Unrest in the Middle East brought a dip in tourism as uneasy travelers looked to other vacation destinations to spend their travel dollars. Following the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, the region's travel dipped upwards of 8 percent as reported by the U.N. World Tourism Organization. Where lines once swelled around the pyramids, the year 2011 meant bookings and visitors to area attractions dwindled. However, Middle Eastern tourism has surpassed comeback status and is trending in areas from Jordan to Egypt and beyond, with reports of double-digit growth of an 11.2 percent increase in travel bookings.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
Kish Island, 12 miles off the coast of Iran, is a former private resort that boasts a wealth of luxurious accommodations, excellent shopping and awe-inspiring beaches. Spending a day here probably won’t feel like enough, but any more than that could break the bank.
Bleisure — it’s a term we’re all familiar with these days. After all, millennials drive the rising trend, combining business and leisure trips regularly. Take a few days to decompress in a new destination after a hectic schedule of meetings and business.
Start your day in Isfahan at Messo Qali Café. It has a great atmosphere and includes outdoor seating. The café is vegetarian friendly and the food is cheap. Budget $15 for a good breakfast. After breakfast, visit the Chehel Sotoun, an elegant 17th-century pavilion and garden. The name means 40 pillars and is only about $6 to enter.