By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Travelers who want to complete their applications for expedited airport security screening may do so beginning Wednesday in Glendale, Carson and Signal Hill, the Transportation Security Administration has announced.
For $85, the TSA is offering travelers a chance to apply for its PreCheck program, which excuses fliers from having to remove their shoes, belt and jacket and allows them to keep their laptop and their liquids in their hand luggage. It does not exempt them from regulations regarding prohibited items.
If applicants are approved -- and if they are not, they do not get their money back -- they will have the privileges for five years. Nine airlines are members of PreCheck, and it’s available in more than 100 airports.
Burbank's Bob Hope Airport recently began offering PreCheck. LAX, Ontario, Long Beach and John Wayne/Orange County were already in the program
The three new TSA centers will help applicants, who must appear in person, complete the process, which they can beg...
By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Impress your BFFs with a New Year's Eve package at Thompson Chicago that requires absolutely no planning. Mani and pedi? Included. Makeup and hair? Check. There's also a private cocktail party and midnight Champagne reception overlooking the city from a private suite -- and rooms for everyone. Price-tag: $15,000 to say hello to 2014.
This package for the Thompson Chicago in the city's tony Gold Coast historic district packs a lot into an overnight stay. It starts on New Year's Eve with built-in prep activities such as a three-hour shopping trip with a personal stylist, and an in-room haircut and hot shave for men and a blowout or up-do and makeup for women.
When everyone's dressed and ready, it's off to the cocktail reception and then a four-course dinner prepared by award-winning chef Paul Kahan in the private dining room of the hotel's Nico Osteria. Count down to midnight in a suite with a 150-square-foot loft bedroom and a separate sitting area on a main floor. Your guests don't...
At first I thought it was too early to look ahead at the new water slides coming in 2014 to water parks around the world, but then I realized a number of big attractions have already been announced and many more are already in the planning stages.
It already seems like 2014 is shaping up as a good year for water park fans. Big industry players have announced major projects and several smaller parks are planning to roll out significant additions.
Since it is still early, I'll update my Top 14 over the coming months as new projects are announced. Until then, here's my list of the most anticipated water slides for 2014:
1) Wet 'n' Wild Sydney (Australia) -- The outback outpost of the international water park chain will add two new towers bristling with a total of 20 slides from WhiteWater West.
The first tower complex will feature four dueling AquaLoop inverted looping slides along with an eight-lane mat racer.
Here’s how it works: Using your original work, you create a video of a place you’ve been within the last five years, like the video above by Luke Salisbury called “Big in Japan.”
Whether it’s a snow adventure at Mammoth this holiday or video you shot during...
That’s the finding of a new study linking travel to decreased risks of heart attack and depression and even the promotion of brain health.
The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Assn., has released research that shows travel offers the same sort of physical and cognitive benefits as crossword puzzles or museum visits.
According to the study:
Women who vacationed every six years or less had a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death compared with women who vacationed at least twice a year.
Men who did not take an annual vacation were shown to have a 20% higher risk of death and about a 30% greater risk of death from heart disease.
Benefits of travel are almost immediate. After only a day or two, 89% of respondents saw significant drops in stress.
The study also noted that 59% of Americans dream of traveling during...
What's the big idea? For some high school students this summer, it might be examining how Copenhagen redefines urban life or how India delivers low-cost healthcare to a booming population. Atlas Workshops in Cambridge, Mass., takes kids overseas to experience how other countries approach social, cultural and political change.
"Our programs are structured to develop real-world skills, promote intercultural confidence, inspire big ideas and open the doors to new cultures and communities," program director Jenny Bordo said in a statement.
The company started in 2012 by designing trips that go beyond traditional tourism. It offers six workshops in 2014 that examine different themes in different countries: entrepreneurs in Vietnam, European Union expansion in Croatia and Slovenia, political awakening in Morocco, technology and innovation in East Africa, healthcare in South India and urban sustainability in Denmark.
Each trip features two to three group leaders and 10 to 15 students. The...
It already seems that 2014 is shaping up as a great year for water park fans around the world, as a number of new parks teeming with body slides, wave pools and lazy rivers are planned for the United States, Europe and Asia.
Consider this a tentative and fluid list of new attractions on tap at domestic and international water parks. As is often the case, some projects may get delayed and new ones announced.
Since it is still early, I'll update my top 14 over the coming months as new projects are announced. Until then, here's my list of most anticipated water parks for 2014:
1) Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi (Texas) - The Midwest water park chain plans to open a $500-million resort with a rapids river, surfing simulator, swim-up bars and other signature attractions found at other Schlitterbahn parks.
2) Lotte World (South Korea) - A $22-million contract with WhiteWater West will introduce dueling Master Blaster water coasters and an AquaLoop inverted...
For the next few weeks on the Las Vegas Strip, you can get a look at the glitz that defined the legendary Liberace.
Several of the pianist's opulent costumes are on display at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in a pop-up exhibit just inside the resort’s Las Vegas Boulevard entrance. You'll see his fox fur coat complete with a 15-foot train and a collection of the performer’s stunning boots and bow ties. The costumes contain enough gold lamé, crystals, pearls and sequins to outfit a chorus line.
The entertainer’s rhinestone-encrusted piano and one of his classic cars are also on display.
Fittingly, the curators incorporated one of Liberace’s best-known lines into the attraction’s name: “Too Much of a Good Thing Is Wonderful: Liberace and the Art of Costume.”
The exhibit is open 3-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 2. It’s free, but donations will help support the Liberace Foundation’s scholarship fund.
Question: In looking recently at Enterprise's car rental rates in the Los Angeles area, I notice that it stipulates that the car must remain in California, Arizona and Nevada. I chose another agency that did not have such a restriction. Do they have a tracking device in the vehicle? What are the consequences if I travel to other areas? Also, when I returned a different rental car, this one in Portland, Ore., the agency told me to bring a gas receipt from a station within five miles of the airport to show that the tank was filled. How do they enforce that rule, and how do they know how far I might have driven after refilling the tank? They did not check the receipt when I returned the rental car.
Patrick Lee, Arcadia
Answer: How a rental car company knows you are staying inbounds and how it knows that you bought gasoline within five miles of the return lot can be traced to one source: you.
"We rely on our customers to be transparent, just like we try to be transparent," said Laura...
Even travel-friendly wheelchairs can hog space in transit, especially if you need large rear wheels for handling varied terrain. That’s because, while travel wheelchairs fold, their wheels do not.
Enter Morph Wheels, 24-inch detachable foldable wheelchair wheels that can be switched out with the regular wheels of any manual wheelchair that accommodates wheels with a quick-release axle.
When detached, Morph Wheels fold down to 32-by-13-by-4 inches deep, about half their open size, and can fit into the trunks of compact cars and taxis (along with other luggage), as well as the overhead storage bins of most airliners, avoiding potential damage or loss.
These wheels are pricey at $950 a pair but may earn their keep as mobility aides.
Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger Mary Forgione likes to hit the dirt when she's on vacation. An avid hiker and runner, Mary likes speed-touring cities on foot and sightseeing by running marathons.