How to Carry Travel Gear on a Motorbike

There’s something about a great road trip that can make us feel truly free. A motorbike road trip, however, can really take the euphoric feelings of freedom to a whole new level. Feel the rush as you explore new terrain and take to the open road on your bike. Whether you’re going away for a More »

How to Survive While Driving in Exhausting Heat

Long and hot summer days are a perfect time for adventures, and your car is definitely in want of a cool drive. You’ve bought new summer tyres, planned your itinerary in details, and packed your belonging…but you still aren’t ready enough to hit the road. Travelling by car in a trying heat requires much more More »

The Best Outdoor Adventures in California

Although states like Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Montana and Florida are hailed for their wide array of outdoor adventures, the massive state of California also has plenty to offer nature lovers.   From pristine mountain lakes and flourishing redwood forests to sunny beaches and sandy desert dunes, these are the best spots for outdoor exploration in More »

Tag Archives: travel

Ark. airport closed briefly over suspicious bag

1 hr.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock airport was closed for about an hour and a half Thursday as authorities investigated a suspicious suitcase.

A bomb-sniffing dog alerted on the bag, which turned out not to contain any explosive material, but the investigation led officials to halt departing flights briefly at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, spokesman Shane Carter said.

Four flights were canceled and an evacuation forced hundreds of people from the airport as passengers waiting for departing flights were escorted out, Carter said. Passengers on arriving flights were also escorted away from the terminal while authorities investigated the bag, Carter said.

The bag had apparently been at the airport since Wednesday night, Little Rock Fire Department Capt. Jason Weaver said.

A bomb-sniffing dog alerted on it during a sweep Thursday afternoon, prompting authorities to X-ray the bag, which was in a luggage-holding area, Weaver said. It contained personal items, but Weaver said investigators planned to swab it to figure out what the dog was reacting to.

“It may have been exposed to something in the past,” Weaver said, adding that no one was in danger Thursday. 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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IATA: International air traffic rises; recovery mixed

1 hr.

GENEVA — International passenger traffic rose 4.9 percent in September on a year ago, led by robust growth for carriers in China, Latin America and the Middle East, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Friday.

A two-speed recovery is emerging in the industry, as European airlines experience “profitless growth” and North American airlines operate in a “slow to no-growth environment”, it said.

International air freight traffic was up by 0.5 percent versus the same month in 2011, the Geneva-based body said.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

4 days

World’s airlines collecting $36 billion in a la carte fees this year, report shows

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Statue of Liberty closed for ‘foreseeable future’

2 hrs.

Allison Joyce / Getty Images

A sailboat sails past the Statue of Liberty on October 31 in New York City. Lady Liberty appears to have made it through Superstorm Sandy unharmed. “An initial assessment has indicated that the statue itself … is fine,” a National Park Service spokesperson said.

As New York recovers from Superstorm Sandy, two of the city’s most iconic landmarks are closed until further notice, the victims of the hurricane’s powerful storm surge.

Liberty Island — home to the Statue of Liberty — and Ellis Island — where millions of immigrants once arrived in their quest to find a better life in America — have sustained water damage and there is no power on either island, said Mindi Rambo, a spokeswoman for the National Parks of New York Harbor.

Related: Staten Island reels from devastation

The good news: Lady Liberty appears to have made it through the storm unharmed.

“An initial assessment has indicated that the statue itself, from the base to the torch, is fine,” Rambo said.

The grounds were apparently flooded, however. A national team is scheduled to arrive in New York on Friday to perform a full assessment, so officials won’t know the full extent of the damage until that process is completed.

Video: Aid on the way for ‘forgotten borough’

“Currently, the islands are closed for the foreseeable future. Until the assessment is done, we cannot determine when both islands will reopen,” Rambo said.

Maintenance crews have a huge challenge in pumping water and clearing debris from the islands, according to information posted on the Statue of Liberty National Monument’s Facebook page earlier this week.

The docks and grounds are in “bad shape,” a source told NBC New York.

Liberty Island and Ellis Island have occasionally been closed in the past because of severe weather, but the National Park Service doesn’t have data on how often that happens, so it’s hard to gauge how rare such closures are, Rambo said.

“Right now, we need to take this one step at a time and our first step is to make sure that all the parks employees are safe and are OK going forward,” she added.

It’s a distressing turn of events for the National Park Service, which reopened the Statue of Liberty crown just Sunday after a year of renovations. Visitors eager to see magnificent views of the Big Apple and get a glimpse of the famous monument’s inner workings have been snapping up tickets for the attraction.

They’re out of luck – at least for now. The monument had to be closed the next day as Hurricane Sandy arrived, and it never reopened.

People who have reserved tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can contact State Cruises, the official ferry transportation provider, for rescheduling and refund information. Call 1-877-LADYTIX or e-mail info@statuecruises.com.

8 days

On Sunday, the Statue of Liberty will once again open to visitors.

Statue of Liberty crown reopens to visitors this weekend

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Transformers take fight to Orlando in 2013

4 hrs.

Courtesy Universal Orlando Resor

Universal Orlando Resorts’ next blockbuster attraction will be the widely-popular Transformers: The Ride – 3D. The groundbreaking ride will bring the intergalactic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons to Universal Studios Florida next summer.

Orlando, prepare for battle.

With the intergalactic war between the Autobots and Decepticons raging at Universal Studios Hollywood since last May (and in Singapore since 2011), it seems it was only a matter of time before the conflict spread to central Florida.

On Thursday, Universal executives announced that time would be summer 2013, with the opening of the blockbuster attraction Transformers: The Ride – 3D at Universal Studios Florida.

“We’ve had a great run with it in both Singapore and Hollywood,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. “Based on the overwhelming response, we figured why not Orlando?”

(NBC News and Universal Parks and Resorts are both owned by NBCUniversal.)

As fans of the toys, TV show and Megan Fox know, Transformers tells the tale of warring alien robots that can convert into vehicles or weapons as they battle for control of the universe. The Autobots are led by the heroic Optimus Prime; the Decepticons by the evil Megatron, with puny humans caught in the middle of the clanking, cranking action.

“At the end of the day, it’s a story of good and evil,” said Woodbury. “The visual experience of the movies is great fodder for us to take and turn into a ride experience.”

According to Woodbury, the ride itself will be identical to the ones in Hollywood and Singapore. Guests will queue through a control center, aka, the N.E.S.T., just as the Decepticons are about to attack. Donning 3D glasses and boarding motion-simulator vehicles, they’ll spend the next five minutes immersed in a series of chases, crashes and explosions delivered via elaborate sets, 14 movie screens and a 5,000-watt sound system.

Assuming they survive, they’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief as they exit through the Transformers Supply Vault, aka, the gift shop.

Meanwhile, a much larger, albeit less noisy, battle may also be in the offing. On Tuesday, executives at Disney announced the company was buying Lucasfilm, owner of the “Star Wars” franchise, for $4 billion.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, the news echoed across the Internet at warp speeds, with jokes about potential new synergies — “When You Wish Upon a Death Star,” anyone — and the official announcement of a proposed “Star Wars 7” movie to be released in 2015. 

Even Disney got in the action, releasing an entertaining YouTube video that asked: Darth Vader, now that you’re part of the Disney family, what will you do next? The answer, apparently, is visit Cinderella’s castle, ride the tea cups and use the Force to pull the Sword from the Stone at the King Arthur Carousel.

Humor aside, though, the Lucasfilm deal may also represent the latest front in the ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of theme-park visitors. Coming on the heels of Disney’s previous purchases of Pixar (2006) and Marvel Entertainment (2009), the move means that several iconic franchises, including “Toy Story,” “Star Wars” and many (but not all) Marvel characters, are now under the Disney umbrella.

The potential for new rides, movie sequels and synergistic merchandising is huge — just as it is for Universal, which, of course, boasts its own franchise firepower with the likes of “Harry Potter,” “Shrek” and now “Transformers.”

“It’s all about capitalizing on a good franchise,” said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services Inc., a Cincinnati-based theme park consulting company. “They’re competing on the intellectual-property stage, looking for products that will appeal to the mass public — not only for now but for decades to come.”

Prepare for battle, indeed.

Rob Lovitt is a longtime travel writer who still believes the journey is as important as the destination. Follow him at Twitter.

2 days

Disney buying Lucasfilm, will release new ‘Star Wars’ movie in 2015

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Transformers take fight to Orlando in 2013

4 hrs.

Courtesy Universal Orlando Resor

Universal Orlando Resorts’ next blockbuster attraction will be the widely-popular Transformers: The Ride – 3D. The groundbreaking ride will bring the intergalactic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons to Universal Studios Florida next summer.

Orlando, prepare for battle.

With the intergalactic war between the Autobots and Decepticons raging at Universal Studios Hollywood since last May (and in Singapore since 2011), it seems it was only a matter of time before the conflict spread to central Florida.

On Thursday, Universal executives announced that time would be summer 2013, with the opening of the blockbuster attraction Transformers: The Ride – 3D at Universal Studios Florida.

“We’ve had a great run with it in both Singapore and Hollywood,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. “Based on the overwhelming response, we figured why not Orlando?”

(NBC News and Universal Parks and Resorts are both owned by NBCUniversal.)

As fans of the toys, TV show and Megan Fox know, Transformers tells the tale of warring alien robots that can convert into vehicles or weapons as they battle for control of the universe. The Autobots are led by the heroic Optimus Prime; the Decepticons by the evil Megatron, with puny humans caught in the middle of the clanking, cranking action.

“At the end of the day, it’s a story of good and evil,” said Woodbury. “The visual experience of the movies is great fodder for us to take and turn into a ride experience.”

According to Woodbury, the ride itself will be identical to the ones in Hollywood and Singapore. Guests will queue through a control center, aka, the N.E.S.T., just as the Decepticons are about to attack. Donning 3D glasses and boarding motion-simulator vehicles, they’ll spend the next five minutes immersed in a series of chases, crashes and explosions delivered via elaborate sets, 14 movie screens and a 5,000-watt sound system.

Assuming they survive, they’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief as they exit through the Transformers Supply Vault, aka, the gift shop.

Meanwhile, a much larger, albeit less noisy, battle may also be in the offing. On Tuesday, executives at Disney announced the company was buying Lucasfilm, owner of the “Star Wars” franchise, for $4 billion.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, the news echoed across the Internet at warp speeds, with jokes about potential new synergies — “When You Wish Upon a Death Star,” anyone — and the official announcement of a proposed “Star Wars 7” movie to be released in 2015. 

Even Disney got in the action, releasing an entertaining YouTube video that asked: Darth Vader, now that you’re part of the Disney family, what will you do next? The answer, apparently, is visit Cinderella’s castle, ride the tea cups and use the Force to pull the Sword from the Stone at the King Arthur Carousel.

Humor aside, though, the Lucasfilm deal may also represent the latest front in the ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of theme-park visitors. Coming on the heels of Disney’s previous purchases of Pixar (2006) and Marvel Entertainment (2009), the move means that several iconic franchises, including “Toy Story,” “Star Wars” and many (but not all) Marvel characters, are now under the Disney umbrella.

The potential for new rides, movie sequels and synergistic merchandising is huge — just as it is for Universal, which, of course, boasts its own franchise firepower with the likes of “Harry Potter,” “Shrek” and now “Transformers.”

“It’s all about capitalizing on a good franchise,” said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services Inc., a Cincinnati-based theme park consulting company. “They’re competing on the intellectual-property stage, looking for products that will appeal to the mass public — not only for now but for decades to come.”

Prepare for battle, indeed.

Rob Lovitt is a longtime travel writer who still believes the journey is as important as the destination. Follow him at Twitter.

2 days

Disney buying Lucasfilm, will release new ‘Star Wars’ movie in 2015

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