Ryanair Teams Up with LaudaMotion to Provide Bargain Airfares

Irish air carrier Ryanair announced this week that it is teaming up with the new Austrian airline LaudaMotion to offer low-cost airfares to travelers flying within Europe. LaudaMotion is an upstart budget airline founded by former Formula One driver Niki Lauda.
The new airline will be based out of Vienna and will serve much of Europe. Ryanair will initially offer a 24.9% stake in the LaudaMotion. Upon approval by the European Union regulatory officials, this stake could rise to as much as 75% of the company.

This move is meant to increase competition in the market space currently dominated by European and international airline giant Lufthansa. LaudaMotion will offer flights from originating points in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and will travel to popular short-haul vacation destinations. Germany flights will begin this week, with flights from Switzerland launching in April, and Austria beginning in June. Tickets are on sale already with a starting price point of 59 euros (approximately $74).

To promote growth, Ryanair has agreed to lease six of its Boeing 737s to LaudaMotion and an additional 30 more aircraft within the next three years. Ryanair has also committed to providing LaudaMotion with 50 million euros (approximately $61 million) in operational funding. Aviation experts predict that LaudaMotion will grow quickly now that it has access to Ryanair’s established financial resources and aircraft. The big winners in this partnership will be European travelers who will now be provided with greater travel options and lower fares.

Singapore Ranked World’s Most Pricey City!

According to a survey that took into account a multitude of factors, such as the cost of bread, gas and wine, Singapore is now the most expensive city in the world. Also, due to the tumbling U.S. dollar, the cities of Los Angeles and New York did not rank as highly as they did last year. Finishing in the 14th and 13th spots respectively, these American hotspots were far from the top.

Although some other Asian cities did make the most expensive list, many European cities also cracked the top 10. With Zurich and Paris in a dead heat for the second spot, Oslo, Copenhagen and Geneva also popped up. Although Tokyo has been making these kinds of lists for a very long time now—and even headlining most of them—the Japanese city actually finished in the eleventh spot this year. Directly above Tokyo was the Australian city of Sydney, which shot up a whopping four positions since last year.

As far as the Middle East goes, Tel Aviv was the only city to crack the list. But with geopolitics swirling and churning up quite a storm lately, it seems as if anything could happen with the economies of all cities making this list in 2018. Regardless, it should be interesting to see if Singapore manages to snag the top spot again in 2019!

3 Spots to Find Immense Natural Beauty

Many travelers love to look at stunning landscapes when they travel. There are some very unusual places to see on earth. Here are a few ideas for world travelers that they might want to consider in 2018.

Danakil Desert

National Geographic has named the Danakil Desert in Ethiopia one of the cruelest places on earth because it is one of the hottest, lowest and driest places on earth. It is also home to an amazing volcano with numerous bubbling lava lakes that light up the night sky. Visitors often see long lines of camels being led across the great salt pans as they carry salt to market. The vivid colors of the hydrothermal field make visitors feel like they have left earth and traveled to another planet.

Vatnajökull National Park

While many travelers to Iceland focus on visiting Pingvellir, Gullfoss and the Blue Lagoon, the ice field in Vatnajokull National Park is a stunning natural landscape to see. The best time to go is from mid-July to the end of August when all areas of the park are normally open. Therefore, glacier hiking and camping may make a great break from the heat.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

New Zealand offers a great variety of scenery including beaches, mountains, lakes and glaciers, but one of the most unusual landscapes is their Waitomo Glowworm Caves. The rachnocampa luminosa give off a luminescent light providing an eerie glow as you take a boat ride through their home. Blackwater rafting through the caves is an experience visitors are likely to never forget.

While there are many different beautiful spots on earth, these three offer something truly unique.

Rare $500 Tickets To Brussels Now Offered At Major American

There’s no excuse for putting your European dream vacation on the backburner this year. Major airlines in dozens of American cities are now offering extremely cheap plane fares to Brussels, Belgium.

So, just how cheap are these discounted tickets? The most you’ll have to pay is in the $500-range. In some cases, these tickets could go as low as $400.

These prices are exceptional values for the busy spring and summer travel seasons. Indeed, the average price for tickets to Europe in the springtime is around $800 and summer travel could be around $1,000.

Some of the major airlines participating in this discount include Lufthansa, Air Canada, Delta, and Air France. Almost all of the major cities in the USA should have these discounted tickets available right now. Unless you’re flying out of New York, however, you’ll most likely have to make one stop before you arrive in Brussels Airport (IATA: BRU).

The dates available for this discount vary depending on what city you’re planning on flying out from. As of today, there are still plenty of tickets available between March – May and a few in August.

Even if people aren’t interested in visiting Brussels, it’s still a good idea to take advantage of these ticket prices. From BRU, travelers can easily book a transfer flight to other major European cities.

Anyone interested in these prices has to act fast before other savvy travelers snatch them up. Travel experts recommend visiting the website Momondo to have the best shot of scoring a few of these cheap flights to Belgium.

You Can Now Get Paid to Live in Italy

Ever thought packing up and moving somewhere across the world only to remember that you don’t have enough money to hop on that next plane out of town? Well, that may not be an issue anymore. Candela, a tiny town 80 miles outside of Naples, Italy, is actually paying people to come and live there. The mayor, Nicola Gatta, is paying people over two thousand dollars just move to Italy. The tiny town used to be home to about 8,000 people. But, it only has about 2,500 now. So, Mayor Gatta needed a plan. And his plan was just to pay people to come and live in his town. The caveat? You are required to find a job once you get there. And, that job must pay a minimum of 7,500 a year. But, that’s not too hard, right? Well, actually it is. You see, there’s a reason the town only has 2,500 people living there. That means that there aren’t many jobs available. Also, that 2,000 Euros isn’t quite what it first seems. For one person, you will make 800. Couples will make 1500. Only if you have a family of five or more will you make that 2,000, just like this article describes: https://nypost.com/2017/10/23/charming-italian-town-will-pay-you-to-move-there/
Still, you may be infatuated with the idea of getting paid to move to this eensey little place an hour from the beach. I know I am. So, maybe you should just take this chance, pack your suitcase, and hop on that next flight.

Tourism Experts Reveal Top 15 Travel Destinations For 2018 Season

A newly released survey reveals 15 of the most unique travel destinations for the 2018 season. The reason this list is so special is because only seasoned tourism experts were allowed to vote for destinations. Below, we’ll go through the top five destinations on this list in detail.

The first area tourism experts love is Cambodia. Over the past few years, many people have only traveled to this Southeast Asian nation to take in the massive Angkor Wat temple complex. This year, however, tourism experts expect visitors will start venturing out to undiscovered areas of this nation. A few of these soon to be hot destinations include Krabey Island and Koh Russey.

Next up is the Yucatán Peninsula in southeastern Mexico. There are now dozens of specialized tours offering guests exclusive air balloon and helicopter rides around this area. If you can, travel guides highly advise you visit the Yucatán Peninsula when the Monarch butterflies arrive for their yearly migration.

The third most interesting place to visit in 2018 is the South American nation of Bolivia. Many tourists consider Bolivia to have the greatest scenery in all of South America, especially in the hypnotizing Salar de Uyuni salt flats. For those into high culture fine dining, you’ll find a great deal to admire in Bolivia’s capital La Paz.

Another wonderful place to visit in 2018 is the African nation Tanzania, especially the southern region of the country. A few specific areas guides recommend checking out here include the Ruaha National Park and the Selous Game Reserve.

Rounding out the top five on this list is Australia’s Tasmania region. Since Tasmania has been isolated from the Australian mainland over the course of its history, it has some of the most interesting architecture as well as an incredible array of flora and fauna. A particularly great place for new tourists to explore is the Tasmanian capital Hobart.

The other locations highly praised by tourism guides include the following: Asheville (North Carolina), Chad, Northern Brazil, the Faroe Island, Aysén (Chile), Milan (Italy), Tibet, Malawi, and Egypt.

Things World Travelers Should Take With Them

Do you travel a lot? There are some things you should always take with you around the world.

For example, if you are someone who often misplaces things, then you should use a tool that lets you track your items. There are many products that let you use Bluetooth devices to keep track of your personal items such as your wallet or cellphone. This way, you will not have to worry about leaving your wallet behind in your old hotel.

A laptop briefcase is another thing that is useful to take around if you use a laptop on your vacations. This is especially suitable for business travelers.

If you travel around the world, you may want to consider getting travel insurance. This can help you out if you suddenly run into a tough situation and you need medical help, for example.

You may also want to take electrolyte tablets. This will help you from becoming dehydrated. Remember that you can not take drinks with you on flights. If you are dehydrated, electrolytes can energize you.

Another idea, especially if you fly a lot, is a little divider for your armrest. This way, you will not have to fight over the armrest between you and another passenger. You can also take a little pillow with you.

Of course, do not forget the simple things, like a toothbrush and a comb.

The Best Vacation Destinations For Star Wars Fans

With the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, travel experts expect Star Wars-themed tourism to grow exponentially. There are dozens of locations Star Wars fans can (and do) choose to visit every year. Anyone putting together their own intergalactic bucket list should take a look at the locales listed below.

First, fans who wants to see Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine must visit the Tunisian desert Djerba. Here you’ll get to tour Skywalker’s home and the infamous Mos Eisley cantina. You can also take a short trip to the nearby cities of Tozeur and Matmata to see more Star Wars filming locations and stay in the Hotel Sidi Driss.

For a soothing Star Wars voyage, travel experts recommend booking a trip to Villa del Balbianello, which is alongside Italy’s Lake Como. All of the scenes that took place on the planet Naboo in Star Wars: Episode III were filmed right here. This is an exceptional vacation idea for couples looking for a Star Wars-themed romantic getaway.

Probably the easiest Star Wars filming location for Americans to visit is the Redwoods State Park in California. This site was used to film all the scenes on the forest planet Endor in Star Wars: Episode VI. While you’re in California, you should also check out Death Valley National Park. A few Tatooine scenes were filmed in Death Valley.

Finally, if you don’t mind the cold, take a trip to the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier in Norway to experience the planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Locals are used to Star Wars fans visiting this region and a few hotels host special “Visit Hoth” events. Note, you can only take a tour of the glacier between July and September.

20 Michelin Stars Enhance Bangkok’s Status As A Culinary Capital

If you’re still looking for excuses to finally book a trip to Bangkok, the city’s first Michelin Guide was released at the start of December. In total, Michelin handed out 20 stars to 17 Bangkok-based restaurants.

Only three of these 17 restaurants received two stars each. These restaurants include the Indian-themed Gaggan, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok’s Le Normandie, and Lebua Hotel’s Mezzaluna.

But perhaps the most famous Michelin star winner in Bangkok was the street-food vendor Jay Fai. Located at 327 Samran Rat Intersection, Phra Nakhon, Jay Fai serves exceptional crab omelets and crab curries to hungry locals every day of the year. Fai was awarded one Michelin star.

The 13 remaining restaurants received one star each. These restaurants include the following names: Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Ginza Sushi Ichi, Bo.Lan, J’aime by Jean-Michel Lorain, Nahm, Saneh Jaan, Suhring, Savelberg, Paste, Chim by Siam Winsdom, Elements, L’atelier de Joel Robuchon, and Upstairs at Mikkeller.

Many Thais were surprised only one of the city’s famed street-food vendors made the cut for a Michelin star. In particular, locals were disappointed that Tipsamai Pad Thai near Golden Mount didn’t earn a spot in Michelin’s 2018 Guide.

All of these Michelin stars greatly enhance Bangkok’s status as one of Asia’s premier cities for high-class dining. Many culinary experts now consider Bangkok on par with cities like Tokyo, Macau, and Singapore.

Michelin officials released their 2018 Bangkok Guide at an event in the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok. After the awards were handed out, Siam Kempinski staff hosted a gala dinner with dishes from other Michelin-starred chefs. Tickets to this special event cost $614 per person.

Travel + Leisure Announces Top 15 Cities In Europe

Spain and Italy claimed most of the top prizes in Travel + Leisure’s 2017 reader’s survey of the top tourist draws in Europe. Out of this list of 15 cities, eight spots went to locales in these two nations.

The top prize went to Italy’s Florence. This shouldn’t come as a shock to readers, especially considering Florence won the top honor ten out of the past eleven years. Out of a possible score of 100, Florence got a 90.75.

Italy also clinched second place with the capital city Rome. “The Eternal City” raked in a score of 89.73 from Travel + Leisure’s readers.

Coming in third place was Spain’s second largest city: Barcelona. Barcelona’s score of 89.52 was extremely close to Rome this year.

Rounding out the top five European cities on this list were San Sebastián in Spain and Hungary’s capital Budapest. These two cities scored 89.52 and 89.19, respectively.

The only other nation that had more than one city on this year’s list was Portugal. The Portuguese capital Lisbon came in tenth place and the city of Porto came in ninth. Travel experts say this is yet more evidence of Portugal’s rising status as a major player in the European tourism industry. Both cities scored in the 88-point range.

Travel + Leisure authors asked readers to rank major tourist destinations in areas such as friendliness, cost, food quality, shopping opportunities, and cultural experiences. Respondents praised Florence’s efforts to preserve its cultural identity by blocking off fast-food chains from the city center and planning renovations at the Uffizi Gallery.

From sixth place to fifteenth, this is how Travel + Leisure’s list broke down: Siena, Seville, Kraków, Porto, Lisbon, Prague, Venice, Edinburgh, Istanbul, and Madrid.