(CNN): In travel news this week: Why now is the best time to visit Europe, which Caribbean islands to put on your wish list and the Nordic nation blazing a trail for digital passports.
The future of travel tech
Digital passports are here! But only if you’re a Finn flying from Helsinki to Britain.
In a world-leading pilot scheme by the Finnish Border Guard, travelers on some Finnair flights can now slide quickly through border control by registering a digital version of their passport in advance,
Other destinations will be sure to follow the innovation-loving Nordic nation.
Just last week, Singapore’s Changi Airport announced that it’ll go passport-free in 2024. It’s another plum travel freedom for Singaporeans, who already enjoy visa-free and visa-on-demand access to more destinations than citizens of any other country or city-state. That’s why it tops a 2023 list of the world’s “most powerful” passports.
Welcome to fall
Throw on your turtleneck, fill your suitcase with gourds and grab your pumpkin latte: Fall is when the cool kids like to travel.
This is when Europe’s top destinations are serving mellow vibes after the summer rush and visitors can have their pick of balmy beach temperatures or cozy harvesttime festivals.
Sometimes, roadways and natural beauty meet in a harmonious convergence where driving can be a delight – especially when the leaves are bursting with color. Here are six soothing, scenic drives across the United States to take.
If you’re heading out to the woods to luxuriate in all those lovely russets and ochers, our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have a roundup of all the essentials you need from a picnic backpack to waterproof binoculars.
Raise a flask while you’re out there to the memory of one of England’s most-loved trees. A sycamore that stood alongside the UNESCO-listed Hadrian’s Wall for more than 200 years – and starred with Kevin Costner in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” – was sadly felled in an act of vandalism this week.
October is low season in the Caribbean, which can make it a good time to pick up bargains on islands outside of the hurricane belt, such as Bonaire. This Dutch Caribbean getaway is known for its scuba diving but also packs more than 20 beaches into its 111 square miles of deliciousness.
If you’re planning a Caribbean trip during the December to April high season, when the weather is driest, then choosing just one of the hundreds of islands to visit can be daunting. Our pick of nine of the best should make your decision a little easier – and remember that it’s hard to go wrong in a turquoise paradise.
Restaurants and hotels
Foodies with a taste for fine dining should set their sights on Spain, which has more of the world’s 50 best restaurants than any other country. Here’s our guide on where to go and what’s on the menu.
But if you’re more thrilled by thread count than bread count, try London, which has just welcomed two new showstopper hotels. The historic war office in Whitehall that was once used by Winston Churchill has been transformed into the luxury Raffles London. And Asia’s high-end Peninsula chain has finally arrived in the UK capital, with a spot near Hyde Park. Prices start at an eye-watering $1,600 per night.
The Tower of London has its ravenmaster. But The Peabody hotel in Memphis has a duckmaster, who leads five waterfowls from their rooftop Duck Palace on a march to the hotel lobby for a twice-daily ceremony that has been drawing tourists for 90 years.