Here's How to Take a Trip Around the World for Less Than $1500


If no Thanksgiving holiday sounds better than a jetsetting vacation away from your extended family, you’re in luck: Thrillist has the lowdown on a bargain travel plan from Airfare Spot, which will bring lucky travelers to six different cities all over the world in 18 days for just $1300.

You’ll start out in New York City, spend a few days in Paris, fly to Abu Dhabi, head from Dubai to Singapore, take a few days to enjoy Sydney, and then wind down in Honolulu before returning to New York. (You will have to get yourself from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, about an hour and a half drive.)

The itinerary begins the evening of November 14 and goes through November 30, budgeting for no more than three days in each place. Better pack light.

November 14: Leave New York City for Paris

November 18: Leave Paris for Abu Dhabi (and later, Dubai)

November 22: Leave Dubai for Singapore

November 24: Leave Singapore for Sydney

November 27: Leave Sydney for Honolulu

November 30: Leave Honolulu for New York

The flights are all individual, one-way legs on different airlines, so you’ll need to book separately, and none of this includes accommodations or other expenses, as you might expect for such a low price. Since airfare changes all the time, this deal won’t last forever, and the price may change slightly depending on when you book—it was a little more than $1300 on September 18, but was clocking in around $1266 today, September 25. But if you're ready to pack your bags, you'd be better off booking the trip sooner rather than later, in case the price increases.

Over the course of those 24,597 miles you'll travel, you’ll only get to spend two to three days in each city. Airfare Spot claims those few days are “pretty much enough to have the idea of the country/city,” which we don’t exactly believe, but if you book a trip like this, you know you're in for a quantity over quality situation. At least if you feel like two days isn’t enough to explore a particular city, you’ll know where to return for your next vacation.

[h/t Thrillist]

Paris Responds to Its Public Urination Problem By Installing Open-Air Urinals

Thomas Samson, AFP/Getty Images
Thomas Samson, AFP/Getty Images

In between stops at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, sightseers in Paris might notice some unusual new landmarks marking the city's streets: bright red, open-air urinals. As NPR reports, the so-called "Uritrottoir" (a mashup of the French words for urinal and pavement) have been installed in response to the city's public urination problem, and residents aren't happy about it.

Peeing openly on the streets has been an unofficial tradition in the French capital since the pre-Napoleon era. Relieving oneself on city property is a fineable offense, but that hasn't stopped both tourists and locals from continuing to do it, subjecting bystanders to both the unwelcome sight and the lingering smell.

Now, Paris is taking an if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em approach to the issue. Uritrottoir have popped up near some of the city's most famous spots, such as Île Saint-Louis, overlooking the Seine, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. They're about the height and size of trash cans, with a receptacle that's meant to catch pee, not litter. Inside the Uritrottoir, straw and other composting materials absorb the urine and its odors, eventually breaking down into a compost that will feed the plants growing from the top of the box. A conspicuous sign of a man peeing posted above the urinal lets passersby know exactly what the contraption is for.

The built-in planters are meant to present the public urinals as something beautiful and functional, but many of the people who have to look at them every day aren't buying it. Fabienne Bonnat, a local art gallery owner, told CBC Radio, "It's an open door to exhibitionism. Who likes to see that?"

Another Île Saint-Louis gallery owner, who didn't wish to be named, told Reuters, “We’re told we have to accept this but this is absolutely unacceptable. It’s destroying the legacy of the island. Can’t people behave?"

The first three toilets were installed in March with a fourth appearing in July. The city has plans to add a fifth urinal, despite the uproar they've already caused.

[h/t NPR]

After Seven Years, Melbourne Has Been Displaced as the World's Most Liveable City


We should all move to Vienna. That's what the Economist Intelligence Unit recommends: In a new report, it ranked Austria's capital as the world's most liveable city. With a score of 99.1 out of 100, Vienna beat out Melbourne for the top spot, which the Australian city had held onto for the past seven consecutive years. This is the City of Music's first time being number one.

The survey ranks 140 cities worldwide based on five categories: stability (including crime and terrorism); healthcare; culture and environment (including level of censorship, temperature, and cultural offerings); education; and infrastructure (including public transportation, housing, energy, and water). Overall, there were improvements in safety and stability this year for the countries surveyed.

Vienna scored a perfect 100 in four out of five categories. The only area in which the city could use a tiny bit of improvement is in culture and environment—though its 96.3 score is still pretty impressive.

The cities that scored best on the list tend to be mid-sized with low population densities and located in wealthy countries. The world's biggest urban centers, such as New York, London, and Paris, may be popular places to live for their unbeatable food and culture, but high levels of crime, congestion, and public transportation issues make quality of life less desirable and drag them down in the rankings.

The top 10 most liveable cities are:

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Osaka, Japan
4. Calgary, Canada
5. Sydney, Australia
6. Vancouver, Canada
7. Toronto, Canada
8. Tokyo, Japan
9. Copenhagen, Denmark
10. Adelaide, Australia

And here are the 10 least liveable cities:

131. Dakar, Senegal
132. Algiers, Algeria
133. Douala, Cameroon
134. Tripoli, Libya
135. Harare, Zimbabwe
136. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
137. Karachi, Pakistan
138. Lagos, Nigeria
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Damascus, Syria


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