Unlocking the World

Travel news: Animal encounters, 2023 vacation inspiration and the world's most expensive restaurant

Maureen O'Hare, CNNPublished 19th November 2022
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(CNN) — The world's population hit eight billion this week, and sometimes it can feel like they're all packed on the same flight as you.
As airlines shell out more than $600 million in refunds to pandemic-hit US passengers, travelers have been warned to brace for a very busy Thanksgiving season.
Here are the rest of the biggest travel stories right now.

Wild world

A video has gone viral of a baby elephant tickling Kenyan news reporter Alvin Kaunda until he collapses in giggles.
The sweet interaction was filmed at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's elephant orphanage in Nairobi, which offers sanctuary to elephants, rhinos and giraffes. Watch this CNN Travel video to find out more about how they get baby pachyderms back on their feet.
A Montana TV reporter became a meme back in 2020 after he posted a video of his reaction to an approaching herd of bison at Yellowstone National Park. The mighty beasts were out of shot but Deion Broxton's darting eyes and muttered, "Oh no, I ain't messing with you" told the story.
Yellowstone tweeted afterward that his swift exit was a perfect example of what to do when approached by wildlife. See this video from October 2022 of a hiker who had a lucky escape when she got too close to some bison in Texas.

Destination Inspiration

Guidebook company Lonely Planet has revealed its top destinations for 2023, with the Ghanian capital of Accra and the Central American country of El Salvador among those making the cut. The night train between Istanbul and Sofia also got a nod.
If you'd like to explore Turkey beyond the capital, the Aegean coastline has plenty to offer. We recommend Alacati, known locally as "Heaven on Earth," and the island paradise of Bozcaada. And don't forget to sample some local wine.
The marine wonders of Indonesia's Raja Ampat -- featured in this newsletter two weeks ago -- also made Lonely Planet's list. If you're looking to extend your island-hopping, try a luxury train journey through Java. The five-star Amanjiwo resort offers a plush seven-hour trip from Jakarta to Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist temple.

Food and hospitality

Ibiza's Sublimotion, the world's most expensive restaurant experience, has arrived in Dubai for a six-month pop-up. Those with deep pockets can catch it at the Mandarin Oriental until May 2023.
Sublimotion is known for its long waiting list, but in Japan a brand of frozen Kobe beef croquette is so popular there's a 30-year waitlist to get your hands on a box. Best wait a couple of decades before you put the oven on to pre-heat.
And finally, the world's swishest hospitality interiors have been recognized in the 2022 Dezeen Awards.
Kelly Wearstler's Mexican folk-art inspired design for Downtown LA Proper Hotel was named Hotel and Short-Stay Interior of the Year and the calm mint-green hues and recycled wooden chairs of Copenhagen's Connie-Connie art gallery cafe won Restaurant and Bar Interior of the Year.

Second-time lucky

An American woman and an Australian man had a whirlwind romance in the 1980s, before going on to marry other people. Twenty-three years later they reconnected and this time they were determined to not let love slip away.

Misbehaving travelers of the week

A Frontier Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Atlanta on November 11 after a passenger was found with box cutters. Then two days later an unruly passenger was removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago after an on-board incident that sent three people to the hospital. Be sure to smile and thank your flight attendant on your next trip: They may have had a rough week.

In case you missed it

What do hotel star ratings actually mean?
Take a look at our global explainer on this often confusing system.
A cruise ship with 800 Covid-positive passengers docked in Sydney on November 12.
The Majestic Princess was halfway through a 12-day trip when an outbreak of cases was noticed.
A refugee who inspired "The Terminal" died this month, after spending 18 years inside a Paris airport.
Here's how some people can end up living at airports for months or years.
The "most magical place on Earth" is getting more expensive.
Disney World hiked ticket prices again this week.

Travel gifts

It's that time of year again. If you're looking for inspiration for present ideas, our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have put together this roundup of 45 great holiday and Christmas gifts just perfect for frequent travelers.