U.S. Interior Secretary Expected to Extend Mining Ban Near Yellowstone

Matthew Brown / Associated Press

In this Nov. 21, 2016 photo, the Yellowstone River is shown in Montana’s Paradise Valley with Emigrant Peak in the background near Pray, Mont. Matthew Brown / Associated Press

Skift Take: What should be an easy call to ban mining near a great natural and national wonder, Yellowstone National Park, has become a melodrama in the current political climate. An extension of the ban appears to be in the works, but it ain’t over until it’s over, as a wise person once said.

— Dennis Schaal

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Emirates Slows Its International Route Expansion

Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

An Emirates aircraft refuels at an airport. Scottish capital Edinburgh is betting on a new daily air link operated by Persian Gulf carrier Emirates to bring in thousands of tourists from around the world while boosting exports of everything from smoked salmon to malt whiskey. Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Emirates has reduced its schedule partly because of a planned closure of a runway at Dubai International airport next spring. But it also aims to be more cost-efficient in managing its network.

— Sean O’Neill

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Tips for Visiting Gorges du Verdon in France

Tips for Visiting Gorges du Verdon in France

Located in southeastern France in the heart of Provence, the gorgeous Gorges du Verdon took my breath away at first sight. Also known as Verdon Gorge in English, this iconic spot is a dramatic line of limestone cliffs that make up the deepest gorge in France.

Not far from the iconic French Riviera, Gorges du Verdon is popular with tourists, and it’s the perfect place to spend a sunny day out.

Ready for the perfect afternoon in the French countryside? Here are my tips for visiting Gorges du Verdon in France.

Gorges du Verdon

About Gorges Du Verdon

This area has such a fascinating history. When the region was underwater 250 million years, seashells, coral, and the seafloor built up and were eventually compressed into the limestone rock.

As plates moved, the seafloor rose up and the limestone peaks were formed. When the Ice Age came along, glaciers wore away further at the limestone and created the dramatic cliffs that you see today.

The place got its name from the gorgeous turquoise water that flows through the gorge. “Gorges du Verdon” means “gorges of green” in French.

Verdon Gorges

Getting There

Les Gorges du Verdon lies right in the center of the Provence region of France, and it is an easy day trip from the French Riviera. However, while you can get there and back in one day, I’d recommend staying in the area for a couple of days rather than rushing back to the Riviera.

The closest town to the lake entrance is Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. When you arrive there, you will want to drive six kilometers out in the direction of Lac de Ste-Croix until you reach the bridge called Pont du Galetas.

To rent a boat, you just have to just get to the bridge. I’d recommend using GPS on your trip to get around easily.

You can find the exact location of the Pont du Galetas bridge on Google Maps to give you an idea of where you will want to go. Once you are at the bridge, you will find a choice of boat rental outlets.

Gorges du Verdon

Exploring Gorges du Verdon

I would recommend starting your day early in Gorges du Verdon, especially during the summer. It is a popular spot during the summer months so you will want to beat the crowd.

Not only will you want to have plenty of time to explore Gorges du Verdon and wander around to take photos, but there are endless opportunities for adventures here. If you are ready for a heart-racing afternoon, bring your climbing gear.

Gorges du Verdon

There are over 1500 incredible routes for climbers. Just keep in mind that there aren’t many casual paths. You’ll want to have hiking shoes at the very least to explore.

For a more low-key day out, you can rent a paddle boat or kayak. Plan for a couple of hours to make your way around the beautiful Lac de Sainte-Croix.

To rent a boat, get to the bridge called Pont du Galetas. I’d recommend using GPS on your trip if you’re driving in Provence. You can find the exact location of the Pont du Galetas bridge on Google Maps to get an idea of where you will want to go.

Once you are at the bridge, you will just need to find parking then can head to the beach to swim or rent a paddle boat.

I was honestly so surprised to stumble across a place like this in France. I had such a lovely afternoon here hanging on the beach, swimming around, reading a few chapters from a new book and cooling off from the insane summer heat!

If you’re passing through the area, a stop at Gorges du Verdon is a must!

The post Tips for Visiting Gorges du Verdon in France appeared first on The Blonde Abroad.

How to Get Massive Hotel Discounts (it’s easy and free)

Hotel discounts - Club 1 Hotels

This is a simple one.

In my never ending search for ways to get the best deals on all things travel related, I recently came across a website that makes it remarkably easy to get massive hotel discounts.

The website, Club 1 Hotels, resells hotel rooms that were purchased in bulk by corporations. When bought in bulk, the rooms are purchased at much lower rates than what the public can get. Then, when some of those bulk rooms aren’t used, this website makes them available to everyone in order to avoid losing money.

The result is that regular travelers like us can actually take advantage of these hotel discounts at hotels all over the world. That’s really all there is to it, and it works.

The Big Difference

It seems like a normal hotel booking website. But again, other booking websites don’t have any access at all to these same discounts. That’s the difference.

When the VP of Club 1 got in touch with me via email last week, I was naturally skeptical. But he kept at it and after a good phone conversation with him, I decided to give the site a proper try.

What Kind of Hotel Discounts Did I Find?

I spent an hour playing around with it, comparing the rates and hotel discounts on Club 1 Hotels to what I could find on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia and others. While many of the rates were about the same as what I found on those other websites, once I figured out how to use the “Special Deals” filter, everything changed…

Here’s some of the crazy results:

Double Tree Hilton Hotel – Cape Town, South Africa
November 10th – 11th, 2018 (1 night)
1 Double Room, 2 Adults
Savings: $48 USD per night

Hotel discounts - DoubleTree Hotel

Grandeur Hotel – Dubai, UAE
November 10th – 11th, 2018 (1 night)
1 Executive Room, 2 Adults
Savings: $28 USD per night

Hotel discounts - Grandeur Hotel

Tryp Barcelona Apolo Hotel – Barcelona, Spain
November 10th – 11th, 2018 (1 night)
1 Double Room, 2 Adults
Savings: $40 USD per night

Hotel discounts - Tryp Hotel Barcelona

Pullman Paris La Defense – Paris, France
November 23rd – 26th, 2018 (3 nights)
1 Classic Room, 2 Adults
Savings: $200+ USD
Hotel discounts - Pullman Paris

You can see what I’m talking about. No matter what destination I entered, I found significantly discounted hotel prices compared to the prices for the exact same hotel and room on other booking websites. You really need to try it out and see!

How to Sign Up? (It’s FREE for Wandering Earl readers)

1. Yes, usually, you need to pay $99 to use the website and access the low rates. But Club 1 has offered a great deal to readers of a few travel blogs. Wandering Earl made the list!

2. The deal: 100% FREE – It costs you nothing. You can sign up in about 30 seconds and start using the site. All you need to enter is an email address, home address and password, nothing else. No credit card, nothing. You then have a full 1 year membership for free.

They created a specific landing page for Wandering Earl readers so you can easily get your free membership. (You’ll see two other membership levels but the free one gives you access to all the hotel discounts!)

Hotel discounts - free 1 year membership - Wandering Earl

You’ll immediately be able to book hotels at incredible bulk rates. You’ll get 5% off your first booking as well.


When signing up, you’ll also automatically be entered into a giveaway for a $200 Club 1 Gift Card that can be used to book accommodation. The winner will be randomly drawn on September 30th from those who sign up through the Wandering Earl page above.

Important – Remember the REAL TRICK!

Once you’re signed up…

1. Log in to Club 1 Hotels.

2. Search for hotels by entering your destination, dates and number of people (just like any booking website).

3. THE REAL TRICK – Once the results appear, go to the left sidebar and check the “SPECIAL DEALS” box. This filters the results to show you only the absolute best hotel discounts, like the ones above. These are the rates you won’t find anywhere else. This is the game changer.

Finally, in their list of extras, Club 1 Hotels also offers a price matching guarantee. If you somehow find a cheaper deal after making a reservation, they will actually lower the price you paid so that it is less than what you found elsewhere.

The website basically guarantees that you’ll save money.

And that’s it. Whether you usually use Booking.com or Expedia or Agoda or any other booking site, you should definitely add Club 1 Hotels to the list of sites you check. It’s discounts are definitely a game changer…and it’s free!

Once you try it out, please let me know what deals you get. I definitely want to hear from you!

I’ve also written posts about the ‘tricks’ I use to save money with both Airbnb and Uber.


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