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Perhaps you're familiar with the saying, "two is a coincidence, three is a trend?"
Well, considering that last month we discovered British Airways' duty-free magazine selling selfie sticks onboard, we've officially reached the "coincidence" stage this month, after spotting another selfie stick featured in the duty-free magazine of Malaysia Airlines.
Malaysia's choice is a "Lifetrons Switzerland Self-Portrait Advanced BT Handheld Stand with Built-In Bluetooth Remote." In other words, a fancy schmance $50 selfie stick.
Selfie Sticks / Rome Travel / Tourist Traps / Travel Gear / Italy Travel / Travel Scams / → All Tags
Selfie Sticks are without a doubt the most polarizing travel gear on the market today. People either love them and use them for selfie opps at major landmarks or they hate them and make fun of the folks who carry them, usually by posting a shot of the selfie stick users on social media.
The love-hate also extends to businesses as many music festivals and events, such as the Kentucky Derby, have banned selfie sticks while British Airways sells them out of their Duty Free catalog.
But in Rome, selfie sticks, whether you love them or hate them, are a real problem.
Even though music festivals and even some airlines are moving to ban selfie sticks, British Airways is going against the stream to embrace the doohickies, even offering them for sale via their in-flight duty-free catalog.
We spotted this entry, for the “Bitmore Bluetooth Selfie Stick,” just yesterday while flying from Copenhagen to London-Heathrow, but rest assured all you longer-distance BA flyers have a chance at it as well; that same duty-free catalog shows up on flights outside Europe, too.
Earth Day is right around the corner (April 22). You may be thinking, “How can I jet set without taking a major toll on our beautiful world?” (Or maybe not – we won’t judge.)
There are a few simple things you can do as a traveler to make the world a better, more eco-friendly place. Here are five ideas to green your travel:
Avoid plastic bags. Let’s face it, plastic bags mean pollution. Their effects on marine wildlife, landfills and the environment are devastating. According to the Worldwatch Institute, Americans toss 100 billion plastic bags per year – less than 1 percent of which are recycled. Instead of leaving a wake of plastic in your travel path, pack a reusable bag. We especially like the shopping bags from flip & tumble.
Pack rechargeable batteries. We tend to blow through a ton of batteries when we’re traveling – from flashlights and headlamps to tape recorders. Instead of packing a stash of backup power, it’s much easier, and eco-friendly, to invest in rechargeable batteries for your key pieces of equipment.
This is for real. This is not an April Fools joke.
Catching a direct flight from LAX to Brooklyn to hit up some craft beer bars? If so, add this to your carry-on.
Joining the ranks of product hybrids you had no idea that you needed: the Inflatable Travel HoodiePillow ($19.95 here It was also seen on "Shark Tank.") The hoodie + pillow in one offers all the neck support of a traditional travel pillow PLUS the forehead-concealing semi-anonymity of an artisan-craft-fair-and-food-truck-lot vendor. Simply pull the deflated pillow out of your bag, pump it up with a few bong-huffing breaths, and cinch the sweatshirt hoodie tight to block out your fellow passengers for a quick catnap. (Hey, it’s subtler than this.)
It even comes with your choice of four different drawstring colors. The cool cred? That’s free with purchase, mang.
Excuse me, flight attendant: Was this tarmac locally sourced?
Selfie Sticks / Travel Gear / Photography Gear / Selfies / Music Travel / Music Festivals / → All Tags
While theme parks continue to debate whether or not there's a place for selfie sticks inside their walls, music festivals are putting their foot down.
This week, two of our country's most well-known festivals, Coachella and Lollapalooza, have officially banned selfie sticks. The festivals said that in addition to being an "audience-wide nuisance," the sticks are viewed as "encouraging the unauthorized recording of the festival’s performances."
Have you ever taken a sip of hotel tap water, clutched your pearls, gagged, and spat the brackish filth back into the sink? If so, you might have a mild case of Drama Queen.
Don’t worry. There’s help.
Prescribe yourself this handy ZeroWater Tumbler, the cure for what ails less-than-acceptable H20. The 26-ounce bottle is a handy way of ensuring you have filtered water on hand at all times, small enough to toss in a carry-on, but armed with a “five-stage filter” (which sounds very impressive) that does an especially dandy job of removing tap water contaminants — so everything tastes like pure, crisp water scooped from sacred pools. Alleluia! (The filter has a color indicator that lets you know when it needs to be changed.)
If you find lipstick marks around the tailpipe, please notify a FlightCar representative.
For many people, joining the “sharing economy” is sort of like entering an open relationship. It sounds like a good idea at first — enjoy stability, plus fringe benefits! But once you actually see a stranger peel away in your car, or find a stray hair left behind in your Airbnb-loaned bed, the reality of letting someone else manhandle your precious possessions suddenly feels unsettling.
On the other hand, what you don’t know can’t hurt you.
Such is the premise behind FlightCar. This smart-sounding service lets drivers make use of the hundreds of autos that sit idling in airport parking garages while their owners are out of town.
Want to make some extra money while you’re traveling? Agree to share your car via FlightCar, and when you drop it off (for free parking) at one of 11 partner airports FlightCar will hook it up with a pre-screened (read: responsible) driver to use it while you’re gone.
You score easy cash, and the car is back waiting for you – like nothing ever happened! – upon your return.
Want to travel like a diva? Forget about flying first-class: anyone can do that, so long as they have the funds. But it takes true A-list starlet gall to slap on your seat the “b-tourist” band, an especially unique travel gadget designed to ensure that you aren’t assaulted with unwanted chatter or (shudder) eye contact from the unwashed plebeians sharing your plane cabin.
Ridiculuxe Travel Gear / Travel Gear / Cameras / Photography Gear / Celeb Travel / Lenny Kravitz / Leica / → All Tags
Because titles like “multi Grammy award winning artist,” “smolderingly cool rocker,” and “internationally renowned hot piece” just weren’t enough, Lenny Kravitz can now add “luxury camera designer” to his resume.
And if you have a rock star’s bank account, you can soon strap it on to capture your own next world tour.
In March, the high-end German camera brand Leica will debut the “Correspondent” set, a classy case containing a Kravitz-designed digital shooter with multiple lenses. And it’s pretty damn stylish.
In keeping with Leica’s somewhat signature vintage aesthetic, its enamel has been hand-worn to give the purposeful impression of well-worn globe trotting use. The unit’s trim, camera strap, and wrist strap are a glossy and sumptuous black snakeskin, the type you’d spot on Kravitz’s boots as they strut across a concert stage.
Other details include the scalloped focusing ring of a lens, a nod to 1950s design.
Leaning Sticks For Your Butt / Travel Gear / Mogo / Travel Seats / Unnecessary Travel Gear / → All Tags
Here’s a seat that helps you stand. No, that’s not a typo.
Most portable gadgets help travelers sit or sleep more comfortably. But now, here’s the Mogo: a leaning stick for your butt, basically. (Albeit a lot more comfortable than that probably sounds.)
The Mogo comes from Focal Upright Furniture, Rhode Island-based designer Martin Keen’s ergonomics-minded company that has been battling the scourge of sedentary office lifestyles with individual desks and conference tables designed for working while upright.
Don't scoff too much. There’s mounting evidence that rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and early death are significantly higher among those who sit for prolonged amounts of time daily (e.g. all us worker bees), even if you get regular gym exercise and avoid other health-compromising choices like smoking or stuffing your face with those fatty snack chips you’ve stowed in your desk drawer. (We see you. No judgment.)
Selfie Sticks / Theme Parks / Theme Park Travel / Travel Gear / Photography Gear / Selfies / Disneyland / Disney World / Museums / → All Tags
Seen last weekend at Disneyland. This was only two of the four selfie sticks we spotted on the Luigi's Flying Tires ride.
Last month we offered a (cautious) defense of the Selfie Stick, that increasingly ubiquitous cane used to extend your iPhone outward for perfectly framed self-portraits. Well, the debate over their level of usefulness versus annoyance continues to rage on. And what’s ground zero for the debate?
Here’s a hint: Mickey and Minnie won’t be debating their favorite Instagram filters anytime soon.
Theme parks and their attendees are putting their foot down about Selfie sticks. The Orlando Sentinel chatted with Magic Kingdom guests on both side of the divide, and got some official word from park reps. (Short version: stow them like you would any gadget, according to a Disney World spokesperson.) A recent survey from a theme park industry website revealed that 79% of park enthusiasts would like to see them banned.
And maybe it’s only a matter of time before theme parks ban them outright. After all, museums have already started, including Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and New York’s Museum of Modern Art, among others,.
Not to reopen old wounds, but we have to ask: what do you think about theme parks and selfie sticks? Leave them at home, or take them for a ride? Leave your 2 cents (or 5, even!) in the comments.