Things to Do in May

While you wait for summer’s official arrival, there are still plenty of things heating up in May. Don’t miss May’s must-dos like the Kentucky Derby, National Bike Month, Cinco de Mayo and more.

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Dreamliner

Dreamliner

First Dreamliner Commercial Flight
All Nippon Airways (ANA) piloted the first commercial flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Tokyo’s Narita airport to Hong Kong on Oct. 26. The world's first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction made its debut after years of delays and billions of dollars spent over budget. The inaugural flight was filled with aviation enthusiasts who paid thousands of dollars for a seat and raved about the plane’s amenities.
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Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene Shuts Down East Coast
Hurricane Irene came ashore at North Carolina on Aug. 27 as a Category 1 storm. The huge, slow-moving tempest traveled up 1,100 miles of US coastline, leaving a trail of destruction resulting in 45 deaths and losses of up to $7 billion. The severe weather crippled travel along the East Coast, where more than 10,000 flights were cancelled, much of Amtrak’s service between Washington, DC, and Boston was suspended and many highways were closed.
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Arab Spring

Arab Spring

Arab Spring
On Jan. 25, Arab Spring uprisings spread from Tunisia and other North African countries to Egypt, culminating in the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak 17 days later. While Egyptians rejoiced at the peaceful coup, the fallout crippled the tourism industry, the country’s largest source of revenue and jobs. Even as tourists began to return to landmarks such as the Pyramids at Giza and Cairo’s Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, Egyptians again took to the streets in November, protesting the interim military government.
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Flip Cam

Flip Cam

Cisco Ceases Production of the Flip Video Camera
On April 12, Cisco announced that it was ceasing production of the Flip video recorder, a device that revolutionized the digital video camera market and became the trusty companion of travel bloggers worldwide. Cisco purchased Pure Digital Technology Inc., the inventor of Flip, in a $590 million deal in 2009.
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Earthquake and Tsunami

Earthquake and Tsunami

Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Japan
On Friday, Mar. 10, Japan’s eastern coast was rocked by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, one of the largest ever recorded, then slammed by a ferocious 23-foot tsunami. The initial disaster killed thousands of people and wiped out entire towns and villages. Survivors endured weeks of aftershocks and rolling blackouts, while explosions and radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant caused worldwide panic. Measurement of the economic, environmental and human toll is ongoing.
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LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines Makes Emergency Landing in Warsaw
No one was hurt when a LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767 flying from Newark, NJ, with 230 people onboard made an emergency landing at Warsaw's airport after its landing gear failed to deploy. Live television footage showed the plane sliding on its belly, sparks flying as it hit the runway, then being covered in flame retardant foam.
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Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding, England
Britain’s Prince William married Catherine Middleton in a lavish ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey on April 29. More than a million tourists flooded England’s capital to witness the nuptials, spending tens of millions of pounds on refreshments, hotels, attractions and souvenirs. Meanwhile, highlights for the TV audience of 2 billion people worldwide included Kate’s much anticipated gown designed by Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, the crazy hats worn by female wedding guests, and the bride’s sister and maid of honor, Pippa.
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Volcano

Volcano

Eruption of Puyehue Volcano, Chile
On June 4, Chile’s Puyehue volcano erupted, spewing plumes of ash 6 miles into the atmosphere. Dozens of South American flights were scrapped and 6 airports in Argentina were closed as clouds of volcanic ash rode the wind toward the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of people were evacuated from surrounding rural communities in the southern Andes mountain chain.
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Qantas Airlines Strike
On Oct. 29, Qantas Airways, the world’s 10th largest airline, grounded its entire fleet around the world and locked out striking employees. The airline said it made the move because it could not meet the "extreme demands" of 3 unions representing pilots, mechanics and ground staff. The airline resumed flights 2 days later after an Australian tribunal ordered an end to the dispute that affected nearly 70,000 passengers.
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Flooding

Flooding

Unprecedented Flooding Slams Australia and Thailand
Massive floods hit 2 of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations this year. In January, much of south and central Queensland, Australia, experienced its worst flooding in half a century, triggered by unusually heavy monsoon rains. In Thailand, unusually heavy rainfall in September, October and November resulted in flooding across 64 of the country’s 77 provinces. Bangkok’s main international airport remained open throughout the flooding, but the domestic airport was shut on Oct. 25 as floodwaters covered the runway and began seeping into terminal buildings.
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Virgin Galactic Begins Taking Reservations
If you’re sitting on an extra $200,000, why not join the 430 would-be amateur astronauts who have already signed up for a Virgin Galactic suborbital flight? The deposit is only $20,000, and since the company has yet to reveal an exact launch date, you have time to save up for the rest. If that’s still a little much, buy a T-shirt on the website for just $40.
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Virgin Galactic  

World Bodypainting Festival

World Bodypainting Festival

Since 1998, Carinthia, Austria, has hosted the colorful World Bodypainting Festival. Artists from more than 40 different nations do their best to stun, entertain and win the title of “World’s Best Bodypainter.” In addition to workshops and demos, the 3-day festival also includes music concerts, a Runway & Body Art Fashion Show and fireworks synchronized to music. 960 1280

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Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown Winter Festival

More than 45,000 people flock to Queenstown, New Zealand, for perhaps the biggest winter celebration in the southern hemisphere -- the Queenstown Winter Festival. Since 1975, this gold mining camp, turned sophisticated city, comes alive during balmy, but cool temps (44°F - 46°F) in June. The 10-day celebration of winter has more than 75 events, including ski races, ski jumping, colorful parades and exhibitions. 960 1280

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Gay Pride Month

Gay Pride Month

June is Gay Pride Month. Make a trip out of the annual LGBT celebration and travel to World Gay Pride, held in a different location every year like Rome, London and Toronto. Head to San Francisco for the largest Pride festival and parade in the US, or save your money and pack your bags for Sao Paulo, which hosts the largest Gay Pride celebration in the world. 960 1280

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Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Soar to new heights in California’s beautiful Wine Country. The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic draws thousands of people to this 2-day event in Windsor, CA. On Saturday and Sunday, set your alarm clock early to make sure you’re awake to catch approximately 30 colorful balloons launch around 6:30am. 960 1280

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Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago is the place to visit in June, especially if you’re a fan of the blues. The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues music festival in the world. During 3 days, more than 500,000 people converge on Grant Park to hear well-renown performers like Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, KoKo Taylor and Otis Rush (pictured) perform on the festival’s 5 stages. 960 1280

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Dragon Boat Races

Dragon Boat Races

Visit Hong Kong to experience the excitement of the Duanwu Festival, celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. The Festival includes dragon boat races in Aberdeen -- one of the first places to host these races in Hong Kong. Fishermen believe that rowing dragon boats during the Duanwu Festival will bring them luck. 960 1280

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Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

From indie rock to reggae, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, draws thousands of fans to hear notable acts like Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, Tool, The Beach Boys and The White Stripes. During this 4-day music festival, bands, rappers, musicians and singers perform from around noon until 4am or later at Great Stage Park, which is located on a 700-acre farm. 960 1280

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Explore the incredible Inca ruins of Peru’s Machu Picchu, often called “Lost city of the Incas.” Take an adventurous climb to see the Temple of Condor and Sun Gate -- the end point for the Inca Trail. Visit in June to take advantage of the dry season and to avoid the heavy crowds in July and August. 960 1280

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Father's Day

Father's Day

Don’t forget about Dad this month. Spend some extra time with your father figure by planning a trip to go fly fishing, rock climbing or skydiving. For a getaway minus the adrenaline-pumping thrills, we have a few Father’s Day travel ideas like a brewery tour in Portland, OR, or game of golf in Myrtle Beach, SC. 960 1280

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Glastonbury Music Festival

Glastonbury Music Festival

Since 1970, music fans and art lovers have swarmed to Pilton, Somerset, England, to attend the Glastonbury Festival. Only 1,500 people attended the first festival, and today more than 170,000 people flock to Worthy Farm -- owned by festival organizer Michael Eavis -- to hear leading pop and rock artists as well as other forms of art, including dance, comedy, theater, circus and cabaret. 960 1280

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Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

June marks the official start of summer, and what better way to welcome the Summer Solstice than by joining thousands of people at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. It’s not uncommon for groups to celebrate by performing impromptu ceremonies that include samba bands and drummers. No amplified music is allowed here. 960 1280

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Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championships have been played since 1877. Starting towards the end of June and lasting approximately 2 weeks, or until all events are complete, tickets for Wimbledon are always in fierce demand, especially with pro tennis players like Andy Murray competing. 960 1280

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Santa and His Elves

Santa and His Elves

For kids from ages 1 to 92, Santa is the main attraction of the holidays, and it's the only time of the year that you don't have to go all the way to the North Pole to get a glimpse of the man in the bright red suit. You know he's checking his list twice, so add some travel goodies to yours to make sure there's something special under the tree for your next vacation. 960 1280

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Holiday Decor

Holiday Decor

There's no such thing as too many white lights, bright red bows, angels or snowmen when you're decorating your home for the holidays. There's always one house in the neighborhood that looks like Clark Griswold's -- it must come with an excessive electric bill. 960 1280

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Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Cookies with your coffee, cookies in the evening, cookies at suppertime -- during the holidays, you can have cookies anytime. Who could refuse a sugar cookie, macaroon, or gingerbread man? They're all an excuse to indulge. 960 1280

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Extravagant Gifts

Extravagant Gifts

A Gizmon? A Sholdit? A Whatzit? A Whoozit? As long as you're giving gifts, you might as well spoil your loved ones completely rotten with something from our gift guides for every type of traveler. 960 1280

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Ski Chalet

Ski Chalet

Over the top? Absolutely. But what better way to ring in the New Year with the entire family than to rent out a ski chalet perched on top of a snowy mountain? The slopes will literally be in your backyard. 960 1280

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Rolling Stones Play Barclays

Rolling Stones Play Barclays

In the ultimate form of satisfaction, the Rolling Stones added a concert date for Dec. 8 at Brooklyn's brand-new Barclays Center. They'll be the biggest act to take over Barclays, since Jay-Z christened it with 8 sold-out shows. 960 1280

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Eggnog

Eggnog

There's no shortage of spirits to get you into the holiday spirit, but to truly indulge in the season, make sure to sip on some eggnog. After all, you can have champagne or a hot toddy any old time. 960 1280

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Window Shopping

Window Shopping

Walking down 5th Avenue in NYC, it's hard not to get lost in the window displays. The larger-than-life settings may make you temporarily forget about the sidewalks overrun with tourists, but do they make you want to buy something? 960 1280

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National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree

On its 90th anniversary, the nation's Christmas tree will be lit on Dec. 6 with the help of some famous friends, including host Neil Patrick Harris and guests Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, Phillip Phillips, James Taylor and more. 960 1280

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Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Sneaky children fill their hollow houses with extra candy, but we think the universal rule of thumb when building gingerbread houses is the bigger the better! 960 1280

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NYE Celebrations

NYE Celebrations

The ultimate night of indulgence? One where the party doesn't really get started until midnight. Champagne, crystal balls, confetti and fireworks -- there's no better way to ring in the New Year than with a little glitz and glam. 960 1280

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Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

For its fifth year, over 500,000 people are expected to descend on the LOVE Park holiday market in Center City Philadelphia will have more than 90 wooden booths, 2 tents of European food, sweets and drinks, as well as a life-size Advent calendar. 960 1280

Christmas Village Philadelphia   

AKC National Championship

AKC National Championship

Don't forget to treat your 4-legged family members during the holidays. You'll find the ultimate pampered pooches at the 12th annual American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, FL, on Dec. 15-16. 960 1280

  

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