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If you're planning a trip abroad and want to help the community you're visiting without making a binding commitment, Pack for a Purpose has some pointers.
According to the organization's website, sacrificing a small amount of space in your luggage can have a big impact on the communities you visit. For example: with only five pounds' space you can transport 400 pencils, a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 band-aids, or 5 deflated soccer balls and an inflation device.
After last night's Emmy Awards, nominees, presenters, and winners were invited to visit the Emmys Gifting Suite, where companies like Aquaswiss, Tivo, and even Black & Decker were happy to exchange their products for some publicity.
Clare Danes, Damian Lewis, Hugh Bonneville, Tina Fey, Glenn Close and Ed O'Neill all took advantage of the gifting suite to score free gold and diamond pendants from the Hot Rock Jewellery, toys made by Beanpatch, New Balance running shoes, Matrix One Tablets, and lots more free swag.
Almost as long as there's been a Jaunted, Nevada Senator and current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been pissing off Jaunted bloggers. In 2008 we took sardonic note of his idiotic statement blaming tourists for the annual DC summer stench. In 2009 we called him a "travel busybody" for killing a bill that would have limited how much Vegas hotels could benefit from stimulus funding. Later that year we rolled our eyes at his push to fine foreign tourists and use that money to promote "Vegas-style tourism." In 2010 we predicted that he'd keep doing that nonsense for a while.
Less than an hourís drive outside Zihuatenejo, Mexico (including 15 exciting minutes on a very unpaved road), youíll find Playa Vivaa beachfront oasis amid miles of tranquil (and surfable) beaches.
Being the first trip away from our one-year-old, my wife was looking forward to lying by the pool with a good book for three days while I, the avid surfer, was looking for waves. Although Playa Viva isnít a world-renowned surf destination like Troncones and La Saladita to the north, I was pleasantly surprised with chest-high, glassy waves each morning. Even in the afternoon when the waves werenít as good, the swimming and body surfing was fun in the rougher water.
For land lovers, Playa Viva hosts daily adventures like yoga on the sundeck or an hour-long ATV ride into the mountains to visit a cacao and coffee farm. And yes, lying by the pool with a book is available as well.
Bestselling book series Fifty Shades of Grey has turned the publishing world on its head and started a national campaign to cast Hollywood stars in the lead roles for the movie version. The books are set in the Seattle area, so now hotels throughout the Pacific Northwest are trying to cash in on the phenomenon by offering themed tourist packages.
For example, Seattle's Hotel Max is offering up a chauffeured town car, a helicopter tour of the city and a private sail in Puget Sound "with a bottle of Bollinger Grande Annee Rose 1999 Champagne, a favorite of Mr. Grey himself.
What's that saying? Ah yes, "the best camera is the one you have on you." Since we're never without a camera and hardly ever not traveling, we've managed to capture a serious collection of travel photos in our numerous Photo Galleries.
Here at Jaunted, we devote a lot of enthusiasm to exploring the the premium airline lounges of the world, but we can't forget that other forms of air travel also warrant fancy-schmance lounges too. Like helicopters.
Peninsula Hotels are particularly well known for their devotion to having heliports and offering helicopter transfers and tours. Each of their properties with a helipad also has a departure lounge, and we've been fortunate enough to visit three of these luxurious helilounges, in Hong Kong (the flagship, named China Clipper), Tokyo (The Seven Seas) and Bangkok (Paribatra). Please enjoy our exclusive photo galleries of their interiors, chock-full of historical Pacific aviation memorabilia:
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If you're older than 24 and you're still staying in hostels, that's a big shhh no-no. At least that's what society would have you think, however; we'd like to officially come out and say that we're older than 24 and still. staying. in. hostels.
Deep breath. Though the reason for our hostel stays has evolvedthey're now backups for when we blow all our budget early on in trips, with 5-star hotelswe're never ashamed.
Having done the whole backpack-around-Europe thing during college, we have a solid past dotted with hostel stays of all sorts. Dirty hostels? Don't get us started on Budapest. Party hostels? Ugh, Barcelona. Plain scary hostels? Look no further than London. Still we haven't given up on them, and we've discovered some real diamonds in the rough, places we'd happily return to (and soon). Oh yeah, and ALL WITH EXCELLENT, FREE WIFI INTERNET AND BREAKFAST. Here's three we've recently stayed at, and personally approve of:
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: Durban, South Africa.
This week's Travel Cat comes from Maryke VanBeuzekom, who spotted Travel Cat during the World Cup in 2010. You can check out the full photo album on Maryke's Facebook here, and here's a little of the backstory:
Travel Snapshot / Boats / Hong Kong Travel / Island Travel / Hotels / Wish You Were Here / → All Tags
Just a moment. We don't mean we're on a boat in Aberdeen, Scotland. Nopethis boat and the quiet harbour and the 84-degree nighttime temperature are found in the Aberdeen Harbour of Hong Kong Island.
If you're familiar with Hong Kong at all, you'll know Aberdeen as the home of the floating "Jumbo" restaurant. If you're not familiar with Hong Kong, well...add it to the top of your to-do list.
So how did we end up on a boat in Aberdeen Harbour? Well, as the cost of living in the downtown parts of Hong Kong continues to shoot skyward, more enterprising folk are turning to the many harbours for residences, buying or renting vessels as homes. We've ditched hotel rooms to instead spend several nights on one such boat, and it's a pretty big boatnot the one pictured above.
They've discussed the American Airlines, Mohawk Airlines and Hilton Hotels of the 1960s at length, but on last week's episode of Mad Men, Don and his wife Megan headed to a Howard Johnson's in Plattsburgh, NY, to scout out potential business. The episode felt like a big ad for HoJo: the clams, the orange roofs, the pools, and the legendary orange sherbet all got shoutouts from the characters. However, after Don and Megan had a huge fight, they went back to New York and didn't end up getting their free night in the hotel.
The real Howard Johnson's would like to make it up to themor, possibly, to you. They have offered one free night's stay at any of the eight HoJo locations in the US to anyone who has the legal name Don Draper. (Do you think they'd accept a Dawn or Donna Draper? Gender bias!) Those eight locations are Anaheim, Miami, San Diego, Mystic, CT, Portland, Oregon, Arlington, TX, Rapid City, SD, and Tom's River, NJ. Simply make your reservation online and request the "Don Draper rate."
The orange sherbet, however, is not included.
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Selamat pagi! For those in the know, you know that's "good morning" in Bahasa Indonesian. Naturally this can mean only one thing. We're in Indonesia! To be specific, we're in Bali; even more specifically, the town of Ubud.
After a few flights and even more fun in a few airports, we arrived on the tropical island and it was all worth it. First, we began in the beach town of Seminyak, which was everything you dream of when Bali comes to mind. Infinity pools, luxury hotels, black sand beaches, cocktails, and sun have all played a major role in this trip. We even sampled kopi luwak, a rare coffee of origin in Indonesia basically made from mongoose poop. More on that later.
Hallelujah, it is here! Our awesome sister site HotelChatter.com has completed yet another (the 8th annual!) info-packed report on hotel WiFi, complete with inforgraphic andomgflowchart. If you've ever searched for a hotel and tried to figure out, in the hotel website's fine print, whether or not they charge for WiFi and how much, then this report is for you.
Actually, it's a report for anyone! Do you want to sit in a cozy hotel lobby, drink tea and get some work done? Crash in your room and catch up on Netflix streaming? Head to a hotel with free WiFi that you find on the report. There's even a FAQ for those times you're stuck with a crappy signal or you just plain want a refund. Check it all out here:
This info has been personally tested by HotelChatter's intrepid reporters from around the world, and you can totally add your own experiences in the comments for future updates. Frequent travelers should totally bookmark it, and don't forget that we've got our own annual report as well: Jaunted's Report on In-Flight Entertainment (and WiFi).