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The US is giving away historic lighthouses

It’s almost the Fourth of July. This week has been rough for air travelers in the United States, but we have flight attendants’ secrets for surviving summer travel. Around the country, people are setting up grills and stocking up on sunscreen. And if you’ve always dreamed of spending the Fourth at an unusual summer house with waterfront views, this might just be your chance.

Waterfront real estate

The US General Services Administration is giving away or auctioning lighthouses in New England.

Like the small towns in Italy selling off houses for just 1 euro, these lighthouses come with stipulations. A handful of them – five as of Friday afternoon – will be given away for free to local governments, nonprofits or community organizations.

The others will be auctioned off to the public. But they’re going fast. As of Friday afternoon, there were still two “on the block” with bids of $60,000. The idea is that the cost and work of fixing up these lighthouses will be the responsibility of the new owner, not local taxpayers.

Also, any of the lighthouses that aren’t given to a nonprofit or community organization within lighthouse season will then be offered up for public auction, too. As the GSA’s website puts it: You can’t get more waterfront than this.

Written in stone

And while we’re on the subject of summer travel peak season, this period is often tourists-behaving-badly season.

This week, the badly behaving tourist in question is a man who allegedly carved his and his fiancée’s names into the wall at the Colosseum in Rome.

Italy’s culture minister has spoken out against the act of defacing the 2,000-year-old structure, calling it “a sign of great incivility.”

Police say they believe they have identified the man, who was caught doing the carving on video. They told media he lives in the United Kingdom.

If charged, he could face a maximum fine of €15,000 ($16,360) or up to five years in prison. That comes to a whopping 5,000 euros per word for the inscription “Ivan+Haley 23.”

‘Is there a doctor in the house?’

It happens all the time on TV: There’s an emergency on board a plane and a flight attendant gets on the intercom to ask if there’s a doctor on board.

Sometimes it happens in real life, too.

Dr. Sij Hemal was on a flight from Paris to New York when a fellow passenger reported severe abdominal pains.

He and another doctor on the plane quickly figured out that the passenger wasn’t just having regular body pains – she was in labor.

Thanks to Hemal’s quick action, the woman had a safe delivery and gave birth to a healthy boy at 35,000 feet.

Learn more about his experience and hear stories from other doctors who have been pressed into service in the sky.

The carry-on queen

“You can absolutely pack smaller than you think,” says 33-year-old Chelsea Dickenson. On her website, Cheap Holiday Expert, and on her TikTok, the UK native comes up with new and clever ways to pack as much as possible without having to check a bag.

Some of her hacks include stuffing clothes into a travel neck pillow, filling the compartments of a fishing vest, squeezing air out of packing cubes and even fitting a laptop into a jacket.

Those are just some of the travel tips Dickenson has picked up over the years. Many of her best ideas were discovered through trial and error, and while some of them may be fun on social media – namely the stuffed bra hack seen above – she admits that not all of them worked as well as hoped.

Spotlight on Japan

Considering a trip to Japan? Many travelers begin their vacation in Tokyo.

It’s worth exploring the country beyond its biggest city. Nagoya, once unfairly dubbed Japan’s most boring city, is having a revival, thanks to hybrid food traditions and access to a range of museums.

For a more rural experience, Japan’s least-populous region is home to the beautiful Tottori Sand Dunes, a little slice of desert in a place you wouldn’t expect.

In case you missed it

The next total solar eclipse in the United States is in April 2024.

You should go ahead and book your hotel rooms now.

After an 18-hour delay, this man was the only passenger on his plane.

So, what was it like?

A British-themed hotel has opened in Macao.

In the Vegas of Asia, you can bed it like Beckham.

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