Take a Digital Detox (at a Secret Location) in a Tiny House

Tiny House
Between noisy hotels and constant access to wi-fi, finding a true getaway can be nearly impossible. That’s exactly why a year ago two former Harvard classmates built three 160-square-foot homes on trailers, drove them to the outskirts of Boston, and rented them out to overworked city folks starting at $99 a night. Now they’re making them available to New Yorkers.

Starting in June, guests can book one of three tiny houses for a mini (seriously) vacation about two hours outside of NYC. There’s a catch: you don’t find out the exact location until the day before.

“Our vision was always that this was wellness experience not a hospitality experience,” Chief Executive Officer Jon Staff, who launched Getaway with his friend Pete Davis, tellsTravel + Leisure. “That’s part of the reason we don’t tell people where they are before they go. It’s about being on this land and not looking at your phone. We’ve been pleased to find that it’s connecting with people.”

Tiny House

“It turns out people want to get away all the time,” adds Staff. “We love technology. We love the city. But, it’s changed a lot since work has become a 24/7 thing and technology has permeated our life completely and we need to balance that out.”

After their Massachusetts success, the company decided to bring their idea to New York. “New York City is a particularly stressful, high pressure, and just stressed-out place, so we wanted to help people disconnect,” he notes. “We want you to build a campfire and look at the stars. We want to help people disconnect and recharge to create that wellness experience.”

Bookings became available today and the first overnights will begin in June and continue for the foreseeable future. “This is something you can do several times a year and make it part of your routine,” says Staff. “People need to disconnect, recharge and find balance. That’s our goal.”

Five New Credit Card Offers That Will Help You Travel for Free

Credit Cards

Several airline and hotel companies are offering unusually big bonuses on credit-card signups this spring. You can get 80,000 Marriott Rewards by signing up for its Visa card—enough for two free nights at a luxury property. With the new JetBlue Plus Mastercard, you can score sufficient points for two round-trip tickets to Puerto Rico. Use your cards wisely, and you can quickly accumulate enough rewards for an extended vacation.

Like so many great deals, most of these offers are only available for a limited time. Here are the ones to consider before they expire.

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

The Offer: 80,000 Marriot Rewards points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. The usual signup bonus is 50,000 points after spending $2,000.

The Fee: $85 a year

Who Should Get It: Marriott loyalists who have been waiting for a big bonus. Leisure travelers looking to redeem points at a wide range of properties.

What It’s Worth: 80,000 points is enough for two free nights at a Category 8 hotel, such as the new J.W. Marriott in Venice, Italy, where rooms start at around $450 per night in September. Or you could get four nights (and an automatic fifth night free thanks to a card benefit) at a Category 4 hotel such as the Artisan D.C. Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Rates are around $235 per night in May and June, making your bonus worth $1,175.

Other Big Perks: Five points per dollar at Marriott properties, and two points per dollar spent with airlines, car rental agencies, and restaurants. The card also gives you 15 nights of elite credit per year, enough for Silver status, with benefits such as 20% bonus points on stays and priority late checkout.

Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express

The Offer: 100,000 Hilton points when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening—the highest sign-up bonus ever offered for this card. The promotion expires May 4.

The Fee: $75 a year

Who Should Get It: Hilton loyalists who want the credit card that will earn them the most points on hotel stays, and give them a shortcut to elite status.

What It’s Worth: One free night at a top-tier property like the Conrad Maldives (where a villa costs $900), or two free nights at a mid-tier property like the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii, which would otherwise be $249 per night.

Other Big Perks: You get 12 points per dollar on Hilton purchases; six points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations; and three points per dollar on everything else. The card also confers automatic Hilton HHonors Gold elite status, with perks like 25% bonus points on hotel stays and free breakfast; if you $40,000 in a calendar year, you receive top-tier Diamond status.

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

The Offer: 70,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months, plus 5,000 points for adding a user who makes a purchase in the same time frame.

The Fee: $49, waived the first year

Who Should Get It: Folks who will maximize its annual free night benefit, and want to be able to redeem at some 5,000 properties around the world, from high-end InterContinentals to standard Holiday Inns.

What It’s Worth: 75,000 points is enough for four free nights at a Category 3 hotel like the Hotel Indigo San Antonio Downtown-Alamo, where rates are $145 per night. A Category 7 property like the InterContinental Resort and Spa in French Polynesia runs 40,000 points (or $315) per night.

Other Big Perks: This card confers IHG platinum elite status, with benefits including as a 50% points bonus on stays, complimentary room upgrades, and a 10% refund on points redemptions. But perhaps the single most valuable benefit is the free night you get every year at any IHG hotel.

Hilton HHonors Card from American Express

The Offer: 75,000 Hilton points (versus the usual 40,000) when you spend $1,000 within three months of account opening. The offer expires May 4.

The Fee: None

Who Should Get It: Travelers who already have Hilton’s premium cards and want to accumulate points without a high minimum spending requirement .

What It’s Worth: Two nights at a lower-tier property like the Hilton Miami Downtown (30,000 points each, or around $159 a night). The bonus is nearly enough for a night this summer at the Hilton Paris Opera, which is priced around $550 a night or 80,000 points.

Other Big Perks:  Cardholders receive Hilton HHonors silver elite status, which gets you a fifth night free on award stays; you can reach gold status with $20,000 in spending in a calendar year.

JetBlue Plus MasterCard

The Offer: 30,000 TrueBlue points when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening. The offer is good indefinitely (at least for now).

The Fee: $99

Who Should Get It: JetBlue fliers who want to juice up their points earning.

What It’s Worth: TrueBlue points are usually worth around 1.3-1.7 cents toward redemptions, so 30,000 points can be worth up to about $510 in airfare. In three months you should have more than enough points for two round-trip award tickets from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Other Big Perks: This card earns six bonus points per dollar on JetBlue purchases (in addition to the six points you earn booking JetBlue tickets online). You get a 5,000-point bonus every year, and a 10% refund on points you redeem for award tickets, plus elite benefits including free checked bags and waived change and cancellation fees for the first year you have the card.

Where to Travel This Summer if You Want a Deal

E87HCX Cloud Gate:: The Bean in Millennium Park:: Chicago

With summer vacation planning underway, you might want to consider some budget-friendly destinations. Cheapflights.com compared average airfares for the 50 most popular destinations this year to average airfares from January through April over the last five years. From this data, the travel site concluded that flights to popular destinations are cheaper than previous years.

Related: 3 Ways Flying Is About to Get a Lot Better
Related: These Are the Best Times to Book Hotels for This Summer
Related: JetBlue Has a Genius Idea for Dealing With Crying Babies on a Flight

Cheapflights.com also found that fares to certain cities have dropped significantly over the past year. Chicago may be a good place to fly this summer, with airfares down 41 percent compared to last year’s average. Exotic destinations like Sydney, Australia, San José, Costa Rica, and Bangkok, Thailand have also seen significant decreases in fares, which is perfect if you’ve been dreaming of a faraway getaway this summer.

Check out the top 10 destinations with low airfares below, plus the percentage decrease from last year:

1. Chicago, Illinois: down 41%
2. Florida: down 25-35% depending on destination
3. New York, New York: down 31%
4. Atlanta, Georgia: down 28%
5. Los Angeles, California: down 27%
6. London, England: down 29-33% depending on airport
7. Sydney, Australia: down 33%
8. San Jose, Costa Rica: down 31%
9. Bangkok, Thailand: down 26%
10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: down 31%

How to Visit London Without Breaking the Bank

London, England

Hoping to tick all the ‘to-dos’ off your London bucket list? Make the most of your trip with our local guide, which tells you what to skip and what you can’t miss—with an eye on deals—leaving you with the best bits of the capital.

1. See it from on high

London looks good with a view. But instead of paying $58 to queue up and stare at it from the viewing platform at The Shard, why not admire it with a cocktail in hand? Spend that money on drinks at Oblix instead. The bar is 32 flights up, so you can savor the view in a far less crowded environment. Alternatively, book a table at Hutong for dim sum and Peking duck from above, or head to Duck and Waffle for the namesake dish for breakfast.

2. Savor a gin and tonic

A British classic, you can’t come to London and not swig the local juice. If you’re gonna do gin, do it right. Drink hyper-local at East London Liquor Company in Bethnal Green, where they distill their own spirits on site. The space itself is beautiful, with copper stills in sight through the glass behind the bar. Another great spot is Portobello Star—the home of Portobello Gin. Talk to the bartenders, get your garnish right, and enjoy.

3. Visit the sights on two wheels instead of four

Skip the open top bus—London’s traffic will slow you down—and hop on a Boris bike instead. Armed with a map, you can enjoy roaming around town, seeing the capital’s sightsat your leisure. Cycle across the bridges for some great picture opportunities, take it more leisurely through the plentiful green open spaces, or simply get off and push through some of the city’s most famous streets and squares.

4. Start your day with tea and crumpets

Is there anything more British than tea and crumpets? Skip the buffet breakfast at your hotel and head to Good and Proper Tea, who have new branch on Leather Lane. Along with the perhaps the best brews you’ll ever have (they use the most complex of contraptions to make a giant selection of worldly leaf teas), they also make the most wholesome, hearty square sourdough crumpets. Go for the marmite and cheese combo.

5. Eat well for less

London has no shortage of fine dining options, but if you visit them at lunch you can tick them off your bucket list and have some Stirling left in your wallet. Many of the finest places offer far more affordable lunch menus: it’s $58 for three courses at Dinner by Heston; $56 for three courses at Simon Rogan’s Fera at Claridge’s; and $81 for three courses, wine, and coffee at Le Gavroche.

6. Shop ’til you drop

Just like New Yorkers curse Times Square, Londoners avoid Oxford Street like the plague. Sure, it’s got a lot of stores but don’t overlook Lamb’s Conduit Street in Holborn for some great menswear, homewares, and luxury bath products. Also consider Kings Road in Chelsea for womenswear, and Redchurch Street in Shoreditch for designer threads and indie home decor.

7. Hide from the rain in an old world pub

If your visit to London falls on one of its grey, rainy days, don’t worry. Seek out the oldest, most quintessential-looking pub you can find, and kick back with a pint of English cider and a book. There are plenty, but to start, try The Elephant and Castle just off of Kensington High St., the Salisbury in Covent Garden, or the Prince Alfred near Maida Vale.

8. Eat bangers and mash

Bangers and mash might be a bit of a British cliche, but there’s no doubt it’s tasty. Locals get their sausages from the best of the best, The Ginger Pig, a butcher that dates back 20 years and now has seven (with more on the horizon) sites in London. Get yours and don’t look back.

9. Make the most of the markets

London has no shortage of great markets, especially those that specialize in food. If you have the patience to tackle the crowd, try Borough Market on a Saturday, otherwise head East to Broadway Market, or South to Druid Street Market in Bermondsey. On Sunday, don’t miss the halls of international street food along Brick Lane.

13 Free Things To Do In Houston

Houston Downtown from Allen Parkway Jogging Trail, Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Experience a twilight epiphany. James Turrell’s stunning Skyspace LED light show at Rice University occurs at dusk and dawn. The ethereal installation frames the sky through an aperture in a thin steel roof; at dawn and dusk, colored lights transform the structure, creating a mesmerizing effect. Reservations are required.

  1. See a house made of beer cans. You can get a great view of the glistening, can-covered Beer Can House from the street. The Houston landmark was covered by its suds-loving owner in the 1960s with an estimated 50,000 flattened beer cans. To access the grounds and get a tour, you’ll need to pay $5.

  2. Visit Howard Hughes’ grave. Once a rambling private park that also housed graves, Glenwood Cemetery was built in 1871 and is still stunning with impeccable grounds, downtown’s skyline serving as a backdrop, and walkability to Buffalo Bayou’s edge. Tycoon and aviator Howard Hughes was born in Houston and is buried here – his large family plot has made the cemetery somewhat famous.

  3. Stroll through Garage Mahal. Houston hosts the world’s largest art car parade each year, and at the Art Car Museum, some of the most elaborate vehicles are part of a rotating exhibit. You might find operable cars fashioned into things you never thought possible—like a stiletto heel. Another visit could turn up a car covered entirely in coins or cameras, or one VW buggy welded upside down on top of another. Locals affectionately refer to the free museum, whose entrance is covered in scrap metal, as “Garage Mahal.”

  4. Watch a bat colony take flight. Every night hundreds of thousands of bats emerge from under the Waugh Bridge after sunset—the exact time varies but it typically occurs just after dusk. “Chattering” and forming a vortex, the bats take flight in a majestic swoop, and you can watch from two viewing areas.

  5. Take a selfie at the #biscuitpaintwall. Paint seemingly dripping in a rainbow of colors covers the exterior wall of hip home goods store Biscuit, and has become the backdrop of countless professional photo shoots and even more selfies. The new Sugar and Cloth bricked color wall at 3302 Canal Street on the East Side is just as impressive.

  6. Get killer views of the city. The 60th floor observation deck in the Sky Lobby of the I.M. Pei-designed JP Morgan Chase building downtown is the highest public view of the city. The deck is open on weekdays until 5 p.m. for unmatched city views.

  7. Sit in a tranquil space. Mark Rothko was commissioned to paint 14 pieces of art for the non-denominational Rothko Chapel, part of the free world-renowned Menil Collection, a magnificent museum campus dotted with public outdoor art and plenty of shade for a picnic. The Chapel is open 365 days a year. Expect a transcendent experience whether you consider yourself an art lover.

  8. Walk through a neon tunnel. On Thursdays, admission is free at The Museum of Fine Arts. A dark tunnel created by contemporary artist James Turrell connects two buildings at the impressive museum, and the walls change colors as you walk through.

  9. Skateboard in the country’s largest cradle. With the city skyline in the background, the 30,000-square-foot Jamail Skatepark is a state-of-the-art facility that was the first of its kind in the region. The park contains plenty of bowls, grinding rails, and ramps for skaters of all levels to practice their skills, and its cradle is purported to be one of largest in the country.

  10. Visit a massive open air temple. Constructed according to ancient Hindu tenets of divine architecture, the 33,000 individual stone blocks making up Sri Meenakshi Temple in the Houston suburb of Pearland were hand-carved in India by master stone workers and artisans. At the blazing white, intricately carved edifice you can mingle unobtrusively with the Hindu worshippers in colorful saris as they meditate or buy authentic, scratch-made food at the canteen.

  11. Watch theater under the stars. For several months each year, you can bring a picnic and blanket to Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park for an impressive line-up of live performances, spanning from touring international dance troupes and Broadway musicals to symphonies and children’s performances.

  12. Hear poetry at a dive bar. Unmarked Montrose bar Poison Pen, known for its stiff and expertly made cocktails, hosts selected regional writers and poets the last Thursday of each month for a reading on their large, pretty rear patio.

The Secret to Saving Hundreds of Dollars on Your Summer Getaway

East Hampton Summer

For the second year in a row, Hipmunk has analyzed 100 towns and cities across the country to determine where travelers can find the most significant savings. In a survey released earlier this week, Hipmunk revealed that this year, the Boston suburbs of Somerville and Cambridge both offered visitors the most savings (an average of 63 percent) when they booked a vacation rental rather than a hotel.

That’s the difference between spending $90 per night and $245.

The upscale beach town of East Hampton, New York came in third place on the savings-with-rentals list, with rental rates an average of 57 percent lower than hotel room rates. In this pricey coastal hamlet, that means keeping an $438 in your pocket.

Other highlights on the list include America’s favorite city, Buffalo (53 percent savings), Honolulu (47 percent savings), and Miami Beach (35 percent savings).

Across the country, vacation rentals averaged 11 percent less than hotel rooms booked between June 1 and August 31.

If you want to have an affordable vacation for the whole family, be sure to make a reservation early: Hipmunk also found that vacation rentals book earlier than hotel stays.

There’s a Brilliant New Way to Pay Less for Your Flights


Boeing 777 flying in the air

There are probably worse travel planners than me, but I doubt it. I’m a procrastinator, and always fretting that I didn’t find the best deal. So a new feature of airline travel appeals: the option.

Recently, I paid $29 to a company called Options Away to hold a $156 one-way fare from Las Vegas to New York City for two days so I could do some further dithering—I wasn’t sure about my return. If I found a better fare within that period I could simply purchase that ticket and let the option lapse; or I could exercise the option and pay the company $156 for the ticket, which I did, even if the fare went up in the interim. And if the fare decreased, I would get the lower price. “There’s never been a person I’ve spoken to who didn’t say, ‘My goodness I could have used this three weeks ago,’” says Rob Brown a former options trader and Options Away’s co-founder, along with his wife Heidi, another options whiz.

If Tulip mania rings a bell, you likely know that options have been around for centuries. An option is a derivative—that is, its value derives from something else—that gives you the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell. In Holland in 1636, that meant a tulip bulb. Today, a plain-vanilla option is often used to reduce risk—to lock in a price, or a profit, say on commodities such as grain or currencies. Options Away is using a variation to bring price-risk mitigation to travel. The company has signed more than 40 airlines and travel sites Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Hipmunk. Kayak has begun its rollout, too with, starting with American, Alaska and Virgin America flights.

“Anytime you have angst in the market place, you should be able to price that angst in a way that makes money for everybody: that gives both counterparties security,” says Steve Hafner, Kayak’s CEO and co-founder. For me, airline travel equals angst. Purchasing an option works like this: if you spot a flight you like, but aren’t sure about your plans or the price, you can buy time. Most of the options are between $10 and $29, and users can buy up to 30 days to decide. The option price varies depending on travel date, length of the option and the price of the ticket. Some travelers are even doing a bit of arbitrage—buying options for several flights across a couple of acceptable dates, more or less betting that one of the fares will decrease. (Want to play? The meta travel sites make predictions on fare changes.) For most, it’s more about buying time.

When should you buy an option? If you’re one of those annoying types who books well ahead, nails a good price and rarely changes plans, it’s not for you. But the more uncertainty you have about your travel or its cost, the more attractive an option becomes.

The math for airfare options is trickier than for some financial instruments. Unlike say, corn, the price of an airline seat doesn’t move freely in the market. Airlines set and adjust the prices. We, on the other hand, do not behave the way corn does, at least not in an economic sense—our decisionmaking is highly unpredictable. So Options Away’s pricing model has to account for human-based volatility risk and airline-based pricing risk.

To reduce volatility, the idea is to get you to decide sooner than later. That’s why options on airfares may only be the first product offered as the business progresses. Suppose, during the time you are deciding, the airline offered you a special on early check-in or an upgraded seat? And why just airfare? Eventually you might be able to buy an option on the whole works: airfare, hotel car rental—maybe even sporting events. Indeed, Hipmunk offered NFL fans options on flights to Super Bowl host city San Francisco from the cities of the semi-finalists: Denver, Boston, Charlotte, and Phoenix.

Over the last 20 years, airlines have made you bear more of their risks. That’s why refundable tickets can be 3 or more times the price of non-refundable tickets. You are in effect compensating your airline for the right—the option, in other words—to not show up. That obscene price gap allowed Options Away to fill the space with a product that Brown calls “precillary”— as opposed to the “ancillary” fees airlines charge for checked bags, exit row seats and such.

Which means that Brown’s a quant, not a poet, but more importantly, he and his wife have shifted the odds ever so slightly back to the passengers. And we need all the help we can get.

This is the Cheapest Summer to Travel in Years

This is the Cheapest Summer for Travel in Years

But if you haven’t made any summer travel plans yet, consider this an appeal to do so. According to, well, everyone, this is going to be one of the most affordable summers for travel. Travelzoo projects vacations this summer could be more than 40 percent cheaper than they would have been last year. We’ve outlined some of the most compelling reasons for why travel prices are hitting records lows—and how you can take advantage.

Hotel Developments are Booming

Figures from STR forecast record-breaking room demand for U.S. hotels this summer. But an escalation in the number of rooms available (thanks to new developments) is likely to keep room rates at the same price as they were in 2015.  If you’re traveling, seek out markets with strong pipeline growth rates. As reported by the Khaleej Times, New York City is a great example. There are 31,314 rooms under-contract in the Big Apple, guaranteeing that rates will be fixed, if not driven down.

Travelers are Avoiding the Caribbean and Mexico

Unfortunately, the threat of the Zika virus has made many travelers (especially women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant) wary of tropical destinations such as the Caribbean, South America, and Mexico. If you’re healthy, however, and don’t have any plans to get pregnant, you can take advantage of increased availability for rooms in destinations where the CDC has issued a travel warning. Travelzoo says even cruises and vacation packages are being steeply discounted.

Airfares are Dropping

According to Travelzoo, falling oil prices and increased competition have contributed to plunging ticket fares. Flights are, on average, 12 percent cheaper than they were last year. If you haven’t taken a summer vacation since 2014, you’ll find that flights could be 20 percent lower. Competition on routes to Australia and New Zealand is also forcing airlines to slash prices. We’ve seen prices for round-trip flights well under $400. Really.

The U.S. Dollar is Strong

Now is the best time to take advantage of a strong dollar. According to Expedia, the trend may not continue into 2017. Fortunately, we’ve determined where the dollar has gained the most value since last year—and we’ve even adjusted for rising airfares. You’re welcome.

Tourism to Europe is Changing

The tragedies that have struck Europe, as well as the migrant crisis, are likely the causes of occupancy rates dropping 11 percent year-over-year. Now, Travelzoo predicts that 30 percent of the hotel rooms in Europe are vacant. Some cities, like Istanbul, have been hit harder than others. Allianz Global Assistance reported that visits to the Turkish capital are down 43.7 percent this year; trips to Brussels have decreased by 30.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Travelzoo compared flight data from 2015 and 2016 to determine that flights to Paris from major hubs across the U.S. could be 20 percent cheaper than they were this time last year. (That’s $294 savings on a trip from Dallas to Paris). While Allianz Global Assistance projects that American visits to Europe this summer will increase overall by 9.3 percent, there’s a massive redistribution in where on the continent people are going. Instead of Germany and Belgium, travelers are opting for Ireland and Portugal.

The Best Cheap Eats in Washington, D.C.

G By Mike Isabella Roasted Cauliflower Sandwich

There’s no daylight between dining well and dining on a budget when you’re in Washington, D.C. While the capital city’s restaurant scene has been booming in recent years—bringing with it a slew of slick dining rooms—there’s also a thriving scene for cheap eats. Beyond the influx of locally owned fast-casual chains like Good Stuff Eatery, Taylor Gourmet, Sweetgreen, Cava Grill, and Beefsteak, D.C. is home to the likes of a Sichuan restaurant in an unassuming budget hotel, a small pupuseria serving Salvadoran favorites, and a smokehouse stacked with gut-busting (and affordable) sandwiches. Read on:

Zenebech Injera

Ethiopian cuisine is a must-try experience in DC—restaurants in the city and its outskirts offer some of the finest versions of classic Ethiopian dishes that you’ll find anywhere in this country. Zenebech is one of the best, serving injera bread-covered platters of tender beef tibs, kitfo, lentils, and stews at less than $15 for a (very) filling entree. And Ethiopian food is the ultimate shareable meal, making that tab even lighter when shared among friends.

DCity Smokehouse

Whether it’s brisket, chopped pork or sausages you’re after, get your smoked meats atDCity Smokehouse. Everything on the sandwich menu—which includes a stacked Meaty Palmer stuffed with smoked turkey, pork belly, smashed avocado, chipotle aioli, and cilantro ranch on Texas Toast—runs for less than $10. DCity’s also got great ribs, wings, and sides like fried onions and collard greens.

Panda Gourmet

You might not expect much from a restaurant set in a Days Inn on the road into town. But you would be wrong. Panda Gourmet serves a menu full of Sichuan specialties that are worth the trip out. Almost everything on the menu costs $15 or less so go wild—dan dannoodles with minced pork, mapo tofu, cumin beef Chinese burgers, and eggplant in garlic sauce are all solid bets.

Wiseguy NY Pizza

Grab a few slices of cheese pizza at Wiseguy’s and call it a meal—and an affordable one, at that, with $3 slices. Though DC has mostly been known for its Neapolitan pizzerias, Wiseguy serves up an excellent rendition of the New York-style pie out of a stone-deck oven. They’ve also got a mean Grandma square pie.

El Rinconcito Cafe

You can find great, cheap Salvadoran food all around DC and its suburbs, thanks to a sizable immigrant population. Right in the center of it all is El Rinconcito Café in Mount Vernon Square. Here you can order pupusas with whatever your preferred topping may be—pork, cheese, beans, loroco—for $2.15 apiece, plus dishes like carne asada, tamales, camarones a la crema for between $10 and $15. There’s no website, but you can find the place at 1129 11th St NW.

Florida Avenue Grill

Open since 1944, the Florida Avenue Grill is both a local treasure and a fine spot for a filling, delicious, and penny-pinching meal. This diner serves up all your traditional egg dishes, including a breakfast special that combines hot cakes or french toast with two eggs any style, your choice of breakfast meat, and your choice of side—all for $11.95. Later in the day, they serve meat dinners like smothered fried pork chops with a corn muffin and two sides for $15.

Greek Deli

If you’re headed to the Greek Deli at lunchtime, be ready to stand in line. Washingtonians have loved this little downtown lunch destination since it opened in 1990 and the line often runs out the door. People especially love the avgolemono soup ($4.50) and other Greek specialties like baked moussaka, gyros, lamb souvlaki, dolmades, and spanakopita.

Thip Khao

Thanks to Thip Khao, Laotian cuisine is having its day in DC. This Columbia Heights restaurant serves up a menu of classic dishes like curry puffs, crispy coconut rice with sour pork, khao soi soup, and various meats grilled in banana leaves. You can choose your protein for most of the mains—with options like tofu, chicken, salmon, Chinese sausage, and Chilean sea bass—mostly within the $15 range. There’s also a “jungle” menu with more exotic meats.

Red Apron Butcher

If you’re out for lunch in Penn Quarter, snag your sandwich straight from the butcher shop—Red Apron is a meat paradise. Led by Nathan Anda of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, this shop is not only where you can buy nice cuts of meat and charcuterie, but it also serves a small menu for breakfast and lunch. Try the “porkstrami” sandwich ($9) or their version of a classic cheeseburger ($10.50).


When in Chinatown, hang out on the ground floor of Daikaya for some of the best ramen in town. Once you take a seat on one of the stools in the small ramen shop, you can choose between a few varieties of Sapporo-style ramen (including a vegan option), all between $10 and $15. These bowls are pretty filling, but if you want to hang out a little longer, head upstairs to Daikaya’s izakaya for drinks or snacks.

G by Mike Isabella

Sandwich shop by day and tasting menu restaurant by night, G is an excellent stop on during an afternoon of shopping and strolling 14th Street. Former Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella has developed a killer lineup of sandwiches from Italian classics like the chicken parm ($12), healthier options like the roasted cauliflower ($9), and wood-roasted options like the spring lamb with tzatziki ($12). G also serves breakfast sandwiches and a variety of sides.

Brexit Has Made Airfare to Britain Cheap, But You Have to Act Fast

Airfare Prices Drop in the UK
 Since Britain voted to leave the European Union at the end of June, interest in travel to the UK and Europe from the United States has skyrocketed.

Sales began to pick up speed last week, and flight prices from the United States to the UK are at their lowest point in three years, according to airfare prediction app Hopper.

Hopper saw a surge in search demand for flights to London and Edinburgh, with a spikes of more than 50 percent in June. British Airways saw even stronger demand, reporting 138 percent growth in searches for flights from the U.S. to the United Kingdom during the last week of June, when compared to earlier in the month. Overall, the carrier’s site saw a 97 percent traffic increase.

Despite a saturated market, airlines lowered prices by as much as 15 percent to destinations across the United Kingdom and Europe. There are many sale fares available now, and the Airfare Spot also notes that Europe is a bargain. Flights from Boston and New York to Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and London are available for as little as $253 round-trip.

Even business class tickets are being discounted. British Airways is selling round-trip seats for two from New York to London and Manchester for $2,214 per person.

It’s a win-win for American travelers: In addition to fare sales, the British pound has fallen to a 30-year low, making the country more affordable than it’s been in decades. The value of the pound isn’t exclusively tied to more affordable flights, but negative news about Europe — from terrorism warnings to the migrant crisis — has made airlines more eager to appeal to travelers’ wallets.

“We think that Brexit may have been the final straw,” Hopper’s chief data scientist Patrick Surry told Travel + Leisure. “Airlines are likely concerned that uncertainty and trepidation will reduce overall demand.”

However, Surry also said that British carriers like British Airways could be excluded from the European Open Skies Agreements if ties are officially cut between Britain and the European Union.

“Travelers have been enjoying the benefits of vigorous competition,” Surry said.

But a departure from the open skies agreement “would reduce competition in those markets,” he added, “exerting upward pricing pressure.”

So if you want a deal, buy your tickets now, before prices stabilize and eventually creep upward and beyond pre-Brexit fares.