5 Mobile Tech Sites for the Frequent Traveler

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 5:12pm by admin

If you keep up with this blog regularly, you know that travel is a part of this blogger’s life.  From the international trips to trade fairs, technical trainings, and conferences, being on-the-go requires a lot of time and organization.  Sometimes it is all too easy to get caught up in the gadgets we already have because they are familiar and comfortable.  

Of course, there are constant innovations in the world of mobile technology and the new products are making mobile productivity even easier to achieve than ever before.  There are many people helping to keep track of the goings-on as they relate to mobile technology.  Here are five great places on the web to get the latest info on mobile tech to keep you in touch and ready to work—wherever you are.  

Mobile Future:  Get the latest news and reviews related to mobile technology, whether it be mobile, wireless, or the latest innovations.  Analysis on the ways mobile technology will continue to shape the world as we know it is one of the key points of the constant updates to this site.  Tips and tricks for maximizing the capabilities of your mobile devices are also available for your perusal.

The Mobile Weblog:  For great reviews of products both on the market and in the pipeline, look no further than the mobile weblog.  Features assessments, as well as interesting applications for mobile devices are explored in their succinct product reviews.  If you want to know more about mobile devices and just how they can benefit you, check out The Mobile Weblog.

Mobile Magazine:  Mobile magazine has got to be one of the web’s most prolific publishers of content related to all things mobile.  With multiple articles posted almost every day, it’s easy to see why Mobile Magazine is a go-to place for those who want to know about all things mobile.  Like other sites, new, reviews, tips, and tricks are all available.  Browse through their immense archives to find out more on the products you want to learn about.

Latest-Mobile:  The name may not say it all, but the site certainly does.  Detailed, hands-one reviews of products are available on Latest-Mobile, as are articles, tips, and other cool new technologies.  Finding out the latest news in mobile technology is what these guys are all about, so if you are looking for something new and innovative, give them a chance to tell you all about it.

PC World:  For many years, PC World has been the go-to magazine for all things PC.  For quite some time, however, PC World has been reviewing and writing about other areas of technology and sometimes how it integrates with the PC.  PC World has an extensive listing of product reviews and offers advice on which products are worth the high price tags that generally adorn mobile devices.  When you’re ready to buy, check out what the folks at PC World have to say first.  

Bailout Helps Big Banking but Does Little for Consumers

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 4:58pm by admin

With an unofficial recession in full swing, and the government geared up to bail out major financial institutions, many consumers are finding themselves in a situation they never thought they’d find themselves in.  Credit damage for many families has created a woeful economic climate, with little on the horizon for the little guy who’s been as deeply affected as the financial institutions—only with far less recourse.

Predatory lending and lender optimism, along with lowered standards for mortgage qualification led us into the slippery slope upon which our economy now teeters, but who ends up footing the bill when all is said and done?  The taxpayers are now helping out companies that continue to gouge the very ones that are now helping to keep them afloat.

Starting a few years back with the philosophy that every American deserved to own a home, banking loosened up the eligibility requirements to obtain mortgages.  Banks were given incentives for helping boost our housing market, and an unusually optimistic lending market was born.  When the dust settles, surely there is far more to the story regarding this boom in mortgage lending.

Perhaps what was really going on was that financial institutions were lending money to people knowing full well that these people would default, and the banks would be able to foreclose and resell the homes again, achieving these same results.  It would be nice to think that these sorts of practices were not going on, but upon taking a closer look, it is obvious that the banks were only looking at the dollar signs, not really trying to help people get into homes.

Naturally, banking is a business and business is about making money.  However, predatory lending—qualifying people for seemingly good loans that rose exponentially after the fixed rate term expired—is what got this whole ball rolling.  Many who qualified for mortgages were barely able to pay during the fixed rate term of their loans.  Once the payments went up, these people were unable to pay, with little or no knowledge of how to improve their situations.  

Now, the government is bailing out these financial institutions.  What about the growing homeless population and the affect this mortgage crisis has had on debtors nationwide?  Should different criteria be developed for consumers who are trying to get back on their feet, but are unable to do so because of tarnished credit records?  These issues must be addresses before the current state of the economy graduates from recession to a full-blown depression.
 

50 Best Web 2.0 Travel Tools

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 5:01pm by admin

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway with your significant other or a less-than-exciting business trip, there’s a pretty good chance that you used the Internet to make travel arrangements. These days it’s hard to imagine a time before the Web made booking a cheap flight or mapping out a route so easy. Travel tools on the Web have continued to evolve, taking in all that Web 2.0 has to offer, and enhancing the ability to share information, work creatively and increase collaboration between users and companies. If you haven’t tried out these great travel sites on the Web, give them a go next time you’re planning a trip around the block or around the world.

Deal Finding

Find the best deal on a hotel or a plane ticket by using these simple and effective search engines.

  1. Kayak: This simple and easy-to-use online search tool works through several major sites to find you the best prices on flights, hotels and more. You can easily refine your search criteria to find the trip that meets your needs and your price range the best.
  2. SideStep: Find great bargains through SideStep, a search tool that browses through over 150 sites across the Web for guaranteed best deals on everything. You can easily integrate your whole trip as the site suggests hotels and activities through your destination that you might need.
  3. Farecast: Get predictions on whether the prices for your flight or hotel will go up or down in the next few days or weeks with this online tool, designed to help you get the best deals. While the future prices aren’t guaranteed, it can give you a good idea of the usual trends.
  4. InsideTrip: This site will give you tips on finding the best airline fares, but with an added bonus: the site provides trip quality scores, letting you know how often luggage has been lost, how often the flights are late, the amount of legroom and other important details.
  5. FareChase: Get powerful results on flights and hotels with this deal finder through Yahoo!. It trolls through major airlines and online ticket retailers to find the lowest prices and allows you to easily compare rates and flights.
  6. Travelocity: You’ll find results from some of the biggest players in online flight deals on this site. Travelocity works with sites like Expedia and Priceline to find the lowest rates on travel and hotels.

Mapping and GPS

Keep yourself from getting lost with these great online tools.

  1. GoogleMaps: GoogleMaps is perhaps the most widely used mapping tool out there and with so many features, integration into webpages and even browser extensions it’s no wonder. You can not only get directions but street views, locations of nearby business and services and even traffic reports.
  2. AskCity: Ask.com has released their own mapping tool with an incredibly easy-to-use interface and colorful mapping tools. Perhaps the best feature of the tool, however, is the ability to draw and save doodles on the map, which is essential for hard to follow directions and notes about travel.
  3. TeleNav: If you tend to get lost easily, whether driving or walking, you can help keep yourself on track with this mobile GPS tool. If you have internet access on your phone you can get all the features of a standalone GPS device on your phone like voice guidance, turn by turn navigation and more for a low monthly fee.
  4. 3D Tracking: Equip your family’s phones with this software and keep track of them while you’re at an amusement park or on vacation. The GPS software gets tracking information from the phone, making it easier to keep track of where everyone is at any time.
  5. AccuTracking: Do you have a directionally-challenged friend coming to visit? Ensure you can keep tabs on them with Accutracking. It lets you know the direction of the devices with the software installed, making it easy to tell your friends when they’re headed the wrong way without any confusing conversations about landmarks.
  6. Fresh Logic Atlas: Those who love slick looking tools will appreciate the interface of this mapping application. Get directions, find attractions and monitor traffic through this attractive program. One big drawback, however, is that it’s currently limited just to the US and Canada.

Carpooling and Parking

Make your trip to the airport or to a nearby city cheaper and less stressful with these tools.

  1. SpotScout: Find a place to park in many big cities in the United States. The program works in conjunction with those who would like to rent out parking spaces to travelers. You just find a spot near where you need to go, work out a price with the owner of the spot, and you’ll have access to worry free parking on your trip.
  2. ParkatMyHouse: For parking spot assistance outside of the United States there is ParkatMyHouse, the UK equivalent of SpotScout. You’ll be able to search for spots in all major metropolitan areas and compare prices to ensure that you get the best deal while you’re visiting.
  3. Ridester: This simple and easy-to-use tool is a great way to find someone to share trip expenses with. You can start by listing the times and destination of your trip and waiting for travelers to contact you or search through existing trips to see if someone else is going your way.
  4. eRideShare: Search through tens of thousands of ride listings in the United States and Canada with this site. You’ll be able to find someone to take every type of trip with, from running simple errands to making cross-country journeys.

Car Travel Tools

Car travel can be expensive and trying with high gas prices and heavy traffic. These tools can help you get the leg up on both.

  1. Traffic: Make sure you won’t get stuck in hours of traffic by using this convenient online tool. It gives you reports on congestion based on mile to mile reports so you’ll know the conditions of any road before you ever even leave your home.
  2. GasBuddy: You’ll be able to avoid paying more for gas on your trip around the block or across the country with this helpful tool. This site compiles gas prices from stations all over the country to help you to find the one that’s the lowest where you are.
  3. Radio-Locator: Don’t waste time scrolling through dozens of radio stations looking for one that suits your interests. This site has done the work for you by putting together a huge listing of radio stations from all over the world. You can browse through by genre, helping ensure you’ll find something that suits you.
  4. BizMile Tracker: Those who travel more for business than pleasure will appreciate this tool, which allows users to easily track the miles they travel each day for work so the expenses associated with them can be deducted from taxes.
  5. PL8Scan: Ever wanted to tell the person who just cut you off what you really think of them? With this site you just may be able to. Car owners register their vehicles with the site and other users will be able to send them text messages, whether helpful or angry.

Traveler Reviews

Get a little insight to the places you’ll be visiting on your travels with these great travel review sites.

  1. Trip Advisor: TripAdvisor has millions of reviews for places all over the world. Simply enter what you’re looking for, whether it’s "sushi places in Boston" or "English language bookstores in Paris" and get suggestions and reviews.
  2. Virtual Tourist: If you’re looking for a little inspiration on where to go for your next vacation, or advice on the best places to visit in a new city, you’ll find both at Virtual Tourist. The site is full of pictures, mapped destinations and tips which you can rate the effectiveness of.
  3. RealTravel: Want to know what the locals think? Check out this site. It pairs up your destination search with blogs from those living in the local area. Take advantage of the recommendation tool which asks you a few questions and generates places you might be interested in visiting.
  4. IgoUgo: Get reviews of local hotels, restaurants, and other attractions for destinations all over the world. This site is now part of Travelocity, and can be a great way to test the waters before heading off to a far-flung destination.
  5. World66: Similar to WikiTravel, this site allows users to create their own digital travel guides. Visitors to the site can write and update information about destinations anywhere in the world, providing travel insight or recommendations to readers.
  6. Yelp: Whether you’re looking for reviews of the restaurant down the street or a hotel halfway around the world you’ll find them on Yelp. The site provides comprehensive ratings, reviews and information on millions of destinations all over the globe.
  7. EpicTrip: This site provides loads of user reviews for travelers as well as some great unique tools. Take a virtual tour of your destination and popular hotspots on the site or get advice specially geared towards students who are taking trips.
  8. TravBuddy: Visitors to this site can share their travel experiences with others. Simply set up an account, write reviews, create a blog and the information others have shared.

Trip Planners

Plan out every leg of your trip by using these Web tools ahead of time or when you arrive.

  1. TripHub: Planning a trip for yourself can be hard enough, but what if you have to plan a trip for a diverse group of people? This site allows everyone going on the trip to access the details of the trip and make changes or suggestions, making it much easier to stay organized and conflict free on the trip.
  2. FlightStats: Delayed flights can put a serious kink in travel plans. This site can give you an idea of what flights are typically late and what airports have the worst records of delayed flights. You can also enter in your own flight information and get up-to-the-minute information about it.
  3. TripTie: Get some ideas of what to do when you’re in a new place with suggestions from TripTie. The site allows other travelers to post their itineraries so you can see what popular or interesting options are out there.
  4. TripIt: This is a useful tool for trip planning for those without any idea what they want to do in a given city. Simply enter in the information about your itinerary and the site will create a guide with activities for you. It may not always meet your interests but it’s a great place to start planning.
  5. Trip Finder: This Webby nominated site is another tool that will create a trip plan for you. The interface is attractive and easy-to-use, and you’ll be given some great suggestions of things to do on your trip.
  6. Schmap: Forget the guidebooks at home and just bring this program on your next trip. It downloads and installs on your computer and you can get guide information on destinations you’re interested in. It’s easy to navigate, gives you maps, and allows you to see virtual tours.

Social Networks

Share your travel plans and read about the experiences of others on these great sites.

  1. iloho: This well-established online community of travelers is a great place to post your travel stories and read those of others. The Digg-like front page will show you the most popular stories and allow you to vote on which you like best.
  2. Vcarious: Enjoy the benefits of this travel community which allows users to create blogs, post photos and videos and share travel tips and reviews.
  3. MyTripz: Share your travel plans with others and document them as you go with this site. You’ll be able to post stories about your travels and show photos of the places you’ve been, as well as read about the experiences of others.
  4. Dopplr: Designed for frequent travelers, this site allows you to build friendships with others and get their advice. You can post your travel plans online and get the opinions of people you’ve allowed to see them so you can refine your itinerary.
  5. Matador: Lovers of the great outdoors will get the most out of this travel network. Share your experiences hiking through the forest, rafting or whale watching on this site and even get a free blog to share with others.
  6. Jauntlet: This site is a great place to research and book travel. Simply create an interactive travel plan and you can use it to book flights or share it with friends via Facebook, MySpace or Blogger.

Entertainment

Find the best places to visit or things to do on your trip using these Web tools.

  1. HappyMappy: Find tourist attractions in the United States with this Web tool. Enter in your location and you can get the most popular attractions shown on a map that occur in categories like arts, nature, history, parks, sports, theater, concerts, nightlife and more.
  2. VeniVidiWiki: Take the features of HappyMappy to a global level with this tool which shows tourist attractions on an attractive map anywhere in the world. Mouse over places you’re interested in and you can get photos and information as well.
  3. GeoBirds: Love bird watching? Now you can share your birding experiences and travels on this site. It’s a great place for eco tourists to document their experiences and find out bird identifications. You can also share your rare bird sightings with birders from all over the globe.
  4. PodBop: Want to find out what concerts are going on in your area? Visit this site and you’ll get a listing of major concerts and local bands that are playing in your area any night of the week. Currently, it only works in the United States.
  5. 43Places: Finding things to do in a particular location couldn’t be easier with this tool. Enter in your city and you’ll get a list of events and places to visit that can keep you entertained and happy for the duration of your trip.

Meet Travelers

You don’t have to travel alone. Use these sites to make friends on your next trip.

  1. TravelersforTravelers: Sign up with this site and you’ll be able to chat with and arrange to meet other travelers in your destination city. You’ll also get tips on where to eat, stay and how to get around.
  2. AirTroductions: No one likes to get stuck sitting next to someone intolerable on a long distance flight, so why not plan to sit next to someone you might have a little in common with? This site can help you do that whether it’s for business or just to make a new friend.
  3. TravelSidekicks: Planning on hitchhiking your way through the US, Canada or Europe? Don’t do it alone! Find a buddy through the help of this site and you’ll be at least a little bit safer in your travels.
  4. PairUp: Make meeting up with clients and business associates easier with this Web program. You’ll be able to coordinate the schedules of several people meeting up for a conference or business meeting, or just find others looking for someone to talk with at the conference.

50 Ways to Get Other People to Pay for Your Vacation

Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 6:33pm by admin

For those who love to travel, finding a way to do so on someone else’s dime can make all the difference between staying at home and embracing the joy of exploration. Many of the suggestions below require that you give something in return, be it your time or a reciprocated place on your couch, but at least you don’t have to pay your own way. While it’s true you may not be getting something for nothing, at least you can take that vacation without breaking the bank.

Volunteer

Volunteering to help others either in a foreign country or right here at home is an excellent way to travel while making a difference in the world. Volunteer opportunities usually require that you pay for the transportation to and from the work site, but accommodations and meals are usually free.

  1. WWOOF. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms allows you to volunteer to work on organic farms from one week to several months. As a volunteer, you live for free as a part of the family, but you do not earn any money. You may need to pay a very small fee to recieve the farm listing and transportation is not included.
  2. VolunteerLouge. Read this blog to stay abreast of chances to volunteer around the world. They include links to a variety of other sites that offer opportunities, tips, resources, and more.
  3. GoLiveGive. This TV show offers opportunities to combine travel with volunteering for ecological foundations. Read their blog for more information on how you can be a green volunteer and travel too.
  4. Repair a trail. Volunteer with the Pacific Northwest Trail Association and you can spend 8 days in a national park. You will need to provide your own transportation, but the opportunity for friendships and a unique vacation are limitless.
  5. Volunteer at Mount Rainier. You can work for a weekend or long term repairing trails, leading hikes, or any number of  other positions. Check out their blog for more about becoming a volunteer.
  6. Work at a kibbutz. In exchange for room and board, you can volunteer your time at a kibbutz. This site sponsored by a man who was a kibbutz volunteer for over two years, offers all the information you could want to get you started down the path of becoming a kibbutznik.
  7. Be a missionary. If religion is important to you and you have a strong desire to help others, then becoming a missionary may be the way for you to combine those passions with travel. Here is one woman’s experience as a missionary in Liberia.

Work

If you need a job and love to travel, there are ways to do both. Most of these ideas provide free transportation and either free or low-cost living accommodations. Keep in mind that these are jobs, so you will need to apply, get hired, and do the work once you’ve landed the position.

  1. Teach English. Many companies in other countries hire native English speakers to teach English to both adults and children. You will usually receive a good paycheck, a stipend for living expenses or free accommodations, return airfare, and sometimes you receive a free airline ticket to the destination. Check out sites such as this one for more on these incredible opportunities for travel.
  2. Become a caretaker. If you are looking for work and want to travel, caretaking is a great way to live and travel inexpensively. If you can do housework or work on the grounds of an estate, caretaking usuallys provides you with a place to stay, money earned, and beautiful surroundings. 
  3. Be a travel agent. Sometimes when you sign a contract to become a travel agent, the company will provide you a free vacation. This blog provides a link to one company that does just that.
  4. Join the Peace Corp. The Peace Corp offers a two-year stint doing work in a foreign country. You receive living accommodations and a small stipend and will need a college degree to qualify. Read about the experience of a couple working together in the Peace Corp. Of special interest, their post on April 15, 2008 includes some FAQs about the Peace Corp as well as their location.
  5. Become an au pair. If you are younger than 30, you can be an au pair, or a mother’s helper. You will receive room and board and a stipend in exchange for helping with the children and maybe some light housework. Depending on the agency, you may have to pay for your transportation or the host family may pay for it. This blog post captures the essence of being an au pair.
  6. Be a tour guide. If you enjoy learning about the culture and history of an area and like sharing what you know, then you could be a tour guide. Many places where English isn’t the first language like to hire native English speakers to guide their tours. 
  7. Translate. Granted, you need to be fluent in a language other than English, but if you have that knowledge, use it. Translaters are usually in high demand, so take advantage of it and land a job that will pay you to live and work abroad.
  8. Join the military. While your travel may not be on your terms, you can learn a new vocation and earn money while traveling.  If defending your country and potentially going to war are your thing, you may enjoy reading about this man’s experience in the U.S. Marine Corps.
  9. Work as a personal assistant. The key to this job is to work as an assistant to a high-powered executive. You may put in long hours and need to deal with the personal whims of your boss, but you will likely spend a lot of time traveling and participating in fun perks such as high-profile events.

Learn

Whether you are taking the time to learn a little something or using the knowledge you’ve built up over years of education, studying can get you free travel. Take advantage of one of these ideas below just by using your brain.

  1. Learn Esperanto. If you invest a bit of time into learning Esperanto, you can participate in an exchange program with other Esperanto speakers. Once you have learned a bit of Esperanto, either buy Passport Services for $25 or agree to list your home in the book and receive a copy for free.
  2. Group Study Exchange. The Rotary Club offers a group study exchange for people between  the ages of 25 and 40 who are starting out in their careers. You will have to spend some time doing presentations, but you receive a four week trip with airfare, accommodations, and meals free of charge.
  3. Become a Fulbright Scholar. Fulbright offers exchange programs for students, teachers, recent graduates, and post-graduate students. Read about this Australian Fulbright Fellow’s experience in the United States.
  4. Listen to a timeshare pitch. The folks who sell timeshares frequently offer incentives for people to listen to their pitch. Gifts range from full vacation packages to overnight accommodations. Be aware that they are working to sell you a timeshare, so you must not fall victim to their selling tactics–unless you are in the market for a timeshare, of course.
  5. Intern or study abroad. There are many agencies that will arrange internships or study programs for students. While there are sometimes costs associated with these services, many scholarships are offered to allow those who cannot afford it to participate.
  6. Apprentice. Many artisans can apprentice to learn how to become a master in their field. From carpentry to pottery, if you aspire to become a professional artisan, check into apprenticeships. Many times in order to study under a master, you will need to travel to where he or she lives and works (at your expense), but you will gain unequalled experience and enjoy living in a new place at the same time.

Win

While there is no guarantee you will be able to actually take a vacation this way, it’s worth a try to see if you can win something. Take these suggestions if you feel lucky.

  1. Holidays & Travel. Check out the numerous vacation giveaways on this site. They also offer travel deals, so you will have to read through the posts to find the chances to win instead of paying for your vacation.
  2. Prizatron. This blog is devoted to listing sweepstakes. Almost every day this blogger posts links to open sweepstakes. You will have to wade through them to find travel-specific opportunities, but it’s probably worth it if you win.
  3. All Because Two People Fell in Love. You can also subscribe to this blog. You’ll find posts and links to tons and tons of sweepstake giveaways (mostly with a mama theme). Not all are travel related, but many either award vacations or money that can be easily spent on travel.
  4. Search blogs. Try this blog search by typing in vacation givaway in the search box. You will get a list of blogs that feature giveaway opportunities. Be sure to check the dates on these opportunities as they usually have a deadline to enter.
  5. Enter raffles. Many schools and organizations hold raffles to raise money, and depending on who donated for the raffle, you can sometimes find vacation packages, accommodations, or flights as prizes. Spend a couple of dollars to try for a free vacation.

Free Accomodations

Sometimes finding a place to stay is the most expensive part of travel. From crashing on a stranger’s couch to writing about a resort, the suggestions below will help you find a way to stay for free.

  1. Couch surf. If you enjoy meeting new people, consider joining CouchSurfing.com. Simply join, participate in discussion groups to get to know the other members, and when you have booked your travel, you contact the members in what ever part of the world you plan to travel and work out a play to stay. The service is completely free of charge and there is a member screening process to ensure safety.
  2. Join The Hospitality Club. The Hospitality Club works similarly to CouchSurfing.com in that it connects people around the world who are willing to open their homes up to travelers. This service is free and you can browse the member profiles to select a potential host.
  3. Home swap. If you are willing to trade homes, you can stay free anywhere in the world. For a small fee, you can join a home exchange group and never pay for accommodations again.
  4. Share your guest room. If you are willing to open your extra bedroom up to someone, you can take advantage of the same opportunity to stay in an extra room for your vacation. Sign up with Guestroom Network and for only $4, you can stay in another member’s home.
  5. Arrange a sponsorship. Some companies will provide accommodations for you in return for your services. For example, a specialist in a specific field who gives a presentation at a conference or for a company retreatmay get room and board in return for sharing their expertise.
  6. Write a review. If you have writing skills, try writing a review for a hotel or resort. Many online guides will pay for the accommodations in return for a professionally written review.

Free Transportation

Along with accommodation expenses, transportation is the other big ticket item while traveling. Find a way to travel for free and you are half way to a vacation paid by someone else.  Here are some thoughts on how to get your transportation for free.

  1. Become a courier. For the price of delivering a package, you can get free airfare to anywhere outside the United States.  Learn how to be a courier and get a free flight to another country.
  2. Cash in your frequent flier miles. If you’ve been saving miles, cash them in for a free ticket.  If you haven’t saved enough of them, you can always take advantage of the many promotional offers for extra miles by opening a credit card.
  3. Friends or family at an airline. Take advantage of the travel perks your friends or family may have from their jobs at airlines. If you don’t know of any friends or family connections, ask around. You may be surprised to learn of someone’s connections you didn’t know about.
  4. Book a tour. Sometimes promotional giveaways like this one will provide free airfare if you book a tour with them. You may not have as much flexibility with dates or destinations, but you can fly for free and save quite a bit of money.
  5. Transport a car. Many auto transport services need people to drive their clients’ cars to destinations across the country. If you have a good driving record and are responsible, you may be able to get to your travel destination for free by driving a transport car.
  6. Craigslist. Check out the rideshare section on craigslist for people who are looking for company on a long drive. Sometimes the person posting the ad asks for help with the driving or some gas money in return for the ride. Or you can be more proactive and post your own ad looking for someone to let you come along on their road trip.
  7. Barter for Miles. If you have a skill or service, barter your services with someone who has frequent flayer miles. You may even be able to trade your services at your destination for the air fare to get there.
  8. Use your debit card as a credit card. Some banks will reward you for using your debit card as a credit card by giving points that are redeemable for frequent flier miles. Check to see if your bank offers this service.  If not, it might be worth your while to switch to a bank that does.
  9. Hitchhike. While this option is not a safe idea in many countries, including the United States, there are some countries where hitchhiking is not only safe, but a common method of transportation. Read this blog entry about hitchhiking (or "hiking") in Namibia.
  10. Extend a business trip. If your company is sending you on a business trip, extend the return date by a few days and enjoy a short vacation before returning home. Make sure this is alright with your boss before doing it, though, or that may be your last business trip with them.

Ask for freebies

Sometimes getting something is as simple as asking for it.

  1. Get married. Instead of signing up for traditional gift registries for housewares, many couples are asking for gifts of money to go toward travel expenses so they can take a nice trip instead. Check out this site that allows you to set up a registry free of charge.
  2. Ask for donations. This couple posted a request for donations on their travel blog to help keep their travels going. There’s no guarantee anyone will donate, but if you’ve made your friends and family angry enough at you, there’s no telling how much they’ll pay to keep you away.
  3. Ask for gift cards. Next time the next major gift-giving holiday rolls around, ask for a travel gift card in lieu of gifts. Many major airlines and hotels offer gift cards as do many travel services.

Fun Stuff

While these ideas may not pay for your vacation, they will certainly help fund some of the extras that need to be taken into consideration when planning travel. From food to toiletries, find ways to get free stuff to take with you on vacation.

  1. Free sunscreen. No matter where you plan to vacation, you will need sunscreen. Simply fill out this survey and receive a free tube of SPF 30 sunscreen.
  2. $50 at a restaurant. Complete a survey and get a gift card for one of many restaurants or a Visa gift card spendable anywhere. Your information will be shared with their marketing partner corporations, so you will likely get a ton of marketing material.
  3. Get free TV show tickets. If you will be in the Los Angeles area, you can get free tickets to many TV and game show tapings. Just select the show you are interested in seeing, click Order Tickets, then print your ticket and bring it with you.  You must be 18 or older and they suggest you arrive early.
  4. Random free stuff. Visit That Freebie Site for a listing of lots of free stuff.  Click on the Travel & Vacation link for freebies specifically related to travel. Don’t forget to browse around for other free things to take with you on your travels such as toiletries or clothing.

50+ Resources for Traveling While Pregnant

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 3:48pm by admin

Pregnancy is an exciting time as you experience the changes in your body and your life while you await the birth of your child. It is also a time to think about the past and get ready for big changes in the future. In light of this reflection, many women and expectant couples decide to get a last bit of traveling done before the arrival of the baby. While most travel can be done easily while pregnant, there are some considerations that, if heeded, will make the trip smoother and more enjoyable.

Pregnancy Travel Tips

Below are ten resources offering suggestions on travel while pregnant. Some of the advice will show up on just about every list, such as keeping hydrated and moving around frequently, but all of the tips are worth hearing more than once. From keeping comfortable to staying safe, you will find information to help you start your travel plans.

  1. Easing Your Expectancy: Travel Tips. Ideas on how to pack and ways to take care of your feet are just a few of the tips in this list. There’s also a helpful section on getting a good mindset for traveling while pregnant.
  2. Baby Center Travel. Baby Center offers a list of articles that touch on many aspects of traveling while pregnant. They also have a section with experts’ answers to many common questions about travel during pregnancy and handy tips. 
  3. Tips for Travelling Pregnant. Follow these simple tips for traveling while you are pregnant to help keep you comfortable and safe. No matter what type of travel you undertake, these rules of thumb will help you get there and back.
  4. Seven Tips for Traveling When Pregnant. Keeping yourself comfortable is the key to traveling while pregnant. These tips will help you do just that.
  5. Travel During Pregnancy. This comprehensive list gives suggestions on what to take, handling different time zones, and ways to stay comfortable.
  6. Pregnant Travel Safety Tips. These tips offer sound advice on traveling during your pregnancy. Broken down into three categories of safety, comfort, and making the trip memorable, this site offers more than just safety tips. 
  7. Travel Tips: Travel While Pregnant. Read tips submitted by readers. While this list is not too comprehensive, there is good advice here and it continues to grow as readers add more tips.
  8. Pregnancy Travel Checklist. Bungee jumping, hot tubbing, and contaminated drinking water are out during pregnancy. Find out what to avoid and how to eat healthily when out of the country and pregnant.
  9. Traveling While Pregnant. In addition to foreign and air travel, this article gives helpful tips on car travel and any incidents that may arise as well as information on cruise vacations while pregnant.
  10. Eight smart strategies for pregnant travelers. From avoiding stress to the importance of staying hydrated and eating well, this site suggests ways to plan for a vacation that is both fun and safe for you and your baby. The article also offers links to more informations such as charts of potentially safe and unsafe vaccines during pregnancy.

What to Take

What to take on vacation is always a big question. Traveling while pregnant adds even more options to consider. Below is a list of items you don’t want to leave behind if you are traveling while pregnant.

  1. Maternity Swim wear for Your Pregnancy. You many not need a bathing suit every place you travel, but it’s handy to have one for a quick dip in the pool. Learn how to select a swimsuit from the beginning of your pregnancy through to your last trimester.
  2. DEET in Pregnancy. Keeping mosquitoes at bay isn’t just a matter of comfort, but can also keep your baby healthy. Read about what is safe to use and what works best.
  3. Before You Buy Shoes During Pregnancy–Cute and Comfortable Shoes For Pregnant Women. Comfortable shoes are a must for pregnancy, but when you travel, they are even more important as you will be spending more time on your feet. Follow the tips in this article to get the best shoes for your travel experience.
  4. Healthy Snacks for Pregnancy. Know what to pack to keep yourself from getting hungry while you travel. The snacks suggested here are not all portable enough for the actual journey, but if you can’t put them all in your bag, they at least will remind you of what to find when you stop for a break.
  5. Pregnancy Pillow. A pillow to keep behind your back while traveling or tucked under your stomach while sleeping may make the the journey a comfortable one. Read here to learn all about pregnancy pillows as well as alternatives to pillows designed specifically for pregnancy.
  6. Travel Safely: Create your own DIY first aid kit for the road. Here’s a great, portable first aid kit to take with you on vacation. You can modify it a bit to your specific pregnancy needs, such as adding an antacid and your OB/GYN or midwife’s contact information.
  7. Maternity Clothes–How to Look Great. Of course you will take clothes on your trip, but selecting clothes that feel comfortable and make you look your best will add confidence to your travels. Be sure to also remember to take a few sets of clothes that are not difficult to remove while using small bathrooms during travel on planes or trains.

Getting There and Back

The act of travel itself can have specific risks for a pregnant woman. Whether going by airplane, car, train, or cruise ship, the following resources will inform you so that you can make the journey in safety and with peace of mind.

  1. Air Travel in Pregnancy. Air travel while pregnant is considered safe by most. This article touches on common sense tips for air travel and describes the results of studies done on flight attendants who worked during pregnancy.
  2. Pregnancy, Air Travel, and Radiation Exposure. Get the facts on radiation exposure and flying while pregnant. For the average traveler, there is little risk. Learn the facts here.
  3. Travel During Pregnancy. This short article offers sound safety advice for travelling by car or airplane while pregnant. Scroll to the bottom to find links to other pregnancy travel related articles.
  4. WikiAnswers–Is it safe to go on a cruise while pregnant? Find the answer to this question here.  You will also learn considerations to bear in mind when planning your cruise.
  5. Pregnant Women and Infants. Learn the specific restrictions on pregnant travelers for each cruise line. If you are also traveling with a toddler, you will find the age guidelines helpful as well.
  6. Travelling Pregnant by Train. If your vacation includes train travel, you might want to check out these suggestions for riding the train while pregnant. You can also read the forums for any discussion about train travel while pregnant.

Specific Destinations

Deciding where to go for vacation can be tough with so many options out there. A pregnancy vacation can add a whole new level to the complexity of the decision. The following destination resources can help you decide what type of vacation is right for you while you are pregnant.

  1. Beach Travel While Pregnant. Traveling to the beach evokes images of hammocks and cool drinks under the shade.  Being pregnant doesn’t have to mean you miss out on all that fun. Check out this list of what to do and what to take to make your trip to the beach an enjoyable one.
  2. Overseas Travel During Pregnancy. These helpful suggestions will help keep you healthy and safe if you decide to travel to a foreign country. Especially helpful is the section on food and water safety.
  3. International Travel and Pregnancy. This how-to on traveling to foreign countries while pregnant will assist you not only determining where to go, but how to make the trip safely, comfortably, and successfully.
  4. My wife is five months pregnant. What precautions should we take for hiking and camping. The answer to this question posed on GORP.com offers practical advice to ensure your camping trip while pregnant is successful. Camping and hiking doesn’t have to be off the list of fun vacations for pregnant women.
  5. Pregnant at Walt Disney World. While some people wait until after the baby comes (and gets a little older), a trip to Disney while you’re expecting can be a fun getaway too. Read some helpful tips from veterans of pregnant Disney travel.
  6. Travel Guides for Destinations and All Types of Air Travelers. This incredible list offers links to just about every imaginable type of vacation. Check out the family travels or choose a specific destination to learn about planning your trip.
  7. Susie’s Spa Blog. This blog is an excellent resource for anything spa. If you’d like to plan your vacation to a spa, check this site out. Be sure to visit Best Buys or Day Spa Finder sections if you are keeping within a budget.
  8. Top 10 Yoga Retreats Worldwide. This type of vacation is the ultimate in relaxation. Prenatal yoga is not only good for your body, it can frequently get your body for labor as well. While these spots may not be specifically for pregnancy, you can check the availability of prenatal yoga retreats or prenatal modifications available at each retreat.
  9. BedandBreakfast.com. Bed and Breakfast vacations can be fun, intimate, and inexpensive. This website can find a B&B anywhere in the world. Go to the Search tab, select Special Packages, and then choose Babymoons from the dropdown menu to find special vacations for expectant couples.

Babymoons

Especially tailored for first time parents-to-be, babymoons are the last vacation before the arrival of the new baby. Many babymoon packages include room upgrades, spa treatments such as pregnancy massage, and special classes or excursions for expectant couples. The following list offers lots of planning options for expectant parents planning a babymoon getaway.

  1. Babymoon.com.  This site will help you plan the perfect babymoon vacation for you and your partner. They offer reviews on babymoon destinations and can even help you find one-day trips.
  2. Babymoonfinder.com. Run by new parents themselves, this site attempts to consolidate all the various information available on the Internet so that you can easily plan your babymoon. You can even search by state or a handful of countries in Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
  3. BabyMoon. For those looking to plan a luxury babymoon, this site is a must. You can find the top babymoon packages all around the world or read their blog that offers tips on what to take and where to go.
  4. Plan a Babymoon Vacation. This site offers a general overview of how and why to plan a babymoon. Also check out the various links to the left of the article for more on babymoon travel.
  5. Babymoons! This article offers a sampling of some of the best destinations for babymoons. There are also tips on travel and spa treatment information.
  6. Child of Leisure. This blog focuses on travel and parenting, but if you scroll down the list on the left side, you can click on babymoons to get descriptions of 28 great babymoon packages. You will need to click on Previous Entries to see all the posts.
  7. Planning a Babymoon. This article offers great suggestions from timing the babymoon to how to select the best destination for you.
  8. 10 Babymoon Tips? Here are ten tips for planning a babymoon vacation during your second trimester (although you can use these tips any time in your pregnancy). These are pretty general, but can help get your planning underway.
  9. Baby Bump: Babymoons are on the Rise. This brief article offers ideas on ways to plan a babymoon no matter what your budget. Be sure to read the Comments section for what readers suggest about their babymoon experiences.

General Travel Resources

Traveling, while pregnant or not, is always an adventure. Following the advice of those who have gone before you or getting help on the planning stages always make the trip a bit easier. The resources below offer suggestions and advice for travel that is not necessarily directed to the pregnant traveler, but is worth knowing anyway.

  1. American Standards and European Culture. If your vacation will take you to Europe, the information here can really help get a good perspective on how Americans and Europeans approach the same situations differently. If there’s one thing you want to avoid while pregnant, it’s getting frustrated and angry when it can be avoided.
  2. The Pilot’s Wife Travel Tips. Married to a commercial airline pilot and an avid traveler, this woman offers great tips to help make your travels go smoothly. Read about topics such as passport cards, luggage information, and various national holidays on this site.
  3. Guides: how to pick them. Sometimes relying on someone who knows your vacation spot better than you do can enhance the visit. Other times, having a guide is instrumental to the trip. No matter why, if you decide to hire a guide, these tips will help ensure you find the best person for the job.
  4. HoboTraveler.com. While expecting a baby, you may rack up lots of expenses, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the vacation. Not only does this site offers suggestions on how to travel on a budget, it also offers a budget newsletter, daily tips, and a huge list of travel topics with helpful information.
  5. Guerrilla Traveler: Adventure Travel on a Budget. Another spot for budget travel, this blog offers a wealth of tips and specials to help you plan a wonderful vacation inexpensively. From Mexico to Italy, you can find a way to save money.
  6. Gary Bembridge’s Tips for Travelers. For destination and hotel reviews around the world, this blog offers a great selection. You can sign up for  podcasts, too. 
  7. Packing for your Flight. Keeping your luggage light may be of even more importance when you are pregnant. Follow these tips to keep luggage light and still take what you need for your vacation.
  8. Time Zone Converter. Use this handy converter to find out the time zone for where you will be traveling.
  9. Have Kid, Will Travel. In case you are both pregnant and planning to travel with a child, this blog article offers suggestions on traveling with a child. Scroll down and check out the other parenting and travel tips at the bottom right. You might bookmark this site for after the baby is born, too.
  10. Online Airfares–Finding the Best Deal. This article offers suggestions and links for finding the best prices on airline tickets. If you are flying to your vacation destination, you’ll want to read this.
  11. Journeywoman. This site is completely filled with information and resources for traveling–with a decidedly feminist twist. Read about adventures women travelers have had, learn what to pack, or find a great spa on this site.

It’s time to plan that trip now that you have all this information. Whether you are traveling far from home or you are staying nearby, the above resources are sure to help you on your way. Vacationing while you are pregnant can be a memorable trip on the journey to parenthood. Enjoy!

Comments (11) | Filed under: Tools, Vacations

100 Best Travel Journal Blogs

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 6:18pm by admin

Many travelers opt to take a notebook with them on their journeys to keep a record of their adventures and impressions of the new places they visit. In this digital age, however, many of these notebooks are going on the Web instead and are being shared with people all over the world. Many travel bloggers share their experiences with travel through online travel journals that provide an interesting and sometimes entertaining record of the places they visit and the people they meet. You can read about these journeys either just for your own enjoyment or because you want to take a trip yourself. Here are some of the best to check out.

Couples, Families and Friends

What better way is there to travel than with those you care about most? These travel journals are all about making travel a group affair.

  1. Old World Wandering: While the journey chronicled in this blog is over now, it can still be an interesting read for anyone wishing to travel by land around Europe, through Asia and beyond. The blog is written by a couple who, in the process of moving to Shanghai, planned to see a bit of the world together.
  2. Traveling Right, Traveling Light: Couple Lloyd and Jackie blog about their travels in Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe in this entertaining and informative blog.
  3. Karie and Scott’s European Adventure: This couple took a big leap by selling everything they owned, hopping on a plane and moving to Barcelona with no place to live or work. This blog chronicles their experience as well as their other travels throughout Europe.
  4. Yobosayo: This blog chronicles the travels of a couple from Philadelphia as they make their way around the world. It’s filled with pictures and stories of the places they’ve been traveling, including locations from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and South America.
  5. Family Travel: This site is all about sharing travel and the sights of the world with your children. This family loves to travel together and they share their stories, recommendations and advice through this blog.
  6. Delicious Baby: Bringing the kids on the road with you can sometimes be a pain. This blog is dedicated to helping families travel together more easily. The author, Debbie, posts guides of the most family friendly places in all the cities she visits with her kids.
  7. Euros Ate My Dollars: Ben and Brittany share their eight-month long journey through this blog, after they quit their jobs and took off to see the world. Read about their travels all over Europe.
  8. Uncornered Market: Travelers Audrey and Daniel take photographs and write about their adventures for this blog. Check it out for great posts on China, India, Germany and more.
  9. Soultravelers3: This blog is home to posts from a family of three who packed up and embarked on an open-ended trip around the world. Almost two years into their travels, the family is currently in Capri and hopes to continue traveling.
  10. Big Trip Blog: Kevin and Valerie are a couple who’ve chosen to take a year off to travel around the world together. Their blog records visits to Europe, India, Egypt and much more.
  11. The Lost Girls: This popular blog follows three friends who quit their jobs and set out to explore the world together. Both entertaining and informative, it’s a great read for anyone who has ever dreamed of leaving it all behind to explore the world.
  12. Legal Nomads: Read about these two lawyers (and their friends) as they make their way around the globe, starting with South America.
  13. Globe Stompers: This couple took off on world travels and opted to record the journey in this blog. Read about their experiences in South America, New Zealand and much more as they make their way around the world.
  14. Autumn and Danny World Travel: This blog is dedicated to the world travels of soon-to-be married Autumn and Danny. Keep track of their travels around the globe and their wedding in scenic Tuscany.
  15. One Year on Earth: Newlyweds Shanna and Derek decided to celebrate their marriage by taking off on the trip of a lifetime. They have recorded all their adventures thus far on their blog and still have months to go on their trip.

Photo Journals

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when you’re trying to describe places you’ve traveled. These blogs focus on documenting trips for the more visually inclined.

  1. Everything Everywhere: Here Gary Arndt shares his photos and stories as he travels around the world after selling his business. He’s been traveling all over since March of 2007, and visitors to his site can see great photos of him and the sights in Asia, Australia and Indonesia.
  2. Stuck in Customs: This is a beautiful photo blog by game designer and part-time photographer Trey Ratcliff. It features photos from his travels around the world and at home, so future travelers can get an idea of what they want to see.
  3. Primitive Culture: This photo journal by amateur ethnographer and photographer Xander allows readers to get up close and personal with the sights and stories of places in South Africa, Bangkok, Istanbul and much more.
  4. Far and Near: The author of this blog has traveled to over 40 different countries around the world and shares experiences and impressions of those places through the photos in this blog.
  5. From the Faraway, Nearby: This blog shares the passions of a lifelong bird watcher and nature enthusiast who posts his photos from his travels in Oklahoma, Hawaii and beyond.
  6. Reasons to Wander: Sloan Schang and Amy Hojnowski took off together and went on a journey around the world. This blog is filled with photographs from their journey that show some of their favorite and most lasting memories.
  7. Rambling Traveler: This blog is full of photos from native Minnesotan Stacy’s travels with her husband and their children.
  8. Travelvice: This blog is chock full of photos from the travels of Craig Heimburger, who has spent the last three years in a perpetual state of travel.

Solo Travel

For those going it alone, travel can be a true adventure. These bloggers share their experiences in these blogs.

  1. Travel Betty: Women looking to travel alone can get some tips and advice from this blog, written by an enthusiastic traveler. Readers will be able to find advice in the articles as well as hear about her experiences traveling to 23 different countries.
  2. Claire Takes on the World: The author of this blog, Claire, is working and traveling the world as she goes. Read about her travels to India, Peru, Brazil and more on her blog.
  3. Pickled Eel: This blog, written by an Australian, chronicles travels to China, India, Singapore, Malaysia and more. Readers can also take a look at photos, writings and other additions to his blog.
  4. Corporate America Runaway: Sherry, a former IT specialist, took a year off from the corporate world to travel to all the places she always wanted to visit. Visitors to her blog will be able to read stories about her adventures traveling alone and with friends.
  5. A Novel Path: Writer Cristi Farrell shares her adventures traveling, writing and doing environmental consulting on this blog.
  6. Trail of Ants: This blog follows the travels of Ant, as he treks around the world on a two-year journey. Read his well-written accounts of his experiences in China, India, Sri Lanka and more.
  7. Vagabonding: This blogger, Mike, traveled the world alone for over a year. Though his trip is over, he still posts stories from his travels regularly on this blog.
  8. Brooke vs. the World: This blog follows the adventures of, Brooke, a 24-year old traveling until she runs out of money or finishes the journey. So far she’s journeyed to places like Poland, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain and more.
  9. Girl Solo in Arabia: While many women would be intimidated to take on Arab nations on their own, this blogger shows that a determined woman can travel anywhere. Here she shares her experiences everywhere from Egypt to Iran.
  10. Gone East: This blog follows Huw as he makes his way by land through the cities, natural wonders and monuments of China.
  11. The Overland Tales: This young blogger just wasn’t cut out for the corporate office life. After returning from a journey around the world to the working world, he once again put in his resignation and headed out to explore. This blog follows his journey through Europe, Russia, Japan and beyond.
  12. There and Back: Keep up with the adventures of Evan as he travels around the world solo and chronicles his experience through the travel writing on his blog.
  13. Where the Hell is Matt?: This humorous blog follows around game designer Matt as he used his savings to travel around the world. This blog is slightly unique in that Matt not only visited these places, but made a video of himself dancing in each one.

Region Specific

Sometimes you find a place you love and you just want to learn more about it. These blogs focus on one area and share information and advice as the bloggers travel.

  1. My Terella: This blog is all about Norway and allows readers to learn loads about its culture, places to visit and more. Blogger RennyBA shares his experiences traveling around to scenic and historical locations in Norway, and it can be a very informative read for those planning a trip of their own.
  2. New York Traveler: Those interested in exploring all that the state of New York has to offer should give this blog a look. Follow the blogger as she travels to historical sites, parks and fun locations throughout New York.
  3. Reflections in the Nile: Those with a desire to see the Pyramids or travel down the Nile will enjoy the posts from this blog. English-born Su makes frequent trips to the country and writes about her experiences here.
  4. Bart’s Travel Blog: If you love traveling in South America, this blog likely has something of interest for you. Bart records his travel experiences, insights and suggestions throughout this informative blog.
  5. Middle East Journal: Get the lowdown on what it’s like living and traveling in the Middle East from journalist Michael Totten.
  6. Texas RV Travel Blog: This blogger is an avid RV enthusiast and has recorded many travels in this blog. For those interested in RVs, Texas, or both, this is an informative read.
  7. Europe Trotter: Those who love European travel can follow the journey of this blogger who has gone to just about every European country and recorded the journey in this blog.

Road Less Traveled

From traveling to the far reaches of the globe to taking to the road for unusual reasons, these travelers have taken some unusual trips all over the world.

  1. Big Blue Globe: If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling to the bottom of the world, check out this blog. It gives a day-by-day account of what it’s like living and working in Antarctica.
  2. Olga the Traveling Bra: Get a laugh from this blog, which follows the worldwide journey of Olga, a lacy black bra. Readers will get photos and information about all the places Olga visits.
  3. Candy from Strangers: Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy this blog as it follows the travels of Malena, a blogger who is traveling the world not only to see the sights but to find the best sweets as well.
  4. Last Great Road Trip: This father and son road trip team travel across the United States, traveling over 5,000 miles. Their story is recorded in this blog for others who are planning a road trip of their own.
  5. A Journey into the Heart of America: These recent college grads took on an extended road trip as a means to see the United States as well as to meet people from all over America. They recorded their journey in this blog.
  6. Polar Blogger: While some people might call it crazy, this blogger wanted to walk to the south pole. This blog records his progress, and his adventures in Antarctica.
  7. Global Walk: Follow this woman as she walks around the world to help fight breast cancer with the posts and journal entries from this blog. Her trip is over, but the story is still an inspiration to anyone who wants to battle disease and see the world from a new perspective.
  8. Bird Year: This unusual blog chronicles the 12,000-mile journey of then 15-year-old Malkolm and his family as they travel along the West coast in search of birds.
  9. Hope and Healing: These bloggers are traveling by ship around the coast of Africa, providing much needed medical attention and aid to locals. You can read about their experiences, frustrations and triumphs in this blog.
  10. One Week Job: One way to help pay for a journey around the world is to work your way through it, and that’s just what this intrepid blogger did. Follow him as he attempts to work odd jobs to help him make his way across continents.

Alternate Transportation

While air travel is usually the way most global travelers choose to make long journeys, some choose a more adventurous way to get around. Follow these bloggers as they travel the world by foot, bike, boat and more.

  1. Slow Travel: This blog is dedicated to travel without airplanes. This blogger is taking trains, cars, boats and his own two feet as he travels around the world.
  2. The Big Walk: It might take a few pairs of shoes to do it, but Paul and Helen Webster are aiming to walk their way across Europe. Follow their progress with this blog.
  3. Horse Travel Blog: Those who enjoy horseback riding will get the most out of this blog. It focuses on vacations the blogger and her husband have taken that involve horseback riding and can be a great resource for others who are looking for travel of this sort.
  4. Kiwis Don’t Fly: Those afraid to take to the skies will appreciate the nature of this blog, which chronicles the journey of one native New Zealander as he travels from Dublin to Sydney without taking a flight.
  5. Ed’s Gone South: This blog follows the long motorcycle journey of Ed, who opted to explore the wonders of South America via two wheels.
  6. Amy and Wim: Ever wanted to see the world from the seat of your bicycle? This couple did just that, traveling all over with only their bikes, small packs and each other.
  7. The World By Sea: Derek, a Flagstaff native, and his friend took a boat on a cruise around the world not only to see the sights, but to help locals build new schools, improve their communities and more. This blog chronicles their ongoing journey.
  8. Dmotorider: If you’ve ever dreamed of taking to the open road on a motorcycle, you can get some inspiration from this blog. The writer took just his motorcycle and a few suitcases on a journey through the Americas.
  9. LifeCruiser: This blog is written by a husband and wife to record their travels by sea around their native country of Sweden and beyond.
  10. Travels of Stacey: Musician Stacey takes to the seas and records her travels in this blog. You’ll find entertaining photos of people, places and foods as well as amusing commentary.

Living Abroad

Why only take a few weeks in a country when you can live there and really learn about a place? These journals are by bloggers who have done just that and who have chosen to share their experiences.

  1. Neil Duckett: Neil Duckett is an Australian living and working in Japan. His blog deals with his experiences fitting in, learning about Japanese culture, tasting new foods and learning about Japan day by day.
  2. Tales from Kulafumbi:This native Kenyan blogs about her experiences living, working and traveling throughout the country and provides great insights and beautiful photos for readers to see.
  3. My Marrakech: This photo-filled blog follows the life of an American family living in Marrakech. It contains loads of info. on where to shop, eat and find the best things in Marrakech.
  4. Eating Asia: This writing and photo-taking couple have lived and traveled throughout Asia for the past 12 years. Their blog focuses on the delicacies and best places to find food in countries like Malaysia, China, Thailand and Vietnam. The photographs are guaranteed to make your mouth water!
  5. Gas.tron.o.my: This blogger is currently living in Saigon and writes about the sights, but her blog focuses more on the foods to be found there. If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam anytime soon, the blog is a must-read for cuisine recommendations.
  6. Just Married Chilean Style: This newlywed is currently living in Chile with her husband and blogs about her experiences adapting and making a life in the country. Visitors will learn the ins and outs of getting around in Chile through her posts, essential if you’re planning a trip there.
  7. Beijing Notebook: This blogger is currently living in Beijing and shares insights and advice with those who want to visit or live in the city themselves.
  8. The North West Territory: Brian, a non-profit worker and sometime blogger, shares his experiences living and working in Ghana in this blog.
  9. Novoarte’s Travel Blog: Those looking to travel to Mexico City can find some helpful insights and advice on this blog, written by a sometime New Yorker and current resident of Mexico City.
  10. Travis on Tour: Blogger Travis is currently living and working as a teacher in Korea. His posts share his experiences with all aspects of fitting into Korean culture.
  11. Parisian Spring: Tanya is a graduate student currently living and studying in Paris. Her blog reflects her experiences living in France and traveling through Europe.
  12. Sandier Pastures: Learn what it’s like to pull up stakes and move to Dubai with a little reading on this blog. Learn about the sites and intricacies of life in the United Arab Emirates.
  13. The Life I Chose in Positano: This blogger came to Italy to study and ended up staying put. Get a different perspective on life in the tourist town of Positano from someone who’s chosen to call it home.

Advice

Looking for some friendly advice before your next trip? Learn from the experiences of these bloggers by checking out their travel journals.

  1. Amateur Traveler: Here visitors will find a blog that is part of a weekly podcast series. Entries share travel stories, advice and more with those who travel for pleasure.
  2. Killing Batteries: Travel writer Leif Pettersen gives readers some insight into the places he’s been. Posts are in-depth and provide valuable information about places all over the world.
  3. The Art of Nonconformity: This blog is full of advice for travelers taken from the experience of Chris Guillebeau, a writer, social entrepreneur and world traveler.
  4. The Daily Transit: This blog, by journalist Ben Hancock, covers all kinds of topics and issues that relate to travel both real and metaphysical adventures.
  5. Ubertramp: Get advice on budget travel, backpacking and more on this site. It also contains great accounts of other’s travel experiences to help you get an idea of what to expect on your next trip.
  6. Viator Travel Blog: This blog from Viator is a collection of travel writings from bloggers who have traveled all over the world. Get new insights, advice and inspiration from the posts.
  7. Les Explorers: This blog is written by French hotel worker Claude Bernard, and follows him as he visits places all over the world as well as offering some insights into the tourism business.
  8. Andy HoboTraveler: This blogger has been traveling around the world for almost ten years and has visited over 44 different countries in his journeys. You’ll find general travel advice as well as his personal accounts of his travels on this blog.
  9. Go Backpacking Round the World: Those who have a passion for backpacking will appreciate the advice and articles contained within this blog. Readers will find information that will help them plan the best trips possible as well as first-hand accounts of other travelers’ experiences.
  10. Cool Travel Guide: Lara Dunston is a travel writer living in Dubai. This blog highlights the things she enjoys most about travel and the discoveries that she’s made while working on travel books for Lonely Planet, DK and more.

General

Hear about all kinds of stories from travelers who have explored the far reaches of the globe and reported back to their blogs with these helpful and entertaining online travel journals.

  1. Pret a Voyager: The name of this blog translates to Ready to Travel, and that’s just what this roaming graphic designer does. The blog focuses on stories of her travels as well as on fashion, design and photography.
  2. Escape from New York: Wendy, writer of this blog, is a photographer and journalist who travels the world taking photos and learning about what makes cultures unique. Her blog contains stories and, of course, photographs of her travels.
  3. Nomad4Ever: Here you’ll find articles and advice from a self-professed nomad who’s spending his time traveling and living in Southeast Asia. The blog shares his experiences while also giving inspiration and motivation to those scared to fulfill their travel dreams.
  4. Nerd’s Eye View: This self-professed nerd works as a technical writer but also enjoys writing about travel and culture whenever she can. This blog is an extension of that and is full of her travels both local and abroad.
  5. Sand Dollar Adventures: This humorous blog shares the adventures and misadventures of the blogger. It also shares ideas and deals on travel for those who like a little adrenaline on their vacations.
  6. Budget Trouble: Here, self professed travel addict Anna shares her experiences traveling and living in places all over the world.
  7. Greg Wesson’s Esoteric Globe: Follow the travels of Greg, a frequent road warrior and world traveler whose blog covers countries near and far.
  8. Notes from the Road: This blog provides beautiful photos and writings on travel all over the United States.
  9. Randall Wood: Randall Wood is a travel writer, among many other things, and this blog showcases his writings on the places he’s been.
  10. Song of the Open Road Travel Blog: Having been traveling for years and visiting over forty countries, Wade shares his experiences with international travel through this blog.
  11. Write Away!: Lauren Carter, the author of this blog, is a travel writer living in Ontario. Her blog focuses on the travels she’s taken, travel deals, tourism issues and more.
  12. Clearly Enlight’s Travel Blog: Get inspired by the photos and posts from this blogger who plans to travel the world for the next five years, and who is sharing his experiences on his blog.
  13. Not Another Tourist: This blogger has been living and working all over the world. She’s chosen to share her experiences with friends, family and the rest of the Internet through this blog.
  14. Always Traveling: Follow this blogger across continents with entertaining posts and insights on backpacking through Europe, China and maybe more.

50 Best Sites and Resources for the Ultimate in Luxury Travel

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 5:50pm by admin

Bargain traveling is easier on the wallet, but luxury travel is often less stressful and more fruitful. This list of resources will help you find unique and extraordinary destinations that will inspire you to travel in luxury every time. Sure, the yachts, private jets and champagne hot air balloon ride are very expensive, but there are treasures to be found for the budget minded traveler looking to indulge in some luxury.

Air Travel

  1. Private Jets: Avoid large commercial airports, long lines, security checks and other travelers. Charter your own personal jet to travel anywhere in the world, with as little as four hours notice.
  2. Chartered Flights: Book your flight on a personal jet or plane to save time, and depending on the destination, maybe even money. Travel in style and comfort, and no fighting for a window seat.
  3. Go High: If money is not an issue and you’re looking for something extraordinary, consider taking a classy hot air balloon ride that includes a gourmet meal and champagne.
  4. First Class Flyer: This website can help you navigate the mysteries of discounted first- and business-class air fares and flight upgrades. First Class Flyer, an online newsletter that also has a new blog, is also available on the site.
  5. FareCompare.com: An insightful fare comparison service, good for acquiring a base of information towards an educated buying decision.

Sea Travel

  1. Specialized Cruises: Allura Tours has set its sights on “redefining gay luxury travel.” Their offerings include a lineup of Crystal Cruises in Europe and North America.
  2. Tahiti by Gauguin: Sail this luxury cruise ship to exotic destinations. The cruise is tailored for comfort and luxury, it’s like a black tie cruise without the tuxedo.
  3. Charter a Yacht: Sail away to paradise aboard your own private yacht in the Virgin Islands.
  4. More Yacht Resources: A large and useful online resource for yacht charter enthusiasts. Yacht Charters.com is the easiest way to find yachting destination information as well as an extensive listing of yacht charter resources.

Land

  1. The Orient Express: With five decadent trains, Orient Express is the emperor of luxury train travel. Travel to iconic European destinations such as Venice, Istanbul and Prague on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, to Machu-Pichu on Peru-rail, to Edinburgh on the Royal Scotsman or through rainforests and past temples of Thailand and Malaysia on the Eastern and Oriental Express.
  2. Rentvillas.com: Rentvillas is a California-based company with a wide selection of beautiful private rental properties throughout Italy. They have a terrific Web site and helpful representatives.
  3. Luxury Golf Resorts: This site presents a complete list of the world’s best golf resorts – a quintessential combination of historic holes and refined country luxury that await those who may or may not be on the PGA tour.
  4. Romantic Luxury Hotels: Affectionate charm runs rampant in this highly selective list of romantic hotels that are sure to evoke a heightened sense of passion and romance.
  5. Luxury Ski Resorts: The most sought-after ski resorts in the world are finally compiled in one place. This esteemed collection of ski resorts can boast the most renowned mountains in the world with the finest ski facilities.
  6. Forbes Finest: A list of the World’s very best hotels and resorts, chosen by a panel of experts at Forbes Traveler.
  7. The Royal Scotsman: A holiday on The Royal Scotsman is regarded as one of the world’s great travel experiences. Encounter Scotland’s ever-changing landscapes of sweeping glens, towering peaks and mirror-calm lochs as the train weaves through wild countryside and along virgin stretches of coast.

Packages

  1. Travel Advisors: DavidTravel an Editor’s Choice winner since 1998, the site has a particular flair for custom travel designing for luxurious land and sea based excursions worldwide.
  2. Luxury Tips: Elegantly appointed site offering a search of the world’s best hotels with online reservations and select city guides with maps, pictures, and travel information.
  3. Tailored Tours: The days of luxury travel live on. This site specializes in catering to those who want to be treated well with tours planned down to the smallest detail including hotel booking, river cruises, safaris and family packages. If the amount of money you spend on a tour is not as important as the amount of pleasure you derive from it…you’ll feel right at home.
  4. Holiday and Leisure Travel: Safaris, cruises on luxury liners and smaller vessels, fine hotels and more all catering to the holiday and leisure traveler looking for the very best.
  5. Luxury Travel Tours: Recognized in the industry for years of experience in arranging African safari tours and now covering the globe with travel offerings from luxury ski packages to French river canal cruises.
  6. Explore Venues: Here is another site that seems deceptively simple. Click on any of the vacation venues on the left and you are instantly transported to destinations that are sure to pique your interest.
  7. Luxury Link: One-stop browsing for the best of travel experiences including information on hotel & destination award winners, top beaches, scenic drives, and special package auction to bid on, or book directly online.
  8. Posh Travel: This collection of links and articles provides plenty of ideas for affluent travelers. Chateaux, fine dining, and museums are just a taste of the offerings here.
  9. Travel News: Keep up-to-date with the latest in luxury travel with reports on the current crop of best castle hotels, beach resorts, casinos, yacht cruises and private islands.
  10. Artisans of Leisure: Artisans of Leisure tours are private and highly personalized, created for discerning travelers who expect the highest level of luxury, service, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home. Touring is flexible, with your own expert guide and driver in each destination, and each day is tailored to your personal interests, schedule, level of energy, and travel preferences.

Adventure

  1. IExplore.com If you’re looking for more thrills in your vacation, start by exploring iExplore.com. The site offers hiking and biking trips, as well as multi-sport tours. It also boasts expert advice on “experiential travel,” such as a wildlife safari or culinary tour.
  2. Extreme Adventures: Whether it’s a safari in Botswana or sledding with reindeer in Norway, this site has an adventure waiting for you.
  3. Luxury Adventure: We offer a wide variety of rustic- luxury adventure travel options. From adrenaline-packed whitewater rafting in Chile on the Futaleufu River to family, kayaking and multi-sport adventures, we have an expedition to meet your adventure needs and desires. All you have to do is choose an expedition!
  4. Family Adventures: This site gives resources for luxury adventure travel tailor made to fit your family’s needs, with guided tours and experts.

Relax

  1. Nickel Spa for Men: Cobalt, chrome, gray and blue make up the color scheme and the watery hues even come complemented by a Decompression Chamber. Improve your life with a Facial Shock Treatment (with caffeine and menthol), a Sports Massage (with red pepper extract) or late night remedy — Morning After Rescue Gel.
  2. Salish Lodge & Spa: Thirty-five miles from downtown Seattle, Salish Lodge & Spa is an award-winning resort perched spectacularly on the crest of the magnificent 268-foot Snoqualmie Falls. The spacious suites include Jacuzzi, wood-burning fireplaces and feather beds. Signature treatments include Alpine Purification Body Polish and an Earth Cocoon treatment in the Rain Room.
  3. Spa Avania: Arriving at Avania is like a stress decompression experience. Massages are synchronized to the energy of the time of day, with music to match. Spa visitors can spend the entire day taking restorative dips in the co-ed swimming pool-sized French mineral pool, sipping iced mint ginger water under palm trees and by the outdoor fireplace or enjoying the separate women’s and men’s eucalyptus rooms, rain showers and relaxation lounges.
  4. Spa Mandalay, Las Vegas: This way, way, way over-the-top — 30,000 square-foot spa was designed to dazzle, providing an unparalleled opulent atmosphere, with 21 treatments rooms and a 3,000 square-foot fitness area. Treatments include Volcanic Dust Mask and Herbal Wrap with Peppermint and exfoliating body treatments which scrub lucky loungers to a mango papaya sugar glow. When tired of all the manhandling, hang out in the 11-acre outdoor tropical sand beach, with three pools, wave generator and river ride.
  5. Scuba Safaris: A UK based organizations, they play every aspect of luxury scuba diving tours at locations around the world.

Luxury Travel for Pets

  1. Kimpton Hotels: Several luxury chains pull out all the stops for pets. Kimpton Hotels, which has properties in 16 U.S. cities, offers its furry guests Doggie day care, gourmet turndown treats, and pet massage services. Some Kimpton properties, like the Monaco hotels (in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Denver), have special pet events like costume parties and meet-and-greet cocktail hours.
  2. Starwood Hotels: If you stay at any Starwood Group property (Westin, W Hotels, Le Meridien, and Sheraton), you’ll get designer dog bedss that rival your own bed. Westin doggies may get their own plush robes; W dogs will be welcomed with a toy and treats. Le Meridien properties have a cute if pricey “Feed the Party Animal” pet room-service menu.
  3. Loew’s Loves Pets: As part of their “Loews Loves Pets” program, Loews Hotels provide pet owners with local information on pet-friendly places, parks, and veterinary and grooming services; if you leave any accoutrements at home, beds, litter boxes, scratching posts, pooper scoopers, and so on can be procured. There are even room-service selections for your pet.
  4. Dog Travel Guides: A listing of worldwide pet travel guides for dogs of all sizes and breeds.

Travel for Food

  1. Vagablond.com: The globetrotter’s guide to fashionable travel. Vagablond discusses boutique hotels, food, wine, shopping and more.
  2. Gourmet Voyageurs: An e-magazine of luxury hotels, top restaurants, inns and other up-scale travel and food reviews.
  3. journeyPod Your guide to luxury travel around the world. Learn about hippest hotels, hottest nightlife and best food and wine spots.
  4. Luxury Travel Magazine: Magazine provides information about luxury travel destinations around the globe. Site also provides travel news.
  5. World’s Best Gourmet Getaways: List of information on luxury destinations that include gourmet food.
  6. Gourmet Experience: Combining luxury travel through breath-taking wine regions with gourmet food and fine wines in the company of some of the world’s leading chefs and winemakers.

Travel Tools

  1. Travel insurance: Buying travel insurance from agencies and travel providers, such as cruise lines, is usually a crummy deal because of price markups and restrictions on how the policy claims can be filed. The best value policies are often those sold directly by the leading travel insurance companies.
  2. Seating: Make sure you pick the best seat by reading reviews on airline seat quality, such as the amount legroom and recline ability. Even if you already have an assigned seat, you can contact the airline and try to switch to a better one.
  3. Frequent Flier Miles: Webflyer is a useful site for getting the best upgrade for the miles you’ve earned. See how your miles convert between programs, learn about changes to your frequent flier program and discover how to max out the value of your mileage awards when you redeem them for merchandise or services.
  4. Currency Conversion: Check rates at XE.com and try to exchange your dollars at a local bank. Along with an easy-to-read conversion rates grid on the homepage, this site offers a host of tools including a travel expenses calculator, credit card charges calculator and, obviously, a conversion calculator.
  5. Personal Trip Advisors: Virtuoso luxury vacation, cruise and tour advisors offer exclusive insider connections and industry expertise on upscale cultural endeavors, both on and off the beaten path, high adventure to posh leisure on authentic luxury cruises, tours and vacations.

How to: Turn Your iPod Into Anything (75+ Tutorials)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 5:34pm by admin

If you’re thinking that all your iPod can do is play music, think again. With a little ingenuity and guidance, you can turn your iPod into just about anything, whether it’s a remote control or a notepad. Read on to find more than 75 tutorials that will walk you through projects that will transform your iPod.

Storage

Get more out of your iPod’s little hard drive using these turorials.

  1. Using Your iPod as a Storage Drive: Apple offers a tutorial on how you can use your iPod as a hard drive or flash drive.
  2. How to Get Songs off Your iPod with iTunes: With this hack, you can move the songs from your iPod to your music library on iTunes.
  3. iPod Shuffle RAID: Find out how this tech handyman used 4 iPod Shuffles to make a RAID array.
  4. Turn Your iPod into a Backup Drive: This short guide will tell you how to use an old iPod as a backup.

Multimedia

Make your iPod a media powerhouse using these guides.

  1. How to Turn Your iPod into a TV: Make your iPod a mobile TV with this guide.
  2. Turn your iPod into a Ouija board: Have some supernatural fun using your iPod with this guide.
  3. Turn Your iPod into a Boombox: Crave has found a retro way to outfit your iPod.
  4. How to Convert DVD or Videos to iPod Video Format: Learn how to rip DVD movies to iPods as well as convert a variety of video files.
  5. Getting the Video out of Your New iPod–for Cheap!: Check out this hack to learn how to play videos from your iPod on your TV.
  6. Ten Step Guide to iPhone Custom Ringtones in GarageBand ’08: Get the details on creating ringtones of your very own for the iPhone.
  7. Turn Your iPod into a Recording Studio: Check this out to see how you can record just about anything with your iPod.
  8. iRocker: Turn Your iPod into a Guitar Tuner/Metronome/Practice Tool: With this guide and bundle of apps, you can turn your iPod into a useful tool for making music.
  9. Turn Your iPod Packaging into an iPod Speaker: Take the packaging that your iPod came in and turn it into something useful with this guide.

At Home

iPods aren’t just useful on the go-they can be great at home as well. These guides will show you how to make use of your iPod at home.

  1. How-To Turn your iPod into a Universal Infrared Remote Control: Tidy up your living room by turning your iPod into the only remote you need.
  2. iPod Alarm Clock: Follow this short guide to turn your iPod into an alarm clock.
  3. DIY iPod Video Projector: This Instructables guide will walk you through the production of a projector that you can use for iPod videos.

Information

Keep all of the information of the world in your pockets with these tutorials.

  1. Build an eDoc Reader for Your iPod: This tutorial will show you how to build an eDoc reader on your own.
  2. An Offline Wikipedia Reader for the iPhone/iPod Touch: Get Wikipedia on your iPod Touch using this awesome tool.
  3. Read Ebooks on your MP3 Player Using "Ebook to Images": Turn your iPod into a mobile book reader with a little software help.
  4. Dictionary: You can put the Merriam Webster Dictionary on your iPod.

Communication

The iPhone isn’t the only iPod product that can be used for communication. Check out these guides to find out how to use your iPod to keep in touch.

  1. Phreaking Out Your iPod: Use your iPod to make free phone calls using this hack.
  2. Turn Your iPod into the Ultimate PowerPoint Accessory: Find out how you can make presentations a snap with your iPod here.
  3. Make your own Pirate Radio Station with an iPod: Broadcast a radio station from your iPod with this guide.
  4. Turn Your iPod Touch into an iPhone: Check out this hack that will allow you to make calls from your iPod Touch.
  5. Speed Dial with Your iPod: Use portable speakers and MP3 recordings of phone numbers to speed dial.

Upgrades

Upgrade your iPod to a laptop or even a working PC using these tutorials.

  1. iPod Super: Check out this project guide to find out how you can replace your iPod’s hard drive with a larger one.
  2. Turn your iPod Touch into a Desktop Diva: Improve the quality of your iPod Touch’s desktop sound using this tutorial.
  3. How to-Turn Your iPod Mini into a Flash-Based iPod: Switch your microdrive out for a compact flash card with this tutorial.
  4. Turn Your iPod into a Laptop: Make the most out of a broken iPod with this guide.
  5. Nanoscope: The Nanoscope increases the size of your iPod’s video with this neat little tool.
  6. How to Install the iPhone Applications Mail, Notes, Stocks, Weather, and Maps on Your iPod Touch: Get better apps on your iPod Touch using this guide.
  7. How to Turn Your iPod into Your Full, Working PC: Get a mobile computer with this useful guide.
  8. Classic to iPod Video Project: Get your iPod Video to look like a classic with this guide.

Organization

These tutorials will show you how the iPod can keep your organized.

  1. Notepad: With a handwriting application for the iPhone and iPod Touch, you can use your device as a mobile notepad.
  2. Hipster POD: Adding An iPod to Your Hipster PDA: Use this hack to attach an iPod to your low-tech PDA system.
  3. How to Turn Your iPod into a PDA: Make your iPod an ultimate organizer with this guide.
  4. Turn your iPod into a Digital Recorder: Make your iPod even more functional by adding a digital recorder to it.
  5. The Holy Grail of Synchronization: Keep your contacts up to date on your iPod and everywhere else using this tutorial.
  6. Manage a To-Do List with Your iPod Touch: Check out how you can stay organized without using the Contacts application.
  7. Calculating Tips with TipKalc: Figure out tips right on your iPod using this handy guide and tool.

Security

With these tutorials, you can make yourself, your iPod and the information on it more secure.

  1. Secure backup and storage using a disk image and an iPod: Keep your data safe even if your iPod gets stolen by using this security method.
  2. How to Turn your iPod into a Taser: This video teaches you how to turn your iPod into a personal security device.
  3. The iPod Theft Deterrent: Equip your iPod with stain security using this tutorial.

Battery/Energy

Use these guides to learn how to make the most out of your iPod’s battery.

  1. Hand Powered iPod Shuffle: This guide will teach you how to charge your iPod Shuffle without electricity.
  2. How to Make a Bike Charger for Your iPod: This tutorial will show you how to keep your iPod going while you bike.
  3. MintyBoost!-Small Battery-Powered USB Charger: This project will put a charger into an Altoids box.
  4. How To Extend the Life of Your iPod Battery: Follow this guide to find out how to make your battery last longer.
  5. Build a Solar iPod Charger: Create a lightweight, solar charger for your iPod using this guide.

Accessories

Make your own accessories for the iPod using these tutorials.

  1. Kody’s Moleskine iPod Hack: Check out this hack to learn how to put an iPod in your moleskine.
  2. How-To: Design Your Own iPod Super Dock: Create a dock that takes loads more information using this guide.
  3. Book iPod Cozy: Carry your iPod in a hardcover book with this tutorial.
  4. How to Build an iPod Touch Stand from a $100 Bill: Use money or strong paper to create a DIY stand.
  5. Simple Amp: Create a cheap, simple amplifier for your iPod.
  6. Lego iPod Dock Assembly Step-by-Step: This guide will show you how to create a fun little iPod dock.
  7. How to-Make an iPod Shuffle Gen 2 Travel Case: Create a nifty travel case using the instructions in this guide.
  8. Build Your Own iPod Dock: Create an iPod dock of your very own using this guide.
  9. Shoe Hacker: Nike+iPod Sport Kit Shoe Mod: Use a bit of velcro to put your sport kit in any shoe.

Tech

These tutorials show you how to use the iPod for high-tech endeavors.

  1. Use Your iPhone as a Multi-Touch Mouse with Touchpad Pro: Check out this video guide to using your iPod Touch as a mouse.
  2. Hack Your Brain with an iPod: Use the iPod to hack your brain with noise.
  3. Run Linux on Your iPod: Find out how you can run the Linux OS on your iPod here.
  4. Use your iPod as a Startup Drive: Boot your computer with your iPod using this tutorial.
  5. How To: Install Leopard with Your iPod: Turn an old iPod into a boot disk with this tutorial.
  6. Turn Your iPod into a Geek Toolbox: This feature tells you how you can load up your iPod with computer fixers.
  7. Turn Your iPod into a PC: This feature highlights how you can virtualize your PC onto your iPod.

Other Uses

For even more ways to get more out of your iPod, check out these tutorials.

  1. Turn Your iPod into Money: Once you’re done with your iPod, you can just sell it.
  2. Turn Your iPod into a Sex Toy: With the iBuzz, you can listen to and feel music at the same time.
  3. PodGourmet: Turn your iPod into a mobile cookbook using the PodGourmet.
  4. The Complete Guide to iPhone Car Integration: Find out how you can integrate the iPhone with your car in this tutorial.
  5. iWay-Yahoo! Directions on your iPod: Use this guide and handy tool to put Yahoo! maps on your iPod.
  6. Poor Man Hack: Nike+iPod Sport Kit Shoe Mod: With this hack, you can use the Nike+iPod sport kit with any kind of shoe.
  7. iPod Subway Maps: Get around the subway using these photo maps.
  8. Turn Your iPod into a Travel Guide: Here you’ll find loads of travel podcasts that are great for listening to on the road.
  9. Restaurant Finder: Check out Zagat ratings on your iPod here.
  10. Turn Your iPod into a Personal Trainer: MSNBC describes how you can use your iPod to track stats, progress, and more.
  11. Mirror: Use the shiny back of your iPod as a mirror for photos and more.
  12. Creating iPod Tattoos: This guide offers information on how you can create a tattoo for your iPod.
  13. iPod Bartender: Put together tasty drinks with these recipes.

The Broke Vacationer: 100 Ways to Get Free Stuff When Traveling

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 4:41pm by admin

Whether you’re traveling halfway around the world or just across state lines, travel expenses can add up quickly, especially with rising airline and gas prices. But you don’t need to break the bank to have a great time on vacation. There are many ways to get even the priciest of travel necessities at a great discount or even for free. Check out these tips and see if any can save you money on your vacation.

General Tips

These general tips can help you make your trip much easier on your budget.

  1. Surf the net for promo deals. The internet is chock full of travel deals if you know where to look. Sign up for emails and updates from comparison sites like Kayak and have the best promos sent directly to your inbox.
  2. Print out online coupons. There are many coupons online for hotels, dining, and attractions. Simply print them out and bring them with you when you go.
  3. Sign up for free travel contests. While there is no guarantee of winning, there’s no harm in trying. Who knows, you might get lucky!
  4. Go to timeshare presentations. While this isn’t for the weak-willed, time share presentations can be a way to get some pretty great stuff for free. The inexperienced can use this guide to keep from falling prey to the sales pitch.
  5. Contact local tourism bureaus. A simple letter or email to the local tourism bureau of the place you’re planning to visit can garner you some free coupons and maps of the area.
  6. Take advantage of discounts through work. Many businesses have corporate discount programs that can save you a lot of money on admission to a wide variety of attractions as well as hotels and transportation. Check to see if your employer has such a program; it can save you a bundle.
  7. Never be afraid to ask. If you want a discount on a price, just ask, otherwise you might miss out on a potential bargain.
  8. Be frugal, not cheap. While it’s good to be frugal with your vacation money, don’t skimp on important things. It may end up costing you more in the long run.
  9. Try to speak the language. Do your best to speak the language, otherwise you’ll peg yourself as a tourist and possibly get charged higher prices.
  10. Get cash at an ATM. Don’t exchange money before you leave home or at the airport. You will get a much better exchange rate by using your credit card at an ATM.
  11. Check out the rotary club. Rotary Club International offers free travel and accommodations for businesspeople on group study exchanges. You don’t even have to be a member.
  12. Make friends. Just like at home, having the right connections can go a long way towards getting hooked up with free stuff. So be nice, a smile may score you some free goodies.
  13. Be flexible. You’re more likely to get discounts and freebies if you’re willing to be flexible in your plans.
  14. Don’t be ashamed to drop names. Know someone who lives and works in the area you’re visiting? Mention their name; they might have friends in unexpected places that can offer you a deal.
  15. Volunteer. If you’re not opposed to working on your vacation, you can get free lodging in many scenic locations all over the world in exchange for varying degrees of volunteer work.

Flights

Flying can be expensive, but luckily there are many ways to help reduce the cost. Check out these tips to help you save on airfare.

  1. Extend a business trip. If your work has already paid for you to fly somewhere, why not spend a few days after your business is taken care of checking out the sights?
  2. Get bumped. Airlines reward passengers who are willing to be bumped with passes for free travel. While it might be a small inconvenience, it can save you lots of money on travel expenses.
  3. Cash in your credit card rewards. If you’ve got a rewards credit card, cash in the miles for free or discounted flights.
  4. Be a courier. If you’re willing to pack light, you can score free travel all over the world by working as a package courier.
  5. Ask friends and family who work with an airline. Often, employees of airlines can get family members and friends tickets for next to nothing.
  6. Use your miles to upgrade to first class. If you don’t quite have enough miles with your frequent flyer card to get free flights, you can use the miles to upgrade instead, and enjoy your flight from the comfort of first class.
  7. Bring your own snacks. Many airlines have cut out their free snack and beverage services and now charge a fee for those little bags of peanuts. Bring your own snacks and you can avoid having to buy them once you’re in the air.
  8. Complain if you receive poor service. While it isn’t common, occasionally you’ll have a really poor experience with an airline. If you feel you’ve been mistreated, send a letter to the customer service department. While you probably won’t get a totally free flight, you may get free upgrades or miles you can use.
  9. Check out rewards programs that give free companion tickets. Many credit card reward programs not only give you miles when you buy a ticket, but will also give you a free ticket for a friend to come along when you purchase a full-priced fare.

Accommodation

Hotels can be one of the biggest expenses on a vacation. Use these tips to sleep soundly without putting so much strain on your wallet.

  1. Stay with family and friends. If you have family or friends that live near where you’re traveling, see if you can stay with them for a few days. It could save you a lot of money on hotels and you’ll get to spend time with people you care about.
  2. Get motel coupons. For the frequent road-tripper, motel coupons can be an invaluable resource and the Motel Coupons website has discounts for places all over the US. You’re sure to find some for motels near your destination.
  3. Swap houses. If you’re looking for totally free accommodations and have a good amount of trust in your fellow man, swapping houses can be a great option for cheap travel. There are many services that can set you up with other people who want to do a swap and may be more reliable than those you find elsewhere.
  4. Become a hotel critic. For the price of a written review, you can earn a few nights in hotels all over.
  5. Stay in hostels when possible. While most are not entirely free, they are usually extremely cheap, especially if you’re traveling in a group. Many will even provide free breakfast.
  6. Be a house sitter. In exchange for helping someone keep their home and pets safe and sound while they’re away, you’ll get to stay cheaply in places all over the world. Check with some of the larger and more reliable organizations that can set you up with a home that needs watching.
  7. Find free hotels. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Many travel sites guarantee that they have the lowest price. If you find your hotel cheaper somewhere else, it’s on them.
  8. Hotel rewards cards. Many hotels have partnered with credit card companies to create rewards cards. These cards can get to free stays at the hotel, so use them for everyday purchases and cash in the rewards when you travel.
  9. Check out work to stay deals. There are many programs worldwide that offer free lodging in exchange for some help around the house or farm. While it may not be as relaxing as lounging on the beach, it can take a hefty chunk out of the cost of your vacation.
  10. Become part of a guestroom program. Believe it or not, there are people all over who are willing to allow travelers to stay in their guestrooms. Check out a program like the Guest Room Network to see if you can find a free room at your destination.
  11. Share hotel rooms. If you’re traveling with a friend, cut costs in half by sharing a hotel room.
  12. Arrange group travel. If you’re good at planning, you can score free travel by arranging group tours for others. As a reward for bringing in a paying group, companies like GlobeTours give the organizer the same trip for free.
  13. Take part in a sister city exchange. Sister Cities International is a nonprofit network that partners hundreds of U.S. cities with similar international sister cities. Many groups travel overseas to these cities and the cost is usually covered by fund raisers and the host family. Of course, be advised that you will have to host other travelers in exchange.
  14. Crash on a couch. Odd as it may sound, there are international networks designed just for the traveling freeloader. You’ll find listings for couches you can sleep on all over the world. You’ll get free lodging and hopefully make some great new friends.
  15. Camp out. There are few ways to sleep cheaper than camping out under the stars. In some places you may be able to camp for free, but in national parks and campgrounds, fees are usually very reasonable.
  16. Learn Esperanto.While in the eyes of many Esperanto may not be the most useful of language skills, it can land you some free lodging through an exchange program. You’ll be able to reduce travel costs and get to practice speaking another language.

Dining

Dining out when you’re at home may just be a special treat, but when you’re traveling it may become a necessity. Try out some of these ideas to help reduce the cost of your meals.

  1. Look for restaurants where kids eat for free. If you’re traveling with kids, you can often cut costs by eating at places that let kids eat for free. You’ll save money that you can put towards other vacation expenses.
  2. Get free breakfast at your hotel. If your hotel offers free breakfast, take advantage of it. It’s one less meal you have to pay for out of pocket.
  3. Bring your own coffee mug or water bottle. Buying coffee and bottled water every day can get expensive quickly. Save money by brewing coffee in your hotel room or refilling your own water bottles.
  4. Purchase restaurant gift cards. Gift cards to restaurants can often be purchased on eBay or sites like Restaurant.com for less than their face value, allowing you to eat at your favorite place and still save money.
  5. Get meals comped. Staying in Vegas? Use your high-roller status to get some free meals.
  6. Make lunch your main meal. Dinner menus might be more extensive, but lunch prices are almost always cheaper. Fill up at lunch so you can spend less when dinnertime rolls around.
  7. Make the most of freebies. If your hotel is giving out free snacks or breakfast, take a little something and save it for later.
  8. Bring your own food. While it isn’t always an option, bringing your own food along on a trip can save you tons of money, especially if you’re vacationing in a place with high food prices.
  9. Flirt shamelessly. There is no guarantee of a free or discounted meal if you flirt, but there is no harm in trying if you’re really hungry and low on cash.
  10. Join a diners club. Members of diners clubs often get special discounts on restaurants which can add up if you will be eating out frequently.
  11. Sign up for emails from your favorite places. Restaurants often send out special coupons and deals in emails, and sometimes you’ll even get gift certificates for free food when your birthday rolls around.

Transportation

Getting around in a foreign city can be hard enough without having to worry about how much it’s costing you. Try out these methods for saving money seeing the sights.

  1. Find a ride. Websites like RideSeek and Ridester make it easy to find and share a ride to your destination, helping cut down on your travel costs.
  2. Get a free gas card. There are many offers you can sign up for that will give you free gas cards. Some hotels even give them out as bonuses for staying with them.
  3. Check out AAA discounts. If you’re a member of AAA, it’s likely that you can get a number of discounts on rentals and services by using your card.
  4. Take public transportation. Most big cities have pretty good public transportation systems and often there are substantial discounts if you buy several passes at once.
  5. Use your own two feet. While it isn’t always possible to walk everywhere you want to go, when you can, do it. It can save you money, give you some exercise, and allow you to spend time exploring a new place.
  6. Bring your bike. One way to avoid having to pay for transportation is to bring your own. Biking is a great way to see the sights, not to mention good exercise.
  7. Avoid toll roads. Tolls can add up quickly, especially near cities. Use an online mapping program to provide you with an alternate route. It might take a few minutes longer, but you’ll save money and get to take in the scenery.
  8. Don’t rent a car unless you need one. If you only really need a car to get from the airport to your hotel, don’t bother renting a car. You’ll save not only on the rental fee, but gas and parking as well.
  9. Research free public transport. Many big cities, in an effort to cater to tourists, have some kind of free public transport between big tourist attractions. Check out your destination city to see if you can save a walk or cab fare with a free ride.
  10. Become a preferred renter. Most rental car companies have preferred renter programs that can save you big bucks when you go to rent a car. While most programs have fees, they will usually waive it if you send them a request.
  11. Use good driving habits. Save yourself valuable gas by using good driving habits like accelerating slowly and always keeping your tires properly inflated. If you’re driving a long distance the savings can really add up.
  12. Work from your RV. Rising gas prices have driven up the cost of an RV vacation, but you can get some of it back by becoming a workamper. There are a variety of jobs to choose from that allow you to bring in income while still enjoying the comforts of an RV vacation.
  13. Take part in a driveaway. If you’re going on a road trip, there may be a way to do it for free. Many people who move don’t want to have to move their cars themselves hire companies like this one to do it for them. You can participate in these programs, and get free travel between many different locations.
  14. Charge your rental car. Many credit cards that specialize in travel have free insurance included when you use them to pay for travel expenses. So even if you don’t purchase the additional insurance, you’ll still be protected.
  15. Hitchhike. While it isn’t the safest option, it is free. Use extreme caution if you plan on doing it.

Entertainment and Shopping

You wouldn’t be on vacation unless you were seeking fun and relaxation, so take advantage of these ideas on how you can save money while still enjoying yourself.

  1. See if second day free passes are available. Many amusement and water parks offer free or half price passes for a second day of admission which can save a lot, especially if you’re traveling with your family.
  2. Ask about tickets through your hotel. Many hotels offer free or greatly discounted tickets for nearby attractions as a bonus for staying with them. Ask at the front desk to see if you can save some money.
  3. Visit free attractions. You can often have a great time at places that are totally free like state and national parks and the beach.
  4. Look for free entertainment. Most big cities offer free concerts, parades, and special events especially during the summer months. Before you go, check to see if any pique your interest.
  5. Check out a TV show taping. Get free tickets to the taping of your favorite show with TV Tickets.com. You’ll get entertainment and a chance to get close to your favorite TV stars.
  6. Find out about museum free days. Most big museums have at least one day of the week when admission is free, so take advantage of the savings by planning your visit around those times.
  7. Don’t pay tax. If you’re traveling in Europe, you may not have to pay tax on the items you purchase if the store you shop at participates in the Global Refund program. Simply get a refund cheque from the store when you purchase your items, have it validated when you go through customs, and collect your cash back at their office or through the mail.
  8. Check out student discounts. Many attractions popular with tourists have special prices for students as long as you have a student ID.
  9. Be a trail guide. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you can enjoy a free vacation by becoming a trail guide. Show other hikers through trails at the Continental Divide or along the Pacific Northwest Trail.

Online Applications

The internet is one of the greatest resources for travelers looking for a bargain. Give these free sites a look before you take your next trip.

  1. Travlang For those traveling abroad, Travlang can be a great resource for translating and helping you learn the language.
  2. gas buddy.com If you’re driving to your vacation destination, check out gasbuddy to help you find the cheapest prices for gas anywhere you go.
  3. points.com Chances are good that if you’re a member of several frequent flyer and rewards programs, you have trouble keeping track of all those miles. Points.com makes it easy by tracking your points from multiple programs.
  4. WebFlyer WebFlyer is a great resource for frequent flyers. Keep track of your rewards miles, get special promotions and more at their website.
  5. Inspector Trip Not sure you’re getting the best deal on your flight or hotel? Use Inspector Trip’s comparison tool to find out what you should be paying.
  6. FreeTrip FreeTrip allows you to create a customized road itinerary and map.
  7. Flightview FlightView can help keep you up to date with your flight, let you know if it will be delayed, and get you information for almost any airport in the United States.
  8. Traffic.com Don’t let traffic jams ruin your trip. With Traffic.com you can keep track of where the problem areas are and figure out alternate routes.
  9. ParkatMyHouse Finding a place to park when you’re away from home can be difficult but ParkatMyHouse does the work for you and finds you reasonably priced parking.
  10. TripAdvisor TripAdvisor can give you advice and reviews for thousands of hotels, airlines and attractions all over the world.
  11. VirtualTourist Get photos, tips, and reviews for travel destinations all over the world with VirtualTourist.
  12. 3DTracking Keeping track of your family at a crowded attraction can be difficult. 3DTracking is free app that lets you know where everyone’s at.
  13. TripTie Not sure what to do once you arrive at your destination? Get some ideas by looking at other people’s travel itineraries on TripTie.
  14. TravelPod Make an online journal of your travel adventures with a free blog at TravelPod.

Travel Necessities

There are some things that even the most frugal traveler can’t do without. Give these suggestions a whirl to help you shave off a few dollars from your basic travel expenses.

  1. Bring along free sunscreen. Whether you’re hitting the beach or the slopes, you’re going to need to bring sunscreen along. Get a free bottle from Quality Health when you fill out a survey.
  2. Take advantage of online travel guides. Even big names in travel guides like Frommers have gone online. Why pay for the book when you can get the same info online for free?
  3. Buy luggage at a discount or thrift store. There is no doubt that suitcases are some of the most expensive necessities for travelers. Save money by getting one at a discount online or at your local thrift store.
  4. Make the most of free wi-fi. Some hotels will charge you to connect to the Internet. Of course, there’s no reason to pay for it when you can go around the corner to the local coffeshop and get it for free. Make the most of free wi-fi in the area and save some money on expensive hotel connections.
  5. Score free passport photos. If you need a new passport normally you’d pay anywhere between $10-15 for the photo, but JetBlue customers can take advantage of this free photo offer.
  6. Get a free luggage tag. If by some ill stroke of luck your luggage gets lost, make sure it has your name on it so it can get back to you. Sign up for this free one through Cutter and Buck.
  7. Order free maps and atlases. There are numerous maps and atlases you can get send to you free of charge just by taking an simple online survey.
  8. Get free vacation photo prints. If you take a lot of digital photos, you can get free and cheap prints of them by using an online printing service like Adorama or Snapfish. Some offer 50 free prints just for signing up!
  9. Buy travel guides and maps on eBay. If you are in need of travel guides, don’t pay full price. Get them for cheap using eBay and when you get back, sell them!
  10. Send e-cards. It’s fun to get mail from all over the world, but you can save money on stamps by sending e-cards instead of postcards. Simply scan in or upload one of your photos and send them in special emails to your family and friends.
  11. Pack light. Save yourself baggage overage fees and hassle by packing light and simply doing laundry at your destination once you run out of clothes.

Carnival of Travel Guide #15

Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 7:18pm by admin

Greetings! Welcome to the 15th edition of the Carnival of Travel Guide. We have selected 8 posts for this edition. Here you go:

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Taking A Vacation On The Contract Plan posted at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.

Amy @ The Q Family presents Target Free Tuesday at Imagine It! Atlanta posted at The Q Family Adventure.

Jeet presents Dharmasthala posted at Discover Karnataka. Dharamasthala is one of the most sacred religious place in South India. Located in a serene and natural environment in the forest ranges of western ghats.

Alex M presents What Are The Famous Places In Russia posted at Discover Eastern Europe: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus.

Andrew Edgington presents Great Tips For Buying A Cyprus Villa posted at Cyprus Informer. If you are going to buy a Cyprus property make sure you research the market first.

Chris Christensen presents Air Travel A La Carte posted at Tripinator – Travel 2.0. Airlines continue to un-bundle charges for baggage, blankets and now even service.

Karyn presents A New Theme Park for Orlando? posted at All About Orlando. There may soon be a new Disney theme park in Orlando, Florida. Disney’s Night Kingdom is said to be opening in the fall of 2011.

Debbie presents How to Budget for Hidden Travel Costs posted at American Consumer News.

That concludes this edition. Next edition of this carnival will be hosted here on April 19, 2008. Submit your blog articles using our blog carnival submission form.

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