A picture-perfect trio of islands lapped by turquoise waters, the Maltese archipelago has all the charm of nearby Sicily with far fewer tourists. Valletta, the tiny nation’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, feels like something plucked straight from Westeros. The historic walled city dates back to 1565, and has a vibe that’s Mediterranean with a North African twist. This underrated destination is finally stepping into the global limelight as a 2018 European Capital of Culture. To celebrate the occasion, the city has planned more than 140 projects and 400 events throughout the year. The festivities begin on January 20, with contemporary dance, a choral symphony, and acrobatic performances across the city’s four main squares. Should you miss the grand opening, swing by in February for Carnival, or in June for the Malta International Arts Festival and the Valletta Film Festival. —Diana Hubbell
Travel to the Danish capital has jumped more than 80 percent in the past decade, thanks in part to René Redzepi’s influential Noma restaurant (slated to reopen in its new location in February), as well as Scandinavian Airlines’ ongoing flight expansion. Today, Copenhagen is teeming with inspiring places to eat and drink, in addition to a number of sleek new hotels — so much so that the New Nordic food, beverage, and design movement has now spread worldwide. Even before it debuted in July, Restaurant Barr — the beer-centric boîte by Redzepi and chef Thorsten Schmidt that occupies the old Noma plot — was already garnering international attention. Then there’s Apollo Bar & Kantine, the recently minted, design-focused restaurant in the Kunsthal Charlottenborg gallery from Frederik Bille Brahe, proprietor of hit café Atelier September. Brothers Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, of Mikkeller and Evil Twin Brewing, respectively, have in the last couple of years introduced the world to experimental Danish craft beer, and their brews can now be sampled at bars and beer halls across Copenhagen and beyond. Stylish new places to stay, such as Hotel Danmark and Sanders, as well as a revamp of the classic, Arne Jacobsen–designed Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, reinforce the reasons the Scandinavian aesthetic is so popular right now. —Kat Odell
Tel Aviv has attracted a lot of attention for its nightlife and creative culinary scene in recent years. These days its center of gravity has shifted south, to the site of the ancient port town of Jaffa (technically part of the city itself). This month, the Setai opens in a former Ottoman prison; a new W Hotel housed in a 19th-century former convent and pilgrims’ hospice is scheduled to open in March. It’s just the latest in a growing list of upscale hotels, restaurants, and boutiques to arrive among the winding streets of this former fishing village. Jaffa’s once-shabby flea market is now populated by a number of high-end antique dealerships, which sit alongside trendy cafés and bars — many offering live music into the night. Don’t miss Maskit, an iconic Israeli fashion house known for its embroidery that has been recently reincarnated after closing in the 1990s. Numerous interesting chefs have also set up shop among Jaffa’s churches, mosques, and archaeological sites. Try Beit Kandinof, a restaurant housed in a 17th-century building, where creative dishes like artichoke-and-pesto bruschetta are served alongside local art exhibits. —Sara Toth Stub
jetBlue's first major advertising campaign incorporated phrases like "Unbelievable" and "We like you, too". Full-page newspaper advertisements boasted low fares, new aircraft, leather seats, spacious legroom, and a customer-service-oriented staff committed to "bringing humanity back to air travel". With a goal of raising the bar for in-flight experience, jetBlue became the first airline to offer all passengers personalized in-flight entertainment. In April 2000, flat-screen monitors installed in every seatback allow customers live access to over 20 DirecTV channels at no additional cost.
On March 22, 2010, jetBlue announced it would remain in the New York City area, in Long Island City, because of the airline's historical links to the city, the cost of staff relocations, the airline's desire to retain access to financial markets, and because Aer Lingus and Lufthansa, jetBlue's marketing partners, fly into JFK Airport. jetBlue planned to combine its Forest Hills and Darien, Connecticut offices, together about 1,000 employees, into about 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) in the Brewster Building by mid-2012.
This year, Buenos Aires becomes a hub for art, sports, and politics: the inaugural Art Basel Cities program, the Youth Olympic Games, and the G20 will all take place in the city, beginning with the multi-year Art Basel initiative. Though the Argentinean capital is already home to an eclectic collection of galleries, Art Basel Cities promises to elevate Buenos Aires’ reputation in the global art scene by offering professional support for local artists, as well as lectures and workshops throughout the year to draw art lovers to the city.
Vacation Packages: More hotels, resorts and inns offer romantic, family, wedding, honeymoon and other packages than people realize. If your heart is set on a particular getaway, check their web site for current offers. In some cases, the property will offer a romantic package that you can add on to the cost of your stay, such as flowers or a gift that can be prepared ahead of time. In other cases, the romantic package will include the room rate as well. When you are researching the best places to vacation, it pays to check for packages.