Tag: PodcastsView All Tags
Like the idea of blending into the city you're visiting and not looking like a tourist? That, for us, is a key selling point of travel podcasts: You get a guided tour around a city while looking like a local, wandering around with headphones on.
The guys at Walki Talki seem to be producing some neat podcasts--they're a gang out of Amsterdam who decided three years ago that the world needed audio walking tours. At the moment they cover various cities in western and central Europe, including Prague, Munich, Amsterdam and Paris; pick your city, download the podcast and the printable map for $9, and get walking.
You can listen to a sample excerpt of each podcast to try before you buy; they mostly use two narrators who are happy to have a bit of witty banter--but not too much. At between 90 minutes and two hours, they're just right for a good stroll but not so long that you get sick of your tour guides.
Podcasts / Crowds / Flash Mobs / Internet / → All Tags
Ever wondered what 800 people gathering in a field looks like from above? Now you know. As you might have guessed from the watermark, some pranksters belonging to a group called Improv Everywhere recently drew a huge crowd of people who would apparently do whatever the Internet told them to do--even when that advice is as cryptic as, "Download this song, go to a park wearing red, green, yellow or blue, and start listening at 4PM."
The track instructed participants, some who had come from as far away as New Hampshire and California to meet at the World Financial Center, to point to the Statue of Liberty, take pictures of each other and high-five unsuspecting pedestrians. We were there but obeyed the track's instructions not to stop to take pictures. Rest assured, it was tons of fun.
Past Improv Everywhere missions have included a synchronized-swimming routine in the Washington Square Park fountain, giving out dirty "snowcones" in Aspen, Colorado and faking a U2 gig in Midtown.
· Improv Everywhere [Official Site]
Podcasts / Jet Lag / British Airways / Sleeping / Airlines / → All Tags
Once you're on the plane, it's a bit late to get a massive warning about the possibility of getting jet lag. But yeah, there are probably a few pointers left to give to the not-so-experienced traveler, and British Airways has now set this up in a series of podcasts that are best listened to before you leave for the airport, rather than on your iPod once you've boarded the plane. The advice comes from the sleep expert of British Airways, a fellow named Dr. Chris Idzikowski, a.k.a. Dr. Sleep.
Topics include sleep basics (close your eyes, count sheep), synchronizing your inner clock (as complicated as it sounds) and overcoming jet lag. Unfortunately even Dr. Sleep suggests that getting over jet lag is still only something that can happen gradually. And the podcasts aren't even boring enough that they'll really help you sleep.
· BA Launches Online Jet Lag Podcasts [Business Traveller]
· How to Sleep on Airplanes [Jaunted]
While holding a travel guide book in your hands as you traipse through Paris or Prague or Rome feels so comfortable, like a security blankie, there's a big chance that the information in there is outdated.
Have no fear! All the latest news on your travel destinations can be found---wait for it--online!
Ever hot on the trail of technology, the folks at Lifehacker asked visitors for their favorite, modern ways to investigate and explore new cities. While the editor's vote still goes to a good ol' podcast, readers are chiming in with additional suggestions. Wikitravel gets a nod, as do the following sites: Geocaching, Yelp, and the online home of Not For Tourists guides, where pdf versions of paper guides are free. Some Lifehackers also like to make use of their smartphones for on-the-go research.
"Human interaction" gets a few votes too--you can download that on a Blackberry, right?
[Photo: Anton and Mags]
· Ask Lifehacker readers: How to explore a new city? [Lifehacker]
· What, no iGuinness? [Jaunted]
· Travel Tech Coverage [Jaunted]
We're old and cranky, and therefore disinclined to have anything to do with podcasts, travelcasts, podcast tours and the like. What's the point of going to a foreign country, like Italy or Alabama, if you can't hear the locals speaking the language? Even so, we can grudgingly admit that some of `casts might, just might, contain some useful information.
Rough Guides has eliminated the part of travel podcasts we don't like--the looking like a jackass while you walk around wearing headphones part--and instead is supplying travelers with pod scrolls. They are Rough Guides in iPod form; they show one page at a time on the screen, in color. (If your ipod is that fancy, of course. And if you've got a nano, you might want to invest in some reading glasses) At the moment, they've posted about ten eating and drinking guides for free on their site.
We like this idea because it combines the portability of info on your iPod with the one part of guidebooks everyone hates: reading them in public. No one wants to get pegged as a rube, Lonely Planet open, wandering aimlessly about town. Problem solved--assuming you don't have a weak battery.
[Image via h/Flickr]
Books / Podcasts / → All Tags
It's not going to prevent the frustration of being stuck right outside the bathroom when I fly out on Saturday, but it might just help a bit: Penguin's free, 5-ep podcast of Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol. I wouldn't trade it for anything -- except maybe an Ambien.
Who wants to actually drive through tourist-overrun New England crowds to catch the fall colors change, when you can just download it? The newest Podcast, and oh-so-apropo for the season...Foliage podcasts.
Check out YankeeFoliage.com. Updated every Thurs. this month by the editors of Yankee Magazine, this one will tell you where things are peaking when and even offers driving tours. You can become a 'foliage ambassador' and enter to win a digital camera.
· Watching Leaves, The iPod Way [Times]
Despite the title, there isn't much in James Gilden's article to make you think that all those travel podcasts are really going to do away with actual living, breathing tour guides -- at this point organic life forms are still a lot better at knowing their audience and dealing with questions. Most podcasts seem better suited for giving you a taste of the place before you arrive, rather than guiding you around once you're on the ground.
· Will MP3 players replace the tour guide with the red umbrella? [Chicago Tribune]
· Great travel brought to book [Times of London]
· Soundwalk [Official site]
· IJourneys [Official site]
Gadling's been podcasting for quite some time, and this week they debuted one that's a stand-alone audio tour. Covering the Caffe Reggio, the 7-minute-long show does a good job with this Greenwich Village standby, giving you a taste of the surroundings while also explaining why people still seek it out when the caffeine jones hits. Here's hoping for more podcasts as entertaining and succinct as this one.