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Jaunted Travel Awards 2014 / The Jauntys / Crowdfunding / Kickstarter / Odyssey Airlines / → All Tags
It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2014 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Now we take a brief look back at the best and worst of 2014 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
This was the year of crowd-funded travel ideas. From Kickstarter, RocketHub and Indigogo, some of the most futuristic gadgets (both plausible and implausible) were introduced with the aim of making our lives easier on the road.
Travel Gear / Carry-on Luggage / Checked Luggage / Fugu Luggage / Kickstarter / Travel Tech / Luggage / Baggage / → All Tags
Don't think so? Take a flight without it some time, perhaps on a quick overnight with just a messenger bag, and you'll quickly find that luggage is its own particular brand of torture. Travelers with it are less agile, earlier exhausted, responsible for extra fees, potential crime targets, and forced to spend more time at the airport dealing with it. Then there's the whole separate nightmare of if it's delayed or gone missing.
2014 marks the 100th Anniversary of commercial flight, and it's shocking to think how little the baggage situation has changed in that century. Adding wheels and decreasing weight have seemingly been the most pervasive advances in the luggage industry through the decades, and the most passionate arguments occur over "carry-on only or checked?" and "two-wheel or four-wheel?" rather than contemplating why we're still dragging our belongings behind us like wayward hobos.
There is some hope, however; a company called Fugu Luggage has taken to Kickstarter to seek help producing what may be a breath of fresh air in the stodgy old luggage industry. It literally utilizes air to expand from a compact wheeled carry-on into a durable checked bag, complete with interior organization and "omniwheels."
Weíve got a great little gadget for our flight attendant friends, and for everyone else, really. A new Kickstarter project is looking for funds to produce a clever bottle opener, and its all designed by the family of a flight attendant (hence the aviation-influenced look).
Apparently all those tiny, airline-size booze bottles are a pain in the neck to open, as the little screw tops just donít offer enough space to get a good grip for the twisting torque necessary to open them on op. The Mini Opener exists to rescue you from these kind of problems, as itís the perfect solution for opening mini liquor bottles, cans of soda, and bottles of beer. Itís made in right here in the USA and it's on track to become the next must-have accessory for a properly stocked liquor cabinet.
Travel Books / Celeb Travel / Travel News / Kickstarter / Festival Travel / Live Music Travel / Events / → All Tags
Have you ever wondered how to be a seat filler at the Oscars, join the paparazzi at Sundance, become a movie extra, volunteer at the Tribeca Film Festival, or help set up the halftime stage at the Super Bowl?
A new travel guide, 101 Places Every Pop Culture Fan Should See, seeks to explain all this, plus 96 other things all media enthusiasts should experience at least once in their lives and, hopefully, on their travels. The book will include information about comic-cons, awards ceremonies, annual parties, film festivals, famous filming locations, and celebrity hang-outs all across the U.S. and Canada.
To get the guide into fans' hands fast, the author has teamed up with a new crowd-driven publishing platform, Inkshares, in order to raise enough money to cover the cost of production. There's only about $3,000 to raise towards the goal.
We realize that Santa is hanging out in the islands, relaxing after a busy holiday season, so weíre not exactly ready to send off a letter fir Christmas 2013 just yet. However, we do already know what we want, and itís one of these snazzy devices from the minds of the folks over at PowerUp.
The PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane is exactly what it sounds like. Itís basically a toy airplane for both big kids and little kids that you can control with your mobile device. Theyíre raising money for their (awesome) idea on Kickstarter, and weíre far from the only ones that want one. Apparently theyíve raised nearly $915,000 and that is way, way more than the $50,000 that they initially set as a goal.
Travel Gifts / Travel Gear / Shopping Travel / Fashion Travel / One Perfect Present / Kickstarter / → All Tags
There's so much crap travel gear out there that, all this week, we're wading through the muck to feature travel items truly worth giving as gifts. Every day, we'll feature one item we personally love and recommend and think you need in your travel life.
Don't run to the nearest Target the night before a trip to buy whatever woven synthetic topper "will do for now." A small investment in a custom hat, which is actually also an investment in the survival of a classic New York City business, is the answer.
Thanks to the impulsiveness of milliner Satya Twena and her brilliant Kickstarter campaign, the Makins Hats factory in Midtown Manhattan is coming back from closure, in time to save the collections, the American-made equipment, hat shapes dating back to the 1930s, and even the jobs of the skilled staff.
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: A mangrove swamp in Malaysia
This week's Travel Cat comes from Michelle & Ed of West By Sea. This inspirational traveling duo recently had their Kickstarter project fully funded, with the goal of sailing around the world in 104 days and turning their voyage west from Australia into a "treasure book."
They're off and sailing, and already reached Malaysia as we can see from this shot they sent along from a mangrove swamp. Check out those cat eyes!
Travel Gear / Travel Photography / Kickstarter / Easter Island Travel / Hiking / Chile Travel / → All Tags
If you haven't yet gathered from our plethora of photo galleries here at Jaunted, we are always in the company of at least one camera. While it's worth it to let a DSLR bulk up our luggage for the the slick pictures it produces, we're always looking for something easier than a backpack and more comfortable than a camera strap for toting it along for hikes and more active outdoor activities.
Now I switch to first-person to say that, with an upcoming trip to the nature paradise of Easter Island and lots of volcano climbing ahead, I looked to the Capture Clip from Peak Design, a device that actually found its footing among projects on Kickstarter.
HotelChatter, Jaunted and VegasChatter contributor Globetrotting Gourmet aka one Charyn Pfeuffer will be leaving shortly to begin the biggest trip of her life--a year-long voluntourism adventure she's dubbed The Global Citizen Project. Here she explains what she's doing, how she's doing it and most importantly, why. You can also follow Charyn on her journey on Twitter at the handle, @Global_Gourmet as well as read her blog for more in-depth updates.
In seven sleeps, Iíll be on a cross-country red-eye to Miami and then on to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. As soon as I exhale from the inevitable nail biter of a landing at ToncontŪn International Airport, Iíll embark on the first of 12 volunteer projects Iíll participate in over the course of the next year.
Over the past several years, Iíve spent about one third of my time in Latin American countries, many underserved, but all otherworldly beautiful. I recognize the importance promoting tourism in an editorial capacity plays in a destinationís economic success, but itís been tough to return from such places and reconcile that a bag of my dogís kibble costs more than some families earn in a week.
So, Iíve done what any strong-willed, solution oriented Taurus would do--I've decided to swap my perfectly comfortable, decade plus long food and travel writer career for more humanitarian pursuits.