The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are just a few months away — and there are still plenty of tickets available to go see the worldwide competition in person.
Thousands of athletes from about 90 countries around the world are expected to compete in sports including curling, figure skating, alpine skiing and ice hockey.
While tickets for the Winter Olympics went on sale last February, one year ahead of the Opening Ceremony, a large percentage of them are still available. Though the Olympics usually draws spectators from all over the world, Pyeongchang has struggled to sell tickets both domestically and internationally, with only 31.9% of tickets sold as of late October, according to USA Today.
Where to buy Winter Olympics tickets
The options for purchasing tickets depend on the country where you live. For Korean residents, tickets are available in a few phases. While online lottery sales already ended over the summer, general online sales are still running through mid-November. After that, tickets will still be available offline at city halls, airports and other large centers begin around the country. Tickets for Koreans are available at tickets.pyeongchang2018.com.
As for residents of every other country hoping to travel to Pyeongchang in 2018, tickets are available through the National Olympic Committees and authorized ticket resellers.
U.S. residents can purchase tickets through CoSport/Jet Set Sports, where they can buy spots to individual events, ticket packages for certain sports and seats at the opening and closing ceremonies. The U.S.’s National Olympic Committee is also advertising ticket sales through CoSport on the Team USA website.
The U.S. appears to be one of the only countries using CoSport as its ticket seller, but many other countries are using Cartan Tours to sell tickets to the upcoming Olympic games. Those coming from many of the countries in South America and Central America, along with the Caribbean, Cambodia, Guam, Latvia and Macedonia, can purchase tickets through that platform here.
Other countries, like Canada, China, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and many others, can purchase tickets through their own authorized resellers as well. A full list of the countries with authorized resellers available can be found on the Pyeongchang’s official website for the games.
Winter Olympics ticket prices
On CoSport’s website, ticket prices range from as low as $141 for early rounds of women’s ice hockey to as high as $1,738.79 for a ticket package for the men’s ice hockey playoffs and medal ceremony.
Popular events like women’s figure skating can be purchased in a package with short track speed skating for about $820.
No ticket packages for the opening and closing ceremonies appear to be available through CoSport as of the end of October. However, tickets for Korean residents on the official tickets website range from around $196 to about $1,335 for the Opening Ceremony.
There’s no place like home for the holidays. And Southwest just made the hectic trip home this year a lot more affordable.
The airline is offering discounted fares on select holiday travel dates to locations across the U.S.
The cheapest fares start at $41 for one-way flights between Long Beach, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as $49 from Baltimore/Washington and Cincinnati or Chicago and Cincinnati. There are also many other one-way fares that fall well below $100, allowing you to get home with plenty of gift money to spare.
Other highlights include fares from Los Angeles to Tucson for $80 one-way, New York City to Indianapolis for $59, Nashville to Boston for $98, and Albany to Orlando for $116.
Travel dates, however, are limited. Domestic travel is only valid between December 14 and 21, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 28 and 29, and between January 1 and 4. While some of the season’s most popular days to travel are blacked out, anyone able to fly out early or travel on the holiday may be able to snag a great deal (and avoid some crowds, too.)
The clock is ticking, though, as travelers must book these holiday deals by November 6. As an added bonus, checked bags are free on Southwest, meaning you’ll have more than enough room for presents and warm winter garb.
"Travel isn't a hobby, it's a way of life."
- Christina Columbo
A single family has owned the island for more than 150 years and — even though it’s only 17 miles from resort-lined Kauai — Niihau remains surprisingly insulated from the outside world.
The island has no roads (dirt trails navigate its arid, bushy terrain), no cars, no stores, and no Internet. Its sandy beaches see more wildlife than human footprints. Sleepy Hawaiian monk seals dot the coast and schools of sharks have been known to swim remarkably close to empty shores.
But the island is populated with people.
When Niihau was purchased by the Sinclair family in the 1860s, the island’s inhabitants — known as Niihauans — were allowed to stay, but access to the island by outsiders (including anyone from another Hawaiian island) was restricted.
To this day, only Niihauans, the Robinsons (the descendants of the title-holding family), and the occasional invited guest are allowed there (or near the dozens of homes in the island’s only settlement, Puuwai).
A Promise To Preserve
In 1864, King Kamehameha V sold the island of Niihau to the Robinsons’ ancestors, the Sinclair family, for $10,000 worth of gold and, according to some accounts, a requirement that the family would promise to preserve the Native Hawaiian language and Niihau’s unique way of life.
‘’Niihau is yours,” Kamehameha IV said when he signed the contract, according to the New York Times. “But the day may come when Hawaiians are not as strong in Hawaii as they are now. When that day comes, please do what you can to help them.’’
(The Niihau Cultural Heritage Foundation reports that Kamehameha IV agreed to sell the land, but died in 1863. Records show that his brother, Kamehameha V, completed the transaction on January 23, 1864.)
Ownership of the island has stayed within the same bloodline ever since and access to the 70-square-mile island has remained extremely restricted.
“We’ve tried to maintain the request of the King when it was turned over,” Bruce Robinson, one of two brothers who owns the island, told ABC News in 2010. “We maintain the island for the people and continue to work it as he had.”
Those promises afforded Niihauans a luxury that most modern travelers search the world for: A truly secluded and untouched island.
A Living Fossil
Niihau remains something of a living fossil — a glimpse into what life in the islands might look like if, over the centuries, the rest of Hawaii just stood still.
The Niihauans who remain on the island today live mostly as their Native Hawaiian ancestors did, with hunting and fishing taking up the majority of their days. There are an estimated 70 permanent residents on the island, although that number fluctuates as Niihauans move away or return to the islands. The 2010 census listed its population at 170, but since the Robinsons are not required to submit population estimates, the current number of permanent residents are unknown.
They speak mainly Native Hawaiian, but, because of efforts by the island’s only school and Niihauans access to other islands, some residents also know English. They don’t pay rent, they travel mostly by bike or on foot and most homes rely on rain catchments and generators for water and electricity.
They’re also expected to abide by rules set by both the Robinson’s and the village’s earlier generations. Alcohol and guns are not allowed on the island and, according to the New York Times, anyone caught breaking the rules can be evicted.
According to one former resident, Niihau men aren’t allowed to have long hair or wear earrings, and on Sundays, the entire village is expected to go to church.
In 1969, the Milwaukee Journal called Niihau a “Puritan paradise,” because of the religious culture impressed upon the Niihauans by the Robinsons — a family of “strict Scots Presbyterians,” according to the Journal — and the missionaries that came to Niihau decades before it was purchased.
“All those rules came from the old timers, so we just take care of that,” Wehi Kaaumoana, a 34-year-old Niihauan, told The Huffington Post.
The younger people in the village are also expected to take care of and provide for the elders.
“We live off the land. That’s all we have,” Kaaumoana said. Although Niihauans can hop on a barge owned by the Robinsons to go grocery shopping on the island of Kauai, they rely heavily on fishing and hunting to feed the village.
But “the old folks over there, they can’t go beach ‘cause they growing old,” he added. “When we go out and fish and hunt and give them food like that, they happy. We take care of our elderlies. Elderlies are the main thing in life.”
To pass the time, Niihauans go to the beach or watch pre-downloaded movies on iPads, but, like any other small town, people get bored. Kaaumoana, for example, moved off the island in his mid-20s to find work on Kauai.
Courtesy of Carnival
The U.S. National Park Service recently proposed doubling entry fees at the 17 most-popular parks, and one park is now considering creating a reservations system for visitors, the Associated Press reports.
Under the new fee structure, the service would charge $70 for non-commercial vehicles, $50 for motorcycles, and $30 per person. The fee hikes would apply to peak-season months only, which the park service defines as the busiest five-month period for each particular park. The park service says “the funds raised are critically needed to improve facilities and infrastructure and to provide an enhanced level of service, all of which would have a direct impact on the visitor.
These proposed fee hikes come at a time when the parks system is more popular than ever—a record 330 million people visited last year, during the Parks Service centennial. National park visits have grown steadily over the past several years, and the parks being considered for the higher entrance fees have weathered the brunt of that growth: The NPS says the parks included in the proposed fee hike represent 70 percent of the total of all entrance fees throughout the country (only 118 of the system’s 417 sites charge a fee at all.)
While the surge in visitation is mostly a positive thing, it puts great strain on the NPS and the parks themselves, not to mention visitors who encounter traffic jams and other consequences of crowds.
Speaking of traffic jams, Arches National Park is considering a change that, if successful, one can easily see expanding to other parks around the country. The Associated Press reports that park officials think timed reservation slots may alleviate some of the roadway and parking congestion currently plaguing Arches. The proposal would limit entries during “certain three-hour windows between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. over the March-through-October high season.”
The Salt Lake Tribune adds that the park service has doubled the amount of parking at popular destinations within the park and explored a shuttle system, but nothing has helped the traffic crush. Timed entries will be difficult for visitors who can’t plan ahead, or who simply prefer the freedom of visiting whenever they want. But Park Superintendent Kate Cannon believes the proposal will actually increase visitation by spreading entries evenly throughout the day.
“When [visitors] get in the park, they breathe a sigh of relief, but when they get to where they want to go they can’t find a place to park. They circle, they circle. They go to the next place, they circle,” Cannon told the Tribune. “We want people to come in and enjoy the place but we need to change the way we manage traffic.”
Keep in mind that both the fee hike and revised entry system are still just proposals, and may never see the light of day. But clearly, the NPS is feeling the effect of its record-high visits. If the changes do occur, however, both would have a negative impact on visitors in the short-term. But in the long-term, perhaps these could help preserve the parks for future generations. That’s the idea, right?
The following parks are included in the fee hike proposal:
Acadia National Park
Arches National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Denali National Park
Glacier National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Mount Rainier National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Olympic National Park
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Shenandoah National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park
Norway has pipped Denmark to the post this year as the Happiest Country in the World in a UN report that calls on countries to develop social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.
According to the newly released World Happiness Report 2017, Norway jumped three places to displace the three-time winner.
Iceland came in third followed closely by Switzerland. The top four countries rank highly on the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. Their happiness scores are so close that small changes can re-order the rankings from year to year.
Finland came in at 5th place followed by the Netherlands, Canada, and New Zealand. Australia and Sweden tied at 9th place.
United States of America ranked 14th dropping down one place despite an economic turnaround, falling unemployment and an increase in income.
The United Kingdom has moved up four spots to 19th place while Russia moved seven spots to 49th place. There was movement in the Orient too with Japan moving up two places to 51st while China moved up four spots to 79th place.
People in the Central African Republic are the unhappiest with their lives, appearing bottom of the chart at 155th place followed by Burundi (154), Tanzania (153), Syria (152) and Rwanda (151).
Read also: If you are searching for happiness you will find it in Denmark
About the survey
The report is based on an annual survey of 1,000 people in more than 150 countries that simply asks them to rank, on a scale of 0 to 10, whether they are living their best life.
Researchers then use six measures: gross domestic product per capita, life expectancy, support from relatives or friends, charitable giving, freedom to make life choices, and perceived levels of government and corporate corruption.
“The World Happiness Report continues to draw global attention around the need to create sound policy for what matters most to people – their well-being,” said Jeffrey Sachs, the report’s co-editor and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, in a statement.
“As demonstrated by many countries, this report gives evidence that happiness is a result of creating strong social foundations. It’s time to build social trust and healthy lives, not guns or walls. Let’s hold our leaders to this fact.”
Sachs said he would like nations to follow the example of the United Arab Emirates and other countries which had appointed ministers of happiness.
“I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyse it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction.”
The U.N. General Assembly declared March 20 as World Happiness Day in 2012, recognizing “happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world.”*
If you have the money, that is.
Originally built in 1900, the landmark building at 124 W. Houston St. has been host to many a famous artist and musician. Bob Dylan used the historic New York City space as a private recording studio in the 1960s and '70s.
Now, it's opening as a luxury rental in its coveted location near the West Village and SoHo.
The first floor was where Dylan recorded hits like “Idiot Wind,” and some of his rough recordings were even found tucked away in a closet when developers first started preparing to sell the building in 2014, according to the Daily News.
But times, they are a-changin', and the newly renovated building will have four full-floor lofts (that start at $12,500 a month).
Each loft has two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, and the $18,000-a-month penthouse includes a 750-square-foot rooftop garden.
Dylan fans can also find other addresses around the city that have a connection to the Voice of a Generation — like 161 W. 4th St., his first New York City apartment.
When you think of a typical Airbnb host, someone with a spare room in their house may come to mind — someone who's perhaps just looking to make some extra cash. And about 80 percent of Airbnb owners fit that bill. But some have taken Airbnb ownership to the extreme, raking in millions of dollars each year from their multiple listings.
The king of them all is a man in London who has 881 properties across the city. In the past year, he made $15.6 million from all of his properties, according to data from AirDNA.
In London, there are currently 57,475 Airbnb listings available — meaning this man owns 1.5 percent of the city’s Airbnb market. AirDNA estimates that 24 percent of Airbnb hosts in London have multiple listings across the city.
Another extreme example is a man who made $15.4 million through his 504 properties in Bali. Last year, a report from Forbes said that 75 people in the U.S. made more than a million dollars from their Airbnb listings. That's about one out of every 3,850 people.
AirDNA says this trend is growing — but people aren’t becoming overnight millionaires from the scheme.
“We’re seeing traditional property management companies operating as many as 1,000 listings,” AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford told The Telegraph. “These numbers don’t show a multimillionaire sitting on a gold mine. These are businesses that have emerged in this new economy, with hundreds of employees, managing other people’s second homes.”
Because it’s impossible for one man to operate almost 900 properties on his own, multiple owners are setting up their own businesses. There are even services to help people set up their own Airbnb management companies.
For those who choose Airbnb as a way to meet locals, this is a disconcerting trend. Travelers who want a one-on-one connection with their host should scour Airbnb before booking and ensure that their host only has one or a few listings. Otherwise the stay could quickly start to resemble something like a hotel.
As airlines have unbundled airfares, adding fees for baggage and seats and other amenities, customers have become confused as to what is included in the price of a ticket, according to airfare analysis company Hopper.
“Although unbundling arguably allows travelers to avoid paying for services they don't use, it's also a major cause of dissatisfaction since consumers are often confused about what's included and what isn't,” Hopper's chief data scientist Patrick Surry wrote in his analysis.
The move toward unbundling means that airlines can advertise a low price that increasingly does not include baggage fees, seating selection, and cancelation or change fees.
Hopper calculated a “total cost” for flights on different airlines based on median airfares, change fees, and baggage. While the median airfare—which customers might consider the price of a ticket—was $496 on American Airlines, the “total cost” was $780. On JetBlue, median airfare was $448 but the total was $683. Read the anaylsis.
The study found that international travel tended to be more lenient than domestic flights, when it came to cancelation fees and free luggage, with approximately two-thirds of international flights offering at least one free bag.
Despite this reported confusion among passengers, airline travelers have cited à la carte pricing as one of their most sought after characteristics when choosing a flight. Two-thirds of passengers surveyed in a 2016 Ipsos Public Affairs survey commissioned by Airlines for America said they preferred this pricing model.
Hopper released a new feature to combat some of these hidden fees called “Fair Bear” that allows app users to filter out flights with ancillary fees when browsing through price options.*
Just recently, one-time Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was arrested and charged with a plethora of offenses including conspiracy against the United States. But that isn’t even the craziest part of the story, as according to court filings Manafort not only possesses three separate U.S. passports, but he has also filed for 10 passport applications in as many years.
This move may be the nail in the coffin for Manafort’s ability to be released on bail as it shows he’s likely a significant flight risk, but is it even illegal to own more than one passport?
According to the National Passport Information Center, it’s actually perfectly legal for a U.S. citizen to own and obtain two U.S. passports — within certain guidelines.
An official from the State Department told CNN that "no person shall bear or be in possession of more than one valid or potentially valid passport of the same type (regular, official, diplomatic, no-fee regular, or passport card) at any time, unless authorized by the Department of State."
If You Travel a Lot (and We Mean a Lot)
According to the State Department, a person who travels frequently for business may be approved for a secondary passport, especially if the stamps collected in his or her first passport will prohibit them from entering some countries.
As an example Valentina Meehan, owner of New York-based passport and visa expediting service Passport Plus, told CNN that if a passport contains stamps to Israel, countries like Lebanon and Libya may deny entry, thus the State Department may approve a secondary passport for frequent travelers to the Middle East.
If Your Passport Is Held Up in Processing
Another reason a person may obtain a secondary passport is because their first passport was held up in visa processing and they need to travel immediately.
"Sometimes your passport can be stuck with a consulate or embassy for weeks for a visa," Meehan told CNN. "Suppose you suddenly have to travel to Canada or Europe while you are waiting to get your passport back. Then you can apply for a second passport."
If You’re a Dual Citizen
The only other way to have multiple passports (and we're not talking just U.S. here) is if you happen to also be a citizen of multiple countries.