Redwood Coast is No. 1; Minneapolis is 9th
Lonely Planet put California’s Redwood Coast No. 1 on its top 10 list of U.S. destinations for 2018. The guidebook company recommended the region, which includes Redwood National Park, as a place to “lose all track of time” — along with your cell signal. This year the park marks 50 years since it was founded. Second on the list was Boise, Idaho, which Lonely Planet described as epitomizing “what cool looks like before the rest of the world has figured it out.” Filling out the rest of the top 10 list (in order) were Chattanooga, Tenn.; Florida’s Space Coast, which includes NASA’s Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral; Cincinnati; Maine’s midcoast; Richmond, Va.; Kentucky bourbon country; Minneapolis (highlighting Nicollet Mall, the Sculpture Garden and Target Center); and southeastern Utah.
Costa Rica for students
College students can save more than 50 percent on a Costa Rica package. The Pura Vida 2018 deal costs $1,075 per person double and includes five nights split between Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa in Arenal and El Mangroove resort on the Gulf of Papagayo; two nights at Hotel El Presidente in San Jose; daily breakfast; unlimited entry to the thermal experience at Tabacon; eight-day car rental; 20 percent spa discount at Tabacon; and taxes. Book by April 15 at email@example.com. Use promo code GRAD2018; valid college ID required. Travel May 1-June 20. By comparison, summer rates at Tabacon average $338 a night and rates at El Mangroove go for $220 a night (1-855-822-2266, tabacon.com).
Unique Nordic lodging
The Vipp hotel in Europe bills itself as an “untraditional hotel” because it’s really more a collection of properties. Vipp shelter, for instance, is a sleek steel-and-glass box inspired by industrial design (think submarines and airplanes) at Lake Immeln in Sweden (600 euros a night for up to two adults, or about $745). Vipp loft has two queen beds with a kitchen, dining and living area at the top of a 1910 printing factory in the Islands Brygge area of Copenhagen (1,000 euros a night for up to four adults). This year, Vipp is opening Chimney house in a landmark brick building, a former water-pumping station, also in Copenhagen. All of the spaces are self check-in, and there is no daily housekeeping, and no amenities such as a gym or restaurant (vipp.com/en-us/hotel).
New York Times
Airport kiosks full of germs
A new study confirmed that various surfaces in the cabin of a commercial plane have many times the amount of bacteria as an average kitchen counter. But the latest study found that surfaces in airport terminals can have even higher germ counts than those in the planes. The highest number of “colony-forming units” of bacteria per square inch were found on increasingly popular self-serve ticketing kiosks. The website InsuranceQuotes conducted swab tests on the surfaces of three major airports and three airlines and calculated the bacteria or fungal cell counts for several surfaces. The highest germ counts in the planes were on the flush button on the toilets, followed by the tray tables and the seat buckles, the study said. The highest germ counts in the terminals were found on the screens of airport kiosks, followed by bench armrests and drinking-fountain buttons.
Los Angeles Times