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21 Reasons We’re Obsessed With Travel Right Now


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Ecotourism with greenloons.com

On our bucket list: Greenloons’ Antarctica Classic Package—penguins, orcas, and leopard seals oh, my!

3.5 million lights at The Mission Inn in Riverside

Behold the 19th Annual Festival of Lights. Free! From Nov. 25-Jan. 8. festivaloflightsca.com

“Cuddle Class” on Air New Zealand

To go LAX-Auckland, book the economy class Skycouch, a.k.a. “Cuddle Class”—couples buy two seats and pay half price for the third in the row. airnewzealand.com

15 new galleries at NYC’s Met

1,000 works from the Arab lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia. Opens Nov. 1. metmuseum.org

Wine plus indie cinema

The first Napa Valley Film Festival pairs 75 new movies with the region’s food and wine. Two thumbs up! Nov. 9-13. napavalleyfilmfest.org

 

Global entry

Skip the line at customs and enter the U.S. via automated kiosk! Apply at globalentry.gov.

An 1889 schoolhouse turned boutique hotel

Opening next month in Park City, Utah: a luxury 12-room hotel. Washington School House is one of the last original schoolhouses in the U.S.—and newly reno’d by three San Diegans. washingtonschoolhouse.com

A 74-day cruise!

Are you available Jan. 16-Mar. 31, 2013? The Grand South America Exploration sails from Miami to Cape Horn and back. crystalcruises.com

The new Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

The hotel’s Suite Impériale—once the pad of Prince Roland Bonaparte, Napoleon’s grandnephew—is listed with Monuments Historiques because of its castings, gilt work, and carvings. In a word, stunning. shangri-la.com

A hotel with free Wi-Fi

Clift San Francisco’s 10-year anniversary package involves 15 percent off the best available rate, plus an upgrade to a deluxe room, two cocktails, and—wait for it—free Wi-Fi. morganshotelgroup.com

Ice-skating in La-La Land

The W Los Angeles in Westwood turns its pool deck into an ice-skating rink. Snowfall every hour and Z Gallerie-decorated cabaῆas, Nov. 18-Jan. 2. wlosangeles.com/chill

 

Nordic fashion in Seattle

Fashion, design, and photography from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Through Nov. 13. nordicfashionbiennale.com

Cheap-ish private air travel

Snag one of JetSuite’s last-minute deals, such as a $499 one-way for a four-passenger Phenom 100 aircraft. Fly to Phoenix, Dallas, and more. 
facebook.com/jetsuiteair

Xmas in the Dolomites

Spend an all-inclusive holiday in Italy! Get personalized skiing itineraries, an English-speaking mountain guide, and a tour through local Christmas markets. dolomitemountains.com

The largest river cruise staterooms in Europe

Four new Viking Longships will set sail in 2012. The ships’ Explorer Suites boast living rooms and wraparound verandas. vikingrivercruises.com

A private island for the family reunion

Barbuda’s Lighthouse Bay Resort offers a one-week buyout of their island and resort. Nov. 1-Dec. 17, the family reunion all-inclusive package starts at $114,999 (up to 20 peeps). lighthousebayresort.com

 

Insta-itineraries on plnnr.com

No time to read a 200-page guidebook? Pick a destination, dates, sightseeing intensity, and luxury level. Boom, you have a schedule and map.

Elephants in a hotel lobby

Every November, one 10-elephant herd returns to the luxury Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia. Up to four times a day, they walk through the lobby to get to their favorite mango grove. mfuwelodge.com

Eco-friendly yachts

Y.CO launched two charters this fall: Ethereal sails to Mexico and Costa Rica for $290,000/week. Big Fish goes to Patagonia and Antarctica, for $195,000/week. ycoyacht.com

Direct flights to Honolulu

Starting Nov. 17, Alaska Airlines will make one daily nonstop flight between San Diego and Honolulu, Hawaii. alaskaair.com

 

A tanning concierge at the W Scottsdale

The job? To keep guests “burn-free and beautifully bronzed.” The SPF guru also gives in-room airbrush tans. wscottsdalehotel.com

 

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