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Air travel is the safest its ever been. In fact, it’s among the safest modes of transportation, period. And yet around 40 percent of the U.S. population reports some anxiety around flying, with 2.5 to 5 percent having a full-on phobia.
I used to be among the former camp. For years, my routine consisted of popping a Xanax, gripping the armrest tightly, and fighting like hell to fend off terrifying intrusive thoughts of the plane plummeting to the ground. But it got easier for me after reaching out to a licensed pilot friend who explained, in layperson’s terms, what, say, turbulence actually is.
Not everyone has a pilot friend, of course, and that’s why this weekend I profiled Dial a Pilot, a new service launched by a commercial airline pilot. For $50 an anxious traveler can have a phone “briefing” with a professional pilot. No questions are off the table. It’s a nonjudgmental space, founder Kyle Koukol told me, aiming to inform and empower skittish travelers.
Elsewhere this weekend, Sinead Mulhern took us along for three weekends of hiking the rugged, more unpredictable side of the famed Inca Trail, the forgotten Ecuadorian side of the royal road that most tourists don’t ever see. (Speaking of the Inca Trail, take time to revisit Stacey Lastoe’s dispatch from the far more popular Peru side, where she found that Machu Picchu itself isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.)
And on the hidden side of popular destinations, I’m reminded of Demetrios Ioannou’s thought-provoking story on how the future of Greece tourism may be underwater.
— Andrew Kirell, Senior Editor
“Sure, these trails won’t have grandiose ancient ruins, but they will have miles of untouched spaces where the only things to interrupt your thoughts are whispering Andean breezes. This is the Inca Trail that most will never see.”
Rimowa’s premium travel accessories and luggage make travel feel more like a luxury experience rather than a necessary hassle, and its newly-launched Still Vertical Tote Bag is no exception. Designed with Italian-made full-grain leather and durable canvas, this vertical tote bag is designed to streamline your travel experience, whether you’re commuting by subway to the office or jetting off to a vacation abroad. The tote bag also features a slew of thoughtful design specs, including a designated passport holder, sturdy leather straps that stay put on your shoulder or your suitcase handle, and a roomy pouch to protect larger electronics.
—Scouted by Mia Maguire
Sure, you can still shell out for Capri, keep up with Joneses in the south of France, or try to party with the kids in Greece, but for many these days the ultimate Mediterranean escape can be found in the Balearics. This collection of islands off the eastern coast of Spain have become popular for their incredible scenery, unique vibe, and the variety of lifestyles on offer. That’s why the latest selection for Just Booked, our series on exciting new coffee table books, is Secret Houses: Living in Menorca by Susana Gallardo, published by Rizzoli.
In the book, Gallardo takes readers all over the island, from rustic villas with fading frescoes to sleek contemporary houses overlooking the sea. The photographs by Karal Balas capture home we wish were all listed on rental sites, whether the decked-out fantasy of interior designer Lorenzo Castillo in Mahon or the former boathouse covered in bougainvillea that one family has turned into a simple yet elegant hideaway.
Don’t miss our other selections for our series on gorgeous travel-related coffee table books, Just Booked.
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