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Take a Look Inside South America’s First Luxury Sleeper Train

Belmond
Belmond

Unlike, say, Japan, South America isn’t particularly well-known for its trains. The continent just got its first luxury sleeper train, though, so you can add it to your multi-day rail travel bucket list. The Belmond Andean Explorer set off on its inaugural journey in May, traveling across Peru from Cusco (near Machu Picchu) to the colonial city of Arequipa.

The train itself, with interiors designed by the London-based firm MUZA and recently featured on Yatzer, is a far cry from your average commuter operation. Each of the rooms has a private bathroom, making even the bunk-bed option look pretty fancy. There’s an observation car with an outdoor terrace where travelers can get some fresh air, have a drink, and watch the scenery go past. There’s also a piano bar and a spa on board.

A window seat in a luxury train car
Belmond

A double bed in a small train car
Belmond

A woman looks out over the rail of the train's observatory car toward a sunset over a lake.
Belmond

The high-altitude train rides take the form of either one- or two-night journeys around Cusco and Lake Titicaca, the continent’s biggest (and highest) lake. Rates start at $462 per person, including all meals. And yes, there’s an open bar.

The views look worth it.

[h/t Yatzer]

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This $20 Board Game From JetBlue Includes a Free Round-Trip Flight
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Still looking for a last-minute gift idea? Here’s an affordable item that everyone in your family will be fighting over: As Travel + Leisure reports, JetBlue is selling a $20 board game that includes complimentary round-trip airfare.

The object of the limited-edition game, called Get Packing!, is to fill up your board with personal belongings in preparation for your flight and prevent other players from doing the same. Sounds simple enough, but if you play the way JetBlue recommends, the gameplay will get competitive fast: The first person to fill their bag wins a certificate that can be redeemed for a real round-trip flight.

Winners have from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 to book their free trip. Destinations eligible for flights include domestic cities as well as ones abroad, like Quito, Ecuador and Lima, Peru. Taxes and other fees apply and travelers will still have to pay blackout rates on busy travel days.

After debuting the deal on Amazon on December 12, the product quickly sold out. Fortunately, a new batch will be made available on December 18 at 3 p.m.—just remember to act fast, as it’s likely to be a hot item on everyone’s wish list.

Board game from JetBlue.
JetBlue, Amazon

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Meet Piper: The Border Collie Making a Michigan Airport Safer for Travelers
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Birds may look harmless on solid ground, but in the sky they pose a big threat to any aircraft crossing their path. The Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, uses a low-tech approach to the problem: a border collie named Piper.

Great Big Story profiled Piper and his handler, airport operations supervisor Brian Edwards, in a recent video. Piper’s job as the airport’s wildlife control canine is chasing away large birds that could strike incoming and outgoing planes, potentially causing anything from dents to engine failure. In Michigan, this usually means large waterfowl like ducks and geese, but it can also include crows, gulls, and snowy owls.

After he’s deployed from a moving car, Piper heads for the birds, scattering them away from the tarmac and teaching them to associate the area with predators. Piper is just doing what most border collies would do in the presence of a flock of birds, only in this case he gets to wear stylish protective goggles while following his instincts.

You can watch the full story below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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