Many of us travel to experience new things and places, different cultures and nature’s wonders. It doesn’t hurt the travel experience if the locals are happy and friendly. A National Geographic author teamed up with Gallup to design a study measuring happiness and applied it to come up with a list of the 25 happiest cities in the U.S. Boulder, Colo., came out No. 1, and the state had two other cities on the list: Fort Collins, fourth, and Colorado Springs, 18th. Rounding out the Top 10 were Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif., second; Charlottesville, Va., third; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, Calif., fifth; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., sixth; Provo-Orem, Utah, seventh; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., eighth; Barnstable Town, Mass., ninth, and Anchorage, Alaska, 10th. (The Twin Cities area comes in 22nd.) See all of the 25 at tinyurl.com/yaewuh35.
Deal for stranded passengers
American Airlines and Delta have revived a deal that lets them put passengers on each other’s planes when travelers are stranded by disruptions such as winter storms and computer outages. Both airlines and their passengers figure to benefit if the agreement means fewer travelers get stuck at airports. “This arrangement will help save travelers time and sanity when one airline is affected by a problem and the other is operating,” said travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt. American and Delta stopped cooperating in 2015 when Delta complained that it was taking far more passengers who were rebooked from American than it sent the other way. American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said neither airline will get more generous terms than the other under the new agreement.
South Africa via sidecar
Sightseeing tours in motorcycle sidecars are gaining popularity. Riding in the three-wheeled vehicles with a driver who’s also your local guide is a unique and fun way for travelers to explore a destination. AndBeyond offers a visually rich, eight-hour tour in and around Cape Town, South Africa, in a vintage World War II motorcycle with a sidecar. Travelers ride through the scenic suburb of Camps Bay, along the edgy cliffs of Chapman’s Peak, to Boulders Beach to see the colony of penguins, and to the Constantia Winelands, where they will visit two boutique wineries. Bookings start at $241 for two (reserve by e-mail: contactus@andBeyond.com). In Barcelona, Spain, BrightSide Tours offers seven excursions in stylish Ural sidecar motorcycles. The 3½-hour Foodie Ride is a popular pick, and includes stops at three popular tapas bars to enjoy traditional Spanish fare. Prices start at 240 euros for one passenger, and 160 euros per person for two passengers (brightsidetours.com).
New York Times
Viking Cruises is offering two-for-one prices plus free air on select ocean and river cruises sailing through 2020. The deal applies to nearly a dozen itineraries, including Around the Caribbean Sea; New York, Bermuda and the West Indies; Paris to the Swiss Alps; and Waterways of the Tsars. Prices vary. For example, for the Nov. 7 departure of the West Indies Explorer, which sails round-trip from San Juan, Puerto Rico, a deluxe veranda stateroom starts at $3,999 per person double, including taxes; the fare was $7,998. Free air worth $545 each is included (book by Jan. 31; 1-866-984-5464, vikingcruises.com).