and swimming, but also hang-gliding and para-gliding — popular sports in Rio de Janeiro due to its high mountains and good wind conditions. Visitors wishing to stay near the beaches typically choose the South Zone (Zona Sul), which is home to the majority of the city’s hotels. Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel sits right across the street from the beach in Copacabana. This hotel features clean, simple rooms and great views – even from the fitness center.

The uber-luxurious Relais & Chateaux Santa Teresa is located (as the name suggests) in Santa Teresa, a beautiful, historic area with gorgeous old buildings, museums, historic sites, and art galleries, about a 20-minute drive away from Rio’s beaches. This historic-mansion-turned-boutique-hotel on a former coffee plantation features gorgeous tropical décor, a lovely spa, and a rooftop pool with amazing views.

- Oyster.com Staff

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