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Travel News / Singapore Travel / Singapore Airlines / SIN / Budget Travel / Luxury Travel / → All Tags
The Economist Intelligence Unit has just named their "most expensive cities" for 2014 and, knocking Tokyo from the top, the year's winner is Singapore. As the headlines around this ranking circulate, we feel it's important to note that this is for living in a city, and not simply traveling there. Singapore is actually one of the more affordable city destinations, and caters to all budgets.
For example, travelers can pay over $400 per night for a stay at the historic Raffles Hotel, or to splash in the famous infinity pool of the Marina Bay Sands. On the flip side, a night at one of our favorite hostels, the 5footway Inn, is only $25-$40. A room in a great boutique hotel will average $130 per night, but the big chains love to go luxe in Singapore with a $225 average.
Airfare is on par with average fares to London or Paris, even though with a trip to Singapore, you get thousands and thousands more miles for your money. Budget travelers should even keep a look-out for Singapore Airlines' occasional flight deals, like a recent one which offered US to Singapore in the airline's award-winning economy class for $999 roundtrip.
Theme Park Travel / Amusement Park Travel / Harry Potter / Universal Studios / Islands of Adventure / The Wizarding World of Harry Potter / Travel News / Orlando Travel / → All Tags
Although there's still no official opening date, the summer 2014 debut of the addition to Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is heating up with tantalizing new previews.
First off, let's discuss the Hogwarts Express, which is simply a stationary attraction in the first version of the park. Come this summer, however, when version 2 opens, it will be a fully functioning train, connecting the wizarding and muggle worlds through a detailed recreation of London's King's Cross station. Yes, you'll need to look for Platform 9 3/4, but the most important thing to know is that riding the Hogwarts Express will require guests to have a park-to-park ticket, as the train travels from Universal Studios into the Island of Adventure.
Spring Break Travel / Spring Break / Spring Travel / Airfare / Travel News / Travelocity / Infographic / → All Tags
It’s that time of year once again, as the Spring Break season is upon us. The folks over at Travelocity are happy to share the season, as they have created a sweet little infographic showing where people are headed and how much they’re spending on airfare.
There’s been roughly a 15% increase in year-to-year domestic travel, but those heading overseas shouldn’t really see many more tourists than normal. It’s not surprising that Florida takes the top spot, with a specific focus on South Florida. Newcomers to the top ten list include a couple of aloha destinations, as both Maui and Honolulu now take in their fair share of spring breakers willing to go a bit far for their fun.
So take a minute to view the full infographic, and start dreaming about your Spring Break destination (of course after the spring breakers have left!). We’d say that the season kicks off in just over a week or so, and continues until probably around the middle of April. You've been warned.
Recent assessments from the CIA indicate that Al Qaeda-linked terrorists are creating new shoe bombs that have the ability to generate multiple casualties on airplanes. Reports of the new threats came alongside other warnings - specifically but not entirely related to the Sochi Olympics - that terrorists are seeking to hide explosives in toothpaste and cosmetic tubes. Happy middle of the week everyone!
Putting aside the crazies who say that news about terrorism is designed to scare the American sheeple into letting the United Nations inject our kids with vaccinated fluoride (or whatever) there are usually two ways that people react kinds of stories of heightened threats.
Travel Tech / WhatsApp / Facebook / Technology / Social Media / Travel News / → All Tags
Sixteen billion dollars.
That's how much Facebook just handed over to WhatsApp, the free SMS messaging app. When all is said and done, the deal is closer to $19 billion, and it's a shocking sum to pay for a company that offers its services for free to users.
Regardless, we've heard "are you on WhatsApp?" the world over, and it's especially popular in regions of where Facebook is not. For example, in India WhatsApp boasts 35 million users, which sounds incredible until you hear the total for globally active users of WhatsApp tops 430 million. This is approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume, and today's news will surely help the app reach and quickly surpass the 500 million milestone. Microsoft paid $8.5 billion for Skype's 300 million users in 2011, so WhatsApp's price does seem right.
Still, $16 billion is a heck of a lot for an app which has famously shirked advertising income, but the result is a simple-to-use, simply designed, free service that fulfills a basic modern need.
Not to be outdone, it seems like Chicago, or at least someone in Chicago, didn't like the fact they lost the title for "home of the tallest building in the US." If all goes to plan, the honor may head back to Chi-Town from NYC's One World Trade Center. That's if the city's newest addition, the Chicago Spire, actually gets off the ground.
For the past ten years, the project to permanently change the iconic skyline of our third largest city has had its ups and downs. Ground was broken at 400 N Lake Shore Drive in the Summer of 2007 and, once the financial crisis hit in 2008, the project went bankrupt along with the many investors attached to the building. For almost six years, nothing but a giant hole in the ground occupied the site, giving little hope for a reemergence of the project.
The next time you are pre-departure wining and dining at Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Lounge in Heathrow, keep an eye out for staff sporting Google Glass. Since we know that there's nothing fashionable as yet about Google Glass other than its rarity, Virgin Atlantic is dispatching the fresh tech for its functionality.
For the next six weeks, the airline will be providing a seamless customer service experience with the help of Glass. Lounge staff will have the ability to give passengers flight information, weather at their destination, and even translate foreign languages on the go. Of course all that can come from a simple Google Search, but Glass has the cool aspect to it. Eventually, Google Glass would even be able to inform staff of a returning guest's dining preferences or favorite drinks, providing a personalized experience.
Social Media / ET 702 / Ethiopian Airlines / Twitter / Hijackings / Travel News / John Walton / Aviation / → All Tags
At Jaunted, we strive to bring you the news, not be a part of the news. Today, we did both, and we wanted to take some time to talk about that.
Thousands upon thousands of retweets and shares, and even more regurgitation by general media, of our early and comprehensive coverage of this morning's Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 hijacking started the week. The news of the situation first broke out and took hold thanks to the diligent research and tweets of John Walton, aviation journalist, former contributor right here at Jaunted, and current Director of Data for Routehappy.
The bulk of the action transpired online around 6:00am local time in Geneva, or midnight in EST. The Twitters of John (@thatjohn), and of our own Editor, Cynthia Drescher (@JetSetCD), quickly became the top source accounts for updates on the situation (even yielding a recommendation from Twitter's Director of Data, @smfrogers), despite being 4,000 miles removed from Geneva.
Floats, beads, king cakes, and plenty of adult beverages are all part of the Mardi Gras experience in New Orleans. However, one thing that has not been part of the fun and festivities is a tourism campaign. That’s all changing this year, as the state of Louisiana is throwing out some cash in hopes of getting a few more visitors to check thing out.
For those who are interested we’re a little more than two weeks away, as the festivities reach their finale on Tuesday, March 4. So even if you don’t have plans to attend—there’s still time to change things.
Social Media / Money / KLM / Facebook / Twitter / Travel News / Travel Tech / → All Tags
We've said it before and we'll say it again now: KLM consistently kills it on Facebook. Even beyond Facebook, the airline does stupendously across the board with social media, and it's no wonder considering they employ 130 social media "agents" to answer the approximately 35,000 interactions on Facebook and Twitter every week.
With so much online action, KLM is now set to up their game by accepting payments via Facebook and Twitter, for everything from flight bookings and seat reservations to flight changes and extra baggage.
Travel News / Passports / Visa / Turkey Travel / IST / Istanbul Travel / → All Tags
You've booked a ticket, bought a guidebook and Netflixed a documentary; it's official that you're excited to travel to a new destination. That is, you were excited until you read that the country requires a visa. We're not talking about the plastic credit card, but a little piece of paper or sticker that means you've filed paperwork and paid for the privilege to cross a border.
Obtaining a visa can either go the hard way (like Brazil) or the easy way (like Australia), and we're thrilled to announce that one visa-requiring country has made the decision to take their process completely online. Beginning April 11, 2014, Turkey will require visitors to file an e-Visa.
Instagram / Social Media / Tourism / Photography / Australia Travel / Tourism Marketing / Travel News / Tourism Boards / → All Tags
Social media is one of the best ways for travelers both real and "armchair" to have a window into new destinations and inspiration for yet more travel. When it comes to Instagram, there's no other account that gets as many likes as the folks behind the Tourism Australia profile. These are the same people who posted the full-frontal pic of a kangaroo? Yeah, same guys.
The @Australia account belongs to the tourism board and uses photos snapped by locals and visitors, then uploaded and tagged with #seeaustralia. On average, each Aussie post receives around 8,200 likes, which is in stark contrast to an average 360 likes for photos on other tourism board accounts.