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(CNN) — This week in Travel News: What it takes to navigate one of the world’s toughest airport landings, Japan’s finicky penguins and why US travelers should consider a trip to Europe this year.
The euro crashes. For American tourists, this means European vacations are more affordable in dollars than they have been in two decades. So while airfare and other travel costs are rising, the strong dollar could help offset those increases for lucky Americans traveling to Europe.
At the time of writing, the euro and dollar are almost level. The British pound is also weak, trading at $1.20.
If you’re planning a trip to Europe, consider Occitania, a region of France that encompasses a long stretch of Mediterranean coastline dotted with laid-back coastal villages and one of the country’s largest wine regions. Or perhaps Dublin, Ireland’s bustling, pedestrian-friendly capital, where you can take in the sights and then go for a swim in the sea at a seaside spot loved by Harry Styles and Matt Damon.
Greece is another classic choice for US tourists. It certainly worked out for Cleveland native Sura Crutch, who had an affair with a local from Athens in 1971 — and now, half a century later, they’re still together.
Our animal friends
In 2015, New Jersey resident Tom Turcich rescued his dog Savannah from a Texas animal shelter and took her for a walk. Seven years and thousands of kilometers later, they are finally done. Here’s the story of how a man and his best friend went around the world.
In other animal news, over at the Hakone-en Aquarium in Japan, animals including penguins and otters are not at all happy about being fed cheaper fish for cost reasons. Have you ever seen a water bird more angry than this one?
Wildlife fans can also enjoy CNN’s new original documentary series, Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World, which premieres Sunday, July 10 at 9 p.m. ET. Shot over an action-packed year, it shows what it takes to survive and thrive in one of the wildest places on earth.
Glamping – that portmanteau of “glamor” and “camping” – is the latest travel trend among China’s young people. Northwest China, where travelers escape city life and are surrounded by farms, pastures, goats and yaks, is a popular destination.
When it comes to setting trends around the world, the power of social media influencers cannot be ignored, whether you love them or hate them. As the travel world reopens, we caught up with brands and influencers to get their take.
Norway’s Juvet Landscape Hotel consists of 10 cabins in a vast nature reserve, each with a unique view. The minimalist interiors only help to emphasize the splendor of the woodland scenes outside.
Further east in Dubai, Anantara has opened its new resort on the World Islands, an archipelago of 300 artificial islands. Only 15 minutes from the shore, yet completely secluded, it is only accessible by speedboat.
Nashville’s 112-year-old landmark hotel, The Hermitage, has just undergone a major renovation.
And in London, the iconic Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair is undergoing a major refurbishment, with new interiors due to be unveiled in September 2022.
The shortest commercial runway in the world
The airport landing on the tiny Caribbean island of Saba is so challenging that only an elite group of specially trained pilots are equipped for it. Says veteran aviator Captain Roger Hodge, “Once a guy’s fully trained and we’re satisfied, we’ll spark the mission for another Top Gun to be born.”
In case you missed it
An Airbus A380 flew from Dubai to Australia with a hole in its side.
A train enthusiast has solved a veritable Orient Express mystery.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned Thursdayafter a tumultuous few years in British politics.
Stop bugging me, get off my back
Imagine it. A warm evening breeze, a margarita, and a date with your loved one at a posh resort you’ve been saving for all year. And the only thing that spoils your mood: your sun-kissed limbs are covered in large, red, itchy insect bites.
To prevent this from happening on your next vacation, our partners at CNN Underscored, a CNN product reviews and recommendations guide, tried and tested the best bug sprays on the market. Here are the sprays they recommend.