TRAVEL NEWS

11 of Easter Islands Strangest Sights

Scratch your head over Easter Island’s oddest wonders.

Easter Island is one of the strangest places a traveler can visit. A dot in the middle of the South Pacific, “Isla de Pascua” is challenging to reach—you can only fly in from Santiago, Chile, or Tahiti—and spans a mere 63.2 square miles. Yet in a normal year, around 100,000 tourists arrive here, drawn to its peculiar landscapes and moai statues. From googly-eyed stone men to a cave of cannibals, the ancient Rapa Nui people left behind relics that are fascinating to behold. To this day, archaeologists are still unraveling the mysteries of their culture. Take a hop to Easter Island, and let your imagination run wild as you puzzle over these 11 attractions. INSIDER TIPTravelers must have a National Park Ticket to access the island’s best-known sites including Orongo, Rano Raraku, and Tongariki. You may purchase a ticket upon arrival at Mataveri Airport, and it currently costs $80 in cash for non-Chileans.  

Oregon’s Oddest Roadside Attractions and Offbeat Museums

These weird, wild, and wonky detours are worth pulling over for.

In a state with a well-publicized reputation for eccentricity plus thousands of miles of highways crisscrossing it, you’re almost guaranteed to encounter some Americana oddities along the way. And Oregon does not disappoint, with hand-built theme parks, niche museums, real-life ghost towns, a shipwreck you can walk up to at low tide, and even Howard Hughes’s “flying boat.” Route your road trip to hit at least a few of these classic roadside attractions.

I Vacationed 53 Miles From My House and It Was Awesome

A vacation doesn’t have to take you too far away.

With a few tweaks, this could be Lake Como. Champagne, France. I’m sipping rosé at noon, overlooking a lake, on the patio of a stone hotel. Surprise! I’m in Wisconsin, 53 miles from my Milwaukee home. After several months at home, the travel-bug became an itch I had to scratch, only I wasn’t ready to board a plane or leave my state. Instead, I was off to tiny and cute Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, with a population hovering around 1,000. If you’re thinking of a staycation close to home, but wish to make it an adventure, here are 10 tips to consider.

Where Can You Travel? What’s Open? What’s Closed? Here’s the Current Status for All 50 States

The states are starting to reopen. But is it wise to venture out?

[Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article that originally ran on May 19.] Disclaimer: This is meant to be a general overview of how each state is reopening. It is not intended to provide every last detail regarding guidelines and restrictions; please refer to the government website of each state for specifics. In addition, please remember that even if a state has been given the green light for a category of businesses to reopen, individual businesses may choose to remain closed. As such, please be sure to contact each business or site before visiting to ensure that it is open. As the United States begins to relax its shelter-in-place orders and some emerge from their homes, many are counting the days when we can get back out there and travel, even if it’s by car to a neighboring community or state. But as we know, a very different landscape awaits out there than the one we left earlier this winter at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. There are things travelers must consider that we never did before, including social distancing and personal sanitization. The big question is: Is it safe to travel in the United States? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pretty clear in its stance. It’s recommended that you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential. Social distancing still needs to be practiced, especially if you are in a higher risk category or an older adult. You shouldn’t travel if you feel sick, or travel with someone who is sick. And you need to protect yourself and others by knowing how to prevent the virus from spreading.  Perhaps the most hopeful advice comes from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. According to him, summer travel “can be in the cards.” He urges caution, since we risk COVID-19 spreading rapidly if proper precautions are not taken. “When infections start to rear their heads again,” he says, “we have to put in place a very aggressive and effective way to identify, isolate, contact trace, and make sure we don’t have those spikes we have now.” As long as we’re aware that “getting back to normal is not like a light switch that you turn on and off,” he says, we should be able to get back to some sort of normalcy. So the answer is: We’re not quite there yet. The best thing to do is pay attention to the several-phase reopening plans that each state has developed, outlining when hotels, restaurants, retail businesses, outdoor areas, etc., should be open for business and what precautions they must take. Some states are freer than others—and that’s something to consider. Do you really want to be on a beach where social distancing guidelines aren’t being maintained? It’s a whole new world that we’ll be navigating, literally. The guidelines are fast-changing and it’s hard to keep up, but here’s where they stand today, state by state.  

10 Eerie Places That Are Said to Be the Actual Gate to Hell

Get out of this hell and head through the gate to another!

At this point, I’ll take any vacation, including one straight to Hell. Of course, I’m kidding, but am I? Who’s to say. Various mythologies and urban legends around the world have long purported that Hell isn’t just a part of the afterlife, but a place that can be accessed from this mortal plane. That is if you find your way to the right volcano, abandoned city, or perpetually burning fire. So allow us to play Virgil to your Dante, hop in the nearest handbasket, and get ready to go to Hell.