5 Places to Travel in 2018 That Are Still Under Everyone's Radar - United Hub

5 places to travel in 2018 that are still under everyone's radar

By The Hub team

If you can't stop thinking about amazing food, exciting excursions and Insta-worthy pics, then you're probably craving a vacation. Badly. But if tourists, crowds and lines make you anxious, why not take the road less traveled? (You are a trendsetter, after all.) Here, the best destinations, according Lonely Planet, for an off-the-beaten-path vacay.

RELATED: The Best (and Most Affordable) Winter Honeymoon Destinations

Hindu temples of the Sacred Monkey Forest of UbudErmakovaElena/Getty Images

Indonesia

While everyone's trying to ride elephants in Thailand, you'll be sprawled out with all the room in the world on a pink-colored beach on Lombok Island (we also hear you should rent a motorbike to get to Tanjung Aan beach, which is especially gorgeous and super secluded), taking a private hike up a volcanic peak in Bali, freaking out over komodo dragons in Flores or exploring the 14th-century Hindu temples of the Sacred Monkey Forest of Ubud.

Travel tip: Fly into Jakarta or Bali through Singapore, then take budget flights or local ferries to any of the surrounding 13,000 islands.

The village of Mostar in BosniaGrisha Shoolepoff/Getty Images

The Balkans

Game of Thrones fans can keep their Dubrovnik. The less-touristed ancient cobblestone village of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the medieval castle of Bran in Romania and the Accursed Mountains of Albania (yes, that's their real name) feel just as steeped in history as King's Landing Croatia. Yep, these Eastern European countries on the Balkan Peninsula have all the old-world charm and breathtaking scenery of a fairy-tale, but with fewer tourists than their Western counterparts (no offense, Italy).

Travel tip: Skip the slow-moving trains and commit to the widely used bus system, which connects many of the bigger towns as well as the smaller villages.

Longshan Temple in Taiwanhxdyl/Getty Images

Taiwan

The tiny island just east of China is largely underrated by travelers, but don't be fooled: The place is the perfect surf and turf, so to speak, for folks who can't make up their minds. It's got the beauty of the lush, green landscape of Yangmingshan National Park to the north, and the serene and placid waters of the more tropical Fulong Beach in the south stand in stark contrast to the cosmopolitan and skyscraper-filled city of Taipei.

Travel tip: Avoid going from June to August during the height of typhoon season. Instead, the best months for travel are October to February.

The ancient stone ruins of the \u201cRose City" of Petraroman_slavik/Getty Images

Jordan

Floating in the Dead Sea, exploring the ancient stone ruins of the “Rose City" of Petra and temple ruins of Jerash and riding on camels in the desert oasis of Wadi Rum are not to be missed. But travelers hoping for a more tropical vacay won't be disappointed by the luxurious seaside resorts of the port town of Aqaba and the world-class snorkeling of the crystal-clear Red Sea.

Travel tip: Head to the world-wonder Petra, the ancient city that's built into the canyon walls, as early as possible (it opens at 6 a.m.) to avoid the scorching heat of the afternoon.

Buildings along the water in Panamadiego_cervo/Getty Images

Panama

Cancun and Cabo can keep their spring breakers and crowded beaches. We'll just be over here learning to surf on Starfish Beach in gorgeous Bocas del Toro; touring the coffee farms, volcanoes and cloud forests of Chiriquí; and exploring the cobblestone plazas and historic cathedrals of the Old City while dining on local fare of empanadas and ceviche.

Travel tip: Try to avoid the extensive rainy season, which can last from April to December.

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Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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