The Check-In: Honoring Amelia Earhart, soaking up the sun in Portugal, and more

Welcome to The Check-In, our weekend feature focusing on all things travel.

Celebrate a trailblazer at the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum

On July 24, it will be 126 years since Amelia Earhart, the awe-inspiring aviator who broke flying records before vanishing in 1937, was born in Atchison, Kansas. In her honor, consider a visit to the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, which opened in her hometown in April and features interactive displays and exhibits telling the story of Earhart’s life, from her Atchison beginnings to her adventures in the sky.

The museum sits inside a 17,000-square-foot hangar at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport. It is home to Muriel, a Lockheed Electra 10-E — the only one left in the world — that is identical to the plane Earhart flew on her final flight around the globe. Visitors can also enter a full-scale replica of the plane’s cockpit; embark on a virtual reality recreation of Earhart’s 1932 transatlantic flight; learn how Earhart used constellations to navigate at night; and peruse her digitized scrapbook.

“You learn the history of Amelia and the history of flight, but you also have STEM highlights everywhere, and everything is interactive,” Karen Seaberg, founder and president of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation, told KQ2 in April. “You have to touch, you have to feel.” By design, much of the focus is on what inspired Earhart and motivated her to become a pilot. “One of the things that we really care about is adults and children knowing they can dream their dreams,” Seaberg said.

The Algarve in Portugal is a summer hotspot

Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal and is popular with visitors who want to spend their summer relaxing on the beaches and soaking up the views from the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic.

Travelers can do as much — or as little — as they want in the Algarve. “You can hike along a sea cliff, surf world-class breaks or look for birds and dolphins just offshore,” wrote Lonely Planet’s Regis St. Louis. “There are teeming markets to explore, islands to wander across and maritime museums packed with relics from the past. If you’re not on the hunt for an active vacation, the Algarve is also a fine place to do nothing at all.”

Visitors who want to center their vacation around their hotel should look for a property that has everything they need in one place. At the five-star cliffside Cascade Wellness Resort, there are three large pools for all guests and two pools for children; one is sand-bottomed so families can make sandcastles together. The spa offers treatments like facials and massages, and there’s a heated pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish bath, and ice fountain (guests who only want to use the facilities can purchase a day pass).

NAU also has multiple resorts in the Algarve, including the kid-friendly, all-inclusive NAU Salgados Palace. Just down the way from Salgados Beach and the Salgados Golf Course, this hotel offers sweeping views of the ocean and four outdoor swimming pools. Two of the pools were designed specifically for kids, who will love spending the day splashing around in the water and sliding down off a pirate ship.

In case you missed it…

Leave that excess baggage at home. With the “Any Wear, Anywhere” program, international travelers on Japan Airlines-operated flights can now rent clothes for their trips. The hope is that by renting their threads, passengers won’t carry as much luggage, in turn making the plane lighter and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Prices start at $27 for two bottoms and three tops, which are delivered to your hotel room before you arrive. JAL said it will test the program through Aug. 31, 2024, and then measure the “environmental value” of the service.

Attendance at Walt Disney World was way down over Independence Day weekend, likely due to frustrations over raising ticket prices and the elimination of free amenities.

If you see a cairn inside Yosemite National Park, the park rangers would like you to knock it down — the insects and reptiles will thank you.

There will soon be a luxurious new way to see Singapore and Malaysia: Starting in February 2024, the Eastern & Oriental Express, A Belmond Train, will launch two different round-trip treks between the two countries, with stops in Penang, Langkawi and the Taman Negara National Park. Both journeys are three nights. “Essence of Malaysia: A Gateway into Malay Culture” will dive into the western part of the country, while “Wild Malaysia: Exploring Sights Unseen” will head up the eastern side. Rates start at $3,410 per person, including meals, entertainment, activities, and some drinks.

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