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With its rich (if sometimes grisly) history, intoxicating culture, and gorgeous mix of architecture, Cambodia serves up sights and experiences in a mesmerizing brew. Soak up the atmosphere of Angkor Wat, try the local fragrant cuisine in the vibrant capital Phnom Penh, or bask in the sunny rays of the beachfront town of Sihanoukville. Whichever destination you start with, here are a variety of packing ideas to carry you from temple to beach to city with ease.
It’s the time of the year when visions of sugar soft sands top travelers’ wish lists. Florida, with its 825 miles of beaches, lures sunbathers, surfers, action lovers and solitude seekers to its shores.
To find the best Florida strands, USA TODAY hosted an east coast-west coast smackdown. “Dr. Beach,” aka Stephen Leatherman, professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami, helped select the destinations for each of five categories. Each week, readers voted for one pair of contenders. Here are the champs they chose:
Best family beach
With 95% of the vote, Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County delivered a near knockout to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne. Situated on five interconnected islands, Fort De Soto features 1,136 acres that include nearly 3 miles of sandy beaches.
“North Beach is the best beach for families,” Leatherman says. “It’s on the gulf and has good swimming. The water is clear and calm. Families can also kayak through the mangroves, fish and boat.”
If you’ve been researching world cruises, you’ve realized by now that they generally embark in January. Oceania Cruises has turned the concept of world voyages on its head and just unveiled its second 180-day World Odyssey, which sets sail on July 8, 2015.
This unconventional itinerary starts (and ends) in Miami and takes the 684-passenger Insignia—one of Oceania’s popular R-class ships— north to call upon ports in New England and Canada before heading across the Atlantic for a week exploring Greenland and Iceland. Then, the ship traverses the Norwegian Sea to spend the first few weeks of August visiting the fjords of Norway before heading south through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and England.
Insignia then calls on ports in France, Spain, and Portugal, before squeezing through the Strait of Gibraltar on her way to the most beautiful ports of the Mediterranean, like Barcelona, Livorno (in Tuscany), and Rome. By September, the ship will visit Greece, Cyprus, and Israel before transiting the Suez Canal to cruise the Red Sea in search of Middle Eastern ports.
Has it struck you that skiing has become a preposterously expensive family pastime? With lift tickets close to $ 100 a day, plus ski school, rentals, food and accommodations, it’s not unheard of to spend $ 1,500 a day for a family of four, and that’s without transportation.
There are, however, places in the West where skiing is still affordable. Here are some overlooked but awesome ski hills.
Durango Mountain Resort
When TripAdvisor analyzed 25 top North American ski resorts, weighing the cost of items such as lift tickets, accommodations and, naturally, beer, Durango was the best value for the money, at half the average price of the others (and one-quarter the price of Vail, the most costly).
The culinary-driven traveler has ever-expanding options for a taste of more than just meals, and experiences can be enjoyed together. Here are six ways to give (or get) food and travel in one.
The USA alone hosts hundreds of annual food festivals a year, and we have complete guides to more than 50 of the best events in the biggest culinary destinations. Get a taste of top chefs in each of the world’s food capitals, learn of up-and-coming trends in a city’s food scene or be the first to sample new creations. International festivals offer travel inspiration and plenty of events to work an itinerary around, and beer and spirits festivals often debut new makers or exclusive products. Whether you’re dying to meet a celebrity chef, pining to taste a wine out of your price range or looking for cooking tips and demonstrations, these are the ultimate experiences covering a wide range of interests and locations.
Tickets can run from $ 17 (for California’s Gilroy Garlic Festival) to $ 500 (for Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Tribute Dinner honoring Danny Meyer and Chuck Wagner) and often benefit charity.
With the right host, cooking classes are as much fun for seasoned home chefs as they are for novices, and as cooking surges in popularity, classes and facilities have expanded to cover every food group, region or skill imaginable. Venues range from formal institutions to recreational classes in laboratories or studios with renowned chefs and experts for countless themed experiences.
Many cruise ships focus their energies on specialty restaurants, but Carnival Cruises has renewed its effort in developing forward-thinking menus for its complimentary main dining experience. That’s not to say that Carnival doesn’t offer some pretty special dining experiences—like Chef’s Table—that do come with a supplemental price tag, but the line wants guests to know that an incredible amount of attention to detail is also put into the menus for its main dining rooms across the fleet.
Two new concepts—American TABLE and American FEAST—will debut aboard the December 8 voyage of Carnival Glory. After a test phase, these options will roll out fleet-wide in the latter half of 2014 and early 2015.
Repeat Carnival guests will notice a change as soon as they step into the dining room, with new table decor and place settings. Next up is the extensive cocktail menu with delicious libations like the Raspberry Mojito, Sunset Serenity, and Carnival Cosmo. Wines—by the glass and bottle—round out the beverage options.
Make your spirit bright as neon this winter. Las Vegas is getting extra jolly for your holiday vacation, so be sure to check out our top picks for winter attractions. Warning: warm and fuzzy feelings may occur.
You can’t think Vegas without thinking entertainment. So why not make your holiday visit extra spirited by seeing a show fit for snowy weather? You can enjoy all the magic and spectacle of a holiday performance without any of the hassle of being snowed in.
Terry Fator’s Country Christmas at The Mirage
Fator and his puppets transform their show for a special holiday performance featuring a little country charm. This limited engagement includes performances of your favorite carols like O Holy Night and Winter Wonderland. The show will also give attendees a sneak peek at Fator’s newest cast member, Kani Kapila. Shows run Monday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m. until December 26. Tickets start at $ 59.99 (plus taxes and fees). Purchase tickets online or at the Terry Fator Box Office.
The Nutcracker at The Smith Center
The week after Thanksgiving means it’s time to kick your planning mode into high gear. From choosing the perfect gifts for everyone on your holiday list to planning a getaway trip during the New Year, there’s a lot to do. We rounded up some tips to help make this season a little less stressful.
Fodor’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guides
Even while reveling in holiday festivities, it’s easy to be overtaken by the stress of finding perfect gifts. Happily, Fodor’s has rounded up a selection of on-point presents for all types of travelers in your life.