Cherry blossom deals in D.C.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs through April 16 in Washington, D.C., and numerous hotels have themed packages. The Embassy Row Hotel's package includes two nights' accommodations, two one-day Metrorail passes and a sake tasting (from $179). Washington Hilton includes two cherry-blossom cocktails, unlimited coffee and hot chocolate, and late checkout (from $129). The Willard InterContinental package includes a space-available room upgrade, $50 daily food and beverage credit, valet parking and a cherry-themed Japanese dessert (from $299).
New York Times
Rosy air-travel stats
A record number of passengers will fly in March and April, according to Airlines for America. The industry association is anticipating 145 million fliers, or about 2.4 million people per day, during the spring break period — a 4 percent rise from last year. To meet the growing demand, U.S. airlines are adding 110,000 seats per day with larger planes and new nonstop routes. Other findings: Airfare has dropped nearly $30 since 2014, and fees are up by less than 40 cents. In 2016, U.S. airlines properly handled 99.73 percent of bags, a record high. The carriers also completed 99 percent of their flights (the best since 1992), with 81 percent of flights arriving on time.
Fly Rochester to Atlanta
Delta Air Lines is expanding its daily service connecting Rochester, Minn., and the carrier's hub in Atlanta. Starting July 9, Delta will offer second flights in both directions. Delta will begin offering a 6:30 a.m. flight from Rochester to Atlanta and a 7:10 p.m. flight from Atlanta to Rochester. Currently, Delta has a 3 p.m. flight from Rochester to Atlanta and a 1:59 p.m. flight from Atlanta to Rochester. Aircraft for all of the flights is the Bombardier CRJ-700, a regional airliner with 65 to 70 seats.
Iceland mulls tourism taxes
Travel to Iceland could soon become a bit more expensive. Overwhelmed by a record number of visitors, Iceland's government is considering ways of raising taxes in the tourism sector. The alternative would be to limit sightseers' access to the country's most popular spots. "[We] have to be careful not to become victims of our own success," said Iceland's tourism minister. Visitor numbers have grown from 490,000 in 2010 to an estimated 2.3 million this year. That's a lot, considering Iceland's population totals less than 340,000.
Boutique hotels for less
Here's a website that helps you find boutique hotels without breaking the bank. DorisandDicky.com offers a collection of 500-plus independent hotels in cities across Europe and around the globe. Most properties have 20 rooms or fewer and a price tag of about $125 a night. It had us at "best affordable boutique hotel spa breaks in Europe," with rooms from $52 to $115 a night. There are also valuable travel tips. "Top 5 cheap weekend boutique city breaks in Europe" led to more generous on-the-ground travel information. Keep your finger near the refresh button on "New hotels and recently reviewed properties" on the home page. It aims to find something a little extra special in accommodations, be it spectacular views, a beachfront location, colorful character or cultural highlights.
Los Angeles Times