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Big Blimpin': We Toured Zeppelin's Germany HQ (And You Can Too)

April 24, 2014 at 7:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, we shared the story of the time we traveled just to visit Southern Germany's Zeppelin Museum. Today, that tale continues as we switch back to first person and head inside Zeppelin HQ.

Part 1: Checking off the Zeppelin Museum
Part 2: Heading into the Zeppelin HQ and hangar
Part 3: Maybe never leaving?

My great-grandmother was born in 1900. She lived long enough that I actually got to know her well, and her presence in my life made 1900 seem like not so very long ago. Of course it most definitely is, as humanity has managed in the last 114 years to progress from the first flight of a Zeppelin (1900) to that of an airplane (1903), and from the dawn of the jet age (1958) to that of Mars exploration (2004).

What brought me to southern Germany was the temptation to experience a bit of that extremely early aviation magic, thanks to what lives in a massive hangar near Friedrichshafen Airport.

You see, Zeppelins do still exist...and they still fly passengers.

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Big Blimpin': That Time We Flew to Germany Just to Visit the Zeppelin Museum

April 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Would you travel half-way around the world to visit a museum? If you've answered "yes" or "maybe," then we like you already, and perhaps you'll enjoy this first-person tale of a trip for exactly that purpose.

Part 1: Checking off the Zeppelin Museum
Part 2: Heading into the Zeppelin HQ and hangar
Part 3: Maybe never leaving?

In April 2011, Retronaut posted a series of vintage color photographs of the infamous Hindenburg airship. In mid 2012, I discovered there was an entire museum dedicated to it. Needing only one good reason to justify any of my travels, it was only a few months later I walked through the doors of the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany and climbed into the belly of a 1:1 scale model of the LZ 129 "Hindenburg" Zeppelin.

You may remember the Hindenburg from the tragedy of May 6, 1937, the one which forever impressed the phrase "Oh, the humanity" on, well, humanity. For all intents and purposes, that is the day the Zeppelin died, as flames engulfed the airship while docking at NJ's Lakehurst Naval Air Station and squelched any hope of a future for airships as reliable commercial transportation.

For a time, these hydrogen-filled, diesel-powered balloons were, nonetheless, the wave of the future...above the waves. They had novelty and stability on their side; whereas an ocean crossing could be a prescription for one week of mal de mer, a Zeppelin sailed along smoothly at a few thousand feet up, free from the motion of the ocean.

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Snapshots from Santa Barbara, America's Own Riviera

April 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

They don't call it the "American Riviera" for nothing. Santa Barbara's beauty is everything but subtle, which really makes our job easy. It's a total point-and-shoot kind of town, each corner revealing another wonderful vantage point that delightfully combines the ocean, mountains, and the mission-style architecture and colors.

The aerial views you see below were taken from the tower on top of the Courthouse, which is free to access and a good place to get a full bird's eye view. The others are from the beaches along Cabrillo Boulevard, the final sunrise coming from our hotel room at the soon-to-be Hotel Milo.

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Why 20,000 Well-Dressed Guests Took Over Disneyland for 'Dapper Day'

February 24, 2014 at 4:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

For lovers of fashion, history, and a bit of good fun, there are plenty of "throwback" events in the year's social calendar. These primarily happen on the east coast—for example there are vintage baseball games and NYC's summer-favorite Jazz Age Lawn Party—but sometimes the west coast gets in on the retro fun as well.

Case in point: Dapper Day at Disneyland. The event began in 2011, with a few hundred amusement park-goers donning their best vintage duds to enjoy Disneyland the way Walt Disney envisioned it: with families dressed in suits and skirts instead of fanny packs and cargo shorts. Now, Dapper Day attracts around 20,000 (the "dapper" folk nearly outnumber regular visitors) in the one day, and it's spread to include the Disney parks in Orlando and Paris.

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Flight Review: A $49 Frontier Trip to Trenton Airport. Is It the 'New Newark?'

January 15, 2014 at 1:55 PM | by | Comments (2)

In case you haven't flown to New York City lately, the metropolis' "big three" airports of JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark are pretty hectic places, operating at capacity most hours of the day. Expansion isn't much of an option since, last time we checked, the Big Apple was pretty skint on available land. Thus, to find cheaper airfares and more flexibility, a traveler can look to airports further out, and perhaps even as far as the other side of New Jersey from Newark.

On Frontier's route map, Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) is touted as being an alternative to Newark Airport, and only "1 hour away." If it's an option for Newark, that means it could be yet another airport choice for travelers headed into or out of the NYC area as well.

Currently Frontier flies nonstop to 13 destinations from Trenton: Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Nashville, Chicago-Midway, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood. That's quite a lot of activity for an airport which, up until very recently, didn't even offer restrooms after security. One flyer even joked, in a Foursquare tip, that the tiny airport is "easy to miss, with that bush in the way."

Undaunted, we booked a flight to see for ourselves if Trenton is the new Newark....

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The Most Popular Jaunted Photo Galleries of 2013 are...

December 30, 2013 at 3:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2013 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 to get going into 2014, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2013 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,—or as we fondly refer to them—The Jauntys.

2013 sure was an awesome year if you love shiny, new airplanes. Not only did we hop onboard new 787s and A380s, but exciting new arrivals of all sorts dominate our photo galleries.

Of course when we're not in the sky, our lens turns towards exotic destinations and other modes of transportation.

Below, some of our most popular photo galleries of 2013:

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Why American Airlines' New Airbus A321 is Almost Too Cool: 21 Original Photos

December 17, 2013 at 4:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Six hours is an incredibly long time to be sitting on a domestic flight. To a frequent flyer, that stretch from New York to LA or SF means lost hours of work and sleep. To an infrequent traveler, it's an interminable wait only made bearable by the promise of eventually getting off the thing.

Why does transcontinental travel suck so hard? The problem: old airplanes, with old seats and old technology. The solution: new airplanes, with new seats and new technology. Please welcome American Airlines' fresh and fighting Airbus A321s to the skies.

For travelers who've experienced American's current transcontinental service onboard the achy-breaky old 767-200s, the new A321s will be a revelation. No doubt; we fully expect passengers to board these aircraft and think "hallelujah, this is going to be a great flight," no matter the class.

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Onboard the NYC Subway's 1930s Vintage Train (and How You Can Still Catch It)

December 16, 2013 at 12:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

What is, in our own opinion, the coolest event of the holiday season in New York City is almost over, but you've still got one more chance to hop onboard the MTA Nostalgia Train.

The holiday “Nostalgia Special” is a regular subway train, running on the M line from Queens Plaza to 2nd Avenue, and it's made up of historic cars from the 1930s through the 1980s. It operates on Sundays only, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., on December 1, 8, 15 and 22. That leaves December 22.

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The Inside and Out of Australia's Very First Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Where: Australia
November 19, 2013 at 1:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, we gave you a first hand account of our Aussie contributor's impressions on his first ride in a Dreamliner. Now we can finally show you the photos inside and out of the newest Jetstar aircraft to take to the skies.

This is the first 787 for Australia and it has understandably created much fanfare down under. For the first few weeks, the plane will be carting Aussies around the country between Melbourne, Cairns, and the Gold Coast, but will then transition to flights to Bali-Denpasar.

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The Dream Finally Takes Flight Down Under: A Peek at Jetstar's Boeing 787

November 13, 2013 at 1:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

Today, November 13, Australian low-cost airline Jetstar premiered its Boeing 787 Dreamliner, flying from Melbourne to the Gold Coast.

As the very first Dreamliner to wear an Australian tail number, VH-VKA is a breath of fresh air for Jetstar, featuring amenities such as USB charging in each seat, video on demand and adjustable headrests. This is all in addition to the features that come standard in every new 787, such as larger, auto-dimming windows, LED lighting, and improved cabin ambiance.

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A First Look at KLM's New World Business Class, Taking Off on 747s

November 13, 2013 at 10:38 AM | by | Comment (1)

The Dutch are good at many things—making cheese and growing tulips would be traditional examples, but a much more modern one is their ability to provide a good lay.

Wait a second. We’re not talking about Amsterdam’s infamous red light district; shift focus across the city to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and the KLM aircraft buzzing around it, where passengers are now enjoying a good lay…all the way back in lie-flat seats. It’s here you’ll find the current palette for Dutch talent, in the features and service of KLM’s brand new World Business Class.

Where once buying a Business Class ticket on KLM meant reclining just enough for a comfortable nap, it’s now all about the lie-flat bed and a proper snooze. In fact, some 70% of business class used to be awake for the full, hot breakfast before arrival; the new seats mean more sleeping in, however, and the uptake on breakfast is down to 20%. We’re living proof of this; we drooled in deep sleep and awoke to the farmland of Holland, with only enough time before landing to scarf down a cinnamon roll.

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The Seven Sites You've Just Gotta See in Chile's Atacama Desert

October 24, 2013 at 4:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest place in the world with some of the craziest scenery. It's no wonder it often features high on traveler's bucketlists. We've just crossed it off our own, and all week we'll be sharing our top tips to making this dream destination a reality vacation.

Now that we've explained how best to reach northern Chile's Atacama Desert and even how to pack, it's high time to venture out and explore the dramatic landscape.

All of these sights we hit as part of excursions from our hotel, the Alto Atacama, just outside the town of San Pedro de Atacama. Driving to them independently is possible, and we even witnessed some intrepid travelers in reinforced vans setting up camp in their cars at particularly scenic overlooks, but many of the area's hotels specialize in expert-led tours of which you should absolutely take advantage. Getting lost out there may be fun for two minutes, but this is one instance where it's best to keep to the beaten paths.

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