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14 Hipster-Friendly Hotels Around The World

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lloyd hotel hipster amsterdamFrom hostels to penthouse suites, there’s a hotel out there for pretty much every stripe of traveler.

But what if your tastes aren't so easily defined? What if you're just as interested in brown-bagging it on a rooftop as you are in a five-star meal? Dive-bar environments with mint Danish design? What if you're a hip/ster creative-minded millennial? 

With more and more of us wanting something that's in between the Four Seasons and Motel 6, a bevy of hotels have been popping up to cater to our curated needs.

Whether you’re an art-festival aficionado or a jet-setting bohemian, look no further: These properties are bound to make you feel right at home when you're anywhere but.

Ace Hotel, Palm Springs

A renovated, midcentury motel is the site for the 170-room Ace Hotel & Swim Club, part of the revolutionary Ace Hotel Group behind eponymous venues in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland.

With a bohemian-retro design scheme including record players, vintage vinyl records, and a soothing color palette, the Ace Palm Springs is also home to Coachella events and its very own Craft Beer Festival. 

Rooms embrace an outdoor-indoor dynamic, with tent-like walls, concrete floors, and materials such as canvas, butternut wood, denim, and hemp. The massive Swim Club Pool has more than enough space to swim, and hammocks and pillows are scattered about for lounging guests.



Wythe Hotel, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Located in the ne plus ultra of hipster neighborhoods, the Wythe Hotel is by far one of the hippest spots to stay in Brooklyn.

Opened in May '12, the hotel is housed in a converted red-brick factory building on Williamsburg’s scenic waterfront, steps away from such institutions such as Brooklyn Bowl, the Brooklyn Brewery, and the neighborhood's Brooklyn Flea. 

With eight stories and 72 rooms, the Wythe’s decor effortlessly speaks to Williamsburg’s aesthetic: Beds crafted from salvaged timber, concrete floors, and custom-made wallpaper abound are the perfect mix of industrial-rustic chic.

The brainchild of Andrew Tarlow — the restaurateur behind the immensely successful Brooklyn eateries Marlow & Sons and Diner — the Wythe also features a farm-to-table restaurant, Reynard’s, which proposes locally sourced dishes such as beef carpaccio, rabbit sausage, and omelets with organic kale and Gruyère cheese.

For those looking for a party, the scene-y terrace cocktail bar is the place to be.



Hotel Nord-Pinus, Tangier, Morocco

The exotic Moroccan city of Tangier is the perfect backdrop for a bohemian vacation, and the Hotel Nord-Pinus is the hotel to book.

Opened by the French hotelier Anne Igou and situated atop the Kasbah’s (Tangier’s historic center) highest point, the site — a former 18th-century pasha’s palace — is a sprawling compound of eclectic regalia. With chandeliers from Syria, contemporary furniture by French designers, and sumptuous fabrics, the hotel also boasts extraordinary views onto the Spanish coast and Atlantic Ocean. 

If you feel like channeling Barbara Hutton or the legendary Talitha Getty (both of whom, among other things, famously spent time in Tangier), we recommend lounging about with a glass of Morocco’s famous thé à la menthe on one of the hotel’s relaxing rooftop terraces.



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10 Extraordinary Yachts You Can Set Sail On This Summer

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Yacht With Water View

Set sail this summer on the most incredible high-design yachts available for charter around the world.

More From Architectural Digest:

A Rustic Yet Sophisticated Farmhouse In The French Countryside

The 15 Most Beautiful Hotel Pools

The New Mediterranean

Dragonfly: Built by the Australian firm Hanseatic Marine and launched in 2009, this power yacht is noted for its sleek silhouette and innovative conception by naval architect Espen Oeino, as well as its stylish interiors by the Munich-based firm Silvestrin Design.

Commissioned by German eco-industrialist Guido Krass and originally christened Silver Zwei, it was sold and renamed in 2011.



Dragonfly: The interiors have been given a chic 1970s vibe, with glossy wood finishes and luxurious white leather sofas. Outdoor features include dining spaces, a Jacuzzi, a large sundeck, and even a helipad on the foredeck of the ship.

The fastest long-range superyacht in the world, the boat is ideal for covering vast distances and is able to navigate tight spaces that most other vessels its length cannot.
 
CONTACT: SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants; 305-253-7245, 1800sailaway.com



Maltese Falcon: Reportedly the largest sailing yacht in the world, this remarkable vessel was built in 2006 for American venture capitalist Tom Perkins.

Created by renowned Italy-based builders Perini Navi, the ship was sold in 2009 to Greek hedge-fund billionaire Elena Ambrosiadou, who recently began offering the famous cruiser for exclusive charters.

CONTACT: Moody Yachts France; 011-33-493-63-8861, elmarine.com

SEE ALSO: Exploring 12 Monumental US Presidential Libraries >



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Three Simple Maps That Tell You Where To Buy Booze In America

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It's summertime, and everyone is planning some kind of vacation. 

However, given that the fifty states have a hodge podge of liquor control laws, even riding I-95 from New York to Florida will take you through a shockingly wide range of taxation on spirits, beer, and wine. 

On our hypothetical ride to Disney World, the man with the plan will buy beer in Jersey, wine in New York, and liquor in Delaware. You really don't want to be the goofball who got fleeced buying beer in Georgia, wine in Florida and liquor in Virginia. That'll add up.

Here are three maps from the Tax Foundationa non-partisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C, detailing the state taxes on beer, liquor and wine in all of the fifty states.

Know before you go:

What borders to cross to buy wine:

wine state tax rates


Where to head for the cheapest liquor: 

state spirits liquor tax rates

The best places to buy beer in America:

beer taxes


Check out more maps from the Tax Foundation >

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The Airlines Are Still Really Unclear On Whether You Can Take Pictures On Flights

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jaunted no photo flight planeThere’s a (not so) new rule when it comes to your air travel adventures, and this time it has nothing to do with small pocketknives or snow globes.

As it turns out, airlines aren’t really cool with passengers snapping certain photos once aboard, and they've recently started cracking down.

After that totally odd story about a woman who treated the cabin as her in-flight karaoke studio it was time for American Airlines to reiterate their policy about filming and photography on their property.

Just like charging for your first checked bag, there’s rules when it comes to picture taking onboard. We’re paraphrasing here, but it’s only cool to snap personal events; that means airline personnel, other passengers, and aircraft equipment are off limits.

United also got in on the no-pictures party a few months ago, as a member of the flight crew kicked off a blogger for his attempts at some in-flight photojournalism.

All of this is one more harsh reminder that once you’re up in the air you’re playing by the airline’s rules. That means you want to keep your eyes on your own tray table, and let the other passengers film the craziness that might end up the news. After all, you can just check it out when the clip goes viral.

As this is one of those arbitrarily enforced rules, we'll continue to snap photos until airline begin to charge for the privilege.

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22 Things Everyone Should Know About Money By The Time They're 22

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friends, high five, hanging out, kidsInspired by Glamour’s popular “30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Know By The Time She’s 30,” we decided to put together our own list, on 22 things every bright-eyed 22 year-old-college grad should know about money.

By 22, you should have:

1. An idea of what you want to do with your life professionally, and what your bottom line is. Make sure you know what the average salary is regarding the profession you choose.

2. A basic understanding of investing your cash. Here are 10 investing terms that are essential.

3. A credit card. Building your credit is extremely important. Credit is used as a check for almost everything: apartment application, mortgage loans, car loans, etc., so get a credit card early on and use it responsibly.

4. The ambition to pursue jobs you may be underqualified for, and the humility to accept a position you may be overqualified for.

5. A budget — have your income figured out, including financial help from your parents. Make lists of all your fixed expenses and your variable expenses. Seeing your expenses at one time will make you aware of what you have left to save or spend.

6. A plan of attack for your student loans. Knowing how much you owe, the amount your monthly payments will be, and when they’re slated to start will enable you to begin planning repayment. If you’re a grad with student debt but no job, you can consolidate multiple loans into a single payment, which stretches out the payments on federal loans up to 30 years. However, you will end up paying more interest over time.

7. An understanding of money management. Financial literacy is extremely important in setting up future success for a fledgling adult. There are many books that can serve as a guide to financial literacy, and are geared specifically towards young adults. We recently discussed Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” (along with an interview of Sethi) which you can see here.

8. Connections. Even if they’re just professors you were friendly with, or fellow classmates who are already employed, contacts are useful. According to an ABC News report, 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking. They can serve as mentors, a listening ear, and a possible referral for a job. Sign up for a LinkedIn account if you don’t already have one.

9. Knowledge on statistics of how graduates are faring in the workforce. Check it out here.

10. An honest talk with your parents about their expectations. If you move back home with Mom and Dad, find out if they expect you to contribute to the household, land a job within a certain amount of time, and how your financial situation will impact theirs. Be truthful about how much you can pitch in, and let them in on any anxiety you’re having. This type of clear communication will eliminate any elephant in the room.

SEE ALSO: 13 money lies to stop telling yourself by age 30 > 

11. The tools to be financially successful later on. Opening a checking account is the first step to the adult world of finances, and you’ll also likely get your first checkbook free from the bank. Many companies ask their employees to bring in a voided check to help them set up automatic payment into that employee’s checking account, which is even more incentive to hop on the grown-up bandwagon.

12. The student checking accounts/credit cards you used in college will no longer have student benefits.

13. Where to get your free credit report. You’re allowed to obtain your annual credit report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.

14. Where to get your credit score. The basic credit report including your score costs about $15. Pick any of the three major reporting agencies to do this: Equifax, Experian, or Transunion.

15. The benefits and drawbacks to working a freelance job: on the upside, freelance work is a good alternative to trying to find a full-time job in this rocky climate of unemployment. On the downside, you will be hit with unpaid taxes from all those freelance jobs. Freelancers have to estimate how much they’ll owe and keep that amount aside. Freelancers also have to pay self-employment taxes: 15.3% on top of income taxes. Tax analysts suggest freelancers who make over $1,000 a year to pay estimated taxes every quarter using the IRS form 1040-ES, to be filed by the 15th of January, April, June, and September of each year.

16. Set aside at least 10% of any paycheck you make. You need to start building a nest egg you don’t touch, exclusively for emergencies like an unexpected layoff or a long bout of unemployment. The rule of thumb is to save up at least 6 months of living expenses.

17. What to look for in a credit card — be selective. There are cards with incentives such as low APRs, balance transfer offers, cash back, reward points, miles, and more. Consider which features are important to you.

18. How to use credit to your advantage and avoid becoming a slave to your credit (the average household in the U.S. has $7,000 in credit card debt). If you’re just starting out with credit, a secured credit card is a good way to go, because the credit limit on your card is usually equal to the security deposit you place with your financial institution. That way you don’t spend excessively. Also, pick a card that reports payments to the three major credit bureaus and you’ll be able to establish credit with any of them. Use the 10%-20% rule as a guide to how much of your available credit you should use. Pay your bills on time each month, because even one late payment can result in a big drop in your credit score.

19. That it’s already time to start thinking about retirement. Check out our retirement center for everything you need to know.

20. What the ideal credit score is. The most widely used credit score is the FICO score, which is calculated using information in consumer credit reports. FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850, 850 being the best score.

21. Unfamiliar terms like mutual funds, 401(k), Roth IRA, and generally any financial term you hear frequently.

22. That you’re not alone. 50% of recent grads are unemployed or underemployed. Personally, it took me five months of applying for different positions and took “allowance” from my parents to stay afloat. Yes, it felt embarrassing. Yes, it’s hard to be 22. But the circumstances are affecting everyone, and you’re not alone.

SEE ALSO: TRUE CONFESSION: I Am A Trust Fund Baby And I Did Nothing To Earn It

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This Quiz Will Make You Realize How Bonkers The Contemporary Art Market Is

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Art is selling for record prices these days. Christie's recently held the biggest art auction ever, selling half a billion dollars worth of art in a single evening.

But look through the auction results, and you may find yourself scratching your head.

In this quiz, we'll test your art savvy: Some of these works are incredibly valuable, while others were posted by the proud parents of grade-school children on Flickr. Can you tell which are which?

To learn more about the answers to this quiz, click here.

SEE ALSO: The Most Spectacular Museums In The World

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A Tourist Shot This Incredible Color Footage Of New York City In 1939

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It's hard to picture New York City in the 1930s: Nearly all of the images we've seen from that era are in black and white.

But amateur footage shot by a tourist visiting New York in 1939 recently emerged and is making the rounds on the web.

Shot by French visitor Jean Vivier in the summer of that year, the footage shows neighborhoods from Harlem to Chinatown.

Enjoy!

SEE ALSO: 50 New York City Buildings That No Longer Exist

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These Are The Best And Worst Things To Buy In June

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apple store berlin

June is the month with the longest daylight hours of the year, which for the deal-hunter means that you have even more time to shop!

But before you let the increasingly warm weather convince you to buy less-than-stellar deals, check out our latest buying guide.

We searched through our extensive archives of sales, promotions, coupons, and daily deals to sort the fact from fiction when it comes to getting the best deals in June.

Ladies love cool lingerie (deals): It's usually this month that Victoria's Secret unveils its famed Semi-Annual Sale, and last year we saw prices as low as $4 for panties and $15 for bras.

Moreover, we saw excellent lingerie deals in June from Frederick's of Hollywood, Maidenform, Freshpair, and Bare Necessities, the latter of which had its own Semi-Annual Sale. That said, while summer deals entailed steep discounts last year, they paled in comparison to the October to December time frame; many of these retailers pull out a greater number of Editors' Choice deals for the holiday stretch.



Beef prices are on the rise: Unfortunately for anyone getting ready for a season of grilling, beef prices have risen to historically high prices.

According to The Wall Street Journal, "Retail beef prices are widely expected to set new records in coming weeks after wholesale prices hit an all-time peak this past week." The increases are due to years of drought that have thinned cattle herds, a problem that can't be easily reversed. Maybe take this opportunity to throw leaner foods like chicken and (gasp!) veggie burgers on that gas or charcoal grill.



Grill deals will spark in July: Of course, we can't mention grilling without pointing out that deals on grills themselves will be less than thrilling in June.

You'll get a better discount if you wait for July 4th promotions. According to our deals from last year, you could save as much as $200 or more on a mid- to high-end grill if you wait until July.



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3 Things To Do If You're Arrested In Mexico

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Mormon mother.PNGWhat should a tourist do if arrested in Mexico and accused of carrying drugs?

By several accounts, Phoenix-area resident Yanira Maldonado did everything right when federal police said they found 12 pounds of marijuana under her bus seat, setting off a weeklong drama that ended with her release from jail after a court found the allegations were unsubstantiated.

The steps authorities say you should take:

NOTIFY YOUR CONSULATE

If you don't have your consulate's phone number — and you should — U.S. authorities say to insist that you be put you in touch. Consulates can reach family and friends and provide a list of attorneys.

The U.S. State Department has a free online service to register your travel plans and better help in an emergency. Registration is at https://step.state.gov.

"Reaching your consulate always works to your advantage," said Juan Tintos, tourism secretary for Mexico's Baja California state, which includes Tijuana.

HIRE A MEXICAN ATTORNEY

Many recommend Americans hire an attorney in Mexico because the country's legal system is so different, presuming guilt instead of innocence. Good attorneys also know how to handle demands for money, distinguishing shakedowns from legitimate expenses for legal requirements.

"They're never going to tell you it's a bribe," said Alonzo Pena, who retired as deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was once stationed in Mexico. "They'll say it's a fee. It's disguised as a legal requirement to move your case forward. Just make sure you do it through an attorney."

APPEAL TO THE NEWS MEDIA

Pena, who suspects someone else on the bus put the drugs under Maldonado's seat, said the family was wise to seek news coverage.

"It brought attention to it," he said. "That really helped her a lot."

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10 NYC Bars Where You'll Be Boozing With Wall Street Bankers

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Mad Dog and Beans nyc

So you did your time interning at Goldman or Credit Suisse after your junior year of college, and realized that you just weren't cut out for the finance world.  

Still, we can't forget about all of those psycho-competitive economics majors from college who are now working downtown and rolling in the dough.

If your plan is to mingle with these Type A's over a martini (or three), check out these bars that heavily cater to the Wall Street types..

Ulysses Folkhouse, 95 Pearl Street

Ulysses is a great place to check out during the summer, due to its expansive outdoor seating area. Popular amongst the men and women of many of the larger firms, drinks are not the only attraction, as the food is reasonably priced. Enjoy the laid-back vibe that attracts non-Wall Street types as well!



Dorrian's Red Hand, 1616 2nd Ave

A preppy Upper East Side staple for decades, Dorrian's is a haven for those clad in Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines. An excellent place for ogling the sons and daughters of both new and old-moneyed types, Dorrian's is always a good time. Some of the bartenders even work in finance!



Cipriani, Wall Street, 55 Wall Street

Another very popular summertime hangout, Cipriani Wall Street is a pricier drink den in the heart of the Financial District. Regulars include bankers at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Cipriani Wall Street is not only a great place to meet investors, but it's also an ideal spot to see celebrities, designers, famous athletes, and the like. This lavish place also offers a distinguished food menu!



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Asian Americans Are Smarter, Richer, And Harder-Working Than Everyone Else

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The rise of Asian Americans involves a lot more than relentless tiger moms.

A report updated last month by Pew Research details all kinds of impressive statistics about Asian Americans, who overtook Hispanics in 2009 as America's fastest-growing racial group.

Some highlights: 

Asian Americans are better educated than any other ethnic group:

asian american charts

They're richer than everyone else:

income by race

They believe in hard work:

2012 sdt asian americans 003 1

And they're excited to be here:

2012 sdt asian americans 0051

Read the full report at Pew Research.

wedding, Asian, couple, love

SEE ALSO: Why America Desperately Needs Immigration Reform

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This Japanese Latte Art Will Leave You Speechless [PICTURES]

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Kazuki Yamamoto latte art

Kazuki Yamamoto may only be 26 years old, but his latte creations at Japan's Osaka cafe 10g have made him famous on the Internet.

The barista began working in a Tokyo café when he was 20, and initially experimented with making leaves out of steamed milk, he told Business Insider in an email.

One day, a friend challenged him to try drawing an anime character in the foam. After his initial success, Yamamoto realized his talent and expanded to elaborate designs that he began to post to his Twitter account.

Yamamoto now has more than 100,000 followers, and the young barista updates his account frequently with illustrations of cartoon characters, actors, musicians, and landscapes.

And in case you thought the coffee would be cold by the time it gets to the customers, Yamamoto assures us that each creation takes him at most four minutes to complete, and that the drinks are still hot when served to patrons.

Kazuki Yamamoto started with simple leaves, but after a friend encouraged him he began "drawing" cartoon characters.



He excels in 3D latte art where he uses the foam to create his designs.



Here's Stitch from Lilo & Stitch looking up at you from your cup.



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Some Incredible Cars Are Joining The Cast Of 'Transformers 4'

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transformers supercar

Director Michael Bay has confirmed that Transformers 4 will feature a new cast including Mark Wahlberg, but it appears some new vehicles will also join the Autobots on the big screen.

According to photos posted to the official Transformers Facebook fan page today, it appears the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse will join the Autobots.

And after three movies it's apparently time for Optimus Prime to receive an upgrade, too, with a new design featuring a massive power bulge on the hood, six exhaust stacks along with two side pipes, and a snazzy new flame paint job.

The C7 Corvette Stingray appears to be sporting Chevrolet's Synergy Green paint, unannounced wheels, body skit, graphics package, and a large rear wing. Let's not forget about the concept-car mirrors. While we could do without all the extra stuff seen on this C7 Corvette, we do kind of like this green paint and hope it'll become an option later in the C7's model cycle.

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse features 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque. That should be more than enough power to outrun any Decepticon that it may encounter, that is unless it can hit 255 mph.

While there clearly will be a few new Autobots on the screen, it appears Bumlebee will be going retro as a highly modified 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS. This won't be the first time in the Transformers saga that Bumblebee is a vintage Camaro. For those who remember, Bumblebee was originally a 1977 Camaro in the first film before changing into a Camaro Concept.

Transformers 4 will hit cinemas nationwide on June 27, 2014. Stay tuned for more updates.

See All 4 Cars At Motor Authority >

SEE ALSO: The Ridiculous Supercars Of The Dubai Police Force

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Architects Dream Up Plans For A New Penn Station

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taxi new york penn station

Earlier this week, four architectural firms, invited by the Municipal Art Society(MAS), displayed how they would transform New York’s darkest & dingiest hub – Penn Station – into a space worthy of its site in the heart of the city.

New Yorkers have been up in arms about Penn Station ever since its Beaux-Arts predecessor, designed by McKim, Mead & White, was demolished in 1963. Its replacement is a dark, cramped station that lacks both the operational and security features it needs to sustain the hundreds of thousands of travelers who use it daily.

As Michael Kimmelman put it in his inaugural piece as architecture editor for The New York Times: “To pass through Grand Central Terminal, one of New York’s exalted public spaces, is an ennobling experience, a gift. To commute via the bowels of Penn Station, just a few blocks away, is a humiliation.”

As we reported last month, Madison Square Garden’s (MSG) 50-year permit expires this year, and it will be either renewed without limit, or extended 10-15 years, by The  Council in the coming months.

The problem, according to MAS, is that “MSG happens to sit on top of the busiest train station in North America [a.k.a, Penn Station] and constrains its ability to serve over half a million people every day. [...] 2013 presents  with a truly unique opportunity and together we need to seize this moment.”

And so MAS invited Diller, Sofidio, & Renfro; ; SHoP; Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, to do just that.

Here are their visions.

Diller, Sofidio, & Renfro

penn station rendering

From MAS: Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Josh Sirefman offers Penn Station 3.0, which will be a city within a city, a porous and light-filled civic structure filled with diverse new programs that reflect the hybridity of contemporary urban life.

Not just a gateway to New York, the station will be a destination in itself with fast, transit-oriented programs layered with slower destinations in a gradient of decelerating speeds from tracks to roof. The building will host transient and resident populations including commuters, office workers, fabricators, shoppers, foodies, culture seekers and urban explorers. In this plan, MSG will be located to the west end of the Farley building on Ninth Avenue, with access to Eighth Avenue.

According to The New York Times: “DILLER SCOFIDIO & RENFRO Moves Madison Square Garden across Eighth Avenue next to the James A. Farley Post Office building; Penn Station becomes a multilevel public space with amenities like a spa and a theater. “We’re making waiting a kind of virtue,” said Elizabeth Diller, a principal of the firm. “In New York, we’re always late and we think of waiting as a waste. How could you turn that into a positive attribute and actually come there early and spend more time?””

H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture

51a6312eb3fc4b39ee000278_penn station re imagined_h3_1_msg 1000x500

From H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture: “In pursuit of making rail the “mode of choice”,H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture asserts that four inextricably linked interventions must be made to improve the City’s essential systems and better express its culture: 1) Public Space, Entertainment, and the Environment; 2) Transportation; 3) Education; and 4) Economic Development.

A relocation of Madison Square Garden to a 16-acre site on the west side waterfront provides an enhanced venue with a singular new identity and expanded tourist, hospitality, and entertainment opportunities. The New Penn Station, including an eight-track high-speed rail expansion to the south, accommodates increased capacity and integrates community and traveler amenities, including a new 3 acre public park, retail complex, and 2 acre roof garden.

Redevelopment of the Farley Post Office creates a centrally located Center for Education. And, perhaps most importantly, 24 million square feet of private development around Penn Station and up Seventh Avenue serves as an economic engine for improvements and a revived world-class commercial district.”

SHoP

51a625c3b3fc4b39ee000272_penn station re imagined_shop_architects_pennstationinterior11 1000x499

From SHoP: “SHoP’s plan imagines an expanded main hall of Penn Station as abright, airy and easily navigable space that defines a center of a new destination district,Gotham Gateway. In addition to striking public architecture, the project proposessignificant security and rail capacity improvements that address major needs at the existingstation.

The team proposes new development, as well as new parks and amenities, aroundthe station to help defray the required public investment, including an extension of the HighLine that connects the new station to a glorious and financeable new Madison SquareGarden.”

According to The New York TimesSHoP ARCHITECTSExpands the existing site with a lightweight concrete structure that is meant to evoke the old Penn Station and seeks to make the station a social meeting spot. “When’s the last time you heard someone say, ‘Let’s meet for a drink at Penn Station?’” asked Vishaan Chakrabarti, a principal. “People say that about Grand Central all the time.”

Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill

51a62e93b3fc4b39ee000277_penn station re imagined_diller 1000x500

From SOM: “Nearly 640,000 passengers use Penn Station every day, and yet it does not act as a dignified gateway to one of the world’s greatest cities,” states Roger Duffy, FAIA, Design Partner behind SOM’s vision. “What we propose creates a civic heart for Midtown West – one that is truly public and open to all – while allowing New York City to maintain its position as a global center of commerce, industry and culture.”

“The plan calls for the expansion of Penn Station’s footprint by two additional blocks to accommodate high-speed rail lines for the Northeast Corridor, expanded commuter rail service for the entire tri-state area, and direct rail connections to JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports. This last connection would allow a passenger to go straight from the curb of 7th Avenue, through security at Penn Station, onto a train, and directly to the airport gate. [...]

A central, transparent Ticketing Hall is placed at the center of the site, with dedicated vehicular drop-off and radial, pedestrian connections to the city surrounding it. [...] With all of these networks intersecting at Penn Station, its central hall would become the iconic gateway for nearly every visitor around the world. [...] In addition to creating one of the largest multi-modal stations in the world, SOM also proposes to build a public park four times the size of Bryant Park, a commercial development the size of Rockefeller Center, a city of Culture larger than Lincoln Center, and a residential neighborhood the size of Tudor City. The design will fully exhaust its potential air rights but preserve the full four block ground-plane exclusively for Public use. The natural location for Madison Square Garden would be adjacent to, but not on top of, the major transit hub.”


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12 Crazy Expensive Hotel Suites Around The World

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the lanesborough a st regis hotel suitesShelling out thousands of dollars a night for a hotel room may not be in the cards for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a voyeuristic peek at the jaw-dropping suites that command these high price tags.

From high-roller villas in Las Vegas to the uber-decadent suite in Istanbul where Madonna shacked up with her beau, these suites are designed to make you drool — and sold at prices that will make you gag.

The Royal Suite at The New York Palace: $17,000/night

New York City

One of New York’s most visually stunning hotels, the New York Palace has a gilded, grandiose style, huge rooms, a luxe spa, and a fantastic gym.

Its Royal Suite is among the most opulent — and expensive — suites in the City, with lavish Louis XV and XVI decor. See more photos of the Royal Suite >



The Sultan Suite at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski: €30,000/night

Istanbul, Turkey

Formerly the palace of an Ottoman Sultan, the Ciragan Palace Kempinski is the grand dame of Istanbul. It wows guests at every turn, from the sprawling, manicured grounds, to the heated infinity pool right on the Bosphorus, to the refined suites.

The Sultan Suite, where Madonna shacked up with boyfriend Brahim Zaibat, is the hotel’s most exclusive option. See more photos of the Sultan Suite >



The Eiffel Suite Classic at Hotel Plaza Athenee: €10,000/night

Paris, France

The world-renowned luxury hotel Plaza Athenee — a part of the Dorchester Collection — is synonymous with Parisian elegance and good taste.

Iconic red awnings and chestnut trees welcome guests to the historic setting on the upscale Avenue Montaigne, which is lined with high-end shops such as Prada and Chanel.

The stunning Eiffel Suite Classic has gorgeous Parisian decor, stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, and a piano. See more photos of the Eiffel Suite Classic >



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Hawaiian Documents His Incredible Transformation From Civilian Surfer, To Army Medic, To Combat Veteran

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There are times we weʻre sick.

This is possibly one of the most compelling picture stories we've seen on Imgur.

It's about a surfer who got tired of "lazing" around, and decided to do something about it. What followed was a journey that took him from surfing in Hawaii to fighting in Afghanistan, from post-war restlessness in Texas to the 9/11 memorial in New York.

We contacted him via Imgur-mail, and he was really excited about telling his story.

So here it is, written in his own words (lightly edited for clarity) ...

So here I am. Having the life. Iʻm originally from Hawaii.



Iʻve done everything ... Traveled to MANY places. Surfed. Played soccer. Cliff jumping. Cross country(island). MMA...



Even Snowboarding! It became a big hit because of my surfing background. (Bear Valley, CA)



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The 20 Best Beer Towns In America

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beer cans

Craft beer in America is more popular than ever.

Today’s drinkers become more educated by the day, and the breadth of choices available to them has never been so extensive.

This is great for beer lovers, and beneficial on the supply side as well, as a high-quality product created by friendly, local brewers gets consumers to open their wallets a little wider.

It’s no longer uncommon for enthusiasts to plan a brewery visit into their vacation.

In fact, the opposite is trending: Plenty of people I know actually plan their vacations around a great beer destination.

Remote, highly respected breweries such as Russian River (Santa Rosa, CA) and Hill Farmstead (Greensboro, VT) are regularly hit up by this crowd.

Here are 20 recommended cities to visit on your beer-based travels (listed in no particular order).

San diego skylineSan Diego, CA

  • AleSmith's consistently excellent IPAs, stouts, porters, and barleywines impress critics year in and year out.
  • Right down the road from AleSmith is one of SoCal's better-known craft breweries: Ballast Point, with 27 taps and specialty drafts.
  • Green Flash Brewing is also in the neighborhood, and bring your appetite: these guys love their food trucks.
  • A short drive east down I-8 leads to the Alpine Beer Company, home of some of the world's best IPAs. I'm not sure why the best IPAs seem to come from rural breweries (Hill Farmstead, Kern River, Alpine), but I don't particularly care. Each is worth the drive.
  • 2008 saw San Francisco's acclaimed Toronado open a sister location in San Diego. This craft beer bar has 56 draft lines and an impressive bottle list. Plus, they often unleash top-notch limited brews for their special events.

Austin, TX

  • (512) Brewing sends kegs all over Austin and South Texas. I enjoy their Pecan Porter.
  • Jester King began brewing farmhouse-style ales in 2009 and quickly developed a loyal following. Although state law prohibits them from selling beer directly to customers, the brewery tour is a fun way to spend an afternoon in the Texas Hill Country.
  • Live Oak Brewing's focus on a just handful of beer styles pays off: Their hefeweizen is among the best made anywhere.
  • Drive about hour south on I-35 to Freetail Brewing in San Antonio. Here, you’ll find an enjoyable mix of traditional American ales with barrel-aged stouts and wild ales. In my opinion, it's the best brewery in Texas. 

Grand Rapids / Kalamazoo, MI

  • Founders Brewing has mastered the art of producing exceptionally high-quality beer on a macro scale. Their Grand Rapids brewpub is a popular destination.
  • In Kalamazoo, Bell's Brewery bottles and kegs an impressively diverse range of beers for all tastes. Some of their best work is only found at the brewpub, however, so stop by to see for yourself.
  • Since famously declining an invitation to appear in a Nickelback video, Dark Horse Brewing's fanbase has grown rapidly. 

fort collins, COFort Collins, CO

  • Chances are you already know about New Belgium Brewing and their diverse selection of beers. You might not know they were one of the first sour programs in the US, though, so stop by for a tour and a sample or three.
  • Oskar Blues led the charge to promote canning in the beer industry.
  • Left Hand Brewing's popular Milk Stout gained them notoriety, and a visit to their home base will prove they aren’t a one-trick pony. 

Chicago, IL

  • Goose Island still brews some of the very best beer in the Midwest, despite enormous skepticism after their acquisition by AB-InBev in 2011. The north side of Chicago features two excellent Goose Island brewpubs where locals drown their baseball sorrows.
  • The Half Acre Beer Company's brewpub on Lincoln Ave is known for its IPAs, particularly the canned Daisy Cutter. But there's more to this brewery than just the canned essentials.
  • Just across the border is Munster, IN, home to one of the country's most celebrated breweries: Three Floyds Brewing. The ~40-minute drive from Chicago is worth every minute, and you’ll soon discover why local retailers struggle to keep their beers on the shelves.
  • Jump on the Red Line and head north to Hopleaf, a Belgian bar well known to all local beer geeks. Come for the beer, stay for the beer and the food.
  • The Map Room's beer bar in Bucktown draws in the faithful from around the city. Although their venue may be small, their selection certainly isn’t.

Detroit / Ann Arbor, MI

  • The Warren suburb of Detroit is home to Kuhnhenn Brewing, a unique brewpub and meadery. Ever had a bourbon barrel-aged Banana French Toast Mead?
  • Jolly Pumpkin's brewpub in Ann Arbor brings this farmhouse brewery's funky suds to the city. When your palate is begging for a break from hoppy beers, few beverages are more refreshing than a tart JP brew.

New York City skyline and Statue of LibertyNew York, NY

  • A short drive (or train ride) north to Peekskill Brewing lands you at the new home of Jeff O'Neil, formerly of Ithaca Brewing. They deliver magic in a glass better than anyone else in the tri-state metropolitan area.
  • Top Hops Beer Shop on the Lower East Side quickly made a name for themselves by providing friendly, knowledgeable service at their hybrid bar and bottle shop. It's the local beer geeks' go-to spot for highly coveted bottles, draft beer + growlers, and a laid-back environment.
  • Tørst only opened its doors in March of 2013 but has already become the destination bar in NYC. Founded by Evil Twin nomad brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Tørst combines a plethora of fantastic draft beer with the most impressive bottle list I've ever seen. 

Tampa, FL

  • Cigar City Brewing built a name for themselves in 2008 and 2009 and have expanded on that success in the years since. Join them in celebrating the opening of their new full-service brewpub.
  • Peg's Cantina / Cycle Brewing is a small Mexican food cantina steps from the beach in St. Petersburg. The stouts, Berliners, and IPAs served at this unassuming location make me wonder why beer this good isn't more widely available.
  • 7venth Sun Brewing in nearby Dunedin is a relative newcomer to the Tampa beer scene and made a splash by hosting the inaugural “Hunahpu’s Hangover Day” the morning after Cigar City’s annual Hunahpu release. Sip on one of their fruit-infused Berliners while gazing into the Gulf. 

philadelphiaPhiladelphia, PA

  • The Tired Hands brewpub in nearby Ardmore opened in the summer of 2012 to much acclaim. Artisan beer and bread are made fresh on the premises.
  • Drive two hours west to visit Pizza Boy Brewing (aka Al’s of Hampden) on the outskirts of Harrisburg. Former Bullfrog brewer Terry Hawbaker is quietly turning heads at his new gig, regularly churning out stouts and sours of impressive quality.
  • Monk's Cafe is heralded for its incredible draft and bottle selection, and the Philly Beer Week events there are not to be missed.
  • Capone's Restaurant houses a highly respected beer bar in the suburbs. If you’re looking for a special-release draft in Philly, chances are Capone’s has it. 

Miami, FL

  • Coming soon to Miami is the much-anticipated J. Wakefield Brewing, a brewpub from the highly skilled amateur-turned-professional brewer. While sours and Berliners are his forte, Johnathan's brewing acumen across all styles has earned him multiple tap lines at Cigar City's Hunahpu's Day for the past three years.
  • You'd never know from driving by the nondescript strip mall where it's located, but The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in nearby Boca Raton happens to make some of the best beer in the world. Stop in for a Passionfruit Berliner Weisse or their Imperial Maple Bacon Coffee Stout.

Montpelier area, VT

  • Hill Farmstead in nearby Greensboro Bend was recently named the best brewery in the world by RateBeer.com. Drive 30 minutes off the highway, turn down a dirt road for a few more miles, and don’t be shocked to see that a line has already formed for growlers and bottles.
  • Take a short drive to Waterbury and stop by The Alchemist, where you’ll discover the other beers they make are often just as impressive as their excellent Heady Topper.
  • Head to the seasonal farmer's market in Montpelier or nearby Warren to find imperial stouts and IPAs from Lawson's Finest Liquids. Straight from Sean Lawson's garage to your belly. 

san francisco, lombard streetSan Francisco, CA

  • Anchor Brewing opened their doors in 1896, making them one of the oldest breweries in the country and one of the very few to survive Prohibition. And they’re still going strong today.
  • A two-hour drive north of San Francisco lands you at the Russian River brewpub in Santa Rosa. It’s worth the trek just for this brewery, as they are one of the absolute best in the world.
  • The original Toronado bar on Haight Street is one of America's oldest (and best) craft beer bars. Their daily selection puts most bars to shame, and their specialty events are the envy of beer geeks everywhere.
  • City Beer is both an impressively stocked craft beer store and a full-service beer bar rolled into one.
  • Just across the bridge in Oakland lies Beer Revolution: another first-rate beer bar.

Cleveland, OH

  • Across the river from downtown lies Great Lakes Brewing, a well-respected brewery with strong Midwest pride.
  • Hoppin’ Frog Brewing in nearby Akron made a splash on the craft scene in 2008 by winning a gold medal at GABF in the hotly contested Russian Imperial Stout category. Odd name, great beer.
  • The Brew Kettle sits just north of the I-80 / I-71 intersection, which makes this brewpub a dangerously convenient pit stop for road warriors. 

San Marcos, CA

  • Walk into the Lost Abbey / Port Brewing tasting room and you might not be impressed by the rugged, industrial-looking surroundings. Your first sip on one of their sours will change everything.
  • Churchill’s Pub & Grille is right down the road from Lost Abbey and features a fantastic selection of drafts, bottles, and food. This is the only place you’ll find Churchill’s Finest Hour, an exquisite imperial stout made exclusively for the bar by Port Brewing.
  • Stone Brewing was a driving force behind the rise of craft beer, and their expanded tasting room has plenty of space to sample their diverse selection. 

Atlanta Georgia skylineAtlanta, GA

  • Terrapin Brewing sits about an hour east of the city in Athens. Find out why the locals can’t get enough of this stuff.
  • No beer trip to Atlanta is complete without a visit to The Brick Store Pub in Decatur, with its vintage beer room, Belgian beer bar, and extensive bottle list. 

Los Angeles, CA

  • Since opening their doors in 2008, The Bruery has grown tremendously. They now brew dozens of specialty craft beers each year and recently opened a beautiful new tasting room in Placentia.
  • Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach is a haven for craft beer lovers. Wash down some tasty BBQ with their brews and guest taps.
  • Food trucks and craft beer collide at Verdugo Bar in Northeast LA. Their outdoor patio makes this a great venue to unwind after a long week.
  • Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank serves tasty sausages and an exclusively Californian draft menu. It's small, so get there early if you want a place to sit. 

St. Paul / Minneapolis, MN

  • Surly Brewing is on a mission to prove that cans are the best storage medium for good beer. And if you’ve had one of their brews, you understand why people rave about these guys.
  • Minneapolis Town Hall Brewing takes great pride in their barrel-aged beers. If you’re looking for a 64oz growler of delicious, high-gravity beer, look no further than Town Hall.
  • Few establishments fuse the food, beer, and wine worlds together as well as The Happy Gnome in St. Paul. 75 taps + upscale food and knowledgeable staff. 

Portland, OR

  • The Hair of the Dog brewpub in downtown Portland is home to an incredibly mature barrel aging program. Order an Adam From The Wood and you'll understand why Alan Sprints' barrel-aged beers get so much press.
  • Cascade's Barrel House brewpub has more than a dozen tap lines full of their creative, barrel-aged sours. Fresh fruits, oak, sour yeast, and occasionally bourbon barrels harmonize in the hands of the Cascade team.
  • Take the elevator to the basement of a bank building across the Broadway Bridge and you'll be greeted by barrels full of beer from Upright Brewing. This musically inspired brewery focuses on sours and saisons, excelling at both.
  • Deschutes, one of Oregon's prominent brewers, opened a brewpub in downtown Portland in 2008. Take a seat outside and enjoy one of their fresh brews on draft. 

Boston skylineBoston, MA

  • Cambridge Brewing Company's casual brewpub atmosphere provides an enjoyable respite from its bustling surroundings. When they have sours on tap, don't miss them.
  • Jack's Abby Brewing in Framingham lies on the outskirts of Boston. It takes a brave team of brewers to focus on lagers in today's ale-dominated craft beer market, and Jack's Abby does so magnificently.
  • Lord Hobo in Cambridge serves up the finest beers from the New England area and beyond. Their taps and cellar regularly feature the likes of Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen, Hill Farmstead, and others. 

Denver, CO

  • Crooked Stave is one of the hottest young breweries in the country and boasts a highly respected sour program.
  • Downtown Denver is home to Great Divide Brewing, which is best known for producing high-quality stouts on a macro scale.
  • Avery Brewing Company's barrel-aged series has turned heads nationwide; the short drive up to Boulder is worth the effort.

SEE ALSO: 20 Office Moments That Will Make You Want To Quit And Go Travel >

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50 Drives You Must Take In Your Lifetime

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Salar de Uyuni Bolivia

The staff at AskMen.com recently created a list of the world's 50 best road trips.

Ranging from the mountains of Montana and Wyoming to a breathtaking salt flat in Bolivia, the drives aren't to miss.

Beartooth Highway - Wyoming and Montana, USA: Once thought impassable, the Beartooth Mountains were first crossed in 1881.

Its stunning vistas had many early fans, who lobbied the government to pave a route  after the advent of the motor vehicle. It took 55 years from the first crossing, but Congress relented in 1936, much to the delight of contemporary and future motorists. 



Cabot Trail - Nova Scotia, Canada: Some residents of Cape Breton Island still speak Gaelic and Acadian French as their first languages, and their cultural influence is apparent in the small seaside fishing villages you find as you follow the Cabot Trail around the island.

However, it’s the massive cliffs that plummet into the ocean and the hilly forested interior full of moose and bear that will leave the most indelible memories.



Mongolian Steppe - Mongolia: A road trip to Mongolia has become something of a thing for eager young European travelers, who have virtually naught to do but drive east for a long time.

Lucky them: Traversing Mongolia’s high grasslands by vehicle is  and all respect to Genghis and his horses  the best way to see the vastness of the country.



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23 Movies That Will Make You Want To Travel

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south island new zealand mountain sea

Wild scenery and lit-up nights pull me out of my home office.

As does people-watching, and the adrenaline boost of things that are hard for me — like getting lost — and making myself understood in another culture and language.

Movies set in foreign backdrops can trigger that “need more” feeling.

I asked Matadorians what movies make them think of spinning out of their everyday lives for a minute.

I’m only 12 for 23 but, thanks to my colleagues, the other 11 are now on my short list.

7 Years in Tibet

One of several books by Austrian Heinrich Harrer about mountain climbing in extreme conditions, this book-made-into-a-movie tells the story of his seven years in Tibet, during its takeover by China.

It has some knife-sharp images of snowed-over mountains against a blue sky, but it mostly made me want to travel because for me it speaks to challenge and solitude, two themes that motivate me to get out, turn everything off, and just be.



Amélie

Amélie is a film set in Paris featuring a 23-year-old waitress who tries to spread joy to the people who surround her.

In my travels, it’s always been important to me to interact with people, from taking the time to listen to someone who really needs to talk to taking a heavy load from another passenger on the bus who isn’t fortunate enough to get a seat.



Baraka

Baraka is a movie with no dialogue, of images shot around the world of animals and humans interacting with the natural environment and the surroundings we’ve created.

It makes me want to open my eyes wider and take in the similarities around me, from how people advertise their wares to how those in the highlands protect themselves from the sun and wind.



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How to Book Cheap Plane Tickets

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garfors book cheap flightYour travels are far too important to leave for someone else to arrange

Who am I to come up with such arrogant nonsense? I am a hardcore traveler and I travel more than most. Travel matters to me, and being in control of the travel experience is essential in order to enjoy it.

I don't want to end up having to get up at 04:45 because a random travel agent has decided that the 06:35 flight to Paris is 'the right one for me' in order to connect to Tokyo. Especially not when I will get to my destination faster, cheaper and at a more convenient time by flying via Frankfurt at 10:10 or via Munich at 11:55.

Or why should I fly by a One World airline where I do not have a frequent flier card when I have Star Alliance Gold Card which ensures fast track rights and lounge access? And of course I prefer the friendly, service minded and visually appealing cabin crew of airline A over the nasty, stuck-up and service avoiding ones from Airline B.

Then again, price always matters. Just remember that your time has a value too. Let's say that itinerary A takes 22 hours while itinerary B takes 16. How much are each of those 6 additional hours worth to you? A fair comparison might be your hourly wage. Do not forget to add the return trip either.

Here are my tips to make sure that I find the best deals on flights:

1. Subscribe to newsletters from all airlines that are relevant to you. That means those that fly from an airport near you or to a country you would really like to visit. This is usually how you first get notified of great deals. It can save you hundreds of dollars.

2. For long distance flights, do not only search from your home airport. Also try to search from hubs in other countries. Airlines have different offers from different countries and you may save a lot of money. Then buy your return ticket from your home airport to that hub separately.

3. Dare to be impulsive. Good deals rarely last for long. 

4. Travel to un-traditional destinations, i.e. not to Spain or Egypt over Easter. 'Everyone' else will be looking for the sun at those mainstream destinations. Go for a different sort of holiday or travel to more original beaches. Less demand = lower prices. 

5. Use a search engine that covers many airlines. KayakSkyscannerExpedia and Momondo are some of the best (and no, I didn't get paid for including any of those).

6. Remember to double check price and traveling times on the airline's own website afterwards (I did not get paid by the search engines above to say that either).

7. Take advantage of transits and stay a day or two extra. If you do this on both your outbound and return journey you will all of a sudden have had three holidays in one. And again, the trip may cost less.

8. If possible, travel very early in the day (unless you value your sleep too much).

9. Traveling in the middle of the week will often also save you some cash. 

10. Read up on geography and history as well as political and economical ties. Most countries in South America do for instance have historical ties to Spain. That means a lot of direct routes and hence competition to and from Barcelona and Madrid from various airlines. Just remember that Brazil is 'Portuguese,' that Surinam is 'Dutch' and that Guyana is 'British.' 

11. Find out which airlines that can take you to your dream destination. Not all of them will show up in your preferred search engines, but require that you book with them directly online or via the phone. Wikipedia's airport entries are usually quite accurate for info on who flies where.

Read the entire article here.

SEE ALSO: I Traveled Through Afghanistan And Didn't See Another Tourist >

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