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    When Lexi Hensler created HUGZ (https://givehugz.co/), it was with the intent to provide comfort for those suffering from depression. As someone who was bullied as a child, she knew how difficult it could be to feel alone. A portion of her line of weighted stuffed animals benefits nonprofit organizations that concentrate on mental health initiatives. Now 25, the Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and content creator has made it her mission to live each day to the fullest. She chronicles her life and adventures on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/lexihensler/).

      While many big cities are notoriously cold and unfriendly, Ireland’s capital is an urban playground where people really consider strangers just “friends who’ve yet to meet.” And Dublin offers the best (and many would say only) urban thrills in the Republic of Ireland. Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Ireland’s capital.

        Unless you’ve been offline for the last week, you’ve probably heard about the Federal Aviation Administration’s temporary shutdown of all air traffic. As a West Coast-based flyer with plans for an in-state trip, I awoke last Wednesday morning to news of widespread flight cancellations and delays. My departure flight was going to leave an hour...

          Avoiding peak travel season is one of the best ways to save money on your next vacation. But not all shoulder seasons are created equal. Here’s how to find a Goldilocks spot: not too hot, not too cold.

          After years of promotions and offers from airlines desperate to keep their most valuable customers, the world of elite status is set to return to something like “normal” in 2023.That doesn’t mean the travel landscape is normal. Although passenger numbers have almost returned to where they were in 2019, according to data from the Transportation...

          With the current airline turmoil taking the headlines, it's easy to overlook the fact that you'll likely spend more on hotels than air tickets in your travels this year. And the main expectations in hotel travel will probably be no surprise: continued inflation, reduced service, and more new "brands" from the giant chains. The main saving grace in facing hotel prices is that trading down a bit is easier and less painful than it is with airlines. If your main need is simply a place to get a good sleep, today's economy hotels offer a pretty good value.

          When Matthew Salesses began writing “The Sense of Wonder” (Little, Brown and Company, $28) six years ago, it was one way of alleviating his guilt about “wasting time.” His late wife, Cathreen, had been diagnosed with stomach cancer. After a stressful day, he would watch basketball to unwind. And the couple would enjoy Korean dramas together as a way to cope. “I called it research,” Salesses said in a Zoom interview from New York. “I started with one story and then kept writing about things I liked until it became this book.” The page-turning novel focuses on Asian American protagonists who, like him, were overlooked by the mainstream before gaining traction. One character is a basketball player who captures the world’s attention with his Linsanity-like streak of game wins. Another is a producer doing her best to make K-dramas happen in the United States. The revelatory book is a humorous look at pop culture, while also pointing out the inherent racism that pigeonholes minorities into what they can and cannot be. For more about the PEN/Faulkner finalist – who also is an assistant professor of writing at Columbia University – check out his website (https://matthewsalesses.com/).

          One of my favorite places to be in Europe is atop the Zugspitze – the highest point in Germany. Standing on this 9,700-foot peak, you can’t help but marvel at the thought that you’re the highest person in the entire country – number one out of 82 million. From here, facing south, I feel like a maestro conducting a symphony of snowcapped peaks as the mighty Alps stretch seemingly forever to the right and left.

          Each corner of the United States has nationally — and sometimes internationally — renowned lake towns. Here's a look at some of the best, based on six areas: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life.

          Stacker examined 2021 data from personal finance website WalletHub to determine the best lake towns to live in across the U.S.

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          The Walt Disney Co. is set to turn 100 years old this year, and the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, is celebrating with new shows and a Mickey-themed attraction across its two theme parks: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Both parks will also be decked out with new decor.Festivities officially begin on Jan. 27. And...

          You know how you book a room that’s initially advertised at under $100 per night and then it has suddenly ballooned to more than $150? That’s partially because of taxes, but another huge chunk is likely from resort fees.Some hotels have more offensive resort fees than others, and — while resort fees tend to run...

          Even though we saw some good deals and nice opportunities, given the way it ended, overall 2022 was a year to forget for airlines and their customers. In some ways, 2023 is bound to be an improvement — another massive airline meltdown is a bit less likely. But the crosscurrents of history will continue to bring a mix of the good stuff with some bad stuff.

          For classical violinist Ray Chen, one of the hardships of traveling alone is the isolation he feels when it comes time to practice. “Practicing music by yourself is usually a lonely experience,” Chen said from Taipei, where he spent the holidays visiting family and friends. “The positive feedback loops are few and far between, and frustration can set in long before you get a chance to perform on stage.” This feeling was exacerbated during the pandemic, when lockdowns and quarantines became the norm. It was during this time that the Philadelphia-based violinist co-founded Tonic (https://www.jointonic.com/), an app designed to help musicians virtually practice together. Tonic will celebrate its international launch on iOS and Google Play on Feb. 6. For more information on Chen, his music and Tonic, check out his website (https://www.raychenviolin.com/).

          Brighton is South England's fun city and the destination for students, bohemians, and blue-collar Londoners looking to go "on holiday." In 1840, a train connected the city to London, making the beach accessible to the masses for the first time. Since then, Brighton has become "London by the Sea." Whether wind, rain, or shine, it’s where people come for a good time – and a fine toffee apple. And though the town has grown a little shabby, Brighton still knows how to crank out the fun.

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