Condé Nast Traveler

Traveling With a Baby Changes the Way You Vacation—and That's Okay

Fear. Apprehension. Uncertainty. These were some of the feelings surging through me on my first post-vaccination trip. Not because I hadn’t taken a true vacation in nearly a year, but because it was my first time traveling since giving birth to my son.
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A New Yacht Lets Divers Explore Raja Ampat in Style

I was sitting in a tender in total darkness in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, clutching a ceramic cup of coffee in the hope that the heat and caffeine would wake me up. I had come to Indonesia's Raja Ampat National Park on a shore excursion to chase the elusive bird of paradise. The morning journey was perfectly safe, but as with all things in the predawn hours, it felt three times as long and 10 times as harrowing, especially now as we trudged through knee-deep waters from the boat toward Gam Island.

My Favorite Airbnb: A Dreamy Desert Retreat Near Arizona's Saguaro National Park

My favorite kinds of trips are absolutely packed. I like to take nine days worth of activities and pack them into a long weekend—like a barbecue lunch followed by three taco stops on a recent trip to Dallas—so I know I've experienced as much as possible. When I travel with a certain group of friends, we have it down to a science, consulting our spreadsheet that details what we’ll do down to the hour. But we had to approach a recent trip to Tucson completely differently.

Everything You Need to Know to Plan a Group Trip

The paella was a breaking point. I was in the middle of the most complicated group trip I’d ever planned—13 people, flying in from six different cities, all gathering in a seven-bedroom villa in Andalucia. We were there, ostensibly, on a joint 30th-birthday trip, a group vacation we’d been planning for years. As high school classmates, some of us had known each other for decades, and the group had grown to include significant others and even a not-yet-announced pregnancy.

50 Best Places to Travel in 2017

Putting together our annual list of the best places to travel is a process that takes several months—we survey writers based around the world, talk to our A-List travel specialists, and look at the most exciting hotel and restaurant openings. While news and global events have a large impact on the places we choose, we also pay attention to cities that are worth revisiting: Philadelphia, in particular, may surprise you with the amount of growth and development it has seen in recent months. North America made a strong showing on this year’s list—more than a quarter of these places are within reach for a long-weekend trip from the United States.

Turks and Caicos Travel Guide

With more than 230 miles of white-sand beaches and some of the world's most beautiful coral reefs, the Turks and Caicos islands are arguably the hidden gems of the Caribbean. They’re less than 90 minutes from Miami, and about a three-hour flight from New York City. Here, you'll find historic villages barely touched by tourism and crystal-clear waters full of marine life, plus pristine beaches perfect for spending long, relaxing days. The Turks and Caicos are also home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef, after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef. This translates to miles and miles of swimmable water until the breaker—when the depth suddenly drops to 7,000 feet.

Tulum Travel Guide

Tulum, a breathtaking stretch of sand along Mexico’s eastern coast, has a reputation as the ultimate place for an unplugged beach vacation for a good reason. In contrast to the mega-resorts of neighboring Cancun and the Riviera Maya, the places to stay in Tulum are all eco-friendly and laid-back. You'll spend your days here eating fresh fish tacos, doing yoga overlooking the water, and reading in a palapa on the beach. The main draw is Tulum's gorgeous beach, one of the best in Mexico, plus the casual vibe of downtown—these two distinct areas, about a 20-minute drive apart, are where you'll spend all your time. And unlike other beach getaways in Mexico, Tulum has several things to see, from historic ruins and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve to world-class shops and restaurants. Plan your weekend with Travel + Leisure’s guide to this stylish vacation spot.

Best Places to Travel in 2016

To compile our annual list of the best places to travel in the upcoming year, T+L editors thoroughly and meticulously consider a variety of factors. Which under-the-radar gems are most exciting to our network of contributing writers and global correspondents? Which destinations are our A-List travel specialists fielding requests for? Which classic vacation spots are starting to emerge—but for entirely new and compelling reasons? Which global events and changes in travel restrictions have made certain destinations easier to get to?

These Wedding Cakes Belong in The Louvre

Before Alexandria Pellegrino started attracting the attention of discerning brides and wed- ding planners with her Marie Antoinette–inspired cakes, the artist (who graduated from both art school and Le Cordon Bleu) dabbled in such fields as welding and car airbrushing. Now she focuses solely on her over-the-top cakes. "Every step is labor-intensive, but I love that," she says. The Toronto-based baker draws a line at more newfangled additions.

Pearl Jam

As the chef at Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert faces a serious occupational hazard: He eats a ton of caviar. "I've done it every day at work for the last 20 years," he says. His distributor (and close friend), Hossein Aimani of Paramount Caviar, has the same problem. "It's part of my job — I'm guilty of the crime of eating caviar every day. Someone has to do it." The two connoisseurs have come together to create Eric Ripert Imperial Select Caviar, which they believe is the best in the world.

Actress Jamie Chung on Her ‘Real World’ Past and Embracing Her Future

Not everyone can say they first discovered their true calling at Korean Catholic camp—but that’s where actress Jamie Chung first remembers catching the acting bug. “We’d break into groups, have a leader and put on these skits,” she says. “I had absolutely no fear. I loved the whole creative process and entertaining people and making them laugh.” But in high school, Chung tabled these passions to focus on her studies, not stopping until she graduated from college. “I could not see myself going into higher education, so I moved to L.A. and jumped right into things. I got a manager and started taking classes.” Sounds fearless, right? “I’m so ashamed of failure that I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, not even my parents,” she says. “I didn’t even tell them that I booked my first job on a soap opera.”

Glee’s Harry Shum, Jr. is Much More Than Just “The Other Asian”

No one wants to go through life known as “the Asian dude.” But for Harry Shum, Jr., it’s a dream come true. The 27-year-old plays football player and show-choir member Mike Chang on the hit show “Glee,” but he’s much better known for being “the other Asian,” a nickname dubbed by Jane Lynch’s scary cheerleading coach character, Sue Sylvester. Shum is no stranger to being a token Asian.

The Sweet Life of Brenda Song

For as long as she can remember, Brenda Song has wanted to be an actress. “My imagination, as a child, was huge,” she recalls. “It’s all I wanted to do.” With parents who were “supportive of anything,” Brenda got her first role at age five doing a commercial for Little Caesars. A few short years later, a manager introduced Brenda to Elizabeth Sung, who at the time was directing a short autobiographical film and looking to cast someone as her younger self. Sung had met with 20 girls when Brenda came along.
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