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We were robbed. It may have happened just over a year ago, but we still live with the effects (like a fear that comes while biking and we hear a moped motor approaching). Read the full story, but also take away whatever knowledge you can from our horrible experience in order to prevent it happening to you while away from home.
Only a few days ago, Lifehacker posted a brilliant list of tips for travelers toting nice cameras, including how to deter would-be thieves. In this vein, we're revisiting our own 8 safety tips to avoid being mugged abroad:
Some renderings are all that exist of the Observatory levels right now
It's already being billed as "the most significant destination in the world," and yet it's still very much a hard-hat construction zone. We're talking about One World Trade Center, the 104-story skyscraper being built in the space once was home to the Twin Towers, and which isn't due to be completed until late 2014.
Plans for the 100-102nd floor Observatory levels were released on March 20, but the opening date won't arrive until 2015. It will sit a few stories lower than the Windows on the World visitor areas of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, which fell during the 9/11 attacks.
A few days ago we let you in on the little secret that we're currently traveling with someone who has never really traveled before. As in, she'd never left three US states and now she's in Turkey. We thought teaching her how to pack a carryon only for a week abroad would be the extent of our tutorship, but it's been so much more.
As we're down to our last 48 hours away, we're dealing with an amateur traveler's whining about having to leave and go home. This is inevitable, but frequent travelers are aces at dealing with it; there's a positive attitude of "well, I'll be back someday for sure," whether or not you know if that's true. In any case, the rest of the world is waiting.
While our friend comes to grips with returning to the USA, we're jotting down more answers given in response to her innocent questions. Check 'em out:
· We're not going to dinner at 6pm. No way. I don't care about jet lag. There's a such thing as an aperitif hour and then real dining doesn't happen until 9pm at the earliest in many countries.
· Simplify your questions. If you know someone doesn't have the best grasp of English and you're asking a question in English, don't use segues or long explanations. Just ask the question. Example: "And while I'm thinking of it, I had meant to ask you for your recommendation on the best dessert." (WRONG) "What is the best dessert?" (RIGHT).
Confession: I'm far, far away in Turkey right now. It's a country that's new to me and new to one of my good friends. There's more. This friend arrived to America as a young child and, ever since, hasn't ventured outside the confines of three US states. Now she's in Turkey with her first passport stamp. Watching her learn and interact I can practically see little lightbulbs go on above her head as realizations about the worldthe one outside her worldstrike.
She's not stupid. Far from it. She's just completely new to travel, having been kept grounded by passport obtainment issues and then higher and higher education.
Sometimes I really must step back and assess the tidbits of knowledge and international etiquette I myself have absorbed simply by stepping into a variety of airplanes, airports, continents. What now comes naturally to me is still quite daunting to the amateur traveler. I'm answering her questions and I'm learning as well. So I'm keeping a list of these answers. Here's some:
Lists / Lent / Fat Tuesday / Tourists / Travel Tips / → All Tags
Fat Tuesday has just about come to a close, which means the austere Catholic tradition of Lent begins tomorrow and, with it, a resolution for a better lifeor better travel.
If you're stuck for an idea of what to give up for Lent, we've got seven suggestions (though they really should be given up altogether!).
1. Posing like the above photo
2. Traveler's Checks
3. The "tourist" versus "traveler" debate
4. Paying $14.95/day for horrible hotel WiFi when renting a MiFi device with companies like TEP averages $7/day.
5. Bringing home all the hotel toiletries and then never using any but the shampoo.
6. Neglecting to enter frequent flyer account info when booking flights
7. Saving old years of guidebooks (example: do you really need the 2003 edition of Fodor's Jamaica?)
Travel News / Tourism / Tourists / → All Tags
Wait for it...
This Thursday, it's estimated that the 1 billionth traveler of 2012 will cross an international border. While we can't promise balloons and confetti before the ink from the passport stamp even dries, we will say that over here at Jaunted, we are pretty darn excited.
Why? Essentially, this is one billionth of the reason why we love travel. Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and seeing things once only reserved for the wealthy just a few decades ago are all reasons to go now. One billion is more than a record-setting number for world tourism; it's hope for the future, as more venture outside their comfort zones and come to a better understanding of this Earth. Reaching the billion mark in December 2012 means we'll easily surpass that number for 2013.
London 2012 Olympics / Olympics Travel / London Travel / Tourists / Tourism / Foursquare / Social Media / Tourist Traps / → All Tags
In case you haven't heard it a gazillion times already, the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics are tonight. The athletes and their families have arrived, as have the majority of tourists who purchased the 8 million tickets for the 17 days of events.
This means that while Heathrow and other London airports aren't nearly as crazy as they were earlier this week, the center of the city is swelling with sightseers. So, for locals who'd like to stay as far away from all that as possible, or for visitors who want to know where all the action's at, location-sharing social app Foursquare has tapped their stats to discover the busiest venues around London:
Top 10 - Great Outdoors
Oxford Circus X Crossing
St James' Park
The Regent's Park
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We know the cash flow is tight over in Europe, but when it comes to maintaining some of the cultural treasures it’s probably a good idea to invest in a little upkeep. This seems to be especially the case in Italy, where we heard that the Colosseum is already feeling the wear and tear of over 2,000 years of tourist trampling, and now it looks like one of Rome’s other famous landmarks are beginning to show their age.
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While the NATO Summit clogs up traffic and shuts down parts of Chicago for security's sake this week, many of the Windy City's residents are wishing they'd have thought to get the heck outta town. Some did, as we have Chicago friends who scattered to Brazil and Paris to miss these NATO days.
Still, the negative push to get away from the city got us thinking, about other events and holidays that flush a population out of their metropolis and into travel mode. We've featured four more mass exoduses, which you should take to heart as travel caution. Visit during the holiday, risk higher prices and fewer cool locals with whom to make friends. If you love being surrounded by other tourists, however, this would be the time.
Towering over 1,000 feet above the most iconic beach in Australia and situated about an hour south of the third largest city, Brisbane, stands the Q1 Building. Back in 2005, when the building was completed, it was named the tallest residential building in the world but has since been shifted to number five. Not too shabby when you think about living 900 feet in the air.
Q1 regularly casts a shadow over Surfers Paradise beach and, with the newly opened SkyPoint observation deck, now lets up to 400 on-lookers scale that shadow daily. This tourist deck recently opened up to the public, affording 360-degree views from Brisbane to the Pacific Ocean.And, if looking at miniature beach goers sounds a bit boring, the deck offers a cafe and bar to nibble and sip while taking in the breathtaking views.
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Only a few days ago, while bicycling around Argentina's wine country, we were robbed [read the full story here]. The banditos only got away with our Nikon DSLR camera, and it could have been much worse, but regardless we've come away with a slew of lessons learned the hard way.
While the "what ifs" stream through our mind, here's eight tips to avoid being a victim:
· Keep moving. Even if you're lost, try to keep moving and look alert (maybe go around the same block) or head towards a busier area to ask at a major business for help with directions.
· Always read about crime and safety considerations when you travel to an unfamiliar city. In this case, we had actually read about the snatchings on WikiTravel, so we knew immediately what was happening as soon as the man surprised us by putting his hands on the camera in our bike basket. Alas, it was because of this warning that we had wound the straps around the handlebars, which prevented him from taking off with our backpack as well.
Crimes / Wine Travel / Argentina Travel / Mendoza Travel / Travel Photography / Tourism / Tourists / Travel Warnings / Travel Alerts / Travel Safety / Bike Travel / Active Travel / Tours / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
Policia truck in which we rode
Me robaron. Me robaron. ME ROBARON. I was robbed.
I've gotten very good at saying this in Spanish in the last 20 hours, as yesterday around 3pm local time in the wine tourism town of Maipú, Argentina, a man reached into the basket of the bicycle I was riding, and stole my Nikon DSLR camera. That's the simple way of explaining what went down; the full explanation is far more harrowing, and you can guarantee that I've spent every waking moment since then replaying the events in my mind, wondering how a nice day of biking to vineyards turned into an ordeal involving 17 bulletproof vest-wearing members of the local Policia.
Here we go.