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These Popular Destinations Just Got More Affordable in 2019

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Kayak, the fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine has recently released its 2019 Travel Hacker Guide and a list of information ranging from the best times to book flights and hotels to trending destinations and budget-friendly trips. Don’t be under the impression that a “budget-friendly” trip would mean a sub-standard vacation, you’ll be delighted to find that these trips will still make you feel great and promise an experience like no other.

In order to compile these destinations, Kayak has analysed over 1.5 billion annual travel searches and took into consideration flight and hotel prices to narrow down on the top cities to visit on a budget this year. Denver, Colorado topped the list this year.

According to the research done by Kayak, travels and stays in Denver this 2019 may be approximately 55% less expensive than what the average trip might have cost in 2018. During your stay in the city, Kayak recommends that you can browse through exhibits at MCA Denver (tickets will only cost you US$8 each). Make the most out of your trip by chilling out at the rooftop cafe and take in the city views for free. In order to secure the best deal, it is recommended that travellers book their flights approximately a month in advance. When it comes to accomodations, consider spending a few nights at the Hilton Denver City Center which is available at an attractive price and has a superb 8.7 rating.

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Alternatively, consider visiting Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, where travellers will most likely save up to 54% on trips here. Budget-friendly activities include spending time at the beach (which is free) or perhaps taking a hike at Myrtle Beach State Park which will only cost you US$5 for admission.

Other destinations on the list include Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston and Fort Myers.

You Can Now Zip Line Over the Las Vegas Strip

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Image credit: Caesars Palace

Adrenaline junkies, this one’s for you! There is now a brand new experience for you thrill-seekers out there.

FLY LINQ is a new attraction at the LINQ Promenade and it is also the first (and only) zip line on the Las Vegas strip. This ride has officially opened on 1st January, with a special superheroes-themed display.

This brand new US$20 million attraction was opened by ten fliers who were dressed in FLY LINQ-branded superhero costumes. They soared above The LINQ Promenade across the strip from Caesars Palace accompanied by colourful confetti cannons.

Featuring 10 side-by-side zip lines (which can be used simultaneously), FLY LINQ is the newest attraction from High Roller, which happens to be the world’s tallest observation wheel.

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Image credit: Caesars Palace

Fliers are launched from a 114-foot tower (approximately 14 floors) to another 54-foot landing tower (approximately 5 floors) across the promenade, traversing a distance of approximately 1,121 feet. You can choose to either fly seated or in a “superhero” position, just like Superman. Guests should take note that you’ll need to be if a minimum weight of 60 pounds.

Zooming across at an average speed of 35 miles/hour, each ride will take approximately 35 to 45 seconds.

The zip line runs daily from 11:30am in the morning, however ticket prices may vary depending on what time of the day you wish to fly. In the day, seated fliers pay US$25 while “superhero” passengers pay US$35. At night however, prices go up to around US$30 and US$40 depending on your flight position of choice.

You can visit the Caesars Palace website for more information and ticket reservations.

What Do You Think About Running An Island Inn Off the Coast of San Francisco?

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The East Brother Light Station is a lighthouse located on East Brother Island in San Rafael, near the tip of Point San Pablo in Richmond, California. This small island that is located off the coast of San Francisco has an opening that is offering a US$130,000 annual salary.

Apart from the lighthouse, the island is also home to a small inn that only operates for four days a week. Since current innkeepers Che Rodgers and Jillian Meeker are giving up their roles, they have been actively seeking successors to take their place.

The remuneration may sound attractive, but applicants should also note that it comes with a fair amount of work: housekeeping, bookkeeping, tending the front desk and ferrying guests to and from the island. In other words, applicants will find themselves running operations of the bed and breakfast. Since the island is rather isolated, applicants will not have access to television or Wi-Fi as well.

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In order to be considered for the position, the applicant must be a couple and one of them must possess a Coast Guard commercial boat operator’s license. You should also note that those with impressive culinary experience and capability will be a critical point for consideration. Successful candidates will find themselves beginning work in mid-April 2019.

The new keepers to the inn will get both room and board and enter into a revenue sharing model which amounts to approximately US$130,000 each year. Of course, the salary could possibly go higher if the new keepers excel in marketing to property.

Interested candidates can download the application here.

Go ‘Glamping’ in This Eco-friendly Camp

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Since the year seems to be ending at hyper-speed, it’s time to start planning your summer trips right about now and what better way is there to spend your 2019 summer than to explore the great outdoors.

In South Dakota, home of the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial, millions of visitors come and stay in the area. Many stay in the busy nearby town of Keystone, where there are plenty of hotels, motels and tourist shops that sell bobble-heads and t-shirts. However, staying in the same old hotel could get restricting.

Change up your accommodation to something more environmentally friendly and get nearer to South Dakota’s wild open spaces. Under Canvas is a company that provides ‘glamping’ tents at National Parks such as the Great Smoky Mountains and Moad.

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Image credit: Under Canvas

Under Canvas has just recently opened at Mount Rushmore, just in time for the new year. If rugged camping and sleeping in sleeping bags isn’t your thing, Under Canvas has got you covered with plush beds and high thread count sheets.

Founders of the Under Canvas believe in experiencing the outdoors without having to sacrifice the comforts we crave for. Under Canvas embraces an eco friendly lifestyle by having the accommodation to be Wi-Fi free, usage of solar energy and has a leave-no-trace commitment.

Their camps use low-flow toilets, showers that only lets the water flow when you pull a chain, and majority of the property is powered by solar energy. Under Canvas does not use plastics in the camp and they repurpose whatever they can as much as possible. They also have a goal set in which by 2020, they would produce zero waste.

Go On a Cross-Country Adventure in Style

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All aboard! For those who love travelling cross-country and watching idyllic sceneries pass by while you relax in your own comfort and space, Amtrak has the deal for you.

You can now go on a cross-country train ride past some of America’s amazing views with a friend or loved one in Amtrak’s roomette sale. Amtrak is offering a 2-for-1 deal for the roomettes, which are private rooms fitted with large panoramic windows by the sleeping arrangements and offers a variety of other amenities.

The roomettes are perfect for those who are going on a trip in pairs who are, not only looking for a comfortable and private accommodation during a train ride, but also has a scenic view that can keep you and your partner company throughout the journey.

The roomettes are designed with their very own sliding doors, face-to-face seats that converts into a bed, and has services such as complimentary bottled water and towel service. Travellers also have access to the Amtrak Metropolitan lounges that is stocked with snacks and drinks. Work areas and Wi-Fi are also available.

Probably one of the best perks are the sit-down meals that are available for anyone who is part of the Amtrak Sleeper Service, which includes roomettes.

If that isn’t comfort at its best, roomette passengers have dedicated attendants who will look after your needs. From taking down the beds, meal reservations, to even sharing a few tales of living life on the rails.

Visit the crystal clear lake in Oregon

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Hidden inside Willamette National Forest in Oregon, is a crystal clear lake that has its own secrets for everyone to explore and discover.

Clear Lake was formed around 3,000 years ago as a result of the lava flows from Sand Mountain, creating a natural dam at the south end of the lake that slowly filled with water over the years. The lake is primarily fed by snow from the nearby Mount Washington but is filtered through the underground springs that flow all year round.

Part of the surroundings of the lake, which were part forests, are now submerged into the water overtime. With the lakes cold temperatures, it has preserved majority of the trees, revealing what seems like a magical underwater world. Some of the trees submerged extend as far as 120 feet into the lake.

Due to the volcanic activity that has occurred in the past, the ground’s of the lake is also covered in volcanic silt. Which is so thick, it looks very closely like white sand. The lake also hides a collection of shipwrecks of wooden boats, some of which dates back to the 1920’s. These shipwrecks and the volcanic silt is what attracts many for an otherworldly diving experience.

While the lake is perfect for diving expeditions, it does present itself as a challenge. The temperatures of Clear Lake get as cold as 37 degree Fahrenheit (2.8 degree Celsius). For those who aren’t up for the chilly temperature, the lake also provides rowboat rentals and kayaks. The lake is so clear you can just row over the sights and not worry about murky.

Apart from diving and rowing boats in Clear Lake, there are also trails open for you to hike at. Clear Loop Trail and Mackenzie River National Recreational Trail are both nearby the area, the trails would lead you through areas that had lava flows and volcanic glass. From May to June, the forests is filled with wildflowers and throughout October, Vine maples and a wave of other colours blanket the forest.

Netflix Celebrates New Show by Serving Incredible Eats!

Netflix will be making your Thanksgiving travels extra special by giving out snacks from different parts of the world!

An exciting way to advertise its new global cooking show, ‘The Final Table’, Netflix will be serving free snacks to the hungry travellers at JFK Airport in New York and O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

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The snacks isn’t your everyday trail mix and popcorn, the free grub will be snacks that represent global meals from nine countries—United States, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, India and Japan—all of which will be featured on ‘The Final Table’.

‘The Final Table’ is a global cooking competition that will have 12 pairs of the greatest chefs from all over the world, to celebrate togetherness and inspire through food by serving up iconic dishes and impressing some of the toughest palates in the world.

Snacks to be given out in the two airports will include full English breakfast pork scratchings, nori-crusted nuts, sun dried tomato fusilli, spiced black bean Brazil nuts, paella, and to complete your Thanksgiving travels, Thanksgiving leftover bread pudding.

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Image credit: Netflix

Apart from the free gourmet eats, customized screens will also be around. Travellers can interact with the screens where they can select countries they with to travel to for their food journeys. The screen will show more information about the country, its local dishes and the chefs that will be part of the show with a short teaser clip that features the chef.

After the viewing the contents of the screen, the travellers will receive the box with the international snack with information about the ingredients used to make it from the chosen country.

After passing through the seemingly endless security lines with the other thanksgiving travellers, you most definitely deserve a little treat before your flight. The popup will be available in O’Hare and JFK airport from November 21, Wednesday all through November 25, Sunday.

Hang Out at British Airways’ New Lounge at JFK

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The British Airways First lounge located in Terminal 7 of New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport has recently been remodelled and expanded, and is now opened to welcome eligible fliers.

The First lounge is now 60% larger than before and has well-designed seating zones and separate work spaces, a roving gourmet gin and tonic cart as well as a bar area with both self-serve and tended drink-making.

Wine lovers should get excited because a new highlight of the lounge is a separate wine room which features a glass-fronted enomatic wine preservation unit. They dispense one-ounce tasting pours to the themed wines that have been kept at the perfect sipping temperature. Cabernet Sauvignons have been selected as the feature wines for the month of Novemeber.

As many of the British Airways flights from New York to London travel overnight, a majority of the passengers prefer to have dinner on the ground and catch up on their sleep during the flight. Perfect for evening and late-night fliers, the First lounge will be offering a variety of selection for the preflight buffet dining complete with seasonal menus.

The First lounge at JFK will be opened daily from 5am to 10pm, and welcomes all passengers travelling in the First cabin and to those with BA Gold and oneworld Emerald status.

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Passengers who are flying first class with the airline as well as upper tier British Airways customers holding a Concorde Card should take note that they will be able to access a fancier lounge option at JFK T7: the Concorde Room, located beside Gate 1. The lounge provides table-service dining and has also been refurbished recently.

First lounge access includes the Elemis Travel spa located in the adjacent Club business lounge. Here, passengers can enjoy a complimentary 15-minute treatment which includes skin-reviving facials and foot, neck, and back massages on a first come first served system. Do remember to schedule an appointment with the spa desk upon arrival so as to avoid disappointment!

California Wildfires Forces Thousands of People to Evacuate

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One of the most destructive and deadly wildfires in decades, firefighters and residents of Northern and Southern California has been battling three wildfires that are raging on in the state of California. The wildfire has already forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes and has destroyed thousands of acres of land.

Two of the fires are rapidly burning in Southern California in a community just north of Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) has already issued a mandatory evacuation for some parts of Malibu as well.

In Northern California, the Camp Fire has destroyed majority of the city of Paradise, 80 miles of Sacramento and has at least forced 40,000 people to evacuate their homes under short notice. Multiple injuries have been reported and the specific number of deaths are yet to be released by the state.

With the fatal combination of low humidity, high winds and dry lands, the wildfires has increased a great deal in size from Thursday through Friday morning. According to Cal Fire, the Camp Fire in Northern California began to grow on Thursday in an estimated rate of 80 football fields per minute.

The fire has devastated the area of more than 100,000 acres, having the department declare a state of emergency for Butte County. As of earlier this morning, only 35 percent of the fire has been contained.

According to CBS News, the Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire in Southern California in Southern California has declared emergency evacuations to more than 70,000 homes in both Los Angeles and Ventura County. With in a short few hours last Thursday, the Woolsey Fire has spread from 2,000 acres to an estimate of 8,000 acres. As of Friday morning, more than 10,000 acres has been covered by the Woolsey Fire.

The Hill Fire has spread to at least 6,000 acres of land, according to Cal Fire. The fire is taking place just down the street where a mass shooting in a bar took place on Wednesday evening, killing 12 people. Ventura County Fire Department has urged those who lived in evacuation zones to leave as soon as possible.

You Can Now Explore the Great Smoky Mountains On a Brand New Route

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The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in southeastern United States and the final section of the Foothills Parkway is now opened.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park plays host to approximately ten million visitors each year and this would be great news for them as they will be able to experience the entire 16-mile roadway for the first time since construction began in 1966.

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The long-awaited final section of the Foothills Parkway that connects Walland and Wears Valley was opened on Saturday 10th November. The section includes a 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ and is now connected by a series of nine bridges. For travellers who are planning to make a trip there, you’d be glad to know that the park is free to enter and you can explore the atmospheric remains of Cades Cove or enjoy the view from Clingmans Dome, the highest peak with an observation tower on top without any additional costs.

The national park is home to breathtaking landscapes, lush forests, an abundance of wildflowers that bloom all year round as well as some of the best hiking routes east of the Mississippi has to offer. Plus, you should also note that the park has already recovered from the 2016 wildfires and access to the iconic Chimney Tops Trail is almost fully restored.

The Foothills Parkway now consists of two finished sections at each end of the 72-mile corridor. The western section extends continuously for 33 miles from Chilhowee to Wears Valley, cyclists and motorists can expect a brand new recreational experience. As for the eastern section, it was completed in 1968 and extends six miles from Cosby to Interstate 40 and visitors can take in the breathtaking views of Mt. Cammerer along the way.

For more information on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit their website here.