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We were robbed. It may have happened just over a year ago, but we still live with the effects (like a fear that comes while biking and we hear a moped motor approaching). Read the full story, but also take away whatever knowledge you can from our horrible experience in order to prevent it happening to you while away from home.
Only a few days ago, Lifehacker posted a brilliant list of tips for travelers toting nice cameras, including how to deter would-be thieves. In this vein, we're revisiting our own 8 safety tips to avoid being mugged abroad:
Passengers Behaving Badly / American Airlines / Emergency Landings / Travel Hell / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
There's a distinct difference between "fan" and "stan." A fan has a normal affection for a product, person, or somesuch. A stan? Well, they're different. They fall into the batshit category. They go too far. They can be dangerous.
That's how American Airlines crew could categorize the passenger they had to remove from a recent flight from LA to JFK.
A woman, obviously Whitney Houston's biggest fan, repeatedly sang her "I Will Always Love You" song for hours on end, before passengers had had enough.
Drinking Travel / Seth Rogen / Booze Travel / Alcohol Travel / Bad Ideas / Celeb Travel / Conan O'Brien / → All Tags
Here's a video clip of Seth Rogen talking about hangover flying on Conan O'Brien from earlier this month. Given the staggering number of ways that this is directly in our wheelhousecelebrity travel, booze travel, a full post we once did about hangover clauses in airline tickets, etcit's almost embaressing that we missed it when it went up.
In fairness to us, we were probably drunk.
April Fools Day / Virgin Atlantic / Southwest / Kayak / Google / WestJet / Bad Ideas / Comedy Travel / → All Tags
Someday, someone will explain to us the mirth to be found in having the Internet become useless every year on April 1st. It's not that we harbor any hostility toward people who write things that are false but plausible, and who then giggle when people belieactually, no. Those people are ridiculous and they make the world a worse place to live.
There was maybe a marginal justification for their existence when the Internet was younger. Back then April Fools' Day pranks were the web advertising equivalent of Superbowl commercials. But now that the White House is posting pranks the whole thing is just grating.
Yes, you read correctly. There are indeed official plans for a theme parkone filled with roller coasters and frivolityto take the place of the Abbottabad compound in which former al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, spent his last few hours.
In an effort to boost tourism, the government of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has plans to spend $30 million on the park that will draw visitors to the city for a more light-hearted reason. Abbottabad is considered one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan and we've hinted before that this place might take off.
Very quickly: an Air India pilot dressed himself up in his uniform, and then filmed himself rapping about how Air India sucks, and then put the video up on YouTube. How do you think that went for him? No cheating.
If you answered "obviously he was forced to write an apology and now will face disciplinary action, because employees don't get to post themselves trashing their employers on YouTube," congratulations, you're a more astute observer of organizational dynamics than is this guy. Who has flown airplanes. Filled with people inside of them. For a living.
Crimes / Travel News / Bad Ideas / Delta / ATL / Politics Travel / Travel Politics / Traveling with Children / → All Tags
For some reason there are a lot of travel politics stories floating around today, not a few of them about the tourism industry. But as much as we'd like to spend a few paragraphs unpacking the recent industry-related discoveries made in Yemen and India and Bangkokthat persistent crime and open violence tend to dampen tourism revenuewe've got to talk about this moron who allegedly slapped a crying toddler as the Delta plane they were aboard was descending into Atlanta. Not his toddler, incidentally.
The facts as reported are pretty straightforward. Joe Rickey Hundley was on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. He was sharing a row with Jessica Bennett and her 2-year-old toddler. As the plane dropped altitude Bennett's toddler started crying and wouldn't stop. Heated words were exchangedBennett claims Hundley used a racial slur, a charge he denies but that a witness confirmsand eventually Hundley slapped the kid.
Some wise guy in Australia with too much money on his hands thinks it is a good idea to relaunch a replica of the world's most famous "unsinkable" ship, Titanic. This sounds like it might be a disaster of, well, Titanic proportions.
The full story: Aussie mining tycoon Clive Palmer has the desire to recreate, in perfect scale and to extreme detail, Titanic II. You see, he owns a shipping line called Blue Star Line and he's doing this entire stunt with the help of his own company. Even the plans to build the replica ship have commenced in Finland and a Chinese ship-building company has been secured. If all goes well, the ship will embark on its maiden voyage sometime in 2016 from Southhampton to New York, serving as the line's flagship vessel.
Radio host Alex Jones is more or less unrivaled as America's most listened-to wacky conspiracy theorist. The things beamed into his brain aren't always the same things beamed into ours. He's linked the United States government to the Oklahoma City bombing, to the September 11 attacks, and to a conspiracy to lobotomize children with fluoridated water.
Here's a video of him wandering around town dressed as the Joker and explaining to the camera that Obama, the New World Order, and vaccines are all evil. Within the conspiracy theory world, he's long been involved in an on-again off-again fight with another conspiracy theorist, David Icke, because Icke insists that the Earth is controlled by shapeshifting lizards. Jones thinks that the Icke conspiracy theory is part of a conspiracy to undermine conspiracy theories, because that's the problem with it.
It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2012 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we're ready for 2013, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2012 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
Each and every year we seeóand experienceóour fair share of crazy travel stories. It seems like a year canít pass without at least a few passengers behaving badly, as people just canít remain seated, follow the rules, and keep their hands to themselves. However, the craziest travel story of 2012 didnít occur up in the skies. It took place right on the highway, and that scares us even more.
Letís take a trip in the Jaunted way-back-machine to January of 2012, where we could only describe one womanís car rental adventures as a true WTF moment. You can read the original details, but weíll quickly recap what happened.
Airlines / Lists / Bad Ideas / Airplane Hell / → All Tags
We've seen a lot happen on planes in our time.
There've been massive delays on the tarmac, medical emergencies, flights that turn around half way through, ones where we've sat next to off-duty pilots and flight attendants, and witnessed what happens when the smoke alarm in the bathroom goes off and everybody freaks out. We've also put up with our fair share of drunk passengers, which is the only in-flight entertainment we get to see on most flights.
Dealing with a delay or a drunk now and then is fine, but more and more, our experiences have led us to become frustrated by what seems to be a complete lack of common sense in terms of the way things go down on airplanes. Old policies are showing their age and new policies have failed to fix anything; they're making things worse.
With the holiday season travel in full force, you're no doubt having your own adventure. Here are six fixable airline follies that have us in a tailspin of late:
Guatemala Travel / Guatemala / Doomsday Travel / Mayan Calendar / Tourism / Bad Ideas / Why We Can't Have Nice Things / → All Tags
The largest ancient pre-Columbian Mayan archeological site in the world, Guatemala's UNESCO World Heritage site at Tikal, sustained "irreparable" damage from tourists throwing doomsday tourism parties last week. Some of the 7,000 revelershopped up on a combination of liquor and self-entitlementscaled the steps of the site's ancient Temple of the Mask pyramid.
Tourists are explicitly forbidden from scaling the steps of Tikal's Temple II, as the pyramid is technically known, due to fears that they'll damage the structure. The rest of the story proceeds predictably.