Heli-skiing in Iceland
LineUpExplorers, a travel agency based in Germany that specializes in surf and ski vacations, and Iceland-based tour operator Arctic Heli Skiing offer an ultra-private, ultra-luxe heli-skiing tour in the Troll Peninsula in northern Iceland. A helicopter takes you and three friends to remote slopes, where you'll stay at a private lodge with your own chef. Prices for a four-day excursion start at $8,200 per person (luex.com/snow; arcticheliskiing.com).
Posh resort in Canada
Fresh off a top-to-toe renovation, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler brings a lot of polish to the wilds of the Canadian Rockies. The sommelier hosts complimentary tastings of the wines of British Columbia; there's a heated outdoor pool and a spa with steam rooms and a beauty parlor; and even the smallest guest room is spacious, with big windows, a balcony, fireplace and a soaking tub. The resort is a few minutes from Whistler Village and a free shuttle ride from the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. There, the ski concierge greets you with your gear, including boots that have been warmed overnight. Nonskiers can do everything from bobsled on the world's fastest track to spelunk in an ancient ice cave (from $350 a night; fourseasons.com).
New York Times
No wild-animal selfies
Costa Rica is urging visitors to avoid taking pictures with wild animals, an increasingly common practice that can harm biodiversity. The campaign encourages tourists to take a picture of themselves with stuffed or toy animals and post them on social media alongside the caption, "I don't harm animals with a selfie," and the hashtag #stopanimalselfies. Taking selfies with animals is "cruel," negatively impacts the preservation of endangered species and may be dangerous to tourists as they are "exposed to biting, attacks, scratches and contagious diseases," the initiative's official website states.
New York Daily News
World's most popular cities
Hong Kong is likely to hold onto its status as the world's most popular city with international visitors in 2019, despite months of political unrest. Meanwhile, New York City falls out of the Top 10. The Top 100 City Destinations report from Euromonitor International shows Asian destinations dominating the list, with over 40 entries. Bangkok takes second place, followed by Macau and Singapore. London is predicted to round out the top five. New York will sink from the eighth spot to No. 11, while Miami (29), Los Angeles (33) and Las Vegas (38) were the next highest U.S. cities on the list. Competition from Asia and Europe has seen most American cities slip in recent years, despite positive growth in arrivals for most.
Do your travel plans include trips with the grandkids? Exploring a new culture together will result in a tremendous bonding experience and memories for a lifetime. It's likely that you will each see a new destination through a unique lens, making for great conversation starters. Use transportation styles, food, music, language and art as launch points for exploration and share in the joy of learning together. Volunteer vacations can provide a meaningful way to immerse in a new culture while being of service to others. Contact: RoadScholar.org.