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What a difference a year makes! Last January, we profiled the longest and shortest regularly scheduled commercial flights, with Singapore Airlines taking the cake for traveling from Singapore to Newark in 19 hours. SIA has since ceased these flights, making room for a new top dog.
As of November 23rd 2013, Qantas flight 7 now claims the title for longest flight, hauling passengers from Sydney to Dallas aboard a Boeing 747-400. From block to block, the flight takes about 15 hours, 25 minutes to fly from down under to the Lone Star State. The total distance traveled spans 8,578 miles, edging out the second longest flight by a mere 139 miles.
We don’t have cabin fever as of yet, but the winter weather certainly has us thinking of warm weather destinations and escaping for a bit. If the travel funds in the piggy bank are running a little low there’s always a travel contest. Sure there’s a slim chance that you will be the big winner; however, it’s fun to dream and you can’t win if you don’t play. Here’s three warm weather travel contests ending this month:
Swing by and enter each and every day for a chance to win, as the Travel Channel is giving away a $10,000 grand prize trip to Belize. They’re promising nine days and eight nights for two, and they’re including all meals and hotel accommodations in Belize City, San Ignacio, and San Pedro. Check out the Cahal Pech Archaeological Site, the Butterfly Farm in Chaa Creek, and don’t forget cave tubing and ziplining at Jaguar Paw. Entries are accepted through the end of the month, and you’ll have a year to cash in if you’re the big winner. There’s a few lesser prizes as well—like if you’re interested in a Travel Channel luggage tag.
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted in: Belize
This week's Travel Cat comes from @scooterkat on Instagram, who says of this chill cat:
Cool tabby hanging out under drying bikini in Caye Caulker, Belize
Doomsday Tourism / Mayan Calendar / Guatemala Travel / Belize Travel / Honduras Travel / Mexico Travel / Guatemala / Belize / Honduras / Mexico / Tourism / Tourism Industry / → All Tags
End of the world predictions based on the Mayan calendar are, in a word, dumb (in two words: really dumb; in three words: really, really dumb; and so on). But because humanity is a magical pixie-dusted tapestry of diversity, the impending expiration of the Mayan calendar has become big business. And because humanity also likes to travel, what the NY Post once called the "Apocalypse Cash Cow"books, DVDs, merchandise, smartphone apps, etchas now reached the tourism industry.
Fox News Latina has a brief rundown of some of the Maya-themed tours, services, and events that have sprung up across Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Most of the programs thankfully don't have anything to do with the calendar itself. Tour guides, hoteliers, and entire countries are simply taking advantage of the heightened interest that tourists have taken in all things Mayan.
Our Eat 'n Sleep feature profiles a restaurant in a random city and a hotel nearby. It's kinda like that old show "Dinner and a Movie" but you know, with restaurants and hotels. And better jokes.
Hostels, bungalows, and cafés line Front Street on Caye Caulker, the tiny island off the coast of Belize. Amor y Café is the perfect place to drink morning coffee and watch "downtown" wake up. The narrow dirt path serves as the one-mile island's main drag. While over-the-top Italian restaurants along the strip indicate the locals are catering to what they think travelers want, Amor adheres to the island's backpacker tradition. The new owners pay attention to details, from the still-warm homemade breads to the still-tacky homemade granola.
When we traveled to Belize in March, our use of the Tourism Board website usurped our need for a tree killing travel guide book.
Like any tourism board site, it has go-to information on travel, accommodations, events, and tours. But the information has less useless PR-speak and more Orbitz-esque tools like a search engine to select hotels by price and amenities.
Second, the country (or the people who make its tourism decisions at least) acknowledges and embraces its status as a backpackers' destination, and offers a portal exclusively for the budget traveler. The Toucan Trail is a tourism board-backed marketing effort of over 100 small hotels that offer rooms for U.S. $60 per night or less.
Another linked site attempts to lure retirees to take a permanent vacation to Belize. It requires anyone making the move to prove their pension pays them at least $2,000 per month, though. Oddly enough, most of the permanent expat travelers we met, especially of the older, non-working set, didn't take to the bourgeois idea of working a nine to five for 30 years. Exhibit A: Lonny.