Category: Vacations

Golfscape.com might fit sportsmen to a tee

Posted on September, 01 2014

Here’s a smoother, more modern way to book your tee time at golf courses around the world.

Name: Golfscape.com

What it does: This website lets you plan and book golf games in the United States and 47 countries from your desktop, tablet or mobile device. Create a profile and make a wish list of courses you hope to play.

What’s hot: It’s a tempting site for the destination golfer. Scroll down the home page beneath the search bar to see featured golfing destinations in Da Nang, Vietnam; Cape Town, South Africa; and Hua Hin, Thailand, to name a few. There are plenty of course photos, a map and lists of amenities and weather reports, plus the opportunity for golfers to rate and review the courses à la Yelp or TripAdvisor. Users can make instant bookings in California, Arizona and Nevada.

What’s not: You’re getting just a sneak peek at features. For example, by year’s end you should be able to search by city or individual course rather than by just a list of destinations. Also, there were tabs for “Views and Vistas,” “Caddies” and “Luxe,” among others, but they did not link to a list of results. Hold tight. They’re working on it.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

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Category: Vacations

Readers recommend — France: Wake up in a farmhouse outside Lyon

Posted on August, 30 2014
 Readers recommend    France: Wake up in a farmhouse outside Lyon

We just returned from France, where we had the great fortune to end our stay at Ferme de la Vallée, a beautiful B&B about 20 minutes outside of Lyon. The house is owned by Charline and Gilles Lauga (they speak English), who are wonderful hosts and ready with suggestions about what to see in the area. The property was gorgeous with walking paths surrounding the house. Charline makes a beautiful breakfast, and the room is great with private bath. An added plus for animal lovers is the big, friendly Newfoundland dog and four cats

Ferme de la Vallée d’Arche, Route du Mont Thou, Chemin de la Vallée; 011-33-4-26-63-76-32, clauga.free.fr. Rooms from $ 126, breakfast included.

Sarabeth Rothfeld

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Category: Vacations

Dining outdoors in Vegas on National Eat Outside Day — or any day

Posted on August, 27 2014

With its typically clear skies and dry weather, Las Vegas is an ideal place to dine outdoors after the sun goes down or when the misters turn on and the umbrellas go up.

Although most visitors to Vegas probably won’t need an excuse to dine alfresco, here’s one, just in case: Sunday is National Eat Outside Day. Forecast: 101 degrees. But it’s a dry heat.

Several restaurants offer front-row seats to let you enjoy the colorful lights, and the equally colorful people, along the Strip.

From street level and perches high above the Strip, restaurateurs will greet Sunday celebrants with food and libations. Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris is offering ringside seats for viewing the throngs as they make their way along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Kitty corner at Caesars, Serendipity 3 is welcoming guests to a recently extended wraparound patio.

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Category: Vacations

Feel like leasing a private plane? Download the JetSmarter app first

Posted on August, 25 2014

If you want to avoid the hassle of commercial air travel, you can always lease a private jet. Don’t know where to look? Try this new travel app for fliers with deep pockets.

Name: JetSmarter

Available: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

What it does: It wants to be the Uber of private aviation. The JetSmarter app lets you book a seat on a private plane from your smartphone for flights around the world. Find deals at a steep discount or book your own charter flight.

What’s hot: I was surprised by how many options there were and how easy it was to use and compare planes and prices (I know very little about private jets). If you’re looking to charter a flight, plug in your dates and departure times, let the app search for planes, then review your options. For a weekend L.A.-San Francisco round-trip flight, I found five options for booking a turbo-prop, four options for “entry-level” jets and dozens more options for bigger jets — even airliners. The deals are marked with a green tag. Click on the price to get to plane information and pictures. An additional click on the “tap for more info” link takes you to a list of amenities.

What’s not: The $ 6,999 annual membership fee. You would have to put this app to good use to make that fee worth it. And wouldn’t that be fun.

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Category: Vacations

Learning the wonders of the sharing economy in trip to Denver

Posted on August, 23 2014

Meet my friends Joanna, Jo and Brenton, and Beth. They really helped me out on my recent trip to Denver.

Joanna lent me her car. Jo gave up his room and crashed in Brenton’s room so I would have a place to sleep. Beth invited me for a lovely dinner.

Thing is, I didn’t know any of them before my trip here last month.

These trusting souls are part of the sharing economy, also called collaborative consumption or peer-to-peer sharing, which may be the hottest trend in travel since the birth of frequent-flier programs.

The concept is simple: What isn’t being used can be shared or lent — a spare room, an extra car or even expertise — maybe for a fee, maybe not. (A headline on Time Inc.’s Money blog recently snipped, “Can We Stop Pretending the Sharing Economy Is All About Sharing?”)

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Category: Vacations
Category: Vacations

Foreign Briefing: Warnings issued for Mideast, Africa and Ebola

Posted on August, 18 2014

The U.S. State Department has issued several new warnings — none surprising but all important — as trouble plagues the Middle East and Africa.

Iraq: In an Aug. 10 warning, the agency warns travelers “against all but essential travel to Iraq.”

Saudi Arabia: The Aug. 8 warning asks travelers to “consider the risks of traveling” to Saudi Arabia. It cites a July 4 border crossing attack by Al Qaeda and more threats to Saudi and U.S. interests.

Pakistan: Travelers are asked to defer all nonessential travel in the warning issued Aug. 8.

Nigeria: An Aug. 8 warning tells travelers to stay away from the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and advises travelers to be aware of safety and health issues. Ebola has been reported in Nigeria.

Liberia: On Aug. 7, the State Department warning asks that travelers defer all but nonessential trips to Liberia because of Ebola.

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Category: Vacations

Las Vegas: Citing health, Celine Dion cancels Caesars shows, Asia trip

Posted on August, 13 2014
 Las Vegas: Citing health, Celine Dion cancels Caesars shows, Asia trip

Citing health reasons, singer Celine Dion announced Wednesday that she is canceling her Las Vegas performances at Caesars at least through next March as well as a tour through Asia that had been planned for the fall.

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Category: Vacations

Israel: FAA ban silences some traffic to Tel Aviv, and tourism suffers

Posted on July, 23 2014
 Israel: FAA ban silences some traffic to Tel Aviv, and tourism suffers

With a  second day of flight cancellations snarling plans and silencing some air traffic to Tel Aviv, one tour operator reports that life — but not travel-related business — is proceeding as usual.

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Category: Vacations

Train travel connects the destination dots in Europe

Posted on July, 19 2014

My wife, Laurel, and I had laid out an idiosyncratic European itinerary for our trip last fall: to London for theater, to Paris to scout Ernest Hemingway’s long-ago haunts, to Friedrichshafen, Germany, for the Zeppelin Museum, and finally to Hamburg to sail home on the Queen Mary 2.

We had no question about how to connect these disparate map points — by rail, because for us one of the joys of traveling in Europe is that trains can take us almost anywhere. Besides that, we find train travel relaxing and just plain fun.

We pieced together an eight-train (and one boat) odyssey, a three-country journey that would be spread over nine days, feature leisurely stopovers and fine scenery and include three premier high-speed rail services: the Eurostar, the French TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) and the German ICE (InterCity Express).


It would be hard to find a more auspicious place to begin than London’s gloriously Victorian St. Pancras station, built in 1868 and rebuilt in 2007 to house the Eurostar service though the Channel Tunnel to Paris and Brussels.

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Category: Vacations
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