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TravelBits

Canada’s Coolest Road Trip

In late 2017, the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway (ITH) opened in the Northwest Territories, making it Canada’s first public road to lead directly to the Artic Ocean. This two-lane gravel highway snakes around the area’s many lakes and creeks and, for the first time, opens up the Territories’ far-flung northern reaches to visitors all year round. You can make the journey up the highway and back within a day, but if you’ve gone that far (68 degrees north, to be more precise) you might as well stretch out the trip and make the most of it.
Source: CN Traveler

Time to Unplug and…

Tune into the relaxing sounds of nature on a stand-up paddle board or SUP. The calm, clear waters surrounding the Florida Keys are ideal for trying SUPing for the first time. Back on land, escape to The Moorings Village, a setting out of an island fantasy, stretched along one of the largest private beaches in the Keys, with more than 1,000 coconut palms shading its 18 guest villas.
Source: National Geographic

Take the Plunge

One of the greatest pleasures of Budapest is the city’s spectacular thermal baths. The architectural gems surround a labyrinthine network of saunas, steam rooms, and naturally warm pools whose mineral-infused water springs straight from the ground. ‘Taking the waters’ has been a part of everyday life there for centuries, and though the city is awash with these thermal spas, must-visits include the world-famous Gellert, and the Turkish-built 16th century Király and Rudas Baths.
Source: Lonely Planet

Standardized Health Papers

Leading airline and business groups, including the main U.S. and international airline trade organizations, airline labor unions and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are asking the Biden administration to develop temporary credentials that would let travelers show they have been tested and vaccinated for COVID-19, a step that the airline industry believes will help revive travel. However, the groups said that vaccination should not be a requirement for domestic or international travel.
Source: Travel Weekly

400 Years of Black Music

Much of the story of the United States can be told through black music, from the instruments brought to the country by enslaved Africans to the development of jazz and the blues in the Jim Crow era and the rock and hip-hop artists who continue to shape culture today. Now, a new cultural institution is dedicated to telling that 400-year story: the National Museum of African American Music, which opened in Nashville, TN, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Visitors can walk through the museum along “Rivers of Rhythm” pathways tracing 13 historical eras. The pathways feature interactive panels that display information about the social and political situations connected to particular musical developments.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Family Hit

Fjords, mountains, waterfalls, hard to pronounce stuff, quaint villages, weird fermented food… Norway is just one of those places blessed with epic landscapes everywhere you look. While popular, its Trolltunga trail is a rewarding hike for families keen on adventure. It is not the shortest hike but if you and your kids can get down on 6-8 hours of fairly easy hiking, Trolltonga will not disappoint. The best part of the hike is the grand view gained at the Troll’s Tongue; probably the most famous viewpoint in Europe.
Source: The Broke Backpacker

Come One, Come All

The National Park Service (NPS) is offering six days in 2021 when visitors can enjoy free admission to national parks, monuments, and sites that typically charge entrance fees.  Get out and explore some of the country’s most stunning landscapes and important historical attractions at no charge on:
  • January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 17: First Day of National Park Week
  • August 4: One-year Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 25: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day
Source: nps.gov

Coney Island’s New Thrill

Coney Island is a New York Landmark that has withstood the test of time, natural disasters, economic downturns, and more. So, it’s no surprise that one of its iconic amusement parks is emerging from 2020 with plans to debut a new roller coaster later this year. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park couldn’t open last year to celebrate its 100th anniversary, but that’s not stopping the park’s owners from building the Phoenix, a suspended, adrenaline-inducing roller coaster that will be 68 feet high with speeds up to 34 miles per hour.
Source: Travel + Leisure

Beautiful, Remote and So Green

The Azores Islands, part of the Portuguese archipelago, is comprised of nine volcanic islands and is one of the greenest places around, with policies that promote renewable energies and hardly any built-up environments. Three Azores islands have been designated as UNESCO biospheres — Graciosa, Flores, and Corvo — and there are 13 Ramsar sites (major wetlands) and over 30 Blue Flag beaches to explore made of infused lava rocks and ash-colored sand, contrasting with the electric blue of the wild Atlantic Ocean.
Source: The New York Times

Jungle Bubbles

The Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in northern Thailand is giving the term “close to nature” a whole new meaning. The stunning resort is gaining major buzz, thanks to its transparent luxury bubble suites, called Jungle Bubbles, which happen to be located in an area heavily trafficked by local elephants. That means guests will likely wake up each morning with a curious pachyderm or two staring them down.
Source: CNN.com

Wild, Wonderful and Preserved

West Virginians have long loved New River Gorge for its 1,000-foot-high sandstone cliffs, its more than 70,000 acres of forested land and its 53 miles of churning river. But this under-the-radar gem is gaining new attention outside of the Mountain State. On Dec. 27, New River Gorge became America’s 63rd National Park. Its 7,021 acres of scenic riverfront have been pinned for ultra-protected national park status and the remaining 65,165 acres as a national preserve carrying over current hunting and fishing access.
Source: AARP

A New Day for RV Rentals

The upstart RV rental company, Blacksford, wants to revolutionize RV rentals with all-inclusive packages featuring unlimited mileage, wi-fi, and park passes. It is making fleets of cool vehicles available to road trippers this summer, just in time for high season at national parks and other outdoor escapes. It offers a variety of Winnebago vehicles, which are based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and popular with the #vanlife set.
Source: Travel + Leisure

The Big Bet

Delta’s grand experiment of blocking the middle seat on airplanes has proved what we have known all along about air travel: more people care about a cheap fare than comfort, or even pandemic safety. The last U.S. airline with this policy, Delta recently announced that it was extending its middle-seat block to the end of April and will consider further extensions based on COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates. So far, Delta thinks, despite loses, it’s earning goodwill and confidence with customers, particularly business travelers, who aren’t traveling now but will come back.
Source: WSJ.com

Bike Idaho

Escape Adventures is offering a cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most amazing natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of transfixing road rides (190-265 miles total), remote natural hot springs, wild rivers, colorful mining towns, and cycling the highest paved road in the American Northwest. Offered June-September with first-class camping accommodations or casual inns, the price per person double starts at $1,399. For more information, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/sawtooth-mountains-idaho-road-bike-tour.
Source: Sublime Publications

Calling All Fans

Chess enthusiasts and fans of the hit Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit” will be delighted to know that a hotel room in honor all things Beth Harmon will now be available to book. The so-called “Harmon Room” is decorated in the same 1960’s, mid-century modern decor like in the show as well as vintage accessories and chess-themed perks. For more information, visit the 21c Museum Hotel website.
Source: Forbes

No Fly List

Southwest Airlines, the last of the nation’s six largest airlines to change its animal policy, will no longer allow emotional-support animals to roam about the cabin. Customers who want to bring a dog or cat on board as a pet will have to pay a fee, and the animal must be kept in a carrier that fits under an airplane seat. The airline will let passengers bring trained service dogs in the cabin. Source: NBC News

West Texas Gem

“Tough to Get Here. Tougher to Explain. But Once You Get Here, You Get It,” is the sales pitch of the town of Marfa, and it’s spot on. One of the South’s best-kept secrets, everything seems to slow down in Marfa. Some of your favorite movies have been filmed here, and A-list stars have escaped here. It might not be the first place you’d look for a cultural hotspot, but this unlikely art oasis in a desert town is guaranteed to surprise in more ways than one.
Source: Travel Pulse

Hidden Coast

When visiting Italy, travelers should follow in-the-know locals, who spend their weekends on the Maremma, Tuscany region’s southern stretch of coast, brushing the border with Lazio. This stretch of southern Tuscany is chic but discreet – disappear into the dunes, discover beguiling coves and stay on rambling estates amid stunning scenery.
Source: The Guardian

Time to Share

With help from tech startups, the concept of timeshare vacation homes is shaking off its stodgy old image. Even commitment-phobes might be tempted thanks to Koala, a new platform that follows Airbnb’s model but allows individuals to rent one-time stays direct from timeshare owners that would otherwise sit unused. Source: WSJ.com

Let’s Go, Girls!

There’s nothing like a good theme to elevate a girls’ weekend getaway. Thanks to Airbnb, you can rent celebrity homes, like the Golden Girl Guest House across from the childhood home of Rue McClanahan. Other unique accommodations include the Mexico mansion of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and Sonny and Cher’s Hollywood-area bungalow in the trees.
Source: Travel + Leisure

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