Book a Trip to Visit the 7 Wonders of the World and Contiki Will Pay Your Rent While You're Gone

Petra, Jordan
Petra, Jordan
iStock.com/CreativeDream

A trip to the seven wonders of the world would take you on a whirlwind tour of seven countries, sprawled across four different continents. Of course, this experience of a lifetime doesn't come cheap. It would set you back some $13,600 (plus airfare and accommodation) if you book via Contiki—but on the bright side, you wouldn't have to feel guilty about throwing away money on rent while you're away.

Tour company Contiki announced it would pay the rent of any U.S. traveler between the ages of 18 and 35 who books Contiki tours to all seven wonders of the world. This represents savings of up to $2840, based on the national average for two months of rent (but if your rent costs less than that, you won't receive the extra money). Travelers who book the trip must provide proof of a rental agreement or evidence of past payments before the discount is applied.

Even if this trip is a little beyond your budget, it doesn't hurt to dream about the itinerary (or just plan a trip to one or two of the sites). The list of seven wonders includes: India's Taj Mahal, Mexico's Chichen Itza, Peru's Machu Picchu, Italy's Colosseum, Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue, the Great Wall of China, and the ancient city of Petra, Jordan.

Each individual tour varies in length from six to 12 days. Naturally, the tours take visitors beyond the "wonders" themselves, which can be seen in just a day or two. On the India tour, for instance, travelers will experience the "Pink City" of Jaipur, the "City of Lakes" (Udaipur), the beaches of Goa, and the fast-paced city life of Mumbai. Visitors will even have the chance to go tiger-spotting in Ranthambore National Park, representing the perfect balance between city and nature.

If that sounds like a good deal, you can book the package by calling 1-866-266-8454 or emailing jennifer.helsper@contiki.com. For all other trips, you can book at Contiki.com.

What Do the Numbers and Letters on a Boarding Pass Mean?

iStock.com/Laurence Dutton
iStock.com/Laurence Dutton

Picture this: You're about to embark on a vacation or business trip, and you have to fly to reach your destination. You get to the airport, make it through the security checkpoint, and breathe a sigh of relief. What do you do next? After putting your shoes back on, you'll probably look at your boarding pass to double-check your gate number and boarding time. You might scan the information screen for your flight number to see if your plane will arrive on schedule, and at some point before boarding, you'll also probably check your zone and seat numbers.

Aside from these key nuggets of information, the other letters and numbers on your boarding pass might seem like gobbledygook. If you find this layout confusing, you're not the only one. Designer and creative director Tyler Thompson once commented that it was almost as if "someone put on a blindfold, drank a fifth of whiskey, spun around 100 times, got kicked in the face by a mule … and then just started puking numbers and letters onto the boarding pass at random."

Of course, these seemingly secret codes aren't exactly secret, and they aren't random either. So let's break it down, starting with the six-character code you'll see somewhere on your boarding pass. This is your Passenger Name Reference (or PNR for short). On some boarding passes—like the one shown below—it may be referred to as a record locator or reservation code.

A boarding pass
Piergiuliano Chesi, Wikimedia Commons // Public domain

These alphanumeric codes are randomly generated, but they're also unique to your personal travel itinerary. They give airlines access to key information about your contact information and reservation—even your meal preferences. This is why it's ill-advised to post a photo of your boarding pass to social media while waiting at your airport gate. A hacker could theoretically use that PNR to access your account, and from there they could claim your frequent flier miles, change your flight details, or cancel your trip altogether.

You might also see a random standalone letter on your boarding pass. This references your booking class. "A" and "F," for instance, are typically used for first-class seats. The letter "Y" generally stands for economy class, while "Q" is an economy ticket purchased at a discounted rate. If you see a "B" you might be in luck—it means you could be eligible for a seat upgrade.

There might be other letters, too. "S/O," which is short for stopover, means you have a layover that lasts longer than four hours in the U.S. or more than 24 hours in another country. Likewise, "STPC" means "stopover paid by carrier," so you'll likely be put up in a hotel free of charge. Score!

One code you probably don’t want to see is "SSSS," which means your chances of getting stopped by TSA agents for a "Secondary Security Screening Selection" are high. For whatever reason, you've been identified as a higher security risk. This could be because you've booked last-minute or international one-way flights, or perhaps you've traveled to a "high-risk country." It could also be completely random.

Still confused? For a visual of what that all these codes look like on a boarding pass, check out this helpful infographic published by Lifehacker.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, send it to bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

Taco Bell is Opening a Taco-Themed Hotel in Palm Springs This Summer

Taco Bell Corp.
Taco Bell Corp.

For some, having a Taco Bell and its cheese-filled menu within driving distance is enough. For others, only a Taco Bell destination vacation will do. This August, the popular fast food chain is going to convert an existing Palm Springs, California, hotel into a burrito-filled Taco Bell getaway for a limited time.

The Bell Hotel will have all the usual amenities—rooms, food, gifts, and a salon—operating with a taco-themed cosmetic facelift. The nail salon, for example, will feature Taco Bell-inspired nail art. (Though we're not entirely sure what that consists of—possibly nails that resemble hot sauce packets.) The gift shop will feature Taco Bell apparel. Guests can also enjoy the standard variety of Taco Bell menu items. According to Thrillist, some new additions to their line-up are expected to be unveiled.

The as-yet-undisclosed hotel in Palm Springs will be operating as a Taco Bell partner for five nights total. As with pop-up stores and other publicity campaigns, the expectation is that guests will share their bizarre Taco Bell resort experience on social media and create some buzz around the brand. Taco Bell is no stranger to audacious marketing, as in the case of their Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas, which books weddings. Recently, the company also began making home deliveries via GrubHub.

The Bell Hotel website is now accepting sign-ups so fans can be notified when reservations open. The facility is expected to open August 9.

[h/t CNBC]

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