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Three New Travel Apps to Add to Your Homescreen

April 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

Every so often, smartphones need a good app update and refresh, and this goes doubly so for travelers who rely on discovery and informational help from apps while in a new city. Here, three apps we've recently added to our own homescreen for travel purposes:

AroundMe

Recommended by our own Max Graham, the app is simple, straightforward, and otherwise everything you need when you've got limited time and patience. We'd like to think of it as a stripped-down Foursquare but, in Max's words, AroundMe has "no recommendations, just where stuff is."

Click a category, pick a location, and be immediately shown that location on a map including address, distance from you, and relevant contact information. Most useful in a pinch would probably be the ATM, Parking, and Gas Stations categories, although you'll likely need everything in AroundMe at some point or another during your travels.

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Lack of Limes Limits In-Flight Drinks: How to Cope

April 8, 2014 at 5:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

Say 'ta ta for now' to a gin and tonic with a twist of lime, or specialty cocktails like United's Sunrise Sunset (pictured above). A lime shortage is hitting North American airlines right where it hurts: in the beverage carts.

The rarity of limes is due to several issues, such as Mexican cartel control plus nature and biological factors, and US consumers may note that purchasing a single lime at the supermarket now costs three times what it did last season. Just think how businesses that buy limes in bulk are coping. Will travelers get their rum-and-cokes with a squirt of lime this month? Well, it depends.

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Opening Dates for 10 of the USA's Best Theme Parks

April 3, 2014 at 10:03 AM | by | Comments (0)

It feels like we're finally turing the corner when it comes to the warmer weather, and sooner than later it’ll be time for the calendar to flip over to May. That means theme park season will officially be underway, so here’s a quick rundown of when some parks across the country are set to fire up their coasters for the very first time:

· Carowinds – Charlotte, North Carolina - March 29

· Elitch Gardens Theme Park – Denver, Colorado - May 3

· Holiday World & Splashin' Safari – Santa Claus, Indiana - May 3

· Kennywood – West Mifflin, Pennsylvania - May 3

· Six Flags Great America – Chicago, Illinois - May 3

· HersheyPark – Hershey, Pennsylvania - May 9

· Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio - May 10

· Darien Lake – Corfu, New York - May 10

· Michigan's Adventure – Muskegon, Michigan - May 21

· Great Escape – Lake George, New York - May 23

[Photo: Andrew 94]

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The 3 Questions Everyone Should Ask When Entering an Airline Lounge

April 1, 2014 at 9:31 AM | by | Comment (1)

Whether you're a frequent flyer or an armchair traveler, there are certain details it's nice to review before making plans for that next big trip. Every week, we'll squeeze our mindgrapes and share tips to make sure you're the best informed flyer in seat 1A...or 38K.

This Week: The 3 Questions Everyone Should Ask When Entering an Airline Lounge

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The Tastiest Exotic Fruits to Try in the Southern Hemisphere

March 19, 2014 at 2:02 PM | by | Comments (2)

Apples and orange and pears, oh my! More like oh boy, as these fruits are only the tip of the iceberg for tastiness, and travelers to the Southern Hemisphere know this well.

Exotic fruits on the other side of the world are a serious attraction for the culinary adventurer, and we're not talking about dragonfruit, lychee or papaya; instead we're looking further afield to what can be found beyond the Equator:

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The 5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Taking a Train Trip

March 19, 2014 at 9:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Whether you're a frequent flyer or an armchair traveler, there are certain details it's nice to review before making plans for that next big trip. Every week, we'll squeeze our mindgrapes and share tips to make sure you're the best informed flyer in seat 1A...or 38K.

This Week: The 5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Taking a Train Trip

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Throwback Thursday: What Airline Websites Looked Like Over 10 Years Ago

March 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

It's hard to imagine, we know...but a whole 14 years ago the internet did exist. It not only existed, but it was hot enough at the time for airlines to take notice, and begin shifting focus to things like online bookings, flight status, web specials and—we laugh now—pager alerts.

Today we're rewinding to 2000, the good old days before smartphones, before the TSA, and before airlines understood that flash-heavy welcome pages made for horrible user experience. Let's take a look:

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What Does Austin Offer When SXSW is Done and Dusted?

Where: Austin, Texas
March 12, 2014 at 4:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

In case you've been living in a cave (without WiFi, naturally), the South By Southwest festival is in full swing right now, with networking, screenings and, of course, partying. Austin, Texas is abuzz with people from all over the planet and, even though SXSW has plenty of things to keep visitors occupied for 10 days, not everyone is interested in visiting the city during this time of the year.

Thus, we've come up with a hearty list of things to do if you're headed to Austin when the city isn't packed with conference attendees.

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Compare and Contrast: Which of Los Angeles' Five Airports Sucks the Least?

March 12, 2014 at 10:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

When it comes to Los Angeles travel, all airports are not created equal.

Although most travelers know of LAX, the area actually boasts five major airports, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, WiFi policies, and paparazzi specialties. And you can bet frequent flyers to the left coast feel loyalty for the airports nearly as much as the airlines.

For example, our Editor Cynthia loves Long Beach for its slick looks and tech friendliness. On the flip side, HotelChatter Editor and LA resident Juliana pledges allegiance to the flexibility and fancy upgrades of LAX. Contributor Andy swears by SNA, and Jaunted friend The Sterling Traveler seconds the Long Beach fascination.

What? No love for Burbank or Ontario International? Having sampled all five airports in our travels, it's time to compare and contrast:

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Forget Everything Else. This is How to Combat Jet Lag.

March 6, 2014 at 5:20 PM | by | Comment (1)

Jet lag is one of things where you're always thinking, "hey, this can't happen to me." And then everything is hunky-dory until you step off the plane, have an hour's burst of energy, and then promptly sink into drowsy uselessness for two or three days. Simply put, jet lag is the worst and there are far too many travel tips out there offering pat-on-the-back prevention suggestions.

Personally, we don't have the time and patience for the most popular jet lag-busting recommendation, which is to schedule sleep in advance and transition into new time zones before even leaving. Instead, we stick by three hard and fast tools for minimizing jet lag as best as possible:

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As 'Non-Stop' Hits Theaters, Here are Three More Movies to Avoid Before Flying

February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

It hasn't been a good month for travelers with a fear of flying.

First there were the threats to planes flying into Russia for the Olympics, followed by the hijacking an Ethiopian Airlines flight, and this weekend the airborne thriller Non-Stop is hitting theaters.

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Five Really Remote Islands for Running Away from Reality

February 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM | by | Comments (0)


Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island

One really great thing about travel is that sweet sense of escapism, intensified when you truly head to a place far, far away from home. Sometimes these destinations only become part of your journey through roundabout means, but whatever the reason, they're worth the trouble.

Here's our list of five very remote islands and how to get to each:

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