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The world’s most spectacular coastlines

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In travel news this week: The Paris Métro is getting a huge new network, why the Channel Tunnel’s train service has a big problem and our picks of the world’s most gorgeous coastlines.

How to coast through life

Living life on the edge doesn’t have to be stressful. It can mean a relaxing vacation where land meets sea.

We’ve got four coastal destinations to add to your wish list, starting with Japan’s epic 600-mile (965-kilometer) Michinoku Coastal Trail.

Launched in 2019 to draw tourists to the country’s Tohoku region, which was devastated by the 2011 earthquake, it stretches along the main island’s northeast Pacific Coast and offers a perfect mix of scenery, culture and cuisine.

And for a beautiful, ancient coastline that few travelers have heard of, may we suggest Turkey’s Black Sea coast. Our interactive road trip shows why it’s the ideal backdrop for a spectacular vacation.

On the other end of the scale, France’s Côte d’Azur and Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast are some of the world’s most talked-about coastlines – but with good reason. The first has been serving visitors elegance and joie de vivre since the 19th century, while there are still plenty of secret spots to discover along Croatia’s shores.

European rail travel

At more than 120 years old, the Paris Métro is a grande dame of underground rail networks, but it’s about to get its most significant upgrade in decades. The Grand Paris Express is a new 120-mile (193-kilometer) system that will add four lines and 68 new stations to the network.

It’s one of many grand-scale infrastructure projects to have hit delays along the way. When it comes to high-speed rail travel in Europe, demand is outstripping supply and the Channel Tunnel - the undersea rail link between Britain and France - is one of the biggest bottlenecks. However, a radical shakeup might be on its way.

At this time of year, once you’ve emerged in Paris or London from undersea or underground, it’s a wise idea to have a smart rain jacket on hand. Our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have tried and tested the best on the market.

Holiday season

There are several places around the world that crank the Christmas spirit up to 11. There’s Barcelona, where the festivities climax with Three Kings celebrations on January 5 and 6, and Nairobi, where carol music blares throughout the city from store and restaurant lines to public transport. Take a look at our list of the 15 best Christmas destinations to visit.

Festive Christmas markets have become a staple in many cities in recent decades, but the biggest and best can be found in Europe. Vienna has 20 alone to choose from, while in Prague there’s one in Wenceslas Square — yes, that’s the “Good King” from the Christmas carol.

Starting over

Why wait until 2024 to think New Year, New You? Here are some inspirational stories about people making fresh starts.

There’s Cherilynne Hill, who loved tiny-house vacations so much she decided to downsize for good. See her itty bitty home and find out how much it cost.

Then there’s the Freeze family — Eric, Rixa and their four kids — who gave up their US life so the children would have a different kind of upbringing in the south of France.

And finally, Washington state seventysomethings Glenda and Randy Tuminello retired to a cliffside town in Puglia, Italy, renowned for its stunning beaches.

Flight survival tips

What are the most important things to bring, eat and do to survive a long flight in coach? Travel expert Samantha Brown has you covered with these five essential items.

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He posed by an airplane as a kid in 1976.

Forty years later he recreated the photo with his son.

She went on a solo trip to Italy.

Right away she met the love of her life.

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