ALL POSTS TAGGED "[summer]"

Labor Day weekend may already be upon us, but it’s not too late to rustle up some fun! So whether you want to head across the country or stay close to home, here are 5 last-minute ideas to make this Labor Day weekend one you’ll never forget.

1. Hit the road. Be spontaneous, get in your car, and go wherever the road leads you. Armed with an app like Hotel Tonight, you can figure out where you’re staying each night on the fly.

2. Stay-cation. Tour a neighborhood you’ve never been to before. Visit that restaurant you’ve heard so much about, try a new yoga practice, or spend an entire day exploring a park. You’ll discover hidden gems that make you feel like you’ve entered a whole new world (with the benefit of getting to sleep in your own bed).

3. Travel the world through your tastebuds. I challenge you: 3 days. 9 meals. 9 global cuisines. Go!

4. Spa retreat. Haven’t you always been curious about what those wacky spa treatments are like? Now’s your chance to find out what a fish-nibbling pedicure feels like.

5. Do one thing that scares you. Whether it’s sky diving over the Kennedy Space Center or biking across the city, push yourself to try something you’ve haven’t had the guts to do this summer, or in your entire life for that matter.

–  by Ruzwana Bashir

Ruzwana Bashir is co-founder and CEO of Peek.com, a site where you can find amazing things to do in your hometown or in a new destination, and easily book them online. Whether you’d like to explore underground street art, go swimming with sharks, or head to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Peek has handpicked the best activities from the highest quality operators. Bashir, formerly of Gilt Group, Art.sy, the Blackstone Group, and Goldman Sachs, is a self-proclaimed travel junkie, having navigated her way through 40 countries.

 

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“Bubble Cheeks” by Susan

Who could resist those “Bubble Cheeks?” Certainly, not us.

This week’s winner in the “Travel Fun for Less” category is Susan, who says “I was enjoying a fun afternoon in the pool with my 4-year-old nephew, who is learning to swim. He was showing me how to make ‘bubble cheeks.’”

Congrats, Susan, on winning a $500 Choice Hotels voucher to use at any location!

See the other finalists from this week below, and remember we have 3 grand prizes left! Upload your best vacation photos now for a chance to win.

“African Dream” by Rochi

“Midnight Sun in Iceland” by MikelDallas

“Hiking up High” by MANelson

For more information — or to size up the competition — check out our 2013 photo contest.

Travel Channel's Summer Photo Contest

There’s nothing better than a summer vacation that leaves lasting memories — except maybe capturing those moments on camera. Now you can upload your summer vacation photos for a chance to be featured on TravelChannel.com and win prizes from Comfort Inn®.

Every week, we’re giving away another $500 Choice Hotels voucher for a stay at the location of your choice! So what are you waiting for? Enter the contest now and check the blog every Friday through August 6, where we’ll reveal the week’s finalists and the lucky winner.

Photography by JOBY

The open road can throw some unexpected obstacles your way. Pack up your car with these ultimate road trip gadgets to ensure you’re ready for anything. Whether your goal is to escape into nature, experience new towns or get adventurous, we’ve got you covered.

Wine Suitcase

If your road trip is taking you on a vineyard tour, make sure your newly coveted wine collection makes the journey back home with you. Spare your clothes from a broken bottle catastrophe, and pack your bottles in a special wine suitcase like Brookstone’s The Wine Check Luggage Set, which safely carries 12 bottles for $69.99.

Worldwide Travel Adapter

Don’t worry about blowing a fuse or destroying your MacBook or iPad with the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit. While it might not be up there with James Bond-level gadgets, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be your most cherished travel accessory. From $39.

International GPS

Road scholars know nothing puts a dent in a great trip like constantly getting lost. Luckily, we live in the era of the GPS, making traveling unknown roads — even internationally — a breeze. With Garmin, owners can download thousands of international maps from their website straight onto their device, or make their own. Suddenly journeying off into the unknown isn’t so intimidating anymore. Prices start at $99.

Pocket Camera

Capturing any moment is easy with the 18-megapixel point-and-shoot Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX300.This ultra-lightweight camera easily stashes away and will appeal to serious photographers and amateurs alike with its negligible shutter lag, sharp photos and simultaneous video and still capture. From $299.

Folding Bike

Every savvy packer knows, roll your sweaters and … fold your bike? Coming in at 20 to 28 pounds (depending on the model and configuration) packing a collapsible Brompton bike is a brilliant possibility. The P6R Brompton is perfect for a globetrotting cyclist — its P Type’s handlebars were designed with the touring cyclist in mind. And after your ride, simply collapse it down, pack it up and take off for your next destination. Starting at $1,600.

For more cool cycling gizmos, check out our Bike Gear Guide.

Flexible Tripod

With flexible legs that can attach to nearly any surface, Joby’s Gorillapod ensures you never miss a shot. Whether taking a timed self-portrait or steadying your lens to your car’s hood, this portable tripod is a must-have on any savvy traveler’s packing list. Universal screw attaches to most cameras. From $19.95.

For more road trip gadgets, check out our Road Trips Gear Guide.

– by Ashley Hardaway

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Nothing says “road trip” more than blasting music as you cruise down the highway, windows down, with all your worries disappearing in the rearview mirror.

With road trip season now in full swing, the editors here at TravelChannel.com decided to share our favorite songs to listen to while on the road. So all you have to do is sit back, put the car in cruise control and rock out to our Road Trips ’13 Playlist.

No matter where the road takes you this summer, here’s our road trippin’ soundtrack to set the mood. Editors’ suggestion: Turn it up!

1. Road to Nowhere — Talking Heads
2. Ride Like the Wind – Christopher Cross
3. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk – Trace Adkins
4. Never Stop – The Brand New Heavies
5. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
6. Gone for Good – The Shins
7. Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
8. Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
9. Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
10. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
11. Turn the Page — Bob Seger
12.  Cruise — Remix — Florida Georgia Line
13.  Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean

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Hello, summer! Today marks the first day of summer and we’re gearing up for a fun-filled few months with our summer to-do list. There’s no excuse for boredom with our list of things to do this summer. So, get up, get out, and go!

1.     Head to the beach.

Nothing says summer more than a lazy day at the beach, soaking up some sunshine. We can dream of lounging on celeb-favorite beaches in places like Rio de Janeiro and St. Barts, but we’ll be just as happy digging our toes in the sand stateside at East Coast beaches like Cape May and the Outer Banks.

2.     Hit the open road.

Road trips are the perfect summer escape and the best way to see this beautiful country of ours. Whether it’s an iconic drive like Route 66 or a road trip through California’s wine country, there’s nothing more American or adventurous than taking a road trip.

3.     Take your workout to the water.

Nobody wants to be in the gym on a beautiful day. There’s no shortage of watersports that burn calories and cool you off — surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and white-water rafting are just some of our favorites. And who wouldn’t want to swim a few laps in these cool pools?

4.     Get some fresh air.

After being cooped up all winter (and possibly spring), this is the time to explore the great outdoors. If you can’t manage one of these bucket list treks around the world, there are national parks in nearly every corner of the US to explore. Take a break from traffic and crowds this summer and get back in tune with nature!

5.     Watch a movie under the stars.

On a nice summer night, there’s nothing better than watching a movie outdoors. From San Francisco’s Film Night in the Park to Washington, DC’s Screen on the Green, there are outdoor movies to take advantage of all over the country this summer. Don’t forget to pack a picnic.

6.     Take your bike for a spin.

It’s time to dust off your bike and leave the car in the garage. For a heart-pounding ride try mountain biking at Whistler or for something more relaxing (and flat) take a bike tour of Charleston’s lowcounty. And if you happen to live in one of these cycling cities, you don’t even need to leave town — your city was made to explore on 2 wheels.

7.     Cool off with a treat.

Did someone say ice cream? Count us in! We’re burning off so many calories outside this summer; we deserve a little indulgence, especially one that’ll cool us off on a hot day. Whether it’s artisan ice cream shops or ice cream trucks, dish us a scoop, please.

Tell Us:  What’s on your Summer To-Do List?

 

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Photography by Getty Images

French bombshell Brigitte Bardot wears a bikini in a boat near Saint-Tropez, France, in 1968. (Photography by Robert Cohen/RDA/Getty Images)

This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, and with that comes the unofficial start to bathing suit season. Whether that gives you cause for excitement or dred, it’s the time of the year to bare it all. To kick off the start of bathing suit season, we took a look back at how this article of clothing (in more recent times, a very itty-bitty, teeny-weeny article of clothing) has caused such a stir throughout history.

The first modern-day bikini debuted in 1946. (Photography by Keystone/Getty Images)

If the swimsuit has caused such a stir, then the bikini has caused a cannon-ball-sized splash. The first bikini debuted at the Piscine Molitor swimming pool in Paris in 1946. The bikini’s designer, Louis Reard, a French automobile engineer, named the 2-piece sensation after the Bikini Atoll where the US had recently conducted nuclear tests. The model, a 19 year-old dancer, forever changed swimsuit history that summer day by donning the original bikini, made from 30 inches of newsprint fabric.

Over 65 years after the original bikini debuted, another important swimsuit moment occurred this year: The Sports Illustrated 50th Swimsuit issue. Every year fans eagerly anticipate SI’s swimsuit issue to see what bikini babe will grace the cover, and this year was no exception. Travel Channel was there as SI combed all 7 continents, crisscrossing the globe from Easter Island to Africa to find the most exotic and sexiest shoot locations. This year’s anniversary issue also included another first — the first fashion shoot on ice-covered Antarctica. Who would have thought the snow-covered beaches of Antarctica would be steamy enough to grace the anniversary’s iconic cover? We imagine model Kate Upton’s physique had something to do with heating up the icy cover shot, too.


So whether you’re ready for bikini season or not, dive back into history with us as we look at Swimsuits Through the Years.

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Today’s Daily Escape is Belvedere Castle in New York, NY. More »

 

  Photograph by Thinkstock

Today’s Daily Escape is from Lake Coeur d’Alene in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. More »

 Photograph by Kirk Mastin / Aurora Photos

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