Travel Hosts Exposed, Week of May 25, 2011
Join the Ghost Adventure gang as they head off to Portland, and see how the maids got Bert back for his pranks. All this and more in this week's Hosts Exposed.
idea_ss_top-destinations_001_596x334Thailand is home to many affordable attractions, including jungle treks, ancient temples, flour-soft beaches and an entire island of ravers. While 2010 saw civil unrest in Bangkok, the effect on tourists was minimal, if not advantageous, as businesses tried to woo tourists with discounts. New direct flights into the Trat Islands near Cambodia, and several new resort developments, opened up this once inaccessible area. 960 1280
idea_ss_top-destinations_002_596x334In the last few years, Marrakech has seen an explosion of small Riads or boutique hotels around the ancient city, catering to niche markets, including luxe, gay and family travelers. In November La Mamounia, the grand dame of Marrakech hotels, reopened after a five-year, $176-million redesign by Parisian designer Jacques Garcia. 960 1280
idea_ss_top-destinations_003_596x334South Africa took advantage of the 2010 World Cup to build new stadiums, hotels and safari lodges. Cape Town, already famous for spectacular beaches, upscale nightlife and food, added several new hotels, including the Taj Cape Town. Luxe travelers can splurge on a safari trip to Richard Branson's Cliff Lodge, a new luxury hotel at Ulusaba, the billionaire's private game reserve. 960 1280
idea_ss_top-destinations_004_596x334Vancouver was host to many winter-sports enthusiasts during February's Olympic festivities. The city and surrounding areas had a ton to offer fans of the Winter Games as well as regular travelers. There's world-class skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb, one of the best destination ski resorts in the world. At nearby Ucluetet on Nanaimo Island, the new Wild Pacific Trail follows a rugged shoreline. Kayakers love the area for beauty and a chance to spot gray whales during their annual migration. 960 1280
idea_ss_top-destinations_005_596x334Los Angeles is a hot spot for art and museum hounds. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) celebrated its 30th birthday in 2010 with special exhibitions. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art unveiled a Renzo Piano-designed addition to its campus. Several prominent galleries have opened outposts in LA. 960 1280
idea_ss_top-destinations_011_596x334Once a shunned country for travelers, Colombia is Latin America's affordable, new hot spot. The capital of Bogota has been slowly transforming since the late 1990s, adding bike paths, a new bus system and sidewalk cafes. The coastal city of Caragena experienced a renaissance, sprouting stylish new boutique hotels and spas. JetBlue's new nonstop daily service to Bogota from Orlando made a trip here even more affordable. 960 1280
idea_ss_top-destinations_008_596x334Bike paths line Copenhagen's streets where locals and tourists ride the free bikes available around the city center. The Danish capital also boasts new cultural buildings ' an opera house, library and concert hall ' as well as a booming arts district. A public bath is the newest addition to the harbor district, the city's burgeoning summertime center. 960 1280
idea_ss_top-destinations_009_596x334Las Vegas was hit hard by US economic woes as business travel and group bookings evaporated, so hotels went into overdrive to attract budget-conscious travelers with discounts and deals galore. On the other end of the spectrum, several developers amped up the luxury despite the downturn, including MGM's massive resort complex, CityCenter. 960 1280
idea_ss_top-destinations_010_596x334Savvy travelers knew that 2010 was the year to see the town's once-every-decade performance of the Passion Play. More than 2,000 actors, singers, instrumentalists and technicians, all residents of the village, brought the story of Jesus of Nazareth to life in an extraordinary community event. The Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed in 1634. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_001_596x334In ' Unplugging
Enjoy life and live in the moment instead of toting around your hand-held device or laptop. Unplug and immerse yourself in a new culture and destination. Siberia, here we come!
Out ' Internet Access/Wi-Fi
Don't be a geek. Checking Facebook, Foursquare and tweeting on your Smartphone is so old-school. Travel isn't an anti-social hobby. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_002b_596x334In ' Pat-down
Underwear bombing is all the rage, which means we all get a free grope on the way to Grandma's house. What's that? You don't want the TSA creeper touching you? Step into the body scanner to the right, also known as the free peep show starring you.
Out ' Shoe scan
Who hides explosives in shoes anymore? 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_004_596x334In ' Ground Zero Memorial
The New Year will be big for New York when the memorial at Ground Zero opens to the public on Sept. 11, 2011.
Out ' Sleeping on Matresses
With the increase in bedbug infestations in NYC, where can tourists sleep without fear? Travelers can prepare in advance by checking hotel reviews online, using luggage liners, looking behind headboards and keeping luggage or clothes off the floor. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_005_596x334In ' England
Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton have made England a hot destination after setting a date for their wedding day, on April 29, 2011.
Out ' Sweden
Sorry, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, marrying your fitness trainer in 2010 is so, well, 2010. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_006_596x334In ' Vanuatu
With 83 islands featuring roaring waterfalls, tropical beaches and remote villages, Vanuatu is bursting with eco-friendly excursions.
Out ' Riviera Maya
Only 20 years ago, you could sneak into the remote, dusty Mayan ruin and crash next door in a $5-a-night beach hut. Not anymore. Cancun has officially jumped the shark. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_007b_596x334In ' Dance
Everyone's a dancer, even Bristol Palin! Visit Argentina for traditional tango lessons or go on a themed cruise, where dance competitions are increasingly popular.
Out ' Wine
Dissing Merlot while singing the praises of Pinot Noir on a California wine tour is so 2004. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_008_596x334In ' Bike-sharing
Bike-sharing really took off in Paris in 2007 with 20,000 bicycles distributed across 1,450 stations. Since then, networks have launched in Portland, OR, Washington, DC, and Montreal, Canada.
Out ' Segway
The Segway is out after the company's owner was killed when he accidentally drove one off a cliff last year. 960 1280
idea_ss_whats-hot-whats-not-2011_010b_596x334In ' Fakecation
If you can work from home, why not work from Egypt instead? Any exotic location will do. Worldwide Wi-Fi and mobile coverage is expanding exponentially each year, and with Skype, there's no reason to pay for long-distance calls.
Out ' Staycation
You no longer have an excuse to stay at home when you can travel the world without ever using a vacation day. 960 1280