New Zealand running out of hotel rooms for all its tourists

By Cailey Rizzo

Published March 21, 2017

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New Zealand is getting so popular with tourists, it’s running out of hotel rooms.

According to a Bloomberg report, t…

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Americans are camping in record numbers, but they still want Wi-Fi

Published March 21, 2017
FoxNews.com

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More and more Americans are going camping each year, according to a new study.  (iStock)

Think people are all about super luxurious getaway…

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World's most powerful passports ranked in study

Published March 17, 2017
FoxNews.com

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The United States passport is more powerful today than it was a year ago, according to the results of a new study.

The 2017 Vi…

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Fire starters for camping and survival: Two new, useful products

By David E. Petzal

Published March 17, 2017

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Sweetfire matches  (Field & Stream/UCO Gear)

Survival, at the 2017 Shot Show, was very, very big. Why you’d want to surviv…

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The Best Travel Cards in March

By Jordan Wathen Published March 19, 2017 Markets Fool.comOpens a New Window.

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The average domestic plane ticket in the United States cost $349 last year, but many people paid nothin…

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New Zealand running out of hotel rooms for all its tourists

New Zealand running out of hotel rooms for all its tourists

By Cailey Rizzo Published March 21, 2017 Facebook Twitter livefyre Email Print  (iStock) New Zealand is getting so popular with tourists, it’s running out of hotel rooms. According to a Bloomberg report, the number of tourists visiting New Zealand is much higher than what the country predicted just a few years ago. Because of this unforeseen rapid growth, hotels across the country are selling out rooms. The same Bloomberg report featured a story on a group of 53 elderly American tourists who were forced to spend the night in a traditional Maori meeting house when their flight home from Auckland was canceled. All the hotel rooms in the city were fully booked. Last year, 3.5 million people visited New Zealand. By 2022, that number is expected to reach an annual 4.5 million — almost matching the country’s population of 4.7 million people. More from Travel + Leisure 20 Trips to Take in Your Twenties The Best Views in Every State 13 Places Where You Can See the Bluest Water in the World The Best Places to Travel in 2017 The Cheapest Places to Travel for Each Month of the Year As the country’s tourism numbers continue to grow, many are considering alternative forms of accommodation. While some may choose to stay in something like the Maori meeting house (with little more than a mattress on the floor), others turn to Airbnb. Accodring to data from AirDNA, there are 1,401 active Airbnb listings in the capital of Auckland. In Wellington, that number is 1,488. According to an accommodation survey by the New Zealand government, there are 3,089 establishments in total, providing 138,593 places for tourists to stay throughout the country. Hotel occupancy is at about 86 percent throughout the year. Plans have already been laid for the construction of an additional 5,200 hotel rooms throughout the country, but government research still predicts a hotel room shortage of about 4,500 by 2025. Increased tourism numbers are doing more than just selling out hotel rooms, though. New Zealand tourism authorities warn that higher numbers of visitors are contributing to environmental stress, clogging sewerage systems in small towns, and eroding trailways in many of the country’s natural...

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Americans are camping in record numbers, but they still want Wi-Fi

Americans are camping in record numbers, but they still want Wi-Fi

Published March 21, 2017 FoxNews.com Facebook Twitter livefyre Email Print More and more Americans are going camping each year, according to a new study.  (iStock) Think people are all about super luxurious getaways these days? A new study says toasting marshmallows and sleeping under the stars are more popular than ever before. According to a report released by Kampgrounds of America (KOA), a group of privately held campgrounds, more and more Americans are now spending their leisure time camping. KOA data found that 61 percent of survey respondents said they had gone camping in 2014. That’s a jump from 58 percent in 2013. In 2016, KOA estimated that around 37 million households in the country went camping at least once during the year. And almost a third of campers reported going into the woods three or more times in one year. It’s that second group of campers, the group said, that’s helping increase interest in camping overall. Since 2014, the percentage of campers of who say that they take three or more camping trips a year has increased by more than 36 percent. Infrequent campers (those who go just once a year) have simultaneously dropped by 10 percent. In 2017 half of all campers surveyed said that they’re planning to spend even more time camping this year. More than half of millennials surveyed (51 percent) said that they planned to go camping more often in 2017. Millennials also mark the age range to most enjoy the activity in large groups–10 or more travelers. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS But neither millennials – nor campers in general – are completely cutting the cord. According to the study, 95 percent of people who go camping bring some sort of technology with them while 37 percent of campers said that some sort of tech was actually required for their trip in order to spend more time outdoors. About half of survey respondents indicated that least free Wi-Fi was a big factor when deciding where to stay. And when it comes to sleeping, conventional tents were the most popular, according to the study. But the number of campers electing to use RVs or cabins is also...

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World’s most powerful passports ranked in study

World’s most powerful passports ranked in study

Published March 17, 2017 FoxNews.com Facebook Twitter livefyre Email Print  (iStock) The United States passport is more powerful today than it was a year ago, according to the results of a new study. The 2017 Visa Restriction Index released by Henley and Partners has determined that the U.S. passport ranks just behind Germany’s and Sweden’s in terms of traveling power — with Germany’s and Sweden’s allowing for travel to 176 and 175 countries, respectively, and the U.S. allowing for travel to 174. A year ago, the same index ranked the U.S. passport as the world’s fourth most powerful. America’s passport now shares its third-place ranking alongside those from Denmark, Finland, Italy and Spain, all of which allow for entry to 174 countries in total. PUTIN GIVES RUSSIAN PASSPORT TO US ACTOR STEVEN SEGAL The VRI arrives at a passport’s score based on the number of countries and territories its citizens are permitted to enter visa-free. Henley and Partners counts 219 countries and territories in total, with 218 being a perfect VRI score, reports MarketWatch. (A citizen needs no passport within their own country.) However, Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley and Partners, says he expects subsequent rankings to change more dramatically than they have in the past, based on recent events. “We have witnessed several major events recently that are likely to have an impact on global mobility — including Brexit and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. Both can be interpreted as steps toward restricting movement and creating barriers to entry,” said Kälin in a statement. “Generally, visa requirements are a reflection of a country’s relationship with others, and take into account diplomatic relationships between countries, reciprocal visa arrangements, security risks, and the dangers of visa and immigration regulation violations,” he added. Meanwhile, the countries whose passports currently have the least traveling power include Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Somalia — all of which have ranked among the bottom five in VRI’s rankings since its 2015 index. VRI’s top 10 countries with the most powerful passports are listed below: Rank Country Score 1 Germany 176 2 Sweden 175 3 Denmark 174   Finland 174   Italy 174   Spain 174   U.S. 174 4 Austria 173   Belgium 173   France 173   Luxembourg 173   Netherlands 173   Norway 173   Singapore 173   U.K. 173 5 Ireland (Republic of) 172   Japan 172   New Zealand 172 6 Croatia 171   Greece 171   Portugal 171   Switzerland 171 7 Australia 170   Korea (Republic of, South) 170 8 Iceland 169 9 Czech Republic 168 10 Hungary 167 The full rankings can be found at Henley and Partners’ website. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR...

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Fire starters for camping and survival: Two new, useful products

Fire starters for camping and survival: Two new, useful products

By David E. Petzal Published March 17, 2017 Facebook Twitter livefyre Email Print Sweetfire matches  (Field & Stream/UCO Gear) Survival, at the 2017 Shot Show, was very, very big. Why you’d want to survive was never spelled out, but there was no shortage of stuff designed to get you through the Wrath to Come. The problem is that very often, the Wrath to Come does not take the form of a nuclear exchange with North Korea, or currency collapse, or meteor strike, or any of the really dramatic stuff. Sometimes it takes the most mundane forms. In Newfield, Maine, on February 3, a 34-year-old named John Sciaba, described as an experienced outdoorsman, was seen in the woods behind his house where he liked to camp overnight. He was not seen again. Shortly after the search for him began, a series of six heavy snowstorms set in, making it impossible for tracking dogs to track or for drones to go up in the air. When the snow finally stops, any traces of him will have been obliterated. It does not look good. RELATED: THE ELEMENTS OF A PERFECT FIRE This brings us to fire. Very often, if you can start a fire, it will save you. Not only will you not freeze to death, but a fire can be seen for miles at night, and a deliberately smoky fire can get up through the tree canopy that a drone can’t see through. Making a fire is much more difficult than you imagine, unless you’ve tried doing it. Watching “The Revenant,” I get a kick out Leo DiCaprio body-surfing 5 miles down a freezing Class 3 rapids, washing up on shore, giving a very small tinder ball a few whacks with the old flint and steel, and instantly creating a roaring blaze by which he can meditate on his chances for an Oscar. Granted, in real life, trappers and Native Americans were very good at starting fires*, but even so… A more typical example is available at a club I belong to, which tests the skills of its members in a series of wilderness-skills events, one of which is called the Water Boil. You’re given a chunk of pine log, a pot with a quart of water, a hatchet that is purposely kept dull**, three strike-anywhere matches, a small stone on which to strike the matches, and 11 minutes*** in which to build a fire and bring the water to a rolling boil. You’re usually surrounded by club members who offer their opinions on your manual dexterity, chances of succeeding, technique, and manhood in general. If you screw up in any phase, you flunk, amidst the joyful hoots, jeers and catcalls...

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The Best Travel Cards in March

The Best Travel Cards in March

By Jordan Wathen Published March 19, 2017 Markets Fool.comOpens a New Window. Facebook Twitter Print The average domestic plane ticket in the United States cost $349 last year, but many people paid nothing at all. Those who use travel cards wisely earn free flights, hotel stays, and car rentals all around the world just with a simple change to their spending habits. Below we’ve assembled a list of travel rewards that meet the needs of any responsible credit card user. If you’re the type to pay your cards off in full each month, and won’t spend frivolously just to earn rewards, these three travel cards could help you plan your next vacation on the card companies’ dime. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard TheBarclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Opens a New Window.is a top choice because it offers a blend that includes a high rewards rate, a beefy sign-up bonus, and flexible redemptions. Cardholders enjoy 2 miles per dollar spent (effectively a 2% rewards rate), and can redeem their miles for travel purchased through third-parties for statement credits. That means you can book a trip on Priceline or another service and use your miles to pay for it. More From Fool.com Motley Fool Founders Issue New Stock Buy Alert Forget GE! Heres how to play the largest growth opportunity in history Forget Apple! Heres a Better Stock to Buy He Made 21,078% Buying Amazon. Heres His New Pick One cool feature is that theBarclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard actually encourages you to redeem your miles. The card awards a 5% bonus when you redeem your miles, thus a cardholder would receive 2,500 miles back after redeeming 50,000 miles for a trip, for example. The only downside is that this card carries an annual fee like many other top-shelf travel cards. Cardholders pay an annual fee of $89, which is waived for the first year. But in exchange for the annual fee, the card offers a lucrative 2.1% rewards rate plus a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles for people who spend at least $3,000 in the first 90 days. That’s one of the best sign-up bonuses in travel cards Opens a New Window., worth about $525 when the 5% redemption bonus is added on top.(Read ourfull review Opens a New Window.of theBarclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard.) Traveling is more fun when the card company is paying for it. Image source: Getty Images. Chase Sapphire Reserve TheChase Sapphire Reserve Opens a New Window.became an overnight success with would-be travel hackers and people who love the game of credit card rewards. This card isn’t for everyone, as using its high-powered sign-up bonus to your advantage requires that you pay...

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5 insane parks to enjoy RV camping

5 insane parks to enjoy RV camping

Published March 07, 2017 Facebook Twitter livefyre Email Print  (Pixaby) If you love nature, then you just can’t beat getting out in the woods, from the smell of fresh pine and a smoking fire to sleeping under the stars. But sometimes even nature lovers don’t really want to rough it. Make it a more comfortable adventure by having a little house on wheels. All you have to do is park at a campsite and enjoy everything that RV camping has to offer. With a recreational vehicle, you combine endless outside pleasures with inside comfort, and you’ll be equipped with all the amenities you need for an adventurous trip. Going on a road trip is a vacation everyone should take at least once in their lives. Why not extend the good times by a few more days or even weeks? RV camping means you can live in relative luxury almost anywhere. Give in to the lure of the open road– the kids will love the experience, too. But it’s important to choose your campground wisely. Some are quite rustic and offer few amenities other than a place to park; while others have electric hookups, water, and even free WiFi. (Because you don’t have to sleep in a tent on the hard ground to reconnect with nature.) Luckily, you have plenty of options — there are more than 16,000 campgrounds across the U.S., according to GoRVing. So be an intrepid wanderer and discover the country in an RV. 1. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon Thinkstock The breathtaking views make this park a very desirable camping location. The Mazama Campground offers sites from just $31, according to NPS. A few of the RV sites have electric hookups, and they cost $35. There are many pull-through sites, too. Each one has a picnic table, fire ring, and food locker. Black bears are rarely seen. The campground has drinking water, flush toilets, showers, and even laundry facilities. 2. Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina Thinkstock Camping is available at the northern end of the park near the ocean, according to South Carolina Parks. You’ll have access to some of the prettiest beaches in the state. As the name suggests, the park has an abundance of wildlife, which adds to its natural splendor. You can park under trees and still have a view of the ocean. Each site has water and electrical hookups. Some sites accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long 3. Pecan Park Campground, Texas TripAdvisor This campground is located in a large grove of green pecan trees along the stunning San Marcos River. You’ll be in a lush, quiet atmosphere — a natural paradise. The mild winters in San Marcos make it a...

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How to safely handle and care for axes and hatchets

How to safely handle and care for axes and hatchets

By Tim MacWelch Published February 02, 2017 Facebook Twitter Email Print Tips for keeping everyone’s favorite tool in top shape A good axe or hatchet can be a major player in camp life. This tool provides us with high-quality split firewood, and it saves us a lot of labor and time. It can help with specialized tasks also, like bow-making, bowl carving, and making camp furniture. But be careful! The axe is also one of the most dangerous tools in the woods. SAFETY FIRST —Don’t swing an axe downward in a “circle.” If you miss your target, you’ll chop into your knee, shin or foot. Instead, straighten out your swing at the end of the chop and drive the axe into your chopping block. And yes, you should be using a chopping block —Keep the axe head covered when transporting it. You should also use the cover while staying in camp, instead of leaving the tool lying around or stuck in a tree or a stump. BEST NEW RIFLES OF 2017 —When cutting branches off a tree, or putting in a notch to fell a tree – NEVER chop upward! A glancing blow can drive the axe into your neck, face or head. —Never swing an axe with a loose head. The axe head may literally “fly off the handle” and injure someone. MAINTENANCE SECOND When maintaining an axe, you’re really caring for two different materials – the metal axe head and the wooden axe handle. Your main chores with the axe head are rust removal and prevention, and sharpening the edge of the axe. A little rust is inevitable, and this can be easily removed by scouring the axe head with steel wool. Once cleaned, apply a thin coating of gun oil to prevent future rust. Other oils will work, in fact the pioneers used pig fat or bees wax to protect their tools, but gun oil is your best bet. It will dry somewhat once it’s applied and it’s long lasting. Your axe handle can be cleaned with a quick scouring of steel wool or fine grit sand paper. The handles useful life can be extended with an occasional wipe of boiled linseed oil. Make sure you choose boiled linseed oil, not the raw version. Raw linseed oil leaves a sticky residue that will not dry. A final handle chore involves the hafting. If an axe head becomes loose, you can try adjusting the wedges that hold it in place, but your best choice is to remove the wedge and rework the hafting. Or you could replace the handle. MICHIGAN CITY STERILIZES WILD DEER STAY SHARP A dull axe edge can be a dangerous liability, as you...

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