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That annual beach timeshare is relaxing and all. But what about swapping it for a once-in-a-lifetime jaunt to Taiwan, Istanbul, even Havana? It’s now easier than ever to get to far-flung destinations, thanks to new flight routes from major U.S. cities.

Have a look--because tanning on the Cuban shoreline doesn’t just happen every day.


San Francisco to Istanbul

Turkish Airlines has begun daily nonstop flights from its hub in Istanbul to SFO. The 13-hour flight is a far better alternative than multiple layovers for Europe-loving West Coasters.

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Newark to Venice

Capitalizing on the world’s zeal for Italy in the summertime is United Airlines’ new service from New Jersey to Marco Polo (through September 23). No more stopping off at Heathrow, then Milan, then renting that car you have no freaking clue how to drive.

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Houston to Taipei

The same applies for the Southerners looking to explore Asia. Taiwan-based EVA airlines just launched service from Texas to Taipei, where China’s tallest building stands beside Buddhist and Taoist temples. Traveling with little ones? Try for the Hello Kitty-branded jet, which has pillows, meals and other amenities emblazoned with the iconic character.


Boston to Tel Aviv

Only two other U.S. cities--NYC and L.A.--have this nonstop option for taking in the Holy Land. Now New Englanders can hop a flight on El Al Airlines.


Denver to Costa Rica

Attention mountain-obsessors of all climates: An additional leg to Atlanta eats almost a day’s worth of travel. Starting this December, United Airlines can get you there in a straight five hours.

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Miami and NYC to Havana

And now for the buzziest travel news of all--Cuba. Not one but two companies (JetBlue and Eastern Airlines) have begun regular flights to the long-embargoed country. You’ll still need to fall into one of the 12 allowed categories and book your flight through a charter service (since it’s illegal for the companies to sell tickets directly to U.S. citizens). For Eastern’s Miami service, book through Havana Air; for JetBlue’s JFK service, use Cuba Travel Services. Otherwise, wheels up.